U.S. equity markets opened lower this morning and failed to generate any positive traction all day long. Economic data from Europe was mixed, and the European Central Bank said that 19 banks are set to repay some €10.8 billion in long-term refinancing obligations (LTRO) funds next week. Cyprus extended its capital controls for another seven days although some limits were lifted. In Asia, Singapore's GDP contracted by 0.6% in the first quarter, far worse than the expected increase of 0.5%. In the U.S., retail sales were reported down and wholesale inflation was cooler than expected (more coverage here). The real anchor today was a collapse in the consumer sentiment index (more coverage here).
The U.S. dollar index is trading up 0.06% today, now at 82.291. The GSCI commodity index is down 0.7% at 631.61. WTI crude oil closed down 2.4% today, at $91.29 a barrel, and closed the week down 1.5% (more oil coverage here). Brent crude trades down 1.2% at $103.05 a barrel. Natural gas is up 2.3% today at about $4.21 per million BTUs. Gold settled down 4.1% today at $1,501.40 an ounce, the yellow metal's lowest level in nearly two years and down 4.7% for the week.
The unofficial closing bells put the DJIA flat at 14,864.91, the NASDAQ fell about 5 points (-0.16%) to 3,294.95, and the S&P 500 fell -0.28% or nearly 5 points to 1,588.85.
There were a several analyst upgrades and downgrades today, including Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) cut to 'neutral' at Sterne Agee; Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) raised to 'buy' at Jefferies; Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) started as 'outperform' at Wells Fargo; Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) reiterated as 'outperform' with a price target of $334 at Credit Suisse; and Michael Kors Holding Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) started as 'underperform' at CSLA.
Earnings reports since markets closed last night resulted in some price moves today, including these as of the last half hour of trading: Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is down 1% at $37.15 (more coverage here); JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is down 0.6% at $49.04 (more coverage here); and Crumbs Bake Shop Inc. (NASDAQ: CRMB) is down 34.5% at $1.97.
Before markets open Monday morning we are scheduled to hear from Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C).
Some standouts among heavily traded stocks today include:
Rally Software Development Corp. (NYSE: RALY) is up 27.3% at $17.82. The cloud-based software development firm held its IPO today, as did Latin American transaction processing firm Evertec Inc. (NYSE: EVTC), which is also up 2.4% at $20.48. More coverage here.
Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) is up 8.9% at $2.31 after posting a new 52-week high of $2.33 earlier today. The drug store chain continues to attract investors after its solid earnings report earlier this week.
Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) is down 8.5% at $22.64 after posting a new 52-week low of $22.60 earlier today. The gold miner is reacting to today's sharp drop in the price of gold. Earlier in the week operations were halted by a court order at a Chilean mine. The drop in gold prices very likely has no relationship to Bitcoin.
Stay tuned for Monday. We have noted the following events on the schedule (all times Eastern):
8:30 a.m. – Empire State manufacturing survey
9:00 a.m. – Treasury international capital (TIC) data
10:00 a.m. – National Association of Home Builders housing market index
11:30 a.m. – 3- and 6-month Treasury bill auctions
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, HI/LOW, Market Close Tagged: ABX, AMZN, APO, C, CRMB, EVTC, HD, JPM, KORS, RAD, RALY, V, WFC