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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

AMD, Nvidia stocks fall as analyst says AI will need different chips in 2018
Shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Nvidia Corp. fell 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively, in Tuesday morning trading, after analysts at Susquehanna suggested that application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) could become more important than graphics processing units (GPUs) for 2018. 'Nvidia was in the right place at the right time,' wrote the analysts, led by Christoper Rolland, as its GPUs made for gaming purposes proved useful for complex artificial-intelligence tasks as well. 'However, our discussions with numerous thought leaders in the industry suggest ASICs may replace much of today's GPU infrastructure over time,' he added. Plus, GPUs could become less useful for the mining of cryptocurrencies in 2018, according to Rolland. AMD shares have fallen 12% so far in 2017, compared with an 80% gain for Nvidia shares. The S&P 500 is up 19% this year, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index has gained 37%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Oasis Petroleum's stock leads NYSE losers after share offering, analyst downgrade
Shares of Oasis Petroleum Inc. sank 11% on heavy volume Tuesday, after the oil and gas exploration and production company announced a public offering of common stock, and after a SunTrust Robinson Humphrey downgrade. The stock was the biggest decline on the NYSE, and volume of 43 million shares was about five times the full-day average, and enough to make the stock the most actively traded on major U.S. exchanges. The company said late Monday that it was selling 32 million shares of common stock to the public for gross proceeds of approximately $321.9 million, implying a per-share price of about $10.06. Separately, the company said late Monday it agreed to buy 20,300 acres in the Delaware Basin for $946 million, consisting of $483 million in cash and 46 million shares of common stock. SunTrust RH analyst Neal Dingmann downgraded Oasis to hold from buy, and slashed his stock price target to $11 from $14, citing the 'hefty price' the company paid to enter the Delaware Basin. The stock has plunged 41% year to date, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has slipped 7.1% and the S&P 500 has climbed 19%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Imperva stock falls after JP Morgan downgrades to underweight
Shares of security-software firms Imperva Inc. , Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. , and Fortinet Inc. fell 3.5%, 0.3%, and 0.1%, respectively, in Tuesday morning trading, after analysts at JP Morgan downgraded the stocks. The analysts, led by Sterling Auty, now rate Imperva at underweight and both Check Point and Fortinet at neutral. Auty points to 'sales execution issues' for Check Point and Imperva; he thinks it's unlikely that Check Point will go back to 'winning consistent market share' and worries about the web-application firewall aspect of Imperva's business. Fortinet, meanwhile, has seen 'turnover in the sales and marketing ranks' that has been weighing on results, Auty wrote. He noted that market-research firm Gartner now predicts core security spending to grow at a 6% annual clip through 2021, below a previous forecast for 6.5% growth. Imperva shares have risen 4.7% so far in 2017, compared with 40% and 25% rises for Fortinet and Check Point respectively. The S&P 500 is up 19% this year.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Ethereum and litecoin spike to records as bitcoin takes a breather
Ethereum and litecoin spiked to records Tuesday as demand for cryptocurrencies reached a fever pitch while bitcoin, the most popular digital currency, took a breather. The value of ethereum soared 22% to $628.65, according to Coindesk. Litecoin surged 82% to $332.34, data from Coinmarketcap.com show. Meanwhile, bitcoin fell 0.9% to trade at $17,011 and Cboe bitcoin futures slid 2.2% to $18,140. With most experts still divided over the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies as an investment, some experts believe demand for bitcoin and its peers will continue to remain strong, propelling bitcoin to $20,000 in the near term.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Verizon stock jumps toward 11-month high after Instinet upgrade
Verizon Communications Inc. shares surged 1.9% in Tuesday morning trading, putting them on course to close at the highest level since January, after analysts at Instinet upgraded the stock to buy from neutral. 'Better visibility into subscriber growth, rising average revenue per user, and cost control fuels our confidence earnings per share growth will resume in 2018,' wrote the analysts, led by Jeffrey Kvaal. He believes the company, which announced a new streaming arrangement with the NFL on Monday, could launch an over-the-top streaming service by the end of the year and has some advantages over its peers in doing so. 'Unlike AT&T it need not bundle to reduce churn or be overly mindful of its existing video base as its pay-TV base is minimal relative to rivals,' he wrote. The firm raised its price target on Verizon shares to $61, from $47. Verizon's stock has fallen 1.3% so far in 2017, compared with a 19% gain for the S&P 500 .

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Boeing's stock delivers 60-point jolt to Dow industrials rise in early trade
Shares of Boeing Co. were surging early Tuesday, helping to power the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a triple-digit climb in morning trade. Boeing Co. was up more than 3% or $7.98 at $289, translating to a roughly 60-point rise for the Dow industrials , which was up 103 points, or 0.4%, at 24,485 in recent trade. A $1 dollar move in any one of the Dow's 30 components equates to a 6.83-point swing in the price-weighted benchmark. Boeing's move came as J.P. Morgan Chase raised its price target for the plane maker to $325 from $300 on Tuesday. Shares of Boeing have been the best performer among the Dow components, boasting a 86% year-to-date advance. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite Index were trading at break-even levels.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

eBay upgraded to outperform at BMO Capital Markets
Shares of eBay Inc. are down 0.8% in Tuesday morning trading, though analysts at BMO Capital Markets upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform. The analysts, led by Daniel Salmon, think that the company's 'promoted listing' product is doing better than expected due to its recent launch in several key international markets, including Canada. Salmon also believes that consensus estimates for eBay's gross merchandise volume will rise as a result of the company's new marketing campaign and its investments in machine learning. Finally's he's upbeat on eBay's launch of a new site in China. He raised his target price to $45 from $40. eBay shares have gained 25% so far in 2017, compared with a 19% gain for the S&P 500 .

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Mastercard, FleetCor make up Goldman Sachs' top payments picks for 2018
Payments stocks on the whole have outperformed the market so far in 2017, and Goldman Sachs analysts wrote Tuesday that it's hard to find value in the sector looking ahead to the new year. The Goldman analysts, led by Tien-tsin Huang, are 'sticking with their preference' for companies that have heavy exposure to digital, money to make acquisitions, and opportunities for margin expansion. PayPal Holdings Inc. , Square Inc. , and Global Payments Inc. fit those characteristics, according to the analysts. However, they acknowledge that these stocks have 'high valuations and low margin for error.' Therefore, the firm's top picks for 2018 are Mastercard Inc. , which Goldman deems likely to 'at least maintain earnings-per-share growth,' and FleetCor Technologies , which recently completed a 'materially accretive acquisition.' Mastercard shares have gained 46% so far this year, while FleetCor's stock is up 34%. The S&P 500 Index has risen 19% in that time.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Stocks open mostly higher; Dow and S&P 500 set to hit fresh all-time high
U.S. stock indexes opened mostly higher on Tuesday as the Federal Reserve looks to start its two-day policy meeting. The Fed is expected to vote and pass its third rate hike for this year. The Dow and S&P 500 were trading in record territory shortly after the open. The S&P 500 was up 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2662. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 64 points, or 0.3%, to 24445. The Nasdaq Composite was 6 points lower at 6870.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Pandora hires former Gap executive to be chief marketing officer
Pandora Media Inc. said Tuesday that Aimee Lapic will be its chief marketing officer, effective Dec. 13. Lapic was previously at Gap Inc. , where she was most recently CMO for Gap's Banana Republic brand stores. 'I'm incredibly excited to join Pandora at such a pivotal time in the company's history,' Lapic said. 'I can't wait to help shape the next chapter by attracting and engaging listeners in innovative new ways.' Shares of the streaming music service, which were up 0.6% in premarket trade, have plunged 61.4% year to date through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 18.8%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Activision Blizzard stock rises after Goldman Sachs upgrades to buy
Activision Blizzard Inc. shares gained 2.2% in premarket trading Tuesday after analysts at Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and raised their price target to $73. The firm raised its 2019 and 2020 earnings estimates for the videogame publisher based on optimism for 'non-recurring titles,' including Overwatch 2, Diablo, and a mobile game from the Blizzard division. Overwatch, launched in 2016, was a big success for Activision Blizzard, and while the company hasn't confirmed a new installment, the team at Goldman Sachs thinks that one will come out in 2020. The analysts, led by Christopher Merwin, are also upbeat about the company's potential to capitalize on the mobile-gaming market in China. Merwin estimates that mobile will account for 31% of Activision's revenue in 2017, more than for its peers. He projects that the company will generate 68% of its revenue from in-game spending by 2019, including from mobile, console, and PC titles. Goldman Sachs also downgraded shares of publisher Ubisoft Entertainment to neutral and removed buy-rated Electronic Arts Inc. from its 'conviction list.' Activision shares have gained 75% so far in 2017, compared with an 87% rise for Ubisoft and a 37% rise for Electronic Arts. The S&P 500 is up 19% this year.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Snap stock falls after MoffettNathanson maintains sell rating
Snap Inc. shares fell 0.6% in premarket trading Tuesday after analysts at MoffettNathanson highlighted several efforts by the company to 'right the ship' but maintained their sell rating on shares. The analysts, led by Michael Nathanson, aren't sure whether Snap's recent redesign of the Snapchat app will help the company meet its goals of generating more engagement, but they think the company is 'doing the right thing in making a calculated bet to try to drive increased daily-active-user growth from both older users and non-penetrated international markets.' Nathanson is intrigued by Snap's decision to introduce 'pixel tracking,' a way for advertisers to see what users do after viewing an ad, but doubts it will have much impact on the crucial holiday quarter. 'While the feature marks a key turning point in their offering to advertisers, it was likely released too late to reap much benefit for 4Q17, the bigger advertising quarter,' Nathanson wrote. He maintained his price target of $7, which matches the lowest among Wall Street analysts surveyed by FactSet. Snap shares have fallen 4.6% from their March IPO price of $17. The S&P 500 is up 12% since Snap went public.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Trinity Industries to spin off infrastructure businesses, raises share buyback program to $500 million
Trinity Industries Inc. said Tuesday its board has approved a plan to spin off its infrastructure-related businesses in a move expected to be completed in the second half of 2018. The deal is expected to result in two separate public companies. Trinity Industries will operate rail leasing, manufacturing and services business, and a separate company will be focused on infrastructure. 'The new infrastructure company will have the balance sheet strength and capital allocation flexibility to pursue growth through acquisitions and to capitalize on the large and growing market opportunity in North American infrastructure spending,' the Dallas-based company said. The board has also approved a doubling of the company's share buyback authorization to $500 million. Shares rose 1.4% premarket, and have gained 19% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

JetBlue's stock rallies after unit revenue outlook raised, hurricane impact estimate lowered
Shares of JetBlue Airways Corp. rose 1% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the air carrier raised its fourth-quarter unit revenue outlook as the negative impact from hurricanes is now less than expected. JetBlue raised its guidance range for revenue per available seat mile (RASM) growth to -0.5 to +1.5 from a previous range of -3.0 to 0.0. The company said the negative impact from recent hurricanes, notably Irma and Maria, is now estimated to be 50 basis points (0.50 percentage points) for the quarter, compared with a prior forecast of one-to-two percentage points. Separately, JetBlue said November load factor fell to 84.2% from 85.4% a year ago, as a 4.3% increase in capacity outpaced the 2.8% rise in traffic. The stock has lost 1.0% year to date through Monday, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has rallied 4.3% and the S&P 500 has climbed 19%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

UPDATE: GlycoMimetics shares soar 30% after positive trial of leukemia treatment
GlycoMimetics Inc. shares surged 30% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the company reported improvements in median overall survival rates in an early-stage trial of a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The company told attendees at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia that a trial of 54 patients with relapsed/refractory AML at the Phase 2 dose of its GMI-1271 for whom median follow up was 6.6 months showed clinical remission of 43% and median overall survival of 9.5 months, comparing favorably with historical data. A separate group of 25 older patients with newly diagnosed disease for whom median follow up was 10.5 months had a clinical remission rate of 68%. 'These new data from our Phase 1/2 clinical trial demonstrate that encouraging clinical outcomes are possible for both duration of remission and survival endpoints when GMI-1271 is added to chemotherapy in two distinct AML patient populations,' noted Helen Thackray, M.D., FAAP, GlycoMimetics clinical development and chief medical officer. 'Beyond the high response rates previously reported with GMI-1271, we can now point to additional long-term endpoints that further support our plan to move the drug candidate into a Phase 3 clinical trial scheduled to begin in mid-2018.' Shares have gained 135% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

Proteostasis Therapeutics' stock nearly doubles on heavy volume after positive trial results
Shares of Proteostasis Therapeutics Inc. nearly doubled in active premarket trade Tuesday, after the developer of cystic fibrosis treatments announced positive results from three trials. The company phase 2 trial of 50 milligram-a-day of PTI-428 in patients on background Orkambi met its efficacy endpoint. 'This is an important first step towards translating the scientific potential of the first and only genotype agnostic CFTR modulator in development, and its ability to enhance Orkambi by selectively increasing the production of the CFTR protein,' said Patrick Flume, a clinical investigator at the Medical University of South Carolina. Separtely, a preliminary ad hoc analysis of PTI-801 showed improvements without serious adverse safety events, and PTI-808 was found in a healthy volunteer co-administration study to be well tolerated and could be potentially amenable to once-a-day dosing. The stock shot up 86% on volume of over 484,000 shares about two hours before the open, compared with the full-day average volume of about 193,100 shares. The stock has plunged 81% year to date through Monday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has rallied 20% and the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

3M sees 2017 EPS, sales growth at 'top half' of guidance range
3M Co. said Tuesday it said the industrial and consumer products company is tracking at the 'top half' of its 2017 growth guidance range of 4% to 5% and earnings per share of $9.00 to $9.10. The FactSet consensus for revenue of $31.49 billion implies 4.6% growth from a year ago, while the EPS consensus is $9.06. For 2018, 3M expects net EPS of $9.60 to $10.00, compared with the FactSet consensus of $9.70, and total sales growth of 5% to 7%. The FactSet 2018 revenue consensus of $33.16 billion is 5.3% above 2017 expectations. Speaking at its annual analyst and investors gathering in New York later Tuesday, Chief Executive Inge Thulin will also highlight investments in its priority growth platforms, including auto electrification, air quality and personal safety. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has soared 34% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 23%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

Verizon CEO steps down from General Electric board
Verizon Communications Inc. Chief Executive Lowell McAdam resigned from the General Electric Co. board of directors, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday. McAdam told GE that he no longer had enough time to continue to serve on the board, the SEC filing said. 'Lowell is very supportive of [GE] Chairman Flannery,' a Verizon spokesman said in an email message. 'It has become clear, however, that the work on GE's board was going to distract Lowell from his day job, and the Verizon shareowner, which is his first priority.' GE referred MarketWatch to the SEC filing. Verizon stock is up less than 1% to $51.99 after hours. GE stock is flat after hours and has fallen 44% this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average , of which both Verizon and GE are components, has gained 23%. Verizon stock has lost 2.9% as the S&P 500 index has gained 18%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

Comcast drops out of Fox bidding, Disney reportedly still in talks
Comcast Corp. is no longer bidding for entertainment assets from 21st Century Fox Inc. , according to a Monday afternoon report, which could leave Walt Disney Co. as the sole bidder remaining. 'We are no longer engaged in the review of those assets,' Comcast said in a statement to some news organizations. 'We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer.' Disney and Comcast were 'in active talks' in negotiations for parts of the Fox empire that includes the movie and television studios and some cable networks, [l: The Wall Street Journal reported last week, adding that the Murdoch family hoped to make a decision on a transaction by year's end. Sony Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. have also reportedly shown interest in the assets, the Journal reported. Reuters, which first reported the Comcast statement, said Monday that Disney and Fox were still in negotiations and could reach a deal this month.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

House bill would not pay for itself, JCT finds
The House tax relief bill would generate $483 billion in revenue over a decade from additional growth -- not nearly enough to pay for the $1.44 trillion cost, the Joint Committee on Taxation said Monday. That's very similar to the JCT finding on the Senate tax bill, which they said would generate $458 billion in extra revenue relative to the legislation's $1.41 trillion cost. A conference to reconcile the two chambers' bills is set to start on Wednesday.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

Iron Mountain to buy IO Data Centers for $1.32 billion
Iron Mountain Inc. plans to buy U.S. operations of IO Data Centers LLC for $1.32 billion, including land and buildings in Arizona, New Jersey and Ohio, the company said Monday. As part of the agreement, Iron Mountain will pay an additional $60 million based on future performance. The deal is expected to close in early 2018 and be accrective to the company's 2019 adjusted funds from operations. Separately, Iron Mountain said it is offering 14.5 million shares in a secondary offering to finance its IO Data Centers transaction. Shares of Iron Mountain were off 0.7% after hours.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

Boeing increases dividend and share-repurchase plan, shares gain
Boeing Co. announced a larger dividend and share-repurchase authorization Monday afternoon, sending shares 1% higher in late trading. Boeing said it would increase its quarterly dividend 20% to $1.71 per share, payable March 2, 2018, to shareholders of record as of Feb. 9. The company replaced a share-repurchase authorization of $14 billion, established in December 2016, with one for $18 billion. Boeing said it expects to make the repurchases in the next 24 to 30 months, and repurchased $9.2 billion in shares under the previous authorization. Boeing stock added 1% in immediate after-hours action following the announcement; shares closed at their second highest price on record, $283.16, after falling 1% from Friday's record closing high.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

Bluebird Bio stock retreats from records after announcing stock offering
Bluebird Bio Inc.'s soaring stock price hit a bit of turbulence Monday afternoon, after the company said it planned to sell $600 million in fresh shares amid a run to record prices. Bluebird shares have more than tripled this year, and received a big boost in the past few sessions after presenting new research on cancer treatments last week. Shares added 17.9% Monday after a big price target boost and closed higher than $200 for the first time, but Bluebird said just after the session ended that it planned to sell $600 million in fresh shares, with the possibility of increasing the size by up to 15%. In immediate late trading after the announcement, Bluebird shares fell more than 2.5%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

SEC charges day trader for role in insider trading ring
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday charged Joseph Spera, a former day trader, with posing as a portfolio manager to induce investment bankers to share nonpublic details about upcoming secondary offerings. He allegedly made more than $1 million in illegal insider trading profits as part of a ring that allegedly stole confidential information from investment banks and clients while agreeing not to disclose the information to others or trade before the offerings were announced. The SEC and criminal authorities previously charged four others in the alleged insider trading ring in parallel actions. The SEC alleged that Spera and the others generated approximately $5.5 million in total illicit profits, including illegal trades they made based on nonpublic information they obtained ahead of a major announcement by a large pharmaceutical company. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey has filed a parallel criminal action against Spera, who agreed to plead guilty. Spera's childhood friend Paul Petrello and two others charged initially, Steven Costantin and Ronald Chernin, have also pleaded guilty in the criminal actions and agreed to partial settlements in the SEC cases with potential monetary sanctions to be determined at a later date. Litigation continues against the alleged ringleader of the scheme, Steven Fishoff, who recruited Spera into the fold along with Petrello.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

Dow, S&P 500 end at records as bitcoin marks first day of futures trading
The S&P 500 index and Dow industrials closed at fresh records on Monday, as the world's most prominent virtual currency, bitcoin, made its futures debut on Sunday and as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's next policy update in coming days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.2% at 24,386, while the S&P 500 index finished 0.3% higher at 2,659. Both indexes marked fresh all-time highs. The Nasdaq Composite Index, meanwhile, ended up 0.5% at 6,875, less than a percentage point from its record closing high. The moves for equities come as investors await a key policy decision from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. Separately, bitcoin futures were seen as adding a modicum of legitimacy to its parabolic rise after the Cboe Global Markets Inc. launched futures trading on its exchange late Sunday, with bitcoin trading on Monday going off with few glitches, despite a pair of trading halts on Sunday.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

Xerox stock gains after Carl Icahn calls for new CEO
Investor Carl Icahn called for a new chief executive for Xerox Corp. in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday, opening up a new battle in his fight with the company. 'The CEO is the most important person in the company,' Icahn told the Journal. We believe Xerox still has potential, but it will go the way of Kodak if there aren't major changes.' The statement came after a board member put forth by Icahn resigned as a director Monday so that Icahn could put forth four board members for election. The move was part of a termination of an agreement between the two parties that had given Icahn three board seats. Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson took over control of the company after a corporate split earlier this year. Xerox shares moved from a slight decline to a slight gain on the day after the news broke, then closed even on the day at $29.59.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

Bitcoin hits record high, nears $300 billion market capitalization
The digital currency bitcoin rallied on Monday, hitting its latest in a series of records in the first full day of trading for bitcoin futures. The price of a single bitcoin rose 14.5% to $17,209.28, according to data and news website Coindesk. Earlier, it hit a record of $17,382.64, which represented a new high for the world's largest cryptocurrency, taking out a record hit last Thursday. At its current size, bitcoin has a market capitalization of $290.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Only 10 components of the S&P 500 have a higher market cap. On Sunday, Cboe Global Markets launched its bitcoin futures contract, which allows leveraged bets on the price of bitcoin. The introduction of futures was seen as a legitimizing milestone in the history of bitcoin, which has been soaring all year. The digital currency ended 2016 below $1,000, and has soared more than 17-fold since then. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% on Monday, bringing its year-to-date advance to 18.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.2% higher on the day. Both ended at records.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

'American Vandal' tops list of most-binged shows on Netflix in 2017
Netflix Inc. on Monday broke with a long tradition by revealing the shows that viewers binge-watched in 2017. The streaming giant listed the shows that were most popular based on the average daily viewing hours per member between Nov. 1, 2016 and Nov. 1, 2017. The shows that were devoured -- watched for more than two hours per day -- were led by 'American Vandal,' followed by '3%,' '13 Reasons Why,' 'Anne with an E,' 'Riverdale', 'Ingobernable,' 'Travelers,' 'The Keepers,' 'The OA,' and 'The Confession Tapes.' Netflix shares were down 1.3% in late trade, but have gained 50% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

Eli Lilly hikes dividend by 8%
Eli Lilly and Co. said Monday its board approved an 8% hike in its quarterly dividend. The drugmaker said it will pay a 56.25 cents a share dividend in the first quarter to shareholders of record as of Feb. 15 on March 9. Eli Lilly shares rose 0.2% to $86.64 in recent trading.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

Tesla's stock rallies 1 day before bearish 'death cross' set to appear
Tesla Inc.'s stock rallied 3.7% in afternoon trade Monday, putting it on track to close above its widely-followed 200-day moving average for the first time in six weeks, and above its 50-day moving average for the first time in nine weeks. The 200-day MA is viewed by many chart watchers as a dividing line between short- and long-term trends, while the 50-day MA is seen by many as a short-term trend tracker. The stock's move Monday likely comes a day before the 50-day MA crosses below the 200-day MA, a bearish technical event referred to as a 'death cross.' The 50-day MA was last at $325.59, down from $325.86 on Friday, while the 200-day has climbed to $325.36 from $324.95 on Friday, according to FactSet. The last death cross appeared on Oct. 5, 2016 when the stock closed at $208.46; it fell another 13% before bottoming at $181.47 on Dec. 2, 2016. Tesla's stock has lost 10.2% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has climbed 6.8%. Tesla's stock fallen from its Sept. 18 record of $385.00 amid production concerns, but has rallied over the last month amid apparent strong demand for its new Semi big rig.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

Brent oil at highest since July 2015; WTI climbs to a 1-week high
Oil prices climbed Monday, with Brent crude, the global benchmark, logging its highest settlement in more than two years after the reported shutdown of a major North Sea oil pipeline that could last for weeks. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, settled at a more than one-week high, rebounding from a 1.7% decline last week as recent upbeat U.S. economic data fed expectations for crude demand. February Brent added $1.29, or 2%, to end at $64.69 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. January WTI crude rose 63 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $57.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

GE's stock turns lower, heads for six-year low
General Electric Co.'s stock erased early gains to fall 0.7% in afternoon trade Monday, putting it on pace to close at a six-year low. After rising 0.3% on Thursday and closing unchanged on Friday, GE's stock was up as much as 0.5% at its intraday high of $17.79, which put it on track for the first three-session streak without a decline since the four-day win streak ended Sept. 25. The stock was now headed for the lowest close since Dec. 20, 2011. It has shed 3.8% so far this month, which puts the stock in danger of a 10th-straight monthly decline, which is the longest such streak since there is available data going back to 1972. The shares have shed 25.8% over the past three months, amid disappointment over the company's third-quarter results and turnaround plan, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 10.5%.

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Dec 11, 2017

Snap shares up 5% after analyst note
Snap Inc. shares have risen 5% to $15.91 in afternoon trading after a positive note from Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. analyst James Cakmak to clients Monday. In the report, Cakmak wrote that the stock has reached as a turning point because the company is in a position to beat Wall Street estimates, executives were 'candid' about the company's challenges in the third-quarter earnings call, and has a strong relationship with Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. Cakmak also wrote that the company will likely grow its advertiser base and develop additional ad inventory. The analyst wrote that Snap has about 175 million daily active users, or about 50 million more than what he estimates for Twitter Inc. . Snap stock has dropped 25% since its March initial public offering, as the S&P 500 index has gained 8.7%.

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Dec 11, 2017

Gold prices mark another finish at the lowest since July
Gold fell on Monday, as strength in bitcoin and U.S. stocks continued to dull the investment appeal of the yellow metal, keeping prices for gold at their lowest finish in nearly five months. February gold lost $1.50, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,246.90 an ounce. That was the lowest settlement since July 20, according to FactSet data.

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Dec 11, 2017

Apple stock rises after company confirms Shazam acquisition
Apple Inc. shares gained 1.9% in midday trading Monday after the company confirmed that it had acquired music-recognition app Shazam. 'Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users,' Apple said in a statement. 'We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today's agreement.' Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but a report from Tech Crunch last week pegged the value at approximately $400 million, below the $1 billion valuation Shazam fetched in a 2015 funding round. Apple shares have gained 49% so far in 2017, compared with a 23% rise for the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Dec 11, 2017

FAANG stocks unlikely to outperform in 2018: analyst
The so-called FAANG companies -- Facebook Inc. , Amazon.com Inc. , Apple Inc. , Netflix Inc. , and Alphabet Inc.'s Google -- have been big winners in 2017, but analysts at Morgan Stanley think that the stocks are less likely to see sizable gains heading into the new year. 'While we believe that fundamental drivers for these stocks remain intact, history indicates returns may moderate their pace and we question whether growth over value can continue to be as meaningful a driver of returns,' wrote the analysts, led by Benjamin Swinburne. These five stocks account for about 24% of the S&P 500's incremental market cap, he wrote, but Morgan Stanley's analysis indicates that top performers, on average, 'do not outperform the following year.' Swinburne deems Google most exposed to a consumer recession, and Netflix least exposed. Facebook shares have gained 56% so far in 2017, compared with 55% for Amazon, 49% for Apple, 51% for Netflix, and 33% for Alphabet. The S&P 500 is up 19% this year.

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Dec 11, 2017

Fitbit stock hits highest price since January as Jawbone lawsuit ends
Fitbit Inc. stock gained 3.9% in midday trading Monday, putting it on pace to close above $7 for the first time since late January. The company announced Friday after the market close that that it had reached a settlement in its lawsuit with Jawbone, for undisclosed terms. Jawbone accused Fitbit in 2015 of stealing its employees and trade secrets. Fitbit shares have fallen 1.1% so far in 2017, compared with a 19% gain for the S&P 500 Index .

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Dec 11, 2017

Brent oil prices rally, set for highest settlement since mid-2015
Brent crude-oil futures rallied Monday, with prices set for their highest settlement since the middle of 2015, following reports Monday that a major North Sea pipeline has been shut down. A crack in the Forties pipeline, which carries about 40% of North Sea crude across land for processing at a refinery in Scotland, was discovered last week, according to BBC News. February Brent crude rose $1.12, or 1.8%, to $64.52 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

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Dec 11, 2017

SEC forces halt of initial coin offering
The Securities and Exchange Commission forced the halt of what the regulator said was an offer of unregistered securities by a California-based company selling digital tokens to investors for its blockchain-based food review service. The company, Munchee Inc., refunded investor proceeds before any tokens were delivered to investors after an investigation by the SEC's new Cyber Unit, which is focused on misconduct involving distributed ledger technology and initial coin offerings. Munchee was seeking $15 million in capital to improve an existing iPhone app centered on restaurant meal reviews and create an ''ecosystem'' in which Munchee and others would buy and sell goods and services using the tokens. According to the SEC's order, the company and other promoters told investors via its website and a white paper that they could expect an increase in value of the tokens and that the company would create and support a secondary market for the tokens. The SEC has said its report on its investigation of DAO that a token can be a security. Munchee consented to the SEC's cease-and-desist order without admitting or denying the findings.

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Dec 11, 2017

J.C. Penney partners with menswear retailer Bombfell for online big-and-tall styling service
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. has partnered with online menswear styling service Bombfell to provide styling services for big-and-tall customers. Shoppers can head to the JCPenney+Bombfell site to take a quiz that will help the service determine fit and preferences. Customers preview the five stylists' picks before the items ship, and then shoppers have seven days to try the items on. Shoppers keep what they want and send back what they don't want. The $20 stylist fee is applied to anything purchased. The average price point is $39 per item, according to the website. In a statement, J.C. Penney notes its history of serving the big-and-tall customer, saying the assortment available on its website has driven 'up to 20% of our enterprise business in big-and-tall - much higher than most merchandise categories.' J.C. Penney shares are down more than 68% for the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 17.5% for the period.

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Dec 11, 2017

Six people in the U.K. found guilty of running boiler-room scam
Three people in the U.K. were found guilty on Monday for their roles in a running a series of boiler rooms that resulted in investors losing more than £2.7 million, said the country's financial industry watchdog. Another three defendants had already pleaded guilty in the proceedings, the Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement. The FCA said the defendants, whose names couldn't yet be released, will be sentenced in Southwark Crown Court in London at a later date.

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Dec 11, 2017

Mattel's credit downgraded to a 'junk' rating at Moody's
Mattel Inc.'s senior unsecured bond ratings were downgraded three notches to a 'junk' rating of Ba3 from Baa3 at Moody's Investors Service, which cited the toy maker's weak performance this year and the lowered profit expectations for the holiday season. Moody's also cut Mattel's short-term rating to Not Prime from Prime-3. The rating outlook is stable. Moody's said it expects the lowered profit outlook to contribute to 'much higher than previously expected year-end leverage.' Separately, S&P Global Ratings downgraded on Monday Mattel's credit rating, which it already had rated 'junk,' one notch to BB- from BB, with a negative outlook. Mattel's stock rose 2.4% in morning trade, but has plunged 44.1% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 18.6% so far this year.

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Dec 11, 2017

Most wanted beauty product by women is the eyeshadow palette while men want moisturizer
Of all beauty products, women most want a new eyeshadow palette for the holidays, according to a survey of more than 2,000 American women conducted by SkinStore, a beauty retailer. Two skincare products, serum and night cream, round out the top three choices. A survey of more than 2,000 men found that their number one beauty choice was moisturizer, followed by shaving products and facial wash. Beauty stocks like Ulta Beauty Inc. and e.l.f. Beauty Inc. have taken a beating in 2017, down nearly 13% and 24.5% for the year so far respectively as the S&P 500 index has risen 18.6%. Still Cowen & Company analysts said in a Nov. 30 note that skincare, fragrances and hair care are 'bright spots' in a sea of disruptions like hurricanes and soft makeup trends. 'Ulta's loyalty program and store format are sustainable competitive advantages, and customer relationships as well as vendor relations are competitive moats,' analysts wrote. They rate Ulta shares outperform with a $246 price target.

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Dec 11, 2017

Verizon stock rises on announcement of new NFL deal
Verizon Inc. shares gained 0.5% in Monday morning trading after the company said that it had signed a new streaming agreement with the NFL, reportedly worth more than $2 billion over five years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Under the deal, Verizon would have the rights to stream national and in-network NFL games on mobile devices, with the games available to viewers regardless of their wireless carrier. The deal begins in January and will include the NFL playoffs. Viewers will be able to watch the games on Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, go90, and the NFL's app. Verizon is trying to make a bigger push into the media business, after acquiring Yahoo's internet assets earlier this year and AOL in 2015. Verizon shares have fallen 4.1% so far in 2017, compared with a 19% gain for the S&P 500 Index .

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Dec 11, 2017

Disney, Chevron, 3M stocks help Dow industrials firm early gain
The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw early gains firm on Monday, buoyed by early share rises in Walt Disney Co., Chevron Corp., and 3M Co. Shares of those Dow components were adding about 30 points to the price-weighted benchmark. The Dow was most recently up 40 points, or 0.2%, at 24,366. A $1 move in any one of the Dow's 30 components equates to a roughly 6.8-point swing in the Dow. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 index was up 4.56 points, or 0.2%, at 2,655. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow were trading in record territory, Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.2% at 6,856.

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Dec 11, 2017

Stock market trades flat as bitcoin futures trade kicks off
U.S. stock indexes opened slightly higher Monday, as investors look ahead to a coming meeting by the Federal Reserve's monetary-policy-making committee, and after bitcoin made its trading debut in the futures market late Sunday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher but was mostly trading at break-even at 24,331, while the S&P 500 index traded about 0.1% higher at 2,652, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 10 points, or 0.2%, higher at 6,849. Meanwhile, was at $17,900, after the Cboe Global Market Inc. kicked off trade of the volatile cryptocurrency at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday. Markets are awaiting a key meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday, where a lifting of benchmark U.S. interest rates is expected.

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Dec 11, 2017

Arch Coal's stock rallies to record after 500,000 shares buyback deal
Shares of Arch Coal Inc. rallied 2.4% toward a record high in morning trade Monday, after the coal producer announced a deal to buy back 500,000 shares from its second-largest shareholder, Monarch Alternative Capital LP. The company said it will repurchase the stock at $83.03 a share, which was 2.2% below Friday's closing price of $84.94, for a total of $41.5 million. The deal is expected to close on our about Dec. 14. Arch said the repurchase is part of its existing $500 million buyback program. Monarch owned 2.56 million Arch shares, or 10.5% of the shares outstanding, as of Sept. 30, according to FactSet, which was second to OppenheimerFunds Inc.'s 13.6 million shares outstanding. Arch's stock has rallied 11.4% year to date, while the S&P 500 has climbed 18.5%.

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Dec 11, 2017

Spark Therapeutics shares slide more than 40% after hemophilia data disappoint
Shares of gene therapy biotech Spark Therapeutics Inc. tumbled more than 40% in early trade Monday, after it reported data from trials of a hemophilia treatment that analysts said look less competitive than a rival product from BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. The company presented early data from a trial of its SPK-8011 in hemophilia A involving five patients. 'Although the enrollment size is small so far (n=5), early signs raise more caution than encouragement, on balance, and lead us to question whether there will be adequate dose-response for patients to reliably achieve normal Factor VIII expression levels,' Leerink analysts wrote in an early note. Spark also unveiled longer-term data from a treatment for hemophilia B, that it is working on with Pfizer Inc. Shares are down 14.7% for 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%. BioMarin shares rose 8.4%.

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Dec 11, 2017

The Trade Desk stock rises after SunTrust upgrades to buy
Shares of programmatic-advertising firm The Trade Desk Inc. gained 8% in Monday trading after analysts at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey upgraded the stock to buy from hold. The analysts, led by Youssef Squali, think that the company's risk/reward balance now looks attractive following a recent pullback in the stock price over the past month. While the company has exposure to the packaged-good and retail sectors, two troubled areas, Squali is upbeat about the future of programmatic advertising. He believes that large retail and packaged good firms 'will come back and increase their spend, because online is where the eyeballs are and because programmatic is one of the most efficient ad channels online.' The company could also be a beneficiary of tax reform, he wrote in a note to clients. Shares of The Trade Desk have gained 75% so far in 2017, compared with an 18% rise for the S&P 500 Index .

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Dec 11, 2017

Grubhub stock rises after analyst cites easing of competitive pressures
Analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets raised their price target on Grubhub Inc. to $80 on Monday, matching the highest target among Wall Street analysts tracked by FactSet. Grubhub shares gained 2.4% in morning trading. The analysts, led by Brad Erickson, believe that Grubhub is effectively withstanding competitive pressure from Uber, Amazon.com Inc. , and others. 'Amazon's impact has quieted relative to prior rounds of checks' with restaurants,' Erickson wrote. He also sees numerous potential acquisition targets for Grubhub that would be 'almost immediately accretive and could be done tactically in the event of incremental softness in gross food sales.' These include meal-kit firms Munchery and Gobble, as well as food-delivery companies DoorDash and Delivery.com. Grubhub's stock has gained 81% so far in 2017, compared with an 18% rise for the S&P 500 Index .

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Dec 11, 2017

Skechers is one of 2018's best ideas, Burlington Stores to benefit from tax reform: Cowen analysts
Skechers USA Inc. is one of the best ideas for 2018 according to Cowen & Co. thanks to its number two casual shoe position in a recent analyst survey, international growth potential and improving product cycle. Skechers only trails Nike Inc. . 'The breadth and depth of the Skechers assortment and the brand's global reach, category expansion opportunities and consumer perception is underappreciated (based on relative valuation to peers),' Cowen analysts led by John Kernan wrote in a note. They 'conservatively' forecast global same-store sales to grow 3% in fiscal 2018. Cowen rates Skechers shares outperform with a $42 price target, up from $38. Cowen analysts also say off-price retailer Burlington Stores Inc. is 'retail's top tax reformer' with tax benefit forecast to occur in fiscal 2019, but could happen in fiscal 2018. Moreover, off-price companies like Burlington, TJX Cos. and Ross Stores Inc. now account for 13% of U.S. clothing and accessories sales, up from 10% in 2010. 'The off-price channel has succeeded on price, flow of goods, buyers in the market, newness, scarcity and unparalleled value,' Cowen wrote. Cowen rates Burlington shares outperform and raised its price target to $132 from $115. Skechers shares are up 45% for the year so far and Burlington shares are up 33.2% for 2017 to date, both outpacing the S&P 500 index rise of 18.4% for the period.

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Dec 11, 2017

Teva's stock gains after exclusive launch of generic Viagra
Shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. rose 0.4% in morning trade Monday, after the drug maker announced the exclusive launch of its generic Viagra tablets in the U.S. The company said it will offer support services for its sildenafil tablets for erectile dysfunction, such as a savings card. 'The launch of Teva's sildenafil tablets brings an affordable generic treatment option to the estimated 18 million men in the U.S. who are diagnosed with erectile dysfunction,' said Brendan O'Grady, executive vice president, North America. Shares of Pfizer Inc. , which owns Viagra brand, edged up 0.1%. Viagra sales fell to $205 million in Pfizer's third quarter from $296 million a year ago. Teva's stock has tumbled 56% year to date through Friday, while Pfizer shares have gained 10%, the SPDR S&P Pharmaceutical ETF has rallied 10% and the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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Dec 11, 2017

American Express to eliminate signature requirement
American Express Co. said Monday that users will no longer be required to provide signatures when making purchases, starting in April 2018. The elimination of signatures will apply to purchase transactions of all amounts, compared with the current requirement for signatures on transactions over $50. 'The payments landscape has evolved to the point where we can now eliminate this pain point for our merchants,' said Jaromir Divilek, executive vice president of American Express's global network business. 'Our fraud capabilities have advanced so that signatures are no longer necessary to fight fraud.' American Express's stock, which slipped 0.2% in premarket trade, has rallied 33% year to date through Friday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 23%.

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Dec 11, 2017

Chef Mario Batali accused of sexual harassment, steps away from his business for now
Renowned chef Mario Batali has stepped away from the day-to-day operations of his business after four women came forward alleging that he sexually harassed them in a pattern of behavior spanning at least two decades, food website Eater reported Monday. Batali said he was taking time away in a statement to the website. ABC, where Batali has co-hosted a daytime show since 2011, said it has also asked him to step away from the show while it conducts a review of allegations that recently came to its attention, said Eater. Batali did not deny the allegations, but said that they 'match up' with ways that he behaved. 'I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family,' he said.

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Dec 11, 2017

3M to sell 'substantially all' of its communication markets business for $900 million
3M Co. said Monday it will sell 'substantially all' of its communication markets division for $900 million, to Corning Inc. . 3M said it expects to realize a gain of 40 cents a share from the deal, which is expected to close in 2018. The company said about 500 3M employees are expected to join Corning when the deal is completed. The company said the business, which had annual sales of about $400 million, consisted of optical fiber and copper passive connectivity products and services for the telecommunications industry. 3M's stock tacked on 0.2% in premarket trade and Corning shares rose 0.3%. Year to date, 3M shares have run up 33.4% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 23.1%.

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Dec 11, 2017

SendGrid started with bullish ratings by several analysts
Several analysts initiated coverage of email-marketing firm SendGrid Inc. with the equivalent of buy ratings on Monday. Analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets assigned a price target of $26, citing 'compelling growth prospects, coupled with strong leadership and a disciplined model balancing high growth and profitability' as reasons for their optimism. Analysts at William Blair think that the company is poised to benefit as email usage increases over the next several years. 'The company's self-service on-boarding process allows it to acquire customers at a reasonable cost and maintain below-average sales-and-marketing expenses, which should drive operating leverage,' they wrote. Stifel analysts see room for 'significant international expansion' and began their coverage with a price target of $25. SendGrid priced its IPO in mid-November at $16 a share, and the stock is up 34% from there. The S&P 500 Index has gained 2.8% since SendGrid went public. SendGrid's stock is flat in premarket trading Monday.

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Dec 11, 2017

Riot Blockchain's TessPay signs LOI to merge with Cresval Capital
Riot Blockchain Inc. said Monday it's TessPay Inc. unit has signed a non-binding letter of intent to merge with Canada's Cresval Capital Corp. . TessPay is a blockchain company that is developing a supply chain payment platform for businesses to guarantee payment on time and in full. After the deal closes, TessPay will start trading on the TSX Venture Exchange, Riot Blockchain said in a statement. Riot Blockchain itself started life as diagnostic machinery biotech stock Biopix Inc., before pivoting to cryptocurrencies and changing its name. The company aims to support blockchain technologies, which underlie digital currencies, such as bitcoin. The LOI provides for TessPay to be issued 80 million Cresval shares in the deal with its parent to receive 41.6 million shares. Riot Blockchain shares were up 23% in premarket trade, and have gained 313% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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Dec 11, 2017

Apple analyst dispels supply concerns
Apple Inc. shares were flat in premarket trading Monday after analysts at Susquehanna Group delivered an update on their checks with Apple suppliers and made a prediction about next year's iPhone models. The analysts, led by Mehdi Hosseini, wrote that their checks with suppliers in Asia suggest that there haven't been any changes made to Apple's iPhone build forecast for the current quarter or for next quarter. The firm predicts 66 million iPhone builds for the December quarter, 36 million of which will be iPhone X models, and 54 million total builds for the March quarter, 35 million of which will be iPhone X models. Looking ahead to next year, Hosseini thinks Apple will come out with three iPhone models again. He expects these to include 5.1-inch and 6-inch OLED models as well as a cheaper LCD-based version. Apple shares have gained 46% so far in 2017, compared with a 23% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Dec 11, 2017

Bluebird Bio shares soar 24% premarket as Goldman raises price target to $309 from $186
Bluebird Bio shares soared 24% in premarket trade Monday, after Goldman Sachs raised its price target for the stock to $309 from $186, on strong gene/cell therapy pipeline updates at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting. Bluebird's CAR T bb2121 'looks to have a disruptive impact on the multiple myeloma (MM) treatment paradigm,' Goldman analysts led by Salveen Richter wrote in a note, based on the efficacy and safety profile, which supports development of this 'potentially curative approach.' Bluebird may also be on the path to address severe sickle cell disease, it said. Goldman views the company as an attractive takeover candidate, 'given its innovative and leading lentiviral-based gene therapy and CAR-T cell platforms backed by positive proof of concept data, which targets large blood disorders beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease and multiple myeloma,' said the note. Shares have gained 177% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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Dec 11, 2017

NXP Semiconductor's stock gains after shareholder said chipmaker is worth $135 a share
Shares of NXP Semiconductors N.V. tacked on 0.8% in premarket trade Monday, after shareholder Elliott Management Corp., said in a letter to shareholders that it believes NXP is worth $135 a share. That is well above the $110-a-share buyout bid by Qualcomm Inc. , which was made in October 2016. Last month, Elliott had hired UBS to help in its effort to get a higher bid from Qualcomm, including sounding out other potential bidders. In October, Qualcomm Chief Executive Steve Mollenkopf told The Wall Street Journal that he expected the NXP purchase to close on schedule by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Qualcomm is trying to fend off an unsolicited buyout bid from Broadcom Ltd. , which said its bid would stand whether Qualcomm's purchase of NXP closes or not. Elliott said it advises funds that collectively own about 6% of NXP's shares outstanding. NXP's stock has closed above Qualcomm's $110-a-share bid price since July 27. It has rallied 17.6% year to date, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index has run up 36.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 18.4%.

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Dec 11, 2017

Stock futures cut gains amid reports of explosion near New York's Time Square
U.S. stock-index futures cut early gains on Monday, with the main after reports of an explosion at the Port Authority bus terminal on 42nd Street in New York, near Times Square. Futures were cutting modest gains but were still trading slightly higher after the reports emerged, with New York City officials confirming that an explosion had occurred. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 24 points, or 0.1%, at 24,360, from 52 points earlier, while S&P 500 index futures turned lower, down less than 0.1% at 2,653. Nasdaq-100 index futures climbed 3 points, or less than 0.1%, to 6,364, but were slightly higher earlier. According to the the New York Post, police and firefighters have responded to the scene, with reports that a man is in custody and reports of possible injuries. Some subway lines near the incident had been evacuated, according to reports.

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Dec 11, 2017

Square started with market perform rating at Cowen
Analysts at Cowen initiated coverage of Square Inc. with a market perform rating on Monday. The analysts, led by George Mihalos, are upbeat about Square's efforts to expand beyond its traditional payment-processing business and into new areas such as payroll software and loans. Mihalos also sees room for Square to grow internationally, where many small- and medium-sized businesses don't yet accept electronic payments. However, he thinks Square shares look expensive after a considerable rally this year, assigning a price target of $36. 'We believe Square's growth prospects are reflected in the current stock price and advise investors to wait for a more attractive entry point,' Mihalos wrote. Square shares are up 0.4% in premarket trading Monday, and they've gained 179% so far in 2017. The S&P 500 Index has risen 18% this year.

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Dec 11, 2017

AES announces 8.3% increase in quarterly dividend to 13 cents a share
The AES Corp. said Monday it is raising its quarterly dividend by 8.3% to 13 cents a share. The power company said the new payment will be made on Feb. 15 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 1. Shares were not yet active premarket, but have fallen 7% in 2017 to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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Dec 11, 2017

Avis's largest shareholder boosts stake by 41%
Avis Budget Group Inc. disclosed Monday that its largest shareholder, SRS Investment Management, boosted its stake in the rental car company by 41% to 12 million shares, or to 14.7% of the shares outstanding. SRS Investment had previously disclosed that it owned 8.5 million shares, or 10.4%, of the shares outstanding as of Sept. 30. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has gained 10.6% year to date, while the S&P 500 has rallied 18.4%.

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Dec 11, 2017

UniQure shares jump 3.8% premarket on positive trial of hemophelia treatment
UniQure N.V. shares surged almost 4% in premarket trade Monday, after the company reported positive results in an early-stage trial of a treatment for hemophelia B. The company said eighteen-month follow-up data from a Phase I/II trial of AMT-060 in the second-dose cohort found 'substantial improvement' in disease state in all five patients, and that all those who previous required frequent infusions were able to stop them. The data were presented to the 58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. 'We continue to observe a therapeutic benefit from AMT-060 that is clearly superior to patients' previous prophylactic FIX replacement therapy regimen, with stable elevations in Factor IX levels and a cessation of spontaneous bleeds,' said Professor Frank W.G. Leebeek, M.D. Ph.D. of the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. UniQure is planning to start a pivotal study in 2018 with AMT-061. Hemophelia is an inherited disease that affects males and stops their blood from clotting after a bleed. The condition can cause life-threatening episodes of external and internal bleeding and requires regular injections of plasma-derived human Factor IX. UniQure shares have gained 218% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has 18%.

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Dec 11, 2017

PhaseRx files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
PhaseRx Inc. said Monday it has filed for bankruptcy protection. The biopharmaceutical company, which develops treatments for liver disorders in children, said it will continue to operate its business under the jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court. The company said it is working with Cowen and Co. to review financial and strategic alternatives. The stock is currently halted for news until 7:35 a.m. ET. 'The protection afforded under a Chapter 11 filing enables us to continue to explore strategic alternatives, including a potential merger transaction,' said Chief Executive Robert Overell. In October, the company said it was cutting its workforce in half, give delays in the development of its lead product candidate, and as it reviewed alternatives, including a potential merger. The stock has plunged 35.5% year to date, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has rallied 19.9% and the S&P 500 has climbed 18.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 11, 2017

LKQ to buy Germany-based Stahlgruber in a $1.8 billion deal
Auto-parts company LKQ Corp. said Monday it will buy Germany's Stahlgruber Otto Gruber AG in a deal with an enterprise value of the equivalent of about $1.77 billion. LKQ said it expects to fund the deal for the distributor of spare parts for passenger cars, tools, capital equipment and accessories with proceeds from planned debt offerings, borrowings under its current credit facility and direct issuance of 8.06 million newly issued LKQ shares to Stahlgruber's owner. The is expected to close late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter. 'Stahlgruber will create a contiguous footprint and serve as an additional strategic hub for our European operations, allowing for continued improvement in procurement, logistics and infrastructure optimization,' said LKQ Chief Executive John Quinn. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 31% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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Dec 08, 2017

Apple puts Jony Ive back in control of design
Apple Inc. said late Friday that Jony Ive, a long-time executive responsible for some of Apple's most iconic products, has resumed oversight of the design team, according to multiple reports. Ive has spent recent years focused on the new 'space ship' Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. Ive began leading Apple's design team in the 1990s and designed the original iMac PC, the first iPod and the iPad. Apple stock is down a fraction after hours. Apple stock has gained 46% this year, as the S&P 500 index rose 18%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, of which Apple is a component, rose 23%.

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Dec 08, 2017

Macy's executive chairman Lundgren to retire
Macy's Inc. said late Friday Executive Chairman Terry Lundgren will retire from the board of directors effective Jan. 31. The board has appointed Chief Executive Jeff Gennette to the additional role of chairman from that date on. After Lundgren's retirement, the Macy's board will have 10 directors, the company said. Shares of Macy's were flat in late trading after ending the regular session up 2.1%.

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Dec 08, 2017

Apple to acquire Shazam: report
Apple Inc. is nearing an acquisition of Shazam, the music-recognition service, according to a TechCrunch report published Friday afternoon. TechCrunch cited sources familiar with the deal and wrote that Apple could be paying 'nine figures' for Shazam, below the $1.02 billion valuation it fetched it its latest funding round in 2015. The deal is to be signed 'this week' and may be announced Monday, according to TechCrunch. Apple has been looking for ways to enhance its music offerings and compete with Spotify. The company acquired Beats in 2014 and recently began including original video programming to subscribers of its Apple Music service. Apple Music had 'over 30 million' subscribers as of September, whereas Spotify crossed the 60-million mark for paying subscribers in July. Apple shares were flat in Friday trading, compared with a 0.5% rise for the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Dec 08, 2017

Morningstar raises dividend by 8.7% to 25 cents a share
Morningstar Inc. said late Friday its board of directors has declared a quarterly dividend of 25 cents a share, payable Jan. 31 to shareholders of record Jan. 5. That reflects an 8.7% increase in the quarterly dividend from 23 cents a share. The company said it expects to pay three additional dividends in 2018. The board also approved a new share buyback program that authorizes Morningstar to repurchase up to $500 million effective Jan. 1. Shares of Morningstar rose 0.2% in late trading after ending the regular session down 1.3%.

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Dec 08, 2017

S&P 500, Dow end at records after jobs data
Stocks ended the week on an positive note Friday, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average logging record closes, while the Nasdaq Composite also advanced. The S&P 500 finished 0.6% higher at 2,651.50, according to preliminary figures, while the Dow advanced around 118 points, or 0.5%, to close around 24,329. The moves saw the S&P 500 and Dow turn positive for the week, with both gauges posting weekly advances of 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4% to end near 6,840, trimming its weekly decline to 0.1%. A stronger-than-expected November jobs report helped buoy stocks in early action.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Rep. Trent Franks resigns immediately after 'surrogate' flap
Republican Rep. Trent Franks on Friday said he's resigning immediately, just hours after his wife was admitted to a hospital following revelations that her husband had asked several staffers to be 'surrogate' mothers for a child. One woman was reportedly offered $5 million. 'Last night my wife was admitted to the hospital in Washington, D.C. due to an ongoing ailment,' he said in a statement. ' After discussing options with my family, we came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family now would be for me to tender my previous resignation effective today.' The Arizona conservative had planned to stay on until the end of the year. Republican leaders had asked Franks to leave and he was likely to face an ethics violation.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

HBO confirms hit series 'Big Little Lies' to return for second installment
Time Warner Inc.'s HBO said Friday its hit series 'Big Little Lies' will return for a second, seven-episode installment. The second series will again star executive producers Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman as mothers living in Monterey, California. Andrea Arnold, director of the film 'American Honey,' will take over directing duties from French-Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee. The first series won Emmys for lead actress Kidman, supporting actress Laura Dern and supporting actor Alexander Skarsgard, as well as outstanding director for Vallee, and outstanding limited series. Time Warner shares were flat Friday, but are down 6% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

GE to pay new lowered quarterly dividend on Jan. 25
General Electric Co. announced details of its new quarterly dividend, which the industrial conglomerate said last month it would cut in half to 12 cents a share. The new dividend will be payable Jan. 25 to shareholders of record on Dec. 27. The stock edged up 0.1% in afternoon trade to $17.73. At current prices, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 2.71%, compared with the implied yield for the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 2.11%. GE shares have plunged 25.6% over the past three months and 43.9% year to date, while the Dow has rallied 11.4% over the past three months and 22.9% this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Oil prices end higher for the session, fall for the week
Oil prices climbed Friday, buoyed by supply risks tied to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and the potential for an oil-workers' strike in Nigeria, as well as signs of higher demand following a rise in November Chinese crude imports. Prices, however, fell for a second-straight week on concerns over rising U.S. oil production. January West Texas Intermediate crude rose 67 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $57.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost roughly 1.7% for the week.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Honeywell sets new $8 billion stock buyback program
Honeywell International Inc. disclosed Friday that it set a new $8 billion stock repurchase program. The new program includes the $1.5 billion remaining in the previously announced $5 billion program, the aerospace and industrial company said. The stock was up 0.2% at $153.59 in afternoon trade. At current prices, the new buyback program could repurchase up to 6.9% of the 756.81 million shares outstanding, as of Nov. 25. The stock has run up 32.6% year to date, while the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF has climbed 20.0% and the S&P 500 has gained 18.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Facebook makes sexual harassment policy public
Facebook Inc. released its sexual harassment policy Friday, including its reporting procedures and steps the company will take to investigate a complaint. Facebook stock is down a fraction to $180.10 in afternoon trading. In a blog, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg wrote that the company decided to make the policy public 'not because we think we have all the answers, but because we believe that the more companies are open about their policies, the more we can all learn from one another.' Sandberg said that the company goes beyond what is required by law and the policies prohibits 'intimidating, offensive, and sexual conduct even when that conduct might not meet the legal standard of harassment.' The company published the policy in full on its 'People Practices' website. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Facebook stock has gained 57% this year, as the S&P 500 index rose 18%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Gold prices suffer third-straight weekly decline
Gold fell on Friday, as strength in the U.S. dollar and stocks, and a recent rally in bitcoin, combined to lure investors away from the yellow metal and push prices to their lowest finish since July. December gold lost $4.70, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,248.40 an ounce. That was the lowest finish since July 20, according to FactSet data. Futures prices fell roughly 2.6% for the week.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Trump national security aide Powell to leave White House: report
Deputy national security adviser Dina Powell plans to leave the White House and return to New York early next year, the Washington Post reported Friday. Administration officials told the Post Powell is exiting on good terms with President Donald Trump. Powell, previously a Goldman Sachs partner, has had a particular focus on Middle East issues.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

These 2 Dow stocks account for half the Dow's gain
While 22 of the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 30 components are contributing to the Dow's rise Friday into record territory, more than half the gain is coming from just two stocks. UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s stock rose $3.93, or 1.8%, in afternoon trade, to add about 27.1 points to the Dow's price, while the $2.60, or 0.9%, climb in Boeing Co. shares would add 17.9 points. The combined add of 45 points was a little more than half the Dow's current gain of 85 points. The next biggest contributor was Microsoft Corp.'s stock , which was up $1.67, or 2.0%, to contribute about 11.5 points. The biggest weight were the shares of 3M Co. , which fell $2.25, or 0.9%, to shave about 15.5 points off the Dow.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Baker Hughes reports a third-consecutive weekly rise in the U.S. oil-rig count
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil was up 2 at 751 this week. The number of U.S. oil rigs has now climbed for three weeks in a row. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, added 2 to 931, according to Baker Hughes. January West Texas Intermediate crude was up 57 cents, or 1%, from Thursday, to $57.26 a barrel--little changed from shortly before the rig data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Elon Musk says Tesla working on its own AI chip: report
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk told academics and researchers at an event Thursday that the Silicon Valley car maker is working on its own artificial-intelligence chip, according a report on CNBC that cited one person at the event. Software related to Tesla's Autopilot, a suite of advanced driver assistance systems, runs on supercomputers by Nvidia Corp. in Tesla vehicles. Musk last month hinted that Tesla could sever that relationship, on grounds that the hardware might not be robust enough to satisfy future regulation on driverless cars. Musk then promised news on the 'hardware front' soon. Nvidia shares have gained nearly 80% this year, while Tesla shares have risen 47% and the S&P 500 index is up 18%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Biotech Denali Therapeutics shares surge more than 20% in trading debut
Shares of biotech Denali Therapeutics Inc. soared more than 20% in their trading debut Friday, after the company priced its initial public offering at the midpoint of its $17 to $19 price range. The company sold 13.9 million shares at $18 each to raise $250 million, giving it a valuation of $1.7 billion, according to Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO-focused ETFs like the Renaissance IPO ETF . Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan were lead managers on the deal. The stock is trading on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol 'DNLI'.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Wells Fargo near highs of the day, following Trump tweet about possible increased fines
Wells Fargo & Co. was trading near highs of the day, up 0.7%, after a tweet from the president saying fines could be 'substantially increased.' President Trump was pushing back against a report from Reuters, citing three sources, which said that fines pursued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are being reviewed by Interim Director Mick Mulvaney. Under the CFPB's prior director, the report said Wells Fargo had agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars in fines over alleged mortgage lending abuse. 'Fines and penalties against Wells Fargo Bank for their bad acts against their customers and others will not be dropped, as has incorrectly been reported, but will be pursued and, if anything, substantially increased. I will cut Regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating,' the president tweeted.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Finisar stock gains after Apple hopes outweigh disappointing earnings
Shares of Finisar Corp. gained 3.7% in Friday morning trade even though the company's earnings fell short of expectations and several analysts slashed their price targets. The company, which reported fiscal second-quarter earnings late Thursday, also delivered a lower-than-expected earnings outlook for the current quarter. Finisar, which makes products that help enable 3D-sensing technology, said on its earnings conference call that it had acquired a new plant in Texas and would expand manufacturing capacity. 'This was a mixed quarter, with gross margin weakness from the low 3D utilization, but with shipments ramping, the trajectory suggests Finisar received certification to sell to Apple ,' wrote Raymond James analysts led by Simon Leopold. The firm lowered its price target to $22 from $27 but maintained a strong buy rating. Finisar shares, which closed at a 17-month low earlier this week, have fallen 38% so far in 2017, compared with an 18% gain for the S&P 500 .

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Activision Blizzard, Take-Two lead videogame stocks higher
Shares of videogame publishers Electronic Arts Inc. , Activision Blizzard Inc. , Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. , and Ubisoft Entertainment all gained in Friday morning trade after analysts commented on recent third-party sales data from market-research firm NPD Group. Electronic Arts's stock rose 1.3% after NPD reported weak performance for new launches 'Need for Speed: Payback' and 'Star Wars Battlefront II,' as well as strong sales for 'FIFA' and 'Madden,' according to BMO analyst Gerrick Johnson. Activision's 'Call of Duty: WWII' outsold its predecessor by 73% in November, and its stock rose 2%. Take-Two has 'the lightest holiday slate,' wrote Johnson, but its 'NBA 2K18' title performed well in November. Take-Two shares rose 2%. Ubisoft gained 0.6% after its 'Assassins Creed' posted a strong showing, according to Piper Jaffray's Michael Olson. The S&P 500 Index is up 0.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

U.S. wholesale inventories slump 0.5% in October
Wholesale inventories in the U.S. fell 0.5% in October, the Commerce Department said Friday. Companies were not able to keep up with production owing to a combination of growing demand and supply disruptions caused by hurricanes in the prior month. Inventories are up 3.9% year over year, however. Wholesale sales jumped 0.7% in October. At October's sales pace, the inventory-to-sales ratio slipped to 1.25 from 1.26. One caveat: If inventories don't recover in the November and December, it would dampen fourth-quarter GDP.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Micron stock gains as Susquehanna analysts cheer earnings power
Micron Technology Inc. shares rose 1.6% in Friday morning trade after analysts at Susquehanna raised their price target on the stock to $60 from $54. The analysts, led by Medhi Hosseini, wrote that 'Micron's narrative is changing from a company with single-digit earnings power to one that could potentially do double digits ($10+) by the turn of the decade if it were to execute.' Hosseini increased his earnings estimates due to better DRAM price trends and the company's debt restructuring. Micron reports November-quarter earnings on Dec. 19 after market close. Micron shares have soared 97% so far in 2017, compared with an 18% gain for the S&P 500 .

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

U.S. stocks open higher, on track for modest weekly gains
U.S. stock-market indexes opened higher on Friday, boosted by a stronger-than-expected monthly jobs report for November. The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%. The hourly average earnings rose 0.2%. The S&P 500 opened 8 points, or 0.3, higher at 2,645. The index is on track to finish the week slightly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 68 points, or 0.3%, to 24,279. The blue-chip index also looked set to book modest weekly gains. The Nasdaq Composite index advanced by 48 points, or 0.7%, to 6,861 at the open. The tech-heavy index is on track to finish the week little changed.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Synaptics stock rises after Oppenheimer upgrade
Shares of touch-pad developer Synaptics Inc. rose 4.9% in premarket trade Friday after analysts at Oppenheimer upgraded the stock to perform from underperform. 'We maintain a fundamental negative view of Synaptics' market position and mobile opportunities but recognize solid execution can offset those temporary headwinds,' the analysts, led by Andrew Uerkwitz, wrote. He believes that Synaptics' share price reflects 'the majority of the downside,' including a slowly declining market for fingerprint sensors. Synaptics shares have fallen 32% so far in 2017, compared with an 18% gain for the S&P 500 .

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Sysco orders 50 of Tesla's new Semi tractors
Food services company Sysco Corp. said Friday it has ordered 50 of Tesla Inc.'s new, fully electric Semi tractors. Tesla unveiled the Semi to much fanfare in November, touting its ability to drive up to 500 miles on a single charge and reduce the cost of cargo transport. Other companies that have already put in orders for the vehicle include Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. . Tesla shares were up about 1% premarket, and have gained 46% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Marriott Vacations' dividend gets a 14% boost
Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. said Friday it will raise its quarterly dividend by 14.3%, as the vacation-ownership company said it continues to focus on returning excess capital to shareholders. The new cash dividend of 40 cents a share, up from 35 cents a share, will be payable Jan. 4 to shareholders of record on Dec. 21. Based on Thursday's stock closing price of $134.42, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 1.19%, compared with the implied S&P 500 dividend yield of 1.91%, according to FactSet. Marriott Vacations' shares, which were still inactive in premarket trade, have soared 58.4% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.8%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Universal Display stock jumps on new supply agreement
Shares of Universal Display Corp. are rising 5.1% in premarket trading Friday after the company announced a long-term agreement to supply organic light-emitting diode (OLED) materials to BOE Technology Group Co., a Chinese provider of display panels. Susquehanna analysts led by Medhi Hosseini wrote Friday that the arrangement, announced late Thursday, 'provides confidence there will be further upside to earnings per share estimates' and also could serve as a 'bargaining chip to use in the ongoing contract renewal negotiation with Samsung Display.' Universal Display shares have gained 197% so far in 2017, compared with an 18% gain for the S&P 500 .

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Neogen's sets a stock split after 25% price gain this year
Neogen Corp. said it will enact a four-for-three stock split, on the heels of a 25.4% surge in the stock price year to date. The split will be effected in the form a stock dividend payable Dec. 29 to shareholders of record on Dec. 18. The food and animal safety company said the split will increase the number of shares outstanding to 51.5 million shares from 38.6 million shares. The stock closed Thursday at $82.73; a four-for-three split would imply a price of $62.05. 'We are very pleased to be able to enhance the availability and liquidity of our shares to allow more participation in Neogen's success,' said Executive Chairman James Herbert. The stock rally this year compares with the S&P 500's 17.8% gain.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Sysco orders 50 of Tesla's news Semi tractors
Food services company Sysco Corp. said Friday it has ordered 50 of Tesla Inc.'s new, fully electric Semi tractors. Tesla unveiled the Semi to much fanfare in November, touting its ability to drive up to 500 miles on a single charge and reduce the cost of cargo transport. Other companies that have already put in orders for the vehicle include Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. . Tesla shares were up about 1% premarket, and have gained 46% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

MoviePass helped drive record attendance at Studio Movie Grill cinemas
Movie theater chain Studio Movie Grill said that it's seen record attendance numbers for its cinemas in 2017, and it says that's thanks, in part, to its partnership with movie-theater subscription service MoviePass. Studio Movie Grill said in a news release late Thursday that while the industry sounds the alarm on poor box office performance, its theaters have experienced increases in off-peak attendance and attendance for smaller films. Studio Movie Grill started its strategic partnership with MoviePass in 2016, before the company in August of 2017 slashed the cost of its membership to $10 per month from as much as $50. 'Studio Movie Grill was amazed to learn that in some cases, as with Lady Bird, MoviePass generated a double digit percentage of total attendance,' said Studio Movie Grill Chief Executive Brian Schultz. The company's Chief Financial Officer Ted Croft said MoviePass's subscription-based model has the potential to be the future of the film exhibition business. Earlier this week, Cinemark Holdings Inc. introduced its own subscription-based movie-going service. Shares of MoviePass owner Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. have gained close to 152% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 index is up nearly 18% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up almost 23%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

GigCapital prices IPO at $10 a unit
Blank-check company GigCapital Inc. said it has priced its initial public offering at $10 a share. A blank-check company is one that has no assets, but plans to use the proceeds of the deal to acquire them. The company sold 12.5 million units to raise $125 million. The units will start trading later Friday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol 'GIG.U'. Each unit is equal to one share of common stock. 'Although the Company's efforts to identify a target business are not limited to a particular industry or geographic region, the Company intends to focus on opportunities in the middle market technology media and telecommunications ('TMT') sectors,' the company said in a statement.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Apple stock rises after analyst points to supply-chain strength
Apple Inc. shares gained 0.5% in Friday morning trading after an analyst at Drexel Hamilton penned an upbeat note on the Apple supply chain. Drexel's Brian White wrote that sales for his 'Apple Monitor,' a basket of Apple suppliers, rose 7% in November, ahead of the season average of 6%. White is also optimistic that Apple will have a good holiday season and benefit from the iPhone X over the long term. 'We believe this is a durable iPhone cycle that will pay dividends for years to come given that the iPhone X pushes Apple deep into the ultra-luxury smartphone market with the highest-priced iPhone in the company's history,' he wrote. Apple shares have gained 46% so far in 2017, compared with a 23% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 08, 2017

Denali Therapeutics prices IPO at $18 a share, midpoint of price range
Biotech Denali Biotherapeutics Inc. priced its initial public offering at $18 a share, the midpoint of its $17 to $19 price range. The company sold 13.9 million shares to raise $250 million, giving it a valuation of $1.7 billion, according to Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO-focused ETFs like the Renaissance IPO ETF . Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan were lead managers on the deal. The stock will start trading today on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol 'DNLI'.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



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