The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Cummins, Kellogg, Merck, Dow Chemical and International Paper - Press Releases

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - February 3, 2012 - Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Cummins ( CMI ), Kellogg ( K ), Merck ( MRK ), Dow Chemical ( DOW ) and International Paper ( IP ).

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Mixed Earnings, Steady Jobless Claims

Investors will be weighing favorable headlines out of Europe following successful bond auctions in Spain and Italy, against a mixed earnings picture on the home front as a number of major companies came out with underwhelming results. And in the run-up to tomorrow's January non-farm payroll report, we got a better-than-expected Initial Jobless Claims reading, highlighting the steadily improving labor market trend.
 
Initial Jobless Claims dropped a better-than-expected 12K last week to 367K. The four-week average, which smooths out the week-to-week fluctuation, dropped by 2K to 375.8K, maintaining its downtrend of recent weeks. This key data series witnessed some sharp volatility in recent weeks, but appears to be back on its downtrend. The favorable jobless claims reading today is welcome, but everybody's focus is on Friday's government jobs report, which is expected to show gains of about 130K in January.
 
This morning's earnings reports present a mixed picture, with numerous negative surprises from major companies offsetting the strong  reports. On the positive side, Cummins ( CMI ) handily beat earnings and revenue expectations and reaffirmed guidance. Cereal maker Kellogg ( K ) also came ahead of EPS and revenue expectations. Drug maker Merck ( MRK ) beat EPS expectations, but came short on the revenue side.
 
We also have weaker-than-expected results from Dow Chemical ( DOW ), with the nation's largest chemicals company citing inventory de-stocking and weakness offsetting continued strength in emerging markets and a rebound in the U.S. International Paper ( IP ) also missed EPS and revenue expectations on weakness in its printing paper unit.

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CUMMINS INC ( CMI ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
DOW CHEMICAL ( DOW ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
INTL PAPER ( IP ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
KELLOGG CO ( K ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MERCK & CO INC ( MRK ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: CMI , DOW , IP , K , MRK

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