MarketWatch Market Pulse

Subscribe to MarketWatch Market Pulse feed MarketWatch Market Pulse
MarketWatch, a leading publisher of business and financial news, offers users up-to-the minute news, investment tools, and subscription products.
Updated: 2 hours 48 min ago

SeaWorld being investigated for 'Blackfish' documentary statements

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:56

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. disclosed Friday afternoon that the company has received subpoenas from the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission in regards to statements made about a critical 2013 documentary called "Blackfish." In an SEC filing, the company said the subpoenas concern "disclosures and public statements made by the Company and certain executives and/or individuals on or before August 2014, including those regarding the impact of the "Blackfish" documentary, and trading in the Company's securities." In an earnings report that month, SeaWorld blamed poor earnings on "adverse publicity" regarding the treatment of its Orcas, the subject of the documentary. SeaWorld said that it had formed a special committee of the board to deal with the inquiries, and engaged counsel to assist them. SeaWorld stock, which has never recovered from the sharp decline suffered in 2014, closed with a 1% decline at $15.65 Friday, then declined more than 2% in late trading.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

YogaWorks seeks to raise $75 million via initial public offering

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:34

YogaWorks Inc. filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $75 million via an initial public offering, according to a regulatory disclosure Friday. The yoga-studio chain operator posted a loss of $9.5 million on revenue of $55.1 million in 2016. The underwriters for the deal are Cowen, Stephens Inc., Guggenheim Securities and Roth Capital Partners. YogaWorks plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker YOGA.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Kala Pharmaceuticals files for IPO

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:17

Kala Pharmaceuticals Inc. has filed for an initial public offering, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday. The Waltham, Mass.-based company focuses on the treatment of eye diseases and listed net losses of $17 million in 2015, $33 million last year, and $10 million in the first three months of this year. The company is expected to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol KALA.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Greece credit rating upgraded at Moody's, outlook revised to stable

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 16:58

Greece's sovereign bond rating was upgraded one notch to Caa2 from Caa3 at Moody's Investors Service, citing the release of a EUR8.5 billion tranche under the country's adjustment program allowing the repayment of debt, improved fiscal prospects and tentative signs of a stabilizing economy. The outlook was revised to positive, which implies another upgrade is likely, from stable. The sovereign bond rating is still 8 notches below investment grade. The short-term debt rating was affirmed at not prime. "Beyond the near-term impact of allowing Greece to repay upcoming maturities, we consider the conclusion of the review to be a positive signal regarding the future path of the programme, as it required the Greek government to legislate a number of important reform measures," Moody's said in a research note. "The decision to assign a positive outlook to the Caa2 rating reflects Moody's view that the prospects for a successful conclusion of Greece's third adjustment programme have improved, which in turn raises the likelihood of further debt relief." Greece's Athex Composite Share Price Index has rallied 27.5% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.9%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Wal-Mart will not bid against Amazon for Whole Foods: report

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 16:37

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is not considering a bid for Whole Foods Market Inc. , the grocery chain that Amazon.com Inc. has agreed to purchase for $13.7 billion, according to a Friday afternoon report. Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source, that Wal-Mart was not actively considering entering a bidding war for the grocery chain, taking out one potential challenge that some investment analysts expected to emerge and drive up the price. Another source told Reuters that Whole Foods had not received any new bids as of Friday. Investors had pushed Whole Foods shares higher than the $42 price Amazon agreed to pay in the hope that a second bidder would result in a higher acquisition price. Whole Foods stock dropped from higher than $43.50 to less than $43 just before the close of trading Friday, as the report hit; shares closed at $42.94.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

U.S. stocks end mostly higher, book weekly gains

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 16:06

U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on Friday, as energy shares staged a modest rebound after a recent selloff, while technology stocks extended their advance. The Nasdaq Composite outperformed other indexes, rising 28.56 points, or 0.5%, to 6,265.25 on Friday and booking a 1.9% gain over the week, the largest in a month. The gains on the tech-heavy index were driven by a jump in biotechnology shares earlier in the week. The S&P 500 rose 3.81 points, or 0.2%, to 2,438.31, and was up 0.2% over the week, as steep losses in the energy, telecoms, utilities and financials sectors trimmed what would have been solid weekly gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended virtually unchanged at 21,396.33. The blue-chip index ended the week roughly where it started after paring gains from earlier in the week. Among biggest decliners this week, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc fell 16%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Fifth Republican senator opposes chamber's health-care bill

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 15:10

Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican of Nevada, announced Friday he is opposed to the Senate Republican Obamacare repeal bill in its current form, according to The Hill. Heller, a centrist, said he was concerned about the bill's phaseout of the Medicaid expansion. Heller joins four more conservative Republican senators in opposing the current bill. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can lose no more than two GOP votes on the bill to pass the measure.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Oil prices mark longest streak of weekly losses since 2015

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 14:43

Oil prices rose Friday, buoyed by ongoing high compliance among major oil producers with an output-cut agreement. But prices still fell for a fifth-straight week--the longest streak of weekly declines since 2015, as traders continued to fret over rising output from the U.S. August West Texas Intermediate crude added 27 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $43.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost about 4.4% for the week.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Portola Pharma stock skyrockets after FDA approves anticoagulant for high-risk patients

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 14:00

Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares skyrocketed 46% in extremely heavy Friday afternoon trade after the Food and Drug Administration approved its anticoagulant drug intended for high-risk patients. The drug, Bevyxxa, is the first and only intended for hospital and extended duration prevention of blood clots that form in veins in adult patients at risk for complications. Bevyxxa "is the first therapy to demonstrate a reduction in the incidence of [blood clots that form in veins] in these high-risk patients without a significant increase in major bleeding," said Dr. C. Michael Gibson, an executive committee member for Bevyxxa's late-stage trial. "With this approval, we are finally able to help protect these patients from this often fatal, yet preventable condition." Portola shares have surged 47.1% over the last three months to $56.17, compared with a 4.0% rise in the S&P 500 .

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Gold climbs for the session, ends nearly flat for the week

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 13:56

Gold climbed Friday, with a decline in the U.S. dollar helping prices post a gain for a third session in a row. Prices for the yellow metal settled a dime below their finish a week ago. "Gold is consolidating from the recent drawback, but is still in a correction mode," said Nico Pantelis, head of research at Secular Investor. "We should be nearing the bottom of the current correction in the next week or two, from where a bigger climb should start." August gold rose $7, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,256.40 an ounce. It finished last Friday at $1,256.50.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Oil prices cut gains as data show U.S. oil-rig count up 23 consecutive weeks

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 13:13

Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil climbed by 11 to 758 rigs this week. That marked a 23nd weekly rise in a row. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, rose by eight to 941, according to Baker Hughes. Oil prices pared earlier gains following the data, with August West Texas Intermediate crude up 9 cents, or 0.2%, at $42.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the session. It was trading at $43.07 before the data.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Initial manufacturing PMI falls to 9-month low in June

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:54

A "flash" reading of manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to a nine-month low in June. The IHS Markit manufacturing index fell to a reading of 52.1 in June from 52.7 in May, a reading that still shows improving conditions as it's above the 50 mark. The flash services PMI slowed to a 3-month low of 53 from 53.6 in May. The flash readings are based on 85% to 90% of responses.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Top Ships's stock plunges below $1 mark after 1-for-15 reverse split is enacted

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:50

Shares of Top Ships Inc. plummeted 60% in morning trade Friday, to below the $1 mark, even after the company enacted a 1-for-15 reverse stock split. After the tanker ship operator's stock closed Thursday at a pre-split price of 16 cents after company announced that it was enacting a reverse 1-for-15 split effective Friday, which increases the price to $2.40. The reverse split comes just six weeks after the company enacted a 1-for-20 reverse split, meaning the company has engineered an increase in its stock price by a factor of 300 in less than two months. The stock has plunged 99.9% year to date. The company had enacted a 1-for-10 reverse split in February 2016, a 1-for-7 reverse split in April 2014 and a 1-for-10 reverse split in June 2011. On Thursday, fellow tanker operator DryShips Inc. enacted a 1-for-5 reverse split.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

AVEO Pharma surges 48% on recommendation for European approval of its cancer drug

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:48

AVEO Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares surged as much as 48% in extremely heavy morning trade Friday after the company's cancer drug was recommended for approval in Europe. The decision was made by a scientific committee of the European Medicines Agency and will be considered by the European Commission, with a decision expected in about 67 days, the company said. The drug, tivozanib, is being licensed in Europe by EUSA Pharma Inc. Tivozanib is intended for advanced renal cell carcinoma, which is the most common type of kidney cancer and is expected to be one of the fastest growing cancers in the next decade. AVEO failed to receive Food and Drug Administration approval for tivozanib back in 2013. The company has an ongoing phase 3 trial in third-line renal cell carcinoma, which is expected to read out in the first quarter of 2018. European approval of tivozanib would "add significant resources to our balance sheet as we work toward the anticipated readout," AVEO Chief Executive Michael Bailey said, including a $4 million research and development reimbursement payment and up to $12 million in additional milestone payments from EUSA Pharma. AVEO shares have surged 51.1% over the last three months to $1.08 per share, compared with a 3.7% rise in the S&P 500 .

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Stocks struggle for direction as investors await data, Fed speakers

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:41

Stocks opened flat Friday as investors awaited economic data and remarks by Federal Reserve speakers while keeping an eye on oil. The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1% to 2,434.70, while the Dow industrials declined 25 points, or 0.1%, to 21,372. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up less than 0.1% at 6,238. Data on activity in the manufacturing and services sector, along with figures on new home sales are due later this morning. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Fed Gov. Jerome Powell are each set to speak at different events later in the day.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Bed Bath & Beyond's stock plunges toward 7-year low after disappointing results

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:29

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. sank 10% in premarket trade Friday, putting it on track to open at a 7-year low, in the wake of the home goods retailer's disappointing results. The stock is also in danger of the biggest one-day post-results decline since Q3 2013 results were reported in January 2014. The company reported late Thursday, earnings and revenue that missed expectations, and same-store sales that declined, compared with expectations of an increase. The stock, on track to open at the lowest price seen during regular session hours since May 7, 2010, has tumbled 17% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 11% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Forestar's stock surges as bidding war between D.R. Horton and Starwood continues

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:02

Shares of Forestar Group Inc. rallied 5.2% in premarket trade Friday, after the land development company said it determined that D.R. Horton Inc.'s increased bid to buy 75% of the company was a "superior proposal" to its merger agreement with Starwood Capital Group. D.R. Horton had increased its bid to $17.75 a share in cash from its most-recent bid of $16.25 a share. Forestar also announced Friday that it had amended its merger deal with Starwood to increase the per-share bid to $16.00 a share in cash from the most-recent deal of $15.50 announced Wednesday, and up from the original bid of $14.25 a share. The termination fee of the Starwood deal is $20 million. Forestar said its agreement with Starwood permits Forestart to discuss the deal further through June 28. Forestar's stock has rallied 24% year to date through Thursday, while D.R. Horton shares have climbed 22% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Repligen to buy filtration company Spectrum for $359 million in cash and stock

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 08:11

Repligen Corp. announced Friday an agreement to buy privately-held filtration company Spectrum Inc. for about $359 million. Under terms of the deal, Repligen will pay $120 million in cash and 6.154 million shares of its stock, which represents about 18% of the shares outstanding. Repligen expects the deal to be completed during the third quarter of 2017, and add $17 million to $18 million to Repligen's 2017 revenue. The deal is expected to add to earnings in 2018. "This is a pivotal transaction for Repligen that meets all of our acquisition criteria and is a major step forward in building Repligen as a global leader in bioprocessing and achieving our long term financial goals," said Repligen Chief Executive Tony Hunt. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 30% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Synchronoss's stock rockets after Siris Capital expresses buyout interest

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 07:58

Shares of Synchronoss Technologies Inc. rocketed 36% in premarket trade Friday, after it was disclosed that the mobile technologies company received unsolicited buyout interest from Siris Capital Group. The private-equity firm delivered a letter to Synchronoss saying it was in position to buy the company for $18 a share, which is 48% above Thursday's closing price of $12.18. That price would give Synchronoss a market capitalization of $834.6 million. Siris Capital is Synchronoss's largest shareholder, with holdings of 6 million shares, or 12.9% of the shares outstanding, according to recent filings. Synchronoss's stock has plunged 68% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

BlackBerry cleared to repurchase 31 million shares, or 6.4% of the public float

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 07:40

BlackBerry Ltd. said it has been cleared to buy back up to 31 million of its common shares, for cancellation purposes. That represents about 5.8% of the total shares outstanding, which totaled 531.5 million shares as of May 31, or 6.4% of the public float, which was 481.2 million shares. At Thursday's stock closing price of $11.06, the buyback could cost $342.9 million, compared with reported total cash balances of $2.6 billion at the end of the fiscal first quarter. The stock tumbled 5.8% in premarket trade, after company reported earlier a surprise profit, but sales that fell more than expected. The stock has rocketed 60.5% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Pages