24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell — October 2, 2012: Markets Stagnate as Stocks Slide (KBH, WFC, KCG, C, SIRI, TISI, AYI, MOS, FDO, MON, RPM, PCS, ARQL, EXPR, PBM)


The three major U.S. stock indexes opened higher this morning but have had trouble staying above the neutral line since late morning. Early reports that Spain would soon ask for a bailout were knocked down by the country's prime minister and a negative report on the country's banks from Moody's didn't help (more coverage here). Markets in China and Hong Kong are closed for a holiday, and Japan took a bit of a hit this morning from S&P, which said that the rebuilding boom in the country is winding down (more coverage here). There was little new data out in the U.S. today other than the ISM's report on New York manufacturing, which showed mixed results (more coverage here).

The U.S. dollar index fell today, now down 0.15% at 79.706. The GSCI commodity index is up fractionally at 666.97, with commodities prices mixed. WTI crude oil closed down 0.6% today, at $91.89 a barrel. Brent crude trades down 0.53% at $111.59 a barrel. Natural gas is up 1.6% today to $3.534 per thousand cubic feet. Gold closed at $1,775.60 an ounce, down 0.4%.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down more than 32 points to 13,482.28 (-0.24%), the NASDAQ rose more than 6 points (0.21%) to 3,120.04, and the S&P 500 rose 0.09% or more than 1 point to 1,445.74.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including KB Home (NYSE: KBH) cut to 'sell' at Citigroup; Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) cut to 'hold' at Deutsche Bank; Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KCG) raised to 'outperform' with a target price of $14 at RBC Capital; Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) raised to 'buy' with a target price of $44 at KBW; and Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) raised to 'buy' with a target price of $3.75 at BofA/ML and reiterated as 'buy' with a target price of $3.00 at Citigroup.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night resulted in some price moves today, including these as of the last half hour of trading: Team Inc. (NYSE: TISI) is up 0.1% at $33.00; Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE: AYI) is down 4.8% at $60.06; and Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS) is down 4.2% at $55.57 (more coverage here).

Before markets open on Wednesday we are scheduled to hear from Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO), Monsanto Corp. (NYSE: MON), and RPM International Inc. (NYSE: RPM).

Some standouts from today include the following stocks:

MetroPCS Communications Inc. (NYSE: PCS) is up 17.2% at $13.50 after posting a new 52-week high of $14.51 earlier today. The wireless carrier has now confirmed rumors that it is talking merger with Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA. More coverage here.

ArQule Inc. (NASDAQ: ARQL) is down 56.2% at $2.19 after posting a new 52-week low of $1.98 earlier today. The biopharma company has stopped a study on a potential lung cancer drug because it does not show improved survival rates.

Express Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) is down 21.8% at $11.74 after posting a new 52-week low of $11.56 earlier today. The specialty retail lowered guidance today. More coverage here.

Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. (NYSEMKT: PBM) is down 68.3% at $4.85 after posting a new 52-week low of $3.80 earlier today. The junior mining company was denied a permit for a project in British Columbia, Canada. More coverage here.

Stay tuned for Wednesday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):

  • 7:00 a.m. – Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications

  • 8.15 a.m. – ADP employment report

  • 10:00 a.m. – Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index

  • 10.30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, HI/LOW, Market Close Tagged: ARQL, AYI, C, EXPR, FDO, KBH, KCG, MON, MOS, PBM, PCS, RPM, SIRI, TISI, WFC