Congress Returns To Work To Avoid Fiscal Cliff. Congress will return to Washington today and they have the vital task of avoiding the fiscal cliff that will occur on January 1, 2013. If a deal is not worked out, $600 billion in automatic spending cuts along with massive tax hikes that will affect everyone, including the middle class will take effect. Economists warn that such cuts to spending along with massive tax increases will push the economy into a recession. They also warn that unemployment will surge past 9%. Additionally, the rating agencies Moody’s and S&P have the U.S. on negative watch and could lower the U.S. debt rating if tangible plans are not put into place to cut the U.S.A.’s $16 trillion debt which is expected to grow to an unmanageable $20 trillion by 2016.
Verizon Wireless Plans Large Dividend. Verizon Wireless plans to distribute $8.5 billion in dividends to 55%-owner Verizon (VZ) and 45%-owner Vodafone (VOD) by the year-end.
Laboratory Corp (LH): WallachBeth raised their rating from Hold to Buy and raised their target price from $91.00 to $97.00. Pre-market: 84.60 +0.23 (0.27%)
Sherwin-Williams (SHW): CLSA raised their rating from Underperform to Outperform and raised their target price from $145.00 to $170.00.
Dow Chemical (DOW): Goldman Sachs raised their rating from Neutral to Buy and raised their target price from $32.00 to $36.00. Pre-market: 29.03 +0.24 (0.83%)
Lumber Liquidators (LL): Stifel Nicolaus lowered their rating from Hold to Sell.
Jefferies (JEF): JMP Securities lowered their rating from Outperform to Market Perform.
Berry Plastics Group (BERY): RW Baird initiated coverage with an Outperform rating and target price of $20.00.
Berry Plastics Group (BERY): Goldman Sachs initiated coverage with a Buy rating and target price of $17.00.
Berry Plastics Group (BERY): Citigroup initiated coverage with a Buy rating and target price of $18.00.
Berry Plastics Group (BERY): Deutsche Bank initiated coverage with a Buy rating and target price of $17.00.
Jacobs Engineering (JEC): Reported EPS of $0.83 beating estimates by +$0.04.
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS): Reported EPS of $0.40 beating estimates by +$0.03. Pre-market: 50.94 +2.24 (4.60%)
Home Depot (HD): Reported EPS of $0.74 beating estimates by +$0.03. Pre-market: 61.82 +0.66 (1.08%)
Saks (SKS): Reported EPS of $0.12 in-line with estimates. Pre-market: 9.78 -0.10 (-1.01%)
Futures at 8:21: Dow . S&P . Nasdaq . Crude to $.1728.00
Europe: London . Paris . Frankfurt .
Asia: Japan to
8661. Hong Kong to
21189. China to 18619.