News Column

Daily Wrap: SunEdison, Scottrade win cheers

May 22, 2014

By Jim Gallagher, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

May 22--TODAY'S INDEXES -- Dow Industrials 16543.08 +10.02

S&P 500 1892.7 +4.67

Nasdaq 4154.34 +22.08

EMERGING MARKETS KEEP EMERGING: Emerging markets submerged over the winter, but they've been resurfacing since March. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained nearly 1 percent to a six-month high on Thursday. U.S. markets spent Thursday in Dullsville, although the S&P 500 did climb within two points of a record during the day.

SCOTTRADE KEEPS THEM HAPPY: Scottrade ranks highest in self-directed investor satisfaction for a second consecutive year, in a new J.D. Power survey. "Scottrade performs well across all factors, particularly in trading charges and fees," said J.D. Power. The discount brokerage, based in Town and Country, scored 813. Vanguard ranks second with a score of 805, followed by Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. at 797.

SUNNY DEBUT: SunEdison Semiconductor jumped 15 percent on its first day of trading. The chip maker went public at $13 and closed at $15. It's a subsidiary of solar tech company SunEdison, based in O'Fallon, Mo.

BOO TO BIG GOVERNMENT: An April consumer confidence poll shows that small businesses operators are feeling better about the economy than any time since 2007. But government regulation is giving them the blues, according to the poll by the National Association of Independent Businesses.

Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis, has this to say, "We do not believe that concerns about government regulation will derail the economic expansion. But we do believe that increasing government regulations are a major headwind that will probably keep economic growth slower than it would be if regulations were decreasing."

ANALYST'S INSIGHTS: Analysts at Jefferies visited Boeing'sSeattle operation and came away impressed. "Our sense is that the operating tempo of the business has taken a leap forward," they wrote, citing rising productivity in banging out 787 airliners.

Back here in Mound City: "The company has no illusions about the challenges to its military base and is working hard to offset declines. There has been movement of work to lower-cost sites and a focus on solutions to create customer appeal," say the Jefferies analysts.

Boeing is lobbying full tilt to get Congress to approve new orders for the Growler electronic warfare plane, made in St. Louis. "The congressional marks from the House Armed Services Committee are a start to ensuring production of the F/A 18 Growler," the analysts wrote.

LOCAL INDEX: The Bloomberg St. Louis Index gained 5.58 to 889.59.

LOCAL WINNER: Shares in Perficient, the Town and Country information technology company, jumped 8 percent today. Sidoti & Company, the investment analysis firm, raised its rating on Perficient from neutral to buy.


Perficient +7.98 Stereotaxis -2.92

SunEdison +3.48 Peabody Energy -2.66

Post Holdings +2.56 World Point -2.62

THE DAY AHEAD: Analysts expect to see a 10.7 percent rebound in new home construction when the April housing start numbers are released this morning. That follows a sharp 14.5 percent plunge in March, blamed in part on frigid weather.

Jim Gallagher is a reporter for the Post-Dispatch


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Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

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