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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 25, 2020

Amazon Web Services suffers amid widespread issues with online applications
Amazon.com Inc.'s massive cloud-computing operation reported errors with a key data-streaming platform Wednesday morning, as online applications suffered across the U.S. Amazon Web Services reported problems with its Kinesis service, which assists online services with real-time data streaming at 9:36 a.m. Eastern time. About an hour later, AWS posted a banner atop its Service Health Dashboard saying that the issue had spread to other services and that it "has also affected our ability to post updates to the Service Health Dashboard." At 12:12 p.m. Eastern, Amazon said on the site it was "continuing to work towards resolution." The problems stemmed from the company's core eastern U.S. hub in northern Virginia; a problem with AWS's S3 service at that facility in 2017 caused widespread outages for popular online services. The website downdetector.com, which tracks online services, reported problems from several popular offerings Wednesday morning, including the popular videogame "League of Legends," Sirius XM satellite radio, and the Amazon-owned Ring doorbell system. At last check, Amazon shares were up nearly 2%. On the other hand, shares of both Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. , which run competing cloud services Azure and GCP, respectively, were both slightly down at last check. Multiple attempts to contact Amazon for comment have yet to be returned.

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
Nov 25, 2020

Slack's stock spikes up after WSJ report of buyout talks with Salesforce
Shares of Slack Technologies Inc. spiked up 27.6% in midday trading Wednesday, after The Wall Street Journal reported that the business communications software company has held talks to be acquired by Salesforce.com Inc. . Citing people familiar with the situation, the WSJ report said any deal would likely value Slack at more than its current market capitalization, which was about $17 billion prior to the stock's jump on the buyout-talks report. Slack and Salesforce were not immediately available for comment. Slack's current market cap is $21.5 billion. Salesforce's stock took a dive after the WSJ report, and was recently down 3.2% after being up about 1.1% before the report. Salesforce's market cap was $229.9 billion. Over the past three months, Slack shares have rallied 32.1% and Salesforce shares have advanced 16.9%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average 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
Nov 25, 2020

Ford stock downgraded to hold at Morgan Stanley
Ford Motor Co. stock was downgraded to the equivalent of hold at Morgan Stanley, with analyst Adam Jonas saying that even though the car maker has a "sense of urgency" about electric cars its strategy "is not fully clear to us." Ford is also still saddled with its Europe business and is "sub scale" in the Chinese market compared with other makers, the analyst said in a note Wednesday. Morgan Stanley kept its rating on General Motors Co. at the equivalent of buy, and upped its price target on the stock to $53 to $44, praising the auto maker's "all in" move into EVs. Overall investors are seeing EVs as an opportunity to legacy auto makers rather than a threat, Jonas said. Shares of Ford have lost nearly 2% this year, while shares of GM have gained around 25%. That compares with gains around 12% for the S&P 500 index.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 25, 2020

Argentina to mark Diego Maradona's death with three-day period of national mourning
Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer great, has died. He was 60. Considered by some the greatest player in the game's history, Maradona led his country to the 1986 World Cup title. He played with such globally famed clubs as FC Barcelona in Spain and Napoli in Italy, as well as Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires. His storied playing and later coaching career were marred by problems with drugs and other health issues. The office of Argentina's president was set to decree three days of national mourning, the Associated Press reported.

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
Nov 25, 2020

Trump has no events Wednesday, White House says, contradicting reports of trip to Gettysburg
President Trump has no events on his public schedule, White House officials said Wednesday, contradicting reports overnight that the president planned to attend an event about election fraud sponsored by Republicans in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The White House never confirmed the president's planned attendance, though it was reported by several outlets, including ABC News and Bloomberg. The event was organized by a portion of the commonwealth's Republican lawmakers in order to publicize allegations of election fraud in the Keystone State, where President-elect Joe Biden was certified the winner Tuesday. The so-called "hearing" is not an official act by the Pennsylvania legislature, but organized by the PA Senate Majority Policy Committee, a policy arm of the Pennsylvania Senate's Republican conference.

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
Nov 25, 2020

Energy ETFs aim for best month on record as crude prices recover
Exchange-traded funds that track the energy sector were lower midday Wednesday, but were on track for their best month on record. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund fell 1.5%, but has advanced 38.2% so far in November, its strongest monthly gain since 1998, when it was launched. The Fidelity MSCI Energy Index ETF was down 1.4% Wednesday, and has gained 37.9% in the month to date, about the same as the Vanguard Energy ETF . The price of oil has gained as investors grow more confident in an economic recovery thanks to COVID-19 vaccines. On Wednesday, West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery gained more than 1% at midday, to $45.35 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
Nov 25, 2020

Morgan Stanley raises its Q4 GDP tracking estimate to 5.6% rate from 4.3% after data
Economists at Morgan Stanley said Wednesday they are raising their fourth-quarter tracking estimate to a 5.6% annual rate from the previous estimate of a 4.3% rate after the economic data released earlier in the morning. In a note to clients, Morgan said the 1.3% jump in orders for durable goods last month along with strong inventories and the 0.5% gain in consumer spending were factors behind the upward revision. Looking ahead, "after a difficult winter," with consumer spending declining for two straight months, there should be a pickup in the spring along with the broad-based dissemination of a COVID-19 vaccine, the firm said. The economy grew at a record 33.1% rate in the second quarter as businesses reopened from the depth of the pandemic.

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
Nov 25, 2020

Oil futures remain higher after EIA data shows drop in crude inventories
Oil futures remained higher Wednesday after data from the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude inventories fell by roughly 800,000 barrels in the week ended Nov. 20. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery was up 44 cents, or 1%, at $45.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts had looked for crude inventories to fall by 1.3 million barrels, but data late Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, had shown a rise in inventories.

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
Nov 25, 2020

Tesla recall affects more than 9,000 Model X, Model Y
Tesla Inc. is recalling more than 9,000 Model Y and Model X vehicles over issues with bolts and, in the case of the Model X SUV, a roof trim that could detach over time, potentially causing accidents or creating a road hazard. The 9,136 Model Xs involved in the recall were made between Sept. 2015 and July 2016, according to a NHTSA safety recall report. For the Model Y, Tesla notified NHTSA earlier this month that it was recalling "certain 2020 Model Y vehicles" because bolts in the car's steering mechanism may have not been properly tightened, which could eventually interfere with steering and increase the risk of a crash, NHTSA said. Tesla shares fell 0.8% on Wednesday amid weakness in the broader market. The stock has gained 560% this year, compared with gains around 12% for the S&P 500 index.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 25, 2020

Stocks trading near session lows ahead of Thanksgiving as Nasdaq Composite and Dow retreat from records
U.S. stock benchmarks on Wednesday were pulling back and trading near their lows of the day as investors found few reasons to buy stocks after a record run-up for the equity market broadly a day ago. Lackluster economic reports also appeared to undercut the buying mood on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 177 points, or 0.6%, at 28,870, following the first close for the blue-chip index above 30,000 in its history. The S&P 500 index was down 0.4% at 3,621, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was trading flat to slightly lower after opening above its most recent closing record. U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving and will see an early close on Black Friday.

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
Nov 25, 2020

U.S. consumer spending moderates in October
Consumer spending moderated in October, the government said Wednesday. Consumer spending rose 0.5% after a revised 1.2% gain in September, the government said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had predicted a 0.4% increase. Personal income slumped 0.7% in October after a 0.7% gain in the prior month. This was led by a decrease in government social benefits. The 12-month increase in the PCE index, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, slipped to 1.2% in October from 1.4% in the prior month. The core PCE rate that strips out food and energy edged down to 1.3% from 1.5% on an annual basis.

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
Nov 25, 2020

New U.S. home sales tick lower in October, but remain 41.5% higher than a year ago
Sales of newly built single-family houses occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 999,000 in October, the government reported Wednesday. That was 0.3% below the revised pace of 1,002,000 in September. Analysts polled by MarketWatch had forecast new-home sales to occur at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 980,000. Newly constructed homes continue to sell at a very healthy clip, with October's numbers 41.5% higher year-over-year, and the September revision indicates two consecutive months of more than 1 million sales, a feat not reached since the height of the real estate bubble in 2006.

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
Nov 25, 2020

U.S. consumer sentiment survey dips again in late November
Consumer attitudes toward the economy suffered a jolt in November after a record increase in coronavirus cases, a closely followed "sentiment" survey showed. The second and final reading of the consumer sentiment index fell to 76.9 in November from an initial 77 earlier in the month and 81.8 in October, the University of Michigan said Friday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast the final index to slip to 76.8.

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
Nov 25, 2020

L Brands names new CEO, chief design officer for Victoria's Secret
L Brands Inc. said Wednesday that it has named Martin Waters as chief executive of the Victoria's Secret lingerie brand, replacing John Mehas who had only been in the role since Feb. 2019. Waters joined L Brands in 2008 and has served as head of the international division. Janie Schaffer has also been named chief design officer for Victoria's Secret Lingerie. The Victoria's Secret brand is in the process of a turnaround after falling out of step with trends. L Brands has also named other company leaders, including Becky Behringer who was promoted to executive vice president of North America store sales and operations. L Brands shares have soared nearly 115% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained 12.2% for the period.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 25, 2020

Intuit, Credit Karma reach deal with DOJ to help complete $7.1 billion merger
Shares of Intuit Inc. rose 1.7% in morning trading, after the parent of TurboTax tax preparation software said it reached an agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding its proposed $7.1 billion acquisition of Credit Karma, in which the Credit Karma Tax business will be sold to Square Inc. to help assuage antitrust concerns. The deal with Square is contingent on the closing of the Intuit-Credit Karma merger. As part of the deal with Square, Intuit and Credit Karma will committed to provide certain transition services. Square's stock rallied 3.0% in morning trading. "We are pleased to have cleared this necessary regulatory review with DOJ and appreciate their careful consideration of this transaction," said Intuit Chief Executive Sasan Goodarzi. "Consumers will continue to benefit from the Credit Karma Tax product as part of Square." Intuit shares have rallied 33.9% year to date, while Square's stock has rocketed 234.0% and the S&P 500 has gained 12.2%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 25, 2020

Dow retreats from 30,000 milestone at open, but Nasdaq trades in record territory ahead of Thanksgiving holiday
U.S. equity benchmarks Wednesday morning saw muted action, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average breached 30,000 points for the first time, and as investors readied for pandemic-tinged Thanksgiving on Thursday when U.S. markets will be closed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 90 points, or 0.3%, to trade at 29.960, the S&P 500 index slipped 0.1% to 3,631, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 25 points, or 0.2%, at 12,061, touching closing record territory for the tech-laden index. Investors in the past week have focused on progress toward COVID-19 vaccines, and abating concerns around the presidential transition of President-elect Joe Biden. In economic reports, Labor Department employment figures showed jobless claims rose for a second consecutive week, a sign that resurging cases of COVID are taking a toll on the labor market. Meanwhile, durable goods orders rose by more than forecast. A number of other economic reports are set for today, pulled forward because of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and Black Friday in the U.S. The Federal Reserve's meeting minutes from its meeting earlier this month will be released at 2 p.m.

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
Nov 25, 2020

UPS increases dry ice production, launching portable freezers for COVID-19 vaccine storage
United Parcel Service. Inc. said Wednesday that it has enhanced its ability to produce dry ice, and its health business has partnered with freezer and refrigeration company Stirling Ultracold to provide ultra-low temperature freezers that reach a range of -20°C to -80°C. UPS will now produce 1,200 lbs. of dry ice every hour in the U.S. and Canada. These introductions are intended to aid in the storage and transport of COVID-19 vaccines when the time comes, the company said. The partnership with Stirling Ultracold is through UPS Healthcare, which handles the packaging and shipping of medical devices, labs and clinical trial logistics. UPS stock edged up 0.6% in premarket trading and has gained 47.5% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index is up 12.5% for 2020 so far.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 25, 2020

ViacomCBS confirms deal to sell Simon & Schuster business for $2.2 billion
ViacomCBS Inc. confirmed a deal to sell its Simon & Schuster publishing business for $2.18 billion to Bertelsmann SE & CO. subsidiary Penguin Random House LLC. ViacomCBS's stock rose 0.7% in premarket trading. "This divesture follows a strategic review of non-core assets ViacomCBS undertook early in 2020," ViacomCBS said in a statement. "Proceeds from the transaction will be used to invest in ViacomCBS's strategic growth priorities, including in streaming, as well as to fund the dividend and pay down debt." The Wall Street Journal had reported on Tuesday that a deal to sell Simon & Schuster for more than $2 billion was close. ViacomCBS said it expects the deal to close in 2021. ViacomCBS shares have rallied 25.2% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.6%.

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
Nov 25, 2020

Equillium's stock tumbles after decision to not initiate late-stage trial of COVID-19 treatment
Shares of Equillium Inc. tumbled 12.6% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the biotechnology company said it decided not to initiate a Phase 3 trial its itolizumab for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients "at this time." The company said its decision was based on a review of recent updates regarding the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine candidates and other treatment options. Vaccine candidates from Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have recently demonstrated mid-90s percentages, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s antibody cocktail for treating COVID-19 received emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. "We are continuing to assess the rapidly evolving clinical and commercial landscape related to this pandemic and may consider other options to evaluate itolizumab in COVID-19 patients, including government research initiatives," said Chief Executive Bruce Steel. Equillium's stock has run up 50.6% year to date through Tuesday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has advanced 14.7% and the S&P 500 has gained 12.5%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 25, 2020

Nikola's stock tumbles to put record 8-day win streak in danger
Shares of Nikola Corp. dropped 16.1% in premarket trading Wednesday, putting them on track to snap a record eight-day win streak in which the electric truck maker's stock rocketed 76.3%. In an interview late Tuesday on CNBC's "Mad Money with Jim Cramer," Chief Executive Mark Russell did not reassure investors that partnership with General Motors Corp. announced in September, which included GM receiving a $2 billion stake in Nikola, would still go through, as CNBC reported. Also in the interview, Russell said he could not comment on what Founder Trevor Milton, who resigned from the company in September, would do with 92.2 million shares of the Nikola common stock he owned when the lock-up expires on Dec. 1, although many other insiders have agreed to extend their lock-up agreements through April 30, 2021. In total, 161 million shares, or roughly 42% of the common stock outstanding, will become eligible for sale on Dec. 1 as lock-up agreements expire. Nikola's stock selloff Wednesday comes as shares of other electric vehicle makers are pulling back ahead of the open, with Tesla Inc. down 1.5%, Nio Inc. shedding 8.8% and Workhorse Group Inc. sliding 9.4%. Meanwhile, futures for the Nasdaq 100 are up 0.1% ahead of the open and S&P 500 futures are down 0.1%.

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
Nov 25, 2020

French tax authorities have started demanding U.S. firms pay digital tax: report
French tax authorities have started demanding U.S. technology groups pay their 3% digital services tax, the Financial Times reported, citing French officials, company officials and advisers. Facebook and Amazon are among the companies that have received communications, the report said. Paris's demand to collect the tax represents the end of a truce with Washington, the report added.

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
Nov 25, 2020

Deere's stock jumps toward a record after big profit, revenue beats and upbeat outlook
Shares of Deere & Co. rallied 2.7% toward a record high in premarket trading Wednesday, after the maker of agriculture, lawn care and construction equipment reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit and sales that were well above expectations, and provided an upbeat outlook. Net income rose $757 million, or $2.39 a share, from $722 million, or $2.27 a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was $1.49. Total revenue fell 1.7% to $9.73 billion, but beat the FactSet consensus of $8.59 billion. Agriculture and turf sales increased 8% to $6.20 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $5.51 billion, and construction and forestry sales dropped 16% to $2.46 billion but was above expectations of $1.99 billion. Looking ahead, Deere expects conditions in the farm economy to improve and in the construction and forestry markets to stabilize, after challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. "Higher crop prices and improved fundamentals are leading to renewed optimism in the agricultural sector and improving demand for farm equipment," said Chief Executive John May. Deere's stock has rallied 27.2% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has advanced 5.6%.

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
Nov 25, 2020

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 59.9 million and U.S. averaging 175,270 cases a day
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed to 59.9 million on Wednesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose above 1.4 million. The U.S. has the highest case tally in the world at 12.6 million and the highest death toll at 259,976, or more than a fifth of the global total. The U.S. counted 176,439 new cases on Tuesday, and at least 2,203 people died, according to a New York Times tracker. In the last week, the U.S. has averaged 175,270 cases a day, up 42% from the average two weeks ago and cases are rising in 45 states. There are currently a record of 88,080 COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals, according to the COVID Tracking Project, topping the previous record of 85,870 set a day ago. Brazil has the second highest death toll at 170,115 and is third by cases at 6.1 million. India is second in cases with 9.2 million, and third in deaths at 134,699. Mexico has the fourth highest death toll at 102,739 and 10th highest case tally at 1 million. The U.K has 55,935 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world, and 1.5 million cases, or seventh 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
Nov 24, 2020

API reports higher-than-expected 3.8 million-barrel weekly climb in U.S. crude supplies
The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reported that U.S. crude supplies rose by 3.8 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 20, according to sources. The data also showed gasoline stockpiles up by 1.3 million barrels, while distillate inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub, meanwhile, declined 1.4 million barrels for the week, sources said. Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Eastern and gas inventories will be released at a noon, a day early due to the Thanksgiving holiday. December West Texas Intermediate crude was at $44.80 a barrel in electronic trading, up 4.1% but down from Tuesday's settlement at $44.91/bbl. 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
Nov 24, 2020

Gap stock sinks 9% as retailer sees store-traffic threat in COVID uptick
Gap Inc. shares fell nearly 9% in the extended session Tuesday after the retailer missed Wall Street expectations for its third-quarter profit and said that the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in several U.S. areas could weigh on store traffic. Gap said it earned $95 million, or 25 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $140 million, or 37 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Net sales were flat at $3.99 billion, the company said. Online sales rose 61%, but that was offset by a 20% decline in store sales, Gap said. Online sales accounted for 40% of the company's sales in the quarter, it said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected GAAP earnings of 27 cents a share on sales of $3.82 billion for the quarter. Gap said it ended the quarter with $2.6 billion in cash and equivalents, compared with $1.1 billion in the year-ago quarter. For the fourth quarter, it expects sales at or slightly higher than last year's fourth quarter, when the company reported sales of $4.7 billion. Gap did not provide fiscal-year earnings outlook "recognizing the continued high level of uncertainty in the marketplace," it said. "The widely-noted recent rise in COVID-19 cases remains a concern, which may impact store traffic." In a separate press release, Gap said that Sandra Stangl will join the company as the new president and chief executive of Banana Republic "as the brand redefines affordable luxury." Asheesh Saksena will join the company as chief growth officer, a newly created position tasked with "executing the company's strategic agenda, as well as leading growth initiatives for the future," the retailer said. Gap stock ended the regular trading day up 3.1%.

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
Nov 24, 2020

Rite Aid says it will continue to offer free COVID-19 tests in December
Shares of Rite Aid Corp. were up 0.1% in after-hours trading on Tuesday after the drugstore chain confirmed that it will continue to offer no-charge COVID-19 testing in December. Rite Aid had announced Tuesday morning that it would begin charging $115 for symptomatic and asymptomatic diagnostic testing starting Dec. 1. The company currently does not charge people who come in for COVID-19 testing at its 301 testing sites. The Department of Health and Human Services said Rite Aid had notified HHS on Nov. 21 that it had conducted more tests than allocated in their contract, and that HHS had requested more funding for Rite Aid in response, according to a statement from Mia Heck, director of external affairs in the office of the assistant secretary for health. A Rite Aid spokesperson declined to comment beyond the news announcement. Rite Aid also on Tuesday announced plans to lower the age requirement for a COVID-19 test to 13 years old from 18 and said it plans to add 1,000 drive-through testing locations. All of the major drugstore chains in the U.S. including CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. are offering coronavirus tests. Rite Aid's stock is down 28% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.7%.

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
Nov 24, 2020

: VMware stock ticks higher on earnings, outlook beat
VMware Inc. VMW shares rose in the extended session Tuesday after the enterprise cloud company topped Wall Street expectations and raised its outlook for the year. VMware shares rose 0.7% after hours, following a 1.2% rise in the regular session to close at $150.65. The company reported third-quarter net income of $434 million, or $1.02 a share, compared with $407 million, or 96 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which excludes stock-based compensation expenses and other items, were $1.66 a share, compared with $1.49 a share in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $2.86 billion from $2.66 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $1.44 a share on revenue of $2.81 billion. VMware said it was raising its outlook for the year to adjusted earnings of $7.03 a share on revenue of about $11.7 billion, while analysts had forecast $6.66 a share on revenue of $11.62 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
Nov 24, 2020

Pure Storage shares dip 6% on Q3 results
Pure Storage Inc. shares were down 6% in after-hours trading Tuesday after the flash-based storage provider reported fiscal third-quarter results. Pure Storage reported a net loss of $74.2 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $29.9 million, or 12 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue declined 4% to $410.6 million from $428.4 million a year ago. "We continued to experience a strong enterprise segment as the COVID crisis caused emergency buying," Pure Storage Chief Executive Charlie Giancarlo told MarketWatch. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected Pure Storage to break even on revenue of $407 million. Pure Storage shares are up 15% this year. The broader S&P 500 index has improved 12.5% in 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
Nov 24, 2020

Nordstrom swings to Q3 profit, leaning on online sales
Shares of Nordstrom Inc. rose nearly 4% in the extended session Tuesday after the retailer reported a surprise GAAP profit for its third quarter. Nordstrom said it earned $53 million in the quarter, or 34 cents a share, which included an income-tax benefit of $19 million associated with the CARES Act. That compared with net earnings of $126 million, or 81 cents a share, during the same period in fiscal 2019. Sales dropped to $3.09 billion from $3.67 billion a year ago, the company said. Digital sales of $1.6 billion accounted for 54% of Nordstrom's business, it said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected Nordstrom to report a loss of 13 cents a share on sales of $3.13 billion. "Our ability to significantly strengthen our financial flexibility early in the pandemic was key to delivering operating profitability of more than $100 million and cash flow of more than $150 million in the third quarter," Chief Executive Erik Nordstrom said in a statement. Shares had ended the regular trading day up nearly 5%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Stocks close sharply higher as Dow takes 30,000
U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday and the blue-chip index captured a psychological milestone as investors cheered progress toward a smooth transition of power in the White House. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 455 points, 1.5%, to close near 30,046, according to preliminary estimates, while the S&P 500 gained 58 points, 1.6%, ending near 3,635. The Nasdaq Composite index was up 156 points, 1.3%, finishing near 12,037. Markets are looking past what's likely to be a difficult period as the coronavirus ramps up and anticipating stronger growth in 2021. Travel stocks like American Airlines Group Inc. and United Airlines Holding Inc. were among the S&P 500's biggest gainers on Tuesday. But a reading of consumer confidence released Tuesday morning was weaker than economists had expected, and suggested households may retreat, rather than spend, this winter.

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
Nov 24, 2020

U.S. oil benchmark closes at more-than-8-month high just shy of $45 a barrel
Oil futures rallied sharply Tuesday, pushing the U.S. benchmark to its highest close for a most actively traded contract since March 5. West Texas Intermediated crude for January delivery rose $1.85, or 4.3%, to end at $44.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil has been in rally mode since early November, rallying in step with equities as investors appeared to look past rising COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe, focusing instead on progress toward a vaccine.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Gold prices tumble nearly 2% Tuesday to lowest level since mid July as Dow surges to milestone above 30,000
Gold futures logged a second straight sharp loss on Tuesday but held above another key level of support, as the precious metal retreated amid progress on COVID-19 cures and treatments and growing expectations that former Vice President Joe Biden will see a smoother transition to the White House after being allowed access to important resources by the Trump administration. December gold shed $33.20, or 1.8%, to settle at $1,804.60 an ounce. The precious metal fought mightily to stay above its 200-day moving average at $1,799.94, after two days of withering losses that has resulted in it tumbling 3.6% so far this week. Gold finished around its lowest levels since July 17, according to FactSet data. Moving averages are seen by technical analysts as potential dividing lines between bullish and bearish momentum in an asset. The decline for gold on the session also comes as the Dow Jones Industrial Average touched a milestone at 30,000 for the first time ever, reflecting growing appetite for assets considered risky and away from so-called havens.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Trump calls Dow 30,000 'sacred' number in short White House appearance
President Donald Trump on Tuesday hailed the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassing 30,000, calling it a "sacred number" shortly after the milestone was reached. Trump also said he was "thrilled" with progress towards developing vaccines for COVID-19, but took no questions from reporters at the White House briefing room. Trump has not conceded the election to President-elect Joe Biden, even though the White House has given approval to begin the transition process.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

J.P. Morgan Chase to pay $250 million as part of resolution of internal control deficiencies
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. disclosed Tuesday that it will pay a $250 million civil money penalty as part of a resolution regarding past deficiencies in internal controls and internal audit for certain fiduciary activities. The resolution was entered into with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). "For several years, the bank maintained a weak management and control framework for its fiduciary activities and had an insufficient audit program for, and inadequate internal controls over, those activities," the OCC found. J.P. Morgan said the OCC has found that the bank has remediated the deficiencies. J.P. Morgan's stock, which rallied 4.5% toward a 9-month high, has now climbed 23.2% over the past three months, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF has advanced 15.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 6.3%.

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Nov 24, 2020

Newell's Sunbeam recalls over 900,000 Crock-Pot multi-cookers due to burn hazard
Newell Brands Inc.'s Sunbeam Products Inc. on Tuesday recalled its Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock multi-cooker because of a burn hazard. The recall involves 914,430 products sold in the U.S., and about 28,330 sold in Canada, at Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. stores, and at Amazon.com Inc. and other online retailers, from July 2017 through November 2020 for prices ranging from $70 to $100. The recalled Crock-Pots, which were made in China, can pressurize when the lid is not fully locked, which can cause the lid to suddenly detach while the product is in use, posing a burn risk from the foods and liquids ejected from the product, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Sunbeam said it has received 119 reports of lid detachments, resulting in 99 burn injuries ranging from first-degree to third-degree burns. Newell's stock, which rose 4.8% in midday trading Tuesday, has rallied 30.8% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Rite Aid's stock gains 2% as it says it will continue to offer free COVID-19 tests in December
Shares of Rite Aid Corp. were up 2.0% in trading on Tuesday after the government reportedly renewed funding for COVID-19 testing that had been set to expire at the end of this month. The drugstore chain had announced Tuesday morning that it would begin charging $115 for symptomatic and asymptomatic diagnostic testing starting Dec. 1. The company currently does not charge people who come in for COVID-19 testing at its 301 testing sites. Rite Aid also on Tuesday announced plans to lower the age requirement for a COVID-19 test to 13 years old from 18 years old and said it plans to add 1,000 drive-through testing locations. The Department of Health and Human Services, which manages funding for COVID-19 testing, was not immediately available for comment. All of the major drugstore chains in the U.S. including CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. are offering coronavirus tests. Rite Aid's stock is down 28.0% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Dow Transports ETF rallies toward best month in 9 years
An exchange-traded fund tracking the Dow Jones Transportation Average rallied Tuesday and was set for its best month since 2011 as confidence in an economic recovery continues to gather steam. The iShares Transportation Average ETF gained 2.4% midday Tuesday, and is up about 14% so far in November, on track for its best month since October 2011. The transport index, which is often viewed as a proxy for economic activity, was outpacing both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the broader stock market, as tracked by the S&P 500 both for the day and over the past month.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Stocks open higher as Dow makes another run at 30,000 mark
U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday as president-elect Joe Biden was given the go-ahead to start his transition, easing uncertainty around what further delays to his transition could mean for the economy. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average index rose 265 points, or 0.9%, to 29,856. The S&P 500 added 22 points, or 0.6%, to 3,599. The Nasdaq Composite gained 17 points, or 0.1%, to 11,897. In a holiday-truncated week, the Dow is looking to break through the key 30,000 level. In corporate news, shares of J.M. Smucker rose after it lifted sales guidance on Tuesday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Gold prices briefly slip below 200-day moving average as bullion prices stage major retreat
December gold prices on Tuesday briefly fell beneath a closely followed area of a support at $1,800. Futures for the commodity were down nearly 2% and had hit an intraday low at $1,799.80 an ounce, according to FactSet data. The metal's 200-day moving average, seen by technical analysts as a dividing line between bullish and bearish momentum in an asset, stands at 1,799.94/oz. On Monday, gold tumbled beneath $1,850 and carved out its lowest settlement since July 20, as it broke below a level seen as its first level of support. So far this week, gold is down more than 3.7% as progress toward coronavirus vaccines diminishes the appeal of the haven metal and bolsters buying in riskier areas of the market, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index .

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

GE warns of more job cuts in its jet-engine unit--WSJ
General Electric Co. warned its employees, in an internal video message ahead of ahead of Thanksgiving, that the industrial conglomerate's jet-engine business will have to cut more jobs, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The cuts are needed because of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the commercial air travel industry, as any vaccine wouldn't come as soon as the industry needs, the WSJ report said. Citing people familiar with the matter, the report said John Slattery, chief executive of GE Aviation, said the unit would need to shrink over the next 18 months given the difficult business conditions. GE's stock rose 4.2% in premarket trading Tuesday, putting it on track to open at the highest price seen during regular-session hours since March 5. It has soared 51.9% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 4.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Cannabis stocks surge after Trump administration sets formal transition in motion
Shares of cannabis companies rallied Tuesday, after the Trump administration made its first move late Monday to accept Joe Biden as president-elect by saying it was ready to begin the formal transition process. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF surged 6.1% in premarket trading. It had shot up nearly 20% in the days following the election, on expectations Joe Biden will push for cannabis reform, then pulled back as President Trump continued to dispute the results. Among the more-active cannabis stocks in the premarket, the U.S.-listed shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc. soared 29.5%, Tilray Inc. shot up 19.2%, Canopy Growth Corp. climbed 7.6% and Cronos Group Inc. ran up 10.4%. The MJ ETF has rallied 26.5% so far this month through Monday, while the S&P 500 has advanced 9.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Rite Aid to start charging $115 per COVID-19 test from Dec. 1 as federal funding ends
Rite Aid Corp. said Tuesday it will start charging $115 per COVID-19 test from Dec. 1, following the end of federal funding for diagnostic testing by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The drug store chain said it will offer testing for individuals aged 13 and older regardless of whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic. Previously, it only offered testing to people aged 17 and up. The company is further planning to expand testing by adding another 1,000 drive-through locations. Rite Aid currently has 301 testing sites across 15 states. Shares rose 0.5% premarket, but are down 39% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Dick's Sporting Goods tops estimates as home fitness and active lifestyle trends bloom during pandemic
Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. posted stronger-than-expected earnings for the third quarter, buoyed by positive trends in golf, outdoor activities, home fitness and active lifestyle during the coronavirus pandemic. The company posted net income of $177.2 million, or $1.84 a share for the quarter to Oct. 31, up from $57.6 million, or 66 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.01, well ahead of the $1.08 FactSet consensus. Sales rose 23% to $2.41 billion, also ahead of the $2.24 billion FactSet consensus. Same-store sales rose 23.2%, compared with a FactSet consensus of up 13%. E-commerce sales rose 95%, and accounted for about 21% of total sales, up from 13% in the year-earlier period. "Overall, the favorable trends in our business have continued into Q4," Lauren Hobart, president of the company said in a statement. "These strong sales results have been partially offset by warmer weather that has negatively impacted sales in important cold-weather categories. Taken together, through the first three weeks of Q4, our consolidated comp sales have increased in the high-teens." The company is not offering guidance. Shares jumped 1.7% premarket and have gained 19% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Abercrombie & Fitch's stock jumps after a surprise big profit and sales that fell less than forecast
Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. surged 7.7% toward an 18-month high in premarket trading Tuesday, after the apparel retailer reported a surprise fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that fell less than forecast, helped by strong digital sales growth. Net income for the quarter to Oct. 31 rose to $42.3 million, or 66 cents a share, from $6.5 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share grew to 76 cents from 23 cents, while the FactSet consensus was for a per-share loss of 4 cents. Net sales fell 5.1% to $819.7 million, above the FactSet consensus of $739.4 million, with digital sales increasing 43% to $382 million. Hollister store sales fell 7% to $476.7 million but beat the FactSet consensus of $668.2 million and Abercrombie store sales slipped 2% to $343.0 million but was above expectations of $445.2 million. The company said it will close four additional flagship stores by the end of January 2021, in addition to the three previously announced flagship closures in 2020, which will leave it with eight flagship stores at the end of 2021. "We are encouraged by quarter-to-date results, including ongoing strong digital demand, with our customers responding favorably to new product and messaging," said Chief Executive Fran Horowitz. "However, this is tempered by uncertainty regarding the potential for increased COVID-related store restrictions and our expectation for elevated shipping, handling and freight costs." The stock has rocketed 114.5% over the past three months through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Dollar Tree shares jump 3.5% premarket after earnings beat estimates
Dollar Tree Inc. shares rose 3.5% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the company beat estimates for the third quarter. The company posted net income of $330 million, or $1.39 a share, in the quarter, up from $255.8 million, or $1.08 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose to $6.177 billion from $5.746 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.15 and sales of $6.129 billion. Same-store sales rose 5.1%, ahead of the FactSet consensus for growth of 4.7%. Chief Executive Mike Witnyski said the company managed to drive improvements in performance "through this dynamic retail environment," during the pandemic. The company opened 143 new stores during the quarter, expanded or relocated 34 stores and closed 16. Because of the uncertainty created by the pandemic, it is not offering guidance. Shares have gained 3.8% in the year through Monday's close, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Folgers parent J.M. Smucker tops estimates and raises guidance on strong demand for at-home coffee and food
J.M. Smucker Co. shares jumped 1.7% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the parent of Folgers coffee, Cafe Bustelo and Rachael Ray Nutrish blew past earnings estimates for its fiscal second quarter and raised guidance. The company posted net income of $230.8 million, or 2.02 a share, for the quarter to Oct. 31, up from $211.2 million, or $1.85 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.39,well ahead of the $2.23 FactSet consensus. Sales rose 4% to $2.034 billion from $1.958 billion, also ahead of the $2.102 billion FactSet consensus. Chief Executive Mark Smucker said the company's U.S. retail consumer foods and retail coffee businesses were boosted by at-home consumption trends during the pandemic. The company is now expecting fiscal 2021 sales to rise 1% to 2%, up from prior guidance of flat to up 1%. It expects adjusted EPS to range from $8.55 to $8.85, versus earlier guidance of $8.20 to $8.60. The FactSet consensus is $8.64. Shares have gained 11% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Best Buy beats profit, revenue and same-store sales expectations, but stock falls
Shares of Best Buy Co. Inc. fell 2.1% in premarket trading Tuesday, although the consumer electronics retailer reported fiscal third-quarter profit, revenue and same-store that rose well above expectations, boosted by strong growth in digital sales. Net income for the quarter to Oct. 31 grew to $391 million, or $1.48 a share, from $293 million, or $1.10 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share rose to $2.06 from $1.13, beating the FactSet consensus of $1.71. Revenue rose 21.4% to $11.85 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $11.00 billion, as same-store sales growth improved to 23.0% from 1.7% to beat expectations of a 13.6% rise. U.S. comparable online sales soared 173.7%, after rising 15.0% a year ago. The company did not provide financial guidance. "While the demand for the products and services we sell remains at elevated levels as we start the fourth quarter, it is very difficult for us to predict how sustainable these trends will be due to the significant uncertainty related to the various impacts of the pandemic," said Chief Financial Officer Matt Bilunas. The stock has gained 4.0% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 tacked on 4.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Burlington Stores profit, sales fall less than expected
Burlington Stores Inc. reported Tuesday fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that fell less than expected, with same-store sales showing "significant improvement" the last two months of the quarter, but starting November weakly. The off-price retailer's stock was still inactive in premarket trading. Net income for the quarter to Oct. 31 fell to $8.0 million, or 12 cents a share, from $96.5 million, or $1.44 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share fell to 29 cents from $1.53, due primarily to a drop in sales and higher product sourcing costs, but beat the FactSet consensus of 16 cents. Total revenue fell 6.4% to $1.67 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $1.55 billion. Same-store sales fell 11%, beating expectations of a 16.3% decline, as a "challenging" August was followed by an improvement to a decline of 4% for the combined September-October period. "Unfortunately, the outlook remains uncertain and unpredictable - in fact the situation across the country with COVID-19 appears to be deteriorating," said Chief Executive Michael O'Sullivan. "The fourth quarter has gotten off to a weak start with November month-to-date comparable store sales running down in the low double digits." The stock has edged up 0.9% year to date, while the S&P 500 has advanced 10.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Tiffany blows past third-quarter earnings estimates as China sales rise 70%
Tiffany & Co. , which is being taken over by LVMH, posted third-quarter earnings that blew past estimates on Tuesday, and said sales in key market Mainland China rose 70% from a year ago. The jewelry retailer posted net income of $119 million, or 98 cents a share, for the quarter, up from $78 million, or 65 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.11, well ahead of the 66 cents FactSet consensus. Sales fell 1% to $1.008 billion, ahead of the $973 million FactSet consensus. "Further to continued management focus and investment in that important market, sales in Mainland China continued to grow dramatically in the third quarter, increasing by over 70%, with comparable sales nearly doubling in that period as compared to the prior year," Chief Executive Alessandro Bogliolo said in a statement. E-commerce sales rose 92% and accounted for 12% of total sales year-to-date, up from 6% in each of the last three fiscal years, he said. "Absolutely noteworthy is the performance of T1, our newest gold and gold with diamonds collection, which was received particularly well in all markets and channels," he said. Tiffany is now expecting fourth-quarter sales to fall by a mid-single-digit percentage, and for EPS to rise by a high-single-digit percentage. Shares were slightly higher premarket, but have fallen 1.6% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%. LVMH shares were down 0.1% in Paris.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Hormel's stock falls after profit and sales miss, as foodservice weakness offset retail, deli strength
Shares of Hormel Foods Corp. shed 2.3% in premarket trading Tuesday, as the packaged foods company reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit that fell shy of expectations and a surprise decline in revenue, weighed by weakness in the foodservice business amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Net income fell to $234.4 million, or 43 cents a share, from $255.5 million, or 47 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus was for earnings per share of 44 cents. Sales fell 3.3% to $2.42 billion from $2.50 billion, while the FactSet consensus was for a rise to $2.59 billion. U.S. retail sales rose 7% and deli sales grew 1%, while foodservice sales dropped 23%. Among Hormel's business segments, grocery products sales slipped 0.6% to $580.6 million, below the FactSet consensus of $616.4 million; refrigerated foods sales dropped 4.7% to $1.31 billion, missing expectations of $1.45 billion; and Jennie-O Turkey sales declined 6.3% to $373.5 million, below expectations of $398.3 million. Late Monday, the company said it raised its quarterly dividend to 24.5 cents a share from 23.25 cents. The stock has lost 5.0% over the past three months through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 59.3 million, U.S. tops 12.4 million with cases rising in 45 states
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed to 59.3 million on Tuesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose to 1.39 million. The U.S. has the highest case tally in the world at 12.4 million and the highest death toll at 257,707, or more than a fifth of the global total. The U.S. counted 178,945 new cases on Monday, and at least 1,032 people died, according to a New York Times tracker. In the last week, the U.S. has averaged 173,147 cases a day, up 49% from the average two weeks ago and cases are rising in 45 states. There are currently a record of 85,836 COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals, according to the COVID Tracking Project, topping the previous record of 83,779 set a day ago. Brazil has the second highest death toll at 169,485 and is third by cases at 6.1 million. India is second in cases with 9.2 million, and third in deaths at 134,218. Mexico has the fourth highest death toll at 101,926 and 10th highest case tally at 1 million. The U.K has 55,327 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world, and 1.5 million cases, or seventh highest in the world.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

McCormick to pay $800 million in cash to buy Cholula Hot Sauce parent
McCormick & Co. Inc. announced Tuesday a deal to buy the parent of Cholula Hot Sauce for $800 million in cash from private-equity firm L Catterton. Cholula has annual net sales of $96 million, which are expected to grow in the mid-to-high single digits percentage range, in an "normalized" environment beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. McCormick expects the deal to add to boost margins for its consumer and flavor solutions business, and added to overall adjusted earnings per share in 2021. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2020. "The acquisition of Cholula accelerates McCormick's growth opportunities within our condiment platform and broadens our portfolio in the hot sauce category with the addition of the Cholula brand," said Chief Executive Lawrence Kurzius. "Hot sauce is an attractive, high-growth category and, as an iconic premium brand, Cholula is outpacing category growth." McCormick's stock, which is still inactive in premarket trading, has gained 7.8% year to date, while the S&P 500 has advanced 10.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 24, 2020

Bitcoin crosses $19,000 level
Bitcoin jumped $575 to $19,002, breaking the $19,000 mark in European trading hours. The leading crypto asset has surged 165% this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

: Ambarella stock rises on better-than-expected results, outlook
Ambarella Inc. AMBA shares rose in the extended session Monday after the video components maker reported a better-than-expected outlook and results. Ambarella shares gained 5.5% after hours, following a 0.1% decline in the regular session to close at $66.37. The company reported a third-quarter loss of $17.1 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with a loss of $4.3 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock-based compensation expenses and other items, were 9 cents a share, compared with 32 cents a share in the year-ago period. Revenue declined to $56.1 million from $67.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast adjusted earnings of 5 cents a share on revenue of $54.1 million. Ambarella expects revenue between $56 million and $60 million in the fourth quarter, while analysts had forecast on revenue of $51.8 million.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

: Nutanix stock rallies as results, outlook top Street view
Nutanix Inc. NTNX shares rallied in the extended session Monday after the cloud-software company's results and forecast topped Wall Street estimates. Nutanix shares, which had jumped more than 10% following the report, were last up 7.5% after hours, after closing flat at $28.47 in the regular session. The company reported a fiscal first-quarter loss of $265 million, or $1.31 a share, compared with a loss of $229.3 million, or $1.21 a share, in the year-ago period. The adjusted loss, which excluded stock-based compensation expenses and other items, was 44 cents a share. Revenue declined to $312.8 million from $314.8 million in the year-ago quarter, while annual contract value billings rose 10% to $137.8 million. Nutanix defines ACV billings as "total annualized value of a contract, excluding amounts related to professional services and hardware." Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast a loss of 57 cents a share on revenue of $298.4 million and ACV billings of $119.7 million. Nutanix expects ACV billings of $145 million to $148 million in the second quarter, while analysts had forecast $134.4 million.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Dow ends more than 300 points higher on vaccine progress
Stocks closed with solid gains Monday, boosted by another round of positive news regarding the development of COVID-19 vaccines, while extending gains late in the session after The Wall Street Journal reported that President-elect Joe Biden would nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to serve as Treasury secretary in his administration. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose around 330 points, or 1.1%, to end near 29,594, according to preliminary figures, while the S&P 500 finished up around 20 points, or 0.6%, near 3,578. The Nasdaq Composite rose around 26 points, or 0.2%, ending the session near 12,424. AstraZeneca on Monday said its vaccine candidate had an efficacy rate of up to 90% in late-stage trials, following positive news earlier this month regarding a vaccine candidate developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech and another developed by Moderna Inc.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Dow heads to session highs Monday as ex-Fed boss Yellen seen as Biden's pick for Treasury Secretary
U.S. stocks were trading near session highs on Monday as investors digest a report that former Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen would be President-elect Joe Biden's pick for Treasury Secretary, theWall Street Journal reported. If confirmed, Yellen would become the first woman to hold the post, taking over from Steven Mnuchin, the Journal reported. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up nearly 400 points, or 1.3%, at 29,642, the S&P 500 index was trading 0.7% higher at 3,583, while Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.5% at around 11,913. Biden had promised to make his nomination for Treasury known around Thanksgiving, which is three days away. Biden last week said he believed his pick would be widely accepted by conservatives, moderates and progressives alike. Market participants are anticipating a greater likelihood that the 74-year-old Yellen will pursue further economic stimulus to help out-of-work Americans and troubled businesses.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Biden picks Yellen for Treasury secretary: WSJ
President-elect Joe Biden has selected former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen to lead the Treasury Department, said a Wall Street Journal report on Monday citing unnamed sources. Biden had said he expected to reveal his choice for Treasury secretary around Thanksgiving.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Oil ends at nearly 3-month high on signs of further progress toward COVID vaccine
Oil futures rose Monday, ending higher after another round of positive news on work toward a vaccine and treatments for COVID-19. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery rose 64 cents, or 1.5%, to close at $43.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The finish was the highest for a front-month contract since Aug. 26, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Crude was lifted after AstraZeneca said its vaccine candidate was up to 90% effective. Crude has rallied in November, finding support as a number of vaccine candidates have shown high efficacy in late-stage trials.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Energy sector sees broad, sharp gains as crude oil prices head for 3-month high
The energy sector enjoyed a broad, and in many cases sharp, rally in afternoon trading Monday, as crude oil prices rose to a 3-month high on increasing hopes that a potential COVID-19 vaccine would fuel and economic recovery and spark demand for oil. The SPDR Energy Select Sector exchange-traded fund ran up 5.8%, toward the highest close since Aug. 17, with all 25 of its equity components trading higher. The ETF was biggest gainer of the 11 SPDR sector ETFs tracking the S&P 500's 11 key sectors. The biggest gainers were Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s stock , which soared 15.5%, and Diamondback Energy Inc.'s stock , which shot up 10.8%. Crude oil futures climbed 1.5% to $43.05, toward the highest close since Aug. 26. Among other more-active stocks in the energy ETF, shares of Marathon Oil Corp. hiked up 6.6%, Exxon Mobil Corp. advabced 5.4%, Kinder Morgan Inc. climbed 2.8% and Halliburton Co. hiked up 9.0%. In comparison, the S&P 500 tacked on 0.4%.

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Nov 23, 2020

Robert Half, other staffing stocks surge after analyst upgrades on recovery outlook
Shares of Robert Half International Inc. powered up 6.4% in afternoon trading Monday, after the staffing services company was upgraded by BMO Capital analyst Jeffrey Silber, citing expectations of a economic and labor market recovery. "We believe [Robert Half] will repeat its historical trend of outperforming early in a cyclical recovery," Silber wrote in a note to clients. "While this recovery will likely be choppy in the near term given rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns, we believe investors are looking towards the recovery." Robert Half's stock has rallied 28.1% month to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 9.1%. He said he realizes the upgrade would have been "timelier" before the positive Pfizer Inc. vaccine candidate news, he still believes "upside remains" in Robert Half and other staffing stocks. Shares of ManpowerGroup gained 1.7%, TrueBlue Inc. shot up 10.7% and Cross Country Healthcare Inc. climbed 6.0%, as Silber also upgraded all three stocks to outperform from market perform.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Gold prices end 1.8% lower Monday as vaccine progress slams precious metals
Gold futures on Monday finished sharply lower as investors unloaded the metal amid news on prospective vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 that may be momentarily undercutting demand for precious metals. December gold settled off $34.60, or 1.8%, at $1,837.80 an ounce. The decline marked the steepest one-day drop for futures since a 5% drop on Nov. 9. The drop bullion comes as drugmakers are making progress on a COVID-19 vaccine. Drugmaker AstraZeneca said a study found the vaccine it is developing with the University of Oxford showed 90% efficacy in late-stage trials. Vaccine progress has been a drag on bullion because it undercuts the haven appeal for gold and silver, dealers say.

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Nov 23, 2020

Ideanomics stock leads all Nasdaq gainers after doubling investment in electric-tractor maker
Shares of Ideanomics Inc. soared 64.9% in very active midday trading Monday, making them the biggest gainers on the Nasdaq Exchange, after the company focused on investing in disruptive technologies announced the doubling of its investment in California-based Solectrac Inc., which makes battery-powered electric tractors. Trading volume swelled to 189.4 million shares in recent trading, compared with the full-day average of about 11.7 million shares. Ideanomics said it invested an additional $1.3 million in Solectrac, which increases its ownership stake to 24%. Ideanomics had announced on Oct. 22 an investment of $1.3 million to buy the 14.7% stake in Solectrac. Ideanomics said the latest investment allows it to recognize its stake in Solectrac under the equity method of accounting under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). "We believe Solectrac has enormous potential and, given the uptick in both product inquiries and investment interest they are seeing, we exercised our rights to increase our stake so we can help Solectrac scale to meet anticipated market demand," said Chief Executive Alf Poor. The stock has now nearly tripled (up 196.8%) year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.4%.

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Nov 23, 2020

DPW's stock skyrockets after Coolisys EV charger sub sets up fast-food franchisee partner program
Shares of DPW Holdings Inc. rocketed 163.9% on massive volume in midday trading Monday, enough to make them the best performer on major U.S. exchanges, after the investor in disruptive technologies said its Coolisys Technologies Corp. subsidiary established a program to get its electric vehicle (EV) chargers into national fast-food restaurants. Trading volume soared to 145.6 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 2.6 million shares. DPW said it expects the program to allow owners of fast-food franchises to install the ACECool EV chargers and share in the revenue from advertising and network usage. Coolisys expects to launch the program in California, Nevada and Canada, with the unveiling of "a national fast-food network" partner, that forms a part of the network with over 1,000 locations. Other partners are expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2021. "We look forward to the potential changes coming from increased demand for EVs and the recent trends related to government support of the electrification of transport," said Coolisys Chief Executive Amos Kohn. DPW's stock has run up 189.7% over the past three months, while shares of rival EV charger company Blink Charging Co. has rocketed 327.9% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.9%.

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Nov 23, 2020

ARCA Biopharma gets Fast Track designation for experimental COVID-19 treatment
Shares of ARCA Biopharma Inc. gained 5.5% in trading on Monday after the company said it received a Fast-Track designation from the Food and Drug Administration for its mid-stage experimental COVID-19 treatment. ARCA plans to launch a Phase 2b clinical trial enrolling 100 hospitalized COVID-19 patients next month, and it anticipates that the first round of topline data from the study will be available in the second quarter of next year. ARCA's stock is down 31.9% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.1%.

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Nov 23, 2020

Biden taps John Kerry as presidential envoy for climate
President-elect Joe Biden has tapped former Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy for climate, the Biden-Harris transition said Monday. Kerry will sit on the National Security Council, marking the first time the NSC will include an official dedicated to the issue, the transition said. Kerry's was one of several names released by Biden's team on Monday, along with secretary of state nominee Antony Blinken and nominee for United Nations ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

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Nov 23, 2020

Tesla-heavy ETFs ride along as company gets a price upgrade
Exchange-traded funds with heavy exposure to Tesla Inc. outperformed midday Monday after an analyst upped his price target to $1,000 a share, representing about 93% upside for the stock, which was trading near $517. The ARK Innovation ETF , with 11.4% of its portfolio in Tesla shares, rallied 1.6%, while the iShares U.S. Consumer Goods ETF , with 13.1% invested in Tesla, was up 0.7%. The SPDR NYSE Technology ETF , which has over 12% of its holdings in the stock, also gained 0.7%. Tesla shares surged 5.6% Monday, and all the funds noted above were beating the S&P 500 , which ticked up 0.1%.

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Nov 23, 2020

National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to grow as much as 5.2%, exceeding growth in recent years
The National Retail Federation released its forecast for holiday season retail sales, expecting growth of 3.6% to 5.2% in 2020, reaching between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion. The forecast, which is being announced about a month later than usual due to uncertainty from coronavirus pandemic, excludes gas stations, auto dealers and restaurants. It's also higher than recent averages, with 2019 sales increasing 4% to $729.1 billion. Average holiday sales rose 3.5% over the past five years. "Consumers have responded positively to other holidays" like Halloween and Mother's Day, said NRF Chief Executive Matthew Shay on a call with media. "We've seen consumers very engaged to celebrate and move into real consumption mode around the holidays." The NRF does leave room for a loss of momentum due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases and the possibility for further restrictions. However, with many consumers longing to celebrate and increased savings from a decline in spending on other things like travel, the retail trade association expressed confidence that shoppers will come out. "Consumers have experienced a difficult year but will likely spend more than anyone would have expected just a few months ago," said Jack Kleinhenz, NRF's chief economist in a statement. "After all they've been through, we think there's going to be a psychological factor that they owe it to themselves and their families to have a better-than-normal holiday." E-commerce sales are expected to grow 20% to 30% to reach as much as $218 billion, up from $170 billion last year. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 28.5% for the year to date. The Amplify Online Retail ETF has soared 96.5%. And the benchmark S&P 500 index [s:spx] is up 10.2% for the period.

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Nov 23, 2020

Microsoft cloud partner AvePoint going public via merger with blank-check company Apex Technology
AvePoint Inc., a data management provider and Microsoft Corp. cloud partner, is going public through a merger with blank-check company Apex Technology Acquisition Corp. , in deal valuing the equity value of the combined company at $2 billion. Apex's stock rallied 2.7% in morning trading on volume of 4.7 million shares, which compares with the full-day average of about 119,000 shares. AvePoint will be the name of the combined company, and the stock will remain listed on the Nasdaq exchange, under a new ticker symbol "AVPT." The company will be led by AvePoint co-Founder and Chief Executive Dr. Tianyi Jiang. The impact of COVID-19 and the growth of Microsoft's cloud solutions, including Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, have accelerated demand for our products," Jiang said. "Going public now gives us the ability to meet this demand and scale up faster across product innovation, channel marketing, international markets, and customer success initiatives." The company is going public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has hiked up 28.0% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 5.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

DPW's stock soars after Coolisys EV charger sub sets up fast-food franchisee partner program
Shares of DPW Holdings Inc. soared 40.9% on heavy volume in morning trading Monday, after the investor in disruptive technologies said its Coolisys Technologies Corp. subsidiary established a program to get its electric vehicle (EV) chargers into national fast-food restaurants. Trading volume jumped to 20.2 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 2.6 million shares. DPW said it expects the program to allow owners of fast-food franchises to install the ACECool EV chargers and share in the revenue from advertising and network usage. Coolisys expects to launch the program in California, Nevada and Canada, with the unveiling of "a national fast-food network" partner, that forms a part of the network with over 1,000 locations. Other partners are expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2021. " We look forward to the potential changes coming from increased demand for EVs and the recent trends related to government support of the electrification of transport," said Coolisys Chief Executive Amos Kohn. DPW's stock has run up 54.6% over the past three months, while shares of rival EV charger company Blink Charging Co. has rocketed 291.2% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Stocks open higher on vaccine optimism
U.S. stock benchmarks opened with gains Monday morning after AstraZeneca said its vaccine was up to 90% effective in preventing COVID-19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened near 29,451, up 188 points or 0.6%, while the S&P 500 added 20 points, 0.6%, to open near 3,577. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 62 points, opening near 11,917, a gain of 0.5%. Economic growth accelerated in October, according to the Chicago Fed National Index, released before the opening bell, a contrast to other recent economic reports that have showed some slowing. Shares of Ideanomics Inc. surged after the company announced an investment in a battery-powered electric tractor company.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Ideanomics stock soars after doubling investment in electric tractor maker
Shares of Ideanomics Inc. soared 31.8% on heavy volume in premarket trading Monday, after the company focused on investing in disruptive technologies announced the doubling of its investment in California-based Solectrac Inc., which makes battery-powered electric tractors. Trading volume was 11.4 million shares ahead of the open, already nearly reaching the full-day average of about 11.7 million shares. Ideanomics said it invested an additional $1.3 million in Solectrac, which increases its ownership stake to 24%. Ideanomics had announced on Oct. 22 an investment of $1.3 million to buy the 14.7% stake in Solectrac. Ideanomics said the latest investment allows it to recognize its stake in Solectrac under the equity method of accounting under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). "We believe Solectrac has enormous potential and, given the uptick in both product inquiries and investment interest they are seeing, we exercised our rights to increase our stake so we can help Solectrac scale to meet anticipated market demand," said Chief Executive Alf Poor. The stock has soared 80.0% year to date through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.1%.

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Nov 23, 2020

JFrog's stock falls after early release of 25% of locked-up shares
Shares of JFrog Ltd. fell 4.0% in premarket trading Monday, after the software company that went public in mid-September announced the early lock-up release of one-quarter of the locked-up shares. The company said the price and other conditions of the early release were satisfied on Nov. 20, meaning 25% of the shares subject to lock up will be eligible for sale as of the Nov. 25 opening bell. In JFrog's filing for its initial public offering, the company said 88% of its outstanding ordinary shares would be locked up, or not eligible for sale, for 180 days. At that time, the company said it had 88.68 million ordinary shares outstanding after the IPO. Nov. 25 is 70 days after the stock started trading on Sept. 16, which priced at $44. The stock has lost 5.8% since the Sept. 16 close through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.1% over the same time.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Netflix stock gains after J.P. Morgan analyst gets a little more bullish on price increases
Shares of Netflix Inc. gained 0.7% in premarket trading Monday, putting them on track for a fifth straight gain, after J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth raised his stock price on the video streaming company, citing the recent U.S. price increases. Anmuth reiterated the overweight rating he's had on the stock since at least January 2018, and lifted his target to $628 from $615. He said he didn't expect the latest price increase to pressure subscriber additions because Netflix didn't raise prices for its basic plan, and basic subscribers are more price sensitive. And for the other plans, the increases come during a period of stronger content, colder weather and renewed pandemic restrictions in the U.S., all of which will likely extend into the first quarter of 2021. "Those factors should help offset the impact of higher pricing," Anmuth wrote. The stock has rallied 50.9% year to date through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Warner Music stock gains as profit falls, but revenue rises to top forecasts
Warner Music Group Corp. reported Monday a breakeven fiscal fourth quarter, missing expectations, although revenue rose slightly above forecasts. The stock rose 0.8% in premarket trading. Net income for the quarter to Sept. 30 fell to $1 million, or $0.00 on a per-share basis, from $91 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for net earnings per share was 5 cents. Adjusted net income, which excludes non-recurring items related to the initial public offering, fell to $20 million from $125 million. Revenue rose 0.2% to $1.13 billion, just above the FactSet consensus of $1.11 billion, as "robust" digital revenue growth was partially offset by a decline in recorded music artist services, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its music publishing business. "We're essentially flat against a record-breaking prior year and, during the quarter, we grew 11% on an as-reported basis, excluding the revenue streams most impacted by COVID," said Chief Executive Steve Cooper. "Our streaming growth has stayed strong, and we've also seen an acceleration in a whole spectrum of emerging revenue streams such as social media, gaming, and in-home fitness." The stock has lost 3.7% over the past three months through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.7%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

HelloFresh cut to underweight by JPMorgan
HelloFresh , the German maker of prepared foodkits, was downgraded to underweight from neutral by JPMorgan Cazenove. "In contrast to other work-from-home beneficiaries, we anticipate a relatively quick and sharp slowdown in active customer growth once lockdown measures are lifted given a unique combination of a) still high churn on a (now) much larger customer base and b) less new/reactivated customers making it into the funnel going forward," said the analysts. HelloFresh, which separately announced an acquisition, was the second worst performing component of the Stoxx Europe 600 on Monday.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Schrödinger in drug development agreement with Bristol Myers worth up to $2.7 billion in milestone and royalty payments
Schrödinger Inc. shares jumped about 8% in premarket trade Monday, after the company announced a drug discovery agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb Co. that could net it up to $2.7 billion in milestone payments and royalties. Schrödinger, which offers a physics-based software platform that can speed up drug development and lower costs, will receive $55 million upfront. The companies are aiming to advance small molecule therapeutics for targets in oncology, immunology and neurological disorders with Schrödinger responsible for discovery and development and Bristol Myers for manufacturing and sales. Schrödinger has agreed to grant Bristol Myers exclusive worldwide rights to develop and sell any successful drug candidates. Schrödinger shares have gained 24% in the month to date; the company went public in February. Bristol Myers shares were up 2.2% premarket, but have fallen 4% in the year through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Merck to pay $425 million upfront to buy COVID-19 treatment developer OncoImmune
Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. surged 3.1% in premarket trading Monday, after the drug maker announced a deal to buy clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company OncoImmune for an upfront payment of $425 million in cash. OncoImmune shareholders will also be eligible to receive payments based on sales payments contingent the achievement of regulatory milestones. OncoImmune recently announced positive findings from an interim analysis of a Phase 3 study of CD24Fc for the treatment of severe and critical COVID-19. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of the year. "Recent clinical investigations support the view that CD24Fc may provide benefit beyond standard of care therapy for COVID-19 patients requiring oxygen support, and hence will represent an important addition to the Merck pipeline of investigational medicines and vaccines designed to address the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Roger Perlmutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories. Merck's stock has lost 11.5% year to date through Friday, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has gained 6.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has edged up 2.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 23, 2020

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 58.7 million, U.S. tops 12 million after adding 1 million cases in 6 days
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed to 58.7 million on Monday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose to 1.39 million. The U.S. has the highest case tally in the world at 12.2 million. The U.S. added 1 million cases in just six days; it took seven days to rise to 11 million from 10 million, and 11 days to climb to 10 million from nine million. The U.S. also has the highest death toll at 256,798, or more than a fifth of the global total. The U.S. counted 141,641 new cases on Sunday, and at least 834 people died, according to a New York Times tracker. In the last week, the U.S. has averaged 171,461 cases a day, up 54% from the average two weeks ago and cases are rising in 50 states and territories. There are currently a record of 83,782 COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals, according to the COVID Tracking Project, topping the previous record of 83,227 set a day ago. Brazil has the second highest death toll at 169,183 and is third by cases at 6.0 million. India is second in cases with 9.1 million, and third in deaths at 133,738. Mexico has the fourth highest death toll at 101,676 and 10th highest case tally at 1 million. The U.K has 55,120 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world, and 1.5 million cases, or seventh highest in the world.

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Nov 23, 2020

AstraZeneca study finds its COVID-19 vaccine effective, with one regimen showing 90% efficacy
AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate met its primary endpoint showing protection from COVID-19 occurring 14 days or more after receiving two doses of the vaccine. One dosing regimen showed vaccine efficacy of 90% when AZD1222 was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart, and another dosing regimen showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart. No serious safety events related to the vaccine have been confirmed. AstraZeneca will now immediately prepare regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 22, 2020

Dow futures struggle for altitude Sunday evening as COVID hospitalizations on Saturday mark fresh record
U.S. stock-index futures traded mixed Sunday evening as investors geared up for a holiday-shortened week, with hospitalizations due to COVID-19 on the rise. On Saturday, there were 83,227 people hospitalized with the disease derived from the novel strain of coronavirus, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Saturday's record marks a series of records for hospitalizations since Nov. 10. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 15 points, or less than 0.1%, at 29,197; those for the S&P 500 index fell less than 0.1% at 3,553, while Nasdaq-100 futures were up 0.2% at 11.927.50. On Friday, the Dow booked a 0.7% loss, the S&P 500 ended the week with a 0.8% declined, while the Nasdaq Composite Index finished the week 0.2% higher. The small-capitalization Russell 2000 index gained 2.4% over the period, outstripping its large-cap rivals over the stretch. In the coming week, U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, with volume likely to be low in the following session.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Pfizer, BioNTech make it official: COVID-19 vaccine EUA submitted
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech on Friday submitted an application for an emergency use authorization for their trial COVID-19 vaccine candidate, making their vaccine candidate the first in line with U.S. regulators. The two companies had said earlier Friday that the submission to the Food and Drug Administration was coming. The companies earlier this week said the vaccine, called BNT162b2, had an efficacy rate of 95% in a late-stage clinical trial. "It is with great pride and joy and even a little relief that I can say that our request for emergency use authorization for our COVID-19 vaccine is now in the FDA's hands," Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Boula said on a company's tweet announcing the development. Shares of Pfizer rose 0.4% and American depositary receipts of BioNTech 0.1% in the extended session Friday, after ending the regular trading day up 1.4% and 9.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Dow, S&P 500 end Friday and week with losses as investors fret over lack of government support as COVID cases rise
Stock indexes finished the week with a whimper Friday, finishing lower as the market capped a choppy stretch of trade, framed by rising cases of coronavirus and worries above government support to help businesses and workers to end the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day down by about 220 points, or 0.8%, the S&P 500 index closed the session down 0.7% lower, while the Nasdaq Composite Index closed off 0.4%. For the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 ended down 0.7%, and the Nasdaq finished the week up 0.4%. The U.S. Treasury's decision to allow several emergency Federal Reserve programs to expire against the wishes of the Federal Reserve deflated some of the bullishness on Wall Street. However, stocks had been mostly punching higher on the 5-day trading period on the back of further upbeat vaccine news; but concerns about a spotty economic recovery as the viral outbreak assumes a new deadly phase has caused some selling and repositioning on Wall Street heading into the holidays.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Oil futures end higher for the session and week
Oil futures rose on Friday, prompting U.S. prices to post a gain of 5% for the week. Promising developments on potential COVID-19 vaccines, which would help ease economic restrictions and the loss of energy that may go with it, have provided support for prices. On its expiration day, December West Texas Intermediate crude rose 41 cents, or 1%, to settle at $42.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. January WTI oil , which is the new front-month contract, settled at $42.42 a barrel, up 52 cents, or 1.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Gold futures end higher for the session, down for the week
Gold futures climbed on Friday, but ended with a loss for the week. It has been another lackluster trading week for gold prices, "despite the growing list of themes driving market sentiment," said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM. "While key drivers in the form of vaccine news [and] surging coronavirus cases are likely to impact gold in the near term, the precious metal is waiting for a fresh directional catalyst," he said. December gold climbed by $10.90, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,872.40 an ounce. Prices based on the most-active contract declined by roughly 0.7% from last Friday's settlement.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Baker Hughes data log first fall in weekly U.S. oil-rig count in 9 weeks
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by 5 to 231 this week. That followed increases in each of the last eight weeks. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes those drilling for natural gas, was also down by 2 to 310, according to Baker Hughes. December West Texas Intermediate crude , which expires at the end of the session, continued to trade higher following the data, tacking on 18 cents, or 0.4%, at $41.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

White House says Trump's meeting with Michigan lawmakers not about 'advocacy'
President Donald Trump's meeting with Michigan lawmakers won't be "an advocacy meeting," the White House said Friday, as he was reportedly expected to lean on them to reverse Joe Biden's win in their state. "There will be no one from the campaign there; he routinely meets with lawmakers from all across the country," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters. Meanwhile, a Michigan Republican leader close to state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and state House Speaker Lee Chatfield told NBC News that both men expect Trump to pressure them to try to overturn Biden's win in Michigan. Trump is continuing to contest the results of the Nov. 3 election and McEnany said claims from ongoing litigation "deserve to be pursued."

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

GM stock's price target raised after company's EV plan
Analysts at Deutsche Bank on Friday upped their price target on General Motors Co. by 12% to $48 from $43, representing an upside around 12% over Friday prices, saying that the company's new push toward electric vehicles puts it on track for leadership in that area. GM earlier this week said it would invest more in EVs and autonomous vehicles. That strategic update also "implicitly" confirmed that GM will not spin off EV or related assets, the Deutsche Bank analysts said. "We are very encouraged by GM's updated product and investment strategy and targeted cost/margin trajectory, which could ultimately give it a strong market position and solid profitability in EVs," they said. Shares of GM were poised to end the week up more than 4% and so far this year have gained 17%, compared with gains around 11% for the S&P 500 index.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Work-from-home ETFs rally on COVID lockdown measures
Exchange-traded funds that track companies that enable remote work, play, education and health care outperformed Friday as investors sought safety in market segments that will benefit from economic restrictions intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. The WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund was up 1.6% at midday, while the First Trust NASDAQ Cybersecurity ETF and the Direxion Work From Home ETF both gained 1.4%. The iShares Cybersecurity & Tech ETF added 1.3%. The broader stock market was about 0.2% lower. Market participants had recently rotated away from the work-from-home names that powered the stock-market rally though the year as drugmakers reported progress toward a vaccine and as valuations for pandemic winners became increasingly stretched. In the year to date, WCLD has gained 82%, while IHAK and CIBR are up about 26%. Another category winner, the Global X Cloud Computing ETF , has gained 59% in the year to date, but lagged on Friday, up only 1.1% for the day.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Sotera Health's stock rallies out of the gate to lift the market cap above $7 billion
Shares of Sotera Health Co. started their public life with a rally Friday, as the first trade of the sterilization and lab-testing services provider's stock was 17.4% above the initial-public-offering price. The IPO priced late Thursday at $23 a share, at the top of the expected range. The stock's first trade was at $27.00 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern for 4.6 million shares. It has since pared some gains to trade up 13.5%, to imply a market capitalization of $7.25 billion. The company went public on a day of relatively good investor demand for recent IPOs, as the Renaissance IPO ETF rose 1.6% while the S&P 500 slipped 0.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Bank of New York Mellon's stock falls after BofA Securities analyst turns bearish
Share of Bank of New York Mellon Corp. fell 1.7% in morning trading Friday, to underperform the its financial-sector peers, after BofA Securities analyst Michael Carrier turned bearish on the bank holding company, as ongoing pressure from low interest rates and moderating deposits are expected to mute future returns. Carrier cut this rating to underperform from neutral, and lowered his stock price target to $39 from $42. He said the revenue backdrop appears "challenging" and will likely keep weighing on valuation. "We expect [net interest income] to remain under pressure given low short-term rates and our expectation of some moderating deposit balances, while we also expect fee waivers to be ongoing," Carrier wrote in a note to clients. "In addition, given the low rate/yield backdrop, we expect some pressure on fixed income flows, as well as returns, particularly if medium/longer term rates continue to gradually rise." The stock, which has lost 4.7% amid a four-day losing streak, has shed 24.8% year to date. Meanwhile, the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF , which is down 0.9% Friday, has lost 11.7% this year and the S&P 500 has gained 10.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Sotera Health stock set to start trading after IPO pricing valued company at more than $6 billion
Shares of Sotera Health Co. are set to start trading Friday, after the Ohio-based sterilization and lab-testing services provider's initial public offering priced at the high end of the expected range. The company said late Thursday that its 46.6 million-share offering priced at $23.00 a share, compared with expectations of between $20 to $23, as the company raised $1.07 billion in the IPO. With 277.33 million shares outstanding after the IPO, the pricing values the company at $6.38 billion. The stock is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol "SHC." For the nine months through Sept. 30, the company recorded net income of $5.1 million on revenue of $601.3 million, after income of $7.1 million on revenue of $584.8 million in the same period a year ago. The company is going public on a day that the Renaissance IPO ETF is rising 0.9% in morning trading while the S&P 500 is falling 0.4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Florida Sen. Rick Scott says he's tested positive for coronavirus
Sen. Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, said Friday he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is "experiencing very mild symptoms." In a statement on Twitter, Scott said he will be working from home until it is safe for him to return to Washington. Scott earlier this week was one of two Republican senators absent from a vote on Federal Reserve nominee Judy Shelton due to exposure to coronavirus. The other was Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who tweeted later he had tested positive for the virus.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Stocks lower at the open as Treasury, Fed spar over financial market backstops
U.S. stocks opened modestly lower as market participants focused on the likely expiration of several federal emergency loan programs established at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 80 points, 0.3%, to open near 29,400, while the S&P 500 lost 3 points, 0.1%, to open near 3,578. The Nasdaq Composite index slipped 6 points, and was trading near 11,899. On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wouldn't approve extensions of the loan programs, a step that the Federal Reserve criticized. That move may add to the strain on the economy as pandemic unemployment insurance benefits are set to expire, and as Congress continues to make no progress toward any additional relief. Shares of Pfizer Inc. were higher after the bell after the drugmaker asked the FDA for emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Nike raises dividend by 12%
Shares of Nike Inc. tacked on 0.2% in premarket trading Friday, after the athletic apparel and accessories company said it was raising its quarterly dividend by 12%. The new dividend of 27.5 cents a share, up from 24.5 cents, is payable Dec. 29 to shareholders of record on Dec. 7. Nike said it has raised its dividend for 19 straight years. Based on Thursday's stock closing price of $131.91, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 0.83%, compared with the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.60%. Nike's stock has rallied 30.2% year to date through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average , of which it is a component, has gained 3.3%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Lilly's arthritis drug and Gilead's Veklury receive FDA authorization as combination COVID-19 treatment
Shares of Eli Lilly & Co. gained 0.6% in premarket trading on Friday, the day after the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization to the company's rheumatoid arthritis drug Olumiant as a COVID-19 treatment if it's used in combination with Gilead Sciences Inc.'s Veklury, which is also called remdesivir. The drug combination can be used in adults and children older than 2 years old who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and require supplemental oxygen, mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. These tend to be the sickest COVID-19 patients. Lilly also recently received an emergency authorization for its COVID-19 antibody treatment, making it the only drug maker to receive EUAs for two different COVID-19 therapies so far during the pandemic. Data from a clinical trial found that the combination of Olumiant and Veklury can help speed up recovery times for some severely ill, hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Lilly's stock is up 9.1% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Princess Cruises extends cruise suspensions through March, and for longer cruises for another year
Carnival Corp.'s Princess Cruises said Friday that it's extending the suspension of cruises through March, and for some of its cruises for another year, in response to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) phased approach to resuming cruises. Princess Cruises said all cruises will now be suspended through March 31, 2021, while cruises longer than seven days to and from U.S. ports will be suspended through Nov. 1, 2021. The company is also extending the suspension of cruises to and from Japan through June 25, 2021. "We are focused on preparing our ships to meet the CDC health and safety requirements for our eventual return to service," said Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz. "We also appreciate the continued support we have received from our guests, partners and travel advisors, reinforcing for all of us why we do what we do." Carnival's stock, which gained 0.1% in premarket trading, has tumbled 64.2% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

BioNTech, Pfizer say they plan to submit COVID-19 vaccine application on Friday
Shares of Pfizer Inc. gained 1.4% in premarket trading on Friday after it announced plans with BioNTech to submit an application later in the day for an emergency use authorization for their experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidate. BioNTech's stock jumped 6.9% before the market opened. The companies' planned EUA submission to the Food and Drug Administration would make their vaccine candidate the first in line with U.S. regulators. Earlier this week they said the vaccine, called BNT162b2, had an efficacy rate of 95% in a late-stage clinical trial. "Filing in the U.S. represents a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world," Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said in a news release. He also said he looks forward to an upcoming FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting, which will include a group of independent clinical experts convened by the FDA. It is considered the next step in the regulatory process. People familiar with the matter told CNBC that the FDA has asked those experts "to set aside three days in early December for potential meetings to discuss COVID-19 vaccines." In the traditional FDA approval process, this committee makes a recommendation to regulators whether or not they should approve a therapy. The FDA is not bound to follow the committee's advice but often does. So far this year, Pfizer's stock is down 2.5%, shares of BioNTech have gained 180.2%, and the S&P 500 is up 10.8%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Medical imaging provider Butterfly Network to merge with SPAC Longview in $1.5 billion deal
Butterfly Network Inc. said Friday it has agreed to merge with special purpose acquisition corporation Longview Acquisition Corp. in a deal with an enterprise value of $1.5 billion. The combined company will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "BFLY." It will have about $584 million in cash to develop its digital imaging technology. Butterfly iQ is an ultrasound transducer that can perform "whole body imaging' with a single handheld probe using chip technology that connects to a mobile phone or tablet, the companies said in a statement. Butterfly's early investors include Baillie Gifford, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Fosun Industrial Co., Limited. Butterfly's aim is to make superior medical imaging at more affordable prices. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. Longview shares were up 4% premarket.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Nov 20, 2020

Fastenal board approves special one-time dividend of 40 cents a share
Fastenal Co. said Friday its board has declared a special one-time dividend of 40 cents a share. The maker of fasteners and tools for industrial use said the dividend will be payable Dec. 22 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 2. Shares were slightly higher premarket, and have gained 30% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.

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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