U.S. stocks opened higher with the Dow Jones Industrial Average stretching to a new year-to-date trading above 12,600 in the final hour of trading. The NASDAQ finally traded above its February 18th high at 2840.51 with a new year to date above 2850. The S&P 500 also reached a new year to date high around 1350. Dow Transports reached a new 2011 high above 5400. The Russell 2000 stayed shy or its 2011 high at 859.08. Semiconductors lag with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) well below its February 18th high at 474.33.
U.S. stocks were mixed on Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 26 points to 12,480 and the NASDAQ up 6 points to 2826. Overnight Asian stocks were lower with the Nikkei 225 down 1.2% to 9559. European stocks were higher on Tuesday after being closed for an extended Easter weekend. The U.S. Treasury 10-Year yield declined to 3.31 ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC meeting and first ever press conference by a Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
The Fed Statement will be released at noon on Wednesday with the press conference at 2:15 PM. Gold set a new all time intraday high on Monday at $1519.2 the Troy ounce, and traded as low as $1492.0 on Tuesday, ending the session just above $1500. Crude oil traded to a new year to date intraday high on Monday at $113.48 per barrel two cents above the high set on April 11th. Crude oil traded between $111.12 and $112.64 on Tuesday. The euro traded to a new year to date high at 1.4655 on Wednesday. According to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices the 20-City Composite declined for the 8th consecutive month, down 1.1% sequentially in February and 3.3% year over year returning to the lows of April 2009.
The Conference Board reported that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 65.4 in April. While this is an improvement the neutral zone for this measure is 90 to 120, so consider confidence as remaining weak.
Helix Energy Solutions (HLX) beat estimates by 13 cents, but missed revenue by $20M. Occidental Petroleum (OXY) is lifted to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. Brigham Exploration (BEXP) gets cut to Hold at Stifel Nicolaus. In afternoon trading: Shares of Helix Energy Solutions are up about 7.9%. Shares of General Maritime (GMR) are up about 5.9%. Shares of Western Refining (WNR) are down about 5.4%.
The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $79.35 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 0.99% on the day – up 16.26% year-to-date.
China's Minmetals Resources today bowed out of the battle for Canadian copper miner Equinox Minerals (EQXMF.PK) after Barrick Gold (ABX) yesterday made an offer of C$7.3B ($7.68B), topping Minmetals' C$6.3B bid. Plum Creek Timber (PCL) missed estimates by a penny, but beat revenue by $20M. In afternoon trading: Shares of Ashland (ASH) are up about 10.4%. Shares of Noranda Aluminum (NOR) are up about 7.3%. Shares of AK Steel (AKS) are up about 6%. Shares of Wausau Paper (WPP) are down about 8.1%.
The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) traded at $40.59 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 1.12% on the day – up 5.68% year-to-date.
Masco (MAS) missed estimates by 8 cents, but beat revenue by $20M. 3M (MMM) reported 1Q EPS of $1.49 and sees adjusted 2011 EPS of $6.05-$6.25. UPS (UPS) reported 1Q EPS of $0.88 (topping estimates), but revenue falls short of estimates. UPS raises 2011 Forecast to $4.15 to $4.40 per share. 51job (JOBS) is begun with a Market Perform at William Blair. In afternoon trading: Shares of Delta Air Lines (DAL) are up about 9.3%. Shares of Carlisle Companies (CSL) are up about 9.1%. Shares of Zipcar (ZIP) are down about 7.6%.
The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) traded at $38.24 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 1.92% on the day – up 9.66% year-to-date.
Ford's (F) Q1 2011 net profit increased to $0.61 per share from $0.50 a year earlier in its best first-quarter performance since 1998. Ford's revenues rose 18% to $33.1B, helped by sales in new vehicles such as the Explorer. Ford beat estimates by 12 cents and revenue by $3.41B. Analysts expect Amazon (AMZN) to report today that Q1 2011 net EPS fell to $0.61 from $0.66 a year earlier despite a 33% increase in revenue to $9.51B, as they are spending heavily in building its cloud computing infrastructure, and investing in new distribution centers to cement its position as the world's largest online retailer. Sony (SNE) is investigating whether customer data was accessed after intruders hacked into its PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services, which have been suspended since last week. Sony has unveiled tablet computers that use Google's (GOOG) Android operating system as it looks to grab share in a market that Apple's (AAPL) iPad dominates. Other companies to launch tablets include RIM (RIMM), Samsung Electronics (SSNLF.PK), Motorola (MMI) and HP (HPQ). Sony's devices will go on sale in the fall. Coach (COH) beat estimates by 2 cents and revenue by $4M. Office Depot (ODP) reported Q1 EPS of -$0.05 versus consensus of $0.02, with revenue in-line with estimates. Peet’s Coffee (PEET) is now Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird with a new lower target of $48. In afternoon trading: Shares of Netflix (NFLX) are down about 9.25% despite beating estimates by 3 cents and revenue by $16M, after the movie-rental company said that increased streaming costs would hit Q2 2011 earnings. The firm forecast EPS of $0.93-$1.15, below analyst predictions of $1.18. The number of subscribers grew 69% to 23.6M, taking Netflix past Comcast (CMCSA) and putting it in second place behind HBO (TWX) with 28.6M. Netflix (NFLX) is upgraded to Hold from Sell at Maxim Group after earnings, while getting downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Janney Montgomery Scott. Shares of Under Armour (UA) are down about 10.25%. Shares of Aaron’s (AAN) are up about 10%.
The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) traded at $39.94 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up slightly on the day – up 6.76% year-to-date.
Coca-Cola (KO) reported 1Q EPS of $0.86 (below estimates). Lorillard (LO) beat estimates by 14 cents and revenue by $90M. Altria (MO) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus. In afternoon trading: Shares of Medifast (MED) are up about 7.4%. Shares of Rite Aid (RAD) are up about 4.4%. Shares of Lorillard are up about 4.2%. Actives: Shares of Coca Cola are down about 1.6%. Shares of Wal-Mart (WMT) are up about 1%.
The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) traded at $31.03 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 0.68% on the day – up 5.87% year-to-date.
Express Scripts (ESRX) missed estimates by 3 cents and revenue by $460M. Health Management Associates (HMA) beat estimates by a penny and revenue by $20M. Allscripts Healthcare (MDRX) is initiated as an Outperform at Oppenheimer. In afternoon trading: Shares of Endocyte (ECYT) are up about 26%. Shares of Kindred Healthcare (KND) are up about 17%. Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) are up about 12.5%. Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) are up about 11.5%.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) traded at $34.69 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 1.17% on the day – up 10.13% year-to-date.
American Capital Agency (AGNC) reported Q1 EPS of $1.30 (in-line). Ameriprise Financial (AMP) beat estimates by 2 cents, but missed revenue by $1B. Glimcher Realty (GRT) gets picked up with a Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Mission West (MSW) gets moved to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan. Bancolombia S.A. (CIB) is moved to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan. In afternoon trading: Shares of UBS (UBS) are up about 5% despite reporting that Q1 2011 net profit tumbled to 1.81B Swiss francs ($2.06B) from 2.2B francs a year earlier and that revenue fell 7% to 8.34B francs due to lower income from trading and fees. Investors are encouraged by earnings beating expectations and UBS showing the strongest inflow of cash since the final quarter of 2007. Shares of Bancorp South (BXS) are down about 7.5%. Shares of Lennox International (LII) are down about 5.5%.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) traded at $16.18 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 0.62% on the day – up 1.44% year-to-date.
GGC Software Holdings has agreed to buy Lawson Software (LWSN) for around $2B, or $11.25 a share, which is below yesterday’s closing price of $12.12. Sony has unveiled tablet computers that use Google's (GOOG) Android operating system as it looks to grab share in a market that Apple's (AAPL) iPad dominates. Other companies to launch tablets include RIM (RIMM), Samsung Electronics (SSNLF.PK), Motorola (MMI) and HP (HPQ). Sony's devices will go on sale in the fall. Unisys (UIS) reported Q1 EPS of -$0.95 versus consensus of -$0.10 and beat revenue by $2M. Veeco Instruments (VECO) beat estimates by 12 cents and revenue by $8M. Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD) is picked up with Overweight at Piper Jaffray with a price objective of $21. Texas Instruments (TXN) is taken to Neutral from Outperform at BNP Paribas. In afternoon trading: Shares of Evergreen Solar (ESLR) are up about 14.25%. Shares of Ultra Clean Holdings (UCTT) are up about 13%. Shares of Lexmark International (LXK) are down about 12.75%. Shares of Travelzoo (TZOO) are down about 12.25%. Shares of Unisys are down about 11.2%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) traded at $26.59 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 0.83% on the day – up 5.56% year-to-date.
In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Sprint Nextel (S) are up about a quarter of a percent. Shares of AT&T (T) are up about 1.3%. Shares of Verizon (VZ) are up about 1.7%. Shares of Frontier (FTR) are up about 1.7%. Shares of Level 3 Communications (LVLT) are down about 0.9%.
The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) traded at $229.18 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 1.03% on the day – up 1.69% year-to-date.
Northwestern Corp (NWE) is now Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo. In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) are up about 0.3%. Shares of AES (AES) are relatively unchanged. Shares of PPL (PPL) are up about 0.7%. Shares of CenterPoint (CNP) are relatively unchanged. Shares of NRG Energy (NRG) are up about 3.5%. Shares of Dynegy (DYN) are up about 3%.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) traded at $32.54 at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, up 0.81% on the day – up 3.83% year-to-date.
STOCKS: HLX, OXY, BEXP, GMR, WNR, EQXMF, ABX, PCL, ASH, NOR, AKS, WPP, MAS, MMM, UPS, JOBS, DAL, CSL, ZIP, F, AMZN, SNE, GOOG, AAPL, RIMM, SSNLF, MMI, HPQ, ODP, PEET, NFLX, CMCSA, TWX, UA, AAN, KO, LO, MO, MED, RAD, WMT, ESRX, HMA, MDRX, ECYT, KND, ARNA, VRTX, AGNC, AMP, GRT, MSW, CIB, UBS, BXS, LII, LWSN, UIS, VECO, CSOD, TXN, ESLR, UCTT, LXK, TZOO, S, T, VZ, FTR, LVLT, NWE, DUK, AES, PPL, CNP, NRG, DYN
DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer