The S&P 500 Index
(^GSPC), trading in a tight six point range yesterday, has now risen for six straight sessions. This as International Business Machines
(IBM) added about 66 points to the Dow
(^DJI) all by itself. Some may espy signs of the devil in the numerology, but for now let’s all bask in stocks' best start to a year since 1997. Ah, 1997. The year when Apple Inc.
(AAPL) was in real trouble, its stock price trading at about four bucks and dependent on a $150 million lifeline from arch rival Microsoft
(MSFT) to avoid bankruptcy.
Blue chips have gained for nine out of ten sessions, which should be good enough for the one remaining skeptical dentist to recommend going long the market, especially as Colgate
(CL) was just begun with a bullish buy. “Some tortures are physical, And some are mental, But the one that is both…Is dental.” So said Ogden Nash, and, if you were the victim of that drunk driller
, ain’t that the truth. Send all his poor patients stock options in industry leader Henry Schein
(HSIC), which hit an all time peak in taking its 12 month gains to 23.95%.
Also at an historic high is Spam maker Hormel
(HRL), even as spam fell to a five year low
. LED stock Cree Inc.
(CREE) lit it up, surging 22.05% amid a broker boost
. Only the government could call $50 light bulbs cheap
but the stock now stands only $9.15 away from that level.
And upbeat analyst comments
(NVS) 3.38% higher, investors heartened that Chairman Daniel Vasella will step down. His home was lit up some time ago
of course. Today in economics, December leading indicators are expected to tick up at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.
In corporate action the quarterly earnings express rolls on, with AT&T Inc.
(T), Bristol-Myers Squibb
(ETFC), Lockheed Martin
(RTN), Southwest Airlines
(SBUX), 3M Company
(MMM), United Continental
(UAL), and Xerox
(XRX) all due to release results.
(ATW): Barclays begins an Overweight on ATW.
: Kleenex maker Kimberly-Clark
(NYSE:KMB) is rated Underperform with an $82 price objective at Credit Suisse, which has a new Neutral on Dow
(^DJI) component Procter & Gamble
(NYSE:PG) ($74), and Outperforms on Church & Dwight
(NYSE:CHD) ($64), Clorox
(NYSE:CLX) ($87), and Colgate-Palmolive
(EQY): Evercore establishes Equal Weight research on EQY.
(EXPE) The online travel outfit is assigned a Buy at Ascendiant Capital, whose objective is $77. Catalysts include a market-leading position in an industry poised for further global growth.
(SPLK): BMO Capital starts Outperform rated coverage, and a $39 target price, on SPLK. Channel checks are sufficiently strong to justify the company’s current revenue multiple.
(See also: Stock Downgrades: Apple Looks Like a Lemon
and Stock Upgrades: Blockbuster Day for Netflix
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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