Dow slips; stocks are steady after European elections

The blue chips fall 30 points, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq end with small gains. European stocks move higher. Oil prices fall, boosting airline stocks. Disney shares rise with success of 'Avengers' film.

By Charley Blaine May 7, 2012 1:24PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 7:56 p.m. ET

Stocks finished surprisingly flat today after traders globally concluded that the election outcomes in France and Greece might not cause much chaos -- yet.

In fact, markets in Germany, France, Spain and Italy moved higher. (Greece's major stock index was off nearly 7%, however.) While the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) finished with a small loss, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) and Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) both showed gains. Three  important sectors of the market -- banks, transportation and technology -- were higher.

Six months ago, the European results might have induced real panic. Panic was not present today in part because markets are betting the austerity will still rule European economic policy, despite Nicholas Sarkozy's loss to Francois Hollande on Sunday.

The wild card yet again is Greece, where another election may be in the offing. The leaders of the center-right party announced today they couldn't form a government, and deferred to Alexis Tsipras, head of the Syriza Party, a left-of-center coalition party that came in second in Sunday's election. If a government can't be formed, another party may be asked to try, and Greece may have to hold another election.

The Dow closed down 30 points to 13,009. The S&P 500 was up a half point to 1,370, and the Nasdaq finished up 1 point to 2,958. The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX) was up 1 point to 2,639.

Article continues below.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), up $20.71 to $58.12, was the top Nasdaq-100 percentage performer and added nearly four points to the index.  Apple (AAPL) finished up $4.23 to $569.48, adding 3.6 points to the index. Microsoft (MSFT) and Oracle (ORCL) were lower, and Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH) was off sharply. (Microsoft publishes MSN Money.)
 
Vertex, the maker of the first medicine to target the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, said today the drug Kalydeco and a second therapy helped improve patients’ breathing ability.

Cognizant Technology Solutions sank $13.36 to $56.30. It was also the worst S&P 500 performer. The information-technology company lowered its 2012 revenue forecast to at least $7.34 billion from at least $7.53 billion. The average analyst estimate is $7.55 billion.

Wynn Resorts, Electronic Arts results disappoint
After the close, Wynn Resorts (WYNN) shares fell $1.49, or 1.2%, to $123.70. The company reported earnings of $1.33 a share, down 5 cents from a year and 7 cents below Street estimates. Revenue was up 4.2% to $1.31 billion.

Revenue at its Macau operations were up 9.8% to $950.7 million. Wynn's Las Vegas revenue fell 8.1% to $363.8 million.

Shares had fallen $2.21 to $125.19 in regular trading.

Electronic Arts (EA) shares were down 5% to $14.38 after hours. The company forecast a fiscal-first-quarter loss of 40 cents to 45 cents, with revenue of about $500 million, short of the analyst estimate of $586.6 million. Shares had finished up 1 cent to $15.13 in regular trading.

The market faces no economic reports on Tuesday. Earnings are due from apparel retailer Fossil (FOSL), Molson-Coors (TAP), OfficeMax (OMX) and Walt Disney (DIS).

Energy prices -- New York close



Mon.

Fri.

Month chg.

YTD chg.
Crude oil (-CL)

$97.94

$98.49

-6.61%

-0.90%
(per barrel)











Heating oil (-HO)

$2.9814

$3.0088

-6.37%

2.31%
(per gallon)











Natural gas (-NG)

$2.3360

$2.2790

2.23%

-21.85%
(per mil. BTU)











Unleaded gasoline (-RB)

$2.9741

$2.9758

-4.82%

11.92%
(per gallon)











Brent crude 

$113.16

$113.18

-5.34%

5.38%
(per barrel)











Retail gasoline

$3.7770

$3.7830

-1.02%

15.29%
(per gallon; AAA)












Crude oil falls again, affecting energy stocks
Crude oil (-CL) dropped heavily but recovered to settle down 55 cents to $97.94 a barrel after dropping to as low as $95.34. Brent crude was up 5 cents to $113.23 a barrel. The retail price of regular unleaded gasoline was down to $3.777 from $3.783 on Sunday and $3.803 on Friday. The pump price has fallen 4% since peaking at $3.936 on April 6.

The result of the oil price decline was a mixed picture for energy stocks. Chevron (CVX) was off 41 cents to $103.31. Exxon Mobil (XOM) was off 9 cents to $84.48. Apache (APA) was off $1.22 to $87.84.

But airline shares jumped in response to lower oil prices. United Continental Holdings (UAL) was the top performer among stocks in the Dow Jones Transportation Average. The index was up 34 points to 52,62. The five airlines in the index -- United Continental, Southwest (LUV), Jet Blue (JBLU), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Alaska Airlines (ALK) -- were the top performers today.

Gold (-GC) settled down $6.10 to $1,639.10 an ounce. Silver (-SI) dropped 31 cents to $30.12 an ounce. Copper (-HG) rose 5.25 cents to $3.7735 a pound.

Interest rates were slightly lower, with the 10-year Treasury yield off slightly to 1.877% from 1.88% on Friday. The dollar was higher against major currencies.

Facebook starts its road show
Facebook executives were out in force in New York today pitching their stock to potential investors.

A luncheon meeting at the Sheraton New York Hotel featured CEO Mark Zuckerberg, clad in his trademark hoodie jacket, while other executives were more traditionally clad.

Facebook hopes to raise $11.8 billion in its initial public offering, which potentially could value the company at as much as $96 billion.

Potential investors waited in a line that snaked through the hotel’s lobby and around the side of the building. Additional meetings are set for Boston and Palo Alto, Calif.

Underwriters hope to price the offering late on May 17, with trading to start on May 18.

Warren Buffett weighed in on Facebook at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting extravaganza over the weekend. He thinks Facebook's story is "extraordinary," but he won't invest in it.

Disney rises on 'Marvel's The Avengers'

Walt Disney gained 89 cents to $43.82 for the second-biggest gain among the 30 Dow stocks. The company's movie "Marvel's The Avengers" had record ticket sales of $200.3 million in the U.S. and Canada its opening weekend, topping the performance last year of Time Warner's (TWX) “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." Disney reports fiscal-second-quarter earnings after Tuesday's close.

Georgia Gulf (GGC) fell $2.28 to $31.98. Westlake Chemical (WLK) withdrew its unsolicited $1.2 billion bid to buy North America's largest maker of vinyl construction products after the sweetened offer was rejected as too low.

Tyson Foods (TSN) was the second-best S&P 500 performer, up 59 cents to $18.63. The largest U.S. meat processor reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates and said it will boost stock buybacks by 35 million shares.

Bank of America (BAC) was the Dow leader, up 22 cents to $7.96. Twelve of the 30 stocks in the index were higher. The laggard was Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), down 40 cents to $23.87.

A total of 241 S&P 500 stocks were higher, led by solar-panel maker First Solar (FSLR), up 73 cents to $17.67. The laggards were Cognizant Technologies and Frontier Communications (FTR), down 28 cents to $3.61.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Seagate Technology (STX) were the Nasdaq-100 leaders. Cognizant and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (CMGR) were the laggards. Forty-one stocks in the index were higher.

Short hits from the markets -- New York close



Mon.

Fri.

Month chg.

YTD chg.
Treasury yields











13-week Treasury bill

0.0800%  0.070%

-11.11%  700.00%
5-year Treasury note 

0.782%  0.784%

-3.58%  -5.78%
10-year Treasury note

1.877%  1.880%

-1.98%  0.32%
30-year Treasury bond

3.067%  3.071%

-1.35%  6.16%
Currencies











U.S. Dollar Index

79.715  79.293  1.10%  -1.00%
British pound

1.6171  1.6158  -0.44%  4.08%
(in U.S. $)

          
U.S. $ in pounds

£0.618  £0.619  0.44%  -3.92%
Euro in dollars

$1.30  $1.30  -1.54%  0.67%
(in U.S. $)

          
U.S. $ in euros

€ 0.767  € 0.768  1.56%  -0.66%
U.S. $ in yen 

80.06  79.76  0.08%   3.84%
U.S. $ in Chinese

6.32  6.31  0.28%  -0.12%
yuan

            
Canada dollar

$1.006  $1.005  -0.69%  2.57%
(in U.S. $)

          
U.S. dollar 

$0.994  $0.995  0.70%  -2.52%
(in Canadian $)











Commodities

 

 

 

 
Gold (-GC)

$1,639.10

$1,645.20

-1.51%

4.61%
(per troy ounce)











Copper (-HG)

$3.774

$3.721

-1.46%

9.82%
(per pound)











Silver (-SI)

$30.1220

$30.4320

-2.88%

7.91%
(per troy ounce)











Wheat (-ZW)

$6.1200

$6.0950

-6.49%

-6.24%
(per bushel)











Corn (-ZC)

$6.2000

$6.203

-2.25%

-4.10%
(per bushel)











Cotton 

$0.8667

0.8799

-3.05%

-5.46%
(per pound)











Coffee

$1.7520

1.746

-2.42%

-23.71%
(per pound)











Crude oil (-CL)

$97.14

$98.49

-7.37%

-1.71%
(per barrel)










 

69Comments
May 7, 2012 5:04PM
avatar
And LOE, wasn't the entire "Stimulus" nothing more than the Democrat special interest payback bill?  It didn't create a single new job..  

It left us with crippling debt, no new jobs, 29 Czars, General Motors, and big donor bail outs...
Obama sold the middle class down the river...
May 7, 2012 2:24PM
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So let's see...the barrel price of gas has DROPPED about $10 in a week and according to the analysts it takes about 4 weeks to see the drop at the pump but let's be real about this...if it Jumped $10 in a week it is immediately felt at the pump(not 4 weeks later).  So how about Congress or whoever is in charge of this do an investigation as to why the pricing is so lop sided to the consumer.  Why are we wasting so much time & energy on Roger Clemons steriod use & not addressing the more important issues that affect an entire nation???
May 7, 2012 5:14PM
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FOR ALL THOSE OBAMA LOVERS HERE YOU GO:

 

Hello America, Obama here. Its time for what Democrats do best - SPENDING YOUR MONEY. The first thing I'm gonna do is shovel over hundreds of billions to bailout BIG GOVERNMENT. Too many criminal SANCTUARY STATES and SANCTUARY CITIES are broke and need your money. The honest, law abiding governments don't need bailing out. You see, all these ILLEGALS are really expensive and lazy union government workers can't be laid off. Who ever heard of government laying people off or cutting spending? We just raise your taxes more and borrow more money. Let's see now. Us government workers only have to work for about
25 years and get paid holidays like Martin Luther Kings Birthday, Washington's Birthday, and Columbus Day. And in Chicago, government workers get the day off for Casimir Pulaski Day. I bet you people in private industry don't get those ones. But you gotta pay for it. There are TWO CLASSES in the United States, those with generous pensions, and those who have to pay for them. US government workers don't get laid off, instead we get generous raises and vacation packages the rest of you can only dream of. Then we retire and get big pensions before we are 50, just like the United Auto Workers you just paid to bail out. You people in private industry have to worry about layoffs, social security, health insurance, and your 401K's. And don't forget about us politicians importing more foreigners to drive your wages down and
steal your jobs. Then you're going to have to work your **** off until you're 75 to pay for us. We already spent all your Social Security money, so don't expect any of that. I'm sure glad I'm a government worker and get three different pensions. That would really suck working in the private sector. You people are getting robbed. Well, too bad for you. You voted for us. Raises and bonuses for every one in D.C.!

May 7, 2012 5:14PM
avatar

I don't care what the heck the stock market is doing. Henry Winkler is telling me that I can get a reverse mortgage and everything will be just fine.

 

Or is that all just a Fonzi scheme?...

May 7, 2012 2:02PM
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"Stocks hold steady despite European elections, Market Manipulators Exhausted from keeping the Dow above 13k"
May 7, 2012 3:06PM
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New leftist governments in Greece and France may start a trend that flows though the continent. The debt based economy that was created with the euro does not work as well as the debt based economy the U.S. has.

 

In the Euro-zone the debt is held and the debt controlled outside the control of the sovereign governments of its various member states. Therefore the governments of the various countries have had to align themselves with the ECB and against their constituents.

 

In the U.S. the fed stands behind the government and as long as the politicians can sell the idea to the people that a currency that is constantly loosing value is a good thing it will continue.

May 7, 2012 2:30PM
avatar

Investors shrugged off nothing, Europeans are dumping the euro before it ceases to function as a currency, and they're running to the U.S. as fast as they can.

 

They react like lemmings to the sea not seeing that the U.S. is bad shape with its debt too.

 

May 7, 2012 4:16PM
avatar

DREAM ON SOCIALISTS......................OR SOCIO-PATHS...................

 

Greece became socialist in 1967

and got the results of socialism in 2011

 

France has elected a socialist

France will become the new Greece

 

ALL THAT WHILE OBAMA IS WORKING ON IT........US BECOMING SOCIALIST

May 7, 2012 4:42PM
avatar
LOE, Obama didn't like any of the Republicans job ideas.  They didn't have new SPENDING for him.  So he opposed all their bills.  

It takes two to reach a deal.  This November we will rid ourselves of '57 States' and enough of democrats in the Senate to perhaps get something done.  If Enough democrats are fired at every level, perhaps the country can get working again.  We tried Obama's FAILED ideas, they just made things far worse, and built up 6 trillion in debt doing it.

How is that Hope and Change working out for you?  Or are you fan of Obama's new "Forward" Marxist campaign slogan of old?  At least he showing his true colors...
May 7, 2012 2:14PM
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These new politicians have not done anything - wait and see, if they are ready to destroy their country similar to our big O...

May 7, 2012 6:00PM
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Fire the whole lying Republican Party in 2012!
We don't have a problem replacing Republicans. The Leftie Dems. have always supported and re-elected the worst of the worst.... Slick Lickit Willey , Backdoor Barney, Pitiful Pelosi, Scary Harry, etc. Clean your own house then talk.

The first comment is stupid and Amen to the last comment.

May 7, 2012 4:52PM
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ONE REASON WHY WE CAN'T FIX STUPID: READ THIS FROM THE No. 1 STUPID:

most Americans should embrace socialism their lives will improve. two months paid vacation. a livable wage with time off to enjoy life. So what if the governments run deficits. Here in the US we get none of the benefits and our deficits are like 10 times more than EU deficits all added together. The only ones who will hurt are the one percenters. I say let them suffer for a change. Give me the nice 9 to 3 job with a 2 hour lunch at $200,000 a year with no boss that will fire me because the work doesn't get done. Paid health care, two months of paid vacations, free day care for the kids. Damn those socialists know how to live like the rich and make the rich pay for it.
Stupid like this shouldn't live in the US....oh sorry! it would include the tenants of the WH.
May 7, 2012 4:36PM
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Endeavor, Unions have been doing that for decades, under the guise of it being non-political...


May 7, 2012 3:00PM
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Did jones73......Have a heart attack and fall forward on the key board, dead ???Confused

 

May 7, 2012 2:11PM
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"Stocks hold steady despite European elections."

Subhead "Online editor didn't look at or understand activity graph, stocks were hit hard in AM selling and are struggling"

May 7, 2012 3:23PM
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Miss Lilly told me these forums were not good for my blood pressure...poor Jonesy...
May 7, 2012 4:37PM
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Just--- Most Americans have too many morals and too much integrity, to become part of a system that involves stealing from others for your freebies..
Fortunately for mhe leftys they are not burdened with those two things.

May 7, 2012 2:10PM
avatar

What a bunch of BS.

 

Investors shrugged of the bad news......

 

BLA...BLA ...BLA

 

I' like to smoke the same as these guys are....

 

on second thought, maybe not.....LOL

May 7, 2012 4:32PM
avatar
 I hunt deer in the fall. Last year I shot a buck quartering away from me cleanly thru his heart. He ran over 70 yards with out a single heart beat. Thats what the Euro is doing right now. It has a brain in German financial institutions. The rest of it is toast! These countries all had the best intention when they started out. Some where a long the line they never thought to watch for the hunter who took the shot.
May 7, 2012 3:36PM
avatar
I tried to post earlier and gave up. Poor Jones73 didn't relent when msn said no you don't!  Wonder how long he had his finger on the trigger?  :)  Could he have been Jonesed out?
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