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   NEWS: MARKETWATCH MARKETPULSE
MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2019

U.S. oil futures settle with a loss of nearly 6%
Oil futures declined Tuesday, with U.S. prices losing nearly 6%. The move follows news that Saudi Arabia's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the kingdom has restored 50% of its production lost in the weekend attacks on its oil facilities and plans to see its output return to normal by the end of this month, according to The Wall Street Journal. With capacity of 11 million barrels a day to be restored by end-September, "there will be minimal disruption to global supply," wrote Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics, in a note. "That said, there remain some important questions to be answered about the attacks, which may mean that we will have to consider a permanently higher risk premium in our price forecasts," she said. October West Texas Intermediate oil fell $3.56, or 5.7%, to settle at $59.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose nearly 15% Monday to settle at $62.90, the highest finish for a front-month contract since May 21, according to FactSet data.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2019

Chesapeake Energy's stock tumbles as oil prices pull back sharply
Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. tumbled 13.8% in very active afternoon trading, weighed down by the pullback in crude oil prices following the previous session's rocket ride. Trading volume topped 74.6 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 60.3 million shares, and enough to make the stock the most actively traded on the major U.S. exchanges, according to FactSet data. Chesapeake's stock had run up 15.7% on Monday, as the weekend attacks on Saudia Arabian oil facilities sent crude oil futures shooting up 15%, the biggest one-day gain since January 2009. On Tuesday, crude futures fell 5.6%, extending declines after Saudi's energy minister reportedly said oil production will be fully back online by the end of the month. On Tuesday, crude oil prices dropped 5.6%. Chesapeake's stock has lost 15.5% year to date, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has gained 8.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 16.0%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Saudi energy minister says Aramco IPO will not be affected by weekend attacks--WSJ
Saudia Arabia Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the initial public offering of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Aramco, won't be impacted by the weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities, according to Wall Street Journal report of a press conference. The energy minister said the Aramco IPO will take place within the next 12 months, the report said. His comments come after the WSJ reported on Monday that Saudi energy officials were discussing delaying the Aramco IPO following the attacks. Separately, the energy minister said the country's oil production will be fully back on line by the end of September.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Oil extends drop as Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz sees full return of oil output by month's end
Losses for oil futures deepened on Tuesday, as Saudi Arabia's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said his nation's oil production will be fully back online by the end of the month, according to CNBC. His comments follow a weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities that was estimated to have cut the kingdom's daily crude production down by 5.7 million barrels a day, sparking concerns of potentially prolonged supply shortage. October West Texas Intermediate oil was down $2.90, or 4.6%, to trade at $60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose nearly 15% Monday to settle at $62.90, the highest finish for a front-month contract since May 21, according to FactSet data. November Brent crude traded at $64.62, down $4.40, or 6.4%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

FedEx stock slips ahead of fourth-quarter results due after the close
Shares of FedEx Corp. slipped 0.2% in afternoon trading, ahead of the package delivery service's fiscal first-quarter results due out after the close. J.P. Morgan analyst Brian Ossenbeck said in note to clients on Monday that the set up ahead of results "appears like 'horseshoes and hand grenades,' where close is good enough and we are positive into the event." The company is expected to report adjusted earnings per share of $3.15, down from $3.46 a year ago, and revenue is expected to slip 0.2% to $17.06 billion, according to FactSet. The FactSet consensus for FedEx Express sales is a 3.8% decline from last year to $8.87 billion, while FedEx Ground sales are expected to increase 6.8% to $5.13 billion. The stock had gained 2.5% the day after fourth-quarter results were reported in June, but had declined the day after the five previous quarterly reports by an average of 5.0%. The stock has gained 7.4% year to date, while rival United Parcel Service Inc. shares have rallied 24.9%, the Dow Jones Transportation Average has advanced 16.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 16.1%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Tariffs will be a positive for these retailers, according to UBS analysts
Tariffs will have a positive impact on off-price retailers, according to UBS analysts, who upgraded TJX Cos. Inc. and Burlington Stores Inc. shares to neutral from sell. "Tariffs are likely causing significant order cancellations from many full-price retailers, potentially creating opportunities for TJX to buy inventory very inexpensively," UBS analysts led by Jay Sole wrote. UBS raised its price target on TJX to $58 from $41. "The off-price 'flywheel' is effective inventory buys lead to market share gains, which leads to competitor store closures, which then leads to further effective inventory buys," UBS wrote in the Burlington Stores note. UBS raised its price target on Burlington stock to $200 from $121. News that Stage Stores Inc. will convert nearly all of its shops, many of them department stores, to off-price stores sent shares soaring 16.5% in Tuesday trading. Shares of TJX have gained 24.2% for the year to date. Shares of Burlington Stores are up 21.1% for the period. And Stage Stores stock is up nearly 34% for 2019 so far. The S&P 500 index has gained 19.7% for 2019 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
Sep 17, 2019

There is 'unprecedented uncertainty' about the coming holiday season: AlixPartners
Global consulting firm AlixPartners forecasts holiday retail sales will rise 4.4% to 5.3% this year, in line with a bullish Deloitte forecast. However, AlixPartners experts are taking a more cautious stance ahead of the November-through-January shopping period. "'Unprecendented uncertainty' might be the best term to use to characterize this upcoming holiday season," said Joel Bines, global co-leader of the AlixPartners retail practice , in a statement. "From on-again, off-again tariffs, to a growing chorus concerned about a recession, a looming election and geopolitical uncertainty, this season is unlike any in recent memory." Bines said AlixPartners is telling clients to "be nimble." The ProShares Decline of the Retail Store ETF has inched up 0.1% for the year to date. The Amplify Online Retail ETF [S: ibuy] is up 26.1%. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 4.2% for the period. And the S&P 500 index is up 19.6% for the 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
Sep 17, 2019

Kraft Heinz's stock falls after 2nd-largest shareholder sells $713 million worth of shares
Shares of Kraft Heinz Co. slumped 4.2% in midday trading, enough to pace decliners among its consumer staples peers group, after the food and beverage company's second-largest shareholder cut its stake by more than 9%. In a Form 4 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Kraft Heinz disclosed that private-equity firm 3G Capital sold 25.1 million Kraft Heinz shares on Monday at a price of $28.44, which values the shares sold at $712.95 million. That left 3G with a 245.03-million-share stake, or 20.1%, of the shares outstanding. 3G's stake is second to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s 325.6-million-share stake as of June 30, which is 26.7% of the shares outstanding. 3G and Berkshire orchestrated the creation of Kraft Heinz when Kraft Foods Group Inc. and H.J. Heinz Co. agreed in March 2015 to merge. Kraft Heinz's stock has tumbled 34.1% year to date, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has rallied 19.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 15.8%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Holiday retail sales expected to rise between 4.5% to 5%: Deloitte
Deloitte's annual holiday retail forecast is calling for a 4.5% to 5% rise in 2019 holiday sales, with e-commerce expected to grow 14% to 18% year-over-year. Total sales are expected to exceed $1.1 trillion between November and January. E-commerce sales are expected to reach $144 billion to $149 billion. The government shutdown, increased consumer savings, and a stock market decline put a damper on December 2018 sales. "Based on a growth in consumer disposable income and spending indicators, retailers, across channels, should expect a strong holiday season in 2019," said Rod Sides, vice chairman of Deloitte. The Amplify Online Retail ETF is up 26.4% for the year to date. The ProShares Decline of the Retail Store ETF is up 0.1% for the period. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF has grown 4.3%. And the S&P 500 index has gained 19.7% in 2019 so far.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Stage Stores stock jumps 13% after announcing off-price store conversion, 40 store closures
Stage Stores Inc. stock jumped 13.3% after its Tuesday announcement that it will shift "substantially all of its stores" to an off-price model. Stage Stores operates 625 stores under the Bealls, Goody's, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage department stores. The company's existing 158 Gordmans stores are off-price. Based on the success of the conversions, the company will shift the remaining stores in February 2020. By the third quarter of fiscal 2020, Stage Stores plans to operate about 700 largely small-market Gordmans stores. Also in fiscal 2020, Stage Stores plans to close 40 stores. Stage Stores expects to spend about $30 million on the conversion. The company has converted 98 stores to off-price since 2018. Stage Stores stock has fallen by more than 50% over the last 12 months, but has rallied 30.2% in 2019. The S&P 500 index has gained 19.6% for the 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
Sep 17, 2019

Bloom Energy's stock tumbles toward record low after short seller Hindenburg Research takes aim
Shares of Bloom Energy Corp. plunged 22% toward a record low, after short seller Hindenburg Research said it had uncovered an estimated $2.2 billion in undisclosed serving liabilities. "Bloom's tricky accounting allows it to mask servicing costs and shift write-downs to other periods, thereby avoiding recognizing major recent additional losses," Hindenburg wrote in a research note. "We believe that large debt maturities in 2020 and 2021, amounting to nearly $520 million, make Bloom Energy an obvious bankruptcy candidate." Bloom was not immediately available to comment. Hindenburg said that, once touted as the prospective "holy grail" of clean energy, Bloom's technology is "not sustainable, clean, green or remotely profitable." The stock is now trading at about 22% of its initial public offering price of $15. The company went public in July 2018, with the stock rising to a record close of $35.80 in September 2018. Last month, the stock had plummeted 43% after Bloom reported fiscal second-quarter results that beat expectations but provided a downbeat outlook. The stock has tumbled 67% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 20%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

General Motors stock gains as strike continues
Shares of General Motors Co. rebounded early Tuesday as the strike affecting the company entered its second day. The stock gained 0.5% in early trading, breaking a four-day losing streak and after closing down 4.3% on Monday. About 50,000 GM workers entered a strike this week, at a cost to the company of about $50 million a day, according to analyst estimates. The strike affects more than 31 GM plants, the majority of the company's North American production. Shares of GM have gained 12% this year, compared with gains of 16% for the S&P 500 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
Sep 17, 2019

Better Choice's stock soars after former Canopy Growth co-CEO Bruce Linton appointed 'special advisor'
Bruce Linton has resurfaced, as the high-profile former co-chief executive of Canopy Growth Corp. has been appointed "Special Advisor" to Florida-based Better Choice Co. Inc. , an animal health and wellness CBD company. Better Choice's stock soared 21% in morning trading, with volume of 65,000 shares already about 13-times the full-day average. Linton, who was fired from Canopy in July, will be working to help expand Better Choice's cannabinoid (CBD) animal research, build out an internal intellectual property, data and analytics platform and explore strategic alternatives and partnerships. "Better Choice is focused and has access to funding to deliver research-driven outcomes in the animal health and wellness industry, as the Company develops a data- and research-driven approach to product development and efficacy within the cannabinoids-as-ingredients space," Linton said. The stock has now lost 55% year to date, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has slipped 1.0% and the S&P 500 has gained 20%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Datadog's expected IPO pricing increased, lifting value of share offering to up to $624 million
Datadog disclosed Tuesday that expected pricing of its initial public offering has increased to $24 to $26 a share from $19 to $22, which raises the value of its 24-million-share offering to up to $624 million from $528 million. If the underwriters exercise the options to buy up to an additional 3.6 million shares, the company could raise up to $717.6 million. The digital transformation and cloud migration software company's stock is expected to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "DDOG." The lead underwriters of the IPO are Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse. For the six months ended June 30, Datadog recorded a net loss of $13.4 million on revenue of $153.3 million, after a profit of $498,000 on revenue of $85.4 million in the same period a year ago. The company is looking to go public at a time the Renaissance IPO ETF has rallied 44.2% year to date while the S&P 500 has gained 19.6%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Oil's price skid deepens on report that Saudi crude plant may return to normal in 2 or 3 weeks
A slide for crude accelerated early Tuesday after a report indicated that major plants in Saudi Arabia that were damaged in a weekend strike may return online sooner than expected. A report from Reuters, citing unnamed a top Saudi official, said that Saudi Aramco may restore about 70% of the 5.7 million barrel-per-day of output knocked off line on Saturday. The Reuters reported indicated that the damaged facilities could be back online in the next two or three weeks. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery , the U.S. benchmark contract, was $3.10, or or 5%, lower at $59.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after the largest daily gain for the most-active contract since Sept. 22, 2008, according to Dow Jones Market Data. On Saturday, Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq plant and its Khurais oil field were thrown offline an, shutting down an estimated 5.7 million barrels of the kingdom's crude oil production a day. Saudi Arabia has said it has enough oil in storage to make up the lost production for about 30 days, but it was believed that it would take weeks or months to repair the damage to the processing plant and oil fields. Brent prices, the international benchmark, were down 6.3% at $64.70 a barrel, adding to earlier losses on the day.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Splunk stock heads higher after J.P. Morgan upgrade
Shares of Splunk Inc. are up 2.4% in Tuesday morning trading after J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Murphy upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral, writing that the stock's price level is now attractive following a drop of about 19% from its July highs. "Subsequent to the material cash flow guide-down announced in August, we view street consensus as largely de-risked at this point," Murphy wrote. "We see potential for multiple expansion as investors start to view Splunk as a recurring/renewable revenue business at scale, aligned to data growth, with a strong competitive position and brand." Murphy has a $130 target price on the stock, which has gained 13% on the year as the S&P 500 has risen 20%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Comcast's NBC says its 'Peacock' streaming service will launch in April
Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal announced Tuesday that its forthcoming streaming service will launch in April 2020 under the name Peacock, a reference to the NBC logo. The service will feature TV shows like "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation" as well as movies from Universal Pictures, DreamWorks, and other studios. NBC plans to make the service "both advertising and subscription supported" and will announce pricing details at a later date. NBCUniversal joins other traditional media players, including Walt Disney Co. , in releasing its own streaming offering. Comcast shares are off 0.5% in Tuesday morning trading. The stock has climbed 8.6% in the past three months, as the S&P 500 has risen 3.7%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

New York Fed carrying out repo operation to keep fed funds rate in target range
The New York Federal Reserve bank said it was carrying out up to $75 billion worth of repuchase agreements, or repo, on Tuesday between 9:30 a.m. Eastern to 9:45 a.m. They said the move would help bring back the central bank's benchmark interest rate, or the federal funds rate, back to its target range of between 2% to 2.25%. Market participants have complained this week that a lack of liquidity in funding markets has pushed the fed funds rate above the interest rate on excess reserves, and that the central bank had lost its grip over short-term interest rates. Analysts say the repurchase operations will boost reserves at banks and help ease funding pressures.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Stocks open slightly lower as Fed begins two-day meeting
Stocks opened slightly lower Tuesday as Federal Reserve policy makers were set to begin a two-day meeting expected to conclude with another quarter-point cut in interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 77 points, or 0.3%, to 27,000, while the S&P 500 declined 4 points, or 0.1%, to 2,994. The Nasdaq Composite was off 5 points, or 0.1%, at 8,148. Stocks ended lower Monday as oil prices surged in the wake of a weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil-production facilities. Crude pulled back on Tuesday, while investors looked ahead to the outcome of the Fed meeting.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Cracker Barrel stock rises after earnings beat
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. stock rose 3.4% in Tuesday premarket trading after the restaurant chain reported fourth quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations. Net income totaled $65.0 million, or $2.70 per share, up from $61.4 million, or $2.55 per share, last year. Revenue of $787.1 million was down from $810.9 million last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $2.48 and revenue of $775.0 million. Same-restaurant sales grew 3.8% while same-store sales were up 0.4%. The FactSet consensus was for same-restaurant growth of 2.9% and same-store sales growth for 2.7%. For fiscal 2020, Cracker Barrel expects revenue of $3.15 billion to $3.20 billion, same-restaurant sales growth of 2% to 3%, same-store sales of 1%, and EPS of between $9.30 to $9.45. FactSet forecasts revenue of $3.14 billion, same-restaurant sales growth of 2.1%, same-store sales growth of 0.8%, and EPS of $9.20. Cracker Barrel stock is up 9.4% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 3.8% 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
Sep 17, 2019

Stein Mart launches buy online, pickup in store service nationwide
Stein Mart Inc. said Tuesday that it is launching buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) service at all 283 locations nationwide. Stein Mart expects that 15% of online orders will be picked up in stores, driving traffic and the likelihood of additional sales. Throughout the year, Stein Mart has been adding digital features, including mobile technology that allows sales associates to locate items and check out customers. Stein Mart stock has fallen 60.4% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 3.8% 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
Sep 17, 2019

Imperial Oil CEO Rich Kruger to retire at year end, after nearly 7 years in the role
Imperial Oil Ltd. said Tuesday that Chief Executive Rich Kruger said he plans to retire at the end of the year, after about 6 1/2-years in the role. The integrated oil business company said it has appointed Brad Corson as president, effective Tuesday, and said Corson will assume the role of CEO on Jan. 1, 2020. Corson was previously president of Exxon Mobil Corp.'s upstream ventures. Kruger has been CEO since March 1, 2013. The stock, which is still inactive in premarket trading, has lost 8.3% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has dropped 15% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.8%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Match Group and IAC stocks are both buys, says Citi
Citi Research initiated coverage of names in the InterActiveCorp. family on Tuesday, calling Match Group Inc. and IAC shares both buys while slapping a neutral rating on ANGI Homeservices Inc.'s stock . Analyst Nicholas Jones wrote that IAC "trades at a 'stub' valuation" due to its stakes in Match and ANGI, which at current prices imply negative enterprise value for IAC. "Though IAC's potential spin-off of these holdings may shrink the 'stub,' we view Vimeo as IAC's most exciting holding, Dotdash as a strong cash generator, and Turo (minority stake) as an interesting foray into online autos," Jones wrote. He also sees strong international opportunity for Match but is worried about the risk of an economic downturn and the threat of Alphabet Inc.'s Google when it comes to ANGI. IAC's stock is flat over the past three months, while Match's has risen 5.6% and ANGI's has slid 46%. The S&P 500 is up 3.8% in that time.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Masco boosts dividend, sets new $2 billion stock repurchase program
Masco Corp. said Tuesday it approved a new $2 billion stock repurchase program, and declared a quarterly dividend of 13.5 cents a share, which is up from the previous dividend of 12 cents a share. The home improvement and building products company's new dividend will be payable Nov. 12 to shareholders of record on Oct. 11. Based on Monday's stock closing price of $42.72, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 1.26%, compared with the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.95%. And at Monday's closing price, the new stock repurchase program, which cancels the previous program, could represent 46.8 million shares, or about 16% of the shares outstanding. Masco's stock, which was unchanged in premarket trading, has run up 46% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 20%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Chipotle adding carne asada to the menu on September 19
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said Tuesday that it is adding a new steak item, carne asada, to the menu for a limited time starting September 19. Chipotle's carne asada is made with lime, spices and finished with cilantro. Chipotle tested carne asada in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Fresno, Calif. JPMorgan analysts said in a July note that they suspected carne asada would soon be added to the menu. It's the latest protein addition since chorizo in September 2018. Chipotle has also partnered with film director David Gelb, the man behind "Chef's Table" and the movie "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," for a behind-the-scenes look at the new item. Chipotle stock has rallied more than 85% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained 19.6% 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
Sep 17, 2019

Snap stock gains after Susquehanna ends bearish call
Shares of Snap Inc. are up 1.8% in premarket trading Tuesday after Susquehanna analyst Shyam Patil upgraded the stock to neutral from negative, citing "constructive" advertising channel checks and expectations for more progress in the fourth quarter. He wrote that the popularity of Instagram's "stories" feature seems to be making advertisers more willing to market on Snap's "stories" as well. Patil also sees room for Snap to meet or exceed its user-growth forecast of two to four million net additions for the third quarter. He's staying sidelined on the stock, however, due to its valuation. Snap shares have gained 16% in the past three months, as the S&P 500 has risen 3.8%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Macy's searching for a new CEO for Bluemercury
Macy's Inc. says it is looking both internally and externally for a new chief executive for its beauty chain Bluemercury. Barry Beck, one of Bluemercury's founders and its chief operating officer, will leave the company on September 20 for an entrepreneurial venture, according to a Macy's statement. Co-founder Marla Beck, Bluemercury's CEO, will stay on through a transition period. Bluemercury, which was founded 20 years ago, became part of Macy's in 2015. Macy's stock has tumbled more than 50% over the last year while the S&P 500 index has gained 3.8% 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
Sep 17, 2019

Former Canopy Growth co-CEO Bruce Linton resurfaces as special advisor to Better Choice
Bruce Linton has resurfaced, as the high-profile former co-chief executive of Canopy Growth Corp. has been appointed "Special Advisor" to Florida-based Better Choice Co. Inc. , an animal health and wellness CBD company. Linton, who was fired from Canopy in July, will be working to help expand Better Choice's cannabinoid (CBD) animal research, build out an internal intellectual property, data and analytics platform and explore strategic alternatives and partnerships. "Better Choice is focused and has access to funding to deliver research-driven outcomes in the animal health and wellness industry, as the Company develops a data- and research-driven approach to product development and efficacy within the cannabinoids-as-ingredients space," Linton said. The stock has tumbled 63% year to date through Monday, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has slipped 1.4% and the S&P 500 has gained 19.6%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

Merck's V920 Ebola treatment granted priority review by the FDA
Merck & Co. Inc. said Tuesday the Food and Drug Administration has accepted the biologics license application (BLA) for its V920 investigational vaccine for Ebola Zaire virus. The drugmaker said the FDA also granted priority review for V920. The company said it will base new investigational supply on a combination of leveraging material from production activities at the planned commercial manufacturing site in Germany and new production at a clinical manufacturing site in the U.S. Merck's stock edged up 0.2% in premarket trading. It has gained 7.4% year to date, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has tacked on 5.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 16.1%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

KLA's stock heads for another record after boosting dividend 13%, adding $1 billion to buyback program
Shares of KLA Corp. rose 0.2% in premarket trading Tuesday, adding to the previous session's rise to a record close, after the chip equipment maker raised its dividend by 13% and added $1 billion to its stock repurchase authorization. KLA new quarterly dividend of 85 cents a share is up from 75 cents a share. Based on Monday's stock closing price of $151.19, the new annual dividend rate of $3.40 a share implies a dividend yield of 2.25%, compared with the yield for the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF of 1.35% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.95%, according to FactSet. The $1 billion for stock buybacks is in addition to the $859 million remaining in its existing repurchase authorization as of June 30. Separately, the company affirmed its fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings per share guidance of $2.04 to $2.34, which surrounds the FactSet consensus of $2.20. The stock has soared 69.0% year to date, while the chip sector ETF has rallied 38.7% and the S&P 500 has gained 19.6%.

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
Sep 17, 2019

MoviePass owner gets a bid from Ted Farnsworth, who was chief executive
Financier Ted Farnsworth said he has submitted an undisclosed offer to purchase the assets of Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. including MoviePass Inc. Farnsworth has stepped down from his roles as chairman and CEO of Helios and Matheson, and from his position on the board. "I believe there is great unrealized value in MoviePass and we want to rebuild and make sure it reaches its full potential," said Farnsworth in a statement. MoviePass shut down on Saturday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2019

ZEW investor sentiment poll in Germany climbs but is still negative
The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment rose 21.6 points to a -22.5 reading in September. Economists polled by FactSet had forecast a reading of -37.9. "The outlook remains negative. However, the rather strong fears that financial experts had in the previous month regarding a further intensification of the trade conflict between the USA and China did not come true. And there is still hope that a no deal Brexit can be avoided. In addition, the European Central Bank is attempting to reduce the economic risks in the eurozone by further easing its monetary policy," said ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 17, 2019

Crude edges lower after largest one-day rise on record
Crude-oil futures contracts edged lower on Tuesday, after seeing the biggest one-day move on record in the wake of the attacks that took half of Saudi Arabia output offline. Brent crude fell 32 cents to $68.70 a barrel and light sweet crude fell 59 cents to $62.31. Oil producers still enjoyed gains, with shares of Total and BP higher in early European trade.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

WeWork expected to delay IPO until at least October: report
WeWork's parent company, which was expected to kick off its IPO roadshow this week and go public as soon as next week, is now expected to delay its initial public offering until at least October, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Investors have reportedly worried about the company's value and corporate governance. Last week, the We Co. pledged to make sweeping changes to its governance to address investors' concerns. Other reports last week said that SoftBank Group Co., the company's biggest investor, urged it to shelve the IPO amid reports that WeWork's valuation would be reduced to $20 billion or less, a far cry than the $47 billion it was valued at last year after a funding round.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Corning stock drops after display, optical outlooks cut
Corning Inc. shares fell in the extended session Monday after the materials company reduced its outlook for the year in two of its business segments. Corning shares fell 8.5% after hours, following a 0.4% decline to close at $30.05 in the regular session. The company said it expects optical communications sales to decline by 3% to 5% for the year, compared with its previous forecast of a low-to-mid-single digit percentage increase. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect sales of $4.37 billion, or a 4.3% increase. In display technologies, Corning continues to expect third-quarter prices to be sequentially flat, and full-year glass prices to decline by a low-to-mid single-digit percentage. Analysts expect $3.35 billion, or a 2.1% increase.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Acceleron Pharma stock down 4% after company halts treatment trial
Shares of Acceleron Pharma Inc. fell nearly 4% in the extended session Monday after the biopharmaceutical company said one of its treatments aimed at a type of muscular dystrophy showed no evidence of benefits relative to a placebo. The company has stopped further clinical trials, saying it was "disappointed" with the results. The treatment, called ACE-083, is on a trial for another neuromuscular disorder and topline results are expected in the first quarter, Acceleron said. The stock ended the regular trading day 1.7% higher.

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Sep 16, 2019

SeaWorld CEO resigns after seven months in the job
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. said late Monday that Chief Executive Gustavo Antorcha has resigned, citing "a difference of approach." Chief Financial Officer Marc Swanson will serve as interim CEO, with Elizabeth Castro Gulacsy, the chief accounting officer, appointed interim CFO while keeping her accounting responsibilities. The changes are effective immediately, SeaWorld said. Antorcha, a former Carnival Cruise Lines executive, joined the company in February after a year-long search for a new leader. Former CEO Joel Manby stepped down in February 2018 as SeaWorld intensified its turnaround efforts following years of controversy over its treatment of orcas. SeaWorld said it has hired an executive search firm to determine Antorcha's successor. "While I may have a difference of approach, I continue to believe in SeaWorld's strategy, mission, team and prospects," Antorcha said in a statement. Shares of SeaWorld fell 0.2% in the extended session Monday after ending the regular trading day down less than 0.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Dow snaps eight-day winning streak after Saudi oil attack
U.S. stocks ended lower on Monday after investors were rattled by a drone strike on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% to end around 2,998. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 143 points, or 0.5%, to end near 27,077, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.3% to finish around 8,154. The drone attack underlined the vulnerability of major oil producers in the Middle East, renewing geopolitical fears over the region. Fears of tightening supplies sent values for crude surging. U.S. crude prices rose by more than 14% to settle at $62.90 a barrel on Monday, marking its biggest daily gain since Sept. 2008. Investors also raised concerns that the U.S. may escalate its current conflict with Iran over the attack.

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Sep 16, 2019

General Mills recalls 5-pound bags of Gold Medal unbleached flour with one 'used-by' date for E. coli risk
General Mills Inc. said Monday it was recalling 5-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour, citing the potential presence of E. coli 026. Only bags with a "better if used by" date of September 2020 are affected by the recall, which was discovered during sampling of the product. "This recall is being issued out of an abundance of care as General Mills has not received any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this product," the branded consumer foods company said in a statement. The stock, which gained 1.0% in afternoon trading, has soared 40.0% year to date, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has run up 19.0% and the S&P 500 has climbed 19.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Marvell Technology to pay $5.5 million to settle SEC charges of revenue management scheme
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. will pay $5.5 million to settle charges that it misled investors by engaging in an undisclosed revenue management scheme, the Securities and Exchange Commission said. The chip maker's company's stock slid 1.3% in afternoon trading, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index lost 0.5% and the S&P 500 gave up 0.3%. The SEC said Marvell had "orchestrated a scheme" to accelerate, or 'pull in' sales to the current quarter that had been scheduled for future quarters. The SEC indicated the purpose of pulling in revenue was to "close the gap" between actual results and analyst expectations. Marvell consented to the SEC's order, without admitting or denying the allegations, and agreed to cease and desist from further violations.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

EIA forecasts U.S. shale oil output to edge up by 74,000 barrels a day in October
Crude-oil production from seven major U.S. shale plays is forecast to climb by 74,000 barrels a day in October to 8.843 million barrels a day, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration released Monday. Oil output from the Permian Basin, which covers parts of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico, is expected to see the bulk of that increase, up 71,000 barrels a day in October from September. Shale oil output from the Anadarko and Eagle Ford regions, however, are expected to see slight monthly declines, the report showed. On Monday, oil prices rallied in the wake of a weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities that led to a significant cut in the kingdom's crude production. The October contract for West Texas Intermediate oil rose $8.05, or 14.7%, at $62.90 a barrel ahead of its settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Oil rallies 15%, with U.S. prices settling at their highest in 4 months
Oil futures rallied Monday, as a weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities cut the kingdom's daily crude production down by more than half, sparking concerns of a potentially prolonged supply shortage. The news sparked talk of $100 oil prices, but that scenario "would only occur if there is an all-out war between Saudi Arabia and Iran," said Jay Hatfield, portfolio manager of the Infracap MLP exchange-traded fund. "If production is restored and there is no escalation of tensions, we would expect WTI oil to trade in the $55-65 range up from the prior trading range of $50-60, which would reflect a $5 risk premium. October West Texas Intermediate oil added $8.05, or 14.7%, to settle at $62.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest finish for a front-month contract since May 21, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Zoom Video stock gets a boost after Baird joins the bulls
Zoom Video Communications Inc. got a bit of love Monday amid a rough stretch for the videoconferencing stock, after Baird analyst William Power initiated coverage of the shares at outperform. "We acknowledge the premium valuation, but believe that is justified by the industry-leading growth, estimate upside potential, strong profitability and significant Zoom Phone potential," he wrote in a note to clients. Power sees architectural advantages for Zoom across the business as well as "significant growth opportunities" for the Zoom Phone business. Shares are up 2.1% in Monday trading, but they've fallen 13% over the past month. The S&P 500 is up 3.8% in that time.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Cruise ship stocks fall as drawn-out spike in oil prices could act as a drag on earnings
Shares of cruise ship operators slumped in midday trading Monday, amid concerns that the spike in crude oil prices could act as a drag on earnings. Carnival Corp.'s stock fell 2.6%, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. shares lost 1.3% and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. shares dropped 2.2%, all underperforming the S&P 500's 0.5% decline. Crude oil futures shot up 11.5% after the weekend attack on Saudi Aramco's Abqaig oil processing plant. Instinet analyst Harry Curtis said the impact on earnings for cruise operators depends on how long it takes to get full production at the oil processing plant up and running. He estimates a sustained 10% jump in oil prices could cut annual earnings for Carnival by 24 cents a share, Royal Caribbean by 17 cents a share and Norwegian by 9 cents a share. "If the production gap is filled within days rather than weeks or months, then we believe close-in weakness in the stocks...should be viewed as a buying opportunity, much like the temporary impact of hurricanes," Curtis wrote in a note to clients.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Dow, Nasdaq fall but market breadth is leaning bullish
Despite the relatively sharp drops in the Big 3 stock market indexes, market internals suggest the market of stocks is leaning slightly toward the bullish side. The number of stocks gaining ground outpaced decliners 1,397 to 1,385 on the NYSE but decliners led 1,464 to 1,396 on the Nasdaq exchange. Volume data was bullish, with the volume in stocks gaining ground representing 55.9% of total volume on the Big Board and 53.1% of total volume on the Nasdaq. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 163 points, or 0.6%, the S&P 500 gave up 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.5%, but the Russell 2000 of small-capitalization companies gained 0.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Baker Hughes to shed GE from its name after stock offering cuts GE's voting power below 50%
Baker Hughes a GE Co. said Monday it closed a secondary offering of 132.25 million Class A shares by General Electric Co. and certain affiliates at a price of $21.50 a share. The oilfield products song said it also repurchased 11.9 million shares of Class B voting from "one or more" of GE and its affiliates, which means GE now holds less than half of the voting power of the company. Baker Hughes stock jumped 2.2% in morning trading, while GE shares edged up 0.1%. Baker Hughes said the deal reduces the number of individuals GE is entitled to designate to Baker Hughes' board to one from five. And Baker Hughes plans to change its corporate name to Baker Hughes Co., with the ticker symbol for the Class A shares to change to "BKR." Baker Hughes stock has gained 4.9% over the past three months, while GE shares have shed 8.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 3.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Lowe's upgraded as CEO Ellison's plan shows signs of growth
Lowe's Cos. was upgraded to outperform from neutral at Wedbush based on growth signals resulting from Chief Executive Marvin Ellison's growth plan for the home improvement retailer. Wedbush analysts led by Seth Basham also raised Lowe's price target to $135 from $115. "Lowe's focus on boosting Pro sales through increased service levels, pricing and merchandising is beginning to pay off, with enormous runway ahead," the note said. "Labor-efficiency drivers are starting to build, such that Lowe's might be able to hold operating expenses flat for the next three years to drive 250 basis points of margin improvement in a bull case scenario." Wedbush is still wary of Lowe's goal to reach $370 per square foot and operating margins of 12%, but analysts now see upside through 2022. In addition, analysts say Lowe's is closing the same-store sales gap with its biggest competitor Home Depot Inc. . Lowe's stock has rallied 23% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 19.7% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Endeavor sets IPO terms, to raise up to $619 million
Endeavor Group Holdings set terms of its initial public offering, in which the entertainment and talent-agency giant expects to raise up to $619.4 million, and be valued at over $4 billion. The company said it will offer 19.35 million shares in the IPO, which is expected to price between $30 and $32 a share. If the underwriters exercise all of the options to buy 2.9 million additional shares to cover over-allotments, Endeavor could raise up to $712.26 million. The stock is expected to list on the NYSE under the symbol "EDR." The lead underwriters are Goldman Sachs, KKR, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank Securities. Endeavor is looking to go public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has slipped 3.0% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 3.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Endeavor sets IPO terms, to raise up to $619 million and be valued at nearly $8 billion
Endeavor Group Holdings set terms of its initial public offering, in which the entertainment and talent-agency giant expects to raise up to $619.4 million. Based on 244.2 million shares fully converted diluted shares outstanding after the IPO, the company could be valued at up $7.8 billion. The company said it will offer 19.35 million shares in the IPO, which is expected to price between $30 and $32 a share. If the underwriters exercise all of the options to buy 2.9 million additional shares to cover over-allotments, Endeavor could raise up to $712.26 million. The stock is expected to list on the NYSE under the symbol "EDR." The lead underwriters are Goldman Sachs, KKR, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank Securities. Endeavor is looking to go public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has slipped 3.0% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 3.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Stocks open lower as jump in oil prices rattles investors
Stocks opened lower Monday, after oil prices jumped sharply in the wake of a weekend attack on Saudi Arabia's largest oil facilities knocked out more than half of the kingdom's production. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 97.22 points, or 0.4%, to 27,122.30, while the S&P 500 was off 12.68 points, or 0.4%, at 2,994.71. The Nasdaq Composite lost 53.45 points, or 0.7%, to trade at 8,123.27. Oil futures soared, with Brent crude up more than 10% and West Texas Intermediate crude rising 9.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Nucor's stock drops after profit warning
Shares of Nucor Corp. slid 1.9% in premarket trading Monday, after the steel maker provided a third-quarter profit outlook that was well below expectations, as weakness in the steel mills and raw materials businesses amid lower steel prices and margin compression offsets some strength in the steel products segment. The company said it expects earnings per share for the current quarter of 75 cents to 80 cents, down from $2.13 in a year-ago period, and below sequential second-quarter EPS of $1.26. The FactSet consensus for net EPS is $1.08. Regarding the steel mills segment, the company said "there has been softening" in automotive, agricultural products and power transmission markets, while the steel products business is being supported by continued strength in the nonresidential construction market. Nucor's stock has gained 3.5% year to date through Friday, while the SPDR Materials Select Sector ETF has run up 17.1% and the S&P 500 has gained 20.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

J.P. Morgan Chase's stock drops after Buckingham backs away from bullish call
Shares of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. fell 1.4% in premarket trading Monday, after the banking giant was downgraded by Buckingham Research analyst James Mitchell, who cited concerns over valuation. Mitchell said J.P. Morgan has produced "best-in-class" revenue growth and returns in recent years, and considering significant investment spend and management's record of successful execution, he sees no reason why these trends won't continue. However, he cut his rating to neutral from buy, saying that after "materially outpacing the peer group in recent years," the stock now trades at nearly a 30% premium, which leads him to believe "much of the fundamental outperformance is being priced in." The stock has gained 5.9% over the past 12 months through Friday, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF has edged up 0.9% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 4.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Airline stocks hit hard as crude oil prices spike after Saudi processing plant attacked
Shares of airline companies took hard hits on Monday, as a spike in oil prices sparked concerns about rising fuel costs. The stocks of all six air carrier components of the Dow Jones Transportation Average declined in premarket trading: American Airlines Group Inc. slid 4.7%, Delta Air Lines Inc. dropped 3.5%, United Airlines Holdings Inc. shed 3.6%, JetBlue Airways Corp. gave up 3.1%, Southwest Airlines Co. declined 3.1% and Alaska Air Group Inc. lost 2.3%. Crude oil futures shot up 10% after the weekend attack on Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing plant. The NYSE Arca Airline Index has lost 1.7% over the past three months, while the Dow transports has gained 4.9% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 4.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

McDonald's says 60% of deliveries are at night
A lot of people get a "Big Mac attack" after the sun goes down. According to McDonald's Corp. , 60% of delivery orders are placed at night, and one million customers around the world are having their burgers and McNuggets delivered to their homes daily. McDonald's forecasts that delivery will be a $4 billion global business in 2019, and will be available in more than 70% of McDonald's U.S.locations this year, a total of 10,000 restaurants. Around the world, delivery is available in 21,000 restaurants across 80 countries. To celebrate, McDonald's and its delivery partner, Uber Eats , are hosting a "Global McDelivery Night In" on September 19. In the U.S., customers who place a minimum $10 delivery order at 5 p.m. local time will receive a limited edition item while supplies last. Those items include socks and slippers. The event will also be taking place in Canada and other countries. McDonald's launched delivery with Uber Eats and other partners in 2017. McDonald's stock has gained 30.5% over the past year while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 4.1% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Alder BioPharmaceuticals stock rockets on heavy volume after $1.95 billion buyout deal
Shares of Alder BioPharmaceuticals Inc. blasted 83% higher on very heavy volume in premarket trading Monday, after the developer of migraine treatment eptinezumab agreed to be bought out by Denmark-based H. Lundbeck A/S in a deal valued at $1.95 billion. Trading volume was already more than 4.6 million shares an hour ahead of the open, compared with the full-day average of about 638,000 shares. Under terms of the deal, Lundbeck will commence a tender offer of $18 for each Alder share outstanding, which is 79% above Friday's closing price of $10.06. Alder shareholders will also receive a contingent value right (CVR) that entitles them to an additional $2 a share if Alder's eptinezumab is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). At $20 a share, Alder's market capitalization would be $1.67 billion. Alder's stock hasn't closed at $20 or above since May 2017. The stock has lost 44.7% over the past 12 months, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has lost 11.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

HP stock gets another downgrade: 'The good times for PCs look to be ending'
UBS analyst John Roy downgraded HP Inc. shares to neutral from buy on Monday, writing that he expects fiscal 2020 to be a "transition year" for printer supplies and personal computers. He doesn't project growth for the printer-supply business in the next 18 months, following a 7% drop in the latest quarter amid macroeconomic softness and execution changes overseas. "The industry is in a secular decline and the long-term growth depends on the ability to gain market share," Roy wrote. "We expect print supplies to remain under pressure due to secular trends, lack of consolidation, and competition from third party suppliers." He also expects mix and cost headwinds to contribute to a weaker PC market in fiscal 2020. "The good times for PCs look to be ending," Roy wrote. He lowered his price target to $20 from $26 in conjunction with the downgrade, which came a week after Bernstein also downgraded the stock on concerns about the printing-supply business. HP shares are off 2.1% in premarket trading Monday, and they've dropped 6.7% so far this year as the S&P 500 has gained 20%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Cresco Labs to buy cannabis dispensary, cultivation assets of Tryke Companies for $282.5 million
Cresco Labs Inc. announced Monday a deal to buy certain assets from Las Vegas-based seed-to-sale cannabis company Tryke Companies for a $282.5 million, including $30 million in real estate assets. The assets being acquired include six Reef Dispensary locations and Nevada and Arizona, expanded licensed cultivation and process capacity in Las Vegas and Phoenix and entry into the Utah market. Cresco said the deal adds 17,000 pounds per year in cultivation capacity and 1,320 pounds of processing capacity. Chicago-based Cresco's stock has gained 17.3% year to date through Friday, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has gained 1.1% and the S&P 500 has climbed 20.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Qualcomm buys rest of JV RF360 from TDK, for total purchase price of $3.1 billion
Qualcomm Inc. said Monday that it was buying the remaining interest in RF360 Holdings Singapore Pte. Ltd., which makes RF frong-end filters. RF360 is a joint venture with Tokyo-based TDK Corp. , with TDK's remaining interest valued at $1.15 billion in August. Qualcomm's stock slipped 0.9% in premarket trading. Qualcomm said the total purchase price, including the initial investment, payments to TDK and development obligations will be about $3.1 billion. Qualcomm said the acquisition strengthens its RF business and helps support the transition to 5G. "Our goal in the formation of this joint venture was to enhance Qualcomm Technologies' front-end solutions to enable us to deliver a truly complete solution to the mobile device ecosystem, and we have done exactly that," said Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon. Qualcomm's stock has soared 37.8% year to date through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 20.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

SemGroup's stock rockets after buyout deal with Energy Transfer valued at $5.1 billion, including debt
Shares of SemGroup Corp. rocketed 63% toward a 7-month high in premarket trading Monday, after the oil and gas pipeline and processing plant company agreed to be acquired by Energy Transfer LP in a deal that values SemGroup at about $1.35 billion. The total consideration of the cash-and-stock deal, including debt is valued at $5.1 billion. Under terms of the deal, SemGroup shareholders will receive $6.80 in cash and 0.7275 Energy Transfer shares for each SemGroup share they own, which based on Friday's closing prices values SemGroup shares at $17 each, or a 65% premium. Energy Transfer's stock gained 2.2% ahead of the open. The deal is expected to close by late 2019 or early 2020. "SemGroup has been exploring a range of strategic alternatives aimed at increasing shareholder value, and determined that this combination with ET is in the best interests of shareholders--providing immediate value, a significant premium, and opportunity to participate in the future upside of the combined business," said SemGroup Chief Executive Carlin Conner. Year to date, SemGroup shares had dropped 25.4% through Friday and ET's stock has gained 6.1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 16.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Aurora Cannabis' stock falls after Stifel says 'sell,' slashes price target
Shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc. dropped 5.9% in premarket trading Monday, after Stifel Nicolaus analyst Andrew Carter recommended selling the Canada-based cannabis company following disappointing quarterly results. Carter cut his rating to sell from hold and slashed his price target to C$5, which is 36% below Friday's closing price, from C$7. The U.S.-listed shares closed Friday at $5.95. He wrote in a note to clients that Aurora's fiscal fourth-quarter results point to a "less robust in-market performance and difficulty to continue positioning for the larger global opportunity." Carter said he believes Aurora's financing efforts will be "challenged" against a backdrop of "overwhelmingly negative investor sentiment" towards the sector, damaged credibility and limited near-term catalysts to drive enthusiasm. Aurora's U.S.-listed stock has tumbled 21.3% over the past three months, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has dropped 19.1% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Metals traders at JPMorgan charged with market manipulation
The U.S. Department of Justice charged two current traders and one former metals trader for their alleged participation in a racketeering conspiracy over eight years. Gregg Smith and Michael Nowak -- both at JPMorgan -- and Christopher Jordan, who left in 2009 and worked at other banks after -- were charged. The indictment alleges that between May 2008 and August 2016, the defendants engaged in widespread spoofing, market manipulation and fraud for gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures contracts while working on the precious metals desk at what the DOJ calls Bank A. Reuters reported last week that Nowak and Smith were on leave, and two former JPMorgan traders, John Edmonds and Christian Trunz, have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Oil stocks surge, with all SPDR Energy ETF components rising
Energy stocks were broadly and in many cases sharply higher in premarket trading Monday, boosted by the spike in oil prices after the weekend attack on Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing plant. The SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF surged 4.2%, with all 28 equity components trading higher ahead of the open. Among the more active components, shares of Schlumberger Ltd. rallied 5.6%, Exxon Mobil Corp. gained 3.3%, Halliburton Co. advanced 5.3%, Occidental Petroleum Corp. ran up 4.9%, TechnipFMC PLC hiked up 3.3% and Chevron Corp. tacked on 3.1%. Elsewhere, Marathon Oil Corp. shares soared 10.4% and Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s stock shot up 15.2%. October crude oil futures jumped 8.2% to $59.37, while futures for the S&P 500 slumped 0.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Moody's lowers outlook on Hong Kong to negative
Moody's Investors Service cut its rating on the Government of Hong Kong to negative from stable though it kept its Aa2 issuer rating. "The change in outlook to negative reflects the rising risk that the ongoing protests reveal an erosion in the strength of Hong Kong's institutions, with lower government and policy effectiveness than Moody's had previously assessed, and undermine Hong Kong's credit fundamentals by damaging its attractiveness as a trade and financial hub," the rating agency said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Burlington Stores CFO resigns to pursue other opportunities
Burlington Stores Inc. said Monday that Chief Financial Officer Mark Katz has resigned, effective immediately, to pursue "other professional opportunities. Katz had been CFO of the off-price retailer since January 2015, and has been with the company since July 2008. The company said it appointed Chief Accounting Officer John Crimmins as interim CFO. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trading, has gained 15.2% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 4.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

GM's stock sinks after nearly 50,000 UAW members go on strike
Shares of General Motors Co. sank 3.0% in premarket trading Monday, after nearly 50,000 United Auto Workers employees went on strike. The strike shut down 33 manufacturing plants in nine states and 22 parts distribution warehouses. GM said over the weekend that it has presented a "strong offer" to UAW leadership and that it was "disappointing" the union chose to strike. GM said its offer includes over $7 billion in investments and more than 5,400 jobs, including "solutions" for unallocated assembly plants in Michigan and Ohio. The UAW said things it was trying to secure by going on strike include fair wages, affordable healthcare and a share of profits. The UAW also called out the other two of the Big 3 automakers to "recognize the contributions and sacrifices the UAW members made to help support the industry. Shares of Ford Motor Co. slipped 0.7% ahead of the open and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. were still inactive. GM's stock has rallied 16.2% year to date through Friday while the S&P 500 has advanced 20.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Here are oil plays Citi says will show biggest reaction to surge in crude
In an analyst note, Citi identified the companies it says will have the biggest reaction to the rise in crude oil prices following the attacks in Saudi Arabia over the weekend. Small- and mid-cap oil explorers and producers that are heavily shorted or where positioning is negative include Extraction Oil & Gas , Whiting Petroleum Corp. , Callon Petroleum Co and Carrizo Oil & Gas . Heavily shorted land drillers, pumpers and sand/logistic companies could be active including RPC , U.S. Silica Holdings , Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure and Patterson-UTI Energy . Oasis Petroleum is a stock with sensitivity to financial leverage along with Whiting Petroleum and Carrizo Oil & Gas, and heavily shorted offshore drillers Transocean , Valaris , Diamond Offshore Drilling and Noble Corp "are likely to experience a large short cover bounce given elevated short interest ratios, but long cycle offshore activity should see less of an impact unless the outages/geopolitical risk premium sustains for an extended period while structural oversupply likely remains," the broker said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 16, 2019

Oil producers surge as airlines slump; Europe stock indexes fall
Oil explorers and producers including Tullow Oil and BP surged in early action while airlines including Ryanair and Air France-KLM slumped in wake of the attack that took half of Saudi output offline, sending oil prices higher. Brent crude oil was trading at $65.27 a barrel, up over $5, as the Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 0.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 15, 2019

'Very difficult' for China's economy to maintain 6% growth: report
China's Premier Li Keqiang said it will be "very difficult" for the country's economy to grow at an annual rate of 6% or more in the current global climate, Reuters reported Sunday. "For China to maintain growth of 6% or more is very difficult against the current backdrop of a complicated international situation and a relatively high base, and this rate is at the forefront of the world's leading economies," Li said in an interview with Russian media that was posted on China's official government website. China is aiming for GDP growth this year of 6% to 6.5%. In the second quarter, GDP rose 6.2%, its slowest rate in 27 years. Li said the global slowdown and trade protectionism contributed to "certain downward pressure" felt by China's economy.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 15, 2019

Boeing committee set to recommend safety changes: report
Boeing Co.'s full board of directors is expected to hear a report this week detailing structural corporate changes that can be made to improve the safety of its planes following two fatal crashes of its 737 Max planes, the New York Times reported Sunday. The recommended changes from a small committee of board members include a new corporate reporting structure, creating a new safety group and building simpler cockpits, the Times said. Under one proposed change, engineers would reportedly report directly to the company's head engineer, rather than a business-unit leader who might favor production deadlines over fixing problems. Boeing reported a sharp dropoff in monthly aircraft production last week as the 737 Max remains grounded. Boeing shares are up 18% year to date, compared to the S&P 500's 20% gain.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 15, 2019

Crude prices spike after attack on Saudi oil facilities
Brent crude prices shot up late Sunday following Saturday's attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. November Brent crude was last up more than $7 a barrel, or 12%, to $67.41, after initially spiking as much as 18%. The attacks shut down about half of Saudi oil production, and while the kingdom said that it expects to have aboutone-third of that back online by Monday, experts said it could take weeks to get back to full capacity. Prominent crude-oil strategist Phil Flynn at Price Futures Group told MarketWatch earlier on Sunday that the drone strike was a "big deal" that could result in a major spike in crude-oil prices, because of the potential disruption to global supplies.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Disney CEO Iger resigns from Apple board
Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger has resigned from the board of Apple Inc. , the Silicon Valley company said in a filing late Friday. Iger resigned on Tuesday, according to the filing, which contained no other information. Earlier this week, Apple revealed that it would charge $4.99 a month for its previously announced streaming service, set to launch Nov. 1, undercutting Disney as well as Netflix Inc.'s streaming businesses. Iger had joined the Apple board in 2011, according to Disney's website. Other Apple board members include Chief Executive Tim Cook, former Genentech Chief Executive Arthur Levinson, who is the board's chairman, and former Vice President Al Gore. Shares of Apple and Disney were flat in the extended session Friday after ending the regular trading day down 1.9% and 0.4% higher.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

MoviePass-parent Helios & Matheson is set to shut down permanently on Saturday
MoviePass Inc.'s parent Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. is set to close its business permanently on Saturday and is considering a sale of its assets, including its Moviefone and MoviePass Films business. Attempts to revive the embattled subscription-movie service have apparently failed, with the company on July 4 announcing that its service would be temporarily interrupted in order to work on an "improved version" of its mobile app Inc. The decision was a bad omen as it came during the busiest time for the movie business. In March, Helios & Matheson raised some $6 million in financing to support MoviePass, including its technology. The once-highflying company had lost nearly all of its value over the past year. Shares of HMNY, a reference to the company's trading symbol, are down 89% so far in the 2019, according to FactSet data. By comparison, the S&P 500 index is up nearly 20% so far this year and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 16.7% over the same period. HMNY acquired MoviePass in 2017, a service with just 20,000 subscribers at the time. The operator cut MoviePass's monthly fee to $9.95 from up to $50 a month, and its subscriber base ballooned, crossing the 3-million mark in June of 2018, MarketWatch reported last year. However, the burden of delivering cheap movies proved challenging for the company.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Stocks end mostly lower as Dow extends eight-day streak of gains
U.S. stocks closed mostly lower on Friday after easing trade tensions and central bank policy moves briefly buoyed investor sentiment earlier in the day. The S&P 500 was down less than 0.1% to end near 3,007. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 36 points, or 0.1%, to finish around 27,219, based on preliminary numbers.The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2% to end near 8,177. The blue-chip Dow clinched its eighth consecutive gain, its longest such streak since 2018. Both the Dow and the S&P remain less than a percentage point away from their all-time highs set in July. Retail sales rose faster than expected in August, increasing by 0.4%. Investors also saw signs that Washington and Beijing were moving towards a more constructive stance on trade negotiations. The European Central Bank announced a full stimulus package on Thursday, including rate cuts and the restart of an open-ended bond purchasing program.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Stocks end mostly lower as Dow extends seven-day streak of gains
U.S. stocks closed mostly lower on Friday after easing trade tensions and central bank policy moves briefly buoyed investor sentiment earlier in the day. The S&P 500 was down less than 0.1% to end near 3,007. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 36 points, or 0.1%, to finish around 27,219, based on preliminary numbers.The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2% to end near 8,177. The blue-chip Dow clinched its seventh consecutive gain, its longest such streak since 2018. Both the Dow and the S&P remain less than a percentage point away from their all-time highs set in July. Retail sales rose faster than expected in August, increasing by 0.4%. Investors also saw signs that Washington and Beijing were moving towards a more constructive stance on trade negotiations. The European Central Bank announced a full stimulus package on Thursday, including rate cuts and the restart of an open-ended bond purchasing program.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

'Desperate Housewives' Felicity Huffman sentenced to 14 days in jail, fined $30K for role in college-admissions scandal: reports
Actress Felicity Huffman on Friday was sentenced to 14 days in jail and fined $30,000 for her involvement in the college-admissions cheating scheme, according to reports. Huffman, best known for her role in the TV series "Desperate Housewives," pleaded guilty guilty to conspiring to pay $15,000 to a fake charity that facilitated cheating when her daughter took college entrance examinations. The Wall Street Journal reported that Huffman's two-week stint in jail was about half of what prosecutors were seeking. Huffman also was sentenced to 250 hours of community service and a year of supervised release, the paper reported on its website.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Lumber Liquidator's stock tumbles, after former CEO sells stock as potential buyout is 'less prudent'
Shares of Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. tumbled 12% in active afternoon trading, and have now plunged 24% in three sessions since closing at 4-month high on Tuesday. Trading volume was 6.4 million shares, compared with the full-day average of 2.2 million shares. The selloff in the wood-flooring company's stock comes after founder and former CEO Thomas Sullivan and F9 Investments LLC disclosed that it now owned 461,895 Lumber Liquidator shares, or 1.6% of the shares outstanding, indicating Sullivan and F9 sold off 1.75 million shares in the past week, representing 6.1% of the shares outstanding, after Sullivan and F9 disclosed it had accumulated a 2,212,367-share stake, or 7.7% of the shares outstanding, in the weeks leading up to Sept. 5. Sullivan, currently the CEO of Cabinets to Go, said the reason for acquiring the large stake was to "explore various options and propose a transaction," including a potential purchase of Lumber Liquidators. On Friday, Sullivan said he sold the bulk of his holdings because after the recent "significant" rally, the stock was "no longer undervalued," making a potential acquisition "less prudent at these elevated levels." Since Aug. 20, when Sullivan first disclosed it acquired a 6.0% stake, through Sept. 5, the stock had soared 55%. The stock is now up 4.5% year to date, while the S&P 500 has run up 20.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Lumber Liquidator's stock tumbles, after former CEO sells stock as potential buyout is now 'less prudent'
Shares of Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. tumbled 12% in active afternoon trading, and have now plunged 24% in three sessions since closing at 4-month high on Tuesday. Trading volume was 6.4 million shares, compared with the full-day average of 2.2 million shares. The selloff in the wood-flooring company's stock comes after founder and former CEO Thomas Sullivan and F9 Investments LLC disclosed that it now owned 461,895 Lumber Liquidator shares, or 1.6% of the shares outstanding, indicating Sullivan and F9 sold off 1.75 million shares in the past week, representing 6.1% of the shares outstanding, after Sullivan and F9 disclosed it had accumulated a 2,212,367-share stake, or 7.7% of the shares outstanding, in the weeks leading up to Sept. 5. Sullivan, currently the CEO of Cabinets to Go, said the reason for acquiring the large stake was to "explore various options and propose a transaction," including a potential purchase of Lumber Liquidators. On Friday, Sullivan said he sold the bulk of his holdings because after the recent "significant" rally, the stock was "no longer undervalued," making a potential acquisition "less prudent at these elevated levels." Since Aug. 20, when Sullivan first disclosed it acquired a 6.0% stake, through Sept. 5, the stock had soared 55%. The stock is now up 4.5% year to date, while the S&P 500 has run up 20.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Cowen is bullish marijuana companies with CPG model, bearish on MedMen given retail reliance
Cowen analyst Vivien Azer initiated coverage Friday of five multi-state cannabis operators, saying she's bullish on those that rely on the consumer packaged goods model given the higher margins, especially relative to those relying on the retail model. Azer started Green Thumb Industries Inc. at outperform with a stock price target of $18.50, Curaleaf Holdings Inc. at outperform with a $10.50 target, and Cresco Labs Inc. at outperform with a $14 target. "We believe that the greatest shareholder value will be created through businesses that emulate a traditional CPG finished goods model, given its superior margin structure," Azer wrote in a note to clients. Meanwhile, Azer started MedMen Enterprises Inc. at underperform with a $1.50 price target. "[MedMen] is the clear leader in the [California] market, with a distinguished brand, reflecting an attractive retail concept," Azer wrote. "However, to us, retail is less attractive than wholesale. And, an over-reliance on retail revenues today, coupled with excessive spending and notable management turnover, make this a'show-me' story." Azer also started Acreage Holdings Inc. at market perform with a $9 target, saying consolidation a of a "disparate network of dispensaries" and launching a "nascent brand strategy" could prove challenging. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF was up 0.4% in afternoon trading, but has lost 28.7% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.5% in three months.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Gold futures settle below $1,500 an ounce, down 1.1% for the week
Gold futures fell on Friday, posting a loss of 1.1% for the week, as strength in U.S. bond yields dulled appetite for the haven metal, ahead of the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates next week. December gold lost $7.90, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,499.50 on Comex.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Oil pares losses after Baker Hughes reports a 4th straight weekly decline in the U.S. oil-rig count
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil declined by five to 733 this week. That followed three consecutive weekly declines in the oil-rig count. The total active U.S. rig count, meanwhile, also fell by 12 to 886, according to Baker Hughes. October West Texas Intermediate crude was down 8 cents, or 0.2%, at $55.01 a barrel. It was trading lower for the session at $54.96 before the rig data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Nasdaq Composite's decline belies bullish exchange breadth data
The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2% in midday trading, but a quick glance at market internals would suggest the index would be rallying. The number of stocks gaining ground on the Nasdaq exchange outnumbered decliners 1,726 to 1,118, while volume in advancing stocks represented 57.8% of total volume. Keep in mind the Nasdaq Composite is market-capitalization weighted, and shares of the three most valuable companies by market cap are all losing ground. Microsoft Corp.'s market cap is $1.05 trillion and the stock is down 0.1%; Apple Inc.'s market cap is $981.4 billion with the stock shedding 2.7%; and Amazon.com Inc. shares are down 0.3% to lower the market cap to $909.1 billion.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Cloudflare's stock surges at open, with first trade 20% above IPO price
Shares of Cloudflare Inc. debuted with some flair Friday, as they opened 20% above the initial public offering price. The first trade for the cloud-based network platform company's stock was $19 at 11:48 a.m. Eastern for 5.5 million shares. The stock has since extended its gains, to be 24% above the IPO price in recent trading. The IPO priced late Thursday at $15, above the expected pricing range of $12 to $14, which was raised earlier in the week from $10 to $12. The upbeat open for the Cloudflare's stock contrasts with SmileDirectClub Inc.'s debut on Thursday, as the teeth-straitening company's stock closed at Thursday at $16.67, or 27.5% below the $23 IPO price, which also priced above its expected range. The company's have gone public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has lost 2.9% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 4.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Old Navy's plan to nearly double the number of stores is both a growth opportunity and a challenge, analysts say
During the Gap Inc. investor meeting on Thursday Sonia Syngal, Old Navy's chief executive, said the brand has plans to nearly double the number of stores in its North American fleet to 2,000, focused mostly on smaller markets. Old Navy will spin off from Gap Inc. and operate as a standalone company. Syngal said, as a standalone, Old Navy will take steps to become a $10 billion brand. "We see ample growth opportunity at Old Navy, but it's not based on future independence," wrote MKM Partners' Roxanne Meyer in a note. "We see growth opportunities from store expansion (plans to nearly double the store fleet, with growth in smaller markets), new categories and larger sizes." MKM is taking a "wait-and-see" approach to the spinoff, maintaining its neutral rating for Gap stock and $18 fair value estimate. "[W]e do have worries that apparel, and especially the important women's apparel segments at both Gap and Old Navy are simply structurally tough categories," wrote Cowen analysts, in a note. "Women's apparel could be prone to multiple years of unforeseen, but likely, promotional risk." Cowen rates Gap stock market perform with a $22 price target. Gap stock has taken a 31% tumble over the past year while the S&P 500 index has gained 3.7% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Choice Hotels adds shares to its repurchase program
Choice Hotels International Inc. said Friday that it will add 2.3 million shares to what remains of its share repurchase program. In total, the program will include four million shares to repurchase. Choice Hotels also announced a dividend of $0.215 per share, paying on October 17, 2019 to stockholders of record as of October 2, 2019. Choice Hotels stock has rallied 32.1% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 20.3% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Beyond Meat replaces grilled steak on the Just Salad menu
Just Salad, a New York City-based fast-casual chain, has added Beyond Meat to its menu, replacing grilled steak with Beyond Beef Meatballs. The plant-based alternative will be a feature of the Keto Zoodle Bowl, made with zucchini noodles, grape tomatoes and roasted balsamic mushrooms. Just Salad has a "Green Standard" sustainability initiative that aims to send zero waste to landfills by 2025 and save 100,000 pounds of plastic this year through the use of reusable bowls. Just Salad highlights data showing that beef is one of the least sustainable meat products. "The future of food is plant-based," said Janani Lee, Just Salad's chief sustainability officer. Beyond Meat has been introduced to a number of quick service and fast casual menus recently, including Dunkin' Brands Inc. and Uno Pizzeria. Beyond Meat stock has gained 9.6% over the last three months while the S&P 500 index is up 20.3% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Bank stocks rise again, with J.P. Morgan's stock headed for 8th-straight gain to record close
Bank stocks rallied Friday, with the sector set to post gains every day this week, boosted by the continued rise in Treasury yields. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF rose 0.7%, and has rallied 3.8% amid a 5-day win streak, and the SPDR S&P Bank ETF climbed 0.8% and has run up 7.4% this week. Among the more active bank stocks, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s surged 1.2% toward a record high; the stock has shot up 9.9% amid an 8-day win streak. Elsewhere, shares of Bank of America Corp. rose 1.3% toward a 5th straight gain, Citigroup Inc. hiked up 1.5% and Wells Fargo & Co advanced 0.9%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose 6.3 basis points toward a six-week high of 1.854% after upbeat data on retail sales. A rise in Treasury yields can help boost bank profits, as it can increase the spread what banks earn on longer-term assets that are funded with shorter-term liabilities. The financial ETF has gained 4.8% over the past three months and the S&P bank ETF has tacked on 4.0%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 4.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Hong Kong exchange says it wants to present rejected bid to LSE shareholders
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited said shareholders of the London Stock Exchange , "should have the opportunity to analyse in detail both transactions and will continue to engage with them," an indication it may go hostile with its nearly $37 billion bid. The LSE earlier on Friday rejected the offer and said it wasn't interested in talks. "The Board of HKEX had hoped to enter into a constructive dialogue with the Board of LSEG to discuss in detail the merits of its proposal and are disappointed that LSEG has declined to properly engage. In particular, HKEX had hoped to demonstrate why it believes that the benefits of its proposal significantly outweigh those of the proposed acquisition of Refinitiv," the exchange said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Aimmune's stock halted as FDA panel's decision awaited on peanut allergy treatment
Aimmune Therapeutics Inc.'s stock has been halted for news Friday, as the Food and Drug Administration's Allergenic Products Advisory Committee (APAC) is meeting about the efficacy and safety data of the biopharmaceutical company's treatment for peanut allergies, Palforzia. APAC is discussing whether the data supports licensure of Palforzia as a treatment to reduce the incidence and severity of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, after accidental exposure to peanuts in patients 4 through 17 years of age. The meeting had been scheduled from 8:30 a.m. Eastern to 4:30 p.m. Aimmune's stock had gained 25% this week through Thursday, and has advanced 3.1% year to date, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has climbed 8.6% this year and the S&P 500 has run up 20.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

U.S. business inventories climb 0.4% in July
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Business inventories in the U.S. rose 0.4% in July after no change in the prior month, the Commerce Department said Friday. Sales rose 0.3% in the month. The ratio of inventories to sales, meanwhile, was flat at 1.40. That's how many months it would take to sell all the inventory on hand. One year ago, the inventory-to-sales ratio was 1.35. An increase in inventories adds to gross domestic product while a decrease subtracts from it.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Apple's stock drops to pull market cap back below the trillion-dollar level
Shares of Apple Inc. dropped 1.1% in morning trading, enough to pull the technology behemoth's market capitalization back below the trillion-dollar threshold. Apple closed with a market cap above $1 trillion the past two sessions--at $1.013 trillion on Wednesday and at $1.008 trillion on Thursday--the first back-to-back closes above the trillion-dollar threshold since Nov. 1. Apple's stock has to close at or above $221.28 to maintain the $1 trillion market cap level. It is currently at $996.9 billion, below first-place Microsoft Corp. at $1.050 trillion. Microsoft's market cap has been above $1 trillion every day since June 7. The recent gains comes in the wake of Apple's iPhone launch event on Tuesday, with pre-orders for the new iPhone 11 now available. Apple's stock has climbed 13.6% over the past three months and Microsoft shares have tacked on 3.9%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 4.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Stocks open mostly higher as S&P 500, Dow near all-time highs
U.S. stocks opened mostly higher on Friday, pushing the Dow and the S&P 500 closer to their all-time highs, as investors were buoyed by a combination of positive consumer data, receding U.S.-China trade tensions and a boost from easing central banks. The S&P 500 was up less than 0.1% to 3,011. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 50 points, or 0.2%, to around 27,233. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.1% to 8,187. The Commerce Department reported retail sales rose 0.4% in August, much higher than the 0.1% growth expected by economists. Trade tensions also appeared to wane after Beijing agreed to exempt U.S. agricultural goods from tariffs. In company news, shares of Broadcom Inc. fell 0.9% after the chip maker's outlook for annual revenues disappointed.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

PG&E's stock surges after $11 billion settlement of wildfire claims
Shares of PG&E Corp. shot up 11% in premarket trading Friday, after the San Francisco-based utility said it has reached an agreement "in principle" with 85% of insurance claims to an $11 billion settlement relating to the 2017 and 2018 wildfires. The settlement will be implemented pursuant to PG&E's Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. The company affirmed the total $14 billion equity financing commitment target for the reorganization plan. "Today's settlement is another step in doing what's right for the communities, businesses, and individuals affected by the devastating wildfires," said Chief Executive Bill Johnson. The settlement follows the $1 billion settlement reached in June with a number of local public entities. The stock has tumbled 57.5% year to date through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Utility Average has climbed 19.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 16.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Etsy's stock jumps after Wedbush analyst turns bullish, bumps up price target
Shares of Etsy Inc. jumped 4.1% in premarket trading Friday, after Wedbush analyst Ygal Arounian turned bullish on the online crafts marketplace, citing a "critical mass" of new initiatives that is expected to drive growth and expand margins. Arounian raised the rating to outperform from neutral, and bumped the price target to $66 from $64, amid optimism over the outlook for Etsy Ads and free-shipping offering. "We particularly like the timing with both Etsy Ads and free shipping launching into the holiday season supported by Etsy's brand marketing push, where it is seeing early signs of strong [return on investment] on TV and social," Arounian wrote in a note to clients. The stock has tumbled 21.7% over the past three months through Thursday, while the Amplify Online Retail ETF has gained 5.4% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 4.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Weight Watchers to change legal name to WW later this month
Weight Watchers International Inc. said Friday it will change its legal name to WW International Inc., effective Sept. 29, following the rebranding to WW last year. The wellness company's stock ticker had already changed in April to "WW" from "WTW." The stock, which is still inactive in premarket trading, has soared 64.3% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 4.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Sep 13, 2019

Biogen's stock falls after co. and Eisai to discontinue late-stage trial of Alzheimer's treatment
Shares of Biogen Inc. fell 1.6% in premarket trading Friday, after the the biotechnology company and Tokyo-based Eisai Co. Ltd. said they will discontinue the phase 3 trial of an Alzheimer's disease (AD) treatment, citing data showing an unfavorable risk-benefit ratio. The decision was made after the Data Safety Monitoring Board's recommendation to discontinue the trials. The trial on the investigational oral beta amyloid cleaving enyzme (BACE) inhibitor elenbecestat in patients with early AD. The companies said as part of the decision to discontinue the phase 3 trial, the long-term extension of the phase 2 trial of elenbecestat will also be discontinued. Biogen's stock has dropped 22.8% year to date through Thursday and the U.S.-listed shares of Eisai have tumbled 34.6%, while the S&P 500 has gained 20.1%.

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
Sep 13, 2019

LSE rejects Hong Kong bid and says it doesn't want to hold merger talks
The London Stock Exchange on Friday rejected the preliminary, 29.6 billion pound ($37 billion) takeover bid from the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing and said it didn't want to engage in talks. "The Board has fundamental concerns about the key aspects of the Conditional Proposal: strategy, deliverability, form of consideration and value. Accordingly, the Board unanimously rejects the Conditional Proposal and, given its fundamental flaws, sees no merit in further engagement," the LSE said. LSE shares were last up 1.3% at 7344 pence.

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
Sep 13, 2019

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals stock jumps after stock offering is pulled
Shares of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc. jumped 10% in premarket trading Friday, after the biopharmaceutical said it decided to pull its common stock offering. The company said it decided that completing an offering at current market prices "is not in the best interest of the company and its stock holders." After the stock closed at a record $7.43 on Wednesday, the company said it would sell 8 million shares to the public, which would increase the shares outstanding by 7.8%. After the announcement, the stock tumbled 17.5% on Thursday. The stock has more than tripled year to date (up 219.3%) through Thursday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has gained 8.0% and the S&P 500 has advanced 20.1%.

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
Sep 13, 2019

We Co. picks Nasdaq for IPO as it unveils corporate-governance changes
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, The We Co. said it has picked the Nasdaq as the stock exchange it will list on as it detailed a number of corporate-governance changes. The filing said it will name a lead independent director by the end of the year, the high-vote stock will decrease from 20 votes per share to 10 votes per share, and that no family member of CEO Adam Neumann will sit on the board. We and its advisers are targeting a valuation that could slip below $20 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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
Sep 13, 2019

China to exclude soybeans, pork from tariffs: report
China's Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council will exclude some agricultural products including soybeans and pork from the additional tariffs on U.S. goods, The People's Daily said in a tweet, citing official sources.

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
Sep 12, 2019

Trump says he's open to interim trade deal with China
President Donald Trump on Thursday said he'd be open to a smaller-scale, interim trade deal with China. Speaking to reporters outside the White House before departing for a speech in Baltimore, Trump said: "If we're going to do the deal, let's get it done. A lot of people are talking about it, I see a lot of analysts are saying an interim deal -- meaning we'll do pieces of it, the easy ones first. But there's no easy or hard. There's a deal or there's not a deal. But it's something we would consider, I guess." Earlier in the day, there had been reports that the Trump administration was considering an interim deal, but White House officials had denied them.

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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