Market Breadth: This is real selling – will it last?
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in negative territory, extending yesterday’s slide, and have remained there throughout the morning. The Dow is down about 1%, though that decline is less than either the S&P 500 or Nasdaq have experienced. The blue chip index is being weighed on by a post-earnings slide in shares of Wal-Mart (WMT), but that decline has been somewhat offset by the advance of fellow component Cisco (CSCO) after its own strong report.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial claims fell to a new cycle-low 297K in the second week of May, which was below the expectation for 315K initial claims. The Consumer Price Index rose 0.3% in April compared to the prior month, as expected. The NY Fed’s Empire State survey has a reading of 19.01, which was a four-year high and well above the forecast for a reading of 5.0. Industrial production fell 0.6% in April, which was worse than the expected decline of 0.1%. Capacity utilization fell to 78.6% in the month, which was also worse than expected. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve index fell to 15.4 in May from its prior reading of 16.6, which was a smaller decline than anticipated. The NAHB housing market index fell to 45 in May, undershooting the consensus estimate of 48.
COMPANY NEWS: Two blue chip names were moving in different directions following their earnings reports, as tech giant Cisco lead all advancers on the Dow and the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, was the laggard on the index. Cisco shares gained almost 7% near noon after the company’s Q3 results beat expectations and analysts at Cantor called the company’s tone on its conference call “the most upbeat in over a year.” Conversely, Wal-Mart fell 2.5% at midday after the company’s earnings for the just ended quarter and its guidance for current quarter profits both trailed analysts’ consensus forecast… General Motors (GM) shares are down nearly 3% after the company announced five new safety recalls covering about 2.7M vehicles in the United States.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Gentiva Health (GTIV), which jumped 61% and was upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James after Kindred Healthcare (KND) made public its proposal to acquire Gentiva for a combination of $7.00 per share in cash and $7.00 of Kindred common stock. Shares of Kindred, which said that Gentiva has not been willing to discuss a transaction, also rose 6% after the announcement. Among the noteworthy losers was NetQin Mobile (NQ), which plunged 25% after the Chinese company, which has previously been accused of fraud by short-seller Muddy Waters, said it was unable to file its annual report on time because it needs additional time to complete it. Also lower was Acxiom (ACXM), which dropped 22% after the company gave a lower than expected FY15 outlook and announced a deal to acquire LiveRamp for $310M in cash..