Over the years there have been some strange goings on in the commodity markets. One episode that comes to mind is the attempt by the Hunt brothers of Texas to corner the silver market in the 1970s.
Now we have another strange occurrence. The Financial Times reported that one trader holds 80% to 90% of the copper in the London Metals Exchange (LME) warehouses, valued at about $3 billion. We do know that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is a big player in the copper market. Whether JPMorgan increased its holdings is not known.
Continue reading Single Trader Dominates Copper in London Metals Exchange
- Tyco Electronics (TEL) and Weight Watchers (WTW) to buy from neutral, and Smithfield Foods (SFD) to buy from underperform, at BofA/Merrill.
- Red Hat (RHT) to overweight from equal weight at Morgan Stanley.
- Gold Fields (GFI) to overweight from neutral at HSBC.
- Novartis (NVS) to outperform from neutral and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to neutral from underperform at Credit Suisse.
- Dollar General (DG) to buy from hold at ThinkEquity.
- Eagle Rock Energy (EROC) to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: AZN, DG, GSK, NBS, NRGY, NVS, RHT, SFD, STX, TYC ...
- Deere (DE) to outperform from market perform at Wells Fargo.
- American Eagle (AEO) to buy from neutral at Janney Capital.
- FedEx (FDX) and Shaw (SJR) to outperform from neutral at Credit Suisse.
- Superior Energy (SPN) and Rowan Cos. (RDC) to overweight from equal weight at Barclays.
- Tesoro (TSO) to outperform from neutral at Macquarie.
- Mechel (MTL) to buy from neutral at Goldman.
- SunPower (SPWRA), LDK Solar (LDK) and First Solar (FSLR) to buy from hold at ThinkEquity.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: AEO, AMP, DE, EBAY, FDX, FRO, FSLR, HBC, SPWR, TSO ...
- Oppenheimer upgraded Teva (TEVA) to outperform from perform. The firm expects the company to generate strong 2H10 earnings and thinks the competition created by Novartis's (NVS) Gilenia will be limited.
- Citigroup upgraded Celanese (CE) to buy from hold, citing valuation and the company's move to add assets in China, as well as possible takeover interest.
- Needham raised Stereotaxis (STXS) to buy from hold as the firm thinks that strong clinical data recently announced by the company could result in faster adoption rates of its robotic surgery.
- BMO Capital upgraded Smurfit-Stone Container (SSCC) given strength in the containerboard market.
- Melco Crown (MPEL) was upgraded to buy from neutral at UBS.
- Goldman Sachs raised Temple-Inland (TIN) to buy from neutral.
- Barclays upgraded Lloyds Banking (LYG) to equal weight from underweight.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: AMGN, APOL, CE, CELG, HGSI, RIMM, STXS, SUN, TEVA, VAL ...
- Deutsche Bank upgraded Smurfit-Stone (SSCC) to buy from hold after raising its estimates for containerboard names and upped its target for shares to $28 from $22. The firm also raised its price target for International Paper (IP) to $38 from $32, for Packaging Corp. (PKG) to $33 from $28, for Temple-Inland (TIN) to $31 from $28, for Greif (GEF) to $67 from $65, and for Rock-Tenn (RKT) to $70 from $65. All stocks are buy rated.
- ThinkEquity upgraded VMware (VMW) to buy from hold and has a $90 price target on the stock. The firm expects VMware to benefit from increased virtual infrastructure adoption and improving vSphere solutions.
- Needham upgraded Cavium Networks (CAVM) to strong buy from buy, citing the recent pullback in shares following Cisco's (CSCO) cautious commentary. The firm has a $37 target on the stock.
- Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) was upgraded to outperform from neutral at Credit Suisse.
- MedAssets (MDAS) was upgraded to buy from hold at Auriga.
- Brookfield Properties (BPO) was upgraded to buy from hold at Citigroup.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: AMGN, CAVM, COCO, GENZ, GILD, ICE, PWRD, SSCC, VMW ...
Why has the price of tin jumped in recent weeks? The economic rebound in Japan and parts of Europe has spurred increased demand for the commodity. Tin is used for soldering, especially in electronics. Inventories are down 50%.
The increased demand has come with falling production, especially in Indonesia, the world's largest producer. Tin prices have risen 30% in two months. On the London Metals Exchange (LME), tin traded as high as $20,750 per ton. This is the highest level since August 2008.
Continue reading Tin Prices Soar to Over $20,000 per Ton
- Janney Montgomery upgraded Kenexa (NASDAQ: KNXA) and SuccessFactors (NASDAQ: SFSF) to Buy from Neutral on expectations corporate IT spending will accelerate in the second half of 2009. The firm raised its target on Kenexa to $14 from $8 and on SuccessFactors to $12 from $9.
- Jefferies upgraded PSS World Medical (NASDAQ: PSSI) to Buy from Hold to reflect the company's cost-cutting measures and efforts to gain market share. The firm raised its target on shares to $25 from $17.50.
- FBR Capital upgraded Sunpower (NASDAQ: SPWRA) to Outperform from Market Perform following the company's Q2 results to reflect increased business prospects in the "rooftop" segment of the market. FBR raised its target on shares to $40 from $22.
- Cooper Industries (NYSE: CBE) was upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer.
- Temple-Inland (NYSE: TIN) was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS.
- Juniper Networks (NASDAQ: JNPR) was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman.
Continue reading Analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations: MSFT, RX, SCHW, SPWRA ...
- Baird upgraded Nike (NYSE: NKE) to Outperform from Neutral on expectations the company will benefit from the drop in the U.S. dollar and continued solid trends in athletic footwear. The firm raised its target on shares to $69 from $61.
- Deutsche Bank upgraded Temple-Inland (NYSE: TIN) to Buy from Hold as it believes the company is well positioned for cyclical turnaround in the Paper/Building Products space. The firm raised its target on shares to $19 from $11.
- Goldman upgraded Diageo (NYSE: DEO) to Buy from Neutral to reflect the current valuation and the company's exposure to emerging markets.
- Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) was upgraded to Hold from Sell at ING Group.
- Banco Santander (NYSE: STD) was lifted to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
- Jackson Hewitt (NYSE: JTX) was upgraded at Oppenheimer to Outperform from Perform.
Continue reading Analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations: NKE, DEO, CMG, UAL, DD, ERIC ...
- Morgan Stanley upgraded Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) to Overweight from Equal Weight as they expect the company to benefit from higher natural gas prices in 2010. The firm has a $34 target on shares.
- Citigroup upgraded Energy Conversion (NASDAQ: ENER) to Hold from Sell on valuation is it finds the risk/reward balanced at current levels. The firm raised its target price to $16 from $13.
- Jefferies upgraded Lifetime Brands (NASDAQ: LCUT) to Buy from Underperform to reflect reduced liquidity concerns and an improved outlook for Global Direct Sellers. The firm raised its target price to $4 from $2.
- American Eagle (NYSE: AEO) was upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.
- TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX) was upgraded at Barclays to Overweight from Equal Weight and to Outperform from Netural at Credit Suisse.
- STEC Inc (NASDAQ: STEC) was raised to Overweight from Market Weight at Thomas Weisel.
Continue reading Analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations: CHK, AEO, RBS, COF ...
European banks, the Paper and Forest Products sector, Kindred Healthcare and Convergys were today's noteworthy upgrades:
- Keefe Bruyette upgraded the European Banks sector to Neutral from Underweight on valuation as they see limited downside from current levels. Included in the firm's top picks are HSBC Holdings Plc (NYSE: HBC) and Banco Santander SA (NYSE: STD).
- Credit Suisse upgraded the Paper and Forest Products sector to Overweight from Underweight citing valuations and expectations that fundamentals will bottom this fall. The firm raised shares of Temple-Inland Inc (NYSE: TIN) and Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (NASDAQ: SSCC) to Outperform from Neutral.
- Friedman Billings upgraded shares of Kindred Healthcare Inc (NYSE: KND) to Outperform from Market Perform on valuation following the recent pullback and believes the company is well-positioned to beat modest expectations over the remainder of the year. The firm raised their target to $36 from $29.
- Oppenheimer raised Convergys Corporation (NYSE: CVG) to Outperform from Perform on valuation, as they believe investors should look at the company's business lines separately. Their sum of parts valuation yields an $18 target.
General Motors, Green Mountain Coffee, Orexigen and Norsk Hydro were today's noteworthy upgrades:
- Banc of America upgraded shares of General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM) to Neutral from Sell as they believe the agreement with the United Auto Workers union offsets a worsening outlook for sales.
- Piper Jaffray upgraded shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR) to Outperform from Market Perform after a meeting with management as they believe shares offer a compelling buying opportunity at current levels based on their 2009 estimates.
- JMP Securities upgraded shares of Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OREX) to Strong Buy from Market Outperform as they believe the company's lead product candidates, Empatic and Contrave, could become front-line therapies for obesity due to improved durability of efficacy, increased safety and tolerability, and lack of addiction.
- Norsk Hydro (NYSE: NHY) was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Citigroup. The firm sees upside in the stock from the volume growth and further improvements in downstream operations.
Today's MAD MONEY
on CNBC with Jim Cramer was on the road at the University of Texas at Austin. Cramer said there are four best-of-breed stocks at a discount that he would buy. He looked at 207 stocks with a $500 million market cap or more and that have all been overlooked or tossed out by Wall Street.
The first stock he likes is J.C.Penney (NYSE:JCP
) as the best retailer in his universe right now out of large cap retail stocks. He thinks the CEO, Mike Goldman, should get the benefit of the doubt. When they said they had to fix the product mix and take a charge, the stock was dropped and is down another 10% hit. With the buyback and with the strong sales he thinks it can have an upside surprise.
His second pick is Transocean Inc. (NYSE:RIG
) even after the group was hammered today. Cramer said this has little exposure to the weak areas of Canada and the Gulf of Mexico. They can raise rates highly because of rig demand. They can only buy back stock so fast and the cash is coming in faster than can be spent.
Continue reading Cramer's top four picks from Texas
A brief look at railroad freight traffic numbers offers some tell-tale signs as to where our economy is heading. I like to review railroad loading statistics because they can give you a crystal-ball edge in guessing where the big money is leaning in the volatile economic food chain. Basically, right now the numbers are firm year over year, but the freight demographics are what I find interesting.
According to the Association of American Railroads: Total rail freight volume is up 8.9% as compared to 2006, but while container volume is up about 14%, trailer volume is down 6.2%. That indicates that for the year so far, the railroads are probably moving more imported product than domestic product.
While total carload freight (not including inter-modal) was down nearly 1% this week as compared to the same week last year, total ton-miles increased 0.3%, indicating that less freight is moving but it is traveling more miles. That is clearly due to the decreasing inventories of manufactured product, which should bode well for manufacturers in the second and third quarters. That's assuming that consumer spending maintains current levels.
Nonmetallic mineral shipments have increased nearly 20% by volume over last year. This shows strength in base chemicals, base raw materials, glass, concrete, asphalt, industrial construction, and infrastructural improvements. Metallic ore shipments are down over 50%; I believe that shows weakness most especially in steel, tin, aluminum, and copper. Lumber and wood product shipments declined nearly 25% -- no reprieve for the home building market there! Petroleum product shipments are up 9.2% year over year, and coal shipments have increased 3.1%. Here's a tip, it looks like road building and resurfacing will be a big gainer this summer!
Continue reading The economy is firm but changing: Listen to the railroads
On today's STOP TRADING!
segment on CNBC, Cramer discussed the NYSE Group Inc. (NYSE:NYX) as still being the most attractive stock in the exchange sector even though IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (NYSE:ICE) has rallied the most.
This isn't Cramer's first note on NYX, as that was his #1 Growth Pick for 2007
. On TXU Corp. (NYSE:TXU) merging, Cramer thinks that McDermott International (NYSE:MDR) is down too much at -5% on concern that it will lose TXU business.
Foster Wheeler Ltd (NASDAQ:FWLT) is one that Cramer thinks is still great on a post-asbestos basis. On Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW), Cramer said the history of these deals may keep them up and he noted how Alcoa (NYSE:AA) has not fallen. Eastman Chemical Co. (NYSE:EMN) is the one he would do right now because it is too cheap. He also like Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (NYSE:LPX) after temple-Inland Inc. (NYSE:TIN) FINALLY announced its own break-up it had hoped for when he was a broker in 1991.