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July 29, 2009 -- 16:30 ET Dow -26.00 at 9070.72, Nasdaq -7.75 at 1967.76, S&P -4.47 at 975.15:
Moving the Market:
Consolidation efforts continue, but health care garners support. June durable goods orders data drop more than expected, but orders less autos make marked increase. Auction results from $39 billion auction of 5-year Treasury Notes disappoint. Fed's Beige Book suggests economic decline is moderating, but weakness persists.
health care distributors; life science tools; insurance brokers; health care services; airlines; footwear; integrated telecom
diversified metals and mining; wireless services; oil and gas drillers; managed health care; steel; multisector holdings; autoparts and equipment; health care facilities; construction materials
07/29/09 16:30 ET Dow -26.00 at 9070.72, Nasdaq -7.75 at 1967.76, S&P -4.47 at 975.15:
[BRIEFING.COM] For the second straight session health care stocks traded with strength while the broader market fell in range-bound trade.
Health care stocks outperformed the broader market for the entire session. They primarily benefited from strength in health care distributors (+4.9%), which followed better-than-expected earnings and an increased outlook from McKesson (MCK 52.01, +4.18).
However, the health care sector's strength was undercut by losses among managed care providers (-3.8%), which followed a disappointing report from WellPoint (WLP 51.28, -3.10). WellPoint topped the consensus earnings estimate, but fell short with its benefit expense ratio, decreased operational earnings guidance, and increased cost trend forecast.
Still, the health care sector netted a modest 0.3% gain. Telecom (+0.8%) and consumer staples stocks (+0.4%) were the only other major sectors in the S&P 500 to log gains.
Yahoo! (YHOO 15.14, -2.08) made headlines this morning by finally signing a deal to pair parts of its Internet search service with names Microsoft (MSFT 23.80, +0.33). Though the announcement didn't have much impact on the broader market, shares of YHOO were among the most actively traded names by volume this session. However, they were also one of the sharpest decliners by percent.
Market participants were also largely unimpressed by news that durable goods orders for June made their worst drop since January by falling 2.5%, which was worse than expected. Meanwhile, orders less autos made a surprisingly strong increase of 1.1%. That was better than expected and made for the first back-to-back increase since March and April of 2008.
Stocks and Treasuries fell to session lows following a disappointing auction of $39 billion worth of 5-year Treasury Notes. The auction saw a high yield of almost 2.69% and a bid-to-cover ratio of 1.9. The benchmark 10-year Note responded by turning surrendering its gains and sending its yield roughly 10 basis points higher to 3.73%. It did recover, though, to finish 5 ticks into the green with a yield of 3.67%. Stocks were also able to recover, though they failed to make their way into positive territory. Still, the S&P 500 more than halved its losses in the final hour of the session.
The latest version of the Fed's Beige Book was released this afternoon. It told of moderated economic decline, albeit at a low level, but an underlying message is that the market is getting ahead of itself with its recovery trade.
With that in mind, it seemed justifiable for traders to move in concerted fashion against commodities. The CRB Commodity Index sank 2.7% in its worst single-session performance in three months as crude oil prices dropped 5.8% to settle at $63.35 per barrel and gold prices fell 1.3% to $927.20 per ounce. Crude prices were hit doubly by an unexpected inventory build and a stronger U.S. dollar -- the greenback made its best move in more than one month as it gained 0.9% against a basket of major foreign currencies.
Weakness in oil prices and other commodities prices weighed heavily on energy and materials stocks. Energy shed 2.1%, unable to benefit from a batch of better-than-expected earnings from ConocoPhillips (COP 42.86, -1.57) and Hess (HES 51.72, -1.85).
Meanwhile, the materials sector fell 2.1% with steel stocks showing some of the most weakness after Arcelor Mittal (MT 34.27, -2.3) and Nippon Steel posting ugly losses for the latest quarter.
Amid choppy trading and broad-based declines, the Volatility Index moved 2.4% higher in its third straight advance. It is up more than 10% week-to-date and at levels not seen for two weeks.
Nasdaq -7.75 at 1967.76... S&P Midcap 400 -0.7... NYSE Adv/Dec 1180/1834... Nasdaq Adv/Dec 988/1617.
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Weekly & Daily Stock Earnings Calendar:
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