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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 19, 2019

BlackRock accidentally exposes confidential data on advisers using popular iShares ETFs: Bloomberg
BlackRock Inc. , the world's largest asset manager, inadvertently posted confidential information about thousands of financial adviser clients on its site, Bloomberg News reported late Friday, citing a glimpse of the released data before it was removed by the investment firm. The data were linked on one of the company's web pages dedicated to its iShares exchange-traded funds. The documents included names and email addresses of financial advisers who buy BlackRock's ETFs on behalf of customers and appeared to show the assets under management each adviser had in the firm's iShares ETFs, Bloomberg reported. The links were dated Dec. 5, 2018, but it's unclear how long they were public. BlackRock oversees assets of almost $6 trillion and is the world's largest issuer of ETFs.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Trump to make 'major announcement' concerning border, shutdown Saturday
President Donald Trump plans to make a "major announcement" concerning the border with Mexico and the government shutdown on Saturday, according to his Twitter feed late Friday. In a tweet, Trump said he would make the announcement at 3 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, which will mark the 29th day of the partial government shutdown, the longest on record. Trump is locked in a stalemate with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over funding for his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Snap forces out two executives over inappropriate relationship: report
Snap Inc. forced out two of its executives because one of them had an inappropriate relationship with a contractor, according to a report late Friday. The Snapchat parent fired Francis Racioppi, its director of global security, late last year because he had hired an outside contractor, had a relationship with her, and then pulled the contract after the relationship ended, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter. Snap also asked its head of human resources Jason Halbert to leave the company because of the Racioppi incident and other performance issues, WSJ reported. Snap shares declined 0.7% after hours, following a 7.7% surge to close at $6.18 in Friday's regular session.

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
Jan 18, 2019

FedEx starts offering buyouts, says costs between $450 million to $575 million
FedEx Corp. began offering buyouts to U.S. employees on Friday, saying in a filing it expects the program to cost between $450 million and $575 million before taxes. Actual costs will depend on acceptance, and most expenses are expected to incur in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, the company said. Savings were seen between $225 million and $275 million a year beginning in fiscal 2020, FedEx said. The buyouts are part of a reorganization plan FedEx announced in December alongside its fiscal second-quarter results. That plan also included reductions at FedEx Express' international network capacity and limited hiring. Shares of FedEx rose 0.6% in the extended session Friday after ending the regular trading day up 2.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Dow logs 300-point gain as stocks string together four-day winning streak
U.S. stocks ended the week strong on Friday, booking a four-day streak of gains, after reports that Washington and Beijing were debating concessions to help secure an eventual resolution to the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute. The S&P 500 rose 1.3% to end around 2,671. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 342 points, or around 1.4%, to end around 24,713, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1% to around 7,157. For the week, the Dow was up 3%, the S&P was up 2.9% and the Nasdaq was up 2.7%. Investors pinned hopes on progress in U.S.-China trade talks after a report from Bloomberg News said that Chinese officials would increase imports from the U.S. to close their bilateral trade deficit to zero by 2024. As for corporate news, shares of Netflix Inc. fell around 4% after revenue growth fell short of expectations.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Mnuchin flew on Milken's private aircraft in December: report
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin flew from Washington to Los Angeles on Michael Milken's private jet, according to a report Friday in The New York Times. Milken is the Wall Street bond trader who went to prison after pleading guilty to securities fraud charges. A Treasury spokesman said Mnuchin has already reimbursed Milken for the cost of the flight and said he did not need an ethics waiver for the trip. Mnuchin's use of military aircraft for domestic travel caused some controversy early in his term. Last year, Treasury's inspector general said Mnuchin's staff had not provided complete proof about why the Treasury secretary needed to use military aircraft. Mnuchin had asked to use a government jet on his European honeymoon, but later withdrew the request.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

2nd summit between Trump, North Korea's Kim Jong Un to happen in February
President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are expected to hold a second summit "near the end of February," the White House said in a statement Friday. The announcement came after Trump held a meeting with a top North Korean official to discuss the isolated Asian nation's denuclearization. "The president looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at a place to be announced at a later date," the White House statement said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Disney-backed 'Glass' expected to dominate weekend box office
Walt Disney Co.-backed "Glass", the new film directed by M. Night Shyamalan, is expected to dominate the box office over the long holiday weekend, according to MKM analyst Eric Handler. The film, which brings together characters and narratives from his previous films, is expected to boost the weekend gross to $124 million, up 11% from the year-earlier period, Handler said in a Friday note. "Not only will Glass likely provide a significant boost for the box office but the four-day holiday weekend should benefit as the MLK holiday in 2018 occurred a week earlier," Handler wrote. "Last year's same weekend saw its Top 10 films gross $112mn over the four-day weekend (although Monday was not a holiday and schools and businesses were open) and was led by Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with $20.7mn." The film, which stars Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson and Sarah Paulson, is expected to chalk up box revenue of $64 million, he said. "The Upside," starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, is expected to take second place with $14.5 million, according to Handler. "Aquaman" is expected to take third slot with box office of $11 million, which will push it above the $300 million-mark. Disney shares were slightly lower Friday, but have gained 0.5% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 4.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 5.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

U.S. oil prices finish higher, lift weekly gain to more than 4%
Oil futures climbed on Friday, with U.S. prices tallying a weekly gain of more than 4% as optimism surrounding progress toward a resolution of the U.S.-China trade dispute eased worries about energy demand. Data from Baker Hughes Friday also revealed a drop in the U.S. oil-rig count for this week, the largest such decline in nearly three years. February West Texas Intermediate oil rose $1.73, or 3.3%, to settle at $53.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract, which expires at Tuesday's settlement, ended about 4.3% higher for the week.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

J. Crew Chairman Mickey Drexler retiring
J. Crew Group Inc. announced Friday that its chairman, Millard "Mickey" Drexler," will retire to devote his time to developing Drexler Ventures LLC and his other interests. Chad Leat, a J. Crew director since Jan. 2017 and a retired vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup Inc. , will succeed Drexler as chairman, effective immediately. Drexler also previously served as chief executive of J. Crew, joining the company in that role in 2003, and founded Madewell. J. Crew has struggled to regain its iconic status after the departure of Jenna Lyons, the brand's superstar creative director. The brand recently replaced its chief executive with an "office of the CEO" and announced plans to discontinue its budget Mercantile and Nevereven lines, throwing the brand's partnership with Amazon.com Inc. into jeopardy. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF has fallen 5.5% in the past year, the Amplify Online Retail ETF has gained 3.6% for the period, and the S&P 500 index has slipped 4.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Gold futures suffer first weekly decline since mid-December
Gold futures fell on Friday, suffering from their first weekly decline since mid-December as optimism surrounding the U.S.-China trade dispute contributed to gains in the U.S. stock market and strength in the dollar. February gold settled at $1,282.60 an ounce, down $9.70, or 0.8% for the session. That was the lowest finish for a most-active contract so far this year, with prices down about 0.5% for the week, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

The Dow is now within striking distance of its 200-day moving average
A powerful four-day rally on Friday has helped to drive U.S. stock benchmarks to multiweek highs, but the degree by which sentiment has improved since a rough 2018 is perhaps best exemplified by the moves in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Dow on Friday afternoon was up more than 320 points at 24,694, a gain of 1.3%, climbing nearly 700 points in the past several days. That move has placed the blue-chip gauge within reach of its 200-day long-term average at 24,968.10, according to FactSet data. That's a surprising burst higher for the Dow which only Thursday closed above its 50-day moving average, then at 24,346, for the first time since Dec. 3. Moving averages are used by market technicians to help gauge bullish and bearish momentum in an asset over the long and short term. Trading above its 200-day would help to signal that the Dow, and the rest of the stock market, is re-establishing some semblance of structure after all three indexes, including the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite Index ended 2018 with their worst annual declines since 2008. Those declines also saw the Dow form a death cross, where the 50-day - a short-term trend tracker - crosses below the 200-day, used to determine a long-term trend in an asset, formed on Dec. 18. The recent updraft has been attributed to a series of stories indicating that a lasting problem for the stock market and the global economy--a trade spat between China and the U.S.--may be near a resolution.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Johnsonville recalls pork patties because they may contain bits of rubber
Johnsonville announced a voluntary recall of its Cheddar Cheese & Bacon Grillers on Friday because they may contain black rubber bits. The recall comes after three complaints, and applies to the 24-ounce package with the following "Best Flavor By" dates and EST numbers: July 24, 2019 and an EST 34225; Aug. 13, 2019 and an EST 34225; and Aug. 14, 2019 and an EST 34225. The product was shipped to 31 states. Purdue has also issued a recall of chicken nuggets that may be contaminated with wood. The Invesco Dynamic Food & Beverage ETF has lost 7.1% over the last year while the S&P 500 index is down 4.6% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Baker Hughes data show U.S. oil-rig count down 21 for the week
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil dropped by 21 to 852 this week. That marked a third straight weekly decline. The total active U.S. rig count also declined by 25 to 1,050, according to Baker Hughes. February West Texas Intermediate crude was up $1.64, or 3.2%, at $53.71 a barrel from Thursday's finish. It was trading at $53.59 before the rig data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Dow jumps 1.5% amid report that China open to extending $1 trillion-a-year olive branch on trade
U.S. stock indexes Friday midday clambered higher after a report from Bloomberg said Chinese officials were open to eliminating an imbalance with the U.S. that has been a source of trade tension between the two largest economies in the world and a major headwind for stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 368 points, or 1.5% at 24,734, the S&P 500 index advanced 1.5% at 2,674, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.4% at 7,181. Bloomberg on Friday, citing sources familiar with talks, reported that China has offered to go on "a six-year buying spree to ramp up imports from the U.S., in a move that would reconfigure the relationship between the world's two largest economies." China would increase purchases of U.S. imports over six years to reach more than $1 trillion per year, according to the report, which comes a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had debated eliminating China tariffs as a tactic toward advancing talks on their protracted trade dispute and easing tensions. However, a Treasury spokesman has walked back that story, saying that discussions continue and no decisions have been made. Trade issues have been the greatest source of friction for stock markets here and abroad, market participants have said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

All 30 Dow stocks gain ground, led by Home Depot and Caterpillar
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up 329 points, or 1.4%, in midday trade Friday, will all 30 components contributing to gains. The blue-chip barometer, on track for the highest close since in six weeks, has now run up 13% since it closed at a 14-month low on Dec. 24. Of the biggest gainers, shares of Home Depot Inc. rallied 2.9%, Caterpillar Inc. climbed 2.8% and DowDuPont Inc. tacked on 2.3%. The most-active Dow component was Apple Inc.'s stock , which rose 0.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Wall Street's 'fear index' is on track for its biggest one-month plunge in nearly 3 years
The Cboe Volatility index has tumbled in recent trade and is on pace for its steepest monthly slide since March of 2016, according to FactSet data. Wall Street's so-called "fear index," uses S&P 500 options to calculate expectations for volatility over the coming 30 days, and tends to trade inversely to stocks. Equity benchmarks, following a bruising 2018, have experienced a mutltiday stock-market rally that has been partly underpinned by hope of a resolution between China and the U.S. on trade relations. That, in turn, has driven the the volatility index sharply lower. Investors tend to use the gauge partly to hedge against declines in the market, with rising prices equating to a higher cost of such coverage. Most recently, the index was at 17.40 and has declined about 31.55% thus far in January (markets are closed on Jan. 21 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.). That level of decline would represent the most severe for the gauge since it fell 32.12% in March of 2016. The index's drop in 2016 had also been fueled by relief following concerns about the health of the Chinese economy, which continues to be a source of concern for market participants after data out of Beijing has shown clear signs of slowing down. Still, market participants have waxed optimistic that tensions between Beijing and Washington, if resolved, would help to stem any economic contraction in global markets. The VIX's historical average stands at around 19 or 20. The S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 index have both enjoyed the best start to a year since 1987. And all of the main stock indexes, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite Index were looking at solid weekly and monthly gains.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Dow jumps 200 points amid report that China open to extending $1 trillion-a-year olive branch on trade
U.S. stock indexes Friday morning clambered higher after a report from Bloomberg said Chinese officials were open to eliminating an imbalance with the U.S. that has been a source of trade tension between the two largest economies in the world and a major headwind for stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 248 points, or 1% at 24,622, the S&P 500 index advanced 1.2% at 2,667, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.2% at 7,171. Bloomberg on Friday, citing sources familiar with talks, reported that China has offered to go on "a six-year buying spree to ramp up imports from the U.S., in a move that would reconfigure the relationship between the world's two largest economies." China would increase purchases of U.S. imports over six years to reach more than $1 trillion per year, according to the report, which comes a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had debated eliminating China tariffs as a tactic toward advancing talks on their protracted trade dispute and easing tensions. However, a Treasury spokesman has walked back that story, saying that discussions continue and no decisions have been made. Trade issues have been the greatest source of friction for stock markets here and abroad, market participants have said.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

China has offered to ramp up U.S. import purchases to $1 trillion per year: report
China has offered to ramp up its purchases of U.S. imports over six years to reach more than $1 trillion per year, Bloomberg News reported, citing officials familiar with the negotiations. The move would end the U.S. trade gap with China by 2024, the report said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

University of Michigan consumer sentiment plunges in January
Consumer sentiment plunged in January to the lowest level since President Trump was elected, according to the University of Michigan index released Friday. The index fell to 90.7 in January from 98.3, with the expectations index dropping especially sharply. Economists polled by MarketWatch forecast a 97.5 reading. "The loss was due to a host of issues including the partial government shutdown, the impact of tariffs, instabilities in financial markets, the global slowdown, and the lack of clarity about monetary policies," said Richard Curtin, chief economist for the survey.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Dow jumps 160 points as stock market set to end week with solid gains on China-trade optimism
U.S. stocks rose on Friday, putting benchmarks on pace for a fourth straight win, as investors hung on to optimism over a report that Washington might ease tariffs on Chinese goods. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 156 points, or 0.6%, at 24,523, the S&P 500 index added 0.5% at 2,649, and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.6% at 7,130. The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that U.S. officials were debating a possible ease in tariffs on Chinese imports, to give Beijing incentive to make deeper concessions over the trade dispute. A Treasury spokesman immediately walked back the report, telling the newspaper that any bargaining positions remained "at the discussion stage." Still optimism in the markets held. For the week, as of Thursday's close, the Dow and S&P 500 are each up 1.5% and the Nasdaq Composite is looking at a gain of 1.6%. In corporate news, shares of Tesla were in focus after the automaker said it was cutting 7% of its workforce to cut costs, while investors also watched shares of Eli Lilly & Co. sank after it reported disappointing results from a medical trial. Meanwhile, Netflix shares were drawing attention after the media-streaming giant reported weaker-than-expected revenue late-Thursday. In economic reports, industrial production finished the year on a strong note, rising 0.3% in December after a revised 0.4% gain in November, according to data released by the Federal Reserve on Friday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

U.S. industrial output up 0.3% in December, manufacturing surges
Industrial production finished the year on a strong note, rising 0.3% in December after a revised 0.4% gain in November, according to data released by the Federal Reserve on Friday. The gain was in line with estimates of economists polled by MarketWatch. In the fourth quarter, industrial output rose at a 3.8% annual rate, down from 4.7% rate in the third quarter. Manufacturing output alone rose 1.1% in December, the biggest gain in 10 months. The increase was led by a 4.7% increase in the output of motor vehicles and parts but there were gains across the board. Capacity utilization rose to 78.7% in December, the highest level in almost four years.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Nautilus stock plummets after profit and revenue outlook is well-below expectations
Shares Nautilus Inc. plummeted 42% toward a more-than 5-year low in premarket trade Friday, after the fitness company provided a fourth-quarter outlook that was well below expectations and said it was implementing an "aggressive" cost-cutting program. The company said late Thursday it expected earnings per share from continuing operations of 4 cents to 5 cents a share, while the FactSet EPS consensus as of Dec. 31 was 56 cents. Revenue is now expected to be $114 million to $116 million, below the year-end FactSet consensus of $149.6 million. Nautilus said it was expecting "significantly stronger" direct segment sales, but expected fourth-quarter direct segment sales of $50 million is down from $71.6 million a year ago. The company said it's cost-cutting plan aims to rescale operations to be more profitable on a lower sales base. The stock was on track to open at the lowest price seen during regular session hours since November 2013. It has lost 8.8% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has slipped 4.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Starbucks' new Mexican location is operated exclusively by older staffers
Starbucks Corp. announced Friday that it has opened a new cafe in Jalisco, Mexico, and it's operated exclusively by staffers between the ages of 52 and 66. This is the second Starbucks in Mexico to hire an older staff; the first launched last year in Mexico City. The Jalisco location will have 14 workers. Starbucks, which partnered with the National Institute for Elderly People five years ago, aims to hire 120 senior workers by 2019. Diana González, head of HR at Starbucks Mexico, characterizes the move as part of the company's efforts towards diversity and inclusion. Starbucks shares have gained 5.2% over the past year while the S&P 500 index has lost 5.8% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Netflix's stock drop after results despite upbeat analyst calls
Although Netflix Inc. investors may not be completely satisfied with the streaming video service giant's fourth-quarter results, especially considering the massive run up in its stock price that past few weeks, but Wall Street analysts were nearly unanimously upbeat. The stock fell 2.5% in premarket trade Friday, as Netflix beat profit and net subscriber additions expectations but missed on revenue. Of the analysts surveyed by FactSet, 14 raised their stock price target while 1 lowered their target. That lifted the average analyst price target to $402.61, which is 14% above Thursday's closing price, from $391.31 just before the results. The most bullish analyst is Justin Patterson at Raymond James, who reiterated his strong buy rating and raised his price target to $470 from $450, saying Netflix's global distribution advantage is becoming increasingly clear. Even the most bearish analyst, Wedbush's Michael Pachter, reiterated his underperform rating, citing troubling cash burn and concerns over subscriber growth deceleration, but raised his price target to $165 from $150. Netflix's stock had rocketed 51% from Dec. 24 through Thursday, while the S&P 500 rallied 12% over the same time.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

GameStop's stock jumps after upbeat holiday sales report
Shares of GameStop Corp. jumped 1.6% in premarket trade Friday, after the video game seller reported an increase in holiday-period same-store sales and affirmed its full-year profit outlook. Net sales for the nine-weeks ended Jan. 5 fell 5% from the same period a year ago. The FactSet sales consensus for the fiscal fourth quarter, which ends January, of $3.24 billion implies a 7.5% decline. Same-store sales for the period rose 1.5%, as a 3.6% increase in the U.S. offset a 3.1% decline internationally. The FactSet consensus for fourth-quarter same-store sales is a decline of 6.4%. The company affirmed its fiscal 2018 outlook for adjusted earnings per share of $2.55 to $2.75, which surrounds the FactSet consensus of $2.66. The stock has rallied 4.7% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has lost 4.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Schlumberger shares rise premarket after revenue tops estimates
Schlumberger Ltd. shares rose 2% in premarket trade Friday, after the oil giant posted stronger-than-expected revenue for the fourth quarter. The company said it had net income of $538 million, or 39 cents a share, in the quarter, after a loss of $2.26 billion, or $1.63 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 36 cents, matching the FactSet consensus. Revenue fell to $8.180 billion from $8.504 billion, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $8.044 billion. The dramatic fall in oil prices in the quarter was driven by U.S. shale production surprising to the upside, combined with geopolitical tensions. "Looking forward to 2019, we expect a more positive supply- and demand-balance sentiment to lead to a gradual recovery in the price of oil over the course of the year, as the OPEC and Russia cuts take full effect; the effect of lower activity in North America land in the second half of 2018 impacts production growth; the dispensations from the Iran export sanctions expire and are not renewed; and as the US and China continue to work toward a solution to their ongoing trade dispute," Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said in a statement. Shares have fallen 45.8% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 5.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Vans-parent VF's stock soars after profit and sales beat, raised outlook
Shares of VF Corp. shot up 8.5% toward a 6-week high in premarket trade Friday, after the apparel and accessories company, which brands include Vans, The North Face and Wrangler, reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter profit and sales. For the quarter ended December, VF swung to net income of $463.5 million, or $1.16 a share, from a loss of $90.3 million, or 23 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.31, well above the FactSet consensus of $1.10. Revenue rose 8% to $3.94 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $3.87 billion. Gross margin improved to 51.9% from 51.5%. For fiscal 2019, the company raised its revenue guidance to "at least $13.8 billion" from "at least $13.7 billion," as raised outlooks for its outdoor, active and work segments offset a lower outlook for jeans. The company raised its adjusted EPS outlook to $3.73 from $3.65. The stock has dropped 16% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has lost 4.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Eli Lilly shares slide premarket on news of failed trial for sarcoma treatment
Eli Lilly and Co. shares fell as much as 5% in premarket trde Friday before paring those losses, after the company said a late-stage trial of a treatment for sarcoma failed to meet its main goals. The phase 3 trial of Lartruvo in combination with doxorubicin in patients with advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma (STS) did not meet its primary endpoint of overall survival. It had previously shown an overall survival benefit in a 133-patient phase 2 trial which led to accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. The company "was surprised and disappointed that LARTRUVO did not improve survival for patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma in this study," said Anne White, president, Lilly Oncology, in a statement. The company is in talks with global regulators to determine its next steps. In the meantime, it expects to book a charge of $70 million to $90 million, or 10 cents a share, in the first quarter. For the full year of 2019, it expects the issue to shave about 17 cents off EPS. Sarcomas are a rare type of cancer that typically develop in connective tissue, including fat, blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles, deep skin tissues and cartilage. About 13,040 cases were diagnosed in 2018 and more than 5,000 are expected to die from the disease. Eli Lilly shares were last down 2% but have gained 38.9% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 5.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

Tiffany's stock falls after holiday sales fall and downbeat full-year outlook
Shares of Tiffany & Co. slumped 2.7% in premarket trade Friday, after the luxury jewelry retailer reported holiday-period sales that declined from a year ago and provided a downbeat full-year profit and sales outlook. Net sales for the two months ended Dec. 31 fell 1%, while same-store sales declined 2%. For the full quarter, which ends January, the FactSet consensus for net sales of $1.37 billion implies 2.8% growth and for same-store sales is 2.6% growth. Tiffany attributed the disappointing results partly to lower sales to foreign tourists, primarily Chinese, and to softening demand from local customers in the Americas and Europe. For the year, the company expects net sales to increase 6% to 7%, while the FactSet consensus of $4.50 billion implies 7.8% growth. Tiffany now expects 2018 earnings per share at the "lower end" of its previously provided guidance range of $4.65 to $4.80, compared with the FactSet consensus of $4.77. The stock has tumbled 22% over the past three months through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 6.0% and the S&P 500 has slipped 4.8%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 18, 2019

CVS's stock jumps after deal to keep Walmart participating in PBM networks
Shares of CVS Health Corp. rallied 2.6% in premarket trade Friday, after the drugstore chain and Walmart Inc. have reached a multi-year agreement in which Walmart will continue to participate in the CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) retail pharmacy networks. Walmart shares were still inactive. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement. Earlier this week, CVS said Walmart had decided to leave its PBM networks because of a dispute over pricing. "We are very pleased to have reached a mutually agreeable solution with Walmart. As a PBM, our top priority is to help our clients and consumers lower their pharmacy costs," said CVS Caremark President Derica Rice. "This new agreement accomplishes our top priority and enables Walmart to continue participating in CVS Caremark's commercial and Managed Medicaid pharmacy networks and provides enhanced network stability for our clients and their members." CVS's stock has tumbled 15% over the past three months through Thursday, while Walmart shares have gained 0.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 4.0%.

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Jan 18, 2019

Tesla to cut jobs by around 7%, says CEO Elon Musk
Electric-car maker Tesla Inc. will cut "approximately" 7% of its full-time workforce, said Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk in an update on the company's blog Friday that was emailed to all employees. Musk spoke of a "difficult" road ahead and said the company was targeting a small profit for the upcoming quarter. He said Tesla faces a tough challenge of "making our cars, batteries and solar products cost-competitive with fossil fuels," and that the company's products are "still too expensive for most people." He said the 4% profit the company made in the third quarter was due to sales of higher-priced Model 3 variants in North America. "In Q4, preliminary, unaudited results indicate that we again made a GAAP profit, but less than Q3," he said. "This quarter, as with Q3, shipment of higher-priced Model 3 variants (this time to Europe and Asia) will hopefully allow us, with great difficulty, effort and some luck, to target a tiny profit." Musk said the company will "retain only the most critical temps and contractors," adding that the staffing changes will be made while boosting Model 3 production and "making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Shares of Tesla dropped nearly 5% in thin, premarket trade.

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Jan 17, 2019

Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress about Moscow development: report
President Donald Trump directed his personal attorney at the time, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, Buzzfeed News reported Thursday night. After the 2016 election, Trump told Cohen to claim that negotiations for the project ended months earlier than they did, in order to conceal Trump's involvement, Buzzfeed reported. Cohen had claimed talks ended in January 2016, well before Trump was the Republican nominee, and during the campaign Trump denied having any business ties with Russia. Citing federal law enforcement sources, Buzzfeed also said Trump backed Cohen's plan to travel to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to smooth over negotiations for the development. Cohen met Trump face-to-face at least 10 times to provide updates on the Russia negotiations during the campaign, Buzzfeed reported, and Cohen reportedly detailed the dealings to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Mueller's team had reportedly already discovered Trump's order for Cohen to lie to Congress through witness interviews, texts, emails and other documents. The revelations could provide evidence of obstruction of justice by Trump, for explicitly telling Cohen to lie in order to conceal his dealings with Russia.

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Jan 17, 2019

Trump cancels U.S. delegation's trip to Davos due to shutdown
The U.S. won't be sending a delegation to the World Economic Forum later this month in Davos because of the government shutdown. "Out of consideration for the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay and to ensure his team can assist as needed, President Trump has canceled his Delegation's trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement late Thursday. Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump postponed an overseas trip by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers, citing the shutdown. That came a day after Pelosi suggested Trump postpone his State of the Union address until after the shutdown is resolved. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been expected to lead the U.S. delegation at Davos, after Trump said last week he wouldn't attend because of the shutdown.

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Jan 17, 2019

J. B. Hunt stock rises after company earnings
Shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. rose more than 9% in the extended session Thursday after the trucking company reported mixed fourth-quarter results. J. B. Hunt said it earned $88.7 million, or 81 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $385.3 million, or $3.48 a share, in the year-ago period. The quarterly earnings included previously announced pretax charges of $134 million for contingent liabilities related to an ongoing dispute with freight partner BNSF Railway Co., J. B. Hunt said. The two companies have been in arbitration over how they split revenue from their intermodal business for two years. Total operating revenue was $2.32 billion for the quarter, compared with $1.99 billion a year ago, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected J. B. Hunt to report earnings of $1.48 a share on sales of $2.3 billion. The stock ended the regular trading day up 3.1%.

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Jan 17, 2019

Atlassian stock surges 5% on earnings, outlook beat
Atlassian Corp. shares rallied in the extended session Thursday after the business productivity software company's results and outlook topped Wall Street estimates. Atlassian shares surged 5.1% after hours, following a 1.5% decline to close the regular session at $92.92. The company reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $45.2 million, or 18 cents a share, compared with a loss of $64.2 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 25 cents a share. Revenue rose to $299 million from $214.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 21 cents a share on revenue of $288.3 million. For the third quarter, Atlassian expects earnings of about 18 cents a share on revenue of $303 million to $305 million, while analysts forecast 17 cents a share on revenue of $300.7 million.

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Jan 17, 2019

American Express swings to profit, narrowly misses revenue expectations
Shares of American Express Co. fell more than 2% in the extended session Thursday after the credit card company reported mixed fourth-quarter results. American Express earned $2 billion, or $2.32 a share, in the quarter, versus a loss of $1.2 billion, or $1.42 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $10.5 billion from $9.7 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of $1.80 a share on sales of $10.6 billion. "We continue to see very good returns on the investments we've been making to gain share and add scale," Chief Executive Stephen J. Squeri said in a statement. American Express' growth in 2018 was "broad-based and well-balanced across geographies and business lines," he said. Card members' spending rose an adjusted 8%, driven by higher member spending, loans and card fees. The company added 12 million new cards last year. Shares of American Express ended the regular trading day up 0.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Netflix stock falls after earnings
Netflix Inc. reported earnings that beat expectations Thursday afternoon, three days after the company confirmed that it plans the largest subscription-price increase in the history of its standalone streaming service. Netflix reported that it added 8.8 million new paid streaming subscribers in the fourth quarter. Analysts on average expected Netflix to report about 7.5 million new subscribers on average, according to FactSet. For the current quarter, when prices will increase for new customers, Netflix predicts 8.9 million new customers, higher than analyst expectations heading into the report of about 7.8 million on average, according to FactSet. Netflix said in October that its subscriber-forecast numbers would likely decrease because it will stop counting free trial memberships as new subscriptions. Netflix reported net income of $134 million, or 30 cents a share, on sales of $4.19 billion. Analysts on average expected earnings of 24 cents a share on sales of $4.21 billion, according to FactSet. Netflix projected earnings of 23 cents a share on sales of $4.2 billion. Netflix shares declined more than 3% in late trading, after closing with a 0.5% gain at $353.19.

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Jan 17, 2019

Stocks end higher after report U.S. considering rollback of China tariffs
Stocks ended the day off session highs but with solid gains after The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump administration officials were debating an easing of tariffs on Chinese imports in a bid to calm markets and offer Beijing an incentive to make deeper concessions. A Treasury Department spokesman told the newspaper that no recommendations had been made. The S&P 500 ended with a gain of around 20 points, or 0.8%, near 24,370, according to preliminary figures, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced around 163 points, or 0.7%, to close near 24,370. The Nasdaq Composite gained around 50 points, or 0.7%, to end near 7,084.

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Jan 17, 2019

Trump cancels Pelosi's overseas trip, citing shutdown
President Donald Trump on Thursday told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter that her upcoming trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan has been postponed, saying "it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me." He added that she still could make the journey by flying commercial. His move comes after the Democratic lawmaker from California urged Trump to postpone the State of the Union address because of the partial government shutdown that officials have been unable to end through negotiations. Pelosi's trip had not been previously announced for security reasons, reports said.

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Jan 17, 2019

Dow surges to session high on report that the U.S. has weighed lifting China tariffs
U.S. stock benchmarks Thursday afternoon jumped to their highest levels of the session after a report indicated that Washington officials are contemplating removing tariffs on China to hasten a resolution on the protracted dispute. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by about 240 points, or 1%, at 24,450, the S&P 500 index climbed 1.1% at 2,644, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.1% at 7,113. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter, that the idea of lifting tariffs in part of whole was proposed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a series of strategy meetings. The report adds that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is concerned that any concession could be seen as a sign of weakness, however. Trade issues have been cited as the biggest headwind for stocks rallying in 2019. A protracted dispute on trade between Washington and Beijing also is seen have potential ripple effects throughout the globe, threatening to hurt economic expansion as the two largest economies battle on trade issues.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Walmart expands grocery delivery through partnership with four companies
Walmart Inc. has partnered with Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire and Roadie to expand its grocery delivery service to metropolitan areas in four states: South Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Alabama. Grocery delivery is available in 800 stores currently and 800 more will be added this year. Customers can use the service on orders of $30 or more, with free delivery available on the first order with a minimum purchase of $50. Walmart shares have lost 6% over the past year while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 7.3% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Fossil stock gains after company says it will sell smartwatch IP to Google for $40 million
Shares of Fossil Group Inc. are up nearly 5% in afternoon trading Thursday after the company announced that it would be selling intellectual property related to in-development smartwatch technology to Alphabet Inc.'s Google for $40 million. The shares were up as much as 10.9% earlier in the day but have given back some of their gains. Fossil said in a release that some members of its research and development team who are focused on this particular IP will move to Google. "Fossil Group retains more than 200 R&D team members to focus on innovation and product development," the release said. Fossil expects the transaction to close this month. Fossil shares have gained 94% in the past 12 months, as the S&P 500 has lost 6.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Blue Apron shares slide after company is named in list of possible 2019 bankruptcies
Shares of meal-kit maker Blue Apron Inc. fell more than 13% Thursday, after the company was named in a list of 10 potential bankruptcies in 2019. Investing and financial news site Investor Place acknowledged that the company is not one often named as a potential bankrupt, but after going public at $10 and falling to under $1 in less than 18 months, "there's clearly an issue". The company posted heavy losses in its most recent quarter and said it would lay off 4% of its workforce. Earlier this week, it said it expected to be profitable in the first quarter and for fiscal 2019--but only on the basis of an adjusted non-standard metric, and not because of actual profit, as MarketWatch reported. "There's too much competition and too low of margins to imagine APRN surviving on its own over the long term," said Investor Place. Shares have fallen 59% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Cannabis producer Hexo to list on NYSE American
Canadian marijuana producer Hexo Corp. said early Thursday that it has been approved for listing on the NYSE American exchange, and will begin trading Jan. 23. Hexo's current over the counter listing in the U.S. is up 1.9% in Thursday trading. Hexo follows other Canadian licensed cannabis producers such as Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp. , which have also listed on U.S. exchanges. Hexo and Molson Coors Brewing Co. have signed a joint venture to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis infused beverages. ETF Alternative Harvest ETF , which tracks a basket of pot stocks, is up less than 0.1% in midday trading.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Target expands private label baby brand Cloud Island into diapers and other essentials
Target Corp.'s private label Cloud Island, which specializes in nursery decor and layette products, is expanding into essentials like diapers and feeding products. The retailer is adding 30 products to the lineup at prices ranging from 99 cents to about $22. Most items will be priced under $10. Target worked with dermatologists, pediatricians, as well as its internal team to create the new products, said a Target chemist, Robin Beck, in a statement. The expanded Cloud Island collection will be available online and in stores on Jan. 20. Target shares have fallen 10.6% over the last year while the S&P 500 index is down 6.5% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

MedMen says revenue rose to $29.9 million in Q2, up 40% versus Q1
MedMen Enterprises Inc. said revenue rose to $29.9 million in the second quarter to Dec. 29, up 40% from the prior quarter. Proforma revenue, which includes revenue from pending acquisitions came to $49.5 million, said the Los Angeles-based company, based on unaudited preliminary numbers. The proforma revenue number is based on the 31 retail stores that were operating at quarter-end, including a new location close to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, that opened in October, and the MedMen Scottsdale location in Arizona, which opened in December. Gross margins at its retail operations was 54%, up from 45% in the previous quarter. California was the best performer with the company's eight retail outlets generating $23.7 million in revenue, up 27% from the previous quarter. "California is the prize of the cannabis industry," Chief Executive and co-Founder Adam Bierman said in a statement. MedMen is expecting to open 16 new locations in calendar year 2019, 12 of which will be based in Florida. The company did not provide further details, but is expecting to report full second-quarter earnings in February. Shares rose 2.1% and are up 11% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Elon Musk kills the Tesla referral program, suggests it hurt margins
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk announced on Twitter late Wednesday the end of the Silicon Valley auto maker's referral program, which involved awards such as a $1,000 credit, Tesla merchandise and products, and months worth of free Tesla's "supercharging" over several iterations. The program officially ends Feb. 1, Musk said. In response to questions tweeted at him, Musk said there were no plans to create another referral program, and suggested it was hurting margins. The program added "too much cost to the cars, especially Model 3," Musk said. Shares of Tesla rose 0.8% on Thursday and are up 0.4% in the last 12 months, versus losses of 6.5% for the S&P 500 index in the same period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Morgan Stanley's stock heads for biggest one-day post-earnings selloff since the financial crisis
Shares of Morgan Stanley sank 5.6% in morning trade Thursday, after the bank and broker's fourth-quarter results snapped a 12-quarter streak of earnings beats, to put it on track for the biggest one-day post-earnings selloff since the financial crisis. The last time the stock fell more on the day earnings were reported was when the stock tumbled 9.0% on April 22, 2009, when Morgan Stanley reported results for the first-quarter 2009. The previous biggest decline since then was 5.4% on April 18, 2013 after first-quarter 2013 results. The stock has tumbled 24% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF has shed 14% and the S&P 500 has given up 6.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

EIA report reveals a weekly fall of 81 billion cubic in U.S. natural-gas supplies
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas fell by 81 billion cubic feet for the week ended Jan. 11. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had forecast a decline of 77 billion cubic feet, on average, though the five-year average decline stands at 218 billion. Total stocks now stand at 2.533 trillion cubic feet, down 77 billion cubic feet from a year ago, and 327 billion below the five-year average, the government said. February natural gas traded at $3.531 per million British thermal units, up 15.4 cents, or 4.6%, from Wednesday's settlement, and little changed from before the supply data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Netflix stock options prepped for big post-earnings move relative to FAANG peers, but not itself
Traders of Netflix Inc. stock options are ready for a big reaction to the streaming video giant' earnings report, when compared with other "FAANG" stocks, but that's actually pretty normal for Netflix shares. Netflix is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results after Thursday's closing bell. An options strategy known as a "straddle," a pure volatility play that involves simultaneously buying at-the-money bullish (calls) and bearish (puts) options, is currently priced for an 8.3% move in the stock, in either direction, on Friday. That matches the average one-day post-earnings move in the stock over the past 10 quarters of 8.3%, according to an analysis of FactSet data. Meanwhile, that move is well above the average one-day post-earnings stock moves of the other FAANGs over the same time: Facebook Inc.'s is 4.9%, Amazon.com Inc.'s is 4.1%, Apple Inc.'s is 4.7% and Google parent Alphabet Inc.'s is 3.2%. Netflix stock was down 0.5% in morning trade. It has slipped 3.9% over the past three months, while the Nasdaq Composite has dropped 7.9% and the S&P 500 has shed 6.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Taiwan Semi stock falls after outlook misses expectations
Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. are down 0.4% in Thursday morning trading after the company reported December-quarter results that topped expectations but delivered a disappointing outlook for the March period. Taiwan Semi projected $7.3 billion to $7.4 billion in March-quarter revenue, significantly below the $8.5 billion consensus estimate listed on FactSet. Issues with high-end smartphones, including Apple Inc.'s iPhone, are weighing on the company, Evercore ISI analyst C.J. Muse wrote. This is "amplified by an inventory digestion which is expected to persist until mid-2019," he said. Analysts remain uncertain about the timing of a semiconductor recovery. Shares of Taiwan Semi have dropped 17.7% in the past 12 months, as the S&P 500 has fallen 6.7% and the PHLX Semiconductor Index has lost 13.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Helios and Matheson says has filed confidentially to spin off MoviePass
Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. said Thursday it has filed confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission to spin off its cinema discount-ticketing program MoviePass. The company said it has created a new subsidiary called MoviePass Entertainment Holdings Inc. to take ownership of its MoviePass stake. The company will spin off shares by listing on Nasdaq or an alternative exchange, and distribute some of the shares as a dividend to shareholders as of a record date yet to be selected. Helios and Matheson will retain a controlling stake in MoviePass, which offers consumers various packages that allow them to see films at discounted prices. Helios and Matheson has struggled to make MoviePass viable. It was a rather sleepy data analytics company when it first acquired the service and immediately slashed the monthly fee to $9.95 a month from up to $50 a month. Its subscriber base ballooned to cross the 3-million mark last June. But the company ended up burning through its cash holdings and plans to monetize data or partner with cinema chains did not come to fruition. Shares were trading Friday at 1 cent.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Stocks open lower after round of weaker-than-expected bank earnings
U.S. stocks fell at the opening bell on Thursday, keeping equity indexes on track to break their two-day rally as investors digested another round of bank earnings. The S&P 500 was down 0.3% to 2,608. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 47 points, or 0.2%, to 24,159. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.4% to 7,011. Investor sentiment was weighed down by resurfacing tensions in U.S.-China relations. And after mixed earnings in the past few days, banks such as Société Générale reported of a sharp drop in trading revenues. Shares of Morgan Stanley fell 4% after it reported the bank's earnings and revenues had fallen short of expectations thanks to weakness in its bond trading division.

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Jan 17, 2019

Fiserv stock upgraded to outperform at Wolfe Research on optimism for First Data deal
Wolfe Research analyst Darrin Peller upgraded Fiserv Inc. shares to outperform from peer perform on Thursday, a day after the company announced its intent to combine with First Data Corp. in a $22 billion, all-stock deal. He called the merger "strategically sound" and sees numerous opportunities for the combined company, including the ability for Fiserv to refer First Data's merchant-acquiring services to the banks it currently works with. Peller is also upbeat about the deal from a financial standpoint. "We see the outlined $900 million cost synergies as potentially conservative and see upside from areas such as platform rationalization, which has not yet been included in synergies," he wrote. "We also see material upside potential from interest expense savings given refinancing FDC's debt at investment-grade was not factored into targets." Fiserv shares dropped 3.3% in Wednesday trading and are off 0.2% in premarket trading on Thursday. First Data shares gained 21% on Wednesday and are down 0.5% in premarket trading Thursday. Fiserv's stock has dropped 8.2% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 6.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Lipocine's stock rockets on premarket leading volume after upbeat liver fat study results
Shares of Lipocine Inc. rocketed 49% toward a one-year high in very active premarket trade Thursday, after the pharmaceutical company reported upbeat interim results of a study of its treatment for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Volume ballooned to 3.2 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 88,500 shares, and enough to make the stock the most actively traded ahead of the open. The company said its LPCN 1144 NASH treatment showed an "absolute mean reduction" from baseline of 7.6% liver fat and deomonstrated a 38% relative mean liver fat reduction from baseline. The responder rate, in which at least a 4.1% absolute reduction in liver fat from baseline was experienced was 86%. The study showed that LPCN 1144 was well tolerated. "We are very encouraged by these results especially as the observed liver fat reductions are the largest of any well-tolerated oral product candidate within approximately eight weeks," said Chief Executive Mahesh Patel. The stock has run up 18% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has lost 5.3% and the S&P 500 has shed 6.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Apple and Johnson & Johnson collaborating on heart research project
Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. is collaborating on a multi-year research study with Apple Inc. to look at improving outcomes for patients with atrial fibrillation, the companies announced Thursday. The study will investigate whether a heart health app by Johnson & Johnson, combined with Apple Watch's irregular rhythm notifications and ECG app, can accelerate diagnosis and improve outcomes for people with atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a condition that affects 33 million people worldwide and can lead to blood clots, stroke and heart failure. The study will be based in the U.S., the companies said, and subjects will be individuals 65 years or older. Shares of Apple were down 0.5% in premarket trade Thursday and have fallen 1.8% in the year to date through Wednesday. Shares of Johnson & Johnson have fallen 0.8%, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 3.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

CBS stock upgraded at MoffettNathanson as analyst says Viacom merger is 'foregone conclusion' this year
Shares of CBS Corp. are up 0.9% in premarket trading Thursday after an upgrade to buy from neutral at MoffettNathanson. Analyst Michael Nathanson argued fears of an impending deal with Viacom Inc. have pressured CBS shares lately, but he said a merger between the two companies is a "foregone conclusion" this year. "As such, we are upgrading CBS on the assumption that a merger will be announced in 2019 that removes the very overhang that has hurt the stock," Nathanson wrote. "We think that the deal improves the structural weaknesses of both companies and drives the linked share prices higher." He maintained a $65 target price on CBS shares in conjunction with the upgrade. Nathanson rates Viacom shares at neutral with a $40 price target, writing that he is concerned about an upcoming renewal with AT&T Inc.'s DirecTV. CBS shares have fallen 14% in the past three months, while the S&P 500 has dropped 6.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

EA stock falls after Jefferies downgrade
Shares of Electronic Arts Inc. are down 2.7% in premarket trading Thursday after Jefferies analyst Timothy O'Shea downgraded the stock to hold from buy and cut his target price to $95 from $139. O'Shea said that the company's "key profit engine Ultimate Team is plateauing" and could be headed for a decline. He's also concerned about the "unproven games" in its 2019 lineup. "'Anthem' (Feb 22) looks technically ambitious and potentially rushed, having already slipped once," he wrote. "And we know next to nothing about key 2019 holiday game 'Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order,' which fills the hole left when EA canceled 'Star Wars Battlefront 3.'" He called 'Titanfall 3' promising but said the prior two iterations in the franchise had "lackluster sell-through" owing to limited platform availability and a bad launch window. "Non-sports games is precisely the area where EA has the most to prove," O'Shea wrote, citing weak critical scores for several recent titles. "We worry EA may have lost its creative way." O'Shea downgraded shares of gaming peer Ubisoft Entertainment S.A. to hold from buy as well. EA shares have dropped 21% in the past year, while the S&P 500 has lost 6.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Amazon Prime membership exceeds 100 million
Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime has reached 101 million members, according to estimates by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners Inc. As of Dec. 31, 2018, the group says 62% of Amazon's U.S. customers are members of the Prime program. Members spend an average of $1,400 annually versus $600 per year for non-members. "Membership growth has slowed, but continued steadily in the holiday quarter," said Josh Lowitz, co-founder of CIRP, in a statement. Membership exceeded 100 million in the holiday period, and grew from 26 million in December 2013. More than one-third of members (36%) pay a monthly fee while 58% pay annually and 7% are on a free trial, share a membership, or don't know how the fee is paid. An annual membership is $119 while the monthly payment structure is $156 annualized. "These more transient members obviously don't have the same commitment to Amazon shopping and the suite of Prime member services," said Mike Levin, a CIRP co-founder. "Presumably they don't typically use the breadth of benefits to the same extent as annual members." Amazon shares have climbed 30% over the past year while the S&P 500 index has fallen 6.7% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Morgan Stanley snaps 3-year streak of earnings beats
Morgan Stanley snapped long streaks for beating profit and revenue expectations, but if it's any consolation to the broker's investors, the streaks weren't as long as rival J.P Morgan Chase & Co.'s . Morgan Stanley reported earlier fourth-quarter earnings that nearly tripled from a year ago to $1.36 billion, or 80 cents a share, but missed the FactSet consensus of 89 cents. That broke a streak of 12 straight quarters of earnings beats; the last miss was the third quarter of 2015, according to FactSet. Meanwhile, revenue fell 10% to $8.55 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $9.30 billion, to snap a 10-quarter streak of beats; the last miss was the first quarter of 2016. On Tuesday, J.P. Morgan snapped beat streaks of 15 quarters for earnings and 12 quarters for revenue. Morgan Stanley's stock, which fell 4.3% in premarket trade, has shed 5.7% over the past three months through Wednesday, while J.P. Morgan shares have declined 6.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 5.8% the past three months.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Spectrum Pharma sells marketed portfolio for $160 million upfront, up to $140 million in milestone payments
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Thursday it has reached an agreement to sell its portfolio of seven FDA-approved hematology/oncology products to Acrotech Biopharma L.L.C. Spectrum said it will receive $160 million in an upfront cash payment and be entitled to up to $140 million milestone payments on reaching certain regulatory and sales goals. The company said its staff will be reduced by about 40% with most transitioning to Acrotech. The remaining staff will focus on the launch of it two late-stage pipeline treatments, ROLONTIS and poziotinib, which are cancer drugs. Shares were halted for the news, but have fallen 46.1% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 6.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Morgan Stanley's stock tumbles as sales and trading business suffers from volatile markets
Shares of Morgan Stanley tumbled 5.7% in premarket trade, after the brokerage blamed a "volatile global market environment" for disappointing sales-and-trading results, for its customers and itself. Equity sales and trading revenue was "essentially unchanged" at $1.9 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $2.04 billion, as higher revenue in the financing business was partially offset by lower execution results. For fixed income and trading, revenue dropped 30% to $564 million, well below the FactSet consensus of $800 million. Credit and rates products results were hurt by "significant credit spread widening and volatile rate environments," partially offset by increases in commodities revenue. Investment revenue were negative $52 million, after being a positive $213 million a year ago, primarily because of "market deterioration of a publicly traded investment subject to sale restrictions," which suggests the value of shares it owned of an initial public offering declined before the lockup expired. Morgan Stanley's stock has lost 19.6% over the past 12 months through Wednesday, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF has lost 13.5% and the S&P 500 has shed 6.7%.

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Jan 17, 2019

PG&E shareholder BlueMountain says bankruptcy filing would be 'utter abdication' of duty to shareholders
PG&E Corp. shareholder BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, said Thursday PG&E is "solvent," and therefore believes a bankruptcy filing would be damaging, avoidable and unnecessary. "There is overwhelming evidence that PG&E is solvent," BlueMountain said in a letter to PG&E's board of directors. "We simply cannot recall a situation where such a valuable company filed for bankruptcy with such blatant questions about the necessity to do so." PG&E said Monday it planned to file for bankruptcy on or about Jan. 29, citing mounting potential liability costs related to its role in the California wildfires. BlueMountain, a $5.5 billion asset manager that owned 4.3 million PG&E shares at the end of September, said a Chapter 11 filing would be an "utter abdication" of its duty to act in the best interest of the company and its shareholders. "It may appear easier for board members to file for Chapter 11--shifting the burden of dealing with the myriad issues that will face the Board and placing it squarely on the shoulders of the Bankruptcy Court and the companies' advisors--but it will destroy value for the company and in particular its shareholders--the only groups to which you owe a duty." PG&E's stock, which rose 6.7% in premarket trade, has plunged 86% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has slipped 6.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

UPDATE: Signet shares fall premarket after it cuts guidance citing weaker-than-expected holiday sales
Signet Jewelers Ltd.'s shares fell 10% in premarket trade Thursday, after the retailer cut guidance for its fourth quarter and fiscal 2019 and said its holiday performance fell short of expectations. "Early improvements in refreshed merchandise assortment, digital marketing and OmniChannel were more than offset by larger than expected declines in legacy product lines," chief Executive Virginia Drosos said in a statement. "In addition, the competitive promotional environment we saw early in the season intensified in December and, despite our increased promotional investments, we experienced reduced traffic during key December gifting weeks." Signet is now expecting fourth-quarter same-store sales to fall 1.6% to 2.5%. It expects adjusted EPS of $3.77 to $3.92, including a 19 cents charge for a previously disclosed regulatory matter, compared with a FactSet consensus of $4.08. For the full year, it now expects same-store sales to be flat, versus prior guidance of flat to up 1%. It expects sales of $6.26 billion, versus prior guidance of $6.31 billion and the FactSet consensus of $6.29 billion. It expects adjusted EPS to range from $3.53 to $3.68 versus prior guidance of $4.15 to $4.40. The FactSet consensus is $4.25. Shares have fallen 40% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 6.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals stock to be halted Thursday as FDA committee reviews diabetes treatment
Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc. stock will be halted from trading Thursday, as a U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee reviews a treatment for adults with type 1 diabetes. The company said the committee is meeting to review Lexicon collaborator Sanofi's New Drug Application (NDA) for sotagliflozin, an investigational oral treatment. Lexicon struck a deal with Sanofi in 2015 under which the French company has exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and sell sotagliflozin. Shares have fallen 24.3% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 6.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Signet shares fall premarket after it cuts guidance citing weaker-than-expected holiday sales
Signet Jewelers Ltd.'s shares fell 1.2% in premarket trade Thursday, after the retailer cut guidance for its fourth quarter and fiscal 2019 and said its holiday performance fell short of expectations. "Early improvements in refreshed merchandise assortment, digital marketing and OmniChannel were more than offset by larger than expected declines in legacy product lines," chief Executive Virginia Drosos said in a statement. "In addition, the competitive promotional environment we saw early in the season intensified in December and, despite our increased promotional investments, we experienced reduced traffic during key December gifting weeks." Signet is now expecting fourth-quarter same-store sales to fall 1.6% to 2.5%. It expects adjusted EPS of $3.77 to $3.92, including a 19 cents charge for a previously disclosed regulatory matter, compared with a FactSet consensus of $4.08. For the full year, it now expects same-store sales to be flat, versus prior guidance of flat to up 1%. It expects sales of $6.26 billion, versus prior guidance of $6.31 billion and the FactSet consensus of $6.29 billion. It expects adjusted EPS to range from $3.53 to $3.68 versus prior guidance of $4.15 to $4.40. The FactSet consensus is $4.25. Shares have fallen 40% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 6.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

PPG beats profit expectations, but gives downbeat outlook
PPG Industries Inc. reported Thursday fourth-quarter net earnings that beat expectations, but warned that cost inflation, unfavorable currency moves and "modestly lower" sales volumes will hurt results for the first half of this year. The paint and coatings company said it was reviewing strategic initiatives to boost shareholder value, including the combination or separation of the architectural and industrial coatings businesses by the end of the second quarter. The stock was still inactive in premarket trade. For the latest quarter, net income rose to $258 million, or $1.08 a share, from $151 million, or 59 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.15, above the FactSet consensus of $1.10. Sales fell to $3.65 billion from $3.68 billion, but matched the FactSet consensus. Citing "more global uncertainty," PPG said it expects first-quarter EPS of $1.18 to $1.23. The FactSet EPS consensus for the first quarter is $1.42. The stock has gained 4.5% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 5.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Becton Dickinson profit, revenue to rise above expectations
Becton Dickinson & Co. said it expects to swing to fiscal first-quarter net earnings per share of $2.05, from a loss of 76 cents in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS is expected to rise to $2.70 from $2.48, above the FactSet consensus of $2.59. Revenue is expected to rise 35% to $4.16 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $4.11 billion. The medical technology company affirmed its 2019 revenue growth outlook of 8.5% to 9.5%, and its adjusted EPS guidance of $12.05 to $12.15. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has lost 5.6% over the past three months, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has declined 5.5% and the S&P 500 has given up 6.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 17, 2019

Gymboree files for bankruptcy protection for the second time in two years: reports
Children's clothing retailer Gymboree Group Inc. said late Wednesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will shut its Gymboree and Crazy-8 stores, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company said it has also entered a purchase agreement with Special Situations Investing Group, an affiliate of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that will provide the initial bid for Janie and Jack operations and Gymboree's intellectual property and online platform. The auction will be held by Feb. 25, the company said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Aurora to raise $250 million in convertible debt, stock falls in late trading
Aurora Cannabis Inc. said late Wednesday that it planned to raise $250 million via convertible debt. Aurora stock fell more than 6% in after-hours trading. The company said it plans to use the cash for Canadian and international expansion, as well as for acquisitions and "working capital requirements" as the businesses grows. Aurora said it will give whoever buys the debt the chance to buy an additional $37.5 million of convertible debt. The notes will be due in 2024. Aurora stock closed up 4.7% to $7.33 during the regular session as the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF fell 1.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

U.K.'s May urges members of parliament to work together on Brexit deal
British Prime Minister Theresa May urged members of Parliament to work together on a tenable Brexit plan in a brief, televised statement hours after her government narrowly survived a no-confidence vote and a day after her proposed agreement with the European Union on the terms of the U.K.'s withdrawal was overwhelmingly rejected by lawmakers. May urged members of parliament to put aside self-interest and "work constructively together." May on Wednesday night met with leaders of the Scottish National Party, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru but not Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, the BBC reported. May said she was disappointed Corbyn hadn't participated, "but our door remains open." Corbyn has said May must rule out a "no-deal" Brexit, in which the U.K. leaves the EU without an agreement governing its relationship with the bloc, before "positive discussions" can take place.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Index fund pioneer John Bogle dies at age 89
John Bogle, the founder of index-fund giant Vanguard Group, has died at age 89, Philly.com reported, citing his family. Vanguard is now a giant of the asset management industry that has shifted toward the passive style of investing and saved trillions of dollars for investors in the process. Vanguard Group, in its own obituary, said Bogle had two "towering achievements" -- introducing the first index mutual fund for investors and driving down costs across the mutual fund industry. That fund, now called the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, has more than $441 billion in assets, Vanguard says.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Cars.com explores sale, other alternatives for its business
Cars.com said late Wednesday it has been exploring "a broad range of strategic alternatives" to turn itself around, including selling the company, since late last year. "Throughout this strategic review process, we will continue to execute on our strategy and remain focused on providing exceptional value to our customers," Chief Executive Alex Vetter said in a statement. The company has retained J.P. Morgan as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins as legal counsel. There are no guarantees the review will result in a sale or other changes, and there's no specific time frame, Cars.com said. No comment will be forthcoming until the board has approved a specific course of action, or otherwise appropriate or required, the company said. Shares of Cars.com rose 1.5% in the extended session after ending the regular trading day down 1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Apple to reportedly slow hiring in some divisions
Apple Inc. plans to cut back on hiring in specific divisions as it deals with slowing iPhone sales growth that led to a revenue warning earlier this month, according to a Wednesday afternoon report. Bloomberg News reported that Chief Executive Tim Cook revealed to workers in a meeting earlier this month that Apple would not institute a hiring freeze, but would look to slow hiring in certain areas of the company. According to the report, which was based on anonymous sources, Cook said that important future areas such as artificial intelligence would not be affected, nor would announced expansions in Austin, Texas, and Los Angeles. Apple shares gained 1.2% in regular trading Wednesday, and dipped about 0.3% in after-hours trading immediately following the report.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Aurora to raise $250 million in convertible debt, stock falls 6.6%
Aurora Cannabis Inc. said late Wednesday that it planned to raise $250 million via convertible debt. Aurora stock fell 6.6% in after-hours trading. The company said it plans to use the cash for Canadian and international expansion, as well as for acquisitions and "working capital requirements" as the businesses grows. Aurora said it will give whoever buys the debt the chance to buy an additional $37.5 million of convertible debt. The notes will be due in 2024. Aurora stock closed up 4.7% to $7.33 during the regular session as the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF fell 1.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Adamis stock surges on release of EpiPen alternative
Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp. shares surged in the extended session Wednesday after the biotech company said its partner Sandoz Inc. launched an alternative to epinephrine auto-injectors like Mylan NV's EpiPen. Adamis shares rallied 14% after hours, after closing up 4.8% at $2.63 in regular trading Wednesday. Adamis said that Sandoz, which is part of Novartis AG , launched Symjepi, a single-dose treatment for allergic reactions including anaphylaxis. "With recent news of epinephrine product shortages in the U.S., we worked together with Sandoz in getting this potentially life-saving quality product into the market as quickly as possible," said Dennis Carlo, chief executive at Adamis, in a statement.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Kinder Morgan shares fall after revenue miss
Kinder Morgan Inc. shares fell 1.3% in the extended session Wednesday after the pipeline company reported revenue below expectations. The company reported fourth-quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $483 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with losses of $1.05 billion, or 47 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for items such as losses on impairments and divestitures, among other items, earnings were 25 cents a share, compared with 21 cents a share in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose to $3.78 billion from $3.63 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $3.84 billion. The company said it does not provide net income outlook but does expect distributable cash flow of $5 billion for 2019, and the budget "contemplates" a dividend of $1 a share across the full year. For the first quarter, analysts model adjusted earnings of 25 cents a share on sales of $3.67 billion. Kinder Morgan stock closed up 0.9% to $17.47 in regular trading. Kinder Morgan shares have fallen 9.9% in the past year, as the S&P 500 index fell 6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Alcoa swings to GAAP profit, sees aluminum deficit, alumina surplus for 2019
Shares of Alcoa Inc. rose in the extended session Wednesday after the company swung to a GAAP profit in the fourth quarter. Alcoa said it earned $43 million, or 23 cents a share, in the quarter, versus a loss of $196 million, or $1.06 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned $125 million, or 66 cents a share, compared with $195 million, or $1.04 a share, a year ago. Revenue hit $3.3 billion, from $3.2 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 50 cents a share on sales of $3.3 billion. "We've built upon the progress we made since our launch, and by executing our strategic priorities to reduce complexity, drive returns, and strengthen the balance sheet, we're now better positioned to thrive through market cycles," Chief Executive Roy Harvey said. Alcoa projected a global aluminum deficit between 1.7 million and 2.1 million metric tons for the year, with global demand growth in a range of 3% and 4%. For the alumina market, it predicted it to move to a surplus in a range between 0.2 million and 1 million metric tons, "driven by China, where refining expansions are expected to outpace demand growth from smelting," the company said. The bauxite market is expected to remain in surplus, Alcoa said. Shares of Alcoa ended the regular trading day up 0.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

CSX stock slips after earnings beat, announced buyback
CSX Corp. shares slipped in the extended session Wednesday even after the railroad operator's quarterly results topped Wall Street estimates. CSX shares slipped 1.9% after hours, following a 0.4% rise to close the regular session at $65.38. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $843 million, or $1.01 a share, compared with $4.14 billion, or $4.62 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $3.14 billion from $2.86 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 99 cents a share on revenue of $3.12 billion. The company also said its board authorized $5 billion in share buybacks.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

IRS expands waivers for taxpayers who didn't withhold enough
The Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday announced that it is waiving a penalty for any taxpayer who paid at least 85% of their total tax liability during the year through federal income tax withholding, quarterly estimated tax payments or a combination of the two. The usual percentage threshold to avoid a penalty has been 90%, the IRS said in a statement. "We realize there were many changes that affected people last year, and this penalty waiver will help taxpayers who inadvertently didn't have enough tax withheld," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Stocks end higher, propelled by strong bank earnings as Goldman shares jump
Stocks ended moderately higher Wednesday, boosted after upbeat bank earnings that saw shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. rally more than 9%. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to end near 2,616, according to preliminary figures, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced around 139 points, or 0.6%, to around 24,205. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.2% to finish near 7,035. Financials led the way higher, with the sector rising 2.2% as Goldman shares, which took a beating in 2018, jumped 9.5% after the investment banking giant topped Wall Street expectations with its fourth-quarter results. Goldman was the top gainer for both the S&P 500 and the Dow.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Emoluments were improperly ignored in examining Trump hotel lease, official finds
The inspector general of the General Services Administration has ruled the agency ignored issues raised under the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution by President Donald Trump's business interest in the Old Post Office Building, which is now the site of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The decision to "exclude the emoluments issues from GSA's consideration of the lease was improper because GSA, like all government agencies, has an obligation to uphold and enforce the Constitution; and because the lease, itself, requires that consideration," the inspector general said. The GSA itself said the decision not to address or consider the Emoluments Clauses occurred before the Trump administration was in office or while career officials and not political appointees were in charge. The GSA says it will adjust language of the building lease.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Morgan Stanley's stock jumps into bull-market territory ahead of earnings
Shares of Morgan Stanley shot up 4.8% in afternoon trade Wednesday, enough to enter bull-market territory, a day before the broker is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results. The rally comes after shares of fellow large-capitalization financial Goldman Sachs Group Inc. soared 9.1% and Bank of America Corp. ran up 7.7% after they reported better-than-expected results. Morgan Stanley's stock is trading 21.5% above its 2-year closing low of $37.01 on Dec. 24; many chart watchers define a bull market as a rally of 20% or more off a bear-market low. Morgan Stanley is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results before Thursday's open. It has beat earnings expectations the past 12 quarters and has beat on revenue the past 10 quarters. Morgan Stanley's stock has slipped 2.3% over the past three months, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF has given up 4.6% and the S&P 500 has shed 6.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Theresa May's government narrowly survives no-confidence vote
The U.K. government survived a no-confidence vote brought by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn over its handling of Brexit on Wednesday. The decision by lawmakers, who voted 325 in support and 306 against the government, leaves the administration intact with Prime Minister Theresa May at the helm. Following the vote, the U.K. will return to the predefined Brexit timeline, giving the government until Jan. 21 to present an alternative Brexit deal after May's proposal was voted down in Parliament on Tuesday. The British pound in response briefly bounced higher but retraced its gains to stand little changed at $1.2861. The euro was slightly weaker against sterling, last buying £0.8866.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Signet unit to pay $11 million to CFPB, New York over allegations of opening accounts without consent
Signet Jewelers division Sterling Jewelers has agreed to pay $10 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and $1 million to the state of New York to settle claims it's opened store credit-card accounts with customer consent. According to the settlement, Sterling also enrolled customers in payment-protection insurance without their consent and misrepresented to consumers the financing terms associated with the credit-card accounts. Sterling does business as Kay Jewelers, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, and a variety of regional brands, including JB Robinson Jewelers, Marks & Morgan Jewelers, Belden Jewelers, Goodman Jewelers, LeRoy's Jewelers, Osterman Jewelers, Rogers Jewelers, Shaw's Jewelers, and Weisfield Jewelers. In a statement, Signet said it "disagreed" with the allegations but "chose to negotiate a resolution of this matter to avoid the time, expense, and uncertainty of litigation with the agencies. We have used this opportunity to internally reaffirm the transparency and fairness of our credit-related policies and we look forward to continuing to provide our customers with access to suitable credit options."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

British lawmakers begin voting in no-confidence motion against U.K. government
British members of Parliament are beginning to vote in a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Theresa May's government that was brought by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. The vote is not expected to oust the government. The Conservative and pro-Brexit European Research Group, which was instrumental in bringing a leadership challenge against May in December that ultimately failed, said they would back the government. The Norther Irish Democratic Unionist Party is also expected to back the Tories. Should Parliament express it has no confidence in the government after all, and no other government can gain confidence within 14 days, a general election would have to be called. May earlier said when addressing Parliament that having a new general election would be the worst possible option. U.K. stocks and bonds were closed at the time the vote began, and the British pound was little changed at $1.2858.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

United Natural Foods stock gains after upbeat profit, sales outlook
Shares of United Natural Foods Inc. rose 0.7% in afternoon trade Wednesday, paring earlier gains of as much as 5.6%, after the natural and organic foods seller, and parent of the Supervalu grocery chain, provided upbeat fiscal 2019 financial guidance. The company said it now expects a net per-share loss of 50 cents to 70 cents, including expenses $35 million to $40 million in expenses associated with asset divestitures, compared with its previous guidance of a 19-cent loss to a 1-cent profit. Excluding non-recurring items, the company expects adjusted earnings per share of $1.69 to $1.89, above the FactSet consensus of $1.60. Net sales is expected to range from $21.5 billion to $22.0 billion, also above the FactSet consensus of $21.35 billion. Separately, the company said it expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $650 million to $665 million, compared with the FactSet consensus of $636 million. The stock has tumbled 55% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has lost 6.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Gold futures settle at a nearly 2-week high
Gold futures climbed on Wednesday, marking their highest settlement for a most-active contract since Jan. 3, according to FactSet data. Prices found support from the turmoil surrounding the U.K.'s plan to leave the European Union. February gold settled at $1,293.80 an ounce, up $5.40, or 0.4% for the session.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Fed's George tells WSJ that bond roll-off may be causing market volatility
Elaborating on a speech she delivered on Monday, Kansas City Fed President Esther George said the central bank's shrinking portfolio of bonds may be a "fair explanation" for what's driving stock-market volatility. "This idea that it was like paint drying, I didn't really embrace that," she told The Wall Street Journal in an interview. "You have to continually watch it." That said, George told the newspaper the Fed hasn't reached the conclusion it was necessary to change the pace of the bond roll-off. George reiterated to the newspaper that she now advocates for some patience before the Fed raises interest rates further.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Ligand Pharma stock tanks after short seller Citron calls it 'pipe dream'
Shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. fell more than 20% on Wednesday after famed short seller Andrew Left of Citron Research called the San Diego, Calif., drug company's pipeline a "pipe dream." Ligand "is a company designed for the 'lazy investor' whose stock price has 80% downside from its current levels once people READ," Left said in a note. Ligand has changed its strategy from developing its own drugs to acquiring candidate drugs and technologies and forming partnerships to develop them further. Although the company has generated royalties, they are mostly generated from just four approved drugs with one accounting for more than 75% of royalties, the note said. Shares of Ligand have fallen 32% in the past 12 months, compared with losses around 6% for the S&P 500 index.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

ToughBuilt's stock nearly triples, paces Nasdaq gainers after sales launch in Menards
Shares of ToughBuilt Industries Inc. nearly tripled--soaring 186%--in very active trade Wednesday, enough to pace the gainers on the Nasdaq exchange, after the tools and building accessories company said it launched product sales within Menards Inc.'s home improvement store. Volume spiked to 24.7 million shares at 1 p.m. Eastern, compared with the full-day average of about 328,000 shares. Wisconsin-based Menards has more than 300 stores in the Midwest. The launch of sales comes after it previously reached a distribution agreement. ToughBuilt completed its initial public offering in November.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Dow, S&P 500 now up 11% from December lows, but still below 50-day moving averages
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 133 points, or 0.6%, in midday trade, to extend its bounce off the Dec. 24 low to 11.0%. But the Dow was still below the widely followed 50-day moving average (50-DMA), which many chart watchers use as a short-term trend tracker, that currently extends to about 24,364. The S&P 500 has gained 11.3% from its Dec. 24 low, but was still below its 50-DMA at 2,629. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite has shot up 13.6% from its Dec. 24 closing low, and closed above its 50-DMA on Tuesday. Elsewhere, the Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market index traded above its 50-DMA intraday Wednesday, the first time it's done that since Dec. 4, before slipping back below it.

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
Jan 16, 2019

Yelp's stock surges as company responds to investor push to unlock shareholder value
Shares of Yelp Inc. ran up 2.9% in morning trade Wednesday, after the online business-review database responded to investor SQN Investors's presentation criticizing the company's performance and pushing to "unlock value." Yelp said it is focused on taking "disciplined" actions to achieve "sustained, long-term growth" and create shareholder value. "Yelp is open to hearing any ideas and investor input, including from SQN," the company said in a statment. "We remain willing and open to meeting with SQN to hear their perspectives on the topics they have previously raised, all of which are items on which the Board has already been engaged." SQN said earlier that the 5-year history of Yelp's underperformance appears set to continue under the current board. SQN said successful implementation of its recommendations could boost the stock price to $55 to $65, which is 57% to 86% above Tuesday's closing price of $34.97, while an "immediate sale" to a private equity partner could push the price up to $47 to $50. SQN said it owns over 4% of Yelp's shares outstanding. Yelp's stock has still lost 17.4% over the past 12 months, while the Nasdaq Composite has slipped 2.4% and the S&P 500 has given up 5.7%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Sasse says Justice Department should investigate itself over Jeffrey Epstein sentencing
Alleging "an epic miscarriage of justice," Sen. Ben Sasse has written letters to Justice Department officials asking why former hedge-fund manager Jeffrey Epstein received a soft sentence for allegedly trafficking minor girls for sex parties, Axios reported. Epstein pleaded guilty to two felony prostitution charges but received immunity for sex-trafficking charges. The sentencing was agreed to by Alexander Acosta, then a U.S. attorney and now the Labor Department secretary. Sasse cited the Miami Herald's investigation into the topic.

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
Jan 16, 2019

Goldman's stock soars toward best post-earnings rally in 7 years, and into bull-market territory
Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. soared 6.0% in morning trade, putting them on track for the best one-day post-earnings performance in seven years and to enter a new bull market, after the broker reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue beats. On the days of the previous 28 quarterly reports back to Jan. 18, 2012, when the stock rose 6.8% after fourth-quarter 2011 results were reported, the stock has gained just nine times and declined 19 times. The average gain has been 2.6% and the average loss has been 1.6%, with the median move a 0.8% decline. The stock, which was on track to close at the highest level since Dec. 3, has now run up 22.0% since closing at a 2 1/2-year low of $156.35 on Dec. 24. Many on Wall Street define a bull market as a gain of 20% or more from a bear-market trough. Separately, the stock's price gain of $10.79 was adding about 73 points to the Dow Jones Industrial Average's price, which was up 106 points. Goldman's stock was still down 14% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 6.3%.

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
Jan 16, 2019

EIA reports a decline in U.S. crude supply, but gasoline stocks jump
The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that domestic crude supplies declined by 2.7 million barrels for the week ended Jan. 11. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expected the EIA to report a smaller fall of 250,000 barrels in crude supplies, while sources said the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a decline of 560,000 barrels. Gasoline stockpiles, however, climbed by 7.5 million barrels last week, while distillate stockpiles rose by 3 million barrels, according to the EIA. The S&P Global Platts survey had shown expectations for supply increases of 2.6 million barrels for gasoline and 900,000 barrels in distillates. February West Texas Intermediate crude was down 4 cents, or less than 0.1%, at $52.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was trading at $52.23 before the data.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Top Democrat Pelosi asks Trump to delay State of the Union
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday urged President Trump to postpone the State of the Union speech because of the government shutdown or submit his address in writing. In a letter, Pelosi pointed out that the U.S. Secret Service, the agency responsible for handling security, has not been funded during the 26-day shutdown. "Sadly, given the security concerns, and unless the government opens this week, I suggest we work together to determine another suitable date after the government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th," she wrote.

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
Jan 16, 2019

Roku to remove Infowars from its platform, stock extends gains
Shares of Roku Inc. hiked up 1.2% in morning trade Wednesday, adding to the previous session's 2.6% surge. The streaming platform said late Tuesday that it has decided to remove the controversial channel Infowars from its platform. "After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform," the company said in an emailed statement to MarketWatch late Tuesday. "Deletion from the channel store and platform has begun and will be completed shortly." Roku faced a public backlash after the it added the far-right conspiracy-theory promoting channel Infowars, although a number of companies, including Apple Inc. , Twitter Inc. , Facebook Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. , banned the channel. Roku's stock has tumbled 36% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has slipped 6.8%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jan 16, 2019

Stocks open modestly higher as earnings season come into focus
Stocks rose at the opening bell on Wednesday as investors turned their attention to a raft of better-than-expected earnings from banks. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 2,615. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 68 points, or 0.3%, to 24,133. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.2% to 7,039. The bullish tone comes as heads of U.S. corporations pronounce their optimism over the economy's health in recent company guidance. Also giving equities a boost, the People's Bank of China injected a record $83 billion into the country's banks as Beijing attempts to arrest its own slowdown. Shares for Bank of America Corp. rose after the financial institution reported revenue and profits higher than analysts' expectations.

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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