Equities Update: Stocks Gain Late Traction

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 |  Includes: AAPL, ALTR, BA, CAT, F, SANM, TM, UTSI, YHOO
by: Midnight Trader

4:23 PM, Jan 27, 2010 --

  • NYSE up 7.29 (0.1%) to 7,035.61.
  • DJIA up 41.9 (0.4%) to 10,236.
  • S&P 500 up 5 (0.5%) to 1,098.
  • Nasdaq up 18 (0.8%) to 2,221.


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng down 0.38%
  • Nikkei down 0.71%
  • FTSE down 1.18%


UPSIDE MOVERS


(+) F gained in wake of Reuters story on debt reduction, cash flow.

(+) BRK.B to be added to S&P 100, S&P 500.

(+) ALTR continues extended-hours run after evening earnings beat.

(+) BA beats with Q4, sets 2010 guidance below Street.

(+) MNI beats with Q4 results.

(+) SANM continues evening gain that followed earnings, guidance beat, gets contract.

(+) SIFY results top year-ago quarter.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) CAT beats with EPS, misses with sales.

(-) COP turns lower despite beating with adjusted EPS.

(-) ARCC prices offering.

(-) TSFG continues slide in reaction to earnings miss.

(-) HERO expects Q4 operating loss and charge.

(-) USG misses with sales, reports loss.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks clawed higher late in trading after a choppy session continued even into the final half hour of the session. The major averages did find some traction after a mostly upbeat policy statement from the Federal Reserve. Wall Street had wavered earlier, zapped by disappointing housing data.

The Federal Reserve held its policy steady as expected on Wednesday. But the vote was not unanimous for the first time in a year, an indication the group is wavering on how long to hold rates so low. The bank left its federal funds rate between 0 and 25 basis points and said that these low rates were likely to remain for an "extended" period.

Yet, in its description of the economy, the Fed was slightly more upbeat, saying that information received since policy makers last met in December suggests "that economic activity has continued to strengthen and that the deterioration in the labor market is abating."

Stocks slumped earlier after a report showed new home sales unexpectedly fell 7.6% in December, an improvement from November but short of expectations.

President Obama's State of the Union address also is slated for this evening, and earnings releases continue to flow this week. Obama's televised address begins at 9 p.m. ET and may contain more details on the White House proposal to curb speculative trading by banks, an announcement that drove stocks lower in recent sessions. Wednesday also marks the start of the annual World Economic Forum among government and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland.

Crude oil and gold traders continued to wring their hands over concerns that China would tighten monetary policy, sending futures of both into the red Wednesday.

Oil turned higher after the Energy Information Administration said crude-oil supplies for the latest week fell 3.9 million barrels. Analysts polled by Platts expected a 2-million-barrel increase in commercial crude-oil supplies for the week ended Jan. 22. Crude was last up at $74.83 per barrel.

Gold for February delivery dropped $4.9, or 0.5%, to $1,093.40 an ounce in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, it hit an intraday low of $1,090.10 an ounce.

Ford (NYSE:F) was among the volume leaders, firming following a Reuters story that says in 2010 the company plans to focus on reducing long-term debt and narrowing a cash-flow edge held by its bailed-out U.S. rivals. It also announced on Tuesday it would add jobs.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rallied after CEO Steve Jobs announced aggressive pricing for the new iPad tablet computer: It will start at just $499 and an unlimited data deal with AT&T is $29.99 a month. The stock had been down about 2 percent when Apple first announced the iPad but turned higher after the pricing news.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) gained though is well off its session high, after its evening results beat.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) gained after it reported Q4 EPS of $1.75 vs a loss of $0.12 per share in the same quarter a year earlier and topping the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $1.36. Revenue grew to $17.9 billion, up from $12.6 billion a year earlier. The Street looked for $17.5 billion.

Earnings guidance for 2010 has been established at $3.70 to $4.00 per share, reflecting the previously announced 777 production rate reduction, reduced scope on Army modernization and missile defense programs, and some consideration for development program and market risks. The Street is at $4.26.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) fell after it reported Q4 sales of $7.898 bln, just shy of the analyst mean of $8.11 bln on Thomson Reuters. EPS was $0.36 per share. Ex- redundancy costs, EPS was $0.41 per share. The Street view was $0.28 per share.

Altera (NASDAQ:ALTR) gained on better-than-expected quarterly results and guidance. Q4 sales were $365 mln, well ahead of the analyst mean of $335 mln on Thomson Reuters. EPS was $0.34 per share, topping the Street view of $0.29 per share. For Q1, the company expects sequential sales growth in the range of 5% to 10%, which equates roughly to $383.2 mln to $401.5 mln, vs. the Street view of $339 mln.

Sanmina-SCI (NASDAQ:SANM) beat Q1 estimates late Tuesday. This morning, it also said it will handle electronics manufacturing service for UTStarcom (NASDAQ:UTSI).

Toyota (NYSE:TM) fell after the company said it would halt production and sales of eight models to correct an accelerator pedal problem.