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Steelcase shares rise on earnings beat

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 16:21

Steelcase Inc. shares rose in the extended session Monday after the office furniture company topped Wall Street forecasts for the quarter. Steelcase shares rose 5.9% to $15.25 after hours. The company reported second-quarter net income of $36.9 million, or 31 cents a share, compared to $38.2 million, or 31 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $775.6 million from $758 million in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated earnings of 23 cents a share on revenue of $757.4 million. For the third quarter, Steelcase estimates earnings of 21 cents to 25 cents a share on increased operating expenses with revenue of $785 million to $810 million. Analysts expect earnings of 28 cents a share on revenue of $798.7 million.

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Dow, S&P 500 score back-to-back records; Nasdaq again lags behind

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 16:12

U.S. stock benchmarks climbed on Monday, with the S&P 500 index and the Dow industrials closing at all-time highs for a second straight session, ahead of the start of a key gathering of the Federal Reserve. However, technology stocks lagged behind, limiting gains for the Nasdaq Composite Index. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 63 points, or 0.3%, to 22,331, led by sharp gains for industrials giants Caterpillar Inc. and General Electric Co. . The S&P 500 index advanced about 3 points, or 0.2%, to 2,503. The Nasdaq Composite , meanwhile, finished up 6 points, or 0.1%, at 6,454. The Fed's policy setting Federal Open Market Committee begins its two-day meeting on Tuesday, which could determine the path for the coming stocks and bonds in the coming months.

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Lithium and battery-themed ETF jumps to six-year high

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 15:28

An exchange-traded fund dedicated to lithium miners and battery producers surged on Monday, advancing to a multiyear high on volume that was many times its daily average. The Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF advanced 1.7% to $38.50, hitting its highest level since August 2011, according to FactSet data. More than 1.9 million shares exchanged hands, well above the fund's 30-day average, which is less than 440,000. Thus far this year, the ETF has advanced more than 58%. It has also seen inflows of $325.6 million year to date, bringing its total assets to $555.2 million. The fund's largest holding is FMC Corp. , which comprises more than 23% of the portfolio. FMC's shares rose 2% on Monday. Tesla Inc. , representing about 5.6% of the portfolio, saw its stock gain 1.2%.

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Roku seeks valuation just over $1 billion, says updated IPO document

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 15:10

Roku Inc. plans to raise at least $200 million for its initial public offering, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The streaming device maker filed an amended S-1 on Monday that says the company is seeking between $12 and $14 a share, which would value the company at just over $1 billion at any price in that range. The company filed its first S-1 document Sept. 1. Roku is selling nine million shares itself which could net the company as much as $126 million. Early investor Menlo Ventures is selling six million shares worth as much as $84 million, and Sky Ventures Limited is selling 668,000 shares for as much as $9 million.

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Adidas overtakes Jordan on list of top U.S. sport footwear: NPD

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 14:41

Adidas AG has overtaken Jordan to become the number two brand of U.S. sport footwear, according to The NPD Group's August athletic footwear data. "This is an achievement I never thought I would see in my lifetime," wrote Mike Powell, NPD's sports industry analyst. "Adidas sport footwear sales grew more than half for the month and share grew by nearly half, to 13%." Nike Inc. , which is also the parent of the Jordan brand, held on to the top spot. Basketball footwear sales were down 20%, with the category's decline going into its second year. "Adidas basketball grew more than 40%, while Nike declined in the mid-singles and Brand Jordan lost about a third of its sales. Under Armour basketball was down about half." Total U.S. athletic footwear sales were $1.86 billion, up slightly from $1.85 billion last year. Nike shares are up 5.3% for the year so far and Adidas shares are up 31.1% for the period. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF is down 7% for 2017 so far while the S&P 500 index is up 11.7%.

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Dollar jumps against Canadian dollar following BOC deputy remarks

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 14:31

The U.S. dollar jumped against its Canadian counterpart, after Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane said the central bank "will be paying close attention to how the economy responds to both higher interest rates and the stronger Canadian dollar." Lane also said protectionist sentiment in parts of the world was concerning, adding that "the possibility of a material protectionist shift--particularly regarding the outcome of negotiations on possible changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement--is a key source of uncertainty for Canada's economic outlook." Following the remarks, the U.S. dollar bought C$1.2325 on Monday afternoon, compared with C$1.2195 late Friday in New York. The BOC last raised its benchmark interest rates earlier this month.

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U.S. shale oil output expected to rise by 79,000 barrels a day in October: EIA

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 14:27

Shale crude-oil production from seven major U.S. oil plays is expected to see a monthly climb of 79,000 barrels a day in October to 6.083 million barrels a day, according to a monthly report from the Energy Information Administration released Monday. The report has forecast increases in shale-oil output every month so far this year. Oil output from the Permian Basin, which covers parts of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico, is expected to see the largest climb among the big shale plays, with an increase of 55,000 barrels a day. Oil output at the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas, however, is expected to decline by 9,000 barrels a day. October West Texas Intermediate oil was up 7 cents, or 0.2%, for the session at $49.96 a barrel, a few minutes before the settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Nvidia's stock extends gains as RBC lifts target to the 2nd-highest on Wall Street

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 14:25

Nvidia Corp.'s stock continued to climb toward a record high in afternoon trade Monday, as RBC Capital analyst Mitch Steves pushed his stock price up to be the second-highest on Wall Street. The stock ran up 4.9% after rallying 6.3% on Friday. Steves reiterated his outperform rating, but raised his price target to $205, which was 7.3% above current levels. Of the 36 analysts surveyed by FactSet, Evercore ISI's C.J. Muse is the only analyst with a target, at $250, that is above Steves' new target. Meanwhile, Steves' new target is now above the $200 targets of B. Riley & Co.'s Craig Ellis and Needham's Rajvindra Gill, which are tied for third. Steves said the reasons he is more bullish on the stock include confidence in data center (DC) spending and stability in gaming demand, which is being helped by demand from cryptocurrency miners. "While we think the DC story is well known, the demand for gaming appears healthy and is being bolstered by continued demand for cryptocurrencies," Steves wrote in a note to clients. The stock had climbed as much as 6.2% to an all-time intraday high of $191.20. It has soared 25% over the past three months, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index has rallied 8.9% and the S&P 500 has gained 2.8%.

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Gold prices mark fifth decline in six sessions

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 13:49

Gold prices suffered on Monday their fifth decline in six sessions with record highs for benchmark U.S. stock indexes helping to push prices to their lowest level in more than three weeks. December gold fell $14.40, or 1.1%, to settle at $1,310.80 an ounce. That was the lowest finish since Aug. 25, according to FactSet data.

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Equifax executives subject to criminal probe: report

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:35

The U.S. Justice Department has begun a criminal investigation into sales of stock by Equifax Inc. executives, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the investigation. The probe will look into the stock sales of its chief financial officer, John Gamble; its president of U.S. information solutions, Joseph Loughran; and its president of workforce solutions, Rodolfo Ploder. The Securities and Exchange Commission is working with the Justice Department on the investigation into whether they violated insider trading laws by selling stock after the company discovered it had been hacked but before disclosing the breach to the public, the report said. The transactions were not disclosed in regulatory filings for pre-scheduled trading activities. Lawmakers, state attorneys general and several regulators are scrutinizing the breach that compromised the privacy of 143 million U.S. consumers, according to Equifax statements. Equifax shares have fallen 35% since the breach was disclosed on Sept. 7 after the market close. The company and the executives didn't immediately respond to Bloomberg's requests for comment.

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Airline stocks fall, knocking Dow transports into negative territory

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 11:41

Airline stock were broadly lower Monday, as the industry braced for two more hurricanes. The sector's weakness was enough to push the Dow Jones Transportation Average into negative territory despite a rally in other broader market indexes. Among the Dow transports airline components, shares of Alaska Air Group Inc. shed 2.7%, United Continental Holdings Inc. lost 1.9%, American Airlines Group Inc. fell 1.3%, Southwest Airlines Co. gave up 1.1%, Jet Blue Airways Corp. dropped 1.0% and Delta Air Lines Inc. slipped 0.4%. The combined price declines shaved about 30 points off the Dow transports, which was down 21 points. Hurricane Jose was expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the northeast, while Hurricane Maria is expected to strengthen to at least a Category 3 when it hits the Caribbean by midweek. That would come just about two weeks after Hurricane Irma hit the region and about three weeks after Hurricane Harvey made landfall. The NYSE Arca Airline Index slumped 1.2%, while the Dow transports slipped 0.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 81 points (0.4%) and the S&P 500 tacked on 0.3%.

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Boeing's record rally adds more than 80 points to Dow industrials so far in September

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 11:22

Shares of Boeing Co. were rallying Monday, helping to deliver a daily and monthly boost to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The industrials giant has been among the best performers among the Dow's 30 components. On Monday, Boeing's shares were up $2.65, or 1%, adding about 18 points to the price-weighted average. In September, so far, the company has gained more than $12 to the benchmark, translating to an 80-point rise as the Dow carves out a fresh all-time high. A $1 move in any one of the Dow's components equates to a 6.89-point swing. Boeing also is trading at its own record, logging a fresh intraday high at $253.67 in early Monday trade. Boeing also has been the best advancer for the Dow so far this year, up 61.5%. Overall, the Dow is up 13.1%, the S&P 500 index has climbed 12% year to date, while the Nasdaq Composite Index has advanced more than 20% thus far in 2017.

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Ubiquiti Networks' stock sinks on heavy volume after short-seller Andrew Left takes aim

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:41

Shares of Ubiquiti Networks Inc. sank as much as 13% to a three-month low in morning trade Monday before paring some losses, after famed short-seller Andrew Left said he believed the networking technology company was a "total fraud." Left's Citron Research detailed a number of "red flags" that suggests what the company was reporting was deceiving investors, including operating margins that were well above its peers and a growing cash position but relatively low interest income. Ubiquiti Chief Executive Robert Pera owns a controlling interest in the Memphis Grizzlies NBA franchise. Ubiquiti declined a request for a comment. The company has an investor meeting scheduled for Sept. 26. The stock was recently down 5.0%, on volume of 4.4 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 600,000 shares. The stock has rallied 7.5% over the past three months, but has lost 9.8% year to date. In comparison, the S&P 500 has gained 3.0% over the past three months and 12% this year.

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Emerging market ETF hits six-year high

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:13

Major exchange-traded funds that track emerging market stocks rose to multi-year highs on Monday, extending a rally that has made them among the strongest regions in the equity market this year. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF rose 0.8% to $45.95, its highest level since mid-2011, according to FactSet data. The day's rise took the ETF past a high that has stood since 2014. Among its biggest components, Alibaba Group Holding rose 1.4% while Baidu Inc. was up 0.8%. Separately, the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF rose 0.5% on Monday, hitting its highest level since 2014. The iShares fund is up 31.2% thus far this year, while the Vanguard ETF, which tracks a different index, is up 26.5%.

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Caterpillar's stock jumps to record high after UBS turns bullish, boost target

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:09

Shares of Caterpillar Inc. jumped 1.7% toward a record high in morning trade Monday, enough to pace the gainers within the Dow Jones Industrial Average , after the mining and farming equipment maker was upgraded at UBS, which cited a growing cash position and signs suggesting the earnings upcycle will continue. Analyst Steven Fisher raised his rating to buy, after being at neutral for at least the past three years. He raised his stock price target to $140, which was 13% above current levels, from $116. Fisher said UBS's latest analysis of private non-residential construction suggests a re-acceleration in activity in the fourth quarter, with mid-single digit percentage growth into 2018. He said he believes Caterpillar will generate nearly $10 billion in cash flow between 2018 and 2020 after capital expenditures and dividends which can be strategically redeployed or returned to shareholders. "We think the cash story is particularly underappreciated, and will become more of a visible part of the investor dialogue going forward," Fisher wrote in a note to clients. The stock has soared 15% over the past three months, while the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF has tacked on 1.3% and the Dow has gained 4.4%.

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Nvidia's stock surges to another record after upbeat analyst comments

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 09:54

Shares of Nvidia Corp. surged 3.5% to a record high in morning trade Monday, adding to the 6.3% run up the previous session, as analysts continued to promote the graphics chip maker them as a top pick in the semiconductor space. The stock has run up 23% over the past three months, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index has climbed 8.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.1%. On Monday, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst William Stein reiterted his buy rating, saying Nvidia remained his "preferred way" to invest in structure growth in the sector, give potential for profit and revenue beats across most of its segments. Nvidia's rally also helped boost the shares of rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. , which tacked on 3.2%, bringing the three-month gain to 13%. SunTrust's Stein was upbeat about the chip sector in general, as the firm's proprietary sentiment momentum indicator rose for an 11th-straight month in September. He said other demand indicators remained mostly constructive, and that the sector's valuation did not appear stretched relative to the broader market. Among other chip stocks he favors are Broadcom Ltd. , Cypress Semiconductor Corp. , Analog Devices Inc. and Microsemi Corp. .

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U.S. stocks open higher; Dow, S&P 500 hit records

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 09:31

U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday, with major indexes trading at or near records as concerns over the political situation with North Korea appeared to ease. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 52 points, or 0.2%, to 22,327. The S&P 500 added 3 points, or 0.1%, to 2,504. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 11 points to 6,458, a rise of 0.1%. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 hit intraday records in early trading, while the Nasdaq was within a few points of its own. Recent trading has had a pronounced upward bias, though uncertainty pertaining to North Korea has been a headwind. That issue appeared to ease after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. seeks a "peaceful solution" and wants to "bring North Korea to the table for constructive, productive dialogue," speaking in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation." Among the day's biggest movers, Orbital ATK Inc. gained 20% after Northrop Grumman Corp. agreed to buy it for $7.8 billion in cash. Northrop fell 0.7%.

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Amazon announces Ohio, Oregon fulfillment centers adding more than 2,000 jobs

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 09:15

Amazon.com Inc. said Monday that it is adding two new distribution centers that will create more than 2,000 jobs. The company is adding its fourth distribution center in Ohio in Monroe, creating more than 1,000 full-time positions. Workers in this one-million-square-foot facility will pick pack and ship larger items like gardening items and pet food. Amazon recently announced a fulfillment center in North Randall, and has facilities in Etna and Obetz. There are currently more than 6,000 Amazon workers in Ohio. The e-commerce giant is also adding a third fulfillment center in Portland, Ore., creating more than 1,000 full-time jobs. The company has an upcoming fulfillment center in Troutdale, another in Salem, a sortation center in Hillsboro, and a Prime Now hub in Portland. The company will have 3,500 full-time fulfillment workers in Oregon starting in 2018. Amazon shares are up 0.3% in Monday premarket trading, and up 31.6% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up 11.7% for 2017 so far.

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Cisco's John Chambers to end 24-year run on company's board of directors

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 09:13

Cisco Systems Inc. said Chairman John Chambers will not stand for re-election to the networking company's board of directors, ending a 24-year run on the board. The company said it will appoint Chief Executive Chuck Robbins to serve as chairman when Chambers' term expires on Dec. 11. Before Chambers was named chairman in July 2015, he was CEO from January 1995 through July 2015, and has been a board member since November 1993, after joining the company in January 1991. He will be given the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus when he steps down as chairman. "John's leadership helped bring the internet to billions of people around the world, enabling them to access information, build connections and improve their lives," said Lead Independent Director Carol Bartz. The stock, which was unchanged in premarket trade, has gained 7.4% year to date, while the Nasdaq 100 has rallied 23% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 13%.

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Ingredion names James Zallie CEO

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 09:03

Ingredion Inc. has named James Zallie chief executive, effective January 1, 2018. Ingredion is an ingredients solutions company that serves the food, beverages, paper, brewing and other industries. Zallie is currently executive vice president of global specialties and president of the Americas region. He joined the company in 2010. Zallie succeeds Ilene Gordon, who has been CEO for more than eight years and will serve as executive chairman of the board until she retires July 2018. Ingredion shares are unchanged in premarket trading and down 0.1% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up 11.7% for 2017 to date.

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