BUZZ-U.S. STOCKS ON THE MOVE-Wal-Mart, Ivanhoe, Fannie Mae, Ann Inc, CollabRx, Noodles
(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks edged lower at the open on Friday as investors grappled with uncertainty over ongoing negotiations for a debt deal in Greece.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.15 percent at 17,958.96, the S&P 500 was down 0.11 percent at 2,095.2 and the Nasdaq Composite was unchanged at 4,924.935.
** WAL-MART STORES INC, $82.73, -0.95 pct
Barclays cuts its rating on the stock of the world's largest retailer to "equal weight" from "overweight".
The brokerage said the acceleration in U.S. comparable store sales in Q4 was mainly due to lower gas prices and easy weather comparisons, both of which are unlikely to be factors this year. The company's investments in ecommerce have yielded moderating sales growth, while the benefits of training are unlikely to offset the higher expenses near term
"WMT is not pulling any other levers, like cost-cutting or stock buybacks, that would offset these hits to earnings ... Yet the stock has had a good run since the company's analyst meeting in October 2014, and given where the stock is trading now (17.2x) on our new FY16 EPS of $4.85 and the absence of any positive near-term catalysts, we cannot see what moves the stock higher."
** COLLABRX INC, $1.22, -35.45 pct Continued...