August 14, 2013: U.S. equity markets opened lower this morning even after the eurozone reported positive GDP growth in the second quarter, bringing an official end to the continent’s recession. Germany’s GDP rose 0.7% in the quarter and France’s growth was 0.5%, both higher than expectations. In Asia, Hong Kong’s market was closed and there was little economic data released. In the U.S., the producer price index came in below expectations and mortgage applications for the week fell again. Investors couldn’t find anything to like about today’s news either.
The U.S. dollar index is trading lower today, now down 0.09% at 81.6910. The GSCI commodity index is up 0.4% at 641.23. WTI crude oil closed up fractionally today, at $106.85 a barrel after the EIA’s weekly inventory report. Brent crude trades up 0.3% at $110.15 a barrel. Natural gas is up 1.7% today at about $3.34 per million BTUs. Gold for December delivery settled up 1% today at $1,333.40 an ounce.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down nearly 117 points to 15,337.35 (-0.74%), the NASDAQ fell about 15 points (-0.41%) to 3,669.27, and the S&P 500 fell -0.52% or about 9 points to 1,685.37.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including:
- Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) cut to ‘neutral’ at J.P. Morgan;
- Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (HOV) raised to ‘buy’ with a price target of $81 at Goldman Sachs;
- Transocean Ltd. (RIG) cut to ‘neutral’ at ISI Group;
- GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) raised to ‘neutral’ at J.P. Morgan; and
- Parexel International Corp. (PRXL) cut to ‘underperform’ at Sterne Agee.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night resulted in some prices move today:
- The ExOne Co. (XONE) is down 10.5% at $67.76 after weak earnings;
- JDS Uniphase Corp. (JDSU) is down 3.6% at $14.28;
- Real Goods Solar Inc. (RSOL) is down 9.6% at $2.16 on a weak outlook;
- SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (SEAS) is down 3.6% at $35.02;
- Deere & Co. (DE) is down 1.8% at $82.40 on another weak outlook;
- JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (JKS) is up 4.1% at $14.12 after a strong earnings release; and
- Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) is down 4.8% at $46.21 after missing estimates and lowering its outlook.
Before markets open tomorrow morning we are scheduled to hear earnings results from Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), NetApp Inc. (NTAP), Renren Inc. (RENN), Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW), Kohl’s Corp. (KSS), Nordstrom Inc. (JWN), Pan American Silver Corp. (PAAS), ReneSola Ltd. (SOL), and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (BRCD) is up 15.1% at $7.95 after posting a new 52-week high of $8.04 earlier today. The networking company posted big earnings last night.
Cree Inc. (CREE) is down 22.2% at $58.91. The LED lighting maker dragged down the entire sector after cutting guidance and reporting so-so earnings.
Silver Spring Networks Inc. (SSNI) is down 28.6% at $22.61. The smart grid platform company lost a bid for a $2 billion smart grid project in the U.K.
Stay tuned for Thursday. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is giving a speech. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
- 8:30 a.m. - Consumer price index
- 8:30 a.m. - New claims for unemployment benefits
- 8:30 a.m. - Empire State manufacturing survey
- 9:00 a.m. - Treasury International Capital (TIPS)
- 9:15 a.m. - Industrial production
- 10:00 a.m. - Housing market index
- 10:00 a.m. - Philadelphia Fed survey
- 10:30 a.m. - EIA weekly natural gas storage report
- 4:30 p.m. - Fed balance sheet and money supply