Fourth quarter GDP ended on a uptrend, coming in at 3.1%. The state of the economy was healthy and it looked like growth would continue to match or exceed Q4. Based on that scenario, Bank of America (BAC) analyst Ethan Harris, forecast first-quarter 2011 GDP to come in at 3.3%.
But in the few short months of 2011, the world is getting turned upside down. The conflict in Libya has cut OPEC oil production and sent oil prices skyrocketing. In turn, the price of gasoline is nearing $4.00 per gallon. And food processors are raising prices due to higher raw commodity prices. These two factors have put a dent in the household budget.
Continue reading Bank of America Cuts First-Quarter GDP Forecast
Bank of America (BAC) is a pretty big player in its industry; it's got brand equity -- everyone has heard of it. How is its stock looking these days?
At the time of writing, shares could be had for $13.44. The 52-week low for the company is $10.91; the 52-week high is $19.86. That's a tight range, and as one might imagine, this company has been a vehicle for traders trying to ride whatever volatility is available at any given time.
Continue reading BAC: Checking In on Bank of America's Stock
It should surprise no one that oil stocks have taken the lead in the first quarter, while financial stocks -- after a good two-year run -- have been tamed. This is how things have shaped up through the first quarter for my 2011 stock picks. (For a look at my original picks, see here: part 1, part 2,
and part 3
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.
Continue reading Chasing Value: 2011 Stock Picks Q1 Review -- A Platform for Success
Let's go back to the financial crisis and the practices that brought this country to its knees. Banks developed a fancy scheme whereby they absolved themselves of all risk from the loans they made. They simply wrapped them up in a bundle and sold them to someone else. What they were doing is essentially packaging and reselling "junk."
When the news of how bad things were became known, the markets froze and collapsed. No one knew who had which securities, and if they did, they didn't know their true value.
Continue reading Banks Lobby Against Risk Retention on the Loans They Make
- Red Hat (RHT) to outperform from neutral at RW Baird.
- Cogdell Spencer (CSA) to buy from hold at Citigroup.
- Micron (MU) to neutral from reduce at Nomura.
- El Paso Electric (EE) to buy from hold at Jefferies.
- MICROS Systems (MCRS) and Harmony Gold (HMY) to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital.
- Meridian Bioscience (VIVO) to buy from hold at Canaccord.
- Verso Paper (VRS) to outperform from neutral at Credit Suisse.
- Sony (SNE) to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank.
- Noble Corp. (NE) and Baker Hughes (BHI) to buy from neutral at UBS.
- Tyson Foods (TSN) and Smithfield Foods (SFD) to buy from hold at BB&T.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: BAC, BHI, KKR, MU, NE, RHT, SNE, TSN, WMT ...
Monday could have been far worse. Japan led things south with news that the nuclear reactors were not shut down and could pose serious risks ahead. This sent Japan's NIKKEI 225 down more than 6% and back under the dreaded 10,000 mark. US markets held up better than expected, while news that Saudi troops were being asked to enter into protect Bahrain's infrastructure sent oil back up. US markets came back from larger losses late in the session.
Here were today's unofficial closing bell levels:
Dow Jones 11,993.16 -51.24 (-0.43%)
S&P 500 1,296.39 -7.89 (-0.60%)
Nasdaq 2,700.97 -14.64 (-0.54%)
Top analyst upgrades and downgrades
Top Japanese fund, ETF, and ADR movers
Continue reading Closing Bell: Woes Move from North Africa to Japan (FSLR, BTU, CCJ, CBLI, NDAQ, NYX, BAC, GE, TM)
Banks are back in the news -- in a good way. Speculation is that mergers and acquisitions will be picking up, so are profits. Some are looking to raise their dividend and/or buy back more shares. Bank of America (BAC) is one of them.
The CEO, Brian Moynihan, announced that B of A wasn't looking to buy other banks. Instead, the bank would be focused on returning more capital to shareholders in the form of a regular dividend (now 4 cents a year), share buybacks and special cash dividends. The reason: he feels the bank will earn between $35 billion and $40 billion a year (yes, billion ... a year) in pretax earnings when the business normalizes. (But there's the catch: when does business get to normal?)
Continue reading Comfort Zone Investing: Are the Banks Back?
Back in the summer of 2010 when the market was down, the gulf was full of spewing oil and investors were running away from bad news stocks shocked most notably by BP (BP
) oil spill, I decided to post a contrarian story
reminding readers that the fear was overblown and created a buying opportunity.
"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.
Continue reading Chasing Value: Toxic Stock Update #4 -- BAC, BP, C, GE, GS, RIG
), which is the largest hospital operator in the US, is no stranger to buyouts. It struck one in the late 1980s and another in 2006. So far, the strategy has generated huge returns for investors.
And yes, today HCA hit the public markets again. In all, the company raised $3.79 billion -- which makes it the biggest private equity IPO ever. The underwriters include Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC
), Citigroup (C
) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM
Continue reading HCA Strikes a Mega IPO
"Even when the market is up a lot, you can always find some good stocks that have been left behind but could be on the verge of a rebound," says George Putnam.
The editor of The Turnaround Letter explains, "That's where we suggest you focus your efforts right now. These eight stocks all have strong business franchises and have all significantly lagged the market over the last two years.
"In fact, several of them are still trading near or even below where they were in early 2009. Here, we look at Bank of America (BAC), Best Buy (BBY), Campbell Soup (CPB), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Microsoft (MSFT) and Sprint Nextel (S).
Continue reading Turnaround Expert: A Six-Pack of Rebound Buys
Oil inventories failed to markedly turn the tide despite more and more public commentary (and perhaps realization) that Libya and unrest elsewhere that is currently on the table may have gone too far in oil. Still, the fear is what lies ahead tomorrow rather than what is happening today. PIMCO's Bill Gross has exited US Treasury bonds from the PIMCO Total Return Fund as well. The markets fought between being up and down on the two-year anniversary of the start of the end of the bear market.
Here were today's closing bells:
Dow Jones 12,213.09 -1.29 (-0.01%)
S&P 500 1,320.03 -1.79 (-0.14%)
Nasdaq 2,751.72 -14.05 (-0.51%)
Continue reading Closing Bell: Celebrating the Death of the Bears, Sort of (AEO, BAC, FNSR, POT, ROYL)
Ongoing turmoil in Libya and elsewhere did not damage US-trading today. OPEC did not yet agree to higher production but noted that it could boost production if necessary. Even PIMCO's Bill Gross comment that the economy
and deficits where no longer self-sustaining failed to knock the market.
Here were today's unofficial closing bell levels:
Dow Jones 12,214.38 +124.35 (1.03%)
S&P 500 1,321.82 +11.69 (0.89%)
Nasdaq 2,765.77 +20.14 (0.73%)
Continue reading Closing Bell: The Bulls Make a Comeback (URBN, MCD, NFLX, BSFT, BAC, AMR)
Bank of America (BAC
- option chain
) shares are rising today after the company's CEO, Brian Moynihan, told attendees at the company's investor day conference that he thinks BAC can earn between $35 and $40 billion a year
in pretax earnings when its business normalizes. He also said that by 2013 the bank could be paying up to $12 billion a year in regular dividends. If you think that the stock won't fall by too much in the coming months, then now could be a good time to look at a bullish hedged trade on BAC.
BAC opened this morning at $14.27. So far today the stock has hit a low of $14.20 and a high of $14.67. As of 12:40, BAC is trading at $14.63 up 0.60 (4.2%). The chart for BAC looks neutral and S&P
gives BAC a neutral 3 STARS (out of 5) hold ranking.
Continue reading Bank of America CEO Predicts Big Dividends by 2013
When it comes to hard-disk drives, Western Digital (WDC) is the largest publicly traded operator in the U.S. And with its recent deal, it will get much larger. That is, the company has agreed to pay $4.3 billion for the data storage business of Hitachi.
Based on the stock move for Western Digital, investors love the transaction. In early Monday trading, the shares were up a sizzling 17.33% to $35.21.
Continue reading Western Digital Bulks Up with a $4.3 Billion Storage Deal
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