Intraday Market Update
All things considered stocks are bouncing back nicely today after yesterday's sharp declines, even though the turmoil in Europe continues. At about 11:30 AM S&P cut its ratings on the Kingdom of Spain by a notch to AA from AA+, citing that a longer than expected period of low growth may undermine efforts to cut the budget deficit. S&P went on to say that their outlook for the country was negative and another downgrade is possible if their fiscal position worsens. The S&P 500 immediately sold off almost -10 points on the news to its lowest level at about 1,181, but has since recovered most of the kneejerk reaction and is now trading near its highs of the day at about 1,190. The DJIA is up nearly +55 points while the NASDAQ is struggling to at about breakeven. All eyes are now focused on the FOMC announcement at 2:15 PM. That's when the fireworks will begin.
In earnings news, railroad names Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific both reported solid quarterly results. CP beat earnings while Norfolk Southern was in line with expectations. NSC is down -1%, while CP is up +5%. Shares of Jet Blue are off nearly -10% after they surprised investors with a small quarterly loss and weak revenue results. Car rental company Dollar Thrifty crushed earnings expectations which is lifting shares +1.50%. DTG entered into a merger agreement with Hertz which was announced earlier this week.
Broadcom missed earnings estimates but offered strong revenue guidance for next quarter. BRCM spiked up to +4% but has retraced and is now +1.50%. Sprint posted a quarterly loss was that was in line with expectations and it also reaffirmed that it would begin to stem losses in subscriptions this year. Sprint executives said the firm would be rolling out a new prepaid strategy soon, which will include the launch of a new prepaid brand. Sprint shares are up +4. AOL missed earnings expectations by a wide margin and revenue also disappointed. On the conference call executives offered cautious commentary. Shares of AOL are down -13.50%. Corning beat expectations and once again increased its forecast for LCD glass demand in 2010. GLW initially spiked but are now about breakeven.
Most analysts think the Fed is expected to leave the fed funds target rate unchanged at a range of zero to 0.25%. However, traders will be focused on the language in their statement in regard to how long rates are expected to remain low. Will the FOMC remove or change the "extended period" language it has been using for quite some time? We'll soon find out and there are bound to be wild price swings in about one 30 minutes. Good luck and be nimble with your positions.
Commodities are relatively flat with the exception of gold and natural gas. Gold is higher by +$9 to $1,172 per ounce (+0.83%). Natural gas is catching a bid, gaining almost +1%. Front month crude is higher by +0.33% to $82.72 per barrel. Silver is lower by -0.27%. Copper is flat after yesterdays selloff.
All markets around the world were mostly lower on Wednesday. Leading declines in the Asia-Pacific region were Japan (-2.57%), Hong Kong (-1.51%), and Australia (-1.17%).
All major European markets were sharply lower again on the heels of the Spain downgrade. The biggest losses were in Spain (-2.99%), France (-1.50%), and Germany (-1.22%). Shares in London were marginally lower (-0.30%).
Core Sector List:
Overall reading: 11 sectors advancing, 5 sectors decling.
Strongest Sectors: Gold Miners, Home Construction, Banks, Utilities
Weakest Sectors: Retail, Internet, Semiconductors
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: