Monday Morning’s Top Stories
Moody’s Investors Service (NYSE:MCO) plans to review ratings of all European Union sovereign credit in the first quarter of 2012. The company noted that last week’s fiscal agreement by European Union didn’t appear to show a lot of new measures to fix the debt crisis.
The company said in a report, “In substance, however, the communique offers few new measures, and does not change our view that risks to the cohesion of the euro area continue to rise. As we announced in November, unless credit market conditions stabilise in the near future, our ratings of all EU sovereigns will need to be revisited. The communique does not change that view, and we continue to expect to complete such a repositioning during the first quarter of 2012.”
French candidate for president, Socialist Francois Hollande, said if he’s elected in May, he would renegotiate the new EU fiscal agreement. According to AFP, Hollande said if he’s elected, he’d attempt to persuade his fellow European leaders in three areas: the issuance of joint eurobonds to combine sovereign debt; allowing more intervention on bond markets by the European Central Bank and agreeing to stimulus measures.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has contacted at least 12 U.S.-listed firms, including American Express (NYSE:AXP) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), and inquired why they have not divulged their business activities in Syria, Iran, Sudan and Cuba, according to the Financial Times. The questions come from the SEC’s review of a company’s investment risks for security holders; the inquiry came to the firms in written correspondence.
While sales have to declined to these nations through sanctions, Sony (NYSE:SNE) and others included in the SEC’s inquiry, have kept their supply lines open through Dubai middle men.
This week represents the busiest week for IPOs since March with eleven companies looking to raise up to $3.8 billion through U.S. exchange offerings. Interesting companies include Zynga (ZNGA), looking to raise as much as $1 billion, and luxury-clothing designer Michael Kors (KORS), at $792 million.
Monday Morning Hot Stocks
Shares of Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) fell more than 3% after cutting fourth quarter guidance. The company now expects revenue to be $13.7 billion, compared to previous estimates of $14.7 billion. The lower expectations are due to hard disk drive supply shortages. Competitors include: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) and Texas Instruments Inc.(NYSE:TXN).
Investing Insights: Here’s Why Intel is Dragging Chip Stocks Lower.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are edging lower in early trading. The tech giant opened a new store in Grand Central on Friday. On Monday, its Mac App Store passed 100 million downloads in less than a year. Competitors include: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).
Despite landing a major contract, shares of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) are down .30% this morning. The company will receive $4 billion from the US to build thirty F-35 Fight jets for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nissan Motor Co. both announced a joint venture to develop and design a computer system to be used in cars. The new system, which will first be introduced at Nissan’s dealers in Japan by the end of March 2013, will reduce total system costs.
Shares of Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ:DMND) are getting crushed by 18% in early trading. The snack company announced it would not file its quarterly statements on time. The audit committee needs more time to review payments to walnut growers.
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Monday’s Trending Stocks
Monday trading has been more cautious with the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading lower 228 points to 11,955, while the S&P 500 Index is down 2% today. Here are the hottest stocks drumming up chatter among investors and traders on Wall Street:
- Endo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ENDP): Shares of Endo Pharmaceuticals are trading higher 6% today. Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company with products that provide pain management. The Company researches, develops, produces, and markets both branded and generic pharmaceuticals. Endo’s products include Percocet, Percodan, and Lidoderm.
- Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC): Shares of Intel Corporation are trading lower 4.92% today. Intel Corporation designs, manufactures, and sells computer components and related products. The Company’s major products include microprocessors, chipsets, embedded processors and microcontrollers, flash memory products, graphics products, network and communications products, systems management software, conferencing products, and digital imaging products.
- FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCEL): Shares of FuelCell Energy, Inc. are trading higher 11.5% today. FuelCell Energy, Inc. develops and commercializes fuel cell power plants for electric power generation. The Company also has contracts to develop its fuel cells for use of alternative fuels and for marine transportation applications. FuelCell has research and development contracts with government and industry.
- INTL Fcstone Inc (NASDAQ:INTL): Shares of INTL Fcstone Inc are trading lower 3.6% today. International Assets Holding Corporation is a financial services holding company. The Company and its subsidiaries offer a broad spectrum of financial services to its customers throughout the world, including execution and advisory services in commodities, currencies, and international securities.
- Cheniere Energy, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LNG): Shares of Cheniere Energy, Inc. are trading higher 5% today. Cheniere Energy, Inc., through subsidiaries, develops liquefied natural gas terminals, and explores for oil and natural gas. The Company explores for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Quanex Building Products Corporation (NYSE:NX): Shares of Quanex Building Products Corporation are trading lower 4.7% today. Quanex Building Products Corporation manufactures engineered materials and components for the building markets. The Company designs windows and door systems, and produces fabricated metal, wood and vinyl window and door components and other products for major window and door manufacturers. Quanex also produces coated and mill finish aluminum sheet products.
- Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:DMND): Shares of Diamond Foods, Inc. are trading lower 20% today. Diamond Foods, Inc. is a branded food company specializing in processing, marketing and distributing culinary, snack, in-shell and ingredient nuts.
- Biglari Holdings Inc (NYSE:BH): Shares of Biglari Holdings Inc are trading lower 1.3% today. Biglari Holdings, Inc., through subsidiaries, operates restaurants primarily in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States. The Company’s restaurants offer steakburgers, French fries, hand-dipped milk shakes, and other food items.
- Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. (NYSE:PNY): Shares of Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. are trading lower 1.79% 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 lower 4.7% 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 down on Wall Street today: Dow -1.34%, S&P-1.49%, Nasdaq -1.31%, Oil -1.28%, Gold -2.78%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) fell to $98.14 a barrel. Precious metals were also down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,669.10 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 2.77% to settle at $31.36.
Hot Feature: Greece Hopes for Debt Swap Deal by End of January
Today’s markets were down because:
1) Europe. While news on Friday that European leaders had reached deal for a new intergovernmental treaty to create fiscal unity and resolve the long-running debt crisis fueled a market rally, the euphoria has died down as leaders of the countries involved in the deal head home where they will have to convince their politicians to pass measures that will involve forfeiting a significant amount of fiscal sovereignty. Moody’s added to the fray when it it warned of a downgrade risk for European nations, echoing a move by Standard & Poor’s last week.
2) Banks. Financial stocks were again in focus as the biggest reactors to European debt concerns. Shares of Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) were all down between 3 and 7 percent on Monday.
3) Intel. A worldwide hard drive shortage caused by massive floods in Thailand had Intel warning that it will badly miss its sales forecast for the current quarter. Shares of Intel dropped more than 4 percent on the news, making the chipmaker one of the Dow’s worst-performing stocks today.
After Hours Radar Stocks
After falling 4% in regular trading, shares of Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) are edging slightly higher in late trading. The chip-maker cut fourth quarter guidance, foreseeing profits of $13.4B-$14B instead of the previously expected $14.2B-$15.2B. The company attributes the downturn to a shortage of hard disc drives that led to reduced inventories and microprocessor purchases across the PC supply chain. Competitors include:Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) and Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE:TXN).
Shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA) are attracting attention after the board of directors increased the quarterly dividend to 44 cents per share, an increase of 2 cents. The dividend will be paid March 2, 2012 to shareholders of record on February 10, 2012.
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In late trading, JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ:JBLU) announced that its traffic increased 11% in November. The company said it expects fourth-quarter preliminary revenue per available seat mile, to increase between 11% and 13% year-over-year. Competitors include: Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) and United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:UAL).
Shares of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) finished the day 1.58% lower, as the company’s general counsel, Michael Holston, is stepping down to pursue other opportunities. Competitors include: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
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