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 NEWS: MARKETWATCH MARKETPULSE
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   NEWS: MARKETWATCH MARKETPULSE
MarketWatch MarketPulse
Mar 01, 2021

Space data collection company Spire Global to go public through merger with SPAC NavSight Holdings
Shares of NavSight Holdings Inc. rallied 6.4% in premarket trading Monday, after the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) announced a merger that will take space-based data and analytics company Spire Global Inc. public. The deal, which is expected to close in summer 2021, values the combined company at $1.6 billion, and is expected to provide about $475 million in proceeds. Spire uses a constellation of nanosatellites called LEMUR (low earth multi-use receiver) to collect space-based data. The company uses "space-as-a-service" business model. Once the deal closes, the stock will list on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "SPIR." "[O]ur proprietary data and solutions help customers solve some of earth's greatest challenges, including Net Zero and Climate Change adaptation," said Spire Chief Executive Peter Platzer. NavSight's stock, which went public in November, has gained 6.4% over the past three months through Friday, while the Renaissance IPO ETF has advanced 7.1% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 4.1%.

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
Mar 01, 2021

Rocket Lab to go public in merger with SPAC Vector Acquisition, valuing company at $4.1 billion
Rocket Lab USA Inc. announced Monday it will be going public through an acquisition by special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Vector Acquisition Corp. , in a deal that values the launch and space systems company at $4.1 billion. Vector Acquisition's stock soared 20.5% in premarket trading. After the merger closes, which is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2021, the company will be named Rocket Lab USA Inc. and the stock will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "RKLB." The companies expect to have a cash balance of $750 million after the deal closes. Separately, Rocket Lab unveiled its medium-lift Neutron rocket, a reusable launch vehicle with an 8-ton payload lift capacity, to be used for mega constellations, deep space missions and human spaceflight. "Not only are we the leader in small launch, we are the second most frequently launched rocket in the U.S. annually and the fourth most frequent launcher globally," said Chief Executive Peter Beck. Vector Acquisition's stock, which went public in November, has gained 2.8% over the past three months, while shares of spaceflight services company Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. have run up 31.3% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.1%.

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
Mar 01, 2021

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 114 million and U.S. death toll above 513,000
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed above 114 million on Monday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose above 2.53 million. The U.S. has the highest case tally in the world at 28.6 million and the highest death toll at 513,092. The U.S. added 50,925 new cases on Sunday, according to a New York Times tracker, and at least 1,129 people died. The U.S. has averaged 67,868 cases a day in the past week, down 26% from two weeks ago. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Saturday granted emergency authorization to the vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, that has the advantage of being a one-dose regimen that does not require the refrigeration required by the existing vaccines. The move has bolstered hopes that vaccination can now speed up. Brazil has the second highest death toll at 254,942 and is third by cases at 10.6 million. India is second worldwide in cases with 11.1 million, and now fourth in deaths at 157,157. Mexico has the third highest death toll at 185,715 and 13th highest case tally at 2.1 million. The U.K. has 4.2 million cases and 123,083 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world.

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
Mar 01, 2021

L3Harris to sell its military training, combat propulsion businesses for $1.45 billion
CAE Inc. announced Monday an agreement to buy L3Harris Technologies Inc.'s military training business for $1.05 billion. CAE expects the deal to add to earnings in the first full year after the closing, which is expected to occur in the second half of 2120. L3Harris' military training business had revenue of about $500 million in 2020. Separately, L3Harris said it is also selling its combat propulsion systems and related business to Renk AG for $400 million in cash. That business had annual revenue of about $230 million. L3Harris plans to use the proceeds from the sales for share repurchases. "hese agreements place our Military Training and Combat Propulsion Systems and related businesses with well-suited buyers, while positioning L3Harris to further focus on its core technologies and execute its strategic priorities," said L3Harris Chief Executive William Brown. CAE and L3Harris stocks were both inactive in premarket trading. Over the past three months, shares of L3Harris have lost 5.2% and CAE have gained 8.3%, while the S&P 500 has advanced 4.1%.

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
Mar 01, 2021

Walmart to scrap $35 minimum for Express delivery
Walmart Inc. said Monday it is scrapping the $35 minimum for Express delivery, a service that is currently offered in nearly 3,000 of its stores. Express delivery costs $10 on top of the existing delivery charge, while Walmart members just pay the $10 fee. "Customers told us sometimes the items they needed in a hurry didn't meet the minimum, so we're removing it, making it even easier for customers to get what they need when they need it," said Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product, in a statement. Shares were up 1.5% premarket and have gained 20% in the last 12 months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 21%.

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
Mar 01, 2021

Polaris to launch electric Ranger utility side-by-side this year
Polaris Inc. unveiled Monday plans to launch a full-size electric Ranger utility side-by-side in late December 2021, with deliveries to dealer targeted for early 2022. The full-size Ranger is the first electric vehicle the powersports company developed through its partnership with Zero Motorcycles, which was announced in September. "With the rising interest in electrified vehicles, we are investing in electrification in order to meet the needs of current customers as well as appeal to tomorrow's powersports riders," said interim Chief Executive Mike Speetzen. "The new electric powertrain will elevate the RANGER platform to a whole new level of capability, durability and performance," said Steve Menneto, president of Polaris Off Road. The stock, which is still inactive in premarket trading, has rallied 18.8% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.1%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 27, 2021

House passes $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill
The U.S. House early Saturday passed the Biden administration's $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package by a vote of 219-212. All Republican members voting opposed passage, and two Democrats joined them in voting against the bill. The bill now heads to the Senate, where the nonpartisan parliamentarian ruled Thursday that a provision increasing the federal wage to $15 an hour could not be included in legislation passed via the budget reconciliation process, which is not subject to the filibuster and thus can be passed by a simple majority, introducing additional complexity in an evenly divided chamber where Democrats are likely reliant on the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

FBI has pinpointed possible suspect in killing of Capitol Police's Sicknick: report
An assailant has been pinpointed as prospectively responsible for the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, according to a New York Times report, citing two law-enforcement officials described as having been briefed on the investigation. The FBI inquiry has explored the possibility that Sicknick, who collapsed after the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to disrupt the certification of President Biden's electoral victory and died the following day, was adversely affected by an irritant such as bear spray that members of the mob were said to have deployed, according to the Times report. Investigators reviewing video evidence of that day's events are reported to have narrowed their suspicion to a single person, whom the Times reported has not been identified by name. Two additional officers engaged in the Jan. 6 defense of the Capitol died by reported suicides in immediately subsequent days. Sicknick was 42 and an Air National Guard veteran who had served in Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan, joining the Capitol Police in 2008.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

FDA tells J&J it's working on an emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine
Shares of Johnson & Johnson gained 1.3% in after-hours trading on Friday after the Food and Drug Administration said it has contacted the company to say it is "rapidly" working toward issuing an emergency use authorization for J&J's COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The FDA statement was sent out Friday evening about an hour after an advisory committee voted unanimously that the benefits of the experimental vaccine outweigh the risks. "The agency has also notified our federal partners involved in vaccine allocation and distribution so they can execute their plans for timely vaccine distribution," FDA officials said in the statement. J&J said earlier this week that it plans to deliver 20 million doses of its single-dose vaccine in the U.S. by the end of March. J&J's stock is up 10.7% over the past 12 months, while the broader S&P 500 has gained 22.4%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

FDA committee votes unanimously, says benefits of J&J's COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks
Shares of Johnson & Johnson were up 1.3% in after-hours trading on Friday after a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee vote 22-0 in favor of the regulator authorizing the company's COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The FDA is not required to follow the advice of the committee but often does. The single-dose vaccine had an overall efficacy rate of about 66% in the Phase 3 clinical trial, and the U.S. arm of the trial showed an efficacy rate of about 72% and of 85% when protecting against severe or critical disease. The most common adverse events were pain at the injection site and fatigue. The trial was conducted in the U.S., South Africa, and several Central and South American countries. If the FDA moves forward with authorizing the experimental vaccine, it will be the third COVID-19 vaccine to be available in the U.S. - and the first to require only one dose. Both the Moderna Inc. and BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc.'s vaccines, which were separately authorized in December, require two doses spaced several weeks apart. J&J's stock has gained 10.7% over the past 12 months, while the broader S&P 500 is up 22.4%

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Dow ends around 475 points lower as Nasdaq bounces following worst fall since October
Stocks ended mostly lower Friday, dipping toward session lows in the final minutes of trading. Tech-related shares bounced after a rout sparked by a sharp rise in Treasury yields, but still suffered weekly losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended with a loss of around 475 points, or 1.5%, near 30,928, according to preliminary figures. The blue-chip gauge ended the week down 1.8%, its fall cushioned by a rotation into shares of companies more sensitive to the economic cycle. The S&P 500 gave up a modest gain ahead of the closing bell, finishing with a loss of around 18 points, or 0.5%, near 3,811 and leaving it with a weekly decline of 2.5%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite clung to a gain of around 73 points, or 0.6%, to close Friday near 13,332, after suffering its largest one-day percentage fall since October in the previous session. The Nasdaq suffered a 4.9% weekly fall.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

U.S. Treasury sanctions former Saudi official and 'Tiger Squad', but not crown prince, in connection with Khashoggi murder
The Treasury Department announced Friday that it has sanctioned Saudi Arabia's Rapid Intervention Force, called the "Tiger Squad," and a former Saudi intelligence officer, for their direct involvement in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Ahmad Hassan Mohammed al Asiri, the former deputy head of the country's General Intelligence Presidency, was called the "ringleader" of the murder by the department. The U.S. did not sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The New York Times reported that unnamed senior administration officials said the price for directly penalizing the crown price was too high. The order freezes any assets held by the targets in the U.S. and also prohibits Americans from doing business with them. Earlier Friday, the Biden administration released an intelligence assessment concluding the crown prince likely approved an operation to capture or kill the journalist in Istanbul.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Oil futures decline, but U.S. prices gain nearly 18% for the month
Oil futures settled lower on Friday, but U.S. prices ended the month nearly 18% higher after marking a nearly 22-month settlement high on Thursday. Crude-oil futures have climbed "in anticipation of improvements in demand, while global supplies remained constricted," said Marshall Steeves, energy markets analyst at IHS Markit. However, U.S. supplies have quickly recovered from disruptions last week from winter storms, and "will likely not have quite such a significant impact on next week's inventory data," he said. April West Texas Intermediate crude fell $2.03, or 3.2%, to settle at $61.50 a barrel Friday. Prices for the front-month contract rose 17.8% for the month of February, after climbing Thursday to their highest finish since May 1, 2019, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

L3Harris raises dividend by 20%, to push implied yield to over 2.2%
L3Harris Technologies Inc. declared Friday a quarterly dividend of $1.02 a share, which marks a 20% increase from the previous quarterly dividend of 85 cents a share. The aerospace and defense company's new dividend will be payable March 26 to shareholders of record on March 12. The stock fell 2.2% to $182.87 in afternoon trading. Based on the current stock price, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 2.23%, compared with the yield for the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF of 1.51% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.51%, according to FactSet. L3Harris's stock has dropped 13.1% over the past 12 months, while the industrial ETF has gained 17.6% and the S&P 500 has advanced 22.7%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Nasdaq's rally comes in the face of bearish market breadth
The Nasdaq Composite surged 1.0% in afternoon trading, but market internals are actually telling a rather bearish story. The number of Nasdaq-listed stocks declining topped advancers 2,259 to 1,632, and the volume of stocks losing ground is making up 54.5% of total volume. On the NYSE, decliners led advancers 1,803 to 1,382, while down volume was 69.0% of total volume. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was more reflective of the overall market's performance, as it fell 347 points, or 1.1%, while the S&P 500 was little changed.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Gold futures down a fourth session, at lowest finish since June
Gold futures fell for a fourth consecutive session on Friday to finish the session at their lowest since June, with the recent rise in U.S. Treasury yields putting pressure on prices for the metal. "Gold always underperforms when the dollar is going up or real interest rates are rising," said Collin Plume, founder and chief executive officer of Noble Gold. The 10-year Treasury note yield eased back Friday, but had climbed to a 52-week high at 1.513% on Thursday, while the dollar has gained for the week, dulling investment demand for gold. April gold fell $46.60, or 2.6%, to settle at $1,728.80 an ounce, with prices for the most-active contract down roughly 6.6% for the month of February, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The settlement was the lowest since June 2020.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

U.S. intelligence report says Saudi crown prince approved capture or killing of Khashoggi
A U.S. intelligence report released Friday said Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation "to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi." The report, dated Feb. 11, is partially redacted and comes from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Khashoggi died in Istanbul in October 2018. Read more about the intelligence report.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Baker Hughes data show a weekly climb in U.S. oil-drilling rigs
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil climbed by four to 309 this week. That followed a modest fall of one rig in the previous week, which marked the first weekly decline since November. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes those drilling for natural gas, was up five at 402, according to Baker Hughes. April West Texas Intermediate crude continued to decline following the data, down $1.50, or 2.4%, to $62.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Palantir's stock set to suffer the biggest weekly selloff since going public
Shares of Palantir Technologies Inc. have seesawed to a loss of 0.6% in midday trading, reversing an earlier intraday gain of as much as 2.3%, as the data integration and software company's stock is set to suffer its worst week since going public. The stock has plunged 17.8% this week, as it is set to lose ground in every session, and is on track to decline in 11 of the past 12 trading days. That would be the biggest one-week selloff since the stock went public on Sept. 30, surpassing the previous record drop of 15.1% for the week ended Dec. 31. During the stock's recent weakness, a number of insiders made millions trading the stock. The stock has now lost 18.0% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.0%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Carvana stock has 60% upside, Morgan Stanley says
Adam Jonas at Morgan Stanley on Friday upgraded his rating on Carvana Co. stock to the equivalent of buy and with a price target of $420, from $225. The price target represents a 60% upside from recent share prices. Describing Carvana as "just a 'used car dealer' is like describing (Amazon.com Inc. ) nearly two decades ago as just an online book seller," Jonas said. The company, which became public in 2017, "has internally developed a range of capabilities to be successful in the used-car business," the analyst said. Carvana late Thursday reported mixed fourth-quarter results, posting a wider-than-expected loss but sales that at $1.8 billion beat consensus of sales around $1.6 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
Feb 26, 2021

Biden administration to work with private sector in educating public on face masks and vaccination
The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday it is launching a new initiative with private sector companies, asking them to encourage workers to wear face masks and provide incentives to get vaccinated against the coronavirus illness COVID-19. White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt said companies will be asked to communicate with customers and help educate them on the benefits of both masking and vaccination. Slavitt will host a conference call later Friday with business owners to lay out a call to action and ask them to use their resources with the effort. His comments came as the head of the CDC warned that recent declining case numbers and hospitalizations are beginning to stall while still at high levels, and called on Americans and state leaders not to lift restrictions on movement.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Defense contractor Leonardo DRS files for an IPO
Leonardo DRS Inc., a Virginia-based defense contractor, has filed Friday for an initial public offering. The number of shares being offered, or the expected price of the shares, have not yet been determined, but the company said it expects to have 145 million shares outstanding after the IPO. The company said it would not receive any proceeds from the IPO, as all the shares will be offered by a selling stockholder. Leonardo said it has applied to have its stock listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "DRS." Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities and J.P. Morgan are the lead underwriters. The company recorded net earnings of $85 million on revenue of $2.78 billion in 2020, compared with earnings of $75 million on revenue of $2.71 billion in 2019. The company is looking to go public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has advanced 10.2% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.8%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

CDC head says declining cases of COVID-19 and lower hospitalization trends are stalling
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that a decline in cases of the coronavirus-borne illness COVID-19 and a reduction in the number of patients that need to be hospitalized are beginning to stall, and urged Americans to continue to comply with public health measures. "Things are tenuous," Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing. "Now is not the time to relax restrictions." The U.S. is still averaging about 70,000 cases a day and the seven-day average is higher today than it was earlier in the week, she said. "This recent shift in the pandemic must be taken seriously," she said. If the infection rate remains at such a high level, the virus, and new variants of the virus, will continue to spread, she said. "We may be done with the virus, but the virus is not done with us," she said. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, agreed. Fauci said the U.S. will be out of the woods until the positivity rate falls below 10%, and it has far more vaccines than are available today. "The curve will go down and with more people vaccinated, they will keep it at that baseline because the virus won't have really free rein to infect anybody it wants to."

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Select Medical stock soars after upbeat earnings and outlook prompts a double upgrade at BofA
Shares of Select Medical Holdings Corp. soared 19.5% toward a record in morning trading Friday, after the medical rehabilitation services company reported a fourth-quarter profit that rose well above expectations and provided an upbeat outlook, prompting BofA Securities analyst Kevin Fischbeck to swing to bullish from bearish. The company reported late Thursday earnings per share rose to 57 cents from 24 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 36 cents, the seventh-straight quarter that EPS beat forecasts. Revenue grew 6.2% to $1.46 billion, beating expectations of $1.41 billion. The company said it expects 2021 EPS of $2.26 to $2.48, compared with the FactSet consensus at the end of January of $1.64. BofA's Fischbeck double upgraded the stock (SEM) to buy from underperform, while raising his price target to $36 from $30. "SEM has been a net beneficiary from COVID, and there is now reason to believe that a decent amount of the critical illness recovery hospitals (CIRH) share shift that occurred will be sustained post-COVID, while the outpatient businesses rebound," Fischbeck wrote in a note to clients. The stock, on track for the second-biggest one-day gain since going public in September 2009, has run up 28.8% over the past three months, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has tacked on 4.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.7%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Past marijuana use won't automatically disqualify Biden's White House staff: report
President Joe Biden's administration is issuing new guidelines Friday meant to address a hurdle tied to recreational marijuana that it faced as it aims to quickly fill key White House positions, said an NBC News report citing unnamed officials. The White House on a case-by-case basis will waive a requirement that potential appointees be eligible for a "Top Secret" clearance, and the waiver only would be granted to those who have used marijuana to a limited degree and who are in positions that don't ultimately require a security clearance, the report said.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

S&P 500 briefly knifes below 50-day moving average before bouncing back Friday morning
The S&P 500 index momentarily jolted below a short-term trend line for the first time this month as a rise in bond yields was forcing a powerful rotation in markets out of highflying stocks. The S&P 500 was trading at 3,821 at last check but had slipped beneath its 50-day moving average in Friday morning action at 3,808.60, according to FactSet data. Market technicians and chart watchers tend to use moving averages as demarcation line between short-term and long-term bullish and bearish trends. The broader market also was under pressure with the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly losing its grip on a psychologically significant level at 31,000 and flirting with a trade below its 50-day MA at 30,865.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index was struggling to hold higher, however, trading up less than 0.1% higher with the index having breached its 50-day MA then at 13,284.23 on Thursday, FactSet data show.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Homebuilder ETFs rally as housing stays hot
Exchange-traded funds with exposure to residential construction and design stocks gained Friday as most other sectors remained under pressure. The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF was 1.3% higher mid-morning, and the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF was up 0.8%. The broader Hoya Capital Housing ETF gained 0.5%. All three funds are beating the broad stock market in the year to date, with gains of 6.8%, 7%, and 9.2%, respectively. Demand for privacy and more flexible home-work arrangements during the pandemic, as well as interest in design and renovation, have helped buoy shares of housing-related companies.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Stocks open mixed after bond rout sparks worst week in a month
U.S. stocks started Friday's session TK after lurching lower over the past few days as bond yields spiked. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 35 points, 0.1%, to open near 31,367, while the S&P 500 gained 14 points, 0.4%, and traded near 3,843. The Nasdaq Composite added 113 points, 0.9%, opening near 13,233. Bonds have sold off as traders grow uneasy about the pace of economic recovery, and the central bank's commitment to supporting markets. As yields rise, many stocks, especially pricey ones in growth-oriented sectors, become less attractive. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is on track for its worst week since October. Strong personal spending data out Friday morning confirmed that fiscal spending is flowing through to the economy. That's helping companies like Shake Shack Inc. , which on Thursday reported a quarterly loss that was lower than analysts had expected.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Market timer McClellan swings to short-term bullish on stocks, for first time in 3 weeks
Market timer Tom McClellan, publisher of the "McClellan Market Report," has swung to short-term bullish on stocks from bearish, following the "scary selloff" he's been waiting for in the previous session. He said market breadth was "terribly negative" on Thursday, as the S&P 500 tumbled 2.5%, resulting in an oversold reading that "may be enough" to counteract the market's bearish message. He also noted that the CBOE Volatility Index , known by many as Wall Street's fear gauge, spiked 35% on Thursday amid the market's selloff. "Generally speaking, any VIX jump of 10% or more on a single day is a pretty good marker of a sentiment washout. The bigger the better," McClellan wrote. "This does not mean that this has to be the final price low, but it is a pretty good sign of one." S&P 500 futures were recently up 0.4% at 3,844, bouncing off an earlier loss of about 3,809. The last time McClellan as short-term bullish on stocks was after the Feb. 5 close. He turned neutral after the Feb. 8 close, then turned bearish after the Feb. 17 close. From Feb. 17 through Thursday, the S&P 500 had lost 2.6%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Guardion Health stock tumbles after reverse stock split announcement
Shares of Guardion Health Sciences Inc. tumbled 24.0% in premarket trading Friday, after the medical foods company focused on ocular health said it was implementing a 1-for-6 reverse stock split, to help maintain listing requirements. The reverse split will go into effect with the opening of trading on March 1, meaning stock price on Monday will start at six-times Friday's closing price. The company said on Sept. 20, it received a letter from the Nasdaq's listing qualifications department regarding noncompliance with the $1.00 per share minimum bid price requirement. The stock had closed at 20 cents on Sept. 30, then rose to a closing high of $1.16 on Feb. 16, before tumbling to close Thursday at 69 cents. In the company's latest quarterly filing in November and annual report filed a year ago, the company has said there is substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern. Reverse stock splits are often viewed by investors as confirmation of a companies troubles. Despite the troubles, the stock has more than doubled (up 127.7%) over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 22.9%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

GameStop shares jump 13% premarket as stock looks poised for another day of high-volume activity
GameStop Corp. shares rose 13% in premarket trade Friday, and looked poised for another day of high-volume activity. The videogame retailer's stock is on track for gains of 168% on the week after a move that began late Wednesday and continued through Thursday. In the absence of market-moving news, the move is again being attributed to activity on Reddit's WallStreetBets forum. Other meme stocks that were swept up in a trading frenzy in January were also active. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. was down 0.2%, BlackBerry Ltd. was down 2.4%, Naked Brand Group Ltd. was down 4% and Koss Corp. was down 8%. Year-to-date, GameStop has gained 477%, while AMC is up 291%, after investors on that Reddit forum sought to create a short squeeze in both stocks in January. The unusual moves led to a congressional committee hearing last week at which executives from Reddit, the trading app Robinhood, Citadel and Melvin Capital answered questions, alongside individual investor Keith Gill - aka 'Roaring Kitty

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Feb 26, 2021

Canadian cannabis company Cronos posts wider-than-expected Q4 loss but revenue beats estimates
Cronos Group Inc. shares slid 3% in premarket trade Friday, after the Canadian cannabis company posted a wider-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter, but revenue that beat estimates. The Toronto-based company swung to a net loss of $111.7 million, or 31 cents a share, in the quarter, after income of $61.6 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue net of excise taxes came to $17.0 million, up from $7.3 million a year ago. The FactSet consensus was for a loss per share of 8 cents and revenue of $13.3 million. Revenue gains were driven by continued growth in the Canadian recreational cannabis market, sales in the Israeli medical market and growth in the U.S. segment, the company said in a statement. That was partly offset by non-recurring wholesale revenue in the Canadian market in the year-earlier quarter and price cuts on various adult-use products in Canada in the recent quarter. The company wrote down $15 million of dried cannabis inventory and cannabis extracts, mostly due to price pressure in Canada. "The company may incur further inventory write-downs due to pricing pressures in the marketplace," said the statement. Cronos said its Happy Dance brand, a line of vegan, U.S. hemp-derived CBD bath and body products co-founded by actress Kristen Bell, has secured a first U.S. retailer in Ulta Beauty and expects to launch online and in-store in the coming weeks. Shares have gained 77% in the last 12 months, while the Cannabis ETF has gained 91% and the S&P 500 has gained 23%.

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Feb 26, 2021

AMC Networks stock set to rally after big profit and revenue beats
Shares of AMC Networks Inc. were indicated up about 2% in premarket trading Friday, with the media company, which TV channels include AMC, IFC, SundanceTV and BBC America, reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue that were well above expectations, citing strength in its streaming services. The company swung to net income of $94.7 million, or $2.09 a share, from a loss of $8.6 million, or 15 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share rose to $2.72 from $1.69, beating the FactSet consensus of 50 cents. Revenue slipped 0.6% to $780.3 million but was above the FactSet consensus of $705.0 million, with national networks revenue falling 3.0% to $571.2 million but beating expectations of $517.3 million. Distribution revenue fell 1.2%, as content licensing declined 1.8% and subscription revenue dropped 1.1%. "AMC Networks is now the worldwide leader in targeted streaming and, with the addition of our new AMC premium bundled offering, streaming is now the most significant growth area of our company," said Chief Executive Josh Sapan. The stock has soared 60.1% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.5%.

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Feb 26, 2021

Eli Lilly says U.S. government has agreed to buy at least 100,000 doses of its COVID antibody therapy
Eli Lilly & Co. said Friday the U.S. government has agreed to purchase at least 100,000 doses of its COVID-19 antibody therapy, which was recently granted emergency use authorization for use in recently diagnosed, mild to moderate patients who are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID and/or hospitalization. The purchase agreement is worth $210 million and doses will be delivered through March 31, Lilly said in a statement. The therapy combines bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) 700 mg and etesevimab (LY-CoV016) 1400 mg. The government has the option to purchase up an additional 1.1 million doses through Nov. 25 under the same terms. The government has already committed to buying 1.45 million doses of bamlanivimab alone, which includes more than 1 million doses that have been delivered and an agreement to deliver 450,000 additional doses by March 31. It has pledged to provide neutralizing antibodies at no out-of-pocket cost to patients. Lilly shares were down 0.8% premarket, but have gained 53% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 23%.

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Feb 26, 2021

Foot Locker stock tumbles after profit beats, but sales surprisingly decline
Shares of Foot Locker Inc. tumbled 9.0% in premarket trading Friday, after the athletic footwear and accessories retailer reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations, but surprise declined in net and same-store sales. Net income for the quarter to Jan. 30 fell to $123 million, or $1.17 a share, from $134 million, or $1.27 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.55, above the FactSet consensus of $1.37. Sales slipped 1.4% to $2.19 billion, while the FactSet consensus called for 3.2% increase to $2.29 billion, as the same-store sales decline of 2.7% missed expectations for 4.9% growth. "Despite the challenging macro backdrop of COVID-related store closures and supply chain congestion, we delivered strong bottom-line results in the fourth quarter," said Chief Executive Richard Johnson. "Our customers responded well to our solid product offering and exciting holiday campaign, which drove stronger margins and continued acceleration of our digital business." The company did not provide financial guidance given uncertainties resulting from the pandemic. The stock has run up 37.5% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

U.S. stock futures lose ground even as 10-year yield edges lower
U.S. stock futures lurched lower as the U.S. trading day approached. Futures on the S&P 500 fell 0.3% and those on the Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 0.6%, even as there was a bit of relief on the interest rate front as the yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.48% from 1.51%. U.S. stocks ended Thursday with sharp losses, as the S&P 500 fell 2.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 26, 2021

Cinemark posts wider-than-expected Q4 loss but revenue beats estimates
Cinemark Holdings Inc. posted a wider-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter, as many of its theaters operated at limited capacity during the coronavirus pandemic, but revenue beat consensus estimates. The Plano, Texas-based cinema chain posted a loss of $239.3 million, or $2.03 a share, in the quarter, after earnings of $26.3 million, or 22 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell to $98.2 million from $788.8 million. The FactSet consensus was for a loss per share of $1.46 and revenue of $79.8 million. "It is almost unfathomable that one year ago, we were reporting Cinemark's fifth consecutive year of record results with the North American industry touting the second-highest grossing box office of all-time," Chief Executive Mark Zoradi said in a statement. The company's financial results continue to be "significantly impacted" by COVID, which led to its theaters being closed for an extended period starting last March. The company reopened domestic cinemas in June and international ones in August, after enhanced cleaning. As of Dec. 31, it had 217 domestic and 129 international theaters open at limited hours. Zoradi said the company is confident business will return once the virus is contained and noted the strong performance of Chinese cinemas during the recent Lunar holiday. Shares were up 1.5% premarket, but have fallen 11% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 23%.

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Feb 26, 2021

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 113 million and U.S. death toll atop 508,000
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed above 113 million on Friday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose above 2.50 million. The U.S. has the highest case tally in the world at 28.4 million and the highest death toll at 508,314, after surpassing the 500,000 level late Monday. The U.S. added 77,804 new cases on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker, and at least 2,465 people died. The U.S. has averaged 69,450 cases a day in the past week, down 32% from two weeks ago. There was good news on the vaccine front, when the Food and Drug Administration eased the ultra-low temperature requirements for the Pfizer Inc./BioNTech vaccine. An FDA advisory committee will meet all day Friday to review and vote on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires just one dose. Brazil has the second highest death toll at 251,498 and is third by cases at 10.4 million. India is second worldwide in cases with 11.1 million, and now fourth in deaths at 156,825. Mexico has the third highest death toll at 183,692 and 13th highest case tally at 2.1 million. The U.K. has 4.2 million cases and 122,303 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world.

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Feb 25, 2021

Stock-market futures and oil hold steady as U.S. launches attack against Iran-backed militia in Syria
U.S. stock-market index and oil futures Thursday night were seeing muted moves amid news that the Biden administration had launched airstrikes in Syria, targeting facilities near the Iraqi border used by Iranian-backed militia groups. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down less than 0.1% at 31,364, those for the S&P 500 index were also off less than 0.1% at 3,827.75, while Nasdaq-100 futures were down 0.4% at 12,787.50. The strikes were retaliation for a rocket attack in Iraq earlier in February that killed one civilian contractor and wounded a U.S. service member and other coalition troops, according to the Pentagon, the Associated Press reported. U.S. crude-oil futures were off 0.7% at $63.04 a barrel and global benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.9% lower at $65.59 a barrel on Globex. Equity markets on Thursday ended sharply lower amid a rapid rise in bond yields, with the 10-year Treasury note touching around 1.6%, undercutting appetite for assets percieved as risky like stocks against risk-free government debt. On Thursday, the Dow booked its steepest one-day slide since Jan. 29, the S&P 500 index closed down 2.5% to mark the biggest daily slump in three weeks and the Nasdaq Composite Index ended the session off 3.5% to mark its worst day since October.

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Feb 25, 2021

Dell Technologies' Q4 profit, sales rise
Shares of Dell Technologies Inc. rose more than 3% in the extended session Thursday after the tech company reported fourth-quarter profit and sales that were better than Wall Street expected. Dell said it earned $1.3 billion, or $1.57 a share, in the quarter, compared with $416 million, or 54 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, Dell earned $2.70 a share, compared with $2 a share a year ago. Revenue rose 9% to $26.1 billion, Dell said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected Dell to report adjusted earnings of $2.14 a share on sales of $24.5 million. "This year's strong results are a testament to the flexibility of Dell Technologies' business model and the resilience of our team," Chief Financial Officer Tom Sweet said in a statement. Dell's full-year revenue rose 2% to $94.2 billion. The stock ended the regular trading day down 2.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

: Farfetch stock drops as better-than-expected results follow 500% price surge
Farfetch Ltd. FTCH shares fell in the extended session Thursday as the luxury retailer reported quarterly earnings following a huge run-up in share price from a year ago. Farfetch shares dropped 10% after hours, following a 4.2% decline to close the regular session at $63.81. Farfetch shares have soared more than 500% over the past 12 months. The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $2.28 billion, or $6.53 a share, compared with a loss of $110.1 million, or 34 cents a share in the year-ago period. Excluding a $1.89 billion loss on "embedded derivate liabilities" because of the company's increase in share price and other items, the company reported an adjusted loss of 6 cents compared with a loss of 8 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose to $540.1 million from $382.2 million in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by Factset had expected an adjusted loss of 13 cents a share on revenue of $518.1 million.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

: Shake Shack posts narrower-than-expected loss on quarter
Shake Shack Inc. SHAK shares ticked higher in the extended session Thursday after the fast-food restaurant chain turned in a narrower-than-expected loss for the quarter. Shake Shack shares rose 1% after hours, following a 5.1% drop in the regular session to close at $118.92. The company posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $19.4 million, or 50 cents a share, whereas it had recorded a net loss of $2.1 million, or 6 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. On an adjusted basis, Shake Shack lost 3 cents a share, versus adjusted earnings per share of 6 cents a year prior. The FactSet consensus was for an 11-cent adjusted loss per share. Shake Shack's revenue for the quarter rose to $157.5 million from $151.4 million, right in-line with the analyst consensus of $157.5 million.

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Feb 25, 2021

Eventbrite shares soar 11% on Q4 results
Shares of Eventbrite Inc. were initially up 11% in extended trading Thursday after the online event-management company announced fiscal fourth-quarter results. Eventbrite reported a net loss of $20.2 million, compared with a net loss of $13.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue dropped 68% to $26.7 million from $82.7 million a year ago. The company said cash expenses, excluding processing fees, were $29 million, down 54% year from a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected a loss of 36 cents a share on revenue of $28.1 million. Eventbrite's stock has rallied 11.5% over the last 12 months. The broader S&P 500 index has improved 29% in the last year.

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Feb 25, 2021

Pfizer: FDA eases ultra-low temperature requirements for COVID-19 vaccine
Pfizer Inc. said late Thursday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is allowing the company "more flexible" storage and transportation conditions for its and BioNTech's [s:bntx] COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA will allow undiluted, frozen vials of the vaccine to be transported and stored at temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers for a period of up to two weeks, the company said. That's an alternative constrasting with the "preferred" storage of the undiluted vials in ultra-low temperature freezers. "This alternative temperature for transportation and storage of the undiluted vials is significant and allows the vials to be transported and stored under more flexible conditions. The alternative temperature for transportation and storage will help ease the burden of procuring ultra-low cold storage equipment for vaccination sites and should help to get vaccine to more sites," the FDA said in the statement. Shares of Pfizer lost 0.4% in the extended session Thursday after ending the regular trading day up 0.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

: VMware stock slips as earnings top Wall Street consensus view
VMware Inc. VMW shares slipped in the extended session Thursday even as the cloud-computing and virtualization software company's quarterly results exceeded the Wall Street consensus view. VMware shares declined 2% after hours, following a 2.2% drop in the regular session to close at $143.53. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $791 million, or $1.87 a share, compared with $321 million, or 76 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock-based compensation expenses and other items, were $2.21 a share, compared with $2.05 a share in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $3.29 billion from $3.07 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast $2.05 a share on revenue of $3.23 billion.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

: Zscaler stock rises as results, outlook top Street view
Zscaler Inc. ZS shares TK in the extended session Thursday after the cybersecurity company's quarterly results topped Wall Street estimates. Zscaler shares rose 4% after hours, following a 5.8% drop in the regular session to close at $195.75. The company reported a fiscal second-quarter loss of $67.5 million, or 50 cents a share, compared with $29.2 million, or 23 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock-based compensation expenses and other items, were 10 cents a share, flat from a year ago. Revenue rose to $157 million from $101.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast 8 cents a share on revenue of $147.4 million. Zscaler forecast earnings of about 7 cents a share on revenue of $162 million to $164 million for the third quarter, and 39 cents to 40 cents a share on revenue of $634 million to $648 million for the year. Analysts had estimated 7 cents a share on revenue of $153.8 million for the third quarter, and 38 cents a share on revenue of $611.9 million for the year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Etsy revenue more than doubles, crushes consensus estimate
Shares of Etsy Inc. were up more than 3% in after-hours trading Thursday after the online crafts marketplace easily topped expectations with its holiday-quarter results and issued an upbeat forecast. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $149 million, or $1.08 cents a share, up from $31 million, or 25 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting 59 cents in earnings per share. Etsy posted revenue of $617 million, up from $270 million a year earlier and more than $100 million ahead of the FactSet consensus, which called for $516 million. Etsy saw gross merchandise sales of $3.61 billion for the quarter, more than double the $1.66 billion that the company posted a year earlier. Analysts tracked by FactSet were modeling $3.08 billion. "Product enhancements and disciplined marketing investments worked together to increase buyer lifetime value, enabling us to increase spend in marketing while maintaining high return on investment," Chief Financial Officer Rachel Glaser said in Etsy's earnings release. The company expects $513 million to $536 million in first-quarter revenue, while analysts were expecting $383 million. Etsy shares have gained nearly 300% over the past 12 months as the S&P 500 has risen 22%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

: Workday stock slips after earnings beat Street
Workday Inc. WDAY shares declined in the extended session Thursday even as the human-resources cloud-software company's quarterly results topped Wall Street estimates. Workday shares declined 3% after hours, following a 4.4% drop in the regular session to close at $251.19. The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $71.7 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with a loss of $128 million, or 56 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock-based compensation expenses and other items, were 73 cents a share, compared with 50 cents a share in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $1.13 billion from $976.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast 55 cents a share on revenue of $1.12 billion.

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Feb 25, 2021

Dow skids 560 points to mark worst day in a month as surge in interest rates unsettles Wall Street bulls
U.S. stock benchmarks on Thursday booked their worst selloff in weeks as a steady rise in government debt upended the market's bullish posture. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by about 560 points, or 1.8%, to 31,402, to mark its worst day since Jan. 29. the S&P 500 index closed 2.4% lower at 3,831, while the Nasdaq Composite Index , the most sensitive to rising yields, ended the session down 3.5% to 13,119 and finished below its 50-day moving average at 13,284.23 for the first time since Oct. 28, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The move comes as the 10-year Treasury note rose to above 1.5%, reflecting expectations of higher inflation and higher borrowing costs for companies and individuals.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Sarepta stock rises after FDA approves biotech's Duchenne MD treatment
Shares of Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. rose nearly 1% in late trading Thursday after the biotech company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved one of its treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy in patients with certain mutations. The continued approval of the injection, called amondys 45, could be contingent on confirmation of a clinical benefit in further trials, Sarepta said. A placebo-controlled trial to support the approval is ongoing and expected to end in 2024, the company said. Shares of Sarepta have lost around 26% in the last 12 months, contrasting with gains around 22% for the S&P 500 index.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

U.S. oil futures eke out highest finish since May 2019, but Brent crude settles lower
Oil futures were mixed Thursday, with U.S. prices inching higher to mark their highest finish since May 2019, but global benchmark Brent down for the session. OPEC may discuss the possibility of raising oil production in a meeting next week, putting pressure on prices that are set to post hefty gains for the month of February, but traders also looked to upbeat economic data that point to continued recovery, which bodes well for energy demand. April West Texas Intermediate crude rose 31 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $63.53 a barrel - the highest front-month contract finish since May 1, 2019, according to Dow Jones Market Data. April Brent crude contract , meanwhile, lost 16 cents, or 0.2%, to $66.88.

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Feb 25, 2021

Oil and gas services ETFs power higher
Energy services exchange-traded funds rallied Thursday, a rare sector in the black on a day of steep sell-offs. The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF gained 2.1% by mid-afternoon, the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF was up 1.6%, and the iShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF was up 1.1%. The broader stock market was down 1.8%. Energy prices have skyrocketed in recent weeks as investors anticipate economic activity returning to normal.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Gold futures down a third session, with Treasury yields up sharply
Gold futures settled lower for a third consecutive session on Thursday, pressured on the back of a sharp rise in U.S. Treasury yields. "The faster the global bond yields rise, the sharper the fall is for gold," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. "The surge in Treasury yields most likely can't keep this pace up so gold should start to stabilize soon," but if the bond selloff continues, and gold breaks critical support at the $1750 level, "technical selling could see this get another 5% uglier." April gold fell $22.50, or nearly 1.3%, to settle at $1,775.40 an ounce.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Financial sector ETF pulls back from record despite big jump in Treasury yields
The financial sector suffered broad losses Thursday, as support from a big jump in Treasury yields wasn't enough to offset the broader-market selloff. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF fell 1.0% in afternoon trading, to pull back from Wednesday's record close, with 56 of its 65 equity components losing ground. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 slumped 1.9%. Among the financial ETF's (XLF) more-active components, shares of Bank of America Corp. slumped 0.7%, Citigroup Inc. shed 0.8%, Wells Fargo & Co. lost 1.4% and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. slid 0.9%. Meanwhile, the yield on 10-year Treasury note jumped 11.0 basis points toward a one-year high of 1.499%. Higher long-term yields can lead to higher bank profits, as they can increase they spread between what banks earn on longer-term assets, like loans, that are funded by shorter-term liabilities. Over the past three months, the XLF has gained 16.3%, while the 10-year Treasury yield has climbed by 62.1 basis points and the S&P 500 has gained 6.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

10-year Treasury yield surges above 1.50% after 'awful' debt auction
The benchmark Treasury note jumped above 1.50% on Thursday afternoon after investors showed tepid demand for $62 billion of 7-year notes. The 10-year note yield climbed 15 basis points to 1.54%. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields. Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at the Bleakley Advisory Group, described the 7-year note auction results as "awful," after it tailed by 4.2 basis points, the most in the auction's history. The tail is the gap between the highest yield the Treasury sold in the auction and the yield before the auction began. Analysts have cited the 1.50% level as a key threshold for the bond market that could portend trouble for U.S. equities.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

3M stock a rare Dow gainer amid broad selloff after winning patent infringement case in China
Shares of 3M Co. gained 0.4% in afternoon trading, and were the biggest gainer of the only two Dow Jones Industrial Average components gaining ground, amid a broad-market selloff after the consumer, health care and industrial products company announced a positive outcome in its patent infringement case against in China. The company said the Intermediate People's Court of Zhengzhou has ordered Qingdao Sisa Abrasives Co. Ltd. to immediately stop making and selling its infringing abrasive grain in China as it infringes 3M's patents in China. The court also directed Qingdao Sisa to compensate 3M for its economic losses and expenses, but the amount of compensation was not disclosed. The other Dow gainer was Nike Inc.'s stock , which rose 0.2%. The other 28 Dow stocks were down between 0.4% and 4.8%. Meanwhile, the Dow tumbled 513 points, or 1.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Hasbro extends partnership with Fortnite maker for next five years
Hasbro Inc. announced during its investor event on Thursday that its partnership with Epic Games, maker of the blockbuster Fortnite videogame, will continue for five more years. The new deal extends and expands the licensing deal first brokered two years ago, which brought Fortnite to the Nerf and Monopoly brands. Fortnite will now be integrated with other brands, including Fortnite x G.I. Joe Collab Snake Eyes: Zero Point Edition. Additional launches will come in the fall. Hasbro stock is down 2.6% over the last three months, but is up nearly 8% over the last year. The S&P 500 index is up 23.5% for the past 12 months. Also: Roblox is going public: 5 things to know about the tween-centric gaming platform

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Walgreens to start selling at-home COVID-19 tests
Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. gained 0.3% in trading on Thursday, the day after the pharmacy giant said it will begin selling over-the-counter COVID-19 tests developed by the Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings . Labcorp's stock was down 1.8%. The at-home PCR test kits will be sold at pharmacy counters in an estimated 6,000 Walgreens stores in the U.S. sometime this spring, allowing people to buy a kit, self-administer a nasal swab, and mail the sample back to Labcorp via FedEx. People do not need a prescription to purchase the test kit. A Walgreens spokesperson said in an email that it is not disclosing the price of the test at this time. Over the past 12 months, Walgreen's stock has gained 4.1% and shares of Labcorp are up 29.9%. The S&P 500 is up 21.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Zoom Video stock heads for longest losing streak on record
Zoom Video Communications Inc. shares are off 1.6% in Thursday trading, putting the stock on track for its longest losing streak on record, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The stock is down for the seventh day in a row. Zoom and other software stocks have come under pressure in recent days amid a shift toward "reopening" names expected to benefit from an improving economy. Zoom has been one of the biggest winners from the stay-home economy, with its shares up 254% over the past 12 months amid surging interest in videoconferencing software.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

10-year Treasury rate briefly passes S&P 500 dividend yield
Benchmark Treasury yields on Thursday briefly broke through a key line in the sand that investors say could start to present trouble for record-high U.S. equities. The 10-year note rose as high as 1.49%, before settling down to 1.46% on Thursday. In its climb higher, the benchmark maturity passed the S&P 500's average dividend yield of 1.48%. That could raise the relative attractiveness of U.S. government bonds to the expense of high dividend-paying sectors like utilities. If long-term bond yields persist above the dividend rates paid out by major U.S. corporations, analysts have said it could add to concerns around elevated valuations in the stock market. The S&P 500 is down 0.9%, leaving it on pace for a 0.4% loss for the week.

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Feb 25, 2021

5-year Treasury note yield hits 0.75% as rate-hike bets accelerate
Shorter-term Treasury yields were on the move on Thursday as the U.S. government bond market came under assault this week. The 5-year Treasury note yield was up 13 basis points to around 0.76%. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields. the 10-year note yield rose 8.4 basis points to 1.473%. Investors are closely eyeing the movements of the 5-year note as it roughly overlaps with the timetable for when the Federal Reserve is expected to carry out its first rate hikes since the pandemic. A higher 5-year note rate would signify bond traders are pricing in more monetary tightening as reflation fears gain ground.

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Feb 25, 2021

Costco raising its minimum wage for U.S. workers to $16 per hour
Costco Wholesale Corp. Chief Executive Craig Jelinek announced Thursday that the warehouse retailer will raise the minimum wage for its U.S. workers to $16 per hour. "Two years ago we moved our starting hourly wage to $15 everywhere in the US, effective next week, the starting wage will go to $16," Jelinek said at a Senate hearing on minimum wage. Costco joins Signet Jewelers Ltd. , which also announced on Thursday that it will be raising its minimum wage to $15. Costco shares have gained 11.3% over the last year while the S&P 500 index is up 24.6% for the period. Additional reporting by Elisabeth Buchwald

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

5-year Treasury note yield hits 0.75%, highest since last March
Shorter-term Treasury yields were on the move on Thursday as the U.S. government bond market came under assault this week. The 5-year Treasury note yield was up 13 basis points to around 0.76%. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields. the 10-year note yield rose 8.4 basis points to 1.473%. Investors are closely eyeing the movements of the 5-year note as it roughly overlaps with the timetable for when the Federal Reserve is expected to carry out its first rate hikes since the pandemic. A higher 5-year note rate would signify bond traders are pricing in more monetary tightening as reflation fears gain ground.

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Feb 25, 2021

Target to double the size of Apple shops in its stores
Target Corp. said Thursday that it will double the size of Apple Inc. shops in select stores. The retailer is also unveiling a new shopping experience for both store locations and its e-commerce site. The new experience will start rolling out this month with stores in 17 locations scheduled, including Gainesville, Fla., Miami, and San Jose, Calif. Additional locations are coming in the fall. Apple and Target have a 15-year relationship. Target stock has gained 70% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 25% for the period.

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Feb 25, 2021

Altimmune starts enrolling early-stage trial for its nasal spray COVID-19 vaccine candidate
Shares of Altimmune Inc. were down 4.8% in trading on Thursday after the company said it started enrolling participants in a Phase 1 clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Altimmune is developing a single-dose nasal spray vaccine. The study is expected to enroll up to 180 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 years old, who will receive one of three doses of the experimental vaccine. The company said it expects to share the first batch of clinical data from this trial in the second quarter of this year. Altimmune's stock has soared 969.9% over the past 12 months, while the broader S&P 500 is up 21.7%.

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Feb 25, 2021

EIA data reveal a 338 billion cubic foot weekly decline in U.S. natural-gas supplies
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas declined by 338 billion cubic feet for the week ended Feb. 19. On average, the data were expected to show a drop of 333 billion cubic feet for the week, according analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. Total stocks now stand at 1.943 trillion cubic feet, down 298 billion cubic feet from a year ago and 161 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, the government said. Following the data, April natural gas was little changed, down by less than a penny, or 0.2%, at $2.79 per million British thermal units. It traded at $2.807 shortly before the data.

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Feb 25, 2021

Regeneron to share new data about COVID-19 antibody cocktail in March
Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. were up 0.2% in trading on Thursday after the company said an independent committee recommended the placebo no longer be given to COVID-19 patients in a Phase 3 clinical trial because the company's antibody cocktail demonstrated "clear" efficacy. The committee said the treatment, REGEN-COV, which received emergency authorization in November, reduced hospitalizations and deaths at two dose levels, and it would continue to enroll non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients who will receive either dose of the therapy. The company said it plans to share detailed clinical data from the trial next month as part of its effort to secure a full approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the antibody cocktail. Regeneron's stock is up 3.5% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 21.7%.

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Feb 25, 2021

GSK to refocus study of experimental COVID-19 antibody treatment on patients 70 and older
Shares of GlaxoSmithKline were down 0.2% in trading on Thursday after the drug maker said its experimental monoclonal antibody treatment did not meet the primary endpoint in a mid-stage trial evaluating its use in hospitalized COVID-19 patients of all age groups. As part of the study's design, the therapy, otilimab, was given in addition to the standard of care, which includes treatments such as Gilead Sciences Inc.'s antiviral Veklury. GSK said it will now refocus the study on patients older than 70 years old, with plans to enroll 350 people who fit this demographic, after data from that study indicated the antibody treatment was more likely to improve outcomes for older patients. GSK said it plans to publish the details of the initial Phase 2 trial in a preprint. GSK's stock is down 17.7% over the past 12 months, while the broader S&P 500 has gained 21.7%.

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Feb 25, 2021

Kay Jewelers, Zales parent Signet Jewelers lifts minimum wage to $15 an hour
Signet Jewelers Ltd. , which retail brands include Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared, said Thursday it was raising its minimum wage for all U.S. employees to $15 an hour, with the new wages fully rolled out by the spring of 2022. The new wages will cover all full-time and part-time employees, and for all new roles such as virtual jewelry consultants. "As we enter the next phase of our Path to Brilliance, we do so with the firm belief that businesses that prioritize their team will deliver better results by unlocking even more innovation," said Chief Executive Gina Drosos. The jewelry retailer's stock 3.3% in morning trading to the highest price seen during regular-session hours since December 2018. It has soared 62.7% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.1%.

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Feb 25, 2021

Square stock rises after Guggenheim upgrade
Shares of Square Inc. are up 2.4% in morning trading Thursday after Guggenheim Securities analyst Jeff Cantwell upgraded the stock to buy from neutral, writing that the stock looks attractive after a 11.5% decline in the previous two trading sessions. Cantwell views that fall for the stock as "largely a near-term, momentum-driven negative reaction to this week's decline in the price of Bitcoin," as Square has invested in the cryptocurrency and allows Cash App users to buy and sell it as well through the platform. "[W]e believe Bitcoin is still in the early stages of a significant move higher (which should be positive for Cash App and positive for SQ's balance sheet)," Cantwell wrote. He's upbeat about other areas of Square's business as well, arguing that the seller business should continue to recover and that Square will likely see progress as it tries to bring its consumer and merchant ecosystems together more. Square shares have gained 14% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has risen 8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Stocks slump at the open as yields stay elevated
U.S. stocks opened mostly lower Thursday as bond yields pushed higher and economic data sent mixed signals. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 15 points to open near 31,947, while the S&P 500 lost 12 points, 0.3%, opening near 3,913. The tech-concentrated Nasdaq Composite fell 85 points, 0.6%, and traded near 13,513. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note shot up 9 basis points Thursday morning, a reminder that inflation often accompanies economic growth. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment claims fell, but data may have been skewed by the recent holiday. Target Corp. said Thursday that it would double down on its relationship with Apple Inc. , whose shares have been hammered by the tech sell-off in recent weeks.

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Feb 25, 2021

Caterpillar's stock rises toward another record after J.P. Morgan boosts price target
Shares of Caterpillar Inc. gained 0.6% in premarket trading Thursday, putting them on track for a fifth straight record, after J.P. Morgan analyst Ann Duignan boosted her price target by 16%, saying the "unprecedented" Texas winter storm could provide a catalyst for the construction and mining equipment maker. Duignan reiterated the overweight rating she's had on the stock for at least the past three years, while raising her price target to $237 from $205. "We view the unprecedented winter storm in Texas as a catalyst for near-term construction and back-up power equipment demand (rental initially, equipment sales thereafter) while also strengthening bipartisan support for a broad-based infrastructure package," Duignan wrote in a note to clients. She also expects oil and gas production to accelerate, and mining capital spending is entering a "sustained, demand-driven upcycle," which should also help boost Caterpillar results. The stock has rallied 27.4% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 7.0%.

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Feb 25, 2021

PepsiCo launches Neon Zebra cocktail mixers, in 4 flavors
PepsiCo Inc. announced Thursday the launch of a new line of non-alcoholic cocktail mixers, called Neon Zebra, in four flavors. The mixers come in 7.5 ounce cans and can make two cocktails, with a six pack costing between $6.99 to $7.99.. The flavors are Margarita Mix, Strawberry Daiquiri Mix, Mojito Mix and Whiskey Sour Mix. "With at-home cocktail consumption on the rise, we saw an opportunity to build and disrupt this fast-growing category with a product that meets consumers' needs for convenience - to cut out time and mess without compromising on quality and taste," said Emily Silver, vice president of innovation and capabilities at PepsiCo. The beverage and snack giant's stock, which slipped 0.3% in premarket trading, has lost 8.4% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.2%.

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Feb 25, 2021

Yellen describes vaccines as global economy's 'strongest stimulus' in G-20 letter
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday said vaccinations are the strongest stimulus that countries can provide to the world economy, in a letter to Group of 20 countries. "A rapid and truly global vaccination program is the strongest stimulus we can provide to the global economy," Yellen told her colleagues in the organization, which includes China and India. The Treasury secretary urged G-20 nations to increase their support of programs designed to deliver vaccines to all parts of the world, and also called on them to keep up "significant fiscal and financial policy actions" to support economic recovery.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Abercrombie & Fitch to transition to renewable energy beginning 2023
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announced its plan to shift to renewable energy at its New Albany, Oh. headquarters and its distribution centers starting in 2023. Abercrombie & Fitch has signed a 13-year agreement with Ohio-based AEP Energy to power its headquarters and two New Albany facilities, which will reduce about 16,000 metric tons of carbon annually. Abercrombie & Fitch brands include the namesake and Hollister. Shares have nearly doubled over the past year, up 96.2%, while the S&P 500 index is up 25.5% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

SolarWinds stock rallies after profit, revenue rise above expectations
Shares of SolarWinds Corp. rallied 2.9% in premarket trading Thursday, after the network-management software company, which was a victim by a massive hacking campaign in December, reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations, but provided a downbeat first-quarter outlook. Net income rose to $132.0 million, or 42 cents a share, from $13.1 million, or 4 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share increased to 26 cents from 24 cents, topping the FactSet consensus of 25 cents. Total revenue grew 7.2% to $265.3 million, beating the FactSet consensus of $259.5 million, as both subscription and maintenance revenue rose above forecasts. For the first quarter, the company expects adjusted EPS of 19 cents to 20 cents, below the current FactSet consensus of 22 cents. "The sophisticated cyberattack on us and our customers at the end of the fourth quarter has taught us a great deal about the resiliency of our business, the commitment of our employees, and the support we can expect from our customers and partners," said Chief Executive Sudhakar Ramakrishna. The stock has tumbled 30.1% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the SPDR S&P Software & Services ETF has rallied 21.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Target to double the number of Apple shops in its stores
Target Corp. said Thursday that it will double the number of Apple Inc. shops in select stores. The retailer is also unveiling a new shopping experience for both store locations and its e-commerce site. The new experience will start rolling out this month with stores in 17 locations scheduled, including Gainesville, Fla., Miami, and San Jose, Calif. Additional locations are coming in the fall. Apple and Target have a 15-year relationship. Target stick has gained 67.5% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 25.5% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Domino's Pizza earnings and revenue miss expectations
Domino's Pizza Inc. stock fell 4.9% in Thursday premarket trading after the pizza delivery company missed fourth-quarter earnings and revenue expectations. Net income totaled $151.9 million, or $3.85 per share, up from $129.3 million, or $3.12 per share, last year. Adjusted EPS of $3.46 missed the FactSet consensus for $3.89. Revenue totaled $1.357 billion, up from $1.150 billion and below the FactSet consensus for $1.386 billion. U.S. same-store sales were up 11.2% for the quarter, ahead of the FactSet consensus for 9.6% growth. International same-store sales growth was 7.3%, also ahead of the FactSet consensus for 4.2% growth. The company authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program on Wednesday, which replaces the previous program that had about $76.6 million available. Domino's stock is down 1.1% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 25.5% for the period.

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Feb 25, 2021

Papa John's shares fall after earnings miss expectations
Papa John's International Inc. shares fell 7.5% in Thursday premarket trading after the pizza delivery company reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed expectations. Net income totaled $9.3 million, or 28 cents per share, after a loss of $5.6 million, or 18 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS of 40 cents missed the FactSet consensus for 48 cents. Revenue totaled $469.8 million, up from $417.5 million and ahead of the FactSet consensus for $469.0 million. North American comparable sales rose 13.5%, ahead of the FactSet consensus for 9.5% growth. International comparable sales were up 21.4%, well ahead of the FactSet consensus for 9.7% growth. The company invested $2.7 million in end-of-year bonuses for workers. Due to ongoing uncertainty, the company did not offer 2021 guidance. Papa John's stock has rallied 52.4% over the past year while the benchmark S&P 500 index is up 25.5% for the period.

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Feb 25, 2021

Plug Power stock falls after much wider than expected loss, surprise negative revenue
Shares of Plug Power Inc. dropped 2.3% in premarket trading Thursday, after the hydrogen fuel cell company reported a much wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and surprisingly negative revenue, but gross billings that beat forecasts. The net loss widened to $476.2 million, or $1.12 a share, from $18.3 million, or 7 cents a share. The FactSet consensus was for a per-share loss of 7 cents. Revenue swung to negative $316.3 million from positive $91.7 million, compared with the FactSet consensus for positive $87.2 million. The company said results were negatively impacted by a previously announced $456 million in costs related to the accelerated vesting of a customer's remaining warrants. Gross billings were $96.3 million, down from $125.6 million in the third quarter but up from $94.5 million a year ago, and above the FactSet consensus of $89.1 million. The company said it was "on track" to achieve its 2021 financial targets. The stock has soared 91.7% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Best Buy reports revenue miss, announces new worker bonuses
Best Buy Co Inc. shares fell 5.4% in Thursday premarket trading after the consumer electronics retailer reported fiscal fourth-quarter revenue that missed expectations. Net income totaled $816.0 million, or $3.10 per share, up from $745.0 million, or $2.84 per share. Adjusted EPS of $3.48 was up from $2.90 last year and ahead of the FactSet consensus of $3.47. Revenue of $16.94 billion was up from $15.20 billion last year but below the FactSet consensus for $17.20 billion. Enterprise comp sales rose 12.6%, below the FactSet consensus for 14.4% growth. And domestic comp sales were up 12.4%, also below the FactSet consensus for 14.8% growth. Comparable online sales were up 89.3%, and nearly two-thirds of online revenue was picked up in-store or curbside, shipped from a store, or delivered by a store employee, according to a statement from Corie Barry, Best Buy chief executive. Barry also announced that the retailer will be giving hourly full-time U.S. workers a $500 bonus in the coming weeks. Part-time workers will receive $200. The company is also encouraging workers to get vaccinations, offering paid time off to have them administered. "In FY22, we are accelerating investments to build on [fiscal year 2021] momentum and push even faster in our evolution to a digital-first mindset," Barry said. "This includes areas such as our technology, automation and analytic capabilities, our health initiatives, and continuing to pilot and test new operating formats with our store assets using a more flexible and cross-trained employee base." Best Buy forecasts fiscal 2022 enterprise comp sales in the range of a 2% decline to up 1%. This outlook "assumes that customers resume or accelerate spend in areas that were slowed during the pandemic, such as travel and dining out, in the back half of the years," said Matt Bilunas, Best Buy chief financial officer, in a statement. Best Buy also raised its dividend by 27% to 70 cents per share, payable on April 8, 2021 to shareholders o

MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Yield on 10-year Treasury jumps to 1.45% after wave of Fedspeak
The yield on the U.S. Treasury rose 7 basis points to 1.45%, extending recent gains, after dovish comments from leading central bank officials including Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Vice Chair Richard Clarida and Gov. Lael Brainard on Wednesday. The yield on the 10-year was just 0.915% on Jan. 4. The rise in yields put further pressure on the tech heavy Nasdaq 100, as futures on the lead contract slumped 0.8%.

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Feb 25, 2021

Moderna reports $570 million in revenue for first time driven by sales of COVID-19 vaccine
Shares of Moderna Inc. gained 2.2% in premarket trading on Thursday after the company reported half a million dollars in sales of its COVID-19 vaccine in the fourth quarter of last year. The company had a loss of $272,000, or 69 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared with a loss of $123,000, or 37 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. The FactSet consensus was for a loss of 34 cents. It had revenue of $570.7 million in the fourth quarter of last year, up from $14.1 million in the same quarter ago, as its COVID-19 vaccine began to be distributed in several countries around the world, including the U.S. The FactSet consensus was $279 million in revenue for the quarter. The vaccine is the first authorized product in the company's history. Moderna said it plans to produce at least 700 million doses of its vaccine in 2021, up from a previous low-end range estimate of 600 million, with a new goal of making 1.4 billion doses in 2022. The company said it has concluded enrollment in a clinical trial testing the COVID-19 vaccine in teens, and a Phase 2 trial for kids between the ages of 6 months and 11 year olds is also expected to begin in the "near-term." Moderna's stock has rallied 509.4% over the past 12 months, while the broader S&P 500 is up 21.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Wayfair swings to profit but revenue falls short
Wayfair Inc. stock sank 8.6% In Thursday premarket trading after the online home goods retailer reported fourth-quarter revenue that missed expectations. Wayfair reported net income of $23.8 million, or 23 cents per share, after a loss of $330.2 million, or $3.54 last year. Adjusted EPS of $1.24 beat the FactSet consensus for 86 cents. Revenue of $3.67 billion was up from $2.53 billion last year, but below the FactSet consensus of $3.76 billion. The number of active customers rose 53.7% to 31.2 million, though average order value fell slightly, down to $223 from $226. In Q4, 59.9% of orders placed were on a mobile device, up from 54.8% last year. Wayfair stock has soared 260.3% over the last year while the benchmark S&P 500 index is up 25.5% for the period.

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Feb 25, 2021

Folgers parent J.M. Smucker tops earnings estimates and raises guidance
J.M. Smucker Co. shares rose 1.9% in premarket trade Thursday, after the parent of brands including Folgers coffee, Café Bustelo and Milk-Bone dog biscuits posted stronger-than-expected earnings for its fiscal third quarter. The company had net income of $261.5 million, or $2.32 a share, in the quarter to Dec. 31, up from $187.4 million, or $1.64 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.45, well ahead of the $2.19 FactSet consensus. Sales rose to $2.077 billion from $1.972 billion, also ahead of the $2.006 billion FactSet consensus. Chief Executive Mark Smucker said sales were boosted by the continued elevated at-home dining trend, during the coronavirus pandemic. "During the quarter, we completed two divestitures, supporting our priority to further focus our portfolio and resources toward pet food, coffee, and snacking," he said in a statement. The company raised its guidance for fiscal 2021 and now expects sales to grow 2%, up from prior guidance of flat to up 1%. It expects adjusted EPS to range from $8.70 to $8.90, up from prior guidance of $8.35 to $8.65. Shares have gained 5% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 22%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Norwegian Cruises reports wider than expected loss again, but revenue beat forecasts
Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. surged 1.8% toward a near one-year high in premarket trading Thursday, after the cruise operator reported a fourth straight wider-than-expected quarterly loss, but revenue that beat expectations but said bookings have been "strong" for future periods. The company swung to a net loss of $758.9 million, or $2.51 a share, from net income of $121.3 million, or 56 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, the adjusted per-share loss was $2.33, wider than the FactSet loss consensus of $2.17. Revenue plunged 99.4% to $9.6 million, from $1.48 billion, but was more than triple the FactSet consensus of $2.6 million. The company's cruises remain suspended through May 31 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The monthly average cash burn was $190 million, and expects first-quarter average monthly cash burn to remain elevated around $190 million. "We are seeking to minimize cash burn and maximize financial flexibility in the near-term while balancing preparations for the future resumption of cruising," said Chief Financial Officer Mark Kempa. The stock has soared 34.8% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Pfizer, BioNTech to test a COVID-19 vaccine booster against new SARS-CoV-2 variants
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE said Thursday they have initiated the evaluation of a third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine, to study the effect of a booster on new SARS-CoV-2 variants. The study will draw on participants of its Phase 1 study in the U.S., who will be offered the opportunity to receive a booster of the current vaccine six to 12 months after receiving their initial two doses. "While we have not seen any evidence that the circulating variants result in a loss of protection provided by our vaccine, we are taking multiple steps to act decisively and be ready in case a strain becomes resistant to the protection afforded by the vaccine," said Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla. "This booster study is critical to understanding the safety of a third dose and immunity against circulating strains." Pfizer's stock gained 0.4% in premarket trading, while BioNTech shares slipped 0.5% and futures for the S&P 500 eased 0.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Merck to buy Pandion Therapeutics for 134% premium
Merck & Co. announced an agreement Thursday to buy Pandion Therapeutics Inc. in a deal valued at $1.85 billion. Under terms of the deal, Merck will pay $60 in cash for each Pandion share outstanding, which represents a 134.1% premium to Wednesday's closing price. Pandion is a biotechnology company which uses its TALON technology to develop autoimmune treatments. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021. Merck shares rose 0.6% in premarket trading, while Pandion's stock was still untraded. Over the past three months, Merck shares have slipped 6.9% through Wednesday, while Pandion's stock has run up 41.7% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Virgin Galactic names Doug Ahrens CFO, replacing Jon Campagna who is stepping down after IPO
Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. said Thursday it has named Doug Ahrens chief financial officer, replacing Jon Campagna, who is stepping down after the company's move from the private market to the public one. Ahrens was most recently CEO of Mellanox, a semiconductor company, and has done stints at GlobalLogic, Maxim Integrated Products, Intel Corp. and Chevron Corp. Shares of the space travel company were down 1.8% premarket, but have gained 35% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 22%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

USA Today parent Gannett posts wider-than-expected loss but revenue beats estimates
USA Today parent Gannett Co. Inc. posted a bigger-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter Thursday, but revenue that beat estimates. The company said it had a net loss of $122.2 million, or 92 cents a share, in the quarter, wider than the loss of $95.1 million, or $1.05 a share, posted in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose to $875.4 million from $699.3 million. The FactSet consensus was for a loss per share of 32 cents and revenue of $857.0 million. Paid digital subscriptions rose 29% to reach 1.1 million. The company reduced debt and refinanced outstanding debt in moves expected to generate $90 million of annual cash interest savings in 2021, it said in a statement. "We have outlined five key operating priorities: accelerating digital subscriber growth, driving digital marketing services growth, optimizing our traditional print operations and advertising businesses, prioritizing investments into growth businesses that support our vision, and building our inclusive and diverse culture," Chief Executive Michael Reed said in a statement. Shares rose 1.6% premarket, and have gained 10% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 22%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

SeaWorld reports narrower-than-expected loss, as attendance and guest spending rise above forecasts
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported Thursday a fifth straight quarterly loss, but beat bottom-line expectations for the first time in six quarters, as revenue, attendance and guest spending all beat forecasts. Thje stock was still inactive in premarket trading. The fourth-quarter net loss widened to $45.5 million, or 58 cents a share, from $24.2 million, or 31 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus was for a per-share loss of 71 cents. Revenue fell 48.3% to $154.1 million, but was well above the FactSet consensus of $122.1 million. Attendance dropped 52.8% to 2.2 million but beat the FactSet consensus of 2.0 million, while admission per capita rose 9.4% to $41.44 to beat expectations of $40.80 and total revenue per capita increased 9.4% to $69.40 to top forecasts of $68.30. The company currently has eight of its 12 parks open, at limited capacity, and is planning to have all 12 of its parks open for the 2021 season. "Guests showed a continuing desire and interest to visit our parks, especially during our Halloween and Christmas events," said Chief Executive Marc Swanson. " As we enter 2021, we are pleased that guests are returning, including for our popular food and music festivals." The stock has rallied 42.4% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 112.6 million and U.S. death toll nears 506,000
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed above 112.6 million on Thursday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose above 2.49 million. The U.S. has the highest case tally in the world at 28.3 million and the highest death toll at 505,899, after surpassing the 500,000 level late Monday. The U.S. added 74,076 new cases on Wednesday, according to a New York Times tracker, and at least 3,210 people died. The U.S. has averaged 68,595 cases a day in the past week, down 34% from two weeks ago. There was bad news for California, when it surpassed 50,000 deaths, the JHU data shows. California has the most fatalities of any state, followed by New York. Brazil has the second highest death toll at 249,957 and is third by cases at 10.3 million. India is second worldwide in cases with 11 million, and now fourth in deaths at 156,705. Mexico has the third highest death toll at 182,815 and 13th highest case tally at 2.1 million. The U.K. has 4.2 million cases and 121,979 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

Keurig Dr Pepper to increase annual dividend by 25% to 75 cents a share
Keurig Dr Pepper said Thursday its board has approved a 25% increase in its annualized dividend rate to 75 cents a share from 60 cents. The new rate will kick in with the company's regular quarterly dividend to be announced in the second quarter. It will result in growth of dividends paid in 2021 of12.5% and another 11.1% in dividends paid in 2022, given the calendar timing of the increase and of dividend payments. KDP also said its board has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents a share, to be paid on April 15 to shareholders of record as of April 1. Shares were up 4.5% premarket, and have gained 9% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 22%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 25, 2021

GameStop surges nearly 50% in premarket action; AMC gains extended
GameStop and AMC Entertainment rose in preopen trade on Thursday, after their spectacular Wednesday's moves. GameStop , the video-game retailer that's popular on the Reddit Wall Street Bets forum, rose 48% to $135.51 after doubling Wednesday. AMC , the movie-chain operator, rose 17% after rising 18% on 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
Feb 24, 2021

Ping Identity stock drops 11% after quarterly sales miss
Shares of Ping Identity Holding Corp. fell nearly 11% in the extended session Wednesday after the software company missed fourth-quarter sales expectations. Ping said it lost $3.4 million, or 4 cents a share, in the quarter, contrasting with earnings of $2.2 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, Ping earned 9 cents a share, compared with 14 cents a share a year ago. Sales fell to $63.3 million, from $68.2 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected Ping to report adjusted earnings of 9 cents a share on sales of $68.9 million. The company guided for first-quarter revenue between $61.5 million and $63.5 million, and it also reinstated its outlook, calling for 2021 revenue between $255 million and $265 million.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 24, 2021

Nutanix shares rise 5% on quarterly results
Shares of Nutanix Inc. were initially up 5% in extended trading Wednesday after the cloud-computing company reported fiscal second-quarter results. Nutanix reported a net loss of $287.4 million, or $1.42 a share, compared with a net loss of $217.6 million, or $1.13 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue improved was flat, at $346.4 million from $346.8 million a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected a loss of 99 cents a share on revenue of $327 million. Nutanix's stock has inched up 0.6% over the last 12 months. The broader S&P 500 index has improved 26% in the last year.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 24, 2021

Teladoc shares tumble 7% on Q4 results
Teladoc Health Inc.'s shares were initially down 7% in extended trading Wednesday after the virtual healthcare company reported fiscal fourth-quarter results. Teladoc reported an adjusted net loss of $394 million, or $3.07 a share, compared with a net loss of $19 million, or 26 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue jumped 145% to $383.3 million from $156.5 million a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected a loss of 26 cents a share on revenue of $379 million. Teladoc's stock has climbed 116% over the last 12 months. The broader S&P 500 index has improved 26% in the last year.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 24, 2021

ANGI Homeservices makes CEO change, with Oisin Hanrahan taking over
ANGI Homeservices Inc. announced Wednesday afternoon that Chief Product Officer Oisin Hanrahan would be taking over as the company's chief executive effective immediately. Hanrahan replaces Brandon Ridenour, who is stepping down from the CEO post. "As we continue to build an amazing experience for homeowners and service professionals, we're grateful to have an exceptional product visionary in the organization to step into the role of CEO," ANGI Homeservices Chairman Joey Levin said in a statement that praised Hanrahan's "winning entrepreneurial spirit." Shares of ANGI, which runs platforms for finding home-improvement providers, were up 5.5% in after-hours trading Wednesday. The stock has added 24% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has risen 8%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 24, 2021

Dow gains over 420 points to hit new all-time high after Powell testimony
U.S. stocks rose sharply on Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank's focus was on supporting the U.S. economy and employment. The S&P 500 rose 44 points, or 1.1%, to end around 3,925. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 425 points, or 1.4%, to end near 31,962, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite rose 133 points, or 1%, to finish around 13,598. Like Powell, other senior Fed officials including Lael Brainard and Richard Clarida both sounded dovish on Wednesday, underlining the central bank's willingness to keep policy accommodative. Intuit Inc. shares rose 3.5% after the financial-services company reported fiscal second-quarter results late Tuesday.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Feb 24, 2021

: GameStop trading repeatedly paused as stock more than doubles on day
GameStop Corp. GME shares were paused repeatedly on volatility in the final hour of trading Wednesday as the videogame retailer's stock soared. In recent activity, GameStop shares more than doubled while heading into the close touching intraday highs of more than $90. More than 41 million shares had traded hands near the close, compared with a 10-day average daily volume of 14.7 million shares. Late Tuesday, the company announced the departure of its financial chief.

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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