Talk about salad days on Wall Street. (Unless you work at the Wall Street Journal
, where finding a frog in your salad
is enough to make anyone croak. And, come to think of it, Waldorf salads — whose key component is a chopped Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) — may be in for an equally rough day, but I digress.) Would you trust these guys with your money
on New Year’s Eve? Probably not, but goofy looks can be deceiving, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) and S&P 500 Index
(INDEXSP:.INX) each ended 2013 at all-time peaks. Old Father Time could thus hand off to the E*Trade Financial
safe in the knowledge that he enters 2014 in excellent shape, having surged some 119.44% over the prior 12 months. Also flying high was Delta Air Lines
(NYSE:DAL), whose no-cell signal
shouldn’t be a sell signal, not after it advanced 131.26%. And you can keep the change
In terms of economic events that may move US markets today, November construction spending and December’s Institute for Supply Management data are each released at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, expect earnings announcements out of DryShips
(NASDAQ:DRYS), Landec Corporation
(NASDAQ:LNDC), and Resources Connection
Abercrombie & Fitch
(NYSE:ANF): 2013 was an annus horribilis
for both Abercrombie & Fitch stock and its endlessly controversial CEO. 2014 is off to an equally inauspicious start, as shares are slashed to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.
(NASDAQ:ADI): Analog Devices stock is moved to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.
(NASDAQ:AAPL): Apple, whose battle with Uncle Carl
shows signs of turning nasty, is lowered to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo. Its analyst Maynard Um wrote in a note that, “While we still have conviction in the gross margin thesis (and the potential for iPad/iPhone unit upside), we believe this may be largely embedded into the valuation.” Separately, Apple was named the Top Large-Cap Pick for 2014 at Cantor Fitzgerald, but Wells currently appears to be carrying more weight, with the shares currently slipping before the opening bell.
(NASDAQ:ESLT): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.
(NASDAQ:ENDP): Cantor Fitzgerald slashes the stock to Sell from Hold.
(NASDAQ:FFIC): Down the drain for Flushing Financial, cut by Keefe Bruyette to Market Perform from Outperform.
(NYSE:VTR) and Health Care REIT
(NYSE:HCN) are each downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets.
(NASDAQ:ALTR), NXP Semiconductors
(NASDAQ:NXPI), and ON Semiconductor
(NASDAQ:ONNN) get downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs. All are, accordingly, ahead of this morning’s opening bell.
(NYSE:S): Sprint stock gets downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen.
(NYSE:TXI): Longbow takes TXI to Neutral from Buy.
(NYSE:TMUS): Shares get downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman Sachs, which says the risk:reward ratio is now roughly in balance. Its amended price objective is $37.
(NYSE:USB): Macquarie moves the stock to Neutral from Outperform.
Disclosure: Minyanville Media has a business relationship with E*Trade.
(See also: Stock Upgrades: Be Bullish on Bank of America
and New Stock Coverage: Going Gaga for Live Nation
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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