Stocks quoted in this article:
U.S. markets are slouching into negative territory in abbreviated Christmas Eve trading, thanks to light traffic and lingering fiscal-cliff concerns. Here's a quick update on today's latest brokerage notes, including adjustments for online travel site TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP – 42.55), global media conglomerate News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA – 25.11), and casino owner/operator Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE:PNK – 15.85).
- TRIP has bucked this morning's broad-market downtrend and jumped some 1.4%, following a price-target hike to $51 from $38 by Needham Research. The shares' impressive 69% year-to-date uptrend could get a boost, especially if the stock continues to surpass analysts' expectations. While nine out of 17 brokerages deem TRIP a lukewarm "hold" rating, the average 12-month price target of $41.31 represents a near $1.25 discount to today's current trading levels.
- NWSA is looking to extend its 2012 rally as well, with a little help from Barclays. Earlier today, the brokerage firm lifted its price target to $30 from $29, and kept its "overweight" rating intact. Technically speaking, the stock has enjoyed a roughly 40% year-to-date rise, tagging a more than 12-year best of $25.53 on Dec. 18. Currently, NWSA is trading in the $25-$25.50 area, bouncing from its 10-day and 20-day moving averages.
- After last week's acquisition-related new high, PNK has slipped in mid-morning action due to a bearish brokerage note, in which analysts at Susquehanna downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "positive." PNK has maintained a strong presence on the charts, rising 56% in 2012, and outperforming the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 33 percentage points over the past three months. Consequently, the security's Relative Strength Index (RSI) now resides at a lofty 81 -- solidly in overbought territory -- suggesting a near-term pullback may be in store. In fact, the shares have burned off roughly 2.2% at last look.