Thursday, July 17, 2008

Earnings, Oil Boost Stocks Second Straight Day

Folks, we have a serious sucker's rally going. Or, more to the point. We had a sucker's rally going. Two day's of jubilation ended with a thud after the bell.

Some of the more unusual moves noted are:

eBay, which posted a 22% better profit than a year ago and beat analyst expectations by 0.02 cents, was slammed by investors, down 3.90, to 24.20, a nearly 14% haircut, when the company forecast was lower than expectations for the 3rd quarter.

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JP Morgan Chase (JPM) beat lowered street estimates by 0.10, but posted earnings 53% lower than a year ago. The stock soared 4.86, to 40.80, a gain of 13.5%.

After the bell, Google's (GOOG) profit rose 35% from the same period a year ago, but missed analyst expectations of $4.74 per share by 11 cents, returning $4.63 after one-time items. Shares ended down 40 points in after-hours trading, a drop of 7.63%.

Merrill Lynch, which was up 2.73 during the ordinary session, fell by 2.08, to 28.65, in after-hours trading when the company reported its 4th consecutive quarterly loss after the bell. The company lost a blistering $4.89 billion in the second quarter and is selling its equity stake in Bloomberg and its Financial Data Services subsidiary for a combined $7.9 billion.

The brokerage wrote down another $9.8 billion. The loss per share was a whopper: $4.97.

Expect the markets to get back to selling on Friday as the late-day news was none-too-encouraging.

Still, stocks soared again on Thursday as investor sought out bargains across the spectrum and boosted shares of beaten down companies. The Dow gained nearly 500 points over the past two session, but the good times seem to be a fleeting memory.

Dow 11,446.66 +207.38; Nasdaq 2,312.30 +27.45; S&P 500 1,260.32 +14.96; NYSE Composite 8,415.05 +82.23

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On the day, advancers pushed by decliners, 4503-1851. The gap between new lows and new highs was narrowed again, with new lows ahead, 272-90. Trading voluem was brisk.

Oil sold off for the third straight day, down $5.14 to $130.18. Gold gained $8.00, to $970.70, but silver lost 7 cents per ounce, to $18.74.

Should be an interesting get-away day on Friday.

NYSE Volume 1,970,761,000
Nasdaq Volume 2,707,973,000

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