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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
November 20, 2012
17:15 EDTFB, GRPN, ZNGAFoursquare facing valuation questions, investor skepticism, WSJ reports
Social media startup Foursquare, which received a $30M investment from Spark Capital in May that put the company's valuation at $760M, is now struggling to convince investors of that value as it looks to raise another $50M, according to a Wall Street Journal report that cites people familiar with the discussions. The report notes that following the IPOs of company's like Facebook (FB), Zynga (ZNGA), and Groupon (GRPN), 39% of Internet companies raising venture capital in Q3 did so at valuations below previous rounds. Reference Link
News For FB;ZNGA;GRPN From The Last 14 Days
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February 2, 2016
10:40 EDTZNGA, GRPNStifel warns Twitter may go way of tech busts, cuts to Sell
Twitter (TWTR) is giving up nearly all of yesterday's gains after Fortune and The Wall Street Journal poured cold water on a report that private equity firm Silver Lake might be considering making a strategic investment in the company. Additionally weighing on the stock are a Business Insider report claiming that the number of tweets has declined by more than 50% in the last 18 months and research firm Stifel downgrading the stock to Sell. WHAT'S NEW: Yesterday morning, tech website The Information reported that venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and private equity firm Silver Lake have considered making a deal involving Twitter. However, Silver Lake isn't looking to make a deal with Twitter, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unnamed source. The Journal's article echoes a report yesterday afternoon by Fortune, which also quoted an unnamed source as saying that Silver Lake isn't interested in buying Twitter. Also, according to Business Insider, the number of daily tweets on Twitter has plummeted by more than 50% since August 2014. The report based its estimate on a sampling of data from the website's application programming interface. Last month, there were 303M tweets per day on average, down from the peak of an average of 661M per day in August 2014, when the World Cup was occurring, the website stated. Moreover, according to the data, Twitter has about 130M active users, versus the company's estimate of up to 320M monthly active users. STIFEL SAY SELL: Stifel analyst Scott Devitt downgraded Twitter to Sell form Hold, saying that it has "never fully developed into a sustainable public company." Yahoo (YHOO) says that it has 1B monthly active users, but the market valuation of Yahoo's core business is "much lower" than that of Twitter, which has a significantly smaller user base, Devitt stated. Additionally, Internet companies Groupon (GRPN) and Zynga (ZNGA) became well-known and obtained tens of millions of users, only to see their stocks plummet, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, Twitter's product has not changed significantly since the company hired a new CEO three months ago and it will have difficulty meeting financial expectations over the short-term and longer term, given the size of its user base, said Devitt, who has a $14 price target for the shares. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Twitter fell 6.3% to $16.78. The stock had gained 6.55% yesterday on the heels of Jessica Lessin's report in The Information.
09:36 EDTFBActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: FB AAPL BAC GOOGL NFLX GOOG XOM TWTR LVS
06:26 EDTFBStifel cuts Twitter to Sell after noting Yahoo has significantly more users
Stifel analyst Scott Devitt downgraded Twitter (TWTR) to Sell from Hold after "materially lowering" his forward estimates for the company. Twitter is a product that has "never fully developed into a sustainable public company," Devitt tells investors in a research note. To those that believe the microblog's 320M active user base is significant, the analyst points out that Yahoo (YHOO) still reports 1B monthly active users across its network and AOL's final public disclosure last year prior to its acquisition by Verizon (VZ) still showed nearly 200M unique visitors. Twitter will be challenged to reach its near- and long-term financial expectations, the analyst contends. Devitt points out that Facebook (FB) continues to generate over two times as much advertising revenue per monthly active user in the U.S. as Twitter. He has a $14 price target for the shares. Twitter closed yesterday up $1.10 to $17.90 after The Information reported that Silver Lake and investor Marc Andreessen have "considered some sort of deal" for the microblog operator.
05:56 EDTFBAlphabet price target raised to $911 from $812 at Piper Jaffray
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05:09 EDTFBStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; UA FB
Stocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; Under Armour (UA) 35, Facebook (FB) 31 according to iVolatility.
February 1, 2016
17:13 EDTFBFacebook's WhatsApp reaches 1B users
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16:01 EDTFBOptions Update; February 1, 2016
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14:49 EDTFBFacebook breaks out
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09:36 EDTFBActive 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
08:20 EDTFBTwitter jumps after The Information breaks potential deal
Shares of Twitter (TWTR) are rising in pre-market trading after tech reporter Jessica Lessin said private equity firm Silver Lake and investor Marc Andreessen and have "considered some sort of deal" for the microblog service operator. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Lessin said in her report published on her site, The Information, that she did not know if deal considerations are "active" now with Andreessen and private equity firm Silver Lake. Silver Lake calls itself "the global leader in technology investing," stating that it has over $26B in combined assets under management. FREQUENT SPECULATION TARGET: Twitter has often been the subject of takeover rumors in the past year. Last April, Re/code's Kurt Wagner reported that Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) had looked at a potential acquisition of Twitter in the past, but noted at that time that neither tech giant was in discussions to acquire the social network owner. On January 20, News Corp. (NWSA) declined comment to CNBC regarding speculation about its potential interest in acquiring Twitter. Speculation also circulated the same day regarding an activist investor taking an interest in Twitter, trading sources told The Fly. PRICE ACTION: In pre-market trading near 8:15 am ET, Twitter rose 7% to $18 per share.
05:10 EDTFBStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; UA FB
Stocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; Under Armour (UA) 36, Facebook (FB) 30 according to iVolatility.
January 31, 2016
19:04 EDTFBApple acquires Flyby, assembles 'secret' virtual reality team, FT says
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14:12 EDTFBApple should avoid 'dubious' M&A, focus on cloud, AI development, Barron's says
"Impatient" investors encouraging Apple (AAPL) to become a mere dividend payer or make "dubious" acquisitions are not making much sense, Barron's contends in its 'Technology Trader' column. Apple continues to innovate and its iPhone franchise "will endure," though the one area where Apple lags behind peers and "can and should" make progress is cloud computing, according to the publication. Alphabet (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) are making large strides in cloud and artificial intelligence, but the company still has "plenty of opportunity" to catch up given its product install base, Barron's says. Reference Link
11:39 EDTFBS&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.
January 29, 2016
17:53 EDTFBFacebook to prohibit users from arranging private firearms sales, Reuters says
Facebook intends to announce that it will start prohibiting users from arranging private sales of firearms on the online social network, Reuters reports, citing a spokeswoman. Licensed retailers will still be able to advertise firearms on Facebook that lead to transactions outside of its platform, the spokeswoman said. Reference Link
16:00 EDTFBOptions Update; January 29, 2016
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09:34 EDTFBActive equity options trading on open: AMZN MSFT FB AAPL GILD GE
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06:29 EDTFBOptions expected to be active: AMZN EA MSFT EWJ FLEX SWKS GOOG GOOGL FB
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05:51 EDTFBFacebook shutting down Parse service
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05:11 EDTFBStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; UA FB
Stocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; Under Armour (UA) 37, Facebook (FB) 32 according to iVolatility.
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