Intraday Market Update
US equities are oscillating near the flat line today despite "less bad" economic data. The preliminary August consumer sentiment report showed a slight increase over July, while retail sales posted its first gain in three months, but that was boosted by a surge in auto sales. Meanwhile, the consumer price index rose slightly thanks to higher food and energy costs. However, business inventories increased while sales declined, suggesting that businesses will not need to replenish inventories beyond their essential output needs. So far it has been a relatively boring summer Friday trading session. Overseas, European markets were mostly lower to flat despite better than expected GDP data out of the region. The Asia-Pacific region rallied as buyers stepped in to find bargains.
In earnings, there were mixed reports out of retailers this morning. Nordstrom (JWN) is off -7% even though the high end department store's results were in line with expectations, while also reaffirming full year guidance and same store sales guidance. Dillards (DDS) is off -2.50% after their earnings report was slightly below estimates. JC Penny was in line with estimates, however their Q3 guidance was below expectations. JCP is down -3%. Elsewhere, Autodesk (ADSK) reported earnings well ahead of estimates and said its 2011 fiscal year results would be higher y/y. ADSK is up 6%.
NVIDIA reported a big earnings, revenue, and guidance miss after the bell yesterday. Nonetheless, shares of the graphics chip maker are +5% higher despite the bad news. However, it is worth noting that the stock has lost more than half of its value since its April highs. NVDA came under heavy pressure last month when it warned about softer Q2 revenues. The company said the revenue shortfall occurred primarily in the consumer business, resulting from increased memory costs and economic weakness in Europe and China.
In other tech news there are several ongoing dilemmas making headlines. Research In Motion has cut a deal with the Indian government by granting the country access to their BlackBerry service. It hasn't helped the stock as RIMM is off -1.6%. Google is facing some challenges in the US and abroad. Here in the US, Google is being sued by Oracle over their use of Java IP in its Android mobile operating system. And overseas, China's government has signed a deal with China Mobile and Xinhua to launch a new search engine.
Core Sector List:
Overall reading: 11 sectors advancing, 9 sectors declining
Strongest Sectors: Utilities, Home Construction, Banks
Weakest Sectors: Gold Miners, Semiconductors, Broker Dealers
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