InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

5:02 pm American Airlines and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants reach tentative agreement (AAL) : Co and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (:APFA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new joint collective bargaining agreement covering more than 24,000 flight attendants. APFA will be communicating details of the tentative agreement directly to their membership, which will then go to the combined flight attendant membership for a ratification vote.

4:41 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:VNET (20 +29.12%),CNVR (34.27 +28.79%),EPIQ (17.29 +16.91%),SMCI (28.42 +11.53%)
  • Services:ULTA (120.38 +21.46%),XPO (38.62 +15.98%),RJET (11.94 +14.79%),FLWS (7.34 +11.03%)
  • Industrial Goods:APOG (40.65 +16.01%)
  • Healthcare:AVNR (11.04 +73.81%),AUXL (31.14 +35.78%),PTCT (40.93 +18.43%),TGTX (11.21 +16.3%),PAHC (22.71 +12.05%),ALNY (77.77 +11.1%)
  • Financial:GRT (13.68 +23.57%)
  • Consumer Goods:CALM (91.08 +12.13%)
  • Basic Materials:NOR (5.12 +24.76%),X (45.19 +14.43%),AKG (2.46 +12.11%)
This week's top 20 % losers
  • Technology:SSNI (9.4 -20.69%),RAX (32.1 -16.93%),PLUG (4.43 -16.15%),GTAT (11.16 -14.7%),MBLY (47.85 -13.67%),YY (77.89 -12.73%)
  • Services:SHLD (27.68 -19.22%),RAD (5.35 -17.4%),PIR (12.74 -16.93%),VLCCF (9.99 -16.61%),NM (7.43 -13.1%)
  • Healthcare:PDLI (8.03 -19.41%),NPSP (27.13 -18.04%)
  • Financial:LEJU (13.28 -13.36%)
  • Consumer Goods:UVV (46 -12.78%)
  • Basic Materials:PEIX (15.97 -22.06%),HERO (2.39 -21.6%),CAK (0.53 -18.64%),GST (6.25 -16.84%),MCP (1.47 -15.48%)

4:27 pm Echo Therapeutics: Newly elected Board members to host conference call to provide shareholder update on Monday, September 22, at 8:30 AM ET (ECTE) :  

4:24 pm Alcobra Pharma announces completion of all patient visits in Phase 3 clinical trial of MDX in adult ADHD; topline data expected in ~2 weeks (ADHD) : Co announced that all scheduled follow-up visits have been completed for patients enrolled in the company's Phase III clinical trial of Metadoxine Extended Release (MDX.V) in adult ADHD patients. "Completion of this Phase III clinical trial is a major milestone in the development of MDX, as we are one step closer to a potential new treatment alternative for Adult ADHD," said Dr. Yaron Daniely, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alcobra. "We currently anticipate completing data verification in this multi-center trial, database lock and topline statistical analysis in approximately two weeks. We look forward to unblinding the data and announcing the results."

4:23 pm Gamestop announces the pricing of its $350 mln offering of 5.50% senior notes due 2019 (GME) : Co announced the pricing of its offering of $350 million in aggregate principal amount of its 5.50% senior notes due 2019. Estimated net proceeds of the offering after giving effect to the initial purchasers' discount and commissions and all legal fees and other transaction-related expenses are expected to be $343.5 million. GameStop intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to pay down the remaining outstanding balance of its asset-based facility and for general corporate purposes, which may include acquisitions, dividends and stock buybacks.

4:10 pm Closing Market Summary: Upbeat Week Ends on Cautious Note (:WRAPX) : The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, that represented the high watermark for the benchmark index, which returned to its flat line by the close.

The early advance followed the failed independence referendum in Scotland, which averted a potential storm in the financial markets. Once the uncertainty was cast aside, participants directed their focus to the Alibaba Group (BABA 93.89, +25.89) IPO, which represented the largest public debut to date. Shares of Alibaba opened at $92.70 after pricing at $68/share, but could not settle above the opening print.

Alibaba followed a similar pattern as the broader market with the latter being weighed down by influential sectors like financials (-0.3%), technology (-0.4%), and industrials (-0.1%).

Despite today's underperformance, the financial sector finished the week among the leaders with a solid gain of 1.5% since last Friday. Meanwhile, technology lagged since the open following disappointing quarterly results from Oracle (ORCL 39.80, -1.75). The stock tumbled 4.2% in reaction to below-consensus earnings/revenue and news that CEO Larry Ellison will step down from his post.

Also of note, Oracle's peer, SAP (SAP 74.00, -3.35), lost 4.3% after announcing the acquisition of Concur Technologies (CNQR 126.82, +19.02) for $129 per share. High-beta chipmakers were unable to fill the void left by the two software giants as evidenced by a 1.2% decline in the PHLX Semiconductor Index. Despite today's slide, the index still finished the week with a strong gain of 1.5%.

For its part, the industrial sector lagged amid weakness in machinery stocks after Caterpillar (CAT 102.47, -1.87) provided a disappointing update regarding its sales over the past three months. The Dow component lost 1.8%, while peer Joy Global (JOY 58.02, -1.20) fell 2.0%.

Caterpillar was the weakest performer in the Dow and the only stock that fell more than 1.0%. On the upside, 22 index components posted gains with Coca-Cola (KO 42.05, +0.26) leading the pack. The stock climbed 0.6%, contributing to the relative strength of the consumer staples sector (+0.2%).

Similar to consumer staples, the remaining three countercyclical groups settled ahead of the broader market. Telecom services and utilities both jumped near 1.0%, while health care (+0.1%) ended among the leaders despite volatile action in the biotech space. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 275.23, +0.16) tacked on 0.1%.

Treasuries spent the session in a steady climb, pressuring the 10-yr yield to 2.58%. Participation was well ahead of average thanks to the Alibaba IPO and quadruple witching. More than 1.8 billion shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Economic data was limited to the Leading Indicators report for August, which showed an increase of 0.2% on top of an upwardly revised 1.1% (from 0.9%) reading for July. The Briefing.com consensus estimate called for an increase of 0.4%. The difference between what was expected and what was reported can be traced directly to the building permits contribution, which subtracted 0.18 percentage points in August. Consensus estimates could not be updated in a timely manner to reflect the impact of the weaker than expected building permits report, which was released yesterday.

On Monday, the Existing Home Sales report for August will be released at 10:00 ET.

  • Nasdaq Composite +9.7% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +8.8% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +4.2% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 -1.6% YTD 
Week in Review: Stocks Rally While FOMC Stays the Course

The stock market welcomed the new trading week with a mixed session that saw relative strength among large-cap stocks, while high-beta names underperformed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.3%) and S&P 500 (-0.1%) finished near their flat lines, while the Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000 both lost 1.1%. Equities began the day on a cautious note amid continued concerns regarding the strength of the global economy. Over the weekend, China reported its first decline in electricity production since 2009, while Industrial Production (6.9%; expected 8.8%) grew at its slowest pace since December 2008. Likewise, the Industrial Production report from the U.S. (-0.1%; Briefing.com consensus 0.3%) also left a bit to be desired.

The major averages posted solid gains on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's policy directive from the Federal Open Market Committee. The S&P 500 rallied 0.8%, while the Russell 2000 (+0.3%) could not keep pace with the benchmark index. Equity indices hovered near their flat lines during the first two hours of action, but surged in reaction to reports from the Wall Street Journal concerning next day's FOMC statement. Specifically, Fed watcher Jon Hilsenrath indicated that the statement would once again reflect the Fed's intentions to keep the fed funds rate at the zero bound for a considerable time after quantitative easing is wound down. The report sent the market higher since it contrasted with recent speculation that the Fed would drop the 'considerable time' language from its guidance, thus implying a swifter rate hike.

Stocks ended the midweek session with slim gains after showing some intraday volatility in reaction to the release of the latest policy directive from the Federal Open Market Committee. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, while the relative strength among small caps sent the Russell 2000 higher by 0.3%. The key indices spent the first half of the session near their flat lines as participants stuck to the sidelines ahead of the FOMC statement, which conveyed no changes to the Fed's current policy course. As expected, the Fed reduced the monthly pace of its asset purchases by $10 billion to $15 billion, setting expectations for the program to be wound down at the next meeting. Furthermore, the Fed maintained the "considerable time" language in its forward guidance, suggesting the first rate hike remains somewhat distant.

The market finished the Thursday session on a higher note with the S&P 500 climbing 0.5%. The benchmark index registered an early high within the first 90 minutes and inched to a new session best during the final hour of the action. Equities rallied out of the gate with the financial sector (+1.1%) providing noteworthy support for the second day in a row. The growth-oriented sector extended its September gain to 1.9% versus a more modest uptick of 0.4% for the S&P 500. Although financials did some heavy lifting, other influential sectors like health care (+0.8%) and technology (+0.7%) also served up a measure of support.

4:07 pm Lemaitre Vascular acquires the angioscope product line from Applied Medical for $420k (LMAT) : Co announced today that on September 17, 2014 it acquired the angioscope product line from Applied Medical, Inc. for $420,000. Last 12 months' sales of the device are estimated to be $360,000. Angioscopes are fiberoptic catheters that allow visualization of the interior of peripheral arteries and veins. They are commonly used to assess vein quality or confirm valve lysis during peripheral bypass, the procedure in which the HYDRO LeMaitre Valvulotome is used.

4:06 pm Agilent calls for partial redemption of outstanding 6.5% senior notes due 2017 (A) : Co announced it will redeem $500 million of $600 million outstanding 6.50 percent senior notes due November 2017 on Oct. 20, 2014, the redemption date. This decision is consistent with Agilent's intention to resize its debt portfolio in connection with the expected spinoff of Keysight Technologies.

4:01 pm Merchants Bancsh. announces resignation of Chief Financial Officer Janet Spitler effective December 31, 2014 to pursue other professional interests (MBVT) :  

3:49 pm American Spectrum Realty receives notice of non-compliance from NYSE MKT (AQQ) : Co announced that it had submitted a new plan of compliance to the NYSE MKT to address how it intended to regain compliance with Sections 134 and 1101 of the NYSE MKT Company Guide.

  • The co submitted to the Exchange its required compliance plan addressing deficiencies with respect to the co's stockholders' equity and net losses. 
  • The compliance plan outlined the co's initiatives to regain compliance with the applicable continued listing standards within the timeframe specified in Section 1009.

3:41 pm Earnings Preview for the week of September 22 - 26 (:SUMRX) : Of the companies reporting earnings for the week of September 22 - 26 some of the bigger names include:

  • Monday:
    • Pre Market - AZO, NEOG
    • After Hours - ASNA
  • Tuesday:
    • Pre Market - CCL, KMX
    • After Hours - BBBY, SCS, AIR, CPRT
  • Wednesday:
    • Pre Market - ACN, PAYX, KBH, MTN
    • After Hours - WOR, JBL
  • Thursday:
    • Pre Market - SCHL, OMN
    • After Hours - NKE, MU, THO, DMND, ARCW
  • Friday:
    • Pre Market - BBRY, FINL

3:02 pm Siemens AG: San Francisco orders 175 light rail cars from Siemens; order worth $648 mln (SIEGY) : San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency has awarded Siemens a contract to deliver an initial 175 light rail cars for its Muni transit system at a value of $648 million. With an option for an additional 85 cars, this is the biggest Siemens order ever for light rail cars placed in the U.S.

2:52 pm NYMEX Energy Closing Prices (:COMDX) :

  • Oct crude oil fell $0.65 to $92.42/barrel 
    • Crude oil retreated into negative territory after touching a session high of $93.22 in morning action as a stronger dollar index weighed on prices. The energy component dipped to a session low of $91.85 and eventually settled with a 0.7% loss, shaving gains for the week to 0.3%. 
  • Oct natural gas fell 7 cents to $3.84/MMBtu 
    • Natural gas was also weak today. It fell as low as $3.83 after trading at a session high of $3.88 in early morning action. Unable to find buying support, it settled 1.8% lower, booking a loss of 0.5% for the week. 
  • Oct heating oil rose 1 cent to $2.72/gallon 
  • Oct RBOB rose 5 cents to $2.61/gallon

2:46 pm Index Change Reminder (:INDXCH) : S&P Dow Jones Indices will make the following changes to the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600 indices effective after the close of trading today:

  • S&P MidCap 400 constituents United Rentals (URI) and Universal Health Services (UHS) will replace Graham Holdings (GHC) and Peabody Energy (BTU) in the S&P 500, and Graham Holdings and Peabody Energy will replace United Rentals and Universal Health Services in the S&P MidCap 400. 
  • S&P SmallCap 600 constituent Cognex (CGNX) will replace Westamerica Bancorporation (WABC) in the S&P MidCap 400, and Westamerica will replace Cognex in the S&P SmallCap 600.

2:24 pm CBOT Agriculture and Ethanol/ICE Sugar Closing Prices (:COMDX) :

  • Dec corn fell 7 cents to $3.32/bushel 
  • Dec wheat fell 14 cents to $4.74/bushel 
  • Nov soybeans fell 14 cents to $9.58/bushel 
  • Oct ethanol settled unchanged at $1.66/gallon 
  • Nov sugar (#16 (U.S.)) rose 0.19 of a penny to 25.24 cents/lb

2:19 pm Dollar Sees 10th Straight Week of Gains: 10Y: +08/32..2.582%..USD/JPY: 108.94..EUR/USD: 1.2839 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index holds on session highs near 84.70 as trade looks likely to put in its best close since July 2014. Click here to see a weekly Dollar Index chart.
  • EURUSD is -70 pips @ 1.2845 as action flirts with 14-month lows. A quiet session in the eurozone has seen trade held hostage by the broad-based dollar strength. ECB head Mario Draghi will speak in Brussels on Monday
  • GBPUSD is -125 pips @ 1.6310 after seeing sharp reversal off the overnight highs. Sterling kissed 1.6525 in early action as it was apparent the majority of Scotland voted 'No' and the country will remain in the United Kingdom. However, sellers emerged in defense of resistance in the area, and has action pressing the lows ahead of the close. 
  • USDCHF is +60 pips @ .9400 as trade climbs back towards one-year highs. A lack of news and data out of Switzerland has kept the pair closely correlated to the euro. 
  • USDJPY is +20 pips @ 108.95 as action looks likely to close at a fresh six-year high. The pair neared the 109.50 level in overnight trade after the Japanese government downgraded its economic assessment, but has since surrendered most of those gains. 
  • AUDUSD is -50 pips @ .8935 as trade dips to a six and a half-month low. The .8900 area remains under close watch as solid support rests in the vicinity.
  • USDCAD is +30 pips @ 1.0970 as trade has recovered from its early weakness. The pair probed the 50 and 200 dma before buyers emerged in defense of 1.0900 support following the mixed CPI (0.0% actual v. -0.1% expected) and wholesale sales (-0.3% MoM actual v. 0.8% MoM expected) data.

2:01 pm Alpha Natural Resources selects Plum Energy to supply LNG for Eagle Butte Mine haul trucks; Alpha Coal West's demand for LNG is expected to be ~6,400 gallons a day (ANR) : After 18 months of daily operation, Alpha Coal West decided to proceed with the conversion to LNG of its 16 Caterpillar 793 haul trucks at the nearby Eagle Butte Mine. Alpha Coal West expects the alterations to the trucks, each of which is capable of hauling 240-tons of coal, or the equivalent of two railroad cars, to be completed by the end of 2014. Plum Energy's LNG plant at the Eagle Butte Mine, scheduled to come online in March 2015, will be able to produce 28,500 gallons of LNG a day. 

1:54 pm COMEX Metals Closing Prices (:COMDX) :

  • Dec gold fell $10.30 to $1216.50/oz 
    • Gold traded in negative territory today while the dollar index advanced. The yellow metal pulled back from its session high of $1226.30 set in morning action and traded as low as $1214.60, its lowest since January 2014. Unable to gain momentum, it settled 0.8% lower, booking a loss of 1.2% for the week. 
  • Dec silver fell $0.66 to $17.85/oz
    • Silver fell to four year lows after trading as high as $18.49 in early morning floor trade. It touched $17.83, its lowest since August 2010, moments before settling with a 3.6% loss. Today's weakness brought losses for the week to 4.1%. 
  • Dec copper fell 5 cents to $3.09/lb

1:38 pm Amazon.com displays relative strength over the last 15 minutes, edges back toward its early high at 332.75 (AMZN) : Its 50 sma comes into play thereafter at 334.11.

1:15 pm Dow +2 sets new session low near flat line -- S&P -3.8, Nasdaq Comp -27 (:TECHX) :  

1:04 pm Primero Mining reports a fatal accident involving an employee of one of its contractors at its San Dimas Mine in Mexico last night (PPP) : The accident was an isolated incident that occurred underground. The co is working with local authorities which have commenced an investigation into the accident, while normal operations at the mine continue.

12:59 pm Midday Market Summary: Mixed (:WRAPX) : The major averages are a bit scatter at midday with blue chip listings showing relative strength while high-beta names lag. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) holds a modest gain; the Nasdaq Composite (-0.6%) sports a modest decline; and the S&P 500 (-0.1%) sits near its flat line. For its part, the Russell 2000 trades lower by 1.4%.

Equity indices displayed early strength after the failed independence referendum in Scotland preserved the status quo. With the uncertainty cast aside, participants shifted their focus to the Alibaba.com (BABA 90.44, +22.44) IPO, which represented the largest public debut to date. Shares of Alibaba opened at $92.70 after pricing at $68/share.

Alibaba has taken a step back from its opening high and so has the broader market. Notably, the technology sector (-0.7%) has lagged since the start amid widespread weakness. Oracle (ORCL 39.60, -1.95) trades down 4.7% after reporting disappointing results and announcing CEO Larry Ellison will step down. However, the company did boost its share repurchase program by $13 billion.

Furthermore, high-beta chipmakers have not fared much better with the PHLX Semiconductor Index down 1.1%.

Elsewhere, another influential sector-health care (+0.1%)-remains just ahead of the broader market despite a recent slide in the biotech space. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 273.61, -1.46) is lower by 0.5% after being up near 1.0% at the start of the session.

On the upside, the relative strength among blue chip names has underpinned the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Roughly 2/3 of the index trades in the green with Chevron (CVX 125.45, +1.31) setting the pace. Fittingly, the energy sector (+0.3%) is the top performing cyclical group.

Treasuries are near their best levels of the session with the 10-yr yield down two basis points at 2.59%

Economic data was limited to the Leading Indicators report for August, which showed an increase of 0.2% on top of an upwardly revised 1.1% (from 0.9%) reading for July. The Briefing.com consensus estimate called for an increase of 0.4%. The difference between what was expected and what was reported can be traced directly to the building permits contribution, which subtracted 0.18 percentage points in August. Consensus estimates could not be updated in a timely manner to reflect the impact of the weaker than expected building permits report, which was released yesterday.

12:39 pm Minor push off midday pullback lows for major averages -- Dow +38, S&P +1, Nasdaq Comp -19 (:TECHX) :  

12:18 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

  • COL (80.14 +3.01%): Reaffirmed FY14 EPS guidance of $4.45-4.55 vs $4.51 estimate, revs of $4.9-4.95 bln vs $4.94 bln estimate; sees FY15 EPS of $4.90-5.10 vs $4.94 estimate, revs of $5.2-5.3 bln vs $5.25 bln estimate; Board authorized an additional $500 mln for share repurchases
  • ENB (51.81 +2.76%): Strength in large cap oil and gas pipeline companies: ETE, TRP also higher
  • AMZN (330.49 +1.69%): Target raised to $435 from $380 at RBC Capital Markets
Large Cap Losers
  • SDRL (28.7 -5.44%): Downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Exane BNP Paribas; Mr. Tor Olav Troim withdrew his director nomination, therefore the proposal to re-elect him was not considered
  • RHT (57.46 -5.28%): Beat quarterly EPS by $0.03 ($0.41 ex items vs $0.38 estimate), revs rose 19.1% yoy to $445.9 mln vs $434.83 mln estimate; Q2 billings ~439.8 mln vs $438 mln consensus; sees FY15 revs of $1.77-1.785 bln (low end raised from $1.76 bln) vs $1.78 bln estimate, raised FY14 EPS guidance to $1.53-1.55 (from $1.52-1.54) vs $1.53 estimate; sees Q3 revs of $449-452 mln vs $455.53 mln estimate, adjusted EPS of $0.40 (in-line)
  • ORCL (39.53 -4.86%): Missed quarterly EPS by $0.02 ($0.62 ex items vs $0.64 estimate), revs rose 2.6% yoy to $8.6 bln vs $8.85 bln estimate; sees Q2 revs +2% to +6% vs estimate for +4.6%, EPS of $0.68-0.72 ex items vs $0.74 estimate; downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank, target lowered to $42 from $48
Mid Cap Gainers
  • CNQR (127.17 +17.97%): To be acquired by a subsidiary of SAP for $129 per share
  • DRC (80.83 +10.68%): Seeing reports that co may receive $80 per share bid from Siemens; downgraded to Sell at Gabelli & Co
  • TCBI (60.05 +3.13%): Upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich, target raised to $75 from $56; upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James
Mid Cap Losers
  • AVNR (10.91 -6.55%): Reversal following near 100% gains seen on September 15 on strong data for co's drug AVP-923 for the treatment of agitation in patients with Alzheimer's disease
  • CRR (87.94 -6.34%): Downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman, target lowered to $71 from $104
  • TIBX (19.81 -4.71%): Missed quarterly EPS by $0.04 ($0.14 vs $0.18 estimate), revs fell 4.2% yoy to $259.6 mln vs $272.07 mln estimate; sees Q4 revs of $290-305 mln vs $312.38 mln estimate, EPS of $0.18-0.24 ex items vs $0.33 estimate

12:16 pm Atlantic Tele-Network increases quarterly dividend by 7% to $0.29 per share from $0.27 per share (ATNI) :  

12:16 pm J. C. Penney extends aggressive breakdown (JCP) : The stock broke down below its narrowing Sep trade range and 20 ema this morning with the follow through pressure leaving it back in the vicinity of its 50 ema and psych level (10.09/10). Note that its May peak/50 sma are slightly below (9.93/9.88) -- session low 10.15.

12:03 pm New session low for Nasdaq Comp -10 and S&P +0.4 -- Dow +27 sets new pullback low (:TECHX) : Sectors displaying relative weakness on the latest push include: Bank KBE, Reg Bank KRE, Internet FDN, Biotech IBB.

11:59 am Doral Fincl legal counsel provides comment on trial developments in the case of Doral v. Hacienda (DRL) :

  • "The government's witnesses continue to prove Doral's case. Former Secretary of Treasury Xenia Velez, who negotiated the 2012 tax agreement for Hacienda, has testified that the agreement was the result of a lengthy and transparent negotiation between Hacienda and Doral in which all of Doral's calculations were tested for reasonableness. And the court moreover already has determined that Ms. Velez herself drafted the provision of the agreement Hacienda now claims is a fraud. By the end, Hacienda's lawyer could only attack his own witness."

11:55 am Limited trade near morning pullback levels for major averages -- Dow +39, S&P +1.6, Nasdaq Comp -5.9 (:TECHX) :  

11:52 am Exxon Mobil issues statement on Treasury Department sanctions on Russia; says co is complying with all U.S. sanctions (XOM) : "The U.S. Treasury Department, recognizing the complexity of the University-1 well and the sensitive Kara Sea arctic environment, has granted a license to ExxonMobil and other U.S. contractors and persons involved to enable the safe and responsible winding down of operations related to this exploration well. All activities related to the wind down will proceed as safely and expeditiously as possible."

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

  • UK's FTSE:+0.3%
  • Germany's DAX:+0.0%
  • France's CAC:-0.1%
  • Spain's IBEX:+0.5%
  • Portugal's PSI:+0.1%
  • Italy's MIB Index:-0.7%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:-0.3%
  • Greece ASE General Index: +3.7%

11:45 am Fresh pullback lows -- Dow +41, S&P +2, Nasdaq Comp -6 (:TECHX) : The Nasdaq Comp joined the small-/mid-caps in the red with it probing first level support from The Technical Take at 4584/4580 (session low 4585) in recent trade.

11:36 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (170) outpacing new lows (111) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: ABAX, ABT, ADP, AGIO, AIG, AKAM, ALL, AMGN, APH, APOG, ARG, AVGO, BDL, BEP, BIDU, BJRI, BKYF, BLT, BRCM, BRK.A, BRK.B, BSTC, BURL, CAH, CALM, CATO, CFN, CFR, CHDX, CLC, CNI, CNSL, CODE, CORE, CSX, CTAS, CVGW, CW, DD, DECK, DFS, DRC, DTSI, ECL, EEP, EEQ, ENB, ENL, ENR, ENVE, EPIQ, ERIE, ETP, EW, EXP, FFIV, FHN, FISV, FTNT, FUBC, GBX, GD, GLNG, GMCR, GPC, GS, H, HAIN, HBAN, HCBK, HD, HDS, HIG, HII, HNT, HRG, HTLD, HUB.B, HURC, ICCC, IDSY, INFU, INGR, INN, ITW, JACK, JNJ, JPM, KLAC, KNX, KR, LAWS, LB, LLY, LMT, LNC, LOGM, LOW, LRCX, LUV, LYB, MAG, MAR, MDT, MDVN, MFC, MHFI, MKSI, MMC, MMM, MNK, MO, MS, MSFT, MSON, MTB, MTN, NFBK, NOC, NOK, NP, NSC, NWL, NXPI, ODFL, OTIC, PAYC, PBIP, PDEX, PEP, PMCS, PPC, PRU, PRXL, R, RAIL, RCL, RDY, RPM, RTN, RY, SAIA, SGNT, SHW, STT, SWIR, SWK, SWKS, TAYD, TCP, TFSL, THC, TLK, TMH, TRN, TRP, UBSI, UTHR, VAC, VDSI, VFC, VOYA, VRNT, VRTX, WFC, WLP, WM, WMS, WYN, ZTS

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ACPW, ACUR, AGCO, ALSK, ANR, ANTH, ARCO, AREX, AUY, BBGI, BGI, CACH, CCG, CDE, CEF, CERE, CLRB, COOL, CRIS, CRR, DDE, DO, DSKX, EBF, ECR, EDMC, EGLE, ELSE, END, ENZY, ESI, ESV, EXXI, FF, FI, FMC, FMD, FREE, FRO, FULL, FVE, GLOW, GTE, GUID, HCAP, HERO, HMNY, IMMR, IMRS, IRET, ISH, KBR, KEG, KGC, KIPS, KRA, KZ, LRN, LTRE, LYTS, LZB, MAT, MCF, MCHX, MEIL, MELA, MLAB, MTL, MVC, MXT, NCT, NE, NEON, NXTD, OGXI, PACD, PAL, PARN, PGH, PGN, PKD, PRSS, RDC, RGDO, RRC, SD, SDRL, SDT, SGYP, SNTA, SPEX, STXS, SUTR, SWHC, TAS, TDW, TLM, TRMR, TRS, TRUP, UAN, ULBI, USU, VALE, VPCO, VTG, WGA, WPRT, WSO, WTSL, ZEP

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: DIA, GULF, IAI, IHF, IHI, IWF, IYF, IYG, IYH, IYM, IYT, OEF, PPH, QQQ, SMH, SOXX, SPY, UUP, UYG, UYM, VTI, XLB, XLF, XLV

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: DBC, DJP, FXE, FXY, GSG, JJA, JJG, REMX, RJA, SGG, SIVR, SLV, SMN, VXX

11:32 am Minor new session lows for small-/mid-cap and Nasdaq Comp +1.3, Dow +44 and S&P +3 area hovering near their morning pullback lows (:TECHX) :  

11:27 am American DG Energy authorizes 1 mln share stock repurchase program (ADGE) :

  • Co announced effective immediately, the Board of Directors has authorized American DG Energy's management to buy back up to 1 mln shares of its stock on the open market. The stock buyback will be funded from available working capital funds and the repurchased stock will be held in treasury.

11:26 am Currency Commentary: DXY Hits Muti-Year Highs (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index remains strong as it rallied to 84.78, its best level since June of 2010. Expectations for a rate hike are on the rise and the potential for divergence with other central banks remains high. This has made the dollar the one of the strongest performing currency over the past few weeks. This 84.75-85 area will be a key resistance test for the dollar. 
  • The euro is sliding closer to the key 1.28 support level. The single currency previously bounced of this level three times in 2013. So investors will be looking to see if it can once again hold. PPI numbers released in Germany remained weak. Market focus will turn to preliminary PMI numbers (Tue), a Draghi speech (Mon), and a number of German surveys later in the week. 
  • The pound is seeing a sell the news reaction to the Scotland vote. Sterling was able to rally to 1.6530 in overnight trade as participants bet that the 'No' votes would win. The news that the 'No' vote won and garnered 55% of the vote, higher than previous projections, was a relief to markets. But traders took the news in stride and sold cable. This saw the pound tumble back to the 1.63 level which it is attempting to hold. 
  • The yen continued its decline against the dollar as it fell to a 6-year low of 109.54 in overnight trade. The yen is coming into the 110 area now which will set up as the first meanignful test of long-term support for the currency. But the downward trend is firmly in tact here (BONDX, FOREX).

11:21 am Ritchie Bros. announces it will sell more than 750 rail and industrial equipment items at an unreserved public auction in Chicago, Illinois on October 2, 2014 (RBA) :  

10:54 am Small-/mid-caps extend push into the red -- Dow +50, S&P +3.6, Nasdaq Comp +3.6 (:TECHX) : Sectors that have continued to underperform include: Retail XRT, Housing XHB, Semi SMH, REITs IYR, Software IGV, Networking IGN, Steel SLX, Gold Miners GDX, Casino, Coal KOL.

10:48 am Horizon Pharma announces Board of Directors following closing of acquisition of Vidara Therapeutics International plc (stock halted) -- scheduled to resume trading at 11:15 a.m. ET (HZNP) : Co announced the appointment of its Board of Directors. The appointment of the Horizon Pharma plc Board follows the closing of the acquisition of Vidara Therapeutics International plc by Horizon Pharma, Inc. and the resulting parent entity being incorporated in Ireland under the name Horizon Pharma plc.

  • Timothy Walbert, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Pharma plc, has been named Chairman of the Board and Michael Grey has been named Lead Independent Director.

10:45 am Precious metals slide deeper into the red; Dec gold now down 0.8% at $1217.40, Dec silver down 2.6% at $18.03 (:COMDX) :  

10:44 am Dow +41 slides as much as 44 points off high, S&P +3.4, Nasdaq Comp +3.9 (:TECHX) :  

10:34 am EPIQ Systems: Villere proposes independent director slate for EPIQ board; Villere believes that EPIQ common stock at current market prices is undervalued (EPIQ) : AS the largest beneficial shareholder of EPIS, St. Denis J. Villere & Company, has filed a Schedule 13D with the SEC. The filing discloses that Villere has proposed that Epiq explore strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value and that Villere intends to propose a slate of directors for the 2015 EPIQ annual shareholder meeting. Villere is a registered investment advisor and manages accounts, along with holdings of its principals, controlling a 16% stake in Epiq.

  • Villere believes that EPIQ common stock at current market prices is undervalued. "We believe that while Epiq has a strong business and has grown its operations commendably; however, shareholders have not been able to enjoy a commensurate return on their investment. We are focused on maximizing shareholder value for both our clients and other Epiq shareholders...
  • We have been forced to take action. We will be nominating a slate of directors for the board because we believe that the board could benefit from an independent perspective in evaluating potential strategic alternatives for the company's future..."

10:28 am Major averages slight extend slip off early high -- Dow +54, S&P +4.7, Nasdaq Comp +10 (:TECHX) :  

10:21 am Sectors displaying some intraday relative weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors underperforming vs. the S&P in recent trade include: Oil Service OIH, Energy XLE, Housing XHB, Semi SMH, Gold Miners GDX

10:16 am S&P +5.7 has maintained a very tight three point range following the firmer start (:TECHX) : A second level target zone from The Technical Take at 2019/2020 was tested off the open (session high 2019) with tight, lateral trade continuing for the first 50 minutes.

10:08 am Seadrill Ltd trades to lows; reports Annual mtg minutes; Tor Olav Troim withdrew his nomination (SDRL) : Immediately prior to commencement of the Meeting, Mr. Tor Olav Tr im withdrew his nomination and therefore the proposal to re-elect him as a Director of the Company was not considered. Other resolutions were passed including re-appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as auditors and to authorise the Directors to determine their remuneration.

10:01 am Tight range trade just below highs persists -- Dow +67, S&P +6.6, Nasdaq Comp +13 (:TECHX) :  

10:00 am Yahoo!: YHOO reverses opening losses, now trades +1.15% here with BABA IPO in focus (YHOO) :  

9:42 am Opening Market Summary: Blue Chips Pace Opening Gains (:WRAPX) : The major averages climbed out of the gate with the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the lead. The blue chip index trades higher by 0.4%, while the S&P 500 has added 0.3% with all ten sectors showing early gains.

Cyclical sectors have displayed noteworthy strength with five of six growth-oriented groups trading in-line with or ahead of the broader market. However, the technology sector (+0.1%) has yet to catch up to the broader market. Oracle (ORCL 40.10, -1.45) weighs, trading lower by 3.5% after reporting disappointing results and announcing CEO Larry Ellison will step down. However, the company did boost its share repurchase program by $13 billion.

On the countercyclical side, health care (+0.4%) and telecom services (+0.8%) outperform, while consumer staples (+0.2%) and utilities (+0.3%) trade a bit behind the broader market.

Treasuries remain near their highs with the 10-yr yield down one basis point at 2.61%.

The Leading Indicators report for August (Briefing.com consensus 0.4%) will be released at 10:00 ET.

9:40 am Covanta to commence construction of the Dublin Waste-to-Energy Facility; total investment will be ~EUR500 mln (CVA) : The total investment in the construction of the facility will be approximately EUR500 million, funded by a combination of third party non-recourse project financing (EUR375 million) and project equity invested by Covanta (approximately EUR125 million). The third party project funding includes EUR300 million of project debt, representing ~60% leverage, and a EUR75 million convertible preferred investment by the energy infrastructure arm of First Reserve, one of the world's leading private equity and infrastructure investment firms in the energy sector.

9:39 am Sector Watch (:TECHX) : Gains are broad based with early leadership coming from Energy XLE, Bank KBE, Biotech IBB, Finance XLF, Health XLV, Casino BJK, Reg Bank KRE, Materials XLB.

9:37 am Firmer bias off the open with Dow +75 and S&P +6.8 setting new all time highs (:TECHX) : The Nasdaq Comp +10 joined the other major averages above its early Sep high to establish a new 14 year high.

9:29 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Forest City Enterprises, (FCE.A) provided an update on its previously announced negotiations to sell three of its remaining properties at Tower City Center in downtown Cleveland, and to joint-venture the retail component of the complex.
  • Millennial Media (MM) announced that former Apple (AAPL) executive and Burstly CTO Ben Widhelm has joined the Company to lead the technical direction and execution of its data management platform.

9:27 am VirnetX Holding: USPTO terminates patent reexamination proceedings against VHC (VHC) : Co announced that the USPTO has terminated partially certain inter partes reexamination proceedings initiated by Cisco Systems (CSCO). In particular, the USPTO has terminated the reexamination proceedings with respect to certain claims of VirnetX's U.S. Patent Nos. 6,502,135; 6,839,759; 7,418,504; and 7,921,211.

9:16 am Affymax: Xstelos announces intention to vote against Affymax's plan of liquidation at September 23, 2014 Special Meeting of Shareholders (AFFY) : Xstelos Holdings and the members of its Schedule 13D group own ~5.0% of the outstanding shares of common stock of Affymax. Xstelos Group announced its intention to vote its shares against Affymax's proposed plan of liquidation at the September 23, 2014 Special Meeting of Shareholders.

  • In particular, we were disappointed that we have received limited responses to our proposals, and in fact received no substantive response to our formal proposal dated August 25, 2014

9:14 am Darden Restaurants: Starboard's director nominees issue letter to DRI shareholders; urge shareholders to vote the white proxy card (DRI) : Starboard Value, one of the largest shareholders of Darden Restaurants with beneficial ownership of ~ 8.8% of the outstanding common stock of the co, announced that its director nominees have issued a letter to Darden shareholders in connection with the upcoming 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on Oct 10, 2014.

  • "We have collectively spent most of our professional careers developing brand and growth strategies, greatly improving restaurant operations, and executing turnarounds. We have complementary skill sets and perspectives directly relevant to Darden's business and current challenges. We have proven track records of success. Of critical importance to Darden, we have extensive experience successfully recruiting transformational CEOs and initiating shareholder-friendly compensation programs....
  • Moreover, in order to successfully transform Darden, the first step needs to be the hiring of a world-class CEO to significantly improve the culture and operations of the company. From the first day of our Board service, we would focus on recruiting the best CEO possible....
  • The boardroom needs to set the tone at the top to re-establish Darden's core values. We must change Darden's management approach away from its current corporate-centric philosophy, to a vastly improved restaurant-centric philosophy. We recognize that Darden's employee base is its greatest strength -- we plan on improving the focus and culture of the organization to empower the people and drive success."

9:14 am S&P futures vs fair value: +6.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +15.50. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track to register gains at the open as futures on the S&P 500 trade six points above fair value. However, the current advance represents about a half of the original overnight gain.

Equity futures and the British pound spiked last evening in reaction to the failed Scottish referendum on independence, but unlike index futures, the pound has surrendered its entire gain. The move in the pound reflected a 'sell-the-news' reaction after traders rushed into the currency ahead of the vote amid increased expectations of a 'no' victory. Recall that the pound was experiencing weakness before a potential 'yes' vote became a legitimate concern in recent weeks. The pound/dollar pair hovers near 1.6350 after notching a high near 1.6525.

Domestically, the technology sector has been in focus with Oracle (ORCL 40.45, -1.10) reporting disappointing earnings and announcing CEO Larry Ellison will step down from his post. Meanwhile, peer SAP (SAP 74.32, -3.03) has agreed to acquire Concur Technologies (CNQR 128.10, +20.35) for $129/share.

Last, but not least, Alibaba.com (BABA) priced 320 million shares at $68, which was the top end of the upwardly revised range. The stock will begin trading today.

Treasuries are modestly higher with the 10-yr yield off one basis point at 2.60%.

9:06 am Chatham Lodging prices public offering of 6 mln common shares at $21.85/share (CLDT) :  

9:04 am PDC Energy announces agreement to settle securities class action regarding 2010 and 2011 partnership purchases; settlement obligation consists of up-front cash payment by PDC of ~ $11.5 mln and a transfer of interests which would generate cash in future years, in a certain number of Wattenberg wells to be drilled in 2015 and 2016 (PDCE) : Beginning in 2027, the plaintiffs have the right to require PDC to repurchase these interests. PDC currently estimates the fair value of its two combined elements of the settlement, including the repurchase option, to be in the range of $30-$35 million.

  • The company does not anticipate any material impact to its operations or cash flow from this settlement after 2014.
  • The proposed settlement remains subject to the satisfaction of various conditions, including but not limited to the following: negotiation and execution of the necessary agreements, including a formal settlement agreement relating to the net profit interests; funding to plaintiffs by the Company's insurance carriers of $6 million which is in addition to the company's cash payment; preliminary approval by the Court; and final Court approval following notice to members of the class.

9:03 am Nektar Therapeutics presents positive preclinical data on oral, peripherally-acting kappa agonist molecules at 2014 American Academy of Pain Management Meeting (NKTR) : Co announced results from preclinical studies characterizing the analgesic profiles of a series of the company's internally-discovered oral, peripherally-acting kappa opioid receptor agonist molecules. The preclinical research candidates were created using Nektar's small molecule polymer medicinal chemistry platform.

  • Results presented showed that a series of novel, oral, peripherally-acting kappa agonist molecules demonstrated a 15-fold improved therapeutic index compared with kappa agonist molecules that were not peripherally selective.

9:02 am MicroVision receives nearly $1.9 mln in component orders for Fortune Global 100 customer (MVIS) : Co announced it has received purchase orders for components for high definition display modules being developed by its Fortune Global 100 customer.

  • These orders, which are valued at nearly $1.9 million, are part of the production readiness and commercialization activities MicroVision is engaged in with its customer.
  • The customer has informed MicroVision of its plans to incorporate the components in high definition display modules it has developed with support from MicroVision. The development activity under the April 2013 agreement is now complete.

9:02 am PharMerica announces new senior secured credit agreement; new agreement expands committed and uncommitted credit capacity by $200 mln and reduces interest rate by 75 basis points (PMC) : Under the new credit agreement, the company borrowed a term loan of $225 million and will have access to a committed revolving credit facility of $310 million.

  • The new credit agreement increases the size of PharMerica's committed revolving line of credit by $110 million, as compared to the revolving line of credit under the Company's prior credit agreement, while lowering the company's interest rate by 75 basis points. 
  • In addition, the company may request commitments for additional term loans or revolving loans under the new credit agreement as long as they do not exceed $190 million in the aggregate, an increase of $90 million over the amount of incremental commitments and loans permitted under the company's existing credit agreement.

9:01 am Enduro Royalty Trust announces current wolfcamp activity and monthly net profits interest calculation; of the 20 gross well proposals received from Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) to date, 13 wells are currently producing, 4 are in various stages of completion, and 3 are drilling (NDRO) :

  • During July and August, several Wolfcamp wells were completed and are currently producing. Of the 20 gross well proposals received from Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) to date, 13 wells are currently producing, 4 are in various stages of completion, and 3 are drilling. 
  • Co reports total gross profits of $8.955 mln from WolfCamp drilling program.
  • As a result, no monthly cash distribution will be paid in October 2014 to the Trust's unitholders. The shortfall in net profits will be deducted from the net profits in next month's net profits interest calculation, at which time expenses are anticipated to revert to normal levels and result in net profits consistent with prior months. The current month net profits interest calculation primarily represents oil production during the month of June 2014, natural gas production during May 2014, and costs incurred in July.

9:01 am Paragon Offshore plans to initiate quarterly dividend of $0.125/share; anticipates that the first quarterly dividend would be declared in Nov 2014 and paid shortly thereafter (PGN) :  

8:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: +7.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +17.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade seven points above fair value.

It was a sea of green across Asia as only India's Sensex (-0.1%) failed to gain. Elsewhere, the Japanese government downgraded its economic assessment, as speculated earlier in the week.

  • In economic data: 
    • Japan's Leading Index ticked down to 105.4 from 105.5 (expected 105.5), while All Industries Activity Index slipped 0.2% month-over-month (consensus 0.4%; previous -0.3%) 
    • South Korea's PPI ticked down 0.1% month-over-month (previous 0.1%), while the year-over-year reading fell 0.2% (last 0.2%) 
    • New Zealand's Credit Card Spending rose 4.2% year-over-year (prior 4.5%), while Visitor Arrivals declined 3.0% month-over-month (last -0.6%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei gained 1.6%, surging to its best levels since November 2007, fueled by the yen slumping to a fresh six-year low. Heavyweight Fast Retailing provided support with a 3.6% gain while exporters Canon and Honda Motor Corp tacked on 1.4% and 1.2%, respectively. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6%, climbing off eight-week lows. Financials linked to the United Kingdom gained as Scotland voted 'No." HSBC Holdings rallied 1.7% and Standard Chartered added 0.9%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.6% to near six-month highs. Technology shares were strong, boosted by the Alibaba IPO in the U.S. 
  • India's Sensex shed 0.1%, but held near record highs. Automakers were among the laggards as Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors fell 1.3% and 1.2%, respectively. 
Major European indices trade mostly higher, while France's CAC (-0.2%) and Italy's MIB (-0.5%) underperform. French President Francois Hollande commented on the euro, saying the single currency has weakened to a 'more suitable level.' Elsewhere, the British pound surged overnight in reaction to the first set of results from the failed Scottish independence vote, but succumbed to a 'sell-the-news' reaction once the results became clear. The pound/dollar pair traded as high as 1.6524 before sliding below the 1.6350 level.
  • Economic data was limited: 
    • Eurozone Current Account surplus widened to EUR18.70 billion from EUR18.60 billion (expected surplus of EUR16.50 billion) 
    • Germany's PPI ticked down 0.1% month-over-month, while the year-over-year reading declined 0.8%. Both figures matched expectations 
------
  • Germany's DAX has added 0.2% with support from defensively-oriented names. Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post, and E.On are up between 1.6% and 3.2%. SAP is the weakest performer, down 3.4% after agreeing to acquire Concur Technologies. 
  • Great Britain's FTSE is higher by 0.6% with Royal Bank of Scotland in the lead following the failed independence campaign in Scotland. The stock has added 2.9%. Miners lag with Anglo American and Rio Tinto down 0.5% and 1.1%, respectively. 
  • In France, the CAC trades lower by 0.2% amid weakness in growth-sensitive names. Cap Gemini and Credit Agricole hold respective losses of 1.3% and 1.0%. Utilities outperform with Veolia Environnement up 2.2%. 
  • Italy's MIB is lower by 0.5% with financials on the defensive. Banco Popolare, Banca di Milano Scarl, and Intesa Sanpaolo are down between 1.4% and 2.0%.

8:43 am Quest Resource Hldgs prices $18.0 mln underwritten public offering of 9 mln shares at $1.99/share (QRHC) : Co announced the pricing of a $18 mln underwritten public offering consisting of 9 mln shares of common stock at a price per share of $1.99, together with warrants to purchase 9 mln shares of its common stock at a price per warrant of $0.01. The Warrants may be exercised for a period of five years at an exercise price of $2.50 per share.

  • After the underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by the co, it expects to receive net proceeds of ~$16.3 mln, assuming no exercise of the over-allotment option, and $17.6 mln assuming full exercise of the over-allotment option. The offering is expected to close on September 24, 2014.

8:37 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: TIBX -3.6%, VMI -3.2%, ORCL -2.8%, (also appoints Larry Ellison Executive Chairman and CTO; Larry Ellison steps down as CEO )

M&A news: SAP -4.1% (acquiring CNQR for $129 per share) 

Select metals/mining names showing weaknessGFI -1.6%, RIO -1.5%, MT -1.3%, HMY -1.2%, IAG -0.9%, BHP -0.7%

Other news: ESI -15% (disclosed it received Wells Notice), QRHC -14% (announced proposed public offering), EROC -4.5% (filed for ~53.34 mln unit offering of common units representing limited partner interests by selling unitholders), STM -3.9% (still checking), CLDT -3.1% (launched public offering of 5 mln common shares), BXMT -2.7% (announces public offering of class A common stock), SNE -2.2% (continued weakness following guiding earlier this week), GLUU -1.9% (filed for ~9.98 mln share common stock offering by selling shareholders), TOT -1.5% (received offer from Arkema (ARKAY) to acquire its Bostik affiliate; offer values Bostik at EUR1.74 bln), MITK -0.8% (disclosed Chief Marketing Officer, Scott Carter, is leaving the co)

Analyst comments: CRR -6.3% (downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman), AUXL -4% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman), SDRL -1.2% (downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Exane BNP Paribas)

8:34 am TransCanada comments on market activity; says 'is wholly-committed to the ongoing enhancement of shareholder value including continuous evaluation of the company's approach to capital allocation' (TRP) : Co released the following statement in acknowledgement of significant trading activity in TransCanada's common shares:

  • "TransCanada firmly believes its current corporate form, asset base and financial strength provide critical underpinning to execute the company's industry-leading $38 billion capital program which is expected to generate significant, sustainable growth in future cash flow, earnings and dividends....
  • As previously communicated, as an element of funding this growth, the company is committed to vending the remainder of its U.S. natural gas pipeline assets into its master limited partnership, TC PipeLines, LP (TCP) over the coming years. These assets are expected to generate approximately US$500 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in 2016 and beyond.
  • TransCanada understands the value placed on sustainable growth in cash flow, earnings and dividends, and is wholly-committed to the ongoing enhancement of shareholder value including continuous evaluation of the company's approach to capital allocation."

8:34 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: PDEX +28.6%

M&A news: CNQR +19.4% (to be acquired by SAP subsidiary, SAP America, for $129 per share),DRC +12.1% (following reports that company may receive $80/share bid from Siemens (:SI)),LULU +1.6% (Keybanc discussed VFC exec comments suggesting possible LULU deal)

Select Apple value chain related names showing strength: RFMD +1.3%, SWKS +1%, AVGO +0.8%, NXPI +0.7%

Select China related names showing strength ahead of BABA IPO: WB +1.7%, JD +1.1%, BIDU +0.8%

Other news: NAVB +10.5% (confirms it received Orphan Drug Designation from FDA for Use of Lymphoseek in Head and Neck Cancers),MCP +5.3% (Oaktree Capital Mgmt discloses 9.1% stake in 13G),HIMX +4.2% (climbed higher into the close after analyst suggested Google may replace Samsung OLED displays with Himax),JBLU +4.2% (announced that Robin Hayes, the company's current President, will succeed Dave Barger as CEO, effective February 16, 2015),INVN +3.4% (reports indicate that iPhone 6 contains InvenSense MP67B 6-axis Gyroscope),EMES +2.6% (initiated with a Buy at Goldman),MGA +2.5% (announces cooperation regarding regulatory investigation),SHLD +2.3% (Fairholme Capital Management disclosed 24% active stake in 13D filing),RBS +2.1% (following result of Scottish referendum),YHOO +1.9% (trading higher in advance of BABA IPO, also target raised to $48 from $44 at Piper Jaffray, tgt raised to $43 from $39 at Cantor Fitzgerald),WEN +1.7% (Trian Fund Management reports 24.39% stake in amended 13/D filing),RAD +1.5% (favorable commentary on Thursday's Mad Money),AMD +1.3% (co and Synopsys expanded their IP partnership),GILD +1.2% (announces European Commission granted marketing authorization for co's Zydelig),VOD +0.8% (in relation to Vivendi (VIVHY) authorized agreement with Telefonica (TEF) concerning the acquisition of GVT),GSK +0.8% (announces China investigation outcome; will pay a fine of GBP297 mln),HTZ +0.8% (China Partner, CAR Inc. announces IPO),NFLX +0.5% (officially launches in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium And Luxembourg)

Analyst comments: GLNG +4.5% (target raised to $110 from $75 at BofA/Merrill),FRAN +2.6% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Buckingham Research),AEO +2.4% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman),NVAX +2.2% (assumed with an Outperform at Wedbush),ZION +1.2% (upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James),VFC +1% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc Capital Mkts),FEYE +1% (target raised to $40 from $36 at Piper Jaffray),AMZN +0.8% (target raised to $435 at RBC Capital Mkts)

8:31 am Lpath announces $12.5 mln registered direct offering to sell 3,605,042 shares (LPTN) : Co announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to sell 3,605,042 registered shares of common stock and 3,605,042 unregistered warrants in a registered direct offering.

  • The combined purchase price for one registered share of common stock and one unregistered warrant to purchase one unregistered share of common stock will be $3.475. 
  • The warrants have an exercise price of $3.36, are immediately exercisable and will terminate on the five-year anniversary of issuance. 

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

  • Chesapeake Utilities (CPK) announced that its subsidiary, Eight Flags Energy is pursuing the development and construction of a combined heat and power plant in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island in Nassau County, Florida.
  • CECO Environmental (CECE) announced that its Strobic Air subsidiary recently expanded its fume exhaust product portfolio to include the new Mono-Stack fan.
  • Arduino and Atmel (ATML) announced the Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101, a shield that enables rapid prototyping of Internet of Things applications on the Arduino platform.
  • The Western Union (WU) and the Angola Post Office announced the signing of an agreement to provide - for the first time - Western Union money transfer services to consumers in Angola.
  • E*TRADE Financial (ETFC) announced the launch of its new application for iOS 8.
  • Turtle Beach, the gaming audio brand of Turtle Beach Corporation (HEAR), announced that the Z60 PC gaming headset is now available in stores and through online retailers.

8:27 am S&P futures vs fair value: +4.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +12.70. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures continue holding gains, but they have slipped from their overnight highs. The S&P 500 futures hover near the 2008 level after marking an overnight high just north of the 2014 area.

Meanwhile in the foreign exchange market, the Dollar Index (+0.4%) hovers at its best level of the session with the greenback registering gains against most major currencies. The dollar has rallied against the euro (+0.5%) and the pound (+0.7%), but trades little changed versus the Japanese yen. The dollar/yen pair traded as high as 109.48 overnight, but now hovers below the 109.00 level.

8:25 am European Markets Update: DAX +0.2%, FTSE +0.6%, CAC -0.2%, MIB -0.5% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade mostly higher, while France's CAC (-0.2%) and Italy's MIB (-0.5%) underperform. French President Francois Hollande commented on the euro, saying the single currency has weakened to a 'more suitable level.' Elsewhere, the British pound surged overnight in reaction to the first set of results from the failed Scottish independence vote, but succumbed to a 'sell-the-news' reaction once the results became clear. The pound/dollar pair traded as high as 1.6524 before sliding below the 1.6350 level.

  • Economic data was limited: 
    • Eurozone Current Account surplus widened to EUR18.70 billion from EUR18.60 billion (expected surplus of EUR16.50 billion) 
    • Germany's PPI ticked down 0.1% month-over-month, while the year-over-year reading declined 0.8%. Both figures matched expectations 
------
  • Germany's DAX has added 0.2% with support from defensively-oriented names. Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post, and E.On are up between 1.6% and 3.2%. SAP is the weakest performer, down 3.4% after agreeing to acquire Concur Technologies. 
  • Great Britain's FTSE is higher by 0.6% with Royal Bank of Scotland in the lead following the failed independence campaign in Scotland. The stock has added 2.9%. Miners lag with Anglo American and Rio Tinto down 0.5% and 1.1%, respectively. 
  • In France, the CAC trades lower by 0.2% amid weakness in growth-sensitive names. Cap Gemini and Credit Agricole hold respective losses of 1.3% and 1.0%. Utilities outperform with Veolia Environnement up 2.2%. 
  • Italy's MIB is lower by 0.5% with financials on the defensive. Banco Popolare, Banca di Milano Scarl, and Intesa Sanpaolo are down between 1.4% and 2.0%.

8:24 am Sky-mobi designated an official business partner of China Unicom (CHU) in three coastal regions to promote data packages, and will be eligible to share in a certain portion of the revenue generated (MOBI) : Co announced that it, through its controlling subsidiary Mopin Technology, has entered into business agreements with three coastal provincial divisions of China Unicom (CHU). Under the terms of the agreements, Sky-mobi has been designated an official business partner of China Unicom in these regions to promote data packages, and will be eligible to share in a certain portion of the revenue generated. "With a stronger competitive position and a well-developed business expansion strategy, we are confident that we will be able to secure at least 1% of the data traffic market in China in the foreseeable future."

8:22 am Reynolds American named Debra Crew president, chief commercial officer of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company; Andrew Gilchrist appointed EVP of Reynolds American Inc (RAI) :

8:11 am Masimo's PVI helped assess fluid responsiveness in clinical study of adult, noncardiac patients; receiver operating characteristic analysis demonstrated significant predictive ability of an increase in stroke volume index for PVI with area under the curve of 0.84 (MASI) : Co announced a recent study published in the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia in which Masimo's noninvasive PVI parameter helped clinicians assess fluid responsiveness in mechanically ventilated adult noncardiac surgery patients under general anesthesia.

  • Investigators used a Masimo Radical-7 rainbow SET Pulse CO-Oximeter, which automatically calculated and displayed PVI, and a minimally invasive esophageal Doppler monitor (CardioQ-ODM, Deltex Medical).
  • Researchers reported that the receiver operating characteristic analysis demonstrated significant predictive ability of an increase in stroke volume index for PVI with area under the curve of 0.84 (95% confidence interval = 0.69-0.99). The optimal cut-off value for baseline PVI was 10.5%, with a sensitivity of 88% and a specificity of 67%.

8:07 am Ampliphi Biosciences announces Philip J. Young has stepped down from his role as President and CEO effective September 15, 2014 (APHB) : The Company announced that AmpliPhi's Chairman, Jeremy Curnock Cook, will serve as Interim CEO and Wendy Johnson, a member of AmpliPhi's Board or Directors, will serve as Interim COO, overseeing the company's operations until a new CEO is appointed. 

8:06 am SFX Entertainment prices upsized offering of $75 mln aggregate principal amount of additional 9.625% second lien senior secured notes due 2019, including $10 mln in a concurrent private placement to an entity controlled by Robert F.X. Sillerman, the coy's CEO and Chairman (SFXE) : This represents a total increase of $25 mln over the amount previously announced. The New Notes are in addition to the $220 mln aggregate principal amount of SFX's 9.625% second lien senior secured notes due 2019 issued on Feb 4, 2014. The closings of sales of the New Notes are expected to occur on Sep 24, 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

8:05 am Blackstone Mortgage Trust announces pricing of public offering of 8 mln shares of class A common stock for expected gross proceeds of $222.8 mln (BXMT) :  

8:04 am Hertz Global China Partner, CAR Inc. announces IPO (HTZ) :

  • CAR Inc., China's biggest car rental company, launched its IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange today. 
  • Hertz is investing an additional $30 million into CAR in its IPO.

8:04 am China Commercial Credit (shares halted since 9/11) comments on trading halt; co has responded to Nasdaq's information request; has prepared a draft Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2014, and will update the subsequent event note to reflect the unauthorized transfer (CCCR) :  

8:02 am Ener-Core announces entry into definitive agreements for a $4 mln private placement financing (ENCR) :

  • Co announced that it has entered into definitive agreements with certain accredited investors and institutional investors in connection with a private placement financing. Upon closing of the transaction, Ener-Core will receive gross proceeds of $4 million in exchange for the issuance of approximately 26.7 million shares of Ener-Core restricted common stock. 
  • Each restricted share of common stock will be sold at a per share purchase price of $0.15. Participants in the financing include existing shareholders, institutional investors, Ener-Core's CEO, CFO, and three members of its Board of Directors including its Chairman. This private placement is expected to close on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

8:00 am Credit Acceptance announces tender offer for 995,698 shares at $125.54/share (CACC) : Co announces that it has commenced a tender offer to purchase up to 995,698 shares of our outstanding common stock at a price of $125.54 per share. Co anticipates that it will obtain all of the funds necessary to purchase shares tendered in the tender offer, and to pay related fees and expenses, by borrowing under its revolving secured line of credit facility and/or one or more of our revolving secured warehouse facilities

8:00 am ChinaNet Online's 28.com announces new growth strategy focused on digital advertising services (CNET) : Co announced that it's new growth strategy will focus on offering digital advertising services coupled with a range of consumer analytics. The Company is also continuing to build on its analytics offerings, which will make it possible to serve much larger digital advertising clients in the People's Republic of China in 2015 and 2016. Based on the Company's new cooperative relationship with Baidu (BIDU), ChinaNet Online is experiencing an improved sell-through on digital advertising products. Should this trend continue, the Company will be in a position to offer digital advertising services to much larger China-based advertisers.  

7:56 am S&P futures vs fair value: +4.90. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +13.50. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade modestly higher amid upbeat action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover five points above fair value. The global risk appetite got a boost overnight after the results of the Scottish independence referendum revealed a 55-45 vote in favor of remaining in the UK. The pound saw a brief extension of its recent rally before surrendering its overnight advance. The pound/dollar pair traded as high as 1.6524 before sliding below the 1.6400 level. As a result, the Dollar Index (+0.3%) has approached Wednesday's high.

Domestically, participants have been responding to macroeconomic developments while also digesting some news from the corporate front. It is worth mentioning that Alibaba.com (BABA) priced 320 million shares at $68/share, which represents the top end of the expected range. The stock will begin trading today. As for economic data, today's session will feature just one release-the Leading Indicators report for August (Briefing.com consensus 0.4%)-which will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.

Treasuries are slightly higher with the 10-yr yield down one basis point at 2.61%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Concur Technologies (CNQR 129.00, +21.20): +19.7% after agreeing to be acquired by SAP (SAP 74.30, -3.05) for $129 per share. 
  • Oracle (ORCL 40.32, -1.23): -3.0% after missing earnings/revenue estimates and announcing Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison will step down from his post. 
  • TIBCO Software (TIBX 20.00, -0.79): -3.0% after missing on both metrics and issuing below-consensus guidance.
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended higher. China's Shanghai Composite +0.6%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.6%, and Japan's Nikkei +1.6%. 
    • In economic data: 
      • Japan's Leading Index ticked down to 105.4 from 105.5 (expected 105.5), while All Industries Activity Index slipped 0.2% month-over-month (consensus 0.4%; previous -0.3%) 
      • South Korea's PPI ticked down 0.1% month-over-month (previous 0.1%), while the year-over-year reading fell 0.2% (last 0.2%) 
      • New Zealand's Credit Card Spending rose 4.2% year-over-year (prior 4.5%), while Visitor Arrivals declined 3.0% month-over-month (last -0.6%) 
    • In news: 
      • As speculated earlier in the week, the cabinet of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lowered its economic assessment for the first time in five months.
  • Major European indices trade mostly higher. Germany's DAX +0.4%, Great Britain's FTSE +0.6%, and France's CAC -0.2%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB -0.2% and Spain's IBEX +0.4%.
    • Economic data was limited: 
      • Eurozone Current Account surplus widened to EUR18.70 billion from EUR18.60 billion (expected surplus of EUR16.50 billion) 
      • Germany's PPI ticked down 0.1% month-over-month, while the year-over-year reading declined 0.8%. Both figures matched expectations 
    • Among news of note: 
      • The British pound surged overnight in reaction to the first set of results from the failed Scottish independence vote, but succumbed to a 'sell-the-news' reaction once the results became clear. 
      • French President Francois Hollande commented on the euro, saying the single currency has weakened to a 'more suitable level.'

7:55 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • James Avery, a family-owned jewelry retailer, announces a new business relationship with Dillard's (DDS). Beginning in mid-October 2014, a selection of James Avery jewelry will be showcased at 43 Dillard's Department Stores within 15 states and online at www.dillards.com.
  • SunEdison (SUNE) in partnership with BlueWave Capital of Boston, announced the completion of a 1.8 megawatt DC solar power plant constructed on a remediated EPA Superfund site in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Co also announced the donation of solar photovoltaic panels to power 10 Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. homes in D.C.'s Ivy City neighborhood during GRID Alternatives' mid-Atlantic launch event. 
  • Textura (TXTR) announced that Branco Enterprises recently selected Submittal Exchange to implement an easier way to manage their construction administration for the Neosho School District's FEMA storm shelter projects.

7:37 am Rockwell Collins reaffirms FY14 guidance; guides FY15 in-line; adds $500 mln to buyack (COL) : Co reaffirms guidance for FY14 (Sep), sees EPS of $4.45-4.55 vs. $4.51 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY14 (Sep) revs of $4.9-4.95 bln vs. $4.94 bln Capital IQ Consensus.

Co issues in-line guidance for FY15 (Sep), sees EPS of $4.90-5.10 vs. $4.94 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY15 (Sep) revs of $5.2-5.3 bln vs. $5.25 bln Capital IQ Consensus.

In addition, the co announced its Board of Directors has authorized an additional $500 million for share repurchases of Rockwell Collins common stock. 

"We believe we have reached the bottom in our defense and business aviation cycles and we are now realizing the benefits of completing investments in development programs as new platforms enter service. The integration of ARINC has gone extremely well and sets the stage for increased sales with the fast growing demand for information management solutions. With the improved outlook, we plan to accelerate a return to our share repurchase program while still managing the debt taken on with the ARINC acquisition."

7:34 am Valmont lowers FY EPS guidance (VMI) : Co issues downside guidance for FY14 (Dec), sees EPS of $9.00-9.20, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $9.46 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, which prior guidance for 2014 indicated earnings of between $9.35 and $9.65 per diluted share, and excluded the effect of our stock repurchasing program on earnings per share and any one-time adjustments that may take place during the remainder of the year. 

  • Consequently, co now expects full-year diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $8.70 to $8.90, excluding any effects of the Company's financing transactions announced on September 8, 2014 and the share repurchase program. 
  • The fully diluted earnings per share including the effects of the share repurchases to date are expected to be between ~$9.00 and $9.20
Additional color to guidance:
  • In the Irrigation Segment, based on the recent farm commodity price trends and harvest expectations in North America, the Company expects segment operating earnings in the second half of 2014 to be approximately 10% below the same period of 2013. 
  • The Australian industrial economy continues to experience softness, which affect our Coatings and Engineered Infrastructure Products segments.

7:34 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei +1.6%, Hang Seng (+0.6%), Shanghai +0.6% (:SUMRX) :

  • It was a sea of green across Asia as only India's Sensex (-0.1%) failed to gain. 
  • The Japanese government downgraded its economic assessment. 
  • Japan's Nikkei (+1.6%) surged to its best levels since November 2007, fueled by the yen slumping to a fresh six-year low. Heavyweight Fast Retailing provided support with a 3.6% gain while exporters Canon and Honda Motor Corp tacked on 1.4% and 1.2%, respectively.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.6%) climbed off eight-week lows. Financials linked to the United Kingdom gained as Scotland voted 'No." HSBC Holdings rallied 1.7% and Standard Chartered added 0.9%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite (+0.6%) neared six-month highs. Technology shares were strong, boosted by the Alibaba IPO in the U.S. 
  • India's Sensex (-0.1%) held near record highs. Automakers were among the laggards as Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors fell 1.3% and 1.2%, respectively. 
  • Australia's ASX (+0.3%) held the 200 dma. Heavyweight miners were weak as BHP Billiton lost 0.5% and Rio Tinto shed 0.8%. 
  • Regional Decliners: Vietnam -0.4% 
  • Regional Advancers: Thailand UNCH...Taiwan UNCH...Malaysia +0.2%...Singapore +0.2%...South Korea +0.3%...Indonesia +0.4%...Philippines +0.8% 
  • Fx: USDCNY ticked up to 6.1410...USDINR climbed to 60.82...USDJPY +5 pips @ 108.80...AUDUSD +20 pips @ 1.0960

7:30 am PAR Technology announces acquisition of Brink Software; acquisition will enhance PAR's cloud software offerings and recurring revenue streams (PAR) : Co announced that it has acquired Brink Software, a fast emerging provider of cloud based point of sale software for restaurants. The addition of Brink to the PAR software portfolio complements co's PixelPoint software and enables PAR to expand its market reach and continue to focus and invest in solutions for the restaurant market.

7:23 am Broadway Financial Corp. last night announced it approves shareholder proposals including authorizing the co to sell up to 9 mln shares of common stock in a private placement (thinly traded stock) (BYFC) :

  • Co last night reported that the Company's stockholders elected three directors - Albert Maddox, Daniel Medina and Virgil Roberts and approved all of the proposals presented at the Company's Annual Meeting held on September 17, including the proposals to amend the Company's Certificate of Incorporation to increase the number of authorized shares of non-voting Common Stock to 25 mln shares, authorize the Company to sell up to 9 mln shares of Common Stock in a private placement, and authorize the Company to sell shares to certain directors. 
  • The shares to be sold in the private placement are expected to consist of ~1.856 mln shares of voting Common Stock and ~6.973 mln shares of non-voting Common Stock, which will be sold at a price of $1.10/share, which will generate ~ $9.7 million in gross proceeds.

7:16 am Enerplus announces changes in dividend payment and record dates; Board of Directors elects to suspend the stock dividend program effective immediately; until further notice, all dividends payable by co will be paid in cash (ERF) : Co announced that effective with the Oct 2014 dividend, all dividends will now be paid on or about the 15th day of the month, ~ 5 days earlier than previously paid. All record dates and ex-dividend dates will also be adjusted accordingly with future record dates being on or about the last business day of the previous calendar month. The Board of Directors has elected to suspend the stock dividend program effective immediately. Until further notice, all dividends payable by Enerplus will be paid in cash.

7:12 am Dollar Nears July 2013 Highs: 10Y: -02/32..2.628%..USD/JPY: 108.89..EUR/USD: 1.2863 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index presses session highs near 84.55 as trade contends with the July 2013 highs. 
  • EURUSD is -55 pips @ 1.2860 as trade tests the recent lows. A lack of economic data and news from the region means the single currency is a victim of dollar strength. The only notable news out overnight were reports indicating France has begun airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq. Support in the 1.2800 remains key. 
  • GBPUSD is -55 pips @ 1.6385 amid a volatile session. Sterling spiked to a high of 1.6525 after the 'NO' vote was declared the winner in the Scottish independence referendum with 55% of the vote. However, sellers emerged in defense of the resistance level and have managed to push action into the red. Click here to see a daily GBPUSD chart.
  • USDCHF is +40 pips @ .9380 as trade holds just off its best levels in a year. A quiet session for news and data out of Switzerland has action tightly correlated to the euro.
  • USDJPY is +15 pips @ 108.90 as trade clings to small gains. News the Japanese government downgraded its economic assessment ran action to a fresh six-year high of 109.46, but trade has backed off the level. The pair has rallied more than 600 pips over the past month as a slowdown in Japanese data has created speculation more QE is on the way.
  • AUDUSD is -25 pips @ .8960 as trade presses support at six-month lows. Support in the .8900/.8950 area will be watched closely in the days ahead. USDCNY was little changed @ 6.1410. 
  • USDCAD is +20 pips @ 1.0960 as action fights to hold support in the area. The pair will be in focus this morning as CPI and wholesale sales will cross the wires.

7:07 am Action Semi announces preliminary results of its tender offer; total of 192,962,779 Shares (including Shares represented by ADSs) were properly tendered and not properly withdrawn (ACTS) : Co announced the preliminary results of its previously announced "Dutch auction" tender offer for the purchase for cash up to 60 mln of its issued and outstanding ordinary shares at a purchase price not greater than $7/15 per Share (or $2.80 per ADS) nor less than $5/12 per Share (or $2.50 per ADS).

  • Based on the preliminary count by Laurel Hill Advisory, the depositary for the tender offer, a total of 192,962,779 Shares (including Shares represented by ADSs) were properly tendered and not properly withdrawn, including 1,986,606 Shares (including Shares represented by ADSs) were tendered pursuant to notice of guaranteed delivery procedures and 3,100,764 Shares (including Shares represented by ADSs) were conditionally tendered by Security holders.
  • Co expects to accept for purchase 60 mln Shares (including Shares represented by ADSs) at a purchase price of $5/12 per Share (or $2.50 per ADS), for an aggregate cost of ~ $25.0 mln, excluding fees and expenses relating to the tender offer.

7:02 am Soligenix awarded NIAID contract valued up to $24.7 mln for the development of Heat Stable RiVax Vaccine (SNGX) : Co announced that it has been awarded a contract valued at up to $24.7 mln inclusive of options by the US Department of Health and Human Service's National Institutes of Health. The objectives of the contract are to advance the development of Soligenix's thermostabilization technology, ThermoVax, combined with the company's ricin toxin vaccine, Rivax, as a medical countermeasure to prevent the effects of ricin exposure.

  • The contract contains a 16 month base period providing financial support of ~$5.8 mln, followed by several contract options that would extend the contract award for up to six years. 
  • If all contract options are exercised, the total award will support the preclinical, manufacturing and clinical development activities necessary to advance heat stable RiVax with the FDA.

7:02 am Violin Memory prices offering of $105.0 mln aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2019 in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers; co estimates that the net proceeds from this offering will be ~ $100.8 mln (VMEM) : The notes will be unsecured, senior obligations of Violin, and will pay interest semi-annually at a rate of 4.25% per year. The notes will be convertible, upon satisfaction of certain conditions, at an initial conversion rate of 177.8489 shares per $1,000 principal amount of notes, which is equivalent to an initial conversion price of ~ $5.62 per share, and will be subject to adjustment upon the occurrence of certain events.

7:00 am China Sunergy announces resignation of CEO Mr. Stephen Zhifang Cai and founder and Chairman Tingxiu Lu returns as CEO (CSUN) : Co announced that Mr. Tingxiu Lu, an industry veteran, chairman of the board and one of the company's founders, will rejoin the Company's executive management team as Chief Executive Officer, effective in September. Mr. Stephen Zhifang Cai, China Sunergy's former chief executive officer, tendered his resignation from the Company for personal reasons.

7:00 am Engility wins multiple positions on GSA one acquisition solution for integrated services contract; win strengthens Engility's position in military and civilian markets (EGL) :

  • The co and its subsidiary Dynamics Research Corporation, have been awarded a position on the One Acquisition for Integrated Services contract, a government-wide indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract that will be administered by the General Services Administration. The contract has a five year period of performance and one five year option.

6:49 am Total S.A. received offer from Arkema (ARKAY) to acquire its Bostik affiliate; offer values Bostik at EUR1.74 bln (TOT) : Co announced that it has received an offer from the French group Arkema (ARKAY) to acquire its Bostik affiliate, a global adhesives company.

  • Arkema's offer values Bostik at EUR1.74 billion (around $2.25 billion), representing 11 times the co's EBITDA. 
  • In light of the quality of the project, Total has granted Arkema an exclusivity period to pursue the offer, and it will be presented to the relevant employee representatives.

6:32 am Telus announces the new AAPL iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are now available for purchase in stores across Canada (TU) :  

6:23 am Gilead Sciences announces European Commission granted marketing authorization for co's Zydelig (Idelalisib) for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and follicular lymphoma (GILD) : Co announced that the European Commission has granted marketing authorization for Zydelig (idelalisib), 150 mg tablets, a first-in-class oral treatment for two incurable blood cancers - chronic lymphocytic leukemia and follicular lymphoma.

6:19 am S&P futures vs fair value: +7.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +18.00. :

6:19 am European Markets : FTSE...6,861.32...+41.20...+0.60%.  DAX...9,875.03...+75.80...+0.80%.

6:19 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...16,321.17...+253.60...+1.60%.  Hang Seng...24,306.16...+137.40...+0.60%.

6:06 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Methanex (MEOH) announced that it has successfully restarted its Chile I plant at its site in Punta Arenas, Chile. The Chile operation had been idled since May 2014 due to insufficient natural gas supply. 
  • NVIDIA (NVDA) introduced the first high-end products based on its Maxwell chip architecture -- the new GeForce GTX 980 and 970 GPUs
  • Kayne Anderson Energy Total Return Fund (KYE) announced its quarterly distribution of $0.485 per share for the quarter ended August 31, 2014. This distribution represents an increase of 1.0% from the prior quarter's distribution of $0.48 per share. 

6:02 am Patterson-UTI announces agreement to acquire Texas-based pressure pumping assets (PTEN) : Co announced that one of its subsidiaries has entered into an agreement to acquire the Texas-based pressure pumping assets of a privately held company. The acquisition includes 143,250 horsepower of hydraulic fracturing equipment, which was manufactured in 2011 and 2012, and provides Patterson-UTI with two additional bases of operations and employees to support customer activity in the Eagle Ford and Haynesville shale plays.

6:01 am ICON plc announces completion of $40 mln share buyback and a further share buyback program for up to $100 mln (ICLR) : Co announced that it has completed a $40 mln buyback of the co's ordinary shares through open market acquisitions at an average price of $49.87.

  • In addition, the co announced a further program under which the co can acquire (by way of redemption) up to an additional $100 mln of its outstanding ordinary shares through open market share acquisitions.

5:33 am GlaxoSmithKline announces China investigation outcome; will pay a fine of GBP297 mln (GSK) : Co announces that the Changsha Intermediate People's Court in Hunan Province, China ruled that GSK China Investment Co has, according to Chinese law, offered money or property to non-government personnel in order to obtain improper commercial gains, and been found guilty of bribing non-government personnel.

  • The verdict follows investigations initiated by China's Ministry of Public Security in June 2013. As a result of the Court's verdict, GSKCI will pay a fine of 297 million (3 billion RMB at a currency exchage rate of 10.0980) to the Chinese government. 
  • This will be funded through existing cash resources.  Associated costs and charges related to restructuring will be included in GSK's third quarter update.The illegal activities of GSKCI are a clear breach of GSK's governance and compliance procedures; and are wholly contrary to the values and standards expected from GSK employees. 

5:29 am Telefonica S.A.: Vivendi (VIVHY) authorized agreement with Telefonica (TEF) concerning the acquisition of GVT (TEF) :

  • The agreement, signed on September 18, includes a payment of EUR 4.66 billion in cash, from which a bank debt of around EUR 450 million and adjustments in working capital will be deducted. Vivendi will also receive 7.4% of Telefonica Brasil shares, at a stock market value of EUR 2.02 billion (as of September 18), and 5.7% of Telecom Italia shares at a stock market value of EUR 1.01 billion (as of September 18).
  • Vivendi will also be liable for tax (including on capital gains) estimated today at around EUR 500 million.
  • The final agreement is subject to certain conditions, including the approval by the relevant regulatory authorities, notably Anatel (Telecommunications) and Cade (Competition) in Brazil. The closing of the transaction should take place before the end of the first half of 2015.

5:27 am Magna announces cooperation regarding regulatory investigation (MGA) : Co announces announced that the CADE, Brazil's competition authority, has attended at the offices of a subsidiary in Brazil, in connection with an ongoing antitrust investigation. Magna's policy is to comply with all applicable laws, including antitrust and competition laws, and we intend to cooperate with CADE in this investigation.

4:29 am Heineken confirms review of CFO succession plans (HEINY) : Heineken N.V. has taken note of the recent media speculation about the position of its Chief Financial Officer. The Supervisory Board of Heineken N.V. confirms that it has recently initiated a process to identify a successor for Ren Hooft Graafland as CFO and member of the Executive Board as his current four year term expires on 23 April 2015. This process is on-going and no decisions have been made regarding candidates or timing. Further announcements will be made if and when appropriate. 

4:28 am Netflix officially launches in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium And Luxembourg (NFLX) :  

4:26 am Kayne Anderson increases distribution by $0.01 to $0.65 per share for Q3 (KYN) : This distribution represents an increase of 1.6% from the prior quarter's distribution of $0.64 per share and an increase of 9.2% from the distribution for the quarter ended August 31, 2013. This represents the sixteenth consecutive quarterly increase by the Company. 

4:24 am JPMorgan Chase announces redemption of $1.7 bln of Fixed/Floating Rate Subordinated Notes (JPM) :  

4:23 am GOL Linhas Areas Inteligentes S.A. prices an offering of $325 mln 8.875% Senior Notes due 2022 (GOL) :

4:21 am Gastar Exploration prices 17 mln shares of common stock at $6.25 per share (GST) :  

4:19 am Cerner receives regulatory clearance for acquisition of Siemens (SIEGY) Health Services (CERN) : Cerner announced the U.S. Federal Trade Commission granted early termination of the waiting period, in connection with the company's purchase of the assets of Siemens' health information technology business unit, Siemens (SEIGY) Health Services, for $1.3 billion in cash. The early termination of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the pending acquisition. The transaction remains subject to other customary closing conditions and is still expected to close in the first quarter of 2015. 

4:16 am Novartis data in The Lancet Oncology show LBH589 offers 4-month increase in median PFS for patients with multiple myeloma (NVS) : Co announces Data published today in The Lancet Oncology demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically relevant 4-month improvement in median progression-free survival for patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma when using the investigational compound LBH589 in combination with bortezomib* and dexamethasone compared to placebo plus the same combination. In the Phase III PANORAMA-1 trial, the addition of LBH589 also led to clinically meaningful increases in complete and near complete response rates and duration of response. The effect of LBH589 was observed across all patient subgroups.

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