Closing Update for Tuesday, August 18: Some Recouping

by: Midnight Trader

4:10 PM, Aug 18, 2009 --

  • NYSE up 84.77 (1.3%) to 6,436.88.
  • DJIA up 82.6 (0.9%) to 9,218.
  • S&P 500 up 9.94 (1%) to 989.67.
  • Nasdaq up 25.1 (1.3%) to 1956.


  • Hang Seng up 0.84%
  • Nikkei up 0.16%
  • FTSE up 0.88%


(+) HD beats with results.

(+) TGT beats with earnings, misses with revenue.

(+) SKS beats with results.

(+) AXP gets analyst upgrade.

(+) GS gets analyst upgrade.

(+) HBC gets analyst upgrade.

(+) PRGO beats with Q4 results.

(+) SVA reports positive results for H1N1 vaccine.

(+) AFN swings to Q2 profit.

(+) OCLS says wound cleanser to be available in US.

(+) NVAX reports positive H1N1 vaccine results.


(-) RPRX down on bankruptcy speculation.

(-) GFG down as company says it likely can't continue even with bid extension from regulators.

(-) GERN says IND for spinal cord injury placed on clinical hold by FDA.


Stocks joined their overseas counterparts in recouping at least a portion of Monday's sharp drop. Investors looked past some disappointing numbers on housing starts and focused on surprise results from key retailers that soothed concerns over consumer spending for the time being.

U.S. housing starts were flat in July, not quite the improvement that Wall Street economists expected. But single-family permits continued to rise for a fourth straight month.

Separately, July PPI fell 0.9% compared to the Street's view for a 1% drop. Core PPI, excluding food and energy, fell 0.1%, not the 0.1% gain that economists predicted.

Stocks also gained following upbeat commentary from a leading economist.

The global recession is over and a recovery has begun, the International Monetary Fund's chief economist Olivier Blanchard said Tuesday. But he warned that because this global recession has not been typical, the recovery will be slow.

Several analysts are on record Tuesday saying the past days' correction does indicate vulnerability for the broad market's six-month rally.

Stock gains and dollar weakness helped oil futures bounce back nearly 4% after two days of declines. September closes above $69 a barrel, adding $2.44.

Financial stocks were firmer and among the volume leaders following upgrades for American Express (NYSE:AXP), HSBC (HBC) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).

Retail stocks were broadly higher after mostly upside surprises.

Target (NYSE:TGT) gained after it reports Q2 EPS of $0.79 per share, down from $0.82 per share a year ago but well ahead of the analyst mean of $0.66 per share. Sales were down 2.7% to $14.6 bln, below the Street view of $15.1 bln.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) gained after it reports Q2 earnings of $0.66 per share, down from $0.71 per share in the year ago quarter. Excluding the impact from closing its EXPO businesses, earnings were $0.67 per share. The analyst mean on Thomson Reuters was $0.59 per share. Sales were $19.1 bln, down 9.1% from the year ago quarter and just shy of the Street view of $19.23 bln.

For FY09, the company confirmed sales will be down about 9% from FY08. It expects EPS to be flat to up 7% from last year. Adjusted EPS is expected to decline by 15% to 20%.

Saks (NYSE:SKS) was also higher. It reported a Q2 loss of $0.39 vs a loss of $0.24 in the same period a year earlier. Loss from continued operations was $0.01 vs a comparable loss of $0.23 a year earlier. The Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate was for a loss of $0.52. Sales were $562 million vs $657 million a year earlier. The Street looked for $563.6 million.

The company guided for a comparable store sales decline for the second half of the fiscal year in the mid-to-high single digit range (with the third quarter weaker than the fourth quarter), resulting in a decline of low double digits for the full fiscal year.