The three major U.S. indices were all up slightly midday, reversing the downward slope falling futures prices set premarket Thursday.
Crude prices did their part to sustain the rally, with industry standard Brent crude contracts for June delivery rising $0.22 to $44.40 per barrel while West Texas crude contracts were up $0.23 to $41.99 per barrel. The commodity climbed after the International Energy Agency forecast that the world surplus of oil will fall to 200,000 barrels per day in the second half of this year from 1.5 million barrels per day in the first half.
Chipotle (CMG) shares were climbing midday after the restaurant chain was upgraded to Overweight by analysts at JPMorgan who also set a $510 price target on the company's shares.
Stressed Out 3D Systems (DDD) shares shot up over 11% after the 3D printer company was upgraded to Buy from Underperform by analysts at Bank of America. The firm also more than doubled the company's price target to $26 from $11. However, analysts at Piper Jaffray were less bullish on the company due to what it deemed was weak system demand. Piper Jaffray rates 3D Neutral with a $12 price target.
Applied Material (AMAT), a product supplier connected to Action Alerts PLUS holding Apple (AAPL), was back in the green after spending most of the day in negative territory despite a bullish note from analysts at UBS. The firm upgraded to the stock to Buy from Neutral while setting a price target of $26 vs. the stock's previous close at $21.31.
Action Alerts PLUS holding Bank of America (BAC) was rising midday following the release of its latest earnings report Thursday morning. The bank reported a double-digit drop in first-quarter profit, due in part to the weak performance of its global trading unit. Despite the decrease, the bottom-line results were in line with analyst expectations for the quarter.
Fellow AAP holding Wells Fargo (WFC) was declining midday after also releasing its first-quarter report today. The bank reported a 7% year-over-year decline in quarterly profits. The results were above analyst expectations for the period as the bank earned $0.99 per share vs. consensus estimates of $0.97. Wells Fargo reported setting aside $1.09 billion to cover bad loans, mainly to energy companies. That was an increase from the $608 million it set aside in the year-ago quarter.