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A Peek Into The Market Before The Trading Starts

by
January 13, 2011 8:08 am
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Pre-open movers
US stock futures are mixed this morning as investors await data on the labor market and international trade. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial dropped 13 points to 11,695 and S&P 500 futures moved up 0.60 points to 1,284. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2.75 points to 2,307.

A Peek Into Global Markets

European markets are slightly lower today. While STOXX Europe 600 Index has dropped 0.01%, London’s FTSE 100 Index moved down 0.04%.

Asian markets ended in the positive territory, with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rising 0.73%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 moving up 1.44% and China’s Shanghai Composite gaining 0.23%.

Broker Recommendation
Citi Investment Research is raising earnings estimates on AnnTaylor Stores Corp. (NYSE: ANN). It has a Hold rating and a $27 price target on shares.

In the note sent to investors, Citi writes, “Following our meeting with ANN yesterday, we came away more comfortable with the Loft business in terms of trends during the quarter and the outlook for spring. We are raising our 4Q estimate to $0.14, in-line with consensus.”

Citi goes on to say, “While we continue to believe the issues that have weighed on the division will take a quarter or two to be worked through – we don’t see the bottom falling out from underneath the division nor do we think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the assortments for spring that will require a re-do. Just this week management brought back the GMM from the brand’s heyday – that indicates to us that the challenges are being addressed. That follows a similar move made at the Ann division a year ago which has contributed to the turnaround at the brand. An improvement in comp trends at LOFT and the restoration of the historical fashion to basics mix at the brand would lead us to be more constructive on shares.”

Shares of ANN gained $1.51 yesterday to close at $24.15, a gain of 6.67%.

Breaking news

  • Charles River Associates (NASDAQ: CRAI), a worldwide leader in providing management, economic and financial consulting services, today announced financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter, the twelve weeks ended November 27, 2010 and for its full fiscal year 2010. To read the full news, click here.
  • Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW) today provided an update on preliminary operating results for the fourth quarter of 2010 at Con-way Freight. The company’s LTL unit expects to report operating income for the fourth quarter of 2010 of approximately $2 million. To read the full news, click here.
  • RAM Energy Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAME) today announced it has closed the sale to a privately-held E&P company of certain non-operated natural gas properties located in eastern Oklahoma for $8.0 million in cash. To read the full news, click here.
  • The European Central Bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for the 20th consecutive month in January, it announced on Thursday. To read the full news, click here.

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