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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alcoa, Google, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo and Dell

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 11, 2012 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Alcoa ( (AA - Analyst Report), Google , J.P. Morgan ( (JPM - Analyst Report), Wells Fargo ( (WFC - Analyst Report) and Dell Inc. .

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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Market Looks Ahead to Earnings

With nothing major on the economic front, market action today will likely reflect the loss of momentum following Friday’s jobs surprise. But the overall tone should be a lot less negative than what we encountered on Monday as market participants look ahead to the start of the first quarter reporting season with Alcoa’s ( (AA - Analyst Report) after the close today.

The economic docket is relatively on the lighter side this week, with the Fed’s Beige Book on Wednesday, Trade Deficit on Thursday, and CPI on Friday as the only major reports. Thursday’s Jobless Claims data could be important, as it will be the  first labor market reading after Friday’s non-farm payroll miss.

I don’t envision any sharp moves in the market in the coming days, though an air of tentativeness will likely prevail as the market sizes up the underlying momentum in the labor market and the odds of further Fed action.

Worries about Spain’s ability to control its deficit situation have revived following last week’s poor bond auction. This has helped reverse the downtrend in the country’s market interest rates, with benchmark government bond yields reaching their highest level of the year. Italian bond yields have started moving up in solidarity with Spain in recent days as well, though we must concede that interest rates for both countries remain below late last year’s dangerous levels. The situation in Spain may not have reached the Greek levels yet, but it is nevertheless a reminder to investors that Europe remains far from settled.

Alcoa’s results later today may not give us a good preview of first quarter results for the corporate sector as a whole. But we will see Google’s results on Thursday and J.P. Morgan ( (JPM - Analyst Report) and Wells Fargo’s ( (WFC - Analyst Report) on Friday. It will be interesting to see continuation of last quarter’s trend of positive trend in banks’ loan portfolios. These specific reports aside, I don’t envision any major negative surprises coming out of this reporting season given the fairly subdued expectations.

More so than growth rates and beats, the focus will be on guidance and outlook, as expectations for the coming quarters have not come down as much as they have for the first quarter. In fact, expectations for the first quarter are the lowest of any quarter this year, with growth expected to improve in the back half of the year.

While the domestic economic scene appears promising enough, it is far from clear at  this stage if it will prove to be enough to offset the unfavorable developments in Europe and China.

Bottom line: while I don’t expect any major negative surprises from the reporting season, it may help in better anchoring expectations for the remainder of the year. And those estimate revisions will most likely be to the downside.

DELL Expedites EMR Deployment

Dell Inc. announced that it is working closely with Mount Sinai Hospital to implement an electronic medical record (EMR) system within the hospital’s information technology (IT) eco system. Dell’s Clinical Service Desk solution will mitigate complexities of EMR implementation at the hospital. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Dell’s Clinical Service Desk is a new service dedicated to health care providers and includes some customized features which differ from other Service Desk solutions. For instance, the Clinical Service Desk solution offers a database consisting of physicians with prior experience of handling the EMR system. These experts can then assist health care organizations initializing EMR.

The health care industry has been using EMR solutions to digitize records, thereby mitigating the use of paper and reducing administrative costs.

In 2010, Dell joined hands with San Francisco-based EMR solutions provider Practice Fusion to offer a comprehensive package including hardware, software and other online services to doctors at an affordable price. The partnership combined Practice Fusion’s Web-based EMR service with DELL’s diversified health care suite including desktop and laptop computers, specialized broadband hardware, scanners and printers.

Dell now offers complete EMR solutions (including hardware and software) which are quite popular among heath care service providers. Dell partnered with the American Medical Association to provide EMR support to the latter. Reportedly, 71% of the hospitals in the States have adopted Dell’s EMR solutions.

Moreover, the U.S. government's endeavor to expand the information technology industry as a major player in health reform will help drive health care IT spending over the coming years. We believe that DELL, with its strong position, would be able to capitalize on the government’s initiatives.

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