It’s Wednesday May 3, 2006, and crude oil prices begin to surge as it works its way to $80 a barrel as it sits close to the $75 mark.
On a sad note, after some time of battling cancer, the face of “Wall Street Week” and the father of financial journalism, Louis Rukeyser, has passed away at the age of 73. We at the NAMC Newswire and Wall Street to Main Street send our condolences to his family.
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The United States just confirmed that during a raid back in November of 2005 they captured a top Al Qaeda strategist and he is currently under interrogation.
At some point today a Federal bird flu plan is supposed to be released, as the increased worry of a bird flu pandemic still looms.
The United States, the UK and France are sitting down to figure out what they are going to do about Iran, as Iran continues to play poker with the world.
In New Orleans, Louisiana, the Mayor has initiated an evacuation plan that would force residents to leave the city and they will be banned from using the Convention Center or Super Dome as shelter.
Movers and Shakers
Some major movers in yesterday’s trading session included TXU Corp (NYSE: TXU) which traded up $7.59 to close at $57.50, General Cable Corp (NYSE: BGC) which traded up $.26 to close at $36.24, Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) which traded up $2.73 to close at $27.20, First Oak Brook Bancshares (NASDAQ: FOBB) which traded up $8.55 to close at $35.58 due to acquisition news, Vical Inc (NASDAQ: VICL) which traded up $1.69 to close at $7.19 a 30% move, MGP Ingredients (NASDAQ: MGPI) which traded up $3.58 to close at $29.48, Cyberonics, Inc (NASDAQ: CYBX) which traded up $2.86 to close at $25.24 and Metalico Inc (AMEX: MEA) which traded up $1.67 to close at $5.84.
Recent Analyst upgrades include Hartford Financial Services (NYSE: HIG) which was upgraded to a Buy from a Hold by Citigroup Investment Research, Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) which was upgraded to an Overweight from a Neutral by JP Morgan, Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK) which was upgraded to an Overweight from a Neutral by JP Morgan, Alcatel (NYSE: ALA) which was upgraded to a Buy from a Neutral by UBS and Sigmatel, Inc (NASDAQ: SGTL) which was upgraded to a Neutral from a Sell by Janney Montgomery Scott.
Recent Analyst downgrades include Aviall Inc (NYSE: AVL) which was downgraded to a Neutral from a Buy by Sidoti & Co, Aramark Corp (NYSE: RMK) which was downgraded to a Hold from a Buy by Deutsche Bank Securities, Frontier Airlines Holdings (NASDAQ: FRNT) which was downgraded to an Underweight from a Neutral by JP Morgan, Jetblue Airlines (NASDAQ: JBLU) which was downgraded to an Underweight from an Overweight and Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) which was downgraded to an Average from an Above Average by Carris & Co.
Recent Analyst Coverage Initiations include Youbet.com Inc (NASDAQ: UBET) was initiated with a Buy rating and a $8 price target by Sidoti & Co, Sima Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: RNAI) was initiated with an Above Average rating by Carris & Co and Teton Energy Corp (AMEX: TEC) was initiated with a Buy rating an a $10 price target by AG Edwards.
Prudential Equity bumped their target price for Emerson (NYSE: EMR) to $103 from $89 and AG Edwards bumped their target price for Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI) to $100 from $82.
Verizon’s (NYSE: VZ) first quarter earnings dropped 7.1% due to special items as the nations largest Telco Company races to connect homes with fiber-optic lines to offset a decline in its traditional phone business. The company is also dealing with the executive pay situation as other companies have ben feeling the pain of that trend as of late.
Dreamworks Animation (NYSE: DWA) hits a major snag as their profits sank 73% with their film Madagascar, this was one of the company’s biggest earners. net income fell to $12.3 million, or 12 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $45.7 million, or 44 cents a share. The company’s latest film “Over the Hedge” should close that gap in the next quarter.
We mentioned this scenario a few times on Wall Street to Main Street as we see Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) possibly making a bid for Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) as Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) continues to take online market share from both companies. The latest word on the street is that Microsoft and Yahoo may join forces to combat the mighty Google. Microsoft is working on an Advertising System that they hope will compete with Google but that is a pipe dream at this point as web traffic dictates the value to advertisers, so we still see a better scenario being a Microsoft Yahoo combo.
On the UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH) front, shareholders are on the warpath as the media continues their UNH bashing parade, at their latest shareholders meeting approximately 28% of the votes were held back for the re-election of two board members. All the scrutiny that CEO’s face in today’s market could be a major deterrent for quality CEO’s to lead publicly traded entities. Now the SEC’s Cox is looking for Mutual Fund Managers to disclose their executive compensation, this is in an effort to boost confidence in the U.S. markets but at what price?
TXU (NYSE: TXU) as we touched on earlier traded up $7.59 to close at $57.50 this was due to their first-quarter net income coming in at $576 million, or $1.22 a share, as opposed to their net income of $416 million, or a loss of 10 cents a share a year earlier.
This is the third of our “Furious Five” companies that we see excelling in their industry in 2006. The third addition to this week’s Furious Five is Under Armour, Inc (NASDAQ: UARM) it trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol UARM.
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We cannot stress enough that investors need to do their due diligence, call the companies, get the information, consult with your investment advisor and if you do not have one consider getting one. Put the same time into investigating these companies as you do when you go to purchase a new television, it’s only for your protection. When it comes to thinly traded securities stagger your orders or put a limit order in to avoid a run up.
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