Stocks fade in late afternoon trading

Facebook sags as controversy swirls around its IPO. The Dow gives up a 71-point gain after a former prime minister warns Greece may quit the euro. A decent existing-home sales report boosts Home Depot. Crude oil and gold move lower again.

By Charley Blaine May 22, 2012 1:33PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 7:03 p.m. ET.

The stocks tried -- but failed -- to finish higher for a second day in a row for the first time since the end of April.

In fact, a 71-point gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) faded to a small loss. The cause apparently was a comment by former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos that the his country is considering leaving the euro.

At the same time, Facebook (FB) shares fell $2.91 to $31.12 as the Facebook IPO debacle continues. The stock was off 23 cents to $30.76 after hours. The stock has now dropped 18% from $38 -- where it was originally priced after Thursday's close. The shares have been battered by problems Friday in getting trades executed and reports Monday and today that analysts at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs had cut their earnings estimates on the stock before the stock was actually priced.

The market briefly gained some traction from the April existing-home sales report, which showed sales rising 3.4% from March on a seasonally adjusted basis and 10% from a year ago. The report also showed that distressed sales -- foreclosures or short sales -- were starting to drop. And some markets were tightening, including Washington, D.C.; Naples, Fla.; Orange County, Calif.; and Seattle. 

The Dow closed down 2 points to 12,503. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was up 1 point to 1,317. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) dropped 8 points to 2,839.

The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX), heavily influenced by Apple (AAPL), dropped 6 points to 2,539. Apple was off $4.31 to $556.97 after hitting as high as $573.88. The shares are up 4.7% this week, although they're still down 4.9% for the month.

The Greek situation injected itself into U.S. trading on Papademos' comment that the country had no choice but to stick with a painful austerity program or face a damaging exit from the euro zone. The risk, he said, was unlikely to materialize but still was real.

European finance officials are to meet Tuesday after the Greek situation, but investors have no hope that a decision that inspires confidence will emerge.

Energy prices -- New York close



Month chg.

YTD chg.
Crude oil (-CL)

$91.66     $92.57     -12.60%     -7.25%
(per barrel)

Heating oil (-HO)

$2.8614     $2.8603     -10.14%     -1.81%
(per gallon)

Natural gas (-NG)

$2.7070     $2.6090     18.47%     -9.43%
(per mil. BTU)

Unleaded gasoline (-RB)

$2.9370     $2.9401     -6.00%     10.52%
(per gallon)

Brent crude 

$108.20     $108.81     -9.49%      0.76%
(per barrel)

Retail gasoline

$3.6800     $3.6890     -3.56%     12.33%
(per gallon; AAA)

A difficult Wednesday ahead?
Wednesday's market may be pressured by the Greek issue, Facebook's problems as well as weakness in technology generally.

To give it a specific name, we mean Dell (DELL). Shares of the personal-computer maker were down 10.5% after hours to $13.49 after earnings and revenue for the fiscal first quarter missed Street estimates and guidance was weak. The shares had closed up 11 cents to $15.08 in regular regular trading.

The company earned 43 cents after one-time charges and gains, 3 cents below the Street consensus of 46 cents and 55 cents a year ago. Revenue was $14.4 billion, down 4% from a year ago and about $700 million below the Street estimate of $14.91 billion.

The company said large enterprise business was off 3.3%, with public-sector revenue doew

The company projected a 2%-to-4% from 1st quarter levels, which would mean $14.7 million to $15 billion, compared a year ago's $15.66 billion.

On its analyst call, the Dell said notebook sales were off 10% from a year ago because of tablets being substituted for notebooks. While consumers opting for tablets more then businesses, the business share is growing. Dell also cited competition in Asia and April was especially weak.

"Clearly we are seeing a bit more challenging demand environment," Dell Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden told Reuters. "Europe, in general, was down for us."

Should the Facebook IPO been pulled?
A senior Nasdaq official told customers this afternoon that it would have pulled the plug on Facebook IPO had it known the full extent of the technical problems that plagued its systems.

On a conference call after today's close, Eric Noll, Nasdaq OMX Group's (NDAQ) head of transaction services, conceded the stock exchange did not understand the severity of problems that led to a half-hour delay in the first Facebook trades. Many investors in the dark about the status of their orders for more than two hours.

One big issue was that many investors were allotted more shares than they wanted and tried to sell them immediately, flooding the Nasdaq system with shares.

Nasdaq said it can't promise customers they will be compensated for losses due to its IPO system failures.

At the same time, analysts for at least two of Facebook lead underwriters revised their financial forecasts for the company while it was holding IPO roadshow meetings with investors, according to people close to the deal.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs updated their financial projections for the social network after the company added warnings to its initial-public-offering prospectus about how its user base is increasing more rapidly than the number of ads it delivers.

That trend was blamed in part on the increasing use of Facebook by users using smart phones. Facebook traditionally hasn't shown ads to smart-phone users. 

Although the exact date of the analyst revisions wasn't clear, sources told The Wall Street Journal said the changes came soon after Facebook updated its prospectus on May 9, about a week before the offering priced.

Analysts for at least two of Facebook Inc.'s lead underwriters revised their financial forecasts for the company while it was holding IPO roadshow meetings with investors, according to people close to the deal.

Ford is back to investment grade with Moody's
Ford Motor (F) was up 15 cents to $10.34 after hours after Moody's Investors Service raised its rating on the company to Baa3 from Ba2. Fitch Ratings boosted Ford to investment grade last month.

The Moody's upgrade means Ford can now reclaim the collateral underpinning $23.5 billion in loans that Ford took in 2006 to fund its turnaround.

Financial stocks lead the market
Utility and financial stocks were the market leaders. Materials, telecommunications and technology stocks were among the laggards.

Fifteen of the 30 Dow stocks were higher, along with 273 S&P 500 stocks and 50 stocks in the Nasdaq-100 Index.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM), up $1.50 to $34.01, and Bank of America (BAC), up 22 cents to $7.05, were the leaders among the 30 Dow stocks, followed by Home Depot (HD), which benefited from the existing-home sales report. Home Depot rival Lowe's (LOW) was initially higher but closed down 11 cents to $25.49.

Urban Outfitters (URBN) and JPMorgan Chase were the S&P 500 leaders, with Netflix (NFLX) and dialysis-services company DaVita (DVA) the laggards.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) led the Nasdaq-100, followed by Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) and Vodaphone (VOD). Netflix and Seagate Technologies (STX) were the laggards.

Crude oil and gold drop again

Crude oil (-CL) and gold (-GC) were lower -- partly a reaction to the continuing rise of the dollar against the euro. Crude oil in New York was down 91 cents to $91.66, its lowest close since Oct. 26. Brent crude, the benchmark North Sea crude, was down 23 cents to $108.58.

The national retail price of gasoline was at $3.68, down from Monday's $3.689. That's down 25.6 cents since peaking at $3.936 in early April.

Gold, meanwhile, settled down $12.10 to $1,576.60 an ounce. Gold is down 5% this month and up just 0.6% for the year. It's down 16.7% since peaking at $1,891.90 in August.

Silver (-SI) was off 14.2 cents to $28.18 an ounce. Copper (-HG) settled down 1.5 cents to $3.487 a pound.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.793% from Monday's 1.735%.

Short hits from the markets -- New York close



Month chg.

YTD chg.
Treasury yields

13-week Treasury bill

0.0800%     0.070%     -11.11%     700.00%
5-year Treasury note 

0.770%     0.741%     -5.06%     -7.23%
10-year Treasury note

1.793%     1.735%     -6.37%     -4.17%
30-year Treasury bond

2.892%     2.794%     -6.98%     0.10%

U.S. Dollar Index

81.648     81.232     3.55%     1.40%
British pound

1.5758     1.5828     -2.98%     1.42%
(in U.S. $)

U.S. $ in pounds

£0.635     £0.632     3.07%     -1.40%
Euro in dollars

$1.27     $1.28     -4.31%     -2.17%
(in U.S. $)


U.S. $ in euros

€ 0.789     € 0.781     4.50%     2.22%
U.S. $ in yen 

80.06      79.30     0.08%     3.84%
U.S. $ in Chinese

6.34     6.32     0.63%     0.23%

Canada dollar

$0.978     $0.983      -3.44%     -0.27%
(in U.S. $)

U.S. dollar 

$1.023     $1.017     3.57%     0.27%
(in Canadian $)


Gold (-GC)

$1,576.60     $1,588.70     -5.26%     0.63%
(per troy ounce)

Copper (-HG)

$3.4875     $3.502      -8.93%     1.50%
(per pound)

Silver (-SI)

$28.1790     $28.3210     -9.15%     0.95%
(per troy ounce)

Wheat (-ZW)

$6.8550     $7.0400      4.74%     5.02%
(per bushel)

Corn (-ZC)

$5.9700     $6.330     -5.87%     -7.66%
(per bushel)


$0.7452      0.7752     -16.64%     -18.72%
(per pound)


$1.7450     1.7515     -2.81%     -24.01%
(per pound)

Crude oil (-CL)

$91.66     $92.57      -12.60%     -7.25%
(per barrel)

May 22, 2012 2:49PM

Lets hear more bull from the media.

How is this change workin for ya


May 22, 2012 4:28PM

It's interesting to note that Gasoline prices take months to drop and then only a few tenths of a per cent as crude drops, but take quantum jumps up over night as crude rises.


Who's really getting screwed by this?  Not the oil companies or the retailers, not the Government with their taxes, but you and me. As soon as the election is over, the prices will go up, even higher than they are now, that's to make up for the loses incurred now.  


So who's really running the country? Not Washington, that's for sure.

May 22, 2012 3:05PM
If you really think the housing market is improving, just do an independent survey of all those people who have their houses on the market and see what they say.  Just another media hype in conjunction with NAR to give the appearance that all is well.  Have you ever spoken with a Realtor who actually told the truth?  Or actually said the market was lousy?  Nope...they always tell you how great things are and if your in the market to better hurry up and do it now before the market "soars".  All bullsh*t and just wait until the banks release the next wave of foreclosures...
May 22, 2012 2:41PM
housing market improving  has to be Bush's fault
May 22, 2012 3:55PM

WOW nice day at FRAUDSVILLE....


I said if yesterdays big pt gain didn't hold for 72 hours then Fraud Street was in full spin...and sure enough!

May 22, 2012 3:20PM

Quoted text:

The market gained some traction from the April existing-home sales report, which showed sales rising 3.4% from March on a seasonally adjusted basis and 10% from a year ago.


Who provided this report...David Copperfield!!!


Drive down any street & you will see houses for sale with a Realtor sign on them....How many others are in various stages of foreclosure that we don't yet know about?  Where is the traction this reporter is talking about?

May 22, 2012 2:41PM
remember back in the 70s when we were on odd even  gas days there was a huge oil shortage  when all of a sudden there was lots of  oil . but  everthing was plastic  and fiber glass  and steel companies  were going out of  business left and  right .  see how they  were manipulating  the  market  then  the government and the  market and big  money  were just starting to get there teeth into the  middle  class  been down  hill ever since . this take over of the  market  and our  retirements  has been  going on for a long  time they want  complete control of us   and are doing it  one day at a time 
May 22, 2012 3:48PM
Well, its over now, manipulators now in absolut control...Again people, fundamentals are not important in this market, news are mostly irrelevant, especially the decent ones...When these scumbags take over there is nothing anyone can do, they have been doing it on a daily basis for about 3 weeks now and once again today we will end down. What does this mean? That these pieces of excrement will once again stole tons of money while most hard working Americans lost it and like we always say, nothing will change as long as they know they can get away with it. We were up over 50 at 1500 hrs, coincidence? I think not.....Too bad.
May 22, 2012 4:03PM
Stocks rise on US house sales.  Well, they did not rise very much.  The manipulators of Wall Street are working hard again.
May 22, 2012 4:37PM

MAO must leave the What House in November

MAO is not Mao Tse Tong

it is

Michelle and Obama


Let go the inexperienced and the lady who hated America, we will be so much better off!!!!!!!!!!

May 22, 2012 4:01PM
Another whining socialist from Greece sinks the markets becasue the Greeks want the Germans to pay for their laziness and retirements. Jeery Brown's not from Greece is he?  Or well next year it's the US's turn to face the debt crisis. It was really fun stealing other people money from SSA and other trust funds to to give benefits to immigrants and fight relgious wars while it lasts. Guess what, it's all gone.
May 22, 2012 3:14PM

I bought a HUD repo home for less than 50% of appraised value (cash deal).  Now going to spend some more cash to fancy up the place.  Bankers didn't want to make a home loan .. so cash talks.  The trouble with the housing industry is that the lending institutions have lost their appetite for home loans and got piggy with speculation in the stock market .. and other scams.  I guess golden parachutes for the CEO's and other corporate executives beats a roof over the head of the average working American.  Sorry bankers .. don't look for another TARP from me .. you will have to use a cardboard box for a blanket, when you are sleeping on the city park bench, next time.  Or then again, you could pull some PUBLIC green backs out of the mattress (wheel barrow full) and see if I would sell you a carrot to eat.


May 22, 2012 4:53PM
So do I get this right, that the stock markets barfs because some old PM says that the Greeks may give up the Euro????  Boy, so does that mean if I said that someone might destroy the Dow Jones and have it rise in three days, would that mean that would be a massive sell off tomorrow!  My God, how stupid can these people at Wall Street be?  And I include the stupid investors in that group also!!!!!
May 22, 2012 3:27PM
This is why we advised caution early....At 1515 hrs manipulators called to accelerate the selling and down we go....A combination of low volume and these scumbags cheating and stealing is always lethal...All we can do now is to try to minimize the damage....More after the close.
May 22, 2012 3:16PM
please tell the stock market  a  card board box is not a house

U.S. stocks gained after a better-than-expected housing data report and positive chatter about a coming European Union meeting outweighed a lowered euro-zone growth outlook and a credit downgrade of Japan"


Hmmm --- let's see Europe as a failed economic system and is crashing and burning plus Japan merely printing more and more fake monies to bail out their failed economic system and the US in deeper economic debt than those two failed states is over shadowed by a couple of houses that would have gone into forecloser are being brought by Fannie Mae and leased back to the people who were going into foreclosure for more money than their mortgage note was is a good thing.


What is going to happen when those people can not pay their new higher lease notes??


Yep everything is going to be just fine as long as Buzz Bernanke "prints monies to infinity and beyond".


Bernanke better brush up on aleph numbers he is going to need them to pass infinite money

May 22, 2012 4:21PM

To loaddrive 1


So all the crooks on Wall Street are Jewish?  Ignorant Douche Bag!

May 22, 2012 4:03PM
I can´t see Greece waiting for its new elections and keeping the bank run under control until June 17th... If they are forced to call a bank holiday, that would be their exit from the euro, they would reopen already with a new currency.
May 22, 2012 3:22PM
Down over 500.......and up 15..........interesting........NOT!................. .NO more OBAMA in 2012!
May 22, 2012 4:47PM

F**K Greece - It has nothing to do with Greece nor the so called world economy. It is totally of the money, by the money and for the money and these parasites don't give a s**t about who they f**k, what method they use, where it comes from or how  they get it. Time to lock & load people - we have met the enemy and they are us!

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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session with slim gains after showing some intraday volatility in reaction to the release of the latest policy directive from the Federal Open Market Committee. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, while the relative strength among small caps sent the Russell 2000 higher by 0.3%.

Equities spent the first half of the session near their flat lines as participants stuck to the sidelines ahead of the FOMC statement, which conveyed no changes to the ... More


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