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3 Stocks to Watch on Thursday: Target Corporation (TGT), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL) and Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (CIE)

TGT jumps on upbeat guidance, DAL drops on disappointing earnings and CIE should be one of Thursday's best stocks


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U.S. equities enjoyed a resurgence Wednesday afternoon following testimony from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, with vague assurances that further interest-rate hikes are on the way. The S&P 500 Index headed 0.7% higher, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite surged 1.1%.

3 Stocks to Watch on Thursday: Target Corporation (TGT), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL) and Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (CIE)Heading into Thursday’s trade, we’re starting to get some large-stock earnings action thanks to Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), while Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) gave Wall Street a sneak peak into its August report. Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CIE) is also worth a look this morning on a massive move higher.

Here’s what you need to know this morning:

Target Corporation (TGT)

Finally, some good news from the retail space!

TGT shares, which have suffered a roughly 30% beating so far this year, are up soundly this morning after it reported a boost in traffic for the current quarter and raised its expectations for earnings as a result.

For the second quarter, which Target will report on in mid-August, the company says it will record a profit higher than its previous guidance between 95 cents and $1.15 per share. That also is being helped by 5 to 9 cents per share of tax benefit from the “company’s global sourcing operations,” somewhat balanced out by “2 to 3 cents of pressure related to the unfavorable resolution of tax matters.”

The traffic also led Target to upgrade its outlook on comparable-store sales, with the company now expecting a “modest increase.”

“Our team is energized and focused on enhancing and modernizing the Targetshopping experience, and our guests are responding,” CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. “The launch of Cloud Island in May was a success, and our team will be rolling out four more exclusive brands across Home and Apparel in the next few months, in support of our plan to launch 12 new brands by the end of 2018.”

The company also is happy with the early results from its rollout of Target Restock, a next-day essentials delivery service it’s testing in the Minneapolis area.

TGT stock chart

TGT shares are up about 5% this morning as a result. Should that move hold throughout Thursday’s regular trade, that would bring shares up against the 50-day moving average, which the stock has traded south of since mid-June.

Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL)

DAL stock is not having as good a morning, with shares off following its second-quarter earnings report.

Delta’s profits declined by nearly 21% amid a jump in operating expenses; earnings of $1.22 billion dipped from the year-ago period’s $1.55 billion. Worse, adjusted earnings of $1.64 per share fell 2 cents below consensus estimates.

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