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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

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May 16, 2014
13:18 EDTRAX, RHT, VMW, EMC, GOOG, CHK, JWN, JCP, DRI, CSCO, AMZN, ARCPOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were slightly lower at midday as the market looks set to end the week on a low note and extend its two day losing streak. The major averages opened relatively quietly with options ready to expire and have remained in a narrow range throughout the morning part of the session. The market barely reacted to the dayís economic data, which included housing starts and permits that were well above expectations. The first readout of the University of Michigan consumer confidence index for the month, however, was below expectations. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., housing starts rose 13.2% to a 1.07M unit pace in April, which was well above expectations. The number of building permits issued also beat the consensus forecast, rising 8% to a pace of 1.08M. The University of Michigan consumer confidence index fell to 81.8 in the first May release, falling short of expectations for a modest rise to 84.3. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Rackspace (RAX) surged 20% higher after the cloud computing company disclosed last night that it had been approached by a number of other companies that expressed interest in exploring strategic relationships and that it had hired Morgan Stanley (MS) to help evaluate the proposals and explore its options. In a note to investors earlier today, Credit Suisse wrote that Rackspace's cloud offerings would be attractive to multiple companies, including Cisco (CSCO), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and Dell. Piper Jaffray said in its own note that the list of potential buyers for Rackspace is "extensive," also listing Cisco, but adding Google (GOOG), Amazon.com (AMZN), EMC (EMC), VMware (VMW) and Red Hat (RHT) as other potential suitors. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Nordstrom (JWN), which was up nearly 13% after the company reported first quarter earnings per share that exceeded expectations and said it will seek a partner for credit card receivables. Also rising following its better than expected quarterly sales report was another retailer, J.C. Penney (JCP), whose shares rose 14%. Among the noteworthy losers was Chesapeake Energy (CHK), which fell almost 5% after announcing that it will spin off its Oilfield Services business, among other asset moves, and lowered its FY14 production, operating cash flow and dividend payments outlooks. Also lower were shares of restaurant operator Darden (DRI), which slipped 4% after agreeing to sell its Red Lobster business and certain other assets, such as real estate, to Golden Gate Capital for $2.1B in cash. American Realty (ARCP) then announced an approximate $1.5B sale-leaseback transaction for over 500 Red Lobster restaurant properties to be completed in conjunction with Golden Gate Capital's acquisition. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 17.40, or 0.11%, to 16,429.41, the Nasdaq was down 13.31, or 0.33%, to 4,055.99, and the S&P 500 was down 1.85, or 0.1%, to 1,869.00.
News For RAX;AMZN;CSCO;DRI;JCP;JWN;CHK;GOOG;EMC;VMW;RHT;ARCP From The Last 14 Days
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September 3, 2014
12:19 EDTRHTOptions with increasing implied volatility
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11:08 EDTGOOGAppeals court upholds Google win in patent suit brought by buySAFE
A district court previously ruled that patent claims asserted by buySAFE were invalid because they cover subject matter ineligible for patenting. An appeals court agreed that the district courtís holding is correct and Google did not infringe. Reference Link
10:52 EDTRHTRed Hat September volatility increases into Q2 and outlook
Red Hat September call option implied volatility is at 47, October is at 32, December is at 29; compared to its 26-week average of 32 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q2 results after the market close on September 18.
08:31 EDTAMZNAmazon CFO Thomas Szkutak to retire in June 2015
Amazon.com announced that Thomas J. Szkutak, Senior Vice President and CFO, will retire from the company in June 2015. Szkutak has been Amazonís CFO since joining the company in October 2002 and oversees the controller, treasury, investor relations, tax, internal audit and facilities functions as well as financial management of the companyís business units. Brian T. Olsavsky, Vice President of Finance for the companyís global consumer business, will succeed Szkutak as CFO, reporting to Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. Szkutak and Olsavsky will work together to conduct a seamless transition of CFO responsibilities over the next 10 months.
07:43 EDTCSCODCP selcets Zix email encryption to replace Cisco
Zix Corporation (ZIXI) announces that DCP has switched its email encryption solution from Ciscoís (CSCO) IronPort Encryption Appliance to Zix Email Encryption in a new three-year contract. DCP is a holding company for Bank of Washington, Citizens National Bank and United Bank of Union, and all bank employees will now use ZixCorp to protect financial information in email.
07:05 EDTJWNNordstrom in talks to be early merchant partner with Apple, Bank Innovation says
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07:00 EDTEMCCredit Suisse recommends buying EMC, Nokia into 2H
Credit Suisse recommends buying EMC (EMC) and Nokia (NOK) into 2H. The firm believes EMC remains undervalued and sees different paths of value creation that include cash returns and a spin-off of VMware (VMW) and that Nokia will see 2H revenue growth following recent divestitures and recent contract momentum. Both are Outperform rated.
06:39 EDTRAXRackspace volatility at low end of historic range
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06:23 EDTGOOGGoogle satellite exec Greg Wyler leaves company, sources say, WSJ reports
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06:22 EDTGOOGGoogle, UCSB partner on hardware initiative
Google yesterday said it is backing a project to design and build "new quantum information processors" with researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Google comments, "With an integrated hardware group the Quantum AI team will now be able to implement and test new designs for quantum optimization and inference processors based on recent theoretical insights as well as our learnings from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture. We will continue to collaborate with D-Wave scientists and to experiment with the 'Vesuvius' machine at NASA Ames which will be upgraded to a 1000 qubit 'Washington' processor." Reference Link
September 2, 2014
14:26 EDTGOOGGoogle renames Google Enterprise products Google for Work
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13:04 EDTCSCOFinisar retreats after analyst cuts on pricing, demand worries
Shares of optical components maker Finisar (FNSR) are falling after research firm Jefferies downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy in a note to investors today, citing pricing and demand concerns. WHAT'S NEW: After conducting checks, Jefferies analyst James Kisner wrote that Finisar is facing "brutal" prices for datacom optics, particularly in China. Prices for telecom components in North America are also challenging for Finisar, he reported. Various low-cost competitors are driving down prices for datacom optics, while AT&T (T) is trying to force optical systems vendors to cut the prices of their components by 40%, Kisner stated. Meanwhile, demand for mobile backhaul optics slowed significantly in China over the last month, and two of Finisar's customers - Cisco (CSCO) and Huawei - are exploring alternatives to Finisar's products, Kisner indicated. Additionally, Intel (INTC) and numerous start-ups may launch products that will compete with those of Finisar, potentially cutting into its market share beginning in the second half of 2015, the analyst warned. He cut his price target on the shares to $19 from $25. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Finisar slumped 5.5% to $19. Other optical components makers also dropped, with Oclaro (OCLR) falling 1% to $1.75 and JDS Uniphase (JDSU) losing 2% to $11.30.
09:22 EDTGOOGGoogle expected to launch low-end smartphone soon, NDTV Gadgets reports
Google has sent out invitations to the media for an event on September 15 in India, according to NDTV Gadgets. The search engine giant is expected to launch a low-end smartphone known as Android One at the event, NDTV stated. Reference Link
08:58 EDTGOOGVringo preparing to seek further review of Court split decision
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08:38 EDTDRIDarden announces new director nominees for annual meeting of shareholders
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08:34 EDTDRIDarden backs FY15 adjusted EPS $2.22-$2.30, consensus $2.22
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08:34 EDTDRIDarden reports progress on its Olive Garden brand renaissance plan
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08:33 EDTDRIDarden sees Q1 adjusted 31c-33c, consensus 30c
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06:35 EDTARCPARCP announces CCIT, Select Income REIT merger to generate AFFO of 2c in Q4
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06:34 EDTAMZNApple cuts iPad mini prices as non-Apple vendors may follow, DigiTimes says
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