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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For VIX;MSFT;FB;AAPL;BAC From The Last 14 Days
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February 4, 2016
12:44 EDTAAPLOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street had an up and down morning, with the Dow swinging by triple digits in either direction. The market opened lower as oil prices lost their early gains, but as oil began to move higher so did stocks. When oil prices met resistance near the $34 a barrel level it began to pare its gains, once again taking stocks with it. The averages are now back in the green as investors await tomorrow's monthly jobs report. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Labor Department said that productivity fell at an annual rate of 3% in the fourth quarter, marking the biggest quarterly decline in nearly two years and worse than the expected decline of 2%. Labor costs rose 4.5% in the fourth quarter, versus expectations for an increase of 4.3%. Initial jobless claims rose to 285,000 in the week ended January 30, versus expectations for 277,000 first-time claims. Factory orders declined 2.9% in December, versus expectations for them to be down 2.8% for the month. In Europe, the European Commission lowered its 2016 economic growth forecast for the 19-nation single currency area to 1.7% from the 1.8% expansion the commission had forecast in November. The Bank of England also cut its economic growth forecasts, saying it now expects Britain's economy to grow 2.2% this year and 2.3% next year, which is down from the 2.5% growth for 2016 and 2.6% in 2017 that it previously predicted. Additionally, the BoE maintained its bank rate and held the size of its asset purchase program steady. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of GoPro (GPRO) sunk to an all-time low after the action camera maker reported fourth quarter revenue that fell $60M short of expectations and guided toward sales in the new quarter that were even further below the consensus forecast. GoPro, which also guided to losses in the first quarter and named a new CFO, fell as low as $9.01 earlier in the session before cutting its losses to be down about 8% near noon... Sumner Redstone stepped down as Executive Chairman of both CBS (CBS) and Viacom (VIA, VIAB), being replaced by the CEOs of the companies in both cases. CBS shares were up 1% after Leslie Moonves was named the next Chair of its board, while Class A shares of Viacom were up about 1.5% after Philippe Dauman was selected to succeed Redstone... ConocoPhillips (COP) fell nearly 7% after the oil and gas explorer reported a worse than expected quarterly loss and slashed its dividend to 25c from 74c per share. CEO Ryan Lance said the decision to reduce the dividend was a "difficult one," but that the company believes it is prudent to plan for lower commodity prices for a longer period of time. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Hersha Hospitality (HT), which rallied 14% after it announced that it signed agreements with Cindat to form a joint venture for seven of the company's hotels in Manhattan for $571.4M. Also higher was VirnetX (VHC), which gained 53% after it was awarded $625.6M in a verdict against Apple (AAPL) for infringing four VirnetX patents. In addition, GrubHub (GRUB) and ProtoLabs (PRLB) were up 15% and 12%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the noteworthy losers were Ralph Lauren (RL), Kohl's (KSS), and AstraZeneca (AZN), which were down 17%, 19%, and 7%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 70.02, or 0.43%, to 16,406.68, the Nasdaq was up 6.50, or 0.14%, to 4,510.74, and the S&P 500 was up 3.90, or 0.2%, to 1,916.43.
12:23 EDTAAPLApple says some users unable to make purchases
Apple on its Store Services page said that "some users may have been unable to access multiple stores/services or make purchases." Regarding its multiple iCloud services, the iPhone maker said, "New and recently changed content may not have updated across devices for iCloud Drive, Backup, iCloud Notes, iWork for iCloud, and Photos. Users may also have been unable to use multiple services at iCloud.com." Reference Link
11:29 EDTAAPLVirnetX win in Apple case should help in signing licenses, says Cowen
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10:52 EDTAAPLChinese minister reccomends phone subsidies be extened, Taipei Times reports
National Development Council Minister Lin Chu-chia proposed that an economic stimulus program that includes subsidies for the purchase of energy-efficient home appliances and the replacement of 2G handsets with 4G smartphones be extended beyond its February 29 deadline to June, reported the Taipei Times. Reference Link
10:25 EDTMSFT$25B cloud boost seen coming for Amazon, Microsoft, Google
Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOGL, GOOG) are all poised to get huge boosts from their cloud businesses over the next three years, research firm Pacific Crest wrote in a note to investors today. The combined revenue from their cloud initiatives should surge $25B over the next three years as companies move more workloads to the cloud from legacy IT systems, the firm believes. NEXT MAJOR CLOUD CYCLE: The revenue of Amazon's cloud business, AWS, could triple to $25B by 2018, according to Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson. Moreover, by 2018, AWS could account for 14% of the company's revenue and over 50% of its profits, up from 7% and 41%, respectively, today, the analyst predicts. Meanwhile, within three years, Microsoft's revenue from its commercial cloud business could jump 50% to $25B, the analyst stated. By 2018, the business could account for almost 25% of the tech giant's revenue and 15% of its profits, up from 15% of its revenue and very little of its profit today, the analyst added. Google's revenue from infrastructure as a service, a form of cloud computing, can surge 500% over the next three years to about $4.5B, Wilson believes. Additionally, noting that AWS' incremental operating margin came in at 51.9% last quarter, Wilson believes that investors are underestimating the profitability of cloud businesses. The analyst maintained an $800 price target and Overweight rating on Amazon, a $65 price target and Overweight rating on Microsoft, and a $910 price target and Overweight rating on Alphabet. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Intel (INTC), along with hard disk drive maker Western Digital (WDC) and Arista Networks (ANET), which supplies cloud networking solutions, should all benefit from the tremendous growth in demand for cloud platforms, Wilson believes. He kept Overweight ratings on all three of the latter stocks. Conversely, Wilson identifies EMC (EMC), HP Enterprise (HPE) and NetApp (NTAP) as "cloud share donors" and keeps Sector Weight ratings on their shares. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Amazon fell 1% to $525.80, Microsoft was flat near $52 per share and Alphabet Class A shares dropped 1.8% to $736.15.
10:01 EDTBACActive puts: SPY QQQ EEM PFE
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09:36 EDTBAC, FB, AAPLActive equity options trading on open: AAPL FB GPRO AA NFLX BAC TWC YHOO PG
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09:31 EDTAAPLVirnetX awarded $625.6M verdict against Apple
VirnetX (VHC) announced a jury in the United States Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, in the case VirnetX Inc., et al. v. Apple (AAPL), No. 6:12-cv-00855, has awarded VirnetX $625.6 million in a verdict against Apple Corporation for infringing four VirnetX patents, marking the second time a federal jury has found Apple liable for infringing VirnetX's patented technology. The verdict includes royalties awarded to VirnetX based on an earlier patent infringement finding against Apple. The jury found that Apple's modified VPN On-Demand, iMessage and FaceTime services infringed VirnetX's patents and that Apple's infringement was willful. In addition to determining the royalty owed by Apple for its prior infringement, today's verdict also includes an award based on the jury's finding that Apple's modified VPN On Demand, iMessage and FaceTime services have continued to infringe VirnetX's patents.
08:59 EDTMSFTAmazon.com Alphabet Microsoft should get huge cloud boost, says Pacific Crest
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06:58 EDTBACFed official supports tougher bank stress tests, Reuters reports
Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren said that he supports tougher stress tests for "too big to fail" banks, including larger capital investments that would make them "even more binding," Reuters reports. Rosengren said that stress test changes have reduced the likelihood that systemically important financial firms would fail, the report says. Publicly traded companies in the space include Bank of America (BAC), Citi (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Wells Fargo (WFC). Reference Link
06:51 EDTBACBofA doesn't deserve to be in 'stock market doghouse,' WSJ says
Bank of America (BAC) is currently in the "stock market doghouse," but doesn't deserve to be, David Reilly of the Wall Street Journal's Ahead of the Tape says. The overall beating of U.S. bank stocks has come amid the greater market selloff, reflecting the fact that slowing growth has brought doubt on the Fed's ability to raise rates in March, Reilly says. Since a rate increase is a far-off prospect, investors have little reason to own bank stocks, though Bank of America's valuation assumes "too dire an outcome," the report says. Banks with international outreach, such as Citi (C), are still arguably further behind in post-crisis cleanup, but Bank of America is more focused on the domestic U.S. economy and prices a U.S. recession as a given, not a possibility, the report says. Other large U.S. banks include Wells Fargo (WFC), JPMorgan (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), U.S. Bancorp (USB), BB&T (BBT), PNC Financial (PNC), and SunTrust (STI). Reference Link
05:52 EDTAAPLVirnetX Holding volatility elevated into winning $625M verdict against Apple
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05:13 EDTAAPLApple implied volatility of 27 at lower end of index mean range
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05:09 EDTFBStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; KORS FB
Stocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; Michael Kors (KORS) 45, Facebook (FB) 33 according to iVolatility.
February 3, 2016
18:16 EDTAAPLVirnetX wins $625.6M in patent infringement case against Apple
VirnetX (VHC) won a $625.6M verdict today in favor of in a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple (AAPL), marking the second time a federal jury has found Apple liable for infringing VirnetX's patented technology. The verdict announced Feb. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Tyler includes royalties awarded to VirnetX based on an earlier patent infringement finding against Apple that law firm Caldwell Cassady & Curry also won for VirnetX. The jury found that Apple's modified VPN On Demand, iMessage and FaceTime services infringed VirnetX's patents and that Apple's infringement was willful.
17:56 EDTAAPLVirnetX spikes 74% after Apple ordered to pay damages in patent dispute
17:39 EDTAAPLApple ordered to pay VirnetX $625M in patent ruling, Apple Insider says
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16:00 EDTMSFT, AAPL, BAC, FBOptions Update; February 3, 2016
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13:16 EDTBACBank of America calls active as shares trade near three-year low
Bank of America January 15 and 17 calls are active on total call volume of 321K contracts (161K puts). February call option implied volatility is a 45, March is at 42, May is at 34, January is at 33; compared to its 52-week range of 16 to 45. Active call volume suggest traders taking positions for upside price movement.
11:33 EDTMSFTCiti slashes PC outlook, expresses caution on related stocks
Citi significantly lowered its 2016 PC sales estimates, citing recent negative data points. In conjunction with the call, the firm lowered its estimates for three companies whose results are significantly affected by PC sales: HP Inc. (HPQ), Marvell (MRVL) and Intersil (ISIL). WHAT'S NEW: Citi analyst Jim Silva now expects PC sales to drop 6% this year, down from his previous estimate of a 2% decline. Recent data points indicate that demand for PCs has dropped significantly so far this year, while inventories are above normal, the analyst explained. Constrained budgets and macro concerns are restraining demand for PCs, Silva believes. Meanwhile, "there is not enough evidence" to conclude that the launch of Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 10 will be a positive catalyst for PC sales this year, Silva said. Citing his view of PC trends, along with increased competition in the printer space, Silva lowered his 2016 EPS estimate for HP to $1.53 from $1.64. Statements by other printer makers, including Xerox (XRX) and Canon (CAJ), suggest that HP's margins on printers will "come under additional pressure," the analyst believes. He lowered his price target on the name to $10.75 from $14.50 and expects the stock to remain range-bound until analysts reduce their estimates further or its end markets improve. Intersil has 20% exposure to the PC market and the sales of its products related to computing are still strongly correlated with PC sales, Citi analyst Atif Malik stated. As a result, the company will face revenue headwinds throughout this year, stated the analyst. Malik, who expects the company's 2016 and 2017 EPS to come in below consensus levels, downgraded the stock to Sell from Neutral and set an $11.50 price target on the shares. Estimating Marvell's PC exposure at about 60%, Malik lowered his 2016 EPS estimate for the company to 42c from 48c and kept a Sell rating on the name. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Hedge fund Starboard Value disclosed this morning that it had bought a 6.7% activist stake in Marvell. The hedge fund said the shares are "undervalued" and The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the situation, said Starboard is betting the company can its boost margins by cutting costs, perhaps exiting its mobile device business. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, HP Inc. fell 3.3% to $9.55, Marvell rose 1.25% to $8.78 and Intersil dropped 4.4% to $11.93.
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