Equities Sector Coverage: Stocks Up Despite Slow GDP

Sector Recap |

Wall Broad Street Stock MarketEconomists were expecting an upward revision to first quarter GDP but the preliminary reading came in unchanged at 1.8%. Initial Jobless Claims came in higher than expected at 424,000, way above the 350,000 recessionary threshold. U.S. stocks rebounded on Wednesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 39 points to 12,395 up 7.1% year to date. The NASDAQ tacked on 15 points to 2761 up 4.1% year to date. The Dow Transports was a stabilizing force as weakness held its 50-day simple moving average at 5327. On Thursday the Dow Industrial Average declined to 12,318 then rebounded above its 50-day simple moving average at 12,424 before closing below this key trend. The NASDAQ recovered from 2756 to a test of its 50-day simple moving average at 2786 before closing below this key level.

Asian stocks rallied on Thursday with the Nikkei 225 up a solid 1.5% to 9,562. The Hang Seng Index gained 0.7%. European stocks were also mixed with the FTSE 100 up 0.2%, the DAX down 0.8% and the CAC 40 down 0.3%. The yield on the 10-Year U.S. Treasury traded down to 3.055 percent just below its 200-day simple moving average at 3.084. The U.S. Treasury auctioned $29 billion 7-Year notes at 2.429 percent with a strong 3.24 bid to cover ratio. The Indirect Bid, which includes foreign central banks, was a strong 47.6%. Comex gold faded from a test of $1531.1 the Troy ounce trading as low as $1514.6 then rebounded staying in this established trading range for the day. Nymex crude oil traded between $99.61 per barrel and $101.90. The euro again traded between 1.4071 and 1.4205 on Thursday.

Energy

Shell (RDS.A) CEO Peter Voser has held talks with Russian energy czar Igor Sechin and Rosneft CEO Eduard Khudainatov about exploring the Arctic. The meeting comes just several days after an Arctic exploration and $16B share swap deal between Rosneft and BP (BP) collapsed due to the opposition of the latter's partners in its TNK-BP Russian joint venture. PetroChina (PTR) is picked up with a Buy at Jefferies. In afternoon trading: Shares of Sandridge Energy (SD) are up about 11%. Shares of Uranium Energy (UEC) are up about 11%. Shares of Uranium Resources (URRE) are up about 10%. Shares of Magnum Hunter (MHR) are up about 6.75%.

The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was trading at $76.15 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.50% on the day – up 11.58% year-to-date.

Materials

CRH Plc. (CRH) is cut to Sell from Hold at Citigroup. In afternoon trading: Shares of Lundin Mining (LUNMF:US) are down about 18%. Shares of China Agritech (CAGC) are up about 9%. Shares of Zagg (ZAGG) are up about 5%. Actives: Shares of Freeport McMoran (FCX) are up about 1.5%. Shares of Alcoa (AA) are up about 0.7%. Shares of Vale (VALE) are up about 2%.

The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) traded at $38.93 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.23% on the day – up 1.35% year-to-date.

Industrials

Ricoh (RICOF:US) plans to slash 10,000 jobs, or almost 10% of its workforce, over the next three years in a move aimed at enabling the Japanese copier and printer maker to reverse a slide in sales and compete with rivals such as Xerox (XRX) and Canon (CAJ). HEICO (HEI) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Capstone. In afternoon trading: Shares of Fushi Copperweld (FSIN) are up about 17%. Shares of A123 (AONE) are up about 4.5%. Shares of A-Power Energy (APWR) are down about 6.5%. Shares of Harbin Electric (HRBN) are down about 6.25%.

The Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) traded at $37.11 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.41% on the day – up 6.42% year-to-date.

Consumer Discretionary

Sales of homes in foreclosure rose to 28% of all home sales in Q1, nearly six-times as much as in a typical healthy housing market. Sony (SNE) has predicted it will swing to a net profit of ¥80B ($975M) in FY 2012 after three years of losses, although the company's outlook is less than analyst forecasts of ¥105B. Big Lots (BIG) beat estimates by a penny with revenue in-line with estimates. Tupperware (TUP) is a new Neutral at Janney Montgomery Scott with a price objective of $65. American Eagle (AEO) is lifted to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital, but is lowered to Sell from Neutral at Lazard. Aeropostale (ARO) is moved to Market Perform from Underperform at FBR Capital with a $20 target. Comcast (CMCSA) is added to the Top Picks Live list at Citigroup. Lululemon Athletica (LULU) is lowered to Underperform from Market Perform with an $80 objective at FBR Capital. WMS Industries (WMS) gets moved to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan. RadioShack (RSH) is reduced to Neutral from Buy at Goldman with a target of $17. Advance Auto Parts (AAP) is now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse. In afternoon trading: Shares of Krispy Kreme (KKD) are up about 11.25%. Shares of Guess (GES) are up about 11.25% after beating estimates by 11 cents and revenue by $24M. Shares of Tiffany (TIF) are up about 8.75% after beating estimates by 10 cents and revenue by $57M.

The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) traded at $40.06 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.91% on the day – up 7.08% year-to-date.

Consumer Staples

Heinz's (HNZ) FY 2011 net income rose 14% to a record $990M as sales edged up 2% to $10.7B, also a record. The company has raised its long-term EPS outlook to a range of 7%-10% from 6%-9% and said it will increase its annualized dividend by $0.12 to $1.92 a share. Smithfield Foods (SFD) is covered with an Outperform at Cowen & Company. Walgreens (WAG) gets removed from Goldman’s list of Conviction Buys. Diamond Foods (DMND) is downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital. In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Rite Aid (RAD) are down about a half of a percent, while shares of CVS Caremark (CVS) are down slightly. Shares of Altria Group (MO) are down about 0.3%.

The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) traded at $31.91 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.16% on the day – up 8.87% year-to-date.

Healthcare

Medifast (MED) is picked up as a Buy at Janney. Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD) is a Hold at Brokerage firm Duncan Williams. Brokers William Blair assign Outperforms on Achillion Pharma (ACHN), Anadys Pharma (ANDS), Inhibitex (INHX), and Pharmasset (VRUS). It has less bullish Market Performs on Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) and Idenix Pharma (IDIX). Brookdale Senior Living (BKD) gets lifted to Buy from Neutral at Goldman. Bayer AG (BAYRY:US) is cut to Neutral from Buy at UBS. Gen-Probe (GPRO) is taken to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan. In afternoon trading: Shares of Achillion are up nearly 13%. Shares of Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR) are up about 8.7%. Shares of Complete Genomics (GNOM) are up about 8.2%. Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) are up about 8%.

The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) traded at $35.67 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.14% on the day – up 13.24% year-to-date.

Financials

Credit Suisse (CS), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) each borrowed at least $30B in 2008 from a Fed emergency lending scheme called single-tranche open-market operations. UBS (UBS) is planning to separate its investment bank division, which accounted for 44% of its Q1 2011 revenues, into its own legal entity and incorporate it in London, New York or Singapore. The London Stock Exchange (LDNXF:US) and TMX Group (TMXGF:US), the operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, face a battle to complete their $3B merger after a group of Canadian banks and insurance companies went hostile with their $3.7B counter-offer for TMX late yesterday. Toronto Dominion Bank (TD) missed estimates by a penny. Comerica (CMA) is moved to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer with a $43 target. Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) is moved to Outperform from Market Perform at Sanford Bernstein. Host Hotels (HST) is hoisted to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs and is added to their Conviction Buy List. In afternoon trading: Shares of Xinyuan Real Estate (XIN) are up about 15%. Shares of Host Hotels are up about 4.7%.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) traded at $15.57 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.52% on the day – down 2.38% year-to-date.

Information Technology

Ricoh (RICOF:US) plans to slash 10,000 jobs, or almost 10% of its workforce, over the next three years in a move aimed at enabling the Japanese copier and printer maker to reverse a slide in sales and compete with rivals such as Xerox (XRX) and Canon (CAJ). The glow surrounding IPOs for Internet companies is not extending to everybody, with Freescale Semiconductor (FSL) raising a less-than-expected $783M at a market cap of $4.3B. NetApp (NTAP) beat estimates by 6 cents with revenue in-line with estimates. Sequans Communications (SQNS) is resumed with an Outperform rating and $16 target price at Robert W. Baird. Oracle (ORCL) is boosted to Buy from Hold at ThinkEquity. NetApp is now Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital. In afternoon trading: Shares of Sequans (SQNS) are up about 14.5%. Shares of Vanceinfo Technologies (VIT) are up about 12.5%. Shares of NetApp are up about 8%. Shares of Computer Sciences (CSC) are down over 13% after missing estimates by 2 cents.

The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) traded at $25.97 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.66% on the day – up 3.10% year-to-date.

Telecommunications Services

In afternoon trading: Shares of magicJack VocalTec (CALL) are up about 6.5%. Shares of PAETEC Holding (PAET) are up about 6%. Shares of Abovenet (ABVT) are up about 5.5%. Shares of Premiere Global Services (PGI) are up about 4.3%. Shares of Cbeyond (CBEY) are up about 4.1%. Actives: Shares of Level 3 Communications (LVLT) are up about 1%. Shares of Sprint Nextel (S) are up about 1.1%, while shares of AT&T (T) are up about 0.7% and shares of Verizon (VZ) are up about 0.8%.

The NASDAQ Telecommunications Index (IXTC) traded at $221.16 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, up 0.67% on the day – down 1.87% year-to-date.

Utilities

In afternoon trading: Actives: Shares of Genon Energy (GEN) are up about a quarter of a percent. Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) are down about a quarter of a percent. Shares of AES (AES) are down slightly. Shares of PG&E (PCG) are up about 0.4%. Shares of CenterPoint Energy (CNP) are up about a quarter of a percent. Shares of American Electric Power (AEP) are dowm about 0.3%. Shares of Exelon (EXC) are down slightly.

The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) traded at $33.62 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, down slightly on the day – up 7.28% year-to-date.

STOCKS: RDS.A, BP, PTR, SD, UEC, URRE, MHR, CRH, LUNMF, CAGC, ZAGG, FCX, AA, VALE, RICOF, XRX, CAJ, HEI, FSIN, AONE, APWR, HRBN, SNE, BIG, TUP, AEO, ARO, CMCSA, LULU, WMS, RSH, AAP, KKD, GES, TIF, HNZ, SFD, WAG, DMND, RAD, CVS, MO, MED, IRWD, ACHN, ANDS, INHX, VRUS, VRTX, IDIX, BKD, BAYRY, GPRO, AVNR, GNOM, ARNA, CS, GS, RBS, UBS, LDNXF, TMXGF, TD, CMA, FITB, HST, XIN, FSL, NTAP, SQNS, ORCL, VIT, CSC, CALL, PAET, ABVT, PGI, CBEY, LVLT, S, T, VZ, GEN, DUK, AES, PCG, CNP, AEP, EXC

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

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