Tough Sledding Turns Smooth

Indie Research

After tough sledding last week, U.S. stocks enjoyed one of their best weeks of the year, closing with solid gains today. Europe is likely to continue to move the market and Reuters reported Spain could ask members of the Eurozone this weekend to bail out its troubled banks. Also noteworthy is how Carl Icahn proved he can still move a market as his doubling-down on Navistar International (NAV - News) encouraged other investors to jump in. The result was the stock largely recouped its losses after yesterday's dismal profit report. We expect more choppiness, but it was nice to close the week on a positive note.

The Photographic Equipment Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by Imax (IMAX - News) with a 7% gain. The Canadian Energy Trusts Index was the day's worst performing tickerspy Index, with Enerplus Resources Fund (ERF - News) down -5%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the week up 93 points to 12,554, while the S&P 500 added 11 to end the week at 1,326 and Nasdaq cosed at 2,858, up 27 points on the day. Oil prices continued their slide, dropping 72 cents to finish at $84.10 per barrel. Gold edged up $3.40 per ounce to end at $1,591.40.

In economic news, the Commerce Department said wholesale inventories rose 0.6% in April following a 0.3% increase in March. Economists had expected an April increase of 0.4%.

In earnings, shares of Progress Software (PRGS - News) plunged -11.2% after the company said it expects second-quarter EPS of 17-19 cents on revenue of $110-$115 million. Analysts were expecting EPS of 26 cents per share on revenue of $123.7 million.

Shares of retailer Francesca's Holdings (FRAN - News) soared 23.6% after the company said its first-quarter profit rose to $8.7 million, or 20 cents per share, from $3.9 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 49% to $61.3 million. Analysts had expected a profit of 17 cents per share on revenue of $60.3 million. For the second quarter, Francesca's expects to earn 22-23 cents a share on sales of $69-$71 million. Analysts were expecting a profit of 22 cents per share on sales of $68.6 million. Five pros counted Francesca's among their top holdings at the end of Q1 and 13 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.

Quiksilver (ZQK - News), the maker of swimsuit and related apparel, said its fiscal second-quarter loss narrowed to -$5.1 million, or -3 cents a share, from $-81.7 million, or -51 cents per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company lost 2- cents a share compared with a profit of 9 cents a share a year earlier. Revenue jumped to $492.2 million from $478.1 million. Analysts had expected a profit of 1 cent per share on revenue of $495.1 million. Shares Quicksilve rose 12.3%.

Shares of Molina Healthcare (MOH - News) and rival Centene (CNC - News) soared after the Medicaid plan administers received contracts to do business in the state of Ohio. Molina said the deal represents a significant expansion of its business in the state. Molina shares tanked yesterday after withdrawing its guidance due to crimped margins in Texas. Two pros counted Molina among their top holdings at the end of Q1 and more than 40 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.

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