Wall Street’s silver spoon was rudely stolen by a Fed head speaking in forked tongues. A muddled message from Ben Bernanke — who makes his Oracle of Delphi predecessor
look like the model of clarity — sent the hitherto-surging S&P 500 Index
(^GSPC) down for three straight days.
Weather forecasters, famously said to have been created to “make economists look good,” warned we will experience an especially active hurricane season
. They said the same thing immediately after Katrina, after which we have not had a single Category 3 storm, the longest such streak since at least 1851.
Financial gurus recently assured us that the Golden State’s glory days were gone forever but that now also appears erroneous
. (Pacific Sunwear of California
(PSUN) promptly surged 9.06% on this unexpectedly bright outlook.) Club Med countries continue to implode, with Greece gapping down 14.20% last week. Club Méditerranée
(OTCMKTS:CLMDY) stock, however, is a better bet. It surged 22% as Red China struck gold
while the heartland of capitalism was on holiday.
Today in economics, analysts expect an uptick in the Conference Board’s May consumer sentiment survey at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, GuideWire Software
(TIF), United Natural Foods
(UNFI), and Wet Seal
(WTSL) are all due to report results.
(NASDAQ:ALGN): The invisible teeth straightening outfit, whose clients have included Justin Bieber
, is taken to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. A rich valuation is the principal factor behind today’s ratings reset.
(OTCMKTS:ANFGY): Société Générale cuts the copper company to Sell from Hold.
(BRCM): The tech name is now Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna.
(EXC): Deutsche Bank downgrades the nuclear power play to Hold from Buy, sending it 1.3% lower this morning.
(FLEX): The tech stock’s rating is reduced to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.
(HCI): Shares are taken to Speculative Buy from Buy at Taglich Brothers, whose new target price is $38.
Lloyds Banking Group
(LYG): Citigroup slashes the British financial firm to Neutral from Buy, although shares are up 1.36% in today’s London trading as I write.
Royal Bank of Scotland
(RBC): The company gets reduced to Sell from Neutral at Citi.
St. Jude Medical
(STJ): Canaccord Genuity gives the medical device maker a Sell-from-Hold downgrade, while keeping its $35 price objective intact. The broker is concerned about deteriorating business trends.
(TNP): TNP is taken to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.
(URS): Troubled by both an absence of backlog growth and soft profit margins in a couple of key divisions, FBR Capital takes the technical services stock to Market Perform from Outperform. Its price objective is $45.
(See also: New Stock Coverage: W.R. Grace Is Amazing
and Stock Upgrades: Can Merck Lead the Dow to Another Terrific Tuesday?
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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