The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in January. Leading Indicators rose 0.4% in January to the highest reading since July 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied to a new year to date high above 12,955 going into the final hour of trading. The NASDAQ traded up to 2962.78 then dipped into the red at 2941.55. The S&P 500, Dow Transports and Russell 2000 continue to lag their 2011 highs at 1370.58, 5627.85 and 868.57 respectively.
Asian stocks rebounded on Friday with the Nikkei 225 ending their session 9,384 – up 1.58% on the day. The Hang Seng closed at 21,492 – up 1.01% on the day. European stocks were higher as the Greek bailout appears imminent. The FTSE 100 ended their session at 5,905 – up 0.33% on the day; the DAX ended their session at 6,848 up 1.42% on the day; and the CAC 40 ended their session at 3,440 – up 1.37% on the day. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury rose to 2.038 trending above its 50-day simple moving average at 1.941.
Gold rose to $1737.5 the Troy ounce then traded down to $1718.6 before consolidating. Crude oil traded up to $103.57 per barrel. The euro versus the dollar rallied to 1.3196 versus its 50-day simple moving average at 1.3014.
Just days after pushing for a sale, Carl Icahn announced yesterday a tender offer for all outstanding shares of CVR Energy (CVI) at $30 each, a 35% premium to the Jan. 12 close, when he first took a stake.
Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $74.87 at 3:30 PM on Friday, up 0.38% on the day – up 8.30% year-to-date. The January change was +2.26%. The 2011 change was -1.29%
FRO: reported Q4 EPS -$4.41 (vs. -$0.58).
EOG: beat by 28 cents.
OIS: beat by 4 cents.
Upgrade: NXY, SU
Downgrade: STO, UPL, VLO, HFC
Big Movers: CSIQ (+16%), STP (+9%), VOG (+8%).
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) was trading at $37.37 at 3:30 PM on Friday, relatively unchanged on the day – up 11.55% year-to-date. The January change was +10.99%. The 2011 change was -12.78%.
VMC: beat by 23 cents.
Big Movers: N/A
Heavily Traded: VALE (-1.6%), AA (-1.2%), FCX (-1.8%), CX (+1.5%).
Waste Management (WM) posted a mixed Q4 earlier today. Earnings fell 5.3% Y/Y amid higher charges though the waste-disposal company saw higher revenue. The company also issued a cautious full-year earnings estimate, now seeing its EPS towards the low-end of estimates at $2.22 – $2.30 per share. The Street is at $2.29.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) was trading at $37.28 at 3:30 PM on Friday, up 0.38% on the day – up 10.46% year-to-date. The January change was +7.32%. The 2011 change was -3.21%.
RAIL: beat by 58 cents.
Initiation: XYL (Neutral)
Big Movers: RAIL (+19.75%), NFEC (+12.25%), TEU (+11.25%). CRTP (-14.25%).
Nordstrom’s (JWN) Q4 comes in relatively in line on strong sales in its high-end designer lines. The company is forecasting a weak profit range for the current year, calling for earnings between $3.30 – $3.45 per share. Analysts’ projections are for $3.59.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) was trading at $42.96 at 3:30 PM on Friday, up 0.87% on the day – up 10.10% year-to-date. The January change was +5.89%. The 2011 change was +4.30%.
JWN: beat by a penny.
Initiation: FL (Hold), FINL (Buy).
Upgrade: NILE, PFCB
Big Movers: KSWS (-10.5%).
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) was trading at $33.06 at 3:30 PM on Friday, up slightly on the day – up 1.75% year-to-date. The January change was -1.42%. The 2011 change was +10.85%.
CPBL: beat by 2 cents.
PPC: missed by 9 cents.
HNZ: beat by 10 cents.
BGS: in-line with estimates.
Big Movers: FEED (-18.5%), IPSU (+13.25%).
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) was trading at $36.24 at 3:30 PM on Friday, down 0.33% on the day – up 4.47% year-to-date. The January change was +3.20%. The 2011 change was +10.32%.
MDRX: in-line with estimates.
Downgrade: ARTC, MHS, WOOF
Big Movers: ALXA (-27.5%), ARTC (-18.5%), GILD (-14%), ACHN (+23.25%).
NYSE Euronext (NYX), CME Group (CME) and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) have each submitted bids for the London Metal Exchange, valuing the commodities business at up to £1B. More details are filtering out on the emergency-planning list Bank of America (BAC) submitted to the Fed last year. In the event of a market shock or severe downturn that necessitates capital raising, BofA would reportedly consider selling its retail-branch network in Texas and its U.S. Trust wealth-management unit. A bank said to be UBS (UBS) has told Canada’s regulators that traders and brokers successfully manipulated the yen Libor rate between 2007 and 2010, affecting loan rates around the world, all to increase trading profits. Ally Financial is reportedly considering a sale of all or part of its auto lending and banking businesses; an IPO is still a possibility, but is looking increasingly remote. Logical buyers for the various pieces include JPMorgan (JPM), Toronto-Dominion (TD), Wells Fargo (WFC) and GM (GM). Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) have reduced their use of “mark to market,” shielding themselves from swings in the values of some loans. Washington Mutual (WAMUQ) reached a deal yesterday with preferred shareholders, and will now get the approval from creditors that it needs to exit bankruptcy.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) was trading at $14.79 at 3:30 PM on Friday, up 0.65% on the day – up 13.77% year-to-date. The January change was +8.12%. The 2011 change was -18.50%; the weakest performing sector for the year.
Initiation: JEF (Market Perform), CISG (Perform)
Big Movers: ALBKY (+12.75%), NTSP (+12%), WETF (+10.75%).
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) was trading at $28.52 at 3:30 PM on Friday, unchanged on the day – up 12.06% year-to-date. The January change was +6.21%. The 2011 change was +1.03%.
Downgrade: DELL, MXWL
Big Movers: DMD (+29.5%), OPWV (+17.25%). FIO (+14%), MITL (+11.25%), RP (-15.25%), ENER (-11.5%), LOCM (-11.25%), ARUN (-10.5%).
Leap Wireless’ (LEAP) Q4 loss narrows on fewer charges but missed estimates as its traditionally lower-income customer base has been hit hard by high unemployment and economic weakness.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) was trading at $219.05 at 3:30 PM on Friday, up 0.19% on the day – up 11.23% year-to-date. The January change was +6.67%. The 2011 change was -12.62%.
FTR: beat by 2 cents.
Big Movers: CBEY (-11.5%)
Heavily Traded: FTR (+5.7%), T (+0.25%), S (+1.75%), VZ (+1.1%).
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) was trading at $35.05 at 3:30 PM on Friday, down slightly on the day – down 2.58% year-to-date. The January change was -3.61%. The 2011 change was +14.81%; the strongest performing sector for the year.
Heavily Traded: DUK (-1%), NI (+2.9%), CNP (+1.2%), EXC (-0.25%), GEN (+1.75%).
STOCKS: CVI, FRO, EOG, OIS, NXY, SU, STO, UPL, VLO, HFC, CSIQ, STP, VVOG, VMC, AKZOY, VALE, AA, FCX, CX, WM, RAIL, XYL, ABB, RAIL, NFEC, TEU, CRTP, JWN, FL, FINL, NIL, PFCB, KSWS, CPBL, PPC, HNZ, BGS, FEED, IPSU, ARTC, MHS, WOOF, ALXA, ARTC, GILD, ACHN, NYX, CME, ICE, BAC, UBS, JPM, TD, WFC, GM, GS, MS, WAMUQ, JEF, CISG, PBR, ALBKY, NTSP, WETF, AMAT, MSFT, GOOG, YELP, SPWR, ROG, BIDU, AMAT, MSPD, ARMH, DELL, MXWL, DMD, OPWV, FIO, MITL, ENER, LOCM, ARUN, LEAP, FTR, CBEY, T, S, VZ, DUK, NI, CNP, EXC, GEN