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Super Micro plummets after report Apple cut ties on security fears

3 hours ago

Super Micro Computer Inc. dropped 8% in late trading Thursday after a report said Apple Inc. ended its relationship with the company after finding "a potential security vulnerability" in a data center server provided by Super Micro. The Information's Amir Efrati reported, citing a Super Micro executive and unnamed sources, that Apple discovered an issue with the Super Micro equipment in early 2016, and that Super Micro stopped shipping equipment to Apple by the middle of the year. Super Micro slashed its forecasts in July 2016, leading to a big stock drop, and disclosed in an earnings conference call a couple weeks later that it had lost two large data center customers that the company did not name. Super Micro shares fell to $25.20 in late trading Thursday after The Information released its report, after closing the day's session at $27.40.

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Alphabet's self-driving car division sues Uber

4 hours ago

Alphabet Inc.'s self-driving car division, Waymo, announced a lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. on Thursday that claims the founder of Uber acquisition Otto used key technology he helped develop while working for Google's parent company. The lawsuit, announced in a Waymo blog post, claims that Anthony Levandowski downloaded proprietary information on key components for self-driving technology before leaving Alphabet and founding Otto, which makes self-driving trucks for hauling. "We believe these actions were part of a concerted plan to steal Waymo's trade secrets and intellectual property," the blog post reads. "Months before the mass download of files, Mr. Levandowski told colleagues that he had plans to 'replicate' Waymo's technology at a competitor." Alphabet and Uber have a complicated relationship: Google made a venture investment in Uber in 2013, but is developing its own ride-sharing service as Uber looks to distance itself from Google's mapping services.

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Merck to take $2.9 billion charge on hepatitis C drug

4 hours ago

Merck & Co. said late Thursday it will book a pre-tax charge of $2.9 billion for a hepatitis C drug candidate. Merck said recent changes to its product profile and expectations for pricing caused it to evaluate the drug candidate uprifosbuvir, which it acquired along with Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2014, as an intangible asset for impairment. As a result, Merck said the charge lowers its unadjusted fourth-quarter results to a loss of 22 cents a share, from previous earnings of 42 cents a share. Adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter are not affected, Merck said. Shares of Merck declined 0.5% to $65.52 after hours.

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Baidu rises after fourth-quarter earnings

5 hours ago

U.S.-listed shares of Baidu Inc. rose in Thursday's extended session after the Chinese search engine announced quarterly results. Baidu reported fourth-quarter earnings of 4.13 billion yuan ($594.7 million), or $1.64 per American depositary share. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.91 per ADS. Revenue fell 2.6% to $2.62 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $1.09 a share on revenue of $2.66 billion. It also announced the appointment of Chief Operating Officer Qi Lu as vice chairman of the board. Baidu gained 2.2% after hours.

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Private prison stocks jump after Trump official says feds will continue using facilities

5 hours ago

President Donald Trump's attorney general Thursday rescinded a memorandum that would have ended the federal government's use of private prisons, and stocks in companies that provide those services jumped. CoreCivic Inc., formerly Corrections Corp. of America, rose 3.7%, and The GEO Group gained 1.5% in immediate late trading after the move was announced. Both stocks suffered greatly in the wake of the Justice Department's announcement in August that it would phase out using private prisons, which closely followed a Mother Jones investigation detailing life in one of CoreCivic's facilities in Louisiana. CoreCivic took on its new name and slashed staff amid the fallout. Private prison companies rebounded after Trump won the election, however; The GEO Group has gained 98.2% and CoreCivic is up 136.8% since Nov. 8, 2016, even before Thursday afternoon's bump.

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RH shares rally on higher-than-expected forecast

5 hours ago

Shares of RH , the company formerly known as Restoration Hardware, rallied in the extended session Thursday after the high-end home furnishings retailer forecast higher-than-expected quarterly results. RH shares surged 14% to $28.70 after hours. The company said it expects adjusted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 68 cents a share on adjusted revenue of about $590 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated 65 cents a share on revenue of $584.7 million. Separately, RH said its board authorized up to $300 million in stock buybacks.

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Acacia Communications plunges after disappointing forecast

6 hours ago

Acacia Communications Inc. plummeted 17% in late trading Thursday after the networking company projected sharply lower earnings and revenue than Wall Street expected. Acacia, which went public in May amid a sudden resurgence in investor demand for optical-networking companies, reported net income of $64.5 million, or $1.55 a share, on sales of $142.4 million. After adjustments for stock-based compensation, Acacia reported adjusted earnings of 94 cents a share. That performance easily beat average analyst forecasts of 90 cents a share in adjusted earnings on sales of $139.7 million, according to FactSet, but Acacia's forecast fell far short of expectations. The Maynard, Mass., company projected first-quarter adjusted earnings of 63 cents to 70 cents a share on revenue of $108 million to $114 million. Analysts on average projected adjusted profit of 78 cents a share on revenue of $137.3 million, according to FactSet. Acacia shares, which closed with a 1.9% gain at $63.43, plunged to close to $52 in after-hours action. The stock has been very volatile in its first year on Wall Street, with prices ranging from $27.05 to $128.73; at Thursday's closing price, the company had a market capitalization of $2.37 billion.

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Splunk shares drop as outlook falls short of Street view

6 hours ago

Splunk Inc. shares fell in the extended session Thursday after the data-analysis company's outlook for the quarter fell short of Wall Street estimates. Splunk shares dropped 7.2% to $60.25 after hours. The company forecast revenue of $231 million to $233 million in the fiscal first quarter, and about $1.19 billion for the year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated revenue of $241.5 million for the first quarter, and $1.19 billion for the year. For the fiscal fourth quarter, Splunk reported adjusted earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $306.5 million. Analysts expected 17 cents a share on revenue of $288.2 million.

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Gap shares rise after earnings and sales beat

6 hours ago

Gap Inc. shares rose 1% in late-Thursday trading after the retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings and sales that beat expectations. Gap Inc., whose brands include the namesake chain of stores, Banana Republic and Old Navy, reported net income of $220.0 million, or 55 cents per share, up from $214.0 million, or 53 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS was 51 cents, beating the 50-cent FactSet consensus. Sales totaled $4.43 billion, up from $4.39 billion and ahead of the $4.41 billion FactSet consensus. Same-store sales were up 2%, with Old Navy reporting a 1% same-store sales increase, and Gap and Banana Republic reporting same-store sales declines of 3% and 7% respectively. The company sees fiscal 2017 EPS in the range of $1.95 to $2.05. Same-store sales are expected to be flat or up slightly. Gap shares are down 12.1% for the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 23% for the same period.

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Herbalife shares pressured on weak outlook

6 hours ago

Shares of Herbalife Inc. slid in Thursday's extended session after the nutritional-products company issued a weak outlook. Herbalife reported its fourth-quarter earnings rose to $99.4 million, or $1.16 a share, from $84.5 million, or 98 cents a share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company would have earned $1 a share. Revenue fell to $1.05 billion from $1.1 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 97 cents a share on revenue of $1.07 billion. In the first quarter, the company projected sales to drop 5% to 9% from the same period last year. It also expects earnings per share in a range of 75 cents to 95 cents, below the average of $1.31 a share forecast by analysts. Separately, the company announced that it agreed "in principle" to form a consumer health products joint venture with China's Tasly Holding Group. Herbalife shares fell more than 2% after hours.

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Nordstrom shares rise after retailer beats earnings expectations

6 hours ago

Nordstrom Inc. shares rose nearly 5% late Thursday after the retailer posted adjusted per-share earnings above Wall Street expectations and sales were in line. Nordstrom said it earned $201 million, or $1.15 a share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $180 million in the year-ago quarter. Total sales rose to $4.32 billion in the quarter, from $4.19 billion a year ago. Adjusted for one-time items, Nordstrom earned $240 million, or $1.37 a share, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $1.15 a share on sales of $4.35 billion. Total company comparable sales for the fourth quarter fell 0.9%. Unlike department-store rivals, which have announced store closings, Nordstrom announced plans to open one full-line store and 15 new Nordstrom Rack stores this year. The company also called for a 3% to 4% increase in net sales for 2017 and flat comparable-store sales for the year. Nordstrom shares ended the regular session down 3.1%.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise falls after revenue miss, slashed earnings forecast

6 hours ago

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. shares dropped sharply Thursday afternoon after the company reported lower sales than expected and slashed its earnings projections for the fiscal year. HPE revealed net income of $267 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $11.41 billion for the fiscal first quarter. After adjusting for restructuring charges and a host of other costs, HPE claimed adjusted profit of 45 cents a share. Analysts on average expected HPE to report adjusted earnings of 44 cents a share, the midpoint of HPE's forecast of 42 cents to 46 cents a share, on sales of $12.06 billion. HPE brought down its previous forecast for full-year earnings, to a range of 60 cents to 70 cents a share on a GAAP basis and $1.88 to $1.98 a share after adjustments. HP's previous projections called for standard profit of 72 cents to 82 cents a share and adjusted earnings of $2 to $2.10 a share. In its announcement, HPE cited three "significant headwinds" that have developed since those projections were provided in October: "increased pressure from foreign exchange movements, higher commodities pricing, and some near-term execution issues." HPE shares dropped nearly 6% in late trading, after closing with a 0.5% decline at $24.66.

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The Nasdaq just snapped one bullish 2017 win streak

6 hours ago

The Nasdaq on Thursday finished in negative territory on back-to-back days for the first time in 2017. The tech-heavy index was under pressure early, closing off 0.4% at 5,835, as shares of tech companies slumped, including Nvidia Corp. which logged its biggest daily drop ever. The last time the Nasdaq Composite Index fell on successive sessions was the three-day period to end 2016, according to FactSet data. That's 36 days without two days in a row in the red, which marks the longest such streak since Aug. 25, 2016, Dow Jones data show. So far, the Nasdaq has only declined 10 times this year (including Thursday) and hasn't seen a 1% drop since Dec. 1, 2016, representing 56 (including today) trading days. The index's longest streak without a 1% tumble was 73 trading days from Jan. 4, 1995 to April 18, 1995, when it closed down 1.1% on the 74th. The downtrend for the Nasdaq comes as the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are wrapped up slightly higher, with blue-chips registering 10 straight days of gains, its longest such streak in 30 years.

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Dow extends record-setting streak to 10, Nasdaq logs first back-to-back drop for 2017

6 hours ago

The Dow Jones Industrial Average extended its hot streak on Thursday, closing at a record for a tenth session in a row while the Nasdaq Composite logged its first back-to-back decline of the year, weighed down by big losses in Nvidia Corp. and Tesla Inc. shares. The Dow rose 34 points, or 0.2%, to end at 20,810 and the The S&P 500 edged up about a point to close at 2,363. The Nasdaq shed 25 points to finish at 5,835.

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Prologis boosts dividend by nearly 5%

7 hours ago

Prologis Inc. said Thursday that it raised its quarterly dividend by nearly 5% to 44 cents a share from 42 cents a share. The logistic real estate company's new dividend will be payable March 31 to shareholders of record on March 15. Based on current share prices, the new annual dividend rate of $1.76 a share represents a dividend yield of 3.49%, compared with the aggregate S&P 500 dividend yield of 2.01%, according to FactSet. The stock, which was up 0.2% in afternoon trade, has run up 33% over the past three months, while the SPDR Real Estate Select Sector ETF has gained 6.6% and the S&P 500 has rallied 23%.

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Oil futures end higher after smaller-than-expected inventory rise

8 hours ago

Oil futures ended higher Thursday, maintaining gains after data showed a smaller-than-expected rise in U.S. crude inventories. West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery rose 86 cents, or 1.6%, to close at $54.45 a barrel. Oil spiked then trimmed gains after the Energy Information Administration said crude inventories rose by 600,000 barrels in the week ended Feb. 17. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had penciled in, on average, a 3.4 million barrel rise.

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Nvidia's stock tumbles toward first close below 50-day moving average in a year

8 hours ago

Shares of Nvidia Corp. tumbled 8.9% in afternoon trade, toward the first close below a key trend-tracking line for the first time in a year, in the wake of analyst downgrades to bearish ratings. The stock was changing hands at $100.92, putting it on track for the lowest close since Dec. 16, 2016. It was also heading for the first close below its widely viewed 50-day moving average (MA), which is used by many to track the short-term trend, since Feb. 17, 2016. The 50-day MA currently extends to $107.07, according to FactSet. That would snap a 256-session streak of closes above the 50-day MA, the longest such stretch since the stock went public in January 1999. The last time it first closed below the 50-day MA, after at least 3 months above it, was Jan. 7, 2016. The stock fell another 17% over the next month before bottoming.

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Tesla shares downgraded to sell at CFRA

8 hours ago

CFRA on Thursday cut its rating on Tesla Inc. to sell from hold, saying that while they see "a clearer path towards Model 3 production, we still see execution and other risks to the timing of and achievement of targets," analyst Efraim Levy said in a note. "We expect (Tesla) to go to market this year to raise capital," he said. Levy raised his price target on the shares by $35 to $240, reflecting expectations of "rapid sales growth" for the mass-market sedan as the car's launch approaches. Tesla reported mixed fourth-quarter results late Wednesday. Wall Street cheered Model 3 being on track for sales later this year, and braced for a likely capital raise in the near term.

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Mexico peso rallies on comments from Trump administration officials

8 hours ago

The Mexican peso strengthened against the dollar on Thursday after several top Trump administration officials stressed the importance of maintaining positive relations with the U.S.'s southern neighbor. The peso strengthened early in the day, part of a broad-based rally in emerging-market currencies, after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered what some market strategists characterized as a lackluster defense of the U.S.'s strong dollar policy. The dollar was down 1.4% at 19.65 pesos in recent trade, compared with 19.94 pesos late Wednesday in New York. He also emphasized that relations between the two countries remain positive. The currency added to its gains later in the day after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said his trip to Mexico was "forward-looking," and that officials from the two countries were focused on their common interests. He also said that Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray also said the meeting was "a good step" toward cooperation. The currency is presently trading at levels not seen since Nov. 9, the day after the U.S. election. It rallied sharply earlier in the week after Mexico's central bank introduced a new hedging facility. "[President Donald Trump] said a lot of inflammatory stuff during the campaign but in reality their relationship is going to have to be one of mutual cooperation and strong ties," said Win Thin, global head of emerging-market currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.

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Gold gains to settle at 3-month high as dollar softens

8 hours ago

Gold prices rose on Thursday to close at their highest level since November as the Fed minutes released Wednesday did not indicate any firm resolve on the part of the central bank to hike interest rates soon. The lack of clear signal from the Federal Reserve in monetary policy pressured the dollar which helped to boost appetite for dollar-denominated assets such as gold. April gold gained $18.10, or 1.5%, to settle at $1,251.40 an ounce.

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Dow CEO calls Trump administration most pro-business since founding fathers

9 hours ago

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris on Thursday said President Donald Trump was leading "the most pro-business administration since the founding fathers." In comments after a meeting between manufacturers and the president, The Dow CEO said the "language of business" is being spoken at the White House. He said that manufacturing jobs will be brought back to the U.S. as a result of the tax policy and regulatory reforms under discussion.

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Stocks of manufacturers whose CEOs are meeting Trump mostly lower, led by US Steel

9 hours ago

The stocks of the manufacturing companies which were meeting with President Donald Trump Thursday were trading mostly lower. The drop comes amid reports that an infrastructure spending plan may be delayed until next year, and tax reform pushed back until at least the summer. United States Steel Corp. led the decliners, falling 6.7% in mid-morning trade. Caterpillar Inc. fell 2.4%, and Emerson Electric Co. fell 1.7%. Lockheed Martin Corp. and Corning Inc. were all down 0.7%. GE was down 0.5%, Whirlpool Corp. was down 0.4% and Dow Chemical Co. was down 0.3%. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. shares were trading down 0.7%. Goldman and Caterpillar combined were shaving about 30 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average . Trump introduced Goldman's ex-COO Gary Cohn, now National Economic Council director, to the group as "Gary from Goldman." The only two stocks to gain were Johnson & Johnson and International Paper Co. , which were both up less than 1%.

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Home Depot's stock gets a boost from Morgan Stanley upgrade

10 hours ago

Shares of Home Depot Inc. edged up less than 0.1% in midday trade Thursday, but bucked the selloff in the broader retail sector, after Morgan Stanley moved to a bullish rating on the home improvement retailer. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF shed 1.2% in midday trade. Analyst Simeon Gutman upgraded Home Depot to overweight, after being at equal weight since June 2014. He boosted his stock price target to $165, which was 14% above current levels, from $150. Gutman said he has greater confidence in the growth of the home improvement industry, given research that suggests the housing recovery is till in the 'middle innings' and the belief that any negative impact from rising interest rates in the near term are being overestimated. He said Home Depot's stock had performed well in previous rising-rate environments. And even in the most aggressive tightening periods, Gutman said it took about two years to hurt spending on home improvement. Home Depot's stock has rallied 11% over the past three months, while the SPDR retail ETF has lost 6.9% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 9%.

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International Flavors & Fragrances stock jumps asUBS upgrades to buy

11 hours ago

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. shares rose 2.5% Thursday, after UBS upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and reiterated their view that the stock is a high quality laggard for 2017. The maker of fragrances used in foods as well as fabric care and household cleaning products has seen its price-earnings ratio fall to 21 times from 24 times before the November presidential election, when risk-off stocks were in favor, said UBS. That has meant it is now trading at a discount to peers versus a premium pre-election. "Underperformance reflects exaggerated risks on FX (80% of sales ex-U.S.), possible emerging market slowdown (50% of sales), & possible margin pressures from rising oil, vanilla & citrus," UBS analysts wrote in a note. "We are upgrading to Buy as the current valuation provides upside as we believe investor concerns are overdone." Shares have gained about 22% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained about 23%.

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Oil sets session high after smaller-than-expected inventory rise

11 hours ago

Oil futures remained higher Thursday after spiking to a session high following a smaller-than-expected rise in weekly U.S. crude inventories. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up 97 cents, or 1.8%, at $54.56 a barrel after trading as high as $54.94 after the Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude supplies rose 600,000 barrels in the week ended Feb. 17. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast, on average, a 3.4 million barrel rise. Data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, late Wednesday had shown an 884,000-barrel decline in inventories.

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Alan Colmes of 'Hannity & Colmes' dies aged 66: Associated Press

11 hours ago

Alan Colmes, a commentator who played the liberal sidekick to hard-right anchor Sean Hannity on Fox News, has died at the age of 66 after a brief illness, the Associated Press reported Thursday. Colmes is survived by his wife, Jocelyn Elise Crowley, said the AP. A New York City native, Colmes started his career in radio and stand-up comedy before joining Fox News in 1996. He spent 12 years as co-host of "Hannity & Colmes" and also wrote several books.

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Tesla shares shed gains to trade down 5.4% as analysts take mixed view of latest quarter

12 hours ago

Tesla Inc. shares reversed their post-earnings gains early Thursday to trade down 5.4%, as analysts weighing in on the electric car maker's latest quarter took a range of views. J.P. Morgan said it expects free cash burn to remain elevated, given the company's guidance for capex of $2.0 to $2.5 billion for the first half, surpassing the $2.3 billion the bank was modeling for the entire year. That makes it more likely the company will raise capital in the near term, as Chief Executive Elon Musk conceded on the earnings call. "Tesla's 4Q results were mixed relative to our expectations, with automotive revenue coming in stronger ($1,994 mn vs. JPM $1,856 mn) but gross margin much softer (22.6% vs. JPM 26.3%), seemingly driven by temporal factors likely to reverse in 2017 (primarily a delayed Autopilot update rollout, which is currently being remedied)," analysts led by Ryan Brinkman wrote in a note. Tesla shares have gained about 46% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 23%.

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AMC Network shares pop nearly 14% after 'The Walking Dead' owner reports Q4 earnings

12 hours ago

Shares of AMC Networks Inc. , the network responsible for zombie-drama hit "The Walking Dead," gained nearly 14% after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings that were better than Wall Street expected. The media and entertainment company reported adjusted earnings of $1.30 per share, which was above the $1.27 per-share consensus from analysts tracked by FactSet. And revenue hit $729.6 million, while FactSet had forecast for $710.0 million in revenue. "['The Walking Dead'] is a powerful example of programming that we own and distribute that commands a loyal audience, attracts advertising revenues and has significant ancillary revenues that will benefit our business for years to come," AMC Chief Executive Josh Sapan said in a statement. Shares of AMC are down nearly 9% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 Index is up 23%.

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Pernix Therapeutics surges 42% after patent case win against generic from Actavis Labs

13 hours ago

Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc. shares surged 42% in morning trade Thursday after the company said a district judge had ruled in its favor in a patent infringement case against Actavis Laboratories, which is part of Allergan PLC . The judge said Actavis could not make or sell a generic of Pernix's Zohydro ER, an opioid pain medication, until two patents expire in 2019 and 2034. Pernix Therapeutics shares have risen 17.2% over the last three months, compared with a 7.4% rise in the S&P 500 .

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Dow on track for 10th straight advance as energy pushes stocks deeper into record territory

13 hours ago

U.S. stocks opened modestly higher on Thursday, extending the market's move into record territory and putting the Dow on track for its 10th straight advance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 47 points, or 0.2%, to 20,820. The S&P 500 added 4 points to 2,367, a gain of 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6 points, or 0.1%, to 5,865. The Dow is coming off its longest streak of consecutive record closes since 1987, and it could post as its lengthiest string of daily gains since March 2013. Energy stocks were among the biggest drivers of the market, boosted as crude oil rose 2.3%. Exxon Mobil rose 0.7% while Chevron Corp. added 1.2%. Both stocks are Dow components, and contributed to the blue-chip average's gain on the day. In the latest economic data, the number of U.S. workers who applied for unemployment benefits rose slightly in the latest week, but layoffs remained near ultralow levels last seen in the early 1970s.

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