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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 20, 2014
16:45 EDTFB, TSLA, BBRY, WMT, PRAA, JACK, ONTX, CONNOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher despite mixed economic data and continued volatility in the political situations in Ukraine and Venezuela. The averages opened the session mixed and were all in negative ground by an hour into trading. However, the averages moved upward near mid-morning and powered higher throughout the session, closing near session highs. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell 3K to 336K in the week ended February 15, which was generally in-line with expectations. The Consumer Price Index edged up 0.1% in January, as expected, and the core reading excluding food and energy also rose 0.1%. Markit's “flash” Purchasing Managers' Index for February rose to 56.7 from a prior 53.7 reading, beating expectations. The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing business outlook for February fell to -6.3, versus expectations for a much smaller pull back to 8.0 from its prior 9.4 reading. The Leading Index for January rose 0.3%, matching the consensus estimate. In China, factory activity appeared to shrink again in February, as the flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a seven-month low of 48.3 from January's final reading of 49.5. In Europe, Markit’s composite eurozone PMI fell to 52.7 from 52.9 in January. COMPANY NEWS: Facebook (FB) last night announced that it had agreed to buy mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $16B in cash and stock, with an additional $3B in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years. Facebook shares, which initially sold off after the deal, closed the session up $1.57, or 2.31%, to $69.63. Shares of BlackBerry (BBRY), which has its own Blackberry Messenger messaging service, climbed 34c, or 3.77%, to $9.35 as analysts debated BBM's valuation relative to WhatsApp... Tesla Motors (TSLA) gained $16.33, or 8.43%, to a new all-time closing high of $209.97 after the electric car maker's earnings and 2014 delivery guidance of 35K Model S cars topped estimates... Wal-Mart (WMT) was the Dow's laggard, falling $1.33, or 1.78%, to $73.52 after its earnings guidance for the current quarter and new fiscal year trailed expectations. For the just-completed quarter, the retail giant reported in-line earnings and sales that were just below expectations. Also, the company raised its dividend 2% to $1.92 annually. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Portfolio Recovery (PRAA), which added $8.92, or 17.67%, to $59.40 after last night announcing a deal to acquire Aktiv Kapital for $880M, a deal analysts at JMP Securities believe will be immediately accretive. Portfolio Recovery also reported earnings that were roughly in-line with expectations. Also higher following a better-than-expected quarterly report was Jack in the Box (JACK), up $4.26, or 7.97%, to $57.73. Among the noteworthy losers was Onconova (ONTX), which plunged $5.07, or 36.58%, to $8.79 after a Phase 3 trial of its rigosertib drug did not meet its primary endpoint. Also lower was Conn's (CONN), which fell $23.91, or 42.85%, to $31.89 after the company issued weaker than expect fourth quarter earnings guidance and lowered its fiscal 2014 and 2015 profit forecasts. INDEXES: The Dow was up 92.67, or 0.58%, to 16,133.23, the Nasdaq was up 29.59, or 0.7%, to 4,267.54, and the S&P 500 was up 11.03, or 0.6%, to 1,839.78.
News For FB;TSLA;BBRY;WMT;PRAA;JACK;ONTX;CONN From The Last 14 Days
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September 2, 2014
12:21 EDTTSLATesla hits 52-week high following Stifel upgrade
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12:09 EDTCONNOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday, with the Nasdaq clinging to narrow gains and the Dow and S&P both down about 0.25%. Stocks began the session basically unchanged but turned mixed within minutes of the open. The volume has been light and the market has moved in a narrow range, continuing the type of pattern that was seen all of last week ahead of the holiday. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's final manufacturing PMI for August dipped slightly from the flash print of 58.0 to 57.9, but that was up from July's 55.8 reading. ISM's manufacturing index for August climbed to 59.0 from 57.1 in July, beating expectations. Construction spending bounced back 1.8% in July, beating expectations for it to have risen 1.0% after declining in the prior month. In Asia, HSBC's final manufacturing PMI for China edged down to 50.2 from the preliminary 50.3 August reading, which was already down from the 51.7 report in July. The Chinese government's official purchasing managers index came in at 51.1 for August, which was down from its 51.7 reading in July. In Europe, the Eurozone's final manufacturing PMI for August was revised down to 50.7 from 51.8 in the preliminary reading. COMPANY NEWS: Apple (AAPL) was in the headlines following a celebrity photo hack involving several of its iCloud accounts. Despite the negative publicity from those events, the stock gained nearly 1% after noted Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster raised his price target on the tech giant's shares to $120 from $105, citing the upcoming launch of new products and services. Another firm, Cantor, said in its own note to investors that it believes that Apple will have its most exciting product launches "in many years" over the next few months... In M&A news, Dollar General (DG) rose almost 1% after increasing its all-cash proposal to buy Family Dollar (FDO) to $80.00 per share and also increasing the number of stores that it would be willing to agree to divest to 1,500 if ordered by the FTC. Shares of Family Dollar, which previously rejected Dollar General's prior proposal on the basis of antitrust regulatory concerns, traded above the new offer price, while Dollar Tree (DLTR), which currently has a merger agreement deal in place with Family Dollar, also gained 1.5%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were two other companies involved in M&A, one which was a buyer and one which was bought. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) advanced 12% after agreeing to acquire upscale peer Prestige Cruises for $3.03B, while Compuware (CPWR) rose over 12% after the company confirmed it agreed to be acquired by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo in a transaction valued at approximately $2.5B. Among the noteworthy losers was Exelixis (EXEL), which plunged 53% after its phase 3 pivotal trial of cabozantinib in certain men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer did not meet its primary endpoint and the stock was downgraded by at least three Street research firms. Also lower was lease-to-own retailer CONN'S (CONN), which dropped 30% and was downgraded at Piper Jaffray after weakness in its credit operations prompted a Q2 earnings miss and caused the company to cut its fiscal year guidance. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 43.58, or 0.25%, to 17,054.87, the Nasdaq was up 2.97, or 0.06%, to 4,583.24, and the S&P 500 was down 4.83, or 0.24%, to 1,998.54.
11:32 EDTBBRYStocks with call strike movement; BBRY TWTR
BlackBerry (BBRY) March 12 call option implied volatility decreased 6% to 48, Twitter (TWTR) December 57.5 call option implied volatility increased 5% to 48 according to IVolatility.
11:09 EDTBBRYBlackBerry announces events in three cities to be held Sep. 24
BlackBerry announced in a post to its corporate blog: "On September 24, all eyes will be on BlackBerry as we host exclusive, invite-only events in Toronto, London and Dubai to show off… well I guess you’ll have to wait and see." Reference Link
11:07 EDTCONNConn's shares fall after missing Q2 estimates, lowering FY guidance
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10:34 EDTCONNConn's tumbles after earnings and outlook
The shares are down over 29.7% at time of writing to $31.44. At that price, support is at the session low at $31.01 and then at $29.30. Price is currently near what had previously been the 52-week low area. Resistance is at $33.16.
10:29 EDTCONNHigh option volume stocks
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10:27 EDTTSLATesla hits fresh life high, levels to watch
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10:02 EDTTSLAOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) upgraded at Stifel... Century Aluminum (CENX) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Groupon (GRPN) upgraded at RBC Capital... Hawaiian Electric (HE) upgraded to Neutral from Cautious at ISI Group... Life Time Fitness (LTM) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray... Live Nation (LYV) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Northcoast... Northrop Grumman (NOC) upgraded at RBC Capital... Panasonic (PCRFY) upgraded to Buy from Sell at CLSA... Progressive (PGR) upgraded at Goldman... RCS Capital (RCAP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup... SandRidge Energy (SD) upgraded at Stifel... Staples (SPLS) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Statoil (STO) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Tenaris (TS) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS... Tesla (TSLA) upgraded at Stifel... Ultratech (UTEK) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Barrington... Volkswagen (VLKAY) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Exane BNP Paribas... Waddell & Reed (WDR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Willis Group (WSH) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette... zulily (ZU) upgraded to Buy from Fair Value at CRT Capital.
09:41 EDTTSLA, FBActive equity options trading on open
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09:36 EDTCONNConn's downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
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08:56 EDTTSLA, CONNOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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08:06 EDTTSLATesla upgraded at Stifel
As noted earlier, Stifel upgraded Tesla to Buy from Hold. The firm upgraded the stock as it thinks the company has obtained "a defensible" market "niche," while it has a head start in production and demand is unlikely to become a headwind for it until late in the decade at the earliest. Target $400.
07:59 EDTCONNConn's lowers FY15 adjusted EPS view to $2.80-$3.00 from $3.40-$3.70
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07:56 EDTCONNConn's CEO says credit operations ran into unexpected headwinds
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07:54 EDTCONNConn's reports Q2 adjusted EPS 48c, consensus 75c
Reports Q2 revenue $353.0M, consensus $353.65M. Reports Q2 same-store sales up 11.7%. Reports credit segment operating income declined $7.7M to an operating loss of $0.2M. The percentage of the customer portfolio balance 60+ days delinquent increased 70 basis points sequentially to 8.7% as of July 31 and credit segment provision for bad debts on an annualized basis was 13.9% of the average outstanding portfolio balance in the current quarter and 11.1% on an annualized basis for the first six months of fiscal 2015.
06:53 EDTJACKFast food workers to carry out civil disobedience, NY Times says
Fast food workers seeking a $15 per hour wage are planning to carry out “widespread” civil disobedience activities on Thursday, according to The New York Times. Thousands of home-care workers will also take part in the activities, the newspaper added. Fast food companies include McDonald's (MCD), Burger King (BKW), Wendy's (WEN), Jack in the Box (JACK), and Sonic Corporation (SONC). Reference Link
06:34 EDTFBEU sends questionnaire to rivals over Facebook-Whatsapp deal, WSJ says
European Union officials have sent a second wave of questions to competitors and customers of Facebook and Whatsapp, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to a questionnaire, EU officials are trying to understand what separates a social network from the messaging application and get to the heart of the competitive landscape. Reference Link
06:21 EDTCONNStocks with implied volatility top IV index mean; CONN ACHN
Stocks with implied volatility top IV index mean; Conn's (CONN) 67, Achillion (ACHN) 111 according to iVolatility.
06:07 EDTTSLATesla upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
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