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Credit Suisse Reiterates Underperform, Lowers Price Target On CBOE Holdings As Volume Trends Remain Challenged

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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In a report published Tuesday, Credit Suisse analyst Christian Bolu reiterated an Underperform rating on CBOE Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE), but lowered the price target from $63.00 to $58.00.

In the report, Credit Suisse noted, “Earlier this evening, Chicago Board Options Exchange reported February month business trends. Overall activity was tepid, led by weak activity within the VIX complex (options -52% yr/yr, futures -23%). Multi-listed options market share fell a bit, and pricing was modestly weaker than we’d anticipated (index/futures RPC +1-2% mth/mth) in light of the significant drop in like-for-like volumes (-14% mth/mth).”

CBOE Holdings closed on Monday at $59.48.

Latest Ratings for CBOE

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2015 Bank of America Downgrades Buy Neutral
Feb 2015 JP Morgan Maintains Neutral
Feb 2015 UBS Downgrades Buy Hold

View More Analyst Ratings for CBOE
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Christian Bolu Credit SuisseAnalyst Color Price Target Analyst Ratings





These Analysts Call The Apple Watch An 'Object Of Utility, Affection And Luxury'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related AAPL
Oppenheimer: Apple Watch Will Lead Sales, Price Higher
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Oppenheimer commented on the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) Watch on Tuesday. The firm also raised its price target from $130 to $155 and maintained an Outperform rating on the stock.

See Also: Oppenheimer: Apple Watch Will Lead Sales, Price Higher

Analysts Andrew Uerkwitz and Martin Yang explained the firm's understanding and expectations for Apple's new product in a research note.

Overall, the analysts were "very optimistic" and thought the Apple Watch would be "an object of utility, affection, and luxury that represents the next step in our ‘mobile first' future."

The analysts acknowledged that "Apple is shackled" with with same battery and chip limitations as other manufacturers. However, there was an area where Apple held an advantage.

Uerkwitz highlighted that a "better interface always wins" and understanding how humans interact with technology was Apple's "core competency" which was expected to make the Watch "more feature-rich, user-friendly, and elegant than the competition."

With the concept of the interface in mind, the analysts also cited a quote from Steve Jobs in which he told CNNMoney/Fortune in 2000, "Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service."

The watch's elegant design was expected to drive a high profit margin that would reflect its "efficient extension of the smartphone" and its ability to facilitate "intimate personal communications," according to the analysts.

Looking at risks, Uerkwitz noted that lower than expected iPhone demand, Watch margins, and FX could impact the firm's investment thesis.

Apple recently traded at $128.93, down 0.12 percent.

Latest Ratings for AAPL

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2015 Oppenheimer Maintains Outperform
Mar 2015 Morgan Stanley Maintains Overweight
Feb 2015 Stifel Nicolaus Maintains Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for AAPL
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Andrew Uerkwitz CNNMoney Fortune Martin Yang OppenheimerAnalyst Color Price Target Analyst Ratings





Barclays Initiates Monsanto With Equal-weight

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related MON
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Analysts at Barclays initiated coverage on Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) with a Equal-weight rating.

The target price for Monsanto is set to $131.

Monsanto shares have climbed 7.12% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has surged 12.99% in the same period.

Monsanto’s shares closed at $121.30 in after-hours trading.

Latest Ratings for MON

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2015 Barclays Initiates Coverage on Equal-weight
Jan 2015 Citigroup Maintains Buy
Jan 2015 Deutsche Bank Maintains Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for MON
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: BarclaysInitiation Analyst Ratings





D.A. Davidson Sees Modest Q4 Profit Near Expectations For McDermott International

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related MDR
DA Davidson Upgrades McDermott International To Buy
Benzinga's Top Upgrades
McDermott International Inc (MDR) and Nutrisystem Inc (NTRI) Surprise Profit, Connecture Inc (CNXR) Expectations Above Consensus (Small Cap Network)

In a report published Tuesday, D.A. Davidson analyst John B. Rogers reiterated a Buy rating and $2.50 price target on McDermott International, Inc. (NYSE: MDR).

In the report, D.A. Davidson noted, “Reported EPS of $0.03 for the fourth quarter. This was an improvement from a loss of $1.37 last year and was near our estimate of $0.01 per share (consensus called for a loss of $0.06). These results brought the full-year loss to $0.32 per share compared to a loss of $2.19 in 2013.”

McDermott International closed on Monday at $2.61.

Latest Ratings for MDR

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2015 DA Davidson Upgrades Neutral Buy
Jan 2015 Deutsche Bank Maintains Hold
Jan 2015 UBS Downgrades Buy Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for MDR
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: D.A. Davidson John B. RogersAnalyst Color Reiteration Analyst Ratings





DA Davidson Upgrades McDermott International To Buy

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related MDR
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McDermott International Inc (MDR) and Nutrisystem Inc (NTRI) Surprise Profit, Connecture Inc (CNXR) Expectations Above Consensus (Small Cap Network)

Analysts at DA Davidson upgraded McDermott International Inc. (NYSE: MDR) from Neutral to Buy.

The price target for McDermott International is set to $2.50.

McDermott International shares have dropped 64.92% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has surged 12.99% in the same period.

McDermott International’s shares jumped 20.31% to $3.14 in pre-market trading.

Latest Ratings for MDR

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2015 DA Davidson Upgrades Neutral Buy
Jan 2015 Deutsche Bank Maintains Hold
Jan 2015 UBS Downgrades Buy Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for MDR
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: DA DavidsonUpgrades Analyst Ratings





Stifel Nicolaus Downgrades Aruba Networks To Hold

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related ARUN
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Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus downgraded Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN) from Buy to Hold and removed the price target of $26.00.

Aruba Networks shares have gained 16.33% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has surged 12.99% in the same period.

Aruba Networks’ shares fell 0.41% to $24.55 in after-hours trading.

Latest Ratings for ARUN

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2015 Stifel Nicolaus Downgrades Buy Hold
Mar 2015 Needham Downgrades Buy Hold
Mar 2015 Raymond James Downgrades Outperform Market Perform

View More Analyst Ratings for ARUN
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Stifel NicolausDowngrades Analyst Ratings





Wedbush Downgrades Pharmacyclics To Neutral

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Wedbush downgraded Pharmacyclics Inc. (NASDAQ: PCYC) from undefined to Neutral.

The price target for Pharmacyclics has been raised from $225.00 to $234.00.

Pharmacyclics shares have gained 61.53% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has surged 12.99% in the same period.

Pharmacyclics’ shares rose 2.48% to close at $221.29 yesterday.

Latest Ratings for PCYC

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2015 Wedbush Downgrades Neutral
Feb 2015 Goldman Sachs Downgrades Buy Neutral
Feb 2015 Credit Suisse Downgrades Outperform Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for PCYC
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: WedbushDowngrades Analyst Ratings





22nd Century Group Names Henry Sicignano III CEO

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related
Chardan Capital Markets Has Bullish View On 22nd Century Group Following Recent Plant Tour
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The Board of Directors of 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT: XXII) announced
today that Henry Sicignano III has been named to the position of Chief
Executive Officer. Mr. Sicignano will continue to serve as the Company’s
President and will remain on the Board of Directors.

“The Board of Directors has had the opportunity to work directly with Henry
over the past few months and is convinced that there is no better person to
lead the company forward,” said James W. Cornell, Chairman of the Board of
Directors. “Henry is a proven leader with outstanding business development
skills, strategic vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision
for how 22nd Century will monetize the Company’s proprietary technologies is
exactly what 22nd Century needs at this exciting stage in the Company’s
growth.”

Since joining the Company as President in 2010, Mr. Sicignano has spearheaded
major initiatives across a range of business areas, recently establishing a
strategic partnership with Smoker Friendly International, the nation’s largest
dealer network of cigarette stores, and securing contract manufacturing and
distribution agreements to launch the Company’s MAGIC® brand of cigarettes in
Europe. Going forward, Mr. Sicignano has defined 22nd Century’s top priorities
as: establishing multi-year international sales contracts for the Company’s
proprietary tobacco products (with immediate focus on Asia); submitting to the
FDA a Modified Risk Application for the Company’s Brand A very low nicotine
cigarettes; and identifying a joint venture partner to fund Phase III clinical
trials for X-22, the Company’s smoking cessation aid in development.

“22nd Century is in the rare position of having a virtual monopoly around the
nicotine biosynthetic pathway in the tobacco plant; I am honored and
tremendously excited to have been chosen to lead the Company as we begin to
commercialize our extraordinary IP portfolio,” Mr. Sicignano said. “As the
tobacco industry begins a true paradigm shift toward the development and
commercialization of reduced-risk tobacco products, 22nd Century is uniquely
positioned to become a key player in both the smoking harm reduction and the
smoking cessation markets. A key part of my job will be to seize these
opportunities by focusing our management team and the Company’s business
development investments on our technology’s most important commercial
applications.”

Posted-In: News Management Press Releases





Jefferies Downgrades KBR, Notes 'Net Backlog Growth Difficult To Envision'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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In a report published Tuesday, Jefferies analyst Luke Folta hypothesized that it is “unlikely” that KBR, Inc. (NYSE: KBR) will generate sufficient awards required to maintain its backlogs in 2015 and 2016.

“Backlog stability through year end 2015 seems unlikely with LNG/O&G prospects pushing out,” Folta wrote. “With severe downward pressure on O&G capex and no LNG awards expected in ’15 we have a difficult time seeing how KBR’s expectation of flat year over year backlog trends is achievable.”

Folta calculated that the company’s expectations implies a more than doubling of new awards in 2015 to more than $5 billion. The analyst added that of the three major LNG projects the company is targeting, two have been delayed (Pacific Northwest indefinitely and Trunkline into 2016) while Tangguh LNG continues on pace for a potential award in 2016.

Bottom line, Folta argued that while KBR’s restructuring initiatives will improve its cost structure, the company needs to realize “robust” orders for earnings per share growth.

Shares were downgraded to Hold from Buy with a price target lowered to $18 from a previous $27.

Shares traded recently at $15.94, down 1.1 percent.

Latest Ratings for KBR

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2015 Jefferies Downgrades Buy Hold
Mar 2015 Barclays Maintains Overweight
Jan 2015 Bank of America Initiates Coverage on Underperform

View More Analyst Ratings for KBR
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Jefferies LNG Luke Folta O&GAnalyst Color Downgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings





Here Are 6 Reasons Why 1 Analyst Upgraded The Gap

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related GPS
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In a report published Tuesday, FBR & Co. analyst Susan Anderson upgraded shares of Gap Inc (NYSE: GPS) to Outperform as 2015 could prove to be a "breakout" year.

Anderson acknowledged the potential for continued segment pressure at the Gap core brand, but the risk is outweighed by "substantial" 2015 tailwinds which include:

  • 1. Stabilizing promotional and clearance levels.
  • 2. Reduced inventory levels that could drive average unit revenue and reduced markdowns.
  • 3. Continued execution at Old Navy.
  • 4. Supply chain enhancements including responsive supply chain, fabric platforming and seamless inventory.
  • 5. Favorable cotton price benefits to take effect in the second half of 2015.
  • 6. "Refreshed" initiatives from the new CEO Art Peck.

"We believe that Gap's guidance conservatively does not take into account these factors," Anderson concluded.

Shares were upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with a price target raised to $48 from a previous $39.

Latest Ratings for GPS

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2015 FBR Capital Upgrades Outperform
Feb 2015 Credit Suisse Downgrades Neutral Underperform
Feb 2015 Mizuho Securities Downgrades Buy Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for GPS
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Art Peck FBR Old Navy Susan AndersonAnalyst Color Upgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings





 
 
 

Chart School

Light Vehicle Sales Per Capita: A Better Look at the Long-Term Trend

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort: Following up on yesterday's preliminary report on U.S. Light Vehicle sales, I've update the charts below.

For the past few years I've been following a couple of transportation metrics: Vehicle Miles Traveled and Gasoline Volume Sales. For both series I focus on the population adjusted data. Let's now do something similar with the Light Vehicle Sales report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This data series stretches back to January 1976. Since that first data point, the Civilian Noninstitutional Population Age 16 and Over (i.e., driving age not in the military or an inmate) has risen 61.7%.

Here is a chart, court...



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Zero Hedge

BLuE DReSS SHaDoW...

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.

 

 

WP--The artist behind the official portrait of president Bill Clinton has revealed to the Philadelphia Daily News that he included a hidden reference to the Monica Lewinsky scandal — a shadow behind the president of a mannequin wearing a blue dress.

 

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...

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Phil's Favorites

Ukraine Hikes Rate to 30%, Requires Corporations to Sell 75% of Foreign Currency Earnings; Miners Not Paid For 3 Months

Courtesy of Mish.

In an effort to arrest hyperinflation and general panic over rising food prices, Ukraine's Central Bank Hikes Benchmark Rate to 30 Percent.
Ukraine's central bank will raise its benchmark refinancing rate to 30 percent from 19.5 percent, the head of the central bank said on Tuesday, as the bank tries to rein in rocketing inflation and persistent currency weakness.

The new interest rate, which comes into effect on Wednesday, is the highest for 15 years.

Central bank chief Valeriia Gontareva said in a media briefing that the decision was taken because the bank saw the "threat of inflation had risen strongly due to negative consequences from currency market panic".

The bank will also extend a rule obliging companies to sell 75 percent of their foreign currency e...



more from Ilene

All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

more from David

Sabrient

Sector Detector: Stocks break out again but may be running on fumes

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Despite low trading volume, a strong dollar, mixed economic and earnings reports, paralyzing weather conditions throughout much of the U.S., and ominous global news events, stocks continue to march ever higher. The world remains on edge about potential Black Swan events from the likes of Russia, Greece, or ISIS (or lone wolf extremists). Moreover, the economic recovery of the U.S. may be feeling the pull of the proverbial ball-and-chain from the rest of the world’s economies. Nevertheless, awash in investable cash, global investors see few choices better than U.S. equities.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of March 2nd, 2015

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Market Shadows

Kimble Charts: Coal

Kimble Charts: Coal

By Ilene 

Chris Kimble's chart for KOL shows a recently beaten down ETF struggling to pull itself up from the ashes. As the chart shows, KOL has recently drifted down to levels not seen since the financial crisis of 2008-9.

Bouncing or recovering with energy in general, coal prices appear to have stabilized in the short-term. Reflecting coal prices, KOL has traded between $13.45 and $19.75 during the past year. Bouncing from lows, KOL traded around 2% higher yesterday from $14.26 to $14.48 on high volume. It traded another 3.6% higher in after hours to $15, possibly related to ...



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Digital Currencies

MyCoin Exchange Disappears with Up To $387 Million, Reports Claim

Follow up from yesterday's Just the latest Bitcoin scam.

Hong Kong's MyCoin Disappears With Up To $387 Million, Reports Claim By  

Reports are emerging from Hong Kong that local bitcoin exchange MyCoin has shut its doors, taking with it possibly as much as HK$3bn ($386.9m) in investor funds.

If true, the supposed losses are a staggering amount, although this estimate is based on the company's own earlier claims that it served 3,000 clients who had invested HK$1m ($129,000) each.

...



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Pharmboy

2015 - Biotech Fever

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly.

Click here and sign in with your user name and password. 

 

...

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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...



more from Caitlin

Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

Learn more About Phil >>


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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

Market Shadows >>