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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Howard Hughes stock tanks after CEO replaced, 'transformation plan' underway
Shares of Howard Hughes Corp. fell more than 18% in the extended session Monday after the real-estate company announced a "transformation plan" and its board appointed Paul Layne the company's new chief executive, replacing David R. Weinreb. Howard Hughes plans to sell about $2 billion worth of assets in the next 12 to 18 months and cut overhead by $45 million to $50 million by 2021, among other goals. The goal is to create "a lean, focused, decentralized organization built around the company's core master-planned communities," Howard Hughes said in a statement. Shares ended the regular trading day up 2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Cadence Design stock rises on earnings beat
Cadence Design Systems Inc. shares rose in the extended session Monday after the chip-design software company topped Wall Street estimates for the quarter. Cadence shares rose 3.7% after hours, following a 1.8% rise in the regular session to close at $66.75. The company reported third-quarter net income of $101.5 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with $99.3 million, or 35 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 54 cents a share. Revenue rose to $579.6 million from $532.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 51 cents on revenue of $576.1 million. Cadence expects adjusted earnings of 52 cents to 54 cents on revenue of $590 million to $600 million for the fourth quarter, while analysts had forecast earnings of 52 cents a share on revenue of $591.9 million.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Del Taco stock sinks after company cuts guidance, misses quarterly expectations
Shares of Del Taco Restaurants Inc. fell more than 8% in the extended session Monday after the fast-food company posted an adjusted per-share profit below expectations and trimmed its guidance. Del Taco said it lost $7.7 million, or 21 cents a share, versus earnings of $5.9 million, or 15 cents a share, in the fiscal third quarter of 2018. Adjusted for one-time items, Del Taco earned $3.7 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with $6 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 2% to $120.2 million. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the company to report adjusted earnings of 14 cents a share on sales of $119 million. The outlook for 2019 was revised to "reflect (the company's) performance year-to-date and more conservative expectations for the 16-week fiscal fourth quarter," Del Taco said in a statement. Del Taco said it expects 2019 sales between $512 million and $515 million, down from a previous expectation of sales between $517 million and $527 million. The company called for adjusted per-share earnings between 44 cents and 47 cents, from a previous guidance of adjusted EPS between 47 cents and 52 cents. Shares of Del Taco ended the regular trading day up 2.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

TD Ameritrade stock rises after earnings beat
TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. shares gained more than 1% in the extended session Monday after the company beat sell-side expectations for earnings and revenue. The company eliminated the fees for most of its online trading activity earlier this month, which will eat into the company's revenue, TD Ameritrade has previously said. The financial services company reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $551 million, or a dollar a share, compared with $454 million, or 80 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for items such as amortization of acquired intangible assets, earnings were $1.05 a share. Revenue rose to $1.56 billion from $1.4 billion in the year-ago period. The company has previously warned investors that it expects a reduction in quarterly revenue of $220 million to $240 million, or 15% to 16% of sales, because it is eliminating commissions for online exchange-listed stock, exchange traded funds, and options trades. "Earnings are expected to decline in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, but with a stronger competitive position, we expect to see stronger organic growth," chief financial officer Steve Boyle said in a statement. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted earnings of 98 cents a share on revenue of $1.47 billion. For the fiscal first quarter, analysts model adjusted earnings of 71 cents a share on sales of $1.25 billion. TD Ameritrade stock has fallen 23% this year, with the S&P 500 index rising 19.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Stamps.com lands deal with UPS, stock shoots more than 15% higher in after-hours trading
Stamps.com Inc. shares jumped more than 15% in after-hours trading Monday following the announcement of a deal with United Parcel Service Inc. The arrangement gives users of Stamps.com's at-home printing services discounted shipping rates as part of a new Digital Access Program for UPS. It was part of a broad range of new partnerships and tech initiatives that UPS announced after the markets closed Monday. "This new collaboration with UPS will make UPS shipping services available to Stamps.com's customers at attractive discounts of up to 55 percent off daily rates, including various waived surcharges," UPS stated in its announcement. Stamps.com could use the boost toward the end of a rough 2019, which started with a gigantic stock dive after the company declined to extend its exclusive partnership with the U.S. Postal Service in order to look for deals with other shippers. Stamps.com stock had declined more than 50% this year through Monday's regular trading session, which ended with shares up 0.7% at $76.13; after the partnership was announced, shares were trading for $88 and higher in the extended session.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

S&P 500 logs first finish above 3000 in a month as stocks broadly rise; Dow's gain capped by Boeing
U.S. stock indexes finished mostly higher Monday but the Dow's ascent was capped by a sharp decline in shares of component Boeing Co. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 57 points, or 0.2%, at 26,828, with gains for the blue-chip index limited by a 3.8% decline in shares of Boeing , which produced a roughly 90-point drag on the index. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index advanced 0.7% to 3,007, marking its highest finish since Sept. 21 and its first close above the psychologically significant level at 3,000 since that date, according to FactSet data. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended the session up 0.9% at 8,163. All closing levels for the stock-market indexes are on a preliminary basis. Shares of Boeing sank for a third straight session as the Wall Street Journal reported that Congress was intensifying scrutiny of the plane maker as new details pointed to undue management pressure on employees and allegations suggested that officials knew of problems with its 737 MAX jet before the plane got approval to fly. Monday's trading action came as investors were digesting mostly upbeat reports on Sino-American trade talks and corporate quarterly results, which were coming in better than expected. Meanwhile, the 10-year Treasury note yield rose 4.7 basis points to a four-week high of 1.794%, reflecting a so-call risk-on environment.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

SoftBank looks to take control of WeWork: report
SoftBank Group Corp. plans to take control of WeWork following the company's aborted initial public offering plans, according to a report Monday. Softbank, which already owns a significant stake in WeWork parent We Co., plans to spend $4 billion to $5 billion on new equity and existing shares, according to a CNBC report. The deal would value WeWork at $7.5 billion to $8 billion and could be announced as soon as Tuesday, according to CNBC. We Co. cancelled its IPO plans at the end of September.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Senators ask SEC, FBI to probe Trump 'chaos trades'
A group of 14 Democratic senators is asking federal agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to probe possible market manipulation timed to President Donald Trump's comments on trade talks with China and other events. Senators including Jack Reed of Rhode Island wrote to the SEC and other agencies in the wake of a Vanity Fair report that traders may have made more than a billion dollars in potential profits from suspicious market bets timed to futures trades and statements or actions from Trump. The article delved into what it called the Trump "chaos trades." The senators ask the agencies to investigate whether any rules were broken and to hold violators accountable to the fullest possible extent.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Teva shares jump about 10% on news of settlement with four states in opioid litigation
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. shares jumped 9.7% in afternoon trade Monday, after the Israeli generics company said it has reached a settlement with a group of attorneys general from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas, along with defendants, to resolve litigation relating to opioid cases. Under the terms of the agreement, Teva will donate 10-years worth of buprenorphine naloxone (sublingual tablets), valued at about $23 billion at wholesale level. The drug is the main treatment for opioid addiction. The company will further provide a cash payment of up to $250 million over 10 years. Earlier, Teva was part of a group of companies that unveiled a settlement agreement with counties in Ohio with Teva agreeing to provide $25 million of naloxone over a three-year period and to pay $20 million in cash. Shares have fallen 47% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained about 20%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Destination Maternity files for chapter 11 bankruptcy
Destination Maternity Corp. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the district of Delaware. According to The Wall Street Journal, the retailer listed $260 million in assets and $240 million in debts. Shares of Destination Maternity, which were trading at about 19 cents Monday afternoon, have sunk more than 95% over the past year. The S&P 500 index is up 8.6% during the period. On the September 17 earnings call, Interim Chief Executive Lisa Glaves said second quarter revenue and earnings "fell well short of expectations," and same-store sales had fallen 10.5%. That morning, the board initiated a review of strategic alternatives, which could include a sale of the company.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Dunkin' launching Beyond Meat sandwich to more than 9,000 U.S. locations on Nov. 6
Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. said Monday that it will expand the Beyond Meat Inc. plant-based sausage sandwich to more than 9,000 U.S. locations starting on Nov. 6. Dunkin' introduced the Beyond Sausage Sandwich exclusively in Manhattan in July. Dunkin' says it quickly became a top seller. Dunkin' has more than 12,900 restaurants across 43 countries. On Nov. 8 and Nov. 9, Dunkin' will offer free samples of the sandwich while supplies last. Dunkin' stock has gained nearly 19% for the year to date, while the S&P 500 index is up 19.7% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

U.K. House Speaker Bercow rejects government bid to hold a new Brexit vote
U.K. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said Monday afternoon that Prime Minister Boris Johnson cannot hold a new Brexit vote, saying it "would be repetitive and disorderly," according to media reports. A Parliamentary vote on the deal failed to get off the ground on Saturday, which forced the Prime Minister to send a letter to the EU asking for a three-month Brexit delay. Johnson, who is opposed to any delay, was going to attempt to win parliamentary approval for his plan on Monday as the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline draws nearer. The pound eased off slightly after that news, while the FTSE 100 was unchanged.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Boeing gets downgraded by Credit Suisse; 'indefensible' after new scandal
Boeing Co. got yet another downgrade Monday, with analysts at Credit Suisse saying they can "no longer defend the shares in light of the latest discoveries," which "significantly increase the risk profile for investors." Boeing reportedly knew about problems with the anti-stalling system linked to the 737 Max's two deadly crashes before the plane was certified. The jet family's return to service could be blocked "as the messages may shatter the fragile trust between regulators and (Boeing)," Credit Suisse said in a note. The internal messages that surfaced "may further undermine public confidence in the aircraft," Credit Suisse said. The analysts cut their rating on Boeing stock to their equivalent of hold from sell and cut their price target to $323 from $416. Analysts at UBS also cut their rating and price target on Boeing stock. Boeing shares dropped to their lowest in three months, and are down five out of six sessions. The stock has gained 2% this year, compared with gains of 15% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average . Boeing is a Dow component.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

PetMed's stock rockets toward biggest gain in 17 years after earnings beat
Shares of PetMed Express Inc. rocketed 29% toward an 11-month high in active morning trading Monday, after the pet pharmacy reported fiscal second-quarter profit and sales that fell less than expected, as growth in re-order sales offset a decline in new order sales. The stock was on track for the biggest one-day gain since it ran up 30.6% on Oct. 10, 2002. Net income for the quarter to Sept. 30 fell to $6.7 million, or 33 cents a share, from $3.1 million, or 52 cents a share, in the year-ago period, to beat the FactSet earnings-per-share consensus of 26 cents. Sales declined 2.0% to $69.9 million, but topped the FactSet consensus of $69.7 million, as re-order sales grew 1.4% to $61.9 million and new order sales tumbled 22% to $8.1 million. The company added 98,000 new customers during the quarter, down from 117,000 last year, while advertising costs of acquiring a customer rose to $49 from $45. The stock has soared 54.3% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has edged up 0.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Infosys stock slammed after it says it has received whistleblower complaints alleging unethical practices
U.S.-listed shares of Indian IT and outsourcing company Infosys fell 12% Monday, after the company said it has received anonymous whistleblower complaints alleging unethical practices. "These have been placed before the Audit Committee as per the Company's practice and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company's whistleblower policy which can be found at" https://www.infosys.com/investors/corporate-governance/Documents/whistleblower-policy.pdf, the company said in a statement. The statement came after a report in India's The Economic Times that an anonymous group had sent letters to the company's board and to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleging the company was using unethical means to boost short-term earnings. The group said it has emails and voice recordings to substantiate their claims. Infosys ADRs have fallen 2% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Dow transports surge as Kansas City Southern's stock extends record rally
The Dow Jones Transportation Average surged 1.4% in morning trading Monday, and is now outperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average this year, as Kansas City Southern's stock shot up toward a fifth-straight record close. The Dow transports are now up 16.1% year to date, while the Dow industrials, which is up 21 points, or 0.1%, in morning trading, has gained 14.9% this year. Kansas City Southern's stock climbed 1.5%, after running up 7.3% on Friday, after the railroad operator reported third-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations. The shares have run up 12% amid a five-day win streak, and have shot up 54.3% this year.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Seattle Genetics stock soars 15% on positive trial of breast cancer treatment
Seattle Genetics Inc. shares soared 15% Monday, after the company announced positive results in a trial of a treatment for breast cancer. Bothell, Wash.-based Seattle Genetics said the trial of tucatinib in locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer met its primary endpoint of progression-free survival. Patients were treated with tucatinib in combination with trastuzumab and capecitabine to trastuzumab and capecitabine alone. The trial also met its secondary endpoints. "Based on these findings, we plan to unblind the trial and offer tucatinib to patients on the control arm," Chief Medical Officer Roger Dansey said in a statement. The company is also planning to submit a New Drug Application to the FDA in the first quarter of 2020, he said. HER2-positive breast cancer is an aggressive form of the disease that affects 15% to 20% of cases worldwide. The trial is expected to enroll about 460 patients in North America, Europe and Asia. Leerink analysts said the trial is another win for Seattle Genetics and a "near best-case scenario." They reiterated their outperform rating on the stock. Shares have gained 76% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

HPE stock gets a boost after Bank of America double upgrade
Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan upgraded shares of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Co. two notches on Monday, to buy from underperform, arguing that the company is showing structural improvements in its business trends. The company is sporting better free-cash flow with fewer one-time items and is also lessening its reliance on Tier 1 server sales, Mohan wrote. "Management is focused on driving some top line growth, despite weaker macro," he said. "This growth would be a result of a combination of management's strategic shift to higher-growth segments of the market including high-performance compute (HPC), HyperConverged infrastructure (HCI) and Intelligent Edge (IE)." Mohan upped his target price to $19 from $13. Shares are up 3.9% in Monday morning trading, and they've gained 10.5% over the past month. The S&P 500 has gained 0.4% in that time.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Stocks rise at market open on renewed trade optimism
U.S. stocks rose at the start of trade Monday after China's top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He said over the weekend that the U.S. and China had made "substantial progress" toward a so-called "phase-one" trade deal that investors hope will remove the threat of higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports set to go into effect in December. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27 points, or 0.1% to roughly 26,799, the S&P 500 index advanced about 14 points, or 0.5% to 3,000 and the Nasdaq Composite index rose 51 points, or 0.6% about 8,140. Investors were also eyeing developments in the ongoing Brexit saga, after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to ask the European Union for a three-month extension to the Oct. 31 deadline for leaving the trade bloc. Third-quarter earnings season continues, with 130 S&P 500 companies set to report this week. About two dozen companies in the index have reported quarterly results so far, with an above-average 83.6% surpassing analysts earnings-per-share forecasts.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Boeing's stock sinks after UBS backs away from bullish stance, slashes price target
Shares of Boeing Co. sank 3.1% in premarket trading Monday, after UBS backed away from its 14-month-long bullish stance on the aerospace giant, citing recent reports over the company's role in disclosing safety concerns regarding the 737 Max planes. Analyst Myles Walton cut his rating to neutral, after being at buy since August 2018, and slashed his price target to $375 from $470. "Our working thesis has been that the failures on the 737MAX development by the company centered on fault intolerant design compounded by poor assumptions of pilot response," Walton wrote in a note to clients. "We now have to append that assessment further based on source material provided to Congress and the FAA on Friday that reinforces the perception of and heightens the potential of incomplete disclosure, which inherently puts more money/trust & time at stake." Boeing's stock had tumbled 6.8% on Friday after Reuters reported the company may have misled federal authorities about the safety of the 737 Max, which has been grounded since March following two deadly crashes. The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that employees felt pressure regarding safety approvals. The stock has shed 8.8% over the past three months through Friday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 1.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Netflix plans $2 billion bond offering to finance content, production and potential deals
Streaming giant Netflix Inc. said Monday it is planning a $2 billion bond offering as it seeks to raise the funds to finance content acquisition, production and development and potential acquisitions, among other factors. The company said it is planning to issue bonds in dollars and euros. The company's most active bonds, the 5.875% notes that mature in November of 2028, traded Friday a yield spread of 271 basis points over comparable Treasurys, according to MarketAxess. Shares were down 0.9% in premarket trade, but are up 2.9% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

IBM stock drops after UBS downgrade
UBS analyst Munjal Shah cut his rating on International Business Machines Corp. shares to neutral from buy on Monday, writing that he believes it will be hard for the company to sustainably reach mid-single-digit revenue growth. For next year, he argues that challenges for IBM's legacy businesses will "somewhat offset" the growth that stems from the beginning of the mainframe cycle as well as IBM's recently completed Red Hat deal. "The following year (2021) should be even more challenging with greater revenue pressure due to tough Year 2 mainframe compare and lower incremental Red Hat contribution," Shah wrote. He lowered his target price to $140 from $170 on the stock, which is off 0.7% in premarket trading Monday. The stock has shed 10% over the past three months, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 1.4%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

UPDATE: Apple target price boosted to Street-high target at Raymond James
Raymond James analyst Chris Caso became more bullish on Apple Inc. shares on Monday, boosting his target price to $280 from $250 while maintaining an outperform rating. Caso sees "more stable near-term conditions" for Apple, including encouraging iPhone 11 channel checks. His new target is the highest listed on FactSet. Amid reports that the company plans to launch a new low-end SE model early next year, Caso argues that Apple will be able to "create a bridge to the 5G cycle," which will "continue to squeeze shares higher," in his view. "We increasingly view the 5G opportunity as a two-year cycle, with 5G representing an estimated 40% of mix in the fall 2020 cycle, growing to the vast majority in the 2021 cycle," Caso wrote of his longer-term expectations. Apple shares are up 0.6% in premarket trading Monday. The stock has risen 17% over the past three months, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 1.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Industrial company NN Inc. to eliminate dividend, cut capex in cost-cutting effort
Diversified industrial company NN Inc. said Monday it is planning to eliminate its quarterly dividend, reduce capital spending and streamline facilities as part of a cost-cutting effort aimed at paying down debt and supporting growth. Charlotte, North Carolina-based NN said it expects to generate annualized savings of about $32 million. The company is expecting the cost cuts to be fully realized by the second quarter of 2020. "We are focused on carefully evaluating each of our businesses to determine where we can further streamline costs and allocate our capital more strategically and efficiently to ensure that we have the flexibility to continue to de-lever while also making investments that have the highest potential return," Chief Financial Officer Tom DeByle said in a statement. The company is also planning to refinance senior credit facilities to extend the tenor and provide additional liquidity to execute on its plans. Shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 13% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Boeing's stock extends selloff, could cut 58 points off the Dow's price
Shares of Boeing Co. dropped 2.5% in premarket trading Monday, putting them on track to be the biggest drag on the Dow Jones Industrial Average for a second straight session, after reports surfaced that employees felt pressured regarding safety-related approvals of the 737 Max planes. The implied price decline would shave about 58 points off the Dow's price, while Dow futures rose 41 points. The stock had tumbled 6.8% on Friday, the biggest one-day selloff since February 2016, after Reuters reported that the company may have misled federal authorities about the safety of the 737 Max, which has been grounded since March after two deadly crashes. Boeing is scheduled to report third-quarter results early Wednesday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Walmart brand breakfast meat recalled due to potential salmonella contamination
George's Prepared Foods, a Tennessee meat business, is recalling 6,444 pounds of ready-to-eat pork and turkey sausage patty products sold under the Walmart Inc. Great Value brand, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The recall is due to a potential salmonella contamination. The products were produced on April 19, April 27, May 7 and May 9 of this year. There have been no confirmed reports of illness from eating these products. Consumers who purchased the products are urged to throw them away or return them. Walmart stock has gained nearly 28% for the year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 14.8% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Opko and Pfizer announce positive results in late-stage trial of human growth hormone treatment
Opko Health Inc. shares soared 21% in premarket trade Monday, while Pfizer Inc. shares rose 0.6%, after the companies announced positive results in a late-stage trial of a human growth hormone treatment for children with growth hormone deficiency, or GHD. The companies said the phase 3 trial evaluating somatrogon dosed once a week in pre-pubertal children with GHD met its primary endpoint of non-inferiority to daily GENOTROPIN(R) (somatropin) for injection, as measured by annual height velocity at 12 months. The trial involved 224 children around the world. GHD is a rare disease in which the pituitary gland does not secrete adequate amounts of growth hormone, affecting height and delaying puberty. The condition affects about 4,000 to 10,000 people. Opko and Pfizer are collaborating in developing the treatment, with Opko conducting the clinical program and Pfizer responsible for selling the product. Opko shares have fallen 30% in 2019 through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Pinterest stock rises after RBC turns bullish
Shares of Pinterest Inc. are up 3.2% in premarket trading Monday after RBC analyst Mark Mahaney upgraded the stock to outperform from sector perform. He's optimistic about the stock since the lockup on shares expired last week. "Our analysis of 60-plus tech IPOs since 2017 shows lockup periods have generally acted as a significant overhang leading up to the expiration (median 3-month prior return: -11%), with performance improving thereafter (median 3-month after return: 8%)," Mahaney wrote. He's also upbeat about new advertising strategies and the company's opportunity to close the monetization gap with other social-media names with generate higher per-user revenue than Pinterest. Mahaney boosted his target price to $35 from $30. Shares are off 16% over the past month as the S&P 500 has lost 0.2%. Mahaney's upgrade is at least the second over the past week, with Pivotal Research Group also turning bullish on the stock a few days back.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Coty to explore strategic options for its professional beauty business, shares rise
Coty Inc. stock rose 5.8% in Monday premarket trading after the beauty company announced it will explore strategic alternatives for its professional beauty business. Coty's professional beauty business includes the OPI, Clairol and Wella brands. The move is part of the company's turnaround plan, and an effort to focus on the fragrance, cosmetics and skin care business, Coty said in a statement. Coty is also considering the options for its Brazilian operations, including a divestiture. The entire scope of business under consideration is expected to generate $2.7 billion in 2019 revenue. The company expects to use the proceeds from any transaction to pay down debt, with the excess going back to shareholders. There is no change to the company's guidance for operating margin between 14% to 16% by fiscal 2023. Coty stock has rallied 54.3% for the year to date, but is down nearly 4% for the last year. The S&P 500 index has gained nearly 8% for the past 12 months.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Bank of America says Merrill Edge platform will offer commission-free online stock, ETF and options trading
Bank of America said Monday its Merrill Edge Self-Directed platform will expands its offer of zero-dollar online trading, offering unlimited commission-free stock, exchange-traded fund and options trading. About 87% of trades on the platform were already commission-free through benefits offered to members of the company's Preferred Rewards program, the company said in a statement. The news comes after Charles Schwab Corp. announced that it would offer fully commission-free trades to its clients, prompting other online discount brokerages to follow suit. Bank of America said clients that are not enrolled in the rewards program will receive flat-trade pricing of $2.95 for online stock and ETF trades, down from $6.95. Bank of America shares rose 0.9% in premarket trade, and have gained 23% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Saks Fifth Avenue parent Hudson's Bay Co. to be taken private for C$10.30 per share
Hudson's Bay Co. said Monday that it will be taken private by a group of shareholders for C$10.30, about a 62% premium to the department store company's closing share price on the Toronto Stock Exchange on June 7, 2019. That was the last day before the initial proposal to go private. The price is a 9% increase over the initial proposal of C$9.45 per share. Hudson's Bay's portfolio includes Saks Fifth Avenue. In August, the company announced that it was selling its Lord & Taylor brand to a clothing rental subscription company, Le Tote, for $100 million. That came after the company shuttered or sold some of the store's locations, including the iconic Fifth Avenue Lord & Taylor shop. The company reported a sales miss in its most recent earnings. Hudson's Bay expects to hold a special meeting in December 2019. Shares are up 29.6% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained 19.1% for the period.

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Oct 21, 2019

McKesson, Cardinal Health, Amerisource Bergen and Teva stocks all fall after settling with Ohio counties on opioid suit
Shares of McKesson Corp. , Cardinal Health Inc. , AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. all fell in premarket trading Monday, after the drug companies reached a last-minute settlement with two Ohio counties in opioid litigation, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The report, which cited people familiar with the matter, said the settlements come just in time to avoid a trial. Walgreens Boosts Alliance Inc. , which is also in litigation on its role in the opioid crisis, had not yet reached a deal by Monday morning, the WSJ report said. The settlement still falls short of a more comprehensive deal being negotiated to resolve thousands of opioid lawsuits. Shares of McKesson slid 2.2% ahead of the open, Cardinal Health fell 1.5%, AmerisourceBergen shed 1.8% and Teva dropped 4.0%, while futures for the S&P 500 rose 8 points, or 0.3%. Walgreens's stock slipped 0.6% premarket.

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Oct 21, 2019

McDermott's stock rockets after new $1.7 billion financing deal
Shares of McDermott International Inc. rocketed 31% in premarket trading Monday, after the provider of technology, engineering and construction services to the energy industry announced an agreement on $1.7 billion in new financing. Under terms of the agreement, the company will have immediate access to $650 million in financing, including $550 million available under a term loan and a $100 million letter of credit facility. McDermott said it expects to use the new financing for working capital and to support the issuance of required performance guarantees on new projects. The new financing comes after reports surfaced that the struggling company was in talks to restructure its balance sheet. "This new credit agreement is a continued signal from our lenders that they support McDermott, our underlying business, growth strategy and ability to achieve a long-term balance sheet solution," said Chief Executive David Dickson. Separately, the company said it was withdrawing its previously stated 2019 financial guidance. The stock has plunged 77.5% over the past three months, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has lost 9.1% and the S&P 500 has ticked up 0.3%.

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Oct 21, 2019

Dominion Energy says Brookfield to take 25% interest in Cove Point for over $2 billion
Dominion Energy Inc. said Monday it has agreed to transfer a 25% non-controlling equity interest in Cove Point to Brookfield Super-Core Infrastructure Partners, an infrastructure fund managed by Brookfield Asset Management Inc., for just over $2 billion in cash. Cove Point owns a liquefied natural gas import, export and storage facility located in Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, Md. The deal is part of Dominion's plan to establish a permanent capital structure for Cove Point, which has a 136-mile pipeline that connects the facility with the interstate pipeline system. The facility provides services to clients in the U.S., India and Japan. The deal has an implied enterprise value of $8.22 billion, said Dominion, excluding working capital. Proceeds will be used to reduce annual common equity financing and for general corporate purposes. The deal is expected to close by year-end. Dominion shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 15% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Oct 21, 2019

Kennametal warns of revenue 'well below' expectations, slashed outlook
Shares of Kennametal Inc. plunged 15% in premarket trading Monday, after the industrial technology company warned Monday that fiscal first-quarter revenue would fall well more than expected and slashed its full-year outlook, citing further slowing in the general engineering, energy and transportation markets. The company expects to report revenue of $518 million down 12% from $587 million a year ago, and below the FactSet consensus of $547 million. For fiscal 2020, the company cut its adjusted earnings-per-share guidance range to $1.70 to $2.10 from $2.80 to $3.20, compared with the the FactSet consensus of $2.81, and revised its organic sales growth outlook to negative 9% to negative 5% from negative 2% to positive 2%. "Our first quarter results are well below our expectations as market conditions deteriorated more significantly than we anticipated across all regions, and primarily in the general engineering, energy and transportation end markets," said chief Executive Christopher Rossi. The company is projected to report results at or around the end of the month. The stock has dropped 10.2% over the past three months, while Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 1.4%.

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Oct 21, 2019

Canopy Growth to provide medical cannabis to Luxembourg and UK
Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp. said MOnday it has become the exclusive supplier of medical cannabis to Luxembourg in a deal that extends through Dec. 31, 2021. Luxembourg launched a medical cannabis program by decriminalizing it for patients with severe unmet needs in 2018. The Duchy is also expected to fully legalize the production and consumption of recreational cannabis in the near term and may be the first European country to do so. Canopy will provide cannabis to the Duchy via its Spectrum Therapeutics subsidiary. Spectrum has also been granted a license to store and distribute medical cannabis-based products in the UK. The UK has had a medical program for less than a year. "We are actively working with regulators to find the best way to ensure we can deliver continuous treatment to patients within the framework," Cosmo Feilding Mellen, managing director of Spectrum in the UK said in a statement. Canopy's U.S.-listed shares rose 1.9% in premarket trade, but are down 25% in 2019, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has fallen 21% and the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 21, 2019

Casper Sleep working with bankers on IPO as early as this year
Casper Sleep Inc. is working with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on an initial public offering, according to a Bloomberg report. The New York-based online mattress seller's IPO could occur by the end of this year, or in the first half of 2020, the Bloomberg report said, citing people with knowledge of he matter. Casper's valuation could exceed $1.1 billion, the report said. The company is reportedly working on going public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has lost 13.6% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has tacked on 0.3%.

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Oct 21, 2019

Halliburton's stock falls after profit matches expectations but revenue falls below
Shares of Halliburton Co. slipped 0.7% in premarket trading Monday, after the oil services company reported a third-quarter profit that was in line with expectations but revenue that fell below, amid lower pressure pumping activity and reduced drilling and wireline activity. Net income fell to $295 million, or 34 cents a share, from $435 million, or 50 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 34 cents. Revenue dropped 10.1% to $5.55 billion, missing the FactSet consensus of $5.82 billion, as completion and production revenue declined 15.9% to $3.51 billion to miss expectations of $3.66 billion while drilling and evaluation revenue rose 2.1% to $2.04 billion but missed projections of $2.15 billion. Halliburton's stock has lost 15.3% over the past three months, while the VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF has tumbled 21.1% and the S&P 500 has edged up 0.3%.

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Oct 19, 2019

UK PM sends unsigned letter to Brussels seeking further Brexit delay
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sent a request to the EU for a delay to Brexit - but without his signature. The request was accompanied by a second letter, signed by Mr Johnson, which says he believes that a delay would be a mistake. The PM was required by law to ask the EU for an extension to the 31 October deadline after losing a Commons vote earlier Saturday. EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that he had received the extension request.He did not provide details of its content, but added that he will now consult EU leaders "on how to react". Hours after losing a cvote in a historic Saturday session in the House of Commons, the prime minister ordered a senior diplomat to send an unsigned photocopy of the call by MPs set out in the so-called Benn Act, passed last month. A senior Downing Street source said that the hard copy and email copy of the letter would be conveyed by Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's representative in Brussels.

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Oct 19, 2019

British MPs pass amendment that delays Brexit
British MPs on Saturday passed an amendment 322-to-306 that will delay Brexit until Parliament passes the bill implementing the withdrawal agreement. The so-called Letwin amendment will have the effect of postponing a vote on the withdrawal agreement negotiated by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson with the European Union and will force Johnson to ask the EU for an extension. Proponents of the Letwin amendment say it will prevent a no-deal Brexit from occuring on Oct. 31.

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Oct 18, 2019

Dow industrials end 1% lower as Boeing, J&J shares exact more than 220-point toll on the blue-chip index
U.S. stocks finished near their lows of the session on Friday, with declines in Johnson & Johnson and Boeing Co. delivering the lion's share of the pain for the Dow industrials. The Dow closed off 255 points, or 0.9%, at 26,770. Dow components Boeing cut about 170 points from the price-weighted average, while J&J and shares exacted a 57-point toll on the index. The S&P 500 index closed 0.4% lower at 2,986, while the Nasdaq Composite Index ended 0.8% lower at 8,090. Boeing's stock got slammed after the Federal Aviation Administration said the aviation and defense contractor withheld "concerning" messages from 2016 between employees about a flight-control system tied to two fatal crashes of the 737 MAX, while J&J's stock got pulverized, off more than 6%, after the consumer-product giant recalled some baby powder - after tests revealed traces of asbestos.

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Oct 18, 2019

White House picks Perry's deputy to replace him as energy chief
President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted that he is nominating Energy Department Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette to become the department's new secretary, replacing Ricky Perry. Perry "will be leaving at the end of the year to pursue other interests," Trump said.

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Oct 18, 2019

Dow transports gain, all because of Kansas City Southern's stock rally
Shares of Kansas City Southern surged 6.2% toward a record high in afternoon trading, enough to keep the Dow Jones Transportation Average in positive territory to buck weakness in the broader market, after the railroad company reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings. The stock's price gain of $8.43 was adding about 51 points to the Dow transports' price, and the index was up nearly 5 points. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 164 points, or 0.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Oil futures end lower for the session and week as demand worries linger
Oil futures fell modestly on Friday to post a loss for the week, as data from China showing slower economic growth fed worries about weaker demand for oil. Gross domestic product expanded at a 6% pace in the third quarter, the slowest in 27 years. November West Texas Intermediate oil fell 15 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $53.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The front-month contract lost 1.7% for the week, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Dow's 170-point drop belies upbeat NYSE breadth data
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is selling off by 171 points, or 0.6%, despite positive market breadth data for the NYSE. The number of advancing stocks is outnumbering decliners 1,429 to 1,360 on the NYSE, while volume of advancing stocks represents 53.8% of total volume on the Big Board. Meanwhile, decliners are leading advancers 1,708 to 1,148 on the Nasdaq exchange and down volume is 64.4% of total volume. The Nasdaq Composite is losing 0.7% and the S&P 500 is shedding 0.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Boeing's stock selloff a triple-digit point drag on the Dow
Boeing Co. is by far the biggest drag on the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday, as the aerospace giant's stock selloff accounts for a triple-digit decline all by itself. Takeaway Boeing and Johnson & Johnson's tumbled, and the Dow would actually be higher. Boeing's stock fell 4.8% in afternoon trading after Reuters reported that the company misled the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the safety of its 737 Max planes, which have been grounded since March after two deadly crashes. The $17.86-price decline was shaving about 121 points off the Dow's price. Meanwhile, J&J's stock dropped $7.83, or 5.8%, after the company announced an asbestos-related recall of its baby powder, to undercut the Dow by 53 points. With the Dow down 168 points, excluding the shares of Boeing and J&J would turn the Dow slightly positive.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Gold futures down for the session, but post a slight gain for the week
Gold futures settled lower on Friday, but posted a modest 0.4% gain for the week. "Gold appears to be in 'no man's land'," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. "The trade war is the gift that keeps on giving, but uncertainty on how much the [Federal Reserve] will fill the punchbowl has gold stuck in a range" of between $1,470 and $1,530 until the Oct. 30 Fed meeting, he said. December gold fell $4.20, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,494.10 an ounce.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Mattel partners with 'Get Out' star Daniel Kaluuya for 'Barney' film
Mattel Inc. has added another film project to its roster. Mattel Films has partnered with 59% and Valpariso Pictures to produce a live-action film based on the big purple dinosaur Barney. Daniel Kaluuya, star of "Get Out," is one of the co-producers at 59%. Among the other films in the works are one featuring Barbie, made with help from Oscar nominee Margot Robbie, a Hot Wheels movie, and a film based on the American Girl line of dolls. Mattel stock is up 13% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 19.2% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Baker Hughes data show U.S. oil-rig count up a second week in a row
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by one to 713 this week. That followed an increase of two rigs a week earlier. The total active U.S. rig count, meanwhile, fell by five to 851, according to Baker Hughes. November West Texas Intermediate crude was down 42 cents, or 0.8%, at $53.51 a barrel, little changed from before the rig data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Boeing stock slips further on report it misled FAA
Boeing Co. shares added to losses Friday after Reuters reported that instant messages from 2016 suggest the company misled the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the 737 Max safety. The FAA turned over the messages to U.S. lawmakers and the Department of Transportation inspector general, according to reports. The 737 Max planes have been grounded worldwide since March after two deadly crashes less than five months apart. Boeing is still working on a solution for an equipment malfunction that appears to connect the doomed flights. Shares of Boeing were recently down more than 4%. In the year, the stock has gained 9.6%, compared with gains of 15% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Boeing is a Dow component.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Dow industrials skid 200 points lower in midday action as J&J and Boeing's stock produce 100-point headwind
The Dow Jones Industrial Average Friday midday was trading at session lows, with shares of Johnson & Johnson and Boeing delivering the biggest headwind to the blue-chip gauge. The Dow was off 206 points, or 0.8%, at 26,802, with shares of J&J cutting about 45 points from the index. The S&P 500 index was down 0.7% at 2,976, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was trading 1.4% lower at 8,047. J&J's stock was sinking and weighing down the the Dow, where it is a component, after the consumer products and drug company said it was recalling "a single lot" of Johnson's Baby Powder after tests revealed traces of chrysotile asbestos. Boeing Co. 's shares were down 3.3% after a Reuters report. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida on Friday said the economy is facing "evident" risks, while inflation remains muted.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd has died
Oracle Corp. confirmed on Friday that its former co-chief executive Mark Hurd has died at age 62. Hurd had taken a medical leave in September, leaving Chief Executive Safra Catz alone at the helm of the software giant. Hurd had a long career in tech and left HP's chief-executive role in 2010 due to sexual-harassment claims. He joined Oracle that year and had recently been leading the company's corporate direction and strategy. Oracle's stock is off 0.8% in Friday trading. Shares have fallen 6% over the past three months, as the S&P 500 has lost 0.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Dow industrials skid to session low in midday action as J&J produces 42-point headwind
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday midday was trading at session lows, with shares of Johnson & Johnson delivering the biggest headwind to the blue-chip gauge. The Dow was off 120 points, or 0.5%, at 26,906, with shares of J&J cutting about 42 points from the index. The S&P 500 index was down 0.4% at 2,986, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was trading 0.9% lower at 8,080. J&J was trading sharply lower and weighing down the the Dow, where it is a component, after the consumer products and drug company said it was recalling "a single lot" of Johnson's Baby Powder after tests revealed traces of chrysotile asbestos. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida on Friday said the economy is facing "evident" risks, while inflation remains muted.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Fed's Clarida says economy facing risks while inflation remains muted
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida on Friday said the economy is facing "evident" risks, while inflation remains muted. In a speech in Washington, Clarida didn't say much about what action the central bank may take at its meeting in two weeks in light of the risks and low inflation. He stressed interest-rate policy was not on a preset course and policy makers would make decisions meeting-by-meeting. Officials would assess the risks and will act as appropriate, he added. The Fed has already cut interest rates twice this year "to provide a somewhat more accommodative policy in response to muted inflation pressures and the risks to the outlook," he noted. Clarida's comments represent the last public word from the Fed leadership ahead of the Oct. 29-30 meeting.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Sanofi recalls Zantac because of possible contamination with potentially cancer-causing NDMA
Sanofi announced Friday a recall of over-the-counter heartburn medication Zantac in the U.S. and Canada, because of possible contamination with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is believed to cause cancer. The U.S.-listed stock fell 0.9% in morning trading. Sanofi said it was working with health authorities to determine the level and extent of the recall. The recall comes less nearly three weeks after CVS Health Corp. , Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Rite Aid Corp. said they were pulling Zantac from their drugstores' shelves following a Food and Drug Administration warning that the the product could contain low levels of NDMA. "Evaluations are ongoing on both drug substance (active ingredient) and finished drug product," Sanofi said Friday in a statement. "Due to inconsistencies in preliminary test results of the active ingredient used in the U.S. and Canadian products, Sanofi has made the decision to conduct the voluntary recall in the U.S. and Canada as the investigation continues." Sanofi's shares have gained 6.2% year to date, while the SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF has gained 2.0% and the S&P 500 has climbed 19.5%

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Victoria's Secret parent L Brands, Macy's, Gap shares tank after downgrades as pressure mounts for holiday season
Credit Suisse analysts went on a downgraded spree in the retail sector, lowering Macy's Inc. , Gap Inc. and Victoria's Secret parent company L Brands Inc. to underperform from neutral based on analyst forecasts that weak recent trends will continue through the holiday season. L Brands stock slumped 8% after the downgrade, Gap stock slumped 5.8% in Friday trading, Macy's stock was down 4.3%. Among the factors causing the pressure are a shorter holiday shopping calendar and tariff and tourism uncertainty. Analysts expressed concern, and lowered estimates, across the U.S. softline retailer group, but were especially cautious on these three retailers. Credit Suisse thinks Macy's "same-store sales trends likely running below Street estimates in Q3" with the "earnings-per-share algorithm in much more fragile state today vs. pre-2008 recession." Analysts cut Macy's price target to $12 from $19. Analysts cut Gap's price target to $14 from $20. "We believe the pending spinoff of Old Navy will ultimately prove to have been destructive to equity value, and have low confidence that the company will be able to achieve the offsets to dis-synergy costs laid out in its recent presentation," analysts said. And L Brands' price target was slashed to $14 from $22. "In a tougher U.S. backdrop, we see risk to 2H guide that assumes a fairly quick turn in Victoria's Secret trends with the multitude of challenges facing the company today making it difficult to support the stock on valuation alone," Credit Suisse said. Analysts top picks in the sector are all rated outperform and all had price target hikes: Vans parent VF Corp. , up to $116 from $104; off-price retailer Ross Stores Inc. , up to $130 from $120; Burlington Stores Inc. , up to $245 from $235; and Nike Inc. target price raised to $112 from $105. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF is down nearly 9% over the past year while the S&P 500 index has gained 8% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Dallas Fed's Kaplan says 'agnostic' on need for rate cut in October
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said Friday that he's not sure whether the central bank should cut rates at its meeting at the end of the month. "I'm going into the meeting open-minded, but I'm agnostic at this point on whether we should be taking action at the October meeting," Kaplan said in comments to reporters after a talk in Washington. Kaplan said he had been a strong proponent of the two rate cuts so far this year but now was open to the idea that the central bank could take some time to assess the economy and the stimulus from those two moves. The Dallas Fed president said that businesses were cutting back on plans due to trade uncertainty but haven't taken the next step of actively cutting back on their workforce. Asked about the market pricing in an 85% chance of a cut by the end of October, Kaplan said it was not his job to do what investors expect. Kaplan said that he had penciled in one more rate cut by the end of 2020 but said this could change. There are downside risks to this forecast, he said. Kaplan is not a voting member of the Fed interest-rate committee this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Walmart to record $2.2 billion charge related to 'buy-in' to secure Asda pension
Walmart Inc. disclosed Friday that it will record a $2.2 billion charge to earnings, after the retail behemoth's U.K. subsidiary Asda Group Ltd. announced a plan to secure the benefits of members of Asda's pension. Walmart and Asda said the plan secures a £3.8 billion ($4.9 billion) "buy-in" in anticipation of a full "buy-out" of the pension scheme, and will be enabled by a one-off final pension contribution by Asda of about £800 million ($1 billion). After the buy-in, pension members will be provided individual annuity policies issued by Rothesay Life, which will be responsible for paying benefits in full. Walmart's stock, which rose 0.4% in morning trading, has rallied 29.2% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 15.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Altria stock upgraded to neutral from sell at Citigroup as analysts bet cigarettes will benefit from vape crackdown
Shares of Altria Group Inc. rose before paring those gains, after Citigroup upgraded the stock to neutral from sell and said it expects cigarettes will benefit from the negative publicity and regulatory crackdown that has been sparked by the vaping-related lung illness that has swept the U.S. The disease has killed at least 33 people and sickened 1,479, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The stock is below our target and we think it no longer looks expensive relative to overseas peers," analysts wrote in a note to clients. "Unfortunately we expect the short-term newsflow (on FDA regulation and earnings) to be difficult." Citigroup is expecting the FDA's flavor ban to be harsh and to include a ban on mint and menthol, posing a challenge to Juul, the e-cigarette maker in which Altria owns a 35% stake. Altria is expected to report third-quarter earnings on Oct. 31 and Citi is expecting a 7% decline in underlying cigarette volumes, but an 11% decline in shipments. Altria stock was last down 0.2% and has fallen 11% in 2019, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average , which counts it a member, has gained 15% and the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Beyond Meat stock slides after CFRA initiates at sell with competition rising
Beyond Meat Inc. stock fell 5.2% in Friday trading after the plant-based meat company was initiated at sell at CFRA with a $120 12-month target. Analyst Arun Sundaram expects Beyond Meat to face increased competition from large food companies. Tyson Foods Inc. and Kellogg Co. are among the businesses that have entered the space with their own plant-based alternatives. "We think larger packaged food companies will end up as the category leaders in the space given their vast global footprint and embedded relationships throughout the supply chain," CFRA said. Beyond Meat stock has tumbled 34.6% over the last three months while the S&P 500 index is up 19.4% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Green Organic Dutchman shares slide 4.7% after company says to cut financing needs
The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. said Friday it is planning to reduce its financing needs while maintaining a path to profitability, as it struggles with a slower legal market conversion than originally expected. The Toronto-based cannabis company said earlier in October that it was reviewing financing options for the funds needed to complete construction of faciities in Ancaster, Ontario and Valleyfield, Quebec, after the financing on offer was prohibitively expensive. The company has now hired an adviser and plans to scale back its selling, general and administrative expenses and adopt a new construction and operating plan. The Ancaster plant is now complete and the the Quebec facility will be built in smaller phases. The company estimates that it needs C$70 million ($53 million) to C$80 million between now and the end of the second quarter of 2020 to carry out the plan. "With the current Canadian legal market being smaller than initially anticipated, mainly due to a slow rollout of retail locations in key provinces, we believe that our revised plan will allow TGOD to right size its production to capture the organic segment, while maintaining optionality to quickly accelerate and expand as more retail locations begin to open," Chief Executive Brian Athaide said in a statement. U.S.-listed shares fell 4.7% on the news and are down 44% in 2019. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has fallen 19% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Gildan stock down 26%, shares downgraded after profit warning
Gildan Activewear Inc. stock plummeted 26.1% in Friday trading after the apparel company issued a profit warning, cut its guidance, and was downgraded to hold from buy at Stifel. Analysts also cut their price target to $30 from $44. Gildan said it expects to report earnings per share of 51 cents for the third quarter and adjusted EPS of 53 cents, both down 7% year-over-year. And sales are expected to be $740 million, 2% lower than 2018. EPS was expected to be flat and sales were expected to grow in the mid-single-digit range. "The magnitude of the Q3 shortfall and fiscal year 2019 guidance is striking, particularly given that the outlook was reaffirmed August 2," analysts wrote. "While appreciative of best-in-class infrastructure, evidence of category issues challenge the case for revenue growth and the associated rate of margin expansion and earnings improvement." Gildan will report its third-quarter results on Oct. 30. The stock is down 13% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 19.6% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Snap stock rises after Bank of America turns bullish
Shares of Snap Inc. are up 1.3% in Friday morning trading after Bank of America Merrill Lunch analyst Justin Post upgraded the stock to buy from neutral. He said that Wall Street "appears to be concerned on high 3Q [daily-active-user] growth expectations" but that he's less concerned given his projection for strong international Android downloads and better engagement with Discover content on the platform. With the launch of eight new Snap shows this fall, Post has increased conviction that Snap will be able to boost its average revenue per user as it benefits from the secular shift of TV ad dollars to online platforms. Post has an $18 price objective on the stock, which has climbed 154% so far this year as the S&P 500 has increased 20%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

KushCo stock falls after Benchmark downgrade on concerns vaping-related lung illness will hurt sales
Benchmark downgraded the shares of Californian cannabis company KuschCo Holdings Inc. to speculative buy from buy on Friday, and said it expects the still unexplained vape-related lung illness that has killed at least 33 people and sickened 1,479 more to weigh on financial performance. Analyst Mike Hickey cut his stock price target to $5 from $7 and said "elevated regulatory risk" is another potential pressure for the maker of vapes, packaging and other accessories. The stock has fallen 75% in 2019, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has fallen 20% and the S&P 500 has gained 19.6%. "We are positive longer term, as we note the vast majority of the THC related vape illness has come from black market; which could accelerate legal cannabis market regulation," the analyst wrote in a note to clients. "Near term, we are cautious over potential bans on the sale of vaping products, as was the view from Massachusetts that has enacted a 4-month block of all sales of e-cigarettes and supplies, including those for nicotine and cannabis." KushCo shares were down 0.8% in early trade.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Caterpillar stock downgraded at Morgan Stanley on 'increasing downside risks' heading into next year
Caterpillar Inc. was downgraded by Morgan Stanley analyst Courtney Yakavonis, who cited signs of "increasing downside risks" to the machinery and heavy equipment maker's construction and energy and transportation (E&T) businesses. Yakavonis cut the rating to equal weight, after being at overweight since March 2018, and lowered the stock price target to $145 from $150. The stock edged up 0.2% in morning trading. "We believe the U.S. construction equipment market peaked in 2019 and the E&T markets will fail to re-accelerate in 2020," Yakovonis wrote in a note to clients. "Our [North America] construction equipment replacement cycle analysis suggests that replacement will revert to a headwind in 2020 while elevated dealer inventory levels have also materially increased the risk of a dealer inventory de-stock," Yakovonis wrote in a note to clients. "We are also concerned about pricing heading into 2020, and think that margins could still be under pressure next year even if input costs fall." The stock had gained 3.3% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 15.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Dow breaks slightly lower at Friday's open as J&J's stock weighs on blue chips
US stocks on Friday headed slightly lower but benchmarks were set to post a second straight week of gains on quarterly corporate results that have thus far come in better than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average off 45 points, or 0.2%, at 26,982 was weighed by a decline in shares of Johnson & Johnson after the blue-chip component and consumer-products and drug company said it was recalling "a single lot" of Johnson's Baby Powder after tests revealed traces of chrysotile asbestos. Meanwhile, other Dow components Coca-Cola shares climbed after the beverage and snacks company matched expectations and sales rise slightly more than anticipated and American Express Co.'s shares rose slightly after it also produced better-than-expected results. The S&P 500 index was off less than 0.1% at 2,997, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.1% at 8,151. Separately, a recent report showed that China's economy grew 6% in the quarter as business activity decelerated. Friday's action comes after the U.S. Trade Representative's office confirmed late Thursday that tariffs on $7.5 billion of European goods will take effect Friday. Investors will be awaiting speeches from Federal Reserve members, offering the last time for the officials to speak before a blackout period starting on Saturday. Vice Chairman Richard Clarida was slated to speak at a conference at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time in Boston. Ahead of that a number of other speakers will talk, including Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan at 10 a.m.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Johnson & Johnson's stock drops after baby powder recall
Shares of Johnson & Johnson swung to a 2.6% decline in premarket trading Friday, after the consumer products and drug company said it was recalling "a single lot" of Johnson's Baby Powder after tests revealed traces of chrysotile asbestos. The stock was trading up about 0.2% ahead of the recall announcement. The company said it initiated the voluntary recall "out of an abundance of caution" after the Food and Drug Administration found "sub-trace" levels of asbestos in samples from a single bottle purchased from an online retailer, and has initiated a "rigorous and thorough" investigation into the matter. J&J said it can't confirm whether the tested product is authentic or counterfeit, or whether the sample was prepared in a controlled environment. The recall comes after J&J received subpoenas earlier this year seeking documents related to the safety of its baby power and other talc-containing products, following at least 13,000 lawsuits claiming the products caused cancer. On Thursday, the company said said rigorous tests of its talc have found not asbestos. The stock has gained 5.5% year to date through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 15.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Kansas City Southern's stock surges toward another record after profit, revenue beats
Shares of Kansas City Southern shot up 4.9% toward a record high in premarket trading Friday, after the railroad company reported a rise in profit and revenue to above analysts' expectations, fueled by increased refined fuel products and liquid petroleum gas shipments to Mexico. Net income increased to $180.1 million, or $1.81 a share, from $173.5 million, or $1.70 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share rose 24% to $1.94, above the FactSet consensus of $1.79. Revenue grew 7% to $747.7 million, beating the FactSet consensus of $734.9 million. Chemicals and petroleum revenue rose 21%, agriculture and minerals revenue increased 15%, industrial and consumer products revenue grew 2% and intermodal revenue edged up 1%, while energy revenue fell 11% and automotive revenue dropped 2%. The stock, which closed Thursday at a record high ($135.42) for a third-straight session, has shot up 14.8% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has slipped 0.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has eased 0.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Gentex stock slips premarket after company cuts full-year guidance
Gentex Corp. shares fell 2.1% in premarket trade Friday, after the supplier of digital vision, connected car, dimmable glass and fire protection technologies beat estimates for the third quarter but cut guidance for its full year. Zeeland, Michigan-based Gentex said it had net income of $111.9 million, or 44 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $111.3 million, or 42 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose to $477.8 million from $460.3 million. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 42 cents on sales of $474 million. The company said the strike at General Motors Co. shaved about 2% off sales. "For much of the year, actual light vehicle production levels have fallen well short of estimates and this trend unfortunately continued in the third quarter of 2019," chief Executive Steve Downing said in a statement. He said gross margins improved by 10 basis points, despite the headwind of tarffis and their costs. The company is now expecting full-year sales of $1.84 billion to $1.87 billion, down from July guidance of $1.87 billion to $1.90 billion. Shares have gained 36.5% in 2019 through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 19.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

ManpowerGroup stock falls after revenue miss, downbeat profit outlook
Shares of ManpowerGroup shed 2.1% in premarket trading Friday, after the provider of workforce services reported third-quarter revenue that missed expectations, and provided a fourth-quarter profit outlook that was below forecasts. Net income fell to $146.1 million, or $2.42 a share, from $158.0 million, or $2.43 a share, in the same period a year ago. The results included an accounting gain related to the July 10 initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of a joint venture in China. The FactSet consensus for net earnings per share was $1.94. Revenue fell 3.1% to $5.25 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $5.33 billion, as Americas revenue rose 2.0%, Southern Europe revenue fell 5.4% and Northern Europe revenue dropped 10.1%. The company expects fourth-quarter EPS of $2.00 to $2.08, below the FactSet consensus for net EPS of $2.17. "The global economic environment continues to be uncertain, leading to uneven market conditions as economic growth slows but labor markets remain tight and skills shortages high," said Chief Executive Jonas Prising. The stock has lost 4.8% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has edged up 0.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

American Express stock surges after earnings rise above forecasts, amid higher card member spending
Shares of American Express Co. surged 2.1% premarket after the credit card and travel services company reported a third-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations, citing higher card member spending, net interest income and card fees. Net income rose to $1.76 billion, or $2.08 a share, from $1.65 billion, or $1.88 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share of $2.08 topped the FactSet consensus of $2.03. Revenue increased 8% to $10.99 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $10.94 billion. Within the company's business segments, consumer services revenue rose 11% to $5.4 billion, commercial services grew 7% to $3.4 billion and merchant and network services revenue increased 5% to $1.7 billion. Looking ahead, AmEx expects 2019 adjusted EPS of $7.85 to $8.35, which surrounds the FactSet consensus of $8.01. "The trends we saw in the business this quarter continue to be consistent with an economy that continues to grow, albeit at a more modest pace than last year," said Chief Executive Steve Squeri. The stock has lost 7.2% over the past three months, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector has slipped 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has eased 0.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

UPDATE: Coca-Cola adj. EPS falls 2% to match consensus
Coca-Cola Co. shares rose 1.6% after a small beat in third-quarter revenue. The company did not provide net income numbers in its initial release. A later version including an income statement said the company had net income of $2.593 billion, or 60 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $1.880 billion, or 44 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted EPS fell 2% to 56 cents, matching the FactSet consensus. Revenue rose 8% to $9.5 billion from $8.8 billion, ahead of the $9.4 billion FactSet consensus. The company said it now expects full-year EPS to range from a decline of 1% to growth of 1%, unchanged from previous guidance. Shares have gained 13.6% in 2019, underperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average's gain of 16% and the S&P 500's 20% gain.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Schlumberger stock rises after swinging to large loss, but adjusted profit and revenue beats expectations
Shares of Schlumberger Ltd. rallied 1.3% in premarket trading Friday, after the oil services company reported a large third-quarter net loss, but an adjusted profit and revenue that beat expectations. The net loss was $11.97 billion, or $8.22 a share, after income of $787 million, or 46 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as a $12.7 billion charge related to goodwill, intangible assets and fixed assets as a result of "market conditions, adjusted earnings per share came to 43 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 40 cents. Revenue was edged up to $8.54 billion from $8.50 billion, just above the FactSet consensus of $8.50 billion, as an 11% drop in North America revenue was offset by 8% growth in international revenue. "This quarter's results reflected a macro environment of slowing production growth rate in North America land as operators maintained capital discipline, reducing drilling and frac activity," said Chief Executive Olivier Le Peuch. Although international revenue continues to be underpinned by international investment levels, Le Peuch said "market uncertainty" is weighing on the future oil demand outlook " in a climate where trade concerns are seen as challenging global economic growth." The stock has tumbled 17.8% over the past three months, while the VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF has dropped 19.0% and the S&P 500 has ticked up 0.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

IHS Markit to begin paying dividend, authorizes $2.5 billion buyback
IHS Markit said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it's approved the initiation of a quarterly dividend, as well as authorized a new share repurchase program of up to $2.5 billion. IHS expects to declare the quarterly cash dividend for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 in January 2020 with payment expected in February 2020. The company is targeting an annual capital return to shareholders of approximately 50-75% of what it calls its capital capacity.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Norwegian Air to sell 5 Boeing 737s to China leasing firm
Norwegian Air Shuttle said it's going to sell 5 Boeing 737-800 aircraft to China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited . The airline will use the proceeds to repay debt and increase liquidity, which will go up by $50 million after the repayment of debt.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

DTE to buy shale distribution assets in $2.25 billion deal
DTE Energy said it's reached a deal to buy the gathering system and gathering pipeline in the Haynesville shale formation of Louisiana for $2.25 billion in cash plus a milestone payment of $400 million. DTE said the assets, being acquired from Momentum Midstream and Indigo Natural Resources, the primary gas producer supplying the system, include an existing gathering system and a 150-mile gathering pipeline under construction, which will be in service in the second half of 2020. DTE said the deal is immediately $0.15 accretive to operating earnings per share in 2020, growing to $0.45 per share over five years.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

3.7-magnitude earthquake hits Compton
A 3.7-magnitude earthquake hit the Compton area at 12:20 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Los Angeles media reported people felt shaking in Orange County and other parts of LA.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 18, 2019

Pound pares losses after BOE's deputy governor sees rate hikes possible
The British pound was lower Friday, but losses were contained after interest-rate supportive comments from Bank of England Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden. In an interview with Bloomberg that published Friday, Ramsden said if Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal is approved by Parliament on Saturday, the central bank's guidance that says a clean exit from the EU means "limited and gradual" interest-rate hikes would apply. The pound surged Thursday on news that the EU and U.K. had agreed on a framework for a Brexit deal, but came off those gains. The pound last traded at $1.2866, off 0.2% against the dollar from a late-Thursday level of $1.2890 in North America.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

U.S. confirms tariffs on $7.5 billion in EU goods will take effect Friday
The U.S. trade representative's office confirmed late Thursday that tariffs on $7.5 billion of European goods will take effect Friday. Aircraft produced in the EU will be slapped with 10% tariffs, while other products, such as cheese and whisky, will be slapped with 25% tariffs. The Trump administration announced the move earlier this month after the World Trade Organization ruled the U.S. could impose tariffs in retaliation for illegal preferential treatment by the EU for aircraft maker Airbus SA. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. could not lose a trade war with Europe because of the large trade imbalance that exists. "I can remedy the situation very easily," Trump said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

AT&T in talks to resolve activist investor campaign: WSJ
AT&T Inc. is in talks with Elliott Management Corp. and could reach an agreement as early as this month to resolve Elliott's activist campaign for change, The Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday. Shares ticked up more than 1% in after-hours trading. The Journal reported that the talks have been wide-ranging since Elliott disclosed its stake in the media conglomerate five weeks ago but the discussions may still fall apart. AT&T delayed its quarterly earnings, originally set for next week, in order to give the two sides more time to talk. AT&T is now expected to report earnings Oct. 28. AT&T stock closed up less than 1% to $37.81 Thursday, as the S&P 500 index rose 0.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

Gildan cuts guidance on weaker demand, stock falls 12%
Shares of Gildan Activewear Inc. tanked 12% in the extended session Thursday after the apparel maker cut guidance for the year and called for a 7% drop in quarterly profit. Gildan said it expects to report third-quarter GAAP per-share earnings of about 51 cents a share, and adjusted EPS of about 53 cents a share, both down 7% over the third quarter of 2018. Third-quarter sales are seen around $740 million, 2% lower than the same quarter last year. A previous guidance on Aug. 1. called for adjusted EPS growth to be flat in the third quarter on a projected sales growth. Gildan said it experienced "significantly weaker-than-expected demand for imprintables in North America and ongoing softness in international imprintable markets." Gildan mostly makes plain T-shirts and fleeces that users go on to customize with their own logos and messages. The guidance cut reflects a sales shortfall around $50 million, and presumes that the demand weakness for imprintables both in North America and internationally "will persist through the fourth quarter," the company said. Gildan stock ended the regular trading day up 0.3%. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Oct. 31 before the open. Gildan in Marchwarned of an earnings hit from a debt write-off.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

WD-40 stock lower after company's Q4 profit falls 60%
Shares of WD-40 Co. fell more than 4% in the extended session Thursday after the maker of the eponymous spray reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings above expectations but its outlook was weaker. WD-40 said it earned $8.6 million, or 63 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $21.6 million, or $1.54 a share, in the year-ago period. That was a 60% drop year-on-year, and the company pinned the steep decline on an $8.7 million tax reserve previously disclosed. Revenue rose 4% to $106.7 million, compared with $102.6 million a year ago. The two analysts polled by FactSet that track WD-40 had expected the company to earn 60 cents a share on sales of $106.3 million in the quarter. WD-40 said it expects full-year 2020 sales growth between 4% and 7% and net sales between $436 million and $453 million. It projected EPS between $4.74 and $4.83 for the year. The analysts expect EPS of $5 on sales of $444 million for fiscal 2020.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

Atlassian stock declines after slight beat
Atlassian Corp. shares declined in the extended session Thursday even after the enterprise cloud-software company posted results and an outlook slightly above Wall Street estimates. Atlassian shares fell 3.3% after hours, following a 1.3% decline in the regular session to close at $122.64. The company reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $69.3 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with a loss of $242.4 million, or $1.03 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $363.4 million from $267.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 24 cents on revenue of $351.8 million. Atlassian expects adjusted fiscal second-quarter earnings of about 27 cents a share on revenue of $386 million to $390 million, while analysts had forecast 26 cents a share on revenue of $381.5 million. Atlassian also announced it acquired automation company Code Barrel for an undisclosed amount.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

E-Trade tops Q3 views, vows to take market share in 'zero fee' environment
E-Trade Financial Corp. stock fell slightly in the extended session Thursday after the discount brokerage reported third-quarter earnings above Wall Street expectations. E-Trade said it earned $274 million, or $1.08 a share, in the quarter, compared with $285 million, or $1 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $767 million, which the company called a "record," from $729 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected GAAP and adjusted earnings of $1.01 a share on sales of $743 million. E-Trade and other brokerages have moved to "zero commissions" in the past weeks, which E-trade Chief Executive Mike Pizzi called a "meaningful shift" for the industry. "As a digital-first company, backed by one of the most sophisticated customer support teams in the industry, we will leverage our advantage to grow and take share, especially as price is removed as a point of competitive differentiation," Pizzi said. Shares of E-Trade ended the regular trading day 0.1% higher.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

Stocks end higher after upbeat earnings, tentative Brexit deal
U.S. stocks ended modestly higher Thursday, boosted after a round of generally upbeat corporate earnings and a tentative agreement by U.K. and European Union leaders on the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended a choppy session with a gain of around 26 points, or 0.1%, near 27,028, while the S&P 500 gained around 8 points, or 0.3%, near 2,998. The Nasdaq Composite finished near 8,157, up around 33 points, or 0.4%. Shares of streaming company Netflix Inc. rose 2.5%, while banking giant Morgan Stanely advanced 1.5% following earnings.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

GM-UAW deal 'solid outcome' for car maker: RBC
The tentative deal struck between General Motors Co. and United Auto Workers doesn't look "too onerous" for the car maker, analyst Joseph Spak at RBC Capital said in a note late Thursday as more details about the contract emerged. "We continue to believe that if this is ratified, it is a solid outcome for GM," Spak said. Shares of GM were approaching the end of the trading session about 1% lower. The tentative deal offers temp workers a shortened path to permanent status, calls for no additional health care costs, and provides ratification bonuses, and wage increases, among other items. GM shares have gained nearly 9% this year, underperforming the S&P 500 index , which has risen 20%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

SmileDirectClub files lawsuit against California Dental Board after raids, investigation
SmileDirectClub Inc. shares tumbled another 9% on Thursday, after the company filed a lawsuit against the California Dental Board and individual members, claiming that they attempted to intimidate its staff and customers in raids on SmileShops across the state. The suit, filed on behalf of Dr. Jeffrey Sulitzer, D.M.D., and his practice, along with the teeth-straightening startup, is seeking damages suffered in what the suit calls a "campaign of harassment, intimidation, and anti-competitive conduct." It alleges that Joseph Tippins, investigator in the enforcement unit of the Dental Board, disclosed an active investigation of SmileDirect in 2017. The company, which went public in September, did not disclose raids or investigations in its IPO documents. SmileDirect did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The suit comes days after California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that changes the rules on 'teledentistry," the model used by SmileDirect. Shares have fallen 50% in the past month, while the S&P 500 has fallen 0.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

Oil futures settle higher after U.S. and Turkey agree on ceasefire in Syria
Oil futures settled higher on Thursday, buoyed by news that the U.S. and Turkey agreed on a ceasefire in Syria, easing worries about tensions in the Middle East. Prices had been trading mostly lower after the Energy Information Administration early Thursday reported a fifth consecutive weekly climb in crude-oil stockpiles. November West Texas Intermediate oil rose 57 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $53.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

GM stock falls as details of UAW contract emerge
Shares of General Motors Co. fell nearly 1% in late trading Thursday after the United Auto Workers released details of its new tentative contract with GM. The contract, which still needs to be voted by members, gives full-time temp workers a shortened path to permanent status, among other gains for full-time and part-time temp workers, calls for no additional health care costs, and provides ratification bonuses. The contract also calls for wage increases and lump-sum payments in certain years and for the end of a cap on profit sharing. GM would also keep open its Detroit Hamtramck plant, one of four plants it had slated to close. GM and the union announced a tentative agreement on Wednesday. The strike has affected more than 30 GM plants in the U.S. and the deal covers more than 46,000 UAW-represented workers. Shares of GM have gained nearly 9% this year, underperforming the S&P 500 index , which has risen 20%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

Juul to suspend online sales of flavored e-cigarette
Juul Labs Inc. said Thursday that it will suspend online sales of non-tobacco, not-menthol-based flavors of e-cigarettes, including Mango, Creme, Fruit and Cucumber, in the U.S. The company had previously suspended all broadcast, print and digital product advertising in the U.S., and has refrained from lobbying the Trump administration on its draft flavor guidance. Sales of the flavored e-cigarettes were suspended at stores, but had still been only available at Juul.com, until today. "We must reset the vapor category by earning the trust of society and working cooperatively with regulators, policymakers, and stakeholders to combat underage use while providing an alternative to adult smokers," said Chief Executive K.C. Crosthwaite. Shares of Altria Inc. , which disclosed in December a $12.8 billion investment in Juul, rose 1.2% in afternoon trading, but has lost 10.9% year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 15.8% this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

Turkey ETF jumps more than 4% as Ankara and Washington forge ceasefire in Syria
A popular exchange traded fund Thursday afternoon added to its gains after Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. and Turkey have agreed on a ceasefire in Syria. Speaking from Ankara, Pence said the ceasefire would last 120 hours and allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe-zone area. The iShares MSCI Turkey ETF gained nearly 4.1% Thursday afternoon in New York. Thursday's advance helped to push the Turkey-specific ETF, which gives investors exposure to the country's stock market, in to the green, producing a 0.6% weekly gain. Meanwhile, the Turkish lira rose 1.1% against the buck. A dollar last bought 5.8268 lira, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

U.S. and Turkey agree on ceasefire in Syria, Pence announces
Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday the U.S. and Turkey have agreed on a ceasefire in Syria. Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier in the day. Pence said in Ankara that the ceasefire would last 120 hours and allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone area. The iShares MSCI Turkey ETF rose more than 3% after Pence's announcement.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

Houghton Mifflin to cut workforce by 8%, provide sales outlook that is below expectations
Shares of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co. slumped 1.9% in afternoon trading, after the education services company said it will slash its workforce by 8% as its streamline operations and provided a downbeat outlook for third-quarter sales, but raised its full-year billings outlook. The company had 3,600 employees at the end of 2018, according to its annual report, so an 8% reduction would represent the elimination of 288 jobs. The company said a redesigned development model will result in about 20% less content development expenditures than previously planned. Separately, the company said it expects to report third-quarter sales of $563 million, which is below the FactSet consensus of $585 million. Houghton Mifflin is projected to report third-quarter results on or around Nov. 7, according to FactSet. The company raised its 2019 billings guidance range to $1.59 billion to $1.62 billion from $1.53 billion to $1.61 billion. The stock has dropped 44.4% year to date, while the S&P 500 has rallied 19.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

Trump Doral resort chosen as site for next year's G7 meeting: Mulvaney
Next year's G7 meeting will be held at the Trump National Doral resort in Florida, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Thursday. Mulvaney said President Donald Trump will not profit from the event, and said holding it at the property would be "millions of dollars cheaper" than other locations. The summit will be held June 10-12, Mulvaney said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

The Dow's decline belies broader market rally--blame IBM
The Dow Jones Industrial Average could blame International Business Machines Corp.'s stock for falling into negative territory Thursday, despite gains in the broader stock market amid bullish breadth data. The Dow, which was up as much as 110 points earlier in the session, but was now down 11 points, or less than 0.1%, in midday trading, although 18 of 30 components were trading higher. IBM's stock was the Dow's biggest lower, falling $8.93, or 6.3%, to shave about 61 points off the Dow's price, after the technology company reported third-quarter results late Wednesday. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was up 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.3%. The number of advancing stocks outnumbered decliners 1,725 to 1,060 on the NYSE and 1,786 to 940 on the Nasdaq, while volume in advancing stock represented 57.1% of total volume on the Big Board and 63.3% of total volume on the Nasdaq.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

United Kingdom ETF rises after tentative Brexit deal announced
A popular U.K.-specific exchange-traded fund rose Thursday after Britain and the European Union struck a tentative deal to exit from out of the trade bloc. The iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF rose 0.4%. The iShares ETF maintains a high concentration of large and midcap companies and a particularly heavy concentration to financial shares (19.9%) and the energy sector (17.95%), according to FactSet data. For the week, the ETF is on pace for a gain of 0.9% after a 3.4% rise last week. The rally for the U.K. ETF comes as the embattled pound has been surging against the dollar on hopes of a Brexit divorce agreement. The buck last changed hands against the pound at $1.2849, with the U.S. dollar down 1.2% against the U.K. unit. A stronger pound tends to cap gains in U.K. stocks because it can weigh on revenue for the export-heavy economy. Despite reaching the draft Brexit agreement, the U.K. parliament must ratify the pact on Saturday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

Union Pacific sees workforce down by about 4,200 employees this year
Union Pacific Corp. Chief Financial Officer Robert McKnight said Thursday in a conference call with analysts following third-quarter results, that 2019 workforce levels are expected to be down "slightly more than 10%" from 2018. Given that the railroad company had 41,967 employees on average in 2018, that would imply a workforce reduction of "slightly more" than 4,197 employees to less than 37,770. The railroad company said the reduced workforce was a result of "strong productivity initiatives" and lower volumes. Union Pacific's stock was up 1.4% in midday trading, although Union Pacific reported a third-quarter profit and revenue that missed expectation, according to FactSet data, as revenue in all of its business segments declined. AThe stock has gained 0.7% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has advanced 1.0% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 0.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

EIA reports a 5th straight weekly rise in U.S. crude-oil supplies
The Energy Information Administration on Thursday reported that U.S. crude supplies climbed for a fifth week in a row, by 9.3 million barrels for the week ended Oct. 11. Data were released a day late because of Monday's Columbus Day holiday. Crude supplies were forecast to increase by 4 million barrels, according to analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. The American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday reported a climb of 10.5 million barrels, according to sources. The EIA data showed supply declines of 2.6 million barrels for gasoline and 3.8 million barrels for distillates. The S&P Global Platts survey showed expectations for supply decreases of nearly 1.8 million barrels for gasoline and 2.6 million barrels for distillates. November West Texas Intermediate crude was down 33 cents, or 0.6%, to $53.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down from $53.09 before the supply data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

EIA reports a rise in U.S. natural-gas supplies of 104 billion cubic feet
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 104 billion cubic feet for the week ended Oct. 11. That was a bit lower than the average build of 108 billion cubic feet expected by analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. Total stocks now stand at 3.519 trillion cubic feet, up 494 billion cubic feet from a year ago and 14 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, the government said. November natural gas traded at $2.34 per million British thermal units, up 3.7 cents, or 1.6%, from Wednesday's settlement. It was trading at $2.336 before the data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Oct 17, 2019

Stocks open slightly higher after tentative Brexit deal, economic data
U.S. stocks opened with modest gains Thursday after U.K. and European Union leaders announced a draft agreement on Brexit and following a round of U.S. economic data and corporate earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64 points, or 0.2%, to 27,065, while the S&P 500 gained 14 points, or 0.5%, to 3,004. The Nasdaq Composite traded at 8,174, up 50 points, or 0.6%. The Brexit agreement must be approved by all EU member states and faces a difficult hurdle in the U.K. parliament this weekend. Stock-index futures jumped following the announcement of the agreement but then saw gains fade. Shares of Netflix Inc. were up 7.8% after delivering third-quarter results late Wednesday.

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



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