U.S. Unemployment Big Factor In Election. The most recent unemployment numbers showed that the employment picture is getting worse not better. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 8.3% from 8.2% and 44 states saw an increase in their unemployment rate. The fact that the numbers are not getting any better could factor into the November Presidential election. 23.5 million people are now underemployed or unemployed. The average time people are unemployed is also a very high 39 weeks with over 3.6 million people unemployed for more than 1 year. Battle ground states that could go either Democrat or Republican include Michigan with 9.0% unemployment, North Carolina at 9.6% and Nevada leads the nation with and unemployment rate of 12%. The four states with the highest unemployment rate in the U.S. Nevada 12.0%, Rhode Island 10.8%, California 10.7% and New Jersey 9.8% all voted for Obama in the last election. The four states with the lowest unemployment rate all voted republican in the last election. They include North Dakota 3.0%, Nebraska 4.0%, South Dakota 4.4% and Oklahoma 4.9%.
Facebook (FB): Capstone Investments raised their rating from Hold to Buy and placed a target price of $26.00 on the company. Pre-market: 19.09 +0.04 (0.21%)
Gap Inc (GPS): ISI Group raised their rating from Sell to Hold. Pre-Market: 36.10 +0.11 (0.31%)
Seagate Tech (STX): Stifel Nicolaus lowered their rating from Buy to Hold. Pre-market: 35.11 -0.56 (-1.57%)
L-3 Communucations (LLL): BB&T lowered their rating from Hold to Underweight.
Advisory Board (ABCO): First Analysis lowered their rating from Overweight to Equal Weight.
AstraZeneca (AZN): JPMorgan Chase lowered their rating from Neutral to Underweight. Pre-market: 46.84 -0.44 (-0.93%)
Coverage Reiterated/Price Target Changed
Foot Locker (FL): Northland Securities reiterated their Market Perform rating and raised their target price from $35.00 to $37.00.
Lowe’s (LOW): Reported EPS of $0.68 missing estimates by -$0.03. Pre-market: 26.24 -1.63 (-5.85%)
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