Markets around the world are higher today (Tuesday), and we see futures higher as well. Europe is rallying higher as investors are putting aside their fears there and pushing stocks and the euro currency higher. We have a good bit of economic news out today here in the U.S., which we have listed below with the consensus numbers. Also, tonight is the debate for the presidential candidates and we imagine that if one candidate wins handily, that it will indeed have an impact upon the markets tomorrow.
We have economic news out today, it is as follows (data set - consensus).
CPI - 0.5%
Core CPI - 0.2%
Net Long-Term TIC Flows - N/A
Industrial Production - 0.3%
Capacity Utilization - 78.3%
NAHB Housing Market Index - 42
Looking at Asian markets, we see markets are higher:
All Ordinaries - up 0.19%
Shanghai Composite - up 0.01%
Nikkei 225 - up 1.44%
NZSE 50 - up 0.2%
Seoul Composite - up 0.83%
In Europe markets are higher:
CAC 40 - up 0.34%
DAX - up 0.53%
FTSE 100 - up 0.46%
OSE - up 0.01%
Clearwire (CLWR) rose again yesterday (Monday) as investors are betting that the company will be bought by its largest shareholder now that it will have a multi-billion dollar war chest to go out and do acquisitions with. The company has not confirmed that it will make a run at Clearwire with that war chest, but the thinking is that Softbank will demand it in order to clean up the structure of the company. The optimism that a deal does materialize is what pushed shares higher again yesterday by $0.37 (15.95%) with shares closing at $2.69/share on volume of 166.8 million shares. The day traders and computers have gotten a hold of this one, driving volume through the roof and moving shares strongly. Although nothing has officially happened, we admit we were wrong on a potential takeover here due to our thinking that anyone buying the company would want to do so on the cheap and not paying a fair price for the shares. We do not play takeovers, but for those who do this was a great play and we tip our hat to you.
We have discussed Home Depot (HD) a few times recently as that company has been on a tear lately and continually hitting 52-week highs with ease. HD has dominated the home improvement segment of the retail sector since a bottom was reached and has far outperformed Lowe's (LOW) its biggest competitor in the industry. We noticed yesterday that Lowe's rose $1.02 (3.27%) to close at $32.30/share on volume of 14.3 million shares. It will not show up on any special lists, but the shares are very near their old 52-week highs. It appears that the company is following in the path of its larger rival, Home Depot, and we could see the shares now move higher with a string of new highs - especially if earnings are good in the middle of November.
Shares in Eli Lilly (LLY) also came close to hitting a new 52-week high yesterday on the heels of a news release by the company which discussed the positive results on Ramucirumab, a potential cancer drug. Analysts raised their revenue forecasts on yesterday after the announcement. The news sent shares higher by $2.08 (4.12%) to close at $52.53/share with volume of 12.9 million shares. The company also announced that it would pay a fourth quarter dividend of $0.49/share that is payable on December 10, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 15, 2012. The dividend is an important component of the total return here, which is why we chose to highlight that bit of news this morning.
Investors saw shares of Abbot Laboratories (ABT) hit a new 52-week high after rising $2.77 (4.00%) to close at $72.05/share on volume of 15.7 million shares. The shares rose on positive results of a clinical trial for a drug combination for Hepatitis C. The combination worked best with three drugs combined together versus the other test groups which did not use the full three drugs. The results appeared very good, but the company still has a good way to go to get this drug approved. This has been one of those great long-term performers for investors and we usually find ourselves in the camp of blessing the idea of adding shares of Abbot to a portfolio.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.