Fin - Breakout - US

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

Breakout

Ample earnings, especially on the retail side, are moving through the market Wednesday. And how about Dell (DELL)? Believe it. The company topped earnings expectations late Tuesday, giving it a 4.7% gain when trading got underway.

Meanwhile, another set of numbers was shedding light on U.S. consumers, with reports out from Target (TGT), Staples (SPLS), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and BJ's (BJ) on the day's schedule.

Still, what may be the biggest story of the session for the markets and for investors will come later, when the minutes of the latest meeting of the Fed's policy making arm -- often pored over for any hints or insights into the U.S. central bank's plans -- are released. The minutes are expected around 2 p.m. ET.

Until then, there's plenty of trading, so gear up and good luck.

FROM TWITTER:

* @MktAnthropology - http://yhoo.it/mEdIGL with luck by summer - the markets will have discounted these effects forward. looking for a late june/july bottom $$

* @Fullcarry - USTs trying to break the uptrend line. The sell off seems curve neutral as of now. Long end not liking the price action in commods.

* @tradefast - $AAPL needs 340.50 to fill gap from friday the 13th close

* @MarketBeat - Research in Motion: Stock Up (Again!) On Upgrade, PlayBook Sales: After basking in some positive China news ... http://on.wsj.com/loHprG

* @DougKass - i am back buying tbt aggressively. if the economy reaccelerates - and that is a big if - i would expect tbt to outperform spy

ON THE BLOGS:

* What Is the Dow Telling Us? — All Star Charts, via StockTwits

* Is REW the New MEW? (Retirement Equity Withdrawal) — Calculated Risk

* New Corn Trading Limits Opposed by Corn Growers — Indiana Grain Company

* Of Clearing Firms and Custodians — The Reformed Broker, via StockTwits

* Ignore the Volatility in Quality Small Cap Stocks — Covestor

* The Bears Come Out of Hibernation - Bespoke

IN THE HEADLINES:

* Wal-Mart's No Bargain - Barrons.com

* The Dow Is Not Dead - MarketWatch

* For Paulson, Gold Still Glitters - NYTimes

* Collateral Damage: the True Cost of a U.S. Default - Barrons.com

* Atop I.M.F., Contradiction and Energy - NYTimes

* Fed Easing Policy Driving Rates Lower—Ironically - CNBC

* NYSE's Chief Woos Europe - WSJ

* Pick Dividend-Paying Stocks Carefully - MarketWatch

* Glencore on Track to Reach IPO Goal - WSJ

* The Invisible Stock Bubble - SmartMoney

* Oaktree Plans Initial Public Offering - NYTimes

STOCKS TO WATCH & KEY EARNINGS:

* Dell's (DELL) shares rose late Tuesday, advancing 5%, after the computer maker said cost-cutting boosted its first-quarter earnings, and the company offered an upbeat outlook.

* Morgan Stanley (MS), the New York-based bank, has established a private equity venture in China with a yuan-based fund that's aiming to raise the equivalent of more than $200 million.

* Sony's (SNE) CEO, commenting after hackers attacked its Internet network, said cybercrime means neither his company's network nor other websites can likely ever be regarded as completely safe.

* Apache (APA), an oil and gas company, said it plans to raise its capital spending this year by some 8% to more than $8 billion.

* McDonald's (MCD), which is gearing up for its annual meeting, is facing pressure from health groups to end marketing many of its menu items to children.

* Shire (SHPGY), the Irish biopharmaceutical company, agreed to acquire Advanced BioHealing, a developer of regenerative therapies including a skin replacement, for $750 million.

* SAP (SAP), the German software giant believes mobile products, services and real-time analytics will account for roughly $7 billion of its sales, or about a quarter of its predicted total, by 2015, Bloomberg reported.

UPGRADES & DOWNGRADES:

* Research in Motion (RIMM) was upgraded to market perform at Bernstein from underperform.

* Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) was cut from overweight to neutral at JPMorgan, and the price target was lowered by $13 to $42. Susquehanna lowered the stock to neutral from positive and cut its target by $13 to $39.

* Wal-Mart (WMT) had its target price lifted at Citi by $7 to $70.

* Goldcorp (GG) was upgraded at HSBC to overweight from neutral.

* KB Home (KBH) was upgraded at UBS to neutral from sell, and the target price was taken up $1 to $12.

Compiled by Elizabeth Trotta and Chris Nichols.

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