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   NEWS: MARKETWATCH MARKETPULSE
MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

AutoNation reports results, names new CEO
AutoNation Inc. shares were unchanged in the extended session Monday after the auto retailer reported earnings and named a new chief executive. AutoNation shares were flat after hours, following a 0.2% decline to close the regular session at $41.95. The company reported second-quarter net income of $100.8 million, or $1.12 a share, compared with $97.6 million, or $1.07 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue declined to $5.34 billion from $5.39 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $1.07 a share on revenue of $5.29 billion. AutoNation also named its Chief Financial Officer Cheryl Miller as CEO and president effective immediately, replacing Carl Liebert, and Christopher Cade as interim CFO while an executive search is conducted.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Apple close to buying Intel's modem business: report
Apple Inc. could be within a week of agreeing to a deal to buy Intel Corp.'s modem-chip business, according to a Monday afternoon report. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple and Intel are in advanced talks on a deal that values the business at $1 billion or more that could lead to a deal in the next week, based on anonymous sources. Intel stock gained about 2% in after-hours trading after the report hit, while Apple shares gained about 0.2%. The deal has been rumored since Apple gave up on its worldwide legal fight with modem maker Qualcomm Inc. on the same day that Intel -- the only other Apple source for iPhone modem chips -- announced that it would wind down its modem business. The Journal reported that Intel and Apple were in talks for more than a year, but Intel began shopping the unit after Apple struck a multiyear deal with Qualcomm as part of the companies' legal settlement. After discussions with other companies, Intel re-ignited talks with Apple, according to the report. Intel reports quarterly earnings Thursday, while Apple is scheduled to report a few days later, on Tuesday, July 30.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Acadia stock drops as schizophrenia drug doesn't pass clinical trial
Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares dropped in the extended session Monday after the biotech drug maker said its schizophrenia treatment did not pass a late-stage clinical trial. Acadia shares fell 15% after hours, following a 1.1% rise to close the regular session at $25.97. In a Phase 3 clinical trial, Acadia said that its treatment pimavanserin did not perform better than a placebo on a statistically significant basis when added to an existing antipsychotic treatment for schizophrenia. By Monday's close, Acadia shares had gained nearly 61% on the year, compared with a 19% rise in the S&P 500 index and a 24% gain in the Nasdaq Composite Index .

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Cadence Design stock slips on in-line results
Cadence Design Systems Inc. shares declined in the extended session Monday after the chip-design software company reported results in-line with Wall Street estimates. Cadence shares fell 3.7% after hours, following a 0.4% decline to close the regular session at $72.66. The company reported second-quarter net income of $107.2 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with $75.1 million, or 27 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 57 cents a share. Revenue rose to $580.4 million from $518.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Cadence expects adjusted earnings of 50 cents to 52 cents a share on revenue of $570 million to $580 million in the third quarter, and $2.11 to $2.17 a share on revenue of $2.32 billion to $2.34 billion. Analysts had forecast earnings of 50 cents a share on revenue of $576.1 million for the third quarter, and $2.09 a share on revenue of $2.32 billion for the year.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Whirlpool stock rises after company beats earnings, raises guidance
Shares of Whirlpool Corp. rose more than 5% in the extended session Monday after the appliances maker beat adjusted profit and sales expectations and raised its guidance for the full year. Whirlpool said it earned $67 million, or $1.04 a share, in the second quarter, versus a loss of $657 million, or $9.50 a share, in the prior-year period. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned $4.01 a share, compared with $3.20 a share a year ago. Sales rose to $5.2 billion from $5.1 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $3.71 a share on sales of $5.02 billion. For the year, Whirlpool expects earnings per diluted share between $17.80 and $18.55. Whirpool shares had ended the regular trading session up 0.1%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

TD Ameritrade CEO to step down, company's fiscal Q3 earnings mixed
TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. said late Monday Chief Executive Tim Hockey will step down, with the board starting a search for a new CEO. Hockey will remain the top executive until February 2020; if a successor is not identified by then, he'll move on to an advisory role to help with the transition, the company said. In a separate press release, the broker reported mixed fiscal third-quarter earnings. TD Ameritrade earned $555 million, or $1 a share, in the quarter, compared with $451 million, or 79 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, TD Ameritrade earned $578 million, or $1.04 a share, compared with 89 cents a share a year ago. Revenue rose 8% to $1.5 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the company to report adjusted earnings of 97 cents a share on sales of $1.47 billion. Shares rose 1% in the extended session after ending the regular trading day up 1.6%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Starbucks takes a stake in restaurant tech company
Starbucks Corp. said Monday that it will take an equity stake in Brightloom, a restaurant technology company previously called Eatsa. As part of the deal, Brightloom will license Starbucks' mobile and loyalty technology, to use in its existing platform. With this upgraded platform, Brightloom aims to offer restaurant brands an all-in-one option for mobile, payments, order management, loyalty, and other functions. Brightloom has also closed a $30 million round of funding that includes Starbucks licensees Alshaya Group and Alsea, as well as Tao Capital Partners and Valor Equity Partners. Starbucks stock has gained more than 41% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 19.1% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Stocks eke out small gains as investors prep for busy week of earnings
Stocks logged small gains Monday, buoyed by tech shares, as investors prepared for a busy week that will see more than 140 S&P 500 companies and a third of Dow Jones Industrial Average components deliver second-quarter results. The Dow rose around 17 points, or 0.1%, to end near 27,172, according to preliminary figures, while the S&P 500 rose around 8 points, or 0.3%, to finish near 2,985. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced around 58 points, or 0.7%, to close near 8,204. Tech stocks were the best-performing of the S&P 500's 11 sectors, rising 1.2%. Shares of Micron Technology Inc. rose 3.7% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the chip maker to buy from neutral on Monday, citing expectations for an improved supply/demand balance in coming months. Other memory-chip companies also advanced.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

UPDATE: Lannett stock up 40% with no news released; short interest stands at 74% of float
Shares of generic-drug manufacturer Lannett Company Inc. shot up 40% in Monday afternoon trade. The company has not released any news that would account for the stock move, a spokesman for the company said. However, Lannet stock's short interest stood at at 20.66 million shares at the end of June, equal to 74.3% of the company's public float of 27.8 million shares. Ihor Dusaniwsky,managing director for predictive analytics at S3 Partners, a company that tracks short interest, said the move was not caused by a short squeeze, although it could trigger one if the stock keeps rallying. Short positions were down about $128,000 year-to-date, through Friday. "Shorts have taken a good stomach punch today, they're down $46.2 million," he said. "They are definitely a candidate for a short squeeze after today." Shares of Lannett have gained 67.9% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 19.2%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Earnings recession still on track, but outlook has improved in the last week
With a out 16% of the S&P 500 having reported earnings for he second-quarter, the aggregate blended estimate is a decline of 1.9% from a year ago, according to FactSet. Last week, the blended estimate, which combines actual and estimated results, was for a decline of 3.1%. Of the companies that reported results, 79% have beat earnings-per-share estimates by an average of 7.0%, with both above 5-year averages, said FactSet analyst John Butters. After a 0.3% EPS decline in the first quarter, a negative print for the second quarter would mark the first "earnings recession" since the second quarter of 2016. The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in afternoon trading, and has gained 2.6% over the past three months, and rallied 19.0% year to date.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Microsoft invests $1 billion in AI start-up
Microsoft Corp. is making a huge bet on artificial intelligence by sinking $1 billion into AI start-up OpenAI, the companies announced Monday. Under a partnership, OpenAI will run all of its services on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform and use Microsoft as its preferred partner for commercializing new AI tech. On its website, OpenAI says its mission is "to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI)-by which we mean highly autonomous systems that outperform humans at most economically valuable work-benefits all of humanity." Microsoft, which is currently the only U.S. company valued at more than $1 trillion, recently reported strong earnings growth driven by Azure. Shares rose 1.2% to $138.19 in recent trading Monday, compared with a flat Dow Jones Industrial Average , a 0.3% gain in the S&P 500 index , and a 0.7% gain in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index .

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Microsoft invests $1 billion in AI startup
Microsoft Corp. is making a huge bet on artificial intelligence by sinking $1 billion into AI startup OpenAI, the companies announced Monday. Under a partnership, OpenAI will run all of its services on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform and use Microsoft as its preferred partner for commercializing new AI tech. On its website, OpenAI says its mission is "to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI) -- by which we mean highly autonomous systems that outperform humans at most economically valuable work -- benefits all of humanity." Microsoft, which is currently the only U.S. company valued at more than $1 trillion, recently reported strong earnings growth driven by Azure. Shares were up 1.2% to $138.19 in recent trading Monday, compared with a flat Dow Jones Industrial Average , a 0.3% gain in the S&P 500 index and a 0.7% gain in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index .

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Nasdaq surges on big-tech strength, but most stocks decline
The Nasdaq Composite surged 0.7% in afternoon trading Monday, and was by far the best performer of the Big 3 stock market indexes, but internal market data would suggest otherwise. The number of declining stocks on the Nasdaq exchange actually outnumbered declines by 1,438 to 1,374, while volume in advancing stocks represented 60.7% of total volume. That suggested the technology friendly Nasdaq index was being driven higher by the more liquid, or larger market capitalization company shares. The Nasdaq 100 index of the 100-largest Nasdaq companies rose 0.8%. The SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF climbed 1.2% and was the biggest gainer of ETFs tracking the S&P 500 11 key sectors. Meanwhile, on the NYSE, the number of advancing stocks led decliners 1,491 to 1,302 and volume of advancing stock represented 56.2% of total volume. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 12 points, or less than 0.1%. Among the largest-cap Nasdaq tech stocks, shares of Microsoft Corp. rose 1.1%, Amazon.com Inc. tacked on 0.4% and Apple Inc. rallied 1.8%.

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
Jul 22, 2019

Alphabet shares rise on bullish research notes from Credit Suisse, Wedbush Securities
Shares of Alphabet Inc. are up slightly to $1,136 Monday after two market research notes said they expect continued strong sales from its search business as well as potential revenue from Maps, Waymo and Life Sciences. Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju, in a note Monday, maintained an outperform rating on Alphabet stock with a price target of $1,400. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter anticipates revenue of $38.24 billion and non-GAAP earnings of $12.92 a share when Alphabet reports second-quarter results on Thursday. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect earnings of $11.10 a share on revenue of $38.155 billion.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Tesla stock downgraded to hold at Roth Capital
Analyst Craig Irwin at Roth Capital Partners on Monday downgraded Tesla Inc. stock to their equivalent of hold, from buy, saying he sees the shares' risk-reward equation "as well balanced at current levels." Tesla has a "viable path tfor meeting at least the low end" of its guidance to deliver between 360,000 and 400,000 cars this year, he said. Tesla is scheduled to report second-quarter results on Wednesday. The stock is down 22% this year, contrasting with gains of 19% and 16% for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Iran has arrested 17 Iranians on charges of spying for the CIA: AP
Seventeen Iranian nationals have been arrested after allegedly having been recruited by the U.S.'s Central Intelligence Agency to spy on nuclear and military sites in Iran, according to the Iranian government. Some of those arrested, the Associated Press reported citing an Iranian intelligence official, have been sentenced to death. The arrests have occurred over a several-month period, according to the official, identified only as the director of the counterespionage department of Iran's Intelligence Ministry, the AP reported. President Donald Trump tweeted that there was zero truth to the Iranian claim.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Starbucks launching creamers in grocery stores
Starbucks Corp. said Monday that it is entering a new category through its partnership with Nestlé, bringing a line of Starbucks Creamers to grocery stores across the U.S. starting in August. Starbucks Creamers will be available in three flavors: caramel macchiato, white chocolate mocha and cinnamon dolce latte. They'll also be sold at select online retailers. Mintel data shows that the creamer category in the U.S. will exceed $7.8 billion by 2023. Starbucks stock has gained 41.2% in 2019 while the S&P 500 index is up 19% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

PayPal's upcoming results could be among the 'messiest' in recent memory, says analyst
Bernstein analyst Harshita Rawat expects that PayPal Holdings Inc. will report "one of the messiest quarters" in recent memory "given many moving pieces around volume growth, Venmo monetization, pricing actions, credit divestiture impact, [foreign exchange], gains on investments, recent M&A & eBay ." Still, she expects that the company will top expectations, though the current consensus forecast doesn't account for recent disclosures around investment benefits. PayPal said recently that it expects 13 cents of earnings impact beyond what it previously forecast related to its investments. The FactSet consensus models 69 cents in June-quarter adjusted earnings per share, while Rawat forecasts 84 cents. She rates the stock at market perform but raised her target price to $110 from $105. PayPal shares are up 0.4% in Monday morning trading, and they've risen 42% so far this year as the S&P 500 has climbed 19%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Apple stock gains after Morgan Stanley hikes target ahead of earnings
Apple Inc. shares are up 0.7% in Monday morning trading after Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty raised her price target on the stock to $247 from $231, writing that the company has a "low risk" of missing expectations with its September outlook. She's generally upbeat about Apple's June-quarter numbers, which the company will report next Tuesday afternoon. "Investor sentiment continues to surprise us as unusually negative, with call volume throughout the quarter at recent lows despite shares bouncing back ~20% from the May bottom," she wrote. She also expects an acceleration in services revenue for the first time since March 2018. Huberty has an overweight rating on the stock, which has gained 30% so far this year, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 17%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Amazon signs book deal with Dean Koontz, with free collection coming in November
Amazon.com Inc. said Monday that it has signed a five-book deal with best-selling author Dean Koontz, with the first book, "Devoted," coming next spring. Before that, a collection of six short thrillers called "Nameless" will be available for free to Prime members and Kindle Unlimited users on November 12. "Devoted" will introduce Megan Bookman, an artist and widow, her gifted golden retriever Kipp, and her autistic son Woody, who is after revenge for his father's murder. Amazon has previously published one of Koontz's short stories, "Ricochet Joe," on its Amazon Original Stories platform. It went on to be an Amazon Charts best-seller. Amazon stock is up 31% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 19% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

U.S. stocks open slightly higher as Dow faces earnings season's busiest week
U.S. stock indexes on Monday kicked off the week with slight gains as investors prepped for a barrage of earnings, including a third of the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average . The Dow opened up 0.1% at 27,180, a gain of 30 points, the S&P 500 index advanced 0.2% at 2,983, while the Nasdaq Composite Index kicked off Monday trade 0.4% higher at 8,176. All three benchmarks finished Friday's session with weekly losses. There are 144 S&P 500 components expected to report corporate results this week and 10 of the Dow's 30 components, representing the busiest week for the blue-chip index and the second-busiest week for the S&P 500.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Etsy to acquire Reverb, a musical instrument seller, for $275 million in cash
Etsy Inc. said Monday that it will acquire Reverb Holdings Inc., a seller of new, used and vintage music gear, for $275 million in cash. Reverb will operate as a standalone company when the deal closes. Reverb was founded in Chicago in 2013, and its sellers are individuals, brick-and-mortar retailers, dealers and artists. The deal is expected to close in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2019. Etsy stock has inched up 0.7% in premarket trading, and has rallied more than 50% over the last year. The S&P 500 index is up 6.2% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Applied Materials, Lam Research stocks rise after Goldman turns bullish
Goldman Sachs analyst Toshiya Hari upgraded Applied Materials Inc. and Lam Research Corp. shares to buy from neutral on Monday, while also upgrading KLA Corp. shares to neutral from sell. His increasing conviction on the sector reflects his view that the memory market is showing early signs of stabilization. "Predicated on our improved outlook in memory as well as our view that competitive dynamics will keep logic/foundry spending elevated, we now forecast the [wafer fab equipment] market to grow 7% year over year in 2020, up from our prior assumption of flat year over year," Hari wrote. He expects that more "disciplined" actions from memory manufacturers, including capital-expenditure cuts, will improve the memory supply/demand balance sooner than he previously expected and driver higher levels of wafer-fab equipment spending. Hari elevated Applied Materials shares to Goldman's conviction list in conjunction with the upgrade. Applied's shares have risen 46% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Ebay names two executives, vets from Amazon and Twitter
Ebay Inc. said Monday that it has named two new executives, who will be joining the executive leadership team. Pete Thompson, eBay's new chief product officer, joins from Amazon.com Inc. where he was vice president of Alexa Voice Service. Mazen Rawashdeh, who previously spent eight years with eBay between 2003 and 2011, has been appointed eBay's chief technology officer. He previously served as a vice president at Twitter Inc. and spent four years as an angel investor and tech advisor. Ebay stock has edged up 0.8% in Monday premarket trading, and has rallied 43.3% in 2019. The S&P 500 index has gained 18.7% this year so far. Read: Ebay shares rise after earnings beat but Amazon looms large

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Micron stock gains after Goldman upgrade
Shares of Micron Technology Inc. are up 2.7% in premarket trading Monday after Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney upgraded the stock to buy from neutral, reflecting his growing optimism on memory stocks and his view that companies with excess inventory will be able to deplete their inventory more quickly than anticipated. "We believe that Micron is the best stock to express our view," he wrote. "Importantly, we believe that Micron's stock will trade more on memory pricing trends and intermediate term EPS expectations than FY20 earnings." Delaney is skeptical that Chinese companies will be able to enter the DRAM market in the next few years given their limited progress in the area thus far. He raised his price target Micron's stock to $56 from $40. Shares are up 43% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Ross Stores expands across 10 states
Ross Stores Inc. said Monday that it has opened 22 Ross Dress for Less stores and six dd's Discounts locations across 10 states in June and July. The stores are located in newer Midwest markets like Illinois and Kentucky, and entry into the Ohio market with two stores. The openings keep the company on track for 100 new stores in 2019. Ross currently operates 1,772 locations in 39 states, Washington DC and Guam. Ross stock has rallied 28.1% in 2019 while the S&P 500 index is up 18.7% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Intec stock plunges 80% after late-stage failure of Parkinson's drug
Shares of biotech Intec Pharma Ltd. plunged 80% in premarket trade Monday after the company said its late-stage trial of a drug meant to treat symptoms of advanced Parkinson's disease did not result in meaningful improvement when compared with standard therapy. "We are disappointed that the ACCORDANCE study didn't meet its target endpoints with statistical significance," Intec Chief Executive Jeffrey Meckler said in a statement. The company had developed a special delivery system meant to release the drug slowly over eight to 12 hours, allowing it to be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract more steadily than current standard-of-care options. Intec's drug, dubbed the Accordion Pill-Carbidopa/Levodopa, contains carbidopa and levodopa in both their immediate and extended-release forms. A Phase 3 trial showed that patients on the Accordion Pill did not show statistically-significant improvement when compared with patients taking Sinemet, an immediate-release form of carbidopa and levodopa commonly used to treat Parkinson's symptoms. Intec's stock has fallen 60% in the year to date through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 18.7%.

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
Jul 22, 2019

Lennox's stock falls after 'adverse' weather led to earnings miss, lowered guidance
Shares of Lennox International Inc. slumped 5.7% in premarket trading Monday, after the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company reported second-quarter earnings that missed expectations and cut its full-year outlook, citing adverse weather conditions. Net income fell to $110.7 million, or $2.80 a share, from $137.6 million, or $3.35 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share rose 2% to $3.74, but was below the FactSet consensus of $4.12. Revenue fell 6% to $1.10 billion, missing the FactSet consensus of $1.15 billion. Residential heating and cooling revenue fell 4% to $689 million, missing the FactSet consensus of $733 million, commercial heating and cooling revenue rose 4% to $261 million to beat expectations of $258 million and refrigeration revenue increased 2% to $149 million to top expectations of $148 million. For 2019, Lennox cut its guidance for adjusted EPS to $11.30 to $11.90 from $12.00 to $12.60 and for revenue growth to 2% to 5% from 3% to 7%. "Significantly cooler temperatures and higher precipitation across the United States adversely impacted the HVAC market in the second quarter, and especially in key Central regions where cooling degree days were down over 30% and precipitation was up over 60%," said Chief Executive Todd Bluedorn. The stock has rallied 27.4% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 16.4%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

PetMed Express shares fall 12% after earnings and sales miss
PetMed Express Inc. shares sank 12.5% in Monday premarket trading after the pet pharmacy company reported fiscal first quarter earnings and sales that missed consensus. Net income totaled $5.3 million, or 26 cents per share, down from $12.6 million, or 62 cents per share, last year. Sales of $80.0 million were down from $87.4 million in 2018. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 42 cents and sales of $85.8 million. Average order value fell to $86 from $90 last year. PetMed Chief Executive Menderes Akdag said in a statement that sales and gross margins were hurt by online competition and pricing pressure, which forced them to slash prices. Margins could get a boost from more direct purchasing relationships with manufacturers, he said, and in fiscal 2020, the company will be focused on greater advertising spend efficiency and e-commerce investment while remaining price competitive. PetMed, which declared a 27-cents-per-share quarterly dividend, said it would continue to pay regularly quarterly dividends, but said they would be "discretionary" in the future. PetMed Express stock has fallen 59.6% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 6.2% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Taronis' stock doubles on heavy volume after contract signed with a potential value of $165 million
Shares of Taronis Technologies Inc. more than doubled on heavy volume in premarket trading Monday, after the clean technology company announced a purchase contract for up to 30 gasification units, valued at up to $165 million. Terms of the contract, to a Turkish gas consortium, include the purchase of 15 units over 18 months and an option to buy an additional 15 units. Each unit carries an upfront purchase price of $3.75 million, and will include a 10-year maintenance contract for an additional $1.75 million per unit. In comparison, Taronis had total sales revenue of $9.71 million in 2018. The stock was up 103% on volume of 5.6 million shares, to make it the most actively traded in the premarket. It has plunged 49% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.4%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

DaVita's stock rallies after profit outlook raised
Shares of DaVita Inc. rallied 4.2% in premarket trading Monday, after the dialysis services company raised its profit outlook, as it looks to update investors ahead of the expected modified "Dutch auction" to buy back up to $1.2 billion worth of its shares. The company said it now expects second-quarter operating income of $460 million to $465 million, which is above the FactSet consensus of $398 million. DaVita also expects second-quarter non-acquired treatment growth of 2.1% and revenue per treatment to increase by about $1.60 from the first quarter to $350. For 2019, the company raised its adjusted operating income guidance to $1.64 billion to $1.70 billion from $1.54 billion to $1.64 billion. Separately, the company said the auction for its shares will be at a price per share of "not less than $53.50 nor greater than $61.50." The stock closed Friday at $56.05. It has gained 9.7% over the past three months, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has advanced 6.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 2.4%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Luckin Coffee and Kuwait's Americana Group to develop retail coffee business in greater Mideast, India
China's Luckin Coffee Inc. said Monday it is partnering with Kuwait Food Co. Americana KSCC to develop a new retail coffee business in the greater Middle East and India. Americana Group is the biggest integrated food product company in the Middle East, according to a joint statement. "This collaboration represents Luckin Coffee's first step toward bringing its leading products from China to the world," Luckin Founder and Chief Executive Jenny Qian Zhiya said in a statement. Luckin shares were up 1.8% premarket. The company, which began operations in 2017, went public in May and has gained 18% since its IPO.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

CannTrust investigation into non-compliance with Health Canada regulations is 'ongoing'
The U.S.-listed shares of CannTrust Holdings Inc. rose 2.9% in premarket trading Monday, after the Canada-based cannabis company said the investigation into a non-compliance report from Health Canada by the special committee formed by the board of directors is "ongoing." The company said it filed a response to Health Canada on July 17, and is awaiting a response. CannTrust said the expected impact of the non-compliance matters on financial results is "unknown" at this time. "Although we want to move as quickly as possible, we are mindful of the critical need to be thorough," said Robert Marcovitch, the special committee's chairman. "We are determined to identify the root causes for all non-compliance issues, to take appropriate actions to address and remediate any issues with the company's compliance culture and to restore trust in the company." CannTrust's stock has plunged 62.3% over the past three months through Friday, while the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF has lost 15.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 2.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Equifax to pay at least $575 million in settlement with FTC, CFPB and states over 2017 hack
Credit monitoring company Equifax Inc. has agreed to pay at least $575 million, and potentially up to $700 million, in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 U.S. states and territories over the 2017 hack that exposed private information of about 147 million. Equifax will pay $300 million into a fund that will provide affected consumers with credit monitoring services and compensate customers for out-of-pocket expenses associated with the hack. The company will boost that fund by up to $125 million if it proves inadequate. Starting next January, the company will provide all U.S. consumers with six free credit reports a year for seven years, on top of the one free annual report that Equifax and two other credit reporting agencies already provide. The company will pay $175 million to the states, and $100 million to the CFPB in civil penalties. "The incident at Equifax underscores the evolving cyber security threats confronting both private and government computer systems and actions they must take to shield the personal information of consumers," FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in a statement. "Too much is at stake for the financial security of the American people to make these protections anything less than a top priority." Equifax shares were slightly lower premarket, but have gained 47% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 18.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Livongo expected IPO pricing raised, boosting market cap to $2.31 billion
Livongo Health Inc. said Monday that the expected pricing range of its initial public offering was raised to $24 to $26 a share from $20 to $23 a share. The digital-health startup is still offering 10.7 million shares, which would now be valued $278.2 million. The increased pricing also boosts the market capitalization at the time of the IPO to $2.31 billion from $2.05 billion. The IPO is expected to price this week, with shares going public the day after. Livongo is going public at a time the Renaissance IPO ETF has gained 6.8% over the past three months and the S&P 500 has edged up 2.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Cal-Maine shares slide premarket after earnings miss amid oversupply of eggs
Cal-Maine Foods Inc. shares fell 3.4% in premarket trade Monday, after the egg producer posted a wider-than-expected loss for its fiscal fourth quarter amid oversupply of eggs. Jackson, Miss-based Cal-Maine said it had a loss of $19.8 million, or 41 cents a share, in the quarter to June 1, after net income of $71.8 million, or $1.48 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales fell 36.7% to $280.6 million from $443.1 million. The FactSet consensus was for a loss of just 27 cents and sales of $297 million. "Our disappointing results for the fourth quarter reflect more challenging market conditions," Chief Executive Dolph Baker. The average market price in the Southeast for conventional eggs dropped 52.0% in the quarter from the year-earlier, and was down 17.1 percent for the year, he said. "The unfavorable supply and demand balance and anticipated future egg supply growth trends have continued to affect market prices and our business." The USDA reported a near record high of 341.5 million hens as of April 1, about 2.9 million more than a year ago. Cal-Maine shares have fallen 6.9% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 18.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Halliburton's stock gains after profit beats expectations, but revenue fell a bit shy
Shares of Halliburton Co. rose 1.6% in premarket trading Monday, after the oil services company reported a second-quarter profit that beat expectations, although revenue was a bit light. Net income fell to 475 million, or 9 cents a share, from $511 million, or 98 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as impairments and other charges, adjusted earnings per share rose to 35 cents from 23 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 30 cents. Total revenue fell 3.5% to $5.93 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $5.97 billion. Completion and production revenue declined 8.6% to $3.81 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus of $3.85 billion, and drilling and evaluation revenue increased 7.2% to $2.13 billion to match expectations. North America revenue grew 2% to $3.3 billion, but was below expectations of $3.4 billion. The stock has tumbled 30% over the past three months through Friday, while the VanEck Oil Services ETF has shed 24% and the S&P 500 has gained 2.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 22, 2019

Amazon to create 2,500 jobs in Ohio with 2 new fulfillment centers
Amazon.com Inc. said Monday it will create more than 2,500 full-time jobs in Ohio as it plans to open two new fulfillment centers. The e-commerce and cloud giant plans to open one center in Akron and the other in Rossford. Each center will be more than 700,000 square feet, will ship small items such as books, electronics and toys and will operate with advanced robotics. Amazon's stock, which gained 0.5% in premarket trading, has rallied 31% year to date through Friday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 16%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Stocks skid lower to end worst week since May amid disappointment on Fed rate-cut plans
U.S. stocks finished firmly lower Friday, capping the worst week for equities since the end of May, as doubts about the magnitude of an expected rate cut by the Federal Reserve softened the buying mood on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.3% at 27,154, off 69 points, the S&P 500 index retreated 0.6% at 2,977, while the Nasdaq Composite Index pulled back 0.7% to end at 8,146. For the week, the Dow booked a 0.7% decline, the S&P 500 finished with a weekly slide of 1.2%, while the Nasdaq logged a 1.2% drop over the five-session period. For all three stock gauges it was the steepest weekly decline since the period ended May 31, according to FactSet data. Reports of Iran seizing oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz added to uncertainty on the day and Federal Reserve officials attempted moderate comments made by NY Fed boss John Williams, whose comments investors appeared to interpret as implying a 50-basis-point rate cut at the end of this month.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Chesapeake's stock bounces off 20-yr. low as oil prices gain
Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. surged 3.4% in afternoon trading Friday, to bounce off a 20-year closing low, as a a rebound in oil prices helped provide a boost. The oil and gas company's stock had tumbled 7.1% on Thursday, and sank 18% amid a four-session losing streak, to the lowest close ($1.58) since April 1999. On Friday, crude oil futures rose 0.7% to snap a four-session losing streak, helped by reports that Iran seized a U.K.-flagged ship in the Gulf of Oman. The correlation coefficient between Chesapeake's stock and crude oil futures, over the past two decades, has been 0.78, in which 1.00 would mean they move perfectly in sync. In comparison, Chesapeake's correlation with the S&P 500 is negative 0.28.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

S&P 500 turns negative after report indicates a 25 basis point cut at July Fed meeting
U.S. stocks traded lower after The Wall Street Journal published a report saying "Fed officials signal quarter-point rate cut likely at July meeting." The S&P 500 lost 7 points, or 0.2%, to 2,988 after rising as many as 9.49 points at session highs, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 19 points, or 0.1%, to 27,242, though it traded more than 100 points higher earlier Friday afternoon. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 26 points, or 0.3% to 8,181. The report said Fed officials "aren't prepared for bolder action by making a half-point cut, as analysts and traders have speculated in recent days," citing public remarks and interviews.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Oil gains for the session, but U.S. prices drop over 7% for the week
Oil futures finished higher Friday after reports that Iran seized a U.K.-flagged ship in the Gulf of Oman. Prices still settled lower for the week, however, on worries about a slowdown in demand. The market saw an "insane downward trend in crude oil this week," said James Hatzigiannis, senior commodities associate at Long Leaf Trading Group. "I think it is a bit of an overreaction and you should see prices recover next week if there [is] any progress on the U.S./China trade front or any escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran," he said. August West Texas Intermediate oil added 33 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $55.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 7.6% for the week after settling Thursday at its lowest in a month.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Two-year Treasury yield surges after report says Fed signals 25 basis point rate cut
Short-term Treasury yields climbed after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Reserve was signaling a 25 basis point rate cut at its July 30-31 meeting. The 2-year Treasury note yield , sensitive to expectations for monetary policy, surged 4.6 basis points to 1.822%. The 10-year Treasury note yield rose by a more subdued 1.5 basis points to 2.055%. Debt prices move in the opposite direction of yields. Expectations for a sharp 50 basis point rate cut in July have risen and fallen after speeches by senior Federal Reserve officials. New York Fed President John Williams suggested on Thursday there was a strong case for central banks acting aggressively and swiftly to early signs of economic weakness. Since then, a New York Fed spokesperson downplayed the policy implications of his comments. In addition, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Friday that a 50 basis point cut would be excessive.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Oil rises on reports Iran seized U.K.-flagged oil tanker
Oil futures moved higher ahead of Friday's settlement, following a report from BBC News that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has seized a U.K.-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman. Worsening tensions raise the potential for disruptions to oil flow in the Strait of Hormuz. West Texas Intermediate oil prices, which had been trading little changed ahead of the news, saw its August contract rise by 65 cents, or 1.2%, to $55.95 a barrel, while September Brent crude added 63 cents, or 1%, to $62.56 a barrel.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Gold ends lower for the session, pares weekly gain to 1%
Gold futures lost steam to finish lower on Friday, giving up earlier gains as prices took a break from a two-session rally that lifted prices to their highest levels in more than six years. "Some of the hot money driving prices higher in futures and options has clearly closed out the week by taking profit," said Adrian Ash, director of research at BullionVault. "Big picture, the switch to weaker interest rates and new stimulus looks set to keep gold on the boil." August gold declined by $1.40, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,426.70 on Comex. It tallied a weekly rise of 1%. It had settled at $1,428.10 on Thursday, the highest finish for a most-active contract since mid-May 2013, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Walmart reorganizes leadership team to following Jet.com integration
Walmart Inc. is reorganizing some of its leadership team in the wake of the decision to absorb Jet.com into its digital business. In the memo sent to associates, which was also sent to MarketWatch, Greg Smith has been named to head the combined supply chain team, which will bring together supply chain heads for grocery, e-commerce, fleet operations, and other business functions. Nate Faust, who had been leading the e-commerce fulfillment process, will help with this transition and then leave the company. Michael Dastugue has been named Walmart U.S. chief financial officer and Steve Schmitt, who is currently the CFO for Sam's Club, has been named U.S. e-commerce CFO. Brandi Joplin, currently chief audit executive, will take on the role of Sam's Club CFO and Todd Sears, currently assistant controller, will become chief audit executive. Ashley Buchanan has been named U.S. e-commerce chief merchandising officer. And Jeff Shotts, who is currently the e-commerce CFO, will now lead the U.S. marketplace business, reporting to Marc Lore. There are now openings for chief experience and strategy officer, chief product officer, and leader of the customer care team. Walmart stock has rallied more than 23% for the year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 17% for the period. Read: Walmart CEO McMillon says the retailer has been playing ‘catch up' in e-commerce

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Baker Hughes data show U.S. oil-rig count down a third straight week
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by 5 to 779 this week. That followed declines in each of the last two weeks. The total active U.S. rig count, meanwhile, also fell by 4 to 954, according to Baker Hughes. August West Texas Intermediate crude saw little reaction to the oil-rig count. It was down a penny at $55.29 a barrel.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

MSG Networks stock sinks after J.P. Morgan cuts rating and target to a Street low
Shares of MSG Networks Inc. sank 3.6% toward a 13-month low in midday trading Friday, after J.P. Morgan analyst Alexia Quadrani downgraded the sports entertainment network operator on the expectation that affiliate revenue growth will decelerate as industry trends worsen. Quadrani cut her rating to underweight, after being at neutral since at least November 2016, and lowered her stock price target to $19 from $23. That makes Quadrani the most bearish of the 10 analysts surveyed by FactSet that cover MSGN. Quadrani said the growth in virtual multichannel television programming distributors (MVPDs) is accelerating the trend in cord cutting, which is an "ongoing challenge" for MSGN. She said its carriage agreement with one of its largest affiliates, Altice, expires at the end of the year, could remain an overhang for the stock on concerns the MVPD will seek lower carriage minimums. "We view the risk/reward for shares through year-end as skewed to the downside given worsening trends for legacy video subscribers, which could lead to lower consensus estimates and further multiple contraction," Quadrani wrote in a note to clients. The stock, on track for the lowest close since June 2018, has tumbled 17.4% year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 17.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Michaels' stock tumbles after BofA Merrill Lynch turns bearish, citing potential sales outlook cut
Shares Michaels Companies Inc. tumbled 7.7% to pace the retail sector's decliners, after Bank of America Merrill Lynch turned bearish, citing potentially long-term struggles that are "unlikely to resolve" until a new CEO is named. The company had announced in February that then-CEO Chuck Rubin was agreed to step down after six years in charge. Analyst Elizabeth Suzuki cut her rating to underperform from neutral, while slashing her price target to $5, which is 35% below current levels, from $9. She said a proprietary survey of over 2,000 U.S. consumers has provided some insight into the "opaque" arts and crafts retail sector, suggesting the sector has struggled with "a lack of compelling trends" and an increase in competition. As the only publicly traded "pure-play" arts and crafts retailer, Suzuki expects Michaels to cut its full-year outlook for same-store sales, after the company has been reporting decelerating sales but recently maintained its full-year outlook. "[Michaels's] expectation for a [second-half] rebound appears overly optimistic, in our view, and we expect guidance to be lowered in the upcoming quarters," Suzuki wrote in a note to clients. The stock, which was the biggest decliner in the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 43% year to date, while the retail ETF has gained 3.7% and the S&P 500 has rallied 20%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Medallia's stock blasts off with a 62% gain after upsized IPO prices above expectations
Medallia Inc. launched its life as a public company with it's shares rocketing higher on heavy volume, after its upsized initial public offering priced well above the previously expected range. The first trade for the San Francisco-based experience management enterprise software company's stock was at $34 at 10:58 a.m. Eastern for 2.95 million shares, or 62% above the $21 IPO price. The stock has extend its gains, to be up 64% in recent trading. The stock's gain helped boost its market valuation to about $4.18 billion. Medallia went public at a time the Renaissance IPO ETF has run up 40.3% year to date, more than double the S&P 500's gain of 19.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Kansas City Southern's stock surges to pace Dow transports gainers after earnings beat
Shares of Kansas City Southern surged 2.4% in morning trading Friday, after the railroad operator reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations. The rally was enough to pace the Dow Jones Transportation Average's gainers, as the Dow transports rose 77 points, or 0.7%. The company reported earlier net income that fell to $128.7 million, or $1.28 a share, from $148.2 million, or $1.45 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS rose 6% to $1.64, above the FactSet consensus of $1.54. Revenue increased 5% to $714.0 million, beating the FactSet consensus of $706.5 million. The company said operational efficiency helped boost its performance. " We're handling the same volume levels overall that we handled last year with 12% fewer locomotives, 7% fewer railcars and 10% fewer crew starts," said Chief Executive Patrick Ottensmeyer on the post-earnings conference call with analysts, according to a transcript provided by FactSet. The stock has run up 26.7% year to date, while the Dow transports has advanced 15.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 16 .8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Red Robin shares soar after activist investor offer
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. stock jumped 13% in Friday trading after the restaurant chain confirmed that it has received an unsolicited conditional proposal from Vintage Capital Management to acquire all outstanding common shares at $40 apiece in cash. Red Robin said in a statement that it will carefully review the proposal. Vintage Capital already owned 1.5 million Red Robin shares, or 11.6%. Vintage Capital previously urged Red Robin to consider strategic alternatives, including a sale, and said it was prepared to make this offer. Red Robin stock is down 31% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 7% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Skechers upgraded on growth potential in the second half, shares soar
Skechers USA Inc. stock soared 14% in Friday trading after blowout earnings were followed by a stock upgrade at Wedbush to outperform from neutral. Wedbush raised its price target to $46 from $31. "In our view, international wholesale and global direct-to-consumer can continue to outperform into the second half of 2019, driving improved leverage and earnings per share upside," wrote Wedbush analysts led by Christopher Svezia. Analysts are also encouraged by the U.S. business based on off-price comparisons, growth in the wholesale Amazon.com Inc. account, and the product pipeline. Skechers also saw its price target raised at at least three research groups: Susquehanna Financial Group (up to $42 from $37), Cowen (up to $40 from $32) and Stifel (up to $44 from $35). "We are highly encouraged by the combination of strong end-market demand and SG&A [sales, general and administrative expenses] efficiency," Stifel wrote. "While still mindful of necessary systems investments and process improvements to support the current scale of the business, we see double-digit growth and leverage capacity as deserving of a higher multiple." Stifel rates Skechers stock buy. Skechers shares have soared 73.5% in 2019 so far while the S&P 500 index is up 19.8% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Boeing's stock 'relief' rally is helping keep the Dow positive
Shares of Boeing Co. surged 3.9% in morning trading Friday, enough to keep the Dow Jones Industrial Average in positive territory, in the wake of the aerospace giant's announcement of a 737 Max-related charge of $5.6 billion. The stock's price gain of $13.99 was adding about 95 points to the Dow's price, which was up 89 points. J.P. Morgan analyst Seth Seifman said despite the larger-than-expected charge, he believes Boeing's decision to keep 737 Max production at 42 per month and its plan to boost production to 57 per month in 2020 "is likely a relief" for investors.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Trump tweets he liked Fed's Williams' 'first statement' better than second
President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted that he liked a speech by New York Federal Reserve President John Williams better than a statement that followed. Speaking Thursday, Williams said the most effective strategy for the Fed is to cut rates at the first sign of trouble. Investors saw Williams' comments as endorsing a half-point rate cut at the next policy meeting on July 30-31. But a New York Fed spokesman later said the talk was theoretical. Trump has routinely called for the Fed to cut rates.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Gannett's stock soars after WSJ report a buyout by GateHouse is near
Shares of Gannett Co. Inc. soared 21% in morning trading Friday, after The Wall Street Journal reported that the publisher of the USA Today newspaper was nearing a deal to be acquired by GateHouse Media. The WSJ report, out late Thursday, said the companies were discussing a cash-and-stock deal, which would join the U.S.'s two largest newspaper groups by circulation. On May 30, the WSJ had reported that Gannett and GateHouse were in merger talks. And in January, the WSJ reported Gannett was approached by hedge-fund backed MNG Enterprises Inc., better known as Digital First Media. Gannett's stock has lost 5.7% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has advanced 7.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Stocks open higher as investors watch earnings; Microsoft hits all-time high
Stocks opened higher Friday, lifted as investors appeared cheered by the latest round of earnings reports and continued to look ahead to an expected rate cut by the Federal Reserve at the end of the month. The S&P 500 rose 9.27 points, or 0.3%, to trade at 3,004.38, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 94.1 points, or 0.4%, to 27,317.07. The Nasdaq Composite rose 33.69 points, or 0.4%, to 8,240.93. Shares of Microsoft Corp. were up more than 2% at $139.24, after trading at an all-time high at $140.67, following a stronger-than-expected earnings report.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Home builder NVR beats profit and revenue expectations
Home builder NVR Inc. reported Friday a second-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations as new orders increased, although the average price of homes ordered declined. Net income increased to $210.2 million,or $53.09 a share, from $203.2 million, or $49.05 a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share ws $45.60. Homebuilding revenue edged up to $1.76 billion from $1.75 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $1.68 billion. New orders increased 6% to 5,239 units, above expectations of 5,186 units. The average sales price of new orders declined 5% to $358,000, primarily because of the continued shift to smaller, lower-priced products, as well as a shift to markets with lower average sales prices. The stock, which was still inactive ahead of the open, has rallied 43.9% year to date, while the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF has hiked up 30.3% and the S&P 500 has climbed 19.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Midatech's stock rockets on heavy volume after positive results from diabetes treatment study
The U.S.-listed shares of Midatech Pharma PLC rocketed 113% on very heavy volume in premarket trading Friday, after the U.K.-based research and development company focused on rare disease products and cancer treatments disclosed "positive" results from a first in-human study of its MTX102 immuno-tolerising vaccine candidate in diabetes. Trading volume topped 2.9 million shares, enough to make the stock the most actively traded ahead of the open, and compared with the full-day average of about 88,000 shares. The company had recruited five recently diagnosed Type I diabetes patients in the phase 1 study, which was focused on assessing safety of MTX102. "MTX102 was well tolerated, with asymptomatic local injection site reactions being the only drug-related finding, and no serious adverse events were reported," the company said. The stock had tumbled 80.7% over the past 12 months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

J.C. Penney shares tank after report that it hired debt advisors
J.C. Penney Co Inc. shares fell 10.2% in Friday premarket trading after a late-Thursday report that it has hired advisors to restructure its debt in order to allow for more time for a turnaround. J.C. Penney stock has fallen nearly 58% over the past year while the S&P 500 index has risen 6.8% over the period. As of May 4, 2019, the company had total long-term debt of about $3.9 billion, according to FactSet. Restructuring plans are in the early stages, according to Reuters. "Although we recognize that J.C. Penney continues to maintain good liquidity, with about $1.75 billion of revolver availability and cash, our downgrade to Caa1 stable reflects the reality that leverage remains extremely elevated as the company embarks on its turnaround," Moody's wrote in a June 17 note. "Despite the areas of opportunity for improvement, which include its assortments, management of shrink and online, significant progress will take time. In addition, the magnitude of the improvement needed to refinance the capital structure long term is also significant."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Gilead licensing three pre-clinical programs from Novartis
Gilead Sciences Inc. has licensed three pre-clinical anti-viral programs from rival pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG , the companies announced Friday. Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will get exclusive rights to develop and commercialize several small molecules that have the potential to treat human rhinovirus, influenza and herpes. Novartis will receive an upfront payment, the amount for which was not disclosed, and will be eligible to get an additional $291 in potential milestone payments and royalties on annual net sales. Shares of both Gilead and Novartis were up slightly in premarket trade. Gilead's stock has gained 7.5% in the year to date through Thursday, while Novartis shares have gained 24.2%. The S&P 500 has gained 19.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Hurricane Barry caused estimated losses of $500 to $900 million: CoreLogic
Hurricane Barry, which battered Louisiana in early July, is estimated to have caused $500 million to $900 million of flood and wind losses, according to real estate services provider CoreLogic . The storm caused flood losses of $200 million to $400 million to residential and commercial properties, including from storm surge and inland flooding. Wind losses are estimated at an additional $300 million to $500 million. Excluding National Flood Insurance Program losses, insured flood and wind losses are estimated at $300 million to $600 million. "Insured residential and commercial flood loss covered by the NFIP is estimated to be between $100 million and $200 million," CoreLogic said in a statement. "Uninsured flood loss is estimated to be approximately $100 million. "

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Huntington Bancshares boosts dividend to yield nearly double its peer group
Huntington Bancshares Inc. said Friday it will raise its quarterly dividend by 7%, which effectively increases the regional bank's dividend yield to nearly double its peer group, and more than double the broader stock market. The Ohio-based bank said it will raise its dividend to 15 cents a share from 14 cents, with the new dividend payable Oct. 1 to shareholders of record on Sept. 17. Based on Thursday's stock closing price of $13.76, the new annual dividend rate implies a yield of 4.36%, compared with the yield on the SPDR S&P Regional Bank ETF of $2.26% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.93%, according to FactSet. Huntington's stock has rallied 15.4% year to date, while the regional bank ETF has advanced 13.1% and the S&P 500 has climbed 19.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Pier 1 names new president and CFO
Pier 1 Imports Inc. said Friday that it has named two new executives, both to assume their roles on July 22. Douglas Diemoz will become president, a newly-created position responsible for day-to-day operations at the ailing home retailer, including global supply chain, information technology and human resources. He was most recently chief executive of Crate & Barrel. Pier 1 is creating an office of the chief executive officer that will be led by Cheryl Bachelder, the company's interim CEO, and will include Diemoz and others. The office will supervise and direct the company's strategy, including its previously announced evaluation of strategic alternatives. Robert Riesbeck will become chief financial officer, succeeding Deborah Rieger-Paganis, who has served in the role on an interim basis since April. She was most recently CFO of FullBeauty brands. Pier 1 stock has plummeted more than 37% this week, and is down 71.2% for the past month. The company announced a 1-for-20 reverse stock split in late June. The S&P 500 index is up 2.4% for the past month.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Weight Watchers shares soar 6% premarket after DA Davidson upgrades stock to buy
Weight Watchers International Inc. shares rose 6% in premarket trade Friday, after DA Davidson upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and said investor expectations for the 2020 diet season are too subdued. "WW has already reported improved recruitment trends, chatter on app download data indicates stabilization of subscriber trends, and our proprietary analysis of Reddit comments indicates keto interest could be fading," analyst Linda Bolton Weiser wrote in a note to clients. "Our data also show improved sentiment toward the meeting experience in 2Q19 vs. 1Q19. We believe 2019 earnings risk is low." The analyst said proprietary research finds brand sentiment up strongly in the second quarter after a decline in the first quarter. DA Davidson generates monthly and quarterly sentiment scores by scraping relevant comments from Reddit and YoutTube. The investment firm raised its stock price target to $32 from $24.50. Weight Watchers shares have fallen 35% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Medallia IPO prices well above expectations, shares offered boosted by 7.5%
Medallia Inc. raised by 7.5% the number of shares it was offering in its initial public offering, which priced well above expectations. The San Francisco-based experience management enterprise software company said the IPO priced at $21 a share, above the previously expected range of $16 to $18. Medallia also increased its share offering by 7.5% to 14,325,000 shares from 13,250,000, to raise about $300.8 million. Selling shareholders are offering an additional 1,175,000 shares in the offering, in line with previous plans. The stock is set to start trading Friday on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "MDLA." The company said earlier this month that it will have 121,603,976 shares outstanding after the IPO, which would give it a market valuation of about $2.55 billion. Medallia is going public at a time the Renaissance IPO ETF has gained 8.5% over the past three months and the S&P 500 has tacked on 3.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

American Express's stock turns lower after profit beat and outlook maintained
Shares of American Express Co. swung to a loss of 1.3% in premarket trading Friday, erasing earlier gains, after the credit card and payments company reported a second-quarter profit that beat expectations while affirming its full-year outlook. AmEx also said it expected to raise its dividend by 10%. Net income rose to $1.76 billion, or $2.07 a share, from $1.62 billion, or $1.84 a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus was for earnings per share of $2.03. Revenue increased 8% to $10.84 billion, just above the FactSet consensus of $10.83 billion, as revenue for consumer services increased 10%, for commercial services grew 7% and for merchant and network services rose 5%. The company affirmed its 2019 outlook for revenue growth of 8% to 10% and for adjusted EPS of $7.85 to $8.35. The company said it expects to raise its quarterly dividend to 43 cents a share from 39 cents in the third quarter. The stock has soared 34.7% year to date through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 16.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Schlumberger's stock swings higher after revenue beats expectations, profit matches
Shares of Schlumberger Ltd. swung to a premarket gain of 1.0% Friday, after the oil services company reported second-quarter revenue that beat expectations, while profit that matched. Before the results, the stock was down over 1% after the company said CEO Paal Kibsgaard will retire after 8 years in the role. Net income rose to $492 million, or 35 cents a share, from $430 million, or 31 cents a share in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS fell to 35 cents from 43 cents, in line with the FactSet consensus. Revenue was little changed at $8.27 billion, but was above the FactSet consensus of $8.11 billion, as reservoir characterization, production and Cameron revenue topped expectations while drilling came up a bit shy. The stock has lost 14.9% over the past three months through Thursday, while the VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF has tumbled 22.9% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

Schlumberger's CEO Paal Kibsgaard to retire after 8 years in the role
Schlumberger Ltd. said Friday Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard will retire after eight years in the role and 22 years with the company, and will step down as chairman of the board. The stock fell 1.1% in premarket trading, ahead of the company's second-quarter results due out later Friday. The oil services company said Kibsgaard will be succeeded as CEO by Chief Operating Officer Olivier Le Peuch, a 32-year veteran of the company, effective Aug. 1. "The board owes Paal a debt of gratitude for his excellent leadership in modernizing and transforming the Company to ensure its continued future success," said Lead Independent Director Peter Currie. "We wish Paal the very best as he enters a new chapter in his life." The stock has gained 7.5% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has rallied 19.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

PepsiCo to acquire South Africa's Pioneer Foods for about $1.7 billion in cash
PepsiCo Inc. said Friday it has reached an agreement to acquire South AFrica's Pioneer Foods in an all-cash deal valued at about $1.7 billion. The company is playing 110 rand ($7.90) per share, equal to a 56% premium over the 30-day volume weighted average price prior to an announcement on July 15. "This acquisition will help PepsiCo gain a solid beachhead for expansion into Sub-Saharan Africa by boosting the company's manufacturing and go-to-market capabilities, enabling scale and distribution," the company said in a statement. Pioneer owns a range of cereals, juices and other African staples, including brands that are popular in Africa including Weet-Bix, Liqui-Fruit, Ceres, Sasko, Safari, Spekko, and White Star. The deal will be funded through a mix of cash and debt and is expected to close by the first quarter of 2020. Pioneer Food shares climbed more than 30% on the news. PepsiCo was down 0.2% premarket, but has gained 20% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

BlackRock's stock slips after profit and revenue fall below expectations
BlackRock Inc. reported Friday second-quarter earnings and revenue that fell below expectations, as the investment management and advisory company said it had lower base fees as a result of lower securities and lending revenue and lower performance fees. The stock slipped 0.2% in premarket trading. Net income fell to $1.00 billion, or $6.41 a share, from $1.07 billion, or $6.62 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS fell to $6.41 from $6.66, below the FactSet consensus of $6.50. Revenue declined 2% to $3.52 billion, missing the FactSet consensus of $3.58 billion. Total net inflows saw 9% organic growth to $151 billion, with iShares inflows of $36.1 billion and institutional inflows of $125.4 billion. The stock has gained 21.0% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has rallied 19.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 19, 2019

BlackRock reports decline in profit that misses analyst expectations
Fund giant BlackRock reported a decline in second-quarter earnings that lagged expectations. The company's profit was $1 billion, or $6.41 a share, vs. $1.08 billion, or $6.62 a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $6.50 a share. Revenue fell 2% to $3.52 billion, a bit lower than the $3.58 billion expected by analysts, with the company blaming market headwinds for the decline. The company reported long-term net inflows of $125.4 billion during the quarter.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

New York Fed downplays Williams's speech, calling it 'academic' and not about July policy meeting
The New York Fed on Thursday played down the importance of President John Williams' speech earlier in the day that was interpreted by the market as an endorsement of a half-point interest rate cut at the end of the month. "This was an academic speech on 20 years of research. It was not about potential policy actions at the upcoming FOMC meeting," a New York Fed spokesman said. In his remarks, Williams said his research showed that, when interest rates are near zero, a central bank should "act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress." After his remarks, traders priced in a slightly greater than 50% chance of a half-point rate cut on July 31, up from 34% one day ago.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Red Robin shares soar 17% on resubmitted bid from Vintage Capital
Shares of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers jumped 17% in extended trading Thursday after it confirmed it has received an unsolicited proposal from private-equity firm Vintage Capital Management LLC to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Red Robin for $40 per share in cash. Last month, Red Robin turned down a request for a special meeting with stockholders initiated by Vintage, which already owns a piece of the restaurant chain.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

SEC freezes assets of alleged fraudsters targeting elderly
The Securities and Exchange Commission imposed an emergency assets freeze on Thursday related to charges that two individuals are running an alleged pump-and-dump scheme targeting elderly retail investors. According to the SEC's complaint, Florida resident Garrett M. O'Rourke and Maryland resident Michael J. Black allegedly worked together between 2016 and 2018 to sell shares in several microcap companies to investors, including elderly retail investors, using high-pressure stock promotional campaigns. The SEC alleges that, as part of the scheme, O'Rourke aggressively touted the companies to prospective investors through unsolicited cold calls during which he repeatedly lied about his association with legitimate financial institutions and the prospects of the microcap companies. John T. Dugan, Associate Director of Enforcement in the SEC's Boston Regional Office, said: "Investors should beware of parties using the types of sales techniques alleged in our complaint, including unsolicited calls and high-pressure sales tactics."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Boeing to take $4.9 billion charge in Q2 on 737 Max grounding
Boeing Co. said late Thursday it will record an after-tax charge of $4.9 billion, or $8.74 a share, in connection with the 737 Max groundings. The charge will result in a $5.6 billion dent in revenue and pre-tax earnings in the quarter, Boeing said. Boeing also warned that the estimated costs to produce the aircraft increased by $1.7 billion in the second quarter, primarily due to higher costs associated with a longer-than-expected reduction in the production rate. The increased 737 costs will reduce the margin of the 737 program in the second quarter and in future quarters. The 737 Max family has been grounded worldwide since March after a second fatal crash in less than five months. Preliminary reports found connections between the crashes, related to an anti-stall feature, and Boeing has been working on a software fix. Shares of Boeing rose 0.7% in the extended session after ending the regular trading day down 2.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Stocks snap losing skid as Fed official hints that central bank may lower rates aggressively
U.S. equity benchmarks finished the session mostly higher Thursday after Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said the central bank needs to act quickly to quash signs of economic weakness. His comments, made late in the afternoon at a research conference in New York, helped to deliver a jolt to equity markets and drive bond yields and the dollar firmly lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average , however lagged behind its peers, weighed by declines in UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Boeing Co. . The blue-chip index closed virtually unchanged on the day at 27,222, while the S&P 500 index climbed 0.4% to end at 2,995, and the Nasdaq Composite Index closed 0.3% higher at 8,207. in a world where interest rates are lower than they have been historically, central banks must confront any sign of weakness quickly and aggressively.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Gold rallies in electronic trade as Middle East tensions intensify and comments from Fed's Williams back a rate cut
Gold futures extended their gains into the electronic trading session on Thursday. "News of the U.S. navy shooting down an Iranian drone always adds fuel to the market, but the underlying buying momentum after a break of the $1,425 area has propelled gold back to the next bit challenge" the $1,450 area, said Peter Spina, chief executive officer of GoldSeek.com. He also pointed to speculation in the market that a "large supranational organization" is acquiring all ounces of gold produced in North America, citing a tweet from Roy Sebag, founder of GoldMoney. Traders also saw comments from the New York Fed President John Williams as endorsing an interest-rate cut at the Federal Reserve's policy meeting later this month. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index also declined on the back of the comments, providing support for dollar-denominated gold prices. August gold was at $1,448.40 an ounce in electronic trading. The contract had climbed by $4.80, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,428.10 on Comex. That was the highest finish for a most-active contract since mid-May 2013, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Stocks jump to session highs in afternoon trade as Fed's Williams says it 'pays to act' quickly to lower rates
U.S. stocks bounced higher Thursday afternoon, with the equity benchmarks climbing to session highs after New York Fed President John Williams said that the central bank should act quickly at the first sign of trouble in the economy. "When you have only so much stimulus at your disposal, it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress," Williams said, in a speech at a research conference in New York. The comments were read as putting the possibility of a more substantial reduction of benchmark rates at the end of the Fed's two-day gathering July 30-31. Federal-funds rates currently stand between 2.25%-2.50%, and the market is starting to increase bets that policy makers may cut rates by as much as half-a-percentage point rather than a more conventional 25 basis point rate cut. As the president of the New York Fed, Williams has a standing vote on the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading flat at 27,232, but trading in positive territory, while the S&P 500 index was trading 0.3% higher at 2,9934, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was advancing 0.2% at 8,205. Lower rates are seen as supporting buying in equities even if it implies that economy could be confronting some headwinds.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Hovnanian's stock tumbles after disclosure of NYSE delisting notice
Shares of Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. plunged 14% in afternoon trading Thursday, after the home builder disclosed that it received a de-listing warning from the New York Stock Exchange, citing the market capitalization listing standard. Hovnanian said it received written notification of non-compliance on July 11, because the company's market cap averaged less than $50 million over a consecutive 30 trading-session period. The market cap declined to $43.59 million, after being above $50 million the previous 5 sessions, according to FactSet data. In the 30 sessions before July 11, market cap averaged $48.8 million. The NYSE's warnings comes after Hovnanian effected a 1-for-25 reverse stock split on March 29, after the stock closed March 28 at a pre-split-adjusted price of 55 cents. Hovnanian's stock has tumbled 57% year to date, while the SPDR S&P Homebuilder ETF has rallied 30% and the S&P 500 has advanced 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Traders see 50% chance of half-point rate cut in July after Fed's Williams remarks
Traders in the fed funds futures market now expect a more than 50% chance of a 50 basis point rate cut by the Federal Reserve at its July 30-31 meeting, following the release of prepared remarks from New York Fed President John Williams. The chance of a 50 basis point rate-cut was estimated at 34% a day ago. The 2-year Treasury note yield , sensitive to expectations for Fed policy, tumbled 5.5 basis points to 1.781%. Debt prices move in the opposite direction of yields. Williams said the Fed should respond early to signs of economic weakness."When you only have so much stimulus at your disposal, it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress," he said. Among members of the Federal Open Market Committee, Williams has been an advocate for preemptive, or "insurance," rate cuts to prolong the expansion.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Oil drops by nearly 3%, with U.S. prices at lowest in a month
Oil futures dropped by nearly 3% on Thursday, sending U.S. prices to their lowest finish in roughly a month. Prices reversed earlier gains, "reacting to the weakness in U.S. equities and over expectations of a production rise from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region, coming back into service after last week's Hurricane Barry disrupted production," said Mihir Kapadia, chief executive officer of Sun Global Investments. August West Texas Intermediate oil lost $1.48, or 2.6%, to settle at $55.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the lowest front-month contract finish since June 19, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Budweiser-parent Anheuser-Busch InBev's stock gains after WSJ report of potential asset sales
Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A. rose 1.2% in midday trading Thursday, after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona beer brewer was exploring a sale of assets as it looks to reduce debt after calling off the initial public offering of its Asia-based business. Citing people familiar with the matter, the WSJ report said A-B InBev is considering selling assets in South Korea, Australia and Central America. In May, private-equity firm KKR & Co. had approached A-B InBev about buying back some of the Asia-based assets, the WSJ report said, as KKR had previously bought the Korean business and sold it back to A-B InBev for $5.8 billion in 2014. A-B InBev's stock has rallied 36% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Active shooter threat shuts down Chico's Florida campus
Chico's Fas Inc. shares fell 4% in Thursday trading after the women's apparel and accessories company shut down its Fort Myers, Fla. corporate campus due to threat of an active shooter. "Local law enforcement and other emergency personnel were immediately notified, and are presently on site," Chico's said in a statement. "As a precaution, and consistent with existing security protocols and policies, all employees were notified of the situation in real-time. A lockdown of all facilities has been initiated, and employees at the site have been instructed by local law enforcement to shelter in place at a secure location." The company said that no actual shooter has been identified and the company is unaware of any injuries. Chico's stock has fallen almost 68% over the last year while the S&P 500 index is up nearly 6% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

These 3 stocks deliver a more than 100-point drag on the Dow in midday action
The Dow Jones Industrial Average midday Thursday was being yanked to session lows by a trio of components. Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. , Boeing Co. , and Walt Disney Co. were exacting a powerful 100-point drag on the blue-chip index, representing the lion's share of the modest declines in the price-weighted benchmark. The Dow was down 135 points, or 0.5%, at 27,089, while the S&P 500 index was sinking 0.3% lower at 2,975, with the Nasdaq Composite Index 0.5% lower at 8,143. A $1 move in any one of the Dow's components equates to a roughly 6.8-point swing in the index. UnitedHealth shares were down $6.75 at $259.90 a share, a decline of 2.5%, those for Boeing were off $5.83 to reach $363.57, a drop of 1.6%, while Disney's shares were edging 1.4% lower, off $2.03 at $140.52.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Akerna's stock falls, but pares losses after disclosing stock offering by shareholders
Share of Akerna Corp. slumped 1.5% in morning trading Thursday, after the Denver-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) company focused on the cannabis industry disclosed a relatively large sale of common stock by a "certain selling stockholders." The stock pared earlier losses of as much as 10.2%. The company filed late Wednesday a registration statement for the resale of 6,699,766 shares of common stock, including 5,554,942 common stock, 901,074 common stock underlying options and 243,750 common stock underlying warrants. The sale would be valued at $88.1 million at the proposed maximum offering price of $13.15 a share. Akerna will not receive any proceeds from the offering. After the offering, the number of common stock outstanding will increase by 10.8% to 11,734,570 shares. The stock has still run up 33.4% over the past three months, while the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF has fallen 13.3% and the S&P 500 has gained 2.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

EIA reports a weekly rise of 62 billion cubic feet in U.S. natural-gas supplies
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 62 billion cubic feet for the week ended July 12. The data were expected to show a build of 65 billion cubic feet, on average, according to analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. Total stocks now stand at 2.533 trillion cubic feet, up 291 billion cubic feet from a year ago, but 143 billion below the five-year average, the government said. August natural gas traded at $2.325 per million British thermal units, up 2.1 cents, or 0.9%, from Wednesday's settlement. It was trading at $2.335 before the data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

U.S. leading economic index posts biggest drop since 2016
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The leading economic index fell 0.3% in ?June to mark the biggest decline in three years, suggesting U.S. growth is likely to be softer in the months ahead. "As the U.S. economy enters its 11th year of expansion, the longest in U.S. history, the LEI suggests growth is likely to remain slow in the second half of the year," said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles research at the board. The decline in June, however, appears to be a bit of an anomaly. Weekly jobless claims spiked in June, but have since fallen again. And manufacturing orders and housing permits were unusually weak last month, suggesting a rebound might be in the cards soon. A measure of? current conditions rose 0.1% and a "?lagging" index climbed 0.6%. The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal business-cycle peaks and valleys.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

UnitedHealth's stock slump exacts nearly 30-point toll on Dow industrials -- but IBM's rally caps loss
A decline in shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. Thursday morning was producing the most severe drag on the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average in early action. Shares of UnitedHealth were down 1.8%, or about $4.75 lower at $261.90, translating to a roughly 30-point drag on the price-weighted Dow. The company's shares had hit a low of $257.26 near the open, representing a drag of about 50 points on the Dow. A $1 move in any one of its 30 components of the 123-year-old index equates to a 6.8-point swing. The Dow was down 18 points, or 0.1%, at 27,198. Capping the decline in the Dow was an advance in International Business Machines Corp., which was up 3.2%, delivering a roughly 30-point boost to the Dow. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index was off 0.1% at 2,981, with a 0.2% decline for the Nasdaq Composite Index to reach 8,170. The losses for UnitedHealth come even as the health insurer reported better-than-expected quarterly results and lifted its full-year earnings outlook to $13.95 to $14.15 a share, from its previous forecast of $13.80 to $14.05. Late Wednesday, International Business Machines Corp.'s quarterly results topped estimates.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Stocks set to decline for third straight session as earnings remain in focus
U.S. stocks were on track for a third straight decline on Thursday as investors monitored corporate earnings and trade developments. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% to 2,976. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 76 points, or 0.3%, to 27,143. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.3% to 8,157. Another loss for the S&P 500 would see the equity benchmark record its longest losing streak since a four-session drop ending on June 26. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that U.S.-China trade talks were set to begin again. But prospects for a successful resolution came in doubt after The Wall Street Journal reported the Trump administration was unsure how to follow through with Beijing's demands that the U.S. ease restrictions on Huawei Technologies Co. In company news, shares of Netflix Inc. tumbled 9% after it reported a net loss in paid subscribers, the first since 2011.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Aurora Cannabis shares slide after BofA downgrade on concerns about cash burn
Aurora Cannabis Inc. shares fell 2.3% in early trade Thursday, after BofA Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock to neutral from buy and lowered its stock price target to $8 from $10, on concerns about the company's cash burn. "Aurora has emerged as one of the best operators in the cannabis sector, with industry leading scale and margins even vs other large peers, and global optionality," analyst Christopher Carey wrote in a note to clients. "However, despite this, and a focus on profit, (CQ2 positive EBITDA target), it is burning cash and by our estimates could be cash negative by CQ120 (absent financing), namely if a large convertible debenture due in CQ120 stays out of the money." Even if its current cash burn were to improve, Aurora will likely need funding in the next few quarters," said the analyst The company has access to about C$100 million in a credit facility, but a convertible note that matures in the first quarter of 2020 will likely need to be paid in cash, he wrote. Shares have gained 47% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

New York Mortgage Trust's stock falls on heavy volume after public share offering
Shares of New York Mortgage Trust Inc. slumped 2.6% in very active premarket trading Thursday, after the real estate investment trust announced a public offering of common stock, which represented about 9.5% of the shares outstanding. Volume topped 7.1 million shares, enough to make it the most actively traded stock ahead of the open, and already nearly triple the full-day average. The company said late Wednesday it was offering 20 million shares to the public, and said Thursday it expected gross proceeds of $122.2 million. That would imply a pricing of $6.11 a share, which represents a 2.4% discount to Wednesday's closing price of $6.26. The REIT said it plans to use the proceeds from the offering for general business purposes, which may including acquiring assets. The stock has gained 6.3% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR Real Estate Select Sector ETF has rallied 20.7% and the S&P 500 has climbed 19.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Morgan Stanley's stock turns lower, after downbeat NII outlook for rest of the year
Morgan Stanley's stock turned lower in premarket trading, as a downbeat outlook for net interest income (NII) offset second-quarter profit, revenue and NII beats. Chief Financial Officer Jon Pruzan said on the post-earnings conference call, according to a transcript provided by FactSet, that third-quarter NII is expected to be "largely in line" with year-ago results, while the current FactSet NII consensus of $992 million implies 6.0% growth. He said current expectations for lower interest rates could potentially have "a more material impact in the fourth quarter." The FactSet Q4 NII consensus of $996 million implies a 0.7% increase. The stock was down 1.3% ahead of the open, reversing earlier gains of as much as 0.8%. Pruzan said the third quarter was off to a strong start, "we are cognizant of a summer slowdown and that conviction remains lackluster compared to this time last year," as uncertainties over global economic growth have increased, "which may impact confidence and activity levels. The stock has lost 8.0% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF has gained 1.9% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 2.7%.

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
Jul 18, 2019

Union Pacific's stock bounces after earnings beat, but revenue falls a bit shy
Shares of Union Pacific Corp. rallied 2.5% in premarket trading Thursday, after the railroad company reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations, while revenue fell a bit shy. The stock bounced after a 6.1% tumble on Wednesday, in the wake of rival rail transportation company CSX Corp.'s disappointing results. Net income rose to $1.57 billion, or $2.22 a share, from $1.51 billion, or $1.98 a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for EPS was $2.15. Total revenue slipped 1% to $5.60 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $5.64 billion, as energy revenue fell more than expected, while premium and agricultural revenue topped expectations and industrial revenue was in line. Total freight revenue fell 2%, as lower volumes offset pricing gains. The stock has gained 19.0% year to date through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has advanced 13.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has hiked up 16.7%.

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
Jul 18, 2019

Morgan Stanley's stock gains after profit, revenue and NII beats
Shares of Morgan Stanley gained 0.6% in premarket trading Thursday, after the investment bank reported a second-quarter profit, revenue and net interest income that beat expectations, as growth in its wealth and investment management businesses helped offset declines in its sales and trading businesses. Net income fell to $2.20 billion, or $1.23 a share, from $2.44 billion, or $1.30 a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet EPS consensus was $1.14. Net revenue fell 3% to $10.24 billion, but was above the FactSet consensus of $9.99 billion, as net interest income increased 14% to $1.03 billion to beat expectations of $992.9 million. Sales and trading (S&T) revenue declined 12%, as equity S&T revenue fell 14% to $2.13 billion to miss the FactSet consensus of $2.20 billion and fixed income S&T revenue declined 18% to $1.13 billion to miss expectations of $1.35 billion. Separately, the bank said the quarterly dividend was raised to 35 cents a share from 30 cents. The stock has advanced 10.4% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF has rallied 16.9% and the S&P 500 has climbed 19.1%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Apple upgraded to outperform at Raymond James on 5G iPhone view
Apple Inc. was upgraded to outperform from market perform by Raymond James, which says it has greater confidence on next year's 5G iPhone cycle. Raymond James also upgraded Skyworks to outperform, since it's a chip supplier. "Our more recent checks suggest that Apple plans to bring 5G to a wider range of iPhone models, which is different from their plan when they had intended to use Intel's modem. We feel that offering 5G at lower price points will drive a stronger product cycle, and early production plans tend to confirm that view," said the analysts.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Philip Morris' stock jumps after earnings and revenue beat, raised profit guidance
Shares of Philip Morris International Inc. rallied 2.2% in premarket trading Thursday, after the cigarette seller reported a second-quarter profit and revenue that beat expectations, and raised its full-year earnings guidance. Net income rose to $2.31 billion, or $1.49 a share, from $2.19 billion, or $1.41 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS came in at $1.46, above the FactSet consensus of $1.32. Net revenue slipped 0.3% to $7.73 billion, to reflect negative effects of currency translation and favorable pricing variance, but was above the FactSet consensus of $7.38 billion. Total cigarettes shipment volume fell 3.6% during the quarter, as Marlboro shipments declined 1.2%, while heated tobacco units shipment volume increased 37%. The company raised its full-year EPS outlook to $4.94 from $4.87. The stock has hiked up 21.4% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 19.1%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Cannabis extraction company Neptune Wellness raises $41 million
Cannabis extraction company Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. said Thursday it has raised $41 million in a private placement with existing and new investors led by Perceptive Advisors. The company issued a total of 9.4 million shares, priced at $4.40 each. Proceeds of the deal will be used to fund the initial payment for the acquisition of SugarLeaf Labs and Forest Remedies LLC, as well as for general corporate purposes. The SugarLeaf deal is expected to close on or before July 31. Cowen was lead and sole U.S. placement agent on the deal with GMP Securities acting as Canadian placement agent. Neptune named Michael Cammarata at its new CEO in early July, replacing Jim Hamilton who stepped down after more than four years in the role. Cammarata was co-founder of wellness brand Schmidt's Natural, now part of Unilever Plc . Neptune shares were not active premarket, but have gained 93% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Hexo co-Founder Adam Miron to step down from role as chief brand officer
Quebec-based cannabis company Hexo Corp. said Thursday that co-Founder Adam Miron is stepping down from his role as chief brand officer, effective today. Miron co-founded the company with Chief Executive Sebastien St-Louis in 2013. Miron will remain on the board and will continue to be president of the board of Hexo Med, the company's Greek unit. Shares were not active premarket, but have gained 49% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 18, 2019

Qualcomm to appeal European Commission finding on decade-old chip shipments and 242 million euros fine
Qualcomm Inc. said Thursday it is planning to appeal at European Commission finding that it engaged in predatory pricing practices for sales of three cellular baseband chipsets to two customers during certain calendar quarters between 2009 and 2011. The commission fined the chip company 242 million euros ($271 million). Qualcomm plans to appeal the finding to the General Court of the European Union, and will offer a financial guarantee in lieu of paying the fine while the appeal is pending. "The Commission spent years investigating sales to two customers, each of whom said that they favored Qualcomm chips not because of price but because rival chipsets were technologically inferior,' the company's general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement. Qualcomm shares fell 1.1% in premarket trade, but have gained 33% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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



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