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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Pfizer gets FDA approval for drug similar to Amgen's Neupogen
Pfizer Inc. said late Friday it received Food and Drug Administration approval to sell a biotech drug that is similar to Amgen Inc.'s Neupogen. Pfizer's product is named Nivestym, which is intended to reduce the likelihood of infections in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. In a statement, Pfizer said it expects to sell Nivestym at "a significant discount to the current wholesale acquisition cost" of Neupogen. Amgen reported $549 million in Neupogen sales in 2017, a 28% decline from the previous year, compared with Amgen's total product sales of $21.89 billion. Novartis AG and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. also make drugs biosimilar to Neupogen that are approved for U.S. sale.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Lifepoint Health surges 35% after buyout report
Shares in hospital operator Lifepoint Health Inc. surged more than 35% in after-hours trading Friday after a report that private-equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC is in talks to buy the firm. Reuters reported that Apollo "is in advanced talks" to buy the firm at a valuation that could hit $6 billion, including debt, citing unnamed sources. Lifepoint ended trading Friday with a market capitalization of less than $1.9 billion, and Reuters reported it had about $2.9 billion in long-term debt. The deal could be announced as soon as next week, Reuters reported, but could still fall apart. Lifepoint shares closed at $47.90, but were selling for around $65 in the extended session after the report hit.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Stocks close slightly lower, ending the week flat
U.S. stocks closed slightly lower on Friday as new questions surrounding government policy on both trade and the dollar cooled buying appetite, despite positive earnings releases. The main benchmarks ended the week roughly where they started. The S&P 500 fell 2.66 points, or 0.1%, to 2,801.83 and is flat over the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 6.38 points to 25,058.128, though it eked out a 0.2% weekly gains. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 5.1 points, or less than 0.1%, to 7,820.20, also ending the week unchanged. Among the biggest gainers on the S&P 500 on Friday, shares of Microsoft Corp. rallied 1.8% after quarterly earnings results.

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
Jul 20, 2018

U.S. oil prices climb, but end the week lower
U.S. oil prices climbed Friday, extending gains from a day earlier when comments from Saudi Arabia's OPEC governor eased concerns over the potential for an oversupplied market. Rising U.S.-China trade war tensions, however, raised expectations of a slowdown in commodity demand, helping to pull prices lower for the week. August West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1, or 1.4%, to settle at $70.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It settled at its highest level in a week, but was still down 0.8% from last Friday's finish. September WTI oil , which became the front-month contract at the session's end, finished at $68.26, up 2 cents for the day.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Trump worried Fed will hike twice more this year: CNBC
President Donald Trump's criticism of Federal Reserve interest-rate policy stems, in part, from his concern the central bank will follow through on its projections for two additional quarter-point moves this year, CNBC reported, citing an unidentified White House official. On the other hand, the official said White House aides are less concerned and have told the president that two more rate hikes won't cool down the economy to such a degree that it will be a political problem for the president or the economy going into the midterm election, the report said.

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
Jul 20, 2018

NFL's new national-anthem policy reportedly on hold
The National Football League and its players union have issued a joint statement that implementation of the league's new national-anthem policy, under which all players on the field at the time of the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" would be required to stand respectfully, is on hold. Players would be free to remain in the locker room, if they chose to do so. The league and the Players Association, according to an ESPN report, said they were continuing to work toward resolution of the controversy, which kicked off when quarterback Colin Kaepernick, then of the San Francisco 49ers, followed by players around the league, took to kneeling during the playing of the anthem in protest of police brutality, social injustice and racial inequality. The New York Post and others reported that news of the policy pause followed a report that the Miami Dolphins were set to take actions including four-game suspensions against players who violated the new NFL policy.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Gold prices finish higher, but fall a second straight week
Gold prices finished with a gain on Friday as comments President Donald Trump, showing his displeasure with Federal Reserve interest-rate increases, prompted a decline in the benchmark dollar index. Prices for the yellow metal, however, still suffered a loss for a second week in a row. Overall strength in the dollar and a "slow but steady rise in real interest rates have been the two most notable bearish influences on gold" since the first quarter, say Tyler Richey, co-editor for the Sevens Report. August gold settled at $1,231.10 an ounce, up $7.10, or 0.6%, for the session. Prices were down 0.8% for the week, after settling Thursday at a one-year low.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Aerospace-parts company Esterline shares surge 9.5% on report it is mulling sale
Aerospace-parts maker Esterline Technologies Corp. shares soared more than 9% Friday, after The Wall Street Journal said the company is exploring a sale, citing people familiar with the matter. The company is a supplier to the aerospace industry, providing cockpit components, sensors and other items for commercial planes, business jets and the military. Shares have gained 10.4% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Amazon to add more than 1,500 workers with Spokane fulfillment center
Amazon.com Inc. said Friday that it will add 1,500 full-time jobs with a new fulfillment center in Spokane, Wash. Spanning more than 600,000 square feet, workers will sort and ship housewares, games, school supplies and more. Amazon has more than 50,000 employees across Washington state, where the company is headquartered. Amazon shares are up 55.5% for 2018 to date, while the S&P 500 index is up 5% 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
Jul 20, 2018

FBI has secret tape of Trump talking payment to Playboy model: N.Y. Times
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a tape of President Donald Trump discussing payments to a former Playboy model, according to a report from the New York Times. The article published Friday morning indicates that the president's longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, recorded a conversation with Trump two months before his 2016 election in which payments to a former Playboy model were discussed, the paper wrote, citing lawyers and others familiar with the matter. That former Playboy model was identified by the Times as Karen McDougal. The FBI seized the tape during a raid on Cohen's office. The report comes as adult-film star Stormy Daniels says she was paid by Trump's attorney to keep quiet about an alleged affair just prior to his election. Daniels legal name is Stephanie Clifford. Trump has publicly denied explicit knowledge of any payment to the film star. Stocks didn't react to the New York Times report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index retained slight gains. Investors have mostly ignored the White House drama to focus more on upbeat earnings and a strong economic backdrop. The payments have been a focus for some because they could constitute a violation of federal campaign-finance laws.

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
Jul 20, 2018

FBI has secret tape of Trump talking payment with Playboy model: N.Y. Times
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a tape of President Donald Trump discussing payments to a former Playboy model, according to a report from the New York Times. The article published Friday morning indicates that the president's longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, recorded a conversation with Trump two months before his 2016 election in which payments to a former Playboy model, the paper wrote, citing lawyers and others familiar with the matter. That former Playboy model was identified by the Times as Karen McDougal. The FBI seized the tape during a raid on Cohen's office. The report comes as adult-film star Stormy Daniels says she was paid by Trump's attorney to keep quiet about an alleged affair just prior to his election. Daniels legal name is Stephanie Clifford. Trump has publicly denied explicit knowledge of any payment to the film star. Stocks didn't react to the New York Times report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index retained slight gains. Investors have mostly ignored the White House drama to focus more on upbeat earnings and a strong economic backdrop. The payments have been a focus for some because they could constitute a violation of federal campaign-finance laws.

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
Jul 20, 2018

Stocks aren't ignoring Trump's Fed, EU, and China comments. Wall Street's just watching the dollar get crushed
U.S. stocks were edging higher early Friday, seemingly ignoring recent comments from President Donald Trump, who questioned the strategy of the the Federal Reserve and monetary policies of the European Union and China. But if the stocks appear to be more buoyant against that backdrop, look no further than the intraday weakening of the U.S. dollar which is being pummeled in early Friday action, following a morning tweet from Trump that accused China and the EU of manipulating rates and currencies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1% at 25,094, the S&P 500 index also was trading in the green, gaining less than 0.1% at 2,806, while the Nasdaq Composite Index , which had already been edging up, gained 0.3% at 7,849. Futures for all three benchmarks indicated that stocks would face stiffer headwinds at the open of regular trade. However, a weaker dollar, which can benefit large multinational companies doing business abroad, provided a major tailwind. As measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index , the dollar is down 0.6% at 94.620, on track for its worst one-day decline this month. In Friday's tweet, Trump said: "China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower, while the U.S. is raising rates while the dollars gets stronger and stronger with each passing day- taking away our big competitive edge. As usual, not a level playing field." The social-media blast comes a day after a Thursday interview with CNBC indicated that the president wasn't '"thrilled" with the Fed's strategy of increasing interest rates, which Trump characterized as undercutting his fiscal stimulus measures, designed to boost business and the market.

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
Jul 20, 2018

Lumentum paces optical stocks downward on tariff concerns
Optical stocks are getting hit Friday after President Donald Trump said he was prepared to "go to 500" in a tariff battle with China, referring to the idea that the U.S. may levy tariffs on $505 billion in Chinese products, or the whole import balance from last year. Shares of Lumentum Holdings Inc. are down 9% in Friday's session, while shares of Oclaro Inc. , which Lumentum intends to acquire, are down 4.4%. Oclaro generates more than 10% of revenue from China's ZTE, Needham analyst Alex Henderson has written. Shares of other optical names including Finisar Corp. , Acacia Communications Inc. , and NeoPhotonics Corp. are also trading lower. Lumentum shares are off 11.3% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 13%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

GE's stock sinks after the open, as post-earnings conference call ends
Shares of General Electric Co. sank 3.3% on heavy volume in morning trade Friday, turning sharply lower soon after the opening bell, just as the post-earnings conference call concluded. In premarket trade, the stock jumped as much as 2.7% right after the quarterly report was released, with earnings and revenue beating expectations, but pulled back to trade little changed just before the open. On the conference call, Chief Executive John Flannery said he expects 2018 adjusted earnings per share to be "at the low end" of the previously provided guidance range of $1.00 to $1.07, while the FactSet EPS consensus is 93 cents. Among other comments made during the call, the power business is going to require a "multi-year fix," with some volatility. Regarding the China tariff situation, Flannery said "we are a company built for fair and open trade," so GE's current view is "hope" that trade matters eventually reach a "sensible negotiated conclusion." The stock has now shed 24% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 1.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Dow, S&P 500 open lower as trade fears resurface
U.S. stocks opened mostly lower on Friday with the main benchmarks on track to end the week roughly where they started. Investors turned cautious after a flood of new question marks surrounding government policy on both trade and the dollar, overshadowing positive quarterly results from General Electric and Microsoft. The S&P 500 fell 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2,803. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 62 points, or 0.3%, to 24,998. The Nasdaq Composite Index bucked the trends, opening 16 points, or 0.2% higher, to 7,840 Among the biggest gainers on the S&P 500, shares of Microsoft Corp. rallied more than 3% after quarterly earnings results.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Treasury yields tick higher after Trump says China and EU manipulate their currencies, rates
Treasury yields briefly rose early Friday after President Donald Trump said in a tweet that China and the European Union were manipulating their currencies and interest rates, even as the U.S.'s dollar and rates were rising, hurting the U.S.'s "competitive edge." The 10-year Treasury note yield advanced 1.5 basis points to 2.862%. The 30-year bond yield rose 2.5 basis points to basis point to 2.992%, while the 2-year note yield was down 0.4 basis point to 2.591%. Bond prices fall when yields rise. These comments follow Trump's interview with CNBC where the President said he was unhappy with the Federal Reserve's rate hikes because they were undoing the economic boost from his stimulus package passed earlier this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Trump says China, EU 'have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower' in a tweet
President Donald Trump on Friday appeared to double down on remarks he made during a CNBC interview on Thursday by accusing the European Union and China of manipulating their currencies and interest rates. In a tweet in the morning Trump said "China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower, while the U.S. is raising rates while the dollars gets stronger and stronger with each passing day - taking away our big competitive edge. As usual, not a level playing field..." The president's comments came a day after he criticized the Federal Reserve for hiking rates, which he described as undercutting his recent rounds of fiscal stimulus, including corporate tax cuts late last year. On Thursday, Trump told CNBC he is not "thrilled" that the Fed is hiking interest rates. "Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don't really - I am not happy about it. But at the same time, I'm letting them do what they feel is best." He added, "but I don't like all of this work that goes into doing what we're doing." The dollar, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index slumped after Trump's Friday tweet. Meanwhile, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index held on to losses.

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
Jul 20, 2018

Dollar drops as Trump accuses China, EU of currency and interest-rate manipulation
The U.S. dollar took a hit on Friday after President Donald Trump called China and the European Union currency and interest rate manipulators in a tweet. Trump that "while the U.S. is raising rates while the dollars gets stronger and stronger with each passing day," China and the eurozone were robbing the U.S. of its "big competitive edge." The ICE U.S. Dollar Index dropped 0.5% to 94.674, extending previous losses. The euro , the greenback's main rival, rallied to a three-day high of $1.1709 in response. China's yuan was more timid in response. The offshore-traded yuan strengthened slightly, with one dollar buying 6.7882 yuan, while the more restricted onshore yuan remained marginally weaker, as one dollar fetched 6.7705 yuan.

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
Jul 20, 2018

Orrin Hatch threatens curb on Trump trade authority: Wall Street Journal
Sen. Orrin Hatch, the seven-term Utah Republican who heads the Senate Finance Committee, reportedly sent a letter to the White House this week warning President Trump against a continued pursuit of import tariffs that many observers see setting the stage for a full-fledged trade war. According to a Wall Street Journal exclusive, the letter from the reliable Trump ally, who in January announced his retirement, suggests he'd throw his weight behind legislation to rein in presidential trade-policy authority unless Trump changes course. The Journal is in possession of a copy of the Hatch letter, it reported.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Gentex's stock drops as auto production decline led to revenue miss
Shares of Gentex Corp. dropped 6% in premarket trade Friday, after supplier of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors for autos, dimmable aircraft windows and fire protection products missed second-quarter revenue expectations. Net income rose to $109.0 million, or 40 cents a share, from $88.5 million, or 31 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 40 cents. Revenue increased to $455.0 million from $443.1 million, but was below the FactSet consensus of $467.5 million. The company said light vehicle production in North America declined about 3% during the quarter, resulting in lower-than-expected shipments and revenue. In addition, a supplier fire led to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) shutdowns, causing a 1% revenue headwind. The company lowered its 2018 revenue outlook to $1.88 billion to $1.91 billion from $1.89 billion to $1.97 billion. The stock had rallied 12% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 had gained 4.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Facebook stock gains after Stifel, Piper Jaffray hike price targets ahead of earnings
Shares of Facebook Inc. are up 0.6% in premarket trading after analysts at Stifel and Piper Jaffray raised their price targets ahead of the company's July 25 earnings report. "DAU trends will continue to face close scrutiny; we expect modest positive net additions in North America and flattish trends in Europe following the rollout of the GDPR," wrote Stifel analyst Scott Devitt. He has a buy rating on the stock and increased his price target to $242 from $202. Piper Jaffray's Michael Olson raised his target to $250 from $210, writing of his optimism that Facebook will be able to monetize newer areas going forward, including Marketplace and the Watch tab. Facebook shares are up 26% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 13%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

GE up to the challenge as power revenue beats expectations
General Electric Co. Chief Executive John Flannery he expects the power market to continue to be "challenging," but that didn't stop the industrial conglomerate's largest business segment from beating revenue expectations. Power orders tumbled 26% from a year ago to $7.37 billion and revenue fell 19% to $7.58 billion, but that beat the FactSet revenue consensus of $7.10 billion. The second-biggest business segment by revenue is aviation, with revenue rising 13% to $7.52 billion to top the FactSet consensus of $7.22 billion. The third business segment that GE said it will focus on going forward is renewable energy, where revenue fell 29% to $1.65 billion to miss the FactSet consensus of $2.15 billion. The stock rose 0.8% in premarket trade. It has lost 5.6% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 2.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Honeywell shares surge 3% premarket after company tops estimates and raises guidance
Aerospace and defense company Honeywell Inc.'s shares rose 3% in premarket trade Friday, after the company beat estimates for the second quarter and raised its guidance for the full year. Honeywell said it had net income of $1.267 billion, or $1.68 a share, in the second quarter, down from $1.392 billion, or $1.80 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.12, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $2.01. Sales rose 8% to $10.919 billion from $10.078 billion, also ahead of the FactSet consensus of $10.805 billion. The company raised its 2018 guidance, and now expects EPS of $8.05 to $8.15, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $8.03. Shares have fallen 3.8% in 2018 through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Trump says he's 'ready to go to 500' in tariff battle with China
President Donald Trump said he could escalate his trade clash with China by placing tariffs on some $505 billion in Chinese products, representing the entire import balance with the U.S. last year. Trump made his comments during a CNBC interview on Thursday, which aired in full Friday morning. "I'm ready to go to 500," Trump said. Most recently, the U.S. and China enacted reciprocal tariffs of 25% on $34 billion in their respective imports. Although trending higher recently, the stock market has been roiled by concerns that a trade war erupting between to the two superpowers could rattle global economies. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday morning extended losses after the CNBC interview, as did those for the S&P 500 index and Nasdaq-100 . Stock-index futures are lower but have since pared those early declines.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Schlumberger's stock slips after profit beats expectations, but revenue misses
Shares of Schlumberger Ltd. fell 0.8% in premarket trade Friday, after the oil services company reported a second-quarter profit that beat expectations, but revenue that missed. The company swung to net income of $430 million, or 31 cents a share, from a loss of $74 million, or 5 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 43 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 42 cents. Revenue grew 11% to $8.30 billion, but came up short of the FactSet consensus of $8.36 billion. Production revenue rose 30% to $3.26 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $3.18 billion, while drilling revenue grew 6% to $2.23 billion, just below expectations of $2.37 billion. Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said market fundamentals continue to improve of its international business and global gross domestic product remains strong, "with any impact of headwinds from the U.S.-China trade dispute likely to become clearer in the next few quarters." The stock has lost 3.3% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

North Face owner VF. Corp. tops earnings estimates
VF Corp., , the owner of brands including Vans, Timberland, The North Face and Wrangler, said Friday it had net income of $160.4 million, or 40 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter to end June, up from $109.9 million, or 27 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 43 cents, well ahead of the 33 cents consensus. Revenue rose to $2.788 billion from $2.268 billion, also ahead of the FactSet consensus of $2.679 billion. The company raised its fiscal 2019 outlook and said it now expects revenue to range from $13.6 billion to $13.7 billion, compared with prior guidance of $13.45 billion to $13.55 billion. EPS is expected to range from $3.52 to $3.57, compared with earlier guidance of $3.48 to $3.53. Shares rose 1.1% premarket and are up 20.6% in 2018 through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

GE's stock gains after earnings and revenue beat expectations
General Electric Co.'s stock rose 0.7% in premarket trade Friday, after the industrial conglomerate reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations. Net income fell to $615 million, or 7 cents a share, from $875 million, or 10 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 19 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 18 cents. Revenue rose 3% to $30.10 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $29.40 billion, as better-than-expected power and aviation revenue offset renewable energy's miss. "We expect the power market to remain challenging, and we continue our focus on operational improvement," said Chief Executive John Flannery. "We are progressing on our plans to make GE simpler and stronger." The stock has tumbled 21% year to date through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 1.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

Putin open to making visit to Washington, says envoy: AP
President Vladimir Putin is open to making a visit to Washington, a Moscow diplomat indicated, after the Russian leader was invited by U.S. President Donald Trump, the Associated Press reported Friday. Russia is "always open to such proposals. We are ready for discussions on this subject," the country's ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, said Friday, according to the AP report. However, Moscow has yet to make the formal response needed, the report noted.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 20, 2018

At least eight people dead after boat capsizes on a lake near Branson, Mo.: WSJ
At least eight people are dead after an amphibious tourist boat capsized during a heavy storm Thursday evening on a lake near Branson, Mo., The Wall Street Journal reported. Seven others have been taken to a hospital but divers are searching for more victims. The authorities were not sure how many people were on the boat this time.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2018

Microsoft stock spikes after earnings forecast beats expectations
Microsoft Corp. shares jumped to a 4% gain in after-hours trading Thursday after the tech giant supplied its forecast for the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year. Shares had been up 1% after the company's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report showed stronger-than-expected profit and sales. Microsoft provided revenue guidance for its different segments on the conference call, predicting $9.25 billion to $9.45 billion for "Productivity and Business Processes"; $8.15 billion to $8.35 billion for "Intelligent Cloud"; and $9.95 billion to $10.25 billion in "More Personal Computing." In total, that suggests first-quarter revenue of $27.35 billion to $28.05 billion. Analysts on average were projecting revenue of $27.4 billion, according to FactSet. Microsoft did not give an earnings projection nor a full-year forecast, though Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said cost of goods sold in the first quarter was expected to be $9.5 billion to $9.7 billion, operating expenses would be $9.2 billion to $9.3 billion, and income and expense is expected to be about $100 million to the negative side.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2018

Skyworks Solutions shares gain 4% on earnings, dividend increase
Shares of Skyworks Solutions Inc. rose nearly 4% late Thursday after the semiconductor company reported fiscal third-quarter earnings above Wall Street expectations and said its board approved a dividend increase. Skyworks said it earned $286.5 million, or $1.57 a share, in the quarter, compared with $246.2 million, or $1.32 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned $1.64 a share, compared with $1.57 a share a year ago. Revenue fell to $894.3 million, from $900.8 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $1.60 a share on sales of $889 million. The company's board declared a cash dividend of 38 cents a share, a 19% increase. The dividend is payable on Aug. 28 to shareholders of record on Aug. 7. The company shares ended the regular session up 0.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2018

PTC Therapeutics stock spikes on $200 million acquisition of Agilis Biotherapeutics
PTC Therapeutics said Thursday afternoon that it plans to acquire gene-therapy startup Agilis Biotherapeutics for $200 million plus incentives, and shares spiked higher. PTC said the five-year-old company has a promising biologics candidate that seeks to treat Aromatic L-Amino Acid Decarboxylase, or AADC, deficiency, a rare disorder of the central nervous system. "Based on multiyear data from initial clinical studies with the AADC gene therapy treatment candidate, PTC plans to submit a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the FDA in 2019," the company stated. Agilis has other gene-therapy candidates focused on rare diseases as well, PTC claimed. PTC has agreed to pay $50 million in cash and $150 million in stock for Agilis, with an estimated maximum limit of 9.34 million shares; if that share count doesn't meet the $150 million target, the rest will be made up in cash. The company also promised $60 million in development milestones over the next two years, with one of the conditions being the FDA's acceptance of the BLA, as well as up to $685 million in success-based and commercial milestone incentives. PTC expects the deal to close in the third quarter, and the boards of both companies have approved the transaction. PTC stock was halted before the announcement, and jumped 15% in after-hours trading after the halt was lifted, though gains settled closer to 10% later in extended trading. Shares have already lifted 119.1% this year, as the S&P 500 index has gained 5.3%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Capital One shares on the rise after earnings beat
Shares of Capital One Financial Corp. rose 1% late Thursday after the bank holding company reported second-quarter earnings above Wall Street forecasts. Capital One said it earned $1.9 billion, or $3.71 a share, in the quarter, compared with $1 billion, or $1.94 a share, in the second quarter of 2017. Adjusted for one-time items, Capital One earned $3.22 a share, compared with $1.96 a share a year ago. Net revenue rose to $7.2 billion, from $6.7 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $2.64 a share on sales of $6.93 billion. "We saw credit improvement across our businesses, and growth math is now helping overall domestic credit card trends," founder and Chief Executive Richard D. Fairbank said in a statement. Shares ended the regular trading day down 1.8%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Intuitive Surgical stock rises after earnings beat
Intuitive Surgical Inc. shares rose 3.1% in the extended session Thursday after the company beat earnings and revenue expectations. If the stock maintains the after-hours gains in Friday trading it will rise to a potential record. The company reported second-quarter net income of $255.3 million, or $2.15 a share, compared with $223 million, or $1.94 a share, in the year-ago period. Earnings adjusted for items such as stock-based compensation were $2.76 a share. Revenue rose to $909.3 million from $758.8 million in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted earnings of $2.50 a share on revenue of $876 million. For the third quarter, analysts model adjusted earnings of $2.56 a share on sales of $893 million. Intuitive Surgical stock closed up 1.3% to $521.29 and has gained 43% this year, with the S&P 500 index rising 5.3%.

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Jul 19, 2018

FTD top execs leave amid restructuring; board pondering sale
FTD Cos. Inc. announced the departure of its chief executive, chief operating officer and chief marketing officer Thursday afternoon, and said the board was reviewing strategic alternatives while immediately restructuring the company. The beleaguered floral company said John Walden had stepped down as president and CEO effective immediately and would be replaced on an interim basis by General Counsel Scott Levin. The company also said it would eliminate the COO position, previously held by Simha Kumar, and that CMO Jeffrey Severts would leave the company. In addition to Levin, Chief Information Officer Jay Topper will remain with a new title of chief digital officer. The company said that it had hired Moelis & Co. to assist with a strategic review that will include the possibility of "a sale or merger of the company." In addition, the company said it was restructuring in an effort to save $18 million to $23 million in annualized costs in 2019, though it did not say how many employees would be let go. FTD said it expects to report second-quarter net income of $1.5 million to $4.5 million on revenue of $299 million to $301 million, well below the average analyst estimate of $11 million in profit and $320 million in sales, according to FactSet. The company also reduced its forecast for annual 2018 profit and revenue. FTD stock dropped about 4% in after-hours trading following the anouncement. The shares have plummeted 77.4% in the past year, as the S&P 500 index has gained 13.8%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Skechers stock plunges after company earnings, outlook misses
Shares of Skechers USA Inc. plunged more than 20% late Thursday after the footwear maker reported second-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street expectations and a third-quarter outlook that also came below marks. Skechers said it earned $45.3 million, or 29 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $59.5 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales rose to $1.13 billion, from $1.03 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 40 cents a share on sales of $1.13 billion. The company called for sales in a range between $1.20 billion to $1.23 billion and per-share earnings between 50 cents and 55 cents in the third quarter. "The guidance is based on continued strong performance within the company's international subsidiaries and joint venture businesses, and the company-owned Skechers retail stores, as well as growth in the company's international distributor and domestic wholesale businesses in the back half of the year," Skechers said. The analysts polled by FactSet expect third-quarter earnings of 67 cents a share sales of $1.26 billion for the quarter. The shares ended the regular trading day up 1.8%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Microsoft shares wobble after earnings beat
Microsoft Corp. shares fluctuated between slight gains and losses in the extended session Thursday after the tech giant's quarterly results topped Wall Street estimates. Microsoft shares were last up 0.3% after hours, following a 0.7% decline to close the regular session at $104.40. The company reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $8.87 billion, or $1.14 a share, compared with $8.07 billion, or $1.03 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were $1.13 a share. Revenue rose to $30.09 billion from $25.61 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated $1.08 a share on revenue of $29.21 billion.At the close Thursday, shares of Microsoft were up 22% for the year, compared with a 4.9% gain in the S&P 500 index and a 1.4% advance in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Jul 19, 2018

Dow logs worst 1-day skid in about a week as financials slump, Trump questions Fed's rate hikes
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday booked its worst daily drop in more than and week and the broader market also finished in the red as lackluster corporate results and fresh concerns about global trade tensions sapped buying enthusiasm on Wall Street. The Dow closed down 0.5%, or about 135 points, lower at 25,064(on a preliminary basis). The decline marked its worst since July 11. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index ended off 0.4% at 2,804, weighed by falls in financials, off 1.5%, and telecommunications, off 1.1%, as well as health-care, down 0.6%. Only sectors considered defensive, real estate and utilities, finished in the green. The technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed off 0.4% lower at 7,825. Although stocks maintained fairly steady declines throughout the session, the dollar and the benchmark 10-year Treasury rate fell, pushing yields lower, after President Donald Trump during a Thursday interview on CNBC criticized the Federal Reserve's monetary policy, complaining that the central bank may be undermining the Trump administration's fiscal stimulus efforts. On the economic front, initial jobless claims fell by 8,000 last week, dropping to their lowest level since late 1969, while the Philly Fed manufacturing index rose 6 points to a reading of 25.7 in July, above expectations. In corporate news, Philip Morris International Inc. lost 1.5% after it gave a full-year profit outlook that was below analyst expectations. Stocks had started trade on a downbeat note after Trump reiterated his tariff threats against European auto makers. Trump said a failure to negotiate "something fair" with European and North American allies could lead to "tremendous retribution."

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Jul 19, 2018

Synthetic marijuana reported to contain rat poison, says FDA
Synthetic cannabinoid products that have been contaminated with rat poison are causing illnesses and deaths, the Food and Drug Administration said late Thursday. The illegal products that have been contaminated with brodifacoum, a common ingredient in rat poison, are sold in convenience stores and gas station under names such as "K2" and "Spice" as a substitute for marijuana. "Use of these illegal products pose significant public health concerns for both individuals who may use the contaminated products and the U.S. blood supply, as there is the potential for contamination of blood products donated by those individuals who have used these substances," the FDA said. In the past several months the FDA said it has become aware of hundreds of people in about 10 states that have been hospitalized, and several have died. "The presence of brodifacoum in these illegal compounds poses a significant public health hazard," the FDA said.

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Jul 19, 2018

Merck to lower price of Hep C treatment Zepatier by 60%, commits to 'responsible' pricing
Merck & Co. Inc. said Thursday it is adopting a 'responsible' pricing policy and will cut the prices of certain products, while committing to increasing the average price of its drugs by no more than the annual inflation rate. "We believe that further changes are still necessary to help reduce patient out-of-pocket costs," the company said in a statement. The high price of drugs has been a controversial topic in the last few years and one that President Donald Trump has pledged to address. As yet, the president has not presented a cohesive plan to tackle the problem. Merck said it will reduce the price of its Zepatier treatment for Hepatitis C by 60%, and will lower other prices by 10%. Zepatier is expected to generate sales of $122.5 million in the second quarter, according to FactSet, equal to about 1% of Merck's overall sales. Shares were slightly lower in afternoon trade, but have gained 11.2% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.0%.

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Jul 19, 2018

U.S. oil futures mark third straight session climb
U.S. oil prices climbed Thursday, buoyed by reported comments from Saudi Arabia's governor to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which implied that the kingdom will work to avoid oversupplying the market with crude. OPEC, along with some non-OPEC producers such as Russia, agreed last month to ease back on output cuts that began in January 2017 to help offset supply losses elsewhere, including Venezuela. August West Texas Intermediate crude rose 70 cents, or 1%, to settle at $69.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Jul 19, 2018

Dow retains afternoon slump as Trump says he isn't 'thrilled' with Fed rate hikes
The Dow Jones Industrial Average held on to a firm decline in Thursday afternoon action after an excerpt of an interview with President Donald Trump on CNBC saying he disapproved of recent rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Trump said he wasn't "thrilled" with the central bank's interest-rate raises which have pushed the federal-funds rate to a range of 1.75% and 2%, with further hikes penciled in possibly for September and December. The Fed has raised rates twice thus far in 2018. "Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don't really - I am not happy about it." he told CNBC's Joe Kernen during interview that is scheduled to air in its entirety on Friday at 6 a.m. The Dow was off 85 points, or 0.3%, at 25,113, the S&P 500 index traded down 0.2% at 2,810, while the Nasdaq Composite Index declined by 0.2% at 7,842. Those trading levels are in line with where they were trading before Trump's comments aired on the business network. However, asset moves were the most pronounced in the dollar and in benchmark 10-year Treasury rates, which are the most sensitive to rate-hike expectations. The U.S. dollar, as gauged by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index went from a gain of 0.4% before the president's remarks to down 0.1% as of 1.24 p.m. Eastern Time. The 10-year Treasury note yield , meanwhile, fell to 2.83% from 2.85% earlier. while the 2-year Treasury note yielded 2.583 from 2.591% before. Bond yields fall as prices rise. Trump nominated Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to his current post, replacing Janet Yellen. It is unusual for an acting U.S. president to criticize the actions of the central bank, which is considered an independent entity. Trump's gripe appears to be that fiscal-policies enacted in late 2017, including corporate tax cuts, are being undone by rate hikes, which can raise borrowing costs for companies and consumers, since the Fed's actions help set the rates for everything from mortgages and car loans to corporate debt. Th

MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2018

Biotech Allakos shares surge more than 70% in trading debut
Biotech Allakos Inc.'s shares surged more than 70% in their trading debut Thursday, after the company priced its initial public offering at $18 a share, above its $15 to $17 price range. The clinical-stage company, which focuses on developing antibodies for the treatment of eosinophil and mast cell related diseases, sold 7.1 million shares to raise $127.8 million. Shares are trading on Nasdaq, under the ticker symbol "ALLK."

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Jul 19, 2018

Gold prices pare losses, but still end at a 1-year low
Gold futures gave up much of their declines Thursday, but still finished at their lowest in about a year. President Donald Trump voiced his disagreement with the Federal Reserve's plan for gradual increases in interest rates, prompting a decline in the benchmark dollar index which, in turn, helped to lift gold off the lows of the session. August gold settled at $1,224 an ounce, down $3.90, or 0.3%, for the session. The settlement marked gold's entry into correction territory - down more than 10% from its peak on Jan. 15 at $1,362.90.

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Jul 19, 2018

Tesla stock falls after Needham downgrades to underperform
Shares of Tesla Inc. are down 1.3% in Thursday trading after Needham analyst Rajvindra Gill downgraded the stock to underperform from hold. His new rating is based on his expectation that Model S and Model X sales will slow given competitive pressures, the expiration of tax credits, and potential cannibalization from the Model 3. He believes that more people are cancelling their Model 3 reservations than in the past. "Based on our checks, refunds are outpacing deposits as cancellations accelerate," Gill wrote. "The reasons are varied: extended wait times, the expiration of the $7,500 credit, and unavailability of the $35k base model." A Tesla spokesman said that the idea that Model 3 cancellations were rising faster than new orders was false, as were Gill's arguments about wait times. Gill also sees the potential for slower improvement in Model 3 gross margins due to the steep cost of manufacturing. Tesla shares are up 2.3% this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 5%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Dollar index turns negative after Trump say's he's not 'thrilled' with Feds' rate hikes
The U.S. dollar turned negative versus its main rivals on Thursday after President Donald Trump said he disagreed with the Federal Reserve's strategy to gradually hike interest rates. Trump told CNBC during an interview on Thursday that he isn't "thrilled" that the Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates. An excerpt of the the interview, which is slated to air early Friday, was released midday Thursday. "Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don't really - I am not happy about it," Trump said. The Federal Reserve has so far raised interest rates seven times since the end of 2015, with up to two more rate hikes expected in 2018. The monetary tightening guided both the dollar, as well as U.S. Treasury yields higher. Trump's comments are uncomfortable to investors as it called the Fed's independence from the government into question. Trump himself had nominated current Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who took office earlier this year. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index , which had been up 0.5% at its peak on Thursday, retraced its path in response to the news and was last down 0.1% at 94.975.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2018

Trump tells CNBC he isn't 'thrilled' with Fed interest-rate hikes
President Donald Trump told CNBC he is not "thrilled" that the Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates, according to the news site. "Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don't really - I am not happy about it. But at the same time I'm letting them do what they feel is best." He added, "but I don't like all of this work that goes into doing what we're doing."

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Jul 19, 2018

Constellation Pharmaceuticals shares slide 25% in trading debut
Constellation Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares slid 25% in their trading debut Thursday, after the company priced its initial public offering in the middle of its range and reduced the size of the deal by 25%. The company is developing cancer therapies that modulate abnormal genes. It had a net loss of $53.8 million in 2017, after a loss of $49.5 million in 2016, and had no revenue, according to its prospectus. The shares are trading on Nasdaq, under the ticker symbol "CNST."

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Jul 19, 2018

Google developing potential Android successor called Fuchsia, says Bloomberg
Bloomberg reported Thursday that Alphabet Inc.'s Google has tasked a group of engineers to work on Fuchsia, a new operating system that could potentially come to replace Android. Fuchsia is being designed to better handle voice inputs and security updates than Android currently does, according to Bloomberg, and Google wants it to have a uniform look across all types of devices. Android is by far the world' most dominant mobile operating system. The European Union said Wednesday that it would fine Google $5.1 billion for having abused the dominance of Android. Alphabet shares are down 0.4% in Thursday trading, but up 22% over the past 12 months. The S&P 500 has gained 14% in that time.

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Jul 19, 2018

Shares of U.S. pharmacy middlemen drop on threat to rebates
A policy being weighed by the Trump administration that could threaten drug price rebates, a widespread feature of the U.S. pharmaceutical system that largely benefits pharmaceutical middlemen, sent shares of those companies down in Thursday trade. Those middlemen, called pharmacy-benefit managers, negotiate rebates with drugmakers on behalf of health plans and employers so that patients are able to take those drugs. But the system has been increasingly criticized for helping to drive drug prices up. The Trump administration is considering getting rid of the legal protection that rebates have, which could harm pharmacy-benefit managers. But any changes would take at least two years, according to a Height Securities note, and could even come with an expanded drug price negotiation role for the middlemen. That didn't stop pharmacy-benefit manager shares from dropping on Thursday, with Express Scripts Holding Co. shares declining 1.1%, CVS Health Corp. shares dropping 1.7% and a 1.2% drop in UnitedHealth Group Inc. shares. The drops were accompanied by broad market weakness, with the S&P 500 declining 0.3% and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR declining 0.8%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Alcoa's stock tumbles to pace NYSE decliners after outlook cut, citing 'unfavorable' tariff impact
Shares of Alcoa Corp. tumbled 8.3% toward a seven-month low in active morning trade Thursday, enough to pace all the decliners listed on the NYSE, after the aluminum company cuts its outlook, citing the unfavorable impact of aluminum tariffs and increased energy costs. Volume of 5.8 million shares was already more than double the full-day average of 2.7 million shares. Chief Executive Roy Harvey said on the post-earnings conference call that tariffs on imported aluminum has only resulted in a "limited increase" in U.S.-based supply, so imports will remain essential to satisfy demand, according to a transcript provided by FactSet. Analyst Michael Gambardella at J.P. Morgan reiterated his overweight rating but cut his stock price target to $80 from $86. The stock has now plunged 27% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 [: spx] has gained 4.1%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Canadian cannabis company Tilray's shares soar 22% in trading debut
Canadian cannabis company Tilray Inc.'s shares surged 22% in their trading debut Thursday, after the company priced its initial public offering at $17, above its $14 to $16 price range. The company raised $153 million in the deal, by selling 9 million shares in the U.S. and another 2.476 million shares classified as subordinate voting shares in Canada and other countries at 22.45 Canadian dollars Tilray, a federally-licensed marijuana cultivator, processor and distributor, received the bulk of the proceeds and will be majority controlled by the Seattle, Wash.-based Privateer Holdings. Shares are trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TLRY.

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Jul 19, 2018

EIA report shows a weekly rise of 46 billion cubic feet in U.S. natural-gas supplies
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 46 billion cubic feet for the week ended July 13. S&P Global Platts had forecast a climb of 59 billion cubic feet, while the average over the last five years for the same week was a rise of 62 billion. Total stocks now stand at 2.249 trillion cubic feet, down 710 billion cubic feet from a year ago, and 535 billion below the five-year average, the government said. August natural gas rose 3.3 cents, or 1.2%, to $2.754 per million British thermal units, up from $2.721 before the supply data.

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Jul 19, 2018

AbbVie shares drop 5.5% after short seller Citron calls it 'next great drug short'
AbbVie Inc. shares dropped 5.5% in heavy Thursday morning trade after short seller Citron Research described the company as "the next great drug short" in a tweet and said it planned to release reports about the company. The Citron tweet came the day after Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb put out a plan to encourage the development and uptake of lower-priced biosimilar drugs, accusing large drugmakers in a speech of stymying the competition. Those remarks, along with a proposed policy that could endanger drug rebates -- a widespread, longtime feature of the U.S. pharmaceutical pricing system -- are "a DIRECT hit on Abbvie's abuse of Humira," Citron said in the tweet, referring to the company's anti-inflammatory therapy. Humira is the world's top-selling drug and, as a result, has been a top target for biosimilar copycats. The short seller also predicted that AbbVie shares, which closed at $94.40 on Wednesday, would drop to $60. On Wednesday, Gottlieb spoke of pharmaceutical companies that dangle "big rebates to lock up payers in multiyear contracts right on the eve of biosimilar entry." Notably, though, other companies have also been accused of levying contractual negotiations to prevent the uptake of biosimilars, including Johnson & Johnson to protect its rheumatoid arthritis therapy Remicade (according to a lawsuit filed against it by Pfizer Inc. ). Many pharmaceutical companies' shares declined in Thursday morning trade, and the SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF slumped 1%. AbbVie shares have dropped 4.1% over the last three months, compared with a 4.1% rise in the S&P 500 and a 2.2% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Jul 19, 2018

AmEx, Travelers, JPMorgan stocks exact a more than 60-point toll on the Dow industrials
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading near session lows in early morning trade as a decline in shares of financials buffeted the equity benchmark. The Dow was down 141 points, or 0.6%, at 25,057. Shares of American Express Co. , Travelers Cos. Inc. , and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were combining to produce a more than 60-point headwind for the price-weighted Dow. A $1 move in any one of the Dow's components equates to a roughly 6.8-point swing in the 122-year-old gauge. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index was off 0.5% at 2,802, with the financials sectors performing the worst on the day among the index's 11 sectors, while the Nasdaq Composite Index traded 0.5% lower at 7,818.

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Jul 19, 2018

Starbucks to open first U.S. store designed to service the deaf and hard of hearing
Starbucks Corp. said Thursday that it will open a cafe in October that caters to the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing. All of the associates in the new Washington, D.C., store, about 20 to 25, will be fluent in American Sign Language. It will be located near Gallaudet University, whose campus is an ASL-immersive environment. The idea for the store came from the Starbucks Signing Store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which opened in 2016 with nine deaf workers. Starbucks shares are down 0.3% in premarket trading, and are down 11% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up 5.3% for 2018 so far.

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Jul 19, 2018

Dow at risk of snapping a 5-day rally as consumer-staples, financials slide
U.S. stocks opened lower Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average on the verge of ending a multisession rally as investors focused on quarterly earnings and fresh developments in disputes between the U.S. and its global trade partners. The Dow was down nearly 60 points, or 0.2%, at 25,140, the S&P 500 index was off 0.2% at 2,810, with a decline of at least 0.4% in financials and consumer-staples sectors. The technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.1% at 7,846, but not far off its record high set on Tuesday. President Trump has heightened tensions over trade between its partners in North America, Europe and Asia after saying that a failure to negotiate "something fair" with European and North American allies could lead to "tremendous retribution," referring to possible tariffs of 20% to 25% on automobile imports. On the economic front, initial jobless claims fell by 8,000 in the latest week, dropping to their lowest level since late 1969. In corporate news, Comcast Corp. shares rose after it said it would not pursue the acquisition of assets from 21st Century Fox , instead focusing its attention on Sky. Separately, Philip Morris International Inc. offered a full-year profit outlook that was below analyst expectations. Shares of the company were trading 6.4% lower.

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Jul 19, 2018

Avis to give Amazon customers 20% gift card for using Alexa to book a car
Avis Budget Group Inc. said Thursday it will introduce new benefits for Amazon.com Inc. customers who book a rental car through Avis. The benefits include an Amazon gift card valued at 10% of the rental price and other savings on the rental. Avis's stock edged up 0.6% in premarket trade. And later in July, Amazon customers who rent an Avis car using Amazon Alexa will receive an Amazon gift card valued at 20% of the rental price. "Amazon customers are accustomed to convenient and on-demand services, and Avis Budget Group is pleased to be able to add transportation to the mix," said Senior Vice President of Sales Beth Kinerk. The new benefits are part of a relationship formed last year, when Avis launched a skill for Amazon Alexa that enables Avis customers to make a car rental reservation. Avis's stock has tumbled 26% year to date through Wednesday, shares of rival Hertz Global Holdings Inc. have plunged 38%, Amazon shares have soared 58% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Dow's earnings reporters acting as a 20-point drag on the index
The components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average that have reported earnings early Thursday, or late Wednesday, are accounting for nearly one-third of the Dow futures' 63-point loss. Shares of American Expres Co. sank 3.2% in premarket trade, after the credit-card company beat earnings expectations but missed on revenue, which would shave about 21 points off the Dow's price. International Business Machines Corp.'s stock rallied 2.4% premarket after earnings and revenue beat expectations, which would add about 25 points to the Dow. And Travelers Companies Inc.'s stock dropped 2.7% after earnings missed big, but revenue beat, to be about a 24-point drag on the Dow. Combined, those three stock was cut the Dow's price by about 20 points.

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Jul 19, 2018

Gilead's Kite will partner with privately-held Gadeta to develop new cancer therapies
Gilead Sciences Inc. said early Thursday that its Kite unit will partner with privately-held Gadeta B.V. to develop new cancer therapies called gamma delta T cell receptor therapies. Gadeta's proprietary technology in this area, which is a type of cell therapy, may be used to treat blood cancers and solid tumors. Kite will fund the research and development costs and buy equity in Gadeta, with the "exclusive option" to acquire Gadeta. Gadeta will also be eligible for milestone payments. Gilead did not disclose financial terms of the deal. Gadeta was founded in 2015 and is based in the Netherlands. Gilead shares slumped 0.5% in premarket trade. shares have lifted 3.6% over the last three months, compared with a 4.6% rise in the S&P 500 and a 2.2% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2018

Square stock rises after Credit Suisse turns bullish
Shares of Square Inc. are up 1.2% in premarket trading after Credit Suisse analyst Paul Condra upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral. Condra is upbeat about the company's investment priorities, traction with larger merchants, and momentum with its Cash peer-to-peer app as it moves toward being a two-sided platform. "Square's evolution from a payment company to a differentiated consumer and merchant services platform increases our conviction that the company can extend its business well beyond micro-merchants to include [small- and medium-sized businesses] and middle-market companies," he wrote. "We believe Square has penetrated only about 1% of its addressable opportunity, increasing our conviction it can be much larger than it is currently." The stock is up 159% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 14%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Comcast drops bid for 21st Century Fox assets, leaving Disney in the clear
Comcast Corp. is dropping its bid for 21st Century Fox assets, the company said in a statement Thursday morning. "Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky," the company said in a statement. This leaves the field clear for the Walt Disney Company, which last month won the Justice Department's approval for a Fox deal, providing it divests Fox's 22 regional sports networks. Comcast is currently also in a bidding war against Fox for control of the British pay-TV giant Sky PLC. Fox already owns 39% of Sky and is looking to consolidate ownership. Comcast shares have fallen 15% so far this year, while Fox shares have risen 35%. Disney shares have risen 3%, and the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Philly Fed index improves to a reading of 25.7 in July
The Philly Fed manufacturing index rose 6 points to a reading of 25.7 in July. That's above the 21.7 economist consensus. Any reading above zero indicates improving conditions. The new-orders index shot up, rising to 31.4 from 17.9. The price-paid index showed inflation very much a concern, as it rose to 62.9 from 51.8.

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Jul 19, 2018

Mersana Therapeutics shares plummet 40% after patient death in cancer trial
Mersana Therapeutics Inc. said early Thursday that, after the company reported a patient death in its cancer drug trial, the Food and Drug Administration placed the trial on a partial clinical hold. The patient death could be related to Mersana Therapeutics' drug, XMT-1522. Company shares plummeted 43.8% in premarket trade. Under the partial hold, no new patients will be enrolled in the phase 1 trial, though the trial -- which is testing the drug in individuals with breast, gastric and non-small cell lung cancers -- will continue on for patients who are already participating, the company said. Mersana shares were halted in premarket trade. XMT-1522 is the furthest-along product in Mersana's pipeline. The partial clinical hold will not affect the development of Mersana's other therapy, XMT-1536, the company said, which is also in early-stage clinical trials. Company shares have declined 2.3% over the last three months, compared with a 4.6% rise in the S&P 500 and a 2.2% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Jul 19, 2018

Danaher's stock soars toward record after dental business spinoff plan, upbeat earnings report
Shares of Danaher Corp. soared 6.3% toward a record high in premarket trade Thursday, after the science and technology company said it plans to spin off its dental business into an independent, publicly traded company, and reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings. The company said the spin off is expected to be tax free to Danaher shareholders and to be completed in the second half of 2019. Separately, the company reported second-quarter net earnings that rose 20% from a year ago to $673.8 million, or 95 cents a share. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.15, above the FactSet consensus of $1.09. Revenue rose 10.5% to $4.98 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $4.92 billion. The company raised its 2018 adjusted EPS guidance range to $4.43 to $4.50 from $4.38 to $4.45. The stock has climbed 6.4% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Philip Morris shares drop 4% on lower 2018 profit guidance
Philip Morris International Inc. shares dropped 4.2% in premarket trade on Thursday after the company issued lower-than-expected 2018 earnings-per-share guidance. Earnings for the latest quarter rose to $2.20 billion, or $1.41 per share, from $1.78 billion, or $1.14 per share in the year-earlier period. Adjusted EPS were $1.41, above the FactSet consensus of $1.23. Revenue rose to $7.73 billion from $6.92 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $7.56 billion. Sales for the company's two units, combustible products and reduced-risk products, both beat the FactSet consensus. Philip Morris now expects 2018 EPS of $5.02 to $5.12, reflecting the introduction of new smoke-free devices towards the end of the year and new marketing programs in Japan. The new outlook represents a decrease from previous 2018 EPS guidance for $5.25 to $5.40, and comes in below the FactSet 2018 EPS consensus of $5.14. Philip Morris shares have dropped 4.1% over the last three months, compared with a 4.6% rise in the S&P 500 and a 2.2% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Jul 19, 2018

Boeing wins commitment from Novus Aviation for aircraft with a list price of $1.44 billion
The Boeing Co. said Thursday it has secured commitments from Dubai-based aircraft lessor Novus Aviation Capital for up to four 777-300 ERs (extended range) with a list price of $1.44 billion. Novus has an aircraft portfolio under management of about 50 aircraft worth nearly $4 billion. The 777-300ER can hold up to 386 passengers in a three-class configuration and has a maximum range of 7,930 nautical miles. Boeing shares were slightly lower premarket, but have gained 22.2% in 2018, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which counts Boeing as a member, has gained 1.9% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Lions Gate started at outperform with $28 stock price target at Imperial Capital
Imperial Capital initiated coverage of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp on Thursday with an outperform rating and price target of $28. "Lions Gate's overall strategy and niche in the marketplace is simple to digest and investor-friendly," analyst David Miller wrote in a note to investors. That strategy includes critically-acclaimed and commercially-viable television series available on both linear and over-the-top platforms, he wrote, as well as an "investor-friendly" approach when it comes to films. About 81% of all films are unprofitable in the theatrical window, according to Miller, but "LGF has always strived to post profitability" in that window, he wrote. Lions Gate's Starz acquisition also "lends notable optionality," he added. Lions Gate shares have fallen 29.4% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Tesla stock falls 2% after Needham downgrades to underperform
Shares of Tesla Inc. are down 2.3% in premarket trading after Needham analyst Rajvindra Gill downgraded the stock to underperform from hold. His new rating is based on his expectation that Model S and Model X sales will slow given competitive pressures, the expiration of tax credits, and potential cannibalization from the Model 3. He believes that more people are cancelling their Model 3 reservations than in the past. "Based on our checks, refunds are outpacing deposits as cancellations accelerate," Gill wrote. "The reasons are varied: extended wait times, the expiration of the $7,500 credit, and unavailability of the $35k base model." Gill sees the potential for slower improvement in Model 3 gross margins due to the steep cost of manufacturing. Tesla shares are up 4% this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Constellation Pharmaceuticals IPO prices at midpoint, but shares offered cut by 25%
Constellation Pharmaceuticals Inc. priced its initial public offering late Wednesday right in the middle of the expected range, but cut the size of its offering by 25%. The IPO priced at $15 a share, according to Nasdaq, but the shares offered was reduced to 4.0 million from the 5.34 million, to raise $60 million instead of $80.1 million. The biotechnology company is developing cancer therapies that modulate abnormal genes. The company had a net loss of $53.8 million in 2017, after a loss of $49.5 million in 2016, and had no revenue. The stock is expected to begin trade on Thursday. The company is looking to go public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has rallied 7% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 4.6%.

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Jul 19, 2018

Lions Gate upgraded to buy from hold at SunTrust
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey upgraded Lions Gate Entertainment Corp stock to buy from hold on Thursday, with analyst Matthew Thornton saying he sees potential for subscriber gains in the Starz network. "We believe Starz subscriber count is the key performance indicator for Lions Gate shares ," he wrote in a note to investors. Thornton added that "Lions Gate shares could outperform over the next several quarters as improving Starz content and distribution drive subscriber growth upside." Starz launched on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and Germany in May, and "we expect more international launches with partners," Thornton wrote. The network launched on YouTube TV in the U.S. in June, and will launch on Hulu TV in the U.S. in October. Lions Gate shares have fallen 29% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2018

Biotech Allakos prices IPO at $18, above price range
Biotech Allakos Inc. priced its initial public offering at $18 a share, above its $15 to $17 price range. The clinical-stage company, which focuses on developing antibodies for the treatment of eosinophil and mast cell related diseases, sold 7.1 million shares to raise $127.8 million. Shares will start trading later Thursday on Nasdaq, under the ticker symbol "ALLK."

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Jul 19, 2018

Domino's shares sink after revenue and same-store sales miss
Domino's Pizza Inc. shares sank 4.4% in Thursday premarket trading after the restaurant chain reported second-quarter revenue and same-store sales that missed expectations. Net income totaled $77.4 million, or $1.78 per share, up from $65.7 million, or $1.32 per share, for the same period last year. Adjusted EPS was $1.84. Revenue totaled $779.4 million, up from $628.6 million last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.74 and revenue of $786.0 million. Domestic same-store sales rose 6.9%, below the FactSet estimate for 7.3% growth. International same-store sales rose 4% also below the FactSet consensus for 5.4% growth. Domino's shares are up more than 50% for the year to date, outpacing the S&P 500 index , which is up 5.3% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2018

Philip Morris shares lift on Q2 profit, revenue beats
Philip Morris International Inc. shares lifted 1% in premarket trade on Thursday after the company reported second-quarter profit and revenue beats, and in spite of lower 2018 earnings-per-share guidance. Earnings for the latest quarter rose to $2.20 billion, or $1.41 per share, from $1.78 billion, or $1.14 per share in the year-earlier period. Adjusted EPS were $1.41, above the FactSet consensus of $1.23. Revenue rose to $7.73 billion from $6.92 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $7.56 billion. Sales for the company's two units, combustible products and reduced-risk products, both beat the FactSet consensus. Philip Morris now expects 2018 EPS of $5.02 to $5.12, reflecting the introduction of new smoke-free devices towards the end of the year and new marketing programs in Japan. The new outlook represents a decrease from previous 2018 EPS guidance for $5.25 to $5.40, and comes in below the FactSet 2018 EPS consensus of $5.14. Philip Morris shares have dropped 4.1% over the last three months, compared with a 4.6% rise in the S&P 500 and a 2.2% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2018

Travelers' stock set to fall after surprise earnings decline offset revenue beat
Shares of Travelers Companies Inc. were indicated down more than 2% in premarket trade Thursday, after the insurer reported second-quarter earnings that missed expectations, as catastrophe losses increased, but revenue that beat forecasts as net written premiums rose to a record. Net income fell to $524 million, or $1.92 a share, from $595 million, or $2.11 a share, in the same period a year ago, as pre-tax catastrophe losses rose to $488 million from $403 million given an active tornado and hail season. Core earnings per share fell to $1.81 from $1.92, while the FactSet consensus was for a rise to $2.41. Total revenue increased 4% to $7.48 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $6.93 billion, as net written premiums grew 7% to $7.13 billion to beat expectations of $6.92 billion. The company said absent a severe hurricane season, it expects the second-quarter's catastrophe loss to be the highest quarterly loss of the year. The stock has shed 4.2% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR S&P Insurance ETF has gained 1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 1.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

First pot company to IPO on Nasdaq raises $153 million
Tilray Inc. late Wednesday raised $153 million via an inital public offering of 9 million shares of which 6.524 million shares will be offered in the U.S. at $17 a share, above its expected pricing range of $14 to $16. Another 2.476 million shares classified as subordinate voting shares will be offered in Canada and other countries at 22.45 Canadian dollar a share. Tilray, a federally-licensed marijuana cultivator, processor and distributor, will receive the bulk of the proceeds and will be majority controlled by the Seattle, Wash.-based Privateer Holdings. Shares are expected to begin trading Thursday morning on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TLRY.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

Steve Bannon says trade war with China will end in victory
Stephen Bannon, former White House chief strategist and CEO of the Trump campaign, said he believed a trade war with China would result in victory for the U.S. "Victory is if they give us access to their markets," he said at CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference Wednesday in New York. The trade spat between the U.S. and the People's Republic of China has been characterized by actualized and threatened tariffs on imported goods. Tariffs would be positive for the U.S. economy and would bring manufacturing jobs back to the country, Bannon said. On the note of whether China could devalue its currency to fight the U.S. on the trade front, Bannon said it was an unlikely move due to the large amount of Chinese dollar-denominated foreign reserves. One dollar last bought 6.7485 offshore yuan , little changed in positive territory, and 6.7215 onshore yuan , up 0.2%, late Wednesday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

Alcoa shares fall after mining company lowers outlook
Shares of Alcoa Corp. fell 2.5% late Wednesday after the mining company beat Wall Street expectations for the second quarter but lowered its outlook for full-year profits. The company also said it expects global deficits for alumina and aluminum this year, and a surplus for bauxite. Alcoa earned $75 million, or 39 cents a share, in the second quarter, compared with $75 million, or 40 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding one-time items, Alcoa earned $286 million, or $1.52 a share, compared with $116 million, or 62 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $3.6 billion, from $2.8 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $1.32 a share on sales of $3.5 billion in the quarter. Alcoa lowered its full-year outlook for adjusted EBITDA to a range between $3 billion and $3.2 billion, down from the prior quarter's range between $3.5 billion and $3.7 billion. "The new full-year forecast reflects current market prices, tariffs on imported aluminum, increased energy costs, and some operational impacts," the company said in a statement. Alcoa has made "continuing progress" on strategic priorities to reduce complexity, drive returns, and strengthen the balance sheet," it said. It used debt proceeds and available cash to reduce net pension liability by $605 million, it said. The shares had ended the regular trading session down 0.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

American Express shares dive after company misses on revenue
Shares of American Express Co. fell nearly 4% late Wednesday after the credit-card company missed Wall Street's second-quarter revenue estimates. American Express said it earned $1.62 billion, or $1.84 a share, in the quarter, compared with $1.3 billion, or $1.47 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $10 billion, from $9.2 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of $1.83 a share on sales of $10.06 billion. The increase in revenue reflected "higher spending by consumer, small business, and corporate card members," American Express said in a statement. "Revenues for the quarter also benefitted from higher loan volumes and fee income." The company said it will increase dividend and resume its share buyback program this quarter. Shares had ended the regular session up 1.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

EBay stock falls after earnings beat, weak guidance
EBay Inc. shares fell more than 4.5% in the extended session Wednesday before retreating to a 1% loss after the company reported an earnings beat but lower-than-expected guidance. The company reported second-quarter net income of $642 million, or 64 cents a share, compared with $29 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 53 cents a share. Revenue rose to $2.64 billion from $2.42 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted earnings a share of 51 cents on revenue of $2.66 billion. For the third quarter, analysts modeled adjusted earnings of 56 cents a share on sales of $2.73 billion. The company said it expects third quarter adjusted earnings of 54 cents to 56 cents a share on revenue of $2.64 billion to $2.69 billion. EBay stock closed up 0.4% to $37.95 and has gained less than 1% this year, with the S&P 500 index rising 5.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

IBM shares tick higher after earnings beat
International Business Machines Corp. shares ticked higher in the extended session Wednesday after the tech giant topped Wall Street estimates for the quarter. IBM shares were last up 1.1% after hours, following a 0.7% gain to close at $144.52 in the regular session. The company reported second-quarter net income of $2.4 billion, or $2.61 a share, compared with $2.33 billion, or $2.48 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were $3.08 a share. Revenue rose to $20 billion from $19.3 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated $3.04 a share on revenue of $19.85 billion. Shares of IBM are down 5.8% on the year, compared with a 5.3% rise in the S&P 500 index and a 1.9% gain on the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Jul 18, 2018

Dow extends gains to fifth straight session
Modest gains on Wall Street sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its fifth consecutive advance on Wednesday, as market participants welcomed earnings and measured tone from the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during his two-day congressional testimony. Upbeat outlook for the economy from the Fed's Beige Book also provided support for markets. The S&P 500 rose 6.10 points, or 0.2%, to 2,815.65. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 79.54 points, or 0.3%, to 25,199.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed fractionally lower at 7,854.44. Among the biggest gainers on the S&P 500, shares of Berkshire Hathaway rallied 5.3% after the conglomerate gave Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett more flexibility on when to buy back shares.

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Jul 18, 2018

Papa John's, Wendy's shares rise after WSJ report of merger talks
Shares of Papa John's International Inc. and Wendy's Co. rose late in the trading session Wednesday after a report in The Wall Street Journal said ousted founder and chairman John Schnatter had held talks to merge the pizza company with Wendy's. The talks between officials from both companies were preliminary and started before Schnatter stepped down as chairman last week over the use of a racial slur, according to the report, which cited people familiar with the matter. Talks have cooled since Schnatter's ousting, the report said. Papa John's shares rose 4% while Wendy's shares were up 2%.

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Jul 18, 2018

Shares of Take -Two pop after bullish hedge-fund investor call
Shares of Take Two Interactive Software popped in late-afternoon trade Wednesday, after Samantha Greenberg, chief investment officer at Margate Capital Management said there was more than 40% upside potential in the video-game maker. Speaking at CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference, Greenberg , a prominent hedge-fund investor, said while Margate was bullish on the entire video-game sector, Take-Two possessed the best potential for a run-up. She has a price target of $176 on the stock, which represents upside of nearly 40% from its current price around $127. Shares of Take-Two turned positive after Greenberg's comments. She based her call on the view that Take-Two maintained industry-leading growth, a compelling valuation relative to its peers, and that it could be an attractive takeover target. More broadly, she cited ongoing the ongoing growth of video-game engagement, and the industry shift to recurring revenue streams. Take-Two shares were most recently up 0.3%, and has climbed 16% so far this year. By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up about 1.9% thus far in 2018, while the S&P 500 index has advanced 5.3% over the same period.

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Jul 18, 2018

Sanders denies that Trump was saying 'no' to question of whether Russia still targeting U.S.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump's "no" in response to the question of whether Russia was still targeting the U.S. was referring to his willingness to take more questions. "The president was saying 'no' to answering questions," he said. "We certainly believe we are taking steps to make sure they can't do it again." Watch the rest of the Sanders press briefing.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

U.S. oil futures finish higher for a second straight session
U.S. oil prices finished with a gain on Wednesday, reversing earlier losses that were fed by a surprise climb in U.S. crude inventories and record weekly domestic production. Prices managed to extend a modest gain from a day earlier, which followed news of fresh production woes in Libya. A teleconference held by the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee Wednesday revealed that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies reached a production-cut agreement compliance level of 121% in July, down from 147% in May. August West Texas Intermediate crude rose 68 cents, or 1%, to settle at $68.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after touching an intraday low of $67.04.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

Oaktree Capital's Marks warns of late-in-cycle U.S. economy
Oaktree Capital co-chairman Howard Marks said the U.S. economy was in its 8th inning, indicating it is the final stages of economic expansion, at CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Wednesday. But the baseball analogy only has so much to give, Marks said, because "this isn't baseball and we don't know how many innings there will be." The late-stage economy is leading investors to push out their growth horizons, Marks said. And while that was symptomatic of optimism in the prolonged growth cycle, it also has left investors unprepared for a sudden turnaround in the economy. "In the later stages of the cycles, people tend to come up with rationalization for why it won't end." With that sentiment in mind, the Dow Jones Industrial Average us up 1.9% year to date, while the S&P 500 index has advanced by 5.3% over the same period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

Oaktree Capital's Marks warns of late-stage U.S. economy
Oaktree Capital co-chairman Howard Marks said the U.S. economy was in its 8th inning, indicating it is the final stages of economic expansion, at CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Wednesday. But the baseball analogy only has so much to give, Marks said, because "this isn't baseball and we don't know how many innings there will be." The late-stage economy is leading investors to push out their growth horizons, Marks said. And while that was symptomatic of optimism in the prolonged growth cycle, it also has left investors unprepared for a sudden turnaround in the economy. "In the later stages of the cycles, people tend to come up with rationalization for why it won't end." With that sentiment in mind, the Dow Jones Industrial Average us up 1.9% year to date, while the S&P 500 index has advanced by 5.3% over the same period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

Gold prices give up earlier losses to settle higher
Gold futures gave up earlier declines Wednesday to settle modestly higher. The benchmark U.S. dollar index held onto a gain, but traded near the day's lows after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell appeared before the House Financial Services Committee for a second day of testimony. Both gold and the dollar are "still caught up in syndrome dictated by dovish interest rate policy across both oceans, while the U.S. continues to raise rates," said Michael Kosares, founder of gold broker USAGOLD. August gold rose 60 cents, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,227.90 an ounce after touching a low of $1,220.90. Prices settled Tuesday at their lowest for a most-active contract since July 13, 2017. A finish of about $1,226 would mark gold's entry into correction territory.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

Chanos announces bets against health-care stocks Mednax and Envision Healthcare
Shares of Mednax Inc. and Envision Healthcare Co. declined midday Wednesday after prominent short-seller Jim Chanos, the founder of Kynikos Associates, recommended betting against stocks of those companies. Shares of Envision, a health-care company and national hospital-based physician group, were most recently down 0.4%, while those for Mednax, which focuses on neonatal and pediatric health services, were off 1.3%. Chanos has previously stated his bets against Envision but reiterated the call at CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference. He described both bets as rooted in potential accounting issues. Shares of Mednax are down nearly 19% so far this year, while those for Envision are up about 29%, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

Warren Buffett's Berkshire stock set for biggest gain in 7 years; analyst cheers buyback policy change
The Class B shares of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. jumped 5.5% in midday trade, putting them on track for the biggest gain since September 2011, after policy change gave Chief Executive Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Mungermore flexibility in buying back Berkshire shares. The stock was the biggest percentage gainer within the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF , of which 67 of the 68 equities components were rising. J.P. Morgan analyst Sarah DeWitt said the new repurchase policy is "a major positive catalyst" for the stock, since it gives Buffett and Munger more flexibility to spend excess cash of about $86 billion, which has been a large drag on returns, "particularly given Berkshire has not been able to find attractively valued acquisitions in an expensive market." Berkshire hasn't bought back any shares since the previous policy was introduced in September 2011. The stock has rallied 18% over the past year, while the financial ETF has gained 13% and the S&P 500 has advanced 14%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2018

State Street Global Advisors CEO says it's active management's time to shine over passive funds
Cyrus Taraporevala, president and CEO of State Street Global Advisors, called the state of U.S. equities a stock picker's market at CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Wednesday. As a result, Taraporevala predicts that actively managed funds will outperform their passive counterparts. SSGA especially saw value in global finance, health care and parts of the internet and technology sector. The State Street boss pointed to fixed-income, along with emerging markets, as areas that tend to benefit from hands on management compared against passive investing. In an actively managed portfolio, a manager or team will individually select the securities held, and at what weight. This is in contrast to passive strategies, which simply "own the market" by holding the same securities at the same weight as an underlying index like the S&P 500 . While passive portfolios will never perform worse than the overall market (excluding fees, although passive fees tend to be extremely low), they will also never outperform; they will hold all the market winners, but also have no choice but to also own the worst-performing stocks. A recent shift away from active and into passive investing has been driven primarily by both the lower cost and historically better performance of passive funds.

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
Jul 18, 2018

Fed's Powell says cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that digital currencies, like bitcoin, have "no intrinsic value" and are only good if you are trying to hide or launder money. Speaking in front of the House Financial Services Committee, Powell said that oversight of the digital currency market was not the role of the Fed but more a "consumer protection issue." Despite talk that the Fed may be looking into developing its own cryptocurrency, Powell said this wasn't the case. Bitcoin is in the midst of a summer rally, having risen more than 30% since June 24.

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
Jul 18, 2018

Blackstone's Gray says this is the biggest mistake investors can make amid trade-war worries
Jonathan Gray, the president of alternative investment manager Blackstone Group L.P. , on Wednesday encouraged investors to look beyond the short-term volatility that has at times rattled markets amid heightened trade tensions between the U.S. and its major trading partners. Gray said Wall Street investors should instead focus on the economy's strength. "Waiting for an all-clear [on the trade issue] is a mistake," he said at CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference. "The biggest focus should be on the strength of the U.S. economy, which is stronger than most people realize." He cited corporate profit growth and the labor market as support for his comments. "There will be volatility, and there is risk" from the trade issue, "but in the fullness of time we're hopeful it will be resolved." He added that "things are fluid" and that "things can change" in trade negotiations, but that it was in the interest of both the U.S. and its trading partners to avoid a full-on trade war. Against that backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1.9% so far this year and on track for a fifth straight gain on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 index is position for a year-to-date return of 5.3% and the Nasdaq Composite Index is currently up nearly 14% thus far in 2018. Gray, a prominent executive in the company's real estate division, replaced long-time Blackstone executive Tony James as president and COO back in February.

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
Jul 18, 2018

W.W. Grainger's stock rockets toward record, pacing gains among peers and the broader market
Shares of W.W. Grainger Inc. rocketed $32.28, or 10.6%, toward a record high in midday trade Wednesday, after the maintenance and repair products supplier's better-than-expected second-quarter earnings report. The stock was the biggest percentage gainer within the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF and within the S&P 500 , and was the biggest price gainer on the NYSE. The stock is headed for the biggest one-day price and percentage gain since it soared $42.52, or 18.5%, after reporting fourth-quarter results on Jan. 24. It has now run up 42.8% year to date, while the industrial ETF has slipped 1.4% and the S&P 500 has gained 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
Jul 18, 2018

Clorox's stock is now a sell, says Goldman
Shares of Clorox Co. tumbled 4.3% in morning trade Wednesday, after Goldman Sachs turned bearish on the consumer goods company, citing "stretched" valuation and earnings risk, given pricing headwinds. Analyst Jason English cut his rating to sell, after being at neutral for at least the past three years, and slashed his price target to $112--13% below current levels--from $127. English said he believes the stock's valuation is "unsustainably high" relative to its peers. Clorox's price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) is currently 21.11, compared with the implied P/E for the SPDR Consumer Discretionary Select Sector ETF of 18.18, according to FactSet. For earnings, English doesn't believe consensus estimates don't account for continued rising input costs, and likely negative repercussions of the company's pricing actions. He believes price increases will lead "decelerating volume growth," which means Clorox's pricing power "will likely be constrained despite management's optimistic tone." The stock has gained 2% over the past three months, while the consumer discretionary ETF has slipped 0.7% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.9%.

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
Jul 18, 2018

Crinetics Pharmaceuticals stock surges 24% in trading debut
Crinetics Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares surged more than 24% in their trading debut Wednesday, after the biotech priced its IPO at the top end of its $15 to $17 price range. The biotech, which specializes in endocrine diseases and endocrine-related tumors, sold 6 million shares to raise $102 million. Shares are trading on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "CRNX." Endocrine tumors are growths that affect the parts of the body that secrete hormones.

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
Jul 18, 2018

Dow bucking downbeat trend, gains powered by rise in UnitedHealth and Boeing stocks
The Dow Jones Industrial Average late-morning Wednesday was trading near its highest level of the session, with its gains powered by UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Boeing Co. . Shares of the UnitedHealth and Boeing were contributing a combined 54 points to the price-weighted Dow . The benchmark most recently was up about 40 points, or 0.2%, at 25,159, trading near session highs. UnitedHealth's shares were up about $4.19, or 1.7%, while those for industrial giant Boeing were climbing by $3.88 or more than 1%. A $1 move in any one of the Dow's components translates to a roughly 6.8-point swing in the equity gauge. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index was virtually flat on the day, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was down by about 0.2%.

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
Jul 18, 2018

Rubius Therapeutics shares surge 35% in trading debut
Rubius Therapeutics Inc. shares soared 35% in their trading debut Wednesday, after the company priced its initial public offering at $23, above its $20 to $22 price range. The biotech, which develops red blood cellular therapies, sold 10.5 million shares to raise $241 million, exceeding its original target of $200 million. The stock is trading on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol of "RUBY."

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
Jul 18, 2018

German Tesla Model S owners ordered to repay EUR4,000 subsidy on electric cars
German owners of the Tesla Model S have been ordered by a government agency to repay a 4,000 euros ($4,640) subsidy on electric vehicles, because the cars are to expensive to qualify for the government program. The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, which goes by the acronym BAFA, said it has attempted to hold talks with Tesla in recent months on the issue, but has failed to reach agreement. The subsidy is available for electric cars that cost no more than 60,000 euros, which is the list price for the basic Model S. But Tesla has been unable until now to deliver the basic model to its German clients, and more expensive trims do not qualify. About 800 customers are affected, according to a BAFA release. Customers who ordered a Model S after March 6 will receive the subsidy, after Telsa said it can deliver a basic version of the car. Tesla shares were down 0.9% Wednesday, but have gained 2.7% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 5%.

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



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