News Summary for August 18, 2011
This is your Benzinga news summary and traders' outlook for Thursday, August 18, 2011, covering headlines from overnight and Thursday's pre-market session.
Today in domestic pre-market trading, U.S. equity futures are trading lower. Morgan Stanley lowered its global growth targets for both 2011 and 2012, as uncertainty clouded growth prospects. The 2011 growth forecast was cut to 3.9% from 4.2%, and 2012 was cut to 3.8% from 4.5%. At last check, Dow futures are down about 150 points and the U.S. dollar trades higher near the $74.15 level.
Earlier this morning, Jefferies upgraded Nokia (NYSE: NOK) to Buy, Goldman Sachs upgraded BorgWarner (NYSE: BWA) to Neutral and also upgraded Tenneco (NYSE: TEN) to Buy. View all of today's upgrades here. Goldman Sachs downgraded Goodyear (NYSE: GT) to Sell and downgraded TRW Automotive (NYSE: TRW) to Neutral. View all of today's downgrades here.
Jefferies initiates SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) at Buy with a price target of $27 and also initiates NetScout (NASDAQ: NTCT) at Hold with a price target of $15. View all other of today's analyst ratings here. Overseas, European markets are lower in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 2%, Germany's DAX slipped 3.4% and France's CAC 40 lost 2.8% on the session. Asian stocks ended the session lower as well. China's Shanghai Index dropped 1.6%, Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 1.3%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 1.3%.
Global markets have been especially volatile in recent weeks, as investors jockey to price assets amid an uncertain economic outlook. Bank stocks in particular have been the subject of great debate, as many still carry debt or toxic assets.
On the economic calendar, the Consumer Price Index, initial and continuing jobless claims are set to be reported at 8:30 a.m. The Leading Economic Indicators Index, Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index, and existing home sales are due at 10:00 a.m.
On the commodity front, gold and silver futures are higher in pre-market trading, with gold trading at $1810 an ounce. Energy futures are lower with crude oil near $86.25 per barrel and gasoline futures are trading lower by about 0.5%. Natural Gas futures are trading flat and copper futures are trading about 1% lower this morning.
On the earnings front, Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) reported Q2 EPS of $(1.13) on revenues of $10.33 billion; The Street was looking for $(0.46) per share on revenues of $10.13 billion.
JM Smucker (NYSE: SJM) reported Q1 EPS of $1.12 on revenues of $1.19 billion; The Street was looking for $1.09 per share on revenues of $1.25 billion.
Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR) reported Q2 EPS of $0.77 on revenues of $1.54 billion; The Street was looking for $0.75 per share on revenues of $1.55 billion.
In corporate news, Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) announced the Company's Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $2 billion of the Company's common stock.
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating ratings agency Standard & Poor's over numerous mortgage securities that were improperly assessed, according to a report from the New York Times.
This concludes your news summary for August 18, 2011.
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