Equities enter 2013 with the Dow
(^DJI) freshly back above 13,000 — thanks to Congress finally reconvening on its fiscal cliff crisis 13 hours before the deadline — the S&P 500
(^GSPC) having just posted a 13% annual increase, and its European equivalent up by an identical amount over the same period. Anyone suffering from Triskaidekaphobia
may find it all a bit ominous, especially with the 113th Congress being sworn in (and at) tomorrow, but for now let’s just bask in a fabulous 52 weeks that saw investors rack up profits while dodging those Mayan prophets of doom. As for post-election years, Mr. Market is decidedly mixed on that score, with Dow Industrials
(^DJI) gaining eight times and falling seven since Ike’s first inaugural in 1953. You would thus be just as well flipping a coin, if Hewlett-Packard
(HPQ) — which decided on its name by precisely that method — will forgive the analogy after a torrid 12 months in which it fell 44.68% to lead all Dow
Today in economics, the Institute for Supply Management’s December manufacturing index is expected to show improvement at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, and we get minutes to the Federal Open Market Committee’s December 11-12 policy meeting at 2:00 p.m. In earnings action, Texas Industries
(TXI) is due to report results.
(LNT): The electric utility is cut to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo, which now sees fair value in a range of $46 to $47.
(BF.B): Morgan Stanley moves the spirits stock, maker of Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort, to Underweight from Equal-Weight.
(HOV): The home builder, a high-flyer in 2012 with a gain of 382.76%, is now Neutral from Buy at UBS.
(LNKD): LNKD gets lowered to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.
: Jefferies gives Hold-from-Buy ratings reductions to American Eagle Outfitters
(NYSE:AEO) (price target taken to $22 from $26), Ann Inc.
(NYSE:ANN) — formerly known as Ann Taylor — ($35 from $40), and Target Corp.
(NYSE:TGT) ($59 from $74.) Skullcandy
(NASDAQ:SKUL) fares worst of all, lowered two notches to Underperform from Buy amid issues over promotional pressures and rising competition in the headphone market. Its target is slashed to $6 from $17.
: Ascena Retail Group
(ASNA), formerly known as Dress Barn, and Ross Stores
(ROST) are each now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. Its reduced respective price objectives are $20 and $60.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
(HOT): Shares are taken to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust on account of an excessive relative valuation. Its $65 target price is intact.
(TLYS): Troubled by both industry maturation and increased competition form Amazon
(AMZN), Piper Jaffray takes the name to Neutral from Overweight. The target is also trimmed, by $3 to $13.
(WLP): Potential margin pressure is among the reasons Credit Suisse cuts the company to Neutral from Outperform. Its price target is $65.
(See also: Stock Upgrades: Bowling Giant Brunswick Out of the Gutter and Looking at the Stars
and New Stock Coverage: For 2013, Get Into the Habit of Buying Abbott
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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