Equities Show Slender Gains

|
 |  Includes: AIG, BA, CSCO, DIA, MET, MRK, NLST, NOC, QQQ, SNY, SPY, UAUA
by: Midnight Trader

4:34 PM, Mar 9, 2010 --

  • NYSE up 1 (0.02%) to 7,294.02.
  • DJIA up 12 (0.1%) to 10,564.
  • S&P 500 up 2 (0.3%) to 1,140.
  • Nasdaq up 8 (0.4%) to 2,341.


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng up 0.05%
  • Nikkei down 0.17%
  • FTSE down 0.08%


UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) ASTMD treats final patient in IMPACT-DCM surgical clinical trial.

(+) JEC inks contract.

(+) CPE rallies on outlook.

(+) APWR inks contract.

(+) UAUA gains on revenue data.

(+) MMC report says company may sell Kroll unit.

(+) FEED beats FY earnings estimates.

(+) GPOR misses with sales.

(+) TIVO gave up modest evening gain; beat with revenue.

(+) MGM selling notes.

(+) DKS beats by penny, guides in line.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) OREX reports wider loss but sees Contrave NDA filed by end of April.

(-) TXN continues evening decline despite guiding to upper end of current range.

(-) JSDA falls sharply in pre-market action.

(-) NBG gets downgrade.

(-) FSLR gets downgrade.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks end firmer but well off earlier highs. Weaker materials stocks, as commodity prices ease, tugged the broader market lower.

Oil drops 0.5% at $81.49 a barrel as the dollar edges higher. Gold falls in back-to-back sessions.

Tuesday also marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning date of the stock market's rebound from 12-year lows. Consolidation has followed Friday's better-than-expected jobs report and the looming anniversary, as investors take stock of the the DJIA's more than 60% rebound from where it stood a year ago.

Many analysts believe the market is fairly valued and absent some improvement in unemployment, investors will remain cautious about bidding up stocks further.

But corporate news is providing some lift.

UAL Corp. (UAUA) gained after the parent company of United Airlines reported passenger unit revenue increased by 18% on year in February, compared to an increase of 10.5% in January. Chicago-based UAL said that January growth beat the industry by seven points. Industry-wide figures for February are not yet available.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) and Sanofi-Aventis SA (NYSE:SNY) said they are combining their animal health businesses. The joint business will control about 29 percent of the $19 billion market for pet and livestock medicines.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) earlier lifted the broader market but eventually dropped into the red, following a morning of choppy trade around the even mark, after its "revolutionary" announcement about the Internet prompted investors to sell on the news. But other companies surged. Memory module maker Netlist (NASDAQ:NLST) was sharply higher, spiking after rumors surfaced that its technology will be used in a Cisco Systems (CSCO) product announced today.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) climbed after Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) said it would drop out of a fight over a $40 billion contract to build the U.S. Air Force's next generation of aerial-refueling planes, leaving Boeing as the only competitor.

Insurer American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG) announced Monday it reached a deal to sell a major foreign subsidiary to MetLife Inc. (NYSE:MET) for $15.5 billion. The deal was AIG's second major sale this month. It has been shedding assets to help repay billions in government bailout money.