Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Trump administration grants permit for Keystone XL pipeline: TransCanada

Top Reuters News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 09:03
(Reuters) - The United States has issued a presidential permit for TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL oil pipeline, the Canadian company said on Friday, ending a years-long battle between environmentalists and the industry over whether Washington should approve it.

U.S. regulators press four foreign banks to improve living wills

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 09:03

U.S. financial regulators on Friday pressed four foreign banks to improve their living wills. Barclays PLC , Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and UBS AG were each given until July 2018 to improve their resolution plans, which are intended to map out a strategy so their U.S. operations could be closed under bankruptcy law without taxpayer assistance in the event of an unexpected crisis. At the same time, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said livings wills presented by 16 large U.S. banks would be functional. Only Northern Trust Corp.'s living will had shortcomings that must be addressed in this year's plan due on Dec. 31.

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Alteryx prices at top of range to raise $126 million

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 08:43

Alteryx, Inc. , a provider of self-service data, priced its offering late Thursday at $14, the top of its range, to raise $126 million in its initial public offering. The company sold 9 million shares and the company has granted underwriters the option to buy up to 1.35 million additional shares. Shares are expected to start trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "AYX." Goldman, Sachs & Co and J.P. Morgan Securities were the lead underwriters on the offering.

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U.S. stocks open slightly higher, but on track for worst week since November

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 08:32

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Friday, with the Dow rebounding after six straight daily losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% to 20,696. The S&P 500 added 0.2% to 2,350. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.4% to 5,840. Despite the rise on the day, major indexes were on track for their worst weekly performance since November. Investors continued to watch the situation in Washington, where a postponed vote on a key health-care bill is scheduled to take place. Market participants are watching the outcome largely for clues to the fate of other elements of President Donald Trump's agenda, including corporate tax cuts. Health-care stocks could be volatile as details emerge on the likelihood of its passage; the sector opened with a gain of 0.1%. Among the day's biggest movers, Micron Technology Inc. jumped 12% a day after giving a strong outlook.

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Apple downgraded at Needham, but remains top stock pick

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 08:12

Analysts at Needham downgraded shares of Apple Inc. as the company comes within 6% of their target price. Lead analyst Laura Martin cut her rating to buy from strong buy on Friday, but said the stock remains her top pick. Martin sees Apple's recurring revenue stream and average user churn as a boon, as well as the company's pure play in mobile products and relatively inexpensive price compared to major content companies. "Despite the fact that Apple's profit metrics are higher than world class content companies such as Disney and CBS, and its asset efficiency is higher than world class internet companies like Facebook and Expedia, Apple's valuation is dramatically below these companies," Martin wrote in a note to clients. Martin also raised estimates for 2018 and increased her price target to $165 from $150. Shares of Apple have increased 33% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 index has gained 15% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 18% during the same time frame.

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Microsoft, IBM stocks in brief plunge premarket following off-price trades

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 07:42

Shares of Microsoft Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. traded down over 10% at one point in premarket trade Friday, but it wasn't clear whether they were traded on the FINRA/NYSE Trade Reporting Facility (TRF) or the FINRA/Nasdaq TRF. According to FactSet's time and sales data, 57 Microsoft shares went through at $56.9171 at 8:00:25 a.m. ET, below the previous trade of $64.90 at 8:00:01 a.m., and 12% below Thursday's close of $64.87. The next trade at 8:21:37 a.m. was 40 shares at $64.95. For IBM, 22 shares changed hands at $154.785 at 8:00:25 a.m., down from $175.05 at 6:38:57 a.m., and down 11% from Thursday's close at $174.82. The next trade was 100 shares at $174.70 at 8:33:09. Another Dow Jones Industrial Average component's stock traded at a off-price level, as 75 shares of General Electric changed hands at $28.859 at 8:00:25, down 2.7% from Thursday's close. That trade was surrounded by a trade at $29.64 at 7:59:51 a.m. and $29.65 at 8:20:12 a.m. FINRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Risky House healthcare vote to test Trump's negotiating skills

Top Reuters News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 06:55
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday faces the first concrete test of how well the deal-making skills he honed in his real estate business will translate on Capitol Hill in a high-stakes vote on new Republican health care legislation.

London attacker Khalid Masood was a 52-year-old criminal with militant links

Top Reuters News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 06:45
BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Before he killed at least four people in Britain's deadliest attack since the 2005 London bombings, Khalid Masood was considered by intelligence officers to be a criminal who posed little serious threat.

Finish Line's stock plunges after profit falls well short of expectations

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 06:43

Shares of Finish Line Inc. plunged 15% toward a 6 1/2-year low in premarket trade Friday, after the athletic shoe and apparel retailer reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit that fell well short of expectations amid heavy discounting to clear inventory. For the quarter to Feb. 25, the company swung to a loss of $9.5 million, or 23 cents a share, from a profit of $4.0 million, or 9 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring item, such as store impairment charge, adjusted earnings per share came to 50 cents, below the FactSet consensus of 70 cents. Revenue slipped to $557.5 million from $559.8 million, but was above the FactSet consensus of $548.1 million. Same-store sales declined 4.5%, compared with the FactSet consensus for a 4.2% drop. "As elements of our footwear offering did not resonate with our customers as we expected and the overall retail environment in February became increasingly difficult, we made the decision to get more aggressive on pricing to be competitive and clear slow moving product," said Chief Executive Sam Sato. The stock has tumbled 15% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 6.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.8%.

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TransCanada gets Presidential Permit to build the Keystone oil pipeline, ends bankruptcy claim

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 06:22

TransCanada Corp. said Friday it has received a Presidential Permit from the U.S. Department of State to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline. As a result, TransCanada said it will discontinue its bankruptcy claim and end its constitutional challenge. The company said it will continue to engage stakeholders throughout Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota to obtain permits and approvals so it can begin construction. "We greatly appreciate President Trump's Administration for reviewing and approving this important initiative and we look forward to working with them as we continue to invest in and strengthen North America's energy infrastructure," said TransCanada Chief Executive Russ Girling. Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had recused himself from dealings with the controversial Keystone pipeline, as Tillerson was CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp. , which would benefit from the pipeline being built. The project was rejected by former President Barack Obama in 2015. TransCanada's U.S.-listed shares, which were still inactive in premarket trade, have gained 0.8% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has advanced 3.6%.

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Blackstone to sell its Seaworld stake to China's Zhonghong at a 33% premium to market prices

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 06:01

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. said Friday it was selling a 21% equity stake held by affiliates of the Blackstone Group to a subsidiary of China's Zhonghong Zhuoye Group Co. Ltd. for $23 a share. That represents a 33% premium to Thursday's stock closing price of $17.31. As part of the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, SeaWorld will advise Zhonghong on the development and design of theme parks operated by Zhonghong. SeaWorld will expand its board to 11 members to add two Zhonghong executives. Once the deal is completed, Blackstone will no longer hold any equity interest in SeaWorld or have any board seats. Blackstone is currently SeaWorld's largest shareholder with 19.5 million share, according to FactSet. At $23 a share, that stake would be valued at $448.5 million. "Zhonghong Group is making a significant, long-term investment in SeaWorld, reflecting their appreciation of the strength of our brand, our potential to grow the company and a shared commitment to protect wildlife and the environment," said SeaWorld Chief Executive Joel Manby. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has slumped 8.6% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.8%.

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Poll finds unprecedented uncertainty among French voters before presidential election

Top Reuters News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 04:32
PARIS (Reuters) - A month before the first round of France's presidential election, 43 percent of voters are hesitant about who to vote for, a poll said on Friday, underlining the uncertainty surrounding the volatile election campaign.

Chicago police officer charged with 16 new counts in shooting case: media

Top Reuters News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 02:45
(Reuters) - A white Chicago police officer accused of murder in the shooting death of a black teenager was charged on Thursday with 16 new counts of aggravated battery, in a case that sparked national debate over police use of force against minorities.

All drill, no frack: U.S. shale leaves thousands of wells unfinished

Top Reuters News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 01:22
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. shale producers are drilling at the highest rate in 18 months but have left a record number of wells unfinished in the largest oilfield in the country – a sign that output may not rise as swiftly as drilling activity would indicate.

How a border tax could divide Boeing and its suppliers

Top Reuters News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 01:14
SEATTLE (Reuters) - A U.S. tax overhaul proposed by Republican leaders in Congress would deepen divisions between big manufacturers like Boeing Co and the thousands of smaller companies that supply them, according to suppliers and tax and trade experts.

BOJ's Kuroda says won't raise bond yield targets now

Top Reuters News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 00:27
TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Friday he does not expect the central bank to raise its bond yield targets now, and will look at underlying trend inflation in guiding monetary policy.

YouTube's bid to grab TV dollars imperiled by advertiser revolt

Top Reuters News - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 22:14
(Reuters) - The decision by a handful of high-profile consumer brands to pull advertising from Google’s YouTube over offensive content could threaten the site’s long-term strategy of stealing ad dollars from television, analysts and ad industry professionals said Thursday.

Twitter explores subscription-based option for first time

Top Reuters News - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 21:33
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc is considering whether to build a premium version of its popular Tweetdeck interface aimed at professionals, the company said on Thursday, raising the possibility that it could collect subscription fees from some users for the first time.

Fed's Kaplan: Wants 'gradual' rate hikes but doesn't expect 'pause' in policy track

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 20:02

Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan wants a "gradual and patient" approach to raising interest rates this year but said that doesn't necessarily include a "pause" in the Fed's rate-tightening policy. With its rate hike last week, Fed members signaled rough forecasts for two more rate hikes this year. San Francisco Fed President John Williams said Thursday that the Fed could approve up to a total of four hikes this year if economic improvement calls for such action. Kaplan didn't offer a number of anticipated hikes and said he'd like the opportunity to "turn over more cards" to judge the economy but said progress toward the dual inflation and employment mandates allowed for more accommodation reversal. That reversal will eventually include letting the Fed's $4.5 trillion balance sheet run off, but not until more action is taken to get the Fed funds target, the Fed's main interest-rate tool, back up toward a "neutral" rate. Kaplan said the Fed puts that neutral rate at a median 2.75%.

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Trump's auto review may only slow march to better fuel efficiency

Top Reuters News - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 19:24
DETROIT (Reuters) - When U.S. President Donald Trump announced a review last week of tough Obama-era vehicle emissions and fuel-efficiency standards, he proclaimed that the "assault on the American auto industry is over."

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