Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Nielsen is expanding its ad measurement service to YouTube's mobile app

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 12:22

Nielsen said on Thursday that it is going to start measuring advertisements on YouTube's mobile app. Nielsen already uses its digital ad ratings service for Alphabet Inc.-owned YouTube's desktop and mobile web browsers, but will now include data and cross-device measurements of advertising audiences on YouTube's app as well. It's a necessary move for Nielsen's marketing clients as younger viewers increasingly watch content on mobile devices. YouTube's app is among the top-five free apps in the Apple Inc. App store. Nielsen will provide access to age and gender demographics for users viewing ads on YouTube's app, as well as reach frequency and gross rating points, which measures the size of an ad campaign. "As more people watch video across digital platforms and devices, Nielsen's comprehensive measurement of YouTube through digital ad ratings is crucial to provide a complete picture of media consumption," said David Wong, Nielsen's senior vice president of digital product leadership, in a statement. Nielsen Holdings Plc. shares have declined more than 11% in the year to date, while shares of Alphabet have gained more than 23% and the S&P 500 index has increased nearly 9%.

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Senate Republicans release draft Obamacare repeal bill

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 11:17

Senate Republicans posted online Thursday their 140-page bill that would repeal and replace Obamacare. The measure, broadly similar to the House bill, will cut Medicaid funding and repeal taxes on the wealthy. The measure would end penalties for people who don't have insurance. In a speech on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said legislation was needed because Obamacare "teeters on the edge of total collapse." Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said the measure would end Medicaid "as we know it." The bill would "strip away health care benefits and protections from Americans who need it most in order to give a tax break to Americans who need it least," Schumer said.

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Biotech ETF IBB on pace for best weekly gain in 7 months

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 11:09

A popular fund used to invest in the biotechnology sector on Thursday was on track for its best weekly gain in seven months, according to FactSet data. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF was up 1.2% on the day and looking at a 9.3% weekly advance, which would mark its best such gain since the week ended Nov. 11. Gains in the exchange-traded fund were being aided by a 13% climb in shares of XBiotech Inc. and a 8% jump in Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. [: SGMO]. The moves come as the U.S. Senate is soon set to reveal a health-care bill and as President Donald Trump has talked about making changes to drug pricing. Health-care stocks were the best performer in the S&P 500 index in early Thursday trade. The S&P 500 index was trading flat at 2,435, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up less than 0.1% at 21,420. The Nasdaq Composite Index , meanwhile, where biotech is a big component, was little-changed at 6,231.

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Shock and anger in Mosul after Islamic State destroys historic mosque

Top Reuters News - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:58
MOSUL/BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - The leaning al-Habda minaret that has towered over Mosul for 850 years lay in ruins on Thursday, demolished by retreating Islamic State militants, but Iraq's prime minister said the act marked their final defeat in the country's second city.

Natural-gas prices pare gains as U.S. supplies rise more than expected

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:41

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration Thursday showed that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 61 billion cubic feet for the week ended June 16. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts forecast a build of 58 billion cubic feet. Total stocks now stand at 2.770 trillion cubic feet, down 324 billion cubic feet from a year ago, but 207 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, the government said. July natural gas up a penny, or 0.4%, from Wednesday's settlement to $2.903 per million British thermal units. It traded at $2.917 before the data.

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Altice's stock trades above issue price in year's second-largest IPO

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:28

Shares of Altice USA were trading at $32 Thursday morning, above its issue price, as the cable-operator made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange as the second-largest initial public offering of the year. Altice sold 63,943,029 shares at $30 each to raise $1.9 billion, putting it just behind Snap Inc. , which raised $3.9 billion in March. The $30 issue price gave Altice a public market capitalization of more than $20 billion. Altice sold about 12 million of those shares, while the rest were sold by shareholders. BC Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have granted underwriters a 30-day option to buy 7.78 million additional shares.J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs & Co. are the underwriters on the offering.

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Champs Elysees attacker had been in Turkey and had huge arsenal of weapons: official

Top Reuters News - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:27
PARIS (Reuters) - The man behind this week's attempted attack in Paris's Champs Elysees avenue had been to Turkey several times in 2016 where authorities questioned him over large amounts of gold and jewelry in his possession, and he had a huge arsenal of weapons, said the Paris prosecutor.

Qatar Airways could join Warren Buffett as 10% stakeholders of American Airlines

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:17

If Qatar Airways buys a 10% stake in American Airlines Group Inc. , like it told the air carrier that it plans to do, the company will be tied with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. as American's third-largest shareholder. Berkshire owned 49.3 million shares of American, or a 10.0% stake, as of the end of March. That's behind T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., which owned a 10.9% stake, and Primecap Management Co., which owned a 10.2% stake, according to FactSet. American Airlines' stock rallied $1.55, or 3.2%, in morning trade, meaning Buffett's stake could be worth $76.4 million more than it was Wednesday. American's stock has run up 24% over the past three months, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has gained 7.0% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 3.7%.

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Amazon joins the board of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:08

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association said Thursday that Amazon.com Inc. has joined the board of directors, represented by Fouzan Mansuri, the director for sports and fitness at the e-commerce giant. The Sports & Fitness Industry Association is the global trade association for manufacturers, retailers and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. This is an interim appointment, but Amazon will be included for election to a three-year term during the annual election in the fall. Other board members include Jason LaRose, president of North America for Under Armour Inc. and Sal LaRocca, president of global operations and merchandising for the NBA. Nike Inc. will begin selling certain merchandise directly on Amazon, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Amazon shares are nearly flat in Thursday trading, but up 33.6% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up 8.8% for 2017 to date.

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U.S. leading indicators climb 0.3% in May; economy steady

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:03

WASHINGTON - The leading economic index climbed 0.3% in May and offered further proof the U.S. continues to grow at a steady clip, according to a survey produced by the Conference Board. "The U.S. LEI continued on its upward trend in May, suggesting the economy is likely to remain on, or perhaps even moderately above, its long-term trend of about 2% growth for the remainder of the year," said Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles research at the board. A measure of​ current conditions rose 0.1%. A "​lagging" index increased by the same amount. The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal business-cycle peaks and valleys.

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Carnival beats profit expectations and lifts outlook, but stock eases back from record close

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 09:53

Shares of Carnival Corp. slipped 0.3% morning trade, pulling back slightly from the prior session's record close of $66.43, although the cruise operator reported better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter results and provided an upbeat outlook. Net profit for the quarter to May 31 fell to $379 million, or 52 cents a share, from $605 million, or 80 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, such as unrealized gains from derivatives contracts, adjusted earnings per share rose to 52 cents from 49 cents, beating the FactSet consensus of 47 cents. Revenue rose to $3.95 billion from $3.71 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $3.88 billion, as both passenger ticket and onboard and other revenue topped expectations. The company said it expects third-quarter adjusted EPS of $2.16 to $2.20, compared with the FactSet consensus of $2.14, and revised its full-year adjusted EPS outlook higher to $3.60 to $3.70 from $3.50 to $3.70. The stock has run up 27.5% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.8%.

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Stocks flat to slightly higher as oil prices stabilize

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 09:32

Stocks edged marginally higher in early action Thursday as investors kept a wary eye on volatile oil prices. The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to 2,437.52, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3 points. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.1%. Oil futures bounced higher after hitting a 10-month low on Wednesday. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. rose 3.8% after Qatar Airways expressed interest in buying a large stake in the carrier.

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DryShips' stock extends plunge after reverse stock split takes effect

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 09:15

Shares of DryShips Inc. changed hands at $3.74 in premarket trade as the reverse stock split took effect, tumbling 12% from the split-adjusted close of $4.25. The stock had closed at 85 cents on Thursday, before the 1-for-5 reverse split took effect. The stock had plunged 51% the past three sessions, after ocean-going cargo vessel company announced the reverse split ahead of Monday's open. That stock had already lost 99.9% of its value year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.8%.

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Ritz-Carlton to launch a luxury cruise service

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 09:13

Ritz-Carlton, a Marriott International Inc. brand, said Thursday that it's launching a luxury cruise service with three yachts in the fourth-quarter of 2019. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's first ship will cruise to places including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America, depending on the season. The ships are small-capacity vessels that accommodate 298 passengers with 149 suites each with a private balcony, and two penthouses. Because of the intimate size of the yachts, ships will be able to call at locations like Capri and Portofino that are inaccessible to large cruise ships. The yachts are also available for private charter. Reservations open in May 2018. Marriott shares are unchanged in premarket trading and up 53.7% for the last year. The S&P 500 index is up 16.8% for the last 12 months.

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Sears Canada seeks creditor protection

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 08:52

Sears Canada Inc. said Thursday that it has applied to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for creditor protection as it pursues a corporate restructuring. Over the past 18 months, the company has rebuilt its technology platform, revamped its assortment, and rebooted its branding and customer service, the company said. If the creditor protection is granted, Sears Canada says it would like to exit "as soon as possible in 2017." Sears Canada shares are halted in premarket trading, and are down 84.6% for the last year. Sears Holdings Corp. owns an 11.7% stake in Sears Canada, according to FactSet. Sears Holdings shares are unchanged in premarket trading, and down 53.1% for the past 12 months. The S&P 500 index is up 16.8% for the past year.

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Barnes & Noble's stock rallies after results beat expectations

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 08:49

Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. ran up 3.1% in premarket trade Thursday, after the bookseller reported a narrower-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter loss and sales that beat expectations. The net loss for the quarter to April 29 was $13.4 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a loss of $30.6 million, or 42 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for losses per share was 23 cents. Revenue fell to $821.2 million from $876.7 million, but was above the FactSet consensus of $783 million. Same-store sales fell 6.3% from a year ago, while online sales increased 2.9%. For fiscal 2018, the company expects same-store sales to decline in the "low single digits" percentage range, an improvement from the fiscal 2017 decline of 6.3%. "In fiscal 2018, we are focusing on ways to improve the business and reignite sales through an aggressive test and learn process and companywide simplification process that will take out costs," said Chief Executive Demos Parneros. The stock had plunged 42% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 12% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.8%.

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Airline stocks rally after Qatar Airways discloses interest in buying American Airlines stake

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 08:35

Shares of airline companies rallied in premarket trade Thursday, after Qatar Airways expressed interest in buying a large stake in American Airline Group Inc. . American said Qatar had interest in buying 10% of its common stock outstanding. Based on American's market capitalization as of Wednesday's close, a 10% stake would be worth about $2.39 billion. American's stock ran up 5.3% in premarket trade. Among other air carriers, shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. rose 1.3%, Delta Air Lines Inc. climbed 1.4%, Southwest Airlines Co. gained 1.9%, JetBlue Airways Corp. advanced 1.2% and Alaska Air Group Inc. tacked on 1.1%. The NYSE Arca Airline Index has gained 3.8% year to date, to close Wednesday 2.5% below the near 16-year high hit on June 7. The S&P 500 has gained 8.8% year to date.

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Russian ForMin: high degree of certainty IS leader is dead - RIA

Top Reuters News - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 08:28
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday there was high degree of certainty that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead, RIA news agency reported.

American Airlines's stock surges after Qatar Airways discloses 'significant' investment interest

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 08:20

Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. jumped 5.5% in premarket trade Thursday, after the air carrier disclosed that it received unsolicited notice that Qatar Airways intended to make a "significant investment." In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, American said Qatar has submitted a filing regarding a potential investment under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, which would be required for an acquisition of more than $81 million worth of American's common stock. The notice said Qatar plans to buy at least $808 million worth of American common stock, and has indicated interest in acquiring a 10% stake. American's market capitalization as of Wednesday's close was $23.86 billion. "The proposed investment by Qatar Airways was not solicited by American Airlines and would in no way change the company's Board composition, governance, management or strategic direction," American stated in the filing. The stock has gained 3.u% year to date through Wednesday, while the NYSE Amex Airline Index has tacked on 3.8% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.8%.

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Mourners in Ohio remember U.S. student held prisoner by North Korea

Top Reuters News - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 08:06
WYOMING, Ohio (Reuters) - Friends and family members will gather in Ohio on Thursday to say goodbye to an American student who died days after being returned to the United States in a coma following 17 months in captivity in North Korea.

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