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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 18, 2014
12:41 EDTICE, MSFT, PVA, WMT, NDAQ, HTZ, AAPL, GMEOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday amid continued headlines from Russia regarding the Crimea region of Ukraine and a report that showed the cost of living in the U.S. was little changed in February. Also, the Federal Reserve kicked off its two-day policy meeting, which will culminate tomorrow with Janet Yellen's first press conference as the head of the central bank. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., consumer prices rose 0.1% in February, matching the consensus forecast of economists. Housing starts fell 0.2% from the prior month in February to a rate of 907K, while building permits rose 7.7% to a rate of 1.02M. In Europe, Vladimir Putin formally called for Crimea and Sevastopol to be annexed and added to Russia, but added in his address to his parliament that Russia is not seeking to split up Ukraine. A measure of German economic expectations dropped more-than-expected to 46.6 in March, which was linked to the Crimea crisis and represented its weakest reading since August 2013. COMPANY NEWS: Rental car company Hertz (HTZ) confirmed plans to separate its equipment rental business and announced a new $1B share repurchase program, but missed earnings expectations. The stock's reaction to the spin-off news was likely muted due to the fact that Financial Times, citing sources familiar with the matter, had already reported on the spin-off on Friday evening and the stock advanced nearly 5% yesterday after that report. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Penn Virginia (PVA), which jumped 13% after activist investor Soros Fund Management disclosed that it has taken a 9.18% stake and urged the company to explore strategic alternatives. Also higher was Microsoft (MSFT), which rose almost 4% after the tech blog The Verge, citing sources, said the company will introduce a version of its Office product suite for Apple's iPad (AAPL) at a press event later this month. Barclays also published a positive note on Microsoft this morning, stating that the firm believes that the benefit Microsoft could receive from the monetization of Office 365 is underappreciated, while the company's revenue growth from Azure is accelerating. Among the noteworthy losers was Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ), which fell about 4% after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called for tougher regulations and market reforms to eliminate what he called the "unfair advantages" provided to high-frequency trading firms. Also possibly weighing on its shares was a Dow Jones report that claimed the New York Stock Exchange, which is owned by IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), is viewed as the front-runner for the upcoming IPO of China's largest e-commerce company, Alibaba. Also lower were shares of video game retailer GameStop (GME), which slid 4% after Wal-Mart (WMT) announced that customers would soon be able to trade in their used video games in return for store credit. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 81.65, or 0.5%, to 16,328.87, the Nasdaq was up 41.74, or 0.98%, to 4,321.69, and the S&P 500 was up 10.56, or 0.57%, to 1,869.39.
News For HTZ;PVA;GME;NDAQ;MSFT;AAPL;WMT;ICE From The Last 14 Days
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December 9, 2014
06:27 EDTMSFTSamsung, white-box makers to benefit from Microsoft Mobile exit, DigiTimes says
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06:20 EDTAAPLJudge denies Apple's efforts to throw out iPod pricing suit, WSJ reports
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December 8, 2014
16:24 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower amid another drop in crude oil prices, which tumbled to five-year lows. The market opened slightly lower following weaker than expected data from China and Japan, with nothing of note on the domestic calendar to get buyers involved in the dayís activity. Near noon, the averages gained downside momentum and though the market pared its losses several times, it was never able to gain any steam to pull the indexes back into the green. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no major economic data was released. In Asia, Chinese exports rose 4.7% from a year earlier in November, which missed the consensus estimate for an 8% increase. Chinese imports fell 6.7% from the prior year last month, compared with projections for a 3.8% increase. Additionally, Japan's revised third quarter gross domestic product estimate showed the economy shrank more than initially thought, with growth contracting an annualized 1.9%. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST) surged $26.24, or 35.29%, to $100.60 after Merck (MRK) agreed to acquire the maker of next-generation antibiotics for $102 per share in cash, or $8.4B and the assumption of $1.1B in debt. A number of other antibiotic makers also climbed, including Tetraphase (TTPH), which rose $2.45, or 8.82%, to $30.24, and Cempra (CEMP), which advanced $1.64, or 11.37%, to $16.06, while shares of Merck finished fractionally higher, adding 39c, or 0.63%, to $61.88 following the deal announcement. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers following their presentations at the American Society of Hematology, or ASH, annual meeting were Calithera Biosciences (CALA), which gained $2.38, or 22.52%, to $12.95, and Acceleron Pharma (XLRN), which jumped $5.11, or 13.6%, to $42.67. Among the noteworthy losers was McDonald's (MCD), which fell $3.70, or 3.84%, to $92.61 after the Dow member reported a 2.2% decline in global same-restaurant sales in November. Additionally, the fast-food giant warned that its fourth quarter results would be hurt by its sales pressures, supplier issues in China and a stronger U.S. dollar. Also lower were shares of Liquidity Services (LQDT), which plunged $2.77, or 27.0%, to $7.49 after the company disclosed that Wal-Mart (WMT) had terminated a deal to provide it with surplus merchandise. INDEXES: The Dow fell 106.31, or 0.59%, to 17,852.48, the Nasdaq dropped 40.06, or 0.84%, to 4,740.69, and the S&P 500 slipped 15.06, or 0.73%, to 2,060.31.
16:00 EDTAAPLOptions Update; December 8, 2014
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15:08 EDTICEIntercontinentalExchange sees EUR 96.8M proceeds from sale of Euronext stake
Intercontinental Exchange announced the pricing of the placement of 4.2M shares in Euronext, representing approximately 6% of Euronextís share capital, by way of an accelerated book-building to institutional investors. The gross proceeds to ICE from the sale amount to EUR 96.8M. Following the sale, which is expected to close on December 11, ICE will no longer hold any of Euronextís shares or voting rights and the transaction marks the final exit from Euronext by ICE initiated in 2014, the company said.
13:21 EDTMSFTMicrosoft files appeal in case on customer data in Ireland
Microsoft said on its blog that it has filed an appeal in its ongoing case challenging a U.S. government search warrant for customer data stored in Ireland. Microsoft said it filed the appeal after a U.S. district court judge rejected the companyís argument that the warrant is illegal because it calls for the seizure of emails stored outside the United States. Reference Link
13:16 EDTAAPLApple trades off session lows, levels to watch
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12:40 EDTMSFT, WMTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:41 EDTICEIntercontinentalExchange to sell remaining shares in Euronext
Intercontinental Exchange announced its intention to sell approximately 4.2M shares in Euronext N.V., representing approximately 6% of Euronextís share capital, by way of an accelerated book-building to institutional investors. Following the sale, assuming all shares are sold, ICE will no longer hold any of Euronextís share capital and voting rights. This transaction marks the final exit from Euronext by ICE, in line with its previously announced strategy. ICE received a waiver of the lock-up agreement entered into at the time of the Euronext initial public offering in June 2014, which was due to expire on December 21. The shares will be offered by way of a private placement to institutional investors. The book-building will commence immediately. ICE reserves the right to close the books at short notice. Pricing and allocations will be determined at the conclusion of the offering and are expected to be announced in a separate press release.
10:49 EDTWMTLiquidity Services plunges after Wal-Mart seeks to end supply deal
Shares of Liquidity Services (LQDT) are tumbling after the company disclosed that Wal-Mart (WMT) had terminated a deal to provide it with merchandise. Liquidity Services operates an auction marketplace that features surplus and salvaged items. WHAT'S NEW: Liquidity Services reported after Friday's market close in a regulatory filing that Wal-Mart had decided to stop supplying products to Liquidity Services.The auction company noted that it had previously had the right to purchase certain consumer items that have been removed from Wal-Mart's shelves. However, Wal-Mart, on December 1, reported to the company that it would terminate the deal, effective today. Wal-Mart is alleging that Liquidity Services violated certain requirements of the agreement between the companies, Liquidity Services stated. However, the auction company disputed Wal-Mart's assertions and said it was "evaluating all its options" before determining how to proceed. Liquidity Services indicated that it still expects to meet its guidance for its December quarter results. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors today, Colin Sebastian, an analyst at research firm Robert W. Baird, predicted that the loss of the contract would have a significant impact on Liquidity Services' results starting in 2015. However, he believes that the extent of the impact on the company's earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization will depend on its ability to manage its expenses. The analyst cut his price target on the name to $9 from $12 and kept a Neutral rating on the shares. Meanwhile, Janney Capital analyst Shawn Milne wrote that Liquidity Services had previously disclosed that Wal-Mart accounted for 11% of its gross merchandise volume in fiscal 2014. Milne predicted that the termination of the deal would reduce Liquidity Services' annual EBITDA by less than $10M. He also kept a Neutral rating on the stock. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Liquidity Services sank 25% to $7.70.
10:44 EDTMSFTDigital River grants Microsoft extestion to decide on renewing pact
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10:04 EDTMSFTAccenture and Microsoft launch hybrid cloud platform
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10:03 EDTWMTLiquidity Services price target lowered to $9 from $12 at RW Baird
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10:00 EDTNDAQOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Antero Resources (AR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup... Apache (APA) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup... Applied Materials (AMAT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Arch Capital (ACGL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... CU Bancorp (CUNB) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Sandler O'Neill... Calpine (CPN) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Commerzbank (CRZBY) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Keefe Bruyette... EastGroup Properties (EGP) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... Enbridge Energy Management (EEQ) upgraded to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Enbridge Energy (EEP) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley... GasLog (GLOG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel... Hoegh LNG (HMLP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Illinois Tool Works (ITW) upgraded to Buy from Accumulate at Global Hunter... LaSalle Hotel (LHO) upgraded at Morgan Stanley... Lufthansa (DLAKY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... NASDAQ (NDAQ) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette... Newfield Exploration (NFX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup... Omega Healthcare (OHI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Orange SA (ORAN) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman... SM Energy (SM) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... Southwest (LUV) upgraded at Goldman... TSMC (TSM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... United Technologies (UTX) upgraded at Bernstein... eBay (EBAY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel.
09:20 EDTWMTLiquidity Services estimate cuts possible on Wal-Mart fight, says Janney Capital
After Liquidity Services (LQDT) disclosed that Wal-Mart (WMT) terminated its return agreement and that the two are now in dispute over the deal, Janney Capital noted Liquidity 's recent 10K filing indicated that Wal-Mart accounted for 11% of FY14 gross merchandise volume, including Commercial Capital assets. Janney estimates the full year EBITDA impact from the contract to be somewhere below $10M, but said there is a potential for further estimate cuts given the dispute. The firm maintains its Neutral rating on Liquidity Services shares.
09:13 EDTWMTLiquidity Services reports Walmart terminates return agreement
Liquidity Services (LQDT) had previously acquired from ILJ Enterprises its business of purchasing closeouts, excess merchandise and customer returns for resale to retailers, wholesalers, and other third parties and consumers. In connection with the acquisition, the company, through one of its subsidiaries, assumed ILJís rights and obligations with Wal-Mart Stores (WMT). Under the Wal-Mart agreement, Liquidity Services has the exclusive right to purchase certain consumer products from Wal-Mart that have been removed from the sales stream of Wal-Martís retail operations. On December 1, Wal-Mart provided Liquidity Services written notice terminating the Wal-Mart Agreement, effective December 8. The termination notice alleges that the company failed to comply with certain provisions under the Wal-Mart agreement with respect to service level requirements and restrictions on the disposition of merchandise, Liquidity disclosed in a regulatory filing late Friday. The company disputes these allegations and is contesting the termination of the agreement with Wal-Mart. The company had been in negotiations with Wal-Mart to address Wal-Martís failure to honor the companyís exclusive right to purchase selected merchandise from Wal-Mart but was unable to reach a satisfactory resolution. The company is currently evaluating all of its options, reserves all rights with respect to this matter and will continue to seek appropriate relief from Wal-Mart for its failure to honor the companyís exclusive rights to purchase selected merchandise and any related actual damages the company has incurred. The company does not believe that the purported termination of the Wal-Mart Agreement will result in the company being unable to meet its financial guidance for its first fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2014, Liquidity Services stated.
06:37 EDTAAPLApple rumored to be launching 4-inch iPhone in 2015, Times of India reports
Apple is rumored to be developing a new iPhone with a 4-inch display, The Times of India reports, citing a report from The Electronic Times of Taiwan. According to supply chain sources, the device will launch in 2H15. Reference Link
06:22 EDTAAPLApple price target raised to $135 from $120 at Citigroup
Citigroup raised its earnings estimates for Apple after its field work indicated consumers are increasingly buying the higher memory iPhone 6 and 6+. Citi expects purchasing trends towards higher memory devices to drive stronger sales and margins. It believes consensus estimates are yet to factor in this development. The firm raised its price target for Apple shares to $135 from $120 and keeps a Buy rating on the name. Shares of phone maker closed Friday down 49c to $115.
06:15 EDTAAPLLenovo shipments expected to lead Samsung by 9M in 2015, DigiTimes reports
Lenovo (LNVGY) is estimated to beat Samsung (SSNLF) in mobile device shipments in 2015 by about 9M units, reports DigiTimes Research. Lenovo is set to beat Samsung by about 1M units in 2014 and become the second largest mobile computing device brand vendor worldwide behind Apple (AAPL). DigiTimes Research says Lenovo and Samsung plan to focus on maintaining tablet shipments as demand weakens in 2015. Reference Link
05:58 EDTNDAQNASDAQ upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
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