expect modest taper.” “Fed likely to start tapering bond-buying program, experts
say.” “Fed to begin tapering, say experts
.” And then the inevitable, "Expert views on Fed decision: 'This is a surprise
.'" Moral of the story? There are no experts. Actually, maybe a single one does exist on all of Wall Street. A shout-out to Bank of America-Merrill Lynch
(NYSE:BAC), the only bulge-bracket brokerage to accurately bet that Ben Bernanke’s bond buying binge wasn’t yet at an end. In a fairer world, all other expensively-remunerated economists would now be looking for alternative employment after failing to predict a move that sent the Dow Average
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) to another record. The famously lazy Maytag repairman
can also count himself lucky to still be pulling in a paycheck. Not only that, his stock options surged yesterday after corporate parent Whirlpool
(NYSE:WHR) rose 4.74% to an historic high on an analyst upgrade
. (At Merrill again, no less. Not a bad day for the firm.) Other stocks reaching all-time peaks included coffee king Starbucks
(NASDAQ:SBUX) and also, oddly enough, firearms firm Sturm Ruger
(NYSE:RGR). Brothers in arms
, you may say.
Today in economics, we get a trio of reports at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, in the form of August leading indicators and existing-home sales, and the Philadelphia Fed Survey for September. On the corporate earnings front, ConAgra
(NYSE:CAG), Pier 1 Imports
(NYSE:PIR), Rite Aid
(NYSE:RAD), and Scholastic
(NASDAQ:SCHL) are all due to report results.
(NASDAQ:CXPO): Shares get upgraded to Buy from Hold at MLV & Co.
(NYSE:DEO): The alcohol maker is moved to Outperform from Perform by Sanford Bernstein.
(OTCMKTS:GLNCY): The commodity company, temporarily headed by wayward Tony Hayward of BP Plc (NYSE:BP) infamy
, is up sharply in today’s London trading after being taken to Outperform from Neutral by BNP Paribas.
(NASDAQ:GRPN): Stifel hoists the daily deals site to Buy from Hold. The stock's target price is $16 amid increased optimism over its growth opportunities.
(NASDAQ:OSUR): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Outperform from Market Perform.
(NYSE:TWX): TWX is taken to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.
(NYSE:TRV): Saying the stock offers investors attractive relative value, FBR Capital increases its investment assessment on the Dow member to Outperform from Perform. Its price objective, previously $84, is now $94.
(See also: New Stock Coverage: Exciting New Chapter for Facebook
and Stock Downgrades: Dr Pepper Not Worth Its Salt.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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