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Stocks Coming Off Worst Week of 2013; New JPMorgan Scandal; Alibaba IPO

Hot Stock Minute

Futures are fighting with mixed results to move higher this morning, as the Dow comes off its worst week of the year. The index fell 30-points on Friday. Not that bad on its own, but the move lower followed a 225-point loss on Thursday. The drop for the week amounted to 2.2%. The S&P didn't fare much better, experiencing its second worst week of 2013, falling 2.1%. So, what's likely to move the markets in the week ahead? Yahoo! Finance Senior Columnist Mike Santoli has a preview and predictions in the video above.

The new week brings word of new worries for JPMorgan (JPM): yet another investigation into the investment bank. The New York Times reports the SEC is looking into the bank's hiring practices in China. At issue: whether JPM hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to get more business in the booming nation. The inquiry adds to a long list of other investigations against the bank by at least eight federal agencies. Nevertheless, JPMorgan stock has been on a roll, up 43% over the past year.

Chinese internet giant Alibaba may in fact hold an IPO before year's end. The Wall Street Journal reports that founder Jack Ma has been exploring options in which he and his management team could maintain voting control of the company. The paper says Ma has been in talks with exchanges both here and in Hong Kong looking for the right terms. An IPO could value Alibaba at $70-billion.

"The Butler" did it! The historical movie starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey claimed the top spot at the box office for the weekend. The film took in $25-million, making it the first number-one for the Weinstein Company since "Inglorious Basterds" four years ago. Second place went to "We're The Millers" which opened last weekend. Buried in the pack was "Jobs" about Apple's co-founder. It came in seventh place.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Urban Outfitters (URBN) reports after the closing bell. The retailer is expected to post profits of 48-cents a share, up about 15% from a year ago on revenue that's risen to $768-million. If the company meets expectations, it will be the fifth straight quarter of double-digit earnings growth, though a slowdown from the prior quarter when net income jumped 39%. The gains are part of a turnaround that began after some missteps in 2010 and 2011. The stock is actually down this year by 3% after a bunch of zig-zagging. But it's up 26% over the past 52-weeks.

Another clothing chain reporting today is Guess (GES). Profits for the company are expected to shrink faster than a new pair of jeans the first time they're washed with earning per share of 36-cents down from 49-cents a year ago. Earnings are predicted to fall, but not by nearly as much to $625-million. One calculation made two weeks ago showed puts on Guess outnumbering call 11-to-1. That could be in part because the stock began the month hitting a multi-year high. It has pulled back a bit since then but is still up 23% in 2013.

Reporting after the bell is Bob Evans (BOBE). Revenue here is expected to tumble almost 20% though with just a penny drop in earnings to 57-cents a share. Nevertheless the company may look appetizing to investors. Over the past year it has reduced outstanding shares by 4.2% and the stock yields 2.2%. Shares have risen 15% so far in 2013.

Edwards Group (EVAC) is up more than 23% in early trading. Edwards is a British industrial technology firm which makes things like vacuum pumps. It is being bought by Atlas Copco out of Sweden. The price tag could be as much as $1.6-billion. Not bad when you consider the company's market cap right now is under $1-billion. Prior to this morning's announcement, shares of Edwards Group were up 38% year-to-date.

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