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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 23, 2014
16:31 EDTT, HPQ, HD, CRM, PETM, CPB, DKS, GM, LOCK, LO, RAI, AGN, VRX, AZN, PFE, DTV, DLTRMarket ends week higher after Fed minutes, housing data
Stocks finished the week higher after Fed minutes revealed that the central bank does not see inflation as a near-term threat and several economic data points were better than expected. MACRO NEWS: The minutes of the Fed's last meeting stated that committee members expect inflation to remain well below the central bank's 2% objective, adding that the Fed does not believe that it currently faces a trade-off between its employment and inflation objectives... Reports on existing home sales and new home sales in April both showed monthly gains, while a U.S. manufacturing index beat expectations. The index of leading indicators for April was in-line with expectations, while jobless claims were slightly worse than expected. An index of Chinese manufacturing, reported by HSBC, came in significantly above expectations and reached a five month high, despite still indicating contraction in the sector. COMPANY NEWS: AT&T (T) confirmed last weekend that it had agreed to acquire DirecTV (DTV) for $95.00 per share, including $28.50 per share in cash and $66.50 per share in AT&T stock. Also last weekend, Pfizer (PFE) raised its bid for AstraZeneca (AZN), but the U.K. drugmaker again rejected this "final" takeover proposal. In other M&A news, Valeant (VRX) stated that it would sweeten its previous bid for Allergan (AGN), but clarified that the new bid would not be an all-cash offer. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that cigarette maker Reynolds American (RAI) was in advanced talks to acquire its peer, Loriillard (LO)... Lifelock (LOCK), which provides identify theft protection services, tumbled after disclosing that it would temporarily suspend its Wallet mobile application because it is not fully compliant with applicable payment card industry security standards... General Motors (GM) shares fell after the company announced that it was recalling an additional 2.42M vehicles in four separate U.S. recalls. The automaker added $200M to the charge it expects to take in Q2 related to its recalls, bringing the total potential charge up to $400M... Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), Campbell Soup (CPB), and PetSmart (PETM) were among the companies that dropped after announcing their earnings results. Meanwhile, Home Depot (HD), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and Dollar Tree (DLTR) were among the companies whose shares rose following their quarterly reports. INDEXES: The Dow was up 0.7% to 16,606.27, the S&P 500 was up 1.2% to 1,900.53, and the Nasdaq was up 2.33% to 4,185.81.
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July 11, 2014
16:48 EDTAGN, VRXAllergan comments on Pershing Square’s definitive proxy solicitation
Allergan (AGN) provided the following comment in response to the definitive proxy solicitation filed by Pershing Square Capital Management in connection with Pershing Square’s request to call a Special Meeting of Stockholders. At the Special Meeting, if called, Allergan stockholders would be asked to remove a majority of the company’s existing directors in connection with Valeant Pharmaceuticals' (VRX) unsolicited exchange offer to acquire all outstanding common shares of Allergan for 0.83 shares of Valeant common stock and $72.00 in cash, or subject to proration, an amount of cash or a number of Valeant common shares with the implied value set forth in the exchange offer. Under the current Board’s leadership, which includes individuals with significantly more industry experience than Pershing Square’s recommended nominees, Allergan continues to execute on its plan to drive near- and long-term organic growth, enhance its growth prospects and continue generating significant value for all of Allergan’s stockholders. We believe Pershing Square’s attempt to replace a majority of the Allergan Board is a further effort to support Valeant in its bid to acquire Allergan at a grossly inadequate price that substantially undervalues the company and creates significant risks and uncertainties for Allergan stockholders. Valeant has repeatedly failed to address the serious concerns raised by Allergan and important members of the investment community about Valeant’s anemic organic growth driven by unsustainable price increases, among other fundamental business model issues. Allergan has a track record of consistently acting in the best interests of its stockholders and the Board remains confident in the company’s ability to create significantly more value than Valeant’s proposal.
16:46 EDTLO, RAI, PETMStocks end week lower on European, Fed concerns
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16:22 EDTLO, RAIOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher today, but were still lower for the week, as concerns in Europe have come back to the forefront of investors' minds. Today's modest bounce was not enough to make up for the declines seen in three of the other four sessions earlier in the week. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the June federal budget statement showed a surplus of $70.5B for the month, compared to analysts' forecast for a $79B surplus. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Wells Fargo (WFC) slipped 32c, or 0.62%, to $51.49 after the largest mortgage lender in the U.S. posted earnings of $1.01 a share that matched analysts' consensus forecast. Wells did note that its credit performance continued to improve in Q2 and CEO John Stumpf said he is "optimistic about the future" for the bank... Lorillard (LO) advanced $2.92, or 4.63%, to $66.01, while Reynolds American fell 51c, or 0.82%, to $61.75, after the two cigarette makers confirmed that they are holding talks about a possible merger, as has been speculated by various media reports in recent weeks... In another update to an ongoing M&A story, Japan's Nikkei reported that Sprint's (S) corporate parent, Softbank (SFTBF), has reached an agreement to acquire T-Mobile (TMUS) from Deutsche Telecom (DTEGY), clearing the way for the long-speculated merger between the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the U.S. Following the new story, Sprint shares finished the day up 30c, or 3.64%, to $8.55, while T-Mobile rose 62c, or 1.89%, to $33.50. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Ruckus Wireless (RKUS), which advanced 87c, or 7.9%, to $11.88 after the FCC announced that it would allocate new funds to subsidize the launch of WiFi networks in schools and libraries. Also higher was Amazon.com (AMZN), which climbed $18.28, or 5.57%, to $346.20 after consulting firm ChannelAdvisor (ECOM) reported that the company's same-store sales growth had accelerated significantly in June compared with May. Among the noteworthy losers was Rent-A-Center (RCII), which dropped $3.18, or 10.94%, to $25.88 after the company warned that its revenue and earnings for Q2 will not meet expectations. Also lower were shares of industrial and construction supply retailer Fastenal (FAST), which fell $2.00, or 4.16%, to $46.15 after its Q2 revenue missed analysts' consensus view and the company reported plans to close 45 stores. INDEXES: The Dow was up 28.74, or 0.17%, to 16,943.81, the Nasdaq was up 19.29, or 0.44%, to 4,415.49, and the S&P 500 was up 2.83, or 0.14%, to 1,967.51.
12:36 EDTLO, RAIOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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12:08 EDTRAI, LOLorillard jumps after confirming buyout talks with Reynolds
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11:54 EDTAGNAbbVie, Shire in active takeover talks, Bloomberg reports
AbbVie (ABBV) and Shire (SHPG) are in active talks about a potential merger after AbbVie raised its takeover offer for a fourth time, Bloomberg reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The talks are in the early stage and may not lead to an agreement, sources told Bloomberg. Shares of Shire are up 5%, or $12.04, to $250.65 following the report.
11:17 EDTLOHigh option volume stocks
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10:35 EDTGMCadillac confirms Johan de Nysschen as president
General Motors (GM) announced the appointment of Johan de Nysschen as President – Cadillac. de Nysschen will be responsible for all aspects of Cadillac globally including sales, pricing and network development, strategic brand development and marketing and product portfolio planning, including critical input for product engineering and design. de Nysschen joins the GM executive leadership team as an executive vice president of the company beginning September 1 and reports to GM President Dan Ammann. de Nysschen spent the last two years as head of the Infiniti (NSANY) brand worldwide.
10:00 EDTLO, RAIOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
Today's noteworthy initiations include: Altria Group (MO) initiated with an Outperform at Cowen... Berkshire Hills Bancorp (BHLB) initiated with a Hold at Jefferies... CGI Group (GIB) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse... Halozyme (HALO) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan... Lorillard (LO) initiated with an Underperform at Cowen... MacroGenics (MGNX) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer... Philip Morris (PM) initiated with a Market Perform at Cowen... Prothena (PRTA) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer... Reynolds American (RAI) initiated with a Market Perform at Cowen... Seventy Seven Energy (SSE) initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich... SouFun (SFUN) initiated with a Neutral at Macquarie... Sprouts Farmers Markets (SFM) initiated with a Neutral at Longbow... Sterling Bancorp (STL) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies... Xencor (XNCR) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer... YPF (YPF) initiated with a Neutral at JPMorgan... iGATE (IGTE) initiated with an Outperform at William Blair.
09:37 EDTCRMSalesforce.com agrees to acquire RelateIQ
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09:11 EDTGMFormer head of Infiniti taking over Cadillac, CNBC reports
Johan de Nysschen, the former head of Infiniti and Audi USA, will be taking over General Motors' Cadillac division, CNBC's Phil LeBeau reports via Twitter.
09:09 EDTRAI, LOOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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08:49 EDTHPQJune CIO survey indicates strong 2H, says Morgan Stanley
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08:02 EDTRAI, LOLorillard acquisition by Reynolds may be announced soon, says Wells Fargo
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08:01 EDTRAI, LOLorillard volatility expected to move on Reynolds American confirms discussions
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07:47 EDTPETMPetSmart unlikely to be acquired, says Oppenheimer
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07:02 EDTRAI, LOReynolds American confirms discussions about business combination
Reynolds American (RAI) confirms that it is in discussions with Lorillard (LO) regarding a possible acquisition of Lorillard. The discussions are consistent with RAI's strategy of considering a variety of options to enhance shareholder value. British American Tobacco, RAI's largest shareholder, is participating in these discussions. If the transaction proceeds, BAT expects to support the transaction by subscribing for additional shares in RAI and would maintain its existing 42% equity position in RAI. Imperial is also involved in these negotiations as a possible purchaser of brands and other assets from Lorillard and RAI. There is no assurance that any agreement will be reached by any of the parties. Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, RAI does not intend to comment further on these matters.
07:01 EDTRAI, LOLorillard confirms talks regarding potential acquisition by Reynolds American
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06:04 EDTLO, RAIImperial confirms talks with Reynolds, Lorillard over asset acquisition
Imperial Tobacco (ITYBY) notes the recent speculation relating to a potential transaction involving Reynolds American (RAI) and Lorillard (LO). Imperial confirmed it is in discussions with Reynolds and Lorillard to evaluate a possible acquisition of certain assets and brands owned by Reynolds and Lorillard. Earlier today, Financial Times reported that Reynolds and Lorillard are close to a merger agreement.
05:54 EDTRAI, LOReynolds American, Lorillard close to merger agreement, FT reports
According to the Financial Times, Reynolds American (RAI) and Lorillard (LO) are close to agreeing on a merger. The companies, which would have a combined market capitalization of $56B, have agreed with British American Tobacco (BTI), which holds a 42% stake in Reynolds, on key elements of the deal, including price. The companies are currently finalizing details on which production facilities and cigarette brands would be disposed of to ease antitrust concerns. Reference Link
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