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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 27, 2014
09:36 EDTWMT, MRK, C, TSLA, NFLX, TWTR, GOOG, AAPLActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open according to Track Data: C AAPL NFLX MA MRK GOOG TSLA WMT TWTR
News For C;AAPL;NFLX;MRK;GOOG;TSLA;WMT;TWTR From The Last 14 Days
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February 20, 2015
16:20 EDTCOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street opened in negative territory with time running out for Greece to reach an extension of its bailout agreement. The morning was filled with headlines from both Greek and eurozone finance leaders, many of which indicated that prospects for a deal looked grim. When reports surfaced that an agreement on an extension had been reached the Dow took off and hit its first new high of 2015. The S&P 500 followed to its own new high and the Nasdaq continued to close in on the 5,000 level. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's flash PMI rose to 54.3 in February, versus the consensus forecast for a preliminary reading of 53.6 for the month. In Europe, the Eurogroup and Greece reached a tentative deal for an extension of the current EFSF Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement for up to four months. The deal is predicated on Greek authorities presenting a first list of reform measures, based on the current arrangement, by the end of Monday. Also, the Eurozone flash composite PMI came in at 53.5, versus expectations for a reading of 53. The services PMI was better than expected, while the manufacturing PMI was lower than expected. COMPANY NEWS: Deere reported Q1 earnings per share of $1.12 and revenue of $6.38B, which beat consensus forecasts of 84c and $5.59B, respectively. However, Deere said company equipment sales are projected to decrease about 17% for fiscal 2015 and now sees net income to be about $1.8B, which is down from the company's prior net income outlook of $1.9B. Analysts at Wells Fargo calculate that the implied EPS guidance from Deere dropped to $5.25 from $5.50. Consensus for FY15 EPS prior to Deere's report was $5.51. Shares of the farm, construction and forestry equipment maker rose 72c, or 0.79%, to $92.43 following this morning's report. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was National Bank of Greece (NBG), whose shares trading in New York jumped 35c, or 21.74%, to $1.96 after the Greek aid extension deal was negotiated. Also higher was Springleaf (LEAF), which gained $4.40, or 12.88%, to $38.57 after Reuters reported that the company has beaten out rival bidders and is in advanced talks to buy consumer finance unit OneMain Financial from Citigroup (C) for more than $4B. Two stock that dropped after their earnings reports prompted multiple analyst downgrades were Noodles & Company (NDLS), which plunged $8.84, or 31.87%, to $18.90, and Rocket Fuel (FUEL), which fell $3.95, or 26.74%, to $10.82. INDEXES: The Dow rose 154.67, or 0.86%, to 18,140.44, the Nasdaq gained 31.27, or 0.63%, to 4,955.97, and the S&P 500 advanced 12.85, or 0.61%, to 2,110.30.
16:03 EDTAAPL, WMT, TSLAOptions Update; February 20, 2015
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15:05 EDTCSpringleaf in lead to buy OneMain for over $4B, Reuters says
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14:18 EDTCSpringleaf in advanced talks to buy OneMain from Citi for over $4B, Reuter says
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13:20 EDTWMTAnalysts divided on Wal-Mart after results, pay raise announcement
Barclays cut its rating on Wal-Mart (WMT) this morning after the world's largest retailer reported its quarterly results and gave forward looking guidance yesterday. However, research firm Janney Capital wrote in a note to investors that it believes shares of Wal-Mart will probably outperform going forward, as other retailers are likely to implement wage hikes similar to the one that the giant discounter announced. BACKGROUND: Yesterday Wal-Mart announced that it would raise the wages of all of its employees to at least $10 per hour by February 2016. The company also reported higher than expected fourth quarter profits, excluding certain items, but its Q4 revenue came in below expectations. Moreover, the retailer provided lower than expected profit guidance for its fiscal 2016 and lowered its fiscal 2016 sales growth guidance to 1%-2% from its previous outlook of 2%-4%. Wal-Mart's stock fell significantly yesterday after the quarterly report. ANALYST REACTION: Barclays lowered its rating on Wal-Mart to Equal Weight from Overweight and dropped its price target for shares to $85 from $90. The firm says the retailer's investments to improve the shopping experience at its U.S. stores will continue into FY17 and are unlikely to produce near-term benefits. It believes Wal-Mart's Q4 domestic comps were aided by lower gas prices and easy weather comparisons, and notes that weather is unlikely to help in FY16. Meanwhile, Janney Capital analyst David Strasser said Wal-Mart's stock dropped because of worries about the company's spending and the hit the company took from negative foreign exchange trends. However, other retailers are likely to implement similar wage hikes, causing the entire sector to come under pressure and enabling Wal-Mart's stock to outperform going forward, according to Strasser. Additionally, Wal-Mart is likely to continue to benefit from higher gas prices in Q1, wrote the analyst, who kept an $89 price target and Buy rating on the shares. PRICE ACTION: In mid-afternoon trading, Wal-Mart added 0.5% to $83.94.
11:02 EDTAAPLApple electric car could be 'iPhone of the Future,' says Cantor
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White says he believes an electric car from Apple has the potential to be the "iPhone of the Future." White, in a note to investors today, added that he doubts Apple's reach will stop there. He believes the personal robot category offers "great potential over the next decade and fits well with Apple's skill set." White thinks the reports of an electric car show innovation at the tech giant continues. He keeps a Buy rating Apple shares with a $160 price target. The stock is up 30c it morning trading to $128.71.
11:00 EDTAAPLApple electric car could be 'iPhone of the Future,' sys Cantor
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10:47 EDTCNY AG says Santander Bank to adopt new policies regarding use of ChexSystems
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that Santander Bank, N.A. (SAN) has agreed to adopt new policies governing its use of ChexSystems, a consumer-reporting agency that screens people seeking to open checking or savings accounts. Santanderís new policies are expected to allow thousands of additional New Yorkers and consumers nationwide to open bank accounts by September 30. The change comes amid concerns that screenings by ChexSystems and other consumer-reporting agencies, which are used by most of the nationís banks, adversely affect lower-income applicants and force them to turn to high-cost alternative financial services like check-cashing outlets. With this agreement, Santander now joins Capital One (COF) and Citibank (C) as the third bank to commit to overhaul its use of ChexSystems. The three banks operate a combined 613 branches across New York State and 2,822 branches nationwide.
10:01 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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09:38 EDTTSLA, WMT, TWTR, AAPLActive equity options trading on open
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09:06 EDTWMTWal-Mart can outperform as peers follow suit on wages, says Janney Capital
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08:54 EDTCCiti confirms retirement of global consumer banking head Manuel Medina-Mora
In a filing, Citigroup said that on February 18, Manuel Medina-Mora, Citiís Co-President and CEO, Global Consumer Banking, submitted a notice of retirement to Citi. The effective date of the retirement is June 1.
08:43 EDTCCiti's head of consumer banking set to retire in June, WSJ reports
Citigroup co-president and head of consumer banking, Manuel Medina-Mora, is planning to retire in June, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing memos sent by Medina-Mora and Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat. Medina-Mora is expected to stay with the bank as the non-executive chairman of Banamex. Citigroup plans to name a new head of the consumer bank "in the near future." Reference Link
07:42 EDTGOOGFDA authorizes 23andMe to market genetic testing for Bloom Syndrome
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday authorized for marketing Google-backed 23andMeís Bloom Syndrome carrier test, a direct-to-consumer genetic test to determine whether a healthy person has a variant in a gene that could lead to their offspring inheriting the serious disorder. Along with this authorization, the FDA is also classifying carrier screening tests as class II. In addition, the FDA intends to exempt these devices from FDA premarket review. The agency plans to issue a notice that announces the intent to exempt these tests and that provides a 30-day period for public comment.
07:20 EDTWMTWal-Mart wage increase may pressure Target, Staples, Reuters says
Wal-Mart's (WMT) wage increase announcement will likely pressure the retail, fast-food, and restaurant sectors to potentially follow suit, reports Reuters, citing an Edward Jones analyst and the managing director of consultancy firm Strategic Resource Group. The analysts specifically named Target (TGT) and Staples (SPLS). Reference Link
07:08 EDTMRKAmerican Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology to hold annual meeting
2015 Annual Meeting of AAAAI is being held in Houston, Texas on February 20-24.
06:41 EDTTSLA, AAPLApple pushing for 2020 production of its electric car, Bloomberg says
Apple (AAPL) is pushing to begin production of its electric vehicle as soon as 2020, reports Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Bloomberg notes that the move could put Apple into direct competition with Tesla (TSLA) and General Motors (GM), both of which are targeting a 2017 release for next-generation electric vehicles. Apple may still cancel the project if it becomes unhappy with progress, the sources said, though its vehicle team is already 200-people strong. Reference Link
06:22 EDTGOOGYouTube to release stand-alone app for kids, WSJ says
Google's YouTube is planning to release a smartphone and tablet app for kids featuring original episodes of television shows including "Thomas the Tank Engine" and "Sesame Street," as well as content from existing YouTube kids channels, reports the Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter. The app -- slated for an official reveal Monday at the Kidscreen Summit -- will initially only be available for Android devices. The source said the inclusion of ads is "under discussion." Reference Link
06:20 EDTAAPLApple price target raised to $145 on increasingly bullish outlook at Goldman
Goldman raised Buy rated Apple's price target to $145 from $130 based on increased confidence in platform momentum, sustained iPhone growth, and the potential for the Apple Watch. The firm believes risk/reward is more balanced following the recent 20% upside move but sees further upside given the aforementioned factors and the near-term catalysts from the April watch launch, updates on capital allocation, and a likely March quarter beat.
05:50 EDTWMTWal-Mart downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Barclays cut its rating on Wal-Mart to Equal Weight from Overweight and dropped its price target for shares to $85 from $90. The firm says the retailer's investments to improve the shopping experience at its U.S. stores will continue into FY17 and are unlikely to produce near-term benefits. It believes Wal-Mart's Q4 domestic comps were aided by lower gas prices and easy weather comparisons, and notes that weather is unlikely to help in FY16. The stock closed yesterday down $2.77 to $83.52 after Wal-Mart reported Q4 results.
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