US stocks, which started the day on a lackluster note, turned higher later in the day.
Below we highlight few stocks that are witnessing heightened activity on Thursday.Airline Stocks
: Airline stocks rallied on Thursday after J.P. Morgan upgraded shares of US Airways and United parent UAL Corp., citing better-than-expected passenger demand, lower jet fuel prices and mild weather, improved liquidity position and reduced anxiety over potential bankruptcies. UAL Corp.,(NYSE: UAUA
) , which was raised to "overweight" from "underweight," jumped 20%. US Airways Group Inc. (NYSE: LCC
) surged 13% after JP Morgan whose rating was boosted to "neutral" from "underweight." Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL
) soared 10% while AMR Corp. (NYSE: AMR
) gained 8%. The US carries have been able to improve monthly load factor, or the percentage of seats filled, by cutting capacity. At UAL Corp., monthly load factor rose to 86.1% from 83.6% last year, while American Air's load factor rose to 84.7% from 83.5%.
Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG
) said Thursday that it expects to report fiscal 2010 earnings in the range of $3.99 to $4.12 a share. The earnings guidance includes a one-time gain of 44 cents a share from the sale of its pharmaceutical business as well as related earnings dilution of 10 cents to 12 cents a share. The consumer giant expects to earn in the range of 95 cents to $1.00 a share in fiscal first quarter and said that it expects second-quarter organic sales growth of 1% to 4%. Analysts, on average, were looking for a profit of $3.80 a share for fiscal 2010 and 96 cents a share for the first quarter. For fiscal year 2010, P&G confirmed previous guidance for organic sales growth of 1% to 3%. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company said that it is slashing prices and boosting promotions across nearly 10% of its household brands. Through these measures, it hopes to revive sales growth and boost market share. The company currently owns 24 brands that generate more than $1 billion in sales a year. Shares of Procter & Gamble climbed over 3% in midday trade.
Monsanto Co (NYSE: MON
) on Thursday affirmed that 2009 ongoing earnings would come in at the low end of its previously announced range of $4.40 to $4.50, for the year ended August 31.