This morning the market shrugged off the higher than expected initial jobless claims, which jumped to three month highs of 454k. Working against the weak data was strong earnings from Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT) and news of a stock split plus dividend increase from PotashCorp./ Saskatchewan (POT). There were no big surprises from the group of big pharmaceutical companies that reported this morning.
Some believe the frequent harsh winter weather may be to blame for the higher jobless claims, and we have a nice reminder of that as NYC is a winter wonderland once again today. We also saw durable goods orders continue to grow, and pending home sales surprised to the upside just like new home sales yesterday.Fertilizers Fade After Gap Up
The fertilizer group opened higher this morning
after solid earnings and the split/dividend announcement from group leader PotashCorp.
We have been pounding the table
to buy the dip in these agricultural stocks despite Cargill's decision to sell its Mosaic stake, and today's action was some confirmation that such faith was not misplaced.
POT has given back more than half of its pre-market gains as investors look to take profits on the spike. The others in the group, like The Mosaic Company (MOS), CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF) and Monsanto Company, have gone negative after more muted gap ups this morning.
Long-term investors can feel secure
about holding fertilizer stocks after the bullish report from PotashCorp
management (which is typically very conservative in their outlook). For active traders, the sell signal after the morning gap up was a cross back below the previous high in POT which stands at $174.30. Netflix Staying Up
Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) continues to hold up after its nearly 15% after hours gain following another stellar earnings report. The stock is heavily shorted with some analysts adamant the company is grossly overvalued and vulnerable to competition, but the stock continues to charge higher as investors show thirst for the shares. Casinos Still Holding
The casinos stocks continue to be a little bit frustrating for active traders, selling off today after yesterday's bounce.