U.S. stocks were mostly flat today as traders weighed hopes for a Greek settlement against a stronger dollar and some mixed economic data.
Greek State Minister Nikos Pappas gave investors hope when he said he believes his parliament will back a new deal with the eurozone, despite recent criticism of concessions he’s offered. Meanwhile, the dollar was up more than 1% versus other major currencies, with both the euro and Japanese yen closing lower.
Other highlights of the day: The FHFA Housing Price Index came in 0.3% higher for the month of April, while new home sales were 2.2% higher in May — a seven-year high. However, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that durable goods declined 1.8% in May, well below market expectations.
The end result was a new high for the Nasdaq, which finished up just 0.1%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up similarly. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was just a shade above flat.
AT&T Inc. (T)
America’s No. 1 phone carrier got a boost from not one, but two analysts today, with a double upgrade that sent T stock up 3.5% in the morning, though it pulled back in the final hour to finish 2.5% higher on 62 million shares.
UBS analyst John C. Hodulik raised his T rating from “neutral” to “buy” while increasing his price target from $34 to $42.
In addition, Barclays upgraded T stock to “overweight,” while noting that “multiple levers” will drive AT&T prices higher in the future.
Green Dot Corporation (GDOT)
GDOT stock investors are loving Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) today, after it was announced that Green Dot has renewed its agreement to continue being the program manager and issuing bank for the Walmart MoneyCard prepaid debit cards for the next five years. That news sent GDOT stock blistering 40% higher.
However, analysts are quick to note that Walmart appears to be receiving a higher share of revenue in the new deal — Deutsche Bank’s Ashish Sabadra believes said commission will be 6% higher.
Green Dot’s board also authorized a $150 million share repurchase program.
Momo Inc (ADR) (MOMO)
MOMO stock blasted more than 9% higher today after a group comprising co-founder, CEO and Chairman Yan Tang — along with Matrix Partners China II Hong Kong, Sequoia Capital China and Huatai Ruilian Fund Management — made a proposal to buy all shares of MOMO that they didn’t already own for $18.90 per ADR to take the company private.
The offer was a 20.5% premium above Monday’s closing price. The group already owns more than 47% of MOMO stock itself.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.