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Beyond the Number

Bargain Hunters May Step in Even as Fed Meeting Instills Caution
7/28/2015 8:42 AM

The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a higher opening on Tuesday, with sentiment reflecting moderate strength as bargain hunters step in. The mood across the Atlantic is positive, as strong second quarter U.K. GDP data triggered strong buying. The industrial space may see weakness following DuPont’s weak guidance. However, Merck and Pfizer reported strong results and issued upbeat guidance. The domestic markets may also focus on consumer confidence and service sector readings, due shortly after the markets open. That said, underlying mood is likely to be cautious ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC announcement.

U.S. stocks succumbed to weakness generated by the global equity market rout on Monday, extending their losses for the fifth straight session. The major averages opened lower and fell further in early trading. Although the averages trimmed some of their losses over the course of the morning, they pulled back over the remainder of the session. The averages ended notably lower on the day.

The Dow Industrials ended down 127.94 points or 0.73 percent at a nearly six-month closing low of 17,441, the S&P 500 Index closed 12.01 points or 0.58 percent lower at a 3-week low of 2,068 and the Nasdaq Composite ended at 5,039, down 48.85 points or 0.96 percent.

Twenty-five of the thirty Dow components ended the session lower, with Boeing (BA) and Chevron (CVX) leading the declines. On the other hand, Intel (INTC) rose notably.

Among the sectors, airline and gold stocks plunged, and biotechnology, basic material, energy and brokerage stocks also came under selling pressure. Meanwhile, utility stocks gained ground.

On the economic front, the Commerce Department reported that durable goods orders rose a better than expected 3.4 percent month-over-month in June, ahead of the expected 3.1 percent growth. Much of the upside was due to civilian aircraft orders. Excluding transportation, orders were up 0.8 percent compared to the 0.5 percent growth expected by economists.

Non-defense capital goods orders, excluding aircrafts and parts, were up 0.9 percent, while shipments of this category of goods, which are used for GDP calculations, slipped 0.1 percent.

Currency, Commodity Markets

Crude oil futures are slipping $0.05 to $47.34 a barrel after sliding $0.75 to a 4-month low of $47.39 a barrel a barrel on Monday, when oil fell for a fifth straight session. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is currently trading at $1,092.90, down $3.50 from the previous session’s close of $1,096.40. On Monday, gold rose $10.90

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 123.76 yen compared to the 123.25 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1029 compared to yesterday’s $1.1088.

Asia

Most Asian markets retreated, as the volatility in the Chinese market and the imminent Fed announcement rendered the mood nervous. The Indonesian, Chinese and Singaporean markets retreated sharply, while the Hong Kong market advanced notably. The South Korean market ended little changed and the Taiwanese market rose modestly.

The Japanese market ended slightly lower but well off the lows of the session. The Nikkei 225 Index opened lower and moved sideways in the morning. However, the average cut its losses in the afternoon and moved back and forth across the unchanged line in a narrow range before ending down 21.21 points or 0.10 percent at 20,329.

Housing, real estate, retail, chemical, mining, heavy machinery and pharma stocks retreated. At the same time, construction, food, paper, utility and textile stocks moved to the upside, while financial and export stocks ended mixed.

Australia’s All Ordinaries Index, which was sharply lower in the morning, ended 8.20 points or 0.15 percent lower at 5,571. IT, consumer, industrial, material and real estate stocks were among the worst performers of the session even as utility and healthcare stocks advanced.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed at 3,663, down 62.56 points or 1.68 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rallied 151.98 points or 0.62 percent before ending at 24,504.

Europe

European stocks are rebounding from their recent declines, with the focus shifting to some domestic earnings and the ongoing negotiations between Greece and its creditors. Greece is seeking to have a bailout deal by August 20th, when a 3.2 billion euro repayment is due to the European Central Bank. With the release of the U.K. GDP report, the averages rose notably higher and is moving roughly sideways by the mid-session.

In corporate news, BP (BP) reported a loss for its second quarter, hurt by lower prices and litigation settlement charges. However, Statoil reported better than expected second quarter earnings despite lower oil prices.

French telecom company Orange reported better than expected second quarter revenues, while its EBITDA was soft. The company maintained its full year earnings and dividend targets.

The U.K. Office for National Statistics reported that U.K. second quarter GDP rose a strong 0.7 percent sequentially.

U.S. Economic Reports

The two-day Federal Reserve meeting kicks off today, although the monetary policy announcement is not due until tomorrow.

S&P/Case-Shiller is due to release their house price index for May at 9 am ET. Economists expect house prices to have increased a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent month-over-month, the same rate of growth as in the previous month. Annually, house price growth is expected to accelerated to 5.6 percent from 4.9 percent.

Markit is set release the flash estimate of its U.S. service sector PMI at 9:45 am ET. The consensus estimate calls for the index to remain flat at 54.8.

At 10 am ET, the Conference Board is scheduled to release the results of its U.S. consumer confidence survey. Economists expect the consumer confidence index to slip to 99.6 in July from 101.4 in June.



The consumer confidence index climbed to 101.4 in June from 94.6 in May, while economists had expected a reading of 97.4. The expectations index rose 8.2 points to 94.6 on an improving outlook for jobs, and the present situation index increased 4.5 points to 111.6.

The Richmond Federal Reserve will release its regional manufacturing index for July at 10 am ET. Economists expect the index to rise to 7.5 in July from 6 in June.

Stocks in Focus

Baidu.com (BIDU) reported second quarter adjusted earnings that trailed estimates and issued weak guidance for the third quarter.

Owens & Minor (OMI) reported better than expected second quarter earnings and its revenues were in line. The company widened its 2015 earnings per share guidance by reducing the low end of its previous guidance range.

Crane’s (CR) second quarter adjusted earnings were in line, while its revenues were above estimates. However, the company lowered its full year adjusted earnings per share and sales growth guidance.

Amkor (AMKR) reported second quarter earnings and revenues that declined year-over-year. The revenues trailed expectations. The company’s third quarter guidance was weak.

Hartford Financial (HIG) reported better than expected second quarter core earnings, while its revenues were slightly shy of estimates.

Rent-A-Center (RCII) said its second quarter earnings and revenues trumped estimates. The company issued full year earnings per share guidance that was in line.

Waste Connections (WCN) reported in line second quarter earnings and better than expected revenues. The company’s 2015 revenue guidance was in line.

Swift Transportation (SWFT) reported in line second quarter adjusted earnings but below-consensus revenues. The company reaffirmed its 2015 adjusted earnings per share guidance.

DuPont (DD) reported in line second quarter earnings but lowered its full year guidance and dividend.

Merck (MRK) reported better than expected second quarter earnings and raised its full year non-GAAP earnings per share guidance.

Pfizer (PFE) also raised its full year outlook after reporting better than expected second quarter results.

Allergan (AGN) and KYTHERA Biopharma announced that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 with respect to the former’s acquisition of the latter.

Honeywell (HON) announced an agreement to buy the Elster Division of thermal gas solutions provider Melrose Industries for $5.1 billion. Honeywell said the dilutory impact of the deal on its 2016 earnings per share is minor and that there is no change to its 2015 full year guidance.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM), Anadarko Petroleum (APC), Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG), Big 5 Sports (BGFV), C.H. Robinson (CHRW), Citrix Systems (CTXS), Edward Lifesciences (EW), Express Scripts (ESRX), Gilead Sciences (GILD), InterActive Corp. (IACI), Panera Bread (PNRA), Kimco Realty (KIM), RenaissanceRe (RNR), Stanley Furniture (STLY), Twitter (TWTR), U.S. Steel (X) and Yelp (YELP) are among the companies due to release their quarterly results after the close of trading.
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