S&P 500 Falls To Two-Month Low, Dow Drifts Further Away From The 17,000 Mark

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U.S. stocks declined, following Europe's lead following the European Central Bank's decision to keep interest rates unchanged.

The ECB's President Mario Draghi reaffirmed the bank's intention of considering "unconventional moves," which includes buying asset-backed securities.

Uncertainty and unease in Ukraine persists keeping the bulls at bay. NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Russia to "step back from the brink" and withdraw troops near the Eastern border of Ukraine.

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  • The Dow lost 0.46 percent, closing at 16,368.27.
  • The S&P 500 lost 0.56 percent, closing at 1,909.57.
  • The NASDAQ lost 0.46 percent, closing at 4,334.97.
  • Gold gained 0.40 percent, trading at $1,313.40 an ounce.
  • Oil gained 0.68 percent, trading at $97.58 a barrel.
  • Silver lost 0.22 percent, trading at $19.98.
News Of Note

Initial Jobless Claims declined 14,000 to 289,000, falling below estimates of 305,000.

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to 36.2 from 36.3 a week ago.

EIA Natural Gas Inventory rose 82 bcf, below estimates calling for a gain of 84 bcf.

The Bank of England kept its Bank Rate unchanged at 0.5 percent and its QE program dormant at 375 billion pounds.

Russia banned the import of many fruit, meat, fish, vegetable and non-dairy products from the United States, European Union, Norway, Canada and Australia.

Analyst Upgrades And Downgrades Of Note

Analysts at Cowen & Company upgraded 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA) to Market Perform from Underperform with a price target raised to $35 from a previous $29. Shares gained 5.04 percent, closing at $33.96.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank maintained a Hold rating on AK Steel Holding with a price target raised to $8 from a previous $6.

Analysts at Citigroup maintained a Neutral rating on Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO) with a price target lowered to $26.50 from a previous $28. Shares lost 2.06 percent, closing at $24.73.

Analysts at Bank of America upgraded Carnival (NYSE: CCL) to Buy from Neutral. Shares gained 0.22 percent, closing at $36.32.

Analysts at ISI Group upgraded Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) to Buy from Neutral with a price target raised to $113 from a previous $110. Shares gained 0.44 percent, closing at $101.94.

Analysts at Evercore Partners downgraded Copa Holdings (NYSE: CPA) to Equal-Weight from Overweight with a price target lowered to $150 from a previous $160. Also, analysts at Raymond James downgraded Copa Holdings to Market Perform from Strong Buy while removing a previous $167 price target. Shares lost 15.61 percent, closing at $127.36.

Analysts at Canaccord Genuity maintained a Buy rating on Keurig Green Mountain (NASDAQ: GMCR) with a price target raised to $122 from a previous $117. Shares lost 1.48 percent, closing at $116.39.

Analysts at Jefferies maintained a Hold rating on Kinder Morgan Energy (NYSE: KMP) with a price target raised to $81 from a previous $77. Shares gained 0.06 percent, closing at $79.98.

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Analysts at Jefferies maintained a Hold rating on Kinder Morgan Management (NYSE: KMR) with a price target raised to $78 from a previous $74. Shares gained 0.20 percent, closing at $75.99.

Analysts at Jefferies maintained a Hold rating on Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI) with a price target raised to $36 from a previous $34. Shares lost 0.53 percent, closing at $35.37.

Analysts at Craig-Hallum upgraded Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) to Buy from Hold. Shares lost 2.14 percent, closing at $66.73.

Analysts at Citigroup maintained a Buy rating on Mondelez International (NASDAQ: MDLZ) with a price target lowered to $43 from a previous $44. Shares lost 1.64 percent, closing at $35.07.

Analysts at JPMorgan downgraded Nu Skin Enterprises (NYSE: NUS) to Neutral from Overweight with a price target lowered to $50 from a previous $100. Meanwhile, analysts at Deutsche Bank maintained a Buy rating on Nu Skin with a price target lowered to $70 from a previous $110. Also, analysts at Canaccord Genuity maintained a Hold rating on Nu Skin with a price target lowered to $53 from a previous $92. Shares gained 2.88 percent, closing at $47.86.

Analysts at Credit Suisse upgraded Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) to Outperform from Neutral. shares gained 0.79 percent, closing at $158.12.

Analysts at Citigroup maintained a Neutral rating on Sprint (NYSE: S) with a price target lowered to $7.50 from a previous $9. Shares lost 0.34 percent, closing at $5.88.

Analysts at Citigroup maintained a Neutral rating on T-Mobile U.S. (NYSE: TMUS) with a price target lowered to $33 from a previous $35. Shares lost 3.86 percent, closing at $29.86.

Analysts at Jefferies maintained a Buy rating on Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) with a price target lowered to $69 from a previous $87. Also, analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded Walgreen to Hold from Sell. Shares gained 2.80 percent, closing at $60.87.

Analysts at Craig-Hallum upgraded Wynn Resorts (NYSE: WYNN) to Buy from Hold. Shares lost 2.68 percent, closing at $195.16.

Equities-Specific News Of Note

J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM) has agreed to acquire Sahale Snacks, a maker of nuts and fruit snacks. Shares lost 0.58 percent, closing at $100.62.

T-Mobile U.S.' (NASDAQ: TMUS) parent company Deutsche Telekom confirmed that there is currently no offer on the table that would improve the company's position and its shareholders. Shares lost 3.86 percent, closing at $29.86.

During 21st Century Fox's (NASDAQ: FOXA) conference call, the company's COO Chip Carey and CEO Rupert Murdoch both confirmed that management has no interest in further acquisitions. Shares gained 5.04 percent, closing at 33.96.

Costco (NADSAQ: COST) reported its July same-store sales rose 5 percent while total sales rose 9 percent to $8.55 billion. Shares lost 1.50 percent, closing at $117.80.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) announced Lourenco Goncalves as chairman, president and CEO, effective immediately. Shares lost 0.35 percent, closing at $17.09.

L Brands (NYSE: LB) reported its July same-store sales rose 6 percent while total sales rose 9 percent to $735.3 million. Shares gained 2.42 percent, closing at $60.62.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) reported its revenue passenger miles rose 6.6 percent in July to 10.63 billion. Shares lost 0.18 percent, closing at $28.06.

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Chevron (NYSE: CVX) said that it will reduce its overseas staff in the Kurdish region of Iraq as Islamic militants continue an offensive push near the area. Shares lost 0.06 percent, closing at $125.65.

According to Reuters, Freeport McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) is considering selling its onshore oil wells in California for as much as $5 billion. Potential buyers include private equity firms as well as other oil companies. Shares lost 1.50 percent, closing at $36.15.

Winners Of Note

This morning, Jack In The Box (NASDAQ: JACK) reported its third quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.65, beating the consensus estimate of $0.57. Revenue of $348.50 million beat the consensus estimate of $343.27 million. Net earnings for the quarter rose to $24.7 million from a loss of $5.66 million in the same quarter a year ago as same-store sales rose 2.4 percent at Jack in the Box chain restaurants because of higher breakfast and late-night traffic. Qdoba Mexican Grill benefited from a 7.5 percent comp because of a successful Mango Mojo campaign and Queso Bliss event in the prior quarter. Restaurant operating margin improved 120 basis points to 19.1 percent of sales, while the restaurant operating margin for Jack in the Box improved 150 basis points to 18.4 percent. The company benefited from a decrease in food and packaging costs, and a favorable product mix. Commodity inflation for the quarter was approximately 2.6 percent. The company issued guidance and sees its same-store sales rising by 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent at Jack in the Box, and a 5.0 percent to 6.0 percent rise at Qboda. Shares gained 10.46 percent, closing at $61.25.

This morning, Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) reported its second quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.55, beating the consensus estimate of $0.45. Revenue of $178.46 million beat the consensus estimate of $156.61 million. Net loss for the quarter improved to $173,000 from a net loss of $2.80 million in the same quarter a year ago, as the company saw revenue growths in all of its categories. Product revenue rose 70 percent from a year ago to $154.1 million. Services revenue rose 50 percent to $24.4 million, while MakerBot sales rose 63 percent from last quarter to $33.6 million. Gross margin improved by 70 bps from a year ago to 59.8 percent at a time when SG&A spend rose 89 percent to $60.3 million and R&D expenses rose 85 percent to $17.6 million. Stratasys issued upside guidance to its 2014 revenue to a range of $750 million to $770 million from a previous range of $660 million to $680 million. Full-year EPS is now guided to a range of $2.25 to $2.35 from a previous guidance of $2.15 to @2.25. Stratays announced it is now aiming for at least 25 percent of its growth to be organic, up from a prior guidance of at least 20 percent. Shares gained 14.94 percent, closing at $113.69.

CST Brands (NYSE: CST) has agreed to acquire the membership interest of Lehigh Gas GP, the general partner of Lehigh Gas Partners (NYSE: LGP) for $85 million. CST expects the deal will provide the company with access to capital through a growth-oriented MLP structure. At the same time, CST Brands' board of directors approved a $200 million authorization to repurchase shares of the company. Shares of CST Brands hit new 52-week highs of $38.66 before closing the day at $36.18, up 7.87 percent. Shares of Lehigh Gas Partners soared to new 52-week highs of $34.77 before closing the day at $34.00, up 30.86 percent.

According to Bloomberg, Dresser-Rand (NYSE: DRC) hired bankers at Morgan Stanley to advice the company on possible takeover bids from Siemens. Shares gained 8.93 percent, closing at $62.96.

Decliners Of Note

This morning, Melco Crown Entertainment (NASDAQ: MPEL) reported its second quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.26, missing the consensus estimate of $0.36. Revenue of $1.20 billion missed the consensus estimate of $1.30 billion. Net income for the quarter fell to $143.6 million from $181.0 million in the same quarter a year ago as the company saw its revenue decline by seven percent because of lower group-wide rolling chip revenues. Revenue at City of Dreams rose slightly to $967.5 million from $967.0 million a year ago, while EBITDA declined to $290.2 million from $300.2 million a year ago because of a lower rolling chip win rate. Atira Macau revenue fell to $181.6 million from $278.8 million a year ago, while EBITDA fell to $15.6 million from $41.4 million a year ago as the rolling chip win rate fell 2.7 percent from 3.0 percent. Revenue at Mocha Clubs fell to $36.5 million from $37.2 million a year ago while EBITDA fell to $8.83 million from $9.8 million a year ago. Melco Crown authorized a $500 million share repurchase program valid until its 2015 annual general meeting. Separately, the company confirmed that some of its employees in Taiwan have been indicted for violating banking laws, but the company believes there will be no impact on its financial position. Shares lost 4.89 percent, closing at $25.55.

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During its analyst conference call, Atmel (NASDAQ: ATML) guided its third quarter revenue to a range of $364 million to $382 million versus a consensus estimate of $379 million. The company also stated that it expects tough controller sales to be down by a low-to-mid-digit percentage point quarter over quarter because of tablet weakness and “customer transitions” in Asia. Shares lost 6.74 percent, closing at $8.02.

Earnings Of Note

This morning, Mylan (NYSE: MYL) reported its second quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.69, missing the consensus estimate of $0.70. Revenue of $1.84 billion missed the consensus estimate of $1.88 billion. Net earnings for the quarter fell to $125.2 million from $177.7 million in the same quarter a year ago, as the company saw its expenses rise 34 percent from a year ago to $582.7 million because of higher spending for research and development in addition to administration costs and court settlements. Generics sales rose 6 percent to $1.53 billion, while specialty sales rose 22 percent to $287.8 million. Gross margin improved to 50 percent from 49 percent a year, while the company recorded a GAAP gross margin of 44 percent in the quarter. Mylan revised its full-year 2014 guidance and expects its revenue to be in a range of $7.8 billion to $8.0 billion versus a previous guidance of $7.8 billion to $8.2 billion. Gross margin of 51 percent to 53 percent is unchanged as is EBITDA guidance of $2.2 billion to $2.4 billion. Net income is revised to a range of $1.265 billion to $1.370 billion from a prior range of $1.265 billion to $1.460 billion. Non-GAAP EPS is now expected to be in a range of $3.25 to $3.45 from a previous range of $3.25 to $3.60. Shares lost 2.98 percent, closing at $46.49.

This morning, Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) reported its second quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $1.11, beating the consensus estimate of $0.98. Revenue of $5.95 billion missed the consensus estimate of $6.12 billion. Net income for the quarter rose to $609 million from $339 million in the same quarter a year ago as the company continued to benefit from favorable weather and a lower tax rate. The company's Regulated Utilities saw its adjusted income improve 17 percent from a year ago to $689 million as favorable weather was seen across the company's service territories. The company also benefited from lower operating and maintenance expenses. Duke Energy raised its full year fiscal 2014 EPS guidance to $4.50 to $4.65 from a previous $4.45 to $4.60. Shares gained 1.09 percent, closing at $70.60.

After the market closed, Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) reported its second quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.00, in line with the consensus estimate. Revenue of $153.20 million missed the consensus estimate of $191.21 million. Shares were trading lower by 8.56 percent at $2.67 following the earnings report.

After the market closed, Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST) reported its second quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.81, beating the consensus estimate of $0.75. Revenue of $687.20 million missed the consensus estimate of $694.22 million. Shares were trading lower by 0.02 percent at $65.09 following the earnings report.

Quote Of The Day

"What's worth doing is worth doing for money." - Gordon Gekko from the 1987 film 'Wall Street.'

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