Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Oil prices settle higher, but lose more than 2% for the week

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 14:44

Oil prices rose Friday to recoup their losses from a day earlier, but still finished the week more than 2% lower on continued concerns that U.S. production will offset efforts by other crude producers to lower global supplies. July West Texas Intermediate crude added 28 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $44.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices lost about 2.4% for the week.

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As Brexit talks loom, UK PM May scrambles for deal to stay in power

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 13:59
LONDON/DUBLIN (Reuters) - Britain is likely to go into arduous talks on its exit from the European Union without a deal to keep Prime Minister Theresa May in power as negotiations with a Northern Irish "kingmaker" party grind into a second week.

Gold edges higher for the session, falls for the week

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 13:59

Gold edged higher Friday, rebounding a bit from the three-week low it reached a day earlier. Prices still finished the week with a loss of more than 1% in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision Wednesday to increase interest rates, as expected. August gold rose $1.90, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,256.50 an ounce. The metal tallied its second-weekly decline in a row.

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U.S. congressman Scalise still in critical condition: hospital

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 13:52
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Steve Scalise remained in critical condition on Friday, a hospital spokeswoman, after he was shot by a gunman earlier in the week who opened fire on Republican lawmakers practicing for a baseball game.

Oil prices unfazed by another weekly rise in U.S. oil-rig count

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 13:10

Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil climbed by 6 to 747 rigs this week. That marked a 22nd weekly rise in a row. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, climbed by 6 to 933, according to Baker Hughes. Oil prices showed little reaction to the data, with July West Texas Intermediate crude up 19 cents, or 0.4%, at $44.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, unchanged from the levels it traded at before the data.

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Trump acknowledges he is under investigation in Russia probe

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 12:55
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump acknowledged on Friday that he is personally under investigation as part of a widening probe into alleged Russian meddling in last year's U.S. presidential race and possible collusion by his campaign, an inquiry that has cast a shadow over his five months in office.

Germany threatens retaliation if U.S. sanctions harm its firms

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 12:38
BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Germany threatened on Friday to retaliate against the United States if new sanctions on Russia being proposed by the U.S. Senate end up penalizing German firms.

Whole Foods buyout by Amazon investigated by shareholder rights firms

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:23

Whole Foods Market Inc.'s stock soared 27% to a two-year high in morning trade Friday, but some law firms aren't convinced that the deal to be bought out by Amazon.com Inc. is fair to its shareholders. Johnson & Weaver LLP said it has launched an investigation into whether Whole Foods' board breached fiduciary responsibilities with the proposed sale of the company. The firm said it was concerned whether the proposed deal price of $42 a share represents "adequate consideration," given that at least one Wall Street analyst had a $47 stock price target. The average price target of the analysts surveyed by FactSet was $34.61, with $47 the highest and $19 the lowest. Levi & Korsinsky LLP said it was investigating the "fairness" of the sales of the company. The $42-per-share bid was 36% below the record close of $65.24 reached on Oct. 25, 2013. Whole Foods' stock has run up 37% year to date, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has gained 7.7% and the S&P 500 has advanced 8.4%.

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Consumer-staples stocks face worst day in months after Amazon-Whole Foods shock

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:52

The consumer-staples sector, heavily populated by shares of grocers, is on track to book its worst one-day decline since November, as Amazon.com Inc. said it will buy Whole Foods Market Inc. in a $13.7 billion merger. Consumer staples shares in the S&P 500 index were down 1.8% and looking at their worst single-session drop since Nov. 10, when the sector tumbled 2.8%, according to FactSet data. A popular fund used to bet on consumer-staples companies, the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF , was down 2.4% and also pacing its worst daily fall since Nov. 10. Shares of Kroger Co. led losses, down more-than 14%, Costco Wholesale Corp. was off 6.7% and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fell by about the same percentage. The consumer-staples sector of the S&P 500 index was the worst performer of the index's 11 sectors. More broadly, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index traded 0.4% lower.

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100,000 civilians behind Islamic State lines in Iraqi city of Mosul

Top Reuters News - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:26
GENEVA (Reuters) - About 100,000 civilians remain trapped behind Islamic State lines in Mosul with a U.S.-backed government offensive to recapture the Iraqi city entering its ninth month, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos is $2.8 billion richer after Whole Foods buyout deal

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:11

Jeff Bezos is having some "fun" on Friday. The $34.39, or 3.6% surge in Amazon.com Inc.'s stock, after the deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. , is boosting the the Amazon co-founder and CEO's coffers by about $2.75 billion. Bezos is Amazon's largest shareholder, with 79.90 million shares, or 16.7%, of the shares outstanding, according to FactSet. "Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy," Bezos said in a statement. Amazon's stock has run up 33% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.5%.

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European supermarket stocks drop after Amazon strikes deal for Whole Foods

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:10

U.K. and European grocery shares fell Friday following Amazon.com Inc.'s deal to buy upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc. in a $13.7 billion deal. . Dutch supermarket chain Royal Ahold Delhaize NV , whose stores include Giant and Stop and Shop, tumbled 7.5%. Tesco PLC dropped 3.9% in a volatile session for the U.K.'s largest supermarket chain after it reported first-quarter sales growth. Stock in Britain's J Sainsbury PLC tanked 4.5%.

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S&P 500 slides as grocery chains stumble in wake of Amazon-Whole Foods deal news

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:03

The consumer-staples sector on Friday was dragging the S&P 500 index lower in early trading action, after Amazon.com Inc. announced plans to buy Whole Foods Market Market Inc. . Consumer staples, heavily populated by names like grocery chain Kroger Co. , Costco Wholesale Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. all were trading at least 5% lower. Amazon said it plans to purchase Whole Foods for $13.7 billion or $42 a share, marking one of the larger deals for Amazon run by billionaire Jeff Bezos. The consumer-staples group was down 1.5% and on track to book its worst daily drop since Nov. 30, according to FactSet data. The exchange-traded Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF , which tracks the consumer-staples sector, was down 2.4% and pacing its worst one-day fall since Nov. 10. Consumer staples stocks were the worst performers among the S&P 500's 11 sectors. Elsewhere, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1% at 21,337, while the Nasdaq Composite Index traded off 0.1% at 6,159.

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Whole Foods deal lifts thinly traded Organics ETF

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:58

An exchange-traded fund dedicated to organic products rose on Friday, lifted after Amazon.com agreed to buy Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion deal. The Organics ETF gained 2.9% in early trading, extending its year-to-date gain to 16.4%. Whole Foods is the second-largest holding of the fund, comprising 18.1% of the portfolio. Shares of Whole Foods surged 27% in heavy trading on Friday, while Amazon.com was up 3.2%. The Organics ETF is small, with only $5.5 million in assets, and it is thinly traded, with a 30-day average below 4,000 shares, according to FactSet. Only 800 shares exchanged hands in the first half-hour of trading on Friday.

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Nearly $29 billion in market cap wiped from Amazon's new rivals in grocery space

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:50

Amazon's dramatic push into the grocery space with its planned acquisition of Whole Foods has wiped nearly $29 billion from the aggregate market cap of rivals in the grocery category. Wal-Mart Stores lost over $14 billion in market value, Costco's market cap fell by more than $5 billion, and Target and Kroger each saw a reduction of more than $3 billion. U.S.-listed shares of Ahold Delhaize , which owns U.S. chains including Giant and Food Lion, saw its value drop by nearly $2 billion. Smaller rivals including Supervalu , Sprouts and Weis Markets also nursed heavy losses.

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Whole Foods to be acquired by Amazon in $13.7 billion deal

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:41

Amazon.com Inc. announced Friday that it's acquiring Whole Foods Market Inc. for $42 per share in an all-cash transaction of about $13.7 billion, including Whole Foods' debt. The deal implies a $13.4 billion market cap for the natural and organic grocer. Whole Foods will continue to operate under the Whole Foods angle, and John Mackey will continue as chief executive of Whole Foods with its headquarters remaining in Austin, Tex. Both companies expect the transaction to close during the second half of 2017. Amazon shares are are down 0.5% in Friday premarket trading, and Whole Foods shares were halted. Shares of Amazon are up 34.4% for the past year, Whole Foods shares are up 7.3%, and the S&P 500 index is up 17.1% for the period.

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Stock market opens lower as Whole Foods and Amazon announce merger

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:38

U.S. stocks opened little changed on Friday, as Wall Street tried to cap a week marked by nagging pain in the technology sector and a Federal Reserve interest-rate hike. Trading action also comes as Amazon.com Inc. said it would purchase grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion or $42 a share. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 16 points, or less than 0.1%, at 21,349, the S&P 500 index was flat at 2,431, with consumer-staples sinking led by a 15% decline in shares of Kroger Co. , extending that grocery chains slide from the previous session. The Nasdaq Composite Index , meanwhile, was off 0.3% at 6,146 and set to end the week down nearly 1%, marking its second straight weekly decline in a row, as shares of high-flying companies like Amazon, Netflix Inc. . Facebook Inc. , Google-parent Alphabet Inc. retreated sharply from at or near record prices.

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Whole Foods's stock halted until well after the open

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:29

Investors will have to wait a little longer to see how Whole Foods Market Inc.'s stock reacts to the buyout deal with Amazon.com Inc. . The natural and organic grocer's stock has been halted for news since 8:54 a.m. ET, and isn't scheduled to resume trading until 9:50 a.m. Amazon's bid of $42 a share for Whole Foods is 27% above Thursday's closing price of $33.06, and is the highest price seen since May 29, 2015, but is 36% below the Oct. 25, 2013 record close $65.24. Whole Foods's stock has gained 7.3% over the past year, while Amazon shares have rallied 34% and the S&P 500 has gained 17%.

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Wal-Mart to acquire menswear company Bonobos for $310 million

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:27

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday that it will acquire menswear company Bonobos for $310 million in cash. Bonobos launched online in 2007, and opened its first shop in 2011. The deal is expected to close toward the end of the second quarter or the beginning of the third quarter. Andy Dunn, founder and chief executive of Bonobos, will report to Marc Lore, chief executive of Walmart U.S. e-commerce. Dunn will oversee Bonobos and ModCloth, Wal-Mart's collection of digitally-native brands. In recent months, Wal-Mart has also acquired other online fashion companies including Moosejaw and ShoeBuy. Wal-Mart shares are down nearly 6% in Friday premarket trading in the wake of the M&A news from Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. . Wal-Mart shares are up 14.2% for the year so faf while the S&P 500 index is up 8.7% for the period.

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Trump tweets that he's under investigation over firing of Comey

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 09:23

President Donald Trump for the first time confirmed that he was the personal target of an investigation over his firing of then-FBI Director James Comey. "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," Trump tweeted.

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