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Explosive device found near home of billionaire George Soros: New York Times

3 hours ago

An explosive device was found near the Westchester County, N.Y., home of billionaire George Soros on Monday, the New York Times reported. The newspaper said the device did not explode but was "proactively detonated" by a local bomb squad. The paper said federal and state law enforcement responded to the scene in Katonah, N.Y. The Times said it was not known if Soros was at home Monday evening. Soros, who made his fortune as a hedge-fund manager, is a philanthropist and progressive political activist who is a frequent target of criticism from political groups on the right.

Supreme Court blocks deposition from Commerce Sect. Ross in census-citizenship suit

5 hours ago

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday said that states and interest groups suing the Department of Commerce over its intent to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census cannot compel a deposition from Commerce Sect. Wilbur Ross. Justice Neil Gorsuch, in an order posted on the court's website, said a federal district court overstepped in ordering the deposition and said other discovery the plaintiffs seek also will likely be disallowed when the court hears a full appeal. The plaintiffs claim that Ross and the Trump administration are acting in "bad faith" in adding the citizenship question in a backhand attempt to weaken voting rights of minorities.

Tesla to report earnings Wednesday

6 hours ago

Tesla Inc. said late Monday evening that it expects to report third-quarter earnings after the closing bell Wednesday. Tesla stock was down 0.3% in after hours trading. The company will host a conference call at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time to discuss the quarter and outlook. Tesla stock is down 16% this year, as the S&P 500 index has gained 3.1%.

Small medical pot companies plan to merge in $48 million stock deal

8 hours ago

Small Canada-based marijuana producer FSD Pharma Inc. said late Monday it intends to acquire Therapix Biosciences Ltd. for $48 million in stock. FSD said that it has a license to cultivate medical marijuana in Canada and has been harvesting cannabis since last month, though the company did not disclose the quantity. MarketWatch was unable to immediately determine whether FSD sells medical pot directly to patients, as many other licensed marijuana producers in Canada do.

Crane stock gains after company's earnings beat, upped guidance

9 hours ago

Shares of Crane Co. rose 3% in the extended session Monday after the industrial company reported third-quarter per-share earnings above forecasts and upped its guidance for the year. Crane said it earned $97 million, or $1.59 a share, compared with $68 million, or $1.13 a share in the third quarter of 2017. Adjusted for one-time items, Crane earned $1.62 a share. Sales rose 23% to $856 million in the quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $1.46 on sales of $856 million. Crane raised its full-year 2018 EPS guidance to between $5.20 and $5.30 a share, versus a prior range of $4.90-$5.10 a share. It raised adjusted EPS guidance to between $5.80 and $5.90, from $5.60-$5.80. It revised its free cash-flow guidance to $260 million-$290 million, from $250 million-$280 million. "To date, we are tracking ahead of the midpoint of our previously issued guidance, driven by further strengthening in our Aerospace & Electronics and Crane Currency markets, along with faster repayment of short-term debt," CEO Max Mitchell said in a statement. Crane shares fell 0.3% on Monday.

Cadence stock jumps 8% on earnings beat

10 hours ago

Shares of Cadence Design Systems Inc. rallied more than 8% in the extended session Monday after the software and engineering company reported third-quarter earnings above Wall Street expectations. Cadence said it earned $95 million, or 34 cents a share, in the third quarter, compared with $81 million, or 29 cents a share, in the same period in 2017. Adjusted for one-time items, Cadence earned $137 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with $98 million, or 35 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $526 million from $485 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 41 cents a share on sales of $517 million. The company said it expects 2018 revenue between $2.113 billion and $2.123 billion, and adjusted per-share net income between $1.80 to $1.82 for the year. Cadence shares ended 1.3% higher on Monday.

SS&C stock rises 6% after preliminary earnings

10 hours ago

SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc. shares jumped 6% in the extended session Monday after the company reported preliminary third-quarter earnings. SSNC said it would report final third-quarter earnings Oct. 31. The payments company reported that it now expects net income of $51.3 million to $58.9 million, which amounts to between 20 cents and 23 cents a share. Adjusted for items such as stock-based compensation, SSNC expects earnings between 78 cents and 79 cents a share. SSNC expects revenue of $990.4 million to $992.4 million, roughly a 137% gain compared with the year-earlier period. SSNC said it plans to update its fourth quarter and full-year outlook on the earnings call. SSNC stock has gained 23% this year, as the S&P 500 index rose 3.5%.

S&P 500 extends losing streak to 4 days; tech buoys Nasdaq

10 hours ago

Stocks ended lower Monday, extending the S&P 500's losing streak to four days as financial and energy shares led the way lower. Tech stocks rebounded, however, allowing the Nasdaq Composite to end 0.3% higher near 7,469, according to preliminary figures, snapping a three-day losing streak. Financials were the big loser, with the sector slumping 2.1%, while energy was off 1.1%. The beaten-down tech sector rose 0.8%. The S&P 500 ended the day off 0.4% near 2,756, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed around 127 points, or 0.5%, to finish near 25,317.

Taco Bell testing Toasted Cheddar Chalupa and other menu items

11 hours ago

Taco Bell offered a "new test item round-up" on Monday that includes the Toasted Cheddar Chalupa, priced at $2.49 on its own or part of a $5 box, and available only in Flint, Mich. In Charlotte, the Mexican fast-food chain is testing the $2 Stacker Duo, a folded quesadilla featuring seasoned beef and a three-cheese blend. And in Milwaukee, the Reaper Ranch Quesarito, a double layer burrito, is being tested, priced at $2.99 a la carte. All items are being tested now through mid-November. Taco Bell is part of the Yum Brands Inc. portfolio. Yum shares have gained 9.5% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 3.2% for the period

Trump says he will propose 10% tax cut for middle-income earners

11 hours ago

Speaking to reporters on the White House law, President Donald Trump said the administration will propose what he called a "resolution" to cut taxes by 10% for middle-income earners. He made clear that this would be for Congress to enact and not to be done administratively. He acknowledged that Congress would not take up any legislative proposal until after the election.

Moody's rates Netflix's new junk bonds at Ba3

13 hours ago

Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba3 rating to Netflix Inc.'s proposed offering of $2 billion of senior notes. The deal will bring Netflix's gross leverage to 5.2 times for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, the agency said in a note. "However, despite the continuing issuances of debt to fund the company's negative cash flows, we expect leverage to drop gradually over time as the transition from licensed content to produced original content levels off and newer international markets begin to contribute to profits and overall margins improve," said Moody's. Gross leverage is expected to fall back to around 6.0 times by end 2018 and to be below 5 times by end 2020 as EBITDA growth outpaces growth in content spend and debt. Netflix's most active bonds, the 5.875% notes that mature in November of 2028, were barely changed on Monday, according to MarketAxess. The stock was down 0.5%.

Hurricane Willa strengthens to 'potentially catastrophic' Category 5 storm

15 hours ago

Hurricane Willa, currently churning about 175 miles south-southwest of Las Islas Marias in Mexico, has strengthened to a Category 5 storm that is expected to dump up to 18 inches of rain over parts of that country by Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said Monday. Willa is a "potentially catastrophic" storm that is expected to produce a"life-threatening storm surge, the agency said in its latest advisory. A hurricane warning is in effect for the region stretching from San Blas to Mazatlan, while a tropical storm warning is in effect for Playa Perula to San Blas and North of Mazatlan to Bahia Tempehuaya. Willa has maximum sustained winds of 160 miles an hour. Current wind and water conditions may allow for further strengthening followed by weakening. "But Willa is likely to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it makes landfall along the west-central coast of Mexico," said the NHC.

SEC suspends trading in company after false cryptocurrency-related statements

15 hours ago

The Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading on Monday in the securities of Nevada-based American Retail Group, Inc. , which also is known as Simex. The company claimed it had a partnership with an SEC qualified custodian that would be "under SEC Regulations," and that the company was conducting a token offering that was "officially registered in accordance [with] SEC requirements." The SEC issued an investor alert earlier this month warning investors to be vigilant for false claims about SEC endorsements used to promote digital asset investments. "The SEC does not endorse or qualify custodians for cryptocurrency, and investors should use vigilance when considering an investment in an initial coin offering," said Robert A. Cohen, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division's Cyber Unit.

Mirati Therapeutics stock drops 19.5% after cancer trial results

16 hours ago

Mirati Therapeutics Inc. shares dropped 19.5% in extremely heavy Monday morning trade after the company presented results from a phase 2 trial in which its cancer drug sitravatinib was combined with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s cancer drug Opdivo . The trial enrolled patients with non-small cell lung cancer who had their cancer progress while taking a type of cancer drug called an immune checkpoint inhibitor. As of late August, of 56 patients in the trial who could be evaluated, 9 had a confirmed partial or complete response, the company said. Two additional patients had unconfirmed partial or complete responses -- which are awaiting confirmation -- and five others had unconfirmed responses "that will not be confirmed," Mirati said. The company said that in total, 16 patients had partial or complete responses, including the latter two categories of patients in its count. The company also said that 18 patients had tumor reductions of more than 30%, and an early estimate of median duration response was more than nine months. Mirati plans a phase 3 randomized clinical trial comparing a combination of the two cancer drugs with the chemotherapy docetaxel. Bristol-Myers' Opdivo is a checkpoint inhibitor that has already been approved in non-small cell lung cancer. As part of a major trend over the last several years, drugmakers have been testing immuno-oncology drugs like sitravatinib in combination with other cancer drugs, hoping that they might be more effective together. Mirati shares have dropped 41.5% over the last three months to $32.21, compared with a 1.6% slump in the S&P 500 and a 1.1% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

Bristol-Myers Squibb stock drops 6% after FDA delays approval deadline for cancer drug

16 hours ago

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. shares dropped nearly 6% in extremely heavy Monday morning trade after the company said that, because of new information from a cancer clinical trial, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is extending the review period for the company's new drug application by three months. This "major amendment to filing overshadows data presentations at [European Society for Medical Oncology]," a recent and major cancer conference, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst John Boris, who rates the company "buy" with a $67 price target, said. The FDA now aims for an approval decision on the drug by or on May 20, 2019. The trial, called CheckMate-227, is an ongoing phase 3 study testing Bristol-Myers' drug Opdivo plus a low dose of another Bristol-Myers drug, Yervoy, against chemotherapy in metastatic first-line non-small cell lung cancer. The new information that Bristol-Myers submitted to the FDA pertains to overall survival for patients whose tumors have a relatively low level of mutations, or a "tumor mutational burden" (TMB) of less than 10 mutations/megabase. TMB is thought to have promise in cancer treatment, as a way of matching patients with the best therapies for their disease, but the way Bristol-Myers has approached the topic has been controversial, because the drugmaker made changes to its clinical trial to measure TMB while the research was already ongoing. Rival Merck & Co. , meanwhile, is seen as leading the space. The FDA considered the new TMB analysis a "major amendment" to the company's drug application, which is why the review period was extended. Bristol-Myers shares have dropped 9.7% over the last three months, compared with a 1.6% decline in the S&P 500 and a 1.1% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

Netflix's bond offering rated a speculative BB-; shares fall

16 hours ago

Netflix Inc.'s $2 billion bond offerings were rated BB- at S&P Global Ratings, which is the third-highest rating in speculative, or "junk," territory. The streaming video service's stock slumped 2.8% in morning trade. The credit rating agency placed recovery ratings of "3" on the offerings, due in 2029, which indicates expectations for "meaningful recovery"--a rounded estimate of 65%--of principal in the event of a payment default. S&P said the rating reflects improving EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margin over the last 12 months, boosted by price increases and accelerated subscriber growth, but also an expectation that adjusted leverage will increase to about 4.8 times by the end of 2018, from 4.3 times as of Sept. 30. S&P had upgraded Netflix's rating to BB- from B+ on Oct. 18. The stock has lost 10% over the past three months but has rallied 69% year to date. The S&P 500 has gained 3.0% this year.

Intel's stock gains after Instinet says 'buy' ahead of results

16 hours ago

Shares of Intel Corp. rose 0.6% in morning trade Monday, after the semiconductor maker was upgraded at Instinet, which cited an upbeat outlook for its 10 nanometer chipsets. Analyst Romit Shah raised his rating to buy, after being at neutral the past four months. "There isn't a company in our semiconductor coverage universe that we see raising estimates in October or November. Intel is likely the only exception," Shaw wrote in a note to clients. Intel is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Oct. 25. Shah expects Intel to remain "supply constrained" until the ramp of 10nm, which sets it up for seasonal revenue growth and stronger gross margins. Said said every U.S. and foreign-based equipment supplier spoken with said they have seen 10nm volumes become more meaningful. "This should help alleviate fears about process technology leadership and share loss and drive Intel's multiple higher," Shah wrote. The stock has tumbled 15% over the past three months, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index has lost 9.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has edged up 1.2%.

Net Element's stock rockets after launching payment service aimed at cannabis industry

16 hours ago

Shares of Net Element Inc. rocketed 63% in active morning trade Monday, after the Florida-based payments-as-a-service company said its Unified Payments subsidiary launched a "secure and compliant" payment processing offering for the legal cannabis industry. Volume jumped to 4.1 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 81,000 shares. The company said payment processing for the growing legal cannabis industry has become increasingly complex, given that cannabis is still federally illegal, so Unified Payments is looking to address the challenges with a simple, yet compliant, payment option. "We are excited to launch a legal cannabis payment acceptance solution to meet the needs of sales partners and merchants for this emerging market," said Vlad Sadovskiy, president of integrated payments at Net Element. The stock had shot up as much as 164% to a 7-month high of $10.60 before paring some gains. It was still down 38% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.2%.

Adaptimmune's stock tumbles after cancer study results prompts price target cut

17 hours ago

Shares of Adaptimmune Therapeutics PLC slumped 21% in morning trade Monday, after the results from a trial of its cancer treatment prompted Raymond James to slash its price target. The biopharmaceutical company said over the weekend that it was encouraged by the safety data from ongoing studies of SPEAR T-cells, but said no patients were treated in a Cohort 2 "triple tumor" study because the Safety Review Committee recommended an escalated dose. Raymond James analyst Reni Benjamin cut his target to $16 from $20, as the true efficacy of the product may only be determined at the higher, 5-billion-cell dose level. "Although still early, we believe higher doses will likely need to be evaluated with a larger population," Benjamin wrote in a note to clients. "We are decreasing our probability of success from 35% to 25% as we await a stronger correlation between dose, persistence, and clinical response." The stock has slumped 19% over the past three months but was still up 27% year to date, while the S&P 500 has slipped 1.2% the past three months and has gained 3.6% this year.

Stocks open slightly higher after China rally; focus on earnings

17 hours ago

U.S. stocks opened higher Monday, buoyed as global equities took a cue from a continued rebound by Chinese shares from multi-year lows. The S&P 500 was up 0.3% at 2,775, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 40 points, or 0.1%, to 25,485. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.6% to 7,492. Chinese stocks surged for a second day Monday following another round of reassuring comments from leaders and top regulators, sending the Shanghai Composite up 4.6% and the smaller Shenzhen Composite up 5.2%. U.S. investors are also set for a deluge of earnings reports as third-quarter earnings season hits its stride this week.

Coherent's stock tumbles after revenue, gross margin warnings

17 hours ago

Shares of Coherent Inc. sank 4% in premarket trade Monday, toward the lowest price seen during regular session hours since December 2016, after the laser-based technologies company warned of lower-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter revenue and margins, citing execution issues at a German manufacturing site and a weaker demand environment in China. The company now expects revenue for the quarter to Sept. 29 of $460 million to $461 million, compared with previous guidance of $465 million to $485 million and below the FactSet consensus of $471.9 million. The company also cut its outlooks for adjusted gross margin to 43% to 44% from 46% to 49% and for adjusted operating margin to 22% to 23% from 25% to 28%. The company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Nov. 6, after the closing bell. The stock has tumbled 22% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has slipped 1.2%.

Netflix plans $2 billion bond offering

17 hours ago

Netflix Inc. said Monday it plans to raise $2 billion through the offering of U.S. dollar- and euro-denominated bonds to qualified institutional buyers. The streaming video service said the interest rate and maturity of the bonds will be determined later, after negotiations with initial purchasers. The company plans to use the proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes. Netflix's long-term credit rating at Moody's is Ba3, which is considered speculative, or 'junk.' Netflix's stock edged up 0.6% in premarket trade. It has lost 7.9% over the past three months, while the technology friendly Nasdaq 100 has slipped 3.3% and the S&P 500 has eased 1.2%.

Axonics to offer 6.7 million shares in IPO, priced at $14 to $16 each

18 hours ago

Medical technology company Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc. set terms for its planned initial public offering on Monday, saying it will offer 6.7 million shares priced at $14 to $16 each. The company is planning to list on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "AXNX". BofA Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are lead underwriters on the deal with Wells Fargo and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey acting as co-managers. The company specializes in sacral neuromodulation, which is used to treat patienst with overactive bladder and urinary retention, among other disorders.

Alibaba's stock surges as part of broad rally in China-based companies

18 hours ago

Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. shot up 3.4% in premarket trade Monday as part of a broad rally in China-based company stocks, following reassuring comments by China President Xi Jinping. The stock had tumbled 24% over the past three months through Friday, while the S&P 500 had slipped 1.2%, amid concerns over a trade war with the U.S. and a slowing economy. Monday's rally comes despite Benchmark analyst Fawne Jiang cutting the price target to $220 from $245, citing concerns that near-term earnings growth could come under pressure. Over the weekend, Xi emphasized support for the private sector, according to reports, and new details on proposed tax cuts were released, helping send the Shanghai Composite up 4.1%. The iShares China Large-Cap ETF , which had closed at a 17-month low on Thursday, ran up 3.0% ahead of Monday's open. Among other U.S.-listed shares of China-based companies, Nio Inc. hiked up 4.5%, iQiyi Inc. rallied 2.8% and advanced 3.3%.

EBay launches smartphone sales program

18 hours ago

EBay Inc. said Monday that it has launched a program, eBay Instant Selling, to help consumers sell used, unwanted smartphones. Users will get paid instantly with an eBay voucher once the phone is listed. An eBay study showed that 40% of Americans have two or more smartphones that they no longer use, but 61% have never sold or traded a smartphone. EBay also says it provides a higher return than trade-in values, for instance offering up to $639 for an iPhone X while AT&T Inc. offers $550. EBay shares are up 0.3% in Monday premarket trading, but down nearly 24% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index has gained 3.5% for 2018 so far.

Kimberly-Clark shares rise after earnings and revenue beat expectations

19 hours ago

Kimberly-Clark Corp. shares rose 3% in Monday premarket trading after the Kleenex parent reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations. Net income for the quarter was $451 million, or $1.29 per share, down from $567 million, or $1.60 per share, for the same period last year. Adjusted EPS was $1.71. Revenue totaled $4.58 billion, down from $4.67 billion last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.63 and sales of $4.52 billion. Chief Executive Thomas Falk said profits were hurt by "significant commodity and currency headwinds," and the company generated cost savings of $145 million. The company still expects organic sales to increase about 1% in 2018. Other Kimberly-Clark brands include Huggies, Cottonelle and Depend. Kimberly-Clark also announced that it has named Michael Hsu chief executive, effective Jan. 1, 2019. He has served as chief operating officer since Jan. 1, 2017. Kimberly-Clark shares have tumbled 8.6% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained 3.5% for the period.

Chipotle upgraded on same-store sales growth potential though earnings expected to be 'lackluster'

19 hours ago

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. was upgraded to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital Markets on same-store sales growth potential. RBC's price target was lifted to $510 from $450. RBC surveys show menu, digital and delivery opportunities that analysts led by David Palmer think the company can execute on in 2019. "[I]t is encouraging to hear that 73% of customers that have not eaten at Chipotle in the past six months would consider returning to Chipotle if a new item was added to the menu," the note said. Among the items RBC suggests Chipotle should add are nachos, which are currently being tested in Colorado and Minneapolis; bacon, which is being tested in Orange County; quesadillas; and a revamped queso. Still, analysts expect earnings, scheduled to be announced on Oct. 25, to be "lackluster" and sales to be volatile from quarter to quarter. Chipotle shares are up 1.7% in Monday premarket trading and up 48.3% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index has gained 3.5% for 2018 so far.

Kimberly-Clark names Michael Hsu CEO, effective Jan. 2019

19 hours ago

Kleenex maker Kimberly-Clark Corp. said Monday its board has named Michael Hsu as CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Hsu, 54, is replacing Thomas Falk, who has held the post of CEO since 2002 and who will now become executive chairman. Hsu joined the company in 2012 from the role of chief commercial officer at Kraft Foods. The executive began his career as a consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton. Kimberly-Clark shares were up 1.6% in premarket trade as the company also reported third-quarter earnings, but have fallen 8.6% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.5%.

American Railcar to by bought in a $1.75 billion deal by ITE, giving Icahn a $757 million profit

19 hours ago

American Railcar Industries Inc. announced Monday a deal to be acquired in a deal valued at $1.75 billion by a fund managed by investment firm ITE Management L.P. Under terms of the agreement, ITE will pay $70 for each American Railcar, a maker of hopper and tank railcars, which is 51% above Friday's closing price of $46.29, and would give the company a market capitalization of $1.34 billion. The stock is currently halted for news until 7:30 a.m. Eastern. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn's Icahn Enterprises L.P. is the majority owner of American Railcar, with 11.9 million shares, or 62.2% of the shares outstanding, according to FactSet data. Icahn said it became a majority owner of American Railcar in 2010, and Monday's deal, the investment has generated a total return of 423% for a profit of $757.2 million. American Railcar's stock has rallied 17.8% over the past 12 months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 9.1%.

Universal Stainless to raise base prices of specialty steel products by 3% to 8%

19 hours ago

Universal Stainless & Alloy Products Inc. said Monday it is raising base prices on selected specialty steel long products by 3% to 8%, effective Oct. 29, citing inflationary pressures. "Given the current inflationary environment in metals, this price adjustment is necessary to support our ongoing reinvestment into our facilities to better serve our customers," Chief Commercial Officer Chris Zimmer said in a statement The company is keeping current electrode, material and energy surcharges, he said. Shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 5.3% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.5%.