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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 22, 2014
06:20 EDTERIC, EBAY, MSFT, FMicrosoft search for new CEO upsets other companies, Bloomberg reports
There's a growing list of executives whose staff was surprised by news that their boss was being considered by another company, and most notably, to succeed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, reports Bloomberg. The exposure can cause frustration in the executive suite and confusion in employee ranks, and can lead to infighting among deputies seeking to fill a void. Reference Link]:[http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-22/microsoft-ceo-search-rattles-boards-from-ford-to-ericsson.html]
News For MSFT;ERIC;F;EBAY From The Last 14 Days
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February 2, 2016
18:23 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to acquire Swiftkey for $250M, FT says
Microsoft will pay roughly $250M to acquire Swiftkey, a developer of AI-driven smartphone typing technology, reports the Financial Times, citing sources. The deal is set to be announced this week, said the report. Reference Link
16:23 EDTFOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Tuesday
Stocks began the session in negative territory and remained there throughout the entire session. The early weakness was attributed to oil prices, which were down early and never recovered during the day. The losses of more than 5% brings the loss over the past two days to more than 10%, pushing WTI crude back below $30 a barrel and squashing equities in the process. Any hope that oil prices would de-couple from stock prices will have to wait another day as the two continue to move in lockstep with each other. Even a solid earnings report from tech bellwether Alphabet (GOOG) could not help the market. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the economic calendar was quiet. In Europe, statistics agency Eurostat reported that unemployment across the eurozone decreased by 49,000 to a total of 16.75M in December dropping the unemployment rate to its lowest since September 2011 at 10.4%. In central bank news, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Reserve Bank of India both held their benchmark interest rates steady, as expected. COMPANY NEWS: Class A shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) advanced 1.3% to $780.91 after its better than expected quarterly results were followed by analysts around Wall Street hiking their price targets for shares, including Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler, who raised his target on the parent of Google to $1,080 from $900... Exxon Mobil (XOM) reported better than expected revenue and profits in the fourth quarter, but its shares slid 2.2% to $74.61 amid the renewed weakness in oil prices. Shares of fellow oil major BP (BP) plunged 8.5% to $29.02 in New York trading after reporting a steep quarterly loss, largely due to $2.6B in charges related to impairments of Upstream assets as well as restructuring... Ford (F) shares fell 4.6% after the company reporting that its U.S. sales declined 3% last month versus a year ago. Peer General Motors (GM) slid 1.5% after reporting that its U.S. sales grew 0.5% in January... Dow Chemical (DOW) jumped 5.75% to $45.03 after posting better than expected earnings and revenue. Of note, Dow CEO Andrew Liveris said he plans to transition out of the company when it completes its planned merger with DuPont (DD). MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Michael Kors (KORS) and Mattel (MAT), which rose nearly 24% and almost 14%, respectively, following their earnings reports. Also higher was Pacific Biosciences (PACB), which jumped 24% to $12.67 after Reuters said Roche (RHHBY) has recently approached the company to discuss a potential acquisition. Among the noteworthy losers following earnings were Integrated Device (IDTI), which fell 26.8%, ADT (ADT), which dropped 15.7%, and Royal Caribbean (RCL), which declined 15.2%. INDEXES: The Dow fell 295.64, or 1.8%, to 16,153.54, the Nasdaq lost 103.42, or 2.24%, to 4,516.95, and the S&P 500 declined 36.35, or 1.87%, to 1,903.03.
14:11 EDTFAutodata estimates January U.S. auto sales pace at 17.58M, CNBC reports
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12:03 EDTFOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Wall Street began the session in negative territory and the averages have remained there throughout the day as oil once again weighs on stocks. The price of oil has slid another 4%, giving the commodity a roughly 10% loss over the past two trading sessions. The market's late day rally yesterday gave hope for a decoupling between equities and oil prices, but that appears to be a one day reprieve as the stocks are back in lock-step with crude prices. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the economic calendar was quiet. In Europe, statistics agency Eurostat reported that unemployment across the eurozone decreased by 49,000 to a total of 16.75M in December dropping the unemployment rate to its lowest since September 2011 at 10.4%. In central bank news, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Reserve Bank of India both held their benchmark interest rates steady, as expected. COMPANY NEWS: Class A shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) advanced 5% in the wake of its report of better than expected quarterly earnings and revenue, pushing Google's parent company to overtake Apple (AAPL) as the world's most valuable publicly-traded company in the process... Exxon Mobil (XOM) reported better than expected revenue and profits in the fourth quarter, but its shares slid 2.5% amid the renewed weakness in oil prices. Shares of fellow oil major BP (BP) plunged 8% in New York trading after reporting a steep quarterly loss, largely due to $2.6B in charges related to impairments of Upstream assets as well as restructuring... Pfizer (PFE) reported better than expected fourth quarter results, but forecast 2016 revenue and earnings below analysts' estimates, pushing its shares down fractionally. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Syngenta (SYT), which rallied 4.5% after Bloomberg reported that ChemChina was close to a deal to buy the company for nearly $43B. Also higher were Mattel (MAT), Michael Kors (KORS), and Fabrinet (FN), which gained 12%, 22%, and 12.5%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the noteworthy losers was Twitter (TWTR), which fell 8% after it was downgraded to Sell at Stifel and following a report claimed that tweets on the service are down 50% from their peak. Also lower were AGCO (AGCO), Harris (HRS), and Pitney Bowes (PBI), which were down 10%, 9.5%, and 11%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. In addition, Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) lost 4% and 3.6%, respectively, after reporting U.S. sales for the month of January. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 239.86, or 1.46%, to 16,209.32, the Nasdaq was down 64.83, or 1.4%, to 4,555.54, and the S&P 500 was down 27.87, or 1.44%, to 1,911.51.
11:28 EDTMSFTEarnings Watch: Yahoo set to unveil cost reduction plan following Q4 report
Yahoo (YHOO) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the market close on Tuesday, February 2 with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Yahoo is a digital media company that provides properties and services such as Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! News. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 13c on revenue of $1.19B. The consensus range is 6c-18c for EPS, and $1.17B-$1.22B for revenue, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: Yahoo reported third quarter EPS 15c against estimates of 17c on revenue of $1.23B against estimates of $1.26B. The company reported Q3 Gross Search revenue down 2% to $870M, Display revenue down 14% to $509M, price-per-ad up 8%, and price-per-click down 2%. Looking ahead, Yahoo guided Q4 revenue of $1.16B-$1.20B, net income of $10M-$50M, and adjusted EBITDA of $160M-$200M. CEO Marissa Mayer commented that the Q4 guidance is "not indicative of the performance we want." Mayer added that the company will be disciplined on its headcount and will work differentiate search product over the next few quarters. In its Q3 earnings report, Yahoo also announced a services agreement with Google (GOOG, GOOGL) that runs through 2018. Google will provide Yahoo with search advertisements through Google's AdSense for Search service web algorithmic search services through Google's Websearch Service, and image search services. CEO Marissa Mayer said the partnership will be nonexclusive and will remain supplementary to the existing Microsoft (MSFT) relationship. NEWS AND STREET RESEARCH: In the past quarter, Yahoo announced that it suspended work on its plan to spin off remaining holdings in Alibaba (BABA). The company said it will evaluate alternative transaction structures to separate Alibaba stake following concerns about the market's perception of tax risk. Yahoo added that a reverse spin of the Alibaba stake may take a year or more to conclude. In a call to discuss the decision, Yahoo said it was "prudent" to explore options given the tax uncertainty while an Alibaba spin would take too long to get clarity. On an interview with CNBC, Mayer said the core business sale is on a "board level consideration," but no determination was made to sell the company or part of it. Following the announcement, SunTrust said Yahoo made a "great" decision given the tax risks of selling the Alibaba stake. The firm added that a sale of Yahoo's core or the entire company is the most likely outcome after reasoning that investors will not want to undergo "a year long spin process." Analysts at Sterne Agee CRT say the investors should begin to apply tax discounts to the Yahoo Japan stake and the Yahoo core, instead of Alibaba stake. Different reports from the NY Times and the NY Post said staffers and shareholders were beginning to lose faith in CEO Marissa Mayer. In January, Starboard sent a letter to Yahoo's board, expressing its belief that shareholders have lost confidence in the ability of current management. It added, "Despite over three years of effort and billions spent on acquisitions, the management team that was hired to turn around the Core Business has failed to produce acceptable results, in turn, causing massive declines in profitability and cash flow." In response, Yahoo said it will maintain "regular, open dialogue" with all its shareholders. A few days later, a Bloomberg report stated that Yahoo is considering an outright sale of the company. According to sources in a Reuters report, the company will wait to decide on its future strategic steps until it releases the Q4 report. The company wants to gauge shareholder reaction after outlining its "strategic vision" during the conference call. Mayer is expected to announce plans to slash costs and shift the focus away from an improving market share. She is also expected to unveil a plan to cut the company's costs, including several business unit closures, and lashing up to 15% of the company's workforce. Ahead of the earnings report, Re/code's Kara Swisher said investors are looking at how Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman may lay out plans to spin off core assets and other detailed cost reductions. Swisher notes that what may be essential is whether there are "explicit" signs from the CEO and whether the company is open for a buyout. PRICE ACTION: Yahoo shares have dropped more than 11.5%, since the first day of trading following the company's Q2 report. In Tuesday afternoon trading ahead of the Q4 report, Yahoo shares are trading down over 2.5%.
10:32 EDTMSFTMicrosoft recalls AC power cords for Surface Pro Devices due to fire hazard
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10:25 EDTFFord: Areas impacted by Jan. storms 'bounced back very strong' at end of month
10:17 EDTFFord sees 2016 U.S. industry volume in 17.5M-18.5M vehicle range
Sees January U.S. industry sales at 1.14M vehicles, down about 2%-3% from a year ago. Says January started "fairly normally," was "pretty slow" mid-month with weather activity, closed month at "very normal healthy pace." Says small SUVs accounted for 1 in 5 industry sales. Says working to fill fleet orders for F-series pickups. Says "looking forward" to another strong 2016. Says outlook for housing this year "positive." Still sees 2016 U.S. industry volume in 17.5M-18.5M vehicle range. Estimates total January industry SAAR in mid-17M unit range including medium and heavy trucks. Comments taken from Ford's January U.S. Sales conference call. Ford is down 1.3% to $11.91 in morning trading.
09:16 EDTFFord reports January U.S. sales down 3% to 173,723 vehicles
Ford Motor Company's total U.S. sales of 173,723 vehicles declined 3% last month versus a year ago. Ford SUVs totaled 50,212 sales last month - a 3 percent increase versus a year ago and the brand's best sales start since 2004. The all-new Edge was the biggest driver, posting a 26 percent jump on sales of 9,533 vehicles. Transit sales increased 51 percent in January with 9,631 vehicles sold, lifting overall Ford van performance 20 percent for their best start since 1985.
09:15 EDTFFord reports January U.S. sales down 3% to 173,723 vehicles
07:09 EDTFTrueCar projects U.S. revenue from new vehicle sales reached $38B in January
TrueCar projects U.S. revenue from new vehicle sales reached a record high for the month of January of $38 billion, up 1.4 percent from a year ago. January marked the auto industry's 25th consecutive month of year over year revenue expansion. Higher average transaction prices helped automakers post a $520 million gain in revenue versus January 2015, despite a likely increase in incentive spending and somewhat lower sales compared with a year ago. As previously announced, TrueCar projects sales of new cars and light trucks contracted 0.3 percent last month. Publicly traded companies in the space include Daimler AG (DDAIF), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Honda (HMC), Nissan (NSANY), Toyota (TM) and Volkswagen (VLKAY).
February 1, 2016
18:46 EDTFAutomakers hit with additional costs due to China regulatory shift, Reuters says
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16:01 EDTMSFTOptions Update; February 1, 2016
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13:42 EDTFEarnings Watch: Alphabet to report Q4 results under new corporate structure
Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the market close on Monday, February 1 with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. Alphabet is a multinational conglomerate that serves as the parent company of Google, Calico, GV, Google Capital, and Nest Labs. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $8.09 on revenue of $20.77B. The consensus range is $7.32-$8.59 for EPS, and $20.33B-$21.68B for revenue, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: Alphabet reported third quarter EPS of $7.35 against estimates of $7.21, on revenue of $18.7B against estimates of $18.53B. Google reported Q3 aggregate paid clicks up 23%, paid clicks on Google websites down 5%, aggregate cost-per-clicks down 11%, and cost-per-click on Google websites down 4%. The company also reported Q3 Sites revenue up 16% to $13.08B and Q3 Total advertising revenue up 13% to $26.78B. During its Q3 earnings report, the company said it will begin to disclose the Google business as a single segment in Q4. It also announced that the board authorized the company to repurchase $5.1B of Class C shares in Q4. GOOGLE SEGMENT: Alphabet announced that it will report Google as a single segment within its company beginning in Q4. It stated, "The new operating structure is being introduced in phases. For financial reporting purposes, we expect the reorganization will result in disclosing our Google business as a single segment and all other Alphabet businesses combined as Other Bets beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015." Within Alphabet, the Google segment now has 6 products with over 1B users, including Search, Maps, YouTube, Chrome, Android and Google Play. Gmail is also closing in on the mark with its 900M user base. RBC Capital believes that the disclosure of segment results by Google in conjunction with its Q4 results will cause the stock to rerate. The firm believes that the segment results will highlight the high profits of core Google, supporting an increase in the stocks' sum of the parts valuation. NEWS AND STREET RESEARCH: In the past quarter, Alphabet had a strong holiday season with ChannelAdvisor reporting Google Shopping was up 31.7% over the entire holiday period. Specifically, Google Shopping was up 35.9% on Thanksgiving, up 40.3% on Black Friday, up 25.7% on Cyber Saturday, and up 18.6% on Cyber Monday. Alphabet announced the redesigned launch of Google+ in November, the exploration of Fiber in Chicago and Los Angeles, and announced plans to open its first retail store in New York City. The company also targets the China launch of the Google Play app store in 2016, according to multiple reports. Lenovo (LNVGY) CEO Chen Xudong confirmed that Google Play is expected to come to China at some point this year. The company is expected to make its self-driving car company under the Alphabet structure as a stand-alone business. Ford (F) and Google are in discussions over self-driving cars, with the currently negotiated contract likely to "last a long time." According to a Reuters report, Google expects fewer software failiures in self-driving cars as it learns from its mistakes. Google tested solar-powered Internet drones and expects consumer package delivery via drone to begin in 2017. Google is also in talks with the NFL for streaming rights for London games next year. STREET RESEARCH: Oppenheimer said cloud providers like Alphabet may have a huge opportunity in the coming years. The firm said Alphabet may look for a major partner like Salesforce (CRM) to drive its cloud business. Cantor said Google ad revenue growth should continue to be strong and BMO Capital said Alphabet's outlook has improved as valuation has become more reasonable. Bernstein said the Street continues to underestimate the resilience and growth potential of Alphabet's search ad business and YouTube. Barron's, in particular, was extremely positive on YouTube, saying its revenue per viewer could potentially double in five years. It added it could be twice as valuable as Netflix (NFLX). JMP Securities was also bullish on the company, saying Alphabet benefitted from a relatively strong holiday season for online advertising. Ahead of its Q4 earnings report, JMP Securities expects the company to report "relatively strong" results. PRICE ACTION: Google shares have gained about 6% over the last three months. In Monday afternoon trading ahead of the Q4 report, Google shares are up almost 2%
13:24 EDTFTesla bull cuts target as competition ramps more quickly than new models
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) dipped significantly in early trading before later rebounding after Morgan Stanley cut its price target on the automaker to $333 from its previous $450, with the research firm citing a slow production ramp for its new car models, potentially weakened consumer demand amid cheap oil, and clearly heightening competition in the electric and autonomous vehicle space. LOW DEMAND, MORE COMPETITION: Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jones cut his price target on Tesla to $333 from $450, arguing Monday that the carmaker is facing a slow production ramp for the Model X as well as the Model 3, which Jones said may launch in late 2018, missing the company's internal target by at least one year. It is reasonable to assume, Jones said, that Tesla is taking a deliberate, quality-conscious pace for Model X production while also shuffling personnel to help with the car's early rollout, impacting the launch of the mass-market Model 3 even as the company grapples with potentially reduced consumer demand in today's cheap oil environment. Given his assumption of lower volumes, the analyst's revised his 2020 forecast for complete vehicle deliveries to less than half of Tesla's own 500,000 target. For 2016, the analyst cut his total delivery forecast 2% to roughly 70,000 units, including a revision of Model X expectations to 15,000 from 18,500. Contributing to Tesla's headwinds, its consumer energy storage solution looks to be more expensive than previously thought, while competition in the shared and autonomous mobility arena has increased markedly. Indeed, competing efforts from Ford (F), Volkswagen (VLKAY), Alphabet (GOOG) and many others appear "genuine" and are likely to see significant investment follow-through, potentially pressuring Tesla's margins as it increases R&D spend to keep pace, Jones argued. That said, the analyst keeps an Overweight rating on the shares, explaining that while Tesla remains a high risk name that burns plenty of cash to fuel its ambitious plans, it may still be the best positioned company in the ongoing "Auto 2.0" transition. PRICE ACTION: After quickly dropping as low as $182.75 in early trading, shares of Tesla are now up 2.6% to $196.14 in afternoon trading.
09:41 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Neutral from Long-Term Buy at Hilliard Lyons
06:10 EDTMSFTMicrosoft testing underwater data center, NY Times reports
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January 31, 2016
19:04 EDTMSFTApple acquires Flyby, assembles 'secret' virtual reality team, FT says
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14:12 EDTMSFTApple 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 EDTEBAY, MSFTS&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.
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