Market Focus


Shares of Delta Air Lines took off today after the company said it saw per-seat revenue jump more than it expected last month. The late Thanksgiving holiday, which kept travelers away until early December, helped the airline up per-passenger revenue by 10%. Fuel also cost three cents less per gallon than Delta had predicted. That pleased investors sending the stock up 5.5% to $29.23.

General Electric

General Electric was downgraded by Oppenheimer to perform from outperform. The firm said GE’s stock price now reasonable reflects earnings expectations. That’s because, according to the analyst, 2014 will be a transitional period for the company as it refocuses on its industrial businesses. Shares were down slightly to $27.48.

Micron Technology

Another downgrade, this one for Micron Technology. Its shares took a hit today after RBC Capital lowered its rating on the chipmaker’s stock to sector perform from outperform. That despite Micron being one of the top percentage gainers in the S&P 500 for 2013. The note cited demand volatility and structural challenges that the company faces, making it earn less than its peers. The stock tumbled, down 3% to $20.97.


We told you earlier this week that Hertz adopted a shareholder rights plan or poison pill to protect itself from a possible takeover. Today, there are reports that Carl Icahn is the target of the poison pill because he purchased 30 to 40 million shares of the car-rental business. There was also buzz that Dan Loeb took a stake in the company as well as Corvex Capital. Shares were down a fraction to $28.50.

Jos. A Bank

Jos. A Bank is tightening its poison pill requirements. This is the latest move in the continuing takeover battle between Banks and Men’s Wearhouse. Now, the shareholder rights plan will be activated if someone buys 10% of the company’s shares, it used to be set at 20%. The move comes just one week after Banks rejected a bid from its larger rival, Men’s Wearhouse. Today, shares were off slightly to $54.40.

General Mills

The cereal maker, General Mills, started producing its iconic Cheerios cereal with no genetically modified content. The company switched its sugar and corn sources to address the growing controversy over the use of GMOs. A spokesperson for the company said the change required a significant investment and only applies to the originally flavored Cheerios, not to other types like Honey Nut. Today, shares fell a fraction to $49.26.

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