Investors came back from a long Fourth of July weekend in good spirits held over from last week’s Labor Department report for June, helping all three indices move ahead for the day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished ahead 0.59% to close at 15224.69, while the S&P 500 closed up 0.53% at 1640.46. The Nasdaq managed to finish ahead 0.16% at 3484.83, despite Apple (AAPL) losing more than 2% by day’s end.
Analyst ratings and targets were the prime movers on the day. Priceline (PCLN) continued a magical run, rising nearly 4% after being upgraded from “equal weight” to “overweight” by Morgan Stanley. PCLN is up more than 43% year-to-date. Meanwhile, Best Buy (BBY) received a price target hike from $35 per share to $38 by SunTrust. Though it only gained marginally, BBY shares are up 150% year-to-date. Intel (INTC) headed lower, however, after Evercore downgraded INTC to “underweight” and dropped its price target from $22 to $20.
The banking sector posted solid gains; Citigroup (C, +2%), Wells Fargo (WFC, +1.8%), Bank of America (BAC, +1.7%) and JPMorgan (JPM, +1.3%) all moved ahead.
Dell (DELL) rose more than 3% after Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recommended shareholders accept founder Michael Dell’s bid of $13.65 per share to take the company private.
Investors will now turn their attention to second-quarter earnings season, which kicked off with news that Alcoa (AA) managed to narrowly beat earnings estimates for the second quarter. AA earned an adjusted 7 cents per share, better than expectations for 6 cents. AA shares were ahead just more than 1% in after-hours trading.
- Linn Energy (LINE): Up 8.3% ($1.92) to $25.13.
- SolarCity (SCTY): Up 7.7% ($2.92) to $41.01.
- Peabody Energy (BTU): Up 4.9% (72 cents) to $15.37.
- Noodles & Company (NDLS): Down 9.2% ($4.26) to $40.06.
- Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX): Down 7.8% ($1.66) to $19.61.
- Zynga (ZNGA): Down 4.1% (14 cents) to $3.29.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he is long AAPL.