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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg says breaking up big tech 'wouldn't make any of these problems better'
Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg says breaking up big tech won't solve key issues over data privacy and antitrust concerns, but regulation could. At the Aspen Ideas Festival on Wednesday, Zuckerberg repeated calls for regulation of social media and policing online content. He said a good start would be the Honest Ads Act, co-written by presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., which would oversee election advertising. Laws on political ads, he acknowledged, are "very out of date." He also defended Facebook's acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, insisting they did not stifle innovation.

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
Jun 26, 2019

Bitcoin price dives $1,700 in minutes as Coinbase website goes down
The price of bitcoin plunged more than $1,700 in 15 minutes Wednesday afternoon after the website of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase apparently crashed. After topping a 17-month high above $13,700 earlier Tuesday, bitcoin sank below the $12,000 level, and was last trading around $12,400. A notice on Coinbase's website read "An error has occurred. We've been notified about the issue and are taking a look." The website appeared to be working again by 5:15 p.m. Eastern. According to the site's status page, the issue was "resolved" around 5:40 p.m. Eastern and all functions appeared operational. The digital currency is up 60% this month, and more than 230% year to date.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Pier 1 stock falls after earnings
Pier 1 Imports Inc. shares were down 16% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the retailer reported fiscal-first quarter earnings. Pier 1 reported a net loss of $81.7 million, or $19.97 a share, compared with a loss of $28.5 million, or $7.11 a share, a year earlier. The company completed a 1-for-20 reverse stock split on June 20. Net sales for the quarter fell to $314 million from $371 million in the year-earlier period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected $330 million in revenue. The company posted a 13.5% drop in comparable-store sales compared with a year prior. Pier 1 shares have gained 44% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has risen 16%.

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
Jun 26, 2019

Rite Aid stock falls 10% after larger-than-expected quarterly loss
Shares of Rite Aid Corp. fell more than 10% in the extended session Wednesday after the retailer reported a larger-than-expected fiscal first-quarter loss. Rite Aid reported a net loss from continuing operations of $1 billion, or $1.88 a share, compared with a net loss of 79 cents a share in the year-ago period. Revenue was flat at $5.4 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected a GAAP quarterly loss of 90 cents a share on sales of $5.4 billion. First-quarter results "did not meet our expectations due to prescription reimbursement rate pressure in the retail pharmacy segment and margin compression in the pharmacy services segment," Rite Aid said in a statement. The shares ended the regular session up 3.8%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Yum names new CFO
Yum Brands Inc. on Wednesday said Chris Turner, 44, will join as chief financial officer, effective Aug. 8. Turner, who previously was a senior vice president at PepsiCo Inc. , will assume global responsibility for finance, corporate strategy, supply chain, and information technology. Yum shares are flat in extended trading.

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
Jun 26, 2019

Herman Miller stock rallies as earnings, outlook beat
Herman Miller Inc. shares rallied in the extended session Wednesday after the furniture company's results and outlook topped Wall Street estimates. Herman Miller shares surged 8.7% after hours, following a 1.9% rise to close the regular session at $37.83. The company reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $46 million, or 78 cents a share, compared with $32.2 million, or 53 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 88 cents a share. Revenue rose to $671 million from $618 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 78 cents a share on revenue of $657.2 million. Herman Miller expects earnings of 77 cents to 81 cents on revenue of $650 million to $670 million in the first quarter, while analysts had forecast 76 cents a share on revenue of $651.6 million.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

KB Home stock gain as builder's Q2 earnings, sales top views
Shares of KB Home rose 7% in the extended session Wednesday after the builder reported second-quarter results above Wall Street expectations. KB Home earned $47.5 million, or 51 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $57.3 million, or 57 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell to $1.02 billion, compared with $1.10 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected KB Home to report earnings of 39 cents a share on sales of $943 million. "With net order value up 13% year over year to $1.5 billion, driven by double-digit order growth in each of our four regions, and continued year-over-year community count growth anticipated for our third and fourth quarters, we are confident we can produce further improvement in our results in the second half of this year," the company said in a statement.

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
Jun 26, 2019

Nasdaq snaps 3-day skid as Micron's stock jumps but trade-hope rally falters in late trade
The Nasdaq Composite Index registered a modest gain on Wednesday, buoyed by a Micron Technologies-led rebound in chip makers, but the broader market finished slightly lower to flat, as selling in real estate, utilities and consumer staples weighed. The Nasdaq finished up 25 points, or 0.3%, at 7,910 (on a preliminary basis), halting three straight days of losses as upbeat quarterly results by Micron helped to inspire a rally in the semiconductor sector . However, gains faded in the last two hours of trade as investors wrestled with the coming G-20 gathering in Japan, where President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, are expected to discuss a cease-fire in tariff tensions. Markets were higher in early trade after investors interpreted a CNBC interview of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Bahrain as signaling hope for a Sino-American trade deal. Mnuchin said that an accord was 90% complete. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 11 points, or less than 0.1%, at 26,536, while the S&P 500 index shed 0.1% to end at 2,914.

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
Jun 26, 2019

REIT, utilities sector trackers suffer unanimous declines as Treasury yields jump
The real estate investment trust and utilities sectors were the biggest losers of the S&P 500's 11 key sectors, and their weakness was unanimous, as a big jump in Treasury yields helped lure investors away from the high-yielding sector. The SPDR Real Estate Select Sector ETF slumped 2.1% with all 32 of its equity components losing ground and SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF shed 2.0% with all 28 components declining. REITs are utilities are often seen as bond proxies, given their high yields, while the S&P 500 eased 0.1%. The REIT ETF's dividend yield was 3.38% and the utilities ETF's yield was 3.11%, compared with the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.98%, according to FactSet. Meanwhile, Treasury prices fell, to push the yield on the 10-year Treasury note up 5.1 basis points to 2.045%, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised hopes that a U.S.-China trade deal was near.

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
Jun 26, 2019

Gasoline, WTI oil futures settle at 5-week highs
Gasoline futures climbed 5% Wednesday, as news that Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery plans to close permanently raised concerns over tighter supplies of the fuel on the East Coast. Oil prices, meanwhile, climbed on the back of a nearly 13 million-barrel weekly drop in U.S. crude supplies. July gasoline added 9.3 cents, or 5%, to settle at $1.970 a gallon. August West Texas Intermediate crude added $1.55, or 2.7%, to finish at $59.38 a barrel. Both gasoline and WTI futures logged their highest settlements since May 22.

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
Jun 26, 2019

ConocoPhillips stock jumps after Mizuho upgrades to bullish rating
Shares of ConocoPhillips shot up 5.2% in afternoon trading Wednesday, after Mizuho analyst Paul Sankey turned bullish oil and natural gas exploration company, citing a favorable "cash return message." Sankey raised his rating to buy and has an $80 stock price target, which implies a 27% rally from current levels. The stock was among the biggest gainers within the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF , which climbed 1.9% with 28 of 29 components trading higher. "The company has taken major steps over the past years to improve unit cash margins (via divestitures and liquids-led unconventional growth) while reducing fixed cost burden by rightsizing capitalization (major debt reduction and share repurchase)," Sankey wrote in a note to clients. "We think the cash return message will begin to evolve and become more dividend-focused." The company's dividend yield 1.94% is below that of the energy ETF's yield of 3.35% and implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.98%, according to FactSet. The stock has edged up 0.8% year to date, while the energy ETF has advanced 11.0% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 14.0%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Petrobras stock falls on heavy volume after public stock offering
The U.S.-listed shares of Brazil-based Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. , also known as Petrobras, fell 0.5% on NYSE-leading volume in afternoon trading Wednesday, to buck a broad rally in the energy sector, after the oil and gas exploration company priced a secondary share offering at a discount. Trading volume was 48.1 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 13.5 million shares. Petrobras disclosed Wednesday that its public offering of 69.3 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) priced at $15.84 each, or 0.9% below Tuesday's closing price of $15.98. The offering was valued at $1.10 billion, which represented about 1.1% of the company's market capitalization. The stock lost 3.0% over the past three months, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has slipped 4.1% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.6%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Kinder Morgan's stock gains, but lags broader energy sector after Raymond James downgrade
Shares of Kinder Morgan Inc. rose 0.6% in afternoon trading Wednesday, but lagged the broader energy sector's rally after the oil and gas pipeline and terminals operator was downgraded at Raymond James on concerns over valuation. Analyst Justin Jenkins cut his rating to market perform from outperform while keeping his stock price target at $21. "[Kinder Morgan's stock] has been on a strong run YTD (up about 35%), seemingly fueled by both insider buying and the company's 'name-brand' recognition with the generalist crowd," Jenkins wrote in a note to clients. The stock had closed at a 2-year high of $21.38 last Friday. Meanwhile, the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF surged 2.1% with 28 of 29 components gaining ground, and with 23 stock rising by more than 1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 68 points, or 0.3%. The sector was rallying as crude oil futures surged 2.7% after government data showed a large drop in crude supply. Separately, Raymond James' Jenkins also downgraded Genesis Energy L.P. to market perform from outperform and Holly Energy Partners L.P. to underperform from market perform, while upgrading Williams Companies to strong buy from outperform.

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
Jun 26, 2019

House panel votes to subpoena Kellyanne Conway
The House Oversight Committee voted on Wednesday to subpoena Kellyanne Conway in regards to a government watchdog recommending her firing for its view that she violated the Hatch Act, which bars political activity by executive branch staff. Conway has repeatedly criticized Democratic politicians in interviews and declined to appear at a hearing before the House committee. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan was the only Republican to vote with Democrats in favor of the subpoena.

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
Jun 26, 2019

U.S. oil futures extend climb as U.S. weekly crude supplies drop by nearly 13 million barrels
The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported that U.S. crude supplies dropped by 12.8 million barrels for the week ended June 21. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expected a decline of 2.8 million barrels in crude stocks, on average. The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a 7.5 million-barrel fall, according to sources. The EIA data also showed that gasoline inventories were down by 1 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell 2.4 million barrels last week. The S&P Global Platts survey had shown expectations for supply declines of 1.1 million barrels each for gasoline and distillates. August West Texas Intermediate crude was up $1.88, or 3.3%, to $59.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were trading at $59.24 before the supply data.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

E.L.F. Beauty price target lifted after it adds social media followers
D.A. Davidson raised its price target for E.L.F. Beauty Inc. to $16 from $14 after its proprietary data showed the company increased its social media following by 12% in the last six months. It reiterated its buy stock rating. "Our six-month update of our mass beauty social media ranking shows positive results for E.L.F.," analysts led by Linda Bolton Weiser wrote, adding that sales growth could spur an increase in sales guidance for fiscal year 2020. On the other hand, many of Coty Inc.'s big brands, including CoverGirl and Rimmel saw their social media rankings fall. E.L.F. stock is up 59.6% for the year to date, though the stock has tumbled 18.7% over the past year. The S&P 500 index has gained 7.2% over the last 12 months.

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
Jun 26, 2019

Starbucks adds new tea and macchiato beverages to its menu
Starbucks Corp. announced a number of new drinks and food items on the company's menu in the U.S. and Canada on Wednesday. Teavana Peach Green Tea Lemonade, Guava White Tea Lemonade and Blueberry Black Tea Lemonade are now available. All are sweetened with liquid cane sugar and hand-shaken with ice. The Iced Cocoa Cloud Macchiato is made with toffee nut syrup, espresso, caramel and mocha. The Strawberry Cake Pop and smoked shoulder bacon breakfast sandwich, made with sundried tomato cream cheese and cage-free egg are on the food menu. And Teavana Beach Bellini Tea Sachets are for sale at grocery stores. Starbucks stock has gained 30.3% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up nearly 17% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Dow pops 100 points higher at open as chip-maker stocks score a bounce on Micron results
U.S. stock indexes opened solidly higher Wednesday morning as equity markets attempted to rebound from the previous day's losses, as investors drew optimism from chip-maker results. Investors also were hopeful of a cease-fire between the U.S. and China on trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose around 100 points, or 0.4%, at 26,650, the S&P 500 index advanced 0.5% at 2,930, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1% at 7,960, as chip-maker stocks rose on the back of earnings from Micron Technologies late Tuesday that were not as bad as feared. Shares of Micron were up 13% in early Wednesday action, while the broader chip-maker sector was also gaining, as reflected in the PHLX Semiconductor Index and the exchange-traded iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF up 2.8%. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet at the G-20 in Japan later this week, in a what is seen by analysts as an important moment in the trade dispute between the two nations. Markets got a bounce early as CNBC reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that a Sino-American trade deal was 90% of complete, but said that a deal isn't certain. On Tuesday, the Dow fell almost 0.7%, or 179 points, while the S&P 500 lost 28 points, or 1%, to 2,917. The Nasdaq gave up 121 points, or 1.5%, to 7,885, extending its losing streak into a third day and booking one its worst days in nearly a month.

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
Jun 26, 2019

Adaptive Biotechnologies to sell more shares in IPO, as expected pricing increases
Adaptive Biotechnologies Corp. increased the number of shares it will sell in its initial public offering, and the expecting pricing range increased as well, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. The company is now offering 15 million shares, up from 12.5 million shares disclosed last week, while the expected pricing range is now $18 to $19 a share, up from $15 to $17 a share. The developer of immune-system derived disease treatments is now looking to raise $285 million, and be valued at up to $2.30 billion, before underwriters exercise any options to buy up to an additional 2.25 million shares. The upsized IPO comes at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has gained 2.0% over the past three months, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has slipped 2.9% and the S&P 500 has advanced 3.9%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

LaCroix reaches out to consumers in an effort to counter 'false' accusations
In an effort to halt the wave of negative press and stock declines, National Beverage Corp. has reached out directly to consumers about the LaCroix brand of sparkling water. "LaCroix's reputation has been maligned over the last year by 'buzzworthy' publicity arising from false and intentionally misleading accusations that may take months or years to refute in court," the letter, sent via social media, reads. The letter details attributes of the LaCroix product, such as "flavor ingredients that have been certified as natural," and the packaging in cans that don't have BPA-based liners. Sales of National Beverage's blockbuster LaCroix brand have slumped, according to analysts, and the brand is facing another lawsuit over allegations the company wasn't using BPA-free cans for as long as it purported. National Beverage stock has fallen nearly 40% in 2019 while the S&P 500 index has gained 16.4% for the year to date.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Investors should 'tread somewhat lightly' on Nvidia shares, says Bernstein
Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon wrote Wednesday that while investors may see Nvidia Corp. shares as attractively valued given that they are off about 50% from their 52-week high, he is "growing nervous" on the stock. "Given recent events, Nvidia's stock for now likely depends on hope for cyclical datacenter recovery," he wrote. "This is fine as it is, but appears well incorporated into numbers already (with consensus modeling a substantial datacenter snapback as early as FQ3 to levels well above the prior peak, which itself now appears clearly inflated) into an environment that may still not be hugely supportive." Rasgon maintained a market-perform rating on the stock, writing that he recommends investors "tread somewhat lightly." The stock is still up 2.8% in premarket trading after Micron Technology Inc.'s earnings report helped lift chip shares more broadly. Nvidia shares have fallen 37% over the past 12 months, as the S&P 500 has gained 7.2%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Facebook, Google-parent Alphabet stocks turn down after Trump says government might sue
Shares of Facebook Inc. and Google-parent Alphabet Inc. swung to losses in premarket trading Wednesday, after President Trump suggested in an interview on Fox Business that the U.S. government was considering antitrust suits against the companies. Facebook's stock fell 0.4% and Alphabet shares slipped 0.2% ahead of the open. Just before Trump's comments, shares of Facebook and Alphabet shares were both up 0.9%. The stocks' premarket reversals comes as the futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 73 points.

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
Jun 26, 2019

Paychex stock drops after profit rises less than expected
Shares of Paychex Inc. dropped 1.7% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the human resources services provider reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit that came up short of expectations and provided a downbeat outlook. Net income for the quarter to May 31 rose to $230.4 million, or 64 cents a share, from an adjusted $217.7 million, or 60 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS for the latest quarter rose 9% to 63 cents, below the FactSet consensus of 64 cents. Total revenue grew 16% to $980.4 million, above the FactSet consensus of $979.4 million. Services revenue rose 16% to $958.2 million, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $958.3 million, while interest on funds held for clients increased 25% to $22.2 million to beat expectations of $21.2 million. For fiscal 2020, Paychex expects adjusted EPS growth of 8% to 9%, while the current FactSet consensus of $3.10 implies 9.2% growth of 2019 adjusted EPS of $2.84; revenue is expected to grow 10% to 11%, while current expectations of $4.17 billion implies 10.5% growth. The stock has run up 30% year to date through Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 14%.

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
Jun 26, 2019

Beyond Meat stock soars 4.3% premarket after announcing new Beyond Beef product
Plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat Inc. said Wednesday it is launching its new Beyond Beef product later this week across the U.S. The Beyond Beef product is plant-based ground beef that is designed to taste and look like traditional ground beef. It will be available at stores, including Whole Foods , Alberstons, Kroger and Safeway, among others. Beyond Meat shares rose 4.3% in premarket trade. The stock is a stunning 502% above its early May IPO price of $25.

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
Jun 26, 2019

Upwork stock gains after Jefferies upgrade
Shares if Upwork Inc. are up 6.1% in premarket trading Wednesday after Jefferies analyst Brent Thill upgraded the stock to buy from hold. "With the stock down 17% YTD and valuation at a 37% discount to peers, risk/reward has improved," Thill wrote. "The recent IPO of Fiverr demonstrated the large market for flex labor and evidenced Upwork's leadership within it." Thill expects that Upwork's first-quarter revenue-growth rate was likely the bottom and he predicts "gradual acceleration" on the metric as the year continues. He has a $23 price target on the stock. Upwork shares have fallen 25% over the past three months, as the S&P 500 has gained 3.5%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Ebay to hold 'Crash Sale' on July 15 in case Amazon's site goes down
Ebay Inc. is taking shots at Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Day event with its own "Crash Sale" on July 15. "If history repeats itself and Amazon crashes that day, eBay's wave of can't-miss deals on some of the season's top items will excite customers around the world," eBay said in its announcement. Amazon's site had a temporary outage in 2018. This year, Amazon Prime Day will span two days from July 15 through July 16. Ebay will offer discounts over three weeks starting on July 1. On July 15, the official "Crash Day," eBay will have promotions on consumer electronics brands like Apple Inc. , Samsung and KitchenAid, with other deals planned "if Amazon crashes." From July 1 through July 7, there will be deals on items like camping gear and robotic vacuums. And from July 8 through July 22, there will be daily deals on items like appliances and smart home devices. Ebay stock inched up 0.4% in Wednesday premarket trading, and has rallied 39% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index is up 16.4% for 2019 so far.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Slack stock rises after Baird starts coverage with bullish rating
Shares of Slack Technologies Inc. are up 2.4% in premarket trading Wednesday after Baird analyst William Power initiated coverage of the stock with an outperform rating and $44 target. "With penetration early, we are positive on the strong growth and competitive position," he wrote. "Valuation is rich relative to the SaaS group, though we believe the disruptive competitive position and long-term margin and free-cash-flow opportunity stand out relative to the group." Power is upbeat about the steps Slack has taken to integrate other popular applications into its platform. These include offerings from Salesforce.com Inc. , Microsoft Corp. , and Alphabet Inc.'s Google . Slack's premarket gains come as S&P 500 futures are up 0.4%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Newell Brands names CFO Peterson as interim CEO
Newell Brands Inc. said Wednesday it named Chief Financial Officer Christopher Peterson as interim chief executive, effective June 28. Peterson will succeed current CEO Michael Polk, who is retiring at the end of the month, as previously announced in March. Newell is a consumer goods company with brands including Paper Mate, Sharpie, Elmer's and Graco. Chairman Patrick Campbell said the search for a permanent CEO is "proceeding well," with the announcement of an external hire expected in the "upcoming weeks." Newell Brands stock, which edged up 0.3% in premarket trading, has dropped 20.1% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 16.4%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Chip stocks in broad rally after Micron beats on earnings, resumes some shipments to Huawei
Semiconductor maker stocks were broadly higher in premarket trading Wednesday, fueled by Micron Technology Inc.'s better-than-expected earnings and upbeat outlook, and after memory chip maker said it resumed some shipments to China's Huawei Technologies Co. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF rallied 2.4%, as all 22 of the 25 components that have traded ahead of the open gained ground. Micron's stock shot up 8.9% to pace the gainers. Among other more-active stocks, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. rallied 3.4%, Nvidia Corp. rose 2.3%, Intel Corp. advanced 1.6%, STMicroelectronics N.V. hiked up 4.8% and Qualcomm Inc. tacked on 1.3%. Micron's stock had lost 19% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the chip ETF has lost 0.8% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.5%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

BlackBerry Q1 revenue falls short of estimates
BlackBerry Ltd. shares rose and then edged lower in premarket trade Wednesday, after the cybersecurity company posted a better-than-expected adjusted profit for its fiscal first quarter, but weaker-than-expected revenue. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said it had a net loss of $35 million, or 9 cents a share, in the quarter to May 31, narrower than the loss of $60 million, or 11 cents a share, posted in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose to $247 million from $213 million. The FactSet consensus was for breakeven EPS and revenue of $265 million. The company's press release highlighted a series of non-GAAP numbers, or those that do not conform with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The Securities and Exchange Commission's rules stipulate that companies first present numbers prepared under GAAP rules. While they are allowed to offer non-GAAP numbers, they must give equal prominence to the GAAP numbers and offer a full reconciliation of the two. Shares have gained 16.6% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 16.4%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

General Mills stock falls after profit beats but sales come up short
Shares of General Mills Inc. slumped 3.2% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the branded consumer foods company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations but sales that came up short. Net income for the quarter to May 26 rose to $570.2 million, or 94 cents a share, from $354.4 million, or 59 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 83 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 77 cents. Net sales grew 7.0% to $4.16 billion, but was below the FactSet consensus of $4.24 billion. Within its business segments, North America retail sales fell 2% to $2.34 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $2.38 billion, while convenience store and foodservice sales rose 2% to $519 million to top expectations of $515.2 million. For 2020, the company expects organic net sales to rise 1% to 2%. The stock has rallied 38% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has gained 9.0% and the S&P 500 has advanced 16%.

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
Jun 26, 2019

Treasury Sec. Mnuchin says it looks like Iran sanctions are working: CNBC
Heated comments by Iran officials in response to sanctions on the Islamic Republic earlier this week mean those measures are probably "working," said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday. Iran has referred to sanctions announced Monday on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other officials as "outrageous and idiotic,", while Iran's UN ambassador said the door was closed to talks with the Trump administration. "That must mean that they are working if they are this upset about these sanctions. That's an acknowledgement that they are working," Mnuchin said. Tensions between the two nations have driven up crude prices, with West Texas Intermediate crude for August up nearly 10% gain for the month of June so far.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

BridgeBio boosts shares to be sold in IPO by 33%
BridgeBio Pharma LLC increased the number of shares it will be offering in its initial public offering by 33% to 20 million from 15 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. The number of shares to be outstanding after the IPO increased to 120 million shares from 115 million. The expected pricing of the IPO remains at $14 to $16 a share, so the drug discovery company will now be looking to raise up $320 million and will be valued at about $1.92 billion, before the lead underwriters exercise any options to buy up to 3 million additional shares. The company said its stock has been approved to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "BBIO." The company increased its share offering at a time the Renaissance IPO ETF has gained 1.8% over the past three months and the S&P 500 has tacked on 3.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 26, 2019

Treasury Sec. Mnuchin says China trade deal is '90% of the way there': CNBC
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rallied equity markets early Wednesday after saying a trade deal with China is mostly done. "We were about 90% of the way there (with a deal) and I think there's a path to complete this," Mnuchin told CNBC in an interview, without offering specifics. "The message we want to hear is that they want to come back to the table and continue because I think there is a good outcome for their economy and the U.S. economy to get balanced trade and to continue to build on this relationship," he said, adding he's confident President Donald Trump and China's president Xi Jinping will make inroads into those stalled talks at the weekend Group of 20 meeting. The news lifted U.S. stock futures and European equities, with Dow Jones Industrial futures up 121 points, or 0.5%, to 26,684.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

NRA shuts down NRATV, cuts ties with Dana Loesch's company: report
The National Rifle Association has shut down production of NRATV and severed ties with controversial spokesperson Dana Loesch, the New York Times reported Tuesday night. The TV network may continue broadcasting old content, the Times said, but its live productions would end. The NRA also cut all ties with advertising company Ackerman McQueen, which operated NRATV and employed Loesch. It was unclear if the NRA would hire Loesch or others, the Times said. Last month, the NRA sued Ackerman McQueen, claiming it was behind an attempted corporate coup.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Apple buys autonomous-car startup Drive.ai: reports
Apple Inc. acquired autonomous-driving startup Drive.ai on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. Apple confirmed the deal to both Axios and the San Francisco Chronicle. The startup was once valued at around $200 million and will cease operations Friday, the Chronicle reported. Apple has hired dozens of Drive.ai hardware and software engineers, Axios said, but a filing with the state of California said 90 employees would be laid off. The startup had offices in California and Texas. A purchase price was not disclosed. The Information reported that the deal was in the works earlier this month. The deal could signal a renewed driverless-car push by Apple. Earlier this year, CNBC reported about 190 workers in Apple's autonomous-car unit, mostly hardware and software engineers, had been laid off.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Robert Mueller to publicly testify before House panels on July 17
Special counsel Robert Mueller will testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 17, Reps. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., announced late Tuesday. In a joint statement, the congressmen said Mueller had agreed to testify in open session in accordance with subpoenas issued Tuesday night. Democrats have been wanting to hear from Mueller personally regarding his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump. "The American public deserves to hear directly from you about your investigation and conclusions," the congressmen wrote in a letter to Mueller on Tuesday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Robert Mueller to testify before House panels on July 17
Special counsel Robert Mueller will testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 17, Reps. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., announced late Tuesday. In a joint statement, the congressmen said Mueller had agreed to testify in open session in accordance with subpoenas issued Tuesday night.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

U.S. refuses to make concessions on China tariffs: report
The U.S. will not agree to any concessions or conditions on tariffs to restart trade talks with China, Reuters reported Tuesday. President Donald Trump is expected to meet with China's President Xi Jinping on Saturday at the G-20 summit in Japan with hopes of restarting trade talks that stalled in early May, but expectations for a breakthrough are low. On Monday, China called for concessions by both sides, but the U.S. is unwilling to do that, a senior administration official told Reuters. At this point, a best-case scenario is reportedly a freezing of new tariffs and a path toward future talks, with the hope of calming global financial markets. Negotiations, if they pick up again, could take months or years, Reuters said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Target announces 'Deal Days' to coincide with Amazon Prime Day
Target Corp. late Tuesday announced its first-ever "Target Deal Days," scheduled for July 15 and 16, to build upon the success of last year's one-day sales event. Amazon.com Inc. had announced earlier Tuesday its Prime Day event will fall on the same dates, stretching over two days for the first time. Target's event will include "rarely-on-sale, exclusive home, apparel and toy brands" as well as discounts and new deals each day, the company said in a press release. Target's One-Day Sale last year was one of the company's biggest online sales day, the retailer said. Shares of Target and Amazon were flat in the extended session after ending the regular trading day down 1.2% and 1.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Merrill Lynch fined by DOJ, CFTC for 'spoofing' in precious metals futures
Merrill Lynch's global commodities trading business agreed to pay $25 million and enter into a non-prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice on Tuesday to settle charges regarding a multi-year scheme by its precious metals traders to mislead the market for precious metals futures contracts traded on the Commodity Exchange Inc. Merrill Lynch admitted to the allegations that beginning by at least 2008 and continuing through 2014, its precious metals traders schemed to deceive other market participants by injecting materially false and misleading information into the precious metals futures market by placing fraudulent "spoof" orders for precious metals futures contracts that, at the time the traders placed thousands of fraudulent orders, they intended to cancel before execution. The intention was to manipulate the market by creating the false impression of increased supply or demand and, in turn, to fraudulently induce other market participants to buy and to sell futures contracts at quantities, prices and times that they otherwise likely would not have done so. MLCI and its parent company, Bank of America Corporation also agreed to cooperate with the government's ongoing investigation of individuals and to report to the government evidence or allegations of criminal violations. The DOJ also obtained an indictment against Edward Bases and John Pacilio, two former MLCI precious metals traders, in July 2018 related to this investigation. Those charges are pending. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission also settled charges with MLCI on Tuesday for related, parallel proceedings where MLCI agreed to pay a civil monetary penalty of $11.5 million.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Oil prices climb as sources say API data show a bigger-than-expected fall in U.S. crude stocks
The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies dropped by 7.5 million barrels for the week ended June 21, according to sources. The API also reportedly showed a stockpile decline of 3.2 million barrels in gasoline, while distillate supplies rose by about 160,000 barrels. Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday. The EIA data are expected to show crude inventories fell by 2.8 million barrels last week, according to a survey of analysts conducted by S&P Global Platts. The survey also forecast declines of 1.1 million barrel each for gasoline and stockpiles. August West Texas Intermediate crude was at $58.62 a barrel in electronic trading, up from the contract's $57.83 settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Big Lots names Jonathan Ramsden its new CFO
Big Lots Inc. said late Tuesday it has appointed Jonathan Ramsden as its executive vice president and chief financial officer effective Aug. 5 Ramsden will replace Timothy A. Johnson, who will leave his post also on Aug. 5 "to pursue other opportunities in the for-profit and not-for-profit arenas," the retailer said. Johnson has agreed to serve in an advisory role through Labor Day to ensure a smooth transition, Big Lots said. Shares of Big Lots were flat in the extended session after ending the regular session up 1.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

AeroVironment stock down 13% after fiscal Q4 earnings
Shares of AeroVironment Inc. fell more than 13% in the extended session Tuesday after the defense and aerospace company reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit below Wall Street expectations. AeroVironment said it earned $5.7 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with $16.8 million, or 70 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 23% to $88 million, the company said, mostly on a decrease of product sales. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the company to report EPS of 28 cents on sales of $82 million.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Nasdaq sinks 1.5% as tech-related stocks get clobbered after Fed lowers rate-cut hopes
Information technology shares and those related to telecoms suffered sharp losses Tuesday, as commentary from the Federal Reserve moderated hopes for a substantial reduction of benchmark borrowing costs. Rate-cut hopes have thus far underpinned equity market's record rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7%, to 26,548, those for the S&P 500 index finished 1% lower at 2,917, with the info tech sector losing 1.8% and the communication services sector shedding 1.6% to lead the 11 S&P 500 sectors lower Tuesday. Shares of those companies, including Facebook Inc. have been among the best performers as the broader market carved out new records, with the S&P 500 setting its first closing record since April 30 on Thursday. As tech-related stocks got clobbered, the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index endured the brunt of the day's selling, down 1.5% at 7,885, representing the worst day for the index sine June 3. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee was "grappling with is whether these uncertainties will continue to weigh on the outlook and thus call for additional policy accommodation," in prepared remarks. Before that comment, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a dovish FOMC member who had advocated for a rate cut, said he didn't endorse an aggressive cut to benchmark rates, which stand at a range of 2.25%-2.50%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Nasdaq sinks 1.5% as tech-related stocks get knocked down after Fed lowers rate-cut hopes
Information technology shares and those related to telecoms suffered sharp losses Tuesday, as commentary from the Federal Reserve moderated hopes for a substantial reduction of benchmark borrowing costs. Rate-cut hopes have thus far underpinned equity market's record rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6%, to 26,564, those for the S&P 500 index finished 0.9% lower at 2,918, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index endured the brunt of the day's selling, down 1.5% at 7,886, representing the worst day for the index in about three weeks. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee was "grappling with is whether these uncertainties will continue to weigh on the outlook and thus call for additional policy accommodation," in prepared remarks. Before that comment, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a dovish FOMC member who had advocated for a rate cut, said he didn't endorse an aggressive cut to benchmark rates, which stand at a range of 2.25%-2.50%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Zekelman Industries files to withdraw its planned IPO
Zekelman Industries Inc., a Chicago-based make of industrial steel pipes and tubes, has filed to withdraw its planned initial public offering, after postponing the deal last September. "The Company has determined not to undertake the public offering to which the Registration Statement relates," Zekelman Chief Financial Officer Michael Graham said in a regulatory filing. Zekelman had planned to go public to expand its market share and pay down debt, but the filing had come at a time of great uncertainty about steel tariffs and trade wars.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Abercrombie & Fitch stock sinks, but CFRA expects 'inclusivity' mission to pay off
Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. sank 4.5% in midday trading Tuesday, but CFRA analyst Camilla Yanushevsky reiterated her buy rating, saying investors are missing bullish points, although she cut her price target to $22 from $35. The stock had plunged 50% since closing at a 3-year high of $30.48 on May 3, 2019 to a 1 1/2-year low of $15.23 on June 12, highlighted by the 27% tumble on May 29 after fiscal first-quarter results, in which same-store sales missed expectations. "Initiatives CEO Fran Horowitz [have] taken to integrate inclusivity in brand since her appointment are paying off," Yanushevsky wrote in a note to clients. "In our view, retailers that align mission and product to convince consumer that they're 'inclusive' will flourish, even in the face of secular mall traffic declines." Yanushevsky pointed out that A&F has posted 7-straight quarters of same-store sales growth. That followed six-straight quarters of declines, and 22 quarters of declines over the past 23 quarters. The stock has lost 23% year to date, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 1.2% and the S&P 500 has advanced 17%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Gold gives up nearly all of its gains, but settles at highest since late August 2013
Gold futures gave up almost all of their earlier gains by Tuesday afternoon, though still marked the highest most-active contract settlement since August 2013. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested Tuesday that an interest-rate cut in July is not a done deal. Following those comments, George Gero, managing director at RBC Wealth Management, said he expected to see profit taking in gold. A July interest-rate cut has been widely expected by investors and economists. August gold rose 50 cents, or 0.04%, to settle at $1,418.70 on Comex-a far cry from an earlier high of $1,442.90.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Stock market falls to intraday low as Fed's Bullard says 'huge action' in July won't be needed
The Dow Jones Industrial Average midday Tuesday retreated to the lows of the session, along with the broader market, after a Federal Reserve member signaled that substantial rate cuts next month may not be needed. The Dow declined by more than 100 points, or 0.4%, at 26,625, representing Tuesday's nadir, as St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said that a rate cut by as many as half a percentage point, or 50 basis points, may not be warranted. Bullard said I don't think we have to take huge action," Bullard said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Bullard was the lone dissenter last Wednesday among members of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, which voted to keep rates steady at a range between 2.25% and 2.50%. Bullard would likely advocate for a more modest 25 basis point cut in July. Market participants have been betting that the FOMC will cut rates by at least 50 basis points this year due to slowing economic expansion that has arguably been exacerbated by the Sino-American tariff clash. The S&P 500 index was down 0.6% at 2,926, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 1.1% to reach 7,930, as the broader market deepened its losses. Rate cuts for Wall Street translate to lower borrowing costs to corporations and are seen as bullish for buying if the economy doesn't fall into a recession.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Stock market falls to intraday low as key Fed's Bullard says 'huge action' in July won't be needed
The Dow Jones Industrial Average midday Tuesday retreated to the lows of the session, along with the broader market, after a Federal Reserve member signaled that substantial rate cuts next month may not be needed. The Dow declined by more than 100 points, or 0.4%, at 26,625, representing Tuesday's nadir, as St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said that a rate cut by as many as half a percentage point, or 50 basis points, may not be warranted. Bullard said I don't think we have to take huge action," Bullard said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Bullard was the lone dissenter last Wednesday among members of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, which voted to keep rates steady at a range between 2.25% and 2.50%. Bullard would likely advocate for a more modest 25 basis point cut in July. Market participants have been betting that the FOMC will cut rates by at least 50 basis points this year due to slowing economic expansion that has arguably been exacerbated by the Sino-American tariff clash. The S&P 500 index was down 0.6% at 2,926, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 1.1% to reach 7,930, as the broader market deepened its losses. Rate cuts for Wall Street translate to lower borrowing costs to corporations and are seen as bullish for buying if the economy doesn't fall into a recession.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Fed's Bullard says he is not in favor of half point rate cut in July
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said Tuesday that, as things stand now, he would not favor a half-point interest-rate cut in July. "I don't think we have to take huge action," Bullard said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Bullard dissented at the FOMC meeting last week in favor of a quarter-point cut. Bullard said a quarter-point cut would be more of an "insurance" move, which was all that was needed at this stage.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Stephanie Grisham named new White House press secretary
Stephanie Grisham will be the new White House press secretary, said First Lady Melania Trump in a tweet on Tuesday. Grisham has been serving as the first lady's press secretary. In her tweet, Melania Trump also said: "She has been with us since 2015 - @potus & I can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country. Excited to have Stephanie working for both sides of the @WhiteHouse. #BeBest." Grisham is taking over for Sarah Sanders, who is stepping down and reportedly considering running for governor of Arkansas in 2022.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Online broker stocks fall toward fresh lows; analyst cuts targets amid drop in Treasury yields
Online brokerage stocks fell toward the lowest levels of the year Tuesday, after Raymond James analyst Patrick O'Shaughnessy cut his price targets given the recent sharp drop in Treasury yields. Shares of E-Trade Financial Corp. lost 1.3%, putting them on track for the lowest close since Jan. 2; TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. fell 0.3% toward the lowest close since Dec. 24; and Charles Schwab Corp. edged up 0.1%, but had fallen as much as 2.1% earlier to the lowest intraday price seen since Dec. 26. O'Shaughnessy cut his price target for E-Trade's stock to $57 from $60, for TD Ameritrade to $60 from $62 and for Schwab to $46 from $51. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell 3.6 basis points to 1.985%, which would be the first close below the 2.00% mark since Nov. 8, 2016. O'Shaughnessy said a lower interest rate environment weighs on net interest income. In addition, he said the continued decline in the yield curve, with the 10-year Treasury yield now below overnight rates, is likely weighing on securities re-investment yield for online brokers. Meanwhile, the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF slipped 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 31 points, or 0.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Microsoft's Azure 'will likely never see margins' like Amazon's AWS, says Jefferies
Microsoft Corp. shares are down 1.7% in Tuesday morning trading after the only analyst with a bearish rating on the stock, Jefferies' John DiFucci, reiterated his downbeat view. "Microsoft is one of the greatest software success stories in the short history of the sector, but we believe that Microsoft, the stock, is materially overvalued," wrote DiFucci. "Azure will probably never see the margin broadly expected due to cultural and technical factors, and a recent unprecedented boost to cash flow from Windows may not persist." He argued that Microsoft "will likely never see margins similar to AWS at scale" because Amazon.com Inc.'s cloud business is used to being efficient. DiFucci raised his price target to $90 from $80 in his note to clients, while citing a Mark Twain quote to convey his view of his position on Wall Street: "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." His new $90 target is still 33% below Microsoft's recent price of about $135. Shares have gained 33% so far this year, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 14%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Sally Beauty's stock bounces of near 9-year low; analyst says Amazon's beauty push might not trigger change
Shares of Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. rallied 0.8% in morning trading, to bounce off the previous session's near 9-year low, after Instinet analyst Simeon Siegel said it was uncertain whether Amazon.com Inc.'s launch of its Professional Beauty Store will actually trigger change. The stock had tumbled 16.8% on Monday, the second-biggest one-day drop since it went public in November 2006, to close at the lowest price since November 2010. Siegel said that while Amazon's new beauty store will carry brands including Wella Color, RUSK and OPI Professional, all which are carried on Sally Beauty's website, many of those products are already widely available online, and on Amazon. "That said, beauty has largely been outside of [Amazon's] shares grab thus far..., so a decision to make a broader push into the category shouldn't be ignored," Siegel wrote in a note to clients. Meanwhile, Ulta Beauty Inc.'s stock inched up less than 0.1%, after falling 2.6% on Monday after the Amazon news. Sally Beauty's stock has lost 27% year to date and Ulta shares have rallied 42%, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 1.5% and the S&P 500 has climbed 17%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Sally Beauty's stock bounces off near 9-year low; analyst says Amazon's beauty push might not trigger change
Shares of Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. rallied 0.8% in morning trading, to bounce off the previous session's near 9-year low, after Instinet analyst Simeon Siegel said it was uncertain whether Amazon.com Inc.'s launch of its Professional Beauty Store will actually trigger change. The stock had tumbled 16.8% on Monday, the second-biggest one-day drop since it went public in November 2006, to close at the lowest price since November 2010. Siegel said that while Amazon's new beauty store will carry brands including Wella Color, RUSK and OPI Professional, all which are carried on Sally Beauty's website, many of those products are already widely available online, and on Amazon. "That said, beauty has largely been outside of [Amazon's] share grab thus far..., so a decision to make a broader push into the category shouldn't be ignored," Siegel wrote in a note to clients. Meanwhile, Ulta Beauty Inc.'s stock inched up less than 0.1%, after falling 2.6% on Monday after the Amazon news. Sally Beauty's stock has lost 27% year to date and Ulta shares have rallied 42%, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 1.5% and the S&P 500 has climbed 17%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

CBO cuts long-term debt forecast by 11 percentage points
The Congressional Budget Office in its annual outlook forecast debt as a percentage of GDP in 2048 to be 11 percentage points lower in this year's extended baseline projections than it was in last year's, owing to a decline in spending projections. That decline is because of smaller appropriations for relief and recovery efforts related to hurricanes and wildfires -- which then gets projected over the long term -- and because of a downward revision of average interest rates. Still, the CBO expects debt to get to "unprecedented" levels -- 144% of GDP by 2049, up from 78% this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

FedEx stock falls to pace Dow transports' losers after suing U.S. government, and ahead of earnings
Shares of FedEx Corp. slumped 2.6% in morning trading Tuesday, enough to pace the Dow Jones Transportation Average's decliners, ahead of the package delivery giant's fiscal fourth-quarter results due out after the close. Late Monday, the company filed suit against the U.S. Department of Commerce, saying the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) against FedEx violates common carriers' rights, as it holds FedEx liable for shipments that violate the EAR without requiring evidence that FedEx had any knowledge of violations. FedEx said that while it supports the objective of the EAR, it places an unreasonable burden to police the millions of shipments made every day. "FedEx is a transportation company, not a law enforcement agency," the company said in a statement. FedEx's stock, which has now shed 7.0% amid a 3-session losing streak, has dropped 2.9% year to date, while the Dow transports has gained 10.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 14.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Stocks see flat start as investors await remarks by Fed chairman
Stocks opened little changed Tuesday as investors awaited remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 13 points, or less than 0.1%, to 26,740, while the S&P 500 was down less than a point at 2,944. The Nasdaq Composite was off 0.1% at 7,997. Investor expectations for the Federal Reserve to deliver a rate cut as early as next month were boosted after last week's policy meeting and Powell's news conference. Powell will have the opportunity to affirm or soften those expectations when he speaks at 1 p.m. Eastern at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Shares of Allergan PLC jumped nearly 29% after agreeing to be bought by fellow drugmaker AbbVie Inc. in a deal valued at $63 billion. Abbvie shares fell 11.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Phunware's stock bounces sharply off record low after launching blockchain-enabled data exchange
Shares of Phunware Inc. shot up 14% in active premarket trading Tuesday, to bounce off the previous session's record low close, after the provider of cloud platform for mobile announced the launch of its blockchain-enabled data exchange and mobile loyalty ecosystem for current customers. Trading volume of 522,000 shares was already nearly double the full-day average of about 287,000 shares. The company said it plans to extend the new platform features to its new business customers throughout the second half of 2019. The company said by blockchain-enabling its data exchange, it is looking to eliminate an estimated $19 billion in annual advertising fraud, while enabling brands to identify audiences and access auditable records. Phunware's stock had plunged 78% year to date through Monday, while the S&P 500 had gained 17.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Acer Therapeutics stock loses over 80% of its value after receiving CRL from FDA for Edsivo
Acer Therapeutics Inc. said Tuesday it received a complete response letter (CRL) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding its new drug application (NDA) for Edsivo, a treatment of vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS). After resuming trade following a halt for news, the stock plummeted 81% toward a record low in premarket trading. Volume of over 140,000 shares was already more than the full-day average of about 97,000 shares. The CRL says Acer will have to conduct an adequate and well-controlled trial to determine whether Edsivo (celiprolol) lowers the risk of clinical events in patients with vEDS. "We remain committed to working closely with the FDA to fully understand its response," Acer Chief Executive Chris Schelling said in a statement. "We expect to respond to the FDA in the third quarter of this year." The stock has lost 4.2% year to date through Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 14.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Chipotle to offer bonus program that gives hourly workers chance to earn extra month's pay
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said Tuesday it is launching a bonus program for its workers that gives hourly employees the chance to earn up to an extra month's pay. To qualify, restaurant teams have to meet certain sales, cashflow and throughput goals. The program is aimed at attracting and retaining talent in an increasingly competitive industry. The first bonuses will be announced after the close of the company's second quarter in July. Shares were up 0.8% premarket Tuesday, but have gained 68% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

GrubHub stock jumps after Citi upgrade
GrubHub Inc. shares are up 5% in premarket trading Tuesday after Citi Research analyst Mark May upgraded the stock to buy from hold. "Despite competition, GrubHub's ability to continue to grow [gross food sales] in the 20% range of late should result in the driver (delivery network) efficiencies needed to hit management's 4Q19 EBITDA/order guidance," May wrote, which he said has been a hotly debated topic for investors in recent months. "Given the improvement in ops & support margin in 1Q19, the further improvement suggested in management's 2Q19 guidance, and management's continued confidence in reaching its 4Q19 target, our confidence in the company seeing this leverage in 2H19 has improved." May upped his price target to $91 from $75 in conjunction with the upgrade. GrubHub shares are down 6% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has gained 17%.

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Jun 25, 2019

Shopify stock falls after Wedbush downgrade
Shopify Inc. shares are off 1.5% in premarket trading Tuesday after Wedbush downgraded the stock to neutral from outperform. "We take a step back on shares to digest the 125% YTD increase (vs 21% for the Nasdaq), premium valuation, and new product announcements," analyst Ygal Arounian wrote. "Additionally, while we view the announcements at Shopify Unite last week as further improving and differentiating the platform, the most impactful announcement, Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN) isn't expected to generate profits until 2023." He raised his price target to $305 from $270 in conjunction with the downgrade, following continued stock appreciation in recent weeks. Shopify shares are up 55% over the past three months, as the S&P 500 has gained 5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Hexo shares slide 3.4% premarket as Oppenheimer downgrades stock to perform from outperform
Shares of Quebec, Canada-based medical cannabis company Hexo Corp. fell 3.4% in premarket trade Tuesday, after Oppenheimer downgraded to stock to perform from outperform and said it sees greater gross margin pressure than expected when it first initiated coverage of the stock in February. "With our updated forecasts and incorporating Newstrike, we now view shares as more fairly valued," analyst Rupesh Parikh wrote in a note to clients. Hexo acquired Newstrike Brands in March in an all-stock deal valued at about C$263 million ($197 million). He noted the stock's 63% year-to-date gain, which compares with an 18% rise in the S&P 500 and is well ahead of some of the company's peers. "Although we are stepping to the sidelines, we still see many positives to the HEXO story longer term and believe the name should remain on the radar for investors," said Pariksh.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Bausch Health to pay down more debt this week, stock rallies
Bausch Health Companies Inc. said Tuesday it will pay down an additional $100 million worth of debt this week, which will eliminate all mandatory amortization for the first quarter of 2020. The stock rose 1.9% in premarket trading. The maker of pharmaceutical, medical-device and over-the-counter products said it will use cash generated from operations to pay down the senior secured terms loans. The stock has lost 1.6% over the past three months but has rallied 28.6% year to date through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.5% this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Amazon says 2019 Prime Day event will take place July 15 and 16
Amazon.com Inc. said Tuesday that this year's Prime Day event will take place July 15 and 16, stretching over 48 hours for the first time. The company said the two-day event will start midnight Pacific Time on July 15, offering customers deals on more than one million items around the world. From today, prime members can start shopping Prime Day launches of new items and special edition products only available to them. Shares were slightly lower in premarket trade, but have gained 27.4% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Generics maker Akorn receives warning letter from the FDA relating to NJ facility
Generics company Akorn Inc. said Tuesday it has received a warnings letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, relating to the inspection of a facility in New Jersey in July and August of 2018. The company said it is committed to the highest levels of quality and compliance and will work with the regulator to address all issues raised in the letter. "Earlier this year, Akorn launched a company-wide action plan to improve the timing and effectiveness of our operations, quality systems and compliance enhancement initiatives, with an emphasis on transparency and quality," Akorn Chief Executive Douglas Boothe said in a statement. The company remains confident in the quality of products made at the facility, which is located in Somerset. Shares were halted for the news, but have gained 39.5% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.5%.

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Jun 25, 2019

Drug maker stocks rally after AbbVie's deal to buy Allergan for 45% premium
Shares of drug makers were getting a nice boost in premarket trading Tuesday, after AbbVie Inc.'s deal to buy Allergan PLC for a 45% premium. The SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF rallied 2.2% ahead of the open. Besides the 31% jump in Allergan's stock, among other shares seeing nice gains in the premarket, Mylan N.V. rose 2.7%, Endo International PLC climbed 4.5%, Theravance Biopharma Inc. hiked up 4.2%, Mallinckrodt PLC tacked on 2.7% and Perrigo Co. PLC gained 2.2%. Meanwhile, Medicines Co.'s stock shed 4.6%, after the company announced late Monday the public offering of $150 million worth of common stock. The pharmaceuticals ETF has lost 7.7% over the past three months through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Aldeyra shares slide 29% premarket after trial of eye disease treatment fails to meet goals
Aldeyra Therapeutics Inc. shares were down 29% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the company said a trial of a treatment for uveitis, or inflammation of the eye, failed to meet its main goals. The company said the trial called Solace failed to achieve statistical significance in primary or secondary endpoints, "due to high rates of disease resolution in vehicle-treated patients, but activity of reproxalap was consistently greater than that of vehicle." Aldeyra Chief Executive Todd Brady said the results "confirm the potential of reproxalap to treat ocular inflammation, and further validate the novel mechanism of action of reproxalap, which demonstrated highly statistically significant immune-modulating activity in the Phase 3 ALLEVIATE Trial and Phase 2b Dry Eye Disease trial." The company will continue to prioritize programs in eye treatments, he said. The company will host a conference call at 8.00 a.m. Eastern. Shares have fallen 14.6% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Caesars and Eldorado set termination fees for their proposed deal
Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Eldorado Resorts Inc. set the termination fees for the $8.6 billion deal agreed Monday, saying int a regulatory filing that if Caesars terminates the deal in favor of another one or in other circumstances it would pay Eldorado a termination fee of $418 million. If the deal were terminated by Eldorado, it would pay Caesars a termination of fee of $155 million, said the filing. "In addition, each party will be obligated to reimburse the other party's expenses for an amount not to exceed $50 million if the Merger Agreement is terminated because of the failure to obtain the required approval of such party's stockholders (creditable against any termination fee that may subsequently be paid by such party)," said the filing. Both stocks were slightly lower in premarket trade.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Lennar's stock surges after big profit, revenue beats
Shares of Lennar Corp. hiked up 4.8% in premarket trading Tuesday, after the home builder reported fiscal second-quarter profit and revenue that were well above expectations. Net income for the quarter to May 31 rose to $421.5 million, or $1.30 a share, from $310.3 million, or 94 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was $1.15. Total revenue grew to $5.56 billion from $5.46 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $5.03 billion, as homebuilding revenue rose to $5.20 billion from $5.06 billion to beat expectations of $4.78 billion. Homebuilding gross margin was 20.1%, just shy of the FactSet consensus of 20.2%. The average sales price of homes delivered fell to $407,000 from $413,000 a year ago, due primarily to product mix, as the Texas segments continued to shift to lower-priced communities. Sales incentives were $26,600 per home delivered, or 6.1% of home sales revenue, up from 5.3% last year. "The well-documented market pause in the second half of 2018 set the stage for more moderate home price increases and lower interest rates which stimulated both affordability and demand, leading homebuyers back to the market," said Executive Chairman Stuart Miller. The stock has rallied 31.3% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Crane refutes claims made by Circor in rejecting its bid
Crane Co. said claims made by flow control technology company Circor International Inc. regarding its $45-a-share offer for the company are "highly unrealistic" and show why its all-cash offer is the best option for Circor's shareholders. Crane, a diversified manufacturer of engineered industrial products, was responding to Circor's rejection of its offer on Monday, when Circor said the offer substantially undervalues the company. "CIRCOR's short-term plan, while expected, is yet another set of empty promises," Crane Chief Executive Max Mitchell said in a statement. In May, Crane said it would pay $45 for each Circor share outstanding, which at the time represented a 47% premium. The deal was being valued at $1.7 billion. Then on June 17, Crane said it commenced a tender offer for Circor shares. Neither stock was active premarket. Circor shares have gained 115% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

AbbVie confirms deal to buy Allergan for 45% premium, valuing Allergan at $61.7 billion
AbbVie Inc. confirmed Tuesday a deal to buy pharmaceutical company Allergan PLC , in a deal with valued at $63 billion. Allergan's stock soared 30% in premarket trading while AbbVie shares tumbled 9.9%. Under terms of the deal, Allergan shareholders will receive 0.8660 and $120.30 in cash for each Allergan share they own, which based on Monday closing prices values Allergan shares at $188.24 each, a 45.3% premium. Based on 327.8 million shares outstanding as of May 3, the per-share bid represents a market-capitalization for Allergan of $61.71 billion. Earlier Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal had reported AbbVie was near a deal to buy Allergan for $188 a share, or over $60 billion. AbbVie expects the deal to provide annual synergies and other cost reductions of at least $2 billion, and is expected to be 10% accretive to adjusted EPS over the first full year following the close of the deal, which is expected to occur in early 2020. Allergan's stock has dropped 11.5% over the past three months and AbbVie shares have slipped 1.3%, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 25, 2019

Allergan's stock soars after WSJ report AbbVie near a buyout deal for a 45% premium
Shares of Allergan PLC soared 35% toward an 8-month high in premarket trading Tuesday, after The Wall Street Journal reported that AbbVie Inc. was close to a deal to buy the pharmaceutical company. AbbVie's stock dropped 6.0% ahead of the open. The WSJ report said AbbVie would pay $188 in cash and stock for each Allergan share outstanding, which is 45% above Monday's closing price of $129.57. With 327.8 million shares outstanding as of May 3, the deal would value Allergan at about $61.6 billion. AbbVie's market capitalization as of Monday's close was $115.98 billion. Allergan's stock has declined 24.3% over the past 12 months through Monday and AbbVie shares have lost 15.7%, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has climbed 10.8% and the S&P 500 has advanced 8.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Tesla granted waiver on 10% tariffs against Japanese aluminum: report
Tesla Inc. was granted a waiver on 10% tariffs on aluminum imported from Japan, according to a Reuters report Monday. Tesla had asked for an exemption on 10,000 tons of aluminum produced by Nippon Light Metal Co Ltd. , and had argued in an April letter that it could not acquire U.S.-made aluminum that was comparable in both the volume of the order and quality. The U.S. Commerce Department found no objections and granted the one-year exemption, Reuters said, citing a filing dated June 5. Earlier this month, Tesla was denied a waiver for 25% tariffs on Chinese-made components for its Model 3 cars.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Powell to discuss interest rates with Congress on July 10-11
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell with testify to Congress on July 10 and 11 about interest-rate policy, two congressional committees announced Monday. The House Financial Services panel will go first, followed by the Senate Banking Committee the following day. Powell has made a concerted effort to be available to brief members of Congress behind closed doors about the economic outlook, and is often seen by reporters walking in the hallways of the Capitol.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Stocks end mostly lower as Iran sanctions hurt oil sector
U.S. stocks ended mostly lower on Monday, with only the blue-chip Dow managing to hold onto slight gains, as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East weighed on the oil sector. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 9 points, or less than 0.1%, to around 26,728, based on preliminary numbers. The S&P 500 was down 0.2% to finish around 2,945. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3% to end around 8,006. President Donald Trump signed an executive order sanctioning Iran's leaders. The U.S. and Iran have been stuck in a simmering dispute over attacks on tankers near the Strait of Hormuz and the downing of a U.S. drone last week. U.S. oil futures settled higher on Monday, even as energy stocks were among the worst performers for the day. Investors were mostly focused on the upcoming G-20 meeting at the end of the week, with many hoping President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will reach a deal to prevent a further escalation in trade tensions. Shares of Caesars Entertainment Corp. jumped 15% after the casino operator consented to a buyout by Eldorado Resorts Inc.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

House panel to hold hearing on Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency
The House Financial Services Committee plans to hold a hearing on July 17 on Facebook Inc.'s Libra cryptocurrency, according to an announcement Monday from the committee's chairwoman, Rep. Maxine Waters. The California Democrat said earlier this month that she wants Facebook to suspend plans for its crypto offering until Congress and regulators are able to study it more closely. The Senate Banking Committee is due to hold a hearing on Libra on July 16. Waters also said her committee will hold a hearing on July 10 on monetary policy, as well as a hearing on July 24 on the merger of SunTrust Banks Inc. and BB&T Corp.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

FDA approves Allergan's CoolTone device for toning up abdomen, buttocks and thighs
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Allergan Plc's CoolTone device for use in strengthening, toning and firming the abdominal area, buttocks and thighs, Allergan said Monday. CoolTone uses magnetic muscle stimulation to penetrate muscle layers, which then causes involuntary muscle contractions. The body responds to the contractions by strengthening muscle fibers, leading to increased muscle tone. The drugmaker said CoolTone has 50% more magnetic intensity than the leading competitor, but that claim has not been clinically established. Allergan also makes the CoolSculpting device, a non-surgical fat-elimination device that works by freezing and killing fat cells in targeted areas like the abdomen, flanks or under the chin. Shares of the drugmaker have fallen 3.4% so far this year, but were down as much as 12.5% in June before buzz of a possible company split helped bolster the stock price. Allergan has been dealing with some significant issues in the past year -- investors are worried about the future of Botox, the company's biggest earner, as it faces competition in the anti-wrinkle and injectable migraine treatment markets. Investors were also rattled by the failure of depression drug rapastinel -- once considered by many to be Allergan's next big blockbuster drug -- in clinical trials earlier this year. In May, Chief Executive Brent Saunders said he had heard investors' concerns "loud and clear," adding that "everything is on the table," including the possibility of splitting the company up.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Gold notches a third straight session gain, its second above $1,400
Gold futures climbed sharply on Monday, extending their streak of gains to a third consecutive session. Weakness in the U.S. dollar and 10-year Treasury yield, expectations for lower interest rates among global central banks, as well as geopolitical concerns continued to support haven demand for the precious metal. August gold rose $18.10, or 1.3%, to settle at $1,418.20 on Comex. Prices saw their highest most-active contract finish since August 28, 2013, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Microsoft stock rallies toward 8th-straight gain, 6th-straight record
Shares of Microsoft Corp. surged 0.9% in afternoon trading Monday, putting them on track for an 8th-straight gain, as Oppenheimer technical analyst Ari Wald said the software giant was a "top buy" given the long-term bullish technical backdrop. That would mark the second 8-day win streak this year, and third since it went 9-straight sessions ending Oct. 16, 2017 without a decline. The last time it rose for nine-straight days was the 9-day stretch ending Oct. 21, 2013. Microsoft's stock was also headed toward a 6th-straight record close day. "[Microsoft's stock] checks all our boxes," Wald wrote in a note to clients. "Key positives include the stock's bullish trend, high momentum score and top-down tailwinds based on our view that the technology sector is a prime candidate to be a key driver of the S&P 500's secular advance over the coming quarters to years." The stock has run up 35.4% year to date, as it continues to hold the top spot as the U.S.'s largest company by market capitalization, with a market cap of $1.054 trillion. The company is way ahead of second-place Amazon.com Inc. at $938.7 billion and third-place Apple Inc. at $919.3 billion.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Dow transports tumbles while Dow industrials gain, for 3rd time this month
The Dow Jones Transportation Average slumped 94 points, or 0.91%, in midday trading, with 16 of 20 components losing ground, despite the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 49 points, or 0.2%, with 18 of 30 components rising. This could mark the third time this month that the Dow transports fell more than 0.9% despite a gain in the Dow industrials, after not having done that since Dec. 13, 2018. According to the century-old Dow Theory of market analysis, the sister indexes are believed to have a symbiotic relationship, as the transports components companies are seen as "taking" what the industrials components makes. One of the six basic tenets of the Dow Theory states that both averages must exceed a previous peak to confirm the inception or continuation of a bull market. While the Dow industrials is 0.4% above its April 23 peak of 26,656.39 and just 0.2% below its Oct. 3, 2018 record close of 26,828.39, the Dow transports is 7.6% below its April peak and 7.9% below its Sept. 14 record close.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Dow, S&P 500 gain despite negative stock market breadth
The Dow Jones Industrial Average , S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all edged higher, even though broader stock market internals were negative. The number of declining stocks on the NYSE topped advancers 1,454 to 1,327 on the NYSE and 1,641 to 1,137 on the Nasdaq exchange, while declining volume represented 56.4% of total volume on the Big Board and 55.0% of total volume on the Nasdaq. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 45 points, or 0.2% and the S&P 500 tacked on 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite tacked on less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq 100 advanced 0.2%. The gains in the larger capitalization indexes was offset by weakness in smaller-cap companies and the economically sensitive transport sector. Russell 2000 fell 0.5% and the Dow Jones Transportation Average shed 0.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Trump signs executive order imposing financial sanctions against Iranian leaders
President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order imposing financial sanctions on Iranian leaders, according to pool reports from the White House. "We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran," he said. "I think a lot of restraint has been shown by us but that doesn't mean we're going to show it in the future," Trump said, a reference to his decision not to strike Iran militarily after the country shot down a U.S. drone.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Disney's stock falls after 'Toy Story 4' box office sets franchise record but was well below forecasts
Shares of Walt Disney Co. fell 1.1% in morning trade Monday, after the company's "Toy Story 4" dominated the weekend box office, which broke records for the franchise, but came up well short of expectations. Disney's stock has now lost 2.3% since closing at a record $142.02 on Thursday. The movie's domestic box office (DMO) take was estimated at $118.0 million, according to Box Office Mojo, exceeding the previous franchise opening record of $110.3 million by "Toy Story 3" in 2010, and more than 8-times second place "Child's Play," which had an opening DMO of $14.1 million. But as MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler said, "'Toy Story 4' was a hit, but not the mega-hit we hoped," as the DMO came up far below his estimate of $170 million, and the pre-release tracking of $150 million to $200 million range. He said the slower-than-expected start of the movie will likely weigh on 2Q revenue. "That said, given the spectacular critic reviews and a very positive audience CinemaScore ('A' exit polling rating)," Handler said the film should have long legs. The stock has rallied 28% year to date, to biggest gainer among Dow Jones Industrial Average components over that period, as the Dow has gained 5.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Walmart's Sam's Club is now delivering alcohol via Instacart in select markets
Walmart Inc.'s Sam's Club is now delivering alcohol, including wine, beer and spirits, via Instacart in select markets across states, including Florida, California and Missouri, the company said Monday. Consumers can get same-day delivery of alcohol alongside their groceries with plans to expand the service to additional locations in the coming months. Walmart shares were up 0.2% Monday, and hae gained 19.5% in 2019 to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average , which counts Walmart as a member, has gained 15% and the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Pier 1's stock tumbles to pace NYSE losers, to extend selloff after reverse split
Shares of Pier 1 Imports Inc. tumbled 22% in morning trading, enough to pace the NYSE's decliners, as they extend losses following last week's announcement of a 1-for-20 reverse stock split. The reverse split went into effect during Thursday's trading session, effectively lifting Wednesday's closing price from 68 cents to $13.60. The struggling home decor retailer said the idea behind the split was to regain compliance with the NYSE's minimum bid listing rule, in order to maintain listing. But since the split, the stock has now plunged 35%. The stock is headed for the lowest close since Jan. 4. It has plummeted 86% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 16% and the S&P 500 has gained 7.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Krystal Biotech shares up 27% after company's skin drug receives expedited review designation from FDA
Shares of Krystal Biotech Inc. were up 27% in Monday intraday trade after the gene therapy company said it had received an expedited review designation from the FDA for its lead drug candidate to treat a skin condition called dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. The condition, which involves severe blistering due to a lack of collagen in the skin, is currently incurable. Krystal's drug, called KB102, is a viral vector that delivers human COL7A1 genes -- which code for functional collagen -- directly to the patient's cells. The company also announced some positive results from a Phase 2 trial looking at six blister wounds being treated with KB103 -- five closed up completely, and the drug was well-tolerated, Krystal said. No serious adverse events or drug-related adverse events were reported, and there were no reports of inflammation or irritation in the KB103-treated wounds, the company said. Shares of Krystal have gained 76% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Microsoft stock gains again, to reach a record intraday high for 5th-straight day
Shares of Microsoft Corp. rose 0.4% in morning trading, putting them on track for an 8th-straight gain, as Oppenheimer technical analyst Ari Wald said the software giant was a "top buy" given the long-term bullish technical backdrop. That would mark the second 8-day win streak this year, and third since it rose for 9-straight sessions ending Oct. 16, 2017. Microsoft's stock has also set a fresh all-time intraday high for a 5th-straight trading day. "[Microsoft's stock] checks all our boxes," Wald wrote in a note to clients. "Key positives include the stock's bullish trend, high momentum score and top-down tailwinds based on our view that the technology sector is a prime candidate to be a key driver of the S&P 500's secular advance over the coming quarters to years." The stock has run up 35.4% year to date, as it continues to hold the top spot as the U.S.'s largest company by market capitalization, with a market cap of $1.054 trillion. The company is way ahead of second-place Amazon.com Inc. at $938.7 billion and third-place Apple Inc. at $919.3 billion.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Stocks open slightly higher as investors eye Trump-Xi meeting later this week
Stocks opened with small gains Monday as investors looked ahead to a meeting later this week between President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Analysts attributed a positive tone to hopes the meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Japan will produce a cease-fire in the U.S.-China trade war. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56.47 points, or 0.2%, to 26,775.60, while the S&P 500 was up 3.69 points, or 0.1%, to 2,954.15. The Nasdaq Composite was 14.48 points higher at 8,046.18. Shares of Caesars Entertainment jumped nearly 15% after the casino operator agreed to a buyout valued at about $8.6 billion buyout by Eldorado Resorts Inc.. Eldorado shares were off 7.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Fortinet stock gains after J.P. Morgan upgrade
Fortinet Inc. shares are up 3.8% in Monday morning trading after J.P. Morgan's Sterling Auty upgraded the cybersecurity stock to overweight from neutral. "We believe the company has embarked on the right strategy of balancing mid- to high-teen growth prospects in revenue with margin expansion that should deliver an attractive cash flow profile in the coming years as opposed to overspending in an effort to keep revenue growth above 20%," Auty wrote. He sees "consistent demand" for the company's products and expects that shares could outperform in the second half of the year provided that Fortinet delivers strong execution. Auty has a $93 price target on the stock, which has gained 12% so far this year but is off about 20% from its 2019 high. The S&P 500 has climbed 18% so far in 2019.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

FDA lifts hold on one of AbbVie's trials of venetoclax
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has lifted a clinical hold on one of AbbVie's Inc's trials looking at venetoclax as a potential treatment for multiple myeloma, AbbVie said Monday. The Phase 3 trial, called CANOVA, looks at venetoclax in combination with dexamethasone as a treatment for patients with advanced multiple myleoma who also have a specific genetic abnormality. The translocation abnormality, t(11;14), is one of the most commonly tested genetic abnormalities in patients with disease. AbbVie said it had agreed to revise the CANOVA study protocol, including new risk mitigation measures, protocol-specified guidelines and updated futility criteria. The drugmaker can resume enrolling patients in the CANOVA trial at sites where the protocol has been approved, but all other clinical trials of venetoclax in patients with multiple myeloma are still on hold. The FDA placed a partial hold on all of AbbVie's clinical trials of venetoclax for multiple myeloma in March. The hold came after a review of another Phase 3 trial's data showed there was a higher proportion of deaths in the treatment arm than in the control arm. Shares of AbbVie have fallen 14.6% in the year to date through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

FedEx stock falls after WSJ report of price cuts to support Express business
Shares of FedEx Corp. fell 1.3% in premarket trading Monday, after The Wall Street Journal reported that the package delivery giant has been offering big discounts in an effort to attract online merchants to its Express delivery service. The report comes after FedEx's announcement earlier this month that Express ended its contract with Amazon.com Inc. , as FedEx tries to win customers from rival United Parcel Service Inc. and ahead of FedEx earnings due out on Tuesday. The WSJ report, citing people familiar with the matter, said among FedEx price cuts was to offer guaranteed two-day air service for the same price as shipping items through its ground division. FedEx's stock has dropped 32% over the past 12 months through Friday, while rival UPS shares have slipped 10.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 8.7%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Micron could lose money by year-end, says Citi
Citi Research analyst Christopher Danely wrote Monday that Micron Technology Inc. could lose money by the end of the year "given how bad the DRAM environment is." While the last two DRAM downturns lasted six to eight quarters, the current downturn has only been going on for three quarters, Danely wrote. "On the bright side, we believe that the stock is close to a bottom, so long-term investors could nibble away at it," he said. Danely, who has a sell rating on the shares, argued that the company's Tuesday afternoon earnings report "should be fugly" as he expects that Micron will fall short of its outlook due to DRAM challenges. Micron's stock is down 0.3% in premarket trading Monday. It's gained 4.8% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has risen 18%.

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
Jun 24, 2019

United Technologies' stock gains after Cowen upgrades on 'win-win' scenario from Raytheon merger
Shares of United Technologies Corp. hiked up 1.1% in premarket trading Monday, after the building systems and aerospace company was upgraded by analyst Cai von Rumohr at Cowen, who said the stock's selloff since the proposed merger with Raytheon Co. was announced offers a "win win" for attractive standalone valuation. He raised his rating to outperform, after being at market perform since September 2017, and increased his stock price target to $150 from $135. Since the merger was announced, United Technologies' stock has lost 2.6% through Friday while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 2.8%. The company's aerospace unit is at "an attractive inflection point," von Rumohr wrote in a note to clients, and said the stock's relative weakness since the merger was announced suggests investors don't understand the benefits. He said if the merger fails, he believes the stock should move closer to its sum-of-the-parts value of $150 to $155, and if the merger goes through, United Technologies gets the synergy benefits plus greater cash flow per share from enhanced financial flexibility. Von Rumohr added he sees "modest" merger completion risk.

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
Jun 24, 2019

UPDATE: Bristol-Myers offers update on liver cancer trial, to sell Otezla to hasten close of Celgene deal
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. shares fell 4% in premarket trade Monday, after the company said a late-stage study of its Opdivo as a treatment for a type of liver cancer failed to meet its main goals. The company said the Phase 3 study called CheckMate -459 evaluating Opdivo versus sorafenib as a first-line treatment in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC, failed to meet its primary endpoint of overall survival, or OS. "While CheckMate -459 did not reach its pre-specified primary endpoint, the results showed a clear trend towards improvement in OS for patients treated with Opdivo compared to sorafenib, a current standard of care," the company said in a statement. The full study results will be presented at a coming medical meeting, said the statement. HCC is the fastest rising cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. Separately, Bristol-Myers said it is planning to sell Otezla, a treatment for certain types of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, in an effort to address Federal Trade Commission concerns about its pending merger with Celgene Corp. . "The proceeds of the OTEZLA sale will allow Bristol-Myers Squibb to accelerate its post-closing deleveraging plans," the company said. The companies are expecting to close the deal at year-end or in early 2020. Bristol-Myer shares are down 5.2% in 2019 through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.7%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

UPDATE: Minerva Neurosciences stock rallies after trial of insomnia treatment meets main goals
Minerva Neurosciences Inc. shares soared 34% in premarket trade Monday, after the company said its trial of Seltorexant as a treatment for insomnia met its primary and key secondary goals. The company said the Phase 2b trial of the drug met its primary endpoint of latency to persistent sleep, or LPS, at Night 1 in 10 mg and 20 mg doses of Seltorexant. It also met its key secondary endpoint, defined as wake after sleep onset over first 6 hours at Night 1. The beneficial effects were maintained over time and were consistent in adults and elderly patients. "The findings from this study demonstrate that seltorexant significantly improves sleep induction and prolongs sleep duration," said Professor Thomas Roth, Director of the Sleep Disorders and Research Center at Henry Ford Hospital. "The results also demonstrate that seltorexant showed a significantly greater improvement in these sleep parameters compared to zolpidem." The study involved 365 patients with a mean age of 57.8, ranging from 22 to 84 years of age. Minerva shares have fallen 37.2% in 2019 through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 17.7%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 24, 2019

Spotify stock falls after Evercore turns bearish
Spotify Technology SA shares are down 3.7% in premarket trading Monday after Evercore ISI analyst Kevin Rippey downgraded the stock to underperform from in-line. "We simply do not see a path by which Spotify can generate the level of gross profit demanded by Street estimates over the medium-term," he wrote. "Consumers enjoy streaming music, and there's little content differentiation between platforms. Therefore, labels' willingness to cede economics to Spotify in a manner that would satisfy estimates is very limited in our view." Rippey also argued that Spotify might see smaller-than-expected upside from newer initiatives like paid promotions and podcasts. He lowered his price target on the shares to $110 from $125. Spotify's stock has gained 31% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has risen 18%.

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



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