Wall St Summary MSFT, AAPL, GRPN
XLU, DUK, IDA, NU, C, UBS, BCS, IBM, VRSN, MSFT, AAPL, GRPN, FIVE, YUM, TM, THO, F, HMC, YUM
DJIA +3.76 at 13025.58, NAS -1.79 at 3010.24, S&P 500 +0.23 at 1416.18
US stocks were edgy Friday. The S&P 500 followed the early indecision by sliding to its lows just above the 1410 level.
Rising stocks narrowly outnumbered falling ones on the NYSE. Volume was in line with the recent average at 3.8-B/shrs on the day.
A familiar theme played out intra-day as President Obama and House Speaker Boehner held their press conferences.
The President preached the importance of reaching compromise and expressed hope that enough Republicans can be convinced to break rank and vote in favor of his budget proposal. Meanwhile,
US House Speaker Boehner maintained his stance, and said that Republicans are willing to compromise if Democratic lawmakers agree to spending cuts.
They are at a stalemate.
The S&P 500 spent most of the session in the Red, a late buying surge just before the close lifted the index to the flat line on the close.
Strong: Telecoms, Utilities Weak: Consumer Discretionary, Financials
The utilities sector was the top performer and the SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF XLU 35.32, +0.37 settled higher by 1.1%, in the space, electric utilities paced the advance.
Duke Energy NYSE:DUK 63.82, +1.43 gained 2.3% after reaching settlement with the North Carolina Utilities Commission. The settlement aims to resolve issues following the merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy. In addition, the company President, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer Jim Rogers announced his intention to retire by the end of next year.
Looking at other utility stocks, Northeast Utilities NYSE:NU 38.74, +0.58 and IDACORP NYSE:IDA 42.71, +0.47 both advanced near 1.3%.
Financials saw relative weakness as the budget debate remains in focus.
Citigroup NYSE:C 34.57, -0.64 lost 1.8% and was the weakest performer among the majors.
Though US financials underperformed, their European counterparts advanced. Barclays NYSE:BCS 15.83, +0.17 and UBS NYSE:UBS 15.70, +0.11 added 1.1% and 0.7%, respectively.
Reuters reported Barclays may cut as many as 3500 investment bank positions and reduce the scope of its Asian operations.
Tech stocks lagged the broader market and large cap names saw weakness. Apple NASDAQ:AAPL 585.28, -4.08), International Business Machines IBM 190.07, -1.46, and Microsoft NASDAQ:MSFT 26.61, -0.33) all lost between 0.7% and 1.2%.
Elsewhere, VeriSign NASDAQ:VRSN 34.15, -5.19 fell 13.2% after its updated agreement with the US Department of Commerce limited the company’s ability to increase domain registration prices.
Also of note, Groupon NASDAQ:GRPN 4.14, -0.40 fell another 8.8% after company spokesman said CEO Andrew Mason will not be replaced in the near term.
Consumer discretionary stocks saw weakness and carmakers weighed on the sector.
Ford Motor NYSE:F 11.45, -0.08 said it plans to increase its electric car market share to 11.0%, from the current 5.2%. Shares of Ford finished lower by 0.7%.
Looking at other automakers, Honda Motor NYSE:HMC 33.29, -0.30, Toyota Motor NYSE:TM 86.08, -0.43, and Thor NYSE:THO 37.74, -0.21 all lost between 0.5% and 1.0%.
Yum! Brands NYSE:YUM 67.08, -7.39 after tapping a 52 wk high Thursday and breaking above the safety zone EPS mark of 20/, weighed on the discretionary space. The restaurant operator slid 9.9% after issuing Y 2013 guidance and reaffirming its Y 2012 earnings growth forecast of at least 13%. The guidance proved to be a point of concern as sales in China are expected to continue tracking lower. Following the update, Raymond James, Susquehanna, and UBS all downgraded the stock.
On the upside, teen retailer Five Below NASDAQ:FIVE 37.15, +5.76 soared 18.4% after beating on earnings and revenue. Plus, the company issued downside Q-4 earnings guidance while revenue is expected to come in above consensus estimates.
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Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.
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