That gain was achieved on a lazy day of trading that saw a mere 565 mln shares traded at the NYSE, which included 36.5 mln shares traded in new arrival Oracle (ORCL).
Today has the makings of being another hazy session. Notwithstanding a number of high-profile earnings reports and the release of the June CPI report, the S&P futures are pointing to a relatively flat start for the cash market.
On the earnings front, Goldman Sachs (GS) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) are early standouts, having exceeded the Capital IQ consensus EPS estimate for the June quarter by $0.87 and $0.09, respectively. Both stocks are trading modestly higher in premarket action.
Conversely, Coca-Cola (KO) and Cintas (CTAS) underwhelmed with their reports. Coca-Cola reported earnings per share that were in-line with estimates on a 2.6% decline in revenue and disappointing volume growth of 1.0%. Cintas, for its part, came up a penny shy of the Capital IQ consensus estimate and issued an earnings warning for FY14 noting the uncertainty in the economy. KO is down 2.6% while CTAs is off 4.5% in premarket trading.
The Consumer Price Index increased 0.5% in June, which was above the Briefing.com consensus estimate that called for a 0.3% increase. While the headline number was a "surprise," it really wasn't. The PPI report provided an early warning sign that the CPI number could be a bit hotter than expected on account of rising gasoline prices. Sure enough, a 6.3% increase in the gasoline index accounted for about two thirds of the change in CPI in June.
Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.2%, which was right in-line with expectations. Declines in the indexes for airline fares, used cars and trucks, and recreation helped offset advances in the indexes for shelter, medical care, and apparel.
Over the last 12 months, total CPI has risen 1.8% (versus 1.4% in May) while core CPI has increased 1.6%. The latter is the smallest 12-month change since June 2011, which should resonate with the Fed as a reason why it must maintain highly accommodative monetary policy.
The Industrial Production report (Briefing.com consensus +0.3%; prior 0.0%) will follow at 9:15 a.m. ET. Separately, Kansas City Fed President George, who has been a noted (and hawkish) dissenter at the FOMC meetings, will be giving a speech on economic conditions and agriculture at 2:15 p.m. ET. Headlines from the speech could have a more hawkish tilt, yet the market will remain mindful -- and perhaps crazy, lazy, and hazy -- over the thought of Fed Chairman Bernanke speaking tomorrow about monetary policy before the House Financial Services Committee.
--Patrick J. O'Hare, Briefing.com