Markets Higher, Closing News 4/27/12

Markets moved slowly higher throughout the day after being down just slightly before a higher than expected consumer confidence reading was reported.  Strong U.S. corporate earnings results drove the optimism today as investors shrugged off a disappointing GDP number and an S&P downgrade of Spain.


The U.S. economy slowed its pace of expansion in the first three months of the year compared to the prior quarter, as government spending fell and a buildup in inventories eased.  Q1 GDP was up 2.2% below the expected level of +2.5% and lower than the +3.0% reported last quarter.


The University of Michigan Confidence Index came in at 76.4, slightly higher than the 75.7 expected by economists.  This is the highest level in a year as consumers seemed more upbeat about the outlook for the economy especially as gas prices have come off their highs.


Market Indices/Statistics:



  • Dow closed up 23.69 pts/+0.18% to 13,228.31

  • S&P closed up 3.38 pts/+0.24% to 1,403.36

  • Nasdaq closed up 18.59 pts/+0.61% to 3,069.20

  • 19 of the 30 Dow stocks closed higher

  • 6 of 10 S&P 500 sectors closed up

  • Consumer Discretionary was the most positive sector (+1.32%); Consumer Staples was the biggest laggard (-0.09%)

  • The VIX ended up 0.09 at 16.33

  • Oil is up $0.15 to $104.70

  • Nat Gas is up $0.066 to $2.308

  • Gold is up $2.90 to $1,663.40

  • Euro vs. Dollar is down $0.002 to $1.320

  • Dollar vs. Yen is down $0.65 to $80.38

Companies in the News


Housing stocks helped buoy the markets showing gains of between 2.9-5.7% after the near two-year high in pending home sales was announced yesterday. PulteGroup (PHM, +$0.49/+5.1% to $10.07), Lennar Corp. (LEN, +$1.03/+3.8% to $28.41) and D.R. Horton (DHI, +$0.37/+2.3% to $16.51) were among today’s leading stocks.


Earnings


Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN, +$30.70/+15.7% to $226.85) was the number 2 S&P mover today after reporting EPS of $0.28 vs. estimates of $0.07; revenue was $13.18 billion, higher than the $12.9 billion expected by analysts.  Earnings were driven by some noted success in the company’s development of its technology services, which management believes will be a growing force for delivering profitability.


Chevron Corp. (CVX, -$0.02/-0.02% to $106.20) reported EPS of $3.27 vs. estimates of $3.26; revenue was $60.7 billion, lower than estimates of $72.42 billion.


Covidien PLC (COV, +$0.30/+0.6% to $55.34) reported adjusted EPS of $1.05 vs. estimates of $1.03; revenue was $2.95 billion, better than estimates of $2.9 billion.


ENI S.p.A. ADS (E, +$0.77/1.8% to $44.82) announced 1Q adjusted net profit EUR2.48 Bln; analysts saw 1Q adjusted net profit of EUR2.26 Bln


Expedia Inc. (EXPE, +$7.66/+23.5% to $40.31) reported adjusted EPS of $0.26 vs. estimates of $0.14; revenue was $816.5 million, better than the $790.9 million expected by analysts.  A sharp rise in the company’s hotels business helped them beat estimates.


Ford Motor Co. (F, -$0.27/-2.3% to $11.60) reported EPS of $0.39 vs. estimates of $0.35; revenue was $32.4 billion, better than the expectations of $31.27 billion.  Sales in the core North American business were strong enough to offset weakness in overseas markets, especially Europe.


Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT, -$0.61/-5.1% to $11.32) reported EPS of ($0.05) vs. estimates of $0.07; revenue was $5.5 billion, lower than the $5.83 billion expected by analysts.


Honda Motor Co. Ltd. ADS (HMC, +$0.56/+1.6% to $36.53) reported Q4 group operating profit Y111.98 Bln, up 142.3 % from the year ago period.


IMAX Corp. (IMAX, -$0.21/-0.9% to $24.44) reported adjusted EPS of $0.06 vs. estimates of $0.07; revenue was $55.6 million, better than estimates of $54.3 million.


Intl Paper Co. (IP, +$0.10/+0.3% to $33.85) reported adjusted EPS of $0.57 vs. estimates of $0.50; revenue was $6.7 billion, slightly lower than estimates of $6.79 billion.


Merck & Co Inc (MRK, -$0.01/-0.03% to $38.46) reported adjusted EPS of $0.99 vs. estimates of $0.98; revenue was $11.7 billion, lower than the $11.82 billion expected by analysts.


Nomura Hldgs Inc. ADS (NMR, -$0.08/-1.9% to $4.11) FY group net profit was Y11.58B vs. Y28.66B profit for the year ago period.  The company commented that there has been no visible impact from the insider trading probe focused on the company to date.


Novo Nordisk A/S ADS (NOV, -$6.46/-4.3% to $144.55) reported 1Q operating profit DKK6.39B; analysts saw 1Q operating profit of DKK6.42B.


Procter & Gamble Co. (PG, -$2.43/-3.6% to $64.44) reported adjusted EPS of $0.94 vs. estimates of $0.93; revenue was $20.19 billion, slightly lower than the $20.32 billion expected by analysts.  The company noted that weakness in developed is forcing the company to lower its full year profit outlook.  The company is also going to have to cut some prices and offer coupons as it continues to feel the strain of higher commodity prices.


Simon Property Grp Inc. (SPG, +$3.14/+2.1% to $155.33) reported Q1 FFO of $1.82, much better than the estimates of $1.68; revenue was $1.12 billion, higher than the $1.05 billion expected.


Coming Monday:


Economic Reports:  March Personal Income and Spending (+0.3%/+0.4% expected) at 8:30 a.m.; Chicago Purchasing Manager (60.5 expected) at 9:45 a.m.; Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity (8.0 expected) Earnings  American Fincl Grp Inc. (est: $0.78), Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (est: $0.78), Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V. ADS (est: $0.91), Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. ADS (est: $0.46), Companhia de Bebidas das Americas ADS (est: $0.43), Flowserve Corp. (est: $1.64), Humana Inc. (est: $1.53), LyondellBasell Indus N.V. (est: $1.05), McKesson Corp. (est: $2.06), NYSE Euronext (est: $0.53), Plum Creek Timber Company Inc. (est: $0.23), Suncor Energy Inc. (est: $0.82), UDR Inc. (est: $0.34)