Tuesday Morning’s Top Stories
Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou came out of left field and announced that his country will hold a referendum in January to approve the euro-zone bailout deal. The deal has Greece’s private investors taking a 50 percent haircut on their Greek bonds.
Papandreous said of the referendum,
“The command of the Greek people will bind us. Do they want to adopt the new deal, or reject it? If the Greek people do not want it, it will not be adopted.”
European markets fell on fears that the recently approved plan will unravel.
MF Global’s (NYSE:MF) troubles continue as federal regulators discovered on Monday that hundreds of millions of customer funds have gone missing from the firm in recent days. An investigation has been launched and it will include a review of whether MF used customer funds to cover trades as the firm spiraled into collapse last week. The missing funds have been estimated at around $700 million.
Super Hot Feature: Here Are The Biggest Winners & Losers From MF Global’s Bankruptcy.
Asia’s factory activity reached a three-year low in October from a decline in European demand. Using the bellwether of 50 to divide growth and contraction, the numbers around the region reflected a contraction. China’s (NYSE:FXI) Purchasing Manager Index declined to 50.4 from September’s 51.2; South Korean’s (NYSE:EWY) PMI sat below 50 for a third month and Taiwan (NYSE:EWT) reached a near three-year low of 43.7.
DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) reached a programming agreement that will allow continued access to Fox’s FX channel and 26 additional networks. DirectTV had threatened FOX that it would stop airing their networks on Nov. 1 after FOX refused to back down from a desired 40 percent price hike. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed by the companies.
Tuesday Morning Hot Stocks
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is trading lower before the opening bell. The drug company reported a profit of $3.74 billion (48 cents per share), compared to $866 billion (11 cents per share) last year. Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) and Merck (NYSE:MRK) are also trading lower.
Investing Insights: Pfizer Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Fourth Straight Quarter of Profit Growth.
Shares of Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) are down more than 3% in early trading. The company’s fiscal first-quarter net income increased to $460 million (68 cents per share), compared to $345 million (54 cents per share) last year.
MetroPCS Communications (NYSE:PCS) is down 9% in early trading. The company announced that third quarter earnings fell 10%, as the wireless-service provider added fewer subscribers. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T) are both trading lower as well.
Baker Hughes Inc.’s (NYSE:BHI) is getting hammered 10% before the opening bell. The company reported a profit of $706 million ($1.61 per share), compared to $22 million (59 cents per share) last year. However, excluding a tax benefit, earnings were only $1.18 per share, on estimates of $1.22 per share.
Investing Insights: Baker Hughes Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Double-Digit Growth Again.
Shares of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (NYSE:DTG) are ticking higher after reporting a 36% jump in third quarter earnings. Vehicle rental revenue increased 2.4%, which beat the company’s own forecast. Competitors include Avis Budget Group (NYSE:CAR) and Hertz Global Holdings (NYSE:HTZ).
Tuesday Afternoon’s Trending Stocks
Wall St. Watchdog reveals information about 10 hot stocks that have hit our trading screens today:
- BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BBX): Shares of BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc. are trading higher 117% today after regional bank BB&T (NYSE:BBT) announced it will buy BankAtlantic. BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc. is a savings bank holding company. The Company’s BankAtlantic subsidiary provides a variety of commercial banking products and services through a network of offices in Florida.
- interCLICK Inc (NASDAQ:ICLK): Shares of interCLICK Inc are trading higher 21% today after Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) announced it will buy the company for $270 million. interCLICK, Inc., through the interCLICK Network, provides a marketing network designed to interest publishers, advertisers, and users. The Network offers publisher sites to create an advertising platform in order for consumers to get targeted content from advertisers.
- Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE): Shares of Pfizer Inc. are trading up 1% today after delivering their latest quarterly earnings report. Pfizer Inc. is a research-based, global pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets medicines for humans and animals. The Company’s products include prescription pharmaceuticals, non-prescription self-medications, and animal health products such as anti-infective medicines and vaccines.
- NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:NPSP): Shares of NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. are trading higher 3% today as investors are picking up shares on value and what some think to be an overdone selloff. NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of treatment options for patients with rare gastrointestinal and endocrine disorders and serious unmet medical needs.
- ITT Corporation (NYSE:ITT): Shares of ITT Corporation are trading higher over 2% today after delivering their latest earnings report. ITT Corporation designs and manufactures a variety of engineered products. The Company produces pumps, systems, and services to measure and control water and other fluids. ITT also supplies military defense systems, including night vision devices, secure communication systems, and avionics, in addition to providing electrical interconnects, and data storage and PC cards.
- The Allstate Corporation (NYSE:ALL): Shares of The Allstate Corporation are tradinghigher today after releasing its latest quarterly earnings report. The Allstate Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides property-liability insurance, as well as other types of insurance in the United States and Canada. The Company primarily sells private passenger automobile and homeowners insurance through independent and specialized brokers. Allstate also sells life insurance, annuity, and group pension products through agents.
- Leap Wireless International, Inc. (NASDAQ:LEAP): Shares of Leap Wireless International, Inc. are trading higher 15% today after delivering double-digit growth in its latest quarterly report. Leap Wireless International, Inc. provides mobile wireless services. The Company’s services are targeted to meet the needs of customers who are under-served by traditional communications companies. Leap’s Cricket service is available to customers in various states from New York to California.
- Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF): Shares of Herbalife Ltd. are trading lower 9% today asinvestors are selling stocks on the heels of a double-digit growth report. Herbalife Ltd. is a network marketing company that sells weight management, nutritional supplement and personal care products. The Company sells its products globally through a network of independent distributors. Herbalife also sells literature and promotional materials.
- HCA Holdings Inc (NYSE:HCA): Shares of HCA Holdings Inc are trading higher 1% today. HCA Holdings, Inc. operates hospitals. The Company operates acute care hospitals, outpatient facilities, clinics and other patient care delivery settings. HCA operates hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN): Shares of Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc are trading lower over 5% today after insiders announced they are planning to sell shares on the open market. The owner of Dunkin’ Donuts Baskin-Robbins has more than 14,800 points of distribution in 44 countries, and approximately 120 years of combined history.
Markets closed down on Wall Street today: Dow -2.48%, S&P -2.79%, Nasdaq -2.89%, Oil -2.04%, Gold -0.22%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) fell to $91.29 a barrel. Precious metals also declined, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) down to $1,721.40 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 3.18% to settle at $33.26.
Today’s markets were down because:
1) Greece. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou surprised European leaders Monday when he called for areferendum on the new aid package for Greece, putting austerity measures and potentially the nation’s membership in the euro zone to a popular vote. Should Greeks vote down the structural changes required of Greece per the terms of its bailout, it could break the deal between Greece and its troika of foreign lenders — the European Union, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund — leaving the country to find its own way back from recession while increasing the likelihood that its problems will infect other members of the euro zone, namely Italy. The news has befuddled European leaders from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, and created division within Papandreou’s own party.
2) Greece. The Institute of International Finance reaffirmed its commitment, on behalf of private banks and other institutions, to the October 27 agreement with European leaders toaccept a 50% writedown on Greek government bonds following Prime Minister George Papandreou’s referendum call, which is escalating fears that the debt deal will fall through. Banks’ willingness to accept such a large haircut should evidence just how important it is that Greece accept the terms of its bailout in order to keep the country going and avoid default. Banks could be looking at even bigger writedowns if Greeks reject austerity measures and lose their bailout, leaving the industry at the center of a tug-of-war. Needless to say, the financial sector took a huge hit in trading today. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), RBS (NYSE:RBS), Barclays (NYSE:BCS), UBS (NYSE:UBS), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), and just about every other bank saw shares plummet today. Of course, news that Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) would cut another 1,500 jobs while scaling back its investment banking business in order to help meet new capital requirements after reporting disappointing third-quarter results didn’t help the situation.
3) Greece. Once again, investors were ruled by their fears over the sovereign debt crisis, largely ignoring some rather positive news from the auto industry. Most U.S. automakers posted year-over-year sales gains for October, with many reporting double-digit gains. General Motors (NYSE:GM) kicked off today’s industry reports with a bang, announcing its 19th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Kia, Hyundai, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Ford (NYSE:F), and Chrysler all announced gains, but given the extent of their declines in trading today, one would think their reports were more like that of Toyota (NYSE:TM), one of the few to report a decline in sales.
After Hours Radar Stocks
Shares of battered American International Group (NYSE:AIG) are trading 1.8% higher in late trading. The US Treasury Department announced it received $972 million from the bailed out company. AIG received more than $180 billion in funds from the government and the Federal Reserve. The government has received a total of $18 billion back, and still owns 77% of AIG.
JDS Uniphase Corporation (NASDAQ:JDSU) is surging nearly 5% higher in extended trading, despite reporting a fiscal first quarter loss of $5.8 million (3 cents per share), compared with a gain of $100,000 last year. The company competes with Finisar Corp (NASDAQ:FNSR) and Avago Technologies Limited(NASDAQ:AVGO).
The financial sector (NYSE:XLF) was hit hard after the EU plan started to unravel. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) closed nearly 8% lower, but are edging slightly hour after the closing bell. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) are also trading higher in late trading after closing sharply lower. Investors should also keep an eye on Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM).
Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) is jumping more than 1% after reporting strong third quarter earnings. Net income for the broadcasting company rose to $104.2 million (2 cents per share) vs. $67.6 million (one cent per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 54.1% from the year earlier quarter. Competitors include: Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), Disney (NYSE:DIS), and Cumulus Media (NASDAQ:CMLS).
Investing Insights: Sirius XM Radio Inc. Earnings: Beats Estimates.