Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

As NAFTA talks begin, Trump's 'America First' agenda looms large

Top Reuters News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 01:23
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the United States, Canada and Mexico kick off negotiations on Wednesday to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, the biggest uncertainty is whether a deal can pass President Donald Trump's "America First" test.

White House braces for fallout from Trump remarks on Virginia violence

Top Reuters News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 01:20
NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Donald Trump no doubt pleased part of his political base on Tuesday by passionately arguing that both right- and left-wing extremists were responsible for violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia on Saturday.

Texas 'bathroom bill' dies in special legislative session

Top Reuters News - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 23:09
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas measures criticized as being discriminatory for limiting transgender people's access to bathrooms in schools and public buildings died on Tuesday, as the House adjourned and ended its special legislative session.

Strange, Moore to face off in GOP runoff for Alabama Senate seat

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 22:09

Sen. Luther Strange will face former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in a Republican primary runoff election for Alabama's seat in the U.S. Senate. With more than 60% of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Moore led Strange, 40.8% to 31.9%. A third contender, Rep. Mo Brooks, got 19% of the Republican vote. Strange was appointed to the Senate after Jeff Sessions took over as U.S. attorney general earlier this year. Strange was endorsed by President Donald Trump, Sen. Mitch McConnell's super PAC and the NRA, but Moore is a popular evangelical Christian with wide support in the state. The winner will face Doug Jones, who won the Democratic primary handily, with almost 64% of the vote. The primary runoff will be held Sept. 26, and the general election is Dec. 12.

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War room 2.0? U.S. Air Force upgrades Middle East command center

Top Reuters News - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:48
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar (Reuters) - With its wall-sized screens simultaneously showing America's air wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, this war room at the heart of America's biggest military campaigns is already something of a technological marvel.

Banish Bannon? Trump weighs his options as top aides feud

Top Reuters News - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:47
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - For months, U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser and his chief strategist have battled for influence behind the scenes, and their feud may force another shake-up at the White House.

China reclaims spot as No. 1 holder of Treasurys after 8-month hiatus

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 17:39

China overtook Japan as the top holder of Treasurys in June, according to the Treasury International Capital report. The last time China was the top holder was back in last October. China's holdings of U.S. government paper rose to $1.147 trillion, up more than $44 billion from the previous month. Japan's holdings slipped $20.5 billion to $1.09 trillion. The report comes amid the yuan's strengthening in the past three months against the greenback. The dollar bought 6.68 yuan on Tuesday, compared with 6.90 yuan back in May. The yuan has been supported by efforts of the People's Bank of China, its central bank, to beat off currency speculators. A steadying economy and attempts to stem capital flight have helped to prop up the yuan, too. A strengthening currency and growing exports can lead to a rapid accumulation of Treasurys.

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Tech companies ramp up NAFTA lobbying on eve of trade talks

Top Reuters News - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 17:08
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Technology companies, such as Microsoft and Cisco Systems have ramped up lobbying ahead of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, looking to avoid any future restrictions on cloud storage and to promote an international pact to eliminate technology goods tariffs.

Bristol-Myers Squibb shares slip as kidney cancer drug trial falls short of goal

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 16:55

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. shares declined in the extended session Tuesday after the drugmaker said one of the endpoints of a kidney cancer drug study was not met. Bristol-Myers Squibb shares fell 2.5% to $56.40 after hours. The company said that while a late-stage study of its use of the drugs Opdivo and Yervoy showed that renal cell carcinoma patients responded better to the combination versus those taking the drug sunitinib, survival rates without progression of the disease did not reach statistical significance.

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Trump orders faster permitting on infrastructure projects

Top Reuters News - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 16:53
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to speed approvals of permits for highways, bridges and other major building efforts as part of his proposal to spend $1 trillion to fix aging U.S. infrastructure.

Oil climbs as sources say API data show U.S. crude supply down more than 9 million barrels

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 16:44

Oil prices climbed late Tuesday after the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude supplies dropped 9.2 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 11, according to sources. The API data also showed a rise of 301,000 barrels in gasoline supplies, while inventories of distillates were down 2.1 million barrels, sources said. Supply data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday morning. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to report a decline of 3.6 million barrels in crude inventories. September crude was at $47.80 a barrel in electronic trading, up from the contract’s settlement of $47.55 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Wells Fargo names Elizabeth Duke as independent board chairwoman

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 16:37

Wells Fargo & Co. on Tuesday said its board named Elizabeth Duke as independent chairwoman to succeed Stephen Sanger who is retiring at the end of 2017 along with two other board members. The bank also plans to name up to three new directors ahead of the 2018 annual meeting. Duke's appointment comes as the bank continues its effort to restore its crediblity in the wake of an account fraud scandal last year. Shares of Wells Frago were flat in the extended session after closing at $52.85.

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Agilent shares rise more than 4% after company reports sales, EPS above forecast

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 16:35

Shares of Agilent Technologies Inc. rose more than 4% late Tuesday after the Santa Clara, Calif., company beat fiscal third-quarter earnings and sales expectations. Agilent said it earned $175 million, or 54 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $124 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned 59 cents a share, compared with 49 cents a year ago. Sales reached $1.1 billion, compared with $1 billion in the corresponding 2016 quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 52 cents a share on sales of $1.09 billion in the quarter. Agilent said it expects fourth-quarter 2017 revenue in the range of $1.15 billion to $1.17 billion, and fourth-quarter 2017 non-GAAP earnings in the range of 60 cents to 62 cents a share, which contrasts with expectations of adjusted per-share earnings of 60 cents a share on sales of $1.15 billion, according to the analysts surveyed by FactSet. The company forecast revenue of $4.43 billion to $4.45 billion and non-GAAP earnings of $2.29 a share to $2.31 a share for full fiscal year 2017, versus Wall Street expectations of adjusted per-share earnings of $2.23 on sales of $4.41 billion for the year, according to FactSet.

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Urban Outfitters shares rally after sales, earnings beat

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 16:17

Shares of Urban Outfitters, Inc. rose more than 17% late Tuesday after the retailer reported fiscal second-quarter 2018 sales and per-share earnings above Wall Street expectations. Urban Outfitters said it earned $50 million, or 44 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $77 million, or 66 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Total net sales reached $873 million, down 2% from $891 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 37 cents a share on sales of $862 million. Comparable retail segment net sales fell 4.9%, which the company attributed to "negative retail store sales," offset in part by continued sales growth in direct-to-consumer sales. Wholesale segment net sales rose 10%. The shares had ended the regular session down 5.1%.

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Despite losing trial to Taylor Swift, DJ insists he never groped her

Top Reuters News - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 16:16
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The former Colorado radio DJ who lost a court case to Taylor Swift insisted on Tuesday that he "never grabbed" the pop star's bare buttocks while posing for a photo with her four years ago.

U.S. stocks close mostly flat as investors await next catalyst

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 16:05

U.S. stocks closed generally flat on Tuesday after two days of gains as investors awaited fresh catalysts before making big bets on equities as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which had overshadowed the market recently, took a backseat. The S&P 500 slipped 1 point to close at 2,464 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 5 points to end at 21,999. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 8 points, or 0.1%, to close at 6,333.

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Nearly 400 bodies recovered from Sierra Leone mudslide: coroner

Top Reuters News - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 15:42
FREETOWN (Reuters) - Rescue workers have recovered nearly 400 bodies from a mudslide in the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, the chief coroner said on Tuesday, as morgues struggled to find space for all the dead.

Investors are misinterpreting positive benefit of $10 MoviePass on cinemas

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 15:37

MoviePass, a movie theater subscription service, on Tuesday unveiled plans to lower the cost of its subscription to $10 a month from $30-and-up. Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. , which have already been beaten up recently, fell as much as 5.8% during the day. It was followed down by shares of Imax Corp. , which fell 2.4%, Regal Entertainment Group's 1.9% drop, Marcus Corp.'s 1.5% fall, while Cinemark Holdings fell as much as 1%. MoviePass allows members to see a movie a day for just $10 a month. B. Riley analyst Eric Wold wrote in a note to investors that he believed investors were misinterpreting the MoviePass news as a negative for the box office and film exhibitors. "The key thing to keep in mind is that MoviePass cannot do this in a bubble -- they needed the approval of both studios and exhibitors, who would not sign off on anything that was detrimental to their financial outlook," Wold wrote. "Studios and exhibitors are not taking a discount under the MoviePass model. We understand that MoviePass is absorbing the ticket discount and hoping to make up the discount through monetizing the data and the breakage." Wold said this is a positive for the cinema group as well as box office and concession results, though he believes it will be a small benefit. Shares of AMC have declined nearly 61% in the year to date, while Imax shares are down nearly 41%, Regal Entertainment and Marcus Corp shares are both down almost 19% and shares of Cinemark are down 6%. By comparison, the S&P 500 index is up more than 10%.

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Americans' debt level notches a new record high

Top Reuters News - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 15:30
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans' debt level notched another record high in the second quarter, after having earlier in the year surpassed its pre-crisis peak, on the back of modest rises in mortgage, auto and credit card debt, where delinquencies jumped.

Wal-Mart CEO says Trump missed a 'critical opportunity' with Charlottesville response

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 15:30

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Doug McMillon said in a memo published on the retailer's website that President Trump's response to the violence and racist protests in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend was a missed chance at creating unity. "As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists," the memo said. However, McMillon said the latest remarks were "a step in the right direction." McMillon said he represents a company with "the largest and one of the most diverse groups of associates in the U.S." and a large and diverse customer base. As a result, the company should stay engaged and urge elected officials to "promote a more just, tolerant and diverse society." Wal-Mart recently offered suggestions for improving U.S. manufacturing. Wal-Mart shares are up 17.3% for the year so far while the S&P 500 index is up 10.2% for the period.

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