Sears Tumbles as Top Exec Resigns

Tobacco stocks rebound; TXU Corp. falls; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Speaking at a Gartner Symposium in Florida, Cisco 's (CSCO ) CEO John Chambers reportedly says customers' visibility into their business is getting tighter. Deutsche Bank cut its estimates.

UBS Warburg cut its estimates on Mercury Interactive (MERQ ) amid a more modest IT spending recovery next year.

SWS Securities downgraded Veritas (VTS ) to market outperform from strong buy.

J.P. Morgan Chase upgraded Marsh & McLennan (MMC ) to overweight from neutral on recent price weakness.

Sears Roebuck (S ) shares fell after it warned that third-quarter EPS will be $0.80 to $0.82, including a $0.03 per share dilution from the Land's End acquisition. The retailer announced that its executive vice president and president of the credit unit has left the company. CSFB downgraded the stock. S&P is keeping its accumulate recommendation.

TXU (TXU ) fell after Banc of America downgraded to market perform from buy. On Friday, the company forecast EPS of $0.90-$0.95 in the third quarter, $0.60-$0.65 in the fourth quarter, and $3.45-$3.55 in 2003.

Tobacco issues were rebounding from the sharp sell-off Friday after Philip Morris (MO ) was ordered by a Los Angeles jury to pay a $28-billion punitive damage award to smoker.

Capital One (COF ) shares were lower after Goldman Sachs downgraded to market perform from market outperform. Goldman also cut AmeriCredit (ACF ) to market underperform from market perform, and removed Household International (HI ) from the recommended list, and now rates market outperform.

Adolph Coors (RKY ) shares rose after Morgan Stanley upgraded to equal-weight from underweight.

In response to inquiries concerning trading activity at the end of last week, Moody's (MCO ) says it expects third quarter EPS to meet or exceed the $0.39 consensus estimate, with 2002 EPS around the high end of the $1.65-$1.78 range previously provided.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating AOL Time Warner's (AOL ) investment-and-advertising deal with Oxygen Media, and is looking at whether the deal involved booking the same revenue at more than one division.

Comtech Telecom (CMTL ) says in response to a "significant" increase in trading activity on Friday, it expects to meet fourth quarter EPS guidance of $0.05-$0.07, excluding an in-process R&D charge.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Arkansas Best (ABFS ) to equal-weight from overweight.

According to The Wall Street Journal, JP Morgan (JPM ) is preparing to lay off as many as 4,000 employees. The affected divisions could lose as much as 25% of their staff.

Haemonetics (HAE ) says due to regulatory delays for protocol additions, product enhancement plans for OrthoPAT systems, and delays in other new products, it now sees $1.15-$1.20 fiscal 2003 EPS on revenue growth in the high single digits.

Entergy (ETR ) sees better than expected third quarter operating EPS of at least $1.45, including the impact of milder than normal weather. Entergy raised its $3.40-$3.60 2002 operating EPS to $3.60-$3.70.

JDN Realty (JDN ) agreed to be acquired by Developers Diversified Realty in a deal valued at about $1.02 billion. Terms: 0.518 Developers' share per JDN share.

UBS Warburg downgraded ASML Holdings (ASML ) to sell from hold, citing concerns over debt repayment, and uncertainty over 300mm SPE demand. UBS also cut the EUR 16 target to EUR 4.

FMC (FMC ) sees about $0.78 third quarter EPS due to stronger than expected sales in Agricultural Products, and lower overhead costs in both Agricultural Products and Industrial Chemicals.

Datum 's (DATM ) board will not pursue an unsolicited, non-binding, conditional offer made by Frequency Electronics to acquire Datum for $2.00 cash and one Frequency share per Datum share.

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