Mixed messages ruled the day on the street today. After yesterday’s rise in housing permits, today’s housing sales brought dismal numbers. Expecting an increase from January to February, the street instead saw home sales falling. This is pretty much the status quo regarding the halting recovery the US is going through at this point.
The Dow finished the day down 45.57 to 13,124.62. Join the Dow, the S&P 500 dropped 2.63 to 1,402.89. Bucking the negative trend, the Nasdaq finished in positive territory, up 1.17 to 3,075.32.
Some analysts are coming out saying the markets have come too far too quickly. Sure the economy is improving, but Dow 13k improvement? Hardly. The housing recovery is nearly nonexistent and the job numbers can be misleading. Sure the weekly reports have been rosy prints. But does a temp job really give value to the recovery? Undoubtedly we have a ways to travel before we ‘get there’ so to speak.
Japan Data Beats
Trade data for Japan came in after hours and beat expectations. February exports fell 2.7% from a year earlier. Imports came in higher, up 9.2% when compared year on year.
Stock Volume Leaders
Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) closed the day down 2.29% at $29.41. Volume was volatile for ORCL as 94.6 million shares were traded, well above its daily average of 34.3 million shares. Oracle reported a strong third quarter late yesterday and started the day in positive territory. The stock then began to sell off alongside the market and ended up turning negative after midday and finished in the red. Oracle profits rose 18% in the previous quarter thanks to stronger software sales. The company has a market cap of 147.81 billion.
Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) finished Wednesday down 2.17% today at $23.46. HPQ traded massive volume today with 45.5 million shares, 3 times its daily average. Hewlett Packard recently announced it will merge its printer and PC business. Some investors welcomed the news, but many analysts have doubts whether Meg Whitman can turn the company around. The company has a market cap of 46.39 billion.
Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) closed today up nearly 2% at $8.74. Volume was average today with 30.7 million shares traded. Micron shares rose today on reports that it has offered $1.5 billion to acquire Elpida Memory. The company has a market cap of 8.63 billion.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) ended the day up 0.65% today at $15.51. YHOO traded 25 million shares today, well above its daily average of 18.4 million shares. Yahoo’s CEO is in a bit of a power struggle at the moment as the hedge fund, Third Point, is urging investors to vote for its four board nominees. Four of the current 11 directors are stepping down at the company’s annual meeting being held in June. The company has a market cap of 18.83 billion.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) ended the day down 0.31% at $191.73. AMZN finished the day with 4.2 million shares traded and trades 5.8 million shares a day on average. AMZN shares dipped slightly today after the stock jumped more than $10 a share in the past week. The company has a market cap of 87.25 billion.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) closed 4.42% higher today at $120.10. NFLX traded relatively light volume today with 6.7 million shares traded and trades 8.3 million shares a day on average. Netflix announced this morning that it will offer streaming customers ‘Hemlock Grove,’ a brand new horror series from Eli Roth. The company has a market cap of 6.66 billion.