The stock market was mixed Wednesday morning, with earnings news driving the bulk of early action as the market looked to add to Tuesday’s bullish action.
The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 0.1%, held back by IBM’s (IBM) steep post-earnings decline. The Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 added 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.
CSX (CSX), eBay (EBAY) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) hauled the Nasdaq higher. Textron (TXT) and CSX posted the widest gains among S&P 500 stocks. Chip equipment maker Lam Research (LRCX) and IBM chalked up the largest declines on the stock market today among S&P 500 issues.
Textron and Intuitive Surgical gapped up past buy points, each marking a breakout —at the starting bell. Railroad CSX also narrowly topped a buy point at 60.14, but quickly retreated back to below the entry.
Crude oil prices pulsed nearly 2% higher early Wednesday, with U.S. bench mark crude climbing to near $68 per barrel. That put prices within pennies of Friday’s high, which marked oil’s strongest level since November 2014.
The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a slightly smaller-than-expected draw on crude inventories during the prior week. It also reported a surprise 2.47 million-barrel draw on gasoline supplies, vs. expectations for a 0.2% takeout. The API numbers are generally considered preliminary to weekly supply data from the Energy Information Administration. Those data are due out at 10:30 a.m. ET.
At 2 p.m. ET, the Federal Reserve releases its March Beige Book report.
EBay Price Target Hiked 60%; Caterpillar Leads, IBM Lags On Dow
EBay vaulted 3.4% in early trade. Morgan Stanley raised its price target on the stock by more than 60%, to 58, from 36. It also raised its rating two notches to overweight, from underweight. The note based the upgrade on eBay’s recent announcement that it was developing a new payment systems with Netherlands-based Adyen. EBay shares are rebounding from support at their 40-week line, within a two-month consolidation.
On the Dow, Home Depot (HD) and Caterpillar (CAT) staked out early leads, up 2.1% and 1.6%, respectively. Caterpillar is working on a second weekly advance in its rebound from support at its 40-week line.
IBM foundered 6.3% in early trade. The legacy tech brand late Tuesday posted stronger-than-expected results for the first quarter. It also reported a second straight quarter of year-over-year revenue growth for the first time in more than four years. Full-year earnings guidance was just shy of consensus views, however. The stock has had little success in attempts to climb out of a 13-month consolidation.
Stock Market Today: CSX, Intuitive, Textron Break Out On Earnings
Earnings news drove the lion’s share of Wednesday’s premarket session, with action among stock futures sharply divided after reports.
Intuitive Surgical trimmed its early gain to 3.4%, pulling back below its buy point at 452.10. The maker of the da Vinci robotic surgical system reported a 25% gain in earnings per share and an 18% rise in revenue for its first quarter late Tuesday. The number of surgical systems shipped soared 39% during the quarter, with procedures performed using the da Vinci system rising 15%.
Defense contractor Textron powered up 7.2% in the stock market today, after scoring big beats in its first-quarter revenue and earnings. The premarket move implies a starting bell breakout above a 62.29 buy point in a two-month flat base. Premarket moves among stock futures do not always carry through into regular trade.
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