Market Wrap for Friday, July 26: Stocks Grind Out Small Gains to Close Week
The U.S. stock market recovered from early losses and the major averages managed to close with very small gains after grinding higher throughout the afternoon on Friday.
Wall Street's attention has primarily been focused on corporate earnings reports this week amid a light docket of economic releases.
The lone economic report released on the day was the final reading for the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index, which came in above expectations. In other markets, commodities were mostly lower while Treasury prices rose.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added around 3 points, or 0.02 percent, to 15,559.
The S&P 500 rose a little better than 1 point, or 0.08 percent, to 1,692.
The Nasdaq rose roughly 8 points, or 0.22 percent, to finish at 3,613.
University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment
The final reading for the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index for July came in at 85.1, revised up from the preliminary report of 83.9.
This was also an increase compared to the final reading for June of 84.1. The consensus had expected the July reading would be revised up to 84.1.
Energy prices were moderately lower on Friday. Near the close of equities, NYMEX crude futures were down 0.73 percent to $104.72. Brent crude futures had lost 0.42 percent to $107.20. Natural gas was last down 2.25 percent to $3.56.
Precious metals also fell on the session. COMEX gold futures had lost 0.49 percent to $1,323.00 while silver futures were down by 1.63 percent to $19.83. Copper lost 2.51 percent and was last trading at $3.1055.
The grains complex was largely higher on the day, but corn futures fell. At last check, corn was down 0.57 percent while wheat had added 0.15 percent. Movers in soft commodities included coffee, which fell 2 percent, and orange juice, which lost 1.40 percent.
Long-term Treasury prices rose on Friday. Nearing the close of equities, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) was up 0.73 percent to $108.26. Yields fell on the day as prices moved up.
Treasury yields were as follows on Friday afternoon: The yield on the 2-Year Note was 0.31 percent while the 5-Year Note yield was sitting at 1.36 percent. Yields on the 10-Year Note and 30-Year Bond were 2.56 percent and 3.62 percent, respectively.
The U.S. Dollar was very slightly lower to end the trading week. Near the close, 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 0.09 percent to $22.10.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last up 0.25 percent to $1.3276. Other movers included the USD/JPY and AUD/USD, both of which were volatile throughout the week. The USD/JPY fell 1.38 percent on the session while the AUD/USD climbed 0.50 percent.
Volatility and Volume
The CBOE Volatility Index fell slightly on the day in the wake of small gains for stocks. The widely watched barometer of volatility expectations lost 1.54 percent to 12.77.
Volume was below average on the session. Around 90 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 135.4 million.
SPS Commerce (NASDAQ: SPSC) had jumped more than 17 percent in late trade after the company reported second-quarter earnings above Wall Street estimates.
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) was up almost 15 percent near the close after the company announced a transaction to re-purchase most of majority shareholder Vivendi's majority stake for $8.2 billion.
Shares of recent IPO Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSX) had jumped almost 10 percent near the close of trading.
Investor enthusiasm over surprising Q2 results from Xoom (NASDAQ: XOOM) earlier in the week continued on Friday. The stock broke out to a new 52-week high on the day and was last up almost 11 percent.
Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) added around 4 percent after the company announced a plan to repurchase around 8 percent of its outstanding stock using a Dutch auction process.
McKesson (NYSE: MCK) climbed better than 5 percent after reporting a 12 percent rise in its fiscal first-quarter earnings results.
Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE) plunged after the company reported very disappointing fiscal second-quarter financial results.
SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) fell almost 23 percent after the company's second-quarter results failed to impress investors.
Struggling online game-maker Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) reported better-than-expected fiscal Q2 results, but guidance was disappointing. The stock was trading down around 14 percent late on Friday.
Outerwall (NASDAQ: OUTR), formerly Coinstar, lost around 13 percent on Friday after the company's fiscal second-quarter financial results.
Chip maker Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ: CRUS) lost almost 13 percent on the day in the wake of Q1 earnings that missed expectations.
NetGear (NASDAQ: NTGR) lost around 9 percent on the day after providing guidance which was below analysts' expectations. RBC Capital Markets downgraded the stock to underperform, saying in a client note that "the core business is deteriorating and its recently acquired assets are not yet providing the synergistic wins on the carrier side."
Tempur Sealy International (NYSE: TPX) fell almost 12 percent on Friday after reporting a Q2 loss and cutting its fiscal 2013 guidance.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX) fell nearly 8 percent on Friday after the company said that the FDA put a partial hold on a mid-stage study of its experimental hepatitis C treatment VX-135 over toxicity concerns.
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