The markets ended the Wednesday session flipping the table on what we have become used to for the better part of the past week and a half - all three major US indices finished the session in the green. Not to be outdone, Technology (XLK 39.60, +1.90) was the major standout sector, ending the session higher by about 5.0%. Weakness in the Shanghai Composite, which fell 1.3% in the overnight session, did not seem to faze US equities as we began Wednesday trade with large percentage gains in all three major US indices. In unusual fashion (as of late), the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced more than 600 points, closing +619.07 to 16,285.51. The Nasdaq Composite added 191.05 to end Wednesday trade up 4.2% to 4,697.54. And the S&P 500 ended up 72.90 to 1,940.51 -- a 3.9% gain on the day.
Other sectors finished today XLV +4.27%, XLY +3.84%, XLF +3.76%, XLE +3.51%, XLI +3.16%, XLP +3.04%, XLB +2.80%, IYZ +2.60%, XLU +1.83% mostly all outperforming recent weakness. Outside of technology, oil names Cameron (CAM) announced it would be acquired by Schlumberger (SLB) for about $66.36 per share in cash and stock.
A bit into the session, a small spike of positive momentum came in reaction to the comments from FOMC Vice Chair William Dudley, who in a press conference said that a case for a rate hike in September seems less compelling than it was a few weeks ago.
For its part, the S&P 500 Information Technology sector posted hefty gains on the session, as technology as a whole performed particularly well among other sectors. Notable tech name Google (GOOG) posted the most extreme gains in the sector, ending Wednesday trade higher by %. Google was upgraded/added to Goldman's Conviction Buy List in the overnight session, as the firm also raised the target on GOOG to $800 from $660.
Notable sectors within technology First Trust DJ Internet ETF (FDN 67.02, +3.01 +4.70%), Philadelphia Semiconductor (SOX 587.82, +28.24 +5.05%), and Cybersecurity ETF (HACK 27.14, +0.93 +3.55%) also performed well on the session.
Other notable news items among sector components:
- Qualcomm (QCOM) announced its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm UK Spectrum (QUKS), has agreed to sell the entirety of its UK L-Band spectrum (1452 - 1492 MHz) in two separate transactions. Under a transaction between QUKS and Vodafone UK (VOD), Vodafone agreed to purchase 20 MHz of the spectrum. Under a separate transaction between QUKS and Hutchinson 3G UK Limited (H3G), H3G has agreed to purchase 20 MHz of the spectrum.
- EMC's (EMC) Board was rumored to be considering a plan where it would be acquired by VMWare (VMW), according to ReCode.
- Intuit (INTU) was the subject of a TechCrunch article detailing the elimination of about 249 jobs at the company.
Elsewhere in the technology sector:
- Leidos (LDOS) was awarded a prime contract by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide deployment of transportation security capabilities for the Office of Security Capabilities (OSC). The Leidos East Region single-award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity firm fixed-price contract has a five-year period of performance with a combined maximum ceiling of $450 million established as the cumulative total of all orders issued under all three geographic region contract awards.
- Integrated Silicon (ISSI) and Uphill Investment extend the termination date of their merger until December 12, 2015.
- Coherent (COHR) authorized a $25 million repurchase of its common stock through August 31, 2016.
- Cellcom Israel (CEL) announced the entrance into a loan agreement with an Israeli bank to provide the company a deferred loan in a principal amount of NIS 140 million, unlinked, which will be provided to the company in December 2016, and will bear an annual fixed interest of 4.9%.
- MiX Telematics (MIXT) announced its Board of Directors has concluded its previously announced review of the company's strategic alternatives. This extensive review, conducted with guidance from external advisors, included the optimization of capital structures and an evaluation of various ownership options, with the latter resulting in significant interest from prospective buyers.
- Digital Ally (DGLY) announced a $2.5 million stock buyback program. Also, announced it has received a follow-on order for its DVM-800 in-car video systems, FirstVu HD body-worn video cameras and VuLink automatic activation systems from the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department.
- Drone Aviation (DRNE) announced it has been awarded an order from the United States EPA for customized winch systems and related equipment for use at the Agency's National Risk Management Research Laboratory as part of its on-going emission sampling program utilizing tethered aerostats. The company expects to complete winch manufacturing and deliver the units to the EPA by mid-October 2015.
Technology names in reaction to earnings:
- Solera (SLH) reported Q4 (Jun) earnings of $0.81 per share on revenues which rose 10.9% year/year to $297.07 million.
- Nimble Storage (NMBL) reported Q2 (Jul) loss of $0.10 per share on revenues which rose 48.9% year/year to $80.1 million. Non-GAAP Gross Margin was 67.8%. The company issued mixed guidance for Q3, sees EPS of ($0.09)-($0.08) on revenues of $86-88 million.
- GOOG was upgraded/added to Conviction Buy List from Neutral at Goldman, ARMH was upgraded to Mkt Perform from Underperform at Bernstein, NMBL was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich, IBM was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus, NOK was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Danske Bank, ORAN was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, LXK and NTES were upgraded to Buy from Hold at Standpoint Research; GRUB was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays, HIVE was downgraded to Underperform from Buy at BofA/Merrill
- Information Technology
- Stocks & Offerings