MarketWatch.com - MarketPulse

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

Netflix chief communications officer is out following 'insensitive' remarks

23 hours ago

Netflix is letting go of its chief communications officer Jonathan Friedland after "insensitive" remarks he made, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Friedland joined Netflix in 2011 as the vice president of global corporations and was promoted to the chief communications role the following year. "Leaders have to be beyond reproach in the example we set and unfortunately I fell short of that standard when I was insensitive in speaking to my team about words that offend in comedy...," he said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. Netflix has not yet named a replacement for Friedland. Netflix shares are up 114% this year, while the S&P 500 is up 3.17%.

Dow halts skid at 8 straight sessions, but stock market ends the week lower amid trade jitters

23 hours ago

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday closed higher, ending an eight-session slide that drove the broader market to weekly loss, amid rising global trade tensions. The Dow closed up about 120 points, or 0.5%, at 24,581, avoiding a nine-day slide, which would have marked its longest since 1978. Sharp gains in shares of McDonald's Corp. , up 2.7% and UnitedHealth Group Inc. were among the components that supported an advance in the price-weighted Dow. The S&P 500 index gained 0.2% at 2,754, supported by a rally in crude-oil futures, which enjoyed a pop after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries early Friday reached an agreement at a gathering in Vienna to increase a curb on crude output, but less aggressively than had been anticipated. August West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $3.04, or 4.6%, to settle at $68.58 a barrel, for its highest finish in about a month. That helped propel oil-and-energy focused shares, with the exchange-traded Select Sector SPDR ETF gained 2.1%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index closed Friday's session off 0.3% at 7,692. The week of trading was pockmarked by anxieties around trade relations between the U.S. and partners in China and the U.S., headlined by President Donald Trump's threat late Monday to impose $400 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese goods, escalating tensions between the global superpowers. Over the five-session period, the Dow booked a weekly decline of 2%, the S&P 500 lost 0.9%, while the Nasdaq declined by 0.7%.

Former Intel CTO doesn't want CEO job

27 min ago

Former Intel Corp. Chief Technology Officer and current VMware Inc. Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger said Friday he doesn't want the CEO spot at Intel. In a tweet, Gelsinger said that he "loved" the CEO job at VMware and that the "future is software." Former Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stepped down Thursday after the semiconductor giant said he had violated the company's policies through a consensual relationship with another employee. Intel stock is up 0.9% to $52.64 in early afternoon trading. Intel shares have climbed 14% this year as the benchmark S&P 500 index has gained 2.9%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average , of which Intel is a component, has fallen 0.4%.

Fitch places Disney's A rating on review for possible downgrade

1 hour ago

Fitch Ratings placed The Walt Disney Co.'s senior unsecured A rating on review for a possible downgrade on Friday, citing the material increase in leverage that Disney's revised bid for assets of 21st Century Fox Inc. would create. The move further "incorporates a degree of uncertainty related to the final terms of the transaction due to the potential for a competing offer from Comcast Corp. ," said the agency. Fitch estimates that the new terms will increase Disney's leverage to about 4.0 times, assuming it succeeds in closing the Fox deal, and Fox succeeds in closing its bid for the 61% of Sky Plc it does not already own. Excluding the Sky deal, Disney's leverage would rise to about 3.3 times, also outside the current A rating. Disney shares were up 0.7% in late trade, but have fallen 0.8% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.3%.

Amazon to open first fulfillment center in Alabama, adding 1,500 workers

1 hour ago

Amazon.com Inc. said Friday that it will open its first Alabama fulfillment center in Bessemer, creating 1,500 full-time jobs. Amazon currently has a sorting center in Mobile, Ala. The facility will span 855,000 square feet where workers will be packing and shipping small items like books and toys. Mayor Kenneth Gulley said the fulfillment center is "the largest single private investment in the city of Bessemer's 131-year history," in a statement. Amazon's stock has rallied more than 72% for the past year, while the S&P 500 index is up 13.5% for the period.

Gold futures end the week with a loss

1 hour ago

Gold edged higher on Friday to settle just 20 cents above the year's lowest level, but prices suffered a loss of 0.6% for the week on the back of overall strength in the dollar and a lack of haven demand for the precious metal. August gold added 20 cents to finish at $1,270.70 an ounce. Prices had finished at $1.270.50 Thursday, which was the lowest settlement since December.

Chipotle testing six new menu items including quesadillas and nachos

2 hours ago

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is testing six new menu items at its New York City test kitchen including quesadillas, nachos and a Mexican chocolate milkshake made with cinnamon and spice. Chipotle, which does not often change its menu, added queso last year, which was not well-received on social media. Chipotle says that quesadillas and nachos are items that many customers have requested. The other items are avocado tostada, Chipotle's version of avocado toast made with a crispy corn tortilla that been fried and topped with guacamole and a choice of salsas, lettuce and cheese; a spring mix salad with avocado citrus dressing; and a frozen Paloma. A Paloma is traditionally made with tequila and grapefruit juice. Chipotle shares have rallied 63.1% for the year so far, far outpacing the S&P 500 index , which is up 3.3% for the period.

Air Products to raise prices on liquid and bulk industrial gases to counter low steel prices, higher costs

3 hours ago

Air Products & Chemicals Inc. said Friday it is raising the prices of its liquid and bulk industrial gas products effective July 1, as it combats low operating rates in the steel market and higher operational and delivery costs. Costs are being driven up by regional supply and demand imbalances, the company said in a statement. The increases will add up to 20% to the price of liquid and bulk helium, which is used in the aerospace sector. The company will charge up to 15% more for liquid argon and microbulk, which is used in welding, and up to 10% more for liquid and bulk hydrogen, which is used in rocket systems. Air Products shares were up 0.8% in Friday trade, but are down 3.9% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.3%.

Tesla stock falls after Bernstein issues cautious note on services margins, automotive gross margins

4 hours ago

Shares of Tesla Inc. are down 3.2% in Friday trading after Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi highlighted a sharp drop in the company's services gross margins and asked about what this plunge meant for the company's automotive margins. "The key driver of the margin erosion appears to be 'Services and Maintenance,'" Sacconaghi wrote, but he and his team "struggle to find evidence as to why the COGS [cost of goods sold] of Services and Maintenance have increased exponentially...with no commensurate increase in revenues." He said that Tesla's assertion is that the company is building out services infrastructure, but that doesn't square with Bernstein's figures. "The worry/key question, of course, is whether COGS that should be (or historically have been) booked in the Automotive Segment are now being booked in the "Services and Other" reporting segment, given that investors focus nearly exclusively on Automotive GMs & generally disregard "Services and Other" GMs," Sacconaghi wrote. He has a market perform rating on Tesla's stock and a $265 price target. Tesla shares are down 12% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 13%.

IQiyi stock extends slide following largest one-day drop on record

4 hours ago

Shares of Chinese streaming company iQiyi Inc. are down 8.7% in Friday morning trading, extending their recent slide. The stock fell more than 12% in Thursday's session, marking its biggest single-day percentage drop on record. If the current losses hold, Friday's decline would constitute the stock's second-worst single-day performance. IQiyi was spun out of Baidu Corp. through an initial public offering in March. Shares of Huya Inc. , another Chinese internet name that recently held an IPO, are down more than 7% in Friday's session. Despite losses Thursday and Friday, iQiyi's stock is up 57% over the past month, compared with a 1.3% rise for the S&P 500 .

Splunk, Salesforce among cloud software stocks trading lower after Red Hat earnings

4 hours ago

Shares of cloud-software names Splunk Inc. , Salesforce.com Inc. , Workday Inc. , ServiceNow Inc. , and Adobe Systems Inc. are down in Friday's session after peer Red Hat Inc. delivered a lower-than-expected outlook. Shares of Box Inc. and Dropbox Inc. , and Atlassian Corp. are also trading lower, along with the First Trust Cloud Computing ETF , which is off 1.5%. Red Hat's stock is down 12.3% in Friday's session and on pace for its worst single-day performance since December 2016. Analysts had mixed reactions to the latest commentary from Red Hat and differed in their opinions of what to do with the stock. The stock is up 47% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 13%.

WWE stock gains after J.P. Morgan hikes price target

4 hours ago

Shares of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. are up 1% in Friday morning trading after J.P. Morgan analyst David Karnovsky raised his price target on the stock to $70 from $46, though he kept his neutral rating intact. Karnovsky's increased target price reflects reports that WWE got higher-than-expected rights fees for Raw and SmackDown. "The over 3x increase is higher than the 1.8x we had modeled, and relative to our expectation, we underestimated the probability the company would split its properties between networks, an outcome seemingly made possible by Fox Sports prioritizing WWE over UFC," he wrote. Karnovsky said a potential step-up in India fees could be one catalyst for the shares, but WWE might also have to increase its costs "to support Network growth & content localization." WWE shares have gained 232% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has risen 13%.

Pandora-AT&T Partnership could yield 500,000 new Pandora Premium subscribers in a year, says analyst

5 hours ago

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Matthew Thornton was upbeat Friday about Pandora Media Inc.'s new partnership with AT&T Inc. , through which subscribers to a newly announced AT&T unlimited-data plan can get Pandora Premium or one of a few other streaming services for free along with their plan. Thornton estimates that the partnership could help Pandora add about 500,000 new on-demand Pandora Premium subscribers over the next year. His projection assumes that about 5% of AT&T subscribers choose this particular plan, and 14% of those, or one-seventh, choose Pandora Premium. Thorton arrived at a one-seventh share because there are seven streaming options to choose from. "We expect good economics with lower ARPU (wholesale) at least offset by customer acquisition cost (AT&T will market the new plans including featuring P) and app store commissions," he wrote. Pandora shares are down 0.7% in Friday trading but up 5.3% over the past year, compared with a 13% gain for the S&P 500 .

Trade Desk stock gains after Oppenheimer boosts target price

5 hours ago

Shares of ad-tech company The Trade Desk Inc. are up 0.4% in Friday morning trading after Oppenheimer analyst Brian Schwartz raised his price target on the stock to $101 from $76. "We believe The Trade Desk's organically developed and extensible omnichannel SaaS [software-as-a-service] platform, along with its media independence, make it highly attractive to agencies, and its industry-leading growth and profit margins set it apart as one of the highest quality SaaS names in digital advertising," Schwartz wrote. "We expect Connected TV to follow other advertising channels' moves to programmatic technology because of its mission-critical reliability, the expanded reach to a new generation of consumers, and proven effectiveness in international markets." He said that TTD looks well-positioned to benefit from that trend. TTD shares are up 74% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 13%.

Stamps.com concerns based on Trump's post office proposal are overblown, says analyst

5 hours ago

Maxim Group analyst Allen Klee defended Stamps.com Inc. on Friday and said that the stock's sizable selloff in the prior session was "an overreaction." Stamps.com's stock slid more than 10% Thursday after the Trump administration released a broad array of proposals, which included a plan to potentially privatize the post office. "We think it is unlikely that changes to the USPS would negatively impact Stamps.com and would use the pullback as a buying opportunity," Klee wrote. "Any potential changes made to USPS that would improve its financial condition and maintain its competitive position versus other carriers would be a positive to Stamps.com, in our view." Klee has a buy rating and $320 price target on the stock, and he recommended that investors look at the recent pullback as a buying opportunity. Stamps.com shares are up 71% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 13%.

Popular oil and energy ETFs on pace for best day in weeks as oil futures surge on OPEC deal

5 hours ago

Popular ways to bet on energy and oil assets on Friday were on track for their best daily gains in weeks after OPEC said it reached a tentative deal to boost output, though not by as much as some had expected. The decision supported a surge in oil futures. The United States Oil Fund LP jumped 2.55% and was on track to mark its best one-day rise since April 18, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF rallied 2.8% and was pacing its best daily rise since May 30. The S&P 500 index's energy sector was the best performer among the benchmark's 11 sectors. West Texas Intermediate oil for August delivery trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange , the U.S. benchmark, meanwhile, was up 2.6% at $67.28 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent was up 2% at $74.52 a barrel. An OPEC meeting in Austria concluded with oil ministers agreeing to increase in the closely watched gathering. Back in 2016, OPEC and its non-OPEC allies agreed to cap production to absorb a global glut of oil that had walloped prices.

U.S. economy poised for big second quarter, IHS flash Markit PMIs show

5 hours ago

An index that tracks U.S. manufacturers and a gauge for service-oriented companies both tapered off slightly in June but still showed the U.S. economy expanding at a strong pace, according to IHS Markit's flash PMIs. The manufacturing index slipped to a seven-month low of 54.6 from 56.5. The services barometer dropped to a two-month low of 56.5 from 56.8. Any number over 50 signifies expansion, and results above 55 are considered exceptional. "The flash PMI surveys add to evidence that the U.S. economy is enjoying a strong second quarter. Despite growth cooling slightly in June, the latest numbers round off the best quarter for three years, and suggest economic growth has lifted markedly higher than the 2.3% rate of expansion seen in the first quarter to well over 3%," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

KLA-Tencor stock falls after Needham downgrades on concerns over foundry delays, memory pushouts

5 hours ago

Shares of KLA-Tencor Corp. are down 3% in Friday morning trading after Needham analyst Y. Edwin Mok downgraded the stock to hold from buy due to "increased risk for slower 7-nanometer/5-nanometer foundry investments" in the second half of 2018. Mok likes the company's long-term outlook, but he is concerned about foundry delays as well as memory pushouts. "With the recent increased chatter on memory pushouts, we believe investors are "hiding" in KLAC on its relatively lower exposure to memory than of its peers," Mok wrote. "We believe the recent news of Samsung pushing out some 1Y-nanometer DRAM capacity will negatively impact KLAC's CY3Q18 shipments." He expects Samsung's decision to delay some of its production and equipment purchases to also negatively impact Lam Research Corp. and Applied Materials Inc. . He has bullish ratings on both of those names. KLA-Tencor shares are up 11% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 13%.

Cisco stock gains after J.P. Morgan defends bullish rating, says shares look attractive relative to peers

5 hours ago

Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. are up 0.5% in Friday trading after J.P. Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee reiterated his overweight rating on the stock following a pullback after the company's May earnings report. "We believe the share price weakness, despite largely unchanged consensus earnings expectations, has been driven by a push back relative to valuation with NTM P/E multiple at 15.3x vs. recent year average of 12.8x (since 2014)," Chatterjee wrote. "However, despite the recent year re-rating, we see Cisco trading at an attractive valuation relative to a peer group of hardware and software companies, particularly when viewed in the context of an increasing mix of software and recurring revenues." Chatterjee has a $58 price target on the stock and is upbeat about the company's transition to software from hardware. Cisco's stock is up 35% over the past 12 months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 15%.

Dow aims to snap 8-session slump, climbs 150 points, but on track for weekly loss on trade jitters

5 hours ago

U.S. stock-index benchmarks opened solidly higher Friday, with the Dow industrials attempting to snap a eight-day skid, amid rising tensions over global trade between the U.S. and its partners in China and Europe. An agreement between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers to lift an output curb also was in focus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 150 points, or 0.6%, at 24,608, the S&P 500 index climbed 0.5% to 2,762. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.2% at 7,725. All three benchmarks are on track for weekly declines, on the back of intensifying worries on trade. The Dow is set for a 1.9% weekly drop, the S&P 500 is on track to shed 0.6% for the 5-session period, while the Nasdaq is set for a 0.3% slide over the same period. The European Union said it would begin implementing tariffs on $3.2 billion in U.S. imports on Friday. That comes after President Donald Trump threatened to impose some $400 billion in tariffs on China earlier in the week. In the crude market, U.S. benchmark oil was up 3.3% after OPEC ministers tentatively agreed Friday to a deal to join other big producers in adding around 600,000 barrels a day of oil to global markets, according to people familiar with the matter. That was less than the 1 million barrel raise that was expected, supporting gains in crude. In stocks, shares of Red Hat Inc. fell after the software company offered a weaker-than-expected quarterly outlook.

PagSeguro stock gains after company prices follow-on offering

6 hours ago

Shares of PagSeguro Digital Ltd. are up 5.1% in premarket trading Friday after the Brazilian payments company announced that it priced its $965 million follow-on offering. Shares to be sold by PagSeguro and selling shareholder Universo Online SA were priced at $29.25 each, the company said. PagSeguro is offering about 11.6 million Class A shares and Universo Online is offering about 21.5 million shares. PagSeguro went public on the New York Stock Exchange in January. Shares were down 17% over the past three months, as of Thursday's close, while the S&P 500 has gained 4%.

Red Hat stock plummets after analysts discuss disappointing forecast

6 hours ago

Shares of Red Hat Inc. are down nearly 14% in premarket trading Friday after analysts weighed in on the company's latest financial outlook, which fell short of expectations. "Fiscal 2019 guidance was lowered by 2 points of growth, due entirely to greater FX headwinds," wrote Jefferies analyst John DiFucci. "Red Hat has made strides in becoming more than just a Linux company, but a quarter like this poses the question of 'How much more?'" He has a hold rating and $154 target on the stock. Monness, Crespi, Hardt, and Co. analyst Brian White lowered his price target to $186 from $200, but he recommended that investors buy the dip. "We have seen Red Hat stumble before (e.g., end of 2016) and regain its balance shortly thereafter, before continuing its journey down the open source highway," White wrote. Red Hat shares were up 68% over the past 12 months, as of Thursday's close, while the S&P 500 has gained 13%.

Intel target lowered at Needham due to 'increased risks' after Krzanich resignation

6 hours ago

Needham analyst N. Quinn Bolton lowered his price target on shares of Intel Corp. to $60 from $62 on Wednesday, following the resignation of Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich. "We believe Mr. Krzanich was the driving force behind Intel's transition to a data centric business," Bolton wrote. "Further, with AMD's [s:amd] EPYC processor positioned to take server market share, [the data-center group] facing much tougher comps beginning 4Q18 and persistent 10-nanometer manufacturing issues, we believe the level of risk to Intel's shares has increased." The lowered target reflects those "increased risks," Bolton said. Intel shares are up 0.7% in premarket trading. The stock is up 52% over the past 12 months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 14%.

EA stock gains after Needham raises target, says company is building a 'Netflix for games'

6 hours ago

Shares of Electronic Arts Inc. are up 1.5% in premarket trading Friday after Needham analyst Laura Martin raised her price target on the stock to $170 from $135 and wrote that the company was in the midst of building the "Netflix for games." She is upbeat about the company's recently announced Origin Access Premier subscription option, which she said could help EA develop a stronger relationship with its best customers. "It is our view that millennials want to rent content (eg, Spotify [s:spot], Pandora , Netflix , Hulu) rather than own it, and that content companies with data about what their consumers view/play/use create valuation upside from programming, eCommerce, and advertising revenue streams," Martin wrote. EA shares are up 27% over the past 12 months, and the stock has outperformed that of rival Activision Blizzard Inc. . The S&P 500 has gained 13% over the past year.

OPEC reaches tentative deal to boost output: reports

6 hours ago

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed in principle Friday to a deal that would lift output by a nominal 1 million barrels a day, though the effective increase would be smaller, reports said. According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal would effectively add 600,000 barrels a day to global markets. The effective boost would be smaller than the headline figure because although each country would share a portion of the boost, not all can boost production right now. August Brent crude futures was up $1.55, or 2.1%, to $74.60 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate futures advanced $1.70, or 2.6%, to $67.24 a barrel.

Apple supply chain 'healthy and growing again,' says analyst

6 hours ago

Cascend Securities analyst Eric Ross wrote Friday that Apple Inc.'s iPhone supply chain was "healthy and growing again." He said that it's too early in the iPhone production cycle for the supply chain to be fully ramped ahead of the new iPhone launch, but suppliers are "starting to build select parts." Ross wrote that some of the increased activity could also be due to a "slight restocking of iPhone X driven by better than expected sell-through." Ross rates Apple's stock a buy, and he has a $220 price target on the stock. Apple shares are up 27% over the past 12 months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 14%.

Mastercard stock gains as analyst says it can reach a $1 trillion market value in a decade

7 hours ago

Shares of Mastercard Inc. are up 0.4% in premarket trading Friday after two analysts raised their price targets on the stock. Baird's David Koning raised his target to $220 from $210 following a meeting with the company's chief financial officer. "We believe Mastercard is well positioned in the war on cash, with innovative weapons ready for battle," Koning wrote. "We appreciate the diversity of revenue across products and geographies...and we anticipate $1 trillion market cap in ~10 years." He has an outperform rating on the stock. Wedbush analyst Moshe Katri raised his price target on Mastercard to $220 from $210, and also turned incrementally more upbeat on a number of other payments names, including Square Inc. , which he rates at neutral. Katri raised his Square target to $75 from $50. Mastercard shares are up 63% over the past 12 months, while Square shares have gained 176% and the S&P 500 has gained 13%.

Booking Holdings stock downgraded to hold at Benchmark; analyst says the company is playing 'catch-up'

7 hours ago

Benchmark analyst Daniel Kurnos lowered his rating on shares of Booking Holdings Inc. to hold from buy on Friday, writing that the company, formerly known as Priceline, is behind in some of the key areas in the online-travel industry. "Packages, activities and alternative lodging have even more rapidly become the incremental growth engine in the space, and in those areas, we find Booking Holdings continuing to play catch-up in an increasingly competitive environment," Kurnos wrote. "While we see as much as 10% upside to consensus estimates and the current share price, the current transition period, which features decelerating room night and booking growth, could persist, continuing to potentially pressure the company's premium valuation." The stock is unchanged in premarket trading. Booking shares are up 14% over the past 12 months, while Expedia Inc. shares have fallen 19% and the S&P 500 has risen 13%.

Dollar General shares rise after upgrade on revenue growth potential

7 hours ago

Dollar General Corp. shares rose 1.3% in Friday premarket trading after it was upgraded to strong buy from outperform at Raymond James, where analysts cited the company's 8% to 9% annual revenue growth potential. Analysts raised the price target to $115 from $100. Analysts led by Dan Wewer said revenue growth rates for large consumer packaged good companies are typically 2% to 3%. In addition, Dollar General is set to add 900 new location in 2019, announcing Thursday that it will add 7,000 jobs. Raymond James says new stores are an engine of growth for the company. Dollar General shares are up nearly 39% for the past year, outpacing the S&P 500 index , which is up 13% for the period. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-general-creating-7000-jobs-to-execute-growth-plan-2018-06-21

UPS reaches handshake agreement with Teamsters on new national master agreement

7 hours ago

United Parcel Service Inc. said Friday it has reached a handshake agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on a new national master agreement for some of the union's members. The five-year agreement must now be ratified by those members, who play roles in small package delivery. Talks on extra agreements covering local work rules and a separate agreement for the 11,000 Teamster-represented employees in the UPS Freight division will continue. if ratified, the new agreements will become effective August 1. UPS shares rose 1.3% premarket, but are down 4.3% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.9%.