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The Markets Now: Bank of America Investors Hope for More Cash


Staples fourth-quarter sales and yearly earnings forecast disappoint investors.

Stocks have pulled back after opening higher this morning. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) remains in the green, increasing 0.16% to 14,276.73 after closing at an all-time high of 14,253.77 yesterday. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) decreased 0.04% to 1,539.21, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) fell 0.18% to 3,218.47. ADP revised January's new private payrolls upward by 23,000 to 215,000. An ADP report has not exceeded 200,000 since February of last year. Last month's numbers decreased from January's numbers to 198,000.

Transportation aircraft dragged down new factory orders, which decreased 2% in January. When excluding transportation equipment, January factory orders increased by 1.3%. December's increase in new orders for durable and nondurable goods was revised downward to 1.3%.

The Federal Reserve Board will release its beige book today at 2:00 p.m., and the Federal Open Market Committee will meet on March 19 and March 20.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) shareholders hope that the release of the Federal Reserve's Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review results, or stress-test, tomorrow will convince the Federal Reserve to allow Bank of America to give more of the bank's earnings back to shareholders in the form of dividends. Currently, Bank of America pays a $0.01 quarterly dividend. Shares of the bank increased 2.16% to $11.80.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) shares climbed 2.45% to $18.85 after Jefferies analyst Daniel Binder upgraded the electronics retailer from "Hold" to "Buy" and increased his price target from $13 to $24. He believes this price increase will materialize over a few years as the new management stabilizes the company.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold's (NYSE:FCX) Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales Javier Targhetta said the world's second largest mining company may double sales of copper concentrate to China within the next three years to between 800,000 and 1 million metric tons. Shares of the mining company climbed 3.83% to $32.75.

JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) continues its decline from yesterday, falling 4.41% to $14.30 on news of downgrades from Citigroup and Oppenheimer. Analysts at both firms cut their buy ratings to hold ratings, citing risks to sales growth for the company. Yesterday, Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO) sold 10 million of its shares of J.C. Penney to Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) at $16.03 per share.

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) disappointed investors with its fourth-quarter sales and yearly earnings outlook. Despite increasing 3%, the office supply company's fourth-quarter sales of $6.56 billion missed estimates of $6.72 billion. The company expects full-year earnings for 2013 of between $1.30 and $1.35 per share, below analyst estimates of $1.43 per share. Shares fell 7.26% to $12.33.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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