Markets Higher, Closing News 7/1/11

The Dow closed higher by triple digits again as markets closed out their best week in two years. After riding the Greek news higher the past couple of sessions, trading today was pushed higher still by good economic data today, with the June ISM reading beating expectations.

The Dow jumped almost seventy points this morning after the June ISM reading beat expectations. The ISM Manufacturing Index was reported at 55.3, a surprise increase from 53.5 in May.  Economists had been expecting a decrease to 51.8. Also boosting optimism was that the core numbers, like new orders and prices paid, were also better than their respective readings in May.

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey was also released this morning, slightly disappointing investors.  Consumer Confidence came in at 71.5, just below the reading of 71.8 that economists were expecting, and down from 74.3 in May.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Tim Geithner is considering stepping down after an agreement on the U.S. debt ceiling is reached. Speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative Conference in Washington D.C., Geithner said he would remain in his position for the foreseeable future.

Have a great Fourth of July holiday weekend everyone.  I was going to say I don’t plan on eating anything that isn’t grilled this weekend, but caught a commercial last night that Burger King has $1.04 chicken sandwiches to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend, and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to pass on that deal for an entire weekend. Enjoy, and see you Tuesday!

Market Indices/Statistics:

  • Dow closed up 168.43 pts/+1.36% to 12,582.77
  • S&P closed up 19.03 pts/+1.44% to 1,339.67
  • Nasdaq closed up 42.51 pts/+1.53% to 2,816.03
  • 29 of the 30 Dow stocks closed higher / Only MSFT closed lower
  • All 10 S&P 500 sectors closed higher
  • Consumer Discretionary was the best performing sector (up 2.03%)
  • The VIX is down 0.57 pts to 15.94
  • Oil is down $0.59 to $94.84
  • Nat Gas is down $0.054 to $4.339
  • Gold is down $16.10 to $1,486.70
  • Euro vs. Dollar up $0.0030 to $1.4527
  • Dollar vs. Yen up $0.31 to $80.82

Companies in the News:

7 Days Group Holdings Limited traded higher today (+3.47% to $20.00) after announcing it reached an agreement to acquire Acquire Huatian Star in a deal valued at $21 million.

Shares of Eastman Kodak slid today (-14.25% to $3.07) after an International Trade Commission ruling went against them in their dispute with Apple and Research in Motion based on a digital imaging patent.

Oshkosh shares spiked today (+13.86% to $32.95) after an SEC filing disclosed that Carl Icahn took a 9.5% stake in OSK.  Oshkosh made a statement relating to Mr. Icahn’s stake, saying “Oshkosh Corporation believes Mr. Icahn’s investment is evidence in his belief of the value of the company”

Earnings:

Darden Restaurants Inc. reported Q4 earnings after the close last night. DRI reported Q4 earnings per share of $1.00 from continuing operations on $1.99 billion in revenue, in-line with analysts’ expectations. Shares of Darden traded higher today (+6.09% to $52.79) on the news that the board of directors increased the quarterly dividend by 34%.

Shares of Christopher & Banks Corp. shot higher today (+13.01% to $6.43) after beating analysts’ expectations with their Q1 earnings. CBK reported Q1 earnings per share of $0.05 on $123 million revenue vs. a $0.06 loss per share that analysts were expecting on $116 million revenue.

AZZ Inc. traded higher today (+11.40% to $51.02) after reporting Q1 earnings per share of $0.75 on revenue of $114 million vs. analysts’ expectations of $0.63 per share on revenue of $104 million.

Coming Tuesday:

Economic Reports: May Factory Orders at 10:00 am