Post Market Update
• US: Dow: 13103.70 (0.20%), S&P 500: 1412.97 (0.30%), NASDAQ: 2986.12 (0.15%)
• Europe: CAC: 3411.53 (-0.44%), DAX: 7200.23 (0.10%), FTSE: 5805.05 (0.00%).
• Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4510.50 (0.10%), China: 2101.58 (-0.69%), Hong Kong: 21810.23 (0.21%), India: 5705.30 (0.24%), Japan: 9055.20 (1.11%).
• Metals: Gold: 1711.20 (0.56%), Silver: 32.13 (1.61%), Copper: 3.55 (-0.36%)
• Energy: Crude Oil: 86.03 (0.35%), Natural Gas: 3.42 (-0.72%)
• Commodities: Corn: 7.42 (-1.66%), Soya Bean: 15.66 (-0.40%), Wheat: 8.72 (-1.27%)
• Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2936 (0.01%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6121 (0.01%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 80.3300 (0.02%)
• 10 year US Treasury: 1.789% (0.032)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end higher: U.S. markets closed higher in a volatile trading session on Thursday amid some better-than-expected economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose 26.34 points, or 0.2%, to 13,103.6. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) gained 4.23 points, or 0.3%, to end at 1,412.98, while the NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) added 4.42 points, or 0.2%, to 2,986.12.
Oil prices rise: Crude prices gained in a choppy session on Thursday, helped by positive economic data. Gains were capped by last week’s rising oil inventories. Crude oil for December delivery added 0.4 percent, to settle at $86.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for December settlement rose 0.6 percent to $108.49 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
• Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) posted fourth-quarter earnings of $8.67 a share on revenue of $36 billion. Analysts had projected earnings of $8.75 a share on $35.8 billion in revenue. The iPhone maker provided current quarter earnings and revenue outlook that trailed estimates.
• Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) officially unveiled its Windows 8 operating system, at an event in New York on Thursday.
• Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported a third quarter loss excluding items of 23 cents a share, on revenue of $13.8 billion. Analysts were looking for a loss of 7 cents a share on $13.9 billion in sales. The Internet retailer forecast fourth-quarter sales that fell short of estimates
• Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) reported third quarter earnings excluding items of $1.32 a share, 6 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue increased 18 percent to $1.2 billion, also topping estimates of $1.17 billion.
• Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR) reported third quarter earnings excluding one-time items of $1.26 a share, on revenue of $537.6 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.17 a share on revenue of $557.4 million.
• Business-software maker CA, Inc. (NASDAQ:CA) reported second quarter earnings excluding items of 59 cents a share, in line with estimates. Revenue slipped 4 percent to $1.15 billion, trailing estimates of $1.17 billion.
• Deckers Outdoor Corp (NASDAQ:DECK) posted third quarter profit of $1.18 a share, beating estimates by 14 cents. But the Ugg boot and Teva sandal maker cut its full-year outlook.
• Chip maker Freescale Semiconductor Ltd (NYSE:FSL) said third quarter loss narrowed to $24 million, or 10 cents a share, from a loss of $88 million, or 36 cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenue dropped 12 percent to $1.01 billion.
• Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) tanked 10 percent after the electronics retailer warned that earnings this quarter would be significantly lower, and announced the departure of two key executives as part of a turnaround push.
• Property-and-casualty insurer The Chubb Corporation (NYSE:CB) reported third quarter earnings $1.98 a share, topping estimates of $1.49 a share. The company also raised its full-year operating earnings outlook.
• The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) tumbled 22 percent after the newspaper company reported an 86 percent drop in its third-quarter net income and said revenue trailed analysts’ expectations
• Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has acquired New York-based smartphone application maker Stamped for an undisclosed amount. The Wall Street Journal first reported the acquisition.
• For-profit education provider DeVry Inc. (NYSE:DV) said first-quarter profit dropped 44 percent to $32 million, or 49 cents a share, from $57.5 million, or 83 cents a share, in the year ago quarter. Revenue fell 7 percent to $482.7 million from $519 million, a year earlier.
• Homebuilders, Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN), PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI), Toll Brothers Inc (NYSE:TOL) and KB Home (NYSE:KBH) reversed their early gains to end lower after pending home sales in September gained 0.3 percent against expectations for a 2.1 percent increase.
• Car rental company Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ)’s $2.56 billion-bid for rival Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:DTG) is meeting resistance at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, according to a Bloomberg report.
• Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM) hit a 52-week high after the Toronto-based miner reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings on record gold output.
• The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) forecast North American passenger traffic will grow by 2.8 per cent a year and cargo traffic by 4.5 per cent a year over the next 20 years, and said it expects carriers in North America will take delivery of 7,290 new airplanes.
• Cruise operator Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) jumped to a 52-week high after posting better-than-expected third quarter earnings and raising its outlook for the year.
• British publishing group Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO) is in talks to combine its Penguin book publishing unit with Bertelsmann SE’s Random House.
• Generic-drug maker Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL) closed 4.4 percent higher after reporting better than expected third quarter earnings and raising its full year earnings forecast by 5 cents.
• Movie studio Dreamworks Animation Skg Inc (NASDAQ:DWA) said chairman Roger Enrico has resigned effective immediately and will be replaced by board member Mellody Hobson.
• Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) surged 3 percent after third-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates and the investment bank unveiled a $125 million program to cut costs and staff.
• Diebold Incorporated (NYSE:DBD) reported third quarter earnings and revenue that trailed estimates. Earnings excluding items stood at 39 cents a share, missing estimates of 40 cents a share. Revenue stood at $709.9 million, against Street estimates for of $726 million.
Hedge Fund News Update
• Odey Asset Management has raised its stake in Man Group Plc (LON:EMG) to 5.15 percent, betting that the world’s biggest listed hedge fund will be able to reverse its fortunes.
• New York-based BlueMountain Capital Management LLC raised twice the amount it anticipated this month from pension managers for a credit fund that buys collateralized loan obligations and asset-backed securities, according to a report in Bloomberg News.
• David Barrett, a former Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) investment banker will join New York-based hedge fund Gotham Asset Management LLC as head of investor relations.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Thursday, October 25, 2012
• Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Canaccord Genuity with a target price of $45.
• AllianceBernstein Holding LP (NYSE:AB) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.
• Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE:BRO) was raised to a “buy” rating from a “hold” rating by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus with a target price of $32.
• Boston Properties, Inc. (NYSE:BXP) was lifted to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus with a target price of $120.
• Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (NYSE:CFR) was upgraded to “neutral” from “underperform” by analysts at Sterne Agee.
• Equinix Inc (NASDAQ:EQIX) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Citigroup.
• FMC Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:FTI) was lifted to “hold” from “underperform” by analysts at Jefferies Group.
• Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) was upgraded to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Stephens.
• LRR Energy LP (NYSE:LRE) was raised to “outperform” from “perform” by analysts at Oppenheimer with a target price of $24.
• Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE:NFX) was lifted to “market perform” from “underperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
• Prosperity Bancshares, Inc. (NYSE:PB) was upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.
• SEI Investments Company (NASDAQ:SEIC) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.
• Skyworks Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:SWKS) was lifted to “strong buy” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
• Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRML) was upgraded to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at Ladenburg Thalmann.
• Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Needham & Company with a target price of $4.
• Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:ATI) was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase.
• Ancestry.com Inc (NASDAQ:ACOM) was lowered to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
• Canadian National Railway (USA) (NYSE:CNI) was cut to “sector perform” from “outperform” by analysts at RBC Capital Markets.
• Computer Programs & Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPSI) was downgraded to “outperform” from “strong buy” by analysts at Raymond James.
• Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ:CROX) was lowered by analysts at Sterne Agee from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating.
• Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:GWAY) was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
• Intersil Corp (NASDAQ:ISIL) was downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” by analysts at Citigroup.
• LSI Corporation (NYSE:LSI) was lowered by analysts at Wedbush from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating.
• Manpower Inc (NYSE:MAN) was cut to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Macquarie.
• Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE:MSI) was downgraded to “outperform” from “strong buy” by analysts at Raymond James.
• Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE:NBR) was lowered by analysts at Argus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating.
• New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:NYB) was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.
• Trueblue Inc (NYSE:TBI) was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Robert W. Baird with a target price of $16.
• TriQuint Semiconductor (NASDAQ:TQNT) was lowered by analysts at Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating.
• Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Deutsche Bank.
Earnings Calendar for Friday, October 26, 2012
Before Market Open:
• Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA)
• Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE:COL)
• Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH)
• Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE:IPG)
• Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO)
• Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)
• Ventas, Inc. (NYSE:VTR)
• Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE:WY)