Stocks Salvage Slim Gains

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 |  Includes: CNXT-RETIRED, CSCO, DELL, DIA, GLW, QQQ, S, SPY
by: Midnight Trader

4:33 PM, Apr 28, 2010 --

  • NYSE up 36.6 (0.5%) to 7,499.72
  • DJIA up 53 (0.5%) to 11,045
  • S&P 500 up 7.65 (0.7%) to 1,191
  • Nasdaq up 0.3 (0.01%) to 2,472


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng down 1.47%
  • Nikkei down 2.57%
  • FTSE up 0.18%


UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) IACI beats with sales.

(+) CSCO upgraded.

(+) BCRX beats with Q1 results.

(+) DSCO gives Surfaxin update, reports results.

(+) DOW beats with Q1 results.

(+) GLW beats with Q1 results.

(+) S turns up after meeting loss estimate.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) DELL downgraded to Neutral at UBS.

(-) DSPG turns down despite beating with Q1 results.

(-) ETH misses with Q1 results.

(-) BWLD downgraded after results.

(-) PFCB meets with revenue, misses with earnings.

(-) JBLU misses with Q1 expectations.

MARKET DIRECTION

Gains in financial shares allowed the broader stock market to close with modest gains after a volatile session Wednesday. The Federal Reserve indicated it's in no hurry to remove low interest rates, boosting Wall Street. Stocks did lose some of their post-Fed gains inside the final half hour of trading. Earlier, mixed news on the European debt situation tugged at global stock markets.

In its mid-afternoon release, a cautious Federal Reserve kept monetary policy on hold and stuck to a script that repeated what the group sees as a need for low rates to remain for an extended period.

Stocks briefly faced selling pressure after S&P downgraded Spain's debt this morning, but the major indexes were already trending higher again at mid-day as upbeat earnings reports contend for investors' attention with Europe's widening sovereign debt crisis.

Initial reports out of Europe this morning suggested that the Greece and Portugal debt situations might be contained.

U.S. stocks and most global markets were pounded Tuesday after Standard & Poor's downgraded Greece's debt rating to junk status and also cut Portugal's credit rating. German lawmakers were under pressure today to cast aside doubts over a bailout for Greece to help ease fears that Athens may default on its debt and trigger a meltdown elsewhere among European euro countries, according to the AP.

Tech firms were mixed, forcing the Nasdaq to fluctuate between gains and losses. Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) declined after UBS cut its rating on the issue to "neutral." Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), on the other hand, was lifted to a Top Pick at RBC Capital.

Meanwhile, companies continue to report quarterly results:

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) gained after it reports Q1 revenue of about $8.1 bln, just ahead of the Street view of $8.05 bln. Loss, ex items, was $0.17 per share, in line with expectations.

Sprint Nextel expects that both post-paid and total subscriber losses will improve in 2010, as compared to 2009. The company still expects full-year capital expenditures in 2010 to be up to $2 billion. In addition, the company expects to continue to generate positive Free Cash Flow during the remainder of 2010.

Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) firmed after it reports Q1 EPS ex-items of $0.43, topping the year-ago result and the Street view for $0.30. Sales improved to $13.42 billion from $9.04 billion, topping the Street view for $12.9 billion.

Corning (NYSE:GLW) gained after it reports Q1 sales of $1.55 bln, better than the analyst mean of $1.52 bln on Thomson Reuters. Earnings were $0.52 per share, ahead of expectations of $0.42 per share.

Conexant (NASDAQ:CNXT-RETIRED) slid after it reports Q2 revs of $61.9 mln, ahead of the two analyst estimate of $61 mln on Thomson Reuters. EPS was $0.12 per share, vs. expectations of $0.13 per share. For Q3, the company guides for revs of $60 to $61 mln and EPS of $0.05 to $0.06 per share, vs. Street estimates of $61 mln in revs and earnings of $0.09 per share.

Commodities finished higher Wednesday.

Gold for June delivery added $9.60, or 0.8%, to close at $1,171.80 an ounce on Comex. In other metals, silver futures lost ground, falling 0.19%, or $0.03, to $18.11 while copper futures rose 0.41%, or $1.40, to $339.65.

Meanwhile, crude oil for June delivery, the most active contract, gained $0.78, or 1%, to $83.22 a barrel on Comex.