Market Overview

Market Wrap For April 21: S&P 500 Extends Winning Streak To Five Days, Dow & Nasdaq Also Positive

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U.S. stocks rose as investors felt that earnings season is positive enough so far to reverse weakness the markets have seen in recent weeks.

"Investors were braced for poor results, and at least so far, the numbers have been better than feared. We'll have a little more information to act on after the close and into the morning as we get into company-specific results," Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors told CNBC.

The S&P 500 rose for the fifth straight day, marking the longest winning streak for the index in 2014. The Dow and Nasdaq both recorded gains as investors and traders returned from a three day weekend.

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  • The Dow gained 0.25 percent, closing at 16,449.25.
  • The S&P 500 gained 0.38 percent, closing at 1,871.89.
  • The Nasdaq gained 0.64 percent, closing at 4,121.55.
  • Gold lost 0.31 percent, trading at $1,289.90 an ounce.
  • Oil gained 0.15 percent, trading at $103.53 a barrel.
  • Silver lost 1.10 percent, trading at $19.38 an ounce.

News of Note

March Chicago Fed National Activity declined to 0.20 from 0.53 in February.

March Leading Index rose 0.8 percent to 100.9, better than the expected gain of 0.7 percent.

March Coincident Index rose 0.2 percent, less than the previous reading of a 0.4 percent gain.

March Lagging Index rose 0.6 percent, ahead of the previous reading of a 0.3 percent gain.

President Obama's administration has announced that it has indefinitely extended its review of the Keystone XL pipeline until at least after November's U.S. midterm elections.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades of Note

Analysts at Citigroup maintained a Sell rating on Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) with a price target lowered to $35 from a previous $36. Shares lost 0.57 percent, closing at $38.71.

Analysts at Citigroup maintained a Neutral rating on Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) with a price target lowered to $275 from a previous $278. Meanwhile, analysts at Nomura also maintained a Neutral rating on Alliance Data with a price target raised to $242 from a previous $232. Shares lost 0.59 percent, closing at $243.61.

Analysts at FBR Capital maintained an Outperform rating on Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) with a price target raised to $6 from a previous $5.50. Shares surged 11.79 percent, closing at $4.12.

Analysts at Piper Jaffray upgraded Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) to Overweight from Neutral with a price target raised to $45 from a previous $39. Shares hit new 52 week highs of $39.64 before closing the day at $39.45, up 1.89 percent.

Analysts at Citigroup maintained a Neutral rating on BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) with a price target lowered to $315 from a previous $325. Shares lost 0.81 percent, closing at $305.88.

Analysts at JPMorgan upgraded Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) to Overweight from Neutral with a price target raised to $575 from a previous $550. Shares lost 2.51 percent, closing at $506.59.

Analysts at Rafferty Capital upgraded Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF) to Buy from Hold with a price target raised to $94 from a previous $74.50. Shares gained 0.17 percent, closing at $75.02.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank maintained a Buy rating on Du Pont (NYSE: DD) with a price target raised to $75 from a previous $70. Shares gained 0.06 percent, closing at $67.02.

Analysts at Compass Point maintained a Buy rating on Howard Hughes (NYSE: HHC) with a price target raised to $200 from a previous $190. Shares gained 0.62 percent, closing at $141.02.

Analysts at Nomura maintained a Neutral rating on JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) with a price target lowered to $62 from a previous $65. Shares lost 0.40 percent, closing at $55.00.

Analysts at B. Riley maintained a Buy rating on Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF) with a price target lowered to $38 from a previous $40. Shares gained 2.06 percent, closing at $27.27.

Analysts at Bank of America maintained a Buy rating on Moneygram International (NYSE: MGI) with a price target lowered to $19 from a previous $23. Shares hit new 52-week lows of $12.45 before closing the day at $12.80, down 13.57 percent.

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Analysts at Barclays maintained an Equal-weight rating on Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) with a price target raised to $33 from a previous $28. Meanwhile, analysts at Nomura upgraded Morgan Stanley to Buy from Neutral with a price target raised to $36 from a previous $33. Shares gained 0.68 percent, closing at $30.97.

Analysts at Citigroup maintained a Neutral rating on Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) with a price target raised to $43 from a previous $40. Shares gained 2.44 percent, closing at $42.86.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank maintained a Buy rating on PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) with a price target raised to $94 from a previous $90. Meanwhile, analysts at Citigroup maintained a Neutral rating on Pepsi with a price target raised to $92 from a previous $88 and also analysts at Barclays maintained an Overweight rating on Pepsi with a price target raised to $91 from a previous $87. Shares gained 0.41 percent, closing at $85.90.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank maintained a Buy rating on PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) with a price target raised to $220 from a previous $213. Shares lost 1.49 percent, closing at $196.48.

Analysts at Canaccord Genuity upgraded Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SRPT) to Buy from Hold with a price target raised to $63 from a previous $27. Meanwhile, analysts at William Blair upgraded Sarepta to Outperform from Market perform with a $63 price target. Analysts at JMP Securities also upgraded Sarepta to Market Outperform from Market Perform with a $54 price target while analysts at Needham maintained a Buy rating with a price target raised to $52 from a previous $36. Shares surged 39.26 percent, closing at $33.98.

Analysts at Brean Capital upgraded Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) to Buy from Hold with a $165 price target. Shares gained 0.84 percent, closing at $136.46.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank maintained a Buy rating on UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) with a price target lowered to $85 from a previous $90. Shares lost 1.12 percent, closing at $74.93.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs downgraded Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT) to Sell from Neutral with a price target lowered to $5 from a previous $9. Shares lost 8.47 percent, closing at $7.24.

Analysts at JPMorgan downgraded Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) to Neutral from Overweight with a price target raised to $80 from a previous $77. Shares lost 0.43 percent, closing at $76.01.

Equities-Specific News of Note

Ford (NYSE: F) has named Mark Fields to be its next CEO and successor to Alan Mulally who could announce his retirement as early as May 1. Shares lost 0.13 percent, closing at $15.98.

Related: Ford Names Mark Fields As Next CEO

According to re/code, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is interviewing candidates to take part in an electronic payments business. Shares gained 1.19 percent, closing at $531.17.

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) could launch its highly anticipated mobile ad network during its April 30 developers conference after testing the mobile ad network for over a year. Shares gained 3.90 percent, closing at $61.24.

Activist fund Casablanca Capital has asked Cliff Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) to hold a shareholder meeting by June 4. Casablanca owns a 5.2 percent stake in Cliff who argued that the company's Chairman James Kirsch has never invested a dollar of his own money in shares and has no legitimacy to restore value at the company. Shares lost 0.97 percent, closing at $18.47.

Barclays (NYSE: BCS) announced that it will either exit or sell its trading divisions in base metals, energy and agricultural products. Shares lost 0.24 percent, closing at $16.62.

Treehouse Foods (NYSE: THS) has agreed to purchase Protenergy Natural Foods, a maker of soup and broth products for $154 million. Shares gained 1.28 percent, closing at $73.07.

Home Depot (NYSE: HD) was described as an “undervalued gem” by Barron's in a cover story. shares gained 1.13 percent, closing at $77.96.

General Mills (NYSE: GIS) has reversed a recent change to its online legal policy after consumers voiced their objections. The policy includes terms under which any dispute with the company would be decided through arbitration. Shares gained 0.40 percent, closing at $52.30.

Calphine (NYSE: CPN) has agreed to sell six U.S. power plants to privately held LS Power for $1.57 billion. Shares hit new 52-week highs of $22.47 before closing the day at $22.36, up 4.63 percent.

AT&T (NYSE: T) has revealed 100 cities as potential candidates for its ultra-fast fiber network broadband expansion. Shares gained 0.06 percent, closing at $36.06.

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) will begin deliveries of its Model S sedan in China this week. Shares gained 3.16 percent, closing at $204.38.

Nike (NYSE: NKE) has fired the majority of its employees who were working on its Fuelband product. Various sources are indicating that Nike will shift away from manufacturing physical products and will instead focus on software within the wearable technology market. Shares lost 0.18 percent, closing at $73.90.

Related: Is Nike Saying Goodbye To Its FuelBand?

Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG) held a conference call to announce a new non-binding memorandum of understanding with Hyundai Hysco to jointly develop and sell hydrogen fuel cells in Asian countries. Plug Power also guided its 2014 bookings to be $150 million. Shares lost 4.24 percent, closing at $7.01.

Winners of Note

Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SPRT) plans to formally seek FDA approval for its eteplirsen by the end of 2014. Eteplirsen is designed for the treatment of some mutations that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The company indicated that it will move towards submitting a New Drug Application (or NDA) based on a letter it received from the FDA indicating that the drug could be approved on an accelerated timetable. Sarepta will conduct three studies involving patients of different ages and walking abilities in addition to a placebo-controlled study by the end of the year. Shares surged 39.26 percent, closing at $33.98.

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) has approached rival and British based AstraZenec (NYSE: AZN) about a $100 billion plus takeover, according to British based Sunday Times who cited investment bankers and industry sources. AstraZenec has turned down the offer but Pfizer has $70 billion in cash which could indicate that Pfizer will make a fresh proposal. AstraZenec holds a portfolio of cancer drugs which could be attractive to Pfizer who has a weaker cancer drug portfolio, according to Reuters who cited Mark Clark of Deutsche Bank Shars of AstraZenec hit new 52-week highs of $69.65 before closing the day at $69.10, up 8.84 percent. Shares of Pfizer gained 2.02 percent, closing at $30.86.

Decliners of Note

Moneygram International (NYSE: MGI) continued its selloff following last week's announcement that Wal-Mart was entering the money-transfer segment. Analysts at JMP Securities (who downgraded shares this morning) noted that recent sharp declines in share prices should not be confused with a buying opportunity. Shares hit new 52-week lows of $12.45 before closing the day at $12.80, down 13.57 percent. Separately, S&P cut MoneyGram's outlook to negative from stable but reaffirmed the company's BB- rating.

Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ: LULU) held an investor day which failed to impress analysts at Sterne Agee. The analysts noted that Lululemon failed to provide any specific plans to lure current shoppers into buying more products, or any clear strategy on how to attract new customers which is required for the long-term success of both the company and the stock. Shares lost 5.11 percent, closing at $49.07.

Earnings of Note

This morning, SunTrust Banks (NYSE: STI) reported its first quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.73, beating the consensus estimate of $0.67. Revenue of $2.03 billion beat the consensus estimate of $2.01 billion. Net income for the quarter fell to $393 million from $413 million in the same quarter last year as mortgage production income plummeted to $43 million from $159 million a year ago. Net interest margin decreased 14 basis points to 3.19 percent and noninterest expenses of $1.4 billion were flat from last year. The bank's Tier 1 Capital Ratio and Tier 1 Common Ratio was estimated to be 10.85 percent and 9.90 percent, respectively and the bank's tangible book value per share was estimated to be $27.82, up three percent from the end of 2013. Shares gained 1.48 percent, closing at $38.51.

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This morning, Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) reported its first quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.73, beating the consensus estimate of $0.72. Revenue of $7.35 billion beat the consensus estimate of $7.24 billion. Net income rose to $622 million from a net loss of $18 million in the same quarter last year which included expenses related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Revenues in North America rose five percent but operating income was flat as the company was negatively impacted by weather disruptions and higher logistical costs. Revenue and operating income declined by nine percent and eight percent, respectively in Latin America but grew nine percent and 21 percent, respectively in Europe/Africa/CIS. Revenue and operating income both rose 13 percent in the Middle East/Asia region. Shares hit new 52-week highs of $63.88 before closing the day at $62.92, up 3.32 percent.

This morning, Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) reported its first quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $1.48, beating the consensus estimate of $1.47. Revenue of $5.27 billion missed the consensus estimate of $5.32 billion. Net income for the quarter fell to $546 million from $551 million in the same quarter last year as the company saw its net sales decrease one percent and the company saw unfavorable impacts from foreign currency exchange rates and lower sales in Europe as part of strategic changes and restructuring. Kimberly-Clack expects the to spinoff its healthcare unit at the end of the third quarter or in the fourth quarter pending approval from regulators. The company reiterated a prior guidance and sees its full year 2014 EPS to be $6.00 to $6.20. Shares lost 1.42 percent, closing at $110.94.

After the market closed, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) reported its first quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.86, beating the consensus estimate of $0.81. Revenue of $1.27 billion was in-line with the consensus estimate. Shares were trading higher by 6.75 percent at $372.00 following the earnings release.

Quote of the Day

"I think that's the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself." - Tesla CEO Elon Musk, comments made in in 2012.

Posted-In: abbott laboratories Advanced Micro Devices Alan Mulally Alliance Data Systems AstraZenec AT&TNews After-Hours Center Best of Benzinga

 

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