InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

1:50 pm COMEX Metals Closing Prices (:COMDX) :

  • Dec gold fell $1.80 to $1295.00/oz
    • Gold traded below the $1300 level today as investors awaited the 14:00 ET release of the FOMC minutes from the July policy meeting. A stronger dollar index also weighed on prices. The yellow metal pulled back slightly from its session high of $1299 set in early morning action and dipped to a session low of $1293.40. It eventually settled with a 0.1% loss. 
  • Sep silver rose $0.08 to $19.50/oz 
    • Silver touched a session high of $19.58 shortly after equity markets opened but retreated to a session low of $19.45 as the session progressed. It chopped around near the $19.50 level in afternoon action and settled with a 0.4% gain. 
  • Sep copper rose 9 cents to $3.18/lb

1:48 pm Dollar Hits 11-Month High: 10-yr: -03/32..2.411%..USD/JPY: 103.36..EUR/USD: 1.3290 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index holds onto small gains near 82.05 as trade looks to put in its first close above 82.00 since September. Click here to see a daily Dollar Index chart.
  • Action has spent the entire U.S. session in a tight 10 cent range as traders await the FOMC minutes, which are due out at the top of the hour. 
  • EURUSD is -30 pips @ 1.3285 as trade presses to its lowest level in 11 months. The single currency has been under pressure since early-May as negative and slow growth environments plague much of the region and have some worried of a Japan-like stagnation. The 1.3200 support level will be monitored into Friday's Jackson Hole speech by ECB head Mario Draghi. Flash Manufacturing and Services PMI data from across the eurozone will be released tomorrow. 
  • GBPUSD is +5 pips @ 1.6620 after surrendering all of its early gains. Sterling surged to the 1.6680 level after the latest MPC votes indicated two members were in favor of a 25 bp rate hike at the August meeting; however, action was rejected at resistance and the 200 dma and has pushed lower over the course of the session. Britain's retail sales and public sector net borrowing are scheduled for tomorrow. 
  • USDCHF is +15 pips @ .9110 as action contends with its best close of 2014. A quiet day for news and data from Switzerland has left action at the mercy of the euro. Swiss data is limited to the trade balance. 
  • USDJPY is +45 pips @ 103.35 as trade rallies to its best level in more than four months. Fueling today's advance was the larger than trade balance miss, which marked the 40th consecutive month of a deficit. The 104.00 level will be key in the days ahead.
  • AUDUSD is +10 pips @ .9310 as trade recoups its early losses. The hard currency has seen a relatively uneventful trade despite overnight comments from RBA Governor Glenn Stevens indicating rates were likely to remain on hold for a while. Resistance in the .9340 area is guarded by the 100 dma. Australia's CB Leading Index is due out tonight. China's HSBC Final Manufacturing PMI will cross the wires this evening
  • USDCAD is +10 pips @ 1.0950 amid a mostly uneventful trade. A close above 1.0972 would mark the best since late-April.

1:35 pm Exelis awarded $517 mln U.S. Army information technology contract; fixed-price incentive award and includes the base year, plus four one-year options (XLS) : Co has been awarded a $517 mln contract for enterprise information management and information technology support services by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, Mississippi. The contract is a fixed-price incentive award and includes the base year, plus four one-year options that, if fully exercised, would extend the contract through August 2019.

12:59 pm Midday Market Summary: Market on Hold Ahead of FOMC Minutes (:WRAPX) : The stock market is little changed at midday with participants not showing much willingness to step in ahead of the 14:00 ET release of the FOMC minutes from the July policy meeting. The S&P 500 (+0.1%) sits just above its flat line with five sectors showing gains, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.2%) outperforms. Small-cap stocks have not been as fortunate with the Russell 2000 (-0.5%) spending the first half of action below its flat line.

Equity indices began the day with modest losses, but the Dow and S&P 500 returned to their flat lines during the first hour of action. The industrial sector (+0.8%) has fueled the early rebound, while the remaining nine hover much closer to their flat lines.

In large part, industrials have been supported by Dow components Boeing (BA 127.16, +1.58) and General Electric (GE 26.28, +0.23). The two names hold respective gains of 1.3% and 0.8%, while the PHLX Defense Index, which includes both names, trades up 0.7%. However, transport stocks have struggled to keep pace with the sector. The Dow Jones Transportation Average is higher by 0.6% with five of its 20 components showing losses.

Elsewhere, the consumer discretionary sector (+0.2%) also trades ahead of the broader market. A handful of retail earnings crossed the wires this morning, but the results have been somewhat mixed. American Eagle (AEO 12.60, +1.01), Lowe's (LOW 51.49, -0.03), and PetSmart (PETM 70.13, +0.43) all reported better than expected results, while Target (TGT 59.94, +0.69) and Staples (SPLS 11.29, -0.33) reported in-line, but issued cautious guidance.

Outside of the two groups, the financial sector (+0.2%) is the only other influential outperformer, while energy (-0.2%), health care (-0.1%), and technology (unch) weigh.

Treasuries hover near their lows with the 10-yr yield up one basis point at 2.41%.

Economic data was limited to the weekly MBA Mortgage Index, which rose 1.4% to follow last week's 2.7% decline.

12:56 pm S&P 500 sector leadership in industrials- XLI +0.90%, telecom- IYZ +0.25%, & consumer discretionary- XLY +0.25% moving through midday trading (SPY) :

  • SPX trades @ 1983.36 +1.76 (+0.09%)

12:34 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

  • ILMN (174.5 +2.35%): Upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush
  • GRMN (57.25 +2.03%): Co announced the fleet 660 and 670, two new fleet navigators that, "combine the simplicity of Garmin navigation with the unique customization options of Android"
  • CELG (92.88 +1.66%): Co and Bristol-Myers Squibb announced the establishment of a clinical trial collaboration to evaluate the a combination regimen of Bristol-Myers Squibb's investigational PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, OPDIVO (nivolumab), and Celgene's nab technology-based chemotherapy ABRAXANE in a Phase 1 study; multiple tumor types will be explored
Large Cap Losers
  • HTZ (28.53 -9.58%): Co disclosed it expects to be well below the low end of its previously provided guidance due to operatinal challenges; downgraded at Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan
  • CRH (23.1 -3.14%): Reported 1H EPS of EUR 0.061 vs EUR (0.078) in prior year; sales revenue increased by 4%; like-for-like sales up 5%
  • SLXP (158.49 -1.44%): Sell off following strong gains seen yesterday on reports that co is being pursued by Allergan (AGN)
Mid Cap Gainers
  • HAIN (96.27 +10.74%): Beat quarterly EPS by $0.01 ($0.90 vs $0.89 estimate), revs rose 26.0% yoy to $583.8 mln vs $577.73 mln estimate; sees FY15 EPS of $3.72-3.90 vs $3.73 estimate, revs of $2.725-2.80 bln vs $2.51 bln estimate
  • AEO (12.45 +7.42%): Beat quarterly EPS by $0.03 ($0.03 vs $0.00 estimate), revs fell 2.2% yoy to $711 mln vs $688.93 mln estimate; sees Q3 EPS of $0.17-0.19 vs $0.18 estimate
  • JBLU (12.76 +3.45%): Upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen, target raised to $15 from $10
Mid Cap Losers
  • YOKU (19.43 -9.71%): Missed quarterly EPS by $0.06 (-$0.07 vs -$0.01 estimate), revs rose 27.0% yoy to $154.54 mln vs $158.67 mln estimate; sees Q3 revs of RMB 1.09-1.13 bln vs ~RMB 1.15 bln estimate
  • IDXX (125 -2.94%): Hearing downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Northcoast
  • GTAT (17.9 -2.72%): Downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at Credit Agricole, target to $19 from $18

12:30 pm Sesa Sterlite: ASARCO obtained approval of order enjoining SSLT; turnover order requires SSLT to satisfy judgment in favor of ASARCO (SSLT) : On Aug 7, 2014, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas denied the request of Sesa Sterlite for an emergency stay of a turnover order issued by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

  • In 2012, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court awarded ASARCO $82.75 mln in damages as a result of SSLT's breach of a purchase agreement, but for more than two years, SSLT has refused to pay the judgment. The company's refusal led the bankruptcy court to issue a turnover order requiring Sesa Sterlite to turnover cash, assets and property sufficient to satisfy the judgment. The turnover order also prevents SSLT, and all persons acting in concert with SSLT, from transferring, concealing, or otherwise disposing of SSLT's property until further order of the bankruptcy court.
  • The turnover order also impacts SSLT's previously issued $500 mln in 4% Convertible Senior Notes in the U.S. debt market, which are scheduled to mature on Oct 30, 2014. If SSLT fails to pay the judgment to ASARCO by Oct 30, 2014, the turnover order prohibits and enjoins SSLT and those acting in concert with it from making or transferring principal and interest payments on the Notes.

12:25 pm South Jersey Inds subsidiary receives approval from NJBPU for the co's Storm Hardening and Reliability Program (SJI) : South Jersey Gas, subsidiary of SJI, received New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approval for the co's Storm Hardening and Reliability Program. With its SHARP program, SJG will invest $103.5 million over the next three years to enhance and protect its infrastructure in advance of future significant weather events.

12:23 pm TubeMogul partners with Integral Ad Science to provide TubeMogul's clients with independent, third-party viewability measurement and anti-fraud verification (TUBE) : Co and Integral Ad Science announced that they have partnered to provide TubeMogul's clients with independent, third-party viewability measurement and anti-fraud verification. Integral's TRAQ Video Score will provide an impression-level score based on brand safety, ad viewability, fraud, professionalism, and other video measurement metrics.

12:08 pm Intl Rectifier (halted) beats by $0.03, beats on revs; being acquired by Infineon for $40/share (IRF) : Reports Q4 (Jun) earnings of $0.30 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.27; revenues rose 7.7% year/year to $297.6 mln vs the $288.5 mln consensus. 

On August 20, 2014, IRF entered into a definitive agreement with Infineon Technologies AG under which Infineon has agreed to acquire International Rectifier for $40 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at ~$3.0 billion. In anticipation of this transaction which is expected to close late in the calendar year 2014 or early in the calendar year 2015 subject to regulatory approval, International Rectifier will not conduct a fourth quarter results conference call nor issue financial guidance for the upcoming quarter. International Rectifier is also discontinuing its share repurchase program.

12:06 pm Intl Rectifier (halted): Infineon (IFNNY) to acquire International Rectifier (IRF) for $40/share (IRF) : Infineon Technologies AG (IFNNY) and International Rectifier announced that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Infineon will acquire International Rectifier for $40 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at ~ $3 bln. By the integration of International Rectifier, Infineon complements its offerings and will be able to provide customers with an even broader range of innovative products and services. Infineon will also benefit significantly from greater economies of scale as well as a larger regional footprint.

  • Infineon will pay $40 per share in cash for all of IR's outstanding shares, representing a fully diluted enterprise value of ~ $2.4 bln. The transaction price represents a premium of ~ 48% over the average share price of IR during the last three months and a premium of ~ 51% over the closing share price of IR on Aug 19, 2014.
  • Infineon will fund the transaction using cash-on-hand and fully underwritten credit facilities of Euro 1.5 bln in total. Upon closing of the transaction, Infineon's capital structure should stay well within the previously communicated targets of 30-40% gross cash-to-revenue, no more than 2x gross debt-to-EBITDA and a positive net cash position.
  • Transaction expected to be accretive to pro-forma EPS within the first fiscal year of closing and margin contribution should be at least in line with Infineon's average-cycle target of 15 percent at the latest within the second full fiscal year after closing.

11:44 am Intl Rectifier: Follow-up on IRF halt (IRF) : If IRF ends up being the one acquired by Infineon (IFNNY), watch the others that were bid up on M&A speculation for potential reaction...

As mentioned earlier, Bloomberg reported that Infineon (IFNNY) is nearing a buyout of a U.S. semi co for around $2 billion. While no specific buyout candidate was named, several stocks in the space are moving higher in the wake of the reports. For those considering possibilities, the current market cap of the potential target may be lower than the $2 bln price range named in the reports, as an acquisition would most likely involve some sort of premium to current prices. Stocks in the semi space around that market cap that are seeing the most action this morning include the following:

  • Power Integrations (POWI traded up +10%); mkt cap $1.722 bln 
  • Semtech Corporation (SMTC +9%); mkt cap $1.57 bln 
  • Fairchild Semi (FCS +6%) mkt cap $1.92 bln 
  • Spansion (CODE +5%); mkt cap $1.18 bln 
  • Intersil Corporation (ISIL +3%); mkt cap $1.73 bln 
  • Others include: CY +1.8%, SEMI +1.4%, MPWR +1.3%, AMBA +1.3%, OVTI +1.3%, PMCS +0.7%, CRUS +0.6%, AEIS +0.6%, MCRL +0.5%, LSCC +0.3%, DIOD +0.2%, SLAB +0.1%, TSRA +0%, BRKS -0.2%, MTSI -0.2%, ENTG -0.3%, VECO -0.3%, CCMP -0.6%  
POWI, ISIL, SMTC, CODE are all pulling back already on the halt.

11:40 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (133) outpacing new lows (35) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAPL, ACHN, ACM, AGX, AKR, ARE, AVB, BBD, BLT, BMR, BRX, BXP, CAVM, CDW, CDZI, CELG, CENX, CM, CP, CPL, CTRN, CYBE, DDR, DKL, DLB, DLR, DRH, ECHO, ECL, EEQ, EFX, EIX, ENPH, EQR, EVEP, EW, EXAS, EXP, FCS, FDS, FFIV, FISV, FL, FOLD, FRF, FRP, FRT, FSI, GBX, GCO, GD, GGP, GILD, GLNG, GPRK, HD, HRB, IBN, IDTI, ITMN, ITUB, IVZ, JBLU, JBSS, KED, KMP, KMR, KRC, LEJU, LMT, LPL, LRAD, LUV, LYB, MATW, MCRL, MGA, MGPI, MNDL, MPWR, MSG, MUSA, NEU, ODFL, PEB, PFG, PHI, PKX, PLNR, RCL, RCMT, REG, REV, REX, ROP, RSG, RWC, SAVE, SCLN, SCOK, SERV, SIAL, SLI, SNCR, SRC, ST, SUSP, SVU, SWIR, SWKS, SXL, TPL, TRUE, TSRA, TTM, TWOU, UDR, UGI, UNP, URS, VOYA, WFBI, WLK, WM, WMS, WNR, WPX, WRB, WY, XRX, ZSPH, ZTS, ZUMZ

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ACY, ANGI, APO, AREX, CTG, CTIB, DWSN, EVOK, FWM, GIMO, IKAN, ISSC, KING, KIOR, KIPS, LDR, LPI, MDWD, NBY, PER, PERI, PLX, PULS, RITT, SDR, SDT, SUNS, SUTR, SYNC, TIGR, TRC, UUU, VIEW, VPCO, XXIA

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: AMJ, BKF, EPP, EWH, ICF, IWF, IYH, QQQ, TAO, VNQ, XLV, XLY

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: JJA, SMN

11:37 am Currency Commentary: DXY Tops 82 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index is testing the 82 level ahead of the release of FOMC minutes. Top Fed officials Janet Yellen and Stanley Fischer have provided a dovish front for the markets but there is belief that a lively debate on the timing of rate hikes within the Fed. This has some believing the minutes will be more hawkish then the headlines the market has been seeing. The DXY has crossed the 82 level for the first time since September 13 of last year. This was ahead of the Fed meeting in which most expected the QE taper to begin but were caught off guard when the Fed stood its ground.
  • The euro has slipped to its lowest level since last September. The single currency continues to move in an inverse correlation with the dollar as markets continue to see central bank policies diverge. 
  • The pound saw an early rally as the Bank of England released its latest minutes. In it two members (Weale and McCafferty) voted for a 25 bps rate hike. This marked the first time in three years the vote was not unanimous and of course the first time under Carney. This was expected so we are now seeing sterling give up some of those early gains.The pound has slipped back to 1.6640 against the dollar after rallying to 1.6670 in immediate reaction to the minutes news. 
  • The yen has fallen back below the 103 level for the first time since April 8. A risk on environment has led to selling in the yen as it breaks below its recent trading range. Aiding the move was a slightly better than expected trade deficit which will keep the Bank of Japan on its current monetary policy (FOREX, BONDX). 

11:35 am ZOOM Technologies trading halted, information requested from NASDAQ (ZOOM) :  

11:31 am Lannett has agreed to purchase ANDAs for Estradiol Tablets, USP, 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg, and Selegiline Hydrochloride Capsules 5 mg from Barr Labratories, a wholly owned subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA); LCI did not disclose the name of the seller nor the financial terms of the transaction (LCI) :  

11:17 am Sinclair Broadcast announces agreement to swap television stations with Media General (MEG) (SBGI) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the broadcast assets of one television station in Providence, RI owned by Media General (MEG), two television stations in Green Bay, WI owned by LIN Media (LIN), and one television station in Savannah, GA owned by WTGS Television, LLC and operated by LIN through a shared services arrangement. The three markets represent 1.2% of U.S. television households. Simultaneously, Sinclair will sell Media General the broadcast assets of three stations in two markets upon the completion of the LIN/Media General merger. The Company's previously announced sale of WHTM in Harrisburg is expected to close in September 2014. The combination of all stations being sold to Media General represents 1.9% of U.S. television households. In addition and as part of the transactions, Sinclair will pay a net cash price of $31.0 million for an additional $3.4 million of cash flow being swapped. In addition, the Company expects to generate an additional approximately $2.0 million of synergies on the acquired stations.

11:15 am Media General: Meredith (MDP) to purchase WALA-TV in Mobile-Pensacola from Media General for ~$86 mln; the acquisition of WALA is consistent with our successful Total Shareholder Return strategy and will be immediately accretive to earnings (MEG) : Meredith (MDP) announced a definitive agreement to purchase the broadcast assets of WALA-TV, the Fox affiliate in Mobile (AL)-Pensacola (FL), from Media General, Inc. for ~$86 mln subject to certain purchase price adjustments. The transaction will close when Media General's merger with LIN Media LLC and the sale of WALA to Meredith receive final regulatory approval.

  • "The acquisition of WALA is consistent with our successful Total Shareholder Return strategy and will be immediately accretive to earnings," said Meredith Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen M. Lacy. "This is a high-performing station that will add to our strong cash flow."
  • The acquisition of WALA is not expected to have a material effect on Meredith's fiscal 2015 first half financial performance. Meredith continues to expect fiscal 2015 first-quarter earnings per share to range from $0.60 to $0.65, compared to $0.53 in the prior-year period.

11:01 am Market View: Some sector ETF weakness in the metal miners- XME, & home-builders- XHB vs. SPX this morning (:TECHX) :

  • SPX now trades @ 1983.16 +1.56 (+0.08%)

10:44 am Bob Evans provides update on annual meeting; believes Board's nominees will constitute a majority of the Board (BOBE) :

  • Co announced that its 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders has concluded, polls have been closed and votes are being reviewed and tabulated by IVS Associates, the independent Inspector of Elections appointed for the Annual Meeting. 
  • While the proxies and ballots are still being tabulated, and the Inspector has not yet delivered a preliminary report, Bob Evans believes, based on the advice of its proxy solicitor, that the co's nominees will constitute a majority of the Board. The co will wait to receive the Inspector's preliminary report before making any further statements about the vote, and will file the results on Form 8-K when they become available.

10:32 am Oct crude oil inches slightly lower on inventory data; now up 0.5% at $93.35 (:COMDX) :  

10:18 am Market View: Industrials extend 1st hour leadership as the DIA moves to new session highs; DJIA now @ 16928 +8.6pts. (:TECHX) :  

10:07 am Lannett comments on utilization of Digoxin; does not expect prescriptions of Digoxin to be significantly impacted by the findings of the JACC study (LCI) : Co commented on the utilization of Digoxin, following a recently published abstract in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which suggested a potential increased risk of mortality in patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation. The abstract was based on data of the TREAT-AF study from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system.

  • "Digoxin has long been an important treatment option for cardiovascular disease," said Arthur Bedrosian, president and chief executive officer of Lannett. "As with most medications, we believe medical care providers will continue to prescribe Digoxin unless a more effective alternative medication is available."
The company said it does not expect prescriptions of Digoxin to be significantly impacted by the findings of the JACC study. Digoxin currently represents less than 10% of the co's net revenues.

10:02 am Roche Hldg's Ventana Medical Systems announced that its VENTANA System for Primary Diagnosis has been CE marked in the European Union for routine pathology, including primary diagnosis with human tissue specimens (RHHBY) : The system, consisting of VENTANA Virtuoso software coupled with either the VENTANA iScan Coreo or the VENTANA iScan HT slide scanner, provides automated digital slide creation, case management and computer viewing of human tissue specimens.

9:46 am Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund: XLI +0.60% with early SPX sector ETF leadership & out-performance (XLI) :

  • SPX @ 1979.68 -1.92

9:39 am Bob Evans: Sandell receives clear mandate for change from shareholders of BOBE; majority of Sandell's slate elected to BOBE Board of Directors (BOBE) : Sandell Asset Management, one of the largest shareholders of BOBE, announced that no less than five of Sandell's eight nominees have been elected to the Bob Evans Board of Directors, according to preliminary estimates by Sandell's proxy solicitor of the voting results at today's Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The final voting results may show additional Sandell nominees have been added.

9:38 am Opening Market Summary: Russell 2000 Leads Opening Retreat (:WRAPX) : The major averages slipped out of the gate with the Russell 2000 leading the initial retreat. The small-cap index is lower by 0.6%, while the S&P 500 trades down 0.1% with eight sectors showing losses.

So far, the energy sector (-0.4%) is the weakest performer, while the health care space (-0.3%) also sits near the bottom of the leaderboard. Outside of the two sectors, the remaining groups hover closer to their respective flat lines.

On the upside, the industrial space (+0.3%) outperforms amid with Dow component Boeing (BA 126.12, +0.54) trading higher by 0.4%.

Treasuries remain in the red with the 10-yr yield up one basis point at 2.41%.

9:31 am Barnes & Noble and Samsung (SSNLF) introduce new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK; now available in more than 660 BKS bookstores and online for $179 after a $20 instant rebate (BKS) : Samsung Electronics America (SSNLF) and NOOK Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, announced the introduction of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK, a 7-inch tablet combining Samsung's technology and NOOK's content and reading experience. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK is now available in more than 660 Barnes & Noble bookstores and online for $179 after a $20 instant rebate, and includes more than $200 in free content from the NOOK Store including books, TV shows, magazines and more.

9:24 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • ViaSat (VSAT) will offer Exede high-speed satellite internet plans that provide households across Florida with virtually unlimited data usage for communications, web browsing, and streaming media.
  • OpenText (OTEX) announced the launch of eDOCS DM 10, the latest version of its Document Management solution for the legal market.
  • RiT Technologies (RITT) announced it has supplied the communications network for Moscow's Spartak Stadium, which is a technological cutting edge stadium that will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
  • Harris (HRS) has received Type-1 National Security Agency certification for its Falcon III RF-340M multi-channel manpack radio.
  • Red Hat (RHT) announced Open Virtual Appliance for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, enabling organizations with VMware-based infrastructures to easily and rapidly deploy and evaluate Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform for proof of concept deployments.
  • The MLS Solutions division of Black Knight Financial Services, a Fidelity National Financial (FNF) company, announced that Central Mississippi MLS, Inc., which serves 1,500 real estate professionals in the Mississippi area, has signed a multi-year agreement to implement Paragon MLS as its new multiple listing service (:MLS) system.
  • Audience (ADNC) announced that ZTE (ZTCOF) has selected the Audience eS704 Advanced Voice processor for its new Star 1 smartphone.
  • TripCase from Sabre (SABR) announced its integration with the new Uber API in its mobile travel management application.
  • Nuvilex (NVLX) announced that studies are underway at Translational Drug Development's facilities in Scottsdale, Arizona, to determine if Nuvilex's unique cancer treatment can slow the accumulation of fluid, known as "malignant ascites," in the abdomen that is characteristic of the growth of many abdominal tumors.
  • United Airlines (UAL) became the first airline to offer customers Uber transportation services via its mobile app.
  • Hyatt Hotels (H) announced a new feature on Hyatt's revamped iOS and Android app that makes it easier for guests to get from their current location to their Hyatt hotel.

9:18 am Caterpillar releases July 3-month rolling period sales (CAT) : In this report co is providing information by geographic region for retail sales of machines in each of its Resource Industries and Construction Industries reportable segments, as well as information regarding total retail sales of its machines globally. For its Energy & Transportation reportable segment, co is providing retail sales information by major end use.

Retail Sales of Machines by geographic region for the 3-month rolling period ended as of the month indicated compared with the same period of the prior year:

  • Asia Pacific -29%
  • EAME -16%
  • Latin America -23%
  • North America +11%
  • World -9% (-10% in June)
Energy & Transportation Retail Sales by industry for the 3-month rolling period ended as of the month indicated compared with the same period of the prior year:
  • Power Gen -16%
  • Industrial +5%
  • Transportation -17%
  • Oil and gas +6%
  • Total -5% (-10% in June)

9:16 am Cloud Peak Energy announces termination of tax receivable agreement with Rio Tinto (RIO) (CLD) : Co announced it has agreed to pay $45 mln to Rio Tinto (RIO) to terminate the Tax Receivable Agreement ("TRA") that was established at the time of Cloud Peak Energy's IPO in 2009.

  • Under the acceleration and release agreement with Rio Tinto, this payment settles all future liabilities that would have been owed under the TRA. At June 30, 2014, Cloud Peak Energy carried an undiscounted liability of $103 mln in respect of its estimated future obligations under the TRA and anticipated making cash payments of ~ $14 mln each year in 2014 and 2015 and additional payments in some subsequent years. 
  • The settlement will result in a non-cash gain during the third quarter of ~ $58 mln before tax and ~ $37 mln after adjustments to the associated deferred tax assets. 
  • Cloud Peak Energy retains the deferred tax assets related to the step up in tax basis as a result of Rio Tinto's disposal of the business. As such, Cloud Peak Energy will continue to benefit from increased tax depreciation and does not expect any increase in cash income taxes payable as a result of this transaction.

9:12 am S&P futures vs fair value: -3.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -5.80. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a lower start as futures on the S&P 500 trade three points below fair value. Index futures spent the night in negative territory and made a brief appearance in the green during the past hour before returning into the middle of the overnight range.

In general, the weakness has coincided with losses among European indices as markets in France, Germany, and the UK sit on their lows. Furthermore, the cautious sentiment has translated into a bid for safety that has sent Germany's 10-yr yield back below the 1.00% mark. Currently, the 10-yr bund yield is lower by two basis points at 0.98%.

Domestically, Treasuries hold modest losses after spending the majority of the night in the red. The 10-yr yield is higher by one basis point at 2.41%.

On the corporate front, Hertz (HTZ 27.98, -3.58) is indicated to open lower by 11.6% after saying it expects to report earnings well below its 2014 guidance, which was withdrawn. Separately, Target (TGT 58.16, -1.09) holds a pre-market loss of 1.8% after reporting in-line results and issuing cautious guidance.

The FOMC will release the minutes from its latest policy meeting at 14:00 ET.

9:09 am Star Bulk Carriers beats by $0.08, beats on revs (SBLK) : Reports Q3 (Jul) earnings of $0.10 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.08 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.02; revenues rose 42.4% year/year to $24.7 mln vs the $20.9 mln consensus.

  • For the second quarter of 2014, total voyage revenues amounted to $23.7 mln compared to $17.1 mln for the second quarter of 2013.
  • This increase is mainly attributed to the increase of the average number of vessels to 17 in the second quarter of 2014 from 13.1 vessels in Q2 of 2013.
  • Co owned and operated an average of 17.0 and 13.1 vessels during Q2 of 2014 and 2013 respectively, which earned an average Time Charter Equivalent, or TCE daily rate of $14,018 and $14,273, respectively.
  • Average daily operating expenses per vessel for the second quarter of 2014 were $5,208 versus $5,664 during the second quarter of 2014, representing an 8% reduction

9:08 am Vringo intends to seek en banc review of decision in I/P Engine case (VRNG) :

  • Co announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary I/P Engine intends to file a petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit seeking en banc review of the split appellate decision in its case against AOL (AOL), Google (GOOG) et al. that issued on Aug 15, 2014 and reversed the judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. 
  • Under the Federal Circuit's rules, I/P Engine's petition for en banc review is due on Sep 15, 2014. I/P Engine has filed an unopposed motion seeking a 30-day extension, which would make its petition due Oct 15, 2014. Upon receiving the requested extension, I/P Engine may file the petition on or anytime prior to Oct 15, 2014.

9:01 am SandRidge Energy announces executive management changes; David Lawler, EVP & COO resigning (SD) : Co announced David Lawler, it's Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer has resigned. He will remain engaged in his current role through September 3rd to ensure a smooth transition. 

  • Craig Johnson, Senior Vice President of Development for Oklahoma, has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Operations.
  • The company has initiated a search for a new Chief Operating Officer.

9:01 am Eaton Vance beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (EV) : Reports Q3 (Jul) earnings of $0.63 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.62; revenues rose 4.9% year/year to $367.6 mln vs the $365.16 mln consensus. 

  • Consolidated assets under management were $288.2 billion on July 31, 2014, an increase of 7 percent from the $268.8 billion of managed assets on July 31, 2013 and an increase of 1 percent from the $285.9 billion of managed assets on April 30, 2014.

9:01 am Elecsys announes 40% expansion to its production facility (ESYS) : The co announced a planned expansion to its Olathe, Kansas production facility.

  • The project will expand the company's production facility by over 40% to a total of 85,000 sq ft. and should provide additional capacity to accommodate the projected growth of the company's business over the next several years. 
  • The facility expansion will be constructed with anticipated completion of the additional space in Summer 2015. 

8:59 am Miller Energy Resources announces public offering of Series D Preferred Stock (MILL) : Co announced that it has commenced a new underwritten public offering of its 10.5% Series D Fixed Rate/Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock.

  • MLV & Co. LLC and Maxim Group are acting as Joint Book-Running Managers for the offering. Aegis Capital Corp., Ladenburg Thalmann, National Securities Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Holdings, and Northland Capital Markets are acting as Co-Managers. 
  • The co intends to use the net proceeds, if any, from the offering for general corporate purposes. 
  • The Series D Preferred Stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange LLC under the symbol "MILLprD."

8:56 am S&P futures vs fair value: -3.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -5.80. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade three points below fair value.

Markets finished mixed across Asia. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens testified in front of the House of Representatives' Standing Committee on Economics and noted rates are likely to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.

  • In economic data: 
    • Japan's trade deficit narrowed to JPY1.02 trillion from JPY1.07 trillion (expected deficit of JPY770 billion) as imports rose 2.3% (consensus -1.7%) and exports increased 3.9% (forecast 3.8%). Separately, All Industries Activity Index slipped 0.4% month-over-month (consensus -0.2%; prior 0.6%) 
    • Australia's MI Leading Index ticked down 0.1% month-over-month (prior 0.1%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei registered a fractional gain as trade ticked higher for an eighth session. Heavyweights Softbank and KDDI Corp. provided support as both added 1.0%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2%, finishing at its best level since May 2008. Bank of China HK jumped 3.6% following its earnings beat. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite shed 0.2%, slipping from eight-month highs. Real estate shares were pressured with Vanke and Poly Real Estate down 2.0% and 1.1%, respectively.
Major European indices hover in the red. The Bank of England released the minutes from its latest meeting, which revealed a split vote in favor of continuing on the current course. Seven members voted to keep current policy intact, while Martin Weale and Ian McCafferty voted in favor of hiking the benchmark rate by 25 basis points. This represented the first dissent in more than three years.
  • Economic data was limited: 
    • Germany's PPI ticked down 0.1% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior 0.0%), while the year-over-year reading fell 0.8% (consensus -0.7%; last -0.7%) 
    • Great Britain's CBI Industrial Trends Orders jumped to 11 from 2 (expected 4) 
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.5% amid broad weakness. Homebuilders are among the weakest performers with Barratt Developments and Persimmon both down near 2.1%. Royal Mail outperforms with a solid gain of 1.9%. 
  • In France, the CAC holds a loss of 0.7%. Consumer and telecom names underperform with Carrefour, Kering, Orange, and Vivendi down between 1.0% and 1.4%. Publicis Groupe is the top performer, up 0.6%. 
  • Germany's DAX trades down 0.8% with 26 of 30 components showing losses. Infineon Technologies and Continental are among the weakest performers with losses close to 2.0% apiece. Deutsche Boerse outperforms with an increase of 0.8%.

8:55 am Diana Shipping announces delivery of the newly built Capesize dry bulk carrier M/V G. P. Zafirakis (DSX) :

  • Co announced that, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, it has taken delivery of the m/v "G. P. Zafirakis", a 179,492 dwt newly built Capesize dry bulk vessel that the co entered into an agreement to purchase in June 2014. The m/v "G. P. Zafirakis" is time chartered to RWE Supply & Trading GmbH, Essen, Germany, at a gross charter rate of $25,250 per day, minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a period ending on minimum Feb 14, 2016 to maximum Jun 24, 2016. The charter is expected to commence on Aug 24, 2014.
  • Also, co announced that, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, it has entered into a time charter contract with RWE Supply & Trading GmbH, Essen, Germany, for one of its Kamsarmax dry bulk vessels, the m/v "Maia". The gross charter rate is $12,000 per day minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a period of minimum 12 months to maximum 16 months. Due to scheduled maintenance, the charter is expected to commence by the end of Sep 2014.

8:51 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • CommVault (CVLT) announced new Simpana cloud management capabilities and Simpana Solution Sets designed to transform how companies of all sizes protect, manage and maximize the value of business information amidst a rising tide of data and compliance requirements.
  • Gramercy Property Trust (GPT) announced that it closed the acquisition of an ~187K square foot cold storage facility and dry warehouse located in Arlington Heights, Illinois. 
  • CounterPath (CPAH) announced that a major supplier of networking equipment and solutions has signed a definitive agreement with the company to market and sell CounterPath's OTT communications solutions to operators worldwide. 
  • Iron Mountain Incorporated (IRM) published its first sustainability and corporate responsibility report. 

8:48 am Orbit Int'l receives orders totaling ~ $770,000 (ORBT) : The co announced that its Power and Electronics Groups received follow-on orders totaling approximately $770,000. 

  • $550,000 for a COTS power supply used in a U.S. Naval anti-submarine and anti-ship surveillance and targeting system. Deliveries are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2015 and be completed in the third quarter of 2015. 
  • $220,000 for its MK 110 Signal Data Converter from a U.S Naval Procurement Agency with a delivery due by the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • Additional orders for the remainder of this contract could total approximately $2,750,000 over the next four years.

8:47 am LIN Media and Media General (MEG) announce amendment to merger agreement; merger consideration for each LIN Media common share will now be either $25.97 in cash or 1.4714 shares of the new holding co, subject to proration (LIN) : Co and Media General (MEG) announced an amendment to their merger agreement for their strategic business combination originally announced on March 21, 2014. Both companies reaffirmed their commitment to the business combination and have demonstrated substantial progress to obtaining all required regulatory approvals. As a result of the amended merger agreement, today's special shareholder meetings for both cos will be convened and then adjourned to Oct 6, 2014 to give shareholders time to review the new terms.

  • The Boards of Directors of both cos unanimously approved the amendment to the merger agreement and continue to recommend approval of the transaction. 
  • The amendment to the merger agreement follows an announcement made that there will be an affiliation change to one of LIN Media's television stations. The merger consideration for each LIN Media common share will now be either $25.97 in cash or 1.4714 shares of the new holding co, subject to proration. 
  • The maximum cash amount that will be paid to the LIN shareholders remains $763 mln. 
  • MEG shareholders will continue to receive one share of the new holding co for each share of Media General that they own upon closing. 
  • In addition, the amendment to the merger agreement, among other things, eliminates MEG's termination right for regulatory actions and divestitures that are expected to result in a reduction of LIN Media's annual broadcast cash flow in excess of $5 mln and clarifies that the affiliation change and changes in certain fees under certain network affiliation agreements are industry changes not taken into account with respect to certain closing conditions. 
  • It is anticipated that, upon the closing of the transaction, MEG's former shareholders will own ~ 67%, and LIN's former shareholders will own ~ 33% of the fully-diluted shares of the new holding co.

8:43 am Evans Bancorp (thinly traded) increases quarterly dividend by 9.7% to $0.34 per share from $0.31 per share (EVBN) :  

8:39 am NQ Mobile: China Telecom (CHA) adopts NQ Mobile vLife technology for mobile cloud platform (NQ) : Co announced a partnership with China Telecom (CHA) that will bring NQ Mobile's vLife technology to China Telecom's "E Surfing" product. Under terms of the agreement, vLife will power the user interface for the mobile cloud platform, enabling China Telecom to present dynamic content, recommendations and promotions across video wallpapers, lock screen wallpapers and theme galleries.

8:39 am Revolution Lighting entered into three year loan and security agreement with Bank of America (RVLT) : The agreement allows Revolution Lighting to borrow up to $25 million on a revolving basis.

8:37 am European Markets Update: FTSE -0.5%, CAC -0.7%, DAX -0.8% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices hover in the red. The Bank of England released the minutes from its latest meeting, which revealed a split vote in favor of continuing on the current course. Seven members voted to keep current policy intact, while Martin Weale and Ian McCafferty voted in favor of hiking the benchmark rate by 25 basis points. This represented the first dissent in more than three years.

  • Economic data was limited: 
    • Germany's PPI ticked down 0.1% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior 0.0%), while the year-over-year reading fell 0.8% (consensus -0.7%; last -0.7%) 
    • Great Britain's CBI Industrial Trends Orders jumped to 11 from 2 (expected 4) 
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.5% amid broad weakness. Homebuilders are among the weakest performers with Barratt Developments and Persimmon both down near 2.1%. Royal Mail outperforms with a solid gain of 1.9%. 
  • In France, the CAC holds a loss of 0.7%. Consumer and telecom names underperform with Carrefour, Kering, Orange, and Vivendi down between 1.0% and 1.4%. Publicis Groupe is the top performer, up 0.6%. 
  • Germany's DAX trades down 0.8% with 26 of 30 components showing losses. Infineon Technologies and Continental are among the weakest performers with losses close to 2.0% apiece. Deutsche Boerse outperforms with an increase of 0.8%.

8:34 am CBS Outdoor Americas announced that it satisfied the regulatory approval closing condition with respect to the Co's previously announced acquisition of certain outdoor advertising businesses from Van Wagner Communications, LLC (CBSO) :  

8:34 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down 
In reaction to disapointing earnings/guidance
: RGSE -14.9%, LEJU -9.3%, YOKU -8.2%, TEDU -7.4%, JASO -7.4%, LZB -3.9%, SJM -3.3%, LOW -3.2%, CRH -2%, TGT -1.5%, MBT -1%,.

Select EU related names showing strength: PT -1.6%, ALU -1.2%, MT -1.1%, TEF -1%, SAN -1%, TEF -1%, DB -0.8%.

Select solar names trading lower in sympathy with JASO earnings: TSL -2.7%, YGE -1.3%, JKS -1.2%, SPWR -1%, CSIQ -0.4%.

Other news: NBY -32.8% (announces its NVC-422 ophthalmic formulation did not meet the primary or secondary endpoints in a Phase 2 clinical study in patients with adenoviral conjunctivitis), JRJC -7.3% (still checking), LOCO -2.3% (cont weakness), BUD -1.3% (following Carlsberg/Heineken earnings overseas), RDS.A -1% (still checking), ABB -0.9% (divesting business unit).

Analyst comments: RBC -1% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow), THOR -0.9% (target lowered to $28 at WallachBeth).

8:33 am Macy's reaches agreement with New York State Attorney General on racial profiling allegations; settled in principle various lawsuits related to these allegations (M) : The co announced it has reached resolution with the New York State Office of the Attorney General related to allegations of racial profiling in our stores in New York and also have settled in principle various lawsuits related to those allegations.

8:29 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: AEO +11.7%, ZPIN +10.2%, LITB +6.1%, HAIN +4.1%, GLOG +3.6%, EJ +3.5%, EJ +3.5%, SPLS +3.3%, PETM +3.2%, EV +1.7%,.

M&A news: FCS +3.9% (reports Infineon (IFNNY) may be looking to acquire US co, no company mentioned),TMUS +0.7% (Iliad SA (ILIAY) seeks help to make another TMUS bid, according to NYPost).

Select metals/mining stocks trading higher: BHP +1.2%, GFI +1.2%, HK +1.1%, RIO +0.9%.

Other news: FOLD +20.4% (announces positive Phase 3 data From Fabry Monotherapy study),DGLY +12.3% (DGLY says inquiries regarding its FirstVU HD body camera increased dramatically during past week in response to civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri),PETM +3.2% (announced acquisition of Pet360; announced exploration of strategic alternatives; co also reported earnings),CVV +3.2% (co receives an order in excess of $2.75 mln from a major aviation component supplier to design and build a CVD system for coating fiber),LRAD +3.1% (may be body camera related play, TASR and DGLY have also made notable upside moves recently),EXXI +2.5% (positve commentary on Mad Money),SEAS +2.2% (PETA confirms additional share purchases in hopes 'to propose shareholder resolutions and submit formal shareholder questions'),YUME +2.1% (Zhengxu He discloses 5.2% passive stake in 13G filing; director of co also disclosed purchase of 20k shares),ZUMZ +1.8% (AEO peer),FFIC +1.8% (announced 1 mln share stock repurchase program),ANF +1.6% (AEO peer),SAVE +1.6% (positve commentary on Mad Money),GNC +1.3% (director disclosed purchase of 30k shares),ACHN +1% (granted U.S. patent for ACH-3102 and structurally related NS5A inhibitors; patent term to last until 2032),NOK +0.9% (Michael Halbherr to step down as CEO of HERE and as a member of the Nokia Group Leadership Team ),CELG +0.7% (Celgene and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) enter clinical collaboration agreement to evaluate immunotherapy and chemotherapy combination regimen),WPX +0.6% (positve commentary on Mad Money),DAL +0.5% (positve commentary on Mad Money),HA +0.4% (positve commentary on Mad Money).

Analyst comments: TNP +2% (upgraded to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley),CMCM +1.7% (target raised to $30 at Oppenheimer),JBLU +1.4% (upgraded to Outperform from Mkt Perform at Cowen),DNKN +1.2% (upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays ),PNRA +0.9% (upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays),ILMN +0.9% (upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush).

8:28 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Broadcom (BRCM) announced that Netatmo has selected the Broadcom Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices Wi-Fi technology to enable its smartphone-controlled thermostat by French designer Philippe Starck.
  • Atlatsa Resources (ATL) announced that Bokoni Platinum Mines Limited has reached a two-year wage agreement with its recognised labour union bodies, the National Union of Mineworkers, Togetherness Amalgamated Workers Union of South Africa and United Association of South Africa in relation to their respective members employed at the Bokoni Mine.
  • VeriFone Systems (PAY) announced plans to expand its taxi and media services to Istanbul and throughout Mexico's Mayan Riviera.
  • GE Healthcare Life Sciences, a unit of GE (GE) announced that it will open a new 160,000 square-foot facility in Marlborough, Massachusetts, as the new headquarters for its US operations. 
  • Hertz (HTZ) has recently renewed its agreement with its franchise partner Paragon Car Rental which has been operating Hertz in Thailand since 2003.
  • Micron Technology (MU) and Inspur Group today announced that Micron's 8Gb DDR3 SDRAM components will be used in a wide range of Inspur's computing products.
  • Palo Alto Networks (PANW) and Westcon Group announced that the companies have expanded their global distribution agreement.
  • Trovagene (TROV) announced that results from two clinical studies will be presented at the 29th International Papillomavirus conference for the co's urine-based diagnostic test for the detection of high risk strains of Human Papillomavirus. 
  • Citrix (CTXS) announced customers who are empowering a mobile workforce with Citrix Workspace Suite, which unites its market-leading virtualization, mobility, networking and cloud services technologies to make it even easier for people to work anywhere.
  • Citrix (CTXS) also announced strong growth and market momentum for its enterprise mobility business, with nearly 100 percent revenue growth in the first half of 2014. 

8:28 am S&P futures vs fair value: -4.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -7.80. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures remain below their flat lines, which has been the case through the course of the night. If the current indication holds, the S&P 500 will take a step back after climbing 1.4% during the first two sessions of the week.

There was no market-moving data released this morning, but the FOMC will reveal the minutes from its latest policy meeting at 14:00 ET. Due to the afternoon release, it would not be a surprise to see equity indices respect narrow ranges ahead of the minutes.

On the corporate front, Hertz (HTZ 27.50, -4.06) is indicated to open lower by 12.9% after saying it expects to report earnings well below its 2014 guidance, which was withdrawn.

8:16 am Miller Energy Resources announces updated reserve report; total proved reserve PV-10 increased from $361 mln on April 30, 2014 to $448 mln on July 31, 2014 (MILL) : Co announced a substantial increase in the estimated value of its reserves located in the Cook Inlet area of Alaska as determined by Ryder Scott, an independent petroleum reserves engineering consulting firm, in a recently issued reserve report commissioned by the co.

  • Total Proved Developed PV-10 $271.5 mln vs $264.6 mln on April 30, 2014
  • Total Proved Developed MBOE 6.4 vs 6.1 on April 30, 2014 
  • Total Proved PV-10 $447.6 mln vs $360.9 mln at Apr 30, 2014
  • Total Proved MBOE 11.7 vs 10.5 on April 30, 2014

8:08 am Target reports EPS in-line, revs/comps in-line; guides Q3 EPS below consensus; guides FY15 EPS below consensus (TGT) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.78 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.78; revenues rose 1.7% year/year to $17.41 bln vs the $17.38 bln consensus. TGT  reports Q2 US comps flat vs 0-2% prior guidance and flat estimate. 

Co guided for EPS of ~$0.78 vs. the $0.91 consensus on Aug 5.

  • US: In second quarter 2014, sales increased 0.7 percent to $17.0 billion from $16.8 billion last year, reflecting the contribution from new stores and flat comparable sales. Segment earnings before interest expense and income taxes (:EBIT) were $1,160 million in second quarter 2014, a decrease of 12.8 percent from $1,330
  • Canada: Second quarter Canadian Segment sales increased 63.1 percent to $449 million from $275 million last year, reflecting the contribution from new stores partially offset by an 11.4 percent decline in comparable sales. million in 2013.
Co issues downside guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.40-0.50, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.66 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

Co issues downside guidance for FY15, lowers EPS to $3.10-3.30, excluding non-recurring items, from $3.60-3.90 vs. $3.46 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

"While results from the quarter didn't meet our expectations, we are seeing some early signs of progress as we work to improve results in the U.S. and Canada," said John Mulligan, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Target Corporation. "In the U.S., traffic trends continue to recover and monthly sales are improving, with July comparable sales up more than 1 percent. Better U.S. sales have continued into August, driven by early back-to-school results. In Canada, the team is making important changes to operations and the merchandise assortment with a focus on delivering improved results by this holiday season." 

8:08 am American Eagle beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides Q3 EPS in-line; Q2 comps -7% vs HSD decline guidance and -8% estimate (AEO) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.03 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.00); revenues fell 2.2% year/year to $711 mln vs the $688.93 mln consensus.

  • Q2 comps -7% vs HSD decline guidance and -8% estimate 
  • Q2 gross profit rate 33.4% vs ~32% estimate; gross margin reflected the de-leverage of buying, occupancy and warehousing costs on negative comparable sales, which was largely offset by favorability in merchandise and design costs and a slight improvement in the markdown rate.
  • Operating income decreased 59% to $12 mln; operating margin decreased 240bps to 1.7%
Co issues in-line guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.17-0.19 vs. $0.18 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate based on expectation for Q3 comps mid single-digit decline vs -3.7% estimate

8:07 am Ener-Core names Domonic J. Carney as Chief Financial Officer (ENCR) : Co announced it named Domonic J. Carney as its chief financial officer. Beginning on August 25, Carney will oversee Ener-Core's finance, accounting, and investor relations responsibilities and will report to CEO Alain Castro.

8:07 am Pernix Therapeutics closes acquisition of Treximet, raises $220 mln senior notes and issues updated 2014 guidance (PTX) :

  • Co has closed its acquisition of Treximet for the acute treatment of migraine attacks with or without aura in adults. Pernix first announced its agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to acquire the U.S rights to Treximet on May 14. 
  • With the addition of Treximet Pernix estimates FY 2014 revenue to be in the range of $110 -120 mln (vs $107.6 mln consensus) with Adjusted EBITDA of $22 -24 mln. Pernix estimates FY 2015 revenue will be ~$230 mln (vs $221.7 mln consensus) with Adjusted EBITDA of ~ $95 million.

8:04 am Atossa Genetics announces submission of additional information to the FDA in support of 510(k) for the ForeCYTE Breast Aspirator (ATOS) : Co announced that it has submitted additional information to the FDA in response to the FDA's Feb 21, 2014 request. The information was provided in support of co's 510(k) submission for the ForeCYTE Breast Aspirator. The response includes, among other things:

  • Data from an IRB-approved, prospective, single-arm, multi-laboratory, non-randomized, non-masked clinical trial in adult women using the ForeCYTE Breast Aspirator for the collection, fixation, transport, and processing of NAF specimens for laboratory cytological testing at multiple, independent CLIA-registered laboratories. 
  • A study of the concordance of positive and negative control Reference Panel Specimens with a blinded cytological interpretation when the specimens were processed and read at multiple, independent laboratories. 
  • Study data to establish shelf life information and document shipping stability under adverse conditions of the ForeCYTE Breast Aspirator. 
Based on the information provided to the FDA, co expects that the FDA will finalize their review process, which may include requests for additional information, and will either clear co's 510(k) submission or provide a "not substantially equivalent" decision on Atossa's 510(k) submission.

8:04 am Fortune Brands Home & Security: Ply Gem Industries (PGEM) to acquire Simonton Windows from FBHS (FBHS) : Co announced it has signed an agreement to sell Simonton Windows to Ply Gem Holdings, Inc. (PGEM), for approximately $130 million, or roughly 10 times 2014 EBITDA.

  • The Simonton sale is expected to reduce FBHS's  second half 2014 earnings per share from continuing operations by 2 to 4 cents. 
  • The transaction's closing is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to occur in October.

8:04 am United Tech licenses machining optimization technology to CGTech (UTX) :

  • Co has executed a licensing agreement with CGTech, a specialist in computer numerical control (CNC) simulation software for manufacturing, that will help improve productivity for machining equipment operators.
  • The agreement allows CGTech to integrate UTC's PromptFMTM machining process optimization technology within CGTech's VERICUT cutting process simulation software.
  • The licensing agreement will enable the development of a software product that is capable of reducing development time, cycle times and process variation, and enabling longer machine life and improved part quality.
  • The terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

8:03 am Atlatsa Resources announces wage agreement at Bokoni Mine (ATL) : Co announced that Bokoni Platinum Mines has reached a two-year wage agreement with its recognised labour union bodies, the National Union of Mineworkers, Togetherness Amalgamated Workers Union of South Africa and United Association of South Africa in relation to their respective members employed at the Bokoni Mine. The agreement is effective from 1 July 2014 until 30 June 2016, and will be applied to all employees within the respective bargaining and operational units at Bokoni Mine.

8:03 am AES sells 100% of its equity interests in 87.5 MW of operating wind projects in the UK for $160 mln (AES) : The co announced today that it has entered into an agreement with SYND Holdco Limited, a joint venture of Greencoat UK Wind PLC and Swiss Life Funds Global Infrastructure Opportunities S.C.A. to sell 100% of its equity interests in four operating wind projects in the United Kingdom, totaling 87.5 MW, for $160 million.

  • These projects were expected to contribute approximately $10 million to AES' Net Income (after tax) in 2015. 
  • As a result of the transaction, a total of $134 million in non-recourse debt on AES' Balance Sheet as of June 30, 2014 will be removed. 
  • The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

8:01 am Alnylam receives notice of allowance from USPTO for new patent broadly covering RNAi-mediating double-stranded molecules comprising up to 25 base pairs (ALNY) : Co announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for claims in the Tuschl et al. patent application, which includes newly allowed claims directed to compositions that mediate RNAi, and comprising a double-stranded molecule with up to 25 base pairs and at least one nucleotide analogue.

  • Specifically, the newly allowed patent application broadly covers small interfering RNA molecules of various designs, including so-called dicer substrate RNAi triggers and double-stranded, RNAi-mediating molecules containing moieties that include unlocked nucleobase analogs amongst other naturally or non-naturally occurring nucleotide analogues.
  • The co will be providing an update on their ALN-AAT program, an RNAi therapeutic targeting alpha-1 antitrypsin for the treatment of liver disease associated with AAT deficiency, in an online RNAi Roundtable to be held today at 12:30 p.m. ET

8:01 am Institutional Financial Mkts to sell its European operations for $8.7 mln (IFMI) : Co announces that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its European operations to C&Co Europe Acquisition LLC, an entity controlled by Daniel G. Cohen, President and Chief Executive of IFMI's European operations and Vice Chairman of IFMI's Board of Directors, for approximately $8.7 mln. The transaction was unanimously approved by IFMI's Board of Directors (with Mr. Cohen abstaining) following the recommendation of the Special Committee, which is comprised of three disinterested directors.

8:01 am POZEN announces U.S. rights For TREXIMET have been acquired by Pernix Therapeutics (PTX) (POZN) : Co announced that the acquisition of all of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) rights to Treximet have been acquired by Pernix Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. (PTX). 

  • The previously announced transaction was contingent upon Pernix securing financing, which is now complete. 
  • As part of the divestiture, GSK has assigned the Product Development and Commercialization Agreement between POZEN and GSK to Pernix, and POZEN and Pernix have amended the agreement to address rights of the parties and future development.
  • Pernix will continue certain of GSK's ongoing development activities and undertake certain new activities, for which POZEN will provide reasonable assistance. 
  • In addition, any restrictions on POZEN's right to develop and commercialize additional certain dosage forms of sumatriptan / naproxen combinations outside of the United States have been eliminated, and POZEN may seek approval for these combinations on the basis of the approved U.S. New Drug Application. 
  • Pernix had also granted POZEN a warrant to purchase 500,000 shares of Pernix common stock at an exercise price equal to the closing market price on May 13, 2014. The common stock underlying the warrant will be registered by Pernix with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The warrant will be exercisable from August 20, 2014, the closing date of the divestiture, until February 28, 2018.

8:00 am Celgene and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) enter clinical collaboration agreement to evaluate immunotherapy and chemotherapy combination regimen (CELG) : The co and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) announced the establishment of a clinical trial collaboration to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of a combination regimen of BMY's investigational PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, OPDIVO, and Celgene's nab technology-based chemotherapy ABRAXANE, in a Phase I study.

  • Multiple tumor types will be explored in the study including HER-2 negative metastatic breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and non-small cell lung cancer 
  • The proprietary name OPDIVO has been proposed in the U.S. and other countries, but remains subject to health authority approval. OPDIVO is part of a new class of cancer treatments
  • The study, which is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014, will be conducted by the CELG.

7:58 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -2.30. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures hold slim losses amid cautious action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover one point below fair value with the benchmark index on course to give back a fraction of its recent advance. Market participants have received a few quarterly reports this morning, but none of the releases have led to broader moves in the market. On the economic front, the weekly MBA Mortgage Index rose 1.4% to follow last week's 2.7% decline, while the Federal Open Market Committee will release the minutes from its latest policy meeting at 14:00 ET.

Treasuries are modestly lower with the 10-yr yield up one basis point at 2.41%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • PetSmart (PETM 71.77, +2.07): +3.0% after beating earnings estimates and issuing in-line guidance. 
  • JA Solar Holdings (JASO 9.45, -0.54): -5.4% after reporting a bottom-line miss and raising its shipment guidance. 
  • Lowe's (LOW 49.82, -1.70): -3.3% despite reporting a one-cent beat. 
  • Staples (SPLS 11.81, +0.19): +1.6% after reporting in-line earnings. 
  • Youku Tudou (YOKU 19.76, -1.76): -8.2% after missing estimates and issuing below-consensus revenue guidance.
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mixed. China's Shanghai Composite -0.2%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.2%, and Japan's Nikkei settled flat. 
    • In economic data: 
      • Japan's trade deficit narrowed to JPY1.02 trillion from JPY1.07 trillion (expected deficit of JPY770 billion) as imports rose 2.3% (consensus -1.7%) and exports increased 3.9% (forecast 3.8%). Separately, All Industries Activity Index slipped 0.4% month-over-month (consensus -0.2%; prior 0.6%) 
      • Australia's MI Leading Index ticked down 0.1% month-over-month (prior 0.1%) 
    • In news: 
      • Japan's trade data showed a big increase in exports to Europe (10.0%), while exports to Asia and the U.S. showed modest upticks. 
  • Major European indices hover in the red. France's CAC -0.3%, Germany's DAX -0.3%, and Great Britain's FTSE -0.4%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB +0.1% and Spain's IBEX -0.1%. 
    • Economic data was limited: 
      • Germany's PPI ticked down 0.1% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior 0.0%), while the year-over-year reading fell 0.8% (consensus -0.7%; last -0.7%) 
      • Great Britain's CBI Industrial Trends Orders jumped to 11 from 2 (expected 4) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • The Bank of England released the minutes from its latest meeting, which revealed a split vote in favor of continuing on the current course. Seven members voted to keep current policy intact, while Martin Weale and Ian McCafferty voted in favor of hiking the benchmark rate by 25 basis points. This represented the first dissent in more than three years.

7:57 am Ampio Pharma announces analysis of available data from Optimeyes study (blinded and open label) of Optina for treatment of diabetic macular edema indicates potential for significant clinical benefit (AMPE) : Co announced that in response to requests from patients and physicians, the co has performed an analysis of the available data from both portions of the study. On Oct 7, 2013, following an IDRC determination "that there was a treatment dosage (of Optina) that was demonstrating a potentially beneficial anatomic effect." The co initiated an open label extension study using the IRDC chosen optimum dose of Optina for all patients who have completed the trial and wished to continue treatment for an additional 12 weeks. On June 25, 2014 co announced that it closed enrollment in the OptimEyes 505(b)2 clinical trial and was continuing analysis of the data available to seek further FDA guidance on the appropriate regulatory path.

  • "From the open label portion where every patient received OptinaTM and the blinded portion, where one third received placebo and two thirds received one or the two doses of OptinaTM the following information can be determined: 
    • Overall, from baseline to the end of the open label period, 72% of patients saw improvements or stabilizations in their vision as measured by Best Corrected Visual Acuity (BCVA, 
    • Mean BCVA increased significantly, p
    • Mean OCT decreased significantly, p

7:51 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Foster Wheeler AG (FWLT) announced that a subsidiary of its Global Power Group has been awarded a contract by Iberdrola, for the design and supply of a heat recovery steam generator.
  • Intellicheck Mobilisa (IDN) received Lenel factory certification and joined the Lenel OpenAccess Alliance Program.
  • SolarWinds (SWI) announced the launch of its deep packet inspection free tool SolarWinds Response Time Viewer for Wireshark.
  • Ebix (EBIX) announced that it has purchased property in Johns Creek Technology Park for $12.5 mln which will serve as the co's new headquarters and corporate campus.

7:37 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei UNCH, Hang Seng +0.2%, Shanghai -0.2% (:SUMRX) :

  • Markets finished mixed across Asia. 
  • Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens testified in front of the House of Representatives' Standing Committee on Economics and noted rates are likely to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.
  • Japan posted a wider than expected trade deficit (JPY1.02 trln actual v. JPY0.77 trln expected). 
  • Japan's Nikkei (UNCHF) put in a fractional gain as trade ticked higher for an eighth session. Heavyweights Softbank and KDDI Corp. provided support as both tacked on 1.0%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.2%) finished at its best level since May 2008. Bank of China HK jumped 3.6% following its earnings beat. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite (-0.2%) slipped off eight-month highs. Real estate shares were pressured with Vanke and Poly Real Estate off 2.0% and 1.1%, respectively. 
  • India's Sensex (-0.4%) slid off record highs as sellers took control for the first time in seven days. Automakers gave back some of their recent gains with Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra both down 1.2%. 
  • Australia's ASX (+0.2%) ended at a six-year high. Heavyweight BHP Billiton was a notable laggard, off 3.9%, after announcing plans to form a new metals and mining company with some of its existing units. 
  • Regional Decliners: None 
  • Regional Advancers: South Korea +0.1%...Philippines +0.2%...Singapore +0.2%...Vietnam +0.3%...Malaysia +0.4%...Indonesia +0.5%...Thailand +0.5% 
  • Fx: USDCNY was unchanged @ 6.1415...USDINR was flat @ 60.67...USDJPY +40 pips @ 103.30...AUDUSD -5 pips @ .9290

7:35 am Marina Biotech regains compliance with Exchange Act reporting obligations (MRNA) : Co announced that it has become current with respect to its obligation to file reports with the SEC under Section 13 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, having filed its Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the fiscal years ended Dec 31, 2012 and Dec 31, 2013, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the first three quarters of the 2013 fiscal year, and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the first and second fiscal quarters of 2014 over the past thirty days. In addition, the co is using its proprietary nucleic acid drug discovery platform to refocus research and developments efforts on expanding its clinical pipeline with the addition of two orphan disease programs.

7:33 am Value Vision Media misses by $0.02, misses on revs (VVTV) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.01 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.03; revenues rose 5.4% year/year to $156.6 mln vs the $158.68 mln consensus.

  • Total customers increased 18% to 1.4 million over the last 12 months
  • Average selling price fell 19.3% to $67
  • Net shipped units rose 30% to 2.11 mln.

7:33 am IAMGOLD provides exploration update on Monster Lake Project - beginning 5,000-metre second phase of diamond drilling (IAG) : Co provided an update from its ongoing exploration program at its newly optioned Monster Lake project located 50 kilometres southwest of Chibougamau, Quebec, Canada. Co initiated the current exploration program on the project at the end of 2013 pursuant to an Earn-In Agreement finalized with TomaGold, in which IAMGOLD may earn a 50% interest in each of the Monster Lake, Winchester and Lac l'eau jaune properties, collectively referred to as the Monster Lake Project. To earn its interest IAMGOLD must complete scheduled cash payments and exploration expenditures totaling $17.6 million over five years.

  • As previously reported in a news release dated May 27, 2014, the co had completed a phase one diamond drilling program totaling 4,528 metres (nine holes) targeting mainly the direct down-dip and lateral extensions of the 325-Megane mineralized zone previously drilled by TomaGold. All assay results have now been received and validated for the entire phase one drilling program. Highlights from the last four holes of the phase one program include: 
    • 2.12 metres grading 2.30 g/t Au from 422.50 metres depth and 5.86 metres grading 2.62 g/t Au from 426.10 metres depth (including 2.21 metres grading 6.21 g/t Au from 426.94 metres) in hole ML-14-115 (325-Megane Zone),
    • 3.15 metres grading 2.42 g/t Au from 278.07 metres depth in hole ML-14-116 (325-Megane Zone)

7:33 am Hain Celestial beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides FY15 EPS, revs above consensus (HAIN) : Reports Q4 (Jun) earnings of $0.90 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.89; revenues rose 26.0% year/year to $583.8 mln vs the $577.73 mln consensus.

  • Co issues guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $3.72-3.90 vs. $3.73 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $2.725-2.80 bln vs. $2.51 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Hain Celestial US reported record net sales of $323.0 million, a 13.2% increase. In the United Kingdom net sales were a record $200.5 million. The Rest of World segment reported net sales of $60.4 million.

7:33 am Madison Square Garden beats by $0.02, beats on revs (MSG) : Reports Q4 (Jun) GAAP earnings of $0.15 per share, $0.02 better than the GAAP Capital IQ Consensus of $0.13; revenues rose 10.5% year/year to $371.7 mln vs the $348.78 mln consensus, primarily due to an increase in revenues in the MSG Entertainment and MSG Sports segments. AOCF of $55.0 million decreased 40%, as compared to the prior year fourth quarter, due to lower AOCF results in the MSG Sports segment along with an increase in unallocated corporate expenses, partially offset by improved AOCF results at the MSG Media and MSG Entertainment segments.

"Over the course of fiscal 2014, we strengthened our Company's foundation in many ways, which should benefit MSG for years to come. This includes the successful completion of the Transformation project and the reinvention of the Forum. The Company also reached an agreement to sell Fuse and successfully concluded the transaction in July. We remain focused on creating meaningful value for our shareholders and, looking ahead, believe that our Company has ample opportunities to drive growth."

7:32 am Digital Ally says inquiries regarding its FirstVU HD body camera increased dramatically during past week in response to civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri (DGLY) : The co announced that the number of inquiries that it has received from law enforcement agencies interested in its FirstVU HD Officer-Worn Video System has increased dramatically since the national media began covering the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

  • "The civil unrest that has resulted in riots and looting of local businesses in Ferguson, Missouri during the past week has drawn national attention to the critical importance of audio and video documentation of evidence collection involving law enforcement officers. An audio/video recording often proves to be invaluable in court because it can answer critical questions regarding inappropriate actions by either the law enforcement officer or the person who may have broken the law. Some state governments are considering legislation that would require all law enforcement vehicles and officers to be equipped with some sort of audio/video recording capabilities."
Briefing.com note: Body camera related stocks such as DGLY, LRAD, and TASR have been trading higher in the wake of the Ferguson, MO situation

7:29 am JA Solar misses by $0.06, reports revs in-line; raises FY14 shipment guidance (JASO) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.14 per share, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.20; revenues rose 52.9% year/year to $390.5 mln vs the $393.98 mln consensus.

  • Growth was driven by the ongoing shift in sales to modules, which were 65.4% of shipments, as well as penetration of our key geographies, most notably China and Japan.
  • Total shipments were 681.8 MW, within the range of previous announced guidance of 670 to 700 MW. 
    • Shipments grew 6.8% sequentially and 47.0% year-over-year. In addition, the Company shipped 43.7 MW of modules to its downstream projects. 
  • Gross margin was 15.2%, which compares to 8.1% in the year-ago quarter, and 16.7% in the first quarter of 2014. The gross margin increase y/y was due to improved overall market conditions. 
    • The sequential decline was primarily due to a higher percentage of module shipments to China, where the module ASP declined slightly, and an adjustment of the minimum import price in European Union. 
For Q3, the co expects total cell and module shipments to be in the range of 730 MW to 760 MW.

For the full year 2014, the co revised up its previous shipment guidance. The Company now expects to ship between 2.9 GW and 3.1 GW, higher than previous guidance of a range of 2.7 GW to 2.9 GW. Consistent with the previous guidance, the new guidance includes 200 MW of module shipments to the Company's downstream projects.

7:20 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • American Honda Motor (HMC) has selected Carfax, a unit of IHS (IHS), as a provider of vehicle history information for the Honda and Acura Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle programs. 
  • Garmin International, a unit of Garmin (GRMN) announced the fleet 660 and 670, two new fleet navigators that combine the simplicity of Garmin navigation with the unique customization options of Android.

7:19 am Yen Weakens to Lowest Levels Since April: 10-yr: -01/32..2.404%..USD/JPY: 103.30..EUR/USD: 1.3280 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index trades on session highs near 82.10 after crossing the 82.00 level for the first time in 11 months.
  • EURUSD is -40 pips @ 1.3275 as trade presses to its worst levels since September. The single currency is now more than 700 pips off its May high as traders await Friday's speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium by ECB head Mario Draghi. 
  • GBPUSD is +20 pips @ 1.6640 as trade sees a bounce off four-month lows. Sterling jumped to 1.6679 in response to the latest Bank of England MPC minutes showing two members voted in favor of a 25bp rate hike; however, trade was rejected at the 200 dma and has given up a large portion of those early gains. CBI Industrial Orders were also released, posting a better than expected 11 (4 expected, 2 previous). 
  • USDCHF is +20 pips @ .9115 with trade on track for its best since November. As usual, action remains highly correlated to the movements of the euro. 
  • USDJPY is +40 pips @ 103.30 as trade breaks out to its best levels since April following the larger than expected trade deficit (JPY1.02 trln actual v. JPY0.77 trln expected). Today's advance has the pair higher for the seventh time in eight days, and nearing a test of the key 104.00 level. Click here to see a daily USDJPY chart.
  • AUDUSD is -5 pips @ .9290 as sellers look to remain in control for a second day. Overnight, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens testified in front of the House of Representatives' Standing Committee on Economics and noted rates are likely to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. The .9260 area is setting up as minor support. USDCNY was little changed @ 6.1416. 
  • USDCAD is +10 pips @ 1.0950 as trade tests the August highs. The 1.0975 area will be watched into this morning's wholesale sales release.

7:16 am Bally Technologies: Scientific Games (SGMS) and Bally announce early termination of Hart-Scott-Rodino Act waiting period (BYI) : The co and Scientific Games (SGMS) announced that they received notice of early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 with respect to SGMS pending acquisition of Bally.

  • Termination of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions required for completion of the transaction.  The transaction remains subject to approval by Bally's stockholders, receipt of certain gaming regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.  
  • The acquisition is expected to be completed in early 2015.

7:14 am Mobile TeleSystems misses Q2 estimates; lowers FY14 guidance (MBT) : Consolidated Q2 Group OIBDA net of one-off effect due to compensation for the settlement over Bitel LLC down 0.6% y-o-y to RUB 43.2 billion vs. RUB 43.8 bln consensus. Consolidated Group revenues increased 1.4% y-o-y to RUB 98.9 billion vs. RUB 100.3 bln consensus

  • Mobile service revenue in Russia rose 6.3% y-o-y to RUB 70.9 billion 
  • Data traffic revenue in Russia grew 39.7% y-o-y to RUB 15.3 billion 
  • Fixed-line revenue in Russia grew 2.6% q-on-q to RUB 15.6 billion 
"For now, as our results indicate, our business remains strong. However, macroeconomic weakness and uncertain political environment in Ukraine, however, force us to alter our full year guidance. While we expect Russia still to grow at the high end of our initial guidance of 3-5%, developments in Ukraine will limit Group growth to at least 1% in revenue for 2014. We should anticipate stable OIBDA year-over-year. Growth in our Russian markets will be offset by the decrease in profitability in our non-Russian assets, as well as the absence of certain positive one-offs we realized in 2013. Our CAPEX spending too should come in at 90 billion rubles, which is consistent with the guidance we gave at the beginning of the year."

7:07 am J.M. Smucker misses by $0.03, misses on revs; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance (SJM) : Reports Q1 (Jul) earnings of $1.34 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.37; revenues fell 2.0% year/year to $1.32 bln vs the $1.37 bln consensus, reflecting lower net price realization, particularly related to coffee, and the continued impact of the Company's exit of its private label hot beverage business in its International, Foodservice, and Natural Foods segment during 2014. Volume gains realized in Crisco oils, Jif peanut butter, and Folgers coffee were offset by declines in Pillsbury baking mixes, flour, and frostings, Santa Cruz Organic beverages, and the continued impact of the private label hot beverage business exits in the International, Foodservice, and Natural Foods segment. 

Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of 5.95-6.05 vs. $6.02 Capital IQ Consensus; sees net sales increase slightly less than 5% vs. +4% consensus.

7:02 am Asanko Gold announces the main construction work has commenced on Phase 1 of the Asanko Gold Mine in Ghana (AKG) : Co announced that the main construction work has commenced on Phase 1 of the Asanko Gold Mine in Ghana. Phase 1 is expected to produce 200K ounces of gold per annum at steady state starting in Q2 2016.

  • The bulk earthworks contract has been awarded and the contractor has mobilised to site. Initial work has begun on clearing ground for the 3 mln tonne per annum gravity/carbon-in-leach processing plant, which is located near the main Nkran pit. 
  • Civil works and concrete pouring is expected to begin in the coming months to take advantage of the dry season in Ghana. The tender process for the mining contractor is underway and the pre-stripping contractor for the Nkran pit will mobilise to site during Q4 2014.
  • The Definitive Project Plan for Phase 1 is also on track for publication in Q4 2014 and will include an update to the September 2012 Definitive Feasibility Study mine plan and operating cost estimate. 
  • The capital cost of the project was confirmed to be in-line with the DFS at $295 mln (see news release dated July 14, 2014). The Definitive Project Plan is not expected to be materially different to the DFS mining plan of 2.25 mln ounces of gold produced over an 11.5 year life-of-mine.

7:01 am NovaBay Pharma announces its NVC-422 ophthalmic formulation did not meet the primary or secondary endpoints in a Phase 2 clinical study in patients with adenoviral conjunctivitis (NBY) : Co announced that its NVC-422 ophthalmic formulation did not meet the primary or secondary endpoints in a Phase 2 clinical study in patients with adenoviral conjunctivitis. The endpoints measured clearing of bulbar conjunctival injection (red eye), eradication of adenovirus from the tear film, spread of infection to the fellow eye, reduction in sub-epithelial infiltrates, clearing of blurred vision compared to its Vehicle at Test-of-Cure Visit (Day 18). No significant adverse events were reported in the trial.

  • Commercial launch of co's new i-Lid Cleanser continues as planned.
  • Co does not intend to initiate any new studies of NVC-422 for this indication. 
  • Going forward, the co is focusing its resources on: 
    • The commercial launch of NovaBay's i-Lid Cleanser; 
    • Supporting Pioneer Pharma in the commercial launch of NeutroPhase in China, pending China FDA approval; and 
    • The clinical development of NVC-422 Irrigation Solution for blockage and encrustation in indwelling long-term urinary catheters.

7:00 am JinkoSolar Holding to supply 40 MW of PV solar modules to 8i S.A. in Chile (JKS) : Co announced that it will supply 40 MW of solar PV modules to 8i S.A., a solar development company, for a solar power project in Chile.

  • 8i will be the owner, project developer and EPC for this project.
  • Delivery of the solar PV modules will begin in the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • Expected completion in July 2015
  • The solar power plant will utilize approximately 131,150 Jinko's 305 Poly 72 high-efficiency PV Solar modules.

7:00 am ReneSola to supply 5.4MW in solar modules for India utility project (SOL) : Co announced it will provide 5.4 megawatts in solar modules to Welspun Energy Pvt. Ltd., a New Delhi-based engineering, procurement and construction firm, for a utility-scale project in India.

  • Under the terms of the agreement, this month the co will provide 240W and 245W versions of its popular Virtus II solar PV modules, which were manufactured at the company's India-based OEM facilities, thereby satisfying the project's domestic content requirements, which call for certain solar projects to incorporate locally manufactured components.

6:56 am GasLog reports EPS in-line (GLOG) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.13 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.13. 

  • GasLog's contracted charter revenues are estimated to increase from $145.4 million for the fiscal year 2013 to $424.2 million for the fiscal year 2017, based on contracts in effect as of June 30, 2014 for the eight LNG carriers delivered to us in 2010, 2013 and through June 30, 2014, the six LNG carriers acquired from a subsidiary of BG Group in April 2014 and June 2014 and the four LNG carriers on order for which we have secured time charters, but does not include any extension options. This amount includes the three vessels now owned by GasLog Partners. 
  • "During the three months to June 30, 2014, we almost doubled the size of our on-the-water fleet with the acquisition of six vessels from BG Group, all of which have six year contracts on average and the delivery of the Solaris, a newbuilding which immediately commenced a seven year charter to a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc ("Shell"). We now have fifteen vessels on the water, compared with eight at the end of March. Of these fifteen vessels, and in line with GasLog's strategy of being largely contracted, fourteen are currently on multiyear charters, with one on a short -term contract."

6:55 am S&P futures vs fair value: -3.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -5.00. :

6:55 am European Markets : FTSE...6759.04...-20.30...-0.30%.  DAX...9307.26...-27.00...-0.30%.

6:55 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15454.45...+4.70...0.00.  Hang Seng...25159.76...+36.80...+0.20%.

6:55 am 500.Com announces appointment of new President and CFO (WBAI) : Co announced that Mr. Zhengming Pan, the co's current CFO, has been appointed to the new position of President. Mr. Pan will be succeeded as CFO by Mr. Min Yu. Both appointments will be effective September 1, 2014.

  • Mr. Yu previously served as a vice president at Deutsche Bank (DB) in Hong Kong, where he focused on equity, bond and M&A transactions and executions from 2010 to 2014.

6:46 am Citi Trends beats by $0.11, beats on revs (CTRN) : Reports Q2 (Jul) loss of $0.17 per share, $0.11 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.28); revenues rose 5.2% year/year to $145 mln vs the $141.3 mln consensus; comps +5.3%

6:32 am Staples reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides Q3 EPS in-line (SPLS) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.12 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.12; revenues fell 1.8% year/year to $5.22 bln vs the $5.17 bln consensus.

  • Grew sales in North American Commercial 3% YoY. 
  • Achieved Staples.com sales growth of eight percent driven by increased business customer acquisition, improved customer conversion, and an expanded assortment beyond office supplies. 
  • Drove double digit growth on in-store Staples.com kiosks, and enhanced omnichannel customer experience with the launch of Buy Online, Pick Up in Store. 
  • Grew copy and print same store sales in the mid single digits in North America, and grew copy and print online sales in the double digits. 
  • Secured ~$150 million of annualized cost savings year to date as part of a two-year plan to eliminate at least $500 million of annualized costs. 
  • Closed 80 stores in North America during the second quarter and expect to close approximately 140 stores in North America during 2014.
Co issues guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.34-0.39 vs. $0.38 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 rev decrease YoY from $6.1 bln vs. $5.91 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

6:23 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Voyager Sopris Learning, a member of Cambium Learning Group (ABCD), has released a major update to Passport Reading Journeys -a literacy intervention that combines high-interest reading, multimedia teaching tools, and evidence-based instruction for students in grades 6--12. 
  • ADTRAN (ADTN) unveiled the latest component of its market leading Gigabit broadband portfolio, designed to accelerate service provider adoption of Gigabit Fiber-to-the-Home.

6:20 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Duetto announced the integration of Duetto GameChanger with Konami Gaming, a subsidiary of Konami (KNM).
  • Acacia Research (ACTG) announced that its Cell and Network Selection, Cellular Communications Equipment, and ADAPTIX, subsidiaries have entered into a patent license agreement with Sharp (SHCAY).

6:09 am Lowe's beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance, guides FY15 revs in-line (LOW) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $1.04 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.03; revenues rose 5.7% year/year to $16.6 bln vs the $16.57 bln consensus.

  • Comparable Sales Increased 4.4%
  • Sales for the second quarter increased 5.7% to $16.6 billion from $15.7 billion in the second quarter of 2013, and comparable sales for the quarter increased 4.4%.
  • For the six month period, sales were $30.0 billion, a 4.2% increase over the same period a year ago, and comparable sales increased 2.8%.
Commentary:
"We believe home improvement spending will continue to progress in tandem with strengthening job and income growth," Niblock added.  "Our year-to-date sales performance, together with our previous assumptions for the second half of 2014, result in a modest reduction to our sales outlook for the year.  Our diluted earnings per share outlook is unchanged, which is a testament to our keen focus on profitability."

Stock repurchases:
Co repurchased $1.1 billion of stock under its share repurchase program and paid $183 million in dividends in the second quarter.  For the six month period, the company repurchased $2.0 billion of stock under its share repurchase program and paid $369 million in dividends.  

Guidance:
Co issues mixed guidance for FY15
  • Co reaffirms FY15 EPS of $2.63 vs. $2.64 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate
  • Co sees FY15 revs of +4.5% YoY to ~$55.8 bln vs. $55.84 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, down from +5% YoY (or $56.09 bln) prior
  • Comparable sales are expected to increase ~ 3.5%. 
  • The company expects to open ~ 10 home improvement and 5 hardware stores. 

6:06 am Alamos Gold receives final signatures approving Agi Dagi EIA (AGI) : Co reported that it has received the final signatures approving the Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") for its Agi Dagi gold project. The Ministry of the Environment and Urbanization, the Turkish government agency responsible for reviewing the co's EIA, has signed and issued formal approval in the form of an EIA Positive Decision Certificate for Agi Dagi.

  • A ruling on the interim relief remedy requested by the co from the High Court is expected in the fourth quarter of 2014. The co expects to be in a position to submit this revised EIA by the end of Sep 2014 in the event it is unsuccessful in appealing the Court's decision to the Turkish High Court. 
  • Gold production from Kirazli, the first of the co's Turkish projects, is expected within 18 months of receipt of the outstanding forestry and operating permits. With ~ $390 mln in cash, no debt and strong ongoing cash flow generation, the co expects to fund development of these projects internally.

6:05 am Amicus Therapeutics announces positive Phase 3 data From Fabry Monotherapy study 012; Migalastat successfully meets both co-primary endpoints of comparability to enzyme replacement therapy on both key measures of kidney function (FOLD) : Co announced positive 18-month data from its second Phase 3 study (Study 012) of the oral small molecule chaperone migalastat HCl in Fabry patients with amenable mutations. Detailed results of this second Phase 3 monotherapy study are available in a slide presentation that will be shared by the Amicus management team on a conference call today at 8:00 a.m.

  • Study 012 compared oral migalastat to standard-of-care enzyme replacement therapies (ERTs) for Fabry disease (Fabrazyme and Replagal). The co-primary outcome measures were the mean annualized changes in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and measured (iohexol) GFR (mGFR) assessed by descriptive comparisons of migalastat and ERT over 18 months. 
  • The study enrolled 60 patients (26 males and 34 females) with Fabry disease with amenable mutations in a clinical trial assay who had been treated with ERT for a minimum of 12 months prior to study entry.
  • These patients were randomized 1.5:1 to switch to migalastat (36 patients) or remain on ERT (24 patients) for the primary 18-month treatment period, after which they were eligible to receive migalastat in a 12-month extension phase. 
  • Among the 60 patients enrolled, 56 (34 in the migalastat group and 22 in the ERT group) had amenable mutations in a GLP-validated human embryonic kidney (:HEK) cell-based in vitro assay ("GLP HEK-amenable"). 
  • Migalastat was generally safe and well-tolerated.
  • Migalastat had a comparable effect to ERT on patients' kidney function as measured by the change in eGFR and mGFR. 

5:05 am Pretium Resources: deep infill drilling continues to confirm high-grade gold mineralization (PVG) : Co reports the results from deep infill drilling underway in the Valley of the Kings, including the intersection of visible gold. (See Table 1 below for assays.) 

Selected drill highlights include: 

  • Hole SU-632-W4 intersected 335.65 grams of gold per tonne over 2.10 meters, including 4,130 grams of gold uncut over 0.80 meters and 3,530 grams of gold uncut over 0.50 meters.
The extreme gold grade noted above was intersected in hole SU-632-W4, which was wedged downhole off drillhole SU-632 at 272.5 meters. Drillhole SU-632 was collared in the western part of the Valley of the Kings. Directional drilling, which enables offset holes to be drilled downhole from a single surface drillhole, is underway as part of a deep infill drilling program in the Valley of the Kings in support of the mine plan for the Brucejack Project. Drilling is being conducted on a portion of Inferred and Indicated mineral resources from the December 2013 Valley of the Kings Mineral Resource estimate below the 1345 meter level. 

3:47 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Duke Energy (DUK) made progress cleaning up an overnight spill of ~3,000 to 5,000 gallons of fuel oil into the Ohio River at W.C. Beckjord Station, 20 miles southeast of Cincinnati.
  • Peabody Energy (BTU) applauded the London-based Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which rejected false advertising claims by WWF aimed at stopping candid discussion about coal's vital role in alleviating energy poverty, increasing access to low-cost electricity and improving emissions. 
  • Vodafone (VOD) Hutchison Australia has chosen Ericsson (ERIC) as a sole supplier to replace and upgrade the complete core network for their national network. With the latest core technology, including Ericsson's solutions for Evolved Packet Core and IP Multimedia Subsystem, policy control and circuit-switched core, VHA will further enhance network robustness, performance and resiliency. 

2:46 am Partner Comms announces the publishing of hearings and law memorandum regarding response times (PTNR) : Co announces that on August 18, 2014 the Ministry of Communications published hearings regarding proposed amendments to telecommunications licenses granted to various operators, including the Company and its subsidiaries. 

  • As part of the Hearings, it is proposed to amend the Licenses to add requirements and to intensify the requirements set in the Licenses with respect to the quality of service of the Licensees' call centers. 
  • The amendments include, among others, the following matters: the maximum response times and the average daily response times; recording requirement regarding a billing inquiry, termination of all services or termination of a single service calls; and requirement to issue and to publish on the Licensees' websites detailed weekly reports that will include complete data in relation to their conduct regarding response times. 
  • The Licensees may submit their position to the Hearings by September 18, 2014. 

2:20 am Novartis AG provides drug candidate compounds to TB Alliance (NVS) : Co announces it has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development for compounds to fight tuberculosis that have been discovered at the Novartis Institutes for Tropical Diseases. 

  • Under the terms of agreement, NITD will fully transfer its TB research and development program to TB Alliance, which will take financial and operational responsibility for continued research, development, approval and distribution of compounds in the portfolio. 
  • Included is a novel class of drugs called indolcarboxamides that are active against drug sensitive and multi-resistant strains of TB. 
  • One of these preclinical compounds NITD304, blocks MmpL3, a protein essential for the TB bacterium's survival.  
  • NITD304 was described last year in a paper published in Science Translational Medicine.
  • Novartis has collaborated in the past with TB Alliance and believes it has the best combination of expertise, capacity, and strategic interest to develop new agents and regimens for TB. 

1:11 am Jacobs announces $500 mln share repurchase program over 3 years (JEC) : Co announced that its board of directors approved a program to repurchase up to $500 million of the company's common stock over the next three years. 

In making the announcement, Jacobs President and CEO Craig Martin stated, "We are committed to delivering shareholder value, and this repurchase program authorization reflects the board's confidence in both our short term prospects and our long term growth strategy. We also remain fully committed to our goal of growing our net earnings by an average of 15 percent per year through a combination of organic growth and selective acquisitions. We have a unique opportunity to return value to shareholders at a price that is advantageous to the company." 

1:02 am Daily Journal Corporation announces that its stock will continue to trade on the NASDAQ Stock Market (DJCO) : Co announces receipt of a letter from The NASDAQ Stock Market stating that the Company's filing delinquencies have been cured and that the Company is in compliance with all NASDAQ listing standards. As a result, the Company's stock will continue to be listed and trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market.

The Company filed its two late quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the first two quarters of fiscal 2014 with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 13 and August 15, 2014, respectively. The Company also filed its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 on August 18, 2014. Accordingly, the Company is once again current in its filings of periodic reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rates

View Comments (104)