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News Breaks
June 25, 2014
Stocks on Wall Street were higher despite a disappointing downward revision to the government's estimate of economic growth, or rather the lack thereof, in the first three months of the year. Stocks began the session in negative territory following the GDP and durable goods reports, but the major averages soon turned mixed and had all moved back across the flat-line by mid-morning. The market then stalled and drifted for several hours, but moved to the high end of its trading range near the end of the day. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its third and final estimate of real gross domestic product for the first quarter. The government now estimates that output in the U.S. declined at an annual rate of 2.9%, which was worse than the prior estimate of 1% contraction and significantly down from the fourth quarter of 2013, when real GDP grew 2.6%. The estimate of Q1 personal spending growth was knocked down to a 1.0% clip from the prior 3.1% pace. Durable goods orders dropped 1.0% in May, versus expectations for them to have been unchanged. Markit's services PMI surged to a record 61.2 for the flash June reading from May's 58.1 figure. COMPANY NEWS: A number of television network owners, most notably CBS (CBS), as well as several tv station owners advanced after the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo, a start-up service that streams tv shows over the Internet, had violated copyright laws. CBS rose $3.64, or 6.19%, to $62.48 following the ruling, while Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST) surged $5.80, or 13.49%, to $48.81, Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) soared $4.56, or 15.6%, to $33.80, Media General (MEG) added $1.86, or 10.07%, to $20.33 and Gray Television (GTN) gained 94c, or 8.35%, to $12.20... Shares of a number of refiners, including Valero Energy (VLO), HollyFrontier (HFC), Marathon Petroleum (MPC), Phillips 66 (PSX), and Tesoro (TSO), were among the day's worst performers after the Commerce Department gave Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) and Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) permission to export a light, processed form of oil called condensate. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said there have been no changes to the U.S. oil export policies, according to Bloomberg, but the move was widely viewed as a shift and a possible precursor to bigger changes on the horizon amid the shale energy revolution in the U.S. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI), which rose $5.95, or 28.29%, to $26.98 after a trial of its once-daily glaucoma eye drop, Roclatan, achieved its primary efficacy endpoint. Also higher was Penn Virginia (PVA), which jumped $1.83, or 12.39%, to $16.60 after a major shareholder, the Soros Fund, called on the company to sell itself. Among the noteworthy losers was Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT), which fell $19.96, or 7.3%, to $253.65 after the company said at a conference that data from the FLINT trial of the company's obeticholic acid for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is "unlikely" to come in July. Also lower were shares of cereal maker General Mills (GIS), which fell $1.94, or 3.61%, to $51.76 after the company's fourth quarter results missed analysts' consensus estimates. INDEXES: The Dow was up 49.38, or 0.29%, to 16,867.51, the Nasdaq was up 29.40, or 0.68%, to 4,379.76, and the S&P 500 was up 9.55, or 0.49%, to 1,959.53.
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September 28, 2015
07:29 EDTMEG, NXSTMedia General volatility flat into Nexstar Broadcasting offer to purchase report
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07:23 EDTNXST, MEGNexstar Broadcasting volatility flat into offer to buy Media General
Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST) October call option implied volatility is at 39, November is at 41; compared to its 52-week range of 27 to 54, suggesting non-directional price movement into its offer to buy Media General (MEG) for $14.50 per share, The Wall Street Journal reports.
07:18 EDTICPTIntercept initiates REGENERATE trial for obeticholic acid in NASH patients
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07:11 EDTNXST, MEGNexstar to host conference call
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06:51 EDTMEG, NXSTNexstar proposes to acquire Media General for $14.50 per share
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06:50 EDTMEG, NXSTNexstar proposes to acquire Media General for $14.50 per share
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06:35 EDTNXST, MEGNexstar Broadcasting offers to buy Media General for $14.50 per share, WSJ says
Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST) Chairman and CEO Perry Sook has sent a letter to the board of Media General (MEG) offering to buy the local-television station owner for $14.50 per share, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to the letter, which was seen by the publication, includes $10.50 in cash and 0.0898 Nexstar shares for each Media General share. Media General previously announced a deal to buy Meredith Corp (MDP). Reference Link
05:06 EDTHFCStocks with implied volatility movement; HFC IBB
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September 25, 2015
17:14 EDTAERIIsrael Englander reports 9.1% passive stake in Aerie Pharmaceuticals
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16:30 EDTAERIAdage Capital reports 5.84% passive stake in Aerie Pharmaceuticals
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10:48 EDTCBSMorgan Stanley cautious on media, but sees several stocks punished too hard
Morgan Stanley cut its price targets on a number of media companies, citing the impact of cord cutting and skinny bundles. The firm also reduced its outlook for the pay-TV sector due to its belief that the adoption of skinny bundles will accelerate, while the outlook for cable TV ads has deteriorated slightly, given macro pressures. The firm kept a Cautious view on the media sector, but also identified several stocks in the space that it thinks have been punished too harshly by investors recently. WHAT'S NEW: TV networks in general, and cable networks in particular, have the highest margins in media and are encountering increased top and bottom line competitive pressures, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne believes. On the top line, they are being hit by ratings and ad pressures as well as cord cutting and distribution consolidation, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, their profit is being hurt by the increased need to obtain new content and intensified competition for content from new sources like Netflix (NFLX) and Google's (GOOG) YouTube, Swinburne said. However, the analyst thinks that media stocks are "starting to get" cheap, given the leverage that many of the companies carry. Swinburne cuts his price target on 21st Century Fox (FOXA) to $31 from $37, on AMC Networks (AMCX) to $86 from $88, on CBS (CBS) to $46 from $56, on Time Warner (TWX) to $72 from $87 and on Viacom (VIAB) to $48 from $60. He kept Overweight ratings on Fox, AMC and CBS, an Equal Weight rating on Time Warner and an Underweight rating on Viacom. OVERDONE DECLINES: Swinburne believes that the declines in three media stocks - CBS, 21st Century Fox, and AMC Networks - have been overdone, while the decline in Comcast's (CMCSA) stock has also been excessive. CBS and 21st Century Fox are "best positioned for the skinny bundle" and have the cheapest valuations relative to their growth rates, Swinburne believes. Meanwhile, AMC Networks has "content momentum" and its EPS can exceed expectations, the analyst believes. Comcast is gaining share in the broadband Internet market, could take share in video soon, and has sufficient scale and offerings to benefit from the increased popularity of skinny bundles, according to the analyst, who kept an Overweight rating on the stock. The media sector could benefit from consolidation going forward, added Swinburne, who recommended that investors interested in buying potential takeover targets in the space focus on AMC Networks, MSG Networks (MSG) and Dreamworks Animation (DWA). He kept Overweight ratings on all three of those stocks. OTHERS TO WATCH: Besides Comcast, other pay TV companies include DISH Network (DISH) and Charter Communications (CHTR). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Fox A shares lost 0.5% to $25.83, AMC fell 0.3% to $73.29, CBS added 0.2% to $41, Time Warner was little changed at $67.66 and Comcast A shares added 0.6% to $57.17.
September 24, 2015
08:32 EDTVLOValero Energy Partners upgraded on better than expected transaction at SunTrust
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06:32 EDTAERIAerie Pharmaceuticals begins fourth Phase 3 clinical trial of Rhopressa
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September 23, 2015
13:30 EDTTSOTesoro options active on speculation of a conference cancellation
Tesoro October 98 and 100 calls are active on total call volume of 6K contracts (4K puts) following speculation of a conference cancellation. September weekly call option implied volatility is at 42, October is 36; compared to its 52-week range of 26 to 56. Active options volume suggests traders taking positions for price movement.
September 22, 2015
06:19 EDTAERIClinton to roll out plan to rein in prescription drug costs, USA Today reports
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September 21, 2015
18:00 EDTEPDEnterprise Products begins service on Rancho II Pipeline
Enterprise Products announced the start of service on its Rancho II pipeline between Sealy, Texas and the partnership's ECHO terminal in southeast Houston. The 88-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline will transport various grades of crude oil, condensate and processed condensate from the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale.
14:45 EDTSBGISinclair has had discussions on a Tennis Channel purchase, WSJ says
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14:04 EDTAERIClinton vow to end drug price gouging sinks biotechs
Biotech stocks have declined across the board in afternoon trading following a tweet by Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs. TURING STEPS UP PRICING: Clinton's tweet directly referenced Turing Pharmaceuticals' Daraprim treatment for toxoplasmosis, which recently had its price hiked from just $13.50 per pill to $750 after the privately-held company acquired the drug from Impax Laboratories (IPXL). Importantly, Daraprim was first approved by the FDA in 1953 and its patents have long since expired. No generic versions of the drug currently exist, perhaps in part due to Turing executive chairman Martin Shkreli's strategy of tightly controlling distribution, according to a New York Post article on the issue. In a Bloomberg TV interview this morning, Shkreli claimed that the drug remains underpriced compared to what he called its peers in the rare disease space. However, note that a World Health Organization analysis from 2013 reported that over 190,000 cases of toxoplasmosis occur globally every year and Daraprim continues to be listed on the organization's list of essential medicines for a basic health-care system. INDUSTRY CRITICISM: Turing's Daraprim pricing prompted a response from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association, which criticized the "unjustifiable" new cost of the drug and urged a "rational" pricing strategy. The news surrounding Daraprim also comes on the heels of Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issuing a letter in August to Valeant (VRX) and Hospira (HSP), in which he requested information on the "enormous" price increases of two drugs Valeant acquired earlier in the year. REPUBLICAN CONGRESS: In a research note released this afternoon, RBC Capital analyst Michael Yee reminded investors that Republicans still control Congress, offering a sobering reminder that campaign trail promises often fall by the wayside once the candidate steps into office. Yee explained that, though drug pricing debates during next year's election will probably generate headline risk for the biotech space, the Republican-controlled Congress is unlikely to sign into law any material changes on the issue. BIOTECH STOCK ACTION: Hillary Clinton's promise to "lay out a plan" tomorrow to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market sent numerous biotech stocks plunging. Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI) has crashed 12.6% at time of writing, while Retrophin (RTRX), Ultragenyx (RARE), and PTC Therapeutics (PTCT) are down 14.7%, 13.4%, and 11%, respectively. Biotech giants AbbVie (ABBV), Gilead (GILD), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Biogen (BIIB) have also slipped in intraday trading, while the NASDAQ Biotechnology index is down roughly 4%.
12:19 EDTSBGISinclair Broadcast announces Ring of honor signed 6-month deal with L'Equipe 21
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06:30 EDTAERIAerie Pharmaceuticals initiates first Phsae 3 registration trial of ReclatanTM
Aerie Pharmaceuticals announced that on September 18, dosing commenced of the first patients enrolled in Mercury 1, the company's first Phase 3 registration trial of RoclatanTM, a novel once-daily, quadruple-action eye drop being tested for its ability to lower intraocular pressure in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Aerie anticipates total enrollment of approximately 690 patients in this three-arm one-year safety study with a 90-day efficacy readout. RoclatanTM, which is a fixed-dose combination of Aerie's product candidate RhopressaTM and latanoprost, the market leading prostaglandin analogue, demonstrated in its successful Phase 2b clinical trial in 2014 that it has the potential to be the most efficacious therapy for patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension. The clinical endpoint of Mercury 1 is similar to the efficacy endpoint in the Company's previous Phase 2b clinical trial and compares RoclatanTM for superiority over each of its two components, with all three arms dosed once daily. The range for the primary endpoint evaluates patients with maximum baseline IOPs ranging from above 20 to below 36 mmHg. The 90-day efficacy results of this study are expected to be reported in approximately one year.
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