The Dow Jones Industrial Average looks set for a 100-plus point gain at the open. In today's Morning Movers, we...
•...wonder just how high the Nasdaq can go; •...marvel at Signet Jewelers (SIG) nearly 8% rise; •...and highlight an upgrade for Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX).
Markets are pointing up again Wednesday morning, helped by easing trade fears, immediate relief over Italy, and a lack of market-moving news. The key trading question: Is the NASDAQ finally be breaking out ?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is looking at a 110 point gain at the open, and the S&P 500 about 0.2%. Nothing to write home about, but better "than a slap in the belly with a wet fish," as my British grandmother used to say. Indeed.
Most major overseas markets are level or in the black, as the "risk-on" trade continues. Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.4% overnight and Hong Kong's Hang Seng 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite is just barely above evens. The STOXX Europe 600 was bouncing around the breakeven level by early afternoon, while London's FTSE 100 was up 0.4%.
But Italy's FTSE MIB was 0.4% down, suggesting that the panic of- was it really just last week ?- has not completely forgotten.
For traders the most intriguing story right now is the NASDAQ Composite. It's pointing upwards another 31 points or 0.4% at 7638.
The tech-heavy index, dominated by the likes of Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Alphabet (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX), hit a previous intraday high of 7637 on March 13 before falling back that day to close at 7511. In recent days it has surged upwards and has been trying to break through that level decisively and stay above it. In premarket trade it looks like the momentum continues. Should it do so, plenty of chart-followers are likely to see this as a big bull signal and jump on board.
Earnings & News
Big Lots (BIG) is up 1.1% to $40 on news that it will enter into an accelerated $100 million share buyback plan.
Northrop Grumman (NOC) is up 1% to $332.20 on reports that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has cleared Northrop Grumman's proposed acquisition of Orbital ATK (OA). Northrup also raised its guidance, as it expects EPS of $16.20 to $16.45 for the full year, compared with the $15.46 billion consensus.
Signet Jewelers (SIG) is up 7.8% to $47.57 after reporting first-quarter earnings. The jeweler earned a dime a share on revenue of $1.48 billion. Analysts were looking for the company to lose a dime a share on revenue of $1.4 billion. For the full year, it reaffirmed guidance for EPS of $3.75 to $4.25, on revenue of $5.9 billion to $6.1 billion. Consensus calls for EPS of $3.96 on revenue of $6.03 billion.
Twitter (TWTR) is down 0.8% to $39.50 on news that it will selling $1 billion on convertible senior notes due 2024. - Teresa Rivas
Upgrades & Downgrades
First Solar (FSLR) is down 2% to $57.05 after JMP Securities downgraded it to Market Underperform.
Macy's (M) is down 0.6% to $39.82 after Atlantic Equities downgraded it to Neutral.
Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) is up 3.8% to $160 after Ladenburg Thalmann initiated coverage with a Buy rating.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) is up 2% to $24.05 after Barclays upgraded it to Overweight.
Yelp (YELP) is down 2% to $43.23 after KeyBanc Capital Markets downgraded it to Sector Weight. - T.R.
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