2011 November

Midday Commodities Round Up for Nov. 29

Before we jump into how the commodities market is doing, let’s take a look at the stock market. Stocks are trading higher today, but are not rallying as big as they did yesterday. The Dow is up 71 points, the Nasdaq is unchanged and the S&P is up 7 points. So what’s moving the market today – consumer data showed consumer confidence bounced back after hitting a 2.5 year low in November. Also, investors are hopeful for a solution in Europe soon on their debt crisis. Here’s how the commodities market is shaping up in midday trading.

Oil prices for January delivery rose today nearly $1 at $99.09. This jump comes as consumer confidence in the U.S. shot up, which means consumers will be more willing to spend money. Investors were also pleased to see Italy complete a bond auction although Italy had to pay yields above 7% which is an area many economists believe is unsustainable.

Gold prices are holding steady mostly today as they are down slightly at $1,709, a loss of $1.80 on the day. Silver prices are faring a little worse in midday trading, losing 1.23% at $31.76.

Overall it seems like the markets are taking a breather so far today after seeing a fast and furious rally yesterday. The Dow has rallied nearly 400 points in the past two trading sessions as investors were glad to hear some good news about the U.S. economy.

Biggest Stock Losers in Early Trading for Nov. 29

China Hydroelectric Corporation (NYSE:CHC) is down 50% this morning at $0.70. CHC has traded 758 thousand shares so far today, well above its daily average of just 12 thousand shares.

ChinaCast Education Corporation (NASDAQ:CAST) is down 16.67% this morning at $4.25. CAST has traded 337 thousand shares so far today, about 70 thousand more shares than it trades daily. There are reports of problems with Chincast’s SEC filings. Chinacast has a current market cap of 221.57 million.

Corning Inc. (NYSE:GLW) is down 10.18% at $13.27 this morning. GLW has traded 17 million shares in the first hour of trading and should have no problem passing its daily average volume of 21 million shares. GLW is trading down today after cutting its outlook. Corning Inc. has a current market cap of 20.85 billion.

Gulfport Energy Corp. (NASDAQ:GPOR) is down 8.76% at $28.94 in early trading. GPOR has traded 563 thousand shares so far today, about 350 thousand shares away from passing its daily average. GPOR shares are falling this morning after the company has started an offering of 5 million shares. Gulfport has a current market value of 1.47 billion.

Tiffany & Company (NYSE:TIF) is down 7.66% at $67.81 this morning. TIF has traded 4.7 million shares traded so far today, more than double its daily average. Tiffany fell today after issuing guidance below expectations. Tiffany & Company has a current market cap of 8.63 billion.

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE:RIG) is down 6.92% at $42.79 so far this morning. RIG has traded 5.6 million shares so far this morning, about 1 million shares short of its daily average. RIG fell today after the company plans to issue more than $1 billion in stock. Transocean has a current market cap of 13.73 billion.

Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE:DDS) is down 6.84% at $46.29 so far this morning. DDS has traded 759 thousand shares so far today and trades on average 1 million shares. Dillard’s has a current market cap of 2.42 billion.

European Finance Ministers Are Meeting In Belgium Today; Investors Anxiously Wait

The 17 finance ministers of the countries that make up the euro zone and use the single currency known as the euro, are meeting in Brussels, Belgium at the European Union headquarters today.

The ministers were discussing ideas that would have been taboo until recently. The ideas being shopped around include countries ceding fiscal sovereignty to a central authority; some kind of elite group of euro nations that would guarantee one another’s loans, but require strong fiscal discipline from anyone wanting membership.

There is worldwide fear that the crisis,which has already forced bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, could infect larger economies such as Italy, the euro zone’s third-largest economy. If Italy were to default on its debt of €1.9 trillion ($2.5 trillion), the fallout could spell ruin for the euro and send shock-waves throughout the global economy.

The goal of the ministers today is to find a commonality among nations both financially and politically. There is no time to waste, it must be addressed immediately before the contagion continues a crippling spread.

France’s finance minister, Francois Baroin, said Tuesday on France-Info radio that countries should integrate their budgets more closely and monitor one another’s spending. “We have to modify eurozone governance,” Baroin said. “We definitely have to move toward more integrated budgetary consolidation, fiscal convergence with our neighbors.”

Baroin said France and Germany, which have largely been calling the shots on efforts to overcome the crisis, will make proposals on how euro-zone countries can monitor one another under such a new system.

The world is watching developments. It’s not just a currency used by 332 million people that is at stake. As German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others have said, if the euro fails, so too does the 27-nation European Union, a rousing diplomatic success that united a continent ripped apart by two world wars.

5 Stocks Under $5 Posting Big Gains: MAGS, CEDC, HDY, DEXO, SILU

Wall Street is up only slightly this moroning after having a big rally yesterday. Each of the major indexes are up at most 0.5% with the Nasdaq posting the smallest gains of 0.33%. There are some stocks posting big gains this morning though especially those under $5.

Magal Security Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:MAGS) is up 45.66% at $3.86 so far this morning. MAGS has traded 221 thousand shares in early trading, well above its daily average of 17 thousand shares. Magal Security Systems reported third quarter results this morning. The company saw a 107% increase in revenue to a record $27.7 million with a gross profit of $5.4 million. Magal Security has a current market cap of 38.64 million.

Central European Distribution Corp. (NASDAQ:CEDC) is up 31.18% at $4.46 this morning. CEDC has traded 3.3 million shares so far today, about 500 thousand more shares than its trades on average. Russian Standard Vodka bought a nearly 10% stake in CEDC overnight. Central European Distribution has a current market cap of 329.12 million.

Hyperdynamics Corporation (NYSE:HDY) is up 15.43% at $3.74 so far this morning. HDY has traded 1.4 million shares so far today and should have no problem passing its daily average of 2.5 million shares. Hyperdynamics has a current market cap of 602.31 million.

Dex One Corporation (NYSE:DEXO) is up 14.56% at $1.18 this morning. DEXO has traded 1.3 million shares so far today, more than double its daily average. DEXO has moved up nearly $0.40 in the past two trading sessions. Dex One has a current market cap of 59.93 million.

Sprott Resource Lending Corp. (AMEX:SILU) is up 12.31% at $1.5050 this morning. SILU has traded 280 thousand shares so far today, well above its daily average of 145 thousand shares. Sprott Resource has a current market cap of 232.40 million.

India’s Growth Rate Expected To Slip Below 7%

India’s economic growth rate is forecast to slip below 7% for the first time in over two years. This will add pressure to India’s Reserve Bank to end its long campaign to fight inflation. While emerging markets saw fast growth after the 2008 financial crisis, they are beginning to see the downside of that fast growth.

India’s GDP figures are due to be released on Wednesday. The gross national product is expected to show growth of 6.9% from the year-earlier quarter, according to the average forecast of economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires. That’s down sharply from 7.7% growth in the previous quarter and 8.9% growth in the year-earlier quarter.
The Reserve Bank of India has hiked interest rates 13 times since March 2010 to curb excess demand and stem inflation, which remains above 9%. But other factors, namely the crisis in Europe and slower growth in the U.S., are now also fueling investment uncertainty and curbing demand for Indian-made goods.

India’s services sector, forecast at 9% year-on-year, remains the main factor supporting growth, along with agriculture, where growth of 2.6% is expected, according to Religare Capital Markets.

Most of India’s economic slowdown is expected to come from industrial production, where growth fell more than expected in September, led by lower manufacturing and electricity production, as well as mining, which has also been hit by land acquisition and weather-related issues.

In October, India’s Reserve Bank lowered its growth forecast for the year ending in March to 7.6% from 8%, citing the impact of monetary tightening and the weakening growth momentum in the U.S. and the euro zone debt crisis.

In a note on Monday, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) lowered its growth forecast for all of Asia for the rest of the year and next citing slow growth in the U.S. and risks to growth in debt laden Europe.

China Stocks Rise On Government Speculation

China stocks rose, driving the benchmark index up the most in two weeks, on speculation the government will take measures to boost the economy and European leaders will boost efforts to end the debt crisis.

Jiangxi Copper Company and Anhui Conch Cement Co. gained among companies most tied to economic growth after Citigroup Inc. said the government may shift its attention to stabilizing growth. Citic Securities Co., the nation’s biggest listed brokerage, added 1.2% after Xinhua News Agency said the government will accelerate a plan to allow Hong Kong-based yuan funds to invest in mainland securities.

The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 29.36 points to 2,412.39, a 1.2% gain on the welcomed news. The Shanghai Composite has dropped 2.3% in November on concern of slowing growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy. Europe’s sovereign debt crisis also added to the drop. The gauge is valued at 11.4 times estimated earnings, compared with a four-year average of 17.3 times, according to weekly data compiled by Bloomberg. The measure has fallen 14% this year after the central bank raised rates three times and lifted the reserve-requirement ratio to curb inflation.

China is expected to shift from fighting inflation to stabilizing economic growth, which could lead to more policy easing, Minggao Shen and Ben Wei, analysts at Citigroup, wrote in report dated yesterday.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission, the central bank and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange have agreed on a plan, which will allows qualified investors to raise money in yuan from Hong Kong and invest in bonds and A shares, Xinhua News Agency reported.

A Chinese government report due on Dec. 1 may show manufacturing is likely to contract for the first time since February 2009 this month. The Purchasing Managers’ Index may fall to 49.8 from 50.4 in October, according to the median forecast of 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Facebook Worth $100 Billion? IPO Likely Set for Mid 2012

There are reports today of Facebook being in internal discussions over the exact timing of its filings with the SEC for its IPO, and may file before the end of the year. Reports indicate that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, hasn’t made any final decisions yet. Facebook is also looking into raising $10 billion in an IPO that would value the company at $100 billion if not more.

If you’re looking to compare this to other online juggernauts IPO’s, look at Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). In 2004, when they made their stock debut, the company was worth $27 billion. Google’s market cap today sits around $185 billion.

At a $100 billion valuation, Facebook would be worth more than a lot of big name companies including Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO).

If they file for an IPO it would be the latest of a series of companies going public in Silicon Valley. Zynga, creator of Farmville, has already filed for an IPO up to $1 billion. In November, the much hyped Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) IPO was launched, but has since dropped below its IPO price. Other stocks that jumped initially but fell include LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) and Pandora (NYSE:P).

While Facebook does not disclose financial results, sources close to the company told Reuters earlier this year the company’s revenue in the first 6 months of 2011 doubled from the previous year to $1.6 billion.

About Facebook

Founded in February 2004, Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people’s real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment.

Tiffany & Co (TIF) Expects A Holiday Jewel

Tiffany & Company (NYSE:TIF) has raised its full-year profit outlook based on the expectation that it will continue to enjoy sales gains throughout the holiday shopping season. Tiffany’s sales, rose 17% globally to $821.8 million in the third quarter ended on October 31, while sales at stores open at least one year rose 16%.

Tiffany reported net income of $89.7 million, or 70 cents per share, for the quarter, up from $55.1 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier and above the 61 cents a share that analysts were expecting, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Tiffany raised its full-year profit outlook range by 5 cents, to a range of $3.70 and $3.80 per share.

Michael J. Kowalski, Chairman and CEO, said, “Increased sales in all regions contributed to the continuation of strong worldwide sales growth in the third quarter. We were also pleased to achieve an improved operating margin by leveraging the sales growth against fixed costs.”

Kowalski added, “Tiffany is extremely well-positioned to serve growing numbers of discerning customers around the world with extraordinary product offerings and superior shopping experiences. We are, of course, mindful of continued short-term economic challenges and uncertainties in some markets. Worldwide sales-to-date at this relatively early stage of our November-December holiday season are tracking in-line with our current expectations despite recent sales weaknesses in Europe and in the eastern part of the U.S. We are slightly increasing our full year earnings forecast to $3.70 – $3.80 per diluted share (not including $0.20 per diluted share of nonrecurring expenses) to reflect a portion of the better-than-expected third quarter results.”

Tiffany reported cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $297.4 million at October 31, 2011, versus $529.5 million from same period last year. Total short-term and long-term debt totaled $708.8 million at October 31, 2011 versus $755.0 million a year ago, representing 31% of stockholders’ equity compared with 38% a year ago.

Shares of Tiffany & Co (NYSE:TIF) traded at 73.62 at the close of the market on Monday.

AMR Corp., Parent Company of American Airlines Files For Chapter 11

AMR Corporation (NYSE:AMR) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York today. American Airlines will continue normal operations and the bankruptcy filing was voluntary. AMR has total listed assets of $24.72 billion, with over $29 million in liabilities. The company says it has a little over $4 billion in cash.

AMR Corp. has said it is not considering debtor-in-possession financing.

AMR is currently trading down more than 60% in pre-market trading at $0.64. AMR trades on average 9.17 million shares a day and will definitely surpass that number today.

About AMR Corporation

AMR Corporation (AMR) operates in the airline industry. The Company’s principal subsidiary is American Airlines, Inc. (American). As of December 31, 2010, American provided scheduled jet service to approximately 160 destinations throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. AMR Eagle Holding Corporation (AMR Eagle), a wholly owned subsidiary of AMR, owns two regional airlines, which do business as American Eagle – American Eagle Airlines, Inc. and Executive Airlines, Inc. (collectively, the American Eagle carriers).

U.S. Stock Futures Rise On Tuesday. Stocks to Watch: AAPL, TIF, WMT, SIRI, BBY, BRCD

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 90 points to 11588 and those on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index advanced 12 points to 1203. Nasdaq 100 futures gained 20.50 points to 2241.50. After gains in European markets, U.S. markets are hopeful that European leaders are finally going to make some progress.

The blue-chip Dow index rallied on Monday, gaining nearly 300 points, or 2.6%. The rise snapped a four-day losing streak and posted the Dow’s biggest point and percentage gain since Oct. 27.

On Monday, Fitch’s maintained its triple-A rating on the U.S., but lowered its outlook to negative from stable. The move was triggered by Fitch’s declining confidence that fiscal measures will be enacted after the so-called congressional “super committee” failed to agree at least $1.2 trillion of measures to cut the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years.

European stock markets turned higher in mid-morning trade, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 0.7%. Euro zone finance ministers will meet in Brussels later on Tuesday where they are expected to discuss measures to stem the spread of the debt crisis. This time, it looks as though something meaningful will come out of the meeting.

The Italian Treasury saw its borrowing costs surge as it sold a total of EUR7.5 billion ($10 billion) of a new three-year benchmark and other government bonds on Tuesday. Italian bond yields had risen sharply in the secondary market ahead of the auction.

The euro gained 0.9% to $1.3410, while the dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, dropped 0.6% to 78.692. The FTSEurofirst 300 extended gains into a third straight session and was up 0.5% at 945.98.

In the commodity markets, crude oil for January delivery rose 52 cents to $98.73 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex.

December gold futures also edged higher to $1,715 an ounce.

Stocks to watch today include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRCD)

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed Monday up 3.45% at $376.12. AAPL is up slightly in pre-market trading this morning at $376.51. AAPL stock trades 17.67 million shares on average daily. Apple erased most of its losses from the previous week yesterday as the whole market rallied big time. Apple has a current market cap of 349.57 billion.

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) is closed Monday up 5.93% at $73.62. TIF is down slightly in pre-market at $73.00 after announcing third quarter results this morning. Tiffany reported a Q3 EPS of $0.73, well above the analysts’ estimates of $0.61. Revenue was solid at $821.8 million, nearly $20 million more than estimates. The company raised their FY11 outlook as well. TIF on average trades around 2.13 million shares a day. Tiffany & Co. has a current market cap of 9.37 billion.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)
closed Monday up 0.63% at $57.25. WMT trades on average 10.98 million shares a day. WMT opened at $57.53 yesterday before slowly falling back down the rest of the day. Wal-Mart has a current market cap of 197.32 billion.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) closed Monday up 0.86% at $1.76. SIRI trades on average 65.42 million shares a day. SIRI was only up slightly yesterday despite the big rally on Wall Street. Sirius has a current market cap of 6.62 billion.

Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) closed Monday up 3.36% at $26.49. BBY is currently up slightly in pre-market trading at $26.60. The better than expected Black Friday numbers helped Best Buy stock and a number of other retailer stocks. BBY trades 5.52 million shares a day on average. Best Buy has a current market cap of 9.60 billion.

Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRCD) is closed Monday up 3.52% at $5.29. BRCD trades on average 7.97 million shares a day. Over the past 5 trading sessions, BRCD is up nearly $0.75 per share. Brocade Communications has a current market cap of 2.37 billion.

5 Afternoon Nasdaq Gainers Under $6 – BRCD, JBLU, EXEL, HERO, ARNA

The Nasdaq is continuing its rally today with about two hours left in the trading day. The Nasdaq is posting the biggest percentage gain out of the three major indexes with a gain of 83 points or 3.42%. The overall market is trending higher thanks to better than expected Black Friday sales and hopes of a European debt crisis fix soon. Here’s five Nasdaq stocks under $6 that are also trending higher with the market.

Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRCD) is up 2.65% today at $5.25. BRCD has traded 7.2 million shares so far today, a little more than 2 million shares short of its daily average. BRCD is up nearly $1 per share in the past 5 trading sessions. Brocade Communications has a current market cap of 2.49 billion.

JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) is up 4.60% at $3.64 in afternoon trading. JBLU has traded 2.1 million shares today and trades 4 million shares on average a day. JBLU has made recovered most of its losses it had last week after jumping more than $0.15 today. JetBlue has a current market cap of 1.08 billion.

Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXEL) is up 2.78% at $4.06 today. EXEL has traded just over 1 million shares so far today and averages 1.7 million shares daily. Exelixis announced today it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the National Cancer Institiute to expand development plan for its drug, Cabozantinib. Exelixis has a current market cap of 523.93 million.

Hercules Offshore, Inc. (NASDAQ:HERO) is up 7.10% at $3.55 in afternoon trading. HERO has traded 2.2 million shares so far today, with a daily average of 3.3 million shares. HERO is trading relatively flat in late trading after gaping at open at $3.56. Hercules Offshore has a current market cap of 487.45 million.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) is up 10.24% at $1.40 today. ARNA has traded 1.4 million shares so far today and will close the day above its daily average volume of 1.44 million shares. Arena Pharmaceuticals has a current market cap of 204.43 million.

Wall Street Rallies on Europe Rumors and Black Friday Numbers, Stocks to Watch: BAC, C, F, S, SIRI, INTC

Stocks are rallying today on rumors of progress in Europe and positive holiday numbers in the U.S. The number of shoppers on Black Friday both in stores and online were up from last year giving retailers hope they will post strong holiday sales figures.

Other news stories that sent the markets up early were centered around Europe including reports of an IMF bailout of Italy which has since been denied. Also there were reports of a plan for the strong euro countries to get together and do ‘elite bonds’, but has been denied by Germany, strong opposes any kind of eurobond.

If the European debt crisis worsens any more or European leaders continue to not take any action this rally will most likely be shortlived.

Let’s take a look at the volume leaders in midday trading today.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is up 3.68% at $5.36. BAC has traded 87 million shares so far today and trades 260.5 million shares on average. BAC is off its highs today after it gaped at open to $5.50. BAC is starting the week off good today after selling off last week when it lost more than $0.40 per share. Bank of America has a current market cap of 54.38 billion.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) is up 6.05% at $25.06. C has traded 23.65 million shares so far today and trades on average 58.65 million shares a day. C has gained back most of its losses from last week today. Citigroup has a current market cap of 73.27 billion.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is up 3.44% at $10.09 in midday trading. F has traded 21.03 million shares so far today and trades 61.97 million shares on average. F has made up all of its losses from last week after it traded as low as $9.75 on Friday. Ford has a current market cap of 38.32 billion.

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) is up 5.46% today at $2.51. Sprint has made up its losses from Friday after it dropped to below $2.40. S has traded 20.32 million shares so far today and averages 48.31 million shares a day. Sprint has a current market value of 7.52 billion.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) is up 1.74% at $1.78 in midday trading. SIRI has traded 14.41 million shares so far today and trades 65.42 million shares on average a day. SIRI has come off its high today after gaping at open to $1.80. Sirius XM Radio has a current market cap of 6.68 billion.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is up 3.52% at $23.53 in midday trading. INTC has traded 14.09 million shares so far today and looks to trade less than its daily average of 64.66 million shares. Intel has a current market cap of 119.81 billion.

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