Monday is turning out to be a pretty quiet day on Wall Street. There were some earnings reports this morning and some positive analyst comments giving stocks a minor boost. Investors still seem nervous over the European debt issues. A pull back in the U.S. dollar is giving commodities a bounce. Crude oil is up 84 cents near $72 a barrel. Gold futures are up more than $16 to $1,069 an ounce.
Asian markets extended their losses to three days in a row. Volume was very low in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng index lost 0.58%. The Chinese Shanghai index closed down 0.14%. Japan's exporters are struggling with a rising yen. The NIKKEI lost 1.0%.
It was a different story in Europe with the major markets snapping a three-day losing streak. Metal and mining stocks were bouncing thanks to dollar weakness and drug stocks were showing relative strength. Over the weekend the G7 finance ministers met in Canada to discuss the European debt default situation. The English FTSE is up 0.6%. The German DAX rallied 0.9%. The French CAC40 gained 1.2%.
Here at home headlines were dominated by earnings and upgrades although there was some news on the real estate market. Ratings agency Fitch said U.S. prime jumbo mortgages saw the number of delinquencies (more than 60 days past due) rise from 9.2% in December to 9.6% in January. This was the 32nd straight monthly increase. This is just one more sign that the real estate market is a long way from healthy.
On the earnings front toymaker Hasbro (HAS) killed it with a profit of $1.09 a share. This was 28 cents better than expected. Revenues rose almost 12% to $1.38 billion, which was also better than expected. Shares of HAS are up 12.9% near $35 hitting new one-year highs. CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS) reported earnings that beat estimates by 1 cent thanks to a tax benefit. Revenues disappointed. Management at CVS warned that Q1 earnings would be under expectations. Yet in spite the negative news shares of CVS are up 6.1% near $33.
Analysts were busy this morning with a wave of upgrades. Some of the high-profile names garnering bullish analyst comments were Home Depot (HD), Google (GOOG), and Amazon.com (AMZN).
The bounce in stocks today is pretty mild and the Dow Industrials just turned negative on the session. The best performers today appear to be casino stocks (+1.2%), airlines (+1.3%), and the semiconductors (+1.0%). The worst performers are gold and the miners (-1.2%) and insurance (-0.6%).
Chart of the S&P 500:
Chart of the NASDAQ:
Chart of the Dow Industrials:
Chart of the Russell 2000 index:
A quick scan of the OptionInvestor.com play list reveals that FCX is up in spite of the mining-sector weakness. There is no follow through for the bounce in BEN. JPM is not seeing any follow through with shares down another 1.2%. Overall stocks are quietly drifting sideways.