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American Electric Power boosts dividend 8.1% to push yield above utilities sector's

58 min ago

American Electric Power Co. Inc. said Tuesday it will raise its quarterly dividend by 8.1% to 67 cents a share from 62 cents a share. The new dividend will be payable Dec. 10 to shareholders of record on Nov. 9. The Ohio-based public utility's stock rose 0.6% in afternoon trade. At current prices, the new annual dividend rate would imply a dividend yield 3.64%, compared with the SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF's yield of 3.35% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 2.00%, according to FactSet. American Electric Power shares have rallied 6.0% over the past three months, while the utilities ETF has gained 4.4% and the S&P 500 has slipped 2.2%.

U.S. oil benchmark loses more than 4% to settle at lowest in two months

59 min ago

The U.S. oil benchmark dropped Tuesday to finish at its lowest in about two months, as comments from Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's energy minister, continued to calm market concerns over a potential supply shortfall with U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil set to begin early next month. Al-Falih recently told Russia news agency TASS that the Saudis want to sign a new cooperation agreement that is "open-ended," with no fixed term, which would allow OPEC and non-OPEC to lift or lower production as needed to balance the market. December West Texas Intermediate oil fell $2.93, or 4.2%, to settle at $66.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the lowest finish for a front-month contract since Aug. 20, FactSet data show.

Tesla to limit interior choices for its luxury vehicles, Musk says

59 min ago

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday the car maker would eliminate some interior configurations for its luxury Model S sedan and Model X SUV "to simplify production." Some interior choices would go away after Nov. 1, Musk said. Potential buyers at Tesla's online "design studio" can choose not only car color and battery type but seating colors and wood detailing. Tesla shares rose 12% as noted short seller Citron Research said it was now long on the stock and the company announced it would report third-quarter results on Wednesday, some two weeks ahead of its usual date.

Kroger's seasonal hiring plan of over 10,000 employees down sharply from last year

1 hour ago

Kroger Co. said Tuesday it will hire more than 10,000 seasonal employees for the holiday season, which represents a big decline from last year's seasonal hiring plans. This year's seasonal hires will be in areas including customer service support, e-commerce, merchandising, operations and the pharmacy. The supermarket chain said interested candidates should apply for seasonal jobs at "jobs.kroger.com." Last year, the company had estimated hiring 14,000 seasonal employees for the holidays. Kroger's stock rose 1.2% in afternoon trade. It has rallied 33% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.9%.

Trump, Putin plan to meet in Paris in November, Bolton says

1 hour ago

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are planning to meet in Paris next month, according to John Bolton, the White House national security adviser. Speaking in Moscow, Bolton told reporters the Trump administration is making "the precise arrangements on that," but a meeting will happen in connection with an Armistice Day celebration hosted by the French on Nov. 11. U.S.-Russian tensions have risen following Trump's declaration he will pull Washington out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Shares of China-based companies retreat after renewed selloff

1 hour ago

Shares of China-based companies pulled back in U.S. trade Tuesday after a two-day rebound by Chinese stock market indexes gave way to renewed pressure, contributing to a global stock-market selloff. U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. fell 1.6%, giving back a chunk of a sharp Monday rally. The stock is off more than 11% in the month to date. Among other U.S.-listed shares, JD.com Inc. fell 2.5%, NIO Inc. shed 5.5%, and iQUIYI Inc. pulled back 4.8%. The iShares China Large-Cap exchange traded fund was down 2.3%, leaving it off 7.5% in October. The Shanghai Composite ended 2.3% lower Tuesday, while the China Shenzhen Index dropped 1.9%.

So-called 'Frack Master' to pay $23.8 million to SEC, sentenced to 12 years in prison

1 hour ago

The Securities and Exchange Commission settled on Tuesday with Christopher A. Faulkner-the self-proclaimed "Frack Master"-in connection with his wide-ranging securities-fraud scheme to systemically deceive investors across the country by disseminating false and misleading offering materials, misappropriating millions of dollars of investor funds, and manipulating the stock of Breitling Energy Corporation, a formerly publicly traded company controlled by Faulkner. The scheme raised more than $80 million from hundreds of investors nationwide. If the court approves the settlement, Faulkner would be ordered to pay $23.8 million, the same amounts he misappropriated from investors beginning in 2011 via privately held Breitling Oil and Gas Corporation, which offered and sold "turnkey" oil-and-gas working interests to investors using a team of commissioned cold-callers. Faulkner lied to investors about his experience, the drilling-cost estimates for the prospects, and the use of their invested funds. Faulkner will also be barred from serving as an officer or director of any SEC-reporting company and from participating in any offering of a penny stock. Faulkner simultaneously entered into a plea agreement for the criminal charges related to the scheme and will serve 12 years in federal prison for securities fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion.

Gold prices settle at a 3-month high

2 hours ago

Gold prices climbed Tuesday to settle at their highest in about three months, with sharp losses in global stock markets and a drop in U.S. Treasury yields feeding investment demand for the precious metal. December gold added $12.20, or 1%, to settle at $1,236.80 an ounce. That was the highest finish for a most-active contract since July 16, according to FactSet data.

Materials sector briefly dips into bear-market territory as Trump bump fades

2 hours ago

The materials sector briefly slipped into bear-market territory earlier Tuesday, before paring some losses, but was still on track for the lowest close in 17 months. The SPDR Material Select Sector ETF was down as much as 3.1% at an intraday low of $51.03, which was 20.4% below the Jan. 26 record close of $64.09. Declines of 20% or more from a bull-market peak are viewed by many on Wall Street as defining a bear market. The sector tracker (XLB) bounced slightly since, and was down 1.2% at $52.05 in afternoon trade, which was 18.8% below its record, and on track for the lowest close since May 18, 2017. The materials sector was seen as one of the most promising in a Trump presidency, as it includes companies that would benefit from infrastructure spending, including building a border wall, and from measures to boost the mining industries. But after running up 21.8% in 2017, to outpace the S&P 500's 19.4% rise, the XLB has tumbled 14.0% so far this year, compared with a 2.1% rise in the S&P 500.

Fed should take 'foot off the gas,' on interest-rate accommodation: Bostic

2 hours ago

The U.S. central bank should take its "policy foot off the gas" but doesn't need to think yet about pumping the brake, said Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, on Tuesday. In a speech to business leaders in Baton Rouge, La., Bostic said he would support continued gradual interest rate hikes until the Fed got to a neutral policy rate. "While there is some uncertainty surrounding estimates of neutral...my assessment is that we are still a few rate hikes away," he said. When the Fed gets to neutral, Bostic said he would "look to see if consumers and businesses continue to act in ways that did not suggest a buildup of excesses." In September, the Fed raised the benchmark federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point to a range between 2% and 2.25%. The central bank has estimated that "long-run" neutral level of the fed funds rate is 3%, but has not clearly said if this estimate is valid in the short run.

Verizon's stock surges toward 18-year high after earnings beat

3 hours ago

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. shot up 3.8% in midday trade, to buck sharp selloff in the communications sector and the broader market, after third-quarter results beat expectations. The rally put the stock on track for the highest close since April 12, 2000. Analyst Jeffrey Kvaal at Instinet reiterated his buy rating, saying he believes "steadily improving fundamentals" have not yet been priced into the stock. Verizon's stock rally came in the face of a 1.3% drop in the Communications Services Select Sector ETF and the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 376-point, or 1.5% tumble. Verizon's stock has not run up 12% over the past three months, while the Dow has slipped 0.4%.

Pulte says cutting home prices is easiest but last option to offset declining affordability

3 hours ago

Shares of PulteGroup Inc. surged 6.7% in midday trade, to bounce off the previous session's 21-month low, after the home builder reported third-quarter earnings that beat expectations, although sales came up a bit shy. In the post-earnings conference call, Chief Executive Ryan Marshall said that while increasing volume of consumer traffic suggest home buying interest remains high, the company-wide absorption pace was down, suggesting affordability resulting from higher interest rates and home prices is becoming a bigger hurdle for buyers to overcome, according to a transcript provided by FactSet. Adjustments the company said it can make within its communities to increase affordability include incentives related to home option packages and financing incentives. "And then of course the easiest thing potentially to do and sometimes the most painful from a profitability standpoint is just absolute base price adjustments," Marshall said. "And we tend to go there last, is the kind of the order of magnitude of change that we would typically make."

Sandra Day O'Connor says retiring from public life due to health concerns

4 hours ago

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced Tuesday she's retiring from public life. In a statement, O'Connor said her doctors have diagnosed her with the beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer's disease. O'Connor said it was time for new leaders to continue her work to advance civic learning and engagement. She left the court in 2006. "As a young cowgirl from the Arizona desert, I never could have imagined that one day I would become the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court," O'Connor wrote in her statement.

European Commission rejects Italy's 2019 budget plan

5 hours ago

The European Commission on Tuesday rejected Italy's proposed 2019 budget, news reports said, a move that threatens to heighten a dispute between the European Union and Italy's populist government over European Union fiscal rules. The commission, which is the executive body of the European Union, gave Italy three weeks to come up with a new proposal, but Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte previously said there was no "Plan B," according to Bloomberg. Italy has targeted a deficit equal to 2.4% of gross domestic product in 2019, triple the previous government's plans. Italian government bonds weakened after the decision, with the yield on the 10-year bond up 10.7 basis points to 3.584%. The euro was off slightly versus the dollar at $1.1457.

UPDATE: Tesla to report earnings Wednesday

5 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 3:30 p.m. Pacific time to discuss the quarter and outlook. Tesla stock is down 12% this year, as the S&P 500 index has gained 1.9%.

Tesla shares rocket 5% as short seller Citron reverses position

5 hours ago

Citron Research, a short seller that has been bearish on Tesla Inc. for some time, has reversed its position, according to a note published Tuesday. "Citron is long Tesla as the Model 3 is a proven hit and many of the TSLA warning signs have proven not to be significant," the firm wrote in a note. Citron wrote almost five years ago that it expected multiple other 200-mile range plug-ins to be available by the time the Model 3 came to market. Instead, "while the media has been focused on Elon Musk's eccentric, outlandish and at times offensive behavior, it has failed to notice the legitimate disruption of the auto industry that is currently being DOMINATED by Tesla," said the note, using capital letters. Tesla's strong competitive position is what has changed, as it is leader in luxury car sales in 2018, while deliveries have been on an upward path. The Model S is also an industry leader, said the note. "Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction," it said. "While we may not be fans of the overconfident CEO, we cannot dismiss what we are seeing in the marketplace." Tesla shares were up 5% after the company said it is moving earnings forward to Wednesday. The shares are down 11.5% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.7%.

Aurora Cannabis' stock debuts on the NYSE, falling 9.4% on heavy volume

5 hours ago

Shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc. debuted on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, by falling 9.4% in active morning trade. Trading volume was 6.7 million shares within the first 25 minutes after the open, enough to make it the fourth-most active stock on the Big Board. The Vancouver-based medical cannabis production and distribution company's stock was previously listed on the OTC Markets as "ACBFF," with each share transitioned to the NYSE as of Tuesday. It closed Tuesday at $8.69, and had tumbled 17% the past two sessions, and had plunged 26% since closing at a nine-month high of $11.68 on Oct. 15. The stock's selloff comes as the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF falls 4.4% and the S&P 500 gives up 1.3% in morning trade.

Biogen stock rises 3% after Q3 profit and revenue beats

5 hours ago

Biogen Inc. shares rose 3% in Tuesday morning trade after the company reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that rose above expectations. Net income rose to $1.44 billion, or $7.15 a share, from $1.23 billion, or $5.79 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $7.40, above the FactSet consensus of $6.78. Revenue grew to $3.44 billion from $3.08 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $3.33 billion. In multiple sclerosis, Tecifidera revenue rose to $1.09 billion from $1.07 billion, but was shy of the FactSet consensus of $1.11 billion, while Tysabri revenue of $470 million, up from $469 million, topped expectations of $452 million. The stock has lifted 2.2% year to date, while the S&P 500 has dropped 3.1%.

3M stock drops 6% after Q3 misses, downbeat guidance

5 hours ago

3M Co. stock dropped nearly 6% in heavy Tuesday trade after the company reported third-quarter profit and revenue misses and issued downbeat 2018 guidance. Earnings for the latest quarter rose to $1.54 billion, or $2.58 per share, from $1.43 billion, or $2.33 per share in the year-earlier period. The FactSet adjusted earnings-per-share consensus was $2.70. Revenue declined to $8.15 billion from $8.17 billion in the year-earlier period, below the FactSet consensus of $8.41 billion. The latest results include flat sales in the company's industrial business, an increase in its safety and graphics division sales, and declines in its health care business (2.8% decline), electronics and energy business (down 4.8%) and consumer business (down 3.4%). 3M also revised its 2018 adjusted EPS expectations from a range of $10.20 to $10.45 to between $9.90 and $10 per share, below the FactSet consensus of $10.28 per share. The change reflects a full-year earnings headwind of 5 cents per share from foreign currency, while the prior expectation had been of a benefit of 10 cents per share, 3M said. Company shares have dropped nearly 5% over the last three months, compared with a 3.3% decline in the S&P 500 and a 0.2% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

Harley-Davidson stock drops 6.6% after announcing voluntary recall of 238,300 motorcycles

6 hours ago

Harley-Davidson Inc. shares dropped 6.6% in Tuesday morning trade after the company said it is voluntarily recalling nearly 240,000 motorcycles. The company expects the recall to cost $35 million, which will be booked in the fourth quarter. Harley-Davidson disclosed the news after reporting third-quarter profit and revenue beats early Tuesday, which initially propelled the stock up. Earnings for the latest quarter rose to $113.86 million, or 68 cents per share, from $68.21 million, or 40 cents per share in the year-earlier period. Adjusted earnings-per-share were 78 cents, compared with the FactSet consensus of 53 cents. The latest results reflect improved international retail sales growth, the company said, even as its U.S. retail sales and worldwide retail sales declined from the previous year's rates. The company also has a multi-year manufacturing optimization plan in place, with costs related to it totaling around $21 million in the third quarter. Third-quarter revenue rose to $1.32 billion from $1.15 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $1.07 billion. The company continues to expect 2018 motorcycle shipments of between 231,000 to 236,000 and motorcycles segment operating margin to make up about 9% to 10% of its revenue. Harley-Davidson now expects financial services segment operating income to be up, compared with previous expectations of flat to up slightly, a lower tax rate than previously expected, or 22.5% to 24%, and fewer capital expenditures than previously expected, or between $230 million and $250 million, compared with a previous estimate of $250 million to $270 million. Company shares have dropped 12.4% over the last three months, compared with a 3.2% decline in the S&P 500 and a 0.2% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .

Dow off more than 300 points after China selloff, earnings disappointment

6 hours ago

U.S. stocks opened sharply lower Tuesday, joining a global stock market downturned sparked by a renewed fall by Chinese equities and amplified by a round of disappointing earnings, including results from Dow components Caterpillar Inc. and 3M Co. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 400 points after the opening bell and remained down 331 points, or 1.3%, at 24,986, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.4% to 2,718. The Nasdaq Composite shed 1.6% to 7,351. Shares of Caterpillar dropped 8% to lead Dow decliners, while 3M lost 5.8%.

Blink Charging CEO to become SVP of sales, Chairman Farkas resumes CEO role

6 hours ago

Shares of Blink Charging Co. rallied 1.9% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the electric vehicle charging station company said Chief Executive Mike Calise will step down from the position to become senior vice president of sales. And effective immediately, Founder Michael Farkas, currently also executive chairman, will resume to role of CEO. Separately, the company said Chief Operating Officer Ira Feintuch will leave the company, and will be replaced as COO by current President James Christodoulou. The stock has tumbled 34% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has slipped 1.8%.

Amazon launches new benefits for Business Prime members, Amazon Business American Express card

6 hours ago

Amazon.com Inc. said Tuesday that it is launching new benefits for Business Prime members in the U.S., Germany and Japan and a new Amazon Business American Express Card. The tools are for purchasing trend analysis, money-saving opportunities, spending data, setting compliance policies and budget optimization. The Amazon Business American Express card has no annual fee and a number of perks. In the U.S., Amazon Business American Express cardholders who are also Business Prime members can choose either 5% back or 90-day terms on eligible purchases, request extended payment terms, and get free same-day and one-day shipping on orders of $35 or more. For a limited time, card members can receive a free year of Business Prime Essentials. Business Prime membership ranges in price from $179 per year for up to three users (Essentials) and $10,099 per year for more than 100 users (Enterprise). Amazon shares have rallied 53% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 3.1% for the period.

Helios & Matheson's stock rockets after plan to spin off new MoviePass sub

6 hours ago

Shares of Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. rocketed 81% on very heavy volume after the company said it plans to plans to create a new subsidiary called MoviePass Entertainment Holdings Inc. and spin it off. Trading volume ballooned to about 12.5 million shares, making it the most active stock ahead of the open. The new sub will take ownership of MoviePass Inc. and other film-related assets held by Helios & Matheson. The spin off is part of the company's plan to create a film production, marketing and exhibition company. "Since we acquired control of MoviePass in December 2017, HMNY largely has become synonymous with MoviePass in the public's eye, leading us to believe that our shareholders and the market perception of HMNY might benefit from separating our movie-related assets from the rest of our company," said Chief Executive Ted Farnsworth. Helios & Matheson's stock had lost virtually all of its value over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 had gained 7.4%.

Bank stocks fall was Treasury yields drop, sending financial sector ETF toward 13-month low

6 hours ago

Financial stocks fell sharply early Tuesday, as the global selloff in stocks sent investors into safe-haven Treasurys, pushing yields lower. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF dropped 1.6% toward a 13-month low in premarket trade. Among the ETF's (XLF) heavyweights, shares of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. shed 1.8%, Bank of America Corp. declined 2.8%, Citigroup Inc. lost 1.8%, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. gave up 1.8% and Wells Fargo & Co. slumped 1.5%. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined 5.7 basis points to 3.139%. Lower long-term interest rates can pressure bank earnings, as it narrows the spread between what makes earn on longer-term assets, such as loans, and what they pay on shorter-term liabilities. The XLF, on track to open at the lowest level seen during regular session hours since September 2017, has lost 6.6% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has slipped 1.8%.

Caterpillar, 3M stocks cut 146 points off the Dow's price

7 hours ago

Shares of third-quarter earnings reporters Caterpillar Inc. and 3M Co. were acting as a 146-point drag on the Dow Jones Industrial Average in premarket trading, outweighing the lift provided by the other three earnings reporters. Caterpillar's stock dropped 6.8% to shave about 59 points off the Dow and 3M shares shed 6.4% to knock 87 points off the Dow. Dow futures dropped 388 points. Meanwhile, shares of McDonald's Corp. climbed 2.8% to add 32 points to the Dow and Verizon Communications Inc. rose 0.6% to tack about 2-points onto the Dow, while United Technologies Corp.'s stock erased earlier gains to slip 0.5% and take about 4 points off the Dow.

McDonald's shares rise after earnings and same-store sales beat

7 hours ago

McDonald's Corp. shares were up 2% in Tuesday premarket trading after the fast-food giant reported third-quarter earnings and same-store sales that beat expectations. Net income totaled $1.64 billion, or $2.10 per share, compared with net income of $1.88 billion, or $2.32 per share, year-over-year. Sales for the quarter totaled $5.37 billion, down from $5.75 billion last year. McDonald's attributed the revenue decline to the company's refranchising initiative. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.99 and sales of $5.30 billion. Global same-store sales increased 4.2%, while same-store sales increased 2.4% in the U.S. The FactSet global same-store sales guidance was for 3.6% growth, and for the U.S., the growth guidance was 2.4%. McDonald's attributed the U.S. same-store sales increase to a higher average check, the result of price increases and menu mix. McDonald's shares are down 3.2% for the year to date, but up 2% for the last year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up nearly 9% for the past 12 months.

Lockheed Martin beats profit and sales expectations, but shares slip

7 hours ago

Lockheed Martin Corp. reported Tueday a third-quarter profit and sales that were well above expectations, but the aerospace and defense contractor's stock slipped 0.3% in premarket trade amid a broad-market selloff. Net earnings rose to $1.47 billion, or $5.14 a share, from $963 million, or $3.32 a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was $4.31. Sales increased to $14.32 billion from $12.34 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus of $13.09 billion, as all of its business segments topped expectations. The company expects 2018 sales of about $53 billion, compared with previous guidance of $51.6 billion to $53.10 billion, and projects 2019 sales to rise 5% to 6% above its 2018 outlook. The FactSet consensus for 2018 revenue is $52.65 billion, while the 2019 consensus of $55.39 billion implies 5.2% growth. The stock has gained 1.8% year to date through Monday, while the S&P 500 has advanced 3.1%.

Walmart adds free two-day shipping for marketplace items

7 hours ago

Walmart Inc. is rolling out free two-day shipping on orders over $35 on millions of marketplace items starting mid-November. This offer is available in the contiguous U.S. The retail giant will also accept returns on these items at any of its 4,700 U.S. stores. Customer should package the item and bring it to a Services desk to take advantage of this perk. Alternatively, customers can print out a return label from their Walmart account to ship a marketplace return, an offering rolling out now. Walmart shares are down 1.6% for the year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 2.4% for the period.

Verizon profit and revenue rise, beat expectations

7 hours ago

Verizon Communications Inc. reported Tuesday third-quarter net income that rose to $5.06 billion, or $1.19 a share, from $3.74 billion, or 89 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share rose to $1.22 from 98 cents, above the FactSet consensus of $1.19. The stock was little changed in premarket trade. Total revenue increased 2.8% to $32.61 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $32.50 billion, as wireless revenue rose 6.5% to $23.0 billion to top the FactSet consensus of $22.7 billion and wireline revenue fell 3.7% to $7.4 billion to match expectations. Wireless retail postpaid net additions were 515,000, including 510,000 postpaid smartphone net adds, while Fios internet net adds totaled 54,000. The company expects 2018 revenue growth in the low-to-mid single-digit percentage range; the FactSet revenue consensus of $130.8 billion implies 3.8% growth. Verizon's stock has gained 8.3% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 1.1%.