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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 18, 2014
12:41 EDTWMT, NDAQ, HTZ, AAPL, GME, ICE, MSFT, PVAOn 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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February 1, 2016
09:41 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Neutral from Long-Term Buy at Hilliard Lyons
09:36 EDTAAPLActive 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
08:08 EDTWMTMoneyGram, Wal-Mart announce new three-year agreement
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07:24 EDTAAPLEU's Vestager dismisses U.S. criticism of tax cases, Reuters says
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06:53 EDTAAPLApple's iPad Air 3 may come with SMart Connector support, 9to5Mac reports
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06:10 EDTMSFTMicrosoft testing underwater data center, NY Times reports
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January 31, 2016
19:04 EDTMSFT, AAPLApple acquires Flyby, assembles 'secret' virtual reality team, FT says
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14:12 EDTMSFT, AAPLApple 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 EDTMSFT, AAPLS&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
16:00 EDTMSFT, AAPLOptions Update; January 29, 2016
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10:36 EDTAAPLActive puts @ CBOE: IWM VMW NEM SPY XRT AAPL
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10:27 EDTAAPLActive calls: IWM F DXJ ABT FXI AAPL EEM COP
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10:15 EDTAAPLApple may look into developing original shows for i Tunes, The Street reports
Apple is talking to TV producers and Hollywood studios about investing and developing original TV shows, reports The Street. According to two people with knowledge of the overtures, Apple has begun sounding out studios although it has yet to sign any agreements. One deal would have Apple announcing exclusive content as part of a cable-like offering in September. Reference Link
09:34 EDTAAPL, MSFTActive equity options trading on open: AMZN MSFT FB AAPL GILD GE
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09:21 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Gigamon (GIMO), up 17.7%... Fortinet (FTNT), up 10%... Flextronics (FLEX), up 10%... Skyworks (SWKS), up 5.7%... Seagate Technology (STX), up 4.9%.. Microsoft (MSFT), up 4.6%. ALSO HIGHER: Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO), up 8.1% after CEO says Zika vaccine could enter human testing this year... J.C. Penney (JCP), up 2.1% after being upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... BRF S.A. (BRFS), up 3.1% after being upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Axiall (AXLL), up 83.4% after rejecting $20 per share acquisition proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK)... Energous (WATT), up 12% after Bloomberg reported that Apple (AAPL) is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Amazon.com (AMZN), down 10.1%... Electronic Arts (EA), down 6.2%... AbbVie (ABBV), down 4%... American Airlines (AAL), down 1.3%. ALSO LOWER: Gilead Sciences (GILD), down 5.5% after CEO John Martin to assume role of executive chairman and COO John Milligan will be promoted to CEO.
08:28 EDTAAPLEnergous rises after Apple said to be at work on wireless charging
A Bloomberg report that said Apple (AAPL) is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology did not mention Energous (WATT), which is a development-stage company exploring technology that can enable wire-free charging for electronic devices. In pre-market trading, Energous shares rose 10% to $5.25.
06:51 EDTWMTJury says Wal-Mart must by pharmacist $31.22M in gender bias case, Reuters says
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06:29 EDTMSFTOptions expected to be active: AMZN EA MSFT EWJ FLEX SWKS GOOG GOOGL FB
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06:28 EDTAAPLApple working on wireless-charged phone, Bloomberg says
Apple is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to create new wireless charging technology that could work on mobile devices possibly as soon as next year, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the plans. Apple is eyeing new technologies that would allow iPhones and ipads to be powered from further away than charging mats, the report says. Reference Link
06:04 EDTMSFTJefferies keeps Microsoft at Underperform following Q2 results
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