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 41 min ago

KB Home beats expectations, expects 'solid demand' for housing in 2018

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 16:57

Shares of KB Home rose 3% late Wednesday after the homebuilder reported fourth-quarter earnings above Wall Street forecasts and said it expects "solid demand for housing" this year. KB Home earned $84.3 million, or 84 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $37.5 million, or 40 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 18% to $1.40 billion, compared with $1.19 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected per-share earnings of 77 cents on sales of $1.35 billion. The company pinned its optimism for housing demand in 2018 on "healthy employment, rising household incomes and strong consumer confidence, and continued limited supply," Chief Executive Jeffrey Mezger said in a statement. Shares ended the regular session up 0.4%.

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.

S&P 500, Nasdaq break six-day win streak

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 16:05

U.S. stock-market indexes closed slightly lower on Wednesday as investors grew cautious following a temporary jump in the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, prompted by a report that China is considering halting purchases of U.S. debt. Investors dumped bond-proxies, or stocks such as utilities, real estate and telecoms. Meanwhile financials stocks were the only bright spot on Wall Street, rising along with the yields. The S&P 500 fell 3.06 points, or 0.1%, to 2,748.23, breaking a six-day winning streak. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index declined by 10.01 points, or 0.1%, to 7,153.57, also breaking its six-day advance and retreating from records. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 16.67 points, or less than 0.1%, to 25,369.13. Among the best performers on Wall Street, shares of Eastman Kodak Co. soared 57%, building on a 119% surge from Tuesday when the image-technology company said it is launching a cryptocurrency and would begin a "major blockchain initiative."

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.

Trump says it's 'unlikely' he'd speak with Special Counsel Mueller

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 15:42

President Donald Trump said Wednesday it's "unlikely" he would answer questions from Special Counsel Robert Mueller since "there was absolutely no collusion" between his campaign and Russia. At a White House news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Trump said "it seems unlikely that you'd even have an interview." Mueller has reportedly told Trump's lawyers he may want to interview the president.

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.

Report that Trump will announce end of Nafta pact adds to stock-market jitters

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 15:21

U.S. stocks, struggling to maintain record-setting altitude in 2018, took a firmer slide Wednesday afternoon amid a report that Canadian officials expect that President Donald Trump will announce an end to the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a Reuters. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off about 50 points, or 0.2%, at 25,3337, the S&P 500 index was off 0.3% at 2,744, while the Nasdaq Composite Index retreated by 0.3% at 7,139. The main benchmarks had been treading water, trying to recover from an earlier, steeper, slide, before reports about Nafta surfaced. According to Reuters, which cited two Canadian government officials, Canada is increasingly convinced that President Donald Trump will announce that the U.S. will exit Nafta. The U.S. dollar also strengthened against Canada's loonie and the Mexico's peso , while country-specific exchange-traded funds, the iShares MSCI Mexico ETF and the MSCI Canada ETF were lower after the report. Discussions to redraft the 23-year old trade pact between Mexico, Canada and the U.S. have been thorny.

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.

Mexico and Canada ETFs fall on report Trump will announce pullout of Nafta

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 15:11

Exchange-traded funds that track both Canada's and Mexico's stock markets fell on Wednesday, following a report that suggested U.S. President Donald Trump may announce a withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement. The iShares MSCI Mexico ETF sank 2.5% while the iShares MSCI Canada ETF lost 1.1%. The S&P 500 fell 0.2%. According to Reuters, which cited two Canadian government officials, Canada is increasingly convinced that President Donald Trump will announce that the U.S. will exit Nafta. The trade pact is currently being renegotiated with the latest round of talks scheduled for later this month in Montreal. A dissolution of Nafta is seen as detrimental to both Mexico and Canada, which benefit from free trade with the world's largest economy.

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 settle above $63 for the first time in over 3 years

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 14:46

Oil prices on Wednesday settled above $63 a barrel for the first time in more than three years after the Energy Information Administration reported an eighth-straight weekly decline in U.S. crude supplies, along with a fall in weekly production. February West Texas Intermediate crude rose 61 cents, or 1%, to settle at $63.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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.

Dollar strengthens against peso, loonie on report that Trump will announce pullout of Nafta

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 14:34

The U.S. dollar spiked against its Canadian counterpart and the Mexican peso on a Reuters report that Canada is increasingly convinced that President Donald Trump will announce that the U.S. will exit the North American Free Trade Agreement. The report cited two government sources. Nafta, the trade pact between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, is currently being renegotiated with the latest round of talks scheduled for later this month in Montreal. Market participants agree that a dissolution of Nafta would hit the Mexican economy the hardest. One dollar last bought C$1.2569, up from C$1.2464 late Tuesday. The buck meanwhile bought 19.3485 pesos, up from 19.2404.

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.

MoviePass majority owner shares skyrocket after CEO shows interest in blockchain technology: report

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 13:43

Shares of MoviePass majority owner Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. rose as much as 39% from Tuesday's close during trading hours on Wednesday. Helios & Matheson Chief Executive Ted Fanrsworth said he and MoviePass Chief Executive Mitch Lowe have been exploring the possibilities of blockchain technology for more than a year, according to a report by Yahoo Finance. Farnsworth said they have been in discussions with lawyers about the possibility of an initial coin offering. He's been wary of the Security and Exchange Commission's regulations, as well as whether blockchain is just "the flavor of the day." MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe told Yahoo Finance that using a crypto currency in the day-to-day business of the company is an appealing prospect. Shares of Helios & Matheson have gained nearly $168% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 index is up more than 21% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up close to 28%.

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.

Treasury yields pare climb after better-than-expected 10-year note auction

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 13:25

Treasury buying picked up, pushing yields slightly lower, Wednesday afternoon following an auction of 10-year Treasury notes that drew healthier demand than had been expected. An unconfirmed report earlier in the session indicated that China may be considering halting or slowing Treasury purchases, which had cast a pall on the market, driving prices lower and yields higher, as investors appeared to shun U.S. assets. However, market participants described appetite for the 10-year notes as solid. "In the context of a wild and messy few days in interest rates, the 10 year note auction was good," wrote Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer for the Bleakley Advisory Group. The so-called bid-to-cover ratio for the auction stood at 2.69, the highest since 2016. Bid-to-cover ratios are a gauge of appetite for the debt sale, the number represents the proportion of bids received to bids accepted. Treasury auctions can be a litmus test of the state of the bond market. In recent trade, the 10-year Treasury note yield was up at 2.569%, versus 2.542% on late Tuesday. The 2-year note yield was slightly higher at 1.973%, from 1.968%. The 30-year bond yield was at 2.910%, from 2.883%.

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.

Nvidia CEO disputes reports that GPUs are susceptible to Spectre vulnerability

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 12:09

Nvidia Corp. Chief Executive Jensen Huang disputed a report that software updates disclosed Wednesday morning showed that the company's graphics-processing units are susceptible to the Spectre vulnerability that has roiled other chip companies. In a presentation to media members at CES in Las Vegas, Huang said that those interpretations of its Wednesday morning blog post update were "incorrectly reported." "Our GPUs are immune, they are not affected by these security issues," Huang said, explaining that Nvidia had to release software updates to fix the CPU vulnerability, just like other software makers including Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. . Nvidia stock started off Wednesday's session with a decline, but steadily climbed through the morning session and was showing a slight gain for the session by mid-day. Nvidia shares have gained more than 109% in the past year, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased 27.7%.

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.

Intuitive Surgical's stock jumps to record high after upbeat sales update

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 12:02

Shares of Intuitive Surgical Inc. surged 6.5% toward a record high in midday trade Wednesday, enough to pace the S&P 500's gainers, after the robotic-assisted surgery technologies company provided upbeat sales guidance. The company, which has a market capitalization of $47.5 billion, said it expects to report fourth-quarter revenue $892 million, which is up 18% from a year ago, and well above the FactSet consensus of about $849 million, as preliminary instrument and accessory revenue rose 18% to $457 million to beat expectations of $441 million. The stock has soared 92% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has rallied 21%.

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.

Ford sued by truck owners claiming rigged emissions: report

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:46

Ford Motor Co. is being sued by truck owners alleging the car maker has rigged at least 500,000 heavy-duty, diesel-fueled trucks to beat emissions tests, according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday. Ford's F-250 and F-350 Super Duty pickups, sold between 2011 and 2017 and cost more than their gasoline-fueled equivalents, are producing emissions as much as 50 times the legal limit, Bloomberg said, citing the complaint. Shares of Ford fell 0.3% on Wednesday, compared with losses of around 0.2% for the S&P 500 index.

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.

California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa to retire

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:16

Congressman Darrell Issa plans to retire after 2018, giving Democrats a good chance to win a seat that covers a large coastal area just north of San Diego. Issa barely held onto his seat in the prior election and the odds of sizable Democratic gains in this year's national races appears to be growing. Issa voted against the recent Republican tax bill on worries that it might hit some of his wealthier constituents hard. Issa himself is one of the richest members of Congress.

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.

Global Blockchain says it is the 'lead investor' in Kodak's KodakCoin ICO

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:04

Shares of Global Blockchain Technologies Corp. soared Wednesday, after the Canada-based and blockchain investment company said it was the "lead investor" in KodakCoin, an initial coin offering (ICO) that Eastman Kodak Co. plans to launch. Global Blockchain U.S.-listed over-the-counter shares jumped 24%. The company said it has invested $2 million in KodakCoin, which Kodak and its licensing partner WENN Digital described as a "photo-centric cryptocurrency that empowers photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management." Global Blockchain said it has subscribed for all 8 million KodakCoins that were available in the pre-ICO Stage I. "The KodakOne ICO is very compelling and fills the need for managing and monetizing digital assets globally," said Global Blockchain President Shidan Gouran. "Given the size of the marketplace, the people involved and technology partnership, this has the opportunity to be a very large and active community." Kodak's stock soared 60% in morning trade, and was the most actively traded on major U.S. exchanges with volume of 48.7 million shares. That follows the 119% surge on Tuesday, after the troubled camera and film pioneer announced a "major blockchain initiative." Global Blockchain's stock has tumbled 36% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 7.6%.

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 a fall in U.S. crude supply, along with gains in gasoline, distillate stocks

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:36

Oil prices pared some of their gains Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that domestic crude supplies fell by 4.9 million barrels for the week ended Jan. 5. That was more than the 3.5 million-barrel decline forecast by analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts. The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday, however, had reported a decline of 11.2 million barrels, according to sources. Gasoline stockpiles rose 4.1 million barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles added 4.3 million barrels, according to the EIA. The S&P Global Platts survey forecast a supply rise of 2.3 million barrels for gasoline and an increase of 2.1 million barrels for distillates. February crude rose 21 cents, or 0.3%, to $63.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down from $63.35 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.

Coca-Cola targeting millennials with Diet Coke rebranding, new flavors

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:26

Coca-Cola Co. said Wednesday that it is launching new packaging, a new campaign and new flavors for its Diet Coke brand. The company says Diet Coke is not being reformulated, but Coca-Cola "is re-energizing and modernizing Diet Coke for a new generation of drinkers," according to a release. The new flavors are Ginger Lime, Fiesty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange and Twisted Mango. Diet Coke's existing packaging, including 12-ounce cans and mini cans will continue to be offered. The new packaging, which is the same shape and size as the Dasani Sparkling packaging, will be available this month. A new marketing campaign is also launching in January. Coca-Cola shares are down 0.6% in Wednesday trading, but up 12% for the last year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up nearly 28% for the last 12 months.

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.

Micron's stock falls again, but J.P. Morgan affirms bullish stance

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:38

Shares of Micron Technology Inc. dropped 2.3% in morning trade Wednesday, to extend the 5.7% tumble on heavy volume in the previous session, amid concerns over the announcement earlier this week that the memory-chip company and Intel Corp. were ending their 3D NAND memory development partnership. J.P. Morgan analyst Harlan Sur reiterated his overweight rating on Micron, saying investor concerns that Intel was trying to move into China may be overblown. Sur said investors had asked if Intel could license its 3D NAND technology to start-up memory chip companies in China: "While we do not know if Intel is indeed trying to license the technology, we believe Micron continues to have ownership rights to the developed technology for many years and any licensing agreement that Intel would enter into with a third party would have to be approved by Micron, and we believe Micron would be against doing such a deal." Intel shares slipped 0.2% in morning trade. Over the past three months, Micron's stock was little changed, Intel shares have rallied 9.8%, the PHLX Semiconductor Index has climbed 8.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11%.

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 stock downgraded, as analyst says 2018 box office revenue could be flat

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:36

Shares of theater chain AMC Entertainment Holding Inc. were down more than 2% in premarket trade on Wednesday after being downgraded to sector perform from outperform at RBC Capital Markets. RBC analysts wrote in a note that their tepid view of the 2018 box office and AMC's high leverage make for a challenging combination for the company. "We'd likely get more bullish on AMC if the box office outlook (given its leverage) and, or there was traction on the international IPO," lead analyst Leo Kulp wrote. "As was evidenced in 2017, AMC's leverage makes it very susceptible to changes in multiple. We estimate a one point EV/EBITDA multiple change has a 36% impact on the stock price. While this is a positive in an up year for the box office, the uncertainty around the 2018 box office makes us more conservative." Kulp expects that the 2018 box office will be flat compared with 2017, which was down slightly from the last two years. They said they see fewer big event films being released this year, and instead more non-sequel content, which could be a negative or a positive depending on how the shift in the box office is received. Shares of AMC have declined more than 59% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 index is up more than 21% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up nearly 28%.

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.

S&P 500, Nasdaq open lower, threaten to book a loss for first time in 2018

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:36

U.S. stocks on Wednesday were trading modestly lower, with the donwdraft being partially attributed to investors cashing out of some of their holdings after a multiday uptrend for the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq. Wall Street investors were also paying close attention to yield moves in U.S. bonds after a report said China is considering halting its U.S. government paper, which quelled appetite for U.S. stocks, bonds and the dollar. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 66 points, or 0.3%, at 25,318, the S&P 500 index declined 8 points, or 0.3%, at 2,743, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 28 points, or 0.4%, at 7,134. All three main equity benchmarks ended at all-time highs on Tuesday. The 10-year Treasury yield was on the verge of rising above 2.60%, which could influence equity purchases. Bond prices fall as yields rise.

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.

Whirlpool to cut 500 jobs as part of Embraco restructuring

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:26

Whirlpool Corp. disclosed Wednesday that it will incur about $80 million in charges as result of a restructuring of its Embraco compressor business, which is expected to cut about 500 jobs. As part of the restructuring, the appliance maker said it will cease operations at Embraco's facility in Turin, Italy in 2018, and concentrating the assembly of compressors in other facilities. The stock, which was little changed in premarket trade, has lost 8.4% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has rallied 21%.

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