Market Wrap For April 15: Who Doesn't Love A Turnaround?
U.S. stock futures were pointing towards a modestly higher open as investors found enough optimism from Dow components Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson who both reported better than expected quarterly results.
Investors were further spooked by reports of pro-Russian separatists taking control of an airfield in Eastern Ukraine which created a very volatile trading session.
The Dow Jones average rose 99 points and falling 110 points while the Nasdaq index showed one of the best turnarounds in years as the index traded as low as 3,946.03 during the trading session.
- The Dow gained 0.55 percent, closing at 16,262.56.
- The S&P 500 gained 0.68 percent, closing at 1,842.98.
- The Nasdaq gained 0.29 percent, closing at 4,034.16.
- Gold lost 1.82 percent, trading at $1,303.30 an ounce.
- Oil lost 0.46 percent, trading at $103.57 a barrel.
- Silver lost 2.06 percent, trading at $19.63 an ounce.
News of Note
ICSC Retail Store Sales declined 0.3 percent week over week compared to a gain of 1.5 percent last week.
April Empire State Survey fell to 1.29 from 5.6 in March and missed expectations of 7.5.
March Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent, ahead of the 0.1 percent consensus and a prior reading of 0.1 percent.
Core CPI rose 0.2 percent, ahead of the 0.1 percent expected and prior reading of 0.1 percent.
Redbook Chain Store Sales rose 2.6 percent year over year compared to a rise of 2.9 percent last week.
NAHB Housing Market Index rose to 47.0 from a previous reading of 46.0 but still fell short of expectations of 49.0.
The Peoples Bank of China withdrew 172 billion yuan ($28 billion) through a repurchase agreement.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades of Note
Analysts at JPMorgan maintained an Overweight rating on BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) with a price target raised to $359 from a previous $355. Shares gained 0.72 percent, closing at $300.61.
Analysts at Oppenheimer maintained an Outperform rating on Citigroup (NYSE: C) with a price target lowered to $65 from a previous $66. Meanwhile, analysts at Bernstein upgraded Citigroup to Outperform from Market Perform with a price target raised to $57 from a previous $52. Shares gained 1.28 percent, closing at $48.28.
Analysts at Howard Weil downgraded EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG) to Sector Perform from Sector Outperform with a $105 price target. Shares gained 1.19 percent, closing at $101.15.
Analysts at JPMorgan upgraded Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW) to Neutral from Underweight with a price target raised to $78 from a previous $60. Shares lost 0.36 percent, closing at $80.71.
Analysts at Jefferies maintained a Buy rating on Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) with a price target raised to $700 from a previous $650. Shares gained 0.74 percent, closing at $536.44.
Analysts at Citigroup downgraded IBM (NYSE: IBM) to Neutral from Buy. Shares lost 0.36 percent, closing at $197.05.
Analysts at Janney Capital upgraded MasterCard (NYSE: MA) to Buy from Hold with a price target raised to $81 from a previous $79. Shares gained 1.35 percent, closing at $72.14.
Analysts at JPMorgan downgraded Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) to Neutral from Overweight with a price target lowered to $64 from a previous $69. Shares lost 0.03 percent, closing at $58.06.
Analysts at Bank of America upgraded Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) to Buy from Neutral with a $35 price target. Shares gained 1.72 percent, closing at $29.56.
Analysts at JG Capital downgraded Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) to Underweight from Neutral. Shares gained 0.35 percent, closing at $39.71.
Analysts at Maxim Group upgraded Pandora Media (NYSE: P) to Buy from Hold with a $35 price target. Shares gained 3.68 percent, closing at $26.20.
Analysts at Bank of America downgraded PetSmart (NASDAQ: PETM) to Underperform from Neutral with a price target lowered to $60 from a previous $77. Shares lost 3.98 percent, closing at $66.61.
Analysts at Miller Tabak upgraded Potash Corp (NYSE: POT) to Neutral from Sell with a price target raised to $30 from a previous $28. Shares gained 3.13 percent, closing at $34.95.
Analysts at Stephens & Co upgraded Tiffany & Co (NYSE: TIF) to Overweight from Equalweight with a $95 price target. Shares gained 1.43 percent, closing at $86.03.
Analysts at Credit Suisse reiterated an Outperform rating on TripAdvisor (NASDAQ: TRIP) with a price target raised to $105 from a previous $94. Shares gained 4.43 percent, closing at $83.30.
Analysts at Janney Capital upgraded Visa (NYSE: V) to Buy from Neutral with a price target raised to $240 from a previous $210. Shares gained 1.49 percent, closing at $204.00.
Analysts at William Blair downgraded Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) to Underperform from Market Perform. Shares lost 0.63 percent, closing at $76.89.
Analysts at Needham initiated coverage of World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE) with a Buy rating and $30 price target. Shares gained 3.75 percent, closing at $20.74.
Analysts at Macquarie upgraded Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) to Outperform from Neutral. Shares gained 2.29 percent, closing at $34.21.
Equities-Specific News of Note
According to BGR, Amazon.com's (NASDAQ: AMZN) rumored smartphone will have a 4.7 inch display with a 720p resolution and will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 13 megapixel rear camera. Additionally, the phone will have a 3D display which will support 3D viewing “in as many areas as possible.” Shares gained 0.05 percent, closing at $316.08.
Eric Schneiderman, New York's Attorney General launched an investigation into Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) over its marketing practices. According to Dealbook, there are no signs that any criminal charges will be laid against the company and no grand jury subpoenas have been issued. Shares gained 1.99 percent, closing at $54.82.
General Electric's (NYSE: GE) CEO Jeff Immelt may give up his position earlier than previously expected as the company could look for “fresh blood” following Immelt's approximately 15 years as head of the company. shares gained 0.45 percent, closing at $25.83.
Elliot Associates reaffirmed that its $21 per share offer to acquire Riverbed (NASDAQ: RVBD) is still on the table. Shares lost 0.90 percent, closing at $18.69.
Shares of Under Armour (NYSE: UA) began trading under a 2:1 split basis. Shares gained 2.68 percent, closing at $52.45.
Entergy (NYSE: ETR) issued upside earnings guidance for the first quarter and projects it will earn around $2.28 per share, above the consensus estimate of $1.15. For the full fiscal year, the company is projecting its earnings per share to be $5.55 to $6.75, above the consensus estimate of $5.34. Shares gained 1.44 percent, closing at $71.97.
Himax (NASDAQ: HIMX) announced that it expects its first quarter revenue to be up 10.8 percent year over year to $194.6 million, ahead of the consensus estimate of $193.6 million. shares gained 3.56 percent, closing at $9.32.
Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT) announced that it will begin idling its Canadian operations which includes the Barzion and Wolverine coal mines in British Columbia. Shares gained 4.87 percent, closing at $8.18.
Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR) initiated a new $500 million share repurchase program. Shares gained 2.04 percent, closing at $151.40.
General Motors (NYSE: GM) will unveil a new Chevrolet Cruze car for the Chinese market as part of its initiatives to grow the brand in the country. Shares gained 2.47 percent, closing at $33.35.
BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) announced it has taken a stake in NantHealth, a developer of a clinical software platform in order to “put the power of a supercomputer in the palm of the caregiver's hand.” Shares gained 0.98 percent, closing at $7.21.
Sinopec (NYSE: SNP) has agreed to purchase assets from Russian oil producer Lukoil in Kazakhstan for approximately $1.2 billion. Shares lost 3.77 percent, closing at $88.86.
Total (NYSE: TOT) announced that its European refining margin fell to $6.60 per metric ton in the first quarter from $26.90 per metric ton in the same quarter last year. Shares gained 0.09 percent, closing at $67.79.
Winners of Note
Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) has agreed to purchase Gnip, a provider of real-time and hisotircal datasets for many social sharing platforms which include Twitter, Tumblr and others. Gnip also offers managed API access for Instagram, Google+ and others. Shares surged 11.43 percent, closing at $45.54.
One of Conn's (NASDAQ: CONN) major shareholders, W.R. Stephens Jr. purchased 152,746 shares valued at just under $6 million of the stock according to insider filing reports. W.R. Stephens Jr. Stephens was joined by another major shareholder, Elizabeth Campbell who purchased 106,034 shares valued at $4.188 million. Shares surged 14.53 percent, closing at $45.48.
Decliners of Note
hhgregg (NYSE: HGG) pre-announced sales totals for the fourth quarter in which net sales fell to $538.3 million from $597.6 million in the same quarter last year and below the consensus estimate of $551 million. Net loss per share for the quarter is expected to be $0.25, well below the $0.31 per share profit the company earned a year ago. Analysts were expecting the company to earn a profit of $0.10 per share in the quarter. Finally, hhgregg estimates that its fourth quarter comparable store sales decreased 9.9 percent with consumer electronics decreasing 18.9 percent and the wireless category decreasing 22.6 percent for the quarter. Fourth quarter and full year earnings are expected to be released on May 20. Shares lost 9.53 percent, closing at $7.88.
Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ: ZBRA) has agreed to acquire Motorola's Enterprise business for $3.45 billion in an all cash transaction. "This acquisition will transform Zebra into a leading provider of solutions that deliver greater intelligence and insights into our customers' enterprises and extended value chains," stated Anders Gustafsson, Zebra's chief executive officer. Shares of Zebra lost 10.09 percent, closing at $61.39.
Earnings of Note
This morning, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) reported its first quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.44, in-line with the consensus estimate. Revenue of $10.57 billion beat the consensus estimate of $10.55 billion. Net income for the quarter fell to $1.62 billion from $1.77 billion in the same quarter last year despite a gain in global volume and value share in ready to drink beverages, specifically a volume growth of two percent in emerging and developing markets. Coca-Cola reaffirmed previous guidance of investing $400 million in 2014 media initiatives. Shares gained 3.72 percent, closing at $40.17.
This morning, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported its first quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $1.54, beating the consensus estimate of $1.48. Revenue of $18.11 billion beat the consensus estimate of $18.0 billion. Net earnings for the quarter rose to $4.73 billion from $3.49 billion in the same quarter last year as the company saw several successful new product launches and continued growth of its existing product portfolio. Johnson & Johnson issued guidance and sees its full year 2014 EPS to be in a range of $5.80 to $5.90, in-line with the consensus estimate. Shares gained 2.11 percent, closing at $99.19.
After the market closed, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) reported its first quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.38, beating the consensus estimate of $0.37. Revenue of $12.8 billion was in-line with the consensus estimate. Shares were trading higher by 1.79 percent at $27.27 following the earnings release.
After the market closed, Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) reported its first quarter results. The company announced an EPS of $0.38, beating the consensus estimate of $0.37. Revenue of $1.08 billion was in-line with the consensus estimate. Shares were trading higher by 9.62 percent at $37.50 following the earnings release.
Quote of the Day
"The longer MasterCard, Priceline, Google, and the biotechnology names continue to plumb new lows, the more likely it is the rest of the market will follow them down." - Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank speaking to CNBC.
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