Energy, metals shares boost market; Dow rises 38
Crude oil tops $101, and gold and silver push higher. Netflix leads the Nasdaq. Rising costs hit shares of Polo Ralph Lauren and Costco. Whlle home prices fall, a government report says, Pittsburgh prices hold their own.
Updated: 8:15 p.m. ET
For a brief moment, stocks looked headed to a big late-day gain. But the buying flurry that pushed the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) up as many as 84 points around 3 p.m. ET faded in the last hour, and the major indexes ended with modest gains in a rally set off by rising commodity prices and energy and natural-resource stocks.
Seven of the top 10 performers in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) today are energy stocks, led by Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), up 7.1% to $57.25.
The S&P 500's laggards were consumer stocks, including Polo Ralph Lauren (RL), down 11.4% to $114.70.
The S&P 500 closed up 4 points to 1,320. It had been up 8 points just 15 minutes before the close. The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) were up 38 points to 12,395. The blue chips had been up as many as 84 points at 3:20 p.m. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) added 15 points to 2,761.
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Netflix (NFLX), up 4.8% to $259.47, was a big contributor to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. Netflix was the third-best S&P 500 gainer and top gainer among Nasdaq-100 ($NDX.X) stocks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company has been in discussions with Netflix on potential integration of social-networking tools. The Nasdaq-100 was up 14 points to 2,318.
A flat open on Thursday?
Futures trading suggests that U.S. stocks face a flat open on Thursday. Economic reports include a new estimate on first-quarter gross domestic product and the weekly report on jobless claims. Earnings are due from H.J. Heinz (HNZ), Tiffany (TIF) and the Toronto Dominion Bank (TD).
It's not clear how the market will react to Freescale Semiconductor's initial public offering, which generated less cash than expected. The company had hoped to raise more than $1 billion to pay down debt. It sold about 43.5 million shares at $18 a share, or about $783 million. The company had originally hoped to sell the shares for $22 to $24 each. Trading starts Thursday.
Meanwhile, Spirit Airlines, the US discount airline also preparing for an IPO, cut the size of its offering by 37% to 15.6 million shares and reduced its price range from $14 to $16 to $12 to $13. Pricing was expected late today.
Rising energy prices boost energy stocks
Energy stocks were higher because energy prices are higher, part of a continuing payoff from Goldman Sachs' prediction Tuesday that oil prices are headed higher.
At the same time, fertilizer maker CF Industries (CF), up 3% to $150.99, was the 13th-best S&P performer. Eastman Chemical (EMN) and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) , up 2.6% to $102.81 and 2.4% to $49.98, respectively, were among the top 25 S&P gainers today.
Crude oil (-CL) in New York settled up $1.73 to $101.32 a barrel. Brent crude, which many traders pay more attention to, settled up $2.40 to $114.93 a barrel. Goldman's oil outlook says Brent will hit $120 by the end of this year and $130 in 2012.
Silver (-SI) settled up $1.514 an ounce to $37.642, a gain of more than 4%. Gold (-GC), meanwhile, settled up $3.40 to $1,526.70 an ounce, its fourth straight gain and highest close since May 3. Copper (-HG) settled up 9.4 cents to $4.107 a pound.
The commodity gains, which included gains of at least 1% for wheat, corn, cotton, coffee and sugar, came as the dollar was lower for much of the day.
The greenback finished down slightly against the British pound but higher against the euro and the Japanese yen. The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was flat at 76.03. A falling dollar has tended to lift commodities.
Goldman's argument for higher oil and other commodities prices is that the global economic recovery is still on, and that demand for energy and raw materials will continue to be strong.
But some traders were saying today's commodity gains were the result of inflation fears.
Inflation is bothering a number of companies. Polo Ralph Lauren and Costco Wholesale (COST) cited costs as a big concern.
Costco was off 1.3% to $80.32. While the company reported a 6% increase in third-quarter earnings and said sales rose 16% to $20.19 billion, it also took a $49 million accounting charge related to rising prices.
Home prices fall back
The Federal Housing Finance Agency said today that home prices that it tracks were off 5.5% in the first quarter from a year ago, the biggest decline since the fourth quarter of 2008. Prices fell in 43 states.
Among the 25 largest metro areas, Atlanta saw the biggest price declines over the last year, 13.5%. Pittsburgh held up the best, with prices up 0.2%.
|Energy prices -- New York close|
|Wed.||Tues.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$101.32||$99.59||-11.07%||10.88%|
|Heating oil (-HO)||$2.9803||$2.9097||-9.02%||17.16%|
|Natural gas (-NG)||$4.379||$4.3450||-6.79%||-0.59%|
|(per mil. BTU)|
|Unleaded gasoline (-RB)||$3.0162||$2.9928||-12.95%||22.95%|
|(per gallon; AAA)|
Leaders and laggards
Apple (AAPL) was up 1.4% to $336.78 after Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland boosted his price target on the stock to $450 and boosted earnings estimates for fiscal 2011 and 2012. Sutherland sees $103.5 billion in revenue and earnings of $24.71 a share in fiscal 2011, which ends in August. That's up from a prior estimate of $102.9 billion and $24.30 per share. For 2012, he's looking for $124.6 billion in revenue and earnings of $28.50 a share.
Shares of American International Group (AIG) were off 4% to $28.28 after the insurance company and the U.S. Treasury priced an offering of 300 million of its common shares at $29 each, generating $8.7 billion in proceeds.
Shares of Applied Materials (AMAT) were up 1.1% to $13.86. The gain came even as the chip-equipment maker issued a disappointing outlook for the July quarter, guiding for a sequential decline of between 3% and 10% in sales.
Collective Brands (PSS) missed Wall Street’s estimates by a wide margin, sending shares down 16.7% to $15.31.
Shares of California Pizza Kitchen (CPKI) jumped 10.5% to $18.47 on a Wall Street Journal report that the casual-dining chain is selling itself to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for roughly $470 million. The company has been looking for a buyer since early 2010.
Toll Brothers (TOL) shares were up 1.8% to $20.63 after the luxury homebuilder narrowed its loss in the fiscal second quarter to 12 cents a share. The company reported a 3% increase in sales to $319.7 million. Analysts had forecast a loss of 4 cents a share on sales of $320.5 million. CEO Doug Yearly told CNBC he believed the company's business will turn around in 2012.
Material from the Street.com was used in this report.
|Short hits from the markets -- New York close|
|Wed.||Tues.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|13-week Treasury bill||0.050%||0.050%||25.00%||-58.33%|
|5-year Treasury note||1.766%||1.784%||-10.58%||-12.40%|
|10-year Treasury note||3.129%||3.123%||-5.07%||-5.33%|
|30-year Treasury bond||4.282%||4.259%||-2.81%||-1.83%|
|U.S. Dollar Index||76.030||76.023||4.00%||-4.11%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in pounds||£0.615||£0.618||2.59%||-4.10%|
|Euro in dollars||$1.405||$1.411||-5.17%||5.00%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in euros||€ 0.712||€ 0.709||5.45%||-4.76%|
|U.S. $ in yen||82.237||81.990||0.99%||1.07%|
|U.S. $ in Chinese||6.517||6.495||0.08%||-1.48%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|(in Canadian $)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$101.32||$101.32||-11.07%||10.88%|
Our economy is directly tied to the price of oil. Knowing this, Why doesnt our government make a stand to do something about it? Better yet, Why do we as a nation stand for it? Its still "We the People" right?
amazing one of the stories yesterday was a couple of companies decided they are going to raise the costs of there products, the biggest was coffee, not even twenty four hours after they claim raising prices all the sudden presto market manipulation.
or its the other goldman sachs says and so it shall be done. after all they're the ones running the show, to bad its entirely in their favor
As usual, paper stocks keep losing and commodities keep winning. High fuel and high food prices are great for the economy. Invest in commodities, the more expensive everything gets, the better. What's good for Wall Street, is good for Main Street! Let's all cheer and hope for $20.00 a gallon gas and a 100% mark up for all food items. Greed, selfishness, stupidity and destruction,.... it's the American way!
Let's hope housing prices go down another 50% too. It will be great for all Americans to buy cheap and affordable homes. What a deal!
Lastly, let's hope to see more jobs outsourced and more Americans homeless, then we'll know that unfettered and unregulated Capitalism is working just the way it was meant to work. All hail Wall Street, greed, banks, monopolies and corporate fascism! Bow to your masters!
The son-in-law interrupted. “I hate factories. I can’t stand the noise.” “I see.” replied the father-in-law, “Well, then you’ll work in the office and take charge of some of the operations.” “I hate office work,” said the son-in-law. “I can’t stand being stuck behind a desk.” “Wait a minute,” said the father-in-law. “I just made you half owner of a money-making industry, but you don’t like factories, and won’t work in an office. What am I going to do with you?” “Easy,” said the son-in-law. “Buy me out.”
Active, your politics on the wars is pretty close, but as usual your numbers a fuzzy.
Even with the last 2.4 years of Obama War spending and all of Gulf I tossed in the number does not get to 2 trillion. Sorry. So all the wars of Bush I & II and Mr. Obama combined have not come close to his deficit spending... Hell, Iraq is cheaper than his Stimulus spending of 860 Billion...
The wars contributed to the debt EXPLOSION, but most of it belongs squarely on Mr. Obama's shoulders... Afterall, in the face of falling revenues, he decided that massive spending was the answer. If we survive this economic mess, it will take a full decade and elimination of this notion that keynesian government spending is good for America. Nothing can be further from the truth...
watch the video.....it's funny!
Obama makes a royal toast mistake May 25: President Obama makes a little mistake during a royal banquet at Buckingham Palace, but Queen Elizabeth takes it in stride. And in other water cooler news, President Obama and British PM David Cameron lose at ping-pong to some teenagers.
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