August 5, 2013: U.S. equity markets opened lower this morning, lacking any major news of interest from around the globe. In Europe, eurozone non-manufacturing PMI rose slightly even though German PMI was down slightly. In Asia, China’s services PMI was unchanged. The only data point of note that was released today in the U.S. was the ISM services report which came in solidly higher than expected.
The U.S. dollar index is trading lower today, now down 0.03% at 81.8850. The GSCI commodity index is down 0.6% at 642.74. WTI crude oil closed down 0.4% today, at $106.56 a barrel. Brent crude trades down 0.2% at $108.72 a barrel. Natural gas is down 0.3% today at about $3.34 per million BTUs. Gold for December delivery settled down 0.6% today at $1,302.40 an ounce.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down more than 46 points to 15,611.97 (-0.30%), the NASDAQ rose about 3 points (0.09%) to 3,692.95, and the S&P 500 fell -0.15% or more than 2 points to 1,707.14.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including:
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) cut to ‘underweight’ at Morgan Stanley;
- Qualcomm Corp. (QCOM) cut to ‘neutral’ at Piper Jaffray;
- Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) raised to ‘hold’ with a price target of $47 at Argus;
- Synchronoss Technologies Inc. (SNCR) added to U.S. Focus List at Credit Suisse; and
- Level 3 Communications Inc. (LVLT) started as ‘neutral’ at Macquarie.
Earnings reports since markets closed last Friday resulted in some prices move today:
- FreightCar America Inc. (RAIL) is up 9.6% at $19.84 and
- Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) is up 4.1% at $29.68 after posting a new 52-week high of $29.85 earlier today after beating estimates and raising its outlook.
Before markets open Monday morning we are scheduled to hear earnings results from Vornado Realty Trust (VNO), Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), Bridgepoint Education Inc. (BPI), Dish Network Corp. (DISH), MGM Resorts International (MGM), and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (KORS).
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) is up 7.6% at $9.60. The smartphone maker has is rumored to have had good U.S. sales of its recently released Q10 phone.
Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) is down 2.2% at $2.94. The social game maker is closing down four titles it acquired with its purchase of OMGPOP.com.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) is up 27.9% at $2.66 after posting a new 52-week high of $2.75 earlier today. The developer of cancer therapies had no news today.
Stay tuned for Tuesday. Chicago Fed President Charles is giving a speech. We have also noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 8:30 a.m. - International trade
- 10:00 a.m. - Job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS)
- 11:30 a.m. - 4-week bill auction
- 1:00 p.m. - 3-year note auction
- 3:00 p.m. - Treasury STRIPS