Stock Market Today – Lowe’s (LOW) LSI Corp (LSI) Sara Lee (SLE) Home Depot (HD) and Kraft (KFT) Report

home depot lowes logos

(Best Syndication News) Stock markets are opening higher in Europe and Asia Thursday after positive economic news boosted investor confidence in the United States (see the stock market charts below). All three major U.S. indexes were higher throughout the day.

Greece made some headway convincing private bond holders to take a write-down on their debt Wednesday. Some reports suggest that as many as 58 percent of the private bondholders are onboard. The Greece government needs to convince 66 percent to enable the government to impose a collective action clauses (CAC) on all of their bond holders.

Markets were optimistic that the government will reach a supermajority bond swap agreement. Since the 2001 default by Argentina on their debt, these collective action clauses have become more common.

Automatic Data Processing (ADP) said that the private sector created 216,000 jobs last month. The ADP report is a precursor to the government’s unemployment rate report which will be made public this Friday.

Dow Jones reported that the Federal Reserve is considering new methods of quantitative easing. The central bank could borrow back the money used to buy some of their bond holdings. There has not been any official announcement yet.

Widely-Held Stocks

Only 15 of the 90 stocks in our widely-held index were lower Wednesday (see the widely-held index chart below). Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) was the second biggest gainer in the index, gaining more than three percent. The volume of trading was double the average.

The company is still benefiting from an MS upgrade last week. The investment bank cited better earnings and a buyback of LOW stocks. In the after-hours LOW fell five cents to $28.82. There was a bid of $27.01 on 100 shares and an ask of $29.02 for 100 shares.

LSI Corporation (NYSE:LSI) was another winner Wednesday, gaining nearly three percent. The volume was only slightly higher after a new product announcement. LSI outpaced the S&P info-tech sector which gained only 0.69 percent (see the sector chart below).

Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE:SLE) outperformed the rest of the consumer staples sector Wednesday, gaining more than two percent. The volume was double the average.

SLE release more information about their Coffee and Tea company spin-off and announced a cash tender offer for nearly one billion in outstanding debt.

The share price of The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) and LOW benefited from a surge in homebuilder stocks. HD was up more than two percent but slipped 24 cents to $47.15 in the after-hours.

The share price of homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:HOV) surged two percent after losses beat analyst expectations. If the economy continues to improve, homebuilders and do-it-yourself stores like LOW and HD will benefit.

While SLE advanced today, Kraft Foods Inc (NYSE:KFT) was a laggard. The share price sank more than one percent during the session. An analyst downgrade put pressure on the stock.

In the after-hours KFT fell another 11 cents to $37.72. There was a bid of $36.50 on 200 shares and an ask of $37.90 on 1,000 shares.

By: Tom Madison
Business Reporter

Widely-held stock chart:

Wednesday Widely Held
Stocks
One Day One Day Five Day 30-Day 100-Day
3/7/2012 Company Change Change Change Change Change
8.49 Southwest Airlines Co. -0.11 -1.28% -5.46% -10.73% -1.39% 1
37.83 Kraft Foods Inc. -0.44 -1.15% -0.63% -1.41% 8.55% 2
99.89 Occidental Petroleum... -1.14 -1.13% -4.29% -3.45% 22.56% 3
0.294 Federal National... 0.00 -1.01% -7.26% 31.84% 26.18% 4
45.48 Gilead Sciences, Inc. -0.40 -0.87% -0.11% -5.82% 11.91% 5
41.75 The Walt Disney Co -0.25 -0.60% -0.57% 5.54% 24.44% 6
19.41 Cisco Systems, Inc. -0.07 -0.36% -2.36% -2.12% 11.42% 7
37.31 Merck & Co., Inc. -0.13 -0.35% -2.25% -3.54% 14.10% 8
32.79 Walgreen Company -0.08 -0.24% -1.12% -5.48% -0.52% 9
44.71 CVS Caremark Corp -0.08 -0.18% -0.86% 6.00% 28.85% 10
               
               
62.72 QUALCOMM, Inc. 1.16 1.88% 0.87% 6.32% 17.65% 80
18.77 General Electric Co 0.35 1.90% -1.47% -1.88% 15.72% 81
33.12 The Dow Chemical Co 0.62 1.91% -1.16% -1.84% 24.18% 82
47.39 The Home Depot, Inc. 1.00 2.16% -0.38% 4.71% 37.72% 83
24.1 Level 3 Communications 0.53 2.25% -0.86% 21.66% -7.66% 84
21.32 Sara Lee Corp. 0.55 2.65% 5.28% 11.27% 21.76% 85
8.33 LSI Corporation 0.25 3.09% -3.14% 17.66% 41.19% 86
17.88 Morgan Stanley 0.56 3.23% -3.56% -1.38% 18.10% 87
33.24 Citigroup Inc. 1.12 3.49% -0.24% 10.95% 20.26% 88
28.87 Lowe's Companies, Inc. 1.03 3.70% 1.73% 7.28% 41.17% 89
8.02 Bank of America Corp 0.31 4.02% 0.63% 9.12% 28.94% 90

World Market Chart:

Wednesday World Stock Indexes 1 Day 1 Day 1 Week 30-Day 100-Day
3/7/2012 N. & S. AMERICA Pt Change % Change % Change % Change % Change
12,837.33 Dow Jones Industrial 78.18 0.61% -0.89% 0.81% 11.22%
1,352.63 S&P 500 9.27 0.69% -0.96% 2.59% 11.29%
2,935.69 NASDAQ Composite 25.37 0.87% -1.05% 4.65% 12.97%
12,350.16 S&P TSX Canada 51.53 0.42% -2.32% -0.92% 4.39%
66,016.76 Brazil Bovespa Stock 902.61 1.39% 0.31% 4.87% 22.23%
37,548.54 IPC MXX - Mexico 60.91 0.16% -0.71% 0.83% 9.17%
2,687.97 MerVal Buenos Aires 36.37 1.37% 1.50% -7.59% -1.82%
795.95 Russell 2000 Sm-Cap 8.86 1.13% -1.85% 0.38% 14.29%
801.66 Russell 3000 98% Mkt 6.09 0.77% -1.07% 2.49% 11.97%
EUROPE
5,791.41 FTSE 100 England 25.61 0.44% -1.36% -0.07% 7.55%
3,392.33 CAC 40 France 29.77 0.89% -1.74% 0.87% 10.00%
6,671.11 DAX Germany 38.00 0.57% -2.70% 2.01% 15.69%
745.23 Athens Greece Comp. -9.83 -1.30% 0.22% 5.94% 0.33%
822.62 IGBM Madrid Spain -0.14 -0.02% -3.50% -4.48% -4.97%
6,102.54 SSMI - Swiss Market 55.01 0.91% -0.12% -0.53% 7.86%
17,356.50 FTSE Italia All (Italy) 157.64 0.92% 0.04% 1.89% 2.85%
ASIA & PACIFIC
2,395.07 Shanghai China -16.19 -0.67% -1.36% 3.25% 2.71%
9,576.06 Nikkei 225 Japan -61.57 -0.64% -1.51% 8.21% 10.30%
20,627.78 Hang Seng Hong Kong -178.47 -0.86% -4.85% 0.92% 14.71%
7,903.08 TSEC Taiwan Exchange -34.89 -0.44% -2.69% 9.25% 9.09%
4,143.70 S&P ASX 200 Australia -50.30 -1.20% -3.60% -3.57% -0.03%
17,145.52 BSE Sensex Bombay -27.77 -0.16% -3.42% 0.40% 1.23%
5,220.45 CNX NIFTY NSE India -1.95 -0.04% -3.06% 1.20% 2.52%
1,982.15 Korea Com KOSPI -18.21 -0.91% -2.37% 1.28% 9.81%
2913.16 STI Singapore -18.85 -0.64% -2.70% 0.65% 8.13%

Sector Chart:

Wednesday S&P Sector Name (10) One-Day One-Week 30-Day 100-Day
3/7/2012 % Change % Change % Change % Change
548.83 Energy 0.63% -1.53% 0.74% 14.11%
227.67 Materials 0.36% -2.64% -3.21% 10.83%
312.69 Industrials 0.99% -2.22% -1.04% 14.68%
341.34 Consumer Discretionary 0.97% -0.01% 3.92% 13.65%
339.81 Consumer Staples 0.11% -0.41% 1.35% 7.48%
413.95 Health Care 0.35% -0.95% -0.52% 9.76%
196.72 Financials 1.30% -0.82% 2.81% 17.42%
468.44 Info Tech 0.69% -0.92% 6.26% 13.40%
130.27 Telecom Svc 0.52% 0.71% 2.58% 5.37%
176.11 Utilities -0.03% -0.09% -1.20% 3.08%
Wednesday Dow Sectors (10) One-Day One-Week 30-Day 100-Day
3/7/2012 % Change % Change % Change % Change
3012.17 Basic Materials 0.59% -3.91% -4.43% 10.04%
3498.87 Consumer Goods 0.25% -0.96% 1.89% 8.11%
3834.73 Consumer Services 0.98% 0.12% 3.55% 13.61%
3041.74 Financials 1.17% -0.73% 2.71% 17.25%
3505.43 Health Care 0.42% -1.18% -0.11% 11.02%
3278.75 Industrials 1.00% -2.05% -0.30% 15.47%
6033.41 Oil & Gas 0.73% -1.52% 1.09% 15.23%
7108.2 Technology 0.79% -1.06% 5.81% 13.40%
1111.62 Telecommunications 0.56% 0.50% 2.74% 5.89%
1830.28 Utilities 0.05% -0.14% -1.02% 3.68%

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