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News Summary for August 16, 2011

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This is your Benzinga news summary and traders' outlook for Tuesday, August 16, 2011, covering headlines from overnight and Tuesday's pre-market session.

Today in domestic pre-market trading, U.S. equity futures are trading lower. At last check, Dow futures are down over 100 points and the U.S. dollar trades slightly higher near the $74.25 level.

Earlier this morning, Collins Stewart upgraded Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) to Buy, Benchmark upgraded Hess Corp (NYSE: HES) to Buy, and Jefferies upgraded Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO) to Hold. View all of today's upgrades here. Goldman Sachs downgraded Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI) to Neutral and Brean Murray downgraded Tri-Tech (NASDAQ: TRIT) to Hold. View all of today's downgrades here.

Jefferies lowered Foot Locker's (NYSE: FL) price target to $22 from $25 and Morgan Keegan initiated Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) with Outperform. View all other of today's analyst ratings here.

Overseas, European markets were lower in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.8%, Germany's DAX slipped 0.2% and France's CAC 40 dropped 1.3% on the session. Asian stocks ended the session lower as well. China's Shanghai Index dropped 0.7%, Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.2%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.2%.

On the economic calendar, the Import Price Index, new housing starts, and building permits are set to be reported at 8:30a.m. Industrial production and capacity utilization is due at 9:15 a.m.

On the commodity front, gold and silver futures are higher in pre-market trading, with gold near the $1780 an ounce level. Energy futures are slightly lower with crude oil near $86.75 per barrel and gasoline futures trading slightly negative. Natural Gas futures are trading lower by about 1.5% and copper futures are also down 1.5% this morning.

On the earnings front, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) reported Q2 EPS of $1.09 on revenues of $109.37 billion; The Street was looking for $1.08 per share on revenues of $108.26 billion. The company raised full year EPS guidance.

Home Depot (NYSE: HD) reported Q2 EPS of $0.86 on revenues of $20.23 billion; The Street was looking for $0.83 per share on revenues of $19.96 billion. The company guided fiscal year 2011 EPS at $2.34 versus $2.30 Street estimate.

In corporate news, The J. M. Smucker Company (NYSE: SJM) announced today that it decreased the list price for the majority of its coffee products sold in the United States, primarily consisting of items sold under the Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts, and Folgers Gourmet Selections brand names. Prices will decrease an average of six percent on impacted items.

Yesterday after the close, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A)(NYSE: BRK.B) disclosed a new stake in Dollar General (NYSE: DG), boosted stake in Mastercard (NYSE: MA), reduced stake in Kraft (NYSE: KFT), and boosted stake in Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), disclosed in a 13F filing.

This concludes your news summary for August 16, 2011.

 

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