Stocks fell after US worker productivity unexpectedly posted its poorest performance in almost two years, with employees apparently unwilling to give their all until it became clear that those pesky Mayans were wrong about the world ending in December. Callaway Golf
(ELY) bucked a bad day to end up 3.55%, which should please President Obama who apparently finds repeated visits to the golf course
to be productive.
(AAPL) rose 2.97%, adding to its $137 billion hoard of cash. This after David Einhorn accused the company, burned in the past by money issues, of squirreling away assets in the manner of someone still suffering from a prior trauma. As a die hard Mets fan, maybe he should be more sympathetic
A relatively light week on the economic calendar concludes with December wholesale inventories due to tick up at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. By contrast, it’s been another frenzied five days for corporate earnings announcements, with some 17% of the S&P 500
(^GSPC) releasing results. Today’s important announcements include AOL Inc.
(AOL), Beacon Roofing Supply
(BECN), Buckeye Partners
(BPL), CBOE Holdings
(MCO), and Nissan Motor
(NASDAQ:ATVI): Shares, surging 6.55% before the bell, are upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie. Catalysts include acquisitions and the announcement of potential capital returns. Its price objective is $15.
Advance Auto Parts
(AAP): JPMorgan moves the name to Overweight from Neutral, increasing its target price by $5 to $90 in the process. Improved execution should propel positive comparative sales going forward.
(ALU): Morgan Stanley moves the stock up substantially, to Overweight from Underweight, sending it up before the opening bell this morning.
(ARMH): The stock, trading atop fresh 52-week peaks, is today taken to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.
(AVB): UBS raises its recommendation on the Real Estate Investment Trust to Buy from Neutral.
(BCS): Macquarie gives the British bank a Neutral-from-Underperform boost.
(BIIB): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.
Discover Financial Services
(DFS): Impressed by both valuation and strong operating fundamentals, Credit Suisse raises its recommendation to Outperform from Neutral. The new price target is $47, up from $44.
(GOOG): Morgan Stanley adds the surging stock to its list of Best Ideas.
(GES): The clothing company is now Outperform from Neutral with Wedbush, which sees early signs of a turnaround. Its price target is now $34, a $10 increase.
International Game Technology
(IGT): Argus increases IGT to Buy from Hold with a $20 target after the company issued strong earnings and forward guidance.
(LNKD): The social network site for job seekers gets lifted to Buy from Outperform at Crédit Agricole, which points to improving operating leverage, and EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) margin expansion. The target is taken to $161 from $131, and shares are sharply higher ahead of the open.
(PCS): PCS is moved to Neutral from Reduce at Nomura, whose target is $9.50.
(VOD): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the British mobile-phone firm to Buy from Neutral, sending shares sharply higher in London.
(See also: New Stock Coverage: Dog Days Ahead at Central Garden & Pet?
and Stock Downgrades: Headaches Keep Coming for Skullcandy
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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