Stock Market News 07-21-10
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Today's Coffee

The day's stock market news was mostly found in earnings reports. Today's Coffee covers the Mortgage Bankers Association Weekly Applications Survey and the EIA's Petroleum Status Report. Chairman Bernanke's semiannual testimony has just begun, and may be covered in a later article.

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Stock Market News

stock market news writer columnistToday's stock market news offered up only two economic reports, the Weekly Applications Survey and the EIA's Petroleum Status Report. We also list all the day's earnings reports and provide a preview to Chairman Bernanke's testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.

Weekly Applications Survey

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey recovered from the prior week, which had produced the lowest level of activity for the Purchase Index since December of 1996. For the week ended July 16, the Market Composite Index gained 7.6%. It's likely that both the Refinance Index and the Purchase Index benefited from a 10 bps drop in 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates. The Refinance Index jumped 8.6% on the change, and the Purchase Index came off its lows to rise 3.4%. Contain your enthusiasm, as absolute levels of activity are still deeply depressed, and are especially worrying given the lowest every average contracted 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate (4.59%) in survey history.

Oil Inventory Report

The EIA reported on Petroleum Status at 10:30 this morning. The report covering the period ended July 16 offered an important increase to crude oil inventory of 0.4 million barrels; this comes after a week that produced the largest draw of inventory for the year. Some 5.1 million barrels of inventory were drawn on net in the July 9 period. Weather was reportedly partly to blame, and this week's gain seems to confirm that. There was concern due to another large draw the week before last that the near-shore drilling environment might have a significant impact. It seems on-shore producers and production in international waters may be stepping up production in the wake of the offshore drilling moratorium. However, according to one well-known economist, we should be significantly concerned about the President's push to stop drilling. Note: the on-shore pick-up argument was somewhat supported by Halliburton's (NYSE: HAL) recent superb earnings report.

Gasoline in storage increased by 1.1 million barrels through the week covered. Both oil and gas inventory levels stood above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Bernanke's Semiannual Testimony

The big story for the market today is Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke's semiannual report on monetary policy, delivered via testimony to the Senate Banking Committee. We suspect it will not be long before market concerns move from a focus on future Fed rate hikes to worry about Fed inaction with regard to its support of an ailing economy. Meanwhile, the SEC takes up the topic of mutual fund fee structures today.

Corporate News Drivers

BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) reports on production and exploration for the June quarter. The earnings schedule highlights data from US Bancorp (NYSE: USB), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), EMC (NYSE: EMC), Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM), Xilinx (Nasdaq: XLNX), Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) and CA Technologies (Nasdaq: CA).

The rest of the EPS schedule includes 1st Constitution Bancorp (Nasdaq: FCCY), Aehr Test Systems (Nasdaq: AEHR), Affymetrix (Nasdaq: AFFX), Airgas (NYSE: ARG), AirTran Holdings (NYSE: AAI), Alfa SA (OTC: ALFPP), Allegiant Travel (Nasdaq: ALGT), Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS), Altria Group (NYSE: MO), AMB Property (NYSE: AMB), Amdocs (NYSE: DOX), Amphenol (NYSE: APH), AMR Corp. (NYSE: AMR), Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMLN), Arbitron (NYSE: ARB), Arkansas Best (Nasdaq: ABFS), Astoria Financial (NYSE: AF), ATMI (Nasdaq: ATMI), Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU), Banco Latinamericano de Comercio Exterior SA (NYSE: BLX), Banner Corp. (Nasdaq: BANR), Berkshire Hills Bancorp (Nasdaq: BHLB), Cascade Financial (Nasdaq: CASB), Checkpoint Software (Nasdaq: CHKP), Clicksoftware Technologies (Nasdaq: CKSW), Cohen & Steers (NYSE: CNS), Cohu (Nasdaq: COHU), Comerica (NYSE: CMA), Community Trust (Nasdaq: CTBI), Complete Production Services (NYSE: CPX), Core Laboratories (NYSE: CLB), CoStar Group (Nasdaq: CSGP), Convenant Transport (Nasdaq: CVTI), Datalink (Nasdaq: DTLK), Eaton (NYSE: ETN), eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW), Encana (NYSE: ECA), Exponent (Nasdaq: EXPO), F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV), Fidelity National Financial (NYSE: FNF), First Cash (Nasdaq: FCFS), First Midwest Bancorp (Nasdaq: FMBI), Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold (NYSE: FCX), Genzyme (Nasdaq: GENZ), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), Glimcher Realty Trust (NYSE: GRT), Graco (NYSE: GGG), Hanesbrands (NYSE: HBI), Host Hotels and Resorts (NYSE: HST), Hub Group (Nasdaq: HUBG), Hudson City Bancorp (Nasdaq: HCBK), IberiaBank (Nasdaq: IBKC), Intersil (Nasdaq: ISIL), Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG), Journal Communications (NYSE: JRN), Julius Baer Group (OTC: JBARF.PK), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP), Kinder Morgan Management (NYSE: KMR), LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE: LHO), Lufkin Industries (Nasdaq: LUFK), M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB), Manpower (NYSE: MAN), Mattson Technology (Nasdaq: MTSN), Media General (NYSE: MEG), Mellanox Technologies (Nasdaq: MLNX), MKS Instruments (Nasdaq: MKSI), Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), Netgear (Nasdaq: NTGR), Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS), NVE Corp. (Nasdaq: NVEC), Pacific Continental (Nasdaq: PCBK), Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC), Plexus (Nasdaq: PLXS), PrePaid Legal (NYSE: PPD), Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), Raymond James (NYSE: RJF), Rewards Network (Nasdaq: DINE), Richardson Electronics (Nasdaq: RELL), Robert Half Int'l (NYSE: RHI), Rush Enterprises (OTC: RUSHB.OB), SEI Investments (Nasdaq: SEIC), Select Comfort (Nasdaq: SCSS), Sensata Technologies (NYSE: ST), SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI), Spansion (Nasdaq: CODE), StanCorp Financial Group (NYSE: SFG), Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK), Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), StellarOne (Nasdaq: STEL), Terex (NYSE: TEX), TESCO (Nasdaq: TESS), Texas Capital Bankshares (Nasdaq: TCBI), Textron (NYSE: TXT), Tractor Supply (Nasdaq: TSCO), TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI), Total System Services (NYSE: TSS), United Technologies (NYSE: UTX), US Airways (NYSE: LCC), Washington Trust (Nasdaq: WASH), Westell (Nasdaq: WSTL), Western Digital (NYSE: WDC), Young Innovations (Nasdaq: YDNT) and Zhone Technologies (Nasdaq: ZHNE).

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