Stocks Closed off their Lows on EU Summit Hopes
Published on Thursday, 28 June 2012 19:05 Written by Christopher Lynn
New York, June 28th (TradersHuddle.com) – Stocks fell, but off the lows of the session after speculation over short-term financial support to Italy and Spain helped drive a late comeback. German Chancellor Angela Merkel canceled the EU summit's press conference tonight, rising hopes that the European leaders are working on measures to tackle the region’s ongoing debt crisis.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 24.75 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 index lost 2.81 points, or 0.21%, while the NASDAQ slid 25.83 points, or 0.90%.
The market started in negative ground, as participants took a cautious stand ahead of the EU summit, as German unemployment disappointed, and U.S. economic data was lackluster. Banks around the world were under heavy pressure on concern over Barclay’s (NYSE: BCS) Libor manipulation settlement and as Citigroup cut its estimates of major banks.
On economic data, the weekly jobless claims declined from an upwardly revised 392,000 for the week ending June 16 to 386,000 for the week ending June 23, while the third revision for first quarter GDP was inline with expectations at 1.9%.
Downward pressure continued after the Supreme Court upheld the key mandate provision of Obamacare, by labeling the fee as a tax, and as growing skepticism over the potential results of the EU summit, coupled with Italian 5 and 10-year yields surging their highest level since December.
The stock market was down more than 1% in late afternoon trade, but a strong rally into the close came amid chatter that Italy and Spain could get some additional short-term financial support and speculation that the cancellation of the EU Summit press conference could mean a major development. At the lows of the session, technology was down more than 2%, while financials were down about 1%, both sectors recovered from the lows, helping the broad market cut its losses.
At the end of the session it was a mixed bag in the S&P 500. Technology, consumer discretionary, and healthcare posted the worst performance, while energy, consumer staples, and utilities logged the best performances.
Healthcare was in focus after the historic Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare. Hospital stocks and other Medicaid related stocks rallied on the day, with Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC) jumping more than 5% in the session, while managed care companies slumped. WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) tumbled 5%, logging the biggest percentage decline in the S&P 500 Index.
In tech land, F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) slumped 4.5% to $93.36 amid ongoing concerns over weakening demand. UBS said earlier in the week that Enterprise communications equipment demand weakened in second quarter and names like F5 are more vulnerable to either misses or guide down on revenues. On the flip side, Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) rallied 4.37%, while NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) added 0.76% after Lazard initiated coverage with a Neutral. Yesterday, Northland Securities initiated coverage with an Outperform and a target price of $16.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) slid 0.95% to $569.05 after the stock once again move below its 50day moving average. Apple continues to trade in a very tight range around its 50day. Wells Fargo resumed its coverage on the stock with Outperform. Earlier in the week, Apple scored a win in its patent war against Samsung, while Google unveiled a new iPad competitor, a new 7-inch tablet that will retail for $199.
Meanwhile, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) slumped 2.7% to $31.36 after participants dumped the stock amid renew worries over the slowing down of its advertising revenue and a day after the IPO quiet period expired, with the stock receiving mixed ratings.
Bank stocks fell amid the Barclay’s settlement news, Citi cutting its estimates and a report that speculated that JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) trading loss could be as high as $9 billion instead of the $2 billion figure it was initially disclosed. JPMorgan lost 2.45% to $35.88 as Citi cut its target price on the stock to $43 from $45. Rival Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) fell 0.39% to $7.74 after Citi slashed its target price to $8 from $9.
Elsewhere, Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO) tumbled 2.8% to $67.20 after the discount retailer missed earnings expectations on revenues that were inline with consensus. Also, Family Dollar issued inline fourth quarter earnings guidance, while it reaffirmed full year revenue guidance.
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