InPlay from Briefing.com

5:12 pm This week's biggest % gainers/losers (:SCANX) : The following are this week's top 20 percentage gainers and top 20 percentage losers, categorized by sectors (over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume).

This week's top 20 % gainers

  • Technology:DRIV (25.57 +46.09%),CYOU (24.04 +32.29%),VDSI (25.32 +28.85%),SANM (25.07 +27.23%),OIBR (0.53 +21.95%),CALX (10.81 +21.31%)
  • Services:SKYW (11.52 +20.55%),CEB (73.7 +20.19%),EGL (43.2 +20.04%)
  • Healthcare:RCPT (103.65 +57.71%),OMER (16.57 +36.04%),ABMD (32.79 +30.08%),USNA (113.98 +29.21%),SGYP (3.43 +28.78%),RGLS (19.96 +25.86%),ESPR (29.25 +20.66%)
This week's top 20 % losers
  • Technology:INVN (16.21 -26.84%),AMKR (6.78 -20.93%),GLUU (3.87 -19.6%)
  • Industrial Goods:RGR (41.68 -16.77%)
  • Healthcare:SRPT (16.17 -31.73%),PRXL (54.31 -16.3%)
  • Financial:ARCP (8.87 -23.54%),XOOM (15.1 -23.41%)
  • Consumer Goods:WNC (10.3 -22.66%)
  • Basic Materials:SAND (2.89 -27.61%),PES (9.18 -24.2%),AUY (3.98 -20.07%),PPP (3.42 -18.45%),LSG (0.71 -18.25%),MUX (1.24 -18.13%),EXK (3.04 -17.97%),FSM (3.49 -17.53%),GG (18.78 -16.66%)

4:44 pm Furmanite misses by $0.07, misses on revs; lowers FY14 EPS and rev guidance below consensus (FRM) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.05 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.07 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.12; revenues rose 24.7% year/year to $124.13 mln vs the $142.64 mln consensus.

Co issues downside guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $0.27-0.33 (lowered from $0.45-0.50) vs. $0.43 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of $535-550 mln (lowered from $560-580 mln) vs. $562.17 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

  • "Although we encountered unexpected softness in our Americas markets during the third quarter, we expect stronger market conditions through year-end, as well as improved cost efficiencies resulting from the companywide implementation of work process enhancements."

4:38 pm BlackRock Kelso announced that it has completed a transaction with Gordon Brothers Group to launch Gordon Brothers Finance Company (BKCC) : GBFC will be a majority-owned portfolio company of BlackRock Kelso, with Gordon Brothers Group owning a minority interest. As part of the transaction, GBFC acquired from GB Credit Partners, LLC its asset-based lending business as well as a portfolio of ~$269.0 million of loans. GB Credit Partners, LLC is an affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group.

  • BlackRock Kelso invested approximately $94.6 million in the transaction, which consisted of $71.0 million of newly-issued floating rate senior notes yielding 12.0%, $13.0 million of newly-issued 13.5% coupon preferred stock, and $10.6 million of common equity.

4:33 pm Southern National Banc. of Virginia announced the planned consolidation of its Germantown branch on March 1st, 2015 (SONA) : Once the Germantown branch is closed, Sonabank will experience significant cost savings, and the total financial impact of the branch closing will be overwhelmingly positive.

4:33 pm Archer-Daniels subsidiary Golden Peanut to acquire the processing facilities and certain assets of the Harrell Nut Company; Golden Peanut to change name to Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts (ADM) :  

4:16 pm Hovnanian announces pricing of $250 million Senior Notes offering (HOV) : K. Hovnanian intends to use the net proceeds from the Notes Offering for general corporate purposes, including land acquisition and land development.

4:16 pm Actavis and Durata Therapeutics (DRTX) receive U.S. FTC clearance for Actavis' proposed acquisition of Durata (ACT) : The early termination of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the pending acquisition, which remains subject to other customary closing conditions. Both companies expect the transaction to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014.

4:13 pm Closing Market Summary: Stocks Soar After Bank of Japan Steps Up Easing Efforts (:WRAPX) : The stock market finished the month of October with a broad rally that sent the S&P 500 higher by 1.2%. The benchmark index extended its October advance to 2.3% and ended at a fresh record high, while the Nasdaq Composite (+1.4%) outperformed to end October with a 3.1% gain.

Stocks soared out of the gate after the Bank of Japan boosted its asset purchasing program to JPY80 trillion from JPY50 trillion. The central bank said it will now target average maturities between seven and ten years (up from 7 years) and buy ETFs up to an annual amount of JPY3 trillion (up from JPY1 trillion).

The developments sent the yen into a tailspin with the dollar/yen pair surging to a session high just below the 112.50 level. The pair retreated into the 112.25 area by the end of the session, but that still represented a 2.7% advance for the dollar at the expense of the yen.

The greenback strength boosted the Dollar Index (86.87, +0.72) past its September high to its best level since the middle of 2010. This weighed on crude oil, but the energy component was able to narrow its loss to 0.6% by the close. WTI crude ended the pit session at $80.53/bbl after dipping below the $80/bbl level in the morning.

Meanwhile, the energy sector (+2.0%) began the session in the red, but was able to end the day ahead of the broader market. Better than expected earnings from Chevron (CVX 119.95, +2.75) and ExxonMobil (XOM 96.71, +2.26) sent both stocks higher by 2.4%, but the advance could not keep the growth-sensitive sector from ending the month with a 3.0% decline.

Similar to energy, the top-weighted technology sector (+1.8%) ended well ahead of the broader market amid broad strength. LinkedIn (LNKD 228.96, +26.06) and GoPro (GPRO 77.10, +8.85) surged 12.8% and 13.0%, respectively, after reporting above-consensus earnings while chipmakers also provided a significant boost. The PHLX Semiconductor Index jumped 3.9% to wipe out its October loss after being down nearly 15.0% for the month on October 15.

Interestingly, the strength in one high-beta area did not translate into comparable gains in the biotech space. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 296.62, -0.08) was up 2.2% at the start of the session, but a steady retreat throughout the day caused the ETF to settle just below its flat line.

Also of note, the financial sector (+1.2%) ended ahead of the broader market with Citigroup (C 53.53, +0.38) climbing 0.7% despite news indicating the company will adjust its Q3 results to reflect a $600 million legal charge. The sector added 2.9% for the month.

Treasuries ended in the red with the 10-yr yield up three basis points at 2.33%.

Participation was ahead of average with more than a billion shares changing hands at the NYSE.

Economic data included Personal Income/Spending, Core PCE Prices, Employment Cost Index, Chicago PMI, and Michigan Sentiment:

  • Personal income increased 0.2% in September, down from a 0.3% increase in August, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.3% 
    • Personal spending declined 0.2% in September after increasing 0.5% in August, while the consensus expected an increase of 0.1% 
    • Core PCE prices rose 0.1%, which is what the Briefing.com consensus expected. 
  • Employment Cost Index rose 0.7% in Q3 2014 after increasing by the same amount in the second quarter, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.5% 
    • Wages and salaries accelerated, up 0.8% in the third quarter after a 0.6% gain in the second quarter o Benefits spending rose 0.6% in Q3 after increasing 1.0% in Q2 
  • Chicago PMI for October slipped to 60.5 from 60.5, while the Briefing.com consensus expected a decrease to 60.0 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for October came in at 86.9, while the Briefing.com consensus expected the reading to be hold at 86.4 
Monday's data will be limited to the September Construction Spending report (Briefing.com consensus 0.7%) and the ISM Index for October (consensus 56.2). Both data points will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.
  • Nasdaq Composite +10.9% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +9.2% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +4.9% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +0.8% YTD 
Week in Review: Stocks Reclaim October Losses

The stock market began the last week of October on a cautious note. The S&P 500 slipped below its 100-day moving average (1962) and settled lower by 0.2% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) outperformed throughout the session. Equity indices faced selling pressure at the start, but the source of the early weakness was isolated to the two commodity-linked sectors that spent the entire session at the bottom of the leaderboard. The energy sector (-2.0%) suffered from a Goldman Sachs downgrade of several major industry players, which stemmed from expectations that crude oil would trade between $70-$80/bbl. On that note, the energy component fell below the $80/bbl level in the morning, but narrowed its decline to just 0.1% by the pit close ($80.94/bbl).

Equities rallied on Tuesday with the S&P 500 climbing 1.2%. Small cap names had an even better showing, sending the Russell 2000 higher by 2.9%. The key indices climbed steadily throughout the day with the S&P 500 turning positive for the month of October. The index ended the day with an October gain of 0.6% after being down as much as 5.6% for the month on October 15. All ten sectors finished in the green with Monday's laggard-energy (+2.3%)-ending in the lead. The sector enjoyed a relief rally with support from BP (BP) after the industry giant reported a bottom-line beat.

The market ended the midweek session on a modestly lower note. The Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) was the weakest performer while the S&P 500 shed 0.1% with seven sectors ending in the red. The benchmark index held a slim gain at the start, but spent the day in a slow retreat that featured a brief afternoon spike to lows after the Federal Open Market Committee released its latest policy statement. As expected, the statement called for the final $15 billion taper, thus putting a stop to scheduled purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. Meanwhile, the commentary on rates was little changed from previous directives with the Fed maintaining its reference to keeping the fed funds rate at its current level for a 'considerable time.' Minneapolis Fed President Kocherlakota was the lone dissenter, voting to keep the asset purchase program intact. Equities handled the initial impact of the announcement relatively well with the S&P 500 finishing about two points above its pre-FOMC levels. Treasuries, meanwhile, ended mixed. The FOMC announcement sent the complex to lows, but the 30-yr bond surged to new highs ahead of the close to pressure its yield one basis point to 3.05%. The 2-yr note settled near its low with its yield higher by six basis points at 0.49%.

The major averages ended the Thursday session on a higher note with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.3%) spending the entire day in the lead. However, the strength among blue chips masked the underperformance of high-beta chipmaker and transport stocks. Furthermore, defensively-oriented health care (+1.8%) and utilities (+2.1%) finished in the lead, suggesting a lack of strong conviction. Shortly before the open, the advance reading of Q3 GDP revealed growth of 3.5% while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 3.0%. The news contributed to a rebound in the futures market, which had been pressured by early weakness in European equities. However, markets across Europe were able to erase their losses before ending for the day. The Dow held the lead from the start thanks to a surge in its top-weighted component. Shares of Visa (V) soared 10.2% in reaction to a bottom-line beat and news of a $5 billion buyback.

4:11 pm Clean Energy Fuels names Robert Vreeland as CFO effective immediately (CLNE) :  

4:06 pm Biogen Idec and the Swedish Orphan Biovitrum announced that the EMA has validated the Marketing Authorization Application of ELOCTA, a recombinant factor VIII Fc fusion protein product candidate for the treatment of hemophilia A (BIIB) : The validation of the MAA initiates the EMA's review process.

4:06 pm American Assets Trust announces issuance of $150 million of 4.04% Senior Guaranteed Notes, Series A, due October 31, 2021 (AAT) : The Company intends to use the proceeds from the private placement of the Series A Notes to refinance existing secured indebtedness and for other general corporate purposes.

4:06 pm Costamare beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (CMRE) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.38 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.37; revenues rose 13.3% year/year to $124.73 mln vs the $124.7 mln consensus.

  • "During the three-month periods ended September 30, 2014 and 2013, we had an average of 55.0 and 51.0 vessels, respectively, in our fleet."

4:03 pm Fannie Mae reports September 2014 monthly summary: Book of Business increased at a compound annualized rate of 1.5% in September (FNMA) :

  • Fannie Mae's Book of Business increased at a compound annualized rate of 1.5 percent in September.
  • Fannie Mae's Gross Mortgage Portfolio declined at a compound annualized rate of 12.7 percent in September.
  • The Conventional Single-Family Serious Delinquency Rate fell three basis points to 1.96 percent in September; the Multifamily Serious Delinquency Rate remained at 0.09 percent in September.
  • The Effective Duration Gap on Fannie Mae's portfolio averaged zero months in September. 
  • Fannie Mae completed 8,684 loan modifications in September, for a total of 96,915 loan modifications in the nine months ended September 30, 2014.

3:33 pm Closing Commodities: Oil and Metals Slide While Nat Gas Rallies (:SUMRX) :

  • Gold traded lower overnight and took another leg down on the personal income/personal spending data released this morning; futures hit a LoD of 1160.5, but have recovered slightly, now trading around an important level of support ~1170. Futures are now down 2.3% to $1170.60/oz. 
  • Silver continues to trade at a 4.5 year low following yesterday's big tumble, and futures today traded below $16, briefly hitting a LoD of 15.635. Futures are currently down 1.9% to $16.12/oz. 
  • Crude breached $80 a barrel for a short time today, hitting a LoD of $79.55 shortly after the personal spending/income data was released. Since then, futures have been mostly rangebound. Futures are currently down 0.7% to $80.59/barrel. 
  • Natural gas reached a HoD of $3.955 in early morning trading, but futures have since trended lower, breaking down to another leg lower about an hour ago but bounced off a level of support ~3.834. Futures are now higher by 1.2% to $3.871.

3:32 pm Neenah Paper declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.27, a 13% increase compared to the prior dividend rate of $0.24 (NP) : The dividend will be payable on December 2, 2014 to stockholders of record as of close of business on November 14, 2014.

3:31 pm Earnings Preview for the week of November 3 - 7 (:SUMRX) : Of the companies reporting earnings for the week of November 3 - 7 some of the bigger names include:

  • Monday:
    • Pre Market - SYY, S, HNT, CNA, EEP, GVA, CHD, MCY, ARCB, AMG, NSP, SOHU
    • After Hours - AIG, CYH, THC, AGU, MRO, RKT, KBR, MDU, HLF, FTR, PL, RBC, APL, WSTC, VNO, CVD
  • Tuesday:
    • Pre Market - BSAC, VLO, CVS, EMR, IP, EOG, FE, ODP, DISH, ETR, PCLN, PPL, SRE, EL, BABA, TRP, NGLS, WNR, BDX, EXPD, DISCA, AKS, TLM, MSI, AER, WLK, ZTS, SC, BLMN, LINE, KORS, ARCO, VMC, TIME, ICE, REGN
    • After Hours - FOXA, DVN, OKE, OKS, TX, AXLL, PXD, ATVI, DOX, WPX, TMH, XEC, GAS, KAR, EPE, TNET, BIO, AMSG, ITRI, PZZA, TRIP, JAZZ, PACD, MYGN, PEGA, PBPB, SQNM
  • Wednesday:
    • Pre Market - MGA, MDLZ, ENB, DUK, TWX, CHK, HFC, NRG, ACT, WCG, RRD, COV, CTSH, VOYA, PWR, CNP, LVLT, RLGY, KELYA, SE, CEQP, CLH, THI, TW, ENDP, NUS, SMG, BSFT
    • After Hours - ETE, ETP, PAA, PRU, QCOM, SLF, SXL, MUSA, LBTYA, CTL, CBS, WFM, TS, GNW, DK, NWSA, SPTN, SYMC, SUSP, RGP, QUAD, KND, CLR, EVHC, BKD, ANDE, RNDY, CF, TSLA, Z, VVUS
  • Thursday:
    • Pre Market - DTV, AZN, AES, BCE, GLP, CNQ, APA, CDW, TU, CORE, HSIC, AAP, VC, CPN, HII, AEE, CVC, WIN, ERJ, COTY, TAP, MPEL, HSP, DNOW, PRGO, SATS, TDC, CNK, SNI, AOL, SUNE, WEN, OWW
    • After Hours - DIS, ED, DVA, NU, MRC, NVDA, FSLR, DAR, LNT, GXP, SFM, SWKS, MNST, MTD, LGF, VVC, IGT, KING, SEMG, BRKR, SLXP, ZNGA
  • Friday:
    • Pre Market - MT, HUM, BAM, BPL, CTB, PGEM, ERF, STAY, TTI, WLH, SSP

3:01 pm Index Changes Reminder: KEYS will replace UVV in S&P MidCap 400; UVV will then replace RBCN in the SmallCap 600; HYH will replace ADTN in the S&P MidCap 400, and ADTN will then replace FST in the S&P SmallCap 600 (:INDXCH) :

  • Keysight Technologies (to be KEYS) will replace Universal Corp. (UVV) in the S&P MidCap 400, and Universal will replace Rubicon Technology (RBCN) in the S&P SmallCap 600. 
  • S&P 500 constituent Agilent Technologies (A) is spinning off Keysight Technologies in a transaction expected to be completed on that date. Agilent will remain in the S&P 500 following the distribution. 
  • Halyard Health (to be HYH) will replace ADTRAN (ADTN) in the S&P MidCap 400, and ADTRAN will replace Forest Oil (FST) in the S&P SmallCap 600. 
  • S&P 500 constituent Kimberly-Clark (KMB) is spinning off Halyard Health in a transaction expected to be completed on that date. Kimberly-Clark will remain in the S&P 500 following the distribution. 

2:51 pm Acorn Energy raises $5.,4 mln in private placement (ACFN) : Co announced that it has entered into definitive agreements with accredited investors in connection with a private placement of unregistered shares common stock and warrants to purchase common stock. Upon the closing of this financing, Acorn will receive gross proceeds of approximately $4.5 million resulting from the issuance and sale of 4,285,714 unregistered shares of common stock at a price per share of $1.05 and warrants to purchase up to 2,142,857 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $1.30 per share. The warrants are non-exercisable for six months after the closing of the financing and have a term of 5.5 years.

2:19 pm Dollar Surges to Best Levels Since June 2010: 10Y: -05/32..2.323%..USD/JPY: 112.13..EUR/USD: 1.2532 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index continues to hold solid gains as trade flirts with its first close above 87.00 since June 2010. Click here to see a monthly Dollar Index chart.
  • EURUSD is -80 pips @ 1.2530 as trade contends with its worst close in over two years. The single currency pierced the 1.2500 level for the first time since August 2012, but has regained the mark after an unnamed source hinted the Fed is taking note of the weakness in the single currency. Traders will continue to watch 1.2500 into Monday's Italian and Spanish Manufacturing PMI figures. 
  • GBPUSD is -5 pips @ 1.6000 as trade continues to test support in the area. Early weakness pushed sterling below 1.5900 for the first time in two weeks, but action now holds near its best levels of the day. A breakdown of 1.5900 will have action at its lowest levels since September 2013. Britain's Manufacturing PMI is due out Monday.
  • USDCHF is +60 pips @ .9620 as action nears the October highs. Trade has been whipped around as action remains tightly correlated to the euro. 
  • USDJPY is +285 pips @ 112.10 as action presses to its best levels since December 2007. The pair has surged amid today's trade after the Bank of Japan increased its bond buying program to an annual pace of JPY80 trln (JPY50 trln previous). Japanese banks are closed Monday for Culture Day
  • AUDUSD is -45 pips @ .8795 after failing to reclaim the important .8850 level. The hard currency broke out above that level earlier in the week, but it proved to be a bull trap that has caught many leaning the wrong way. A move to the lower end of the range near .8650 cannot be ruled out. Australian data scheduled for Sunday evening includes building approvals and ANZ Job Advertisements. China's Manufacturing PMI will be released late tonight while Non-Manufacturing PMI and HSBC Final Manufacturing PMI will cross the wires Sunday evening.
  • USDCAD is +95 pips @ 1.1280 as buying developed in response to the Canadian GDP (-0.1% MoM actual v. 0.0% MoM expected) miss. The pair crossed 1.1300 for the first time in two weeks, but has slipped back below the level. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will speak Monday in Toronto.

2:08 pm Dominion asks FERC to begin environmental review of Atlantic Coast Pipeline; $4.5 bln-$5 bln pipeline would bring 1.5 bln cubic feet of natural gas per day to North Carolina and Virginia (D) : Four major U.S. energy companies -- Dominion, Duke Energy (DUK), Piedmont Natural Gas (PNY) and AGL Resources (GAS) -- plan to build and own the pipeline, which would run from Harrison County, W.Va., southeast through Virginia with an extension to Chesapeake, Va., and then south through eastern North Carolina to Robeson County. The pipeline would help meet the growing clean energy needs of Virginia and North Carolina by providing direct access to the burgeoning natural gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

1:45 pm PPG Industries receives favorable ruling from Federal Economic Competition Commission of Mexico on Comex acquisition; anticipates acquisition will result in $0.65-0.75 EPS accretion in 2015 (PPG) : Co announced that it has received a favorable ruling from Mexico's Federal Economic Competition Commission on its previously announced agreement to acquire Consorcio Comex, S.A. de C.V. PPG announced June 30 that it had reached a definitive agreement to acquire Comex in a transaction valued at $2.3 billion.

  • PPG received approval from the National Foreign Investment Commission of Mexico in mid-October.
  • Mgmt commented that the company anticipates the acquisition will result in 65 cents to 75 cents of earnings-per-share accretion in 2015, excluding non-recurring acquisition-related expenses and any transaction-related financing costs. 
  • Mgmt also mentioned that the company expects acquisition-related synergies of $30 million to $40 million will be achieved over a two-year period.
  • The company indicated it plans to fund the transaction primarily from cash on hand, but it may utilize debt to finance a portion of the $2.3 billion purchase price. The company reported cash and short-term investments of $3.0 billion at the end of the third quarter. 

1:42 pm Media General announces pricing of $400 mln of Senior Unsecured Notes (MEG) : The Issuer intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay certain indebtedness of LIN in connection with the LIN Merger and to pay related fees and expenses.

1:39 pm Vectrus received award of a $411 mln hybrid firm-fixed price with economic price adjustment and cost reimbursable line items with Thule Base Maintenance Contract (stock halted) (VEC) :

  • Description of the contract effort: Operate and maintain Thule AB to include: civil engineering, airfield/water port operations, fuels management, transportation, non-secure communications, environmental management, food services, medical/public health, supply, recreation and community services.

1:35 pm Acacia Research's Brandywine Communications Technologies enters into settlement and patent license agreement with MegaPath Corporation (ACTG) :  

1:18 pm Mesa Laboratories, Inc. announced the acquisition of substantially all of the assets and certain liabilities of ATI Atlas Limited by its subsidiary, Amilabo SAS (MLAB) :

  • ATI has been a distributor of Mesa's BI products for nearly 16 years, selling primarily to the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing markets in the UK. 
  • After a short transition period, Amilabo will service the markets in the UK from their office near Lyon.

1:15 pm Acorn Energy: former Chairman and CEO Of DuPont (DD) to join Acorn Energy as Director (ACFN) :  

1:12 pm European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:+1.3%
  • Germany's DAX:+2.3%
  • France's CAC:+2.2%
  • Spain's IBEX:+2.1%
  • Portugal's PSI:+2.0%
  • Italy's MIB Index:+3.1%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:+2.3%
  • Greece ASE General Index: +1.0%

1:03 pm Midday Market Summary: Stocks Near Highs After Surprise Easing From Bank of Japan (:WRAPX) : The major averages hold solid midday gains with the Nasdaq Composite (+1.3%) in the lead. The S&P 500 (+1.0%) follows not far behind with nine groups trading in the green.

Equities surged out of the gate after the Bank of Japan boosted its asset purchasing program to JPY80 trillion from JPY50 trillion. The central bank said it will now target average maturities between seven and ten years (up from 7 years) and buy ETFs up to an annual amount of JPY3 trillion (up from JPY1 trillion).

The move pressured the yen, sending the dollar/yen pair to a session high just below the 112.50 level. Currently, the pair trades near 112.00 after ending yesterday's cash session near 108.80.

Conversely, the Dollar Index (86.86, +0.71), which is higher by 0.8%, has benefitted from weakness in the yen. In turn, the dollar strength has weighed on dollar-denominated crude oil futures. The energy component is lower by 1.2% at $80.13/bbl.

Crude weakness pressured the energy sector (+1.1%) at the start, but the growth-sensitive group has caught up to the market. Despite today's outperformance, the sector is on track to register an October loss of 3.9%.

Elsewhere among cyclical sectors, technology (+1.5%) holds the lead amid significant strength in chipmaker shares. Intel (INTC 33.81, +1.23) has surged 3.8% to erase the bulk of yesterday's loss while the broader PHLX Semiconductor Index is higher by 3.5%. The Index was down almost 15.0% for the month on October 15, but is now flat since the end of September.

Chipmakers have contributed to the relative strength in the Nasdaq while biotechnology has been a reluctant participant in the rally. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 298.41, +1.71) gapped up at the start, but has been retreating steadily from its early high. The ETF remains higher by 0.6% while the health care sector trades up 0.7%.

On the earnings front, GoPro (GPRO 78.46, +10.10) and LinkedIn (LNKD 226.20, +23.30) hold respective gains of 14.8% and 11.5% after reporting better than expected results.

Treasuries are near their lows with the 10-yr yield up three basis points at 2.34%.

Economic data included Personal Income/Spending, Core PCE Prices, Employment Cost Index, Chicago PMI, and Michigan Sentiment:

  • Personal income increased 0.2% in September, down from a 0.3% increase in August, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.3% 
    • Personal spending declined 0.2% in September after increasing 0.5% in August, while the consensus expected an increase of 0.1% 
    • Core PCE prices rose 0.1%, which is what the Briefing.com consensus expected. 
  • Employment Cost Index rose 0.7% in Q3 2014 after increasing by the same amount in the second quarter, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.5% 
    • Wages and salaries accelerated, up 0.8% in the third quarter after a 0.6% gain in the second quarter 
    • Benefits spending rose 0.6% in Q3 after increasing 1.0% in Q2 
  • Chicago PMI for October slipped to 60.5 from 60.5, while the Briefing.com consensus expected a decrease to 60.0 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for October came in at 86.9, while the Briefing.com consensus expected the reading to be hold at 86.4

1:02 pm CTG announces changes in executive leadership team and plan to resume share repurchases; ~750,000 shares are available for repurchase under its current authorizations (CTG) : The co announced it had named Filip J.L Gyde, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CTG Europe, as Interim Executive Vice President of Operations and John M. Laubacker, CTG's Treasurer, as the Company's Interim Chief Financial Officer.  Michael J. Colson, Senior Vice President, Solutions, has voluntarily resigned from his position to devote his energies to interests in community service and to pursue other career opportunities. CTG's Board of Directors has begun a search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer following the previously announced death of CTG Chairman and CEO James R. Boldt

1:01 pm Patient Safety Tech. announces intent to voluntarily delist from NASDAQ and move to the OTCQX Market (stock halted) (:PSTX) : Co notified NASDAQ that the Company intends to delist its shares of common stock from the NASDAQ Capital Market.

  • The co's common stock is currently traded on the NCM under the trading symbol "PTSX." 
  • The co is currently taking the steps necessary so that its common stock may be quoted for trading in the OTCQX US Market, operated by OTC Markets, Inc., under the same trading symbol. 
  • Additionally, as previously disclosed, the Company has received notices from NASDAQ that the Company is not in compliance with the $1.00 minimum bid price per share requirement for continued listing on the NCM under NASDAQ Listing Rule 5550(a)(2).

1:00 pm Arthur J. Gallagher acquires Insurance Associates; terms not disclosed (AJG) :  

12:56 pm Point.360 trading halted, news pending (PTSX) :  

12:48 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

  • LNKD (227.6 +12.17%): Reported Q3 earnings of $0.52 per share, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.47, revenues rose 44.6% year/year to $568.3 mln vs the $557.68 mln consensus; Tgt raise at Canaccord Genuity, CRT Capital, others.
  • TSU (26.63 +9.5%): Reports out that the company may receive bids from America Movil (AMX), Telefonica (TEF), and Oi (OIBR).
  • NMR (6.32 +8.96%): Strength in Japanese ADR's following stimulus from the Bank of Japan.
Large Cap Losers
  • CCI (78.11 -6.16%): Reported Q3 results that beat consensus estimates by $0.03, beat on revs; guided Q4 FFO above consensus; guided FY15 FFO below consensus.
  • ABX (11.7 -4.76%): Weakness in gold stocks as spot prices of the precious metal drop almost 3%, or $35 to ~$1,163.
  • MJN (99.23 -4.19%): Lower following news that Danone (DANOY) had taken a 25% stake in baby milk producer Yashili for $550 mln; Danone has previously been rumored as looking to acquire MJN.
Mid Cap Gainers
  • GRPN (7.2 +20.2%): Reported Q3 earnings of $0.03 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.01; revenues rose 27.2% year/year to $757.1 mln vs the $748.54 mln consensus.
  • MELI (138.85 +20.53%): Reported Q3 earnings of $0.76 per share, $0.10 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.66; revenues rose 20.1% year/year to $147.9 mln vs the $130.99 mln consensus; Upgraded to Buy from Underperform at BofA/Merrill.
  • GPRO (78.43 +14.92%): Beat Q3 EPS consensus estimated by $0.04, beat on revs; guided Q4 EPS and revs above consensus.
Mid Cap Losers
  • TPX (52 -11.43%): Reported Q3 earnings of $0.88 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.89; revenues rose 12.5% year/year to $827.4 mln vs the $796.71 mln consensus.
  • TRMB (27.1 -10.94%): Missed Q3 EPS consensus estimates by $0.05, missed on revs, guided Q4 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus; tgt lowered to $32 at MKM Partners.
  • COMM (21.42 -7.87%): Reported Q3 results that beat EPS consensus estimates by $0.05, revs in-line; guided Q4 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus.

12:17 pm EPAM Systems acquires Great Fridays, expands product and service design capabilities; terms not disclosed (EPAM) :  

11:57 am Stock indices slip back mildly off highs -- Dow +161, S&P +18, Nasdaq Comp +53 (:TECHX) : Sectors underperforming in recent trade include: Retail XRT, Biotech IBB, Pharma PPH, Health XLV, Industrial XLI.

11:54 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session- New highs (131) outpacing new lows (16) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAPL, ABBV, ABC, ACE, ADP, AEE, AEP, AIV, ALK, ALL, ALSN, ALXN, AMGN, AMT, AVNR, BEE, BG, BIDU, BMRN, BRCM, CAH, CB, CELG, CERN, CI, CLX, CMS, CNVR, COST, CSX, CTLT, CUBE, CVA, CVS, DCT, DIS, DLR, DLTR, DPS, DRE, DRH, DTE, DUK, EA, ED, EQR, ETR, EW, FDX, FIS, FISV, GD, GGP, GILD, GMCR, GS, HCN, HCP, HD, HIG, HST, HTA, HUM, IBN, ILMN, INFY, INTU, ITW, JWN, KIM, KMB, KMX, KR, LB, LLY, LMT, LOW, LRCX, LYV, MA, MAR, MCO, MDT, MDVN, MHFI, MMC, MMM, MNK, MNST, MO, NAVI, NI, NKE, NOC, O, PAYX, PCG, PEG, PEP, PG, QVCA, RDN, RFMD, ROST, RTN, SBAC, SPG, SPR, SRE, SYK, TE, TEVA, TQNT, TRV, TSO, TXN, TXT, UAL, UGI, UNH, UNP, UPS, V, VFC, WEC, WHR, WLP, WM, YHOO, ZAYO, ZMH

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ABX, AEM, AU, AUY, BVN, EGO, FCX, GG, KGC, NEM, NGD, PWE, SLW, TLM, TRMB, VALE

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: DIA, DVY, IBB, ICF, IHF, IHI, IWF, IYF, IYH, IYK, IYR, KIE, NLR, QQQ, RTH, SDY, URE, UUP, UYG, VNQ, XBI, XLP, XLU, XLV

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: FXE, FXS, FXY, GDX, GDXJ, GLD, IAU, PPLT, SIL, SIVR, SLV

Note: To reduce the list of stocks making 52 week highs/lows to a manageable size we have filtered out stocks below $2 bln in market cap and below 1 mln average volume. Without this filter 487 stocks made 52 week highs and 102 stocks made 52 week lows.

11:45 am AT&T announces increases in new Mobile Share Value Plans; customers can now get 3GB for $40 a month or 6GB for $70 a month, an increase of 1GB on both plans (T) :  

11:42 am Currency Commentary: DXY Hits 4-year Highs (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index rallied to 87 for the first time since mid-2010. The DXY has now rallied 10% since early May as the Fed slowly wound down its buying programs. The move today was assisted by news from Japan after its central bank announced it would further extend its asset purchase program. The DXY was already strong and trading at above 86 ahead of the news. But the greenback saw a fresh round of buying at that point that pushed it to its multi-year highs. Mixed economic data did little to deter the strength. Personal Income and Spending were below expectations and Chicago PMI, Michigan Sentiment and the Employment Cost Index all ran a little above expectations. 
  • The euro was hammered on the dollar rally. A big miss on German Retail Sales has offset a slightly higher than expected CPI number. The political infighting between Europeans over monetary policy will be a hot topic ahead of next week's ECB interest rate decision. Mr. Draghi is expected to update markets on its ABS purchases. A hot topic will be if the ECB has discussed purchasing corporate bonds. We would look for Mr. Draghi to admit that it has been discussed but that they are not close to take any action as this remains a heated debate. The rumors ahead of the meeting are already heating up today as there is talk that the EUR 3 trl balance sheet Draghi desires is simply not realistic. This would provide some near term support. 
  • The pound has slipped back below the 1.60 level in response to the dollar rally. 1.60 continues to be a key straddle level for sterling.
  • The yen fell 2% in response to the Bank of Japan announcement and news that its Government Pension Fund would be allocating a bigger portion of its investment into stocks and out of bonds. The BoJ raised its asset purchase program to JPY 880 trl from JPY 50 trl and expanded its monetary base to JPY 80 trl from JPY 60-70 trl. Both moves were expected but the extent of the stimulus was larger than most estimated and the timing of the move caught markets off guard as many expected it later in 2014 or earlier in 2015. The yen is now trading at 112 against the dollar, its lowest level since  early 2008 (BONDX, FOREX).

11:37 am Intel working back toward its early session high at 33.86 (INTC) : Note that its 50 sma and this week's peak are at 33.90/33.97

11:36 am CHS Inc. to open Wisconsin propane terminal with capacity of 360K gallons; will be completed in mid-November (CHSCP) :  

11:33 am Dow +194 and S&P +22 continue to edge to minor new highs (:TECHX) : The Nasdaq Comp +65 continues to hold a larger percentage gain but it remains below its opening peak. 

11:22 am Kinder Morgan Partners announced that the fully subscribed Sierrita Pipeline has begun service (KMP) : The ~60-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline provides ~200 million cubic feet per day of firm transportation capacity and extends from El Paso Natural Gas' existing south mainlines near Tucson, Arizona, to the U.S.-Mexico border near Sasabe, Arizona.

11:06 am Tribune Publishing acquires Wrapports Chicago Suburban Publications; secures long-term print & delivery contract for Chicago Sun-Times; terms not disclosed (TPUB) : Co announced the acquisition of six daily and 32 weekly suburban news and information brands from Wrapports.  

  • The acquired publications -- which include the Aurora Beacon-News, The Elgin Courier-News, the Lake County News-Sun, The Naperville Sun, the Post-Tribune in Northwest Indiana, The SouthtownStar and the 32 Pioneer Press weekly newspapers -- will become part of the diversified portfolio of the Chicago Tribune Media Group, which operates the Chicago Tribune, RedEye, Chicago magazine, Hoy and other Chicago-based media brands. 
  • The acquired papers have collective circulations of 72K daily, 87K Sunday and 52K weekly. 
  • Terms of the acquisition and printing-and-distribution deals were not disclosed.

10:52 am L.B. Foster increases quarterly dividend 33% to $0.04 from $0.03/share (FSTR) :  

10:47 am IAMGOLD: TomaGold and IAMGOLD change their agreement on the Monster Lake, Winchester and Lac- -l'Eau-Jaune properties; cos have agreed to extend the exploration commitments in the agreement from November 12 to May 1 (IAG) : Cos announced that they have revised the terms of their agreement dated November 12, 2013, for the acquisition by IAMGOLD of a 50% interest in each of the Monster Lake, Winchester and Lac-a-l'Eau-Jaune properties.

  • As a result of different factors including unusually heavy fall rains, which significantly restricted access to areas of the Monster Lake property and delayed IAMGOLD's drilling program, IAMGOLD and TomaGold have agreed to extend the exploration commitments in the agreement from November 12 to May 1. 
  • In consideration of the change in the exploration commitments for the agreement period, IAMGOLD will spend $3 mln on exploration by the revised date instead of $2 mln. 
  • IAMGOLD also advanced the cash payment date and paid TomaGold $170K.

10:30 am Minor new session highs for Dow +171 and S&P +20 -- Nasdaq Comp +65 has not yet confirmed the new high (:TECHX) : The Dow set a new session/all time high in recent trade while the S&P notched a new morning high it is still below its all time intraday high from Sep at 2019.26.

10:20 am Dow +157 and S&P +18 back near opening highs -- Nasdaq Comp +61 (:TECHX) :  

9:58 am Limited reaction to regional and sentiment data with averages drifting modestly under opening highs -- Dow +145, S&P +16, Nasdaq Comp +61 (:TECHX) :  

9:46 am Opening Market Summary: Stocks Surge Out of the Gate (:WRAPX) : The stock market began the Friday session with strong gains that have sent the S&P 500 (+0.8%) above its record closing high at 2011.36. Eight of ten sectors display opening gains with technology (+1.2%) in the lead. Chipmakers have rocketed out of the gate with the PHLX Semiconductor Index surging 3.3% to wipe out its October decline.

On the flip side, the energy sector (-0.6%) hovers in the red with crude oil trading lower by 1.5% at $79.88/bbl. Dollar strength has pressured crude as the Dollar Index (86.97, +0.82) trades higher by 1.0% with significant strength against the yen. The dollar has added 2.5% versus the yen (112.00) after the Bank of Japan boosted its purchase program to JPY80 trillion from JPY50 trillion.

Treasuries hover in the red, but are well off their lows with the 10-yr yield up one basis point at 2.32%.

Just released, the Chicago PMI for October jumped to 66.2 from 60.5, while the Briefing.com consensus expected a decrease to 60.0.

9:44 am Limited slip back off opening highs -- Dow +138, S&P +16, Nasdaq Comp +58 (:TECHX) :  

9:42 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors underperforming as the S&P vacillates near its all time close/intraday highs (2011/2019) include: Gold Miners GDX, Silver SLV, Gold GLD, Crude Oil USO, Oil Service OIH, Mining XME, Energy XLE, Utility XLU, Copper JJC.

9:38 am Early top sectors (:TECHX) : Sectors pacing the way in early trade include: Semi XSD, Internet FDN, Social Media SOCL, Biotech IBB, Defense PPA, Rail, Transports IYT, Software IGV, Technology XLK, Insurance KIE, Retail XRT, Discretionary XLY.

9:34 am Dow +152 testing its Sep/all time high at 17350 (:TECHX) :  

9:33 am Gap higher start leaves S&P +17 just above its all time close high from Sep at 2011 (:TECHX) : The all time intraday peak from Sep is at 2019

9:30 am Arc Logistics Partners declared a cash distribution of $0.41 per unit, a 2.5% increase over the previous distribution of $0.40 (ARCX) : The distribution is payable on November 17, 2014 to unitholders of record on November 10, 2014.

9:26 am Magellan Midstream announced that it plans to proceed with the recently-announced Saddlehorn Pipeline to transport various grades of crude oil from the Niobrara play in northeast Colorado to Magellan's storage facilities in Cushing, Oklahoma (MMP) : Binding commitments have been received from a wholly owned subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Noble Energy, Inc. as part of the pipeline's ongoing open season. Based on these commitments, Magellan is proceeding with the Saddlehorn Pipeline. The current open season for the Saddlehorn Pipeline has been extended and includes a new tariff rate structure, with binding commitments now due from potential shippers by 5:00 p.m. Central Time on Nov. 20, 2014. 

9:23 am Spirit Aerosystems -- Follow-Up Clarification, EPS should be $1.20 (SPR) : In our 7:39 comment, we had posted Q3 EPS of $1.04 because we backed out a $0.16 per share in favorable cumulative catch-up adjustments on mature programs. After researching it further, it turns out that we should not have backed it out and the clean Q3 EPS results should be $1.20. Either way, it was a large beat relative to the $0.73 consensus but we wanted to clarify. The original comment has been corrected.

9:21 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Guidewire Software (GWRE) announced that Endurance, a global specialty provider of P/C insurance and reinsurance, has selected Guidewire InsuranceSuite as its new platform for underwriting, policy administration, claims management, billing, and rating.
  • LiveDeal (LIVE) has decided to enhance its latest advertising campaign by launching a fully integrated national advertising campaign across television, radio, digital display and out-of-home platforms which LiveDeal expects can expand its reach among restaurants across the U.S.
  • Provident Finl (PFS) announced the appointment of Broadridge Corporate Issuer Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of Broadridge Financial (BR) as its transfer agent and registrar for the shares of its common stock.

9:12 am S&P futures vs fair value: +22.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +61.20. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a sharply higher open with the S&P 500 futures trading 22 points above fair value. Index futures soared overnight after the Bank of Japan boosted its asset purchasing program to JPY80 trillion from JPY50 trillion. The central bank said it will now target average maturities between seven and ten years (up from 7 years) and buy ETFs up to an annual amount of JPY3 trillion (up from JPY1 trillion).

The move weighed on the yen, sending the dollar/yen pair into the 111.90 area after trading near 108.80 at the end of yesterday's cash session. In addition, the news has boosted global equity markets with Japan's Nikkei surging 4.8% to lead the world-wide party.

Domestically, investors have received a series of mostly better than expected results, but stock-specific developments have taken a back seat to the macroeconomic theme.

On the earnings front, Expedia (EXPE 84.10, +3.37), GoPro (GPRO 78.77, +10.52), and LinkedIn (LNKD 222.46, +19.56) are on track to register early gains after beating estimates. On the flip side, Citigroup (C 53.04, -0.11) is on pace to begin in the red after adjusting its Q3 results to reflect a $600 million legal charge.

Treasuries hold losses with the 10-yr yield up three basis points at 2.34%.

The Chicago PMI report for October (consensus 60.0) will cross the wires at 9:45 ET while the day's data will be topped off with the 10:00 ET release of the final Michigan Sentiment survey for October (expected 86.4).

9:05 am Rexnord acquires engineered shaft locking devices for the power generation company Tollok; terms not disclosed (RXN) : Co announces it has acquired Tollok S.p.A. Based in Ferrara, Italy. Tollok serves a global customer base and has annual revenues of approximately 17 mln. 

9:03 am NuStar GP Hldgs reports Q3 EPS of $0.41, inline with CapIQ Consensus (3 estimates) of $0.41 (NSH) : Third quarter 2014 distributable cash flow available to unitholders was $23.7 million, or $0.55 per unit, compared to $22.6 million, or $0.53 per unit, for the third quarter of 2013. With respect to the quarterly distribution to unitholders for 3Q14, NSH announces that its board of directors has declared a distribution of $0.545 per unit. The third quarter 2014 distribution will be paid on November 19, 2014, to holders of record as of November 10, 2014.

9:03 am Landec announced that its subsidiary, Apio, has increased its investment in Windset Holdings 2010 Ltd by purchasing $7.0 mln of Senior B Preferred Stock. (LNDC) : The Senior B Preferred Stock pays an annual dividend of 7.5% on the amount outstanding at each anniversary date. The Senior B shares purchased by Apio have a put feature whereby Apio can sell back to Windset $1.5 million of shares on the first anniversary, an additional $2.75 million of shares on the second anniversary and the remaining $2.75 million on the third anniversary. This transaction does not change Apio's 26.9% common stock ownership in Windset. In addition to the newly acquired Senior B Preferred shares, Apio owns Senior A Preferred shares with a liquidation value of $15.0 million and Junior Preferred shares with a liquidation value of $5.1 million.

9:01 am Tetra Tech wins $650 mln urban infrastructure contract by the U.S. Agency for International Development (TTEK) : Co announces it has been awarded a $650 mln multiple-award indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract by the U.S. Agency for International Development (:USAID) to support the improvement of urban infrastructure in developing countries.

  • TTEK will support USAID in providing technical solutions to improve the delivery of water, transportation, and sanitation services in urban areas. TTEK will also work with local governments to strengthen their ability to prepare for and respond to natural disasters, improve environmental management practices, and increase their resiliency to the impacts of climate change.

9:00 am Corp Office Props prices offering of 4.8 mln common shares (OFC) : The company expects net proceeds of $129.3 million

8:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: +20.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +57.70. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade 20 points above fair value.

It was a sea of green across Asia as all of the major averages gained in response to the Bank of Japan unexpectedly increasing its bond buying program to an annual pace of JPY80 trillion from JPY50 trillion in a 5-4 vote. In addition, Japanese pension fund GPIF confirmed it was increasing its equity exposure to 25% while lowering its Japan debt allocation to 35%.

  • In economic data: 
    • Japan's National CPI rose 3.2% year-over-year while Core CPI increased 3.0%. Both figures matched expectations. Tokyo CPI rose 2.5% (consensus 2.7%; prior 2.9%) and Tokyo Core CPI also increased 2.5%, as expected. Separately, Household Spending fell 5.6% year-over-year (expected -4.3%; previous -4.7%) and the Unemployment Rate ticked up to 3.6% from 3.5%, as expected. Finally, Housing Starts fell 14.3% year-over-year (consensus -17.5%; prior -12.5%). 
    • New Zealand's Building Consents fell 12.2% month-over-month (expected 1.0%; last -0.8%) 
    • Australia's PPI ticked up 0.2% quarter-over-quarter, as expected, while the year-over-year reading rose 1.2% (consensus 2.6%; last 2.3%) 
    • Singapore's Unemployment Rate ticked down to 1.9% from 2.0% (expected 2.0%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei surged 4.8% to its best levels since November 2007. Real estate developers led the way as Mitsubishi Estate rallied 15.6% and Sumitomo Realty & Development climbed 12.5%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3% to end at a five-week high, but was unable to retake the 50-day average. Casino names paced the advance as Galaxy Entertainment and Sands China gained 5.2% and 3.0%, respectively. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite rose 1.2%, gaining for a fourth straight session as trade put in its best monthly close since February 2012. Financials saw solid gains as Bank of China lifted 3.7% and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China jumped 2.2%. 
  • India's Sensex climbed 1.9% to a record high. Bharti Airtel was the lone decliner, sliding 2.1%, despite yesterday's better than expected quarterly results. 
Major European indices trade higher across the board with France's CAC (+2.3%) in the lead. The IMF cautioned Greece against a premature exit from its bailout program, which remains in effect for another year. This comes after yesterday's reports from Germany suggested Greece may not be allowed to apply for another round of bailout funds.
  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Eurozone CPI ticked up to 0.4% from 0.3% while the Unemployment Rate held at 11.5%. Both figures matched expectations. 
    • Germany's Retail Sales fell 3.2% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; prior 1.5%) while the year-over-year reading rose 2.3% (consensus 0.8%; previous -0.7%) 
    • French PPI came in at 0.5% (consensus -0.1%; previous -0.3%) while Consumer Spending slipped 0.8% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.9%) 
    • Italy's Monthly Unemployment Rate ticked up to 12.6% from 12.5% (expected 12.4%) while CPI increased 0.1% year-over-year (expected -0.2%; previous -0.2%). Separately, PPI fell 1.7% year-over-year (expected -2.0%; prior -1.7%) 
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is higher by 1.1% with financials among the leaders. Royal Bank of Scotland, London Stock Exchange, and St James's Place are up between 3.0% and 4.1%. Miners Fresnillo and Randgold Resources lag with losses close to 2.0% apiece. 
  • Germany's DAX has jumped 2.0% with all but one component trading higher. Infineon Technologies leads with a gain of 4.9% while BMW and Volkswagen are both up near 2.5%. Linde trades down 2.6% after cutting its profit forecast. 
  • In France, the CAC trades up 2.3%. Financials lead with BNP Paribas and Societe Generale up 3.8% and 3.0%, respectively.

8:55 am NuStar Energy beats by $0.03, beats on revs (NS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.64 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.61; revenues rose 2.1% year/year to $794.4 mln vs the $744 mln consensus. 

  • EBITDA from continuing operations were $145.1 million, compared to third quarter 2013 EBITDA from continuing operations of $111.0 million. 
  • "Fourth quarter EBITDA results in our pipeline segment are expected to be higher than last year's fourth quarter, while fourth quarter EBITDA results in our storage segment should be comparable to last year's fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA results. EBITDA results in our fuels marketing segment should be comparable to the fourth quarter of 2013..For 2015...Our pipeline segment's EBITDA should increase by an additional $25 to $45 million next year, mainly due to the increased throughputs associated with the expected completion of Phase 2 of the South Texas Crude Oil Pipeline expansion and the NuStar 12-inch pipeline between Mont Belvieu and Corpus Christi. We expect our storage segment and fuels marketing segment results to be comparable to 2014."

8:54 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Highpower International (HPJ) announced that the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Icon Energy System, and Ganzhou Highpower Technology have been awarded National High-Tech Enterprise status and certification by the Science and Technology Innovation Commission of Shenzhen and Science and Technology Department of Jiangxi Province.
  • Minnesota Power, an operating division of ALLETE (ALE) has built a new electric substation and constructed and energized about ten miles of new transmission lines to serve electric power to Magnetation's nearly-completed Plant 4 iron ore concentrate plant north of Grand Rapids, Minn.
  • Barnes & Noble (BKS) announced the launch of a one-of-a-kind Educational Toys & Games Science Center in select stores nationwide and online. The expansive new Educational Toys & Games Science Center features an unrivaled selection of educational science-focused toys and games designed to provide incredible opportunities for scientific learning and discovery.
  • Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX) announced three Contrave and two disease awareness abstracts have been accepted for poster presentations at the upcoming ObesityWeek meeting. This meeting will be held November 2-7, 2014 in Boston at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center.

8:53 am WTI Dec crude oil drops below $80/barrel, falling to a new low on the day of $79.72/barrel. Dec crude is now -0.7% at $79.75/barrel, while the dollar index hits a new HoD (:COMDX) :  

8:52 am Salisbury Bancorp Correction: SAL announced approval of merger with Riverside Bank, headquartered in Poughkeepsie, New York (SAL) : The Riverside Bank here is not affiliated with Heartland Financial (HTLF) - our prior comment has been removed.

8:44 am Honeywell increases quarterly dividend 15% to $2.07 from $1.80/share (HON) :  

8:37 am Magellan Midstream beats by $0.05, beats on revs; guides Q4 EPS above consensus (MMP) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.71 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.66; revenues rose 17.5% year/year to $521.6 mln vs the $484.33 mln consensus.

  • Co issues upside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.92, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.91 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
    • For DCF purposes, operating results of the BridgeTex pipeline will not impact 2014, with the initial DCF benefit expected to occur in 2015 due to the timing of the pipeline's start-up and cash distribution payments from the joint venture to Magellan, which will be paid in arrears on a quarterly basis. 

8:36 am Chevron beats by $0.42, misses on revs (CVX) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $2.95 per share, $0.42 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $2.53; revenues fell 6.5% year/year to $54.68 bln vs the $60.56 bln consensus.

  • Despite a decline in crude oil prices, our third quarter earnings were higher than a year ago," said Chairman and CEO John Watson. "Overall downstream results improved, reflecting the benefits of lower feedstock costs and better refinery reliability, particularly in the U.S. We also concluded certain asset sales as part of our announced, three-year divestment program."
Upstream:
  • Worldwide net oil-equivalent production was 2.57 million barrels per day in third quarter 2014, compared with 2.59 million barrels per day in the 2013 third quarter.
  • Production increases from project ramp-ups in the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Nigeria and improved reliability at Tengizchevroil were more than offset by normal field declines, production entitlement effects in several locations and the effect of asset sales
Downstream:
  • U.S. downstream operations earned $809 million in third quarter 2014 compared with earnings of $249 million a year earlier.
  • The increase was mainly due to higher margins on refined product sales, primarily reflecting higher production volumes in refining and higher marketing and trading margins. Higher gains from asset sales and lower operating expenses, reflecting lower turnaround activity at the company's refineries, also contributed to the increase. 

8:36 am European Markets Update: FTSE +1.1%, DAX +1.9%, CAC +2.1% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade higher across the board with France's CAC (+2.1%) in the lead. The IMF cautioned Greece against a premature exit from its bailout program, which remains in effect for another year. This comes after yesterday's reports from Germany suggested Greece may not be allowed to apply for another round of bailout funds.

  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Eurozone CPI ticked up to 0.4% from 0.3% while the Unemployment Rate held at 11.5%. Both figures matched expectations. 
    • Germany's Retail Sales fell 3.2% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; prior 1.5%) while the year-over-year reading rose 2.3% (consensus 0.8%; previous -0.7%) 
    • French PPI came in at 0.5% (consensus -0.1%; previous -0.3%) while Consumer Spending slipped 0.8% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.9%) 
    • Italy's Monthly Unemployment Rate ticked up to 12.6% from 12.5% (expected 12.4%) while CPI increased 0.1% year-over-year (expected -0.2%; previous -0.2%). Separately, PPI fell 1.7% year-over-year (expected -2.0%; prior -1.7%) 
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is higher by 1.1% with financials among the leaders. Royal Bank of Scotland, London Stock Exchange, and St James's Place are up between 3.0% and 4.1%. Miners Fresnillo and Randgold Resources lag with losses close to 2.0% apiece. 
  • Germany's DAX has jumped 1.9% with all but one component trading higher. Infineon Technologies leads with a gain of 4.9% while BMW and Volkswagen are both up near 2.5%. Linde trades down 2.6% after cutting its profit forecast. 
  • In France, the CAC trades up 2.1%. Financials lead with BNP Paribas and Societe Generale up 3.8% and 3.0%, respectively.

8:34 am Clorox beats by $0.07, beats on revs; reaffirms FY15 guidance (CLX) : Reports Q1 (Sep) earnings of $1.10 per share, $0.07 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.03; revenues rose 0.7% year/year to $1.35 bln vs the $1.33 bln consensus.  Current-quarter results reflect the benefit of strong cost savings, price increases and volume growth as well as a one-time benefit of approximately $0.05 diluted EPS related to a one-time change in the company's long-term disability plan to make it more consistent with the marketplace. These factors were partially offset by the impact of higher manufacturing and logistics costs, continued incremental demand-building initiatives of $16 million, or $0.08 diluted EPS, and the impact of unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates. 

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of 4.35-4.50 vs. $4.43 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Sees sales about flat, or 1% to 3% increase on currency-neutral basis (unchanged).

8:34 am CRA Intl expands global life sciences expertise; Ann Baker and Andrew Butcher have joined the firm as VPs in the Life Sciences Practice (CRAI) : Co announces that Ann Baker and Andrew Butcher have joined the firm as V.Ps in the Life Sciences Practice. They are the co-founders of life sciences consulting firm Atkinson Cowan, which has become part of CRAI, and work with many pharmaceutical companies to advise on strategy and to support effective implementation of bringing new drugs to market.

8:33 am Pinnacle West beats by $0.06, reports revs in-line; reaffirms FY14 EPS guidance; guides FY15 EPS in-line (PNW) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $2.20 per share, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $2.14; revenues rose 1.8% year/year to $1.17 bln vs the $1.17 bln consensus.

Co reaffirms guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $3.60-3.75, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.69 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $3.75-3.95, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.85 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

Longer-term, the Company's goal is to achieve a consolidated earned return on average common equity of more than 9.5 percent annually through 2016.

8:33 am Zogenix and Purdue Pharma exchange waivers of regulatory exclusivity for extended-release hydrocodone products; Purdue has agreed to pay Zogenix $10 million with the first payment of $5 million due within 15 days and the second-half payment due on July 1, 2015 (ZGNX) : These waivers are applicable to current or pending New Drug Applications as well as successor products, including those with abuse-deterrent properties and associated labeling claims. Zogenix may also be eligible to receive royalties on future net sales of Purdue's once-daily hydrocodone product, for a limited period of time, if certain sales conditions are met. "This agreement allows prescribers and patients to have treatment options to help manage severe chronic pain. Zogenix remains committed to responsibly providing Zohydro ER and to the continued development of our abuse deterrent formulations."

8:33 am Barrett Business announced an increase to the company's regular quarterly dividend to $0.22, a 22% increase over the previous dividend of $0.18 (BBSI) : The cash dividend for the current quarter will be paid on December 5, 2014 to all stockholders of record as of November 21, 2014.

8:32 am SunPower announces second joint venture agreement in China (SPWR) :

  • Co announced its definitive agreement with Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor; Sichuan Development Holding; Leshan Electric Power; and Tianjin Tsinlien Investment to form a joint venture with plans to develop and own at least three gigawatts of PV power plants in the People's Republic of China. The power plants are expected to be built primarily with high-efficiency, low-concentration photovoltaic technology. The joint venture is expected to incorporate the proprietary LCPV SunPower C7 Tracker technology into the power plants planned for development. 
  • The definitive agreement provides that SunPower will invest up to ~$20 mln, amounting to a 4.6 percent ownership stake in the venture. The joint venture is subject to the approval of the PRC government, with initial LCPV deployment expected to begin in 2015.

8:32 am KLA-Tencor prices Senior Notes offering of 2.375% Senior Notes due 2017, 3.375% Senior Notes due 2019, 4.125% Senior Notes due 2021 and 4.650% Senior Notes due 2024 (KLAC) : Co announced it has entered into an agreement on October 30, 2014 to sell $250 mln aggregate principal amount of its 2.375% Senior Notes due 2017, $250 mln aggregate principal amount of its 3.375% Senior Notes due 2019, $500 mln aggregate principal amount of its 4.125% Senior Notes due 2021, $1.25 bln aggregate principal amount of its 4.650% Senior Notes due 2024 and $250 mln aggregate principal amount of its 5.650% Senior Notes due 2034 under an automatic shelf registration statement on file with the SEC. The offering is expected to settle on November 6, 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

  • KLA-Tencor intends to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with borrowings of $750.0 mln under the amortizing term loans to be provided under a credit agreement that KLA-Tencor plans to enter concurrently with, or shortly after the completion of, this offering and cash on hand, (x) to fund a special dividend to KLA-Tencor's stockholders of ~ $2.75 bln and (y) subject to the closing of the credit facility, to redeem the $750.0 mln outstanding principal amount of KLA-Tencor's 6.900% Senior Notes due 2018 as promptly as practicable following the completion of this offering and (z) for other general corporate purposes, including repurchases of up to 16.6 mln shares of KLA-Tencor's common stock pursuant to KLA-Tencor's stock repurchase program. KLA-Tencor expects the credit facility to consist of the $750.0 mln of amortizing term loans described above, which will be drawn upon the closing of the credit facility, and commitments for an unfunded revolving credit facility of $500.0 mln.

8:32 am S&P futures vs fair value: +21.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +59.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade 21 points above fair value.

September personal income increased 0.2%, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an uptick of 0.3%. Meanwhile, personal spending slipped 0.2%, while the consensus expected an uptick of 0.1%.

Core PCE prices rose 0.1%, which is what the Briefing.com consensus expected.

Separately, the Q3 Employment Cost Index rose 0.7%, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.5%.

8:31 am ATA Inc announced it has entered into an agreement to make a strategic investment in Master Mind Education, a provider of digitized services to K-12 after-school tutoring institutions in China for $5 mln (ATAI) : Co announces it entered into an agreement to make a strategic investment in Master Mind Education, a provider of digitized services to K-12 after-school tutoring institutions in China.

  • Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, ATAI will invest a total of $5.0 mln, representing a 33% stake in Master Mind. The funds are expected to be used toward Master Mind's integration of ATAI's technologies into its digitized service offerings, enhancing the functionality of its product offerings, as well as expanding its network of K-12 after-school tutoring institutions.

8:22 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Eisai Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) announced that data for BELVIQ CIV will be presented during ObesityWeek hosted by The Obesity Society and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
  • Following its deployment of Oracle (ORCL) Commerce, Kohl's (KSS) implemented Oracle Retail Merchandising System and Oracle Retail Price Management to streamline and improve the inventory, pricing, and promotions operations that, for 1 million SKUs, determine how well larger categories and individual items perform both online and at each of Kohl's more than 1,100 stores nationwide.
  • BlackBerry Limited (BBRY) announced that it has released several new features for BBM, offering users new ways to chat and share with more privacy and control over their communications.
  • AOL (AOL) formally announced its cross-device linking technology, empowering advertisers to engage with people across screens and not merely target devices. Co also announced the availability of location-based marketing.

8:17 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: AEGR -31.7%, TPX -12.8%, MGI -10.3%, STAA -9.8%, TRMB -8%, COMM -7.5%, PXLW -7.4%, DGI -4.5%, SBUX -3.9%, TEP -3.9%, GEVA -3.7%, EGO -3.6%, ABEV -3.5%, EPAY -2.9%, NBS -2.9%, NEE -2.9%, THRX -2.8%, CCI -2.6%, OFC -2.6%, LNG -2.6%, NEM -2.4%, FLDM -2.3%, PNM -2.3%, OMCL -2.2%, DW -2%, NUVA -1.8%, TRUP -1.6%, CSLT -1.5%, CPSI -1.4%, GB -1.3%, SCSC -1.3%, COSWF -1.3%, MBFI -1.2%, ATR -1.1%, SEM -1%

Select metals/mining stocks trading lower: AG -3.4%, GDX -3%, SLW -2.1%, SLV -2%, GG -1.9%, GLD -1.9%, ABX -1.9%, HL -1.8%, GFI -1.7%, STO -1.5%, AUY -1.3%, GOLD -1%

Other news: CDTI -4.6% (pulling back following yday's +75% gain), OFC -2.6% (commenced a public offering of 4.8 mln of its common shares of beneficial interest), LQ -1.9% (filed for a 20 mln share common stock offering by selling stockholders), SYRG -1.3% (announced a $125 mln purchase agreement for Wattenberg Field assets and $230 mln in committed financing)

Analyst comments: NKA -1.9% (downgraded to at ), ARR -1% (downgraded to Neutral at Compass Point), WPRT -0.7% (downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank).

8:14 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: MELI +18.4%, GPRO +16.6%, AVIV +14.6%, IMPV +12.7%, SYNC +12.5%, OPLK +11.2%, BCOV +10.4%, TUES +10.3%, SAM +9.1%, BYD +8.3%, AXTI +8.3%, ( announces $5 mln stock repurchase program), SGMS +8%, GRPN +7.5%, CTRL +7.5%, LNKD +6.3%, ZEN +5.9%, GMED +5.3%, EHTH +5.1%, PGH +5.1%, SPR +5%, SREV +4.8%, SIMG +4.6%, WETF +4.6%, MCHP +4.4%, EXPE +3.8%, ABBV +3.8%, RBS +3.7%, VCRA +3.6%, MYL +3.5%, ATRC +3.3%, MSG +3.2%, ATEN +3.1%, WU +3%, ONNN +3%, UVE +2.9%, CODE +2.8%, HLT +2.8%, SGEN +2.6%, POWI +2.5%, OSK +2.4%, BYI +2%, COLM +1.9%, CUBE +1.9%, OUTR +1.6%, EMN +1.6%, FNHC +1.4%, LABC +1.4%, TSO +1.3%, AFFX +1.2%, GWR +1.2%, ZIOP +1%, DCM +1%

M&A news: AVIV +14.6% (Omega (OHI) to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Aviv in a stock-for-stock merger for consideration equivalent to $34.97 per share),ABCW +8.5% (announces definitive agreement to sell Richland Center Branch),PT +5.3% (Hearing M&A speculation behind the move)

Other news: SRPT +9.9% (FDA issued a statement on Duchenne muscular dystrophy),SFUN +6.5% (signed investment and joint venture agreements with Tospur Real Estate Consulting),NVDQ +5.4% (announces transfer of SPY Elite business from LifeCell Corporation for $4.5 mln ),ISR +4.3% (pulling back following recent strength),CPE +4% (Lone Star Value discloses 5.1% active stake ),LAKE +2.9% (cont vol pre-mkt),TWTR +2.4% (Kevin Weil will take over as TWTR product exec, according to reports),ALSN +2.1% (announces $500 mln stock repurchase program and increased quarterly dividend to $0.15 from $0.12/share),TM +1.9% (responding to BOJ added QE),BPZ +1.5% (announced a gas discovery at Onshore Block XXIII and discussions for gas sales pilot project),CMCSA +1.5% (Comcast Houston Sports Net restructuring plan has been approved by Judge),AVNR +1.2% (announces publication of pivotal Phase III Results from AVP-825 acute migraine study in the journal 'headache;' The TARGET study data demonstrated relief of moderate or severe migraine headache as quickly as 15 minutes ), HOV +1.1% (announces new Senior Notes offering of up to $200 mln),TASR +0.8% (following exec appearance on CNBC)

Analyst comments: VECO +5.6% (upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna),ATML +2.9% (upgraded to Outperform at FBR Capital),ALU +2.4% (upgraded to Buy at Societe Generale),MPW +1.3% (upgraded to Mkt Outperform from Mkt Perform at JMP Securities)

8:10 am Exxon Mobil beats by $0.17, beats on revs (XOM) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.89 per share, $0.17 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.72; revenues fell 4.3% year/year to $107.49 bln vs the $103.63 bln consensus. 

  • Upstream earnings were $6,416 million in the third quarter of 2014, down $297 million from the third quarter of 2013. 
    • Lower realizations decreased earnings by $670 million. Favorable volume mix effects increased earnings by $340 million. 
  • On an oil-equivalent basis, production decreased 4.7 percent from the third quarter of 2013. Excluding the impact of the expiry of the Abu Dhabi onshore concession, production decreased 1 percent. 
  • Downstream earnings were $1,024 million, up $432 million from the third quarter of 2013. 
    • Stronger margins, primarily refining, increased earnings by $820 million. Volume and mix effects increased earnings by $100 million.

8:06 am KBR awarded Naval facilities engineering command job order construction contract for up to $50 mln over five years (KBR) : The co announced that it hasbeen awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity job order constructioncontract by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe Africa SouthwestAsia for the largest U.S. base in Africa. Under the terms of the contract, KBR will perform renovations, repairs,maintenance, replacement, alterations, demolition and small/midcap constructionfor Department of Defense activities in Djibouti, Africa.  The value of thecontract awarded to KBR is valued up to $50 million over five years.

8:06 am Estee Lauder announced that it has acquired RODIN olio lusso, a luxury skin care brand founded by the iconic New York stylist Linda Rodin; terms not disclosed (EL) : Co announced that it has acquired RODIN olio lusso, a luxury skin care brand founded by the iconic New York stylist Linda Rodin. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • The brand will be overseen by John Demsey, Est e Lauder Companies' Group President, responsible for the Est e Lauder, M A C, Tom Ford, Prescriptives, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and bumble, Jo Malone, La Mer, Smashbox, and Aramis & Designer Fragrance brands.

8:06 am Independence Realty Trust reports CFFO of $4.0 mln or $0.17 per share compared to $1.3 mln or $0.17 in prior year, Capital IQ consensus $0.17; Reports revenues of $13.05 mln, Capital IQ consensus $13 mln (IRT) :  

8:06 am American Axle beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (AXL) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.63 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.62; revenues rose 15.8% year/year to $950.8 mln vs the $952.76 mln consensus.

  • EBITDA of $136.1 mln or ~14.3% of sales
  • Non-GM sales grew 26.5% y/y to $296.8 mln
  • Capital spending, net of proceeds from the sale of property, plant and equipment and the sale-leaseback of equipment, for the third quarter of 2014 was $52.3 million. Reflecting the impact of this activity, AAM generated free cash flow of $96.9 million for the third quarter of 2014.
FY14 Outlook
  • "Based on our progress through the first three quarters of the year, AAM is on track to deliver more than $100 mln of positive free cash flow for the full year 2014"

8:06 am Chemtura: In light of its recently announced Tender Offer co postpones Investor Day to Feb. 5, 2015 (CHMT) :  

8:05 am Destination XL Group announces expanded credit facility by $25 mln to $125 mln and new five-year term loan of $15 mln (DXLG) : "These new financing agreements provide us with additional liquidity and financial flexibility as we execute our plan to complete the conversion to Destination XL by the end of fiscal 2017."

8:05 am Engility announced it has been awarded a $31 million contract to provide information technology management services, application services and subject matter expertise to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Information and Technology, Product Development Group (EGL) : Under this VA contract, which represents new work, the co will provide management, analysis, technical and support services for nearly 100 technology systems throughout VA. The award further establishes the company's role in providing end-to-end program management, technical and analytical services in support of the VA's critical IT investments that support its three pillars of health, benefits and corporate IT systems. The contract is a three-year (base plus two, one year options) time and materials award.

8:05 am Circor beats by $0.05, misses on revs; guides Q4 EPS in-line, revs in-line (CIR) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.95 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.90; revenues fell 5.1% year/year to $203.82 mln vs the $208.73 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $1.02-1.12, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.07 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $210-225 mln vs. $218.96 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

  • "Our ongoing restructuring actions and productivity initiatives are on track and are having a measurable impact on our bottom-line performance."
  • "Orders in our Energy business were up 18% during the third quarter and we expect the momentum to continue into the fourth quarter."
  • "Quoting activity remains solid in the upstream Oil & Gas and power markets. Within Aerospace & Defense, orders were impacted by the exit of certain landing gear product lines."

8:04 am Ares Management to acquire Energy Investors Funds (ARES) : Co announces that one of its subsidiaries has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Energy Investors Funds ("EIF"), an asset manager in the energy infrastructure industry with approximately $4 bln of assets under management across EIF's four commingled funds and related co-investment vehicles.

8:04 am Chemtura announces commencement of $300 million modified Dutch Auction Tender Offer for its common stock (CHMT) : Pursuant to the tender offer, company stockholders may tender all or a portion of their shares (1) at a price specified by the tendering stockholder of not less than $21.50 and not more than $24.50 per share or (2) without specifying a purchase price, in which case their shares will be purchased at the purchase price determined in accordance with the tender offer.

  • When the tender offer expires, Chemtura will determine the lowest price within the range of prices specified above enabling Chemtura to purchase up to $300 million in the aggregate of its common stock. 

8:03 am American Axle beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (AXL) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.63 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.62; revenues rose 15.8% year/year to $950.8 mln vs the $952.76 mln consensus.

8:03 am Atossa Genetics announced that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the amended complaint in the securities class action suit filed on October 10, 2013 against Atossa and certain of its officers, directors and underwriters in its initial public offering. (ATOS) : The District Court has now dismissed with prejudice all claims against Atossa and all other defendants. The plaintiffs have indicated that they intend to appeal the District Court's decision.

8:03 am Family Dollar: Dollar General (DG) extends tender offer to acquire Family Dollar to December 31, 2014 (FDO) : Dollar General (DG) announced that it has extended its tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (FDO) for $80.00 per share in cash (including associated preferred share purchase rights) to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on December 31, 2014, unless further extended. 

  • In addition, Dollar General intends to file today the definitive proxy materials with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the Special Meeting of Shareholders of Family Dollar scheduled to be held on December 11, 2014, to vote on the merger with Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR), and to commence mailing of such definitive proxy materials to Family Dollar shareholders of record as of October 30, 2014 on or about November 3, 2014.

8:03 am PDI Inc changes date & time of Q3 earnings release; will now release its results on Monday, November 3, 2014 and will host a conference call on Monday, November 3 at 8:00 a.m. ET (PDII) :  

8:03 am Motorola Solutions: Buncombe County Sheriff's Office, Asheville, North Carolina, to equip its deputies with VIEVU Body-Worn Cameras from MSI (MSI) : Co announces The Buncombe County Sheriff's Office in Asheville, North Carolina, will be equipping all of its patrol and Sheriff's Community Enforcement Team deputies with VIEVULE3 body-worn cameras from MSI. This small, lightweight, self-contained video recorder can help reduce the incidence of complaint-generating events and improve relations between the police force and the public.

8:02 am Ixys beats by $0.10, misses on revs (IXYS) : Reports Q2 (Sep) earnings of $0.18 per share, $0.10 better than the single analyst estimate of $0.08; revenues rose 0.6% year/year to $86.4 mln vs the $88.5 mln single analyst estimate.

8:02 am Digirad delivers letter to PDI, Inc. (PDII) responding to PDI's summary rejection of Digirad's offer to acquire company; 'We question whether the PDI Board is acting in the best interests of all its stockholder or seeking to preserve the status quo to the detriment of PDI stockholders' (DRAD) : Co announces it has sent a letter to PDI, Inc. (PDII), a healthcare commercialization services company, responding to PDII's summary rejection of DRAD's proposal to acquire the company.

  • DRAD calls upon PDII to immediately engage in meaningful discussions regarding a transaction and to operate in the ordinary course of business and to not spend its cash, or take on additional debt, on acquisitions or other extraordinary transactions.
  • "We question whether the PDII Board is acting in the best interests of all its stockholders, the true owners of PDII, or seeking to preserve the status quo to the detriment of PDII stockholders. By refusing to even engage in preliminary discussions with DRAD and take steps to explore the economic and strategic benefits of our proposal, the PDII Board is once again showing its disregard for stockholder rights and stockholder value by refusing to consider a potentially significant value-enhancing transaction with us."

8:00 am S&P futures vs fair value: +21.90. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +58.20. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade sharply higher amid upbeat action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover 22 points above fair value with the gain coming after the Bank of Japan boosted its asset purchasing program to JPY80 trillion from JPY50 trillion. The move weighed on the yen, sending the dollar/yen pair into the 111.70 area after trading near 108.80 at the end of yesterday's cash session. The news has boosted global equity markets with Japan's Nikkei surging 4.8% to lead the way.

Treasuries are modestly lower with the 10-yr yield up two basis points at 2.33%.

September Personal Income (Briefing.com consensus 0.3%), Personal Spending (consensus 0.1%), Core PCE Prices (expected 0.1%), and the Q3 Employment Cost Index (expected 0.5%) will all be released at 8:30 ET while the Chicago PMI report for October (consensus 60.0) will cross the wires at 9:45 ET. The day's data will be topped off with the final release of the Michigan Sentiment survey for October (expected 86.4).

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD 109.04, -0.97): -0.9% following disappointing results. 
  • Citigroup (C 52.60, -0.55): -1.0% after adjusting its Q3 results to reflect a $600 million legal charge. 
  • Expedia (EXPE 83.40, +2.67): +3.3% in reaction to better than expected earnings and revenue. 
  • GoPro (GPRO 78.70, +10.45): +15.3% after beating expectations and issuing strong guidance. 
  • Groupon (GRPN 6.50, +0.51): +8.5% after beating estimates and guiding lower. 
  • LinkedIn (LNKD 214.30, +11.40): +5.6% after beating earnings and revenue estimates.
  • ON Semiconductor (ONNN 8.98, +0.97): +12.1% after better than expected revenue and above-consensus revenue guidance overshadowed a one-cent miss. 
  • Starbucks (SBUX 74.40, -2.92): -3.8% after its cautious earnings guidance overshadowed a bottom-line beat. 
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended higher. Japan's Nikkei +4.8%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +1.3%, and China's Shanghai Composite +1.2% 
    • In economic data: 
      • Japan's National CPI rose 3.2% year-over-year while Core CPI increased 3.0%. Both figures matched expectations. Tokyo CPI rose 2.5% (consensus 2.7%; prior 2.9%) and Tokyo Core CPI also increased 2.5%, as expected. Separately, Household Spending fell 5.6% year-over-year (expected -4.3%; previous -4.7%) and the Unemployment Rate ticked up to 3.6% from 3.5%, as expected. Finally, Housing Starts fell 14.3% year-over-year (consensus -17.5%; prior -12.5%). 
      • New Zealand's Building Consents fell 12.2% month-over-month (expected 1.0%; last -0.8%) 
      • Australia's PPI ticked up 0.2% quarter-over-quarter, as expected, while the year-over-year reading rose 1.2% (consensus 2.6%; last 2.3%) 
      • Singapore's Unemployment Rate ticked down to 1.9% from 2.0% (expected 2.0%) 
    • In news: 
      • In addition to boosting its asset purchases to JPY80 trillion, the Bank of Japan said it will now target average maturities between seven and ten years (up from 7 years) and buy ETFs up to an annual amount of JPY3 trillion (up from JPY1 trillion).
  • Major European indices trade higher across the board. Great Britain's FTSE +1.4%, Germany's DAX +2.2%, and France's CAC +2.4%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB +2.0% and Spain's IBEX +2.0% 
    • Participants received several data points: 
      • Eurozone CPI ticked up to 0.4% from 0.3% while the Unemployment Rate held at 11.5%. Both figures matched expectations. 
      • Germany's Retail Sales fell 3.2% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; prior 1.5%) while the year-over-year reading rose 2.3% (consensus 0.8%; previous -0.7%)
      • French PPI came in at 0.5% (consensus -0.1%; previous -0.3%) while Consumer Spending slipped 0.8% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.9%) 
      • Italy's Monthly Unemployment Rate ticked up to 12.6% from 12.5% (expected 12.4%) while CPI increased 0.1% year-over-year (expected -0.2%; previous -0.2%). Separately, PPI fell 1.7% year-over-year (expected -2.0%; prior -1.7%) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • The IMF cautioned Greece against a premature exit from its bailout program, which remains in effect for another year. This comes after yesterday's reports from Germany suggested Greece may not be allowed to apply for another round of bailout funds.

8:00 am Moog beats by $0.04, reports revs in-line; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance (MOG.A) : Reports Q4 (Sep) earnings of $1.12 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.08; revenues fell 0.7% year/year to $671.4 mln vs the $674.99 mln consensus.  Year-end backlog of $1.3 billion was 3% higher than the prior year. Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $4.25 vs. $4.26 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:57 am AbbVie beats by $0.12, beats on revs; raises FY14 EPS above consensus (ABBV) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.89 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.12 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.77; revenues rose 7.8% year/year to $5.02 bln vs the $4.83 bln consensus.

  • On an operational basis, sales increased 8.3 percent, excluding a 0.5 percent unfavorable impact from foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Excluding sales from our lipid franchise due to the loss of exclusivity, sales increased 13.5 percent on an operational basis in the quarter. 
  • Third-quarter sales growth was driven primarily by the continued strength of HUMIRA. 
    • Global HUMIRA sales increased 17.5% to $3.26 bln, or 17.8 percent on an operational basis, excluding the impact of foreign exchange rate fluctuations. 
  • Total company sales growth was also driven by strong growth from key products including Kaletra, Synthroid, Creon, Synagis and Duodopa.
Co issues upside guidance for FY14, raises EPS to $3.25-3.27, excluding non-recurring items, from $3.06-3.16 vs. $3.17 Capital IQ Consensus.
  • AbbVie's 2014 outlook continues to exclude any potential revenue from the expected 2014 U.S. launch of its HCV therapy. 
  • "In the fourth quarter, we look forward to the U.S. approval of our interferon-free HCV combination, which will further accelerate sales and earnings growth in 2015 and beyond."

7:54 am NextEra Energy beats by $0.02, beats on revs; reaffirms FY14 EPS in-line; reaffirms FY15 EPS in-line (NEE) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.55 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.53; revenues rose 5.9% year/year to $4.65 bln vs the $4.42 bln consensus.

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $5.15-5.35, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $5.29 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $5.40-5.70, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $5.67 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:43 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei +4.8%, Hang Seng +1.3%, Shanghai +1.2% (:SUMRX) :

  • It was a sea of green across Asia as all of the major averages gained in response to the Bank of Japan unexpectedly increasing its bond buying program to an annual pace of JPY80 trln (JPY50 trln previous) in a 5-4 vote. 
  • Yesterday, Japanese pension fund GPIF announced it was increasing its equity exposure to 25% while lowering its Japan debt allocation to 35%. 
  • Japan's household spending (-5.6% YoY actual v. -4.0% YoY expected) was weak while Tokyo core CPI (2.5% YoY) came out in-line. 
  • Australia's PPI (0.2% QoQ) matched estimates. Taiwan's GDP improved to 3.8% YoY (3.7% YoY) previous.
  • Singapore's unemployment rate dipped to 1.9% (2.0% previous).
  • Japan's Nikkei (+4.8%) surged to its best levels since November 2007. Real estate developers led the way as Mitsubishi Estate rallied 15.6% and Sumitomo Realty & Development climbed 12.5%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.3%) ended at a five-week high, but was unable to retake the 50 dma. Casino names paced the advance as Galaxy Entertainment and Sands China gained 5.2% and 3.0%, respectivelty. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite (+1.2%) gained for a fourth straight session as trade put in its best monthly close since February 2012. Financials saw solid gains as Bank of China lifted 3.7% and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China tacked on 2.2%. 
  • India's Sensex (+1.9%) climbed to a record high. Bharti Airtel was the lone decliner, sliding 2.1%, despite yesterday's better than expected quarterly results. 
  • Australia's ASX (+0.9%) gained for the 11th time in 14 sessions. Gold miners lagged with Newcrest Mining tumbling 4.3%. 
  • Regional Decliners: None 
  • Regional Advancers: South Korea +0.3%...Indonesia +0.6%...Philippines +0.6%...Malaysia +0.7%...Taiwan +1.0%...Thailand +1.2%...Singapore +1.2%...Vietnam +2.0% 
  • Fx: USDCNY slipped to 6.1115...USDINR eased to 61.38...USDJPY +240 pips @ 111.65...AUDUSD -5 pips @ .8835

7:40 am TECO Energy misses by $0.01; narrows FY14 guidance (TE) :

  • Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.32 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.33; revenues rose 7.1% year/year to $685.1 mln
  • Co narrows 2014 earnings-per-share guidance range to $1.00 to $1.05 ( vs. $1.03 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate) Tampa Electric expects to earn in the upper half of its authorized allowed ROE range of 9.25% to 11.25%, driven by approximately $50 million of higher base revenues in 2014 as a result of its September 2013 rate case settlement agreement. Based on year-to-date experience, it now expects slightly higher average customer growth of 1.6% and total retail energy sales growth about 0.5% lower than customer growth due to lower average customer usage. Peoples Gas expects to continue to earn above the middle of its allowed ROE range of 9.75% to 11.75% from moderate customer growth, in line with the trends experienced in 2013. NMGC is expected to deliver seasonally strong financial results for the remainder of 2014 and to be slightly accretive to TECO Energy's earnings in 2014.

7:39 am PNM Resources beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides FY14 EPS in-line (PNM) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.68 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.65; revenues rose 3.6% year/year to $413.95 mln vs the $398 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $1.44-1.51, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.47 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:39 am Spirit Aerosystems beats by $0.47, reports revs in-line; raises guidance for FY14 (SPR) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.20 per share, $0.47 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.73; revenues rose 12.6% year/year to $1.69 bln vs the $1.69 bln consensus.

  • Backlog grew to a new record of approximately $44 billion at the end of the third quarter compared to $41 billion at the end of the second quarter.
  • Free cash flow was a $75 mln source of cash for the third quarter of 2014, compared to a $128 mln source of cash for the third quarter of 2013 reflecting higher cash tax payments, partially offset by improved operational performance and lower capital expenditures.
For FY14, co raises prior guidance. Now the co sees EPS of $3.35-3.45 from prior range of $2.90-3.05, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.38 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of $6.80-6.90 bln, up from prior range of $6.70-6.90 bln vs. $6.85 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:37 am Boeing and Monarch Airlines finalize order for 30 737 MAX 8s worth more than $3.2 bln (BA) : The order, originally announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in July when Monarch selected Boeing as its preferred bidder for fleet replacement, includes options for 15 additional 737 MAX 8s and marks the beginning of the British carrier's transition to an all-Boeing single-aisle fleet. The 737 MAX has accumulated 2,325 orders to date from 48 customers and is the fastest selling airplane in Boeing history.

7:36 am Hovnanian announces new Senior Notes offering of up to $200 mln (HOV) :

  • K. Hovnanian intends to use the net proceeds from the Notes Offering for general corporate purposes, including land acquisition and land development.

7:36 am Dominion misses by $0.02; guides Q4 EPS in-line (D) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.93 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.95. Co issues in-line guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.80-0.90, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.85 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

  • Positive factors for the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the same period of the prior year include an expected return to normal weather in our electric service territory, higher revenues from our growth projects, higher earnings from our farmout transactions at Dominion Energy and higher merchant generation margins.
  • Negative factors for the quarter include higher merchant generation outage expense and higher depreciation expense.

7:35 am Heartland Payment Systems beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line; guides FY14 EPS below consensus, revs above consensus (HPY) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.68 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.65; revenues rose 10.6% year/year to $169.4 mln vs the $169.14 mln consensus.

  • Co issues mixed guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $2.33-2.37 vs. $2.38 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of $665-670 mln vs. $659.14 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Guidance for the year reflects a reduction of $0.19 per share for Leaf's operating losses, excluding the positive impact related to the one-time gain described above. Finally, the guidance includes the contribution from the acquisition of TouchNet in 2014, which, net of associated transaction costs, is expected to be slightly accretive on an adjusted basis.

7:35 am BioLineRx earlier announced publication of the results of a previous Phase 1/2 (pilot) study for IK-5001 that was completed in 2010 (BLRX) : BCM, which was out-licensed to Bellerophon in 2009 for further development and commercialization, is in the midst of the PRESERVATION I study, a CE Mark registration trial at over 80 sites worldwide, 16 of which are in the U.S. To date, over 280 patients have been enrolled in the study, which is designed to enroll a total of approximately 300 patients. Enrollment is expected to be completed by the end of this year, with study completion anticipated in mid-2015.

7:34 am Rockwell Collins beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides FY15 EPS in-line, revs in-line (COL) : Reports Q4 (Sep) earnings of $1.30 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.27; revenues rose 15.0% year/year to $1.4 bln vs the $1.36 bln consensus.

  • Commercial Systems sales increase 12% 
  • Information Management Services sales increase 16% on a pro forma basis 
  • Total segment operating margins exceed 21%. 
Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $4.90-5.10 vs. $4.99 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY15 revs of $5.2-5.3 bln vs. $5.28 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:34 am Drew Industries misses by $0.07, beats on revs (DW) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.64 per share, $0.07 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.71; revenues rose 17.3% year/year to $294.3 mln vs the $289.91 mln consensus. 

  • The Company's content per travel trailer and fifth-wheel RV in the twelve months ended September 30, 2014, increased by $111, or 4 percent, to $2,814, compared to the prior twelve-month period. 

7:33 am News Corp and Move, Inc. (MOVE) announced that the required waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, expired at 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on October 30, 2014, without any action having been taken by the US FTC or the Antitrust Division of the US DOJ (NWSA) : The expiration satisfies the tender offer condition with respect to the expiration of the applicable waiting period under the HSR Act. The tender offer continues to be subject to the satisfaction of other customary conditions, including a minimum tender of at least a majority of the outstanding Move shares.

7:32 am CBOE Holdings beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line (CBOE) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.57 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.54; revenues rose 8.9% year/year to $148.9 mln vs the $148.96 mln consensus. 

  • The company reaffirmed or updated its 2014 fiscal year guidance as follows: 
    • Core operating expenses are expected to be in the range of $186.0 million to $190.0 million.
    • Continuing stock-based compensation expense included in core expenses is expected to be approximately $13.0 million for the full year.
    • Capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of $47.0 million to $50.0 million. 
    • Depreciation and amortization expense is expected to be in the range of $38.0 million to $40.0 million.

7:32 am W.P. Carey: Carey Watermark acquires Staybridge Suites Savannah for $23 mln; 'addition of this asset to the CWI portfolio will be accretive to current cash flow' (WPC) : Co announces it has acquired the Staybridge Suites Savannah Historic District, a 104-room select service hotel located in Savannah, GA.

  • The $25.5 mln investment includes the $22.8 mln purchase price as well as $2.7 mln of other acquisition-related costs and planned capital expenditures. The acquisition was financed with $14.9 mln of debt.
  • "The addition of this asset to the CWI portfolio will be accretive to current cash flow and has the potential to create future value for our investors."

7:31 am Amira Nature Foods announced that it has reached an agreement with Asda, a wholly owned division of Wal-Mart (WMT), to offer Amira's branded products through its e-commerce platform, extending the previously announced partnership to sell Amira branded products in 256 Asda stores (ANFI) : Co announced that it has reached an agreement with Asda, a wholly owned division of Wal-Mart (WMT), to offer Amira's branded products through its e-commerce platform, extending the previously announced partnership to sell Amira branded products in 256 Asda stores.

  • Combined with its existing agreements with Asda, Morrisons, Tesco (TSCO) and Waitrose, Amira's branded products now reach British consumers wherever they choose to shop, whether it's in-store or online.

7:31 am SL Green Rlty names Matthew DiLiberto as CFO, Effective Jan 1, 2015 (SLG) : Co announces Matthew J. DiLiberto has been named the Co's CFO, effective Jan 1, 2015, when the employment agreement of the current CFO, James Mead, expires. Prior to this promotion, he has been the Co's Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer. Before joining the Co, he served for four years as a Controller and Director of Information Management for Chelsea Property Group, which is now a division of Simon Property Group.

7:21 am Commodities start the morning off mostly lower (:COMDX) :

  • Oil and precious metals are extending yesterday's losses so far this morning as the dollar index shows some strength
  • In current trade:
    • Dec crude oil is -0.9% at $80.40/barrel
    • Dec nat gas is +2.6% at $3.93/MMBtu
    • Dec gold -2.1% at $1173.50/oz
    • Dec  silver -1.7% at $16.14/oz
    • Dec copper +0.5% at $3.08/lb
    • Aluminum rose overnight on the LME, +0.5% at $2,095/tn
    • Dollar index +0.5% at 86.54

7:21 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (RBA) sold more than CA$109 million ($98 million) of heavy equipment and trucks in Edmonton, Alberta on October 28 -- 30, 2014.
  • Trina Solar Limited (TSL) announced the appointment of Jeff Dorety as president of its Americas Region, effective October 8, 2014, and Mr. Longxing Huang as president of its Distributed PV Generation Business Unit, effective October 27, 2014.

7:19 am MSCI launches private offering of $800 million Senior Notes due 2024 (MSCI) : If the offering is successfully placed, MSCI intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, together with cash on hand, to repay in full its $794.8 million outstanding indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility.

  • Concurrent with this offering, MSCI intends to enter into a new 5-year $200 million unsecured revolving credit facility.

7:14 am Surprise BOJ Action Drops Yen to Lowest Levels Since January 2008: 10Y: -08/32..2.329%..USD/JPY: 111.70...EUR/USD: 1.2586 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index presses session highs near 88.70 as trade flirts with its best monthly close since February 2009
  • EURUSD is -35 pips @ 1.2575 as trade presses lower for a third day. The weakness in the single currency comes amid a slew of disappointing data as French consumer spending (-0.8% MoM actual v. -0.3% MoM expected) and German retail sales (-3.2% MoM actual v. -0.8% MoM expected) saw sharper than expected declines while eurozone CPI Flash Estimate (0.4% YoY) and the unemployment rate (11.5%) matched expectations. The recent lows near 1.2500 are in focus. 
  • GBPUSD is flat @ 1.6000 as trade tests support in the area. A lack of news and data has made for an uneventful session with early action holding yesterday's lows. A break below 1.5900 will push sterling to its lowest level since September 2013. 
  • USDCHF is +35 pips @ .9595 as trade nears a test of the October highs in the .9685 area. Early action has been tightly tied to the euro as news and data out of Switzerland were absent from the calender. 
  • USDJPY is +245 pips @ 111.70 after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly increase its bond buying program to an annual pace of JPY80 trln (JPY50 trln previous) in a 5-4 vote. The surprise announcement launched the pair to its best levels since January 2008, blowing out stops at the September/October highs near 110.00. Overlooked amid today's madness was an extremely weak household spending (-5.6% YoY actual v. -4.0% YoY expected) print and an in-line Tokyo core CPI (2.5% YoY) reading. Click here to see a daily USDJPY chart.
  • AUDUSD is -15 pips @ .8825 after paring its early losses. Overnight selling had the hard currency probing the .8800 level, but trade has managed to recoup its losses as risk assets rally. The upper end of the .8650/.8850 range that has been in place for the past month remains in focus. USDCNY was little changed @ 6.1138. 
  • USDCAD is +10 @ 1.1195 as trade remains on hold into this morning's Canadian GDP figure. The 1.1150 area provides minor support while 1.1100 is home to more meaningful support and the 50 dma.

7:13 am ITT Industries beats by $0.06, misses on revs; raises FY14 EPS guidance; lowers top end of FY14 rev guidance (ITT) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.66 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.60; revenues rose 3.6% year/year to $657.1 mln vs the $666.72 mln consensus.

  • Co issues guidance for FY14, raises EPS to $2.42-2.47 from $2.38-2.46 vs. $2.44 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of +5-6% from prior of +5-7% to ~$2.62-2.65 bln vs. $2.67 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Third-quarter total and organic revenue was up 3 percent to $293 million. The increase reflects strong growth in oil and gas project pumps in North America, Latin America and the Middle East, partially offset by weaker chemical and industrial pumps and valves, as well as mining pumps in Asia and Latin America.

7:10 am Moneygram misses by $0.11, misses on revs; transaction volume negatively impacted due to Walmart's white-label product; removes previous guidance due to introduction of lower pricing (MGI) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.22 per share, $0.11 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.33; revenues fell 5.5% year/year to $355.2 mln vs the $373.56 mln consensus. 

  • MGI announced new low prices for U.S.-to-U.S. transfers; $11.50 or less for most transactions available at all U.S. locations.
  • Because of the introduction of lower prices, the Company is removing its previous guidance. 
    • For the fourth quarter, the Company estimates Adjusted EBITDA to be between $60 and $65 million due to the anticipated impact from lower prices, the associated marketing expense and softness in certain geographies.
  • MoneyGram's transaction volume and revenue has been negatively impacted due to Walmart's (WMT) white-label product. For the quarter, the Company reported a 57% decline in U.S.-to-U.S. transactions originated at Walmart and a 60% t decline in revenue versus the prior year. 

7:06 am Oshkosh Truck beats by $0.14, beats on revs; guides FY15 EPS in-line, revs above consensus (OSK) : Reports Q4 (Sep) adj. earnings of $0.96 per share, $0.14 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.82; revenues fell 3.4% year/year to $1.67 bln vs the $1.61 bln consensus.

  • Expected lower defense segment sales were offset in part by improved demand in the Company's access equipment and commercial segments.
Co issues guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $4.00-4.25 vs. $4.09 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY15 revs of $6.5-6.6 bln vs. $6.51 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • The co believes its fiscal 2015 consolidated sales will decline from fiscal 2014 due to a further reduction in DoD spending for its tactical wheeled vehicle programs, partially offset by an increase in sales in the Company's non-defense segments as a result of improved end markets. The Company expects consolidated operating income to be between $510 million and $540 million as a result of benefits from the Company's MOVE initiatives in its non-defense segments offsetting lower defense segment results. 

7:04 am PowerSecure announced it has been awarded ~$13 mln of new distributed generation business and ~$2 mln of new utility infrastructure business (POWR) : The $15 million in new business is expected to be recognized fairly evenly from the fourth quarter of 2014 through 2015.

7:02 am WisdomTree reports EPS in-line, beats on revs (WETF) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.08 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.08; revenues rose 18.9% year/year to $47.1 mln vs the $46.52 mln consensus. 

  • Included in the quarter was a loss of $1.5 million, or $0.01 per diluted EPS, associated with the Company's European listed ETP business, which was acquired in April 2014.
  • WisdomTree CEO and President Jonathan Steinberg said, "WisdomTree reported another quarter of record revenues and strong financial results. Despite the challenging market, net inflow levels increased from the second quarter to $748 million."

7:02 am SouFun Holdings signed investment and joint venture agreements with Tospur Real Estate Consulting; SouFun and Tospur will invest $9.8 mln and $6.5 mln, respectively (SFUN) : The co announced that it has entered into investment and joint venture agreements with one of China's top 5 leading new home agency companies, Tospur Real Estate Consulting Co., Ltd.

  • Pursuant to the investment and joint venture agreements with Tospur, SouFun will subscribe for new shares of Tospur in a private placement for 16% of Tospur's outstanding share capital after the completion of the private placement for approximately $62 mln in cash; and SouFun and Tospur will invest $9.8 mln and $6.5 mln, respectively, to form a joint venture to provide real estate internet financing services. 

7:01 am Renewable Energy expands REG energy services offerings in Northeast and Midwest (REGI) : REG Energy Services will offer ultra-low sulfur heating oil and diesel blended with up to 20% biodiesel at its New Hyde Park, NY terminal. In addition, ULSD blended with biodiesel will be offered at Minnesota terminals in Alexandria, Mankato, Roseville and Rochester and Iowa terminals in Mason City and Des Moines. This adds ULSD to REG's existing biodiesel offerings at those locations.

7:01 am Anheuser-Busch InBev -0.3% in Brussels after missing Q3 estimates (BUD) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.42 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.09 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.51; revenues rose 4.3% year/year to $12.24 bln vs the $12.46 bln consensus. 

  • Total volumes in 3Q14 declined by 2.6%, with own beer volumes decreasing by 2.7%, while non-beer volumes declined by 0.9%. o US beer sales-to-wholesalers (STWs) declined by 3.7%, with selling-day adjusted sales-toretailers (STRs) declining by 1.9%. 
  • EBITDA grew by 1.3% in 3Q14 to 4 745 million USD, with a margin contraction of 37 bps to 38.8%.
Stock was down nearly 3% in early trading in Brussels but has pared those losses with strength in European equity markets.

7:01 am Legg Mason beats by $0.02, reports revs in-line (LM) : Reports Q2 (Sep) earnings of $0.35 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.33; revenues rose 0.6% year/year to $703.9 mln vs the $704.54 mln consensus. 

  • Assets Under Management were $707.8 bln, up slightly from $704.3 bln as of June 30, 2014 and up 8% from $656.0 bln as of September 30, 2013. 
  • Long-term inflows of $0.7 bln included equity inflows of $1.6 bln, and fixed income outflows of $0.9 bln for the quarter ended September 30, 2014. 
  • At September 30, 2014, fixed income represented 51% of AUM, while equity represented 27%, and liquidity represented 22% of AUM.

7:01 am Prospect Capital invests $55.4 mln in 16 apartment and self-storage real estate properties, bringing its total real estate portfolio to 48 properties (PSEC) : The co announced that it recently invested in three separate real estate transactions an aggregate of $55.4 million in 16 properties through its private real estate investment trusts with three different co-investment property managers. Two of these transactions included nine multifamily garden-style apartment real estate properties with a combined investment by Prospect of $44.8 million. In the other transaction, Prospect acquired seven self-storage properties for a $10.6 mln investment. The multifamily transactions involved the purchase of an eight-property portfolio in the Columbus, Ohio area managed by a 25% equity co-investor property manager and one property in Fort Wayne, Indiana managed by a co-investment property manager with whom Prospect has previously co-invested. The self-storage transaction involved the acquisition of a seven-property portfolio located in multiple cities in Michigan.

6:54 am S&P futures vs fair value: +21.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +57.50. :

6:54 am European Markets : FTSE...6,535.36...+71.80...+1.30%.  DAX...9,266.31...+151.40...+1.70%.

6:54 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...16,413.76...+755.60...+4.80%.  Hang Seng...23,998.06...+296.00...+1.20%.

6:53 am Pepco Hldgs reports EPS in-line, misses on revs; guides FY14 EPS in-line (POM) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.46 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.46; revenues fell 2.3% year/year to $1.31 bln vs the $1.72 bln consensus.

  • Co narrows guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $1.17-1.27 vs. $1.22 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • On September 23, 2014, the stockholders of Pepco Holdings approved the planned merger with Exelon Corporation announced earlier this year.

6:51 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Trimble (TRMB) introduced Trimble Connect, a cloud-based collaboration platform that empowers teams involved in the design, construction and operation of buildings. 
  • Toshiba (TOSBF) announced the launch of a system power management IC, "TC7734FTG," for mobile products, such as tablets and smartphones. Sample shipments start today, with mass production scheduled to start from January 2015.

6:46 am Armada Hoffler Properties beats by $0.02; rasies FY14 core FFO (AHH) : Armada Hoffler Properties core FFO $0.22 vs $0.20 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; revs +12% to $16.7 mln vs $16.16 mln Capital IQ Consensus.

  • The Company raised its full-year 2014 Core FFO expectations, which excludes the impact from non-stabilized projects and non-cash compensation, to ~$29.0 million from the previous expectation of ~$27.5 million. The increase was driven by better than expected leasing activity across the portfolio most notably at the Cosmopolitan, better than expected construction activity and lower interest expense. 
  • Full-year construction company segment gross profit is now expected to be ~$4.6 million compared to the previous expectation of $4.3 million.

6:44 am Aviv REIT: In addition to news that OHI will acquire co, AVIV also announced earnings (AVIV) :

  • Aviv REIT reports Q3 funds from operations of $0.47 vs $0.48 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; reaffirms FY14 AFFO of $1.89-1.93 vs. $1.81 Capital IQ consensus.
  • AVIV is trading higher on news that Omega (OHI) to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Aviv in a stock-for-stock merger for consideration equivalent to $34.97 per share, or a transaction value of $3 bln.

6:42 am Exelis misses by $0.02, beats on revs; revises guidance to reflect Vectrus (VEC) spin-off (XLS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.32 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.34; revenues fell 6.4% year/year to $1.07 bln vs the $1.03 bln consensus.

  • The co earned $1.5 billion in funded orders during the third quarter of 2014, including new business in its strategic growth platforms.
Co issues guidance for FY14, sees EPS of ~$1.22, not comparable to $1.34 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of ~$3.25 bln, not comparable to $4.17 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Exelis is adjusting its 2014 financial guidance to account for the spin-off of Vectrus, which was completed on September 27, 2014. Financial guidance includes ~$15 million of projected restructuring expense and excludes ~$25 million of expenses related to the spin-off of Vectrus. 

6:42 am GasLog announces that it has called for a meeting of its Norwegian Bondholders to be held on 14 November 2014 (GLOG) : The meeting has been called to approve an amendment to the Bond Agreement entered into in June 2013. GasLog has grown significantly since the initial issuance of the bond in June 2013, adding vessels and fixed rate revenue, while also expanding its access to the capital markets through the initial public offering of GasLog Partners LP. Based on this enhanced scale, stability and level of maturity the company is seeking an amendment to the Bond Agreement to allow the company greater flexibility to make dividend payments or distributions in any given year. In return for this greater flexibility the company will agree to certain additional customary financial covenants should dividends exceed a specified proportion of consolidated net profit. 

6:40 am Dril-Quip beats by $0.10, reports revs in-line (DRQ) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.40 per share, $0.10 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.30; revenues rose 7.6% year/year to $241.8 mln vs the $239.93 mln consensus.

6:39 am Gain Capital announces acquisitino of City Index Limited; prelim Q3 results above expectations (GCAP) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire City Index Limited, an online trading firm specializing in contracts-for-difference (CFDs), forex and UK spread betting, for approximately $118 million1, or a net purchase price of $82 million, including $36 million in cash on the company's balance sheet. Co reports preliminary Q3 EPS of $0.40 vs $0.01 single analyst estimate; revs $102.8 mln vs $75.39 mln two-analyst Consensus Estimate

6:37 am Ntelos Holdings misses by $0.18, reports revs in-line; lowers high end of FY14 EBITDA guidance (NTLS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.04 per share, $0.18 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.22; revenues fell 8.6% year/year to $119.6 mln vs the $119.37 mln consensus. 

  • For the year ending December 31, 2014, the Company is narrowing its full year 2014 Adjusted EBITDA guidance to between $128.0 million and $132.0 mln from $128-135 mln and lowering its full year 2014 capital expenditures guidance to be ~$105.0 million.

6:35 am Newell Rubbermaid beats by $0.03, misses on revs; guides FY14 EPS in-line; guides FY15 EPS in-line; will pursue the sale of its Endicia online postage and Calphalon retail outlet stores (NWL) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.58 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.55; revenues rose 1.3% year/year to $1.48 bln vs the $1.53 bln consensus.

  • Co issues guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $1.94-2.00 vs. $2.00 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.16-2.22 vs. $2.20 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • The company announced its decision to pursue the sale of its Endicia online postage and Calphalon retail outlet stores and kitchen electrics businesses. The divestiture of these businesses will create a faster growing, higher margin and more focused portfolio, enabling accelerated performance. The related results of operations of these businesses are reported as discontinued operations in the company's statements of operations. 

6:35 am Viad Corp beats by $0.06, beats on revs; guides Q4 EPS below consensus, revs above consensus (VVI) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.04 per share, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.98; revenues rose 36.1% year/year to $299.8 mln vs the $293.22 mln consensus.

Co issues mixed guidance for Q4, sees EPS of ($0.30)-(0.20) vs. ($0.05) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $215-230 mln vs. $207.44 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

6:33 am China Sunergy announced that China Electric Equipment Group, one of the company's related parties, failed to perform its payment obligations to the company on time under the Share Transfer Agreement (CSUN) : As disclosed before, the company and CEEG entered into a share transfer agreement on March 26, 2014, amended on August 14, 2014. Pursuant to the Share Transfer Agreement, the remaining two installments, in the aggregate amount of RMB 39.6 million, shall be paid by CEEG prior to August 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014, respectively. However, it failed to make the remaining payment pursuant to the schedule. As of the date of this press release, the total amount paid by CEEG to the Company was RMB 40 million. The Company is diligently working towards causing CEEG to resolve the issues identified above, and CEEG has agreed to the Company that all remaining payment to which the Company is entitled under the Share Transfer Agreement would be paid in full.

6:32 am Vantage Drilling misses by $0.02, beats on revs (VTG) : Reports Q3 (Sep) adj. EPS net of breakeven, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.02; revenues rose 18.0% year/year to $207.5 mln vs the $205.13 mln consensus. "The highlight of the quarter was our debt paydown of nearly $53 million. We remain on track to reach our 2014 debt reduction goal, given our high level of contracted backlog."

6:32 am Aon beats by $0.17, beats on revs (AON) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.29 per share, $0.17 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.12; revenues rose 3.1% year/year to $2.88 bln vs the $2.85 bln consensus.

  • "We expect to deliver strong operating performance across both Risk and HR Solutions in the fourth quarter, benefiting from investments in client serving capabilities such as our Global Risk Insight Platform and health care exchanges, resulting in a solid year of operational improvement and record free cash flow generation."

6:30 am Genesee & Wyoming beats by $0.04, beats on revs (GWR) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.21 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.17; revenues rose 7.7% year/year to $432.5 mln vs the $425.82 mln consensus. 

  • The increase included $19.0 million in revenues from RCP&E. These revenue increases were partially offset by a $0.7 million decrease from the net depreciation of foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar. Excluding the net impact from foreign currency depreciation, G&W's same railroad operating revenues, which exclude RCP&E, increased $12.9 million, or 3.2%. 
  • "Looking ahead, we remain optimistic about the strength of our North American business, which represents 80% of total revenues, and cautious about weakness in our Australian business, which represents 20% of total revenues, due to lower iron ore shipments resulting from a significant decline in iron ore prices. Meanwhile, we continue to actively evaluate several acquisition and investment opportunities in North America and internationally."

6:29 am Danone and Mengniu expand their strategic alliance to infant milk formula in China; Danone to take part in a private placement by Yashili totaling 437 mln giving them a 25% stake in Yashili (DANOY) : Danone is to subscribe to a private placement by Yashili, one of China's leading infant milk companies. Upon completion of the subscription, Mengniu, currently Yashili's majority shareholder, will hold a 51.0% equity interest and Danone will hold 25.0%. Danone and Mengniu want to use this expanded alliance to grow Yashili and develop a wide range of products that meet the very highest standards in this category.Through their alliance, Danone, Mengniu and Yashili intend to expand and strengthen their cooperation in the infant milk formula business in the People's Republic of China. The parties will study the possibility of a minority equity investment by Yashili in Danone's subsidiary Dumex China.

6:28 am Hilton Hotels beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides Q4 EPS in-line (midpoint below); guides FY15 (HLT) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.18 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.17; revenues rose 8.0% year/year to $2.64 bln vs the $2.61 bln consensus.

  • Adjusted EBITDA increased over 13 percent to $645 million for the three months ended September 30, 2014, compared to $570 million for the three months ended September 30, 2013 and net income attributable to Hilton stockholders was $183 million for the three months ended September 30, 2014 compared to $200 million for the three months ended September 30, 2013.
Co issues in-line guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.16-0.18 vs. $0.18 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • System-wide RevPAR is expected to increase between 6.0 percent and 7.0 percent on a comparable and currency neutral basis compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between $630 million and $650 million. Management and franchise fees are expected to increase ~12 percent to 14 percent. 
Full Year 2015
  • For 2015, we expect system-wide RevPAR to increase between 5.0 percent and 7.0 percent on a comparable and currency neutral basis compared to 2014. Given our strong development pipeline, unit growth should accelerate in 2015 as our global system of rooms is expected to expand by 40,000 rooms to 45,000 rooms on a net basis, a 6.0 percent to 7.0 percent increase in managed and franchised rooms. 

6:21 am Hancock Holding continues to implement strategic initiatives in Houston; company replaces four retail banking locations with new business financial centers (HBHC) : Co announced the signing of a purchase agreement under which Community Trust Bank in Ruston, Louisiana, has agreed to acquire four of the company's Whitney Bank retail locations in Houston, Texas. The company is also announcing plans to open two new business financial centers, or "BFCs," in the Houston area in the coming months - one in the Museum District/Medical Center area and the other in the Energy Corridor.

  • These BFCs, along with future locations, will reflect the concierge business banking format of the company's first Houston BFC opened in the Woodlands in August 2014. 
  • The sale of these branches, which is subject to regulatory approvals and certain closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015. 
  • The branch locations to be sold are: 12600 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX6767 FM 1960 West, Houston, TX5115 Main Street, Houston, TX8002 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

6:18 am Medivation and Astellas (ALPMY) announce Phase 3 study of Enzalutamide in men with high-risk, hormone-sensitive, non-metastatic prostate cancer that has recurred following definitive local therapy (MDVN) : Co and Astellas (ALPMY) announced plans to initiate a global Phase 3 clinical trial that will evaluate the efficacy and safety of enzalutamide in patients with high-risk, hormone-sensitive, non-metastatic prostate cancer that has biochemically recurred following definitive local therapy with radical prostatectomy and/or radiation therapy.

  • Currently there is no prescription medicine specifically approved in the United States for these patients.

6:18 am Aviv REIT: Omega (OHI) to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Aviv in a stock-for-stock merger for consideration equivalent to $34.97 per share, or a transaction value of $3 bln; combined company to have 874 properties across 41 states and 83 operator relationships, transaction expected to be accretive to adjusted FFO and FAD per diluted share (AVIV) : Under the terms of the agreement, Aviv shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.90 Omega shares for each share of Aviv common stock they own. Based on the closing stock price for Omega on Thursday, October 30th, 2014, this consideration would be equivalent to $34.97 of Omega stock for each Aviv share, representing a premium to Aviv shareholders of approximately 16.2% over Aviv's closing stock price on that day.

  • Expected to be accretive to Omega's run rate Adjusted FFO and FAD. Preliminary combined company 2015 guidance for Adjusted Funds Available for Distribution to common stockholders is a range of $2.81 to $2.87 per diluted share as compared to Omega's 2014 FAD guidance of $2.58 to $2.61 per diluted share. The combined pipeline and unique sourcing capabilities, together with low leverage and improved cost of capital, should enable Omega to expand its growth profile with accretive transactions. Aviv's development and redevelopment strategy, combined with Omega's established capital expenditure financing program, is expected to provide attractive returns while enhancing asset quality. In addition, the combined company will maintain an UPREIT structure which will enable the combined company to structure tax-efficient transactions.
  • The combined company is expected to have a pro forma funded debt to total market capitalization ratio of less than 35%, funded debt to Adjusted EBITDA (Q3 annualized) ratio of less than 5.0x, secured debt to gross asset value of less than 5.0%, and an Adjusted Pro Forma EBITDA to interest coverage ratio greater than 3.5x as of September 30, 2014. The strong unsecured balance sheet, material increase in portfolio size and tenant diversity are expected to (i) enhance the combined company's credit profile and (ii) lower the long-term cost of capital, driving further accretion. With a history of prudent balance sheet management, Omega believes that the strength of the combined company should create positive ratings momentum.
  • Taylor Pickett, current CEO of Omega, will continue to serve as CEO of the combined company. Craig Bernfield, current Aviv Chairman and CEO, will serve in the same capacity until closing to ensure an orderly transition.
  • The combined companies expect to benefit from approximately $9 million of general and administrative cash savings and additional savings from reduced borrowing costs.

6:16 am Sierra Bancorp announces acquisition plan received Santa Clara Valley Bank shareholder approval (BSRR) : Co announced that on October 29, 2014 the shareholders of Santa Clara Valley Bank approved of its consolidation with a newly formed wholly-owned subsidiary of Sierra Bancorp pursuant to that certain Agreement and Plan of Consolidation dated July 17, 2014 by and among the Company, Bank of the Sierra, a California banking corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company and SCVE.

  • All required regulatory approvals have now been received and the consolidation is expected to close on November 14, 2014, pending satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

6:14 am Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin announces definitive agreement to sell Richland Center Branch; terms not disclosed (ABCW) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of its Richland Center retail banking branch to The Peoples Community Bank. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions and is targeted for closing by the end of December 2014. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Under the agreement, Peoples will assume approximately $19 million in deposits along with loans and other assets.

  • The branch involved in the transaction is located at 187 South Central Avenue in Richland Center, Wisconsin.

6:12 am Wal-Mart unveils 20,000 Rollbacks, free shipping, 24-hour cyber event and Savings Catcher with a holiday twist (WMT) : Co is beginning its first round of 2014 holiday offerings, including the low prices it's known for and its broadest assortment ever on the items customers need for gift-giving, decorating, family gatherings and every occasion in between.

  • On Nov. 1, the retailer will offer more than 20K Rollbacks on items including groceries and popular brands such as Disney (DIS) "Frozen," Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Samsung (SSNLF), and Dell. 
  • In addition, free shipping to customers' homes is available for orders totaling $50 or more. Customers can also choose free shipping to Walmart's more than 4,300 stores.

6:12 am Commscope beats by $0.05, reports revs in-line; guides Q4 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (COMM) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.62 per share, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.57; revenues rose 12.7% year/year to $1 bln vs the $1 bln consensus.

Guidance:
Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.30-0.35 vs. $0.47 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $810-850 mln vs. $926.70 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

6:01 am 58.com announces changes to the nominating and corporate governance committee of its BoDs (WUBA) : Co announced the appointment of Mr. Frank Lin as the chairman of the nominating and corporate governance committee and the resignation of Mr. Jinbo Yao from his post as a member of the nominating and corporate governance committee.

  • The Board appointed Mr. Frank Lin as the chairman of the nominating and corporate governance committee. 
  • Mr. Jinbo Yao, chairman of the Board and chief executive officer of the Company, has resigned as the chairman and a member of the nominating and corporate governance committee, but will continue to serve as the chairman of the Board. 
  • With these changes, each of WUBA's audit committee, compensation committee and nominating and corporate governance committee comprises of independent directors entirely. 

5:27 am Heineken majority owned subsidiaries Nigerian Breweries plc and Consolidated Breweries plc issue notice of Extraordinary General Meeting regarding Scheme of Merger (HEINY) : Heineken's majority owned Nigerian subsidiaries Consolidated Breweries plc and Nigerian Breweries plc have today sent notices of Extraordinary General Meetings to be held on 4 December 2014 to their shareholders. At the EGM's shareholders will vote on the proposal to combine the operations of Consolidated Breweries and Nigerian Breweries into a single legal entity effected through a Scheme of Merger. This will result in Nigerian Breweries being the combined named entity. 

4:27 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • IBM (IBM) and Tencent Cloud signed a business cooperation memorandum to collaborate on providing public cloud with Software-as-a-Service solutions for industries. Both parties agreed to focus on emerging small and medium enterprises in the smarter cities and smarter healthcare industries as well as other fields. 
  • Salesforce (CRM) announced that it has opened its first European Data Centre, located in the U.K. It is the first of three planned for Europe and will support the company's growing base of customers in the region. 

3:39 am Frontline announces increase in share capital (FRO) : Co announced it has on October 30, 2014 issued 7,431,677 new ordinary shares. Following such issuance, Frontline has an issued share capital of $106,778,190 divided into 106,778,190 ordinary shares.

3:20 am Weyerhaeuser beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line (WY) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.33 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.30; revenues rose 5.8% year/year to $1.96 bln vs the $1.98 bln consensus. Results exclude $966 million from discontinued operations related to the divestiture of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company and $9 million from special items. 
Segments
Timberlands:

  • 3Q 2014 Performance - Sales volumes and realizations for Western logs declined due to seasonally softer  domestic market conditions and reduced Chinese demand. In the South, log sales volumes increased and realizations improved slightly.Earnings from disposition of non-strategic timberlands decreased by $5 million compared with the second quarter.
  • 4Q 2014 Outlook - Weyerhaeuser anticipates lower earnings from the Timberlands segment in the fourth quarter, primarily due to reduced earnings from disposition of non-strategic timberlands. In the West, the company expects improved log realizations and increased road maintenance costs. In the South, Weyerhaeuser anticipates higher silviculture costs.
Wood Prds
  • 3Q 2014 Performance - Average realizations for lumber and engineered wood products increased, and Western log costs declined. These improvements were largely offset by lower realizations for oriented strand board.
  • 4Q 2014 Outlook - Weyerhaeuser expects earnings from the Wood Products segment in the fourth quarter to be significantly lower than the third quarter, and comparable to fourth quarter 2013. The company anticipates weaker realizations in lumber and oriented strand board, and seasonally lower sales volumes across all product lines.
Cellulose
  • 3Q 2014 Performance - Maintenance costs increased as expected due to an extended planned outage at the company's liquid packaging board facility and additional maintenance outage days within the pulp mill system. These costs were partially offset by higher average price realizations for pulp and liquid packaging board and improved sales volumes.
  • 4Q 2014 Outlook - Weyerhaeuser expects significantly higher earnings from the Cellulose Fibers segment in the fourth quarter due to reduced maintenance expense.

1:51 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Zipcar, a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group (CAR), expands its footprint in Spain by launching its service in Madrid, under the Avancar brand. The expansion builds on the success of the existing Avancar service which has been available in Barcelona since 2005. 
  • NTT Communications (NTT) announced a fast, convenient LTE prepaid data service, "Prepaid SIM for JAPAN" to allow short-term business travelers and tourists visiting Japan to enjoy up to 100MB of data per day under a new seven-day plan, as well as the existing 14-day plan.

1:14 am Empresas ICA and Fluor (FLR) JV awarded fabrication contract for Shell's (RDS.A) Heavy Oil Extraction Project in Canada (ICA) : ICA Fluor, the industrial construction joint venture of Empresas ICA (ICA) and Fluor (FLR), signed a contract with Shell Canada Energy to supply modular fabrication and procurement services for 13 well pads for heavy oil extraction at Shell's (RDS.A) Carmon Creek project currently under construction in northern Alberta. The project is expected to produce about 80,000 barrels-per-day of heavy oil from Shell's Peace River Operations using steam recovery methods. The initial contract awarded to ICA Fluor is worth $264 million. 

1:03 am Sprint names Junichi Miyakawa as Technical Chief Operating Officer (S) : Co announced today that Junichi Miyakawa has been named to the newly created position of Technical Chief Operating Officer, effective Nov. 1. Miyakawa is joining Sprint from SoftBank Group, where he led the company's best-in-class network operations. Miyakawa joined SoftBank (SFTBY) BB as a Board of Director in 2003 and currently serves as Executive Vice President, Board Director & CTO for SoftBank Mobile, SoftBank BB and SoftBank Telecom.

12:30 am Euronet prices $350 mln of 1.50% convertible senior notes due 2044 (EEFT) :  

Rates

View Comments (114)