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The major market averages have been unable to shrug off this morning's disappointing initial and continuing claims data. Earlier weakness has been mostly erased with the Dow and S&P seeing small losses while the Nasdaq holds a slight gain.
Education stocks are among the best performers today, seeing gains on the heels of the Department of Education's favorable gainful employment ruling. The final rules published last night give the for-profit education companies more time to comply with the changes than the initial ruling had proposed. Corinthian Colleges (COCO 5.20, +1.21), Strayer Education (STRA 141.30, +19.43) and Apollo Group (APOL 46.35, +4.16) are among the movers on the news.
Retail stocks have been on many trader's radars as May Same Store Sales were released. Saks (SKS 11.28, +0.22) was a notable outperformer, with sales climbing 20.2% versus the consensus estimate of a 8.2% rise. The reports were generally weaker-than-expected with Gap (GPS 18.27, -0.63), Kohl's (KSS 51.42, -1.50), and JC Penney (JCP 33.05, -0.94) all missing estimates.
Joy Global (JOYG 90.76, +4.87) is buoying today's relative strength in industrial stocks after the company announced strong second quarter results. The company announced earnings of $1.52 per share, topping the Thomson Reuters consensus by $0.17, and reported an 18.6% increase in revenues to $1.06 billion. The company said it expects full year 2011 earnings per share of $5.30-$5.60, up from its previous estimate of $5.10-$5.40. Peer John Deere (DE 84.05, +1.29) is piggybacking gains, trading up 1.5%.
Treasuries continue to hold their losses despite the continued slide in equities. The 10-yr yield has tested the 3.00% level on a couple of occasions, and currently sits at that level.
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