Improvements on the job front and a record second quarter in profits had the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index starting off the new day and week strong, up almost 16 points, about 1.35% to over 1,194. Corporate earnings continue to shine, up 17.9% for the second quarter of 2011, a new high. Insider buying also is strong with $861 million in shares bought in August, the most since May 2008.
Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) acquisition of Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) for $12.5 billion also was moving shares higher. This is turning out to be a record year for mergers and acquisitions, and this trend should only continue with the pledge by the Federal Reserve to maintain low interest rates until 2013.
Motorola was up about $14 per share, or about 60%, to over $38.60. Google announced it was buying Motorola Mobility Holdings for $12.5 billion in cash. Insider transactions were up more than 113% for Motorola.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:MPR) was up more than 4%, over $1.55 per share, to about $39.30. The recently spun refining unit of Marathon Oil, Marathon Petroleum released its 10Q this morning, and Wall Street liked it. Marathon Petroleum is up for the past week.
Up almost $1.90, about a 6% gain, Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) was trading over $34 per share in early morning action. Alpha Natural Resources has just about recovered its losses for the week, joining other stocks in the energy sector increasing in the morning session.
After posting better profits and rising last week, Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) was giving it back today, down about $7 and 7% to under $96.40. Estee Lauder forecast fiscal earnings below Wall’s Street’s expectations. Up almost 4% for the last week, Estee Lauder is down almost 4% for the month.
Also down about 6% was food distributor Sysco (NYSE:SYY), to under $27.80, shedding more than $1.60 per share. Margins for the fourth quarter disappointed investors. Sysco is trading below its 20-, 50- and 200-day moving averages with a relative strength index rating of 33. An RSI rating of 30 is when a stock is considered to be oversold.
Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) was off about 13 cents, a 0.33% drop to about $37.30. Gilead is down about 10% for the month and 10% for the quarter. It has an RSI rating of 39.47.
Jonathan Yates does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article.