Market Overview

News Summary for July 20, 2011

This is your Benzinga news summary and traders' outlook for Wednesday, July 20, 2011, covering headlines from overnight and Wednesday's pre-market session.

Today in domestic pre-market trading, U.S. equity futures are trading higher after several blue-chip companies reported positive quarterly earnings. The U.S. dollar is trading lower this morning as the Euro rises over 0.4%.

Earlier this morning, Jefferies upgraded Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) to Buy and Goldman Sachs upgraded Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG) to Neutral. View all of today's upgrades here.

Wells Fargo downgraded AutoNation (NYSE: AN) to Underperform and Baird downgraded Avery Dennison (NYSE: AVY) to Neutral. View all of today's downgrades here.

JP Morgan raised Chipotle Mexican Grill's (NYSE: CMG) price target to $320 from $300, Jefferies lowered Yahoo!'s (NASDAQ: YHOO) price target to $18 from $21, and Goldman Sachs raised Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) price target to $525 from $485. View all other analyst ratings here.

Overseas, European markets were mixed this morning. Britain's FTSE 100 rose about 0.6% and France's CAC 40 gained 0.8% on the session. Asian stocks were mixed on the session as well. China's Shanghai Index shed 0.1%, Japan's Nikkei 225 added 1.2%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.5%.

On the economic calendar today, MBA mortgage applications came in at 15.5% versus a -5.1% prior reading. Existing home sales for the period of June is set to be reported at 10:00 a.m.

On the commodity front, gold and silver futures are lower in pre-market trading, with gold under $1600 per ounce, currently around $1589.60. Energy futures are higher with crude oil up about 1% on the session, nearing the $100 per barrel level, and gasoline trading about 0.5% higher on the session; likewise, natural gas futures are up over 0.5%. Finally, copper futures are trading flat on today's pre-market session.

On the earnings front, airline giant AMR (NYSE: AMR) reported Q2 EPS of $(0.85) on revenues of $6.1 billion; The Street was looking for $(0.75) per share on revenues of $6.12 billion.

Healthcare giant Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) reported Q2 EPS of $1.12 on revenues of $9.62 billion; The Street was looking for $1.11 per share on revenues of $9.56 billion. Read more here.

Also, United Tech (NYSE: UTX) reported Q2 EPS of $1.45 on revenues of $15.1 billion; The Street was looking for $1.41 per share on revenues of $14.7 billion.

Yesterday, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) reported Q3 EPS of $7.79 on revenues of $28.6 billion; The Street was looking for $5.80 per share on revenues of $24.92 billion. Read more here.

In corporate news, Nalco Holding (NYSE: NCL) announced today that the company has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) for $5.4 billion. Read more here.

This concludes your news summary for July 20, 2011.

Posted-In: Earnings Long Ideas News Guidance Short Ideas Upgrades Downgrades Futures Best of Benzinga

 

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