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   NEWS: MARKETWATCH MARKETPULSE
MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

: Ambarella stock rises on better-than-expected results, outlook
Ambarella Inc. AMBA shares rose in the extended session Monday after the video components maker reported a better-than-expected outlook and results. Ambarella shares gained 5.5% after hours, following a 0.1% decline in the regular session to close at $66.37. The company reported a third-quarter loss of $17.1 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with a loss of $4.3 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock-based compensation expenses and other items, were 9 cents a share, compared with 32 cents a share in the year-ago period. Revenue declined to $56.1 million from $67.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast adjusted earnings of 5 cents a share on revenue of $54.1 million. Ambarella expects revenue between $56 million and $60 million in the fourth quarter, while analysts had forecast on revenue of $51.8 million.

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
Nov 23, 2020

: Nutanix stock rallies as results, outlook top Street view
Nutanix Inc. NTNX shares rallied in the extended session Monday after the cloud-software company's results and forecast topped Wall Street estimates. Nutanix shares, which had jumped more than 10% following the report, were last up 7.5% after hours, after closing flat at $28.47 in the regular session. The company reported a fiscal first-quarter loss of $265 million, or $1.31 a share, compared with a loss of $229.3 million, or $1.21 a share, in the year-ago period. The adjusted loss, which excluded stock-based compensation expenses and other items, was 44 cents a share. Revenue declined to $312.8 million from $314.8 million in the year-ago quarter, while annual contract value billings rose 10% to $137.8 million. Nutanix defines ACV billings as "total annualized value of a contract, excluding amounts related to professional services and hardware." Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast a loss of 57 cents a share on revenue of $298.4 million and ACV billings of $119.7 million. Nutanix expects ACV billings of $145 million to $148 million in the second quarter, while analysts had forecast $134.4 million.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Dow ends more than 300 points higher on vaccine progress
Stocks closed with solid gains Monday, boosted by another round of positive news regarding the development of COVID-19 vaccines, while extending gains late in the session after The Wall Street Journal reported that President-elect Joe Biden would nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to serve as Treasury secretary in his administration. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose around 330 points, or 1.1%, to end near 29,594, according to preliminary figures, while the S&P 500 finished up around 20 points, or 0.6%, near 3,578. The Nasdaq Composite rose around 26 points, or 0.2%, ending the session near 12,424. AstraZeneca on Monday said its vaccine candidate had an efficacy rate of up to 90% in late-stage trials, following positive news earlier this month regarding a vaccine candidate developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech and another developed by Moderna Inc.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Dow heads to session highs Monday as ex-Fed boss Yellen seen as Biden's pick for Treasury Secretary
U.S. stocks were trading near session highs on Monday as investors digest a report that former Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen would be President-elect Joe Biden's pick for Treasury Secretary, theWall Street Journal reported. If confirmed, Yellen would become the first woman to hold the post, taking over from Steven Mnuchin, the Journal reported. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up nearly 400 points, or 1.3%, at 29,642, the S&P 500 index was trading 0.7% higher at 3,583, while Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.5% at around 11,913. Biden had promised to make his nomination for Treasury known around Thanksgiving, which is three days away. Biden last week said he believed his pick would be widely accepted by conservatives, moderates and progressives alike. Market participants are anticipating a greater likelihood that the 74-year-old Yellen will pursue further economic stimulus to help out-of-work Americans and troubled businesses.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Biden picks Yellen for Treasury secretary: WSJ
President-elect Joe Biden has selected former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen to lead the Treasury Department, said a Wall Street Journal report on Monday citing unnamed sources. Biden had said he expected to reveal his choice for Treasury secretary around Thanksgiving.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Oil ends at nearly 3-month high on signs of further progress toward COVID vaccine
Oil futures rose Monday, ending higher after another round of positive news on work toward a vaccine and treatments for COVID-19. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery rose 64 cents, or 1.5%, to close at $43.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The finish was the highest for a front-month contract since Aug. 26, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Crude was lifted after AstraZeneca said its vaccine candidate was up to 90% effective. Crude has rallied in November, finding support as a number of vaccine candidates have shown high efficacy in late-stage trials.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Energy sector sees broad, sharp gains as crude oil prices head for 3-month high
The energy sector enjoyed a broad, and in many cases sharp, rally in afternoon trading Monday, as crude oil prices rose to a 3-month high on increasing hopes that a potential COVID-19 vaccine would fuel and economic recovery and spark demand for oil. The SPDR Energy Select Sector exchange-traded fund ran up 5.8%, toward the highest close since Aug. 17, with all 25 of its equity components trading higher. The ETF was biggest gainer of the 11 SPDR sector ETFs tracking the S&P 500's 11 key sectors. The biggest gainers were Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s stock , which soared 15.5%, and Diamondback Energy Inc.'s stock , which shot up 10.8%. Crude oil futures climbed 1.5% to $43.05, toward the highest close since Aug. 26. Among other more-active stocks in the energy ETF, shares of Marathon Oil Corp. hiked up 6.6%, Exxon Mobil Corp. advabced 5.4%, Kinder Morgan Inc. climbed 2.8% and Halliburton Co. hiked up 9.0%. In comparison, the S&P 500 tacked on 0.4%.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Robert Half, other staffing stocks surge after analyst upgrades on recovery outlook
Shares of Robert Half International Inc. powered up 6.4% in afternoon trading Monday, after the staffing services company was upgraded by BMO Capital analyst Jeffrey Silber, citing expectations of a economic and labor market recovery. "We believe [Robert Half] will repeat its historical trend of outperforming early in a cyclical recovery," Silber wrote in a note to clients. "While this recovery will likely be choppy in the near term given rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns, we believe investors are looking towards the recovery." Robert Half's stock has rallied 28.1% month to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 9.1%. He said he realizes the upgrade would have been "timelier" before the positive Pfizer Inc. vaccine candidate news, he still believes "upside remains" in Robert Half and other staffing stocks. Shares of ManpowerGroup gained 1.7%, TrueBlue Inc. shot up 10.7% and Cross Country Healthcare Inc. climbed 6.0%, as Silber also upgraded all three stocks to outperform from market perform.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Gold prices end 1.8% lower Monday as vaccine progress slams precious metals
Gold futures on Monday finished sharply lower as investors unloaded the metal amid news on prospective vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 that may be momentarily undercutting demand for precious metals. December gold settled off $34.60, or 1.8%, at $1,837.80 an ounce. The decline marked the steepest one-day drop for futures since a 5% drop on Nov. 9. The drop bullion comes as drugmakers are making progress on a COVID-19 vaccine. Drugmaker AstraZeneca said a study found the vaccine it is developing with the University of Oxford showed 90% efficacy in late-stage trials. Vaccine progress has been a drag on bullion because it undercuts the haven appeal for gold and silver, dealers say.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Ideanomics stock leads all Nasdaq gainers after doubling investment in electric-tractor maker
Shares of Ideanomics Inc. soared 64.9% in very active midday trading Monday, making them the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq Exchange, after the company focused on investing in disruptive technologies announced the doubling of its investment in California-based Solectrac Inc., which makes battery-powered electric tractors. Trading volume swelled to 189.4 million shares in recent trading, compared with the full-day average of about 11.7 million shares. Ideanomics said it invested an additional $1.3 million in Solectrac, which increases its ownership stake to 24%. Ideanomics had announced on Oct. 22 an investment of $1.3 million to buy the 14.7% stake in Solectrac. Ideanomics said the latest investment allows it to recognize its stake in Solectrac under the equity method of accounting under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). "We believe Solectrac has enormous potential and, given the uptick in both product inquiries and investment interest they are seeing, we exercised our rights to increase our stake so we can help Solectrac scale to meet anticipated market demand," said Chief Executive Alf Poor. The stock has now nearly tripled (up 196.8%) year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.4%.

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
Nov 23, 2020

DPW's stock skyrockets after Coolisys EV charger sub sets up fast-food franchisee partner program
Shares of DPW Holdings Inc. rocketed 163.9% on massive volume in midday trading Monday, enough to make them the best performer on major U.S. exchanges, after the investor in disruptive technologies said its Coolisys Technologies Corp. subsidiary established a program to get its electric vehicle (EV) chargers into national fast-food restaurants. Trading volume soared to 145.6 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 2.6 million shares. DPW said it expects the program to allow owners of fast-food franchises to install the ACECool EV chargers and share in the revenue from advertising and network usage. Coolisys expects to launch the program in California, Nevada and Canada, with the unveiling of "a national fast-food network" partner, that forms a part of the network with over 1,000 locations. Other partners are expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2021. "We look forward to the potential changes coming from increased demand for EVs and the recent trends related to government support of the electrification of transport," said Coolisys Chief Executive Amos Kohn. DPW's stock has run up 189.7% over the past three months, while shares of rival EV charger company Blink Charging Co. has rocketed 327.9% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.9%.

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
Nov 23, 2020

ARCA Biopharma gets Fast Track designation for experimental COVID-19 treatment
Shares of ARCA Biopharma Inc. gained 5.5% in trading on Monday after the company said it received a Fast-Track designation from the Food and Drug Administration for its mid-stage experimental COVID-19 treatment. ARCA plans to launch a Phase 2b clinical trial enrolling 100 hospitalized COVID-19 patients next month, and it anticipates that the first round of topline data from the study will be available in the second quarter of next year. ARCA's stock is down 31.9% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.1%.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Biden taps John Kerry as presidential envoy for climate
President-elect Joe Biden has tapped former Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy for climate, the Biden-Harris transition said Monday. Kerry will sit on the National Security Council, marking the first time the NSC will include an official dedicated to the issue, the transition said. Kerry's was one of several names released by Biden's team on Monday, along with secretary of state nominee Antony Blinken and nominee for United Nations ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Tesla-heavy ETFs ride along as company gets a price upgrade
Exchange-traded funds with heavy exposure to Tesla Inc. outperformed midday Monday after an analyst upped his price target to $1,000 a share, representing about 93% upside for the stock, which was trading near $517. The ARK Innovation ETF , with 11.4% of its portfolio in Tesla shares, rallied 1.6%, while the iShares U.S. Consumer Goods ETF , with 13.1% invested in Tesla, was up 0.7%. The SPDR NYSE Technology ETF , which has over 12% of its holdings in the stock, also gained 0.7%. Tesla shares surged 5.6% Monday, and all the funds noted above were beating the S&P 500 , which ticked up 0.1%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to grow as much as 5.2%, exceeding growth in recent years
The National Retail Federation released its forecast for holiday season retail sales, expecting growth of 3.6% to 5.2% in 2020, reaching between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion. The forecast, which is being announced about a month later than usual due to uncertainty from coronavirus pandemic, excludes gas stations, auto dealers and restaurants. It's also higher than recent averages, with 2019 sales increasing 4% to $729.1 billion. Average holiday sales rose 3.5% over the past five years. "Consumers have responded positively to other holidays" like Halloween and Mother's Day, said NRF Chief Executive Matthew Shay on a call with media. "We've seen consumers very engaged to celebrate and move into real consumption mode around the holidays." The NRF does leave room for a loss of momentum due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases and the possibility for further restrictions. However, with many consumers longing to celebrate and increased savings from a decline in spending on other things like travel, the retail trade association expressed confidence that shoppers will come out. "Consumers have experienced a difficult year but will likely spend more than anyone would have expected just a few months ago," said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF's chief economist in a statement. "After all they've been through, we think there's going to be a psychological factor that they owe it to themselves and their families to have a better-than-normal holiday." E-commerce sales are expected to grow 20% to 30% to reach as much as $218 billion, up from $170 billion last year. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 28.5% for the year to date. The Amplify Online Retail ETF has soared 96.5%. And the benchmark S&P 500 index [s:spx] is up 10.2% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Microsoft cloud partner AvePoint going public via merger with blank-check company Apex Technology
AvePoint Inc., a data management provider and Microsoft Corp. cloud partner, is going public through a merger with blank-check company Apex Technology Acquisition Corp. , in deal valuing the equity value of the combined company at $2 billion. Apex's stock rallied 2.7% in morning trading on volume of 4.7 million shares, which compares with the full-day average of about 119,000 shares. AvePoint will be the name of the combined company, and the stock will remain listed on the Nasdaq exchange, under a new ticker symbol "AVPT." The company will be led by AvePoint co-Founder and Chief Executive Dr. Tianyi Jiang. The impact of COVID-19 and the growth of Microsoft's cloud solutions, including Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, have accelerated demand for our products," Jiang said. "Going public now gives us the ability to meet this demand and scale up faster across product innovation, channel marketing, international markets, and customer success initiatives." The company is going public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has hiked up 28.0% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 5.6%.

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
Nov 23, 2020

DPW's stock soars after Coolisys EV charger sub sets up fast-food franchisee partner program
Shares of DPW Holdings Inc. soared 40.9% on heavy volume in morning trading Monday, after the investor in disruptive technologies said its Coolisys Technologies Corp. subsidiary established a program to get its electric vehicle (EV) chargers into national fast-food restaurants. Trading volume jumped to 20.2 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 2.6 million shares. DPW said it expects the program to allow owners of fast-food franchises to install the ACECool EV chargers and share in the revenue from advertising and network usage. Coolisys expects to launch the program in California, Nevada and Canada, with the unveiling of "a national fast-food network" partner, that forms a part of the network with over 1,000 locations. Other partners are expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2021. " We look forward to the potential changes coming from increased demand for EVs and the recent trends related to government support of the electrification of transport," said Coolisys Chief Executive Amos Kohn. DPW's stock has run up 54.6% over the past three months, while shares of rival EV charger company Blink Charging Co. has rocketed 291.2% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.4%.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Stocks open higher on vaccine optimism
U.S. stock benchmarks opened with gains Monday morning after AstraZeneca said its vaccine was up to 90% effective in preventing COVID-19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened near 29,451, up 188 points or 0.6%, while the S&P 500 added 20 points, 0.6%, to open near 3,577. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 62 points, opening near 11,917, a gain of 0.5%. Economic growth accelerated in October, according to the Chicago Fed National Index, released before the opening bell, a contrast to other recent economic reports that have showed some slowing. Shares of Ideanomics Inc. surged after the company announced an investment in a battery-powered electric tractor company.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Ideanomics stock soars after doubling investment in electric tractor maker
Shares of Ideanomics Inc. soared 31.8% on heavy volume in premarket trading Monday, after the company focused on investing in disruptive technologies announced the doubling of its investment in California-based Solectrac Inc., which makes battery-powered electric tractors. Trading volume was 11.4 million shares ahead of the open, already nearly reaching the full-day average of about 11.7 million shares. Ideanomics said it invested an additional $1.3 million in Solectrac, which increases its ownership stake to 24%. Ideanomics had announced on Oct. 22 an investment of $1.3 million to buy the 14.7% stake in Solectrac. Ideanomics said the latest investment allows it to recognize its stake in Solectrac under the equity method of accounting under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). "We believe Solectrac has enormous potential and, given the uptick in both product inquiries and investment interest they are seeing, we exercised our rights to increase our stake so we can help Solectrac scale to meet anticipated market demand," said Chief Executive Alf Poor. The stock has soared 80.0% year to date through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.1%.

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
Nov 23, 2020

JFrog's stock falls after early release of 25% of locked-up shares
Shares of JFrog Ltd. fell 4.0% in premarket trading Monday, after the software company that went public in mid-September announced the early lock-up release of one-quarter of the locked-up shares. The company said the price and other conditions of the early release were satisfied on Nov. 20, meaning 25% of the shares subject to lock up will be eligible for sale as of the Nov. 25 opening bell. In JFrog's filing for its initial public offering, the company said 88% of its outstanding ordinary shares would be locked up, or not eligible for sale, for 180 days. At that time, the company said it had 88.68 million ordinary shares outstanding after the IPO. Nov. 25 is 70 days after the stock started trading on Sept. 16, which priced at $44. The stock has lost 5.8% since the Sept. 16 close through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.1% over the same 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
Nov 23, 2020

Netflix stock gains after J.P. Morgan analyst gets a little more bullish on price increases
Shares of Netflix Inc. gained 0.7% in premarket trading Monday, putting them on track for a fifth straight gain, after J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth raised his stock price on the video streaming company, citing the recent U.S. price increases. Anmuth reiterated the overweight rating he's had on the stock since at least January 2018, and lifted his target to $628 from $615. He said he didn't expect the latest price increase to pressure subscriber additions because Netflix didn't raise prices for its basic plan, and basic subscribers are more price sensitive. And for the other plans, the increases come during a period of stronger content, colder weather and renewed pandemic restrictions in the U.S., all of which will likely extend into the first quarter of 2021. "Those factors should help offset the impact of higher pricing," Anmuth wrote. The stock has rallied 50.9% year to date through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.1%.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Warner Music stock gains as profit falls, but revenue rises to top forecasts
Warner Music Group Corp. reported Monday a breakeven fiscal fourth quarter, missing expectations, although revenue rose slightly above forecasts. The stock rose 0.8% in premarket trading. Net income for the quarter to Sept. 30 fell to $1 million, or $0.00 on a per-share basis, from $91 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for net earnings per share was 5 cents. Adjusted net income, which excludes non-recurring items related to the initial public offering, fell to $20 million from $125 million. Revenue rose 0.2% to $1.13 billion, just above the FactSet consensus of $1.11 billion, as "robust" digital revenue growth was partially offset by a decline in recorded music artist services, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its music publishing business. "We're essentially flat against a record-breaking prior year and, during the quarter, we grew 11% on an as-reported basis, excluding the revenue streams most impacted by COVID," said Chief Executive Steve Cooper. "Our streaming growth has stayed strong, and we've also seen an acceleration in a whole spectrum of emerging revenue streams such as social media, gaming, and in-home fitness." The stock has lost 3.7% over the past three months through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.7%.

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
Nov 23, 2020

HelloFresh cut to underweight by JPMorgan
HelloFresh , the German maker of prepared foodkits, was downgraded to underweight from neutral by JPMorgan Cazenove. "In contrast to other work-from-home beneficiaries, we anticipate a relatively quick and sharp slowdown in active customer growth once lockdown measures are lifted given a unique combination of a) still high churn on a (now) much larger customer base and b) less new/reactivated customers making it into the funnel going forward," said the analysts. HelloFresh, which separately announced an acquisition, was the second worst performing component of the Stoxx Europe 600 on Monday.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Schrödinger in drug development agreement with Bristol Myers worth up to $2.7 billion in milestone and royalty payments
Schrödinger Inc. shares jumped about 8% in premarket trade Monday, after the company announced a drug discovery agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb Co. that could net it up to $2.7 billion in milestone payments and royalties. Schrödinger, which offers a physics-based software platform that can speed up drug development and lower costs, will receive $55 million upfront. The companies are aiming to advance small molecule therapeutics for targets in oncology, immunology and neurological disorders with Schrödinger responsible for discovery and development and Bristol Myers for manufacturing and sales. Schrödinger has agreed to grant Bristol Myers exclusive worldwide rights to develop and sell any successful drug candidates. Schrödinger shares have gained 24% in the month to date; the company went public in February. Bristol Myers shares were up 2.2% premarket, but have fallen 4% in the year through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Merck to pay $425 million upfront to buy COVID-19 treatment developer OncoImmune
Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. surged 3.1% in premarket trading Monday, after the drug maker announced a deal to buy clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company OncoImmune for an upfront payment of $425 million in cash. OncoImmune shareholders will also be eligible to receive payments based on sales payments contingent the achievement of regulatory milestones. OncoImmune recently announced positive findings from an interim analysis of a Phase 3 study of CD24Fc for the treatment of severe and critical COVID-19. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of the year. "Recent clinical investigations support the view that CD24Fc may provide benefit beyond standard of care therapy for COVID-19 patients requiring oxygen support, and hence will represent an important addition to the Merck pipeline of investigational medicines and vaccines designed to address the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Roger Perlmutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories. Merck's stock has lost 11.5% year to date through Friday, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has gained 6.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has edged up 2.5%.

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
Nov 23, 2020

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 58.7 million, U.S. tops 12 million after adding 1 million cases in 6 days
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed to 58.7 million on Monday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose to 1.39 million. The U.S. has the highest case tally in the world at 12.2 million. The U.S. added 1 million cases in just six days; it took seven days to rise to 11 million from 10 million, and 11 days to climb to 10 million from nine million. The U.S. also has the highest death toll at 256,798, or more than a fifth of the global total. The U.S. counted 141,641 new cases on Sunday, and at least 834 people died, according to a New York Times tracker. In the last week, the U.S. has averaged 171,461 cases a day, up 54% from the average two weeks ago and cases are rising in 50 states and territories. There are currently a record of 83,782 COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals, according to the COVID Tracking Project, topping the previous record of 83,227 set a day ago. Brazil has the second highest death toll at 169,183 and is third by cases at 6.0 million. India is second in cases with 9.1 million, and third in deaths at 133,738. Mexico has the fourth highest death toll at 101,676 and 10th highest case tally at 1 million. The U.K has 55,120 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world, and 1.5 million cases, or seventh highest in the world.

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
Nov 23, 2020

AstraZeneca study finds its COVID-19 vaccine effective, with one regimen showing 90% efficacy
AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate met its primary endpoint showing protection from COVID-19 occurring 14 days or more after receiving two doses of the vaccine. One dosing regimen showed vaccine efficacy of 90% when AZD1222 was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart, and another dosing regimen showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart. No serious safety events related to the vaccine have been confirmed. AstraZeneca will now immediately prepare regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval.

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
Nov 22, 2020

Dow futures struggle for altitude Sunday evening as COVID hospitalizations on Saturday mark fresh record
U.S. stock-index futures traded mixed Sunday evening as investors geared up for a holiday-shortened week, with hospitalizations due to COVID-19 on the rise. On Saturday, there were 83,227 people hospitalized with the disease derived from the novel strain of coronavirus, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Saturday's record marks a series of records for hospitalizations since Nov. 10. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 15 points, or less than 0.1%, at 29,197; those for the S&P 500 index fell less than 0.1% at 3,553, while Nasdaq-100 futures were up 0.2% at 11.927.50. On Friday, the Dow booked a 0.7% loss, the S&P 500 ended the week with a 0.8% declined, while the Nasdaq Composite Index finished the week 0.2% higher. The small-capitalization Russell 2000 index gained 2.4% over the period, outstripping its large-cap rivals over the stretch. In the coming week, U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, with volume likely to be low in the following session.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Pfizer, BioNTech make it official: COVID-19 vaccine EUA submitted
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech on Friday submitted an application for an emergency use authorization for their trial COVID-19 vaccine candidate, making their vaccine candidate the first in line with U.S. regulators. The two companies had said earlier Friday that the submission to the Food and Drug Administration was coming. The companies earlier this week said the vaccine, called BNT162b2, had an efficacy rate of 95% in a late-stage clinical trial. "It is with great pride and joy and even a little relief that I can say that our request for emergency use authorization for our COVID-19 vaccine is now in the FDA's hands," Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Boula said on a company's tweet announcing the development. Shares of Pfizer rose 0.4% and American depositary receipts of BioNTech 0.1% in the extended session Friday, after ending the regular trading day up 1.4% and 9.6%.

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Nov 20, 2020

Dow, S&P 500 end Friday and week with losses as investors fret over lack of government support as COVID cases rise
Stock indexes finished the week with a whimper Friday, finishing lower as the market capped a choppy stretch of trade, framed by rising cases of coronavirus and worries above government support to help businesses and workers to end the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day down by about 220 points, or 0.8%, the S&P 500 index closed the session down 0.7% lower, while the Nasdaq Composite Index closed off 0.4%. For the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 ended down 0.7%, and the Nasdaq finished the week up 0.4%. The U.S. Treasury's decision to allow several emergency Federal Reserve programs to expire against the wishes of the Federal Reserve deflated some of the bullishness on Wall Street. However, stocks had been mostly punching higher on the 5-day trading period on the back of further upbeat vaccine news; but concerns about a spotty economic recovery as the viral outbreak assumes a new deadly phase has caused some selling and repositioning on Wall Street heading into the holidays.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Oil futures end higher for the session and week
Oil futures rose on Friday, prompting U.S. prices to post a gain of 5% for the week. Promising developments on potential COVID-19 vaccines, which would help ease economic restrictions and the loss of energy that may go with it, have provided support for prices. On its expiration day, December West Texas Intermediate crude rose 41 cents, or 1%, to settle at $42.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. January WTI oil , which is the new front-month contract, settled at $42.42 a barrel, up 52 cents, or 1.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Gold futures end higher for the session, down for the week
Gold futures climbed on Friday, but ended with a loss for the week. It has been another lackluster trading week for gold prices, "despite the growing list of themes driving market sentiment," said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM. "While key drivers in the form of vaccine news [and] surging coronavirus cases are likely to impact gold in the near term, the precious metal is waiting for a fresh directional catalyst," he said. December gold climbed by $10.90, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,872.40 an ounce. Prices based on the most-active contract declined by roughly 0.7% from last Friday's settlement.

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Nov 20, 2020

Baker Hughes data log first fall in weekly U.S. oil-rig count in 9 weeks
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by 5 to 231 this week. That followed increases in each of the last eight weeks. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes those drilling for natural gas, was also down by 2 to 310, according to Baker Hughes. December West Texas Intermediate crude , which expires at the end of the session, continued to trade higher following the data, tacking on 18 cents, or 0.4%, at $41.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Nov 20, 2020

White House says Trump's meeting with Michigan lawmakers not about 'advocacy'
President Donald Trump's meeting with Michigan lawmakers won't be "an advocacy meeting," the White House said Friday, as he was reportedly expected to lean on them to reverse Joe Biden's win in their state. "There will be no one from the campaign there; he routinely meets with lawmakers from all across the country," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters. Meanwhile, a Michigan Republican leader close to state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and state House Speaker Lee Chatfield told NBC News that both men expect Trump to pressure them to try to overturn Biden's win in Michigan. Trump is continuing to contest the results of the Nov. 3 election and McEnany said claims from ongoing litigation "deserve to be pursued."

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Nov 20, 2020

GM stock's price target raised after company's EV plan
Analysts at Deutsche Bank on Friday upped their price target on General Motors Co. by 12% to $48 from $43, representing an upside around 12% over Friday prices, saying that the company's new push toward electric vehicles puts it on track for leadership in that area. GM earlier this week said it would invest more in EVs and autonomous vehicles. That strategic update also "implicitly" confirmed that GM will not spin off EV or related assets, the Deutsche Bank analysts said. "We are very encouraged by GM's updated product and investment strategy and targeted cost/margin trajectory, which could ultimately give it a strong market position and solid profitability in EVs," they said. Shares of GM were poised to end the week up more than 4% and so far this year have gained 17%, compared with gains around 11% for the S&P 500 index.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Work-from-home ETFs rally on COVID lockdown measures
Exchange-traded funds that track companies that enable remote work, play, education and health care outperformed Friday as investors sought safety in market segments that will benefit from economic restrictions intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. The WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund was up 1.6% at midday, while the First Trust NASDAQ Cybersecurity ETF and the Direxion Work From Home ETF both gained 1.4%. The iShares Cybersecurity & Tech ETF added 1.3%. The broader stock market was about 0.2% lower. Market participants had recently rotated away from the work-from-home names that powered the stock-market rally though the year as drugmakers reported progress toward a vaccine and as valuations for pandemic winners became increasingly stretched. In the year to date, WCLD has gained 82%, while IHAK and CIBR are up about 26%. Another category winner, the Global X Cloud Computing ETF , has gained 59% in the year to date, but lagged on Friday, up only 1.1% for the day.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Sotera Health's stock rallies out of the gate to lift the market cap above $7 billion
Shares of Sotera Health Co. started their public life with a rally Friday, as the first trade of the sterilization and lab-testing services provider's stock was 17.4% above the initial-public-offering price. The IPO priced late Thursday at $23 a share, at the top of the expected range. The stock's first trade was at $27.00 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern for 4.6 million shares. It has since pared some gains to trade up 13.5%, to imply a market capitalization of $7.25 billion. The company went public on a day of relatively good investor demand for recent IPOs, as the Renaissance IPO ETF rose 1.6% while the S&P 500 slipped 0.2%.

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Nov 20, 2020

Bank of New York Mellon's stock falls after BofA Securities analyst turns bearish
Share of Bank of New York Mellon Corp. fell 1.7% in morning trading Friday, to underperform the its financial-sector peers, after BofA Securities analyst Michael Carrier turned bearish on the bank holding company, as ongoing pressure from low interest rates and moderating deposits are expected to mute future returns. Carrier cut this rating to underperform from neutral, and lowered his stock price target to $39 from $42. He said the revenue backdrop appears "challenging" and will likely keep weighing on valuation. "We expect [net interest income] to remain under pressure given low short-term rates and our expectation of some moderating deposit balances, while we also expect fee waivers to be ongoing," Carrier wrote in a note to clients. "In addition, given the low rate/yield backdrop, we expect some pressure on fixed income flows, as well as returns, particularly if medium/longer term rates continue to gradually rise." The stock, which has lost 4.7% amid a four-day losing streak, has shed 24.8% year to date. Meanwhile, the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF , which is down 0.9% Friday, has lost 11.7% this year and the S&P 500 has gained 10.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Sotera Health stock set to start trading after IPO pricing valued company at more than $6 billion
Shares of Sotera Health Co. are set to start trading Friday, after the Ohio-based sterilization and lab-testing services provider's initial public offering priced at the high end of the expected range. The company said late Thursday that its 46.6 million-share offering priced at $23.00 a share, compared with expectations of between $20 to $23, as the company raised $1.07 billion in the IPO. With 277.33 million shares outstanding after the IPO, the pricing values the company at $6.38 billion. The stock is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol "SHC." For the nine months through Sept. 30, the company recorded net income of $5.1 million on revenue of $601.3 million, after income of $7.1 million on revenue of $584.8 million in the same period a year ago. The company is going public on a day that the Renaissance IPO ETF is rising 0.9% in morning trading while the S&P 500 is falling 0.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Florida Sen. Rick Scott says he's tested positive for coronavirus
Sen. Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, said Friday he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is "experiencing very mild symptoms." In a statement on Twitter, Scott said he will be working from home until it is safe for him to return to Washington. Scott earlier this week was one of two Republican senators absent from a vote on Federal Reserve nominee Judy Shelton due to exposure to coronavirus. The other was Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who tweeted later he had tested positive for the virus.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Stocks lower at the open as Treasury, Fed spar over financial market backstops
U.S. stocks opened modestly lower as market participants focused on the likely expiration of several federal emergency loan programs established at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 80 points, 0.3%, to open near 29,400, while the S&P 500 lost 3 points, 0.1%, to open near 3,578. The Nasdaq Composite index slipped 6 points, and was trading near 11,899. On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wouldn't approve extensions of the loan programs, a step that the Federal Reserve criticized. That move may add to the strain on the economy as pandemic unemployment insurance benefits are set to expire, and as Congress continues to make no progress toward any additional relief. Shares of Pfizer Inc. were higher after the bell after the drugmaker asked the FDA for emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Nike raises dividend by 12%
Shares of Nike Inc. tacked on 0.2% in premarket trading Friday, after the athletic apparel and accessories company said it was raising its quarterly dividend by 12%. The new dividend of 27.5 cents a share, up from 24.5 cents, is payable Dec. 29 to shareholders of record on Dec. 7. Nike said it has raised its dividend for 19 straight years. Based on Thursday's stock closing price of $131.91, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 0.83%, compared with the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.60%. Nike's stock has rallied 30.2% year to date through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average , of which it is a component, has gained 3.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Lilly's arthritis drug and Gilead's Veklury receive FDA authorization as combination COVID-19 treatment
Shares of Eli Lilly & Co. gained 0.6% in premarket trading on Friday, the day after the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization to the company's rheumatoid arthritis drug Olumiant as a COVID-19 treatment if it's used in combination with Gilead Sciences Inc.'s Veklury, which is also called remdesivir. The drug combination can be used in adults and children older than 2 years old who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and require supplemental oxygen, mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. These tend to be the sickest COVID-19 patients. Lilly also recently received an emergency authorization for its COVID-19 antibody treatment, making it the only drug maker to receive EUAs for two different COVID-19 therapies so far during the pandemic. Data from a clinical trial found that the combination of Olumiant and Veklury can help speed up recovery times for some severely ill, hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Lilly's stock is up 9.1% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Princess Cruises extends cruise suspensions through March, and for longer cruises for another year
Carnival Corp.'s Princess Cruises said Friday that it's extending the suspension of cruises through March, and for some of its cruises for another year, in response to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) phased approach to resuming cruises. Princess Cruises said all cruises will now be suspended through March 31, 2021, while cruises longer than seven days to and from U.S. ports will be suspended through Nov. 1, 2021. The company is also extending the suspension of cruises to and from Japan through June 25, 2021. "We are focused on preparing our ships to meet the CDC health and safety requirements for our eventual return to service," said Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz. "We also appreciate the continued support we have received from our guests, partners and travel advisors, reinforcing for all of us why we do what we do." Carnival's stock, which gained 0.1% in premarket trading, has tumbled 64.2% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

BioNTech, Pfizer say they plan to submit COVID-19 vaccine application on Friday
Shares of Pfizer Inc. gained 1.4% in premarket trading on Friday after it announced plans with BioNTech to submit an application later in the day for an emergency use authorization for their experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidate. BioNTech's stock jumped 6.9% before the market opened. The companies' planned EUA submission to the Food and Drug Administration would make their vaccine candidate the first in line with U.S. regulators. Earlier this week they said the vaccine, called BNT162b2, had an efficacy rate of 95% in a late-stage clinical trial. "Filing in the U.S. represents a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world," Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said in a news release. He also said he looks forward to an upcoming FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting, which will include a group of independent clinical experts convened by the FDA. It is considered the next step in the regulatory process. People familiar with the matter told CNBC that the FDA has asked those experts "to set aside three days in early December for potential meetings to discuss COVID-19 vaccines." In the traditional FDA approval process, this committee makes a recommendation to regulators whether or not they should approve a therapy. The FDA is not bound to follow the committee's advice but often does. So far this year, Pfizer's stock is down 2.5%, shares of BioNTech have gained 180.2%, and the S&P 500 is up 10.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Medical imaging provider Butterfly Network to merge with SPAC Longview in $1.5 billion deal
Butterfly Network Inc. said Friday it has agreed to merge with special purpose acquisition corporation Longview Acquisition Corp. in a deal with an enterprise value of $1.5 billion. The combined company will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "BFLY." It will have about $584 million in cash to develop its digital imaging technology. Butterfly iQ is an ultrasound transducer that can perform "whole body imaging' with a single handheld probe using chip technology that connects to a mobile phone or tablet, the companies said in a statement. Butterfly's early investors include Baillie Gifford, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Fosun Industrial Co., Limited. Butterfly's aim is to make superior medical imaging at more affordable prices. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. Longview shares were up 4% premarket.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Fastenal board approves special one-time dividend of 40 cents a share
Fastenal Co. said Friday its board has declared a special one-time dividend of 40 cents a share. The maker of fasteners and tools for industrial use said the dividend will be payable Dec. 22 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 2. Shares were slightly higher premarket, and have gained 30% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Foot Locker's stock jumps after big profit beat, surprise same-store sales increase
Shares of Foot Locker Inc. ran up 5.3% toward a one-year high in premarket trading Friday, after the athletic shoe and accessories seller reported a surprise increase in same-store sales and profit that rose well above expectations. Net income rose to $265 million, or $2.52 a share, from $125 million, or $1.16 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as a gain from a higher valuation for a minority investment, adjusted earnings per share grew to $1.21 from $1.13, beating the FactSet consensus of 63 cents. Sales increased 9.0% to $2.11 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $1.95 billion, while same-store sales rose 7.7% to beat forecasts for a decline of 0.2%. "Although the back-to-school selling season kicked in later than usual due to COVID-19-related delays, momentum built as the quarter progressed, and we were pleased with our customers' continued strong engagement across our family of brands," said Chief Executive Richard Johnson. The company did not provide financial guidance, given continued uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The stock has soared 52.0% over the past three months, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has climbed 11.3% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Hibbett Sports shares soar 10% premarket after earnings blow past estimates
Hibbett Sports Inc. shares soared 10% in premarket trade Friday, after the sporting retailer blew past estimates for the third quarter and raised its guidance. Hibbett posted net income of $25.3 million, or $1.47 a share, for the quarter to Oct. 31, up from $2.3 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.45, well ahead of the 45 cents FactSet consensus. Sales rose 20% to $331.4 million from $275.5 million, ahead of the $286 million FactSet consensus. Same-store sales rose 13.2% to top the 10% FactSet consensus. E-commerce sales rose 50.7% to account for 13.2% of total sales, up from 10.5% a year ago. "We believe the increase in overall sales was positively impacted by continued strength in omni-channel adoption, improved new customer retention, market disruption, and availability of in-demand product, which collectively helped increase the revenue per transaction in the quarter," the company said. "The direction of the pandemic is uncertain, but we will continue to adapt and safeguard our customers and team members, while also striving to generate positive returns," said Chief Executive Mike Longo. The company is now expecting fourth-quarter same-store sales to range from a high-single digit increase to a low double-digit increase. It expects EPS to range from $1.00 to $1.10, compared with a FactSet consensus of 60 cents. Shares have gained 50% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

ContextLogic files to go public, had $1.8 billion in revenue through September
ContextLogic Inc., a San Francisco-based e-commerce platform company, has filed to go public. The company has not yet determined the number of shares it is offering or the expected pricing of the initial public offering. In September, The Wall Street Journal reported that Wish, an online marketplace connecting manufacturers in China with buyers around the world which incorporated at ContextLogic, was valued at around $11.2 billion in July 2019 after a Series H round of funding. ContextLogic has applied for its stock to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "WISH." Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and BofA Securities are the lead underwriters. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company recorded a net loss of $176 million on revenue of $1.75 billion, after a loss of $12 million on revenue of $1.33 billion in the same period a year ago. The company is looking to go public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has run up 83.6% year to date while the S&P 500 has gained 10.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Occidental Petroleum stock surges after Susquehanna analyst says its time to buy
Shares of Occidental Petroleum Corp. surged 1.7% in premarket trading Friday, after Susquehanna analyst Biju Perincheril said it's time to buy into the oil and natural gas exploration and production company again, citing confidence in an oil price recovery. Perincheril raised his rating to positive, after downgrading it to neutral on March 16, and boosted his stock price target by 64% to $18, from $11. Perincheril is "increasingly confident" that crude oil prices will rise to about $50 per barrel by the end of 2021 and into 2022 on the back of improving economic data points and recent positive news on a potential COVID-19 vaccine. "[Occidental's] large debt burden has been a major headwind for the stock this year, but we see a line of sight to an improving leverage profile through enhanced free cash flow generation from higher oil prices," Perincheril wrote in a note to clients. Crude oil futures were up 0.7% at $42.20 in recent trading. Perincheril also believes Occidental's target for $2 billion to $3 billion in asset sales could increase if the oil outlook keeps improving, which would speed up deleveraging efforts. The stock has tumbled 67.6% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has shed 40.0%, crude futures have lost 31.0% and the S&P 500 has gained 10.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 56.9 million and U.S. is heading for 200,000 cases a day
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed to 56.9 million on Friday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose above 1.36 million. The U.S. has the highest case tally in the world at 11.7 million and highest death toll at 252,564, or more than a fifth of the global total. The U.S. counted 187,396 new cases on Thursday, and at least 1,962 people died, according to a New York Times tracker. In the last week, the U.S. has averaged 166,267 cases a day, up 73% from the average two weeks ago and cases are rising in 50 states and territories. There are currently a record of 80,698 COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals, according to the COVID Tracking Project, topping the previous record of 79,410 set a day ago. Brazil has the second highest death toll at 168,061 and is third by cases at 5.9 million. India is second in cases with 9 million, and third in deaths at 132,162. Mexico has the fourth highest death toll at 100,104 and 10th highest case tally at 1 million. The U.K has 53,870 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world, and 1.5 million cases, or seventh highest in the world.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Roku gets analyst upgrade, upbeat words from Liberty's John Malone
Pivotal Research Group analyst Jeff Wlodarczak ended his bearish call on Roku Inc.'s stock midday Thursday, raising his rating to neutral from sell. The upgrade was "driven mainly by the favorable recent commentary regarding Roku's long-term competitive positioning by John Malone," as well as ongoing benefits from the COVID-19 crisis, which has accelerated the shift to streaming and delayed some competitive threats, Wlodarczak wrote. He referred to comments by Liberty Media Corp. Chairman John Malone on CNBC that discussed how Roku was set up well to have a "long-term profitable global business." Wlodarczak sees a "high likelihood" that pandemic-related lockdowns return in the winter, which could deliver a boost to Roku's subscriber numbers, though the company also looks positioned to benefit more generally from the decline of linear television, in his view. He expects that Roku will strike a distribution deal with HBO Max and argued that "the currently mediocre Roku channel has the potential to be significantly strengthened with signing of new distribution deals." He raised his price target to $240 from $75. Roku shares shot up 10% in Thursday's session. It's gained 90% so far this year as the S&P 500 has increased 11%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Videogame company Roblox files for IPO
Roblox Corp. has filed for an initial public offering, according to a securities filing late Thursday. The company, a popular videogame platform with young children and preteens, disclosed last month it had submitted confidential paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Roblox said in its prospectus it plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RBLX. Underwriters include Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley. The company filed to sell $1 billion in shares. Roblox said it had "experienced rapid growth" in recent quarters as its users have been more online due to COVID-19-related shelter-in-place policies. The San Mateo, Calif., company said its daily active users rose 82% to 31.1 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30, from 17.1 million in year-ago period. Revenue grew 68% to $588.7 million in the same timespan, Roblox said. The company's losses widened, however, to $203.2 million in the first nine months of this year from $46.3 million in the year-ago period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Biden says he's decided on Treasury nominee and will announce around Thanksgiving
President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday said he's made a decision on who he'll nominate as Treasury secretary, and that he'll announce the name before or after Thanksgiving. Possible picks include Fed Gov. Lael Brainard and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat. Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed governor, is another candidate in the mix, as, reportedly, is Janet Yellen, the former head of the Federal Reserve. Biden said the person would be accepted by "all elements" of the Democratic Party.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Williams-Sonoma shares rise 6% on steep increase in earnings, sales
Williams-Sonoma Inc. shares initially were up 6% in after-hours trading Thursday after the retailer of home products announced fiscal third-quarter results. Williams-Sonoma reported net income of $201.8 million, or $2.54 a share, compared with net income of $74.7 million, or 94 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue grew 22% to $1.77 billion from $1.44 billion a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected earnings of $1.56 a share on revenue of $1.59 billion. Williams-Sonoma shares are up 38% this year. The broader S&P 500 index has improved 11% in 2020.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Pepsi raises dividend by 7%
PepsiCo Inc. said late Thursday its board of directors have authorized a quarterly dividend of $1.0225 a share, a 7% increase from the comparable year-ago period. The move is consistent with PepsiCo's previously announced increase in its annualized dividend to $4.09 a share from $3.82 a share, which began with the June 2020 payment, the company said. The quarterly dividend is payable on Jan. 7 to shareholders of record on Dec. 4. PepsiCo has paid consecutive quarterly cash dividends since 1965, and 2020 marked the company's 48th consecutive annual dividend increase, it said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Dow snaps 2-day skid as stock market shakes off coronavirus restrictions to focus on fresh hope of fiscal aid
U.S. equity benchmarks closed higher Thursday, erasing opening losses, with investors buoyed by hopes that Washington lawmakers still could come together and pass a coronavirus relief package to limit the economic damage wrought by the pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session up 45 points, or 0.2%, at around 29.,483, the S&P 500 index finished the day up 0.4% at 3,582, while the Nasdaq Composite Index produced the best gain among its peers, up 103 points, or 0.9%, to reach about 11,905. All closing levels are on a preliminary basis. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said Mitch McConnell agreed to restart negotiations over a new coronavirus aid relief package. Up to now, Republicans and Democrats were disputing the size and scope of a potential aid bill and another round of aid is viewed as a potential next catalyst for stocks. Markets had traded mixed as investors focused on New York City, which announced the closure of all public schools after its positivity rate from virus tests reached a seven-day average of 3%-the threshold set to keep schools open.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Motorola Solutions to raise dividend by 11%, to lift the dividend yield above the S&P 500
Motorola Solutions Inc. said Thursday it will raise its quarterly dividend by 11%, to 71 cents a share from 64 cents a share. The new dividend will be payable on Jan. 15 to shareholders of record on Deb. 15. The communications, command-center software and video security company's stock rose 0.6% in afternoon trading. At current prices, the hike in the annual dividend rate would raise the implied dividend yield to 1.69% from 1.52%, which lifts it above the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.60%. The yield on the SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF , of which Motorola Solution is a component, is 0.98%. Motorola Solutions shares have gained 4.6% year to date, while the technology ETF has run up 32.3% and the S&P 500 has advanced 10.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Dow turns slightly positive Thursday afternoon amid report of resumption of coronavirus relief talks
U.S. stock benchmarks Thursday afternoon turned positive on the session, trading near near their best levels of the day after reports surfaced indicating talks on Congress about a coronavirus aid package to help American businesses and workers might be back on. CNBC reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, agreed to resume negotiations with Democrats over a potential aid package as cases surge around the country, Sen. Chuck Schumer, was quoted as saying. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading up 0.2% at 29,487, the S&P 500 index was trading 0.4% higher at 3,580, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.9%, adding to its gains. Stalled talks on additional fiscal aid have been one of the market's most significant headwinds as the viral outbreak sees a new phase, experts say.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Oil futures finish lower on signs of rising OPEC tensions
Oil futures fell on Thursday, giving back a small portion of what they gained a day earlier, on concerns that new restrictions on the back of growing cases of COVID-19 will weaken energy demand. Traders also weighed signs of rising tensions within OPEC after Bloomberg reported that officials from the United Arab Emirates questioned the benefits of being in the alliance of oil producers. December West Texas Intermediate crude fell 8 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $41.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after gaining 0.9% on Wednesday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Gold futures down a third straight session
Gold futures fell Thursday to tally a third straight session decline, with the dollar-denominated precious metal pressured by strength in the greenback. Pandemic-related "lockdowns will be the theme in the U.S. throughout the holiday season and that will drive a modest rally for the greenback," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. December gold declined by $12.40, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,861.50 an ounce.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Telos' stock soars out of the gate, then pulls back
Shares of Telos Corp. soared out of the gate Thursday, as the security software company's stock traded as much as 30.6% above where its initial public offering priced, before paring gains in midday trading. The stock's first trade at $21.90 at 11:14 a.m. for 1.0 million share, which was 28.8% above the $17 IPO price. The stock then rose to an intraday high of $22.20, before pulling back to be up 16.9% in recent trading. The intraday low was $19.50. The stock's first-day rally comes as the Renaissance IPO ETF climbed 2.0% and the S&P 500 slipped 0.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

These are the ETFs with the most exposure to the year's best-performing stock
Semiconductor behemoth Nvidia Corp. is the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 for the year to date, up 127%, heftily ahead of second-place West Pharmaceuticals Inc. , which has only gained 87%. The exchange-traded funds with the most exposure to Nvidia aren't pure-play chipmaker ETFs, however, and they have varying track records. The Global X Robotics and Artificial Intelligence ETF , with nearly 9% of its portfolio in the stock, has gained 41% so far in 2020. Nvidia shares make up a little over 8% of the VanEck Vectors Video Gaming & eSports ETF , which has gained over 64% this year. The Inspire 100 ETF , which says it invests in "inspiring, biblically aligned large companies," has 8% of its portfolio in Nvidia shares, and has returned 17% so far this year. The Pacer BioThreat Strategy ETF has a slightly bigger holding than the Inspire fund, but has only been open since late June.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

EIA data reveal a bigger-than-expected weekly rise U.S. natural-gas supplies
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 31 billion cubic feet for the week ended Nov. 13. On average, the data were expected to show an increase of 22 billion cubic feet for the week, according to analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. Total stocks now stand at 3.958 trillion cubic feet, up 293 billion cubic feet from a year ago, and 231 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, the government said. Following the data, December natural gas was down 16.1 cents, or 5.9%, to $2.551 per million British thermal units. It traded at $2.584 shortly before the data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Nasdaq Composite exhibits signs of panic-like buying Thursday morning even as broader stock market trades lower
Trading in the Nasdaq Composite was exhibiting panic-like-buying behavior Thursday late morning, even as the broader market softened amid concerns about lockdowns during a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nasdaq Composite was up a modest 0.3% at 11,832, while the Nasdaq Arms Index, a volume-weighted breadth measure, fell to 0.291, while many on Wall Street see declines below 0.500 as suggesting panic buying. The Arms Index is calculated by dividing the ratio of the number of advancing stocks over decliners by the ratio of the volume of advancing stocks over declining volume. As the stock market rises, the Arms often falls below 1.000, as the buyers rush into advancing stocks. The current dynamic suggests that investors may continue to adhere to a trend of buying large-capitalization technology-related names as a haven proxy in times of uncertainty. The number of stocks declining on the Nasdaq on Thursday outnumbered advancers by nearly 1.1 to 1, while volume in advancing stocks represented 77% of total volume on the Nasdaq. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 115 points, or 0.4%, at 29,326, while the S&P 500 index was off 0.2% at 3,560. New York City announced the closure of all public schools after the city's positivity rate from virus tests reached a seven-day average of 3%-the threshold set to keep schools open.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Stocks open lower as COVID cases rise
Stocks opened with losses Thursday, under pressure as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 188 points, or 0.6%, near 29,250, while the S&P 500 fell 0.6% to 3,548. The Nasdaq Composite edged 0.2% lower to 11,772. New York City on Wednesday ordered public schools to close after the infection rate crossed a key threshold. Rising cases across much of the country were seen putting strains on hospitals and the health care system.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

JOYY's stock bounces after company refutes short-seller report that prompted a price plunge
Shares of JOYY Inc. bounced 13.5% in premarket trading Thursday, after the China-based social media company issued a statement refuting a bearish report from short seller Muddy Waters that prompted a plunge in the previous session. "Yesterday, Muddy Waters issued a short seller report on JOYY, causing anxiety and market disturbance, leading to abnormal share price movements," the company said in a statement. "The company believes that the report contains numerous errors, unsubstantiated statements, and misleading conclusions and interpretations regarding information relating to the company." The stock tumbled 26.5% on Wednesday, after Muddy Waters Research said it believed that JOYY's video-based entertainment live streaming business YY Live is "almost entirely fake," and said Baidu Inc.'s announcement earlier this week a deal to buy YY Live for $3.6 billion in cash was surreal. In response, JOYY said Muddy Waters' report showed a "lack of basic understanding of the live streaming industry in China." JOYY's stock has rallied 39.5% year to date through Wednesday, while the iShares MSCI China ETF has advanced 24.6%. S&P 500 has gained 10.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Norbord to be acquired by West Fraser in a stock deal valued at more than $3 billion
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. announced Thursday a agreement to buy Canada-based oriented strand board (OSB) producer Norbord Inc. in a stock deal valued at C$4 billion ($3.1 billion). Under terms of the deal, Norbord shareholders will receive 0.675 of a West Fraser share for each Norbord share they own. Based on Wednesday's closing prices, that values Norbord shares at C$49.35 ($37.78), a 13.6% premium. Norbord's U.S.-listed stock was up 2.4% in premarket trading, prior to a trading halt for news. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. Norbord's stock has rallied 24.2% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Fiserv stock surges after adding $6.5 billion worth of stock to its repurchase program
Shares of Fiserv Inc. surged 1.9% in premarket trading Thursday, after the payments and financial technology company said it boosted its share repurchase authorization by 60 million shares. Based on Wednesday's stock closing price of $107.97, the shares could be valued at $6.48 billion, representing about 8.9% of Fiserv's market capitalization of $72.39 billion. The company said the new authorization is in addition to the shares remaining under the existing authorization, which Fiserv disclosed last month to be 7.5 million shares as of Sept. 30. The stock has lost 6.6% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Telos' upsized IPO prices in the middle of the expected range, to value the company at just over $1 billion
Telos Corp. said Thursday that its upsized initial public offering of 14,968,859 shares priced at $17.00 a share, as the Virginia-based security software company raised $254.5 million. On Monday, the company had said it was offering 12,352,942 million shares in the IPO, which was then expected to price between $16 and $18 a share. With 59.84 million shares outstanding after the IPO, the pricing values the company at about $1.02 billion. The stock is expected to begin trading Thursday on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol "TLS." The company is going public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has rallied 25.1% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Macy's stock falls after results swing to a loss
Macy's Inc. shares fell 2.1% in Thursday premarket trading after the department store retailer reported a third-quarter loss. Net loss totaled $91 million, or 29 cents per share, after net income of $2 million, or a penny per share, last year. Adjusted loss per share of 19 cents were ahead of the FactSet consensus for an 83 cents per share loss. Sales of $3.99 billion were down from $5.17 billion and ahead of the $3.91 billion FactSet consensus. Digital sales were up 27%. Comparable sales were down 21% on an owned basis, and fell 20.2% on an owned-plus-licensed basis. Macy's stock has tumbled 47.1% in 2020 while the S&P 500 index is up 10.4% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Nasdaq to pay $2.75 billion in cash to buy anti-financial crime company Verafin
Nasdaq Inc. announced Thursday a deal to buy privately held anti-financial crime management company Verafin for $2.75 billion in cash. Based in Canada, Verafin provides more than 2,000 financial institutions a cloud-based platform to detect, investigate and financial fraud and report money laundering. Nasdaq expects the deal, which it anticipates will close in the first quarter of 2021, to add to earnings beginning in 2022. "In addition to Verafin's significant contribution to Nasdaq's strategic ambitions, the acquisition also furthers our goal to be a premier provider of cloud-based SaaS solutions to the global capital markets and beyond," said Nasdaq Chief Executive Adena Friedman. "This combination meaningfully accelerates the evolution of our business mix toward highly scalable, subscription revenue." The stock, which is still inactive in premarket trading, has gained 14.6% year to date, while the S&P 500 has advanced 10.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

BJ's Wholesale profit, revenue and same-store sales beat expectations, but stock pulls back
BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. reported Thursday fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that rose above expectations, amid "significant market share gains." The stock, however, fell 2.3% in premarket trading, after soaring 14.1% over the past eight sessions leading up to the earnings report. Net income rose to $122.8 million, or 88 cents a share, from $55.1 million, or 40 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earning per share grew to 92 cents from 41 cents, beating the FactSet consensus of 65 cents. Total revenue increased 15.6% to $3.73 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $3.67 billion, as same-store sales growth of 18.5% beat expectations of a 15.5% rise. The company said it spent $50 million to buy back 1.2 million shares during the third quarter. BJ's did not provide financial guidance. "The third quarter was another remarkable quarter with robust comp growth, significant market share gains and record profitability," said Chief Executive Lee Delaney. "As we look ahead, we are confident our business will continue to thrive given the structural shift in consumer behavior, our market share gains and our strategic investments in digital capabilities, membership, assortment, marketing and geographic expansion." The stock has run up 89.1% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has advanced 22.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 10.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Alaska Air sees travel demand declining in November, and cash burn increasing
Shares of Alaska Air Group Inc. slipped 0.3% in premarket trading Thursday, after the air carrier provided a downbeat outlook for November, in which traffic and load factor are expected to decline from October while cash burn increases. The company said October total revenue fell 62% from a year ago after a 66% decline in September, and expects a decline of 60% to 65% in November. While October revenue passengers increased to 1,400 (down 64%) from 1,212 (down 68%) from September, passengers are expected to decline to 1,200 to 1,300 (down 65% to 70%) in November. Load factor improved from 47% in September to 49% in October, but is expected to decline to 40% to 45% in November. October cash burn was 97% million, which was lower than September because of improved ticket sales, but cash burn for November is expected to increase to $125 million to $150 million amid a softening in demand. "We believe that renewed restrictions by many state and local governments have negatively impacted demand in the immediate term," the company said in a statement. "Future booking patterns remain difficult to predict given continued uncertainty in COVID-19 cases and timing of available vaccines and treatments."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

U.S. stock futures weaker after Wall Street limped to the finish on Wednesday
U.S. stock futures were pointing lower Thursday, after a weak finish on Wednesday on Wall Street in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 345 points on fears over new restrictions in response to rising COVID-19 cases. The dollar rose against the Japanese yen, and both gold and oil futures were weaker. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was 0.86%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 19, 2020

Coronavirus tally: Global cases top 56 million, as U.S. death toll tops 250,000
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed to 56.3 million on Thursday and deaths increased to 1.35 million, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world in cases with 11.53 million and deaths with 250,548. On Wednesday, the U.S. recorded 172,391 new cases and at least 1,923 deaths, according to New York Times data. That lifted the daily average over the past week to 162,816, up 77% from two weeks ago. Hospitalizations climbed to another record 79,410, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The surge in cases has prompted a growing number of states and cities to implement new restrictions. On the potential vaccine front, AstraZeneca PLC said its vaccine candidate showed "encouraging" immune response in older adults.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Biotech Certara files for IPO
Biotech company Certara Inc. has filed for an initial public offering, according to a filing late Wednesday. The Princeton, N.J., company, which calls itself a global leader in biosimulation software and technology, which allows for virtual drug trials, had confidentially submitted a draft registration statement last month. Certara filed to sell $100 million worth of shares, although that figure is often a placeholder used to calculate fees. Underwriters include Jefferies, Morgan Stanley, and BofA Securities. The company expects to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker CERT. The company said its revenue rose to $178.9 million in the first nine months ended September 2020, compared with $154.7 million in the year-ago period. It swung to a profit of $5.1 million in the nine months of 2020, contrasting with a loss of $2.9 billion a year ago. Certara said that the continued spread of COVID-19 could "adversely impact" its business and financial conditions, but that as of September it had "no material adverse impacts on the Company's financial condition, results of operations or cash flows."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Jack in the Box shares climb 4% on rise in earnings, sales
Jack in the Box Inc. shares were up 4% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the fast-food chain reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter results. Jack in the Box reported net income of $37.8 million, or $1.64 a share, compared with net income of $22.1 million, or 86 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. The company said same-store sales increased 12% during the quarter, and its board of directors declared a cash dividend of 40 cents a share on its common stock. Revenue jumped 15% to $255.4 million from $221.2 million a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected earnings of $1.14 a share on revenue of $249 million. Jack in the Box shares are up 11% this year. The broader S&P 500 index has improved 10% in 2020.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Stocks finish lower as shutdowns ramp up
U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Wednesday, weighed down by fresh signs of COVID-19's ability to disrupt the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 344 points, 1.2%, to close near 29,437, based on preliminary numbers, while the S&P 500 fell 42 points, 1.2%, and closed near 3,568. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 98 points, 0.8%, at the close, ending at about 11,802. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said mid-afternoon that schools would close starting Thursday as the city's coronavirus cases breached a key threshold. Still, some investors are looking past what's likely to be an increasingly grim winter: shares of airline companies like Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Airlines Holding Inc. were among the day's biggest winners.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Oil futures settle higher on the latest vaccine developments, even with U.S. supplies up a second week
Oil futures settled higher on Wednesday, after the latest vaccine-candidate news stoked hopes for an improvement in the economy and energy demand. Prices rose despite data from the Energy Information Administration showing a second-straight weekly rise in U.S. crude supplies. December West Texas Intermediate crude rose 39 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $41.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest finish for a front-month contract since Sept. 1, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Bitcoin-linked vehicle surges as cryptocurrency eyes fresh record high
Shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust surged 3.2% Thursday as the price of the cryptocurrency moved higher. Grayscale's fund is the closest investors can get to making trading bets on Bitcoin, since regulators have declined to allow the currency itself to be packaged into an ETF. GBTC tracks price movements in the digital currency, which has recently made a run at a fresh record. Among other things, Bitcoin's popularity increases along with easy-money policies in traditional money markets. Its all-time high was close to $20,000 three years ago. In the year to date, GBTC has gained nearly 120%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Dow, S&P 500 dips defy bullish breadth data
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has turned negative in afternoon trading Wednesday, but that defied bullish market breadth readings for both the NYSE and the Nasdaq exchanges. The number of stocks gaining ground outnumbered decliners 1,835 to 1,135 on the Big Board and 2,013 to 1,318 on the Nasdaq, while volume in advancing stocks made up 63.1% of total volume on the NYSE and 70.6% of total Nasdaq volume. Meanwhile, the Dow was down 35 points, or 0.1%, with 18 of 30 components trading lower. The S&P 500 was down 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Gold futures suffer back-to-back losses
Gold futures suffered a second straight loss on Wednesday, as "optimism surrounding the latest vaccine developments" supported risk sentiment, "ultimately weighing on safe-haven assets," said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM. "However, the rapid rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Europe and the United States continues to foster a sense of unease and caution. The precious metal is likely to derive strength from a weaker dollar in the near term until more news on the vaccine front is revealed," he said. December gold declined by $11.20, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,873.90 an ounce.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

FuelCell's stock doubles in 4 days on increasing volume
Shares of FuelCell Energy Inc. soared 33.0% in very active afternoon trading Wednesday, putting them on track to more-than double in four days, despite no news released by the company. With the stock rallying 11.3% on Friday, soaring 31.4% on Monday and climbing 10.0% on Tuesday, it has now rocketed 114.1% during its current win streak. That's the best four-day run for the fuel cell technology and power generation company's stock since it tripled (up 205.4%) during the four days ended Dec. 31, 2019. Trading volume has increased during the current win streak, from 46.0 million shares on Friday, to 96.3 million shares on Monday and to 150.4 million shares on Tuesday. On Wednesday, volume was 129.9 million share with roughly three hours left before the closing bell. FuelCell did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The last press release issued by the company was on Oct. 9, when the company announced an $8 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to design and manufacture an electrolysis platform capable of producing hydrogen. The stock's rally comes amid growing investor interest in renewable energy stocks, particularly since the presidential election, as President-elect Biden has said he would look to transition away from fossil fuels. FuelCell's stock has climbed 136.2% since Nov. 3, after plunging 93.0% over the previous four years. In comparison, the S&P 500 has gained 7.3% since the election. Separately, a report from the U.S. SIF Foundation showed that investments in environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors now total about $17.1 trillion, or about one-third of total U.S. assets under management.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Energy equipment ETFs outperform Wednesday, on track for best month on record
Shares of oil and gas equipment and services exchange-traded funds surged Wednesday, as investors broadened their exposure to the beaten-down energy sector in anticipation of stronger economic activity, and demand, in the wake of announcements about COVID-19 vaccine successes. The Invesco Dynamic Oil & Gas Services ETF was up 4.1% at midday, while the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF was up 3.6%. The iShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF gained 2.8%. All three funds have gained approximately 40% in the month to date, easily putting them on track for their best month on record. In the year to date, however, they're all still down about 51%, a reminder of how badly COVID-19 - and more secular headwinds - have battered the sector.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

EIA reports an 800,000-barrel weekly climb in U.S. crude supplies
The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories rose by 800,000 barrels for the week ended Nov. 13. That was bigger than the 100,000-barrel climb forecast by analysts polled by S&P Global Platts, but the American Petroleum Institute reported on Tuesday a much larger 4.2 million-barrel increase, according to sources. The EIA data also showed crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub edged up by 1.2 million barrels for the week. Gasoline supply, meanwhile, rose by 2.6 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles declined by 5.2 million barrels. The S&P Global Platts survey had shown expectations for a supply climb of 300,000 barrels for gasoline and decline of 1.8 million barrels for distillates. December West Texas Intermediate crude was up 37 cents, or 0.9%, at $41.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices traded at $41.90 before the supply data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Pinduoduo stock rises, to trade well above where its upsized shares offering priced
Shares of Pinduoduo Inc. rose 0.2% in morning trading Wednesday, to trade well above where the China-based mobile commerce company's upsized stock offering priced. The company said its offering of 28.7 million American depositary shares (ADS), up from previous expectations of a 22.0 million-share offering, priced at $125 per ADS, to raise $3.59 billion. The pricing was 5.8% below current prices. Separately, the company also offered $1.75 billion in convertible senior notes due 2025. The company said it expects to use the proceeds from the offerings to strengthen its balance sheet, make strategic infrastructure investments and for future acquisitions. "We are seeing large-scale changes in consumer habits as a result of COVID-19, which are accelerating digital transformation across different sectors," said Chief Executive Chen Lei. Pinduoduo's stock has soared 251% year to date, while the iShares MSCI China ETF has climbed 24.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 11.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Stocks open mixed as investors eye signs of vaccine progress
U.S. stocks opened near break-even levels on Wednesday amid signs of progress by vaccine-makers in developing a viable weapon against the COVID-19 pandemic's unchecked spread. The S&P 500 was down a point to 3,608. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 46 points, or 0.2%, to 29,830. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1% to 11,887. Equities have mostly traded sideways this week as investors continued to watch the trajectory of the coronavirus in the U.S. Pfizer Inc. said the vaccine candidate it has developed with BioNTech SE was 95% effective in an analysis of clinical trial data. Pfizer said it plans to seek authorization for the vaccine in the next few days.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Tesla stock gains after Morgan Stanley upgrade
Shares of Tesla Inc. are up 0.9% in morning trading Wednesday after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas upgraded the stock to overweight from equal weight. He also raised his price target to $540 from $360. Jonas wrote that Tesla is "on the verge of a profound model shift from selling cars (volume x price) to generating high-margin, recurring software and services revenue." He argued that the company's car business provides an "entry ticket into unlocking much larger [total addressable markets]." The company already gets some services revenue from things like premium infotainment and performance upgrades, and Jonas estimates that these businesses account for about 1% to 2% of Tesla's revenue today. By 2030, services could account for over 6% of revenue and 18% to 20% of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, he said. "To only value Tesla on car sales alone ignores the multiple businesses embedded within the company, and ignores the long-term value creation arising from monetizing Tesla's core strengths, driven by best-in-class software and ancillary services," Jonas wrote. He argued that the company benefits from a "double flywheel" due to its market-leading position in electric vehicles, which allows Tesla to "lead the industry in price cuts for its products" while also looking to turn vehicle owners into "subscribers" to Tesla services. Shares of Tesla have gained 18% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has risen 6.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Carnival stock slumps after cancelling more cruises in first part of 2021
Shares of Carnival Corp. slumped 3.1% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the cruise operator said it has cancelled additional cruises for the first part of 2021, including all cruises leaving from U.S. ports through Jan. 31. In addition, the company said it has cancelled embarkations from Baltimore, Charleston, Jacksonville, Long Beach, Mobile, New Orleans and San Diego are cancelled through Feb. 28, and embarkations on Carnival Legend out of Tampa through March 26. Carnival said the cancellations come as it works to meet the requirements outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for resuming cruise ship operations. "We are committed to meeting the CDC requirements and keeping our guests and business partners informed of our progress," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. The stock has dropped 64.5% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 11.7%.

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
Nov 18, 2020

Bitcoin miner Marathon Patent's stock jumps on upbeat outlook for mining, revenue
Shares of cryptocurrency miner Marathon Patent Group Inc. shot up 11% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the company provided an upbeat outlook on its potential to produce bitcoin and its target for revenue. The company said that once all of its 23,560 cryptocurrency miners are deployed in the second quarter of 2021, it sees potential to produce 15 to 20 bitcoins per day, at an average cost of $3,863 per bitcoin. The company sees potential to generate revenue of $8.8 million per month, and $6.7 million in gross profit per month. Last week, the company had reported a third-quarter operating loss of $1.99 million on revenue of $835,184. Marathon Patent's stock has lost 9.1% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the price of bitcoins has soared 50.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 6.5%.

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
Nov 18, 2020

Best Buy launches on Instacart for same-day delivery
Best Buy Co. Inc. has launched same-day delivery on Instacart nationwide. Instacart has also launched a "Certified Delivery" feature that lets shoppers track and confirm delivery on high-value purchases, requiring a signature when the customer receives it. Best Buy stock is up 35.6% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 11.7% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Beyond Meat launches first product for the Chinese market
Beyond Meat Inc. has launched Beyond Pork in China, the first product created for the Chinese market. The plant-based protein company has previously launched the Beyond Burger and Beyond Beef in China. Pork is the most popular meat in China, the company said. To launch the new product, Beyond Meat has partnered with five popular Shanghai restaurants, including Egg and Solo X for a lunch event on Tuesday. Each restaurant made a dish with Beyond Pork that would normally be made with traditional animal protein. These special menu items will be available at all five restaurants through Nov. 24. Beyond Meat stock has soared nearly 72% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 11.7% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

TJX shares rise after earnings beat, dividend expected
TJX Cos. shares rose 3.4% in Wednesday premarket trading after the off-price retailer reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat expectations and says it expects to declare a dividend in December 2020. Net income totaled $866.7 million, or 71 cents per share, up from $828.3 million, or 68 cents per share, last year. Sales of $10.12 billion were down from $10.45 billion last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 40 cents and sales of $9.38 billion. Comparable sales for "open-only" stores, defined as the measure of sales increase or decrease for the days that stores were operating versus the sales for the same days the previous year, fell 5%. TJX banners include TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. Some store locations were closed for a period during the quarter due to COVID-19. The company currently has about 470 stores shut due to the pandemic, mostly in Europe. TJX expects to reinstate a dividend of 26 cents per share in the fiscal fourth quarter, payable in March 2021. TJX ended the quarter with $10.6 billion in cash. Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, TJX did not provide guidance, but says open-only comp store sales have fallen 7% for the first two weeks of the quarter. TJX stock has edged up 0.1% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained 11.7% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

FAA OKs return of service for Boeing's 737 MAX
In a widely anticipated move, the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that it has identified the required return-to-service activities for operators of Boeing Co.'s 737 MAX planes. The planes have been grounded since March 2019 following two deadly accidents in less than six months. The FAA said its notice on the required activities was for principal inspectors, aviation safety inspectors and other flight standards personnel responsible for oversight of those operating or maintaining 737 MAX planes. The FAA also provided policy and direction for certain of its employees regarding maintenance required prior to returning 737-8 and 737-9 plans to service. Boeing's stock shot up 5.7% in premarket trading Wednesday. It has rallied 23.4% over the past three months through Tuesday, but has tumbled 35.5% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 4.4% this year.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 18, 2020

Boeing's stock surges, to add about 80 points to the Dow, on expected FAA approval of 737 MAX return to service
Shares of Boeing Co. shot up 5.8% in early trading Wednesday, enough to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average's premarket gainers, as the Federal Aviation Administration is widely expected to approve the return to service of aerospace giant's 737 MAX jets, which have been grounded since March 2019. The stock's implied price gain would add about 80 points to the Dow's price, while Dow futures rose 122 points, or 0.4%. Analyst Robert Stallard at Vertical Research Partners said this pending approval is the "cherry on the cake" for Boeing, following on from good news on the U.S. election and progress on coronavirus vaccines. Boeing's stock is on track to open at the highest price seen during regular-session hours since June 9. The stock has tumbled 35.5% year to date through Tuesday, while the Dow has gained 4.4%.

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
Nov 18, 2020

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 55.7 million, U.S. death toll edges closer to 250,000
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed to 55.7 million on Wednesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose above 1.3 million. The U.S. has the highest case tally in the world at 11.4 million and highest death toll at 248,707, or more than a fifth of the global total. The U.S. counted 159,431 new cases on Tuesday, and at least 1,583 people died, according to a New York Times tracker. In the last week, the U.S. has averaged 158,254 cases a day, up 79% from the average two weeks ago and cases are rising in 50 states and territories. There are currently a record of 76,823 COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals, according to the COVID Tracking Project, topping the previous record of 73,014 set a day ago. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the company and its partner BioNTech SE have passed the minimum two-month follow-up that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires as a safety milestone to obtain emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Brazil has the second highest death toll at 166,699 and is third by cases at 5.9 million. India is second in cases with 8.9 million, and third in deaths at 130,993. Mexico has the fourth highest death toll at 99,026 and 10th highest case tally at 1 million. The U.K has 52,839 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world, and 1.4 million cases, or seventh highest in the world.

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
Nov 18, 2020

CMS Energy CEO Poppe to step down, to become CEO at PG&E
CMS Energy Corp. said Chief Executive Patricia Poppe is leaving the company effective Dec. 1, after four years in the role, to take the CEO role at PG&E Corp. , effective Jan. 4. CMS said Garrick Rochow, currently executive vice president of operations at the Michigan-based electric and natural gas utility, will succeed Poppe. At PG&E, Poppe will take over for Interim CEO William Smith, who will remain on PG&E's board of directors. Shares of both CMS and PG&E were still inactive in premarket trading. Year to date, PG&E's stock has gained 7.8% and CMS shares have tacked on 1.6%, while the S&P 500 has advanced 11.7%.

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
Nov 18, 2020

Pfizer CEO says COVID-19 vaccine candidate has passed FDA safety milestone
Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Albert Bourla said the company and its partner BioNTech SE have passed the minimum two-month follow-up that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires as a safety milestone to obtain emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, according to media reports. Bourla made the comment at New York Times and STAT summits on Tuesday. "We are preparing now for submissions," Bourla told the New York Times summit. The news comes a week after the drug companies said an early analysis of data from their Phase 3 trial had found the vaccine to be 90% effective. That news was followed by Moderna Inc.'s statement on Monday that its vaccine candidate had proved 94.5% effective in a Phase 3 trial, also based on an intial analysis of some data from the trial. Pfizer shares were up 1.8% premarket, but have fallen 3% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 12%.

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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