Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

Trump-backed Navy expansion would boost costs some $400 billion over 30 years: study

Top Reuters News - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 17:14
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Expanding the U.S. Navy to 355 ships as recommended by military leaders and backed by President Donald Trump would cost some $400 billion more over the next 30 years than the currently planned 308-ship fleet, according to a study released on Monday.

Germany's Fresenius Kabi to buy Akorn for $4.3 billion

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 17:13

Germany-based Fresenius Kabi will buy Akorn Inc. for $34 a share, plus the assumption of roughly $450 million of debt, for a deal valued at $4.3 billion, the companies said Monday. The deal is expected to close by early 2018 and will add to Fresenius Group's earnings in 2018. Fresenius Kabi specializes in injectable medicine while Akorn is a generic drug maker. Shares of Akorn rose 0.4% after hours.

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Express Scripts shares drop 11% as Anthem unlikely to renew contract

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 17:01

Express Scripts Holding Co. shares dropped in the extended session Monday after the pharmacy-benefits manager said insurer Anthem Inc. does not intend to renew a contract when it expires. Express Scripts shares, which had been halted, fell 11% to $60 after hours on heavy volume, following a 1.2% gain in the regular session. Express Scripts said Anthem does not intend to renew a services contact with the company when it expires at the end of 2019 but has not received official notice of the decision. The company said Anthem accounted for $15.15 billion out of 2015's $101.75 billion in revenue. Express Scripts reported adjusted first-quarter earnings of $1.33 a share on revenue of $24.65 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated earnings of $1.32 a share on revenue of $25 billion. For the year, Express Scripts sees earnings of $6.90 to $7.04 a share, up from its previous forecast range of $6.82 to $7.02 a share. Analysts expect earnings of $6.93 a share.

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Up in Smoke: Marijuana activists cuffed after lighting up at U.S. Capitol

Top Reuters News - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 17:00
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two dozen red-hatted protesters gathered on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Monday to call for easing federal marijuana laws, but police snuffed out the party by arresting four of them after they lit up joints.

OncoMed to lay off half of its staff

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 16:53

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. late Monday announced it will reduce half of its workforce in a bid to cut costs. That will leave the company with 64 employees, but it will have sufficient funds to operate until third quarter 2019, according to the company. OncoMed expects severance-related charges of $2.6 million. Shares of OncoMed were flat in late trading after closing up 1.1% to $3.77 a share.

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Regulators remove growth restrictions on Wells Fargo

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 16:51

Federal regulators on Monday said Wells Fargo cleared up remaining deficiencies in its "living will" plan, leading to the removal of growth restrictions on the San Francisco bank. In December, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. rejected Wells Fargo's living will and asked for a new plan. The bank submitted the new plan to the agencies at the end of March. The Dodd-Frank act mandated the writing of living wills so regulators would have a blueprint to follow that would allow the nation's largest banks to fail without bringing down the entire financial system and economy.

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Trump tax push raises questions about scope of his 'reform'

Top Reuters News - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 16:31
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's zeal to unveil a tax plan before his 100th day in office is raising questions about just how thorough his "tax reform" plans will be, amid signals that his focus for now is on slashing tax rates.

T-Mobile added more than 1.1 million customers as Verizon shrank

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 16:20

T-Mobile U.S. Inc. added more than 1.1 million new customers in the first quarter of 2017, as rival Verizon Communications Inc. lost customers for the first time, and handily beat earnings estimates in a report issued Monday. The wireless carrier reported net income of $698 million, or 80 cents a share, on total revenue of $9.6 billion, with profit far exceeding expectations largely because of tax benefits. Analysts on average expected T-Mobile to report the addition of 1.2 million subscribers, and profit of 34 cents a share on revenue of $9.6 billion, according to FactSet. T-Mobile has targeted Verizon by offering perks such as unlimited data, which its larger rival began offering during the first quarter in an attempt to stanch losses. T-Mobile shares were halted in late trading Monday after jumping 1.9% to a record closing high of $65.93; the stock was expected to begin trading again at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.

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U.S. sanctions hundreds of employees of Syrian research center

Top Reuters News - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 16:10
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Monday blacklisted 271 employees of a Syrian government agency it said was responsible for developing chemical weapons, weeks after a poison gas attack killed scores of people in a rebel-held province in Syria.

U.S. stocks post largest gains in more than 7 weeks

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 16:05

U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, following global equities higher after closely watched first-round presidential election results in France. A global relief rally followed the Sunday vote, which saw centrist Emmanuel Macron receive the most votes and avert fears of a euroskeptic-only runoff. The main indexes posted their largest one-day gains since March 1. The S&P 500 closed 25.46 points, or 1.1%, higher at 2,374.15, led by a 2.2% gain in financials. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 216.13 points, or 1.1%, to 20,763.89. The Nasdaq Composite rallied 73.30 points, or 1.2%, to 5,983.82, an all-time high.

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Google parent Alphabet becomes the second $600 billion company

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 15:56

Google's Alphabet Inc. has become just the second $600 billion U.S. company, as the internet giant's stock ran up 2.4% in afternoon trade Monday toward a record close. Alphabet's market capitalization has reached $605.1 billion. It remains well behind No. 1 Apple Inc. , which is currently at $753.9 billion, but well ahead of No. 3 Microsoft Corp. at $522.6 billion. Amazon.com Inc. is a distant fourth at $433.7 billion. Alphabet's stock is on track to close above the March 17 record of $872.37. It has run up 11% year to date, while Apple shares have soared 24%, Microsoft's stock has rallied 8.8% and the S&P 500 has gained 6%. Alphabet is scheduled to report first-quarter results on Thursday, after the market closes.

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UC Berkeley sued over Ann Coulter's planned visit

Top Reuters News - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 15:45
(Reuters) - Two groups that invited conservative commentator Ann Coulter to speak at the University of California at Berkeley sued school officials on Monday, saying the school's decision to postpone her appearance violated their free speech rights.

McDonald's stock surges toward 5th-straight record close

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 15:29

McDonald's Corp.'s stock surged Monday toward a fifth-straight record close, as investor awaited the fast-food giant's first-quarter report. The stock was up as much as 1% to an an all-time intraday high of $134.76 earlier in the session, before paring some gains to be up 0.7% in afternoon trade. The stock has now run up 2.2% during its record-closing streak. McDonald's is scheduled to report first-quarter results before the market opens on Tuesday. McDonald's stock has now surged 10% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 5.2%. Shares of rival Wendy's Co. climbed 2.1% in afternoon trade, and have soared 8.2% amid a four-session win streak, putting them on track to close at the highest level since Aug. 27, 2007. Meanwhile, Jack in the Box Inc.'s stock tacked on 0.9% toward a two week high, and shares of Taco Bell parent Yum Brands Inc. rose 1.5% toward a two-month high.

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Trump urges U.N. reform to make U.S. investment worthwhile

Top Reuters News - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 15:15
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump complained on Monday that the United States is shouldering an unfair burden of the cost of the United Nations, but said if the world body reforms how it operates, the investment would be worth it.

Tesla gets more ambitious with Superchargers as it prepares to start charging fees

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 15:14

As Tesla Inc. prepares to charge drivers of its electric cars for some usage of its network of "Superchargers," the company is increasing its goals for building out the network of charging equipment. In a blog post Monday, Tesla said it plans to double the number of Superchargers available worldwide this year, with North America seeing a 150% increase. That goal is more ambitious than the one set forth in February's quarterly-earnings report, when Tesla said it planned to double the number of Superchargers in North America. The announcement comes after Tesla said customers who purchase Tesla's top-of-the-line offerings, the Model S and Model X, after Jan. 15 receive free annual credits of 400 KwH, which adds up to about 1,000 miles of driving, and will have to pay a varying fee after that. Cars purchased before this year will still enjoy unlimited Supercharger usage, but Tesla has not said what it will offer with the Model 3, the lower-priced electric sedan it expects to begin manufacturing this year. Tesla stock has been trading at record highs this year, gaining more than 20% in the past three months as the S&P 500 index has increased 3%. Shares were trading 0.8% higher in Monday afternoon trading, with prices around $308 a share.

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Oil ends lower on U.S. output worries, OPEC doubts

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 14:39

Oil futures drifted lower Monday, with West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery ending with a loss of 39 cents, or 0.8%, at $49.23 a barrel. Analysts said a combination of worries about rising U.S. output and doubts about the ability of OPEC to achieve an extension of a program of production curbs kept pressure on futures.

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Mnuchin says tax plan will 'pay for itself' with economic growth

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 13:53

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday President Donald Trump's tax plan will focus on a middle-income tax cut, tax simplification and making U.S. businesses more competitive. Trump has said he will make an announcement on taxes Wednesday. Asked during a White House briefing if the plan would be revenue-neutral, Mnuchin said it would "pay for itself" through economic growth.

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Gold ends lower as havens lose ground after French vote

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 13:50

Gold futures ended lower Monday, losing ground after France's first-round presidential election result soothed fears the country could eventually move to bolt the euro and the European Union. June gold on Comex dropped $11.60, or 0.9%, to close at $1,277.50 an ounce, but off of a session low at $1,266. Gold and other traditional havens, such as Treasurys and the Japanese yen, suffered after centrist Emmanuel Macron scored a first-place finish in the first round of France's presidential election on Sunday. Macron will go up against second-place finisher Marine Le Pen, who has called for France to exit the euro, in a May 7 runoff. Macron holds a large lead in opinion polls.

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Supermarket chain Albertsons exploring takeover of Whole Foods: FT

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 13:45

U.S. supermarket operator Albertsons is exploring a takeover of Whole Foods Market Inc. , the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing two people briefed on the matter. Albertsons is owned by private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which has held preliminary talks with bankers on a bid for Whole Foods, the paper reported. The news comes just weeks after hedge fund Jana Partners LLC said it had amassed a 9% stake in Whole Foods, and was urging it to look at a possible sale, change its management board and revise contracts with suppliers and others. Whole Foods has hired Evercore ISI to advise it on a deal that includes a possible sale of the company, according to the FT. Shares jumped 3% on the news, and are up 20% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 5%.

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Sanofi has filed an antitrust suit against Mylan alleging 'illegal conduct' to prevent EpiPen competition

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 12:02

Sanofi ADR filed an antitrust lawsuit on Monday against Mylan NV , which makes the EpiPen allergic reaction treatment, claiming that the company engaged in anticompetitive practices to prevent the uptake of Sanofi's then-rival product, Auvi-Q. Mylan allegedly offered "new and unprecedented" discounts off the list price of the EpiPen to prevent various players, including health insurers, from covering the Auvi-Q, according to the lawsuit. Sanofi claimed to have lost "hundreds of millions of dollars in sales" from these actions, along with other costs, and is asking for triple the amount in damages along with legal fees. Mylan spurred public backlash after raising the price of its EpiPen sixfold over several years, which brought attention to its lack of competitors. The Auvi-Q was recalled by Sanofi in 2015 after reports that the devices might deliver inadequate doses of epinephrine. It is is now being sold by privately-held Kaleo Inc., which invented the device, which the Sanofi lawsuit claims is "in part because of the artificial barriers to entry Mylan's conduct erected." Mylan shares were up 1.5% in morning trade on Monday. Shares have surged 4.4% over the last three months, compared with a 3.9% rise in the S&P 500 .

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