Market Wrap for Friday, April 26: Major Averages Mixed to Close Out Week
Stocks closed mixed in a quiet trading session on Friday. Investors were focused on numerous earnings reports during the day and a couple of economic reports that offered a mixed view of the economy.
The final revision to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index came in well above consensus estimates, but was still down from March. Also, the advanced GDP report showed that the economy grew 2.5 percent in the first-quarter of 2013, but this was less than had been anticipated.
Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a small gain while the S&P and Nasdaq both closed the day lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 12 points, or 0.08 percent, to 14,713.
The S&P 500 fell 3 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 1,582.
The Nasdaq Composite shed 11 points, or 0.33 percent, to 3,279.
GDP - Advanced Report
According to the advance report, GDP rose at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent for the first-quarter of 2013. This was above the 0.4 percent rate for the fourth-quarter of 2012, but below consensus expectations of a 2.8 percent gain.
Consumption spending was up 3.2 percent in the quarter and contributed 2.2 percentage points to overall GDP growth.
University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment
The final reading for the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was revised up to 76.4 from 72.3 for April. This was still a decline versus 78.6 in March and the weakest reading since January. The consensus estimated that the index would be close to unchanged at 72.4.
Crude oil futures fell on Friday to close out the week. Near the closing bell, NYMEX crude futures were down 0.81 percent to $92.88. Brent crude contracts had lost 0.44 percent to $102.95. Natural gas was last trading down 0.36 percent to $4.15.
Metals prices also fell on Friday. COMEX gold futures had lost 0.31 percent to $1,457.50 while silver futures fell around 1 percent to $23.95. Copper was the biggest loser on the session, falling better than 1.80 percent.
Both corn and wheat traded lower on Friday. At last check, corn futures were down around 0.75 percent and wheat had lost 1.60 percent. Movers in the soft commodity complex included coffee, which was down 2.50 percent, and orange juice, which fell more than 3 percent.
Bonds jumped to close out the trading week. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) rose 0.85 percent to $123.31 near the closing bell. Yields fell on the day as prices moved higher.
The yield on the 2-Year Note fell one basis point to 0.22 percent. The 5-Year Note yield lost three basis points to 0.68 percent. The 10-Year Note yield and 30-Year Bond yield fell four basis points to 1.67 percent and 2.87 percent, respectively.
The U.S. dollar was moderately lower on Friday. At last check, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was down 0.36 percent to $22.43.
The closely watched EUR/USD was last trading up 0.08 percent to $1.3027. The USD/JPY pair plunged more than 1 percent on the day and the greenback also fell 0.32 percent versus the Canadian dollar.
Volatility and Volume
Volatility expectations were very slightly lower late on Friday. At last check, the VIX had fallen 0.37 percent to 13.57.
Volume was very light to close out the week. Less than 82 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) shares traded hands on the session compared to a 3-month daily average of 129 million.
Shares of struggling retailer J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) were up around 12 percent near the close after Goldman Sachs arranged $1.75 billion in financing for the company. The stock also reacted positively to news that George Soros has acquired a 7.91 percent passive stake in the retailer.
VCA Antech (NASDAQ: WOOF) rose almost 11 percent on Friday after the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings results.
SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) surged more than 9 percent on the session after the stock was upgraded from Neutral to Outperform at Robert W. Baird.
Qlik Technologies (NASDAQ: QLIK) rose around 10 percent after the company posted better than expected first-quarter financial results.
PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI) fell around 12 percent after the company's first-quarter results missed its own estimates and it lowered its full-year outlook.
National Instruments (NASDAQ: NATI) fell roughly 11 percent after disappointing first-quarter financial results.
Itron (NASDAQ: ITRI) lost more than 10 percent after the company reported earnings and revenue well below analysts' consensus prior to the opening bell.
Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE) reported a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss and a muted outlook, sending its shares down around 10 percent on Friday.
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