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Updated: 1 hour 23 min ago

Mattel's credit downgraded to a 'junk' rating at Moody's

1 hour 56 min ago

Mattel Inc.'s senior unsecured bond ratings were downgraded three notches to a "junk" rating of Ba3 from Baa3 at Moody's Investors Service, which cited the toy maker's weak performance this year and the lowered profit expectations for the holiday season. Moody's also cut Mattel's short-term rating to Not Prime from Prime-3. The rating outlook is stable. Moody's said it expects the lowered profit outlook to contribute to "much higher than previously expected year-end leverage." Separately, S&P Global Ratings downgraded on Monday Mattel's credit rating, which it already had rated "junk," one notch to BB- from BB, with a negative outlook. Mattel's stock rose 2.4% in morning trade, but has plunged 44.1% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 18.6% so far this year.

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Most wanted beauty product by women is the eyeshadow palette while men want moisturizer

1 hour 57 min ago

Of all beauty products, women most want a new eyeshadow palette for the holidays, according to a survey of more than 2,000 American women conducted by SkinStore, a beauty retailer. Two skincare products, serum and night cream, round out the top three choices. A survey of more than 2,000 men found that their number one beauty choice was moisturizer, followed by shaving products and facial wash. Beauty stocks like Ulta Beauty Inc. and e.l.f. Beauty Inc. have taken a beating in 2017, down nearly 13% and 24.5% for the year so far respectively as the S&P 500 index has risen 18.6%. Still Cowen & Company analysts said in a Nov. 30 note that skincare, fragrances and hair care are "bright spots" in a sea of disruptions like hurricanes and soft makeup trends. "Ulta's loyalty program and store format are sustainable competitive advantages, and customer relationships as well as vendor relations are competitive moats," analysts wrote. They rate Ulta shares outperform with a $246 price target.

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Verizon stock rises on announcement of new NFL deal

2 hours 3 min ago

Verizon Inc. shares gained 0.5% in Monday morning trading after the company said that it had signed a new streaming agreement with the NFL, reportedly worth more than $2 billion over five years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Under the deal, Verizon would have the rights to stream national and in-network NFL games on mobile devices, with the games available to viewers regardless of their wireless carrier. The deal begins in January and will include the NFL playoffs. Viewers will be able to watch the games on Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, go90, and the NFL's app. Verizon is trying to make a bigger push into the media business, after acquiring Yahoo's internet assets earlier this year and AOL in 2015. Verizon shares have fallen 4.1% so far in 2017, compared with a 19% gain for the S&P 500 Index .

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Disney, Chevron, 3M stocks help Dow industrials firm early gain

2 hours 8 min ago

The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw early gains firm on Monday, buoyed by early share rises in Walt Disney Co., Chevron Corp., and 3M Co. Shares of those Dow components were adding about 30 points to the price-weighted benchmark. The Dow was most recently up 40 points, or 0.2%, at 24,366. A $1 move in any one of the Dow's 30 components equates to a roughly 6.8-point swing in the Dow. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 index was up 4.56 points, or 0.2%, at 2,655. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow were trading in record territory, Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.2% at 6,856.

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Stock market trades flat as bitcoin futures trade kicks off

2 hours 26 min ago

U.S. stock indexes opened slightly higher Monday, as investors look ahead to a coming meeting by the Federal Reserve's monetary-policy-making committee, and after bitcoin made its trading debut in the futures market late Sunday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher but was mostly trading at break-even at 24,331, while the S&P 500 index traded about 0.1% higher at 2,652, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 10 points, or 0.2%, higher at 6,849. Meanwhile, was at $17,900, after the Cboe Global Market Inc. kicked off trade of the volatile cryptocurrency at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday. Markets are awaiting a key meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday, where a lifting of benchmark U.S. interest rates is expected.

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Arch Coal's stock rallies to record after 500,000 shares buyback deal

2 hours 32 min ago

Shares of Arch Coal Inc. rallied 2.4% toward a record high in morning trade Monday, after the coal producer announced a deal to buy back 500,000 shares from its second-largest shareholder, Monarch Alternative Capital LP. The company said it will repurchase the stock at $83.03 a share, which was 2.2% below Friday's closing price of $84.94, for a total of $41.5 million. The deal is expected to close on our about Dec. 14. Arch said the repurchase is part of its existing $500 million buyback program. Monarch owned 2.56 million Arch shares, or 10.5% of the shares outstanding, as of Sept. 30, according to FactSet, which was second to OppenheimerFunds Inc.'s 13.6 million shares outstanding. Arch's stock has rallied 11.4% year to date, while the S&P 500 has climbed 18.5%.

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Spark Therapeutics shares slide more than 40% after hemophilia data disappoint

2 hours 38 min ago

Shares of gene therapy biotech Spark Therapeutics Inc. tumbled more than 40% in early trade Monday, after it reported data from trials of a hemophilia treatment that analysts said look less competitive than a rival product from BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. The company presented early data from a trial of its SPK-8011 in hemophilia A involving five patients. "Although the enrollment size is small so far (n=5), early signs raise more caution than encouragement, on balance, and lead us to question whether there will be adequate dose-response for patients to reliably achieve normal Factor VIII expression levels," Leerink analysts wrote in an early note. Spark also unveiled longer-term data from a treatment for hemophilia B, that it is working on with Pfizer Inc. Shares are down 14.7% for 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%. BioMarin shares rose 8.4%.

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The Trade Desk stock rises after SunTrust upgrades to buy

2 hours 39 min ago

Shares of programmatic-advertising firm The Trade Desk Inc. gained 8% in Monday trading after analysts at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey upgraded the stock to buy from hold. The analysts, led by Youssef Squali, think that the company's risk/reward balance now looks attractive following a recent pullback in the stock price over the past month. While the company has exposure to the packaged-good and retail sectors, two troubled areas, Squali is upbeat about the future of programmatic advertising. He believes that large retail and packaged good firms "will come back and increase their spend, because online is where the eyeballs are and because programmatic is one of the most efficient ad channels online." The company could also be a beneficiary of tax reform, he wrote in a note to clients. Shares of The Trade Desk have gained 75% so far in 2017, compared with an 18% rise for the S&P 500 Index .

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Grubhub stock rises after analyst cites easing of competitive pressures

2 hours 42 min ago

Analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets raised their price target on Grubhub Inc. to $80 on Monday, matching the highest target among Wall Street analysts tracked by FactSet. Grubhub shares gained 2.4% in morning trading. The analysts, led by Brad Erickson, believe that Grubhub is effectively withstanding competitive pressure from Uber, Amazon.com Inc. , and others. "Amazon's impact has quieted relative to prior rounds of checks" with restaurants," Erickson wrote. He also sees numerous potential acquisition targets for Grubhub that would be "almost immediately accretive and could be done tactically in the event of incremental softness in gross food sales." These include meal-kit firms Munchery and Gobble, as well as food-delivery companies DoorDash and Delivery.com. Grubhub's stock has gained 81% so far in 2017, compared with an 18% rise for the S&P 500 Index .

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Skechers is one of 2018's best ideas, Burlington Stores to benefit from tax reform: Cowen analysts

2 hours 45 min ago

Skechers USA Inc. is one of the best ideas for 2018 according to Cowen & Co. thanks to its number two casual shoe position in a recent analyst survey, international growth potential and improving product cycle. Skechers only trails Nike Inc. . "The breadth and depth of the Skechers assortment and the brand's global reach, category expansion opportunities and consumer perception is underappreciated (based on relative valuation to peers)," Cowen analysts led by John Kernan wrote in a note. They "conservatively" forecast global same-store sales to grow 3% in fiscal 2018. Cowen rates Skechers shares outperform with a $42 price target, up from $38. Cowen analysts also say off-price retailer Burlington Stores Inc. is "retail's top tax reformer" with tax benefit forecast to occur in fiscal 2019, but could happen in fiscal 2018. Moreover, off-price companies like Burlington, TJX Cos. and Ross Stores Inc. now account for 13% of U.S. clothing and accessories sales, up from 10% in 2010. "The off-price channel has succeeded on price, flow of goods, buyers in the market, newness, scarcity and unparalleled value," Cowen wrote. Cowen rates Burlington shares outperform and raised its price target to $132 from $115. Skechers shares are up 45% for the year so far and Burlington shares are up 33.2% for 2017 to date, both outpacing the S&P 500 index rise of 18.4% for the period.

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Teva's stock gains after exclusive launch of generic Viagra

2 hours 46 min ago

Shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. rose 0.4% in morning trade Monday, after the drug maker announced the exclusive launch of its generic Viagra tablets in the U.S. The company said it will offer support services for its sildenafil tablets for erectile dysfunction, such as a savings card. "The launch of Teva's sildenafil tablets brings an affordable generic treatment option to the estimated 18 million men in the U.S. who are diagnosed with erectile dysfunction," said Brendan O'Grady, executive vice president, North America. Shares of Pfizer Inc. , which owns Viagra brand, edged up 0.1%. Viagra sales fell to $205 million in Pfizer's third quarter from $296 million a year ago. Teva's stock has tumbled 56% year to date through Friday, while Pfizer shares have gained 10%, the SPDR S&P Pharmaceutical ETF has rallied 10% and the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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American Express to eliminate signature requirement

3 hours 9 min ago

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

3 hours 17 min ago

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

3 hours 17 min ago

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

3 hours 27 min ago

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

3 hours 34 min ago

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

3 hours 43 min ago

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

3 hours 46 min ago

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

3 hours 55 min ago

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

3 hours 55 min ago

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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