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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Skyworks, Silicon Labs shares rise after companies announce $2.75B deal
Shares of Skyworks Solutions Inc. and Silicon Laboratories Inc. rose in the extended session Thursday after Skyworks announced it has agreed to buy Silicon Labs' infrastructure and automotive business in an all-cash deal valued at $2.75 billion. The deal "will accelerate Skyworks' expansion into the industry's most important growth segments," including electric and hybrid vehicles, 5G wireless infrastructure, smart-home applications and other areas, a combined market opportunity "approaching $20 billion" a year, Skyworks said. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, and it has has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Skyworks said. Funding will likely come from a combination of cash on hand and debt financing arranged by J.P. Morgan, it said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Celanese stock gains after company's Q1 pricing boost
Shares of Celanese Corp. rose 2% in the extended session Thursday after the chemical and specialty materials company reported first-quarter results that topped Wall Street views. Celanese earned $323 million, or $2.82 a share, compared with $220 million a year ago. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned $3.46 a share. Sales rose to $1.8 billion, from $1.5 billion a year ago, as pricing rose 15%, "more than offsetting" volume declining 3%, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of $2.98 a share on sales of $1.7 billion. The stock ended the regular trading day down 2.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Dow ends more than 300 points lower, sunk by talk of higher capital gains tax rate for wealthy investors
Stocks ended lower Thursday, falling in afternoon action after Bloomberg News reportedthat President Joe Biden would propose a near doubling of the capital gains rate for investors making more than $1 million a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell around 322 points, or 0.9%, to close near 33,815, while the S&P 500 declined around 38 points, or 0.9%, to finish near 4,135. The Nasdaq Composite shed around 132 points, or 0.9%, to close near 13,818.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

NIH launches 3 new clinical trials studying COVID-19 treatments
The National Institutes of Health this week announced several new clinical trials studying different types of COVID-19 treatments.One new Phase 3 clinical trial will evaluate NeuroRx Inc.'s experimental formulation of aviptadil acetate and Gilead Sciences Inc.' Veklury in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. The trial will give participants a combination of the two drugs; aviptadil and a placebo; Veklury and a placebo; or only a placebo, and will initially enroll 40 patients. The NIH also said it added SAB Biotherapeutics Inc.'s investigational polyclonal antibody drug to an ongoing Phase 2/3 study evaluating possible COVID-19 treatments in people with mild or moderate cases of COVID-19. That therapy will be tested against a placebo. NeuroRx and SAB are privately held companies. And, finally, the NIH said it plans to initiate a Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating over-the-counter medications that people with COVID-19 can take at home. Roughly 13,500 participants in this new study will receive a placebo or one of seven treatments in the mail. The list of medications is still being finalized.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

FDA approves GSK's endometrial cancer therapy
U.S.-listed shares of GlaxoSmithKline were down 1.4% in trading on Thursday after the Food and Drug Administration said it had granted accelerated approval to the company's endometrial cancer treatment. The immunotherapy, which was called dostarlimab and is now named Jemperli, is approved to treat patients with severe forms of this kind of cancer who have a genetic feature known as dMMR. About one-quarter of patients with this kind of cancer have dMMR tumors, the FDA said in a statement. A clinical trial with 71 participants found that Jemperli got rid of or reduced dMMR tumors in 42% of the patients. The regulator also said that additional trials are needed to back up the clinical data -- the approval is an "accelerated" decision based on unmet need -- and those studies are already underway. A GSK spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for Jemperli's price. GSK's stock has gained 2.4% so far this year, while the S&P 500 is up 10.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Square announces new inventory features for its sellers
Square Inc. announced Thursday that it plans to make new inventory-management features available to its sellers. The company is rolling out tools that help sellers automate their inventory-management processes by using barcode scanners to take stock of inventory and receiving alerts driven by machine learning to see when an item is due to run out. The company will also let sellers build out their catalogs by scanning item barcodes and seeing item information automatically populate. "We're looking forward to providing sellers with access to the tools they need to prepare for reopenings and the year ahead," said Roshan Jhunja, Square's general manager for retail, in a release. They've gained 10.0% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has risen 7.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Oil futures give up early losses to finish with a modest gain
Oil futures shook off early losses on Thursday to finish slightly higher. "Despite the pessimism seen this week, the overall oil demand remains robust in two of the largest oil markets, the U.S. and China," said Manish Raj, chief financial officer at Velandera Energy. Also, "despite the rapidly rising cases in India, economic activity, road traffic and energy consumption remains well above the levels seen last year," he said. June West Texas Intermediate crude inched up by 8 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $61.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after trading as low as $60.61.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Biden will outline 'American Families Plan' in speech to Congress, White House says
President Joe Biden will use a speech to Congress next week to outline his "American Families Plan," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday. The plan is expected to focus on policies including paid family leave, childcare and free community college. Asked about a report that Biden will propose nearly doubling capital gains taxes on wealthy Americans to help pay for the plan, Psaki said she wouldn't get ahead of Biden's final decisions. She reiterated his pledge not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. "We're still finalizing what the pay-fors look like," she said. U.S. stocks turned south in afternoon trade after a report said Biden is weighing the capital-gains proposal.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Gold futures settle lower after a 2-session climb
Gold futures ended lower for the first time in three sessions on Thursday, easing back after settling a day earlier at their highest level in about two months. "The U.S. weekly jobless claims data was much stronger than market expectations and this has stopped the gold price from soaring further," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade. Also, the 100-day moving average for gold prices is "turning out to be a strong resistance," he said. The 100-day moving average is at $1,806.51, according to FactSet data. "The gold price needs to clear this resistance in order for the price to continue to move higher," said Aslam. June gold fell $11.10, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,782 an ounce. Prices trade nearly 4% higher month to date.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

J.B. Hunt raises dividend by 7.1%, now yields about half the S&P 500
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. said Thursday it was raising its quarterly dividend by 7.1% to 30 cents a share. The new dividend will be payable May 21 to shareholders of record on May 7. The trucking company's stock rose 2.0% in afternoon trading. Based on current prices, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 0.71%, which compares with the yield for the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF of 1.26% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.40%, according to FactSet. J.B. Hunt's stock has rallied 69.6% over the past 12 months, while the industrial ETF has climbed 67.0% and the S&P 500 has advanced 48.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Biden to propose nearly doubling capital gains tax for wealthy: report
President Joe Biden will propose nearly doubling the capital gains tax rate for wealthy Americans to 39.6%, Bloomberg News reported Thursday. Combined with an existing surtax on investment income, Bloomberg said, that means federal tax rates for investors could be as high as 43.4%. Bloomberg cited people familiar with the proposal, and said the plan would boost the capital gains rate to 39.6% for those earning $1 million or more. The president is expected to release the proposal next week as part of the tax increases to fund social spending in the forthcoming "American Families Plan," Bloomberg said. U.S. stocks turned lower on the news.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Zymergen's stock opens up 30%, then pares some gains
Zymergen Inc. received a nice reception on Wall Street in its public debut, as the stock opened 30% above its initial public offering price. The "biofacturing" company said overnight that its upsized IPO priced at $31 a share, at the top of the expected range of between $28 and $31 a share. The stock's first trade was at $40.30 at 12:43 p.m. Eastern for 876,313 share. At that price, the company was valued at about $3.85 billion. The stock has pared some gains since the open, and was last trading up 17.0% at $36.27. The company went public on a day that the Renaissance IPO ETF rallied 2.4% while the S&P 500 ticked up 0.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Coinbase stock falls toward 4th-straight loss, after first non-bullish analyst starts coverage
Analyst Dan Dolev at Mizuho broke ranks with his Wall Street peers, as he became the first to initiate coverage of Coinbase Global Inc. with something other than the equivalent of a buy rating. Dolev set a neutral rating for the cryptocurrency exchange, and a stock price target of $285, which was 6.6% below current levels. The stock fell 2.2% in midday trading toward a four-day losing streak. Dolev said that while Coinbase was a "major share gainer," the risk of pricing pressure offsets opportunities surrounding the stock. "Over time, COIN's fees may face downward pressure from competing platforms following the footsteps of zero-commission stock trading, because platforms like PayPal and Cash App primarily use crypto trading products as engagement tools," Dolev wrote in a note to clients. "In contrast, COIN relies on commissions for the vast majority of its revenue." He said a survey of several hundred bitcoin traders showed "significant user overlap" among Coinbase, PayPal Holdings Inc. and Square Inc.'s Cash App, and 55% of those surveyed consider "low transaction fees" as the second-most important quality of crypto trading app platforms, behind just "security." Coinbase's stock has lost 10.8% this week, while bitcoin has declined 10.6% and the S&P 500 has slipped 0.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Natural-gas prices turn higher; EIA reports a 38 billion cubic foot rise in U.S. natural-gas supplies
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 38 billion cubic feet for the week ended April 16. That just about matched an average increase of 37 billion cubic feet forecast by analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. Total stocks now stand at 1.883 trillion cubic feet, down 251 billion cubic feet from a year ago but 12 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, the government said. Following the data, May natural gas was up 4.3 cents, or 1.6%, to $2.74 per million British thermal units. It traded at $2.69 shortly before the data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Lowe's acquires StainMaster
Lowe's Cos. announced its acquisition of StainMaster, the carpet and flooring company. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Lowe's has exclusively sold StainMaster carpet for the last decade, and says this expands on that partnership. The acquisition includes all intellectual property and sub-brands. StainMaster will join the Lowe's lineup of private labels, which includes Project Source and Harbor Breeze. Lowe's stock has gained 26.2% for the year to date while the benchmark S&P 500 index is up 10.9% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Existing-home sales fall for second consecutive month as house prices surge to record levels
Existing-home sales declined in March, reflecting the challenges buyers continue to face in the competitive real-estate market. Existing home-sales fell 3.7% to a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 6.01 million in March, the National Association of Realtors reported. Compared with a year ago, home sales were up more than 12%. Home prices hit a high of $329,100, reflecting a record pace of price growth at 17.2% from last year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Chubb 'disappointed' that Hartford decided not to respond to unsolicited buyout proposals
Chubb Ltd. issued a statement Thursday regarding the unsolicited buyout proposal it made to insurer Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. , saying it was "disappointed" that Hartford has not responded to any proposals. Hartford's stock slipped 1.0% in morning trading while Chubb's stock gained 1.1%. On March 18, Hartford shares had soared 19% after Chubb confirmed it submitted a buyout bid of $65 a share, which valued Hartford at about $23.2 billion. Hartford said in a letter dated March 31, Chubb said it was prepared to bid "in excess of $67 a share" if Hartford would engage in "meaningful discussion and due diligence." Hartford said Thursday that it has rejected both proposals, and determined that "entering discussions regarding a strategic transaction would not be in the best interests of the company and its shareholders." In response, Chubb stated: Although we are disappointed, we want to repeat that our shareholders demand of us, and we demand of ourselves, that we remain a disciplined acquiror." Hartford's stock has rallied 36.4% year to date and Chubb shares have gained 8.4%, while the SPDR S&P Insurance ETF has climbed 14.5% and the S&P 500 has advanced 10.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Stocks edge lower at open despite slide in jobless claims
U.S. stocks fell slightly at the start of Thursday's session as investors sifted through corporate earnings and a drop in unemployment claims to a pandemic low. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.3%, or 107 points, to 34,030. The S&P 500 fell 0.2% to 4,165. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.1% to 13,940. First-time jobless claims fell by 39,000 to 547,000 in the week ended April 17, the lowest since before the pandemic struck. Continuing claims fell 34,000 to 3.67 million as of April 10. Shares of AT&T Inc. rose 4% after reporting first-quarter results early Thursday.

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
Apr 22, 2021

Privia Health sets IPO terms, that could value that company at up to $2 billion
Privia Health Group Inc. has set terms for its initial public offering, as the Virginia-based provider of services to optimize physician practices could be valued at up to $1.97 billion. The IPO is expected to price between $17 and $19 a share. The company is offering 2.8 million shares in the IPO, to raise up to $53.2 million, while selling shareholders are offering 16.7 million shares to raise up to $317.3 million. The stock is expected to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "PRVA." Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are the lead underwriters. The company recorded net income of $31.2 million on revenue of $817.1 million in 2020, after net income of $8.2 million on revenue of $786.4 million in 2019. The company is looking to go public at a time of tempered investor demand for IPOs, as the Renaissance IPO ETF has dropped 11.5% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 8.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Zymergen's upsized IPO prices at top of expected range, valuing 'biofacturing' company at $3 billion
Zymergen Inc. is set to go public Thursday, after the biofacturing company's upsized initial public offering priced at $31 a share, at the top of the expected range. The company sold 16.13 million shares in the IPO, up from previous expectations of 13.6 million shares, to raise $500.0 million. The IPO pricing values the company at about $2.96 billion. The stock is expected to begin trading Thursday on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "ZY." The company is going public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has dropped 11.5% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 8.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Coronavirus tally: Global cases climbs toward 144 million, as U.S. new daily cases stays above 60,000
The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness rose to 143.96 million on Thursday, as the death toll increased to 3,061,478, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. continues to lead the world in cases and deaths by wide margins, with 31.86 million cases, or 22.1% of the global total, and 569,404 deaths, or 18.6% of the worldwide total. The U.S. added at least 62,956 cases on Wednesday, down from 64,530 on Tuesday, while new deaths slipped to at least 720 from 729, according to a New York Times Tracker. But the U.S. also leads the world in vaccines administered, at 215.95 million. At least 134.45 million people, or 40.5% of the total population, have received at least one dose as of Wednesday evening, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 87.59 million people, or 26.4% of the total population, have been fully vaccinated.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Coronavirus tally: Global cases climbs toward 144 million, as U.S. new daily cases back above 60,000
The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness rose to 143.96 million on Thursday, as the death toll increased to 3,061,478, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. continues to lead the world in cases and deaths by wide margins, with 31.86 million cases, or 22.1% of the global total, and 569,404 deaths, or 18.6% of the worldwide total. The U.S. added at least 64,853 cases on Wednesday, up from 58,783 on Tuesday, while new deaths rose to at least 879 from 792, according to a New York Times Tracker. But the U.S. also leads the world in vaccines administered, at 215.95 million. At least 134.45 million people, or 40.5% of the total population, have received at least one dose as of Wednesday evening, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 87.59 million people, or 26.4% of the total population, have been fully vaccinated.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

SmartRent to go public after merger with SPAC Fifth Wall, in a deal valuing combined company at $2.2 billion
SmartRent.com Inc., a provider of smart home operating systems, said Thursday it will go public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp. I , in a deal that values the combined company at $2.2 billion. When the deal closes, which is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2021, the combined company is expected to have about $513 million in cash. SmartRent said it expects to achieve positive Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) by 2022, and that 80% of its unit projections through 2022 come from already committed units. Fifth Wall's stock, which started trading on Feb. 5, rose 1.7% in premarket trading.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

European Central Bank leaves rates, bond-buying program unchanged
The European Central Bank, as expected, left interest rates unchanged and made no changes to its bond-buying efforts on Thursday. The ECB said the Governing Council decided to "reconfirm its very accommodative monetary policy stance." The central bank said it would continue to buy bonds under its 1.85 trillion euro pandemic emergency purchase program until at least the end of March 2022, while net purchases under its asset purchase program would continue at a monthly pace of 20 billion euros. The ECB said PEPP purchases, as decided at the ECB's previous meeting, will continue at a significantly faster pace over the current quarter. Interest rates were left unchanged, with the main refinancing rate at 0% and the deposit rate at minus 0.5%. ECB President Christine Lagarde will hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m. Frankfurt time, or 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Biogen's stock is up, though revenue fell 25% for the quarter
Shares of Biogen gained 1.4% in premarket trading on Thursday after the drug maker beat earnings expectations and even though it saw revenue drop 25% for the quarter. Biogen had earnings of $410.2 million, or $2.69 per share, in the first quarter of 2021, compared to $1.4 billion, or $8.10 per share, in the like quarter in 2020. Adjusted earnings per share were $5.34, against a FactSet consensus of $4.97. Biogen's revenue fell roughly 25% to $2.69 billion for the quarter, down from $3.53 billion in the first quarter of last year. The FactSet consensus was $2.65 billion. Its top-selling drug is multiple-sclerosis therapy Tecfidera, which generated $479.3 million in revenue for the quarter, down from $1.1 billion in the same quarter last year. The company said its guidance for the year assumes "rapid erosion of Tecfidera in the U.S." in 2021. It also raised its outlook for adjusted EPS to $17.50 to $19.00, from $17.00 to $18.50. Biogen said it expects that aducanumab, its somewhat controversial Alzheimer's disease drug candidate, will get approved by U.S. regulators by June 7. Biogen's stock is up 10.2% for the year, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

HCA Healthcare stock jumps into record territory after profit and revenue beats, raised outlook
Shares of HCA Healthcare Inc. hiked up 2.5% into record territory in premarket trading Thursday, after the hospital operator reported first-quarter profit that more than doubled and beat expectations, and raised its full-year outlook, even as same-facility admissions declined. Net income grew to $1.42 billion, or $4.14 a share, from $581 million, or $1.69 a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was $3.32. Revenue increased 8.7% to $13.98 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $13.63 billion. Same-facility equivalent admissions declined 6.5%, while same-facility revenue per equivalent admission increased 16.6%. Same-facility emergency room visits dropped 18.4% and same-facility inpatient surgeries were down 5.4%, while same-facility outpatient surgeries increased 2.3%. For 2021, the company raised its guidance ranges for EPS to $13.30 to $14.30 from $12.10 to $13.10 and for revenue to $54.0 billion to $55.5 billion from $53.5 billion to $55.5 billion. The stock, which closed at a record $197.53 on Wednesday, has rallied 18.3% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Tractor Supply shares jump after 'record performance' drives guidance increase
Tractor Supply Co. stock rose 6.7% in Thursday premarket trading after the rural lifestyle retailer reported a first-quarter earnings beat and raised its fiscal 2021 guidance. Net income totaled $181.4 million, or $1.55 per share, more than double the $83.8 million, or 71 cents per share, the company reported last year. Sales of $2.79 billion were up from $1.96 billion last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 98 cents and sales of $2.47 billion. Comparable sales were up 38.6%, also ahead of the FactSet consensus for 23.5% growth. And digital sales grew triple digits. Tractor Supply Chief Executive Hal Lawton called it a "record performance" and announced a rise in full-year guidance. Tractor Supply now expects 2021 EPS of $7.05 to $7.40, up from previous guidance for $6.50 to $6.90. And sales are now expected to be $11.4 billion to $11.7 billion, up from $10.7 billion to $11.0 billion previously. The FactSet consensus is for full-year EPS of $6.79 and sales of $10.9 billion. Tractor Supply stock has rallied 28.2% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 11.1% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

American Airlines reports wider-than-expected loss and revenue falls shy, but cash burn reduced again; stock jumps
Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. jumped 3.0% in premarket trading Thursday, after the air carrier reported a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss and revenue that fell shy, but showed continued improvement in cash burn. Net losses narrowed to $1.25 billion, or $1.97 a share, from $2.24 billion, or $5.26 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, such as $1.95 billion in special tax credits, the adjusted per-share loss was $4.32, missing the FactSet consensus of $4.30. Revenue dropped 52.9% to $4.01 billion, just below the FactSet consensus of $4.04 billion, as passenger revenue fell 58.6%. Load factor declined to 59.5% from 72.7%, missing expectations of 63.3%. Average daily cash burn was $27 million, including $4 million per day in March, compared average daily cash burn of $30 million in the fourth quarter and $44 million in the third quarter. "Looking forward, with the momentum underway from the first quarter, we see signs of continued recovery in demand," said Chief Executive Doug Parker. The stock has run up 33.2% year to date through Wednesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has climbed 14.5% and the S&P 500 has advanced 11.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Southwest Airlines stock rallies after narrower-than-expected loss, raised April outlook
Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. rallied 1.3% in premarket trading, after the air carrier reported a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss but revenue that fell just shy of forecasts, but increased its April outlook for revenue and load factor. The company swung to net income of $116 million, or 19 cents a share, from a loss of $94 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, such as benefits from federal payroll support, the adjusted per-share loss was $1.72, but that beat the FactSet loss consensus of $1.85. Total revenue fell 51.5% to $2.05 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $2.07 billion. Load factor fell to 64.3% from 67.7% but topped expectations of 59.6%. Average daily cash burn was $13 million, including average cash burn of $9 million per day in March. The company expects second-quarter average daily cash burn of $2 million to $4 million. For April, the company said it now expects revenue to be down 40% to 45% and load factor of 75% to 80%, compared with previous expectations for revenue to be down 45% to 55% and for load factor of 70% to 75%. The stock has run up 33.1% year to date through Wednesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has climbed 14.5% and the S&P 500 has advanced 11.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Alaska Air's stock climbs after narrower-than-expected loss, with cash flow turning positive in March
Shares of Alaska Air Group Inc. rallied 1.3% in premarket trading Thursday, after the air carrier reported a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss and revenue and load factor that topped forecasts, and said cash flow turned positive in March. The net loss narrowed to $131 million, or $1.05 a share, from $232 million, or $1.89 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, CARES payroll support and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, the adjusted per-share loss was $3.51, beating the FactSet loss consensus of $3.63. Total revenue fell 51% to $797 million but was above the FactSet consensus of $786.4 million. Load factor fell to 51.9% from 69.6%, but topped expectations of 48.6%, as traffic was down 49.4% while capacity declined 32.1%. The stock has run up 32.4% year to date through Wednesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has climbed 14.5% and the S&P 500 has advanced 11.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Dow's stock rises after profit and sales beats, as prices increased across all businesses
Shares of Dow Inc. rose 1.0% in premarket trading Thursday, after the materials science company reported first-quarter profit and sales that rose above expectations, helped by price gains across all operating segments. Net income increased to $1.01 billion, or $1.32 a share, from $258 million, or 32 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share rose to $1.36 from 59 cents, beating the FactSet consensus of $1.14. Sales grew 21.6% to $11.88 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $11.09 billion. Among Dow's business segments, packaging and specialty plastics sales rose 32.0% to $6.08 billion to beat the FactSet consensus of $5.37 billion; industrial intermediates and infrastructure sales increased 18% to $3.61 billion, above expectations of $3.49 billion; and performance materials and coatings sales were up 3% to $2.12 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $2.10 billion. Local price increased 19% from a year ago. "[D]espite supply constraints, we saw demand growth as the economic recovery continued to broaden, most notably in packaging, construction, mobility, electronics and consumer durables end-markets," said Chief Executive Jim Fitterling. The stock has rallied 16.8% year to date through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 11.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 22, 2021

Swiss regulator opens enforcement proceedings against Credit Suisse over Archegos
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said Thursday that it has "opened enforcement proceedings" against Credit Suisse , in connection with the bank's "significant losses" linked to U.S. hedge fund Archegos Capital Management. In a statement, FINMA said it will "investigate in particular possible shortcomings in risk management," appoint a third-party agent to investigate and continue to exchange information U.K. and U.S. authorities. FINMA said it has also opened proceedings against the bank over losses linked to collapsed supply-chain finance firm Greensill Capital. FINMA said in recent weeks it has ordered the bank to carry out various short-term measures, such as "organisational and risk-reducing measures and capital surcharges as well as reductions in or suspensions of variable remuneration components." The bank on Thursday reported its second straight quarterly loss of 252 million Swiss francs ($274 million), less than analysts expected, but said it expects a further 600 million Swiss franc loss from Archegos in the second quarter.

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Apr 21, 2021

: Intel avoids another payout in patent trials: report
Intel Corp. INTC was found by a federal jury to have not infringed patents once held by NXP Semiconductors NV NXPI, according to reports late Wednesday. A federal jury in Waco, Texas, ruled that Intel did not infringe two patents held by VLSI Technology LLC that make chips faster using less energy, Bloomberg News reported. That follows another Texas jury in March that ruled against Intel, ordering the chip maker to pay $2.18 billion to VLSI, over other patents. Shares of Intel were up 0.3% after hours, following a 1.6% gain in the regular session to close at $63.70.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

: Netgear stock slips following outlook
Netgear Inc. NTGR shares slipped in the extended session Wednesday after the network equipment and router company's outlook fell short of Wall Street estimates. Netgear shares fell 2% after hours, following a 0.7% rise in the regular session to close at $37.83. "While we expect supply constraints to ease, our second quarter net revenue is expected to be in the range of $305 million to $320 million," said Bryan Murray, Netgear's chief financial officer, in a statement. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated revenue of $325 million for the second quarter. The company reported first-quarter net income of $23 million, or 72 cents a share, compared with a loss of $4.2 million, or 14 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock-based compensation expenses and other items, were 99 cents a share, compared with 21 cents a share in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $317.9 million from $230 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had forecast 99 cents a share on revenue of $310.2 million.

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Apr 21, 2021

Equifax stock rallies after quarterly beat, raised guidance
Shares of Equifax Inc. rallied nearly 8% in the extended session Wednesday after the consumer credit reporting agency reported first-quarter earnings that were above forecast and its "highest ever" quarterly revenue. Equifax said it earned $201.6 million, or $1.64 a share, compared with $116.9 million, or 95 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2020. Sales rose 27% to $1.2 billion, a fifth straight quarter of double-digit revenue growth and a record for the company, Equifax said. Analysts polled by FactSet expected EPS of $1.34 a share on sales of $1.12 billion. Equifax also increased its full-year revenue and EPS guidance, saying it was "confident" in its outlook for 2021. It raised the full-year revenue guidance to between $4.58 billion and $4.68 billion, and its adjusted EPS guidance to between $6.75 and $7.05.

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Apr 21, 2021

Sleep Number misses Q1 sales on supply problem
Shares of Sleep Number Corp. fell in the extended session Wednesday after the retailer reported first-quarter earnings above Wall Street expectation and raised its guidance, but mentioned a supply snag that hit its sales in the quarter. Sleep Number said it earned $66.6 million, or $2.51 a share, in the quarter, compared with $39.1 million, or $1.36 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 20% to $568 million, and same-store sales rose 20%, Sleep Number said. More than $50 million worth of deliveries, or about two weeks, shifted out of the quarter due to "temporary" foam supply constraints, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet expected EPS of $1.83 on sales of $580 million. Sleep Number raised its full-year 2021 EPS outlook to at least $6.50, compared with a prior outlook of at least $6. The stock ended the regular trading session up 4.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Qualtrics reports record revenue, earnings beat
Shares of Qualtrics International Inc. were flat in extended trading Wednesday after the maker of employee-engagement and survey software disclosed fiscal first-quarter results. Qualtrics reported a net loss of $199.9 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $44.8 million, or 11 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. The company's adjusted net income was $5.3 million, or a penny a share. Revenue improved 36% to a record $238.6 million from $176.1 million a year ago. "It was a powerful start to our fiscal year," Qualtrics Chief Executive Zig Serafin told MarketWatch. "We have a 10-year start on this [cloud-based business analysis] market." He noted subscription revenue jumped 46% to $186.9 million from the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected an adjusted loss of 3 cents a share on revenue of $227.4 million. Qualtrics, which went public on Jan. 28, has seen its stock dip since then. The broader S&P 500 index has improved 11% so far this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

: Teradata stock surges more than 25% as sneak peek shows better-than-expected results
Teradata Corp. TDC shares soared in the extended session Wednesday after the cloud-based data analytics company said it expects its quarterly results to be much better than expected. Teradata shares jumped 29% after hours, following a 2.9% rise in the regular session to close at $39.88. The company expects to report adjusted earnings of 67 cents to 69 cents a share for the fiscal first quarter. Teradata said in a statement it expects revenue to be "comparable to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, rather than lower on a sequential basis but higher than the prior year period per the previous guidance." The company had reported fourth-quarter revenue of $491 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast 39 cents a share on revenue of $448.8 million, based on Teradata's forecast of 38 cents to 40 cents a share. Teradata is scheduled to report earnings on May 6.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Whirlpool stock rises after company beats Q1 views, raises guidance
Shares of Whirlpool Corp. rose more than 1% in the extended session Wednesday after the appliances maker reported first-quarter earnings that were above Wall Street expectations and raised its guidance. Whirlpool said it earned $433 million, or $6.81 a share, in the quarter, compared with $2.45 a share in the year-ago period. Sales rose to $5.36 billion, from $4.33 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the company to report GAAP earnings of $5.45 a share on sales of $4.82 billion. Whirlpool raised its guidance for full-year net sales growth to 13%, compared with growth around 6% in a previous estimate. It increased its EPS estimate for the year to between $23.10 and $24.10, from between $17.80 and $18.80. The company earlier this week raised the dividend to $1.40. Shares of Whirlpool ended the regular trading day down 0.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

U.S. stock market snaps 2-day skid and Dow regains perch at 34,000 as investors buy the dip
The main equity benchmarks in the U.S. rebounded Wednesday, halting two straight days of declines as investors dipped their toes into a market that had lost its mojo on the back of fears of a resurgence of COVID in parts of the world. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up over 300 points, or 0.9%, to around 34,138, the S&P 500 index closed up 0.9% at 4,173, while the Nasdaq Composite Index finished up 1.2% to reach 13,950. The gains were even more pronounced for small-capitalization stocks which have been beaten up over the course of the past several sessions. The Russell 2000 closed up by over 2%. All closing levels are on a preliminary basis. The gains for stocks came as a rise in bonds in the U.S. has paused, with the 10-year Treasury note yield hanging around 1.56%. In corporate news, media giant Netflix closed down 7.4%, after it reported subscriber growth for the first quarter was weaker than expected. However, the declines in Netflix were outweighed by gains in other parts of the popular technology sector, with a rise in shares of Amazon.com Inc. , Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. finished higher on the day.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

AutoZone pulls back from record after BofA analyst turns bearish, citing lack of DIFM exposure
Shares of AutoZone Inc. fell 1.2% in afternoon trading Wednesday, to pull back from the previous session's record close, after BofA Securities analyst Elizabeth Suzuki turned bearish, saying it's "time to hit the brakes" on the auto parts seller. Suzuki cut her rating to underperform from neutral, while maintaining her $1,390 stock price target, which is 7.1% below current levels. "Auto parts retail spending has been tracking above expectations as discussed in our recent report, but we believe that this is now more than priced in to [AutoZone] shares," Suzuki wrote in a note to clients. The stock, which closed Tuesday at a record $1,514.11, has rallied 26.2% year to date, while the SPDR Consumer Discretionary Select Sector ETF , of which AutoZone is a component, has gained 10.2% and the S&P 500 has advanced 10.8%. Suzuki added that AutoZone's customer mix is comprised of about 80% do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) and 20% do-it-for-me (DIFM) shops, "which also means that [AutoZone] has the lowest relative exposure to the now-recovering professional repair channel."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Netflix stock drops below the 200-DMA again, but that might not be such a bearish signal yet
Shares of Netflix Inc. sank 7.2% in afternoon trading Wednesday, putting them on track to close below the 200-day moving average (DMA), in the wake of the streaming video company's disappointing first-quarter results. Many on Wall Street see the 200-DMA as a dividing line between longer-term uptrends and downtrends, but closing below the line hasn't always marked a bearish turn. While the stock is headed for the third close below the 200-DMA in six weeks, it is still up 3.4% over that time. The stock's last foray below the 200-DMA was in March 2020, as the stock closed below the line in four times in a five-day stretch, but that marked the post-COVID-19-crisis low. The two times before that the stock dropped below the 200-DMA, in October 2018 and July 2019, led to significant declines. Once difference between the decline that was limited and those that were extended is that with the limited one, the 50-DMA stayed above the 200-DMA, while the 50-DMA crosses below the 200-DMA soon after the stock price did for the extended declines. Currently, the 50-DMA extends to $534.15, according to FactSet, well above the 200-DMA at $514.19. Netflix shares have lost 5.7% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Oil ends at lowest in a week as traders eye India's fuel demand, Iran nuclear deal developments
Oil futures ended at their lowest in about a week on Wednesday, with India's difficulty to contain the pandemic raising expectations for a slowdown in fuel demand. Traders also watched developments tied to discussions toward a nuclear deal with Iran. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter, that President Joe Biden's administration has signaled its openness to easing sanctions on parts of Iran's economy as negotiations for an agreement continue. June West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.32, or 2.1%, to settle at $61.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the lowest front-month contract finish since April 13, FactSet data show.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Caesars to invest $400 million in its Atlantic City casinos by 2023
Caesars Entertainment Inc. said Wednesday it plans spend $400 million by 2023 on its "master plan investment" in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where it owns the Caesars, Harrah's Resort and Tropicana Atlantic City casinos. The stock rose 2.9% in afternoon trading. The casino operator said its plans include remodeled room towers, new interior design elements, gaming floor enhancements and new dining concepts, and will focus on "revitalizing" the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The first phase of the plan will debut in Summer 2021, and will include $170 million in renovations to guestrooms and suites at Caesars and Harrah's. "These exciting plans over the next three years will revitalize Caesars' brand of hospitality, and will continue to position Harrah's, Tropicana, and Caesars Atlantic City as leading resorts in the market," said Chief Operating Officer Anthony Carano. "We remain bullish on Atlantic City, and this commitment will further position us for long-term growth and success." The stock has rallied 24.5% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Gold futures settle at a 2-month high
Gold futures notched a back-to-back gain on Wednesday to mark their highest settlement in about two months. "A growing sense of unease over the surging COVID-19 cases in Asia has hit risk sentiment and left investors on edge," said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM. "With concerns likely to rise over how this may impact the world's economic rebound from COVID-19, gold has the potential to push higher as risk-off makes a return." June gold rose $14.70, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,793.10 an ounce. Prices based on the most-active contract finished at their highest since Feb. 24, FactSet data show.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Dish stock rallies after 5G deal with Amazon's AWS
Amazon.com Inc. and Dish Network Corp. struck a deal that will make Amazon's AWS Dish's preferred cloud provider. Dish plans to build its 5G network on AWS through this new agreement. A press release from Amazon announcing the partnership said that Dish will be the first to run a 5G network in the cloud, allowing Dish to "achieve agile and cost-effective operations while seeking to redefine the practical applications of 5G." Dish plans to deploy its network first in Las Vegas later this year. Dish has set out to build a wireless business after acquiring several brands that Sprint and T-Mobile US Inc. had to divest to secure government approval for their merger, which closed last year. Shares of Dish are up 8.9% in midday trading Wednesday while shares of Amazon are up 0.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Skywater Technology's stock opened 11% above IPO price, then extended gains
SkyWater Technology Inc. received a nice reception on Wall Street, as the Minnesota-based semiconductor manufacturing services company's stock opened 10.7% above the initial public offering price, then added to gains. The company said overnight that it's IPO, which was upsized to 6.96 million shares from 5.8 million shares, priced at $14 a share, at the top of the expected range, as $97.44 million was raised. At the IPO price, the company was valued at $515.98 million. The stock's first trade on the Nasdaq was at $15.50 at 10:56 a.m. Eastern for 468,025 shares. It was recently trading up 14.1% at $15.98. Jefferies, Cowen and Piper Sandler were the underwriters of the IPO. The company recorded a net loss of $20.6 million, or sales of $140.4 million, for the year ended Jan. 3, after a loss of $16.4 million on revenue of $136.7 million, the previous year. The company went public on a day that the Renaissance IPO ETF was rallying 1.0% and the S&P 500 was rising 0.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

DoubleVerify's stock opens 30% above IPO price, valuing company at more than $5 billion
DoubleVerify Holdings Inc.'s public debuted received cheers from investors, as the New York-based digital media measurement software company's stock opened 29.6% above its initial public offering price. The company said late Tuesday that its IPO priced at $27.00 a share, at the top of the expected range, as it raised $232.9 million and selling shareholders raised $127.1 million. The stock's first trade was at $35.00 at 11:02 a.m. Eastern for 1.8 million shares. At that price, the company was valued at about $5.44 billion. The stock has pared some gains since the open, to trade up 26.6% at $34.17. The company went public at a time of recent tempered investor enthusiasm for IPOs, as the Renaissance IPO ETF hsa dropped 10.5% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 7.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

EIA data show that U.S. crude supplies edged higher last week
The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories rose by 600,000 barrels for the week ended April 16. On average, analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast a decline of 4.4 million barrels for crude stocks, while the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a 436,000-barrel climb, according to sources. The EIA data also showed crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub declined by 1.3 million barrels for the week. The EIA reported that gasoline supply was up by 100,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell by 1.1 million barrels for the week. The S&P Global Platts survey had forecast a supply climb of 800,000 barrels for gasoline, but distillate inventories were expected to fall by 1.3 million barrels. Oil prices pared some of their early losses after the supply data, with June West Texas Intermediate crude was down 57 cents, or 0.9%, at $62.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were trading at $61.79 before the supply data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

FDA inspection of Emergent's COVID-19 vaccine plant identifies 'potential quality issues'
Shares of Emergent BioSolutions Inc. were up 1.3% in trading on Wednesday after the Food and Drug Administration said it inspected a plant in Baltimore that had been scheduled to begin producing Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine after reports emerged of cross-contamination in vaccine production there. J&J confirmed several weeks ago that quality standards had not been met at the Emergent facility. The FDA said that none of the vaccines produced at the facility in question have been distributed, and Emergent is working to address the regulator's concerns. "At the agency's request, Emergent BioSolutions has agreed to pause new production while it works with the FDA to resolve potential quality issues," the FDA said in a statement. The agency's so-called form 483 identified a number of problems at the plant, including a lack of "thorough review" of how workers move throughout the facility and poor decontamination practices. Emergent is the U.S. manufacturing partner for the J&J shot in the U.S. Emergent's stock is down 25.8% for the year, while the broader S&P 500 has gained 10.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

DoubleVerify stock set to debut on the NYSE after IPO prices at the top of the expected range
DoubleVerify Holdings Inc. is set to go public Wednesday, as the New York-based digital media measurement software company's initial public offering of 13.33 million shares priced at $27 a share, at the top of the expected range. The company sold about 8.63 million shares in the IPO to raise $232.9 million, while selling shareholders sold about 4.71 million shares to raise $127.1 million. The IPO pricing valued the company at about $4.20 billion. The stock is expected to start trading later Wednesday on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "DV." The stock is going public on a day that both the Renaissance IPO ETF and the S&P 500 edged up 0.2%. An early indication on the NYSE is that the stock will open at $31 to $33 a share, or 14.8% to 22.2% above the IPO price.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Stocks edge lower as investors contend with coronavirus worries
U.S. stocks ticked lower to start Wednesday's session as investors fretted over the rise of COVID-19 cases across the world. The S&P 500 fell 0.2% to 4,128. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.1% to 33,794. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.4% to 13,737. All three major indexes were on course for modest losses this week. India and Japan were seeing an intensification of the pandemic, with Japanese officials considering a state of emergency for major cities Osaka and Tokyo. Shares of Netflix fell 8% after the streaming giant reported a sharp fall in new subscriber growth.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Affirm to purchase Returnly in $300 million deal
Affirm Holdings Inc. plans to acquire Returnly, the company announced Wednesday. The deal has a total cash and equity consideration of $300 million. Returnly makes it easier for merchants to process returns by offering instant store credit even before an item is returned to the merchant. Returnly's offering enables consumers to use their store credit to get replacement items before their return is fully processed. In doing so, Returnly "takes the product return risk and settles orders in real time," Affirm said in a press release. "Store credit, issued before the item is actually returned, is now a practical requirement in highly competitive segments like fashion and lifestyle," Affirm Chief Executive Max Levchin said in the release. Affirm plans to introduce Returnly customers to its buy-now-pay-later offering as well. The company expects the deal to close this quarter and doesn't anticipate that the acquisition will have a material impact on its financial results for the second half of its fiscal year, which ends in June.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Knight-Swift's stock jumps into record territory after profit beat, raised guidance
Shares of Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. were driven up 3.3% into record territory in premarket trading Wednesday, after the trucking company reported first-quarter profit that rose above expectations and raised its full-year outlook, while revenue grew in line with forecasts. Net income nearly doubled to $129.8 million, or 77 cents a share, from $65.4 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share grew to 83 cents from 44 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 70 cents. Revenue rose 8.7% to $1.22 billion, matching the FactSet consensus, while revenue excluding trucking fuel surcharges grew 10.3% to $1.13 billion. Trucking segment revenue rose 6.3% to $872.8 million, with revenue per tractor increasing 7.7%, while logistics revenue jumped 50.8% to $115.7 million and intermodal revenue grew 13.1% to $107.0 million. The company raised its 2021 adjusted EPS guidance range to $3.45 to $3.60 from $3.20 to $3.40. The stock has rallied 17.8% year to date through Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has climbed 19.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 10.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Chevron, Toyota to collaborate on developing hydrogen businesses
Chevron Corp. subsidiary Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and Toyota Motor Corp.'s Toyota Motor North America Inc. announced Wednesday an alliance to develop commercially viable, large-scale hydrogen businesses. The oil and auto giants will work to advance a global hydrogen economy through strategic priorities including collaborating on public policy measures that support hydrogen infrastructure, exploring supply opportunities from current and future demand for fuel cell electric vehicles and exploring ways to pursue research and development in hydrogen powered transportation and storage. "Working towards a strategic alliance on hydrogen presents an opportunity to build a large-scale business in a low-carbon area that is complementary to our current offerings," said Andy Walz, president of Chevron's Americas Fuels and Lubricants. Chevron's stock has rallied 24.1% over the past 12 months and Toyota shares have climbed 27.7%, while the S&P 500 has gained 51.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Vertex to study experimental gene-editing therapy as treatment for sickle cell, beta-thalassemia
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday it plans to pay $1.1 billion to Crispr Therapeutics AG as part of a deal to test an experimental gene-editing therapy for sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia. The companies previously set up a development deal in 2015; as part of the amended one, which was announced Tuesday, Vertex will pay the Swiss genome-editing company a new $900 million upfront payment, with an additional $200 million available for meeting regulatory milestones, to test the investigational therapy for the blood disorders. In exchange, Vertex will provide 60% of costs and get 60% of profits from future sales if the therapy is approved and commercialized. Since the start of the year, Vertex's stock is down 6.8%, shares of Crispr Therapeutics have dropped 20.5%, and the S&P 500 is up 10.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Wayfair to add 1,000 workers to its global engineering team
Wayfair Inc. said Wednesday that it will open three engineering sites in San Francisco, Austin, TX and Toronto, and add 1,000 tech workers to its global tech team in the next year. The new additions will expand the online home retailer's engineering operations beyond the hubs in Boston and Berlin. Roles will include software engineers, infrastructure engineers and product managers. Wayfair currently employs 3,000 engineers and data scientists. The company has been a beneficiary of the accelerated consumer shift to online shopping over the past year, as well as consumer spending on items for the home during COVID-19. Wayfair stock has gained 39.1% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 10.1% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Canopy Growth to partner with Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits to distribute CBD-infused drinks
Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp. said Wednesday it has entered an an agreement with Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits to distribute its U.S. portfolio of CBD-infused beverages. Canopy recently launched the first drink in that portfolio, called Quatreau. Southern Glazer will start by distributing Quatreau in seven states and will add additional states in the coming months. The company will leverage its e-commerce platform at sgproof.com. Quatreau sparkling water contains 20 mg of U.S. grown hemp-based CBD, and comes in four flavors: Cucumber Mint, Passion Fruit Guava, Blueberry Acai, and Ginger Lime. Canopy shares were up 0.7% premarket and have gained 3.7% in the year through Tuesday's close, while the Cannabis ETF has gained 34% and the S&P 500 has gained 10%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Halliburton's stock rallies after swinging to profit that beat expectations, amid 'healthy' recovery in North America
Shares of Halliburton Co. surged 2.3% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the oil services company swung to a first-quarter profit that beat expectations and revenue that topped forecasts. Net income was $170 million, or 19 cents a share, after a loss of $1.02 billion, or $1.16 a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 17 cents. Total revenue dropped 31.5% to $3.45 billion, but beat the FactSet consensus of $3.36 billion. Completion and Production revenue fell 37% to $1.87 billion, missing the FactSet consensus of $1.90 billion, and drilling and evaluation revenue declined 24% to $1.58 billion but beat expectations of $1.46 billion. "The first quarter marked an activity inflection for the international markets, while North America continued to stage a healthy recovery," said Chief Executive Jeff Miller. "I expect international activity growth to accelerate, and the early positive momentum in North America gives me confidence in the activity cadence for the rest of the year." Halliburton's stock has gained 4.8% year to date through Tuesday, while the VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF has rallied 13.2% and the S&P 500 has advanced 10.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Maxiumus to acquire parent of Veterans Evaluation Services for $1.4 billion
Maximus Inc. , a provider of government services, said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire the parent company of Veterans Evaluation Services Inc. for $1.4 billion. The privately held VES serves the U.S. federal government as a provider of Medical Disability Examinations to determine Veterans' eligibility for compensation and pension benefits. The deal is expected to close in Maximus' fiscal third quarter. The deal "furthers a core element of Maximus' long-term corporate strategy to increase revenue attributable to providing independent and conflict free clinical business process outsourcing (BPO) services at scale," Maximus said in a statement. The company posted revenue of $535 million from assessments and appeals, equal to 15% of total revenue, in fiscal 2020. It expects to boost that share to about 25% with the VES deal. VES is expected to generate revenue of $160 million to $175 million in the last four months of fiscal 2021, equal to an annual run rate of $480 million to $525 million. Maximus shares were not active premarket, but have gained 29.7% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Baker Hughes tops profit expectations but falls shy on revenue, amid weakness in oilfield services and equipment
Baker Hughes Co. reported Wednesday a first-quarter loss but an adjusted profit that beat expectations, while revenue fell just shy of forecasts as oilfield services and equipment revenue dropped 30%. The net loss narrowed to $452 million, or 61 cents a share, from $10.23 billion, or $15.66 a share, in the same period a year ago, which included asset impairment and restructuring charges. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share rose to 12 cents from 11 cents, topping the FactSet consensus of 11 cents. Revenue fell 12% to $4.78 billion, just below the FactSet consensus of $4.80 billion. Oilfield services revenue dropped 30% to $2.20 billion to miss the FactSet consensus of $2.26 billion, and oilfield equipment revenue surprisingly declined 30% to $345 million compared with expectations for a rise to $658.7 million. Free cash flow improved to $498 million from $152 million. ""As we look ahead to the rest of 2021, we remain cautiously optimistic that the global economy and oil demand will recover from the impact of the global pandemic," said Chief Executive Lorenzo Simonelli. "We expect spending and activity levels to gain momentum through the year as the macro environment improves, likely setting up the industry for stronger growth in 2022." The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trading, has lost 6.4% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Middleby to acquire Welbilt in all-stock deal valued at $4.3 billion
Middleby Corp. said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire Welbilt Inc. in an all-stock deal with an enterprise value of $4.3 billion, that will create a leading food equipment company with a commercial foodservice portfolio. Under the terms of the deal, Welbilt shareholders will receive 0.1240 shares of Middleby common stock for each share owned. Based on Middleby's volume-weighted average price (VWAP) during the 30 consecutive trading days ending April 20, the deal offers a 28% premium over Welbilt's 30-day VWAP. Once the deal closes, Middleby shareholders will own about 76% of the combined entity, with Welbilt shareholders owning the remaining 24%. Welbilt's biggest shareholder, Carl Icahn, is supportive of the deal, the companies said in a joint statement. The deal is expected to close in late 2021. The combined company will have about $3.7 billion in combined 2020 sales and the deal is expected to be immediately accretive to Middleby's adjusted per-share earnings, and 10% accretive in the second year after closing. The deal "strengthens customer value proposition across hot-side, cold-side, beverage, technology and aftermarket support services across the globe," said the statement. Welbilt shares rose 12.9% premarket, while Middleby shares were down 4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 143 million and India counts more than 200,000 new cases for 7th day
The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness rose above 143 million on Wednesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, as the death toll climbed above 3.04 million, after breaching the 3 million mark on Saturday. The U.S. leads the world in cases and deaths by wide margins, with 31.8 million cases, or more than 20% of the global total, while the 568,475 death toll makes up about 20% of the global toll. The U.S. added at least 64,530 new cases and 729 new deaths on Tuesday, according to a New York Times tracker. Outside of the U.S., India has the second highest number of cases at 15.6 million, and is fourth globally by deaths at 182,553, although those numbers are likely understated. India reported a record number of cases again on Wednesday, counting more than 200,000 for a seventh straight day. The country's hospitals are reported to be filling rapidly, it is running out of ICU beds and running low on oxygen. Brazil is third by cases at 14 million and second with a death toll of 378,003. Mexico is third by deaths at 213,048 and 14th highest by cases at 2.3 million. The U.K. has 4.4 million cases and 127,557 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Anthem's stock set to rise after profit beat and upbeat outlook, although revenue missed
Shares of Anthem Inc. were indicated up about 2% in premarke trading Wednesday, after the health benefits company reported first-quarter profit that beat expectations and provided an upbeat full-year outlook, but revenue that missed expectations as premiums rose less than forecast. TNet income rose to $1.67 billion, or $6.71 a share, from $1.52 billion, or $1.52 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, such as net negative adjustments, adjusted earnings per share came to $7.01, above the FactSet consensus of $6.38. Total revenue grew 9.3% to $32.39 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $32.97 billion, as premiums increased 8.5% to $27.68 billion but missed expectations of $28.10 billion. For 2021, the company expects adjusted EPS "greater than" $25.10, compared with the FactSet consensus of $24.70. Medical enrollment rose 3.3% to a total of 43.5 million, reflecting growth in its Medicaid and Medicare businesses. The company said it expects the "positive momentum" in the first quarter to persist through the rest of the year. The stock has run up 18.9% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 21, 2021

Juventus shares slump 10% after Super League plans collapse
Shares of European football clubs were under pressure on Wednesday after hotly contested plans for an elite Super League fell apart. Facing backlash from supporters and warnings from the U.K. government, six English clubs abandoned the plan, leaving only Spanish and Italian clubs. Shares of Juventus Football Club [it:juve] slid 10% in Milan, while those for Manchester United dropped 6% in New York on Tuesday. Shares of Borussia Dortmund , which isn't part of the league as yet, slipped 2%. In a statement the Super League said the project would be reshaped.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

API reports a weekly climb of less than 1 million barrels in U.S. crude supplies, sources say
The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies rose by 436,000 barrels for the week ended April 16, according to sources. The data also reportedly showed gasoline stockpiles fell by 1.6 million barrels, while distillate inventories edged up by 655,000 barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub, meanwhile, were down by 1.3 million barrels for the week, sources said. Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday. On average, the EIA is expected to show crude inventories down by 4.4 million barrels, according to survey of analysts conducted by S&P Global Platts. It also forecast an inventory climb of 800,000 barrels for gasoline and supply decrease of 1.3 million barrels for distillates. June West Texas Intermediate crude was at $62.35 barrel in electronic trading, compared with Tuesday's settlement for the new front-month contract at $62.67 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

: Intuitive Surgical stock rises on earnings beat
Intuitive Surgical Inc. ISRG shares rose in the extended session Tuesday after the surgical-robotics equipment company's quarterly results topped Wall Street estimates. Intuitive Surgical shares rose 3.4% after hours, following a 0.1% decline in the regular session to close at $811.11. The company reported first-quarter net income of $426.3 million, or $3.51 a share, compared with $313.5 million, or $2.62 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock-based compensation expenses and other items, were $3.52 a share, compared with $2.70 a share in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $1.29 billion from $1.1 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast $2.64 a share on revenue of $1.11 billion. "We are pleased with this quarter's performance," said Intuitive CEO Gary Guthart in a statement. "Our performance reflects customers choosing Intuitive as COVID eases."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Stocks tumble as case counts jump
U.S. stocks closed sharply lower as strong corporate earnings weren't enough to offset surging coronavirus cases around the world. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 257 points, 0.8%, to close near 33,821, while the S&P 500 slipped 28 points, 0.7%, and ended near 4,135, according to preliminary estimates. The Nasdaq Composite tumbled 129 points or 0.9% and closed at about 13,786. Analysts said stocks may have been consolidating after hitting fresh highs last week. Procter & Gamble Co. shares ticked up after the consumer staples maker reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat estimates and said it would be raising prices on some products. India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, said he would address the nation tonight, as COVID-19 cases topped 15 million.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Chauvin verdict expected as soon as 4:30 p.m. Eastern
The jury has reached a verdict at former police officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial in George Floyd's death. Reports said the verdict could be announced as early as 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. Earlier Tuesday, President Joe Biden said he hoped the verdict was "the right verdict" and called the case "overwhelming." Click for live video stream from Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Oil futures finish with a loss on record India COVID-19 infections, news on anti-OPEC bill
Oil futures finished lower on Tuesday, as India's struggle to curb COVID-19 infections raised concerns about the nation's economy and demand for oil. Prices also declined following news that the U.S. House Judiciary Committee cleared a bill that would leave the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries open to antitrust lawsuits over production cuts. "That would make it illegal for any foreign state to act collectively to limit oil production or set prices, said Justin McQueen, analyst at DailyFX. The bill has a long way to go before it potentially becomes a bill signed into law, and Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group said he doubts it will have any real impact in the short run. May West Texas Intermediate crude , which expired at the end of the session fell 94 cents, or 1.5%, to finish at $62.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. June WTI crude , which is now the front month, declined by 76 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $62.67.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Infobird's stock takes flight on its public debut, to trade more than double the IPO price
Infobird Co. Ltd. flew out of the gate Tuesday, as the China-based provider of artificial intelligence-powered customer engagement software's shares were trading more than double the initial public offering price. The stock was the biggest gainer trading on major U.S. exchanges. The company said late Monday that it sold 6.25 million shares in the IPO, which priced at $4 a share, to raise $25 million. At the pricing, the company was valued at $101.0 million. Westpark Capital and GF Securities were the underwriters. Infobird's first trade Tuesday on the Nasdaq was at $7.00 at 2:05 p.m. Eastern for 472,040 shares, or 75% above the IPO price. It has continued to rise since the open, and was recently up 113.8% at $8.55. The company reported net earnings of $1.6 million on revenue of $6.2 million for the six months ended June 2020, after net income of $2.0 million on revenue of $9.4 million in the same period of 2019. The company went public on a day that the Renaissance IPO ETF fell 2.5% and the S&P 500 declined 0.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Discord ends talks with potential buyers, including Microsoft
Videogame-focused chat startup Discord Inc. has ended talks with potential buyers, including Microsoft Corp. , and has instead resumed its interest in an eventual initial public offering, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. The report, which cited people familiar with the matter, comes a month after Bloomberg reported that Microsoft was in discussion to buy Discord in a deal valuing the startup at more than $10 billion. On Tuesday, the WSJ report said Discord had fielded interest from at least three companies about a buyout deal, but as Discord has been performing well it preferred to stay independent, at this time. Microsoft's stock slipped 0.2% in afternoon trading, erasing an earlier intraday gain of as much as 0.6%. It has climbed 16.2% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 10.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Gold futures settle higher, buoyed by weakness in Treasury yields
Gold futures settled higher on Tuesday, buoyed by weakness in Treasury yields. Gold prices have climbed since marking a double-bottom on March 30th, said Adam Koos, president of Libertas Wealth Management Group, referring to a chart pattern that signals a potential bullish reversal in prices. He attributed gold's rise since late March to a decline in the U.S. dollar over the same period, as well as a retreat in interest rates that had become "extremely overbought" and a "long-in-the-tooth" U.S. stock market, which is "ripe for a pullback." June gold rose $7.80, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,778.40 an ounce. Prices, however, failed to recoup all of the 0.5% loss from the previous session.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Dave & Buster's says nearly all locations have reopened, raises guidance
Dave & Buster's Entertainment Inc. says 98% of its locations, including 11 in New York and 15 in California, reopened as of April 18. The information was included in a business update covering the first 11 weeks of the first quarter. Dave & Buster's says comparable store sales were down 38% compared with 2019, and sales have reached about $228 million with two weeks left in the quarter. As a result, the company has raised its first-quarter sales guidance to between $252 million and $257 million from $210 million to $220 million. The FactSet consensus is for sales of $227.6 million. "We have been very pleased with our recently reopened stores in New York and California, which have produced some of our strongest early sales recoveries to date," said Brian Jenkins, chief executive of Dave & Buster's, in a statement. "Their performance, in tandem with economic stimulus, expanding vaccines and a favorable Easter and spring break shift, has accelerated sales recovery trends across our entire store base." The company expects to report its quarterly results in June. Shares have slipped about 1% in Tuesday trading, but have rallied more than 41% for the year to date. The benchmark S&P 500 index is up 9.8% for 2021 so far. Truist Securities says sales are recovering faster than expected, but analysts question what impact stimulus funds had. Truist rates Dave & Buster's stock hold with a $42 price target. See: Dave & Buster's rang up less than one-third the revenue in 2020 compared with prior year

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

J&J to resume COVID-19 vaccine shipments to EU, with a warning 'very rare' adverse events
Shares of Johnson & Johnson jumped 2.6% toward a 12-week high in midday trading Tuesday, after the drug maker said it will resume shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine in Europe, after the European Medicines Agency said a warning about potential rare blood clots should be added. J&J said it will update its COVID-19 vaccine summary of product characteristics to include information on "the diagnosis and management of this very rare adverse event," after which shipment of the vaccine will resume to the European Union, Norway and Iceland. "We appreciate the rigorous review of the PRAC [EMA's Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee] and share the goal of raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of this very rare event to ensure the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment," said J&J Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels. "We strongly believe in the positive benefits of our single-shot, easily transportable COVID-19 vaccine to help protect the health of people everywhere and reach communities in need globally." J&J's stock, which is on track for the highest close since Jan. 28, has rallied 10.1% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 10.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Biden: 'Evidence is overwhelming' in Chauvin trial
President Joe Biden on Tuesday addressed the murder case against former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, confirming that he called Floyd's family after the jury was sequestered. "I'm praying the verdict is the right verdict. The evidence is overwhelming in my view," Biden told reporters, adding that he "wouldn't say that unless the jury was sequestered." The president also said he can "only imagine the pressure and the anxiety" that Floyd's family is feeling. "They're a good family and they're calling for peace and tranquility no matter what the verdict is," Biden added.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Biden suggests evidence 'overwhelming' in Chauvin trial
President Joe Biden on Tuesday addressed the murder case against former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, confirming that he called Floyd's family after the jury was sequestered. "I'm praying the verdict is the right verdict. Which is - I think it's overwhelming in my view," Biden told reporters, apparently referring to the evidence in the trial. He added that he "wouldn't say that unless the jury was sequestered." The president also said he can "only imagine the pressure and the anxiety" that Floyd's family is feeling. "They're a good family and they're calling for peace and tranquility no matter what the verdict is," Biden added. Update: This short story has been edited to reflect updated quotes from Biden in pool reports.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Lululemon launches resale program, limited-edition collection made with eco-friendly dyes
Lululemon Athletica Inc. has unveiled a couple of initiatives tied to the company's Impact Agenda, which includes efforts in pursuit of environmental sustainability. Like New is Lululemon's first resale program, which is launching in California and Texas as a pilot program in May. Through a partnership with resale channel developer Trove, Lululemon will accept used items for online re-commerce starting in June, with proceeds going towards further environmental programs. Items not accepted for sale will be recycled. Lululemon has also launched a limited-edition Earth Dye collection, with items made using dyes produced from the waste of oranges, beets and saw palmetto trees. Available May 11, the tie-dye production process makes each item in the collection unique. Lululemon stock has fallen nearly 9% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained nearly 10% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Indian ETFs fall as COVID-19 cases top 15 million, Modi set to address nation
Exchange-traded funds exposed to Indian assets slumped Tuesday, extending their declines, as the country succumbed to a surge in coronavirus cases and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would address the nation tonight. The Invesco India ETF was down 2.5% midday and 7.5% for the month, and the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund lost 1.7%, and is down 6.9% for the month. The largest India fund, the iShares MSCI India ETF also lost 1.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Oil futures trade near session lows on growing concerns over India's daily record COVID-19 cases
Oil futures dropped in Tuesday dealings to trade near session lows as India's record daily COVID-19 cases raised concerns over the nation's economy, and demand for oil. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi was holding an address to the nation Tuesday evening local time. That raised concern that "there will be more lockdowns in India," said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group. The May West Texas Intermediate crude contract , which expires at the end of the session, fell $1.61, or 2.5%, to $61.77 a barrel on the New York mercantile Exchange, after trading as low as $61.50. June Brent crude lost $1.21, or 1.8%, at $65.84 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get blood-clot warning, European agency says
The European Medicines Agency said its safety committee concluded that a warning about unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be added to the product information for Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine, which it said had benefits that outweighed the risk of "very rare" side effects. All eight of the U.S. cases, after more than 7 million vaccinations, occurred in people under 60 years of age within three weeks after vaccination, and mostly in women. The cases reviewed were very similar to the cases that occurred with the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca , the EMA said. The rollout of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine in Europe was paused by the company.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Clean Energy Fuels stock tumbles after analyst turns bearish, citing lack of 'substance' in Amazon supply deal
Shares of Clean Energy Fuels Corp. tumbled 9.6% in morning trading Tuesday, more than erasing the previous session's rally, after Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov turned bearish on the provider of environmentally friendly fuel for the transportation industry, saying investors have gotten "carried away by headlines over substance." Molchanov downgraded the stock to underperform, after being at market perform for the past 14 months. On Monday, the stock soared as much as 26.6% intraday before pulling back to close up just 6.3%, after the company announced a fuel supply agreement with Amazon.com Inc. , and said it issued Amazon warrants to by up to 53.1 million shares of common stock, which would represent about 27% of the shares outstanding. Molchanov said the stock's gain on the news reflected "sentiment-driven multiple expansion with minimal read-through for profitability." He noted that the supply agreement was for only 46 of Clean Energy's 565 stations. "A non-exclusive supply deal pertains to 8% of Clean Energy's stations -- is that worth 27% dilution?" Molchanov wrote in a note to clients. The stock has rallied 36.2% year to date, while the Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF has dropped 17.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 10.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Stocks open lower for a second day despite strong earnings
U.S. stocks started Tuesday's session on the back foot after retreating from fresh records Monday, even as quarterly corporate results continued to come in strong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 120 points, 0.4%, to open near 33,597, while the S&P 500 lost 11 points, 0.3%, and started trading near 4,153. The Nasdaq Composite shed 11 points,0.1%, and traded near 13,904. Stock-market bellwethers like International Business Machines Corp. and Johnson & Johnson both beat analyst expectations. IBM shares were nearly 3% higher after the bell, while Johnson & Johnson share dipped.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Boeing raises standard retirement age for CEO Calhoun to 70; CFO Smith to retire
Boeing Co. said Tuesday it has raised its "age-65 standard retirement" for Chief Executive David Calhoun to age 70. Calhoun, who is 64, has been the aerospace and defense giant's CEO since January 2020. The mandatory retirement for Calhoun is now extended to April 1, 2028, but the company said there is no fixed term associated with Calhoun's employment. Separately, Boeing said Chief Financial Officer Gregory Smith has decided to retire, effective July 9, after more than 30 years with the company. Boeing is searching for Smith's successor. Boeing's stock, which fell 1.0% in premarket trading, has rallied 14.1% year to date through Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Kohl's adding Tommy Hilfiger men's clothing to the merchandise lineup
Kohl's Corp. said Tuesday that Tommy Hilfiger men's sportwear is coming to more than 600 stores, with an "elevated in-store experience" in nearly 100 stores. An expanded selection will be heading to the Kohl's website starting fall 2021. Kohl's has been transforming its merchandise lineup over recent months, with other brands like Cole Haan added to the lineup and Sephora shops on the way. Kohl's stock has soared 46% for the year to date. Tommy Hilfiger is part of the PVH Corp. portfolio. Shares of PVH are up 10.7% for 2021 so far. And the benchmark S&P 500 index is up 10.8% for 2021 to date.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

William Morris parent Endeavor to offer 23.1 million shares in IPO, priced at $23 to $24 each
Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. , the Los Angeles-based entertainment powerhouse and owner of the William Morris Agency, sports and modeling agency IMG and mixed-martial-arts outfit UFC, set terms for its initial public offering on Tuesday with plans to offer 21.3 million shares, priced at $23 to $24 each. The company has applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "EDR." There are 21 banks underwriting the deal, led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank. Proceeds of the deal will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes. A previous effort to complete an initial public offering was canceled in October of 2019, following pushback from investors who were put off by its complicated finances at a time when other deals were flopping.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Plant-based meat alternative brand Incogmeato launches Chik'n Tenders
Incogmeato, the plant-based meat alternative brand from Morningstar Farms, is launching Chik'n Tenders this month, the latest addition to the plant-based food market. Available in original and sweet BBQ flavors, the Chik'n Tenders have more protein per serving and 27% less fat than real chicken, according to the announcement. Chik'n Tenders will be available at retailers including Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co. . Other Incogmeato items include burger patties and Italian sausage. Incogmeato and Morningstar Farms are part of the Kellogg Co. portfolio. Kellogg stock is up 2.4% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained 10.8% for the period. Read also: Impossible Foods prepping for $10 billion IPO: report

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

GrowGeneration shares up 2.9% premarket after it backs 2021 revenue guidance
GrowGeneration Corp.'s shares rose 2.9% premarket Tuesday, after the company reiterated guidance for 2021 of revenue of $415 to $430 million. The Denver, Colo.-based company made the move as it announced the acquisition of Downriver Hydroponics, a Michigan-based indoor garden supply center in Wayne County. Downriver Hydro was founded in 2011 and is the area's biggest hydroponics store, with annual revenues of almost $10 million. GrowGeneration said its portfolio of hydroponic garden centers now includes 53 stores across 12 states, with seven locations in Michigan. "Michigan's cannabis market is expected to generate $3 billion in revenue over the next three years, making it an ideal place for further investment and expansion," said Darren Lampert, GrowGen's CEO, in a statement. The company is expecting to have 60 garden center locations in 15 states by the end of 2021. Shares have gained 13% in the year to date, while the Cannabis ETF has gained 41% and the S&P 500 has gained 10.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Abbott's stock drops 3%, though earnings more than tripled for the medical test company in the first quarter
Shares of Abbott Laboratories were down 3.2% in premarket trading on Tuesday after the company beat earnings expectations during a quarter in which sales of its COVID-19 tests made up 20% of total revenue. Abbott had earnings of $1.8 billion, or $1.00 per share, in the first quarter of 2021, compared with $544 million, or 30 cents, in the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.32, against a FactSet consensus of $1.27. The company had sales of $10.4 billion for the quarter, up from $7.7 billion in the first quarter of 2020, against a FactSet consensus of $10.7 billion. This was driven in large part by $2.2 billion in sales of its COVID-19 tests, including $1.8 billion that came in from the company's rapid-testing platforms. Abbott said it anticipates adjusted EPS of $5.00 for 2021; the FactSet consensus is $5.06. Abbott's stock has gained 27.1% over the last year, while the broader S&P 500 is up 44.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

AutoNation adjusted earnings reach a record
AutoNation Inc. shares rose 3.3% in Tuesday premarket trading after reporting record adjusted earnings in the first quarter following a loss in the same period in 2020. Net income totaled $239.4 million, or $2.85 per share, after a loss of $232.3 million, or $2.58 per share, last year. Results include gains of 7 cents per share from the sale of AutoNation's remaining stake in Vroom. Adjusted EPS reached a record $2.79, up 207% from 91 cents last year and well ahead of the FactSet consensus for $1.88. Revenue of $5.90 billion was up from $4.67 billion last year and also ahead of the FactSet consensus for $5.04 billion. Same-store revenue rose 27%, with new vehicle same-store sales up 22% and used vehicle same-store sales up 28%. The FactSet consensus was for 10% growth overall. AutoNation has signed a deal with Peacock Automotive Group to acquire 11 stores and one collision center in Hilton Head and Columbia, SC, and Savannah, GA. AutoNation has set a goal of 1 million new and pre-owned vehicles annually. The latest acquisition will bring AutoNation's total footprint in the U.S. to 325 locations. AutoNation stock has gained 39.8% for the year to date, outpacing the S&P 500 index , which is up 10.8% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

UPDATE: Cannabis stocks rally premarket after House passes SAFE Banking Act
Cannabis stocks rallied across the board in premarket trade Tuesday, with the Cannabis ETF up 4.6%, after theHouse voted 321 to 101 in favor of a bill that would protect banks that do business with companies in states that have legalized the plant for medicinal or recreational purposes from federal enforcement action. The so-called SAFE Banking Act -- SAFE stands for Secure and Fair Enforcement -- aims to open up the federally insured banking system to cannabis companies, that have been starved of capital and forced to do much of their business in cash. The bill would exempt cannabis business transactions from being considered proceeds from illegal activity and subject to anti-money-laundering laws. It would also prohibit banking regulators from asking banks to terminate a customer account unless there was a valid reason aside from reputation risk. The bill last passed the House in 2019, only to die in the Senate. Its fate this time around in the Senate now under Democratic control is still unclear. Premarket gainers were mostly Canadian companies, even though with the exception of Canopy Growth Corp. , they are not expected to immediately benefit from U.S. cannabis law reforms. Tilray Inc. was up 3.8%, Aphria Inc. , with which it is merging, was up 2.2%. Canopy was up 1.6% and Cronos Group Inc. was up 1.2%. Shares of U.S. multistate operators were not yet active.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Lockheed Martin beats first-quarter profit estimates and raises guidance
Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. said Tuesday it had net income of $1.8 billion, or $6.56 a share, in the first quarter, up from $1.7 billion, or $6.08 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose to $16.3 billion from $15.7 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $6.30 and sales of $16.3 billion. The net income figure includes unrealized gains from investments held in the Lockheed Martin Ventures Fund of $68 million, as well as severance and restructuring charges of $35 million, to close and consolidate facilities and reduce workforce at the rotary and mission systems business segment. The company raised its guidance for 2021 and now expects EPS to range from $26.40 to $26.70, compared with guidance offered in January of $26.00 to $26.30. It expects revenue to range from $67.3 billion to $68.7 billion, compared with earlier guidance of $67.1 billion to $68.5 billion. The FactSet consensus is for full-year EPS of $26.33 and revenue of $68.1 billion. Shares were down 1.1% premarket but have gained 10.4% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

P&G earnings beats estimates, will raise prices on some items
Procter & Gamble Co. reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat estimates and said it would be raising prices on certain product categories. Net income of $3.27 billion, or $1.26 per share, was up from $2.92 billion, or $1.12 per share, last year. Sales of $18.11 billion were up from $17.21 billion last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.19 and sales of $17.96 billion. Sales of grooming appliances were up more than 20%, with increased demand for at-home shaving and styling products and higher pricing. Oral care sales were up in the high-single digits due to positive impact of premium products. P&G brands include Gillette, Oral-B, Pantene and Tide. For fiscal 2021, P&G continues to expect core EPS growth in the range of 8% to 10%. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of $5.68, implying growth of 10.9%. P&G has begun raising prices in the range of mid-to-high single digit percentages on the baby care, feminine care and adult incontinence product categories due to rising commodity costs. Increases will vary by brand and will go into effect in mid-September. P&G stock edged up 0.3% in Tuesday premarket trading, but has slipped 1.8% for the year to date. The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11.3% for 2021 so far.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Kansas City Southern's stock soars after Canadian National's 'superior' bid valued at $33.7 bln
Shares of Kansas City Southern soared 19% toward a record in premarket trading Tuesday, after Canadian National Railway Co. announced what it called a "superior proposal" to acquire the railroad operator in a cash-and-stock bid valued at $33.7 billion. Plans for the buyout bid was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal. which would top Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.'s previously agreed on buyout bid. Canadian National said its bid is valued at $325 for each Kansas City Southern share outstanding, a 27% premium to Monday's closing price of $256.40. Under terms of Canadian National's bid, Kansas City Southern shareholders would receive $200 in cash and 1.059 Canandian National shares for each Kansas City Southern share they own. In March, Kansas City Southern had agreed to be acquired by Canadian Pacific in a deal valuing the stock at $275 each and the company at about $25 billion. Kansas City Southern's stock has run up 25.6% year to date through Monday, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has advanced 18.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Philip Morris beats profit, revenue expectations as IQOS strength helps offset cigarette shipment declines
Shares of Philip Morris International Inc. eased 0.2% in premarket trading, even after the cigarette seller reported first-quarter profit and revenue that beat expectations, as growth in heated tobacco units shipments helped offset declines in cigarette shipments. Net income rose to $2.42 billion, or $1.55 a share, from $1.83 billion, or $1.17 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.57, above the FactSet consensus of $1.40. Net revenue rose 6.0% to $7.59 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $7.27 billion. Cigarette shipments fell 7.3% to 145.51 billion units, with Marlboro shipments dropping 9.4% to 53.68 billion units, while heated tobacco unit shipments rose 29.9% to 21.73 billion units. "This performance was driven by the continued strength of IQOS, in particular, reflecting excellent user, volume and market share momentum, as well as further progress with manufacturing and operating cost efficiencies," said Chief Executive Andre Calantzopoulos. "Our results also benefited from the timing of specific factors, notably associated with shipments in certain markets and the phasing of commercial investments, which are expected to partially reverse in the second quarter." The company expects 2021 adjusted EPS of $5.95 to $6.05, compared with the FactSet consensus of $5.96. The stock has rallied 10.7% year to date through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Travelers shares jump 3.6% premarket after first-quarter earnings top estimates
Insurer The Travelers Cos. Inc. said Tuesday it had net income of $733 million, or $2.87 a share, in the first quarter, up from $600 million, or $2.33 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.73, well ahead of the $2.37 FactSet consensus. Revenue rose 5% to $8.313 billion from $7.908 billion a year ago. The FactSet consensus was for revenue of $7.553 billion. Net written premiums rose 2% to $7.505 billion. "Core income increased primarily due to higher net favorable prior year reserve development, a higher underlying underwriting gain (i.e., excluding net prior year reserve development and catastrophe losses) and higher net investment income, partially offset by higher catastrophe losses," the company said in a statement. Net realized investment gains came to $44 million pretax, after net realized investment losses of $98 million pre-tax a year ago. Catastrophe losses of $835 million pre-tax compared to $333 million pre-tax a year ago, and set a record, driven by severe winter weather. "Underlying underwriting income was meaningfully higher than in the prior year quarter, driven by higher net earned premiums and an underlying combined ratio which improved to an excellent 89.5%," Chief Executive Alan Schnitzer said in a statement. Traveler's raised its quarterly cash dividend by 4% to 88 cents a share, and the board approved an additional $5 billion of share buybacks. Shares rose 3.6% premarket and were up 10% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average , which counts Travelers as a member, has gained 11.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Kansas City Southern's stock soars after WSJ report that Canadian National plans rival $30 billion buyout bid
Shares of Kansas City Southern soared 21% toward a record in premarket trading Tuesday, after The Wall Street Journal reported that Canadian National Railway Co. was planning to make a buyout bid for the railroad operator of roughly $30 billion, which would top Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.'s previously agreed on buyout bid. Canadian National plans to bid $325 for each Kansas City Southern share outstanding, a 27% premium to Monday's closing price of $256.40, with the bid including $200 a share in cash and 1.059 Canadian National shares, the WSJ report said, citing people familiar with the matter. In March, Kansas City Southern had agreed to be acquired by Canadian Pacific in a deal valuing the stock at $275 each and the company at about $25 billion. Kansas City Southern's stock has run up 25.6% year to date, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has advanced 18.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Xerox shares slide 2.9% premarket as profit falls short of estimates
Xerox Holdings Corp. shares slid 2.9% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the company missed profit estimates for the first quarter by a wide margin as the coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh. The company posted net income of $39 million, or 18 cents a share, in the quarter, after a loss of $2 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell to $1.710 billion from $1.860 billion, ahead of the $1.588 billion FactSet consensus. "In the first quarter, in an environment where many offices remained closed, we grew equipment sales and IT Services revenue year-over-year," Chief Executive John Visentin said in a statement. The company affirmed guidance for 2021 and said it expects to return to growth during the year. Shares have gained 9% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

J&J beats profit and sales expectations, boosts dividend; COVID-19 vaccine adds $100 million to sales
Johnson & Johnson reported Tuesday first-quarter profit and sales that rose above expectations, citing strength in its pharmaceutical business and continued recovery in medical devices. The drug giant's stock slipped 0.2% in premarket trading. Net income increased to $6.20 billion, or $2.32 a share, from $5.80 billion, or $2.17 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share grew 12.6% to $2.59, above the FactSet consensus of $2.34. Sales increased 7.9% to $22.32 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $21.98 billion. Pharmaceutical sales rose 9.6% to $12.20 billion, to top the FactSet consensus of $12.11 billion, while medical devices sales increased 10.9% to $6.58 billion to beat expectations of $6.21 billion. COVID-19 vaccine sales were $100 million. For 2021, the company revised its adjusted EPS guidance range to $9.42 to $9.57 from $9.40 to $9.60. Separately, J&J said it raised its quarterly dividend by 5% to $1.01 a share, with the new dividend payable June 8 to shareholders of record on May 25. The stock has gained 3.4% year to date through Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 11.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Apr 20, 2021

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 142 million and U.S. death toll nears 568,000
The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness rose above 142 million on Tuesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, as the death toll climbed above 3.03 million, after breaching the 3 million mark on Saturday. The U.S. leads the world in cases and deaths by wide margins, with 31.7 million cases, or more than 20% of the global total, while the 567,729 death toll makes up about 20% of the global toll. The U.S. added at least 70,355 new cases and 483 new deaths on Monday, according to a New York Times tracker. The U.S. has averaged 67,175 cases a day in the past week, up 4% from the average two weeks ago. But the global case tally hit an almost record of more than 750,000 on Sunday and Monday, according to the Washington Post, as India and Brazil remain hot spots. The State Department is expected later Tuesday to add the number of countries on its "Do Not Travel" list to 80% of the world from 16%, the paper reported. Outside of the U.S., India has the second highest number of cases at 15.3 million, and is fourth globally by deaths at 180,530. Brazil is third by cases at 13.9 million and second with a death toll of 374,682. Mexico is third by deaths at 212,466 and 14th highest by cases at 2.3 million. The U.K. has 4.4 million cases and 127,524 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world.

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