Closing Update for Thursday, August 13: Strong Finish

by: Midnight Trader

4:12 PM, Aug 13, 2009 --

  • NYSE up 65.19 (1%) to 6,604.06.
  • DJIA up 35.9 (0.4%) to 9,398.
  • S&P 500 up 6.9 (0.7%) to 1,013.
  • Nasdaq up 10.6 (0.53%) to 2,009.


  • Hang Seng up 2.08%
  • Nikkei up 0.79%
  • FTSE up 1.02%


(+) Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) beat with results.

(+) Aegean Petroleum (NYSE:ANW) topped Q2 EPS estimates.

(+) Angiotech (ANPI) gets product sale OK in Brazil.

(+) Elixir Gaming (NYSEMKT:EGT) results top year-ago quarter.

(+) Tianyin Pharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT:TPI) gets Chinese approval for two tablets.

(+) Tower Semi (NASDAQ:TSEM) inks deal with Intersil.

(+) Biosante (BPAX) reports positive LibiGel trial data.

(+) Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) beats with Q2 EPS.

(+) Dr Pepper (NYSE:DPS) beats with Q2 results.


(-) Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) guides below Street.

(-) LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) extends evening decline that followed reported loss.


Stocks turn a mixed day into back-to-back advances for the major averages. Energy, financial and technology shares led the gainers while healthcare and utilities declined.

Stocks were pushed and pulled in both directions as investors weighed weak economic data against an upbeat view from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, impressive Wal-Mart (WMT) results and a return to growth in France and Germany.

Investors were finding themselves trying to reconcile the numbers with the Fed's view that the economy is picking up. This caused stocks to trade today on both sides of unchanged.

U.S. retail sales fell 0.1% in July versus Street expectations for sales to rise 0.8%. Excluding gas, retail sales rose 0.1. Excluding autos, retail sales fell 0.6%, against an expectation of a 0.1% increase.

Also, weekly jobless claims rose 4,000 to 558,000. The four-week average of new claims rose 8,500 to 565,000. In the week ending Aug. 1, the number of people who continued to collect benefits fell 141,000 to 6.2 million, the lowest level since April. The four-week average of continuing claims fell 27,750 to 6.26 million.

Meanwhile, inventories data were mixed. The Commerce Department said businesses cut stockpiles 1.1% in June, slightly larger than the 0.9% drop economists expected. However, the government also said business sales at all levels rose 0.9% in June after being flat in May to mark the first increase in total sales since July 2008.

In Europe, markets were higher after France and Germany each saw growth of 0.3% from the previous three-month period, in contrast to expectations for equivalent declines.

Despite broad-market fluctuations, financial shares were pretty solidly in the green, buoyed by a filing from hedge fund Paulson & Co. noting the firm acquired blocks of shares in several financial firms in Q2. Paulson reportedly bought Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) and Capital One (NYSE:COF), according to reports.

Some impressive earnings also supported the market. Despite weak retail sales, WMT reports Q2 EPS from continuing operations of $0.88, at the top of the company's guidance range of $0.83 to $0.88 and beats the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.85. Sales were $100.08 billion. The Street looked for $102.9 billion.

Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) topped Q2 EPS views. It reports Q2 EPS of $0.62, up from $0.42 a year earlier and the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.47. Sales of $1.48 billion are down from $1.54 billion a year earlier. The Street looked for $1.45 billion. The company guides for adjusted FY EPS of $1.86 to $1.96. The Street is at $1.77.

LDK Solar (LDK), though, was down sharply after its disappointing results Wednesday.

September crude futures close up $0.36 at $70.52 a barrel, a gainer as the dollar declines.

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