July 8 - Summary: Wall Street rallied as the glow from Friday's job report continued but a downgrade of Intel held tech stocks close to the flat line; Profits at Alcoa beat but sales lag. Energy shares trade mixed in wake of Canada freight explosion. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Stocks climb for a third straight session with investors still feeling good about faster-than-expected job growth in June. But the gains weren't evenly spread with the Nasdaq holding close to the flat line. Investors are now looking to glean from corporate America about the health of the overall economy. After the bell, Alcoa reported adjusted earnings one cent better than forecasts, but revenues were down more than expected at the world's largest aluminum producer. As for that slow move in the Nasdaq - Intel was to blame. Evercore Partners, downgrading the stock, believing the chip giant's gains in mobile won't be enough to offset weakness in the PC market any time soon. Shares of Intel fell 3.6 percent on the downgrade. Sticking with tech, a key shareholder advisory group is throwing its weight in favor of Michael Dell's plan to take Dell private. The surprise show of support sent shares of Dell up just over three percent. Institutional Shareholder Services urged a vote against a counter proposal from activist investor Carl Icahn. But Icahn and his partner Southeastern are not backing down - saying the recommendation was not in the best interest of shareholders. The deadly explosion of a freight train in Canada brings to light the dangers of shipping crude oil by rail. Railroad stocks were little changed. But Continental Resources, which wasn't part of the crash, fell roughly 1.6 percent as trains carry three-quarters of its oil production. On the flip side - shares of TransCanada, builder of the underground Keystone XL Pipeline currently stalled in the U.S., rallying nearly two percent on hopes the pipeline may now get approved. By the way, crude oil prices ticked down to just over $103 a barrel. In Europe, ECB President Mario Draghi says rates there will stay low for an extended time and data point to economic stability across the region. As for the market - stocks there bounced-back smartly from Friday's sell-off.