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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 19, 2014
08:55 EDTAGOAssured Guaranty management to meet with UBS
Meetings to be held in Los Angeles/San Francisco on March 19 hosted by UBS.
News For AGO From The Last 14 Days
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July 2, 2015
16:37 EDTAGOStocks end holiday shortened week lower after Greece defaults
Stocks on Wall Street began with a slide on Monday, but not as precipitous a drop as may have been feared, after Greece shut down its banks and announced it will put the concession deal offered by its creditors, and essentially its continued inclusion in the eurozone, up for a popular vote. The major averages regained a bit of their losses in the next two sessions as news regarding the Greek situation continued to dominate the headlines. U.S. markets are closed on Friday in observance of Independence Day, but investors will be returning to big news, for better or worse, following the referendum that is scheduled to occur on July 5. MACRO NEWS: In the U.S., the monthly nonfarm payrolls report showed the addition of 223,000 jobs, versus expectations for 233,000 jobs to have been added last month. The unemployment rate fell to 5.3% from the prior month’s 5.5% rate. Factory orders fell 1.0% in May, which was larger than the expected 0.5% decline. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 101.4 in June from a revised 94.6 reading for May, beating expectations for a reading of 97.4. Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers' index for June came in at 53.6, narrowly above the 53.4 forecast. ISM's manufacturing index rose to 53.5 in June, topping May's 52.8 reading and the 53.2 consensus forecast. Construction spending rose 0.8% in May, versus the expected growth of 0.5%. Additionally, Puerto Rico's Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla, in an interview published by the New York Times, warned that the commonwealth's "debt is not payable" and a report warned that the territory's crisis was even worse than previously thought... In Europe, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called a surprise referendum on the terms put forth by the country’s creditors in exchange for additional rescue funds and the country shut down its banks until after this Sunday's vote. Standard & Poor's Ratings lowered its sovereign credit ratings on Greece, stating that the probability of the country exiting the eurozone is now about 50%, in its view. Greece officially missed its $1.7B payment to the International Monetary Fund, as expected. Greece's government requested a third bailout from the eurozone, but the request was dismissed by European officials. Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Wednesday that he saw no need for further talks on Greece at that point as he awaits the result of its referendum... In China, the People’s Bank cut the one-year lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.85% and lowered the amount of reserves certain banks are required to hold by 50 basis points, but the same day the Shanghai Composite entered bear market territory, meaning the index was down more than 20% from its peak in mid-June. Chinese manufacturing PMIs came in short of expectations, as the HSBC/Markit PMI slipped to a final 49.4 in June from the flash reading of 49.6, while the government's official manufacturing PMI fell to 50.1 in June from 50.9 in May. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of BP (BP) advanced after the oil major announced it has reached agreements in principle to settle all U.S. federal and state claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon accident and spill in 2010. BP said it will pay up to $18.7B to settle the claims and that the expected impact of its agreements would be to increase the cumulative pre-tax charge associated with the accident and spill by around $10B from $43.8B at the end of the first quarter... In a blockbuster deal in the insurance industry, ACE Limited (ACE) agreed to acquire Chubb (CB) in a cash and stock transaction valued at over $28B. The combination will create the number one global Property and Casualty insurance company by P&C underwriting income and the number two U.S. public P&C insurer by market cap. Elsewhere on the M&A front, managed healthcare company Centene (CNC) announced a definitive agreement to acquire managed health care services rival Health Net (HNT) in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $6.8B, including the assumption of approximately $500M of debt. Additionally, Willis Group (WSH) agreed to combine in an all-stock merger of equals with Towers Watson (TW) and Chambers Street Properties (CSG) announced a merger agreement with Gramercy Property Trust (GPT)... U.S. airline stocks dropped after the Associated Press reported that the Justice Department is investigating potential "unlawful coordination" between companies attempting to artificially limit growth to keep fares high... Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) advanced after the company announced a ten-year global collaboration for the development and commercialization of immunotherapies with Celgene (CELG). As part of the deal, Celgene will make an initial payment of approximately $1B, which includes the purchase of approximately 9.1M shares of Juno stock at $93 per share... Pentair (PNR) gained after Nelson Peltz's Trian Group confirmed it has taken a 7.24% stake. Trian urged the company to consider acquisitions and other industrial parts makers, including SPX Corp. (SPW), Flowserve (FLS), Xylem (XYL) and Colfax (CFX), also advanced following the activist's disclosure of its position... In a ruling with implications for coal miners and electric utilities, the Supreme Court overturned the EPA's Mercury Admissions and Toxic Standard, or MATS, rule, stating that the regulator did not properly take into account the costs to utilities and others in the sector in implementing a national standard for the reduction of power plant emissions of mercury and other air toxins... General Motors (GM) reported its U.S. sales fell 3% in June compared to the same month of last year, while Ford (F) said its sales grew 1.6% last month compared to last year. FCA US, the parent of the Chrysler and Jeep brands, reported U.S. sales increased 8% compared with sales in June 2014... Bond insurers MBIA (MBI) and Assured Guaranty (AGO) declined amid the worries about the debt situation in Puerto Rico. INDEXES: The Dow fell about 1.25% to close at 17,730.11, the Nasdaq declined about 1.43% to close at 5,009.21, and the S&P 500 dropped about 1.22% to close at 2,076.78.
July 1, 2015
09:58 EDTAGOPREPA says bond payments due today were made, Bloomberg reports
PREPA is Puerto Rico's power authority. Finance related firms exposed to Puerto Rico that have recently been volatile amid the commonwealth's debt crisis include Assured Guaranty (AGO), MBIA (MBI), First Bancorp (FBP) and Popular (BPOP).
June 30, 2015
14:35 EDTAGOPuerto Rico will make July 1 payment on general obligation debt, Reuters reports
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11:31 EDTAGOStocks with call strike movement; ASHR AGO
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10:46 EDTAGOAssured Guaranty volatility increases as shares pullback
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10:26 EDTAGOOptions with increasing implied volatility
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07:15 EDTAGOAssured Guaranty exposure to Puerto Rico manageable, says UBS
UBS said the shares of Assured Guaranty appear to be discounting a substantial loss due comments made by Puerto Rico's governor that it will be unable to make payments on its outstanding debt. The firm feels Assured's exposure to Puerto Rico is manageable, but will remain an overhang on the shares. UBS reiterated its Buy rating and $31 price target on the stock.
05:52 EDTAGOStocks with implied volatility movement; MBI AGO
Stocks with implied volatility movement; Assured Guaranty (AGO) 73, MBIA (MBI) 94 according to iVolatility.
June 29, 2015
16:22 EDTAGOOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Monday
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13:48 EDTAGOFinance related firms exposed to Puerto Rico plummet after debt worry
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12:24 EDTAGOOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were sharply lower at midday after a surprise power play by the country's Prime Minister may lead to either his exit from power or the country's exit from the euro zone. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In Europe, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called a surprise referendum for July 5 on the terms put forth by the country’s creditors in exchange for additional rescue funding. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank decided not to expand its emergency liquidity assistance to Greek banks, leading the country to shut down its banking system and move to impose capital controls. In Asia, the People’s Bank of China cut the one-year lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.85% and lowered the amount of reserves certain banks are required to hold by 50 basis points, but the Shanghai Composite still closed the day with another 3.3% in losses. In the U.S., the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index rose 0.9% to 112.6 in May, which was roughly in-line with expectations but also marked the highest level since April 2006. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of several coal miners advanced after the Supreme Court overturned the Environmental Protection Agency's air quality regulations for power plants, stating that the regulator did not properly take into account the costs to utilities and others in the sector. Peabody Energy (BTU) rose 5% after the ruling, while Arch Coal (ACI) gained 8% and Cloud Peak Energy (CLD) added about 3%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Aratana Therapeutics (PETX), which jumped 17.5% after the company announced results from its study of capromorelin, the company's therapeutic for appetite stimulation in dogs. Also higher was Amphenol (APH), which gained 4% after announcing it has entered into exclusive negotiations and has made a binding offer to acquire 100% of the shares of FCI Asia, which is involved in interconnect solutions for the telecom, datacom, wireless communications and industrial markets, for $1.275B from its private equity owner Bain Capital. Among the noteworthy losers were bond insurers MBIA (MBI), which dropped 18%, and Assured Guaranty (AGO), which fell 13.5%, after Puerto Rico's Governor said that the commonwealth would not be able to pay its debts and called for concessions from the island’s creditors. Both stocks were downgraded at BTIG following the news. Also lower following the news in Puerto Rico were First Bancorp (FBP), the bank holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico, and Popular (BPOP), the parent of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico. Shares of Vitae Pharmaceuticals (VTAE) declined 16% after the company announced that an ongoing Phase 2 trial of its treatment of overweight type 2 diabetic patients did not meet partner Boehringer Ingelheim's predefined endpoint criteria. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 218.57, or 1.22%, to 17,728.11, the Nasdaq was down 69.65, or 1.37%, to 5,010.85, and the S&P 500 was down 25.68, or 1.22%, to 2,075.81.
10:53 EDTAGOAssured Guaranty tumbles on Puerto Rico debt concerns
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10:09 EDTAGOOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Assured Guaranty (AGO) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG... Capital Bank (CBF) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Sandler O'Neill... F5 Networks (FFIV) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray... First BanCorp (FBP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim... Gannett (GCI) downgraded to Hold at Jefferies following spin-off... IBERIABANK (IBKC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Sandler O'Neill... JPMorgan (JPM) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer... KYTHERA (KYTH) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Leerink... MBIA (MBI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG... Macy's (M) downgraded to Sell from Buy at Deutsche Bank... MarketAxess (MKTX) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Nutrisystem (NTRI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Barrington... Park Sterling Bank (PSTB) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Sandler O'Neill... Popular (BPOP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim... Qualcomm (QCOM) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Drexel Hamilton... SunTrust (STI) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer... Ternium (TX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Xoom (XOOM) downgraded to Neutral at Susquehanna... Youku Tudou (YOKU) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Mizuho.
10:00 EDTAGOAssured Guaranty volatility increases on Puerto Rico debt concerns
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08:04 EDTAGOAssured Guaranty downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG
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June 26, 2015
11:00 EDTAGOOptions with increasing implied volatility
Options with increasing implied volatility: SRPT AGO CRC WMB AMZN CMG TRIP ZTS AET MBI

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