Ultimate Market Recap: Asian Car Sales Soar in U.S., AT&T Readies for Atrix HD Debut

On the Radar: Apple BREAKS $600, RIM and Barclays Still Struggling

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares broke $600 this morning in pre-market trading, after kissing that figure in intra-day trading on Tuesday for the first time since April.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) shares closed Tuesday nearly 2 percent lower at $7.35. The company’s CEO Thorsten Heins said, “There’s nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now.” He recognized that RIM faces obstacles in regaining market share, but said it is not in a “death spiral.” And it seems investors were listening. Shares are trading up this morning 1.63 percent after the holiday. Last week, the BlackBerry maker reported horrendous financial results. Revenue plunged 43 percent to $2.81 billion. For the first-quarter, the company posted an adjusted loss of $192 million (37 cents per share), down sharply from a net gain of $695 million ($1.33 per share) a year earlier. Read More.

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Shares of Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) dropped 2.14 percent in abbreviated trading on Tuesday, and continued to fall 0.66 percent this morning in pre-market trading. The bank’s CEO Bob Diamond resigned this week amid the growing Libor scandal. “Bob Diamond was a lightning rod for the industry,” Chris Wheeler, bank analyst at Mediobanca, told CNBC. “I’m surprised at the timing, but I think there has been a discussion with the board about it having a major impact on Barclays and obviously they want to restore its reputation.”

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares closed 1.39 percent higher on Tuesday, but are dipping slightly this morning in pre-market trading. The social-media company appears to be back at the bargaining table with General Motors (NYSE:GM) over its advertising efforts. The WSJ reported, “Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg spoke with GM Chief Executive Daniel Akerson on the issue, and senior executives from both companies have been in discussions.”

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On Wednesday, former Barclays (NYSE:BCS) CEO Bob Diamond testified that he only learned about the Libor accusations recently; this contradicts reports that the bank had been part of a investigation beginning in March 2011, reported the Wall Street Journal. In his testimony to U.K. legislators, Diamond added that he did not think that the Bank of England’s Paul Tucker gave permission to cut rates.

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Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE:LTD) reported that June sales in stores open at least a year increased seven percent, exceeding the 2.4 percent estimates by analysts. The company, which operates Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath and Body Works, La Senza, C.O. Bigelow, White Barn Candle Co. and Henri Bendel saw its total June sales stay flat at around $1.1 billion, reported MarketWatch.

In June, Asian motor companies saw record-breaking U.S. sales figures. Honda Motor Co.’s (NYSE:HMC) U.S. vehicle sales rose 49 percent thanks to record gains from its Accord, CR-V and Civic models but the numbers came in below estimates from the car-shopping website Edmunds.com. Hyundai Motor Co.’s (HYMLY) saw a 7.8 percent rise last month; this represented a record for June sales record while Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) reported a 28 percent jump, exceeding estimates with the company’s namesake and Infiniti divisions incurring double-digit sales rises.

A U.K. judge has ruled that HTC phones don’t infringe on four Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) patents from touchscreen technology but three of them are invalid. The patents in question included a slide-to-unlock feature and functionality to touch the screen in two simultaneous spots. Meanwhile on a positive note for Apple, it gained a pretrial victory against Samsung (SSNLF.PK) on Tuesday as a judge rejected a pre-trial injunction against Galaxy Nexus phone sales.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) is turning some of its stores into Apple-inspired (NASDAQ:AAPL) retail outlets as part of its new recovery strategy to increase sales. Concerns are lingering that the change won’t stop shoppers from looking around first in stores but then making purchases online through less expensive e-tailers.

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Afternoon BUZZERS: Apple Gears Up for iPad Mini, Target and Macy’s Sales Get SLAMMED

Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) shares were down 0.73 percent in early afternoon trading. The retailer reported weaker-than-expected same-store sales growth of 2.1 percent in June, below expectations of 2.4 percent. However, the company reiterated its earnings forecast for its fiscal second-quarter.

Shares of Macy’s Inc. (NYSE:M) gained 3.33 percent this afternoon despite reporting disappointing sales for June. The company said same-store sales increased 1.2 percent in June, compared to estimates of 1.9 percent. Macy’s expects its fiscal 2012 earnings to be between $3.25 and $3.30 a share, below the $3.37 a share average analyst estimate.

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares climbed 2.14 percent to reach $612. Speculation continues to build about the tech giant making a smaller iPad device to better compete with Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). The WSJ reports that, “Component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production in September of a tablet computer with a smaller screen than the iPad, people familiar with the situation said, suggesting a launch for the device is near. Two of the people said that the tablet’s screen will likely be smaller than eight inches. The iPad’s screen measures 9.7 inches, unchanged since the first model was released in 2010.” Read More.

The Buckle Inc. (NYSE:BKE) shares dropped 4.39 percent this afternoon. The company was expected to turn in breakeven growth for June, but actually saw a dip of 2.5 percent for the month.

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TJX Sales INCREASED Over Previous Quarter and 4 Post-Holiday Hot Stocks in the Spotlight

CurrencyShares Australian Dollar Trust (NYSEARCA:FXA) shows very little reaction regarding the BoE’s anticipated additional QE. The stock futures rise due to the PBOC’s surprising rate cut. The S&P 500 shows a 0.3% increase. The aussie is up 0.3% to $1.0302. Shares of CurrencyShares Australian Dollar Trust are trading 0.05% higher today.

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The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) sales over the five-week period were concluded June 30, 2012 and totaled $2.3B. This is a 9% increase over the $2.1B earned during the five week period ending July 2, 2011. Shares of The TJX Companies, Inc. are trading 3.48% higher today.

The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE:BKE): Net sales for the five-week fiscal month ending June 30,2012 were down to $79.4M, 0.3% below the 79.6M earned during the earlier year’s five-week fiscal month ending July 2,2011. Shares of The Buckle, Inc. are trading 3.60% lower today.

International Speedway Corporation (NASDAQ:ISCA) reports a Q2 revenue of $179.6M, consensus $158.65M. Shares of International Speedway Corporation are trading 3.43% higher today.

Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS): At 8:30 EDT, Kohls reported that June SSS is down 4.2%. Shares of Kohl’s Corporation are trading 6.96% higher today.

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Toyota Sales ROSE for the Month of June and 3 Hot Stocks Not to Miss

Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) this morning reported June SSS up 8.1 percent. Shares of the retailer are trading 1.70% higher today.

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Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) announced June sales up 12 percent to 886M. Ross shares are trading 6.74% higher today.

Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. (NYSE:PNY): The cause of the explosion in June at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Center has been determined, fire officials report. A Piedmont Natural Gas spokesperson told The Tennessean the day following the explosion that, at that time, the natural gas/mechanical failure hypothesis was “pure speculation.” Shares of the gas company are trading lower by 1.26% today.

Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM), along with the two other leading Japanese auto manufacturers in the U.S., reported that sales rose dramatically in June in comparison to an abnormally weak year-ago period when supplies were interrupted by an earthquake and tsunami. Toyota reported a 60 percent sales rise for June; Honda and Nissan posted climbs of 49 and 28 percent, respectively. Toyota shares are trading 0.37% lower today.

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AT&T ANTICIPATES Release of the Motorola Atrix 3 and Four Hot Stocks on the Move

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC): Today, The Bank of Japan upgraded the assessment for all nine economic regions, according to Reuters. This is the first time in three years, and strong private consumption and spending on rebuilding from the earthquake last year helped growth. This supports the view that BOJ will maintain unchanged monetary settings next week. Shares of Bank of America are trading 2.42% lower today.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has recently made minute changes to its newest iPod by enlarging its lens hole as well as furthering steps to prevent overheating, Digitimes and supply chain stores report. Shares of Apple Inc. are trading 2.36% higher today.

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Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB): Knight Capital Group (NYSE:KCG) CEO Thomas Joyce blamed Nasdaq official for IPO problems concerning Facebook almost immediately and maintains his stance, calling out  OMX Group (NASDAQ:NDAQ) head Robert Greifeld to task, according to the Wall Street Journal. Shares of Facebook, Inc. are trading 0.38% lower today.

AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T): Rumors concerning the Motorola Atrix 3 (aka Motorola Dinara) has become official with the Motorola Atrix HD printed on the official nameplate. The device is currently on the company’s Website and should make a U.S. debut on AT&T in a couple of weeks. Shares of AT&T, Inc. are trading 0.78%  lower  today.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) has announced that NAMCO BANDAI will completely support the new Asha Touch devices, providing over 20 classic arcade titles to be downloaded via the Nokia Store. The devices were released last month and offer a colorful range of experiences designed for young, urban, aspiring customers. This ill offer some of the most prestigious gaming titles, such as PAC-MAN, Final Fantasy, ACE COMBAT, and Flight Control. The device includes a new touch screen making mobile web browsing quick, with fast access to social networks, and great performance for gaming. There will be 22 total games coming to Asha Touch devices from NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc and NAMCO BANDAI Games Americas Inc. Shares of Nokia Corporation are trading 4.23% lower today.

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