Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

U.K. Serious Fraud Office investigating suspected corruption by Rio Tinto in Guinea

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 13:01

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office said Monday it has opened an investigation into "suspected corruption" by mining giant Rio Tinto Plc in the Republic of Guinea. The SFO, which is responsible for dealing with fraud, bribery and corruption, said the investigation is looking into the company, its employees and others associated with it. Rio Tinto's American Depositary Receipts were down about 1% in New York, but are up about 13% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained about 10%.

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Scientific Games Corp. shares soaring after revenue beat

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:58

Shares of Scientific Games Corporation were soaring 22.%% Monday afternoon after the company beat second-quarter revenue expectations. Scientific Games, which provides products and services that power lotteries and gambling-related games, reported a net loss of $39.1 million, or a loss of 44 cents per share, compared to a loss of $51.7 million, or 59 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a loss per share of 41 cents. Revenue was $766.3 million, up from $729.2 million in the year-earlier period and above the FactSet consensus of $748.6 million. Shares of Scientific Games have gained 50% in the past three months and 137% year-to-date, compared with the S&P 500's gains of 4% and 10% respectively.

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Organic ranchers eye Amazon distribution ahead of Whole Foods deal

Top Reuters News - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:26
(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc plans to meet on Wednesday with a dozen U.S. ranchers, seeking to expand distribution of organic and grass-fed meats as it takes over Whole Foods Market Inc, according to the meeting's organizer.

Chainsaw attacker targets insurer in Swiss rampage, still on run

Top Reuters News - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:26
SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - A chainsaw-wielding loner who mostly lived in the woods stormed into an insurance office in a Swiss town on Monday, wounding two members of staff and three other people before fleeing, police said.

Chinese jets intercept U.S. surveillance plane: U.S. officials

Top Reuters News - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:13
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the East China Sea over the weekend, with one coming within about 300 feet (91 meters) of the American aircraft, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday.

UBS downgrades Goldman on 'limited confidence' for revenue growth

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 11:12

UBS analyst Brennan Hawken on Monday downgraded Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to neutral from buy, noting that investors had priced in an "inflection" point in the bank's Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities division that might not be forthcoming. "Recent weak results could rebound," Hawken wrote, but added that 2018 consensus estimates imply a rebound of about 25%. UBS raised its 2017 estimate to account for the Q2 earnings beat, but cut its 2018 estimate to $19.30 per share, below the FactSet consensus of $20.16. "Goldman continues to run a premium franchise but we have limited confidence in predicting when their trading revenues will recover," Hawken wrote. The stock is down 8.6% for the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.2%. The mean rating among analysts polled by FactSet is overweight.

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Dow slumps as Wall Street focuses on earnings; Fed ahead

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 09:53

The U.S. stock market opened lower on Monday to start a week packed with corporate earnings releases and a midweek meeting of the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading 0.2% lower at 21,542, the S&P 500 index was off about 0.2% at 2,468. The Nasdaq Composite Index , meanwhile, was trading flat at 6,388. Wall Street investors were paying attention to weakness in the dollar , and conversely strength in the euro . A weaker dollar tends to give a boost to multinational companies selling goods and services abroad, while a strengthening euro can provide a headwind to European companies selling outside of the eurozone. Market participants also watched a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for signs of any further moves to limit a glut of crude oil, which has weighed on futures prices . In corporate news, the market was watching the tumble in Hibbett Sports Inc. , which was on track for its steepest daily stock drop in 18 years after the sports retailer said it expected second-quarter sales to slump. Also, Shares of WebMD Health Corp. soared on news that KKR & Co. was looking to take the health-care information company private. Looking ahead, Google-parent Alphabet Inc. is set to report after the close of trade on Monday. Further out, the Fed kicks off its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, with the central bank not expected to lift interest rates further, but clues about its policy plans and the state of the U.S. economy will be closely tracked in its updated statement. In economic news, the IHS Markit services PMI unchanged at 54.2 in July, while on manufacturing came in at 53.2 in July from 52.0 in the previous month. A reading above 50 indicates economic growth.

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Caterpillar's stock surges after BMO Capital says business has 'passed the lows'

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 09:14

Shares of Caterpillar Inc. climbed 1.2% in premarket trade Monday, after the agriculture and farming equipment maker was upgraded at BMO Capital, citing an improving profit outlook as the cyclical recovery for industrial companies continues. Analyst Joel Tiss raised his rating to outperform after being at market perform for at least the last three years. Tiss said there were three primary reasons for finally turning bullish on Caterpillar: "the unfolding cyclical recovery" and its potential benefits for the company; "the significant cost-cutting program underway" and the "new management team that is expected to concentrate on expanding profitability." He raised his stock price target to $125, which was 17% above Friday's closing price of $106.59, from $110. Tiss said he still believes the mining and energy markets still have a difficult road ahead, which suggests it may be unlikely to see a robust demand surge in the near term, "but there are signs we have passed the lows in many areas." The stock has rallied 14.9% year to date through Friday, while both the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF and S&P 500 has gained 10.5%.

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J.C. Penney accepting Apple Pay nationwide

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 08:43

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. said Monday that it is now accepting Apple Pay at stores nationwide. It's also making its credit card available on the mobile payment service, so customers can accumulate J.C. Penney Rewards points. In stores, Apple Pay works with multiple versions of the iPhone and with the Apple Watch. J.C. Penney shares are down 1% in premarket trading, and down 39% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up 10.4% for 2017 to date.

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Pandora Media shares gain more than 4% premarket after upbeat analyst note

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 08:42

Shares of internet radio company Pandora Media Inc. were up 4.5% in premarket trade on Monday after an upbeat analyst note. SunTrust analyst Matthew Thornton sent a note to investors on Monday following a meeting with Pandora interim Chief Executive Naveed Chopra. Thornton's key takeaways from the meeting were that the subscription model that many analysts feel Pandora was late to isn't going away, but the company plans to drop investment to maintenance levels. Pandora also plans to increase its focus on monetizing radio, while reallocating subscription investment to sales hires and ad technology. The company also wants to increase focus on cost efficiencies. Thornton said Chopra told him that Pandora's hours growth could hinge on new content and that more details will be available in the coming quarters. Thornton maintains a buy rating on Pandora and a $10.50 12-month price target, which is about 11% above current trading levels. Pandora shares have declined more than 27% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 index is up more than 10% during the same period.

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Arconic shares surge 6% premarket after company beats on profit, raises outlook

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 08:39

Shares of Arconic Inc. , the former aluminum operations of Alcoa before that company split in two, jumped 6% in premarket trade Monday, after the company beat second-quarter profit and sales estimates and raised its guidance. Arconic said it had net income of $212 million, or 43 cents a share, in the second quarter, up from $135 million, or 27 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding special items, EPS came to 32 cents, ahead of the FactSet consensus of 26 cents a share. Revenue rose 1% to $3.3 billion, also ahead of the FactSet consensus of $3.2 billion. The company said it is raising its full-year guidance after a "solid" first half, and now expects revenue of $12.3 billion to $12.7 billion, up from prior guidance of $11.8 billion to $12.4 billion. Adjusted EPS is expected to range from $1.15 to $1.20, up from a prior $1.10 to $1.20. The FactSet consensus is for full-year EPS of $1.16 and revenue of $12.5 billion.

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Vice Media lays off 2% of staff as focus turns more toward video

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 08:24

Vice Media confirmed last week that it has laid off 2% of its global staff. Variety first reported the news on Friday, saying the youth-focused media company would be laying off about 60 of its 3,000 staffers. The company, which has garnered major investments from and partnerships with Walt Disney Co. , has been in the midst of a global expansion while focusing on its growth in video. The cuts, while not limited to any of Vice's websites or business areas, did not include jobs in video. Vice says its video content has seen high demand. Other digital media companies have also recently realized the importance of video, most notably MTV, recently making a major shift to video content. Vice expects its overall headcount to expand as it opens offices in India, the Middle East and Latin America. Vice is tracking to be in more than 80 territories by the first quarter of 2018.

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Nektar Therapeutics surges 10% on $150 mln Eli Lilly deal

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 08:15

Nektar Therapeutics shares surged as much as 10% in premarket trade Monday after the company announced a $150 million deal with Eli Lilly & Co. to co-develop its immunological therapy NKTR-358. The deal also includes up to $250 million in additional development and regulatory milestone payments. Eli Lilly expects an charge of about 9 cents per share to 2017 earnings, and expects to reduce its reported earnings per share guidance for 2017 by that amount. Nektar plans to complete phase 1 clinical development, after which Eli Lilly will shoulder 75% of the cost of phase 2 development, with Nektar responsible for the remaining 25%. Eli Lilly will pay for all costs of global commercialization. Nektar has the option to participate in late-stage development on an indication-by-indication basis, could receive royalties that increase depending on its phase 3 investment and product sales and will have the option to co-promote the drug in the U.S., the company said. NKTR-358 may address immune system imbalance for many kinds of autoimmune conditions, Nektar said, and the therapy had its first human dose in early-stage clinical development in March. Eli Lilly shares were not active in premarket trade on Monday. Nektar shares have surged 17.9% over the last three months, compared with a 1.5% rise in Eli Lilly shares and a 4.1% rise in the S&P 500 .

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PetMed's stock surges after profit and sales rise above expectations

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 08:14

Shares of PetMed Express Inc. surged 2.4% in premarket trade Monday, after the pet pharmacy company reported fiscal first-quarter profit and sales that rose above expectations. Net profit for the quarter to June 30 increased to $9.3 million, or 45 cents a share, from $6.6 million, or 32 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 38 cents. Revenue grew 10% to $79.7 million, above the FactSet consensus of $77.3 million, as new order sales jumped 14% and with online sales increasing 12%. The stock traded at $41.50 ahead of the open, above the July 7 record close of $41.29. The stock has rocketed 76% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.1%.

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Illinois Tool Works tops profit estimates, raises guidance

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 08:13

Illinois Tool Works Inc. said Monday it had net income of $587 million, or $1.69 a share, in the second quarter, up from $525 million, or $1.46 a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding a 3 cents per share benefit from a legal settlement, EPS came to $1.66, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $1.63. Revenue rose to $3.6 billion from $3.4 billion, matching the FactSet consensus. The industrial manufacturer said it is raising its full-year guidance and now expects EPS of $6.32 to $6.52, compared with prior guidance of $6.20 to $6.40. The company expects third-quarter revenue of $1.57 to $1.67. The FactSet consensus is for full-year EPS of $6.38 and third-quarter EPS of $1.65. Shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 20.3% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.4%.

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What's the issue with metal detectors in Jerusalem?

Top Reuters News - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 07:39
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - For 10 days, Jerusalem has been in the grip of the worst bloodshed for years over Israel's decision to install metal detectors at the entrance to the Old City's holy compound.

UPDATE: Hibbett Sports issues profit warning, citing 'very challenging sales trends', stock slides 16.5%

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 07:38

Sports retailer Hibbett Sports Inc. shares slip 16.5% in premarket trade Monday, after the company warned that it expects second-quarter same-store sales to fall about 10%, citing "very challenging sales trends." The company said the decline, combined with "significant" pressure on gross margin, would push it to a loss of 19 cents to 22 cents for the quarter. The current FactSet consensus is for second-quarter earnings per share of 15 cents. The company said it is launching an e-commerce site, www.Hibbett.com, that will offer footwear, clothing and equipment. "Despite the difficult retail environment, the company remains focused on improving its business for the long term," Chief Executive Jeff Rosenthal said in a statement. "Launching an e-commerce site has been a key strategic goal for Hibbett, and we took time to invest in our omni-channel infrastructure to do it the right way." The stock has fallen 47% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.4%.

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Gilead Sciences says late-stage results for HIV drug combination are similar to standard of care

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 07:35

Gilead Sciences Inc. said early Monday that its HIV combination treatment had similar safety and efficacy results in two late-stage clinical trials to the standard of care. The data, along with two other late-stage clinical trials, are the basis of Gilead's U.S. and European regulatory submissions, the company said. The combination of the drugs bictegravir and emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide is intended for patients who are new to treatment. One of the phase 3 studies, which enrolled 629 patients, found that 92.4% of patients on the BIC/FTC/TAF combination treatment achieved the primary endpoint at week 48, compared with 93% of patients achieving the primary endpoint on the other regimen. In the other study, which enrolled 645 patients, 89.4% of those on the BIC/FTC/TAF regimen and 92.9% of those on another regimen achieved the primary endpoint at week 48. In both studies, discontinuations due to adverse events were low, according to Gilead. Two studies looking at the combination in virologically suppressed adult patients are ongoing and are also part of the company's U.S. and European regulatory submissions, Gilead said. Gilead shares surged 0.7% in pre-market trade before declining 0.2% pre-market. Shares have surged 11.3% over the last three months, compared with a 4.1% rise in the S&P 500 .

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Cal-Maine Foods earnings miss expectations

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 07:33

Cal-Maine Foods Inc. reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $24.5 million, or 51 cents per share, after a loss of $376,000, or 1 cent per share, for the same period last year. The FactSet consensus was for a 22-cent loss. Revenue totaled $274.6 million, down from $303.0 million last year, but ahead of the $269.0 million FactSet consensus. Results included a $5.5 million payment for the BP settlement from the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. The results "reflect the volatile and challenging egg market fundamentals," said Chief Executive Dolph Baker. Volumes were up due to extra weeks of sales, but the average customer selling price for the quarter was down 15.5% year-over-year. For fiscal 2017, the average customer selling price was down 42% versus 2016. Cal-Maine shares are down 16% for the year so far, while the S&P 500 index is up 10.4% for the period.

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VF Corp. shares rise after earnings, revenue beat expectations

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 07:20

VF Corp. shares rose 2.3% in Monday premarket trading after the company reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat estimates. VF Corp.'s portfolio of brands includes Timberland, Wrangler and The North Face. The company reported net income of $109.9 million, or 27 cents per share, up from $51.0 million, or 12 cents per share, for the same period last year. Adjusted EPS was 29 cents, beating the 28-cent FactSet consensus. Revenue was $2.36 billion, up from $2.32 billion last year and ahead of the $2.30 billion FactSet consensus. The company now expects revenue of $11.65 billion, up 2% year-over-year. The FactSet consensus is $11.61 billion. EPS is now expected to be $2.94, down 1%. The company previously guided in the range of $2.89 to $2.94. The FactSet consensus is $2.93. VF Corp. shares are up nearly 10% for the year-to-date while the S&P 500 index is up 10.4% for the period.

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