24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell — October 23, 2012: Markets Follow Earnings Lower (BTU, BHI, P, YHOO, MNST, CE, WDC, TXN, MMM, ARMH, AKS, COH, HOG, RSH, UPS, UTX, XRX, AMGN, BRCM, FB, JNPR, NFLX, T, BA, GLW, DAL, LLY, EMC, GD, LCC, DD, BSDM)

The three major U.S. stock indexes opened lower this morning and remained in negative territory all day. The decline is down to weak earnings from many U.S. firms reporting results today. In Europe, Moody's downgraded five of Spain's regions and the Spanish government that third quarter GDP would shrink by 0.4%. In Asia, Citigroup lowered its estimate for Chinese GDP growth from 7.9% to 7.7%. All in all, not a good day for equities, which were down about 1.5%, although tech stocks performed better than other sectors.

The U.S. dollar index rose today, now up 0.42% at 79.984. The GSCI commodity index is down about 1.2% at 648.50, with commodities prices mostly lower today on the strong dollar. WTI crude oil closed down 2.2% today, at $86.67 a barrel, crude's lowest closing price in more than three months (more coverage here). Brent crude trades down 0.74% at $109.33 a barrel. Natural gas is up 2.4% today at about $3.54 per thousand cubic feet. Gold closed at $1,709.40 an ounce, down 1% for the day, and the lowest close in about six weeks.

The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA down nearly 243 points to 13,102.91 (-1.82%), the NASDAQ fell more than 26 points (-0.88%) to 2,990.46, and the S&P 500 fell -1.44% or nearly 21 points to 1,413.13.

There were several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) cut to 'neutral' at Goldman Sachs; Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) cut to 'hold' at SocGen; Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) started as 'overweight' at JPMorgan; Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) raised to 'positive' at Susquehanna; and Monster Beverage Co. (NASDAQ: MNST) maintained as 'buy' but removed from 'Conviction Buy List' at Goldman Sachs.

Earnings reports since markets closed last night resulted in some price moves today, including these as of the last half hour of trading: Celanese Corp. (NYSE: CE) is up 2% at $38.19; Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) is down 2.2% at $34.50 (more coverage here); Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) is down fractionally at $27.78 (more coverage here); Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) is up 6.2% at $16.75 (more coverage here); 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) is down 4% at $88.80 (more coverage here); AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) is down 6.2% at $5.17 (more coverage here); ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ: ARMH) is up 10.7% at $31.13 after posting a new 52-week high of $31.89 earlier today; Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) is up 7.2% at $58.06; Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) is up 8% at $47.03; RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) is up 5% at $2.51 (more coverage here); United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) is up 3.1% at $73.76 (more coverage here); United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) is down 0.8% at $77.19; and Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) is down 5.3% at $6.66 (more coverage here).

Before markets open tomorrow we are scheduled to hear from Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW), Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD), and US Airways Group Inc. (NYSE: LCC).

Some standouts from today include the following stocks:

E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD) is down 9.6% at $45.00. The chemicals maker lowered its outlook and announced 1,500 job cuts today. More coverage here.

BSD Medical Corp. (NASDAQ: BSDM) is up 18.3% at $2.00. The medical equipment maker reported good results from a study on its treatment for rectal cancer. More coverage here.

Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: MNST) is down 9.5% at $41.41 after posting a new 52-week low of $40.06 earlier today. The drinks maker is staggering following word that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of deaths after people consume the company's energy drinks.

Stay tuned for Wednesday. The FOMC meeting continues today. We have noted the following event on the schedule (all times Eastern):

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

  • 8:58 a.m. – Flash PMI manufacturing index

  • 10:00 a.m. – New home sales

  • 10:00 a.m. – FHFA house price index

  • 10:30 a.m. – EIA weekly petroleum status report

  • 1:00 p.m. – 5-year Treasury note auction

  • 2:15 p.m. – FOMC meeting announcement

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, HI/LOW, Market Close Tagged: AKS, AMGN, ARMH, BA, BHI, BRCM, BSDM, BTU, CE, COH, DAL, DD, EMC, FB, GD, GLW, HOG, JNPR, LCC, LLY, MMM, MNST, NFLX, P, RSH, T, TXN, UPS, UTX, WDC, XRX, YHOO