- Citigroup (C) to outperform from market perform at Bernstein.
- Cubist Pharma (CBST) to outperform from neutral at RW Baird.
- Pentair (PNR) to buy from hold at Citigroup.
- Heritage Financial (HFWA) to outperform from market perform at Keefe Bruyette.
- SL Green Realty (SLG) and Digital Realty (DLR) to market perform from underperform at FBR Capital.
- MGM Resorts (MGM) to neutral from Sell at Janney Capital.
- Ciena (CIEN) to buy from neutral and Olin (OLN) to buy from underperform at BofA/Merrill.
- Mellanox (MLNX) to overweight from equal weight at Barclays.
- ConocoPhillips (COP) and Canadian Natural (CNQ) to overweight from neutral at JPMorgan.
- IDEX (IEX) to outperform from perform at Oppenheimer.
- Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank.
- Ctrip.com (CTRP) to positive from neutral at Susquehanna.
- Linear Technology (LLTC) and Analog Devices (ADI) to hold from sell at Auriga.
- Quicksilver (KWK) to outperform from market perform at BMO Capital.
Normally, if I said a business was underwater, investors would think the worst. Actually, in the summer Noble Corp (NE) was underwater -- and investors were not impressed. However, this was a great buying opportunity, and although the company is still underwater, it is also a market leader among my stock picks and the overall market -- even among oil industry players. With its fleet of 69 offshore drilling rigs, Noble stands tall.
iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (EWY) April put option implied volatility is at 25, July is at 29; compared to its 26-week average of 27, according to Track Data, suggesting less near-term price movement compared to outer month risk.
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) closed up 1.53 to 19.44.
Update is by Stock Specialist Paul Foster of theflyonthewall.com.
A relief rally recovery is how you would describe Monday. The no-fly zone success of Libya over the weekend and the 'no more bad news' out of Japan were the two major contributors today. The US even announced that it would begin selling off the Treasury's $142 billion mortgage-backed securities portfolio.
Here were the unofficial closing bell levels today:
Dow Jones 12,036.53 +178.01 (1.50%)
S&P 500 1,298.38 +19.18 (1.50%)
Nasdaq 2,692.09 +48.42 (1.83%)
Top Analyst Upgrades/Downgrades
"My pal Warren" has said for years that we should buy on fear and sell on greed. The toxic stock portfolio was a result of this sentiment.
This is the fourth update to my ranting eight months ago that acquiring six of the most hated, and most highly traded stocks with constant negative headlines would outperform the overall market. The theory has born fruit as the toxic stocks are ahead and the difference is increasing over time.
On Wednesday March 2, this investor threw in his two cents worth (see:Serious Money: What Should Warren Buffett Do Next?) discussing possible acquisitions. Since all the "pro's", I use the term loosely, have had a say I thought I would give readers a chance to express some of their ideas too.
- Intel (INTC), ON Semiconductor (ONNN), Lattice Semiconductor (LSCC), Fairchild Semiconductor (FSC), STMicroelectronics (STM) and Altera (ALTR) to outperform from neutral at RW Baird.
- Capital One (COF) to overweight from equal weight at Morgan Stanley.
- Dollar Tree (DLTR) to buy from neutral at Goldman.
- Foot Locker (FL) to buy from neutral at Sterne Agee.
- Progressive (PGR) to buy from neutral at BofA/Merrill.
- Flow International (FLOW) to buy from neutral at Roth Capital.
- Signature Bank (SBNY) to buy from hold at Jefferies.
- HiSoft Technology (HSFT) to buy from neutral at UBS.
The Bank of New York Mellon (BK) primarily competes with State Street (STT), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Citigroup (C) in the asset servicing business. The asset servicing fee charged by BNY Mellon was volatile from 2007 to 2009. Due to the long-term nature of asset servicing contracts, BNY Mellon is likely to give discounts on servicing fees in the short run to attract more clients. Additionally, with the rise in assets under custody, we expect to see a drop in servicing fees as economies of scale come into play with the asset industry becoming more technology-intensive.
We currently have a Trefis price estimate of $35.72 for The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.'s stock, which is about 12% ahead of the current market price.
U.S. stocks opened the trading session with the Dow Jones Industrial Average surging 125 points at the open. The Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 also soared over 1%. The market responded partly to weekly jobless claims figures, which plunged to a nearly three-year low.
- Wells Fargo (WFC) to conviction buy from neutral at Goldman.
- Adobe (ADBE) to buy from neutral at UBS.
- Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) to outperform from market perform at FBR Capital.
- Vail Resorts (MTN) and Goldcorp (GG) to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank.
- OmniVision (OVTI) to overweight from neutral at JPMorgan.
- Penn Virginia (PVA) to hold from sell at Canaccord.
- Hub Group (HUBG) to outperform from market perform at Morgan Keegan.
Bank earnings are coming in mixed. A few days ago, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) reported its profit was up 47%. Then, Goldman Sachs (GS) reported earnings were down 52%. And on Wednesday, we got a stellar performance by Morgan Stanley (MS).
The Wall Street Journal reports that Morgan Stanley's profits were up 35% to $867 million, up from $460 million a year ago. Earnings jumped to 41 cents per share from 29 cents per share. Net revenue jumped 14% to $7.81 billion. Analysts at Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of 35 cents a share on $7.35 billion.
U.S. stock futures are mostly higher this morning as investors await earnings reports from several companies. However, shares of Apple Inc (AAPL) dropped in pre-market trading. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37 points to 11,762.00 and S&P 500 futures gained 2.20 points to 1,292.20. Futures on the Nasdaq 100, however, dropped 12.50 points to 2,307.50.
U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Day holiday. Stocks closed higher on Friday, with the Dow gaining 55.48 points, or 0.47%.
The earnings season ramps up this week. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters foresee strong reports from such big names as Apple (AAPL), eBay (EBAY), IBM (IBM), General Electric (GE), Google (GOOG), Schlumberger (SLB) and Southwest Airlines (LUV). And fast on the heels of last week's big earnings beat from JPMorgan Chase (JPM), there will be plenty more results from the financial sector to peruse this week.
Among the financials expected to post double-digit earnings growth this week are Capital One Financial (COF), Morgan Stanley (MS), SLM Corp. (SLM) and U.S. Bancorp (USB), but the week's biggest earnings winner may be Wells Fargo (WFC).
I have already gone on record this year saying that financial companies and insurance stocks are going to continue to rebound. In my previous two posts Chasing Value: 2011 Stock Picks -- 5 of 11 and Chasing Value: 2011 Stock Picks -- 6, 7, 8, 9, I included several financial institutions. Today I add an insurance company.
The industry got whacked hard for many reasons. For one, it makes a significant amount of profit by investing its float, and like every other investor, the industry lost a pile of money in the financial crisis. It was embroiled more directly than some industries, as several insurers are affiliated with banks. Finally the housing crisis meant disruption to payment streams by homeowners who were delinquent on more than their mortgages.
"After two years of economic declines, even the small uptick in growth we are starting to see should be a tonic for America's battered banks," says Jim Powell.
The editor of Global Changes & Opportunities Report explains, "Of the major U.S. banks, I think Citigroup (C) offers investors the most promise; as such, I am selecting the stock as my top pick for 2011.