Thursday, October 25, 2012

U.S. stock languish on weak earnings – AONE, PFE, GILD, MNST, SHE

It was a dull day in the stock markets as weak earnings coupled with the U.S. Fed Reserve keeping to its current course kept sentiments low.

U.S. stock ended lower for the second straight day on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) closed down 25.19 points, or 0.19 percent, at 13,077.34 The S&P 500(INDEXSP:.INX) fell 4.36 points, or 0.31 percent, at 1,408.75. The NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC)  slipped 8.77 points, or 0.29 percent, at 2,981.70.

The currency market did not have mc to cheer about either.

Unexpectedly weak German data saw the euro fall against the dollar and yen.

But the euro's declines were limited after Greece's finance minister said Athens had been given additional time by international lenders to impose its austerity cuts.

The euro hit a session low of $1.2918, the lowest in a week, before paring losses to last trade at $1.2972, down 0.1 percent for the day.

On the earnings side it was all rather bleak, with many companies issuing weaker outlooks for the current quarter.

Of the 161 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far, 60 percent have beaten analysts' estimates, a rate that is down from about 67 percent the past four quarters.

Earnings are expected to decline 2.2 percent compared with the year-ago quarter.

On the macro side the U.S. Fed said that it would keep interest rates near zero until mid-2015 and pledged to continue to support growth while the economy recovers.

It also proposed no changes to its $40 billion bond buying program of mortgage-backed debt to keep interest rates low and spur recovery.

A123 Systems, Inc.(NASDAQ:AONE) extended its downtrend in Wednesday’s session as well and slumped 33.33% to $0.108. The stock fell about 80% in one day last after filling for bankruptcy. However, in the next few sessions, the stock recovered about 280% on the news that the company automotive division was bought by Johnson Controls Inc.

Pharma sector done well with Pfizer Inc.(NYSE:PFE) rose 0.50% to $25.30. Gilead Sciences, Inc.(NASDAQ:GILD) soared 5.30% after Revenue rose more than 14 percent to $2.43 billion thanks mainly to sales of Atripla, Truvada and Viread. Net income fell to $675 million which works out to 85 cents a share compared to $741 million or 95 cents a share earned in the same period last year.

Monster Beverage Corp(NASDAQ:MNST) recovered 17% after the company defended the safety of its products. Investors fled the company earlier in the week on news that the Food and Drug Administration was investigating reports that five people died after drinking the company's caffeine-packed drinks.

Spartech Corporation(NYSE:SHE) spiked up 63% PolyOne Corp. reached an agreement to acquire the company for roughly $251 million in cash and stock as it looks to expand its specialty portfolio. PolyOne said it will pay $8 a Spartech share, a 56% premium 

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