Intraday Market Update
Monday's trading session is following in the footprints of Friday, at least in terms of volume. Total NYSE volume on Friday was the lightest of the year and it is even lighter so far today. If volume begins to pick up it could spike equities in either direction. But for now traders are cautious ahead of Dow member Alcoa and S&P 500 member CSX earnings reports after the bell this afternoon. Intel reports on Tuesday after the bell and then on Thursday JP Morgan (before the bell) and Google (after the bell) both report. Finally, on Friday before the bell Bank of America, Citigroup, and General Electric all report earnings. Volume is likely to pick up as these earnings reports and forward looking guidance are certain to set the tone in trading. All of the US equity indexes have bounced off of their morning lows. The Russell 2000 is leading the declines with -1.00% loss, while the DJIA, S&P 500, and NASDAQ are all about breakeven. International markets were mostly higher on Monday but there were no significant moves. There is no US economic news to report.
In equities, Microsoft (MSFT) is +1.85% higher after the company introduced its Windows Azure platform appliance which is a cloud computing operating system. MSFT said Dell, eBay, Hewlett Packard and Fujitsu are all early adopters of a limited production release of Azure.
M&A activity is making headlines today. Insurance broker Aon Corp (AON) said it would pay $50/share (half in cash and half in stock) to acquire human resources name Hewitt Associates (HEW). The deal is valued at nearly $5 billion. AON wants to merge Hewitt with its existing consulting business that focuses on human resources, benefits and outsourcing. AON is down more than -7% while HEW up +31.75% on the news. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) said it would acquire medical device maker Micrus Endovascular (MEND). JNJ will pay $23.40 in cash for the firm, in a deal valued at $480M. JNJ is down slightly while MEND is up +4.4%.
Weyerhaeuser (WY) is +6.5% higher after the forest product company announced a special dividend of $5.6 billion. WY has indicated that it wants to convert to a real estate investment trust (REIT) by distributing its earnings and profits to shareholders. Note that WY lost -32% since its high on April 26th.
Core Sector List:
Overall reading: 6 sectors advancing, 10 sectors declining
Strongest Sectors: Internet, Semiconductors, Software
Weakest Sectors: Biotechnology, Home Construction, Gold Miners
S&P 500 - Daily and 30-minute Intraday Charts:
Dow Jones - Daily and 30-minute Intraday Charts:
NASDAQ - Daily and 30-minute Intraday Charts:
Russell 2000 - Daily and 30-minute Intraday Charts: