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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For AAPL;HMY;MRK;BAC From The Last 14 Days
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December 19, 2014
16:01 EDTBAC, AAPLOptions Update; December 19, 2014
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 27c to 29.90. Option volume leaders: AAPL TSLA TWTR AMZN FB C GILD BAC NFLX according to Track Data.
14:34 EDTAAPLApple February volatility increases to 29
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09:37 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading
Active equity options trading according to Track Data: AAPL TSLA BBRY AMZN CELG GILD JCP AMAT FB
08:07 EDTMRKMerck begins tender offer to acquire Cubist
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08:03 EDTAAPLApple iPhone demand tracking ahead of estimates, says Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley's checks indicate Apple iPhone demand is 67M units for the December quarter, above its estimates of 62M units and consensus of 63M. The firm said demand is tracking in-line with supply chain build of 65-70M and expects a channel inventory fill to occur in the March quarter or beyond. Shares are Overweight rated with a $126 price target.
07:31 EDTBACLarge banks oil exposure manageable, says Wells Fargo
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07:09 EDTAAPLBlackBerry announces Ocean Capital Investments migrates to BES12
BlackBerry (BBRY) announced that Ocean Capital Investments, and its subsidiaries, members of the Irving family of companies, are migrating to BES12: a cross-platform EMM solution by BlackBerry. Ocean Capital Investments will be deploying BES12 as a BlackBerry hosted cloud solution to manage BlackBerry and iOS devices, displacing their former mobile device management provider, MobileIron (MOBL). Ocean Capital Investments will replace the majority of their Apple (AAPL) iOS devices with BlackBerry's best-in-class QWERTY keyboard smartphones, BlackBerry Passport and the newly launched BlackBerry Classic.
December 18, 2014
16:01 EDTAAPLOptions Update; December 18, 2014
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15:16 EDTBACFed gives banks until July 2016 to to conform investments with covered funds
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14:19 EDTAAPLMacmillan CEO says new deal struck with Amazon
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10:58 EDTMRKTetraphase seen as takeover target after antibiotic trial success
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09:35 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading
Active equity options trading according to Track Data: AAPL FB TSLA PBR RAD AMAT NFLX GILD KMI TWTR
08:31 EDTAAPLSkyworks price target raised to $90 from $75 at Pacific Crest
Pacific Crest increased its price target on Skyworks (SWKS), citing better than expected handset demand at Apple (AAPL) and Samsung. The firm expects Skyworks' revenue and gross margins to continue rising significantly into 2015. Pacific Crest recommends buying Skyworks.
07:36 EDTMRKMerck acquires OncoEthix, terms include upfront payment of up to $110M
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December 17, 2014
16:36 EDTAAPLGT Advanced issues response to Apple's statement
GT Advanced (GTATQ) issued the following statement: Tom Gutierrez, president and CEO, stated, "The position that Apple (AAPL) has taken in response to the release of our October 8th declaration is in line with our expectations, as reflected in paragraph 52 of Dan Squiller's October 28 declaration in support of the Apple Settlement. Although we have different views on the matter, we believe we have settled our disputes with Apple and see no point in further addressing the circumstances that led to our Chapter 11 filing or our relationship with Apple. Our focus now is on moving the company forward through the bankruptcy process. We remain optimistic that the Bankruptcy Court will approve the Apple Settlement Agreement on November 25th because it is in the best interest of all parties."
16:00 EDTAAPL, BACOptions Update; December 17, 2014
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13:47 EDTBACNCAU files suit in federal court against BofA over mortgage securities
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10:36 EDTMRKCowen pharmaceuticals analysts hold an analyst/industry conference call
Analyst Research Team discusses the imminent Merck/Cubist Zerbaxa opportunity and the Cempra SOLITAIRE-ORAL Trial readout on an Analyst/Industry conference call to be held on December 17 at 2 pm.
09:41 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading
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09:00 EDTAAPLEU expanding 'sweetheart' tax probe, WSJ reports
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December 16, 2014
16:00 EDTAAPL, BACOptions Update; December 16, 2014
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures up 1.55 to 34.60. Option volume leaders: AAPL TSLA TWTR AMZN FB C GILD BAC NFLX AA MGM MCD according to Track Data.
14:58 EDTAAPLApple slips lower after halt to online store sales in Russia
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14:54 EDTAAPLVirnetX says appeals court denies rehearing petition in Apple case
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14:06 EDTAAPLApple halts online sales in Russia over ruble, Bloomberg reports
Apple said that it its online store in Russia is "currently unavailable while we review pricing," according to Bloomberg, citing an emailed statement. The phone marker noted the "extreme" ruble fluctuations, the news agency added. Reference Link
13:11 EDTAAPLNXP Semiconductors rises after positive analyst mention, Apple Pay news
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13:09 EDTBACFINRA fines Merrill $1.9M for fair pricing violations
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, FINRA, announced that it has fined Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated $1.9M for fair pricing and supervisory violations in connection with more than 700 retail customer transactions in distressed securities over a two-year time period. Merrill Lynch was also ordered to pay more than $540,000 in restitution, plus interest, to affected customers. Reference Link
13:08 EDTAAPLApple found not guilty of breaking antitrust laws with iTunes, CNBC reports
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13:00 EDTAAPLApple found not guilty of breaking antitrust laws with iTunes, Bloomberg reports
10:42 EDTAAPLVirnetX drops 4% after reportedly losing appeal in case with Apple
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10:42 EDTAAPLAppeals court rules decision in VirnetX suit with Apple stands, Bloomberg says
VirnetX (VHC) lost its bid to reinstate $368.2M damage award from Apple (AAPL), reported Bloomberg.
10:10 EDTAAPLSamsung in talks with LoopPay to launch Apple Pay rival in 2015, Re/code reports
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09:59 EDTBACOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
Today's noteworthy initiations include: BB&T (BBT) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... Bank of America (BAC) initiated with a Buy at Guggenheim... Ciena (CIEN) initiated with a Neutral at Wedbush... Cimarex Energy (XEC) initiated with a Perform at Oppenheimer... Citigroup (C) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... Extended Stay America (STAY) initiated with a Market Perform at JMP Securities... Infinera (INFN) initiated with a Neutral at Wedbush... JPMorgan (JPM) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... Morgan Stanley (MS) initiated with a Buy at Guggenheim... Newfield Exploration (NFX) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer... Nike (NKE) initiated with a Market Perform at Cowen... PNC Financial (PNC) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... Peak Resorts (SKIS) initiated with an Outperform at FBR Capital... Peak Resorts initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer... Ralph Lauren (RL) initiated with an Outperform at Cowen... U.S. Bancorp (USB) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... Under Armour (UA) initiated with an Outperform at Cowen... Wells Fargo (WFC) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... Whiting Petroleum (WLL) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer... Lowe's (LOW) initiated with a Neutral at Nomura... Home Depot (HD) initiated with a Neutral at Nomura... Estee Lauder (EL) initiated with a Buy at KeyBanc... Huntsman (HUN) initiated with a Buy at Nomura... Dow Chemical (DOW) initiated with a Buy at Nomura.
09:36 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading
Active equity options trading according to Track Data: AAPL AMZN C TSLA PBR TWTR NFLX JPM CLF ABX
08:47 EDTMRKHemispherx Ampligen provides anti-tumor activity
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07:20 EDTBACBank of America volatility elevated at 25
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06:48 EDTAAPLMore companies adopting Apple Pay, NY Times says
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06:32 EDTAAPLApple, Samsung offer price cuts for tablet products, DigiTimes reports
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06:16 EDTAAPLGT Advanced's settlement with Apple approved by bankruptcy court, WSJ reports
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December 15, 2014
16:36 EDTAAPLOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
The Dow began the session with triple digit gains, but the move was short lived and so was the positive start for the equities market, which tumbled with oil prices and struggled for the remainder of the session. The day’s economic reports, which included the Empire Manufacturing report, industrial production and capacity utilization reports, and the NAHB housing market index, had little effect on the market. Stocks recovered a bit but did not get back into the green before the close, with investors wondering how the Fed, which begins its final FOMC meeting of the year tomorrow, will view its strategy in light of the recent weakness in oil. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Empire State manufacturing index fell to -3.6 in December, which was significantly worse than the expectation for it to rise to 12.4 from its prior 10.2 reading. Industrial production jumped 1.3% in November, which was better than the expected 0.7% increase. The NAHB homebuilder sentiment index fell one point to 57 in December, versus expectations for a one point rise to a 59 reading. Near noon, WTI crude was down more than 2% and was trading below $57 per barrel. COMPANY NEWS: Riverbed Technology (RVBD) rose $1.57, or 8.38%, to $20.31 after the company agreed to be acquired by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo and the private investor department of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Riverbed stockholders will receive $21 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $3.6B, which Wells Fargo views as a "good decision" and good deal for the company given the challenges in its business... PetSmart (PETM) advanced $3.30, or 4.25%, to $80.97 after the company agreed to be acquired by a consortium led by BC Partners at a price of $83.00 per share in cash. However, the private equity backers of Petco that were not allowed to participate in the auction process because of competition concerns, Leonard Green & Partners and TPG, could still make a rival offer, according to The Deal Pipeline, citing a source familiar with the situation. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE), which advanced $1.50, or 25.86%, to $7.30 after the company announced that it has entered into a binding agreement with NantWorks founder Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong to establish a strategic collaboration to jointly develop next generation immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and auto-immune diseases. Also higher was Cirrus Logic (CRUS), which rallied $4.12, or 21.87%, to $22.96 after Barclays upgraded the stock two notches to Overweight from Underweight and said the company is poised to make significantly more money per each iPhone sold next year. Among the noteworthy losers was CGG SA (CGG), which was downgraded to Underperform at Raymond James and dropped $2.41, or 28.29%, to $6.11 after Technip (TKPPY) said that it does not plan to file a tender for the company after talks between the companies did not result in a deal. Also lower were shares of Habit Restaurants (HABT), which fell $7.20, or 17.19%, to $34.69 as analysts rolled out coverage of the stock following its IPO about a month ago. Amid the coverage initiations, Habit Restaurants shares were initiated with a Neutral and $41 price target at RW Baird, with a Market Perform rating at Wells Fargo, with an Equal Weight at Stephens and with an Overweight rating and $48 target at Piper Jaffray. INDEXES: The Dow fell 99.99, or 0.58%, to 17,180.84, the Nasdaq dropped 48.44, or 1.04%, to 4,605.16, and the S&P 500 declined 12.70, or 0.63%, to 1,989.63.
16:14 EDTBACBank of America initiated with a Buy at Guggenheim
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16:00 EDTAAPLOptions Update; December 15, 2014
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12:15 EDTAAPLCirrus jumps after Barclays ups stock two notches citing Apple opportunity
Shares of Cirrus (CRUS) are rallying after Barclays upgraded the stock two notches to Overweight from Underweight in a note to investors today. The company is poised to make significantly more money per each iPhone sold next year, the firm stated. Cirrus develops audio components for smartphones. WHAT'S NEW: Cirrus will obtain $2.50-$3.50 for each of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 6S sold next year, up from about $2 for Apple's latest iPhone, the iPhone 6, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis wrote. A new component made by Cirrus will enable smartphones to always respond to voice commands, even if the devices are turned off, the analyst reported. The new component can also enable Cirrus to obtain more revenue from Android phones, Curtis wrote. The company should obtain a significant amount of revenue from Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S6 devices, the analyst contended. He hiked his 2015 earnings per share estimate for the company to $1.55 from $1.19 and increased his price target on Cirrus shares to $28 from $18. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading Cirrus rallied 19.4% to $22.50.
10:13 EDTBACBank of America reports November default rate 3.08% vs. 2.81% last month
Reports November delinquency rate 1.91% vs. 1.94% last month.
09:38 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading
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09:20 EDTBACFirst South Bancorp completes purchase of nine branches from Bank of America
First South Bancorp (FSBK), the parent holding company of First South Bank, announced that the bank has completed its acquisition of nine branch banking operations in eastern and central North Carolina from Bank of America (BAC). The purchase was finalized and the branches were converted to First South Bank branches during the weekend of December 12-14 and opened for business as First South Bank branches Monday morning, December 15.
08:44 EDTAAPLSkyworks price target raised to $95 from $75 at JMP Securities
JMP Securities increased its price target on Skyworks (SWKS) as the firm says that its checks indicate that the company is benefiting from strong demand for Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and for Chinese smartphones. The firm thinks the company has a number of other positive catalysts, including rapidly proliferating Internet of Things applications. JMP Securities reiterates an Outperform rating on the shares.
08:40 EDTAAPLCLSA technology analysts hold a luncheon meeting
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08:30 EDTAAPLApple checks show solid brand recognition in China, says Jefferies
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06:46 EDTAAPLApple could pay $450M if it loses e-book appeal, WSJ says
A report from yesterday explains that the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will begin considering Apple's appeal for a ruling that the company was engaged in illegal price-fixing over e-books, reports the Wall Street Journal. If Apple loses the appeal, the company could pay $450M, with most of it going to e-book customers, the Journal adds. Reference Link
05:39 EDTAAPLCirrus Logic upgraded to Overweight from Underweight at Barclays
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December 12, 2014
16:33 EDTMRKStocks finish week lower amid steep decline in oil prices
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16:00 EDTAAPLOptions Update; December 12, 2014
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09:35 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading
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08:43 EDTAAPLWal-Mart cuts prices on iPhone, BGR reports
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07:21 EDTBACBofA/Merrill to hold a discussion
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06:37 EDTAAPLApple online store begins accepting PayPal, Re/code reports
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December 11, 2014
17:40 EDTAAPLPriceline becomes first online travel agency to integrate Apple PayApple
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16:01 EDTAAPLOptions Update; December 11, 2014
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14:50 EDTAAPLApple to start selling new iPads in China this week
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13:11 EDTAAPLApple February volatility elevated at 28
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10:17 EDTAAPLCiti upbeat on Google in face of pending Apple decision on Safari
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10:17 EDTBACFINRA fines Barclays Capital, Citigroup Global Markets, others $43.5M total
FINRA announced that it has fined 10 firms a total of $43.5M for allowing their equity research analysts to solicit investment banking business and for offering favorable research coverage in connection with the 2010 planned initial public offering of Toys"R"Us. FINRA fined the following firms. Barclays Capital (BCS) - $5M; Citigroup Global Markets (C) – $ 5M; Credit Suisse Securities (CS) – $5M; Goldman, Sachs & Co. (CS) – $5M; JP Morgan Securities LLC (JPM) – $5M; Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. (DB) – $4M; Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. (BAC) – $4M; Morgan Stanley & Co., LLC (MS) – $4M; Wells Fargo Securities, LLC (WFC) – $4M; Needham & Company LLC – $2.5M. In addition, FINRA found that six of the 10 firms — Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Needham — had inadequate supervisory procedures related to research analyst participation in investment banking pitches. Toys"R"Us and its sponsors offered each of the 10 firms various roles in the IPO but it eventually decided not to proceed with the offering. In settling this matter, the 10 firms neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA's findings.
09:37 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading
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09:05 EDTAAPLTSMC reports November sales down 10.5% to $2.32B, DigiTimes reports
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08:53 EDTAAPLBritain lays out details for proposed 25% 'Google Tax,' WSJ reports
U.S. technology giants such as Google (GOOGL, GOOG), Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) have come under fire in Britain for the relatively small corporate taxes they pay there and the U.K. government detailed plans for a new 25% tax on profits of multinational technology and other companies, reported The Wall Street Journal. Reference Link
08:46 EDTAAPLApple Watch mass production rumored to start in January, AppleInsider says
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08:27 EDTMRKNewLink Genetics falls after Ebola vaccine trial suspended
Shares of NewLink Genetics (NLNK) are falling in pre-market trading after a clinical trial of the Ebola vaccine being developed by the company and partner Merck (MRK) was temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure after four patients complained of joint pains in their hands and feet, the University of Geneva Hospital said. The trials are scheduled to resume next month in up to 15 volunteers after checks to make sure that the joint pain symptoms were benign and temporary, the hospital added. Shares of NewLink are down 6.5% to $34.50 in early morning trading following the news, while Merck shares are indicated to open fractionally higher.
08:09 EDTAAPLGoogle shares pricing in loss of Apple search deal, says Citigroup
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06:35 EDTAAPLUnited's 23,000 flight attendants to get iPhone 6 Plus, Business Insider reports
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06:32 EDTAAPLGlobalfoundries hope to win orders from Qualcomm and Apple, DigiTimes reports
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December 10, 2014
16:00 EDTBAC, MRK, AAPLOptions Update; December 10, 2014
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14:20 EDTAAPLUnited Continental providing 23,000 flight attendants with iPhone 6 Plus
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13:45 EDTMRKMerck's Gardasil 9 approved by FDA
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12:24 EDTBACOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street opened in negative territory and have remained there throughout the morning. The averages have moved in a narrow range as the price of crude continues to fall. Near noon, WTI crude was down another 5% to roughly $60 per barrel. The weakness is effecting equities, as investors are concerned the oil price weakness is indicative of the slowing global economy. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., House and Senate lawmakers reportedly reached a deal on a nearly $1.1T bill to fund most of the government through September and avert a shutdown. The EIA estimated crude oil supplies grew 1.5 Mmbbls last week, while consensus expected a 2.7 Mmbbls decrease. The Treasury budget statement for November is expected at 2:00 pm ET, with the consensus expectation for a deficit of $63B. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of JPMorgan (JPM) declined 2% after guidelines proposed yesterday by the Federal Reserve would likely result in the firm managing to a higher capital buffer. Additionally, JPMorgan CFO Marianne Lake, speaking earlier at a Goldman Sachs conference, said the bank sees its Q4 reported markets revenues down by a "high teens" percentage and that its "core" markets performance in Q4, excluding the sale of physical commodities and allocation of preferred dividend expense, is indicated down 4% to-date compared to last year's quarter. Lake became the latest bank executive to discuss a Q4 trading slump, after Bank of America (BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan, speaking yesterday at the same financial conference, said the bank expects its Q4 trading revenue to be down on both a linked-quarter and year-over-year basis. Also yesterday, Citigroup (C) CEO Michael Corbat estimated that the bank's Q4 markets revenue would be down year-over-year by about 5%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Analogic (ALOG), which rose 12% after the company reported better than expected quarterly earnings. Also higher was Novadaq (NVDQ), which gained 11.5% after the company signed a multi-year distributor agreement with LifeNet Health that analysts at Canaccord said could potentially be a big deal and materially help its near and long-term prospects. Among the noteworthy losers was Yum! Brands (YUM), which dropped nearly 5% after the owner of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands issued a negative preannouncement on its China business and provided lower than expected 2015 EPS guidance. Also lower were shares of Krispy Kreme (KKD), which sunk 8% after the donut maker reported weaker than expected earnings and revenue. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 164.41, or 0.92%, to 17,636.79, the Nasdaq was down 32.79, or 0.69%, to 4,733.68, and the S&P 500 was down 17.43, or 0.85%, to 2,042.39.
11:03 EDTBACJPMorgan drops 2% after CFO talks down Q4 numbers
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09:36 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading
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08:47 EDTMRKMerck, IBCSG, BIG announce opening of PANACEA study
The International Breast Cancer Study Group, Breast International Group, and Merck announced the opening of the PANACEA study, a global collaborative study exploring a new way to treat HER2+ breast cancer that has become resistant to the current standard of care. The PANACEA study will investigate the use of pembrolizumab in combination with trastuzumab to evaluate whether the addition of an anti-PD-1 therapy can reverse trastuzumab resistance in patients with HER2+ breast cancer whose cancer has spread while on trastuzumab therapy. The trial, “Anti-PD-1 Monoclonal Antibody in Advanced, Trastuzumab-resistant, HER2+ Breast Cancer,” is a Phase 1b/2 study in patients with HER2+ breast cancer whose cancer has spread while on treatment with trastuzumab. Primary outcome measures of the study are recommended dose and efficacy and safety profile of pembrolizumab in combination with trastuzumab. Response will be assessed by RECIST 1.1 criteria. Secondary outcome measures include safety and tolerability, disease control, duration of response, time to progression, progression-free survival and overall survival. The study is enrolling adult females with unresectable or metastatic breast adenocarcinoma with confirmed HER2-positivity. There are 10 sites participating in the study across Europe and Australia: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Westmead Hospital in Australia; Medical University of Vienna in Austria; Jules Bordet Institute and CHU Sart Tilman in Belgium; Institut de Cancérologie de l’OUEST, Centre Léon Bérard and Institut Gustave Roussy in France; and Istituto Europeo di Oncologia Milano and Azienda USL4 Prato in Italy.
08:36 EDTAAPLApple, IBM deliver first wave of IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps
Apple (AAPL) and IBM (IBM) have delivered the first wave of IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions in a new class of made-for-business apps and supporting cloud services that bring IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad users in the enterprise. IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions are now available to enterprise customers in banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecommunications and for governments and airlines, thanks to an unprecedented collaboration between Apple and IBM. IBM clients today announcing support for IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions include: Citi, Air Canada, Sprint and Banorte.
08:32 EDTMRKMerck announces early findings showing 18.5% overall response rate with Keytruda
Merck announced early study findings demonstrating an overall response rate of 18.5% with KEYTRUDA, the company’s anti-PD-1 therapy, as assessed by RECIST v1.1, central review in PD-L1 positive, advanced triple-negative breast cancer – one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. At the time of analysis, the median duration of response had not been reached with three of five responders on therapy for 11 months or more. These early findings, from the ongoing Phase 1b KEYNOTE-012 study, were shared today for the first time as part of the official press program at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and will be presented in an oral session at 10:45 a.m. CST by Dr. Rita Nanda, the University of Chicago. Data presented were from a cohort of the ongoing Phase 1b KEYNOTE-012 study which evaluated KEYTRUDA monotherapy at 10 mg/kg every two weeks in patients with advanced TNBC whose tumors were determined to be positive for PD-L1 expression. As measured by Merck’s proprietary PD-L1 immunohistochemistry clinical trial assay, tumors were considered to be PD-L1 positive if staining was present in the stroma or in greater than or equal to one percent of tumor cells. In the study, 58 percent of patients screened had tumors determined to be positive for PD-L1 expression. Most patients enrolled in this study had received two or more prior chemotherapies for metastatic disease and 87.5 percent had received prior neo-adjuvant or adjuvant therapy.
06:38 EDTAAPLBose products to return to Apple stores, 9to5Mac reports
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06:22 EDTAAPLChina touch panel makers suffer as smartphone inventory rises, DigiTimes reports
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December 9, 2014
18:20 EDTAAPLApple to establish R&D center in Japan, Nikkei reports
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16:28 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street opened in the red on the heels of a sharp sell-off in China and amid continued concern over tumbling oil prices. The domestic economic calendar offered little in the way of a catalyst and the market moved in a narrow range throughout the morning. However, the averages began to pare their losses once the European markets closed. By mid-afternoon the averages had turned mixed with the Nasdaq higher, the S&P flat, and the Dow the laggard, which is the way the trading day closed. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the National Federation of Independent Business' optimism index rose to 98.1 from a prior reading of 96.1. The JOLTS report showed job openings increased 149K to 4.83M in October, which was above the expectation for 4.795M openings. Wholesale sales increased 0.2% in October and inventories grew 0.4%, both of which were better than expected. In Asia, China's Shanghai composite index plunged 5.4%, making for the stock market's sharpest selloff in years, after the country’s securities clearing house raised the threshold for the type of collateral used for short-term loans and policymakers warned about potentially slower economic growth. In Europe, Greek stocks and bonds also tumbled after a move to bring forward presidential elections, which could potentially derail Greece’s bailout and austerity efforts. COMPANY NEWS: Verizon (VZ) was among the Dow's worst performers, sinking $1.98, or 4.05%, to $46.92 after the company warned that Q4 impacts of its promotional offers, together with the strong customer volumes this quarter, will put short-term pressure on its earnings per share. After last night's commentary from the company, Robert W. Baird downgraded Verizon shares to Neutral from Outperform and lowered its price target on the stock to $50 from $54... Merck (MRK) also weighed on the Dow, as the drugmaker fell $1.87, or 3.02%, to $60.01 after a Delaware court denied Cubist's (CBST) bid to stop Hospira (HSP) from selling a generic version of Cubicin in 2016. Merck announced just yesterday morning that it had agreed to buy Cubist in a transaction with a total value of approximately $9.5B. The news is a "tough start" to Merck's takeover and makes the $9.5B buyout price look $2B to $3B too high, according to analysts at Leerink. Shares of Cubist also fell $xxx, or xxx%, to $xxx following the court ruling. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was bluebird bio (BLUE), which surged $35.39, or 72.39%, to $84.28 after the company announced data from eight subjects treated with its LentiGlobin drug product and Piper Jaffray more than doubled its price target for the shares to $112 from $52. Among the noteworthy losers was Conn's (CONN), which plunged $14.26, or 40.64%, to $20.83 after unexpectedly reporting losses for its third fiscal quarter, withdrawing its FY15 guidance and announcing the departure of its CFO. Also lower was Spirit Airlines (SAVE), which slid $10.70, or 12.67%, to $73.77 after the company said last night that since late October there has been compression in the fare structure for close-in bookings, believed to be driven by the industry’s willingness to trade lower fuel prices for lower fares. Also, this morning, Raymond James downgraded Spirit Airlines to Market Perform from Outperform, citing valuation, European deflation headwinds, and earnings that are still being revised down. INDEXES: The Dow fell 51.28, or 0.29%, to 17,801.20, the Nasdaq rose 25.77, or 0.54%, to 4,766.46, and the S&P 500 slipped 0.49, or 0.02%, to 2,059.82.
16:00 EDTBAC, AAPLOptions Update; December 9, 2014
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14:57 EDTBACFed to propose rulemaking on risk-based capital surcharges for GSIB banks
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14:42 EDTBACFed sees setting capital surcharge up to 4.5% for big U.S. banks, Bloomberg says
Bloomberg cites surcharge estimates in Federal Reserve staff memo. Publicly traded companies in the space include Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
13:08 EDTMRKMerck may have paid $2B-$3B too much for Cubist, analyst says
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12:25 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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10:35 EDTAAPLApple falls, levels to watch
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10:10 EDTMRKMerck trades sharply lower, levels to watch
The stock is down over 4.3% to $59.23 at time of writing. At that price next support is at $57.95. Resistance is at $60.25.
09:38 EDTAAPL, BACActive equity options trading
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09:21 EDTAAPLOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: AutoZone (AZO), up 3.8%... Burlington Stores (BURL), up 3.3%. ALSO HIGHER: bluebird bio (BLUE), up 56.5% after price target raised at Piper Jaffray and SunTrust... Camtek (CAMT), up 6.7% after being awarded a $2.8M order from a semiconductor manufacturer... PDC Energy (PDCE), up 5.8% after providing fiscal 2015 production guidance... Mast Therapeutics (MSTX), up 3.1% after reporting that it will begin recruiting patients for MST-188 study in first half of fiscal 2015... Idera Pharmaceuticals (IDRA), up 1.4% after announcing data for its lead product candidate, IMO-8400. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: UTi Worldwide (UTIW), down 10.8%... CONN'S (CONN), down 35.9% after reporting third quarter results, withdrawing fiscal 2015 guidance, stating that there is no timetable set for completion of strategic alternatives, and announcing the departure of its CFO. ALSO LOWER: Apple (AAPL), down 1.6% after Pacific Crest says that weak iPad demand could cause Apple to miss estimates and following a Wall Street Journal report that a judge denied Apple's efforts to throw out iPod pricing lawsuit... Allied Nevada Gold (ANV), down 30.1% after announcing pricing of common stock and warrant offering... United Continental (UAL), down 2.7% after reporting November traffic.
09:15 EDTBACBank of America sees Q4 sales and trading revenue down linked-quarter, y/y
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08:25 EDTMRKBristol-Myers data positive, says BMO Capital
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08:23 EDTMRKMerck has 'no way out' of Cubist deal after court decision, says Leerink
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08:12 EDTMRKMerck still sees Cubist acquisition neutral to modestly accretive to 2015 EPS
Merck (MRK) issued the following statement regarding the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The decision, which upheld the patent for CUBICIN that expires on June 15, 2016 and invalidated four others, is subject to appeal. The company continues to believe the acquisition of Cubist (CBST) will create strong fundamental value for Merck’s shareholders. The combined strength of both companies will provide both incremental and long-term value, and Merck expects the transaction to add more than $1B of revenue to its 2015 base, with strong growth potential thereafter. The court’s decision does not change Merck’s expectation that the transaction will be neutral to modestly accretive to 2015 non-GAAP EPS. The company also continues to expect that the transaction will contribute mid-single digit accretion on a percentage basis to non-GAAP EPS in 2016, and will continue to be accretive thereafter.
08:11 EDTMRKCubist downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital
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08:03 EDTAAPLWeak iPad demand could cause Apple to miss estimates, says Pacific Crest
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06:20 EDTAAPLJudge denies Apple's efforts to throw out iPod pricing suit, WSJ reports
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December 8, 2014
19:00 EDTMRKCubist CEO says Cubicin patent ruling will not affect Merck transaction
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18:00 EDTMRKCubist loses bid to stop Hospira's generic Cubicin after 2016, Bloomberg says
Cubist's (CBST) patent for Cubicin that expires in June 2016 upheld by judge, Bloomberg added. Note that this morning Merck (MRK) and Cubist Pharmaceuticals announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck will acquire Cubist for $102 per share in cash.
17:54 EDTMRKFour Cubist Cubicin patents invalidated as Hospira wins ruling, Bloomberg says
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17:30 EDTMRKMerck acquisition of Cubist could be a 'winner', Barron's says
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17:30 EDTMRKMerck shares lower after reports of judge decision in Cubist/Hospira case
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16:24 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower amid another drop in crude oil prices, which tumbled to five-year lows. The market opened slightly lower following weaker than expected data from China and Japan, with nothing of note on the domestic calendar to get buyers involved in the day’s activity. Near noon, the averages gained downside momentum and though the market pared its losses several times, it was never able to gain any steam to pull the indexes back into the green. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no major economic data was released. In Asia, Chinese exports rose 4.7% from a year earlier in November, which missed the consensus estimate for an 8% increase. Chinese imports fell 6.7% from the prior year last month, compared with projections for a 3.8% increase. Additionally, Japan's revised third quarter gross domestic product estimate showed the economy shrank more than initially thought, with growth contracting an annualized 1.9%. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST) surged $26.24, or 35.29%, to $100.60 after Merck (MRK) agreed to acquire the maker of next-generation antibiotics for $102 per share in cash, or $8.4B and the assumption of $1.1B in debt. A number of other antibiotic makers also climbed, including Tetraphase (TTPH), which rose $2.45, or 8.82%, to $30.24, and Cempra (CEMP), which advanced $1.64, or 11.37%, to $16.06, while shares of Merck finished fractionally higher, adding 39c, or 0.63%, to $61.88 following the deal announcement. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers following their presentations at the American Society of Hematology, or ASH, annual meeting were Calithera Biosciences (CALA), which gained $2.38, or 22.52%, to $12.95, and Acceleron Pharma (XLRN), which jumped $5.11, or 13.6%, to $42.67. Among the noteworthy losers was McDonald's (MCD), which fell $3.70, or 3.84%, to $92.61 after the Dow member reported a 2.2% decline in global same-restaurant sales in November. Additionally, the fast-food giant warned that its fourth quarter results would be hurt by its sales pressures, supplier issues in China and a stronger U.S. dollar. Also lower were shares of Liquidity Services (LQDT), which plunged $2.77, or 27.0%, to $7.49 after the company disclosed that Wal-Mart (WMT) had terminated a deal to provide it with surplus merchandise. INDEXES: The Dow fell 106.31, or 0.59%, to 17,852.48, the Nasdaq dropped 40.06, or 0.84%, to 4,740.69, and the S&P 500 slipped 15.06, or 0.73%, to 2,060.31.
16:24 EDTMRKAmgen initiates new combination trial for talimogene laherparepvec with KEYTRUDA
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16:00 EDTBAC, AAPLOptions Update; December 8, 2014
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13:16 EDTAAPLApple trades off session lows, levels to watch
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13:12 EDTMRKMerck paid full price but made good deal for Cubist, says UBS
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12:40 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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12:25 EDTMRKAntibiotic makers rise after Merck agrees to buy Cubist
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08:30 EDTMRKMerck says deals with Cubist includes $250M break-up fee clause
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08:21 EDTMRKMerck says looked at all risks, including patent litgation, before Cubist deal
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08:11 EDTMRKCubist volatility elevated into Merck acquiring for $8.4B in cash
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08:08 EDTMRKMerck says about $9.5B of debt to be issued related to Cubist deal
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07:35 EDTMRKAdvaxis reports FDA acceptance of IND application for ADXS-PSA combination trial
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07:13 EDTMRKMerck to host conference call
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07:01 EDTMRKMerck to acquire Cubist for $102 per share in cash, or $9.5B
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07:00 EDTMRKMerck to acquire Cubist for $102 per share in cash
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06:37 EDTAAPLApple rumored to be launching 4-inch iPhone in 2015, Times of India reports
Apple is rumored to be developing a new iPhone with a 4-inch display, The Times of India reports, citing a report from The Electronic Times of Taiwan. According to supply chain sources, the device will launch in 2H15. Reference Link
06:35 EDTBACValue of Wall Street's M&A bankers has risen, NY Times says
The value of Wall Street's bankers who advise large companies seems to be increasing, while traders are becoming less valuable, according to The New York Times. Bankers who work on M&A deals are expecting their bonuses to increase, while traders anticipate that their compensation will drop, the newspaper added. Furthermore, banks seem to be going the extra mile to hire top notch bankers, the newspaper stated. Publicly traded large banks include Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Wells Fargo (WFC). Reference Link
06:22 EDTAAPLApple price target raised to $135 from $120 at Citigroup
Citigroup raised its earnings estimates for Apple after its field work indicated consumers are increasingly buying the higher memory iPhone 6 and 6+. Citi expects purchasing trends towards higher memory devices to drive stronger sales and margins. It believes consensus estimates are yet to factor in this development. The firm raised its price target for Apple shares to $135 from $120 and keeps a Buy rating on the name. Shares of phone maker closed Friday down 49c to $115.
06:15 EDTAAPLLenovo shipments expected to lead Samsung by 9M in 2015, DigiTimes reports
Lenovo (LNVGY) is estimated to beat Samsung (SSNLF) in mobile device shipments in 2015 by about 9M units, reports DigiTimes Research. Lenovo is set to beat Samsung by about 1M units in 2014 and become the second largest mobile computing device brand vendor worldwide behind Apple (AAPL). DigiTimes Research says Lenovo and Samsung plan to focus on maintaining tablet shipments as demand weakens in 2015. Reference Link
December 7, 2014
16:29 EDTMRKMerck in discussions to buy Cubist for $7B, Bloomberg reports
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12:58 EDTMRKMerck presents KEYTRUDA data at ASH
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December 5, 2014
11:23 EDTAAPL, BACOption volume leaders
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09:36 EDTBAC, AAPLActive equity options trading
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07:45 EDTAAPLConsensus on Apple iPhone units could be low, says UBS
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06:41 EDTAAPLApple questions validity of plaintiffs in iPod case, NY Times says
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06:03 EDTAAPLiOS mobile traffic shows iPhone 6 launch strong, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray says that according to Quantcast data, Apple's (AAPL) iOS mobile traffic share increased from 60.6% at iPhone 6 launch to 61.4% nine weeks after launch, while Google's (GOOG) Android decreased from 38.4% to 37.5% in the same period. Piper views the iOS mobile traffic share as further evidence that the iPhone 6 launch in the U.S. is off to a strong start. It keeps an Overweight rating on Apple shares with a $135 price target.
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