Breaking Stock Market and Financial News

GE to end corporate jet service for executives as it cuts costs--WSJ

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:50

General Electric Co. said it will shut down its corporate jet fleet Wednesday in a cost-cutting move, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, which cited a person familiar with the situation. The industrial conglomerate, which has seen its stock underperform its peers and the broader market by wide margins this year, will still operate some helicopters, other aircraft overseas and will use charter services as needed, the WSJ report said. GE's stock gained 0.6% in morning trade. It has advanced 2.6% since closing at a 2-year low of $23.72 on Sept. 11, was still down 22.9% this year, to pace the year-to-date decliners in the Dow Jones Industrial Average by a wide margin. The SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF has rallied 13.0% year to date, while the Dow has climbed 13.3%.

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EIA data show U.S. crude supplies up more than expected

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:38

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration Wednesday showed that domestic crude supplies climbed by 4.6 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 15. That's above the forecast for a rise of 2.4 million barrels by analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts. The American Petroleum Institute had reported late Tuesday an increase of 1.4 million barrels, according to sources. The EIA also reported that total domestic crude output rose by 157,000 barrels a day to 9.510 million barrels. Gasoline stockpiles were down 2.1 million barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles fell 5.7 million barrels, according to the EIA. October crude , which expires at the day's settlement, rose 52 cents, or 1.1%, to $50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices traded at $50.21 before the supply data.

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Russia rebukes Trump over Iran, North Korea, accuses U.S. of missile treaty breach

Top Reuters News - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:35
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is "extremely concerned" by U.S. President Donald Trump's comments questioning the Iran nuclear deal and suspects that Washington itself may have violated a landmark arms control treaty, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Apple admits issues with Apple Watch connectivity, stock falls

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:21

Apple Inc. shares declined Wednesday morning after the tech company reportedly admitted there are issues with connectivity of its new Apple Watch Series 3. The new Apple smartwatch is the first to connect to cellular networks on its own, without having to be electronically tethered to an iPhone, but reviewers had issues staying connected while reviewing the new device. According to The Verge, Apple admitted an issue in an official statement, saying, "We have discovered that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular. We are investigating a fix for a future software release." The new Apple Watch, which costs at least $399 for versions with a cellular connection, opened for preorders last Friday and will begin reaching customers Sept. 22. Apple stock fell more than 1% in early trading Wednesday, and is down 0.4% in the past month, as the S&P 500 index has gained 3.3%.

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Fed conflicted by weak U.S. inflation, global economic rebound

Top Reuters News - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:20
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Caught between a lull in U.S. inflation and a stronger global economy, the Federal Reserve is expected on Wednesday to signal whether it will raise interest rates for a third time this year or back off until prices rise more briskly.

U.S. existing home sales fall to 12-month low

Top Reuters News - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:15
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales fell to their lowest in a year in August as Hurricane Harvey depressed activity in Houston and a perennial shortage of properties on the market sidelined buyers.

Adobe share slip but Canaccord Genuity analyst says fundamentals are strong

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:04

Shares of Adobe Systems Inc. were trading down 5% Wednesday morning, a day after the company beat earnings expectations, but had weaker than expected results in its booked business segments. Canaccord Genuity analyst Richard David urged investors to look past that decline however and raised his price target to $170 from $165, saying "Adobe did not suddenly see the industry's best competitive moat disappear, nor did competitive products miraculously merge to disrupt the firm." David says he is not concerned about the fundamentals, but rather the ability of the company's salespeople to convince clients that the firm can be a strategic partner and thus get larger $1 million deals. Davis reiterated a buy rating on the stock. Shares of Adobe have gained 6% in the past three months, outperforming the S&P 500 , which has gained 3%.

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Pfizer's stock jumps to 13-month high to lead Dow gainers after analyst upgrade

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:52

Shares of Pfizer Inc. surged 1.3% in morning trade Wednesday toward a 13-month high, after the drug maker was upgraded at Morgan Stanley, which cited valuation following "a long period of middling performance." The stock was the biggest percentage gainer within the Dow Jones Industrial Average . The 46-cent price gain added about 3 points to the Dow's price, which was up 1 point. Analyst David Risinger raised his rating to overweight from neutral, and boosted his price target to $39 from $35. "Following underperformance, we believe [Pfizer] shares are poised to outperform given global rollout of #1 growth driver Ibrance, the stock's favorable risk-reward and M&A optionality," Risinger wrote in a note to clients. He expects breast cancer treatment Ibrance to maintain its first-to-market advantage, given competitors' safety issues. He said prospects of tax reform in the U.S. gives the company additional acquisition options. The stock has gained 10.5% year to date, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has run up 18.9% and the S&P 500 has climbed 12.0%.

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Rescuers search rubble of school as Mexican quake toll hits 217

Top Reuters News - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:50
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Rescue workers scrabbled through rubble as dawn broke on Wednesday, searching for dozens of children feared buried beneath a Mexico City school, among hundreds of buildings destroyed by the country's most lethal earthquake in a generation.

Trump endorses latest Republican bill to dismantle Obamacare

Top Reuters News - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:49
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Wednesday threw his weight behind congressional Republicans' latest bill to dismantle Obamacare and called on party senators to vote for the healthcare overhaul.

Toshiba says seals $18 billion deal to sell chip unit to Bain Capital group

Top Reuters News - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:46
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Toshiba Corp said on Wednesday it has agreed to sell its prized semiconductor business to a group led by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital LP, a key step in keeping the struggling Japanese conglomerate listed on the Tokyo exchange.

HTC Corporation to halt shares Thursday in anticipation of 'material information' release

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:42

HTC Corporation , a maker of Android hardware, will halt the trading of its shares Thursday when it expects the release of 'material information,' the Taiwan Stock Exchange said Wednesday. Alphabet Inc.'s Google , which has partnered with HTC in the past, has been rumored to be buying the company, but HTC would not comment on the rumors, according to The Verge. After the release of information Thursday, HTC is expected to resume trading.

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Hurricane Maria slams Puerto Rico with high rains, storm surge

Top Reuters News - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:41
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico on Wednesday as the strongest storm to hit the U.S. territory in nearly 90 years, ripping windows from their fixtures and sending debris hurtling through the streets as it approached the capital, San Juan.

Hibbett upgraded on belief that hurricanes will help the retailer's new digital platforms

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:41

Hibbett Sports Inc. was upgraded Wednesday to positive from neutral at Susquehanna Financial Group on the belief that Hurricanes Irma and Harvey will benefit the sports retailer's new digital platforms. The price target was raised to $17 from $11. Hibbett discussed the launch of its e-commerce site in July, which many analysts believed was too late. "[P]rior to the storms, the timing of the benefits from Hibbett's new digital presence was unclear," wrote analysts led by Sam Poser. "Now we believe the hurricane-induced demand will act as a bridge to the sustainable improvements supported by Hibbett's beefed up digital presence. Hibbett has over 32% exposure to hurricane-ravaged regions, which will see significant increases in replacement footwear sales." Analysts say the benefits will be similar to those seen post-Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hibbett shares are up 3.4% in early Wednesday trading, but down 63.5% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up 12.1% for 2017 to date.

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Stocks retreat from records ahead of Fed policy update

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:35

U.S. equity markets opened on a subdued note on Wednesday after reaching all-time highs on Tuesday, as traders are focused on the Federal Reserve's interest-rate decision at 2 p.m. Eastern. Although the market isn't expecting any change to interest rates, investors will be anticipating an update to monetary policy and Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's outlook for the economy and stubbornly low inflation at a news conference a half-hour after the release of the central bank's statement. The S&P 500 opened 0.36 points or 0.01% higher at 2,507, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.01% or 2.3 points to 22,370 points at the open. The Nasdaq Composite started Wednesday 5.8 points--0.09%-- lower at 6,456. In individual stocks, General Mills slipped after missing earnings, dropping 6.4%. comp 2507 1.11 0.04

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Panera Bread launches new kids menu

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:23

Panera Bread Co. said Wednesday that it will now offer nearly all of its entrees in a smaller size, creating a new kids menu that includes 250 "clean" combinations that don't have artificial flavors, preservatives and other chemicals. Panera's Chief Executive Ron Shaich is also challenging the CEOs of other restaurant chains like McDonald's Corp. and Wendy's Co. to eat their own company's kids menu for a week, "and if not, to take a thoughtful look at that they are offering our smallest guests." Panera announced a merger with JAB in April. The PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage Portfolio is down 2.8% for the year so far while the S&P 500 index is up 12% for the period.

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Victoria's Secret parent L Brands downgraded on bra pricing concerns

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 08:32

Victoria's Secret parent L Brands Inc. was downgraded to market perform from outperform at Cowen & Company on concerns that without higher bra pricing there are risks to margins and same-store sales. The price target was lowered to $39 from $40. Analysts say L Brands has is a category leader, but there are several challenges ahead, including the need to maintain lower pricing in the $20-to-$30 range on sports bras and bralettes in order to maintain share while also offering bras in the $50-to-$60 range, driving store traffic, and sports bra competition. "Victoria's Secret needs to rebalance the assortment in their core lingerie offering after the shift toward bralettes and sport last year pressured average unit retail," Cowen said in a Wednesday note. L Brands shares are down 1.1% in premarket trading, and down more than 40% for the year so far. The S&P 500 index is up 12% for 2017 to date.

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3M's stock falls to turn Dow futures negative after J.P. Morgan downgrade

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 08:12

Shares of 3M Co. fell 0.8% in premarket trade Wednesday, to help knock Dow Jones Industrial Average futures into negative territory, after J.P. Morgan turned bearish on the consumer and industrial products company, citing concerns over valuation. The stock's premarket price decline of $1.76 would shave about 12 points off the Dow's price, while Dow futures were down 10 points. Analyst Stephen Tusa cut his rating to underweight from neutral, saying the recent rally in the shares appear to ignore the risks stemming from slowing end markets in auto, electronics and China. Tusa said he believes it is also getting more expensive to drive growth. "Combine these concerns with a multiple near the high end of its historical range and we see a negative skew on the risk reward, with potential downside catalysts including negative consensus revisions and stubbornly weak U.S. price performance which would reinforce concerns around channel distruption," Tusa wrote in a note to clients. Still, he raised his price target to $201 from $185. The stock, which closed at a record high of $213.76 on Monday, has run up 19.6% year to date through Tuesday, while the Dow has rallied 13.2%.

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Special Report: The garage science behind the stun gun that changed policing

Top Reuters News - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 07:34
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (Reuters) - When Rick Smith launched his supercharged stun gun in 1999, his startup had produced two failed products, several years of losses and a load of debt.

Bed Bath and Beyond shares slide 14%; SunTrust notes other home retailers not performing as poorly

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 07:25

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. shares 14% premarket Wednesday, as analysts weighed in on earnings released last Tuesday that fell well short of expectations. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts noted that other home retailers are not performing as weakly, and reiterated their argument from earlier this year that the company needs strength in everyday product value, as well as customer messaging. "Neither appear to be in the cards in the near term for BBBY which, in our opinion, relies too heavily on the archaic practice of heavy couponing for both," analysts wrote in a note. SunTrust reiterated its hold rating on the stock and its estimates and stock price target are under review. KeyBanc analysts reiterated their underweight rating on the stock and cut their price target to $21, or 22% below its current level. "We remain supportive of mgmt's investments in the business, and remain hopeful that they start to benefit the top line," they wrote. "However, in the NT, margins remain under significant pressure and further deteriorated in the quarter." Shares have fallen 33% in 2017 through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 12%.

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