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: 1 hour 26 min ago

At Home Group shares soar 9% on better-than-expected earnings

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 11:20

Shares of retailer At Home Group Inc. soared 9% Wednesday, after the company posted better-than-expected earnings for its fiscal first quarter and offered an upbeat outlook for the rest of the year. Plano, Texas-based At Home operates home decor superstores and went public in August of 2016. The company said it had net income of $10 million, or 16 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $7.3 million, or 14 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 19 cents, a penny ahead of the FactSet consensus. Sales rose to $211.8 million from $172.1 million a year ago, also ahead of the FactSet consensus of $208.7 million. Same-store sales rose 5.8% to beat the FactSet consensus of 3.8%. "It is still early in the year, but we feel very good about our first quarter performance and are raising our top line expectations and the midpoint of our fiscal 2018 EPS outlook," Chief Executive Lee Bird said in a statement. The company is now expecting fiscal 2018 sales of $906 million to $913 million, and adjusted EPS of 73 cents to 75 cents. Shares have gained 38% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%.

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 turns sharply lower, drags energy ETF and broader stock market down

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 11:09

Oil prices retreated sharply lower Wednesday, pushing energy-related shares into negative territory and cutting the market's modest early climb. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for July delivery traded more than 4% lower at $46.02 a barrel, after a report showed an expected climb in U.S. production to record levels. The Energy Information Administration reported that crude-oil inventories rose by 3.3 million barrels last week, larger than analysts' expectations. The report, which comes as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and other non-OPEC crude producers, are trying to rebalance global supply and stabilize volatile oil prices. The energy sector, as measured through the exchange traded Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF , was down 1.3% in late-morning trade, representing the worst decline among the S&P 500's 11 sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 initially turned negative following the report, but reduced more modest gains to trade near break-even levels. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,430, the Dow was also tepidly higher at 21,147, up less than 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index showed a gain of 0.3% at 6,290.

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.

Duluth shares drop 17% after earnings miss estimates

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 10:46

Duluth Holdings Inc. shares are down 17.3% in Wednesday trading after the company reported a first-quarter earnings miss. Net income totaled $0.4 million, or 1 cent per share, down from $3.24 million, or 10 cents per share, for the same period last year. The FactSet consensus was 5 cents. Revenue for the quarter was $83.7 million, up from $68.6 million last year and ahead of the $82.9 million FactSet consensus. The company, which is known for its humorous advertising and items like Buck Naked underwear, opened four retail stores in the quarter in Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan and Rhode Island, and has plans for 12 retail stores and one outlet store for the year. Duluth expects 2017 EPS in the range of 66 cents to 71 cents and sales in the range of $455.0 million to $465.0 million. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of 70 cents and sales of $463.7 million. Duluth shares are down 33.1% for the year so far, while the S&P 500 index is up 8.5% for the period.

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.

EIA reports unexpected weekly climb in U.S. crude-oil supplies

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 10:40

Oil prices dropped Wednesday after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that domestic crude supplies rose by 3.3 million barrels for the week ended June 2. The unexpected rise marked the first weekly increase in nine weeks. The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reported a drop of 4.6 million barrels, while analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast a fall of 3.5 million barrels. Gasoline stockpiles also climbed by 3.3 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles were up 4.4 million barrels last week, according to the EIA. July crude traded at $46.55 a barrel, $1.64, or 3.4%, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It traded at $47.62 before the supply 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.

New York Times names new chief operating officer amid digital reshaping

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 10:34

The New York Times Co. said on Wednesday it's named Meredith Kopit Levien as the company's chief operating officer, effective immediately. Kopit Levien, who was previously responsible for generating all advertising and subscription revenue for the Times as the chief revenue officer, will now be tasked with streamlining and accelerating the operations of the rapidly growing digital businesses. Kopit Levien will oversee the teams responsible for product, design, audience and brand, consumer revenue, advertising and NYT Beta, which develops and manages new digital products. Kopit Levien's promotion is part of a broader reshaping of the Times's digital departments. "We've seen striking success in digital in recent quarters with remarkable growth in audiences, subscriber numbers and digital advertising revenue. But I believe we have the opportunity to more even faster by simplifying and streamlining decision-making and digital execution at the company," said New York Times Chief Executive Mark Thompson in a statement. In the Times's reorganization the executive vice president of product and technology position, held by Kinsey Wilson, is being eliminated. Wilson opted not to stay on in another role at the Times, but will serve as a strategic adviser to Thompson, Executive Editor Dean Baquet and other senior leaders at the paper. The New York Times recently said it was offering buyouts aimed at cutting down the number of editors in the newsroom. The Times didn't say how many jobs it wanted to get rid off, but said its goal is to increase the number of on-the-ground journalists by about 100. In the company's reorganization it also eliminated the public editor role. In its first-quarter earnings report the Times said it had its best quarter ever for subscriber growth. And while print advertising continued to decline, digital saw substantial growth and accounted for 38% of the company's total advertising revenue. Shares of the New York Times have gained more than 30% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 index have increased nearly 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.

ShotSpotter shares trading above issue price in market debut

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 10:33

ShotSpotter, Inc. shares were soaring 14.5% Wednesday morning as the stock was trading above its issue price in its market debut on the Nasdaq. Shares of ShotSpotter were trading at $12.66, above the company's $11 issue price. The gunshot detection company sold 2.8 million shares to raise $30.8 million.

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.

Coke's stock leads Dow decliners, Pepsi shares fall after BMO downgrades

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 09:44

Shares of Coca-Cola Co. slumped 0.9% and PepsiCo Inc.'s stock dropped 0.4% in morning trade Wednesday, after the non-alcoholic beverage giants were downgraded at BMO Capital, due primarily because of valuation. Coke's stock was the leading decliner in the Dow Jones Industrial Average . Analyst Amit Sharma cut his ratings on the companies to market perform from outperform, saying "it's difficult to argue for meaningful multiple expansion from current levels, particularly given that earnings growth is unlikely to significantly accelerate in the next 12-18 months." Coke's stock closed Tuesday 1.9% below its April 4, 2016 record close of $46.89, while Pepsi's stock closed 0.3% below its May 30, 2017 record of $118.01. Sharma doesn't expect the stocks to sell off, however, as he believes an investor focus on "safety" and the reversal of the "Trump trade" that had boosted economically sensitive sectors after the election, could continue to support current elevated valuations for the consumer staples sector heavyweights. Separately, Sharma upgraded rivals Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. and Cott Corp. to outperform from market perform, citing "depressed" valuation and "more attractive" earnings growth potential. The SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has run up 10.5% 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.

Stocks open higher ahead of U.K. vote, ECB and Comey testimony

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 09:35

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Wednesday, rebounding after two sessions of losses, though investors remained reluctant to make big bets ahead of a number of potentially market-moving events. A European Central Bank policy meeting and the U.K. general election on Thursday, as well as former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey's congressional testimony have left investors cautious. The S&P 500 opened 2 points, or 0.1%, higher at 2,431. The Nasdaq Composite was up 15 points, or 0.3%, to 6,291 at the open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average began the session up 20 points, or 0.1%, at 21,157.

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.

Imax shares downgraded to hold from buy as box office performance disappoints

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 09:07

Shares of Imax Corp. were down more than 1% on light volume in premarket trade on Wednesday after the stock was downgraded to hold from buy at Benchmark. The box office in the second quarter of 2017 has been weaker than analysts and industry experts expected. Imax, more than most exhibitors, relies on blockbuster event films to drive revenue. So far this year, big budget blockbusters have been disappointing. Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey wrote in a note this will likely lead to the fifth straight quarter of declining global box office per screen averages for Imax. He estimates second-quarter revenue of $88 million, below Wall Street expectations of $102 million. "We initially anticipated that a more compelling surface film slate would reset per screen average growth, but the opposite has created an awkward acknowledgement that recent per screen average deteriorating could prove less than transitory," Hickey wrote in a note to clients. Imax has historically been the premiere film exhibitor, but Hickey said he's cautious that elevated enthusiasm moviegoers have for recliner seating has shifted share away from Imax. "We suspect current/forward valuation consideration focused on escalating global economic volatility and box office weakness, on-going concern over near-term execution risk, dilution from new initiatives and a weak second-quarter box office performance despite what appeared to be an exceedingly strong film slate," Hickey wrote. "We remain confident over their continued network growth that includes a recent acceleration in installations, on-going rationalized growth expectations and share price reduction." Shares of Imax have declined nearly 20% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 index has gained close to 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.

ShotSpotter prices initial public offering at $11 a share to raise $30.8 million

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 08:59

ShotSpotter Inc. , a gunshot detection company, priced its initial public offering on Wednesday at $11 a share to raise $30.8 million. The company sold 2.8 million shares and has granted underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to 420,000 additional shares. The stock is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market Wednesday under the symbol "SSTI." Roth Capital Partners, Northland Capital Partners and Imperial Capital were the lead underwriters on the offering.

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.

United's stock slumps after May load factor declines

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 08:50

Shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. slumped 1.5% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the air carrier reported May load factor declined to 81.6% from 82.5% a year ago, as capacity growth of 3.7% outpaced the 2.6% increase in traffic. The airline, which suffered a public-relations mess after dragging a passenger off an overbooked flight in April, said May "involuntary denied boardings" have declined 79% from a year ago. The company affirmed its outlook for second-quarter passenger unit revenue growth of 1% to 3%, but said the Pacific region is experiencing "incremental weakness" because of unfavorable supply and demand dynamics in China and Hong Kong. United's stock has rallied 15% since the passenger-dragging incident, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has gained 5.4% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 3.1%.

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.

Allergan to buy medical device company and breast surgery funnel-maker Keller Medical Inc.

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 08:43

Allergan PLC said early Wednesday that it plans to buy privately-held medical device company Keller Medical Inc., which developed a funnel used during breast surgery procedures. The Keller Funnel, which helps plastic surgeons guide implants into the surgical pocket and reduces the risk of implant contamination, is "a natural complement to our world-class plastic surgery and regenerative medicine business," said Senior Vice President of Medical Aesthetics David Moatazedi. Plastic surgery and cosmetics has become a key business area for Allergan, with its aesthetics business -- which includes Botox among other products -- seen as one of its key assets. Allergan spent nearly $2.5 billion earlier this year to buy body-contouring company Zeltiq Aesthetics. Allergan shares were not active in premarket trade. Shares have dropped 4.7% over the last three months, compared with a 2.6% 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.

Novavax stock surges 6% after release of full mid-stage vaccine trial results

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 08:26

Novavax Inc. shares rose as much as 6% in premarket trade Wednesday after the company published full results from a mid-stage clinical trial for its RSV F vaccine in the medical journal Vaccine. The vaccine is intended to protect babies from severe lower respiratory tract infections through maternal vaccination. Novavax shares closed at $1.02 on Tuesday. Early results from the trial had previously been released in spring 2014, showing a positive safety profile for the vaccine. According to the full results, those with the vaccine had an about 52% reduction in recent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection -- which commonly causes lower respiratory tract infections -- relative to the placebo arms, the company said. "While it was not the primary endpoint in the trial, the Western Blot data suggest the potential to protect both the pregnant mothers and their infants from RSV disease," said President, Research and Development Dr. Gregory Glenn, referring to a type of research analysis. The phase 3 trial enrolled 720 women between 18 and 35 years of age. Novavax shares have dropped 28.2% over the last three months, compared with a 2.6% 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.

AMC Networks adds $500 million to its share buyback program

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 08:14

AMC Networks Inc. said Wednesday its board has approved an increase of $500 million to its share buyback authorization, bringing the total to $1 billion. The company owns the AMC, IFC, SundanceTV and IFC films networks. Shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but have gained 9% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.5%.

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.

AbbVie says late-stage rheumatoid arthritis trial had positive results

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 08:08

AbbVie Inc. said premarket Wednesday that its rheumatoid arthritis drug had positive results in a late-stage clinical trial. The drug, upadacitinib, is intended for patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who have had an insufficient response to treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, which are supposed to protect the patient's joints. In the clinical trial, which lasted 12 weeks, both doses of the drug met the study's primary endpoint, and key secondary endpoints were also met, the company said. The company said it found no new safety signals during the trial, and that serious adverse events occurred at 4% and 3% rates in the two dose arms, compared with a 2% rate in the placebo arm. AbbVie plans to present full results from the trial at an upcoming medical meeting and publish them in a peer-reviewed publication. AbbVie shares were up a scant 0.4% in premarket trade. Shares have risen 6.6% over the last three months, compared with a 2.6% 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.

DexCom wins FDA approval for G5 mobile app for android devices

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 08:05

DexCom Inc. said Wednesday it has won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its G5 mobile app for android devices. The San Diego-based company said the app allows people with diabetes to view and monitor their glucose levels on their mobile devices. The company already launched an app for iOS devices in 2016. Shares rose 0.5% in premarket trade, and have gained 17% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.5%.

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.

President Trump to name Christopher Wray as Comey replacement at FBI

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 08:04

President Donald Trump said he planned on nominating Christopher A. Wray, a former assistant attorney general, who oversaw the criminal division for President George W. Bush, as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Trump in a tweet on Wednesday described Wray as "a man of impeccable credential." Wray would replace former FBI Director James Comey, who the president fired about a month ago, resulting in a political firestorm, because the FBI boss was in the midst of an investigation into Russia's relationship with members of Trump's administration, notably national-security adviser, Michael Flynn. The president's tweet announcing his intention to pick Wray also comes just ahead of a highly anticipated Senate hearing, which will feature Comey. Wray currently works as a partner at King & Spalding.

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.

Brown-Forman profit and sales fall below expectations

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 08:03

Jack Daniel's parent Brown-Forman Corp. reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit that fell to $144 million, or 37 cents a share, from $522 million, or $1.30 a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 40 cents. Total sales fell to $887 million from $933 million, while net sales declined to $694 million from $729 million, missing the FactSet consensus for total revenue of $958.2 million and for net sales of $738.9 million. For the full year, Jack Daniel's family brand sales rose 3%, with Tennessee Whiskey sales rising 3%, Tennessee Honey growing 4% and Tennessee Fire increasing in the mid-teens percentages. Finlandia vodka sales fell 1%, while El Jimador sales rose 8%. The company expects fiscal 2018 EPS of $1.80 to $1.90, surrounding the FactSet consensus of $1.87. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has soared 16.5% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.5%.

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.

Hawaii becomes first state to enact law aligning with Paris agreement

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 07:35

Hawaii has become the first state to push through legislation that supports portions of the Paris climate accord, in a move that comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement. Hawaii Governor David Ige signed SB 559, which "expands strategies and mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide in alignment with the principles and goals adopted in the Paris agreement," according to a press release Wednesday. He also signed HB1578, which will establish the Carbon Farming Task Force, which among other things will capture and provide long-term storage for carbon dioxide to help mitigate climate change. "The measure adopted relevant sections of the Paris agreement as state law, which gives us legal basis to continue adaptation and mitigation strategies for Hawaii, despite the Federal government's withdrawal from the treaty," said Sen. J. Kalani English, senate majority leader who introduced SB 559. Trump's decision to pull out of the climate deal has triggered heavy criticism and many states have vowed to stick to the agreement nonetheless.

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.

Navistar's stock tumbles as continued weak used-truck market leads to large loss

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 07:05

Navistar International Corp.'s stock tumbled 9% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the truck and diesel engines maker swung to a wider-than-expected fiscal second-quarter loss. The net loss for the quarter to April 30 was $80 million, or 86 cents a share, compared with a profit of $4 million, or 5 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The latest quarter's results include $18 million in adjustments resulting from pre-existing warranties, asset impairment and debt financing charges and restructuring costs. The FactSet consensus was for a loss of 2 cents a share. Revenue slipped to $2.10 billion from $2.20 billion, just above the FactSet consensus of $2.07 billion. Truck segment sales fell 6% to $1.4 billion, while the segment's loss increased to $56 million from $23 million, due primarily to higher used truck losses, market pressures and lower market volumes. The company affirmed its guidance for 2017 revenue to be "similar" to 2016. The stock had run up 16% over the past two sessions, boosted by an analyst upgrade on Monday. It has lost 4.6% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.5%.

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