Late Rally Fades, Stocks Sink Again

|
 |  Includes: DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: Midnight Trader
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average down 97.03 (-0.75%) to 12,835.06
  • S&P 500 down 9.14 (-0.67%) to 1,354.58
  • Nasdaq Composite down 11.56 (-0.39%) to 2,934.71

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng Index down 0.75%
  • Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.65%
  • FTSE 100 down 0.51%

Stocks staged a modest come-back this afternoon but will still finish with losses for the sixth day in a row, the markets' longest losing streak since last August.

Worries over a possible default on Greek sovereign debt had stocks opening sharply lower as the second-place party in last weekend's parliamentary election also was unable to form a governing coalition. But while the ongoing political impasse remains, European leaders boosted investor moods when they promised to pay Greece's next scheduled debt payments, averting an immediate default. Healthcare and financial largely struggled throughout the session.

Technology stocks were the primary beneficiary of the market rebound, trading positive shortly before the closing bell, with energy companies also climbing as crude oil pared nearly all of the losses today.

New economic data this morning appears to have had little impact on stocks, with wholesale inventories during March rising 0.3%, trailing consensus estimates for a 0.6% rise. But sales at the wholesale level climbed 0.5% and kept the sector's stock-to-sales ratio unchanged for a fourth month in a row at a lean and healthy 1.17. The overall picture for Q1 inventories, which also includes inventories in the factory and retail sectors, is nearly complete - now needing only the March business inventories report due out May 15.

In company news, Macy's (NYSE:M) shares shed about 3.5% after the department store chain provided a same-store sales forecast for the year that only nudged its prior guidance. It also maintained its EPS view for the year. Fiscal Q1 earnings rose 38% from year-ago levels, benefiting from increased same-store sales and flat overhead costs. Per-share earnings for the quarter were $0.43, topping the analyst consensus by $0.03. Sales rose 4.3% year-over-year to $6.143, also beating the analyst average call.

Shares for the Disney Cos. (NYSE:DIS) moved in the opposite direction, rising about 2% and earlier setting a new 52-week high, after the entertainment conglomerate last night reported Q2 EPS of $0.58, ahead of the analyst consensus for $0.55 per share on Thomson Reuters. Revenue was $9.62 billion, also beating expectations for $9.56 billion.

Technology heavyweight Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) and media giant News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) are slated to report their most recent financial results following today's close.

Oil inventories rose a bearish 3.7 million barrels last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, keeping crude oil futures trading lower for a sixth day. June crude settled down 20 cents at $96.81 a barrel, earlier sliding as low as $95.17 overnight. Natural gas again extended its recent rally, with the June NYMEX contract adding 7 cents to $2.423 per 1 million British thermal units. Gold for June delivery slid $10.30 to finish at $1,593.70 an ounce.

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) DMD, Citigroup upgrade to Buy follows digital media firm raising FY12 outlook.

(+) SODA, Q1 profit rises 84%, revenue jumps 50% over year-ago levels.

(+) ARNA, FDA reviews weight-loss drug candidate.

(+) KTOS, Prices 20-million-share offering at $5.00 each.

(+) AH, Posts Q1 EPS In Line

(+) EVOL, Reports Q1 EPS/ Revs Beat

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) BBVA, Spanish bank sinks as yields on 10-year Spanish bonds top 6%.

(-) DVAX, Prices 17.5-million share offering at $4.25 a share.

(-) MELI, Q1 results shy of expectations

(-) STEC, Reports wider Q1 loss.

(-) SYNC, Bank of America downgrade.