ECB Stays Quiet, Dow Plummets

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve stood firm on its commitment to stay with the status quo while closely monitoring the U.S. economy. Today, the European Central Bank followed suit, leaving the benchmark interest rate at an already record low of 0.75%. While ECB President Mario Draghi is still behind his comment to do whatever is needed to keep the eurozone together, little can be accomplished if the debt-ridden countries don't have faith in the ECB's ability to stanch the crisis.

In Europe, investors fled from high-risk countries and moved into the safety of the German and Dutch debt markets. Spain's 10-year bond yield crossed north of the 7% line of demarcation, while the German 10-year yield scaled down to 1.22%. Domestically, the broad markets lowered after the ECB press conference this morning, as did both WTI and Brent crude futures.

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Source: Yahoo! Finance as of 2:30 p.m. EDT.

First Solar (NAS: FSLR) has been beaten and bruised all year long, but is soaring by 25% after announcing a rather strong second quarter and an improved guidance. The solar module manufacturer reported EPS of $1.27, smashing estimates of $0.90 per share. First Solar saw the number of orders increase over the past quarter, including the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch project that was finally continued after being put on the back burner. With a number of Chinese solar companies on the ropes thanks to U.S. antidumping tariffs, First Solar might finally reach for the stars. If you are interested in the First Solar story, check out this premium report for the detailed bull and bear scenarios for America's leading solar company.

American Superconductor (NAS: AMSC) is sporting a 20% gain today after reporting a strong quarter, beating estimates and shattering last year's performance. Revenue for its first quarter was $28.7 million, with a net loss of $10.3 million. The grid solutions company saw its international wind segment sales increase, helping boost revenue growth and reduce its net income loss.

Duke Energy (NYS: DUK) had its first earnings release since its blockbuster merger with Progress early last month, meaning we really get two separate reports this quarter. The company is down 0.85% on the day as Duke grew its earnings by 2.1% while Progress earnings fell 65% on one-time expenses leading up to the merger. Despite the one-time costs and derivative losses, Progress would have had an EPS increase of $0.27, putting the new company in pretty good shape barring any regulatory fallout in North Carolina due to the CEO shakeup post-merger.

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