Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

If Baghdadi death confirmed, next IS leader likely to be Saddam-era officer

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:37
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - If Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is confirmed dead, he is likely to be succeeded by one of his top two lieutenants, both of whom were army officers under late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Initial manufacturing PMI falls to 9-month low in June

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:54

A "flash" reading of manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to a nine-month low in June. The IHS Markit manufacturing index fell to a reading of 52.1 in June from 52.7 in May, a reading that still shows improving conditions as it's above the 50 mark. The flash services PMI slowed to a 3-month low of 53 from 53.6 in May. The flash readings are based on 85% to 90% of responses.

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Russia's election commission says Navalny can not run for presidency

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:53
(Reuters) - Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny can not run for presidency because of his criminal conviction, the Central Election Commission, said in a statement on Friday.

Top Ships's stock plunges below $1 mark after 1-for-15 reverse split is enacted

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:50

Shares of Top Ships Inc. plummeted 60% in morning trade Friday, to below the $1 mark, even after the company enacted a 1-for-15 reverse stock split. After the tanker ship operator's stock closed Thursday at a pre-split price of 16 cents after company announced that it was enacting a reverse 1-for-15 split effective Friday, which increases the price to $2.40. The reverse split comes just six weeks after the company enacted a 1-for-20 reverse split, meaning the company has engineered an increase in its stock price by a factor of 300 in less than two months. The stock has plunged 99.9% year to date. The company had enacted a 1-for-10 reverse split in February 2016, a 1-for-7 reverse split in April 2014 and a 1-for-10 reverse split in June 2011. On Thursday, fellow tanker operator DryShips Inc. enacted a 1-for-5 reverse split.

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AVEO Pharma surges 48% on recommendation for European approval of its cancer drug

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:48

AVEO Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares surged as much as 48% in extremely heavy morning trade Friday after the company's cancer drug was recommended for approval in Europe. The decision was made by a scientific committee of the European Medicines Agency and will be considered by the European Commission, with a decision expected in about 67 days, the company said. The drug, tivozanib, is being licensed in Europe by EUSA Pharma Inc. Tivozanib is intended for advanced renal cell carcinoma, which is the most common type of kidney cancer and is expected to be one of the fastest growing cancers in the next decade. AVEO failed to receive Food and Drug Administration approval for tivozanib back in 2013. The company has an ongoing phase 3 trial in third-line renal cell carcinoma, which is expected to read out in the first quarter of 2018. European approval of tivozanib would "add significant resources to our balance sheet as we work toward the anticipated readout," AVEO Chief Executive Michael Bailey said, including a $4 million research and development reimbursement payment and up to $12 million in additional milestone payments from EUSA Pharma. AVEO shares have surged 51.1% over the last three months to $1.08 per share, compared with a 3.7% rise in the S&P 500 .

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Stocks struggle for direction as investors await data, Fed speakers

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:41

Stocks opened flat Friday as investors awaited economic data and remarks by Federal Reserve speakers while keeping an eye on oil. The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1% to 2,434.70, while the Dow industrials declined 25 points, or 0.1%, to 21,372. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up less than 0.1% at 6,238. Data on activity in the manufacturing and services sector, along with figures on new home sales are due later this morning. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Fed Gov. Jerome Powell are each set to speak at different events later in the day.

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Bed Bath & Beyond's stock plunges toward 7-year low after disappointing results

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:29

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. sank 10% in premarket trade Friday, putting it on track to open at a 7-year low, in the wake of the home goods retailer's disappointing results. The stock is also in danger of the biggest one-day post-results decline since Q3 2013 results were reported in January 2014. The company reported late Thursday, earnings and revenue that missed expectations, and same-store sales that declined, compared with expectations of an increase. The stock, on track to open at the lowest price seen during regular session hours since May 7, 2010, has tumbled 17% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 11% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

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Forestar's stock surges as bidding war between D.R. Horton and Starwood continues

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:02

Shares of Forestar Group Inc. rallied 5.2% in premarket trade Friday, after the land development company said it determined that D.R. Horton Inc.'s increased bid to buy 75% of the company was a "superior proposal" to its merger agreement with Starwood Capital Group. D.R. Horton had increased its bid to $17.75 a share in cash from its most-recent bid of $16.25 a share. Forestar also announced Friday that it had amended its merger deal with Starwood to increase the per-share bid to $16.00 a share in cash from the most-recent deal of $15.50 announced Wednesday, and up from the original bid of $14.25 a share. The termination fee of the Starwood deal is $20 million. Forestar said its agreement with Starwood permits Forestart to discuss the deal further through June 28. Forestar's stock has rallied 24% year to date through Thursday, while D.R. Horton shares have climbed 22% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

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Repligen to buy filtration company Spectrum for $359 million in cash and stock

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 08:11

Repligen Corp. announced Friday an agreement to buy privately-held filtration company Spectrum Inc. for about $359 million. Under terms of the deal, Repligen will pay $120 million in cash and 6.154 million shares of its stock, which represents about 18% of the shares outstanding. Repligen expects the deal to be completed during the third quarter of 2017, and add $17 million to $18 million to Repligen's 2017 revenue. The deal is expected to add to earnings in 2018. "This is a pivotal transaction for Repligen that meets all of our acquisition criteria and is a major step forward in building Repligen as a global leader in bioprocessing and achieving our long term financial goals," said Repligen Chief Executive Tony Hunt. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 30% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

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Synchronoss's stock rockets after Siris Capital expresses buyout interest

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 07:58

Shares of Synchronoss Technologies Inc. rocketed 36% in premarket trade Friday, after it was disclosed that the mobile technologies company received unsolicited buyout interest from Siris Capital Group. The private-equity firm delivered a letter to Synchronoss saying it was in position to buy the company for $18 a share, which is 48% above Thursday's closing price of $12.18. That price would give Synchronoss a market capitalization of $834.6 million. Siris Capital is Synchronoss's largest shareholder, with holdings of 6 million shares, or 12.9% of the shares outstanding, according to recent filings. Synchronoss's stock has plunged 68% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

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BlackBerry cleared to repurchase 31 million shares, or 6.4% of the public float

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 07:40

BlackBerry Ltd. said it has been cleared to buy back up to 31 million of its common shares, for cancellation purposes. That represents about 5.8% of the total shares outstanding, which totaled 531.5 million shares as of May 31, or 6.4% of the public float, which was 481.2 million shares. At Thursday's stock closing price of $11.06, the buyback could cost $342.9 million, compared with reported total cash balances of $2.6 billion at the end of the fiscal first quarter. The stock tumbled 5.8% in premarket trade, after company reported earlier a surprise profit, but sales that fell more than expected. The stock has rocketed 60.5% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Finish Line's stock drops after surprise decline in same-store sales

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 07:29

Shares of Finish Line Inc. slumped 1% in premarket trade, after the athletic shoe and apparel retailer matched fiscal first-quarter profit expectations, but reported a surprise decline in same-store sales. The net profit for the quarter to May 27 fell to $8.1 million, or 20 cents a share, from $9.6 million, or 23 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 23 cents, compared with the FactSet consensus of 23 cents. Revenue slipped to $429.8 million from $430.0 million, below the FactSet consensus of $434.0 million. Same-store sales declined 1.1%, while the FactSet consensus was for an increase of 1.6%. The company expects second-quarter same-store sales to decline in the "low-single digits" percentage range, compared with current expectations of 0.7% growth. "Following low-single digit comparable sales growth for the combined March/April period, weak traffic trends, and a difficult product launch comparison in May resulted in comps coming in below plan," said Chief Executive Sam Sato. The company affirmed its fiscal 2018 profit and same-store sales outlook. The stock had tumbled 32% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 11% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

BlackBerry's stock sinks as surprise profit offset by sales miss

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 07:15

Shares of BlackBerry Ltd. tumbled 6.9% in premarket trade Friday, after the software and services company reported a surprise fiscal first-quarter profit but sales that fell below expectations. The company swung to a net profit of $671 million, or $1.23 a share, in the quarter to May 31, from a loss of $670 million, of $1.28 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 2 cents, beating the FactSet consensus of a breakeven quarter. Revenue fell to $235 million from $400 million, while adjusted revenue of $244 was below the FactSet consensus of $261.8 million. Enterprise software and services revenue declined to $101 million from $106 million. The company said its fiscal 2018 outlook is unchanged, with growth expected to be at or above the overall software and services market. "Our ecosystem is growing with Qualcomm and NVIDIA adopting BlackBerry technology for their automotive platforms," said Chief Executive John Chen. The stock has soared 60.5% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF has climbed 15.7% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

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Medtronic raises dividend by 7%, sets new $5 billion stock repurchase program

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 06:54

Medtronic PLC said Friday it will raise its quarterly dividend by 7% to 46 cents a share from 43 cents a share. The new dividend will be payable July 26 to shareholders of record on July 7. The medical technology company also said it was authorizing the buyback of up to $5 billion worth of common stock, with no specific time period. The new authorization replaces the previous one set in 2015. Based on Thursday's stock closing price of $89.09, the new annual dividend rate of $1.84 implies a dividend yield of 2.07%, compared with the implied aggregate S&P 500 yield of 1.99%, according to FactSet. And $5 billion could buy back 56.1 million shares, or about 4.1% of the shares outstanding. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 25.1% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Under pressure, Western tech firms bow to Russian demands to share cyber secrets

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 05:30
WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Western technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets, at a time when Russia has been accused of a growing number of cyber attacks on the West, a Reuters investigation has found.

'Fair' or 'vague'? EU sizes up May's Brexit rights offer

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 05:19
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Theresa May said her offer to fellow EU leaders to guarantee the rights of their compatriots living in Britain after Brexit was "very fair and very serious" but her peers sounded skeptical, with Belgium's leader calling it "particularly vague".

North Korea says Warmbier's death a 'mystery to us as well'

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 05:11
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Friday the death of U.S. university student Otto Warmbier soon after his return home was a mystery and dismissed accusations that he had died because of torture and beating during his captivity as "groundless."

Baghdadi death near 100 percent certain: Interfax quotes Russian senator

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 05:04
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The likelihood that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed is close to 100 percent, Interfax news agency quoted the head of the defense committee in Russia's upper parliamentary house as saying on Friday.

Sydney to erect barricades to prevent vehicle attacks: police

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 04:50
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Sydney will install concrete barricades in a prominent pedestrian-only thoroughfare to mitigate against the risk of a vehicle attack by extremists, Australian police said on Friday, after recent incidents in Europe and the United States.

France dismisses call for new Calais migrant center, sees more police

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 04:46
PARIS (Reuters) - France's interior minister rejected calls from charities for a new migrant reception center in the northern port of Calais, where hundreds who have fled war and poverty are again roaming the streets in search of food and shelter.

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