Raytheon says Q1 sales, profit likely above guidance, CFO steps down

MarketWatch - 15hr

Raytheon Technologies Corp. said late Friday it is likely to report first-quarter results above guidance, and announced that it had a new chief financial officer. Raytheon previously called for first-quarter sales between $14.8 billion and $15.4 billion, and first-quarter adjusted per-share earnings between 70 cents and 75 cents. Based on preliminary results, sales are likely to come in above the guidance's mid-point, and adjusted EPS is likely to come in between 87 cents and 90 cents, Raytheon said. In the same statement, the company said that Chief Financial Officer Anthony O'Brien has stepped down, and that Neil Mitchill, the vice president of financial planning and investor relations, has been appointed as his replacement. Mitchill will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes. Mitchill was named in 2019 as the acting senior vice president and CFO of United Technologies Corp., a role in which he served until the merger between the two companies. Raytheon shares rose 0.4% after the news, and ended the regular trading session up 1.1%.


Dow, S&P 500 close at records to book solid weekly gains

MarketWatch - 16hr

U.S. stocks finished higher on Friday, capping a week of gains for major equity benchmarks as investors took comfort in dovish comments from senior Federal Reserve officials throughout this week. The S&P 500 gained 0.8% to finish near 4,129. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.9% to end around 33,803, based on preliminary numbers. The S&P 500 and Dow set an intraday record and finished at an all-time high on Friday. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.5% to end at 13,900. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 2.7%, the Dow rose 2%, and the Nasdaq added 3.1%. Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said on Friday any rise in inflationary was unlikely to last, adding to the impression that the Fed was likely to look past the expected surge in price pressures this year. Amazon.com Inc. shares rose after the e-commerce giant defeated a unionization effort by workers at one of its warehouses in Alabama.


House Ethics Committee opens probe of Rep. Matt Gaetz

MarketWatch - 16hr

The House Ethics Committee on Friday opened a probe into Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who is under investigation for potential violation of sex-trafficking laws. The panel said in a statement it is aware of allegations against Gaetz, including that he "may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use." The New York Times reported earlier this week that Gaetz sought a blanket pardon for himself and others during the waning weeks of the Trump administration. Former President Donald Trump denied the report on Wednesday.


Oil futures finish lower, with U.S. prices down over 3% for the week

MarketWatch - 17hr

Oil futures settled lower on Friday, with U.S. prices losing more than 3% for the week as rising global cases of COVID-19 threaten to slow demand for energy. "The market remains without a clear direction, but sentiments are to the negative" given the decision by major oil producers to gradually increase production, the potential addition of Iranian oil, and a continued rise in U.S. oilfield activity, said Manish Raj, chief financial officer at Velandera Energy. May West Texas Intermediate crude fell 28 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $59.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices lost 3.5% from the settlement on April 1, which marked the end of the holiday-shortened week.


Pfizer asks FDA to expand COVID-19 vaccine authorization to include 12- to 15-year-olds

MarketWatch - 18hr

Shares of Pfizer Inc. gained 1% in trading on Friday after the drug maker said it requested that the emergency-use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine be amended to include teens between the ages of 12 and 15. The vaccine is currently authorized for people who are at least 16 years old in the U.S. Pfizer said a Phase 3 clinical trial in 12- to 15-year-olds found that the vaccine is 100% efficacious and had a similar side-effect profile to past study participants between the ages of 16 and 25. Pfizer developed the vaccine with BioNTech SE . Pfizer's stock is down 1.3% since the start of the year, while the broader S&P 500 is up 8.5%.


Gold futures fall for the session, climb nearly 1% for the week

MarketWatch - 18hr

Gold futures declined on Friday, pressured by strength in the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields, but prices for the metal still ended the week with a gain. It seems that gold will continue to follow the bond market, which saw weakness after a "hotter-than-expected" U.S. producer price index reading, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. That led to a rise in bond yields, which trade inversely to bond prices. June gold fell $13.40, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,744.80 an ounce on Comex. For the week, prices based on the most-active contract rose almost 1% from April 1, FactSet data show. That date marked the end of a holiday-shortened week.


Chicago pizza pioneer Lou Malnati's reportedly exploring a sale

MarketWatch - 18hr

The Chicago-style-pizza chain Lou Malnati's, which operates nearly 70 locations in four states as well as a mail-order business, is exploring a sale that could fetch as much as $700 million, according to a Bloomberg report. The chain, whose original location in suburban Lincolnwood, Ill., opened in 1971, is owned by the founding Malnati family and the Chicago private-equity firm BDT Capital. Founder Lou Malnati, who died in 1978, figures prominently in most versions of deep-dish Chicago-style pizza's origin story, which dates to the 1940s.


Ford, GM, Intel among companies due to participate in White House meeting on chip shortage

MarketWatch - 19hr

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, joined by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, will host a virtual "CEO Summit on Semiconductor and Supply Chain Resilience" on Monday afternoon amid the ongoing chip shortage, the White House said Friday. The White House also said the companies due to take part include Google parent Alphabet , AT&T , Cummins , Dell, Ford , General Motors , GlobalFoundries, HP , Intel , Medtronic, Micron, NXP, Paccar, Piston Group, Samsung, SkyWater Technology, Stellantis and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.


Hilton CEO 2020 total pay more than doubled to $56 million

MarketWatch - 19hr

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. disclosed Friday in its proxy statement that Chief Executive Christopher Nassetta's total compensation in 2020 increased to $55.87 million from $21.37 million in 2019. The total comp included a decrease in base salary to $350,000 from $1.29 million, as executive salaries were cut a result of the pandemic, but a increase in the value of stock awards to $49.52 million from $12.94 million. Elsewhere, the value of options awards rose to $4.57 million from $4.31 million, non-equity incentive plan compensation declined to $1.07 million from $2.40 million and all other compensation decreased to $361,161 from $435,343. The increase in total comp comes in a year in which the hotel operator swung to a net loss of $715 million from net income of $881 million 2019 while revenue fell 54% to $4.31 billion. Hilton's stock ticked up 0.3% in 2020, compared with a 12.9% drop in shares of rival Marriott International Inc. and the S&P 500's 16.3% rally.


J&J's shipment of COVID-19 shots to drop next week

MarketWatch - 20hr

Johnson & Johnson is expected to ship 700,000 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine on the week of April 12; however, that number is significantly lower than the roughly 4.9 million doses of J&J's vaccine that were allocated to states on the week of April 5. This is according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In total, J&J has shipped about 11.2 million doses of its single-shot vaccine since it was authorized in February, including the 700,000 doses expected to go out the week of April 12. J&J confirmed on March 31 that a batch of its vaccines did not meet quality standards at a plant run by Emergent BioSolutions Inc. , its U.S. manufacturing partner. White House officials said Friday that they expect J&J to begin delivering 8 million doses per week by the end of April. J&J's stock is up 3.5% so far this year, while the broader S&P 500 has gained 8.5%.


Biden to sign executive order creating commission on Supreme Court

MarketWatch - 20hr

President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Friday to form a "Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States," according to the White House. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden promised to establish a bipartisan commission of scholars that would come up with recommendations for reforming the court system, saying at that time that it would study "a number of alternatives that go well beyond [court] packing," in a reference to how some Democrats have called for expanding the Supreme Court.


Amazon's stock rises toward 7-week high after workers vote against forming a union

MarketWatch - 20hr

Shares of Amazon.com Inc. rallied 0.5% toward a 7-week high in morning trading Friday, after workers in Alabama voted against forming a union. About 71% of workers at Amazon's warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. voted 'no' to the union, according to a count by The Wall Street Journal. On Thursday, The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said Thursday that 3,215 votes were sent in, representing about 55% of the workers eligible to vote, as the Associated Press reported, with the vote tilting heavily against the union. Amazon's stock, which was on track for the highest close since Feb. 18, has rallied 7.2% so far in April, but has edged up just 1.8% year to date. In comparison, the S&P 500 has tacked on 3.2% this month and has rallied 9.2% this year.


BJ's Wholesale says CEO Lee Delaney has died unexpectedly

MarketWatch - 22hr

BJ's Wholesale Club said Friday morning that Lee Delaney, its chief executive, has unexpectedly died. It said his death was presumed to have been of natural causes. The company is "shocked and profoundly saddened" by Delaney's passing, Chairman Christopher Baldwin said in a release, calling Delaney "a brilliant and humble leader who cared deeply for his colleagues, his family and his community." BJ's has named Chief Financial Officer Bob Eddy as its interim CEO. "We expect to announce permanent changes to our leadership within a reasonably short timeframe, aided by our prior succession planning," Baldwin said in a release.


Stocks fight for direction at open after surge in producer prices

MarketWatch - 22hr

U.S. stocks were aimless at the start of Friday as producer prices surged in March, reviving fears of inflationary pressures. The S&P 500 was up less than 0.1% to 4,099. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 103 points, or 0.3%, to 33,607. The Nasdaq Composite fell 60 points, or 0.4%, to 13,769. U.S. producer prices rose 1% in March, well above the 0.5% rise expected by MarketWatch-polled analysts. Shares of Boeing Co. were down 2% after it flagged a potential electrical issue in certain 737 MAX aircraft, asking 16 customers to address it before further operations.


Boeing stock drops to lead the Dow's losers after flagging electrical issue with 737 MAX jets

MarketWatch - 22hr

Shares of Boeing Co. dropped 2.0% in morning trading, enough to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average's decliners, after the aerospace and defense giant said it flagged a potential electrical issue in certain 737 MAX jets. Boeing stock's $5.15 price decline is shaving about 34 points off the Dow's price, while the Dow rose 70 points, or 0.2%. The electrical issue has led Southwest Airlines Co. to remove 30 737 MAX 8 aircraft that were affected by the notification, as The Wall Street Journal reported. Boeing shares have rallied 16.7% year to date, while the Dow has advanced 9.7%.


U.S. PPI up 1% in March, up 4.2% year-over-year, Haver Analytics says

MarketWatch - 23hr

The producer price index rose 1% in March, according to Haver Analytics which gets the data from the Labor Department. That above 0.5% gain expected by the Wall Street Journal. Another measure preferred by economists, known as core PPI, rose 0.6%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website has not posted the data. Year-over-year, the PPI index jumped to a 4.2% increase. The BLS subsequently sent a tweet confirming the 1% gain.


Johnson Controls to acquire Canada's Silent-Aire for up to $870 million

MarketWatch - 23hr

Johnson Controls International PLC said Friday it has agreed to acquire Silent--Aire, a Canadian private hyperscale data center cooling company, for up to $870 million. Under the terms of the deal, Johnson Controls will pay $630 million upfront and make additional payments based on the reaching of certain milestones. "Silent-Aire specializes in the design, engineering and manufacturing of mission critical custom air handlers and modular data centers for hyperscale cloud and colocation providers," Johnson Controls said in a statement. The move comes as the pandemic has moved more applications to the cloud and resulted in strong demand for computing power and the expansion of data center infrastructure. "Over the last several years, this trend has overwhelmingly favored the development of hyperscale cloud and colocation facilities," said the statement. Johnson Controls is expecting the deal to close in the third quarter of fiscal 2021, and to boost adjusted EPS by 7 cents to 9 cents that year. Silent-Aire is based in Edmonton, Alberta and has about 3,000 employees globally. Johnson Controls shares were up 2% premarket and have gained 30% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 9%.


Honeywell's stock jumps toward a record after Deutsche Bank analyst says its the right time to buy

MarketWatch - 23hr

Shares of Honeywell International Inc. rose 2.3% toward a record high in premarket trading Friday, after Deutsche Bank analyst Nicole DeBlase turned bullish, saying the aerospace and automotive products company has "the right exposures at the right time." DeBlase raised her rating to buy from hold. She said that despite attractive end-market exposures, including leverage to a global economic reopening and "best-in-class" quality metrics, the stock has been the worst performer in the multi-industry and electrical engineering (MI/EE) group this year. "We take this opportunity to upgrade the stock, particularly as we now see 5% and 10% upside to consensus EPS forecasts for 2021 and 2022, among the most attractive in the MI/EE group," DeBlase wrote in a note to clients. Separately, J.P. Morgan analyst Stephen Tusa raised his stock price target to $250 from $200 while reiterating his overweight rating, citing the "best mega-cap setup in 20 years." The stock has gained 3.4% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF has climbed 12.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 9.5%.


U.S. PPI data release delayed, as government website frozen

MarketWatch - 23hr

The U.S. producer price report for March, expected to be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, has been delayed as the government website for releasing the data has been frozen. The Bureau of Labor Statistics webpage said it is busy, and the bureau didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.


NIH recommends Lilly and Regeneron's combination antibody treatments to people with mild and moderate COVID-19

MarketWatch - 23hr

The National Institutes of Health on Thursday recommended that patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of worsening disease should be treated with monoclonal antibody cocktails. The recommendation was issued by the NIH's COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s casirivimab-imdevimab combination therapy and Eli Lilly & Co.'s bamlanivimab-etesevimab. (Prescribing bamlanivimab as a standalone treatment is no longer recommended because of its lack of efficacy against some of the new variants.) The panel said that in regions where variants are more common, it recommends using the Regeneron cocktail rather than the Lilly one, because it includes bamlanivimab. Lilly and Regeneron both received emergency authorizations for the first round of monoclonal antibody therapies in November; since then, both companies have released additional clinical-trial data and the authorizations for those products have been updated. Executives at both companies previously told MarketWatch that there has been slower-than-expected utilization of these therapies. Since the start of the year, Regeneron's stock is down 1.4%, shares of Lilly are up 8.1%, and the S&P 500 has rallied 8.%.


PriceSmart's stock set to fall after March sales update

MarketWatch - 23hr

Shares of PriceSmart Inc. was indicated down more than 2% in premarket trading Friday, after the membership-based retailer reported March same-store sales fell 5.9% from a year ago. The company noted that in March 2020, same-store sales had soared 15.7% as members stocked up amid uncertainties over the COVID-19 pandemic. Net sales for March 2021 rose 0.5% to $307.6 million. The one analyst that provided a net sales forecast to FactSet is expecting fiscal third-quarter sales of $819 million. The stock has slipped 2.9% over the past three months through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has soared 33.2% and the S&P 500 has gained 7.1%.


FuboTV stock bounces sharply after acquiring exclusive rights to World Cup 2022 CONMEBOL qualifiers

MarketWatch - 24hr

Shares of FuboTV Inc. surged 7.9% in premarket trading Friday, to bounce off a five-month low, after the live-sports streaming service said it has acquired the exclusive live streaming rights to the Qatar World Cup 2022 qualifying matches of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL). In an announcement late Thursday, the company said it will produce original programming to bolster its coverage of the World Cup qualifiers, including pre-, half-time and post-match shows. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The stock had tumbled 24.2% over the past three months, to close Thursday at the lowest price since Nov. 16, while the S&P 500 has gained 7.1% over the same time.


Cruise stocks are rallying, in wake of Florida suing CDC, HHS to restart operations

MarketWatch - 24hr

Shares of cruise operators rose in premarket trading Friday, as the industry continued to grapple with U.S. health authorities over how and when operations can resume. Carnival Corp.'s stock climbed 1.9%, Royal Caribbean Group shares gained 0.8% and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. advanced 1.1% ahead of the open, while futures for the S&P 500 edged up 0.2%. As the companies have urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to allow them to restart cruises from U.S. ports this summer, the state of Florida sued the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday to force the restart of cruises, which have been suspended for more than a year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Late Thursday, Royal Caribbean disclosed it was extending the suspension of all sailings from the U.S. until June 30, while saying it "strongly" believed that President Joe Biden's stated goal for society to reopen in time for Independence Day "is a realistic goal."


AT&T to record $2.8 billion gain on its pension obligations in the first quarter

MarketWatch - 1d

Shares of AT&T Inc. gained 0.2% in premarket trading Friday, after the media and telecommunications company disclosed that it will record a $2.8 billion pension-related gain in the first quarter. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, AT&T said due in part to recent restructuring actions, it expects total pension distributions to exceed the threshold of service and interest costs in 2021, which requires the company to remeasure its pension benefit obligation at the end of each quarter of 2021. The $2.8 billion non-cash gain it will record in the first quarter is mostly a result of an increase in the discount rate used to measure the obligation. The company is scheduled to report first-quarter results on April 22. The stock has gained 4.3% year to date through Thursday, while the SPDR Communication Services Select Sector ETF has run up 14.0% and the S&P 500 has advanced 9.1%.


Naked Brands stock soars after disclosing Ault Global owned a 6.4% stake

MarketWatch - 1d

Shares of Naked Brand Group Ltd. soared 20.0% in active premarket trading, after the New Zealand-based apparel and swimwear company disclosed that Ault Global Holdings Inc. owned more than 41.1 million share, or the 6.4% of the shares outstanding. With trading volume at 3.8 million shares, Naked Brand's stock was the most actively traded ahead of the open. The stock has been declining steadily since mid February, after being caught up in the trading frenzy surrounding so-called meme stocks in late January, which started with the stock soaring more than 250% on Jan. 28. Since closing on Feb. 11 at $1.56, the stock has tumbled 60.3% to close Thursday at 62 cents. Still, the stock has gained 224.7% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 9.1%.


Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 134 million and U.S. death toll above 560,000

MarketWatch - 1d

The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness rose above 134 million on Friday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose above 2.9 million. The U.S. continues to lead the world by cases, at 31 million, or about a quarter of the global tally, and fatalities, at 560,115. The U.S. added at least 81,303 new cases on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker, and at least 955 people died. The U.S. has averaged 66,118 cases a day for the last week, up 13% from the average two weeks ago, as cases continue to rise despite the vaccination program, a trend experts say is due to states reopening and dropping restrictions on movement and overall pandemic fatigue. The CDC's vaccine tracker is showing that as of Thursday, almost 20% of the population was fully vaccinated. The vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson will be in shorter supply in the U.S. next week after a batch had to be destroyed at a Baltimore plant run by Emergent Biosolutions Inc. , a contract manufacturer, after a snafu involving ingredients,the New York Times reported. Outside of the U.S., Brazil is second globally in cases at 13.3 million and also second with a death toll of 345,025. India is third worldwide in cases with 13 million and fourth in deaths at 167,642. Mexico is third by deaths at 206,146 and 14th highest by cases at 2.3 million. The U.K. has 4.4 million cases and 127,224 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world.


The9 issues nearly 271,000 ADS to buy bitcoin mining machines

MarketWatch - 1d

Shares of The9 Ltd. slipped 0.1% in premarket trading Friday, after the China-based internet company said it was issuing shares to buy 2,000 units of AvalonMiners bitcoin mining machines, with a total has rate of about 100PH/S. The company said it will issue 8.13 million ordinary shares, which is the equivalent of 270,913 American depositary shares, to the mining machine sellers at a price of $24.81, which was the closing price on Wednesday ahead of the signing of the memorandum of understanding. That values the ADS issued at $6.7 million. The9 also said it has completed the signing of agreements for 12,246 bitcoin mining machines with a total hash rate of 288PH/S. The company will issue the equivalent of 312,928 ADS to the mining machine sellers. The9's stock has rocketed 702.3% year to date through Thursday, while the iShares MSCI China ETF has tacked on 2.0% and the S&P 500 has gained 9.1%.


Levi Strauss Q1 sales, profit top views despite ongoing store closures

MarketWatch - 1d

Shares of Levi Strauss & Co. rallied more than 9% in the extended session Thursday after the retailer reported fiscal first-quarter earnings and sales that were above Wall Street expectations despite ongoing store closures due to the pandemic. The company also raised guidance for the first half of the year and said it was raising its dividend. Levi Strauss earned $143 million, or 35 cents a share, in the quarter ended February 2021. That compares with earnings of $153 million, or 37 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, Levi Strauss earned 34 cents a share. Sales fell 13% to $1.3 billion, mostly on lower foot traffic and ongoing closures for company and third-party stores, Levi Strauss said. The quarter also did not include Black Friday as the first quarter of 2020 did, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet expected the company to report adjusted earnings of 24 cents a share on sales of $1.25 billion. Levi Strauss called for sales growth between 24% and 25% for the first half of 2021, and raised its first-half adjusted EPS estimate to a range between 41 cents and 42 cents assuming "no significant worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic or dramatic incremental closure of global economies," it said. Levi Strauss increased the dividend, payable May 25, to 6 cents a share fr0m 4 cents a share. The stock ended the regular trading day up 2.3%.


Stocks close up, Nasdaq gains 1% as Powell stays dovish

MarketWatch - 1d

U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell calmed investor fears about higher inflation leading to central-bank tightening. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 56 points, 0.2%, to close near 33,502. The S&P 500 added 17 points, 0.4%, to close near 4,097, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 1%, 140 points, to touch 13,829. 10-year Treasury yields have stopped climbing higher, despite signs of a strengthening economy, Arone said. "That's given investors a bit of relief," he added and helped to boost technology stocks again. On Thursday, Powell repeated his belief that a rise in inflation this year would be temporary, keeping the Fed's easy-money policies in place for the near term.


U.S. oil prices post a modest loss as traders eye demand, U.S.-Iran nuclear deal developments

MarketWatch - 1d

U.S. oil futures finished modestly lower on Thursday, pressured as rising cases of COVID-19 threatened to slow global economies, and demand for energy. Traders also looked for any signs of progress toward a U.S.-Iran nuclear deal that would likely lead to more oil in the world market. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery fell by 17 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $59.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.