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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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December 5, 2014
10:20 EDTGOOGYahoo rises, Google falls after BofA changes ratings on both
Shares of Yahoo (YHOO) are rising and Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) stock is falling after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded Yahoo and downgraded Google. WHAT'S NEW: Bank of America analyst Justin Post upgraded his rating on Yahoo to Buy from Neutral. Post said he had previously not expected to obtain information about Yahoo's strategy for avoiding taxes on the sale of its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) at least until well into 2015. However, Yahoo's CFO recently stated that the company continued to be optimistic that it would be able to cut its tax bill and added that the company would divulge its plans for doing so during its next earnings conference call. Yahoo's next earnings conference call is expected to take place by the end of next month, Post noted. He set a $62 price target on Yahoo shares. Meanwhile, Post downgraded Google to Neutral from Buy. The analyst thinks the company is facing several headwinds, including the maturity of its search business, a lack of products that can provide catalysts, and margin pressures as it invests in competitive businesses. As a result of these headwinds, Google's results are likely to be below expectations, Post believes. Meanwhile, the company is also facing increased regulatory risk, particularly in the EU, and increased competition from Facebook (FB) and other social networks. He trimmed his price target on Google to $580 from $600. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Yahoo climbed 1% to $50.94, while Google class A shares declined 1.5% to $534.33.
10:00 EDTGOOGOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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09:36 EDTAMZNActive equity options trading
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09:19 EDTWMTDollar General says remains committed to purchase of Family Dollar
Dollar General Corporation (DG) issued the following statement in response to comments made by Dollar Tree (DLTR) regarding its view of potential store divestitures that may be required by the FTC in either a Dollar Tree/Family Dollar Stores (FDO) or a Dollar General/Family Dollar combination. Dollar General’s documents and data tell a very different story from that contained in the press release issued today by Dollar Tree. As Dollar General previously has stated, Walmart (WMT), not Family Dollar, is the primary driver regarding Dollar General’s strategic pricing decisions, and more than 90% of Dollar General’s SKUs are nationally priced. Dollar General is confident that its approach to strategic and pricing decisions is both correct and superior to that of Family Dollar and Dollar General has no intention of adopting a flawed strategy -- either now or after an acquisition of Family Dollar -- that it believes would impair its ability to compete with Walmart and lead to inferior financial performance. Dollar General is actively engaged in discussions with the FTC regarding the extent of potential divestitures that would be required in connection with an acquisition of Family Dollar and has been making good progress. Over the past few weeks, Dollar General has provided the FTC with tens of thousands of documents supporting the above facts and its broad view of competition. There is no reason to believe that the FTC would take into account only Family Dollar’s documents and data or afford them greater significance than Dollar General's own evidence. As stated in Dollar General's press release of December 4, Dollar General will continue to work with the FTC and expects to provide an update in sufficient time to allow Family Dollar shareholders to review such information prior to the Family Dollar shareholders’ meeting now scheduled for December 23.
08:55 EDTGOOGYahoo seen overtaking Twitter in U.S. mobile ad market share, WSJ reports
Research firm eMarketer predicts Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Facebook (FB) will account for about 35% and 17%, respectively, of the U.S. mobile ad market in 2015, but the firm also expects Yahoo (YHOO) will edge past Twitter (TWTR) in terms of mobile ad revenue, with projected market shares of 3.74% and 3.69%, respectively, reported The Wall Street Journal. Reference Link
08:14 EDTGOOGGoogle volatility low into being downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
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07:38 EDTGOOGFollow-up: Google downgraded at BofA/Merrill
As previously reported, BofA/Merrill downgraded Google to Neutral from Buy. The firm lowered estimates slightly below the Street due to lack of product catalysts, search maturity, and margin pressure from investments. BofA/Merrill is also cautious on online advertising growth given increased regulatory risk in the EU, potential Facebook (FB) competition, share loss from social growth, and a strong Apple (AAPL) product cycle. Price target lowered to $580 from $600.
07:28 EDTGOOGGoogle downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
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06:15 EDTGOOGGoogle revamps incentive program for firms that sell productivity apps, services
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06:03 EDTGOOGiOS mobile traffic shows iPhone 6 launch strong, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray says that according to Quantcast data, Apple's (AAPL) iOS mobile traffic share increased from 60.6% at iPhone 6 launch to 61.4% nine weeks after launch, while Google's (GOOG) Android decreased from 38.4% to 37.5% in the same period. Piper views the iOS mobile traffic share as further evidence that the iPhone 6 launch in the U.S. is off to a strong start. It keeps an Overweight rating on Apple shares with a $135 price target.
December 4, 2014
16:00 EDTAMZNOptions Update; December 4, 2014
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11:10 EDTGOOGNetwork-1 Technologies initiates 2nd patent litigation against Google, YouTube
Network-1 Technologies (NTIP) announced it has initiated its second patent litigation against Google (GOOG) and YouTube in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for infringement of its newly issued patent relating to the identification and tagging of media content. The patent being asserted is U.S. Patent No. 8,904,464. The lawsuit alleges that Google and YouTube have infringed and continue to infringe by making, using, selling and offering to sell unlicensed systems and products and services related thereto, which include YouTube's Content ID system.
10:08 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Anglo American (AAUKY) downgraded to Underperform from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Archer Daniels (ADM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Miller Tabak... AuRico Gold (AUQ) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... BHP Billiton (BHP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... BIND Therapeutics (BIND) downgraded at Credit Suisse... BRF S.A. (BRFS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... CIRCOR (CIR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T... DISH (DISH) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Enerplus (ERF) downgraded to Sector Performer from Outperformer at CIBC... Gildan Activewear (GIL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at GMP Securities... Kindred Biosciences (KIN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Craig-Hallum... Nevsun Resources (NSU) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... Public Storage (PSA) downgraded at KeyBanc... Rio Tinto (RIO) downgraded to Underperform from Buy at BofA/Merrill... SeaChange (SEAC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Noble Financial... Thor Industries (THO) downgraded at BMO Capital... Tupperware Brands (TUP) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... UTi Worldwide (UTIW) downgraded at Stifel... Vale (VALE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Vermilion Energy (VET) downgraded to Sector Performer from Outperformer at CIBC... Wal-Mart (WMT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.
09:37 EDTWMT, AMZNActive equity options trading
Active equity options trading according to Track Data: AAPL ALTR P BIDU AMZN TSLA X NFLX TWTR WMT
09:12 EDTNNetSuite management to meet with Barrington
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09:01 EDTAMZNAmazon launches Amazon Elements everyday essentials product line
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08:45 EDTAMZNAmazon.com, ChannelAdvisor should be bought, says Pacific Crest
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06:41 EDTGOOGProposed U.K. tax hike would hit tech companies, NY Times says
The British government has proposed a 25% tax on the U.K. profits of international companies, according to The New York Times. The tax would hit tech giants like Google (GOOG) which use complex loopholes to reduce their taxes, the newspaper stated. Reference Link
06:17 EDTWMTWal-Mart downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
UBS downgraded Wal-Mart to Neutral based on balanced risk/reward. Price target remains $91.
06:02 EDTAMZNStocks with implied volatility movement; BAC AMZN
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