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Mnuchin tells House chairman he won't comply with subpoena for Trump tax returns

yesterday

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday he won't comply with a subpoena requesting President Donald Trump's tax returns. In a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, Mnuchin said the panel's request "lacks a legitimate legislative purpose," and that the Treasury is not authorized to disclose Trump's returns. Mnuchin said earlier this week he expected the dispute to go to court. In a statement, Neal said he will consult with counsel on how to best the enforce the subpoenas. "The law, by its terms, does not allow for discretion as to whether to comply with a request for tax returns and return information," Neal replied.

Stocks end lower as trade tensions continue, post weekly loss

yesterday

Stocks ended lower Friday, with major benchmarks logging weekly losses, as worries remained over U.S.-China trade tensions. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% to end near 2,859, according to preliminary figures, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed around 99 points, or 0.4%, to finish near 25,763. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1% to close near 7,816. For the week, the S&P 500 lost 0.8%, while the Dow declined 0.7% and the Nasdaq fell 1.3%. Stocks sold off sharply on Monday as China announced retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports following the Trump administration's decision last week to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports and take steps toward implementing duties on remaining goods. Equities then took back much of the lost ground over the following three days, but saw renewed pressure Friday on uncertainty over prospects for continued negotiations and the threat of a further escalation of the tariff battle. Losses Friday were limited by upbeat economic data, including a rise in the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index to a 15-year high.

Oil prices fall for the session, gain for the week

yesterday

Oil futures settled lower Friday, giving up some of the gains that lifted U.S. prices to their highest levels in more than two weeks. Prices, however, registered an increase for the week as traders continued to monitor developments in the Middle East and looked ahead to a meeting Sunday of OPEC and non-OPEC producers who monitor compliance with the production-cut deal. June WTI oil fell by 11 cents, or 0.2%, to $62.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. After posting gains in the previous three sessions, most-active contract prices rose 1.8% for the week.

Lions Gate shares soar on report that CBS has made $5 billion offer for Starz

yesterday

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. shares soared more than 12% Friday, after The Information reported that CBS Corp. has made an informal bid for the company's Starz cable network for about $5 billion. The report cited four sources, three of whom said CBS is looking at a deal as a potential complement to Viacom, which CBS is also thinking of acquiring. CBS Interim CEO Joseph Ianniello made the offer a few weeks ago to Lions Gate executives, who turned it down, said the report. Lions Gate shares have fallen 36% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 5%.

U.S., Canada reach deal to end steel, aluminum tariffs and retaliatory levies

yesterday

The U.S. and Canada on Friday said they have reached a deal where the U.S. will end tariffs imposed under Section 232 on imports of aluminum and steel products from Canada, while Canada will remove all tariffs imposed in retaliation. The two sides will take the step in two days and terminate World Trade Organization litigation. The two sides say they will take measures to prevent the importation of aluminum and steel that is unfairly subsidized and/or sold at dumped prices; and prevent the transshipment of aluminum and steel made outside of Canada or the United States to the other country.

Gold settles at a more than 2-week low, down 0.9% for the week

yesterday

Gold futures fell Friday to tally a loss of 0.9% for the week and mark their lowest finish since May 2. Upbeat U.S. economic data, including a jump in consumer sentiment, as well as some strength in the dollar pressured prices for the haven metal. June gold lost $10.50, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,275.70 an ounce on Comex.

Baker Hughes data show U.S. oil-rig count down for a second straight week

yesterday

Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by 3 to 802 this week. That followed a decline of 2 rigs the previous week. The total active U.S. rig count, meanwhile, also fell by 1 to 987, according to Baker Hughes. June West Texas Intermediate crude fell 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $62.81 a barrel. It was at $62.76 shortly before the rig data.

Steel maker stocks fall after WSJ report a deal to end tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico was close

yesterday

Steel maker stocks dropped in midday trade Friday, after The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. trade negotiators were close to a deal with Canada and Mexico to end tariffs on steel imports. Shares of U.S. Steel Corp. fell 2.7%, Nucor Corp. shed 3.6%, Steel Dynamics Inc. gave up 2.9% and ArcelorMittal slid 3.4%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was down just 0.2%. Among aluminum companies, Alcoa Corp.'s stock fell 1.7% and Kaiser Aluminum Corp. declined 1.5%. The WSJ reported, citing sources, that U.S. trade negotiators were trying to reach a deal on tariffs with Canada and Mexico to "push USMCA through Congress."

CFPB sues debt-collection firm used by Discover, Citi

yesterday

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has filed a lawsuit against a New York debt collection firm that sues on behalf of creditors including Discover Financial Services and Citi for filing collection lawsuits against consumers without meaningful attorney involvement. The CFPB lawsuit against Forster & Garbus alleges the firm has used nonattorney support staff, automation, and both a cursory and deficient review of account files to attempt to collect more than 99,000 debts, collecting substantial sums of money from consumers who may not actually owe debts or may not owe debts in the amounts claimed. The CFPB is seeking an injunction against Forster & Garbus, as well as damages, redress to consumers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and the imposition of a civil money penalty.

J.P. Morgan Chase is acquiring health-care payments company InstaMed

yesterday

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is buying health-care payments technology company InstaMed, the companies announced Friday. The deal will expand the bank's suite of payment services for health-care consumers, providers and payers, J.P. Morgan said. "We've made significant investments in our Wholesale Payments business over the years and this acquisition will give us a unique advantage in one of the fastest growing sectors. With InstaMed, we combine the strength and scale of JPMorgan Chase's payments capabilities with a leading healthcare payments solution for consumers, providers and payers," said Takis Georgakopoulos, global head of Wholesale Payments at J.P. Morgan. Annual health-care spend in the U.S. is estimated to be more than $3 trillion, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and billing and payment services could be a fertile market for the bank. Shares of the company have gained 14.1% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 14.8%.

Luckin Coffee's stock soars in its debut, as it opens nearly 50% above its IPO price

yesterday

Luckin Coffee Inc.'s stock debuted with a bang on the Nasdaq, as it opened nearly 50% above its initial public offering price. The first trade was at $25 at 11:08 a.m. Eastern for 5.0 million shares, 47% above the $17 IPO price, as the China-based coffeeshop chain raised $561 million. The stock has extended gains since, to trade 51% above its IPO price. At the IPO price, which priced at the top of the expected range, the company, known as the Starbucks of China, had a market capitalization of $3.9 billion. The company went public at a time the Renaissance IPO ETF has rallied 34% year to date, while the S&P 500 has advanced 15%.

UPDATE: Chemicals company Avantor shares rise 4.5% in trading debut

yesterday

Chemicals company Avantor Inc. shares rose 4.5% in their trading debut Friday, after underwriters priced the company's initial public offering at $14 a share, the low end of its range. The company sold 207 million shares to raise $2.9 billion. The company also offered 18 million shares of its 6.252% Series A mandatory convertible preferred stock at $50 a share. The company will use the proceeds of the deal to redeem all of its existing Series A preferred stock and to repay some of its senior secured term loans. The common stock and preferred stock are trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols "AVTR" and "AVTR PRA." Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan were lead underwriters on the dal with another 24 banks participating. Avantor makes products for the biopharma, health care, education and government and advanced tech industries. The company is mostly made up of VWR, which was taken private by private-equity firm New Mountain and Goldman Sachs in 2017. The company has more than $7 billion in debt.

Dow claws back from 205-point skid to trade higher as stock market stages late-morning turnaround

yesterday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday pivoted from a solid loss to a firm gain, erasing a more than 200-point opening drop in late-morning dealings. The Dow was up 64 points, or 0.3%, at 25,929, after hitting an intraday low of 25,657.78, representing a roughly 205-point decline for the blue-chip gauge. The move coincided with a broad pivot for the other two main U.S. benchmarks, with the S&P 500 index rising 0.3% at 2,883, and the Nasdaq Composite Index advancing 0.2% at 7,914, with both indexes wiping out earlier declines. All week, investors have been wrestling with developments on trade between the U.S. and its international counterparts, with tensions between the U.S. and China particularly elevated.

Fastly's stock opens 34% above its IPO price, then keeps rising

yesterday

Shares of Fastly Inc. opened 34% above its initial public offering price, then kept rising, as the software company debuted on the NYSE. The first trade was at $21.50 at 10:35 a.m. Eastern for 2.06 million shares, above the $16 IPO price. It was recently trading above $23, or more than 44% above its IPO price. The company raised $180.8 million, as the IPO priced at the top of the expected range, giving the company an initial market capitalization of $1.45 billion. Fastly has gone public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has gained 7.3% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has tacked on 3.4%.

Outlook Therapeutics' stock rockets on heavy volume again, has more than doubled in 2 days

yesterday

Shares of Outlook Therapeutics Inc. rocketed 38% in very active morning trade Friday, putting them on track to more than double in two days. Volume ballooned to 17.6 million shares, enough to make the stock the most actively traded on the Nasdaq exchange. The biotechnology company's stock had run up 68% on Thursday on trading volume of 51.7 million shares, after closing Wednesday at a record low of 91 cents, after Oppenheimer analyst Leland Gershell started coverage with an outperform rating and $12 stock price target. Outlook is investigating a formulation of a treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration. Outlook's stock was still down 47% year to date, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has gained 7.9% and the S&P 500 has advanced 14%.

Dow slumps 94 points, jeopardizing multiday rally as China trade tensions flare up

yesterday

U.S. stock benchmarks Friday morning traded solidly lower, putting the thee main indexes on a path to book weekly losses and halt a three-session advance amid further investor concerns about trade relations between the U.S. and its international counterparts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded about 94 points, or 0.4%, lower at 25,772, the S&P 500 index declined 0.4% at 2,864, and the Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 0.5% at 7,857, in early trade. For the week, the Dow was set for a weekly decline of 1%, the S&P 500 was poised for a weekly slide of 0.8%, while the Nasdaq was on track to fall 1%, according to FactSet data. Heightened trade tensions appeared evident in comments from state-controlled media, including the Communist Party's People's Daily and Xinhua News Agency, which published scathing attacks on U.S. actions in recent days. "The U.S. has made an irrational act in trying to blackmail China with tariff hikes, which will be proven over time to be shortsighted and doomed to fail," read an editorial in the Xinhua early Friday. Meanwhile, the British pound was under pressure against the dollar amid growing uncertainty about Britain's plans to exit from Europe's trading bloc. In corporate news, shares of Pinterest Inc. were looking at double-digit percentage losses, after the social-media company announced Thursday evening that its first-quarter losses of $41.4 million were three times as large as analysts had expected. Meanwhile, Chinese coffeehouse chain Luckin Coffee Inc. , a potential rival to Starbucks Corp. will list their shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange Friday, after pricing its shares at $17, with a plan to sell 33 million shares.

Foot Locker's stock jumps after analyst raises rating and price target, citing 'attractive' valuation

yesterday

Shares of Foot Locker Inc. rallied 1.3% in premarket trade Friday, after B. Riley FBR upgraded the athletic footwear retailer, citing "attractive" valuation, expected in-line same-store sales and a "solid" footwear pipeline. Analyst Susan Anderson raised her rating to buy, after being at neutral since August 2017, while raising her stock price target to $73 from $62. "Our store checks have shown a significant pullback in promotions since 1H18 which we believe reflects on-trend product from both FL's core partners and smaller more casual/fashion oriented brands," Anderson wrote in a note to clients. "In a challenging retail environment, we believe [Foot Locker] has done an excellent job of re-aligning their store fleet and creating an in-store experience that is relevant to their customers." The stock has lost 6.4% over the past three months through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 5.3% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 3.6%.

Tesla's stock dives toward 2 1/2-year low after NTSB crash report

yesterday

Shares of Tesla Inc. took a 2.8% dive in premarket trade Friday, after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that a Tesla vehicle involved in a fatal crash in March was on Autopilot, the electric car maker's suite of advanced driver assistance systems. The selloff put the electric car maker's stock on track to open at the lowest level seen during regular session hours since January 2017. Separately, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk reportedly told employees that the $2.2 billion in cash reserves only gives the company about 10 months to break even, at recent cash burn rates. The stock has tumbled 31% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 15%.

Trump delays decision on imposing auto tariffs for 180 days

yesterday

President Donald Trump on Friday delayed for 180 days a decision on imposing tariffs on foreign automobiles and auto parts. A White House statement said Trump is directing the U.S. Trade Representative to negotiate agreements to address a national security threat "causing harm to the American automobile industry." Trump has warned he would impose tariffs on cars made by the European Union and Japan.

AbbVie stock down 1.8% in premarket trade after failure of glioblastoma drug trial

yesterday

Shares of AbbVie Inc. fell 1.8% in premarket trade after the company announced that interim data from a Phase 3 trial of glioblastoma drug Depatux-M did not show any survival benefit to patients. An independent monitoring committee recommended stopping the trial, which was conducted in collaboration with the RTOG Foundation, a not-for-profit cancer research organization. "Glioblastoma patients and their caregivers face a devastating disease for which there are few therapeutic options. While we are disappointed that Depatux-M did not demonstrate a survival benefit in the INTELLANCE-1 study, we remain committed to discovering and developing therapies to address some of the most debilitating cancers," said Michael Severino, vice chairman and president of AbbVie, in a statement. AbbVie has halted enrollment in all of its Depatux-M studies. Shares of the company have fallen 14% in the year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 14.7%.

Baidu's stock plunges toward a near 4-year low after disappointing results, outlook

yesterday

Shares of Baidu Inc. plummeted 13% in premarket trade Friday, putting them on track to open at the lowest price seen during regular-session hours since September 2015, after the China-based internet search giant swung to a first-quarter loss. The disappointing results and downbeat outlook prompted Analyst Fawne Jiang at Benchmark to keep her rating at buy, but to slash her price target by 27% to $180, given decelerating growth and persistent margin pressures. The stock has lost 9.6% over the past three months and 45% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.6% the past three months and tacked on 5.7% the past year.

NeoPhotonics' stock set to extend selloff after MKM cuts rating, slashed price target in half

yesterday

Shares of NeoPhotonics Corp. were indicated down nearly 7% in premarket trade, extending the previous session's 21% plunge, after MKM Partners analyst Michael Genovese cut his rating on the optical equipment maker and slashed his price target in half, following the Trump administration's moves to ban business with China's Huawei Technologies. Genovese downgraded NeoPhotonics to neutral from buy, and lowered his stock fair value estimate to $4.50 from $9.00, given that Huawei is the company's largest customer, representing about 46% of sales in 2018. He said he "holds out hope" that there is a 50% probability that the ban is walked back as part of a trade agreement, which would then turn the recent selloff into a great buying opportunity. The stock has tumbled 38.5% over the past three months, while the Nasdaq Composite has gained 5.7% and the S&P 500 has edged up 3.6%.

Under Armour's stock surges after J.P. Morgan turns bullish, citing management's 'controlled confidence'

yesterday

Shares of Under Armour Inc. jumped 3.5% in premarket trade Friday, after J.P. Morgan turned bullish on the athletic gear maker for the first time in at least three years, following an upbeat meeting with management. Analyst Matthew Boss raised his rating to overweight from neutral, and his stock price target to $29, which is 33% above Thursday's closing price of $21.88, from $23. Boss said the tone from the meeting was "controlled confidence" in the brand's direction, with earnings and revenue growth acceleration driven by the combination of the company's product, innovation and marketing strategy. That follows the company's "shrink phase" aimed at product rationalization, inventory reduction and vendor base consolidation. Boss said Under Armour is now positioned for "multi-year gross margin expansion." The stock has rallied 23.8% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR Consumer Discretionary Select Sector ETF has climbed 18% and the S&P 500 has advanced 15%.

Apple shares fall as Instinet cuts stock price target on China trade tensions

yesterday

Apple Inc. shares slid 1.5% in premarket trade Friday, after Instinet lowered its stock price target to $175 from $180 citing concerns about China trade tensions. "The renewal of China trade tensions are a likely near-term negative for Apple," analysts wrote in a note to clients. "We reduce our FY19 estimates out of trade caution. The record low 1Q upgrade rates at US operators also suppress our optimism for a long-term recovery in replacement rates, which weighs on FY20 estimates." Apple shares have gained 20.5% in 2019, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11% and the S&P 500 has gained 15%.

Cray to be bought by HP Enterprise at 17% premium, in a $1.3 billion deal

yesterday

Supercomputer maker Cray Inc. announced Friday an agreement to be acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. in a deal valued at $1.3 billion. Under terms of the deal, HPE will pay $35 per share in cash for each Cray share outstanding, representing a 17.4% premium to Thursday's closing price of $29.81. Cray's stock had soared 16.6% in premarket trade prior to a trading halt after Bloomberg reported late Thursday that the companies held buyout talks. HPE it expects the deal, which is expected to close by the quarter ending January 2020, should add to adjusted earnings in the first full year, with one-time integration costs absorbed within its fiscal 2020 free cash flow outlook of $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion, which remains unchanged. "Answers to some of society's most pressing challenges are buried in massive amounts of data," said HPE Chief Executive Antonio Neri. "Only by processing and analyzing this data will we be able to unlock the answers to critical challenges across medicine, climate change, space and more." Cray's stock is halted until 8:15 Eastern, while HPE shares slipped 0.2%. Year to date through Thursday, Cray's stock has run up 38%, HPE shares have gained 10% and the S&P 500 has advanced 15%.

Acacia expects little impact from loss of sales to Huawei

yesterday

Optical equipment maker Acacia Communications Inc. said Friday that it was "taking steps" to suspend transactions with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., following U.S. export control regulations to the China-based company. Acacia said sales to Huawei represented less than 1.5% of total revenue for 2018, and was less than 1% of total first-quarter revenue. The stock fell 5.8% on Thursday after President Trump issued an executive order which banned technology and services from foreign adversaries. "Acacia anticipates that the loss of Huawei sales in the second quarter of 2019 will have a de minimis impact on Acacia's total revenue for the quarter," Acacia said in a statement. The company acknowledged, however, that regulatory actions against Huawei "may have a broader impact on overall conditions in the markets in which Acacia operates." Acacia's stock has rallied 31% year to date, while the Nasdaq Composite has climbed 19% and the S&P 500 has gained 15%.

Cray's stock soars prior to trading halt on report of buyout talks with HP Enterprise

yesterday

Shares of Cray Inc. soared 17% toward a three-year high in premarket trade Friday, prior to a trading halt, after a Bloomberg report that Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. was in advanced talks to buy the supercomputer maker. Citing people with knowledge of the matter, the report out late Thursday said a deal could be announced as soon as this week. Cray's market capitalization at Thursday's closing price was $1.23 billion. HP's stock was still inactive ahead of the open. Cray's stock has soared 38% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 15%.

Deere's stock sinks after profit miss, downbeat sales outlook

yesterday

Shares of Deere & Co. sank 4% toward a 5-month low in premarket trade Friday, after the agriculture, construction and turf care equipment maker reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that missed expectations and provided a downbeat outlook. Net income for the quarter to April 29 fell to $1.13 billion, or $3.52 a share, from $1.21 billion, or $3.67 a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for net EPS was $3.60. Total revenue grew 5.8% to $11.34 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $11.36 billion. Agriculture and turf revenue rose 3% to $7.28 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus of $7.32 billion; construction and forestry revenue rose 11% to $2.99 billion, topping expectations of $2.97 billion; financial services revenue increased 11% to $886 million, beating the FactSet consensus of $852 million. For fiscal 2019, Deere expects sales to increase 5%, while the FactSet consensus of $35.69 billion implies 7% growth. "Ongoing concerns about export-market access, near-term demand for commodities such as soybeans, and a delayed planting season in much of North America are causing farmers to become much more cautious about making major purchases," said Chief Executive Samuel Allen. The stock has lost 2.1% year to date through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11%.

Bitcoin plunges back below $8,000 level in cryptocurrency selloff

yesterday

Bitcoin remained sharply lower Friday after a rally that had taken it back above the $8,000 level this week appeared to suddenly run out of steam. One bitcoin traded at $7,271.35, according to Coindesk data, down $477.74, or 6.2%, from its level late Thursday afternoon. Bitcoin plunged as low as $6,688.77 around 11 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. It had hit a high well above $8,000 earlier this week, as part of a rally that had seen the digital coin jump more than 100% for the year to date. Just as analysts struggled to find clear-cut explanations for the rally, there was no clear-cut catalyst for the selloff. Some analysts had warned that the accelerating rally left bitcoin vulnerable to a selloff from a technical perspective. Bitcoin's 200-day moving average stood near $4,440, Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at Forex.com, had warned in a Thursday note. The distance between the price and the moving average made bitcoin vulnerable to a drop "as prices do tend to revert to the mean from time to time," he said, noting that bitcoin had become "extremely" overbought.

Pound falls as no-deal Brexit seems increasingly likely

yesterday

The pound [s:GBPUSD] dropped Friday as chances dwindled that the U.K.'s two largest political parties can hash out a Brexit agreement. Six weeks of talks between senior lawmakers from the ruling Conservative Party and main opposition Labour party have ended with no deal, increasing the odds for a hard break with the European Union. Prime Minister Theresa May had pinned her hopes of her leadership surviving the summer on a final vote on her unpopular Brexit deal. Hard-liner Brexiteer Boris Johnson's admission Friday that he would "of course" stand for the Conservative leadership fueled the market reaction. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told reporters Friday morning that talks had gone as far as they can go and his party will oppose May's Brexit proposal. Sterling traded down about 0.2% against its U.S. counterpart at $1.2764 compared to $1.2796 in late New York trading Thursday. The pair had touched a low of $1.2755 Friday. Euro-pound rose 0.2% to 0.8752 pound, earlier at 0.8755.