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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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November 18, 2015
07:17 EDTNXSTNexstar initiated with an Overweight at Stephens
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07:16 EDTMEGMedia General initiated with an Equal Weight at Stephens
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07:16 EDTGTNGray Television initiated with an Overweight at Stephens
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November 17, 2015
10:08 EDTPSXFERC approves Berkshire to own up to 25% of Phillips 66
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered that Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) was authorized to own as much as 25% of Phillips 66 (PSX), concluding that transactions that will increase its stake are "consistent with the public interest," according to an order posted to the regulator's website.
08:39 EDTPXDPioneer Natural most likely large-cap E&P takeover candidate, says Canaccord
Canaccord believes Pioneer Natural (PXD) would be the most likely large cap takeover candidate in the E&P space, but said there is no way a major could make it an immediately accretive asset. The firm also thinks Callon Petroleum (CPE) would be the most likely small to mid-cap acquisition candidate given its high quality core Midland acreage and relatively cheap valuation.
07:01 EDTNXSTNexstar to acquire thfour West Virginia network affiliated TV stations for $130M
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06:32 EDTMPCMPLX and MarkWest combination receives further cash consideration from Marathon
MPLX (MPLX) and MarkWest Energy (MWE) announced that, in connection with the anticipated combination of MPLX and MarkWest, Marathon Petroleum (MPC) has agreed to further increase the amount of the one-time cash consideration payable to MarkWest common unitholders to $6.20 per unit, up from the cash consideration previously announced on Nov. 10, 2015, of approximately $5.21 per unit. This cash consideration represents a significant enhancement to the initial July 13, 2015, offer which was approximately $3.37 per unit. Under the revised terms of the merger agreement announced today, which represents the best and final offer, MarkWest common unitholders will receive approximately $1.28 billion in total cash consideration and 1.09 MPLX common units per MarkWest common unit, for a total consideration of approximately $51.74 per MarkWest common unit, based on the closing price of MPLX's common units on Nov. 16, 2015. Three of MarkWest's largest unitholders, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P., Tortoise Capital Advisors, L.L.C., and, as previously announced, The Energy & Minerals Group, which cumulatively represent more than 15 percent of MarkWest's outstanding units entitled to vote, have all entered into voting agreements to vote in favor of the transaction. The merger is also recommended by each of the boards of MPC, MPLX and MarkWest, and the executive management of both partnerships strongly support the transaction and its revised terms. The combination will create one of the largest master limited partnerships, which is expected to generate a mid-20 percent compound annual distribution growth rate through 2019. The transaction is subject to approval by MarkWest unitholders and other customary closing conditions and, subject to the satisfaction of those conditions, is expected to close in December 2015. The date of the special meeting of MarkWest common unitholders is Dec. 1, 2015. MarkWest unitholders of record as of Oct. 5, 2015, will be entitled to vote on approval of the merger and the associated proposals.
November 16, 2015
11:16 EDTNXST, MEGMeredith issues response statement to Media General announcement
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10:29 EDTMEG, NXSTNexstar to enter into merger discussions with Media General
Nexstar Broadcasting Group (NXST) commented on Media General's (MEG) announcement that it will enter into negotiations regarding Nexstar's proposal to acquire Media General. On September 28, Nexstar submitted a proposal to acquire Media General for $10.50 per share in cash and a fixed ratio of 0.0898 Nexstar shares per Media General share. Nexstar's proposal, based on its closing share price on November 13, is currently valued at $15.70 per Media General share, representing a premium of 41% over Media General's closing stock price on September 25. "We are eager to move forward with discussions with Media General regarding our proposal, while at the same time maintaining our financial discipline. It is evident since our initial announcement that Media General and Nexstar shareholders recognize the compelling strategic and financial value that a Media General-Nexstar combination presents for both companies and our respective shareholders," said Perry Sook, Chairman, President and CEO of Nexstar. "We are surprised that Media General's Board considers the value of our proposal to be inadequate today, however, we are willing to engage with them to hear their perspectives. We believe our proposal will deliver superior, immediate and long-term value to Media General shareholders compared with any alternatives available to the company." BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel to Nexstar in connection with the proposed transaction.
10:29 EDTMEG, NXSTNexstar to enter into merger discussions with Media General
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10:11 EDTEPDHigh option volume stocks
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10:00 EDTMEGOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Abengoa (ABGB) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Best Buy (BBY) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... CDTi (CDTI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital... CNH Industrial (CNHI) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... Clayton Williams (CWEI) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Roth Capital... Disney (DIS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim... Endo (ENDP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho... Five Below (FIVE) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank... Garrison Capital (GARS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair... General Growth (GGP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI... Helmerich & Payne (HP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI... Kosmos (KOS) downgraded on investor sentiment, costs at RBC Capital... MannKind (MNKD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Griffen Securities... Media General (MEG) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI... Progressive (PGR) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Sabra Health Care (SBRA) downgraded on challenges, investor sentiment at Stifel... Simon Property (SPG) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI... Springleaf (LEAF) downgraded after settlement on acquisition reached at BMO Capital... Steiner Leisure (STNR) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair... Taubman Centers (TCO) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI... TerraForm Power (TERP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... UniCredit (UNCFF) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... Violin Memory (VMEM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Maxim... Vipshop (VIPS) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... Wolseley (WOSYY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.
09:25 EDTMEGMedia General downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI
09:03 EDTNXST, SBGI, MEG, GTNGabelli to hold a symposium
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08:04 EDTMEG, NXSTMedia General to engage in negotiations with Nexstar
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08:03 EDTMEG, NXSTMedia General to engage in negotiations with Nexstar
07:36 EDTPSXBerkshire Hathaway discloses new AT&T stake in quarterly update
Berkshire Hathaway gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this morning. NEW STAKES: AT&T (T), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Liberty Lilac Group (LILA). INCREASED STAKES: Phillips 66 (PSX), Charter (CHTR), Liberty Media (LMCK), Suncor (SU), General Motors (GM). DECREASED STAKES: Goldman Sachs (GS), Wal-Mart (WMT), Deere (DE), Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI), WABCO (WBC). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Viacom (VIAB).
07:32 EDTEPDEnterprise Products signs additional long-temr contracts for LPG export capacity
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November 15, 2015
15:08 EDTICPTIntercept reports analysis of Phase 3 obeticholic acid study, other data
Intercept announced results from three studies in primary biliary cirrhosis, recently renamed primary biliary cholangitis, for presentation at the American Academy for the Study of Liver Diseases annual meeting. The studies evaluate investigational use of obeticholic acid, Intercept's lead farnesoid X receptor agonist. In a presentation titled, "Clinical Epidemiology of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis based on a Large U.S. Laboratory Database: Incidence and Trends in Serum Alkaline Phosphatase," an analysis of a clinical database of more than 575,000 patients who received an anti-mitochondrial antibody test showed that, of those patients, 6,107 were classified as having probable PBC based on a positive AMA test and ALP greater than the upper limit of normal at any time prior to AMA testing or up to one month following AMA testing. The study found that 69% of those likely PBC patients continued to have elevated ALP two years after the first positive AMA test. Meanwhile, a presentation titled "A Trial-Based Model of Liver Transplant and Liver-Related Death in Patients with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis" includes an analysis of data from the Phase 3 POISE trial of OCA in PBC using the UK-PBC predictive model of transplant-free survival based on ALP, bilirubin, alanine transaminase, albumin and platelet count. Risk was assessed at 5, 10 and 15 years based on a 12-month change from baseline in patients treated with OCA plus or minus ursodiol or placebo plus or minus ursodiol at the end of the POISE study. The UK-PBC risk algorithm showed a significantly lower risk of liver transplant or liver-related death in OCA-treated patients compared to placebo. Lastly, a presentation titled "Physician versus Patient Perceptions of Medical Care Quality in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis" showed that patients may not be properly informed about their ALP scores and the nature of PBC symptoms.
14:38 EDTICPTIntercept reports analyses of OCA in fatty liver patients
Intercept Pharmaceuticals announced new results from the non-invasive evaluation of liver fibrosis in patients from the FLINT trial of obeticholic acid, or OCA, for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. In the trial, treatment with once daily 25 mg OCA was shown to reverse fibrosis in a "significant proportion" of biopsy-proven NASH patients, as observed by repeat liver biopsy at the end of the double-blind treatment phase at week 72, according to the company. Post-hoc analysis evaluated the early predictive value of three known non-invasive fibrosis tests -- FIB-4, APRI and NFS -- in identifying patients who experienced improvement in fibrosis. Each was assessed at baseline and over the course of treatment and then correlated with histologic changes observed in the OCA and placebo patients. The analysis demonstrated that OCA treatment of NASH patients led to a statistically significant decrease in FIB-4 from baseline as compared to placebo. Further, a decline in FIB-4 of 10% after 24 weeks of treatment predicted improvement in fibrosis by at least one stage as assessed by biopsy at 72 weeks, according to Intercept. Similarly, OCA-treated patients experienced a significant decrease in APRI as compared to placebo, and a 34% reduction in APRI at 24 weeks predicted improvement in fibrosis by at least one stage at 72 weeks. On average, OCA treatment reduced the FIB-4 score to less than 1.3 and the APRI score to less than 0.5, the respective cut-off values associated with advanced fibrosis, while placebo patients remained above these cut-offs. While NFS declined in the OCA-treated patients and increased in the placebo patients, it did not appear to be sensitive to changes in fibrosis, the company said.
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