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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

U.S., China start to outline deal to end trade war: report
U.S. and Chinese negotiators have begun to outline a deal to end the trade war between the world's two largest economies, Reuters reported Wednesday night. Citing sources familiar with the ongoing negotiations, Reuters said agreements in principle are being drawn up on six key areas: forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, agriculture and non-tariff barriers to trade. The report suggested the outline is the most significant progress made so far after months of trade talks. The progress began in earnest last week during talks in Beijing, Reuters reported, and carried on in Washington this week. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump suggested the March 1 deadline before the U.S. raises tariffs again is "not a magical date," and reports said the deadline may be extended, with the potential for a final deal to be signed at a summit between Trump and China's President Xi Jinping next month.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Michael Cohen to testify publicly before House committee next week
Michael Cohen's public testimony before the House Oversight Committee has been rescheduled for Feb. 27, Rep. Elijah Cummings said late Wednesday. Cohen's hearing was delayed earlier this month as he recovers from shoulder surgery. In a statement, Cummings said the new hearing will begin at 10 a.m. next Wednesday. "Congress has an obligation under the Constitution to conduct independent and robust oversight of the Executive Branch, and this hearing is one step in that process," he said. The hearing will address President Donald Trump's payoffs, financial; disclosures, compliance with campaign finance laws, business practices and other matters, the statement said. Cohen was Trump's longtime personal attorney and fixer. He's set to appear in a closed-door session the next day, Feb. 28, with the House Intelligence Committee. Cohen pleaded guilty to charges including campaign-finance violations last year, and will start his three-year prison sentence in May.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

NetEase stock rises after earnings beat
NetEase Inc. shares rose 1.3% in the extended session Wednesday after the company beat earnings expectations. The China-based company reported fourth-quarter net income of $246.9 million, or $1.92 per American depositary share. Adjusted for items such as stock-based compensation, earnings were $2.66 a share. Revenue rose 35.8% to $2.89 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted earnings of $2.46 a share on revenue of $2.94 billion. For the first quarter, analysts model adjusted earnings of $2.93 million on sales of $2.87 billion. NetEase stock has fallen 25% in the past year, with the S&P 500 index rising 2.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Sailpoint says it expects to exceed forecast, but delays earnings report
SailPoint Technologies Holding Inc. said Wednesday afternoon that it expects to top its earnings and revenue guidance for the fourth quarter, but is delaying its report as it deals with new accounting regulations. The security-software company expected to divulge fourth-quarter earnings Thursday, but delayed that report as it attempts to implement new accounting standards. SailPoint had been classified as an "emerging growth company," but it reached a market capitalization last year that stripped away the right to claim that designation, the company said, which means it is trying to implement rules that it avoided as an emerging growth company. In the announcement of a delay, SailPoint revealed that its fourth-quarter results are expected to "exceed the high end of its previously issued revenue and non-GAAP profit guidance," based on the previous accounting standards, which were in place when it made the forecast. SailPoint predicted adjusted earnings of 8 cents to 9 cents a share on sales of $70 million to $71.5 million for the fourth quarter. SailPoint faces a March 1 deadline to report its results, and said it expects to the its annual report within 15 calendar days of that date, and promised a later news release with details on its rescheduled conference call at a later date. SailPoint went public in November 2017 at $12 a share, and closed Wednesday at $30.59.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Sturm Ruger stock falls after Q4 earnings miss
Shares of Sturm Ruger & Co. fell 0.3% in the extended session Wednesday after the gun maker missed quarterly expectations. Sturm said it earned 69 cents a share in the fourth quarter, compared with 59 cents a share in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $121.1 million from $118.2 million a year ago. According to FactSet, one analyst covers the company and had expectations of per-share earnings of 79 cents on sales of $124 million for the quarter. Sturm did not provide net income for the fourth quarter or comparison figures for the year-ago quarter in its press release. The company also said its board of directors declared a dividend of 28 cents a share payable March 29. Shares of Sturm ended the regular trading day up 0.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Kodak CEO steps down
Eastman Kodak Co. said late Wednesday that its Chief Executive Jeffrey Clarke is stepping down. Kodak stock was flat after hours. The company said it was appointing board chairman Jim Continenza as Kodak's executive chairman and that Continenza would assume the responsibilities of Clarke. "I am thrilled to build upon our Board's strategic vision and become an integral part of day-to-day operations as the Company continues to execute on its previously announced initiatives," Continenza said in a statement. Kodak stock is down 54% in the past year, as the S&P 500 index gained 2.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

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

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Albemarle stock rises 5% as lithium producer beats forecasts, sees steady demand
Shares of Albemarle Corp. rose more than 5% in the extended session Wednesday after the lithium producer beat Wall Street expectations for its fourth quarter and called for sales and profit growth this year. Albemarle earned $129.6 million, or $1.21 a share, versus a loss of $218.4 million, or $1.95 a share, in the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted for one-time items, Albemarle earned $163.7 million, or $1.53 a share, compared with $149.8 million, or $1.34 a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $921.7 million, compared with $857.8 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $1.47 a share on sales of $895 million. Albemarle said it expects sales between $3.65 billion and $3.85 billion, and adjusted profit between $6.10 a share and $6.50 a share for 2019. "Our growth will be driven by increased volume in our core lithium business," while other businesses will be flat, the company said. "We are not forecasting any significant macroeconomic headwinds and have not seen any decline in our customer demand forecasts."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Lyft expected to make IPO filing public next week, plans to list on Nasdaq
Ride-hailing giant Lyft Inc. plans to list on the Nasdaq and is expected to make its initial public offering filing public next week, according to The Wall Street Journal. Citing sources, the Journal reported that Lyft is set to launch its road show in mid-March. Rival Uber Technologies Inc. has also said it also plans to go public this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Foot Locker stock gains after revealing plans to spend in 2019
Foot Locker Inc. shares increased in after-hours trading Wednesday after the retail chain announced its spending plans for the year. Foot Locker is increasing its dividend, pledging $1.2 billion toward share repurchases, and increasing its capital expenditure spending from $200 million in 2018 to $275 million in 2019. "The capital spending planned for 2019 reflects increased investments in the company's store fleet in all existing regions, including Asia, and in its digital initiatives," the company's announcement read. Foot Locker increased its dividend 10% to 38 cents a share, and said it plans to repurchase $1.2 billion in stock during the next three years. Foot Locker shares have increased 24.7% in the past 12 months, as the S&P 500 index has gained 2.3%

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Jack in the Box shares rise after revenue beat
Jack in the Box Inc. shares rose 4.1% in the extended session Wednesday after the company beat revenue expectations. The company reported fiscal first-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $31.1 million, or $1.19 a share, compared with earnings from continuing operations of $12.9 million, or 43 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for restructuring charges and changes to the U.S. tax code, among other things, earnings were $1.35 a share, compared with $1.23 a share in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue fell to $290.8 million from $294.5 million in the year-ago period and the company continued its dividend of 40 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted earnings of $1.28 a share on revenue of $275.3 million. For the fiscal second quarter, analysts model adjusted earnings of 96 cents a share and sales of $209.8 million. Jack in the Box stock has fallen 10.6% in the past year, with the S&P 500 index rising 2.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Oil prices edge up as API data reportedly show a smaller-than-expected rise in U.S. crude supplies
The American Petroleum Institute reported late Wednesday that U.S. crude supplies rose by 1.3 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 15, according to sources. The API also reportedly showed that gasoline stockpiles fell by 1.6 million barrels, while distillate inventories declined by 758,000 barrels. The supply data were released a day later than usual because of Monday's Presidents Day holiday. Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Thursday. On average, analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to report a rise of 3.5 million barrels in crude supplies. The survey also forecast supply declines of 1.1 million barrels for gasoline and 1.4 million barrels for distillate. April West Texas Intermediate crude was at $57.28 a barrel in electronic trading, up from the $57.16 settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

NLight shares slammed as weakness in China hurts forecast
NLight Inc. shares dropped more than 8% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company revealed fourth-quarter earnings and mentioned weakness in China while issuing a disappointing forecast. The company, which makes lasers for use in optical networking components and semiconductor manufacturing, reported profit of $2.4 million, or 6 cents a share, on revenue of $46.2 million, up from $37.5 million a year ago. After adjustments for stock-based compensation and other effects, the company said it had earnings of 10 cents a share, up from 4 cents a share in the year-ago period. Analysts on average estimated adjusted earnings of 6 cents a share on sales of $46.7 million, according to FactSet. NLight's first-quarter guidance came in well lower than analysts expected, however, and the chief executive mentioned issues in China. "While conditions in the Chinese industrial market remain challenging, we see expanding opportunities with fiber laser customers in other Asian markets, North America, and Europe," Scott Keeney said in a prepared statement. The company projected revenue of $40 million to $44 million in the fiscal first quarter, while analysts on average projected $46.5 million. NLight said adjusted Ebitda is expected to fall to $2 million to $4 million, after the company recorded $6.3 million by that metric a year ago. The laser specialist went public in April 2018 at $16 a share and has traded for as much as $43.63 in its first year on Wall Street, but closed Wednesday at $21.78 before its after-hours decline.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Avis stock rallies 9% after company beats profit forecasts
Shares of Avis Budget Group Inc. rose more than 9% in the extended session Wednesday after the car rental company's fourth-quarter adjusted profits topped Wall Street expectations and sales came in line. Avis said it earned $13 million, or 16 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $220 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned 53 cents a share in the quarter, compared with 45 cents a share a year ago. Revenue rose 2% to $2.1 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 37 cents a share on sales of $2.1 billion. Avis guided for revenue between $9.2 billion and $9.5 billion and adjusted earnings between $3.35 a share and $4.20 a share for 2019. The stock ended the regular trading day down 0.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Carbon Black shares plunge more than 13% after earnings beat, weak outlook
Carbon Black Inc. shares plunged more than 13% in the extended session Wednesday after the company beat earnings expectations but issued weaker than expected 2019 full-year guidance. The company reported fourth-quarter net losses of $18.6 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with losses of $27.1 million, or $2.51 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for items such as stock-based compensation, losses were 20 cents a share, compared with $1.04 in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose to $56.9 million from $44.6 million in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted losses of 24 cents a share on revenue of $55.7 million. For the first quarter, analysts model adjusted losses of 21 cents a share on sales of $58.5 million; analysts model full-year adjusted losses of 69 cents a share and sales of $256.7 million. Carbon Black said it expects fiscal 2019 adjusted losses of 64 cents to 61 cents a share on revenue of $240 million to $244 million. Carbon Black stock has fallen 24% in the past six months, with the S&P 500 index falling 2.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Agilent beats on earning and raises annual forecast slightly, but stock declines
Agilent Technologies Inc. announced better fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue than the medical-device company expected Wednesday, and slightly raised its guidance for the year, but shares still fell in late trading. Agilent reported net income of $504 million, or $1.57 a share, on sales of $1.28 billion, up from $1.21 billion a year ago. After stripping out a gain of nearly $300 million from a tax benefit and other adjustments, the company claimed earnings of 76 cents a share. Analysts on average expected Agilent to report adjusted earnings of 73 cents a share on sales of $1.27 billion, according to FactSet, after the company forecast adjusted earnings of 71 cents to 73 cents a share on revenue of $1.265 billion to $1.28 billion. Agilent said it now expects full-year adjusted earnings of $3.03 a share to $3.07 a share on revenue of $5.15 billion to $5.19 billion. The company had previously guided for 2019 earnings of $3 to $3.05 a share on revenue of $5.13 billion to $5.17 billion. Agilent shares declined about 3% in late trading, possibly because the second-quarter forecast came in a bit light. Agilent predicted adjusted earnings of 70 cents to 72 cents a share on sales of $1.255 billion to $1.27 billion. Analysts on average were predicting adjusted earnings of 73 cents a share on sales of $1.27 billion, according to FactSet. Shares have gained 10.5% in the past 12 months, as the S&P 500 index has gained 2.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Stock market extends rally as Fed minutes show fissures on policy; Nasdaq marks longest win streak since August
U.S. stocks finished higher Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting showed central bankers were divided on raising rates further in 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 63 points, or 0.2%, at 25,954, the S&P 500 index climbed 0.2% at 2,785, on a preliminary basis. Meanwhile, the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index finished little changed at 7,489, but enough to extend a rally to an eighth straight session, on a preliminary basis. The win streak marks the longest streak for the Nasdaq since Aug. 9, according to FactSet data. Meanwhile, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note traded at 2.652%, compared with 2.645% Tuesday. Bond yields rise as prices fall. The Fed's minutes from its Jan. 29-30 meeting, which were released at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, showed concerns about the global economy and fears that its efforts to reduce its $4 trillion-dollar balance sheet, known as quantitative tightening, or QT, would cause further disruptions in financial markets. On the trade front, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the U.S. may not increase tariffs on Chinese goods as scheduled after March 1, but he did raise the specter of addressing auto tariffs in Europe, which briefly helped pushed stocks lower as minutes were being digested. Although, the Fed's more dovish stance has sparked optimism that stocks can continue to churn higher, questions persist about how long the Fed will maintain its newfound patient posture. Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said Wednesday after minutes were released that he wasn't even sure the economy is slowing down. "So far, we have to admit that we don't have all the data we usually do right now. So its not even clear how much of a slowdown, if any, that we're seeing in the economy," Clarida said, in an interview on CNN International.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Fresh Del Monte's stock tumbles after dividend suspended
Shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. dropped 1.7% after resuming trade Wednesday, after the fruit and vegetable producer said it will suspend its quarterly cash dividend, "in light of the terms of the company's credit facility." The stock's selloff comes after it plunged 17% on Tuesday following the release of fourth-quarter results. The stock's previous quarterly dividend was 15 cents a share, with the annual rate of 60 cents a share implying a dividend yield of 2.05% at Tuesday's closing price. "Our current credit facility imposes certain operating and financial restrictions on us," the company stated in its 10-K filing with the SEC. "Our failure to comply with the obligations under this facility, including maintenance of financial ratios, could result in an event of default, which, if not cured or waived, would permit the lender to accelerate the indebtedness due under the facility." The stock has now tumbled 36.7% over the past 12 months while the S&P 500 has gained 2.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Stocks turn negative after release of Fed minutes
U.S. stocks retreated following the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's January interest-rate committee meeting, which showed members concerned about the effects of a "weaker outlook and greater uncertainties for foreign economies," and that committee members are divided on the question of whether markets should expect "further gradual rate increases" in interest rates. Meanwhile, "almost all" members of the committee expect the bank to stop reducing the size of its balance sheet later this year. Stocks have rallied this year in large part due to a pivot in Fed policy from 2018, when it raised interest rates four times, to the January meeting that saw the committee adopt a wait-and-see approach to further rate moves. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 44 points points, or 0.2% to trade at 25,857, while the S&P 500 lost 5 points, or 0.2%, at 2,775. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 29 points, or 0.4% to trade at 7,458.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Fed minutes: Officials divided over future interest-rate hikes as they plan to bring balance-sheet runoff to an end this year
Federal Reserve officials broke into two camps about future interest-rate hikes, according to minutes of the January meeting released Wednesday. One camp of "several" officials argued that rate increases might be needed only if inflation outcomes were higher than the baseline forecast. However, several other officials thought it would be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate later this year if the economy evolved as expected. Officials said they thought being patient posed "few risks at this point." Many officials said that when the uncertainty over the outlook abated, the Fed would need to reassess the characterization of policy as "patient." As far as the balance sheet, "almost all" participants wanted to stop reducing the balance sheet later this year as they mostly agreed to reinvest mortgage-backed securities into Treasurys once the runoff stops.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Gold futures settle at highest since April, then fall in electronic trading
Gold futures climbed on Wednesday to their highest settlement since April, then edged lower in electronic trading after the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal reserve's January meeting. Optimism over U.S.-China trade talks backed a potential boost in demand for the metal from China, the world's largest buyer, boosting gold prices for the session. April gold rose $3.10, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,347.90 an ounce. Fed minutes after the gold futures settlement showed that 'several' officials saw the need for more interest rate hikes if inflation came in above forecasts. In electronic trading shortly after the news, April gold was at $1,344.60.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Altria's stock jumps toward 2-month high after Wells Fargo's bullish call post CAGNY
Share of Altria Group Inc. jumped 3.3% toward a 2-month high in afternoon trade Wednesday, and have recovered nearly everything they lost since announcing a $12.8 billion stake in e-vapor company Juul Labs Inc. Analyst Bonnie Herzog at Wells Fargo said she is "incrementally more confident" in Altria's strategy of maximizing returns on its core brands, including Marlboro, while pursuing new avenues of growth in e-vapor and cannabis, through its $1.8 billion investment in Cronos Group Inc. , following the company's presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference. She reiterated her outperform rating and $65 stock price target. The stock closed at $51.40 on Dec. 19, just before Altria announced is Juul investment, then fell to a more than 5-year low of $43.33 on Jan. 24. Since then, the stock has soared 17%. in comparison, the SPDR Consumer Staple Select Sector ETF has advanced 5.2% since Jan. 24 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 5.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Fitch downgrades Newell Brands into junk territory
Fitch Ratings on Wednesday downgraded Newell Brands Inc. long-term issuer default rating to BB-plus from BB-minus, lowering it to speculative-grade, or "junk" status, from investment grade. The move "reflects the significant deterioration in underlying core operations; lack of visibility to topline and EBITDA stabilization and therefore the level of sustainable FCF generation; and Fitch's expectation that leverage will be at 3.5x or higher even if the company diverts all asset sale proceeds toward debt paydown, after offsetting around $400 million in negative FCF expected in 2019," the rating agency said in a report. The owner of brands, including PaperMate, Sharpie and Rubbermaid has seen declines that go beyond the baby and writing categories and suggest execution issues that may stretch on into 2020, said the report. It also reflects risks about business divestitures that are showing weakness and concerns about an economic slowdown. Shares were up 3% Wednesday, but have fallen 36% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 2%. The company's most active bonds, the 3.850% notes that mature in April of 2023, were trading 8 basis points tighter on the day at 196 basis points over Treasurys, according to MarketAxess to yield 4.402%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Owens & Minor's stock tumbles after dividend slashed to a penny, earnings miss
Shares of Owens & Minor Inc. tumbled 14% in active afternoon trade Wednesday, after the provider of distribution services to makers of healthcare products reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed expectations, provided a downbeat outlook and slashed its dividend to next to nothing. The company said late Tuesday it swung to a net loss of $261.8 million, or $4.37 a share, from a profit of $23.0 million, or 38 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, such as $274 million impairment charge, adjusted earnings per share of 9 cents was below the FactSet consensus of 14 cents. Revenue rose 6.4% to $2.54 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $2.50 billion. The company said it amended its credit agreements, that while enhances it financial "flexibility," also increases its interest expense. With that in mind, the company expects 2019 adjusted EPS of 60 cents to 75 cents, below the current FactSet consensus of 93 cents. The company also cut its quarterly dividend to 0.25 cents a share from 7.5 cents a share, which lowers the implied annual dividend yield to 0.15% from 4.39%. Separately, Owens & Minor named Edward Pasicka its chief executive officer, effective March 4. The stock has plunged 56% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Barr may announce Mueller investigation completion as early as next week, CNN reports
Attorney General William Barr is preparing to announce as early as next week the completion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, CNN reported Wednesday. CNN said the scope of what Barr will send to Congress is unclear and it's also unclear how long it will take Department of Justice officials to prepare what will be submitted to lawmakers. The timing of the announcement could change, CNN noted.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Netflix is the only 'FAANG' stock above its 200-DMA, others are still in technical limbo
Despite the big rally in the technology sector so far this year, 4 of the 5 "FAANG" stocks are trading in limbo, above their short-term trend trackers but still below their long-term trend indicators. The only FAANG stock in bullish technical territory is Netflix Inc. , which is down 0.7% in midday trade Wednesday, but is 6.3% above its 200-day moving average and 15% above its 50-day moving average (DMA). Meanwhile, shares of Facebook Inc. are 2.8 below its 200-DMA but 9.6% above its 50-DMA; Apple Inc. is 10.2 below its 200-DMA but 7.0% above its 50-DMA; Amazon.com Inc. is 5.8% below its 200-DMA but 14.0% above its 50-DMA; and Google parent Alphabet Inc. is 0.4% below its 200-DMA but 4.5% above its 50-DMA. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite is less than 0.1% below its 200-DMA and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is 3.3% above its 200-DMA.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Hershey to raise prices in North America
Hershey Co. said Wednesday that it plans to put a new pricing structure in place and raise prices in North America in 2019. "Our new approach for pricing is much more precise both in terms of magnitude and breadth," said Michele Buck, chief executive of Hershey, speaking on Wednesday at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference, according to a FactSet transcript. "The P&L impact is expected to build over the course of the year achieving a 2.5% run rate by late Q3. This price increase will help us to maintain our strong investment in the business and will help to offset rising operational costs." Hershey also reaffirmed its full-year guidance, forecasting net sales growth in the range of 1% to 3%, earnings per share growth of 3% to 6% and adjusted EPS growth of 5% to 7%. The FactSet consensus is for sales of $7.93 billion, representing 1.8% growth from the prior year, and EPS of $5.63, an increase of about 5.1% from the previous year. Hershey shares have gained 10.4% over the last 12 months while the S&P 500 index is up 2.2% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Stock market breadth is more bullish than the Dow, S&P 500 gains suggest
Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are showing just minimal gains in midday trade Wednesday, broader market internals are painting a more bullish picture. The number of stock gaining ground is outnumbering decliners 1,673 to 1,079 on the NYSE and 1,492 to 1,168 on the Nasdaq, while volume in advancing stocks represents 64.8% of total volume on the Big Board and 64.5% of the Nasdaq's total volume. Meanwhile, the Dow is up just 10 points, or less than 0.1%, and the S&P 500 is barely 0.1% higher. The Nasdaq Composite is climbing 0.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 20, 2019

Tesla readying Model 3 leasing for employees: report
Tesla Inc. is preparing to lease the Model 3, according to a report on Electrek, a blog mostly dedicated to the Silicon Valley car maker. The company sent an email to employees this week saying they will be able to lease Model 3 in the next two weeks, Electrek said, citing people familiar with the matter. "This is simply an internal document to ensure teams are prepared for when we eventually introduce a leasing option to customers," and "no decision has been made about when Model 3 leasing will be available," a Tesla spokesperson said in emailed comments. On a call with analysts earlier this month after Tesla's fourth-quarter results, Chief Executive Elon Musk said the company had been "reluctant" to offer leasing on Model 3 because of its effect on GAAP financials, and that it likely would introduce it later this year. Earlier Wednesday, Tesla confirmed its general counsel, veteran trial lawyer Dane Butswinkas, will be leaving Tesla after two months on the job. Jonathan Chang will become Tesla's new top lawyer, rising from his role as vice president of legal. Tesla shares fell 0.9% in midday trading, and are down more than 9% in the past 12 months, which contrasts with gains around 2.4% for the S&P 500 index.

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Feb 20, 2019

SEC brings charges but doesn't fine unregistered initial coin offering
The Securities and Exchange Commission settled charges Wednesday against Gladius Network LLC for allegedly conducting an unregistered initial coin offering or ICO. The Washington, DC-based company raised approximately $12.7 million in digital assets to finance its plan to develop a network for renting spare computer bandwidth to defend against cyberattacks and enhance delivery speed but did not register its ICO under the federal securities laws, and the ICO did not qualify for an exemption from registration requirements. The company self-reported to the SEC in the summer of 2018 and settled without admitting or denying the findings. The SEC did not impose a penalty but Gladius will return funds to those investors who purchased tokens in the ICO and who request a return of funds, and then register its tokens as securities.

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Feb 20, 2019

Amazon's investment in EV maker Rivian may be the biggest auto story of 2019--Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said Wednesday he believes Amazon.com Inc.'s leading of a $700 million investment in electric truck maker Rivian Automotive LLC last week is the "most significant milestone" for electric vehicles since Tesla Inc. went public in 2010. But Jonas also said he believes Amazon's Rivian investment "may prove to be the most significant milestone for U.S. autos for all of 2019." He said Amazon's increased and more direct involvement in the EV industry, including the company's plan to have half its shipments carbon neutral by 2030, is "more of a threat than an opportunity" for others in the EV space, including Tesla. Amazon's stock was up 0.3% in morning trade, while Tesla shares fell 1.2%. Over the past three months, Amazon's stock has climbed 9.2% while Tesla shares have slumped 13% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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Feb 20, 2019

New Residential Investment's stock falls on heavy volume after 40 million share offering
Shares of New Residential Investment Corp. slumped 3.5% on heavy volume in morning trade Wednesday, after the residential real estate investment company priced a relatively large stock offering at a discount. Volume ballooned to 17.9 million shares, which is already more than five times the full-day average, and enough to make the stock the most actively traded on the major stock exchanges. The company said Wednesday that its public offering of 40,297,096 shares were sold for gross proceeds of $664.9 million. That implies a per-share price of $16.50, which is 3.1% below Tuesday's closing price of $17.02. The company said of the total shares offered, 40 million were being sold directly by the company to raise about $660 million, and which would increase the shares outstanding by about 11%. The rest of the shares are being sold by FIG LLC. The stock has slumped 1.6% over the past three years, while the SPDR Real Estate Select Sector ETF has gained 5.0% and the S&P 500 has advanced 5.4%.

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Feb 20, 2019

Lighthizer to testify before key House committee on U.S.-China trade right before March 1 tariff deadline
The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing Feb. 27 with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the panel announced Wednesday. The hearing comes just days before a March 1 deadline for the two countries to reach a trade deal -- though President Donald Trump has indicated he is flexible on that date. Optimism over a deal has helped to buoy U.S. stocks , and Trump has pointed to progress in ongoing discussions.

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Feb 20, 2019

Stock market fights for flight as Wall Street awaits minutes from the Fed's big policy pivot
U.S. stocks on Wednesday saw a subdued open as investors awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve's rate-setting meeting last month that led to a major reversal in policy for the central bank. Developments in trade remained on investors' radar as talks between Beijing and Washington continue. President Trump said that the U.S. may not increase tariffs on some $200 billion to 25% from 10% in Chinese goods as scheduled on March 2, saying the negotiating deadline is "not a magical date." The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded up 16 points, or less than 0.1%, at 25,904, the S&P 500 index edged lower by less than a point at 2,779, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced more firmly, compared against its equity benchmark peers, up 0.2% at 7,500. An eighth straight gain for the Nasdaq would match its longest win streak since a period ended Aug. 9. Fears that the Fed, run by Chairman Jerome Powell, was raising interest rates too quickly roiled markets last year 2018, but the Fed changed its tune at the start of 2019, citing crosscurrents exemplified by one of the worst December returns for stocks in years. In corporate news, CVS Health Corp. shares were lower after its quarterly results disappointed Wall Street. Shares of Tesla Inc. were in focus after another the electric car maker announced that its general counsel, Dane Butsinkas was leaving the firm. Looking ahead, the Federal Open Market Committee's minutes will be released at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

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Feb 20, 2019

Walgreens' stock falls to pace Dow losers after CVS revenue, outlook disappoint
Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. sank 1.9% in morning trade Wednesday, enough to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average's decliners, after rival drugstore chain CVS Health Corp.'s disappointing fourth-quarter revenue and full-year profit outlook. Walgreen's stock price decline of $1.41 was shaving about 10 points off the Dow's price, which was up 8 points. Meanwhile, CVS shares tumbled 8.5% to pace the S&P 500's decliners. Elsewhere, Rite Aid Corp.'s stock slipped 0.8%.

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Feb 20, 2019

Kandi's stock rockets after its electric vehicles are approved for import into the U.S.
Shares of China-based Kandi Technologies Group Inc. rocketed 22% in active morning trade toward a 13-month high Wednesday, after the car maker said Kandi-branded electric vehicles have been approved for importation into the U.S. by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The approved EVs are the Model EX3 and Model K22. "With this, we are confident in introducing our reliable vehicles to the American public," said Kandi Chief Executive Hu Xiaoming. "We believe both the EX3 and K22 are competitive in price and quality with advanced tech features that are in demand by American consumers." Shares of EV rival Tesla Inc. slipped 0.8%. Kandi's stock has run up 34% over the past 12 months, while Tesla shares have lost 9.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 2.4%.

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Feb 20, 2019

Airline stocks sell off after Southwest underestimates shutdown's negative impact
Shares of airlines are selling off in premarket trade Wednesday, after Southwest Airlines Co. disclosed that it underestimated the negative impact of the government shutdown. Southwest's stock fell 4.8% ahead of the open, after saying it had continued to experience softness in demand and bookings as a result of the shutdown, even after the shutdown ended. The air carrier raised its estimate for the shutdown's negative impact on revenue to $60 million from $10 million to $15 million. Among other airline stocks seeing early activity, shares of American Airlines Group Inc. dropped 1.7% in premarket trade, Delta Air Lines Inc. shed 1.2%, United Continental Holdings Inc. gave up 1.5%, JetBlue Airways Corp. slid 1.1% and Alaska Air Group Inc. declined 1.5%. Southwest's revised outlook comes as the NYSE Arca Airline Index has run up 16.4% year to date and the S&P 500 has climbed 10.9%.

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Feb 20, 2019

Airline stocks selloff after Southwest underestimates shutdown's negative impact
Shares of airlines are selling off in premarket trade Wednesday, after Southwest Airlines Co. disclosed that it underestimated the negative impact of the government shutdown. Southwest's stock fell 4.3% ahead of the open, after saying it had continued to experience softness in demand and bookings as a result of the shutdown, even after the shutdown ended. The air carrier raised its estimate for the shutdown's negative impact on revenue to $60 million from $10 million to $15 million. Among other airline stocks seeing early activity, shares of American Airlines Group Inc. fell 1.6% in premarket trade, Delta Air Lines Inc. dropped 1.2% and United Continental Holdings Inc. gave up 1.0%. Southwest's revised outlook comes as the NYSE Arca Airline Index has run up 16.4% year to date and the S&P 500 has climbed 10.9%.

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Feb 20, 2019

CannTrust shares to start trading on NYSE on Feb. 25
Canadian cannabis company CannTrust Holdings Inc. said Wednesday it has met the requirements for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange and will begin trading there on Feb. 25. The Vaughan, Ontario-based company will trade under the ticker symbol "CTST" and will continue with its original listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange. "We have taken steps to strengthen our management team to accelerate our growth as we face high demand for our products and expertise, both domestically and internationally," Chief Executive Peter Aceto said in a statement. The company said last week it has hired Greg Guyatt as chief financial officer. Guyatt was previously CFO of GreenSpace Brands, a natural food product company, and has also done stints at Deloitte and worked in capital markets. Toronto-listed shares of CannTrust have gained 74% in 2019 so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.

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Feb 20, 2019

Fed to release January meeting minutes as scheduled Wednesday despite winter storm
The Federal Reserve said it would release the minutes of its January interest-rate committee meeting on schedule at 2 p.m. Eastern Wednesday, despite the fact that the central bank's Washington headquarters will be closed due to a winter storm. Within the minutes, economists have said they are looking for more details of the central bank's plan for shrinking of the balance sheet and which economic factors may lead the central bank to adjust interest rates this year. Fed officials have signaled they intend to hold rates steady for the next few meetings.

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Feb 20, 2019

Bausch Health swings to $344 million loss in latest quarter
Bausch Health Cos. Inc. said Wednesday it had a net loss of $344 million, or 98 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, after net income of $513 million, or $1.45 a share, in the year-earlier period. The company, formerly called Valeant, said the loss was due to a 2017 tax benefit and more than $2.2 billion in impairment charges recognized as it adopted a new accounting standard. It said adjusted net income was $368 million, but did not provide a per-share number. The FactSet consensus was for adjusted EPS of 84 cents. Revenue fell to $2.121 billion from $2.163 billion, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $2.080 billion. Sales of Salix were flat at $426 million, while sales of ortho dermatologics fell 2% to $165 million. Diversified product sales fell 11% to $325 million. The company said it expects 2019 revenue of $8.30 billion to $8.50 billion, compared with a FactSet consensus of $8.471 billion. Shares rose 1.2% premarket and have gained 35.6% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.3%.

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Feb 20, 2019

CVS Health shares fall after lower-than-expected revenue
CVS Health Corp. shares fell 5.2% in Thursday premarket trading after the pharmacy retailer reported fourth-quarter revenue that missed expectations and gave weak earnings guidance. CVS reported a loss of $419.0 million, or 37 cents per share, after net income of $3.3 million, or $3.22 per share, the previous year. The loss includes a $2.2 billion goodwill impairment related to the long-term care business, which faced challenges including lower occupancy rates at skilled nursing facilities and the bankruptcies caused by the failing health of customers at these facilities. Adjusted EPS was $2.14, ahead of the $2.09 per share FactSet consensus. Revenue of $54.4 billion was up from $48.4 billion last year but missed the $54.6 billion FactSet expectation. Pharmacy services revenue of $34.9 million also missed FactSet's consensus for $46.4 billion, and the retail and long-term care segment revenue totaling $22.0 billion was below the FactSet expectation for $28.8 billion. For the full-year 2019, CVS expects EPS in the range of $4.88 to $5.08 and adjusted EPS in the range of $6.68 to $6.88, below the $7.35 FactSet consensus. CVS shares have slipped 1.1% over the past year while the S&P 500 index has gained 2.3% for the period.

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Feb 20, 2019

Aurora Cannabis shuffles board, names Chairman Michael Singer as executive chairman
Aurora Cannabis Inc. said Wednesday it appointed Michael Singer, who was previously chairman of the board, as executive chairman. It also named Ronald Funk lead independent director and Margaret Atkins as new independent director and chair of the audit committee. Diane Jang, who had been on the board since November 2017, has resigned her position as director. "As Aurora continues to mature into one of the world's largest and leading cannabis companies, it is important that our board continues to examine its composition to ensure that its experience and expertise aligns with the company's strategic direction," Singer said. Aurora's stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 15% over the past three months, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has hiked up 23% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.2%.

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Feb 20, 2019

USA Today parent Gannett's profit and revenue fall short of estimates
USA Today parent Gannett Co. Inc. said Wednesday it had a net loss of $14.2 million, or 13 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, wider than the $13.6 million, or 12 cents a share, loss posted in the year-earlier period, weighed down by restructuring and asset impairment costs. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 44 cents, below the 51 cents FactSet consensus. Revenue fell to $751.4 million from $854.2 million, also below the FactSet consensus of $768 million. Digital revenue came to $272.3 million, or about 36% of total revenue. Digital ad and marketing services revenue came to $204.5 million, or 48% of total ad and marketing service revenue. The company is now expecting 2019 revenue of $2.740 billion to $2.810 billion, compared with a current FactSet consensus of $2.874 billion. Shares were up 0.8% premarket and have gained 12.9% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.3%.

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Feb 20, 2019

Southwest's stock drops after impact of shutdown was worse than expected
Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. dropped 2.9% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the air carrier said government shutdown will have a much greater negative impact on its business than previously expected. Southwest now estimates the negative impact of the shutdown on first-quarter revenue to be about $60 million. Previously, it had estimated the negative impact to be $10 million to $15 million for Jan. 1 through Jan. 23. "Since then, the company has continued to experience softness in passenger demand and bookings as a result of the shutdown," Southwest said in a statement. The company lowered its first-quarter operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) growth outlook to 3% to 4% from from its previous guidance of a rise of 4% to 5%. The stock has run up 12% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has climbed 7.0% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.2%.

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Feb 20, 2019

U.S. wants stable yuan as part of China trade deal: Bloomberg
While President Donald Trump has expressed flexibility with a March 1 trade-deal deadline, the U.S. wants a stable yuan to be part of any agreement, according to a Bloomberg report, that cited sources. The report said discussions about the Chinese currency have been a part of talks between the two countries over the past several months. The yuan reportedly hit a two-week high against the dollar on Tuesday, last trading at 6.7240.

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Feb 19, 2019

La-Z-Boy stock gains 5% after company's fiscal Q3 tops views
Shares of La-Z-Boy Inc. rose nearly 5% in the extended session Tuesday after the furniture maker reported fiscal third-quarter sales and earnings above Wall Street views. La-Z-Boy earned $28.7 million, or 61 cents a share, compared with $12.3 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for one-time items, La-Z-Boy earned 63 cents a share, compared with 25 cents a share a year ago. Sales rose 13% to $468 million in the quarter, compared with $414 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet expected La-Z-Boy to earn an adjusted 55 cents a share on sales of $458 million. La-Z-Boy shares ended the regular trading day up 2.6%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Five9 stock rallies as results beat Street
Five9 Inc. shares rose in the extended session Tuesday after the cloud-based call-center software company's results topped Wall Street estimates. Five9 shares rose 6% after hours, following a 0.1% rise to close the regular session at $54.31. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $3.7 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with a loss of $631,000, or 1 cent a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 23 cents a share. Revenue rose to $72.3 million from $55.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 14 cents a share on revenue of $66.4 million. Five9 expects adjusted earnings of 11 cents to 13 cents a share on revenue of $70 million to $71 million for the first quarter, and 58 cents to 62 cents a share on revenue of $298.5 million to $301.5 million for the year. Analysts had forecast earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of $68.8 million for the quarter, and 59 cents a share on revenue of $295.8 million for the year.

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Feb 19, 2019

Analog Devices board OKs 12.5% dividend increase
Analog Devices Inc. said late Tuesday its board of directors has voted to increase the company's quarterly dividend to 54 cents a share, an increase of 12.5% and the 16th dividend increase in the last 15 years for the company. The increase is effective with the dividend payable on March 12 to shareholders of record on March 1, the company said. Shares of Analog Devices rose 0.4% in the extended session after ending the regular trading day down 1.4%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Office of Government Ethics declines to certify Wilbur Ross financial disclosure report
The Office of Government Ethics has declined to certify the financial disclosure report of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, according to a new filing. The 2018 annual filing wasn't certified because, it says, Ross said he did not hold BankUnited stock while the transaction report from Oct. 31, 2018, demonstrated that he did. The issue over Ross's roughly $15,000 stake in BankUnited had previously been brought to light by the Center for Public Integrity.

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Feb 19, 2019

OneSpan stock jumps more than 20% as results top Street estimates
OneSpan Inc. shares surged more than 20% in the extended session Tuesday after the cybersecurity company reported a surprise profit and topped revenue estimates for the quarter. OneSpan shares, which had been briefly halted before results were released, rallied 29% after hours, following a 3.8% rise to close the regular session at $16.77. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $4 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a loss of $25.8 million, or 65 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 17 cents a share. Revenue rose to $64.8 million from $54.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast a loss of 2 cents a share on revenue of $59.9 million. For the year, OneSpan expects revenue of $229 million to $237 million, while analysts had forecast on revenue of $231.4 million.

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Feb 19, 2019

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

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Feb 19, 2019

Concho Resources stock falls 5% after company misses views
Shares of Concho Resources Inc. fell nearly 5% in the extended session Tuesday after the oil and gas exploration and production company reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street forecasts. Concho said it earned $1.5 billion, or $7.55 a share, in the quarter, compared with $267 million, or $1.79 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, Concho earned $189 million, or 94 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $98 million, or 66 cents a share, a year ago. Total operating revenue reached $1.07 billion, compared with $780 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $1.11 a share on sales of $1.19 billion. Shares of Concho Resources ended the regular trading day down 1.6%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Cadence Design stock rallies as results, outlook top Street view
Cadence Design Systems Inc. shares rallied in the extended session Tuesday after the chip-design software company's results and outlook topped Wall Street estimates. Cadence Design shares surged 7% after hours, following a 0.1% rise to close the regular session at $52.64. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $98.4 million, or 35 cents a share, compared with a loss of $14.4 million, or 5 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 52 cents a share. Revenue rose to $569.9 million from $501.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 47 cents a share on revenue of $550.3 million. Cadence Design expects earnings of 48 cents to 50 cents a share on revenue of $565 million to $575 million for the first quarter, and $1.97 to $2.07 a share on revenue of $2.27 billion to $2.31 billion for the year. Analysts had forecast 46 cents a share on revenue of $549 million for the first quarter, and $1.96 a share on revenue of $2.26 billion for the year.

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Feb 19, 2019

Merck stock falls in late trading on cancer study
Merck & Co. Inc. shares declined in after-hours trading Tuesday after the company announced that a study of its Keytruda drug did not meet its goals. The company said that a study on the effectiveness of the drug for patients with a specific type of liver cancer did not reach its defined goals for survival. Merck is testing the drug on a variety of cancers in a big bet on immunotherapy for cancer. Merck shares dipped slightly more than 1% in the extended session after making the announcement, following a 0.7% decline in the regular session. The stock has gained 40.8% in the past 12 months as the S&P 500 index has gained 1.6%.

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Feb 19, 2019

LendingClub stock falls after company misses Q4 expectations
Shares of LendingClub Corp. fell more than 8% in the extended session Tuesday after the peer-to-peer lending company missed revenue expectations and posted an adjusted loss in the fourth quarter. LendingClub said it lost $13.5 million, or 3 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $92 million, or 22 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted for one-time items, LendingClub lost $4.1 million, or 1 cent a share, in the period, compared with an adjusted loss of 3 cents a share a year ago. Revenue rose to $181.5 million, compared with $156.4 million a year ago. Analysts were looking for an adjusted profit of 2 cents a share on sales of $182.1 million. LendingClub shares ended the regular trading day up 1.4%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Stocks eke out gains on U.S.-China trade hopes, Walmart earnings
Investors returned from a three-day weekend to push U.S. stocks slightly higher Tuesday, with equities erasing early weakness on optimism over U.S.-China trade talks. Early support came from strong earnings from retail giant Walmart Inc. . The S&P 500 ended around 4 points higher, up 0.2%, near 2,780, according to preliminary figures, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced around 8 points, or less than 0.1%, to finish near 25,891. The Nasdaq Composite rose around 14 points, or 0.2%, to close near 7,487. U.S.-China talks were set to resume in Washington Tuesday, following up on high-level discussions last week in Beijing. President Donald Trump on Tuesday told reporters that a March 1 deadline isn't a "magical" date, which investors took as a further suggestion that a hike in tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled to go into effect if a deal isn't reached could be postponed. Walmart shares rose 2.2% after posting better-than-expected results ahead of Tuesday's opening bell.

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Feb 19, 2019

EIA forecasts U.S. shale oil output to climb by 84,000 barrels a day in March
Crude-oil production from seven major U.S. shale plays is forecast to climb by 84,000 barrels a day in March to 8.398 million barrels a day, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration released Tuesday. Oil output from the Permian Basin, which covers parts of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico, is expected to see the largest climb among the big shale plays, with an increase of 43,000 barrels a day in March from February. The March contract for West Texas Intermediate oil futures was trading up 28 cents, or 0.5%, at $55.87 a barrel ahead of its settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Feb 19, 2019

New Jersey utility PSEG raises quarterly dividend to 47 cents vs. 45 cents
New Jersey utility Public Service Enterprise Group said Tuesday it's raising its quarterly dividend by 4.4% to 47 cents a share. The new dividend will be payable March 29 to shareholders of record as of March 8. Shares were slightly lower, but have gained 13.6% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.8%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Caesars Entertainment's stock surges after Icahn confirms buying 10% stake
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed Tuesday that he owned 66.05 million shares of Caesars Entertainment Corp. , or 9.8% of the shares outstanding. That would be enough to make Icahn the third-largest shareholder of the casino operator. Caesars' stock rallied 5.1% in afternoon trade, to put it on track for a 4-month closing high. Icahn's disclosure confirms a report in The Wall Street Journal last week that Icahn owned a 10% stake and planned to push the company to consider selling itself. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday showed that Icahn acquired the shares, through his High River Limited Partnership, Icahn Partners L.P. and Icahn Partners Master Fund L.P. entities, between Jan. 15 and Feb. 14. The stock has run up 16.6% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.4%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Ford quits heavy-truck business in South America at a cost of $460 million
Ford Motor Co. said Monday it will end its commercial heavy-truck business in South America, calling the move a "key step toward returning" its operations in the region to "sustainable profitability." Production at a Sao Paulo state's plant will end this year and sales of commercial trucks, as well as the Ford Fiesta compact car available for South America, will end once inventory is sold, the car maker said in a statement. The company expects to record pre-tax charges of around $460 million in connection to the announcement, it said. Shares of Ford rose 2.3% Monday. The shares are down nearly 18% in the past 12 months, contrasting with gains of around 1.8% for the S&P 500 index in the same period.

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Feb 19, 2019

Trump asked for recused official to lead investigation into hush payments: report
President Donald Trump asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker whether the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, could be put in charge of the investigation into Trump's role in silencing women with hush payments, the New York Times reported, citing "several American officials with direct knowledge of the call." Berman had recused himself from that investigation. The investigation has been led by Robert Khuzami. According to the report, Trump "soon soured" on Whitaker -- it said there's no evidence Whitaker took any steps to intervene -- and complained about Whitaker's inability to make the president's legal problems go away. The report more broadly discusses Trump's "two-year war" on the investigations encircling him.

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Feb 19, 2019

Gold futures rally to highest settlement since April
Gold futures on Tuesday settled at their highest since April, up 1.7% for the biggest single-session percentage rise since November. Caution among traders surrounding potential progress on Brexit and trade talks between the U.S. and China helped to support the haven metal. April gold rose $22.70 to settle at $1,344.80 an ounce. That was the highest most-active contract settlement since April 19, and biggest single-session dollar and percentage gain since Nov. 1, according to FactSet data.

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Feb 19, 2019

Chinese software company Powerbridge to offer 2.2 million shares in IPO priced at $4.50 to $5.50 a pop
Chinese trade software company Powerbridge Technologies set terms for its planned initial public offering on Tuesday, saying in a regulatory filing that it plans to offer 2.2 million shares priced at $4.50 to $5.50 each. The company would raise $4.84 million at the midpoint of that range. The company has applied to list on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "PBTS". Maxim Group and The Benchmark Co. are joint underwriters on the deal. Proceeds will be used to fund research and development, for sales and marketing, for strategic alliances and acquisitions and for working capital and general corporate purposes. "We are a provider of software application and technology solutions and services to corporate and government customers primarily located in China," the company says in its prospectus. "We introduced global trade software applications when we launched our operations in 1997 with a vision to make global trade operations easier for our customers." T

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Feb 19, 2019

WTA No. 1 Naomi Osaka upset in Dubai in first tournament after firing coach
Naomi Osaka on Tuesday lost her first match after becoming World No. 1 and then stunning the tennis world by parting ways with ex-coach Sascha Bajin. Osaka lost 3-6, 3-6 to France's Kristina Mladenovic at the Dubai Tennis Championships, in a match marked by numerous errors, including 5 double faults for the world's highest ranked player. Japanese-born Osaka announced that Bajin would no longer enlist Bajin's services as coach via Twitter, less than two weeks after reaching No. 1 in the WTA rankings, coming after a historic Australian Open victory in Melbourne, where she became the first Japanese player to win back-to-back grand slam titles and the country's first No. 1 tennis player. During interviews in Dubai, Osaka, whose father is Haitian, said severing ties with German coach Bajin had nothing to do with money and instead was because she refused to put "success over happiness." She is expected to retain her WTA No. 1 ranking, despite the upset loss.

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Feb 19, 2019

Targa Resources shares jump 7% after company agrees to sell North Dakota stake in $1.6 billion deal
Targa Resources Corp. shares jumped about 7% Tuesday, after the company said it has agreed to sell a 45% stake in Targa Badlands to private-equity firms GSO Capital Partners and Blackstone Group LP for $1.6 billion in cash. Houston, Tx.-based Targa said it will remain operator and hold majority governance rights in Targa Badlands, which is the entity holding all of its assets in North Dakota. The assets are located in the Bakken and Three Forks Shale plays of the Williston Basin in North Dakota, and include about 480 miles of crude oil pipelines, 125,000 barrels of operational crude oil storage, about 260 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines and the Little Missouri natural gas processing plant with a current gross processing capacity of approximately 90 million cubic feet per day. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. Proceeds have been earmarked for debt reduction and general corporate purposes, including the growth capital program. Shares have gained 1.2% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.8%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Google to acquire data-migration company Alooma
Alphabet Inc.'s announced Tuesday that it planned to acquire Alooma, a data-migration company. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. "The addition of Alooma, subject to closing conditions, is a natural fit that allows us to offer customers a streamlined, automated migration experience to Google Cloud, and give them access to our full range of database services," Google said in a release. The company expects that the deal will help customers better take advantage of Google's security, machine-learning, and artificial-intelligence technologies. Alphabet shares are up 0.6% in Tuesday morning trading, and they've gained nearly 10% in the past three months. The S&P 500 has risen 3.1% in that time.

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Feb 19, 2019

Kraton stock soars 27% after company says it may sell Cariflex business
Chemicals company Kraton Corp. shares soared 27% Tuesday, putting them on track for the biggest one-day percentage gain since the company went public in 2009, after it said it may sell its Cariflex business and unveiled a share buyback program of up to $50 million. Houston, Tx.-based Kraton, which makes polymers used in adhesives, coatings, consumer and personal care products, said it has launched a strategic review of Cariflex, which makes products for the health care industry. The high-margin business has attractive growth prospects that "are not appropriately valued as part of Kraton," Chief Executive Kevin M. Fogarty said in a statement. Proceeds of any deal would be used to pay down debt, he said. Kraton will release fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 27 and is still expecting adjusted EBITDA of about $380 million, excluding impacts from Hurricane Michael. Shares have gained 69% in 2019 so far, while the S&P 500 has gained about 3%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Palo Alto Networks to acquire Demisto for $560 million
Palo Alto Networks Inc. announced Tuesday that it would be acquiring Demisto, a security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) company, for $560 million in cash and stock. Shares are up 0.7% in morning trading. The Demisto deal "will help bring PANW closer to using AI and machine learning to further automated its customers' security operations," wrote FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi after the announcement. BTIG's Joel Fishbein expects the company to remain acquisitive under Chief Executive Nikesh Arora as it looks to accelerate its application framework. Palo Alto Networks reports earnings on Feb. 26. Its shares have risen 40% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.2%.

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Feb 19, 2019

CenturyLink's stock extends bounce of 2-decade low after analyst upgrade
Shares of CenturyLink Inc. rallied 2.6% in morning trade Tuesday, extending their bounce off last week's 22-year closing low, after MoffettNathanson analyst Nick Del Deo upgraded the communications services company, citing a "sufficiently compelling" valuation following the recent price plunge. Del Deo raised his rating to neutral from sell, but cut his target to $12 from $16. The stock had closed Thursday at $12.78, the lowest level since May 1997, after the company slashed its dividend by more than half. "There's a strong argument to be made that CenturyLink is a long term structural short and the stock is likely to grind lower as the 'Corporate Reaper' comes closer: its revenue losses continue apace; those revenue losses will translate into bottom line erosion; realizing anticipated cost savings carries execution risk; and it still carries a significant debt burden," Del Deo wrote in a note to clients. That said, from a risk-reward perspective, we don't see the current price as sufficiently compelling as to continue to warrant a Sell rating, and therefore are upgrading the shares to Neutral." The stock has tumbled 26% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 3.1%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Lululemon's stock knocked lower after Instinet downgrades on valuation concerns
Shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc. dropped 2.2% in morning trade Tuesday, after the yoga gear maker was downgraded at Instinet, which cited concerns over valuation given the recent run up in price. Analyst Simeon Siegel cut his rating to neutral from buy, but raised his price target to $157 from $140. He said that while he believes Lululemon is one of the "best stories in retail," with his research suggesting industry-leading same-store sales growth will likely continue, he also believes the recent surge in the stock price already reflects that optimism. The stock has run up 31% since Dec. 24, and 82% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has slipped 2.1% the past year and the S&P 500 has gained 1.6%. "Looking further out, we have every expectation that management will raise their $4 billion revenue target, however, we think that at this point that is a consensus belief and one baked into the current share price," Siegel wrote in a note to clients. He also downgraded Ulta Beauty Inc. to neutral from buy, for similar concerns over valuation.

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Feb 19, 2019

Intercept Pharmaceuticals up 14% after positive NASH trial results
Shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. were up 14% Tuesday after the company announced its Phase 3 study of obeticholic acid for the treatment of patients with liver fibrosis due to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) had met its primary objective. NASH is a serious progressive liver disease caused by excessive fat accumulation in the liver, leading to scarring (fibrosis) that can lead to eventual liver failure, cancer and death. The trial showed statistically significant improvement when it came to its first endpoint, the reversal of fibrosis, with 23.1% of patients showing fibrosis improvement on the drug compared to 11.9% on placebo. Results were not statistically significant when it came to the second primary endpoint -- actual resolution of NASH. The U.S. Food and Drug and Administration previously said that in order for the primary objective of the trial to be met, Intercept would have to achieve one of two primary endpoints. Intercept said it intends to file for approval in the U.S. and Europe in the second half of 2019. Shares of Intercept have gained 104% in the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.4%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Stocks open slightly lower as U.S.-China talks resume; Walmart shares jump
Stocks on Wall Street opened with modest losses Tuesday as U.S. investors returned from a three-day weekend and U.S. and Chinese negotiators prepared to resume trade talks in Washington. The S&P 500 was off 0.2% at 2,769, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 16 points, or 0.1%, at 25,868. The Nasdaq Composite shed 6 points to trade at 7,467, a loss of 0.1%. The Dow's fall was cushioned by a 3.2% rise for shares of Walmart Inc. after the retail giant reported fourth-quarter results and raised its dividend.

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Feb 19, 2019

McDonald's stock gains after Stephens upgrades to bullish rating, boosts price target
Shares of McDonald's Corp. rose 0.9% in premarket trade Tuesday, after Stephens analyst Will Slabaugh turned bullish on the fast-food giant, citing the belief that the core U.S. business is accelerating while the stock continues to underperform. Slabaugh upgraded McDonald's to overweight, after being at equal weight since April 2018, and boosted his price target to $200 from $180. Slabaugh said investor sentiment has flipped from "loved" to "concerned" after the company reported fourth-quarter results. "After re-examining our model, we believe we appropriately adjust for such headwinds to the point of conservatism if [comparable-store sales] growth is as strong as we suspect," Slabaugh wrote in a note to clients. "With expectations fairly low and what we believe is a better-than-expected top line, we believe [McDonald's stock] is set to work from these levels." The stock has slumped 3.6% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 3.5%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Papa John's stock drops after Stifel Nicolaus turns bearish again
Shares of Papa John's International Inc. sank 2.8% in premarket trade Tuesday, after a Stifel Nicolaus downgrade back to a rare sell rating, citing valuation and concerns that the pizza seller's recovery will take longer than expected. Analyst Chris O'Cull cut his rating to sell, after upgrading to hold from sell six months ago. O'Cull lowered his stock price target to $35, which is 23% below Friday's closing price of $45.26, from $38. Only 2% of the companies covered by Stifel are rated sell. "As evidenced by the January promotional performance, the company is struggling to increase transactions without hurting franchisees' already low profitability," O'Cull wrote in a note to clients. He said that while the stock has run up 18% since the company said it received a $200 million investment from Starboard Value LP, the investment firm has not provided details of how it may create shareholder value, while entering into an investment agreement that is projected to be dilutive to shareholders. The company has struggled since the troubles surrounding its founder John Schnatter, which was made worse in November after a report that Trian Fund Management was no longer pursuing a buyout bid. The stock has tumbled 21.2% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 3.25.

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Feb 19, 2019

PayPal target raised to $114 at BTIG on optimism about account growth, eBay transition
BTIG analyst Mark Palmer increased his price target on shares to PayPal Holdings Inc. to $114 from $95 on Monday on optimism for the company's ability to weather changes in its relationship with eBay Inc. [: ebay] and continue growing active accounts at a fast clip. Palmer's new target is the second highest listed on FactSet. "We believe PayPal is well positioned to continue to generate growth about twice that of its peer group, which justifies a premium multiple," Palmer wrote. He highlighted the company's active account additions of 13.8 million in the latest quarter, which included about 2.9 million that came via acquisitions. The metric was "well above" the recent norm of about 8 million to 9 million net new additions per quarter. PayPal's stock has gained 18% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has risen 3.2%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Cleveland Fed president: More attention should be paid to uncertainty bands around dot plot
The uncertainty bands around the dot plot deserve more attention, because they illustrate that interest rate policy is not preset and that the economy can evolve in unexpected ways, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said Tuesday at a speech at the University of Delaware. She repeated the view that, at coming meetings, the Federal Open Market Committee will be finalizing plans for ending the balance-sheet runoff and completing balance-sheet normalization.

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Feb 19, 2019

AbbVie stock up 0.2% after FDA grants upadacitinib priority review status
Shares of AbbVie, Inc. were up 0.2% in premarket trade Tuesday after the company announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had assigned priority review status to its new drug application for upadacitinib, a potential therapy for adult patients with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis. This means the FDA will aim to take action on the application within six months, as opposed to the standard ten. Upadacitinib is a once-a-day oral drug that works by blocking a signaling molecule called JAK-1. AbbVie has conducted six Phase 3 studies on the drug, and five have met their primary and secondary endpoints. Upadacitinib is also under review by the European Medicines Agency for moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults. Shares of AbbVie have fallen 32% in the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.6%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Merck KGaA wins U.S. CRISPR patent
Germany-based Merck KGaA has won a U.S. patent for a CRISPR technology that helps make the gene-editing technique more efficient, the company announced Tuesday. Merck KGaA's technology, called proxy-CRISPR, is a technique that helps open up the genome to make certain hard-to-reach sections of DNA more accessible. The technology involves a two-pronged approach involving two CRISPR systems that work together: One system pushes away proteins that block the target area, while the other looks for the exact location for modification. The U.S. patent marks the Merck KGaA's thirteenth CRISPR patent worldwide, though it is the first CRISPR-related patent the company has received in the U.S. Shares of Merck KGaA have gained 16% in the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.6%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Flowers Foods CEO Allen Shiver to retire after 4 decades at the company
Flowers Foods Inc. said Tuesday Chief Executive Allen Shiver has decided to retire after about 6 years as CEO, ending a 4-decade run with the company. The bakery foods company, which is the parent of Nature's Own, Wonder and Tastykake brands, said it named Chief Operating Officer Ryals McMullian as CEO, effective as of the 2019 annual meeting of shareholders. McMullian joined the company in 2003, and was named COO in June 2018. Shiver had joined the company in 1978, and has been CEO since 2013. The stock, which is still inactive in premarket trade, has slipped 2.9% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.6%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Sherwin-Williams names David Sewell COO effective March 1
Paints company Sherwin-Williams Co. said Tuesday it has named David Sewell as chief operating officer effective March 1. Sewell is currently Sherwin-Williams' president of performance coatings group, a role he has held since August of 2014. Prior to that, he headed up the product finishes division, global finishes group. He has also done stints at General Electric Co. . The board named Aaron Erter as president performance coatings group, succeeding Sewell. Shares were flat premarket, but have gained 9.2% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.6%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Weight Watchers' stock tumbles after downgrade to rare underweight rating at J.P. Morgan
Shares of WW , formerly known as Weight Watchers International Inc., tumbled 6.2% in premarket trade Tuesday, after J.P. Morgan analyst Christina Brathwaite turned bearish the weight management and wellness company for the first time, citing continued user declines. Braithwaite cut WW to a rare underweight rating, after cutting it to neutral from overweight on Jan. 11. Only 14% of the companies J.P. Morgan covers globally are rated underweight. Braithwaite also cut slashed her stock price target to $25 from $37. She said her downgrade comes as her research suggests daily active users (DAU) on that WW app keep contracting "in the most important period of the year." Since the downgrade in January, Braithwaite said DAU trends have worsened, app reviews have become increasingly negative and competitors Noom and Diet Doctor have continued to gain traffic share. The stock has plunged 71% since the June 20, 2018 record close of $103.09 through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 0.3% over the same time.

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Feb 19, 2019

Avis Budget names John North CFO
Avis Budget Group Inc. said Tuesday it has named John North III as chief financial officer, effective March 18. North is a former CFO of Lithia Motors Inc. who helped that automotive retailer expand from 2010 to 2018, completing several acquisitions and helping to integrate them. He will replace interim CFO Martyn Smith, who will remain at the company in an advisory role for at least six months after North joins. Shares rose 0.9% premarket, but have fallen 28.3% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.6%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Walmart's stock surge to reduce Dow's losses by about 30 points
Shares of Walmart Inc. shot up in premarket trade Tuesday after the discount retail giant reported fiscal fourth-quarter results and raised its dividend, with the implied price gain providing a 30-points boost to the Dow Jones Industrial Average's price. But that wasn't enough to lift Dow futures into positive territory, as they were still down about 59 points. A gain in Walmart's stock Tuesday would be the sixth straight, the longest win streak since the 7-day stretch ending Nov. 9, 2018. The stock was on track for the best 6-day performance--up 9.2%--since it ran up 9.9% during the six days ending Aug. 17, 2018.

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Feb 19, 2019

UPDATE: German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld dies aged 85
German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, known for his white pony tail, dark suits and tinted sunglasses, has died at the age of 85 in Paris, the head of French fashion house LVMH confirmed on Tuesday. Lagerfeld was creative designer for Chanel, but also designed for fashion house Fendi and for his own brand. The designer had been sick and missed a number of fashion shows in the last few weeks. "With the passing of Karl Lagerfeld we have lost a creative genius who helped to make Paris the fashion capital of the world and Fendi one of the most innovative Italian houses," Arnault said in a statement. "Fashion and culture has lost a great inspiration." Lagerfeld had been associated with Chanel since 1983 and is credited with modernizing and updating the brand to make it one of the world's most valuable fashion brands.

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Feb 19, 2019

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

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Feb 19, 2019

Walmart boosts dividend by 2%
Walmart Inc. said Tuesday it will raise its annual dividend by 2% to $2.12 a share, from $2.08 a share. The first quarterly dividend of the new annual rate will be payable April 1 to shareholders of record on March 15. Based on Friday's stock closing price of $99.99, the new dividend implies a dividend yield of 2.12%, compared with the implied yields for the SPDR S&P Retail ETF of 1.37% and for the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 2.09%. The discount retail giant also reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat expectations. The stock, which shot up 4.5% in premarket trade, has tacked on 3.3% over the past three months, while the retail ETF has lost 0.4% and the Dow has gained 3.5%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Walmart shares rise after earnings and revenue beats expectations
Walmart Inc. shares rose nearly 5% in Tuesday premarket trading after the retail giant reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations. Net income for the quarter totaled $3.69 billion, or $1.27 per share, up from $2.18 billion, or 73 cents per share, for the same period last year. Adjusted EPS of $1.41 beat the FactSet consensus of $1.33. Revenue totaled $138.80 billion,up from $136.27 billion last year and ahead of the $138.76 billion FactSet consensus. E-commerce sales rose 43%, with the company saying that additional grocery pickup and delivery, as well as an expanded online selection aiding growth. U.S. same-store sales rose 4.2%, beating the 3.2% FactSet consensus. Sam's Club same-store sales, rose 3.3%, just below the 3.4% FactSet expectation. Walmart expects fiscal 2020 U.S. same-store sales growth of 2.5% to 3% and Sam's Club same-store sales growth of 1%. E-commerce sales are expected to growth about 35%. Adjusted EPS is expected to decline by low single-digit percentage range compared with fiscal 2019, but will increase by low-to-mid single-digits excluding Flipkart. The FactSet consensus is for U.S. same-store sales to rise 2.6%, and EPS of $4.72, down from $4.84 the previous year. Walmart shares are up 3.3% for the past three months, but down 4.6% for the last year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 3.2% for the last three months, and up 1.6% for the past year.

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Feb 19, 2019

Arconic sets $700 million accelerates stock buyback program
Arconic Inc. said Tuesday it has entered into a $700 million accelerated share repurchase (ASR) deal. Based on the metals manufacturer's Friday stock closing price of $17.55, the ASR could represent the buyback of 39.89 million shares, or about 8.3% of the shares outstanding. Under terms of the ASR with J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, National Association, London Branch, the initial delivery of about 31.9 million shares would be made on Feb. 21, with the final amount to be based on the volume-weighted average price during the term of the deal, less a discount. The stock, which is still inactive in premarket trade, has tumbled 13.7% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.2%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Cooper Tire shares up 2.8% premarket as adjusted profit beat offset sales miss
Cooper Tire & Co. shares rose 2.8% in premarket trade Tuesday, after an adjusted profit beat that offset weaker-than-expected sales for the fourth quarter. The company said it had a loss of $419,000, or 1 cent a share, in the quarter, after a loss of $42.2 million, or 82 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 66 cents, ahead of the 57 cents FactSet consensus. Sales rose 1.8% to $770 million, just below the $775 million FactSet consensus. "As projected, in the fourth quarter we drove unit volume growth in the U.S., which was offset by volume declines in our other regions, reflecting economic and political factors," Chief Executive Brad Hughes said in a statement. The company is expecting macro-conditions to support growth in tire demand in 2019 and expect full-year operating profit margins to improve. Shares have fallen 4.3% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.6%.

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Feb 19, 2019

Medtronic beats profit and sales expectations
Medtronic PLC reported fiscal third-quarter net income for the quarter to Jan. 25 that fell to $1.27 billion, or 94 cents a share, from $1.59 billion, or $1.17 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, the medical technology company said adjusted earnings per share came to $1.29, above the FactSet consensus of $1.24. revenue rose 2.4% to $7.55 billion, just above the FactSet consensus of $7.53 billion, as U.S. revenue grew 2.3% to $4.00 billion. Non-U.S. developed market revenue rose 0.6% to $2.37 billion, while emerging market revenue increased 6.8% to $1.18 billion. For fiscal 2019, the company raised its adj. EPS outlook to $5.14 to $5.16 from $5.10 to $5.15 and its revenue growth forecast to 5.25% to 5.50% from 5.00% to 5.50%. The stock, which is still inactive in premarket trade, has gained 2.1% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has advanced 3.2%.

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Feb 19, 2019

German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld dies aged 85
German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died at the age of 85 in Paris, according to media reports Tuesday. Lagerfeld was creative designer for Chanel, but also designed for fashion house Fendi and for his own brand. The designer had been sick and missed a number of fashion shows in the last few weeks. Lagerfeld cut a striking figure with his ponytail and habit of always dressing in black suits with tinted sunglasses.

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Feb 19, 2019

Advance Auto Parts beats profit expectations, but same-store sales miss
Advance Auto Parts Inc. reported Tuesday a fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations, but same-store sales that came up a bit short. The auto parts retailer's stock was still inactive in premarket trade. Net income fell to $53.4 million, or 74 cents a share, from $184.5 million, or $2.49 a share, in the same period a year ago, which included benefits of tax reform. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.17, above the FactSet consensus of $1.13. Sales rose 3.3% to $2.11 billion, matching the FactSet consensus, while same-store sales growth of 3.6% was just below expectations of a 3.4% rise. For 2019, the company expects net sales of $9.65 billion to $9.80 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus of $9.78 billion, and expects same-store sales to increase 1.0% to 2.5%, surrounding the FactSet consensus of 2.0% growth. The stock has lost 4.4% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 19, 2019

Payless ShoeSource files for bankruptcy as expected, liquidating 2,500 North American stores
Payless ShoeSource Inc. filed for chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the Topeka, Kan.-based discount footwear retailer said in a statement late Monday. Payless said it intends to wind down its approximately 2,500 store locations in North America and its e-commerce operations. It is likely to be the largest retailer liquidation by number of stores to date, the Wall Street Journal reported. Some of the chain's Canadian subsidiaries will also be seeking protection in Ontario. The filing comes less than two years after the retailer's previous restructuring, when it shut approximately 500 locations. The company, taken private in 2012 in a $2 billion leveraged buyout, has been hit by declining sales with increased competition from Target , Walmart and others.

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
Feb 17, 2019

Commerce Dept. submits auto-tariff recommendation to Trump, but details not disclosed
The long-awaited Commerce Department report on whether to impose tariffs of up to 25% on imported vehicles and auto parts on national-security grounds was submitted to the White House on Sunday, though the report's recommendations were not immediately known. "Today, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross formally submitted to President Donald J. Trump the results of the Department of Commerce's investigation into the effects of imports of automobiles and automobile parts on the national security of the United States," the department said simply in a statement. It was not clear when the findings of the report would be made public. The auto industry and investors are bracing for the outcome, which could seriously hamper German and Japanese auto imports, according to a report Friday from Germany's Ifo Institute for Economic Research.

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
Feb 15, 2019

Apple to buy Pullstring in a bid to enhance Siri: report
Tech giant Apple Inc. plans to buy Pullstring, a voice application company based in San Francisco, for an undisclosed sum, Axios reported Friday, citing multiple sources. Pullstring was founded in 2011 by former Pixar executives for enhanced computer-based conversations and is backed by Greylock Partners, Charles River Ventures, Khosla Ventures, True Ventures, and First Round Capital among others, according to its website. Axios said the deal will help Siri become more competitive against Amazon.com Inc.'s Alexa given that the iPhone maker has trailed both Google and Amazon in adoption and development of voice technology. Shares of Apple were unchanged in the late trade after falling 0.2% to close at $170.42 in the regular session.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 15, 2019

UPS board raises company's dividend
United Parcel Service Inc. said late Friday its board of directors increased the logistics company's quarterly dividend by 5.5% to $96 cents a share. The dividend is payable March 12 to shareholders of record on Feb. 26. UPS has either increased or maintained its dividend for nearly 50 years, the company said in a statement. Shares of UPS were flat in the extended session Friday after ending the regular trading day down 0.8%.

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
Feb 15, 2019

Dow notches longest weekly win streak in about two years as stocks soar on trade optimism
U.S. stock indexes surged higher on Friday, buoyed by growing optimism that the U.S. and China can strike a trade truce ahead of the March 1 deadline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 400 points, closing up 1.7%, the S&P 500 rose 1.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite lagged, rising 0.6%. The Dow booked its eighth straight weekly gain, which would match the longest such streak for the period ended Nov. 3, 2017, according to FactSet data. In political news, tensions rose in Washington D.C. when President Donald Trump declared a national emergency citing a humanitarian crisis at the Southern Border. In economic news, the Empire State manufacturing index rose 4.9 points in February to 8.8 and industrial production fell 0.6% in January, the first decline in eight 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
Feb 15, 2019

Active-shooter situation reported at manufacturing facility in Aurora, Ill.
An active-shooter situation was under way Friday afternoon at a Henry Pratt Co. location in Aurora, Ill., about 40 miles west of Chicago, according to local media reports. The company is a subsidiary of Mueller Water Products Inc. , which is based in Atlanta. The city of Aurora stated on Twitter that local police were on the scene. A law-enforcement source reportedly told WGN in Chicago that Kane County had deployed a SWAT team and that a U.S. Marshal's task force was on the scene. The Pratt company is a manufacturer of valves for the water industry. Employees reportedly told WLS-TV, the local ABC station, that they are sheltering in place.

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
Feb 15, 2019

Mattel stock plunges toward worst loss in more than two years after forecast
Mattel Inc. shares dove more than 16% late in Friday's trading session after the toy maker revealed that sales would remain flat this year. In a presentation, Chief Financial Officer Joseph Euteneuer said that sales would remain flat in constant currency this year, which was called a "significant improvement" for the company, which has struggled of late. The forecast said that the American Girl line would continue to decline as the company entered a multiyear turnaround plan for the dolls, while a decline in Thomas the Train Engine toys should at least decelerate. Barbie and Hot Wheels toys are expected to grow, while Fisher-Price is expected to stabilize by the end of the year, the presentation claimed. Mattel also said it was looking to transition to a "capital-light" manufacturing plan in 2019, which should begin to pay off in 2020. Mattel's stock was headed toward its biggest one-day percentage loss since Jan. 26, 2017, when it declined more than 17%. Mattel shares had been enjoying a rebound so far this year, rising 43.7% as the S&P 500 index gained 9.5%.

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



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