Thursday Morning’s Top Stories
Flash PMI figures in China (NYSE:FXI) and the euro zone, including Germany (NYSEARCA:EWG), increased in December from the previous month but these regions continue contracting. For Germany, its number is “a step in the right direction” according to Markit economist Tim Moore but “not enough to rescue what has been a subdued final quarter of 2011.”
For China, “The growth momentum remains weak with additional downside risks from exports and the property market not yet fully filtering through,” according to HSBC’s chief China economist.
Investing Insights: Nike Inc. Second Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) reported its fiscal second quarter earnings rose 76 percent from the company’s great performance in its ground-shipping segment and the higher profitability in its freight operations. The company saw a profit of $497 million ($1.57 per share), up from $283 million,(0.89 cents per share or $1.16 minus one-time items) from the previous year. In September, the company estimated earnings between $1.40 to $1.60 per share. Revenue increased 9.9 percent to $10.59 billion, just missing analysts estimates of $10.61 billion.
The case of the missing MF Global (MFGLQ.PK) funds may be over. Jill Sommers from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission led the regulator’s review and said they “are far enough along the trail” that they know where the money went. ”Now it’s just finding out which ones of those transactions are legitimate and which ones of them are illegitimate,” according to Reuters. The funds will need to be sorted for legitimacy before they can be returned to customers.
Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) will reports its fiscal quarter three earnings after the close today and it will include additional bad news. RIM may see a 3.1 million BlackBerry supply glut and is now likely to cut its sales target for the smartphone. Other analyst concerns include worries over margin pressures and dull product offerings. They have adjusted their EPS forecast to $1.19 and $5.26 billion in revenues.
Investing Insights: Is Green Mountain Losing Market Share?
Thursday Morning Hot Stocks
Despite becoming another airliner to file for bankruptcy, shares of American Airlines Corp. (NYSE:AMR) are jumping almost 9% early this morning.
Shares of Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ:DMND) continue to fall 6.5% in early trading. The SEC will be launching an investigation, in addition to the company’s own internal accounting investigation.
Don’t Miss: Is Green Mountain Losing Market Share?
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is trading 2.5% higher after announcing plans to cut 1,600 jobs in the first quarter of 2012. Other banks such as Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) are also trading higher in pre-market trading.
FedEX Corp. (NYSE:FDX) is jumping 4% after profits beat analysts’ estimates. The company also ordered 27 Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) 767 jet freighters to retire older planes. Yesterday, Southwest (NYSE:LUV) ordered 208 Boeing 737s valued at $19 billion.
Investing Insights: FedEx Corp Earnings Cheat Sheet: Profitable Quarter Accelerates Growth.
On Thursday, Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) announced it will move its stock listing on January 1 to the Nasdaq Global Select Market. Currently, shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange. “This move will enhance our public visibility while offering our shareholders cost-effective access to advanced trading technologies,” Texas Instruments said. Shares are up 1% this morning.
Shares of International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) are edging higher after saying it would purchase Emptoris Inc., a cloud-based software firm with 725 employees.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) is edging .15% higher after reporting fourth quarter results. Net income for Discover Financial Services rose to $513 million (95 cents per share), compared to $349.6 million (64 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 46.7% from the year earlier quarter.
Thursday’s Trending Stocks
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up at 11,869, the S&P 500 Index is trading at 1,216 and the Nasdaq is trading at 2,538. Here are the most buzzworthy stocks among investors and traders this today:
- FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX): Shares of FedEx Corporation are trading higher 4.77% today. FedEx Corp. delivers packages and freight to multiple countries and territories throught an integrated global network. The Company provides worldwide express delivery, ground small-parcel delivery, less-than-truckload freight delivery, supply chain management services, customs brokerage services, and trade facilitation and electronic commerce solutions.
- SonoSite, Inc. (NASDAQ:SONO): Shares of SonoSite, Inc. are trading higher 26% today. SonoSite, Inc. manufactures hand-held ultrasound imaging equipment. The Company’s equipment is approximately the size of a laptop computer and permits the provision of ultrasound services in places previously not possible.
- Novellus Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVLS): Shares of Novellus Systems, Inc. are trading higher 21.8% today. Novellus Systems, Inc. manufactures, markets, and services equipment used in the fabrication of integrated circuits, commonly called chips or semiconductors. The Company also develops, manufactures, sells and supports grinding, lapping and polishing equipment for a broad spectrum of industrial applications.
- BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPAX): Shares of BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. are trading lower 76% today. BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an emerging pharmaceutical company. The Company develops hormone replacement products to treat testosterone deficiency in men and estrogen deficiency in women. BioSante is also developing its nanoparticulate based platform technology for novel vaccines, vaccine adjuvant and drug delivery systems.
- Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS): Shares of Discover Financial Services are trading lower 3.27% today. Discover Financial Services is a credit card issuer and electronic payment services company. The Company issues credit cards and offers student and personal loans, as well as savings products such as certificates of deposit and money market accounts and operates an automated teller machine(ATM)/debit network, which includes ATMs, as well as POS terminals nationwide.
- Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX): Shares of Lam Research Corporation are trading lower 3% today. Lam Research Corporation manufactures, markets, and services semiconductor processing equipment used in the making of integrated circuits. The Company’s products are used to deposit special films on a silicon wafer and etch away portions of various films to create a circuit design. Lam sells its products around the world.
- Deckers Outdoor Corporation (NASDAQ:DECK): Shares of Deckers Outdoor Corporation are trading lower 10% today. Deckers Outdoor Corporation designs and markets footwear and accessories. The Company offers footwear for men, women and children. Deckers sells its products including accessories such as handbags, headwear, and outerwear, through domestic retailers and international distributors and directly to end-user consumers, through call centers, retail concept stores and retail outlet stores.
- Heckmann Corporation (NYSE:HEK): Shares of Heckmann Corporation are trading higher 1% today. Heckmann Corporation is an investment holding company, operating in the water industry. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provide water treatment and disposal services, operate bottling facilities, and transport water through pipelines.
- Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. (NYSE:PNY): Shares of Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. are trading higher .61% today. Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc. is an energy and services company that primarily transports, distributes, and sells natural gas. The Company serves residential, commercial, and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Piedmont also, through subsidiaries, markets natural gas to customers in Georgia, and distributes propane in various states.
- Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): Shares of Bank of America Corporation are trading higher .48% today. Bank of America Corporation accepts deposits and offers banking, investing, asset management, and other financial and risk-management products and services. The Company has a mortgage lending subsidiary, and an investment banking and securities brokerage subsidiary.
Markets closed up on Wall Street today: Dow +0.38%, S&P+0.32%, Nasdaq +0.07%, Oil -1.65%, Gold -0.95%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) dropped to $93.38 a barrel. Precious metals were mixed, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,571.80 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbed 0.74% to settle at $29.15.
Hot Feature: House Republicans Unveil $1 Trillion Spending Bill
Today’s markets were up because:
1) Jobs. The number of people filing for initial unemployment benefits fell to 366,000 last week, the Labor Department reported this morning — the lowest level since May 2008, and well below analysts’ estimates. The 19,000 decline in new claims matches a 19,000 decline from the week earlier, giving markets hope that persistently high unemployment might finally be on its way out.
2) Europe. Despite a host of positive economic news in the U.S. — mortgage rates sank to record lows, manufacturing activity jumped — the lingering threat of Europe’s debt crisis tempered sentiment. News that Ben Bernanke told Senate Republicans yesterday that the Federal Reserve had no plans to send additional aid to European banks only had investors fretting more about a situation already fraught with peril. And though a strong bond auction provided some relief for Spain today, it did little to calm larger fears for the future of the European Union.
3) Fashion. Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) stock debuted on the New York Stock Exchange today, after the fashion brand raised $944 million in its initial public offering on Wednesday evening. The IPO was the largest ever for a U.S. fashion company. Michael Kors joined 10 other companies in going public this week, making for the most active IPO week in more than four years. Other hot IPOs this week include Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) and Jive Software (NASDAQ:JIVE).
After Hours Radar Stocks
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is down more than 6 percent in late trading. The BlackBerry maker announced it expects fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 80 cents to 90 cents a share, below the Thomson Reuters estimate of $1.18 a share. The company continues to struggle against Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone. RIM’s new BlackBerry 10 smartphone will also be delayed until the latter part of 2012.
Don’t Miss: Globe Nominations Are Gold for Media Companies.
Shares of Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) are climbing 3.55 percent after the closing bell. The company announced fourth quarter profits of $173.7 million (35 cents per share), compared to $269 million (53 cents per share) last year.
After closing 21 percent higher on Thursday, shares of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:KORS) are edging .21 percent lower in extended trading. Shares made their debut on Thursday at $20 each, more than the projected range of $17-$19.
Investing Insights: Adobe Systems Earnings Cheat Sheet: Topping Analyst Estimates.
Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE:CRM) shares are ticking slightly higher announcing a deal to purchase Rypple, a cloud-based management company.
Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) is trading .31 percent higher after the close. The company announced late Thursday that Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sharer will retire on May 23. Chief Operating Officer Robert Bradway will replace Sharer.
Don’t Miss: Is Coca-Cola Expanding To Challenge PepsiCo?