Friday's Closing Update

Includes: C, F, GM, INTC, MA, TXN
by: Midnight Trader

4:08 PM, May 1, 2009 --

NYSE up 55.5 (+1.1%) to 5,568.81

DJIA up 44.3 (0.5%) to 8,212.41

S&P 500 up 4.7 (0.5%) to 877.47

Nasdaq up 1.9 (0.1%) to 1,719.20


Nikkei +1.7%

Hang Seng +3.8%

FTSE -0.1%


(+) RIMM upgraded at UBS.

(+) EAT upgraded at Goldman.

(+) DRYS handily beats with EPS.

(+) CVX beats with Q1 results though profit down sharply from year

(+) AMCC gains despite Q4 miss.

(+) COT swings to profit.


(-) WPO swings to Q1 loss.

(-) MCD downgraded at Goldman.

(-) C turns lower in step with broader financial space after early gain on sale of Japanese brokerage.

(-) MA turns lower despite Q1 EPS beat, results down from year-ago
quarter, warns of revenue growth shortfall.

(-) GM, F lower after April sales, showed mixed reaction to Chrysler bankruptcy.

(-) ESLR hits fresh extended-hours lows in continued reaction to
evening earnings miss.

(-) HIG continues downside action after swinging to loss.


Stocks close near the even mark though a last-minute move pushed the major averages just into green. Trading was choppy as many investors take profits after April's rally. The Nasdaq is up 1.5% for the week. The DJIA is up 1.7% for the week. The S&P 500 is up 1.3%.

A week of mostly better-than-expected earnings helped the broader market close out a solid April performance after the major averages hit 12-year lows in March. The S&P 500 gained 9.4% in April, its best performance since March 2000. The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 7.4% in April, following up its 7.7% gain in March.

Stocks reversed early losses after a better-than-expected report on consumer confidence and ISM manufacturing. A separate, older report from the government said orders to U.S. factories in March fell more than expected.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its final index
of confidence climbed to 65.1 in April from 57.3 in March. The reading was the
highest since September 2008 and the biggest one-month increase since October 2006. Economists polled by Reuters expected a slightly lower final reading of 61.9 for April.

Also, manufacturing contracted in April, but the pace of decline slowed, according to the Institute for Supply Management index. The ISM purchasing managers' index rose to 40.1% from 36.3% in March, the highest since September. It was also better than the 39.1% expected by economists.

Financial stocks traded mixed after a government official said that the Federal Reserve will release the results of stress tests on banks on May 7th in the late afternoon. The release was originally scheduled for May 4 but was delayed due to executives' debates with examiners over preliminary findings.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) announced today the sale of its Japanese brokerage.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) was a laggard Friday after the credit card company warned that revenue growth would fall short of its goal this year. The warning overshadowed better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

Automakers are lower after reporting sales at near 30-year lows. General Motors (NYSE:GM) says its light vehicle sales dropped 33.2% in April to 172,150 vehicles. Ford's (NYSE:F) April sales fell 31.6%. Chrysler, which has just gone into bankruptcy, said April U.S. sales dropped 48% to 76,682 units from 147,751 a year ago.

Tech shares, including Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) were soggy for much of the day. Before the opening bell, the Semiconductor Industry Association issued a report showing that global chip sales slid 30% during the first quarter from the same period the previous year. Sales during the month of March were also down 30% from last March, though up slightly from February.

Energy shares were mostly higher as oil rose for a third session and closed out its second weekly advance. Crude for June delivery closed up $2.08, or 4.1%, to $53.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, oil gained 3.2%.