4:10 pm : Stocks ended modestly higher as the S&P 500 climbed 0.2%, and the Dow added 0.4% to register its 19th consecutive Tuesday of gains.
The major averages saw little change during morning action, but afternoon buying interest helped lift the indices to session highs. Most cyclical sectors (with the exception of materials and technology) finished among the leaders, but the defensively-geared health care sector settled atop the leaderboard as biotechnology outperformed.
The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 181.54, +1.78) advanced 1.0%, and prevented the Nasdaq from falling too far behind the other two indices as technology displayed relative weakness.
The technology sector spent the bulk of the day in negative territory as major components failed to partake in the broader market advance. Apple (AAPL 439.66, -3.27) shed 0.7% after the company faced Senate Subcommittee questioning regarding its tax practices while Microsoft (MSFT 34.85, -0.23) lost 0.7% after unveiling its newest gaming console.
Although the majority of the first quarter reporting season is in the rearview mirror, retail earnings continued to trickle in. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 78.68, +0.57) settled higher by 0.7% after Saks (SKS 13.67, +1.39) and TJX (TJX 51.73, +0.38) exceeded their top-line estimates while AutoZone (AZO 427.84, +18.79) and Home Depot (HD 78.71, +1.95) beat on earnings and revenue.
Dow component Home Depot climbed to a new record high following its earnings beat, but the report did not help homebuilders as the SPDR S&P Homebuilders
2:37AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
- ITG (ITG) announced the addition of Singapore trading to the POSIT crossing network.
- Technip (TKPPY), leader of a consortium with Samsung Engineering Co and China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering, was awarded by Pacific NorthWest LNG a contract for the front end engineering design and the early detailed engineering services of a grassroot liquefied natural gas project.
- ReneSola (SOL) announced its Virtus I and Virtus II modules obtained JETPVm certification from the Japan Electrical and Environment Technology Laboratories, a government-designated certification body responsible for factory inspections and product testing of electronic products.
2:02AM Radiant Logistics: ADW Capital Partners seeks strategic sale of co to maximize shareholder value (RLGT) 1.98 : ADW Capital Partners issues letter stating its concern with RGLT's current direction and "management's sustained failure to generate shareholder value."
The firm adds: "... In particular, the Company has been marked by stagnant growth, acquisition blunders, poor shareholder liquidity and material dilution, all resulting in a depressed share price. As management seems unable to correct this situation, and for the reasons outlined below, I urge the Company and the Board to immediately engage a financial advisor in order to explore a transaction with a strategic partner or acquirer..."
Additionally, the firm believes that: "...the Company could contribute roughly $20 mm of EBITDA to a new buyer in FYE 2014. Ascribing a multiple somewhere between 7.5x and 10.5x EBITDA, the Company could enjoy a share price in the ranges of $3.75 to $5.40 -- roughly two to three times the value of the listed shares today. This valuation also ascribes zero value to the potential revenue synergies that would come from a platform acquirer that has already built out a sizable truck brokerage and customs brokerage division.
1:58AM Ford Motor increases North American capacity by 200,000 units and reduces summer shutdown to meet surging demand (F) 14.95 : Co announces it will:
- add an additional 200,000 units of annual straight-time capacity this year after increasing annual straight-time capacity by 400,000 units in the region last year
- will shorten its summer shutdown from the traditional two weeks to one week for a majority of North American assembly plants, increasing production by an extra 40,000 units
- plans to add close to 3,500 hourly jobs to meet customer demand for the company's best-selling vehicles