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October 27, 2009 -- 16:25 ET
Moving the Market:
Earnings remain in focus, but results fail to inspire participants. Consumer Confidence Index for October disappoints. Results of 2-year Treasury auction prove better than average.
managed care; integrated oil and gas; consumer finance; environmental facilities; food distributors; integrated telecom; computers and electronics
casinos and gaming; steel; autoparts and equipment; apparel and accessories; apparel retailers; building products; consumer electronics; oil and gas refiners
10/27/09 16:25 ET Dow +14.21 at 9882.17, Nasdaq -25.76 at 2116.09, S&P -3.54 at 1063.41:
[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks struggled for the entire session to set forth on a clear path. That left the major indices to finish a bit mixed.
The Dow was able to net a modest gain as Exxon Mobil (XOM 74.91, +1.68) and Chevron (CVX 76.59, +1.14) shared in strength stemming from a better-than-expected earnings report from BP PLC (BP 57.82, +2.34). IBM (IBM 120.65, +0.54) also provided leadership to blue chips by announcing that it has authorized $5.0 billion for stock repurchases, which not only help improve earnings per share results by reducing the number of outstanding shares, but also sends a signal to investors that strong companies are now willing to fund buybacks, rather than stash cash into their coffers amid economic tumult.
Despite IBM's strength, many large-cap tech issues traded as laggards following downside guidance from Internet search engine Baidu.com (BIDU 383.66, -49.31). Collective weakness among large-cap tech caused the Nasdaq to underperform the other headline indices.
Shares of consumer discretionary stocks were among the worst performers this session, though. They dropped 1.7% as retailers recoiled following a disappointing Consumer Confidence Index reading of 47.7 for October. The consensus had called for a reading of 53.5. Even shares of Under Armour (UA 29.27, -3.82) slumped, despite better-than-expected quarterly earnings and a raised forecast.
Steel stocks also suffered. They dropped 5.8% amid ongoing concerns regarding demand from such players as US Steel (X 37.41, -3.17) and Schnitzer Steel (SCHN 47.38, -3.81), though both beat earnings expectations.
Energy stocks steadily outperformed the broader market for the entire session. The sector was helped along by a 1.6% gain by integrated oil stocks and a 1.0% increase in oil prices, which settled pit trade at $79.44 per barrel.
Oil's advance came in the face of a 0.2% gain by the U.S. dollar against a basket of foreign currencies. The Dollar Index has now advanced for four straight sessions.
Treasuries advanced solidly amid the mixed action among stocks. They were also helped along by a strong 3.6 bid-to-cover outcome for a $44 billion auction of 2-year Treasuries. That helped the benchmark 10-year Note climb nearly one full point and push its yield back below 3.5%.
Nasdaq -25.76 at 2116.09... S&P Midcap 400 -1.1... NYSE Adv/Dec 1053/1977... Nasdaq Adv/Dec 860/1802.
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Weekly & Daily Stock Earnings Calendar:
Verizon VZ 10/26 8am
Under Armour UA 10/27 8am
US Steel X 10/27 8am
Visa V 10/27 8am
Etrade ETFC 10/27 4pm
Level 3 Communications LVLT 10/28 4pm
Exxon Mobile XOM 10/29 8am
Motorola MOT 10/29 8am
Procter & Gamble PG 10/29 8am
Sprint S 10/29 8am
Cliffs Natural Resources CLF 10/29 4pm
NYSE Euronext 10/30 8am
Chevron CVX 10/30 8am
Cheasapeake Energy CHK 11/02 4pm
Alpha Natural Resources ANR 11/02 8am
James River Coal JRCC 11/02 8am
Mastercard MA 11/02 8am
STEC Inc STEC 11/02 4pm