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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
October 16, 2012
12:14 EDTRATE, UNH, C, S, FOSL, KO, CLWR, AUO, JNJOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday as quarterly results from three Dow members provided hope that this earnings season may not be as bad as feared. Stocks began the session in positive territory and continued to move higher throughout the early part of the session. The premarket economic reports had little impact on the market but better than expected earnings from some of the countryís largest corporations did push the averages higher. The NAHB homebuilder sentiment index, which was released after the open, also helped as the measure hit its highest level since June 2006 and added credence to the belief that a housing market recovery is progressing... ECONOMIC EVENTS: Domestically, the headline consumer price index rose 0.6% in September, versus expectations of an increase of 0.5%. The core CPI reading, which excludes food and energy components, indicated prices inched up 0.1%, versus expectations for an increase of 0.2%. Industrial production rebounded 0.4% in September, versus consensus expectations for a 0.2% rise. The NAHB homebuilder sentiment index rose to 41, which was in line with expectations. Internationally, the Wall Street Journal reported that Spain is considering a request for a line of credit from the EU's new bailout mechanism... COMPANY NEWS: One day after Citigroup (C) reported stronger than expected third quarter earnings, the bank's board shocked Wall Street by announcing that Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit had stepped down, effective immediately. John Havens, Citiís President and Chief Operating Officer, also resigned. Pandit will be replaced by the current head of the European and Middle Eastern unit, Michael Corbat. Citigroup shares, which initially sold off, recovered and were up nearly 1% at midday... Among Dow members reporting earnings, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and UnitedHealth (UNH) both beat expectations and raised their full year views, while Coca-Cola (KO) shares moved down fractionally after its results were roughly in line with analysts' forecasts... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were AU Optronics (AUO), up 9% after being upgraded to Buy from Sell at CLSA, and Fossil (FOSL), up 8% following an upgrade to a Buy rating at Citigroup. Among the noteworthy losers was Bankrate (RATE), down 24% after the company gave weaker than expected guidance for its Q3 results. Also lower was Clearwire (CLWR), down 13% after Bloomberg said sources indicate that Sprint (S) has no immediate plans to acquire its smaller partner, as has been speculated... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was up 123.01, or 0.92%, to 13,547.24; the Nasdaq was up 36.34, or 1.19%, to 3,100.52; and the S&P 500 was up 14.90, or 1.03%, to 1,455.03.
News For C;JNJ;KO;UNH;AUO;FOSL;RATE;CLWR;S From The Last 14 Days
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February 5, 2016
10:02 EDTKOOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Abbott (ABT) upgraded on valuation at Argus... Allstate (ALL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... CACI (CACI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) upgraded to Neutral from Negative at Susquehanna... Coca-Cola (KO) upgraded to Neutral from Negative at Susquehanna... Comcast (CMCSA) upgraded following Q4 results at Argus... DCT Industrial (DCT) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... Fluidigm (FLDM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho... Glu Mobile (GLUU) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Benchmark... Goldman Sachs (GS) upgraded to Buy at UBS... JPMorgan (JPM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... KeyCorp (KEY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Kona Grill (KONA) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Telsey Advisory... LPL Financial (LPLA) upgraded to Neutral at Susquehanna... Level 3 (LVLT) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens... Resolute Forest (RFP) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital... Suburban Propane (SPH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... Sysco (SYY) upgraded at Argus... U.S. Concrete (USCR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... Ubiquiti (UBNT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich... United Natural Foods (UNFI) upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital... Weatherford (WFT) upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James... Whole Foods (WFM) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Longbow... Wi-LAN (WILN) upgraded to Speculative Buy from Hold at Canaccord.
09:37 EDTJNJActive equity options trading on open
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07:37 EDTKOCoca-Cola upgraded to Neutral from Negative at Susquehanna
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06:23 EDTKO20 companies make alliance to keep down healthcare costs, WSJ says
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February 4, 2016
06:58 EDTCFed official supports tougher bank stress tests, Reuters reports
Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren said that he supports tougher stress tests for "too big to fail" banks, including larger capital investments that would make them "even more binding," Reuters reports. Rosengren said that stress test changes have reduced the likelihood that systemically important financial firms would fail, the report says. Publicly traded companies in the space include Bank of America (BAC), Citi (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Wells Fargo (WFC). Reference Link
06:51 EDTCBofA 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
February 3, 2016
16:00 EDTCOptions Update; February 3, 2016
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05:16 EDTCStocks with implied volatility movement; GS C
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February 2, 2016
11:53 EDTCCiti agrees to $23M 'ice breaker' yen Libor settlement, Reuters reports
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08:53 EDTJNJPiper Jaffray biopharma analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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08:47 EDTJNJAduro Biotech shares undervalued, says Roth Capital
After Aduro (ADRO) received a $22.4M payment from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Roth Capital says that Aduro's valuation does not adequately reflect its opportunities. The firm thinks the company has several "broad business development opportunities." It keeps a $68 price target and Buy rating on the shares.
07:42 EDTJNJPressure mounts on big pharma names to shrink, sharpen focus, FT says
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06:32 EDTJNJGSK, J&J back Index Ventures' $1B biotech business spinoff, Reuters says
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) will back a new spinoff from Index Ventures, which is spinning off its biotech portfolio into a new $1B entity, Reuters reports. The New Medicxi Ventures business will be helmed by the existing life sciences team from Index and will include all the current biotech portfolio firms, the report says. Medicxi raises $229M for a new fund in Europe with GSK and J&J each putting in 25%, Reuters reports. Reference Link
February 1, 2016
11:18 EDTKOWells Fargo, Citron take sides in Monster Beverage debate
Monster Beverage (MNST) is rising slightly in the down market after Wells Fargo upgraded the stock, saying that the shares have reached a compelling entry point while Monster's convenience store sales appear to have accelerated. UPGRADE: The recent weakness in Monster's stock has created a "compelling entry point," according to Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog, who upgraded the stock to Outperform from Market Perform. Moreover, Wells Fargo's survey of beverage retailers suggests that the company's sales at convenience stores rose 10% last quarter, up from 7% in Q3. Additionally, the survey found that the quality of Monster's distribution operation had greatly improved in recent months. As a result, Herzog wrote that the issues caused by the company's transition to using Coca-Cola's (KO) distribution system had been "largely resolved." Monster's earnings growth should accelerate over the next five years as it penetrates new overseas markets, including China, the analyst contended. There are "numerous scenarios" that would enable the beverage maker to beat earnings expectations going forward, Herzog believes. In addition to international expansion, the company could benefit from accelerated share buybacks, a reduced tax rate and "major innovations" in beverages outside of its core energy business, according to Herzog. She raised her price target on the shares to $159-$161 from $139-$141. SHORT REPORT: On January 29, short-selling research firm Citron wrote that Monster's "valuation..is completely removed from reality." Over the past five years, Monster's stock has surged 500%, even though its revenue has only increased 90%, the firm stated. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola's 2014 purchase of a stake in Monster will prevent the latter company from being acquired, as Coke is not interested in buying Monster, Citron contended. In China, Monster will have to cope with high start-up costs, tough competition and lower margins, Citron warned. Furthermore, the company's new products cannibalize its existing drinks, Citron believes. Also on January 29, the small Eastern European country of Latvia decided to ban sales of energy drinks to minors. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Monster climbed 2% to $137.73. The stock dipped about 1.6% on Friday.
09:36 EDTCActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: BAC AAPL FB AMZN TWTR MGM MCD NFLX GILD INTC TSLA AA BABA C
08:13 EDTJNJAduro Biotech receives $20M milestone payment from Janssen Biotech
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January 31, 2016
20:43 EDTC, KOOn The Fly: Top five weekend stock stories
Catch up on the weekend's top five stories with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Coca-Cola (KO) announced a minority stake in diary and juice company Chi, with plans to take full ownership within three years. 2. Billionaire investor Nelson Peltz is considering taking an activist position in Time Warner (TWX), the New York Post reported. 3. Toyota (TM) could temporarily halt domestic production after an explosion at a key supplier curbed its supply of steel, Reuters said. 4. Investigations into Herbalife (HLF), as well as investigations into Bill Ackman himself, have fizzled and criminal charges look unlikely, the Wall Street Journal revealed. 5. Virtu Financial (VIRT) and Ctrip (CTRP) were discussed positively by Barron's this week, as well as "tech bargains" Autodesk (ADSK), Akamai (AKAM), Western Digital (WDC), SanDisk (SNDK) and Lam Research (LRCX) and attractive banking stocks Citi (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
15:06 EDTKOCoca-Cola makes strategic investment in Chi, plans full ownership within 3 years
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12:33 EDTCU.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 EDTS, JNJS&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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