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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Jabil shares gain 4% after company reports better-than-expected earnings, sales
Shares of Jabil Inc. rose more than 4% late Thursday after the St. Peterburg, Fla., company reported fiscal 2018 first-quarter earnings and sales above Wall Street forecasts. Jabil said it earned $64 million, or 35 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $87 million, or 47 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned 80 cents a share, compared with 69 cents a share a year ago. Revenue rose to $5.6 billion in the quarter, from $5.1 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 79 cents a share on sales of $5.5 billion. For the second quarter, Jabil said it expects revenue between $4.75 billion and $5.05 billion, and adjusted earnings of 50 cents to 74 cents a share. Jabil shares ended the regular trading session Thursday down 3.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Costco shares rise after retailer's Q1 earnings beat
Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. rose 1.1% late Thursday after the retailer reported fiscal first-quarter per-share earnings and revenue above Wall Street estimates. Costco said it earned $640 million, o $1.45 a share, in the quarter, compared with $545 million, or $1.24 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $31.81 billion, compared with $28.1 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of $1.33 a share on revenue of $31.13 billion. Comparable-store sales rose 10.5%, and e-commerce sales rose 43.5%, Costco said. The stock ended the regular Thursday session down 0.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Oracle shares slump as earnings beat, but cloud growth misses Street view
Oracle Corp. shares declined in the extended session Thursday after the enterprise software company topped broader Wall Street estimates but fell short of the mark on cloud revenue estimates. Oracle shares fell 4% to $48.20 after hours. The company reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $2.23 billion, or 52 cents a share, compared with $2.03 billion, or 48 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 70 cents a share. Revenue rose to $9.62 billion from $9.04 billion in the year-ago period, or to $9.63 billion from $9.07 billion adjusted. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated earnings of 68 cents a share on revenue of $9.57 billion. Total cloud revenue rose 44% to $1.52 billion while software-as-a-service revenue grew 55% to $1.12 billion. Analysts had forecast total cloud revenue of $1.56 billion, and forecast SaaS revenue of $1.14 billion.

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
Dec 14, 2017

Adobe shares rise after fourth-quarter earnings beat
Adobe Systems Inc. shares rose in the extended session Thursday after the software maker beat Wall Street sales and earnings expectations. Adobe stock rose 3.5% to $181.23 after hours. The company reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $501.6 million, or $1 a share, compared with $399.6 million, or 80 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were $1.26 a share. Revenue rose to $2.01 billion from $1.61 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted earnings of $1.16 a share on revenue of $1.95 billion. For the first fiscal quarter of 2018, analysts model adjusted earnings of $1.25 a share on revenue of $2.04 billion. Adobe stock has gained 71% this year, with the S&P 500 index rising 19%.

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
Dec 14, 2017

Russell 2000 closes down 1.1% on tax uncertainty
The Russell 2000 index of small capitalization shares fell sharply on Thursday, seeing a steeper drop than the overall market. The index fell 1.1%, its biggest one-day percentage decline since Nov. 7. The decline accelerated after a report that Senator Marco Rubio would vote against the Republican tax bill unless it includes a larger expansion of the child tax credit, which added to the uncertainty over the bill's prospects for passing. The Russell is seen as having a higher correlation with the prospects of tax reform, as small companies tend to pay higher rates than their larger, multinational peers. The S&P 500 closed down by 0.4% on Thursday while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended off 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.3%. Thus far this year, the Russell is up 11%, compared with the 18.5% gain of the S&P, and less than half the Dow's 24% advance.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Dow snaps five-day winning streak as market takes a breather
The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a five-day winning streak Thursday with the market taking a breather after several record-breaking sessions. Materials and health care sectors topped the losses while consumer discretionary shares were the sole gainers. The Dow fell 67 points, or 0.3%, to close at 24,517. The S&P 500 dropped 10 points, or 0.4%, to end at 2,652 while the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 19 points, or 0.3%, to close at 6,856.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

SEC charges therapist with insider trading on confidential patient disclosures
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges in federal court in San Francisco on Thursday for insider trading against a licensed therapist, Kenneth Peer. Peer is charged with trading in the shares of Zulily, Inc. based on nonpublic information disclosed in confidence by his patient, a Zulily employee. During a session with the therapist, the patient revealed that Zulily would be acquired by Liberty Interactive Corp.. Peer used this material information to place illegal trades in Zulily securities before the acquisition was announced to the public. Zulily announced before the market opened on August 17, 2015 that it had agreed to be acquired by Liberty Interactive for $18.75 per share in a tender offer. Zulily stock rose by 49% from the previous day's close on the day of the announcement. Peer sold the Zulily securities that he had purchased before the announcement and reaped illegal profits of $10,228.11. Licensed counselors in the state of Washington are also bound by state laws, Washington Department of Health rules, and codes of ethics of their professional organizations to keep information shared by patients confidential.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Russell 2000 falls more than 1% on tax uncertainty
The Russell 2000 index of small capitalization shares fell sharply on Thursday, seeing a steeper drop than the overall market. The index fell 1.2%, its biggest one-day percentage decline since Nov. 7. The decline accelerated after a report that Senator Marco Rubio would vote against the Republican tax bill unless it includes a larger expansion of the child tax credit, which added to the uncertainty over the bill's prospects for passing. The Russell is seen as having a higher correlation with the prospects of tax reform, as small companies tend to pay higher rates than their larger, multinational peers. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% on Thursday while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.2%. Thus far this year, the Russell is up 11.2%, compared with the 18.6% gain of the S&P, and less than half the Dow's 24.2% advance.

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
Dec 14, 2017

Health-care stock decline knocks Dow industrials lower
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading lower Thursday afternoon as health-care stocks pressured the main benchmarks. The Dow was down 54 points, or 0.2%, at 24,530, with shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, trading firmly in negative territory. The pair were among the worst performers of the Dow's 30 components. The S&P 500 index was off 9 points, or 0.4%, at 2,653, as the health-care sector also weighed on the overall index. A popular health-care exchange-traded fund, the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF , was down 1%. Bank stocks and materials contributed to the decline. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index was off 0.3% at 6,857.

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
Dec 14, 2017

Amazon again selling Apple TV and Google Chromecast
Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that it is again selling streaming devices made by Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc. . Amazon stock is up nearly 1% to $1,173.68 in afternoon trading. Amazon ceased selling the devices two years ago but last week announced that it would be offering its streaming video service on Apple TV. Last week Alphabet-owned Google pulled YouTube from several of Amazon's devices. 'Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and Fire TV,' a Google spokeswoman said last week. The company did not immediately return a request for comment about Amazon's decision. Amazon stock is up 56% this year, as the S&P 500 index has gained 19%.

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
Dec 14, 2017

Mexico's peso strengthens as central bank raises interest rates
The Mexican peso rose against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, after Mexico's central bank, known as Banxico, lifted its overnight interest rate to 7.25% from 7% before, as expected. Mexico's high interest rate make it an attractive destination for investors looking for emerging-market exposure, while also being tied to the U.S. economy as its main trading partner. The peso began to rally halfway through the U.S. trading day, in anticipation of the rate hike, paring its losses and finally rising against the buck. One dollar last bought 18.9922 pesos, down about 0.1% from 18.9926 pesos late Wednesday.

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
Dec 14, 2017

Rubio a 'no' on tax bill without larger expansion of child tax credit: report
Sen. Marco Rubio has told Senate leaders he'll vote against the Republican tax bill unless it includes a larger expansion of the child tax credit, according to the Washington Post. Rubio and fellow Republican Sen. Mike Lee have pushed a change to the credit that would allow millions more low-income families to take advantage of it.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

FCC votes to roll back Obama-era 'net neutrality' regulations
The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to roll back internet rules known as net neutrality. The commission's three Republicans voted to end the rules, while its two Democrats voted against it. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai charges that the Obama-era regulations -- designed to prevent internet service providers from favoring certain sites or services - are 'heavy handed.' FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, said the move was a 'consumer-harming, corporate-enabling, destroying-internet-freedom order.' Opponents of the reversal say it will allow providers to give preferential treatment to certain sites at a price. Legal challenges are expected.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Texas Republican Blake Farenthold to retire from House amid sex-harassment allegations
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Congressman Blake Farenthold of Texas became the latest politician to leave office amid allegations of sexual harassment. The four-term Republican on Thursday released a short video in which he apologized and announced his decision not to seek re-election. At least four U.S. lawmakers from both parties have either announced their resignations or retirements after being accused recently of inappropriate behavior.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

FCC resumes considering net neutrality repeal after security orders break
The Federal Communications Commission resumed debating a repeal of 'net neutrality' rules Thursday after security ordered a brief recess. Reports said there was a bomb threat but Chairman Ajit Pai did not announce a reason for the break when re-opening the meeting.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Twitter surges toward 14-month high
Twitter shares jumped 4.7% in active midday trading toward a 14-month closing high, to outpace gains in its social media rivals and the broader technology sector. Volume topped 22.9 million shares, already well above the 30-day average of about 16.4 million shares, according to FactSet. The stock has now run up 32% since Twitter reported blowout third-quarter results in late October. Twitter is on pace to close at its highest level since Oct. 5, 2016. Among shares of other social media companies, Facebook Inc. gained 0.8%, Snap Inc. rose 1.5% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq 100 gained 0.3%. The S&P 500 was little changed.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Snap launches new lens tool to boost engagement, entice advertisers
Snap Inc. announced a new app called Lens Studio on Thursday morning. Shares of the company rose 0.2% in morning trading. Lens Studio will give ordinary users and outside developers a chance to create augmented-reality lenses for the Snapchat app, a move that could increase engagement on the platform and generate more advertiser interest. The new Lens Studio app will give users templates and guides for making lenses, the Verge reported, though regular users will be limited to simply making lenses for the rear-facing camera. Snap is under pressure from investors to fend off competition from Facebook Inc. and better monetize its loyal base of users. Snap shares have fallen 5.9% from their March IPO price of $17. The S&P 500 has gained 12% in that time.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Vantiv stock rises after Jefferies upgrades to buy
Shares of Vantiv Inc. rose 1.6% in Thursday morning trading after analysts at Jefferies upgraded the stock to buy from hold. The analysts, led by Ramsey El-Assal, are optimistic about the company's acquisition of Worldpay and its potential to improve Vantiv's business mix. 'We believe that the most important investment consideration for acquirers is exposure to higher-growth digital and integrated distribution channels,' they wrote, adding that Worldpay helps boost Vantiv's volume from these areas. The analysts also like that the deal reduces Vantiv's reliance on some more troubled segments, such as big-box retailers and department stores. They think the company is a potential beneficiary of tax reform as well. The firm's new price target of $94 is the second highest among 30 analysts covering the stock, according to FactSet. Vantiv shares are up 25% this year, compared with a 19% gain for the S&P 500 Index .

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
Dec 14, 2017

S&P places Disney's A-plus rating on review for possible downgrade
S&P Global Ratings placed Walt Disney's Co.'s A-plus rating on CreditWatch negative Thursday, meaning it could downgrade the issuer in the near term. The move came after Disney said it was acquiring assets from 21st Century Fox Inc. for about $66 billion. The deal is expected to boost Disney's business and help it achieve strategic goals of improving its direct to consumer offerings and beefing up an already robust set of franchises, with additions such as X-Men, Fantastic Four and Avatar, as well as TV shows and sports programming, said S&P. 'However, the acquisition will also likely increase adjusted leverage to the mid- to high-2x area depending on the final set of assets acquired, which will be well above our current 2x downside threshold for the rating,' said S&P. 'The CreditWatch placement reflects the uncertainty regarding the final terms and structure associated with Disney's acquisition of a portion of Fox's assets and the potential for some regulatory concessions that may be required to complete the deal.' Disney's 2.950% notes that mature in June of 2027 were last trading at 99.385 cents on the dollar to yield 3.0255, or at a yield spread of 66 basis points over Treasurys, according to MarketAxess. The bonds were trading at 100.074 cents on the dollar on December 2, when the first reports that Disney and Fox were in talks emerged. The stock was down 0.1%, and has gained 20% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 18% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 24%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

EIA reports a slightly bigger-than-expected weekly decline in U.S. natural-gas supply
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas fell by 69 billion cubic feet for the week ended Dec. 8. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts forecast a decrease of 63 billion, while the five-year average withdrawal is 78 billion. Total stocks now stand at 3.626 trillion cubic feet, down 201 billion cubic feet from a year ago, and 27 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, the government said. January natural gas fell 3.5 cents, or 1.3%, to $2.68 per million British thermal units, little changed from before the data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Fitbit needs more product refreshes to drive growth: analyst
Shares of Fitbit Inc. fell 0.1% in Thursday morning trading, following a cautious report from analysts at Morgan Stanley. The analysts, led by Yuuji Anderson, found 'continued inventory build' for the new Ionic smartwatch during their channel checks, causing the firm to take a 'cautious' stance looking ahead to the first quarter. Though Fitbit launched the Ionic this fall, Morgan Stanley thinks that the company's older watch, the Blaze, might end up selling better during the holiday season. 'We saw notably low inventory levels for the Blaze (almost two years old), and should that represent the next refresh opportunity, its success will depend on Fitbit's ability to continue expanding its sensor and software ecosystem,' Anderson wrote. He added that Fitbit 'will need more product refreshes to return to consistent growth in FY18.' Fitbit shares have fallen 3.6% in 2017, compared with a 19% gain for the S&P 500 Index .

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Flash manufacturing PMI at 11-month high, while services PMI slips to 15-month low
So-called flash readings of manufacturing and services activity went in different directions in December. The flash U.S. manufacturing PMI rose to 55 from 53.9 in November, while the flash U.S. services activity index fell to 52.4 from 54.5. Any reading above 50 indicates improving conditions. A flash reading is based on 85%-90% of total PMI survey responses each month. Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said the surveys point to an economy growing at annual rate of just over 2% in the fourth quarter.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Casa Systems sets IPO terms, to sell 6 million shares at $13 a pop
Casa Systems Inc., a maker of broadband connectivity software and data services, set terms for its initial public offering on Thursday, saying in a regulatory filing that it plans to offer 6 million shares at $13 a pop. The company will use the $68.9 million in proceeds (after expenses) for working capital or general corporate purposes, including possible acquisitions. Shares will start trading later Thursday on Nasdaq, under the ticker symbol 'CASA'. Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Raymond James and Stifel were lead underwriters on the deal, with Macquarie Capital, Northland Capital Markets and William Blair acting as co-managers.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Disney-21st Century Fox deal to form box-office powerhouse that's 'hounded' by regulators: analyst
Walt Disney Co.'s deal to buy 21st Century Fox Inc. could create box-office powerhouse, said analyst Rich Tullo of Midtown Partners & Co., and also helps add content to Disney's over-the-top (OTT) initiative. Tullo said that, although he doesn't cover either company on a research basis, from the perspective of 2017 box office to date, a combined Disney and Fox looks like 'an NBA superteam' on paper. He said nine out of the top 20 box-office hits so far this year were produced by either Fox or Disney, and once Disney's 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' is released, it will likely be 10 out of 20. 'Merging the media assets of 21st Century Fox and Disney is a lot like the story of the fox and the hound,' Tullo wrote in a note to clients. '[T]he combined assets will be better able to schedule blockbusters, have much greater pricing power with SVOD services, MVPDS and in negotiating media ad buys.' The bad news, Tullo said, is that 'we think a combined company could be hounded by regulatory, union and consumer pushback.' 21st Century Fox's stock rose 0.5% in morning trades as Disney shares climbed 0.8%. In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

U.S. stocks open higher as market eyes Disney-Fox megadeal
U.S. equities opened higher Thursday as investors digested the news of a Walt Disney Co. purchase of parts of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion in stock. The megadeal includes Twentieth Century Fox's film and television studio and its cable TV businesses. The S&P 500 rose 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2,665, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 54 points, or 0.2%, to 24,640. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 11 points, or 0.2%, to 6,887.

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
Dec 14, 2017

PayPal stock rises as analyst cheers Venmo opportunities
Shares of PayPal Holdings Inc. gained 0.5% in premarket trading Thursday after an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets named the payment-processor a 'key idea' for 2018. KeyBanc's Josh Beck is upbeat on the company's efforts to monetize its Venmo peer-to-peer payment platform by letting users pay for e-commerce items using the Venmo app. ' The Pay with Venmo opportunity brings in incremental customers with higher profit margins and is well positioned to scale,' he wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. Beck has a $90 price target on PayPal shares. His other 'key idea' in payments is Vantiv Inc. , as he sees opportunities for the company to drive better-than-expected synergies from its Worldpay deal. PayPal shares have gained 88% so far in 2017, while Vantiv's stock is up 23%. The S&P 500 also rose 23% in that time.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Nucor's stock drops after downbeat profit outlook
Shares of Nucor Corp. dropped 2.4% in premarket trade Thursday, after the steelmaker provided a downbeat profit outlook for the fourth quarter, citing the continued negative impacts of imports. The company said it expects earnings per share of 50 cents to 55 cents, excluding impacts of federal tax legislation. The FactSet EPS consensus was 76 cents, up from 34 cents a year ago. Nucor said through the first 10 months of 2017, total steel imports have increased 19.4% from the same period last year, and accounted for a 28% share of the U.S. market. The company said it was encouraged by the progress made in the prosecution of trade cases, but said the process was still slower than what it feels is appropriate. The stock has tacked on 3.9% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR Materials Select Sector ETF has climbed 20% and the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Micron stock rises after MKM says 'favorable supply/demand environment' to continue
Shares of Micron Technology Inc. rose 0.9% in premarket trading Thursday after an analyst at MKM Partners raised his price target to $54 from $52, citing 'largely favorable' memory trends. MKM's Ruben Roy also raised his 2018 earnings estimates given strong server demand and a better mobile landscape. He thinks average selling prices for DRAM will rise 5% in the November quarter and 3% in the January quarter. 'We believe that the continued favorable supply/demand environment will extend into 2018 and this, coupled with continued cost reduction catalysts specific to Micron, should ultimately yield multiple expansion,' he wrote. Micron reports results for its November quarter on Tuesday, Dec. 19, after the market close. Micron shares have gained 92% so far in 2017, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index is up 36% and the S&P 500 Index is up 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Valeant's stock drops after J.P. Morgan turns bearish
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. dropped 4.3% in premarket trade Thursday, after the drug maker was downgraded at J.P. Morgan, which cited valuation and concerns over patent losses and debt levels. The rating was cut to underweight, after being at neutral for the past 18 months. The stock price target was raised to $12, which is 46% below Wednesday's closing price of $22.05, from $10. The stock has soared 92% since the company announced the divestiture of 'female Viagra' on Nov. 6 and reported third-quarter results on Nov. 7. 'While Valeant has made progress stabilizing its core operations and addressing near-term debt liabilities, the company still faces significant patent erosion over that that will results in a step down in 2018 [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization]...and muted recovery off of these levels,' J.P. Morgan analysts wrote in a note to clients. They said current debt leverage 'remain challenging' at about 7-times, well above the 'ideal intermediate range' of 4-times to 5-times. Valeant's stock has run up 51.9% year to date, while the SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF has gained 12.5% and the S&P 500 has climbed 18.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

U.S. import prices leap 0.7% in November on higher fuel costs
The U.S. import price index jumped 0.7% in November, once again spurred by rising oil prices. Excluding fuel, import prices were unchanged, the government said Thursday. The increase in import prices over the past 12 months rose to 3.1% from 2.3%. If fuel is omitted, the increase in import prices over the past year was a scant 1.4%. Higher import prices add to picture of slowly rising inflation in the U.S., though much of the gain lately has been driven by fuel. Earlier this week a pair of measures for consumer and wholesale prices also rose.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Apple introduces Final Cut Pro update with support for 360-degree VR editing
Shares of Apple Inc. are up 0.1% in premarket trading Thursday after the company announced an update for its Final Cut Pro X video-editing software. The new version supports '360-degree VR video editing' and high-dynamic range (HDR) video. It also has new advanced color grading tools. Apple announced earlier this week that its iMac Pro, which starts at $4,999 and is aimed at professional editors, would go on sale Thursday. Apple shares have gained 49% so far in 2017, compared with a 24% rise for the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Sears shares jump after DieHard brand launches on Amazon
Sears Holdings Corp. shares jumped 8.2% in Thursday premarket trading after the retailer announced that the DieHard brand launched on Amazon.com Inc. The line of products on the site now includes jump starters, battery chargers and maintainers. Passenger car tires and automotive batteries will be available early 2018. Sears announced that it would sell Kenmore brand appliances on Amazon this summer. Sears shares are down 62% for the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 18.2% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

UPDATE: Teva shares jump 14% premarket as company says it will cut 14,000 jobs in restructuring
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. shares jumped 14% in premarket trade Thursday, after the company announced further restructuring moves aimed at improving its financial performance. The Israeli generic drug maker has been hit by competition from cheap generics and announced a major overhaul of its management structure in November. The company said it is now planning to cut 14,000 jobs, or 25% of its workforce, in the next three years, as part of measures aimed at cutting costs by $3 billion by end 2019. The company is expecting to book a restructuring charge of at least $700 million in 2018. 'Today we are launching a comprehensive restructuring plan, crucial to restoring our financial security and stabilizing our business,' Chief Executive Kare Schultz said in a statement. 'We are taking immediate and decisive actions to reduce our cost base across our global business and become a more efficient and profitable company.' The company will immediately suspend its dividend and cancel its 2017 bonus program. It is also reviewing the possibility of selling non-core assets. Shares have fallen 57% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 14, 2017

Criteo stock plunges on lowered outlook following Apple's iOS update
Shares of ad-retargeting firm Criteo S.A. fell 12% in premarket trading Thursday after the company dramatically lowered its 2018 revenue forecast due to changes Apple Inc. made to its mobile operating system. Apple's new iOS 11.2 software 'disables the solution that some companies in the advertising ecosystem, including Criteo, currently use to reach Safari users,' according to a release from Criteo. The company projects this change to reduce 2018 revenue by 22%, excluding traffic acquisition costs, if the firm can't effectively work within the new iOS landscape. Management had previously projected a 9% to 13% 'net negative impact.' Criteo said that it had a new solution 'under development' but also that 'its effectiveness cannot be assessed at this early stage.' Criteo shares are down 23% this year, while Apple's stock is up 49%. The S&P 500 Index has gained 19%.

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
Dec 14, 2017

21st Century Fox's stock turns lower; Disney's buyout bid price is below latest close
Shares of 21st Century Fox Inc. turned lower in premarket trade Thursday, as Walt Disney Co.'s effective per-share buyout bid for the TV and film studios company represented a discount to recent prices. The buyout deal calls for 21st Century shareholders to get 0.2745 of Disney shares for each 21st Century share they own. Based on Wednesday's stock closing price of $107.61, that values 21st Century shares at $29.54 each, which is 9.8% below Wednesday's closing price of $32.75. The stock had initially rallied to be up as much as 2.9% in the premarket. The buyout deal is valued at $52.4 billion, excluding debt, while the per-share bid of $29.54 would imply a market value for 21st Century of $54.72 billion. As part of the deal, 21st Century said it would spin off certain assets, including Fox Broadcasting network and stations and Fox News Channel. 21st Century's stock has soared 31% since The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 6 that Disney had held talks to buy 21st Century Fox's cable-TV networks, international distribution operations and movie and television studio. The buyout bid is 18% above the Nov. 3 closing price of $24.97. 21st Century shares have gained 17% year to date through Wednesday, while Disney's stock has edged up 3.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 24%.

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Dec 14, 2017

Take-Two Interactive to create publishing label called Private Division
videogame maker Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. said Thursday it is creating Private Division, a new publishing label comprised of popular games as a way to bring new titles from top independent developers to market. 'Private Division is a developer-focused publisher that empowers independent studios to develop the games that they are passionate about creating, while providing the support that they need to make their titles critically and commercially successful on a global scale,' the company said in a statement. The new label will publish new titles including the previously announced 'Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey' from Panache Digital Games, a studio led by Patrice Desilets, creator of the Assassin's Creed franchise. Take-Two shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 119% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Dec 14, 2017

ECB leaves rates at record low, reiterates dovish guidance
The European Central Bank on Thursday made no changes to policy, keeping its deposit rate at negative 0.4% and its main refinancing rate at 0%. The bank reiterated its guidance that rates will 'remain at their present levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases.' The policy makers confirmed the decision from October to halve its quantitative easing program to €30 billion in January and let it run until the end of September 2018 or 'beyond.' The ECB also repeated previous guidance that it stands ready to increase the size and/or duration of the QE program if the outlook for inflation becomes less favorable. Next up is ECB President Mario Draghi's press conference at 1:30 p.m London time, or 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

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Dec 14, 2017

Danaher provides somewhat downbeat 2018 profit and sales outlook
Danaher Corp. said Thursday it expects 2018 net earnings per share to rise to $3.50 to $3.60, which is 2.9% to 5.9% above the FactSet 2017 EPS consensus of $3.40. The diversified industrial company expects 2018 adjusted EPS of $4.25 to $4.35, the midpoint of which is below the FactSet consensus of $4.34. The company said the adjusted EPS outlook assumes core revenue growth of between 3.5% to 4.0%. The FactSet 2018 revenue consensus of $19.08 billion implies growth of 4.9% from the 2017 consensus of $18.20 billion. The stock, which was inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 21% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Dec 14, 2017

Sanderson Farms shares slump premarket after profit miss
Sanderson Farms Inc. shares moved lower premarket Thursday, after the company posted weaker-than-expected profit for its fiscal fourth quarter, hurt by weak poultry prices, hurricane disruptions and higher-than-expected chicken production. The company said it had net income of $72.9 million, or $3.20 a share, in the quarter, down from $76.0 million, or $3.36 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose to $919.9 million from $790.8 million. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $3.49 and sales of $911 million. 'Market conditions weakened during our fourth fiscal quarter of 2017, as market prices declined seasonally after Labor Day. The seasonal decrease in demand was exacerbated by hurricane disruptions and higher than expected chicken production caused by higher than expected live weights. Despite this weakness, we performed well during the quarter,' Chief Executive Joe Sanderson said in a statement. Shares have gained 78% in 2017, outperforming the S&P 500 , which has gained 19%.

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Dec 14, 2017

Harry Potter publisher Scholastic profit, sales fall from a year ago
Scholastic Corp. , which publishes the 'Harry Potter' series of books, reported fiscal second-quarter net income that fell to $57.1 million, or $1.60 a share, from $67.9 million, or $1.92 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.92, which compares with the estimate of one analyst surveyed by FactSet of $1.75 a share. Revenue declined to $598.3 million from $623.1 million, below the analyst's estimate of $601.4 million. Children's book and publishing and distribution revenue fell to $411.8 million from $432.5 million, which was expected given the release of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two' and 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them™: The Original Screenplay' a year ago, which was partially offset by the release of 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition' this year. The company affirmed its fiscal 2018 revenue outlook of $1.65 billion to $1.780 billion and ongoing EPS outlook of $1.20 to $1.30. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has lost 11% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Dec 14, 2017

Linn Energy to split into three standalone companies in 2018
Linn Energy Inc. said Thursday it is planning to split into three standalone companies by mid-2018. The company, which currently trades on the over-the-counter market under the ticker symbol 'LNGG', will serve as holding company for the existing 50% equity interest of Roan, a company focused on developing assets in Oklahoma, and will apply to list on the NYSE and Nasdaq next year. Separately, it is in talks with Citizen Energy II, LLC to consolidate 100% of the equity in Roan into LNGG. The board is reviewing options for Blue Mountain Midstream LLC and will divest non-core assets at the time of the separation. Linn is also planning to tender for at least $250 million of its own shares, which were not active premarket.

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Dec 14, 2017

Disney to buy 21st Century Fox in a deal valued at $52.4 billion
Shares of 21st Century Fox Inc. rallied 1.0% in premarket trade Thursday, after the TV and film studio company agreed to be acquired by Walt Disney Co. in a deal that valued at about $52.4 billion. Disney's stock gained 0.8% ahead of the open. Under terms of the agreement, which has been anticipated in recent weeks, 21st Century shareholders will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each 21st Century share they own. Based on Wednesday's closing prices, that would value 21st Century shares at $29.54 each, which is 9.8% below Wednesday's closing price of $32.75. Disney will also assume $13.7 billion of net 21st Century debt. After the deal closes, 21st Century will spin off Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network to its shareholders. Disney will issue 515 million new shares to fund the deal, which is expected to yield at least $2 billion in cost savings and add to earnings for the second fiscal year after the deal closes. Separately, Disney said Robert Iger will remain chairman and chief executive of Disney through 2021. 21st Century's stock has rallied 23.6% over the past three months, while Disney shares have climbed 9.9% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has run up 10.7%.

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Dec 14, 2017

Teva shares jump 4% premarket as company says it will cut 14,000 jobs in restructuring
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. shares jumped 4% in premarket trade Thursday, after the company announced further restructuring moves aimed at improving its financial performance. The Israeli generic drug maker has been hit by competition from cheap generics and announced a major overhaul of its management structure in November. The company said it is now planning to cut 14,000 jobs, or 25% of its workforce, in the next three years, as part of measures aimed at cutting costs by $3 billion by end 2019. The company is expecting to book a restructuring charge of at least $700 million in 2018. 'Today we are launching a comprehensive restructuring plan, crucial to restoring our financial security and stabilizing our business,' Chief Executive Kare Schultz said in a statement. 'We are taking immediate and decisive actions to reduce our cost base across our global business and become a more efficient and profitable company.' The company will immediately suspend its dividend and cancel its 2017 bonus program. It is also reviewing the possibility of selling non-core assets. Shares have fallen 57% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Dec 14, 2017

Bank of England holds key rate at 0.5% in unanimous vote
The Bank of England on Thursday left its key interest rate at 0.5%, meeting widely held expectations after the central bank in November raised the rate for the first time in a decade. The Monetary Policy Committee voted 9-0 to leave the rate steady. 'The recent news in the macroeconomic data has been mixed and relatively limited. Global growth has remained strong. Domestically, some activity indicators suggest GDP growth in Q4 might be slightly softer than in Q3,' the central bank said in a statement. The central bank left unchanged the size of its asset purchase program at £435 billion ($584 billion) and its corporate-bond purchase program at £10 billion. The pound bought $1.3414, down from $1.3449 ahead of the decision. Sterling late Wednesday traded at $1.3419.

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Dec 14, 2017

Humana announces $3 billion share buyback program
Humana Inc. said Thursday its board has approved a $3 billion share buyback program, replacing an earlier authorization of $2.25 billion. Shares were slightly higher premarket, and have gained 26% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Dec 14, 2017

Eurozone business activity at its strongest since 2011: IHS Markit
Business activity in the eurozone revved higher in December, led by strong factory output and an upturn in the service sector, data firm IHS Markit said Thursday. The preliminary, or flash, composite purchasing managers' index came in at 58.0, the highest since February 2011, and above FactSet's consensus estimate of 57.2. 'The PMI is signalling an impressive 0.8% GDP increase in the fourth quarter,' said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, in a statement. The manufacturing PMI rose to a record of 60.6 in December. Overall, French business-activity growth outpaced that of Germany's for a third straight month, said IHS Markit. 'France has been the big surprise this year, rapidly pulling out of its malaise to help shift the eurozone expansion into a higher gear,' said Williamson.

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Dec 14, 2017

Lonmin agrees to takeover by Sibanye-Stillwater
Platinum producer Lonmin has agreed to a takeover by South Africa's Sibanye-Stillwater , the companies said in a statement Thursday. Lonmin shareholders will receive 0.967 new Sibanye-Stillwater shares for each Lonmin share they own. The deal values Lonmin at £1 per share, compared with a closing price Wednesday of £0.863, a premium of about 35%, according to the companies.

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Dec 13, 2017

Three women accuse Russell Simmons of rape: report
Music-industry legend Russell Simmons has been accused of rape by three women in a report released Wednesday afternoon. Four women spoke on the record to The New York Times about violent sexual experiences dating back to the late 1980s involving the hip-hop mogul, who founded the seminal Def Jam Records label. Former Def Jam A&R executive Drew Dixon, performer Tina Baker and former music journalist Toni Sallie levied the most serious accusations, of forcible rape. Simmons, who stepped down from the helm of the businesses he still ran in November after earlier reports of sexual misconduct, denied the rape allegations in a statement to the Times. 'I vehemently deny all these allegations,' he said. 'These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.' Simmons sold his stake in Def Jam to Universal Music Group in 1999, but has since founded other businesses in fashion and media.

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Dec 13, 2017

Justice Department confirms Uber criminal probe
The U.S. Attorney's office for Northern California confirmed the criminal probe into Uber Technologies Inc. in a court filing made public Wednesday. Typically, the Justice Department will not discuss criminal investigations, and the court filing does not describe the nature of the investigation, the targets, or specific offenses targeted by the probe. Dated Nov. 22, the filing is a letter from Acting U.S. Attorney for Northern California Alex Tse to judge William Alsup, who is presiding over a lawsuit Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Waymo filed against Uber. The suit is over self driving car technology that Waymo accuses an ex-Uber employee of stealing and using in Uber's self-driving effort. The U.S. Attorney communication to Alsup describes what another ex-Uber employee, Richard Jacobs, told investigators about Uber's use of devices which 'store and transmit information they wished to separate from Uber's official systems.' Jacobs, in the interview with investigators, said that he believed trade secrets stored on these devices wouldn't be discovered in 'a review of Uber's systems,' according to the letter from Tse. Jacobs himself wrote a letter to Uber's general counsel during his severance negotiations with Uber outlining the allegations; Jacobs' letter was consistent with what he told investigators, according to the court filing. The revelations contained in the Jacobs letter came to light after federal prosecutors informed Alsup of its existence days before the Waymo-Uber litigation was set to begin trial. As as a result, Alsup has delayed the trial until 2018 and decided to make the Jacobs letter public. Pending additional legal machinations, the Jacobs letter will be entered into the record Dec. 15.

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Dec 13, 2017

Tintri shares drop as revenue, outlook disappoints; 'strategic options' raised
Tintri Inc. shares fell in the extended session Wednesday after the flash-storage company disappointed on quarterly revenue and its outlook. The company also said it was exploring 'strategic options' in only its second quarterly report as a public company. Tintri shares fell 9% to $4.99 after hours. The company reported a third-quarter loss of $37.9 million, or $1.21 a share, compared with a loss of $23.8 million, or $6.87 a share, in the year-ago period. The adjusted loss was 79 cents a share. Revenue fell to $31.8 million from $33.9 million in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated a loss of 79 cents a share on revenue of $36.6 million. 'The company was impacted by delayed and reduced purchases by some accounts, but some of the delayed transactions closed in November,' said Ken Klein, Tintri chairman and chief executive, in a statement. For the fourth quarter, Tintri estimates an adjusted loss of 83 cents to 79 cents a share on revenue of $25 million to $27 million. Analysts had forecast a loss of 68 cents a share on revenue of $42.9 million. Shares of Tintri debuted at the beginning of July at $7 a share, the low end of an already reduced range.

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Dec 13, 2017

Pier 1 shares tank after lowered guidance, earnings miss
Shares of Pier 1 Imports Inc. fell more than 20% late Wednesday after the retailer lowered its fiscal 2018 fourth quarter and full-year 2018 guidance 'to reflect the current tone and volatility of business' in December, and missed per-share earnings expectations for the third quarter of fiscal 2018. Pier 1 said it earned $7.4 million, or 9 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $13.6 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales fell to $469 million, compared with $476 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 12 cents a share on sales of $467 million. Pier 1 said its EPS guidance for the full year is between 10 cents and 18 cents, compared with a prior guidance of between 31 cents and 41 cents. Adjusted earnings per share guidance was tweaked lower to between 17 cents and 25 cents, compared with a prior view between 38 cents to 48 cents. A detailed plan to lift the brand will be unveiled early next year, the company said. Shares had ended the regular trading day up 7%.

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Dec 13, 2017

Dow finishes at record for fourth session as Fed hikes interest rates on improved economic outlook
The Dow closed at a record for a fourth straight session Wednesday after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates and raised its U.S. gross domestic product growth target for 2018 to 2.5% from 2.1%. 'Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in November indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate,' said the Fed in announcing its decision. The S&P 500 , however, slipped into the red toward the closing bell, dropping a point to 2,663. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 84 points, or 0.3%, to 24,589 and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 13 points, or 0.2%, to 6,875.

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Dec 13, 2017

Just because stock valuations are high doesn't mean stocks are overvalued, Yellen says
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, asked about record levels for stocks, acknowledged that price-to-earnings ratios are at the high end of historical levels. But with low interest rates, solid economic growth, low inflation and balanced global economic risks, that doesn't mean they're overvalued, Yellen said. 'Economists are not great at knowing what appropriate valuations are. We don't have a terrific record. And the fact that those valuations are high doesn't mean that they are necessarily overvalued,' she said at the press conference.

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Dec 13, 2017

Oil prices mark lowest finish in a week
Oil prices fell for a second-straight session on Wednesday, settling at their lowest level in a week. A bigger-than-expected weekly rise in U.S. supplies of gasoline, along with another climb in U.S. crude production to a record weekly level, pressured prices. Prices fell despite reports showing declines in weekly U.S. crude supplies and in monthly production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. January West Texas Intermediate crude fell 54 cents, or 1%, to settle at $56.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest finish since Dec. 6, FactSet data show.

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Dec 13, 2017

Nvidia crypto mining opportunities likely to persist in 2018: analyst
Analysts at RBC Capital Markets think that Nvidia Corp. will continue to benefit from the mining of cryptocurrencies in 2018, even if the Ethereum blockchain moves past the use of graphics-processing units as Bitcoin has. The analysts pointed out that there are plenty of newer cryptocurrencies for which miners could use GPUs, including monero, bitcoin gold and ethereum classic. 'The near-term dynamics remain positive and without a material change to the algorithm we find it highly unlikely the opportunity goes to zero next year,' they wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. 'Importantly, even if the algorithms change to proof of stake long term, we believe that the need to build out a decentralized world computer will command material compute power benefiting companies such as Nvidia,' they added. Susquehanna analyst Chris Rolland made a similar point about Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in a Tuesday note, pointing out that Ethereum joining Bitcoin as an ASIC-driven mining task would be a 'modest negative' for those two companies. Nvidia shares have gained 75% so far this year, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index is up 36% and the S&P 500 is up 19%.

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Dec 13, 2017

British pound slips as U.K. parliament votes to change Brexit plan
The British pound fell off session highs on Wednesday following news that British lawmakers voted in favor of changing Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan. This is only the latest hiccup in the arduous process that has been the U.K.'s attempt to exit the European Union. It also comes as a set back to last week's news that sufficient progress had been made to move into the next phase of talks. The British pound remained in positive territory, propped up by a sliding U.S. dollar, which fell after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates but failed to update its forward guidance for the future interest rate hikes and inflation, according to market participants. One pound last bought $1.3369, up 0.4%, while the euro gained 0.1% against sterling at £0.8815.

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Dec 13, 2017

UK lawmakers vote to change PM Theresa May's Brexit blueprint in govt defeat
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a defeat in parliament Wednesday, after members of her party voted to amend her Brexit blueprint, according to media reports. The move is expected to complicate May's efforts to exit the European Union in a smooth and orderly way. Members of parliament voted 309 to 305 in favor of an amendment that would require any final deal with the EU to be approved by statute passed by parliament.

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Dec 13, 2017

Dollar drops as Fed raises rates, leaving 2018 forecast unchanged
The U.S. dollar dropped against its major rivals after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday and left its forecast for future rate hikes and inflation unchanged. A news conference, which will be the last of current chairwoman Janet Yellen before she hands over the reins to Jerome Powell, will follow at 2.30 p.m. Eastern. The rate hike had been much anticipated by traders and was priced almost entirely into Fed funds futures, which put more weight on the central bank's forward guidance. But traders were looking for clues for 2018 policy were disappointed. The greenback briefly fell to new session lows, with the ICE U.S. Dollar Index slipping by 0.5% at 93.635, while the euro , the buck's main rival, rose 0.5% to $1.1798. Follow live: Fed decision and Janet Yellen press conference

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Dec 13, 2017

Treasury yields hold decline after Fed raises benchmark interest rate
Treasury yields held onto its earlier fall after the Federal Open Market Committee voted to raise rates by a quarter percentage point on Wednesday, bringing it up to between 1.25% and 1.50%. The Fed stuck to its forecast for three rate increases in 2018. They also forecast U.S. GDP forecasts to rise to 2.5% next year from 2.1% and unemployment to fall to 3.9%. The 10-year Treasury note yield was at 2.362%, from 2.403% on late Tuesday. The 2-year note yield 1.803%, from 1.829%. The 30-year bond yield 2.741%, versus 2.782%.

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Dec 13, 2017

Gold settles higher, extends gains in electronic trading after Fed statement
Gold futures settled with a gain on Wednesday, then moved even higher in electronic trading as the U.S. dollar continued to trade lower in the wake of the Federal Reserve''s decision to raise a key short-term U.S. interest rate to a range of 1.25% to 1.5%. The rate hike was widely expected. Following the news, which came after the gold futures settlement, February gold was at $1,250.60 an ounce in electronic trading. It had finished the session at $1,248.60, up $6.90, or 0.6%, with gold futures logging their first gain in five sessions.

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Dec 13, 2017

U.S. stocks extend gains as Fed hikes interest rates as expected
U.S. stocks extended gains Wednesday as the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for a third time this year as widely expected. The central bank also raised its 2018 U.S. gross domestic product growth forecast to 2.5% from 2.1% and indicated that it will likely increase rates three times in 2018. The S&P 500 rose 6 points, or 0.2%, to 2,670 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 132 points, or 0.5%, to 24,637. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 29 points, or 0.4%, to 6,890.

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Dec 13, 2017

Fed lifts U.S. interest rates, still expects 3 hikes in 2018
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised a key short-term U.S. interest rate to a range of 1.25% to 1.5%, but in a sign of caution the central bank stuck to its earlier forecast for just three 1/4-point rate hikes in 2018. The Fed made no change to its inflation forecast, reflecting the persistent worry among some senior officials that price pressures could remain unusually soft despite the tightest labor market in almost two decades. Two Fed members voted against the rate hike in a 7-2 tally. The central bank did raise its GDP forecast for 2018 to 2.5% from 2.1%, indicating the Fed expects federal tax cuts to boost the economy next year. The bank also predicted unemployment would average 3.9% in both 2018 and 2019, down from the current 4.1% rate.

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Dec 13, 2017

Bitcoin suffers worst day since its debut on Wall Street, down 8%
Bitcoin futures were under selling pressure on Wednesday as the digital currency, which has captured the attention of Wall Street and Main street alike, was down sharply and facing its worst day in its short period on futures markets. The January contract trading on the Cboe Global Market Inc. since Sunday was down more than 10% in recent trade at $16,190, which triggers a 2-minute pause in trade according to the exchange's trading rules. The move for the digital asset comes as Interactive Brokers Group Inc., said it would allow investors to bet against, or short, bitcoin. Bitcoin futures trading halts for 5 minutes after a 20% drop.

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Dec 13, 2017

Starbucks market share in at-home coffee products reaches 2017 highs
Starbucks Corp.'s market share for at-home ground coffee was 16.2% for the four weeks ending Dec. 2, reaching 2017 highs for both the K-Cup and traditional ground coffee segment. K-Cup market share was up about 130 basis points month-over-month to 18.9% according to Nielsen numbers quoted in a UBS note. And ground coffee was up 70 basis points month-over-month to 13.6%. Ground coffee sales rose 4.1% year-over-year, outperforming the 0.7% growth for the broader category. 'Starbucks demonstrated another solid month of U.S. single-serve and traditional ground coffee performance against sluggish category trends,' analysts led by Dennis Geiger. 'We believe Starbucks' brand strength, loyalty, product, innovation and channel expansion support continued share gains, with international CPG a significant opportunity to drive additional channel development segment growth.' UBS rates Starbucks shares buy with a $64 price target. Shares are up 7.2% for the year to date while the S&P 500 is up 19.1% for the period.

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Dec 13, 2017

Cowen analysts name Priceline among their 'best ideas' for 2018
Share of Priceline Group Inc. rose 0.2% in midday trading after analysts at Cowen and Co. dubbed the stock one of their 'best ideas' for 2018. The analysts, led by Kevin Kopelman, think there are several misconceptions on Wall Street about Priceline's stock, which has fallen 7.6% in the last three months. Kopelman doesn't think that Priceline is moving away from Alphabet Inc.'s Google with its ad spending, and he views the company as Google's 'travel wingman,' even as the search platform changes its ad mix. 'While there are some negatives for Priceline in the mix shift within Google results from traditional search ads to meta-search ads (i.e. 'Hotel Finder'), we think Priceline is structurally positioned to continue to win on the channel -- versus other online-travel agencies and the hotel chains -- given Priceline's leading conversion rates,' he wrote. Kopelman also thinks that Priceline 'pulled away from the competition' in the 2017 fiscal year, posting stronger growth in contribution profit than rival Expedia Inc. . Priceline shares have gained 18% so far this year, while Expedia's stock is up 4.7%. The S&P 500 has risen 19% in that time.

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Dec 13, 2017

House, Senate leaders reach agreement on tax package: reports
House and Senate leaders have reached agreement in principle on a tax plan, according to reports Wednesday. Members of a conference committee are scheduled to meet in open session at 2 p.m. Eastern, after several of them have lunch with President Donald Trump. Trump wants to sign a tax bill by the end of the year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 13, 2017

Target to acquire grocery-delivery company Shipt in $550 million cash deal
Target Corp. said Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire Shipt, an online same-day grocery delivery company, for $550 million in cash. The deal is expected to close before the end of 2017. Target shares are up 1.6% in Wednesday trading. Target expects to make same-day delivery service to guests at about half of the company's 1,834 stores by early 2018 and at the majority of stores before the 2018 holiday season. By the end of 2019, same-day delivery will include all major merchandise categories, the company said. Shipt was founded in Birmingham, AL in 2014. A membership-based grocery marketplace that uses a network of more than 20,000 personal shoppers for same-day delivery, Shipt will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Target and continue to operate independently. Shipt's Chief Executive Bill Smith will continue in his role, reporting to Target's Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan. All employees will continue to work from offices in Birmingham and San Francisco. The acquisition is a credit positive for Target, according to Moody's lead retail analyst Charlie O'Shea. 'While it will not affect Target's capability this holiday season, the fact that Target will have this service in place during 2018 will significantly improve its online competitive position as the service is integrated and rolled out to customers,' said O'Shea. 'This is yet another example of a brick-and-mortar retailer leveraging its physical assets to improve its online offerings.' Target's stock is down 20.2% for the last year while the S&P 500 index is up 17.6% for the period.

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Dec 13, 2017

Boeing, Caterpillar, 3M stocks help power Dow industrials to 150-point rally
The Dow industrials were headed for a fresh record close on Wednesday, powered in part by a trio of industrial stocks. Leading the charge were shares of Boeing Co., up 1.6%, or $4.60, contributing about 30 points to the Dow Jones Industrial Average's late-morning advance. A $1 move in any one of the 30 Dow components equates to a 6.83-point swing in the price-weighted benchmark Caterpillar Inc. , up 3.1%, or $4.48, and 3M Co. [sL MMM] combined to add another 50 points to the blue-chip gauge. The Dow most recently up 156 points, or 0.6%, at 24,654. Talk of the House and Senate reaching a tentative deal on a tax package and discussions of a infrastructure plan to follow, helped to bolster gains on Wall Street. The S&P 500 index , meanwhile, was up 0.3% at 2,670. Both the Dow and S&P 500 were trading in record territory. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.4% at 6,889, not far from its own record.

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Dec 13, 2017

Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks announces he has prostate cancer
Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, announced Wednesday on the House floor that he has been diagnosed with 'high-risk' prostate cancer. Brooks ran for Jeff Sessions' Senate seat but lost in a crowded Republican field to Roy Moore. Brooks said losing the Senate primary may have saved his life because he was able to have the test that detected his cancer.

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Dec 13, 2017

T-Mobile stock rises after announcement of Layer3 acquisition, forthcoming TV service
Shares of T-Mobile US rose 1.2% in Wednesday morning trading after the company announced that it would be acquiring a TV-technology firm and would debut a new TV offering next year. T-Mobile signed an agreement to acquire Layer3 TV, which currently provides cable and internet service in Chicago and Washington D.C., among other markets, and lets users integrate their Facebook and Pandora accounts on their TV screens. T-Mobile said it would leverage Layer3's technology to create its new TV service. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. T-Mobile shares have gained 12% so far in 2017, compared with a 19% rise for the S&P 500 Index .

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Dec 13, 2017

EIA reports a bigger-than-expected weekly fall in U.S. crude supply; gasoline stocks climb
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration Wednesday showed that domestic crude supplies fell by 5.1 million barrels for the week ended Dec. 8. That was bigger than the forecast for a decline of 4 million barrels from analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts. The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday had reported a drop of 7.4 million barrels, according to sources. Gasoline stockpiles, however, rose 5.7 million barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles declined by 1.4 million barrels, according to the EIA. The S&P Global Platts survey forecast a supply rise of 1.6 million barrels for gasoline and an increase of 500,000 barrels for distillates. January crude rose 12 cents, or 0.2%, from Tuesday to $57.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, little changed from before the supply data. January gasoline fell by 1.1 cents, or 0.7%, to $1.687 a gallon.

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Dec 13, 2017

PayPal stock rises as BMO turns more bullish
Shares of PayPal Holdings Inc. rose 1.7% in Wednesday morning trading after BMO Capital Markets analyst Paulo Ribeiro raised his target price on the stock to $85, from $80. He's upbeat about PayPal's November decision to sell its loan portfolio to Synchrony Financial and thinks that the move will be less dilutive to PayPal's earnings per share than Wall Street predicts. He believes that consensus figures underestimate operating expenditures for the credit business and therefore overestimate how much this area contributes to PayPal's earnings. Ribeiro also wrote that PayPal was likely being conservative when it projected that the deal would free up more than $1 billion in additional cash. BMO estimates an additional $2.5 billion in cash freed for 2019. PayPal shares have gained 89% so far in 2017, compared with a 19% gain for the S&P 500 Index

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Dec 13, 2017

Nordic American Tankers stock slides 26% on news of share offering
Shares of Nordic American Tankers Ltd. , which operates a trading fleet of 20 vessels, slid 26% Wednesday, after the company announced a to recapitalization program with an underwritten offering of $110 million of common shares, priced at $2.75 a pop. The proceeds of the deal will be used to pay down a credit facility stemming from 2004, finance growth and for general corporate purposes. Evercore ISI analysts said the plan was 'more punitive than expected.' If it is successful, the company can return to paying up to 50% of its cash flow as dividends, although until then, the dividend will be capped at 3 cents a share. If the recap is not successful, there is a backstop facility in place at an interest rate of at least 78.4% and a dividend cap of 3 cents a share, they wrote in a note. 'In the end, although the recap was necessary it is more costly than we had expected and until the Backstop Facility is cancelled the stock may remain under pressure. As such, we are lowering our price target to $3 (from $4) and we maintain our underperform rating,' they wrote. Shares are down 67% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%

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Dec 13, 2017

Ex-'Apprentice' star Omarosa Manigault Newman leaving White House
Omarosa Manigault Newman, a White House aide who was a contestant on 'The Apprentice,' is leaving the administration in January, press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday. Manigault Newman serves as communications director for the Office of Public Liaison. Sanders said Manigault Newman resigned Tuesday 'to pursue other opportunities.' Donald Trump hosted 'The Apprentice' before being elected president.

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Dec 13, 2017

U.S. stocks open slightly higher; Dow, S&P could post fifth straight daily gain
U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Wednesday, with major indexes trading near record levels and both the Dow and the S&P 500 on track for their fifth straight daily advance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27 points, or 0.1%, to 24,532. The S&P 500 was up 3 points to 2,667, a gain of 0.1%. Both ended at records on Tuesday. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 20 points, or 0.3%, at 6,883. Trading was somewhat subdued as investors waited for a Federal Reserve policy decision, with the central bank widely expected to raise interest rates. In company news, Proteostasis Therapeutics Inc. slumped 8% after it said it would sell 7 million shares of its common stock. Nordic American Tankers Ltd. was down 26% a day after it said it would sell $100 million shares via a public offering as part of its recapitalization plan.

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Dec 13, 2017

Amazon offering same-day delivery as late as Christmas Eve
Amazon.com Inc. said Wednesday that it will be delivering packages until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 24 through its Prime free same-day and one-day shipping, which is now available in more than 8,000 cities and towns, and Prime Now, available in more than 30 cities. '[I]n 2016, the last Prime Free Same-Day order from Amazon.com delivered in time for Christmas was ordered at 10:23 a.m. on Christmas Eve,' the company said in a release. '[It] was delivered to a Prime member in Richmond, Virginia at 2:42 p.m.' All customers can get free shipping for Christmas delivery if they place orders by Dec. 15. Dec. 18 is the last day for standard shipping for Prime members. Dec. 22 is the last day for two-day shipping for Prime members. And Dec. 23 is the last day for one-day shipping for Prime members. Holiday shoppers can also try Prime for free for 30 day for free expedited shipping. Amazon shares are up 50.5% for the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 17.3% for the period.

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Dec 13, 2017

Micron stock rises after analyst calls it a 'favored' name for 2018
Shares of Micron Technology Inc. rose 1% in premarket trading Wednesday after analysts at Susquehanna Financial Group named the company one of their 'favored' memory picks for 2018. 'Cloud demand is expected to remain a key secular trend in '18 with ripple effects across the entire storage/memory supply chain,' wrote the analysts, led by Mehdi Hosseini. 'Data growth, and rapid migration of workloads from on-prem environments to public cloud, is not expected to abate, and we favor Micron and Western Digital Corp. as our top component names expected to benefit from cloud demand.' Hosseini added that Facebook Inc. has announced plans to nearly double its capital expenditures for next year and Amazon.com continues to bring AWS to new regions. He's also upbeat about memory demand given increased interest in smartphone content. Micron shares have gained 91% so far in 2017, while WDC's stock is up 20%. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index has risen 36%, and the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Dec 13, 2017

Jones's Alabama win doesn't change prospects for tax bill passage, analyst says
Doug Jones's victory in the Alabama Senate election Tuesday night does not change prospects for the Republican tax bill, said Brian Gardner of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in a note Wednesday. 'We expect the tax bill will probably be passed by Congress before Christmas,' Gardner said. He noted Jones won't be sworn in until the Senate receives certification from Alabama. Alabama's secretary of state estimates certification will be between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3. The election 'should not impact the tax bill unless some other factor(s) derail the tax bill and push the issue into 2018,' Gardner said.

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Dec 13, 2017

JD.com stock rises after Stifel resumes coverage with a buy
Shares of JD.com rose 1% in premarket trading Wednesday after analysts at Stifel resumed coverage of the stock with a buy rating. In a note entitled 'one big market, two big winners,' the analysts, led by Scott Devitt, argued that there's room for both JD.com and Alibaba Group Holding to capture growth in China. Devitt sees growth opportunities stemming from better payment and delivery options, expansion to more rural markets, and better integration between online and offline operations. 'JD is the more structured player with controlled logistics and an initial first-party model that has grown into a first-party/third-party hybrid,' he wrote. Devitt predicts that JD.com will grow its market share to 18% by the end of 2017, up from about 6% in 2013. 'We expect JD to continue to gain share of the retail market it serves for years to come,' he added. JD.com shares are up 52% so far this year, compared with a 99% gain for Alibaba's stock and a 19% rise for the S&P 500.

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Dec 13, 2017

Stemline Therapeutics shares jump 4% premarket after positive trial of leukemia treatment
Shares of biotech Stemline Therapeutics Inc. jumped 4% premarket Wednesday, after the company said a trial of a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia met its main goal. Stemline said data from the trial of its SL-401 therapy in blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN), a highly aggressive, lethal malignancy of unmet medical need, with no approved therapies, showed it met its primary endpoint. The trial involved 45 patients and data was presented at this week's American Society of Hematology annual meeting. 'The remarkable data presented at ASH from our pivotal trial with SL-401 in BPDCN sets the stage for our upcoming BLA submission and a successful 2018,' Stemline Chief Executive Ivan Bergstein said in a statement. Shares have gained 43% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Dec 13, 2017

Lumentum stock falls as Apple makes investment in rival Finisar
Shares of Lumentum Holdings Inc. are down 8.7% in premarket trading Wednesday following news that Apple Inc. was investing $390 million in Finisar Corp. , one of Lumentum's competitors. Both companies make vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, which help enable 3D-sensing capabilities and facial recognition. In a release, Apple said that its investment in Finisar would 'enable Finisar to exponentially increase its R&D spending and high-volume production' of VCSELs. 'In the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple will purchase 10 times more VCSEL wafers than were previously manufactured worldwide over a similar time period,' the company added. As of Tuesday's close, Apple shares were up 48% so far in 2017, compared with a 34% gain for Lumentum and a 36% drop for Finisar. The S&P 500 Index has gained 19%.

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Dec 13, 2017

Honeywell sets guidance for 2018, tweaks Q4 EPS outlook to top end of range
Aerospace and industrial company Honeywell Inc. set guidance for 2018 Wednesday, saying it expects it to be a transformative year as it completes the spinoff of its homes and global distribution and transportation systems businesses. The company is expecting EPS of $7.55 to $7.80, excluding separation costs, compared with a FactSet consensus of $7.79. 'In 2018, we are targeting free cash flow growth of more than 20 percent and intend to continue our aggressive capital deployment strategy,' Chief Executive Darius Adamczyk said in a statement. The company narrowed its fourth-quarter EPS guidance to $1.84, the upper end of its range, and said it expects sales growth of 9%, up from a prior range of 5% to 7%. Shares were slightly higher premarket, but have gained 33% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Dec 13, 2017

Eli Lilly sets guidance for 2018, expects regulatory moves on pipeline drugs
Drug company Eli Lilly and Co. on Wednesday set guidance for 2018, saying it expects EPS of $4.24 to $4.34, or adjusted EPS of $4.60 to $4.70. revenue is expected to range from $23.0 billion to $23.5 billion. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of $4.65 and revenue of $23.1 billion. 'The company is expecting continued pipeline progress, including U.S. regulatory action for baricitinib for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, galcanezumab for the treatment of migraine and a new indication for Verzenio in breast cancer, as well as the launch of a new indication for Taltz in psoriatic arthritis,' it said in a statement. The company is now expecting 2017 EPS of $1.56 to $1.66, or $4.15 to $4.25 on an adjusted basis. That compares with a FactSet consensus of $4.21. Shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 18% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Dec 13, 2017

Italy to hold general election on March 4: reports
Italy's government plans to hold a much-anticipated election on March 4, according to multiple media reports on Wednesday. Italians have to go to the polls next year, as the general election has to be completed by late May. March 4 had previously been mentioned in news reports as a possible date.

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Dec 12, 2017

Toshiba settles with Western Digital, clearing path for Bain-Apple acquisition
Toshiba Corp. and Western Digital Corp. officially settled litigation Tuesday that should clear a path for a long-planned sales of Toshiba's flash-memory unit. Toshiba has agreed to sell the business to a consortium led by private-equity firm Bain Capital, which includes Apple Inc. , Dell Technologies Inc., Seagate Technology PLC and others. Western Digital made its own bid for the assets, and eventually sued Toshiba based on joint-manufacturing agreements. Western Digital confirmed reports earlier in the day of a settlement with a filing Tuesday afternoon that breaks down the revised agreement for new manufacturing facilities. Toshiba is seeking to sell its profitable flash-memory unit as part of an effort to avoid having its stock delisted in Japan due to struggles at its U.S. nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse. Western Digital shares increased more than 2% in after-hours trading Tuesday.

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Dec 12, 2017

Amazon commuter shuttle drivers join Teamsters Union
Commuter shuttle drivers for Amazon.com Inc. selected Teamsters Local 853 to represent them, the union said late Tuesday. Selected via a card-check agreement, where the drivers signed authorization forms or cards indicating they wish to be represented by the union, the Teamsters said about 40 drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area are contractors for WeDriveU. Local 853 represents WedDriveU drivers at tech giants in the Bay Area such as Salesforce Inc. , Microsoft Corp. unit LinkedIn and Facebook Inc. . The union said that more than 1,000 tech commuter shuttle drivers have joined the Teamsters since 2015 and drivers have seen pay increases of about 25% after unionizing. Amazon stock is down a fraction after hours to $1,164.99. Amazon shares are up 55% this year, with the S&P 500 index up 19%.

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Dec 12, 2017

Sears to extend maturity date on term loan, plans on new credit facility
Sears Holdings Corp. said late Tuesday it has agreed to extend the maturity of an existing term loan originally maturing June 2018 to January 2019, with an option to further extend the maturity to July of that year. Sears paid down the term loan by $325 million in the fourth quarter, reducing the outstanding balance to about $400 million and bringing the total term loan repayment in 2017 to about $570 million, the company said in a statement. Sears also said it plans to get a new security credit facility, intending to use the proceeds to fund the payment of about $407 million in the Sears pension plans and for general purposes. Sears has 'taken further action to provide the company with additional financial flexibility as we enter 2018,' Chief Financial Officer Rob Riecker said. Sears continues to 'explore alternatives' around debt maturities to reduce cash interest payments and get more flexibility, he said. Shares of Sears rose 4.8% in the late session after ending the regular trading day down 5.9%.

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Dec 12, 2017

Facebook to direct fewer ad sales through low-tax Ireland
Facebook Inc. said Tuesday that it will record advertising revenue in countries where it sells ads instead of at its Dublin, Ireland, headquarters. The company said in a blog that it aims to complete the transition by the first half of 2019 and anticipates that it will require significant resources to implement around the world. 'We believe that moving to a local selling structure will provide more transparency to governments and policy makers around the world who have called for greater visibility over the revenue associated with locally supported sales in their countries,' Facebook Chief Financial Officer Dave Wehner said in the blog post. While it's unclear from the blog exactly how much revenue Facebook is talking about, the company records 47% of its revenue in the U.S., according to FactSet. The change would significantly boost Facebook revenue recorded in 27 countries including Germany, Japan and Argentina likely increasing the tax bill in those countries, according to The Wall Street. Facebook shares have gained 54% this year, with the S&P 500 index gaining 19%.

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Dec 12, 2017

API data reportedly show a hefty drop in U.S. crude supplies
The American Petroleum Institute reported Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies dropped by 7.4 million barrels for the week ended Dec. 8, according to sources. The API data showed a rise of 2.3 million barrels in gasoline stockpiles, while inventories of distillates rose 1.5 million barrels, sources said. Supply data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday morning. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to report a decline of 4 million barrels for crude inventories. They also forecast a rise of 1.6 million barrels for gasoline and an increase of 500,000 barrels for distillate supplies. January crude was at $57.50 a barrel in electronic trading, up from the settlement of $57.14 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Dec 12, 2017

MongoDB declines after first earnings report post-IPO
MongoDB Inc. shares walked back some of Tuesday's gains in the extended session after the database company's first quarterly results and outlook as a public company topped Wall Street estimates. MongoDB shares declined 4.1% to $27.81 after hours, following an 8% run-up in the regular session. To date, shares have risen 21% above their IPO pricing of $24 in late October. The company reported a third-quarter loss of $24.2 million, or $1.39 a share, compared with a loss of $19.5 million, or $1.57 a share, in the year-ago period. The adjusted loss for the recent quarter was 44 cents a share. Revenue rose to $41.5 million from $26.3 million in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated a loss of 49 cents a share on revenue of $37.2 million. For the fourth quarter, MongoDB estimates an adjusted loss of 43 cents to 42 cents a share on revenue of $42 million to $42.5 million. Analysts expect a loss of 44 cents a share on revenue of $41.3 million.

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Dec 12, 2017

SEC appoints new chairman, four board members to audit industry regulator
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Tuesday the appointment of William D. Duhnke III, an attorney and currently the staff director and general counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, as the new chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the independent audit industry regulator. The SEC also named four new board members: J. Robert Brown, a professor of law at the University of Denver, Kathleen M. Hamm, currently the global leader of securities and fintech solutions and senior strategic advisor on cyber solutions at Promontory Financial Group, James G. Kaiser, a partner and 38-year veteran of PricewaterhouseCoopers and Duane M. DesParte, a former audit partner at Deloitte & Touche and, prior to that, Arthur Andersen.

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Dec 12, 2017

Proteostasis Therapeutics shares down 8% after proposed share offering
Shares of Proteostasis Therapeutics Inc. fell more than 8% in the late session Tuesday after the company said it plans to sell 7 million shares of its common stock. Underwriters will have a 30-day option to buy up to 1.05 million additional shares, the company said. Proteostasis on Monday announced positive results on three trials of drugs aimed at cystic fibrosis treatments, lifting shares earlier Tuesday. Proteostasis' shares ended the regular Tuesday session up 161%. The shares are down 50% this year, compared with gains of 19% for the S&P 500 index.

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Dec 12, 2017

Lawmakers settling on corporate rate of 21% in tax bill: report
House and Senate negotiators are settling on a corporate rate of 21% in a final tax bill, up from the 20% passed by each chamber, the Washington Post reports. The Post's story also said congressional Republicans are in advanced talks to lower the top tax rate for individuals from 39.6% to 37% as they finalize a tax package. The House-Senate tax conference committee is scheduled to meet in open session on Wednesday to discuss a bill.

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Dec 12, 2017

MoviePass owner Helios to issue new stock and warrants, shares plunge 14%
MoviePass Inc. owner Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. will issue stock and warrants, the company said late Tuesday. Shares of Helios fell 14% to $8.65 after hours. Helios plans to use the proceeds from the offering to increase its stake in MoviePass or to support it's operations, the company said. Helios will also use the proceeds to pay down some amounts due on outstanding convertible notes and for 'general corporate purposes' the company said. Cannaccord Genuity is acting as the sole book-runner for the new issue. Helios stock is up 206% this year as of today's close, with the S&P 500 index up 19%.

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Dec 12, 2017

Verifone shares fall after disappointing outlook
Verifone Systems Inc. shares fell in the extended session Tuesday after the payments device company's outlook fell short of Wall Street estimates. Verifone shares fell 6.2% to $17.33 after hours. The company forecast adjusted revenue of 22 cents a share on revenue of $431 million to $433 million for the fiscal first quarter, and adjusted earnings of $1.47 to $1.50 a share on revenue of $1.79 billion to $1.81 billion for the year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated earnings of 34 cents a share on revenue of $466.5 million for the first quarter, and $1.56 a share on revenue of $1.93 billion for the year. The company reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $3.1 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a loss of $4.5 million, or 4 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 44 cents a share. Revenue rose to $476.5 million from $464.4 million in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated 43 cents a share on revenue of $472.4 million.

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Dec 12, 2017

Amgen raises dividend by 15% to $1.32 a share
Amgen late Tuesday announced that its board of directors declared a dividend of $1.32 a share for the first quarter of 2018. The dividend will be paid on March 8 to stockholders of record as of Feb. 15, the biotech company said. That's a 15% increase from the dividend paid in each of the previous four quarters, Amgen said. Shares of Amgen were flat in late trading after ending the regular session down 0.3%.

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Dec 12, 2017

S&P 500, Dow end at records ahead of Fed decision
The S&P 500 and Dow industrials advanced to end at records on Tuesday, as the Federal Reserve kicked off its two-day meeting. However, weakness in tech stocks weighed on the Nasdaq Composite. The central bank's Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to announce its third and final interest-rate hike of 2017 on Wednesday. The S&P 500 closed at a record, rising 4.15 points, or 0.2%, to 2,664.14. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also ended at a fresh all-time high, after adding 118.57 points, or 0.5%, to 24,504.60. The Nasdaq Composite index slipped 12.76 points, or 0.2%, to 6,862.32 Among the biggest winners on Tuesday, Coty Inc and Freeport-McMoRan Inc jumped about 4% after upgrades from analysts.

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Dec 12, 2017

SEC charges biopharmaceutical company with failing to disclose millions in executive perks
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Tennessee-based Provectus , a biopharmaceutical company, with allegedly failing to properly report millions of dollars in perks provided to its then-CEO and then-CFO as compensation. The company allegedly lacked sufficient controls surrounding the reporting and disclosure of travel and entertainment expenses submitted by its executives, including Provectus' former CEO, Dr. H. Craig Dees, who obtained millions of dollars from the company using limited, fabricated, or non-existent expense documentation, according to the SEC. Provectus' former CFO, Peter R. Culpepper, also allegedly obtained $199,194 in unauthorized and undisclosed perks and benefits. The SEC said Dees treated the company 'as his personal piggy bank,' using falsified records to obtain $3.2 million in cash advances and reimbursements to allegedly pay for personal expenses such as cosmetic surgery for female friends, restaurant tips, and personal travel. The SEC settled with the company, which did not include any fines based on its proactive remediation and the cooperation of its new leadership. Provectus also fired the alleged wrongdoers. The company and Culpepper consented to separate orders, without admitting or denying the SEC's findings. Culpepper agreed to pay $152,376 in disgorgement and interest, a civil penalty, and to be suspended from appearing and practicing before the SEC as an accountant for three years.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 12, 2017

EIA lifts WTI, Brent oil-price forecasts for 2017 and 2018
The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Tuesday raised its price forecasts on West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil for this year and next. In its monthly energy outlook report, the government agency forecast WTI prices at $50.56 a barrel for this year, up from $49.70 in the October forecast. For 2018, it forecast $52.77--up from $51.04 in the previous outlook. The EIA also upped its 2017 forecast on Brent crude to $53.88 from $53.01 and its 2018 outlook to $57.26 from $55.61. It modestly raised its 2018 output view to 10.02 million barrels a day from 9.95 million. That would be 'the highest average annual production rate of crude oil in U.S. history,' said EIA Acting Administrator John Conti. January WTI crude continued to trade lower, down 1.5% at $57.12 a barrel. February Brent lost 1.7% at $63.59.

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
Dec 12, 2017

MoviePass and Fandor team up with Costco with 1-year subscription to both services for $89.99
MoviePass, the film-theater subscription service owned by Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. , and Fandor, a streaming service with a database of independent films, documentaries, international features and shorts, are teaming up with Costco Wholesale Corp. to offer a special one-year plan for $89.99 that will give subscribers access to Fandor's library as well as to MoviePass' cinema plan. The offer will be available online for just one week from Dec. 12 to Dec. 18, the companies said in a statement. 'those who sign up for the one year subscriptions will receive digital codes providing instant access to Fandor's library of over 5,000 films, as well as a year's worth of the latest and greatest in-theater experiences through MoviePass,' the statement said. MoviePass has grown its subscriber base to more than 600,000 since launching a $9.95 a month plan in August. Helios and Matheson shares were trading up 17.5% Tuesday, while Costco shares were down 0.6%. The S&P 500 was up 0.3%.

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



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