The Market Loves Easy Money (ISCA, CMVT, ILMN, GM, YONG, UEC)
Stocks traded lower, as the Fed minutes indicated that more quantitative easing might not be in the cards. The tone was contrary to the message Fed Chief Ben Bernanke appeared to be sending the market just last week. The market loves easy money, and the anticipation of the end of the Fed’s Operation Twist on June 30th could be a catalyst for the spring/summer pullback we’re looking for.
The Chinese Agriculture Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by Yongye International (YONG) with a 13% gain. The Uranium Stocks Index was the day’s worst performing tickerspy Index, with Uranium Energy (UEC) down -12%.
Stocks fell on the day, with the Dow off -65 points to 13,200. The S&P and Nasdaq, meanwhile, both lost -6 points to 1,413 and 3,114, respectively. Oil fell -$1.22 to $104.01, while gold dropped -$7.70 to $1,672.00 an ounce.
In economic news, the Commerce Department said new orders for factory goods rose 1.3% in February, just missing the 1.5% increase economists had expected.
In earnings, International Speedway (ISCA) said its fiscal first-quarter profit fell to $17.1 million, or 37 cents per share, from $21.4 million, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue slid to $127.4 million from $148.7 million. Analysts had expected a profit of 39 cents per share. The company expects a full-year profit of $1.50-$1.60 a share on revenue of $610-$630 million. Analysts were expecting a profit of $1.60 per share on $629.5 million in revenue. Shares of International Speedway were virtually flat on the day
Shares of Comverse Technology (CMVT), the maker of voicemail and cellphone billing software, dropped -5.7% after the company said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell to $4.5 million, or 2 cents per share, from $15.4 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 14 cents compared with 57 cents a year ago. Revenue fell -6% to $405.5 million. Analysts had expected EPS of 14 cents on revenue of $420.4 million.
Genetic analysis instrument maker Illumina (ILMN) said that it expects first-quarter revenue of $270 million, above the $258 million consensus. It also anticipates meeting of beating the current 31-cent analyst EPS forecast. Swiss drug giant Roche has offered to acquire Illumina for $6.5 billion. Shares of Illumina rose 1.2%. Five pros counted Illumina among their top holdings at the end of Q4 and nearly 250 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
Shares of General Motors (GM) tumbled -4.6% after the company said sales of cars and light trucks rose 12% in March, well below the 19% increase analysts had been expecting. Those results included a -16% decline for Buick and a -13% drop for Cadillac. Fifty-one pros held GM in their portfolios at the end of Q4 and more than 340 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
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