The very sectors that led stocks higher Monday — energy and materials — dragged the markets down on Tuesday as Wall Street renewed its affinity for safer assets.
A 4.6% slide in oil prices was heavily to blame. Crude tumbled after Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said it is unlikely that large-scale output reductions are coming anytime soon — a serious concern given that Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in OPEC.
While Wall Street was chock full of losers for the day, there were a couple of notable exceptions — namely, Frontier Communications Corp (NASDAQ:FTR), Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX).
Frontier Communications Corp (FTR)
Shares of telecom firm Frontier Communications surged 12.6% on nearly double its daily volume following its fourth-quarter earnings report. While FTR reported a loss of 14 cents per share, profits excluding merger-related costs came to 5 cents per share, which easily topped estimates calling for a 3-cent loss.
During the quarter, Frontier got an FCC green light to acquire wireline operations from Dow Jones Industrial Average component Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), which the company expects to help free cash flow growth.
Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX)
Shares of gold miner Barrick Gold climbed 5.6% as gold prices rebounded higher due to renewed safe-haven demand. Gold futures climbed more than 1% to $1,222.90 per troy ounce Tuesday, helping drive up ABX, as well as other miners including Goldcorp Inc. (USA) (NYSE:GG) and Yamana Gold Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AUY).
The company also said recently that it will be spending $2 billion on mining projects in Nevada and Peru.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals rose 4.4% on high volume after the Canadian pharmaceuticals maker said it will restate earnings for 2014 and 2015. The company said those restatements will be profitable because they will reflect an agreement with distributor Philidor Rx Services that previously recognized revenue when the drugs were sent to Philidor, not actually dispensed to patients.
Even with that good news, Wells Fargo initiated coverage on Valeant with an “underperform” rating and a price range of $65 to $68, well below where the shares closed today.
As of this writing, Todd Shriber did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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