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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
October 10, 2012
10:10 EDTQCOM, TYC, NSM, GCO, USB, SKYW, HD, FITB, VIA, ZNGA, SAP, GPI, FOE, AEOOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: American Eagle (AEO) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray... Ferro (FOE) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Longbow... Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Genesco (GCO) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray... Group 1 Automotive (GPI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee... Home Depot (HD) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer... Nationstar (NSM) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette... SAP (SAP) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Sky West (SKYW) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Tyco (TYC) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... U.S. Bancorp (USB) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Zynga (ZNGA) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray... Booz Allen (BAH) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Lazard Capital... Qualcomm (QCOM) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at DA Davidson... Viacom (VIA) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Bernstein.
News For AEO;FOE;FITB;GCO;GPI;HD;NSM;SAP;SKYW;TYC;ZNGA;USB;QCOM;VIA From The Last 14 Days
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February 4, 2016
06:51 EDTUSBBofA doesn't deserve to be in 'stock market doghouse,' WSJ says
Bank of America (BAC) is currently in the "stock market doghouse," but doesn't deserve to be, David Reilly of the Wall Street Journal's Ahead of the Tape says. The overall beating of U.S. bank stocks has come amid the greater market selloff, reflecting the fact that slowing growth has brought doubt on the Fed's ability to raise rates in March, Reilly says. Since a rate increase is a far-off prospect, investors have little reason to own bank stocks, though Bank of America's valuation assumes "too dire an outcome," the report says. Banks with international outreach, such as Citi (C), are still arguably further behind in post-crisis cleanup, but Bank of America is more focused on the domestic U.S. economy and prices a U.S. recession as a given, not a possibility, the report says. Other large U.S. banks include Wells Fargo (WFC), JPMorgan (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), U.S. Bancorp (USB), BB&T (BBT), PNC Financial (PNC), and SunTrust (STI). Reference Link
06:05 EDTVIAShari Redstone doesn't want Dauman to become Viacom's chairman, NY Post says
Shari Redstone, the daughter of Sumner Redstone, says she does not want Viacom (VIA) CEO Philippe Dauman to succeed her 92-year-old father as chairman of the media company, The New York Post reports. Shari says, "It is my firm belief that whoever may succeed my father as chair at should be someone who is not a Trustee of my father's trust or otherwise intertwined in Redstone family matters, but rather a leader with an independent voice." CBS yesterday announced that Leslie Moonves has been elected its new chairman, with Sumner servicing as chairman emeritus. Reference Link
February 3, 2016
19:47 EDTHDHome Depot to hire 2,000 employees in Massachusetts, Boston Globe says
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19:35 EDTVIAOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Glu Mobile (GLUU), up 27.9%... Capstone Turbine (CPST), up 17.2%... Solaredge (SEDG), 12.6%... Take-Two (TTWO), up 8.3%... PennantPark (PNNT), up 5%... Cadence Design (CDNS), up 4.5%... Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), up 1%. ALSO HIGHER: VirnetX Holding (VHC), up 90.6% after the company won a $625.6M verdict in favor of in a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple (AAPL)... Viacom (VIAB, VIA), up 9.5% and 7%, respectively, after Viacom issued a brief statement which reads, "The Viacom board of directors is scheduled to meet tomorrow."... CBS (CBS), up 4.7% after Sumner Redstone has resigned as executive chairman of CBS to be replaced by CEO Leslie Moonves. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: DHT Holdings (DHT), down 5.3%... GoPro (GPRO), down 9.9%... Imperva (IMPV), down 11.7%... Shutterfly (SFLY), down 3.8%... MetLife (MET), down 2.3%. ALSO LOWER: Ambarella (AMBA), down 2.2% after GoPro reported Q4 results.
17:13 EDTVIAViacom issues statement, says board is scheduled to meet Thursday
Viacom issued a brief statement which reads, "The Viacom board of directors is scheduled to meet tomorrow."
16:47 EDTVIACBS, Viacom shares jump following news of Redstone departure
Shares of CBS (CBS) and Viacom (VIA, VIAB) have jumped a respective 4.33% and 7.45% following news that Sumner Redstone has resigned as executive chairman of CBS to be replaced by CEO Leslie Moonves, as well as a report by CNBC's David Faber indicating that Viacom will also move to replace Redstone as chairman on Thursday.
16:32 EDTVIAViacom board expected to replace Redstone, CNBC's Faber says
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16:26 EDTVIACBS says Shari Redstone offered, declined non-executive Chair role
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16:15 EDTVIACBS jumps 3.7% after Redstone resigns as Executive Chairman
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09:40 EDTQCOMGoogle to support early Qualcomm server chips, Bloomberg says
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09:37 EDTQCOMActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL BAC FB YHOO GILD CMG NFLX GOOGL QCOM
07:35 EDTHDHome Depot hiring over 80,000 positions for spring
Home Depot is hiring more than 80,000 associates nationwide to ensure its stores are staffed for the company's busiest selling season.
07:21 EDTSAPSAP to pay $3.9M settlement to SEC over Panama bribery charges, Reuters says
SAP will pay almost $3.9M to settle SEC charges related to a former executive's scheme to bribe Panama government officials in an effort to win technology contracts, Reuters reports. The SEC said that SAP's internal controls let Vicente Garcia, former vice president of global and strategic accounts responsible for Latin America sales, to pay $145,000 in bribes to a top Panamanian government official and offer bribes to two others in order to win contract orders, the report says. Reference Link
February 2, 2016
18:39 EDTQCOMAlibaba leads $794M funding round for augmented reality firm Magic Leap
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15:46 EDTVIAEarnings Watch: Media networks report amid shifts in streaming, TV landscape
Comcast (CMCSA), CBS (CBS), Time Warner (TWX), Viacom (VIA), and 21st Century Fox (FOX) are among media companies expected to report quarterly results over the next several weeks. EXPECTATIONS: Comcast is expected to report EPS of 82c on revenue of $18.77B, CBS is expected to report EPS of 93c, Time Warner is expected to report EPS of $1.00 on revenue of $7.53B, Viacom is expected to report EPS of $1.18 on revenue of $3.26B, and Fox is expected to report EPS of 44c on revenue of $7.54B. LAST QUARTER: Comcast, Fox, and viacom reported mixed results for the previous quarter, while CBS and Time Warner beat on both top and bottom lines. NEWS: On November 10, Comcast announced it expanded its advanced fiber network to Modesto, California as part of the company's ongoing response to Google (GOOG) Fiber. On November 12, the Wall Street Journal broke news that Hulu, a video streaming joint venture of Disney (DIS), Comcast and Fox, is in talks to sell a stake to Time Warner, though the Journal said on January 31 that the company has expressed dissatisfaction with Hulu's inclusion of current-season TV episodes, which it believes contributes to cord-cutting. On December 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that YouTube was holding talks with Hollywood studios and production companies to seek content licenses amid intensified competition with Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and Hulu. On December 9, Re/code reported that Apple (AAPL), rumored to be working on a subscription TV service, walked away from its negotiations with the major networks after being pressed to include "filler" channels in its hypothetical service. Speaking at a January 7 media conference, Time Warner CFO Howard Averill said the company was negotiating to make full seasons of TV shows available to pay-TV customers on demand, mirroring the "binge watching" offered by Netflix. On January 8, the New York Post reported that Corvex Management was considering an activist position in Time Warner. That same day, Benzinga reported that Twenty-First Century Fox remained interested in the company and had made a $105 per share acquisition offer, though Fox later denied the report. On January 14, the New York Post reported that Comcast has begun "ripping up" agreements with cable networks, moving them from basic cable onto digital tiers in response to consumer demand for smaller bundles. On January 27, Reuters reported that SpringOwl Asset Management is urging Viacom to seek outside investment from strategic partners. On January 30, the New York Post reported that Nelson Peltz is considering an activist position in Time Warner. On February 1, the National Football League announced a broadcasting agreement with CBS and Comcast's NBC which will see the two companies paying roughly $225M each for rights to the next two seasons of Thursday Night Football. Also on February 1, it was reported that Fox offered certain employees voluntary buyouts as part of a $250M cost cutting target. STREET RESEARCH: On November 5, Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker downgraded Time Warner to Market Perform after its "huge" guidance cut last quarter, with the shares also seeing downgrades at CLSA and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. On December 22, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne called Comcast one of his top large cap picks for 2016, saying the company can use skinny bundles to take market share and potentially add net video customers for the first time since 2006. On January 8, research firm Stifel cut its price target on CBS to $54 from $66, citing a belief that industry syndication and SVOD revenues will significantly decelerate going forward, with CBS having more exposure to those areas than its peers. Meanwhile, JPMorgan added the company to its U.S. focus list on January 11, citing its heavily discounted stock and potentially strong EPS growth in 2016. On February 1, Pacific Crest argued that Comcast shares should be owned going into fourth quarter results, contending that the company's video and broadband investments will likely translate to increased market share and strong cash flows this year. PRICE ACTION: Comcast and Fox, the first of the media giants to report quarterly earnings, are down 2% and 3.6%, respectively, amid the broader market selloff.
10:40 EDTZNGAStifel warns Twitter may go way of tech busts, cuts to Sell
Twitter (TWTR) is giving up nearly all of yesterday's gains after Fortune and The Wall Street Journal poured cold water on a report that private equity firm Silver Lake might be considering making a strategic investment in the company. Additionally weighing on the stock are a Business Insider report claiming that the number of tweets has declined by more than 50% in the last 18 months and research firm Stifel downgrading the stock to Sell. WHAT'S NEW: Yesterday morning, tech website The Information reported that venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and private equity firm Silver Lake have considered making a deal involving Twitter. However, Silver Lake isn't looking to make a deal with Twitter, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unnamed source. The Journal's article echoes a report yesterday afternoon by Fortune, which also quoted an unnamed source as saying that Silver Lake isn't interested in buying Twitter. Also, according to Business Insider, the number of daily tweets on Twitter has plummeted by more than 50% since August 2014. The report based its estimate on a sampling of data from the website's application programming interface. Last month, there were 303M tweets per day on average, down from the peak of an average of 661M per day in August 2014, when the World Cup was occurring, the website stated. Moreover, according to the data, Twitter has about 130M active users, versus the company's estimate of up to 320M monthly active users. STIFEL SAY SELL: Stifel analyst Scott Devitt downgraded Twitter to Sell form Hold, saying that it has "never fully developed into a sustainable public company." Yahoo (YHOO) says that it has 1B monthly active users, but the market valuation of Yahoo's core business is "much lower" than that of Twitter, which has a significantly smaller user base, Devitt stated. Additionally, Internet companies Groupon (GRPN) and Zynga (ZNGA) became well-known and obtained tens of millions of users, only to see their stocks plummet, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, Twitter's product has not changed significantly since the company hired a new CEO three months ago and it will have difficulty meeting financial expectations over the short-term and longer term, given the size of its user base, said Devitt, who has a $14 price target for the shares. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Twitter fell 6.3% to $16.78. The stock had gained 6.55% yesterday on the heels of Jessica Lessin's report in The Information.
08:04 EDTQCOMForum Global to hold a conference
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January 31, 2016
13:15 EDTVIAViacom could appeal to long-term investors, Barron's says
Viacom shares look appealing for long-term value oriented investors, Barron's contends in its 'Trader Extra' column, citing activist firm SpringOwl's recent calls for change at the company. Reference Link
12:33 EDTUSBU.S. banks could return 20% or more, Barron's says
The banking sector looks like "one of the best bargains in the market," Barron's contends in a cover story. Names such as Citi (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), BB&T (BBT), PNC Financial (PNC), SunTrust (STI) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) are showing healthy balance sheets and could offer "at least" 20% upside, the publication argues, adding that the industry's exposure to the energy sector "looks manageable" given information offered in recent earnings reports and conference calls. Reference Link
11:39 EDTQCOMS&P falls 5% in January despite second straight winning week to close month
Stocks finished the month of January with two straight winning weeks, but investors are still glad to see the calendar flip as those winners only cut the S&P's loss to 5% for the month. With growth worries abounding amid troubling signs from China and as oil languishes below $35 per barrel, the manufacturing readings from China, Europe, and the U.S. due out on Monday will be essential to whether the new month continues the uptrend of the end of January or the dour tone that dominated the early half of the month. MACRO NEWS: The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged following its policy meeting this week, as almost universally expected. In its accompanying statement, the central bank said its committee members expect that economic conditions will "evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate." The group added that inflation is expected to "remain low in the near term, in part because of the further declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2% over the medium term as the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further"... In other domestic economic news, the Commerce Department's first read on fourth quarter gross domestic product came in at 0.7% annualized growth, below the already anemic 0.8% growth forecast. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.8% from the prior year in November, topping expectations for a 5.7% year-over-year increase. The separate FHFA house price index showed a monthly gain of 0.5% in November, matching the consensus forecast. Markit's services PMI for January came in at 53.7, missing the 54.0 forecast. The preliminary reading of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for January came in at 98.1, topping the 96.5 reading that was expected. New home sales surged 10.8% to a 544,000 annualized pace in December, topping expectations and hitting their highest level in 10 months. Initial jobless claims fell to 278,000 last week, versus the expected 281,000 first-time claims. Durable goods orders dropped 5.1% in December, versus expectations for a decrease of 0.7%. The core reading, which removes transportation items, was down 1.2%, versus expectations for a decline of 0.1%. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index slipped to 92.0 in the final January print, missing the 93.0 reading that was forecast... In a surprising move in Asia, the Bank of Japan introduced a rate of minus 0.1% on certain excess holdings of cash while maintaining the pace of its asset purchases. Japan also reported data pointing to a softening economy, as total CPI grew 0.2% year-over-year in December, core CPI rose at only a 0.1% pace and industrial production fell a preliminary 1.4% month-over-month in December. COMPANY NEWS: McDonald's (MCD) advanced Monday after the fast food giant reported better than expected earnings and comparable sales growth for the fourth quarter, powered by the launch of All Day Breakfast in the U.S.... Earnings season accelerated Tuesday as four members of the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average posted results before the opening bell. 3M (MMM) was the top advanced on the index with a gain of over 5%, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG) and DuPont (DD) all notched gains that day following their reports as well... Apple (AAPL) declined more than 6.5% on Wednesday after the tech giant reported first quarter earnings that topped consensus estimates, but also issued revenue guidance for the new quarter that missed expectations. The company was noted by several analysts as taking a particularly downbeat tone in its earnings conference call, invoking the difficult macroeconomic environment and weakness it has recently seen in China. Apple was not the worst performer in the Dow that day, as Boeing (BA) shares plummeted nearly 9% after its profit outlook for the new fiscal year fell far short of the Street's consensus forecast... Facebook (FB) surged 15.5% on Thursday after the social media giant's fourth quarter earnings and revenue beat expectations. A number of Wall Street analysts increased their price targets for the stock following the report, including Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, who hiked his target to a "Street-high" $170 per share. The same day, Caterpillar (CAT) reported better than expected quarterly earnings, excluding certain items, but its revenue came in below the consensus forecast and the heavy equipment maker warned that it does not anticipate an improvement in the world economy or commodity prices in 2016. The stock, which had declined almost 20% in the last three months prior to this morning's report, rebounded almost 5% after the company jumped over the lowered bar that had been set by bearish analysts... On Friday, shares of Amazon (AMZN) declined more than 7.5% after the company's fourth quarter results came in below expectations. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT), which reported better than expected earnings, gained almost 6%. Chevron (CVX) reported a quarterly loss due to taking impairments and other charges of $1.1B. The company, which also reported that its average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S. was $35 in fourth quarter, down from $66 a year ago, edged up 0.7% to $86.44... Among the many others reporting earnings this week, Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), Under Armour (UA), Sprint (S) and Biogen (BIIB) gained immediately following their reports, while Qualcomm (QCOM), eBay (EBAY), U.S. Steel (X), VMware (VMW) and Anthem (ANTM) all slid following their own... Xerox (XRX) announced plans to separate into two independent publicly-traded companies: one focused on Document Technology and another Business Process Outsourcing company. Xerox also announced an agreement related to the governance of the Business Process Outsourcing company under which six directors of the new company will be selected by Xerox and three will be selected by current Xerox shareholder Carl Icahn... Terex (TEX) surged more than 36% higher on Tuesday after receiving a $30 per share acquisition offer from China's Zoomlion. Terex peers Manitowoc (MTW), Joy Global (JOY) and Oshkosh (OSK) also gained after the offer was disclosed... Weight Watchers (WTW) shares soared nearly 20% Tuesday after noted shareholder and partner Oprah Winfrey tweeted a video detailing her progress using the company's program, indicating that she'd already lost 26 pounds thanks to its plan... AIG (AIG) provided its much-anticipated strategy update, committing to return at least $25B to shareholders over the next two years and announcing the sale of AIG Advisor Group to Lightyear Capital and PSP Investments. The company, under ongoing pressure from activist investors including Carl Icahn, also said it will publicly offer a portion of its United Guaranty unit, though it expressly rejected a full company breakup... SunEdison (SUNE) gained 18% during the week after agreeing to new corporate governance initiatives with David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, including amending its bylaws to restrict equity issuances for two years without a supermajority board vote... Twitter (TWTR) slumped nearly 6% this week after CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed the departure of four company executives, leading research firm Stifel to downgrade the shares. INDEXES: The Dow gained about 2.2% to close at 16,466.30; the S&P 500 rose about 1.6% to close at 1,940.24; the Nasdaq advanced about 0.4% to close at 4,613.95.
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