|From Briefing.com: 4:30 pm : The major equity averages booked varied gains as market participants provided a rather broad bid following the drubbing of the prior session.|
Consumer Discretionary stocks were the strongest performers with a collective climb of 1.2%. Apollo Group (APOL 35.81, +3.34) rallied hard after the for-profit education provider posted better-than-expected profits and a strong revenue forecast. Harley Davidson (HOG 46.18, -1.74) was a laggard in the group despite yesterday's news of strong earnings and an upgrade today by analysts at Barclays.
Fellow Discretionary play Best Buy (BBY 19.37, +0.86) benefited from a late flurry of buying interest amid headlines that suggested the company's founder may be seeking certain strategic options for the company after following his recent resignation as Chairman. The stock was unable to sustain all of its gain, however.
News Corp (NWS 21.96, +1.68) also attracted attention related to its strategic direction with news that the company is considering the possibility of spinning off part of its operations. The news helped the stock climb to a new 52-week high.
Energy stocks were also strong. As a group they gained 1.1%. Refiners were generally in favor. As an aside, oil prices settled with a 0.2% gain at $79.34 per barrel after overcoming an intraday loss.
With Europe still in focus German Chancellor Merkel reiterated her refusal for Germany to share liability for what many believe has been an absence of fiscal responsibility on the part of eurozone countries now in precarious shape. Despite the relative strength and diversity of Germany's economy, analysts at Egan Jones downgraded it today to AA- from A+. They also assigned a Negative Outlook to the rating.
Economic data was somewhat limited in that it featured a Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index that declined just 1.9% when many had expected a 2.5% decline. However, the Conference Board's latest Consumer Confidence Index fell to 62.0 from 64.4 in the prior month, disappointing many who had thought the Index would ease to only 64.0.
Advancing Sectors: Consumer Discretionary +1.2%, Energy +1.1%, Financials +0.6%, Health Care +0.3%, Utilities +0.3%, Telecom +0.3%, Tech +0.3%, Consumer Staples +0.2%, Industrials +0.2%, Materials +0.1%
Declining Sectors: NoneDJ30 +32.01 NASDAQ +17.90 NQ100 +0.6% R2K +0.4% SP400 +0.6% SP500 +6.27 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1383/1.59 bln/1091 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1918/712 mln/1084
3:30 pm : Crude oil touched a session high of $79.68 per barrel in morning pit action, but fell into negative territory soon after. A session low of $78.32 per barrel was set after it was reported that German Chancellor Merkel reiterated her refusal for Germany to share liability for what some pundits believe is an absence of fiscal responsibility. Despite the dip, crude found buying support and erased the loss to settle with a 0.2% gain at $79.34 per barrel. Natural gas fell into the red moments after pit trade opened and touched a session low of $2.66 per MMBtu. However, the move was short lived as the energy component climbed back into positive territory and trended higher for the remainder of floor trade. It settled at its session high of $2.77 per MMBtu for a gain of 3.0%.
Precious metals struggled during all of pit trade. Gold set a session low of $1568.20 per ounce before it inched slightly higher in afternoon trade, settling at $1574.60 per ounce for a loss of 0.8%. Silver’s losses were more significant as the metal finished 1.6% lower at $27.05 per ounce.DJ30 +60.58 NASDAQ +20.44 SP500 +8.77 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1495/1.25 bln/950 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2070/460 mln/930
4:14PM Nanometrics confirms its SPARK-API macro defect inspection system has been qualified by device manufacturer in Asia for advanced 2X nm devices (NANO) 14.98 -0.02 :
1:33PM JinkoSolar Holding will supply modules to 5.75MW array of solar panels located on the site of the former Canton landfill in Canton, MA. (JKS) 3.61 -0.35 : In partnership with Boston-based renewable energy project developer Southern Sky Renewable Energy LLC (SSRE), the project brings life to the two decades-long unused space, serving as a valuable revenue generator and clean power solution for the local community.
10:31AM Intel slide to new three week low of 25.76 in recent trade (INTC) 25.81 -0.24 : The recent extension leaves the stock slightly above its 200 ema at 25.67 with its 200 sma at 25.58.
Cree (CREE) announced that Cree and SemiLEDs (LEDS) have agreed to end the parties' patent infringement litigation. As part of the settlement, SemiLEDs agreed to the entry of an injunction effective Oct 1, 2012 that prohibits the importation and sale of the SemiLEDs accused products in the U.S. and has made a one-time payment to Cree for past damages
9:15AM SanDisk acquires enterprise storage software maker Schooner Information Technology; terms of the transaction were not disclosed (SNDK) 35.87 : Co announced the acquisition of Schooner Information Technology, an enterprise software co located in Silicon Valley that develops flash-optimized database and data store solutions. Schooner's products complement SanDisk's growing portfolio of enterprise solid state disk (SSD) and flash-optimized software offerings that enable customers to accelerate the performance of data-intensive applications and reduce overall cost of ownership. Schooner's team of database and flash optimization experts have joined SanDisk's Enterprise Storage Solutions team. Schooner's products will be optimized for SanDisk's enterprise SSD portfolio as well as for enterprise SSDs from third parties.
Marvell (MRVL) announced its participation in the Wi-Fi Alliance's Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint test bed program. Marvell, and the Wi-Fi Alliance, alongside leading device makers and operators, will work together to drive standards-based certification of Passpoint, which will deliver a cellular-like connectivity experience to Wi-Fi networks.
Texas Instruments (TXN) and AirHop Communications announced their collaboration to integrate AirHop's eSON advanced self-organizing network software on TI's KeyStone-based small cell System-on-Chips
Adobe Systems (ADBE) today announced Adobe PhotoshopLightroom 4 software is now available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud membership. Lightroom is the essential digital photography workflow solution helping amateur and professional photographers quickly import, manage, enhance and showcase images.
09:11 am Veeco Instruments upgraded to Buy at Stifel Nicolaus; tgt $48: . Stifel Nicolaus upgrades VECO to Buy from Hold and sets target price at $48 saying while they do not see any imminent turn in the LED industry as a whole, they do believe that the current excess capacity situation is not likely to dramatically worsen. They also believe that at these price levels, the downside is likely limited versus the potential upside.
09:38 am LDK Solar shares fall 6% following disappointing first quarter results
LDK Solar (LDK $1.86 -0.16) reported first quarter earnings of ($1.46) versus the ($1.07) consensus; revenue -74% year over year to $200 million versus the $225.5 million. Shipped 164.4 megawatts (MW) of wafers, 153.9 MW of cells and modules in the first quarter; Produced a total of ~1,900.8 MT of polysilicon during the first quarter; and Produced a total of ~51.2 MW of cells during the first quarter. Co sees Q2 rev to be in the range of $220-270 mln vs. the $370 mln consensus, wafer shipments between 300 MW and 350 MW, cells and module shipments between 140 MW and 180 MW, in-house polysilicon production between 520 MT and 570 MT and in-house cell production between 80 MW and 100 MW. For fiscal 2012,
The comapny lowered fiscal year 2012 revenue guidance to $1.5-2.0 bln from $2.0-2.7 billion versus the $2.09 billion consensus, lowers polysilicon production to between 5,000 MT and 7,000 MT from $12-15K MT, of which shipments to 3rd party customers are expected to be between 2,000 MT and 3,000 MT, wafer production between 2.0 gigawatts (GW) and 2.5 GW, of which shipments to 3rd party customers are expected to be between 1.2 GW and 1.5 GW, in-house cell production between 0.7 GW and 1.0 GW, and module production between 0.9 GW and 1.2 GW, with cell and module shipments to 3rd party customers between 0.8 GW and 1.0 GW and inverter shipments between 200 MW to 250 MW. LDK Solar expects PV system project construction to be in the range of 400 MW to 600 MW and to recognize between 270 MW and 360 MW through project sales and EPC services for 3rd party customers.