What: Shares of oil explorer Halcon Resources Corp (NYSE:HK) jumped 10% today after the company got an upgrade from Standard & Poor's.
So what: This wasn't a typical analyst upgrade, which can send stocks sharply higher, this was an upgrade of the company's debt. The rating agency now rates the company B-, which is up from a selective default rating previously.
Now what: In April, Franklin Resources exchanged $116.5 million of 9.75% bonds for common stock, and S&P feared that the deal could lead to more debt-for-equity transactions. But today's upgrade indicated that the firm didn't believe more transactions like that were necessary. With that said, S&P still has a negative outlook for Halcon Resources' debt, so the company isn't out of the woods, but it may have a little more breathing room for survival if oil prices continue their slow and steady climb.