S&P 500 futures -.29%
Wells Fargo upgraded Jack Henry & Associates (NASDAQ: JKHY) from “market perform” to “outperform.” Jack Henry’s shares closed at $35.24 yesterday. Jack Henry had $89.77 million in total cash for the latest quarter.
Bank of America upgraded CTC Media (NASDAQ: CTCM) from “neutral” to “buy.” CTC Media’s stock closed at $8.52 yesterday. CTC Media’s trailing-twelve-month revenue is $791.94 million.
Analysts at SunTrust upgraded Church & Dwight Co (NYSE: CHD) from “neutral” to “buy.” Church & Dwight’s shares closed at $52.54 yesterday. Church & Dwight’s PEG ratio is 1.90.
Raymond James upgraded Provident Financial Holdings (NASDAQ: PROV) from “market perform” to “outperform.” Provident Financial’s shares closed at $12.60 yesterday. Provident Financial’s trailing-twelve-month operating margin is 27.04%.
A three-day string of gains for European stocks looked in danger of coming to a halt on Wednesday, as investors took profits after recent gains and news of a downgrade to Greece’s outlook by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services dented sentiment.
In choppy trade, the Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.2% to 268.30. The index gained 0.8% on Tuesday as investors brushed aside negative economic data from Europe and chose to focus instead on hopes for European Central Bank action over the debt crisis.
But investors seemed eager to cash in on recent gains, particularly in oil stocks. Energy stocks have been among the biggest gainers in recent sessions. Shares of oil and gas company BG Group PLC , up more than 4% so far this week, fell 1%. Shares of French-based Total SA (TOT)
Staying on resources, shares of Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) rose 2.8%, pacing the few gainers in the FTSE 100 index , down 0.4% to 5,817.64. The mining group reported a 22% fall in first-half profit as metals prices fell and spoke of near-term uncertainty but said it was confident about demand in the long run.
Also higher were shares of banking group Standard Chartered PLC , which rallied 9% after tumbling 16% in the prior session. New York’s financial regulator accused the bank of hiding transactions with Iran worth $250 billion on Tuesday.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) was also higher, up 1.2%, while 1.3% and Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LYG) fell 1.3%.
The Bank of England cut its growth and inflation forecasts Wednesday, as it released the quarterly inflation report. Economists predicted the central bank will cut its growth and inflation forecasts, which may pave the way for further monetary easing. .
The Spain IBEX 35 index was giving back some of the 4%-plus gains seen so far this week. The index led regional stock markets lower with a 1.6% fall to 7,097.50, with Banco Santander SA (SAN) off 1% and BBVA SA off 1.4%. Each has gained more than 4% this week.
The yield on Spain’s 10-year government bond was under fresh pressure, up 7 basis points to trade near 7% again, last at 6.9%. A yield around 7% is viewed as an unsustainably high borrowing cost for the Spanish government.
Markets have been gaining for three days on the view that the European Central Bank will step in with bond-buying purchases based on the outcome of the last central bank meeting. .
The Greece ASE Composite index fell 1.2% to 613.15. S&P said late Tuesday that it was cutting Greece’s ratings outlook to negative from stable on the view the country may not be able to secure further bailout funds from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Pharmaceutical stocks were also under pressure, with Sanofi SA (SNY) off 1.2%, weighing on the French CAC 40 index , down 0.4% to 3,439.23. Credit Agricole SA fell 1.4%.
Automobile group Peugeot SA jumped more than 4%. Japan’sMitsubishi Motors Corp. reportedly said Wednesday that it has “temporarily” halted shipments of its i-MieV electric car to the French group due to adjustment of inventory. The two firms have a supply deal.
The German DAX 30 index fell 0.4% to 6,941.19, with shares of airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG down 4% as members of the air-cabin-crew union UFO voted for a strike. Talks between the union and Lufthansa are to resume Aug. 16.
Financials also fell in Frankfurt, with Deutsche Bank AG (DB) down 1%.
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