Market Overview

U.S. Stocks May See Relief from Selloff


U.S. stocks pointed to a slightly higher open Wednesday as new austerity in Spain gave global sentiment a slight lift, although the earnings picture at home continues to look muddled.

The S&P 500 has declined in four straight sessions. Decliners outpaced advancers 2 to 1 on the NYSE in Tuesday trading, and the dollar rose again, with the U.S. continuing to be a relative safe haven from Europe's troubles.

The release of Fed minutes from the June meeting Wednesday will be closely watched, and could be a catalyst. Traders and investors will be poring over the comments looking for cues as to the likelihood and possible timing of a third round of quantitative easing.

Still, some sentiment measures are still working against a quick bounce higher. Stocks have not yet reached oversold territory on the McClellan Oscillator, one of the measures watched closely by traders and market technicians. Meanwhile, stocks cannot rally by working off volatility extremes with the volatility index (NYSE: VIX) still in a downtrend from early June.

Markets in Spain today cheered $79 billion in new austerity measures designed to meet new budget goals. It was not enough to lift European stocks broadly, however, which may still see declines in five of the past six sessions. Burberry (BRBY) shares hit a fresh 6-month low after meeting quarterly sales numbers, weighing on other luxury retailers in Europe, as well.

In the U.S., manufacturing stocks continue to be in focus. The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLI) saw its heaviest trading volume of the year, filling a near-term price gap to the downside. Alcoa (NYSE: AA) shares dropped more than 4% on Tuesday as the company continues to struggle with sliding aluminum prices. Then after the bell, engine-maker Cummins (NYSE: CMI) said its revenue will likely match what it produced last year; it had been shooting for a 10% sales increase in 2012.

Tech stocks could see a slight reprieve in Wednesday trading, with the Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLK) halting its slide at the 50-day moving average. Yet the tech earnings news is still shaky. Applied Materials slipped 3% on Tuesday after it lowered full-year sales guidance and said both Q3 earnings and revenue will be at the low end of its guidance.

Energy and materials also will be in focus with West Texas Crude prices up about early trade.

Minor economic releases on the day include international trade for May and wholesale inventory data, both expected in the morning hours.

Stocks to watch include:

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) shares were started with a Market Perform rating at BMO Capital Markets; also, the Wall Street Journal reports that suppliers in Asia are testing an Amazon smartphone.

AMR Corporation (NYSE: AAR), in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, said it will consider mergers with other airlines; stocks on the radar will include US Airways (NYSE: LCC), JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) and Alaska Air (NYSE: ALK).

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) reported that an HIV drug they have developed in a joint venture might be more effective than Atrila, a drug made by Gilead (NASDAQ: GILD) and Bristol-Meyers Squibb (NYSE: BMY).

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN) and MGM (NYSE: MGM) all saw price target cuts by analysts at Citigroup.

Monsanto (NYSE: MON) priced a public bond offering at a slight discount to par; proceeds are expected to help it refinance debt coming due in August.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) completed its annual meeting, re-electing its board members, although the company vowed to cut costs and focus on the highest-end smartphones.

Savient Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ: SVNT) will be removed from the S&P 500 SmallCap 600 Index, replaced by Enility Holdings (NYSE: EGL)

Target (NYSE: TGT) and Neiman Marcus will offer clothes from the same designers, according to a Wall Street Journal Report.

Voxx International (NYSE: VOXX) lowered its full-year earnings forecast.

Posted-In: BMO Capital Markets CitigroupEarnings News Guidance Analyst Ratings Movers Trading Ideas


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