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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 21, 2014
15:32 EDTV, MARouting ruling a big positive for Visa, says Deutsche Bank
An appeals court decision to reverse a lower court judgment maintains current debit interchange fees and also keeps the routing rules unchanged, which is big positive for Visa (V), according to Deutsche Bank. Although merchants could appeal further, Deutsche does not think the full Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court would be likely to pick up the case. The firm reiterates its Buy ratings on both Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) following the decision.
News For V;MA From The Last 14 Days
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February 12, 2016
16:24 EDTVOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Friday
Stocks began the session in positive territory and never looked back. The early catalyst was a rally in oil prices, which continued moving higher throughout the day and settled up more than 12%. The rally was spurred by comments that came to light late in the day yesterday from the United Arab Emirates' energy minister, who said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was willing to cooperate on an output cut. Despite today's strong performance by each of the major equity indexes, the market still had a down week, as today's rally came on the heels of four very tough days. U.S. markets will be closed Monday for President's Day, but Chinese markets will reopen after being closed all of this week for their celebration of New Year. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales increased 0.2% in January, versus expectations for an increase of 0.1%. Import prices dropped 1.1%, while export prices fell 0.8% last month. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell to 90.7 in the preliminary February print, versus expectations for a 92.3 reading. In Europe, the euro zone's gross domestic product grew by 0.3% in the last three months of 2015, meeting expectations. In Asia, Japan suffered another ugly day, with its key indexes each falling about 5%, after the market reopened following a one-day holiday. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Jack Dorsey's point-of-sale payment firm Square (SQ) advanced 7.9% to $9.30 after credit card giant Visa (V) disclosed details about the stake it holds in the company. Visa, which made an investment in the start-up prior to its IPO, disclosed in a filing that it owns Class B shares of Square that could be converted into about 3.52M Class A shares, which would leave Visa with about 10% of that class of shares. Shares of Twitter (TWTR), which is also headed by Jack Dorsey, followed Square higher, rising 11% to $15.89... Also rising were shares of JPMorgan (JPM), which gained 8.3% to close at $57.46 after CEO Jamie Dimon disclosed he bought 500,000 shares of the bank's stock in the open market yesterday. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT), which jumped 27.5% to $120.22 after Reuters reported that the company received interest from potential suitors and is now exploring a possible sale. Also higher was Groupon (GRPN), which rallied 29% to $2.89 after the Internet deal service operator reported better than expected quarterly results. Among the notable losers was Pandora (P), which fell 12% to $7.99 after the company reported lower than expected fourth quarter earnings after last night's closing bell. The pullback comes on the heels of the stock's 8.5% advance yesterday after the New York Times said the music service operator has held talks about selling the company. On the company's earnings conference call last night, Pandora's management said that they won't comment on any potential sale of the company, adding that they are "very confident" in their ability to continue to drive significant value for holders. Also lower after reporting quarterly results was videogame maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI), which slid 7.9%. Meanwhile, shares of L Brands (LB) fell 2.5% after announcing that Victoria's Secret CEO Sharen Jester Turney will resign. INDEXES: The Dow rose 313.66, or 2.0%, to 15,973.84, the Nasdaq gained 70.68, or 1.66%, to 4,337.51, and the S&P 500 added 35.70, or 1.95%, to 1,864.78.
12:52 EDTVSquare rises after Visa discloses stake, Twitter follows higher
Shares of Jack Dorsey's point-of-sale payment firm Square (SQ) are advancing after credit card giant Visa (V) disclosed a stake in the company. WHAT'S NEW: Visa disclosed in a 13G regulatory filing that it owns 4.19M Class B shares of Square, which do not trade publicly, but could be converted into about 3.52M Class A shares, which would be a 9.99% stake in the company's publicly traded stock. In April of 2011, Visa said it had made an investment in the start-up to enable mobile devices to become credit card readers. The specific amounts of the 2011 Visa investment were undisclosed at the time, but the holdings disclosed by Visa in the most recent filing may date back to the pre-IPO 2011 investment. Square, which was founded by Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey, went public last November at a price of $9.00 per share, below its anticipated IPO price. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Jack Dorsey has publicly stated that Square will remain agnostic and would not be beholden to one platform, such as Visa. In a CNBC interview from November, Dorsey said that he feels Square has a "lot of power in our independence" and that "we can really be a platform that is agnostic to devices and networks." PRICE ACTION: Shares of Square are up over 7.5% after Visa disclosed its stake. Shares of Twitter, another company headed by Jack Dorsey, are following Square higher, and are up over 10% to $15.75 in midday trading.
12:33 EDTVOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in positive territory and have continued to gain upside momentum throughout the session. The are being aided by a surge in oil prices, which have rallied more than 10% on the heels of reports that OPEC nations may be ready to talk about a production freeze. The market, hoping to put an end to it recent losing streak, looks on track to do so with participation likely to tail off in the afternoon ahead of a long holiday weekend. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales increased 0.2% in January, versus expectations for an increase of 0.1%. Import prices dropped 1.1%, while export prices fell 0.8% last month. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell to 90.7 in the preliminary February print, versus expectations for a 92.3 reading. In Europe, the euro zone's gross domestic product grew by 0.3% in the last three months of 2015, meeting expectations. In Asia, Japan suffered another ugly day, with its key indexes each falling about 5%, after the market reopened following a one-day holiday. COMPANY NEWS: Square (SQ) advanced 8% after credit card giant Visa (V) disclosed in a regulatory filing that it holds shares in the company that could convert to the equivalent of a 9.99% stake in the payments up-and-comer. The details about the stake held by the Dow member, which has held an investment in Square since prior to its IPO, also appeared to give a boost to Twitter (TWTR), which both share Jack Dorsey as their Chief Executive Officer... The Dow is being helped by the advance in shares of JPMorgan (JPM), which are higher by 8% after its CEO Jamie Dimon disclosed he bought 500,000 shares of the bank's stock in the open market yesterday. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Baidu (BIDU), which rallied 9% after it received a non-binding proposal to acquire Qiyi.com. Also higher were Groupon (GRPN) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN), which gained 27.5% and 13.5%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the notable losers was Pandora (P), which fell 12% after the company reported lower than expected fourth quarter earnings per share. The loss gave back all of the gains, and then some, that the stock enjoyed yesterday after the New York Times said the music service operator has held talks about selling the company. Also lower were Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and CBS (CBS), which were down 9.5% and 1%, respectively, after reporting quarterly results. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 236.58, or 1.51%, to 15,896.76, the Nasdaq was up 58.02, or 1.36%, to 4,324.85, and the S&P 500 was up 28.03, or 1.53%, to 1,857.11.
February 11, 2016
11:17 EDTV, MACredit card stocks downgraded on fears about weakening economy
Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded its ratings on several credit card networks today, citing "palpable anxiety" about the U.S. economy. WHAT'S NEW: Bank of America analyst Kenneth Bruce downgraded Visa (V), MasterCard (MA), Capital One (COF) and Discover (DFS) to Neutral from Buy. Bruce said that he is less optimistic that the stocks can rebound quickly from their recent declines given investors' worries about the U.S. economy. Moreover, although U.S. consumers are currently "in a generally decent financial position," that could change if the economy slows significantly, the analyst believes. In the face of that risk, the valuations of the credit card networks will probably stay at the lower end of their normal ranges, Bruce forecast. He cut his price target on Visa to $75 from $85, on MasterCard to $92 from $105, on Capital One to $66 from $88 and on Discover to $48 from $60. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Visa fell 3.8% to $67.50, MasterCard lost 2.2% to $81.50, Capital One declined 3.6% to $59.60 and Discover slumped over 5% to $43.30.
10:01 EDTV, MAOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: ARM Holdings (ARMH) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Bernstein... Apollo Investment (AINV) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities... Cabot Microelectronics (CCMP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... Caesarstone (CSTE) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Capital One (COF) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Discover (DFS) downgraded to Neutral on potential US slow-down at BofA/Merrill... Douglas Emmett (DEI) downgraded at Stifel... E.ON AG (EONGY) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Berenberg... Flowers Foods (FLO) downgraded on disappointing results at SunTrust... HCP (HCP) downgraded at Stifel... International Flavors (IFF) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank... LinnCo (LNCO) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Stifel... LivePerson (LPSN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital... MasterCard (MA) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Matrix Service (MTRX) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Prospect Capital (PSEC) downgraded to Underperform at Raymond James... RWE AG (RWEOY) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Berenberg... Regions Financial (RF) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... Rush Enterprises (RUSHA) downgraded to Market Perform at Raymond James... Smith & Nephew (SNN) downgraded to Neutral at UBS... SolarCity (SCTY) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Sotheby's (BID) downgraded on weak art market at Stifel... SunEdison Semiconductor (SEMI) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citi... Sunrun (RUN) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Synovus (SNV) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Tenaris (TS) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... Twitter (TWTR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Topeka... Visa (V) downgraded to Neutral on possible US slow-down at BofA/Merrill... W.P. Carey (WPC) downgraded to Equalweight from Overweight at Capital One... Wendy's (WEN) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
09:21 EDTMA, VOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Expedia (EXPE), up 8.4%... Tripadvisor (TRIP), up 10.8%... Cisco (CSCO), up 6%... LendingClub (LC), up 8.8%... Tesla (TSLA), up 3.5%... Shire (SHPG), up 3.1%. ALSO HIGHER: 3D Systems (DDD), up 13.4% after reporting preliminary Q4 revenue. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Flowers Foods (FLO), down 17.7%... Incyte (INCY), down 14.3%... LivePerson (LPSN), down 16.7%... Twitter (TWTR), down 5.5%... Mylan (MYL), down 12.5%... PepsiCo (PEP), down marginally. ALSO LOWER: Visa (V), down 3% after being downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Mastercard (MA), down 3% after being downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill.
08:27 EDTMAMasterCard downgraded to Neutral on potential US slow-down at BofA/Merrill
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08:27 EDTVVisa downgraded to Neutral on possible US slow-down at BofA/Merrill
As previously reported, BofA/Merrill downgraded Visa to Neutral from Buy. Analyst Kenneth Bruce said US consumers are in a decent financial position, but may be at risk of a material domestic slow-down, which could pressure valuations. The analyst thinks Visa deserves a multiple closer to the midpoint of its historical range and lowered his price target to $75 from $85 on shares.
06:42 EDTMAMasterCard downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
06:42 EDTVVisa downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
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February 9, 2016
10:21 EDTMA, VRising competition may weigh on PayPal margins, analyst says
Research firm Piper Jaffray warned that PayPal continues to face increased competition, which may weigh on its results. Meanwhile, the company announced a change in its Chief Technology Officer. PIPER STICKS WITH SELL RATING: Other leading digital payment systems are becoming more competitive with PayPal's offering, according to well-known Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. More financial and technology competitors - including Visa (V), MasrterCard (MA), Google (GOOG,GOOGL), Samsung and Apple (AAPL) - are offering "similar functionality" to PayPal, Munster believes. Moreover, Apple and and Samsung will begin accepting mobile Web payments in 2016, intruding on PayPal's core competency, and Facebook (FB) is looking to partner with multiple players in the space, Munster noted. The credit card networks are poised to launch online checkout systems, further increasing PayPal's competition, Munster warned. In the face of all this competition, PayPal's appeal to its customers is questionable, according to the analyst, who kept a $33 price target and Underweight rating on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: PayPal announced that its CTO, James Barrese, would resign "to take time off." Barrese will be replaced, effective April 1, by Sri Shivananda, who led eBay's (EBAY) Global Platform and Infrastructure team, PayPal reported. Shivananda's team has worked closely with PayPal, the company noted. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, PayPal slipped about 1% to $33.30.
09:09 EDTVGoldman to hold a conference
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05:55 EDTMA, VPiper's Munster sees PayPal product differentiation being reduced
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February 4, 2016
15:21 EDTVAmazon renews card agreement with JPMorgan, WSJ says
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February 1, 2016
08:51 EDTVVisa should be bought on weakness, says Pacific Crest
After Visa reported higher than expected EPS, Pacific Crest says that the company can generate around 15% EPS growth even if the macro economy weakens. The firm says that the company's secular trends remain strong, and it keeps an $80 price target and Overweight rating.
08:46 EDTMAMasterCard names Alexander Niejelow as SVP of public policy
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08:08 EDTMAMasterCard reported 'solid' results, says Bernstein
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07:06 EDTMAMasterCard results 'broadly encouraging,' says Stifel
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January 31, 2016
11:39 EDTV, MAS&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.

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