International Paper announced this morning that is third-quarter net earnings slipped 3% thanks to flat volumes and higher costs for raw materials. These costs offset the company's improved selling prices. For the quarter, the Tennessee-based firm posted primary earnings of 51 cents per share, a nickel better than last year's results. Quarterly revenue also increased, adding 2% to $5.54 billion. Earnings from continuing operations totaled 52 cents per share, which includes 6 cents in one-time charges and a cent in one-time gains. Taking the special items out of the earnings picture, IP brought in 57 cents per share, which fell in line with the consensus estimate.

When the opening bell sounded, IP bolted out of the gate to a gain greater than 1%. Should today's uptrend continue, IP could finish the week north of its 20-week moving average for the first time since the end of July. Furthermore, IP's 10-week moving average has taken an upturn and may make a run at a bullish cross of its 20-week counterpart . . . stay tuned.