It was a wild ride on Wall Street today, as U.S. markets opened 1100 points lower this morning after China’s Shanghai Index dropped 8.4% overnight, bringing the sellers out in droves.
The opening bell gave way to several waves of panic buying, renewed selling and another rebound (with wild swings of several hundred points in both directions).
To calm things down, the New York Stock Exchange invoked Rule 48, a seldom-used rule that suspends the requirements for market makers to require stock prices to be announced when the market opens. The objective is to help the markets trade in orderly fashion when a great deal of volatility is expected.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) actually touched 50 this morning, the first time that has occurred since February 2009.
When the carnage was done, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 3.5%, while the S&P 500 Index was trounced some 3.9% and the Nasdaq Composite was only slightly better, down 3.8%. Sectors were trounced today, with several, such as Energy, Basic Materials and Financials, losing over 4% each.
Here’s why those three were able to buck the trend and finish near the top of the stocks list today.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF)
ANF stock jumped 5% higher today after an upgrade from Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE:PJC) from “neutral” to “outperform”, a gutsy call just one day ahead of ANF’s quarterly earnings report. Piper also raised its price target for ANF stock from $25 to $27 a share.
ANF stock has recently fallen from $24 to $17 a share, a six-year low. Piper, however, feels that there may be an earnings surprise ahead that would boost the stock considerably from current levels.
St. Joe Co (JOE)
Shares of JOE stock were almost 3% higher today, after announcing on Friday that, as of today, JOE will begin a tender offer to purchase up to 16,666,666 shares of its outstanding common stock at $18.00 a share.
The St Joe Board of Directors had previously authorized a company stock repurchase of $93.6 million, but has now bumped that amount up to $300 million, to include any unused repurchase funds from the original amount.
The buyback comes at a good time for the real estate development company, as JOE stock has been underperforming since May, when it peaked at $19 a share. The stock recently bottomed around $15, and closed today at $17.37.
Tuesday Morning Corporation (TUES)
It may have only been Monday morning, but Tuesday Morning stock was rocking, nearly 5% higher, following an upgrade from analyst Taylor LaBarr at Stifel Financial Corp from “hold” to “buy.” Stifel also set a price target of $9 a share for the household goods discount retailer.
The upgrade followed a nasty 36% selloff in TUES stock on Friday, after an expected loss of 2 cents turned out to be a loss of 10 cent per share.
Same store sales also disappointed, but LaBarr said that the huge price decline was an overreaction, and that unlike other stocks that lose that kind of price in a hurry, TUES is “not going away.”
At least for one day, that was very true.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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