U.S. stocks drifted lower Thursday, crimping the rally that
pushed indexes close to record levels. Investors are sizing-up
mixed economic data along with a myriad of earnings results and
corporate news. Looking ahead, the Federal Reserve will release
data on consumer credit for December later Thursday.
Initial claims came in at 366,000, ahead of the 360,000
consensus, but down from 368,000 in the prior week, the U.S. Labor
Department reported. Productivity fell 2%, versus estimates calling
for a 1.3% fall, while unit labor costs rose 4.5%, against
expectations for a rise of 3.0%.
Meanwhile, the nation's business productivity dropped below
economists' expectations, down 2% in 2012's fourth quarter,
according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In corporate news, American Airlines (AMR) and US Airways (
) said they are closer to a merger agreement that would create the
world's biggest airline, according to several sources Thursday
Shares of Apple (
) rose after David Einhorn, founder of the hedge fund Greenlight
Capital, filed a suit against Apple for not doing its part to grow
shareholder value. Einhorn noted the company's $137 million cash
position, and called on tech giant to distribute $50 billion of its
perpetual preferred stock with a 4% annual dividend.
Monster Worldwide (
) shares dropped after the company posted Q4 earnings in-line with
estimates, but revenue just shy of the Street view. For Q1, the
company is guiding for earnings in the range of $0.06 to $0.10, vs.
the Street consensus of $0.09 per share.
Sprint Nextel (
) shares edged lower after the cell phone carrier reported a Q4
loss in-line with expectations.
Shares of Akamai Technologies (
) plunged after the company reported a rise in net income, while
revenue missed forecasts.
Shares of Blackberry (BBRY) climbed after the smartphone maker
called the Canadian launch of its new Z10 smartphone its best
Among companies reporting after the bell are LinkedIn (LNKD)
Activision Blizzard (ATVI), and Coinstar (CSTR).
U.S. government bonds declined as investors move money into
riskier assets. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves
inversely to its price, rose 1 basis point Thursday to 1.97%,
keeping it close to a 10-year high.
U.S. sectors were lower across the board at mid-day. Healthcare
and energy were the main losers, both down more than 1%.
Commodities were mixed at mid-day. Crude oil for March delivery
was down $0.60 at $96.02 a barrel. March natural gas was down
$0.059 at $3.36 per 1 million BTU.
In metals, April gold futures were up $1.60 to $1,680.40 in
electronic trade. March silver was down $0.112 at $31.76 per ounce
in electronic trade. March copper was down $0.002 at $3.74 per
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) down 107.90 (-0.77%)
S&P 500 (^INX) down 10.36 (-0.69%) 1,501.76
Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC) down 27.01 (-0.85%) 3,141.47
NYSE Composite (^NYA) down 70.90 (-0.79%) 8863.34
Nikkei 225 Index down 0.93%
Hang Seng Index down 0.34%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.66%
FTSE 100 Index down 1.06%
DAX up 0.13%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Financial Sector Index (^NYK) down 47.78 (-0.88%) at
NYSE Energy Sector Index (^NYE) down 154.41 (-1.16%) at
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index (^NYP) down 86.92 (-1.02%) at
(+) DV (+19.72%) Upgraded by analysts at JPMorgan Chase to
Neutral from Underweight. The firm raised their target price on the
stock to $28 from $22 a share.
(+) HLSS (+0.00%, below new 52-week high) Reported Q4 GAAP
earnings of $0.44 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital
IQ GAAP consensus of $0.39. Revenues were $61.07 million, versus
the analyst estimate of $59.32 million.
(+) MCP (+2.91%) Upgraded to Neutral from Underweight by
analysts at JPMorgan Chase. The firm raised its price target on the
stock to $6 from $5.
(+) MMS (+5.01%, below new 52-week high) Reported Q1 earnings of
$0.63 per share, ex one-time items, versus the Capital IQ consensus
of $0.56. Revenues were $286.3 million, versus the analyst estimate
of $285.01 million.
(-) AKAM (-15.62%) Reported Q4 sales of $378 million, below
estimates of $381.30 million. Earnings of $0.54 topped estimates by
$0.04. The company also extended its $150 million share buyback
program to February 1.
(-) CYS (-4.47%, near 52-week low) Reported Q4 net loss of $41.4
million, or $0.24 per share, compared to net income of $241.0
million, or $1.46 per share. Core earnings plus drop income was
$67.7 million, or $0.39 per share, compared with $78.1 million, or
$0.48 per share in the prior quarter.
(-) ROLL (-6.54%, but near 52-week high) Reported Q3 earnings of
$0.53, below estimates of $0.59, and lower than earnings per share
of $0.54 in Q3 2011. Revenues of $96.3 million, below estimates of
$100.4 million, higher than Q3 2011 revenues of $95.1 million. The
company also approved a $50 million share repurchase program of
ROLL's common stock, effective immediately.
(-) PSMI (-13.39%, but above new 52-week low) Downgraded to
Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.