While hedge fund philistines were
obsessing over their inflatable white swans inside
, black swans were busy gathering on Wall Street. The
S&P 500 Index
(INDEXSP:.INX) endured its worst month since May 2012 as Syrian
concerns multiplied. An awful August notwithstanding, stocks were
essentially flat from Memorial Day to Labor Day. That sounds
boring, but Square might be the better word, with issues involving
Tahrir, Taksim, and Pershing proving a blot on the season.
With much of the world in crisis, peripheral European bourses
actually posted strong performances last month.
(OTCMKTS:HESAY) continues to make silk purses out of PIIGS ears, up
2.28% on Friday after reporting an almost 15% increase in operating
profit. This as Spain, in an intractable economic crisis, just
spent $132 million on a soccer player
. (A fellow
whose name perfectly sums up the continent's
current financial situation
was bought for far less.)
Today in economics, analysts expect August's Institute for Supply
Management manufacturing index to soften from the prior month's
pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front,
) is due to report quarterly results.
): Mizuho moves the energy outfit to Buy from Neutral after a deal
to sell of 33% of its Egyptian assets for $3.1 billion. The amended
price objective is $100.
Associated British Foods
(OTCMKTS:ASBFY): BNP Paribas boosts the English equity to
Outperform from Underperform.
): The telecom name, a key
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) component, is now Neutral from Underperform at
): Shares are lifted to Outperform from Market Perform at Leerink
): Impressed with the company's risk/reward profile, Goldman Sachs
adds the stock to its list of Conviction Buys.
(STZ): The world's largest winemaker is moved to Buy from Neutral
at Goldman, which lauds its growing profit margins and volumes.
(FINL): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Janney, which also takes
its target price up by $2 to $26. An improving product pipeline and
more measured capital allocation program are each cited.
(DEG): UBS boosts the Belgian grocery giant to Buy from Neutral.
(GDOT): Citing its increased estimates and material margin
expansion, Compass Point raises its rating to Buy from Neutral. The
price objective, previously $26, is now $30.
Strategic Hotels & Resorts
(SHO) each get upgraded to Strong Buy from Buy at ISI Group.
(KEG): The oil and gas outfit gets upgraded to Overweight from
Equal Weight by Barclays.
(NOK): The telecom titan from Finland, whose shares are surging
some 40% this morning after selling its handset business to
(MSFT) for $7.2 billion, gets upgraded to Hold from Sell at
Deutsche Bank and to Market Perform from Underperform by Sanford
(OI): Shares are moved to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
(R): The yellow truck titan is taken to Buy from Neutral at
(VZ): The Dow member is now Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC
(VOD): Sanford Bernstein increases its investment assessment to
Market Perform from Underperform. (Note that shares were downgraded
elsewhere this morning.)
(WPPGY): The world's largest advertising firm, which hit its
highest level since March 2000 on Monday, today gets a
Buy-from-Hold hoist at Deutsche Bank.
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