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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
December 14, 2012
10:00 EDTDE, WLK, TIVO, TDW, TDC, CLX, TIBX, SAP, MCP, HOS, CRS, APPA, SIX, PMTC, INFA, GLF, BKW, CRM, ORCL, MSFT, CPNO, BMCOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
Today's noteworthy initiations include: A.P. Pharma (APPA) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies... BMC Software (BMC) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital... Burger King (BKW) initiated with a Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Carpenter Technology (CRS) initiated with a Buy at Goldman... Copano Energy (CPNO) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup... GulfMark Offshore (GLF) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup... Hornbeck Offshore (HOS) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup... Informatica (INFA) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital... Microsoft (MSFT) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital... Microsoft (MSFT) initiated with a Neutral at Janney Capital... Molycorp (MCP) initiated with a Neutral at RW Baird... Oracle (ORCL) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital... Parametric Technology (PMTC) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital... SAP (SAP) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital... Salesforce.com (CRM) initiated with a Neutral at Longbow... Six Flags (SIX) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo... TIBCO (TIBX) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital... Teradata (TDC) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital... TiVo (TIVO) initiated with a Buy at Goldman... Tidewater (TDW) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup... Deere (DE) initiated with an Outperform at Macquarie... Eastman Chemical initiated with a Buy at SunTrust... Westlake Chemical (WLK) initiated with a Reduce at SunTrust... Clorox (CLX) coverage resumed with a Neutral at Goldman.
News For APPA;BMC;BKW;CRS;CPNO;GLF;HOS;MSFT;INFA;MCP;ORCL;PMTC;SAP;CRM;SIX;TIBX;TDC;TIVO;DE;TDW;WLK;CLX From The Last 14 Days
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February 1, 2016
06:10 EDTMSFTMicrosoft testing underwater data center, NY Times reports
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06:02 EDTWLKAxiall downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi
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January 31, 2016
19:04 EDTMSFTApple acquires Flyby, assembles 'secret' virtual reality team, FT says
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14:12 EDTMSFTApple should avoid 'dubious' M&A, focus on cloud, AI development, Barron's says
"Impatient" investors encouraging Apple (AAPL) to become a mere dividend payer or make "dubious" acquisitions are not making much sense, Barron's contends in its 'Technology Trader' column. Apple continues to innovate and its iPhone franchise "will endure," though the one area where Apple lags behind peers and "can and should" make progress is cloud computing, according to the publication. Alphabet (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) are making large strides in cloud and artificial intelligence, but the company still has "plenty of opportunity" to catch up given its product install base, Barron's says. Reference Link
11:39 EDTMSFTS&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.
January 29, 2016
17:12 EDTWLKOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Friday
Stocks began the session in positive territory and remained there throughout the day. The early strength was attributed to the surprise cut in interest rates by the Bank of Japan that put the country in a negative interest rate scenario. The market gained strength throughout the day and put in gains of almost 2.5% in what was a broad based advance for the major averages. January closed out with two winning weeks, but the month was still a very bad one for stocks, as the S&P lost over 5% even after today's strong showing. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., 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 Chicago PMI business barometer bounced to 55.6 in January, topping forecasts for a 45.3 reading. 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 surprise 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: Shares of Amazon (AMZN) declined 7.6% to $587 after the company's fourth quarter results came in below expectations. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT), which reported better than expected earnings after last night's closing bell, gained 5.8% to $55.09... Confirming a news report that broke late in the day yesterday, 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... 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. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Axiall (AXLL), which jumped 83% to $17.94 after it came to light that the company received, and rejected, an unsolicited proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK) offering to acquire the company for $20 per share in cash and stock. Also higher were Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA), which gained 7% and 6.4%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the notable losers was Gilead (GILD), which fell 5.5% to $82.70 after rival Merck (MRK) received FDA approval for its own hepatitis C drug. Also potentially weighing on Gilead shares was the fact that competitor AbbVie (ABBV) announced financial results for the fourth quarter, including sales of Viekira Pak, its own hep C treatment, that fell short of estimates. AbbVie fell 2.3% to $54.58 following its quarterly report. INDEXES: The Dow rose 396.66, or 2.47%, to 16,466.30, the Nasdaq gained 107.28, or 2.38%, to 4,613.95, and the S&P 500 added 46.88, or 2.48%, to 1,940.24.
16:00 EDTMSFTOptions Update; January 29, 2016
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13:26 EDTWLKAxiall rejects unsolicited proposal from Westlake Chemical
Axiall (AXLL) confirmed that it has rejected an unsolicited and conditional proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK) to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Axiall for a consideration of $20.00 per share in the form of $11.00 in cash and 0.1967 shares of Westlake stock. Axiall noted that Westlake's proposal was delivered to the company on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, four days before Westlake's decision to publicly release the proposal. The Axiall Board of Directors, with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors, reviewed, considered and unanimously rejected the proposal within the timeframe requested by Westlake. "We believe that Westlake's proposal is an opportunistic attempt to take advantage of challenging public equity market conditions and significantly undervalues Axiall's assets and its long-term prospects," commented Timothy Mann, president and CEO. "The price of Axiall stock was at $20.18 as recently as Dec. 1, 2015. We remain committed to achieving our $100 million run rate cost reduction and productivity target by the end of 2016, as well as our investment in the LACC ethane cracker project with our joint venture partner Lotte Chemical. In addition, we are continuing to evaluate our entire portfolio of businesses and assets to identify opportunities to enhance shareholder value, including our sales process for the Building Products business."
13:25 EDTWLKAxiall rejects unsolicited proposal from Westlake Chemical
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12:12 EDTWLKLargest Axiall holder wants negotiation with Westlake, Bloomberg says
Axiall's (AXLL) largest shareholder, Shapiro Capital Management, wants the company to negotiate with Westlake Chemical (WLK) and views Westlake's $20 per share offer as too low, Bloomberg reports, citing an interview with the fund's Chairman Sam Shapiro.
11:47 EDTWLKAxiall downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
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10:16 EDTCRMOptions with increasing implied volatility: WMB W CERS RAD CRM GILD MNST
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09:34 EDTMSFTActive equity options trading on open: AMZN MSFT FB AAPL GILD GE
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09:21 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Gigamon (GIMO), up 17.7%... Fortinet (FTNT), up 10%... Flextronics (FLEX), up 10%... Skyworks (SWKS), up 5.7%... Seagate Technology (STX), up 4.9%.. Microsoft (MSFT), up 4.6%. ALSO HIGHER: Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO), up 8.1% after CEO says Zika vaccine could enter human testing this year... J.C. Penney (JCP), up 2.1% after being upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... BRF S.A. (BRFS), up 3.1% after being upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Axiall (AXLL), up 83.4% after rejecting $20 per share acquisition proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK)... Energous (WATT), up 12% after Bloomberg reported that Apple (AAPL) is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Amazon.com (AMZN), down 10.1%... Electronic Arts (EA), down 6.2%... AbbVie (ABBV), down 4%... American Airlines (AAL), down 1.3%. ALSO LOWER: Gilead Sciences (GILD), down 5.5% after CEO John Martin to assume role of executive chairman and COO John Milligan will be promoted to CEO.
08:21 EDTWLKWestlake Chemical says Axiall rejects $20 per share proposal
In a letter to the board of Axiall, Westlake Chemical disclosed that it proposed to acquire Axiall for $20 per share in cash and stock. In the letter, Westlake commented, "Less than three days after we provided our written proposal, your management informed us that you remain committed to the continued implementation of your current standalone strategic plan. The market reaction to your plan does not suggest investors believe it will deliver anywhere near the value and upside of our proposal. In this challenging environment, we believe your unwillingness to even discuss our compelling proposal exposes your shareholders to significant risk and uncertainty. The combination of Westlake and Axiall would create a more efficient, diversified and competitive company, far better positioned to succeed and grow in this challenging environment. With Westlake's Olefins business and a combined Westlake/Axiall Vinyls business, there would be an immediate opportunity to backward integrate into the ethylene market. The combined company would also benefit from Westlake's European vinyls business, which is a global leader in vinyl technology and specialty PVC resins. The combined company would also have a stronger financial profile than Axiall, providing it with significant financial and operational flexibility, a greater ability to serve its customers, and improved ability to capitalize on future investment opportunities. Based on our proposed consideration mix and strong track record, we believe that the combined company will maintain an investment grade credit rating."
08:17 EDTWLKWestlake Chemical discloses proposal to acquire Axiall for $20 per share
Westlake Chemical (WLK) announced that it has submitted a proposal to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Axiall (AXLL) for $20.00 per share, comprised of $11.00 in cash and 0.1967 of a Westlake share. The proposal, which has been summarily rejected by the Axiall Board, represented a significant premium of 108% to Axiall's closing price of $9.60 on January 22, 2016. The total value of the proposed transaction is approximately $2.9 billion, including the assumption of certain Axiall liabilities, which include approximately $1.5 billion of debt outstanding as of September 30, 2015. Westlake CEO Albert Chao commented, "We are surprised and disappointed by Axiall's summary rejection of our proposal, which provides Axiall shareholders with a significant premium and upside potential via their participation in the increased scale and synergies of the combined company. The combined company would be more diversified and have a stronger financial profile than Axiall, providing it with significant financial and operational flexibility, a greater ability to serve its customers, and improved ability to capitalize on future investment opportunities."
08:16 EDTWLKWestlake Chemical discloses proposal to acquire Axiall for $20 per share
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06:29 EDTMSFTOptions expected to be active: AMZN EA MSFT EWJ FLEX SWKS GOOG GOOGL FB
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06:04 EDTMSFTJefferies keeps Microsoft at Underperform following Q2 results
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05:09 EDTCRMStocks with implied volatility above IV index mean; CRM TWTR
Stocks with implied volatility above IV index mean; Salesforce (CRM) 46, Twitter (TWTR) 95 according to iVolatility.
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