Fin - Breakout - US

Thursday’s Stocks to Watch, Analyst Actions and Trading Topics

Breakout

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AP Photo/Fritz Reiss

Traders in the U.S. were looking overseas for the big stories of the morning, as both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank held meetings on rates. Neither bank made a change, and for the most part that was expected. What investors are really waiting to hear is what ECB leader Jean-Claude Trichet will say about potential moves in the future, specifically whether he and his fellow bankers are likely to put in another hike in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, in 24 hours Wall Street will be picking apart the April employment report, the most anticipated economic data of the week in the U.S. But for now, we'll have to settle for weekly jobless claims figures, an often imperfect, but sometimes market-moving glimpse into the economy.

We're also a day away from an anniversary plenty of people would like to forget -- the infamous flash crash. We'll have more to come on that topic, so stay tuned. For now, your stories and topics of the day.

ON THE BLOGS:

* Is the Commodity Bull Market Over? - Pragmatic Capitalism

* Trade Like Peyton - Market Anthropology

* The Bulls and Bears ... Bob Utterback, Farm Journal, via AgWeb

* I Hope We Have A Pull-Back In Silver - Jim Rogers Blog

* Invest in Companies That Grow Shareholder Wealth, Like Apple - Covestor

FROM TWITTER:

* @Fullcarry - Equity earnings yield towering over UST yields again. 7.2% vs 3.20%

* @bondscoop - Given problems with initial claims, markets should pay much more attention to Trichet.

* @Convertbond - Since Jan 13, the euro has gone from 1.29 to 1.49 vs the dollar, 0.83 to 0.90 vs the pound sterling and 107.22 to 120.80 vs the yen.

* @redliontrader - Watching 1337.50 $ES_F for a hold and 1355 for a reversal confirmation, else short http://bit.ly/iU8PDd

* @tradefast - $SLV has traded 1.7 millin shares as of 7:50am - $AAPL has traded 1,000 shares - wild wild west...

* @ritholtz - Pay attention to copper here ...

IN THE HEADLINES:

* Mini 'Crashes' Hit Commodity Trade - WSJ

* Glencore IPO Shows Unregulated Traders Beating Goldman Sachs - Bloomberg

* A Lack of Supply Feeds Rise in Munis - WSJ

* 10 Reasons To Worry That Stocks Will Fall 10% - 24/7 Wall St.

* Traders Exit High-Speed Lane - WSJ

* Stock Trading Snafu Should Worry Investors - MarketWatch

* Playing Cisco Systems' Muted Expectations - Barrons.com

* Dueling Charts - Barrons.com

* Is Soros Right to Get Out of Gold? - CNBC

STOCKS TO WATCH:

* General Motors (GM) said its first-quarter income more than tripled from the year-earlier period to $3.2 billion, or $1.77 a share. Revenue rose by $4.7 billion to $36.2 billion.

* Electronic Arts (ERTS) said its earnings jumped to $151 million, or 45 cents a share, in the most recent quarter, compared with $30 million, or 9 cents a share, last year. Revenue was up 11 percent to $1.09 billion.

* Intel (INTC) has announced a change in computer chip design that should enhance processing speeds and use less power. The new design is essentially a 3D building process for the chips, whereas the standard design has always been flat.

* Warner Music Group (WMG) may be acquired by a firm run by former director Len Blavatnik, who reports say is the leading candidate to take over the music company.

* Avon (AVP) has found more possible misdeeds following a probe into a potential foreign bribery case, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* News Corp. (NWS) said its third-quarter earnings fell to $639 million, or 24 cents a share, from $839 million, or 32 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue fell to $8.26 billion for the media company.

UPGRADES & DOWNGRADES:

* McDonald's (MCD) was lowered to neutral from overweight at Piper Jaffray and its price target was cut by $6 to $85.

* Unilever (UN) had its rating dropped to underperform from neutral at Credit Suisse.

* Micron (MU) had coverage started with a neutral rating at JPMorgan.

* Intel (INTC) shares should be bought amid weakness, as its new chip technology will enhance the value of the stock, Citigroup says.

KEY EARNINGS FOR MAY 5:

* Kraft (KFT)

* ING (ING)

* Priceline (PCLN)

* Cigna (CI)

* CVS Caremark (CVS)

* Dollar Thrifty (DTG)

* Visteon (VC)

* Brookfield Properties (BPO)

* Timberland (TBL)

Compiled by Elizabeth Trotta and Chris Nichols.

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