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November 18, 2015
07:43 EDTXOMExxon Mobil downgraded to Underperform on subpar oil leverage at Raymond James
As previously reported, Raymond James downgraded Exxon Mobil to Underperform from Market Perform. Analyst Pavel Molchanov expects a modest oil recovery in 2016 and said Exxon Mobil's limited leverage to oil prices will act as a hindrance during a recovery. Molchanov expects Exxon shares to be a source of funds for investors turning more constructive on oil in 2016. The analyst said this is not a short-term trading call but a 6-12 month time horizon, which could prove wrong if oil spends the year below $50 territory.
06:36 EDTXOMExxon Mobil downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
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06:14 EDTAAPLApple upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman
Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski upgraded Apple to Conviction Buy saying the stock trades at a 30% discount to the S&P 500 multiple. The market views Apple as a "hardware" stock, or a company with limited recurring revenue and visibility that only extends to the next product cycle, Jankowski tells investors in a research note. Over the next year, however, the analyst expects the market focus will shift from unit growth to installed base monetization and recurring revenues, which she dubs "Apple-as-a-Service." Jankowski believes Apple has a "significant multi-year opportunity" to increase monetization given its estimated installed base of 500M loyal iPhone users. She has a $163 price target for shares. The iPhone maker closed yesterday down 49c to $113.69.
06:12 EDTAAPLApple Pay coming to Domino's by end of year, Cinnabon in 2016, AP reports
Apple (AAPL) yesterday said that company-owned Domino's (DPZ) pizza outlets will be accepting Apple Pay by the end of 2015, while Cinnabon plans to integrate the mobile payments solution in its stores in 2016, The Associated Press reports. Reference Link
05:56 EDTAAPLSony Mobile, LG to develop smartphone app processors in-house, DigiTimes says
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November 17, 2015
18:58 EDTMSFTMicrosoft CEO says building new cyber defense center, NBC reports
Speaking at the Microsoft Government Cloud Forum on Tuesday, CEO Satya Nadella revealed plans to open a Cyber Defense Operations Center, gathering security experts from across the company's suite of products in order to respond to security threats in real-time, reports NBC. Reference Link
16:42 EDTHLFJustice Department announces criminal charges against supplement maker USPlabs
The U.S. Department of Justice, along with partners at the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, Postal Inspection Service, and Internal Revenue Service, announced a "nationwide sweep" targeting more than 100 makers and marketers of dietary supplements. The agencies noted, "The actions discussed today resulted from a year-long effort, beginning in November 2014, to focus enforcement resources in an area of the dietary supplement market that is causing increasing concern among health officials nationwide. In each case, the department or one of its federal partners allege the sale of supplements that contain ingredients other than those listed on the product label or the sale of products that make health or disease treatment claims that are unsupported by adequate scientific evidence." Among the cases announced Tuesday is a criminal case charging USPlabs and several of its corporate officers with various counts associated with the unlawful sale of dietary supplements, obstruction of an FDA proceeding, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The Department also filed in the past week five civil cases seeking injunctive relief against a number of businesses and individuals that allegedly sold supplements as disease cures or that were otherwise in violation of the law. The cases involve various entities, including Vibrant Life, Viruxo, Optimum Health, Bethel Nutritional, VivaCeuticals, and Regeneca, said the agency. Note that shares of GNC (GNC), Herbalife (HLF), Vitamin Shoppe (VSI), and Natural Health (NHTC) all slipped Tuesday following early reports of criminal charges in the dietary supplement space. Reference Link
16:01 EDTAAPL, NFLXOptions Update; November 17, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures up 1.32 to 21.07. Option volume leaders: GE BAC AAPL FB NFLX SYF WMT CSCO MU SUNE VRX BABA AMZN HD FCX
15:10 EDTHLFDOJ files indictment against USPLabs over Supplements, FDA Law Blog says
Shares of GNC Holdings (GNC), Vitamin Shoppe (VSI), and Herbalife (HLF) were all weak this afternoon on concerns that they would be the target of the FDA's action. Reference Link
13:09 EDTHLFHerbalife says not aware of being named in DOJ supplement action, Bloomberg says
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12:35 EDTHLFHerbalife puts active on headlines of DOJ briefing on supplement actions
Herbalife November 47 and 50 puts are active on total put volume of 9,800 contracts (2,400 calls) following Bloomberg headlines of DOJ briefing on supplement actions. November put option implied volatility is at 113, December is at 55; compared to its 52-week range of 34 to 126. Active put volume suggests traders taking positions for wide price movement.
12:28 EDTHLFGNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Herbalife at lows following DOJ supplement advisory
The Department of Justice said in a media advisory that it plans to announce at 3:30 pm today its actions related to dietary supplements sales and unlawful ads. Following the press advisory, shares of GNC Holdings (GNC), Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) and Herbalife (HLF) are at session lows, though none of the companies were named in the advisory.
10:56 EDTNFLXStocks with call strike movement; BABA NFLX
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10:55 EDTNFLXNetflix management to meet with Sterne Agee CRT
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09:35 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading on open: AAPL FB GE HD
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09:02 EDTMSFT, AAPLAnalyst pans competing products, says buy Fitbit
Shares of previous high-flier Fitbit (FIT) have dropped about 30% in the last two weeks following the company's third quarter earnings report, but an analyst at Bank of America upgraded his view of the fitness tracker maker this morning, saying that now is the time to buy ahead of fourth quarter results that may be boosted by the "underwhelming" new products being launched by its competitors. UNDERWHELMING COMPETITION: Fitbit's sales guidance for this holiday quarter looks conservative, contends Bank of America analyst Nat Schindler, who notes that the company only had the launch of one new product last December but will have the Charge, Charge HR and Surge to drive sales this season. Schindler also notes that the company's international advertising has expanded into more countries ahead of the holidays this year. Key, however, may be the "underwhelming" lineup of new or updated fitness trackers launched by competitors, such as the Microsoft's (MSFT) Band 2, Jawbone's UP4 and Sony's (SNE) Smartband 2, many of which have only minor improvements and no "must have" features to pull consumers away from Fitbit, Schindler told investors in his research note. PLATFORM PICKING UP STEAM: The analyst also pointed out that Fitbit now has more than 20 companies signed onto its health and wellness platform, including big names like Target (TGT) and Barclays (BCS), which he believes should help drive revenue beats in the upcoming fiscal year due to increased device sales. Also, the additional dashboard data should help Fitbit maintain long-term user engagement, said Schindler. APPLE WATCH: Apple's (AAPL) Apple Watch is largely viewed as the biggest potential competitive threat to Fitbit's offerings, but on the fitness tracker maker's last earnings call CEO James Park said Fitbit's products differ from those of its competitors in several key aspects, including pricing, cross-platform compatibility, brand awareness and product line breadth. Other wearables makers include Garmin (GRMN) and Samsung. PRICE ACTION: Since the day after Fitbit's last earnings report after the market close on November 2, its shares have fallen about 29.5% to close yesterday at $28.80. In pre-market trading this morning, Fitbit shares rose 2% to $29.40.
07:56 EDTMSFTUBS to hold a conference
Global Technology Conference is being held in San Francisco on November 16-18 with webcasted company presentations to begin on November 17 at 10:45 am.; not all company presentations may be webcasted. Webcast Link
07:52 EDTPGMorgan Stanley to hold a conference
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07:01 EDTAAPLGlobal Payments to offer Apple Pay support in Canada
Global Payments (GPN) said it will offer its merchants in Canada the ability to accept American Express (AXP) payments made with Apple (AAPL) Pay. As an Apple Pay-qualified payment provider, Global Payments' robust suite of payments solutions is fully enabled for Apple Pay acceptance, allowing merchants to offer their customers the convenience of Apple Pay acceptance in-store, in-app and on-the-go.
06:16 EDTMSFTMicrosoft turns around flawed security technology, NY Times says
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