According to ADP the private sector added 157,000 jobs in June. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims came in at 418,000, above 400,000 for the last 13 weeks. Remember that the 350,000 level is the recessionary threshold. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher trading as high as 12,753.89 going into the final half hour of trading on Thursday versus its May 2nd high at 12,876. The NASDAQ traded as high as 2878.94 into the final half hour versus its May 2nd high at 2887.75.
U.S. stocks traded higher on Wednesday with the Dow Industrial Average up 56 points to 12,626 and the NASDAQ up 8 points to 2834. The Dow ended the session up 9.1% year to date with the NASDAQ up 6.8%.
Asian stocks were little changed on Thursday with the Nikkei 225 down 0.1% to 10,071. The Hang Seng inched up by 0.1% to 22,530. The Bank of England left its benchmark interest rate at 0.5%. The European Central Bank raised their benchmark rate by 0.25% to 1.5%. European stocks were generally up 0.7% on these Central Bank decisions. On Thursday the FTSE 100 was up 0.9%. The DAX gained 0.5%. The CAC 40 was also up 0.5%. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury note rose from 3.095 to 3.175 Thursday morning back above the 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages at 3.088 and 3.142.
Gold declined from $1534.9 to $1522.2 the Troy ounce still above the 50-day simple moving average at $1520.4 then rebounded back above $1530. Crude oil remains well above its 200-day simple moving average at $93.49 but stayed below the 50-day simple moving average at $99.48. The euro versus the US dollar stayed below its 50-day simple moving average at 1.4375 with a morning low at 1.4225 followed by a rebound back towards the 50-day.
Trina Solar (TSL) is taken up to Overweight from Underweight at HSBC Securities with a new target of $30. Forest Oil Corp (FST) is cut to Underperform from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) is taken to Hold from Buy with Wunderlich Securities. In afternoon trading: Shares of Treaty Energy Corp (TECO) are up about 30.5%. Shares of GMX Resources (GMXR) are up about 8.5%. Shares of BPZ Resources (BPZ) are up about 8.25%. Shares of Forest Oil are down about 11.75%.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $77.54 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 1.51% on the day – up 13.61% year-to-date.
In afternoon trading: Shares of Georgia Gulf (GGC) are up about 7.5%. Shares of Boise (BZ) are up about 6.75%. Shares of Mag Silver (MVG) are up about 4.4%. Shares of Freeport McMoran (PCX) are up about 4.4%. Shares of Patriot Coal (PCX) are up about 4.25%. Shares of Jaguar Mining (JAG) are up about 4.25%. Shares of Molycorp (MCP) are up about 4%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) traded at $40.54 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 1.49% on the day – up 5.53% year-to-date.
Hub Group (HUBG) gets hoisted to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital. In afternoon trading: Shares of APAC Customer Service (APAC) are up about 55.25% after the provider of call centers for customer service agreed to be bought by JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s One Equity Partners unit for $470 million, or $8.55 a share. Shares of SFN Group (SFN) are up about 8%. Shares of China Ritar Power (CRTP) are up about 8%. Shares of United Rentals (URI) are up about 8%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) traded at $38.30 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 1.06% on the day – up 9.84% year-to-date.
Sony (SNE) and BMG are among those interested in EMI, which Citigroup (C) hopes to sell within a couple of months. News Corp.’s (NWS) attempts to buy the 60.9% of BSkyB (BSYBY) it doesn’t own could be delayed or even blocked following allegations that the News of the World newspaper hacked into the phones of a high-profile teenage murder victim and relatives of terrorist victims. John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media (LCAPA) stated that Live Nation (LYV) could turn around more effectively if it were to go private. Las Vegas Sands (LVS) is begun with a Buy rating and $53 price objective at Brean Murray. Wynn Resorts (WYNN) is also assigned a Buy, with a $175 target price. Pandora Media (P) is a new Overweight and $22 target at Global Equities Research. Starbucks (SBUX) is now Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs, which takes YUM! Brands (YUM) to Sell from Neutral. Fossil (FOSL) is now Hold From Buy at S&P Equity Research. In afternoon trading: Shares of Lumber Liquidators (LL) are down about 27.5% after the company announced that they now expect earnings of $1.00 to $1.15 per share on revenue of $670 million to $700 million, versus the average analyst estimate of a $1.19 per share profit on sales of $711.5 million. Shares of BeBe stores (BEBE) are up about 19.75%. Shares of American Apparel (APP) are up about 14%. Shares of Corinthian Colleges (COCO) are up about 12.75%. Shares of Hot Topic (HOTT) are up about 10.4%. Shares of Dillard’s (DDS) are up about 10.1%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) traded at $41.62 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 1.39% on the day – up 11.25% year-to-date.
Estee Lauder (EL) is launched with a Sell and $93 objective at Weeden. Avon Products (AVP) is lifted to Buy from Neutral at UBS. Energizer Holdings (ENR) is increased to Buy from Neutral at UBS. Dr Pepper (DPS) is downgraded to Equalweight from Overweight by Barclays Capital. In afternoon trading: Shares of American Oriental Bioengineering (AOB) are up about 12.5%. Shares of PriceSmart (PSMT) are up about 8%. Shares of Imperial Sugar (IPSU) are up about 4.9%. Shares of Avon Products are up about 4.9%. Shares of Winn-Dixie (WINN) are up about 4.5%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) traded at $31.85 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.70% on the day – up 8.67% year-to-date.
BioSante (BPAX) is begun with an Outperform at Leerink Swann. Pharmasset (VRUS) is begun with a Buy at UBS. In afternoon trading: Shares of Affymetrix (AFFX) are down about 17.6%. Shares of Achillion (ACHN) are up about 16.3%. Shares of Zalicus (ZLCS) are up about 10%. Shares of Biostar (BSPM) are up about 7%. Shares of BioSante are up about 6.7%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) traded at $35.94 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down slightly on the day – up 14.10% year-to-date.
The Fed has released further details of the actions it took to maintain liquidity during the financial crisis, disclosing that a Goldman Sachs (GS) unit borrowed $15B in December 2008 from a program called ST OMO. Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan (JPM), Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Ally Financial are reportedly in advanced negotiations with state and federal officials to resolve claims over improper foreclosure practices in a settlement that could exceed $20B. NYSE Euronext (NYX) shareholders are expected to approve today a $10.2B merger of equals with Deutsche Boerse (DBOEY), with the German firm’s shareholders scheduled to vote on the deal next week. Sony (SNE) and BMG are among those interested in EMI, which Citigroup (C) hopes to sell within a couple of months. MPG Office Trust (MPG) is moved to Hold from Underweight By KeyBanc Capital Markets. Capital One (COF) is lifted to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette. PNC Financial Services (PNC) is reduced to Hold from Buy by Deutsche Bank. In afternoon trading: Shares of Life Partners Holdings (LPHI) are up about 11.4%. Shares of MPG Office Trust are up about 9%. Shares of China Real Estate Information (CRIC) are up about 8.1%. Shares of Hallmark Financial Services (HALL) are up about 7.4%. Shares of The PMI Group (PMI) are up about 6%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) traded at $15.66 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 1.62% on the day – down 1.82% year-to-date.
Hackers yesterday disclosed a defect in Apple’s (AAPL) iOS operating system that could enable criminals to break into iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. A judge denied Apple a preliminary injunction to stop Amazon (AMZN) from using the ‘App Store’ name. Samsung (SSNLF), the world’s largest maker of memory chips and televisions, expects its Q2 2011 operating profit to plummet to 3.7T won ($3.5B) from a record 5.01T a year ago. LinkedIn (LNKD) gets picked up with a Sell and $45 target at Capstone. Motorola Mobility (MMI) is begun with a Buy at Merriman. ASML Holding NV (ASML) is raised to Buy from Neutral by UBS. KLA-Tencor (KLAC) is moved to Buy from Neutral at UBS. Western Digital (WDC) is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan with a $50 target. Seagate Technology (STX) is moved to Overweight from Underweight with a $23 price target at JP Morgan. International Business Machines (IBM) is moved to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo. JA Solar (JASO) is moved to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. In afternoon trading: Shares of OCZ Technology Group (OCZ) are up about 14.6%. Shares of Magic Software (MGIC) are up about 12.7%. Shares of Amkor Technology (AMKR) are up about 8.5%. Shares of Motricity (MOTR) are up about 8.1%. Shares of STEC (STEC) are up about 7.7%. Shares of Renren (RENN) are up about 7%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) traded at $26.60 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 1.22% on the day – up 5.60% year-to-date.
Partner Communications (PTNR) is lifted to Hold from Sell at Citigroup. AT&T (T) is cut to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie. In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Sprint Nextel (S) are up about 2.25%. Shares of Level 3 (LVLT) are up about 4%. Shares of TerreStar (TSTRQ) are down about 5%. Shares of AT&T (T) are down about 0.3%. Shares of Verizon (VZ) are down about 0.75%. Shares of Vodafone (VOD) are up about 1%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) traded at $218.67 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 1.63% on the day – down 2.97% year-to-date.
Credit Suisse covers Veolia Environnement (VE) and Suez Environnement with Outperforms on each. In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Genon Energy (GEN) are up about 3.5%. Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) are relatively unchanged. Shares of AES Corp (AES) are up about 1%. Shares of Exelon (EXC) are up about 1.25%. Shares of Southern (SO) are down about 0.8%. Shares of PPL Corp (PPL) are up about 0.3%.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) traded at $33.89 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.41% on the day – up 8.14% year-to-date.
STOCKS: TSL, FST, ETP, TECO, GMXR, BPZ, GGC, BZ, MVG, PCX, JAG, MCP, HUBG, APAC, SFN, CRTP, URI, SNE, C, NWS, BSYBY, LCAPA, LYV, LVS, WYNN, P, SBUX, YUM, FOSL, LL, BEBE, APP, COCO, HOTT, DDS, EL, AVP, ENR, DPS, AOB, PSMT, IPSU, WINN, BPAX, VRUS, AFFX, ACHN, ZLCS, BSPM, GS, BAC, JPM, WFC, NYX, DBOEY, MPG, COF, PNC, LPHI, CRIC, HALL, PMI, AAPL, AMZN, SSNLF, LNKD, MMI, ASML, KLAC, WDC, STX, IBM, JASO, OCZ, MGIC, AMKR, MOTR, STEC, RENN, PTNR, T, S, LVLT, TSTRQ, VZ, VOD, VE, GEN, DUK, AES, EXC, SO, PPL