Stocks Buck Mixed Data to Head Higher (INTC, JPM, CSTR, HAS, NANO)
Stocks had a nice day despite some mixed economic data. The markets had every excuse to trade lower today given the weak consumer confidence number and some profit warnings, but instead powered higher after a weak opening. That’s a pretty bullish sign in the near term, as the S&P marches to 1,300 and the Dow moves closer to 12,000.
The Semiconductor Packaging and Test Equipment Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by Nanometrics (NANO) with a 29% gain. The Money Transfer Services and Payment Processing Stocks Index was the day’s worst performing tickerspy Index, with Coinstar (CSTR) down -27%.
Stocks rose on the day, with the Dow up 55 points to 11,787. The S&P advanced 9 points to 1,293, while the Nasdaq climbed 20 points to 2,755. Oil edged up 14 cents to $91.54 a barrel, while gold dropped -$26.50 to $1,360.50 an ounce.
In economic news, the Labor Department said that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.5% last month compared with an increase of 0.1% the previous month. Economists were expecting a 0.4% increase. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, core CPI rose 0.1% for the month. Elsewhere, the National Retail Federation reported the best holiday shopping season in six years, saying that retail sales from November 1st to December 31st surged 5.7% year over year to $462 billion. That topped the federation’s own forecast of a 3.3% increase. Sales of apparel, books, music, and sporting helped buoy the overall number, the federation said. Meanwhile, the initial reading on the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for January was 72.7, down from 74.5 last month. Economists were forecasting a reading of 76.0.
In earnings news, shares of Intel (INTC), the world’s largest semiconductor maker, edged down -1.0% after the company said fourth-quarter earnings rose 48% to $3.39 billion, or 59 cents a share, compared with a profit of $2.28 billion, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped to $11.46 billion from $10.57 billion. Analysts were expecting Intel to post a profit of 53 cents a share on sales of $11.38 billion. Nearly 280 pros held Intel in their portfolios as of the end of the third quarter and almost 3,400 tickerspy members hold the stock in their portfolios.
Shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM), the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, rose 1.0%, after the bank reported a record profit for the fourth quarter. J.P. Morgan said it earned $4.83 billion, or $1.12 a share, compared with $3.28 billion, or 74 cents a share, a year earlier. That topped the average analyst of $1.00 a share. Revenue rose 6% to $26.7 billion on a tax-equivalent basis excluding the impact of credit-card securitizations. More than 400 pros owned JPMorgan in their portfolios at the end of the third quarter and 2,240 tickerspy members hold the stock in their portfolios.
Coinstar shares plunged -27.1% after the owner of the Redbox video rental service lowered its fourth-quarter and 2011 guidance. For Q4 2010, Coinstar said it now expects to earn between 65-69 cents a share on revenue of $391 million. That compares with previous guidance of 79-85 cents a share on sales of $415-$440 million. 2011 guidance was lowered to EPS of $2.60-$3.10 on sales between $1.70-$1.85 billion.
Shares of Hasbro (HAS) inched down -0.4% after the toymaker said shoppers purchased fewer toys during the holiday shopping season. For Q4, the company now expects sales to fall to $1.3 billion compared to $1.4 billion in Q4 2009, while analysts were forecasting a 2% uptick in sales. Hasbro said it expects adjusted full-year EPS to rise modestly from the $2.48 it recorded in 2009 after taking into account a 14-cent favorable tax benefit this year, but analysts had been expecting a full-year profit of $2.70.
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