InPlay from Briefing.com

1:45 pm Archer-Daniels acquires the assets of Caterina Foods; terms not disclosed (ADM) : Caterina Foods is a toll manufacturer of specialty gluten-free and high-protein pastas.

1:06 pm Vedanta appoints Deputy CFO Arun Kumar as CFO of Vedanta Group (VEDL) :

  • Kumar joined Vedanta in 2013 as CFO for the co's aluminium & power biz. In 2014, he moved into his most recent role as EVP of Finance & Deputy CFO.
  • Arun takes over from DD Jalan, Vedanta's group CFO, and whole-time director of Vedanta Limited, who superannuates effective Sept 30.

1:05 pm Index Changes Reminder: The following changes will occur in the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400, S&P SmallCap 600 after the close of trading today (:INDXCH) :

  • LSC Communications (:LKSD) and Donnelley Financial (:DFIN) will be added to the S&P SmallCap 600 after the close of trading on Friday, September 30 replacing Gulfmark Offshore (GLF) and Bonanza Creek Energy (BCEI) respectively, which will be removed from the S&P SmallCap 600 after the close of trading on Monday, October 3
  • Coty (COTY) will replace Diamond Offshore (DO) in the S&P 500, and DO will replace Polycom (PLCM) in the S&P MidCap 400

1:00 pm Earnings Calendar for the week of October 3rd (:SUMRX) :

Confirmed companies reporting earnings next week include:

  • Monday (October 3)
    • None confirmed        
  • None confirmed        
  • Tuesday (October 4)
    • Pre-Market: DRI
    • After-Hours: MU
  • Pre-Market: DRI
  • After-Hours: MU
  • Wednesday (October 5)
    • Pre-Market: MON, STZ, RPM, AYI, GPN, AZZ, ANGO
    • After-Hours: YUM, RECN
  • Pre-Market: MON, STZ, RPM, AYI, GPN, AZZ, ANGO
  • After-Hours: YUM, RECN
  • Thursday (October 6) 
    • Pre-Market: ISCA
    • After-Hours: HELE, MG, CMTL, RT  
  • Pre-Market: ISCA
  • After-Hours: HELE, MG, CMTL, RT  
  • Friday (October 7)
    • None confirmed
  • None confirmed

12:54 pm Midday Market Summary: Financials Pace Midday Advance (:WRAPX) :

The stock market trades higher at midday, making yesterday's decline a distant memory. The S&P 500 is higher by 0.9%, on track to add 0.3% for the week.

Equity indices charged out of the gate, boosted by improved sentiment surrounding Deutsche Bank (DB 13.14, +1.66). Shares of the German banking giant have erased yesterday's losses after two positively-framed reports made the rounds. Chief Executive Officer John Cryan sent a letter to employees, in which he assured them of the bank's capital position, and pointed out that liquid reserves are well above levels from 2007.

The news propelled a rebound in European trade, which carried into the opening hours of the New York session. Deutsche Bank stock has received another boost, extending its gain to 14.4% after AFP reported that the bank is nearing an agreement with the Department of Justice to reduce the mortgage-backed securities settlement to $5.40 billion from $14.00 billion. The focus is likely to remain on Deutsche Bank in the coming days, but markets in Germany will be closed on Monday in observance of Unification Day.

Ten of eleven sectors trade in the green at midday with financials (+1.5%) out in front while energy (+1.3%), consumer staples (+1.1%), and industrials (+1.0%) follow.

The energy sector has spent the first half of action among the leaders even though crude oil has struggled to stay in the green. The energy component remains higher by 0.6% at $48.11/bbl after creeping above $48.25/bbl earlier. Thanks to today's gain, the energy sector is set to finish the month (+3.0%) in the lead, ahead of technology (+2.6%).

The top-weighted technology sector (+0.7%) has struggled to keep pace with the broader market, which is a function of modest gains in large components overshadowing bigger increases among higher-beta names. The PHLX Semiconductor Index has rallied 2.1% amid continued M&A rumors surrounding NXP Semiconductor (NXPI 102.54, +6.42). The stock has spiked 6.7% today and is now up nearly 25.0% since yesterday's Wall Street Journal report revealed Qualcomm's (QCOM 69.12, +1.67) interest in the Dutch semiconductor company.

Today's advance in equities comes as participants position for the start of the fourth quarter. Treasuries have retreated, sending the 10-yr yield up five basis points to 1.61%.

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

  • Personal income increased 0.2% month-over-month in August, as expected, while personal spending was unchanged (Briefing.com consensus +0.2%). Real personal spending ("real PCE"), though, was down 0.1%
    • The decline in real PCE will weigh on Q3 GDP growth forecasts and leave the market in a confused state on the timing of the next rate hike since real PCE was weak in August while the inflation measures trended up
  • The decline in real PCE will weigh on Q3 GDP growth forecasts and leave the market in a confused state on the timing of the next rate hike since real PCE was weak in August while the inflation measures trended up
  • The MNI Chicago Business Barometer jumped to 54.2 in September (Briefing.com consensus 52.0) from 51.5 in August. In the same period a year ago, the barometer stood at 47.8
  • The final reading for the September Index of Consumer Sentiment checked in at 91.2. That was above the Briefing.com consensus estimate of 90.0 and up from the final reading of 89.8 for August

12:38 pm Monster Worldwide Board reiterates that the transaction with Randstad Holding (RANJY) 'represents the best path forward' in response to MediaNews Group offer (MWW) : Co states, "MNG, which is owned by activist hedge fund Alden Global Capital, is not offering Monster stockholders anything for their shares. Instead, MNG's consent solicitation is an attempt to derail the Randstad transaction and take control of the Company without paying stockholders a control premium. The consent solicitation launched by MNG follows its accumulation of Monster shares after the Randstad transaction announcement, and does nothing to benefit existing Monster stockholders. As such, Monster's Board unanimously recommends that stockholders tender into Randstad's offer, which provides stockholders immediate and certain value."

12:12 pm Sector Summary: Industrials trade higher than the broader market (:SUMRX) :

The Industrials sector (XLI) is trading 1% higher today, higher than the broader market (SPY +0.9%). In another light news day for the industrial sector,  Kimball Electronics (KE +3.3%) extends their share repurchase program, and Huntington Ingalls (HII +0.3%) receives a contract from the U.S. Navy for submarine repair work valued at up to $400 mln.  

News

  • Kimball Electronics (KE +3.3%) extends repurchase program allowing for an additional $20 mln for a total of $40 mln in authorized share repurchases.
  • Huntington Ingalls (HII +0.3%) receives an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to perform repair efforts - contract contains a five-year ordering period with a cumulative ceiling value of $400,000,000. 

Broker Research

Upgrades

  • Bernstein upgrades Rockwell Autonation (ROK +3.9%) to Mkt Perform from Underperform.
  • Hearing Grupo Aeroportuario (OMAB +2.9%) was upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. 

Downgrades

  • Raymond James downgrades Knoll (KNL -0.2%) to Mkt Perform from Outperform. 

Other

  • CLSA initiates Wabash National (WNC -0.5%), Trinity Industries (TRN +0.1%), Greenbrier (GBX -0.5%), and GATX (GATX +1%) with an Underperform.
  • CLSA initiates Terex (TEX +4%), Ryder System (R +2.2%), Wabtec (WAB +2.1%), and Cummins (CMI +3.2%) with a Buy.
  • CLSA initiates PACCAR (PCAR +2%) with an Outperform.
  • Stifel raises their Trinity (TRN +0.3%) target to $21 from $20. Firm notes that growth in the wind business and support from other non-rail segments should help, but the main driver of earnings, in the NT, remains the railcar market. As a result,firm remains cautious on the stock, as they believe sentiment is not likely to improve significantly until railcar markets at least show some signs of life.

12:04 pm European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE: -0.3%
  • Germany's DAX: +1.0%
  • France's CAC: + 0.1%
  • Spain's IBEX: -0.2%
  • Portugal's PSI: -0.3%
  • Italy's MIB Index: + 0.4%
  • Irish Ovrl Index: +0.3%
  • Greece ASE General Index: -0.5%

12:00 pm US Foods to acquire Jeraci Foods; terms not disclosed (USFD) :

Jeraci Foods offers a complete line of authentic Italian and other imported and domestic food products to customers throughout the metro New York area.

  • The transactions is expected to close on October 7.
  • Terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed.

11:57 am Commerzbank AG sells Commerzbank Tower to Samsung (SSNLF) SRA Asset Management (CRZBY) :

  • Commerzbank agreed the sale of the Commerzbank Tower to Samsung SRA Asset Management, a subsidiary of the life insurance division of the Samsung Group (SSNLF). Since first occupancy in 1997, the building has belonged to two closed-end funds of Commerzbank's subsidiary Commerz Real.

11:48 am Netflix jumps aggressively up to the $99-level upon clearing resistance along the 97/98 zone (NFLX) :

  • Volume jumps as price extends this morning's strength through recent resistance along the 97/98 zone marked by the last week's Sept 21 "bearish gap and the 200-day simple moving average.
  • Next are of interest lies along the earlier Sept highs near the $100-mark.

11:48 am Scripps responds to political advertising disclosure claims; notes a complaint filed against the co and its Cincinnati television station WCPO 'mischaracterizes' the way the station handled its political advertising file (SSP) :

  • The complaint, filed with the Federal Communications Commission by the Georgetown Law Institute for Public Representation on behalf of several nonprofit organizations, alleges WCPO violated federal requirements about how stations should disclose information about the purchase of political advertisements. Scripps Chairman, President and CEO Rich Boehne said many of the institute's claims inaccurately allege that ad scheduling and other required information was missing, when in fact the information is listed in the file and associated with the correct advertisements.
  • "Scripps has a long history of service to its viewers," said Boehne. "We take our FCC reporting obligation very seriously. The complaint does identify some areas where the station's filings could have been more descriptive, and Scripps has made appropriate amendments to its file. All of these documents are available for anyone to view in WCPO's online public file."
  • "We are disappointed those filing the complaint did not first contact the station," said Boehne. "Had they done so, we could have helped them locate the information they were looking for and addressed any concerns. As stewards of the First Amendment, Scripps supports the FCC's goal of providing viewers, advertisers and other concerned citizens with transparency as it relates to the purchase of political advertising."

11:31 am Colliers acquires ICADE Asset Management and ICADE Conseil; terms not disclosed (CIGI) :

  • The acquisition will enhance Colliers' existing asset management business and advisory solutions business for real estate investors and developers in Europe.
  • Asset management fees generated in 2015 were ~EUR 10 million.
  • The newly acquired entities will be re-branded as Colliers International -- Investment & Asset Management and current Managing Director, Romain Frmont will become Managing Director of Colliers International Investment & Asset Management France.
  • The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

11:29 am Currency Commentary: Risk On Trade (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index rallied in overnight trade as a safe haven play but has given up those gains as tensions cooled surrounding Deutsche Bank. The DXY was able to rally to 95.96 but never tested the 96 level for resistance. It would reverse course and see the selling accelerate as Personal Income & Spending and PCE Prices generally came in line with expectations. A Chicago PMI beat and an upward revision to Michigan Sentiment finished off the week on a positive note. At the end of the day though the dollar remains in its recent tight trading range.
  • The euro is seeing a bid as risk on regains some form. The euro has been a good proxy for measuring risk as a rallying euro generally points to markets looking to add risk and vice versa. But similar to the dollar it remains in a tight range.
  • The pound continues to float below the 1.30 level. It has been unable to break above but it has been able to remain in striking distance. The Current Account deficit came in higher than expected reflecting some of the impact from the weaker cable. There was also a slightly downward revision in the Final Q2 GDP read as it was trimmed to +2.1% from +2.2%.
  • The yen has seen some selling in response to the risk on trade. The yen/euro relationship is arguably the best tell for the tone of the market these days. Yen has dipped back into the 101 area as we see some risk appetite return. It was a busy day of data in Japan with CPI, Household Spending, and Housing Starts all falling short of expectations.
  • The Mexican peso continues to regain some of its recent losses. The peso was bolstered by the Mexico central bank which hiked rates 50 bps to 4.75% in order to protect the peso which has garnered unwanted attention as it is shaping up as a proxy on the U.S. elections (BONDX, FOREX).

11:08 am Nutanix opens for trading at $26.50 after pricing IPO at $16 (NTNX) :  

11:06 am ON Semiconductor closes the refinancing of its secured debt facilities (ON) :

The refinancing transaction amended ON Semiconductor's secured debt facilities documentation in order to, among other things:

  • Replace and refinance in full its senior secured term loans with a new tranche of refinancing term loans with a 1.25% reduction in the applicable margin. 
  • Increase the size of its senior secured term loan facility by $200 mln to a total aggregate amount of $2.4 bln.
  • Reduce the applicable margin with respect to the revolving credit facility by 1.25%.
  • Amend certain provisions to permit the entry by ON Semiconductor's subsidiaries into secured hedging arrangements with qualified institutions and to facilitate certain restructuring transactions and intercompany intellectual property transfers intended to achieve the efficient integration of ON Semiconductor, its subsidiaries and its acquired entities. 

10:56 am Lakeland closes $75 mln offering of its Fixed-to-Floating Rate Subordinated Notes due September 30, 2026 (LBAI) : Co intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes and investments in Lakeland Bank as regulatory capital.

10:47 am Notable movers of interest: CTSH -14% following the resignation of the co's President, internal investigation announcement (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

  • DB (12.31 +7.22%): Shares rally after CEO sends letter to employees regarding the media reports stating that 'Deutsche Bank has strong fundamentals'. 
  • NXPI (102.86 +7.01%): Shares continue to rally after yesterday's Wall Street Journal reported that the company has been approached by Qualcomm (QCOM) about a takeover, which would likely be valued at more than $30 bln.
  • COST (153.08 +3.79%): Shares rise following co's Q4 EPS beat.

Large Cap Losers

  • CTSH (46.95 -14.64%): Shares fall following the resignation of the co's President and internal news of an investigation.
  • REGN (392.74 -3.35%): Announces the phase 2 study of aflibercept co-formulated with rinucumab shows no benefit over aflibercept alone in neovascular age-related macular degeneration
  • LNG (42.65 -1.66%): Offers to buyout Cheniere Energy Partners LP (CQH) for $21.90/share.

Mid Cap Gainers

  • LXK (39.94 +13.68%): Lexmark and Apex Consortium receive clearance from CFIUS to proceed with the proposed transaction, cos continue to expect the transaction to close in 2016.
  • MENT (26.03 +5.43%): Elliot Mgmt discloses 8.1% active stake, firm has communicated with management and Board about a broad range of operational and strategic matters. 

Mid Cap Losers

  • CNO (14.86 -4.44%): Terminates reinsurance agreements with Beechwood Reand, will suspend its share repurchase program for the rest of 2016.
  • PBYI (64.58 -2.24%): SEC confirms former director was charged with insider trading.

10:34 am Windstream reprices & upsizes term loans, completed redemption of all its outstanding 7.875% senior notes due 2017 (WIN) :

  • Windstream upsized the principal amount of its existing tranche B-6 term loans from ~$597 mln to $747 mln and decreased the interest rate by 100 basis points to LIBOR plus 4.00% per annum. Windstream used the proceeds from the $150 mln incremental term loans, together with revolver borrowings, to retire the remaining $369 mln in aggregate principal amount of the 2017 notes.
  • "As a result of our debt reduction and refinancing activities, we have no maturities until 2019 and have significantly improved 2017 cash interest expectations to approximately $325 mln."

10:22 am RegeneRx Biopharma announces its US JV w/ GtreeBNT has initiated its second Phase 3 trial for Dry Eye Syndrome this month and will begin patient enrollment shortly (RGRX) : The clinical trial is expected to be completed during the second half of 2017 with the results expected to be reported during that period as well.

10:07 am Deutsche Bank pushes higher off the opening to challenge this week's highs along 12.32/12.35 (DB) : Next areas of interest above lies near 12.44, followed by 12.68.

10:01 am Ultimate Software acquires cloud workforce intelligence provider Kanjoya; terms not disclosed (ULTI) :

  • Kanjoya founder Armen Berjikly and the entire Kanjoya team is joining Ultimate Software, establishing an additional research and development hub for Ultimate in San Francisco. Kanjoya works with companies, including many Fortune 100 businesses, to uncover employee, manager, and team attitudes and performance traits from employee surveys and other sources of employee feedback. UltiPro Perception will be available as an option for Ultimate customers in Jan 2017.
  • Ultimate expects that the acquisition will have no material impact on revenues in fiscal year 2016.

10:00 am Zayo Group Holdings announces a 'major wireless carrier' has selected it to deploy C-RAN connectivity in two major metro areas (ZAYO) :

  • In one market, Zayo will provide an "over the top" fronthaul solution, providing incremental fibers on existing paths to supplement the existing network.
  • In the second market, Zayo will initiate service for the carrier in a new cluster of sites, solving for high-demand areas by extensively leveraging dense, existing metro dark fiber assets.

9:51 am Silver, semis, staples, financials, gold miners and transports leading out the gate with biotech lagging vs. SPY +0.5% (SPY) : SLV +2.18% SMH +1.24% XLP +0.84% XLFS +0.70% XLF +0.74% GDX +0.64% IYT +0.61% KRE +0.70%... XBI -0.72% IBB -2.96%

9:51 am Mylan N.V. announces the U.S. launch of Metformin Hydrochloride Extended-release Tablets USP, 500 mg and 1000 mg, a generic version of Watson's (AGN) Fortamet (MYL) :

  • Mylan received final approval from the FDA for its Abbreviated New Drug Application for this product, which is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

9:45 am Opening Market Summary: Consumer Staples and Financials Pace Opening Advance (:WRAPX) :

As expected, the major averages have climbed out of the gate. The S&P 500 trades higher by 0.5% with all eleven sectors showing early gains.

The opening advance has been paced by strength in consumer staples (+0.8%) and a rebound in the financial sector (+0.7%), which has narrowed its September decline to 3.4%. That said, the sector remains behind the other ten groups for the month. Outside of the two leaders, the remaining sectors trade near the broader market.

Treasuries have turned lower in recent action, pushing the benchmark 10-yr yield up one basis point to 1.57%.

On the economic front, the just released Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for September rose to 54.2 from 51.5 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 52.0.

The final reading of the Michigan Sentiment Index for September (Briefing.com consensus 90.0) will be released at 10:00 ET.

9:30 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB) announces plans to expand its San Francisco presence in 2017 to be in a better position to serve the city's increasing number of innovation companies. The new office will be in the South of Market district, providing more space for the local team to support the vibrant technology and life science companies headquartered here.
  • Staples (SPLS) announces that on Thanksgiving Day, while Staples' stores are closed, Staples.com will feature amazing savings with online deals so customers can shop from the comfort of their home.
  • Bombardier Transportation (BDRBF) signs a contract to supply 665 new BOMBARDIER AVENTRA vehicles to Angel Trains, for operation by Abellio on its East Anglia rail franchise in the United Kingdom. The contract signing follows on from Bombardier being named as preferred bidder for this rolling stock order, as announced on 10th August 2016. Bombardier has also signed a separate contract to provide ongoing maintenance services support to Abellio Greater Anglia for the new trains for the duration of the franchise.
  • Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, an affiliate of Ipsen (IPSEY), announces that nine studies have been selected for poster presentations at the annual symposium of the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society being held in Jackson, Wyoming, September 30 -- October 1, 2016.
  • Miami Children's Health System and its affiliates, Pediatric Specialists of America and Nicklaus Children's Hospital, announce they have expanded their relationship with Cerner (CERN). Through its Business Office Services offering, Cerner will manage professional revenue cycle management across the health system's 200-member employed physician group practice.

9:30 am Plains All American and Plains GP Holdings (PAGP) reduce dividends (PAA) :

  • Consistent with its stated intent in early July when the pending simplification transaction was announced, PAA reduces quarterly cash distribution to $0.55/unit from $0.70/unit
  • PAGP also announced a quarterly cash distribution of $0.2065/Class A share down from $0.23/Class A share.  

9:29 am Emergent BioSolutions provides update on status of biothrax procurement contract and discussions with CDC (EBS) :

2011 Procurement Contract

  • CDC has exercised an option to procure all remaining BioThrax doses, thereby committing to take delivery of the full 44.75 mln doses, under the procurement contract announced on Oct 3, 2011 and due to expire Sept 30, 2016. In concert with this option exercise, CDC has granted a no-cost extension to enable delivery of the remaining doses to be completed by Nov 30, 2016.

Follow-On Procurement Contract

  • The co remains in active negotiations with CDC with respect to the sole source notification issued in June indicating CDC's intention to award Emergent a contract for the purchase of 29.4 mln doses of BioThrax over five years. The co will provide more clarity upon finalization of the contract.

9:25 am Diana Shipping announces signing of addenda to the shipbuilding contracts of 2 newbuildings (DSX) : The co signed two addenda with China Shipbuilding Trading Company and Jiangnan Shipyard Co to extend the delivery dates of the two Newcastlemax dry bulk carriers, Hull No. H2548 and Hull No. H2549. The delivery date of the Hull No. H2548 has been extended from Sept 29, 2016 to not earlier than Dec 26, 2016 and not later than Dec 30, 2016 while the delivery date of the Hull No. H2549 has been extended from Nov 30, 2016 to not earlier than Mar 13, 2017 and not later than Mar 20, 2017.

9:23 am Delcath prices underwritten public offering of 425,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $3.00/share for gross proceeds of $1,275,000 (DCTH) : The co intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, including, but not limited to, funding of its clinical trials, commercialization of its products, obtaining regulatory approvals, research, capital expenditures and working capital.

9:11 am S&P futures vs fair value: +5.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +13.40. (:WRAPX) :

The stock market is on track for a modestly higher open with the S&P 500 futures trading six points above fair value.

Index futures saw some overnight weakness, but they have been on the comeback trail throughout the morning. The rebound in U.S. futures has masked broad-based losses in Europe associated with concerns about the regional banking system. Deutsche Bank (DB 11.95, +0.47) is on track to open higher by 4.1% in New York, but Frankfurt-listed shares remain down 2.0%. For its part, the euro has retreated 0.4% against the dollar to 1.1175.

Today's session coincides with the end of September and the end of the third quarter, so it would not be surprising if quarter-end flows resulted in some added volatility.

Economic data released this morning featured in-line Personal Income (+0.2%) and Core PCE Prices (+0.2%) for August while Personal Spending (0.0%; Briefing.com consensus 0.2%) missed expectations.

More data will be released today with the Chicago PMI for September (Briefing.com consensus 52.0) slated for a 9:45 ET release while the final reading of the Michigan Sentiment Index for September (Briefing.com consensus 90.0) will be reported at 10:00 ET.

Treasuries hold gains with the 10-yr yield down one basis point at 1.55%.

9:05 am Emergent BioSolutions signs a multi-year contract with the BARDA for the advanced development and delivery of NuThrax; contract valued at up to approx. $1.6 bln (EBS) :

The contract, valued at up to ~$1.6 billion, consists of a five-year base period of performance valued at ~$200 million to develop NuThrax for post-exposure prophylaxis of anthrax disease and to deliver to the Strategic National Stockpile (:SNS) an initial two million doses following Emergency Use Authorization (:EUA) pre-approval by the FDA.

  • The co anticipates that FDA could authorize NuThrax for emergency use as early as 2018, triggering deliveries of NuThrax to the SNS in 2019.
  • The contract also includes procurement options for the delivery of an additional 7.5 million to 50 million doses of NuThrax to the SNS, valued from ~$255 million to up to $1.4 billion, respectively, and options for an additional clinical study and post-marketing commitments valued at $48 million, which if both were to be exercised in full, would increase the total contract value to up to $1.6 billion.
  • NuThrax is comprised of BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) in combination with the immunostimulatory oligodeoxynucleotide compound CPG 7909.

9:02 am Kindred Biosciences submits final new animal drug application technical section for safety for Mirataz to the FDA (KIN) : Mirtazapine 2% transdermal ointment, or KIND-010 was generally well-tolerated and no significant safety concerns were identified at 1X, 3X, or 5X the proposed label dose for 42 consecutive days of transdermal application. At the proposed label dose, topical administration of mirtazapine ointment was associated with mild, reversible skin changes at the site of dose application.

9:02 am Cemtrex announces it expects new markets for greenhouse gas monitoring and control technologies to open up due to the recent commitment of many nations to the Paris Climate Agreement (CETX) :

  • The Agreement calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future, as well as to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change.
  • The Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification. During the UN General Assembly this past week, 32 more countries deposited their instruments of ratification for the Agreement, bringing the total to 61 countries that have formally joined the pact, and officially crossing one of the two thresholds required to bring it into force.

9:01 am Medtronic announces that 2 previously communicated global voluntary recalls related to the HeartWare International Hvad System have been classified as Class 1 by the FDA (MDT) :

  • Co announces that two previously communicated global voluntary recalls related to the HeartWare International HVAD System have been classified as Class 1 by the FDA.
  • Class 1 recalls describe situations where there is reasonable risk of serious adverse health consequences or death.

9:00 am ITUS announces it has successfully utilized its Cchek early cancer detection platform to identify the presence of Ovarian Cancer (ITUS) : The company previously announced success with Cchek detecting Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer and Melanoma.

8:59 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Synutra International (SYUT) announces that the co held a grand opening ceremony on September 28th at its Carhaix, France facility. Synutra has received all required production licenses to manufacture nutritional products at this facility and has commenced commercial production of dairy products including whole and skimmed milk powder, oil-wrapped whey protein powder & cream as well as infant milk formula products at the new facility.
  • Chanticleer Holdings (HOTR) announces that Gregory E. Kraut and Paul G. Porter have been appointed to the Chanticleer Board of Directors. The co also announced that long-term board members, Mike Carroll and Paul Moskowitz, are stepping down.
  • On September 27, 2016, Staples (SPLS) and John Wilson, President, Staples International and Head of Global Transformation, mutually agreed that Wilson is leaving the Company effective as of October 31, 2016, and will receive his severance benefits pursuant to his severance agreement with the Company.
  • Coca-Cola West Co (KO) and Coca-Cola East Japan Co announce they have agreed to integrate their businesses to form a new Coca-Cola bottling company. The new company, which will be called Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan, is expected to be established on April 1, 2017.

8:53 am S&P futures vs fair value: +7.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +17.00. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures trade eight points above fair value.

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended the week on a mixed note. Investors received a boatload of data, which included disappointing inflation numbers from Japan. It is worth noting that trading volume in the region is likely to take a hit next week as Golden Week keeps markets in China closed until Monday, October 10.

  • In economic data:
    • China's September Caixin Manufacturing PMI 50.1, as expected (last 50.0)
    • Japan's August National CPI -0.5% year-over-year, as expected (last -0.4%) and National Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (consensus -0.4%; last -0.5%). September Tokyo Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.4%). August Industrial Production +1.5% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.4%), August Unemployment Rate 3.1% (expected 3.0%; last 3.0%), and August Household Spending -3.7% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; last 2.5%); -4.6% year-over-year (consensus -2.5%; last -0.5%). August Housing Starts +2.5% year-over-year (consensus 7.1%; last 8.9%) and BoJ Core CPI +0.4% year-over-year (consensus 0.6%; last 0.5%)
    • Australia's August Private Sector Credit +0.4% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last 0.4%) and September HIA New Home Sales +6.1% month-over-month (last -9.7%)
    • New Zealand's September ANZ Business Confidence 27.9 (expected 25.0; last 15.5) and August Building Consents -1.0% month-over-month (expected -4.0%; last -8.1%)
    • South Korea's August Industrial Production -2.4% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; last 1.4%); +2.3% year-over-year (consensus 2.0%; last 1.6%). Retail Sales +2.0% month-over-month (last -2.6%). October Manufacturing BSI Index ticked down to 76 from 77
  • China's September Caixin Manufacturing PMI 50.1, as expected (last 50.0)
  • Japan's August National CPI -0.5% year-over-year, as expected (last -0.4%) and National Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (consensus -0.4%; last -0.5%). September Tokyo Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.4%). August Industrial Production +1.5% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.4%), August Unemployment Rate 3.1% (expected 3.0%; last 3.0%), and August Household Spending -3.7% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; last 2.5%); -4.6% year-over-year (consensus -2.5%; last -0.5%). August Housing Starts +2.5% year-over-year (consensus 7.1%; last 8.9%) and BoJ Core CPI +0.4% year-over-year (consensus 0.6%; last 0.5%)
  • Australia's August Private Sector Credit +0.4% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last 0.4%) and September HIA New Home Sales +6.1% month-over-month (last -9.7%)
  • New Zealand's September ANZ Business Confidence 27.9 (expected 25.0; last 15.5) and August Building Consents -1.0% month-over-month (expected -4.0%; last -8.1%)
  • South Korea's August Industrial Production -2.4% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; last 1.4%); +2.3% year-over-year (consensus 2.0%; last 1.6%). Retail Sales +2.0% month-over-month (last -2.6%). October Manufacturing BSI Index ticked down to 76 from 77

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei lost 1.5% to end the week lower by 1.8%. All ten sectors ended in the red with utilities (-3.4%), technology (-2.2%), and communications (-1.8%) lagging while energy (-0.3%) outperformed. Dainippon Screen Manufacturing, Kubota, Panasonic, Alps Electric, Japan Steel Works, Chubu Electric Power, and Softbank lost between 2.9% and 5.2%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.9%, finishing the week with a 1.6% decline. Property names and financials underperformed with China Shenhua Energy, China Resources Land, Bank of East Asia, China Life Insurance, and ICBC falling between 2.6% and 3.8%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite added 0.2%, but lost 1.0% for the week. Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical, Guangxi Future Technology, Sanlian Commercial, and Tianjin Global Magnetic Card gained between 5.0% and 5.7%.

Major European indices trade lower across the board with Spain's IBEX (-1.2%) showing relative weakness. The region has been pressured by continued concerns about the health of Deutsche Bank, which has weighed on other European financials. The euro has also retreated, falling 0.5% against the dollar to 1.1168.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone August Unemployment Rate 10.1% (expected 10.0%; last 10.1%) and September CPI +0.4%, as expected (last 0.2%). September Core CPI +0.8% year-over-year (expected 0.9%; last 0.8%)
    • Germany's August Retail Sales -0.4% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.5%); +3.7% year-over-year (consensus 1.3%; last -1.5%)
    • UK's Q2 GDP +0.7% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.6%; last 0.6%); +2.1% year-over-year (consensus 2.2%; last 1.9%). Q2 Current Account deficit widened to GBP28.70 billion from GBP27.00 billion (expected deficit of GBP30.50 billion), Q2 Business Investment +1.0% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.5%; last -1.1%), and September Nationwide HPI +0.3% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.6%)
    • France's August Consumer Spending +0.7% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.3%) and September CPI -0.2% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.3%)
  • Eurozone August Unemployment Rate 10.1% (expected 10.0%; last 10.1%) and September CPI +0.4%, as expected (last 0.2%). September Core CPI +0.8% year-over-year (expected 0.9%; last 0.8%)
  • Germany's August Retail Sales -0.4% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.5%); +3.7% year-over-year (consensus 1.3%; last -1.5%)
  • UK's Q2 GDP +0.7% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.6%; last 0.6%); +2.1% year-over-year (consensus 2.2%; last 1.9%). Q2 Current Account deficit widened to GBP28.70 billion from GBP27.00 billion (expected deficit of GBP30.50 billion), Q2 Business Investment +1.0% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.5%; last -1.1%), and September Nationwide HPI +0.3% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.6%)
  • France's August Consumer Spending +0.7% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.3%) and September CPI -0.2% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.3%)

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE is down 0.6% with financials pacing the retreat. Barclays, Lloyds Banking, Prudential, and RBS are down between 2.6% and 4.5%. Select miners outperform with Randgold Resources and Fresnillo both up near 2.0%.
  • Germany's DAX has given up 0.5% amid broad weakness. Commerzbank is down 3.5% after falling more than 6.0% earlier while Deutsche Bank has narrowed its loss to 2.0%. Exporters Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler are down between 1.6% and 1.8%. Infineon is the top performer, climbing 3.8%.
  • France's CAC has slumped 1.0% with bank shares pacing the weakness. Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, and Credit Agricole are down between 1.5% and 3.0%. Peugeot and Renault show respective losses of 2.2% and 2.0% while Technip outperforms, climbing 1.7%.
  • Spain's IBEX underperforms with a loss of 1.2%. Telefonica is the worst performer, down 4.3%, while financials Santander, Banco Popular, BBVA, Banco Sabadell, and Caixabank show losses between 1.0% and 2.6%.

8:46 am Active Power signs an asset purchase agreement with Langley Holdings PLC; financial details not disclosed (shares halted) (ACPW) :

  • Under the terms of the asset purchase agreement, Langley will acquire substantially all assets and operations of Active Power, including the Active Power name, through their Piller USA Inc. subsidiary for a nominal purchase price, plus the assumption of all debt, liabilities, customer, employee and purchase commitments going forward. Closing is subject to customary conditions and to the approval of the stockholders of Active Power. Closing is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • After the closing, under the asset purchase agreement the co will transition its business model to monetize non-core intellectual property assets not purchased by Langley, and to acquire profitable businesses. The co is in active negotiations with several parties to raise additional capital to support this business strategy.

8:46 am VolitionRx prices 2.25 mln share underwritten public offering of common stock at $5.00/share for gross proceeds of about $11.25 mln (VNRX) : The co intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for continued product development, clinical studies, product commercialization, working capital, and for other general corporate purposes.

8:37 am Gapping down (SCANX) :

Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: CAMP -15.3%

Select oil/gas related names showing early weakness:

  • SDRL -4.8%, SDPI -4.7%, TOT -1.7%, WLL -1.2%, COP -1%, RIG -0.8%, BT -0.7%, PBR -0.6%

Other news:

  • THLD -61.8% ( to discontinue investment in its Tarloxotinib Program after interim data; implementing workforce reduction)
  • MIRN -17.1% (Mirna Therapeutics Investigational New Drug for MRX34 has been placed on full clinical hold)
  • DCTH -13% ( intends to offer shares of its common stock and warrants to purchase shares of common stock in an underwritten public offering)
  • ABUS -10.8% (reports interim results from the first two cohorts of the ongoing ARB-1467 Phase II multi-dose clinical trial in chronically infected HBV patients)
  • VNRX -8.5% ( announces proposed public offering of common stock)
  • CNO -3.9% (terminating reinsurance agreements with Beechwood Reand; will suspend its share repurchase program for the rest of 2016)
  • STAY -3.6% (prices secondary offering and repurchase of paired shares; paired shares sold at $14.25 per share)
  • ABR -2.9% (to offer $75 mln convertible senior notes due 2019 in an underwritten public offering)
  • IRT -2.6% (prices public offering of 25 mln shares of common stock at $9.00 per share for total gross proceeds of $225.0 mln)
  • SNE -2.2% (Nikkei down 1.5% overnight)

Analyst comments: CORE -0.9% (downgraded to Hold at Jefferies)

8:36 am Senomyx amends and restates its Sweet Taste Program collaboration agreement with PepsiCo (PEP) for three additional years, through September 2019 (SNMX) :

Under the amended and restated agreement, Senomyx granted PepsiCo non-exclusive rights to natural sweeteners and natural flavor ingredients discovered, developed and selected under the collaboration for use in all non-alcoholic beverage categories.

  • During the extension, Senomyx will be entitled to $18 million in R&D payments over the three-year research period.
  • PepsiCo retains the option to further extend the research collaboration for two more years, which would result in additional research funding commitments.
  • Senomyx will also be eligible for milestone payments based on the achievement of predetermined goals as well as royalty payments upon the sale of products containing natural sweeteners or ingredients selected under the collaboration.

8:33 am Amyris announces a new collaboration and partner funding of $30 mln; updates guidance (AMRS) :

  • The new agreement includes the addition of a new nutraceutical target, a credit line of up to $25 mln with a 5-year maturity, and an option for a $5-mln strategic investment from one of the world's leading nutraceuticals manufacturers.
  • Amyris now expects 2017 revenue for the first targeted product of around $40 mln and anticipated revenues from the expanded partnership are expected to average over $70 mln annually beyond 2017. This expansion is expected to lead to the second molecule to be supplied by Amyris in 2019 into a market that is approximately the same size as the first agreement.
  • Due to the competitive nature of this market both parties have agreed to keep the targeted products and the customer's name confidential. The expansion of the partnership is subject to obtaining required approvals.

8:32 am Clean Harbors Vice Chairman and President James M. Rutledge has retired (CLH) :  

8:31 am Personal Income and Core PCE Prices Match Expectations; Personal Spending Light...S&P futures vs fair value: +6.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +14.60. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures trade six points above fair value.

August personal income rose 0.2%, which is what the Briefing.com consensus expected. August personal spending was unchanged, which is below the 0.2% uptick called for by the Briefing.com consensus.

Separately, Core PCE prices for August rose 0.2%, in-line with the Briefing.com consensus.

8:31 am Berry Plastics announces Chairman and CEO Jon Rich to retire in February 2017 and co has appointed Tom Salmon as President and COO effective October 3 (BERY) :

  • Salmon currently serves as President of the Company's Consumer Packaging Division.
  • Upon his retirement, Rich will continue to serve as Executive Chairman of the Board.

8:31 am Tofutti Brands announces engagement of BDA Advisers to assist in a review of its strategic alternatives; announces delisting of its common stock from NYSE and intention to transfer to OTCQB Venture Market (TOF) :

  • The strategic review may result in the co's continuing to pursue value-enhancing initiatives as a standalone co or a possible sale or other form of business combination.
  • The co also announced its intention to file a Form 25 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to voluntarily withdraw its common stock from listing on the NYSE MKT. The co expects to file the Form 25 on October 11, 2016 and expects the delisting to be effective approximately 10 days after the filing of the Form 25. Upon delisting, the co intends that its common stock will trade on the OTCQB Venture Market.

8:30 am Arbor Realty Trust announces pricing of $75 mln of 6.50% convertible senior notes due 2019 (ABR) : The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to make investments relating to its business and for general corporate purposes.

8:29 am Gapping up (SCANX) :

Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: AEHR +7.4%, COST +1.9%, MKC +1.8%

M&A news:

  • NXPI +3% (Hearing Jefferies out premarket suggesting co could garner $136-172 per share in a takeout)
  • NVFY +1.2% (to sell NOVA BVI and its subsidiaries for $8.5 mln to Kuka Design)

Select metals/mining stocks trading higher: AU +1.7%, GOLD +1.6%, AUY +1.6%, SSRI +1.5%, SLV +1.3%

Other news:

  • AUPH +14.8% (announces that voclosporin achieves primary and all pre-specified secondary endpoints in Phase IIb AURA-LV study for Lupus Nephritis )
  • MENT +5.3% ( Elliot Mgmt discloses 8.1% active stake -- has communicated with management and Board about a broad range of operational and strategic matters)
  • OZM +5.1% (confirms reaching settlements w/ the DOJ and the SEC; will pay a total penalty of $412 mln; entered into a securities purchase agreement with certain executive managing directors)
  • CEMP +4.3% (light volume - announces interim results showing anti-NASH effects in the first six nonalcoholic steatohepatitis patients dosed with solithromycin in a Phase 2 study)
  • CATB +3.5% (Deerfield Mgmt (James Flynn) increases passive stake)
  • AA +2% (approves proposed separation; separation is scheduled to become effective before the opening of the market on November 1, 2016)
  • IBN +2% (rebounding from yesterday's selloff)
  • HLIT +1.2% (Comcast confirms 6.6% passive stake -- the cos entered into a warrant agreement this week)

Analyst comments:

  • ECA +2.5% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup)
  • SKX +2.2% (upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna)
  • WMT +1% (initiated with a Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Mkts)
  • NKTR +0.9% (resumed with a Buy at Brean Capital)

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

  • Dynatronics Corporation (DYNT) appoints David A. Wirthlin as CFO effective October 11, 2016. Wirthlin will succeed Terry M. Atkinson and will report to Dynatronics' CEO Kelvyn H. Cullimore, Jr. Mr. Atkinson will continue with Dynatronics as Director of Accounting.
  • SYNNEX (SNX) has been selected as a master value-added distributor by CalAmp (CAMP). The agreement falls under SYNNEX' MOBILITYSolv group and strengthens the distributor's Internet of Things portfolio.
  • Drone Aviation Holding (DRNE) issues Convertible Promissory Notes Series 2016 due October 1, 2017 in the aggregate principal amount of $3,000,000 in a private placement in which Jay Nussbaum, Chairman/CEO, and Frost Gamma Investments, an affiliate of Dr. Phillip Frost, Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Board, were subscribers.
  • Papa John's International (PZZA) continues its expansion in Egypt with the signing of a restaurant development agreement. Vanatge Egypt, for Tourism and Entertainment, a Papa John's franchisee for the past 10 years, recently entered into a development agreement to open an additional 18 units. Vantage currently operates 36 Papa John's restaurants throughout Egypt.
  • Fidelity D & D Bancorp (FDBC) and its banking subsidiary Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank, and Norwood Financial (NWFL) and its banking subsidiary Wayne Bank announce the execution of an agreement whereby Fidelity Bank will acquire all of the deposits and certain loans of Wayne Bank's West Scranton branch office. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

8:28 am Superior Drilling Products prices 5 mln common stock offering at $1.00/share (SDPI) :  

8:25 am Ship Finance Intl upsizes & prices offering of convertible senior notes due 2021 by $25 mln to $225 mln (SFL) :

  • The notes will pay interest quarterly in arrears at a rate of 5.75% per annum and will mature on Oct 15, 2021, unless earlier repurchased, redeemed or converted.
  • The conversion rate for the notes will initially be 56.2596 common of our common shares per $1,000 principal amount of notes, which is equivalent to an initial conversion price of ~$17.77 per common share, and is subject to adjustment under the terms of the notes. The conversion rate of the notes will be adjusted for dividends in excess of $0.225 per quarter, subject to adjustment.

8:15 am Geo Group provides update on contract renewal for the D. Ray James correctional facility; does not expect to revise previously issued guidance (GEO) :

  • Co announces that the Federal Bureau of Prisons has extended its contract for the company-owned D. Ray James Correctional Facility for a two-year renewal term through Sept30, 2018 for the housing of up to 1,900 federal inmates with a fixed payment for 1,800 beds compared to GEO's previous contract which contained a fixed payment for 1,962 beds.
  • "We are pleased to have been able to accommodate the BOP's need for fewer beds at the D. Ray James Correctional Facility with no disruption to the facility's operations or the level of rehabilitation programming," added Mr. Zoley. GEO does not expect to revise its previously issued guidance as a result of this renewal."
  • Peers include Corrections Corp (CXW).

8:08 am Iao Kun Group closes VIP gaming room at Le Royal Arc Casino, expects to generate annual savings of US$750,000; announces lapse of purchase agreement for Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino (IKGH) :

As part of its comprehensive strategic review of its VIP gaming room operations in Macau, it has closed its VIP gaming room at Le Royal Arc Casino, effective September 29, and terminated its collaborator agreement with Mr. Lee Wai Man relating to the facility. IKGH believes the closure of the facility will generate additional annual overall savings of ~US$750,000.

In addition, IKGH announced today that the purchase agreement for the proposed acquisition of Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino has lapsed.

IKGH has been focusing its efforts in this month on the collection of its outstanding markers receivable and expects to continue those efforts in the near-term to pay down its line of credit owed to the license operators. Consequently, and because of the lengthening and difficulty of collecting markers receivable, the Company will not be actively extending credit to its clients during this period and therefore it expects business volume to be minimal.


8:05 am Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan sends letter to employees regarding media reports on Deutsche Bank; says 'Deutsche Bank has strong fundamentals' (DB) :

  • "You will have seen speculation in the media that a few of our hedge fund clients have reduced some activities with us. That is causing unjustified concerns. We should consider this in the context of the bigger picture: Deutsche Bank overall has more than 20 million clients."
  • Deutsche Bank has strong fundamentals. Let me mention some of the most important facts at this point: 1. We fulfil all current capital requirements and our restructuring is well on track. We completed the disposal of the British insurer Abbey Life this week and the sale of our stake in the Chinese Hua Xia Bank will be finalised soon. This will further improve our capital ratio. 2. We have significantly decreased our market and credit risk in recent years. At no point in the last two decades has the balance sheet of Deutsche Bank been as stable as it is today."

8:05 am Cognizant Tech appoints Rajeev (Raj) Mehta as President of the Company; replaces Gordon Coburn who resigned (CTSH) :  

8:02 am Sierra Bancorp approves another 500k shares for repurchase in addition to the 8,266 shares still remaining under the previous repurchase plan (BSRR) :  

8:01 am Gencor Industries Chairman and CEO E.J. Elliott will relinquish the position of Chief Executive Officer effective October 1, 2016; Elliott's son John will assume the CEO role (GENC) : Co announced that E.J. Elliott, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will relinquish the position of Chief Executive Officer effective October 1, 2016. E.J. Elliott will continue as Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors and remain active in the Company. Mr. John E. Elliott will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer effective October 1, 2016. John E. Elliott had been an Officer of the Company from 1985 to 2006, serving as Executive Vice President and a member of the Company's Board of Directors. Most recently he served as Vice President.

8:01 am Rice Midstream Partners prices about 20.93 mln common units for gross proceeds of about $450 mln (RMP) : RMP intends to use a portion of the net proceeds from the private placement to fund a portion of the acquisition from Rice Energy of the midstream assets associated with Rice Energy's previously announced acquisition of Vantage Energy, LLC and Vantage Energy II.

8:01 am Cheniere Energy Partners LP receives buyout offer from Cheniere Energy (LNG) - proposed consideration represents a value of $21.90 per common share of Cheniere Partners Holdings (CQH) :

  • Cheniere Energy Partners LP Holdings has received a proposal from Cheniere Energy pursuant to which Cheniere would acquire the publicly held shares of Cheniere Partners Holdings not already owned by Cheniere in a stock for stock exchange. Subject to negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement, Cheniere is proposing consideration of 0.5049 Cheniere shares for each issued and outstanding publicly-held share of Cheniere Partners Holdings as part of a transaction that would be structured as a merger of Cheniere Partners Holdings with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cheniere.
  • The proposed consideration represents a value of $21.90 per common share of Cheniere Partners Holdings, or a premium of ~3.0% over the closing price of Cheniere Partners Holdings' shares, based on the closing prices of Cheniere Partners Holdings' shares and of Cheniere's shares as of September 29, 2016, or a premium of ~7.0% over the 30-trading day average CQH / LNG exchange ratio as of September 29, 2016.
  • Cheniere owns 80.1% of the issued and outstanding shares of Cheniere Partners Holdings.
  • The proposed transaction is subject to the negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement and approval of such definitive agreement and transactions contemplated thereunder by the board of directors of Cheniere, the board of directors of Cheniere Partners Holdings and a conflicts committee established by the board of directors of Cheniere Partners Holdings, and the consummation of the proposed transaction would be subject to customary closing conditions. There can be no assurance that any such approvals will be forthcoming, that a definitive agreement will be executed or that any transaction will be consummated.

8:00 am AbbVie confirms FDA breakthrough therapy designation for the investigational, pan-genotypic regimen of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir for the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus; includes Enanta's (ENTA) protease inhibitor glecaprevir (ABBV) :

  • The co announced that the FDA has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for the investigational, pan-genotypic regimen of glecaprevir /pibrentasvir for the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus who failed previous therapy with direct-acting antivirals in genotype 1, including therapy with an NS5A inhibitor and/or protease inhibitor.
  • AbbVie will present new Phase 3 data evaluating the safety and efficacy of G/P across all major HCV genotypes (genotypes 1-6) at an upcoming scientific congress.
  • The investigational regimen includes Enanta's (ENTA) protease inhibitor glecaprevir.

8:00 am Teligent announces that its Estonian subsidiary, Teligent O, has received approval from Health Canada's Therapeutic Products Directorate for Lidocaine Hydrochloride Topical Solution USP (TLGT) :

  • Co announces that its Estonian subsidiary, Teligent O, has received approval from Health Canada's Therapeutic Products Directorate for Lidocaine Hydrochloride Topical Solution USP. This is the fifth approval for Teligent O this calendar year and will be distributed by Teligent's business in Canada.
  • Based on internal estimates, the total addressable market for this product is ~CAD 1.0 mln.

7:59 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Optex Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Optex Systems Holdings (OPXS), announces today that it has received a new sales order from Defense Logistics Agency in the amount of $570,000 to supply its cable periscopes.
  • LUKOIL (LUKOY) and Dmitry Mironov, Governor of the Yaroslavl Region, sign a five-year agreement on social and economic cooperation, in Sochi. The agreement highlights plans to develop modern technologies in the processing and marketing of hydrocarbons, to formulate programs to manufacture oil field equipment to substitute for what was previously imported and also to help upgrade the region's fuel-and-energy complex. LUKOIL and Igor Koshin, Governor of the Nenets Autonomous Area signed a Supplementary Protocol to the current Cooperation Agreement in Sochi. The Protocol stipulates that LUKOIL shall allocate funds for charity programs in 2016 to assist educational and sponsorship projects, and to support indigenous minorities of the Russian North. In addition, co will ensure uninterrupted supply of fuels and lubricants for the community, housing and utilities sector, agricultural producers and state-financed organizations of the Nenets Autonomous Area. 
  • Fluor Corporation (FLR) announces that the U.S. Department of Energy selected Mid-America Conversion Services a joint venture comprised of Atkins, Fluor and Westinghouse, to operate the depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion facilities at DOE's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky, and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio. The contract is valued at $318 mln for the joint venture over a five-year period of performance beginning in 2016. Work will begin in the first quarter of 2017.

7:53 am S&P futures vs fair value: +2.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +8.00. (:WRAPX) :

U.S. equity futures trade modestly higher with S&P 500 futures hovering three points above fair value. The modest uptick has masked broad-based selling in Europe, which has been attributed to continued concerns about the health of Deutsche Bank (DB 11.58, +0.10). U.S.-listed shares of the banking giant show a pre-market gain, but the stock is down more than 4.0% in Frankfurt. It is worth remembering that today is the end of the month, which could invite some added volatility.

Treasuries hold modest gains with the 10-yr yield down one basis point at 1.55%.

Today's economic data will include Personal Income (Briefing.com consensus +0.2%), Personal Spending (Briefing.com consensus +0.2%), and Core PCE Prices (Briefing.com consensus +0.2%) for August, which will be released at 8:30 ET. September Chicago PMI (Briefing.com consensus 52.0) and the final reading of the University of Michigan Sentiment Index for September (Briefing.com consensus 90.0) will cross the wires at 9:45 ET and 10:00 ET, respectively.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Costco (COST 150.49, +3.00): +2.0% after beating earnings estimates on revenue that was just below expectations.
  • CalAmp (CAMP 14.00, -2.41): -14.7% after light revenue and cautious guidance overshadowed in-line earnings.

Reviewing overnight developments:

  • Asian markets ended mostly lower. Japan's Nikkei -1.5%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng -1.9%, China's Shanghai Composite +0.2%
    • In economic data:
      • China's September Caixin Manufacturing PMI 50.1, as expected (last 50.0)
      • Japan's August National CPI -0.5% year-over-year, as expected (last -0.4%) and National Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (consensus -0.4%; last -0.5%). September Tokyo Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.4%). August Industrial Production +1.5% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.4%), August Unemployment Rate 3.1% (expected 3.0%; last 3.0%), and August Household Spending -3.7% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; last 2.5%); -4.6% year-over-year (consensus -2.5%; last -0.5%). August Housing Starts +2.5% year-over-year (consensus 7.1%; last 8.9%) and BoJ Core CPI +0.4% year-over-year (consensus 0.6%; last 0.5%)
      • Australia's August Private Sector Credit +0.4% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last 0.4%) and September HIA New Home Sales +6.1% month-over-month (last -9.7%)
      • New Zealand's September ANZ Business Confidence 27.9 (expected 25.0; last 15.5) and August Building Consents -1.0% month-over-month (expected -4.0%; last -8.1%)
      • South Korea's August Industrial Production -2.4% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; last 1.4%); +2.3% year-over-year (consensus 2.0%; last 1.6%). Retail Sales +2.0% month-over-month (last -2.6%). October Manufacturing BSI Index ticked down to 76 from 77
    • In news:
      • Markets in China will be closed until October 10 in observance of Golden Week
  • In economic data:
    • China's September Caixin Manufacturing PMI 50.1, as expected (last 50.0)
    • Japan's August National CPI -0.5% year-over-year, as expected (last -0.4%) and National Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (consensus -0.4%; last -0.5%). September Tokyo Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.4%). August Industrial Production +1.5% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.4%), August Unemployment Rate 3.1% (expected 3.0%; last 3.0%), and August Household Spending -3.7% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; last 2.5%); -4.6% year-over-year (consensus -2.5%; last -0.5%). August Housing Starts +2.5% year-over-year (consensus 7.1%; last 8.9%) and BoJ Core CPI +0.4% year-over-year (consensus 0.6%; last 0.5%)
    • Australia's August Private Sector Credit +0.4% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last 0.4%) and September HIA New Home Sales +6.1% month-over-month (last -9.7%)
    • New Zealand's September ANZ Business Confidence 27.9 (expected 25.0; last 15.5) and August Building Consents -1.0% month-over-month (expected -4.0%; last -8.1%)
    • South Korea's August Industrial Production -2.4% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; last 1.4%); +2.3% year-over-year (consensus 2.0%; last 1.6%). Retail Sales +2.0% month-over-month (last -2.6%). October Manufacturing BSI Index ticked down to 76 from 77
  • China's September Caixin Manufacturing PMI 50.1, as expected (last 50.0)
  • Japan's August National CPI -0.5% year-over-year, as expected (last -0.4%) and National Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (consensus -0.4%; last -0.5%). September Tokyo Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.4%). August Industrial Production +1.5% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.4%), August Unemployment Rate 3.1% (expected 3.0%; last 3.0%), and August Household Spending -3.7% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; last 2.5%); -4.6% year-over-year (consensus -2.5%; last -0.5%). August Housing Starts +2.5% year-over-year (consensus 7.1%; last 8.9%) and BoJ Core CPI +0.4% year-over-year (consensus 0.6%; last 0.5%)
  • Australia's August Private Sector Credit +0.4% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last 0.4%) and September HIA New Home Sales +6.1% month-over-month (last -9.7%)
  • New Zealand's September ANZ Business Confidence 27.9 (expected 25.0; last 15.5) and August Building Consents -1.0% month-over-month (expected -4.0%; last -8.1%)
  • South Korea's August Industrial Production -2.4% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; last 1.4%); +2.3% year-over-year (consensus 2.0%; last 1.6%). Retail Sales +2.0% month-over-month (last -2.6%). October Manufacturing BSI Index ticked down to 76 from 77
  • In news:
    • Markets in China will be closed until October 10 in observance of Golden Week
  • Markets in China will be closed until October 10 in observance of Golden Week
  • Major European indices trade in the red. UK's FTSE -0.9%, Germany's DAX -1.0%, and France's CAC -1.5%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB -1.6% and Spain's IBEX -2.0%
    • Economic data was plentiful:
      • Eurozone August Unemployment Rate 10.1% (expected 10.0%; last 10.1%) and September CPI +0.4%, as expected (last 0.2%). September Core CPI +0.8% year-over-year (expected 0.9%; last 0.8%)
      • Germany's August Retail Sales -0.4% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.5%); +3.7% year-over-year (consensus 1.3%; last -1.5%)
      • UK's Q2 GDP +0.7% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.6%; last 0.6%); +2.1% year-over-year (consensus 2.2%; last 1.9%). Q2 Current Account deficit widened to GBP28.70 billion from GBP27.00 billion (expected deficit of GBP30.50 billion), Q2 Business Investment +1.0% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.5%; last -1.1%), and September Nationwide HPI +0.3% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.6%)
      • France's August Consumer Spending +0.7% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.3%) and September CPI -0.2% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.3%)
    • In news:
      • Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer John Cryan sent a letter to his employees, saying that recent media attention brought "unjustified" concerns to the surface.
  • Economic data was plentiful:
    • Eurozone August Unemployment Rate 10.1% (expected 10.0%; last 10.1%) and September CPI +0.4%, as expected (last 0.2%). September Core CPI +0.8% year-over-year (expected 0.9%; last 0.8%)
    • Germany's August Retail Sales -0.4% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.5%); +3.7% year-over-year (consensus 1.3%; last -1.5%)
    • UK's Q2 GDP +0.7% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.6%; last 0.6%); +2.1% year-over-year (consensus 2.2%; last 1.9%). Q2 Current Account deficit widened to GBP28.70 billion from GBP27.00 billion (expected deficit of GBP30.50 billion), Q2 Business Investment +1.0% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.5%; last -1.1%), and September Nationwide HPI +0.3% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.6%)
    • France's August Consumer Spending +0.7% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.3%) and September CPI -0.2% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.3%)
  • Eurozone August Unemployment Rate 10.1% (expected 10.0%; last 10.1%) and September CPI +0.4%, as expected (last 0.2%). September Core CPI +0.8% year-over-year (expected 0.9%; last 0.8%)
  • Germany's August Retail Sales -0.4% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.5%); +3.7% year-over-year (consensus 1.3%; last -1.5%)
  • UK's Q2 GDP +0.7% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.6%; last 0.6%); +2.1% year-over-year (consensus 2.2%; last 1.9%). Q2 Current Account deficit widened to GBP28.70 billion from GBP27.00 billion (expected deficit of GBP30.50 billion), Q2 Business Investment +1.0% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.5%; last -1.1%), and September Nationwide HPI +0.3% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.6%)
  • France's August Consumer Spending +0.7% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.3%) and September CPI -0.2% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.3%)
  • In news:
    • Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer John Cryan sent a letter to his employees, saying that recent media attention brought "unjustified" concerns to the surface.
  • Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer John Cryan sent a letter to his employees, saying that recent media attention brought "unjustified" concerns to the surface.

7:32 am Lexmark and Apex Consortium received clearance from CFIUS to proceed with the proposed transaction; continue to expect the transaction to close in 2016 (LXK) :

  • In connection with the pending acquisition of Lexmark International, by a consortium of investors led by Apex Technology and PAG Asia Capital, the parties filed a joint voluntary notice under Section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended, with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (:CFIUS) that was accepted on July 15, 2016. CFIUS conducted a statutorily mandated 30 day review, and an additional 45 day investigation, of the transaction. During the review and investigation, the Company and the Consortium provided CFIUS extensive information relating to the transaction and their respective businesses and operations. Following the review and investigation, CFIUS found that there are no unresolved national security issues associated with the Consortium's proposed acquisition of the Company.
  • The Company and the Consortium announced that they have received clearance from CFIUS to proceed with the proposed transaction. As a precondition to CFIUS clearance of the transaction, CFIUS required that the Company and the Consortium enter into a National Security Agreement with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. The merger remains subject to approval from China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (:SAFE) and other customary closing conditions. The parties continue to expect the transaction to close in 2016.

7:31 am New York REIT responds to letter from activist Ashner/Witkoff and their jointly owned entity, WW Investors LLC (NYRT) :

Highlights from the response: 

  • "NYRT's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of its Board of Directors engaged in extensive discussions with WW Investors to reach a settlement with regards to WW Investors proposed director candidates and sought to work constructively with WW Investors."
  • "As part of these discussions, and in an effort to avoid a potentially costly and distracting proxy contest, the Committee offered what it believes are reasonable terms -- namely, that Messrs. Ashner and Witkoff be included on NYRT's proxy statement to be elected to the Board by NYRT stockholders and prior to being elected by stockholders they could attend all of the Company's board meetings and participate in those Board meetings as observers. As clearly communicated to WW Investors, the Committee believes that the election of directors is a matter to be determined by a vote of all NYRT stockholders. As such, the Committee believes that the terms offered are reasonable and Messrs. Ashner and Witkoff should be willing to stand for election by the stockholders with the other directors."
  • "As part of the proposed settlement terms, and contrary to the assertions made by Messrs. Ashner and Witkoff, the Committee remains open to discussing WW Investors' out-of-pocket third-party expenses and, in no way, summarily rejected the issue."

7:30 am Endo Intl presents new phase 2 data evaluating the safety and effectiveness of Xiaflex for dupuytren's disease nodules (ENDP) :

Xiaflex is a biologic approved in the U.S., EU, Canada and Australia for the treatment of adult Dupuytren's contracture patients with a palpable cord, and approved in the United States for the treatment of adult men with Peyronie's disease with a palpable plaque and penile curvature deformity of at least 30 degrees at the start of therapy.

  • A statistically significant decrease was shown from baseline in the mean nodule surface area, consistency score and hardness score at week 8 versus study participants receiving placebo. The safety profile of those treated with CCH was generally well tolerated. Adverse events included extremity pain, axillary pain, injection site-related adverse events and pruritus. One adverse event was reported as severe. No patients were discontinued from the study because of an adverse event.
  • The majority of study participants receiving higher doses of CCH were satisfied with their treatment and outcomes -- 88.9 percent of 18 study participants in the 0.40 mg CCH group and 83.3 percent of 18 study participants in the 0.60 mg CCH group were very satisfied or quite satisfied with treatment at week 8 compared to placebo. Similarly, the investigators' global assessment showed an improvement in study participants versus placebo.

7:29 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Bombardier Transportation (BDRBF) signs a three year extension to its current Train Service Agreement with Arriva CrossCountry Trains, extending service until October 2019. The contract covers full maintenance services for XC's fleet of 57 Voyager and Super Voyager trainsets, based out of Bombardier's Central Rivers maintenance facility.
  • Lexington Realty Trust (LXP) announces that it has sold its three remaining New York City land investments for a gross sales price of ~$338.2 mln at a GAAP capitalization rate of 13.6% and a cash capitalization rate of 4.6%. In connection with the sale, ~$213.1 million of mortgage debt was assumed by the buyer.
  • BioDelivery Sciences International (BDSI) reports that according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1,665 clinicians have applied for and were granted waivers to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid dependence at the increased limit of 275 from the previous 100. The limit on the number of patients an eligible physician can treat with buprenorphine went from 100 to 275 this past August, based on a rule by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an initiative to increase access to medication-assisted treatment. HHS had estimated that between 500 and 1,800 practitioners would request approval to treat up to 275 patients within the first year, resulting in an estimated range of 10,000 to 90,000 additional patients.
  • Acorda Therapeutics (ACOR)  lodges security approved by the Arbitral Tribunal and thus gained title to all the shares in Biotie Therapies Corp in accordance with Chapter 18, Section 6 of the Finnish Companies Act. After the security has been lodged, the minority shareholders of Biotie being parties to the redemption proceedings are only entitled to receive the redemption price and the interest payable thereon. Upon application by Biotie, Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd ("Nasdaq Helsinki") has on 25 August 2016 decided that the Biotie shares will be delisted from the Official List of Nasdaq Helsinki upon title to all shares in Biotie having been transferred to Acorda.
  • Ritchie Bros (RBA) announces it has sold $30+ mln of equipment and trucks for the first time ever at its Toronto auction site. This was the second time this year the Toronto site has set a new sales record.
  • Garmin (GRMN) announces that it has completed the acquisition of Iiyonet, a key distributor of Garmin's consumer products in Japan. The company is now a subsidiary of Garmin Japan, Ltd.

7:28 am Garmin completes acquisition of Iiyonet; terms not disclosed (GRMN) : Iiyonet is a distributor of Garmin's consumer products in Japan. The co is now a subsidiary of Garmin Japan.

7:28 am European Markets Update: FTSE -0.9%, DAX -1.1%, CAC -1.5% (:SUMRX) :

Major European indices trade lower across the board with Spain's IBEX (-2.0%) showing relative weakness. The region has been pressured by continued concerns about the health of Deutsche Bank, which has weighed on other European financials. The euro has also retreated, falling 0.5% against the dollar to 1.1168.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone August Unemployment Rate 10.1% (expected 10.0%; last 10.1%) and September CPI +0.4%, as expected (last 0.2%). September Core CPI +0.8% year-over-year (expected 0.9%; last 0.8%)
    • Germany's August Retail Sales -0.4% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.5%); +3.7% year-over-year (consensus 1.3%; last -1.5%)
    • UK's Q2 GDP +0.7% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.6%; last 0.6%); +2.1% year-over-year (consensus 2.2%; last 1.9%). Q2 Current Account deficit widened to GBP28.70 billion from GBP27.00 billion (expected deficit of GBP30.50 billion), Q2 Business Investment +1.0% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.5%; last -1.1%), and September Nationwide HPI +0.3% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.6%)
    • France's August Consumer Spending +0.7% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.3%) and September CPI -0.2% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.3%)
  • Eurozone August Unemployment Rate 10.1% (expected 10.0%; last 10.1%) and September CPI +0.4%, as expected (last 0.2%). September Core CPI +0.8% year-over-year (expected 0.9%; last 0.8%)
  • Germany's August Retail Sales -0.4% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.5%); +3.7% year-over-year (consensus 1.3%; last -1.5%)
  • UK's Q2 GDP +0.7% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.6%; last 0.6%); +2.1% year-over-year (consensus 2.2%; last 1.9%). Q2 Current Account deficit widened to GBP28.70 billion from GBP27.00 billion (expected deficit of GBP30.50 billion), Q2 Business Investment +1.0% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.5%; last -1.1%), and September Nationwide HPI +0.3% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.6%)
  • France's August Consumer Spending +0.7% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.3%) and September CPI -0.2% month-over-month (expected -0.3%; last 0.3%)

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE is down 0.9% with financials pacing the retreat. Barclays, Lloyds Banking, Prudential, and RBS are down between 2.6% and 5.2%. Select miners outperform with Randgold Resources and Fresnillo both up near 1.8%.
  • Germany's DAX has given up 1.1% amid broad weakness. Commerzbank has tumbled 6.5% and Deutsche Bank is down 4.5%. Exporters Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler are down between 1.6% and 1.8%. Infineon is the lone advancer, climbing 3.0%.
  • France's CAC has slumped 1.5% with bank shares pacing the weakness. Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, and Credit Agricole are down between 2.9% and 4.0%. Peugeot and Renault show respective losses of 2.2% and 2.0% while Technip outperforms, climbing 1.3%.
  • Spain's IBEX underperforms with a loss of 2.0%. Telefonica is the worst performer, down 4.7%, while financials Santander, Banco Popular, BBVA, Banco Sabadell, and Caixabank show losses between 1.9% and 4.2%.

7:07 am Univ Elec announces its subsidiary C.G. Development has entered into an agreement to sell its entire ownership interest in Gemstar Technology Co to Guangzhou Junhao Investment Co; C.G. Development to receive about $48 mln in cash at closing (UEIC) :

  • In exchange for the sale of 100% of the capital of stock of Gemstar China, GJI will pay C.G. Development RMB 320 mln (~$48 mln) in cash at closing.
  • The transaction is expected to be completed within ~28 months from the execution of the agreement. During this period, UEI will transfer its remaining Gemstar China production at Panyu to other UEI-owned manufacturing facilities in China. UEI's China-based engineering development and centralized support organizations, presently located at Gemstar China in Panyu, will transfer to two new technology centers located in Suzhou and Guangzhou.

7:06 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -1.5%, Hang Seng -1.9%, Shanghai +0.2% (:SUMRX) :

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended the week on a mixed note. Investors received a boatload of data, which included disappointing inflation numbers from Japan. It is worth noting that trading volume in the region is likely to take a hit next week as Golden Week keeps markets in China closed until Monday, October 10.

  • In economic data:
    • China's September Caixin Manufacturing PMI 50.1, as expected (last 50.0)
    • Japan's August National CPI -0.5% year-over-year, as expected (last -0.4%) and National Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (consensus -0.4%; last -0.5%). September Tokyo Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.4%). August Industrial Production +1.5% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.4%), August Unemployment Rate 3.1% (expected 3.0%; last 3.0%), and August Household Spending -3.7% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; last 2.5%); -4.6% year-over-year (consensus -2.5%; last -0.5%). August Housing Starts +2.5% year-over-year (consensus 7.1%; last 8.9%) and BoJ Core CPI +0.4% year-over-year (consensus 0.6%; last 0.5%)
    • Australia's August Private Sector Credit +0.4% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last 0.4%) and September HIA New Home Sales +6.1% month-over-month (last -9.7%)
    • New Zealand's September ANZ Business Confidence 27.9 (expected 25.0; last 15.5) and August Building Consents -1.0% month-over-month (expected -4.0%; last -8.1%)
    • South Korea's August Industrial Production -2.4% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; last 1.4%); +2.3% year-over-year (consensus 2.0%; last 1.6%). Retail Sales +2.0% month-over-month (last -2.6%). October Manufacturing BSI Index ticked down to 76 from 77
  • China's September Caixin Manufacturing PMI 50.1, as expected (last 50.0)
  • Japan's August National CPI -0.5% year-over-year, as expected (last -0.4%) and National Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (consensus -0.4%; last -0.5%). September Tokyo Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.4%). August Industrial Production +1.5% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last -0.4%), August Unemployment Rate 3.1% (expected 3.0%; last 3.0%), and August Household Spending -3.7% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; last 2.5%); -4.6% year-over-year (consensus -2.5%; last -0.5%). August Housing Starts +2.5% year-over-year (consensus 7.1%; last 8.9%) and BoJ Core CPI +0.4% year-over-year (consensus 0.6%; last 0.5%)
  • Australia's August Private Sector Credit +0.4% month-over-month (expected 0.5%; last 0.4%) and September HIA New Home Sales +6.1% month-over-month (last -9.7%)
  • New Zealand's September ANZ Business Confidence 27.9 (expected 25.0; last 15.5) and August Building Consents -1.0% month-over-month (expected -4.0%; last -8.1%)
  • South Korea's August Industrial Production -2.4% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; last 1.4%); +2.3% year-over-year (consensus 2.0%; last 1.6%). Retail Sales +2.0% month-over-month (last -2.6%). October Manufacturing BSI Index ticked down to 76 from 77

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei lost 1.5% to end the week lower by 1.8%. All ten sectors ended in the red with utilities (-3.4%), technology (-2.2%), and communications (-1.8%) lagging while energy (-0.3%) outperformed. Dainippon Screen Manufacturing, Kubota, Panasonic, Alps Electric, Japan Steel Works, Chubu Electric Power, and Softbank lost between 2.9% and 5.2%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.9%, finishing the week with a 1.6% decline. Property names and financials underperformed with China Shenhua Energy, China Resources Land, Bank of East Asia, China Life Insurance, and ICBC falling between 2.6% and 3.8%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite added 0.2%, but lost 1.0% for the week. Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical, Guangxi Future Technology, Sanlian Commercial, and Tianjin Global Magnetic Card gained between 5.0% and 5.7%.
  • India's Sensex added 0.1%, narrowing its weekly loss to 2.6%. GAIL, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Power, Vedanta, and Tata Steel gained between 1.8% and 3.1%.

---FX---

  • USDJPY +0.2% to 101.19
  • USDCNY UNCH at 6.6692
  • USDINR -0.3% to 66.590

7:01 am Regeneron Pharma announces the phase 2 study of aflibercept co-formulated with rinucumab shows no benefit over aflibercept alone in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (REGN) :

The combination therapy did not demonstrate an improvement in best corrected visual acuity (:BCVA) compared to intravitreal aflibercept injection monotherapy at 12 weeks, the primary endpoint of the study.

  • At 12 weeks, patients in both combination aflibercept/rinucumab groups showed a 5.8 letter improvement in BCVA. Patients treated with aflibercept alone showed a 7.5 letter improvement in BCVA.
  • EYLEA results in this study were consistent with the efficacy and safety seen in Phase 3 pivotal studies in wet AMD.
  • The efficacy results in the CAPELLA trial were consistent across all choroidal neovascularization (CNV) subtypes.
  • Adding rinucumab to aflibercept showed no benefit on anatomic endpoints including reduction in retinal thickness or in resolution of subretinal hyper-reflective material.

7:00 am Elbit Medical Imaging announces an update regarding the agreement to sell its project in Bangalore, India by its subsidiary; local investors to pay about EUR 0.65 mln (EMITF) :

Additional updates regarding the agreement agreement:

  • The securities provided by the Local Investor to EPI under the Sale Agreement will remain effective and unchanged. 
  • Subject to the payment of the First Advance Payment, the LSD will be extended until November 15, 2016.
  • The Local Investor will pay additional advance payments (the "Additional Advance Payments") as follows:
    • 32 Crore rupees (approximately 4.3 million) in two instalments during the fourth quarter of 2016.
    • ii. Additional 22.5 Crore rupees (approximately 3 million) during the second quarter of 2017.
  • 32 Crore rupees (approximately 4.3 million) in two instalments during the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • ii. Additional 22.5 Crore rupees (approximately 3 million) during the second quarter of 2017.
  • Subject to the execution of all the Additional Advance Payments, the LSD will be extended until September 15, 2017.
  • If the Local Investor will fail to execute any of the advance payments, than EPI shall be able to enforce its rights under the Sale Agreement including the execution of the Securities.
  • At this preliminary stage, there is no definitive agreement between EPI and the Local Investor and there is no certainty that any of the aforementioned understandings will be executed.
  • In case the parties will not reach such final agreement, EPI will consider its further steps with respect to the Sale Agreement, including, inter alia, the execution of the Securities.

6:45 am Intl Game Tech settles pre-merger whistleblower claim with the SEC; agrees to pay $500k under the terms of the settlement (IGT) :

  • In agreeing to the settlement, IGT neither admits nor denies the SEC's allegations that legacy IGT improperly retaliated against a whistleblower. The SEC did not allege any violations relating to the subject of the whistleblower's initial complaint. IGT has agreed to pay the SEC $500,000 under the terms of the settlement.

6:45 am McCormick beats by $0.09, reports revs in-line; raises FY16 guidance (MKC) :

  • Reports Q3 (Aug) earnings of $1.03 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.09 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.94; revenues rose 2.9% year/year to $1.09 bln vs the $1.09 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co raises guidance for FY16, sees adjusted EPS of $3.75-3.79 (prior $3.68-$3.75 range), excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.75 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs increasing approximately 3%, which is at the upper end of its previous range $4.34-4.43 bln vs. $4.41 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • "Consumer demand for healthy and high quality flavors continues to grow in markets around the world. In both our consumer and industrial segments, we are meeting this demand with a broad portfolio of on-trend products in our base business, innovative new products and through acquisitions. All of these factors contributed to our third quarter sales increase of 3%, which was 6% in constant currency, and we achieved particularly strong growth in our consumer business in the U.S. and in China. We are balancing these strategies to grow sales with our actions to improve productivity and lower costs. Led by our Comprehensive Continuous Improvement (CCI) program, we expect to achieve cost savings of $100 million to $110 million in 2016. We are investing a portion of these savings in brand marketing and other growth initiatives and also driving greater profitability for our business, as demonstrated by the strong increase in third quarter operating income."

6:38 am Cosi appoints Randy Kominsky as Chief Restructuring Officer effective Oct 4, 2016 (COSI) : Kominsky has over 25 years of experience working with companies and creditors in Chapter 11, out-of-court restructurings, turnarounds, and crisis management. Since June 1996, he has been President of Alliance For Financial Growth and has served in the capacity of CEO, CFO, board member, and advisor to growth and troubled companies, focusing on increasing cash flows and profitability and advising on mergers and acquisitions.

6:29 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) announces that it has received EU Marketing Authorization for Aerivio Spiromax (fluticasone/salmeterol 500/50) as a maintenance bronchodilator treatment for adult patients with severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 
  • Savannah Resources plc advised that Rio Tinto (RIO) and Savannah have agreed to extend the long stop date of the joint venture agreement (announced on 22 June 20151) from September 30 until October10
  • Tuniu Corporation (TOUR) announces that Mr. Zhengrong Tang has resigned as chief technology officer of the co due to personal reasons, effective immediately. The Company also announced the hiring of Mr. Haichuan Qian as senior vice president and head of technology. Prior to joining Tuniu, Mr. Qian served in numerous engineering roles at Trend Micro, most recently as Trend Micro's global vice president of corporate research and development over the past five years.
  • Consumers Energy (CMS) announces that it will provide up to 75,000 high-efficiency LED bulbs to Michigan families through food banks in October.

6:22 am Daimler AG: Cooperation between Daimler and Renault (RNSDF) - Nissan (NSANY) Alliance deepening in 2016; original project portfolio matures in all areas (DDAIF) :

  • Original project portfolio matures in all areas (vehicles, engines and cross-supplying) across three continents.
  • First Mercedes-Benz pickup truck taking shape and set-up of the Alliance's production facilities in Spain and Argentina fully on track Joint production facility in Aguascalientes, Mexico, preparing for pilot production of next generation premium compact cars Partnership growing in 2016, delivering economies of scale for both companies and higher-value vehicles to customers.

6:14 am Shanghai ... +0.2% (FXI) :  

6:14 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +3.00. :

6:14 am European Markets : FTSE...6,845.57...-73.90...-1.10%.  DAX...10,293.11...-112.40...-1.10%.

6:14 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...16,449.84...-243.90...-1.50%.  Hang Seng...23,361.44...-378.00...-1.60%.

6:08 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Tullow Oil (TUWLF) received confirmation from its Lead Insurers that they accept there is a recoverable claim with respect to the Group's corporate policy for Business Interruption insurance following damage to the Jubilee turret bearing earlier this year. This follows Tullow's announcement on 23 September 2016 that Hull & Machinery cover for Jubilee has also been confirmed. Tullow will continue to work closely with the loss adjusters and insurers to establish an efficient payments schedule as remedial work continues. Tullow will provide an update on the progress of this project in its next Trading Statement on 9 November 2016.
  • Bombardier (BDRBF) Transportation has signed a three year extension to its current Train Service Agreement with Arriva CrossCountry Trains, extending service until October 2019. The contract covers full maintenance services for XC's fleet of 57 Voyager and Super Voyager trainsets, based out of Bombardier's Central Rivers maintenance facility. 
  • Merck (MRK), Verastem (VSTM) and Cancer Research UK will trial a new combination of immunotherapy drugs in mesothelioma, non small cell lung and pancreatic cancers. The phase Ib/IIa trial will investigate whether a focal adhesion kinase inhibitor drug from Verastem called VS-6063 can boost the effectiveness of a PD-1 immunotherapy drug from Merck called Keytruda 

6:03 am Hailiang Education appoints Hancheng Lee to replace Lei Chen as CFO effective immediately (HLG) :

  • The co announced today that, Mr. Lei Chen, the current CFO, will leave the co effective immediately due to personal reasons.
  • Mr. Hancheng Lee has served as the Chief Accounting Officer of Hailiang Education since February 2016 and served as Assistant Director of Internal Audit of Hailiang Group Co., Ltd. from March 2014 to February 2016.

6:02 am Renren announces intentions to spin off a newly formed subsidiary that will hold the social video platform woxiu.com and most of the investments in minority stakes in privately held companies (RENN) :

  • The co plans to distribute rights, exercisable for shares in SpinCo, to the co's shareholders on a pro rata basis. The rights will not be transferable and may only be exercised by shareholders who are both "qualified purchasers" under the Investment co Act of 1940 and "accredited investors" under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The co will distribute cash in lieu of fractional rights and cash to holders of rights who cannot exercise or who choose not to exercise their rights.
  • The co plans to distribute no less than 80% of the shares of SpinCo to shareholders that exercise rights and intends for such distribution to qualify, for U.S. tax purposes, as a tax-free distribution to the co's U.S. shareholders who receive shares of SpinCo in the distribution.

4:38 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Bunge Agribusiness Singapore Pte Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bunge (BG), and Oleo-Fats, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of D&L Industries, have entered into distribution agreements for the foodservice, retail and food processor industries in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Gazprom (OGZPY) received through diplomatic channels a survey permit for two strings of the TurkStream gas pipeline's offshore section in Turkey's territorial waters. -
  • Eisai (ESALY) announced the initiation of a global Phase III Clinical Study of its in-house developed multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor lenvatinib mesylate in respective combination regimens with the anticancer agent everolimus and the anti-PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab as a potential first-line treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma.
  • Toshiba Corporation's (TOSBF) Storage & Electronic Devices Solutions Company announced the launch of a new line-up of its small package "VSON4 Series" photorelays that extends the upper end of the operating range from 85 to 110 degrees Celsius.

4:28 am Royal Bank of Scotland proposes Ring-Fenced structure to comply with UK requirements (RBS) :

Co announces how the legal entity structure of the RBS group is expected to change over the next two years to comply with the UK's ring-fencing requirements prior to 1 January 2019. The bank's newly relaunched brand strategy supports this future ring-fenced structure. Subject to this, we expect our reorganisation to involve the following three principal corporate steps:

  • The transfer of most of our existing personal, private, business and commercial customers from The Royal Bank of Scotland plc to Adam & Company PLC, our current Scottish private bank in mid-2018
  • At the same time as the above in 2018, we will rename RBS plc to "NatWest Markets Plc", to bring its legal name in line with our recently relaunched brand strategy. Following the proposed transfers to Adam & Company PLC described above, this entity will continue to operate our CIB businesses. The renamed entity NatWest Markets Plc will be the non-ring-fenced bank and direct subsidiary of RBS Group plc.
  • At the beginning of 2017, we will introduce an intermediate holding company for the ring-fenced banks named "NatWest Holdings Limited" which, at that time, will assume direct ownership of National Westminster Bank Plc, Adam & Company PLC and Ulster Bank Ireland DAC. NatWest Holdings Limited will initially be a subsidiary of RBS plc, but by the end of 2018, it will be a direct subsidiary of RBS Group plc. National Westminster Bank Plc will therefore no longer be a subsidiary of the current RBS plc entity.

4:23 am Airbus to merge its Group structure with its largest division Airbus Commercial Aircraft into a new entity (EADSY) :

Airbus Group further integrates by merging its Group structure with its largest division Airbus Commercial Aircraft into a new entity. Last night, the Board of Directors of Airbus Group approved a respective proposal by the company's Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders.

  • The details of the merger and its resulting impacts are now subject to discussions with the social partners on Group, national and divisional level.
  • The merger provides the opportunity to introduce a single Airbus brand for the Group and all its entities, effective January 2017.

4:04 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Erickson Incorporated (EAC) has a long-term helicopter support contract with Chugach Electric Association, which has been extended for two additional years as permitted in the original contract award. The extension will retain Erickson through December 31, 2018. 
  • Logitech (LOGI) announced its newest webcam, the Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam.
  • Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) announced the commissioning and deployment of an initial 12 fuel cell-powered buses in the District of Sanshui, in the City of Foshan, in the Province of Guangdong, China. 
  • Amazon Web Services, an Amazon.com company (AMZN), announced the availability of P2 instances, a new GPU instance type for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) designed for compute-intensive applications that require massive parallel floating

4:00 am FXCM sells its DailyFX website for $40 mln (FXCM) :

Co announced that it has agreed to sell DailyFX, its news and research website to IG Group, a global leader in online trading, for a price of $40 million. Subject to IG final approval and customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of October.

  • Upon completion, IG will receive the entire DailyFX business including all international and domestic web domains, source code and content. 34 employees currently working on DailyFX domains will also transfer to IG in the transaction.
  • FXCM will continue to be an advertiser to U.S. and Canadian residents on the DailyFX English version of the website.
  • Once the transaction is completed, a transition period for migration purposes will begin immediately.
  • Cash of $36 million will be paid to FXCM on closing, with the additional $4 million to be paid on completion of certain migration requirements.
  • Proceeds from the sale will be used to repay debt owed to Leucadia (LUK).
  • Following this transaction, FXCM will have made loan repayments of $157 million to Leucadia with $153 million outstanding and will have repaid more than half its debt.

3:55 am Ecopetrol provides update to its 2020 business plan; plan contemplates a cash surplus and a dividend distribution policy of about 40% (EC) :

Co informs that it has updated its business plan for the period 2017-2020. This plan seeks to generate value, profitability and sustainability, and prepares the Group to capture the benefits derived from a potential increase in prices. The highlights include:

  • This new business plan is based on three pillars: i) cash flow focus through the consolidation of savings and efficiencies, ii) capital discipline and iii) profitable, clean and safe growth in Upstream.
  • The plan contemplates a cash surplus of more than $4.800 million, a dividend distribution policy of about 40% and debt ratios consistent with investment grade rating.
  • Capital discipline is based on a solid investment portfolio, estimated in $13.000 million by 2020. Nearly 90% of the investments of the Group will be allocated to Upstream.
  • The Midstream and Downstream segments will focus their investment in strengthening operational excellence, maintenance and asset integrity.
  • By 2020, at an average price of $50 USD/bl, estimated production would reach 760 Mboed, equivalent to a 6% growth vis a vis 2016. At an average price of 70 USD/bl, production could reach 830 Mboed, or 16% over the current production.
  • As for exploration, at least, 1.000 million barrels of contingent resources are expected by 2020. Moreover, the Groups financial flexibility enables inorganic growth.

3:38 am Viacom prices $1.3 bln debt offering consisting of 2 tranches; $400 mln of 2.250% senior notes due 2022 and $900 mln of 3.450% senior notes due 2026 (VIAB) :  

3:36 am CEMEX S.A. tenders up to $500 mln of 7.250% Senior Secured Notes due 2021 (CX) :  

3:06 am Nutanix (Nasdaq) prices 14.87 mln share IPO at $16.00 per share, above the expected range of $13-15 (revised from $11-13 prior) (NTNX) :  

3:04 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Vectrus (VEC) announced the government did not select the company's contract proposal to provide comprehensive support services for all U.S. Army facilities in Kuwait. Vectrus is the incumbent contractor providing these services, under the Kuwait Base Operations & Security Support Services contract which currently runs through Dec 28
  • Costco (COST) announced its response to the partial jury verdict returned today in the case brought by Tiffany & Co. Proceedings will immediately follow concerning the jury's determination that Tiffany & Co (TIF). is entitled to an award of punitive damages. Because the jury's deliberations are continuing, further comment is not appropriate at this time.

2:59 am Extended Stay America prices secondary offering and repurchase of paired shares; paired shares sold at $14.25 per share (STAY) :

Co announced the pricing of the underwritten secondary offering of 13,000,000 Paired Shares, each Paired Share consisting of a share of common stock and a share of Class B common stock of ESH Hospitality, which are attached and trade together as Paired Shares.

  • The Paired Shares were offered by certain selling stockholders affiliated with Centerbridge Partners, L.P., Paulson & Co. Inc. and The Blackstone Group  (BX) and were sold at $14.25 per share