BUZZ After the Opening Bell: Bullish Facebook Analyst, Big Banks Ratings CUT

Despite a sharp sell-off across equities, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares closed .76 percent higher and continued to gain this morning rising another 3% after the opening bell Friday. Nomura Securities initiated coverage on the social-media giant with a Buy rating and a $40 price target. Analyst, Brian Nowak, said, “We believe that Facebook’s industry-leading reach, engaged user base, and comprehensive user dataset will enable the company to continue to grow and take share in the display market. Uncertainties exist around FB’s ability to improve monetization; however, our analysis of strategies to improve results underscores the favorable risk/reward at current levels and the optionality for substantial long-term earnings upside as FB continues developing its still-young monetization model.”

After posting an 11.24 percent gain during regular trading, Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) shares climbed sold off over 5 percent in early trading today. The company’s anti-obesity lorcaserin drug recently received a 46 percent expected approval rate for the June 27 FDA decision. Should the drug receive approval, it will be the first weight loss prescription drug to enter the market in over a decade, reported InvestorPlace.

Don’t Miss: Will the Fed PUSH Yield Seekers into These Stocks?

Ryder System Inc. (NYSE:R) shares plummeted more than 10 percent in early trading. The company revised its second-quarter earnings estimates to 90-95 cents per share, compared to $1.07-$1.12 per share previously. It also expects “a slower demand environment to continue through 2012.”

Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE:ACI) shares were flat in early Friday trading. America’s second-largest coal producer plans to lay off more than 500 Kentucky miners in several counties, plus an additional 250 in West Virginia. “We regret this action; however it is a necessary step that we are forced to take in response to a difficult business environment,” the company said, according to the Associated Press.

Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) downgraded the debt ratings of 15 big banks late Thursday. However, the downgrades were largely expected and several banks such as Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) climbed higher in early Friday trading.

Investor Insight: Is Microsoft Being SNEAKY?