5:08 pm Brookline Bancorp announces resignation of CFO (BRKL) : Co announced today that Julie A. Gerschick, Brookline Bancorp's Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, has resigned effective December 31, 2013 to pursue other business interests.
5:04 pm Silvercrest Asset Mgmt names Richard Hough CEO (SAMG) : Co announced that it has named Richard R. Hough III as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Hough, the Company's President and Chief Operating Officer, had been appointed acting CEO on November 19, 2013, upon the death of G. Moffett Cochran, the firm's Chairman, CEO and co-founder.
4:56 pm Global Geophysical prices $8 mln of non-convertible perpetual preferred stock (GGS) : Co announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of its non-convertible 11.5% Series A Cumulative Preferred Stock through the issuance of 347,827 depositary shares each representing 1/1000th ownership interest in a share of the Company's Series A Preferred Stock. The Company estimates that the net proceeds from the offering will be approximately $7.1 million, after deducting underwriting commissions and expenses. The Company intends to use the proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes. MLV & Co. LLC and National Securities Corporation are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.
4:39 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
- Utilities:FCEL (1.72 +14.49%)
- Technology:MEI (35.37 +23.01%),GOGO (32.89 +22.13%),YOKU (30.25 +16.42%),EIGI (14.43 +15.71%),MKTG (19.9 +14.16%)
- Services:CONN (72.99 +18.34%),SFXE (11.59 +14.52%)
- Healthcare:PBYI (86.75 +58.99%),XOMA (6.02 +30.09%),MACK (4.72 +24.15%),ANAC (16.84 +19.31%),RCPT (27.01 +19.29%),GALE (4.43 +17.01%),RLYP (20.23 +16.11%),MDXG (6.98 +15.13%),ARRY (5.98 +14.18%)
- Financial:EJ (11.58 +14.16%)
- Consumer Goods:GIII (68.25 +14.38%)
- Conglomerates:IEP (144.39 +18.15%)
- Technology:SOL (3.02 -21.66%),LDOS (41.57 -14.54%),SREV (8.27 -13.23%)
- Services:UEPS (8.01 -29.84%),KKD (19.97 -22.72%),EXPR (19.57 -22.31%),SHLD (48.09 -21.51%),MYGN (25.45 -17.16%),TITN (15.01 -16.06%)
- Healthcare:LXRX (2 -17.72%),PDLI (8.29 -14.92%),OREX (5.73 -14.71%),OSIR (15.28 -12.92%)
- Financial:BFR (7.92 -14.19%)
- Basic Materials:CIE (17.14 -21.56%),TRQ (3.35 -20.89%),TC (2.25 -20%),EPB (35.16 -16.04%),FSM (2.86 -15.73%),CEQP (12.97 -13.92%)
4:34 pm Journal Commun to partner with Katz Television as national sales rep (JRN) : Co has appointed Eagle Television Sales of the Katz Television Group as the new national sales representative for 10 of the company's stations in seven markets: Boise, Idaho (KIVI/KNIN); Green Bay, Wis. (WGBA/WACY); Lansing, Mich. (:WSYM); Las Vegas (:KTNV); Palm Springs, Calif. (KMIR/KPSE); Milwaukee (:WTMJ) and Twin Falls, Idaho (:KSAW). Nashville station WTVF, which Journal acquired in December 2012, is already represented by Eagle. The change became effective December 2, 2013.
4:33 pm Progenics Pharm announces data from Phase 1 study of its 1404 imaging agent has been presented at the Society for Urologic Oncology meeting (PGNX) : Co announced that findings from a Phase I study of its Imaging Agent, 1404, were presented at the meeting of the Society for Urologic Oncology in Rockville, Maryland. The poster, entitled A Phase I Study of TC-99-M-MIP-1404 SPECT/CT to Identify and Localize High Grade Cancer in the Prostate Gland, was presented by Kevin Slawin, M.D., Director, Vanguard Urologic Institute, Memorial Hermann-TMC. "In this study, the presence of primary prostate cancer was correctly identified in eight of eight patients by SPECT/CT imaging with 1404," said Dr. Slawin. "An imaging agent with this high degree of accuracy has the potential to allow doctors and their patients to focus on the treatment of aggressive cancers while more conservatively managing low grade cancers."
4:33 pm Peoples Fed Bancshares Inc (thinly traded) increases stock repurchase program: co can repurchase up to an additional 5% of issued and outstanding shares (PEOP) :
4:32 pm Morgans Hotel Group: Delaware Court of Chancery sets date for hearing on unopposed motion to dismiss claims against Michael J. Gross in Morgans Hotel Group Co. stockholder derivative action (MHGC) : Co announced that pursuant to Orders entered by the Delaware Court of Chancery on December 3 and December 6, 2013 in the litigation captioned OTK Associates, LLC v. Friedman, et al., Civil Action No. 8447-VCL, Morgans Hotel Group Co. has issued a Notice of Hearing on Unopposed Motion to Dismiss Claims against Michael J. Gross. The hearing will be held in the New Castle County Courthouse, Court of Chancery, 500 North King Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801, on January 27, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. to (a) consider the Motion, (b) consider any objections thereto, and (c) rule on other such matters as the Court may deem appropriate.
4:31 pm Phillips 66 announces 2014 capital program: increases midstream and chemicals spending and investments (PSX) : Co announces plans for $2.7 billion of capital expenditures in 2014, approximately 40 percent higher than its 2013 capital target. The increased spending reflects the company's strategy to grow its Midstream segment. Including the company's share of expected capital spending by joint ventures DCP Midstream (:DCP), Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (CPChem) and WRB Refining, its total 2014 capital program is expected to be $4.6 billion. "The 2014 capital program is consistent with our plans to significantly grow our Midstream and Chemicals segments," said Chairman and CEO Greg Garland. "These are businesses that can directly capitalize on North America's energy renaissance. Our disciplined approach to capital allocation balances reinvestment in higher-valued businesses along with growing shareholder distributions. We continue to focus on funding the most attractive growth opportunities across our portfolio."
4:19 pm Gilead Sciences: FDA approves Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (GILD) : Co announced that the FDA has approved Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) 400 mg tablets, a once-daily oral nucleotide analog polymerase inhibitor for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection as a component of a combination antiviral treatment regimen. Sovaldi's efficacy has been established in subjects with hepatitis C virus (:HCV) genotypes 1, 2, 3 or 4 infection, including those with hepatocellular carcinoma meeting Milan criteria (awaiting liver transplantation) and those with HCV/HIV-1 co-infection. The Wholesaler Acquisition Cost (WAC) of a 28-tablet bottle of Sovaldi in the United States is $28,000.
4:18 pm AMR reports November consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (:PRASM) increased an estimated 1% year/year (AAMRQ) : Co reported November 2013 consolidated revenue and traffic results for its principal subsidiary, American Airlines, Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiary, AMR Eagle Holding Corporation.
- November's consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (:PRASM) increased an estimated 1.0 percent versus the same period last year. The year-over-year PRASM comparison was impacted by approximately 3.3 percentage points from reduced revenues in November 2012 associated with weather-related and operational disruptions that impacted bookings last year.
- Consolidated traffic decreased 1.1 percent on a 1.8 percent increase in capacity year-over-year, resulting in a consolidated load factor of 78.4 percent, 2.3 points lower than the same period last year.
- Domestic traffic was 3.6 percent lower year-over-year on 0.5 percent less capacity, resulting in a domestic load factor of 80.2 percent, 2.6 points lower compared to the same period last year.
- International load factor of 76.8 percent was 2.1 points lower year-over-year, as traffic increased 1.9 percent on 4.8 percent more capacity. The Latin entity recorded the highest load factor of 77.4 percent, a decrease of 1.0 points versus November 2012.
- On a consolidated basis, the company boarded 8.4 million passengers in November.
4:09 pm BioSpecifics Tech confirms FDA approval of XIAFLEX for the treatment of Peyronie's disease (BSTC) : Co confirmed that the FDA approved the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) submitted by BioSpecifics' partner Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Auxilium) for XIAFLEX, an in-office, biologic for this treatment of Peyronie's disease. This is the first and only FDA-approved biologic therapy indicated for the treatment of Peyronie's disease in men with a palpable plaque and a curvature of 30 degrees or greater at the start of therapy. XIAFLEX is already approved in the U.S., EU, Canada and Australia for the treatment of adult Dupuytren's contracture patients with a palpable cord in the palm. Under the terms of BioSpecifics' agreement with Auxilium, BioSpecifics will receive a $2 million milestone payment from Auxilium in connection with this approval. In addition, BioSpecifics will receive low double-digit royalties based on net sales by Auxilium of XIAFLEX for the treatment of Peyronie's disease.
4:06 pm PhotoMedex terminates distribution agreement in Japan (PHMD) : Co announced the termination of the exclusive distribution agreement between its wholly-owned subsidiary Radiancy, Inc. and Ya-Man Ltd. for the Japanese market due to, among other things, disputed marketing expenses of approximately $1 million and the failure of Ya-Man to meet its minimum purchase obligations under the agreement. Both parties have determined that it is in their respective best interests to terminate the distribution arrangement following Ya-Man's disappointing sales results with the Company in the last quarter. Radiancy is actively seeking a new partner for the Japanese markets, while Ya-Man has indicated that they will continue to market and sell its inventory of the Company's products in Japan in accordance with the terms of the parties' agreement.
4:03 pm Xinyuan Real Estate announces issuance of $200 mln of 13% senior notes due 2019 (XIN) : Co announced the closing of its offering of US$200 million in aggregate principal amount of 13% senior notes due 2019. Xinyuan intends to repay certain existing debts, invest in real estate projects in the PRC and the United States and use the remainder for general corporate purposes.
3:39 pm Ameris Bancorp and The Prosperity Banking Company announces approval of merger (ABCB) : Co and The Prosperity Banking Company jointly announced that the previously announced merger under which Ameris will acquire Prosperity has received all requisite regulatory approvals. The shareholders of Prosperity, at a special meeting of shareholders held on November 20, 2013, also previously approved the merger. Ameris and Prosperity expect the merger to be completed on or about December 23, 2013.
3:39 pm Stock indices slip further off afternoon highs -- Dow +159, S&P +16, Nasdaq Comp +24 (:TECHX) : Relative weakness during the pullback (underperforming the S&P) has been noted in Energy XLE, Oil Service, Retail XRT, Housing XHB, Semi SMH, Steel SLX.
3:38 pm Earnings Preview for the week of December 9 - 13 (:SUMRX) : Of the companies reporting earnings for the week of December 9 - 13 some of the bigger names include:
- Pre Market - LAYN
- After Hours - PVH, CASY, ABM, PBY, ALOG, MTN, CMTL, SURG
- Pre Market - LDOS, HDS, AZO, PTRY, BURL, TOL, KMG, HITK
- After Hours - NCS, DDC, HRB, SWHC, PLAB, IRET, AVNR, MIND, PPHM
- Pre Market - COST, JOY
- After Hours - MW, NDSN, OXM, CWTR, VRA, SIGM, ASYS
- Pre Market - HOV, CIEN, LULU
- After Hours - ADBE, ZQK, RH
3:31 pm Progenics Pharm announces completion of enrollment of chemotherapy experienced cohort in Phase 2 PSMA ADC clinical trial in prostate cancer (PGNX) : Co announced that it has completed enrollment of chemotherapy experienced patients in a Phase II trial to assess the anti-tumor activity and tolerability of its antibody drug conjugate, PSMA ADC in patients with metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). A total of 83 patients who had progressive disease despite treatment with at least one taxane containing chemotherapy received PSMA ADC. Based on the observations following treatment of the patients in the chemotherapy experienced cohort, Progenics has initiated treatment of a cohort of chemotherapy naive patients who have progressed on hormonal therapies. This cohort is now enrolling. Progenics expects that an additional 35 patients will be included in this chemotherapy na ve group. Topline data on the chemotherapy experienced cohort of the Phase II PSMA ADC trial will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's 2014 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium Meeting in San Francisco in January 2014.
2:55 pm Morningstar increases quarterly dividend 36% to $0.17 per share; increases share repurchase program by $200 mln (MORN) : Co's board of directors of declared a quarterly dividend of 17 cents per share payable Jan. 31, 2014 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 10, 2014. The declaration reflects an increase in the quarterly dividend to 17 cents per share from 12.5 cents. Morningstar's board also approved an increase to the company's total share repurchase authorization from $500 million to $700 million. Since Morningstar announced its share repurchase program in October 2010, it has repurchased a total of 6.0 million shares for approximately $370.4 million. Of the $700 million total now authorized under the program, $329.6 million remains for future repurchases.
2:53 pm Ultra Petroleum prices private placement of $450.0 mln aggregate principal amount of 5.75% senior unsecured notes due 2018 at par (UPL) : The size of the offering was increased from the previously announced $400.0 mln aggregate principal amount.
2:52 pm NYMEX Energy Closing Prices (:COMDX) :
- Jan crude oil rose $0.31 to $97.70/barrel
- Crude oil rose for a sixth consecutive session in choppy trade following strong economic data. Employment and Michigan Sentiment data topped expectations while the unemployment rate dropped to 7%. The energy component rallied to a session high of $97.99 moments after pit trade opened and spent most of the remaining session trading slightly above the unchanged line. It settled 0.3% higher, booking a 5.4% gain for the week, its biggest weekly advance since July.
- Jan natural gas fell 1 cent to $4.12/MMBtu
- Natural gas climbed to a session high of $4.20 in early morning floor action. However, it lost momentum as the session progressed and settled 0.2% lower. Despite today's dip, natural gas gained 4.0% for the week.
- Jan heating oil settled unchanged at $3.05/gallon
- Jan RBOB gasoline rose 1 cent to $2.72/gallon
2:32 pm Dollar Drifts Near 80.30: 10-yr: +01/32..2.880%..USD/JPY: 102.92..EUR/USD: 1.3691 (:SUMRX) : The Dollar Index hovers near 80.30 amid a mostly uneventful trade. The Index spiked to the 80.60 level following this morning's strong nonfarm payroll report, but trade quickly slipped back to pre-data levels. Most of today's action has been trapped in a tight 15 cent range between 80.25 and 80.40. Click here to see a daily Dollar Index chart.
- EURUSD is +25 pips @ 1.3690 as buyers remain in control for a fourth session. The single currency has managed to shrug off this morning's disappointing German factory orders data, and is now testing the 1.3700 area. The four-week winning streak has seen the euro tack on roughly 400 pips since the November lows. Eurozone data out Monday includes the German trade balance and German industrial production.
- GBPUSD is +5 pips @ 1.6340 as action hovers little changed. Sterling has tested and failed at the 1.6400 level each day this week, causing trade to test minor support near 1.6300. A breakdown of that level sets up a test of more meaningful support near 1.6200. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will speak Monday in NYC.
- USDCHF is -40 pips @ .8925 as trade presses the October lows. The pair has been under pressure throughout the entire session after Swiss CPI printed a hotter than anticipated 0.0% (-0.2% expected). Traders will be tracking the .8900 area over the coming days as that level has provided support since the fall of 2011. Swiss data due out Monday is limited to retail sales.
- USDJPY is +110 pips @ 102.90 as trade tests the May highs near 103.00. The pair saw an early test of 101.50 support, and has since managed to wipe away the previous three days of losses. Japan's current account balance and Q3 Final GDP are due out Sunday. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will speak tonight in Tokyo.
- AUDUSD is +35 pips @ .9095 as buyers remain in control for a second session. The .9150 area has acted as a lid on recent action; however, a breakout would provoke a likely test of the .9300 resistance level that is helped by the 100 dma (.9270). Australian data is limited to ANZ Job Advertisements. China's trade balance is scheduled to cross the wires tomorrow with CPI and PPI due out Sunday evening.
- USDCAD is +5 pips @ 1.0655 amid a mostly uneventful day for the pair. The better than expected Canadian employment change (21.6K actual v. 12.3K expected) made for a volatile few minutes as traders had to digest both that and the US data, but trade has spent most of the session near the flat line with action holding at its best level in more than three and a half years.
2:30 pm Aetna increases quarterly dividend 13% to $0.225 from $0.20 per share (AET) :
2:24 pm CBOT Agriculture and Ethanol/ICE Sugar Closing Prices (:COMDX) :
- Mar corn settled unchanged at $4.34/bushel
- Mar wheat fell 1 cent to $6.51/bushel
- Jan soybeans fell 3 cents to $13.26/bushel
- Jan ethanol rose 11 cents to $1.99/gallon
- Jan sugar (#16 (U.S.)) fell 0.15 of a penny to 19.75 cents/lbs
1:54 pm COMEX Metals Closing Prices (:COMDX) :
- Feb gold fell $2.60 to $1229.10/ounce
- Gold bounced around in volatile trade during early morning pit action following better-than-anticipated economic data. Payroll and Michigan Sentiment data topped expectations and the unemployment rate dropped to 7%. The yellow metal fell to a session low of $1210.10 and quickly rebounded into positive territory and to a session high of $1245.00. Prices then consolidated near the unchanged line and eventually settled 0.2% lower. Today's slight decline brought losses for the week to 1.7%.
- Mar silver fell $0.03 to $19.53/ounce
- Silver also saw choppy action earlier today. Like gold, it slipped to a session low of $19.17 and reversed to a session high of $19.78. It then pulled back towards the break-even line and spent the remainder of the session trading near that level. It settled 0.2% lower, booking a 2.5% loss for the week.
- Mar copper rose 2 cents to $3.25/lbs
1:43 pm S&P +20 sets new session high to reach the flat line for the week at 1805 (SPY) :
1:30 pm Auxilium Pharma confirms FDA approval for XIAFLEX for the treatment of Peyronie's disease (AUXL) : Co announced that the FDA has approved XIAFLEX (collagenase clostridium histolyticum, or CCH), an in-office, biologic for the treatment of Peyronie's disease (:PD). XIAFLEX is the first and only FDA-approved treatment proven effective for PD in men with a palpable plaque and a curvature deformity of 30 degrees or greater at the start of therapy. XIAFLEX has already been approved in the U.S., EU, Canada and Australia for the treatment of adult Dupuytren's contracture (:DC) patients with a palpable cord. XIAFLEX for the treatment of DC is marketed under the trade name XIAPEX in the EU.
1:16 pm InterOil Announces Approval of PRL39 by the PNG Government and Clarification on the Transaction With Total S.A.- Stock Halted (IOC) : Co announce that the PNG Department of Petroleum and Energy has approved the Company's application for Petroleum Retention License 39, which includes the Triceratops discovery. Additionally, InterOil is providing further clarification regarding the fixed and variable payments agreed to with Total S.A. (TOT) in relation to the sale of a gross 61.3% (net 47.5%, after PNG government back-in of 22.5%) in PRL 15, which includes the Elk and Antelope fields.
The Sale and Purchase Agreement, which will be filed on SEDAR and with the SEC today, stipulates both fixed and variable payments as previously disclosed.
- Fixed payments to InterOil include US$613 million on transaction completion, which is expected in Q1 2014; US$112 million on a final investment decision for a new LNG plant; and US$100 million at first LNG cargo from the proposed LNG facility.
- In addition to these fixed amounts, variable payments for amounts in excess of 3.5 Tcfe for the gas resource will depend on certification by two independent certifiers following up to three appraisal wells to be drilled in PRL15. The gas resource payment for amounts greater than 5.4 Tcfe will be paid at certification.
1:10 pm Dow +180 and S&P +19.6 again set new session highs, Nasdaq Comp still holding slightly under its opening peak (:TECHX) :
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
- PH (121.16 +3.99%): Upgraded to Buy from Sell at Goldman
- BSX (11.79 +3.97%): Upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen; reported favorable results assessing real-world experience with the Precision Spectra SCS System
- INFY (55.51 +3.04%): Upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen, target raised to $65 from $55
- GPS (39.38 -2.14%): Reported November same store sales rose 2% vs +0.7% Retail Metric consensus; downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies, target lowered to $40 from $51
- TWC (130.72 -1.37%): WSJ reporting that comments from regulators suggest a deal with Comcast (CMCSA) would not be approved
- TWTR (45.28 -0.75%): Initiated with a Market Perform at Bernstein, target $40
- PBYI (83.39 +7.32%): Continued strength following reporting of positive top line data from the Phase 2 clinical trial of the company's investigational drug PB272 (neratinib) for the neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer (I-SPY 2 TRIAL)
- CONN (74.76 +7.08%): Target raised to $86 from $73 at B. Riley & Co
- LL (103.66 +6.25%): Initiated with an Outperform at Wedbush
- ULTA (94.16 -20.20%): Missed quarterly EPS by $0.02 ($0.72 ex items vs $0.74 estimate), revs rose 22.4% yoy to $618.8 mln vs $622.38 mln estimate; sees Q4 EPS of $1.07-1.10 vs $1.24 estimate, revs of $853-867 mln vs $895.01 mln estimate; downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
- BIG (31.97 -13.9%): Missed quarterly EPS by $0.08 (-$0.16 ex items vs -$0.08 estimate; US operations adjusted EPS was -$0.07), revs rose 1.6% yoy to $1.15 bln vs $1.16 bln estimate (US operations adjusted revs rose 1.8% to $1.1 bln); comparable store sales for US stores open at least fifteen months decreased 2.5%; target lowered to $34 from $37 at Canaccord Genuity
- AEO (15.05 -8.23%): Reported Q3 EPS of $0.19 (in-line with pre-announcement), revs fell 5.8% yoy to $857.3 mln vs $842.43 mln estimate; sees Q4 EPS of $0.26-0.30 ex items vs $0.39 estimate
12:41 pm Dow +175 and S&P +19.2 set new session highs, Nasdaq Comp +35 approaching its opening peak (:TECHX) :
12:35 pm Greif names Peter Watson Chief Operating Officer (GEF) : Co's Board has appointed Peter Watson, 56, chief operating officer of the company, effective Jan. 1, 2014. Watson was group president responsible for Greif's Paper Packaging and Land Management business segments as well as Global Sourcing & Supply Chain and the company's Greif Business System capabilities.
12:22 pm ConocoPhillips announced a 2014 capital expenditures budget of $16.7 bln for continuing operations; reaffirms production target (COP) : Co announced a 2014 capital expenditures budget of $16.7 bln for continuing operations. Investments during 2014 will target the company's diverse portfolio of global opportunities. Approximately 55 percent of the budget is allocated toward North America and 45 percent toward Europe, Asia Pacific and other international businesses.
The company also announced it is on track to achieve its previously stated 2014 annual average production target of approximately 1,600 thousand barrels per day (:MBOED) from continuing operations, including 50 MBOED from Libya. The company expects to achieve growth in its Lower 48, Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Key sources of growth in 2014 include: Ramp up of major project startups at Christina Lake Phase E, Ekofisk South, Jasmine, Siakap North-Petai and Gumusut. Ongoing production increases from development drilling programs in the Eagle Ford, Bakken and conventional Permian plays.
In 2013, the company anticipates utilizing a portion of its cash balance to fully prepay the $2.8 bln joint venture acquisition obligation to its 50 percent owned FCCL business venture. This obligation would have otherwise been paid with interest over the 2014 to 2017 time period.
11:59 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:
- UK's FTSE:+0.8%
- Germany's DAX:+1.0%
- France's CAC:+0.7%
- Spain's IBEX:+0.1%
- Portugal's PSI:-0.2%
- Italy's MIB Index:+0.7%
- Irish Ovrl Index:+1.0%
- Greece ATHEX Composite: -1.1%
11:40 am The Hanover Insurance Grp increases quarterly dividend 12.1% to $0.37 from $0.33 per share (THG) :
11:34 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (236) outpacing new lows (41) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAMC, AAOI, ABBV, ACIW, ACT, ACXM, ADAT, ADSK, AEL, AERI, AGX, AKS, ALLB, ALSN, ALU, AMBA, AMIC, ANAC, ANDE, ANEN, ANGO, AON, APH, APOG, ASH, ATRI, AVGO, AXE, AZPN, BBNK, BF.B, BG, BH, BNCN, BXS, CACI, CALD, CALM, CBNJ, CELG, CFX, CHD, CHEF, CLX, CMC, CNBC, CNSI, COF, COHR, CONN, CPHD, CRVL, CSE, CSL, CSX, CVBF, CWEI, CWST, CYN, DAKT, DG, DGII, DHRM, DHT, DISH, DL, DLX, DMND, DNB, EFSC, EIGI, ENR, ENT, EQU, ERA, ERF, ESBK, ESCA, ESL, ESLT, ETFC, EVER, EVHC, EVI, EXTR, FARM, FCEL, FCNCA, FFBC, FICO, FTEK, FULT, GCO, GIII, GIVN, GM, GOOG, GPRC, GSL, GTT, GURE, HBI, HFWA, HOG, HOMB, HOTR, HP, HRS, HUN, IART, ICGE, IEP, IGTE, IILG, INTU, IT, ITW, IVAC, JAH, JGW, JKHY, JMP, KMPR, KMT, LANC, LEAF, LGIH, LLTC, LNG, LOGI, LTS, MASI, MD, MDCO, MDLZ, MEG, MEI, MGIC, MITL, MKTG, MMYT, MPEL, MSL, MU, MYE, NLSN, NM, NSC, NSIT, NVGS, NWL, NXPI, NYLD, OCIP, OINK, OZM, OZRK, PACW, PAG, PAGP, PCBK, PEGI, PFBC, PH, PII, PKOH, PLOW, PLUG, POL, POST, PPG, PRO, PTRY, PTSI, PVTB, PWR, PZZA, QCOM, RESI, RJF, RLYP, ROC, ROL, ROMA, RXN, SCSC, SFI, SHOO, SIAL, SKX, SLH, SM, SMCI, SMG, SNN, SONC, STN, STSA, STX, SWKS, SXL, TCBI, TCRD, TCS, TEX, TK, TNDM, TPC, TPRE, TSN, TW, TXN, UFS, UG, UHS, UIS, UMPQ, UNM, UNT, URI, UTI, UVE, VALU, VFC, VIFL, VPFG, VRSN, WAL, WBCO, WDC, WLB, WOR, WTFC, WWD, XUE, ZMH
Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: AERG, AGNC, ARR, BBRY, BLE, CALL, CERP, CHKR, CIE, CRMB, DCTH, DIAL, EMITF, EPB, FE, FWM, HDY, IPAS, MDW, MRGE, NLY, NMY, NRT, ONCY, PAL, RAX, RIC, RNF, SAND, SDR, SOQ, SPPR, SPRT, STRA, SYNM, TLK, TLYS, TWO, VRS, WPRT, XRA
ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: EIS, FDN, GXC, HAO, IGV, QQQ, SMH, SOXX, XLK
ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: VXZ
11:34 am Further rebound off morning pullback low for stock indices -- Dow +149, S&P +16, Nasdaq Comp +27 (:TECHX) : The Nasdaq Comp has bounced 19 points off its pullback low/support (4043/4040 10:38).
11:32 am Graco increases quarterly dividend 10% to $0.275 (GGG) :
11:32 am Phillips 66 announces new $2 bln share repurchase program (PSX) : Co's Board has approved a new $2 billion share repurchase program, consistent with the company's strategy to grow shareholder distributions. Since the third quarter of last year, Phillips 66's board of directors has authorized a total of $5 billion in share repurchases and raised quarterly dividends from 20 cents per share to 39 cents per share. The company has repurchased $2 billion of its shares as of October 2013.
11:11 am Currency Commentary: DXY Gives Up Post-Job Gains (:SUMRX) :
- The Dollar Index was able to rally to the 80.60 level following a better than expected November jobs report. But it was unable to hold the ground and quickly gave up its gains to slide back near session lows. The better than expected jobs number will raise expectations of a December taper but that is not being reflected in the dollar. The reality is that the news is unlikely to sway member who have already formulated opinions. But that does not mean there is any certainty over the Fed action on December 18 as the tapering is basically a coin toss at this point.
- The euro continued to stretch higher following the ECB rate decision and press conference. The single currency hit 1.3696 this morning, its best level since October 31. Market participants bid the euro after ECB president Mario Draghi provided commentary that suggested he was not prepared to act on further easing. The ECB updated its forecasts for 2013 and 2014 and provided its first glimpse at 2015. The inflation projections were at the low end of expectations but the lack of dovish comments from Draghi was the bigger driver.
- The pound is higher this morning after it held 1.63 yesterday. Part of the strength is being attributed to the higher than expected housing price number this morning. Sterling has settled around the 1.6350 level.
- The yen has given up some of its recent gains to dip back into the low end of the 102 area. The move comes as participants cautiously dip their toes back into some risk. 103 will remain a key support level for the yen (FOREX, BONDX).
10:59 am Nasdaq Comp +17 edges off intraday support (:TECHX) : Noted at 10:38 that the index was nearing intraday support at 4043/4040. It slipped as low as 4042.35 and has bounce in recent action.
10:50 am Sandstorm Gold provides update on Serra Pelada; board of directors of Colossus has decided to cease underground development at Serra Pelada in order to reduce ongoing costs; co will need additional funding in order to proceed with the strategy outlined by its board of directors (shares halted) (SAND) : Co announced a status update related to Colossus Minerals and their efforts to secure funding for the balance of the expenses required to commence production at the Serra Pelada Mine in Brazil. In a press release dated Nov 14, 2013, Colossus announced that development delays at Serra Pelada had resulted in a change to the anticipated production start date at the mine and that additional capital would be needed. The management team at Colossus has estimated that $70 million is required in order to meet the co's existing obligations and progress Serra Pelada to production.
At this time, the board of directors of Colossus has decided to cease underground development at Serra Pelada in order to reduce ongoing costs. The co intends to continue with the dewatering program at the mine and commence underground definition drilling in connection with the preparation of a National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource estimate for Serra Pelada. Roscoe Postle Associates has been hired to complete the resource estimate which is expected by the end of Dec, 2013.
Given that Colossus has material negative working capital, the co will need additional funding in order to proceed with the strategy outlined by its board of directors. Sandstorm will be reviewing its investment in the co for a partial or full impairment as there can be no assurance that adequate funding will be available for Colossus in the future.
10:38 am Nasdaq Comp +13 extends slide but holding above intraday support at 4043/4040 -- session low 4045.08 (:TECHX) :
10:35 am AMERCO declares special cash dividend on its Common Stock of $1.00 per share; the dividend will be payable Feb 14, 2014 to holders of record on Jan 10, 2014 (UHAL) :
10:33 am Nasdaq Comp +12 drops as much as 24 points off its opening multi-year high (:TECHX) :
10:27 am Nasdaq 100/Comp +17.4 holding solid gains but slip to minor new session lows (:TECHX) :
10:21 am Relative sector strength (:TECHX) : Sector displaying relative strength in recent trade include: Utility UTIL, Industrial XLI, Housing XHB, Materials XLB, Rail, Medical Supplies.
10:16 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors underperforming in recent trade as the Nasdaq slip and the S&P/Dow range trade include: Biotech IBB, Retail XRT, Discretionary XLY, REITs IYR, Casino.
10:12 am Nasdaq Comp +21 slightly extend slip off opening high -- Dow +127, S&P +14 (:TECHX) :
10:02 am Medtronic presents first-of-its-kind data showing sustained results with cervical disc replacement after seven years: Prestige Cervical Disc replacement maintained clinical improvements compared to ACDF (MDT) : Co presented 7-year clinical and radiographic outcomes of artificial disc replacement with PRESTIGE Cervical Disc compared to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (:ACDF) yesterday at the Cervical Spine Research Society Annual Meeting held in Los Angeles, CA. Of the 541 patients enrolled, 395 patients (212 PRESTIGE Disc and 183 fusion patients) completed seven years of clinical follow-up. Results indicate that significant improvements in pain and functional outcomes achieved by 1.5 months in both groups were sustained at seven years. Specific findings at seven years included:
- The rate of patient overall success - the primary study endpoint, comprising of important effectiveness and safety measures, was significantly higher (p = 0.010) in the PRESTIGE Disc group (72.6%) as compared to fusion (60.0%).
- The rate of maintenance or improvement in neurological status was significantly higher (p = 0.011) compared to fusion (88.2% versus 79.7%).
- Neck pain was significantly lower (p = 0.004) compared to fusion (mean score of 13.1 versus 19.4 on a scale of 0-100).
- The rate of additional surgeries at the index level was significantly lower (p
- At seven years, one incident of screw loosening in the investigational group classified as associated with implant/surgical procedure was observed.
9:58 am Dow +141 and S&P +16 push to new highs -- Nasdaq Comp +29 holding slightly below (:TECHX) :
9:48 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors that are underperforming the S&P this morning on a relative basis include: Retail XRT, Oil Service OIH, Energy XLE, Crude Oil USO, Discretionary XLY, Casino,
9:42 am Strong Start for Market (:WRAPX) : As expected, the major indices have gotten off to a rollicking start. The Nasdaq for its part has wiped out all of its losses for the week and the S&P 500 isn't too far away from doing the same.
The catalyst for the advance is embedded in the encouraging employment report, which revealed positive trends for employment and earnings but wasn't so strong that it would necessarily convince the Fed to make a tapering announcement at its December meeting.
Every sector is participating in the advance, which has been paced by the financial (+1.1%) and industrials (+1.0%) sectors.
9:39 am Sector relative strength (:TECHX) : Broad based surge off the open with top performing sectors led by: Gold Miners GDX, Home Const ITB, Semi SMH, Reg Bank KRE, Bank KBE, Broker IAI, Steel SLX,. Finance XLF, Insurance KIE, Mining XME.
9:37 am New multi-year highs for Nasdaq 100/Comp +30 off the open, S&P +16, Dow +135 (:TECHX) :
9:23 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- E2open (EOPN) has been Drummond Certified in the AS2-3Q13 automated interoperability test event.
- ForceField Energy (FNRG) was awarded a contract with the Comptroller General's Office of the Republic of Costa Rica to supply and install its SL3 LED street lights in the government agency's parking facility.
- Farris Engineering, a business unit of Curtiss-Wright (CW) Flow Control, has entered into an agreement with a respected marine valve sales and service company, JA Moody, designating them as the Farris Engineering sales representative to the U.S. Navy and commercial marine markets.
9:18 am S&P futures vs fair value: +18.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +31.30. (:WRAPX) : The details of the November employment report are out for the world to see, and so far it looks like the market is encouraged by what it saw. The S&P futures soared in the wake of the release. They are currently 1.0% above fair value, suggesting just about all of the losses over the last five sessions will be made up at the start of trading.
Strikingly, the expected rally in the stock market has not broadsided the Treasury market. On the contrary, the Treasury market also traded higher after the employment report was released. The 10-yr note is up two ticks and its yield sits at 2.868%. Gold prices have also picked up a bit and are now +0.7% at $1239.90/oz.
The positive correlation of those assets at this point would lead one to think the general impression of the employment report is that it was good, but not so good as to necessarily force the Fed's hand into tapering at its December meeting. That perspective could change yet, but it's a feel-good response so far.
9:15 am Jan crude oil reverses into negative territory; now down 0.2% at $97.19 (:COMDX) :
9:12 am Equal Energy: Montclair Energy expresses its concerns about the ongoing strategic process being conducted by the Board of Directors of Equal Energy (EQU) : Montclair Energy expressed its concerns about the ongoing strategic process being conducted by the Board of Directors of EQU:
"Following the conclusion of the 2012 strategic review, Montclair recognized that existing management was not effectively operating the Company's assets and that there was considerable room for the creation of value by taking the Company private. These efforts to acquire the Company, were rejected by the Board. On November 18, 2013, the Company announced that its Board continues to carry out a strategic review process that was initiated following Montclair's offer to acquire the Company and that it is in exclusive negotiations with a party that has made a proposal. The Company has yet to provide any details about a proposed transaction."
"Montclair is concerned that the Company's current strategic process is not being effectively conducted, and, like the strategic review conducted in 2012, could fail to maximize shareholder value or even fail to result in presentation of a transaction to shareholders for consideration. Montclair notes that although the Company's share price has risen since Montclair initially expressed its interest, these gains have largely been fueled by shareholder anticipation of an acquisition transaction rather than renewed confidence in management. As one of Equal Energy's largest shareholders, Montclair continues to consider all of its strategic options."
9:07 am HCI Group prices offering of $100 mln aggregate principal amount of 3.875% convertible senior notes due 2019 (HCI) : The conversion rate for the notes will initially be 16.0090 shares per $1,000 principal amount of notes, which is equivalent to an initial conversion price of ~ $62.47 per share of common stock, and is subject to adjustment in certain circumstances. The initial conversion price represents a premium of ~ 30% to the $48.05 per share closing price of HCI's common stock on December 5, 2013. Upon conversion, the notes may be settled in cash, shares of HCI's common stock or any combination thereof, at HCI's election. HCI will not have the right to redeem the notes prior to maturity.
9:03 am PNC announces settlement agreement with Freddie Mac (FMCC); PNC Bank will pay Freddie Mac a total of $89 mln (less credits of $8 mln) (PNC) : Co announced that its affiliate, PNC Bank, National Association, has reached an agreement in principle with Federal Home Loan Mortgage (Freddie Mac) (FMCC) to resolve substantially all indemnification and repurchase obligations related to loans sold to Freddie Mac between 2000 and 2008.
Under terms of the agreement, PNC Bank will pay Freddie Mac a total of $89 million (less credits of $8 million) to resolve certain existing and future repurchase obligations related to approximately 900,000 loans originated and sold to Freddie Mac primarily between 2000 and 2008, and to compensate Freddie Mac for certain past losses and potential future losses relating to denials, rescissions and cancellations of mortgage insurance.
The Freddie Mac agreement follows the previously announced agreement in principle that PNC reached with the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) to resolve repurchase demands with respect to loans sold between 2000 and 2008. The completion of these settlement agreements will resolve substantially all of PNC Bank's outstanding and potential indemnification and repurchase obligations related to loans sold to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from 2000 through 2008, subject to certain exceptions which PNC does not believe are material.
9:01 am Boston Scientific reports favorable results assessing real-world experience with the precision spectra spinal cord stimulator system; new retrospective data show highly significant reduction in pain and high trial therapy success rate of precision spectra in the treatment of chronic pain (BSX) : The retrospective study of up to 213 consecutive patients at 13 centers focused on patients with chronic pain who were treated with the Precision Spectra SCS System. Results include: A 94 percent SCS trial therapy success rate.
A highly significant reduction in pain from an average baseline score of 7.8, on a 10-point scale, to an average score of 3.2 at three months post implant (in the patients who have reached the three-month follow up, n=113)
A highly significant reduction in low back pain from an average baseline score of 7.0, on a 10-point scale, to an average of 2.9 at three months post implant (in the low back pain patients who have reached the three-month follow up, n=32)
Early results indicate improvements in function, including walking and sleeping, in addition to reductions in opioid use and disability "The primary objective of SCS is pain relief," said Salim Hayek, M.D., Ph.D., chief, Division of Pain Medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland.
"These initial results indicate that the Precision Spectra System is effectively reducing pain in these real-world patients at three months post implant."
9:00 am Solar Capital authorizes the extension of a program for the purpose of repurchasing up to $100 mln worth of its common stock to be implemented at the discretion of the co's mgmt team (SLRC) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the extension of a program for the purpose of repurchasing up to $100 million worth of its common stock to be implemented at the discretion of the Company's management team. Unless further extended by the Company's Board of Directors, the Company expects the repurchase program to be in place until the earlier of July 31, 2014 or until $100 million of the Company's outstanding shares of common stock have been repurchased. To date, ~ $17.5 million of repurchases have been made by Solar Capital under the repurchase program.
8:57 am Sonoco Products reaffirms Q4 and FY13 EPS guidance; sees FY14 EPS in line with consernsus (SON) : Co reaffirms guidance for Q4 (Dec), sees EPS of $0.55-0.59 vs. $0.58 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
Co reaffirms guidance for FY13 (Dec), sees EPS of $2.27-2.31 vs. $2.30 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
Co issues in-line guidance for FY14 (Dec), sees EPS of $2.45-2.53 vs. $2.52 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
"We are pleased with our overall performance thus far in 2013, and expect to meet our full-year financial targets. Through the first nine months of 2013, sales, gross profits and cash flow from operations were running at record levels. Although we got off to a bit of a slow start in the first quarter, by September year-to-date base earnings were up about 5 percent, despite higher pension expenses. Operating profits in our Consumer Packaging, Display and Packaging, and Protective Solutions segments were up year over year, while results from our Industrial businesses were essentially flat despite tough economic conditions in Europe and South America."
Looking forward, Sonoco is projecting that annual cash flow from operations should average approximately $450 mln over the next two years. For 2014, free cash flow is estimated to be approximately $130 mln, a decrease from 2013 levels due primarily to anticipated higher pension contributions and cash tax payments.
Sanders said that Sonoco is focusing capital investments and other resources in those businesses that serve faster growing markets, including the Company's Consumer Packaging and Protective Solutions businesses and selected emerging market opportunities for composite cans and tubes and cores.
8:57 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) and Onyx Pharma, an Amgen (AMGN) subsidiary, announced the start of a multi-year collaboration in support of the IMF's Black Swan Research Initiative (:BSRI).
- At the annual Midyear Clinical Meeting of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Cardinal Health (CAH) will launch a new service that helps hospitals and integrated delivery networks expand the reach of their outpatient pharmacies, while also generating additional revenue and freeing up pharmacist time to drive medication adherence and other quality measures.
- TG Therapeutics (TGTX) has initiated a multi-center Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the combination of TG-1101 (ublituximab) and ibrutinib (:IMBRUVICA) for patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Mantle Cell Lymphoma. This will be the first clinical trial evaluating the combination of TG-1101, the co's novel glycoengineered anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, and ibrutinib, the oral Bruton Tyrosine Kinase inhibitor which was recently granted approval by the FDA.
- Suffolk Bancorp (SUBK) announced that the Bank has opened a new Branch Office in Garden City, NY.
8:48 am Jan crude oil reverses to new overnight session highs ahead of floor trade open; now up 0.3% at $97.64 (:COMDX) :
8:47 am Food Technology Service to be acquired by Sterigenics International for $7.23 per share in cash (shares halted) (VIFL) : Co announced that it entered into a definitive merger agreement, dated Dec 5, 2013, under which the co will be acquired by an affiliate of Sterigenics International, a portfolio company of GTCR. Under the terms of the merger agreement, upon completion of the transaction, the shareholders of the co (other than holders of excluded shares and dissenting shares, as described in the merger agreement) will receive $7.23 per share in cash. The purchase price represents a premium of 28.4% over the co's closing share price on Dec 5, 2013 and a premium of 27.2% over the co's average closing share price for the 30 trading days ending on Dec 5, 2013.
The co's board of directors, acting upon the unanimous recommendation of a special committee of the board of directors consisting of independent directors, approved the merger agreement and resolved to recommend that the co's shareholders vote to approve the merger agreement. The Special Committee negotiated the terms of the merger agreement with the assistance of its legal advisor and the co's financial advisor.
8:34 am Proofpoint prices $175 mln of 1.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2018 (PFPT) :
8:34 am S&P futures vs fair value: +5.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +10.80. : November nonfarm payrolls came in at 203,000 versus the 188,000 expected by the Briefing.com consensus. Nonfarm private payrolls added 196,000 against the 200,000 expected by the consensus. The unemployment rate ticked down to 7.0% while the consensus called for a downtick to 7.2%.
Hourly earnings increased 0.2% while the consensus expected an increase of 0.2%. The average workweek was reported at 34.5 against the 34.5 expected by the consensus.
October personal income declined 0.1%, below the increase of 0.3% expected by the Briefing.com consensus. Meanwhile, personal spending rose 0.3% while the consensus expected an uptick of 0.3%.
Lastly, core PCE prices ticked up 0.1% (consensus +0.1%).
8:34 am URS subsidiary, Flint Energy Services, will redeem all of its outstanding 7.5% Senior Notes due 2019; redemption date will be Dec 27, 2013 (URS) : The Redemption Notice provides that the redemption date will be December 27, 2013. Following the redemption date, Flint Energy Services intends to make application to the securities regulatory authorities in each of the provinces of Canada for a decision that it be deemed to have ceased to be a reporting issuer in such jurisdictions.
8:33 am China Metro-Rural announces resignation of non-executive director (CNR) : Co announced that Mr. Cheng Chung Hing has tendered his resignation as member of the Board of Directors, to be effective December 5, 2013. Mr. Cheng served as Chairman of the board of directors, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company from July 24, 2009 until August 25, 2011, June 1, 2011 and March 22, 2010 respectively. He remained as one of the directors of the Company since March 22, 2010 until his resignation.
8:33 am Vaalco Energy announces clearance to proceed with drilling program offshore Angola (EGY) : Co announced that the Company has received written confirmation from The Ministry of Petroleum of Angola that the available 40% working interest in Block 5, offshore Angola, has been assigned to Sonangol E.P., the National Concessionaire. The Ministry of Petroleum also confirmed that Sonangol E.P. will assign the aforementioned participating interest to its exploration and production affiliate, Sonangol P&P.
8:32 am Market View: Front-month Dec. e-Mini index futures trade bid vs fair values in volatile trade following the batch of key economic data released at 8:30 a.m. ET (:TECHX) :
- ESz3 currently 1788.50 +4.50
- NQz3 currently 3487.00 +8.25
8:32 am TG Therapeutics launches combination clinical trial of TG-1101 and Ibrutinib in patients with select B-Cell malignancies (TGTX) : Co announces that it has initiated a multi-center Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the combination of TG-1101 and ibrutinib (:IMBRUVICA) for patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Mantle Cell Lymphoma. This will be the first clinical trial evaluating the combination of TG-1101, the Company's novel glycoengineered anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, and ibrutinib, the oral Bruton Tyrosine Kinase inhibitor which was recently granted approval by the FDA.
8:32 am Precious metals slide to session lows following jobs data (:COMDX) : Feb gold now down 1.2% at $1217.00, Mar silver down 1.0% at $19.40
8:20 am Kingsway Fin announces its wholly-owned subsidiary, 1347 Property Insurance, formerly known as Maison Insurance, plans to conduct an initial public offering of its common stock (KFS) : The offering is expected to commence after the SEC completes the review process initiated by PIH's confidential filing of a draft registration statement with the SEC on December 6, 2013.
8:17 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance/SSS: ULTA -16.9% (also downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray), SEAC -14.3%, FIVE -12%, RALY -11.5%, AEO -7%, IDT -6.9%, (increases Q1 dividend 13.3% to $0.17 from $0.15 per share), BIG -5.2%, COO -4.7%, ZUMZ -4.7% (also reported Nov comps and buyback program), MITL -4.7%, VTSS -4.3% (light volume), DMND -2.7%, GPS -0.3% (downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies).
Other news: IOC -21% (InterOil selects Total for PNG Gas development, pulling back on speculation of deal terms), GMLP -5.6% (Golar LNG Partners plans to offer 5.1 mln common units, representing limited partner interests, in a public offering), UBNT -4.3% (still checking), JCP -4% (discloses in 10-Q filing it received a letter of inquiry from the SEC requesting information regarding co's liquidity, cash position, and debt and equity financing), REI -3.3% (prices 5 mln shares of common stock at $10.00 per share), SLCA -2.9% (announces offering of ~4.53 mln shares by selling shareholder ), OSIS -2.4% (receives order cancellations for advanced technology aviation checkpoint inspection), SBH -2.2% (following ULTA results), BITA -2% ( prices 2,749,200 ADSs by the co and a selling shareholder at $30.00 per ADS), GLNG -1.7% (is offering 3.4 mln common units, representing limited partner interests, in the offering as a selling unitholder; announces agreement to sell Golar Igloo to Golar LNG Partners (GMLP) for $310 mln ), STM -1.6% (still checking), SHPG -0.8% (reports topline results on OPUS-2, a Phase 3 study investigating the use of lifitegrats in adults with dry eye disease; study met one of two co-primary endpoints).
Analyst comments: MTW -2.9% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman), SODA -2.1% ( downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow), IBM -0.2% (downgraded to Mkt Perform from Outperform at Cowen)
8:16 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Stamps.com (STMP) announced a new integration with 3dcart, an e-commerce solution that allows retailers to build, market and successfully operate an online store.
- China Commercial Credit (CCCR) said it is commencing a blog, "From The CEO," appearing on the Investor tab of the company's web site.
- IBM (IBM) has signed an agreement with Dexia and several major financial institutions in Europe to build and manage their IT infrastructure previously managed by Associated Dexia Technology Services. IBM takes a controlling share in ADTS establishing an IBM co, renamed as Innovative Solutions for Finance, with signed sourcing contracts at a total value of $1.3 bln over seven years.
- Wilshire Bancorp (WIBC) announced that Jung Hak Son has resigned from the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, effective Dece 4, 2013.
- Vision-Sciences (VSCI) announced the full launch of the co's official and authorized fiber and video endoscope repair center for Europe through an exclusive agreement with Rescope, a Netherlands-based facility dedicated to the technical management and repair of endoscopes.
- LeapFrog Enterprises (LF) announced LeapPad Ultra won "Best in Show," receiving the most consumer votes in the TimetoPlayMag.com "People's Play" Awards.
8:11 am Precious metals are rallying ahead of floor trade open; Feb gold now up 0.1% at $1233.50, Mar silver now up 0.1% at $19.60 (:COMDX) :
8:09 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : In reaction to strong earnings/guidance: PSUN +8.7%, FNSR +6.1%, AMBA +4.3% (earnings released in late trade), VEEV +3.7%, WEC +0.6% (also announces capital spending plan and new $300 mln share repurchase authorization; reaffirms FY13 EPS of $2.43-2.48 vs $2.46 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate).
M&A related: TWC +0.5% (following late spike on reports that CHTR, CMCSA and COX have all considered bids for TWC; WSJ discusses comments from regulators that they will most likely not approve a Comcast (CMCSA)/TWC deal).
Select telecom related names showing strength: MBT +2.9%, VIV +2.6%, VOD +1.5% (Vodafone upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Exane BNP Paribas; upgraded to Buy from Hold at Berenberg), BT +1.5% (upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James),.
Select metals/mining stocks trading higher: RIO +1.7%, BBL +1.4%, BHP +1.2%, GLD +0.3%.
Select oil/gas related names showing strength: RDS.A +1.8% (initiated with a Overweight at HSBC Securities), BP +1% ( initiated with a Overweight at HSBC Securities), TOT +0.1% (InterOil selects Total for PNG Gas development; initiated with a Overweight at HSBC Securities), .
Other news: BLDP +22.4% (signs MOU with Van Hool for further zero emission fuel cell bus deployments),ENZN +20.7% (declared a special cash dividend of $0.45 per share of the Company's common stock),GERN +17.2% ( following study results from Imetelstat),FCEL +11.4% (continued strength),LOGI +4.3% (still checking),BSX +3.2% (Boston Scientific and The Medicines Company Announce U.S. Co-Promotion Agreement for Promus PREMIER Stent System),AREX +1.9% (Barron's profiles positive views on NOG & AREX),JDSU +1.8% (following FNSR results),SHLD +1.6% (Eddie Lampert's investors want more return from SHLD, according to reports; announces filing of registration statement for spin-off of Lands' End business ),LKQ +1.5% (agrees to acquire Keystone Automotive Operatins for $450 mln),LGF +1.5% (following CNBC Fast Money interview),POZN +1.4% (clarifies ex-dividend date for previously announced special cash distribution of $1.75 per share: Ex-dividend date is December 31, 2013), RAD +1.4% (modestly rebounding),CIEN +1.2% (following FNSR results),SI +1.1% (still checking),GM +1% (may ship may S Korea made cars to Australia, according to reports; Barron's profiles positive view on General Motors),TSLA +0.7% (still checking),AMZN +0.6% (confirmed changes to its Webstore Fees; increasing Webstore Only Subscription/Transaction Fees),SINA +0.4% ( may launch three new currency fund products, according to reports),TEX +0.1% ( announces initiation of $0.05 per share quarterly dividend and $200 mln share repurchase program).
Analyst comments: CRIS +8% (initiated with an Outperform at Wedbush),GVA +2.2% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman), LNKD +1.6% (upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital), INTC +1.4% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup), UL +1.4% / UN +1.3% (upgraded to Neutral from Reduce at Natixis),NOK +0.9% ( resumed with a Overweight at JP Morgan),DG +0.8% (continued strength, upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman; added to Conviction Buy list),LL +0.5% (initiated with an Outperform at Wedbush),ISRG +0.3% (Intuitive Surgical initiated with a Buy at Jefferies)
8:07 am American Eagle reports Q3 in-line with upside November 6 preannouncement; guides Q4 EPS below consensus (AEO) : Reports Q3 (Oct) earnings of $0.19 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.18; revenues fell 5.8% year/year to $857.3 mln vs the $842.43 mln consensus -- co preannounced EPS of $0.19 on rev of $857 mln on November 6 (consensus was $0.15 and $844 mln at the time).
On comparable weeks, total revenue would have decreased in the low single-digits. Consolidated comparable sales, including AEO Direct, decreased 5%, compared to a 10% increase last year. Third quarter 2013 comparable sales are compared to the 13 weeks ended November 3, 2012. Gross profit decreased 21% to $299 million and 670 basis points to 34.9% of revenue, primarily as the result of higher promotional activity and the deleverage of rent on negative comparable sales. Total merchandise inventory at the end of the third quarter increased to $519 million compared to $481 million last year. At cost per foot, inventory increased 6% against an 11% decline last year, which reflects the impact of timing shifts of merchandise receipts due to the 53rd week last year. On comparable weeks, inventory at cost per foot would have increased in the low single-digits.
Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.26-0.30, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.39 Capital IQ Consensus, based on a mid single-digit decline in comparable sales (expectations: down ~3%).
Additionally co announced that Chad Kessler has been appointed EVP, Chief Merchandising and Design Officer for the American Eagle Outfitters brand begining in his new role on February 3, 2014, succeeding Fred Grover, who will stay with the company to ensure a smooth transition through mid-year, at which point he will retire from AEO.
8:07 am S&P futures vs fair value: +7.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +13.50. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures are exhibiting a bullish bias ahead of the November employment report at 08:30 a.m. ET. The S&P futures are currently trading 0.4% above fair value, positioning the cash market for a noticeably higher start. Given the market-moving potential of the employment report, however, the current indication is not one that can be taken fully for granted at this time.
Reviewing overnight developments:
- Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei +0.8%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.1%, China's Shanghai Composite -0.4%.
- Economic data was limited:
- Japan's Leading Index rose to 109.9 from 109.2 (109.9 forecast).
- Australia's AIG Construction Index increased to 55.2 from 54.4.
- In news
- CNBC.com reports that Australia and South Korea signed a free-trade agreement that will eliminate tariffs of up to 300% on Australian exports.
- CNBC.com reports that Australia and South Korea signed a free-trade agreement that will eliminate tariffs of up to 300% on Australian exports.
- Economic data was limited:
- Major European indices are all moving higher at this juncture following recent losses. Germany's DAX +0.5%, France's CAC 40 +0.1%, Great Britain's FTSE 100 +0.4%.
- Investors received just a handful of economic data points:
- Germany's Factory Orders decreased 2.2% month-over-month (-0.6% forecast, 3.1% prior).
- Great Britain's Inflation Expectations came in at 3.6% (3.2% previous).
- Great Britain's Halifax House Price Index increased 1.1% month-over-month (0.6% forecast, 1.3% prior), marking the 10th straight increase
- France's government budget deficit widened to EUR 86.1 billion from EUR 80.8 billion while the trade deficit decreased to EUR 4.7 billion from EUR 5.6 billion (EUR 4.5 billion forecast).
- Swiss CPI was flat month-over-month (-0.2% consensus, -0.1% last) while the year-over-year reading increased 0.1% (-0.1% expected, -0.3% prior).
- Looking at news:
- The Bundesbank raised its 2013 growth forecast for the German economy to 0.5% from 0.3% and bumped up its 2014 growth forecast to 1.7% from 1.5%
- Investors received just a handful of economic data points:
- FedEx (FDX 138.22): Company said it will increase shipping rates for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery by an average of 4.9% effective Jan. 6, 2014.
- Five Below (FIVE 43.00, -4.75): Down 10% after guiding fourth quarter and FY14 EPS below consensus estimates
- J.C. Penney (JCP 8.59, -0.26): Down 2.9% after disclosing in 10-Q filing that SEC requested information regarding company's liquidity, cash position, and debt and equity financing
- Sears Holding (SHLD 49.98): Filed registration statement for spin-off of Lands' End business
- Intel (INTC 24.65, +0.39): Up 1.8% after Citigroup upgraded to Buy from Neutral
- American Eagle Outfitters (AEO 15.05, -1.35): Down 8.2% after guiding fourth quarter EPS below consensus estimate
8:03 am Radian Group releases delinquency data for Nov; primary new insurance written was $3.0 bln (RDN) : November 2013
Primary New Insurance Written ($ in billions) $3.00
Beginning Primary Delinquent Inventory (# of loans) 63,874
Plus: New Delinquencies 4,501
Less: Cures (3,793)
Less: Paids (including those charged to a deductible or captive) (1,747)
Less: Rescissions and Denials (279)Ending Primary Delinquent Inventory (# of loans) 62,556
8:03 am Bunge announced that Alberto Weisser will resign from its Board of Directors effective December 31, 2013, concurrent with his planned retirement as executive chairman (BG) : Co announces that Alberto Weisser will resign from its Board of Directors effective December 31, 2013, concurrent with his planned retirement as executive chairman. Weisser has served as executive chairman since June 2013, and previously served as chairman and CEO since 1999.
The Board has appointed Patrick Lupo to succeed Weisser as non-executive chairman, effective January 1, 2014. Lupo has been a member of Bunge's Board since 2006 and currently serves as deputy chairman and lead independent director, as well as chairman of the Compensation Committee.
8:02 am Medifast commences implementation of Weight Control Center strategic plan (MED) : Co announced that it has commenced implementation of its Weight Control Center strategic plan. The first step in implementation will be to close eight under-performing corporate-owned Medifast Weight Control Centers, effective December 31, 2013. The Company also expects to sell the assets of approximately 10 to 15 existing corporate-owned Medifast Weight Control Centers to an existing business partner in the first half of 2014, which would then be transitioned to the franchise model. The Company expects to incur a one-time charge of ~ $2.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 related to the center closures.
8:02 am U.S. Physical Therapy increases credit line from $75 mln to $125 mln (USPH) : USPH reported that the Company has increased the available capacity and extended the maturity date of its bank credit facility. The commitment amount of the revolving credit agreement has been increased by $50,000,000 from $75,000,000 to $125,000,000. The maturity date has been extended from August 31, 2015 to November 30, 2018. The loan facility is provided by Bank of America. Funds from the credit agreement may be used for working capital, acquisitions and other corporate purposes. At present there is $10,500,000 outstanding under the line.
8:01 am CoreSite Realty increases quarterly dividend by 30% to $0.35 per share from $0.27 per share (COR) :
7:58 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei +0.8%, Hang Seng +0.1%, Shanghai -0.4% (:SUMRX) : Markets across Asia saw a mixed session as a cautious trade persisted ahead of today's U.S. nonfarm payroll report. Japan's Nikkei (+0.8%) led the region higher as a weaker yen provided support. A Bloomberg report released overnight suggested Takatoshi Ito, the man in charge of a pension reform panel, recommended Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund should cut its JGB holdings to the lower limit while raising its equity holdings to the maximum allowance. Chinese markets were mixed as Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.1%) eked out a small gain and the Shanghai Composite (-0.4%) posted a modest loss. After markets close Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a summit to ease tensions with China. Data from the region was light, limited to a narrower than expected Malaysian trade surplus (MYR8.23 bln actual v. MYR9.5bln expected). Looking at the currencies...USDCNY slipped to 60818; USDINR fell to 61.53; USDJPY is is stronger at 102.25; AUDUSD is higher near .9065. In Japan, the Nikkei closed +0.8% as shares gained for the first time in three days. Heavyweight Fast Retailing provided support with a 1.2% gain.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng finished +0.1% amid a sleepy session. Heavyweight Tencent Holdings rallied 2.3%, and was the top performer. Meanwhile, coal-based energy names weighed as record pollution levels were recorded in Shanghai. China Shenhua Energy and China Coal Energy gave up 2.3% and 1.8%, respectively...In China, the Shanghai Composite settled -0.4% as trade slips off six-month highs. Yanzhou Coal shed 1.0% as because of the pollution concerns. Elsewhere, brokerage stocks were weak after yesterday's disappointing results. Haitong Securities led the space lower with a loss of 3.8%.
In India, the Sensex closed +0.2% amid an uneventful trade. ICICI Bank edged up 0.7%.
In Australia, the ASX finished -0.2% as sellers remained in control. Qantas Airways sank 3.7% after the co was stripped of its investment grade rating at S&P. Click here to see a daily ASX chart.
In Taiwan, the Taiex settled -0.1%...In South Korea, the Kospi closed -0.2%.
In other regional markets...Thailand -1.1%...Indonesia -0.9%...Singapore -0.3%...Philippines -0.3%...Vietnam UNCH...Malaysia +0.1%
7:46 am Jacobs announces shareholders of Sinclair Knight Merz voted to approve the proposed merger transaction with Jacobs (JEC) : Co announced that the shareholders of Australian professional services firm Sinclair Knight Merz voted to approve the proposed merger transaction with Jacobs, in accordance with the terms previously announced on Sep 8, 2013. The proposed transaction is subject to final approval by the Australian Federal Court in a hearing scheduled for Dec 10, 2013, with closing expected to occur shortly thereafter.
7:32 am Baxano Surgical announces published clinical results on two core technologies; in the surgeons' combined review, AxiaLIF Plus demonstrated higher fusion rates than ALIF, although the difference was not statistically significant (BAXS) : Co announced the publication of two clinical studies focused on two of its core technologies: the AxiaLIF Plus presacral access and interbody fusion system and the iO-Flex minimally invasive decompression instrument. Both studies are featured in the December 1st edition of the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques. The first paper describes a head-to-head study by two independent spine surgeons comparing AxiaLIF Plus to ALIF in 96 total patients. AxiaLIF Plus 1-Level (L5-S1) with pedicular fixation was compared to ALIF (L5-S1) with pedicular fixation and was authored by Peter G. Whang, MD. All patients had two year or greater follow up with thin slice CT scans. In the surgeons' combined review, AxiaLIF Plus demonstrated higher fusion rates than ALIF, although the difference was not statistically significant. Further, the AxiaLIF cohort experienced no serious adverse events, compared with the ALIF cohort, in which one serious adverse event was reported.
The second paper describes data from a prospective, observational study on 59 subjects who underwent a facet-sparing decompression using the iO-Flex minimally invasive decompression instrument for lumbar spinal stenosis. Operative technique, operative data and surgical adverse events were evaluated. With the iO-Flex instrument there were no device-related operative complications. A subset of patients were evaluated radiographically using CT scans, access to the lateral recess and foramen was achieved with removal of less than 6% of the superior facet cross-sectional area. The study was authored by Lawrence M. Dickinson, MD.
7:31 am Genesco beats by $0.05, reports revs in-line; lowers FY14 EPS in-line with consensus; Q3 comps -1% (GCO) : Reports Q3 (Oct) earnings of $1.43 per share, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.38; revenues rose 0.3% year/year to $666.3 mln vs the $662.57 mln consensus.
Co issues guidance for FY14, lowers EPS to $5.10-5.20 from prior guidance of $5.20-5.30 vs. $5.20 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
Comparable store sales in the third quarter of Fiscal 2014 decreased by 1% for the Company, with a 5% increase in the Lids Sports Group, a 2% decrease in the Journeys Group, a 10% decrease in the Schuh Group, and a 7% increase in the Johnston & Murphy Group.
Guidance Commentary: "Consistent with our previous guidance, these expectations do not include non-cash asset impairments, network intrusion expenses and other legal matters or the net gain on a Journeys New York City store lease termination reported in the second quarter. We estimate that these items will be in the range of $1.0 million to $2.0 million pretax, or $0.03 to $0.05 per share, after tax, in Fiscal 2014. They also do not reflect compensation expense associated with the Schuh deferred purchase price as described above, which is currently estimated at approximately $11.5 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, or expense related to the change in accounting for the Company's EVA Incentive Plan bonus accruals, which we believe could range as high as $14.1 million pretax, or $0.37 per share, after tax, for the full year. This guidance assumes a comparable sales decrease in the low single digit range for the full fiscal year, including a low single digit increase in the fourth quarter."
7:30 am Ameren subsidiary, Ameren Illinois, prices public offering of $280 mln aggregate principal amount of 4.80% senior secured notes due 2043 at 99.464% of their principal amount (AEE) :
7:30 am S&P futures vs fair value: +8.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +15.30. :
7:27 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- In a multi-million dollar, multi-year managed services contract, Ciber (CBR) has been engaged to deliver and mature project management and business analysis capabilities at one of the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan associations in the U.S.
- Hyatt Hotels (H) announced the opening of Hyatt Place Bayamon in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
- Rentrak (RENT) will be featured during the TV of Tomorrow Show.
- Boston Scientific (BSX) and The Medicines Co. (MDCO) announced a co-promotion agreement for the Boston Scientific Promus PREMIER Everolimus-Eluting Platinum Chromium Coronary Stent System. The Medicines Company's acute cardiovascular care sales force will collaborate with the Boston Scientific Interventional Cardiology sales force to provide promotional support for the Promus PREMIER Stent System in U.S. hospitals beginning Jan 1, 2014.
- ReneSola (SOL) will partner with LTS Energy to develop a 330 kW solar project for "Ranch 41," a farm in Fallbrook, California. ReneSola will provide its Virtus II 305W polycrystalline modules for this fixed tilt ground mount PV project.
- Ball (BLL) Aerospace & Technologies has demonstrated unprecedented telescope technologies using ultra-lightweight polymer membrane optics. Ball is incrementally demonstrating technology needed to deploy a large, 20-meter-diameter, lightweight space-based telescope in geosynchronous orbit as part of the Membrane Optic Imager Real-time Exploitation program, led by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
- GE (GE) announced the selection of a site in Downtown Oklahoma City for the co's first-ever Global Research Center dedicated to Oil & Gas technology.
7:26 am Dollar Ticks Higher Ahead of Nonfarm Payroll Report: 10-yr: +04/32..2.864%..USD/JPY: 102.14..EUR/USD: 1.3670 (:SUMRX) : The Dollar Index clings to small gains near 80.30. Today's session has seen just a 10 cent range as traders opt to remain on hold ahead of the nonfarm payroll report.
- EURUSD is +5 pips @ 1.3670 as action lingers near one-month highs. The single currency has been trapped in a tight 30 pip range, seeing little response to the German factory orders miss (-2.2% MoM actual v. -0.4% MoM expected). Minor resistance rests in the 1.3700/1.3750 area while the 1.3600 region is home to newly formed support. Click here to see a daily EURUSD chart.
- GBPUSD is +25 pips @ 1.6360 as trade holds at its best levels since the summer of 2011. The early advance comes after Britain's Halifax PMI topped estimates with a 1.1% MoM advance (0.8% MoM expected) and consumer inflation expectations printed a hot 3.6% (3.1% previous). The 1.6400 area has provided a cap on recent trade while the 1.6200 area is home to some solid support.
- USDCHF is -15 pips @ .8950 as trade nears the October lows (.8900) following the hotter than anticipated Swiss CPI (0.0% MoM actual v. -0.2% MoM expected). The .8900 level will be watched closely as support in that area has held up since the fall of 2011. Swiss foreign currency reserves were also released overnight, ticking up to CHF435.7 bln (CHF434.7 bln previous).
- USDJPY is +30 pips @ 102.10 after buyers stepped up near 101.50 support. Headlines out early this morning suggest Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for a summit to ease tensions with China.
- AUDUSD is +10 pips @ .9070 as action ticks higher for a second session. Action has been stuck in a tight 40 pip range as a lack of data and news down under has traders looking elsewhere for opportunity. USDCNY slipped to 6.0818.
- USDCAD is flat @ 1.0650 as trade holds just off its best levels since May 2010 ahead of the Canadian jobs report. The 1.0625 level is home to minor near-term help with 1.0500 being the more important level.
7:17 am W&T Offshore announced a sub-salt oil discovery at the 'Dantzler' exploration prospect in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico (WTI) : Co announced a sub-salt oil discovery at the "Dantzler" exploration prospect in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well is located on Mississippi Canyon block 782 in 6,580 feet of water and was drilled to a total depth of 19,234 feet. Wireline logging data indicates ~ 120 feet of net pay in two high-quality Miocene reservoirs which are primarily crude oil. W&T Offshore holds a 20% working interest in this well, which is operated by Noble Energy (NBL).
The Dantzler discovery is located roughly 12 miles west of W&T's previous discoveries at Big Bend and Troubadour in the Mississippi Canyon 698 and 699 blocks. The operator has provided discovered gross resource estimates at Dantzler of between 55 and 95 million barrels of oil equivalent.
7:04 am Ferrellgas Partners misses by $0.12, beats on revs; guides FY14 adj. EBITDA (FGP) : Reports Q1 (Oct) loss of $0.31 per share, $0.12 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.19); revenues rose 14.4% year/year to $415 mln vs the $385.8 mln consensus. Propane sales grew 6% to 191.0 million gallons based upon increased wholesale and agricultural demand in the quarter.
"Fiscal 2014 is off to a solid start with nationwide winter temperatures forecasted near normal levels this coming season. Based on these weather forecasts, our first-quarter results and the strength of our underlying fundamentals, we project Adjusted EBITDA between $265 million and $275 million for fiscal 2014."
7:02 am Physicians Realty Trust prices public offering of 8.3 mln common shares of beneficial interest at $11.50 per share (DOC) :
7:02 am Sangamo BioSci presents clinical data from key SB-728-T HIV studies: proof of concept for ongoing sustained functional control of HIV viral load; Cytoxan preconditioning successfully Enhances Engraftment (SGMO) : Co announced the presentation of data from all dose cohorts in the co's ongoing clinical trials (SB-728-1101 and SB-728-902 Cohort 5) of SB-728-T, which is being developed for the functional control of HIV/AIDS. The data are being presented at the Sixth International Workshop on HIV Persistence during Therapy, considered to be the reference workshop on HIV reservoirs and eradication strategies, which is being held in Miami, FL, Dec 3-6 2013.
Sangamo's Phase 1 data suggested that if a threshold level of engraftment of SB-728-T was achieved, specifically of CD4 cells fully protected from HIV entry by zinc finger nuclease (:ZFN)-mediated modification of both CCR5 genes (biallelic modification), then functional control of HIV infection may be possible. New data from the SB-728-1101 study demonstrating a clear relationship between increasing the dose of Cytoxan and increased levels of both engrafted SB-728-T and total CD4 T-cell counts further support this hypothesis and suggest that with these, or higher doses, levels of SB-728-T that will enable functional control of the virus may be reliably attained. Each of the two trials addressed a different approach to maximizing engraftment of infused SB-728-T that had undergone biallelic modification of the CCR5 gene. Inclusion of newly eligible subjects in the analysis strengthened previous data demonstrating a statistically significant correlation (p=0.008) between estimated number of engrafted biallelically modified cells and the reduction in viral load (:VL) during a treatment interruption (TI) from antiretroviral therapy (:ART).
Collectively, data from clinical studies demonstrate that in all trial subjects, SB-728-T treatment results in a durable increase in total CD4 T-cells and sustained levels of SB-728-T which correlate with ZFN-modification of long lived central memory and memory stem cell subsets. Data from immunological analyses of subjects in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies of SB-728-T suggest that certain cell surface marker and gene expression profiles may predict which patients will likely respond best to SB-728-T treatment.
7:02 am Roundy's intends to offer $200 mln in aggregate principal amount of senior secured second lien notes due 2020 in a private offering (RNDY) : Co intends to offer, subject to market and other customary conditions, $200 million in aggregate principal amount of senior secured second lien notes due 2020 in a private offering that is exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
Roundy's intends to use the proceeds from the offering to prepay a portion of the term loan under its first lien credit facility and to fund its previously announced purchase of 11 Chicago area Dominick's stores from Safeway Inc. ("Safeway") (NYSE: SWY) in a $36 million cash and lease assumption transaction and the related purchase of $10 million of net inventory. The company will also amend its first lien credit agreement to increase financial flexibility by relaxing certain covenants. The Notes offering is contingent upon the effectiveness of the amendment to the first lien credit facility. However, the portions of the amendment that provide increased financial flexibility will not become effective until closing of the Chicago stores purchase if such purchase is not consummated prior to or concurrently with closing of the Notes offering.
7:01 am ZIOPHARM announces unanimous recombinant DNA advisory committee approval for phase 1 study of Ad-RTS-IL-12 in subjects with recurrent or progressive Glioblastoma (ZIOP) : Co announced the unanimous approval of the National Institutes of Health's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee for the initiation of a Phase 1 study of Ad-RTS-IL-12, an adenoviral vector engineered to express interleukin-12 under the control of veledimex, an oral activator, in subjects with recurrent or progressive glioblastoma or grade III malignant glioma (brain cancer). ZIOPHARM has announced plans to launch a Phase 1 study of Ad-RTS-IL-12 in malignant glioma in the first half of 2014. The Company is currently studying Ad-RTS-IL-12 in Phase 2 studies in melanoma and breast cancer.
"Important variables to the efficacy and safety of such therapies include the immune-privileged status of the central nervous system, the processes that contribute to the suppression of immune responses and the ability to modulate a brain tumor specific immune response. In animal tumor models, Ad-RTS-IL-12 and veledimex demonstrate a significant ability to overcome these barriers by localizing and tightly controlling expression of the potent immune cytokine interleukin-12. I look forward to seeing this promising therapeutic approach move quickly into clinical trials in patients with malignant brain tumors."
7:01 am Illinois Tool reaffirm 2013 EPS guidance, sees FY14 EPS in-line at its annual Investor and Analyst Day (ITW) : Co reaffirms guidance for FY13 (Dec), sees EPS of $3.56-3.64 vs. $3.68 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Co issues in-line guidance for FY14 (Dec), sees EPS of $4.30-4.50 vs. $4.47 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
- The Company is forecasting organic revenues to grow in a range of 2-3% in 2014.
- Co is also forecasting operating margins of ~19% for full-year 2014.
7:01 am Rex Energy provides operational update; the five wells produced with an average casing pressure of 3,293 psi during the five-day sales period on an average 18/64 inch choke (REXX) : Co provided an update on its operations. Appalachian Basin - Warrior South Prospect: The five-well J. Anderson pad, located in Guernsey County, Ohio, was placed into sales from its resting period at an average five-day sales rate per well (excluding downtime) of 1,886 Boe/d (40% NGLs, 40% gas, 20% condensate) assuming full ethane recovery and an average natural gas shrink of 12%. The five wells produced with an average casing pressure of 3,293 psi during the five-day sales period on an average 18/64 inch choke. The five-well pad was drilled to an average total measured depth of approximately 12,873 feet with an average lateral length of approximately 4,250 feet and was completed in an average of 28 stages, utilizing the company's 150' "Super Frac" design. Based on composition analysis, the gas being produced averaged 1,257 BTU.
Appalachian Basin -- Butler Operated Area In the Butler Operated Area, the company has recently placed into sales four of the six wells on the Baillie Trust pad. The four wells placed into sales are the stacked laterals in the Marcellus and Upper Devonian formations, which consist of two Marcellus wells (Baillie Trust 2H and Baillie Trust 4H) and two Upper Devonian wells (Baillie Trust 5H and Baillie Trust 6H) offset above the laterals in the Marcellus. The average lateral length of these wells was 4,605 feet and they were completed with an average of 30 stages, utilizing the company's 150' "Super Frac" completion design. The production from these wells is expected to substantially fill the existing 90 MMcf/d of processing capacity at the Sarsen and Bluestone facilities. As previously announced, additional processing capacity is on schedule for completion in the second quarter of 2014 with the commissioning of the Bluestone II facility.
6:46 am Novartis AG investigational compound LBH589 significantly extended time without disease progression in Phase III multiple myeloma study; Study of LBH589 plus bortezomib and dexamethasone met primary endpoint of extending PFS compared to bortezomib plus dexamethasone and placebo (NVS) : Co announced that results of a Phase III trial of the investigational compound LBH589 (panobinostat) in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone, met the primary endpoint of significantly extending progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma when compared to bortezomib plus dexamethasone alone. Full results from the PANORAMA-1 (PANobinostat ORAl in Multiple MyelomA) trial, continue to be evaluated and will be presented at an upcoming medical congress and discussed with regulatory authorities worldwide.
LBH589 showed significant clinical benefit bringing it a step closer to becoming the first in its class of anticancer agents to be available to patients with multiple myeloma. As a pan-deacetylase (pan-DAC) inhibitor, LBH589 works by blocking a key cancer cell enzyme which ultimately leads to cellular stress and death of these cells
"Results from this study show improved outcomes for these multiple myeloma patients who otherwise have few options to treat this incurable disease," said Alessandro Riva, Global Head, Oncology Development and Medical Affairs, Novartis Oncology. "Given its mechanism of action, LBH589 has the potential to be an important treatment option for multiple myeloma."
Prior data demonstrated that oral LBH589, when combined with bortezomib and dexamethasone, recaptures responses in heavily pretreated and bortezomib-refractory multiple myeloma patients, thereby providing these patients with a potential new option after failing prior standard treatments. The compound's possible benefits and risks are also being explored in additional hematologic malignancies through ongoing clinical trials.
6:42 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Boeing (BA) and Saab AB have signed a Joint Development Agreement to jointly develop and build a new advanced, cost-efficient T-X Family of Systems training solution for the upcoming competition to replace the U.S. Air Force's aging T-38 aircrew training system. The JDA, with Boeing as the prime contractor and Saab AB as primary partner, covers areas including design, development, production, support, sales and marketing.
- Compagna de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A. (BVN) announced that Uchucchacua's worker and contractor unions initiated a strike on December 4, 2013. The purpose of the strike is to seek the restatement of 12 workers terminated for serious misconduct against labor law. While Buenaventura fully respects labor and union workers' rights, it has strict guidelines regarding workers who have violated the law.
- Toshiba Corporation (TOSBF) announced the launch of "TPD1055FA", a 1-channel high-side switch IPD that adopts a small-sized package for use in automotive applications. Mass production is scheduled to start at the end of this month.
6:26 am S&P futures vs fair value: +6.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +12.50. :
6:26 am European Markets : FTSE...6521.50...+23.20...+0.40%. DAX...9129.50...+46.10...+0.50%.
6:26 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15299.86...+122.40...+0.80%. Hang Seng...23743.10...+30.50...+0.10%.
6:23 am Sears Hldg announces filing of registration statement for spin-off of Lands' End business (SHLD) : Co announced that, in connection with its previously announced consideration of a separation of its Lands' End business, Lands' End filed a registration statement on Form 10 with the SEC. Co intends to spin off its Lands' End business through the pro rata distribution of all of the shares of common stock of Lands' End. Co expects that the spin-off will be tax-free to U.S. stockholders except for any cash received in lieu of fractional shares. The spin-off is subject to the approval of the Board of Directors of Sears Holdings and the satisfaction of certain other conditions. Sears Holdings may, at any time until the spin-off, decide to abandon the spin-off or modify or change the terms of the spin-off. Holders of Sears Holdings common stock as of the record date for the spin-off will not be required to make any payment, surrender or exchange any shares of Sears Holdings common stock or take any other action to participate in the spin-off.
6:23 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Acacia Research (ACTG) announced that its Vertical Analytics subsidiary has entered into an agreement with Bruker AXS. The agreement resolves litigation that was pending in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
- After a nine-month procurement process, California American Water, a subsidiary of American Water Works (AWK), has selected CDM Constructors to design and build the desalination facility proposed as part of its $320 mln Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.
6:16 am Quanta Services announces three-year $500 mln share repurchase program (PWR) :
6:02 am AsiaInfo announces receipt of clearance from MOFCOM for the merger (ASIA) : Co announced that it has received clearance from the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China pursuant to the Anti-Monopoly Law of the People's Republic of China with respect to the merger contemplated by the previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated May 12, 2013, by and among the Company, Skipper Limited and Skipper Acquisition Corporation.
Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, Merger Sub will be merged with and into the Company, with the Company continuing as the surviving company after the merger as a wholly owned subsidiary of Parent. If completed, the Merger will result in the Company becoming a privately-held company and the common stock of the Company will no longer be listed on the NASDAQ Global Market.
6:02 am Baker Hughes announced that the international rig count for November 2013 was 1,311, down 4 from the 1,315 counted in October 2013, and up 44 from the 1,267 counted in November 2012 (BHI) : Co announced today that the international rig count for November 2013 was 1,311, down 4 from the 1,315 counted in October 2013, and up 44 from the 1,267 counted in November 2012. The international offshore rig count for November 2013 was 316, unchanged from October 2013, and up 16 from the 300 counted in November 2012. The average U.S. rig count for November 2013 was 1,756, up 12 from the 1,744 counted in October 2013, and down 53 from the 1,809 counted in November 2012. The average Canadian rig count for November 2013 was 385, up 7 from the 378 counted in October 2013, and unchanged from November 2012.
5:27 am Bitauto Holdings prices 2,749,200 ADSs by the co and a selling shareholder at $30.00 per ADS (BITA) :
4:18 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Walmart.com (WMT) is offering customers another chance to shop the hottest and most surprising deals from Black Friday weekend with a one-day only "Green Monday" cyber event on Dec. 9.
- The Microsoft (MSFT) Digital Crimes Unit announced it has successfully disrupted a rampant botnet in collaboration with Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and leaders in the technology industry, including A10 Networks Inc. The Sirefef botnet, also known as ZeroAccess, is responsible for infecting more than 2 million computers, specifically targeting search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines, and is estimated to cost online advertisers $2.7 million each month.
- Southwest Airlines (LUV) has acquired 12 takeoff and landing slots at New York's LaGuardia Airport being divested by American Airlines as part of its merger with US Airways. In addition, Southwest gained permanent control of 10 takeoff and landing slots that it currently operates under a lease from American. Details of the transactions are confidential. Southwest plans to begin its new service at LGA in May 2014. Details of the new service will be available later this month.
- Compa a de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A. (BVN) announced that Uchucchacua's worker and contractor unions initiated a strike on December 4, 2013. The purpose of the strike is to seek the restatement of 12 workers terminated for serious misconduct against labor law. While Buenaventura fully respects labor and union workers' rights, it has strict guidelines regarding workers who have violated the law.
2:05 am InterOil selects Total (TOT) for PNG Gas development (IOC) : InterOil Corporation (IOC) has agreed to sell to Total S.A. (TOT) a gross 61.3% interest in Petroleum Retention License 15 which contains the Elk-Antelope gas fields in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea, and has also granted Total an exclusive right to negotiate a farm-in to all its exploration licenses in Papua New Guinea.
Agreements covering the sale and purchase of the PRL 15 interests, proposed liquefied natural gas project, and the exploration farm-in rights, were signed today in Port Moresby by InterOil's chief executive Dr. Michael Hession and Total Exploration & Production Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, Jean-Marie Guillermou.
The transaction price depends on appraisal and certification of Elk-Antelope, with illustrative payments of approximately $1.5-3.6 bln, for a range of 5.4 trillion to 9.0 trillion cubic feet of hydrocarbon gas equivalent.
The agreement with Total provides for fixed and variable resource-based payments:
- Fixed payments to InterOil include $613 million on transaction completion, which is expected in Q1 2014; $112 million on a final investment decision for a new LNG plant; and $100 million at first LNG cargo from the proposed LNG facility.
- In addition to these fixed amounts, variable payments for amounts in excess of 3.5 Tcfe for the gas resource will depend on certification by two independent certifiers following up to three appraisal wells to be drilled in PRL15.
- In addition, Total has agreed to make a payment of $100 million per tcfe for volumes over one tcfe for additional resources discovered in PRL15 from one exploration well. Any payment would be made at first gas from the proposed Elk-Antelope LNG facility.
Total will carry the cost of the drilling for the appraisal well program. The program and certification of Elk-Antelope is expected to be completed in 2015.
2:02 am Noodles & Co prices 4.5 mln shares of common stock at $39.50 per share (NDLS) :
1:59 am Cash Store Financial announces credit facility (CSFS) : Co announces that it has entered into a credit agreement with Coliseum Capital Management and other lenders pursuant to which the Lenders have agreed to provide $12.0 million of loans in the aggregate. The loans will be guaranteed by the Company's subsidiaries. The Credit Agreement provides that a total of up to $32.5 million may be advanced, but the Lenders, at this time, have made no commitment to provide additional loans. The $32.5 million facility falls within the first lien carve-out provisions of the Company's January 2012 Indenture governing the Company's 11.5% senior secured notes due 2017.
1:58 am AvalonBay prices $350 mln of 4.20% Unsecured Notes due 2023 (AVB) :
1:56 am Ring Energy prices 5 mln shares of common stock at $10.00 per share (REI) :
1:49 am OSI Systems receives order cancellations for advanced technology aviation checkpoint inspection (OSIS) : Co announces that its security division, Rapiscan Systems, was notified by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration that a delivery order placed with Rapiscan on September 26, 2013 for Advanced Technology X-Ray based systems was being terminated for default. As a result, the Company has de-booked this order which had a value of ~$60 mln. TSA further stated it will issue a revised solicitation for the systems in the future.
1:47 am Selectica names Blaine Mathieu CEO (SLTC) : Formerly, he was chief products officer at Mindjet, where he led go-to-market and product planning for the company's transition to a Software-as-a-Service business model.
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