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Ticker Shock: Grainger, J&J Impress; Pepsi Lacks Pep


Tuesday's top stories and stocks with potential to move.


Holy smokes - we could be up 2 days in a row! What a difference a week makes, huh?

Asia is generally up, with the Nikkei up more than 14%. Europe is well in the green, and the Dow and S&P got off to a nice start this morning.

Fingers crossed.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Before the open on Tuesday, the company, best known for stuff like Listerine and Band-Aids, reported a third-quarter profit of $1.17 a share. That's a hefty $0.06 north of expectations. Its revenue number apparently "beat" as well, and the company increased its full-year earnings guidance to $4.50 to $4.53 per share, not including special items.

For the record, back in July, in conjunction with its second-quarter results, J&J offered up guidance of $4.45 to $4.50 a share.

Very simply, given that so many companies are shying away from full-year targets or are pulling back numbers, I think that J&J's decision to up its forecast is a pleasant surprise. The shares could well see a nice bounce today, and favorable research could come from the Street in the days ahead.

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Johnson Controls (JCI)
The Wisconsin-based parts marker offered up guidance of $1.95 to $2.10 a share in fiscal year 2009. Not too shabby, I suppose, for a $24ish stock.

However, the Street had been looking for $2.49 a share - needless to say, this is a bit of a disappointment.

I do think the stock could perhaps see a bit of a bounce if the market stays strong today. But in the days ahead, I think the share price could weaken on this outlook. In any case, be on the lookout: The company could release additional guidance in conjuntion with its fourth-quarter earnings on October 23rd.

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No position in stocks mentioned.

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