The U.S. indices were all up in midday trading Monday, with the Dow adding about 100 points leading up Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech in Philadelphia. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 were also in the green, both with gains nearing half a percent.
Crude oil prices were up by more than 2%, within $0.50 of $50 a barrel.
Shares of Devon Energy (DVN) were up by more than 4% during the trading session after announcing plans to sell $1 billion of non-core oil and gas properties. Devon will use the funds to pay down its debt and boost growth. The oil and gas producer is selling properties in Texas and Oklahoma, with hopes to close the sales in the third-quarter. Real Money's Daniel Dicker believes Devon is "finally acting like the kind of energy company that is worthy of your investment dollar," adding that the company is planning for the long haul of lowered energy prices, with a long-term, slow and sustainable production growth profile.
Best Buy (BBY) shareholders saw the stock price slump by more than 4% on news that CEO Hubert Joly sold $12.8 million in stock, effectively reducing his stake in the company by 44%. Joly reportedly sold nearly 400,000 shares, fetching an average price of $32.24, according to a Bloomberg report. Addressing the sale, Best Buy spokesman Jeff Shelman said, "Hubert's sale is solely related to his desire to diversify his overall personal holdings." Furthermore, the sale of the stock does not suggest that Joly will leave his role, but rather Shelman said that Joly is excited to lead the company in this next phase, with no plans to explore other opportunities.
Tyson Foods (TSN) shares have tumbled more than 3% in midday trading after BMO Capital Markets downgraded its rating to Market Perform from Outperform before the bell Monday. The firm also lowered the price target to $69, which is down from $78, for the Arkansas-based corporation. According to analysts, the "case for aggressively investing in TSN in less persuasive at current valuations." But they acknowledged that the greatest risks to the downgrade are that Tyson continues to exceed expectations and the market increases its valuation of the company reflecting its greater earnings power.
GlobalStar (GSAT) shares skyrocketed by more than 14% on high-volume during midday trading. The small-cap satellite communications stock is rebounding after losing 54% of its market value on Friday. The stock plummeted at the end of last week after a second member of the FCC voted against the firm's proposal for heavier use of its airwaves. TheStreet's Jonas Elmerragi said Friday's selloff was significant, but still put GlobalStar on a list of stocks to add to your buy list . He did note that if shares were to trade below $1, there would be a lot more downside risk. Shares reached $1.07 by midday.
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) were up nearly 2% during midday trading Monday as investors await the company's first-quarter earnings results. The Canadian pharmaceutical company will be releasing those results Tuesday before the bell. Analysts are anticipating the drug maker to report adjusted earnings of $1.36 a share, down $1 from a year ago. Revenue estimates for this quarter are expected to grow about 8.7% to about $2.4 billion. Tuesday is Valeant's second quarterly report since its pricing and compliance scandals were revealed.
--Written by Anders Keitz