Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Philip Morris's stock rises just briefly after new profit outlook appears like an increase

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 15:12

Shares of Philip Morris International Inc. got just a brief boost in afternoon trade Wednesday, after the tobacco company provided a new 2017 "currency only" profit outlook. The company said it now expects 2017 earnings per share of $4.80 to $4.95 at prevailing exchange rates, compared with the guidance of $4.70 to $4.85 it provided in its fourth-quarter report released on three weeks ago. Although the company said it raised its EPS guidance "for currency only," the new outlook excludes an unfavorable currency impact of 8 cents a share, compared with an unfavorable currency impact of 18 cents a share for the previous outlook. The stock was down about 0.3%, then jumped to a gain of as much as 0.3% after the new profit outlook was released, before pulling back to a decline of 0.1% in recent trade. Philip Morris's stock has gained 13% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has climbed 21%.

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Federal Reserve minutes point to rate hike 'fairly soon'

Top Reuters News - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:58
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Many Federal Reserve policymakers said it may be appropriate to raise interest rates again "fairly soon" should jobs and inflation data come in line with expectations, according to the minutes of the Fed's last policy meeting released on Wednesday.

Oil snaps 3-session rise as non-OPEC output comes into focus

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:41

Crude-oil prices on Wednesday logged their first loss in four sessions, giving the previous day's gain and then some as concerns about growing output from producers outside of a pact to curtail global oversupply plagued investors. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for April delivery finished off 74 cents, or 1.4%, at $53.59 a barrel. Comments from Qatar's oil minister, Mohammed al-Sada, kicked off the downbeat sentiment. Speaking at an energy meeting in London, al-Sada said major oil producers outside of OPEC weren't cutting production, as much as they had pledged. The crude market has been anxious about rising production, namely from U.S. shale-oil producers and Russia, who has a history of non-compliance to production limits. Looking ahead, investors are awaiting inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute late Wednesday.

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Trump expected to revoke rules on transgender bathrooms: draft document

Top Reuters News - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:27
(Reuters) - Republican President Donald Trump's administration was expected to revoke landmark guidelines issued to public schools in defense of transgender student rights, according to a draft document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Gold prices get post-settlement boost after Fed minutes

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:16

Gold prices jumped in electronic trading Wednesday following the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting. Gold for April delivery traded at $1,238.30 an ounce, up $5.00, or 0.4% higher than the $1,233.30 an ounce settlement on Wednesday. Gold settled lower Wednesday for a third drop in a row.

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U.S. dollar weakens after release of Fed minutes

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:15

The U.S. dollar weakened against its major rivals on Wednesday, turning negative against both the yen and the euro after the Federal Reserve said there was considerable uncertainty surrounding fiscal policy, something investors have been looking to boost the dollar and stoke inflation. The U.S. dollar index fell slightly on the day, after having risen by about 0.2%. The comments, which were released as part of minutes from the Fed's most recent meeting, said that uncertainty over the Trump administration's fiscal policies were a major stumbling block. The minutes also revealed that "many" Fed officials had expressed support in raising interest rates "fairly soon," adding to the growing consensus that a rate hike could be announced at the March meeting, something that had been considered unlikely a few weeks ago. Among specific currencies, the dollar fell 0.4% against the yen, erasing an early advance. The euro traded at $1.0567 from $1.0546 late Tuesday, a gain of 0.2%. It had previously dropped by roughly the same amount.

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Treasury yields decline after Fed minutes

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:14

Treasury yields turned lower on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's most-recent meeting revealed that some officials were waiting for more clarity about President Donald Trump's fiscal policies. Though many policy makers said they believed that the next hike could come "fairly soon" provided economic data continue to improve, the overall tone of the minutes was somewhat less hawkish than investors had anticipated, market strategists said. Fed officials also voiced concerns about the dollar's recent appreciation. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note shed 1.4 basis point to 2.414%, while the yield on the two-year note rose marginally to 1.228%. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1.2 basis point to 3.024%. Yields had moved higher earlier in the session following hawkish comments from Fed Gov. Jerome Powell and an auction of $34 billion in new five-year notes that was somewhat softer than expected, analysts said.

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U.S. stocks edge lower after Fed minutes

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:08

The U.S. stock market moved south after the latest Federal Reserve meeting minutes showed that "many" Federal Reserve officials expressed support for raising interest rates "fairly soon" if the economy stayed on course or strengthened. The S&P 500 was off by 3 points, or 0.1%, at 2,362. Financials, which were higher before the minutes, pared gains and were flat. The Nasdaq Composite was down 6 points, or 0.1% to 5,860. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was paring gains, trading 9 points or less than 0.1%, higher at 20,754, after setting an intraday all-time high.

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Thousands mourn 'blind sheikh' convicted in 1993 World Trade Center bombing

Top Reuters News - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:08
Al-GAMALIYA, Egypt (Reuters) - Thousands of mourners gathered in a small Egyptian town on Wednesday for the funeral of the Muslim cleric known as "the blind sheikh" who was convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York.

Mexico fumes over Trump immigration rules as U.S. talks loom

Top Reuters News - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:04
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Senior envoys of President Donald Trump are likely to receive a chilly reception in Mexico on Wednesday, after the United States issued new immigration guidelines that deeply angered the southern neighbor the day before bilateral talks.

Trump seeks jobs advice from some firms that offshore U.S. work

Top Reuters News - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:04
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump, who has vowed to stop U.S. manufacturing from disappearing overseas, is seeking job-creation advice from at least six companies that are laying off thousands of workers as they shift production abroad.

Fed minutes: 'Many' on Fed back interest rate hike 'fairly soon' if economy stays on course or strengthens

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:00

"Many" Federal Reserve officials expressed support for raising interest rates "fairly soon" if the economy stayed on course or strengthened, according to minutes of their meeting earlier this month released Wednesday. But officials struggled what to do because of considerable uncertainty over the fiscal policy plans of the Trump administration and Republican Congress. Most officials said it would take "some time" for the outlook on fiscal policy to become clearer. And only a "couple" of the 17 Fed officials argued that uncertainty over fiscal policy should not delay a near-term rate hike. More Fed officials cautioned against adjusting interest rates "in anticipation of policy proposals that might not be enacted, or that, if enacted might turn out to have different consequences for economic activity and inflation than currently anticipated," the minutes said. There was no discussion of shrinking the Fed's $4.5 trillion balance sheet other than to agree to talk about it at later meetings.

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A girl named Ehlena and a dog named Wonder win at U.S. Supreme Court

Top Reuters News - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 13:59
(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with a disabled Michigan girl whose school refused to let her bring her service dog to class, making it easier for students like her to seek redress for discrimination in federal court.

Astronomers find seven Earth-size planets where life may be possible

Top Reuters News - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 13:52
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Astronomers have found a nearby solar system with seven Earth-sized planets, three of which circle their parent star at the right distance for liquid surface water, raising the prospect of life, research published on Wednesday showed.

Gold settles 0.5% lower ahead of FOMC minutes as dollar gains

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 13:48

Gold futures settled lower Wednesday ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting minutes as the U.S. dollar trended higher and stocks held near their record levels. Gold for April delivery settled down $5.60, or 0.5%, at $1,233.30 an ounce. Silver for May delivery settled down 5.2 cents, or 0.3%, at $18.02 an ounce. The U.S. Dollar index rose 0.2% to 101.53 at last check.

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Trump budget coming in mid-March, Spicer says

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 13:44

The Trump administration will release a budget proposal in mid-March, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday. Spicer did not provide details but said the administration wants to make sure the government spends more responsibly. President Donald Trump held meetings on the budget Wednesday with officials including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

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Dow's rally toward 9th-straight record belies weak market breadth

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 13:29

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 33 points in afternoon trade, putting it on track for a ninth-straight record close, but market internals suggested the overall stock market was in decline. The number of declining stocks outnumbered advancers by a 1,725-to-1,108 margin on the NYSE, and by a score of 1,613 to 963 on the Nasdaq exchange. Volume in advancing stocks represented 35.1% of total NYSE volume and 42.5% of total Nasdaq volume. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was down 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1%. Within the Dow, 15 of 30 components traded higher, but all the Dow's gains are in effect coming from two stocks. The $3.20-gain in DuPont & Co.'s stock and the $1.86-rise in 3M Co. shares are adding a combined 35 points to the Dow's price. The Dow has now rallied 723 points, or 3.6%, over the past nine session.

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Rejecting 'noxious' prejudice, U.S. top court backs black death row inmate

Top Reuters News - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 13:03
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court gave a Texas death row inmate a chance to avoid execution on Wednesday, with Chief Justice John Roberts denouncing the "noxious strain of racial prejudice" that infected the case when a defense witness testified the man was more likely to commit future crimes because he is black.

Iran ready to give U.S. 'slap in the face': commander

Top Reuters News - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 13:00
DUBAI (Reuters) - The United States should expect a "strong slap in the face" if it underestimates Iran's defensive capabilities, a commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday, as Tehran concluded war games.

College Board tightens SAT exam security, but key risk remains

Top Reuters News - Wed, 02/22/2017 - 12:59
BOSTON/LONDON (Reuters) - The owner of the SAT college-entrance exam, which has been plagued by a raft of cheating incidents overseas, outlined new security measures but stopped short of remedying the test’s biggest vulnerability.

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