A stitch in time failed to save nine, with the Dow
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropping nine points in desultory trading action, as investors counted down the clock until today’s Fed announcement. US stock markets moved mostly sideways amid economic data that included an unchanged Consumer Price Index in November. Thus our central bank’s let-them-eat-iPads policy
appears to be working, perhaps a little too well. The alternative, however, is even worse. Witness the hyperinflation that had Wiemar-era German boys flying kites with worthless banknotes
back in the day. Such scars remain fresh nine decades later, especially on a day Angela Merkel officially embarked upon a third term as the country’s chancellor. Standouts of a sluggish session included Hewlett-Packard
(NYSE:HPQ), figuratively and literally on fire
after a broker boost
sent it up another 2.04%. Cover curse? Not for Buenos Aires-born birthday boy Pope Francis, who turned 77. He currently graces not one
front pages, yet maintains a Midas touch. This as hometown hero Telecom Argentina
(NYSE:TEO) jumped 2.64% even as fears the Fed will dial back its tapering sent its American equivalent Verizon
(NYSE:VZ) tumbling 1.45% to a two-month trough.
In terms of economic events that may move US markets today, the Federal Open Market Committee releases its interest rate announcement at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Chairman Ben Bernanke’s final press conference as Fed head follows at 2:30 p.m. Regarding specific stocks, expect earnings announcements from FedEx
(NYSE:FDX), General Mills
(NYSE:GIS), Herman Miller
(NASDAQ:PAYX), and Steelcase
(NYSE:ALR): JMP Securities starts the stock with an Outperform rating and $45 price objective.
(NASDAQ:ARWR): ARWR is begun with a Buy at Jefferies, whose target price is $15.
(NYSE:DVA): KeyBanc Capital covers the kidney dialysis company at a Buy.
(NYSE:EROS): Eros International yesterday fell 4.04% to a fresh low, yet today UBS says you would be cupid, I mean stupid, not to buy the stock named after the Greek god of love. It assigns a Buy rating, and $18 objective on the cinema name. Eros International, which is based in Britain, is a way to play India’s booming “Bollywood.”
(NASDAQ:GRPN): Groupon stock gets initiated with an Outperform at Northland Capital, whose target is $13. The broker lauds Groupon as a pure-play on local commerce.
(NASDAQ:AWAY): Goldman Sachs has a new Neutral on HomeAway stock.
InterContinental Hotels Group
(NYSE:IHG): The accommodation outfit is picked up with a Neutral at MKM Partners.
(NASDAQ:MRTX): Shares are a new Buy at Jefferies, whose objective is $36.
(NYSE:RH): RH is resumed with a Buy, and $80 target, at KeyBanc Capital.
(OTCMKTS:SRMLF): Citing the company’s consistent shareholder growth, RBC Capital starts Storm at Outperform.
(NYSE:DATA): Amid valuation issues, the stock is a new Neutral at Robert W. Baird.
(NYSE:URI): Shares are begin with a Buy, and $86 price objective, at Jefferies.
(NYSE:VNCE): William Blair begins Outperform-rated research on a stock it says can benefit from the expanding luxury market worldwide.
World Point Terminals
(NYSE:WPT): The limited partnership gets launched at an Outperform with Wedbush.
(See also: Stock Upgrades: Pan American Silver Worth Its Weight in Gold
and Stock Downgrades: Sorry, Maggie — Today Marx & Engels Triumph Over Marks & Spencer
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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