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February 19, 2014
12:37 EDTPBPB, GOOG, TIF, X, VZ, SIG, CMCSA, NFLX, ZLCOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday after the S&P 500 spent the majority of the morning in positive ground. Significantly worse than expected housing data for January contributed to a lower open for the major averages, but the Dow and S&P had recovered within an hour of the opening bell. The averages hung near the flat line until just about noon, when all three declined in concert. The move lower may be related to cautious comments coming from the International Monetary Fund, but also coincided with new headlines regarding the ongoing political unrest in Ukraine. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the newly revamped producer price index, which now includes the wholesale cost of goods and adds services, construction, government purchases and exports, climbed 0.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis, which was above the forecast for a 0.1% increase. Housing starts dropped 16% from the prior month to an 880K annual rate in January, which was significantly worse than expected. Building permits also fell a worse-than-expected 5.4% from the prior month to a rate of 937K. COMPANY NEWS: Signet Jewelers (SIG) agreed to acquire Zale (ZLC), which operates its namesake brand as well as Kay Jewelers, Jared, and others, for about $1.4B, or $21.00 per share. Signet projected the transaction to be high single-digit percentage accretive to earnings in the first full fiscal year after the deal closes, excluding acquisition accounting adjustments and one-time transaction costs. Shares of Zale jumped 40% to trade just below $21 at midday, while Signet's stock rose more than 16%. Shares of the leading jewelry and watch retailer in terms of market capitalization, Tiffany (TIF), were up fractionally following the deal between its smaller rivals... After courts ruled against the Federal Communications Commission's last two attempts to enforce "Open Internet" rules, otherwise known as "net neutrality," on broadband providers like Verizon (VZ) and Comcast (CMCSA), the regulator said it is going back to the drawing board to craft new rules to prevent ISPs from charging companies like Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) to provide consumers of their services the highest speeds. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers following their earnings reports were land drilling contractor Nabors Industries (NBR), which advanced 12%, and GPS maker Garmin (GRMN), which gained 8%. Among the noteworthy losers was U.S. Steel (X), which fell 7% after the U.S. Department of Commerce declined to impose tariffs on oil and natural gas pipe products from South Korea, which is the largest exporter among nine nations targeted in a complaint from the company and others in the industry. Also lower were shares of sandwich shop owner Potbelly (PBPB), which fell nearly 11% after reporting quarterly sales that missed expectations. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 34.00, or 0.21%, to 16,096.40, the Nasdaq was down 21.11, or 0.49%, to 4,251.67, and the S&P 500 was down 4.63, or 0.25%, to 1,836.13.
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September 29, 2015
09:19 EDTNFLXDeutsche Bank to hold a conference
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06:56 EDTGOOGApple markets privacy, criticizes Google, Verge says
Apple (AAPL) continues to strengthen its credentials as a company caring about privacy, having updated its privacy site, adding in details on how data is collected for new iOS 9 features, such as the News app, the Verge reports. The site includes a letter from CEO Tim Cook, the report says. The company's description of Maps privacy may be a thinly-veiled criticism of Google (GOOG), the Verge says. Reference Link
06:18 EDTVZPublicis signs advertising partnership with Verizon's Go90 service, WSJ reports
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September 28, 2015
19:44 EDTGOOGGoogle to announce $15 family plan for music service, Android Police says
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17:42 EDTGOOGGoogle Nexus 5X preorders to open Tuesday at $379, Android Police says
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17:30 EDTGOOGGoogle to introduce email-based ad targeting
Google ads and commerce SVP Sridhar Ramaswamy announced in a blog post that the company will be introducing two new ad products, namely Customer Match and Universal App Campaigns. Ramaswamy explained, "Customer Match allows you to upload a list of email addresses, which can be matched to signed-in users on Google in a secure and privacy-safe way. From there, you can build campaigns and ads specifically designed to reach your audience... You can also generate Similar Audiences to reach new customers on YouTube and Gmail." Customer Match and Similar Audiences will be rolling out to all advertisers over the next few weeks. Ramaswamy continued, "Starting [September 27], Universal App Campaigns will be available to all developers and advertisers as a new AdWords campaign type that helps you connect with app users across Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and the Google Display Network." Reference Link
16:00 EDTNFLXOptions Update; September 28, 2015
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15:06 EDTGOOGD-Wave announces quantum computing agreement with Google, NASA
D-Wave Systems announced that it has entered into an agreement covering the installation of a succession of D-Wave systems located at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. The agreement supports collaboration among Google, NASA and USRA that is dedicated to studying how quantum computing can advance artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the solution of complex optimization problems. The new agreement enables Google and its partners to keep their D-Wave system at the state-of-the-art for up to seven years, with new generations of D-Wave systems to be installed at NASA Ames as they become available. Reference Link
14:08 EDTVZAOL announces the launch of LIVE by AOL
AOL announced the launch of LIVE by AOL, a comprehensive end-to-end service for the production, streaming, distribution and monetization of live events. LIVE by AOL brings together AOL's world-class video expertise with Verizon Digital Media Services to give content and media partners access to a complete suite of live experience solutions for all screens and devices. LIVE by AOL provides content and media partners with unprecedented distribution through the company's owned and operated properties, including, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and more, in addition to a holistic and open network of over 1,700 publisher partners for live distribution across mobile, digital, over-the-top, and linear TV. In addition to LIVE's expansive reach, the solution also provides complete production capabilities, full content-preparation supported by cross-device, cloud-based encoding that is combined with Verizon Digital Media Services' high-performance stream delivery, and options to monetize through various advertising, sponsorship, and native integration options. "As the video landscape continues to evolve, live programming is the next frontier for innovation," said Jimmy Maymann, EVP and President, AOL Content & Consumer Brands. "LIVE by AOL not only unites the pillars of our business, but enables all of our content and media partners to tap into the power of live programming and bring that success to their own properties. As the lines between traditional television and online video blur, producing, distributing, and monetizing live content in the digital realm will be a deciding factor for those who successfully step into the next era of video."
13:42 EDTVZVerizon offers annual upgrade plan for iPhone users
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10:43 EDTGOOGMicrosoft planning Google Cardboard VR competitor, TNW News says
Microsoft (MSFT) is working on a competitor to Google's (GOOG) Cardboard Virtual Reality program, TNW News reports. The Seattle-based tech giant is inviting participants to an event in Russia on October 17, offering cardboard headsets to those with "successful" suggestions, the report says. Microsoft is already developing its HoloLens "mixed reality" technology, the report says. Reference Link
10:02 EDTNFLXNetflix licenses global streaming rights for 'Colony'
Netflix, Inc., Legendary Television and Universal Cable Productions announced that Netflix has acquired subscription video on demand rights on a global basis to COLONY, a highly anticipated new drama from Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal, which premieres on USA January 14, 2016. COLONY is a co-production between Legendary Television and Universal Cable Productions.
07:56 EDTNFLXNetflix appears to have a hit with Narcos, says UBS
UBS analyst Doug Mitchelson said the firm's "Evidence Lab" found that Netflix' Narcos is already among the top four most liked of the company's original shows on Facebook in less than 1 month after premiering, adding that the reception of the show has been particularly strong in Latin America. The apparent hit increases the firm's confidence in Q3 subscriber growth estimates for both the U.S. and international markets, Mitchelson told investors in a research note. The analyst also noted that Netflix ranked sixth in week 1 and 24th in week 2 in terms of iOS app downloads for Japan after launching there. Though the launch is the weakest internationally since 2013, the size of the market should still let it contribute to Q3, wrote Mitchelson who keeps a Buy rating and $143 price target on Netflix shares.
07:40 EDTGOOGGoogle to unveil new phones at September 29 event, BI reports
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06:50 EDTVZVerizon's go90 wins $80M from backers, NY Post reports
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06:42 EDTGOOGGoogle to bring free Wi-Fi to 400 train stations in India
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06:27 EDTNFLXNetflix acquires rights to three more TV shows, Variety reports
Netflix has acquired the global streaming rights to CW's "Jane the Virgin," USA's "Colony" and CBS's "Zoo," sources confirm to Variety. Netflix previously announced the acquisition of exclusive global rights to ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder." Reference Link
06:25 EDTGOOGYouTube finalizing subscription launch for two services, Re/code reports
YouTube is finalizing launch plans for its subscription service expected to be launch near the end of October, reports Re/code. In a blast email to content owners, YouTube said they would have to agree to the new terms by October 22 or their "videos will no longer be available for public display or monetization in the United States." According to sources, YouTube intends to bundle two different services that include an update of its music service and the ability to watch anything on YouTube without seeing ads. Reference Link
06:08 EDTCMCSAComcast NBCUniversal to acquire 51% stake in Universal Studios Japan
Comcast NBCUniversal (CMCSA) announced that it has agreed to purchase 51% ownership of Universal Studios Japan in a recapitalization transaction, partnering with the current owners including Goldman Sachs (GS), USJ's CEO Glenn Gumpel, Asian private-equity firm MBK Partners, and U.S. hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management. Comcast NBCUniversal's purchase price for the majority ownership of the theme park destination is Y183B, or $1.5B. "We are excited to expand our global footprint with this wonderful theme park in Osaka and are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead in Japan and all of Asia," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast. "This investment represents a huge opportunity and commitment to creating value for our shareholders and continuing to grow internationally." Acquiring majority ownership of Universal Studios Japan continues Comcast NBCUniversal's ongoing investment strategy for it's U.S. parks in Orlando and Hollywood.
September 27, 2015
19:39 EDTCMCSA'Hotel Transylvania 2' bites down in record-setting debut
Animated children's film "Hotel Transylvania 2" set a domestic record for September while "Maze Runner" and "Black Mass" dropped in their second weekends at the box office. WEEKEND LEADER: Sony's (SNE) computer animated comedy "Hotel Transylvania 2" grossed $47.5M during its domestic open for the weekend of September 27, beating expectations for $35M-$40M and setting a new record for September box office debuts. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and others returned to provide voice acting for the monster-themed movie, which saw the biggest open yet for Sony Pictures Animation. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: With Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway in leading roles, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "The Intern" opened at $18.2M against estimates sales of $15M-$20M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" came in third with $14M after grossing $30.3M domestically during last weekend's debut. Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest" jumped to $13.1M after significantly expanding its screen count, while Warner Bros.' "Black Mass" rounded out this weekend's Top 5 at $11.5M.
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