Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Verizon to pay $2.25 billion to NFL for five-year streaming deal: source

Top Reuters News - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:11
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc will pay around $2.25 billion for a five-year digital streaming partnership with National Football League, according to a source.

American Express to eliminate signature requirement

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:09

American Express Co. said Monday that users will no longer be required to provide signatures when making purchases, starting in April 2018. The elimination of signatures will apply to purchase transactions of all amounts, compared with the current requirement for signatures on transactions over $50. "The payments landscape has evolved to the point where we can now eliminate this pain point for our merchants," said Jaromir Divilek, executive vice president of American Express's global network business. "Our fraud capabilities have advanced so that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud." American Express's stock, which slipped 0.2% in premarket trade, has rallied 33% year to date through Friday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 23%.

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Chef Mario Batali accused of sexual harassment, steps away from his business for now

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:01

Renowned chef Mario Batali has stepped away from the day-to-day operations of his business after four women came forward alleging that he sexually harassed them in a pattern of behavior spanning at least two decades, food website Eater reported Monday. Batali said he was taking time away in a statement to the website. ABC, where Batali has co-hosted a daytime show since 2011, said it has also asked him to step away from the show while it conducts a review of allegations that recently came to its attention, said Eater. Batali did not deny the allegations, but said that they "match up" with ways that he behaved. "I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family," he said.

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3M to sell 'substantially all' of its communication markets business for $900 million

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:00

3M Co. said Monday it will sell "substantially all" of its communication markets division for $900 million, to Corning Inc. . 3M said it expects to realize a gain of 40 cents a share from the deal, which is expected to close in 2018. The company said about 500 3M employees are expected to join Corning when the deal is completed. The company said the business, which had annual sales of about $400 million, consisted of optical fiber and copper passive connectivity products and services for the telecommunications industry. 3M's stock tacked on 0.2% in premarket trade and Corning shares rose 0.3%. Year to date, 3M shares have run up 33.4% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 23.1%.

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SendGrid started with bullish ratings by several analysts

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:50

Several analysts initiated coverage of email-marketing firm SendGrid Inc. with the equivalent of buy ratings on Monday. Analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets assigned a price target of $26, citing "compelling growth prospects, coupled with strong leadership and a disciplined model balancing high growth and profitability" as reasons for their optimism. Analysts at William Blair think that the company is poised to benefit as email usage increases over the next several years. "The company's self-service on-boarding process allows it to acquire customers at a reasonable cost and maintain below-average sales-and-marketing expenses, which should drive operating leverage," they wrote. Stifel analysts see room for "significant international expansion" and began their coverage with a price target of $25. SendGrid priced its IPO in mid-November at $16 a share, and the stock is up 34% from there. The S&P 500 Index has gained 2.8% since SendGrid went public. SendGrid's stock is flat in premarket trading Monday.

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Riot Blockchain's TessPay signs LOI to merge with Cresval Capital

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:43

Riot Blockchain Inc. said Monday it's TessPay Inc. unit has signed a non-binding letter of intent to merge with Canada's Cresval Capital Corp. . TessPay is a blockchain company that is developing a supply chain payment platform for businesses to guarantee payment on time and in full. After the deal closes, TessPay will start trading on the TSX Venture Exchange, Riot Blockchain said in a statement. Riot Blockchain itself started life as diagnostic machinery biotech stock Biopix Inc., before pivoting to cryptocurrencies and changing its name. The company aims to support blockchain technologies, which underlie digital currencies, such as bitcoin. The LOI provides for TessPay to be issued 80 million Cresval shares in the deal with its parent to receive 41.6 million shares. Riot Blockchain shares were up 23% in premarket trade, and have gained 313% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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Apple analyst dispels supply concerns

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:35

Apple Inc. shares were flat in premarket trading Monday after analysts at Susquehanna Group delivered an update on their checks with Apple suppliers and made a prediction about next year's iPhone models. The analysts, led by Mehdi Hosseini, wrote that their checks with suppliers in Asia suggest that there haven't been any changes made to Apple's iPhone build forecast for the current quarter or for next quarter. The firm predicts 66 million iPhone builds for the December quarter, 36 million of which will be iPhone X models, and 54 million total builds for the March quarter, 35 million of which will be iPhone X models. Looking ahead to next year, Hosseini thinks Apple will come out with three iPhone models again. He expects these to include 5.1-inch and 6-inch OLED models as well as a cheaper LCD-based version. Apple shares have gained 46% so far in 2017, compared with a 23% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Bluebird Bio shares soar 24% premarket as Goldman raises price target to $309 from $186

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:32

Bluebird Bio shares soared 24% in premarket trade Monday, after Goldman Sachs raised its price target for the stock to $309 from $186, on strong gene/cell therapy pipeline updates at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting. Bluebird's CAR T bb2121 "looks to have a disruptive impact on the multiple myeloma (MM) treatment paradigm," Goldman analysts led by Salveen Richter wrote in a note, based on the efficacy and safety profile, which supports development of this "potentially curative approach." Bluebird may also be on the path to address severe sickle cell disease, it said. Goldman views the company as an attractive takeover candidate, "given its innovative and leading lentiviral-based gene therapy and CAR-T cell platforms backed by positive proof of concept data, which targets large blood disorders beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease and multiple myeloma," said the note. Shares have gained 177% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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NXP Semiconductor's stock gains after shareholder said chipmaker is worth $135 a share

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:23

Shares of NXP Semiconductors N.V. tacked on 0.8% in premarket trade Monday, after shareholder Elliott Management Corp., said in a letter to shareholders that it believes NXP is worth $135 a share. That is well above the $110-a-share buyout bid by Qualcomm Inc. , which was made in October 2016. Last month, Elliott had hired UBS to help in its effort to get a higher bid from Qualcomm, including sounding out other potential bidders. In October, Qualcomm Chief Executive Steve Mollenkopf told The Wall Street Journal that he expected the NXP purchase to close on schedule by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Qualcomm is trying to fend off an unsolicited buyout bid from Broadcom Ltd. , which said its bid would stand whether Qualcomm's purchase of NXP closes or not. Elliott said it advises funds that collectively own about 6% of NXP's shares outstanding. NXP's stock has closed above Qualcomm's $110-a-share bid price since July 27. It has rallied 17.6% year to date, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index has run up 36.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 18.4%.

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Stock futures cut gains amid reports of explosion near New York's Time Square

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:23

U.S. stock-index futures cut early gains on Monday, with the main after reports of an explosion at the Port Authority bus terminal on 42nd Street in New York, near Times Square. Futures were cutting modest gains but were still trading slightly higher after the reports emerged, with New York City officials confirming that an explosion had occurred. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 24 points, or 0.1%, at 24,360, from 52 points earlier, while S&P 500 index futures turned lower, down less than 0.1% at 2,653. Nasdaq-100 index futures climbed 3 points, or less than 0.1%, to 6,364, but were slightly higher earlier. According to the the New York Post, police and firefighters have responded to the scene, with reports that a man is in custody and reports of possible injuries. Some subway lines near the incident had been evacuated, according to reports.

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Square started with market perform rating at Cowen

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:19

Analysts at Cowen initiated coverage of Square Inc. with a market perform rating on Monday. The analysts, led by George Mihalos, are upbeat about Square's efforts to expand beyond its traditional payment-processing business and into new areas such as payroll software and loans. Mihalos also sees room for Square to grow internationally, where many small- and medium-sized businesses don't yet accept electronic payments. However, he thinks Square shares look expensive after a considerable rally this year, assigning a price target of $36. "We believe Square's growth prospects are reflected in the current stock price and advise investors to wait for a more attractive entry point," Mihalos wrote. Square shares are up 0.4% in premarket trading Monday, and they've gained 179% so far in 2017. The S&P 500 Index has risen 18% this year.

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AES announces 8.3% increase in quarterly dividend to 13 cents a share

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:07

The AES Corp. said Monday it is raising its quarterly dividend by 8.3% to 13 cents a share. The power company said the new payment will be made on Feb. 15 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 1. Shares were not yet active premarket, but have fallen 7% in 2017 to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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Small Canadian miners in pole position for electric vehicle battery boon

Top Reuters News - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:04
VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canadian developers of cobalt and lithium mines stand to benefit from a round of investments from the makers of electric vehicles and the batteries powering them, a potential game-changer for small miners short on money to develop deposits of these critical battery ingredients.

Avis's largest shareholder boosts stake by 41%

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:02

Avis Budget Group Inc. disclosed Monday that its largest shareholder, SRS Investment Management, boosted its stake in the rental car company by 41% to 12 million shares, or to 14.7% of the shares outstanding. SRS Investment had previously disclosed that it owned 8.5 million shares, or 10.4%, of the shares outstanding as of Sept. 30. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has gained 10.6% year to date, while the S&P 500 has rallied 18.4%.

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UniQure shares jump 3.8% premarket on positive trial of hemophelia treatment

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 07:41

UniQure N.V. shares surged almost 4% in premarket trade Monday, after the company reported positive results in an early-stage trial of a treatment for hemophelia B. The company said eighteen-month follow-up data from a Phase I/II trial of AMT-060 in the second-dose cohort found "substantial improvement" in disease state in all five patients, and that all those who previous required frequent infusions were able to stop them. The data were presented to the 58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. "We continue to observe a therapeutic benefit from AMT-060 that is clearly superior to patients' previous prophylactic FIX replacement therapy regimen, with stable elevations in Factor IX levels and a cessation of spontaneous bleeds," said Professor Frank W.G. Leebeek, M.D. Ph.D. of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. UniQure is planning to start a pivotal study in 2018 with AMT-061. Hemophelia is an inherited disease that affects males and stops their blood from clotting after a bleed. The condition can cause life-threatening episodes of external and internal bleeding and requires regular injections of plasma-derived human Factor IX. UniQure shares have gained 218% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has 18%.

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PhaseRx files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 07:34

PhaseRx Inc. said Monday it has filed for bankruptcy protection. The biopharmaceutical company, which develops treatments for liver disorders in children, said it will continue to operate its business under the jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court. The company said it is working with Cowen and Co. to review financial and strategic alternatives. The stock is currently halted for news until 7:35 a.m. ET. "The protection afforded under a Chapter 11 filing enables us to continue to explore strategic alternatives, including a potential merger transaction," said Chief Executive Robert Overell. In October, the company said it was cutting its workforce in half, give delays in the development of its lead product candidate, and as it reviewed alternatives, including a potential merger. The stock has plunged 35.5% year to date, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has rallied 19.9% and the S&P 500 has climbed 18.4%.

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Uber's London license appeal to be heard next year

Top Reuters News - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 07:17
LONDON (Reuters) - Uber [UBER.UL] will defend its right to operate in London in court next year after the app was deemed unfit to run a taxi service and stripped of its license in its most important European market.

LKQ to buy Germany-based Stahlgruber in a $1.8 billion deal

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 07:16

Auto-parts company LKQ Corp. said Monday it will buy Germany's Stahlgruber Otto Gruber AG in a deal with an enterprise value of the equivalent of about $1.77 billion. LKQ said it expects to fund the deal for the distributor of spare parts for passenger cars, tools, capital equipment and accessories with proceeds from planned debt offerings, borrowings under its current credit facility and direct issuance of 8.06 million newly issued LKQ shares to Stahlgruber's owner. The is expected to close late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter. "Stahlgruber will create a contiguous footprint and serve as an additional strategic hub for our European operations, allowing for continued improvement in procurement, logistics and infrastructure optimization," said LKQ Chief Executive John Quinn. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 31% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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Bakers, farmers struggle to make any dough on poor wheat crop

Top Reuters News - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 07:10
WINNIPEG, Manitoba/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago's iconic sandwiches - Italian beef heroes dripping with gravy, and hot dogs loaded with pickles and hot peppers - wouldn't be such culinary institutions without the bread.

Apple aims to block climate, rights proposals with quick use of SEC guidance

Top Reuters News - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 07:07
BOSTON (Reuters) - Apple Inc is pushing back on shareholder proposals on climate issue and human rights concerns, an effort activists worry could sharply restrict investor rights.

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