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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
December 26, 2012
10:13 EDTWTW, HLF, NTRI, MEDMedifast tumbles after acting CFO resigns
Shares of Medifast (MED), which distributes and sells health and diet products, are retreating after the company announced that its acting CFO Edward Powers had resigned, effective no later than January 4. Powers became acting CFO on November 13 and is also the company's principal accounting officer. Medifast competes with Herbalife (HLF), which has come under fire recently from billionaire fund manager Bill Ackman. According to Ackman, Herbalife is operating a pyramid scheme that will eventually collapse. Ackman is shorting Herbalife's stock. Other companies that compete with Medifast are Weight Watchers (WTW) and NutriSystem (NTRI). In early trading, Medifast slumped $3.47, or 11.82%, to $25.89, while Herbalife advanced $1.08, or 4.14%, to $27.14 after the Wall Street Journal reported earlier that it has hired a law firm to help it fight back against Ackman.
News For MED;HLF;WTW;NTRI From The Last 14 Days
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February 8, 2016
14:41 EDTHLFHerbalife puts active into Pershing Square webcasting video
Herbalife February weekly 42 and March 35 puts are active on total put volume of 4,900 contracts (1,700 calls) into Pershing Square webcasting video about Herbalife on February 9. February weekly put option implied volatility is at 77, February is at 56, March is at 64; compared to its 52-week range of 34 to 106. Active put volume suggests traders taking positions for price movement.
14:05 EDTHLFPershing Square to webcast video about Herbalife on February 9
Pershing Square Capital Management announced that it will webcast "The American Dream Denied," a video about Herbalife, tomorrow, February 9, at 11:30 am Eastern time. Pershing stated: "Herbalife has attempted to convince regulators, elected officials, and the public that it has cleaned up its act and made substantial improvements to its business model. But the stories of Herbalife distributors show that millions of people are still being harmed by the company every day. The changes the company has made do not impact Herbalife's pyramidal compensation plan or the predatory practices Herbalife uses to deceive aspiring entrepreneurs. The 'new Herbalife' is no different than the old Herbalife."
February 1, 2016
12:42 EDTHLFHerbalife names John Agwunobi Chief Health and Nutrition Officer
Herbalife announces that John Agwunobi has joined the company as its Chief Health and Nutrition Officer. Most notably, from 2005-2007, he served as the Assistant Secretary of Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
09:27 EDTHLFOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Alere (ALR), up 45.4% after announcing that Abbott (ABT) will acquire the company for $56 per share... Questar (STR), up 20.2% after announcing that Dominion (D) will acquire the company for $25 per share and assumed debt... Mast Therapeutics (MSTX), up 12.2% after the Phase 2a study of AIR001 met its primary endpoint... Twitter (TWTR), up 5.7% after The Information reported that Marc Andreessen and Silver Lake have considered a deal for Twitter... Herbalife (HLF), up 2.2% after the Wall Street Journal reported that probes into Bill Ackman's "pyramid scheme" accusations against Herbalife, as well as Herbalife's own accusations that Ackman sought to manipulate the company's stock, have both failed to uncover enough evidence to support criminal charges. LOWER: Dominion Resources, down 1.7% after reporting quarterly results and that it will acquire Questar... Abbott, down 4.1% after announcing that it will acquire Alere... GoPro (GPRO), down 4.4% after Piper Jaffray cut its price target to $7.50.
09:04 EDTHLFHerbalife moves higher in pre-market
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January 31, 2016
20:43 EDTHLFOn The Fly: Top five weekend stock stories
Catch up on the weekend's top five stories with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Coca-Cola (KO) announced a minority stake in diary and juice company Chi, with plans to take full ownership within three years. 2. Billionaire investor Nelson Peltz is considering taking an activist position in Time Warner (TWX), the New York Post reported. 3. Toyota (TM) could temporarily halt domestic production after an explosion at a key supplier curbed its supply of steel, Reuters said. 4. Investigations into Herbalife (HLF), as well as investigations into Bill Ackman himself, have fizzled and criminal charges look unlikely, the Wall Street Journal revealed. 5. Virtu Financial (VIRT) and Ctrip (CTRP) were discussed positively by Barron's this week, as well as "tech bargains" Autodesk (ADSK), Akamai (AKAM), Western Digital (WDC), SanDisk (SNDK) and Lam Research (LRCX) and attractive banking stocks Citi (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
19:24 EDTHLFHerbalife, Ackman probes fail to find criminal evidence, WSJ says
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11:39 EDTWTWS&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
10:05 EDTMED, NTRIOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
Today's noteworthy initiations include: American Equity (AEL) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital... Calpine (CPN) initiated with a Buy at Guggenheim... Diamondback Energy (FANG) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital... Dynegy (DYN) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... ICF International (ICFI) initiated with a Market Perform at Barrington... Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust... Kite Pharma (KITE) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust... Match Group (MTCH) initiated with a Neutral at Susquehanna... Medifast (MED) initiated with a Hold at Wunderlich... NRG Energy (NRG) initiated with a Buy at Guggenheim... NRG Yield (NYLD) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... Nutrisystem (NTRI) initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich... Parsley Energy (PE) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital... Precision Drilling (PDS) initiated with a Hold at Canaccord... RSP Permian (RSPP) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital... Taylor Morrison (TMHC) initiated with a Neutral at Citi... Tortoise North American Energy (TYN) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... WisdomTree (WETF) initiated with a Neutral at Northcoast.
07:37 EDTMEDMedifast initiated with a Hold at Wunderlich
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07:36 EDTNTRINutrisystem initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich
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