Valentine's Day may be over, but home is still where the heart is for investors. Dow Industrials
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) shrugged off ongoing turmoil from Ukraine to Caracas and finished comfortably higher after our Markit flash domestic manufacturing survey hit its highest level since, well, the "flash crash
" month of May 2010. (Ironically, amid this "Made in the USA" recovery, American Apparel
(NYSEMKT:APP) -- whose eye-catching "Made in America" ads are all about flashers
-- imploded 32.02% to end at devilish $0.66.) Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB), brushing off dual downgrades
, rose 2.31% to a historic high after buying cutting-edge instant messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion. Someone is still making old-fashioned phone calls, however, for Verizon
(NYSE:VZ) jumped 3.42% to easily best all blue chips. That someone isn't our Defense Secretary, who can't get anyone on the line in revolutionary Kiev
. Actually, that may be for the best, as F-Bombs
allied to Molotov cocktails make for an especially explosive mix.
This morning in economics, January existing-home sales are expected to fall from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Charter Communications
(NASDAQ:CHTR), Dish Network
(NASDQ:DISH), and Ecolab
(NYSE:ECL) are the pick of today's quarterly announcements.
(NYSE:BMY): Edward Jones slashes the giant pharmaceutical firm to Sell from Hold.
(NASDAQ:COLM): Shares get downgraded to Sell from Hold at McAdams Wright Ragen.
(NASDAQ:GRPN): Its "President" Hamilton joke
, evidently deliberate, may have seemed funny at the time. Today, however, investors are having a good laugh at Groupon's expense. Shares, tumbling some 12.93% as we speak, are reduced to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital. Concerns include trends in the International Billings segment that are softer than anticipated.
(OTCMKTS:HENKY): The German glue giant, whose shares fell 3.64% yesterday in their single worst session since November 2012, is today taken to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.
InterContinental Hotels Group
(NYSE:IHG): Credit Suisse cuts the Holiday Inn owner to Underperform from Neutral.
(NYSE:JWN): The upscale retailer is losing 1.08% ahead of the open after getting downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel.
Philip Morris International
(NYSE:PM): First Global gives the tobacco titan a Perform-from-Outperform downgrade.
(NYSE:PHG): Shares are now Underperform from Neutral at BNP Paribas.
Public Service Enterprise Group
(NYSE:PEG): Jefferies cuts the company to Hold from Buy. Its amended price objective is $38.50.
(NYSE:SXL): The limited partnership gets lowered to Neutral from Buy at UBS.
(NYSE:WMT): Stifel slashes the retail giant, yesterday's poorest Dow performer with a 1.78% decline, to Hold from Buy.
New Stock Coverage: Is the Cupboard Bare at The Pantry? (MVPRO article)
Stock Upgrades: 'Blame Canada?' Team USA, That Cuts No Ice With Tim Hortons (MVPRO article)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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