Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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After yesterday's record-setting ascent, U.S. stocks are modestly higher at midday, as traders digest the latest ADP employment figures and comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Meanwhile, among the equities in focus are telecom titan AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), 3-D printing provider 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), and commodity concern Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX), which have all attracted analyst attention.

  • T is fractionally higher at $35.53, after Cowen and Company upped its price target to $38 from $35. Separately, AT&T Inc.'s CEO vowed to get the merger done with DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV). Since touching a near-two-year low of $31.74 in February, the shares of T have rebounded almost 12%. Nevertheless, today's bullish brokerage note is relatively rare for T, as 13 out of 22 analysts maintain "hold" or "strong sell" opinions. Plus, the equity's consensus 12-month price target rests at $35.91 -- just a stone's throw from the stock's current perch. Elsewhere, short interest represents nearly two weeks' worth of pent-up buying demand, at T's average pace of trading. Should the security extend its recent uptrend, more upbeat analyst attention and/or a short-squeeze situation could add fuel to Ma Bell's fire.

  • In the wake of yesterday's surge, the shares of DDD are 1.6% lower at $62.44, despite a price-target lift to $54.50 from $37 at J.P. Morgan Securities. The stock has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 26 percentage points during the past month, pushing its 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) to 74 -- in overbought territory, suggesting today's pullback may have been in the cards. Should 3D Systems Corporation resume its uptrend, the shorts could rush to cover. Short interest represents more than one-third of DDD's total available float, and would take about 10 sessions to buy back, at the stock's average daily trading volume.

  • Finally, FCX has jumped 2.7% to $37.85, in spite of a price-target cut to $38 from $40 at FBR. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc said it's still trying to broker a deal with the Indonesian government to resume copper shipments from its Grasberg mines, and has no plan -- yet -- to declare force majeure. The shares of FCX are just a chip-shot away from annual-high territory, and their 14-day RSI rests at a lofty 72. In light of the equity's year-over-year ascent of 33%, most analysts are optimistic. Specifically, FCX boasts nine "strong buys" and two "buy" ratings, compared to two "holds" and not a single "sell" recommendation.

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