As usual, our Communist cousins have their timing all wrong. Just as Castro called it quits in Cuba and Muscovites waxed nostalgic for the Cold War, capitalism endured a catastrophic day. Stocks suffered their single worst session of the year amid political gridlock on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, one of many bodies of water befouled by BP Plc (BP), and the oil outfit fell 3.42% amid ongoing legal fallout from Deepwater Horizon.
From spills to leaks, Yahoo (YHOO) tumbled 2.31% after the surreptitious disclosure of a memo from Marissa Mayer, who wants to ban working from home after being perturbed to look out onto slow-filling parking lots at company headquarters. Park Ridge, New Jersey-based Hertz (HTZ) - whose murderous spokesman once flew through airport parking lots - jumped 1.66% to buck a brutal tape.
Pearson (PSO), publisher of the salmon-colored Financial Times, plunged 5.57% in its steepest slide since last summer. Its flagship newspaper is now apparently only good for wrapping fish and chips, and if that is enough to heighten the already-acute anxiety of marine life, our aquatic friends found consolidation in Prozac maker Eli Lilly (LLY) hitting a fresh high on an otherwise dire day.
Today in economics, new home sales for January and February consumer confidence are each expected to tick up at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, and Fed head Ben Bernanke begins two days of testimony on Capitol Hill. In earnings action, AutoZone (AZO), BASF (BASFY), DreamWorks Animation (DWA), Edison International (EIX), Gulfport Energy (GPOR), HollyFrontier (HFC), Home Depot (HD), Macy's (M), Priceline (PCLN), RadioShack (RSH), R.R. Donnelley (RRD), Saks Inc (SKS), TiVo Inc. (TIVO), and Vivendi (VIVHY) are all due to report results.
American Apparel (APP): The clothing company is begun with a Buy at Brean Capital, whose price objective is $2.
Empire District Electric (EDE): Wells Fargo establishes EDE at Market Perform.
Fashion Accessories: Cowen has a new Neutral on Coach (COH) and establishes Outperforms on Michael Kors Holdings (KORS) and Tumi Holdings (TUMI).
Horsehead Holding (ZINC): Ascendiant Capital covers the industrial metal firm at a Buy on high hopes a production facility currently being built will make the company among the lowest cost producers of zinc related products on Earth. Its target price is $14.
International Paper (IP): Shares are up sharply in today's pre-market trading after being begun with a Buy recommendation and $52 price objective at Jefferies.
KaloBios Pharmaceeuticals (KBIO): Leerink Swann starts the small cap stock at Outperform.
Liberty Global (LBTYA): Barclays launches an Overweight investment opinion on the Internet and telephony outfit.
Palo Alto Networks (PANW): BMO Capital picks up PANW with a Market Perform rating and $58 price target. Risks related to a lawsuit involving Juniper Networks (JNPR) prevent the broker from being more constructive at the present time.
Retail Related Stocks: Cowen rolls out Neutral rated research on Costco (COST), Target (TGT), Under Armour (UA), and Dow (^DJI) member Wal-Mart (WMT). It assigns Outperforms on lululemon athletica (LULU), Nike (NKE), and Polo Ralph Lauren (RL).
Stanley Black & Decker (SWK): Cr�dit Agricole covers the tool titan at a Buy, setting an objective of $94.
Tri Pointe Homes (TPH): The stock is started with a Buy at Citigroup.