One day before markets close for Thanksgiving, US stocks stayed all but flat after some mixed economic news.
The University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters reported that the consumer sentiment reading for November came in at 82.7 from 82.6 in October, when the consensus estimate was for it to rise to 84.5.
Meanwhile, initial jobless claims for last week were in line with expectations, falling to 410,000 from an upwardly revised figure of 451,000 the week before.
“We have this vacuum on the 'fiscal cliff'—that’s a mild positive under the market. Then Congress comes back next week so there might be some untoward comments,” Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services, told The Street
. “Still, it looks like the market wants to tiptoe right through the holiday. There’s a mild upward historic bias to today and also the abbreviated session on Friday.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) was up 0.23% to 12,817.96 points as of 12:04 p.m. EST.
(NYSE:BA) advanced 0.94% to $73.22. Earlier, Zodiac Aerospace, which supplies parts to both Boeing and Airbus, reported expectations-beating annual profits and provided strong guidance for its next fiscal year, citing continued air traffic growth.
Bank of America
(NYSE:BAC) bucked the bearish trend for financials today, gaining 0.52% to $9.68. Over the years, the stock is up close to 70%. Earlier in the week, the company’s CEO Brian Moynihan was asked about employee bonuses this year on Bloomberg TV; Moynihan replied
, “We're a pay for performance company. If you had a good year, you'll get paid for it.”
After a 12% slide yesterday, Hewlett-Packard
(NYSE:HPQ) received some Thanksgiving cheer, as the stock moved 2.35% up to $11.98, leading all Dow gainers. However, HP will likely have to contend with the fallout relating to Autonomy’s alleged accounting fraud for the foreseeable future. RBC Capital cut its rating on HP to Sector Perform from Outperform and lowered its price target to $14 from $18.
“Going forward, HP will have to face headwinds in PCs and printing that are more secular and less macro in nature,” said the bank’s analyst Amit Daryanani in a note.
(NASDAQ:CSCO) also rose 1.47% to $18.61. The company announced on Monday that it would acquire the San Francisco-based Meraki for some $1.2 billion, bolstering its cloud-based networking arsenal.
Most Dow stocks in the red have registered only mild losses thus far. Intel
(NASDAQ:INTC) was hit the worst, falling 1.17% to $19.29. Earlier in the day, the stock was down as low as $19.23, which was another fresh 52-week low.
Besides worries about secular trends in the PC industry that have bogged down Hewlett-Packard as well, Intel also saw its CEO Paul Otellini announce his retirement this week. The company was subsequently downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS, who said Otellini’s retirement would usher in a transitional period with an uncertain outlook.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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