Market Overview

Financial Breakfast: Morning News Summary for October 6, 2011


This is your Benzinga news summary and traders' outlook for Thursday, October 6, 2011, covering headlines from overnight and Thursday's pre-market session.

Today in domestic pre-market trading, U.S equity futures are trading higher. At last check, Dow futures are higher by about 40 points or 0.38% and the U.S. dollar trades higher near the $79.74 level.

Earlier this morning, JP Morgan upgraded Monsanto (NYSE: MON) to Overweight and Citigroup upgraded Liberty Interactive (NASDAQ: LINTA) to Buy. View all of today's upgrades here.

JP Morgan downgraded Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) to Underweight and Goldman Sachs downgraded Waddell & Reed (NYSE: WDR) to Sell. View all of today's downgrades here.

Goldman Sachs raised PepsiCo's (NYSE: PEP) price target to $71 from $65 and raised Costco's (NASDAQ: COST) price target to $88 from $85. View all other of today's analyst ratings here.

Overseas, European markets are higher in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 2%, Germany's DAX added 2% and France's CAC 40 jumped 2.2% on the session. Asian stocks ended the session higher as well. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 1.66% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 5.67%.

The United Kingdom's Finance Minister Osborne authorized the increase in Bank of England Asset Purchases to GBP275 billion, as economic view darkens.

On the economic calendar, Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims are set to be reported at 8:30 a.m. Bank of England left interest rates unchanged at 0.50% and the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged at 1.5%.

On the commodity front, gold and silver futures are higher in pre-market trading, with gold trading higher by about 0.65%. Energy futures are higher as well with crude oil up over 1.2% near the $80.66 level and gasoline futures are trading higher by about 0.76%. Natural Gas futures are down by about 0.4% and copper futures are trading over 3% higher this morning.

On the earnings front, Helen of Troy (NASDAQ: HELE) reported Q2 EPS of $0.74 on revenues of $277.4 million; The Street was looking for $0.87 per share on revenues of $289 million.

International Speedway (NASDAQ: ISCA) reported Q3 EPS of $0.20 on revenues of $150.3 million; The Street was looking for $0.31 per share on revenues of $156.5 million.

Yesterday, Marriott (NYSE: MAR) reported Q3 EPS of $0.29 on revenues of $2.87 billion; The Street was looking for $0.27 per share on revenues of $2.83 billion.

In corporate news, Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX) lowered its 2011 financial guidance. The company now expects adjusted earnings per share will be in the range of $2.95 to $3.05 for 2011, down approximately 6% from the prior range of $3.15 to $3.25.

Yesterday, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) founder and former CEO Steve Jobs died, at the age of 56.

This concludes your news summary for October 6, 2011.

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Posted-In: Earnings News Guidance Upgrades Downgrades Futures Price Target Commodities Best of Benzinga


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