1) Marathon jumps 12 percent after the oil company announced it will spin off its downstream (refining) business into a separate, independent company. That will allow the company to focus on its exploration and production business. The spin-off, which is set to happen on June 30, will create a new company called Marathon Petroleum, which will become the nation’s fifth largest refiner. Its stock will trade at the NYSE under ticker “MPC.”
2) Williams-Sonoma rises 1 percent after reporting a 5 percent increase in holiday season comps. With the stronger sales before Christmas and into January, the home furnishings retailer also boosted revenue and earnings guidance for the fourth quarter and year. Q4 earnings are now seen between $0.96-$0.98 (above $0.94 consensus) on sales of $1.17 billion-$1.19 billion (vs. $1.15 billion). Also helping: higher margins, solid cost controls, and continued growth of web sales.
3) Deere rises 2 percent after JPMorgan upgraded the agricultural equipment maker to “overweight.” The analyst believes that higher crop prices, tax incentives to buy equipment, and the likely greater production of agricultural commodities will further stimulate demand for the company’s farming equipment.Page 2 of 3 | Prev Page | Next Page