Today the markets were supposed to be braced for a "Day of Rage" in Saudi Arabia, but that was not to be. An 8.9-magnitude quake in Japan battered Asian markets and Japan in particular. Retail sales came in up 1% rather than 1.2% but that was close enough considering the higher gas prices
in the equation. All in all, today could have been far worse than what we really saw throughout the day in the U.S.
Here were today's unofficial closing bell levels:
Dow Jones 12,044.40 +59.79 (0.50%)
S&P 500 1,304.28 +9.17 (0.71%)
Nasdaq 2,715.61 +14.59 (0.54%)
Top Analyst Upgrades/Downgrades
Top Impact Movers in Japan
Continue reading Closing Bell: A Different Sort of Friday (ARO, HCA, NDN, EWJ, PRMW, ZUMZ)
Tech is alive, retail is not dead, wholesale inventory didn't kill us, and M&A continues. What double-dip recession
? The markets were all in positive territory until the end of the day and the final decision between red and black on the day was not a known certainty until the final minutes. Gold hit a new all-time high as uncertainty and risk still reigns.
Here were today's unofficial closing bell levels:
Dow Jones 10,526.49 -17.64 (-0.17%)
S&P 500 1,121.10 -0.80 (-0.07%)
Nasdaq 2,289.77 +4.06 (0.18%)
Top Analyst Calls
Continue reading Closing Bell: Down to the Wire (CSCO, GMCR, BBY, JPM, RDWR, ZUMZ, GAP)
- FBR Capital upgraded Legg Mason (LM) to market perform from underperform, citing stabilizing outflows and an improved liquidity position.
- Walmart (WMT) was upgraded to buy from hold by Citigroup on expectations the company will regain market share from aggressive price cuts.
- Piper Jaffray upgraded Kirkland's (KIRK) to overweight from neutral following the company's Q4 results.
- Greenbrier (GBX) was upgraded to buy from hold by KeyBanc as the company believes that railcar fundamentals have improved.
- Citigroup upgraded WM Morrison (MRWSY) to buy from sell.
- HSBC raised Millicom (MICC) to overweight from neutral.
- HealthSouth (HLS) was raised to outperform from market perform by Raymond James.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: AKAM, HAS, ICE, KIRK, LM, PEET, RSH, WMT ...
- Credit Suisse views Bank of America (BAC) as the "cheapest" large-cap bank and said the recent TARP repayment removes a significant overhang. The firm upgraded shares to outperform from neutral and raised its target to $21 from $17.
- Piper Jaffray upgraded Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) to neutral from underweight following the company's better-than-expected Q3 results. The firm has a $43 price target on the stock.
- Caris upgraded Zumiez (ZUMZ) to above average from average following the company's better-than-expected December sales report. The firm raised its target on shares to $17 from $14.
- Humana (HUM) was upgraded to equal weight from underweight at Barclays.
- Zimmer (ZMH) was upgraded to buy from neutral at BofA/Merrill.
- Applied Industrial (AIT) was upgraded to buy from hold at KeyBanc.
Continue reading Analyst Upgrades, Downgrades and Initiations: AA, AET, BAC, BBBY, MA, RAI, VZ ...
- Barclays upgraded Exxon (XOM) to overweight from equal weight based on a higher production growth outlook. The firm, which raised its target to $92 from $90, expects Exxon to have organic growth of more than 3% in 2010 and an average growth rate of 2.6% between 2009 and 2013.
- Kaufman Bros. upgraded Palm (PALM) to buy from hold citing the recent pullback in shares and indications that Verizon (VZ) will carry webOS phones as early as 1H10. The firm has a $16 target on the stock.
- Piper Jaffray raised Medicis (MRX) to neutral from underweight and raised its target to $20 from $16. Following a management meeting, Piper said they have increased confidence in Soldyn risk and LipoSonix's safety profile.
- Illinois Tool Works (ITW) was upgraded to buy from neutral at UBS.
- Devon Energy (DVN) was upgraded to outperform from market perform at Wells Fargo.
- Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) was upgraded to buy from neutral at Merriman.
Continue reading Analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations: DELL, NFLX, PALM, SPWRA, XOM ...
- Deutsche Bank upgraded Clorox (NYSE: CLX) to Buy from Hold on valuation and believes upside to earnings forecasts is likely. The firm raised its target on shares to $66 from $65.
- Kaufman Bros. upgraded eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) to Buy from Hold on expectations improved Marketplace fundamentals will serve as a positive catalyst for shares. The firm raised its price target on the stock to $29 from $22.
- Roth Capital believes Zumiez (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) is well positioned for improved results and margins. The firm, which upgraded shares to Buy from Hold and raised its target to $22 from $16, said September back-to-school results bode well for the holiday season and demonstrate that Zumiez can drive conversion during peak shopping periods.
- Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) was upgraded to Sell from Conviction Sell at Goldman.
- Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) was upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Baird.
- Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW) was upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
Continue reading Analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations: ADBE, AZO, EBAY, GS, NOC, WFC ...
- Deutsche Bank upgraded Garmin (NASDAQ: GRMN) to Hold from Sell as it believes the company's second half of 2009 is tracking better than expected due to retailer restocking. Deutsche raised its target on shares to $33 from $15 but thinks Garmin's long-term trends remain unfavorable.
- Goldman upgraded Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO) to Buy from Neutral citing potential EPS improvement driven by the Home division. Fortune Brands price target to $49 from $45. Note that the firm downgraded General Mills to Neutral from Buy.
- Oppenheimer upgraded FPIC Insurance (NASDAQ: FPIC) to Outperform from Perform to reflect the company's acquisition of Advocate MD and management's commitment to share repurchases. The firm set a $49 price target on the stock.
- PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) and Olin Corp. (NYSE: OLN) were upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS.
- Synovus (NYSE: SNV) was upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill.
- Take-Two (NASDAQ: TTWO) was upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.
Continue reading Analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations: ADBE, GIS, MAR, S, TTWO, VZ ...
- Bernstein upgraded Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) to Outperform from Market Perform on valuation as it believes threats to the core business are priced in at current levels and upside catalysts may come from pipeline news. The firm raised its target on shares to $65 from $57.
- Stephens upgraded CyberSource (NASDAQ: CYBS) to Overweight from Equal Weight on valuation as it believes the recent pullback creates a buying opportunity. The firm raised its target on shares to $16 from $14.
- JPMorgan upgraded Magna (NYSE: MGA) and Tenneco (NYSE: TEN) to Overweight from Neutral on expectations global auto production has sequentially bottomed with European light vehicle production rebounding in Q2. The firm also sees a short-term trading opportunity in TRW Automotive (NYSE: TRW), but keeps a Neutral rating on the stock.
- SINA Corp. (NASDAQ: SINA) was upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman.
- Cogent Communications (NASDAQ: CCOI) was raised to Buy from Hold at Citigroup.
Continue reading Analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations: AMGN, CSCO, CX, HAS, T
Last week, JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO) posted a quarterly loss and lowered its guidance. But as interest in alternative energy continues to grow, analysts polled by Thomson Financial are still looking for good things from solar energy concerns scheduled to report earnings this week.
Strong growth at Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) in the third quarter prompted it to lift its guidance back in October. Analysts expect the Chinese company to post profits that are 76.3% higher than a year ago, or $1.18 per share on revenues of $268.4 million (+225.0%). Though Trina Solar missed estimates in the second quarter, analysts on average recommend buying TSL. Shares are down 81.4% from a year ago and trading near an all-time low.
Earnings of rival LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK) are expect to have risen 47.9% to $0.71 per share on revenues of $486.7 million (+206.6%). Also based in China, LDK has not missed estimates in recent quarters; in fact, it blew past expectations in the second quarter. Yet the consensus recommendation is to hold LDK. Like Trina Solar, LDK's shares are trading near an all-time low; the share price has fallen 50.0% in the past year.
Analysts anticipate third-quarter earnings for Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) to be a whopping 96.3% higher than a year ago, or $0.54 per share on revenues of $248.0 million (+154.5%). The company easily topped estimates in the previous quarter. ReneSola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL) and Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) are also expected to report earnings growth of 29.7% ($0.37 per share) and 23.8% ($0.42 per share), respectively. All three of these stocks reached 52-week lows last week, and all are considered buys.
Continue reading The week in preview: High hopes for solar, not so much for home improvement
- JP Morgan lowered its 2009 North American light vehicle production estimate by 13% to 11.2M and Europe by 10% to 19M. The firm upgraded Borg-Warner (NYSE: BWA) to Overweight from Neutral citing balance sheet and revenue growth.
- Jefferies upgraded shares of Kroger (NYSE: KR) to Buy from Hold and raised its target to $32 from $28 as they expect the company's value image to benefit in the current environment.
- Leerink upgraded AMAG Pharma (NASDAQ: AMAG) to Outperform from Market Perform on valuation as they believe current data is sufficient for some form of first cycle approval of Ferumoxytol.
- Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE: CCE) was upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Merrill Lynch.
- Watsco (NYSE: WSO) was raised to Perform from Underperform at Oppenheimer.
- UBS upgraded Invitrogen (NASDAQ: IVGN) to Buy from Neutral.
- Jefferies downgraded shares of Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFMI) to Underperform from Buy and lowered its target to $9.50 from $23 on the worsening macro environment, which they believe is "overwhelming" the company's ability to drive even flat comps in Q4 and FY09.
- Deutsche Bank cut Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) to Hold from Buy and lowered its target to $19 from $28 following the company's worse-than-expected outlook, as they expect shares to be range bound.
- Banc of America downgraded the Dry Bulk Shipping sector to Equal Weight from Overweight to reflect the "depressed" charter rate environment, tighter credit markets and the weakening macroeconomic outlook. The firm downgraded Britannia Bulk (NYSE: DWT), Navios Maritime (NYSE: NM) and TBS International (NASDAQ: TBSI) to Neutral from Buy.
- Eaton (NYSE: ETN) was lowered to Underperform from Neutral at Merrill Lynch.
- AXA (NYSE: AXA) was downgraded at JP Morgan to Neutral from Overweight.
- Aracrus (NYSE: ARA) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.
Continue reading Analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations: KR, CCE, WFMI, TWC, ANN ...
- Piper upgraded Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) to Buy from Neutral to reflect the company's strong competitive position and low valuation. The firm does not expect Intel to miss Q3 estimates.
- Goldman upgraded shares of Deutsche Telecom (NYSE: DT) to Buy from Neutral and added the stock to the Conviction Buy List as they believe the dividend is well covered.
- Wachovia upgraded Landstar System (NASDAQ: LSTR) to Outperform from Market Perform on valuation and potential near-term catalysts from hurricane-related activities.
- Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Friedman Billings.
- Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) was upgraded at JMP Securities to Outperform from Market Perform.
- Baird lifted Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) to Neutral from Underperform.
- Jefferies downgraded VCA Antech (NASDAQ: WOOF) to Underperform from Buy as they believe reduced consumer spending and rising unemployment levels will hurt the company's hospital and lab volumes in FY09. The company's target was lowered to $25 from $35.
- Oppenheimer downgraded shares of Total System (NYSE: TSS) to Perform from Outperform to reflect the challenging macro environment and the customer portfolio risk from bank consolidation.
Continue reading Analyst calls: INTC, DT, ANF, RIMM, WFC, FITB, TDW, ROK ...
- Oppenheimer upgraded shares of Shanda Interactive (NASDAQ: SNDA) to Outperform from Perform following the company's better-than-expected quarter to reflect its growth acceleration in the casual games platform and margin improvements.
- SAIC (NYSE: SAI) was upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform following the solid Q2 report and guidance.
- Susquehanna upgraded Zumiez (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) to Positive from Neutral citing positive August comps, revised merchandising, easier comps, and solid financial position.
- Goldman Sachs upgraded Pharm Product Development (NASDAQ: PPDI) and Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ: STLD) to Buy from Neutral.
- Novellus (NASDAQ: NVLS) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.
- Morgan Stanley downgraded the Semiconductor Capital Equipment sector to In-Line from Attractive citing optimistic expectations for Q4 orders following the recent bounce in stocks. The firm downgraded Lam Research (NASDAQ: LRCX) to Underweight from Overweight and KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ: KLAC) KLAC to Equal Weight from Overweight.
Continue reading Analyst calls: SAI, KLAC, QCOM, MRVL, UL, CMG, HPQ, AAPL, DELL ...
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