Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

MGM Growth Properties boosts dividend by 6.3%

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:55

MGM Growth Properties LLC said Friday it will raise its quarterly cash dividend on Class A shares to 42 cents a share, up 6.3% from 39.5 cents a share. The new dividend will be payable Jan. 16 to shareholders of record on Dec. 29. Based on the real estate investment trust's Thursday stock closing price of $29.10, the new annual dividend rate of $1.68 would imply a dividend yield of 5.77%, compared with the SPDR Real Estate Select Sector ETF's implied yield of 3.80%. MGM Growth's stock, which was still inactive in premarket trad, has rallied 15.0% year to date, while the REIT ETF has gained 7.6% and the S&P 500 has climbed 18.5%.

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Costco's stock jumps into record territory after analysts boost price targets after results

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:47

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. shot up 2.9% toward record territory in premarket trade Friday, after the warehouse-club retailer's better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter results triggered a slew of price-target increases by Wall Street analysts. Of the 30 analysts surveyed by FactSet, 15 have raised their price targets. That raised the average target to $191.93 from $179.09 at the end of November. RBC Capital analyst Scot Ciccarelli raised his target to $202 from $191 and reiterated his outperform rating. "Costco not only has some of the best foot traffic growth we know of in retail, but is also gaining traction with its own e-commerce initiatives," Ciccarelli wrote in a note to clients. The stock was trading at $191.85 about 45 minutes before the open, above the Dec. 4 record close of $189.56 and the Dec. 5 intraday record of $191.22. The stock has rallied 16.5% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has slipped 0.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 18.5%.

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Alnylam shares surge 5% after FDA lifts hold on hemophilia drug

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:32

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares rose 5% in pre-market trade Friday after the company said the Food and Drug Administration has lifted a hold on clinical trials for hemophilia therapy fitusiran. Alnylam said it and the regulator previously agreed on various ways to reduce risk for the trials, and the company expects to get back to dosing patients around the end of the year. In September, Alynlam said that it had suspended fitusiran dosing after a patient had a "fatal thrombotic event" in a phase 2 open-label extension study. (That study, along with a phase 3 trial, are among those that can now continue, the company said.) Alnylam and Sanofi are co-developing and co-commercializing fitusiran. Alnylam shares have surged 62.3% year-to-date, compared with a 18.5% rise in the S&P 500 and a 24% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

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Ripple surpasses bitcoin cash for third most valued cryptocurrency, jumps above $30 billion

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:12

Ripple coins, a popular business-focused cryptocurrency, on Friday surpassed bitcoin cash for the title of third most valued cryptocurrency. According to data and research site, Coinmarketcap.com, a single Ripple token was valued at around 77 cents and has jumped more than 230% this week alone to reach a market value at nearly $31 billion, eclipsing bitcoin cash at $28 billion. Bitcoin cash is a spinoff of core bitcoin that offers transaction processing at larger sizes. Ripple, which offers businesses a chance to use its blockchain technolody, or digital-ledger protocol to banks, has been accelerating in popularity in recent weeks alongside bitcoin's eye-popping rise. Although it isn't the first time that Ripple has been the third most popular coin by market value, it is the first time its value has exceeded $30 billion. The crypto asset is behind Ethereum, the second most popular cybercoin at $64 billion and core bitcoin at nearly $300 billion.

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Fitbit stock falls as Stifel Nicolaus sees 'no sightlines to profitability'

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:12

Shares of Fitbit Inc. fell 5.7% in premarket trading Friday after analysts at Stifel Nicolaus downgraded the stock to sell. "With the stock market near all-time highs, no visibility to monetization of healthcare opportunities, and no opportunity for Fitbit to benefit from corporate tax reform, we cannot advocate owning Fitbit shares," wrote the analysts, led by Jim Duffy. He sees "no sightlines to profitability" unless Fitbit is able to "drastically" reduce costs or generate enough demand for its newer products to compensate for weak interest in basic fitness trackers. Given Fitbit's gross margins, Duffy thinks the company would need to deliver revenue growth in the mid-teens in order to break even, which he deems a "high hurdle" given estimated holiday performance. Separately, analysts at Morgan Stanley on Thursday pointed to "continued inventory build" for Fitbit's new Ionic smartwatch and suggested that the company's older watch, the Blaze, could actually outsell it this holiday season. Fitbit has been trying to appeal more to healthcare businesses so that it can become less reliant on device sales to consumers, but Duffy is skeptical. "While monetization avenues in the digital health space remain conceptually intriguing, realization of the opportunity has been underwhelming to date and there is nothing tangible to point to return on the associated R&D investment spending," he wrote. He set a price target of $6 on Fitbit shares. The stock is down 6.8% so far in 2017, compared with a 18% gain for the S&P 500 Index .

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U.S. says concerned about Myanmar's silence over where Reuters journalists are being held

Top Reuters News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:57
YANGON (Reuters) - The U.S. embassy in Myanmar said on Friday it was concerned that there had been no word on the whereabouts of two Reuters journalists three days after they were detained, and that authorities had not allowed their families to visit them.

Bitcoin notches fresh record as CME aims for its own futures contract

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:56

The No. 1 cryptocurrency touched a fresh record on Friday after a mostly subdued week, with CME Group Inc. set to follow rival Cboe Global Markets Inc. with a bitccoin futures contract on Sunday. The spot price of a single bitcoin had traded at $17,872.56 earlier, a fresh record peak, according to Coindesk.com. Meanwhile, bitcoin futures for January trading on Cboe were at $18,600, shooting nearly 11% higher after closing at $16,800 on Thursday in New York. Cboe kicked off futures trading of bitcoin, which has hit mainstream popularity, on Sunday 6 p.m. Eastern Time. The CME is expected to follow in two days. So far, bitcoin has soared nearly 1,800%.

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CSX CEO Hunter Harrison takes medical leave amid rail overhaul

Top Reuters News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:48
(Reuters) - CSX Corp said on Thursday its Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison was taking medical leave, an announcement that comes amid of a controversial turnaround plan at the No. 3 U.S. railroad that has drawn customer criticism and scrutiny from regulators. The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad said Harrison, 73, was taking a leave of absence due to unexpected complications from a recent unspecified illness.

Marathon Petroleum to sell GP economic interest in MPLX for over $10 billion in MPLX shares

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:45

Marathon Petroleum Corp. said Friday it agreed to sell its general partner economic interest in MPLX LP, a master limited partnership formed to develop and acquire midstream energy assets, to MPLX in exchange for 275 million MPLX shares. Based on Thursday's closing price for MPLX shares of $37.94, the deal is valued at $10.43 billion. After the deal's closing, which is expected to be Feb. 1, 2018, Marathon will own about 64% of MPLX shares outstanding. Shares of Marathon and MPLX were still inactive in premarket trade. Marathon's stock has gained 9.6% year to date, while MPLX shares have run up 28% and the S&P 500 has gained 18.5%.

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World trade order in a wobble as Washington snubs WTO status quo

Top Reuters News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:43
BERLIN (Reuters) - The frustration of Roberto Azevedo was evident when, as director general of the World Trade Organization, he summed up the results of a three-day ministerial conference in Buenos Aires in the past week. There were simply none.

Congo child soldiers awarded $10 million compensation in landmark ruling

Top Reuters News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:39
THE HAGUE (Reuters) - International war crimes judges awarded $10 million in compensation on Friday to child soldiers recruited by convicted Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga - the largest reparation of it kind.

Bitcoin hits new record high as warnings grow louder

Top Reuters News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:33
LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin blasted to another all-time high of almost $18,000 on the Bitstamp exchange on Friday, up 9 percent on the day, as warnings grew over the risks of investing in the highly volatile and speculative instrument.

Performance Food CFO Tom Ondrof to change positions in March, after 17 months in the role

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:12

Performance Food Group Co. said Friday Chief Financial Officer Tom Ondrof will leave the position, to become the foodservice distributor's strategic growth leader. Ondrof joined the company as CFO in October 2016. He will be succeeded as CFO by Jim Hope, currently the executive vice president of operations, effective March 1, 2018. Separately, the company said it still expects 2018 adjusted earnings per share to grow 13% to 18% over a year ago. The FactSet 2018 EPS consensus of $1.41 implies 13.7% growth over last year's $1.24. The stock, which was inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 27.3% year to date, while shares of rival Sysco Corp. have gained 10.0% and the S&P 500 has climbed 18.5%.

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Net neutrality repeal gives Democrats fresh way to reach millennials

Top Reuters News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:11
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission vote on Thursday to roll back net neutrality rules could galvanize young voters, a move Democrats hope will send millennials to the polls in greater numbers and bolster their chances in next year's elections.

Erdogan says Turkey starting initiatives at U.N. to annul U.S. decision on Jerusalem

Top Reuters News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:10
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey is starting initiatives at the United Nations to annul a decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

EU leaders approve moving to 2nd phase of Brexit talks

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 06:52

European Union leaders on Friday agreed to move to the second phase of talks with the U.K. over Britain's exit from the bloc. Leaders of 27 EU member states determined that a sufficient amount of progress in negotiations has been made in recent months and they are now ready to start discussing trade an other issues. Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, in a tweet congratulated U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. EU leaders made the decision in Brussels where they gathered for a summit.

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Some Canada firms could move to U.S. amid NAFTA worries: survey

Top Reuters News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 06:21
OTTAWA (Reuters) - More a quarter of Canadian firms could move part of their operations to the United States amid uncertainty over the future of the NAFTA trade pact, the nation's export credit agency said on Friday.

Kremlin: Putin and Trump agreed to exchange information on North Korea

Top Reuters News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 06:19
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump had agreed in a phone call to exchange information about North Korea and cooperate on possible initiatives to resolve a crisis around the Asian nation.

Ryanair to recognize unions in historic shift to stop strike

Top Reuters News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 06:16
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair has offered to recognize pilot unions for the first time in its 32-year history in a last-minute bid to stop its first-ever pilot strike from taking place later on Friday.

Tesla largely responsible for slide in U.S. home solar sales: report

Top Reuters News - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 06:10
(Reuters) - After years of double-digit growth, home solar installations in the United States are poised to fall for the first time this year, according to a report released on Thursday by GTM Research.

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