August 21, 2013: Markets opened mixed this morning as traders and investors waited for the afternoon’s release of the July FOMC meeting minutes. Existing home sales rose more than expected in July. A report on mortgage applications showed a decline, however, as interest rate increases continue to slow the number of refinancings. The U.S. crude inventory fell last week, and crude spot prices for October delivery dropped 1.2% today to $103.85.
European closed lower today, while Latin American and Asian markets markets closed mixed.
The FOMC minutes did not reveal anything unexpected. But then, they never really do. Markets reacted with a buying spurt on the inference that the Fed’s asset purchases wouldn’t stop next month, but the uptick was short-lived.
In addition to a speech from Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, Thursday’s calendar includes a number of data releases:
- 8:30 a.m. - New claims for unemployment benefits
- 8:58 a.m. - Flash PMI manufacturing index
- 9:00 a.m. - FHFA house price index
- 10:00 a.m. - Leading indicators
- 10:30 a.m. - EIA weekly natural gas storage report
- 11:00 a.m. - Kansas City Fed manufacturing index
- 1:00 p.m. - 5-year TIPS auction
- 4:30 p.m. - Fed balance sheet and money supply
We also broke out the top Wall Street calls with analyst upgrades and analyst downgrades. Here are the closing bell levels for Wednesday:
- S&P500 1,642.80 (-9.55; -0.38%)
- DJIA 14,897.55 (-105.44; -0.70%)
- NASDAQ 3,599.79 (-13.80; -0.38%)
- 10YR TNOTE 2.893% (-0.625)
- Gold $1,370.10 (-2.50; -0.02%)
- Oil $103.85 (-1.26; -1.2%)
- Dollar/Euro: 1.3347 (-0.0070; -0.52%)
Big earnings winners: Incyte Corp. (INCY) up 34.4% to $36.02 on a successful drug trial, Target Corp. (TGT) down 3.5% to $65.54 on weak earnings and lowered outlook, and Lowe’s Companies Inc. (LOW) up 4.4% at $46.01 on strong earnings and an improved outlook.
DJIA stocks on the move: Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF) hit a new 52-week high of $35.13 on Wednesday. Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) rose more than 15% after posting better than expected earnings on Tuesday, Aeropostale Inc. (ARO) put up a new 52-week low of $11.40, and another teen retailer, and American Eagle Outfitter Inc. (AEO) also put up a new low of $14.33.
In all, 146 stocks put up new lows today, while only 29 stocks posted new 52-week highs.