Market Wrap For March 4: Bulls Take Over As Ukraine Fears Dissipate
U.S. stocks recovered and posted strong gains as concerns over a military conflict involving Russia and Ukraine dissipated overnight.
The Dow posted a triple digit point gain, recording its best day of the year. The S&P 500 surged to new all time highs of 1,876.23 while the Nasdaq hit new 52 week highs as well.
- The Dow gained 1.40 percent, closing at 16,395.76.
- The S&P 500 gained 1.53 percent, closing at 1,873.88.
- The Nasdaq gained 1.75 percent, closing at 4,351.97.
- Gold lost 1.13 percent, trading at $1,335.10 an ounce.
- Oil lost 1.63 percent, trading at $103.21 a barrel.
- Silver lost 1.42 percent, trading at $21.18 an ounce.
News of Note
ICSC Retail Store Sales rose 0.3 percent week over week compared to a decline of 0.6 percent last week.
Redbook Chain Store Sales rose 2.9 percent year over year, matching last week's 2.9 percent year over year gain.
According to CoreLogic, home prices rose 0.9 percent in January from the previous month and 12 percent year over year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops who took part in a military exercise in western and central Russia back to their bases. Investors worldwide viewed this development as decreasing the likelihood of a larger military conflict in the region.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades of Note
Analysts at Credit Suisse upgraded Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) to Outperform from Neutral with a price target raised to $52 from a previous $36. Shares gained 6.65 percent, closing at $41.67.
Analysts at Standpoint Research downgraded Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) to Hold from Buy. Shares gained 0.71 percent, closing at $96.99.
Analysts at Wells Fargo downgraded Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) to Underperform from Market Perform with a valuation range lowered to $12 to $14 from a previous $19 to $24. Shares lost 2.12 percent, closing at $19.14.
Analysts at UBS maintained a Neutral rating on Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) with a price target lowered to $51 from a previous $54. Shares gained 0.62 percent, closing at $48.63.
Analysts at UBS maintained a Buy rating on eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) with a price target raised to $67 from a previous $64. Shares gained 1.27 percent, closing at $59.05.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ: GTAT) with a Buy rating and $20 price target. Shares hit new 52 week highs of $16.83 before closing the day at $16.70, up 11.04 percent.
Analysts at UBS initiated coverage of Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) with a Neutral rating and $40 price target. Shares gained 0.47 percent, closing at $38.30.
Analysts at UBS initiated coverage of Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST) with a Buy rating and $85 price target. Shares gained 2.59 percent, closing at $74.47.
Analyst sat UBS initiated coverage of Pepsico (NYSE: PEP) with a Neutral rating and $85 price target. Shares gained 1.66 percent, closing at $80.84.
Analysts at UBS initiated coverage of Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) with a Neutral rating and $81 price target. Shares gained 1.19 percent, closing at $78.40.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley reiterated an Overweight rating on Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) with a $320 price target. Shares gained 1.71 percent, closing at $254.84.
Analysts at Macquarie downgraded Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) to Neutral from Outperform. Shares gained 0.58 percent, closing at $140.04.
Analysts at Piper Jaffray Maintained an Overweight rating on Vipshop Holdings (NASDAQ: VIPS) with a price target raised to $207 from a previous $102. Shares surged to new 52 week highs of $182.00 before closing the day at $169.09, up 32.35 percent.
Equities-Specific News of Note
According to CNBC, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) will buy Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones that can fly for five years without landing. The price tag on such an acquisition is approximately $60 million. Shares gained 2.06 percent, closing at $68.80.
According to analysts at Bank of America an Alibaba IPO filing could happen in the next one to two months and that shares of Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) could reach $45 in response. Shares of Yahoo! gained 3.58 percent, closing at $39.62.
Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) announced that it will open 30 new service centers in Europe as part of its goals to expand rapidly across the continent and link almost all parts of Europe. Shares gained 1.71 percent, closing at $254.84.
Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) has agreed to cut back on the use of its ad-skipping technology for ABC shows as part of a deal reached with Disney (NYSE: DIS). As part of the newly formed agreement, ABC will drop its litigation with Dish over its Auto Hop Feature. Additionally, Dish has gained the online video rights to Disney-owned TV shows. Shares of Dish hit new 52 week highs of $59.96 before closing at $59.55, up 1.14 percent. Shares of Disney also hit new 52 week highs of $82.17 before closing the day at $81.69, up 2.81 percent.
Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC) said that its capital spending will reach $8.1 billion to $8.5 billion in 2014 with approximately 60 percent allocated towards drilling more oil wells onshore in North America. Shares gained 1.93 percent, closing at $86.03.
A BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) spokesperson confirmed that its QNX technology is included in Apple's CarPlay platform. The spokesperson, Paul Leroux, said “We have a long-standing partnership with Apple to ensure high-quality connectivity with their devices, and this partnership extends to support for Apple CarPlay." Shares lost 0.29 percent, closing at $10.34.
Yingli (NYSE: YGE) pre-announced strong fourth quarter shipments and expects to report an 11 percent to 12 percent quarter of quarter module shipment growth, above previous guidance for a mid-to-high single digit percentage gain. However, the company is forecasting its fourth quarter gross margins to be 12 percent to 13 percent, below prior guidance of 14 percent to 16 percent. Shares gained 1.35 percent, closing at $5.99.
According to Bloomberg, Warren Buffet hinted that he is eying a major acquisition of a utility provider. Names that include Buffett's takeover criteria include Wisconsin Energy (NYSE: WEC) and Alliant Energy (NYSE: LNT). Shares of Wisconsin Energy gained 1.77 percent, closing at $44.23 while Alliant Energy gained 1.44 percent, closing at $54.28.
According to TechCrunch, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) has reportedly acquired Basis, a maker of health tracker wristwatches that monitors the user's heart rate and sleeping patterns. Shares gained 0.41 percent, closing at $24.60.
Legg Mason (NYSE: LM) has agreed to purchase the global quantitative equity firm QS Investors which boasts $4.1 billion in assets under management and $100 billion in assets under advisory. Shares hit new 52 week highs of $46.87 before closing the day at $46.65, up 2.96 percent.
Ford's (NYSE: F) COO Mark Fields issued a warning at the Geneva Motor Show on the industry's pace of investments in BRIC nations. Fields explained that automakers may have built up too much capacity in these regions. Shares gained 1.12 percent, closing at $15.37.
Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) CFO Peter Oppenheimer will leave the company in September to “take time for myself and my family.” The executive will be replaced by Luca Maestri, VP of Finance and corporate controller. Shares gained 0.66 percent, closing at $531.24.
Riverbed (NASDAQ: RVBD) has added $250 million to its share buyback program and has also denied reports that has received a $25 takeover offer from un-named private equity firms. Shares lost 1.98 percent, closing at $21.33.
Sony (NYSE: SNE) said that it had sold six million PlayStation 4 consoles, ahead of its previous projections to sell five million units by the end of March. Shares gained 0.81 percent, closing at $17.35.
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has signed a three year deal to be an official restaurant sponsor of Major League Soccer and a dozen of the league's team. Shares hit new 52 week highs of $585.96 before closing the day at $584.61, up 5.41 percent.
General Electric's (NYSE: GE) CEO Jeff Immelt invested his entire 2013 cash bonus of approximately $2.64 million in company shares. Shares gained 2.11 percent, closing at $25.64.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sprint's (NYSE: S) parent company, SoftBank plans to “appeal directly to the U.S. business community and policy makers” in an effort to raise the argument that a potential acquisition of T-Mobile USA (NYSE: TMUS) is good for customers. Shares of Sprint gained 3.96 percent, closing at $9.18 while T-Mobile gained 4.23 percent, closing at $31.79.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) boosted its dividend by 20 percent to $0.42 and added $5 billion to its share buyback program, bringing the total to $7.8 billion. Shares hit new 52 week highs of $76.79 before closing the day at $76.12, up 3.38 percent.
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) reported a 2.4 percent gain in February traffic despite harsh winter conditions that forced the cancellations of close to 8,000 flights. Shares hit new 52 week highs of $34.72 before closing the day at $34.45, up 5.71 percent.
Total (NYSE: TOT) is planning to sell its ten percent stake in the Sha Deniz II gas field in Azerbaijan as part of the company's plans to sell off up to $20 billion in assets during 2012 to 2014. Shares gained 1.10 percent, closing at $64.22.
The FDA has approved Teva Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: TEVA) generic 60 mg raloxfine tablets which will compete against Eli Lilly's Evista. Shares gained 1.25 percent, closing at $49.40.
Winners of Note
This morning, Insys (NASDAQ: INSY) reported its fourth quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.71, beating the consensus estimate of $0.64. Revenue of $40.2 million beat the consensus estimate of $34.73. Net profit for the quarter rose to $24.1 million, compared with a net loss of $7.1 million in the same quarter last year party due to sales of Subsys rising 38 percent on quarter to $39.2 million. The company intends to carry out a three-for-two stock split on record date March 17. Shares surged to new 52 week highs of $86.87 before closing the day at $83.37, up 21.72 percent.
At a Morgan Stanley conference, Zynga's (NASDAQ: ZNGA) CEO Don Mattrick hinted that the company plans to launch real-money gaming pilots in foreign markets this year. Shares hit new 52 week highs of $5.74 before closing the day at $5.65, up 7.82 percent.
Decliners of Note
This morning, RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) reported its fourth quarter results. The company announced an EPS of -$1.29, missing the consensus estimate of -$0.13. Revenue of $935.4 million missed the consensus estimate of $1.12 billion. Comparable-store sales fell 19 percent in the period as net loss for the quarter rose to $191.4 million, compared with a net loss of $63.3 million in the same quarter last year. RadioShack said that it plans to close up to 1,100 under-performing stores in the U.S. Shares fell 17.28 percent, closing at $2.25.
Shares of hhgregg (NYSE: HGG) fell 6.16 percent, closing at $9.90 on no company specific news. It is likely that shares followed fellow retailer RadioShack lower.
Earnings of Note
Last night, Molycorp (NYSE: MCP) reported its fourth quarter results. The company announced an EPS of -$0.28, beating the consensus estimate of -$0.29. Revenue of $123.8 million missed the consensus estimate of $148.22 million. Net loss for the quarter totaled $194.3 million, compared with a loss of $359.6 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue in the quarter declined 17 percent year over year which was attributed to a shifting product mix and lower prices for rare earth minerals and low volumes of its magnetic powders. Molycorp said that it had achieved a “significant” milestone with the completion of commissioning and the operational start-up of its Chlor-Alkali plant at its Mountain Pass, California rare earth facility. Shares lost 3.43 percent, closing at $5.07.
After the market closed, YY (NYSE: YY) reported its fourth quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.60, beating the consensus estimate of $0.45. Revenue of $101.1 million beat the consensus estimate of $83.0 million. Shares traded higher by 4.43 percent at $91.04 following the earnings release.
Quote of the Day
"If you don't pay, then let's go back to regular prices. This makes perfect commercial sense. This has nothing to do with [the] situation in Ukraine. We gave them money, they failed to deliver." – Russia's Vladimir Putin explaining the country's decision to hike gas prices for Ukraine next month because the country has failed to pay its debts.
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