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Target next-day delivery service for essentials expanding to 8 new markets

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 11:46

Target Corp. said Thursday that its Target Restock offering is expanding to eight new markets: Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Francisco, and the Washington D.C./Baltimore area. Target Restock offers next-day delivery for essential items like baby products and cleaning supplies for about $5 per box. The service is now live in 10 markets, and will add San Francisco in mid-October. Target announced the pilot for the program in June in Minneapolis. It was expanded to Denver and Dallas in August. Target shares are down 1.5% in Thursday trading, and is down 19.2% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up nearly 12% for 2017 so date.

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GoPro shares bounce back after three-day losing streak

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:55

Shares of GoPro Inc. were soaring 6% Thursday morning, bouncing back after losing 7.5% over the past three days. That led a a week-to-date drop of 2.4%, while the S&P 500 gained less than 1%. Shares of GoPro have gained 28% in the past month, outperforming the S&P 500 , which gained 3%. GoPro's stock closed at a 10.5 month high on Sept. 15, at a price of $11.52.

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Natural-gas prices extend losses as EIA reports U.S. supply rise of 97 billion cubic feet

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:50

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Thursday showed that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 97 billion cubic feet for the week ended Sept. 15. Analysts and traders expected inventories to grow by 89 billion cubic feet, according to Dow Jones. Total stocks now stand at 3.408 trillion cubic feet, down 136 billion cubic feet from a year ago, but 67 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, the government said. October natural gas was down 10.8 cents, 3.5%, from Wednesday's settlement to $2.986 per million British thermal units. It traded at $3.029 before the data.

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Amazon hiring 2,000 workers in New York including IT and finance pros, opening Manhattan office

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:49

Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that it will create 2,000 jobs in New York City over the next three years, and open a new Manhattan office in 2018. The office will be the primary New York location for Amazon Advertising and cover 360,000 square feet. The jobs will be in areas like IT, finance and design, and these new staffers will support the aforementioned advertising business, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Fashion, and other divisions. Amazon already has 1,800 employees in Manhattan, and recently announced a new fulfillment center in Staten Island. Amazon is searching for a city to house its second headquarters. Amazon shares are down 1.1% in Thursday trading, but up 28.4% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up 11.7% for 2017 to date.

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Janney downgrades Calgon Carbon stock to sell, says Kuraray is overpaying for company

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:33

Janney analysts downgraded the stock of water and air purification products provider Calgon Carbon Inc. to sell from neutral Thursday, after the company was acquired by Japan's Kuraray Co. Ltd. in a deal with an equity value of $1.1 billion. The deal offers a roughly 60% premium, and the stock shot up about 61% in early trade. "Our quick thoughts are that Kuraray overpaid for shares," analysts wrote in a note. "Additionally, we see risk given that CCC has a specialty carbon business that supplies the U.S. military with gas masks and other personal protection items, so a foreign buyer could be an issue for U.S. government approval." Janney is recommending investors sell the stock and buy Rexnord Corp. or Mueller Water Products Inc. , which they described as their best value picks in the industrial space. Rexnord shares were down slightly, while Mueller shares were up 0.1%. The S&P 500 was flat.

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Whole Foods launching plant-based tuna alternative for sushi

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:15

Whole Foods announced Wednesday that it's launching a plant-based tuna alternative for the raw tuna in sushi on November 1 in select locations in New York City and Los Angeles. The vegan alternative, Ahimi, is made with tomatoes and "umami-rich" ingredients and was created by Ocean Hugger Foods,, which specializes in making plant alternatives to seafood. Ahimi will be available in the Ahimi Nigri and Roll Combo and the Ahimi California Roll. Whole Foods was acquired by Amazon.com Inc. this summer. Amazon shares are down 0.7% in Thursday trading and up 28.8% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up 11.7% for 2017 so far.

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Trump says U.S. will put more sanctions on North Korea

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:06

President Donald Trump said Thursday the U.S. "will be putting more sanctions on North Korea." He was responding to a shouted question by a reporter at a meeting with the president of Afghanistan and did not elaborate. Trump is holding a final day of meetings at the United Nations and is expected to focus his attention on North Korea in meetings with the leaders of Japan and South Korea. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, whose agency oversees sanctions, is scheduled to brief reporters at 3 p.m. Eastern, the White House said without specifying a topic.

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Apple's stock drop weighs on Dow industrials for a 2nd session

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:04

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was retreating from record territory on Thursday morning, weighed by a sharp fall in shares of Apple. Apple Inc. shares were down 1.5%, or $2.28, cutting about 15 points from the price-weighted Dow and threatening to lead blue-chip laggards for a second straight session. On Wednesday, shares of the Cupertino, Calif-based iPhone maker skidded on reports that the tech giant was experiencing connectivity problems with the latest iteration of its iWatch. The Dow was off 30 points, or 0.1%, at 22,382, after briefly touching an all-time high at 22,419.51. The S&P 500 index , meanwhile, was down 7 points, or 0.3%, at 2,500, while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index was off 34 points, or 0.5%, at 6,421.

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Starbucks Maple Pecan Latte joins the pumpkin spice latte on the fall menu

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 09:35

Perhaps even Starbucks Corp. thinks maple will be the flavor of the season? The coffee chain announced that it will introduce the maple pecan latte starting Friday, a second fall flavor to share the menu with the ever-popular pumpkin spice latte. In a release, Starbucks points out that it has offered variations on the maple coffee drink, including the maple macchiato in the U.S. and Canada and the Golden Maple Latte in Singapore. Starbucks is also launching the Dark Mocha Frappuccino in the U.S. and Canada on Friday, a cold drink served with cocoa and topped with whipped cream. Starbucks shares are down 0.2% in early Thursday trading, and down 8.2% for the last three months. The S&P 500 index is up nearly 3% for the past three months.

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U.S. stocks off slightly after Fed keeps rate path

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 09:32

U.S. stock-market indexes opened marginally lower on Wednesday, retreating from recent all-time highs. The S&P 500 opened 2 points, or 0.1%, lower at 2,505. The Nasdaq Composite index inched 9 points, or 0.1% lower to 6,446. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was nearly unchanged at 22,411 at the open. Among the best performers on Wall Street, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. surged after reports that Tesla was working with the chipmaker.

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Mattel amends credit agreement with banks after Toys 'R' Us bankruptcy

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 09:09

Mattel Inc. has amended its credit agreement to remove the ratio of consolidated debt to consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization that's required for fiscal third quarter 2017, in the wake of the Toys 'R' Us bankruptcy. The amendment also increased the ratio that Mattel is required to maintain during a covenant modification period to 4.50 to 1.00 for the fiscal fourth quarter and 4.25 to 1.00 for each quarter thereafter. The covenant modification period begins on September 20 and continues through the fiscal fourth quarter, at a minimum. After that, Mattel will have to request a termination of the covenant and demonstrate a debt to EBITDA ratio of 3.75 to 1.00 or less for the period including the preceding four consecutive fiscal quarters. Mattel is one of Toys 'R' Us' biggest trade creditors at $135.6 million. Mattel shares are down 45.5% for the year so far while the S&P 500 index is up 12% for the period.

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Biogen's stock falls after Raymond James cuts rating by two notches

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 09:06

Shares of Biogen Inc. fell 0.6% in light premarket trade Thursday, after the biotechnology company was downgraded by two notches at Raymond James, which cited continued headwinds for the multiple sclerosis business. Analyst Laura Chico cut her rating to market perform, skipping over outperform, after being at strong buy since August 2015. Chico said while MS headwinds aren't necessarily new, the risk-versus-reward setup for investors looks different given the stock's recent rally. Assuming modest MS franchise erosion and above-consensus estimates for its Spinraza muscular dystrophy treatment, she derives a fair value for the stock at $329, which is just 3.1% above Wednesday's closing price of $319. For Raymond James, a strong buy rating reflects expectations of a total return of at least 15% and outperformance relative to the S&P 500 over the next six-to-12 months. Biogen's stock has soared 14.5% over the past three months, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has climbed 5.3% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.0%.

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Scholastic shares slip as results can't match last year's record-breaking Harry Potter sales

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 08:50

Shares of Scholastic Corp. fell 5% in premarket trade Thursday after its first-quarter results missed expectations following last year's record-breaking sales of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two." Scholastic reported a net loss of $63.7 million, or a loss of $1.81 per share, wider than a net loss of $39.6 million, or a loss of $1.15 per share, in the year-earlier period. It reported an adjusted loss per share of $1.67, wider than the FactSet consensus of a loss per share of $1.34. Revenue was $189.2 million, down from $282.7 million in the year-earlier period and below the FactSet consensus of $208.3 million. Scholastic noted that in the year-earlier period it had the publication of the new Harry Potter book, which was the best-selling book in North America at the time. Scholastic said it has new Harry Potter in publishing coming out in 2018. The company added that it typically reports a loss in its fiscal first quarter because most U.S. schools are not in session. It reaffirmed its 2018 outlook of revenue of $1.65 to $1.70 billion and earnings per diluted share from $1.20 to $1.30. Shares of Scholastic have fallen 13% in the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3%.

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Inovio shares jump 5% premarket after two peer-reviewed paper support its research

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 08:20

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares climbed about 5% in premarket trade Thursday, after the company said its DNA-based monoclonal antibody program (dMAb) has been boosted by two peer-reviewed scientific papers that show its impact on prostate tumors and in preventing infection from a pneumonia-creating bacteria in early stage studies. "These two newly published studies further support that Inovio's potent dMAb platform could be expanded to target cancer and bacterial diseases along with viral infectious diseases," Chief Executive Dr. Joseph Kim said in a statement. A paper published in the journal "Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy" outlined how the dMAb shrunk prostate tumors in a preclinical animal model. Another paper showed that its dMAb constructs targeting antibiotic-resistant bacteria protected mice when challenged with a lethal dose of a pneumonia-creating bacteria. Inovio shares are down 13% in 2017 through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 12%.

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AMD's stock surges on heavy volume after report Tesla was working with the chipmaker

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 08:14

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. surged 1.3% on heavy volume in premarket trade Thursday, after a report that Tesla Inc. was working with the chipmaker on Tesla's Autopilot driver-assistance system, in an effort to reduce the reliance on Nvidia Corp. . Trading volume topped 6.4 million shares in recent trade, enough to make the stock the most actively. The stock was on track to open at the highest level seen during regular session hours since Aug. 2. Nvidia's stock slumped 1.8% ahead of the open. CNBC reported late Wednesday, citing a source familiar with the matter, that more than 50 people are working under Jim Keller, the head of Autopilot, and Tesla has brought on several former AMD employees to work on the project. AMD's stock has lost 1.7% over the past three months through Wednesday, while Nvidia shares have soared 16.5%, the PHLX Semiconductor Index has climbed 5.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.0%.

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Calgon Carbon shares soar 62% as company to be acquired by Kuraray in $1.1 billion deal

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 07:39

Shares of air and water purification systems maker Calgon Carbon Corp. soared 62% in premarket trade Thursday, after the company said it has reached an agreement to be acquired by Japan's Kuraray Co. Ltd. in a deal with an equity value of about $1.1 billion. Kuraray will pay $21.50 a share in cash for each Calgon Carbon share. The deal is expected to close by the end of December and will be completed as a merger of a newly-created subsidiary of Kuraray with and into Calgon Carbon. Calgon Carbon Chief Executive Randy Dearth said the deal will make the company part of a bigger, stronger global company with the resources to support the business into the future. Calgon Carbon shares had fallen 22% in 2017 through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 12%.

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CRH agrees to buy Ash Grove Cement in $3.5 billion deal

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 02:35

Irish building materials company CRH PLC has agreed to buy Ash Grove Cement Co. in a deal valuing the U.S. cement provider at $3.5 billion, the companies said Thursday. Ash Grove said the transaction will be in the range of $449 to $454 per share, based on its June 30 balance sheet. Shares of Ash Grove closed at $285 on Wednesday. The merger agreement, which is expected to close in late 2017 or early 2018, is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

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Manafort offered to brief Russian billionaire on Trump campaign: report

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 19:58

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort offered to provide private briefings on how the campaign was progressing to a Russian billionaire with close ties with President Vladimir Putin, according to a Washington Post report late Wednesday. Manafort made the offer to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate and one of the richest men in Russia, who had done business with Manafort in the past, the Post reported. It reportedly occurred two weeks before Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, when Manafort was still leading his campaign. The exchange was in a series of emails that were turned over to congressional investigators and special counsel Robert Mueller. The Post said Manafort was seeking to cash in on his growing reputation, asking "How do we use to get whole?" The Post said there was no evidence the briefings actually took place, and Manafort's spokesman said the dealings were "innocuous," according to NBC News, which corroborated the Post's report.

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Facebook signs huge office-space lease in San Francisco: report

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 18:43

Facebook Inc. has signed a huge office lease in San Francisco with room for 2,000 to 3,000 employees, the San Francisco Business Times reported Wednesday. The social media giant, which is headquartered 35 miles south in Menlo Park, will occupy 50 floors -- 436,000 square feet -- of a skyscraper that is still under construction. The 70-story tower at 181 Fremont is scheduled to open by the end of the year, and is close neighbors with the Salesforce Tower, now the city's tallest building. Facebook's office-space deal is reportedly the largest in San Francisco in the past three years. Facebook is the latest tech giant to make a significant footprint in San Francisco. Just this year, Salesforce.com Inc. , Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google have signed office-space deals in the city.

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Facebook adding more human review to ad systems, says COO Sandberg

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 17:28

Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Wednesday that the company plans to tighten its enforcement process and human review for ads on its platform. Facebook announced the changes in the wake of a ProPublica report that the Menlo Park-based company had enabled advertisers to reach "Jew haters." The company said additional human review for new ad targeting options aims to keep the offensive terms from appearing. In addition, Sandberg said Facebook will create a program that will enable the company's users to report ad abuses so the company can take action. "We have long had a firm policy against hate on Facebook," Sandberg wrote. "Our community deserves to have us enforce this policy with deep caution and care." Facebook stock edged down less than 1% after hours, and closed down 0.2% to $172.17 in the regular session. The company's stock has surged 49.7% this year, with the S&P 500 index rising 12%.

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