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Updated: 2 hours 11 min ago

North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch failed: report

4 hours 8 min ago

North Korea fired another ballistic missile early Saturday local time that appears to have failed, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported citing the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff. The missile test comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula with North Korea pursuing the development of intercontinental ballistic missile that could potentially reach the U.S. President Donald Trump has also taken a hard stance, promising stern action if the North Korean regime continues to threaten global peace with its nuclear weapons program.

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Fitbit: 'External forces' caused alleged Flex 2 explosion

4 hours 15 min ago

Fitbit Inc. said Friday an initial investigation into a Fitbit Flex 2 that allegedly exploded on a wearer's wrist concluded that the company's device didn't malfunction, and that testing showed "external forces" had caused the damage. "We have not received any other complaints of this nature and we want to assure our customers that they can continue to enjoy their Flex 2 and all Fitbit products with confidence," the company said. A Wisconsin woman had claimed her Flex 2 band exploded on her wrist, causing second-degree burns, and Fitbit launched an investigation earlier this week. Shares of Fitbit, which have lost more than 21% so far this year and 68% in the last 12 months, were up 0.4% in late trading Friday. The S&P 500 Index has gained 6.5% in 2017 and 15% in the past 12 months.

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Apple asks California regulators to change self-driving car policy: Report

4 hours 36 min ago

Apple Inc. has asked California regulators to make changes in the state's proposed policies on self-driving cars, according to a Reuters report Friday that cited a letter from the company. The company earlier this month joined a growing list of tech companies, car makers, and other ventures racing todevelop driverless cars and applying for testing their vehicles on California's public roads. Earlier this week, Tesla Inc. and other companies asked the regulators to relax some of the state's proposed rules for testing driverless cars, including allowing testing of vehicles without pedals or steering wheels.

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Smart Global Holdings files for initial public offering

4 hours 42 min ago

Smart Global Holdings Inc. on Friday filed a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. The specialty memory chip company reported a loss of 13 cents a share and revenue of $331.3 million during the six months ended Feb. 24. It had lost 41 cents a share on revenue of $238.6 million in the same period a year earlier. Smart Global Holdings is seeking to raise up to $50 million through the IPO and will trade on Nasdaq under "SGH." The company was formed in 2002 in Brazil and is the largest manufacturer of memory chips in the Latin American country.

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U.S. stocks end lower, post weekly and monthly gains

5 hours 44 min ago

U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday,though the main indexes posted solid weekly and monthly gains, driven by upbeat earnings. With about half of the companies on the S&P 500 having reported, more than two-thirds beat estimates by an average 5%, according to FactSet. The S&P 500 closed 4.59 points, or 0.2%, lower at 2,384.18. The benchmark index gained 1.5% over the week and ended the month 0.9% higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 40.82 points, or 0.2%, to 20,940.51. The blue-chip index gained 1.9% over the week and 1.3% over the month. The Nasdaq Composite ended fractionally lower, having touched an intraday all-time high. The tech-heavy index settled a point lower at 6,047.61. The index outperformed other benchmarks over the month, gaining 2.3% and finishing the week 2.3% higher.

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Oil prices gain for the day, fall for the month

6 hours 50 min ago

Oil prices settled with a modest gain on Friday, but fell for the month. Traders continued to weigh bullish prospects for an extension to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries production-cut deal against a bearish climb in U.S. output. June WTI crude rose 36 cents, or 0.7%, to settle $49.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were down about 2.5% from the March 31 settlement of the front-month May contract.

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Gold prices gain for the month, but fall for the week

7 hours 57 min ago

Gold prices climbed on Friday, raising their monthly gain to roughly 1.3%, as weaker-than-expected first-quarter U.S. economic growth weighed on the dollar. Prices, however, ended the week about 1.6% lower as a rise in global equities from last Friday helped to dull safe-haven investment demand for the metal. June gold rose $2.40, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,268.30 an ounce for the session.

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Baker Hughes data show U.S. oil-rig count up a 15th week in a row

8 hours 40 min ago

Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by nine to 697 rigs this week. That marks a 15th weekly climb in a row. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, also climbed by 13 to 870, according to Baker Hughes. June West Texas Intermediate crude was up 18 cents, or 0.4%, at $49.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the session-- just a few pennies below the level it traded at before the data.

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Cloudera opens above issue price gaining market cap of $2.28 billion

9 hours 59 min ago

Shares of Cloudera Inc. opened at $17.80 Friday morning, 19% above the company's issue price, in the software company's debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The company sold 15 million shares at $15 each to raise $225 million. Though it priced above its range, Cloudera's issue price still cut its private market valuation of $4.1 billion in half. With the opening price, Cloudera's public market capitalization was $2.28 billion. Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and Allen & Company LLC were the lead underwrtiers on the offering. It has granted underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to 2.25 million additional shares.

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Kellogg announces plan for 4% dividend hike to 54 cents a share, starting with Q3

10 hours 22 min ago

Kellogg Co. said Friday it is planning to increase its quarterly dividend by 4% to 54 cents a share, starting with the third quarter. The cereal company made the announcement as it declared a dividend of 52 cents a share payable June 15 to shareholders of record as of June 1. Shares were slightly lower Friday, and are down 4% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.5%.

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Columbia Sportswear downgraded as store closures impact sales growth outlook

11 hours 5 min ago

Columbia Sportswear Co. was downgraded to hold from buy at Canaccord Genuity on Friday based on a slowdown at U.S. wholesale channels. Columbia Sportswear's price target was cut to $60 from $64. Canaccord upgraded Columbia Sportswear in September 2016 on the belief the company could achieve mid-to-high single-digit sales growth this year. However retail bankruptcies and store closures along with "still-cautious" fall ordering has softened the company's outlook, the note said. Columbia Sportswear Chief Executive Tim Boyle acknowledged that the closures, bankruptcies, liquidations and "ongoing efforts by U.S. retailers to rationalize their store fleets and square footage" are challenges in a late-Thursday earnings release statement. Long-term goals could also be in jeopardy since the "U.S. challenges appear structural." Columbia Sportwear reported first-quarter earnings late Thursday that beat expectations. Net income was $36.0 million, or 51 cents per share, up from $31.8 million, or 45 cents per share, last year. The FactSet consensus was 41 cents. Sales were $543.8 million, up from $525.1 million last year and ahead of the $535.0 FactSet consensus. The company expects 2017 sales growth of 3%, and EPS after non-controlling interest of about $2.72 to $2.82 per share. The FactSet consensus is $2.80. Columbia Sportswear shares are down 6.4% in Friday trading and down 7% for the past year. The S&P 500 index is up 15% for the last 12 months.

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Carvana shares trading 13% below issue price in market debut

11 hours 14 min ago

Shares of Carvana Co. were trading at $13 Friday morning, 13% below its issue price, in the car company's debut on the New York Stock Exchange. Carvana sold 15 million shares at an issue price of $15 to raise $225 million. With that issue price, Carvana had a market cap of $2.1 billion. Wells Fargo Securities, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank Securities were the lead underwriters on the offering. Carvana has granted underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to 2.25 million additional shares.

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Amazon still refuses to buy back its stock

11 hours 22 min ago

Amazon.com Inc.'s investors may not agree, but the e-commerce giant continues to believe their are better uses for its cash than to buy back its own shares. Amazon disclosed Friday in its quarterly 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it didn't repurchase any of its shares during the first quarter. The stock surged 2.4% in morning trade toward a record high after first-quarter results, and has run up 25% year to date. Amazon has a $5 billion share repurchase program in place, with no fixed expiration, and said it will "continually evaluate opportunities" to repurchase common stock. But filings show it hasn't bought back any common stock since 2012, when it spent $960 million to buy back 5.3 million shares, which implies and average price of about $181.13. At current prices, Amazon's repurchase program could buy back up to 5.3 million shares, or about 1.1% of the shares outstanding. Amazon had $15.44 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31, filings show. Separately, Amazon has never paid a cash dividend. Amazon shares have soared 56% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 15%.

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S&P 500, Dow open modestly higher; Nasdaq opens in record territory

12 hours 15 min ago

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index opened in record territory Friday after strong earnings from Google parent Alphabet Inc. helped lift the broader index. The S&P 500 [s spx] climbed 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2,391, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat at 20,974. The Nasdaq [: comp] gained 20 points, or 0.3%, to 6,070. Shares of Alphabet , one of the index's largest components, rose after the company late Thursday reported strong quarterly earnings. Meanwhile, shares of Western Digital Corp. surged after the computer-data storage company reported late Thursday that its quarterly revenue and profits had topped forecasts.

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Amazon's results weren't 'meaningful' enough for Raymond James to return to bullish stance

12 hours 43 min ago

Analyst Aaron Kessler at Raymond James, who downgraded Amazon.com Inc. ahead of the e-commerce giant's first-quarter report, said Friday that he is sticking to his view that the stock is fairly valued. After having a bullish rating on Amazon for two years, Kessler cut his rating to market perform on Tuesday. After Amazon reported late Thursday what Kessler called "largely in-line 1Q results," the stock surged 3.1% in premarket trade toward its 11th record close of the year. Kessler said he has a "positive fundamental view" on Amazon, but he believes Amazon "needs to begin to show more meaningful operating leverage--flat [year-over-year] in 1Q--for shares to move meaningfully higher." The stock has rallied 9.9% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.1%.

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Amazon's average stock target soars to $1,048.16

12 hours 45 min ago

Shares of Amazon.com Inc. soared more than 3% in premarket trade as analysts predicted gains for the stock following stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings. Roughly 15 price-target increases propelled the stock Friday morning, which increased the average target on its shares to $1,048.16, compared with $956.88 the day before the earnings report, according to a FactSet survey of more than 35 analysts. The average rating on the stock is the equivalent to buy. Shares of Amazon traded around $947.49 ahead of the market open, which puts the company on track for a $15 billion increase in its market valuation to $453 billion. That would inch Amazon stock closer than ever to Microsoft Corp. , the third most-valuable company in the S&P 500 behind Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc. . Microsoft is set to open with a market cap of around $528 billion. As of Thursday's close, shares of Amazon has risen 10% in the past three months and 53% in the past year, outperforming the S&P 500 , which is up 4% in the past three months and 15% in the past year.

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Amazon's most sought-after clothing brands include Nike, Adidas and Under Armour

12 hours 47 min ago

Amazon.com Inc. is the second largest U.S. apparel retailer, according to the latest analysis from Morgan Stanley, and athletic brands top the list of most frequently purchased. Nike Inc. , adidas AG , Hanes and Under Armour Inc. were the most sought-after brands, with at least 20% of respondents naming them. Morgan Stanley AlphaWise polled 1,000 adults aged 18 and over from April 4 to April 12. "We expect consumer expectations around seeing more dressier and formal attire brands to grow as Amazon's private label brands gain traction," analysts wrote in the Friday note. Nearly half of respondents (46%) purchased clothes from Amazon in the last year, second only to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with 60%. And nearly half (47%) of likely Amazon apparel shoppers said they expect to buy more clothes from the e-commerce giant in the next 12 months and fewer pieces from other retailers. Analysts say Amazon's 2016 share gains came out of department stores and Target Corp. . Clothing sales at Amazon appears to be driven by Prime members, who are 1.5 times more likely than non-prime members to buy clothes from the site. Amazon shares are up 3% in premarket trading, and up 52.6% for the past year. The S&P 500 index is up 15.1% for the last 12 months.

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Dollar advances vs. yen after GDP, employment costs data

13 hours 8 min ago

The dollar advanced against the yen on Friday while paring an earlier decline against the euro after preliminary data showed a modest expansion in U.S. economic growth during the first quarter. The dollar climbed 0.3% to 111.55 yen in recent trade, while the euro pared an earlier drop, buying $1.0926 in recent trade. The greenback traded at 111.26 yen and $1.0874 late Thursday in New York. The U.S. GDP expanded by 0.7% in the first quarter, just slightly below a consensus forecast of 0.8% from a survey of economists conducted by MarketWatch. Economic growth during the first quarter has been weak in recent years. Meanwhile, the employment cost index, a leading indicator for inflation, advanced 0.8% during the quarter, besting expectations for a 0.6% increase.

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Chevron shares jump after profit beats estimates

13 hours 11 min ago

Chevron Corp. shares rose 2.2% in premarket trade Friday, after the oil major beat first-quarter profit expectations. Chevron said it had net income of $2.7 billion, or $1.41 a share, in the quarter, after a loss of $725 million, or 39 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. The net number includes a $600 million gain from the sale of an upstream asset. Revenue rose to $33.4 billion from $23.6 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 86 cents and revenue of $34.9 billion. Chief Executive John Watson said the company is making progress on cutting spending, with operating costs down abut 14% from the year earlier and capex down more than 30%. "Overall net oil-equivalent production in the first quarter increased 3 percent compared to the 2016 full year and we are on track to meet the 4-9 percent growth goal for 2017 before the effect of asset sales," Watson said. Shares are down 10.4% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.7%.

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Amazon's stock surge to record high a $2.7 billion gain for Jeff Bezos

13 hours 24 min ago

Amazon.com Inc.'s stock surged 3.6% in premarket trade Friday, putting it on track to set an all-time high at the open, after the e-commerce giant reported better-than-expected first-quarter results. The stock changed hands at $951.64 ahead of the open, above Thursday's record close of $918.38 and above the April 5 record intraday high of $923.72. With about 490 million shares outstanding at the end of the first quarter, the stock's price gain of $33.26 would about $16.3 billion to Amazon's market capitalization. The gain would also add about $2.7 billion to founder Jeff Bezos's pocket, as he is the largest shareholder with about 80.9 million, or 17% of the shares outstanding, according to FactSet. The stock had run up 22% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 had climbed 6.7%.

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