Stocks Move Lower Ahead Of Earnings

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 |  Includes: DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: Midnight Trader
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average down 36.18 (-0.28%) to 12,736.29
  • S&P 500 down 2.22 (-0.16%) to 1,352.46
  • Nasdaq Composite Index down 5.56 (-0.19%) to 2,931.77

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng Index down 1.88%
  • Shanghai China Composite Index down 2.37%
  • FTSE 100 Index down 0.62%

Stocks drifted lower throughout the day, ending with moderate losses led by declines for shares of energy and materials companies. Trading was relatively subdued ahead of the start of a new earnings season, with Alcoa releasing its results shortly after the closing bell. Commodities ended mostly higher.

Stocks were weighed down early by European concerns. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi told a European Parliament committee that eurozone leaders must look towards deeper integration, as worries over slowing growth and sales in China pushed many mining and energy stocks lower, as well as certain luxury brands.

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) unofficially kicks off earnings season today after the U.S. markets close, with analysts expecting a big drop from year-ago levels because of steep declines in metal prices and a slowdown in recent months. The consensus call has AA earning $0.05 a share on $5.8 billion in revenues.

August crude oil finished a volatile session, rising $1.49 to $85.92 a barrel. August natural gas fell 10 cents to $2.88. August gold rose $10.20 to $1588.90, Sept silver rose $0.48 to $27.43, while Sept copper rose 2 cents to $3.43.

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) PXP, Reports 18% increase in daily oil sales volume during Q2 compared with prior quarter

(+) AGP, Wellpoint (WLP) makes $92 a share buyout offer, or $4.9 billion overall; WLP and other medicaid service providers, including CNC, MOH, WCG, all are trading higher today as well

(+) ATRS, Rising for a second session, following 10.6% gain on Friday likely fueled by short-covering and continued buy-out speculation

(+) MRGE, New study finds company's iConnect system has 37% share of vendor neutral archive market; upgraded to Buy from Hold at Craig-Hallum

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) LMNX, Announces deal to acquire GenturaDx for about $50 million; says acquisition will add about $6 million to 2012 operating costs and initially lower per-share earnings

(-) AONE, Says it has only enough money to fund operations for another five months

(-) CHK, Completes $2-billion sale of its stake in Chesapeake Midstream Partners LP (CHKM) to funds managed by Global Infrastructure Management LLC