1 min ago
Trucking company J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. said Wednesday it is raising its quarterly dividend to 26 cents from 24 cents a share. The new payment will be made Feb. 22 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 8. Shares were down 2%, and have fallen 11% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 7.6%.
4 min ago
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points in afternoon trade, defying the negative breadth in the broader market, as the sharp gains in three Dow components were enough to keep the blue-chip barometer in positive territory. Of the Dow's 30 components, 21 were trading lower. But the stock price gains for International Business Machines Corp. , United Technologies Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co. after upbeat earnings reports added about 121 points to the Dow's price. Meanwhile, the number of declining stocks lead advancers 1,699 to 1,095 on the NYSE and 1,601 to 1,153 on the Nasdaq exchange. The volume of declining stocks represented 58.8% of total volume on the Big Board and 65.2% of total volume on the Nasdaq. While the Dow gained, the S&P 500 declined 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.5%.
9 min ago
Tesla Inc. has confirmed it has reduced Model S and Model X production hours, saying the changes were a result of dropping cheaper versions of its Model S and Model X vehicle as well as of "improving efficiencies" in its production lines. The tweaks, "along with continuing improvements, give us the flexibility to increase our production capacity in the future as needed," the company said, adding it will provide more details at the next week's earnings call. Tesla shares have dropped more than 5% earlier Wednesday after Bloomberg first reported the reduction and following a downgrade from RBC Capital Markets.
14 min ago
Shares of Ford Motor Co. dropped 2.1% in midday trade Wednesday, ahead of the automaker's fourth-quarter results, which were due after the close. Over the past 20 quarters, Ford had beat the FactSet earnings-per-share consensus 12 times, but the stock has suffered one-day, post-earnings declines 12 times, by an average of 3.2%. The average gain was 3.1%. Ahead of results, J.P. Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman cut Ford's 2018 EPS estimate to $1.25 from $1.35, trimmed his stock price target to $12 from $13 and lowered his lowered global production outlook by 1.6% to 5.871 million units, with cuts driven primarily by China. Separately, Edmunds analyst Jeremy Acevedo said 2018 marked a rebuilding year for Ford, as the company lost market share and sales declined, and "leaned heavily" on incentive spending to move its aging products off dealer lots. Ford's stock has tumbled 30.4% over the past 12 months, while rival General Motors Co. shares have lost 13.0% and the S&P 500 has declined 7.5%.
32 min ago
Tesla Inc. shares fell more than 5% in midday session after Bloomberg News reported the company has reduced production hours of its Model S and Model X vehicles after dropping cheaper variants of those models. The report cited a company spokesperson. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Earlier Wednesday, the stock got a downgrade from analysts at RBC Capital Markets, who said the company's third-quarter earnings were likely peak profitability for the Silicon Valley car maker. Tesla shares have lost 20% in the past 12 months, compared with losses of around 8% for the S&P 500 index.
42 min ago
President Trump on Wednesday told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he still plans to give his State of Union speech on Jan. 29 in the chamber of the House despite the ongoing partial government shutdown. In a letter, Trump said he looks "forward to seeing you," adding that "it would be so very sad for our Country, if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!" Pelosi had suggested in a letter to Trump last week that he postpone his speech because of security concerns. Trump said he was told by the U.S. Secret Service that security would not be a problem.
47 min ago
Oil futures turned sharply lower on Wednesday afternoon. The European Union is set to launch a mechanism that would facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran, bypassing U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing comments from diplomats. That launch of the mechanism would allow the EU to "skirt" U.S. sanctions, but "that may be offset by reports that the Trump administration is telling energy companies that they should get prepared for sanctions on Venezuela," said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group. The Trump administration "could impose Venezuela oil sanctions as soon this week if the political situation there deteriorates further," Reuters Venezuela tweeted Wednesday, citing sources. Prices had been stuck in a tight trading range before the move lower. March West Texas Intermediate oil fell 94 cents, or 1.8%, to $52.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. March Brent traded at $60.45 a barrel, down $1.05, or 1.7% on ICE Futures Europe.
56 min ago
Amazon.com Inc. announced on its blog that it's testing Amazon Scout, autonomous electric delivery devices, in Snohomish County, Wash. The rolling robots, which are about the size of a small cooler, according to the blog post, will "roll along the sidewalk at a walking pace" delivering packages during the day, Monday through Friday. Initially, the devices will be accompanied by an Amazon employee. Snohomish customers will order as normal, using the available delivery options, and deliveries will be made either with the Scout or through one of Amazon's carriers. Amazon shares have gained 18.4% over the last year while the S&P 500 index has lost 8% for the period.
1 hour ago
The Dow Jones Transportation Average tumbled 1.6% in midday trade Wednesday, as all 20 components, which includes 6 airline stocks, all traded lower. The biggest loser of the group was Avis Budget Group Inc.'s stock , which shed 3.9%, followed by the 2.7% drop in United Parcel Service Inc. shares. Among the most-active airlines, shares of American Airlines Group Inc. slid 2.1%, Delta Air Lines Inc. slipped 0.2% and JetBlue Airways Corp. gave up 1.6%. The Dow transports's selloff comes while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 37 points, or 0.2%.
1 hour ago
Streaming video service Hulu has cut prices for its base, ad-supported subscription plan to $5.99 a month from $7.99 a month, effective in February. The move by Hulu, which is jointly owned by Walt Disney Co. , 21st Century Fox Inc. , Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. , comes a week after rival Netflix Inc. said it was raising prices in the U.S. by 13% to 18%. For no ads, Hulu said the monthly price will remain at $11.99. Shares of Netflix slumped 1.2% in morning trade, extending its three-day loss to 9.1%, while both the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 eased 0.2%.
1 hour ago
Shares of Merck & Co Inc. were down 1.2% on Wednesday after BMO Capital Markets downgraded the company's rating to market perform from outperform, citing Merck's "over-dependence on Keytruda" and upcoming trials that could challenge the cancer therapy's position in the immuno-oncology space. Keytruda is Merck's primary growth driver, BMO Markets analyst Alex Arfaei wrote in a note to investors, and its potential in the non-small cell lung cancer space was the primary reason for his former bullish view on the company, he said. Wall Street's expectations for the cancer therapy "seem to overlook risk," particularly in the non-small cell lung cancer space, he wrote. Merck's pipeline "doesn't seem good enough to offset meaningful Keytruda disruptions," he said, adding that he expects four or five immuno-oncology trial readouts in 2019 "that have the potential to increase uncertainty." Shares of Merck have fallen 2% in the year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF has gained 8.5%. The S&P 500 has gained 4.9%.
1 hour ago
Citi Research analyst Jim Suva initiated coverage of Dell Technologies Inc. shares with a buy rating and $55 price target late Tuesday, writing that the market underappreciates the opportunity presented by Dell's plans to pay down debt. "We believe Dell will be able to pay down the $4.3 billion debt due in 2Q 2019 via its cash flow and current cash and short term investments, and following this action consensus will recalibrate its interest costs lower closer to our estimate which will all materially boost consensus EPS higher in 2H 2019 and beyond," he wrote. "Therefore we encourage investors to build a position in Dell shares prior to mid-2019." While he believes Dell shares should trade at a discount to peers, he thinks the current valuation discount of 40% to 50% is too wide given "a much more favorable product offering." The stock is up 1.5% in Wednesday morning trading, but it's dropped 21% over the past month. The S&P 500 has gained 9% in that time.
2 hours ago
With about 15% of the S&P 500 having reported fourth-quarter earnings through Wednesday morning, the growth outlook from a year ago has increased slightly, but the outlook for the first quarter keeps slowing. The blended growth estimate for the S&P 500, which includes reported results and estimates of reports still to come, is 10.8%, compared with a 10.7% estimate on Jan. 18 and a 10.6% estimate as of Jan. 11, which was just before the start of earnings season. But the growth estimate for the first quarter has declined to just under 1% from 1.3% on Friday and 1.9% on Jan. 11. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has gained 1.5% since Jan. 11.
2 hours ago
The original FANG stocks, which doesn't include Apple Inc. , are all trading within a technical zone defined by the 50-day moving average (DMA) below current prices and the 200-DMA above current prices. Apple's stock remains below both averages. The 50-DMA is viewed by many chart watchers as a short-term trend tracker, and the 200-DMA is viewed as a guide to longer-term trends, so sitting between the averages suggests the FANG stocks have recovered enough to be in short-term uptrends, but are still in longer-term downtrends. Apple is still in both short- and longer-term downtrends. Facebook Inc.'s 50-DMA is at $139.59 and the 200-DMA is at $167.32; Amazon.com Inc. is between the 50-DMA at $1,598.12 and the 200-DMA at $1,711.49; Netflix Inc. rose briefly above its 200-DMA, currently at $334.69, before closing back below it on Tuesday, while the 50-DMA was at $287.90; Google parent Alphabet Inc. was between its 50-DMA at $1,061.02 and its 200-DMA at $1,125.13. Apple was below both its 50-DMA at $167.53 and its 200-DMA at $191.93. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 is also sitting above its 50-DMA at 2,619.56 but below its 200-DMA at 2,741.16.
3 hours ago
Shares of Qualcomm Inc. sank 3.0% toward an 8 1/2-month low in morning trade Wednesday, after short-seller Kerrisdale Capital took aim at the semiconductor maker, suggesting a downside of about 60% from current levels. Kerrisdale said its believes the Federal Trade Commission will win its case against Qualcomm, which would force Qualcomm to license its key cellular patents to potential competitors, such as Intel Corp. , on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) terms, which Qualcomm had indicated in the past would destroy its licensing business. Assuming an FTC victory, Kerrisdale said the financial impact would imply a share price of $21.31, or 59.6% below current levels. The stock has shed 21% over the past three months while the PHLX Semiconductor Index has slipped 2.1% and the S&P 500 has edged 3.3% lower.
3 hours ago
Stocks opened higher Wednesday, taking back a chunk of the previous day's decline, as investors cheered upbeat earnings as fourth-quarter corporate results continue to roll in. The S&P 500 rose 0.5% to 2,645.39, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 222 points, or 0.9%, to 24,626. The Nasdaq Composite gained 38 points, or 0.5%, to 7,058. International Business Machines led Dow gainers, jumping 6.5% after its earnings and outlook topped expectations. Dow components Procter & Gamble Co. , up 6.4%, and United Technologies , up 6.1%, were also on the rise after earnings.
3 hours ago
Shares of Waters Corp. jumped 9.5% in morning trade Wednesday, and reached an all-time high of $224.59 in intraday trade, after the specialty measurement company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and provided an upbeat full-year outlook. The company also announced a new $4 billion share repurchase program. The company swung to a net profit of $185 million, or $2.46 a share, in the latest quarter, from a loss of $353.2 million, or $4.44 a share, in the same period a year ago, which included a $550 million negative impact from new tax legislation. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $2.87, above the FactSet consensus of $2.64. Sales grew 4% to $715.0 million, beating the FactSet consensus of $702.7 million. Looking ahead, the company expects 2019 adjusted EPS of $9.20 to $9.45, compared with the FactSet consensus of $9.18. The stock has run up 23% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has slipped 3.3%.
4 hours ago
United Parcel Service Inc. is expanding its Latch smart access delivery service to 10 additional cities, the company said this week. Latch customers can receive packages using smart-lock-enabled devices in registered buildings. The device allows service providers like UPS to access the building using a smartphone, code or keycard and leave deliveries in safe drop-off zones like package rooms and lobbies. Beginning mid-2019, qualifying buildings in Chicago, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Miami and Seattle can be added to those already receiving service in New York and San Francisco. UPS shares have fallen 22.3% over the last year while the S&P 500 index has slipped 7.3% for the period.
4 hours ago
China will surpass the U.S. to become the top retail market in the world, according to eMarketer data. Experts say China's market will exceed the U.S. by $100 billion in 2019, with sales growing 7.5% to $5.636 trillion. U.S. retail sales are expected to grow 3.3% to $5.529 trillion. Growth rates are decelerating in both countries. China has the highest rate of e-commerce sales in the world at 35.3%. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is leading the way with 53.3% share of sales, though its share has been on the decline. In 2019, Chinese e-commerce is expected to reach $1.989 trillion, and the country will have 55.8% of digital retail sales around the world. In the U.S., e-commerce accounts for 10.9% of retail sales. By 2022, eMarketer says total retail sales will reach $6.030 trillion in the U.S. and $6.757 trillion in China. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 10.4% over the last 12 months, the Amplify Online Retail ETF is down 2.7%, and the S&P 500 index has lost 7.3% for the period.
4 hours ago
Shares of International Business Machines Corp. shot up 7.8% in premarket trade Wednesday on the back of better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, enough to propel them into bull-market territory. The price gain would add about 64 points to the Dow's price, while Dow futures climbed 176 points. After closing at a 9-year low of $107.57 on Dec. 24, IBM's stock had bounced 13.9% through Tuesday. A close at or above $129.09--the stock is currently 2.1% above that level ahead of the open--would represent a gain of 20% or more from its bear-market closing low, which to many chart watchers defines a bull market. IBM's stock has still lost 6.6% over the past three months and 26.3% over the past 12 months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 3.15 the past three months and declined 6.9% the past year.
4 hours ago
Shares of Abbott Laboratories fell 2.7% in premarket trade Wednesday after the company reported fourth-quarter results that met earnings expectations but fell short on revenue. Profit for the latest quarter rose to $654 million, or 37 cents a share, after a loss of $828 million, or a loss of 48 cents a share in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted EPS was 81 cents a share, matching the FactSet consensus. Revenue was $7.765 billion, falling short of the FactSet consensus of $7.815 billion, but up from $7.589 one year ago. Revenue from Abbott's nutrition segment fell 0.4% to $1.777 billion, while revenue from its diagnostics segment rose 2.9% to $1.961 billion. Its established pharmaceuticals segment brought in $1.09 billion, down 4.8% from the year earlier, and revenue for Abbott's medical devices segment rose 6.7% to $2.92 billion. The company expects EPS of 25 cents to 27 cents for the first quarter of 2019, and full-year adjusted EPS of $3.15 to $3.25. The company also announced an 14% increase in quarterly dividend to 32 cents per share from 28 cents per share. Shares of Abbott have fallen 1.2% in the year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 5%. The Vanguard Health Care ETF has gained 4.3%.
5 hours ago
Earnings reports are set to give the Dow Jones Industrial Average a 102-point boost Wednesday, with three components reporting profit and sales beats. Shares of International Business Machines Corp. ran up 6.7% in premarket trade, after reporting better-than-expected results late Tuesday. The stock's rally would add above 55 points to the Dow's price. Shares of Procter & Gamble Co. rallied 4.0% after reporting results early Wednesday, to add about 25 points to the Dow's price, and United Technologies Corp.'s stock climbed 2.9% to add about 22 points to the Dow after its earnings report. Dow futures rose 173 points ahead of the open.
5 hours ago
Shares of Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. shot up 9% in premarket trade Wednesday after the company announced it had entered a license and supply agreement with Spain-based Grifols, S.A. to commercialize fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate, its treatment for thrombocytopenia in adult patients. It is commercially available in the U.S. under the brand name Tavalisse. Under the terms of the agreement, Rigel will receive a $30 million upfront cash payment, with a potential $297.5 million in payments upon reaching certain regulatory and commercial milestones. That figure includes a potential $20 million payment upon the European Medicines Agency approving fostamatinib for the treatment of chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Rigel will also receive royalty payments based on tiered net sales, which the company said could reach 30% of net sales. In return, Grifols will receive exclusive rights to fostamatinib in Europe and Turkey. However, if fostamatinib has not been approved by the EMA for the treatment of ITP by 2021, Grifols will have the option to terminate the entire agreement, the companies said, and Rigel will have to pay Grifols $25 million to regain all rights to fostamatinib in Europe and Turkey. Rigel shares have fallen 12% in the year to date through Tuesday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has gained 12.7%. The S&P 500 has gained 5%.
5 hours ago
Kimberly-Clark Corp. shares fell 2.2% in Wednesday premarket trading after the consumer goods company reported earnings that missed estimates. Net income totaled $411 million, or $1.18 per share, down from $617 million, or $1.75 per share, for the same period last year. Adjusted EPS was $1.60, missing the $1.65 FactSet consensus. Sales totaled $4.57 billion, down 1% from $4.60 billion last year but ahead of the $4.45 billion FactSet consensus. Sales in the personal care segment fell while the K-C Professional segment sales rose. Kimberly-Clark expects 2019 sales to fall 1% to 2% from $18.49 billion in 2018. Adjusted EPS is expected to be $6.50 to $7.50. The FactSet consensus is for sales of $18.36 billion and EPS of $6.66. Kimberly-Clark shares have lost 2.2% in the past year while the S&P 500 index is down 7.3% for the period.
5 hours ago
Tesla Inc. shares fell 1.3% in premarket trade Wednesday, after RBC downgraded the stock to underperform from outperform and said growth expectations are too high to justify current levels or add to positions. Analyst Joseph Spak cut his stock price target to $245 from $290. For years, Tesla has been selling a dream of transportation disruption and strong growth, turning the stock into a top 6, or even at times top 3 most valuable car original equipment manufacturer, despite delivering only a fraction of units promised and barely a profit, he wrote. "A stock should of course discount future cash flows and the market took the promises of Tesla and their future growth potential to justify lofty valuations while Tesla took capital needed to support their endeavors," Spak wrote in a ntoe. Now, however, "the rubber appears to be hitting the road," as the reality of Tesla becoming a high volume manufacturer with the scale and high average selling prices/margins are coming to a head, he said. Spak believes demand for Model 3 sedans is strongest at the $35K level the company had promised but that it has been unable to deliver yet. RBC is expecting that the company's third-quarter, when it posted a profit, may have been peak profitability for the decade. Shares have fallen 15% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 7.3%.
5 hours ago
Shares of Synchrony Financial shot up 10% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the consumer financial services company said it extended its partnership with Walmart Inc.'s Sam's Club, and reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations. As part of the Sam's Club partnership, Synchrony will keep managing and servicing the credit card programs. Synchrony also said it reached agreement to sell the Walmart loan portfolio it currently services, and Walmart has agreed to dismiss its lawsuit against Synchrony. For earnings, net income rose to $783 million, or $1.09 a share, from $385 million, or 49 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.09, above the FactSet consensus of 91 cents. Net interest income increased 11% to $4.33 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $4.28 billion. The stock has declined 10.2% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has lost 3.9%.
5 hours ago
The Procter & Gamble Co. shares rose 2.8% in Wednesday premarket trading after the consumer goods company reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and sales that beat expectations. Net income totaled $3.2 billion, or $1.22 per share, up from $2.5 billion, or 93 cents per share, for the same period last year. Adjusted EPS was $1.25, ahead of the FactSet consensus for $1.21. Sales of $17.44 billion were up from $17.40 billion last year and exceeded the $17.16 billion FactSet consensus. Sales in the beauty and fabric & home care divisions rose while baby, feminine & family care and grooming sales fell. P&G raised the high end of its fiscal 2019 organic sales growth guidance by 1%, and now expects a range of 2% to 4% growth from $66.83 billion in 2018. P&G still expects adjusted EPS growth of 3% to 8% from the fiscal 2018 total of $4.22. The FactSet consensus is for sales of $66.72 billion and EPS of $4.40. P&G shares have gained 1.6% over the past year while the S&P 500 index has fallen 7.3% for the period.
6 hours ago
United Technologies Corp. shares jumped 4% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the company blew past earnings estimates for the fourth quarter and offered upbeat guidance for 2019. The company said it had net income of $686 million, or 83 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $397 million, or 50 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.95, well ahead of the FactSet consensus of $1.55. Sales rose to $18.0 billion from $15.7 billion, also well ahead of the FactSet consensus of $16.8 billion. "Looking to 2019, our segment profit is expected to grow faster than sales, and free cash flow, excluding separation costs, is expected to grow faster than earnings," Chief Executive Greg Hayes said in a statement. The company, which is planning to split into three global companies housing its core businesses, said it now expects 2019 adjusted EPS of $7.70 to $8.00, compared with a $7.81 FactSet consensus. Sales are expected to range from $75.5 billion to $77.0 billion, compared with a FactSet consensus of $76.6 billion. Shares have fallen 18.4% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 7.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 6.9%.
6 hours ago
Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International Inc. named Jose Cil, currently the president of Burger King, as its chief executive officer, succeeding Daniel Schwartz, who was promoted to executive chairman, effective immediately. The restaurant operator said fourth-quarter same-store sales for Burger King rose 1.7% from a year ago, beating the FactSet consensus of 0.9% growth, while Tim Horton's same-store sales rose 1.9% to top expectations of a 0.9% increase. Separately, the company raised its quarterly dividend by 11% to 50 cents a share from 45 cents a share. The new dividend will be payable April 3 to shareholders of record on March 15. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has edged up 0.4% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has slipped 3.9%.
14 hours ago
Appliance maker Dyson will move its headquarters from the U.K. to Singapore, the company said Tuesday. The move is likely to be seen as a major loss for Britain. While Dyson founder James Dyson, who owns 100% of the company, has been a vocal supporter of the U.K. exiting the EU, Chief Executive Jim Rowen said in a statement that the move has "nothing to do with Brexit." "It's to make us future-proof for where we see the biggest opportunities," Rowen said. "We have been talking about our pivot to Asia for some time." Dyson employs about 4,500 people in the U.K., and the company said no British jobs would be lost by the move.