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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For WMT;MA;GPS;TGT;SKS From The Last 14 Days
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September 2, 2015
17:47 EDTMA, MACLSA starts PayPal at Underperform, says no Visa or MasterCard
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September 1, 2015
18:01 EDTTGTTarget to serve alcohol in Chicago store, Fortune says
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11:45 EDTTGTTarget cuts nearly 240 tech-related jobs in Twin Cities, Star Tribune says
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August 31, 2015
09:51 EDTWMTWal-Mart reduces worker hours to cut costs, Bloomberg reports
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August 27, 2015
06:23 EDTWMTWal-Mart extends holiday layaway program two weeks, Reuters reports
Wal-Mart (WMT) plans to boost its holiday layaway program by two weeks ahead of an expected year-end demand for Star Wars toys, a Disney (DIS) property, Reuters reports. The retailer will jumpstart the program on August 28, two weeks earlier than last year, the report says, citing comments from Anne Marie Kehoe, VP of toys at Wal-Mart. Reference Link
August 26, 2015
20:03 EDTGPSGap to stop on-call shifts by late September
In a company blog post published Wednesday, Gap announced a commitment to eliminate the use of on-call shifts across the organization. The work began earlier in the summer, said the company, and all five brands have aligned on a complete phase-out of this practice by the end of September. Additionally, each of Gap's brands has committed to improving scheduling policies to provide store employees with at least 10-14 days notice. The majority of brands will be rolling out these new policies in September, and all Gap brands are committed to phasing in advanced schedules by early 2016. Reference Link
14:52 EDTWMTWal-Mart phasing out sales of modern sport rifles, Washington Post says
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August 25, 2015
16:01 EDTTGTTarget sees $550M pretax gain after closing CVS transaction
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August 24, 2015
15:01 EDTTGTWyndham slips after FTC given go-ahead for data breach lawsuit
Shares of Wyndham (WYN) have slipped in afternoon trading after an appeals court ruled that the FTC can sue the company over its allegedly poor cybersecurity practices. WHAT'S NEW: According to a Reuters report of court proceedings, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has ruled that the FTC may proceed with its lawsuit against Wyndham over data breaches in 2008 and 2009, saying the hotel company failed to take reasonable steps to protect customer information. Wyndham's allegedly lackluster data protection policies constitute "unfair and deceptive trade practices," granting the Federal Trade Commission authority to step in, said Judge Thomas Ambro. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez commented, "It is not only appropriate, but critical, that the FTC has the ability to take action on behalf of consumers when companies fail to take reasonable steps to secure sensitive consumer information," according to the report. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Today's ruling comes in the wake of numerous high-profile "hack attacks," with American Airlines (AAL), Anthem (ANTM), United Airlines (UAL) and Target (TGT) all reporting digital security breaches in recent years. Though no final verdict has been reached in the case between the FTC and Wyndham, Judge Ambro may have established the beginnings of a legal precedent potentially allowing the Commission to sue companies for not going far enough to protect consumer data and Chairwoman Ramirez appeared to share that broader tone. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Wyndham are down about 4% in intraday trading. Cybersecurity firms FireEye (FEYE) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) are down roughly 2% and 2.7% for the afternoon.
13:17 EDTTGTTarget to pay $2.8M to resolve EEOC discrimination finding
Target has agreed to pay $2.8M to resolve a Commissioner's charge of discrimination which was investigated in the Minneapolis Area Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. Based on the investigation, EEOC found reasonable cause to believe that three employment assessments formerly used by Target disproportionately screened out applicants for exempt-level professional positions based on race and sex. The tests were not sufficiently job-related and consistent with business necessity, and thus violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, EEOC found. In addition, EEOC found that one of the assessments Target formerly used in its hiring process also violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The EEOC determined that this particular assessment performed by psychologists on behalf of Target was a pre-employment medical examination. Employers are prohibited by the ADA from subjecting applicants to medical examinations prior to an offer of employment. EEOC found that Target also committed record-keeping violations by failing to maintain records sufficient to assess the impact of its hiring procedures. EEOC's investigation revealed that thousands were adversely affected when Target used these assessments in its hiring process. The monetary settlement will be divided among these individuals as appropriate. Target will pay for a claims administrator to distribute the funds.
August 21, 2015
16:34 EDTWMTMarket enters correction territory in worst week in four years
For the week, stocks plummeted amid concerns about a slowing Chinese economy and declining oil prices. MACRO NEWS: Monday, the Empire State manufacturing index crashed to -14.92 in August after rebounding to 3.86 in July from June's -1.98. The consensus estimate was 4.75, and the surprising drop puts the index at its lowest point since April 2009... Meanwhile, the NAHB homebuilder sentiment index rose to 61 in August from 60 in June, matching consensus estimates... Tuesday, July housing starts edged up 0.2% to 1.206M, beating consensus estimates for 1.180M in the best reading since October 2007. Building permits, however, fell 16.3% to 1.119M against expectations for 1.230M, while single family starts rose 12.8% and multifamily numbers fell 17.0%... Wednesday, the July consumer price index edged up 0.1% against expectations for 0.2% reading. The core reading, which excludes food and energy, also came in at 0.1% versus consensus estimates of 0.2%... Meanwhile, FOMC minutes showed no definitive indication of a September rate hike... Thursday, initial jobless claims rose to 277,000 from a revised 273,000, bringing the 4-week moving average to 271,500... The Philadelphia Fed index rose 2.6 points to 8.3 in August, beating expectations for a 7.5 reading... Friday, the PMI Manufacturing Index Flash for August came in at a level of 52.9, below the prior level of 53.8 and the consensus level of 54.2. COMPANY NEWS: Monday, Liberty Interactive (QVCA) announced an agreement to acquire zulily (ZU) for $18.75 per share in a deal valuing the online shopping site at $2.4B. The acquisition will be attributed to Liberty's QVC tracking stock, though the companies specified that QVC and zulily will operate as separate brands... Amazon (AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos downplayed a recent New York Times critique of the company's workplace practices, telling employees in an email that "the article doesn't describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day..." Tuesday, Wal-Mart (WMT) cut its full year earnings outlook, with company executives on a subsequent conference call expressing confidence in China but noting that Brazil and U.K. remain challenging markets for the company... Wednesday, Seagate Technology (STX) agreed to acquire Dot Hill Systems (HILL) for $9.75 per share, noting that it expects the deal to be non-GAAP EPS accretive in fiscal 2016... Thursday, Valeant (VRX) agreed to acquire Sprout Pharmaceuticals for roughly $1B in cash plus a profit-sharing agreement, adding that it expects to bring the company's recently-approved female sexual dysfunction drug Addyi to the U.S. by Q4... Friday, Steiner Leisure (STNR) entered into a definitive merger agreement where an affiliate of Catterton will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Steiner for $65 per share in cash. INDEXES: For the week, the Dow lost about 5.79% to close at 16,459.75, the Nasdaq declined about 6.71% to close at 4,706.04, and the S&P 500 fell about 5.73% to close at 1,970.89.
August 20, 2015
19:53 EDTTGTRetailers, others question heightened fees at Port of Oakland, WSJ says
After the Port of Oakland said it is considering implementing additional fees, the Retail Industry Leaders Association told the Federal Maritime Commission that it is "troubled" due to the lack of details regarding the fees, according to the Wall Street Journal. The retailer group also questioned the general effectiveness of such a program, and the Agriculture Transportation Coalition echoed the criticism, said the report. Note that executives from Lowe's (LOW), Best Buy (BBY), Target (TGT), Coca-Cola (KO), J.C. Penney (JCP), Tyson Foods (TSN), SunOpta (STKL), and Whole Foods (WFM) serve on the boards of the aforementioned associations. Reference Link
18:13 EDTGPSGap says FY16 currency headwinds may be the same as FY15
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17:03 EDTGPSGap sees Q3-end inventory dollars per store down slightly year-over-year
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17:02 EDTGPSGap sees FY15 net new company-operated stores about flat
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16:05 EDTGPSGap backs FY15 EPS view of $2.75-$2.80, consensus $2.73
Gap reaffirmed its full-year EPS guidance to be in the range of $2.75-$2.80 for FY15, excluding the negative impact associated with the strategic actions. The company updated its estimate of the charges associated with the strategic actions to approximately $130M-$140M, from the previously announced range of $140M-$160M. This guidance is provided to enhance visibility into the company's expectations regarding its ongoing business, excluding the strategic actions. Gap continues to expect operating margin, excluding the impact associated with the strategic actions, to be down about 1 percentage point in FY15 compared with FY14.
16:03 EDTGPSGap reports Q2 SSS down 2%
Comparable sales by global brand for Q2 were as follows: Gap Global: negative 6% versus negative 5% last year; Banana Republic Global: negative 4% versus flat last year; Old Navy Global: positive 3% versus positive 4% last year.
16:01 EDTGPSGap reports Q2 EPS ex-items 64c, consensus 64c
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14:42 EDTGPSNotable companies reporting after market close
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14:37 EDTGPSGap technical comments ahead of earnings
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