As the markets rally in Thursday’s afternoon trading action, there is news to reveal on Nokia, SPY, American Eagle Outfitters, Seagate Technology, Vodafone, Dendreon and Microsoft:
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK): Credit Suisse upgraded Nokia stock from Underperform to Outperform, saying that the manufacturer’s concentration on Windows will facilitate a good performance in 2012. As a result, Nokia rose in European trading. In the same field, Credit Suisse downgraded Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) to Neutral from Outperform, due to less impressive revenue growth and macroeconomic anxieties.
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY): Japan may provide a cheap safe haven for investors aiming to hedge against stock volatility due to European events of late. Projected ups and downs for puts on a Japan ETF (NYSE:EWJ) is notably lower than that for the Spiders (NYSEARCA:SPY). According to a Barclays strategist: “If things turn really bad, you wouldn’t expect anyone to escape. Nikkei really stands up as one of the best places to buy parts.”
American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO): Final sales tallies for November and December at American Eagle Outfitters increased 15 percent to $887 million, as compared to $771 million for the two month period ending January 1, 2011. Store sales were up 12 percent, next to a 7 percent decrease in the same period the year prior. With analyst consensus of 43c, American Eagle cuts Q4 EPS view to 33c-35c from 40c-44c.
Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX): Thanks to impressive FQ2/FQ3 guidance from Seagate (NASDAQ:STX), a wider rally is being seen in manufacturers of storage drives (hard and solid-state drives). Investors optimistically await a 1H state of positive pricing and high margins. Needham maintains that Seagate is still a steal, at a valuation of just three times its estimated FY12 (ends June 2013) EPS.
Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD): For the third time this month, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is facing another widespread data service failure in its 4G LTE devices. Verizon has been relying on getting out of the gate before AT&T in boosting their LTE services.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): For allegedly selling over 94,000 imitation disks, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) has sued Kesa Electricals Plc’s Comet unit. Comit manufactured counterfeit copies of Windows Vista and Windows XP recovery disks in Hampshire, England, and retailed them in their outlets throughout the United Kingdom, according to a statement on Microsoft’s website.
Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ:DNDN): Dendreon is back to trading, but lost most of the gain it earned after announcement of the $125 million sale of its royalty interest in Victrelis. The sale is apparently a strategy to raise cash following more sluggish than hoped sales of its prostate treatment Provenge.
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