Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick ousted after pressure by big investors: NYT

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 01:50

Travis Kalanick, who co-founded ride-sharing service Uber, has stepped down from his post as chief executive officer, The New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing sources. His exit came Tuesday after five of the company's big investors, which includes venture capital group Benchmark, had a letter delivered to Kalanick while he was in Chicago, demanding his resignation. The letter, obtained by The New York Times, stated that the company needs a new leader and after hours of talks, Kalanick agreed. "I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted by another fight," Kalanick said in a statement, according to the Times. A spokesperson for Uber could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman elevated to Crown Prince: SPA

Top Reuters News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 01:48
DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was promoted to crown prince on Wednesday, replacing his cousin in a sudden announcement that confirms King Salman's 31-year-old son as next ruler of the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia replaces crown prince in major shakeup

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 00:07

In a major shakeup within the Saudi royal family that upends the kingdom's line of succession, Saudi Arabia's King Salman removed Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef from his position Wednesday and replaced him with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the king's son. Bin Salman, 31, is the country's defense minister and has led an effort to expand and diversify the kingdom's economy from one reliant on oil. Bin Salman met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House earlier this year, and is said to be a hard-liner against Iran.

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Tesla replaces head of Autopilot software after six months

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 23:20

Tesla Inc. has parted ways with Autopilot software chief Chris Lattner after just six months. Tesla had lured Lattner from Apple Inc. in January. In a tweet Tuesday night, Lattner said: "Turns out that Tesla isn't a good fit for me after all. I'm interested to hear about interesting roles for a seasoned engineering leader!" In a statement, Tesla confirmed Lattner was leaving: "Chris just wasn't the right fit for Tesla, and we've decided to make a change. We wish him the best." Lattner's position will be filled by new hire Andrej Karpathy, who will be director of artificial intelligence and Autopilot Vision, as well as Tesla hardware division chief Jim Keller, who will add software to his responsibilities, according to a Tesla spokesperson. Karpathy has expertise in deep learning, and is a veteran of Alphabet Inc.'s Google and most recently worked as a research scientist at OpenAI.

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Republican wins costly congressional race in Georgia

Top Reuters News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 23:14
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (Reuters) - Republican Karen Handel won a hotly contested Georgia congressional race on Tuesday, fending off a Democratic challenge in a race that was widely seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump.

Republican Handel projected to beat Ossoff for Georgia House seat

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 22:20

Republican Karen Handel has won a special election for a hotly contested House seat in Georgia on Tuesday, according to projections from CNN, the Associated Press and NBC News. As of 10 p.m. Eastern, Handel led Democrat Jon Ossof, 51.4% to 48.6%. The race was the costliest in House history, with the candidates raising more than $60 million combined. Many analysts had seen the race as a referendum on President Donald Trump's policies, and Democrats had hoped for a momentum boost by winning the longtime Republican district in the Atlanta suburbs. The election was held to fill the post of former Rep. Tom Price, who is now Trump's secretary of health and human services.

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Oil slump spooks investors; China stocks underwhelmed by MSCI

Top Reuters News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 21:57
SYDNEY (Reuters) - A renewed slump in oil prices to seven-month lows put Asian investors on edge on Wednesday, overshadowing a decision by U.S. index provider MSCI to add mainland Chinese stocks to one of its popular benchmarks.

Trump says China tried but failed to help on North Korea

Top Reuters News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 21:17
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Chinese efforts to persuade North Korea to rein in its nuclear program have failed, ratcheting up the rhetoric over the death of an American student who had been detained by Pyongyang.

Ferguson settles lawsuit over black teen killed by police in Missouri

Top Reuters News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 20:09
(Reuters) - The parents of black teenager Michael Brown have settled a lawsuit with Ferguson, Missouri, over his fatal shooting by a white city police officer in 2014, according to a federal court document filed on Monday.

Supreme Court ruling threatens massive talc litigation against J&J

Top Reuters News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 19:40
(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson is seizing upon a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from Monday limiting where injury lawsuits can be filed to fight off claims it failed to warn women that talcum powder could cause ovarian cancer.

As iPhone 8 looms, firms scramble to lock up memory chip supply

Top Reuters News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 19:17
SEOUL (Reuters) - Global electronics makers are scrambling to stock up on memory chips to keep production lines running as Apple Inc's new iPhone 8 launch later this year threatens to worsen a global squeeze on supply.

Attorney general unveils 12-city partnership to fight crime

Top Reuters News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 18:38
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has launched a 12-city partnership to combat spikes in violent crime as part of President Donald Trump's vow to support law enforcement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday.

Cypress investors elect former CEO's board nominees after activist fight

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 18:16

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. investors voted for two board nominees put forth by the company's former chief executive Tuesday, according to preliminary results, booting one director and replacing a chairman who resigned during an activist battle that led to a public fight between Cypress and its founder. Preliminary tabulations showed that J. Daniel McCranie and Camillo Martino were elected to the board with 148 million votes, while Eric Benhamou received about 60 million votes and will not return as a director, according to a statement from CypressFirst, a group formed by founder and former CEO T.J. Rodgers. Rodgers began an activist campaign after former Cypress Chairman Ray Bingham partnered with Chinese investors in a fund that agreed to acquire a Silicon Valley chip firm, Lattice Semiconductor Corp. . Bingham stepped down last week, but the campaign to oust Benhamou against Cypress's wishes continued. Cypress, which confirmed the preliminary voting results in its own release, had said that the entire campaign was Rodgers's attempt to force his way back into the company, but Rodgers sounded a different note in the CypressFirst announcement. "We are grateful to Cypress stockholders for their support of our two candidates," the Cypress CEO for 34 years said. "I can now get back full-time to my work on innovative technologies for the IoT and in alternative energy and let the Cypress directors do their work." Cypress stock fell 0.6% to $13.23 in Tuesday's regular session, but bounced back slightly in after-hours trading.

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Whirlpool Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Fettig to quit as CEO

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 17:25

Whirlpool Corp. said Tuesday Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Fettig will relinquish his role as CEO in October but continue to serve as chairman of the board. Fettig has served as chairman and CEO since 2004. The board has named Chief Operating Officer Marc Bitzer as the new CEO. Whirlpool shares were flat in late trade after closing down 1.2% to $194.56.

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Apple adds another $1 billion in debt

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 17:06

Apple Inc. disclosed Tuesday that it has sold $1 billion in debt, adding to a growing debt load that it uses for shareholder return while keeping more than 90% of its $256 billion in cash overseas to avoid repatriation taxes. Apple consummated the issuance and sales of 10-year notes with a 3% rate Tuesday, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Apple has raised its debt load from zero in 2012 to nearly $85 billion by the end of the last quarter to offer dividends and share repurchases without paying a 35% corporate tax on overseas profit. That total should increase in Apple's next quarterly report, as the $1 billion detailed Tuesday appears to be separate from a larger issuance that launched in May. Chief Executive Tim Cook has repeatedly said that the United States needs to change its tax laws to keep companies from holding cash overseas, and detailed his vision for a repatriation holiday in an interview published last week. Cook was one of several tech leaders who met with President Donald Trump this week; Trump proposed a repatriation holiday and a lower corporate tax rate while campaigning for the office. Apple shares gained about 0.2% in late trading Tuesday, after ending the session with a 0.9% decline at $145.01.

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API data show a weekly decline in U.S. crude supply, sources say

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 16:40

The American Petroleum Institute reported Tuesday a decline of 2.7 million barrels in U.S. crude supplies for the week ended June 16, according to sources. The API data, however, showed a climb of 346,000 barrels in gasoline supplies, while inventories of distillates were up 1.8 million barrels, sources said. Supply data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday morning. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to report a decline of 2 million barrels in crude inventories. August crude was at $43.53 a barrel in electronic trading, little changed from the contract’s settlement of $43.51 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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La-Z-Boy stock rallies on company's Q4 earnings, sales beat

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 16:37

Shares of La-Z-Boy Inc. rose more than 7% late Tuesday after the furniture maker reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and sales above Wall Street expectations. La-Z-Boy said it earned $28 million, or 57 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $23 million, or 45 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales fell 1% to $412.7 million, compared with $417.1 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 46 cents a share on sales of $401 million. La-Z-Boy shares ended the regular session down 3.9%.

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Red Hat jumps to highest price levels since dot-com boom

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 16:31

Red Hat Inc. shares jumped more than 9% in after-hours trading Tuesday following a quarterly earnings report that beat expectations and raised projections for the year, sending prices to levels unseen since the dot-com boom went bust. The open-source tech-infrastructure company reported net income of $73.2 million, or 40 cents a share, on sales of $676.8 million for the first quarter of its 2018 fiscal year. After adjustments for stock-based compensation and other effects, Red Hat claimed profit of 56 cents a share. Analysts on average expected Red Hat to report adjusted earnings of 53 cents a share on sales of $648 million, according to FactSet, and the company had guided for adjusted profit of 52 cents to 53 cents a share. Red Hat also increased its guidance for profit and revenue for the full fiscal year; adjusted earnings are now expected to fall in a range of $2.66 to $2.70 a share, up from a previous range of $2.60 to $2.64 a share, and sales are expected to finish the fiscal year at $2.785 billion to $2.825 billion, increased from a previous range of $2.72 billion to $2.76 billion. Red Hat stock rocketed to more than $98.50 after closing with a 0.4% decline at $89.96; shares have not topped $92.49 in regular trading since early 2000.

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Shares of FedEx rise as company swings to quarterly profit

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 16:28

Shares of FedEx Corp. rose nearly 2% late Tuesday after the logistics company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and sales above Wall Street expectations. FedEx said it earned $1.02 billion, or $3.75 a share, in the fourth quarter, versus a loss of $70 million, or 26 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, FedEx earned $1.15 billion, or $4.25 a share, in the quarter, compared with $897 million a year ago. Sales rose to $15.7 billion, from $13 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected FedEx to report adjusted earnings of $3.87 on sales of $15.6 billion for the quarter. Operating results benefitted from higher base rates and higher package volume, the company said. The company said it was unable to provide GAAP fiscal 2018 earnings guidance because of pension-related adjustments. Shares of FedEx ended the regular trading session down 0.7%.

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Senate Republicans to release healthcare bill Thursday

Top Reuters News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 16:15
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans will release the text of their draft healthcare bill on Thursday and the legislation will likely move to the Senate floor next week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday.

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