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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Dillard's OKs 50% dividend increase
Dillard's Inc. said late Thursday its board of directors declared a cash dividend of 15 cents a share, a 50% increase over the most recent dividend of 10 cents a share. The dividend is payable on Nov. 4 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 30. Shares of Dillard's were flat in the extended session after ending the regular trading day down 0.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

TurboTax parent Intuit stock gains 5% after Q4 results
Shares of Intuit Inc. rose more than 5% in the extended session Thursday after the business software company reported a narrower-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter loss and sales beat expectations. Intuit said it lost $153 million, or 17 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $200 million, or 15 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, Intuit lost 9 cents a share, compared with 1 cent a share a year ago. Sales rose 15% to $994 million. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected Intuit to report a fiscal fourth-quarter adjusted loss of 15 cents on sales of $961 million.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Hasbro to buy 'Peppa Pig' and 'PJ Masks' corporate owner in $4 billion deal
Hasbro Inc. plans to purchase an entertainment company that holds the rights to children's entertainment properties "Peppa Pig" and "Pj Masks" in a deal that values the company at roughly $4 billion. Hasbro said Thursday afternoon it has agreed to acquire Entertainment One Ltd. for 5.6 pounds a share, which equates to roughly $4 billion. Beyond owning children's TV programming that could help Hasbro, the move also gives Hasbro access to the film and TV enterprises and distribution that Canada-based eOne offers, executives said in the announcement. "The acquisition of eOne adds beloved story-led global family brands that deliver strong operating returns to Hasbro's portfolio and provides a pipeline of new brand creation driven by family-oriented storytelling, which will now include Hasbro's IP," Hasbro Chief Executive Brian Goldner said. "In addition, Hasbro will leverage eOne's immersive entertainment capabilities to bring our portfolio of brands that have appeal to gamers, fans and families to all screens globally and realize full franchise economics across our blueprint strategy for shareholders." Hasbro said that the eOne acquisition would be accretive to earnings in the year after the deal closes, which Hasbro expects will happen in the fourth quarter. Hasbro expects to finance the deal with $1 billion to $1.25 billion in cash from equity financing and cover the rest with debt financing from bank of America. It will suspend its stock repurchases as it completes the deal, but maintain its dividend payments, according to the announcement. Hasbro shares were unaffected in immediate late trading.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Gap stock falls after company's Q2 same-store sales fall
Shares of Gap Inc. fell 7% in the extended session Thursday after the retailer reported adjusted profit above expectations but same-store sales disappointed. Gap said it earned $168 million, or 44 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $297 million, or 76 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, Gap said it earned 63 cents a share. Sales fell to $4 billion, from $4.09 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 53 cents a share on sales of $4.02 billion. Same-store sales were down 4% in the quarter, compared with a 2% increase a year ago. Gap also updated its EPS guidance for the year, saying it expects adjusted profit to range between $2.05 a share and $2.15 a share. The analysts surveyed by FactSet expect adjusted EPS of $2.06 for the year. "We are operating in a challenging environment, but I remain confident in the strength of our brands and our plans for the future as we work to launch two independent, public companies," Chief Executive Art Peck said in a statement. Gap continues to expect to close about 30 company-operated stores in the year. The stock ended the regular trading session up 4.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

HP Inc. announces new CEO, shares fall 5%
HP Inc. shares fell 5% in the extended session Thursday after the PC and printer maker announced a new CEO and third-quarter results. Enrique Lores, who serves as president of HP's $20 billion Imaging, Printing and Solutions business, will succeed Dion Weisler as CEO, effective Nov. 1. Weisler is leaving because of a family health matter, HP said. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company rang up earnings of 58 cents a share. Revenue was flat at $14.6 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated net income of 55 cents a share on revenue of $14.62 billion. HP shares are down 7.6% this year. The S&P 500 index has gained 16.6% this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

VMware to acquire Carbon Black, Pivotal Software
VMware Inc. announced two blockbuster acquisitions of public companies Thursday afternoon, one of which was expected. VMware will acquire corporate sibling Pivotal Software Inc. , as expected after filings last week involving both companies' corporate parent, Dell Technologies Inc. The acquisition of security-software firm Carbon Black Inc. , though, was a surprise. Carbon Black went public last year at $19 a share for a valuation of more than $1 billion, and VMware has agreed to pay $26 a share for the company, which VMware said gives Carbon Black an enterprise value of $2.1 billion. VMware said it would pay a blended price of $11.27 a share for Pivotal, paying $15 a share in cash to regular shareholders and swapping VMware shares to Dell for Dell's shares of Pivotal at an exchange rate of 0.055 shares of VMware for each share of Pivotal. The enterprise value of Pivotal is $2.7 billion in that agreement, VMware said. VMware stock fell about 4% after the news was announced, which came in conjunction with second-quarter earnings. Pivotal stock gained more than 7% after closing at $13.70, and Carbon Black shares moved a bit higher after gaining 7.7% in the regular session to $24.50.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Boeing helps Dow to post gain as stocks struggle for direction
U.S. stocks struggled for direction on Thursday as Boeing's rally pulled the Dow back into positive territory. Investors stayed focused on the Federal Reserve's annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., where investors are hoping Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday will confirm expectations for a September rate cut. The S&P 500 was down less than 0.1% to finish near 2,923. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 51 points, or 0.2%, to end around 26,254, based on preliminary numbers The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.4% to close near 7,991. Shares for Boeing climbed after an analyst said Federal Aviation Administration certification for its grounded 737 MAX plane could be a few weeks away. At the same time, investors were rattled after the IHS Markit purchasing manager's index for the U.S. manufacturing sector signaled a mild contraction in activity. Adding to the jitters, Kansas City Fed President Esther George and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker both said there wasn't a strong case for further easing of monetary policy.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Trump to press Macron over France's digital services tax at G7, official says
President Donald Trump will raise the issue of France's tax on U.S. tech giants including Amazon and Google when he meets French President Emmanuel Macron during a G7 meeting this weekend, a senior administration official said Thursday. In July, the French Senate approved a 3% tax that will apply to revenue from digital services earned in France by companies with revenue above certain thresholds. Trump has previously threatened what he called "substantial reciprocal action" for the tax, and suggested the U.S. could slap tariffs on French wine. The G7 meetings will be held in Biarritz, France Saturday through Monday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Altria boosts dividend, to an implied yield of over 7%
Altria Group Inc. said Thursday it will raise its quarterly dividend by 5%, to 84 cents a share from 80 cents. The cigarette and smokeless tobacco products seller said the new dividend will be payable Oct. 10 to shareholders of record on Sept. 16. The stock was up 0.2% in afternoon trading. Based on current stock prices, the new annual dividend rate would imply a dividend yield of 7.25%, compared with yield on the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF of 2.64% and the implied yield on the S&P 500 of 2.00%. Altria's current dividend yield is 6.89%. Altria said it has now reached the 50-year dividend increase milestone, as the latest increase marks the 54th time it has raised its dividend over the past half century. The stock has lost 22% over the past year, while the consumer staples ETF has has climbed 11.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 2.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Gold futures finish at their lowest in nearly 2 weeks
Gold futures settled with a loss on Thursday, at their lowest in almost two weeks, as strength in U.S. Treasury bond yields dulled the metal's appeal as a safe haven. Uncertainty over the path for U.S. interest rates also pressured prices, as two top Federal Reserve officials on Thursday indicated that they would not support further interest-rate cuts. December gold fell $7.20, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,508.50 on Comex. That was the lowest most-active contract settlement since Aug. 9, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Overstock's stock soars after controversial founder and CEO Patrick Byrne resigns, effective immediately
Shares of Overstock.com Inc. soared 15% in midday trading Thursday, after controversial Founder and Chief Executive Patrick Byrne resigned from discount e-commerce site Thursday, effectively immediately, saying he was "far to controversial" to serve as CEO. The resignation comes after Byrne said last week that he had assisted in the Clinton and Russian investigations, and was actually the notorious missing "Chapter 1" of the Russian investigation. He also said he was romantically involved with jailed Russian agent Maria Butina. In a letter to shareholders Thursday, Byrne said he was concerned that his going public about "certain government matters" may affect and complicate strategic discussions regarding the retail business. "Thus, while I believe that I did what was necessary for the good of the country, for the good of the firm, I am in the sad position of having to sever ties with Overstock, both as CEO and board member, effective Thursday August 22," Byrne wrote. The company named board member Jonathan Johnson as interim CEO. Byrne had launched Overstock.com in late 1999. The stock has run up 64.6% year to date, while the Amplify Online Retail ETF has climbed 23.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 16.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Plus-size retailer Avenue to close all stores
Plus-size women's retailer Avenue said Thursday that it will close all of its retail locations after filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy on August 16. Store closing sales, with markdowns of 40% to 60%, have begun. Discounts do not apply to the company's e-commerce site. Avenue began as Sizes Unlimited in 1983 and carries items sized 14 to 32. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF has sunk nearly 24% over the past year while the S&P 500 index has gained almost 2% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Nasdaq's swings sharply lower after early rally stops just shy of the 50-day moving average
The Nasdaq Composite's sharp swing lower Thursday came as it rose just shy of the widely followed 50-day moving average (DMA), which many chart watchers use as a guide to the short-term trend. The Nasdaq was up as much as 0.4% at an intraday high of 8,048.58 within 15 minutes after the open, while the 50-DMA line extended to 8,051.62 according to FactSet, but the index was last down 1.0%. The last time the Nasdaq was above the 50-DMA intraday was Aug. 13, but it pulled back to close below the line. The last close above it was Aug. 8. In comparison, the S&P 500's intraday high 2,939.08 was below the 50-DMA of 2,947.51 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average's high of 26,388.78 was well below the 50-DMA of 26,615.13. The S&P 500 was last down 0.5% and the Dow was down 66 points, or 0.3%. Meanwhile, all three indexes remain above their respective 200-day moving averages (DMA), which is viewed as a dividing line between longer-term uptrends and downtrends. The Nasdaq's 200-DMA extends to 7,590.06, while the S&P 500's extends to 2,801.93 and the Dow's is now at 25,615.83.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Dow wipes out 187-point gain to turn negative in Thursday morning action amid hawkish Fed speakers, weak data
U.S. stocks stumbled to session lows late-morning Thursday, relinquishing earlier gains on the day amid a pair of central bank speakers at a closely watched symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and weak manufacturing data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 85 points, or 0.3%, lower at 26,120, after the blue-chip index had gained by as many as 187 points at the session peak. The S&P 500 index declined 0.6% at 2,907 and the Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 0.9%, suffering the most severe reversal of the major indexes, to reach 7,948. A fresh inversion of the so-called yield curve, where the spread between the 2-year Treasury note rise above the 10-year Treasury note , a condition that has preceded the past seven economic recessions, also rattled investor sentiment. Kansas City Fed President Esther George indicated Thursday in an interview on CNBC that she would not support further interest-rate cuts and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said he reluctantly supported the July rate cut but now wants to keep rates steady. On the economic front, IHS Markit's most recent purchasing manager's index reading for the U.S. manufacturing services sectors, released Thursday, showed manufacturing slipping into contraction territory with a reading of 49.9 in August, from 50.4 in July and the services sector slowing to 50.9 in August from 53.0 in July, a 3-month low.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Natural-gas prices edge up after the EIA reports a slightly smaller-than-expected rise in U.S. supply
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 59 billion cubic feet for the week ended Aug. 16. The average forecast of analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had called for an increase of 61 billion cubic feet. Total stocks now stand at 2.797 trillion cubic feet, up 369 billion cubic feet from a year ago, but 103 billion below the five-year average, the government said. September natural gas traded at $2.181 per million British thermal units, up 1.1 cents, or 0.5%, from Wednesday's settlement. It was trading at $2.168 before the data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

1-800-Flowers stock sinks 11% after quarterly loss
Shares of 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. sank 11.6% in Thursday trading after the retailer reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss. The company had a net loss of $8.3 million, or 13 cents per share, after a loss of $8.2 million, or 13 cents per share, the previous year. Revenue of $259.4 million was up from $229.9 last year. The FactSet consensus was for a 14-cent loss and sales of $259.0 million. For fiscal 2020, 1-800-Flowers is forecasting revenue growth of 8% to 9%. The FactSet guidance is for revenue of $1.32 billion, which implies about 5.7% growth from the previous year. 1-800-Flowers stock is up 40% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 16.5% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

U.S. leading economic indicators climb 0.5% in July
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The leading economic index rose 0.5% in July after two straight declines, but all signs still point to moderate growth in the second half of 2019, the Conference Board said Thursday. "While the LEI suggests the US economy will continue to expand in the second half of 2019, it is likely to do so at a moderate pace," said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of economic research at the privately run board. Stronger building permits, lower jobless claims and higher stock prices in July spurred the increase in the leading index.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

TOP Ships stock drops, after 6th reverse split in past 2 years
TOP Ships Inc. shares fell 5.3% to $6.59, but this was after the price was adjusted following another reverse stock split. The Greece-based ship-owning company effected a one-for-20 reverse stock split Tuesday, which in effect lifted the stock's Wednesday closing price to $6.96 from about 35 cents. The reverse split follows a 1-for-10 split in March 2018 and four reverse splits in 2017 that increased the stock price by a multiple of 18,000 that year, according to data provided by FactSet. In total, there have been 10 reverse splits since March 2008 that have increased the stock price by a multiple of 7.56 billion. After adjusting for the splits, the price of the stock's record close on Nov. 26, 2004 has increased to $173,502,005,200. The stock has lost 65% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Boeing's stock powers up to pace Dow gainers, adds about 62 points to Dow's rally
Shares of Boeing Co. powered up 2.7% in morning trading, to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average's gainers, after an upbeat note from Cowen analyst Cai von Rumohr, who said the Federal Aviation Administration certification flight for the 737 Max plane could be 4-to-6 weeks off. The stock's price gain of $9.14 was adding about 62 points to the Dow, which was up 138 points. The certification flight, which comes after the 737 Max was grounded earlier this year after two crashes, would be "a key milestone for the stock," von Rumohr wrote. He said the fact that Boeing hasn't pushed out its "early Q4" recertification target, despite saying it could possibly shut production if the grounding drags into 2020 and after stressing uncertainty over the regulatory process, suggests "no news is good news." Von Rumohr said Boeing is his top pick in the aerospace and defense sector. Boeing's stock has now run up 9.0% in the six sessions since it closed at a 7 1/2-month low on Aug. 14. It has gained 8.3% year to date, while the Dow has advanced 12.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Treasury yields come off intraday highs after disappointing factory PMI
Treasury yields pulled back from their intraday highs on Thursday after the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 49.9 in August. Any reading below 50 reflects a slowdown in economic activity. The 10-year Treasury note yield was flat at 1.579%, after trading as high as 1.625% earlier. Analysts remain concerned that the slowdown in U.S. factories will spill over into the broader economy.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Levi Strauss aims to halve water use in stressed areas by 2025
Levi Strauss & Co. said Thursday that it is implementing a program that uses water science, expertise and its own experience to expand its water conservation efforts. The goal is to reduce water use in depleted areas by 2025. The company would also like to aid in the effort to bring clean water to communities. Levi Strauss stock has fallen 24.6% over the last three months while the S&P 500 index is up 2.7% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 gain in early Thursday stock-market advance
All of the S&P 500's major sectors were trading in positive territory early Thursday as markets climbed as a key gathering of central bankers in Wyoming got under way. Gains for S&P 500's 11 sectors were led by 0.7% rise in the financials sector as yields on government debt gained some altitude off multiyear lows. Higher yields tend to be supportive of banking business models. The S&P 500 index overall was gaining 0.4% at 2,935. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 140 points, or 0.5%, to 26,338, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.2% to 8,037. The 10-year Treasury rate was up slightly higher at 1.58% from 1.577% late Wednesday. Central bankers and academics are gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyo., to discuss the health of the global economy, which will be headlined by a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Dow drifts more than 100 points higher at the open as Jackson Hole gathering gets under way
U.S. stocks climbed modestly higher on Thursday morning as investors watched an annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., where central bank leaders will discuss global monetary policy and economic health. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 110 points, or 0.4%, to 26,314, the S&P 500 index climbed 0.3% to 2,934, while the Nasdaq Composite Index picked 16 points to reach 8,037, a gain of 0.2%. The Jackson Hole gathering comes after the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's July 30-31 policy gathering, which suggested that central bank policy makers wanted to be flexible in implementing policy. In other economic policy, the European Central Bank, meanwhile, hinted at a significant new stimulus package after the release of minutes from its July 25 meeting, which suggested that policy makers are contemplating a package that would includes cutting policy rates further into negative territory and new purchases of financial assets. In U.S. economic data, new applications for unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to 209,000 during the week ended Aug 17, a four-week low, suggesting continued strength in the labor market.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Etsy stock gains after Stifel upgrade
Shares of Etsy Inc. are up 3% in Thursday morning trading after Stifel analyst Scott Devitt upgraded the stock to buy from hold following a drop of about 20% since the company reported results at the beginning of the month. "We think concerns are transitory and would take advantage of the pullback in this emerging leader in third-party e-commerce," he wrote. " While we had been surprised at the strength and speed of the turnaround, we have been fans of the strategy throughout and feel now is a good time to put the appropriate rating on the business for the extensive improvements that have been built into the model to deliver over the long term." Shares are still up 14% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has added 17%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Tesla's stock jumps after report of investment interest by German automobile makers
Shares of Tesla Inc. rallied 2.5% in premarket trading, after a report that some German automobile manufacturers are interested in buying a stake in the Silicon Valley electric-car maker. A report in Germany's Manager Magazin said Volkswagen was interested, as were Daimler and BMW. The report comes after Walmart Inc. sued Tesla, alleging "gross negligence" as the retailer claimed roof fires at several stores were caused by Tesla solar panels. Tesla's stock has lost 33.6% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained $16.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Toro beats profit expectations and gives upbeat outlook, but sales come up short
Toro Co. reported a fiscal third-quarter profit that beat expectations but revenue that came up short, while providing an upbeat outlook for margins and earnings. Shares of the landscape maintenance and irrigation management company were still inactive in the premarket. Toro reported net income for the quarter to Aug. 2 that fell to $60.6 million, or 56 cents a share, from $79.0 million, or 73 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 83 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 73 cents. Sales, which includes results from the Charles Machine Works acquisition, rose 27.9% to $838.7 million, but missed the FactSet consensus of $876.3 million. Professional sales grew 40.3% to $676.8 million, below the FactSet consensus of $695.0 million, and residential sales fell 11.0% to $148.2 million to miss expectations of $165.6 million. Toro narrowed its 2019 adjusted EPS guidance range to $2.92 to $3.00 from $2.90 to $3.00, and said the gross margin improvement seen in the second half of the fiscal year is expected to continue in the months ahead, as commodity costs have started to moderate and strategic pricing realization has been achieved. The stock has run up 28.7% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 12.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Slack stock gains after MKM initiates at buy
Slack Inc. shares are up 3.2% in premarket trading Thursday after MKM Partners analyst Rohit Kulkarni initiated coverage of the stock with a buy rating and $40 target. "As more organizations digitize workflows, Slack's value proposition becomes even more compelling as a means to connect employees, applications, and data," Kulkarni wrote. While he said the company's valuation "isn't for the faint-hearted," he also pointed out that Slack's stock trades "at a discount on a growth-adjusted basis to SaaS stalwarts and up-and-comers such as Atlassian , Okta , Crowdstrike and Zoom ." He noted that Slack's stock won't be subject to the usual "downward pressure" that comes from post-IPO lockup expiration since the company opted for a direct listing. Slack shares have dropped 7.4% over the past month, as the S&P 500 has fallen 2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Retrophin's stock plunges after late-stage trial for PKAN treatment fails to meet targets
Shares of Retrophin Inc. plunged 26% toward a 3 1/2-year low in premarket trading Thursday, after the biopharmaceutical company said a phase 3 trial of its treatment for pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration failed to meet its primary and secondary endpoints. Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN) is a rare, genetic and life-threatening neurological disorder. "We are very disappointed in the topline results from the FORT Study, particularly because we have seen the devastating impact of PKAN on patients and their families, and a significant unmet need remains with no approved treatment option," said Chief Executive Eric Dube. "We will work closely with the investigators to further analyze the results of the study and share them with the PKAN community to contribute to the growing knowledge of this rare disorder." The company said it remains focused on advancing its two phase 3 programs evaluation its treatment of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and IgA nephropathy. The stock has lost 23.1% year to date through Wednesday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has gained 10.0% and the S&P 500 has advanced 16.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Dick's Sporting Goods stock jumps 11% after earnings beat
Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. stock jumped 11.6% in Thursday premarket trading after the athletic retailer reported earnings and sales that beat expectations. Net income was $112.5 million, or $1.26 per share, compared with $119.4 million, or $1.20 per share, for the same period last year. Sales totaled $2.26 billion, up from $2.18 billion last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.21 and sales of $2.21 billion. Same-store sales rose 3.2%, which the company said was the strongest showing since 2016. FactSet guided for a 0.9% same-store sales increase. For the year, Dick's expects EPS of $3.30 to $3.45, which includes a tariff impact and a same-store sales increase in the low single-digits. FactSet is guiding for EPS of $3.32 and same-store sales growth of 1.2%. Dick's stock is down 12.4% for the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 2.2% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

ECB minutes show discussion of 'package' of moves, changes to guidance
Minutes of the July 25-ending European Central Bank meeting showed policymakers were receptive to a stimulus program that could include both interest-rate cuts and asset purchases. "The view was expressed that the various options should be seen as a package, i.e. a combination of instruments with significant complementarities and synergies, since experience had shown that a policy package - such as the combination of rate cuts and asset purchases - was more effective than a sequence of selective actions," the minutes read. Members also saw value in examining ways to further strengthen its forward guidance on the path of policy rates, announcing preparatory work on the design of a tiered system or other options to mitigate the effects of negative interest rates on banks and and preparatory work "on modalities for potential new net asset purchases."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

MasterCard says it's investigating a data breach of German loyalty program
MasterCard said it was investigating a data breach of a loyalty program in Germany which led to a leak of personal information, The Wall Street Journal reported. The loyalty program has been shut down, and on Wednesday, the company became aware of another file with user data, the report said. The loyalty program was operated by a third-party service provider and doesn't affect the company's payments systems, according to the report.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

BJ's Wholesale's stock soars after profit beat expectations, guidance affirmed
Shares of BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. shot up 11% in premarket trading Thursday, after the membership-based wholesale retailer reported a fiscal second-quarter profit that beat expectations, same-store sales that matched and revenue that came up a little light. For the quarter to Aug. 3, BJ's swung to net income of $54.5 million, or 39 cents a share, from a loss of $5.6 million, or 5 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share rose to 39 cents from 31 cents, beating the FactSet consensus of 37 cents. Total revenue rose 1.2% to $3.35 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $3.39 billion, as sales grew 1.1% to $3.27 billion and membership fee income increased 6.0% to $74.7 million. Same-store sales, excluding gasoline sales, rose 1.6%, to match the FactSet consensus. The company affirmed its fiscal 2019 guidance for EPS of $1.42 to $1.50 and for sales of $12.9 billion to $13.2 billion. The stock has tumbled 11.3% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 22, 2019

Hormel Foods' stock rallies after profit beat, affirmed outlook
Shares of Hormel Foods Corp. rallied 2.5% in premarket trading Thursday, after the branded food company, which brands include Spam, Skippy and Jennie-O Turkey, reported a fiscal third-quarter profit that topped expectations and affirmed its full-year outlook, although sales fell a bit shy. "While we have yet to see sustained higher pork prices due to African swine fever, we have seen input cost volatility and are expecting further volatility," said Chief Executive Jim Snee. Net income for the quarter to July 28 declined to $199.45 million, or 37 cents a share, from $210.24 million, or 39 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 36 cents. Sales declined 3% to $2.29 billion, just below the FactSet consensus of $2.30 billion, as volume for refrigerated foods declined 1%, for grocery products dropped 10% and for Jennie-O Turkey Store was down 4%. The company affirmed its fiscal 2019 EPS guidance range of $1.71 to $1.85 and said it expects sales of $9.50 billion to $10.0 billion, which compares with the FactSet consensus for EPS of $1.72 and for sales of $9.52 billion. The stock has lost 4.0% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 16.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Joe Walsh plans Republican primary challenge to Trump: report
Conservative talk-radio host and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh is expected to challenge President Donald Trump the the Republican primary, the New York Times reported late Wednesday. The Times said a formal announcement may come as soon as this weekend. While Walsh stands almost zero chance in a primary against Trump, who remains hugely popular among Republicans, the Times said he hopes to appeal to conservatives like himself who have soured on Trump. Walsh tweeted in 2016: "On November 8th, I'm voting for Trump. On November 9th, if Trump loses, I'm grabbing my musket. You in?" Walsh has since become an outspoken Trump critic, and has called him "a traitor" and a "racial arsonist."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Whistleblower alleges possible interference in Trump's tax audit: reports
A federal whistleblower is alleging possible improper interference with the IRS process of auditing President Donald Trump's tax returns, according to multiple reports Wednesday. In separate reports, Politico and NBC News said the federal worker made the allegations to the House Ways and Means Committee, citing a court motion by House Democrats in their lawsuit to force the release of Trump's tax returns. According to NBC News, the court filing included a letter from committee chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, which said the House panel "received an unsolicited communication from a federal employee setting forth credible allegations of 'evidence of possible misconduct' - specifically, potential 'inappropriate efforts to influence the mandatory audit program.'" Details of potential interference were not mentioned. According to Politico, Mnuchin told Neal he had no information about that, and suggested the concerns be brought to the IRS inspector general.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

The yield curve inverted again--but don't get too excited--it isn't anymore meaningful than it was a week ago
The bond market signaled a recession--again. For the second time in a week, the closely watched 2-year Treasury note rate rose above its longer-term counterpart in the 10-year Treasury note , representing an inversion of the bond-market yield curve. Yields inverted almost exactly a week ago and investors have grown increasingly anxious about the gauge, which has preceded the past seven recessions. However, Wednesday's inversion isn't anymore alarming than it was a week ago. The yield curve is a line plotting out yields across maturities. Typically, it slopes upward, with investors demanding more compensation to hold a note or bond for a longer period given the risk of inflation and other uncertainties. But, a legitimately inverted yield curve, for many needs to remain in force for a lengthier period than a day or days before it truly indicates a coming recession. On top of that, the inversion needs to be deeper than a few basis points. And even if the yield curve inverted late Wednesday, it wouldn't be any more meaningful at pointing to an imminent recession than it was last week. From 1956, past recessions have started on average around 15 months after an inversion of the 2-year/10-year spread occurred, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This most recent inversion came after minutes from the Federal Reserves July 30-31 meeting showed that Fed members believed that "it was important to maintain optionality in setting policy, perhaps indicating to some industry watchers that policymakers weren't yet ready to communicate an aggressive path of rate cuts ahead. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished Wednesday's trade up 240 points, or 0.9%, at 26,202, the S&P 500 index advanced 0.8% at 2,924, while the Nasdaq Composite Index closed 0.9% higher at 8,020.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Quest Nutrition, maker of protein bars and other snacks, to be acquired for $1 billion in cash
The Simply Good Food Co. , a company known for its Atkins-branded low-carb foods, has agreed to purchased protein-bar company Quest Nutrition LLC for $1 billion in cash. Quest is known for its protein bars, but also offers chips, cookies, pizzas and other foods with added protein, as well as protein powder. Simply Good Chief Executive Joseph Scalzo said in the announcement that the deal "delivers on our strategy to become a broader nutritional snacking company." Simply Good said that Quest expects annual revenue of $345 million and adjusted Ebitda of $50 million this year, and is expected to be accretive to cash earnings per share this year. Simply Good's board has approved the acquisition, which will be funded with $225 million in cash on its balance sheet and financing from Barclays, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. Simply Good hopes the deal will close by the end of the year, and expects $20 million in "synergies" over the next three years.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Victoria's Secret parent L Brand stock falls after mixed Q2, lower guidance
L Brands Inc. shares fell more than 3% in the extended session Wednesday after the parent company of Victoria's Secret missed expectations for its second-quarter earnings and called for worse-than-expected third-quarter results. L Brands said it earned $38 million, or 14 cents a share, in the second quarter, compared with $99 million, or 36 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned 24 cents a share. Sales fell to $2.90 billion, compared with $2.98 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected GAAP and non-GAAP EPS at 20 cents a share on sales of $2.95 billion. The company said it projected third-quarter results between a loss of 5 cents and a profit of 5 cents a share. The analysts surveyed by FactSet call for GAAP EPS of 7 cents a share in the third quarter. L Brands kept its full-year 2019 EPS guidance of $2.30 to $2.60.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Cannabis producer Cresco Labs tops second-quarter revenue estimates
Cresco Labs Inc. reported late Wednesday that revenue had topped consensus estimates but did not report an earnings-per-share figure. The cannabis producer reported a second-quarter net loss of $3.9 million, versus net income of $1.6 million. Revenue rose to $29.9 million from $8.5 million in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated revenue of $27.8 million. For the third quarter, analysts project revenue of $56.4 million. The company said the second quarter included a $5.6 million tax-related charge resulting from closing several acquisitions. "We delivered an outstanding quarter that reflects the leading positions we have established in some of the most attractive markets in the cannabis industry," Chief Executive Charles Bachtell said in a statement with the financial results. "We are seeing accelerating revenue growth driven primarily by market share gains and strong trends in registered patients in our established markets of Illinois and Pennsylvania, as well as our expanded presence and distribution in California." Bachtell is referring to the company's $823.5 million all-stock proposed acquisition of Origin House , which has operations in California. Cresco Labs did not file complete financial statements Wednesday but said it planned to do so by Aug. 29. Cresco Labs' U.S.-traded stock has gained 24% this year, with the S&P 500 index rising 15.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Pure Storage stock plunges after cutting guidance again, CFO to depart
Pure Storage Inc. shares dropped hard after reducing its annual forecast in an earnings report for the second consecutive quarter Wednesday, and the company also announced the departure of its chief financial officer. The flash-storage company reported a second-quarter loss of $66 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $396.3 million, up from $308.9 million a year ago. After adjusting to strip out stock-based compensation and other factors, the company claimed earnings of a penny a share, equal to the same period the prior year. Analysts on average expected Pure Storage to report adjusted losses of 4 cents a share on sales of $393 million, according to FactSet. While beating estimates for the second quarter, Pure Storage reduced its guidance, as it did three months ago, and now says it will record revenue of $1.645 billion to $1.715 billion, down from the guidance of $1.7 billion to $1.77 billion provided in May. The company also disclosed the departure of CFO Tim Ritters, who has served in that function for five years and will leave in the fall. Shares dropped more than 10% in after-hours trading Wednesday, after declining 13.7% so far in 2019 as the S&P 500 index has gained 15.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Splunk stock rallies on earnings beat, acquisition
Splunk Inc. shares rallied in the extended session Wednesday after the cybersecurity company topped Wall Street estimates for the quarter and announced a big acquisition. Splunk shares rose 6.2% after hours, following a 1.4% rise in the regular session to close at $128.46. The company reported a second-quarter loss of $100.9 million, or 67 cents a share, compared with a loss of $103.5 million, or 71 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 30 cents a share. Revenue rose to $516.6 million from $388.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of $488.4 million. Splunk said it expects third-quarter revenue of about $600 million, and full-year revenue of about $2.3 billion, up from a previous forecast of about $2.25 billion. Analysts had estimated $590.9 million for the third quarter, and $2.26 billion for the year. The company also said it agreed to acquire cloud monitoring company SignalFx for $1.05 billion in cash and stock. Splunk expects the acquisition to close in the second half of fiscal 2020, which ends in January.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Nordstrom stock rallies after company's Q2 sales, EPS beat
Shares of Nordstrom Inc. rose more than 10% in the extended session Wednesday after the retailer reported second-quarter earnings and sales above Wall Street expectations and trimmed some of its expectations for the year. Nordstrom said it earned $141 million in the quarter, or 90 cents a share, compared with $162 million, or 95 cents a share, during the same period in fiscal 2018. Sales fell to $3.8 billion, compared with $4 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected GAAP earnings of 77 cents a share on sales of $3.9 billion. Profit exceeded expectations and sales were on the low end of expectations thanks to "a challenging start to the quarter as well as softer performance" from the company's anniversary sale and its off-price business. Nordstrom also revised its full-year 2019 expectations, saying it sees the year's sales down 2%, compared with a previous forecast of sales between flat and down 2%, and EPS between $3.25 and $3.50, versus a previous expectation of EPS between $3.25 and $3.65. The stock had ended the regular trading day up 5.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Pinduoduo stock surges 16% after earnings
Pinduoduo Inc. shares surged 16% to $30.11 in Wednesday trading after the Chinese e-commerce company beat revenue expectations and posted a slimmer loss than analysts were anticipating for the second quarter. The company lost 3 cents a share on revenue of $1.03 billion, whereas analysts had been modeling a 22-cent per share loss and $867.4 million in revenue. Pinduoduo's active-buyer base grew 41% from a year earlier, while annual spending per active buyer rose 92% over the twelve-month period that ended in June. Jefferies analyst Thomas Chong wrote that the growth trajectory likely came as a "surprise to the Street" and reflected strong marketing efforts. Pinduoduo shares notched their largest single-day percentage gain in nine months. Pinduoduo's results follow better-than-expected quarterly numbers from Chinese e-commerce peers Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc. Shares have jumped 40% over the past three months, giving Pinduoduo a market capitalization of $33.5 billion, as the S&P 500 has inched up 2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Pinterest stock closes at record high, nears $20 billion market cap
Pinterest Inc. shares jumped more than 6% Wednesday, pushing them to record high prices and getting the young social-media company's market capitalization near $20 billion. Pinterest gained 6.4% Wednesday to $36.56, more than $2 higher than its earlier record close set last week. At that price, Pinterest is worth $19.84 billion, according to FactSet. Pinterest sold shares at $19 apiece in an April initial public offering, and shares have not sold for less than $23 in four months on the open market. Pinterest's performance on Wall Street stands in contrast to the other so-called decacorns, or startups valued at more than $10 billion by private investors, that have gone public this year: Lyft Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. Both of the ride-hailing companies have only closed higher than their IPO prices twice apiece after going public in March and May, respectively. Another company with an eight-figure valuation from venture investors, The We Company , is expected to go public before the end of the year after filing for an IPO last week.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Dow ends with 200-point gain after Fed minutes
U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday after the minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting showed the U.S. central bank wanted to retain flexibility during future policy decisions. The S&P 500 rose 0.8% to end around 2,924. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 241 points, or 0.9%, to finish around 26,204, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.9% to end near 8,020. The minutes showed that the Fed did not view July's rate move as the beginning of a series of cuts, and that they would take a meeting by meeting approach when deciding on further interest rate changes. In company news, shares of Target hit a record on Wednesday after it raised its earnings outlook. Strong retail earnings from retailers including Lowe's and Home Depot this week helped to buoy risk assets and offset worries that the U.S. economy was slowing sharply.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Recent stock and bond market volatility is mostly technical, rather than fundamental--J.P. Morgan
J.P. Morgan said Wednesday research by its interest rate analysts suggests the market volatility since Aug. 14, when the yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped below the 2-year yield, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 800 points, has been cause more technical than fundamental. Marko Kolanovic, J.P. Morgan's global head of quantitative and derivatives strategy, said "more than half" of the recent move in interest rates and inversion of the yield curve was caused by technical drivers, including convexity hedging of mortgages, bank portfolios and variable annuities in poor liquidity conditions. Meanwhile, "more than half" have also been driven by "systematic" rather than fundamental trading, Kolanovic said, as he estimates about $75 billion in equity flows was a result of programmatic selling in a low liquidity environment, comprised of index option hedging, trend-following strategies, volatility targeting strategies and other products, such as levered and inverse ETFs. Kolanovic said that, plus the low equity positioning by hedge funds, is "positive for equity performance going forward." The Dow rose 226 points, or 0.9% in afternoon trading, and was down just 0.3% since just before the Aug. 14 selloff.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Gold ends flat, then moves lower in electronic trade after Fed minutes
Gold prices finished unchanged on Wednesday, after spending much of the session losing ground on the back of strength in benchmark U.S. stock indexes. After future prices settled, minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's July meeting showed that Federal Reserve officials shied away from saying how many more easing steps they might be willing to support this year. In electronic trading, gold for December delivery was at $1,514.30 an ounce shortly after the meeting minutes. The contract had settled flat at $1,515.70 an ounce on Comex, ahead of the news.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Trump says he's not looking at indexing capital gains
President Donald Trump on Wednesday backed away from a proposal to tax capital gains indexed for inflation. His comment to reporters came a day after he said he was considering the move among other proposals to stimulate the economy. "I'm not looking to do that," since it's for higher-earning Americans, he said before departing the White House for a speech in Kentucky.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

All 30 Dow stocks rally, led by Boeing and Apple price gains
The 262-point, or 1.0% surge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average is unanimous in morning trading Wednesday, as all 30 components were trading higher. Providing the biggest boosts to the blue-chip barometer, the stocks of Boeing Co. rose $8.88, or 2.7%; Apple Inc. hiked up $3.13, or 1.5% and Microsoft Corp. climbed $1.72, or 1.3%. Combined, those stocks added about 93 points to the Dow's price.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

SemiLEDs stock soars on heavy volume after disclosure of investor interest in buying large stake
Shares of SemiLEDs Corp. shot up 33% on heavy volume, enough to pace all the Nasdaq-listed gainers, after the Taiwan-based maker of light-emitting diode chips disclosed it received an offer to buy nearly one-fifth of the outstanding shares. Trading volume swelled to 12.8 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 31,000 shares. The company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Tuesday that an individual investor living in China, Xian Chang Ma, offered to buy 680,000 shares at $3.00 each. The $2.04 million investment would represent about 19% of the shares outstanding. SemiLEDs board if directors will decide whether to pursue the offer on or before Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. Eastern. If the sale closes, the board is expected to nominate Ma, how is currently chairman and chief executive of Shandong Tengjunxiang Biotechnology Co. Ltd., to its board. The stock has gained 9.3% year to date, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index [s; sox] has soared 30.9% and the S&P 500 has advanced 16.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

CBO estimates budget deficit of $960 billion in 2019
The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday raised its estimate of the federal government's budget deficit for the 2019 fiscal year to $960 from $896 billion. That's about in line with the Trump administration's own forecast of $1 trillion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The estimates are up from a shortfall last year of $779 billion. The nonpartisan CBO said increasing deficits are the result of a major budget deal signed by President Trump in August, which raised spending limits.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

U.S. created 501,000 fewer in past year than previously reported
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. economy had 501,000 fewer jobs in March 2019 than previously reported, government revisions show, suggesting that hiring was not as strong in the past year as it seemed. Hiring was weaker in retail, restaurants and hotels. The annual revision is much larger than is typically the case. The preliminary revision in 2018, for example, was just 43,000. Every year the Bureau of Labor Statistics updates its figures based on unemployment data that nearly all employers are required to file with the states. The current revision is one of the largest ever.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

EIA reports a weekly decline in U.S. crude supplies for the first time in 3 weeks
The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported that U.S. crude supplies fell by 2.7 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 16. That followed increases in each of the previous two weeks. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts, on average, expected a decline of 3.1 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a 3.5 million-barrel decrease, according to sources. The EIA data also showed that inventories of gasoline edged up by 300,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles rose by 2.6 million barrels last week. The S&P Global Platts survey had shown expectations for a supply decreases of 1.6 million barrels for gasoline and 200,000 barrels for distillates. October West Texas Intermediate crude was up 27 cents, or 0.5%, to $56.39 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were trading at $56.77 before the supply data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

MSG Networks shares slide 13% after earnings miss
MSG Networks Inc. shares slid about 13% Wednesday, after the operator of regional sports and entertainment networks posted weaker-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. The company, which was spun out of Madison Square Gardens in 2015, said it had net income of $41.2 million, or 54 cents a share, in the quarter to June 30, down from $45.2 million, or 60 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell 3% to $168.4 million. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 63 cents and revenue of $171 million. Advertising revenue rose by $0.9 million, due to higher sales from the telecast of live professional sports programming, including playoff games, as well as higher sales from branded content. That was partially offset by a lower decline in deferred revenue related to ratings guarantees. Direct operating costs rose 2% to $70.1 million, mostly due to higher rights fees. Selling, general and administrative costs rose 33% to $26.3 million, mostly due to one-time costs, and higher advertising and marketing costs. Shares have fallen 38% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 17%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Target's stock soars toward record rally and record high
Shares of Target Corp. rocketed 18.2% in morning trading Wednesday, which puts them on track for the biggest one-day gain in its history, after the retailer reported better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter results and raised its outlook. The stock was trading well above the Sept. 10, 2018 record close of $89.26 and all-time intraday high of $90.39. The stock's percentage gain would be bigger than the current record rally of 17.8% on Oct. 28, 2008. Target went public in October 1968. The current price gain of $15.61 is adding about $8 billion to the retailer's market capitalization, which would lift the market cap to about $51.9 billion. That's still well below the market cap of rival Walmart Inc. of $323.1 billion. Target's stock has gained 2.7% over the past 22% over the past months, while Walmart shares have advanced 18% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 1.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Fitbit stock jumps after announcement of collaboration with Singapore's public health program
Fitbit Inc. shares are surging in Wednesday morning trading after the company announced that it would be working with Singapore's Health Promotion Board to offer Fitbit devices and services to Singapore residents as part of the country's public health program. The collaboration represents Fitbit's "first major integration of a digital health platform and wearables into a national public health program globally," the company said in a release. Participants will have access to health coaching and monitoring tools as part of the program. Fitbit shares are up 6.4% Wednesday, but they've dropped 38% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has risen 2.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Dow jumps more than 200-points at the open as Target's stock heads to all-time high
U.S. stocks opened solidly higher on Wednesday as upbeat quarterly results from retailers Target and Lowe's helped to support early buying. Investors were also awaiting the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's July 30-31 policy gathering, which could offer insights on the central bank's decision to cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 229 points, or 0.9%, to 26,196, the S&P 500 index climbed 0.8% to 2,923, while the Nasdaq Composite Index picked up 8,018, a gain of 0.9%. In corporate news, Target Corp.'s shares hit a record high following the discount retailer's report of fiscal second-quarter earnings and sales that beat expectations, while Lowe's Cos. stock also rallied after its second-quarter net income rose to $1.68 billion. In the afternoon, the Fed will publish the minutes of the July meeting of its rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m. Eastern. Elsewhere, Italy's bond yields headed lower after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned on Tuesday, triggering a power struggle, while German debt yields rose after a bond auction with negative interest rates.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Newtek raises 2019 dividend forecast to an implied yield of nearly 10%
Newtek Business Services Corp. said Wednesday it will pay a third-quarter dividend of 58 cents a share, which is up 26% from the second-quarter dividend of 46 cents a share. The business development company said the new dividend will be payable Sept. 30 to shareholders of record on Sept. 20. Newtek raised its 2019 annual dividend payout forecast to $2.15 a share from a previous forecast of $1.95 a share. Based on Tuesday's stock closing price of $21.71, the new forecast implies a dividend yield of 9.9%, compared with the implied dividend yield for the S&P 500 of 2.01%. The company said the objective of its dividend policy is to pay out 90% to 100% of its annual taxable income, and is determined annually. "Given the volatility in the markets, we are pleased that Newtek has been able to maintain its upward momentum in its business as a result of its unique and diversified business model," said Chief Executive Barry Sloane. The stock, which was indicated up 2.0% in premarket trading, has rallied 24.5% year to date while the S&P 500 has gained 15.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Shares of Teva up 3% on positive migraine trial
Shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries rose 3% in premarket trade Wednesday after The Lancet published results from a late-stage study showing that patients on the company's migraine treatment Ajovy, also known as fremanezumab, experienced a significant reduction in migraine days when compared to patients on placebo. The trial, dubbed FOCUS, looked at 838 people who had unsuccessfully tried two to four other classes of preventive migraine treatments. They were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or one of two dosing regiments of Ajovy. During the 12 weeks after the first dose, those on Ajovy saw a statistically-significant reduction in the monthly number of days with migraines, researchers found. "Migraine can be debilitating for patients -- and frustrating for those who have failed multiple preventive treatments," said Joshua M. Cohen, the head of Teva's migraine & headache segment. "We continue our clinical trial efforts in the area of migraine research and we are very pleased with the FOCUS results." Ajovy is already approved in the U.S. and Europe for the preventive treatment of migraines in adults. Shares of Teva have fallen 54.5% in the year to date through Monday. The S&P 500 has gained 15.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Vistra Energy to retire four power plants in Illinois at cost of 300 jobs
Vistra Energy Corp. said Wednesday it is planning to retire four power plants in Illinois at the cost of about 300 jobs. Irving, Texas-based Vistra said the decision was made to meet the requirements of the approved revisiosn to the Multi-Pollutant Standard rule imposed by the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB). "Without this rule change, the company's entire downstate fleet was at risk of near imminent retirement," the company said in a statement. The affected four coal-fueled power plants are the Coffeen Power Plant, Duck Creek Power Plant (in Canton), Havana Power Plant, and Hennepin Power Plant. The comopany will focus on its remaining business, while making the shift to a sustainable business including newer, greener technologies. "Vistra is hopeful that the Illinois General Assembly will take up the Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act during its fall Veto Session," said the statement. Vistra shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 4% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Analog Devices' stock slumps after earnings beat expectations but outlook was mixed
Shares of Analog Devices Inc. slumped 2.1% in premarket trading Wednesday after the chip maker reported a fiscal third-quarter profit and revenue that beat expectations, but provided a mixed fourth-quarter outlook. Net income for the quarter to Aug. 3 fell to $362.4 million, or 97 cents a share, from $408.6 million, or $1.08 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share declined to $1.26 from $1.51, but was above the FactSet consensus of $1.22. Revenue fell 5% to $1.48 billion, but topped the FactSet consensus of $1.45 billion, as industrial, consumer and communications segment revenue beat expectations while automotive revenue missed. For the fourth quarter, the company expects adjusted EPS of $1.22 plus-or-minus 7 cents ($1.15-$1.29), compared with the FactSet consensus of $1.29, and revenue of $1.45 billion /- $50 million ($1.40 billion-$1.50 billion), while expectations are for $1.49 billion. Chief Executive Vincent Roche said "these uncertain times do not seem to be abating in the near term," but stressed that the company has navigated macroeconomic challenges before. The stock has run up 28.5% year to date through Tuesday, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index has run up 29.8% and the S&P 500 has gained 15.7%.

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Aug 21, 2019

Cerecor stock soars 17% premarket after FDA grants fast-track designation to treatment for rare disorder
Shares of Cerecor Inc. rallied 17.5% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the biotech said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has awarded it an expedited review process for a treatment for Mannose-Phosphate Isomerase Deficiency, or MPI-CDG, a rare metabolic disorder. The FDA has granted Rockville, Md.-based Cerecor Fast Trace Designation for its CERC-802 treatment, an oral formulation of D-mannose. CERC-802 is an ultra-pure formulation of D-mannose, a naturally occurring monosaccharide that is found in animals, microorganisms, and plants, including edible fruits and herbs. "CDG patients are born with a genetic defect that hinders their ability to utilize certain monosaccharides in the production of glycoproteins," the company explained. Shares have gained 19% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Children's Place shares headed toward a three-year low after sales miss, weak guidance
Children's Place Inc. stock sank 12.5% in Wednesday premarket trading, heading to an open at a three-year low, after the retailer reported second-quarter sales that missed expectations and gave weak guidance. Net income totaled $1.5 million, or 10 cents per share, down from $7.5 million, or 45 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS of 19 cents beat the FactSet consensus of 18 cents per share. Sales of $420.5 million was also down from $448.7 million and missed the FactSet guidance for $427.0 million. Same-store sales fell 3.8%, below the 2.8% decline FactSet expected. Jane Elfers, chief executive of Children's Place, said there was "lingering pressure from the Q1 Gymboree liquidation" and traffic was weaker than expected, which led to more promotions in the sector. "[W]e believe it is prudent to assume an elevated promotional environment for the back half of 2019," the statement said. For the third quarter, Children's Place expects sales in the range of $530 million to $535 million, adjusted EPS in the range of $2.90 to $3.05, and same-store sales growth of 3% to 4%. FactSet is guiding for sales of $534.8 million, EPS of $3.50, and same-store sales growth of 2.8%. For fiscal 2019, Children's Place is expecting sales in the range of $1.910 billion to $1.925 billion, adjusted EPS in the range of $5.40 to $5.75, and flat same-store sales. The FactSet outlook is for sales of $1.935 billion, EPS of $6.17, and same-store sales growth of 0.6%. Children's Place stock has lost 43% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 1.3% for the period.

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Aug 21, 2019

JPMorgan to close stand-alone Chase Pay app in early 2020
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Wednesday that Chase is closing its stand-alone Chase Pay app in early 2020, although customers will be able to use Chase Pay in more merchant apps in the coming months. New customers coming on board include Grubhub , the bank said in a statement. Eric Connolly, head of Chase Pay, said customers are using the Chase Pay button on merchant websites and in apps more than ever. ""So, we're shifting our focus to expand Chase Pay's presence in more merchant apps and websites," he said. Chase has 51 million digitally active customers who use Chase-issued Visa debit and credit cards, including at Starbucks , Shell, United and elsewhere. JPMorgan shares were up 0.6% premarket, and have gained 10% in 2019, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11% and the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Target's stock soars toward best day in 11 years
Shares of Target Corp. rocketed 12.2% in premarket trading Wednesday, which puts them on track for the biggest one-day gain in about 11 years, after the retailer reported better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter results and raised its outlook. The stock is set to open well above the Sept. 10, 2018 record close of $89.26 and all-time intraday high of $90.39. The stock's percentage gain would be the biggest since its record rally of 17.8% on Oct. 28, 2008. The implied price gain would add about $5.34 billion to the retailer's market capitalization, which would lift the market cap to about $49.2 billion. That's still well below the market cap of rival Walmart Inc. of $319.9 billion. Target's stock has gained 2.7% over the past 12 months, while Walmart shares have advanced 16.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 0.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Kinder Morgan's stock jumps after sale of U.S. part of Cochin Pipeline for $1.6 billion
Shares of Kinder Morgan Inc. rallied 2.9% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the energy transportation and storage company announced a deal to sell the U.S. portion of the Cochin Pipeline for $1.55 billion to Pembina Pipeline Corp. . As part of the deal, Pembina has agreed to buy all of the outstanding common stock of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. , of which Kinder Morgan owns a 70% stake. Kinder Morgan will receive 0.3068 shares of Pembina for each Kinder Morgan Canada share it owns, which will result in Kinder Morgan receiving 25 million shares of Pembina stock, or just under 5% of the shares outstanding. Based on Tuesday's closing price of the U.S.-listed Pembina stock, that would be worth about $923.8 million. The deals are expected to close late in the fourth quarter or in the first quarter of 2020. Kinder Morgan initially expects to use the proceeds to pay down debt. Kinder Morgan's stock has soared 31% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has edged up 0.8% and the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Target's stock surges toward record high after profit and sales beats, raised guidance
Shares of Target Corp. shot up 7.8% toward a record high in premarket trading Wednesday, after the discount retail giant reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and sales that beat expectations, and raised its full-year profit outlook. Net income for the quarter to Aug. 3 rose to $938 million, or $1.82 a share, from $799 million, or $1.49 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share of $1.82 was above the FactSet consensus of $1.62. Total revenue grew 3.6% to $18.42 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $18.29 billion, as digital channel sales grew 34%. Same-store sales rose 3.4%, beating the FactSet consensus of 3.0% growth, as traffic increased 2.4%. Looking ahead, Target expects third-quarter same-store sales growth of 3.4%, above the FactSet consensus for a 2.9% rise. The fiscal 2019 adjusted EPS guidance range was lifted to $5.90 to $6.20 from $5.75 to $6.05. The stock has rallied 29.4% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 5.5% and the S&P 500 has hiked up 15.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Minneapolis Fed's Kashkari says central bank should use forward guidance at next meeting
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, in an op-ed in the Financial Times, said that the central bank should not only cut interest rates in September but also use forward guidance. "At a minimum, we should commit to not raising rates again until core inflation returns to our 2% target on a sustained basis," Kashkari wrote. Kashkari rotates onto the Federal Open Market Committee next year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Lowe's tops forecast with rise in second-quarter profit
Home improvement retailer Lowe's said its second-quarter net income rose to $1.68 billion, or $2.14 a share, from $1.52 billion, or $1.86 a share, with sales up 0.5% to $20.99 billion. Adjusted for the wind-down of the company's Mexico retail operations, Lowe's would've earned $2.15 a share, compared to the FactSet-compiled broker consensus of $2 a share. Lowe's said comparable-store sales grew 2.3% during the quarter, and that it benefited from spring demand and its Paint and Pro business. Lowe's forecast of adjusted earnings of $5.45 to $5.65 compares to a broker consensus of $5.57, and Lowe's said net sales will rise 2% and comparable-store sales will grow 3% for the year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 21, 2019

Alibaba to delay Hong Kong listing amid unrest: report
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has delayed its up to $15 billion listing in Hong Kong, Reuters reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter. While no new timetable has been formally set, Alibaba could potentially launch the deal as early as October, still seeking to raise $10 billion-$15 billion, the report added. The delay was due to the lack of financial and political stability in Hong Kong, the report said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

VMware buys startup Intrinsic as part of cloud expansion: report
VMware Inc. has acquired security startup Intrinsic, CNBC reported late Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not announced, but it is part of VMware's expansion of its platform into the public cloud, the enterprise-software company told CNBC. It's the latest purchase in a busy summer for VMware: In June, it announced it would buy cloud-application delivery platform Avi Networks, and in July it acquired AI chip virtualization firm Bitfusion. VMware is also looking to acquire Pivotal Software, according to an SEC filing last week. VMware shares are up 5% this year, compared to the S&P 500's 16% gain.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Thousands of MoviePass customers have card data exposed: report
Beleaguered movie ticket subscription company MoviePass Inc. recieved more bad news late Tuesday following a report that tens of thousands of customer bank card numbers were exposed. Over-the-counter shares of Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. , which owns MoviePass, closed up 18% at $0.002 Tuesday. One of MoviePass's databases was found to be not protected with a password by security researcher Mossab Hussein, according to TechCrunch. The database contained 161 million records at the time, but more than 58,000 contained customer card data, according to the report.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

API data show a weekly decline in U.S. crude stocks
The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies fell by 3.5 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 16, according to sources. The API also reportedly showed a stockpile decline of 403,000 barrels in gasoline, while distillate supplies rose by 1.8 million barrels. Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday. The EIA data are expected to show crude inventories down by 3.1 million barrels last week, following two consecutive weekly increases, according to a survey of analysts conducted by S&P Global Platts. The survey also forecast weekly supply declines of 1.6 million barrels for gasoline and 200,000 barrels for distillates. October West Texas Intermediate crude was at $56.18 a barrel in electronic trading, up slightly from the contract's $56.13 settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Nordson stock falls on earnings miss, outlook
Nordson Corp. shares dropped in the extended session Tuesday after the adhesives and materials company missed Wall Street estimates and forecast a rockier-than-expected quarter. Nordson shares fell 7% after hours, following a 1.3% decline in the regular session to close at $135.48. The company reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $93.9 million, or $1.62 a share, compared with $98.4 million, or $1.61 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue declined to $559.7 million from $581.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $1.81 a share on revenue of $587.7 million. Nordson said it "now expects flat to modest organic sales growth and unfavorable foreign currency effects of approximately 2 percent on sales as compared to the prior year." Analysts expect annual revenue of $2.24 billion, or 0.8% down from a year ago. "As we approach the end of our fiscal year, the effect of recent macroeconomic trends has had a more significant impact than most anticipated, particularly on electronics end markets," said Michael Hilton, who served as Nordson's president and CEO until July 31, in a statement.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Walmart sues Tesla over solar-panel roof fires
Walmart Inc. is suing Tesla Inc. over a spate of roof fires at several Walmart stores in 2018 that the retailer alleges were caused by Tesla solar panels. "At each location, the fire had originated in the Tesla solar panels," according to a filing on Tuesday. "To state the obvious, properly designed, installed, inspected, and maintained solar systems do not spontaneously combust, and the occurrence of multiple fires involving Tesla's solar systems is but one unmistakable sign of negligence by Tesla," the complaint said. Tesla could not be immediately reached for comment. Shares of Tesla were down 0.4% in the extended session, matching the day's loss.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Musk: Tesla to postpone self-driving feature's price increase
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted late Tuesday that a price increase on the company's FSD, or full self-driving feature, is postponed until a latest version is in "wide release," some four to eight weeks away. Musk had tweeted in July that the cost of the feature was increasing by about $1,000 in mid-August. In April, he tweeted along the same lines about an increase that took effect later in the spring. That same month, Tesla unveiled in-house self-driving hardware and promised a fleet of Tesla "robo-taxis". Tesla shares fell 0.4% in the extended session, matching its decline for the day during the regular session. The stock is down 32% this year, contrasting with gains of 16% and 11% for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Cree stock falls after poor outlook
Cree Inc. shares dropped in the extended session Tuesday after the LED maker's outlook fell short of Wall Street estimates. Cree shares fell 9% after hours, following a 0.1% decline in the regular session to close at $58.24. Cree expects a fiscal first-quarter loss of 7 cents to 3 cents a share on revenue of $237 million to $243 million, while analysts had forecast earnings of 15 cents a share on revenue of $259.2 million. The company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $133.7 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with $33.3 million, or 29 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 11 cents a share. Revenue declined to $251.2 million from $265.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 10 cents on revenue of $249 million.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Urban Outfitters stock higher after mixed Q2 results
Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc. rose 3% in the extended session Tuesday after the retailer reported mixed second-quarter results, with profit above Wall Street expectations but sales that fell short. Urban said it earned $60 million, or 61 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $93 million, or 84 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales fell 3% to $962 million. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 59 cents a share on sales of $982 million in the quarter. Comparable-store sales also dropped 3%, driven by negative retail store sales partially offset by growth in digital sales, the company said. The analysts polled by FactSet had expected same-store sales to drop 2% in the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Dow snaps three-day win streak as bond yields beat retreat
U.S. stocks finished lower on Tuesday as geopolitical jitters and U.S. economic concerns hung over investors ahead of the Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole symposium at the end of the week. The S&P 500 fell 0.8% to end around 2,901. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 173 points, or 0.7%, to end near 25,962, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.7% to finish around 7,949. Fears over Italy's political situation grew after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned following a spat with Matteo Salvini, leader of the League party. In the U.S., President Donald Trump lambasted the Federal Reserve for failing to slash interest rates. The 10-year Treasury note yield fell 4.6 basis points to 1.557%. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields. In company news, shares of Home Depot Inc. rose more than 4% after its earnings beat analysts' expectations.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Trump says White House looking at payroll tax cut, urges Fed rate cut
President Donald Trump said Tuesday his administration is looking at tax cuts, including cutting payroll taxes. Trump's comment follows a late-Monday Washington Post report that the administration was considering a temporary payroll tax cut. The White House said cutting payroll taxes wasn't under consideration, and Trump on Tuesday did not put any time frame on such a cut. But he said, "payroll taxes is something I have been thinking about. Many people would like to see that." The president also repeated his desire for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates. "If the Fed would do its job, we'd have a tremendous spurt of growth," Trump said in remarks alongside the president of Romania at the White House.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Bank stocks suffer broad selloff as Treasury yields resume decline
The selloff in financial stocks isn't unanimous Tuesday, but it's pretty close, as the yield on 10-year Treasurys resumed their decline after a two-day bounce off last Thursday's 3-year low. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF shed 1.1%, with 64 of 68 equity components trading lower, and was the biggest decliner of the SPDR sector ETFs tracking the S&P 500's 11 sectors. Meanwhile, the SPDR S&P Bank ETF slumped 1.3% with 89 of 90 components losing ground and the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF slid 1.4% with 119 of 122 components declining. There is some overlap among the 3 ETFs' components. Among the more active stocks, Bank of America Corp. shed 1.9%, Citigroup Inc. fell 0.9%, Regions Financial Corp. lost 2.0% , Wells Fargo Co. gave up 1.0% and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. slipped 1.0%. Meanwhile, the 10-year Treasury yield declined 4.2 basis points (0.042 percentage points) to 1.556%. Lower long-term yields can hurt bank profits, as it reduces the spread they earn from funding longer-term assets, like loans, with shorter-term liabilities.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Fabrinet's stock leads all NYSE losers after downbeat outlook, heads for biggest drop in 5 years
Shares of Fabrinet tumbled 17% in afternoon trading Tuesday, enough to lead all of the NYSE-listed losers, after the optical communications equipment company reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat expectations but provided a downbeat first-quarter outlook. The company had reported late Monday net income for the quarter to June 28 that rose to $30.7 million, or 88 cents a share, from $21.6 million, or 60 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted EPS rose to $1.00 from 81 cents, and beat the FactSet consensus of 94 cents. Revenue rose 17% to $405.1 million to top the FactSet consensus of $399.7 million. For the first quarter, Fabrinet said it expects adjusted EPS of 80 cents to 84 cents and revenue of $386 million to $394 million. The FactSet consensus as of the end of July were 96 cents for EPS and $407.3 million for revenue. Regarding the outlook, Chief Executive Seamus Grady said on the post-earnings conference call with analysts that the timing of changes to customer supply chains as they work through the restart of shipments to Huawei will temporarily hurt some of Fabrinet's optical communications business, while the industrial laser market is expected to slow down in the near term. The stock, on track for the biggest one-day drop since August 2014, has lsot 8.3% year to date, while the SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF has rallied 28% and the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Gold futures recoup a portion of their recent losses
Gold futures settled higher on Tuesday to recoup more than a third of what they lost in the previous session, as a drop in U.S. Treasury yields buoyed the metal's appeal as a haven investment. December gold rose $4.10, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,515.70 on Comex, following a drop of $12 an ounce, or 0.8%, on Monday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Pilgrim's Pride's stock flies toward 19-month high after BMO analyst turns bullish
Shares of Pilgrim's Pride Corp. shot up 5.3% toward a 19-month high in midday trading Tuesday, after BMO Capital turned bullish on the fresh and frozen chicken foods company, citing an "underlying fundamental recovery" and the expected positive effects of the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in China. Analyst Kenneth Zaslow raised his rating to outperform from market perform and boosted his stock price target by 16% to $36. "Despite weak breast prices, chicken environment stabilizes with limited small bird production and strength in the back-end of the bird with the potential for greater improvement from more chicken promotions," Zaslow wrote in a note to clients. Also, he said it was "no longer a question of if, but when" ASF will help boost U.S. protein prices. And the U.S. beef production shortage should further support chicken prices. The stock, on track to close at the highest level since January 2018, has nearly doubled (up 97.8%) year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 16.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

WWE's stock heads for another 6-day win streak after deal to move 'NXT' to USA Network
Shares of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. rallied 3.0% in midday trading Tuesday, to put them on track to post another six-session win streak, after the media and entertainment company said it reached an "agreement in principle" to air its weekly "NXT" show live on USA Network, which is owned by Comcast Corp. subsidiary NBCUniversal. The show is expected to air on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. Central) starting Sept. 18. "On its face the news is a positive, especially if the company is able to sell 'NXT' at rates similar to its flagship 'Raw' and 'SmackDown' programs," wrote J.P. Morgan analyst David Karnovsky in a note to clients. Based on viewership and prices paid for "Raw" and "SmackDown," Karnovsky estimates "NXT" could generate about $70 million a year in revenue. He affirmed the overweight rating he's had on the stock since November, and kept his price target at $95. The company is headed for the sixth win streak of at least six sessions so far this year, with the longest streak being seven sessions. That compares with just three six-session losing streaks year to date. Still, the stock has lost 0.8% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 12%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Dow's stock falls to lead materials peers' and Dow industrials' losers
Shares of Dow Inc. dropped 4.2% in morning trading Tuesday, enough to make them the biggest decliners among its materials peers and the Dow Jones Industrial Average . The selloff comes after the stock ran up 5.1% over the past two sessions. On Friday, BofA Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Byrne downgraded Dow to underperform from neutral, and slashed his price target to $41 from $55, saying that while the chemical company has been successful in controlling costs, that has largely been offset by "eroding fundamentals" across its polyethylene, methyl diphenyl diisocyanate, monoethylene glycol and Siloxanes products. Dow's stock has now shed 12.8% over the past three months, while the SPDR Materials Select Sector ETF has gained 5.2% and the Dow has tacked on 1.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Here's why analysts think Estée Lauder's growth will continue
Stifel analysts think Estee Lauder Cos.'s growth is sustainable thanks to increasing use of beauty products, "trade-up" to luxury beauty brands, and growing access to Estée Lauder merchandise, notably online in China. Estée Lauder brands include La Mer, the namesake brand, and MAC, which all grew in the most recent quarter. Geographically, China was strong. "Notably, the tensions in Hong Kong, ~4% of sales, have not had a significant effect on Estée Lauder's business," analysts wrote. "Management noted that it is working to recover part of the tourist revenue in other markets and to reach those consumers online, as well as reaching the local consumer through target marketing and product innovation." Stifel rates Estée Lauder stock buy with a $210 price target, up from $205. Raymond James also raised its price target, to $216 from $181. Analysts there rate Estée Lauder stock outperform. And Wells Fargo lifted its price target to $190 from $175, with a market perform stock rating. Estée Lauder stock has gained 55.4% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 16.6% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

NuCana stock falls 21% after company suspends patient enrollment in pancreatic cancer trial
Shares of NuCana Plc fell 21% on Tuesday after the company announced it had suspended the enrollment of new patients in a late-stage trial of a pancreatic cancer drug. Researchers were studying the safety and efficacy of NuCana's drug Acelarin in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, comparing it with the chemotherapy treatment gemcitabine. An independent committee reviewed interim data from the Phase 3 study, found that the study was unlikely to reach its primary goal and recommended suspending recruitment, though patients who are deriving benefit from Acelarin will be allowed to continue treatment, NuCana said. Shares of NuCana have fallen 60.3% so far this year. The S&P 500 has gained 16.2%. (edited)

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Medtronic's stock surges to record, paces S&P 500 gainers after upbeat results and outlook
Shares of Medtronic PLC ran up 4.8% toward a record high in morning trading, to top the S&P 500's list of gainers, after the medical technology company reported second-quarter results that beat expectations and raised its full-year profit outlook. The stock was also the leading gainer within the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF . The stock has now run up 8.1% amid a 4-session win streak, which would be the best 4-day stretch since it ran up 10.2% in the four days ending Oct. 2, 2015. SVB Leerink analyst Danielle Antalffy said that despite a decline in the cardiac and vascular group business segment, which is Medtronic's largest by revenue, the company still delivered a total revenue beat, "which we think highlights the strength of [Medtronic's] broad-based business model." The stock has hiked up 20% year to date, while the health care ETF has tacked on 5.5% and the S&P 500 has advanced 16%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

TherapeuticsMD stock slides 6% after SEC charges company with breaking disclosure rules
TherapeuticsMD Inc. shares slid about 6% Tuesday, after the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the company with breaching Regulation FD, or fair disclosure, for sharing material, non-public information with sell-side research analysts that was not disseminated more widely. The SEC found that on two separate occasions in 2017, TherapeuticsMD selectively shared material information with analysts about its interactions with the Food and Drug Administration. In the first instance, the company on June 15, 2017, a day after a meeting with the FDA about a new drug approval, shared private messages with sell-side analysts in which it described the meeting as "very positive and productive." The stock rallied 19.4% in heavy volume the following day, even though the company had not issued a press release or made a public disclosure about the meeting. On July 17 of the same year, the company issued a press release saying it had submitted additional information to the regulator but did not yet have a clear path toward approval. The stock fell 16% premarket. The SEC then found that in a call and email to sell-side analysts, the company shared further details of its initial FDA meeting, which analysts then included in research notes that helped the stock rebound to close the regular session down just 6.6%. "Information about a pharmaceutical company's interactions with the FDA can be critical to investors," said Carolyn Welshhans, associate director of the SEC's division of enforcement. "It is essential that when companies disseminate material, nonpublic information, they do so fairly and appropriately to all investors and not just a select few analysts." TherapeuticsMD consented to the SEC charge and agreed to pay a $200,000 penalty without admitting or denying the findings. The stock has fallen 31% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

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Aug 20, 2019

Cemtrex stock soars to lead Nasdaq gainers after Q2 results
Shares of Cemtrex Inc. shot up 71% on heavy volume to pace all Nasdaq gainers Tuesday, after the provider of manufacturing services and engineered electronics reported a narrower second-quarter loss, a rise in revenue and said it expects improvement to profitability over the next few quarters. Trading volume jumped to over 10.6 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 342,000 shares. The net loss narrowed to $3.1 million, or $1.59 a share, from $4.1 million, or $2.41 a share, in the same period a year ago, while total revenue grew to $22.45 million from $19.16 billion. The company said expenses increased during the quarter because of one-time finance and legal charges. "We have implemented a number of changes in our organization to focus on increasing cash flow from operations which have already started to materialize," said Chief Executive Saagar Govil. The stock has still tumbled 44% year to date, while the Nasdaq Composite has climbed 20% and the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Italy's Giuseppe Conte set to step down soon
Populist Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is expected to step down imminently on Tuesday. According to numerous reports, Conte will address the Italian parliament later in the day and then formally submit his resignation to Italian President Sergio Mattarella. Conte's plan to resign comes amid a political dustup with Matteo Salvini, the interior minister and head of the far-left League party, which has been focused on tamping down immigration in Rome. Conte, has been attempting to steer a tenuous coalition between Salvini's League and the antiestablishment 5 Star movement for the past year. Country-specific exchange-traded iShares MSCI Italy ETF , a popular way to gain exposure to Italy's stock market, was trading down 0.7% but has gained 6.9% so far this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Endo's stock soars after settlement agreement on track 1 opioid cases
Shares of Endo International PLC soared 30% in active morning trading Tuesday, after the generic drug maker said it has reached a "settlement in principle" to resolve "track 1" opioid cases. Trading volume rose to over 7.6 million shares, already more than the full-day average of about 6 million shares. As part of the settlement, Endo will pay $10 million and provide up to $1 million of its Vasostrict and Adrenalin products free of charge. Endo said the settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing, fault or liability, and is based solely on the avoidance of litigation risk and associated costs. Endo said its subsidiaries involved in the settlement include Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Endo Health Solutions Inc., Par Pharmaceutical Inc. and Par Pharmaceuticals Companies Inc., while the plaintiffs are the County of Cuyahoga, Ohio and the County of Summit Ohio. "This is a favorable outcome for the Company," said Endo Chief Legal Officer Matthew Maletta. "As context, the cash portion of the settlement approximates the estimated cost to Endo of proceeding through trial while the product portion of the settlement illustrates the importance of Endo's critical care products." The stock has still tumbled 55% year to date, while S&P 500 has gained 16%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

U.S. stocks skid lower at the open as government bond yields stumble
U.S. stock indexes on Tuesday opened lower as investors appeared to await guidance from the Federal Reserve on monetary policy--a key catalysts for a market that has been beset by worries about an impending economic recession. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 63 points, or 0.2%, to 26,075, the S&P 500 index retreated 0.4% to 2,911, while the Nasdaq Composite Index skidded 0.4% lower to 7,970. Investors were watching quarterly reports from major retailers including Home Depot Inc. and Kohl's Corp. . Meanwhile, President Donald Trump on Monday said the Fed should cut benchmark rates by 1 percentage point from its current range of 2%-2.25%, which is viewed as aggressive policy for a U.S. economy considered slowing but not in the throes of a recession. A slide in bond yields, as prices gain, has been also unsettling investors. The 10-year Treasury bond yields 1.55%, off more than 4 basis points, from its level on Monday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Scansource to sell off certain businesses outside of the U.S., Canada and Brazil
Scansource Inc. said Tuesday it has started plans to sell certain businesses outside of the U.S., Canada and Brazil, as part of its efforts to align investments with higher growth and margin businesses. The company, provides point-of-sale, data capture and electronic physical security technologies, said the planned divestitures includes its non-digital distribution businesses in Europe, the U.K., Mexico, Columbia, Chile, Peru and the Miami-based export operations, with a combined net sales of $623 million for fiscal 2019. That represents 16% of the FactSet consensus of $3.91 billion. Scansource said it currently has 490 employees in the regions in which divestitures were planned. The stock, which is still inactive in premarket trading, has shed 7.4% year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 12.0%

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Hasbro removing plastic from toy and game packaging
Hasbro Inc. said Tuesday that it will begin phasing out plastic from new product packaging starting in 2020. That will include window sheets, shrink wrap, elastic bands and more. Virtually all plastic packaging will be eliminated by the end of 2022. Hasbro stock has gained 41.5% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 16.6% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

TJMaxx parent TJX stock slips after sales miss, weak guidance
TJX Cos. stock fell 3.5% in Tuesday premarket trading after the off-price retail company reported second-quarter sales that missed expectations and the company gave weak guidance. Net income totaled $759.0 million, or 62 cents per share, up from $739.6 million, or 58 cents per share, last year. Sales of $9.78 billion, were up from $9.33 billion in 2018. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 62 cents and sales of $9.9 billion. Consolidated same-store sales were up 2%,, below the 3.1% growth FactSet forecast, with TJX International up 6% and Marmaxx up 2%. For the third quarter, TJX expects EPS in the range of 63 cents to 65 cents and same-store sales up 1% to 2% on a consolidated basis. The FactSet guidance is for 68 cents and same-store sales growth of 2.4%. For the year, the company is guiding for EPS of $2.56 to $2.61 with same-store sales growth of 2% to 3%. FactSet expects EPS of $2.62 with same-store sales growth of 3.3%. TJX stock has gained 15.2% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 16.6% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

General Mills names Kofi Bruce to replace Don Mulligan as CFO effective Feb. 1, 2020
General Mills Inc. said Tuesday that Chief Financial Officer Don Mulligan is planning to retire effective June 1 of 2020. The owners of brands including Cheerios, Annie's, Yoplait and Pillsbury, said Kofi Bruce, vice president and controller, will be promoted to VP, financial operations effective Sept. 1 and then to CFO effective Feb. 1, 2020. Bruce has been with the company since 2009, after 10 years in various finance roles at Ford Motor Co. and Ecolab . The company also said the Billy Bishop, group president of its pet segment, will become founder & brand adviser for the pet segment, effective January 1, 2020. Bishop and his father Bill Sr. and brother Chris founded Blue Buffalo pet foods in 2002. Bethany Quam, group president for Europe and Australia, will become group president of the pet segment effective Oct. 1. Dana McNabb, who is current president for U.S. cereal, will become group president for Europe and Australia in Quam's place from Jan 2. Shares were not active premarket, but have gained 42% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 17%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Nabriva Therapeutics' stock soars in heavy volume after FDA approves NDA for CABP treatment
Shares of Nabriva Therapeutics PLC shot up 27% to pace the premarket gainers in active trading Tuesday, after the biotechnology company said its new drug application (NDA) for the oral and intravenous formulations of Xenleta, a treatment for community-acquired bacteria pneumonia, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Trading volume of over 1.3 million shares was already more than the full-day average of about 922,000 shares. "Today's approval of XENLETA is a significant breakthrough in the collective fight against the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance and provides a desperately needed IV and oral empiric monotherapy treatment option for adults with CABP," said Chief Executive Ted Schroeder. The company expects Xenleta to be available in mid-September through U.S. specialty distributors, and will have a wholesale acquisition price of $205 per IV patient treatment day and $275 per oral patient treatment day. The stock has slumped 7.5% over the past three months through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Aug 20, 2019

Teva says FDA-approved generic EpiPen is now available in the U.S. for $300 for a 2-pack
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said Tuesday its FDA-approved generic version of the EpiPen is available in the U.S. at most retail pharmacies at a wholesale cost of $300 for a 2-pack. The news comes after a period of shortages for the EpiPen, a life-saving allergy treatment that is made by Mylan N.V. . The Teva generic uses Antares Pharma VIBEX(R) device. Antares and Teva have an exclusive license, development and supply Agreement for epinephrine auto injector products that Teva markets in the U.S. Teva shares rose 0.6% premarket, but have fallen 57% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 17"%.

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