Ultimate Market Recap: Italy, Walmart, and Dell After Hours

Tuesday Morning’s Top Stories

Germany (NYSEARCA:EWG) and France (NYSEARCA:EWQ) reported solid growth in the third quarter. The German economy grew 0.5 percent last quarter, in line with estimates, while its second quarter growth had been revised to 0.3 percent, up from 0.1 percent. France reported a 0.4 percent growth for the third quarter, after contracting by 0.1 percent in the second quarter. These numbers helped the eurozone GDP see a 1.6 percent annual expansion.

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In its first review of China’s (NYSE:FXI) banking system, the International Monetary Fund recommended that China move faster on its interest rate reforms and have its currency trade more openly. It warned that the Chinese banking system “confronts a steady buildup of financial-sector vulnerabilities.”

The IMF noted the following risks of domestic banks’ asset quality, lending from outside the formal banking sector, the increase of off-balance-sheet activities, high real estate prices, and economic growth model imbalances could severely impact China’s banking system if they simultaneously caused problems.

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Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:RIMM) will launch two new smartphones based on its BlackBerry 7 operating system. The new phones, called the BlackBerry Bold 9790 and BlackBerry Curve 9380, will enter the market in a few weeks through various carriers. The company said the Bold 9790 offers high-resolution touch display and a keyboard while the Curve 9380 is an all-touch Curve smartphone–a first for the company.

Sino-Forest Corp. (AMEX:TRE) reported an independent committee has disproved the “substance” of fraud allegations by the research firm Muddy Waters LLC, according to Bloomberg. It also confirmed that Sino’s timber assets, cash balance and titles in a report but the valuation of its forestry holdings and the reconciling of some revenue could not be verified.

Since the June 1 Muddy report, Sino-Forest has lost $5.7 billion in market value after it raised concerns that accounting practices at listed Chinese companies overseas could be inaccurate.

Tuesday Morning Hot Stocks

Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN) are down more than 4% in early trading.  On Monday, the company reported results for the third quarter.  Net income for the apparel store fell to $50.7 million (33 cents per share), compared to $73.1 million (43 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 30.6% from the year earlier quarter.  Shares of Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) are also down about 1%.

Investing Insights: Urban Outfitters Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: The Profit Streak Continues.

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) shares are falling 1.4% after reporting third quarter earnings.  Third quarter profits decreased 2.9%.  Net income for Wal-Mart fell to $3.34 billion (97 cents per share), compared to $3.44 billion (95 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 2.7% from the year earlier quarter. Dig Deeper: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Streak of Four Straight Profit Rises Snapped.

TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE:TJX) is down nearly 2% early Tuesday.  Net income for the department store rose to $406 million ($1.06 per share), compared to $372.3 million (92 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 9% from the year earlier quarter.

Shares of Saks Inc. (NYSE:SKS) are edging higher after reporting its results for the third quarter.  Net income for Saks Incorporated fell to $17.8 million (11 cents per share), compared to $36.3 million (20 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 51% from the year earlier quarter.  The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters. It beat the mark by 3 cents in the second quarter, by one cent in the first quarter, and by 5 cents in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) reported its results for the third quarter.  Net income for Home Depot Inc. rose to $934 million (60 cents per share), compared to $834 million (51 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 12% from the year earlier quarter.  “Our third quarter was driven by strength in our core categories and storm-related sales as well as strong operating performance,” said Frank Blake , chairman & CEO.  Shares are trading about .35% higher at the open.

Investing Insights: Home Depot Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Double-Digit Growth Again.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is jumped 2% after launching two new smartphones based on its BlackBerry 7 operating system.  The WSJ reports, “The new phones are the latest in a batch of devices RIM has rolled out since August that run off its latest version of BlackBerry 7, its legacy BlackBerry operating system. The company is banking that sales of the new phones will tide it over until it launches its next-generation phone, powered by its new BBX operating system, next year.”

Tuesday’s Trending Stocks

As the Dow Jones Industrial Average trades above 12,000 and the S&P 500 Index trades at 1,246, here are the most buzzworthy stocks garnering attention on Wall Street today:

  1. The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD): Shares of The Home Depot, Inc. are trading flat today. The Home Depot, Inc. is a home improvement retailer that sells building materials and home improvement products. The Company’s sell a wide assortment of building materials, home improvement and lawn and garden products and provide a number of services. Home Depot operates throughout the U.S. (including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam), Canada, China, and Mexico.
  2. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. (NYSE:DKS): Shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. are trading higher 3.4% today. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. is a sporting goods retailer that operates stores primarily in the eastern and central United States. The Company’s stores offer a broad selection of brand name sporting goods equipment, apparel, and footwear.
  3. Magnachip Semiconductor LLC (NYSE:MX): Shares of Magnachip Semiconductor LLC are trading higher 10% today.
  4. Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS): Shares of Staples, Inc. are trading lower 5% today. Staples, Inc. retails office supplies, furniture, and technology. The Company’s customers include consumers and businesses in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Staples serves its customers through office superstores, mail order catalogs, the Internet, and a contract business.
  5. Netlist, Inc. (NASDAQ:NLST): Shares of Netlist, Inc. are trading higher 20% today. Netlist, Inc. develops and manufactures computer memory subsystems. The Company markets its products to original equipment manufacturers for use in servers and the high performance computing and communications markets.
  6. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT): Shares of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. are trading lower 2% today. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates discount stores, supercenters, and neighborhood markets. The Company’s discount stores and supercenters offer merchandise such as apparel, housewares, small appliances, electronics, and hardware. Walmart’s markets offer a full-line supermarket and a limited assortment of general merchandise. The Company operates nationally and internationally.
  7. The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX): Shares of The TJX Companies, Inc. are trading flat today. The TJX Companies, Inc. is an off-price apparel and home fashion retailer in the United States and worldwide. The Company operates off-price retail concepts in the U.S., Canada and Europe that offer a wide range of brand name and designer merchandise.
  8. Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN): Shares of Geron Corporation are trading lower 24% today. Geron Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, discovers and develops therapeutic and diagnostic products to treat cancer and other age-related degenerative diseases including spinal cord injury, heart failure and diabetes.
  9. Covidien plc (NYSE:COV): Shares of Covidien plc are trading flat today. Covidien PLC is a global healthcare products company. The Company develops, manufactures and distributes a diverse range of medical devices and supplies, diagnostics imaging agents, pharmaceuticals and other healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings.
  10. Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. (NYSE:PNY): Shares of Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. are trading flat 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.
Market Recap

Markets closed up on Wall Street today: Dow +0.14%, S&P +0.48%, Nasdaq +1.09%, Oil +1.31%, Gold +0.19%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed to $99.43 a barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing to $1,781.80 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) rose 1.58% to settle at $34.56.

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Today’s markets were up because:

1) Europe. Stocks opened lower today as bonds yields in Europe climbed. While Italian bond yields have been climbing, reaching a euro-era record last week, it was the news that yields in neighboring Spain and France were also on the rise that worried investors today. Yields on Spain’s 10-year bond have climbed to about 6.3%, and France’s bond yields are now around 3.67%.

2) U.S. Markets gained ground in the afternoon as positive economic data in the U.S. temporarily overshadowed the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. Retail sales rose 0.5% in October, beating expectations, while the New York manufacturing index unexpectedly returned to positive territory after five months in the red, and producer prices declined 0.3% in October following a 0.8% rise in September.

3) Nasdaq. The tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed the S&P 500 and the Dow today as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), and Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ:CY) climbed higher. Berkshire Hathaway’s recent 13-F filing showed it had purchased Intel, while Cypress is riding the Halo effect of Buffet’s buy. Apple shares rebounded from losses last week as suppliers for its new “15-inch ultra-thin notebook model” started shipping components.

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After Hours Radar Stocks

Shares of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) are edging .38% lower in late trading after reporting third quarter earnings.  Net income for the personal computer company rose to $893 million (49 cents per share), compared to $822 million (42 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier.  However, revenue fell 0.2% to $15.37 billion from the year earlier quarter.  Shares of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) are also heading lower in late trading.

Investing Insights: Dell Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Strong Margins Continue as Net Income Rises.

Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) shares are up 1.35% in extended trading.  The company reported a 36% boost in earnings for the third quarter.  Net income increased to $72.8 million (32 cents per share), compared to $53.6 million (23 cents per share) last year.

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Despite naming a new member to its board, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is relatively flat after the closing bell.  The company announced that it has named Art Levinson as non-executive chairman.  “Art has made enormous contributions to Apple since he joined the board in 2000,” Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a press release. “He has been our longest serving co-lead director, and his insight and leadership are incredibly valuable.”  Competitors include: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) is down more than 2% in late trading after reporting its results for the fourth quarter.  Net income for the scientific and technical instruments company fell to $289 million (82 cents per share), compared to $292 million (83 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 1% from the year earlier quarter.  Competitors to watch include: LeCROY Corp (NASDAQ:LCRY) and Wireless Telecom Group, Inc. (AMEX:WTT).

Investing Insights: Agilent Technologies Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: The Streak is Broken.