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Updated: 51 min 14 sec ago

SendGrid prices IPO above range, will sell more shares

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 20:39

SendGrid Inc. priced its initial public offering higher than expected and will offer more shares than originally planned, which will lead the email-marketing company to a total take of at least $131 million. SendGrid, which sells a software platform that helps companies manage email communications with customers, announced Tuesday evening that it will sell 8.2 million shares at $16 apiece. The 8-year-old startup had previously planned to sell 7.7 million shares at a price of $13.50 to $15.50 a share. Underwriting banks, led by Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan, have access to another 1.23 million shares that could be sold and push the total take higher. SendGrid is on track to report $100 million in annual revenue for the first time this year, and is approaching profitability after raising more than $80 million in venture investment. Shares are expected to begin trading Wednesday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Roku stock downgraded by analyst: 'most expensive public internet company'

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 19:25

Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein downgraded Roku Inc. to underperform because the stock's recent gains have made it difficult to justify the current valuation, he wrote in a Tuesday note to clients. Roku fell 13% to $36.95 during the regular session, and edged down less than 1% after hours. At its current prices, Helfstein says that Roku is the "most expensive publicly traded internet-based company on the basis of Platform revenue or Platform gross profit." Helfstein said that even though the company is a leading streaming device and software maker, and beat expectations with its third-quarter results, that does not justify that three-fold gain the stock as made since it went public at $14. Helfstein set a price target of $28. Roku shares have climbed 163% from the initial public offering price, with the S&P 500 index gaining 2.8%.

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Paulson & Co. takes stake in Rockwell Collins, drops AIG

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:56

Hedge fund manager John Paulson took a fresh stake in avionics and information technology firm Rockwell Collins in the third quarter, while closing a position in American Internatonal Group , according to a quarterly regulatory filing on Tuesday. The 13-F filing by Paulson & Company showed the hedge fund held 112,400 shares of Rockwell Collins as of Sept. 30. The filing also showed Paulson and Company no longer held a stake of more than 4.14 million shares of AIG. Paulson also eliminated small stakes in Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. , the filing showed.

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Bill Ackman's Pershing Square builds up major stake in ADP

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:55

Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management built up its position in Automatic Data Processing Inc. to 8.8 million shares at the end of September from 179,394 three months earlier as part of Ackman's failed proxy battle. Earlier this month, shareholders of ADP sided with the management and rejected the hedge-fund manager's attempt to secure three seats on the board. Pershing, however, trimmed its stake in Restaurant Brands International to 26.5 million shares versus 39.2 million at the end of June and cut its holding in Mondelez International Inc. to 13.93 million versus 14.5 million shares previously. The hedge fund's positions in other companies, including Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. , were mostly unchanged.

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Carl Icahn's portfolio little changed under conflict-of-interest questions

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:38

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did very little trading in the past quarter as he fell under conflict-of-interest scrutiny for his time as an adviser to President Donald Trump. In a late Tuesday Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Icahn's holdings were virtually unchanged from the previous quarter, save for a 14-million-share reduction in Freeport-McMoRan Inc. to 77.2 million shares and a reduction of about 21,000 shares in American International Group Inc. in a position of about 43 million shares. Recently, Icahn faced questions from federal prosecutors over his advisory role to Trump. In August, Virginia Rep. Don Beyer accused Icahn of "profiting off of the public trust and taxpayer dollars."

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Soros sells Twitter, Facebook, Apple and Snap

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:36

George Soros's hedge fund, Soros Fund Management LLC, eliminated or reduced investments in some of the biggest names in tech last quarter, including Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. Soros divested a 1,700-share stake in Apple as well as 1.55 million shares of Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. , according to a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The hedge fund greatly decreased its holdings in Facebook and Twitter Inc. , cutting Facebook shares from 476,713 shares to 109,451 and chopping investments in Twitter's stock and debt. Among the new investments Soros opened in the quarter were General Electric Co. , General Motors Co. , Campbell Soup Co. and Oracle Corp.

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Lam Research to buy back up to $2 billion in stock, hikes dividend

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:26

Lam Research Corp. on Tuesday said it will buy back up to $2 billion in shares over the next 12 to 18 months. Its board also approved raising the quarterly dividend by 11% to 50 cents a share. The dividend will be paid on Jan. 10 to shareholders of record on Dec. 6. Shares of Lam Research gained 1.7% after hours.

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Einhorn's Greenlight Capital cuts stakes in GM, Apple

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:15

David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital reduced its stakes in iPhone maker Apple Inc. and automaker General Motors Co. in the third quarter, according to a Tuesday regulatory filing. Greenlight's stake in Apple stood at 2,192,900 shares as of Sept. 30, reducing its stake by nearly 1.74 million shares, or 44%, compared to the end of the second-quarter, according to filing tracking service Whalewsidom.com. Greenlight cut its stake in GM by nearly 20.2 million shares, or 36%, to 34,561,500 shares, but also bought 2 million call options, which give a holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy the underlying security at a set price by a certain date. Greenlight bought 3.6 million shares of mattress maker Tempur Sealy International , while new stakes included nearly 8.4 million shares of Exela Technologies Inc. and 1.7 million shares of Venator Materials PLC .

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Apple faces U.S. ITC inquiry in patent dispute

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:13

The U.S. International Trade Commission has launched an investigation into Apple Inc. for patent infringement, the USITC said late Tuesday. Aqua Connect Inc. and Strategic Technology Partners LLC lodged a complaint Oct. 10 and requested the USITC issue a temporary exclusion order, the USITC said. If the order is granted, the agency could block the import of "certain Apple Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple TVs" but it was not immediately clear which gadgets the probe targets. Apple stock was down a fraction in late trading to $171.11. Apple shares have gained 48% this year, with the S&P 500 index gaining 15%.

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Valvoline hikes dividend by more than 50% to 7.45 cents a share

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:13

Valvoline Inc. raised its quarterly dividend by more than 50% to 7.45 cents from 4.9 cents a share, the motor oil company said late Tuesday. The dividend will be paid Dec. 15 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 1. Shares of Valvoline rose 0.8% to close at $23.26.

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David Tepper's Appaloosa doubles Apple stake, sells off Wells Fargo during the third quarter

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:00

Billionaire investor David Tepper's hedge fund Appaloosa L.P. more than doubled its stake in Apple Inc. during the third quarter, and also boosted its bets on fellow technology companies Facebook Inc. and Micron Technology Inc. , while cutting his stake in Bank of America Corp. and selling off his investment in Wells Fargo & Co. . Appaloosa's 13-F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that it owned 1,361,000 Apple shares as of Sept. 30, compared with 625,000 shares as of June 30. His stakes in Facebook increased 40% to 3.3 million shares and in Micron rose 32% to 17.1 million shares, while his BofA bet decreased 28% to 6.3 million shares. He owned just 681,463 Wells Fargo stock on June 30. Among some of the other moves, the hedge fund slashed his Chesapeake Energy Corp. stake by 79% to 766,000 shares, while raising he NRG Energy Inc. investment nearly 7-fold to 8.44 million shares. Elsewhere, the fund added a 250,000 share bet on Applied Materials Inc. , raised his Boston Scientific Corp. holding by 66% to 3.75 million shares and lifted his Ally Financial Inc. stake about 6-fold to 6.8 million shares. The overall value of Appaloosa's equity holdings increased 5.6% to $7.12 billion, while the S&P 500 increased 4.0% during the quarter.

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Warren Buffett buys Apple and sells IBM, opens new stake in Bank of America

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 16:53

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. sold shares in International Business Machines Corp. in the latest quarter and bought more stock in Apple Inc. , while opening a new position in Bank of America Corp. In a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Warren Buffett's investment firm disclosed that it sold about one-third of its IBM stake, more than 17 million shares, and purchased about 3.9 million Apple shares, which gives Berkshire more than 134 million shares of the iPhone maker in total. Berkshire bought 679 million shares in Bank of America while slightly cutting its stake in Wells Fargo & Co. Berkshire Hathaway stock has gained about 1.6% so far this year, while the S&P 500 index has added 15.5%.

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API data reportedly show an unexpected jump in U.S. crude supplies

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 16:41

The American Petroleum Institute reported Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies climbed by 6.5 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 10, according to sources. The API data also showed a rise of 2.4 million barrels in gasoline stockpiles, while inventories of distillates fell by 2.5 million barrels, sources said. Supply data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday morning. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to report declines of 1 million barrels each for crude and gasoline inventories. They also forecast a fall of 2 million barrels distillate supplies. December crude was at $55.08 a barrel in electronic trading, down from the settlement of $55.70 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Achillion shares drop as J&J to sell large stake

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 16:34

Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares fell in the extended session Tuesday after the drug developer reported promising early data on one of its kidney-disease treatments but said a large stakeholder was selling shares in a secondary offering. Achillion shares fell 9.2% to $3.35 after hours. Achillion said Johnson & Johnson Inc.'s venture capital arm, Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC Inc., will sell 18.4 million shares of Achillion in a public offering and that Achillion would not receive proceeds. Achillion has 136.9 million shares outstanding. Separately, the company said early data from its mid-stage clinical trial for ACH-4471 showed the drug reduced protein in the urine by more than 50% in patients with C3 glomerulopathy, a rare disease where protein deposits build up in the kidneys.

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U.S. stocks close lower as tax reform uncertainties weigh; GE extends losses

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 16:03

U.S. stocks retreated Tuesday, with all three main indexes closing lower, as uncertainties over whether the Trump administration will be able to deliver sweeping tax reforms weighed on investors' confidence. Analysts had largely credited anticipation over imminent corporate tax cuts for fueling much of the market's record-setting rally this year. Shares of General Electric Co. also extended losses, slumping 5.9%, in the wake of disappointment over the company's restructuring plan that included slashing dividends. The S&P 500 fell 5 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,578 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 30 points, or 0.1%, to end at 23,409. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 19 points, or 0.3%, to close at 6,737.

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Wells Fargo to pay $5.4 million for unlawful service member car repossessions

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 15:59

Wells Fargo will pay $5.4 million to the Justice Department to compensate approximately 450 service members whose cars were repossessed by the bank's auto financing arm, Wells Fargo Dealer Services. The government found that the repossessions were unlawful under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which requires that a court must review and approve the repossession if the loan was taken out, and a payment made, before the owner entered military service. This is the second such settlement for the bank, which previously compensated 413 service members in September 2016. It also follows a long string of misdeeds by the bank, which over the span of several years opened millions of accounts for customers without their knowledge, including some for auto insurance. Wells shares are down about 2% for the year to date, lagging the 12% gain for the Financial Select Sector SPDR and the 18.6% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Oil prices settle at a more than 1-week low

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 14:48

Oil prices dropped Tuesday to settle at their lowest level in more than a week. The International Energy Agency said Tuesday that rising U.S. shale oil production could keep a lid on prices. The Paris-based agency also cut its global crude-demand outlook for this year and next. Traders now await weekly supply data from the American Petroleum Institute later Tuesday and the Energy Information Administration due Wednesday. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to show a weekly decline of 1 million barrels in U.S. crude stockpiles. December West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.06, or 1.9%, to settle at $55.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Senate Republicans strongly consider adding Obamacare mandate repeal to tax bill: report

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 14:22

Republican senators are strongly considering adding a repeal of Obamacare's individual insurance mandate to a new version of their tax bill, Politico reported Tuesday. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch is expected to introduce a new version of the bill in the afternoon, and said he's "never been enthused about the mandate." Repealing Obamacare is a longstanding Republican policy goal. Last week, the Congressional Budget Office said repealing the individual mandate would leave 4 million more people uninsured next year. President Donald Trump has pressed Congress to end the mandate, most recently on Monday.

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Gold ends higher as U.S. dollar index falls to a nearly 3-week low

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 13:47

Gold prices ended higher Tuesday for a second-consecutive session, buoyed by a weaker dollar, which pushed the ICE U.S. Dollar Index to its lowest level in nearly three weeks. The dollar index was down 0.7% as the euro rallied on the back of strong German economic data. December gold rose $4, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,282.90 an ounce.

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Amazon homing in on medical devices/supplies, not pharma: Jefferies

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 13:41

The possibility of online retailer Amazon.com Inc. entering the pharmaceutical industry has sent the stocks of drug distributors and pharmacy-benefit managers quaking in recent months, but a new report from Jefferies analysts suggests that Amazon is instead homing for the medical devices and supplies industries. Correspondence between two state pharmacy boards and Amazon reveals that those state licenses can only be used for medical device and supplies distribution, the Jefferies report said, based on information that was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. This direction was likely chosen to avoid "the more comprehensive regulatory requirements associated with the Wholesale Drug Distribution Act," Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut said. That has created an overhang on stocks like AmerisourceBergen Corp. , Cardinal Health Inc. , McKesson Corp. , Express Scripts Holding Co. , CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. ; "Unfortunately, we believe only time will refute these investor concerns," he said. Amazon shares have surged 15% over the last three months, compared with a 4.5% rise in the S&P 500 and a 6.6% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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