Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Betting market suggests health bill won't get passed Thursday

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 13:51

Trading on the political betting site PredictIt suggests the American Health Care Act won't be approved by the House on Thursday. The market was pricing in a 93% chance of fewer than 215 votes, where 218 votes are needed.

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Gold prices settle lower, pulling back after a 5-session rise

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 13:06

Gold prices settled with a loss on Thursday, easing back after a streak of gains that spanned five sessions. Prices for the metal had recently climbed on the back of a sharp slump in global equities and weakness in the U.S. dollar, but global stock markets traded mostly higher and the greenback strengthened a bit Thursday. April gold declined by $2.50, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,247.20 an ounce.

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Fed's Williams says central bank may raise rates three more times this year

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 13:05

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The Federal Reserve could raise short-term interest rates three more times this year, said San Francisco Fed President John Williams on Thursday. "Three or even four increases as your total makes sense," Williams said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. "I think the economy is in a good place right now," he said. The Fed raised interest rates last week and penciled in two more quarter-point hikes.

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State Dept to approve Keystone pipeline permit: Politico

Top Reuters News - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 12:42
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department will approve by Monday the permit needed to proceed with construction of the Canada-to-United States Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project blocked by former President Barack Obama, according to Politico.

Russia may be helping supply Taliban insurgents: U.S. general

Top Reuters News - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 12:32
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. general in Europe said on Thursday that he had seen Russian influence on Afghan Taliban insurgents growing and raised the possibility that Moscow was helping supply the militants, whose reach is expanding in southern Afghanistan.

Trump, conservatives fail to strike deal on health bill

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 12:31

Members of the House Freedom Caucus say there's no deal yet on supporting the House Republican health-care bill after a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon. Trump has been lobbying skeptical Republicans for the bill ahead of a planned vote on Thursday. But there were signs negotiations were ongoing as a vote time was still not set. "We're trying to get to yes," said Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican.

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Credit Suisse shares drop 2% on reports of $3 billion share sale

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 11:46

Shares of Credit Suisse Group AG fell 2% in Zurich on Thursday after media reports the Swiss banking giant is considering a share sale to boost its capital buffers. Bloomberg said the company may issues shares representing 10% of its outstanding stock, equivalent to about 3.1 billion francs ($3.12 billion). The rights issue would happen instead of a separate listing of Credit Suisse's Swiss banking division, according to the reports. A representative from Credit Suisse wasn't immediately available to comment.

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Republican health-care bill disapproved by 56%-to-17% margin: poll

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 11:26

American voters disapprove the Republican health-care bill 56% to 17%, with 26% undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released Thursday. The bill may be voted on as early as Thursday as a group of conservatives negotiate with Speaker Paul Ryan and others. The bill is unpopular enough that 46% of voters say they will be less likely to vote for a senator or representative that votes for the bill. One out of every seven Americans, 14%, think they will lose their health insurance under the Republican plan, the poll finds.

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U.K. police identify London attack suspect as 52-year old Khalid Masood

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 10:47

The Metropolitan Police in London have identified the suspect of the deadly Wednesday attack in London as 52-year-old Khalid Masood. The suspected assailant was not the subject of any current investigations and "there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack," Scotland Yard said. However, he was known to police before and has a range of previous convictions for assault, possession of offensive weapons and public order offenses. Masood, also known by a number of aliases, was born in Kent in the southeast of England, but detectives believe he was most recently living in the West Midlands.

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Whole Foods is a 'victim of its own success,' says UBS

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 10:23

Whole Foods Market Inc. was initiated on Thursday at sell at UBS with a $25 stock price target, with analysts saying the company faces intensifying competition after being a pioneer in the organic food space. "While Whole Foods has done so much to inspire, create, and revolutionize the market for natural and organic, we now see it being the victim of its own success," analysts wrote in a note. "Whole Foods' nine-point plan is a good strategy to confront the challenges it is facing. But, we don't think it will fully address the fact that the distribution of natural/organic continues to widen." Analysts suggest that the company needs to move from a "growth phase to an efficiency phase." Cost savings of $300 million "is a start", but growth must be "process-oriented." Whole Foods shares are down 0.8% in Thursday trading, and down 7.6% for the past year. The S&P 500 index is up 15.8% for the last 12 months.

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Chesapeake Energy's stock jumps after analyst sees price doubling in the next year

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 10:22

Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. climbed 1.4% in morning trade Thursday, after Stifel Nicolaus published a bullish research note that implied the stock could possibly double in a year. Analyst Karl Chalabala started coverage of Chesapeake with a buy rating, which for Stifel means the stock is expected to provide investors with a total return of greater than 10% over the next 12 months. But Chalabala said the stock price target was $10.00, which is exactly double Wednesday's closing price of $5.00. "Following a wave of asset divestitures, debt repayments and midstream obligation renegotiations, we believe Chesapeake is well positioned to succeed in the North American shale low-price commodity environment," Chalabala wrote in a note to clients. The stock has plunged 28% year to date, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has lost 8.2% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.3%.

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Late Easter holiday will drive record spending - NRF

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 10:03

Spending for the Easter holiday is expected to reach $18.4 billion, up 6% from $17.3 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation, a record high for the 14-year-old annual survey. Individual spending will be an average $152, up from last year's record $146. Easter 2017 takes place three weeks later than last year. Coupled with the warm weather, shoppers will be "in the frame of mind to splurge on spring apparel along with Easter decorations," said NRF Chief Executive Matthew Shay in a statement. Customers will spend $5.8 billion on food, $3.3 billion on clothing, $1.1 billion on decorations, and $2.26 billion on candy, the group said. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF is down 7.7% for the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 15.6% for the same period.

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Utah resident killed, wife injured in London terrorist attack

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 10:00

An American tourist is the third confirmed death in Wednesday's terrorist attack on near the Houses of Parliament in London. Kurt Cochran, 54, from West Bountiful, Utah, was on Westminster Bridge when a driver plowed his car into pedestrians, multiple news reports said Thursday. Cochran's wife, Melissa, was being treated for her injuries in the hospital. The couple were in Europe celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and were scheduled to return on Thursday, according to a statement from Kurt Cochran's family. A 43-year-old Spanish teacher and a 48-year-old Metropolitan Police officer were the other two people killed during Wednesday's attack. The attacker was shot dead by police Wednesday. Islamic State's news agency, Amaq, said one of its followers carried out the attack.

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U.S.-Israeli teen arrested in Israel over bomb threats to Jewish centers

Top Reuters News - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 09:58
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A man was arrested in Israel on Thursday on suspicion of making dozens of hoax bomb threats against Jewish community centers in the United States, Australia and New Zealand over the past three months, police said on Thursday.

EIA reports weekly decline of 150 billion cubic feet in U.S. natural-gas supplies

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 09:35

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration Thursday showed that domestic supplies of natural gas fell by 150 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 17. That was slightly less than the decline of 153 billion cubic feet expected by analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. Total stocks now stand at 2.092 trillion cubic feet, down 399 billion cubic feet from a year ago, but 266 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, the government said. April natural gas was up less than a cent, or 0.1%, from Wednesday's settlement at $3.017 per million British thermal units. It was trading at $3.045 before the data.

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Volkswagen's return to European debt markets met with warm reception

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 09:29

Volkswagen AG's return to European debt markets has been met with a warm reception from investors, who're rushing to participate in Thursday's expected 7.5 billion euro ($8.1 billion) bond offering, according to a report from the Financial Times. The bond had attracted 22 billion euros ($23.8 billion) in bids by mid-morning, London Time, the FT reported, with debt being sold in four tranches with maturities from two to 10 years. The German automaker was once one of the largest bond issuers in Europe, but it hasn't sold a benchmark bond denominated in a G-10 currency since August 2015. In January, the company agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil fines and pleaded guilty to three criminal felony counts. These fines brought the automakers' total scandal-related costs in the U.S. to $20 billion. The company's U.S.-traded shares were off 1.3% at $29.92 in Thursday trade.

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House Speaker Ryan delays news conference ahead of health-care vote

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 09:11

House Speaker Paul Ryan pushed back his 11:30 a.m. Eastern news conference to 3:30 p.m., in a possible sign that Republicans are still searching for votes on their health-care bill. House leaders have been planning to vote on the American Health Care Act Thursday but reports have said they are short of votes. President Donald Trump is meeting with conservative members Thursday morning to drum up support.

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Jobless claims unexpectedly rise; labor market still strong

Top Reuters News - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 08:59
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but remained below a level associated with a strengthening labor market.

Man arrested for trying to drive car into crowd in Belgian city: reports

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 08:54

A man has been detained after trying to drive a vehicle into a crowd in Antwerp, Belgium, according to multiple media reports citing Belgian police. The vehicle was driven into a main shopping street at high speed, said a police spokesman, according to a BBC report. The arrest comes a day after a deadly terror attack in the U.K. in which pedestrians were run down by a car. It's been one year and a day since Brussels, Belgium's capital, was hit by suicide bombings that left 32 victims and three attackers dead.

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Whole Foods implements new egg standards for 365 Everyday Value brand

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 08:52

Whole Foods Market Inc. said Thursday that it has implemented four new standards for the living conditions of laying hens that produce its 365 Everyday Value brand eggs. Whole Foods now requires that birds living indoors have perches, that they have equal amounts of indoor and outdoor space, that birds have access to grassland and rangeland, and that outdoor birds have mobile shelters. Mammal or poultry byproducts are prohibited in feed. Whole Foods has sold exclusively cage-free eggs in its dairy section since 2004. All 365 Everyday Value eggs have come from hens fed only non-GMO feed since 2016. Whole Foods shares are down 1.3% in Thursday trading, and down 8.2% for the past year. The S&P 500 index is up 15.3% for the last 12 months.

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