With Congress not in session and the president out of the country, stocks staged a big rally. The fiscal cliff is still the market's biggest focus, and the hope is that a deal gets done relatively soon. Ironically, the spike in stocks came after a bearish year-end call by Goldman's chief U.S. strategist David Kostin and an article in The Wall Street Journal discussing a difficult economic environment next year as businesses cut back on investment spending. That said, we continue to see opportunities in a number of areas, particularly in the MLP space.
The Stem Cell Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by BioTime (BTX) with a 15% gain. The Chinese Advertising Stocks Index was the day's worst performing tickerspy Index, with VisionChina Media (VISN) down -5%.
Stocks soared on the day, led by a 63-point, or 2.2%, gain in the Nasdaq to 2,916. The Dow soared 208 points to 12,796, while the S&P jumped 27 points to 1,387. Oil climbed $2.36 to $89.28 a barrel, while gold rose $19.70 to $1,734.40 an ounce.
In economic news, the National Association of Realtors said existing home sales rose 2.1% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million from 4.69 million in September. The median home price rose to $178,600 last month, a gain of 11.1% from October 2011.
In earnings news, home improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW) said its third-quarter profit rose to $396 million, or 35 cents per share, from $225 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 40 cents a share. Revenue rose to $12.07 billion from $11.85 billion. Analysts had expected a profit of 36 cents on revenue of $11.93 billion. Lowe's still expects a fiscal 2012 profit of $1.64 a share on revenue of $50.21 billion. Analysts were expecting EPS of $1.66 per share on revenue of $50.1 billion. Shares of Lowe's rose 6.1%.
Shares of Tyson Foods (TSN), the pork and poultry products maker, surged 11.0% after the company said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit soared 91% to $185 million, or 51 cents per share, from $97 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, Tyson earned 55 cents. Revenue fell to $8.37 billion from $8.40 billion. Analysts had expected a profit of 46 cents on revenue of $8.48 billion. The company said it expects full-year revenue of $35 billion, above the consensus estimate of $34.64 billion. Six pros counted Tyson among their top holdings at the end of Q3 and nearly 170 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
Diamond Foods (DMND) shares plunged -11.9% after the snack company received a downgrade after restating two years of financial results last week. California-based Diamond also reported a loss of -$53.4 million for the first three quarters of this year. Jefferies analyst Thilo Wrede lowered his price target on the stock to $10 today, well below the price where the shares currently reside.
Cisco Systems (CSCO), the largest maker of networking gear, said it will buy privately held Meraki for $1.2 billion to expand its offerings of cloud-computing services. The deal is expected to close in January. Shares of Cisco rose 1.8%. More than 180 pros held Cisco in their portfolios at the end of Q3 and more than 3,720 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
Fun and informative, tickerspy.com is a free investing website where you can track multiple stock portfolios and compare against 250 proprietary Indexes tracking themes from dividends to ETFs to green energy to precious metals. Best of all, tickerspy.com lets you spy on the portfolios of nearly 3,000 Wall Street institutions and hedge funds and see graphs of their performance. Try tickerspy.com today and find out how you stack up against investing legends like Warren Buffett!
- Investment & Company Information
- The Wall Street Journal