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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 11, 2013
12:21 EDTBV, ERIC, BBY, ARQL, UPIP, AXP, JCP, INFY, WFCOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday, with the Dow managing to cross back into positive ground near noon. The averages began the session in relatively quite fashion and traded in a narrow range throughout the morning. There was little reaction to the pre-market release of both the trade balance report for November and import and export price data for December. The focus for investors was more on the release of earnings from banking giant Wells Fargo (WFC), the first of the big U.S. banks to report... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the trade deficit grew in November to $48.7B, after analysts called for the deficit to shrink to $41.3B. However the gap's widening was driven by an increase in consumer goods imports, which is a potentially positive signal for consumer spending. Import prices decreased 0.1% in December, versus an expected increase of 0.1%, while export prices were similarly down 0.1% in the month, which matched expectations. In Asia, Japan's government approved $116B in new stimulus spending. Also, China's consumer price index grew 2.5% in December from the prior year, overshooting expectations for a less pronounced pick-up from the 2.0% growth rate of November. Producer prices, however, fell 1.9% from the prior year, which was roughly in-line with expectations... COMPANY NEWS: Wells Fargo's headline results topped expectations, as its EPS of 91c and $21.9B revenue both beat consensus. However, Wells’ Q4 net interest margin slid 10 basis points from the prior quarter to 3.56% and its stock declined 1% in midday trading... Shares of another newsmaker in the financial sector, American Express (AXP), fared a bit better, rising about 0.35%. AmEx said it plans to cut 5,400 jobs, with the largest cuts to come in its travel business. The company also said last night that cardmember spending rose 8% in Q4 and reported preliminary quarterly profit that beat Street expectations... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Best Buy (BBY), which rose over 12% after reporting its domestic same-store sales were flat during the holiday season, but also cutting its view of free cash flow for this year. Also higher were shares of Infosys (INFY), up 17% after its results and guidance topped expectations, and Unwired Planet (UPIP), up 30% after the company announced a patent purchase agreement with Ericsson (ERIC) and the stock was upgraded to Outperform at Northland. Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) sunk nearly 6% after UBS said the retailer's earnings outlook is deteriorating and downgraded the stock to Sell. Among the other noteworthy losers were ArQule (ARQL), down 15% after a Phase 2 trial for its cancer treatment failed to meet its primary endpoint, and Bazaarvoice (BV), down 11% after the Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against the company and its stock was downgraded to Market Perform at BMO Capital... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was up 6.12, or 0.05%, to 13,477.34; the Nasdaq was down 2.29, or 0.07%, to 3,119.47; and the S&P 500 was down 1.81, or 0.12%, to 1,470.31.
News For WFC;AXP;BBY;INFY;UPIP;ERIC;JCP;ARQL;BV From The Last 14 Days
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February 9, 2016
09:04 EDTBVBazaarvoice announces strategic partnership with BzzAgent
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07:43 EDTWFCMorgan Stanley punished more than peers amid banking rout, WSJ reports
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07:02 EDTAXPAmerican Express price target lowered to $66 from $90 at Deutsche Bank
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05:55 EDTAXPPiper's Munster sees PayPal product differentiation being reduced
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05:52 EDTWFCWells Fargo volatility elevated as shares trend lower
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February 8, 2016
13:03 EDTJCPKohl's replaces J.C. Penney as Academy Awards retail sponsor, Fortune says
Kohl's (KSS) will become the sole retail sponsor of the upcoming Academy Awards, replacing J.C. Penney (JCP), which ended its Oscar partnership after 14 years last year, Fortune reports. Kohl's is attempting to increase the visibility and fashion credibility of its private apparel brands and is aiming to showcase its big names, including Sonoma, which is expected to relaunch after the Oscars, the report says. Reference Link
06:31 EDTWFCNorway's oil fund tells U.S. banks to split CEO-chairman positions, FT says
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February 5, 2016
16:07 EDTUPIPUnwired Planet reports Q2 EPS ($1.35), two estimates (90c)
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08:02 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney pursues sale of home office campus
J.C. Penney announced that it is pursuing the potential sale and partial leaseback of its Home Office building in Plano, Texas as part of an ongoing effort to reduce outstanding debt and effectively manage expenses. A combination of favorable market conditions and a surplus of available square footage within the building make this an attractive real estate opportunity for the company. It is expected that the cost of leasing space within the building would be offset by a reduction in maintenance costs, property taxes and interest expense as a result of paying down debt with proceeds from the transaction. CBRE Capital Markets has been selected to market the 1.8 million-square-foot, Class A office campus located in Legacy Business Park in Plano, Texas. The new owner will have the opportunity to market over 650,000 square feet of contiguous space within the coveted Legacy West submarket. These actions follow a decision in 2014 to contribute a significant portion of fringe land around the Home Office to a joint venture with a team of developers.
06:23 EDTAXP20 companies make alliance to keep down healthcare costs, WSJ says
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February 4, 2016
10:28 EDTJCPKohl's slumps after cutting forecast on lower than planned sales, margins
Shares of Kohl's (KSS) are plunging after the department store retailer cut its earnings per share guidance for fiscal year 2015 based on lower than planned sales for the quarter and "significantly" lower gross margins. WHAT'S NEW: Kohl's said this morning that comparable store sales for the fourth quarter increased 0.4%, with total quarterly sales rising 0.8%. The company said that despite a "very strong" holiday selling season, sales were "very volatile and less than planned" in the quarter. Additionally, Kohl's said the holiday season results were offset by a "very slow start" to Q4 in November as well as a weaker than expected January due to soft demand for cold-weather goods that led to lower store traffic. Looking ahead, Kohl's cut its FY15 EPS view to $3.95-$4.00, excluding losses from debt repayment, against analysts' consensus estimate of $4.30. Kohl's previously expected FY15 EPS to be at the low end of its $4.40-$4.60 range. Kohl's said it lowered its guidance as a result of lower than expected quarterly sales and "significantly lower than planned" gross margin. Kohl's is expected to report Q4 results on February 25. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Kohl's is considering whether to hire an investment bank to advise the company on alternatives including going private or a break up, The Wall Street Journal reported on January 11, citing a source. Kohl's executives are said to be open to a strategic review, the source said. ALSO NOTABLE: Retailer Ralph Lauren (RL) this morning said that while international net revenue grew 6% in constant currency in its third quarter, North America revenue declined 4%, due in part to warmer temperatures for the fall and holiday season. ANALYST OPINIONS: Buckingham yesterday upgraded Kohl's to Buy from Neutral, as the firm expected Kohl's SSS to rise by a low single digit percentage level in Q4. Analysts at Stifel said on January 11 that Kohl's could be worth as much as $95 in a takeover. PRICE ACTION: Kohl's is down over 14% to $43.72 in morning trading. OTHERS TO WATCH: Ralph Lauren is down over 17.5% to trade near $95 per share. Department store peers Macy's (M) and J.C. Penney (JCP) are down 3% and 2%, respectively, this morning.
07:07 EDTAXPHMG Strategy is holding a summit
2016 Phoenix CIO Executive Leadership Summit is being held in Scottsdale, AZ on February 4.
06:58 EDTWFCFed 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
06:52 EDTWFCCredit Suisse says not in asset sale talks with Wells Fargo, Reuters reports
Credit Suisse (CS) CEO Tidjane Thiam says there is "no foundation" to reports suggesting the company is in asset sale talks with Wells Fargo (WFC), Reuters reports. Thiam says the company's investment bank is "important" to its strategy. Reference Link
06:51 EDTWFCBofA 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
February 3, 2016
09:10 EDTWFCWells Fargo to pay $1.2B to settle government claims over lending activities
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February 2, 2016
12:19 EDTWFCWells Fargo settles with SEC over municipal securities underwriting violations
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06:55 EDTJCPPiper reiterates J.C. Penney as top pick for 2016
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January 31, 2016
20:43 EDTWFCOn The Fly: Top five weekend stock stories
Catch up on the weekend's top five stories with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Coca-Cola (KO) announced a minority stake in diary and juice company Chi, with plans to take full ownership within three years. 2. Billionaire investor Nelson Peltz is considering taking an activist position in Time Warner (TWX), the New York Post reported. 3. Toyota (TM) could temporarily halt domestic production after an explosion at a key supplier curbed its supply of steel, Reuters said. 4. Investigations into Herbalife (HLF), as well as investigations into Bill Ackman himself, have fizzled and criminal charges look unlikely, the Wall Street Journal revealed. 5. Virtu Financial (VIRT) and Ctrip (CTRP) were discussed positively by Barron's this week, as well as "tech bargains" Autodesk (ADSK), Akamai (AKAM), Western Digital (WDC), SanDisk (SNDK) and Lam Research (LRCX) and attractive banking stocks Citi (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
12:33 EDTWFCU.S. banks could return 20% or more, Barron's says
The banking sector looks like "one of the best bargains in the market," Barron's contends in a cover story. Names such as Citi (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), BB&T (BBT), PNC Financial (PNC), SunTrust (STI) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) are showing healthy balance sheets and could offer "at least" 20% upside, the publication argues, adding that the industry's exposure to the energy sector "looks manageable" given information offered in recent earnings reports and conference calls. Reference Link
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