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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

Flooring company F5 Finishes files for IPO
California-based flooring company F5 Finishes Inc. has filed for an initial public offering, seeking to sell $50.6 million worth of shares, according to a Friday filing. F5 said it expects the stock will price between $9 and $11 a share. The company was founded in 2007 and was inactive until 2017 when it was "repurposed" to acquire six companies providing commercial flooring, according to the prospectus. F5 plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol FLRZ. "Our goal is to become the leading commercial flooring solutions provider nationally by capitalizing on industry dynamics that we believe create an attractive consolidation opportunity for us," the company said. F5 listed revenue of $82.4 million in the nine months to September 2018 and $86.6 million in the same period this year. Per-share earnings in those nine-month periods were 12 cents in 2018 and 15 cents this year, F5 said.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

White House tells Nadler it won't participate in impeachment hearing
The White House on Friday slammed House Democrats' impeachment inquiry anew and made clear it won't participate in a Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday. "House Democrats have wasted enough of America's time with this charade," White House counsel Pat Cipollone told Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler in a two-paragraph letter. Cipollone called the inquiry "completely baseless," a day after President Donald Trump urged Democrats to speed up their process so the country can get "back to business."

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

Dow closes nearly 340-points higher after jobs report sparks stock-market rally
U.S. stocks closed solidly higher Friday, helping to wipe out or chip away at weekly losses, after an key employment report for November ignited bullish buying on Wall Street, adding to some modest progress toward a partial Sino-American trade agreement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 337 points, or 1.2%, to reach 28,015, the S&P 500 index advanced 0.9% to 3,146, while the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 1% to 8,656. The moves on Friday were in contrast to trading that started the week after President Donald Trump in London implied that he would wait until 2020 to cement a phase-one trade agreement. For the week, the Dow and the Nasdaq finished down 0.1%, while the S&P 500 notched a 0.2% gain for the 5-day trading stretch. The economy created 266,000 new jobs, the most since January, and the unemployment rote fell to 3.5%, a 50 year low, Labor Department data showed, signaling that the jobs market remains robust even though economic growth has slowed. The government also revised the increase in new jobs in October to 156,000 from 128,000 and September's gain was raised to 193,000 from 180,000. The increase in new jobs easily topped the 180,000 MarketWatch forecast, helped by the end of the General Motors auto-workers strike which added roughly 50,000 jobs to the payrolls number. The unemployment rate slipped to 3.5% from 3.6% and matched a 50-year low. The average wage paid to American workers rose 7 cents, or 0.2%, to $28.29 an hour. The 12-month rate of hourly wage gains slipped to 3.1% from 3.2%. Helping to lift stocks even before the jobs report was news that China's State Council had begun the process on Friday of exempting some soybeans and pork imported from the U.S. from import tariffs, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said, a move taken as a sign of progress on at least a partial trade pact. The action comes about nine days from a Dec. 15 deadline at which import duties on $156 billion in China goods will be raised to 15%. In corpor

MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

U.S. oil futures post biggest weekly rise since June
Oil futures settled higher on Friday, with U.S. prices up more than 7% for the week to mark their highest weekly percentage climb since June. Prices got a lift after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies announced an agreement to cut production by an additional 500,000 barrels a day starting in January. Including the 1.2 million barrels in reductions under the current pact, that will bring total output cuts to 1.7 million barrels a day from October 2018 levels. Even so, analysts said concerns surrounding a slowdown in oil demand remain. Meanwhile, Baker Hughes reported a seventh straight weekly decline in the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil. January West Texas Intermediate oil rose 77 cents, or 1.3%, to settle at $59.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, the U.S. benchmark rose 7.3%, the biggest such rise since the week ended June 21, according to FactSet data.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

GE to keep its quarterly dividend at a penny a share
General Electric Co. said Friday it will pay a quarterly dividend of a penny a share, which means the industrial conglomerate will be keeping it at that lowered rate for over a year. The dividend will be payable Jan. 27 to shareholders of record on Dec. 23. GE's stock was up 2.0% in afternoon trading. At current prices, the stock's dividend yield is 0.36%, compared with the yield for the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF of 1.94% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.89%, according to FactSet. GE had slashed its dividend to a penny per share from 12 cents last year in an effort to preserve cash. That first 1-cent dividend was paid out on Jan. 25, 2019 to shareholders of record Dec. 20, 2018. GE's stock has run up 55.8% over the past 12 months, while the industrial ETF has gained 16.1% and the S&P 500 has advanced 16.8%.

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
Dec 06, 2019

Gold prices fall for the session, tally a loss for the week
Gold prices fell by more than 1% on Friday, as better-than-expected November growth in U.S. jobs supported a rise in the stock market and the dollar, dulling haven demand for the precious metal. February gold lost $18, or 1.2%, to settle at $1,465.10 an ounce, with prices for the most-active contract losing roughly 0.5% for the week, according to FactSet data.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

Baker Hughes data show a 7th straight weekly decline in the U.S. oil-rig count
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by five to 663 this week. That followed declines in each of the last six weeks. The total active U.S. rig count, meanwhile, also fell by three to 799, according to Baker Hughes. Oil prices held onto their earlier gains, with January West Texas Intermediate crude up 52 cents, or 0.9%, at $58.95 a barrel.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

3M's stock surges to pace Dow gainers after report that drug delivery business was being shopped
Shares of 3M Co. ran up 3.8% in midday trading Friday, enough to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average's gainers, after Bloomberg reported that the consumer and industrial products conglomerate is exploring the sale of its drug delivery systems business. 3M's stock price gain of $6.28 was adding about 43 points to the Dow, which was up 329 points. The Bloomberg report, which cited people with knowledge of the matter, said the drug delivery business, which makes inhalers, skin patches and microneedles, could be valued at about $1 billion. 3M's stock has lost 10.4% year to date, while the Dow has climbed 20.1%.

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
Dec 06, 2019

Cassava stock is up on Alzheimer's data
Shares of Cassava Sciences Inc. jumped 24% on positive data from a mid-stage trial for its experimental Alzheimer's disease drug, PTI-125. The data, which found that the therapy reduced cerebrospinal fluid and plasma biomarkers for Alzheimer's, was released Dec. 5 at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer's Disease meeting in San Diego. Biogen also released somewhat controversial data about its late-stage Alzheimer's candidate at the conference on Thursday. Cassava stock is up 163% year-to-date. The S&P 500 is up 25%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

Plug Power gains on heavy volume after stock offering prices, to snap 5-day losing streak
Shares of Plug Power Inc. bounced 1.3% in very active trading Friday, putting them on track to snap a five-day losing streak, after the fuel cell technology company announced the pricing of its public stock offering. Trading volume swelled to over 17.3 million shares, already well above the full-day average of about 9.9 million shares. The stock had plunged 23% over the past five sessions, highlighted by the 11% tumble on Tuesday after the company announced the public offering of 40 million shares of its common stock. The losing streak followed a 5-year closing high of $4.00 on Nov. 27. Late Thursday, the company said that offering priced at $2.75 a share, for the company to raise $110 million. Plug's stock has run up 39% over the past three months, 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
Dec 06, 2019

OPEC and its allies make additional reductions to output official
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Friday confirmed that its members, as well as allied non-member producers, have agreed to cut output by an additional 500,000 barrels per day starting in January. The output cuts come on top of the current agreement of 1.2 million barrel in output reductions from October 2018 levels. Saudi Arabia said its target output level including all cuts would be 9.744 million barrels a day. OPEC and OPEC plan to hold extraordinary meetings on March 5 to March 6. January West Texas Intermediate crude added $1.13, or 2%, to $59.56 a barrel, while February Brent crude rose $1.36, or 2.2%, to $64.75 a barrel.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

U.S. wholesale inventories increase 0.1% in October
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Wholesale inventories in the U.S. rose 0.1% in October, partly recovering from a sharp decline in September. Sales fell 0.7% in the month, however. As a result, the ratio of inventories to sales edged up to 1.37 from 1.36. That's how many months it would take to sell all the inventory on hand. One year ago, the inventory-to-sales ratio was lower at 1.3%. The decline in inventories in September, meanwhile, was revised to 0.7% from 0.4%. Increase in inventories add to gross domestic product while decreases subtract from GDP.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

Kudlow calls U.S.-China deal 'close' as talks in 'intense' phase
Top White House economist Larry Kudlow said Friday a U.S.-China trade deal is close, as talks between Washington and Beijing are in an "intense" phase. Speaking in a CNBC interview, Kudlow echoed President Donald Trump's statements that the administration will walk away if an eventual deal isn't good for the U.S., but said the economic-growth potential of an agreement could be "terrific." Kudlow spoke following the release of the November jobs data, which showed a much stronger-than-expected 266,000 positions added in the month. "America is working," said the National Economic Council director. U.S. stocks .

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

Alexion stocks rises on decision not to consider a sale
Shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals are up 6% in morning trading after the company halted its stock in premarket trading to announce that it would not consider a sale, as recommended by Elliott Management. The biopharmaceutical company said its board had unanimously decided not to pursue a sale and that it had not received any offers. "We do not believe this approach is the best path for driving shareholder value," the company said in a statement. Alexion markets several drugs, including Soliris, a treatment for a number of rare diseases that costs $500,000 a year. Shares of Alexion have gained 10% year-to-date, compared to the S&P 500 , which is up 24%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

U.S. stocks open higher after jobs report runs hot
Stocks rose sharply at the open Friday after a stronger-than-expected report on employment conditions in November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 200 points, 0.7%, to open near 27,878, while the S&P 500 rose about 16 points or 0.5%, opening near 3,134. The Nasdaq was up about 63 points, 0.7%, opening near 8,634. Shares of American Outdoor Brands Inc. , parent company of Smith & Wesson, bounced after the company reported better-than-expected revenues and raised its forecast.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

Financial stocks get a big boost from jobs data
Financial stocks got a big lift in premarket trading Friday, as much stronger-than-expected November jobs data provided a boost to the sector and the broader stock market. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF rallied 1.1%, after trading unchanged just before the data. Among the sector tracker's heavily weighted components, gains in the shares of Bank of America Corp. increased to 2.0% from 0.4%, Citigroup Inc. to 1.7% from 0.3%, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to 1.3% from less than 0.1% and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to 1.3% from 0.3%. The U.S. Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls increased by 266,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate returned to a 50-year low of 3.5% from 3.6%, compared with expectations of 180,000 jobs. Gains in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF to 0.7% from 0.2%, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF to 0.7% from 0.1% and the Invesco QQQ ETF to 0.8% from 0.2%.

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
Dec 06, 2019

The Trade Desk stock climbs after Needham turns bullish
Shares of The Trade Desk Inc. are up more than 5% in premarket trading Friday after Needham's Laura Martin upgraded the stock to buy from hold while setting a $325 target price. She argues that ad unit availability in the U.S. could fall by 10% in 2020 due to declining viewership of linear televsion, but that demand for U.S. ad units will climb by 10%, creating a favorable pricing environment. "Ad units should see unprecedented pricing power in 2020," she wrote. "TTD is the largest buyer of ad units in the open internet (including connected TV), and takes a 20% revenue share of ad dollars spent on its platform." TTD shares have climbed 107% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has increased 24%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

Treasury yields jump after Friday jobs report shows that U.S. added 266,000 jobs in November
U.S. Treasury yields Friday morning popped higher across the board after a key employment report showed the U.S. created a hotter-than-expected 266,000 new jobs in November, marking the biggest gain since the first month of the year. The 10-year Treasury note rose 5.5 basis points to 1.850%, the 2-year Treasury note added 5.5 basis points to 1.637%, while the 30-year Treasury bond added 3.8 basis points to 2.284%. The increase in new jobs easily topped the 180,000 MarketWatch forecast, helped by the end of an auto-workers strike at General Motors Co. . That added roughly 50,000 jobs to the payrolls number. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate slipped to 3.5% from 3.6% and matched a 50-year low. The average wage paid to American workers rose 7 cents, or 0.2%, to $28.29 an hour. The 12-month rate of hourly wage gains slipped to 3.1% from 3.2%.

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
Dec 06, 2019

Stock-index futures rally after data show U.S. added 266,000 jobs in November
The U.S. economy added 266,000 new jobs in November, up from a revised level of 156,000 new jobs in October, and well above economists' expectations of 180,000, according to a MarketWatch poll. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, below expectations for a 3.6% reading. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 153 points, or 0.6% to trade around 27,735 while S&P 500 futures added 15.8 points, or 0.5% at 3,133. Nasdaq-100 futures advanced 51 points, or 0.6% to 8,358. Stock-index futures had been trading higher as U.S.-China trade negotiations remained in focus, with optimism that a deal can be reached boosted by news reports that China's State Council on Friday began the process of exempting some punitive tariffs from U.S. agricultural goods.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

U.S. adds 266,000 jobs in November, unemployment dips to 3.5%
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. created 266,000 new jobs in November, marking the biggest gain since the first month of the year and signaling the labor market remains quite robust even though the economy has slowed. The increase in new jobs easily topped the 180,000 MarketWatch forecast, helped by the end of the GM auto-workers strike. That added roughly 50,000 jobs to the payrolls number. The unemployment rate slipped to 3.5% from 3.6% and matched a 50-year low. The average wage paid to American workers rose 7 cents, or 0.2%, to $28.29 an hour. The 12-month rate of hourly wage gains slipped to 3.1% from 3.2%. Hours worked each week were flat at 34.4 hours. The government revised the increase in new jobs in October to 156,000 from 128,000. September's gain was raised to 193,000 from 180,000.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

SL Green Realty raises dividend, to yield well above peer group and S&P 500
SL Green Realty Corp. said Friday it will raise its quarterly dividend by 4.1%, to 88.5 cents a share from 85 cents a share. The real estate investment trust said the new dividend will be payable Jan. 15 to shareholders of record on Jan. 2. Based on Thursday's stock closing price of $85.77, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 4.13%, compared with the yield for the SPDR Real Estate Select Sector ETF of 2.96% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.91%, according to FactSet. Shares of the self-proclaimed largest office landlord in New York City, which were still inactive in premarket trading, have rallied 8.5% year to date, while the REIT ETF has climbed 24.2% and the S&P 500 has advanced 24.4%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

Genesco's stock set to soar after profit and same-store sales beats, raised guidance
Shares of Genesco Inc. were indicated up about 11% in premarket trading Friday, after the shoes and accessories retailer reported fiscal third-quarter profit and same-store sales that rose above expectations and raised its full-year outlook, although net sales showed a surprise decline. Net income for the quarter to Nov. 2 rose to $18.9 million, or $1.30 a share, from $14.4 million, or 73 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS grew to $1.33 from 97 cents, above the FactSet consensus of $1.08. Net sales fell to $537.3 million from $539.8 million, missing the FactSet consensus of $540.6 million, but same-store sales growth of 3% beat expectations of a 1.5% rise. Among its segments, same-store sales for its Journeys stores grew 4%, for Schuh rose 3% and Johnston & Murphy fell 6%. Chief Executive Robert Dennis said the fourth quarter has "started well, highlighted by solid results during the Black Friday through Cyber Monday period." As a result, the company raised its fiscal 2020 EPS guidance range to $4.10 to $4.40 from $3.80 to $4.20, while affirming its same-store sales growth outlook of 2% to 3%. The stock has lost 16.7% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 6.7% and the S&P 500 has climbed 24.4%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

Big Lots says profit climbs on sale of distribution center as comparable-store sales ease
Close-out retailer Big Lots said it swung to a third-quarter ending Nov. 2 net profit of $127 million, or $3.25 a share, as sales edged up 1.6% to $1.17 billion and comparable-store sales slipped 0.1%. Excluding gains including the sale of a California distribution center, it would have lost 18 cents a share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected a 16 cents a share loss on sales of $1.16 billion. Big Lots says it expects fourth-quarter profit of $2.40 to $2.55 a share and a slight rise in comparable-store sales. Analysts had seen fourth-quarter earnings of $2.68 a share. Big Lots says it expects a return to EPS and EBIT growth 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
Dec 06, 2019

Morgan Stanley's Jonas says the bull case on Tesla is $500 per share
Morgan Stanley kept a $250 price target and equal-weight rating on Tesla but said the bull case is now $500 per share rather than $440. Analyst Adam Jonas said the newly unveiled Cybertruck and a more optimistic scenario in China accounts for the better upside. The bear case, however, is still $10. "To be clear, we are not bullish on Tesla longer term, especially as, over time, we believe Tesla could be perceived by the market more and more like a traditional auto OEM; we are prepared for a potential surge in sentiment through the first half of 2020 but question the sustainability," he wrote. Tesla closed Thursday at $336.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 06, 2019

China's finance ministry says it will exclude some U.S. soybeans and pork from tariffs
China's Finance Ministrysaid it would exclude some U.S. soybeans, pork and other commodities from tariffs. The government did not indicate how much of those products would be excluded. The move comes as the U.S. and China are attempting to reach a so-called phase one agreement on reducing trade tensions.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 05, 2019

Cloudera stock rises after earnings beat
Cloudera Inc. shares rose more than 5% in the extended session Thursday after the cloud-computing company beat revenue expectations and reported narrower-than-expected losses. The company reported a third-quarter net loss of $82.1 million, which amounts to 29 cents a a share, compared with a net loss of $25.9 million, or 17 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for stock-based compensation, among other things, losses were 3 cents a share. Revenue rose to $198.3 million from $119 million in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted losses of 6 cents a share on revenue of $189.1 million. For the fourth quarter, analysts estimate adjusted losses of 5 cents a share on revenue of $196.9 million. Cloudera said it expects fourth-quarter adjusted losses of 2 cents to 4 cents a share and revenue of $200 million to $203 million. Cloudera stock has fallen 9.5% stock this year, with the S&P 500 index rising 24%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 05, 2019

Bristol-Myers Squibb raises dividend
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. late Thursday announced a 9.8% dividend increase, beginning in the first quarter of 2020. The dividend increase will bring the drug maker's quarterly dividend to 45 cents. The next quarterly dividend is payable Feb. 3 to stockholders of record on Jan. 3. Shares of Bristol-Myers were flat in the extended session Thursday after ending the regular trading day up 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
Dec 05, 2019

Domo stock soars 20% after software company narrows quarter loss
Domo Inc. shares soared 20% in the extended session Thursday after the cloud software company reported a narrower-than-expected loss and higher sales in its fiscal 2020 second quarter. Domo said it lost $29.1 million, or $1.05 a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $33 million, or $1.24 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, Domo lost $23.6 million, or 85 cents a share, in quarter, compared with a loss of $27.9 million, or $1.06 a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 22% to $44.8 million. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected an adjusted loss of $1.02 a share on sales of $41.8 million. Domo said it expects full fiscal 2020 revenue in a range between $172.2 million and $173.2 million and an adjusted per-share net loss between $3.88 and $3.92. The analysts surveyed by FactSet expect an adjusted full-year loss around $4.06 a share on sales of $172 million.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 05, 2019

Yext stock plunges more than 20% as spending hurts earnings forecast
Yext Inc. shares plummeted more than 20% in after-hours trading Thursday following an earnings report that showed the company spending to build up its workforce and facing larger losses as a result. The online-marketing company reported third-quarter losses of $42.7 million, or 38 cents a share, and increase of 86% from last year; after adjusting for stock-based compensation, the company reported a loss of 19 cents a share, worse than 10 cents a share in adjusted earnings a year ago. Revenue grew to $76.4 million from $58.6 million a year ago, but that didn't make up for increased spending on new employees and a new New York headquarters. "The increased loss was driven primarily by higher operating expenses, due to an overall increase in headcount as well as the impact of new lease arrangements, including New York, NY," the company said in its announcement. Analysts on average expected adjusted losses of 18 cents a share on sales of $76.4 million, but were expecting losses to come down in the current quarter more than Yext says they will. Yext predicted fiscal fourth-quarter adjusted losses of 13 to 15 cents a share on sales of $79 million to $81 million, while analysts on average were modeling for adjusted losses of 8 cents a share on sales of $83.9 million, according to FactSet. The company reduced its full-year forecast as a result, and now expects adjusted losses of 49 to 51 cents a share on revenue of $296.5 million to $298.5 million. After closing with a 0.4% gain at $16.60 Thursday, shares plunged to less than $13 in the extended session. The stock had gained 11.8% so far this year, as the S&P 500 index had increased 24.2%.

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
Dec 05, 2019

PagerDuty stock plunges more than 15% after revenue beat
PagerDuty Inc. shares plunged 15% in the extended session Thursday after the software company reported a fourth-quarter outlook for adjusted losses that was greater than the consensus estimates. PagerDuty beat third-quarter revenue estimates. The company reported a third-quarter net loss of $15.3 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $15.4 million, or 71 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for stock-based compensation, earnings were 10 cents a share. Revenue rose to $42.8 million from $31.2 million in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated third-quarter revenue of $42.1 million and model fourth-quarter adjusted losses of 5 cents a share on revenue of $43.8 million. FactSet did not produce a reliable adjusted per-share estimate for the third quarter. The company said it expected a fourth-quarter adjusted loss of 6 cents to 7 cents a share and revenue of $44.5 million to $45.5 million. PagerDuty said that it had appointed former Salesforce Inc. executive Dave Justice as Chief Revenue Officer. PagerDuty stock has fallen 48% in the past six months, with the S&P 500 index rising 10.1%.

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
Dec 05, 2019

Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor Brands tops fiscal Q2 profit, sales expectations
Shares of American Outdoor Brands Corp. rose 5% in the extended session Thursday after it reported fiscal second-quarter profit and sales above Wall Street expectations. American Outdoor said it earned $1.3 million, or 2 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $6.7 million, or 12 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, American Outdoor earned $5.2 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with $11 million, or 20 cents a share, a year ago. Sales fell 4.5% to $154.4 million, compared with $161.7 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected American Outdoor to report adjusted earnings of 7 cents a share on sales of $150 million. American Outdoor said it expects the split of its firearms business under its Smith & Wesson brand and its outdoor products business under American Outdoor to be completed in the second half of 2020. The company announced the split last month. "We believe the spin-off will drive long-term value for our stockholders by enabling the management team of each company to focus on its specific strategies," the company said in a statement. Shares of American Outdoor ended the regular trading day 4.4% higher.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 05, 2019

Zoom Video shares slump on slowing revenue growth
Zoom Video Communications Inc. shares slumped 11% in after-hours trading Thursday after the remote-conferencing service reported third-quarter financial results that indicate its revenue growth rate is cooling. Zoom reported net income of $2.2 million, or 1 cent a share, compared with a loss of $598,000, or 1 cent a share in the year-ago period. Revenue grew 85% to $166.6 million from $90.1 million a year ago. In the previous quarter, revenue had grown 96%. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected a loss of 3 cents a share on revenue of $156 million. Zoom went public on April 18 at $62 a share, and hit a closing high of $102.77 on June 12. The S&P 500 index has gained 24.4% this year.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 05, 2019

Ulta Beauty stock rallies after company's Q3 profit tops views
Shares of Ulta Beauty Inc. rallied 8% in the extended session Thursday after the cosmetics retailer reported third-quarter profit above expectations and same-store sales rose. Ulta said it earned $129.7 million, or $2.25 a share, in the quarter, compared with $131.2 million, or $2.18 a share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2018. Sales rose 8% to $1.7 billion, compared with $1.56 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected Ulta to report earnings of $2.13 a share on sales of $1.7 billion. Ulta also tweaked some of its outlook for fiscal 2019, saying it expects EPS between $11.93 and $12.03, from a previous expectation of $11.86 and $12.06, and a total sales increase of 10%, versus a previous outlook of an increase between 9% and 12%. Shares of Ulta ended the regular trading day down 1.4%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Stocks close slightly higher as investors shake off trade concerns amid improving data
U.S. stocks closed higher for a second consecutive session Thursday as U.S. and Chinese officials continued to express optimism that a limited trade deal can be reached that would ratchet back tensions, though news reports suggest that sticking points remain ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline, when the U.S. plans to implement further tariffs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 33 points, or 0.1% to end at about 27,681, according to preliminary data. The S&P 500 index gained roughly 5 points, or 0.2% to close at 3,118 and the Nasdaq Composite index advanced 4 points, or 0.1% to end the session around 8,571. A spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce said that trade negotiations were progressing Thursday, but a report in the Wall Street Journal said the two sides remain at odds on the issues of U.S. tariff reductions and Chinese commitments to agricultural purchases. Investors were heartened by economic data that showed continued strength in the labor market, with new claims for unemployment benefits falling back to a near 50-year low. Meanwhile, the beleaguered manufacturing sector showed life in October, with factory orders rising for the first time in three months, the Commerce Department said.

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Dec 05, 2019

Saudi Aramco prices its IPO at 32 riyals, valuing the oil giant at $1.7 trillion: report
Saudi Arabian Oil Company announced Thursday that it's setting the final offer price for its IPO at 32 riyals per share, valuing the company at $1.7 trillion. This is in line with what was previously expected. The offering size is 3 billion shares, setting the offer amount at 96 billion riyals, or $25.6 billion, assuming no exercise of the purchase option, according to a company release tweeted by a Bloomberg reporter. On ICE Futures Europe, February Brent crude traded at $63.39 a barrel, up 38 cents, or 0.6%, with major oil producers in Vienna expected to announce further cuts in crude output.

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Dec 05, 2019

Mnuchin says U.S. economic growth will pick up in coming quarters
Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin on Thursday said he expected a significant pickup in the economy in coming quarters. "There is no question Americans are seeing the benefits of tax cuts," with the U.S. the only economy in the world showing continued growth, Mnuchin said in testimony to the House Financial Services Committee. Mnunchin said the slowdown in GDP growth from the strong first quarter was due to the problems with Boeing's 737 Max, the United Auto Workers strike against General Motors and a significant slowdown in global growth. Mnuchin predicted economic growth will be "quite significant" during the rest of this year and next year.

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Dec 05, 2019

Biogen shares rise on Alzheimer's candidate data
Shares of Biogen are up 3% after it released additional data about its recently resurrected Alzheimer's disease drug candidate. A fresh take on data from two Phase 3 trials for aducanumab showed that patients in the Emerge trial who received a high dose of the therapy reported reduced clinical decline, meeting the trial's first and secondary endpoints. The Engage trial did not report a reduction in clinical decline. The biotechnology company had said in March that it would scrap trials for aducanumab after a futility analysis indicated that the drug would not meet the studies' primary endpoints. The stock sunk to its lowest point, $216.71, in 2019 the day after that announcement. But then in a surprise move, Biogen said in October it would seek Food and Drug Administration approval for aducanumab early next year following discussions with the regulator using a larger dataset than what was used in the futility analysis. Biogen shares have fallen about 3% year-to-date, compared to the S&P 500 , which is up about 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Blackrock ousts executive viewed as possible CEO candidate for failing to disclose relationship: WSJ
Blackrock Inc. has ousted Mark Wiseman for failing to disclose a romantic relationship with a client, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing a person familiar with the matter. Wiseman, who was viewed as a potential successor to Blackrock's Chief Executive Lawrence Fink, breached the company's policy by engaging in the relationship, the paper reported. The executive and his wife Marcia Moffat, head of Blackrock's Canada office, were viewed as a married power couple at the asset manager. The relationship was with another employee. "I engaged in a consensual relationship with one of our colleagues without reporting it," Mr. Wiseman in a memo Thursday, according to the paper. "I regret my mistake and I accept responsibility for my actions." Wiseman came to Blackrock in 2016 from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Blackrock shares were up 0.8% Thursday, and have gained 24% in 2019, matching the S&P 500's gains.

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Dec 05, 2019

United Airline's CEO-designate has critics but stock has doubled since he joined the company, analyst says
United Airlines Inc.'s CEO-designate, Scott Kirby, is one of the most recognizable airline executives in the U.S. after stints at America West, US Airways and American Airlines, but he is also a "somewhat polarizing figure," Vertical Research Partners said Thursday. United announced earlier than CEO Oscar Munoz would move to the role of executive chairman in May, and that Kirby would replace him. "Bulls will argue that he is exceptionally-qualified, perhaps the best in the business, and that this transition should be orderly and mostly unnoticeable to us as he has led or at least played an integral role in all of the major decisions that have taken place at UAL over the last three years," Vertical analyst Darryl Genovesi wrote in a note. "Bears, meanwhile, will argue that Mr. Kirby "needs a boss" as his aggressive competitive posture could lead to excess capacity and strategic pricing practices that some investors view as irrational." Genovesi's view is that Kirby's decisions accept the need for short-term pain to achieve a long-term gain in a highly competitive industry. His critics "appear to consist primarily of those who fancy (or once fancied) the industry as ~oligopolistic post the 2008-13 consolidation wave, a thesis that, to us, now seems to have completely broken down." In the last five years, Kirby's push to match or undercut low-cost carriers has driven big revenue swings and capacity growth and United's stock took a dive before a sharp recovery. The stock has actually doubled since his arrival at the airline in 2016, outperforming the broader industry by 75% as measured by the NYSE Arca Airline ETF . United shares were down 0.1%, but have gained 28% in 2019, while the ETF has gained 19% and the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Chewy's stock surges after Morgan Stanley turns bullish, saying investor fears are overdone
Shares of Chewy Inc. rallied 3.4% in morning trading, after Morgan Stanley analyst Lauren Cassel turned bullish on the pet e-tailer, saying the recent pullback has provided an "attractive entry point" for investors. Since the stock closed at $34.99 on its first day of trading on June 14, the stock had tumbled 35% through Wednesday's close of $22.89, which was just 4% above the $22 initial public offering price. In comparison, the Renaissance IPO ETF declined 1.3% over the same time and the S&P 500 gained 7.8%. Cassel attributed Chewy's weakness to concerns over forward revenue, buyer and profit growth, but said "fears are overdone." She also said investors may be concerns about how recent money-losing IPOs have declined ahead of the expiration of lock-up periods, but said Chewy's lock-up date is "less of a near-term overhang given the ownership structure," in which 88% of the company is still owned by private equity and corporate parent PetSmart Inc. The 180-day lock-up period is set to expire next week. Cassel upgraded Chewy's stock to overweight, as her $30 price target implies a 27% gain from current levels.

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Dec 05, 2019

EIA reports a slightly smaller-than-expected weekly decline in U.S. natural-gas supplies
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas fell by 19 billion cubic feet for the week ended Nov. 29. Analysts expected a fall of 21 billion cubic feet, on average, according to a survey conducted by S&P Global Platts. Total stocks now stand at 3.591 trillion cubic feet, up 591 billion cubic feet from a year ago, but 9 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, the government said. January natural gas traded at $2.439 per million British thermal units, up 4 cents, or 1.7%, from Wednesday's settlement.

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Dec 05, 2019

Nestle to launch DiGiorno pizza and Stouffer lasagna with plant-based meat in spring of 2020
Nestle SA said Thursday its DiGiorno and Stouffer brands are launching new frozen, meatless meals, that will be topped with plant-based meats. The Swiss food company is offering consumers the chance to taste the new products, a DiGiorno pizza and a Stouffer's meatless lasagna by visiting TryItMeatless.com. The products will be available in stores in spring of 2020. Nestle ADRs were flat Thursday, but have gained 28% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Evil Corp, Russia-based cybercriminal group, hit with U.S. sanctions
The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday it is sanctioning Russia-based cybercriminal group Evil Corp, alleging it has illicitly earned at least $100 million through "Dridex" malware. The Trump administration's action includes a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of Evil Corp's leader, Maksim Yakubets. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that the U.S. action was coordinated with the U.K.'s National Crime Agency. "Our goal is to shut down Evil Corp, deter the distribution of Dridex, target the 'money mule' network used to transfer stolen funds, and ultimately to protect our citizens from the group's criminal activities," Mnuchin said. The Treasury said that as of 2016, Evil Corp had harvested banking credentials from customers at around 300 institutions in more than 40 countries, "making the group one of the main financial threats faced by businesses."

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Dec 05, 2019

Russia, Saudi Arabia recommend deepening oil output cuts by 500,000 barrels a day: report
A committee of oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia recommended on Thursday that the group deepen their current oil production cuts by 500,000 barrels a day, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing officials from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The committee is also pushing for improved compliance from countries such as Nigeria and Iraq, which have not fully met their quota commitments, the report said. January West Texas Intermediate crude rose 31 cents, or 0.5%, to $58.74 a barrel, while February Brent crude added 51 cents, or 0.8%, to $63.50 a barrel.

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Dec 05, 2019

U.S. factory orders rise in October
Factory orders rose 0.3% in October, the Commerce Department said Thursday. This is the first gain in three months. Orders in September were revised to a 0.8% drop compared with the previous estimate of a 0.6% fall. Economists were expecting a 0.2% rise. Durable goods orders rose a revised 0.5%, down slightly from last week's initial estimate of a 0.6% rise. Orders for nondurable goods were flat in the month. T.J. Connelly, head of research at Contingent Macro, noted that the growth rate in factory orders is down 1.2% year-over-year. "Overall, the factory sector showed only hints of stabilization amid a continued downtrend," Connelly said, in a note to clients.

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Dec 05, 2019

Hovnanian's stock surges after revenue and home deliveries climb, but income swings to a loss
Shares of Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. rallied 5.7% in morning trading Thursday, after the home builder reported a 16% jump in revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter and a 17% increase in home deliveries. The company swung to a net loss of $1.8 million,or 30 cents a share, for the quarter to Oct. 31 from a profit of $46.2 million, or $7.34 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding losses from the early extinguishment of debt, joint venture writedowns and land-related charges, the company recorded net income of $44.5 million. Total revenue rose to $713.6 million from $614.8 million and deliveries increased to 1,709 homes from 1,465 homes. The contract cancellation rate for consolidated contracts fell to 21% from 23% while gross margin percentage after cost of sales interest expense and land charges fell to 14.5% from 16.5%. Total liquidity as of Oct. 31 was $275.9 million, above the $245 million upper-end of its target range. The stock, which hit a record low in August, has now rocketed 115% over the past three months, while the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF has gained 7.8% and the S&P 500 has advanced 4.5%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Etsy stock drops after Morgan Stanley turns bearish
Shares of Etsy Inc. are off more than 4% in morning trading Thursday after Morgan Stanley's Lauren Cassel assumed coverage of the stock and downgraded it to underweight from equal-weight. She argued that advertising and sales-tax headwinds "could more than offset free-shipping benefits" for the crafts marketplace. Cassel pointed to Etsy's decision to pull back on its investments in Google product-listing ads in order to get sellers to spend more money on marketing. She also worries that Etsy's management team may have already picked all the "low-hanging fruit" over the past few years, which could limit volume growth. Cassel lowered her price target to $38 from $52. Etsy shares are off 16% on the year as the S&P 500 has risen 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Stocks open higher on trade talk optimism
U.S. stocks opened higher Thursday after reports that trade talks with China were still on track and following positive data on the labor market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 55 points, 0.2%, to open near 27,704. The S&P 500 rose nearly 3 points, 0.1%, opening near 3,115. The Nasdaq opened near 8,579, up 12 points or 0.1%. Shares of Nike jumped pre-market after an upgrade from analysts at Goldman Sachs.

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Dec 05, 2019

Pelosi says she's asking House Judiciary Committee to proceed with drafting articles of impeachment
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said she was asking the House Judiciary Committee to proceed with drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. A House vote on the impeachment is widely expected to take place before Christmas. "The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival," Pelosi said during a news conference. Just before the California Democrat's announcement, Trump tweeted that if Democrats are going to impeach him, they should "do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business."

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Dec 05, 2019

Express's stock soars after results beat expectations, upbeat guidance and new buyback program
Shares of Express Inc. shot up 15% toward a 9-month high in premarket trading Thursday, after the apparel retailer reported a narrower-than-expected loss, sales that fell less than expected and provided an upbeat profit outlook. The company said it swung to a net loss of $3.1 million, or 5 cents a share, for the quarter to Nov. 2 from earnings of $8.0 million, or 11 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, the adjusted loss per share was 3 cents, beating the FactSet consensus for a loss of 9 cents. Net sales fell 5.1% to $488.5 million, but was above the FactSet consensus of $483.3 million, while same-store sales declined 5% to beat expectations of a 6.1% decline. The company expects fourth-quarter EPS of 16 cents to 21 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 12 cents. The company also announced a new $150 million share repurchase program. "While we are certainly not satisfied with our results, sequential improvement over the last two quarters, and throughout the third quarter is compelling evidence that the immediate changes we have been able to make to our product, merchandising and marketing approach are resonating with customers," said Chief Executive Tim Baxter. The stock has soared 86% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.6%.

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Dec 05, 2019

PulteGroup raises quarterly cash dividend by 9% to 12 cents a share
Home builder PulteGroup Inc. said Thursday its board has approved a 9% hike in its quarterly cash dividend to 12 cents a share. The new dividend will be payable Jan. 3 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 18. Shares were not active premarket, but have gained 52% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Glencore shares slump on disclosure of bribery allegations
Glencore , the U.K.-listed, Swiss-based commodities broker, saw its shares slump more than 6% as it said it's been notified by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office that the office has opened an investigation into suspicions of bribery. Glencore said it will cooperate with the probe. Glencore has previously said the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Justice Department were investigating it over the company's business in the Congo, Venezuela and Nigeria.

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Dec 05, 2019

Kroger shares fall premarket after earnings fall short of expectations
Kroger Co. shares fell 2.3% in premarket trade Thursday, after the supermarket chain's third-quarter earnings fell short of estimates. The company said it had net income of $263 million, or 32 cents a share, in the quarter, down from $317 million, or 39 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 47 cents, below the 49 cents FactSet consensus. Sales rose to $27.9 billion from $27.8 billion, also below the $28.2 billion FactSet consensus. Same-store sales rose 2.5% to top the 2.3% FactSet consensus. The company said it has decided to sell its stake in Lucky's Market following a review of its portfolio and recognized a non-cash impairment charge of $238 million in the quarter, . The company is now expecting full-year adjusted EPS to range from $2.15 to $2.25. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of $2.20. Shares have gained 0.5% in 2019 through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Apple's stock gains after Citigroup boosts price target by 20%, saying this 'Christmas is different'
Shares of Apple Inc. gained 0.7% in premarket trading Thursday, after Citigroup analyst Jim Suva "materially" increased is earnings estimates and boosted by price target by 20%, saying he believed "this Christmas is different" for the technology giant. Suva reminded that on Jan. 2, 2019, Apple issued its first sales warning since the iPhone was launched in 2007. "This year Apple is not facing supply yield production constraints nor a staggered iPhone product launch," Suva wrote in a note to clients. And his research suggests the some of the "hottest" products across all segments during Black Friday and Cyber Monday were Apple AirPods and the Apple Watch 3 Series. Suva raised his stock price target to $300 from $250, and he expects fiscal first-quarter EPS of $4.58 and sales of $89.5 billion. That compares with the FactSet consensus for EPS of $4.51 and sales of $87.9 billion, while the average price target of the 43 analysts surveyed by FactSet is $258.03. The stock has climbed 66% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 19%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Facebook stock rises after Stifel says it's a buy
Shares of Facebook Inc. are up 0.6% in premarket trading Thursday after Stifel analyst John Egbert turned bullish on the stock, upgrading it from buy to hold and raising his target price to $240 from $215. Egbert highlighted that in the third quarter, Facebook saw its first improvement in daily engagement in the past two years, with signs of strength in the U.S. and Canada, which had been a region of concern earlier in the year. The company also saw its core Facebook news feed serve as the top driver of ad impression growth during the quarter, Egbert said. "After heavy investment in a number of initiatives, we believe stabilizing revenue growth combined with sustained operating leverage should unlock significant value in Facebook's stock that had been weighed down by regulatory and other issues in the absence of a clear core business improvement story," he wrote. Shares have risen 52% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has increased 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Signet Jewelers shares jump premarket after company posts smaller-than-expected loss and sales beat
Signet Jewelers Ltd. shares rose more than 8% in premarket trade Thursday, after the owner of jewelry chains including Kay, Zales and Jared posted a smaller-than-expected loss for its fiscal third quarter and sales that topped estimates. The retailer said it had a net loss of $43.7 million, or 84 cents a share, in the quarter to Nov. 2, after a loss of $38.1 million, or 74 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The company's adjusted per-share loss came to 76 cents, below the $1.04 FactSet consensus. Revenue fell to $1.187.7 billion from $1.191.7 billion, ahead of the $1.144 billion FactSet consensus. Same-store sales rose 2.1%, ahead of the FactSet consensus for a decline of 1.5%. The company is now expecting fiscal 2020 same-store sales to be down 1.7% to down 1.0%. It expects adjusted EPS of $3.11 to $3.29 and sales of $6.01 billion to $6.05 billion. The FactSet consensus is for same-store sales to fall 1.5%, EPS of $2.91 and sales of $6.02 billion. Shares have fallen 48% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Nike shares jump premarket after Goldman upgrades to buy, says China is key growth driver
Nike Inc. shares rose 2.3% in premarket trade Thursday, after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and added it to its Conviction List. "We believe Nike is a unique asset, where a strong brand combined with a disruptive and innovative strategy are positioning the business for multi year growth, expansion in margins, and higher returns on invested capital," analysts led by Alexandra Walvis wrote in a note to clients. A bottom up analysis of the company suggests China is a key growth driver for the sporting goods company and Goldman is expecting that Nike can grow revenue in China at a high teens pace. Direct-to-consumer is the biggest driver, reaching 50% of the region's revenue by 2023, according to Goldman estimates. The company can also expect support from growing purchasing power among younger consumers where the brand is clearly resonating. "Evidence of building pricing power, signs of operating leverage, accelerating shift to differentiated retail, sharply scaling app ecosystem, and a constructive global athletic growth backdrop," are the key motivations for the upgrade, said the note. Nike shares have gained 26% in 2019, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average , which counts Nike as a member, has gained 18.5% and the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Alphabet stock gains after Stifel turns bullish
Shares of Alphabet Inc. are up 0.6% in premarket trading Thursday after Stifel's Scott Devitt upgraded the stock to buy from hold. Devitt cited the company's "durable earnings growth" and ad-dollar share gains as reasons for his optimism. "More recently, some Google search ecosystem participants have reported [search-engine optimization] headwinds, which may signal incremental monetization of search traffic on Google," he wrote. As for Alphabet's recently announced CEO shift, which has Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai stepping into the top role at Alphabet as well, Devitt said it's too soon to know what changes Pichai will bring to Alphabet's other-bets business area consisting of self-driving cars and other futuristic initiatives, but he assumes Pichai "will keep the long-term portfolio objectives focused with investors in mind." Alphabet shares have increased 26% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has risen 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Brown-Forman's stock falls after earnings beat expectations but profit outlook was trimmed
Shares of Jack Daniel's parent Brown-Forman Corp. fell 1% in premarket trading Thursday, alcoholic beverage company beat fiscal second-quarter profit and sales expectations, but trimmed its operating income growth outlook. The company, which brands also include Finlandia, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve and Chambord, said net income for the quarter to Oct. 31 rose to $282 million, or 59 cents a share, from $249 million, or 52 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 52 cents. Sales increased 9% to $989 million, above the FactSet consensus of $974 million. For the fiscal year to date, sales of Jack Daniel's family of brands grew 2%, while premium bourbon sales rose 22% and tequila sales increased 11%. For fiscal 2020, the company lowered its guidance range for income growth to 2% to 4% from 3% to 5%, citing "uncertainty in the current economic and geopolitical environment in certain emerging markets" and higher input costs. The company affirmed its guidance ranges for EPS of $1.75 to $1.85 and for sales growth outlook of 5% to 7%. The stock has rallied 11.4% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 3.5%.

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Dec 05, 2019

United Airlines says President Scott Kirby to become CEO in May, replacing Oscar Munoz who will be exec chair
United Airlines Holdings Inc. said Thursday that Chief Executive Oscar Munoz will transition to the role of executive chairman of the board effective May of 2020. Munoz will be succeeded by Scott Kirby, who is currently president. Kirby joined the airline in August 2016 after three decades in the commercial airline business. UAL shares were slightly higher premarket and have gained 5.3% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Nio's stock rallies after 4th straight month of delivery increases
Shares of Nio Inc. rallied 3.7% in active premarket trading Thursday, after the China-based electric vehicle maker disclosed an uptick in November deliveries, to mark a fourth straight monthly increase. The company said it delivered 2,528 vehicles last month, up from 2,526 deliveries in October. Of the total, Nio delivered 2,067 ES6s, the company's 5-seater high-performance SUV, and 461 ES8s, the 7-seater SUV. "In November, we achieved another month of solid delivery results as we expanded our sales network by adding more NIO Spaces," said Founder and Chief Executive William Li. "By the end of November, NIO and our partners successfully opened 37 NIO Spaces in total." The stock has tumbled 18% over the past three months through Wednesday, while shares of U.S.-based rival Tesla Inc. have run up 45% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.6%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Tractor Supply Co. names Macy's President Hal Lawton as CEO, effective Jan. 13
Tractor Supply Co. said Thursday it has named Macy's President Hal Lawton as its new chief executive, effective Jan. 13. Lawton will replace Greg Sandfort, who has previously announced his plan to retire. Macy's had earlier announced Lawton's departure. Shares of Tractor Supply Co. were not active premarket, but have gained 15% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

At Home's stock takes a dive after earnings guidance slashed, citing tariff-related headwinds
Shares of At Home Group Inc. plunged 39% in premarket trading Thursday, after the home decor retailer reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat expectations, but slashed its full-year profit and same-store sales outlook, citing weak sales of Christmas offerings and tariff-related headwinds. The company reported late Wednesday that it swung to a net loss of $14.6 million, or 23 cents a share, from a profit of $11.1 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, earnings were breakeven on a per-share basis, compared with the FactSet consensus for a 2-cent loss. Net sales rose 19% to $318.7 million to beat expectations of $314.8 million, while same-store sales fell 2.0% to miss expectations of a 1.9% decline. For fiscal 2020, the company cut its guidance ranges for adjusted EPS to 51 cents to 56 cents from 67 cents to 74 cents, for net sales to $1.35 billion to $1.36 billion from $1.37 billion to $1.39 billion and for same-store sales to down 2.6% to down 2.0% from down 1.5% to up 0.5%. "As more of the [tariff] price-impacted products have arrived in our stores, our analysis has shown that a more unfavorable sales impact began in Q3," said Chief Executive Lewis Bird, according to a FactSet transcript of the post-earnings conference call with analysts. "While we believe the price position of our assortment is competitive among our peers, the customer is beginning to pull back from higher prices on certain tariff-impacted items." The stock has run up 31% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.6%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Sage Therapeutics's stock plunges after depression treatment study fails primary endpoint
Shares of Sage Therapeutics Inc. plummeted 59% toward a 2-year low to pace all premarket decliners Thursday, after the biopharmaceutical company said a Phase 3 study of its SAGE-217 for the treatment of major depressive disorder failed to meet the primary endpoint. The study did not result in a statistically significant reduction compared with placebo, but SAGE-217 was well tolerated and showed a similar safety profile as seen in earlier studies. "Notwithstanding the finding on the primary endpoint, the drug displays good activity on most measures. We understand that drug development is an iterative process," said Chief Executive Jeff Jonas. "In this study, we've gathered new data on SAGE-217, data we believe support our hypothesis that SAGE-217 has a unique profile with the potential for rapid and robust onset with durable effect." The stock has run up 56% year to date through Wednesday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has rallied 25% and the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Michaels's stock plunges after profit and sales miss, downbeat guidance
Shares of Michaels Companies Inc. plunged 14% in premarket trading Thursday, after the arts and crafts products retailer reported fiscal third-quarter results that missed expectations and provided a downbeat outlook for the current quarter. Net income for the quarter to Nov. 2 fell to $29.9 million, or 19 cents a share, from $86.8 million, or 50 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as a $31.4 million goodwill impairment charge, adjusted EPS came to 40 cents, below the FactSet consensus of 49 cents. Net sales fell to $1.22 billion from $1.27 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $1.26 billion, as the 2.2% decline in same-store sales missed expectations of a 0.5% increase. Michaels expects fourth-quarter same-store sales to be down 2% to 3% given current business trends, a shorter holiday selling season and a potential negative impact from the liquidation of A.C. Moore retail locations. The FactSet consensus was fourth-quarter same-store sales was an increase of 1.0%. The stock has tumbled 47% year to date through Wednesday, while SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 7.1% and the S&P 500 has rallied 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Dollar General shares climb premarket after earnings top estimates and company raises guidance
Dollar General Corp. shares rose 5.7% in premarket trade Thursday, after the discount retailer beat estimates for its fiscal third quarter and raised its full-year guidance. The company said it had net income of $365.6 million, or $1.42 a share, in its fiscal third quarter to Nov. 1, up from $334.1 million, or $1.26 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose 8.9% to $7.0 billion from $6.4 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.38 and sales of $6.9 billion. "The quarter was highlighted by our best customer traffic and same-store sales increases in nearly five years, as well as double-digit growth in both operating profit and diluted EPS," Chief Executive Todd Vasos said in a statement. The company raised its fiscal 2019 guidance and now sees sales growth in the low 8% range, compared with prior guidance of about 8%. It expects adjusted EPS to range from $6.55 to $6.65, up from prior guidance of $6.45 to $6.60. The company expects to open 975 new stores in the year, remodel another 1,000 and relocate 100 stores. In fiscal 2020, it expects to open 1,000 new stores, remodel 1,500 and relocate 80. Shares have gained 42% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Tiffany's stock slips after profit and sales miss expectations
Tiffany & Co. reported a fiscal third-quarter profit that fell more than expected, and net sales and same-store sales that missed forecasts. The stock slipped 0.5% in premarket trading. Net income declined to $78.4 million, or 65 cents a share, from $94.9 million, or 77 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for net EPS was 87 cents. Net sales inched up to $1.015 billion from $1.012 billion, but was below the FactSet consensus of $1.037 billion. Americas sales fell 4% to $423 million to miss expectations of $442.5 million, while Japan sales increased 19% to $169 million to beat expectations of $156.3 million. Same-store sales were unchanged from a year ago, missing the FactSet consensus of 1.1% growth. The results come about a week after Tiffany announced an agreement to be acquired by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in a deal valued at $16.2 billion. Tiffany's stock has soared 66% year to date through Wednesday while the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

Sage Therapeutics's stock set for selloff after depression treatment study fails primary endpoint
Shares of Sage Therapeutics Inc. were indicated down nearly 9% in premarket trading Thursday, after the biopharmaceutical company said a Phase 3 study of its SAGE-217 for the treatment of major depressive disorder failed to meet the primary endpoint. The study did not result in a statistically significant reduction compared with placebo, but SAGE-217 was well tolerated and showed a similar safety profile as seen in earlier studies. "Notwithstanding the finding on the primary endpoint, the drug displays good activity on most measures. We understand that drug development is an iterative process," said Chief Executive Jeff Jonas. "In this study, we've gathered new data on SAGE-217, data we believe support our hypothesis that SAGE-217 has a unique profile with the potential for rapid and robust onset with durable effect." The stock has run up 56% year to date through Wednesday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has rallied 25% and the S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 05, 2019

U.S. regulators expanding Amazon probe to include cloud unit: Bloomberg
The Federal Trade Commission's investigation into Amazon.com Inc.'s market dominance has expanded into its cloud business, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing sources. They said that the FTC has been talking to within software companies about Amazon Web Services, which some read as a signal that the agency's probe has broadened. Neither the FTC nor Amazon offered comment to Bloomberg on the article.

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Dec 05, 2019

House Speaker Pelosi to make statement on impeachment inquiry
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will make a statement at 9 a.m. Eastern on the status of the impeachment inquiry, her spokesman said on Twitter. The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held its first hearing on the topic, asking constitutional experts what constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors.

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Dec 05, 2019

Eurozone retail sales slump worse-than-forecast 0.6% in October
Eurozone retail sales slumped a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in October, Eurostat reported Thursday, well below expectations of a flat reading. Compared to Oct. 2018, retail sales rose 1.4%, below the 2.3% growth rate expected in a FactSet-compiled poll. Mail order and internet sales dived 2.5% as non-food sales slipped by 1.1% during the month, Eurostat reported.

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Dec 05, 2019

Moncler surges on report Kering has held talks to buy it
Shares in Italian jacket maker Moncler surged in Milan after Bloomberg reported Kering , the French luxury brands owner, has held exploratory talks to buy it. Kering shares rose 1.7%. Neither company commented. An analyst at ING said a buyout price could be 13 billion euros ($14.4 billion).

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Dec 04, 2019

Boeing top commercial-plane engineer to retire: report
Boeing Co.'s commercial airplanes chief engineer John Hamilton, appointed in March to lead the company's response to the 737 Max debacle, is retiring, The Seattle Times reported late Wednesday, citing an internal memo from Boeing's head of commercial planes, Stan Deal, and the company's chief engineer, Greg Hyslop. Hamilton had planned to retire last year but was asked to stay on to help with the issues with the plane, the report quoted the memo. The 737 Max aircraft has been grounded worldwide after two fatal crashes less than five months apart. Boeing has been working on a software fix and that the plane family could return to service by the end of the year.

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Dec 04, 2019

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals surges more than 110%, after positive trial for lupus-related drug
Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. stock rampaged in the extended session, rising more than 110% after the company announced positive efficacy and safety results from a Phase 3 trial for a drug that treats a common complication of lupus, an autoimmune disease. The complication known as lupus nephritis is a frequent complication of the disease commonly known as lupus. "This extraordinary pivotal data confirms voclosporin's ability to achieve statistically significant improvements in clinically meaningful endpoints for this complex disease, with a comparable safety profile to the current standard of care," Chief Medical Officer Neil Solomons said in a statement. "This data represents a significant advance for people living with LN, which can lead to irreversible kidney damage, eventual kidney failure and death." The company's drug is called voclosporin, and Aurinia said it expects that if it achieves regulatory approval then patent protection for the drug will be extended in the U.S. and Europe, among other markets, until 2027. Aurinia Pharmaceuticals is headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq. Prior to Wednesday's after-hours stock move, Aurinia stock had gained 23% this year, as the S&P 500 index also rose 23%.

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Dec 04, 2019

RH stock slips following earnings, outlook
RH shares slipped in the extended session Wednesday after the company formerly known as Restoration Hardware topped earnings estimates for the previous quarter but left estimates for the current one essentially unchanged. RH shares declined 1.5% after hours, following a 2.9% rise in the regular session to close at $205.62. The company reported third-quarter net income of $52.5 million, or $2.17 a share, compared with $20.1 million, or 73 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were $2.79 a share. Revenue rose to $677.5 million from $636.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $2.23 on revenue of $676.4 million. RH expects earnings of $3.50 to $3.62 a share on revenue of $703 million to $711.5 million, while analysts had forecast earnings of $3.58 a share on revenue of $709.5 million.

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Dec 04, 2019

Verint to split in two publicly traded companies; stock gains 9%
Verint Systems Inc. late Wednesday said its board has approved a plan to split the company in two separate publicly traded companies, one focusing on its consumer engagement business and the other on cyber intelligence. The separation is expected to be complete "shortly after" the end of Verint's fiscal year in January 2021, Verint said. "With our customer engagement business approaching $1 billion in annual revenue and our cyber intelligence business approaching $500 million in annual revenue, we believe the two independent, publicly traded companies will both benefit from the separation and be well positioned to pursue their own strategies, drive opportunities to accelerate growth and extend their market leadership," Verint Chief Executive Dan Bodner said in a statement. Shares of Verint were halted ahead of the announcement and jumped nearly 9% after they resumed trading. The shares had ended the regular trading day up 0.5%. In a separate press release, Verint said it earned adjusted third-quarter per-share profit of 94 cents on sales of $331 million. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted EPS of 85 cents a share on sales of $333 million.

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Dec 04, 2019

H&R Block shares fall after revenue miss, reiterates full-year outlook
H&R Block Inc. shares fell less than 1% in the extended session Wednesday after the company reiterated its revenue growth outlook for the year and reported missed Wall Street's revenue expectations. The tax software company reported a fiscal second-quarter net loss of $188 million, which amounts to 95 cents a share, versus a net loss of $176.3 million, or 86 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for the amortization of intangibles related to acquisitions, among other things, losses were 85 cents a share. Revenue rose to $160.8 million from $148.9 million in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted losses of 92 cents a share on revenue of $161.1 million. For the fiscal third quarter, analysts model losses of 60 cents a share and sales of $488 million. H&R Block shares have fallen 7.8% this year, as the S&P 500 index rose 23%.

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Dec 04, 2019

Elastic stock sags on outlook
U.S. shares of Elastic NV fell in the extended session Wednesday after the search company forecast a wider-than-expected loss for the current quarter. Elastic ADRs dropped 12% after hours, following a 0.5% rise in the regular session to close at $78.20. Elastic expects a fiscal third-quarter loss of 36 cents to 34 cents a share on revenue of $106 million to $108 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast a loss of 33 cents a share on revenue of $105.8 million. The company reported a fiscal second-quarter loss of $50 million, or 64 cents a share, compared with a loss of $27.5 million, or 63 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The adjusted loss was 22 cents a share. Revenue rose to $101.1 million from $63.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had forecast a loss of 31 cents on revenue of $96.4 million.

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Dec 04, 2019

Tilly's stock rallies 15% after retailer calls for 'positive comps' for Q4
Shares of Tilly's Inc. jumped more than 15% in the extended session Wednesday after the retailer said it was optimistic about its fourth quarter and reported fiscal third-quarter profit and sales in line with Wall Street consensus. Tilly's said it earned $6.4 million, or 21 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $5.4 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, Tilly's earned $6.9 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with $6 million, or 20 cents a share, last year. Sales rose 5% to $154.8 million, Tilly's said. Same-store sales rose 3.1%, including a 2.4% increase in brick-and-mortar stores. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the retailer to report GAAP and adjusted profit of 21 cents a share on sales of $154.2 million, and had predicted a same-store sales increase around 2.2%. "Despite a slow start to the fourth quarter due to the later Thanksgiving this year compared to last year, our results during Thanksgiving weekend through Cyber Monday give us optimism about our opportunity to deliver positive comps for the fourth quarter as a whole," Tilly's said in a statement. The company called for fourth-quarter sales between $179 million and $184 million. Shares of Tilly's ended the regular trading day up 3%.

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Dec 04, 2019

U.S. stock market ends higher to halt 3-day skid amid renewed trade optimism
U.S. stocks finished higher Wednesday, though off the best levels of the session, following a report that a phase-one trade U.S.-China trade deal was still in the works, helping to offset fears of a delay sparked a day earlier by President Donald Trump's remarks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 147 points, or 0.5%, to reach 27,650, the S&P 500 index closed up 0.6% higher at 3,112, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.5% to finish the day at 8,567 (all closing levels are on a preliminary basis). Gains for the three major indexes represent their first in the past four sessions. Bloomberg News, citing sources familiar, reported that despite signs of fresh tensions, Beijing and Washington were making progress toward a phase-one trade pact. The comments also helped to provide a lift to European equities. In economic news, a report on U.S. private-sector hiring Wednesday showed that employers added just 67,000 workers in November, payroll processor ADP said--much weaker reading than analysts had forecast. Separately, a reading on the service sector of the U.S. economy was mixed: the Institute for Supply Management's nonmanufacturing index was at 53.9%, lower than in October, but new orders were at 57.1%, up from 55.6% and signaling stronger demand ahead.

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Dec 04, 2019

Allakos stock jumps in afternoon trading
Shares of Allakos Inc. rallied 37% in afternoon trading, to a record high. Sources told Bloomberg that the Redwood, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company, which went public in August, is considering a sale. Allakos is in the early stages of developing treatments for eosinophilic gastritis and allergic conjunctivitis, among others. The rally has added roughly $1.7 billion to the company's market capitalization, to boost the market cap to about $6.4 billion. The company has not immediately responded to a request for comment. Allakos stock is up 146% year-to-date. The S&P 500 has gained 24%.

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Dec 04, 2019

Stryker to raise dividend by 11%, but implied yield remains below peer group
Stryker Corp. announced Wednesday that it was raising its quarterly dividend by 11%, but that would keep the implied dividend yield on the medical technology company's stock below its peer group. The company said the new dividend of 57.5 cents a share, up from the latest dividend of 52 cents a share, would be payable Jan. 31 to shareholders of record on Dec. 31. Based on the current stock price, the new annual dividend rate would imply a dividend yield of 1.13%, compared with the yield on the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF of 1.50% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.91%, according to FactSet. The stock, which rose 0.4% in afternoon trading, has gained 18.4% over the past 12 months, while the health care ETF has tacked on 6.9% and the S&P 500 has advanced 15.5%.

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Dec 04, 2019

Oil futures settle sharply higher as U.S. crude supplies drop, traders await OPEC output decision
Oil futures settled sharply higher on Wednesday, with U.S. prices at their highest finish in almost two weeks as U.S. government data showed the first decline in domestic crude supplies in six weeks. Traders also weighed the possibility that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC , will announce deeper production cuts or an extension of their current output-cut pact, or both, as they gather over the next two days. A report from The Wall Street Journal Wednesday, meanwhile, suggested that the Saudis may start to comply with their quota commitment, potentially leading to an output boost, as they has been cutting more than required to make up for producers who weren't reducing output as much as pledged. January West Texas Intermediate oil rose $2.33, or 4.2%, to settle at $58.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest front-month contract finish since Nov. 21, according to FactSet data.

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Dec 04, 2019

PG&E's stock rockets after Bloomberg report that a deal to pay $13.5 billion wildfire victims is in the works
Shares of PG&E Corp. rocketed 21% in active afternoon trading Wednesday, enough to pace all NYSE-listed gainers, after Bloomberg reported the California-based utility was near a deal to pay out $13.5 billion to wildfire victims. Trading volume jumped to over 38.5 million shares, compared with the full-day average of 24.9 million shares. The Bloomberg report, which cited people familiar with the matter, said half of the payout would be in cash, upfront in a lump sum, and the other half would be in stock, to be paid over 18 months. A settlement would help resolve the utility's bankruptcy. Despite the rally, the stock has still lost 57% year to date, while the SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF has gained 20% and the S&P 500 has advanced 24%.

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Dec 04, 2019

Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor's stock surges after analyst raises profit view ahead of earnings report
Shares of American Outdoor Brands Corp. rose 4.5% in afternoon trading Wednesday, after Wedbush analyst James Hardiman raised his earnings estimates to well above consensus a day before the firearms and outdoor products company reports fiscal second-quarter results. Hardiman now expects quarterly earnings per share of 11 cents, up from 7 cents. That compares with the FactSet consensus of 6 cents as of Nov. 29 and the company's guidance range of 3 cents to 7 cents. Hardiman said his improved outlook is based on the "significant outperformance" in National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data, which showed 13% growth on a weighted average basis versus his estimate of 3% growth coming into the quarter. The company's earnings report is due out after Thursday's closing bell. The stock has now soared 60% since it closed at a 7 1/2-year low of $5.62 on Oct. 3, while the S&P 500 has gained 7.0% over the same time. Last month, the company said it planned to spin off its Smith & Wesson gun-maker business into an independent publicly traded company, with the spinoff expected to be completed in the second half of 2020. Year to date, American Outdoor shares have shed 30%, while the S&P 500 has advanced 24%.

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Dec 04, 2019

Campbell Soup's stock swings higher after profit beat expectations, while sales fell short
Shares of Campbell Soup Co. swung to a gain of 1.3% in midday trading Tuesday, after the soups, simple meals and snacks company reported fiscal first-quarter profit that topped expectations, although sales that fell short. The gains reverse a premarket loss of as much as 2.5% right after the release of results. Net income for the quarter to Oct. 27 fell to $166 million, or 55 cents a share, from $194 million, or 64 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came 78 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 71 cents. Net sales slipped 0.9% to $2.18 billion from $2.20 billion, to miss the FactSet consensus of $2.19 billion. Meals and beverages sales fell 3% to miss the FactSet consensus of $1.22 billion, while snack sales rose 2% to $989 million to beat expectations of $968.7 million. "Strong in-market consumption on U.S. soup was offset by the timing of shipments related to the Thanksgiving holiday," said Chief Executive Mark Clouse. For fiscal 2020, the company lowered its sales growth guidance to down 1% to up 1% from up 1% to up 3%, to reflect the sale of the European chips business in October, but affirmed its adjusted EPS estimate of $2.50 to $2.55. The stock has run up 46.1% year to date, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has rallied 22.7% and the S&P 500 has gained 24.2%.

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Dec 04, 2019

Instagram will start requiring that new users provide their birthdays
Facebook Inc.'s Instagram said Wednesday that it will be requiring users to provide their birthdays while creating an account, which the company said is intended to "help prevent underage people from joining Instagram." The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act restricts information that internet companies can obtain from children under 13, and Instagram will be requiring that users be at least 13 to make an account. Those who link their Facebook accounts to their Instagram accounts will have the birthday listed on Facebook carry over, but in all cases, age information won't be publicly visible. The company will also add features that let users limit who is able to send them direct messages through Instagram. Shares are near flat in Wednesday morning trading. They've gained 52% on the year, as the S&P 500 has increased 24%.

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Dec 04, 2019

Trump calls Trudeau 'two faced' after prime minister is seen mocking him on video
President Donald Trump on Wednesday slammed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "two faced" after the Canadian leader was seen on a video mocking his U.S. counterpart. In the video taken on the sidelines of a NATO summit in London, Trudeau tells other leaders including Boris Johnson of the U.K. and Emmanuel Macron of France that "he was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top." That appeared to be a reference to Trump. Trudeau, in a separate observation, said: "You just watched his team's jaws drop to the floor." Trump speculated that Trudeau wasn't happy about the president's urging Canada to pay more toward NATO's defense budget. A CNN reporter later relayed a pool reporter's account that, upon leaving the room, Trump remarked that it had been "funny when I said that guy was two-faced."

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Dec 04, 2019

Omeros stock gains on transplant drug data
Shares of Omeros Corp. rallied 7% in morning trading on positive data for narsoplimab, its experimental therapy for a complication that can occur for patients undergoing stem cell transplants. Half of the patients who underwent treatment with narsoplimab in a trial met the Food and Drug Administration's response criteria. "The data from this trial form the efficacy basis of the application" to the FDA, Omeros CEO Gregory Demopulos said in a news release. Narsoplimab has been granted orphan drug and breakthrough therapy designations. Omeros stock has gained 40% year-to-date. The S&P 500 , in comparison, is up 24%.

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Dec 04, 2019

EIA reports a 4.9 million-barrel weekly fall in U.S. crude-oil supplies
The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported that U.S. crude supplies fell by 4.9 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 29. That followed increases in each of the past five weeks. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast a fall of 700,000 barrels. The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a 3.7 million-barrel decline, according to sources. The EIA data showed supply increases of 3.4 million barrels for gasoline and 3.1 million barrels for distillates. The S&P Global Platts survey showed expectations for a supply climb of 2.7 million barrels for gasoline, while distillates were forecast to increase by 460,000 barrels. January West Texas Intermediate crude was up $2.13, or 3.8%, at $58.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up from $58.19 before the supply data.

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Dec 04, 2019

Anavex shares rise in advance of Alzheimer's meeting
Shares of Anavex Life Sciences Corp. edged up 1% in morning trading after the biopharmaceutical company said its experimental mid-stage treatment for Alzheimer's disease reported lower rates of cognitive decline. Interim data is expected to be presented at the Clinical Trials On Alzheimer's Disease conference later this week. Biogen's controversial decision to introduce a fresh analysis for aducanumab, its Alzheimer's treatment candidate, at CTAD is driving investor interest in other companies developing therapies for the difficult-to-treat disease. "Our point here is not to argue the validity of Biogen's data but to point out that by comparison how compelling the Anavex data looks to us, given its differentiated mechanism of action and all of the clinical studies from pre-clinical animal models to the current programs that support the drug," Dawson James Securities analyst James Kolbert wrote Dec. 2. Anavex stock has rallied 51% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 is up 24%.

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Dec 04, 2019

Union Pacific cuts volumes outlook and warns on revenue, but stock bounces after 5-day losing streak
Union Pacific Corp. lowered its outlook for fourth-quarter volumes, and warned on revenue, but the railroad operator's stock rallied 2.4% in morning trading, to put it on track to snap a five-session losing streak in which it shed 6.6%. The company disclosed in a presentation for an industrial conference that expects fourth-quarter volumes to decline about 11% from a year ago. That compares guidance provided in October, when Chief Financial Officer Robert Knight said, according to a FactSet transcript, that fourth-quarter volume was expected to decline "at a similar level" to the 8% decline experienced in the third quarter. The company said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to be down a "similar" but "slightly less" percentage as volumes, while the current FactSet revenue consensus of $5.38 billion implies a 6.6% decline. Union Pacific said it expects 2019 pricing "well in excess" of inflation dollars. The stock has rallied 7.4% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has gained 5.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 5.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 04, 2019

Dow gains more than 100 points at Wednesday's start of trading as optimism on tariff pact resurfaces
U.S. stocks benchmarks kicked off Wednesday morning trade higher as investors took cheer from a report that Beijing and Washington are still working toward a phase one trade deal, offsetting fears of a delay sparked by President Donald Trump's Tuesday remarks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 130 points. or 0.5%, at 27,629, cutting some of the 280-point skid from Tuesday, while the S&P 500 index advanced 12 points, or 0.4%, at 3,105, and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.4% at 8,556. Markets also were digesting glum reports from payroll-processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. , which showed that employers added just 67,000 workers in November, payroll processor ADP said, a much weaker reading than analysts had forecast, made worse by cuts to earlier months. The more closely followed report from the Labor Department comes out on Friday. Elsewhere on the economic front, Wall Street is awaiting service-sector data on the U.S. economy, which is due later in the morning, highlighted by an the Institute for Supply Management's nonmanufacturing index report due at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. On the company front, Expedia Group Inc. shares jumped after a reshuffle of top executives over ongoing disagreements over strategy.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 04, 2019

Expedia CEO and CFO ousted amid disagreement with board on strategy; stock rallies
Shares of Expedia Group Inc. surged 4.4% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the online travel services company said Chief Executive Mark Okerstrom and Chief Financial Officer Allan Pickerill have resigned after a little over two years in the roles, amid a disagreement with the board of directors on strategy. Chairman Barry Diller and Vice Chairman Peter Kern will oversee day-to-day operations while the board determines the long-term leadership of the company. Chief Strategy Officer Eric Hart will serve as acting CFO. Okerstrom had been CEO since August 2017 and Pickerill had been CFO since September 2017. Diller said the reorganization plan implemented earlier this year resulted in a "material loss of focus," disappointing third-quarter results and a lackluster near-term outlook. "The board disagreed with that outlook, as well as the departing leadership's vision for growth, strongly believing the Company can accelerate growth in 2020" Diller said in a statement. "That divergence necessitated a change in management." The company said it set a new 20 million share buyback program, which is in addition to the 9 million shares still available to purchase in a previous program. The stock has tumbled 22.8% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 04, 2019

Myriad shares fall despite positive results on prenatal test
Shares of Myriad Genetics dropped 3% in premarket trading after the diagnostics maker said its Prequel prenatal screening test is better than non-DNA tests at identifying chromosomal abnormalities in pregnant women with a high body mass index. The study's results were published in the journal Prenatal Diagnosis. Myriad said that Prequel, which uses whole-genome sequencing, can help reduce the need for expensive procedures like amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. Sales of its prenatal business, which makes up about 12% of total revenues, rose 5% to $23.5 million in the most recent quarter, up from $18.1 million in the same period a year ago. Myriad's stock has tumbled 14% year-to-date. The S&P 500 is up 24%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 04, 2019

Barnes & Noble Education to hire financial adviser to help it review strategic options
Barnes & Noble Educatin Inc. said Wednesday its board has agreed to hire a financial adviser to help it review its strategic options, including pushing ahead with its own strategy, entering partnerships and joint ventures or other opportunities. Chief Executive Michael Huseby said the move came in response to a number of unsolicited inquiries. The company made the announcement as it reported fiscal second-quarter earnings with net income of $35.9 million, or 74 cents a share, compared with $59.7 million, or $1.25 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales fell to $772 million from $815 million. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 95 cents and sales of $774 million. Shares were flat premarket, but have gained 20% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 23%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 04, 2019

Trump calls Trudeau 'two faced' after prime minister seen mocking him on video
President Donald Trump on Wednesday slammed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "two faced" after the Canadian leader was seen on a video mocking his U.S. counterpart. In the video taken on the sidelines of a NATO summit in London, Trudeau tells other leaders that "he was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top." That appeared to be a reference to Trump. Trudeau also said, "You just watched his team's jaws drop to the floor." Trump speculated that Trudeau wasn't happy about the president's urging Canada to pay more towards NATO's defense budget.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 04, 2019

Instructure's stock falls as Thoma Bravo's buyout bid represents a 10% discount
Shares of Instructure Inc. sank 9.2% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the learning and development applications company announced an agreement to be acquired at a discount by private-equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC in a cash deal valued at about $2 billion. Under terms of the deal, Instructure shareholders will receive $47.60 in cash for each Instructure share they own, which is 10.1% below Tuesday's closing price of $52.96. The stock had gained 5% since the company announced on Nov. 14 that it was reviewing strategic alternatives after receiving "interest" from multiple third parties, and has rallied 25% since Oct. 28, when the company reported third-quarter results and said it was engaging in a strategic review of its Bridge business. In comparison, the S&P 500 has gained 1.8% since Oct. 28. The Thoma Bravo buyout deal includes a 35-day "go shop" period, in which the company can solicit alternative merger proposals.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 04, 2019

Lannett shares rally on insulin biosimilar trial results
Shares of Lannett Company Inc. rallied 11% in premarket trading after it said a clinical trial for its experimental long-acting insulin biosimilar met the primary endpoints. Lannett and HEC Group are developing a biosimilar version of Sanofi's Lantus, which has long been the French drugmaker's top-selling drug. Mylan and Biocon are also expected to bring a Lantus biosimilar to market in 2020, although the U.S. application process has slowed since the Food and Drug Administration sent two complete response letters with corrective actions. Lannett's stock has jumped 78% year-to-date, compared to the S&P 500 , which is up 24%.

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



MarketWatch MarketPulse
Dec 04, 2019

Coffee consumption will exceed production in the 2019/20 coffee year: ICO
Coffee consumption will exceed production in the 2019 to 2020 coffee year, creating a global deficit of about 502,000 bags, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said in its November report. "Despite a slowdown in growth, consumption is predicted to overtake production during the course of the year," said the report. Brazil's smaller off0year Arabica crop and bad weather in parts of Central America and Asia could continue to affect prices in the coming weeks," it said. "However, the impact of these factors may be muted due to the recent weakness of the Brazilian Real as well as the upcoming on-year crop in Brazil," it said. Coffee prices as measured by the ICO Composite Indicator remained above 100 cents/lb in November for the first time in the last 12 months, said the report. Global exports fell 13.4% to 8.91 million bags in October from the year-earlier 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.



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