Dow, S&P Hover Near Unchanged After Friday Record; Earnings Season Winds Down
After futures indicated a flat start to the trading week following Friday's record closes for the Dow and S&P 500 Indexes, U.S. stocks were trading in mixed fashion at mid-day, with little in the way of any market-moving news to jolt equities either significantly up or down. On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial Average finished at a record close of 14,973.96 while the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at a record above 1,600.
Friday's rally was spurred by a report from the U.S. Labor Department showing that the U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs in April, well above analysts' forecasts. Today's economic data calendar is empty, and Q1 earnings season is also winding down, with 80% of S&P companies already reporting earnings, contributing to the currently lackluster trading session.
The New York Times is reporting that New York State is getting ready to sue Bank of America ( BA ) and Wells Fargo ( WFC ), alleging that the financial institutions violated the terms of a $26 billion mortgage settlement signed last year.
According to the report, the banks will be charged with multiple violations of new set of mortgage servicing standards for dealing with homeowners who are in default. Other state attorneys generals may do the same, the report stated. Both issues were shaking off the report at midday, up 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively.
Overseas, stocks in Europe were flat while volumes were low due to a holiday in London. On Friday, European shares closed sharply higher, in lockstep with ascendance of U.S. equity indexes to record levels. Trading in Tokyo is also closed today for a holiday.
Commodities were mixed at mid-day. Oil was down $0.03 per barrel at $95.58, after spiking last week on reports that Israeli warplanes bombed Syria. Natural gas continued to back off its recent bull run, down $0.011 at $4.03 per million BTUs.
Gold was up $4.10 per ounce at $1,468.30, while silver was dipping $0.114 at $23.90. Copper was down $0.075 at $3.307.
Here's where the markets stood at mid-day:
NYSE Composite up 4.6 (+0.05%) to 9,345.06
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.58 (-0.01%) to 14,972.38
S&P 500 up 2.84 (+0.18%) to 1,617.26
Nasdaq Composite Index up 12.41 (+0.37%) to 3,391.05
Nikkei 225 Index closed.
Hang Seng Index down 1.73%.
Shanghai China Composite Index up 1.53%.
FTSE 100 closed.
DAX down 0.1%.
CAC 40 down 0.2%.
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index (^NYE) up 17.25 (+0.13%) at 13,367.95
NYSE Financial Sector Index (^NYK) up 21.42 (+0.37%) to 5,768.38
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index (^NYP) down 38.95 (-0.43%) to 9,109.39
(+ ) DDD (+6.1%) Shares moved higher on news from late Friday that the stock will be added to the S&P MidCap 400 Index following Wednesday's close.
(+) ATRO (+8.2%) Stock jumped after company reported net Q1 earnings of $8.6 million, up 40% from $6.1 million for the same period last year. Q1 diluted earnings per share were $0.56, up from $0.40 from a year ago and beating the Cap IQ consensus estimate of $0.42. That was on Q1 sales of a record $74.0 million, up 14% compared with $65.1 million for the same period last year.
(+) ABFS (+28.8%) moved higher after its ABF Freight System Inc. subsidiary has reached a tentative agreement with the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee on a 5-yearlabor contract.
(-) PAL (-17.7%, hit new 52-week low) Shares plunged to new 52-week bottom of $1.05 after the company reported Q1 revenues of $47.1 million. Net loss was $2.8 million, or $0.02 per share, which is greater than the $0.9 million, or $0.01 per share loss, a year prior. Analyst estimates were not available.
The company reported that preliminary findings for its 2013 operating report have found some negative trends in operations and capital expenditures. Management believes that the low end of the 150,000 to 160,000 ounce production guidance will be difficult to achieve, and could potentially decrease by about 10% to 15%.
(-) TESO (-5.6%) Stock slipped after the company reported Q1 net income of $8.8 million, or $0.22 per diluted share. This compares to net income of $14.4 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, for Q1 2012. Revenue was $127.1 million for Q1 2013, compared to revenue of $152.4 million for the comparable period in 2012. Analysts' estimates were not available.
(-) LNCO (- 7%, his new 52-week low) Shares tumbled to a new 52-week low of $34.27 following a Barron's story this weekend that called the stock overpriced and suggested the partnership's units may be worth less than half of their current quote.