Europe is lower this morning and Asia actually finished up, however there are some serious issues in Spain coming to light. Reports are circulating in the financial press that Spain needs to raise a good chunk of money to put into the bailout funds, and they are having issues doing that right now due to the high cost of issuing paper. This is not good, but it might force Europe to move towards Eurobonds and shares responsibility - it sure would make life easier for everyone and enable them to move unilaterally.
We finally get some economic news with some meat on the bone as today is 'Jobs Thursday'. Investors can look forward to the Initial Claims (Consensus 381k), Continuing Claims (Consensus 3300k), Durable Orders (Consensus 0.3%), Durable Orders - ex Transportation (Consensus -0.1%) and finally the Pending Home Sales (Consensus 0.9%). With the news out of Europe today, investors will need these numbers to be either really good or really bad to move higher. Good numbers will give investors hope that we can move higher on our own, but bad numbers would all but assure that the Federal Reserve would have to come in and finally act - which is long overdue in our opinion.
Looking at Asian markets we see markets are mostly higher:
All Ordinaries - up 0.54%
Shanghai Composite - down 0.47%
Nikkei 225 - up 0.92%
NZSE 50 - up 0.77%
Seoul Composite - up 0.74%
In Europe markets are higher:
CAC 40 - up 2.14%
DAX - up 0.51%
FTSE 100 - up 0.59%
OSE - up 1.01%
Riverbed Technology (RVBD) saw shares rise $3.77 (25.91%) in yesterday's session to close at $18.32/share on extremely high volume of 19 million shares after reporting earnings. The company beat on both the top and bottom lines this quarter following last quarter's disappointment. Management's outlook also pleased investors, so it appears that the corner was turned sometime during this past quarter. Not only did investors get the good news surrounding operating results, but they also announced that a deal was inked with Juniper Networks to incorporate Riverbed's technology with Juniper's hardware.
Investors also saw Symantec (SYMC) rally after announcing that Chief Executive Officer Enrique Salem was given the boot and his job was handed to former Intuit CEO Steve Bennett. With the announcement the company also pre-released their earnings for the quarter and it was a miss on all accounts, although not badly. The top and bottom lines missed analyst estimates and this was the downfall of the CEO. Shares rose $1.78 (18.55%) to close at $14.96/share on volume of 39.9 million which is over four times the three month daily average volume for the stock.
Regions Financial (RF) turned in one of those days that as an investor or trader you simply have to love and respect. The move was not huge, but the chart was strong having risen from the bottom left to the upper right on strong volume of 54.8 million. Shares closed at $6.91/share after rising $0.26 (3.91%) and shares are now approaching the $7/share level which we thought it would take out as a result of earnings. After looking at the quarter that the company just turned in, we still think that $8/share is a good target to close out the year assuming the business continues to improve and the company continues down this path of repairing the business franchise.
International Game Technology (IGT) saw its shares fall $2.93 (19.95%) to close at $11.76/share after they released their earnings report. The stock hit a new 52-week low in yesterday's trading and investors have to be pretty disappointed here because just when it looked like the story was improving this news hits. The company blamed weakening margins and net income was off by a mile, or as they say down South a country mile. This was simply put an all around bad quarter, which is disappointing. This used to be a great growth story, not so much anymore.
We warned investors some weeks ago to stay away from SUPERVALU (SVU) and instead focus on the retail names with real businesses and growth prospects without any of the drama. That advice has worked out pretty well and after yesterday's trading session SUPERVALU shares are once again trading near a 52-week low. The shares lost $0.32 (15.61%) to close at $1.73/share on volume of 19.3 million shares. It may be premature to say this, however it sure looks as if the company is in one of those famous death spirals retailers have a tendency to fall into. Time will only tell, but we still would not recommend putting any capital here - even if they were speculative funds.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.