US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Airlines drag industrials; Netflix surges

By Leah Schnurr

NEW YORK, Jan 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Midcap industrial shares fell
on Thursday, weighed by concerns that the environment for
airlines remains weak, while Netflix surged after it gave a
cheery outlook and was upgraded by several brokerages.

Shares of Alaska Air Group (ALK.N: ) tumbled 10.7 percent to
$32.59 as the midcap carrier swung to a quarterly profit but
missed expectations.

JetBlue Airway Corp’s (JBLU.O: ) results beat expectations,
but the low-cost carrier said unit revenue would be down in
January. JetBlue lost 7.9 percent to $5.11. For details, see
[ID:nN28230412]

Airlines have been hit hard by high oil prices and the
fallout of the recession. Airline executives say business
travelers are returning to the skies, but expectations are for
a slow return to revenue growth.

“You’re still seeing mixed signs of an economic recovery,
the consumer hasn’t completely come back,” said Kevin
Kruszenski, head of listed trading at KeyBanc Capital Markets
in Cleveland.

“Oil prices and jet fuel prices are off their highs but
they’re still elevated,” he said, adding that for businesses
cutting back on spending, executive travel is one of the first
things to go.

Also in the industrials sector, barge operator Kirby Corp
(KEX.N: ) fell 6.8 percent to $33.55 as it was downgraded by two
brokerages the day after it reported lower quarterly profit and
forecast weak 2010 earnings. [ID:nSGE60Q0N5]

JPMorgan cut its rating to “neutral” from “overweight” and
Stifel Nicolaus downgraded it to “hold” from “buy.” The S&P
midcap industrials index (.4GSPI: ) lost 2 percent.
[ID:nSGE60R0K0]

Online DVD rental company Netflix Inc (NFLX.O: ) bucked the
wider trend, surging 24 percent a day after it gave
better-than-expected earnings and subscriber forecasts for the
year, citing growing demand for its streamed content offerings.
[ID:nN27196583]

At least five brokerages upgraded Netflix on Thursday.
[ID:nSGE60R0KC]

The S&P MidCap 400 index (.MID: ) fell 1.3 percent, while the
S&P SmallCap 600 index (.SML: ) lost 1.8 percent. In comparison,
the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX: ) slid 1.2 percent.

Shares of U.S. for-profit education providers fell a day
after the U.S. Department of Education released a draft report
proposing alternatives to rules on debt collection and
repayment from students. [ID:nSGE60R0KK]

Shares of ITT Educational Services Inc (ESI.N: ) shed 6.1
percent, while Corinthian Colleges Inc (COCO.O: ) was off 1.3
percent.

Stock Report

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Airlines drag industrials; Netflix surges