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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

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December 5, 2012
12:32 EDTC, MFRM, SVU, TOT, CIE, JPM, TRV, BAC, FB, AAPL, PXP, MMR, FCX, POn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday, as the financials lead the Dow higher and Apple (AAPL) weighed on the Nasdaq. A number of factors, including Facebook's (FB) upcoming inclusion in the Nasdaq 100 and reports of increased margin requirements on its stock, may have contributed to Apple's slide of over 4%. Conversely, strength in Bank of America (BAC), Travelers (TRV) and JP Morgan (JPM) powered the blue chip index higher... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., payroll processor ADP said employers added 118,000 jobs last month, which was below analysts' forecasts, but the chief economist at Moody's Analytics estimated Superstorm Sandy cut the total by 86,000 jobs. The Labor Department revised its estimate for Q3 productivity growth up to an annual rate of 2.9% from its initial estimate of 1.9%. Labor costs in the quarter dropped at a rate of 1.9%, which was more than the 0.1% dip initially estimated. Factory orders rose 0.8% in October, versus expectations for them to be flat, and the ISM non-manufacturing PMI rose to 54.7, versus expectations for it to slip to 53.5. In China, stocks bounced back from multi year lows as the government allowed insurers to invest more in banks and its new leaders made comments that were viewed favorably... COMPANY NEWS: In a bold step by its new CEO, Citigroup (C) announced it will cut about 4% of its workforce, or 11,000 jobs, with about 6,200 coming from its consumer banking unit and about 1,900 coming from the institutional clients group, which includes investment banking. Citi sees pre-tax charges of around $1B in Q4 due to the restructuring but expects the cuts to save $900M next year and slightly more after that. Citi shares jumped nearly 6% following the news... In a huge deal that takes Freeport McMoRan (FCX) from being a metals pure play and back to its roots as a diversified commodities producer, the company agreed to repurchase McMoRan Exploration (MMR) for $14.75 per share in cash and to acquire Plains Exploration (PXP) for $6.9B in cash and stock. Following the news, which was broken last night by Financial Times, shares of Freeport plunged 13%, while McMoRan Exploration surged 82% and Plains jumped 26%.. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Cobalt International Energy (CIE), up nearly 15% after announcing a Gulf of Mexico discovery in partnership with Total (TOT), and SuperValu (SVU), up over 9% following a report that the company may be close to selling its two biggest grocery chains to a private equity firm. Among the noteworthy losers were Mattress Firm (MFRM), down 21%, and Pandora (P), down 17% following their quarterly reports... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was up 104.41, or 0.81%, to 13,056.19; the Nasdaq was down 12.63, or 0.42%, to 2,984.06; and the S&P 500 was up 4.66, or 0.33%, to 1,411.71.
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August 12, 2014
05:47 EDTAAPLApple December quarter margins likely down sequentially, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray says itís likely that Apple's December quarter margins decline quarter-over-quarter due to the impact of the updated iPhone 6. Piper does not view the potential margin decline as a long-term negative, however, noting that Apple showed with the iPhone 5S that margins can expand as the company moves away from new design launches. Piper says it remains a buyer of Apple shares with an Overweight rating and $105 price target.
August 11, 2014
16:50 EDTMFRMOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street opened in positive territory but were never able to gain any upside momentum. There was little to account for the initial move other than no change to the status quo for Israel and Russia. The averages moved in a narrow range but managed to stay on the plus side into the close, though in lackluster fashion. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no significant economic data was released. In prepared comments for a conference, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said rebounds across advanced economies have been disappointing, leading the Fed and other observers to lower their long-term expectations for growth potential in the U.S. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Kinder Morgan (KMI) advanced $3.25, or 9.0%, to $39.37 after announcing it will consolidate its oil-and-gas holdings into one company by acquiring all of the outstanding shares of a number of its subsidiaries, including Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP), Kinder Morgan Management (KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners (EPB). The total transaction has a value of about $70B and the combined entity will be the largest energy infrastructure company in North America and the third largest energy company overall with an estimated enterprise value of approximately $140B, the company said. Afterward, Kinder Morgan was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA Merrill Lynch, though Wells Fargo viewed the plans as mixed near-term. Wells believes the deal helps address some of the structural issues that have been pressuring Kinderís valuation in recent quarters, but it believes itís unclear how the market will ultimately value the new structure and the firm kept its Market Perform rating on all four stocks involved. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was salad and banana distributor Chiquita Brands (CQB), which jumped $3.04, or 30.22%, to $13.10 to close above the $13 per share takeover offer announced by Cutrale Group and the Safra Group. Note that Chiquita previously agreed to combine with Fyffes plc in a stock-for-stock transaction. Also higher was Mattress Firm (MFRM), which advanced $6.52, or 13.58%, to $54.53 after reporting preliminary second quarter results that beat expectations and raising it fiscal year outlook. Among the noteworthy losers following their earnings reports were Walter Investment (WAC), which fell $3.52, or 12.45%, to $24.75, and Inovio (INO), which dropped 99c, or 9.94%, to $8.97. INDEXES: The Dow edged up 16.05, or 0.1%, to 16,569.98, the Nasdaq gained 30.43, or 0.7%, to 4,401.33, and the S&P 500 rose 5.33, or 0.28%, to 1,936.92.
16:46 EDTCIEPaulson & Co. reports 10.1% passive stake in Cobalt
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16:27 EDTJPMJPMorgan to sell 50% of portfolio companies held by One Equity Partners
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16:00 EDTAAPLOptions Update; August 11, 2014
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 1.33 to 31.90. Option volume leaders: AAPL KMI MNKD PBR AMZN SCTY TWTR TSLA according to Track Data.
15:36 EDTFBFacebook unique desktop visitor growth turns positive, says Goldman
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15:19 EDTPPandora calls activate on company seen attracting interest report
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15:08 EDTPPandora seen attracting interest, DealReporter says
Pandora (P) is seen as attracting buyout interest, DealReporter says, according to contacts.
14:58 EDTJPMJPMorgan to sell about half of One Equity Partners pe unit, DJ says
JPMorgan plans to sell about $2B in portfolio companies of One Equity and retain ownership of roughly half of portfolio companies, said Dow Jones, citing sources.
10:19 EDTFCXOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Achillion (ACHN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Alon USA Partners (ALDW) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Buenaventura (BVN) upgraded to Buy from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... CNO Financial (CNO) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Central European Media (CETV) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Cepheid (CPHD) upgraded to Neutral from Cautious at ISI Group... Chuy's (CHUY) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Compressco (GSJK) upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James... Concho Resources (CXO) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens... Frank's International (FI) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Freeport McMoRan (FCX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus... GNC Holdings (GNC) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Genworth (GNW) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley... Gulfport Energy (GPOR) upgraded at Stifel... Huntington Ingalls (HII) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Hyatt Hotels (H) upgraded at Stifel... J.C. Penney (JCP) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Craig-Hallum... Kinder Morgan (KMI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Krispy Kreme (KKD) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush... Oasis Petroleum (OAS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee... PepsiCo (PEP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Regency Centers (REG) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... SandRidge Energy (SD) upgraded to Reduce from Sell at KLR Group... Southwest Gas (SWX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Brean Capital... Tesla (TSLA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
10:07 EDTAAPLVirnetX says court denies Apple motion in patent suit
VirnetX (VHC) announced that on August 8 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, issued its patent claim construction, or "Markman" Order and ruled on a VirnetX motion in the ongoing patent infringement action between VirnetX and Apple (AAPL). Both parties had presented arguments on the disputed terms along with various other motions at a Markman hearing on May 20. In the Markman order, the court denied Apple's Motion for Summary Judgment of Indefiniteness, in which Apple alleged that some of the disputed claims terms in the patents asserted by VirnetX were invalid for indefiniteness. In a separate order, the court granted in part and denied in part VirnetX's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Apple's Invalidity Counterclaims. The court's order precludes Apple from asserting invalidity as a defense against infringement of the claims that were tried before a jury in VirnetX's prior litigation against Apple. Apple is not precluded from asserting invalidity as a defense against infringement of the claims that were not tried before a jury in the Apple I case. "We are extremely pleased with the court's rulings and we remain confident in the merits of our complaint against Apple," said Kendall Larsen, VirnetX CEO and President. "We believe the court's Markman Order and motion ruling represents another significant step towards the successful resolution of this litigation."
09:36 EDTFB, C, AAPLActive equity options trading on open
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08:10 EDTMFRMMattress Firm raises FY14 adjusted EPS view to $2.03-$2.13 from $1.88-$2.00
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08:09 EDTMFRMMattress Firm sees Q2 EPS 58c-61c ex-items, consensus 49c
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07:25 EDTFCXFreeport McMoRan upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus
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06:58 EDTCUBS to hold a conference
UBS Financials 1:1 Conference to be held in Chicago on August 11.
06:43 EDTCCitigroup, Mercuria Energy battle in court over metals payments, WSJ says
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06:23 EDTAAPLGoogle testing "Listen Now" music ads, WSJ reports
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06:12 EDTFBFacebook implied volatility of 31 at lower end of index mean range
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August 10, 2014
16:51 EDTAAPLCourt rejects $324M settlement in tech hiring conspiracy, NYT says
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