InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

12:56 pm Midday Market Summary: Stocks on Highs at Midday (:WRAPX) : Equity indices hold midday gains with the S&P 500 (+0.7%) in the lead. The benchmark index spent the first two hours of action near its flat line, but rallied to a fresh high after The Wall Street Journal's Jon Hilsenrath indicated tomorrow's statement from the FOMC will once again reflect the Fed's intentions to keep the fed funds rate at the zero bound for a considerable time after quantitative easing is wound down. The report sent the market higher since it contrasted with recent speculation that the Fed would drop the 'considerable time' language from its guidance, thus implying a swifter rate hike.

It is also worth mentioning that the rally occurred while another central bank was making headlines. Specifically, the People's Bank of China will provide the country's top banks with CNY500 billion deployed through the Short-term Lending Facility.

All ten sectors trade in the green at this juncture with energy (+1.6%) in the lead. The growth-sensitive sector has been showing strength in recent days after starting the month on a defensive note. Today's advance has been aided by a surge in crude oil, which trades up 2.0% at $94.74/bbl.

Outside of energy, the remaining five cyclical sectors sport slimmer gains than the broader market. Most notably, the technology sector (+0.4%) has struggled to keep up amid weakness in the shares of Apple (AAPL 100.19, -1.44). The top-weighted Nasdaq component is lower by 1.4% amid speculation the company's newest iPhone will not be available in China before the end of the year. Chipmaker stocks, however, have picked up some of the slack with the PHLX Semiconductor Index up 1.2%.

On the countercyclical side, all four sectors trade ahead of the S&P 500 with health care (+1.0%) supported by biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 268.71, +2.62) has added 1.1%.

Treasuries hover in the middle of their trading range with the 10-yr note higher by five ticks and its yield down two basis points at 2.57%.

Economic data was limited to the PPI report, which showed producer prices were unchanged in August while prices, excluding food and energy, were up 0.1%. Both results were in-line with the Briefing.com consensus estimates. On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand increased 1.8% over the last 12 months.

12:45 pm iShares NASD Biotech and Health XLV displaying intraday relative strength (IBB) : The IBB continues to push higher today with it recently display intraday relative strength. This is an extension of a recovery off of support mentioned here yesterday at 263/261 (Monday low 263). This approximates the 50% retrace of the Aug-Sep run, its 50 ema, an equality target and its late July high -- session high 269. Top performers today include: CELG +3.3%, MYGN +3.3%, MDVN +2.8%, GILD +2.4%, REGN +2.3%, BIIB +2.1%, MYL +1.9%, ILMN +1.2%, ALXN +1.2%.

12:36 pm Eli Lilly: Denovo Biopharma acquires enzastaurin, a late-stage oncology drug, from LLY (LLY) : Denovo Biopharma announced that it has acquired enzastaurin, a late-stage oncology drug, from Eli Lilly. Denovo gains all rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize enzastaurin globally, including transfer of all intellectual property and other rights, data, and information.

12:34 pm Nektar Therapeutics' partner AstraZeneca (AZN) announced that the FDA approved MOVANTIK (naloxegol) tablets for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation in adult patients with chronic non-cancer pain (NKTR) : Co reported that partner AstraZeneca (AZN) announced that the FDA approved MOVANTIK (naloxegol) tablets as the first once-daily oral peripherally-acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist (:PAMORA) medication for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain. MOVANTIK is expected to be available to patients in the first half of 2015.

12:25 pm U.S. Steel sets new session high of 40.82, its multi-year high from early Sep is at 40.93 (X) :  

12:19 pm Regal-Beloit changes presentation schedule at the Morgan Stanley Second Annual Laguna Conference on Sep 16, 2014; co will now be presenting at 1:35pm PDT (4:35pm EDT) (RBC) :  

12:16 pm Griffon's Telephonics Corporation awarded contract with base value of $23 mln to supply common terminal digitizer systems for FAA Program (GFF) : Telephonics Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Griffon Corporation, announced  that it has been awarded a contract by the Federal Aviation Administration for the Common Terminal Digitizer system, supporting the FAA's initiative to upgrade Airport Surveillance Radar-8 throughout the U.S.

  • The FAA awarded the multi-year contract, with a base value of $23 mln and additional exercisable options, to Telephonics after a competitive acquisition process in support of the agency's Terminal Automation Modernization Replacement program.

12:05 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

  • PBR (17.86 +7.98%): Strength in Brazil ADRs; recent election polls indicate Rousseff is tied with Silva, according to reports (ITUB, BBD, BRFS, VIV also higher).
  • HUM (132.11 +3.49%): Co announced $2 bln share repurchase authorization.
  • EPD (40.42 +2.12%): Mentioned favorably on Mad Money.
Large Cap Losers
  • MPEL (25.73 -4.99%): Macau gaming related names showing weakness following cautious comments from Wells Fargo & escalating Macau worker protests (MGM, LVS, WYNN also lower).
  • CHU (17.08 -2.37%): Reports indicate that AAPL's iPhone 6 launch in China won't come until next year.
  • VIPS (195 -0.8%): Announced shareholder approval of the adoption of a dual-class share structure.
Mid Cap Gainers
  • OIBR (0.73 +11.91%): Trading higher on headlines that Telecom Italia (TI) may acquire the company.
  • AEO (14.2 +5.42%): Upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at a boutique firm.
  • P (27.19 +4.9%): Chatter that MSFT may take stake in co.
Mid Cap Losers
  • WPG (17.12 -7.26%): Co to acquire Glimcher Realty Trust (GRT) for $4.3 bln in stock and cash including the assumption of debt (stock and cash transaction valued at $14.20 per Glimcher common share).
  • SHLD (31.31 -6.59%): Disclosed $400 million secured short-term loan.
  • GPRO (64.75 -3.65%): Initiated with a Buy at Cleveland Research; tgt $78.

12:00 pm Gamestop announces $250 mln private offering of senior notes (GME) : Co announced that, subject to market conditions, it intends to offer and sell $250 mln in aggregate principal amount of unsecured senior notes due 2019 to eligible purchasers in a private offering.

  • GameStop intends to use the net proceeds from the Notes Offering to pay down its $400 mln asset-based facility and for general corporate purposes, which may include acquisitions, dividends and stock buybacks.

11:57 am Nasdaq Comp +16 joins Dow +85 and S&P +12 at new session highs (:TECHX) : Relative sector strength in recent action has been noted in: Coal KOL, Steel SLX, Energy XLE, Oil Service OIH, Gold Miners GDX amid intraday weakness in the Dollar Index.

11:52 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:-0.2%
  • Germany's DAX:-0.3%
  • France's CAC:-0.4%
  • Spain's IBEX:-0.3%
  • Portugal's PSI:-0.1%
  • Italy's MIB Index:-0.3%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:-0.8%
  • Greece ASE General Index: -2.9%

11:49 am Forward Industries' largest shareholder and Board Member, Terence Bernard Wise, refutes Forward's open letter; decries claims as false and insubstantial (FORD) : Terence Bernard Wise, the largest shareholder and member of the board of directors of Forward Industries, a designer and distributor of custom carry and protective solutions, issued a statement commenting on Forward's September 8, 2014 open letter to shareholders.

  • "The numerous distortions peddled by Chairman Frank LaGrange Johnson and his supporters in their September 8 open letter to shareholders only evidence Mr. Johnson's increasing desperation in the face of concurrent lawsuits, a depressed stock price and rising shareholder alarm."

11:37 am Lockheed Martin edges up toward its Sep high from last week at 176.35 -- session high 176.27 (LMT) : Stock consolidated above its 20 ema after setting a new multi-year high in Aug at 177.19. In recent trade is has edged up to the trade range/Sep high at 176.35.

11:33 am Dow +37 and S&P +6.7 run to new highs, Nasdaq Comp +3.8 still shy of morning high (:TECHX) :  

11:26 am Best Buy edging back toward session high (BBY) : Noted the test of its Aug/early Sep highs (32.73/32.75) on Friday with follow through Monday to 34.62 (+5.7%).  It edged back intraday thereafter yesterday but has firmed again this morning with it hovering slightly under its session high at 34.51 and Monday's peak.  Levels of interest above are at 34.88 (Oct 2013 low) and 34.15 (62% retrace of Nov 2013 to Jan 2014 slump).  

11:19 am VirnetX Holding halted for a second time of the session; volatility halt (VHC) :

  • See our 11:11 comment for more details

11:07 am Currency Commentary: DXY Holding 84 Ahead of FOMC (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index is sliding toward the low end of 84 ahead of tomorrow's FOMC meeting. Market participants have been running the dollar higher as the Fed is expected to take the next step in tightening its extremely loose monetary policies. But it would appear that some of the weaker economic data and global issues are forcing some dollar bulls to take profits in case the Fed does not come out as hawkish as some expect. The DXY is still holding above the 84 level ahead of tomorrows news. The multi-year high of 84.75 remains a key resistance level for the markets.
  • The euro is holding the 1.29 level ahead of tomorrow's meeting. Economic data in the region remains week as the latest ZEW surveys came in lower than expected. Markets will be closely watching the Scotland vote as well as the TLTRO auction which are both Thursday (results for Scotland expected Friday). 
  • The pound is straddling the 1.62 level ahead of the Scotland vote. There has been a growing belief that the 'No' vote would prevail but it remains a close call. Inflation data from the region was largely in line with expectations. Inflation continues to run below the BoE's target of 2%.
  • The yen continues to trade in the 107 area as weak data from China and a strong dollar has led the yen to multi-year lows. The dollar is now trading near 6 year highs against the yen (FOREX, BONDX).

11:02 am Stock indices slip further off morning highs, turn mixed -- Dow -7, S&P +1.7, Nasdaq Comp -6 (:TECHX) : Sectors displaying relative weakness vs. the S&P in recent trade include: Bank KBE, Reg Bank KRE, Finance XLF, Transports IYT, Biotech IBB, REITs IYR, Semi SMH.

11:01 am Honeywell to increase production of low-global-warming materials, reduce Hydrofluorocarbon production by nearly half over five years (HON) : Co announced that it will increase production of its low-global-warming-potential refrigerants, insulation materials, aerosols and solvents, and, prior to 2020, will drive a 50% reduction in its annual production of high-GWP hydrofluorocarbons on a CO2 equivalent basis.

  • The co projects that use of its low-GWP Solstice HFC replacements will eliminate more than 350 mln metric tons in CO2 equivalents by 2025, equivalent to removing 70 mln cars from the road for one year. 
  • The co and its suppliers anticipate spending nearly $900 million in R&D and new capacity, mainly in the U.S., in the coming years.

10:31 am Wi-LAN subsidiary acquires a portfolio of patents that relate to technology used in Smart Meters that are deployed in the energy market; terms are confidential (WILN) :  

10:31 am Bankwell Financial Group announces regulatory approvals for Quinnipiac transaction (BWFG) : Co announced that it has received all regulatory approvals required for the merger of Quinnipiac Bank and Trust Company into Bankwell's subsidiary, Bankwell Bank. There were no unusual conditions in the approvals. The remaining merger condition is approval from Quinnipiac shareholders at their scheduled meeting on September 24, 2014.

  • The merger is anticipated to close on or about October 1, 2014, assuming Quinnipiac shareholder approval.

10:28 am Darden Restaurants: Starboard explains why electing its slate of nominees is the best alternative for Darden shareholders; says 'Darden's hastily-constructed, massively flawed slate of suboptimal candidates is ill-equipped to oversee CEO search process and turnaround efforts' (DRI) : Starboard Value, one of the largest shareholders of Darden Restaurants, with beneficial ownership of ~ 8.8% of the outstanding common stock of the co, issued a statement urging shareholders to vote for its slate of director nominees at the 2014 annual meeting of shareholders and highlighting the significant value creation opportunities from its presentation entitled "Transforming Darden Restaurants".

  • "...Turning around Olive Garden is critical - with our turnaround plan, we believe Darden's stock could exceed $100 per share - but it will require great leaders and a relentless focus on the guest experience. While Darden and some media outlets have clearly enjoyed the sound bites related to our comprehensive plan, the truth is that turning around Olive Garden is about details and being 'brilliant with the basics'. With new leadership that has a passion for the restaurant business, we can bring back the people-centric and operationally-focused culture that made Darden great."

10:24 am S&P +3.6 and Nasdaq Comp +7.6 probe first level resistance (:TECHX) : As noted earlier the S&P held at first level support at 1980/1979 (The Technical Take) with the recent upside extension nearing initial resistances at 1990/1993 (session high 1989.16). The Nasdaq Comp has also tested its first level resistance at 4527/4535 (session high 4530).

10:20 am Air Products announces agreement to provide two sets of its proprietary LNG technology, equipment, and process license for Freeport LNG's liquefaction and export project (APD) : The sale includes two of Air Products' main cryogenic coil wound heat exchangers and the associated equipment and technology which will be vital in the production of LNG at the facility. The trains are scheduled to be onstream in 2018.

10:19 am Minor new highs for major averages but momentum slowing -- Dow +2.7, S&P +4.4, Nasdaq Comp +8.9 (:TECHX) :  

10:19 am Automatic Data announces its board of directors has approved the share distribution ratio for the spin-off of CDK Global from ADP (ADP) : As previously announced, ADP anticipates that after the market close on the distribution date of Sep 30, 2014, the two companies will be separated through a distribution of shares of CDK Global to ADP shareholders.

10:12 am Nektar Therapeutics trading halted, news pending (NKTR) :  

10:03 am Global Eagle announces strategic and technological relationship with BAE Systems (BAESY) to integrate its WISE inflight streaming solution with BAE Systems' inflight entertainment offering for commercial aircraft (ENT) :  

9:53 am Major averages reach positive ground -- S&P +2.2, Dow +0.02, Nasdaq Comp +3 (:TECHX) :  

9:47 am Slightly extension of push off early lows -- Dow -14, S&P -0.4, Nasdaq Comp -3.5 (:TECHX) : Relative sector strength in early action has been noted in: Crude Oil USO, Oil Service OIH, Energy XLE, Social Media SOCL, REITs IYR, Reg Bank KRE, Copper JJC.

9:46 am Genie Energy's Genie Oil Shale Mongolia signs agreement for additional oil shale exploration in Mongolia (GNE) : Co said that its subsidiary, Genie Oil Shale Mongolia, has signed a prospecting agreement with the Petroleum Authority of Mongolia. The new exploration block covers twenty-five thousand square kilometers in Central Mongolia southeast of the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar.

  • The agreement, the first to be signed under recently passed legislation, also provides a framework under which the company can request a commercial production agreement once a specific suitable resource and location are identified.
  • Together with its previously signed exploration agreement, GOSM now has exclusive rights to explore for oil shale in ~ 60K square kilometers in Mongolia.

9:44 am Calgon Carbon's Hyde Marine strikes agreement with Singapore-based Keppel Shipyard and SEAQUEST Marine Systems for expanded Hyde GUARDIAN Gold ballast water treatment system installations (CCC) : Co announced it has established a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore-based Keppel Shipyard and SEAQUEST Marine Systems PTE, for installation of the chemical free Hyde GUARDIAN Gold Ballast Water Treatment System in international markets.

  • Under the MOU, Keppel Shipyard will be able to carry out retrofit installations of Hyde GUARDIAN Gold BWTS at its Singapore shipyard. 
  • Such a partnership will position Hyde Marine for the anticipated increase in the Asian retrofit market after the maritime industry is required to comply with international ballast water treatment regulations.

9:40 am Opening Market Summary: Nasdaq Displays Early Weakness (:WRAPX) : As expected, the major averages began the day on the defensive. The S&P 500 trades lower by 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) underperforms amid relative weakness in its top component.

Shares of Apple (AAPL 100.11, -1.52) have surrendered 1.5% in the early going, which has translated into relative weakness for the technology sector (-0.3%). Similar to technology, other cyclical groups like consumer discretionary (-0.4%), industrials (-0.3%) also trail the broader market.

On the upside, the energy sector has added 0.4%, while crude oil trades up 0.5% at $93.45/bbl. Elsewhere, countercyclical telecom services (+0.2%) and utilities (+0.6%) also display modest gains.

9:38 am Weaker start for major averages but working off opening lows -- Dow -22, S&P -2, Nasdaq Comp -11 (:TECHX) : The S&P probed first level support from The Technical Take (1980/1979) and edged modestly off the low (1979). Follow through initially above the 1983/1984 zone is needed to improve the very short term price patterns. 

9:32 am McGraw-Hill Financial's S&P Dow Jones Indices and the Lima Stock Exchange announce indexing agreement (MHFI) : Co announced that, as part of its strategic growth plan to expand throughout Latin America, it has signed a landmark agreement with the Bolsa de Valores de Lima to license, distribute, and govern all of the BVL indices including a new version of their flagship index, IGBVL.

  • S&P DJI will be responsible for the marketing and commercial licensing of the BVL indices. 
  • The agreement also allows S&P DJI to eventually calculate all of the BVL indices, and to jointly create new indices with the Exchange to meet the evolving needs of investors inside and out of Peru.
  • According to the agreement, the BVL will transition index calculation of its indices to S&P DJI over time to ensure a smooth transition for existing clients.

9:31 am AT&T to upgrade global unified communication platform For Shell (RDS.A) (T) : The co and Shell (RDS.A) have signed a five-year agreement to migrate 150,000 employees and contractors in over 50 countries to a new unified communications platform that will allow them to connect to each other -- via instant messaging, voice, web and video conferencing, and application sharing -- using a single, intuitive interface. Today's announcement represents AT&T's most comprehensive unified communication deployment to date for a single business customer.

9:31 am Energous announces a joint development agreement with a multi-billion dollar Tier 1, global semiconductor co to develop WattUp-enabled power management solutions (WATT) : Co announced a joint development agreement (:JDA) with a multi-billion dollar Tier 1, global semiconductor co to develop WattUp-enabled power management solutions. The partner has requested anonymity for competitive reasons.

9:28 am Brown & Brown prices its debt offering of $500 million of 4.20% senior notes due 2024; notes will bear interest at 4.20% per annum and will mature on Sep 15, 2024 (BRO) :  

9:26 am Men's Wearhouse announces its Board of Directors has named Mary Beth Blake as the co's President and Chief Merchandising Officer, effective Sep 10, 2014 (MW) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has named Mary Beth Blake as the co's President and Chief Merchandising Officer, effective September 10, 2014. She was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer.

9:26 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • ADP (ADP) announced that EMC (EMC) has chosen ADP to deliver payroll, health and wellness, and time and labor management solutions. 
  • Ellie Mae (ELLI) announced that Fox Valley Savings Bank, Fond Du Lac, Wis., has selected Encompass as its mortgage management solution. 
  • FelCor Lodging Trust (FCH) sold its 446-room Holiday Inn-Toronto Airport and 221-room Embassy Suites Hotel-Indianapolis North for aggregate gross proceeds of $29 mln in separate transactions. Co is using asset sale proceeds to repay outstanding debt.  
  • Clear Channel announced that it has become iHeartMedia. Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO) will retain the Clear Channel brand. 
  • Cree (CREE) has filed patent infringement lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin to prevent Harvatek and Kingbright from infringing Cree's patented intellectual property. These patents, among other things, protect Cree's LED component portfolio, including Cree's white light LEDs.  
  • Harris (HRS) has been awarded a $19 mln IDIQ contract to provide the Air Force Special Operations Command with up to 1,500 Falcon III AN/PRC-152A wideband radios and accessories. 
  • Pandora (P) announced a free, four-part, pop-up concert series, where it will work with the Southern California Lexus dealers to connect artists with their fans. 
  • MoneyGram (MGI) is expanding its network through Chedraui supermarkets, one of Mexico's largest supermarket retail chains. MoneyGram's transfer services are now available inside more than 200 of the co's stores. 
  • The Georgia Council of Magistrate Court chose Tyler Technologies' (TYL) Guide & File solution called the Magistrate Courts Free Forms Generator.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) announced plans for its Aloft brand to debut in El Paso, Texas.
  • Uranerz Energy (URZ) announced its first sale of uranium from the Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project located in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, U.S.A. The co has sold 75,000 pounds which is a portion of the deliveries Uranerz is expecting to make this year pursuant to long-term contracts it has with its nuclear utility customers.

9:23 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Mellanox Technologies (MLNX) announced that its end-to-end 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet interconnect solutions support the recently announced IBTA RoCEv2 specification. 
  • Methes Energies (MEIL) was encouraged with the number of attendants but more importantly with the several dozens of requests for additional information it received following its recent webinar.
  • BlackBerry Limited (BBRY) announced that BBM Channels can be managed with Hootsuite, allowing social media teams to engage with their Channel followers directly from the Hootsuite dashboard. 
  • The newest Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite, built by Lockheed Martin (LMT), was accepted for operations by U.S. Strategic Command on August 19.
  • Planet Payment (PLPM) and Columbus Data Services announced the launch of Bank In Your Currency on CDS' ATM network.
  • Ikanos Communications (IKAN) announced that KAONMEDIA has selected Ikanos' Fusiv gateway processor family to power its new generation of feature-rich and highly integrated residential gateways.
  • Marathon Patent Group (MARA) has named Daniel Gelbtuch as its Chief Marketing Officer.
  • Genocea Biosciences (GNCA) announced that the peer-reviewed journal Virology has published a paper describing how Genocea used it's ATLAS platform to identify the herpes simplex virus 2 antigens for its GEN-003 clinical program. 
  • Veolia North America (VE) announced the award of a 5-year contract with the South Orange County Community College District to provide operation and maintenance of its central cogeneration plant at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif.  
  • Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) on Tuesday announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, as well as updates to its Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing services, will be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2014. 
  • Barracuda Networks (CUDA) has joined the Ruckus Wireless (RKUS) Technology Ecosystem program. 

9:14 am Fannie Mae priced its ninth Multifamily DUS REMIC in 2014 totaling $986 mln under its Fannie Mae Guaranteed Multifamily Structures program on Sep 10, 2014 (FNMA) :  

9:09 am S&P futures vs fair value: -4.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -9.30. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a lower start as futures on the S&P 500 trade four points below fair value.

Index futures have retreated from their overnight highs following another round of disappointing data from China. This time, it was the Foreign Direct Investment report, which revealed a 1.8% decline (previous -0.4%), leading to concerns about a potential hard landing.

The cautious sentiment has carried over to Europe where the key indices trade with losses close to 0.5% apiece. Comments from Air France have factored into the weakness after the carrier said it may report a loss for the full year.

Domestically, the FOMC will begin its two-day meeting today with the latest policy statement set to be released tomorrow at 14:00 ET. Furthermore, Alibaba (BABA) is expected to make its public debut later this week after hiking the price range for its IPO to $66-$68 from $60-$66.

Staying on the technology theme, Apple (AAPL 100.26, -1.37) is indicated to open lower by 1.4% on heavy volume, which will pressure the technology sector and the Nasdaq Composite.

Treasuries have recently slipped from their highs, but the 10-yr yield remains lower by two basis points at 2.57%.

9:03 am Simon Property Group's Franklin Mills to undergo major redevelopment and name change to Philadelphia Mills (SPG) : Mills announced today plans for a multimillion dollar renovation of Franklin Mills, the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the Philadelphia region. The redevelopment will transform the center into a completely new shopping experience, and the name of the property has been changed to Philadelphia Mills to herald the transformation.

9:00 am Lehigh Gas Partners priced announced public offering of 3.6 mln common units at $33.99/common unit (LGP) :

8:56 am S&P futures vs fair value: -3.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -5.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade four points below fair value.

The major Asian bourses finished mostly lower. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda pushed back against the belief the weak yen was hurting the economy, saying companies are increasing domestic investment. Separately, Japan's Economy Minister Akira Amari said consumption during the summer period may have been adversely impacted by weather. This comes after the cabinet expected strong consumer spending in Q3 to justify a sales tax hike in 2015. Also of note, the latest Reserve Bank of Australia minutes warned of a property bubble down under.

  • Economic data was limited: 
    • China's Foreign Direct Investment declined 1.8% (previous -0.4%) 
    • South Korea's trade surplus remained unchanged at 3.40 billion as exports declined 0.2% year-over-year (previous -0.1%) and imports grew 3.1% (last 3.1%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei shed 0.2%, holding near eight-month highs. Heavyweight Softbank provided support, up 2.3%, after its holding, Alibaba, upped its IPO price range. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.9%, pressing lower for the eighth straight session and closing at its lowest levels since late-July. Gaming stocks continued to see weakness as Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment gave up 3.9% and 3.3%, respectively. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite fell 1.8%, seeing its biggest drop in six months as fears of a slowdown weighed. Consumer names remained under pressure with automaker SAIC Motor Corp giving up more than 3%. 
  • India's Sensex sank 1.2% to a three-week low. Utilities lagged as Tata Power tumbled 6.1% and NTPC gave up 2.8%. 
Major European indices trade lower across the board with France's CAC (-0.6%) showing the sharpest decline after Air France warned it could report a loss for the full year.
  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Eurozone ZEW Economic Sentiment fell to 14.2 from 23.7 (expected 21.3) 
    • Germany's ZEW Economic Sentiment eased to 6.9 from 8.6 (forecast 4.8), while the Current Conditions Index tumbled to 25.4 from 44.3 (consensus 40.0) 
    • Great Britain's CPI increased 0.4% month-over-month, while the year-over-year reading rose 1.5%, as expected. Core CPI rose 1.9% year-over-year (forecast 1.8%; last 1.8%), while Input PPi fell 0.6% month-over-month (consensus -0.4%; prior -1.7%). Also of note, House Price Index came in at 11.7% (expected 10.6%; last 10.2%) 
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  • Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.4% with nearly 90% of the index trading in the red. Consumer discretionary names weigh with Sports Direct International, SABMiller, and EasyJet down between 2.0% and 3.0%. Publisher Pearson outperforms with an increase of 2.2% following an upgrade at Morgan Stanley. 
  • Germany's DAX trades down 0.5%. Deutsche Lufthansa is the weakest performer, down 2.4%, following Air France's warning. Deutsche Post and Adidas outperform with respective gains of 0.6% and 2.4%. 
  • In France, the CAC displays a loss of 0.6% with Orange leading the retreat. The telecom stock is lower by 1.9%. Advertiser Publicis Groupe outperforms with a gain of 1.2%.

8:55 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Essent Guaranty, a subsidiary of Essent (ESNT), is now offering lenders access to Essent MI for delegated and non-delegated loans and rate quotes through INTEGRA's Destiny Loan Origination System Platform. 
  • IEC Electronics (IEC) announced that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has dismissed in its entirety, without right to replead, the consolidated securities class action lawsuit originally filed June 28, 2013 against the co, its CEO and its CFO. The co has received no indication as to whether the plaintiffs will appeal the decision.  
  • ATA (ATAI) held its 2014 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on Sep 15, 2014. All of the proposals submitted to shareholders at the 2014 AGM were approved. 
  • Vape (VAPE) announced the newest line of products under the HIVE brand, HIVE GLASS, which is set to release on or before Dec 1, 2014. The HIVE GLASS line is precision made using manufacturing processes and techniques, and exclusively uses German Schott glass and fittings through all production phases.
  • Thomson Reuters (TRI) announced that Allianz (AZSEY) has selected it to provide their fixed income pricing requirements.
  • Tribune Publishing (TPUB) has made a strategic investment in Contend, a content creation co that develops and produces entertainment and marketing solutions for local, regional and national brands.
  • AT&T (T) began to take preorders for the second generation Moto X at att.com and at AT&T retail stores. Shipping for pre-orders will start around Sept. 23.
  • Envestnet | Retirement Solutions, a majority owned subsidiary of Envestnet (ENV), has now made its fiduciary services solution available to CDM Retirement Consultants.

8:51 am Freeseas trading higher premkt; concluded sale of vessel and subsequently entered into a long term bareboat charter with the vessel's new Owners (FREE) : "The additional liquidity will provide invaluable balance sheet flexibility as part of our growth strategy moving forward, which follows the recently announced debt extinguishment and forgiveness which significantly reduced the Company's bank debt to USD 23 million from USD 90 million within the space of a few months." Mr. Varouxakis added: "The bareboat charter rate allows for significant upside from future operating earnings, especially as the market improves, while the purchase options allow participation in potential future asset appreciation. The vessel will be deployed in the spot market, which has shown recent signs of improvement."

8:50 am Odyssey Marine Exploration completes current phase of SS Central America recovery (OMEX) : The recovery ship, Odyssey Explorer, has returned to Charleston, South Carolina, for necessary repairs and installation of new equipment, which is expected to take approximately two to three weeks. In addition to more than 15,500 gold and silver coins, 45 gold bars and hundreds of other gold nuggets, gold dust, jewelry and artifacts recovered from the shipwreck site over the past five months, an extensive amount of knowledge has been gained about the formation of the site. The extensive time involved conducting this planned site survey, as well as days of unworkable weather due to Hurricane Cristobal, resulted in a smaller than average inventory of items recovered during the past month.

8:50 am Gorman-Rupp's Patterson Pump Company announces it currently expects that about $10 mln of the shipments expected in 2014 will be shifted to 2015 and that the shipments in 2015 will be distributed throughout the year (GRC) : Co reports revised timing of shipments for its previously disclosed Permanent Canal Closure and Pumps flood control project in New Orleans.

  • The co's subsidiary, Patterson Pump Company, has been engaged since mid-2013 in a large infrastructure construction contract to supply ~ $60 mln of major pumps for the PCCP project.
  • Earlier the co expected that the majority of the related shipments would be primarily in the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015. 
  • Due to some related equipment delivery schedule changes and routine contract scheduling adjustments, the co currently expects that about $10 mln of the shipments expected in 2014 will be shifted to 2015 and that the shipments in 2015 will be distributed throughout the year.

8:46 am Kite Realty: Inland Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. announces agreement to purchase a $318 mln retail portfolio from KRG (KRG) : Inland Real Estate Income Trust announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase a 15-property portfolio of retail centers located across eight states, totaling approximately two million square feet, from Kite Realty Group Trust for an estimated purchase price of $318 mln. The acquisition is expected to close in two tranches on or before December 15, 2014 and March 16, 2015, respectively, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

8:44 am UPS confirms holiday season hiring; 90,000-95,000 seasonal employees needed to handle anticipated e-commerce-driven holiday delivery surge (UPS) :

  • UPS has implemented actions since the 2013 peak shipping season: UPS has made improvements to network utilization and schedule planning. Daily processing capacity will increase with the opening of new and expanded buildings, plus installation of temporary mobile sorting and delivery centers. UPS is adding thousands of new or leased delivery vehicles, trailers, aircraft and portable loading aids to flex capacity in the UPS network. Added operating days and shifts - full ground delivery and pick-up operations the Friday after Thanksgiving and nearly 50 new package sorting shifts throughout the company's existing hub locations. Shipment tracking timing and accuracy will be improved with additional web and mobile app upgrades for enhanced information on package location and shipment status. 
  • "We have initial volume forecasts from our customers and are starting the hiring process for our temporary peak season jobs...We have needs throughout the United States and anticipate more applicants this year than in 2013. "

8:43 am RiceBran Tech. provides update on Irgovel Facility; Production has resumed after completion of initial repairs (RIBT) :

  • Production at the Company's plant in Pelotas, Brazil has resumed after the completion of initial repairs to the ash house, boiler complex and related facilities damaged by a structural breakdown that occurred in late August. The timing of the resumption of production was consistent with estimates. 
  • As a result of the temporary shutdown at Irgovel and the temporary reduction in production levels, revenues from the Company's Brazil segment will be negatively impacted for the remainder of 2014 until final repairs are completed during the annual maintenance period. Upon completion of those repairs the Company sees this incident having no material impact on Brazil segment revenues in 2015.

8:41 am Geo Group consortium has signed a contract with DoJ for the development and operation of a new 1,000-bed Prison (GEO) : GEO expects to begin the development of the Facility in 2015 under a Public-Private Partnership financing structure with an equity investment from GEO of approximately $120 million with returns on investment consistent with GEO's company-owned facilities. GEO Australia will operate the Facility upon its completion in late 2017 under a 25-year contract, which is expected to generate approximately $96 million in total first year annualized revenues. The Facility will provide unprecedented levels of in-prison and post-release programs aimed at reducing reoffending rates and helping offenders reintegrate into society.

8:38 am American Superconductor provides update on litigation with Sinovel Wind Group; AMSC is seeking ~$450 million in monetary damages (AMSC) : AMSC issued several updates regarding its litigation with Sinovel Wind Group. In the trade secret infringement case, the Beijing Higher People's Court upheld AMSC's position by rejecting Sinovel's appeal to transfer the case to the Beijing Arbitration Commission.  

  • Trade Secret Infringement Case - The Beijing Higher People's Court upheld the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court's ruling that the dispute will be heard by the Beijing Courts separate from the commercial arbitration claims. AMSC is seeking approximately US$450 million in monetary damages in the trade secret infringement case.
  • Trade Secret Infringement Case - On September 15, 2014, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court held its first substantive hearing in the Beijing case. At the hearing, the parties presented evidence, reviewed claims, and answered questions from the court. The Hainan case is expected to be heard in the Hainan court system. AMSC is seeking ~$6 million in monetary damages in the Beijing copyright infringement case and $200,000 in monetary damages in the Hainan copyright infringement case. 
  • U.S. Department of Justice Case - In May of 2014, a magistrate judge rejected Sinovel's challenge. Sinovel appealed the decision and in September 2014, the District Judge upheld the decision of the magistrate judge. Sinovel immediately appealed this ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

8:36 am Gogo wins bidding to provide in-flight connectivity Services for Vietnam Airlines (GOGO) : Co announced that it has received a bid award letter from Vietnam Airlines to provide in-flight connectivity services on Vietnam Airlines' fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft and a majority of Vietnam's Airbus A350 aircraft. The GX service currently expected to launch in the second half of 2015.

8:36 am Opexa Therapeutics announces termination of public offering of common stock (OPXA) : The termination results from an assessment by Opexa's management that current market conditions are not conducive for an offering on terms that would be in the best interests of Opexa's stockholders. As a result of such termination, no shares will be sold pursuant to the offering.

8:35 am H.B. Fuller announces that, effective Oct 1, 2014, or as contracts allow, the co's N. American Emulsion Polymer business will increase prices for certain products as well as apply a freight and logistics surcharge to all products sold by the business in N. America (FUL) :

  • Co announced that, effective October 1, 2014, or as contracts allow, the co's North American Emulsion Polymer business will increase prices for certain products as well as apply a freight and logistics surcharge to all products sold by the business in North America.
  • Vinyl acetate ethylene copolymers, vinyl acrylics, and polyvinyl acetate homopolymers prices will be increased by $0.03 USD per wet pound.
  • This price increase includes the Elvace, Plyamul, Copro, and PACE product brands. In addition, a freight and logistics surcharge of $0.02 USD per wet pound will be applied to all polymer emulsion products with delivered pricing terms.

8:35 am Ross Stores prices $250 million notes offering (ROST) : The notes will be issued at a price of 99.329% of their principal amount and will bear interest at a rate of 3.375% per annum. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering primarily to fund the purchase of its New York Buying Office building, which is expected to close by the end of September 2014. 

8:34 am Textainer Group refinances $1.2 bln warehouse financing facility (TGH) : Co entered into an amendment to extend its $1.2 billion warehouse securitization facility incorporating a three-year revolving period and also lowering the interest rate on the facility to 1.70% over LIBOR during the new revolving period. If the facility is not refinanced or renewed following the three-year revolving period that ends in September 2017, the facility is structured to partially amortize over the following four years and then mature. Previously the facility had a two-year revolving period and was priced at 1.95% over LIBOR. The Company also lowered the facility's unused fee and improved other terms.

8:33 am Kimberly-Clark subsidiary arranging debt financing in connection with spin-off; financing to consist of senior secured term loan B of ~$390 mln and ~$250 mln of senior unsecured notes (KMB) : Co announced that Halyard Health, Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary, is beginning the process of raising external financing in preparation for the spin-off of Halyard Health at the end of October 2014. As part of the external financing, Halyard Health also expects to enter into a $250 million senior secured revolving credit facility with various commercial and investment banks, which is expected to remain undrawn at the time of the spin-off.

8:33 am Sparton Corporation enters into new $200 mln credit agreement with a $100 mln accordion feature (SPA) :

  • Co announced that the company and certain wholly-owned subsidiaries entered into an Amended and Restated Credit and Guaranty Agreement and Security Agreement, dated September 11, 2014, with BMO Harris Bank N.A., US Bank National Association, Bank of America, N.A., Suntrust Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Associated Bank, N.A., Keybank National Association, and Wintrust Bank. BMO Harris Bank will be the lead agent for the lenders in a syndication arranged by BMO Capital Markets. 
  • The agreement replaces the Company's existing Credit and Guaranty Agreement with a $200 million revolving line-of-credit facility to support the Company's future acquisitions, working capital needs and other general corporate purposes. The Company has the right to request an increase of the facility in an amount of up to $100 million. It is secured by substantially all assets of the Company and its subsidiaries and has a term of five years, expiring on September 11, 2019.

8:32 am Spartan Motors increases South American footprint, reports 20 unit order for Sao Paulo, Brazil (SPAR) : Spartan ERV, a business unit of Spartan Motors, Inc. (SPAR), announced today that it has been awarded by the Sao Paulo Fire Department an order for 20 units. This order further accentuates Spartan ERV's growth in South America, as over 150 units have been delivered to the region since January 2011. Production for the order will begin immediately, with a scheduled completion date within the next year.

8:32 am SinoCoking: Chinese local government to supply SinoCoking underground Syngas Project With extensive gas pipeline distribution network (SCOK) : Co said that the local government of Pingdingshan has agreed to provide the company with an extensive gas pipeline distribution network and gas storage system as well as a land allotment of over 7.5 square miles of high-quality coal, all of which will support the development and continuing operations of SCOK's recently announced $300 million underground mine coal-to-syngas conversion project.

8:32 am S&P futures vs fair value: -3.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -6.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade three points below fair value.

August producer prices were unchanged, which matched the Briefing.com consensus. Core producer prices increased 0.1%, which is also what the consensus expected.

8:32 am Limoneira announces passing of Chairman of the Board, Alan M. Teague (LMNR) : Pursuant to the company's bylaws, the President of the Company, Harold S. Edwards, will perform the duties of the Chairman of the Board until a successor is appointed. The Board of Directors has begun the process to identify qualified successors to the directorship and the Chairman of the Board.

8:32 am Immersion and LG sign license agreement for tactile effects reaffirms 2014 revenues forecast at $51-56 mln vs $54.1 Capital IQ Consensus Est. (IMMR) : Co announces that it has signed a new agreement with LG Electronics. This reaffirms the ongoing relationship between the two companies, the new agreement is a multi-year worldwide license for Immersion's TouchSense software and Basic Haptics IP. 

Guidance
Based on its current outlook, the Company reaffirms that it expects revenues for 2014 to be in the range of $51-56 mln vs $54.1 mln CIQ est, and non-GAAP net income to be in the range of $6-12 mln. 

8:32 am Glimcher Realty: Washington Prime Group (WPG) to acquire Glimcher Realty Trust for $4.3 bln in stock and cash including the assumption of debt (stock and cash transaction valued at $14.20 per Glimcher common share) (GRT) :

  • Under the terms of the transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of WPG and the Board of Trustees of Glimcher, Glimcher shareholders will receive, for each Glimcher share, $10.40 in cash and 0.1989 of a share in WPG stock at closing. The stock portion of the consideration is valued at $3.80, based on the ten day volume weighted average price of WPG common stock prior to the date of the agreement.
  • Additionally, as part of the transaction, Simon Property Group (SPG) has entered into a definitive agreement under which Simon will acquire Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, New Jersey and University Park Village in Fort Worth, Texas, properties currently owned by Glimcher, for an aggregate cash purchase price of $1.09 billion. Completion of the sale of these properties to Simon will occur concurrent with the closing of the acquisition of Glimcher by WPG.
  • Key transaction highlights: FFO Impact - The transaction is expected to be accretive to WPG's normalized Funds from Operations per share. Synergies - Substantial G&A and property level expense synergies are expected. Portfolio Quality - The combined company provides superior diversification by asset type, tenancy, industry and geography. Dividend - The combined company expects to maintain WPG's current quarterly dividend at an annual rate of $1.00 per share.
  • The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

8:32 am Reed's is expanding its Los Angeles plant, spending up to $1.5 million to replace existing equipment and triple the speed of production (REED) : "We've maxed out our plant in Los Angeles, year over year quarterly sales keep growing at double digits, and we have decided to upgrade our line to handle our growth. With the advent of our new national advertising programs, we feel it's important to stay ahead of demand. By tripling the line speed in our Los Angeles plant, we will absorb much of the fixed overhead expenses and significantly reduce labor costs causing savings north of $1 million annually."

8:31 am Market View: Dec. stock-index futures continue to trade down versus fair values following the Aug. PPI & Core PPI figures (:TECHX) :

  • ESz4 now trades @ 1973.25 -2.75

  • NQz4 now trades @ 4014.00 -11.50

  • YMz4 now trades @ 16917 -26

8:31 am U.S. Energy announces retirement of President & COO Mark Larsen effective December 31, 2014; Larsen will remain in an advisory role during 2015 (USEG) : The company plans to initiate a search for a Chief Operating Officer in the near term

8:31 am Oxygen Biotherapeutics receives shareholder approval to change the co name to Tenax Therapeutics (OXBT) : The name change shall go into effect on Friday, September 19, 2014, and at market open the Company's common stock will trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under its new ticker symbol "TENX". 

8:30 am Entropic Comms to explore strategic alternatives, guides lower for Q3 (ENTR) : Co announces that its Board of Directors has authorized the evaluation of strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. The Board intends to consider a wide range of alternatives. The co has engaged investment bank Barclays in connection with its efforts. The co has not set a timetable for completion of this process and does not intend to disclose further developments unless and until its Board approves a specific action or otherwise concludes the review of strategic alternatives.

Co also announces revised financial guidance for Q3. Due primarily to less seasonal strength than was anticipated in the co's Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Outdoor Unit (:ODU) business, and to a lesser degree further weakness in legacy set-top box (STB) system-on-a-chip (SoC) products, Entropic now expects Q3 revenue to be approximately $43 mln vs CapIQ consensus of $50.2 mln. Co says it's making good progress on its previously announced restructuring plan and cost reduction efforts and therefore expects to be on the lower end of its previous guidance for operating expenses. Co now expects non-GAAP loss per share of approximately $0.15 vs CapIQ consensus of $(0.11).

"We will give financial guidance for the fourth quarter on our next earnings call at the end of October, but based on our current forecast, we expect continued softness in the fourth quarter as we are again seeing new product deployment delays....Although we believe we have executed well on the product development front and have compelling products in the pipeline, delays in service provider product launches and shifts in service provider deployment architectures continue to affect our financial results."

8:29 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • SolarCity (SCTY) unveiled a new product in its Zep Solar line of solar products - a flat roof solar mounting solution that is twice as fast to install and can generate significantly more solar electricity from each rooftop than alternatives for the commercial market.
  • Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania (RBPAA) and its banking subsidiary Royal Bank America have taken several steps to position for the future. Previously-reported earnings momentum, which included a return to profitability in 2013 followed by net income of $2.9 mln for the first six months of 2014, is fueling a repositioning of Royal Bank's locations and products. 
  • NF Energy Saving (NFEC) has established a special internet marketing department to promote overseas sales and has set up a website as a global valve trade service platform as part of its strategic development plan. 
  • Broadcom (BRCM) announced that SK Broadband has selected Broadcom's Ultra HD SoC technology to power its new B UHD tv set-top box and IPTV services.
  • Jive Software (JIVE) expanded its lineup of software connectors to include Microsoft (MSFT) Office 365 - centered on bridging the gap between on-premise and cloud versions of Microsoft's offerings to make collaboration and communication seamless.
  • World Energy Solutions (XWES) has helped Phillips Academy successfully procure over 26 mln kWh of electricity to power its campus. 
  • Flagler Hospital, located in St. Augustine, Fla., has selected the Allscripts (MDRX) dbMotion solution to connect a myriad of electronic health records across the community.
  • SL Green Realty (SLG) has entered into an agreement to acquire commercial condominium units in the newly constructed Midtown Manhattan class-A office property for $275.0 mln.  
  • BT (BT) announced a contract with Glencore (GLNCY) to build and manage Glencore's new global core network across Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

8:28 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: COOL -13.7%, (thinly traded), FULL -4.7%, ALOG -3.5%, PARN -2.5%

M&A news: AT -18.9% (provides update on outcome of strategic review process; sale or merger of co not in best interests of co or its stakeholders at this time), BUD -1.6% (WSJ says Anheuser-Busch InBev seeking financing for SABMiller plc (SBMRY) deal), ORAN -1.4% (Group will launch a friendly voluntary cash tender offer for the acquisition of 100% of the capital of Jazztel)

Select EU heavy-weight names showing weakness: ALU -1.5%, AZN -1.4%, BCS -1.1%, ARMH -0.8%, DB -0.7%, LYG -0.6%

Select Casino stocks trading lower: MGM -3%, LVS -2.4%, WYNN -1.8%, CNTY -1.5%, BYD -0.9%

Other news: SIGA -27.1% (files for Chapter 11 reorganization), PIP -15.9% (still checking), OPXA -10.2% (announces proposed public offering of common stock), OXPA -10.2% (still checking), GST -7.9% (announced that it intends to offer 17 mln shares of its common stock ), AVNR -6.7% (modest pull back following yesterdays 80%+ advance), CHA -3.2% (Shanghai -1.8% overnight), CHL -2.9% (Shanghai -1.8% overnight), ACI -2.1% (China plans to ban low grade coal, according to reports), NFLX -1.8% (FCC to consider net neutrality for mobile broadband, according to reports), BTU -1.2% (China plans to ban low grade coal, according to reports), GPRO -1.1% (cont pre-mkt vol), AA -1% (announces proposed public offering of 25 mln depository share of Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock)

Analyst comments: ACI -2.1% (downgraded to Reduce from Neutral at Nomura), CMI -1.2% (downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo), BTU -1.2% (downgraded to Reduce from Neutral at Nomura), SAP -1.1% (initiated with a Sector Perform at RBC Capital Mkts), YOKU -0.8% (hearing cautious OTR mention), OXY -0.6% (downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays), ADBE -0.6% (assumed with a Sector Perform (down from Outperform) at RBC Capital Mkts)

8:28 am European Markets Update: FTSE -0.5%, DAX -0.5%, CAC -0.6%, MIB -0.6% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade lower across the board with France's CAC (-0.6%) showing the sharpest decline after Air France warned it could report a loss for the full year.

  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Eurozone ZEW Economic Sentiment fell to 14.2 from 23.7 (expected 21.3) 
    • Germany's ZEW Economic Sentiment eased to 6.9 from 8.6 (forecast 4.8), while the Current Conditions Index tumbled to 25.4 from 44.3 (consensus 40.0) 
    • Great Britain's CPI increased 0.4% month-over-month, while the year-over-year reading rose 1.5%, as expected. Core CPI rose 1.9% year-over-year (forecast 1.8%; last 1.8%), while Input PPi fell 0.6% month-over-month (consensus -0.4%; prior -1.7%). Also of note, House Price Index came in at 11.7% (expected 10.6%; last 10.2%) 
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.5% with nearly 90% of the index trading in the red. Consumer discretionary names weigh with Sports Direct International, SABMiller, and EasyJet down between 2.0% and 3.0%. Publisher Pearson outperforms with an increase of 2.2% following an upgrade at Morgan Stanley. 
  • Germany's DAX trades down 0.5%. Deutsche Lufthansa is the weakest performer, down 2.4%, following Air France's warning. Deutsche Post and Adidas outperform with respective gains of 0.6% and 2.4%. 
  • In France, the CAC displays a loss of 0.6% with Orange leading the retreat. The telecom stock is lower by 1.9%. Advertiser Publicis Groupe outperforms with a gain of 1.2%. 
  • Italy's MIB has given up 0.6% with financials contributing to the weakness. Banco Popolare, BMPS, and Mediobanca are down between 1.8% and 3.5%.

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

  • Agile Therapeutics (AGRX) announced the initiation of its Phase 3 study called SECURE (Study to Evaluate Contraceptive Use, Reliability and Effectiveness) designed to assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability of co's investigational once-weekly transdermal contraceptive patch, Twirla (AG200-15). The results from the SECURE study are intended to support the co's NDA with the FDA for marketing approval of Twirla (AG200-15) in the U.S.
  • Veeco Instruments (VECO) announced that its new Odyssey Ion Beam Deposition Upgrade for the NEXUS IBD-LDD System has repeatedly produced photomask blanks with zero deposition defects larger than 70 nanometers.
  • BNY Mellon (BK) has launched Alternative Loan Financing, a concept that provides an alternative structure for U.S. syndicated loans to be used as eligible collateral in a wide range of financing transactions. 
  • AMD (AMD) announced a new collaboration with Canonical that provides a way to deploy an OpenStack private cloud. The solution features the SeaMicro SM15000 server, Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and OpenStack, which includes a set of powerful tools to build one of the most flexible and reliable private clouds. 
  • Snecma (Safran) and RTI International Metals (RTI) signed a long-term agreement under which RTI will provide titanium aluminide alloy material for the new CFM International LEAP engine.
  • Splunk (SPLK) announced that Trade Me has standardized on Splunk Enterprise. 
  • Brocade (BRCD) announced that Yahoo (YHOO) Japan has completed deployment of a Brocade Ethernet fabric solution as the network foundation for an enterprise-wide big data project.
  • SL Green Realty (SLG) and JV partner, The Moinian Group, announced an agreement to sell 180 Maiden Lane for $470 mln.
  • BorgWarner's (BWA) production facility in Ningbo, China, has produced more than 1.5 mln exhaust gas recirculation valves for passenger cars and commercial diesel vehicles. Co expects demand to increase over the coming years and plans to produce one mln EGR valves annually in Ningbo beginning in 2016.

8:24 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: SINO +33.1%, (surged higher into the close after reporting earnings in late trade), FONR +9.2%, AXR +3.5%

M&A news: SODA +4.2% (in discussions with British fund regarding sale, according to reports)

Other news: RWLK +5.9% (cont momentum following IPO),PSTI +5.9% (pursues development strategy in Japan where new law accelerates path to market),SSH +5.5% (to provide clinical updates from the North American feasibility study),UEC +5% (reports positive preliminary economic assessment on Anderson Project in Arizona),OREX +3.9% (after seeing notable late move off lows on insider buy disclosures),AXAS +2.3% (raises Q3 production guidance to 6.9-7.0 Boepd, up from 6.5-6.7 Boepd),JDSU +1.9% (favorable commentary on Monday's Mad Money),CSIQ +1.1% (announces 1.5 MW solar module supply agreement in Jordan),YNDX +1.1% (modest rebound after yesterday's decline) 

Analyst comments: DRYS +5.2% (initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank),VNET +4.4% (upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest),STRI +4.1% (upgraded to Buy at Craig Hallum),GASS +3.5% (initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank),AEO +2% (upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at a boutique firm),DATA +1.8% (upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse),DSX +1.4% (initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank),TNK +1.3% (initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank),TAP +1.3% (initiated with an Outperform at Cowen),CPLP +1% (initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank),TEX +0.9% (upgraded to Buy at Stifel)

8:12 am Walgreens Boots Alliance files Form S-4 registration statement and preliminary proxy statement/prospectus related to Walgreens strategic transaction with Alliance Boots (WAG) :

  • Co announced that Walgreens Boots Alliance, the anticipated new holding co for the combined Walgreens and Alliance Boots enterprise, filed a Registration Statement on Form S-4 with the SEC containing a preliminary proxy statement/prospectus related to Walgreens acquisition of the remaining 55% of Alliance Boots GmbH that the co doesn't currently own and the reorganization of Walgreens into a holding company structure.

8:11 am Lentuo provides update on its strategy to expand its sales and service network in the high-end car segment in China; says it 'believes that some of these discussions will lead to agreements to open additional dealerships and strengthen its high-end portfolio in the near future' (LAS) : Co provided an update on its strategy to expand its sales and service network in the high-end car segment in China.

  • The co has been and continues to be in active discussions with several high-end brands and believes that some of these discussions will lead to agreements to open additional dealerships and strengthen its high-end portfolio in the near future.

8:11 am Juniper Networks: BroadSoft (BSFT) selects Juniper Networks to power its global BroadCloud data centers (JNPR) : Co announced that BroadSoft (BSFT) has deployed a comprehensive cloud networking solution across its data centers comprised of Juniper routing, switching and security products, as well as Juniper Networks Support. 

8:09 am Oculus Innovative Sciences strengthens intellectual property portfolio with allowance of four new patents for Microcyn Technology (OCLS) : Co announced the allowance of four new U.S. and international patents for the company's flagship technology, Microcyn. These include a U.S. patent for treatment of second- and third-degree burns; U.S. and Canadian patents for treatment of peritonitis; and a Chinese patent for the Microcyn solution and its methods of use. The U.S. patent directed to peritonitis issued today as U.S. Patent No. 8,834,445, while the second- and third-degree burn U.S. patent will issue on September 23, 2014. The exact dates of issuance for the Chinese and Canadian patents are yet to be determined.

8:09 am Nxstage Medical announces FDA clearance of Single Needle Technology (NXTM) : Co announced its single needle technology, OneSite, has received FDA clearance. The OneSite employs a unique dual lumen needle design offered in both a sharp version with MasterGuard and a buttonhole version with SteriPick allowing the dialysis patient to have only one needle inserted per dialysis treatment instead of two.

8:08 am United Continental announces put option notification for 6.0% convertible senior notes due 2029 (UAL) : Co announces that it is notifying holders of the $58,291,000 outstanding principal amount of its 6.0% Convertible Senior Notes due 2029 that they have a right, pursuant to the terms of the Notes, to require the co to purchase, on Oct. 15, 2014, all or a portion of such holders' Notes (the "Put Option") at a price equal to $1,000 per $1,000 principal amount of the Notes, plus any accrued and unpaid interest. In addition, UAL's notice to holders with respect to the Put Option specifying the terms, conditions and procedures for exercising the Put Option will be available through The Depository Trust Company and the paying agent, which is The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company.

8:08 am Cormedix amends and restates outstanding securities to remove provisions causing derivative liability classification (CRMD) : Co announced the amendment and restatement of its outstanding Series C-2, C-3, D and E preferred stock and related warrants, as well as the warrants issued in its March 2014 common stock and warrant financing, to remove anti-dilution, price reset and certain change of control provisions that caused those securities to be classified as derivative liabilities under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.  In addition, the dividend payable on each of the Series D preferred stock and Series E preferred stock was eliminated. The move will improve the company's balance sheet by allowing the preferred stock to be included in stockholders' equity.

8:08 am CB&I announces gas processing award in the U.S. (CBI) : Co announced it has been awarded a contract by Enable Products, LLC, part of Enable Midstream Partners, LP (ENBL), for the engineering and procurement of equipment and process modules for a new natural gas processing plant. The new plant will be located near Enable's Bradley Processing Plant currently under construction in Grady County, Oklahoma. The facility will utilize the NGL-MAX gas processing technology from CB&I and will have a total processing capacity of 200 million standard cubic feet per day of gas.

8:07 am Stratasys to acquire privately-held GrabCAD, terms not disclosed (SSYS) : Co announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held GrabCAD, in an all-cash transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of September. GrabCAD offers GrabCAD Workbench, a cloud-based collaboration tool that enables engineers and designers to share, view and manage CAD files and other design data. GrabCAD is also home to a community of more than 1.5 million members from around the world who can access a large public CAD file library as well as connect with other engineers. The acquisition is expected to enable Stratasys to provide its customers with enhanced collaboration tools and improved accessibility relating to 3D CAD content.

8:06 am Roche Hldg announces ACCU-CHEK Aviva Expert is now available by prescription (RHHBY) : The ACCU-CHEK Aviva Expert meter system is available by prescription only for people with diabetes who are trained in multiple daily injection therapy and are under the supervision of healthcare professionals experienced in managing insulin-treated patients.

8:05 am Digital Power Corporation wins two contracts worth $1.3 mln to develop advanced, next-generation power solutions for cloud based data centers and converged cable access platforms (DPW) : Based on current purchase forecasts provided by the customers to these contracts and after completion of development, the company expects to generate aggregate annual revenue of $1.3 million from these contracts for a period of five years.

8:05 am Vipshop announces shareholder approval of the adoption of a dual-class share structure (VIPS) : Co announced that at the annual general meeting of shareholders held on September 15, 2014, the company's shareholders voted in favor of the proposal to adopt a dual-class share structure, pursuant to which the Company's authorized share capital shall be re-classified and re-designated into Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares, with each Class A ordinary share being entitled to one vote and each Class B ordinary share being entitled to ten votes on all matters that are subject to shareholder vote, as well as the proposal to amend and restate the Company's memorandum and articles of association to reflect the adoption of the Dual-class Share Structure and other related matters.

8:05 am CBS Outdoor Americas commences private offering of $550 mln in aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes (CBSO) :

  • Co announced that two of its wholly owned subsidiaries commenced a private offering of $550 million in aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes, consisting of $450 mln in aggregate principal amount of new senior unsecured notes due 2025 and an additional $100 million in aggregate principal amount of their existing 5.250% notes due 2022, subject to market and other conditions.
  • CBS Outdoor intends to use the net proceeds from the notes offering, together with cash on hand and borrowings under its revolving credit facility, to pay the consideration for its previously announced acquisition of certain outdoor advertising businesses from Van Wagner Communications, LLC and to pay related fees and expenses.

8:04 am Assurant announces appointment of Alan B. Colberg, as president, effective immediately, and as CEO effective Jan 1, 2015 (AIZ) : Co announced the appointment of Alan B. Colberg, as president, effective immediately, and as chief executive officer and director of the company's board, effective Jan. 1, 2015. He succeeds Robert B. Pollock who announced his plan to retire earlier this year. Since joining Assurant in March 2011, Colberg has served as executive vice president, marketing and business development where he was responsible for fully integrating Assurant's strategy with enterprise-wide and business-level innovation and growth plans.

8:03 am Northwest Biotherapeutics cancer vaccine is the first drug to be designated by UK authorities as a 'Promising Innovative Medicine' (NWBO) :

  • Co announced that its DCVax-L is the first product to receive formal designation as a 'Promising Innovative Medicine' under the new "Early Access to Medicines Scheme' launched in the UK in April 2014. 
  • A PIM is the first step in a 2-step process for early access approval under the EAMS.
  • In granting the first PIM designation under this new EAMS to DCVax-L, the UK Department Of Health has stated, "An innovative cell therapy for cancer has become the first to be certified as 'promising' as part of a new Government scheme aimed at getting new medicines to patients quicker."

8:03 am Medtronic Drug-Coated Balloon shows strong clinical and economic benefit in treatment of PAD (MDT) : Co says IN.PACT global study reports favorable outcomes in real-world patient population and  validates key findings from IN.PACT SFA trial. Presented for the first time at the 2014 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (:TCT) conference, the latest clinical and economic data on the IN.PACT Admiral drug-coated balloon (:DCB) from Medtronic augments an already robust body of evidence that continues to drive a reconsideration of the standard of care for peripheral artery disease (PAD.V) in leg arteries above the knee. The IN.PACT Admiral DCB remains an investigational medical device in the United States. No drug-coated balloon has yet received approval from the FDA. The new data come from the real-world IN.PACT Global study, the largest and most rigorous post-market evaluation of its kind for any peripheral artery intervention, and from an ongoing economic outcomes analysis of the U.S. phase of the landmark IN.PACT SFA trial.

8:02 am Chiquita Brands and Fyffes (FYFFF) working to obtain Phase I clearance from the European Commission by October 3, 2014 (CQB) : The co and Fyffes (FYFFF) confirm that they are in discussions with the European Commission regarding possible limited commitments with a view to obtaining clearance of their previously-announced merger transaction by the Commission in its initial Phase I review period. As a result of this development, the European Commission's Phase 1 review timetable is automatically extended by 10 working days to October 3, 2014.

8:02 am Sky-mobi announces strategic partnership with China Telecom (CHA); will provide customized software for physical stores (MOBI) :

  • Co announced that it, through its controlling subsidiary Mopin Technology Co., Ltd., has entered into a strategic partnership with E Surfing ("Tianyi"), China Telecom's mobile internet services platform.
  • Under the terms of the agreement, Sky-mobi has been designated as an official business partner with China Telecom to provide customized software services at China Telecom's network of physical stores nation-wide.
  • The cooperation spans a wide array of services which include mobile assistant services, product introduction and installation, operational support and data analytics, as well as software tutorials for China Telecom's sales staff.

8:01 am Alnylam Pharma presents new pre-clinical data with ALN-CC5; new non-human primate data show potent and clamped C5 knockdown of up to 98.7% and inhibition of complement activity of up to 96.8% with monthly subcutaneous dosing regimen (ALNY) : Co plans to file a CTA for ALN-CC5 by the end of this year and expect to present initial clinical results in mid-2015

8:01 am Hertz Global And Carl Icahn execute definitive agreement (after they reached an agreement-in-principle last week) (HTZ) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Carl C. Icahn and affiliated entities under which Vincent J. Intrieri, Samuel Merksamer and Daniel A. Ninivaggi have been appointed to the Hertz Board of Directors as Class II, Class I and Class I directors, respectively. Intrieri and Merksamer will be members of the five-person search committee leading the process to find a permanent Chief Executive Officer of Hertz. As previously announced on September 11, 2014, Hertz had reached an agreement-in-principle with Mr. Icahn. Carl C. Icahn, together with his affiliates, beneficially owns approximately 38.8 million shares of Hertz common stock, which represents approximately 8.48% of Hertz's outstanding shares. Mr. Icahn has also agreed to vote the shares he controls in support of Hertz's slate of director nominees at the Company's 2015 Annual Meeting.

7:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: -2.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -2.50. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade modestly lower amid cautious action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover three points below fair value after retreating from their overnight highs. Market participants have been cautious since the start of the Asian session with a disappointing Foreign Direct Investment report from China contributing to the defensive posture. In addition, the remainder of the week will bring key events like the FOMC meeting, the Scottish referendum, and Alibaba's IPO (BABA), which may have warranted some profit taking.

Today will be relatively quiet on the economic front with the Producer Price Index (Briefing.com consensus 0.0%) set to be released at 8:30 ET, while Net Long-Term TIC Flows will be reported at 16:00 ET.

Treasuries hold gains with the 10-yr yield down three basis points at 2.56%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Humana (HUM 128.37, +0.71): +0.6% after approving a new $2 billion share repurchase program 
  • Yahoo! (YHOO 42.80, +0.25): +0.6% after Alibaba Group (BABA) raised the price range for its IPO to $66-$68 from $60-$66. Yahoo! owns a 23% stake in the e-commerce giant. 
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended lower. Japan's Nikkei -0.2%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.9%, and China's Shanghai Composite -1.8% 
    • In economic data: 
      • China's Foreign Direct Investment declined 1.8% (previous -0.4%) 
      • South Korea's trade surplus remained unchanged at 3.40 billion as exports declined 0.2% year-over-year (previous -0.1%) and imports grew 3.1% (last 3.1%)
    • In news: 
      • Japan's Economy Minister Akira Amari said consumption during the summer period may have been adversely impacted by weather. This comes after the cabinet expected strong consumer spending in Q3 to justify a sales tax hike in 2015.
  • Major European indices trade lower across the board. Germany's DAX -0.3%, France's CAC -0.5%, and Great Britain's FTSE -0.5%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB -0.4% and Spain's IBEX -0.4% 
    • Participants received several data points: 
      • Eurozone ZEW Economic Sentiment fell to 14.2 from 23.7 (expected 21.3) 
      • Germany's ZEW Economic Sentiment eased to 6.9 from 8.6 (forecast 4.8), while the Current Conditions Index tumbled to 25.4 from 44.3 (consensus 40.0) 
      • Great Britain's CPI increased 0.4% month-over-month, while the year-over-year reading rose 1.5%, as expected. Core CPI rose 1.9% year-over-year (forecast 1.8%; last 1.8%), while Input PPi fell 0.6% month-over-month (consensus -0.4%; prior -1.7%). Also of note, House Price Index came in at 11.7% (expected 10.6%; last 10.2%) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • European markets have been pressured by disappointing earnings out of the discretionary sector in the UK with ASOS and Thomas Cook missing expectations. In addition, Air France warned it could report a loss for the full year.

7:55 am Lannett voluntarily conducts internal review in response to inquiry from Connecticut Attorney General received in July 2014; Co concludes it is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations (LCI) :

  • Co announced that upon receipt of the subpoena from the State of Connecticut Office of the Attorney General it voluntarily engaged outside counsel and other experts to conduct an internal review focusing on the company's pricing practices for digoxin. 
  • The review has been completed and the company concluded that it has acted in compliance with applicable laws and regulations with regard to the pricing of digoxin.

7:49 am Scorpio Tankers announces it has taken delivery of seven newbuilding vessels (STNG) : Co announced that it has recently taken delivery of seven newbuilding vessels:

  • STI Madison and STI Park, LR2 product tankers, were delivered from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in Sep 2014. 
  • STI Mythos, an MR product tanker, was delivered in Aug 2014 from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard of South Korea.
  • STI Regina, an MR product tanker, was delivered in Sep 2014 from SPP Shipbuilding of South Korea.
  • STI Benicia, an MR product tanker, was delivered in Sep 2014 from SPP.
  • STI Hackney and STI Acton, Handymax Ice Class 1A product tankers, were delivered from HMD in Aug and Sep 2014, respectively.

7:48 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Foster Wheeler AG (FWLT) announced that a subsidiary of its Global Engineering and Construction Group has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management services contract by Sasol (SSL) Petroleum Temane for an Electrical Expansion and Fuel Gas Superheater Project at Sasol's Temane gas processing facility in Mozambique.
  • Mylan (MYL) is initiating Phase III clinical trials for its generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Advair Diskus and its insulin analog to Sanofi's (SNY) Lantus. 
  • Epsilon, an Alliance Data (ADS) co, has signed a multi-year agreement with Sephora. Epsilon will provide targeted email marketing services focused on driving sales and creating a more personalized experience for customers across Sephora's omnichannel marketing platforms.
  • Lockheed Martin (LMT) delivered the next evolution of the F-35 Lightning II's information technology backbone called the Autonomic Logistics Information System. Following validation at test sites, the software will be installed at all F-35 locations and deployed for military operations beginning in 2015.

7:47 am Atlantic Power provides update on outcome of strategic review process; sale or merger of co not in best interests of co or its stakeholders at this time; reduces dividend to CAD0.12 annually from CAD0.40; announces President and CEO transition (AT) : Co announced that as part of its previously announced strategic review process, it has concluded that a sale or merger of the Company is not in the best interests of the Company or its stakeholders at this time.

  • Atlantic Power also announced a reduction in its dividend rate to Cdn$0.12 from Cdn$0.40 on an annual basis. 
  • Co announces President and CEO transition and appoints Director Ken Hartwick as Interim President and CEO. 
  • Targeting additional corporate expense reductions of ~ $7 mln annually, for total run-rate savings of ~$15 mln annually in 2015. 
  • Reaffirmed 2014 guidance for Project Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow. 
  • Strong liquidity as of June 30, 2014 of $261 mln, including $158 mln of unrestricted cash.
  • The Company also intends to pursue external growth opportunities with accretive returns, to the extent available.  

7:46 am Jacobs awarded contract option worth $120 mln at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; also, co increased ownership in Jacobs ZATE from 60% to 75% (JEC) : Co announced that it has been awarded a modification to extend the Engineering and Science Services and Skills Augmentation contract at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

  • The contract modification is for a one-year option with a potential value of $120 mln. 
  • The option begins September 27, 2014 and extends through October 2, 2015. 
  • Co also confirmed an increase ownership in Jacobs ZATE from 60% to 75%.

7:36 am Bill Barrett announces $757 mln total value divestiture of Powder River and Piceance Basin properties and acquisition of Additional Acreage in the Northeast Wattenberg; guides for total production of 9.4-9.8 MMBoe - this reduces previous guidance by ~1.4 MMBoe (BBG) :

  • Co announced that it has signed purchase and sale agreements with several undisclosed purchasers for the sale of the majority of its Powder River Basin (PRB) acreage and the co's remaining position in the Gibson Gulch natural gas program in the Piceance Basin.
  • The transactions include an acreage exchange whereby BBG acquires 7,856 net acres and 390 barrels of oil equivalent per day ("Boe/d") net production within the southern block of its operated Northeast Wattenberg area in exchange for acreage in the PRB.
  • The total value of the transactions is $757 mln and includes $568 mln in cash proceeds (prior to customary closing adjustments), $69 mln estimated value for assets acquired in an exchange, $36 mln for the assumption by a purchaser of a lease financing obligation and $84 mln in future commitments assumed by a purchaser for natural gas firm gathering and transportation obligations.
  • These transactions are significant steps in meeting strategic objectives to simplify its portfolio, focus on its highest return assets, and strengthen the balance sheet. As a result of these transactions, co expects to reduce its net debt from $1.1 bln to ~$450 mln, pro forma as of June 30, 2014, significantly reducing our net debt-to-EBITDAX ratio towards its long-term objective of 2.5 times.
  • Further, co anticipates that 2014 exit rate production will have a commodity mix that is more than 70% oil, successfully repositioning the co as a focused, growth oriented oil development co with a strong balance sheet." The asset sales include 46,510 net acres in the PRB with net production that averaged 1,479 Boe/d in the second quarter of 2014 and proved reserves of 4.2 MMBoe at year-end 2013, and 12,000 net acres in the Piceance Basin with net production that averaged 80 mln cubic feet natural gas equivalent per day in Q2 of 2014 and proved reserves of 438 bln cubic feet natural gas equivalent at year-end 2013.
  • As a result of these transactions and based on expected closing dates, the Co is revising its 2014 full-year operating guidance:
    • Oil production growth of ~26%, 2014 over 2013. This reduces previous guidance to reflect sold production from each of the PRB and Gibson Gulch.
    • Total production of 9.4-9.8 mln barrels of oil equivalent ("MMBoe").
    • This reduces previous guidance by ~1.4 MMBoe, ~10% oil, as a result of production attributable to sold assets. It also narrows the previous guidance range toward the lower end of the range, primarily as a result of natural gas production year-to-date.
    • As previously reported, natural gas production year-to-date was affected by lower performance at certain Core Wattenberg wells and the impact of unusual winter operating conditions in Q1 of 2014 at Gibson Gulch.
    • Q3 of 2014 total production is expected to range between 2.6-2.7 MMBoe. 2014 exit rate production is expected to be ~21 MBoe/d.
    • Capital expenditures of $525-$550 mln, narrowed to the upper end of previous estimates,

7:32 am Brookfield Property Partners holds Investor Day; raises annual distribution growth tgt to +5-8% from +3-5% (BPY) : Co is hosting a presentation to the investment community this morning in New York City where management will provide an overview of the company's business objectives, current strategic initiatives and model for continued long-term growth.

  • BPY is also announcing an increase in its distribution growth target to 5-8% per annum, up from the previous range of 3-5%. The increased guidance reflects BPY's positive long-term fundamentals and strong organic growth prospects, including opportunities from marking-to-market expiring leases, occupancy gains, and the monetization of its development and redevelopment projects.

7:31 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -0.2%, Hang Seng -0.9%, Shanghai -1.8% (:SUMRX) :

  • The major Asian bourses finished mostly lower. 
  • Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda pushed back against the belief the weak yen was hurting the economy, saying companies are increasing domestic investment. 
  • The latest Reserve Bank of Australia minutes warned of a property bubble down under. 
  • China's foreign direct investment slid -1.8% YTDoY. 
  • Japan's Nikkei (-0.2%) held near eight-month highs. Heavyweight Softbank provided support, up 2.3%, after its holding, Alibaba, upped its IPO price range. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-0.9%) pressed lower for an eighth straight session and closed at its lowest levels since late-July. Gaming stocks continued to see weakness as Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment gave up 3.9% and 3.3%, respectively. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite (-1.8%) saw its biggest drop in six months as fears of a slowdown weighed. Consumer names remained under pressure with automaker SAIC Motor Corp giving up more than 3%. 
  • India's Sensex (-1.2%) sank to a three-week low. Utilities lagged as Tata Power tumbled 6.1% and NTPC gave up 2.8%. 
  • Australia's ASX (-0.5%) pressed lower for the ninth time in ten days. The big four banks lost ground with CBA shedding 1.0%.
  • Regional Decliners: Singapore -1.2%...Taiwan -0.9%...Thailand -0.9%...Vietnam -0.4%...Indonesia -0.3%
  • Regional Advancers: Philippines +0.3%...South Korea +0.4%
  • Closed: Malaysia (Malaysia Day) 
  • Fx: USDCNY ticked up to 6.1459...USDINR slipped to 61.06...USDJPY -5 pips @ 107.15...AUDUSD -10 pips @ .9025

7:30 am Ophthotech announces Fovista Phase 2b independent analysis shows that Fovista Anti-PDGF therapy, combined with Anti-VEGF therapy, is associated with a reduction of sub-retinal fibrosis in wet AMD patients (OPHT) : Co announced that a subgroup analysis assessing the development and progression of sub-retinal fibrosis in the Company's Phase 2b trial comparing Fovista combination therapy with Lucentis versus Lucentis monotherapy will be presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2014 Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Highlights of the abstract include the mean change in severity of sub-retinal fibrosis from baseline to the conclusion of the study at 24 weeks was 0.97 vs. 2.0, favoring the Fovista combination therapy group.

7:25 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • GreenHunter Resources (GRH) has received permits and has completed downhole performance tests on new wells at its Mills Hunter Facility, located in Meigs County, Ohio. Recent bottom hole integrity tests of these wells indicate injection volume capabilities of between 3,000 to 5,000 barrels of oilfield brine water per day per well. This increase in capacity is in line with earlier projections made by the co to double injection capacity by the end of calendar year 2014. 
  • NovaBay Pharma (NBY) will be featuring its i-Lid Cleanser with Neutrox for the first time at the International Vision Expo & Conference. 
  • Spectra Energy (SE), Spectra Energy Partners (SEP) and Northeast Utilities (NU) announced details of the Access Northeast project. This project will help deliver increased, guaranteed daily supplies of natural gas to consumers, as well as enhanced service on peak days for strategic natural gas-fueled electric generation plants, to address New England's reliability concerns and reduce costs paid by the region's electric and gas consumers. 
  • SAP SE (SAP) announced cloud-based innovations that leverage the connectivity, community and insights of the Ariba Network to help companies fuel more agile, intelligent and collaborative supply chains.  
  • Vuzix (VUZI) has completed the upgrade to its cleanrooms, tool processing equipment and waveguide manufacturing facility in Rochester, New York. 
  • Spansion (CODE) announced the signing of a cross-license agreement with Winbond Electronics. This gives both companies access to each other's Flash memory patent portfolio.
  • Comverse (CNSI) announced successful enhancement of Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGY) visual voicemail service with voice-to-text capabilities. 
  • Merge Healthcare (MRGE) announced Willis-Knighton Health System has selected Merge's enterprise-wide cardiology and interoperability solutions to simplify workflow and advance clinical reporting and analytics. 
  • Kofax (KFX) announced that one of the United States' largest healthcare maintenance organization insurers has deployed Kofax TotalAgility, Kofax Capture, Kofax Transformation Modules and Kofax Medical Claims Add-on Packto streamline claims processing, ensure compliance with current Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requirements and interfaces with the company's EpicCare software for electronic medical record purposes. 
  • Walmart (WMT) and AutoInsurance.com announced the continued national expansion of the auto insurance comparison site into 11 new states. 
  • Gaiam (GAIA) announced the release of its Yoga Rising Series available exclusively on iTunes.

7:17 am Allergan to hold special meeting of stockholders on originally scheduled date of Dec 18 without restriction (AGN) : Co announced that it has reached an agreement with Pershing Square Capital Management and Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) under which Allergan will hold the Special Meeting of Stockholders on the originally scheduled date of Dec 18, 2014, without restriction, and Pershing Square and Valeant will dismiss their pending litigation before the Delaware Court of Chancery. In connection, Allergan has established an Oct 30, 2014 record date for stockholders entitled to vote at the Special Meeting.

7:16 am Vanguard Natural Resources signs agreement to acquire natural gas and liquids properties from Bill Barrett (BBG) for $525 mln in the Piceance Basin in Colorado (VNR) : Co announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids assets in the Piceance Basin in Colorado for a purchase price of $525 mln from Bill Barrett Corporation (BBG).

  • The properties consist of ~12K net acres that are currently producing ~67 MMcfe per day, after consideration of ethane rejection, with ~76% natural gas, 5% oil and 19% NGLs.
  • To be immediately accretive to distributable cash flow at closing.
  • LOE costs forecasted to average ~$0.80 per Mcfe over the next three years and production and ad valorem taxes forecasted at 5% of revenue.

7:12 am Australian Dollar Lower for Seventh Day: 10Y" +10/32..2.562%..USD/JPY: 107.15..EUR/USD: 1.2946 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index has trimmed its overnight losses and hovers little changed near 84.25. 
  • This level is likely to remain in play into tomorrow's FOMC rate decision.
  • EURUSD is flat @ 1.2940 as trade lingers near 14-month lows. The single currency ramped to session highs near 1.2965 in response to the mixed eurozone (14.2 actual v. 21.3 expected, 23.7 previous) and German (6.9 actual v. 5.2 expected, 8.6 previous) ZEW surveys, but has erased those gains as the data is disseminated. The 1.2900 level remains key into tomorrow's FOMC decision. 
  • GBPUSD is -35 pips @ 1.6190 as action presses lower for a third straight day. Sterling slumped to its worst levels of the day near 1.6165 into this morning's data, but has lifted off that level despite the in-line CPI (1.5% YoY actual v. 1.5% YoY expected) and PPI Input (-0.6% MoM actual v. 0.1% MoM expected) and RPI (2.4% YoY actual v. 2.5% YoY expected) misses. The 1.5900/1.6100 support area will be watched closely into Thursday's Scottish independence vote.  
  • USDCHF is -15 pips @ .9340 as action holds near its best levels in a year. An uneventful session appears to be in the works. 
  • USDJPY is -5 pips @ 107.15 as trade steadies at six-year highs. Overnight, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda pushed back against the belief the weak yen was hurting the economy, saying companies are increasing domestic investment.
  • AUDUSD is -15 pips @ .9020 as sellers remain in control for a seventh session. Today's weakness comes in response to the latest Reserve Bank of Australia minutes warning of a property bubble down under. USDCNY ticked up to 6.1462 as foreign direct investment slid -1.8% YTDoY. Click here to see a daily AUDUSD chart.
  • USDCAD is flat @ 1.1055. The quiet trade has action holding at five and a half-month highs ahead of today's manufacturing sales data. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will take the mic this afternoon.

7:04 am DISH Network adds Scripps Networks (SNI) interactive to OTT portfolio (DISH) : Deal grants DISH innovative over-the-top programming and multi-stream rights for live and Video-on-Demand content. Terms cover all channels in the Scripps Networks Interactive portfolio, including HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel and Great American Country and expands distribution of DIY Network and Cooking Channel. Authenticated access expanded to include live and Video-on-Demand content on connected devices

7:03 am Kratos Defense and Security receives $4.8 mln unmanned Aerial Drone control system delivery order (KTOS) : Co announced that its Micro Systems, subsidiary of the Kratos Unmanned Systems Division recently received a delivery order from the U.S. Navy valued at $4.8 mln for unmanned aerial drone system command and control systems and services.

  • Under the new contract award, Kratos will provide engineering support and develop upgrades to unmanned aerial drone command and control electronics and related ground control stations. 
  • Kratos' Unmanned Systems Division is a premier provider of high performance unmanned drone aircraft and these systems' related avionics, electronics, command and control systems, solutions, services and logistics.

7:03 am Trevana granted key U.S. composition of matter Patent for TRV130 (TRVN) : Co announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted U.S. Patent No. 8,835,488,  that covers TRV130, compositions comprising TRV130, and methods of using TRV130 and is expected to provide patent coverage for TRV130 until at least 2032. 

7:03 am Magnum Hunter announces partnership with Morgan Stanley infrastructure on Eureka Hunter; agreement relates to two separate investments by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure (MHR) : Co announced that it has entered into a Transaction Agreement with an affiliate of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure (MS) relating to a separate purchase agreement between MSI and Ridgeline Midstream Holdings, an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners, providing for the purchase by MSI of all convertible preferred and common equity interests in Eureka Hunter Holdings owned by ArcLight.

  • Eureka Hunter is Magnum Hunter's majority owned subsidiary through which various midstream services in West Virginia and Ohio are conducted, including the co's Eureka Hunter Pipeline. 
  • The purchase price of such additional equity interests will be ~ $65 mln, representing an implied equity value of Eureka Hunter of $1.0 bln.

7:02 am Regeneron Pharma: EYLEA injection receives FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetic macular edema (REGN) : The designation is based on positive results in two Phase 3 trials, in which EYLEA demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in a pre-specified measure of diabetic retinopathy in patients with DME after two years of treatment.

7:01 am Spectrum Pharma announces issue of a new patent for Beleodaq for injection with patent term adjustment till 2027 (SPPI) : Co announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 8835501, which covers Beleodaq for Injection on September 16, 2014 with patent term adjustment from May 2026 to October 2027.

6:57 am Graham expands power market offerings with $3.6 mln in orders (GHM) : Co announced that it received two new orders from two U.S. nuclear utilities. The orders are for pumping systems and components that will replace existing equipment. Anticipated lead-time is ~ twelve months.

6:55 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • MAXIMUS (MMS) announced that its Tax Credit and Employer Services division has formed a strategic alliance with iCIMS, a provider of Software-as-a-Service talent acquisition software solutions. 
  • KKR (KKR) has signed a term sheet to provide INR10 bln ($164.2 mln) of structured long-term financing, with co-investors, to Indian infrastructure development company GMR Holdings. 
  • OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals (OGXI) announced that patient enrollment has been completed in the Phase 3 AFFINITY trial. The timing of the survival primary endpoint data is event-driven and results are currently expected in late 2015 or early 2016. 
  • TRW Automotive (TRW) is demonstrating its semi-automated driving capabilities at the co's vehicle test track event in Locke Township, Michigan, today. Drivers will be able to experience a 'Highway Driving Assist' feature which can enable automatic steering, braking and acceleration for highway speeds above 25 mph.

6:54 am Majesco Entertainment announced last night in conjunction with its earnings that it is exploring strategic alternatives in an effort to maximize co value (COOL) : Jesse Sutton, Chief Executive Officer of Majesco Entertainment said,

  • "In the third quarter the launch of the popular Bound by Flame game on next gen platforms partially lessened the impact of the ongoing decline in Zumba catalog sales. Additionally, we plan to release several games for the holiday season during our fourth fiscal quarter including Shadow Warrior, Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appetit, Costume Quest 2 and Gone Home. However, the market for casual game software for the Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii and DS gaming systems, from which we have historically derived the majority of our revenue, remains weak and, as a result, our revenues have not been adequate to cover our operating expenses which has had a negative impact on our working capital. We are continuing to explore and implement initiatives to reduce our operating expenses, diversify our business into new categories, and evaluate possible strategic alternatives in an effort to maximize company value."

6:51 am Paragon Offshore updates its fleet status report (PGN) : Co issued a report on drilling rig status and contract information as of Sep 15, 2014. The report, titled "Fleet Status Report," can be found on the co's website under the "Our Fleet" section of the website.

6:50 am SIGA Technologies files for Chapter 11 reorganization; will ensure that SIGA continues to supply Tecovirimat pursuant to its contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (SIGA) : Co announced that it has filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

  • The chapter 11 filing will ensure that SIGA continues to supply Tecovirimat pursuant to its contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and is able to pursue what it believes is a meritorious appeal of a pending Delaware Chancery Court proceeding.

6:45 am Ceres announced that its board of directors elected Cheryl Morley to serve as its chair (CERE) : Ms. Morley has served on Ceres' board of directors since August 2011.

6:41 am Banco Santander enters Canada with the acquisition of auto financing company Carfinco for ~ EUR210 mln (SAN) : Co has reached an agreement with the auto financing company Carfinco to acquire its Canadian business for CAD298 million (~ EUR210 million).

  • Santander will pay CAD 11.25 in cash per share, representing a premium to shareholders of 32% above the volume-weighted average price over the last 90 trading days.
  • Under the transaction's structure, a new co will be formed in which Santander will own ~ 95% of the equity, while top management of Carfinco, including the president and CEO, will retain the remaining 5% and will maintain their management roles.

6:41 am Viper Energy Partners, subsidiary of Diamondback Energy (FANG), yesterday after the close priced its public offering of common units at $28.50 per common unit (VNOM) : Viper Energy Partners LP, a subsidiary of Diamondback Energy, and Diamondback announced today the pricing of Viper's public offering of 3.5 mln common units representing limited partner interests at $28.50 per common unit.

6:36 am AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly (LLY) announce alliance to develop and commercialise BACE inhibitor AZD3293 for Alzheimer's disease; LLY will pay AZN up to $500 mln in development and regulatory milestone payments (AZN) : Co and Eli Lilly (LLY) announced an agreement to jointly develop and commercialise AZD3293, an oral beta secretase cleaving enzyme inhibitor currently in development as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

  • Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly will pay AstraZeneca up to $500 million in development and regulatory milestone payments. 
  • AstraZeneca expects to receive the first milestone payment of $50 million in the first half of 2015. 
  • The co will share all future costs equally for the development and commercialisation of AZD3293, as well as net global revenues post-launch.

6:33 am Uranium Energy reports positive preliminary economic assessment on Anderson Project in Arizona; shows a robust pre-tax project Internal Rate of Return of 63%; average production in excess of one million pounds per annum (UEC) : Co announce that it has received the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment, prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101, for the Anderson Project. As of the effective date of the PEA, the Project covers 9,852 acres and is comprised of 459 contiguous, unpatented lode mining and placer claims and two Arizona State land sections. It is located in western Yavapai County ~75 miles northwest of Phoenix.

  • The PEA shows a robust pre-tax project Internal Rate of Return of 63% and a Net Present Value of $142.2 mln at a discount rate of 10%, with a post-tax IRR of 50% and an NPV of $101.1 mln, based on a uranium price of $65 per pound. 
  • Average production in excess of one mln pounds per annum, for a total production of 16 mln pounds of uranium over a 14-year mine life.
  • CAPEX for the project is estimated at $8 mln for pre-production costs and $43.9 mln for initial capital.

6:21 am Ituran Location and Control announces that F.K. Generators and Equipment has sold, through Moked Ituran 1,431,000 ordinary shares of the co with par value of NIS 0.331/3 each at a price of NIS 74.00 per share, representing 6.8% of the co's issued share capital (ITRN) : "As a result of the sale, Moked Ituran's stake in Ituran was reduced by 6.8% to 19.4%. The controlling shareholders of Moked Ituran have pointed out that the sale of Ituran's shares by Moked Ituran was due to the personal decision of one of its three shareholders, and that the remaining shareholders of Moked Ituran, namely the Sheratzky Family and Mr. Yehuda Kahana, currently have no intention to cause Moked Ituran to change its remaining 19.4% stake in Ituran..."

6:17 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -1.50. :

6:17 am European Markets : FTSE...6,777.01...-27.50...-0.40%.  DAX...9,631.21...-28.40...-0.30%.

6:17 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15,911.53...-36.80...-0.20%.  Hang Seng...24,136.01...-221.00...-0.90%.

6:17 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • United Microelectronics (UMC) announced that Dow Jones Sustainability Index selected UMC as a global component for the seventh consecutive year.
  • Nova Measuring Instruments (NVMI) announced that a leading logic manufacturer selected Nova's Optical CD metrology solution to support the development and future manufacturing of its 10nm and 7nm technology nodes, covering both FEOL and BEOL applications in Litho, Etch, Deposition, CMP and Epi process steps.
  • Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE) and Mansfield Energy announced the formation of Mansfield Clean Energy Partners, a JV which will provide natural gas fueling solutions to bulk fuel haulers in the U.S.

6:16 am Blueknight Energy announces public offering of 8.5 mln common units (BKEP) : Co announced the commencement of an underwritten public offering of 8.5 mln common units representing limited partner interests of the Partnership. The Partnership will also grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1.275 mln additional common units.

  • The Partnership intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, including any net proceeds from the underwriters' exercise of their option to purchase additional common units, for general partnership purposes, including the repayment of a portion of the outstanding borrowings under the Partnership's credit facility and partially funding the Partnership's Eaglebine pipeline project. 
  • Wells Fargo Securities, RBC Capital Markets and BofA Merrill Lynch will act as joint book-running managers for the offering.

6:05 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • ITG (ITG) announced the launch of the ITG FX Volatility Index, an innovative daily benchmark for Foreign Exchange traders and portfolio managers. 
  • SanDisk (SNDK) announced the world's fastest microSD UHS-I memory card, the 64GB SanDisk Extreme PRO microSDXC UHS-I card. The company also recently announced the 512GB SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC. 
  • InterOil (IOC) has started drilling the Antelope-4 appraisal well in Petroleum Retention License 15 in Papua New Guinea. Antelope-4 is the first of at least two appraisal wells planned on the Antelope field. The well lies about 1km south of Antelope-2 and is the most southern well in the Elk-Antelope field. Antelope-5, the second appraisal well in the licence, is expected to be drilled later this year.

6:04 am Sunshine Heart to provide clinical updates from the North American feasibility study (SSH) : Co announced that follow-up data from six patients implanted with the C-Pulse Heart Assist System at St. Luke's Hospital -- Mid America Heart Institute, as part of a FDA approved, North American Feasibility Study.

  • Safety endpoints at 6 months demonstrated that there were no device related deaths, neurological events, aortic disruptions, myocardial infarctions, and mediastinal infections. 
  • One patient was transitioned to an implantable LVAD 97 days post C-pulse implantation due to worsening heart failure symptoms. 
  • Two patients remain clinically stable on C-Pulse support at 1178 and 982 days respectively, and have showed improvement in NYHA class, 6-minute walk test, and quality of life scores. 
  • The other three patients all demonstrated clinically significant improvement allowing for discontinuation of C-Pulse support with explantation of the percutaneous lead and continue to be followed.

6:00 am Humana announces $2 bln share repurchase authorization (HUM) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has approved a $2 bln share repurchase authorization with an expiration date of December 31, 2016, replacing its previous $1 bln share repurchase authorization (of which ~$782 mln was outstanding after $118 mln of share repurchases to date in the third quarter of 2014). The co may repurchase shares from time to time at prevailing prices in the open market, by block purchases, or in privately negotiated transactions (including pursuant to an accelerated share repurchase agreement with an investment bank).

5:03 am Canadian Solar announces 1.5 MW solar module supply agreement in Jordan (CSIQ) : Co announces that it has been awarded a module supply agreement to provide 1.5 MW of photovoltaic modules to Kawar Energy for a rooftop solar power project located in a university in Amman, Jordan. Canadian Solar will supply its high efficiency 72 cell CS6X300P modules with power output respectively of 300Wp to this project. 

4:15 am Priceline announces proposed public offering of senior notes (PCLN) : Co announces its intention to offer, subject to market and other conditions, a benchmark issue of Senior Notes in an underwritten public offering. Co plans to use the net proceeds from the offering of the notes for general corporate purposes, which may include share repurchases, repayment of debt and acquisitions, among other uses.

3:58 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Semtech Corporation (SMTC) announced that 64GSPS ADC and DAC cores are available utilizing IBM's 32nm SOI technology for integration in high performance Digital Microwave System on Chip solutions. 
  • SunPower (SPWR) announced that it has manufactured its one billionth high efficiency solar cell. This milestone was achieved 11 years after the company started manufacturing its A-300 solar cell in its first fabrication facility. SunPower operates two Fabs that will generate ~1,300 megawatts of solar cells by the end of this year.
  • SanDisk (SNDK) announced that its award-winning ULLtraDIMM Solid State Drive, has been selected by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd for inclusion in its RH8100 V3 servers. 
  • NetSuite (N) announced that Far Eastern University, with 28,000 students on campuses in Manila and Makati City, Philippines, has implemented NetSuite OneWorld to support its mission-critical financial processes, including accounting, inventory management, fixed assets and purchasing. 
  • LMI Aerospace (LMIA) announced their subsidiary, Tempco Engineering, was awarded by Northrop Grumman (NOC) as a Platinum Source Preferred Supplier 
  • Technip (TKPPY) was awarded by The Bahrain Petroleum Company a significant contract on a reimbursable basis to develop the Front-End Engineering Design of the refinery located in the Kingdom of Bahrain. 
  • DynaSys, a division of QAD (QADA) (QADB) announced they have signed a contract with Zodiac Poolcare, a global swimming pool and spa industry product company. Zodiac will leverage DynaSys solutions to optimize sales forecasts, distribution planning and finite capacity planning including sales and operations planning processes. 
  • Bayer HealthCare (BAYRY) and Orion Corporation have begun to enroll patients in a Phase III trial with ODM-201, an investigational oral androgen receptor inhibitor in clinical development. The study, called ARAMIS, evaluates ODM-201 in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer who have rising Prostate Specific Antigen levels and no detectable metastases. The trial is designed to determine the effects of the treatment on metastasis-free survival

3:32 am Cray receives supercomputer contract from Sweden's KTH Royal Institute of Technology (CRAY) : Co announces has been awarded a contract valued at more than $13 million to provide the PDC Center for High Performance Computing at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden with a next-generation Cray XC supercomputer 

3:23 am Pluristem Therapeutics pursues development strategy in Japan where new law accelerates path to market (PSTI) : Co announced it is evaluating strategic opportunities to co-develop and commercialize its PLacental eXpanded cell therapies in Japan.

  • Recent changes in Japan's laws governing regenerative medicine and the approval of stem cell therapies indicate the country may now offer the fastest track to commercialization in the world for regenerative medicine treatments. As part of Pluristem's strategy in Japan, on September 16, 2014, Company executives presented to a group of Japanese pharmaceutical executives in Tokyo, and conducted a series of one-on-one meetings with Japanese companies exploring a potential partnership with Pluristem.

3:19 am KKR and Pioneer agree to Pioneer DJ Share Purchase (KKR) : Pioneer and KKR (KKR) announced the signing of a share purchase agreement under which Pioneer's business division that engages in the development, manufacturing and sale of DJ equipment will be spun off into a new company, Pioneer DJ, which will be jointly owned by Pioneer and KKR.

  • Based on this agreement, KKR will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Pioneer DJ via holding company PDJ Holdings Co for ~JPY59 billion . 
  • Pioneer will then acquire newly issued shares in PDJHD with the result that PDJHD will be owned 85.05% by KKR and 14.95% by Pioneer. 

3:15 am VimpelCom and Global Telecom to sell their interest in Wind Canada (VIP) : VimpelCom (VIP) and Global Telecom Holding S.A.E. announce that they have agreed to sell all of their debt and equity interest in the Globalive group of companies in Canada, including Globalive Wireless Management. Globalive Capital, the controlling shareholder of Wind Canada, and certain investment funds are acquiring the Interest for approximately CAD 135 million, with the proceeds going to VimpelCom in repayment of part of the debt owed to VimpelCom. At the same time, GTH will be released from all of its obligations under the related Shareholders Agreement and certain debt obligations of Wind Canada. The transaction is expected to close shortly

3:12 am Allergan: Pershing Square, Valeant (VRX) and Allergan (AGN) settle pending litigation before the Delaware Court of Chancery (AGN) : Pershing Square Capital Management and Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) announced an agreement with Allergan (AGN) to settle pending litigation before the Delaware Court of Chancery. 

  • Pursuant to the settlement, Allergan has agreed to unconditionally call and hold a special meeting of its shareholders on December 18, 2014. 
  • Shareholders of record at the close of business on October 30, 2014 will be entitled to receive notice of and vote at the meeting. Shareholders who submitted special meeting requests will not be required to provide updated information to the company in advance of the meeting. 

3:10 am Amarin reaffirms its mission to improve patient care with commitment to completing REDUCE-IT Cardiovascular Outcomes Study (AMRN) : Co announces its continued commitment to completing the ongoing REDUCE-IT (Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with EPA - Intervention Trial) cardiovascular outcomes study. This multinational, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study is the first prospective cardiovascular outcomes study of any drug in a population of patients who, despite stable statin therapy, have elevated triglyceride levels.  
Amarin's decision to continue the REDUCE-IT cardiovascular outcomes study as planned is based on the following key considerations:

  • Amarin's commitment to patients and the medical community to improve patient care
  • The large unmet need for therapies to reduce residual cardiovascular risk in statin treated patients
  • Amarin's belief that the REDUCE-IT study will demonstrate that Vascepa can meaningfully reduce cardiovascular risk as an add-on to statin therapy
  • Amarin's confidence that it can continue to improve operational cash flow while it completes the REDUCE-IT study

2:59 am St. Jude Medical: CardioMEMS data shows pulmonary artery pressure monitoring significantly reduces heart failure hospitalizations in patients with chronic kidney disease (STJ) : Co announced a new data analysis from the CHAMPION clinical trial that evaluated outcomes in a subgroup of patients with renal dysfunction (kidney failure). The CHAMPION trial looked at the safety and effectiveness of the CardioMEMS HF System for patients with New York Heart Association Class III heart failure who had been hospitalized for HF in the previous 12 months. 

  • The subgroup data analysis of 297 patients followed for 18 months looked at the potential benefit for patients with NYHA Class III HF and chronic kidney disease using the CardioMEMS system to measure PA pressure without adversely affecting renal function. 
  • These data show that management based on PA pressure reduced HF hospitalization in this patient population by 42% compared to the control group and did not adversely affect renal function. 

2:50 am Alere responds to letter from former executives (ALR) : Co confirmed that a group of former executives, led by former CEO Ron Zwanziger, filed a Schedule 13D with the Securities and Exchange Commission and subsequently sent a letter to Gregg Powers, Chairman of the Board, requesting one month of due diligence in an effort to secure financing to make a bona fide offer for the Company.

Co commented: "As we indicated in our most recent earnings call, the Board is undertaking a comprehensive strategic review of Alere's operations with the advice of an internationally recognized consulting firm. We possess market leading diagnostic technologies and are determining the best allocation of resources to drive growth and shareholder value. The Board believes that both near-term and long-term shareholder value can be enhanced materially through disciplined execution within the core business...While Alere is concentrating on executing its business strategy, the directors are mindful of their obligations to shareholders and would of course give appropriate consideration to any bona fide proposal that would maximize shareholder value."

2:11 am Samson Oil & Gas provides weekly operations update (SSN) : Co provides its weekly update.

  • The Bootleg 4 and 5 wells are flowing, early rates are dominated by frack fluids and therefore higher oil rates are anticipated after these fluids are recovered. 
  • Bootleg 6 and 7 have completed the cased hole logging program and have been pressure tested and are both ready to frack. 
  • Bootleg 8 has been prepared for the running of a frack string. The Bootleg 6, 7 and 8 fracks are scheduled for the last half of Sept. Each well is programmed for a 30 stage frack. 
  • Frontier Rig 24 is drilling the curve on Ironbank 4-14-13TFH at a depth of 10,923 feet. This well is targeting the Three Forks bench 1 and is the first of four the easterly directed laterals. 
REPORTING FORMAT 
Samson has decided that it will revert to a regular monthly reporting format unless there is a need to announce a specific well result in accordance with our full disclosure policy. 

2:03 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • TRW Automotive Holdings (TRW) announced its next-generation camera system -- the S-Cam4 family -- will have an expanded object detection range and field of view that will meet the increasingly stringent regulatory requirements for advanced driver assist system technologies.   
  • QIWI (QIWI) and UNISTREAM International Payment System of Money Transfers today announced that UNISTREAM money transfer volumes through QIWI kiosks nearly doubled in the first half of 2014 as compared to the same period of the prior year. In the past 3 years average volume growth was as high as 100% a year. 
  • Entropic (ENTR) and ViXS Systems announced they have settled all outstanding litigation between the companies and have agreed to a cross-license to the patents at issue in the litigation. 
  • Wyndham Hotel Group, part of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (WYN), announced the signing of a franchise agreement for the Wyndham Quito Airport Gran Condor, the first Wyndham Hotels and Resorts property in Ecuador's capital city. 

1:40 am Relypsa announces new analysis of Phase 3 data demonstrating Patiromer's ability to rapidly correct, and prevent recurrence of, hyperkalemia in heart failure and non-heart failure patients (RLYP) : Co announced that data in heart failure patients from its pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of patiromer, the company's lead product candidate, were presented as a late-breaking oral presentation at the 18th Annual Scientific Meeting for the Heart Failure Society of America being held in Las Vegas.

  • Consistent with the results from the overall population, patiromer rapidly corrected hyperkalemia and prevented recurrence of this serious condition in heart failure as well as non-heart failure patients. 
  • In addition, the data showed that fewer patients treated with patiromer discontinued guideline recommended renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system inhibitor therapy compared to placebo.

1:34 am ZS Pharma presents new data from ZS003 Phase 3 trial demonstrating that ZS-9 prevented recurrence of hyperkalemia in heart failure patients on RAASi (ZSPH) : Co announces results of a secondary analysis of ZS003, a two week pivotal Phase 3 trial of ZS-9, its investigational treatment for hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia is a life-threatening condition characterized by higher than normal levels of potassium in the blood serum. The analysis showed that once-daily dosing of ZS-9 prevented the recurrence of hyperkalemia in patients with heart failure taking a stable dose of renin angiotensin aldosterone system inhibitor therapy. 

1:31 am Finjan provides update on federal circuit ruling - Legacy Symantec (SYMC), Websense (FNJN) : Finjan Holdings (FNJN) provides an update on the case Finjan, Inc. v. Symantec, Websense, Sophos: CAFC-13-1682. 

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision, affirming the District Court's prior ruling with no opinion, citing Federal Circuit Rule 36. Rule 36 findings by the Court do not provide any additional insight or context into the Court's decision in the case. This CAFC ruling was the most recent outcome in the process to reverse the lower Court's finding of invalidity on claims in the two patents. The two patents in question are not at issue in any of six currently pending cases in the Northern District of California, including three separate actions involving the three remaining parties in the appeal, noted previously.

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