Equities Update: Marked Moves Upward

|
 |  Includes: BMY, CL, FSLR, GOOG, HOT, HP, PALM, XLF
by: Midnight Trader

4:24 PM, Apr 29, 2010 --

  • NYSE up 89.6 (1.2%) to 7,589.29.
  • DJIA up 122 (1.1%) to 11,167.
  • S&P 500 up 15.41 (1.3%) to 1,207.
  • Nasdaq up 40 (1.6%) to 2,512.


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng down 0.81%
  • Nikkei down 2.57%
  • FTSE up 0.67%


UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) PALM sold to H-P (NYSE:HPQ).

(+) MOT gains after results.

(+) PRAN gains on PBT2 therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer's.

(+) S gets upgraded.

(+) FSLR analyst upgrade follows strong earnings.

(+) NEXM gains on positive study for ovarian cancer treatment.

(+) XOM declines after results.

(+) POT down despite earnings beat.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) SNV prices shares.

(-) ETFC down as Citadel selling shares.

(-) PCBC to sell rights offering as part of recapitalization plan.

(-) PG beats with EPS, sales about meet, guidance still below Street view.

(-) AKNS misses with Q1 results.

MARKET DIRECTION


Earnings news and the breaking of an impasse over financial reform legislation were behind a broad stock market rally Thursday. The Dow was up over 130 points earlier in the day and finishes up over 1%, for its biggest daily climb since mid-March.

Stocks largely gained on a decent wave of upbeat earnings, Hewlett Packard's (HPQ) acquisition of Palm Inc. (PALM) and better-than expected jobs data. European debt concerns have faded somewhat, with some analysts attributing the rally simply to a snapback from the sell-off earlier in the week.

Data proved mildly supportive. The Labor Department said this morning that initial claims for unemployment fell by 11,000 to 448,000 last week, marking the second straight weekly decline, but the number missed economists' consensus forecast for 445,000 claims. Still, it was enough to buoy investors who are on the lookout for signs of an improving economy.

Also, data out of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's district showed manufacturing activity expanding at a "solid pace" in April while the reading on employment reached its highest level in more than two years, providing a further sign that the recovery is advancing.

Commodities ended Thursday trading mixed as crude oil posted healthy gains while natural gas and gold fell in the session

Crude oil for June delivery closed up $1.95, or 2.3%, to $85.17 a barrel while gas for June delivery lost $0.37, or 8.5%, to $3.98 per million British thermal units.

Gold ended lower as currency fears eased. Gold for June delivery lost $3, or 0.3%, to $1,168.80 an ounce on Comex. Platinum for July delivery rose $20.10, or 1.2%, to $1,733.70 an ounce. Silver for May delivery added $0.44, or 2.4%, to $18.54 an ounce.

Banks rose as resolution on a regulatory overhaul of the financial sector appeared to near, as cooperation between Republicans and Democrats increased, MarketWatch reported. The Senate was expected to begin debate on the bill Thursday afternoon after negotiators reached a deal on the part of the legislation dealing with firms considered "too big to fail."

Hewlett-Packard announced its move on Palm after the bell yesterday, generating some positive sentiment about the growing recovery. The deal was warmly received on Wall Street. Consumer products maker Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) posted a big increase in global sales, although profits were trimmed by charges related to foreign currency.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:HOT) also reported a big jump in profits, reflecting improving travel trends. The hotel operator also forecast full-year results that top analysts' forecasts. Drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) also reported a Street beat on quarterly profit.

Motorola (MOT) gained after it reports Q1 sales of $5.0 bln, in line with Street estimates. GAAP earnings were $0.03 per share, including $0.01 per share in items. The analyst mean was a loss of $0.01 per share, excluding items. For Q2, the company is guiding for earnings of $0.07 to $0.09 per share, vs. expectations of $0.03 per share.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) was an active gainer after an upgrade. The company last night reported Q1 EPS of $2.00 vs $1.99 a year earlier and topping the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $1.62.

European markets rebounded today as investors focused on corporate earnings over sovereign debt worries, at least for the moment. Stocks were mixed in Asia. The euro, trading at one-year lows, rebounded modestly. Focus this week had been on credit rating agency downgrades for Greece, Portugal, and, most recently, for Spain.