Market Focus


Apple started the new year with a downgrade. Wells Fargo lowered its rating on Apple to market perform from outperform, based on valuation concerns and fears that the company’s profit margin will come under pressure when it introduces the next iPhone. Shares of the tech giant fell almost 2.5% to $553.13.

Bank of America

A different story for Bank of America; shares popped on an upgrade from Citi. A Citi analyst lifted the banks rating to a buy from a neutral and upped its price target, saying the company is no longer impacted by legacy issues. Citi also expects the bank will be able to manage costs and grow revenue. Shares jumped about 3.5% to $16.10.

Macy’s & Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Macy’s and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia have settled their legal battle over a breach of contract. The dispute started when Stewart began to sell products at Macy’s rival, J.C. Penney, despite a product deal with Macy’s. Stewart’s shares surged nearly 9% on the news to $4.57, but Macy’s ended the day slightly lower to $53.39.

Urban Outfitters 

Urban Outfitters’ shares were higher today because of an upgrade from Jefferies. The firm upped the retailers rating to a buy rating from a hold, saying the chain has done well in a tough environment. The analysts predicts Urban will get back on track in the new year. Shares popped almost 2% to $37.78.

U.S. Steel

Another upgrade, this one for U.S. Steel. KeyBanc gave the company a buy rating from a hold saying the stocks still has “room to run” based on the firms positive 2014 pricing revision for carbon hot-rolled steel. Shares were more than 2.5% higher to $30.28.

USG & Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is increasing its stake in building-products company USG Corporation. According to an SEC filing, Berkshire is now the largest shareholder of USG with a 30.5% stake. The move adds to Berkshire’s bet on a housing rebound, it also has positions in mortgage lenders and home builders. USG’s stock was up a fraction to $28.41, while shares of Berkshire fell slightly to $117.50.

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