9 Min Read
May 6 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Monday:
U.S. stocks edged up, boosted by the tech sector, as Wall Street extended a rally that pushed the Dow and S&P 500 to record highs last week on improving earnings and reassuring signs about the economy. Apple shares were among the top gainers, giving the biggest boosts to the Nasdaq composite index and benchmark S&P.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.02 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index up 0.21 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC. was up 0.39 percent.
** APPLE INC, $460.72, up 2.3 pct (1212 ET)
Barclays Capital raised its price target on the company's stock to $525 from $465, saying the shares are back on the "right track" after hitting a low of $385.10 on April 19.
"We believe Apple is about to change the narrative and get investors, analysts, customers and the media finally talking about new products again - starting with a software/services/Mac event on June 10th and a likely iPhone/iPad event in September," analysts led by Ben Reitzes said in a note to clients.
** MBIA INC, $14.10, up 43.4 pct (1230 ET)
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, $12.74, up 4 pct (1230 ET)
Bond insurer MBIA and Bank of America have reached a settlement in their ongoing legal disputes, and BofA will pay MBIA $1.6 billion in cash, a source familiar with the matter said. Last week, a New York state judge ruled MBIA could pursue a case against Bank of America over toxic mortgage-backed securities.
** BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC, $164,759, up 1.2 pct; , $109.91, up 1.4 pct (1248 ET)
Warren Buffett's company reported a 51 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by solid performance in insurance and many of its other businesses.
The results, announced after markets closed on Friday, led at least two brokerages to raise their price targets on the company's Class A stock. Both Class A and Class B shares touched record highs in early trading on Monday.
** ARKANSAS BEST CORP, $14.10, up 32.9 pct (1257 ET)
The trucking company's ABF Freight System unit reached a tentative five-year labor contract with its Teamsters employee union, Arkansas Best said in a regulatory filing late on Friday. (link.reuters.com/veh87t)
** LINN ENERGY LLC, $35.00, down 7.2 pct (1257 ET)
Barron's said in an article on Saturday that the U.S. oil and gas producer "may be the country's most overpriced large energy producer." The article, titled 'Twilight of a Stock-Market Darling', said the company failed to produce enough cash in the first quarter to cover its 7.5 percent dividend yield and shares could plunge if Linn cuts payout. (link.reuters.com/vuh87t)
Shares fell to their year-and-a-half low on heavy volumes. Nearly 13 million shares changed hands by 1245 ET, more than nine times their 10-day moving average.
** ATLAS AIR WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS, $44.49, up 6.8 pct (1258 ET)
Financial newspaper Barron's said on Sunday that the global air-freight operator's shares are undervalued and now is a good time for investors to get on board.
** CRESTWOOD MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP, $24.88, up 4.3 pct (1258 ET)
** INERGY LP, $23.84, up 8.3 pct (1259 ET)
Crestwood and Inergy agreed to merge in a cash and stock deal to tap demand for pipeline and storage services in North America's fast-developing shale fields.
** BLACKSTONE GROUP LP, $22.39, up 3 pct (1316 ET)
** KKR & CO LP, $21.20, up 2 pct (1316)
The companies' shares rose after Apollo Global Management LLC reported a 72 percent increase in first-quarter profit, its best quarterly results as a publicly listed alternative asset manager, as it took advantage of favorable capital markets to exit investments.
Brokerage Jefferies & Co raised its price target on Blacktone shares to $25 from $23.
A stock market rally and record-low interest rates in the debt markets have allowed private equity companies to lucratively unload investments and have buoyed the value of assets they still hold.
The business software maker said it agreed to be acquired by a private equity group led by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital Corp for about $6.9 billion.
** TESCO CORP, $11.90, down 6.4 pct (1303 ET)
The company, which delivers technology-based services to oil and gas companies, reported lower-than-expected results for the first quarter, hurt by a fall in drilling activity in North America.
** TYSON FOODS INC, $23.92, down 4 pct (1305 ET)
The largest U.S. meat processor reported a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit as shoppers and restaurants switched to cheaper chicken from beef, and the company cut its full-year sales forecast.
** STEIN MART INC, $9.05, up 5.3 pct (1306 ET)
The regional department store operator reported a better-than-expected profit, helped by higher margins.
** PENN WEST PETROLEUM LTD, $9.88, up 4.6 pct (1306 ET)
The company, one of Canada's largest conventional oil and gas producers, appointed two industry veterans to its board. It named Rick George, formerly CEO of Suncor Energy Inc as chairman and Allan Markin, chairman of Canadian Natural Resources as vice-chairman.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $20.77, up 4.32 pct (1307 ET)
FBR Capital Markets raised its rating on the U.S. iron ore and steel making coal miner's stock to "outperform" from "market perform," citing the company's "ability" to withstand weak iron ore prices and higher domestic supply.
** ASSURED GUARANTY LTD, $21.99, up 5.6 pct (1307 ET)
The bond insurer said it reached a settlement with UBS AG in a lawsuit that accused the bank of falsely representing the quality of the loans underlying $1.49 billion of mortgage-backed securities. [ID:nL3N0DN1U7
** ECOPETROL SA , $45.97, down 2.5 pct (1307 ET)
The Colombian state oil company said on Friday its first-quarter consolidated net profit fell 20.2 percent to 3.41 trillion pesos ($1.86 billion) from a year earlier.
Like other companies operating in Colombia, Ecopetrol -- Latin America's fourth biggest oil producer -- has been hit by a rise in rebel attacks against oil facilities, delays in getting key permits and an increase in social protests.
** YRC WORLDWIDE INC, $13.67, up 24.8 pct (1310 ET)
BB&T Capital Markets upgraded the trucking company's stock to "hold" from "underweight," saying YRC has made progress towards improving profitability over the last 18 months.
** APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LLC, $27.17, up 2.2 pct (1310 ET)
Billionaire Leon Black's alternative asset manager reported a 72 percent increase in first-quarter profit per share, easily beating expectations as it took advantage of favorable capital market conditions to exit investments.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, $57.17, up 4.8 pct (1310 ET)
The automaker, led by billionaire Elon Musk, overhauled financing strategy for the Model S electric sedan in response to criticism that its initial plan last month overstated the potential cost savings.
** GUIDANCE SOFTWARE INC, $8.38, down 5.2 pct (1312 ET)
Brokerage Raymond James cuts its price target on the digital software maker's stock to $10 from $12.
** WESTLAKE CHEMICAL CORP, $86.44, up 4.8 pct (1312 ET)
The chemicals maker reported a 40 percent increase in first-quarter profit, mainly due to higher pricing and better margins, which were boosted by cheap natural gas-derived feedstock.
** MOBILE MINI INC, $32.52, up 12.2 pct (1312 ET)
The company, which makes portable storage products, reported better-than-expected first-quarter results on higher revenue from its leasing business.
** DIODES INC, $22.35, up 8.4 pct (1313 ET)
Brokerage Robert W. Baird & Co upgraded the semiconductor company's stock to "outperform" from "neutral", citing a fall in inventory days. Baird also raised its price target on the shares to $29 from $20. The stock was one of the top percentage gainers on the Nasdaq.
** HUMANA INC, $75.81, up 2.5 pct (1313 ET)
J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Justin Lake raised his rating on the health insurer's stock to "overweight" from "neutral", saying the company will be able to continue to grow its Medicare Advantage business despite several more years of reimbursement cuts.
"Future growth should come from a combination of baby boomer age-ins, continued market share gains and potential shifts from employers to Medicare Advantage from self-funded employer retiree plans," Lake wrote in note to clients.
Medicare Advantage provides care for seniors who select to receive their Medicare benefits through private insurance plans. About 14 million Americans are enrolled in the program.
** VMWARE INC, $77.21, up 4 pct (1255 ET)
Craig-Hallum Capital analyst Rajesh Ghai said cloud computing software maker VMWare's shares could be up in anticipation of announcements the company could make at the EMC World Conference in Las Vegas. The four-day event will begin on Monday.
"It will attract a lot of customers and investors, so there's some speculation ahead of that event," analyst Ghai told Reuters. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)