The Day Ahead: A Tale of Two Tickers

 | Aug 14, 2013 | 8:00 AM EDT  | Comments
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Carl Icahn doesn't tweet often, but when he does, it's a doozy.

Tuesday afternoon he tweeted that he thought Apple (AAPL) shares were undervalued and revealed a large position in the gadget-maker's shares. The activist investor's endorsement sent the stock spiking higher, providing a jolt of excitement on an otherwise uneventful trading day.

But what's most interesting is that Apple's once-archrival BlackBerry (BBRY) was also on a tear because of a report that its largest stakeholder, Prem Watsa, is trying to take the company private in order to save it, having lost too much ground in the smartphone wars to Apple and the ascendant Google (GOOG) Android-based phones.

Icahn and other big fund managers will reveal more about their holdings today in Form 13F filings with the SEC, much to the glee of value investor Tim Melvin, who digs deep into these reports every quarter in search of investment nuggets.

The Apple/BlackBerry frenzy overshadowed a bounce Tuesday on seemingly endless Fed commentary, this time from Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, who jumped on the seesaw and indicated that the central bank may not taper its bond buying in September based on recent mixed economic data.

The economic docket is light today. At 8:30 a.m. ET the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the Producer Price Index for July. Economists expect an increase of 0.3%. Crude inventories follow at 10:30. The MBA Mortgage Index is scheduled for release at 7 a.m.

U.S. stock futures are mixed this morning even as a GDP report out of Europe shows the eurozone coming out of recession. European markets are largely reacting well to the news, while Asian markets were mixed overnight. Gold and oil ticked lower.

Two companies make their U.S. market debuts today. Envision Healthcare Holdings (EVHC) is the largest IPO in several weeks, offering 35 million shares between $20 and $23 apiece, which could net as much as $805 million for the medical-services provider. Sophiris Bio (SPHS), a biotech company, expects to raise $65 million, pricing 5 million shares at $13 apiece.

Shareholders of Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) will receive a 2-for-1 stock split today.

Tractor maker Deere & Co. (DE) beat Wall Street expectations handily this morning, pushing shares up slightly in premarket action, while department-store operator Macy's (M) missed Street views by $0.06, sending shares downward.

After the bell, charitable trust holding Cisco (CSCO) is expected to deliver EPS of $0.51 on $12.4 billion. News Corp. (NWSA) is expected to post $0.15 on $2.19 billion. Dillard's (DDS) forecast calls for $0.74 on $1.54 billion. IT provider CACI International (CACI) is expected to bring in $1.60 on $927 million, and Rev Shark favorite Himax Technology (HIMX) has a forecast of $0.12 on $208 million.

Just a thought: I wonder how much Icahn's tweet was prompted by the scorching comments made earlier in the day by Oracle's (ORCL) Larry Ellison seeing that Icahn was going to reveal his stake today anyway.

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