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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 29, 2014
12:13 EDTWIN, CTL, FTR, MRK, PFE, UPS, MW, PGTI, GALTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday despite a much better than expected consumer confidence reading and better than expected earnings from two pharmaceutical giants. With the Fed currently conducting its two-day FOMC meeting, investors may be choosing to remain cautious ahead of tomorrow’s conclusion. The averages have weakened in the last hour and are now mixed, with the Nasdaq leading and the S&P 500 lagging, but all of the major averages are not far from their starting points. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the S&P Case Shiller home price index rose 9.34% from the prior year in May to 170.64, which was a bit below the expectation for a 9.9% year-over-year increase. The Conference Board's consumer confidence reading climbed to 90.9 in July from an upwardly revised 86.4 June figure, beating expectations for a 85.4 reading and reaching its highest level since October 2007. COMPANY NEWS: Windstream (WIN) jumped 12% and sent ripples throughout the telecom sector after announcing plans to spin off certain telecommunications network assets into an independent, publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust, or REIT. Windstream confirmed it has received a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service relating to certain tax matters regarding the tax-free nature of the spinoff and the qualification of the spunoff entity's assets as real property for REIT purposes. In addition to Windstream, shares of other companies that provide communications services gained as they were viewed as potentially being positioned to pursue similar plans, with Frontier Communications (FTR) advancing 11% and CenturyLink (CTL) rising 4%. However, Morgan Stanley cautioned that this ruling could reopen the political debate on REIT exemptions, especially if bigger companies begin to explore them, while UBS said large Telcos such as AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) are unlikely to consider a similar structural separation... UPS (UPS) fell 3.5% after reporting Q2 adjusted earnings per share that missed expectations and lowering its fiscal year earnings outlook, citing its plans to increase operating expenses for capacity and peak related projects to a total of $175M. “These initiatives will increase operating expense this year, but will provide financial benefits for years to come,” said UPS CFO Kurt Kuehn... Two Dow members and pharma giants, Pfizer (PFE) and Merck (MRK), both reported sales and profits that beat expectations for their second quarters. Pfizer, which backed its fiscal year adjusted EPS view but lowered its adjusted revenue view for the year, fell 0.4%, while Merck gained 1.6% near noon after its own report. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was windows and door supplier PGT Inc. (PGTI), which gained 28% after reporting better than expected quarterly results and agreeing to buy CGI Windows & Doors for about $111M. Among the noteworthy losers was Men's Wearhouse (MW), which fell 7% after the company gave long-term guidance during its analyst day meeting. Also lower was Galectin Therapeutics (GALT), which plunged 55% after the company posted a presentation on its website that contains a summary of the results of the second cohort of patients in the Phase 1 clinical trial for GT-020. Galectin's GR-MD-02 showed no difference from placebo across most efficacy biomarkers in the phase I study of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, according to The Street's Adam Feuerstein. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 1.79, or 0.01%, to 16,980.80, the Nasdaq was up 8.00, or 0.18%, to 4,452.91, and the S&P 500 was down 1.91, or 0.1%, to 1,977.00.
News For WIN;CTL;FTR;MRK;PFE;UPS;MW;PGTI;GALT From The Last 14 Days
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September 23, 2014
12:00 EDTUPSThree people dead in shooting at UPS facility in Alabama, AP reports
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10:54 EDTPFEStocks, analysts react to Treasury inversion crackdown
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07:33 EDTMRKOphthotech names Michael Atieh as EVP, Chief Financial and Business Officer
Ophthotech Corporation (OPHT) announced that Michael G. Atieh has been named EVP, Chief Financial and Business Officer and Treasurer effective September 30. Atieh replaces Bruce A. Peacock, Chief Financial and Business Officer and Treasurer, who has notified the company of his intention to retire effective September 30. Atieh spent the majority of his career in the pharmaceutical industry with Merck and Co (MRK), where he held various senior level positions over a 20 year period including Senior Vice President-Merck Medco Managed Care, Vice President-U.S. Human Health, Vice President-Public Affairs, Vice President-Government Relations, and Treasurer.
06:40 EDTPFEPiper says don't dismiss potential Pfizer bid for Actavis
Piper Jaffray says it would not be dismissive of Pfizer (PFE) as a potential acquirer of Actavis (ACT). Piper believes Pfizer's public M&A comments are supportive of Actavis' exposure to complex generics and emerging markets. The firm views Actavis shares as attractively valued, irrespective of the acquisition chatter. It reiterates an Overweight rating on the stock with a $280 price target.
September 22, 2014
11:03 EDTUPSUPS expands 3D printing across U.S. with Stratasys collaboration
UPS (UPS) is expanding 3D printing services to meet the growing demands of its small business customers to nearly 100 additional locations nationwide. As the first nationwide retailer to offer 3D printing services in-store, in collaboration with Stratasys (SSYS), the UPS Store continues to evolve its services to better meet the needs of small business owners.
06:51 EDTMRKMerck to host conference call
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September 19, 2014
16:00 EDTPFEOptions Update; September 19, 2014
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14:05 EDTFTRFrontier Communications partners with William Raveis Real Estate
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10:07 EDTPFEHigh option volume stocks
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September 18, 2014
08:48 EDTMRKNeogen's dairy genomic program to be marketed by Merck
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September 17, 2014
10:13 EDTCTLRackspace sinks after deciding to remain independent
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09:33 EDTMRKMerck announced positive results from Phase 3 data for omarigliptin
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08:31 EDTMRKMerck, Sun Pharma enter into licensing agreement for Tildrakizumab
Merck and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, through their respective subsidiaries,announced an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for Merck’s investigational therapeutic antibody candidate, tildrakizumab, which is currently being evaluated in Phase 3 registration trials for the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis, a skin ailment. Under terms of the agreement, Sun Pharma will acquire worldwide rights to tildrakizumab for use in all human indications from Merck in exchange for an upfront payment of $80M. Merck will continue all clinical development and regulatory activities, which will be funded by Sun Pharma. Upon product approval, Sun Pharma will be responsible for regulatory activities, including subsequent submissions, pharmacovigilance, post approval studies, manufacturing and commercialization of the approved product. Merck is eligible to receive undisclosed payments associated with regulatory and sales milestones, as well as tiered royalties ranging from mid-single digit through teen percentage rates on sales. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the requirements under the Hart Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
07:43 EDTPFEBofA/Merrill to hold a conference
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September 16, 2014
11:51 EDTPFEOECD looks to close tax loopholes with new proposals
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08:43 EDTUPSUPS expects to hire 90K-95K seasonal employees
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07:31 EDTMRKEuropean Association for Study of Diabetes to hold annual meeting
50th Annual Meeting of EASD to be held in Vienna, Austria on September 15-19.
07:27 EDTFTRBofA/Merrill to hold a conference
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07:25 EDTMRKMerck price target raised to $72 from $62 at SunTrust
After meeting with Merck's CEO and head of clinical development, SunTrust increased its price target on the company as the firm thinks that it is ideally positioned across five of the fastest growing therapeutic classes. The firm believes that the company's EPS growth rates from 2015-2020 will be three percentage points above Street estimates, while it has a first-mover advantage in oncology. It keeps a Buy rating on the shares.
07:19 EDTPFECompanies' share buybacks at fasttest clip since 2007, WSJ reports
Companies are buying back their own shares at its fastest pace since the financial crisis to fuel a stock rally, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to Birinyi Associates, companies have bought back $338.3B of stock in 1H14, the most since 2007. Citing an analysis by Barclays, companies with the largest buyback programs by dollar value have outperformed the broader market by 20% since 2008. Reference Link
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