Cyprus, second home to many money-laundering Russians, remains in intensive care, even as Muscovites come up with ever more astonishing ways to beat the traffic
. (Hey, with hospital operator HCA Holdings
(HCA) surging some 34% in the quarter, they may actually be on to something.)
Elsewhere Greece dropped a devilish 6.6% last week, but the US equity market appears immune to all the economic angst across the Atlantic, with the S&P 500 Index
(^GSPC) at last overtaking its pre-financial crisis peak. Spain fell to its lowest level of the year, and suffered the additional ignominy of seeing Steve Wynn — who once put his elbow through Picasso’s priceless Le Rêve
— pocket $155 million by selling the painting to Steve Cohen
, who really ought to be putting all his energy elsewhere at present
And it was a tough Finnish to the week for pride of Helsinki Nokia
(NOK), which nose-dived nearly 19% by the time trading was all over. Still, compared to the truly dirty money of its Scandinavian cousins
, the stock remains squeaky clean.
Today in economics, construction spending for February and the Institute for Supply Management’s March manufacturing report are each due out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, expect quarterly announcements from Cal-Maine Foods
(CALM), Jos. A. Bank Clothiers
(JOSB), Oxford Resource Partners
(OXF), and Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack
(AVB): The residential Real Estate Investment Trust is now Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.
Chicago Bridge & Iron
(CBI): Tudor Pickering takes the stock to Accumulate from Hold.
(CEDU): Piper Jaffray juices the Beijing-based online educator to Overweight from Neutral.
(CLH): Oppenheimer upgrades the waste management outfit to Outperform from Perform and assigns it a price objective of $72. After meeting with company management, the broker believes revenue and synergy opportunities should drive demand.
Cliffs Natural Resources
(CLF): The beleaguered stock, down an S&P 500
(^GSPC) worst 51% in the first quarter, is bouncing 2.84% before the bell after being added to the Analyst Focus list at JPMorgan.
(EBAY): The online auctioneer, up an impressive 4%.13 on Thursday, is currently adding on another 2.64%% after being taken to Buy from Hold at Canaccord. Its PayPal unit is seen as a growth catalyst. Separately JPMorgan, while keeping its overall investment opinion unchanged, is taking its target price up to $64 from $56.
(GIS): The cereal giant gets downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley. Valuation is an increasing concern with the stock trading atop all time highs of late.
(MAC): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch raises the residential Real Estate Investment Trust to Buy from Neutral.
(NYSE:TAP): The brewing behemoth, whose other brands include Caffrey’s, Carling, and Pilsner, gets a Buy-from-Neutral boost at Goldman Sachs. Shares are up 2.2% in today’s pre-market trading as a result.
(NWSA): Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is moved to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.
Plains All American
(PAA): Deutsche Bank lifts the oil and gas limited partnership to Buy from Hold.
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan
(POT): The agricultural chemicals company is increased to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
RF Micro Devices
(RFMD): The semiconductor stock gets raised to Buy from Hold at Canaccord.
(RES): SunTrust takes the energy name to Buy from Neutral.
(See also: New Stock Coverage: Gobble Up Brasil Foods
and Stock Downgrades: The Sky Is Falling on United Continental
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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