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December 26, 2012
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday despite a report that indicated U.S. home prices rose more than forecast in October. Volume is light due to the holiday, but also because investors are still anxiously seeking a resolution to the fiscal cliff standoff in Washington... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities increased 4.3% in October from a year ago, versus expectations for a 4% gain. The Richmond Fed December manufacturing survey fell to 5 from a prior reading of 9. Analysts had forecast a drop to a reading of 8. In Europe, most markets were closed. Asian markets, particularly Japan's, traded broadly higher for a second-straight session, as the official appointment of Shinzo Abe as Japan's prime minister continued to drive down the Yen and lift Tokyo-traded share prices... COMPANY NEWS: Retail and apparel makers' stocks slid after reports indicated that holiday sales were likely weaker than expected. MasterCard's SpendingPulse unit estimated that retail sales from October 28 through Christmas Eve increased just 0.7% from a year ago. Separate data from retail consulting firm Customer Growth Partners estimated sales rose about 2.8%, which would make this the worst holiday-shopping season since 2009. Among the stocks performing significantly worse than their respective averages were Macy’s (M), Sears (SHLD), Saks (SKS), Nordstrom (JWN), Coach (COH), Michael Kors (KORS), Gap (GPS), Limited (LTD) and Urban Outfitters (URBN)... Netflix‘s (NFLX) streaming video service suffered an outage on Christmas Eve, which the company blamed on technical problems at Web service provider (AMZN)... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was GOL Linhas (GOL), a low-cost airline in Latin America which saw its U.S. listed shares rise 10% after the company announced late Friday that it has segregated the activities of its "Smiles" loyalty program, a business unit it previously said may be put up for an initial public offering. Also higher were shares of Herbalife (HLF), up over 6% after the Wall Street Journal said the company has hired a prominent law firm to assist in its fight with investor Bill Ackman. Among the noteworthy losers was Medifast (MED), down nearly 12% after the company's acting CFO resigned... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was down 45.94, or 0.35%, to 13,093.14; the Nasdaq was down 21.00, or 0.70%, to 2,991.60; and the S&P 500 was down 7.93, or 0.56%, to 1,418.73.
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September 29, 2015
09:01 EDTAMZNAmazon says Universal Music Group artists available for Prime members to stream
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07:11 EDTAMZNWal-Mart expands pick-up service to new markets, Fortune says
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06:20 EDTAMZNAmazon taps independent drivers for Flex service, WSJ reports
Amazon has recently rolled out a program in Seattle to bring merchandise to customers' homes using a network of independent contractors, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new service, called Amazon Flex, has people signing up for shifts through an app that gives them assignments from mini-warehouses, the report says. Amazon pays its drivers roughly $20 an hour to make deliveries, the report says. Reference Link
September 28, 2015
19:57 EDTAMZNRetailers urge courts to reject Visa, MasterCard settlement, Reuters says
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16:00 EDTNFLXOptions Update; September 28, 2015
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10:18 EDTSHLD, MJ.C. Penney rises after CEO meeting prompts upgrade
Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) are rising in morning trading after a Sterne Agee CRT analyst upgraded the retailer to Buy with a $13 price target following a meeting with the company's new chief executive officer. WHAT'S NEW: Sterne Agee CRT analyst Charles Grom upgraded J.C. Penney this morning to Buy from Neutral with a $13 price target after recently spending time with new CEO Marvin Ellison at the company's headquarters. Grom said he came away from the meeting "more confident" in the company's turnaround plan, adding that Ellison has the "right demeanor" and business sense to lead the company and "right the ship." Ellison took over as CEO of the retailer on August 1, replacing previous CEO Myron "Mike" Ullman. Sterne's Grom said that while the firm has previously been critical of the retailer's strategy, he believes the initiatives, led by Ellison, are "refreshing" and could boost the company's EBITDA. Grom thinks Ellison is the right person to help revive J.C. Penney and believes the company can surpass its long-term EBITDA target of $1.2B by 2017, saying that this goal "may prove to be a floor rather than a ceiling." Additionally, the analyst sees "multiple levers" to drive same-store sales higher. Despite his optimism in J.C. Penney's recovery story, the analyst notes that U.S. consumer spending is shifting away from traditional items in department stores toward move service-oriented products, traditional mall traffic trends remain "suppressed" and weather trends across the U.S. in August and September were not "ideal" for mall-based retailers. WHAT'S NOTABLE: J.C. Penney recently named John Tighe as executive vice president and chief merchant, effective October 1. Tighe, most recently senior vice president and senior general merchandise manager for the men's, children's, footwear, handbag and intimate apparel divisions, will succeed Elizabeth "Liz" Sweney, the company said. On August 31, Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell upgraded J.C. Penney to Buy from Hold and raised his price target on the stock to $12 from $10, calling the company a "self-help story." Trussell noted that the company has already improved its merchandise mix and is now moving toward better pricing and fewer markdowns. Trussell said that the company's target of mid-single digit same-store sales growth looks "achievable" and its brands and assortment "look right." OTHERS TO WATCH: Other department store operators include Macy's (M), Kohl's (KSS) and Sears Holdings (SHLD). PRICE ACTION: J.C. Penney is up 1.5% to $9.57 in morning trading and is up nearly 50% year-to-date.
10:02 EDTNFLXNetflix licenses global streaming rights for 'Colony'
Netflix, Inc., Legendary Television and Universal Cable Productions announced that Netflix has acquired subscription video on demand rights on a global basis to COLONY, a highly anticipated new drama from Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal, which premieres on USA January 14, 2016. COLONY is a co-production between Legendary Television and Universal Cable Productions.
09:36 EDTAMZN Active equity options trading on open
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07:56 EDTNFLXNetflix appears to have a hit with Narcos, says UBS
UBS analyst Doug Mitchelson said the firm's "Evidence Lab" found that Netflix' Narcos is already among the top four most liked of the company's original shows on Facebook in less than 1 month after premiering, adding that the reception of the show has been particularly strong in Latin America. The apparent hit increases the firm's confidence in Q3 subscriber growth estimates for both the U.S. and international markets, Mitchelson told investors in a research note. The analyst also noted that Netflix ranked sixth in week 1 and 24th in week 2 in terms of iOS app downloads for Japan after launching there. Though the launch is the weakest internationally since 2013, the size of the market should still let it contribute to Q3, wrote Mitchelson who keeps a Buy rating and $143 price target on Netflix shares.
06:42 EDTMPerfume makers look to Wal-Mart, Target, WSJ reports
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06:27 EDTNFLXNetflix acquires rights to three more TV shows, Variety reports
Netflix has acquired the global streaming rights to CW's "Jane the Virgin," USA's "Colony" and CBS's "Zoo," sources confirm to Variety. Netflix previously announced the acquisition of exclusive global rights to ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder." Reference Link
06:22 EDTAMZNAmazon acquires Safaba Translation Systems, TechFlash reports
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September 25, 2015
16:00 EDTNFLX, AMZNOptions Update; September 25, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures up 66c to 25.09. Option volume leaders: AAPL NFLX BAC FB AU NKE PFE INTC AMZN TSLA
14:59 trades off lows, levels to watch
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11:58 EDTNFLXStocks with call strike movement; TWTR NFLX
Twitter (TWTR) January 32 call option implied volatility increased 2% to 53, Netflix (NFLX) January 115.7 call option implied volatility decreased 2% to 55 according to IVolatility.
10:48 EDTNFLXMorgan Stanley cautious on media, but sees several stocks punished too hard
Morgan Stanley cut its price targets on a number of media companies, citing the impact of cord cutting and skinny bundles. The firm also reduced its outlook for the pay-TV sector due to its belief that the adoption of skinny bundles will accelerate, while the outlook for cable TV ads has deteriorated slightly, given macro pressures. The firm kept a Cautious view on the media sector, but also identified several stocks in the space that it thinks have been punished too harshly by investors recently. WHAT'S NEW: TV networks in general, and cable networks in particular, have the highest margins in media and are encountering increased top and bottom line competitive pressures, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne believes. On the top line, they are being hit by ratings and ad pressures as well as cord cutting and distribution consolidation, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, their profit is being hurt by the increased need to obtain new content and intensified competition for content from new sources like Netflix (NFLX) and Google's (GOOG) YouTube, Swinburne said. However, the analyst thinks that media stocks are "starting to get" cheap, given the leverage that many of the companies carry. Swinburne cuts his price target on 21st Century Fox (FOXA) to $31 from $37, on AMC Networks (AMCX) to $86 from $88, on CBS (CBS) to $46 from $56, on Time Warner (TWX) to $72 from $87 and on Viacom (VIAB) to $48 from $60. He kept Overweight ratings on Fox, AMC and CBS, an Equal Weight rating on Time Warner and an Underweight rating on Viacom. OVERDONE DECLINES: Swinburne believes that the declines in three media stocks - CBS, 21st Century Fox, and AMC Networks - have been overdone, while the decline in Comcast's (CMCSA) stock has also been excessive. CBS and 21st Century Fox are "best positioned for the skinny bundle" and have the cheapest valuations relative to their growth rates, Swinburne believes. Meanwhile, AMC Networks has "content momentum" and its EPS can exceed expectations, the analyst believes. Comcast is gaining share in the broadband Internet market, could take share in video soon, and has sufficient scale and offerings to benefit from the increased popularity of skinny bundles, according to the analyst, who kept an Overweight rating on the stock. The media sector could benefit from consolidation going forward, added Swinburne, who recommended that investors interested in buying potential takeover targets in the space focus on AMC Networks, MSG Networks (MSG) and Dreamworks Animation (DWA). He kept Overweight ratings on all three of those stocks. OTHERS TO WATCH: Besides Comcast, other pay TV companies include DISH Network (DISH) and Charter Communications (CHTR). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Fox A shares lost 0.5% to $25.83, AMC fell 0.3% to $73.29, CBS added 0.2% to $41, Time Warner was little changed at $67.66 and Comcast A shares added 0.6% to $57.17.
09:34 EDTNFLXActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL BAC FB NKE NFLX PFE AU TSLA
08:53 EDTMFinish Line says September comps month to date up low single digits
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08:30 EDTAMZNInternap downgraded on earnings miss, negative outlook at Oppenheimer
As noted earlier, Oppenheimer downgraded Internap (INAP) to Perform from Outperform. The firm downgraded the stock after the company significantly lowered its guidance. Oppenheimer says that Internap is not benefiting from strong demand for its prices, while Amazoin (AMZN) is poised to reduce its cloud prices significantly next month, hurting Internap in the process. The firm thinks that if Internap sells the company it will probably obtain less than $10 per share, making the stock's risk/reward unattractive at current levels.
06:13 EDTNFLXPiper's Munster sees building virtual reality momentum for Facebook
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says Facebook's (FB) virtual reality theme is building momentum after its Oculus unit announced a 50% price cut for its mobile VR solution headset to $99. Also announced was that the headset, named Gear VR, will work with five phones versus three in the past. A better virtual reality experience is now available to a larger market and the "critically important" content is growing, Munster tells investors in a research note. Oculus has partnerships with Netflix (NFLX), Hulu, Tivo (TIVO), Sega and Midway to bring their content into Gear VR, Munster points out. He expects Samsung to sell 5M-10M Oculus enabled Gear VR headsets next year, up from around 1M in 2015. Munster maintains an Overweight rating on Facebook with a $146 price target. The stock closed yesterday up 44c to $94.41.
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