Courtney Raio is a Managing Director for NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX).
Markets closed mixed in an unusual session that saw the Dow up triple digits intraday with the Nasdaq down. The Dow and S&P had been encouraged by retail sales results while the Nasdaq was lower on a correction in Apple and Google.
U.S. retail sales rose again in March and came in at a better than expected +0.8% to $411.07 billion. Americans reportedly spent more on home improvement, gasoline and cars, a sign that consumers remain confident in the recovery. The disappointing Empire Manufacturing Index results of 6.56 (18.0 expected) did not seem to weigh on the Dow and S&P. However, a disappointing home index report sent the Dow down to its intraday lows this morning.
Companies in the News:
Apple Inc. (AAPL, -$23.70/-3.9% to $580.13)and Google (GOOG, -$18.27/-2.9% to $606.07) shares were under pressure today, seemingly due to a correction. The drag had the Nasdaq in negative territory all day.
Vornado Realty Trust (VNO, +$2.21/+2.8% to $82.15) was the S&P leader after an SEC filing Friday stated that the company is considering several different options to enhance the company’s return to shareholders. Some of those options include selling its stake in Toys R Us; buying back shares; reducing its exposure to the enclosed mall business, and possibly even splitting up the company.
YPF Sociodad Anonima (YPF, -$2.45/-11.2% to $19.50) shares were down after reports indicated the Argentina government would be taking over the 51% stake that Spanish company Repsol owns. In response, reports are running that the Spanish government will take legal action against Argentina charging that the strategy is illegal. Trading in shares of YPF were halted in Argentina on the NYSE.
CitiGroup Inc. (C, +$0.59/+1.8% to $34.00) reported EPS of $1.11 vs. estimates of $1.00; revenue was $19.4 billion, 1.6% lower than the $19.7 billion reported in the year ago period. Bond trading and underwriting revenue increases were cited as earnings drivers.
Gannett Co. Inc. (GCI, -$1.15/-7.7% to $13.89) reported EPS of $0.34 vs. estimates of $0.31; revenue was $1.219 billion, 2.6% lower than the $1.251 billion reported in the year ago period. Revenue was negatively impacted by a decline in paper advertising sales in favor of digital media spends.
M&T Bank Corp. (MTB, +$1.19/+1.4% to $85.62) reported EPS of $1.50 vs. estimates of $1.48; revenue was $997.1 million, 12.9% higher than the $883.2 million reported in the year ago period.
Mattel Inc. (MAT, -$3.11/-9.1% to $31.01) lead the S&P decliners after reporting EPS of $0.06 vs. estimates of $0.07; revenue was $928.4 million, 2.5% lower than the $951.9 million reported in the year ago period. The disappointing earnings were a result of lower consumer demand for the company’s higher priced Barbie line; retailers were forced to cut their inventory in response to Mattel’s higher prices.
Economic Reports: March Housing Starts (705k expected), March Building Permits (710k expected) at 8:30 a.m.; March Industrial Production (+0.3% expected), March Capacity Utilization (78.5% expected). TAXES ARE DUE! Earnings: Coca-Cola Co. (est: $0.88), Comerica Inc. (est: $0.55), Forest Laboratories Inc. (est: $0.70), Goldman Sachs Grp Inc. (est: $3.24), Johnson & Johnson (est: $1.35), McMoRan Exploration Co. (est: $-0.12), Omnicom Grp Inc. (est: $0.69), State Street Corp. (est: $0.88), U.S. Bancorp (est: $0.64), USG Corp. (est: $-0.43), W.W. Grainger Inc. (est: $2.50), Webster Fincl Corp. (est: $0.40), CSX Corp. (est: $0.38), Intl Business Machines Corp. (est: $2.64), Packaging Corp. of America (est: $0.40), Stryker Corp. (est: $0.99)