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5:21 pm Joes Jeans receives NASDAQ notification letter (JOEZ) : Co announced it received a letter on November 24, 2014 from The Nasdaq Stock Market indicating that the Company is not in compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5550(a)(2) because the closing bid price per share of its common stock has been below $1.00 per share for 30 consecutive trading days. The Company intends to monitor the bid price of its common stock and consider available options if its common stock does not trade at a level likely to result in the Company regaining compliance with the Bid Price Rule by May 26, 2015.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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