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U.S. markets are mixed in mid-morning action, battling to secure minor weekly wins. Here's a quick update on today's latest brokerage notes, including adjustments for software/hardware provider Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL - 31.79), global exchange business NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ - 24.29), and communications networking concern Ciena Corporation (NASDAQ:CIEN - 15.87).
- Janney Capital weighed in on several names in the software sector this morning, initiating coverage on ORCL with a "buy" rating. This note falls in line with the majority view held by the analyst crowd, where 20 out of 34 have handed out "buy" or better ratings. Elsewhere on the Street, short interest has been on the decline, as skeptics abandon ship in the wake of the equity's 24% year-to-date return. Short interest dipped 4.7% over the past month, and now makes up less than 1% of ORCL's available float, pointing to a rather meager supply of sideline cash.
- NDAQ was slapped with a negative note this morning, as KBW downgraded the stock to "market perform" from "outperform," and lowered its price target to $26 from $29. At last look, the stock is wavering around breakeven, threatening to drag on its 2012 deficit of roughly 1%. Should this lackluster price action continue, more bearish adjustments could follow. NDAQ currently tallies six "strong buys," two "buys," four "holds," and zero "sell" suggestions.
- On the heels of a fourth-quarter revenue miss, CIEN was confronted with a few brokerage notes this morning: Barclays lowered its rating to "underweight" from "overweight;" BMO cut its rating to "market perform" from "outperform," and dropped its price target by $2 to $15; and Nomura trimmed its price target to $17.50 from $18. While today's news really hasn't affected the shares -- CIEN is up about 0.4% -- their technical prowess may prove resilient amid this downbeat news. On the charts, the stock has gained 30% year-to-date, and outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 21.5 percentage points during the past two months. Meanwhile, short interest dropped by 1.2% over the most recent reporting period, but it still accounts for 21.7% of the available float. In fact, at CIEN's average pace of trading, it would take more than eight days for all these pessimistic positions to unwind, which could have bullish contrarian implications.