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4:19 PM, May 20, 2009 --

  • NYSE down 1.8 (0.03%) to 5,870.39.
  • DJIA down 52.8 (0.6%) to 8,422.
  • S&P 500 down 4.66 (0.5%) to 903.47.
  • Nasdaq down 6.7 (0.4%) to 1,728.


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng down 0.39%
  • Nikkei up 0.59%
  • FTSE down 0.31%


DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) RF plans share, debt issuance as part of capital requirements.

(-) HPQ continues evening decline after earnings, guidance disappoint, job cuts announced.

(-) ACLS cutting 235 jobs.

(-) PSEC prices offering.

(-) ANN misss with sales, loss is less than Street expected.

(-) BJ EPS beat by a penny.

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) GM expects three bidders for Opel.

(+) BAC says capital program has raised $13 bln.

(+) TGT reports lower profit but better than Street expected.

(+) CEPH buys controlling interest in Arana Therapeutics.

(+) MCD gets analyst upgrade.

(+) TOL updates with improved guidance.

(+) ZRAN upgraded at JPMorgan.

(+) VLO buying Dow Chemical's stake in European refinery.

MARKET DIRECTION

Major stock averages end down less than 1% but near the bottom of the day's range after a mixed afternoon trade. Stocks briefly improved after Federal Reserve meeting minutes showed the central bank expects the economy to begin to grow later this year, but cautioned that any recovery would be gradual.

Stocks made a strong move out of the gate from Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and select earnings reports, but Treasury Secretary Geithner's soothing words about the financial sector's healing have done little to offset his warning about American International Group (NYSE:AIG).

Investors were apparently unnerved when Geithner warned that he foresees continuing problems at American International Group (AIG) and could not rule out the need for more aid for the insurance conglomerate.

Geithner told the Senate Banking Committee this morning that untangling AIG's finances has proven to be more difficult than originally envisioned. Senators criticized the government for letting AIG pay off its top creditors at the full value of their debt.

Bank of America provided early pre-market lift after the company said post-bell Tuesday that in less than two weeks it had raised $13.47 billion through the sale of 1.25 billion shares of stock. The cash should brace the bank in the event it is hit with a wave of consumer defaults on mortgages and credit cards. The government says BofA needs to raise $33.9 billion to protect against losses if the economy worsened.

H-P (NYSE:HPQ) was a decliner after its earnings and guidance, out in last evening's extended hours session, disappointed Wall Street.

Stocks briefly improved in afternoon trading after meeting minutes from members of the Federal Open Market Committee said they expect the economy to begin to grow later this year, but cautioned that any recovery would be gradual.

Under the Fed's new projections, the economy will shrink this year between 1.3 and 2 percent. The old forecast said the economy could contract between 0.5 and 1.3 percent.

The unemployment rate may rise as high as 9.6 percent, higher than the old forecast of 8.8 percent.

Crude oil futures close above $62 a barrel, their highest level in more than six months.

Crude inventories decreased 2.1 million barrels in the week ended May 15, the Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts surveyed by energy information provider Platts had expected a decline of 1.5 million barrels.

Source: Wednesday Closing Update