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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 4, 2014
12:28 EDTPSMI, JCP, FURX, KORS, TTWO, MSFTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday, bouncing back after yesterday's sell-off, which was one of the worst in quite some time. Yesterday's decline came on the heels of a dismal January, during which the market put in its worst monthly performance since May 2012. The major averages are higher across the board, but have not regained even half of what was lost yesterday. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., factory orders dropped 1.5% in December, versus expectations for a 1.8% decline. COMPANY NEWS: As had been predicted in various technology blogs in recent days, Microsoft (MSFT) promoted the head of its Cloud and Enterprise group, Satya Nadella, to take over as Chief Executive Officer for the departing Steve Ballmer. Bill Gates, one of the company's founders and formerly its chairman of the board, will assume a new role as Technology Advisor and will devote more time to the company, with lead independent director for the board John Thompson taking over as chairman... Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) briefly rallied after the company reported its comparable store sales grew 3.1% during the Holiday period, but reversed and moved into negative ground shortly after the opening bell. Deutsche Bank said it believes investors were expecting a positive low-single digit gain in same-store sales and it does not view today's press release as material to the J.C. Penney story, while Sterne Agee cut its price target on the retailer's shares to $3 from $9. J.C. Penney shares declined over 9% near midday following the sales update. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was luxury goods maker Michael Kors (KORS), which soared 18% higher after the company's third quarter results soundly beat analysts' expectations. Also higher was Furiex Pharmaceuticals (FURX), whose shares more than doubled after the company’s two Phase III trials evaluating its drug for the treatment of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome met both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency formally agreed-upon primary endpoints. Among the noteworthy losers was Peregrine Semiconducter (PSMI), which fell 17% after reporting a steeper than expected quarterly loss and being downgraded at Needham and JPMorgan. Also lower following an earnings report that prompted multiple downgrades was Take-Two Interactive (TTWO), which fell 9% despite reporting earnings that beat expectations and raising its profit outlook for the year. Wedbush downgraded Take-Two to Neutral from Outperform due to lack of visibility and said investors should be cautious about the product pipeline, while Benchmark Co. lowered its rating on the stock to Hold. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 101.96, or 0.66%, to 15,474.76, the Nasdaq was up 42.93, or 1.07%, to 4,039.89, and the S&P 500 was up 15.33, or 0.88%, to 1,757.22.
News For MSFT;KORS;JCP;TTWO;FURX;PSMI From The Last 14 Days
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February 1, 2016
16:01 EDTMSFTOptions Update; February 1, 2016
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14:32 EDTKORSNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
Notable companies reporting before tomorrow's open, with earnings consensus, include Exxon Mobil (XOM), consensus 64c... Pfizer (PFE), consensus 52c... United Parcel Service (UPS), consensus $1.42... Dow Chemical (DOW), consensus 70c... Emerson Electric (EMR), consensus 51c... Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM), consensus 66c... Baxter (BAX), consensus 32c... Sirius XM (SIRI), consensus 3c... Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL), consensus 92c... Ally Financial (ALLY), consensus 51c... Michael Kors (KORS), consensus $1.46... ADT Corp. (ADT), consensus 46c.
13:41 EDTKORSMichael Kors February weekly 40.5 straddle priced for 9.3% movement into Q3
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12:41 EDTKORSEarnings Watch: Analyst urges 'another look' at Michael Kors ahead of Q3 report
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11:42 EDTKORSStocks with call strike movement; YHOO KORS
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09:41 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Neutral from Long-Term Buy at Hilliard Lyons
08:09 EDTKORSOptions expected to be active
Options expected to be active: GOOGL GOOG YHOO UPS KORS UPS BAX RCL CCL PFE AET D STR DWA CMG ABT SYK.
07:28 EDTKORSJefferies tells investors to take another look at Michael Kors
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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 EDTMSFTS&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
16:00 EDTMSFTOptions Update; January 29, 2016
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10:05 EDTJCPOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Atlassian (TEAM) upgraded on positive outlook at JMP Securities... BRF S.A. (BRFS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Bank of America (BAC) upgraded to Outperform from Sell at CLSA... CEMEX (CX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Chemical Financial (CHFC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Fig Partners... Computer Programs (CPSI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Topeka... DST Systems (DST) upgraded to Outperform at Baird... Diamond Offshore (DO) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citi... First Cash Financial (FCFS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital... First Merchants (FRME) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens... Flex (FLEX) upgraded on solid results at Stifel... Intercept (ICPT) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley... J.C. Penney (JCP) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... JetBlue (JBLU) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI... Juniper (JNPR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein... Live Oak Bancshares (LOB) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust... Microsemi (MSCC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... NetSuite (N) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord... NextEra Energy (NEE) upgraded to Outperform at Baird... Oshkosh (OSK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust... PC Connection (PCCC) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James... Pinnacle Financial (PNFP) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens... Potash (POT) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Scotiabank... Rayonier (RYN) upgraded on valuation at BMO Capital... SanDisk (SNDK) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham... Select Comfort (SCSS) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush... Sotherly Hotels (SOHO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital... Textura (TXTR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Northland... Valley National (VLY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Sandler O'Neill.
09:34 EDTMSFTActive equity options trading on open: AMZN MSFT FB AAPL GILD GE
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09:21 EDTJCP, MSFTOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Gigamon (GIMO), up 17.7%... Fortinet (FTNT), up 10%... Flextronics (FLEX), up 10%... Skyworks (SWKS), up 5.7%... Seagate Technology (STX), up 4.9%.. Microsoft (MSFT), up 4.6%. ALSO HIGHER: Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO), up 8.1% after CEO says Zika vaccine could enter human testing this year... J.C. Penney (JCP), up 2.1% after being upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... BRF S.A. (BRFS), up 3.1% after being upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Axiall (AXLL), up 83.4% after rejecting $20 per share acquisition proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK)... Energous (WATT), up 12% after Bloomberg reported that Apple (AAPL) is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Amazon.com (AMZN), down 10.1%... Electronic Arts (EA), down 6.2%... AbbVie (ABBV), down 4%... American Airlines (AAL), down 1.3%. ALSO LOWER: Gilead Sciences (GILD), down 5.5% after CEO John Martin to assume role of executive chairman and COO John Milligan will be promoted to CEO.
09:03 EDTKORSMichael Kors volatility elevated into Q3 and outlook
Michael Kors February weekly call option implied volatility is at 83, February is at 55, March is at 45; compared to its 52-week range of 23 to 58, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q3 results on February 2.
06:40 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse
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06:29 EDTMSFTOptions expected to be active: AMZN EA MSFT EWJ FLEX SWKS GOOG GOOGL FB
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06:04 EDTMSFTJefferies keeps Microsoft at Underperform following Q2 results
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