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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 18, 2018

Health care ETF surges toward record in a broad sector rally
The SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF rose 0.7% toward a record high in afternoon trade Tuesday, with 55 of its 63 equity components gaining ground. Among the ETF's (XLV) members which are also Dow Jones Industrial Average components, Pfizer Inc.'s stock shot up 1.5%, putting it on track to close at the highest level since December 2001. Also, shares of Johnson & Johnson gained 0.6% toward an eight-month high, Merck & Co. Inc. tacked on 0.4% to sit just shy of its 17-year high reached last Thursday, and UnitedHealth Group Inc. slipped 0.1% and was 2.2% below its Sept. 6 record close of $269.65. The XLV's biggest gainer was Abiomed Inc.'s stock , which rallied 2.7%, while its biggest decliner was AbbVie Inc.'s stock , which shed 2.1% after California sued the company alleging the payment of illegal kickbacks. The XLV has rallied 11% over the past three months, while the Dow has tacked on 5.2%.

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
Sep 18, 2018

U.S. oil prices finish higher on supply risks, ahead of weekly U.S. crude-supply data
Oil prices finished higher on Tuesday, buoyed by risks to supply tied to upcoming U.S. sanctions on Iran, uncertainty ahead of a production-cut monitoring committee meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers later this month, and increased tensions between Russia and Israel. Traders also await weekly data from the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday and Energy Information Administration Wednesday that are expected to reveal a weekly decline in U.S. crude stockpiles. October West Texas Intermediate oil rose 94 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $69.85 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
Sep 18, 2018

AbbVie stock drops 2% after California lawsuit alleges illegal activity used to push blockbuster drug
AbbVie Inc. shares dropped 2.3% in extremely heavy Tuesday afternoon trade after California's insurance commissioner filed a lawsuit alleging that the company paid illegal kickbacks to push prescribing of its blockbuster arthritis drug Humira. According to the lawsuit, AbbVie also used registered nurse "ambassadors" to work with patients on behalf of doctors, as long as doctors prescribed Humira, while nurses downplayed the drug's side effects and risks. The California Department of Insurance has asked for compensation of three times the amount of each claim that was made for Humira, along with civil penalties for each fraudulent claim, attorney's fees and other relief; the state cited data that private insurers paid more than $1.29 billion on Humira in recent years and had more than 274,000 claims. The case was brought forward by a whistleblower who served as an AbbVie "nurse educator" and "patient ambassador" between 2013 and 2014, Lazaro Suarez, who became troubled about the program's "emphasis on the bottom line" and attended training where ambassadors were told to hide serious cancer and infection risks from patients. California filed to intervene in the case on August 31 through its state insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, according to the lawsuit. AbbVie shares have dropped 5.3% over the last three months, compared with a 4.9% rise in the S&P 500 and a 5.3% rise in 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
Sep 18, 2018

Dow jumps 250 points, moves to within 1.2% of its record as the stock market hits session high
The Dow Jones Industrial Average late-afternoon Tuesday jumped by more than 240 points, trading at session highs as Wall Street investors shrugged off escalating trade tensions to focus on a healthy domestic economy. The Dow was up 246 points, or 0.9%, at 26,309, putting the blue-chip gauge about 1.2% shy of its Jan. 26 record at 26,616.71. The rally comes despite China's decision to impose tariffs of 5% to 10% on $60 billion worth of U.S. products that will take effect Sept. 24. That news is in direct response to the Trump administration's announcement of 10% tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, which will be implemented on the same date. The clashes between Beijing and Washington have been a source of anxiety for the market, but it hasn't prevented equities from mostly trending higher on the back of strong jobs and healthy corporate earnings. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index climbed 0.7% at 2,910, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1% at 7,976.

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
Sep 18, 2018

SEC fines Clovis Oncology Inc., executives $20.8 million for lying about cancer drug effectiveness
Clovis Oncology Inc., will pay $20 million to settle charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it misled investors about the effectiveness of the company's developmental lung cancer drug, rociletinib, or Roci, according to an SEC press release. Its CEO Patrick Mahaffy, and Erle Mast, the company's former CFO, also settled charges. Over a four-month period starting in July 2015, the company and Mahaffy used its investor presentations, press releases, and SEC filings to inaccurately state that the drug was effective 60% of the time, meaning that in 60% of patients Roci caused targeted tumors to shrink, despite knowing actual results were much lower. Clovis raised approximately $298 million in a public stock offering in July 2015, but its stock price dropped by 70% in November 2015 after disclosing the true effectiveness rate, 28%. The company stopped development of the drug in May 2016. The defendants did not admit or deny the allegations. Mahaffy agreed to a $250,000 penalty and Mast agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty and to pay back $454,145, in proceeds from selling Clovis stock during the relevant period at the inflated prices.

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
Sep 18, 2018

SEC levies $5 million in fines against SeaWorld, former CEO for not disclosing Blackfish impact
The Securities and Exchange Commission levied $5 million worth of fines against SeaWorld Entertainment and its former chief executive for not disclosing the negative impact the business would have from a documentary that criticized the company's treatment of whales. The SEC said that from approximately December 2013 through August 2014, SeaWorld and former CEO James Atchison made untrue and misleading statements or omissions in SEC filings, earnings releases and calls, and other statements to the press regarding Blackfish's impact on the company's reputation and business. It wasn't until Aug. 13, 2014 that SeaWorld acknowledged the film was hurting attendance. With neither admitting or denying the allegations, SeaWorld is paying a $4 million penalty and Atchison paying over $1 million in penalty and disgorgement. SeaWorld's former vice president of communications, Frederick D. Jacobs, agreed to settle a fraud charge and to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest of approximately $100,000.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Tesla stock tanks after report company faces criminal probe over Musk's tweet
Tesla Inc. shares fell more than 5% midday Tuesday after a Bloomberg News report said the company was under a fraud investigation by the Justice Department over Chief Executive Elon Musk's going-private tweets. The report cited two people familiar with the matter. Musk tweeted on Aug. 7 he was "considering" taking Tesla private at $420, followed by"Funding secured." The shares had started the day in the black.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Aurora Cannabis says it currently has no partnership with a beverage company
Aurora Cannabis Inc. said Tuesday, in response to a regulator's request for comment regarding media reports, that it currently had "no agreement, understanding or arrangement" with respect to a partnership with a beverage company. The stock rallied 5.3% in morning trade. On Monday, the stock soared 18% after a report that Coca-Cola Co. had been in talks with the company. Coke had declined to comment, but confirmed it was closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in beverages. On Tuesday, Aurora said its policy is not to comment on speculative media reports, but the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) requested a comment. Aurora's U.S.-listed shares have run up 18% over the past three months, while Coke shares have gained 6.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 4.6%.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Dollar Tree to close Family Dollar HQ, offer relocation to 700 employees
Dollar Tree Inc. said it will close its headquarters facility in Matthews, North Carolina, as it continues to the integration of Family Dollar after the acquisition of the fellow discount retailer. Dollar Tree said the Family Dollar's distribution center in Matthews will remain open. The company said it continues to consolidate store support centers in Matthews and Chesapeake, Virginia to Dollar Tree's completed office tower in Chesapeake. The company said it offered about 700 employees opportunities to relocate. Family Dollar's headquarters and the new Dollar Tree office building in Chesapeake are over 5 hours away by car, according to Google Maps. Dollar Tree's stock was up 0.9% in morning trade. It has rallied 16% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.4%.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Google denies building customized appliances to compete with Nutanix
Alphabet Inc.'s Google on Tuesday denied that it was building customized appliances to compete with Nutanix Inc. in hyperconvergence, following a Monday report in the Information indicated that the company was working custom computers that combine server, storage, and networking. "We can confirm that we are not building customized appliances for external sale," the company said in a statement provided to MarketWatch. "We value our partnerships highly and can also confirm that we are not competing with our partners in this area." Nutanix stock initially sold off after the report came out on Monday, but it rallied 4.5% in morning trade Tuesday. Several analysts dismissed the Google threat and reiterated their bullish views of Nutanix earlier in the morning. Nutranix's stock has tumbled 23.5% over the past three months but was still up 38.5% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.6% over the past three months and 8.5% 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
Sep 18, 2018

Stocks open slightly higher in effort to shrug off U.S.-China trade tensions
Stocks opened slightly higher Tuesday as investors attempted to look past the intensifying U.S.-China trade battle. The Trump administration on Tuesday followed through on a threat to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports, prompting Beijing to vow retaliation. The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to 2,892.22, while the Dow industrials rose 37.96 points, or 0.1%, to 26,100.08. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.2% to 7,909.41.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Boston Properties boosts dividend by 19%, the biggest increase in its history
Boston Properties Inc. said Tuesday it will raise its quarterly dividend by 19% to 95 cents a share from 80 cents a share, which the real estate investment trust said was the biggest quarterly increase in its history. The new dividend will be payable Oct. 31 to shareholders of record on Sept. 28. Based on Monday's stock closing price of $127.01, the new annual dividend rate implies a yield of 2.99%, compared with the SPDR Real Estate Select Sector ETF yield of 3.12% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.87%, according to FactSet. Boston Properties stock has climbed 6.9% over the past three months, while the REIT ETF has advanced 7.3% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.2%.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Netflix's stock bounces after strong Emmy showing
Netflix Inc.'s stock bounced 1% in premarket trade Tuesday, after slumping 3.9% in the previous session, in the wake of the streaming video service's strong showing at the Emmy awards, in which it tied with AT&T Inc.'s HBO for the most Emmy wins. Separately, Netflix said Tuesday that it appointed Mathias Dopfner, chief executive of Germany-based publishing giant Axel Springer SE , to its board of directors. Netflix's stock has lost 10.3% over the past three months, while the Nasdaq Composite has edged up 1.9% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.2%.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Macy's partnering with Facebook to bring e-commerce brands to stores
Macy's Inc. is partnering with Facebook Inc. to bring nearly 150 brands to The Market @ Macy's in nine stores during the holidays. The Market brings brands to some of the department store retailer's most trafficked stores, and the Facebook partnership will add small businesses and e-commerce brands to physical locations. The company is also expanding the virtual and augmented reality furniture shopping experience to 69 stores nationwide by early November. During the pilot, Macy's found that the tech addition grew the average basket size by more than 60%. And use of the VR installation lowered the number of returns. Macy's has added virtual mirror technology that showcases more than 250 beauty products, and they're testing it for the mobile app, and technology is being used to enhance training of beauty associates. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is getting a boost to improve store operations. Macy's shares have rallied 39.6% for the year to date, outpacing the S&P 500 index , which is up 8.1% for the period.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Micron target lowered at Cowen; analyst calls sentiment 'dreadful' ahead of earnings
Cowen & Co. analyst Karl Ackerman lowered his price target on shares of Micron Technology Inc. to $62 from $72 overnight, though he kept his outperform rating intact. "Investor sentiment is dreadful going into the company's print Sept. 20 after market close, but we cannot dismiss incremental risk in H2 of this year as our field trip in Asia last week reveals a less benign supply/demand environment for DRAM," Ackerman wrote. "We expect Micron to guide below for the first time in 8 quarters, but this appears priced-in." Also on Tuesday, J.P. Morgan reiterated its bullish view on the stock. Shares are up 0.7% in premarket trading Tuesday, though they're down 25% over the past three months. The S&P 500 has gained 4.2% 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
Sep 18, 2018

Cracker Barrel shares sink after earnings and sales miss
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. shares sank 6.1% in Tuesday premarket trading after it reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings and sales that missed expectations. Net income totaled $61.4 million, or $2.55 per share, up from $53.9 million, or $2.23 per share, for the same period last year. Adjusted EPS was $2.19. Revenue was $810.9 million, up from $743.2 million in the prior year. Same-restaurant sales fell 0.4%, and same-store sales rose 1.3%. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $2.69, revenue of $825.0 million, same-restaurant sales growth of 1.9%, and same-store sales growth of 1.8%. "Our traffic was challenged, particularly with lighter users and during the dinner daypart, some of which was attributable to our menu and marketing promotion not delivering the anticipated topline traffic and sales," said Chief Executive Sandra Cochran in a release statement. Restaurant traffic was down 3.5%. For fiscal 2019, Cracker Barrel expects revenue of $3.04 billion, and both same-restaurant sales and same-store sales in the range of flat to up 1%. The FactSet guidance is for sales of $3.08 billion, same-restaurant sales growth of 1.9% and same-store sales growth of 1.2%. Cracker Barrel shares are down 5.1% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained 8.1% for the period.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Nutanix stock defended by analysts amid concern of new Google competition
Share of Nutanix Inc. are up 6% in premarket trading Tuesday after several analysts defended the company following its 12% plunge in Monday's session. The stock sold off Monday in part after a report from The Information indicated that Alphabet Inc.'s Google might be working on a competing hyperconvergence product. "While the potential offering could be viewed as competitive to Nutanix (if it is sold commercially), we believe most enterprises will choose to leverage a multi-cloud infrastructure and would not want to be locked into single cloud provider," wrote Piper Jaffray analyst Andrew Nowinski. "As such, we believe the selling pressure attributed to this report is excessive." He reiterated his overweight rating and $66 price target. Needham analyst Jack Andrews deems it unlikely that Google is working on a competitive offering given that Google and Nutanix formally agreed to a partnership more than a year ago. He titled his note: "Unfounded Media Rumors Create Buying Opportunity." Andrews has a buy rating and $71 target price on the stock, which has gained 104% over the past 12 months as the S&P 500 has risen 15%.

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
Sep 18, 2018

UPDATE: Viking Therapeutics stock rockets 140% after positive trial of non-alcoholic fatty liver treatment
Viking Therapeutics Inc. stock rocketed 140% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the company reported positive results in a mid-stage trial of a treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. The San Diego-based biotech said the Phase 2 trial of VK2809, its novel liver-selective thyroid receptor beta agonist, in patients NAFLD and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol met its primary goal of reducing LDL-C compared with placebo. It also met its secondary endpoint of showing significant reductions in liver fat content. Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc. , a rival company working on the same class of drug, had shares drop 12.5% in premarket trade. Viking shares have gained 156% in 2018 through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 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
Sep 18, 2018

AMD, Nvidia stocks gain after Mizuho hikes target
Shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. are up 1.6% in premarket trading Tuesday after Mizuho analyst Vijay Rakesh raised his price target to $36 from $20 overnight. He is increasingly upbeat about the stock following meetings with original equipment manufacturers and distributors in the PC supply chain. He thinks it's possible the company will endure "some near-term bumps" but is optimistic about the company's Epyc server ramp and its ability to capitalize on the fact that Intel Corp. is still in flux without a chief executive. Rakesh also raised his price target on Nvidia Corp.'s stock to $295 from $280 after his supply-chain meetings. Nvidia's stock is up 0.5% in premarket trading. AMD shares have gained 148% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has risen 15%.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Micron's stock gains after J.P. Morgan dispels recent fears, sees stock nearly doubling
Shares of Micron Technology Inc. rose 0.5% in premarket trade Tuesday, after J.P. Morgan analyst Harlan Sur suggested recent growing bearish sentiment was unwarranted, saying in a note to clients that he continues to see "significant upside" in the memory chip maker. He reiterated his overweight rating and $84 stock price target, which is 93% above Monday's closing price of $43.58. Sur said recent sentiment was based on fears of peak pricing in the second half of 2018 and a downturn cycle in 2019, but he expects supply and demand fundamentals to remain in balance, as suppliers remain rational in adding bit supply and demand for memory remains "strong and broad based." He expects particularly strong datacenter demand, which is Micron's largest end market. "Moreover, we believe Micron is structurally better positioned to compete in memory markets moving forward with a much improved cost structure on better manufacturing execution (node transitions) versus prior cycles," Sur wrote. Micron is slated to report fiscal fourth-quarter results after Thursday's closing bell. The stock has tumbled 25.4% over the past three months, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index has slipped 3.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.2%.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Thor Industries to acquire Erwin Hymer in deal valued at 2.1 billion euros
Thor Industries Inc. said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire privately held Erwin Hymer Group in a cash and stock deal with an enterprise value of 2.1 billion euros ($3.6 billion). The transaction will create the world's biggest manufacturer of recreational vehicles, the companies said in a statement. Thor is expecting the deal to boost earnings in the first year and to close before year-end. The equity consideration will consist of about 2.3 million Thor shares and the company will buy back some of its shares after closing to offset the issuance of new shares to the Hymer family. Erwin Hymer is expecting to generate revenue of more than EUR2.5 billion in fiscal 2018 to end August via its network of more than 1,200 retail dealerships. Thor shares fell 0.7% premarket, and are down 35% in 2018 through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 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
Sep 18, 2018

UPDATE: Viking Therapeutics stock rockets 170% after positive trial of non-alcoholic fatty liver treatment
Viking Therapeutics Inc. stock rocketed 170% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the company reported positive results in a mid-stage trial of a treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. The San Diego-based biotech said the Phase 2 trial of VK2809, its novel liver-selective thyroid receptor beta agonist, in patients NAFLD and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol met its primary goal of reducing LDL-C compared with placebo. It also met its secondary endpoint of showing significant reductions in liver fat content. Shares have gained 156% in 2018 through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 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
Sep 18, 2018

BorgWarner's stock falls after profit and sales guidance cut
Shares of BorgWarner Inc. dropped 3.5% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the auto-parts maker cuts its full-year earnings and sales outlook, as a result of "changing industry conditions." The company lowered its earnings-per-share guidance range to $4.35 to $4.40 from the $4.45-to-$4.50 provided in late July, and cut its net sales outlook to $10.49 billion to $10.58 billion from $10.64 billion to $10.75 billion. The company said the revised outlook is due to weaker industry volumes, primarily in China, and additional "short-term issues" in Europe. Third-quarter adjusted EPS is expected to be 98 cents to $1.00, below the FactSet consensus of $1.05. Separately, the company said it expects to be overweight hybrid and electric volumes by 2023, and expects 2023 revenue of about $14.0 billion, compared with the 2018 FactSet consensus of $10.74 billion. The stock has shed 8.0% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.2%.

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
Sep 18, 2018

General Mills tops profit estimate as sales fall slightly short
General Mills Inc. said Tuesday it had net income of $392.3 million, or 65 cents a share, in its first fiscal quarter ended Aug. 26, down from $404.7 million, or 69 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per=share earnings came to 71 cents, ahead of the FactSet consensus of 64 cents. Sales rose to $4.09 billion from $3.77 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $4.12 billion. The company said it is sticking with its full-year guidance and on track with its Consumer First strategy, which aims to drive growth at its four growth platforms, including Häagen-Dazs ice cream, snack bars, Old El Paso Mexican food, and a portfolio of natural and organic food brands. That strategy is combined with acquisitions and divestitures, such as the recent acquisition of Blue Buffalo, a natural pet food company. Fiscal 2019 sales are expected to rise 9% to 10%, including Blue Buffalo. Shares were up 0.8% premarket, but are down 19% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 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
Sep 18, 2018

AutoZone's stock sinks after profit beats but sales miss
Shares of AutoZone Inc. sank 5.1% toward a 7-week low in premarket trade Tuesday, after the auto-parts retailer reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations, but sales that missed. Net income for the quarter to Aug. 25 fell to $400.3 million, or $15.02 a share, from $433.9 million, or $15.27 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $18.54, above the FactSet consensus of $17.99. Sales rose to $3.56 billion from $3.51 billion, but was just shy of the FactSet consensus of $3.60 billion, as the 2.2% growth in same-store sales was below expectations of a 2.5% rise. Inventory increased 1.6%, while inventory per location fell to $636,000 from $644,000. The stock has gained 5.1% year to date through Monday, while the S&P 500 has advanced 8.1%.

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
Sep 18, 2018

Sempra Energy to add board members in pact with activist shareholders Elliott, Bluescape
Sempra Energy said Tuesday it has reached an agreement with activist shareholders Elliott Management and Bluescape Energy Partners LLC, which between them own a 4.9% stake in Sempra valued at $1.6 billion. The parties have agreed to appoint two new directors to Sempra's board that are mutually agreed on. Sempra will refocus its LNG Construction and Technology Committee into a new LNG and Business Development Committee, comprising its three current members and the two new directors. "The LNG and Business Development Committee's updated charter calls for it to work with management and the board in leading a comprehensive review of Sempra Energy's businesses," the company said in a statement. Sempra will update the market on the results of the strategic review and any planned actions in the first quarter of 2019. "Sempra Energy is committed to an open dialogue with our shareholders and to considering all investor perspectives on the company's existing strategy and longer-term opportunities to create shareholder value," Chief Executive Jeffrey Martin said in the statement. Shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 11% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 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
Sep 18, 2018

Visa, Mastercard settle U.S. retailers class-action suit
Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. said Tuesday they have agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by U.S. retailers in 2005 for a proposed settlement amount of $6.2 billion. Visa's stock was up 0.4% in premarket trade and Mastercard shares gained 0.5%. Visa said its share represents $4.1 billion, which will be satisfied through funds deposited with the court plus $600 million deposited into its litigation escrow on June 28. "No additional funds are required for this class settlement," Visa said in a statement. "Visa's share is covered under its U.S. Retrospective Responsibility Plan, which was created to insulate the company and class A shareholders from financial liability for certain litigation cases." Mastercard said its share of the financial agreement is an additional $108 million; in total the defendants have agreed on an additional payment of $900 million. "The company recorded a $210 million charge in its second-quarter 2018 financial statements, which will cover the financial obligation under this agreement and for estimated liabilities related to filed and anticipated opt-out merchant cases," Mastercard said in a statement. Year to date, Visa shares have rallied 28%, Mastercard's stock has run up 43% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 5.4%.

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
Sep 17, 2018

Trump calls for release of text messages from James Comey and others he's attacked
President Trump has directed the Justice Department to release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation from a group he's accused of bias including former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Bruce Ohr, the Department of Justice official who is the wife of a contractor for Fusion GPS. Many of the text messages from FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page have already been released, but he now has called for the public release of all of them that relate to Russia without redaction. According to a statement from the press secretary, Trump also has ordered the declassification of part of the FISA application for Carter Page -- a foreign-policy adviser to the campaign who the FBI surveilled to investigate the campaign's connections to Russia -- and FBI interviews conducted by Ohr about Russia.

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
Sep 17, 2018

Amazon to launch Alexa-powered microwave, other gadgets: report
Amazon.com Inc. expects to launch a line of new devices that can be controlled by its Alexa voice assistant after the success of its Echo smart speakers, according to a Monday afternoon report. CNBC reported that Amazon plans to launch at least 8 new voice-controlled devices by the end of the year, and could show them off at an event later this month, citing anonymous sources and an internal document. Devices mentioned included a microwave oven, other speaker-adjacent items such as an amplifier and a subwoofer, and an "in-car gadget." Amazon shares were up about 0.4% in late trading Monday, after closing with a 3.2% decline at $1,908.03. The stock has gained 63.2% so far this year, as the S&P 500 index has gained 8.7%

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
Sep 17, 2018

Univar to buy Wilbur Ross's Nexeo for $2 billion
Univar Inc. said Monday that it planned to acquire Nexeo Solutions Inc. for $2 billion in cash and stock, valuing the company at $11.65 a share. Nexeo shares closed at $10.01, and were halted early in the after-hours session ahead of the announcement. Nexeo, which distributes chemicals and plastics, was previously acquired for about $1.6 billion in 2016 by a company run by Wilbur Ross, who has since become the U.S. secretary of commerce. Under the terms of the deal, "We expect the transaction to be accretive to earnings and cash flow beginning in the first full year post closing and to generate $100 million of annual run rate cost savings by the third year following close and reduce annual capital expenditures by $15 million immediately," Univar Chief Executive David Jukes said in the announcement. Univar plans to pay 0.305 shares of Univar common stock and $3.29 in cash for each Nexeo share, and assume debt. The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies, and they expect it to close in the first half of 2019. Univar shares gained about 1% in late trading after detailing the deal, while Nexeo stock jumped 15% to approach the listed acquisition price after shares began trading again at 4:35 p.m. Eastern 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
Sep 17, 2018

Nestlé to sell Gerber Life Insurance for $1.55 billion
Nestlé SA late Monday said it has agreed to sell the Gerber Life Insurance Co. to Western & Southern Financial Group for $1.55 billion in cash. Gerber Life is "a highly recognized and trusted leader" in the juvenile and family life insurance market that had sales of $856 million in 2017, the food giant said. The deal allows Western & Southern Financial to market insurance products under the Gerber Life brand. The deal does not include Nestlé's Gerber products business, the baby food and baby care brand, which Nestlé will continue to develop, the company said. Nestlé said in February it was looking for options for Gerber Life. The deal is expected to close late this year or early 2019, the company said.

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Sep 17, 2018

Symantec makes deal with Starboard for new board members
Symantec Corp. announced Monday afternoon that it had reached a deal with activist investor Starboard Value LP for new board members. Symantec appointed three new directors, including Starboard managing member Peter Feld, to the board, and said it would negotiate with Starboard for one more member to be named after its annual meeting. Starboard had challenged Symantec by nominating five directors for a vote at the security-software company's annual meeting. Symantec said two directors, Steve Miller and Gerry Laybourne, will not stand for re-election at the annual meeting, and the board would eventually have 13 members after the pending appointment. Also named to the board Monday were former McAfee executive Dale Fuller and former Novellus Systems Inc. Chief Executive Richard Hill. Symantec stock has struggled since the company disclosed an investigation into whistleblower claims about its finances in May. The stock has fallen 27.7% in the past six months, as the S&P 500 index has gained 5.6%.

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Sep 17, 2018

FedEx misses adjusted EPS expectations but revenue tops views
Shares of FedEx Corp. fell more than 2% in the extended session Monday after the company missed expectations for fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings but reported revenue above forecasts. FedEx also raised its full-year 2019 outlook. The company said it earned $835 million, or $3.10 a share, in the quarter, compared with $596 million, or $2.19 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, FedEx earned $933 million, or $3.46 a share, compared with $683 million, or $2.51 a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $17.1 billion, compared with $15.4 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the logistics company to report adjusted earnings of $3.80 a share on sales of $16.9 billion. "FedEx delivered higher first-quarter earnings driven by solid execution of our business plan and a strong U.S. economy," Chief Executive Frederick W. Smith said in a statement. The company said it expects fiscal 2019 adjusted earnings between $15.85 and $16.45 a share, compared with a prior expectation of adjusted earnings between $15.65 and $16.25 a share. FedEx shares ended the regular trading day up 0.1%.

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Sep 17, 2018

Oracle shares drop as cloud miss weighs on revenue
Oracle Corp. shares dropped in the extended session Monday after the enterprise software giant topped Wall Street earnings estimates but revenue fell short, including that for cloud services. Oracle shares fell 5% after hours, following a 0.1% decline to close the regular session at $49.19. The company reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $2.27 billion, or 57 cents a share, compared with $2.14 billion, or 50 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 71 cents a share. Revenue rose to $9.19 billion from $9.1 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated 68 cents a share on revenue of $9.24 billion. Oracle reported cloud services and license support revenue of $6.61 billion for the quarter, when analysts were looking for $6.68 billion.

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Sep 17, 2018

Theresa May says U.K. lawmakers must accept her Brexit deal or nothing
British Prime Minister Theresa May told the BBC that U.K. members of parliament must choose between her outline for a controversial deal with Brussels on exiting from the European Union or no deal at all. In an interview with the BBC's Panorama program that aired Monday, May said that if parliament doesn't ratify her plan, known as the Chequers plan, "I think that the alternative to that will be having no deal." A so-called no-deal Brexit would see the U.K. leave the EU on March 29 with no agreement in place on trade and other issues. The British pound rose 0.7% to $1.3161 on Monday, lifted by optimism over U.K.-EU Brexit talks.

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Sep 17, 2018

Dow halts 4-session win streak and Nasdaq logs worst day since July as China tariff spat rattles market
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday ended a four-session string of gains to finish lower and the Nasdaq booked its sharpest decline since July 27 as fears about intensifying tariff disputes between China and the U.S. rattled investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 93 points, or 0.4%, at 26,062, the S&P 500 index declined by 0.6% at 2,888, halting a five-session win streak, while the Nasdaq Composite Index marked its worst daily decline since July 27, down 1.4% at 7,896. The Trump administration is planning to unveil new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products entering the U.S., and Beijing is debating new ways to retaliate against U.S. corporations. Late Monday, Trump signaled that an announcement on tariffs, which have been a key driver of market sentiment, took a leg lower. Among the day's worst performers were Apple Inc. , down 2.7%, and Amazon.com Inc. , off by 3.2%, representing the two largest and most influential companies in the world.

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Sep 17, 2018

Nasdaq's late-Monday tumble puts the stock gauge on the brink of slipping below a key trend line
A late-Monday slump in the Nasdaq Composite Index put the equity index on the brink of slipping beneath its short-term 50-day moving average. The Nasdaq was most recently down 1.4% at 7,901, holding just slightly above its 50-day moving average at 7,875.15, according to FactSet data. The technology-centric index has been down in three of the past four sessions and was on track of its worst decline since late July. Concerns about the impact of large-capitalization tariffs in a feud between China and the U.S. has been the biggest headwind for the benchmark. Stocks took a leg lower Monday after a late-afternoon comment from President Donald Trump during a brief with reporters. "We're going to be announcing something and it will be a lot of money coming into the coffers of the United States of America," he said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 110 points, or 0.4%, at 26,046, while the S&P 500 index declined by 0.6% at 2,887.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Dow sinks 110 points, Nasdaq falls 1.4% as Trump says China tariff announcement is imminent
U.S. stock indexes hit their lowest level of a downbeat session on Monday afternoon after President Donald Trump said an announcement on trade with China would come after the regular close of trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up about 112 points to 26,043, the S&P 500 index fell 0.6% at 2,888, while the Nasdaq Composite Index retreated by 1.4% at 7,895. The declines followed a late-afternoon comment from Trump during a brief with reporters. "We're going to be announcing something and it will be a lot of money coming into the coffers of the United States of America," he said. China said it may decline a White House offer for renewed trade talks if President Donald Trump carries out the tariff threat. "China is not going to negotiate with a gun pointed to its head," a senior Chinese official told the Wall Street Journal. The Journal reported that Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration plans to announce new tariffs of around 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese products on top of billions of dollars of tariffs that have already been levied.

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Sep 17, 2018

Trump: Announcement on China will come after markets close
President Donald Trump on Monday said an announcement on China -- presumably about the imposition of another $200 billion of tariffs -- will be announced after the close of trading. "We're going to be announcing something and it will be a lot of money coming into the coffers of the United States of America," he said. Tariffs on foreign-made goods are assessed on U.S. consumers.

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Sep 17, 2018

Hatch says Ford may be 'mixed up' about Kavanaugh's involvement
Sen. Orrin Hatch on Monday told reporters on Capitol Hill that Christine Ford may be "mixed up" about whether Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, was at a high-school party in which he allegedly sexually assaulted her. "There's some question whether she's mixed up" about Kavanaugh being there, he told reporters. The Utah Republican, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he spoke with Kavanaugh on Monday.

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Sep 17, 2018

DOJ has cleared the Cigna-Express Scripts deal
The U.S. Department of Justice has cleared health insurer Cigna Corp.'s $54 billion plan to buy the pharmacy-benefit manager Express Scripts Holding Co. [c: ESRX], the companies said on Monday. The companies said they have also been cleared by departments of insurance in 16 states and are working with regulators in other states. If the deal's closing conditions are met, the companies said that they expect the acquisition to close by the end of the year. Express Scripts shares surged 4% in Monday afternoon trade, and Cigna shares rose nearly 2%, compared with a 0.5% slump in the S&P 500 and a 0.3% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Sep 17, 2018

Qutoutiao stock plunges 35% in second day of trading
Shares of Chinese news aggregator Qutoutiao Inc. are down 35% in Monday afternoon trading, which marks their second day of trading since the company's initial public offering. The stock popped nearly 130% in Friday's session. Qutoutiao's stock plunge Monday comes as Chinese internet stocks are generally trading lower amid trade-war concerns. MarketWatch talked with the company's chief strategy officer on IPO day, and he spoke of the company's focus on lower-tier Chinese cities. He said the company was less concerned with short-term price movements and more focused on conveying its story to U.S. investors given that he thinks the company doesn't have a direct U.S. comparison. The selloff Monday comes as the Renaissance IPO ETF is up 7.8% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.3%.

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Sep 17, 2018

U.S. shale oil output forecast to climb by 79,000 barrels a day in October: EIA
Crude-oil production from seven major U.S. shale plays is expected to see a monthly climb of 79,000 barrels a day to 7.594 million barrels a day in October, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration released Monday. Oil output from the Permian Basin, which covers parts of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico, is expected to see the largest climb among the big shale plays, with an increase of 31,000 barrels a day in October from September. Oil output at the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas is expected to rise by 16,000 barrels a day. October West Texas Intermediate oil was down 7 cents, or 0.1%, at $68.92 a barrel ahead of its settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Sep 17, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk sued by cave diver over 'pedo' tweet
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk is being sued by one of the divers involved in the rescue of a Thai youth soccer team from a cave in July, according to reports Monday that cited court records. Vernon Unsworth's suit alleges libel, assault and slander and seeks more than $75,000 in damages. Musk called Unsworth a "pedo" on Twitter after the diver criticized Musk's sending a mini submarine to the rescue, saying the move was a "PR stunt." Musk later apologized for the tweet, but earlier this month seemed to double down on the insult, calling Unsworth a "child rapist."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

New Hatchimals launch October 5 in time for the holidays
Just in time for the holiday season, Hatchimals is releasing the latest addition to its lineup, HatchiBabies, launching October 5. Hatchimals are egg-shaped toys that hatch to reveal a creature inside. HatchiBabies will be revealed as a boy or girl once they emerge from the egg. Hatchimals are on the "top toy" lists for the holidays at Target Corp. . And Hatchimals made the list of hot collectibles at Walmart Inc. Toy sales were up for the first half of the year thanks to the liquidation of Toys 'R' Us, according to NPD Group data. Hatchimals is hosting a launch party in Los Angeles on October 5, which has been designated Hatchimals Day. HatchiBabies will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $59.99. Hatchimals are part of the Spin Master Corp. portfolio of toys. Spin Master shares are down 2.1% for the year so far while the S&P 500 index has rallied 8.3% for the period.

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Sep 17, 2018

Nutanix stock falls on report Google muscling in on hyperconvergence market
Nutanix Inc. shares fell Monday following a report that Alphabet Inc.'s Google Cloud Platform is looking to offer a competing service that would consolidate cloud-storage and computing systems. Nutanix shares dropped 7.8% to $48.44 in recent activity. On Monday, The Information reported that Google is planning to build custom-designed computers for customers that would combine server, storage and networking functions in a private data center. Nutanix, which went public in 2017, is a leader in hyperconvergence, which essentially combines computer storage and servers in a hybrid-cloud product, allowing businesses to access on-site computing power as well as public-cloud assets.

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Sep 17, 2018

MoviePass parent Helios and Matheson to propose second reverse stock split
The board of directors of MoviePass parent Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. plans to propose another reverse stock split of common stock at a ratio of one share for two shares up to one share for 500 shares, according to a filing accepted by the SEC on Monday. In the filing, the company said the directors would make the proposal during a meeting of stockholders on October 18. The company implemented a 1-to-250 reverse stock split earlier this year in July. Shares of the company are now hovering between one and two cents, having fallen almost 100% in the year to date. The S&P 500 [s:SPX] has gained 8.2%.

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Sep 17, 2018

Dow transports pull back sharply as trucker weakness offsets airlines' gains
The Dow Jones Transportation Average fell 1% in afternoon trade Monday, to pull back sharply from the previous session's record close, as weakness in trucking stocks offset strength in airlines. The Dow transports fell a lot further than its sister index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average , which lost 54 points, or 0.2%. Among the biggest transport decliners, shares of Ryder System Inc. were roiled for a 5.0% loss, C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. shed 4.0% and Kirby Corp. slid 3.5%. Meanwhile, the index's 6 airline stocks were the only one of the 20 components that were gaining ground. The biggest gainers were JetBlue Airways Corp. shares , which rallied 2.6%, and American Airlines Group Inc. , which hiked up 1.8%, as crude oil prices rose. Elsewhere, the broader stock market is taking a hit amid concerns over an escalating trade war. The Dow transports have tacked on 7.8% year to date while the Dow industrials has taken on 5.6%.

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Sep 17, 2018

Duke Energy says crews have restored power to 1.2 million customers affected by Hurricane Florence
Duke Energy Corp. said Monday its crews have restored power to more than 1.2 million customers who lost electricity when Hurricane Florence slammed across the Carolinas. The company is now focused on restoring power to the 300,000 who are still without power. Duke has dispatched more than 20,000 workers to the area to reconnect its customers. Florence has been downgraded to a tropical depression, but the slow-moving storm is still pouring rain over parts of the mid-Atlantic region, according to the National Hurricane Center. "Flash flooding continues over the Carolinas and may develop across parts of the Delmarva into Pennsylvania today," the agency said in its latest advisory.

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Sep 17, 2018

TJX Cos. sets 2-for-1 stock split
TJX Companies announced Monday a 2-for-1 split of its common stock, to be effected in the form a stock dividend. The discount retailer's stock was down 0.7% in afternoon trade. If approved at the shareholders meeting scheduled for Oct. 22, the stock dividend will be distributed on Nov. 6 to shareholders of record on Oct. 30. Separately, the company declared a regular quarterly dividend of 39 cents a share, on a pre-split basis, to be payable Dec. 6 to shareholders of record on Nov. 15. "TJX has a long and successful track record, and this stock split underscores our great confidence in the continued success of our company," said Chief Executive Ernie Herrman. Earlier, shoe retailer Steve Madden Ltd. had announced a 3-for-2 stock split. The stock has soared 46.5% over the past months, closing at a record $111.44 on Sept. 4. In comparison, the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has rallied 24.8% and the S&P 500 has climbed 15.8%.

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Sep 17, 2018

Chris Collins to stay on ballot despite insider-trading arrest
Rep. Chris Collins, the New York Republican arrested on insider-trading charges, will remain on the ballot in the general election despite suspending his campaign, the Associated Press reported, citing Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy. Langworthy said during an afternoon news conference that he felt like a "groom jilted at the altar" after Collins changed course, the Buffalo News added. The AP report said it's not clear whether Collins would actively campaign against his Democratic rival, Nate McMurray.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

CEO of Victoria's Secret parent L Brands quits the Republican Party after Obama visit
Leslie Wexner, chief executive of Victoria's Secret parent L Brands Inc. has quit the Republican Party after a visit last week from former President Barack Obama, according to a report from the Columbus Dispatch. "I just decided I'm no longer a Republican," he said at a panel discussion. "I won't support this nonsense in the Republican Party." Wexner was the richest Republican donor, according to the Dispatch. Wexner now says he's an independent. Obama made a stop in Columbus before going to a rally to support Democrat Richard Cordray's campaign for governor. In late 2017, Wexner donated $300,000 to a bipartisan PAC, With Honor, that supports military vets who are running for office and pledge to conduct themselves with civility. His wife, Abigail Wexler, donated $2.5 million to the PAC in February. L Brands shares are down 52% for the year so far while the S&P 500 index has gained 8.4% for the period.

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Sep 17, 2018

PayPal is a 'safe-haven stock' like Visa and Mastercard, says Instinet
Instinet analyst Bill Carcache on Monday called PayPal Holdings Inc. shares "an oasis in a challenging market" and said that PayPal is a "safe-haven stock (in the same family as Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. ." He believes that the company will be able to "accelerate" Venmo's monetization efforts and card-volume growth. In a recent conversation with the company's chief financial officer, Carcache learned that demand for physical Venmo debit cards has outstripped supply. "Issuance delays represent a short-term obstacle and suggest that Venmo card monetization efforts will continue to ramp gradually over time as customers receive and activate their cards," he wrote. "Notably, Venmo debit card volumes are largely funded via ACH [Automated Clearing House, or bank-account funding], debit cards, and stored balances and are expected to exert downward pressure on the transaction expense rate." Pricing opportunities for the core PayPal platform and the ability to pay with rewards are other growth opportunities highlighted by PayPal's CFO at the recent meeting with Carcache. He rates PayPal's stock a buy with a $120 price target. Also on Monday, PayPal announced the global rollout of its new marketing and checkout tools. The shares are down 1.6% in Monday's session, though they're up 43% over the past 12 months. The S&P 500 has gained 16% in that time.

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Sep 17, 2018

Thermo Fisher shares fall as Goldman downgrades to neutral; Agilent added to conviction list
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. shares slid 1.9% Monday, after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to neutral from buy on valuation grounds. Goldman removed Thermo Fisher from its Americas Conviction List and added Agilent Technologies Inc. , which it now deems its top pick in life science tools and diagnostics. Agilent shares rose 0.5%. "We see this as an opportunistic time to make the switch to A given the set-up and valuation, with Agilent providing a rare Tools opportunity to own an accelerating growth story at a reasonable valuation with untapped capital allocation upside that could potentially be unlocked by the new CFO in our view," analysts wrote in a note. On Thermo, "we believe our thesis for deal-driven accelerating growth and margin expansion has been more appropriately reflected in valuation while the company faces a difficult set of comps starting in 4Q18," they wrote. Goldman is still positive on the fundamentals of both companies, and expects beats and raises in the next few quarter. Analysts raised their stock price target for Agilent to $82 from $77, but kept its stock price target for Thermo at $250. Thermo shares have gained 29% since they were added to Goldman's Conviction List. Shares have gained 25% in 2018, while Agilent has gained 3.3%. The S&P 500 has gained 8%.

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Sep 17, 2018

Apple iPhone XS, XS Max preorders 'weaker compared to iPhone X preorders,' says Rosenblatt
Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang wrote Monday that he gauges preorders for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max to be "weaker compared to iPhone X preorders" a year earlier. He estimates that 10 million iPhone XS and XS Max preorders were placed during the first three days they were available, based on his examination of wait times and his projected weekly production volume from manufacturers. He expects that Apple Inc. will produce 35 million to 36 million of the two devices in the September and December quarters combined, whereas he believes the company produced 36 million iPhone X models a year ago. He has a buy rating and a $200 price target on the stock. Instinet analyst Jeffrey Kvaal also commented on iPhone preorder trends, writing that both carrier promotions and iPhone shipment times look similar to year-ago levels. He rates the stock at neutral with a $210 price target. Apple didn't immediately respond to a MarketWatch request for comment on preorder trends. Apple shares are down 1.9% in Monday morning trading, though they're up 37% over the past 12 months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average , of which Apple is a component, has gained 17% in that time.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Tech stocks haven't had a losing month since March and that may change as Nasdaq suffers September slump
The Nasdaq Composite Index slumped late-morning Monday, with the day's slide helping to push the technology-and-internet focused gauge to its first monthly loss since March, according to FactSet data. The Nasdaq in late-morning trade was down about 80 points, or 1%, at 7,931. Worries that the U.S. trade clash with China was on the verge of escalating this week has kept investors on edge, particularly in tech, because that sector could be harmed by another round of tech-focused tariffs, market participants said. The Trump administration is planning to unveil new import duties on $200 billion in Chinese goods. The Nasdaq was on pace to shed 2.1% in September, which would be the index's worst monthly and only decline since a 2.9% fall. Beyond tariffs, industry watchers also have feared that shares within the group have gotten rich. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was experiencing a less-severe slide on Monday, down 0.1% at 26,132, while the S&P 500 index was down 0.3% at 2,895. Notably, shares of Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. , two of the world's most highly valued companies, were trading sharply lower on Monday, weighing on the broader market. Technically, Amazon is classified as a consumer-discretionary company and not tech in major benchmarks like the S&P 500, but it can influence sentiment in the tech and internet-related sector.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

American Express stock upgraded to overweight at Stephens
Stephens analyst Vincent Caintic raised his rating on shares of American Express Co. to overweight from equal weight on Monday. Caintic is more upbeat about the company's revenue potential due to his belief that the company is "successfully monetizing card network by increasing merchant engagement to drive higher billed business volumes." He also likes the company's "offers" business, which he expects will help get more customers to spend up on their cards "without also driving significantly higher rewards costs." He doesn't think that earnings growth will track revenue growth given the likelihood that American Express will make technology investments in the short term. Caintic increased his price target to $131 from $109. American Express shares are down 0.4% in Monday's session, though they're up 25% over the past 12 months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average , of which American Express is a component, has gained 17% in that time.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Apple's stock could be blamed for all of the Dow's decline
Shares of Apple Inc. dropped 1.7% in morning trade Monday, enough to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average's decliners and to pull the blue-chip barometer down into negative territory. Apple's price decline shaved about 26 points off the Dow's price, which was down 19 points. Instinet analyst Jeffrey Kvaal reiterated his neutral rating on the stock, saying his analysis of weekend orders for Apple's new iPhones suggests shipments are tracking in line with expectations. Apple's stock was still up 16.5% over the past three months while the Dow was up 4.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Micron stock falls after BMO slashes target to $45
Shares of Micron Technology Inc. are down 1.5% in Monday morning trading after BMO Capital Markets analyst Ambrish Srivastava lowered his price target on the stock to $45 from $63 ahead of the company's earnings report on Sept. 20. He has a market perform rating on shares, which recently changed hands at $43.64. "While weakness in NAND pricing has been a concern for some time, the fundamentals in DRAM on the pricing front have decelerated as well," he wrote. "We believe downward estimate revisions for Micron are just beginning." His estimates for the company's fiscal fourth-quarter results, due out Thursday, are about in line with consensus expectations, while his fiscal first-quarter estimates for $8.49 billion in revenue and $2.89 in earnings per share are below. Separately, technology shares are broadly lower amid concerns over trade. The stock has fallen 25% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Nio, Alibaba among China stocks getting hammered on tariff concerns
Shares of Chinese tech and internet names are getting crunched in Monday's session, after reports indicated that President Donald Trump could proceed with $200 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese goods and that China might pull out of trade talks if he goes through with that action. E-commerce names are getting hit hard, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. , down 3%, and JD.com Inc. , down more than 5%. Shares of internet companies iQiyi Inc. and Bilibili Inc. are also down in the session, as are shares of carmaker Nio Inc. , off 11%. Nio went public last week and has been called the Tesla Inc. of China. The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF is down 1.7% in Monday trading, while the S&P 500 is off 0.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Amazon creates a portal to shop from small and midsize businesses
Amazon.com Inc. said Monday that it has launched a new store for those who want to shop from small and midsized businesses in the U.S. Amazon Storefronts will offer more than a million products from nearly 20,000 businesses. Amazon shares are down 2.8% in Monday trading, and have lost more than $60 billion in market cap since an intraday high on Sept. 4. Shares are up nearly 64% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index is up 8.4% for 2018 so far.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Amazon creates a portal to shop from small- and medium-sized businesses
Amazon.com Inc. said Monday that it has launched a new store for those who want to shop from small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. Amazon Storefronts will offer more than one million products from nearly 20,000 businesses. Amazon shares are down 2.8% in Monday trading, and have lost more than $60 billion in market cap since an intraday high on September 4. Shares are up nearly 64% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index is up 8.4% for 2018 so far.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

UPS to hire 100,000 seasonal workers, up 5,000 from a year ago
United Parcel Service Inc. said Monday it expects to hire about 100,000 seasonal employees for the holiday season, up from 95,000 a year ago. The seasonal hires will primarily be package handlers, drivers and driver-helpers. Over the last 3 years, 35% of the package handlers hired during the holiday season, which begins November and continues through January, were later hired in permanent positions. UPS's announcement comes after XPO Logistics Inc. said it would hire 33% more seasonal workers this year than it did last year. UPS shares slipped 0.5% in morning trade. It has gained 2.7% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has gained 3.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 4.3%.

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Sep 17, 2018

Kavanaugh says Ford's accusation 'completely false' and he is willing to talk with Senate
Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, said Monday that sexual-assault allegations against him by Christine Blasey Ford are "completely false" and that he is willing to speak with the Senate Judiciary Committee about the matter "in any way" the panel deems appropriate. Ford has accused Kavanaugh of attacking her during a high school party in the 1980s. A Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh's nomination is scheduled for Thursday.

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Sep 17, 2018

Sinemia launches unlimited movie subscription plan in the U.S.
Movie subscription service Sinemia has launched a new unlimited movie plan in the U.S., the company announced Monday. The plan offers access to an unlimited number of 2D movie tickets for $29.99 per month, and will also be rolled out in the U.K., Canada and Australia. Sinemia has provided an unlimited plan in Europe since 2014, which the company says is its best-selling plan there. "While most of our plans are focused on the modern moviegoer who sees one, two or three movies each month, we want to serve every type of movie lover and that includes frequent moviegoers looking for an unlimited tickets option," said Rifat Oguz, Sinemia's CEO and founder. "We've spent four years testing and fine-tuning our unlimited tickets model and are confident this is the right price to sustainably offer such a plan," he added. The company will continue offering its tiered plans of one, two or three movies a month, with options for 3D and IMAX shows, as well as family plans.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Gap Inc. to hire 65,000 seasonal workers for 2018 holiday season
Gap Inc. said Monday that it will hire 65,000 seasonal associates across its Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta brands for the 2018 holiday season. Workers will work in stores, in call centers, and in distribution centers. Gap didn't specify its seasonal hiring numbers last year. The company will host a hiring event on October 6 in the U.S. and on October 13 in Canada, though Athleta and the Phoenix distribution center will only accept applications online. Target Corp. and Macy's Inc. are among the other retailers who have announced their seasonal hiring plans. Gap shares have fallen 19% in 2018 while the S&P 500 index has rallied 8.4% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Amazon's stock falls again, as market cap drops by $60 billion from $1 trillion intraday peak
Shares of Amazon.com Inc. sank 2.2% in morning trade Monday, in the wake of a report in The Wall Street Journal over the weekend that the e-commerce giant was investigating internal leaks to root out fake reviews and other seller scams. The stock, which was heading toward a three-week low, has now lost 6.0% since it peaked at an all-time intraday high of $2,050.50 on Sept. 4, which briefly lifted Amazon's market capitalization above the $1 trillion mark before gains were pared. Since that intraday peak, Amazon's market cap has declined by $60.30 billion. The stock was still up 65% year to date, while the Nasdaq Composite has rallied 15% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 5.7%.

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Sep 17, 2018

Cannabis stocks rally with Aurora leading, after report that Coca-Cola has held talks on potential investment
Cannabis stocks rallied across the board on Monday, with Aurora Cannabis Inc. leading the charge, after a report that Coca-Cola Co. has been in talks with the company. Coca-Cola declined to comment on Aurora, but confirmed that it is closing watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. "The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time," the company said in a statement. Other beverages company, including Constellation Brands Inc. and Molson Coors Co. have already invested in the space. Aurora was last up 15%, Valens GroWorks Corp. was up 8%, Tilray Inc. surged 7% and Cannabis Sativa Inc. was up 4%. Canopy Growth Corp. was up 1%. The S&P 500 was down 0.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Stock market opens lower, S&P 500 on the verge of halting 6-session win streak
U.S. stocks opened lower on Monday as stocks traded within striking distance of records but were held down by worries about intensifying trade clashes with China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down less than 0.1% at 26,124, the S&P 500 index slipped by about 0.1% at 2,901, while the technology-centric Nasdaq Composite Index retreated by 0.4% at 7,979. China said it may decline the offer for renewed trade talks if Trump carries out reports of imposing $200 billion in tariffs. "China is not going to negotiate with a gun pointed to its head," a senior Chinese official said, according to The Wall Street Journal. In corporate news, DowDuPont Inc. CEO Edward Breen will assume the top executive position at the specialty-products company that will be created next year as part of the conglomerate's yearslong plan to split into three entities. Separately, Coca-Cola Co. confirmed said it is considering opportunities in drinks that contain the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, cannabidiol. Meanwhile, investors were awaiting a quarterly report from Oracle Corp. , which is set to report its fiscal first quarter after the close of trading Monday. In economic news, the New York Fed's Empire State index fell 7 points to 19 in September.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Coca-Cola says it's 'closely watching' the opportunities in CBD-infused beverages
Coca-Cola Co. confirmed on Monday that it is considering the opportunities in CBD-infused beverages, drinks that contain the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, cannabidiol. In a statement, Coca-Cola said: "Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time." The largest beverage company in the world would be joining other big names including Molson Coors Co. and Constellation Brands Inc. that have made investments in the space. Coca-Cola and other carbonated-beverage businesses have sought out new products in areas like bottled water and wellness drinks as soda consumption has declined. Interest in the space has driven up shares of cannabis companies like Canopy Growth Corp. nearly 107% for the year so far. According to Bloomberg, Coca-Cola is in discussions with Aurora Cannabis Inc. about new products. Coca-Cola shares have edged up 0.2% for 2018 to date, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 5.8% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Teva stock surges 7% after FDA approves migraine medication
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. shares surged nearly 7% in Monday premarket trade after the company's migraine therapy, intended to prevent chronic attacks of head pain along with other severe, disabling symptoms, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The therapy, Ajovy, is administered as an injection, using a prefilled syringe, and can be dosed on a quarterly or monthly basis. The monthly dose will cost $575 per dose and the quarterly dose will cost $1,725, Teva said, meaning the product's total yearly cost will be about $6,900 per year irrespective of dose. The pricing figures released by Teva refer to the therapy's wholesale acquisition cost, or the price a drugmaker offers wholesalers, from which discounts are typically taken. About 38 million Americans, or 12% of the population, experience migraines, and though the treatment landscape has been sparse so far, it is poised to become increasingly competitive. Another preventative therapy, from Amgen Inc. and Novartis AG [S: nvs] was approved by the FDA in May, and the companies cited the same price tag, or $6,900. A FDA decision for another drug in this class, from Eli Lilly & Co. , is expected in the near future as well. For the beleaguered Teva, the new approval is a "clear positive," said J.P. Morgan analyst Chris Schott, though he noted "the highly competitive dynamics in the space with Amgen, Teva and Lilly all launching within six months of each other and with relatively limited differentiation among agents." Schott expects Teva's migraine therapy could sell about $150 million next year and as much as $600 million by 2022; even so, he sees "few growth drivers or pipeline assets beyond Ajovy" given generic competition for the company's flagship multiple sclerosis medication and challenging conditions for generic drugs. Shares of the U.S.-listed Teva have surged 20.6% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 has risen 8.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lifted 5.8%.

M

MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Broadcom's stock rallies after Instinet returns to bullish stance
Shares of Broadcom Inc. climbed 1.8% in premarket trade Monday, after Instinet analyst Romit Shah turned bullish on the chip company, saying there were "so many positive takeaways from earnings" that he was forced to take a more constructive stance. Shah raised his rating to buy, after cutting it to neutral on May 9, and raised his price target to $300 from $225. Among the specific positive takeaways from Broadcom's latest results, the Computer Associates acquisition is finally starting to make some sense, the company's wireless guidance removes the overhang about weakness in the core franchise and a sizeable dividend increases appears on the horizon. The stock has tumbled 12.5% over the past three months, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index has slipped 3.2% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Aramark to use some of the $300 million from asset sale to buy back stock
Aramark said Monday it will sell its healthcare technologies business for $300 million to Trimedx, as the company to looks to further focus on its core food, facilities and uniform business. The company said it plans to use the proceeds to repurchase $50 million worth of its common stock and to pay down debt. The deal is expected to close is the fourth quarter of 2018. Aramark said it had acquired the Charlotte, NC-based healthcare technologies business in 2001. Aramark's stock edged up 0.3% in premarket trade. It has rallied 5.9% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has tacked on 4.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Bed Bath and Beyond's stock rallies after analyst upgrade ahead of earnings report
Shares of Bed Bath and Beyond Inc. rallied 1.7% in premarket trade Monday, after the home furnishings retailer was upgraded at Raymond James ahead of fiscal second-quarter results, citing expectations of better-than-expected same-store sales results. Analyst Budd Bugatch raised his rating to market perform, after being at underperform for the the past five months. The company is scheduled to report earnings on Sept. 26. Bugatch said while the company continues to face compressing margins, his upgrade "simply underscores our view that sales results for F2Q18 now seem more likely to reflect a better consumer sales environment than previously expected, thereby mirroring the results for overall retail and other retailers have posted during late spring and summer." With the stock underperforming the retail sector this year, Bugatch believes upbeat results will provided a "trading opportunity," leaving a bearish rating now "too harsh." The stock had tumbled 10.5% over the past three months, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 4.9% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 4.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Cellectar stock surges 15% premarket after FDA fast tracks treatment for rare childhood cancer
Cellectar Biosciences Inc. said Monday it has received Rare Pediatric Disease Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a treatment for a rare kind of cancer in children called osteosarcoma. The treatment, CLR 131, is the company's lead Phospholipid Drug Conjugate(TM) (PDC) product candidate, which delivers radiation directly to cells. "CLR 131 has demonstrated promise as an anticancer agent in preclinical and clinical settings, and we are working now to establish its impact on various rare and deadly pediatric cancers," said John Friend, M.D., chief medical officer of Cellectar. The FDA assigns the RPDD to companies that are developing treatments for diseases that affect children from birth to 18 years old but have fewer than 200,000 patients. Osteosarcoma is caused by bone forming mesenchymal, or connective tissue, cells and is the most commonly diagnosed primary bone malignancy among children and adolescents, according to Cellectar. Shares were last up 15% premarket but are down 84.0% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

XPO to hire 8,000 seasonal workers, 33% more than last year
XPO Logistics Inc. said Monday it expects to hire 8,000 seasonal workers in North America for the holiday season, which is 33% more than what it expected to hire a year ago. The company said its retail logistics volume through August was about 20% higher than a year ago, primarily driven by demand for e-commerce and omnichannel retail fulfillment. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 25% year to date, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has climbed 9.0% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 5.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Twitter stock falls after MoffettNathanson lowers target to $21
Shares of Twitter Inc. are down 1.7% in premarket trading Monday after MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson lowered his price target on the stock to $21 form $23 and maintained his sell rating. He argues that the "true underlying cost growth" at Twitter is significantly higher than what the company reported in terms of operating expense growth, based on his recent analysts of the company's 10Q. "Moreover, given Twitter's dire need to improve platform safety and invest in more video content, we believe that expenses are set to escalate into the back-half of the year and in 2019," Nathanson wrote. "Consensus estimates appear to be under-estimating Twitter's expense build and will likely need to revise down margin expectations in 2019. With operating leverage flattening out, we believe Twitter's extreme valuation will come back into focus, which wouldn't be a good thing for the stock." Twitter shares are up 67% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Mastercard stock rises after Goldman adds to conviction list
Shares of Mastercard Inc. are up 0.7% in premarket trading Monday after Goldman Sachs analyst James Schneider added the stock to his firm's "conviction list." Schneider also raised his price target on the shares to $260 from $230, based on his optimism about the company's ability to gain share in Europe and its opportunities in the business-to-business (B2B) market. Schneider expects Mastercard to benefit from regulations in Europe that seem to be "catalyzing market share gains from local processors" and helping Mastercard to pick up speed in a "significantly under-penetrated market." He also said that the company's B2B efforts could represent nearly a fifth of Mastercard's overall revenue in five years. Mastercard shares are up 54% over the past 12 months, while Visa Inc. shares have gained 40% and the S&P 500 has risen 16%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

TE Connectivity to use $325 million in proceeds from asset sale for share repurchases
TE Connectivity Ltd. said Monday it reached a deal to sell its subsea communications business for $325 million in cash to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP. The Switzerland-based connectivity and sensors maker said it plans to use the proceeds from the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the fiscal first quarter, which ends December, to fund share repurchases. The SubCom subsea business was expected to contribute $700 million to fiscal 2018 sales, with a "minimal" contribution to profitability. TE Connectivity shares, which were still inactive in premarket trade, had slipped 3.4% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Cannabis company Canopy Growth wins regulatory approval to expand production
Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp. said Monday its Tweed Farms Inc. site has received licence amendments that approve remaining greenhouse space, expanding the company's licensed footprint to about 3.2 million square feet. "The company's Canadian platform is now 57% licensed with the balance under aggressive development towards the previously announced 5.6 million sq. ft. target production footprint," the company said in a statement. The company will need further licensed capacity, that is currently in the regulatory process, to meet the expected demand in the market once Canada fully legalizes cannabis for adult use on Oct. 17. Shares were up 2.6% premarket and have gained 98.5% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Gritstone Oncology sets terms for IPO to raise up to $91.1 million
Gritstone Oncology disclosed Monday it has set terms for its initial public offering that is expected to raise up to $91.1 million. The developer of tumor-specific cancer immunotherapies will offer 6.07 million shares in its IPO, which is expected to price between $13 to $15 a share. At $15 a share, the company would have a market capitalization of $423.5 million. If the underwriters exercise all of the options granted to buy additional shares, the company could raise up to $104.7 million. The company plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to fund its planned phase 1/2 clinical trial of GRANITE-001, continued fuildout of its manufacturing facility, research and development, such as preclinical activities for SLATE-001 and general corporate activities. Gritstone has applied to list its shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol "GRTS." Goldman Sachs, Cowen and Barclays are the lead underwriters. For 2017, the company recorded a net loss of $41.4 million, compared with a loss of $18.8 million in 2016. The company is looking to go public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has lost 2.3% over the past three months, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has rallied 5.9% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Tyson Foods stock falls after CEO steps down
Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. fell 2.2% in premarket trade Monday, after the consumer meats company said Chief Executive Tom Hayes will step down for personal reasons, after about two years in the role. The company appointed Noel White as its new CEO, effective Sept. 30. White was the group president for beef, port and international, joining the company in 2001 as part of Tyson's acquisition of IBP, which White joined in 1983. Tyson's stock had tumbled 22% year to date through Friday, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF had slipped 3.7% and the S&P 500 had gained 8.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Medical device company Ra Medical Systems to offer 3.3 million shares in IPO, priced at $14 to $16 each
Medical device company Ra Medial Systems set terms for its planned initial public offering on Monday, saying in a regulatory filing that it plans to offer 3.3 million shares priced at $14 to $16 each. The company is planning to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "RMED." Piper Jaffray and Cantor are lead underwriters on the deal, with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Nomura and Maxim Group acting as co-managers. The company is developing an excimer laser-based platform called DABRA for use in treating vascular and dermatological diseases. An excimer laser is a type of ultra-violet laser.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

UPDATE: Mersana Therapeutics stock leaps 4.7% after FDA lifts clinical hold on cancer therapy trial
Mersana Therapeutics Inc. said Monday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has lifted a partial clinical hold on its phase I trial of its cancer treatment XMT-1522. The hold was imposed in July after a patient enrolled in the trial died, sending the stock down sharply. XMT-1522 is the most advanced therapy in Mersana's pipeline. The trial, which is testing the drug in individuals with breast, gastric and non-small cell lung cancers, will resume with four-weekly dosing. "Mersana and the FDA reached alignment on changes to the protocol, including increased monitoring as well as the exclusion of patients with advanced hepatic impairment," the company said in a statement. It will apply the same protocol to its other therapy XMT-1536 trial, which was not subject to the clinical hold but is also in early-stage clinical trials. Shares are down 12.5% in 2018 through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Realm Therapeutics launches review that may include a sale after disappointing trial results
Realm Therapeutics PLC said Monday it has hired MTS Health Partners LP as an adviser as part of its strategic review that may include the potential sales of the company. The stock was inactive in premarket trade prior to a trading halt, which will be lifted at 7:30 a.m. ET. The decision to launch a strategic review followed results of a phase 2 trial of its Atopic Dermatitis treatment, which did not meet its threshold for continued investment. The company as decided to discontinue all of its drug development programs. Realm said it has implemented a cost cutting measures including a "significant reduction in headcount" to preserve capital. The company is now considered to be in a "offer period," as any discussions with third parties may be conducted in a "formal sale process" context. The stock has tumbled 69% month to date through Friday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has lost 3.6% and the S&P 500 has inched up 0.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Select Income REIT's stock soars after merger deal with fellow Government Properties
Shares of Select Income REIT soared 15% in premarket trade Monday, after the company agreed to be acquired by fellow real estate investment trust Government Properties Income Trust, creating a REIT focused on leasing office buildings primarily to single tenants, such as government entities. Under terms of the deal, Government Properties will sell all 24.9 million shares it owns in Select Income, and Select Income REIT shareholders will receive the equivalent of $29.26 for each Select Income share they own, or 46% above Friday's $20.06 closing price. Based on Friday's closing prices, that includes 1.04 Government Properties shares for each Select Income share they own, or $17.57, plus a special dividend of the 45 million shares Select Income owns of Industrial Logistics Properties Trust, which is valued t $11.69 for each Select Income share. The deal is expected to close in late 2018 or early 2019, and Government Properties shareholders will own 52% of the combined entity, to be named Office Properties Income Trust, and 48% will be owned by Select Income shareholders. The new combined company will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "OPI." Prior to the deal, Government Properties market capitalization was $1.67 billion and Select Income's market cap was $1.80 billion. Government Properties' stock had lost 8.9% year to date through Friday, while Select Income shares had shed 20.2%, the SPDR Real Estate Select Sector ETF had gained 1.9% and the S&P 500 had tacked on 8.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2018

Shoe designer Steve Madden plans 3-for-2 stock split
Shoe designer and retailer Steve Madden said Monday it is planning a 3-for-2 stock split in the form of a stock dividend. The split will entitle all shareholders of record as of Oct. 1 to receive one additional share of common stock for every two shares owned. The additional shares will be distributed on or about Oct. 11. The move will increase the number of shares outstanding to about 87.6 million from about 58.4 million currently. Shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 19.4% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 14, 2018

Cloud-based financial planning company Anaplan files for IPO
Cloud-based financial planning company Anaplan Inc. said it plans to go public to raise working capital and fund operations, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late Friday. Anaplan said it plans to raise up to $100 million but that figure is usually used as a placeholder in filings and is subject to change. The company listed David Morton, who left Tesla Inc. after being chief accounting officer for less than a month, as its chief financial officer. The company reported revenue of $168.3 million and a loss of $47.6 million for the year ended Jan. 31, 2018, compared with revenue of $120.5 million and a loss of $40.2 million the previous year. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Barclays are listed among the underwriters. The company plans to list under the ticker "PLAN" but did not list an exchange.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 14, 2018

Stocks end day flat in an erratic session mired by trade angst, but indexes book strong weekly gains
U.S. stocks finished mostly flat on Friday in a session marked by whipsaw action in the middle of the session, spurred by a report that President Donald Trump still wants to impose tariffs on China despite recent suggestions that tensions between Washington and Beijing were easing. The Dow Jones Industrial ended the session up about 9 points, or less than 0.1%, at 26,155, the S&P 500 index rose less than a point at 2,905, notching its fifth straight positive day, narrowly notching its longest win streak in about seven months. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index gave up less than 0.1% to close at 8,010. All three of the main benchmarks sunk after a report said Trump intended on imposing tariffs on China. Bloomberg reported that Trump instructed his team to proceed with tariffs on about $200 billion more in Chinese products, despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's recent attempts to restart talks with Chinese officials. Equity gauges shook off a late-morning report that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, would plead guilty to two criminal charges on Friday and said he would cooperate in a broad investigation into the 2016 election. Still for the week, the Dow rose 0.9%, the S&P 500 gained 1.2%, flirting with a record close, while the Nasdaq booked a 1.4% weekly gain. Markets had been buoyed by a hope that a detente between Beijing and Washington on trade was near. On the economic front, retail sales rose a scant 0.1% in August, the government said Friday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.3% increase. Meanwhile, the import price index sank 0.6% in August, marking the second straight month and the biggest drop in 2 1/2 years for the cost of goods imported into the country, largely reflecting lower oil prices. A report on industrial production for August showed a rise of 0.4%, representing the third monthly increase. Separately, the confidence of Americans in the U.S. economy and their own well-being rose toward the end

MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 14, 2018

Trump will travel next week to areas hit by Hurricane Florence, White House says
President Donald Trump will travel next week to areas impacted by Hurricane Florence, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. Trump will go to affected areas "once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts," she said. Trump got an emergency preparedness update Friday afternoon. Florence made landfall on the North Carolina coastline Friday, bringing storm surges, flooding and power outages. The storm has reportedly claimed at least four lives.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 14, 2018

NBC inks new 8-year deal to continue broadcasting Golden Globes
Comcast-owned NBC has inked a new eight-year deal with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark Productions to continue broadcasting the Golden Globes, according a Friday announcement by the HFPA. "We look forward to airing the Golden Globe Awards on NBC for the next eight years at least," said Robert Greenblatt chairman of NBC Entertainment in a statement. NBC has been the home of the Golden Globe Awards for the past 23 years. The award show is one of the most anticipated of the year, and one of the few that feature categories in both film and television. Comcast shares have fallen 7.8% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 14, 2018

U.S. oil prices edge up for the session, gain 1.8% for the week
Oil prices settled higher on Friday to register a gain of about 1.8% for the week. The U.S. has reportedly ratcheted up pressure on countries to comply with upcoming sanctions on Iranian oil and traders continue to eye any impact on the energy market from Hurricane Florence. October West Texas Intermediate oil rose 40 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $68.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 14, 2018

AMC's stock swings lower; MKM downgrade follows Silver Lake investment, special dividend
Shares of AMC Entertainment Inc. swung to a 1.4% loss in afternoon trade, after being up as much as 5.7% at a 14-month high earlier in the session, with MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler highlighting how the investment by private equity firm Silver Lake and the special dividend raised longer-term concerns. Handler downgraded the movie theater operator to neutral from buy, while keeping his stock price target at $21. "Although investors should be happy to cash a special dividend check from AMC, we believe the half-turn increase in the company's already above average net leverage and the eventual 6% share dilution gives us some cause for concern," Handler wrote in a note to clients. He sees "limited capital appreciation potential" for AMC shares in the coming quarters. The stock has still rallied 32% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 14, 2018

Gold prices fall for the session, gain less than $1 for the week
Gold prices settled lower on Friday as monthly increases in U.S. industrial production and consumer sentiment provided a boost to the dollar. December gold lost $7.10, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,201.10 an ounce. The session's decline cut the metal's gain down to just 70 cents from the week ago finish.

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
Sep 14, 2018

Kirby stock's best rally in 6 years helps propel Dow transports to record intraday high
Shares of Kirby Corp. shot up 7.4% in afternoon trade Friday, putting them on track for the biggest one-day gain since July 26, 2012, following bullish comments from Stifel Nicolaus analyst Benjamin Nolan. The stock was the biggest gainer in the Dow Jones Transportation Average , which reached an all-time intraday high of 11,623.58 earlier in the session. Kirby's stock price gain was adding 34 points to the Dow transports, which was up 77 points, or 0.7%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 47 points. Kirby's stock had tumbled 12% month to date through Thursday, with Stifel's Nolan attributing the weakness to concerns over slowing in the fracking market. "Yesterday, we toured the company's United Manufacturing facility in Oklahoma and turns out market fears are not only overblown but the business is actually improving," Nolan wrote in a note to clients. "Given this misunderstanding by the market leading to a much more attractive entry point, we would be buyers of the shares at current 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
Sep 14, 2018

Baker Hughes data show U.S. oil-rig count climbed for the week
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by 7 to 867 this week. The oil-rig count had fallen by 2 last week. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, was also up 7 at 1,055, according to Baker Hughes. October West Texas Intermediate crude rose 29 cents, or 0.4%, at $68.88 a barrel, compared with $69.03 before the rig data.

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
Sep 14, 2018

Dow wipes out gains after report indicates that Trump wants to proceed with $200 billion in China tariffs
U.S. stocks erased gains midday Friday soon after a report indicated that President Donald Trump still wants to impose tariffs on China despite recent suggestions that tensions between Washington and Beijing were easing. The Dow Jones Industrial was down 40 points, or 0.2%, at 26,109, the S&P 500 index slipped 0.1% at 2,900, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 0.2% at 8,000. All three of the main benchmarks had been modestly higher before the report. Bloomberg reported that Trump instructed his team to proceed with tariffs on about $200 billion more in Chinese products, despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's recent attempts to restart talks with Chinese officials. The decline in stock indexes also come even after equity gauges shook off a late-morning report that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, would plead guilty to two criminal charges on Friday and said he would cooperate in a broad investigation into the 2016 election.

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
Sep 14, 2018

Oil prices climb on renewed concerns tied to U.S. sanctions on Iran
Oil prices climbed toward session highs on Friday as reported comments from U.S. officials surrounding their plans to impose sanctions on Iranian oil renewed concerns over tighter global crude supplies. Manisha Singh, assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, told lawmakers at a hearing Thursday that the country is prepared to take the "strongest action" against countries not complying with Iran sanctions, including cutting purchases of Iranian oil to zero, according to an article in the Economic Times Friday. Separate reports Friday, meanwhile, said President Donald Trump still wants to impose tariffs on China despite recent attempts to restart talks between the U.S. and China, which is the second-largest oil consumer. October West Texas Intermediate oil rose 50 cents, or 0.7%, to $69.09 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
Sep 14, 2018

China's Qutoutiao stock rockets in public debut to more than double its IPO price
Shares of China-based mobile content aggregator Qutoutiao Inc. soared in their public debut, after the initial public offering priced at $7. The first trade of the U.S.-listed shares was at $9.10, or 17% above the IPO price, at 11:45 a.m. ET. The have rocketed since to more than double the IPO price at $14.90. The company sold 12 million shares in the IPO to raise $84 million. The company went public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has slipped 2.2% over the past three months and the S&P 500 has gained 4.2%.

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
Sep 14, 2018

Victoria's Secret parent L Brands stock jumps after announcing plans to shutter Henri Bendel
L Brands Inc. shares jumped nearly 5% in Friday trading after the company announced plans to shut down all 23 of its Henri Bendel stores and the luxury chain's e-commerce site after the holidays. Henri Bendel stores include its iconic Fifth Avenue shop in New York City, and smaller-format stores across 11 states. "We are committed to improving performance in the business and increasing shareholder value," said L Brands chief executive Leslie Wexner in an after-hours statement. "As part of that effort, we have decided to stop operating Bendel to improve company profitability and focus on our larger brands that have greater growth potential." L Brands' portfolio also includes Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. Henri Bendel associates that stay on until January 2019 will be offered retention bonuses and the chance to either interview for other positions at the company or accept a severance package and job search services. L Brands expects Henri Bendel's 2018 revenue to total $85 million and its operating losses to total $45 million. L Brands stock is down more than 52% for the year so far while the S&P 500 index is up 8.6% for the period.

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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