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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 ( 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 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. 
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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