Stocks in the news: Apple, Best Buy, Deere, U.S. Steel, American Eagle

Black Friday traffic at online retailers was up 11% over last year, according to digital marketing intelligence firm comScore. Amazon (AMZN) was the most visited retail property, growing 28% from the corresponding shopping day a year ago, followed closely by Wal-mart (WMT), which grew 22%. Apple (AAPL) sites were up 39%, Target's (TGT) up only 2% and Best Buy (BBY) sites saw a 24% increase in traffic, rounding out the top five.

Best Buy attributed its Black Friday jump in traffic to purchases of smart phones, flat panel televisions, laptops, netbooks and digital cameras. Apple appears to have done well over the Thanksgiving weekend even without steep discounting and despite the release of Windows 7.
Google (GOOG), Walt Disney (DIS) , AT&T (T), Comcast (CMCSA), Boeing (BA) and FedEx (FDX) executives will join other company chiefs, academics, labor leaders and mayors at President Obama's jobs summit this week, the White House said Sunday.

Celgene Corp. (CELG) can more than triple sales for its best-selling cancer pill Revlimid on new data that may convince doctors to choose the drug as a first option, rather than the backup for Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) intravenous medicine, Velcade.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) said Monday that it will affirm its previous forecast for 2009 net earnings of about $3.15 a share during its annual investor conference in New York on Tuesday. That's a penny less than the average analyst expectation.

MGM Mirage (MGM) is counting on tomorrow's unveiling of the $8.5 billion CityCenter resort to mark the end of the city's losing streak and the debt crisis that almost sank the company.

Analyst calls:
  • Deere & Co. (DE) was upgraded to neutral from underweight at J.P. Morgan on Monday, following the manufacturer's "realistic" fiscal 2010 outlook. Shares were 2.7% higher in pre-market trade.
  • Goldman Sachs lifted its rating on U.S. steel makers to attractive from neutral, citing the sector's underperformance as well as the emergence of incrementally positive data points. It added U.S. Steel (X) to its conviction buy list and said its favorite stocks are Steel Dynamics (STLD), AK Steel (AKS) and Nucor (NUE), while it removed Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (FCX) from its conviction buy list. Shares of X jumped over 3.5%, STLD over 2.8%, AKS over 2.7%, NUE 2.3%.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) was upgraded at FBR to outperform from market perform and price target upped from $39 to $46. Shares traded 2% higher ahead of the bell.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEO) were both upgraded to buy from hold by Lazard Capital Markets due to continued improved trends at the teen retailers. AEO shares jumped 0ver 3.5% in pre-market.
  • Baidu.com (BIDU) was downgraded to market perform from outperform.
  • US Bancorp (USB) was upgraded at Robert W. Baird from neutral to outperform and target from $25 to $29. Shares gained about 2% before the bell.
  • Genzyme (GENZ) was upgraded at Citigroup from hold to buy. Shares advanced over 2% in pre-market.
Early big movers on the Nasdaq include Novavax (NVAX) -- up 6%, Sequenom (SQNM) -- up 5%, and Ericsson (ERIC) -- down 2%.

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