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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 03, 2020

Fauci says coronavirus may be mutating to become more infectious
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with the Journal of American Medicine on Thursday that the virus may be mutating to become more transmissible, with high viral loads. "We don't have a connection between whether an individual does worse with this or not. It just seems that the virus replicates better and may be more transmissible. But this is still at the stage of trying to confirm that," said Fauci. The study he references, released by researchers affiliated with the Sheffield COVID-19 Genomics Group, states that the new strain "has become the most prevalent form in the global pandemic," and that it differs from the one that struck Wuhan, China earlier this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 03, 2020

Gilead granted conditional approval for Covid-19 treatment remdesivir in Europe
Gilead Sciences, Inc. on Friday said the European Commission has granted conditional marketing authorization for remdesivir, also known as veklury, as a treatment for Covid-19. The authorization was based on a rolling review of supporting data that began in April 2020. Remdesivir is used to treat Covid-19 in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older and weighing at least 40 kg, with pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen. A European conditional marketing authorization is initially valid for one year but can be extended or turned into unlimited marketing authorization after the submission and assessment of additional confirmatory data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

U.S. stock futures little changed headed into holiday weekend
U.S. stock index futures were flat late Thursday, ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend. As of 8:30 p.m. Eastern, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down about 20 points, or 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq-100 futures were off fractionally. U.S. stock markets will be closed Friday for the Fourth of July. Earlier in the day, stocks finished a choppy trading session with slight gains, as rising coronavirus cases dampened enthusiasm after a positive jobs report. The Dow closed 92.39 points, or 0.4%, higher to finish at 25,827.36, while the S&P 500 index added 14.15 points, or 0.5%, to close at 3,130.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 53 points, or 0.5%, close at 10,207.63, booking its second straight record close.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

FedEx calls on Washington Redskins to change name
FedEx Corp. , which pays for naming rights to the Washington Redskins' stadium in Maryland, has asked the team to change its controversial name. "We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name," FedEx said in a statement to the media Thursday. FedEx Chief Executive Fred Smith is also a minority owner of the team. The team name has been criticized as racist for years, but team owner Daniel Snyder has been under increasing pressure recently amid the national reckoning on race relations. Earlier this week, AdWeek reported that nearly 90 investment firms and shareholders have asked FedEx, Nike Inc. and PepsiCo Inc. to cancel their business relationships with the team until it agrees to change its name, and the Washington Post reported Wednesday that Snyder will not be permitted to build a new stadium in Washington unless the team name is changed.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Delta Air amends revolving-credit line, term loan
Delta Air Lines Inc. has amended its $2.65 billion revolving-credit line to extend it and turn into secured debt, it said in a filing Thursday. The newly amended instrument includes a $1.325 billion three-year facility, $1.25 billion of which Delta extended for one additional year to April 2022, a $1.325 billion five-year facility, which matures in April 2023, and a new $216 million standby letter of credit, which matures in April 2022. The amended revolving-credit facility, previously unsecured, is now secured by liens on certain routes and other related assets, with the option of pledging aircraft, among other assets, as additional collateral, the company said. Delta also amended an one-year term loan, and both the revolving-credit line and the term loan require Delta to have a minimum of $2 billion liquidity. Shares of Delta rose 0.6% in the extended session Thursday after ending the regular trading day up less than 0.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Tax software company Vertex files for initial public offering
Vertex Inc. said late Thursday it plans to go public after 40 years as a private company. The King of Prussia, Penn.-based tax software company said it plans to raise up to $100 million in the offering, although that amount is usually used as a placeholder and revised in later filings. Proceeds will be used to help pay down debt and for general corporate purposes, the company said. The company reported $173.8 million in debt as of March 31. The company reported $321.5 million in revenue and net income of $31.1 million in 2019, compared with $272.4 million in revenue and a loss of $67.1 million in 2018. Vertex plans to trade under the ticker "VERX" on the Nasdaq . Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BofA Securities, Citigroup and Jefferies are listed among the underwriters.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Regeneron, Sanofi halt trial for experimental coronavirus drug, shares fall
Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. were down 2.4% and Sanofi's stock declined 1.7% in after-hours trading on Friday after the companies halted a Phase 3 clinical trial testing their rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara as a COVID-19 treatment. The drug, which was being tested in 194 hospitalized COVID-19 patients receiving mechanical ventilation, did not meet the primary or key secondary endpoints in the study. The findings will be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal later this year. Sanofi is continuing to evaluate Kevzara using a different dose in a trial of COVID-19 patients taking place outside of the U.S. Since the start of the year, Regeneron's stock is up 65.7%, shares of Sanofi are up 2.6%, and the S&P 500 is down 3.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Luckin Coffee board fails in attempt to oust chairman
Disgraced Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee Inc. disclosed Thursday afternoon that the board of directors' attempt to oust its chairman had failed. The board announced the previous Thursday that it would hold a vote to dismiss Charles Zhengyao Lu as a member of the board and the chairman, but said the vote failed to hit the two-thirds threshold needed to actually take the action. Luckin said at the time that the effort was a result of its investigation into the company, which has already dismissed a number of top executives including the chief executive. The company completed its internal investigation earlier in the week, disclosing that revenue was inflated by roughly $300 million in 2019. The stock was delisted from the Nasdaq and currently trades over the counter.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Tesla stock ends at new record, tops $1,200
Tesla Inc. shares rose 8% to close at a record $1,208.66 on Thursday, on the heels of better-than-expected second-quarter sales for the electric-car maker. It was the stock's third consecutive all-time high and fourth straight session in the black. Earlier Thursday, the company said that it delivered 90,650 vehicles in the second quarter, above the 72,000 deliveries that analysts surveyed by FactSet had been predicting. The stock has gained 189% this year, contrasting with losses of 3% and 10% for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Nasdaq closes at record for second straight session ahead of July 4th holiday
U.S. stocks clung to their gains at the end of Thursday after a stronger-than-expected employment report confirmed the labor market's rapid recovery at the end of the second-quarter. Wall Street will be shuttered on Friday in honor of the Independence Day holiday. The S&P 500 gained 0.5% to 3,130. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 92 points, or 0.4%, to end around 25,827, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.5% to 10,208, booking an all-time closing high for a second straight day. The U.S. added 4.8 million jobs in June compared with expectations for a rise of 3.7 million and the unemployment rate fell for the second straight month to 11.1%. Still, analysts worry the resurgence of new coronavirus cases across the U.S. could hold back further improvements in the broader U.S. economy.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Best week in nearly 3 months for Amazon, Microsoft pushes work-from-home ETF ahead of broader market
A hotly anticipated exchange-traded fund with a timely theme has outpaced the broader market in its first week in existence, even as recent flare-ups of COVID-19 may have bolstered its investment case. The Direxion Work From Home ETF has gained 4.5% since it launched on June 25, edging the 3.4% gain in the S&P 500 and the 3.8% gain in the Nasdaq Composite Index during that time. As previously reported, the fund contains 40 stocks that allow investors to tap into the technologies that enable many office workers to stay home: remote communications, cyber security, project and document management, and cloud technologies. Those companies include lesser-known names like Ping Identity Holding - but also pandemic darlings like Zoom Video Inc. and heavyweights like Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Inc. [s:MSFT], both of which are on track for their best weekly gain since April 17.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Oil futures end higher, with U.S. prices at their highest since March
Oil futures settled higher on Thursday, buoyed by a hefty decline in last week's U.S. crude supplies and better-than-expected domestic jobs growth in June. August West Texas Intermediate oil rose 83 cents, or 2.1%, to settle at $40.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest finish for a front-month contract since March 6, according to FactSet data. There will be no regular trading for Nymex oil futures Friday because of the Independence Day holiday. Prices were up 5% from last Friday's settlement.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Moderna's stock falls following report that the Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial has been delayed
Shares of Moderna Inc. declined 6.2% in trading on Thursday after people familiar with the matter told Stat News the start date for the company's Phase 3 clinical trial for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine has been delayed. The sources attributed the delay to protocol changes ?- a common issue with clinical studies ?- not a problem with the vaccine candidate. Following publication of the story, Moderna tweeted that the Phase 3 trial is still set to begin in July. "We have worked closely with [the National Institutes of Health/Operation Warp Speed] to align on the final protocol in order to begin the trial on time," it said. Moderna's stock has soared 197.7% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 is down 3.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Gold settles with a gain for the session and shorter week
Gold futures climbed on Thursday, also posting a gain for the holiday-shortened week, as concerns over the increase in COVID-19 cases in part of the world provided safe-haven support for the metal. Some of that support lacked in the U.S., where data showed better-than-expected jobs growth in June. "The employment numbers are spectacular but an 11% unemployment rate is still elevated," said Jeff Wright, executive vice president of GoldMining Inc. "COVID cases are back on rise and numerous states have slowed down reopen plans." August gold rose $10.10, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,790 an ounce. There will be no regular trading for gold futures Friday, which marks the Independence Day holiday. Based on the most-active contract, prices were up about 0.5% from last Friday's settlement.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Nio shares rally 16% after electric-car company's above-expectations sales
American depositary shares of Nio Inc. rallied more than 16% Thursday after the Shanghai-based electric-car maker reported second-quarter and June sales above its forecast. Nio said it delivered 3,740 vehicles in June, a 179% increase year-over-year, including 2,476 of ES6s, Nio's small SUV and its most popular vehicle. The company sold 10,331 vehicles in the second quarter, an increase of 191% from the previous-year period. As of June 30, Nio has delivered a total of 46,082 vehicles, with 14,169 delivered in 2020. A close around current levels would be Nio's highest since March 2019 and a fourth straight session of gains for the ADRs.The shares have gained 130% for the year, contrasting with losses of about 3% and 9% for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average . Earlier Thursday, Tesla Inc. reported standout quarterly delivery and production numbers, mainly relying on the U.S. company's new Shanghai-based factory.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Tech posted job gains in the U.S. in June
American companies added about 227,000 information technology workers to their payrolls in June and layoffs by technology companies slowed during the month, according to an analysis by CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association for the global tech industry. Tech sector employment had a net decline of 5,600 positions in June, including both technical and non-technical occupations. California, Texas, Colorado, New York, and Pennsylvania were the states with the highest month-over-month increase in IT job postings. The unemployment rate for IT occupations stood at 4.3% for June, compared to the national rate of 11.1%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Lemonade stock more than doubles following IPO
Lemonade Inc. shares more than doubled soon after their debut Thursday as the mobile-based insurance start-up launched its initial public offering. Late Wednesday, Lemonade priced its IPO at $29 a share, above an already elevated range, and on Thursday shares skyrocketed as much as 120% to an intraday high of $63.87 as trading on the New York Stock Exchange began. The company is offering 11 million shares, with underwriters getting the option for another 1.7 million to cover overallotments. The rally sent Lemonade's valuation to $3.39 billion. That places Lemonade well above the $1.7 billion valuation resulting from a $300 million investment round led by SoftBank Group Corp. in April 2019.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

U.S. factory orders rise for first time in three months
Factory orders rose 0.8% in May, the first gain in three months, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were expecting a 9.7% gain. Orders fell a revised 13.5% in the prior month and 11% in March as the economy was locked down from the pandemic. In May, durable goods orders rose 15.7%, only slightly down from last week's initial reading of a 15.8% increase. Orders for nondurable goods were up 2% in the month. Orders for nondefense capital goods, excluding aircraft rose 1.6% in May, down from the prior estimate of a 2.3% rise.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Dow jumps 400 points and Nasdaq hits a fresh record Thursday as jobs report for June shows 4.8 million jobs created ahead of Independence Day holiday
U.S. stock benchmarks opened sharply higher Thursday morning after a closely followed report on the health of the labor market showed that the U.S. added 4.76 million jobs in June and the unemployment fell to 11.1% from 13.3% in May, suggesting that the employment picture is improving after a stunning collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted 3.7 million jobs were created or restored in June, with some estimates ranging as high as 8 million. Meanwhile, a separate report showed that Americans filed for 1.43 million new unemployment claims in the latest week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 356 points, or 1.4%, at 26,085, the S&P 500 index added 36 points, or 1.2%, at 3,152, while the Nasdaq Composite Index opened at an intraday record at 10,272, and was trading 1.2% higher. In corporate news, shares of Tesla Inc. were trading sharply higher after a Wedbush analyst boosted his stock price target to $2,000 and after the electric-vehicle maker released a better-than-expected sales report. U.S. financial markets will be closed on Friday and the bond market will close an hour early at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday with the Independence Day holiday observed on Friday instead of July 4th.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Alexion to pay $21 million to resolve SEC charges
Shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. were up 0.1% in trading on Thursday after the Securities and Exchange Commission said the drugmaker would pay more than $21 million to resolve charges that it paid officials in Russian and Turkey to promise its immunosuppressive drug Soliris. The company allegedly paid government officials between 2010 and 2015 to encourage prescriptions of Soliris and secure "favorable regulatory treatment" for the drug. There are also allegations that subsidiaries in Brazil and Colombia failed to main accurate records. Alexion did not admit fault or deny the SEC's findings. Soliris is Alexion's top-selling drug, bringing in about $3.9 billion in sales in 2019. Alexion's stock has gained 3.9% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 is down 3.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Dow futures surge 400 points after jobs report for June shows 4.8 million jobs added, unemployment falls to 11.1%
U.S. stock-index futures added to gains on Thursday after a closely followed report on the health of the labor market showed that the U.S. added 4.76 million jobs in June and the unemployment fell to 11.1% from 13.3% in May, suggesting that the employment picture is improving after a stunning collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted 3.7 million jobs were created or restored in June, with some estimates ranging as high as 8 million. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 438 points, or 1.7%, at 26,013 those for the S&P 500 index added 40.65 points, or 1.3% at 3,144, while Nasdaq-100 futures were 106.25 points, or 1%, higher at 10,375. Meanwhile, a separate report showed that Americans filed for 1.43 million new unemployment claims in the latest week.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Tesla shares soar 9% premarket on stronger-than-expected Q2 deliveries
Tesla Inc. shares soared 9% in premarket trade Thursday, after the electric car maker posted far stronger-than-expected quarterly deliveries, its proxy for sales. The Palo Alto, Calif-based company said it delivered about 90,650 vehicles in the second quarter, well ahead of the FactSet consensus of 72,000. The Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., was closed roughly half the quarter under regional shutdown orders designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The company said production is now back to pre-pandemic levels. The company said it delivered 80,050 Model 3s and Model Ys in the quarter, compared with a FactSet consensus of 61,000. It delivered 10,600 of its Model S luxury sedan and Model X SUVs. Tesla stock closed at a fresh record of $1,133.36 on Wednesday, boosting its valuation to more than $207 billion and above, at least for now, Japan's Toyota Motor Corp.'s $203 billion market value. Toyota, which makes more than 8 million vehicles a year, long has been the No. 1 global car maker by market capitalization.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Alaska Air secures $1.2 billion in private funding and a subsidiary receives $30 million from CARES Act
Alaska Air Group Inc. said Thursday that it has secured $1.2 billion in private funding while a subsidiary, McGee Air Services, a ground services company that operates independently, has received $30 million in loans from the Payroll Support Program (PSP) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air have also received $992 million, including a $725 million grant and a $267 million loan, that that companies can use exclusively for employee wages and benefits through September 30. Alaska Air's private loan will be funded on or around July 2, with the company using 61 of its planes as collateral. Series A, a $966 million portion of the loan, will be repaid by Aug. 15, 2027, and the $208 million in Series B will be repaid by Aug. 15, 2025. Alaska Air stock rose 3.8% in Thursday premarket trading, but has fallen 47.3% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index is down 3.6% for 2020 so far.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

U.S. trade deficit widens in May to $54.6 billion
The U.S. trade deficit widened by 9.7% in May to $54.6 billion, the government said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had predicted the deficit would widen to a seasonally adjusted $53.1 billion. Exports in May fell 4.4% to $144.5 billion, while imports declined 0.9% to $199.1 billion. Total exports are down 32% from May 2019, while imports are down 25%, as the coronavirus pandemic slows global trade.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

E.L.F. Beauty agreement with Marathon Partners includes vote on 'say-on-pay' proposals
E.L.F. Beauty Inc. said Thursday that it has entered into an agreement with investment firm Marathon Partners, which owns about 5.2% of the company's outstanding stock. As part of the agreement, E.L.F. has included a "say-on-pay" proposal as well as a proposal on the frequency of future "say-on-pay" votes to the upcoming 2020 annual meeting. Shareholders will be able to vote on the proposals as well. E.L.F. Chief Executive Tarang Amin's salary is about $7.5 million, according to FactSet. The agreement also includes a reduction in the automatic annual increase of shares under the Equity Incentive Award Plan to 2% from 4%. E.L.F. has also expanded its board to nine members from eight with the addition of Lori Keith, portfolio manager of Parnassus Investments $5 billion Mid Cap Fund. Six of E.L.F.'s board members are women, making it one of the few U.S. publicly-traded companies with a board comprised of more than 60% women, according to the cosmetics company. E.L.F. stock has soared more than 102% over the past three months while the S&P 500 index has rallied 23.3% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

E.L.F. Beauty partnership with Marathon Partners includes vote on 'say-on-pay' proposals
E.L.F. Beauty Inc. said Thursday that it has entered into a partnership with investment firm Marathon Partners, which owns about 5.2% of the company's outstanding stock. As part of the agreement, E.L.F. has included a "say-on-pay" proposal as well as a proposal on the frequency of future "say-on-pay" votes to the upcoming 2020 annual meeting. Shareholders will be able to vote on the proposals as well. E.L.F. Chief Executive Tarang Amin's salary is about $7.5 million, according to FactSet. The agreement also includes a reduction in the automatic annual increase of shares under the Equity Incentive Award Plan to 2% from 4%. E.L.F. has also expanded its board to nine members from eight with the addition of Lori Keith, portfolio manager of Parnassus Investments $5 billion Mid Cap Fund. Six of E.L.F.'s board members are women, making it one of the few U.S. publicly-traded companies with a board comprised of more than 60% women, according to the cosmetics company. E.L.F. stock has soared more than 102% over the past three months while the S&P 500 index has rallied 23.3% for the period.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Forterra prices upsized $500 million offering of 5-year bonds
Forterra Inc. , the maker of water and drainage pipes, priced an upsized bond deal on Thursday, joining the many companies issuing debt during the coronavirus pandemic. The Irving, Tx.-based company issued $500 million of senior secured notes that mature in 2025 at an interest rate of 6.50%. The original plan was to issue just $400 million of bonds. Proceeds will be used to repay part of the sum outstanding under a term loan facility. The company earlier this week issued guidance for the second quarter that was higher than expected. Shares were up 11.6% premarket, and have gained 2.6% in the year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has fallen 3.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Tesla stock price target boosted to $2,000 by Wedbush, making it the highest among FactSet analysts
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives raised his stock price target for Telsa Inc. to $2,000 from $1,250 on Friday, making it the highest among analysts on FactSet. "We believe with demand for Model 3's ramping stronger than expectations in China heading into the summer timeframe, the lockdown easing in the US/Europe, and some potentially "game changing" battery developments on the horizon (Battery Day another key catalyst) that Tesla's stock likely has room to run further," Ives wrote in a note to clients. The move comes a day after Tesla stock closed at a fresh record of $1,133.36, boosting its valuation to more than $207 billion and above, at least for now, Japan's Toyota Motor Corp.'s TM, -1.18% $203 billion market value. Toyota, which makes more than 8 million vehicles a year, long has been the No. 1 global car maker by market capitalization. Tesla is expected to report second-quarter sales this week, with analysts polled by FactSet expecting the sale of 72,000 vehicles in the quarter, of which 61,000 are Model 3s. "While the stock has been roaring higher, we believe the main fundamental catalyst continues to be the massive China market which is showing clear signs of a spike in demand for Musk & Co. heading into the rest of this year," Ives wrote. The analyst is expecting Tesla to reporter stronger second-quarter deliveries than the market is expecting, and could hit 450,000 for the year. Tesla shares jumped another 6.5% premarket to bring its year-to-date gain to 168%, while the S&P 500 has fallen 3.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Coty names former L'Oreal executive Sue Y. Nabi as CEO effective September
Cosmetics company Coty Inc. said Friday it hs named Sue Y. Nabi as chief executive effective September. Nabi is founder and CEO of luxufry skincare line Orveda and a former worldwide president of L'Oreal ad Lancome. The company said it has named its current CEO Peter Harf to the role of executive chairman. Shares were up 1.9% premarket, but have fallen 62% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 3.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 02, 2020

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 above 10.7 million and U.S. cases top 50,000 in a day for first time
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 rose above 10.7 million on Thursday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, and the U.S. recorded more than 50,000 new cases in a single day for the first time since the start of the outbreak. The number of deaths globally climbed to 516,552, while the number of people who have recovered reached 5.5 million. The U.S. continues to lead the world, with a case tally of 2.69 million and death toll of 128,062. Within the U.S., infections have climbed in 38 states over the past 14 days, according to a New York Times tracker, with Idaho, Florida and Nevada leading the way. Brazil is next with 1.44 million cases and 60,632 deaths. Russia is third measured by cases at 660,231, followed by India with 604,641 and the U.K. with 314,992. The U.K. has 43,991 fatalities, the highest in Europe and third highest in the world. China, where the illness was first reported late last year, has 84,816 cases and 4,641 fatalities.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Twitter removes image from Trump tweet for copyright violation
Twitter Inc. on Wednesday removed an image tweeted by President Donald Trump for copyright violations. "This image has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder," a message says in the Tuesday post in place of the image. Axios reported Wednesday night that the image was from the New York Times, which reportedly complained to Twitter. Twitter reportedly told Axios that the image was a meme that Trump had tweeted.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

U.S. stock futures flat after mixed day on Wall Street
U.S. stock index futures were little changed Wednesday night, after a mixed day on Wall Street that saw the Nasdaq close at a record high. As of 9 p.m. Eastern, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down about 30 points, or 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq-100 futures were down fractionally. Earlier, stocks started the second half of the year mixed, as growing coronavirus fears mixed with signs of an economic recovery. The Dow fell 77.91 points, or 0.3%, to close at 25,734.97, snapping a two-day win streak. The S&P 500 rose 15.57 points, or 0.5%, to end at 3,115.86, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 95.86 points, or 1%, closing at a record 10,154.63.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Lemonade prices IPO at $29 a share, higher than raised range
Lemonade Inc. , a mobile-based insurance start-up that seeks to court millennials, priced its initial public offering above the expected range Wednesday. After the close Wednesday, Lemonade priced 11 million shares at $29 apiece, above the already increased range of $26 to $28 from earlier in the day. Underwriters have another 1.7 million shares to cover overallotments over the next 30 days. The stock is expected to begin trading under the ticker "LMND" on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The IPO price values the company at $1.64 billion should all options be exercised, just shy of the $1.7 billion valuation calculated from a $300 million investment led by SoftBank Group Corp. in April 2019.

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Jul 01, 2020

CEOs of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook to testify before Congress in late July: report
The chief executives of Google parent Alphabet Inc. , Amazon.com Inc. , Apple Inc. , and Facebook Inc. have agreed to testify before Congress on antitrust issues in late July, Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., chairman of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, told tech journalist Kara Swisher late Wednesday. The office of Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., confirmed the hearing with NBC News. Cicilline's office was not immediately available for comment. Amazon has previously said it would make CEO Jeff Bezos available to testify this summer. Facebook declined comment. Alphabet and Apple were not immediately available for comment. The four companies are the subject of investigations by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission into their business practices and the substantial clout they wield over the tech industry and the economy.

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Jul 01, 2020

Tailored Brand misses interest payment on bonds
Tailored Brands Inc. subsidiary Men's Wearhouse Inc. has not made interest payments due Wednesday of about $6.1 million on its 2022 senior notes, Tailored Brands said in a filing late Wednesday. Instead, the subsidiary and Tailored Brands have chosen to enter a 30-day grace period and could make the payment within that time frame, the company said. At the end of the grace period, a non-payment becomes an "event of default." Tailored Brands did make interest payments on its credit facilities, it said. Shares of Tailored Brands, which also sells apparel under store brands such as Jos. A. Bank and Joseph Abboud, fell more than 2% in the extended session Wednesday after ending the regular trading day down 4% and under $1. The company in early June said it had taken "decisive actions" to manage its liquidity and requested an extension to file quarterly results because of the "disruption" caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Some 44% of its stores, which include Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, have reopened, it said. As of June 5, Tailored Brands had $201 million in cash and|NEW] and requested an extension to file quarterly results because of the "disruption" caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Jul 01, 2020

Nu Skin stock rallies 11% after company's better Q2 sales outlook
Shares of Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. jumped more than 11% in the extended session Wednesday after the maker of supplements and personal care products estimated that its second-quarter sales will be between $603 million and $608 million, above its previous forecast. That is due to "strong global customer growth with particular strength in the Americas and Europe," with online sales accounting for 80% of volume, Nu Skin said. The company had called for second-quarter sales between $520 million and $550 million previously. Nu Skin said it would report results and provide a full-year outlook on Aug. 5 after the bell. Analysts polled by FactSet expect Nu Skin to report adjusted earnings of 49 cents a share on sales of $541 million.

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Jul 01, 2020

FormFactor stock rallies as coronavirus does little to hamper sales
FormFactor Inc. shares rose in the extended session Wednesday after the chip-maker testing and equipment company said that the COVID-19 pandemic did not hurt sales as expected. FormFactor shares rallied 9% after hours, following a less-than-0.1% decline to close the regular session at $29.32. FormFactor said it expects second-quarter revenue of between $157 million and $161 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect quarterly revenue of $145.1 million, or a 9.8% sequential decrease. "Our original May 6th estimate that revenue in the second quarter would be approximately 10% lower than in our first quarter contemplated some level of Covid-19 disruption in our manufacturing operations and our suppliers' logistics chains," said Mike Slessor, chief executive of FormFactor, in a statement. "We experienced no major disruptions in either, and as a result, we expect to report revenue higher than what we had originally anticipated." The company is scheduled to report earnings on July 29.

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Jul 01, 2020

Tesla stock hits fresh record as Wall Street awaits Q2 sales
Tesla Inc. shares gained 5% Wednesday to end at $1,133.36, a fresh record, as investors await the company's second-quarter sales numbers. The rally boosted Tesla's market valuation to more than $207 billion and above, at least for now, Japan's Toyota Motor Corp.'s $203 billion market value. Toyota, which makes more than 8 million vehicles a year, long has been the No. 1 global car maker by market capitalization. Tesla is expected to report second-quarter sales this week, with analysts polled by FactSet expecting the sale of 72,000 vehicles in the quarter, of which 61,000 are Model 3s. Tesla shares have gained 171% this year, contrasting with losses of 4% and 9% for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Jul 01, 2020

Walmart partners with Tribeca to bring temporary drive-in theaters to 160 stores
Walmart Inc. said Wednesday it is partnering with Tribeca Enterprises to temporarily turn 160 of its U.S. store parking lots into drive-in movie theaters as the COVID-19 pandemic spoils summer plans for many. The retail giant said it will have a combined 320 family-friendly showings beginning in early August and running through October. Walmart said it will help with concessions as it will "make it easy for families to fill their picnic baskets by ordering their drive-in essentials online for curbside pickup on the way to their movie." There are an estimated 315 drive-in movie theaters in the U.S., down from a peak of about 4,000 in the late 1950s, according to driveinmovie.com.

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Jul 01, 2020

Nasdaq notches record close to start July after Fed minutes, but Dow slumps as Boeing, Exxon shares weigh
The Nasdaq Composite on Wednesday closed at a record high to kick off July but the Dow industrials lagged behind, after minutes from the Federal Reserve's meeting last month indicated that policy makers would aim to provide more explicit guidance on the outlook for benchmark interest rates amid the coronavirus pandemic. Improving data on employment and the manufacturing sector buttressed markets in the first trading day of the month even though about a dozen American states have paused or halted plans to allow more businesses to reopen. The Nasdaq ended up 1% at around 10,155, finishing handily above its last record close on June 23 as gains in electric-vehicle maker Tesla Inc. , Netflix Inc. and Facebook Inc. helped to propel the technology-laden benchmark. The S&P 500 index finished up 0.5% at 3,116, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.3%, pressured lower by declines in components Boeing Co. and Exxon Mobil . Early in the session, stocks got a boost from another Dow component Pfizer Inc. , which reported positive results from its clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. An upbeat report on manufacturing activity from the Institute for Supply Management and a private-sector report from ADP also helped to stoke the buying mood on Wall Street, ahead of a highly anticipated nonfarm-payrolls report due on Thursday due to the July 4th holiday in the U.S.

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Jul 01, 2020

Apple to temporarily shutter 30 more retail stores, bringing total to 77 in U.S.
Citing a spike in the coronavirus pandemic, Apple Inc. on Wednesday said it has decided to temporarily re-close 30 of its retail stores in the U.S., bringing the nationwide total to 77. The stores affected are in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. "Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. "We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible." Apple shares are flat in late-afternoon trading. Apple has 271 stores in the U.S.

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Jul 01, 2020

China-based BlueCity looks to raise $90.1 million in IPO
BlueCity Holdings Ltd. set terms for its initial public offering, as the China-based online LGBTQ community looks to raise up to $90.1 million. The company is offering 5.3 million American depositary shares (ADS), representing 2.65 million Class A ordinary shares, which are expected to price between $15.00 and $17.00. The stock is expected to list on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol "BLCT." The lead underwriters of the IPO are AMTD, Loop Capital Markets, Tiger Brokers, Prime Number Capital and R.F. Lafferty & Co. The company recorded a net loss of RMB7.6 million ($1.08 million) on revenue of RMB207.5 million ($29.3 million) for the three months ended March 31, after a loss of RMB26.4 million on revenue of RMB145.3 million in the same period a year ago. The company is looking to go public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has rallied 60.4% over the past three months, the iShares MSCI China ETF has climbed 19.5% and the S&P 500 has advanced 26.2%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Apple to shutter 30 more retail stores, bringing total to 77 in U.S.
Citing a spike in the coronavirus pandemic, Apple Inc. on Wednesday said it has decided to re-close 30 of its retail stores in the U.S., bringing the nationwide total to 77. The stores affected are in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. "Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. "We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible." Apple shares are flat in late-afternoon trading. Apple has 271 stores in the U.S.

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Jul 01, 2020

Oil futures score a gain for the session as U.S. supplies show biggest weekly drop of the year
Oil futures settled higher on Wednesday after U.S. government data showed that domestic crude supplies fell by 7.2 million barrels last week, the largest weekly decline so far this year. The fall in stockpiles also followed three consecutive weeks of increases. August West Texas Intermediate oil rose 55 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $39.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Jul 01, 2020

Gold futures end lower a day after highest finish since 2011
Gold futures pulled back Wednesday, after settling a day earlier at their highest since 2011. "Gold remains in an uptrend but some fatigue may be kicking in," said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM. Data from Automatic Data Processing Inc. Wednesday showed that U.S. private-sector employers added 2.37 million jobs in June, less than analysts expected. Still, "some optimism may return over the U.S. economy recovering quicker than expected," something that may hit haven gold, he said. August gold fell $20.60, or 1.1%, to settle at $1,779.90 an ounce. Prices settled at $1,800.50 on Tuesday, the highest finish for a most-active contract since Sept. 2011, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Prices ended the second quarter with a gain of nearly 13%.

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Jul 01, 2020

Match Group adds Ryan Reynolds to board following IAC separation
Match Group Inc. announced the "successful completion" of its separation from IAC/InterActiveCorp. Wednesday morning and added four new members to its Board of Directors including actor Ryan Reynolds. "Most millennials and Gen Z can't remember what dating was like before the advent of Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge," Reynolds said in a release, adding that he would "roll up [his] sleeves and work with the team on their future growth and success." Match is also adding Stephen Bailey, Melissa Brenner, and Wendi Murdoch to its board. Bailey is the founder of Exec Online, a digital leadership development company, while Brenner is the executive Vice President for digital media at the National Basketball Association. Murdoch is the co-founder of Artsy, a digital platform for collectors. She is a former wife of Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., parent company of MarketWatch publisher Dow Jones. Match shares are down more than 8% in Wednesday trading. They've gained 57% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has risen 26%.

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Jul 01, 2020

Centene to invest $1 billion, hire 6,000 employees in Charlotte in the coming years
Centene Corp. said it will create 6,000 new jobs and invest $1 billion in the Charlotte, North Carolina community over time, as the health care company builds a new East-Coast headquarters in the city. The company said construction of the new campus will begin in August. The first phase of construction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022, and will accommodate about 3,000 employees. The next phase of construction will begin in 2024, and accommodate an additional 3,000 employees. Centene said it currently has nearly 600 employees in North Carolina. The stock rose 2.9% in midday trading. It has gained 4.0% year to date, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has slipped 0.9% and the S&P 500 has eased 3.5%.

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Jul 01, 2020

FedEx delivers its best day since 1986, and transportation ETFs rally
Exchange-traded funds with heavy exposure to delivery giants jumped Wednesday after FedEx reported better-than-expected earnings, sending the stock up more than 13% and on track for its best day since 1986. Shares of United Parcel Service, Inc. were 4.1% higher midday as well. The iShares Transportation Average ETF , with nearly 17% of its portfolio in the two names, was nearly 0.4% higher, beating the 0.2% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average . The Direxion Daily Transportation Bull 3x ETF, a leveraged product with more than 11% of its holdings in the two companies, was up 1.5%. A pure-play transportation fund, the SPDR S&P Transportation ETF, fell, despite having more than 5% of its holdings in those two companies, while the American Customer Satisfaction ETF , with just 4.5%, was up 1.3%. In the year to date, shares of the iShares transportation ETF and the SPDR fund have both lost roughly 17%.

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Jul 01, 2020

Peloton app comes to Roku devices, stock gains
Peloton Interactive Inc. said Wednesday that its app is now available on Roku devices in the U.S. and Canada and will soon come to the U.K. A Peloton spokesman said in an email to MarketWatch that the Roku announcement means Peloton's app is now "on all of the major streaming TV platforms." That includes Apple Inc.'s Apple TV, Amazon.com. Inc.'s Fire TV, Alphabet Inc.'s Android TV, and "many" set-tip boxes from AT&T Inc. . Peloton has sought to capitalize on the rising interest in home fitness as the COVID-19 outbreak has kept people out of gyms. The company said in conjunction with its last earnings report that it saw "a significant increase in demand" toward the end of the March quarter and at the time the company faced an extended backlog as it sought to meet this new demand. Peloton shares have gained 115% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has risen 26%.

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Jul 01, 2020

Workhorse's stock set to snap record win streak, while BTIG analyst nearly doubles price target
Shares of Workhorse Group Inc. are down 4% in Wednesday trading, putting them on track to snap a record 9-day winning streak in which they rocketed more than 4-fold (up 321%). Analyst Gregory Lewis at BTIG reiterated his buy rating on the electric van maker's stock but boosted his price target to $26, which is 77% above current levels, from $10. Lewis said a key takeaway from a call he hosted with management on Tuesday was that the company has "first-mover" advantage, which was solidified when the Series C van received final regulatory safety approvals, giving the company a 1-to-2-year head start on other electric vehicle (EV) last-mile delivery competitors. He said this should allow the company to secure a revolving credit facility, which would allow it to scale up operations. Lewis said a major potential catalyst could be a $6 billion to $8 billion contract from the U.S. Postal Service, in which bids are due later this month, and an announcement of the winner is expected later this year. He said another bullish factor is the optionality around the company's 10% equity stake in Lordstown Motors Corp., which unveiled its EV Endurance pickup truck last week. The stock has skyrocketed 881% over the past three months. Among its EV rivals, shares of Tesla Inc. have run up 133% the past three months and Nikola Corp. have climbed 537%, while the S&P 500 has gained 26%.

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Jul 01, 2020

FTC sees record 34,000 complaints about online shopping items that are not delivered during pandemic
The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday it received a record number of complaints in April and May about online shopping, most of which concerned items that were ordered but never delivered. The agency said it received 34,000 complaints in April and May, and the May number alone was greater than the number received in December of 2019, the last big holiday shopping season. The most common items to fail to show up were face masks, followed by hand sanitizer, toilet paper, thermometers, and gloves, all products that are in high demand during the pandemic. "With COVID-19, scammers quickly launched opportunistic websites," the FTC said in a statement. There were also complaints about electronics that failed to show up and even of puppies that were ordered online but never materialized. "Scammers often used pandemic-related pretexts for supposed shipping delays, sometimes - in the puppy scam - even charging extra fees for COVID-related "regulations." Then they just stopped responding. This stalled people who might otherwise have posted negative reviews," said the statement. The FTC advises consumers to confirm a seller's physical address and phone number and to run a quick search of the name, using terms like "scam" and "complaint." Consumers should beware of unfamiliar sites or ones selling items that are in short supply at discounts. Paying with a credit card gives a consumer recourse to challenging a charge if the item does not show up. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also urged investors to beware of scams linked to the coronavirus pandemic, and to carefully consider claims relating to treatments, therapies and equipment that promise big investor returns.

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Jul 01, 2020

Pinterest stock rises after Facebook shuts down rival app
Pinterest Inc. shares are up 5% in Wednesday trading after Facebook Inc. confirmed that it plans to shut down Hobbi, a rival app that let users track progress on creative hobbies like crafts and cooking. "We expect to have to shut down apps when they're not catching on, but we also hope to learn from these experiments so that we can build better, more interesting apps in the future," A Facebook spokesperson said of apps developed by Facebook's New Product Experimentation team. Also on Wednesday, Deutsche Bank analyst Lloyd Walmsley boosted his price target on the stock. He sees room for the company to benefit from "multiple advertising product cycles" and enhanced abilities for users to shop through the platform. "Our call here is not about near-term upside for 2Q but more optimism that around the next six to 12 months, which we view as far more important than near-term risk around COVID lockdowns," wrote Walmsley, who has a buy rating on the stock. Pinterest shares have surged 64% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has added 26%.

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Jul 01, 2020

Dun & Bradstreet's stock debuts 14% above upsized IPO's price
Shares of Dun & Bradstreet Holdings Inc. surged in their public debut, after the data and analytics company's upsized initial public offering priced above its expected range. The stock's first trade was at $25 at 11:34 a.m. Eastern for 7.6 million shares. That was 13.6% above the $22 IPO price, which was above the previously expected range of $19 to $21. The stock has added slightly to those gains, to be up 14.3% at $25.16. The company sold 78.30 million shares to raise $1.72 billion in the IPO, up from a previously expected 67.75 million shares. The company went public as the Renaissance IPO ETF has run up 59.7% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 26.0%.

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Jul 01, 2020

GM's U.S. vehicle deliveries fall 34% in Q2
General Motors Co. said Wednesday that second-quarter deliveries fell 34.0% from a year ago to 492,489 vehicles, weighed down by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail sales for the quarter fell 24%, as a 35% drop in April was followed by 20% declines in May and June. The auto maker said it will keep most of its U.S. plants operating, including all of its truck and sport-utility vehicle plants, during the traditional two-week summer shutdown period, as the company looks to restock inventory. GM said most of the increased output will be to restock retail channels, with capacity made available by lower rental volumes. Among deliveries for GM vehicle brands, total Chevrolet deliveries fell 33.6%, GMC declined 32.9%, Buick dropped 35.9% and Cadillac slid 41.4%. Within Chevrolet, the top models delivered were the Silverado LD, which fell 18.6% to 89,465 vehicles, while the top GMC model delivered was Sierra LD at 38,825 vehicles, down 9.5%. GM's stock slipped 0.4% in morning trading. It has gained 30.9% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 23.3%.

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Jul 01, 2020

Maxim downgrades Inovio, saying coronavirus opportunity is already 'priced in'
Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. declined 15.3% in trading on Wednesday after Maxim Group downgraded the stock to hold from buy. Inovio, which is developing a COVID-19 vaccine, had announced some limited, clinical data about how the candidate performed in a Phase 1 trial on Monday. Maxim analysts said it appears that the COVID-19 "opportunity" is already baked into the valuation as shares of Inovio have soared 593.0% year-to-date. "In our opinion, the success of INO-4800 is priced into the shares," they wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday. The company's stock hit a record high of $31.69 on Monday, the day it released the positive, yet limited data about its vaccine candidate. Inovio said Monday that the full trial data will be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. The stock then tumbled, closing at $26.95 on Tuesday. The S&P 500 is down 4.0% year-to-date.

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Jul 01, 2020

EIA reports first weekly U.S. crude supply decline in a month
The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels for the week ended June 26. That followed three consecutive weeks of increases and compared with a forecast by analysts polled by S&P Global Platts for an average decline of 2.7 million barrels. The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a decrease of 8.2 million barrels. The EIA data also showed crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub edged down by about 200,000 barrels for the week. Gasoline supply rose by 1.2 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell by 600,000 barrels. The S&P Global Platts survey had shown expectations for a supply decline of 2.7 million barrels for gasoline and an increase of 900,000 barrels for distillate inventories. August West Texas Intermediate crude rose 28 cents, or 0.7%, at $39.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices traded at $39.71 before the supply data.

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Jul 01, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says indoor dining to remain closed in next phase of reopening
Indoor dining will remain closed in New York City when it enters the next phase of reopening next week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday morning. The decision comes as a spike in daily cases nationwide indicates the potential for the coronavirus to spread more easily within indoor settings, including eateries. Only about 6,600 of the city's 27,000 restaurants have opened for outdoor dining. by Beckie Strum

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Workshorse's stock falls toward snapping record losing streak, while BTIG analyst nearly doubles price target
Shares of Workhorse Group Inc. tumbled 15% in morning trading Wednesday, putting them on track to snap a record 9-day winning streak in which they rocketed more than 4-fold (up 321%). Analyst Gregory Lewis at BTIG reiterated his buy rating on the electric van maker's stock but boosted his price target to $26, which is 77% above current levels, from $10. Lewis said a key takeaway from a call he hosted with management on Tuesday was that the company has "first-mover" advantage, which was solidified when the Series C van received final regulatory safety approvals, giving the company a 1-to-2-year head start on other electric vehicle (EV) last-mile delivery competitors. He said this should allow the company to secure a revolving credit facility, which would allow it to scale up operations. Lewis said a major potential catalyst could be a $6 billion to $8 billion contract from the U.S. Postal Service, in which bids are due later this month, and an announcement of the winner is expected later this year. He said another bullish factor is the optionality around the company's 10% equity stake in Lordstown Motors Corp., which unveiled its EV Endurance pickup truck last week. The stock has skyrocketed 760% over the past three months. Among its EV rivals, shares of Tesla Inc. have run up 133% the past three months and Nikola Corp. have climbed 542%, while the S&P 500 has gained 26%.

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Jul 01, 2020

Construction spending weak in May
Outlays for construction projects fell 2.1% in May at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.36 trillion, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 0.7% increase. Spending in April was revised to a 3.5% fall from the prior estimate of a 2.9% drop. Residential construction fell 3.9% in May, while spending on public construction projects rose 1.2%.

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Jul 01, 2020

Fiat Chrysler vehicles sales fall 39% in second quarter, stock drops
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. said Wednesday that second-quarter U.S. sales were 367,086 vehicles, down 39% from a year ago, as "economic havoc" in April caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was followed by a stronger-than-expected rebound in retail sales in May and June. The auto maker said fleet volume remained low during the quarter, as vehicle deliveries to retail customers were prioritized. The company said the pandemic has boosted online vehicle sales, as about 20% of new sales leads now come from online retailing, compared with about 1% a year ago. Among Fiat Chrysler's models, total Jeeps brand sales fell 27% during the quarter, Ram brand sales dropped 35%, Chrysler brand sales fell 58% and Dodge brand sales declined 63%. Fiat Chrysler's stock fell 2.6% in morning trading. It has shed 32.1% year to date, while the S&P 500 has slipped 3.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

UPDATE: U.S. government to secure majority of Gilead's remdesivir supply through September
Health officials said Monday that the U.S. government will receive 500,000 treatment courses of Gilead Sciences Inc.'s remdesivir through September that can then be purchased by American hospitals. This means that the U.S. will receive 100% of Gilead's total remdesivir production in July and 90% in August and September, a decision that has prompted criticism in Europe and the U.K. Gilead in May received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for remdesivir as a treatment for some severely ill, hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Gilead announced pricing for remdesivir earlier on Monday; the drug will cost $2,340 for a 5-day course of treatment in developed countries, with one exception. The cost of treatment for people who have commercial health insurance is $3,120. The Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release that AmerisourceBergen Corp. will continue to ship the drug. Following the EUA in early May, Gilead had donated more than 100,000 doses of remdesivir to the U.S. government, which then dispensed the drug to hospitals.

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Jul 01, 2020

Office Depot's stock falls after reverse stock split multiplies price by 10
Shares of Office Depot Inc. fell in morning trading Wednesday, after a reverse stock split in effect multiplied the price by 10. The office supply retailer's stock closed at a split-adjusted $23.50, on Tuesday (a pre-split-adjusted $2.35), after a 1-for-10 reverse stock split went into effect after Tuesday's close. The stock was down 5.7% at $22.17 in recent trading. It has lost 19.1% year to date, while the S&P 500 has slipped 3.6%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

FedEx stock soars toward record one-day gain, adds nearly 140 points to Dow transports price
Shares of FedEx Corp. soared 16.3% in morning trading Wednesday, to trade at the highest level since late February, after the package delivery service reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter results. That puts the stock on an early track to post the biggest-ever one-day percentage gain. The $22.82 price gain, which would also be a record, is adding about 139 points to the Dow Jones Transportation Average's price, which rose 312 points, or 3.4%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 171 points, or 0.7%. FedEx shares have now gained 7.8% year to date, while the Dow transports have lost 13.0% and the Dow industrials have slipped 9.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

BioNTech's stock halted, Pfizer shares jump on promising COVID-19 vaccine data
BioNTech's stock was halted and shares of Pfizer Inc. gained 4.7% in trading on Wednesday morning after the companies said that all 24 participants in the Phase 1/2 clinical trial who received one of two lower doses of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed neutralizing antibodies. This data was shared by the companies and was also published in a preprint study, which means it has not been peer-reviewed. The study has 45 participants between the ages of 18 and 55 years old who were randomized and vaccinated; 24 of which received two rounds of two lower doses of the vaccine candidate. (Twelve participants received one high dose, and nine received two doses of the placebo.) The antibody findings are important because they indicate that the experimental vaccine can generate antibodies at the same level or higher than those seen in convalescent sera, which is collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19. There were no serious adverse events reported in the trial, although some reported pain in the area of the body where the investigational vaccine was administered. Pfizer said in a news release that additional data from this trial will inform the selection of the candidate - the companies are evaluating four COVID-19 vaccine candidates - and dosing level for the Phase 2b/3 study, which could begin this month, with up to 30,000 participants. Since the start of the year, BioNTech's stock is up 97.0%, shares of Pfizer are down 16.5%, and the S&P 500 is down 4.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Stocks open moderately higher after promising vaccine news
U.S. stocks opened moderately higher Wednesday, lifted by encouraging news on a vaccine for COVID-19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 76 points, 0.3%, to start trading near 25,889, while the S&P 500 added 7 points, 0.2%, to trade near 3,107. The Nasdaq rose 5 points, starting trading near 10,062. Just before the bell, Pfizer Inc. reported positive results from a phase 1/2 vaccine trial, sending its stock up 5.4% in early trade. But payroll provider ADP reported that only 2.37 million private-sector jobs had been created in June, less than the 3.5 million forecast by economists, a reminder of the deep hole left by the pandemic.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Luckin Coffee finds 2019 revenue inflated by $300 million as financial misconduct comes to a close
Luckin Coffee Inc. announced the "substantial completion" of the internal investigation into financial misconduct on Wednesday, finding that the company's 2019 annual revenue was inflated by about RMB 2.12 billion (approximately $300 million) spread across the second, third and fourth quarters. "Evidence discovered to date demonstrates that the company's former chief executive officer, Ms. Jenny Zhiya Qian, former chief operating officer, Mr. Jian Liu and certain employees reporting to them participated in the fabricated transactions and that the funds supporting the fabricated transactions were funneled to the company through a number of third parties associated with the company employees and/or related parties," Luckin said in a statement. Luckin previously announced that a number of executives, including the company's CEO, have been terminated. The company has also delayed its annual report and has been delisted from the Nasdaq. On Thursday, the Starbucks Corp. rival will consider a proposal to remove board chairman Charles Zhengyao Lu. More than two dozen employees will be either terminated or subject to disciplinary action, including employees who were previously suspended. Luckin says it has taken a number of measures, including strengthening compliance training, as a result of the investigation. Luckin stock rose 4.7% in Wednesday premarket trading but has lost 94% of its value in 2020. The S&P 500 index is down 4% for the year so far.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Denny's stock drops after share offering prices at discount; announces plan to hire 10,000 employees
Shares of Denny's Corp. dropped 10.4% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the restaurant chain priced its offering of 8 million shares at a discount. The offering, which represented 14.4% of the shares outstanding, priced at $9.15, or 9.4% below Tuesday's closing price of $10.10. The company said it plans to use the proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes. Separately, Denny's announced Wednesday plans to hire 10,000 restaurant employees, for both company-owned and franchised restaurants across the U.S. The company said the hiring comes as dine-in restrictions, which were implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, are lifting and as customers are returning to restaurants and taking advantage of takeout and delivery options. "Guests are once again walking through our doors, and to meet this demand, support our franchisees and ensure the best dining experience possible, we and our franchisees will be hiring thousands of new Denny's employees across the nation," said Chief Executive John Miller. The stock has rallied 38.7% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 25.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

ViacomCBS taps Amazon executive for CFO post
ViacomCBS Inc. announced Wednesday that it has appointed Naveen Chopra to take on the position of chief financial officer beginning Aug. 10. He will succeed Christina Spade, who is moving to an advisory role within the company. Chopra comes from Amazon.com Inc. , where he's worked as the CFO for the company's devices and services business. He previously worked as the CFO of Pandora for two years and briefly was the streaming music company's interim chief executive officer. Before that, he spent four years at TiVo, where he also served as CFO with another stint as interim CEO. ViacomCBS Chief Executive Bob Bakish said in a release that Chopra's "experience scaling and driving the financial strategies for growth businesses - including free ad-supported and subscription streaming, as well as with digital devices and services - will be instrumental as we continue to unlock the value of our assets." Viacom and CBS completed their merger late last year. Viacom shares have rallied 82% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has risen 25%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Constellation Brands stock rallies after adjusted earnings, sales top forecasts
Shares of Constellation Brands Inc. hiked up 2.9% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the company reported fiscal first-quarter adjusted profit and sales that beat expectations, as better-than-expected wine and spirit sales offset a miss in beer sales. The net loss for the quarter to May 31 narrowed to $177.9 million, or 94 cents per Class A share, from $245.4 million, or $1.30 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as restructuring charges and other business development costs, adjusted earnings per share came to $2.30, or $2.44 if losses from its investment in Canopy Growth Corp. are excluded. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.99. Sales fell 6% to $1.96 billion, just above the FactSet consensus of $1.94 billion. Beer sales fell 4% to $1.38 billion, shy of the FactSet consensus of $1.41 billion, while wine and spirits sales declined 4% to $579.3 million but topped expectations of $570.7 million. The company, which brands include Corona, Robert Mondavi and SVEDKA Vodka, said beer production in Mexico has returned to "normal" levels in June, following COVID-19 pandemic-related disruptions. Earlier, the company announced the acquisition of "digitally-native" Empathy Wines. The stock has lost 7.8% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has slipped 4.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Ultragenyx gets second FdA approval in June
Shares of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. gained 1% in premarket trading on Tuesday, the day after the Food and Drug Administration approved Dojolvi in the treatment of a rare set of genetic metabolic disorders. People with long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorders can't convert fatty acids into energy. "While we have been able to identify these disorders at birth for many years, treatment options have been limited," Dr. Jerry Vockley, chief of medical genetics at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, said in a news release. "Dojolvi brings hope as a new tool now available to clinicians taking care of these patients." The net price for the drug is $138,000 for adults, according to Bernstein analyst Vincent Chen, who also said "pricing reasonably in line with but slightly to the higher end of expectations." The company's estimates for the patient population in the U.S. range between 2,000 and 3,500 people. Ultragenyx also received another FDA approval in June, for Crysvita as a treatment for some patients with tumor-induced osteomalacia. The company's stock is up 83.1% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 is down 4.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Macy's stock gains after adjusted loss, sales match expectations
Shares of Macy's Inc. rallied 1.5% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the department store chain reported fiscal first-quarter results that matched Wall Street expectations, and said nearly all of its stores have reopened, after closing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For the quarter to May 2, Macy's swung to a net loss of $3.58 billion, or $11.53 a share, from net income of $136 million, or 44 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as $3.1 billion in asset impairment charges, the adjusted loss per share was $2.03 versus EPS of 44 cents last year, compared with the FactSet consensus of $2.03. Sales fell 45.2% to $3.02 billion, matching the FactSet consensus. "While our stores are re-opened, we expect that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to impact the country for the remainder of the year," said Chief Executive Jeff Gennette. "We do not anticipate another full shutdown, but we are staying flexible and are prepared to address increases in cases on a regional level." Macy's said it would not provide a financial outlook. The stock has dropped 59.5% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 6.8% and the S&P 500 has slipped 4.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

General Mills beats earnings estimates as sales boosted by demand for at-home food
General Mills Inc. shares rose 1.7% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the company beat earnings estimates for its fiscal fourth quarter, boosted by strong demand for at-home food during the coronavirus pandemic. The company posted net income of $625.7 million, or $1.02 a share, in the quarter to May 31, up from $570.2 million, or 94 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.10, ahead of the $1.06 FactSet consensus. Sales rose 21% to $5.023 billion from $4.162 billion, also ahead of the $4.985 billion FactSet consensus. "The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on consumer demand across the company's major markets, including driving an unprecedented increase in demand for food at home and a corresponding decrease in away-from-home food demand resulting from efforts to reduce virus transmission," said the company. At-home food accounted for about 85% of its pre-pandemic net sales and away-from-home food accounted for 15%. At-home demand in North America drove higher sales of meals, baking ingredients and cereal. The impact was less elevated in Europe and Australia. The pet segment benefited from stocking up, which partially unwound at the end of the quarter. The company is not providing guidance because of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, but will work to reduce leverage. Shares have gained 15% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Cannabis company Cresco Labs closes $29 million sale-and-leaseback transaction on Massachusetts facility
Cannabis company Cresco Labs said Wednesday it has closed a sale-and-leaseback transaction for its Massachusetts facility with Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. (IIP). Cresco will receive $29 million for the sale of the facility, with $21 million earmarked for tenant improvements. The facility is about 118,000 square feet of industrial space, including cultivation space, a processing plant and dispensary serving medical and adult-use cannabis. The company entered amendments to its leases with IIP last month for real estate in Michigan and Ohio for $17 million. Shares were not active premarket, but have fallen 40% in the year to date, while the Cannabis ETF has fallen 24% and the S&P 500 has fallen 4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Constellation Brands acquires direct-to-consumer wine brand Empathy Wines, no terms disclosed
Constellation Brands Inc. said Wednesday it has acquired Empathy Wines, a direct-to-consumer wine brand that was co-founded by entrepreneur and media personality Gary Vaynerchuk with business partners Jon Troutman and Nate Scherotter. The company makes sustainable wines sold through an e-commerce platform using digital marketing with a price point of $20 a bottle. Chief Executive Bill Newlands said the deal is part of a strategy that aims to build a direct relationship with consumers. The brand has sold about 15,000 cases of wine since it was launched in 2019. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The brand will be integrated into Constellation's existing wine and spirits portfolio. Shares were up 1% premarket, but have fallen 8% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

United Airlines to add nearly 25,000 flights to August schedule
United Airlines Holdings Inc. said Wednesday it was adding nearly 25,000 flights to its August schedule, which will be triple the size of the June schedule. The stock fell 0.8% in premarket trading. That would bring the air carrier's overall August schedule to 40% of its August 2019 schedule. In the U.S., United plans to fly 58% of its 2019 schedule, up from 30% in July, while internationally, United is scheduled to fly 25% of its August schedule, up from 16% in July. "We're taking the same data-driven, realistic approach to growing our schedule as we did in drawing it down at the start of the pandemic," said Ankit Gupta, United's vice president of Domestic Network Planning. "Demand is coming back slowly and we're building in enough capacity to stay ahead of the number of people traveling." The stock has tumbled 60.7% year to date through Tuesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has dropped 47.2% and the S&P 500 has slipped 4.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Insurer Lemonade raises price range for planned IPO
Insurer Lemonade LMND, raised the price range for its initial public offering on Wednesday, to $26 to $28 a pop from an earlier range of $23 to $26 each. The company is planning to sell 11 million shares, to raise would raise $308 million at the top of the range. The company has applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol "LMND." There are eight banks underwriting the deal, led by Goldman Sachs. Proceeds of the deal will be used for general corporate purposes. "Lemonade is rebuilding insurance from the ground up on a digital substrate and an innovative business model," the company says in its prospectus.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Capri misses adjusted profit expectations, but sales fall less than forecast
Shares of Michael Kors parent Capri Holdings Ltd. slipped 0.5% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the luxury fashion group reported a fiscal fourth-quarter adjusted profit that missed expectations, while revenue fell less than forecast. For the quarter to March 28, the company swung to a net loss of $551 million, or $3.69 a share, from net income of $19 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 11 cents, below the FactSet consensus of 13 cents. Revenue fell 11.3% to $1.19 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $1.12 billion. After closing all of its 455 Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo retail stores in the Americas in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, about 70% are now open, and the "vast majority" of the remaining stores are expected to be opened by the end of the fiscal second quarter. Among Capri's business segments, Michael Kors revenue fell 18.4% to $872 million to beat expectations of $840.5 million, Versace revenue grew 55.5% to $213 million to top expectations of $165.6 million and Jimmy Choo revenue declined 23.0% to $107 million to miss expectations of $111.9 million. Capri did not provide guidance for fiscal 2021, citing the lack of visibility surrounding the pandemic. Capri's stock has run up 75.4% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 25.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 10.5 million, 511,686 deaths and 35 U.S. states have rising case numbers
The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 rose to 10.5 million on Wednesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The number of deaths climbed to 511,686, while the number of people who have recovered reached 5.4 million. The U.S. continues to lead the world, with a case tally of 2.64 million and death toll of 127,425. Within the U.S., infections have climbed in 35 states over the past 14 days, according to a New York Times tracker, with California, Texas and Florida leading the way. Brazil is next with 1.40 million cases and 59,594 deaths. Russia is third measured by cases at 653,479, followed by India with 585,481 and the U.K. with 314,161. The U.K. has 43,815 fatalities, the highest in Europe and third highest in the world. China, where the illness was first reported late last year, has 84,785 cases and 4,641 fatalities.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Trucking company YRC to get $700 million CARES Act loan, stock rockets 75% premarket
Shares of trucking company YRC Worldwide rocketed 75% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the company said it expects to receive a $700 million CARES Act loan from the U.S. Treasury. "YRCW and its operating companies Holland, New Penn, Reddaway, and YRC Freight have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," the company said in a statement. The companies employ 30,000 drivers, including 24,000 members of the Teamsters union, it said. The company will use the funds from the bailout plan to pay healthcare and pension costs and meet other contractual obligations and to support essential capital investment. In return for the loan, the U.S. Treasury will receive a 29.6% equity stake in the company. Shares have fallen 27% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 4%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Pinduoduo names former CTO Lei Chen as its CEO
China-based e-commerce platform company Pinduoduo Inc. named on Wednesday Lei Chen as its chief executive, effective immediately. Chen, a founding member of the company, was formerly chief technology officer since 2016. Former CEO and founder Zheng Huang will remain as chairman of the board of directors. "The management changes will place us on an even stronger footing to strive for the next level," Zheng Huang said. Pinduoduo's stock rose 0.7% in premarket trading. It has more than doubled (up 127%) year to date through Tuesday, while the iShares MSCI China ETF has gained 2.1% and the S&P 500 has slipped 4.0%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jul 01, 2020

Dun & Bradstreet priced its upsized IPO above the expected range, to raise $1.7 billion
Dun & Bradstreet's priced its upsized initial public offering above the expected range, as the data and analytics provider raised $1.723 billion, or 25% more than the high end of what was previously expected. The company said overnight Wednesday that it sold 78,302,272 shares at $22. On Friday, Dun & Bradstreet was set to raise up to $1.381 billion as it planned to offer 65,750,000 shares at $19 to $21 a share. With 400.55 million share outstanding after the IPO, the IPO pricing values the company at about $8.81 billion. The stock is expected to begin trading Wednesday morning on the NYSE, under the ticker symbol "DNB." Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, J.P. Morgan and Barclays are acting as joint lead bookrunning managers. The company is going public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has soared 59.7% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has climbed 25.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

Agora shares soar 145% on IPO debut
Agora Inc. shares are up 145% Friday to $49.19 on their Wall Street debut, the morning after it priced its initial public offering above the expected range. The video-interaction software company, with headquarters in Shanghai and Santa Clara, Calif., raised $350 million on the sale of 17.5 million American Depositary Receipts at $20 per ADS, compared with expectations that the IPO would price between $16 and $18. "Our service is quite relevant in this work-from-home climate, and the feedback to our public debut today is good," Agora Chief Executive Tony Zhao told MarketWatch in a phone interview Friday. "But our focus is always focused on building a good company. We can't do anything about things like legislation or other factors that might affect us," he added, acknowledging federal legislation that could impact companies with major operations in China. Agora reported a net loss of $36.9 million on total revenue of $35.6 million during the three months ended March 31, compared with a loss of $13.1 million on revenue of $13.4 million in the same period a year ago. When losses related to preferred share costs are removed, Agora's losses were $2.5 million in Q1 2019 and $3.4 million in Q1 2020.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

U.S. stock futures retreat after Dow's best quarter in decades
U.S. stock index futures slipped late Tuesday, after the Dow booked its best quarter since 1987. As of 8 p.m. Eastern, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down about 80 points, or 0.3%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq-100 futures retreated as well. Earlier in the day, the Dow and S&P 500 booked their best quarterly performance in more than 20 years, while the Nasdaq Composite had its best quarter since 1999, recovering from the lows seen in late March when the coronavirus shutdowns crippled the economy. The Dow gained 217.08, or 0.9%, to close at 25,812.88, the S&P 500 rose 47.05 points, or 1.5%, to close at 3,100.29, while the Nasdaq added 184.61 points, or 1.9%, to close at 10,058.77.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

FCC designates China's Huawei, ZTE as national security threats
The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday officially designated Chinese telecom-equipment companies Huawei Technologies Inc. and ZTE Corp. as national security threats, in a move to protect U.S. communication networks -- in particular, emerging 5G networks. "Both companies have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China's military apparatus, and both companies are broadly subject to Chinese law obligating them to cooperate with the country's intelligence services," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. The designation means that money from the FCC's $8.3-billion-a-year Universal Service Fund may not be spent on Huawei or ZTE equipment or services. The decision mainly effects smaller, rural U.S. telecom companies. The FCC initially barred spending on Huawei and ZTE products in November.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

Whirlpool's layoffs, restructuring costs pegged at up to $280 million
Whirlpool Corp.'s planned job cuts will result in about $95 million in severance and other employee-related costs, the company said in a filing Tuesday. Restructuring charges for fiscal 2020 are now seen between $260 million and $280 million, which includes a previous expectation of costs around $100 million, expenses with the job cuts, "and anticipated additional restructuring actions in 2020," the company said in the filing. The company announced its plan to cut jobs on Friday as part of its "continued cost reduction efforts," it said. The workforce-reduction plan includes voluntary retirement and layoffs, and it is expected to be completed this year, the appliances maker said. Shares of Whirlpool were flat in the extended session Tuesday after ending the regular trading day up 1.9%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

API data show weekly U.S. crude supplies down by more than 8 million barrels, sources say
The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies fell by 8.2 million barrels for the week ended June 26, according to sources. The API data also reportedly showed gasoline stockpiles down by 2.5 million barrels, while distillate inventories rose by 2.6 million barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub, meanwhile, edged up by 164,000 barrels for the week, sources said. Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday. The EIA data are expected to show crude inventories declined by 2.7 million barrels last week, according to analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. They also forecast a supply decline of 2.7 million barrels for gasoline and an increase of 900,000 barrels for distillate inventories. August West Texas Intermediate crude was at $39.66 a barrel in electronic trading. It settled Tuesday at $39.27 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

YouTube TV price hike underscores power of Netflix, analyst says
Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger said that Alphabet Inc.'s decision to raise its YouTube TV price to $65 a month from $50 a month highlights the underappreciated pricing power that fellow streaming outlet Netflix Inc. has. "The biggest investor pushback/concern/bear thesis on Netflix continues to be center on their ability to raise price over time," he wrote. "YouTube TV just raised its monthly price by $15, more than the entire monthly cost of Netflix. Said differently, a U.S. consumer can get an entire year of Netflix for less than the price of 2 months of YouTube TV." He argued that Netflix should be able to increase monthly subscription prices by about $1 every other year "for the foreseeable future." As for the YouTube price increase, Juenger said the timing seems "surprising" given high unemployment in the midst of the pandemic and virtually no live sports coverage. He has an outperform rating on Netflix shares with a $504 price target.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

U.S. stocks cap best quarter in two decades as S&P 500 hits 3,100
U.S. stock indexes finished higher on Tuesday, capping the best quarter for Wall Street in around 20 years, after strong economic data helped to offset concerns around a rising COVID-19 tally in the U.S. The S&P 500 gained 1.5% to 3,100. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9%, or 217 points, to 25,812, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.9% to 10,059. For the month, the S&P is up 1.8%, the Nasdaq gained 6%, and the Dow gained 1.7%. And for the second-quarter, the S&P jumped 18%, the Nasdaq soared 29.4%, and the Dow rose 15.6%. Market participants parsed joint testimony from Powell and Mnuchin about the U.S.'s economic response to the global public health disaster on Tuesday. In economic data, the Case-Shiller house price index rose 4% on an annual basis in April. Meanwhile, the index of consumer confidence rose to 98.1 this month from a revised 85.9 in May.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

Tesla stock ends at record, sending company's valuation above $200 billion
Tesla Inc. shares ended at a record $1,079.81 on Tuesday, sending the Silicon Valley car maker's market cap above $200 billion for the first time. That valuation puts Tesla at a stone's throw from Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's highest-valued car maker. Tesla is slated to report second-quarter deliveries, its proxy for sales, in the coming days, with analysts polled by FactSet expecting sales of 72,000 vehicles, of which 61,000 would be Model 3s. Tesla shares have gained 159% this year, contrasting with losses around 5% and 11% for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

An Uber deal for Postmates has 'sound industrial logic' but might not help pricing dynamics, analyst says
Following a report that Uber Technologies Inc. is considering acquiring food-delivery company Postmates for about $2.6 billion, Evercore ISI analyst Benjamin Black took a mixed view of the potential deal. "If the deal were to be approved by regulators, we think the Street would see it as value accretive given the sound industrial logic," he wrote in a note to clients, "though with three scaled players left in the market, it is debatable as to how impactful this transaction will be in expediting the timeline to rational pricing." Black sees opportunities for Uber Eats to recognize cost synergies if it follows through with a deal and said that the company could wind up with "a few fortress cities" in a narrower market for food-delivery operators. At the same time, he said that increased scale "could come at a cost" as Uber faces the possibility of "modest regulatory hurdles," a rival bid from a fellow industry player that could drive up the purchase price, or a rival bid from an outsider that could contribute to an even more competitive landscape. He has an outperform rating and $45 price target on Uber shares, which are up 4.6% in Tuesday trading. They've gained 31% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has gained 18%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

Oil futures end down for the session, but post a more than 90% gain for the quarter
Oil futures settled with a loss on Tuesday, down nearly 36% in the first half of the year, according to FactSet data, as the spread of COVID-19 continued to feed expectations for weaker energy demand. U.S. benchmark prices, however, ended the second quarter up by almost 92%, rebounding from a record dip to a negative settlement in April as a group of major oil producers moved to reduce oil production and amid signs of some recovery in demand for oil. August West Texas Intermediate oil fell 43 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $39.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

Airbus to cut workforce in bid to weather its 'gravest crisis'
Airbus SE said Tuesday it will cut about 15,000 jobs by next summer as it aims to "resize" its workforce and commercial-airplane operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic. "The commercial aircraft business activity has dropped by close to 40% in recent months as the industry faces an unprecedented crisis," the European plane maker said in a statement. Air traffic is not expected to recover to before COVID-19 levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, so Airbus needs to take "additional measures" to reflect the industry's outlook. The largest job cuts will happen in Germany and France, with 5,100 and 5,000 positions eliminated, the company said. Airbus will rely on voluntary departures, early retirements, and long-term part-time arrangements "where appropriate" to achieve the planned workforce reduction and mitigate social impact, it said. "Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced," Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said in the statement. "The measures we have taken so far have enabled us to absorb the initial shock of this global pandemic. Now, we must ensure that we can sustain our enterprise and emerge from the crisis as a healthy, global aerospace leader, adjusting to the overwhelming challenges of our customers." American depositary shares of Airbus were fractionally higher in late trading Tuesday and shares of Boeing Co. fell more than 6%. Aircraft makers have struggled amid the pandemic as travel has slowed to a trickle and airline customers delay or forgo plane orders.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

Benchmark analyst expects FDA to allow Inovio's coronavirus vaccine to move to Phase 2/3 clinical
A Benchmark Research analyst expects that the Food and Drug Administration will allow Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine candidate to move to a Phase 2/3 study. Benchmark's Aydin Huseynov noted that while the Phase 1 efficacy data provided by Inovio before the market opened on Tuesday morning was "insufficient to make a judgment call about the future utility of the vaccine," he is still encouraged by the news. He reiterated a buy rating. The company's stock was down 23.7% in trading on Tuesday. Since the start of the year, Inovio's stock has soared 628.3%, while the S&P 500 is down 5.5%.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

Gold futures settle above $1,800 for first time since 2011
Gold futures settled above $1,800 an ounce on Tuesday, the first time for a most-active contract since 2011. Prices for the haven metal continued to find support on the heels of uncertainty over a recovery in the economy, ending the quarter 12.8% higher and trading up by more than 18% for the first half of the year, according to Dow Jones Market Data. "With a potent combination of low rates, ongoing global monetary and fiscal stimulus and COVID-19 uncertainty, there is plenty of catalyst in the market for the price of gold to be well-supported," Steven Dunn, head of exchange-traded funds at Aberdeen Standard Investments, wrote in emailed commentary. August gold rose $19.30, or 1.1%, to settle at $1,800.50 an ounce. That was the highest finish for a most-active contract since Sept. 2011.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

Gun maker stocks surge to multi-year highs
Shares of gun and ammunition makers rallied toward multi-year highs Tuesday, as polls continue to show Joe Biden building a lead over President Donald Trump in a number of swing states. Analysts have said the regulatory environment is among the biggest drivers of demand for guns, as fears of tighter regulations have boosted sales in the past. "Biden's swing-state lead, if it is maintained, provides numerous paths to an election win," Paul Christopher, head of global market strategy at Wells Fargo wrote in a note to clients. The latest Federal Bureau of Investigation data on firearm background checks for May rose more than 30% from a year ago to top the 3 million mark for just the third time since the FBI started providing the data in late-1998, and two months after the monthly record was reached in March. Shares of Sturm Ruger & Co. rallied 4.1% toward the highest close since March 2016 and Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. hiked up 5.5% toward the highest close since July 2017. Ammunition maker Vista Outdoor Inc.'s stock rose 1.9% toward the highest close since October 2018. Those stocks have bounced sharply off multi-year lows hit late last year, which followed long downtrends Trump's victory in the November 2016 election eased concerns over potential tighter regulations.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

CDC director cites 'disappointment' with American Airlines' decision to sell middle seats
There was "substantial disappointment" with American Airlines' recent announcement that it will begin filling its planes to capacity, starting July 1, according to a government official. "We don't think it's the right message," Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified during a Senate committee hearing on Tuesday. "It's really important that individuals that are in, whether it's a bus or a train or a plane, are social distancing to the degree that's feasible." Redfield was responding to a question from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who had asked why the government hadn't stopped "that type of activity." When the number of coronavirus cases began to increase, airlines cut and canceled flights and in many cases banned the use of booking middle seats, to allow for social distancing on their aircraft. On Friday, American said it "will continue to notify customers and allow them to move to more open flights when available." Airline stocks began to rebound last week, likely because of increasing travel demand. Since the start of the year, shares of American Airlines have tumbled 53.9%. The S&P 500 has declined 5.5% year-to-date.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

Corn futures climb to highest levels since March after USDA forecast on planted acres
Corn futures traded sharply higher on Tuesday to touch their highest levels since March after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a smaller-than-expected estimate for acres of planted corn for this year. Corn planted area in 2020 is forecast at 92 million acres, up 3% from last year, according to the USDA's Acreage report. However, the average guess for corn planted acreage by all analysts was at 95.207 million acres, according to Reuters. "Assuming trend line yield of 178.5 bushels per acre," the forecasted acreage "trims the corn balance sheet by nearly a half a billion bushels," said Sal Gilbertie, president and chief investment officer at Teucrium Trading. "Corn is the king of the grain complex and with the near record amount of shorts on the corn futures side, there is a pretty significant short covering rally occurring." The most-active September corn contract rose 13 cents, or 4%, to trade at $3.41 3/4 a bushel in Chicago. Prices for a most-active contract haven't traded or settled at levels this high since March, according to FactSet data.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

FDA issues rules for coronavirus vaccine developers
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new rules on Tuesday for the companies developing COVID-19 vaccines. "While the FDA is committed to help expedite this work, we will not cut corners in our decision making, and we're making clear in our guidance what are the data that we need, that should be submitted, to meet our regulatory standards of approval," FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said Tuesday during a Senate committee hearing. The guidance states that the primary efficacy endpoint in a placebo-controlled efficacy clinical trial should be at least 50%, meaning the vaccine needs "to reduce the risk of disease caused by COVID-19 by 50%" when compared to the placebo, according to Brad Loncar, a longtime biotech investor and CEO of Loncar Investments. There are a number of drugmakers developing COVID-19 vaccine candidates including AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. , and Moderna Inc. , two of which (Inovio and Moderna) have disclosed preliminary data from their Phase 1 trials. A return to economic normalcy has largely been tied to the arrival of vaccines that can prevent infections from the coronavirus. "There is no guarantee...that we will have a safe and effective vaccine, but we are cautiously optimistic," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified during the same hearing.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

McGrath to face McConnell in Kentucky Senate race as she defeats Booker in Democratic primary
Amy McGrath has won the Democratic nomination for Senate in Kentucky, defeating progressive state Rep. Charles Booker. The Associated Press called the race on Tuesday afternoon, a week after the election was held. McGrath, a former fighter pilot, will now take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the fall. Booker, who is black, was endorsed by liberal stalwarts like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and had raised his profile during anti-racist protests following the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

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MarketWatch MarketPulse
Jun 30, 2020

Tesla stock jumps 7% ahead of quarterly sales
Shares of Tesla Inc. surged more than 7% on Tuesday, pushing the Silicon Valley car maker's valuation above $200 billion, ahead of second-quarter sales numbers expected this week. A close around current levels would be another record for the stock, which ended at an all-time high of $1,025.05 on June 10. Tesla's market cap hovers at $201 billion, closing in on Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's highest valued car maker. Toyota's market cap is at $214 billion. Tesla is slated to report second-quarter deliveries, its proxy for sales, in the coming days, with analysts polled by FactSet expecting sales of 72,000 vehicles, of which 61,000 would be Model 3s. Tesla shares have gained 159% this year, contrasting with losses around 5% and 11% for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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