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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 15, 2014
12:39 EDTMNST, KO, VRNG, ACHN, TASR, GOOG, AOL, JCP, JWNOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in positive territory despite some soft economic data points, including a weaker than expected report on manufacturing in the New York area and a lower than expected consumer confidence reading. The market drifted higher after the bell, but lost all momentum when reports surfaced that the Ukraine army fired on a Russian convoy that crossed the border. The equity averages quickly fell, while oil prices rose and gold recouped some of its early losses. ECONOMIC EVENTS: The NY Fed's Empire manufacturing survey had a reading of 14.69, versus expectations for a 20.0 reading. The Producer Price Index increased 0.1% overall, matching expectations. The core reading was up 0.2%, which was also in-line with the consensus forecast. Industrial production increased 0.4% in July, beating the consensus 0.2% growth forecast. That nudged up capacity utilization to 79.2%, versus 79.1% previously. The first University of Michigan consumer confidence reading for August fell 2.6 points to 79.2, versus expectations for it to have edged up to 82.0. Treasury international capital data showed foreigners dumped $153.5B in total U.S. assets in July after buying a revised $33.1B in June. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of beverage company Monster Beverage (MNST) surged 27% higher after Coca-Cola (KO) took a 16.7% stake in the energy drink maker and the companies announced a long-term strategic partnership and asset swap. Coca-Cola will pay $2.15B for a 16.7% stake in Monster Beverage, the companies announced last night. Under the terms of their agreement, Coca-Cola will add two directors to Monster's board. Coke will transfer ownership of its worldwide energy business including brands like NOS, Full Throttle, Burn, Mother, Play and Power Play, and Relentless to Monster. Monster will transfer its non-energy business. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), which rose 11% after the company announced interim results from an ongoing Phase 2 proxy study of a potential chronic hepatitis C virus regimen that analysts at Piper Jaffray called "impressive." Also higher was Taser (TASR), which gained 8% after Craig-Hallum said in a note to investors that its checks indicate Taser's AXON on-officer body cam will be rolled out to 16K London Met police officers over the next two years. Among the noteworthy losers was Vringo (VRNG), which plunged 75% after confirming that an appeals court reversed a jury's verdict and held that the asserted claims of the patents-in-suit in the company's wholly-owned subsidiary I/P Engine's litigation against Google (GOOG), AOL (AOL) and others are invalid. Also lower following their earnings reports were two department store operators: J.C. Penney (JCP), which fell nearly 4%, and Nordstrom (JWN), which dropped more than 4%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 86.25, or 0.52%, to 16,627.33, the Nasdaq was down 11.44, or 0.26%, to 4,441.56, and the S&P 500 was down 6.54, or 0.33%, to 1,948.64.
News For MNST;KO;VRNG;ACHN;TASR;GOOG;AOL;JCP;JWN From The Last 14 Days
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October 13, 2014
13:53 EDTGOOGYouTube to open New York video production studio
Google's YouTube announced that it would open a new video production studio in New York next month. YouTube already has video production facilities in London, Los Angeles and Tokyo.
13:10 EDTGOOGGoogle's Schmidt says Amazon is company's biggest search rival, FT reports
Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google (GOOG), says Amazon (AMZN) is his company's biggest rival in search, not Bing (MSFT) or Yahoo (YHOO), the Financial Times reports. Schmidt also argued in Berlin that Google should not be regulated "as if it were the gatekeeper of the internet," given the influence of Amazon and Facebook (FB). Reference Link
12:16 EDTJCPOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were slightly lower at midday amid light trading volume. Banks and bond markets are closed in observance of the Columbus Day holiday, though equity markets remain open. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no major economic data was reported. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of a number of freight train operators rose after The Wall Street Journal reported that one of the companies in the sector, CSX (CSX), was approached by a larger rival, Canadian Pacific (CP), about a possible merger. Following the Journal's report, CSX rose 10% and Canadian Pacific advanced 1%, while Norfolk Southern (NSC) and Kansas City Southern (KSU) both climbed about 3%... Chrysler returned to the U.S. stock market, as shares of Fiat Chrysler began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FCAU." MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was J.C. Penney (JCP), which rose 3% after the company selected Marvin Ellison, who is currently executive vice president of stores at Home Depot (HD), to become its next CEO. Also higher were Atlas Energy (ATLS), which rose 20%, and Atlas Pipeline Partners (APL), which advanced 6%, after Targa Resources Partners (NGLS) and Targa Resources (TRGP) agreed to acquire Atlas Pipeline Partners for cash and stock valued at $38.66 per APL common unit and agreed to buy Atlas Energy following the company's spin-off of its non-midstream assets. Among the noteworthy losers was Aerohive Networks (HIVE), which plunged 30% after the company lowered its guidance for the third quarter, citing weaker-than-expected order volume near the quarter's end. Also lower were shares of GoPro (GPRO), which fell over 8% after a French journalist reported that the son of racing legend Michael Schumacher attributed the severity of his father's brain injury following a skiing accident on the GoPro camera mounted to his helmet. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 32.14, or 0.19%, to 16,511.96, the Nasdaq was down 7.97, or 0.19%, to 4,268.27, and the S&P 500 was down 6.85, or 0.36%, to 1,899.28.
12:13 EDTAOLYahoo upgraded as BGC sees higher chances for tax efficient monetization
Research firm BGC Partners upgraded its rating on Yahoo (YHOO) to Buy from Hold, saying that the chances of the company monetizing its assets in a more tax efficient manner have increased now that Alibaba (BABA) has come public. Among the possible scenarios, Yahoo may be acquired by Alibaba, the firm added. WHAT'S NEW: Yahoo's chances of paying a relatively low tax rate on the sale of its stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, a Japanese Internet company, have risen, BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis stated. Yahoo could owe up to $15B of taxes on its sale of the assets, the analyst estimated. If Yahoo pays full tax liability, its stakes would be worth $43.5B. If it pays no taxes, the assets would be worth $58.5B, he estimated. Gillis set his price target on Yahoo at $50, representing the midpoint of the two scenarios, he stated. Among various scenarios that could play out, Alibaba could choose to buy Yahoo and subsequently unload Yahoo's core business and the American company's stake in Yahoo Japan, the analyst said. Yahoo shareholders could receive cash and shares of Alibaba as part of such a deal, Gillis stated. If Yahoo is not acquired by Alibaba, the American company should combine with AOL (AOL), as recently proposed by activist investor Starboard Value, Gillis contended. Merging with AOL could accelerate Yahoo's revenue growth by over 50% and increase its EBITDA by over 35%, Gillis estimated. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Yahoo fell 1% to $39.18.
12:05 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney risk/reward remains balanced, says RW Baird
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10:12 EDTJCPHome Depot bench deep, Ellison departure not surprising, says RW Baird
RW Baird said it is not surprised to see Marvin Ellison leaving Home Depot (HD) since he was likely in the running for the CEO post that went to someone else, but the firm expects a smooth internal transition and noted that it views the company's management bench as deep. Baird, which maintains its Outperform rating on Home Depot, believes J.C. Penney (JCP) is getting a strong leader with extensive retail experience in hiring Ellison.
10:08 EDTJCPOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Bankrate (RATE) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens... CME Group (CME) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Cliffs Natural (CLF) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Dana Holding (DAN) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... Darden (DRI) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray... Dover (DOV) downgraded to Neutral at RW Baird... DryShips (DRYS) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at Imperial Capital... Infineon (IFNNY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... J.C. Penney (JCP) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS... Johnson Controls (JCI) downgraded to Outperform from Top Pick at RBC Capital... Juniper (JNPR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus... Kennametal (KMT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Masco (MAS) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... New Gold (NGD) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... ON Semiconductor (ONNN) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Pacific Crest... PBF Energy (PBF) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Parker-Hannifin (PH) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... STMicroelectronics (STM) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Silicon Laboratories (SLAB) downgraded to Sector Perform at Pacific Crest... VOXX International (VOXX) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen.
10:06 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney rises after selecting Home Depot executive as next CEO
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08:38 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney names Marvin Ellison CEO-Designee
The board of J. C. Penney (JCP) announced the appointment of Marvin Ellison, currently executive vice president of stores at Home Depot (HD), as president and CEO-Designee, effective November 1. Ellison will also join the board. He will then succeed Myron E. Ullman, III as CEO of JCPenney on August 1, 2015. At that time, Ullman will become executive chairman of the board for a period of one year.
08:06 EDTGOOGQihoo 360 launches ad exchange platform, Marbridge Daily reports
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07:57 EDTGOOGGoogle price target lowered to $650 from $685 at Cowen
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07:53 EDTGOOGYouTube changes have diffused much of tension with copyright holders, FT says
YouTube, which implemented Content ID in 2007 to help producers manage their rights and generate revenues from copyright-infringing content, has hit $1B in payments to companies that participate in the program and Fred von Lohmann, legal director for copyright at Google, credits the program for diffusing much of the tension the site previously had with copyright holders, reported Financial Times. Via Content ID, copyright owners can “monetize” their content by allowing ads to be sold against it or have the video blocked and taken down and von Lohmann told Financial Times that the "vast majority" choose to monetize. Reference Link
07:37 EDTVRNGVringo provides update on Romanian litigation
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07:31 EDTTASRTASER announces four international orders
TASER announced four international orders for TASER brand next generation Smart Weapons and conducted electrical weapons. These international orders from four different countries were received and shipped in Q3.
07:26 EDTMNSTAB InBev has studied potential deal to acquire PepsiCo, Bloomberg says
Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), which has a history of growth via acquisition and has been speculated to be targeting peer SABMiller (SBMRY), has also studied whether a merger with PepsiCo (PEP) makes sense, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. The report added that one source said no talks between Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi are ongoing, no deal is imminent, and the scenario is among many that has been examined. The report also noted that Albert Fried views Monster Beverage (MNST) and Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) as other suitable targets for AB InBev. Reference Link
07:22 EDTGOOGSony/ATV could ditch licensing firms due to streaming dollars, NY Post reports
Sony/ATV Music Publishing (SNE) is considering no longer dealing with performance rights groups BMI and ASCP, and instead negotiating directly with online music services like Pandora (P), YouTube (GOOG) and Spotify due to outdated rules and low royalties, the New York Post reports. Reference Link
06:44 EDTGOOGGoogle testing feature that allows video chats with doctors, Engadget reports
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06:44 EDTGOOGGoogle could announce new Nexus tablet on October 15, 9to5Google reports
Google's new Nexus tablet may be announced on Wednesday, October 15, 9to5Google reports, citing Bright Side of News. The HTC-made tablet is rumored to cost $400. Reference Link
06:15 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS
UBS downgraded its rating on J.C. Penney (JCP) shares to Sell saying the company's 2017 EBITDA target of $1.2B is overly optimistic as it assumes years of market share gains against strong competitors like Macy's (M) and Kohl's (KSS). UBS halved its price target for Penney shares to $5 from $10. The retailer's stock closed Friday down 52c to $7.12.
06:07 EDTACHNStocks with implied volatility above IV index mean; AVP ACHN
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