Ultimate Market Recap: Ulta Up 7%, Pandora Gets Pummeled

Wall Street Morning Stock Brief: Glencore Ups Its Offer, Apple SLAMS Samsung, and Dell’s First Ever of These

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) cut its Samsung orders for DRAM and NAND memory chips for its new iPhone, while suppliers Elpida (ELPDF.PK), Toshiba (TOISF.PK) and SK Hynix (HXSCF.PK) will see a rise in business from the computer giant. Samsung continues as the sole manufacturer of Apple-designed microchips for the handset and the iPad. Apple’s DRAM and NAND bookings from the company had been declining prior to its latest order and independent of their patent war.

Don’t Miss: AT&T Has This Big Present for Apple.

Glencore (GLCNF.PK) increased its offer for Xstrata (XSRAF.PK) to 3.05 Glencore shares, up from its initial 2.8 shares in a last ditch effort to save the more than $60 billion merger. The new offer is lower than the 3.25 shares that leading Xstrata investor Qatar holdings had initially demanded, but that is no longer on the table. The most recent bid comes after Glencore postponed a Friday vote by Xstrata shareholders just before it was scheduled to take place.

News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) will acquire Consolidated Media (CMJFF.PK) for A$1.94 billion ($2 billion) and strengthen its Australian pay TV holdings. It’s not a done deal yet as the Kerry Stokes’ Seven Group is mulling a counter offer; it has a 25.3 percent stake in Consolidated. News Corp. will need a 75 percent approval at an October meeting to get the win.

On Thursday, Kraft (NYSE:KFT) warned that foreign exchange fluctuations will damper 2013 earnings of Mondelez by $0.15 per share. The company forecast $1.50-$1.55 earnings per share for Mondelez, below analysts’ predictions. Kraft also sees 5 percent-7 percent revenue growth.

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) declared its first-ever quarterly dividend and will pay $0.08 per share. Its forward yield is 3.04 percent. The company said in June it would begin shareholders payouts.

Don’t Miss: Is the New Kindle Fire HD Wow-Worthy Enough?

Mattress Firm’s Shares SINK and 4 Hot Stocks Attracting Attention

Micron Technology (NYSE:MU) and SanDisk Corp. shares saw a boost on Thursday morning to highlight an early tech sector rally on signs of a NAND Flash memory chip shortage which is expected to give the chipmakers a lift. Micron increased about 4 percent, and SanDisk was ahead by over 5 percent, as the two stocks led the S&P 500 higher.

Don’t Miss: The Truth About Who Pays for Google Fiber.

Citigroup (NYSE:C): Banks are marketing $2.25 billion of U.S. commercial-mortgage bonds as investors gird for the largest wave of new deals since peak of the market five years ago. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) along with Citigroup Inc. will offer $967 million of securities connected to office buildings, shopping malls, and hotels, according individuals familiar with the offering who requested not to be identified because the terms have not been made public. UBS AG (UBSN) and Barclays Plc are preparing about $1 billion of similar debt, and Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is to offer $280 million of bonds backed by extended-stay hotel properties.

Mattress Firm Holding Corp (NASDAQ:MFRM) shares dropped in after-hours trading on Thursday after the bedding retailer stated that a pending acquisition may harm its profitability in its short-term. The company reported earnings totaling $10.1 million, or 30 cents per share, for its fiscal Q2, which ended on July 31. This can be compared with $3.6 million, or 16 cents per share, during Q2 last year. Following adjustment for acquisition-related costs and other special items, it earned 42 cents per share in the latest quarter. Shares of Mattress Firm Holding Corp are trading 2.90% lower today.

Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. (NYSE:PNY) has reaffirmed its FY12 EPS guidance of $1.58-$1.68 with a revised emphasis near the middle of the range. Shares of Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. are trading 0.31% higher today.

Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): A key interest rate for over $500 trillion of securities worldwide are to be replaced by a benchmark subject to greater government control, according to 45 percent of those who responded to a quarterly Bloomberg Global Poll. They claimed that the London interbank offered rate, known as Libor, is to be supplanted by a more regulated model within five years, according to Bloomberg. Shares of Bank of America Corporation are trading 4.29% higher today.

Don’t Miss: These 5 Big Banks LOVE Mario Draghi.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide. Check out our Wall St. Cheat Sheet Stock Picker Newsletter now >>

Mid-Day Radar Movers: Pandora PLUNGES as Apple Takes Aim, Smith & Wesson SURGES

Shares of Pandora Media (NYSE:P) are now down over 18 percent! The WSJ reports that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in discussions to license music in order to create a custom-radio service similar to Pandora. The service would work on iGadgets such as the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.

Smith & Wesson Holding (NASDAQ:SWHC) shares are now up 14 percent. The gun maker reported that first quarter net income from continuing operations increased to $18.9 million (28 cents per share), compared to $2.3 million (4 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue also jumped 48 percent to $136 million. Competitor Sturm Ruger (NYSE:RGR) also traded higher on the news.

Don’t Miss: Is Apple’s Stock a BUY at Today’s Price?

Amazon.Com (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares continue to make new all-time highs, climbing more than 3 percent mid-day. Yesterday, the world’s largest online retailer unveiled its new line up of Kindles, including the Kindle Fire HD. The premium tablet features an 8.9-inch screen and will be priced at $299.

Mattress Firm Holding (NASDAQ:MFRM) are recovering after shares fell almost 4 percent this morning. The company announced better-than-expected earnings of 42 cents per share, but missed on revenue. Net sales for the second quarter increased 45.6 percent to $262 million, compared to $179.9 million a year earlier. It also lowered its outlook, disappointing many investors.

Catalysts are critical to discovering winning stocks. Check out our newest CHEAT SHEET stock picks now.

Facebook’s Instagram Employees May JUMP SHIP and 4 Hot Stocks Moving Now

Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:SWHC) shares saw an increase of 22 percent during after-hours trading following the company’s increase of its fiscal-year outlook late Thursday, driven by strong demand for its guns and expansion at its factories to handle current orders.

Don’t Miss: Here’s the Jobs Report Politicians Will Discuss for the Next Month.

Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) wishes to double its China sales by 2015 via a strategy involving hybrids and low-price cars, the Japanese Nikkei business daily stated on Friday. Toyota’s share of the booming Chinese passenger-car market dropped to 6.8 percent, versus to 10.3 percent during 2008, as recalls, strikes and the Japanese earthquake plagued the Japanese auto producer, reposrts the Nikkei. Shares of Toyota Motor Corporation are trading 1.458% higher today.

The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) is seen reporting a Q2 profit of about 49 cents a share on sales of $21.88 billion, according to a poll taken by FactSet.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is currently in talks to license music for a custom-radio service that is comparable to the popular one operated by Pandora Media (NYSE:P), sources claim, in what would be a bid by the hardware maker for the expansion of its dominance in online music, the Wall Street Journal reports. Shares of Apple Inc. are trading 0.60% higher today.

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB): TechCrunch reports that after the closing of Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Instagram acquisition, several of Instagram’s employees could consider leaving for another startup. Sources state that some of Instagram’s employees “felt somewhat slighted” when the startup sold for $1 billion. Shares of Facebook, Inc. are trading 1.12% higher today.

Don’t Miss: The Truth About Who Pays for Google Fiber.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide. Check out our Wall St. Cheat Sheet Stock Picker Newsletter now >>

Ulta’s Earnings SKYROCKET and 4 Hot Stocks to Watch Now

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is to hire over 1,000 more employees in China during the year and boost research and development spending by 15 percent as it attempts to catch up with Apple and Google within the fast-growing mobile Internet market, executives stated on Thursday. The announcement adds to growing competition in wireless Internet in China, where almost 400 million people surf the Web via mobile phones and other devices. Microsoft is promoting its Windows 8 mobile operating system but had a late entrance to the market causing it to trail Apple Inc. and Google Inc., whose Android system is widely used in China.

Don’t Miss: Here’s the Jobs Report Politicians Will Discuss for the Next Month.

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA) fiscal Q2 earnings saw a 46 percent increase, as the beauty-products retailer benefited from its ongoing expansion and strong same-store sales. Shares were boosted 9 percent to $103.80 in after-hours trading while the results beat the company’s expectations. Shares of Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. are trading 7.88% higher today.

Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) states that it will open a total of 35 corporate stores with an additional two outlets in FY12. The company also sees gross margin for the year around a long-term target of 55 percent, and it sees operating margin deleveraging a bit from the highest levels seen during 2012. Lululemon sees Q3, Q4 tax rate at 29.5 percent. These comments were made on the Q2 earnings conference call. Shares of Lululemon Athletica inc. are trading 9.88% higher today.

Schmitt Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMIT), a designer, manufacturer, and marketer of computer controlled vibration detection, and balancing equipment, saw a sharp increase in Thursday’s trading session. By the day’s end, the small-cap stock of SMIT rose 1.72 percent higher at $3.55. The stock fell 0.88 percent during the last three trading sessions. In the past three months, SMIT shares saw a 5.97 percent increse. Year-to-date, the stock has risen 10.94 percent. Shares of Schmitt Industries, Inc. are trading 0% higher today.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC): Relative to the former forecast, the company is witnessing customers lowering inventory in the supply chain compared to the normal growth in Q3 inventory; softness in the enterprise PC market segment; and slowing emerging market demand. The data center business has been meeting expectations. Shares of Intel Corporation are trading 3.29% lower today.

Don’t Miss: This Tech Bellwether is Flashing Warning Signs.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide. Check out our Wall St. Cheat Sheet Stock Picker Newsletter now >>

Market Recap: Politicians Gawk the Jobs Report, Apple Challenges Pandora, and Intel Warns of Dark Clouds

Markets closed up on Wall Street today: Dow +0.11%, S&P +0.40%, Nasdaq +0.02%, Oil +0.86%, Gold +1.87%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed to $98.16 a barrel. Precious metals rose, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) rising to $1,739 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) increased 3.05% to settle at $33.61.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:

Today’s job report announced that with the addition of only 96,000 jobs last month, the number of people in the workforce dropped to its lowest level in 31 years, undermining the momentum President Obama may have gained from his speech to the Democratic National Convention last night. Unemployment dropped 0.2 percent from July, to 8.1 percent, for the most part because 368,000 people stopped looking for jobs.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is working on developing a Pandora (NYSE:P) rival in a move that could have the Internet radio industry very worried. Apple, which already has digital music figured out through its iTunes, is now planning to send streams of music customized to users’ choices through a preinstalled app on the company’s mobile devices. It is already negotiating with major record labels, The Wall Street Journal said.

Don’t Miss: Judge Ignores These Apple Appeals in DOJ Case.

After hitting a year to date high of $29.18 per share in May, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is down on news of weaker than expected revenue. The company released a statement adjusting its projected revenue to $13.2 billion. Intel had originally projected revenues from $13.8 to $14.8 billion but “weaker than expected demand in a challenging macroeconomic environment” has led to weak enterprise PC sales and slowing demand in emerging markets.

We mentioned before that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has taken a step toward dominating the Internet with Google Fiber. But like with any good battle for market share, there’s more here than meets the eye. Fred Campbell, a former FCC official, reports, “Google received stunning regulatory concessions and incentives from local governments, including free access to virtually everything the city owns or controls.” This includes office space, power, marketing, and direct mail connections.

Google expects other cities to be “bidding” on who gets Fiber next. If this means more Kansas City style subsidization, Google could quickly find itself controlling not just how people use the Internet, but how they access it. Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and other smaller cable companies may not stand a chance.

Don’t Miss: Your Cheat Sheet to the HUGE Amazon, Nokia, and Motorola Launches.

Radar Movers: Amazon Makes New Highs, Smith & Wesson and Freeport Climb Higher

Amazon.Com (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares continued to edge slightly higher in late afternoon trading. On Friday, the online retailer hit new all-time highs near $260, following the announcement of new HD Kindle Fires and e-readers the prior day.

Shares of Pandora Media (NYSE:P) plunged 16.7 percent, but bounced nearly 1 percent higher in late trading hours. The WSJ reports that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in discussions to license music in order to create a custom-radio service similar to Pandora. The service would work on iGadgets such as the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.

Don’t Miss: Is Jeff Bezos the Next Steve Jobs?

Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC) shares continued to climb higher in late afternoon hours. The gun maker closed nearly 12 percent higher on Friday, after announcing that first quarter net income from continuing operations increased to $18.9 million (28 cents per share), compared to $2.3 million (4 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue jumped 48 percent to $136 million. Competitor Sturm Ruger (NYSE:RGR) also traded higher on the news.

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) edged higher in late afternoon trading. The company received a boost on Friday after China announced it will spend $156 billion on infrastructure, including new subways, highways and other projects.

Investors: Is LinkedIn Becoming More LIKE Facebook?