Markets Higher, Closing News 9/23/11

London skyline. Skyline de Londres.

Image by J. A. Alcaide via Flickr

Markets closed higher today, but both the Dow and S&P closed significantly lower, down 6.41% and 6.57% respectively, for the week. The Dow closed 37 points higher on a day that was void of any market driving news, allowing investors to lick their wounds after the slide triggered by Wednesday’s Fed announcement.

Gold fell to $1,645 per ounce (down 5.43%) in trading today, lower for the third straight session. The selloff today was a result of traders selling out of their positions to cover losses incurred during yesterday’s 391 point drop in the Dow.

London Metal Exchange announced it is considering selling itself after being approached by two unidentified suitors. Analysts are speculating that potential bidders could include The Intercontinental Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Singapore Exchange, and Hong Kong Exchange.

Republicans and Democrats have delayed a vote on refilling depleted disaster funds until Monday as partisan debate over removing cuts to an electric car program, which accounts for a fraction of the trillion dollar bill. The debate is potential foreshadowing to the political gridlock over the cuts needed as required by the debt ceiling agreement reached in August.

Big New York sports weekend on the calendar as the Yankees (weather permitting) have a chance to put a real dent in the Red Sox’ playoff hopes while the NY Football Giants will travel down I-95 to take on the division rival Eagles.

Market Indices/Statistics:

  • Dow closed up 37.65 pts/+0.35% to 10,771.48
  • S&P closed up 6.87 pts/+0.61% to 1,136.43
  • Nasdaq closed up 27.56 pts/1.12% to 2,483.23
  • 18 of the 30 Dow stocks closed higher / 12 closed lower
  • 7 of the 10 S&P 500 sectors closed higher
  • Financials was the best performing sector (+1.14%)
  • Energy was the worst performing sector (-0.78%)
  • The VIX was down 0.10 points to 41.25
  • Oil is down $0.24 to $80.27
  • Nat Gas is down $0.014 to $3.768
  • Gold is down $97.20 to $1,645.80
  • Euro vs. Dollar up $0.0047 to $1.3507
  • Dollar vs. Yen up $0.38 to $76.64

Companies in the News:

Shares of Covanta Holding Corp. traded higher (+1.76% to $45.56) following the announcement that the Board of Directors has approved an additional $100 million for its share repurchase plan, bringing the total size of the plan to $400 million.

Morgan Stanley rallied today (+5.05% to $13.72) after analysts reported that the bank is prepared to manage risk, and the concerns of its overexposure to French banks were unfounded. Shares of MS had been trading over 20% lower on the week until today’s snap back.

PNM Resources traded higher (+16.85% to $16.02) after announcing it has agreed to sell its Texas-based electricity providing subsidiary, First Choice Power, to Direct Energy for $270 million in cash plus additional working capital.

Shares of Dangdang also gained today (+13.11% to $5.52) after announcing two new fulfillment centers and appointed Justin Changqing as the new head of technology.

Earnings:

Nike reported Q1 earnings per share of $1.36 on $6.1 billion in revenue after the closing bell yesterday, beating analysts’ expectations of $1.21 per share on $5.75 billion. Shares of Nike traded higher (+5.30% to $88.44) after management said they feel comfortable in its position pricing, and sees FY revenue growth to be somewhere in the mid-teens.

KB Homes also traded higher (+3.32% to $5.91) after reporting a Q3 loss of $0.13 per share, narrower than the $0.19 per share that analysts were forecasting.  Shares were also pushed higher by the announcement that the homebuilder saw a 40% increase in orders for the quarter.

Coming Monday:

Economic Reports: New Home Sales (expected to be 295k) at 10:00 am, and Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity (expected to be -9) at 10:30 am;  Earnings from Ferrellgas Partners L.P.

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