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Reuters BusinessFeb 20, 2019
Global stocks rise on U.S.-China trade hopes; oil up again
An index of stocks across the globe hit a more than four-month high on Wednesday on hopes for progress in trade talks between the United States and China, and a supportive backdrop from major central banks also helped push risk assets higher.

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks rise on U.S.-China trade hopes; oil up again (Reuters Company News)
NLight shares slammed as weakness in China hurts forecast (MarketWatch MarketPulse)

FT.com - Financial MarketsFeb 20, 2019
US stocks finish muted session higher after Fed minutes
Europe and Asian bourses largely higher, with Tokyo rising despite grim Japan exports data

NYTimes BusinessFeb 20, 2019
Wall St. Mostly Edges Up in Volatile Trade After Fed Minutes
U.S. stocks were mostly higher in volatile late-afternoon trade on Wednesday as the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes from its January meeting showed policymakers thought pausing on U.S. interest rate hikes last month posed little risk.

MarketWatchFeb 20, 2019
Market Snapshot: Stocks struggle for direction as investors watch trade talks, await Fed minutes
U.S. stocks trade sideways, with investors keeping an eye on U.S.-China trade talks in Washington while awaiting the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's January policy meeting for further insights into the central bank's surprise flip to wait-and-see mode on rates.

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Stocks edging upward as investors await details of policy pivot in Fed minutes (MarketWatch Breaking News)
Wall St. opens flat as investors assess U.S.-China trade talks (Reuters Business)

MarketWatch MarketPulseFeb 20, 2019
Equifax disappoints with earnings and forecast as it spends on tech and security
Equifax Inc. fourth-quarter earnings dropped 85% from the year before as the company continues to spend to bolster its security and technology after a devastating hack, and the company's forecast for 2019 came in below expectations in an earnings report delivered Wednesday afternoon. Equifax reported net income of $25.6 million, or 21 cents a share, down from $1.42 a share a year ago, on revenue of $835.3 million, down from $839 million a year ago. After stripping out all costs for "the 2017 cybersecurity incident," as Equifax refers to it, as well as a host of other factors, the company claimed earnings of $1.38 a share, down just a penny a share from last year's fourth quarter. Analysts on average expected adjusted earnings of $1.32 a share on revenue of $840 million. Equifax projected 2019 adjusted earnings of $5.60 a share to $5.80 a share, after totaling $5.79 by that metric in 2018, on revenue of $3.43 billion to $3.53 billion, which would be a gain from $3.36 billion in 2018. Analysts on average were projecting 2019 adjusted earnings of $5.86 a share on revenue of $3.53 billion, according to FactSet. "Our incremental investment of over $1.25 billion to transform our technology and security between 2018 and 2020 will position Equifax for future growth and profitability and improve our speed of delivering new products to our customers," Chief Executive Mark Begor said in Wednesday's announcement. Equifax shares fell about 2% in very light trading during the extended session following the report Wednesday afternoon. The stock has declined 6.4% in the past year, as the S&P 500 index has gained 2.3%

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



Reuters BusinessFeb 20, 2019
Wall Street ends up slightly as Fed minutes support cautious stance
U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting reaffirmed for investors that the U.S. central bank would be "patient" with respect to further interest rate hikes.

KiplingerFeb 20, 2019
13 Great Tech ETFs for Years of Stellar Gains
Tech stocks might have had the wind knocked out of them to finish last year, but the sector's standing as a long-term source of growth still looks clear.

The world is becoming ever more dependent on technology. If you have any doubts, ask yourself: How long have you spent on your smartphone today? Are you reading this article on it right now? Have you taken an Uber recently? Have a "smart" home-security system? Plan on listening to your smart speaker later? Those are just some of the most obvious advances in tech. Behind the scenes, data centers are increasingly powering American business, health records are going digital, retail is using big-data analysis to better deliver its wares ... you get the point.

The technology sector was brutalized in the fourth quarter of 2018. Almost everything was lower - the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 14% - but tech companies more than carried their weight, dropping 17.7% to make them the third-worst-performing sector during that period. Likewise, though, tech stocks have been among the leaders of 2019's rebound, rallying more than 12%, which in turn has sent numerous tech exchange-traded funds (ETFs) skyward.

The problem with investing in individual tech stocks is the risk. The sector is rife with disruption, and even longtime winners can suddenly find themselves on the outs - ask Nokia (NOK) or BlackBerry (BB). But you can whittle down that risk by investing in large bundles of these stocks, via ETFs.

Here are 13 of the best tech ETFs to buy. These funds allow you to participate in the growth of the whole sector, or even smaller industry trends, while minimizing the risk of single-stock implosions.

SEE ALSO: The 19 Best ETFs for a Prosperous 2019


Reuters BusinessFeb 20, 2019
Wall St. muted with focus on trade talks, Fed minutes
U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday as investors weighed the latest developments in trade talks between the United States and China, while waiting for minutes from the Federal Reserve's January policy-setting meeting.

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US STOCKS-Wall St muted with focus on trade talks, Fed minutes (Reuters Company News)

The Motley FoolFeb 20, 2019
3 Top Dividend Stocks to Buy Right Now
Investors looking for top dividend stocks should take a look at these three suggestions.

MarketWatch MarketPulseFeb 20, 2019
Owens & Minor's stock tumbles after dividend slashed to a penny, earnings miss
Shares of Owens & Minor Inc. tumbled 14% in active afternoon trade Wednesday, after the provider of distribution services to makers of healthcare products reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed expectations, provided a downbeat outlook and slashed its dividend to next to nothing. The company said late Tuesday it swung to a net loss of $261.8 million, or $4.37 a share, from a profit of $23.0 million, or 38 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, such as $274 million impairment charge, adjusted earnings per share of 9 cents was below the FactSet consensus of 14 cents. Revenue rose 6.4% to $2.54 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $2.50 billion. The company said it amended its credit agreements, that while enhances it financial "flexibility," also increases its interest expense. With that in mind, the company expects 2019 adjusted EPS of 60 cents to 75 cents, below the current FactSet consensus of 93 cents. The company also cut its quarterly dividend to 0.25 cents a share from 7.5 cents a share, which lowers the implied annual dividend yield to 0.15% from 4.39%. Separately, Owens & Minor named Edward Pasicka its chief executive officer, effective March 4. The stock has plunged 56% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 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.



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Stocks making the biggest moves midday: CVS Health, Southwest, Charles Schwab & more (CNBC Economy)

MarketWatch MarketPulseFeb 19, 2019
Pepsi to buy maker of Muscle Milk
Hormel Foods Corp. said late Tuesday that it was selling its CytoSport business, which makes Muscle Milk, to PepsiCo Inc. . Hormel did not disclose terms of the deal but said it would provide more details on its earnings call Thursday at 8 a.m. Central time. Hormel stock declined less than 1% in after-hours trading, as Pepsi stock was flat. The S&P 500 index closed up 0.2% during the regular session.

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



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You'd Have to Be High to Buy American Marijuana Stocks (Barron's This Week Magazine)

MarketWatch MarketPulseFeb 19, 2019
Stanley Black & Decker to book $50 million charge on 2018 EPS due to IPS Worldwide bankruptcy
Stanley Black & Decker Inc. said Tuesday it will book a charge of $50 million on its previously announced 2018 GAAP per-share earnings, due to the bankruptcy of IPS Worldwide LLC. The third-party provider of freight payment processing services listed Stanley Black & Decker as an unsecured creditor with outstanding obligations of about $50 million owned to certain freight carriers in a Jan. 25 Chapter 11 filing. The charge does not include any sums the company is hoping to recover from insurance or through the bankruptcy proceedings and will be included in the company's 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission later this month. Shares were slightly higher premarket, but have fallen 14% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.6%.

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


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