Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Papa John's shares fall after company misses Q4 sales estimates

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 17:25

Shares of Papa John's International Inc. fell more than 3% late Tuesday as the pizza chain reported quarterly sales below Wall Street expectations. Papa John's said it earned $32.6 million, or 88 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $24.7 million, or 62 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned 69 cents a share, compared with 62 cents a share a year ago. Quarterly sales rose 5.5% to $440 million. North America comparable sales rose 3.8% in the quarter and 3.5% in 2016, while international comparable sales rose 5.6% for the three-month period and 6% for the year, the company said in a statement. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 66 cents a share on sales of $447 million.

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Trump's new security advisor differs from him on Russia, other key issues

Top Reuters News - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 17:23
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has shown little patience for dissent, but that trait is likely to be tested by his new national security adviser, Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster.

Exclusive: Facebook in talks to live stream one MLB game per week - sources

Top Reuters News - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 17:13
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Facebook Inc is in talks with Major League Baseball to live stream one game per week during the upcoming season, which could be a key win as the social media platform works to offer more live sports, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Firebrand Milo quits Breitbart News after child sex remarks

Top Reuters News - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 17:11
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Provocative far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos resigned on Tuesday as a senior editor of the Breitbart News website after he was vilified and lost a book deal over comments that condoned certain intimate relations between men and young teenage boys.

Conservative U.S. justices skeptical in cross-border shooting case

Top Reuters News - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 17:02
(Reuters) - Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday expressed skepticism about reviving a lawsuit filed by the family of a Mexican teenager against a U.S. Border Patrol agent who fatally shot the 15-year-old from across the border in Texas in 2010.

Facebook in talks to stream Major League Baseball games: report

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 16:58

Facebook Inc. is in discussions with Major League Baseball to air one game a week on its social network, Reuters reported Tuesday. Social networks believe their platforms are a "second screen" that sports fans rely on while watching games, and are eager to test the popularity of combining the viewing of video and the commentary that takes place on social networks into a single feed. Offering a free weekly baseball game would be one way to counter social-networking rival Twitter Inc.'s ambitions in sports broadcasting. Twitter began streaming a weekly National Football League game on Thursday nights last year. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg discussed Facebook's video ambitions last month in a conference call related to earnings, saying Facebook would focus on short-form video with an eye toward longer-form offerings in the future. "We want people to think of Facebook as a place for interesting and relevant video content from professional creators as well as their friends," Zuckerberg said then. "Last year, we started to invest in more original video content to help seed the ecosystem, and we're planning to do more in 2017." Reuters cited two anonymous sources in its report, adding that one said the talks were at an advanced stage.

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U.S. Homeland Security employees locked out of computer networks: sources

Top Reuters News - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 16:55
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees in the Washington area and Philadelphia were unable to access some agency computer networks on Tuesday, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Demonstrators vow face-off against North Dakota pipeline

Top Reuters News - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 16:34
(Reuters) - Protesters near the site of the Dakota Access pipeline are bracing for a stand-off with law enforcement as they face orders to evacuate a camp that has served as the base of their opposition to the multibillion-dollar project.

Virginia governor vetoes bill defunding Planned Parenthood

Top Reuters News - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 16:25
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have blocked funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions and other health services.

First Solar shares higher after company beats sales, earnings predictions

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 16:20

First Solar Inc. shares rose 1.6% late Tuesday after the solar-panel maker and solar-power developer reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings and sales above expectations. First Solar said it lost $6.92 a share in the quarter, versus earnings of $1.63 a share in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, First Solar earned $1.24 a share in the quarter. Sales fell to $480 million in the quarter from $942 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $1.01 a share on sales of $404 million for the Tempe, Ariz., company in the quarter. First Solar also tweaked higher its expectations for 2017 sales to between $2.8 billion and $2.9 billion, from a range between $2.5 billion and $2.6 billion. Shares ended the regular trading session up 5.1%.

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Fed's Williams touts potential benefits of blockchain technology

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 16:10

San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams said Tuesday that blockchain technology could lower costs while making record keeping easier and more efficient. Williams, who was speaking at Boise State University, also said that people increasingly understand that bitcoin won't replace government-issued currencies like the U.S. dollar. Back in December, the Fed published a paper examining how blockchain technology could be applied in the financial industry. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has previously said that blockchain technology could have a significant impact on the payments system.

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Dow books 8th gain in a row as stock market carves up fresh records

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 16:01

U.S. stocks extended their record winning streak on Tuesday, with all three equity benchmarks ending at all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 112.82 points to 20,737.83, a rise of 0.6%. The S&P 500 added 13.92 points, or 0.6%, to 2,365.12. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 27.37 points, or 0.5%, to 5,865.95. The day's rally was broad, with all 11 of the S&P 500's primary sectors ending up on the day, though defensive industries - including real estate, consumer staples, and utilities - provided the biggest boost, with all three rising at least 1%. With the day's move, the Dow rose for an eighth straight session, while both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted their ninth advance of the past 10 sessions. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Home Depot Inc. were among the strongest gainers of the day, with both climbing in the wake of strong quarterly results. Wal-Mart popped 3% while Home Depot rose 1.3%.

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Wal-Mart's stock heads for biggest one-day gain in 9 months

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 15:44

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s stock surged 3.2% in afternoon trade Tuesday, after the discount retail giant reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and same-store sales that beat expectations. That put the stock, which paced the gainers within the Dow Jones Industrial Average , on track to post the biggest one-day percentage gain since it soared 9.6% on May 19, 2016, after first-quarter results. The price gain of $2.21 was adding 15 points to the Dow's price, which was up 123 points in record territory. Wal-Mart shares are also on course for a fifth-straight gain, the longest such stretch since the six-session win streak ended Oct. 31, 2016. Wal-Mart's stock has rallied 11% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has tacked on 8.3% and the S&P 500 has climbed 23%.

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Oil settles up, but off highs as OPEC official discusses production agreement

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 14:50

Crude-oil futures on Tuesday ended sharply higher amid growing optimism about compliance to a global pact to curb crude output, but the commodity ended off its best levels as an OPEC boss talked down the prospect of an extension to the pact to shrink production. Crude-oil prices for April finished up 55 cents, or 1%, at $54.33 a barrel. Those for March , which expire Tuesday, settled up 66 cents, or 1.2%, at 54.06 a barrel. Gains for crude were supported by comments from OPEC's Secretary-General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, who offered encouragement about the effectiveness of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' recent agreement to cut production globally by about 2%. However, Barkindo, who spoke during a International Petroleum Week conference in London on Tuesday, however, said it was too early to begin thinking about extending that six-month agreement, which began Jan.1 another six months, to the end of 2017.

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Gold reverses course to finish flat, shaking off stronger dollar

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 13:50

Gold prices on Tuesday settled near break-even levels, confounding some market players as the commodity pared an earlier loss in the session, even as U.S. equities rose and the dollar strengthened. Gold futures for April delivery ended down 20 cents, or less than 0.1%, at $1,238.90 an ounce. Some market participants attributed the stronger finish for gold, which traded as low as $1,226.80 during the session, to heighten concerns about the outcome of European elections showing the rise of anti-establishment candidates like France's far-right Marine Le Pen. Gold may have been drawing some haven bids as a result of worries about geopolitics that could prove disruptive to the eurozone and the euro . Meanwhile, the dollar, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index gained 0.5% at 101.4000. A stronger dollar ordinarily is a headwind for gold and other assets priced in the currency, which can become less attractive to buyers using other monetary units.

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Trump delivers first public condemnation of anti-Semitic threats

Top Reuters News - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 13:43
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump delivered his first public condemnation of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States on Tuesday after a new spate of bomb threats to Jewish community centers around the country and massive vandalism in a Jewish cemetery.

Wells Fargo fires 4 managers as part of investigation into sales scandal

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 13:37

Wells Fargo & Co. said Tuesday it terminated "for cause" four current or former senior managers in its community banking business following an ongoing investigation into the banking giant's sales practice scandal. The terminated managers are Claudia Russ Anderson, the former chief risk officer for the community bank; Pamela Conboy, lead regional president of Arizona; Shelley Freeman, the former Los Angeles regional president, and currently the head of consumer credit solutions; and Matthew Raphaelson, head of Community Bank strategy and initiatives. Wells Fargo said its investigation is expected to be completed before the shareholder meeting in April 2017. Wells Fargo was embroiled in a scandal last year, which led to the resignation of former Chief Executive John Stumpf, in which millions of credit-card and deposit accounts were opened without customers' knowledge in an effort to meet sales targets. The bank's stock, which slipped 0.2% in afternoon trade, has gained 21% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF has run up 44% and the S&P 500 has climbed 23%.

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Two-year Treasury auction sees strong demand

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 13:28

Two-year Treasury notes auctioned by the Treasury Department on Tuesday received strong demand, largely thanks to a surge in buying from foreign investors. The yield on notes sold at the auction was half a basis point lower than their comparable 1 p.m. level, according to Treasury data, meaning that investors paid a premium for the bonds. Indirect bidders, a group that's seen as a proxy for foreign demand, received 49.8% of the new notes, a much larger allocation than the 38.9% average from the six most recent auctions, traders said. But despite a drop in Treasury yields ahead of the auction, demand remained surprisingly robust, said Aaron Kohli, a fixed-income strategist at BMO Capital Markets. The auction's bid-to-cover ratio, a measure of demand, was 2.82, compared with an average of 2.64 from the six most recent auctions. The yield on the two-year note rose 1.7 basis point to 1.203% in recent trade.

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Amazon's stock rallies toward record high but SunTrust analyst concerned about costs, margins

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 13:14

Amazon.com Inc.'s stock ran up 1.4% in midday trade Tuesday toward a second-straight record close, but SunTrust Robinson Humphrey worries that it might run into relative trouble given the expected jump in costs. Amazon announced Monday that it planned to add 15,000 new full-time jobs in Europe through the end of 2017, with many of the new roles in fulfillment centers under construction in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the U.K. "We continue to invest heavily across Europe in fulfillment, customer service, cloud technology, research and development, machine learning, advanced logistics and much more," said Xavier Garambois, vice president of Amazon EU Retail in a statement. Madhukar said the e-commerce giant looks top be actively trying to replicate its U.S. playbook in Europe. He reiterated his hold rating on the stock, saying while he likes the company's growth, he's mindful of the costs of that growth. For example, Amazon's first-quarter guidance suggests margins could compress for the first time since 2014. "As such, we think Amazon likely will continue to grow at an elevated pace, but cash flows could remain depressed give its investment philosophy and intent on actively expanding [total available market]," Madhukar wrote in a note to clients. Consequently, while we believe in the long-term opportunity, we think it may be tough for Amazon to outperform peers in the near term." The stock has soared 60% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 23%.

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Global investors warn Texas to withdraw transgender restroom legislation

Top Reuters News - Tue, 02/21/2017 - 13:06
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A group of global investors with $11 trillion in managed assets told Texas on Tuesday not to enact legislation restricting access to bathrooms for transgender people, saying it is discriminatory and bad for business.

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