Thursday Morning’s Top Stories
The European Commission released its semi-annual growth forecast and drew a dreary economic picture for Greece during the next two years. The commission estimates a 5.5 percent contraction this year, followed by 2.8 percent in 2012 with signs of a recovery in the fourth quarter. By the end of this year, total contraction in gross domestic product for Greece should reach 15 percent and unemployment will rise to 18.4 percent in the next two years, up from 2011′s 16.6 percent.
One positive note for Greece? Its competitiveness as evidenced by its unit labor cost declines.
Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) said normal North America production will resume next week while other markets affected by the Thai floods will continue to see production cutbacks. This includes Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Africa and Japan. The automaker stated on Wednesday that production may resume on Nov. 21 in Thailand.
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) reported earnings for its fiscal first quarter. Net income for the networking and communication devices company fell 7.9% to $1.78 billion (33 cents per share), compared to $1.93 billion (34 cents per share) a year earlier. However, revenue increased 4.7% to $11.26 billion, and the company raised guidance for the second quarter.
Investors were pleased with the results and the bump in guidance, which sent shares nearly 4% higher in extended trading. For now, Cisco shares look poised to outperform competitors once again. Dig Deeper: Cisco Earnings Recap: Revenues Rise, Share Buybacks were Solid.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) reported its fiscal fourth quarter nearly tripled thanks to increased revenues, but its stock dove 34 percent in late trading after the report disclosed missed 2012 forecasts and targets. However, with its increased revenues this year, Green Mountain has been one of the highest performing stocks.
The Commerce Department launched an investigation on behalf American manufacturers, who alleged that China (NYSE:FXI) has been “dumping” solar panels (NYSE:TAN) in the U.S. at below-cost prices, assisted by government subsidies, according to a New York Times story. China’s government-controlled solar industry responded bitterly to the news and through one of its trade group, accused the White House of making the complaint into “a political farce, which is very likely a publicity show initiated by the Obama administration for the coming election.”
Thursday Morning Hot Stocks
Shares of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) popped 7% in early trading, after reporting results for its first quarter. Net income for the networking and communication devices company fell to $1.78 billion (33 cents per share), compared to $1.93 billion (34 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 7.9% from the year earlier quarter. Competitors include: Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and International Business Machine (NYSE:IBM).
Investing Insights: Cisco Earnings Recap: Revenues Rise, Share Buybacks were Solid
Kohl’s Corp (NYSE:KSS) is receiving 2% boost after reporting second quarter results. Profits for the department-store chain increased by 20%. The company also raised its full-year earnings forecast to $4.41 to $4.52 per share, compared to $4.34 to $4.49. Competitors to watch include: JC Penny (NYSE:JCP) and Macy’s (NYSE:M).
Investing Insights: Kohls Corp Earnings Cheat Sheet: Another Quarter of Rising Profit.
After reporting fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, shares of Viacom (NYSE:VIA) surged more than 5%. The operator of channels such as MTV and Comedy Central reported a profit of $576 million ($1 per share), compared to $189 million (31 cents per share) last year. Shares of CBS (NYSE:CBS) are also up nearly 3%.
Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) is edging slightly higher early Thursday. The auto company announced that production in North America will return to normal next week. It will continue to cut back production in other markets due to the recent flooding in Thailand. Shares of Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) are also trading higher.
Merck & Co (NYSE:MRK) is trading 2.4% higher after announcing a 10.5% dividend hike. The company will raise its quarterly dividend from 38 cents per share to 42 cents per share. It is Merck’s first dividend hike in 7 years. Shareholders of record as of December 15 will be paid the dividend on January 9. Shares of Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) are trading slightly higher.
Thursday’s Trending Stocks
As the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallies over 100 points and the S&P 500 Index rebounds almost 1%, here are the hottest stocks on trading screen today:
- Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO): Shares of Cisco Systems, Inc. are trading higher over 7% today. Cisco Systems, Inc. supplies data networking products for the Internet. The Company’s Internet Protocol-based networking solutions are installed at corporations, public institutions and telecommunication companies worldwide. The Company’s solutions transport data, voice, and video within buildings, across campuses, and around the world.
- Ocwen Financial Corporation (NYSE:OCN): Shares of Ocwen Financial Corporation are trading flat today. Ocwen Financial Corporation is diversified financial services holding company. The Company’s primary businesses are the acquisition, servicing and resolution of sub-performing and nonperforming residential and commercial mortgage loans, as well as the related development of loan servicing technology and business-to business e-commerce solutions for the mortgage and real estate industries.
- Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS): Shares of Kohl’s Corporation are trading higher over 2% today. Kohl’s Corporation operates a chain of family-oriented department stores. The Company’s stores feature apparel, footwear and accessories for women, men and children; soft home products such as sheets and pillows; and housewares targeted to middle income customers. Kohl’s also offers online shopping as well as offers store credit cards.
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR): Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. are trading lower 37% today. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. roasts Arabica coffees and offers various coffee selections. The Company’s products include single-origin, estate, certified organic, Fair Trade, signature blends, and flavored coffees sold under the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters brand. Green Mountain serves offices, supermarkets, and convenience stores, and operates a direct mail business.
- Pegasystems Inc. (NASDAQ:PEGA): Shares of Pegasystems Inc. are trading lower 21% today. Pegasystems Inc. develops customer relationship management software. The software automates customer interactions across transaction-intensive enterprises. The Company provides its products to customers in the banking, mutual funds and securities, mortgage services, card services, insurance, healthcare management, and telecommunications industries.
- Kulicke and Soffa Industries Inc. (NASDAQ:KLIC): Shares of Kulicke and Soffa Industries Inc. are trading higher over 6% today. Kulicke and Soffa Industries, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets capital equipment, related spare parts, and packaging materials used to assemble semiconductor devices. The Company also services, maintains, repairs, and upgrades assembly equipment. Kulicke’s equipment is used in wire bonding systems, wafer dicing saws, and die bonders.
- Imperva Inc. (NYSE:IMPV): Shares of Imperva Inc. are trading higher over 3% today.
- Arrowhead Research Corp (NASDAQ:ARWR): Shares of Arrowhead Research Corp are trading higher over 43% today. Arrowhead Research Corporation is conducting research projects in the area of the development of nanotechnologies and applications with the California Institute of Technology. The Company is seeking to acquire the exclusive commercial rights to use any technology that might result from the research.
- Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc (NYSE:HII): Shares of Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc are trading higher over 6% today.
- General Motors Company (NYSE:GM): Shares of General Motors Company are trading flat today. General Motors Co. manufactures and markets new cars and trucks. The Company offers features for special needs drivers, OnStar vehicle protection, service, parts, accessories, maintenance, XM satellite radio, features for commercial owners, and more. General Motors offers its vehicles and services worldwide.
Markets closed up on Wall Street today: Dow +0.96%, S&P +0.86%, Nasdaq +0.13%, Oil +2.06%, Gold -1.74%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed to $97.71 a barrel. Precious metals were down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,760.50 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 0.86% to settle at $34.07.
Today’s markets were up because:
1) EU. French bond yields spiked today, while Italian yields, which climbed to a record 7.48% yesterday, eased slightly after a successful 5 billion-euro debt auction. Talk of a possible emergency meeting of the European Central Bank helped calm nerves after yesterday’s sell-off, while news emerged that former ECB vice president Lucas Papademos would step in for outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou to head Greece’s interim government. Even the European Commission chimed in with some news today, cutting its growth forecast for the euro zone in 2012 from 1.8% to just 0.5%.
2) Jobless claims. The number of Americans filing for initial unemployment insurance dropped to a seven-month low of 390,000 in the latest week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report, which was released this morning. The expectation was for jobless claims of 400,000.
3) Companies. Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) shares rallied today after a sell-off on Wednesday spurred by the networking giants’ fourth consecutive quarterly report in which earnings declined. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) declined today after the company reported sales and earnings that widely missed expectations late Wednesday. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares also fell today amid concern that a drop in supplier orders might be a sign of weakening iPad and iPhone sales.
After Hours Radar Stocks
Shares of Disney (NYSE:DIS) are jumping more than 2% after the closing bell. The entertainment company announced a 30% surge in profits. Disney earned $1.09 billion (58 cents per share), on sales of $10.4 billion. Sony (NYSE:SNE) has also agreed to buy out Disney’s part of the Spider-Man films. Dig Deeper: The Walt Disney Company Earnings Cheat Sheet: Rising Revenue Helps Margins Expand, Profit Rises.
NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) shares are up more than 4% after announcing third quarter results. Net income for the semiconductor company rose to $178.3 million (29 cents per share), compared to $84.9 million (15 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This is a more than twofold rise from the year earlier quarter. Shares of Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) are edging .40% higher.
Investing Insights: NVIDIA Corp Earnings Cheat Sheet: Margins Keep Growing, Net Income Climbs.
Despite a boost in third quarter profits, shares of Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) are down more than 2% in late trading. Net income for Nordstrom Inc. rose to $127 million (59 cents per share), compared to $119 million (53 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 6.7% from the year earlier quarter. Competitors in the earnings storm include: Macy’s (NYSE:M), JC Penny (NYSE:JCP), and Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS).
Shares of rare earth producer, Molycorp (NYSE:MCP) are getting whacked 9% in extended trading after missing estimates by 3 cents. The company reported a profit of $48.4 million (52 cents per diluted share) in the third quarter. Molycorp Inc. had a net loss of $10.1 million or a loss 14 cents per share in the year earlier quarter.
E-Trade Financial (NASDAQ:ETFC) is down 3.5% after deciding not to sell itself. The company’s Board of Directors unanimously decided that “the continued execution of the company’s business plan is currently the best alternative for increasing stockholder value,” the online broker explained. Shares of Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) are unchanged in late trading.