Minutes and centuries made for an awfully dull day. Stocks
finished flat, sandwiched in between the FOMC minutes and Ben
Bernanke's after-hours address on the Fed's first 100 years. Among
(^GSPC) after advancing 7.11%, although it will enjoy 7-11
considerably less after getting downgraded this morning. On Madison
) rose to a fresh all-time best and
) scores a ratings increase today. This on news that hedge funds,
those shy retiring types who have hitherto
shunned the limelight
are now allowed to market their wares. (Paying homage to hermits is
surely much more lucrative, however. After all,
) is now up 84.62% in the past year alone, having hit highest level
in its history this week.) Elsewhere,
) fell as an
analyst advised greater caution
, and the
(SFD) went to plead his case for the pig processor on Capitol Hill,
where they know all about pork.
Today's quarterly earnings announcements are expected to include
Bank of The Ozarks
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
(AMD): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the semiconductor stock
an unusual 180 degrees, to Buy from Underperform. Game consoles
could be potentially drive hardware sales and shares are,
accordingly, surging some 6.78% as I write.
Analog Devices, Inc.
(ADI): The stock is now Buy from Hold at Jefferies.
Associated British Foods plc
(ASBFY): Who says the British can't cook? Shares, surging in
today's London trading, are taken to Buy from Hold at Panmure.
Bridgepoint Education Inc
(BPI): BPI gets increased to Outperform from Market Perform by
Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc
(DO): The oil services firm is increased to Market Perform from
Underperform by BMO Capital.
(FNSR): Shares are now Strong Buy from Buy at Needham, which has
come away from meetings with management increasingly confident that
the company can executive on its strategy. The price objective,
previously $20, increases to $22.
(HES): JPMorgan moves the oil outfit to Overweight from Equal
Weight amid asset divestitures aimed at unleashing as much as $4
billion for shareholders.
(KBH): The homebuilder is hoisted to Buy from Fair Value with a $23
target price at CRT Capital, which notes per share earnings
exceeded its estimates by an impressive amount.
Lamar Advertising Co
): LAMR gets a Buy-from-Neutral lift at Citigroup.
Palo Alto Networks Inc
(PANW): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at UBS.
Sprint Nextel Corporation
(S): Deutsche Bank takes the telecom stock, downgraded elsewhere
today, to Buy from Hold.
(VIAB): The MTV owner is moved to Market Perform from Underperform
by Sanford Bernstein.
Wisconsin Energy Corporation
(WEC): The electric utility gets upgraded to Overweight from Equal
Weight at Atlantic Equities.
Stock Downgrades: Is the New York Times Company a Paper
New Stock Coverage: Amazon.com, Inc.'s Money Tree Appears