It’s Monday June 19, 2006, and it’s the first day of the trading week and it should be an interesting one. Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has taken the bull by the horns as they struck a multiyear deal with PBS TV Stations to carry a wide array of PBS programming on the new Verizon TV Business. The lines are getting thinner and the war between phone companies and cable operators will begin to heat up this summer.
On the heels of that, the new FCC rules that would loosen the noose on major phone companies have been upheld by the U.S. Appeals court. Basically the large phone companies will not have to provide access to their networks in the residential arena. So smaller phone companies that are trying to grab market share from companies like AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon will have a tough time of it as the major carriers own the infrastructure that allows for service to a majority of the residential areas through out the country.
In the Saddam Hussein trial prosecutors cania-consulting are pushing for the death penalty for Saddam Hussein and three of his former aides for crimes against humanity following a 1982 crackdown on Shi’ites in which hundreds were killed and tortured. So Hussein will rant and rave until the gavel comes down and his fate is sealed.
North Korea plans on testing a missile launch that, fully fueled, could reach as far as Alaska. So both the United States and Japan have warned North Korea against the launch. North Korea is taking advantage of the worlds attention that is diverted to Iraq and Iran to run this test. So this is a developing story.
Here in New York, city lawmakers are coming down hard on the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to cut anti-terror funding. This comes on the heels of a report that came out over the weekend that showed that al-Qaida had a plan to attack the NYC subway system in 2003.
To combat the mighty Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERICY) Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Siemens (NYSE:SI) have both agreed to a joint venture that will merge their mobile network operations, creating a $20 billion entity. Now the new venture will be called Nokia Siemens Networks and is still subject to regulatory approval, but if this should go through two things will certainly happen, one is that Ericsson will be given a run for their money and two , close to 10,000 jobs will be eliminated. That is the casualty of this mobile network war. It is a smart move for both companies, as the mobile arena is getting tighter. So expect for these stocks to trade higher on this news.
After months of Intel Corp (NASDAQ: INTC) creating historic lows in its trading history. UBS sees value in the company. The upgraded the stock from a Neutral to a Buy and gave the stock a target price of $23 and that is up from $21.Now the question is will the Institutional money begin to flow back into Intel or will the UBS upgrade just entice individual investors to jump on board. The stock closed at $18.30 on Friday.
Now lets take a look at the Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) front, last week Bill Gates stated that he will be stepping down from the Day to Day duties of Microsoft. Now this is definitely getting mixed reactions as he was the visionary behind the company and at one point in time gave a helping hand to Apple Computer (NASDAQ: AAPL) when the company was down on its luck. But times do change, Microsoft, once being a vibrant young company that dared to be different, topping the one time juggernaut IBM (NYSE: IBM) seem to have gotten too big to have that burning desire and vision. With Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) looking to grab software market share from Mr. Softie by giving people what they want but for free seems to be just another nail being driven into the coffin of Microsoft. Now don’t count them out just yet, Mr. Softie is coming out with guns blazing against Apple’s iPod success by launching its own MP3 player. Some think that its late in the game but technology is constantly changing so they still may have a shot, but 10 years or so ago would Mr. Softie have waited so long to be at the forefront of an evolution?, all that we can do at this point is wait and see what the reaction will be to the new product line, the shift in management and whether the software giant will consider splitting the company at some point down the road.
Movers and Shakers
Some major movers in yesterdays trading session included Focus Media Holdings (NASDAQ: FMCN) , we mentioned Focus Media when it hit a ceiling of $68 three times in a row and sent out an alert that it could pull back into the $51 range, which it did. We also alerted our readers that once it found a bottom that their next trip up to $68 would be fierce and create a base in that level. The stock traded up $6.28 on Friday to close at $60.78, the momentum has been building up in the company and you should see it try to reach that ceiling this week. We also mentioned that their United States based mirror image is a small little known company by the name of Impart Media Group (OTCBB: IMMGE), for those that have taken steps in researching and getting involved in the company should listen in on their analyst/investor conference call that is set up for this Thursday. Take a look at their latest press release for call-in details.
Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD) made nice movement on Friday, trading up $4.69 to close at $44.31. The company announced about a week ago that they have upped their stake in a ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) Alaska offshore project called Cosmopolitan Unit, from 10% to 50%. So the stock moved up along with several other Natural Gas companies but investors had time this weekend to ponder many things that happened in the previous week and Pioneer Natural may be one of them.
Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) made moves on the upside on Friday after reports surfaced that the New York based Polo was on the road to striking a deal with JC Penney (NYSE: JCP) in the form of an exclusive partnership. This would give a big boost to Polo and definitely add to JC Penney’s bottom line. Polo closed up $2.30 to close at $57.00 on Friday.
Other stocks that made nice moves on Thursday include Martek Biosciences (NASDAQ: MATK) which traded up $2.77 to close at $29.48, Cigna (NYSE: CI) traded up $2.25 to close at $93.45, Winnebago Industries (NYSE: WGO) traded up $2.21 to close at $30.64, Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK) traded up $1.71 to close at $67.39 and New Century Financial (NYSE: NEW) traded up $1.69 to close at $47.00.
Neurocrine (NASDAQ: NBIX) traded down on heavy volume on Friday, the stock tumbled $4.19 to close at $15.18 after stating that the company may have to supply the FDA with additional safety data to get the approval from them. This could lead to big delays, as they will undoubtedly need to conduct further clinical studies to get the FDA the information that they need.
After OmniVision Tech (NASDAQ: OVTI) announced great numbers analyst had a chance to review their quartley earnings and question the quality of those earnings. Analyst at both Piper Jaffray and Needham & Co questioned that as well as the company’s outlook. So this drove the stock down $3.37 to close at $23.44 on Friday, this was on over 14 million shares traded. Their average volume has been approximately 1.8 million. So once the bleeding stops OmniVision may require a second look.
Some stocks that made moves on the upside under ten bucks include Britesmile (NASDAQ: BSML) for some odd reason closed up 90 cents to close at $3.23 on Friday. Initially the stock gained lots of interest on the heels of a fluff bid from one of their private competitors, which Britesmile graciously turned down. So you can expect the stock to slip back a bit over the coming days after the bump up last week. But who knows perhaps the fluff bid for the company may be backed up by a solid financial group, but that may not be likely just yet.
Orthovita (NASDAQ: VITA) traded up 41 cents on Friday when word got out that the Food and Drug Administration approved its product for controlling bleeding during surgeries. Now this may also pull back a bit even though the run wasn’t tremendous it did hit a new 52 week high, which could cause for a pullback.
Wet Seal (NASDAQ: WTSLA) received an upgrade by Matrix Research from a Sell to A Hold, this morning and it should be a welcome upgrade which could give boost to investor confidence in Wet Seal. So look for a tad bit of movement in this one today.
Other stocks that moved higher yesterday under ten bucks included Catalyst Semiconductor (NASDAQ: CATS) which traded up 27 cents to close at $3.89, Memry corp (AMEX: MRY) traded up 23 cents to close at $2.90, Great Basin Gold (AMEX: GBN) traded up 20 cents to close at $1.85 and Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) traded up 19 cents to close at $4.71 on Friday.
Recent Analyst upgrades include aQuantive (NASDAQ: AQNT) was upgraded to a Buy from a Neutral by Merriman, Curhan Ford & Co and to an Outperform from a Market Perform by Piper Jaffray, Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE: MLM) was upgraded to an Outperform from an In-Line by Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) was upgraded to an Overweight from an Equal Weight by Lehman Brothers, Vulcan Marterials (NYSE: VMC) was upgraded to an Outperform from an Inline by Goldman Sachs and Monster Worldwide (NASDAQ: MNST) was upgraded to a n Overweight from an Equal-Weight by Morgan Stanley.
Recent Analyst downgrades include Petsmart (NASDAQ: PETM) was downgraded to a Neutral from an Outperform by Credit Suisse, and Michaels Stores (NYSE: MIK) was downgraded to a Peer Perform from an Outperform by Thomas Weisel Partners.
Recent analyst coverage initiations include Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE: VSH) which was initiated with a Hold rating and a $16.50 price target by Citigroup Investment Research, Novacea Inc (NASDAQ: NOVC) was initiated with an Outperform rating by Cowen 7 Co, Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) was initiated with an Outperform rating and a $30 price target by Credit Suisse, RH Donnelley (NYSE: RHD) was initiated with an Overweight rating and a $64 price target by Lehman Brothers, the stock closed at $51.55 on Friday and Allscripts Healthcare Solution (NASDAQ: MDRX) was initiated with a Neutral rating by UBS.
Today we are featuring Universal Truckload Services (NASDAQ: UCAL) as our “Furious Five” feature on the Investors Corner. As our subscribers already know, this will be sent out separately later today to subscribers only.
For our outlook, and other vital information on the companies that we feature as the “FURIOUS FIVE” on Wall Street to Main Street just subscribe for FREE at http://www.namcnewswire.com
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.