Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Procter & Gamble's stock drops after analyst cuts rating, price target

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 09:06

Shares of Procter & Gamble Co. fell 0.8% in premarket trade Monday, after the consumer products giant was downgraded at B. Riley, which cited concerns over rising valuation as fundamentals have weakened. Analyst Linda Bolton Weiser cut her rating to neutral, after being at buy for the past seven months. She slashed her stock price target to $91, which was just 0.6% above Friday's closing price of $90.50, from $106. Weiser said that while the stock has rallied 11% since Dec. 1, global category growth has slowed to about 2% from about 3%, and the company's plan for double-digit percentage price cuts in blades and razors is slated to begin in the June quarter. "The slowdown in consumption growth (in markets like China, U.S., U.K.) has caused retailers to reduce inventory, impacting PG's sales growth," Weiser wrote in a note to clients. The stock has gained 8.4% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has advanced 6% and the S&P 500 has run up 19%.

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Apparel sales growth struggles to climb above 3%, says NPD

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 09:01

Apparel sales across men, women and children grew 3% in 2016, reaching $218.7 billion, according to a report from the NPD Group published Monday. However apparel has struggled to grow more than 3% since 2013 as gains in one segment are offset by declines in others. Athleisure continues to be the top-selling segment, growing 11% in 2016 to become a $45.9 billion market. Jeans, dresses and tailored clothing also sold well for the year, the group said. And the shift to online sales persisted, with e-commerce sales rising to 19% of all U.S. men's, women's and children's apparel sales. In 2011, it was 11%. "Online's continued growth has come at the expense of in-store sales, affecting the more traditional apparel department, national chain, and specialty channels," NPD said. "The growth that occurred n the online, off-price, and mass channels came from a consumer focus on convenience, value and price." The SPDR S&P Retail ETF is down 4.7% for the past year, while the S&P 500 index is up 19.2% for the same period.

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Netflix upgraded to buy from neutral on belief of strong Q1 subscriber adds

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 08:59

Netflix Inc. may be in for a first quarter of strengthening subscriber numbers, according to analysts at UBS led by Doug Mitchelson, who upgraded the stock to buy from neutral. Shares of the streaming giant were up as much as 1.7% in premarket trade on Monday. Despite a period of fewer original content releases, Mitchelson wrote he sees upside to Netflix's subscriber guidance given growth in Europe and Latin America, as well as modest improvements in Japan. Netflix, after reporting adding 7.1 million subscribers in the most recent fourth quarter, is guiding for 5.2 million additions. Analysts tracked by FactSet, on average, expect the company to add 5.3 million subscribers. "Netflix is certainly well-liked and not inexpensive, but we do see the potential for Netflix to exceed Wall Street subscriber growth expectations and believe that concerns regarding competition and content costs are misplaced," Mitchelson wrote in a note to clients. He also noted that commentary around the success of Netflix's integration with Comcast Corp.'s X1 set top box is encouraging, leading to lower churn as more deals roll out. However, Mitchelson said a concern worth following is the potential for a newly Republican Federal Communication Commission to roll back, or otherwise eliminate net neutrality rules. Shares of Netflix have gained nearly 37% in the trailing 12-month period, while the S&P 500 index is up 19% during the same time frame.

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GoPro shares slide premarket as Goldman Sachs downgrades to sell

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 08:43

Goldman Sachs on Monday downgraded shares of GoPro Inc. stocl to sell from neutral, citing the many challenges facing the company as the core action camera market becomes saturated, including product launch issues in the holiday season and a disappointing entry to the drone market. Goldman lowered its stock price target to $6 from $9.50. "We expect GoPro to continue to struggle fundamentally," analysts wrote in a note. "In its core action camera market, the company exited a disappointing holiday season with excess inventory, as noted by key supplier Ambarella . It also faces a new competitor, YI Technology, whose products are competitive with GoPro's but at a $100 (25-33%) lower price point." The company's recent restructuring may hamper its ability to differentiate through content, said the note. GoPro shares were down 3.3% premarket, and are down 63% in the last 12 months, while the S&) 500 has gained 19%.

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Advaxis stock jumps 10% after FDA okays clinical trials for Amgen-partnered cancer drug

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 08:41

Advaxis Inc. shares surged 10.6% in pre-market trade Monday after the company said the Food and Drug Administration would allow its ADXS-NEO, a cancer immunotherapy drug partnership with Amgen , to proceed to clinical trials. ADXS-NEO's approach targets neoantigens, which are seen as a promising avenue of cancer drug development, and the drug is only the second of this type with an Investigational New Drug application accepted by the FDA, according to a company spokesperson. Advaxis said it plans to start a phase 1 trial for the drug in multiple tumor types later this year. Amgen shares slumped 0.2% in pre-market trade Monday. Shares of Advaxis have risen 3.5% over the last three months, and shares of Amgen have surged 24.2% over the last three months, compared with a 7.7% rise in the S&P 500 .

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Snap's stock surges again on heavy volume

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 08:40

Snap Inc.'s stock surged again, rising 4.4% in active premarket trade Monday, to put the social media company on course for a third-straight gain since going public. Meanwhile, futures for the S&P 500 were down 0.3%. Trading volume was 1.7 million shares about an hour ahead of the open, making the stock the most actively traded in the premarket. Although most analysts who have already started coverage of the company said they believe the stock was too expensive, it closed Thursday at $24.48, or 41% above its initial-public-offering price of $17, and rallied another 11% on Friday to $27.09. In comparison, Twitter Inc.'s stock closed up 73% on its debut on Nov. 7, 2013, then slumped 7.2% the following session. The first three-day win streak was came about a month after the debut. Facebook Inc. shares closed 0.6% above its $38 IPO price at $38.23 on its first day of trade, then fell 19% over the next two sessions and 32% over the next two weeks. The first three-day win streak also came a month after the debut.

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Dynavax shares fall 4% premarket after company releases data from melanoma trial

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 08:31

Shares of Dynavax Technologies Corp. tumbled 4% in premarket trade Monday, after the biotech reported findings from an early-stage trial of its SD-101 treatment for metastatic melanoma in combination with Merck & Co.'s Keytruda. Dynavax said the trial produced results for efficacy in 17 patients and safety in 22 patients. "In patients naïve to anti-PD-1 treatment, responses were observed in six out of seven patients, for an Overall Response Rate (ORR) of 86%," the company said in a statement. "This includes two (29%) complete responses (CR) and four (57%) partial responses (PR). Target tumor shrinkage was observed in all 7 evaluable patients." Dynavax Chief Medical Officer Robert Janssen said the results allow the company explore higher doses of the drug. Shares have fallen 63% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Concert Pharma shares rally 34% on news Vertex to pay up to $250 million for cystic fibrosis drug

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 07:56

Shares of Concert Pharmaceuticals Inc. rallied 34% premarket Monday, after the company said Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. is buying its cystic fibrosis treatment CTP-656 and other assets in a deal worth up to $250 million. Vertex will pay Concert $160 million in cash on deal closing for the development and selling rights to CTP-656. Vertex will pay up to an additional $90 million in milestone payments, if the treatment is approved as part of a combination regime for cystic fibrosis in the U.S. and approved for reimbursement in the U.K, Germany or France. The drug is currently in Phase II trials with data expected by year-end. Concert made the announcement as it reported results for 2016, showing a loss of $50.7 million, or $2.28 a share, after earnings of $24.2 million, or $1.09 a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell sharply to $174,000 from $66.7 million the year earlier, when it was boosted by a one-time $50.2 million change of control payment from Auspex Pharma, which was a result of their being acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. . The company said it had $96.2 million in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year and expects that to be enough to fund operations through the second quarter of 2018. Shares are down 28% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 19%.

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Citing lack of proof, Philippine senators end Duterte 'death squad' inquiry

Top Reuters News - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 07:44
MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine senators abruptly ended a hearing on Monday into allegations by a retired policeman that a "death squad" operated under President Rodrigo Duterte when he was mayor of Davao City, citing no proof that it even existed.

TG Therapeutics' stock shoots up toward 5-month high after positive test results

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 07:39

Shares of TG Therapeutics Inc. rocketed 57% toward a five-month high in premarket trade Monday, after the biopharmaceutical company announced positive results from a phase 3 trial of its treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. TG said the trial of TG-1101 met its primary endpoint of efficacy and safety, demonstrating "statistically significant improvement in the overall response rate. " This study demonstrates that the addition of ublituximab, can significantly enhance the response rates without compromising safety," said Jeffrey Sharman, the phase 3 study chair. The stock had lost 4.5% over the past three months through Friday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF had climbed 10% and the S&P 500 had gained 7.7%.

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GM shifts from bigger is better to less global, more profitable

Top Reuters News - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 07:37
DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co’s decision to sell its European operations doubles down on a bet that the company can win by being less global, but more profitable, in an auto industry increasingly driven by software.

Exclusive: Trump to leave Iraq off new travel ban order - White House source

Top Reuters News - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 06:57
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump will remove Iraq from a list of countries targeted in a U.S. travel ban when he is expected to sign a new executive order on Monday after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the courts, a White House source said.

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces capture al-Hurriya bridge in Mosul, spokesman says

Top Reuters News - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 05:21
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S.-backed Iraqi forces on Monday captured Mosul's al-Hurriya bridge, which leads to the Islamic State-held old city center from the south, a military media officer told Reuters.

Alphabet lawsuit against Uber cements end of uneasy marriage

Top Reuters News - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 04:40
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - When Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] was raising venture capital in 2013, it was one of the hottest deals around – and no one was more eager to write a check than Bill Maris and David Krane of Google's venture capital arm.

PSA pays GM $2.3 billion for Opel, sets first recovery goals

Top Reuters News - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 02:21
PARIS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - PSA Group has agreed to buy Opel from General Motors in a deal valuing the business at 2.2 billion euros ($2.3 billion), creating a new regional car giant to challenge market leader Volkswagen .

South Korea special prosecutor says President Park colluded with friend for Samsung bribe

Top Reuters News - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 02:19
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's President Park Geun-hye colluded with her friend Choi Soon-sil to receive bribes from Samsung Group aimed at cementing Samsung Chief Jay Y. Lee's control of the conglomerate, the special prosecutor's office said on Monday.

U.S. Republicans expected to unveil healthcare bill this week

Top Reuters News - Sun, 03/05/2017 - 22:00
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. lawmakers expect to unveil this week the text of long-awaited legislation to repeal and replace the Obamacare healthcare law, one of President Donald Trump's top legislative priorities, a senior Republican congressional aide said on Sunday.

North Korea fires four ballistic missiles into sea near Japan: Abe

Top Reuters News - Sun, 03/05/2017 - 20:29
SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) - North Korea fired four ballistic missiles early on Monday, three of which landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, the latest in a series of provocative tests by the reclusive state.

China's Xi says Shanghai should lead in reform, innovation: Xinhua

Top Reuters News - Sun, 03/05/2017 - 20:13
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Shanghai should lead China's plans to reform and advance innovation, the official Xinhua news agency has reported President Xi Jinping as saying at the annual meeting of parliament.

Global stocks drop as markets wary of Fed, geopolitical tensions

Top Reuters News - Sun, 03/05/2017 - 19:49
TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares and U.S. stock futures dropped on Monday as investors weighed the near-certain prospect of an interest rate hike in the United States this month against news of slower growth in China this year.

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