There were high fives all around in equities, with the S&P 500 Index
(^GSPC) hitting a five-year high as continuing unemployment claims fell to a five-year low, notwithstanding that the initial jobless count jumped by the most in five weeks. Apple Inc.
(AAPL) edged up 1.24% but it has still badly under-performed the overall market in 2013 and saw its price objective cut by Piper Jaffray’s influential analyst Gene Munster. How International Business Machines
(IBM), mocked as deadly dull by the Cupertino company in 1984
is enjoying the last laugh, fresh from being named America’s most creative company for an astonishing 20th straight year
(SVU) surged a 14.14% after announcing an agreement to sell five of its grocery-store chains, which should please greengrocer’s daughter and arch capitalist Margaret Thatcher. Britain’s former Prime Minister — cleverly tweaking the title
of a famous play from 1948 — once memorably remarked that “The lady’s not for turning
.” How, then, would the woman who never thought much of her continental cousins react to ECB president but Mario Draghi having just declared that Europe is not yet at a turning point
? Delta Air Lines
underwent a remarkable 180 degree mid air u-turn, advancing 1.45% to a fresh 52-week peak after Goldman Sachs
(GS) raised its recommendation to Buy from Sell
in one fell swoop. And 85-year old Emmanuelle Riva became the oldest Oscar nominee in history. She was born in 1927, the year John Maynard Keynes declared “We will not have any more crashes in our time.” The first Academy Awards occurred two years later, along with Wall Street’s worst ever crash.
Today’s economic data includes the December federal budget at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, Infosys
(INFY) and Wells Fargo
(WFC) have each already announced results this morning.
(ABT): Barclays begins Equal Weight rated coverage on the medical device maker.
American International Group
(AIG): The insurance outfit is covered with an Outperform at FBR Capital, which assigns it a price objective of $44. Impressive capital deployment opportunities are cited.
(AOL): Cantor Fitzgerald has a Hold and $32 target price on AOL. Upside potential is seen as limited at current lofty valuation levels.
Building Materials/Residential Construction
: Bank of America-Merrill Lynch has a new Neutral on Armstrong World Industries
(AWI) and launches Buys on both DR Horton
(DHI) and Masco
(SCOR): Shares are a Hold at Cantor, whose objective is $16. The broker would prefer to stay on the sidelines pending an improvement in margins.
(DISCA): JPMorgan has a new Neutral, and $74 target, on DISCA.
(SSTK): The stock is begun with a Buy and $30 target at Cantor, which highlights healthy double-digit top-line growth.
(SODA): Citigroup starts SODA at a Buy.
(NYSE:TAP): Nomura begins Buy rated research on the brewing giant. Its objective is $54.
(See also: Stock Upgrades: Saying Yes to Nokia
and Stock Downgrades: Raspberries for Research In Motion
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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