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October 5, 2015
14:46 EDTGOOGGoogle takes stake in financial messaging start-up Symphony, WSJ reports
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14:37 EDTGOOGGoogle takes stake in financial messaging start-up Symphony, WSJ reports
14:33 EDTAAPLApple won't renew expiring VMware licensing deal, CRN reports
Apple (AAPL) has been using VMware (VMW) software to run parts of its corporate IT infrastructure, but the iPhone giant won't renew an expiring enterprise licensing agreement with VMware and will be stepping up its deployment of an open-source alternative, according to CRN, citing multiple sources with knowledge of the matter. One source said the VMware ELA extension would have cost around $20M, the report noted. VMware shares are still up fractionally in afternoon trading but have slipped from where they were trading before the CRN report was circulated. Reference Link
14:29 EDTAAPLApple won't renew expiring VMware licensing deal, CRN reports
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12:51 EDTGOOGRussia tells Google in antitrust ruling to unbundle services in Android phones
Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has given Google (GOOG) until November 18 to unbundle its pre-installed applications in devices running the Android operating system, according to a translation of an order posted to the regulator's website. The regulator said Google can't restrict other apps and services in order so that it does not abuse its dominant market position, according to the translation. "To restore competition on the market, Google should amend agreements with mobile-device producers within a month and exclude the anti-competitive clauses," Russia's regulator said. Google may also face a fine of 1%-15% of the revenue from the services where the violation occurred, according to the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service. Shares of Yandex (YNDX), which competes with Google in Russia and had initiated the complaint to the regulator, rose $1.11, or 9.8% to $12.45 in afternoon trading in New York. Reference Link
10:19 EDTREGNSpark trial success a positive for gene therapy sector, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer said he views the news that Spark Therapeutics (ONCE) "highly anticipated" SPK-RPE65 Phase 3 gene therapy study for congenital blindness met its primary endpoint as a positive for the ophthalmology gene therapy field as well as the broader gene therapy sector. Schimmer added that Applied Genetic Technologies' (AGTC) early clinical data in the second half of this year will be a further test of the ophthalmology gene therapy platform. The analyst noted that other companies with gene therapy programs include Avalanche (AAVL), Biogen (BIIB), bluebird bio (BLUE), BioMarin (BMRN), Cellectis (CLLS), Medgenics (MDGN), uniQure (QURE), Pfizer (PFE), Regeneron (REGN) and Sangamo (SGMO).
10:02 EDTREGNBofa/Merrill healthcare analysts hold an analyst/industry conference call
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09:44 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading on open
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09:39 EDTGOOGeSports seen as next big growth opportunity in media
Competitive video game playing in organized leagues, or eSports, is on the verge of reaching mainstream adoption and moving from an engagement tool to a monetization opportunity for video game makers, according to Baird analyst Colin Sebastian, who calls the trend the "biggest media and sports growth opportunity you've never heard of." NEXT BIG THING: eSports could have 200M active and engaged participants as early as next year and can grow from about $200M this year to $1B in revenues by 2018, Sebastian tells investors this morning in a research note. Game publishers such as Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Electronic Arts (EA) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) are "natural beneficiaries," according to Sebastian, who believes that eSports has the potential to drive earnings growth and multiple expansion for the sector. eSports is still mainly a tool to help engage and keep core gamers, but Sebastian expects this to change quickly as game makers focus on incremental revenue opportunities and increasing average revenue per user. The analyst also sees "significant opportunities" from eSports for online streaming platforms, like Amazon's (AMZN) Twitch and Google's (GOOG) newer platform, as well as for Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE) and PC and component makers. ANOTHER eSPORTS BULL: Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis previously told investors that he believes the surging popularity of competitive video gaming on a global basis will benefit game publishers as well as hardware companies like NVIDIA (NVDA). In a note to investors last month, the analyst said that Activision Blizzard had five of the top fifteen most popular games on Twitch in July, and contended that the company looks best positioned among game makers to benefit from the eSports opportunity. On the date of his eSports note, Lipacis upgraded NVIDIA to Buy from Hold, saying secular growth in gaming will trump PC weakness. The company's Gaming Graphics Processing Unit is "under the radar" and has grown 23% annually over the past three years, noted Lipacis, who raised his price target for shares to $30 from $23. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Activision Blizzard rose 1.4% to $31.90, Electronic Arts gained 1.04% to $67.18 and Take-Two Interactive advanced 0.85% to $29.64.
08:28 EDTAAPLCiti sees reasons for investors to exit Apple over near-term
Citi analyst Jim Suva dropped his September quarter earnings per share estimate for Apple to $9.06 from $9.14 after shifting some iPhone sales to the December quarter. Suva dropped his iPhone estimate for the quarter to 47M, below the consensus of 48M as only sales through Friday and Saturday of the weekend launch will be included in the quarter. He expects many sell-side analysts to follow suit and lower their September quarter iPhone estimates in the weeks ahead before Apple reports on October 27. Suva expects Apple share volatility to continue and thinks limited earnings and sales upside potential in the near term may cause some investors to exit the stock. The investment thesis for Apple is likely to shift from an iPhone "beat and raise" investment story to a gross margin upside story heading into a difficult comp year for iPhone 6S unit sales, Suva tells investors in a research note. He thinks any pullback will prove an attractive opportunity for long-term investors. The analyst keeps a Buy rating on Apple with a $145 price target. The iPhone maker closed Friday up 80c to $110.38.
08:02 EDTGOOGGoogle, Assurant Solutions partner to offer Nexus Protect
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06:11 EDTAAPLApple iOS users in China, Taiwan targeted by ad-focused malware
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06:00 EDTAAPLReports: iPhone 6s & 6s Plus were weaker than iPhone 6 in Japan, DigiTimes says
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October 4, 2015
18:23 EDTGOOGGoogle completes Alphabet merger
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13:54 EDTGOOGGoogle, Facebook set to continue dominating web ads, Barron's says
Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) are likely to continue dominating online advertising, with Twitter (TWTR), Yahoo (YHOO), and LinkedIn (LNKD) increasingly becoming "distant rivals" as advertisers flock to the two biggest names in the space, Barron's contends in its 'Technology Trader' column. Shares of Google and Facebook "probably have decent upside from here," while the future of Angie's List (ANGI) and Yelp (YELP) looks "less certain," Barron's adds. Reference Link
October 2, 2015
16:46 EDTAAPLStocks end week higher after Friday reversal following disappointing jobs data
U.S. markets fell sharply following a weaker than expected nonfarm payrolls report on Friday morning, but rallied back to finish the day, and the week, slightly higher. MACRO NEWS: In the U.S., 142,000 nonfarm jobs were added last month, missing expectations for 201,000 job additions. Average hourly earnings were flat month-over-month, compared to expectations for them to rise 0.2% in September. The unemployment rate held at 5.1%, as expected. Factory orders fell 1.7% in August, versus expectations for them to drop 1.2%. Personal income grew 0.3% in August, versus expectations for it to rise 0.4%. Personal spending rose 0.4% last month, versus expectations for growth of 0.3%. Consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in September, as a confidence reading strengthened to 103.0. Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers' index inched up to 53.1 in the final September reading, compared to the preliminary September figure of 53.0. ISM's manufacturing index fell to 50.2 in September, versus expectations for a reading of 50.6... Chinese markets will be closed for "Golden Week" from October 1 to October 7, but monthly manufacturing data was still released. The government's official manufacturing PMI ticked up to 49.8, beating expectations for a 49.6 reading, while the final Caixin/Markit PMI fell to 47.2 in September, though that was slightly improved from an earlier flash estimate of 47. In Japan, the central bank's quarterly tankan survey of large manufacturers for the September quarter came in at positive 12, compared with expectations for a positive 13 reading. Elsewhere in Asia, the Reserve Bank of India made a larger than expected cut to its interest rates, lowering its benchmark policy rate to 6.75% from 7.25%... In Europe, Markit's final Eurozone manufacturing PMI for September came in at 52.0, down from August's final 52.3 reading but still in expansion territory. COMPANY NEWS: Apple (AAPL) reported that it set a record by selling more than 13M new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models in the first three days after launch of the devices. However, shares of the tech giant slid following the announcement... Biotech stocks continued recent declines, with Valeant (VRX) dropping after a group of Democratic congressmen urged additional scrutiny of the company's "price hike" business model... Re/code's Kara Swisher and Kurt Wagner reported, citing sources, that Twitter (TWTR) founder and interim CEO Jack Dorsey was set to be named permanent Chief Executive, possibly as soon as Thursday, but no announcement had been made by the company by the end of the week. Shares of Gap (GPS) and Ralph Lauren (RL) moved in opposite directions after an executive for one left to take over for an icon at the other. At least three research firms downgraded Gap shares to sell or equivalent ratings and the stock fell after Stefan Larsson stepped down as global president of Old Navy in order to become the new Chief Executive Officer of Ralph Lauren, while the latter company's shares were upgraded and traded higher in the wake of the executive shake-up... On the M&A front, Reynolds American (RAI) announced that the international rights to the Natural American Spirit brand name and associated trademarks will be sold to the Japan Tobacco Group in an all-cash transaction with a value of about $5B. Nexstar (NXST) proposed to acquire Media General (MEG) for a combination of cash and shares that was valued at $14.50 per Media General share before the proposal was made public on September 28. Media General, which previously announced an agreement to buy Meredith Corporation (MDP), said it would "carefully review and consider the proposal" with the help of its advisors. Shares of Rentrak (RENT) and comScore (SCOR) both advanced after the companies announced a stock-for-stock merger agreement... General Motors (GM) reported its U.S. sales grew 12% in September compared to the same month of last year. Additionally, the auto giant hosted a global business update event, where it announced two new car- and ride-sharing projects and confirmed its plans to jointly develop a commercially viable fuel cell vehicle with Honda (HMC) in the 2020 timeframe. Meanwhile, Ford (F) said its U.S. sales rose 23% in September and Fiat Chrysler's (FCAU) U.S. sales increased 14% last month... FXCM (FXCM) disclosed that it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack involving "a small number of unauthorized wire transfers from customer accounts" and Experian (EXPGY) announced that one of its units experienced an attack by hackers that exposed data from its client T-Mobile (TMUS)... Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), MGM Resorts (MGM) and Melco Crown (MPEL) all advanced at the end of the week following reports that the Chinese government may provide economic support to the gaming center Macau, where the companies operate casinos. INDEXES: The Dow gained about 0.96% to close at 16,472.37, the S&P 500 rose about 1.02% to close at 1,951.36, and the Nasdaq advanced about 0.43% to close at 4,707.77.
16:03 EDTAAPLOptions Update; October 2, 2015
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14:09 EDTAAPLApple November weekly volatility elevated
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14:08 EDTAAPLApple acquires speech technology start-up VocalIQ, FT reports
Apple confirmed that it has acquired speech technology start-up VocalIQ, whose software helps computers and people communicate in a more natural dialogue, reported Financial Times. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," Apple stated. Reference Link
11:55 EDTGOOGGoogle expects Alphabet merger to close today
Google announced that it expects the Alphabet merger will close after the close of business today, October 2. Google anticipates that shares of Google Class C Capital Stock and shares of Google Class A Common Stock will begin trading as Alphabet Class C Capital Stock and Alphabet Class A Common Stock, respectively, on the NASDAQ on October 5. Shares of Alphabet Class C Capital Stock and shares of Alphabet Class A Common Stock will continue to be traded under the same ticker symbols under GOOG and GOOGL, respectively.
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