- MarketPulse

MarketWatch, a leading publisher of business and financial news, offers users up-to-the minute news, investment tools, and subscription products.

Treasury Sec. Mnuchin says U.S., China will meet again in January: Bloomberg

2 hours ago

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. and China will meet in January to try to broker a cease-in the ongoing trade dispute, in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday. Chinese officials confirmed that a meeting would take place next month, the report said, though China's Ministry of Commerce would not offer comment. Mnuchin said telephone chats had taken place several times over the last few weeks, but plans for more formal talks were still under discussion. He also said U.S. President Donald Trump had also not had direct chats with China about a detained executive from Huawei Technologies Co., and that the issue was separate from trade, something which China understands.

Despite Giuliani's denial, Trump signed off on Moscow deal: report

4 hours ago

Donald Trump signed a letter of intent to build a Trump Tower development in Moscow in 2015, CNN reported Tuesday night, contradicting what Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said Sunday. In a CNN interview Sunday, Giuliani dismissed the importance of the project, saying a letter of intent was never signed. However, CNN said Tuesday it obtained a copy of the document, with Trump's signature stating his group's intent to negotiate the deal. CNN said the non-binding agreement was signed by Trump in October 2015. During his presidential campaign, Trump denied having any business relationships with Russia. The deal, which eventually fell through, would have given Trump a $4 million fee upfront, as well as a percentage of sales, CNN reported.

Facebook shared more user data than it has admitted: report

6 hours ago

Facebook Inc. shared its users' data with major companies to a far greater extent than it had previously admitted, the New York Times reported Tuesday night. Citing hundreds of pages of Facebook documents that it obtained, the Times said Facebook gave companies such as Microsoft Corp., Netflix Inc., Spotify SA and Inc. extensive access to personal information, including the contact information of users' friends and the ability to read private messages. In all, the Times reported more than 150 companies, mostly tech-focused but including auto and media companies, access to the data as recently as this year. After a series of privacy scandals, Facebook has said that it long ago instituted strict privacy controls and that users have "complete control" over their information. A Facebook executive told the Times that the data-sharing did not violate users' privacy or break a 2011 FTC consent agreement that barred the social-media giant from sharing user information without their permission.

Centerbridge to acquire Civitas for $1.4 billion

10 hours ago

Centerbridge Partners L.P. has inked a deal to buy Civitas Solutions Inc. for $1.4 billion, the company said late Tuesday. Civitas stock was up 5% after hours. Civitas said that Centerbridge would pay $17.75 a share in cash. Civitas stock has fallen 8.5% this year, as the S&P 500 index fell 4.8%.

Takeda Pharma's ADRs to trade on NYSE

10 hours ago

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. said late Tuesday its American depositary shares will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 24. The company's ADRs, which currently trade over the counter, will trade under the symbol TAK. Takeda will keep its headquarters in Japan and its primary listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Jabil stock rises 10% after earnings beat

10 hours ago

Jabil Inc. shares surged 10% in the extended session Tuesday after the tech company beat earnings and revenue expectations. The company reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $123.6 billion, or 76 cents a share, compared with $63.8 million, or 35 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for items such as stock-based compensation, earnings were 90 cents a share. Revenue rose to $6.51 billion from $5.59 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted earnings of 88 cents a share on revenue of $6.1 billion. For the fiscal second quarter, analysts model adjusted earnings of 60 cents a share on revenue of $5.81 billion. Jabil said it expects adjusted fiscal second-quarter earnings of 51 cents to 71 cents a share on sales of $5.8 billion to $6.4 billion. Jabil stock has fallen 15% this year, with the S&P 500 index falling 4.8%.

Micron stock falls harder after disappointing guidance, slashed production growth targets

11 hours ago

Micron Technology Inc. reduced plans for increased memory production and provided a quarterly forecast well lower than expectations Tuesday afternoon, sending shares sliding in late trading. Micron stock fell about 1% after the company released its fiscal first-quarter earnings earlier Tuesday afternoon, but fell to declines of more than 6% after executives detailed changed expectations in a conference call. On the call, Chief Executive Sanjay Mehrotra reduced stated plans to increase production of both NAND and DRAM memory, admitting that increased supply would have outpaced wakening demand, but said that he expects demand to pick back up in the second half of 2019. Micron projected fiscal second-quarter revenue of $5.7 billion to $6.3 billion and adjusted earnings of $1.65 to $1.85 a share, while analysts on average were expecting adjusted earnings of $2.39 a share on revenue of $7.26 billion, according to FactSet.

API data reportedly show a surprise rise in U.S. crude supplies

11 hours ago

The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies rose by 3.5 million barrels for the week ended Dec. 14, according to sources. The API data also showed that gasoline stockpiles climbed by 1.8 million barrels, while distillate inventories fell by 3.4 million barrels, sources said. Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday. On average, analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to report a decline of 3 million barrels in crude supplies. The survey also forecast a supply rise of 2.6 barrels for gasoline and a decline of 900,000 barrels for distillates. January West Texas Intermediate crude was at $46.03 a barrel in electronic trading. That's down from the $46.24 settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange, which was the lowest finish for a front-month contract since August 30, 2017, according Dow Jones Market Data.

FedEx stock falls after company lowers outlook on slowdown in Europe

11 hours ago

Shares of FedEx Corp. fell more than 4% in the extended session Tuesday after the logistics and delivery company reported adjusted fiscal second-quarter earnings above expectations but raised concerns about its international business, announced cost cuts, and lowered its outlook for earnings. FedEx said it earned $935 million, or $3.51 a share, in the quarter, compared with $775 million, or $2.84 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned $1.08 billion, or $4.03 a share, in the quarter, compared with $866 million, or $3.18 a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $17.8 billion from $16.3 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $3.94 a share on sales of $17.8 billion. "While the U.S. economy remains solid, our international business weakened during the quarter, especially in Europe. We are taking action to mitigate the impact of this trend through new cost-reduction initiatives," Chief Executive Frederick W. Smith said in a statement. Such measures include buyouts, capacity reductions in its international network, limited hiring, and cuts in discretionary spending, the company said. The buyouts are expected to cost $450 million to $575 million and "should predominantly occur in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019," FedEx said. Savings from the program are expected to be between $225 million and $275 million in fiscal 2020. "Similar programs are being considered for employees in international regions," FedEx said. The company forecast adjusted earnings between $12.65 to $13.40 a share for fiscal 2019. Shares of FedEx ended the regular trading day up 1.6%.

Micron quarterly sales come up short of analyst expectations

11 hours ago

Micron Technology Inc. reported quarterly sales Tuesday afternoon that failed to meet expectations that were already diminished by a slowdown in the memory-chip business. Shares dropped about 1% in after-hours trading immediately following the report. Micron reported profit of $3.29 billion, or $2.81 a share, on revenue of $7.91 billion, up from $6.8 billion a year ago. After adjustments for stock compensation and other effects, the chip maker reported earnings of $2.97 a share, up from $2.45 a share a year ago. Analysts on average had expected adjusted earnings of $2.95 a share on revenue of $8 billion. "Despite weak near-term industry supply-demand dynamics entering calendar 2019, Micron is well-positioned to deliver healthy profitability throughout the year," Chief Executive Sanjay Mehrotra said in Tuesday's announcement. "We remain bullish on the long-term secular growth trends driving the memory and storage industry." Micron did not provide a forecast for the current quarter in its news release but is expected to give that information on a conference call later. Micron's stock gained 0.7% in Tuesday's regular session but has declined 17.1% so far this year, as the S&P 500 index has dropped 4.8%.

Stocks eke out gains after multisession rout as Fed meeting gets underway

12 hours ago

U.S. stocks ended mostly higher on Tuesday in a turbulent session as key equity benchmark indexes tried to break away from their lowest levels since the autumn of 2017. The S&P 500 was mostly unchanged at 2,546. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 83 points, or 0.4%, to 23,678. The Nasdaq Composite finished higher by 0.4% to 6,784. On Monday, The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq finished at their lowest level since last year's fall. Stocks have struggled to claw back lost territory against a wall of worries including the deterioration in global growth and the Federal Reserve's tightening of financial conditions. The central bank kicked off its two-day meeting, which investors expect will culminate in the Fed's fourth rate hike of the year. In company news, shares of Boeing Co. are up 4% after the airplane manufacturer late-Monday announced a dividend increase and a share-buyback program.

Boeing's stock surge keeps Dow in positive territory

12 hours ago

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 64 points in afternoon trade Tuesday, but it would be down like the S&P 500 it it wasn't for Boeing Co.'s stock rally. Boeing's stock soared 3.9% to pace the Dow's gainers, after the aerospace and defense giant announced late Monday a 22% increase in its quarterly dividend and a $20 billion stock buyback program. The stock's price gain would add about 84 points to the Dow's price. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 slipped less than 0.1%.

Former oil company CEO charged with hiding assets from ex-wife

13 hours ago

The former CEO of Gulf Keystone Petroleum , Todd Kozel, was charged by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York with defrauding his ex-wife by hiding tens of millions of dollars' worth of assets in a foreign trust and using a portion of those assets secretly to purchase a $12.75 million condominium in Manhattan. Kozel was arrested at John F. Kennedy airport, the government said.

Energy sector stocks take a broad beating as crude oil prices tumble

13 hours ago

Energy stocks were hit hard Tuesday, to pace the S&P 500's sector decliners, after crude oil futures tumbled more than 7% to settle at the lowest level in nearly 16 months. The SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF dropped 2.7%, on track for the lowest close since March 2016, with 27 of 29 equity components trading lower. The biggest decliner was Anadarko Petroleum Corp.'s stock , which slumped 4.9% toward a one-year low. Concho Resources Inc. shares slid 4.7% toward its lowest close since April 2016. Among the more active components, shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. dropped 3.2%, Schlumberger N.V. slid 3.4%, Halliburton Co. gave up 1.0% and Chevron Corp. declined 2.9%. The energy ETF has now tumbled 21% over the past three months, while continuous crude futures have plunged 34% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 10%.

McConnell says he's in talks with White House after Democrats reject his offer to avoid shutdown

13 hours ago

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said he's in talks with the Trump administration about ways to avoid a partial government shutdown after Democratic lawmakers rejected his offer aimed at averting the closure. The Kentucky Republican offered $1.6 billion for border security, as outlined in a bipartisan Senate bill, along with $1 billion that President Donald Trump could use on the Mexican border, according to an Associated Press report. But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rejected the proposal, saying Democrats would not accept a billion-dollar "slush fund."

U.S. oil futures drop over 7% for lowest finish since August 2017

13 hours ago

Oil futures dropped Tuesday, with U.S. prices suffering from their lowest settlement in almost 16 months. A reported rise in monthly Russian oil production to a record level, a recent U.S. government forecast calling for further gains in domestic shale oil production and expectations for an economic slowdown fed concerns over a potential global glut in crude supplies. January West Texas Intermediate oil lost $3.64, or 7.3%, to settle at $46.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange--the lowest finish for a front-month contract since August 30, 2017, according to FactSet data. Prices also marked the largest one-day percentage decline since Sept. 1, 2015.

Duke Energy's former CEO Jim Rogers dies at age 71

13 hours ago

Duke Energy Corp. said Jim Rogers, its former chairman and chief executive, passed away Monday in Louisville, at the age of 71. Rogers became CEO of the electric power and gas distribution company in 2006, following the merger with Cinergy, and remained in the role until he retired in 2013, one year after the merger with Progress Energy. Prior to being CEO of Duke, Rogers was CEO of and chairman of Cinergy for more than 11 years. "Our industry has lost one of its most influential and extraordinary leaders," said Duke's current CEO Lynn Good. "We will miss Jim but we will also long remember his accomplishments and his mission to light the world." Rogers had authored the 2015 book, "Lighting the World." The stock slipped 0.5% in afternoon trade. It has gained 1.4% over the past 12 months, while the Dow Jones Utility Average has slipped 2.0% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 4.3%.

Nasdaq rallies despite most stocks trading lower

13 hours ago

The Nasdaq Composite rallied 0.8% in afternoon trade, putting it on track to snap a three-session losing streak, but most stocks are actually trading lower. The number of declining stocks on the Nasdaq exchange outnumbered advancers by a 1,549-to-1,346 margin. Helping lift the index to gains are the more active components, as volume in advancing shares represented 56.1% of total volume. The Nasdaq Composite's bounce comes after it dropped 4.9% over the past three sessions to close Monday at the lowest level since Nov. 15, 2017. Meanwhile, on the NYSE the number of advancing stocks outnumbered decliners 1,538 to 1,386 while advancing volume made up 54.9% of total volume. The S&P 500 was up 0.3% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was climbing 165 points, or 0.7%.

Penny Marshall, 'Laverne and Shirley' star and 'A League of Their Own' director, has died

13 hours ago

Penny Marshall, who played Laverne in the "Happy Days" spinoff "Laverne and Shirley," before going on to direct hits including "Big" and "A League of Their Own," died Monday at age 75, her family said in a statement Tuesday. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight! Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated," the Bronx-raised Marshall and costar Cindy Williams famously chanted in the opening sequence of their sitcom set in 1950s working-class Milwaukee. "Big," a fantasy in which a boy wakes up in the body of an adult man played by Tom Hanks, earned Hanks an Oscar nomination and made Marshall the first woman director in Hollywood history to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million, the Los Angeles Times reported. Marshall also directed "Awakenings" (1990), "Renaissance Man" (1994), "The Preacher's Wife" (1996) and "Riding in Cars with Boys" (2001), as well as other films and television. Marshall is survived by her sister, daughter Tracy Reiner, from her marriage to actor and director Rob Reiner, and three grandchildren.

Italy reaches budget agreement with European Union: reports

14 hours ago

Italy's government has reached an accord with the European Union regarding its controversial budget proposal for 2019, which may avert a clash with officials of Europe's trade bloc, according to reports. Rome's draft budget proposal earlier this year drew a swift rebuke from Brussels because it would have resulted in a budget deficit of 2.4% of gross domestic product, running afoul of EU membership rules. This led to the EU launching a so-called "excessive deficit procedure" against Italy in November, and caused investors to fret about the health of the eurozone's third-largest economy and the stability of the EU more broadly.

Vintage Capital calls Rent-A-Center's termination of merger deal 'invalid'

14 hours ago

Vintage Capital said Tuesday that Rent-A-Center Inc.'s claim that the merger agreement was terminated is "invalid," and that it plans to pursue "all available remedies" against the rent-to-own company. Rent-A-Center's stock fell 6.1% in afternoon trade, but pared intraday losses as much as 17%. Earlier, Rent-A-Center said it terminated the deal to be acquired by affiliates of Vintage Capital as its current financial and operational performance led it to decide not to extend the end date of the deal. Rent-A-Center also said it notified Vintage of its obligation to pay a "reverse breakup fee" of $126.5 million. "Vintage believes that the merger agreement remains in effect and that Rent-A-Center's actions constitute a further material breach of the merger agreement," Vintage said in a statement. Rent-A-Center's stock has rallied 22.6% year to date, while the S&P 500 has lost 4.2%.

Michael Flynn sentencing delayed to finish cooperation with prosecution

15 hours ago

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, on Tuesday had his sentencing postponed, after previously pleading guilty to lying to the FBI. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan had suggested to the defense that it might want to delay given the potential for further Flynn cooperation. The judge also asked whether Flynn committed treason -- the prosecutor for the special counsel said they didn't consider that charge -- though Sullivan later clarified that "I was just curious."

Homebuilder stocks in broad rally after upbeat government data on housing starts

15 hours ago

Homebuilder stocks were broadly higher Tuesday, as they outperformed the broader stock market, after upbeat government data on housing starts for November. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF hiked up 2.5% in midday trade, with 34 of its 35 equity components trading higher. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 rose 0.8%. Among the homebuilder ETF's most active components, shares of D.R. Horton Inc. shot up 5.4%, PulteGroup Inc. rallied 4.1%, Lennar Corp. climbed 4.4%, Toll Brothers Inc. tacked on 3.8% and TRI Pointe Group Inc. rose 4.0%. Earlier, the Commerce Department said housing starts ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.256 million last month, beating the MarketWatch consensus for a 1.23 million pace. That follows a string of downbeat housing market data, including the National Association of Home Builders saying Monday that its monthly confidence index fell to a 3 1/2-year low in December. Despite Tuesday's rally, the homebuilder ETF was still down 16.6% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 was 11.6% lower.

American Airlines leads airline stocks surge, as crude oil prices tumble

15 hours ago

Shares of airline companies bounced sharply Tuesday, as a tumble in crude oil prices provided hopes for lower fuel costs. The NYSE Arca Airline Index rose 1.9% in midday trade, after closing at a 14-month low on Monday, as crude oil futures dropped 5.5% toward a 15-month low amid concerns over a potential global supply glut. Among the more active air-carrier shares, American Airlines Group Inc. climbed 4.4%, Delta Air Lines Inc. rallied 1.6%, JetBlue Airways Corp. hiked up 1.7%, United Continental Holdings Inc. tacked on 2.8%, and Southwest Airlines Co. advanced 1.0%. SkyWest Inc.'s stock gained 3.7% after the company announced earlier a deal to sell its ExpressJet Airlines Inc. to United joint venture ManaAir LLC, a move that Cowen analyst Helane Becker said was "hugely positive" for SkyWest investors. The airline index lost 19% year to date, while the S&P 500 has slipped 3.9%.

Stock buybacks soar 58% in Q3 as companies use tax savings to boost shareholder returns

16 hours ago

Share repurchases during the third quarter by companies in the S&P 500 soared 58% from a year ago to a quarterly record of $203.8 billion, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. That marks the third consecutive quarterly record, a sign that companies were using savings from the corporate tax rate cut that went into effect this year to ramp up shareholder returns. The percentage of companies that used buyback to reduced the number of outstanding shares by at least 4% increased 18%, after rising 15% in the second quarter. "Companies have used their tax savings to push up discretionary buybacks and boost earnings through significantly reduced share counts," said S&P Dow Jones Senior Index Analyst Howard Silverblatt. "The buying, while broad, continued to be top heavy, with the top 20 issues accounting for 54.3% of all S&P 500 buybacks, a level not seen since Q1 2010, when it was at 59.8%." The top share repurchases were Qualcomm Inc. , which bought back $21.1 billion worth of its shares during the third quarter, followed by Apple Inc. , which spent $19.4 billion.

SEC asks for comment on Trump's request to shelve quarterly earnings

16 hours ago

The Securities and Exchange Commission asked for comment on Tuesday on the nature, content, and timing of earnings releases and quarterly reports made by companies ahead of a public meeting scheduled at the SEC headquarters on Wednesday. President Trump tweeted in August that the SEC should review whether it should allow companies to have flexibility as to the frequency of their reporting. The SEC says it is looking for ways to "reduce burdens on reporting companies associated with quarterly reporting while maintaining, and in some cases enhancing, disclosure effectiveness and investor protections." The SEC is also seeking comment on whether existing financial reporting, earnings release and earnings guidance approaches "may foster an overly short-term focus by managers and other market participants." The public comment period will remain open for 90 days following publication of the request for comment in the Federal Register.

GE's stock surges into correction territory of long-term downtrend

16 hours ago

Shares of General Electric Co. shot up 5.2% in morning trade Tuesday, enough to pace advancers among its industrial peers and the S&P 500 , as they enter official correction territory following last week's 9 1/2-year closing low. The stock has now run up 12% since it closed last Wednesday at $6.71, the lowest levels since March 2009; many chart watchers define a correction of a downtrend as rise of 10% to up to 20% off a recent significant low. The stock started its bounce last week after J.P. Morgan analyst Stephen Tusa upgraded GE to neutral, after being bearish on the stock for years, saying the risk-versus-reward profile was now balanced, and after the industrial conglomerate said it was launching a $1.2 billion industrial internet-of-things software company. The stock was the biggest gainer among components of both the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF and the S&P 500. The stock was still down 40.6% over the past three months, while the industrial ETF has lost 19.6% and the S&P 500 has declined 12.0%.

U.S. oil futures drop by more than 4%, on track for lowest finish since Sept. 2017

16 hours ago

Losses for oil intensified late Tuesday morning, with prices for the U.S. benchmark crude dropping by more than 4%. "Oil is under pressure again as it was reported that Russia [is] increasing their output to 11.42 million barrels per day this month, and that would be a record, if it turns out to be true," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK. "Major oil producers can talk about coordinated production cuts all they want, but at the end of the day they usually peruse their own interests." January West Texas Intermediate oil lost $2.33, or 2.7%, to settle at $47.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was on track for the lowest finish for a front-month contract since early September 2017, according to FactSet data.

Trump Foundation has agreed to dissolve, New York AG says

16 hours ago

The Trump Foundation has agreed to dissolve under judicial supervision, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said Tuesday. The lawsuit - which also seeks millions in restitution and penalties and a bar on President Trump and his three eldest children from serving on the boards of other New York charities - remains ongoing, Underwood said in a statement.

White House says it has 'other ways' of funding wall and wants to avoid shutdown

17 hours ago

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday told Fox News that "we have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion" for a border wall. She told the television station that "at the end of the day, we don't want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border." Sanders also said that talks with both Senate and House Republicans and Democrats continued as early as Tuesday morning.