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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 31, 2014
17:06 EDTALL, S, PNR, MPC, TMUS, PEP, LLL, TGT, WMTOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were sharply lower, following the lead of international markets that were also sliding overnight after Argentina defaulted on its debt. The averages, which opened deep in the red, took another leg lower shortly after the open when the Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index came out well below expectations. Investors moved to the sidelines and watched stock prices steadily move lower ahead of the impending nonfarm payrolls data, due out tomorrow morning. With today's slide, the major averages gave up all of their gains for the month and will now be down for July. In fact, the Dow's losses were enough to erase the blue-chip index's gains for the year. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims rose 23K to 302K in the week ended July 26 from a revised 279K figure for the prior week. The Chicago PMI dropped a surprising 10 points to 52.6 in July, versus a 63.0 forecast. Internationally, Argentina failed to head off its second default in the past 13 years, sending its stock and bond markets sharply lower and causing ripples throughout global debt and equity markets. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of T-Mobile (TMUS) gained $2.00, or 6.46%, to $32.94 after the company reported second quarter results that beat expectations and France's Iliad (ILIAF) confirmed that it has offered $15B in cash for 56.6% of T-Mobile US at $33 per share. T-Mobile US confirmed that it has received a proposal from Iliad S.A but stated in a regulatory filing that the company "will have no further comment at this time." Following that offer, which was first reported by Dow Jones, Sprint (S), which has been widely seen as the most likely buyer of T-Mobile, fell 41c, or 5.28%, to $7.35... Target Corporation (TGT) announced that its Board of Directors has named Brian Cornell as the company’s next chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO, effective August 12. Cornell most recently served as the CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods (PEP) where he oversaw the company’s global food business. Before joining PepsiCo in 2012, Cornell served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart (WMT). A number of analysts applauded Target's hiring decision, with Cowen upgrading the stock to Market Perform from Underperform afterward, but the stock finished the day down $1.79, or 2.92%, to $59.59 amid the market's broad sell-off. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Marathon Petroleum (MPC), which rose $4.50, or 5.7%, to $83.48 after reporting better than expected second quarter sales and profits and announcing that its board approved an additional $2B share repurchase authorization. Also higher following its earnings report was Allstate (ALL), which advanced $1.56, or 2.74%, to $58.45. Among the noteworthy losers was L-3 Communications (LLL), which dropped $14.68, or 12.27%, to $104.96 and was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Drexel Hamilton after the company cuts its FY14 EPS outlook. Also lower were shares of Pentair (PNR), which fell $5.52, or 7.93%, to $64.07 and was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA Merrill Lynch after lowering its FY15 EPS target to $4.50 from $5.00. INDEXES: The Dow plunged 317.06, or 1.88%, to 16,563.30, the Nasdaq dropped 93.13, or 2.09%, to 4,369.77, and the S&P 500 fell 39.40, or 2.0%, to 1,930.67.
News For TMUS;S;TGT;MPC;ALL;LLL;PNR;WMT;PEP From The Last 14 Days
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February 24, 2015
07:37 EDTTGTTarget February weekly volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
Target February weekly call option implied volatility is at 57, March is at 25, April is at 23, July is at 20; compared to its 26-week average of 20 according to Track Data, suggesting larger near term price movement into the expected release of Q4 results on February 25.
07:27 EDTTMUSDeutsche Telekom partnering with Mozilla on 'privacy phone,' WSJ says
Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY), owner of T-Mobile (TMUS), is partnering with Mozilla to develop a "privacy phone" set for an official unveil at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona March 2-5, reports the Wall Street Journal. The phone will use a version of Mozilla's Firefox operating system and will include features such as location hiding. Reference Link
06:35 EDTSSprint downgraded to Sell from Neutral at BTIG
06:21 EDTWMTWal-Mart de Mexico announces retirement of CFO Rafael Matute
Wal-Mart de Mexico announces that its board approved Rafael Matute's decision to retire from the company, after having served for 17 years as CFO, and the appointment of Pedro Farah as the new CFO. The changes will be effective June 1 and Matute will stay until July 31 to help with the transition. Farah is currently CFO of Walmart Latin America.
February 23, 2015
12:37 EDTPEPSodaStream not a likely target of PepsiCo, NY Times says
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12:28 EDTTMUSGoogle reaches deal with wireless carriers, acquires Softcard tech, Re/code says
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10:50 EDTWMTWal-Mart to host 2015 Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting
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10:03 EDTALLAllstate's Esurance expands into Canada
Esurance, an Allstate company, announced that it has expanded internationally into Canada. Consumers in the province of Alberta are the first to have access to Esurance in Canada.
08:57 EDTTMUST-Mobile releases teaser image of Samsung Galaxy S6, The Verge says
T-Mobile (TMUS) CEO John Legere released a teaser image of Samsung's (SSNLF) upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone and also confirmed the carrier will offer the S6, reports The Verge, citing tweets and a T-Mobile website. The teaser image suggest a metal backing and curved screen edges on both sides of the phone. An official reveal is expected March 1. Reference Link
08:32 EDTTGTTarget lowers online free shipping minimum to $25
Target announced that, effective immediately, all online orders of $25 or more now qualify for free shipping, with virtually no exclusions. The new minimum is decreased from $50.
February 22, 2015
15:31 EDTWMTMcDonald's under pressure to raise hourly pay as Wal-Mart sets bar, Reuters says
According to labor experts McDonald's (MCD) and its franchisees may be under pressure to raise hourly wages as the improved economic landscape increases competition for good workers and as retailer Wal-Mart (WMT) raises its hourly pay, says Reuters. Reference Link
February 20, 2015
16:48 EDTWMTDow, S&P 500 finish week at record highs after Greek deal reached
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16:03 EDTWMTOptions Update; February 20, 2015
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13:56 EDTTMUSAT&T VP critical of Dish auction tactics
AT&T (T) VP of Federal Regulatory Joan Marsh stated in a post to a corporate blog that FCC Auction 97 represents "hard evidence that there is significant continuing interest in licensed spectrum... It didn't matter that it was mid-band spectrum. It mattered only that it was broadband spectrum." Marsh notes that Dish (DISH) won more licenses than any other bidder though "none of that spectrum is currently supporting commercial wireless services," with her suggestion being that "auctions should be designed to ensure that licenses go to those willing to deploy networks – not speculators or stockpilers...The government should continue to place a high priority on allocating new licensed bands to the wireless industry." Marsh continues her analysis of Dish, claiming the double and triple-bidding activity carried out by its two designated entities "circumvented auction activity rules, masked actual demand and distorted the auction," as they were able to win significant allocations while enjoying a 25% small business discount. In response to Dish claims that all companies use DEs, Marsh replies that "in more recent auctions... bidders like AT&T, Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile (TMUS) had no DE relationships, participated directly and paid full price for their licenses." Reference Link
13:20 EDTWMTAnalysts divided on Wal-Mart after results, pay raise announcement
Barclays cut its rating on Wal-Mart (WMT) this morning after the world's largest retailer reported its quarterly results and gave forward looking guidance yesterday. However, research firm Janney Capital wrote in a note to investors that it believes shares of Wal-Mart will probably outperform going forward, as other retailers are likely to implement wage hikes similar to the one that the giant discounter announced. BACKGROUND: Yesterday Wal-Mart announced that it would raise the wages of all of its employees to at least $10 per hour by February 2016. The company also reported higher than expected fourth quarter profits, excluding certain items, but its Q4 revenue came in below expectations. Moreover, the retailer provided lower than expected profit guidance for its fiscal 2016 and lowered its fiscal 2016 sales growth guidance to 1%-2% from its previous outlook of 2%-4%. Wal-Mart's stock fell significantly yesterday after the quarterly report. ANALYST REACTION: Barclays lowered its rating on Wal-Mart to Equal Weight from Overweight and dropped its price target for shares to $85 from $90. The firm says the retailer's investments to improve the shopping experience at its U.S. stores will continue into FY17 and are unlikely to produce near-term benefits. It believes Wal-Mart's Q4 domestic comps were aided by lower gas prices and easy weather comparisons, and notes that weather is unlikely to help in FY16. Meanwhile, Janney Capital analyst David Strasser said Wal-Mart's stock dropped because of worries about the company's spending and the hit the company took from negative foreign exchange trends. However, other retailers are likely to implement similar wage hikes, causing the entire sector to come under pressure and enabling Wal-Mart's stock to outperform going forward, according to Strasser. Additionally, Wal-Mart is likely to continue to benefit from higher gas prices in Q1, wrote the analyst, who kept an $89 price target and Buy rating on the shares. PRICE ACTION: In mid-afternoon trading, Wal-Mart added 0.5% to $83.94.
10:01 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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09:38 EDTWMTActive equity options trading on open
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09:06 EDTWMTWal-Mart can outperform as peers follow suit on wages, says Janney Capital
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07:20 EDTTGT, WMTWal-Mart wage increase may pressure Target, Staples, Reuters says
Wal-Mart's (WMT) wage increase announcement will likely pressure the retail, fast-food, and restaurant sectors to potentially follow suit, reports Reuters, citing an Edward Jones analyst and the managing director of consultancy firm Strategic Resource Group. The analysts specifically named Target (TGT) and Staples (SPLS). Reference Link
05:50 EDTWMTWal-Mart downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Barclays cut its rating on Wal-Mart to Equal Weight from Overweight and dropped its price target for shares to $85 from $90. The firm says the retailer's investments to improve the shopping experience at its U.S. stores will continue into FY17 and are unlikely to produce near-term benefits. It believes Wal-Mart's Q4 domestic comps were aided by lower gas prices and easy weather comparisons, and notes that weather is unlikely to help in FY16. The stock closed yesterday down $2.77 to $83.52 after Wal-Mart reported Q4 results.
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