InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

4:57 pm Avanir Pharmaceuticals receives Complete Response Letter from FDA on AVP-825 (AVNR) : Co announced that the FDA has issued a Complete Response letter to its New Drug Application (:NDA) for AVP-825. AVP-825 is an investigational drug-device combination product consisting of low-dose sumatriptan powder delivered intranasally utilizing a novel Breath Powered delivery technology.

  • In the Complete Response letter, and consistent with the preliminary feedback announced on November 7, 2014, the FDA requested that Avanir assess the root cause(s) of device use errors observed in the previously conducted human factors testing. The goal of human factors testing is to evaluate use-related risks and confirm that users can use the device safely and effectively. A new human factors validation study will be required to assess usability of the device following improvements. The FDA did not find any clinical or non-clinical safety or efficacy issues nor chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) issues. The FDA did not request that any additional clinical trials be conducted prior to approval.
  • "We believe the concerns raised by the FDA are fully addressable," said Joao Siffert, MD, chief medical officer of Avanir. "Following the receipt of the preliminary feedback we have been working internally and with the FDA toward implementing changes prior to repeating the human factors study. Based on these conversations, we will conduct a new human factors study, with input from the FDA, with a goal to respond to the CRL in the first half of calendar 2015."

4:33 pm Peoples Fed Bancshares Inc stockholders approve merger with and into Independent Bank Corp (INDB) (PEOP) :  

4:31 pm American Realty Capital announced that its Board has not yet determined when the 2015 annual meeting of ARCP shareholders will be held (ARCP) : Therefore, the advance notice window for making proposals at the 2015 annual meeting of ARCP shareholders will not begin on November 30, 2014 as previously disclosed. ARCP will announce the date of the 2015 annual meeting of shareholders once it is determined and will provide ARCP shareholders with sufficient time to submit proposals and nominations for directors at the 2015 annual meeting of shareholders in accordance with ARCP's by-laws.

4:22 pm Affymax announced that its Board has adopted a Tax Benefit Preservation Plan, in an effort to preserve the value of its significant net operating loss carryforwards (AFFY) : The Company noted that the Rights Plan is designed to serve the interests of all stockholders by helping to protect the Company's ability to use its NOLs to offset future tax liabilities and is similar to plans adopted by other companies with significant tax attributes.

  • In connection with the adoption of the Rights Plan, on November 26, 2014, the Board declared a non-taxable dividend of one preferred share purchase right, or Right, for each outstanding share of common stock to the Company's stockholders of record as of the close of business on December 8, 2014.

4:16 pm Affymax announced that its Board has declared a special cash distribution to shareholders in the amount of $0.05 per share; also appointed Jonathan M. Couchman as a Class I director of the Company and as its President and CEO (AFFY) : The Board has appointed Jonathan M. Couchman as a Class I director of the Company and as its President and Chief Executive Officer, and the remaining members of the Board have resigned. The Company, under the leadership of Mr. Couchman, will continue its evaluation of strategic alternatives.

4:12 pm Mexco Energy announced the purchase of various royalty interests ranging from .0018% to 1.1% revenue interests at a price of $580,000 covering ~580 wells in 87 counties of eight states (MXC) : Approximately 90% of the net revenue from these royalties is produced by 157 wells located in the Barnett Shale of the Fort Worth Basin of Texas. Also included are interests in 423 wells in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas. Also, the co announced an increase in its participation in a horizontal well to be drilled to a depth of 11,100 feet in the third Bone Springs formation of Lea County, New Mexico from 1.5% to 2.8% working interest. The co's estimated cost increased from approximately $106,000 to $196,000. This well will be operated by XTO Energy, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

4:11 pm Itron announces it signed a contract with AES Eletropaulo, a Brazilian utility, for its OpenWay Riva solution (ITRI) : The complete solution will be comprised of Itron's OpenWay Riva-enabled meters, third party electricity meters and associated software applications.

4:10 pm Closing Market Summary: Stocks Advance Despite Disappointing Economic Data (:WRAPX) : The major averages ended the session near their best levels of the day with the Nasdaq Composite (+0.6%) finishing in the lead. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% to another record high while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) hovered near its flat line throughout the session.

Meanwhile, the benchmark index spent the day in a slow and steady advance despite a heavy batch of disappointing economic data that was reported this morning. The index did show some signs of defensive posturing as all four countercyclical sectors ended ahead of the market while cyclical sectors traded in mixed fashion.

The telecom services sector (+1.2%) finished in the lead after trending higher throughout the day, but more notably, the heavily-weighted health care sector (+0.7%) posted a solid gain with help from biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 303.87, +4.20) settled higher by 1.4% to extend this week's gain to 3.0%. Conversely, biotechnology helped the Nasdaq spend the day in the lead.

Although biotech provided a measure of support, the Nasdaq also drew significant strength from chipmakers after Analog Devices (ADI 54.56, +2.85) reported better than expected results. The stock spiked 5.5% while the PHLX Semiconductor Index jumped 2.1% with all but one component ending in the green.

The solid gains among chipmakers helped the technology sector (+0.9%) spend the day in a steady uptrend. However, the same could not be said for the remaining cyclical groups. Financials (+0.2%) held a slim gain throughout the day while consumer discretionary (unch), energy (-1.1%), industrials (-0.2%), and materials (+0.1%) lagged.

Notably, the energy sector widened its November loss to 2.8% as crude oil took another leg down, falling 0.5% to $73.75/bbl.

Treasuries spiked following today's data, but slipped into the close. The 10-yr yield ended lower by a basis point at 2.24%.

Intraday participation was well below average, but volume spiked into the close. As a result, just under 685 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Economic data was plentiful and almost entirely disappointing. Initial claims, durable orders ex-transportation, personal income/spending, Chicago PMI, Michigan Sentiment, and October pending/new home sales all missed expectations while headline durable orders beat:

  • Initial claims came in at 313,000 (Briefing.com consensus 288,000), which was above the revised prior week count of 292,000 (from 291,000) 
    • Continuing claims fell to 2.316 million from 2.330 million 
  • Durable goods orders increased 0.4% in October following an upwardly revised 0.9% (from -1.3%) decline (Briefing.com consensus -0.6%) 
    • A 45.3% increase in defense aircraft orders helped boost total aircraft demand by 8.7%. The gains in aircraft orders drove overall transportation orders up 3.4% after declining 3.3% in September 
    • Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.9% in October after increasing an upwardly revised 0.2% (from -0.2%) (consensus +0.5%) 
  • Personal income increased 0.2% for a second consecutive month in October (Briefing.com consensus +0.4%) 
    • Personal spending increased 0.2% in October after an upward revision resulted in no change (from -0.2%) in September (consensus +0.3%) 
  • The Chicago PMI for October fell to 60.8 from 66.2 (consensus 63.0) 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for November was revised down to 88.8 from 89.4 (consensus 90.0) 
  • Pending home sales for October fell 1.1% (expected +0.5%) 
  • New home sales increased 0.7% in October to 458,000 from a downwardly revised 455,000 (from 467,000) (consensus 470,000) 
  • The weekly MBA Mortgage Index fell 4.3% to follow last week's 4.9% increase 
Equity markets will be closed tomorrow and Friday's session will end early at 13:00 ET.

Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Nasdaq Composite +14.6% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +12.1% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +7.6% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +2.3% YTD

4:07 pm Kinder Morgan announced it has completed its acquisition of the outstanding equity securities of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (KMP), Kinder Morgan Management, LLC (KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. (EPB) (KMI) : "KMI projects a dividend of $2.00 per share for 2015, a 16 percent increase over the 2014 KMI dividend budget of $1.72 per share. The company expects to grow the dividend by approximately 10 percent each year from 2015 through 2020, while producing excess coverage of over $2 billion."

4:05 pm C&J Energy announced that it has begun soliciting alternative proposals to purchase the Co, or a controlling stake in the Co, that are superior to its proposed combination with Nabors' (NBR) completion and production services business (CJES) : The solicitation is being undertaken to comply with the written order entered late Tues, Nov 25, 2014, by the Delaware Chancery Court, following its bench ruling entered the previous day. The Co has engaged Morgan Stanley to assist in the solicitation.

4:03 pm Fannie Mae releases October 2014 monthly summary: Book of Business decreased at a compound annualized rate of 0.9% (FNMA) : Highlights:

  • Fannie Mae's Book of Business decreased at a compound annualized rate of 0.9 percent in October.
  • Fannie Mae's Gross Mortgage Portfolio declined at a compound annualized rate of 5.0 percent in October.
  • The Conventional Single-Family Serious Delinquency Rate fell four basis point to 1.92 percent in October; the Multifamily Serious Delinquency Rate fell three basis points to 0.06 percent in October.
  • The Effective Duration Gap on Fannie Mae's portfolio averaged zero months in October.
  • Fannie Mae completed 9,540 loan modifications in October for a total of 106,455 loan modifications in the ten months ended October 31, 2014.

4:02 pm Xinyuan Real Estate announced that it has recently acquired two land parcels in Wuqing District, Tianjin, through public auction (XIN) : Together, it offers a total site area of ~263,520 square meters. Xinyuan paid a total of RMB 317.6 mln (~$51.7 mln) for the land use rights. The Company plans to develop low-density residential apartments, condos and villas on this land.

4:01 pm King Digital: Gerhard Florin to succeed Melvyn Morris as Chairman of the Board of King (KING) : Co announced that Melvyn Morris has stepped down from the role of Chairman of the Board and will take a leave of absence for personal reasons with immediate effect. Gerhard Florin, who has served as a member of the BoD since Sept 2010 and is currently Chair of the co's Compensation Committee, has been named Chairman of the Board. He has spent over 20 years in the entertainment and gaming industry with Electronic Arts and BMG, in both executive and supervisory roles.

3:30 pm Earnings Calendar (:SUMRX) : Today after the close look for the following companies to report:

  • LEDS
Tomorrow the market is closed for Thanksgiving. Friday before the open no companies are scheduled to report earnings.

3:25 pm Late run to minor new session highs for Nasdaq Comp +23 and S&P +3.9, Dow -3 still struggling with flat line (:TECHX) :  

3:16 pm Medtronic confirmed the receipt of U.S. Federal Trade Commission clearance of it's proposed acquisition of Covidien (COV) (MDT) : The FTC's clearance follows Medtronic's and Covidien's agreement to a proposed consent order, which includes a commitment to divest certain assets related to Covidien's drug-coated balloon catheter product. Medtronic's acquisition of Covidien is expected to close in early 2015 after receipt of certain additional regulatory clearances and approvals by both companies' shareholders and sanction by the High Court of Ireland.

3:02 pm Energy price action; WTI crude ends below $74/share ahead of OPEC tomorrow (:COMDX) :

  • Crude oil fell $0.34 to $73.75/barrel
  • Natural gas fell 5 cents to $4.36/MMBtu
  • Heating oil fell 2 cents to $2.33/gallon
  • RBOB closed unchanged at $2.01/gallon

2:57 pm Agricultural price action (:COMDX) :

  • Corn closed unchanged at $3.75/bushel
  • Wheat rose 9 cents to $5.61/bushel
  • Soybeans fell 3 cents to $10.48/bushel
  • Ethanol rose 1 cent to $1.80/gallon
  • Sugar #11 rose 0.12 at 16.12 cents/gallon

2:47 pm Metals price action (:COMDX) :

  • Gold fell $0.50 to $1196.80/oz
  • Silver fell 2 cents to $16.53/oz
  • Copper closed unchanged at $2.96/lb

2:16 pm Manulife Financial raises preferred share offering to 10 mln shares from 8 mln non-cumulative Rate Reset Class 1 Shares Series 19 due to strong investor demand (MFC) :  

2:16 pm Weak Data Weighs on Greenback: 10Y: +06/32..2.240%..USD/JPY: 117.78..EUR/USD: 1.2512 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index drifts on session lows near 87.60. Click here to see a daily Dollar Index chart.
  • The Index was little changed into U.S. trade, but was pushed to these levels as U.S. economic data disappointed across the board.
  • EURUSD is +40 pips @ 1.2510 as buyers remain in control for a third session. A quiet day for news and data out of the region has kept participants focused on the weak U.S. data. Traders continue to watch the 1.2400/1.2600 area, which has bookended trade throughout the month of November. Eurozone data scheduled for tomorrow is heavy as M3 money supply, private loans, German preliminary CPI, German unemployment change, GfK German Consumer Climate, and Spanish Flash CPI are due out. 
  • GBPUSD is +90 pips @ 1.5795 as action presses to its best level in two weeks. Today's bid comes despite just an in-line GDP print (0.7% QoQ) and disappointing business investment and CBI Realized Sales figures. 
  • USDCHF is -35 pips @ .9605 as selling persists for a third day. Action remains tightly tied to the euro thanks to the Swiss National Bank's EURCHF1.20 floor. 
  • USDJPY is -20 pips @ 117.75 as trade lingers near seven-year highs. An uneventful session has seen action trapped in a tight 50 pip range. 
  • AUDUSD is +15 pips @ .8545 as trade rallied off 52-month lows. The hard currency was battered in early trade after construction work done fell short of estimates, but recovered after the weak U.S. data. Australia's private capital expenditures will be released tonight. 
  • USDCAD is -20 pips @ 1.1235 as action flirts with its lowest close of November. Support in the 1.1200/1.1250 area and the 50 dma (1.1228) remain under close watch. Canadian data scheduled for tomorrow is limited to current account balance.

2:13 pm Notable movers of interest (:SCANX) : The following are some of today's most notable movers of interest, categorized by market capitalization (large cap over $10 billion and mid cap between $2-10 billion) and ranked by % change (all stocks over 100K average daily volume).

Large Cap Gainers

  • BDX (140.91 +4.59%): Upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan; tgt raised to $160 from $134.
  • ADI (54.5 +5.4%): Beat Q4 consensus EPS estimates by $0.01, beat on revs; guided Q1 EPS in-line, revs in-line ; Tgt raise at RBC Capital Mkts.
  • MYL (58.62 +4.36%): Up following a note from Jefferies suggesting that MYL is the most likely takeover candidate for Pfizer (PFE).
Large Cap Losers
  • SDRL (16.23 -21.63%): Reported Q3 (Sep) results, beat on revs; slashed their dividend to focus on debt reduction.
  • AGU (96.51 -2.36%): Downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill.
  • EOG (94.14 -2.69%): Weakness in oil & gas companies as crude prices continue move lower ahead of tomorrow's OPEC meeting (COG & CHK also lower).
Mid Cap Gainers
  • VEEV (32.17 +11.55%): Beat Q3 consensus estimates by $0.01, beat on revs; guided Q4 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus; Tgt raised at JP Morgan.
  • ZAYO (26.71 +4.58%): Round of analyst initiations following the IPO; Initiated at Outperform at Raymond James, William Blair, Cowen, others.
  • GPRO (78.27 +4.77%): Reports out that the company is working on bringing a drone product to the market by the end of the year.
Mid Cap Losers
  • DO (32.31 -10.65%): Lower following the dividend cut from Seadrill (SDRL) and cautious analysts comments warning the dividend news could spread to other offshore drillers (RIG also lower).
  • CTRP (52.62 -9.99%): Beat Q3 consensus estimated by $0.04, beat on revs; guided Q4 revs below consensus; Downgraded at UBS, Barclays, others.
  • FMSA (11.69 -8.77%): Initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo; Frac sand plays lower following a downgrade to U.S. Silica (SLCA) from Outperform to Market Perform at Wells Fargo

2:04 pm Voltari announced that on Nov 19, 2014 it was notified by NASDAQ that, based on the Co's continued non-compliance with the stockholders' equity requirement for continued listing, its securities are subject to delisting (VLTC) : The Co's securities are subject to delisting from NASDAQ unless the Co timely requests a hearing before the Listing Qualifications Panel. The Co intends to timely request a hearing, at which the Co will present its plan to evidence and sustain compliance with all applicable requirements for continued listing on NASDAQ.

1:49 pm Dow +0.8 joins S&P +4 and leading Nasdaq Comp +22 in positive territory (:TECHX) :  

1:19 pm Slow climb to new high for Nasdaq Comp +20 with S&P +3.1 joining on this push -- Dow -10 (:TECHX) :  

1:18 pm Dominion expresses concerns about potential adverse impact on electric reliability and customer bills in comments filed with the EPA's 'Clean Power Plan' (D) : Co expressed concern about potential adverse impact on electric reliability and customer bills in comments filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the EPA's proposed "Clean Power Plan" regulations. The company also said some states -- such as Virginia and North Carolina -- are treated unfairly in the proposal because of the "greater and unreasonable" reductions required in carbon dioxide emissions rates relative to other nearby states. The proposed regulations could penalize states that already have reduced their carbon intensity, the company said.

1:01 pm Novatel Wireless and Serve Corner Globaltech announced a strategic distribution agreement that will expand the footprint of both companies in the Middle East (MIFI) : SCG will now offer the Novatel Wireless MiFi brand IoT portfolio of specialized and scalable telematics and telemetry solutions, including the MiFi Powered SA 2100 M2M LTE gateway series, throughout the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain.

12:57 pm Midday Market Summary: Nasdaq Leads (:WRAPX) : At midday, the major averages trade near their flat lines after spending the first half of action inside narrow ranges. The S&P 500 (+0.1%) currently hovers near the top of its four-point range while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.4%) outperforms.

This morning, investors received an avalanche of economic data with just about every report coming in below expectations. However, the market has been able to look past the disappointing economic news.

Countercyclical sectors are responsible for the bulk of the first half advance with all four defensively-oriented groups trading ahead of the broader market. The telecom services sector (+1.3%) has been rising steadily since the opening bell while the influential health care sector (+0.3%) has received support from biotechnology.

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 301.57, +1.90) has added 0.6% to extend its week-to-date advance to 2.2%. In turn, the outperformance of biotech has contributed to the relative strength of the Nasdaq.

Furthermore, the tech-heavy index has drawn strength from chipmakers. The PHLX Semiconductor Index trades up 1.5% with all but three components in the green. Analog Devices (ADI 54.58, +2.87) has been a standout performer, trading higher by 5.6% after beating earnings and revenue estimates.

Similar to chipmakers, the broader technology sector (+0.7%) has shown relative strength through the first half. However, top-weighted components are bit mixed with Apple (AAPL 118.62, +1.02) and Microsoft (MSFT 47.94, +0.47) holding gains while Google (GOOGL 547.15, -2.08), IBM (IBM 161.64, -0.12), and Visa (V 255.97, -1.29) lag.

Treasuries jumped in reaction to today's data and have held near their highs since the opening bell. The 10-yr yield is lower by two basis points at 2.24%.

Economic data was plentiful and almost entirely disappointing. Initial claims, durable orders ex-transportation, personal income/spending, Chicago PMI, Michigan Sentiment, and October pending/new home sales all missed expectations while headline durable orders beat:

  • Initial claims came in at 313,000 (Briefing.com consensus 288,000), which was above the revised prior week count of 292,000 (from 291,000) 
    • Continuing claims fell to 2.316 million from 2.330 million 
  • Durable goods orders increased 0.4% in October following an upwardly revised 0.9% (from -1.3%) decline (Briefing.com consensus -0.6%) 
    • A 45.3% increase in defense aircraft orders helped boost total aircraft demand by 8.7%. The gains in aircraft orders drove overall transportation orders up 3.4% after declining 3.3% in September 
    • Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.9% in October after increasing an upwardly revised 0.2% (from -0.2%) (consensus +0.5%) 
  • Personal income increased 0.2% for a second consecutive month in October (Briefing.com consensus +0.4%) 
    • Personal spending increased 0.2% in October after an upward revision resulted in no change (from -0.2%) in September (consensus +0.3%) 
  • The Chicago PMI for October fell to 60.8 from 66.2 (consensus 63.0) 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for November was revised down to 88.8 from 89.4 (consensus 90.0) 
  • Pending home sales for October fell 1.1% (expected +0.5%) 
  • New home sales increased 0.7% in October to 458,000 from a downwardly revised 455,000 (from 467,000) (consensus 470,000) 
  • The weekly MBA Mortgage Index fell 4.3% to follow last week's 4.9% increase

12:48 pm Offshore drillers under pressure on SDRL, NADL dividend cuts (RIG) : Offshore drillers are trading sharply lower today following dividend cuts from Seadrill (SDRL) and North Atlantic Drilling (NADL). SDRL's earnings were mixed, with disappointing EPS while revenues came in better than expected, but the biggest disappointment was SDRL completely slashing its dividend. While analysts had seen the possibility for a reduced dividend, the complete removal of the dividend was a negative surprise that is impacting the entire sector. Adding to the negative tone, NADL also announced a suspension of its regular dividend.

The offshore drillers are all lower on the day as a result, with most reaching new yearly lows in their stock prices: SDRL -22%, NADL -21%, Diamond Offshore (DO) -9%, Transocean (RIG) -7.5%, Ensco (ESV) -6%, Atwood Oceanics (ATW) -5%. The offshore drillers have been under heavy pressure in recent months as oil has dropped from $105/barrel to around $74 in just six months, making tomorrow's OPEC meeting one of the most significant meetings in many years. Offshore drillers have significantly underperformed the rest of the energy sector ahead of the sell-off in oil as the substantial increase in onshore oil production in the US has made offshore drilling less attractive.

Note that RIG is lower by 6% today and at current prices RIG now offers a 12.6% yield, compared to ESV at a 7.5% yield, ATW at a 2.6% yield and DO at 1.5%. For comparison, SDRL and NADL were yielding 19% and 28%, respectively, prior to today's dividend cuts.

Such a high yield for RIG may suggest that its dividend could also be at risk. While RIG did not adjust the dividend on its Nov. 9 earnings conference call, management did indicate the board will discuss the dividend ahead of their annual meeting in Spring of 2015, and noted that because they are a Swiss Corporation it is a decision of the shareholders and not solely up to management.  

12:10 pm S&P +2.2 puts together minor push to set a fractional new session high -- Dow -6.4, Nasdaq Comp +15 (:TECHX) :  

12:07 pm Forward Industries issues letter to shareholders reviewing 2014 activities (FORD) : The company notes that 2014 highlights include:

  • A dramatic turnaround in both revenue and operating cash flow 
  • The hiring of financial advisers to explore strategic alternatives including the sale of the existing operation and identifying accretive acquisitions 
  • Sharing a vision for creating shareholder value through transformative acquisitions and organic growth

11:58 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE: 0.0%
  • Germany's DAX: + 0.6%
  • France's CAC: -0.2%
  • Spain's IBEX: -0.5%
  • Portugal's PSI: -0.9%
  • Italy's MIB Index: -0.4%
  • Irish Ovrl Index: -1.0%
  • Greece ASE General Index: + 1.5%

11:42 am Outperforming Nasdaq Comp sets new multi-year high, Dow -16, S&P +1.8 (:TECHX) :  

11:37 am Dow -23 sets minor new session low (:TECHX) : The weakest components include: UTX -0.8%, DD -0.6%, AXP-0.5%, CVX-0.4%, CAT-0.4%, GS-0.4%, IBM -0.3%, PG -0.3%.

11:34 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (196) outpacing new lows (61) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAL, AAVL, ABAX, ABBV, ABC, ABMD, ACCO, ACE, ACT, AEC, AGIO, AIV, ALOT, AMAG, AMAT, AMBA, AMOT, AMT, ANAC, ARE, AVB, AVGO, AVNR, BAP, BBW, BDL, BDR, BDX, BFAM, BJRI, BNDX, BOOT, BRCM, BRK.A, BRK.B, BSET, BSF, BWS, CACI, CAF, CAH, CATO, CELG, CENX, CFA, CFN, CIM, CMN, COST, COTY, COV, CSCO, CSX, CTLT, CVA, CVTI, DBL, DDC, DFT, DIS, DLR, DPLO, DRH, DSPG, EAT, EEFT, EFX, ENH, ENL, EQIX, EQR, ERIE, ESRX, EXR, FAF, FEUZ, FFC, FFNW, FGL, FIS, FMS, FOLD, FTCS, FV, GGG, GGP, GTT, HA, HAIN, HBNK, HCN, HIW, HLT, HON, HPI, HPQ, HPS, HQH, HRG, HSIC, HSP, IDTI, IFN, INCR, INFY, INGR, INTC, IPXL, JBLU, JBSS, JCOM, JRS, KEYS, KNX, LBRDA, LBRDK, LBTYA, LBTYK, LEG, LFC, LQ, LRCX, MA, MACK, MGPI, MHFI, MIK, MKC.V, MMU, MNDO, MU, MYL, NFBK, NIE, NKTR, NVDA, OMER, ONEQ, OPLK, OVAS, PAYC, PDCO, PEP, PERY, PGRE, PLL, PMCS, PPS, PRE, PSCT, PSG, QQXT, QTEC, QTM, RBA, RENT, RFI, RFMD, RHP, RMAX, RT, RUK, SAGE, SBAC, SEIC, SHO, SSNC, ST, STK, STOR, SWKS, TASR, TBK, TCO, TFX, THG, TQNT, TQQQ, TRI, TSM, TSRA, TTWO, TXN, UNH, USAK, USCR, V, VAR, VEC, VR, VTAE, VTR, VWR, WFC, WY, XNPT

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: API, ATW, AVH, BIND, BLRX, BPZ, BRN, CSTM, CSUN, DATE, DCTH, DWSN, ECT, ESEA, EVGN, FES, FOXF, GER, GNBC, HAL, HERO, HNR, JMEI, KGJI, LPI, MCEP, MCP, MEMP, MIND, NADL, NBR, NCQ, NDRO, NSLP, NSPH, NSPR, OCIP, OKS, PHMD, PRSS, RFIL, RGDO, RIG, RIGP, RNO, RTGN, SALT, SDLP, SDRL, SOFO, SOL, SQQQ, SZYM, TOPS, VIEW, VJET, VRTA, WLL, WPRT, WRES, XNET

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: ICF, IGN, IHF, IHI, IYF, IYH, IYR, PPH, PSK, QQQ, SMH, SOXX, URE, UYG, XLK, XLV

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: BNO, FXA, OIL, USO, VXX

11:34 am Bristol-Myers announced that the FDA has issued a Complete Response Letter regarding the New Drug Application for daclatasvir (BMY) : The initial daclatasvir NDA submitted to the FDA focused on its use in combination with asunaprevir, an NS3/4A protease inhibitor. Given the withdrawal of asunaprevir by the co in October, the FDA is requesting additional data for daclatasvir in combination with other antiviral agents for the treatment of HCV. Bristol-Myers Squibb is in discussions with the FDA about the scope of these data.

11:24 am Nasdaq Comp +12.8 stalls at yesterday's multi-year peak at 4774.52 -- session high 4774.17 (:TECHX) : Dow -17 probing morning low, S&P +1 near mid-point of very tight range

10:31 am Jan crude oil shows very small pullback following storage data, now -0.5% at $73.70/barrel (:COMDX) :  

10:28 am S&P +2.2 lagging Nasdaq Comp +14 but sets fractional new high, Dow -12 remains in the red (:TECHX) :  

10:24 am Nasdaq Comp +14 notches new high (:TECHX) : The index continues outperform with it notching a new high of 4772.16 slightly under yesterday's multi-year high of 4774.52

10:05 am Dow -13 and S&P +06 continue to hover in lower end of their ranges, Nasdaq Comp +7 hovering a few points from its high (:TECHX) :  

9:53 am USGS reports 7.0 earthquake 150km NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia (IDX) :  

9:52 am Nasdaq Comp +10 continues to edge higher -- Dow -10, S&P +0.7 (:TECHX) : As noted at 9:40 Semi has been outperforming (ADI, AMAT, TXN, LLTC, ALTR, MCHP) along with Biotech IBB (MYL, VRTX, CELG, PRGO, AMGN). Energy XLE, Oil Service OIH, Materials XLB have been a drag this morning.

9:46 am Dow -15 and S&P +0.5 are hovering just above lows, Nasdaq Comp +8.6 is working higher (:TECHX) :  

9:46 am Opening Market Summary: Stocks Open Little Changed (:WRAPX) : The major averages began the session near their flat lines with six sectors showing early gains. The S&P 500 sits right on its flat line with countercyclical health care (+0.5%) and utilities (+0.5%) in the lead.

Similarly, the remaining two defensively-oriented groups also outperform with consumer staples up 0.2% and telecom services trading higher by 0.5%.

On the downside, energy (-1.2%) is under pressure once again as crude oil trades lower by 0.8% at $73.46/bbl. Meanwhile, the remaining groups trade closer to their flat lines.

Just released, the Chicago PMI for November fell to 60.8 from 66.2, while the Briefing.com consensus expected a decrease to 63.0.

9:42 am Oil Service HOLDRS Trust weakens in early action, edges under mid-month trading range low at 42.31 -- session low 42.12 (OIH) :  

9:40 am Relative sector strength (:TECHX) : Sectors displaying some relative strength in the early going include: Semi SMH (ADI, AMAT, TXN, LLTC, ALTR, MCHP), Utility XLU, trucking, Coal KOL, Health XLV, Biotech IBB (MYL, VRTX, CELG, PRGO, AMGN).

9:36 am Stock indices slip after steady to slightly firmer start -- Dow +1, S&P +0.7, Nasdaq Comp +1 (:TECHX) :  

9:16 am Blue Earth completed the sale of $10 mln of restricted common stock at $1.00 per share to Jackson Investment Group (BBLU) : The proceeds from the offering will be used to fund capital expenditures and other expenses in connection with the Company's CHP and solar projects and the balance for working capital purposes.

9:13 am Manulife Financial announces preferred share issue; Co announced a Canadian public offering of non-cumulative Rate Reset Class 1 Shares Series 19. Co will issue 8 mln Series 19 Preferred Shares priced at $25share to raise gross proceeds of $200 mln (MFC) : The offering will be underwritten by a syndicate of investment dealers co-led by Scotia Capital Inc., CIBC World Markets and RBC Capital Markets and is anticipated to qualify as Tier 1 capital for Manulife. The expected closing date for the offering is December 3, 2014

9:13 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Gramercy Property Trust (GPT) announced that it closed the acquisition of an approximately 204,000 square foot warehouse and distribution facility located in Morrow, Georgia. The property is 100% leased through December 2019 to a global sourcing company for stainless steel and alloy material. The property was acquired all-cash for a purchase price of approximately $7.0 million.
  • Diebold (DBD) and Banco del Pacific are advancing banking technology in the in South America by introducing cash recycling technology to Ecuador. The enhanced ATM reliability of cash recycling technology allows Banco del Pacifico to expand into underbanked regions by reducing the frequency and cost of cash-replenishment visits. 
  • Royal Philips (PHG) announced expanded availability of its portfolio of diagnostic X-ray solutions, including DuraDiagnost, DigitalDiagnost, MobileDiagnost wDR, MobileDiagnost Opta , ProGrade and PrimaryDiagnost. With new releases of several of these solutions now available in the U.S., and availability of all these solutions in new global markets, the portfolio offers Philips' customers innovative solutions designed to meet the needs and overcome the challenges of diagnostic X-ray environments across the world.
  • TransCanada Corporation (TRP) announced that its Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project received an Environmental Assessment Certificate from the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office, allowing the natural gas pipeline project to move ahead pending a final investment decision from PETRONAS and receipt of a construction permit from the B.C. Oil & Gas Commission.
  • Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced that ICE Endex achieved a record daily volume in TTF Natural Gas futures with 27,569 contracts traded on November 25, 2014. A new total daily volume record for Dutch Power futures across Dutch Power Baseload and Dutch Power Peakload was also reached, with 3,475 contracts traded on November 25, 2014.

9:11 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +4.70. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a subdued open with futures on the S&P 500 trading two points above fair value. Futures on the benchmark index held inside narrow ranges through the night before slipping to lows in recent action. The downtick in U.S. futures occurred as markets in Europe followed the same pattern, slipping to lows.

Equity indices have been range-bound since the start of the week and today's session is not expected to generate much more excitement. Things will be a bit busier on the economic front with four more reports expected on top of the four that have already been released.

Briefly, initial claims (313,000; Briefing.com consensus 288,000) missed expectations, while durable orders (+0.4%; consensus -0.6%) beat. However, ex-transportation, durable orders came in below expectations (-0.9%; consensus +0.5%). Similarly, Personal income (+0.2%; expected +0.4%) grew at a slower rate than expected, which was also the case with personal spending (+0.2%; consensus +0.3%).

Treasuries climbed to highs in reaction to the data before cutting their gains in half. The 10-yr yield is lower by a basis point at 2.25%.

The Chicago PMI for November will cross at 9:45 ET while the final reading of the Michigan Sentiment Survey for November will be released at 9:55 ET. October New and Pending Home Sales will be reported at 10:00 ET.

9:10 am Diana Containerships announces Direct Continuation of Time Charter Agreements for m/v Cap Domingo and m/v Cap Doukato; The gross charter rate will be US$9,900 per day (DCIX) :

  • Co announced that, through two separate wholly-owned subsidiaries, it has agreed to extend the present time charter contracts for two of its Panamax container vessels, the m/v Cap Domingo and the m/v Cap Doukato.
  • The charterers, Reederei Santa Containerschiffe GmbH & Co. KG, have agreed to novate each of the present time charter contracts to Rudolf A. Oetker KG.
  • The gross charter rate will be US$9,900 per day, minus a 3.75% commission paid to third parties for a period of 13 months (minus 30 plus 45 days) for m/v Cap Domingo and for a period of minimum 13 months to maximum 16 months for m/v Cap Doukato.
  • The new charter period for both vessels will commence on Dec 23, 2014.
  • The employments of the two aforementioned vessels are anticipated to generate ~US$7.43 mln of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the time charters.

9:08 am Oil prices are feeling pressure this morning after headlines report that Saudi Arabia is saying the oil market will stabilize, which seems to have come after meeting with Russia.... current talk indicates that a major change in OPEC output is not likely (:COMDX) : In current trade...

  • Jan WTI crude oil is -0.7% at $73.60/barrel
  • Brent crude oil -0.9% at $77.62/barrel

9:02 am Smith & Wesson announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Battenfeld Technologies, provider of hunting and shooting accessories for $130.5 mln; expected to be accretive to Smith & Wesson gross margins, EPS, and cash generated in fiscal 2016 (SWHC) : The purchase price for Battenfeld Technologies will be paid using existing cash balances and cash from a $100 million draw on Smith & Wesson's existing line of credit, which has been expanded to $125 million as a result of the company's partial exercise of the accordion feature on that line of credit. Battenfeld Technologies is being acquired from Clearview Capital, a private equity firm based in Connecticut.

  • Due to its anticipated timing, the transaction is expected to have nominal impact on Smith & Wesson's operational and financial results for the fiscal 2015 third quarter ending January 31, 2015. Without considering any revenue synergies, Smith & Wesson estimates that the acquisition will provide incremental revenue in its 2016 fiscal year in excess of $55 million and EBITDA margins on the incremental revenue in excess of 27%. The acquisition is also expected to be accretive to Smith & Wesson gross margins, earnings per share, and cash generated in fiscal 2016. Smith & Wesson will provide additional details and an update on the progress of the transaction during its fiscal second quarter earnings conference call, scheduled for December 4, 2014.

9:01 am American Homes 4 Rent announces home price appreciation amounts for its 5% series a, 5% series b and 5.5% series c participating preferred shares (AMH) : Co posted the revised 'Home Price Appreciation Factor' and 'Home Price Appreciation Amount' through September 30, 2014, as those terms are defined in the final prospectuses for the Company's 5% Series A, 5% Series B and 5.5% Series C Participating Preferred Shares.

9:00 am Principal Fincl announced the Board has elected Daniel Houston President and COO effective immediately (PFG) : Co announced the Board of Directors has elected Daniel Houston president and chief operating officer effective immediately. Houston joined the company in 1984 as a sales representative in the Dallas group and pension office.

9:00 am Boingo Wireless enters into new $50 mln credit agreement (WIFI) : Co announced the have entered into a new credit agreement, dated Nov 21, 2014. The $50 mln credit agreement, which includes a $46.5 mln revolving credit facility and a $3.5 mln term loan, has a term of four years. The facility will support the Co's future growth opportunities, working capital needs and other general corporate purposes. The Co also has the right to request an increase of the facility in an amount of up to an additional $40 mln.

8:58 am Brent crude oil and WTI crude oil selling off here, both sitting at 4-year lows ahead of weekly EIA inventory data/OPEC meeting tomorrow (:COMDX) :  

8:56 am WTI crude oil is selling off here ahead of EIA inventory data/OPEC, drops to a new LoD, now -1% at $73.35/barrel (:COMDX) :  

8:56 am S&P futures vs fair value: +2.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +7.70. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade three points above fair value.

Markets gained across most of Asia. Traders had to grapple with mixed comments out of Japan as BoJ member Sayuri Shirai suggested even more must be done to reach the central bank's 2.0% inflation target while former Finance Minister Eisuke Sakakibara, aka Mr. Yen, said the depreciation of the currency is near its end.

  • Economic data was limited: 
    • South Korea's Consumer Confidence slipped to 103 from 105 (expected 105) 
    • Singapore's Industrial Production rose 2.6% month-over-month (expected 3.4%; previous -2.9%) while the year-over-year reading inched up 0.2% (consensus 0.8%; last -1.0%) 
    • Australia's Construction Work Done fell 2.2% quarter-over-quarter (expected -1.7%; previous -1.2%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei shed 0.1%, but held near seven-year highs. Honda Motor lost 2.9% after admitting to underreporting vehicle defects. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.1% to a two-month high. Insurers saw strong gains as China Life and Ping An surged 7.2% and 3.7%, respectively. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite rallied 1.4% to a three-year high. Brokerage firm Huatai Securities gained the limit, 10%, in its first day of trading since November 14. 
  • India's Sensex added 0.2% to finish just shy of its all-time high. 
Major European indices have slipped from their highs with Spain's IBEX (-0.4%) showing the largest decline. ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said the central bank may begin buying sovereign bonds next quarter. The remark provided a small boost, but expectations for more immediate stimulus from the ECB have been on the rise since last Friday. The benchmark yields for Italy and Spain have declined one basis point to 2.11% and 1.91%, respectively.
  • In economic data: 
    • Germany's Import Price Index slipped 0.3% month-over-month, as expected, while the year-over-year reading decreased 1.2% (consensus -1.4%; last -1.6%) 
    • Great Britain's CBI Distributive Trades Survey fell to 27 from 31 (expected 28). Separately, Business Investment slipped 0.7% quarter-over-quarter (expected 2.3%; last 3.3%) while the year-over-year reading rose 6.3% (consensus 9.7%; previous 11.0%). Also of note Q3 GDP was left unrevised at 0.7% quarter-over-quarter, as expected 
    • French Consumer Confidence climbed to 87 from 85 (expected 86) 
    • Italy's Consumer Confidence slipped to 100.2 from 101.3 (consensus 101.6) 
------
  • Germany's DAX is higher by 0.3% with utilities in the lead. E.On has added 2.3% and RWE leads with a gain of 4.0%. HeidelbergCement is the weakest performer, down 0.6%. 
  • Great Britain's FTSE has returned to its flat line. Miners remain strong with Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, and Randgold Resources up between 1.2% and 4.2%. Discretionary names lag with TUI Travel and Persimmon down 1.4% and 0.9%, respectively. 
  • In France, the CAC is lower by 0.2%. Growth-sensitive names are under pressure with Technip, Lafarge, and Legrand down between 1.3% and 2.6%. GDF Suez outperforms with a gain of 0.9%. 
  • Spain's IBEX has given up 0.4% amid weakness in bank shares. Banco Popular, Banco Sabadell, Bankinter, and Caixabank are down between 1.1% and 1.8%.

8:55 am Stealthgas announced that its Board has approved a share repurchase program up to $10 mln of the Company's common stock; entered into a sale and leaseback agreement for one vessel in its fleet (GASS) : Shares may be purchased in open market or privately negotiated transactions, which may include derivative transactions, at times and prices that are considered to be appropriate by the Company, and the program may be discontinued at any time. 

  • The proceeds from the sale of the vessel are $14.2 million and net proceeds after debt repayment are ~$7 mln. The company will continue to operate the vessel and entered into agreement to bareboat charter back the same vessel for four years.
  • This co also announced the conclusion of nine charter arrangements; with these charters the company has increased the contracted revenues to ~$235 mln. Total voyage days of our fleet are 88 pct covered for the remainder of 2014, 60pct covered for 2015 and 31pct for 2016.

8:33 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +4.50. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade two points above fair value.

The latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 313,000 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 288,000. Today's tally was above the revised prior week count of 292,000 (from 291,000). As for continuing claims, they fell to 2.316 million from 2.330 million.

October durable goods orders rose 0.4%, which was better than the 0.6% decrease expected among economists polled by Briefing.com. This comes after the prior month's revised reading reflected a decline of 0.9% (from -1.3%). Excluding transportation, durable orders decreased 0.9% (consensus 0.5%) to follow the prior month's revised increase of 0.2% (from -0.2%).

October personal income increased 0.2%, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an uptick of 0.4%. Meanwhile, personal spending also increased 0.2%, while the consensus expected an increase of 0.3%.

Core PCE prices rose 0.2% while the Briefing.com consensus expected an uptick of 0.1%.

8:32 am Gold and silver spike higher, gold back into positive territory and silver back near today's higher following econ data, while dollar index drops to new low for today (:COMDX) :

  • Dec gold is now flat at $1197.10/oz
  • Dec silver +0.1% at $16.56/oz
  • Dollar index -0.2% at 87.76

8:32 am Aethlon Medical announced the first shipment of Hemopurifier therapy as a candidate to treat future Ebola virus infections in the United States (AEMD.OB) : The co disclosed that four Hemopurifiers have been shipped to the Biocontainment Unit at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha as a therapeutic option to be stockpiled for Ebola patients that may be treated at the NMC. Aethlon further disclosed that it has provided onsite training to NMC clinical personnel related to the implementation of Hemopurifier therapy within the dialysis infrastructure already located at the center.

8:31 am Market View: Dec. stock-index futures now trade near the pre-market lows following the 8:30 a.m. ET economic data points (:TECHX) :

  • ESz4 now trades @ 2066.50 -1.00

  • YMz4 now trades @ 17796 -12

  • NQz4 now trades @ 4292.50 +/- 0.00

8:30 am Two Harbors Investment announced that, effective Jan 1, 2015, Robert Rush will assume the role of the co's Chief Risk Officer (TWO) : Co announced that, effective Jan 1, 2015, Robert Rush will assume the role of the co's Chief Risk Officer. Paul Richardson, who has served as the co's CRO over the past several years, will remain in his role as Partner and CRO for Pine River Capital Management, the parent of the co's external manager. Mr. Rush has served as TWO's Managing Director, Risk Management, since Sept 2013. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Rush held a variety of positions at UBS AG in New York.

8:27 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Semtech (SMTC) announced the RClamp0531TQ, a high-performance, ultra-low capacitance transient voltage suppression device. The single-line, automotive-qualified RClamp0531TQ offers unparalleled low-clamping voltage performance, an essential requirement for safeguarding the sensitive electronics common in today's automotive infotainment and telematics systems. 
  • NCR Corporation (NCR) and National Payments Corporation of India announced the successful completion of the landmark Cheque Truncation System project in India. 
  • Globant (GLOB) announced that it has expanded its operations to Per by opening a new development center in Lima. These new offices allow Globant to expand its presence in Latin America to continue developing its customer portfolio, propel services provided to its clients, and decentralize opportunities for the talent of the region. 
  • ChinaNet Online Holdings (CNET) announced that it has launched a major update in content, functionality and format to its subsidiary website 28.com.
  • BRF (BRFS) inaugurated its first processed foods plant in the Middle East, the largest in the region. Approximately $160 million were invested in the construction of the unit, which is located in KIZAD's industrial district of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. The plant will produce processed foods; breaded products, hamburgers and pizzas, among other products.

8:25 am Destination Maternity announces agreement with Voce Capital; J. Daniel Plants, Managing Partner of Voce Capital Management LLC, has been appointed to the Company's Board (DEST) : Under the agreement, Voce Capital has agreed, among other things, to vote all of its shares in favor of each of the Board's nominees at the Company's 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. In addition, Voce Capital has agreed to certain other customary standstill provisions. Voce owns ~2% of the Company's outstanding shares.

8:24 am CHC Group announces cancellation of preferred-shares rights offering; Clayton, Dubilier & Rice to make additional $100 million preferred investment in CHC (HELI) :

  • Co announced that it has cancelled a rights offering of preferred shares in the company that had been made to existing shareholders. Completion of the rights offering to holders of CHC's ordinary shares was dependent upon receiving at least $50 mln in total demand from the company's shareholders. 
  • Because total commitments at the time of the offering's 5 p.m. EST Monday expiration were less than $50 mln, the rights offering will not be completed. 
  • Instead, consistent with terms of CHC's Aug. 21 private placement with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, CD&R will purchase all 100,000 preferred shares available in the rights offering for $100 mln. 
  • The purchase is in addition to 500,000 preferred shares previously acquired by CD&R for $500 mln, making CD&R's total investment in CHC $600 mln.

8:18 am European Markets Update: DAX +0.3%, FTSE +0.1%, CAC -0.1%, IBEX -0.4% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices have slipped from their highs with Spain's IBEX (-0.4%) showing the largest decline. ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said the central bank may begin buying sovereign bonds next quarter. The remark provided a small boost, but expectations for more immediate stimulus from the ECB have been on the rise since last Friday. The benchmark yields for Italy and Spain have declined one basis point to 2.11% and 1.91%, respectively.

  • In economic data: 
    • Germany's Import Price Index slipped 0.3% month-over-month, as expected, while the year-over-year reading decreased 1.2% (consensus -1.4%; last -1.6%) 
    • Great Britain's CBI Distributive Trades Survey fell to 27 from 31 (expected 28). Separately, Business Investment slipped 0.7% quarter-over-quarter (expected 2.3%; last 3.3%) while the year-over-year reading rose 6.3% (consensus 9.7%; previous 11.0%). Also of note Q3 GDP was left unrevised at 0.7% quarter-over-quarter, as expected
    • French Consumer Confidence climbed to 87 from 85 (expected 86) 
    • Italy's Consumer Confidence slipped to 100.2 from 101.3 (consensus 101.6) 
------
  • Germany's DAX is higher by 0.3% with utilities in the lead. E.On has added 2.3% and RWE leads with a gain of 4.0%. HeidelbergCement is the weakest performer, down 0.6%. 
  • Great Britain's FTSE has narrowed its gain to 0.1%. Miners remain strong with Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, and Randgold Resources up between 1.2% and 4.2%. Discretionary names lag with TUI Travel and Persimmon down 1.4% and 0.9%, respectively. 
  • In France, the CAC is lower by 0.1%. Growth-sensitive names are under pressure with Technip, Lafarge, and Legrand down between 1.3% and 2.6%. GDF Suez outperforms with a gain of 0.9%. 
  • Spain's IBEX has given up 0.4% amid weakness in bank shares. Banco Popular, Banco Sabadell, Bankinter, and Caixabank are down between 1.1% and 1.8%.

8:03 am Document Security Systems announced it filed a Notice of Appeal in its litigation with Coupons.com (COUP) (DSS) : On November 25, 2014, DSS provided notice of Appeal of the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

8:01 am Core Molding Technologies announces 11/14/2014 $50 mln mixed securities shelf has become effective (CMT) :


Deere beats by $0.26, beats on revs; guides Q1, FY15 below consensus 

8:01 am Bellatrix Exploration anounces lender approval of increase to its credit facilities to $725 mln from $625 mln (BXE) : Co announced its syndicate of lenders, led by National Bank Financial as Sole Lead Arranger and Book Runner and National Bank of Canada as Administrative Agent, has approved, subject to completion of final documentation, an increase to the Co's borrowing base and credit facilities to $725 mln from $625 mln. The increased credit facilities will be available to finance BXE's ongoing capital expenditures, working capital requirements, and for general corporate purposes.

8:00 am Oil prices up modestly ahead of OPEC tomorrow, dollar index just hit a new LoD; WTI crude oil is +0.1% at $74.13/barrel, Brent crude oil +0.1% at $78.37/barrel (:COMDX) :  

7:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: +2.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.50. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade little changed amid subdued action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover two points above fair value after maintaining a five-point range throughout the night. Outside of the jam-packed economic calendar, today's session is not expected to be particularly active with Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow and an abbreviated session on Friday.

Treasuries hover just below their flat lines with the 10-yr yield at 2.26%.

The weekly MBA Mortgage Index fell 4.3% to follow last week's 4.9% increase.

Weekly Initial Claims, October Durable Orders, and October Personal Income/Spending Data will be released at 8:30 ET while the Chicago PMI for November will cross at 9:45 ET. The final reading of the Michigan Sentiment Survey for November will be released at 9:55 ET while October New and Pending Home Sales will be reported at 10:00 ET.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Deere (DE 85.75, -2.04): -2.3% after its below-consensus guidance for fiscal year 2015 overshadowed better than expected results. 
  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ 37.12, -0.51): -1.4% after reporting a one-cent beat on below-consensus revenue. The company's Q1 earnings guidance was on the low end of expectations. 
  • ReneSola (SOL 1.88, -0.23): -10.9% after missing estimates. 
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mostly higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng +1.1%, China's Shanghai Composite +1.4%, and Japan's Nikkei -0.1% 
    • Economic data was limited: 
      • South Korea's Consumer Confidence slipped to 103 from 105 (expected 105) 
      • Singapore's Industrial Production rose 2.6% month-over-month (expected 3.4%; previous -2.9%) while the year-over-year reading inched up 0.2% (consensus 0.8%; last -1.0%) 
      • Australia's Construction Work Done fell 2.2% quarter-over-quarter (expected -1.7%; previous -1.2%) 
    • In news: 
      • Bank of Japan member Sayuri Shirai said she would like to see the central bank take its time in reaching the 2.0% inflation target in order to avoid hurting consumers
  • Major European indices trade in mixed fashion. Germany's DAX +0.5%, Great Britain's FTSE +0.1%, and France's CAC -0.1%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB +0.1% and Spain's IBEX -0.4% 
    • In economic data: 
      • Germany's Import Price Index slipped 0.3% month-over-month, as expected, while the year-over-year reading decreased 1.2% (consensus -1.4%; last -1.6%) 
      • Great Britain's CBI Distributive Trades Survey fell to 27 from 31 (expected 28). Separately, Business Investment slipped 0.7% quarter-over-quarter (expected 2.3%; last 3.3%) while the year-over-year reading rose 6.3% (consensus 9.7%; previous 11.0%). Also of note Q3 GDP was left unrevised at 0.7% quarter-over-quarter, as expected 
      • French Consumer Confidence climbed to 87 from 85 (expected 86) 
      • Italy's Consumer Confidence slipped to 100.2 from 101.3 (consensus 101.6) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said the central bank may begin buying sovereign bonds next quarter. The remark provided a measure of support, but expectations for more immediate stimulus from the ECB have been on the rise since last Friday. The benchmark yields for Italy and Spain have declined one basis point to 2.11% and 1.91%, respectively.

7:55 am Hingham Inst. for Savings declared its regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.28 per share and a special dividend of $1.00 per share (HIFS) : The dividends will be paid on January 21, 2015 to stockholders of record as of January 10, 2015.

7:46 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Merge Healthcare Incorporated (MRGE) announced a strategic partnership with Primordial Design, a leading provider of communication, workflow, quality management and analytics applications for radiology departments. Primordial will integrate its analytics suite, RadMetrix, with Merge PACS to provide real-time reporting and dashboards for radiology departments. This partnership will allow providers to adapt to increasing market consolidation and shifting payment models, while improving workflow and productivity.
  • Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology (HART) announced that it will no longer be providing its HART-Trachea product for future transplant procedures performed at Krasnodar, Russia as part of the ongoing airway transplant studies there. HART will continue to focus primarily on completing preclinical work necessary to initiate clinical trials for its HART-Trachea product in the EU and U.S. It has made recent progress in the U.S. and EU, including the granting of orphan designation by the FDA and a productive meeting with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the U.K. HART anticipates that during 2015 it will file its Investigational New Drug application to initiate a U.S. clinical trial and a Clinical Trial Authorization application to initiate an EU clinical trial.

7:33 am Mechel Steel extends the maturity of its loans from Uralsib Bank (MTL) : Metallurgical Plant OAO and Urals Stampings Plant OAO - signed agreements with Uralsib Bank for refinancing the loans earlier received from the bank totaling some 72 million US dollars.

  • According to the new agreements, Uralsib Bank will provide Beloretsk Metallurgical Plant OAO and Urals Stampings Plant OAO with new loans for an equivalent amount in rubles, which will mature in 2016.

7:31 am TASER announced the purchase of 623 AXON body-worn video cameras and a five-year subscription to Evidence.com by the Winston-Salem Police Department (TASR) : Co announced the purchase of 623 AXON body-worn video cameras and a five-year subscription to Evidence.com by the Winston-Salem Police Department. This order was received in the fourth quarter of 2014 and is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2014.

7:28 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -0.1%, Hang Seng +1.1%, Shanghai +1.4% (:SUMRX) :

  • Markets gained across much of Asia. 
  • Traders had to grapple with mixed comments out of Japan as BOJ member Shirai suggested even more must be done to reach the central bank's 2% inflation target and Fin Min Sakakibara, aka Mr. Yen, stated the depreciation of the currency is near its end. 
  • Data out of Australia remained weak as construction work done (-2.2% QoQ actual v. -1.7% QoQ expected) was the latest reading to miss estimates. 
  • Japan's Nikkei (-0.1%) held near seven-year highs. Honda Motor lost 2.9% after admitting it under reported vehicle defects. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.1%) climbed to a two-month high. Insurers saw strong gains as China Life and Ping An surged 7.2% and 3.7%, respectively. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite (+1.4%) rallied to a three-year high. Brokerage firm Huatai Securities gained the limit, 10%, in its first day of trading since November 14. 
  • India's Sensex (+0.2%) finished just shy of all-time highs. 
  • Australia's ASX (+1.2%) reclaimed the 50 dma as action continued to run off one-month lows. Miners firmed despite continued weakness in iron ore prices as BHP Billiton added 1.3% and Rio Tinto tacked on 1.7%. 
  • Regional Decliners: Vietnam -1.7%...Thailand -0.4%
  • Regional Advancers: South Korea UNCH...Taiwan +0.1%...Singapore +0.1%...Malaysia +0.2%...Indonesia +0.3%...Philippines +1.0%
  • Fx: USDCNY slipped to 6.1345...USDINR eased to 61.81...USDJPY -25 pips @ 117.70...AUDUSD -20 pips @ .8510

7:09 am Deere beats by $0.26, beats on revs; guides Q1, FY15 below consensus (DE) : Reports Q4 (Oct) earnings of $1.83 per share, $0.26 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.57; revenues fell 6.7% year/year to $8.04 bln vs the $7.6 bln consensus.

  • Sales included price realization of 1% for the quarter and 2% for the full year. Additionally, sales included an unfavorable currency-translation effect of 1% for the quarter.
  • Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada decreased 10% for the quarter; outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales were down 2% for the quarter. 
Company equipment sales are projected to decrease about 15% for fiscal 2015 (consensus -9%) and to be down about 21% YoY for Q1 vs. -9.3% consensus.
  • For fiscal 2015, net income attributable to Deere & Company is anticipated to be about $1.9 bln vs. estimates of ~$2.2 bln. 
  • "Even with a significant decline in sales and a continued pullback in the global agricultural sector, John Deere expects to remain solidly profitable in 2015," Allen said. "The company's earnings forecast reflects the impact of our efforts to establish a more resilient business model and it represents a level of performance much better than we've seen in prior downturns."

7:07 am Aussie Dollar Remains Weak: 10Y: +01/32..2.257%..USD/JPY: 117.78..EUR/USD: 1.2453 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index holds slim gains as trade flirts with the 88.00 level. 
  • The early bid has the greenback looking to reverse two days of losses. 
  • EURUSD is -25 pips @ 1.2445 as action presses session lows. Another quiet day for news and data from the region has kept trade in a 50 pip range. The 1.2400 support level remains key. 
  • GBPUSD is +30 pips @ 1.5735 as trade ticks to a two-week high. Sterling pressed to session lows near 1.5680 in response to the in-line Second Estimate GDP (0.7% QoQ) and preliminary business investment (-0.7% QoQ actual v. 2.3% QoQ expected) miss, but has seen an aggressive bid off the lows. Support in the 1.5600 area has withstood several tests over the past two weeks.
  • USDCHF is +20 pips @ .9660 as trade parallels moves in the euro. Traders continue to keep an eye on EURCHF, which has managed to tick back up to 1.2030 in recent days.
  • USDJPY is -20 pips @ 117.75 as sellers look to remain in control for a second session. Traders have had to grapple with comments from BOJ member Shirai suggesting even more must be done to reach the central bank's 2% inflation target and from Fin Min Sakakibara, aka Mr. Yen, stating the depreciation of the currency is near its end.
  • AUDUSD is -30 pips @ .8500 as sellers remain in control for a third session following the disappointing overnight reading on construction work done (-2.2% QoQ actual v. -1.7% QoQ expected). Support in the .8400 area dates back to the middle of 2009 and is in play. USDCNY slipped to 6.1345. Click here to see a daily AUDUSD chart.
  • USDCAD is +15 pips @ 1.1270 amid a quiet trade. The 50 dma helps support in the 1.1200/1.1250 area.

7:02 am Tessera Tech announced that a California state appellate court affirmed a lower court ruling denying a petition by Amkor Technology (:AKMR) (TSRA) : The petition from Amkor Technology (AKMR) was to correct an arbitration award that the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce issued in July 2012 in favor of Tessera in its contract dispute with Amkor. This award was the basis for the arbitrators' ultimate damages award that a California trial court recently confirmed in the amount of $128.3 million plus ongoing post-judgment interest in Tessera's favor.

7:00 am Vivus announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued two additional patents covering compositions of Qsymia (VVUS) : Co announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent Nos. 8,895,057, covering methods for effecting weight loss using Qsymia, and 8,895,058, covering compositions of Qsymia.

6:50 am Medley Management Correction: Co did not add lenders to its credit facility (MDLY) : Sierra Income Corporation announced the closing of an additional $25 million of commitments to its senior secured revolving credit facility. SIC Advisors LLC, an affiliate of Medley Management (MDLY) manages Sierra's investment activities.

6:41 am S&P futures vs fair value: +5.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +11.00. :

6:41 am European Markets : FTSE...6,745.66...+14.50...+0.20%.  DAX...9,927.44...+66.30...+0.70%.

6:41 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...17,383.58...-24.00...-0.10%.  Hang Seng...24,111.98...+268.10...+1.10%.

6:04 am Triangle Capital announced supplemental dividend; total Q4 dividends $0.59/share (TCAP) : Co announced that its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.54 per share. In addition to this regular quarterly dividend, Triangle will pay a supplemental dividend of $0.05 per share, bringing the total amount of dividends paid for the fourth quarter of 2014 to $0.59/share.

6:02 am Pacific Rubiales Energy announced that petrophysical logs and a wireline evaluation program has confirmed a 250 metre gross, 135 metre net oil column intersection in the Kangaroo-2 appraisal well (PEGFF) :

  • Co announced that petrophysical logs and a wireline evaluation program has confirmed a 250 metre gross, 135 metre (443 foot) net oil column intersection in the Kangaroo-2 appraisal well. 
  • The appraisal well was drilled in Block S-M-1165, approximately 300 metres up-dip from the Kangaroo-1 discovery well. The Company has a 35% participating interest in the wells and five surrounding blocks.

5:37 am Sears Hldg announces Sears and Kmart extend Cyber Monday to Seven Days of Deals (SHLD) : Sears and Kmart, two leading integrated retailers, have turned Cyber Monday into a weeklong savings event to make holiday shopping easier for Shop Your Way members and customers. Cyber Week deals start Sun. Nov 30 at 12:00 a.m. and run for seven days to Sat. Dec 6 at 11:59 p.m.

4:28 am Orange and Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY) are having exploratory discussions with BT to strengthen market position of EE (ORAN) : Deutsche Telekom AG and Orange SA, the joint shareholders of EE Ltd, regularly analyse the development of the market in which EE operates, evaluating various strategic options which have the potential to create value for EE's shareholders and strengthen the market position of EE. 

  • As one of these options, Deutsche Telekom AG and Orange SA are having  highly preliminary exploratory discussions with British Telecom,  although it is too early to state whether any transaction may occur.  Deutsche Telekom and Orange will make further announcements if and when  appropriate.

3:30 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Airtel has partnered with Ericsson (ERIC) to deliver a new, nationwide LTE 800 MHz network and to meet growing customer demand for mobile broadband services while delivering superior network performance. This is Airtel's first commercial LTE network in Africa. 
  • MetLife (MET), one of the largest life insurance companies in the world, through Sino US MetLife Insurance Company Limited, today announced a major milestone in its long-term strategy for China and Asia to provide digital end to end sales and service. 
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