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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: E. I. du Pont de Nemours, Boeing, Cisco Systems, 3M and General Electric

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - October 12, 2015 - 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 the E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company ( DD ), Boeing Co. ( BA ), Cisco Systems ( CSCO ), 3M Company ( MMM ) and General Electric Company ( GE ).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Dow 30 Stock Roundup

The Dow registered a record winning streak this week, boosted by energy stocks and the Fed's dovish stance. The blue-chip index gained on Monday following gains in energy shares and expectations that Fed won't raise rates this year. The Dow edged up on Tuesday after a selloff in healthcare stocks offset gains in energy and materials shares.

The blue-chip index gained again on Wednesday. The Dow gained for the fifth straight session on Thursday, marking its longest winning streak this year. The Dow has gained 3.5% during the first four trading days.

Last Week's Performance

The blue-chip index gained 1.9% on Monday following gains in energy shares and expectations that Fed won't raise rates this year. Russia's willingness to meet major oil producers to discuss the present oil market scenario and a rally in U.S. gasoline prices had a positive impact on global oil prices . Rise in oil prices boosted energy shares, which eventually lifted the broader markets.

Meanwhile, lackluster jobs data raised worries about economic growth, eventually cooling expectations of a rate hike this year. The ISM Services Index decreased to 56.9% in September from August's reading of 59%. The drop was more than the consensus estimate of a decrease to 57.7%.

The Dow increased 0.1% on Tuesday after a selloff in healthcare stocks offset gains in energy and materials shares. The blue-chip index eked out gains banking on a surge in E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company's ( DD ) shares.

Shares of DuPont's soared 7.7% after the company declared that its chief executive officer Ellen Kullman will step down on Oct 16. Edward Been will act as the interim chairman and CEO. Separately, DuPont reduced its full-year earnings estimate to $2.75 from an earlier forecast of $3.10.

In economic news, the U.S. trade deficit swelled in August as imports from China increased, while a flagging global economy weighed on U.S. exports. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that trade deficit increased in August to $48.3 billion from $41.8 billion in July, more than the consensus estimate of deficit of $45.4 billion.

The blue-chip index gained 0.7% on Wednesday. Benchmarks ended Wednesday's choppy trading session in the green boosted by gains in biotechnology companies. Concerns about third quarter earnings results kept the trading session volatile.

Both the materials and energy sectors benefitted from a weaker dollar as it made commodities denominated in U.S. dollar more attractive. Energy shares gained despite oil prices ending a volatile trading session in the red on Wednesday. Oil prices snapped a three day rally after weekly oil stockpiles increased more than analysts' expectations.

The Dow gained for the fifth straight session on Thursday, marking its longest winning streak this year. The blue-chip index increased 0.8% following the Fed's decision to keep interest rates near zero in the September policy meeting. Turmoil in financial markets and slowdown in Chinese economy were cited to be the reasons behind the Fed's dovish stance.

Additionally, several Fed officials want the inflation rate to move up to the desired target of 2% before raising rates. Some Fed voting members said their confidence that inflation will climb to 2% "had not increased" since the July meeting. Meanwhile, the Fed staff estimated inflation won't be able to touch the 2% goal even by the end of 2018.

Meanwhile, a weaker dollar and expectations about shrinking U.S. oil production levels boosted global oil prices. Rising oil prices had a positive impact on energy shares. In economic news, initial claims decreased 13,000 to 263,000 in the week ending Oct 3.

Components Moving the Index

Boeing Co.'s ( BA ) shares edged up 1.78% on Oct 7 as Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam revealed its plan to place an order for Boeing's 777X long-range jetliner before the end of 2015, per a Wall Street Journal report. The East African airline is considering buying 15 to 20 of Boeing's new 777X planes worth about $7.4 billion at list prices.

Although the airline had initially considered buying Airbus' A350-1000 planes, they changed their mind in favor of Boeing 777X as the aircraft is more suitable for operations at their high-altitude hub in Addis Ababa. The new planes are due for delivery in 2020.

Meanwhile, Boeing reported strong third-quarter as well as nine-month 2015 delivery numbers. The company delivered 580 commercial jetliners so far this year, increasing 9.8% year over year and beating its archrival Airbus. On Oct 5, Airbus reported that it has delivered 446 planes in the first nine months of this year. Boeing's total deliveries in the quarter jumped approximately 5.6% year over year.

Cisco Systems ( CSCO ) recently announced plans to acquire consultancy firm Portcullis in a bid to expand its security consulting services. Cisco expects the acquisition to close in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Portcullis is a privately held U.K.-based firm which offers security advisory services to enterprise clients and the government sector. It will be incorporated into Cisco's Security Solutions group under the leadership of James Mobley, the vice president of the latter.

3M Company ( MMM ) recently completed the divesture of its North American Library Systems business to focus on its core operations. The assets were sold to independent management firm OEP Capital Advisors, L.P. for an undisclosed amount. 3M also intends to sell its other Library Systems assets across the globe to OEP in the near future.

The company expects the transaction to have zero impact on its earnings as it is likely to be offset by additional portfolio management actions in the fourth quarter of 2015.

General Electric Company ( GE ) inked an agreement to sell its corporate jet financing unit to luxury jet lender Global Jet Capital, as it continues to offload its financial assets at a breakneck speed. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals, and is expected to close in stages over the coming months.

The divestment represents aggregate ending net investment ("ENI") of about $2.5 billion. The deal will likely contribute about $300 million toward GE's targeted dividend of $35 billion under the divestment plan. With $2.5 billion of net assets, the deal involves GE loans, leases and over 300 aircraft across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Latin America.

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DU PONT (EI) DE (DD): Free Stock Analysis Report

BOEING CO (BA): Free Stock Analysis Report

CISCO SYSTEMS (CSCO): Free Stock Analysis Report

3M CO (MMM): Free Stock Analysis Report

GENL ELECTRIC (GE): Free Stock Analysis Report

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


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

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