Mid-Day Market Wrap

The major indices slipped into the red today as traders cautiously looked for signs that the five-year bull market was burning out. Exhaustion fears dulled cashtagger exuberance for alternative energy stocks, which have skyrocketed in the past month.

$SPY $qqq when microcap froth develops into a soup-du-jour chase, you know the bull market is almost dead.

— _flipper_ (@_flipper_) Mar. 11 at 01:14 PM

Cashtaggers kept a wary eye on Doctor Copper to judge the health of the overall market. iPath DJ-UBS Copper, $JCC, an ETN that tracks the price of copper futures, was among the top five tickers on StockTwits’ trending bar. Copper is considered by some to be a leading indicator because it is needed in home construction, manufacturing, electronic devices, and other sectors of the economy. Strong demand for copper, the thinking goes, means strong demand for goods.

Futures for the metal continued to fall today in the wake of weaker-than-expected Chinese exports. $JCC dropped more than 3% today.

$JJC is telling you the truth about economy worldwide. $SPY is a liar.

— J. Scales (@Scaletrader) Mar. 11 at 12:26 PM

However, the drop didn’t unnerve all traders. Some argued that copper demand means little in the current economy.

Run the numbers between Copper & S&P500: you'll find consistent negative correlations short-term as well as longer 3-4 years $SPY $JJC

— J.C. Parets (@allstarcharts) Mar. 11 at 12:37 PM

Copper’s warning may have curbed enthusiasm for fuel cell makers. Shares of hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer Plug Power, $PLUG, reversed sharply this afternoon ahead of the company’s 2:30 p.m. speech at the Roth growth stock conference. The stock fell more than 25% intra day after a meteoric rise. Shares are up 110% since the company announced a deal to power Walmart’s electric forklifts on Feb. 10. CEO Andy Marsh also assured investors earlier this month that the company would be profitable this year and hinted at more deals to come.

$PLUG Andy to the rescue…breaking news?

— mark wolinski (@areuayankee2) Mar. 11 at 01:13 PM

Some investors who bought on hopes of more announced deals sold before the conference on fear that a letdown would tank the stock. The company will announce earnings on March 13.

$PLUG i love plug but even if it went up .its so volitile its too risky to hold at that level now. showing how easy people drop this

— Brandon (@brandon123) Mar. 11 at 01:12 PM

Ballard Power Systems, $BLDP, also fell today after rising in tandem with $PLUG. FuelCell Energy, $FCEL, however, climbed 3% after reporting better than expected revenues.

Growing fear of an overbought fuel sector did little to hamper enthusiasm for biotech firms or a billion dollar men’s apparel deal.

La Jolla Pharmaceutical, $LJPC, hit many radar screens. Shares of the biotech company climbed 65% after it announced a successful Phase II Study of a drug to treat Chronic Kidney Disease at the Roth growth stock conference. The company’s success had cashtaggers scanning the biotech industry for other firms with promising drugs that could announce bullish news at Roth.

Men’s Wearhouse, $MW, announced today that it will buy Jos A. Bank, $JOSB, for $65-per-share. The all cash deal is valued at $1.8 Billion. The combined company will have more than 1,700 U.S. stores and 23,000 employees.

The acquisition ends the hostilities from an unwelcome $2.3 Billion takeover attempt of Men’s Wearhouse by Jos. A. Bank last year.

Though the Jos. A Bank’s sale price was just 5.3% more than Monday’s closing price, it was 56% more than Jos. A. Bank’s closing share price on October 8, 2013 when the smaller company made the initial hostile takeover bid.

Amazing how easily $JOSB and its lawyers/bankers played $MW like a fiddle, extracting a 56% premium to share price before talks started.

— Jordan S. Terry (@The_Analyst) Mar. 11 at 12:36 PM

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