Market Wrap: Hedge Titans Speak, Markets Listen; Bernanke Testifies; Muddy Waters' New Target

Market wrap for July 17th

End of the Day: S&P 500 up 4.7 to 1,680.91; Dow Jones up 18.7 to 15,470.52; Nasdaq up 11.5 to 3,610.00

* In a testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke emphasized that the Fed's open market operations depend on economic and financial developments and are not on a present course for cessation. For the full prepared testimony delivered Wednesday, click here.

* The U.S. Commerce Department said today that new starts came in at an annualized rate of 836,000 units in June, from a revised 928,000 units start in May and expectations calling for 960,000 units. It was the lowest read since August 2012. Single-family home builds fell 0.8 percent to an annualized rate of 591,000 units, from 596,000 units in May. Multifamily starts dropped 26.2 percent to a rate of 245,000 units.

* American Tower (NYSE: AMT) was active on Wednesday's session as noted short-seller Muddy Waters initiated coverage on American Tower at Strong Sell with a per-share value at $44.57. For more color on the coverage, click her.

* Trian Fund Management, L.P., whose investment funds managed by it currently beneficially own in excess of $1.3 billion of shares of common stock of PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP), today released a detailed “White Paper” outlining strategic alternatives Trian believes would drive substantial value creation for all PepsiCo shareholders. For more color, click here.

* Jim Chanos said he was short Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) during CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference today. Chanos noted several reasons and shares of the industrial equipment giant fell around 2 percent on the headlines.

* Bank Of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) posted Q2 EPS of $0.32, $0.07 better than the analyst estimate of $0.25. Revenue for the quarter came in at $22.95 billion versus the consensus estimate of $22.61 billion.

* eBay, Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) reported Q2 EPS of $0.63, $0.01 worse than the analyst estimate of $0.64. Revenue for the quarter came in at $3.9 billion versus the consensus estimate of $3.89 billion. Guidance for Q3 and FY13 could have come in strong, if you are an investor.

*IBM (NYSE: IBM) reported Q2 EPS of $3.91, $0.14 better than the analyst estimate of $3.77. Revenue for the quarter came fell 3% to $24.9 billion versus the consensus estimate of $25.39 billion.

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