Overcoming Early Worries, Stocks Claw Their Way Back

by: Midnight Trader

4:16 PM, Feb 5, 2010 --

  • DJIA up 10.05 (0.10%) to 10,012.23.
  • S&P 500 up 3.08 (0.29%) to 1,066.19.
  • Nasdaq up 15.69 (0.74%) to 2,141.12.


  • Hang Seng down 3.33%
  • Nikkei down 2.89%
  • FTSE down 1.53%


(+) SYT firms after FY results.

(+) TSTC reaffirms revenue guidance.

(+) AVII gets European orphan drug designation for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

(+) WFR gets analyst upgrade.

(+) PWER continues evening gain on Q4 beat.

(+) GPS gets upgrade.

(+) TSN swings to Q1 profit.

(+) ARG gets $60 per share offer from Air Products.

(+) BZH swings to Q1 profit.


(-) BLKB down despite Q4 beat.

(-) GLW expects moderate growth in 2010.


A surprise drop in the U.S. unemployment rate didn't sway sellers in Friday's market as worries over European sovereign debt trumped the employment picture. The major U.S. averages all ended just in the green, thanks to a late-day charge higher. However, stocks maintained their track to complete the fourth consecutive week of declines to start 2010. The unemployment rate in December dropped to 9.7% from 10%, beating expectations of a slight rise. However, the jobs picture was still mixed as a survey found that about 20,000 jobs were cut last month, an unexpected decline compared to a range of estimates that called for 5,000 to 25,000 jobs gained.

Gold futures fell $10.20, or 0.9%, to end at $1,052.80 an ounce on Friday. For the week, gold was down almost 2%. Oil fell to $71.19, a 2.7%, or $2.38 decline. Oil fell briefly below $70 a barrel, pressured by the debt woes in Europe and worry over consumption levels in the U.S. and China.

Next week, earnings season continues, but the pace slows a bit as many big name firms have already posted quarterly financials. Among companies due with numbers on Monday are: ADC (ADCT), Electronic Arts (ERTS) and Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ). Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU), Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) are due with numbers on Tuesday, and Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), Level 3 (NASDAQ:LVLT), Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) are set to release financials on Wednesday. On Thursday, we'll see results from Agilent (NYSE:A), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) and Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA). Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) reports financials on Friday.

On the economic front, traders will see wholesale inventories released on Tuesday and trade balance data, crude inventories and the Treasury Budget distributed on Wednesday. On Thursday, initial claims, retail sales and business inventories are set for release, followed by the Michigan Sentiment index on Friday.

U.S. stocks followed European shares lower for much of Friday. Global markets were down for the second straight session as investors fretted about the health of Greece, Portugal and Spain. Japan's Nikkei shed nearly 3%, its biggest drop in more than two months.

In company news, Power-One (NASDAQ:PWER) jumped on better-than-expected Q4 results. It reported Q4 revs of $142 mln, well ahead of the analyst consensus of $115 mln on Thomson Reuters. EPS was $0.05 per share, better than expectations of a loss of $0.03 per share.

Airgas (ARG) soared on an unsolicited proposal from Air Products & Chemicals, (NYSE:APD) to acquire the company for $60.00 per share.

Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) was up after it said late Thursday it earned an adjusted $0.64 per share on Q4, above the Thomson Reuters mean for $0.54. Sales of $1.45 billion topped forecasts for $1.38 billion.

For 2010, it sees adjusted earnings of $2.30 to $2.50 per share, on revenue that is flat to up 3%. Analysts expect the company to earn $2.42, excluding items, on revenue of $5.63 billion.

Coach (NYSE:COH) and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) each got lowered to neutral from buy at Goldman Sachs and were softer.