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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 31, 2014
12:15 EDTWMT, MPO, ZNGA, AMZN, GDOT, CMG, GOOG, NOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were sharply lower at the outset, but the averages have managed to cut their losses in half from that early low point. The market is approaching correction territory and investors may have tried to take advantage of stocks being beaten up to add to positions. With today's slide the market is putting the finishing touches on its first losing month since August. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., personal income was reported to be flat in December, versus expectations for it to have grown 0.2%, though spending rose 0.4%, which was above the forecast for spending growth of 0.2%. Employment costs rose 0.5% during the fourth quarter, versus the expected increase of 0.4%. The Chicago ISM business barometer dropped to 59.6 in January from 60.8 in December, though that was a little better than analysts forecast for it to slip to 59.5. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 81.2 in the final January print, though that was close to expectations. In Europe, reports on the labor market and inflation suggested that the ECB will be under pressure to provide more monetary stimulus. The unemployment rate in the euro zone was 12% in December, unchanged since October after a revision of prior months’ data. The inflation rate came in at 0.7% in January, which is down from 0.8% in December and significantly lower than economists expected. The “core” rate excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, rose to 0.8% in January from 0.7% in the prior month. COMPANY NEWS: The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart (WMT), warned that its profits for its Holiday quarter and for the year may come in at or slightly below its prior view. The company said two factors contributed to its lower than expected comparable store sales performance in the U.S., namely a greater than expected impact from the government's changes to its nutrition assistance program and eight named winter storms that forced store closures and hurt traffic throughout the quarter. Despite the downbeat view, shares of the company were fractionally higher near noon... Shares of another retail giant, on-line retailer Amazon.com (AMZN), fell 9% after the company’s fourth quarter results and first quarter guidance fell short of analysts’ expectations. Despite earnings and revenue that came in below forecasts, analyst commentary was mostly positive this morning, as four separate research firms raised their respective price targets on Amazon... Google (GOOG) edged closer to $1,200 per share, rising almost 4% near noon after its quarterly report last night revealed profits that fell a bit short of expectations but revenues that exceeded the consensus estimate. Several firms ratcheted up their price targets on the search leader's shares after the report, with FBN Securities bumping its price target for Google to $1,400, citing the company's strong paid click growth and improving network revenue. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Zynga (ZNGA), which advanced 16% after the company reported a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss and said it expects to be profitable in 2014. The mobile game maker also announced a deal to acquire NaturalMotion for $527M and disclosed plans to cut 15% of its workforce. Also higher was Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), which rose nearly 14% to be the S&P 500's biggest gainer after the Mexican restaurant chain reported fourth quarter revenue that beat estimates and comparable restaurant sales that increased 9.3%. Among the noteworthy losers following their quarterly reports were software provider NetSuite (N), down more than 7% near noon, and pre-paid debit card provider Green Dot (GDOT), which fell over 16%. Also lower was Midstates Petroleum (MPO), down 14% after analysts at Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight, citing the company's disappointing production guidance. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 86.04, or 0.54%, to 15,762.57, the Nasdaq was down 9.38, or 0.23%, to 4,113.75, and the S&P 500 was down 5.32, or 0.30%, to 1,788.87.
News For GOOG;AMZN;WMT;CMG;ZNGA;N;GDOT;MPO From The Last 14 Days
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April 11, 2014
08:42 EDTMPOMidstates Petroleum downgraded to Hold from Accumulate at Tudor Pickering
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07:09 EDTWMTLi & Fung collaborates with Citigroup on brand unit spinoff, Bloomberg says
Li & Fung (LFUGF)) is said to be collaborating with Citigroup (C) to spin off its brands division, which is valued at nearly $2B, according to Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The company's brand unit sells clothing and toys to retailers such as Wal-Mart (WMT) and Kohl's (KSS). Reference Link
06:43 EDTGOOGGoogle enhancing Android security with apps checks, Re/code says
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06:31 EDTAMZNAmazon.com May volatility elevated into Q1 and profit outlook
Amazon.com April call option implied volatility is at 39, May weekly is at 59, May is at 48, June is at 37; compared to its 26-week average of 29 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q1 results on late April 24.
06:29 EDTGOOGGoogle says 'Jelly Bean' affected by Heartbleed
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06:25 EDTZNGAZynga upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley
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06:04 EDTAMZNAmazon.com implied volatility of 50 at upper end of index mean range
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05:57 EDTGOOGCisco, Juniper say some products affected by Heartbleed bug, WSJ reports
Both Cisco (CSCO) and Juniper (JNPR) have disclosed that some of their products are affected by the Heartbleed bug, the Wall Street Journal reports. The companies say the security flaw affects routers, switches and firewalls used by businesses. Reference Link
April 10, 2014
16:06 EDTZNGAZynga CFO Vranesh leaving company, Best Buy's Lee to succeed as CFO
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16:03 EDTAMZNAmazon to acquire digital comic book company comiXology
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16:00 EDTAMZNOptions Update; April 10, 2014
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14:24 EDTAMZNAmazon Web Services CTO says ARM CPUs may be considered, The Register says
Amazon (AMZN) Web Services chief technology officer Werner told The Register that the company is “always looking for efficiency” and may consider using ARM (ARMH) CPUs in the future. Vogels said another processor architecture AWS has considered is IBM's (IBM) Power, the report noted. Reference Link
13:58 EDTGOOGGoogle to let any U.S. resident buy Google Glass, The Verge says
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13:14 EDTWMTFamily Dollar slides after holiday disappointment prompts store closures
Shares of discount retailer Family Dollar (FDO) are falling after the company reported second quarter earnings per share and revenue that fell below expectations, along with third quarter and FY14 projections that are lower than analysts' consensus. WHAT'S NEW: This morning, Family Dollar reported second quarter earnings per share of 80c, which fell below analysts consensus of 90c. The company reported second quarter revenue of $2.72B, while analysts projected $2.77B. Family Dollar, which reported that its second quarter same-store-sales decreased by 3.8%, said the holiday season was challenged by "a more promotional competitive environment and a more financially constrained consumer" and that its results were also significantly impacted by severe winter weather like many retailers. The company expects third quarter earnings per share excluding-items to be 85c-95c, while analysts project a 98c consensus. Family Dollar said that it sees FY14 earnings per share excluding items to be $3.05-$3.25, which is at the lower end of analysts' estimations. Family Dollar noted that it expects to close nearly 370 underperforming stores in the second half of FY14 and slow new store growth beginning in FY15. WHAT'S NOTABLE: During Family Dollar's earnings conference call, the company said that it plans to slow square footage growth in the beginning of FY14 and said that it recently cut about 10% of its corporate workforce. ANALYST OPINION: Wells Fargo analyst Matt Nemer said Family Dollar's third quarter negative comp guidance and commentary about a challenging macro environment could pressure its own shares as well as those of its peers Dollar General (DG) and Dollar Tree (DLTR). However, Family Dollar's store closures combined with a decrease in future store growth could ultimately have positive implications for its competitors, Nemer added. On March 4, Credit Suisse said Family Dollar's underperformance compared to Dollar General and significant earnings possibilities gives the rationale for a potential merger of the two. On February 19, Credit Suisse analyst Michael Exstein suggested that Wal-Mart (WMT) should consider acquiring Family Dollar as a way to "jumpstart" its small store effort. CNBC's David Faber reported the same morning that Exstein published his note that Family Dollar was not holding any talks about selling itself at that time. PRICE ACTION: During afternoon trading, shares of Family Dollar decreased $1.54, or 2.61%, to $57.53, Dollar Tree dropped 2.5%, and Dollar General fell about 1.5%.
12:18 EDTAMZNAmazon CEO confirms plans to expand Amazon Fresh offering, Re/code reports
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has confirmed that the company is planning to expand Amazon Fresh beyond its current three markets, Re/code reports, citing the CEO's 2013 letter to shareholders. He commented that "We’ll continue our methodical approach – measuring and refining Amazon Fresh – with the goal of bringing this incredible service to more cities over time." Bezos also commented on drones, saying "The Prime Air team is already flight testing our 5th and 6th generation aerial vehicles and we are in the design phase on generations 7 and 8." Reference Link
09:37 EDTAMZNActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open according to Track Data: SIRI RAD AAPL AMZN AA FB TSLA MRK CVX C
08:46 EDTCMGChipotle well positioned to sustain operating momentum, says RW Baird
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06:49 EDTGOOGMotorola Mobility names Osterloh COO
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06:29 EDTGOOGAT&T in talks to bring ultrafast internet to North Carolina, WSJ reports
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06:13 EDTWMTWal-Mart to carry Wild Oats organic food items
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