Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Slow Day, But Intel, CSX Movers After Hours

Stocks largely marked time on Tuesday as investors awaited third quarter earnings results from Intel (INTC), the world's largest chip maker, and CSX (CSX), one of the nation's largest freight railway operators.

After something of a disappointment from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) before the bell, stocks sold off at the open and struggled close to break even throughout the rest of the day. It was apparent that there would be no major movement in the indices until the Intel announcement.

Dow 9,871.06, -14.74 (0.15%)
NASDAQ 2,139.89, +0.75 (0.04%)
S&P 500 1,073.18, -3.01 (0.28%)
NYSE Composite 7,031.87, -19.29 (0.27%)

Decliners beat advancers, though not broadly, 2808-3571. New highs continued to outperform new lows, 312-56. Volume was expectedly moderate.

NYSE Volume 5,026,830,000
NASDAQ Volume 2,052,388,000

Most of the real action that will affect markets for the near term occurred after the closing bell, when CSX reported 3rd quarter earnings results.

Net income from continuing operations was $293 million, or 0.74 cents per share. CSX said revenue in the quarter fell 23 percent to $2.3 billion, in line with analysts' expectations. The earnings beat expectations by .03 cents per share. The stock, which was traded lower by 63 cents during the regular session, was up sharply - +1.24, to $45.52 - in after hours trading.

Just minutes after CSX reported, Intel blew away estimates in all areas, reporting 3rd quarter earnings of $1.9 billion or 33 cents per share, compared with a net profit of $2.01 billion, or 35 cents per share, in the year ago period.

Revenue also beat forecasts handily, at $9.4 billion when expectations were set at $9.06 billion. After being halted pending the release, the stock soared nearly 6% in after hours trading, gaining more than $1.00 per share, pushing the stock above 21.50, a new 52-week-high. Significantly, Intel's earnings boosted a slew of other stocks after the close, including many in the tech and computer sector. Companies like Apple (APPL), Hewlett Packard (HPQ), Google (GOOG) and Cisco (CSCO) all gained in after-hours trading.

Commodities were solid during the session, with oil up 88 cents, to $74.15; gold up to a new record high of $1,065.00 on a gain of $7.50. Silver lagged somewhat, picking up 2 cents, to $17.84.

With real news coming both from the base (CSX) and the top (Intel) of the economy, unless there's some kind of disaster between here and the opening bell on Wednesday (retail sales for September are due out at 8:30 am), stocks should soar at the open, led by technology.

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