Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Oil prices turn higher, tap fresh session highs

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 12:00

Oil turned decidedly higher in Friday trading to touch fresh session highs, with prices looking to recoup some of the week's losses ahead of the expiration on Tuesday of the September futures contracts for West Texas Intermediate oil. September WTI crude rose 54 cents, or 1.2%, to trade at $47.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after trading as low as $46.78. October Brent crude traded at $52.18 a barrel, up $1.15, or 2.3%. WTI was still trading lower for the week, set to lose 2.1%, but Brent turned up about 0.1% for the week.

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In Charlottesville, Germans sense echoes of their struggle with history

Top Reuters News - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:44
BERLIN/WEIMAR, Germany (Reuters) - For the past decade, the pupils of the Manfred von Ardenne school in Berlin have been visiting a local cemetery to tend the graves of victims of the Nazis.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment trading above issue price in market debut

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:43

Shares of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Inc. were trading at $12.25 Friday morning, above the company's issue price, in the stock's debut on the Nasdaq. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, a video-focused offshoot of the book series, sold 2.5 million shares at $12 a share in a Reg A+ offering. The offering means that non-accredited investors were able to buy shares, and thus have equity in the company. HCFP/Capital Markets LLC, The Benchmark Company LLC and Weild & Co were the underwriters on the offering.

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Deere's stock suffering biggest selloff in 2 years after sales miss prompts downgrade

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:41

Shares of Deere & Co. tumbled 7.7% in active morning trade Friday, putting them on course for the biggest one-day loss in 6 years, after disappointing fiscal third-quarter results prompted a downgrade at Baird. Volume ballooned to 4.8 million shares, already more than double the full-day average of 2.1 million shares. Analyst Mircea Dobre cut his rating to neutral, after being at outperform since Oct. 31, and dropped his stock price target to $130 from $140. "Stock had a good run, it's about to get tougher going forward," Dobre wrote in a note to clients. "We thought 3Q would mark the last big operating beat quarter of FY17 before focus fully shifted to FY18...this proved not to be the case." Deere reported earlier Friday a quarterly profit that beat expectations, but sales that missed. The stock's decline Friday was the biggest since it lost 8.1% on Aug. 21, 2015. The stock was still up 10.9% year to date, while the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF has gained 8.1% and the S&P 500 has advanced 8.4%.

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Shares of movie theater stocks tumble as Apple, Hollywood reignite concerns around theatrical windows

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:38

Shares of movie theater chains stumbled out of the gate on Friday. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. stock fell more than 5% in morning trade, leading the film exhibitor group down. Shares of Regal Entertainment Group were down 4%, Cinemark Holdings Inc. shares fell more than 2% and shares of Marcus Corp. fell nearly 2%. B. Riley analyst Eric Wold pointed to a Bloomberg report that Apple Inc. and Hollywood studios were mulling the possibility of moving forward with a premium video on demand format, releasing new films just weeks after they open in theaters. Cinema chains have been opposed to this model, which would shrink the exclusive window of time where films can only be seen in theaters. Discussions about the best possible way to introduce PVOD have been going on for a while, and the price point being thrown around is in the range of $30 to $50. Time Warner Inc.-owned Warner Bros. and Comcast Corp.'s are said to be the studios leading the charge. Walt Disney Co. has been a hold out. Concerns surrounding the possibility of PVOD, coupled with soft box office returns have ravaged cinema chain stocks in 2017. Shares of AMC are down nearly 63% in the year to date, Regal Entertainment shares have dropped nearly 24%, Marcus Corp shares are down almost 22% and shares of Cinemark are down more than 9% in the year. By comparison, the S&P 500 index is up more than 8%.

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Airline stocks offer a 'good buying opportunity' after selloff in wake of Barcelona attack, analyst says

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:03

Airline stocks were mixed Friday, a day after a sharp sector selloff in response to the terrorist attack in Barcelona. Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. rose 0.5% in morning trade after tumbling 5.2% on Thursday, while American Airlines Group Inc. lost 0.4% after falling 4.9% the day before. Shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. eased 0.3%, Southwest Airlines Co. gained 0.5% and JetBlue Airways Corp. lost 0.3%; those stock had shed 3.3%, 3.9% and 6.1%, respectively, on Thursday. The NYSE Arca Airline Index edged up 0.2%, after falling 3.2% on Thursday to a 5-month closing low. Analyst Helane Becker at Cowen & Co. said the recent pullback in airline shares provided a "good buying opportunity" for investors. "The recent incident in Barcelona will likely cause a slowdown in bookings for a few days, but we believe that traffic will pick up again as conferences pick up in September," Becker wrote in a note to clients. The airline index has lost 3.7% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.1%.

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Russell 2000 turns negative for 2017 in early trading

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 09:50

The Russell 2000 index of small-cap shares turned lower for the year on Friday, extending a recent spate of weakness that took the closely watched index below its 200-day moving average on Thursday. The index fell 0.7% on Friday, bringing its year-to-date decline to 0.5%. Most of the index's weakness has come recently; it is down 5.3% thus far in August. At current levels, it is down more than 7% from record levels hit in July. Thus far this week, the index is down 1.8%, a far larger decline than the S&P 500 , which is off 0.7%. The benchmark index remains 8.3% higher on the year, and it is within three percentage points of its record high. On Thursday, the Russell fell below its 200-day moving average for the first time in nearly 14 months, a bearish sign for longer-term momentum.

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Nigeria's freed Chibok girls to return home 'fully recovered'

Top Reuters News - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 09:48
ABUJA (Reuters) - More than 100 girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in the Nigerian town of Chibok in 2014 are ready to return to normal life after being released and receiving psychological and medical treatment, the government said on Friday.

U.S. stocks open mostly lower; major indexes set to extend weekly losses

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 09:31

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Friday, extending the previous session's decline and putting major indexes on track for weekly losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 22 points, or 0.1%, to 21,732. The S&P 500 lost 0.6 point to 2,429. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.2 point to 6,222. All three indexes are on track for a negative week, with the Dow down 0.6%, the S&P off 0.5%, and the Nasdaq having lost 0.6%. This is the second straight weekly decline for the S&P and the Dow, and the fourth straight down week for the Nasdaq. Recent losses have been fueled by geopolitical uncertainty, including tensions between the U.S. and North Korea last week, and a terrorist attack in Barcelona on Thursday. Among the most actively traded stocks, Ross Stones rallied 11% a day after it reported results that beat expectations, while Applied Materials gained 3.6% a day after its own results.

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Caterpillar stock slips after monthly retail sales data

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 09:25

Caterpillar Inc. said Friday that total machines retail sales for the rolling 3-month period ending July rose 12% from the same period a year ago, with growth in all geographic regions, after rising 7% in June. Caterpillar's stock fell 0.5% in premarket trade. Resource industries retail sales increased 8%, after falling 1% in June, as growth in the Asia/Pacific and Europe, Africa and Middle East regions offset declines in North America and Latin America. Construction industries sales rose 13%, after climbing 10% in June, while energy and transportation sales fell 2% after rising 1% in June. Caterpillar's stock has rallied 22% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF has gained 8.4% and the S&P 500 has advanced 8.5%.

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Russell 2000 set to fall further after first close below 200-day moving average in 14 months

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 09:04

Small-capitalization stocks are set to fall further Friday, despite early indications of gains for large-cap stocks, after the Russell 2000 small-cap tracker closed the previous session below its 200-day moving average for the first time in 14 months. The 200-day moving average is viewed by many technicians as a dividing line between longer-term uptrends and downtrends. The iShares Russell 2000 ETF slipped 0.13% in premarket trade, putting it on track to open at the lowest level seen during regular session hours since May 31. Meanwhile, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF rose 0.09% ahead of the open and the PowerShares QQQ ETF , which tracks the technology-heavy Nasdaq 100 , tacked on 0.38%. The S&P 500 closed Thursday 3.6% above its 200-day moving average (MA) and the Nasdaq 100 ended 7.7% above its 200-day MA.

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TOP Ships stock regains listing compliance after 3rd reverse split in 3 months

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:48

TOP Ships Inc.'s stock jumped 7.0% to $1.40 in premarket trade Friday, after the Greece-based ship-owning company said it regained compliance with the Nasdaq's minimum bid price requirement. That compliance comes after the company effected at 30-for-1 reverse stock split on Aug. 3, that increased its stock price by a factor of 30. The company had received notice from the Nasdaq on June 27 that the stock had traded below the minimum bid price requirement of $1.00 a share for the past 30 consecutive days. The latest reverse stock split was the third reverse split effected in three months, including a 15-for-1 split on June 23 and a 20-for-1 split on May 11. That means the stock price has been increased by a factor of 9,000 in three months to regain compliance. The stock has plunged 99.6% over the past three months through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has gained 3.8% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 2.7%.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul raises $30 million in IPO as shares price at $12

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:19

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Inc. said it has closed its $30 million Reg A+ initial public offering, after selling 2.5 million shares at $12 a pop. The Reg A+ format was created by the JOBS Act, which aims to provide access to capital for smaller companies. HCFP/Capital Markets LLC, The Benchmark Company LLC and Weild & Co. were underwriters of the deal. The stock will start trading later Friday on the Nasdaq, under the ticker symbol "CSSE". The company provides video content that aims to bring out the best in people.

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Foot Locker's stock plunge drags Under Armour and Nike down with it

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:09

A roughly 20% slide in shares of Foot Locker Inc. in premarket trade Friday pulled other sports retailers and apparel makers lower with it, with Under Armour down 1.7% and Nike Inc. down 2.7%. Foot Locker reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the second quarter and said it was hurt by the limited availability of new innovative products. Adding to the gloom, Hibbet Sports Inc. also posted worse-than-expected earnings and slashed its guidance. Quo Vadis Capital analyst John Zolidis told investors to avoid companies in the athletic apparel and footwear space. "The fashion trend has turned," he wrote in an early note. "Athleisure is over. We predict several years of pain for the companies that compete in this arena." Foot Locker shares have fallen 33% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.5%.

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Blue Apron's stock drops after an IPO underwriter downgraded the stock

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:01

Share of Blue Apron Holdings Inc. dropped 1.7% in premarket trade Friday, after the meal-kit delivery company was downgraded at Stifel Nicolaus, citing challenges with the transition of order volume to a new fulfillment center in New Jersey and with broader product expansion. Analyst Scott Devitt cut the rating to hold from buy, and slashed his stock price target to $6 from $8. The new target is 40% below the initial public offering price of $10. Stifel Nicolaus was one of the underwriters of the IPO. Devitt said the downgrade comes after a further review of second-quarter results. "The company is currently grappling with unexpected challenges in transitioning its East Coast fulfillment center to a new Linden, N.J. center while at the same time dealing with lower fulfillment efficiency/accuracy stemming from its recent product expansion (more menu options and greater menu flexibility)," Devitt wrote in a note to clients. The stock has plunged 46% through Thursday, since it closed at its IPO price on the first day of trade on June 29, while the S&P 500 has gained 0.4% over the same time.

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Hibbett Sports' stock tumbles after sales miss, slashed outlook

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 07:27

Shares of Hibbett Sports Inc. tumbled 7% toward a 9-year low in light in premarket trade Friday, after the athletic apparel retailer reported fiscal second-quarter sales that missed expectations and slashed its outlook. For the quarter to July 29, the company swung to a net loss of $3.2 million, or 15 cents a share, from a profit of $6.5 million, or 29 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus was for a loss of 20 cents a share. Revenue declined to $188.0 million from $206.9 million, below the FactSet consensus of $190.3 million, while the 11.7% drop in same-store sales missed expectations of a 10.0% decline. Gross margin narrowed to 28.9% of net sales from 33.0%, primarily because of promotions and markdowns taken to liquidate excess and aged inventory. The company slashed its full-year EPS outlook to a range of $1.25 to $1.35 from $2.35 to $2.55, and its same-store sales guidance to "negative mid to high single-digit range" from "negative 1.0% to positive 1.0%." The stock has plunged 69% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has shed 13% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.5%.

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Estee Lauder shares rise nearly 5% after earnings beat

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 07:16

Estee Lauder Cos. shares rose 4.7% in Friday premarket trading after the beauty company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat estimates. Net income was $229.0 million, or 61 cents per share, up from $94.0 million, or 25 cents per share, for the same period last year. Adjusted EPS was 51 cents, beating the 43 cents per share. Sales totaled $2.89 billion, up from $2.65 billion and ahead of the $2.85 billion FactSet consensus. Skin care sales were $4.52 billion, with La Mer showing double-digit gains. Makeup sales were $5.05 billion, driven primarily by incremental sales of Too Faced and Becca, which were acquired in the second quarter, and double-digit increases in brands including Tom Ford and Smashbox. The company expects fiscal first-quarter sales to increase 9% to 10%. EPS is expected to be between 85 cents and 89 cents, and adjusted EPS is expected to be between 94 cents and 97 cents. The FactSet consensus is 91 cents. Estee Lauder shares are up 28.5% for the year so far outpacing the S&P 500 index , which is up 8.5% for the period.

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Deere's stock drops after sales miss offsets profit beat

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 07:08

Shares of Deere & Co. dropped 4.0% in premarket trade, after a fiscal third-quarter profit beat was offset by a sales miss. The maker of construction and farming equipment said net income for the quarter to July 30 rose to $641.8 million, or $1.97 a share, from $488.8 million, or $1.55 a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was $1.93. Total revenue rose to $7.81 billion from $6.72 billion, missing the FactSet consensus of $7.90 billion. Agriculture and turf sales rose 13% to $5.34 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $5.42 billion, while the 29% jump in construction and forestry revenue to $1.50 billion matched expectations. Deere expects 2017 agriculture and turf sales to rise about 9% from last year, while construction and forestry sales is projected to increase 15%. "We are seeing higher overall demand for our products with farm machinery sales in South America experiencing strong gains and construction equipment sales rising sharply," said Chief Executive Samuel Allen. The stock has rallied 20% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF has gained 8.4% and the S&P 500 has advanced 8.5%.

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Foot Locker shares tumble 15% after profit and sales fall short of estimates

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 07:00

Foot Locker Inc. shares tumbled 15% in premarket trade Friday, after the sports apparel company missed profit and sales estimates for the second quarter. The company said it had net income of $51 million, or 39 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $127 million, or 94 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 62 cents, well below the 90 cents FactSet consensus. Sales fell 4.4% to $1.701 billion, also below the FactSet consensus of $1.801 billion. Same-store sales fell 6%, compared with a FactSet consensus of a gain of 0.8%. "Sales of some recent top styles fell well short of our expectations and impacted this quarter's results," Chief Executive Richard Johnson said in a statement, describing the results as disappointing. "At the same time, we were affected by the limited availability of innovative new products in the market. We believe these industry dynamics will persist through 2017, and we expect comparable sales to be down three to four percent over the remainder of the year." The company is working with vendors to identify new trends more quickly and is reviewing its capex priorities and mulling spending cuts, he said. Shares are down 33% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.5%.

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South Africa to grant Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity: government source

Top Reuters News - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 06:10
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa is planning to grant diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe, allowing her to return to Harare and avoid prosecution for the alleged assault of a 20-year-old model, a government source said on Friday.

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