|From Briefing.com: 4:30 pm : A deluge of data failed to inspire buyers to build on the prior session's two-year closing high. Instead, the major equity averages fell modestly.|
Stocks stretched in the prior session so that the S&P 500 came within reach of the 100% gain level from its 2009 low, but participants were generally inclined to sell today. As such, energy and materials plays, which had been leaders in the prior session, succumbed to profit taking. Both sectors logged losses of 1.1%.
Overall pressure was more mild, but utilities (+0.3%) and consumer discretionary stocks (+0.1%) were the only two sectors to score gains. The discretionary space was helped by Marriott (MAR 41.46, +0.46), which reported a better-than-expected bottom line, but issued a mixed outlook.
In other corporate news, Marsh & McLennan (MMC 30.23, +1.36) posted an upside surprise of its own. That helped its shares surge. FedEx (FDX 95.98, +1.99) trimmed its forecast. That was widely forgiven because the revision stemmed from the impact of weather, although higher fuel prices also played a part.
In the latest merger news, NYSE Euronext (NYX 38.12, -1.33) and Deutsche Boerse confirmed that they will combine.
Despite those announcements, data was the theme of the day. Among the more widely watched reports, advance retail sales and sales less autos both increased by 0.3% in January. Economists polled by Briefing.com had expected, on average, increases of 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively. The retail sales picture was further imbued by news that figures for the prior month were revised downward.
The Empire Manufacturing Survey for February came in at 15.4. That was up from the 11.9 posted for the prior month, but in line with the 15.5 consensus call published by Briefing.com.
Import prices for January increased 1.5% month over month, Net Treasury International Capital Flows increased to $48.2 billion in December from $35.6 billion in the prior month, and business inventories for December increased 0.8%. Those reports were assigned secondary status, though.
As for overseas data, China's CPI increased by 4.9% in January. Though that marked an acceleration from the 4.6% increase in December, it wasn't as bad as what had been widely feared. Still, China's PPI for January spiked an even sharper 6.6% after a 5.9% increase in the prior month. Japan reported that its industrial production increased 3.3% during December. The country's central bank also upgraded its economic outlook, but made no change to its key interest rate.
In Europe, France and Germany both reported that their fourth quarter GDP grew 0.4%, but eurozone GDP expanded at a slower 0.3% in the fourth quarter. The eurozone ZEW Survey for February improved to 29.5 from 25.4 in January, but Germany's February ZEW made a more modest improvement to 15.7 from 15.4 from the prior month. Consumer prices heated up even further in the United Kingdom with a 4.0% increase in January after a 3.7% increase in December. That report helped drive the British pound higher against the greenback.
Although the pound gained ground against the dollar, the Dollar Index managed to finish the trading session flat as the dollar advanced against the yen. The Dollar Index just set a three-week high in the prior session.
Advancing Sectors: Utilities (+0.3%), Consumer Discretionary (+0.1%)
Unchanged: Consumer Staples
Declining Sectors: Health Care (-0.1%), Financials (-0.2%), Telecom (-0.3%), Industrials (-0.3%), Tech (-0.5%), Energy (-1.1%), Materials (-1.1%)DJ30 -41.55 NASDAQ -12.83 NQ100 -0.2% R2K -0.7% SP400 -0.5% SP500 -4.31 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1007/2.01 bln/1627 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1131/927 mln/1828
5:22PM MEMC Elec reported that Samsung Fine Chemicals and the co sign polysilicon joint venture agreement (WFR) 14.14 -0.21 : Samsung Fine Chemicals (SFC) and MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) announced a joint venture agreement between SFC and MEMC's affiliate, MEMC Singapore, to produce high purity polysilicon in Ulsan, Korea. Through a 50/50 capital investment, the joint venture will build and operate a new facility on an existing SFC property in Ulsan. The facility, which is expected to begin production in 2013, will have an initial capacity of 10,000 metric tons of polysilicon annually, and have the potential to expand to satisfy rapidly growing demand over time.
4:07PM Dell beats by $0.16, reports revs in-line; guides FY12 revs above consensus (DELL) 13.91 -0.18 : Reports Q4 (Jan) earnings of $0.53 per share, $0.16 better than the Thomson Reuters consensus of $0.37; revenues rose 5.3% year/year to $15.69 bln vs the $15.71 bln consensus. Reports Q4 non-GAAP operating margins of 6.5% vs 6.3% Thomson Reuters consensus. Dell sees FY12 rev +5-9% vs. +4.7% consensus (equates to ~$64.6-67.0 bln vs. $64.43 bln Thomson Reuters consensus). Dell sees FY12 non-GAAP operating income growth of 6-12%, may not compare to +5.6% consensus... For its fiscal-year 2012, Dell expects revenue growth of 5 to 9 percent, non-GAAP operating income growth of 6 to 12 percent, and continued strong execution on cash flow with cash flow from operations exceeding net income. In its first quarter of fiscal-year 2012, Dell expects normal seasonal declines in its consumer and public businesses and, as such, a slight sequential decline in revenue (consensus calls for -1.5% QoQ). Stock is halted.
4:06PM Analog Devices beats by $0.05, reports revs in-line; guides Q2 EPS above consensus, revs in-line (ADI) 41.00 +0.01 : Reports Q1 (Jan) earnings of $0.70 per share, includes $0.04 of one-time tax benefit items, $0.05 better than the Thomson Reuters consensus of $0.65; revenues rose 20.8% year/year to $728.5 mln vs the $728.2 mln consensus. Co issues mixed guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.65-0.69 vs. $0.64 Thomson Reuters consensus; sees Q2 revs of $730-760 mln vs. $730.27 mln Thomson Reuters consensus. For the balance of the year, co is planning for expenses to grow slower than revenues.
10:02AM SMTC Corp receives commendation from the City of San Jose (SMTX) 3.50 -0.06 : Co received a Letter of Commendation from the City of San Jose in recognition of the company's presence and operations in Silicon Valley and for its efforts in growing the regional economy. A brief ceremony was held at City Hall and hosted by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.
Suniva announced that it is working with Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates (VSEA) to use ion implantation of boron in the manufacture of solar cells.
SMSC (SMSC) announced that Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM) has licensed SMSC's patented Inter-Chip Connectivity technology.
Broadcom (BRCM) and ARM (ARMH) announced the signing of a broad reaching license agreement, enabling Broadcom to access the entire range of ARM processors, from the smallest, lowest-power ARM CortexTM-M0 processor, through to the newly introduced, high-performance Cortex-A15 application processor and beyond.
RF Micro Devices (RFMD) announced that Samsung has selected RFMD's PowerSmart power platforms and WiFi components to enable a broad portfolio of next-generation 3G/4G devices, Galaxy S 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1. Additionally, co announced the addition of four new products to its expanding portfolio of front end modules for 3G/4G switch and signal conditioning applications.
# Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) introduced a new family of antenna switch modules for dual and triple-mode smart phones, tablets and datacards. and power efficiency of the SPARC T3 to the communications market.
# Ericsson (ERIC) and Polycom (PLCM) announced collaboration around an integrated end-to-end solution for hosted telepresence services that will enable telecom operators to deliver affordable, high-definition visual communications services to businesses and consumers.
Powerwave Technologies (PWAV) introduced its new lineup of mobile broadband site solutions that are optimized for operators to quickly and cost-effectively deploy 4G services over existing 2G/3G infrastructure.
Sierra Wireless (SWIR) announced that NetComm has selected Sierra Wireless AirPrime MC7750 and MC7710 intelligent embedded modules to provide 4G cellular network connectivity for its new NetComm Liberty Series LTE WiFi Router. Additionally, co announced that LANCOM has selected Sierra Wireless AirPrime intelligent embedded modules to provide wireless network connectivity for its new line of 4G cellular broadband VPN routers.