Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Police name suspected driver in Barcelona attack, continue search for him

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 05:59

The suspected driver of the van in Thursday's terrorist attack in Barcelona has been named as Moussa Oukabir, according to multiple media reports Friday. Oukabir's age has been given as 17 or 18. He is the younger brother of Driss Oukabir, a 28-year-old Moroccan who has been arrested and is alleged to have rented the vehicle, a Telegraph report said. Moussa Oukabir may have escaped a Barcelona drag net by stabbing a man to death and stealing his car, a report from The Australian said.

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As U.S. debates policy, Afghan pilots fear for families' lives

Top Reuters News - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 04:20
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - As the Trump administration debates war strategy in Afghanistan, this Afghan pilot in the U.S.-backed Afghan Air Force has more pressing concerns: He's worried the Taliban may kidnap or kill his family.

Top U.S. general reaffirms commitment to Japan amid North Korea tensions

Top Reuters News - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 03:39
TOKYO (Reuters) - The top U.S. general restated Washington's "ironclad commitment" to the security of its close Asian ally, Japan, on Friday amid regional tensions over North Korea, telling his counterpart in Tokyo that "an attack on one is an attack on both of us".

Exclusive: India threatens Philip Morris with 'punitive action' over alleged violations

Top Reuters News - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 03:30
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Indian government has threatened Philip Morris International Inc with "punitive action" over the tobacco giant's alleged violation of the country's anti-smoking laws, according to a letter sent to the company by the federal health ministry.

Former Uber CEO says investor lawsuit a 'public and personal attack'

Top Reuters News - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 00:51
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The ousted chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc called a lawsuit filed against him by one of the company's top investors a "public and personal attack" without merit, according to court documents filed late on Thursday.

Fox CEO James Murdoch slams Trump and hate groups, pledges $1 million to ADL

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 23:37

21st Century Fox Chief Executive James Murdoch, the son of Rupert Murdoch, denounced the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va., and President Donald Trump's response to it in an email obtained and published late Thursday by the New York Times. Murdoch also said he will donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League, and encouraged others to donate as well. A Fox spokesperson verified the email as authentic. In the email addressed to "friends," Murdoch wrote: "What we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people. . . . I can't even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists." His father, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has been a strong supporter and informal adviser of Trump, and 21st Century Fox is the parent of Fox News. Rupert Murdoch also controls News Corp. , the parent company of MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal.

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Venezuela's new chief prosecutor vows to jail protest leaders

Top Reuters News - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 21:34
(Reuters) - Venezuela will hunt down and jail leaders of violent protests that have rocked the country since April, its new top prosecutor said on Thursday, a day before a hate crimes law was expected to be approved despite fears that it will be used to crush dissent.

Chris Wanstrath stepping down as GitHub CEO: report

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 21:19

Chris Wanstrath will step down as chief executive of GitHub, the developer platform startup, according to a report late Thursday. Wanstrath, who co-founded San Francisco-based GitHub, will remain as CEO until a new one is hired, Forbes reported. He will then become the company's executive chairman. GitHub says it has about 20 million users and has passed $200 million in annualized recurring revenue, and is valued by investors at about $2 billion. Wanstrath is in his second stint as GitHub CEO, after returning to the position in 2014. "I'm confident that this is the moment to find a new CEO to lead us into the next stage of growth," Wanstrath said in a statement.

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Trump drops plan to create infrastructure council: White House

Top Reuters News - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 19:59
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has abandoned plans to create an infrastructure advisory council, the White House said on Thursday, the day after two other advisory groups were dismantled over the furor caused by Trump's remarks on white supremacists.

Energy Capital Partners nears $17 billion deal to buy Calpine: report

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 19:55

Calpine Corp. shares shot up more than 9% in after-hours trading late Thursday after a Wall Street Journal report that Energy Capital Partners is closing in on a $17 billion deal to acquire it. Energy Capital, a private-equity firm specializing in energy infrastructure, would pay $15.25 a share for the power-generating company, sources told the Journal, which would value Calpine at $5.5 billion. Including debt, the deal would be valued at about $17 billion, the Journal said, and may be announced as soon as Friday. Calpine is known mostly for its natural-gas power plants, and provides power for about 6.5 million residential customers across the U.S.

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On sidelines of trade talks, businesses tout NAFTA's benefits

Top Reuters News - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 18:56
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Steps away from this week's NAFTA trade negotiations, business unified in hopes of sending a singular message: do no harm.

Dozen U.S. sailors to be punished for June collision: Navy

Top Reuters News - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 18:40
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - About a dozen U.S. sailors are expected to face punishment for a collision in June between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippines cargo ship, including the warship's commanding officer and other senior leaders of the ship, the Navy said on Thursday.

Trump's attacks could leave him friendless if impeachment comes

Top Reuters News - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 17:52
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump has stepped up his attacks on Republican senators, an approach he may regret if he is someday impeached and the Senate has to weigh charges against him stemming from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Blackstone to acquire Harvest Fund Advisors

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 17:11

Blackstone Group LP said late Thursday it agreed to acquire Harvest Fund Advisors LLC for an undisclosed sum. Harvest Fund, which manages more than $10 billion in assets, invests capital from institutional investors into separately managed accounts or pooled vehicles, Blackstone said. Blackstone said it expects the acquisition to close in the fourth quarter. Blackstone shares were unchanged at $31.60 after hours.

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Dillard's raises dividend to 10 cents a share

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 17:08

Dillard's Inc. said late Thursday its board of directors declared a cash dividend of 10 cents, from a prior quarterly amount of 7 cents. The dividend is payable Oct. 30 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 29. Shares of Dillard's were flat in late trading, after ending the regular session down 3%.

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Planned infrastructure advisory council canceled, White House says

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 16:46

Plans for a White House advisory council on infrastructure have been canceled, a White House spokesperson told MarketWatch on Thursday. The decision not to move forward with the council comes in the wake of the dissolving of two separate councils on Wednesday. Business executives have backed away from President Donald Trump after his comments on the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

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Gap shares soar on strong second-quarter earnings, 2017 outlook hike

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 16:31

Shares of Gap Inc. rallied in Thursday's extended session after the retailer posted better-than-expected quarterly results and raised its 2017 earnings outlook. The company, whose brands include the namesake chain of stores, Banana Republic and Old Navy, reported its second-quarter earnings more than doubled to $271 million, or 68 cents a share, from $125 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, Gap would have earned 58 cents. Revenue slipped to $3.8 billion from $3.85 billion, in part due to negative impact from foreign exchange fluctuations. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 52 cents a share on revenue of $3.77 billion. Same-store sales grew 1% in the second quarter, improving from a decline of 2% in the same period last year. The company raised its 2017 adjusted earnings per share outlook to a range of $2.02 to $2.10 versus $1.95 to $2.05 projected in May. Gap shares jumped 11% after hours.

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Ross Stores shares rally as Q2 earnings top views, company forecasts sales growth

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 16:23

Shares of Ross Stores Inc. rose more than 11% late Thursday after the retailer reported second-quarter earnings and sales above Wall Street expectations and forecast sales and earnings growth for the second half of the year and for the full fiscal year. Ross said it earned $317 million, or 82 cents a share, in the quarter, compared to $282 million, or 71 cents a share, in the prior-year quarter. Sales rose 8% to $3.43 billion, from $3.18 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 76 cents a share on sales of $3.37 billion. Comparable-store sales were up 4% on top of 4% growth last year, the company said in a statement. An operating margin of 14.9% outperformed the company's projections, "mainly due to a combination of higher merchandise margin and leverage on our above-plan sales gains," Ross said. Ross forecast same-store sales gains between 1% and 2% in the third quarter, and third-quarter per-share earnings to be between 64 cents and 67 cents, up from 62 cents a share in the third quarter of 2016 and compared with analyst expectations of 67 cents. The company forecast fourth-quarter same-store sales growth of 1% to 2%, with per-share earnings between 88 cents and 92 cents. Based on the results for the first half of the year, the company guided for fiscal 2017 per-share earnings to rise 12% to 14% to between $3.16 and $3.23. The analysts surveyed by FactSet expect full-year EPS of $3.17 for Ross. Shares ended the regular trading session down 1.9%.

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Dow books worst one-day decline in three months, down 274 points, as stock market swoons

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 16:20

U.S. stock-index benchmarks finished sharply lower on Thursday, marking the first time all three major benchmarks closed with a decline of at least 1% on the same time in three months. The broad-market downdraft saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average register its worst single-session drop also in about three months and comes as investor sentiment was derailed by a terror attack in Barcelona and doubts about President Donald Trump's ability to push through legislation that is beneficial to Wall Street after a fervor over his response to a violent, white-supremacist rally in Charlotesville, Va. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 1.2%, while the S&P 500 closed 1.5% lower, marking its lowest level since July 11. The Nasdaq Composite , which is skewed toward tech stocks, fell 1.9%, erasing its gains in the week to date. Cisco Systems was the worst performer on the Dow following poor fiscal fourth quarter earnings yesterday. The one-day decline for the Dow marked its sharpest since May 17, which was also the same day all the main equity benchmarks finished with a decline of at least 1%.

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Energy sector ETF tumbles into first bear market in 18 months

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 16:19

The SPDR Energy Select Sector exchange-traded fund fell 1.4% Thursday to close at a 16-month low, enough to kick off a new bear market. Many market participants define a bear market as a decline of 20% or more from a bull market peak. And the ETF tracking the energy sector (XLF), which is one of the S&P 500's 11 key sectors, has now lost 20.3% since closing at a bull-market peak of $77.83 on Dec. 13, 2016, which at the time was an 18-month high. Of the XLE's 32 components, 15 have tumbled more than 20% year to date, and 11 of lost more than 30%. The last bear market for the XLE had ended on March 7, 2016, when the XLE closed 20.5% above its previous bear market low of $51.77 on Jan. 20, 2016. On Thursday, 30 of the XLE's components closed lower, with shares of Marathon Oil Corp. down 3.3% to pace the decliners. Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s stock slumped 3.0%, and was the most active component with 36 million shares traded. The XLE's losses Thursday come a rally in oil prices, as September crude oil futures settled up 0.7%.

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