InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

5:18 pm This week's biggest % gainers/losers (:SCANX) : The following are this week's top 20 percentage gainers and top 20 percentage losers, categorized by sectors (over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume).

This week's top 20 % gainers

  • Healthcare:MDCO (40.42 +20.15%),THRX (15.99 +15.7%)
  • Materials:GEF (33.03 +13.16%),FTK (20.7 +12.75%)
  • Industrials:NCS (11.79 +13.58%),BRSS (20.74 +12.05%)
  • Consumer Discretionary:VRA (13.95 +33.24%),CRWN (5.23 +17%),LE (28.31 +15.98%),FRAN (12.81 +14.68%)
  • Information Technology:MEI (32.12 +20.07%),SUNE (11.99 +16.41%),INAP (9.27 +15.16%),DIOD (22.9 +14.9%),MB (15.45 +12.45%)
  • Financials:OFG (8.49 +17.1%)
  • Energy:MTRX (22.94 +14.24%),NNA (3.75 +11.94%)
  • Consumer Staples:BGS (36.17 +18.55%),CENTA (14.48 +15.38%)
This week's top 20 % losers
  • Healthcare:CFMS (14.18 -28.31%),KERX (4.76 -25.86%),TDOC (20.82 -24.89%),HTWR (65.19 -24.42%),ARIA (7.97 -19.41%),OMER (12.71 -18%),SPPI (6.28 -17.37%),SGMO (6.57 -16.31%)
  • Materials:PPP (2.36 -20.27%),CDE (2.88 -16.52%),HMY (0.77 -16.08%)
  • Industrials:JOY (18.63 -22.41%)
  • Consumer Discretionary:VNCE (5.24 -42.16%),GPRO (36.83 -23.56%)
  • Information Technology:AMBA (73.24 -23.95%),QIWI (21.44 -18.17%),CRTO (36.14 -16.15%)
  • Financials:PHK (7.97 -16.02%)
  • Energy:PWE (0.64 -19.09%)
  • Consumer Staples:CVGW (49.24 -16.87%)

5:16 pm Manpower announces pricing of EUR 400 mln of 1.875% senior notes due 2022 (MAN) : Co announces that it has successfully priced its offering of 400 million senior notes. The notes, which will be due September 11, 2022, carry a 1.875% annual coupon, and were priced at 99.753% to yield 1.913%. The offering is expected to settle on September 11, 2015.

5:04 pm Paragon Shipping announces at-the-market offering of up to $4 mln of common shares (PRGN) : Co announces that it has entered into an Equity Distribution Agreement, dated September 4, 2015, with Maxim Group LLC, or Maxim, for the offer and sale of up to $4.0 million of common shares of the Company. The net proceeds of this offering are expected to be used for general corporate purposes, which may include the payment of a portion of the outstanding contractual cost of the Company's existing newbuilding vessels, and/or the repayment of debt.

5:03 pm DragonWave sees Q2 revs of ~$27.5 mln vs 38.23 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; guidance is lowered from previously provided range of +30-60%, or ~$34.2-42.1 mln (DRWI) :

The variance from co's previously provided outlook was primarily caused by two factors:

  • equipment and service orders that were approximately $3.4 million lower than expected (about half of these orders are now anticipated to be received in Q3), and
  • approximately $2.8 million of shipments that did not make the Q2 cutoff and slipped to Q3.

A small amount of the variance is due to a large deployment in India that was halted during Q2 as a result of a product issue. While the product issue has now been resolved, the deployment of co's product by the affected customer continues to be suspended.

4:49 pm TECO Energy to be acquired by Emera for $27.55 per share in cash (TE) :

Co and Emera Inc. announce a definitive agreement for Emera to acquire TECO Energy, creating a North American energy leader, with over $20 billion of assets and more than 2.4 million electric and gas customers. Upon closing, TECO Energy will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Emera. Under the terms of the all-cash deal, which has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both companies, TECO Energy shareholders will receive US$27.55 per common share, a 48 percent premium based on TECO Energy's unaffected closing stock price on July 15, 2015 (the last trading day prior to news reports regarding TECO Energy's strategic review) and 25 percent above TECO Energy's unaffected 52-week high. This represents an aggregate purchase price of approximately US$10.4 billion including assumption of approximately US$3.9 billion of debt. The transaction is expected to close by mid-2016.

  • The Transaction is expected to be significantly accretive to Emera's earnings per common share, with accretion expected in the first full year of operations (2017), growing to more than 10 percent by the third full year (2019).

4:31 pm Leapfrog receives continued listing standard notice from NYSE due to minimum closing price rule (LF) :  

4:16 pm Magnum Hunter receives a notice from the NYSE for non-compliance with the exchange's minimum bid price rule (MHR) :  

4:09 pm Closing Market Summary: Stocks End Week on Cautious Note Amid Rate-Hike Jitters (:WRAPX) :

The stock market finished the first week of September on a defensive note after a daylong retreat pressured the S&P 500 (-1.5%) back to Wednesday's opening levels. The benchmark index lost 3.4% for the week while the Nasdaq Composite (-1.1%) outperformed, ending the week lower by 3.0%.

Equity indices slumped out of the gate, responding to the overnight weakness in the futures market. To that point, index futures began marching lower during the Asian session, setting pre-market lows after this morning's release of the Nonfarm Payrolls report for August. At first glance, the report appeared mediocre as the headline number came in below expectations (173,000; Briefing.com consensus 217,000); however, better than expected hourly earnings growth (+0.3%; consensus +0.2%) and a drop in the Unemployment Rate (to 5.1% from 5.3%) meant that the report is unlikely to deter the Federal Reserve from raising the fed funds rate as early as this month.

Treasuries fell from their overnight highs immediately after the report, but the 10-yr note found support on its flat line. The benchmark instrument traded little changed as the equity market opened, but returned to its overnight high as equities retreated throughout the day. Thanks to the intraday strength in Treasuries, the 10-yr yield fell four basis points to 2.12%.

Interestingly, the Dollar Index (96.27, -0.13) only saw a brief spike back to its flat line after the jobs report before setting a fresh session low. The greenback surrendered about 0.2% to the euro (1.1145) and gave up 0.9% against the yen (119.05).

In some ways, today's retreat was not that surprising since the U.S. market will be closed for Labor Day on Monday while potentially-volatile trading will resume in China after a two-day holiday. As a result, today's action at the NYSE floor generated a trading volume of 828 million, which was a bit below totals observed earlier this week.

Today's daylong retreat induced some demand for volatility protection, evidenced by the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 27.87, +2.26), which returned near its closing level from August.

All ten sectors finished the day in negative territory with financials (-1.9%) and materials (-2.0%) ending at the bottom of the leaderboard. Elsewhere, the health care sector (-1.3%) finished a bit ahead of the broader market thanks to relative strength in biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 337.79, -0.84) shed 0.3%, which helped the Nasdaq settle ahead of the S&P 500. Meanwhile, large cap Nasdaq components traded in-line with the broader market.

Elsewhere, the energy sector surrendered 1.7% on Friday, widening its weekly decline to 3.1%. On a related note, crude oil slid 0.7% to $45.97/bbl, ending the week higher by 1.7%.

Taking another look at the August Nonfarm Payrolls report:

  • Nonfarm payrolls increased by 173,000 (Briefing.com consensus 217,000)
    • July nonfarm payrolls revised to 245,000 from 215,000
    • June nonfarm payrolls revised to 245,000 from 231,000
  • Private sector payrolls increased by 140,000 (Briefing.com consensus 210,000)
    • July private sector payrolls revised to 224,000 from 210,000
    • June private sector payrolls revised to 218,000 from 227,000
  • Unemployment rate was 5.1% (Briefing.com consensus 5.2%) versus 5.3% in July
    • The U6 unemployment rate, which accounts for the total unemployed plus persons marginally attached to the labor force and the underemployed, was 10.3% versus 10.4% in July
    • Persons unemployed for 27 weeks or more accounted for 27.7% of the unemployed versus 26.9% in July
  • Average hourly earnings increased 0.3% (Briefing.com consensus 0.2%) after a 0.2% increase in July
    • Aggregate earnings were up 0.7% versus a downwardly revised 0.4% increase in July.
    • Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen 2.2% versus 2.1% in July
  • The average workweek was 34.6 hours (Briefing.com consensus 34.6) versus a downwardly revised 34.5 hours in July

Bond and equity markets will be closed on Monday in observance on Labor Day.

  • Nasdaq Composite -1.1% YTD
  • S&P 500 -6.7% YTD
  • Russell 2000 -5.6% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -9.7% YTD

Week in Review: Volatility Persists

The trading week began on a defensive note with all eyes on crude oil after the energy component soared more than 10.0% on Friday. Specifically, crude prices were down 3.6% in early trading to $43.60 per barrel. They would settle the day up 8.8% at $49.20 per barrel, representing a huge 13.0% swing from low to settlement price. The reversal in oil prices triggered a reversal in the S&P 500 energy sector, which was down 2.6% shortly after the start of trading. It would end the day up 1.1%, which left it as the best-performing sector in the S&P 500, as well as the only sector to finish the day in positive territory. For its part, the S&P 500 surrendered 0.8%.

On Tuesday, the market began September on a defensive note with a broad-based retreat that sent the S&P 500 lower by 3.0%. The benchmark index widened its Q3 loss to 7.0% while the Dow (-2.8%) and Nasdaq Composite (-2.9%) spent the day just ahead of the S&P 500. Equity indices slumped at the start, responding to the overnight weakness in the futures market. To that point, index futures began retreating shortly after Monday's closing bell and extended their losses during the Asian session with disappointing manufacturing data from China contributing to the cautious posture. Specifically, the official Manufacturing PMI slipped to 49.7 from 50.0 while the Caixin Manufacturing PMI ticked up to 47.3 from 47.2, but both readings came in below 50.0, which signifies contraction. The Shanghai Composite began the month with a 1.2% slide while the disappointing data from China reminded global investors about the persistent growth concerns.

The stock market snapped its two-day skid on Wednesday with the Nasdaq Composite leading the advance. The tech-heavy index climbed 2.5% while the Dow (+1.8%) and S&P 500 (+1.8%) registered slimmer gains. Although the market ended the midweek session on a higher note, the advance did not feature the characteristics of a sharp bounce. Instead, stocks traded in sideways fashion before spiking to new highs during the final 30 minutes of the day. Nine sectors posted gains while the utilities space (UNCHF) underperformed amid higher Treasury yields. The 10-yr note slumped in the morning, briefly retraced its loss during the session, and fell back to lows into the close. As a result, the 10-yr yield increased three basis points to 2.19%.

Thursday ended on a cautious note ahead of Friday's release of the Nonfarm Payrolls report for August (Briefing.com consensus 217,000). The S&P 500 added 0.1% after being up as much as 1.3% while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.4%) underperformed throughout the session. Equities climbed steadily through the first hour of action as global investors rushed into risk assets after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi indicated the ECB's quantitative easing program may be extended. To that point, the ECB made no changes to its policy course, but the central bank will now be allowed to buy up to 33.0% of any particular issue, up from the previous limit of 25.0%. On a related note, the ECB lowered its 2015 GDP forecast for the eurozone to 1.4% from 1.5%. The news from Europe pressured the euro, sending the single currency lower by 0.8% against the dollar to 1.1125. The euro remained in the neighborhood of its low throughout the day while stocks reached their highs during the first 90 minutes of the day before pulling back.

4:08 pm Public Storage issues a redemption call for all $125 mln of its Series P 6.5% Cumulative Preferred Shares (PSA) :  

4:05 pm Waterstone Financial announces authorization of a fourth stock repurchase program, for up to 1.5 mln shares of its common stock (WSBF) :  

4:02 pm Xoom announces shareholder approval for PayPal's (PYPL) acquisition of the company (XOOM) :  

4:02 pm Southcross Energy Partners launches a binding open season to solicit commitments for its recently completed 20k bbls/d propane pipeline system connecting Southcross' Bonnie View Fractionator to the Corpus Christi area (SXE) : The Pipeline permits Southcross to offer propane transportation services from a point near Woodsboro, Texas to a point near Corpus Christi, Texas. Shippers electing to make long-term volume commitments to the Pipeline during the open season will be eligible to receive firm service for their committed volumes. The binding open season will commence today, September 4, 2015 and is scheduled to conclude at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 5, 2015.

3:39 pm Major averages extend push off afternoon/session lows -- Dow -240, S&P -26, Nasdaq Comp -44 (:TECHX) : Relative sector strength has been noted in Bank KBE, Reg Bank KRE, Gold Miners GDX, Health XLV.

3:32 pm Earnings Preview for the week of September 7 - 11 (:SUMRX) :

Of the companies reporting earnings for the week of September 7 - 11 some of the bigger names include:

  • Tuesday:
    • Pre Market - YGE, NSSC
    • After Hours - CASY, MW, PBY, HELI, KFY, PSUN, PLAY, LAYN, TPLM, SPA, TIVO, AVNW, FCEL, HQY, PPHM
  • Wednesday:
    • Pre Market - HDS, BKS, HOV, JW.A, CONN, TITN, NX, FRAN, SNOW, MBUU
    • After Hours - ZQK, PANW, PAHC, OLLI, KKD, IRET, BOX, SIGM, DTEA, LMNR, APIC, EPM
  • Thursday:
    • Pre Market - LULU, CBK, SKIS
    • After Hours - RH, FNSR, DDC, ZUMZ, ACET, EGAN
  • Friday:
    • Pre Market - KR, MFRM, BRC

3:26 pm Ascent Capital Group authorizes an increase of $25 million to its stock repurchase program (ASCMA) :  

2:56 pm Genmab A/S announced that the FDA granted a Priority Review to the Biologics License Application for daratumumab (GNMSF) :

The BLA is for daratumumab as a treatment for patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least three different lines of therapy including both a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory agent or who are double refractory to a proteasome inhibitor and an IMiD. A rolling BLA submission was started by Genmab's licensing partner, Janssen Biotech, a unit of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), in June and was completed on July 9, 2015. In August 2012, Genmab granted Janssen an exclusive worldwide license to develop, manufacture and commercialize daratumumab. 

  • The FDA aims to complete its review of the daratumumab BLA within six months and has assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (:PDUFA) target date of March 9, 2016.

1:16 pm Notable movers of interest (:SCANX) :

The following are some of today's most notable movers of interest, categorized by market capitalization (large cap over $10 billion and mid cap between $2-10 billion) and ranked by % change (all stocks over 100K average daily volume).

Large Cap Gainers

  • MU (16.81 +1.3%): Seeing notable volume and continued strength following yesterday's $400 mln deal in the semi space that saw peer Pericom Semi (PSEM) get acquired.
  • DLTR (68.53 +2.28%): Upgraded to Buy at BofA/Merrill.
  • NBL (30.94 +2.4%): Outperforming on the heels on noteworthy options activity, with calls outpacing puts by 22-1; heavy activity in September, October 30 calls.

Large Cap Losers

  • BSBR (3.81 -6.85%): Continued weakness in Brazilian names (ITUB, VALE, PBR, BBD, among other names from the country lower).
  • FCX (9.67 -4.54%): S&P revised Freeport-McMoRan's outlook to negative on lower copper assumptions; Copper down 3%.
  • BP (30.71 -5.25%): Downgraded to Underperform at BofA/Merrill.

Mid Cap Gainers

  • AVOL (30.1 +4.95%): Agreed to be acquired by Bohai Leasing for $31/share in cash in a ~$7.6 bln deal.
  • W (35.06 +0.43%): Defended at Piper Jaffray following recent share slump; firm reiterated its Overweight rating and $60 PT.
  • LPX (16.35 +1.36%): Upgraded to Outperform at RBC Capital Mkts; tgt raised to $19.

Mid Cap Losers

  • TCK (6.24 -8.37%): Miners see notable weakness with copper dropping by almost 3%
  • COO (152.51 -5.46%): Beat Q3 consensus EPS estimates by $0.02, reported revs in-line; guided Q4 EPS in-line, revs below consensus.
  • ESL (77.01 -5.99%): Missed Q3 EPS, revenue estimates, lowered FY15 guidance/

1:05 pm Nasdaq Comp -62 joins Dow -309 and S&P -34 at a new session low (:TECHX) :  

12:53 pm Midday Market Summary: Stocks Probe Lows at Midday (:WRAPX) :

The major averages hover near their session lows at midday with the S&P 500 (-1.6%) trading behind the Nasdaq Composite (-1.1%), but ahead of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-1.7%).

Equity indices slumped at the start of the trading day after this morning's release of the Nonfarm Payrolls report for August was met with selling in the futures market. Index futures spent the night in a steady retreat, notching their lows after the Employment Situation Report revealed the addition of 173,000 payrolls in August. The headline number came in below the Briefing.com consensus, which was pegged at 217,000, but the details of the report revealed some underlying strength. Specifically, hourly wages grew faster than expected (+0.3%; consensus +0.2%) and the unemployment rate fell to 5.1% from 5.3% (consensus 5.2%). Altogether, the report was viewed as good enough for the Federal Reserve to move ahead with a rate hike as early as the upcoming September meeting.

Meanwhile, the Treasury market showed some initial indecision, briefly surrendering its overnight gains, but that early move has been followed by a return to overnight highs with the 10-yr yield down four basis points at 2.12% at this juncture.

It is worth noting that the renewed strength in Treasuries has taken place amid uninspiring action in equities that has the S&P 500 trading just above its session low that was established within the past 30 minutes. In some ways, the cautious posture is not that surprising considering the U.S. market will be closed for Labor Day on Monday while trading in China will resume after a two-day holiday.

All ten sectors hold midday losses with heavily-weighted financials (-2.2%) at the bottom of the leaderboard while technology (-1.5%) and health care (-1.5%) trade just ahead of the broader market. High-beta chipmakers have helped the tech sector spent the first half ahead of the S&P 500, but that is just a small victory considering the PHLX Semiconductor Index is still down 1.0%.

Elsewhere, the health care sector and the Nasdaq both trade ahead of the S&P 500 as biotechnology shows some relative strength with iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 336.74, -1.89) lower by 0.6%.

Taking another look at the August Nonfarm Payrolls report:

  • Nonfarm payrolls increased by 173,000 (Briefing.com consensus 217,000)
    • July nonfarm payrolls revised to 245,000 from 215,000
    • June nonfarm payrolls revised to 245,000 from 231,000
  • Private sector payrolls increased by 140,000 (Briefing.com consensus 210,000)
    • July private sector payrolls revised to 224,000 from 210,000
    • June private sector payrolls revised to 218,000 from 227,000
  • Unemployment rate was 5.1% (Briefing.com consensus 5.2%) versus 5.3% in July
    • The U6 unemployment rate, which accounts for the total unemployed plus persons marginally attached to the labor force and the underemployed, was 10.3% versus 10.4% in July
    • Persons unemployed for 27 weeks or more accounted for 27.7% of the unemployed versus 26.9% in July
  • Average hourly earnings increased 0.3% (Briefing.com consensus 0.2%) after a 0.2% increase in July
    • Aggregate earnings were up 0.7% versus a downwardly revised 0.4% increase in July
    • Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen 2.2% versus 2.1% in July
  • The average workweek was 34.6 hours (Briefing.com consensus 34.6) versus a downwardly revised 34.5 hours in July

12:51 pm Small-Cap Russell 2000 -9 and Nasdaq Comp -53 still hovering above their opening lows (:TECHX) :  

12:32 pm Dow -300 and S&P -32 set new session lows, Nasdaq Comp -54 holding slightly above its opening low (:TECHX) :  

11:47 am Interpublic names Simon Bond as Chief Growth Officer (IPG) : Bond joins IPG from BBDO, where he worked for the past seventeen years in various posts, most recently as the agency's Global Chief Marketing Officer.

11:45 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New lows (136) outpacing new highs (12) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AMRB, BGS, BRSS, CBNJ, CFI, DSGX, EEI, ENVI, HILL, JNP, MTS, ULBI

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ABB, ABX, ACC, AES, AEZS, AGM, ALB, APAM, APPS, AUY, AVA, AVAV, BDC, BEBE, BGMD, BKH, BLX, BPI, BWEN, CCG, CDI, CDOR, CFMS, CHA, CHU, CID, CIO, CLCD, CLMS, CNIT, COO, CPA, CPHI, CRD.A, CRD.B, CVA, CWT, DDR, DSWL, DUK, EDE, EDR, EGO, EPR, ESEA, ESL, ETR, EVY, FARO, FDML, FLDM, FORR, FSAM, FSM, FSTR, FUL, GBL, GBSN, GEO, GHL, GIGA, GOLD, GTY, HCN, HCP, HKTV, HMY, HSBC, IRC, IRT, IVAC, KAMN, KERX, KRO, LADR, LILA, LILAK, LNT, MC, MG, MITL, MNR, MPW, MT, MVC, NAVI, NNI, NNN, NPO, NRG, OFC, OHI, PCH, PCL, PEBO, PGRE, PHK, PJC, PKOH, PKY, PMT, PPP, PTR, PUK, RCAP, RDNT, RGLD, RIF, RPAI, RPT, SAN, SBRA, SFXE, SGI, SGMO, SJI, SNC, SNP, SWAY, SXCP, SXE, TAC, TEF, THTI, TITN, TROX, TWI, UACL, UTI, UTIW, VNCE, VSAR, VSEC, VTR, WRI, ZAIS

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: none

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: ENZL, EWP, FXA, JJG, NLR, RJA, XLU

11:37 am Stock indices slide back toward lower end of morning ranges -- Dow -263, S&P -28, Nasdaq Comp -49 (:TECHX) :  

11:24 am Currency Commentary: DXY Dismisses NFP Miss (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index continues to hold the 96 level. The DXY saw some volatility around the August jobs report but held its ground and has pushed higher. The Nonfarm Payrolls number missed expectations by a wide margin but some of the miss was explained away by seasonality. Perhaps of greater interest to the market was the higher than expected Hourly Earnings (+0.3% vs +0.2% Briefing.com consensus). The general takeaway from the report was that it was disappointing but not enough to deter the Fed from a possible rate hike in the coming months. Ahead of the report voting member Lacker provided some hawkish commentary as he continues to see a need for a rate hike.
  • The euro saw some selling in reaction to the jobs report as it slipped to 1.1090. But the move was reversed quickly as it bounced back to 1.1140. It ran into some resistance at that level and is now back to testing 1.11 for some support.
  • The pound has fallen to the 1.5170 which marks the multi-month lows set back on June 1. This will be a key test for cable which has been on a steady downward trend since August 25. The test of multi-month lows will be key for pound in the coming sessions.
  • The yen is testing the 119 level for resistance. Yen was seeing a bid on some overnight rissk off trade ahead of the U.S> jobs number. But it has not been able to maintain the early momentum (BONDX, FOREX). 

10:56 am Limited recovery attempt stalls -- Dow -249, S&P -26, Nasdaq Comp -42 (:TECHX) : Relative sector weakness vs. the S&P in recent trade note in Finance XLF.

10:33 am Market averages extend push off lows -- Dow -196, S&P -19, Nasdaq Comp -23 (:TECHX) : Noted in the 10:02 update that the S&P has probed support at 1920/1918 and stabilized with some signs of weakening downside momentum (Nasdaq Comp and A/D Line did not confirm new S&P/Dow lows). For this morning the S&P needs to sustain a push above 1934 with next resistance in the 1942/1944 area.

10:27 am KaloBios Pharma (+57%) surging, extending yesterday's break out (KBIO) :

  • Searching for catalyst beyond momentum traders piling in.
  • KB004, the company's monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting EphA3, is currently in clinical development in the phase 2 expansion portion of an open-label Phase 1/2 study in hematologic malignancies.
  • KaloBios is initiating an open-label Phase I study designed to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics and clinical activity of KB003 in previously treated CMML patients.
  • Stock fell 72% on January 6 after Phase 2 Study of KB001-A failed to meet primary endpoint; still down 66% YTD.
  • Nano cap: ~$19 mln company.

10:22 am Relative sector strength (:TECHX) : The market remains broadly lower but have seen some intraday relative strength vs. the S&P in Restaurant, Crude Oil USO, Biotech IBB (BLUE, OTIC, SGEN, NBIX, CLVS, JUNO), Health XLV, Pharma PPH, Bank KBE, Reg Bank KRE. 

10:02 am S&P -27 flirts with secondary support zone at 1920/1918 (SPY) : Noted a secondary support in The Technical Take for the S&P at 1920/1918. The index has recently probed this area (session low 1919) with minor interest developing. The early decline has lost some momentum as the Nasdaq Comp and A/D Line have thus far not confirmed the new S&P low.

9:51 am Dow -263 and S&P -29 unable to build on bounce attempt, drop to new lows -- Nasdaq Comp -54 is slightly above its low (:TECHX) :  

9:41 am Stock indices are attempting to work off opening lows -- Dow -192, S&P -20, Nasdaq Comp -38 (:TECHX) : The futures have extended their push off pre-market lows with the cash indices attempting to recover off opening lows.

9:38 am Opening Market Summary: Stocks Slide Out of the Gate (:WRAPX) :

As expected, the major averages began the trading day under pressure. The S&P 500 trades lower by 1.2% while the Nasdaq Composite (-1.0%) shows a slightly slimmer loss.

All ten sectors display early losses with nine groups down 1.0% or more. The materials sector (-1.6%) is the weakest performer in the early going while heavily-weighted financials (-1.3%), industrials (-1.4%), and health care (-1.3%) also trail the broader market.

Elsewhere, Treasuries have slipped from their recent levels, but they remain in the green with the 10-yr yield down one basis point at 2.15%.

9:37 am Firmly negative start for market averages -- Dow -210, S&P -22.8, Nasdaq Comp -46 (:TECHX) : The weakest sectors in early trade on a percentage basis include: Steel SLX, Auto CARZ, Biotech IBB, Materials XLB, Social Media SOCL, Oil Service OIH, Airline JETS, Solar TAN, Ag/Chem MOO, Coal KOL, Crude Oil USO.

9:31 am IGI Labs submits its seventh abbreviated new drug application of 2015 to the FDA (IG) :  

9:10 am S&P futures vs fair value: -30.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -60.20. (:WRAPX) :

The stock market is on track for a lower open as S&P 500 futures trade 30 points below fair value. Index futures spent the entire night in negative territory, falling to lows earlier this morning after the Nonfarm Payrolls report crossed the wires.

At first glance, the jobs data was a disappointment (173,000; Briefing.com consensus 217,000), but the details revealed some underlying strength as hourly wages grew faster than expected (+0.3%; consensus +0.2%) and the unemployment rate fell to 5.1% from 5.3% (consensus 5.2%). As a result, the market has interpreted the report as good enough for the Fed to move ahead with a rate hike as early as the upcoming September meeting.

Interestingly, Treasuries remain near their overnight levels after seeing a brief drop immediately after the data was released. The 10-yr note holds a modest gain with its yield down two basis points at 2.14%.

9:10 am La Quinta Holdings enters into a definitive purchase and sale agreement to sell 24 of its owned hotels (LQ) : As previously disclosed, the Company recorded an impairment charge of $42.5 million in the three months ended June 30, 2015 to adjust the carrying value of this portfolio of hotels to its estimated fair value. This portfolio is geographically dispersed and the Company expects that the majority of these hotels will be removed from the La Quinta system. The Company expects to close the sale prior to the end of 2015

9:02 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • KapStone Paper and Packaging (KS) announced that its Longview, Wash. mill has restarted its #11 paper machine in accordance with a contingency plan to operate the mill in the event of a strike. This is the second of the mill's five paper machines to be brought back online following a work stoppage initiated on Aug. 27, 2015, by the AWPPW union, Local 153.
  • InterCloud Systems (ICLD) announced it has been selected by The Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services to provide disaster recovery cloud services. InterCloud will provide key value add elements including geographic data redundancy to guard critical customer data against any colossal failure, natural disaster or human error. The selection is an expansion of its existing $2.6 mln in services already provided to the JBFCS
  • American Sports Network, a division of Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI), announced that it has entered into a multi-year sublicense agreement with ESPN to televise college football and basketball games for the Mid-American Conference, beginning with the 2015 academic year.

9:02 am Nordson acquires automated X-ray inspection equipment manufacturer, MatriX Technologies GmbH; terms not disclosed (NDSN) : MatriX revenues for 2014 were approximately 26 million. Co expects the acquisition of MatriX to be accretive to earnings in the first full year of operation.

8:58 am S&P futures vs fair value: -33.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -65.70. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures trade 34 points below fair value.

There was a lot of weakness across markets in the Asia-Pacific region on Friday, led by Japan's Nikkei (-2.2%). Most reports attributed the selling pressure to nervousness ahead of the U.S. employment report, but it might have also been some nervousness ahead of China opening for trading again on Monday when the U.S. markets will be closed. China was closed Friday in celebration of Victory Day.

  • In economic data:
    • Japan's Average Cash Earnings +0.6% year-over-year (expected 2.3%; prior -2.5%)
    • Hong Kong's August Manufacturing PMI 44.4 (prior 48.2)

------

  • Japan's Nikkei declined 2.2%, with exporters weighing on the back of yen strength. Broad-based losses were paced by the communications (-3.2%), consumer staples (-2.5%), and materials (-2.1%) sectors. Minebea (-5.8%), Shiseido (-5.7%), and Pioneer (-5.7%) were the top laggards while Shizuoka Bank (+3.2%) and Obayashi (+1.8%) led a small group of winners. Out of the 225 index members, 15 ended higher, 204 finished lower, and 6 were unchanged. For the week, the Nikkei declined 7.0%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.5%, ending near its lows for the session after a weaker than expected manufacturing PMI report, which reflected contraction for the sixth consecutive month. PetroChina (-3.7%), China Petroleum & Chemical (-3.4%), and Ping An Insurance Group (-3.3%) led the selling. Out of the 50 index members, 18 ended higher, 28 finished lower, and 4 were unchanged. For the week, the Hang Seng declined 3.6%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite: closed for holiday (Victory Day)

Major European indices trade lower across the board. On a separate note, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said he does not see a "lasting danger" for the world economy due to the uncertainty surrounding China.

  • Economic data was limited:
    • Eurozone Retail PMI 51.4 (prior 54.2) Germany's July Factory Orders -1.4% month-over-month (expected -0.6%; prior 1.8%)
    • France's August Consumer Confidence held at 93 (expected 94)

------

  • UK's FTSE is lower by 1.8% amid broad weakness. BP is among the weakest performers, down 3.3%, while consumer names also lag with Burberry, Dixons Carphone, and Next down between 2.7% and 3.1%.
  • Germany's DAX has given up 2.0% with all but one component in the red. Heavyweights Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and Bayer show losses between 2.9% and 3.4% while Lufthansa outperforms, trading higher by 6.9%.
  • In France, the CAC has slumped 2.1% with all 40 index members in the red. Kering, Peugeot, and Societe Generale lead the slide with losses between 2.8% and 5.2%.

8:48 am European Markets Update: FTSE -1.8%, DAX -2.0%, CAC -2.1% (:SUMRX) :

Major European indices trade lower across the board. On a separate note, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said he does not see a "lasting danger" for the world economy due to the uncertainty surrounding China.

  • Economic data was limited:
    • Eurozone Retail PMI 51.4 (prior 54.2) Germany's July Factory Orders -1.4% month-over-month (expected -0.6%; prior 1.8%)
    • France's August Consumer Confidence held at 93 (expected 94)

------

  • UK's FTSE is lower by 1.8% amid broad weakness. BP is among the weakest performers, down 3.3%, while consumer names also lag with Burberry, Dixons Carphone, and Next down between 2.7% and 3.1%.
  • Germany's DAX has given up 2.0% with all but one component in the red. Heavyweights Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and Bayer show losses between 2.9% and 3.4% while Lufthansa outperforms, trading higher by 6.9%.
  • In France, the CAC has slumped 2.1% with all 40 index members in the red. Kering, Peugeot, and Societe Generale lead the slide with losses between 2.8% and 5.2%.

8:41 am Polymet Mining reports Q2, progress toward completion of environmental review (PLM) :

  • Q2 EPS ($0.01) vs ($0.01) Capital IQ Consensus.
  • NorthMet is nearing completion of a decade-long environmental review led by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service as Co-lead Agencies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and three Minnesota Chippewa bands as Cooperating Agencies.
  • On August 5, 2015 the EPA issued its comments on the preliminary final EIS, stating that it "reflects many improvements to the project, and to the clarity and completeness of the environmental review."

8:40 am Renewable Energy issues statement following a fire at its Geismar, LA biorefinery (REGI) :

The co wrote:

  • "At approximately 12 a.m. central, a fire occurred at our Geismar biorefinery. Emergency crews quickly responded to contain the fire and it was declared completely extinguished at 4:20 a.m. All employees on site have been accounted for. Four people-one REG employee and three contractors-were injured and are being treated at Baton Rouge General Hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families."

8:32 am August Nonfarm Payrolls Miss Estimates; Hourly Earnings Beat. S&P futures vs fair value: -17.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -32.70. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures trade 18 points below fair value.

August nonfarm payrolls came in at 173,000 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 217,000. The prior month's reading was revised up to 245,000 from 215,000. Nonfarm private payrolls added 140,000 against the 210,000 expected by the consensus. The unemployment rate fell to 5.1% from 5.3% while the Briefing.com consensus expected a downtick to 5.2%.

Hourly earnings rose 0.3%, while the consensus expected an uptick of 0.2%. The average workweek was reported at 34.6, which is what the consensus expected.

8:31 am Thoratec begins enrollment in its SHIELD II US clinical trial of HeartMate PHP, in patients undergoing a high-risk PCI procedures (THOR) :  

8:31 am Market View: Sep. eMini stock-index futures remain well below fair values but are off pre-market lows following the 8:30 am ET Aug. Employment Report (:TECHX) :

  • ESu5 now -17.50
  • YMu5 now -144
  • NQu5 now -31.00

8:29 am Deswell Industries reports Q1 EPS of ($0.07) vs $0.001 year ago; revs 27% y/y to $11.3 mln (no estimates) (DSWL) :

  • Total gross margin decreased to 6.8% in the first quarter ended June 30, 2015 compared to 9.7% in the same quarter last year.

8:18 am Gapping down (:SCANX) :

 Briefing note: With US Futures trading down nearly 1% in pre-mkt, most stocks are trading lower ahead of the NFP data. The following are some of the more notables

Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: VNCE -36.9%, UTIW -19.6%, ESL -6%, PAY -3.3%

Select pharma names displaying early weakness : ILMN -2.1%, GSK -1.8%, LLY -1.7%, BIIB -1.2%, GILD -0.9%

Select fan favorite names showing weakness: NFLX -2.8%, TSLA -1.8%, GPRO -1.7%, SUNE -1.3%, MSFT -1.1%, V -1%, TWTR -0.8%, FB -0.8%, AAPL -0.8%

Select oil/gas related names showing early weakness: RDS.A -2%, STO -1.9%, PBR -1.8%, TOT -1.3%, COP -0.6%, CHK -0.5%

Other news: INFY -3.6% (Sensex mkt down over 2% overnight), AMBA -2.9% (cont weakness), IVAC -2.6% (announced the order of an INTEVAC MATRIX thin-film processing system, by a Tier 1 solar cell manufacturer), GPS -2.3% (Aug same store sales -2.0% vs -0.4% Retail Metrics consensus), ABIO -2.2% (disclosed that its common stock will commence trading on a post-split basis tomorrow following today's seven-for-one reverse split), TTM -2% (Sensex mkt down over 2% overnight), PGN -1.6% (announces borrowing of substantially all remaining capacity under senior secured revolving credit facility), VTL -1.4% (announces a workforce reduction of ~30% and plans to institute across the board expense reductions to conserve capital)

Analyst comments: BP -2.5% (downgraded to Underperform at BofA/Merrill), CAT -1.5% (downgraded to Neutral at Robert W. Baird), DSX -0.8% (downgraded to Sell at UBS)

8:09 am Gapping up (:SCANX) :

Briefing note: With US Futures trading down nearly 1% in pre-mkt, most stocks are trading lower ahead of the NFP data

Gapping up 

In reaction to strong earnings/guidance: ENVI +9%, STRM +8.1%

M&A news: AVOL +5.5% (to be acquired by Bohai Leasing for $31/share in cash in an ~$7.6 bln deal)

Other news: GBSN +13.2% (provides update on preferred stock conversions),TICC +4% (announced material changes to proposed new investment advisory agreement with Benefit Street Partners; new agreement includes a permanent annual base management fee reduction),ZNGA +3.1% (still checking, light volume),NBG +3.1% (cont volatility in name),FOGO +0.5% (to open five new Company-owned restaurant locations in the United States)

Analyst comments: BPMX +1.4% (initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee CRT),DLTR +0.9% (upgraded to Buy at BofA/Merrill)

8:00 am BlackBerry to acquire Good Technology for $425 mln in cash; expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings and cash flow within the first year after closing (BBRY) :

The co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Good Technology for $425 million in cash. Good has expertise in multi-OS management with 64% of activations from iOS devices, followed by a broad Android and Windows customer base. Good's technology is expected to integrate with BlackBerry's enterprise portfolio and trusted global network, creating a comprehensive management solution for all mobile devices that protects customers' security and privacy.

  • BlackBerry expects the transaction to be completed toward the end of the company's 2016 fiscal third quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
  • The company anticipates the acquisition to be accretive to earnings and cash flow within the first year after closing. BlackBerry also expects to realize ~$160 mln in GAAP revenue from Good in the first year, including the impact of an expected write-down of certain deferred revenue of Good.

7:58 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • CME Group (CME) announced it will expand its base metals offering with the introduction of a new Aluminium European Premium Duty-Unpaid futures contract to begin trading on 21 September, 2015. Pending relevant regulatory review periods, the new contract will be available for trading on CME Globex and for submission for clearing through CME ClearPort, and will be listed with and subject to the rules and regulations of COMEX.
  • BYD Company (BYDDY) subsidiary BYD Motors announced its California unit has been awarded a "dominant" win in the Washington State Department of Transportation Heavy Duty Bus RFP that closed in August. The contract allows for up to 800 heavy duty buses from all different propulsion types that included 12 different categories for all-electric buses.
  • Engility (EGL) announced it has been awarded a prime position on a $25 million multiple award contract by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide broad spectrum IT support to include high performance computing initiatives for the agency's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Engility is one of three companies awarded a position on this 4.5-year award, a blanket purchase agreement

7:55 am S&P futures vs fair value: -23.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -47.30. (:WRAPX) :

U.S. equity futures trade near their pre-market lows after sliding throughout the night. The S&P 500 futures hover 23 points below fair value, but the pre-market standing could change drastically in 30 minutes once the Nonfarm Payrolls report for August crosses the wires (Briefing.com consensus 217,000).

Treasuries hold gains after spending the entire night in positive territory with the 10-yr yield down two basis points at 2.14%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Caterpillar (CAT 73.38, -1.07): -1.4% after Robert W. Baird downgraded the stock to 'Neutral' from 'Outperform.'

Reviewing overnight developments:

  • Asian markets ended lower. Japan's Nikkei -2.5%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.5%, and China's Shanghai Composite remained closed for Victory Day.
    • In economic data:
      • Japan's Average Cash Earnings +0.6% year-over-year (expected 2.3%; prior -2.5%)
      • Hong Kong's August Manufacturing PMI 44.4 (prior 48.2)
    • In news:
      • Hong Kong's Manufacturing PMI dropped to a six-year low in August with the employment component seeing the sharpest decline in more than 12 years
  • Major European indices trade lower across the board. France's CAC -2.3%, Germany's DAX -2.1%, and UK's FTSE -1.8%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB -2.6% and Spain's IBEX -2.0%.
    • Economic data was limited:
      • Eurozone Retail PMI 51.4 (prior 54.2) Germany's July Factory Orders -1.4% month-over-month (expected -0.6%; prior 1.8%)
      • France's August Consumer Confidence held at 93 (expected 94)
    • Among news of note:
      • Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said he does not see a "lasting danger" for the world economy due to the uncertainty surrounding China

7:36 am Asian Markets Close: Japan's Nikkei -2.2%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.5%; China's Shanghai Composite closed for holiday (:SUMRX) :

There was a lot of weakness across markets in the Asia-Pacific region on Friday, led by Japan's Nikkei (-2.2%). Most reports attributed the selling pressure to nervousness ahead of the U.S. employment report, but it might have also been some nervousness ahead of China opening for trading again on Monday when the U.S. markets will be closed. China was closed Friday in celebration of Victory Day.

Economic Data

  • Japan
    • July Average Cash Earnings +0.6% year-over-year (expected +2.3%; prior -2.5%)
    • July Overtime Pay +0.6% year-over-year (prior -0.4%)
  • Hong Kong
    • August Manufacturing PMI 44.4 (prior 48.2)

Equity Markets

  • Japan's Nikkei declined 2.2%, with exporters weighing on the back of yen strength. Broad-based losses were paced by the communications (-3.2%), consumer staples (-2.5%), and materials (-2.1%) sectors. Minebea (-5.8%), Shiseido (-5.7%), and Pioneer (-5.7%) were the top laggards while Shizuoka Bank (+3.2%) and Obayashi (+1.8%) led a small group of winners. Out of the 225 index members, 15 ended higher, 204 finished lower, and 6 were unchanged. For the week, the Nikkei declined 7.0%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.5%, ending near its lows for the session after a weaker than expected manufacturing PMI report, which reflected contraction for the sixth consecutive month. PetroChina (-3.7%), China Petroleum & Chemical (-3.4%), and Ping An Insurance Group (-3.3%) led the selling. Out of the 50 index members, 18 ended higher, 28 finished lower, and 4 were unchanged. For the week, the Hang Seng declined 3.6%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite: closed for holiday (Victory Day)
  • India's Sensex declined 2.2%, closing near its lows for the session. The bulk of the losses occurred right after the open. The action was paced by weakness in the materials (-5.0%), utilities (-4.3%), health care (-2.6%), and financials (-2.6%) sectors. Vedanta (-5.1%), Tata Steel (-4.7%), and GAIL India (-4.7%) were the biggest laggards. Out of the 30 index members, only two -- Bharti Airtel (+0.9%) and Coal India (+0.6%) -- ended higher. For the week, the Sensex declined 4.5%.
  • Australia's S&P/ASX 200 increased 0.3% in a choppy day of trading. The modest gains were helped by leadership from the utilities and metals and mining sectors. Out of the 200 index members, 111 ended higher, 72 finished lower, and 17 were unchanged. For the week, the S&P/ASX 200 declined 4.2%.
  • Regional advancers: Vietnam +0.5%
  • Regional decliners: South Korea -1.5%, Taiwan -1.2%, Malaysia -0.9%, Indonesia -0.4%, Singapore -1.5%, Thailand -1.2%, Philippines -0.7%

FX

  • USD/CNY unch at 6.3559
  • USD/INR +0.4% at 66.4875
  • USD/JPY -0.8% at 119.13

7:32 am Stereotaxis to conduct a registered offering of subscription warrants to the holders of its common shares, which will function similarly to a rights offering (STXS) :

The Company has declared the record date for determination of stockholders eligible to participate as September 9, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. At such time, each holder will be issued, at no charge, one subscription warrant for every four common shares held, which will entitle the holder to purchase one share of common stock at a price of $1.10 per share. 

  • The warrants will be listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol "STXSW", commencing on or about September 14, 2015, and continuing through the expiration date of the warrants offering.

7:30 am Aehr Test Systems names Corporate Controller Kenneth B. Spink as CFO effective September 9, 2015 (AEHR) : Spink succeeds Gary Larson, whose previously announced planned retirement after 24 years with the company is effective the same day. Larson will continue to support Mr. Spink on a limited basis through the end of the calendar year to ensure a seamless transition.

7:28 am Cipla to acquire 100% of two generic businesses in US for $550 mln (IBB) :

  • Cipla announced that its UK arm, Cipla EU has entered into definitive agreements to acquire two US-based companies, InvaGen Pharmaceuticals and Exelan Pharmaceuticals. The transaction being subject to certain closing conditions, is valued at $550 million and will be an all cash transaction.
  • The combined revenue from these transactions is over $200 million for the year ended Dec 2014 and over $225 million in LTM June 2015. 
  • Through the acquisition of InvaGen, Cipla gains scale in the US generics market with a strong manufacturing and R&D base, access to broad product portfolio and a strong customer base consisting of top wholesalers/retailers.  Cipla Release

7:23 am 888 Holdings issues response to recommended offer for Bwin.Party (PYGMF) digital entertainment plc by GVC Holdings; EIHDF says it cannot see sufficient value in bwin.party to warrant a revision to its offer (EIHDF) :

  • The board of 888 notes the announcement today of the recommended offer by GVC Holdings for bwin.party digital entertainment (PYGMF), which resulted in the withdrawal of the bwin.party board's recommendation for 888's offer.
  • Accordingly, the Co-operation Agreement dated 17 July 2015 between bwin.party, 888 Holdings plc and 888 Acquisitions Limited has been terminated. T
  • The 888 board has concluded that, as a result of its own extensive due diligence on bwin.party, it cannot see sufficient value in bwin.party to warrant a revision to its offer. Consequently, 888 confirms that it is no longer in discussions regarding the acquisition of bwin.party.

7:00 am Alexion Pharma announces that the FDA has extended the PDUFA date for its Priority Review of the Biologics License Application for Kanuma, reaffirms guidance (ALXN) :

In response to a recent request from the FDA, Alexion submitted additional Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls information. Due to the timing of this submission, the FDA extended the PDUFA date to allow additional time for review of the new information. The FDA has not asked for additional clinical data.

  • Alexion also announced it is reiterating its 2015 financial guidance announced on July 30, 2015.

6:41 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Zurich Insurance Group (ZURVY) named Kristof Terryn, currently CEO of Global Life, will take over as CEO of General Insurance, effective October 1, 2015. He replaces Mike Kerner, who is stepping down for personal reasons and will be leaving the company at the end of this year.
  • Starbucks (SBUX) announced that its Pumpkin Spice Latte wll reutnr to stores in the U.S. and Canada on September 8
  • COMPANHIA SIDERURGICA NACIONAL (SID) disclose that it has concluded the extension of part of the debt with Caixa Econmica Federal, amounting to R$ 2.57 billion. As a result, the Company shifts maturities in this amount foreseen for 2016 and 2017 to the period between 2018 and 2022, in equally distributed installments.
  • Rosneft Vietnam B.V., a company of Rosneft Group (OJSCY), and Japan Drilling signed an agreement on provision and operation of the marine drilling rig HAKURYU-5, for the purposes of drilling exploration wells within the framework of Rosneft's projects in Vietnam. It is planned to drill two wells in Blocks 06.1 and 05-3/11 in the Nam Con Son basin offshore Vietnam in 2016. Rosneft also announced that it, Avestra Chemical SA and Manzhouli Far East Gas Co. Ltd. during the Eastern Economic Forum signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding over cooperation in supplies of propylene and various types of liquefied petroleum gas to China.
  • Anite announced that it has signed an agreement with Nokia Networks (NOK) under the Operations Support Systems interoperability initiative (OSSii) for access to Nokia's OSS interfaces.
  • Daimler (DDAIF) and the Renault-Nissan Alliance today broke ground for their joint-venture manufacturing complex, COMPAS, in Aguascalientes in central Mexico, which will build next-generation premium compact vehicles for the brands Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti. COMPAS is 50:50 owned by Daimler and Nissan (NSANY). The partners will invest a total of $1 billion in the joint venture which will oversee the construction and operation of the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant.

6:00 am Key Energy receives non-compliance notice from the NYSE relating to the minimum $1.00/share requirement, has until March 2 to regain compliance (KEG) :  

5:55 am S&P futures vs fair value: -19.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -41.10. :

5:55 am European Markets : FTSE...6095.24...-98.70...-1.60%.  DAX...10139.60...-178.20...-1.70%.

5:55 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...17792.16...-390.20...-2.20%.  Hang Seng...20840.61...-94.30...-0.50%.

5:45 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Abengoa (ABGB) has signed a framework agreement with the National Autonomous University of Mexico that enriches both organizations through training programs and professional development.
  • Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASX) announced the official inauguration of ASE Embedded Electronics Incorporated, at a formal signing ceremony in Kaohsiung with TDK Corporation and local officials. Establishing System-in-Package dominance through industry collaboration with market leaders in cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing technologies  
  • Gazprom (OGZPY), BASF (BASFY), E.ON (EONGY), ENGIE (GDFZY), OMV (OMVKY) and Shell (RDS.A) announced the signing of Shareholders' agreement on the Nord Stream 2 project. The project will be developed by the new project company New European Pipeline AG. According to the document, Gazprom will own a 51% share in the project company. E.ON, Shell, OMV and BASF/Wintershall will each own ten per cent and ENGIE will hold 9%

5:39 am BASF and Gazprom (OGZPY) agree to complete asset swap (BASFY) :

BASF and Gazprom (OGZPY) have agreed to complete the swap of assets with equivalent value signed in December 2013 and originally intended to be completed by the end of 2014. With the swap, BASF will further expand its production of oil and gas and will exit the gas trading and storage business.

  • Through the transaction, Wintershall, a 100% subsidiary of BASF, receives the economic equivalent of 25% plus one share of the blocks IV and V in the Achimov formation of the Urengoy natural gas and condensate field in western Siberia.
  • The two blocks will be jointly developed by Gazprom and Wintershall. According to the development plan confirmed by the Russian mining authority, blocks IV and V have total hydrocarbon resources of 274 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 74 million metric tons of condensate.
  • This is equivalent to a total of 2.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe). +
  • An annual plateau production of at least 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas is expected from the two blocks. Production is planned to start in 2018.

5:38 am Roche Hldg's Genentech granted breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA for ACE910 for the prophylactic treatment of people who are 12 years or older with hemophilia A with factor VIII inhibitors (RHHBY) : Genentech is preparing to initiate a Phase III trial of ACE910 in patients with hemophilia A with factor VIII inhibitors by the end of 2015 and a Phase III trial in patients without inhibitors in 2016. Additionally, a trial in pediatric patients with hemophilia A is planned to commence in 2016.

3:51 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Accenture (ACN) has signed a six-year contract with Glencore Queensland, a subsidiary of Glencore plc, to provide sourcing and procurement services for Glencore's Australian copper and zinc businesses. It is expected that the contract will deliver cost savings to Glencore of more than $300 million over the next six years.
  • DineEquity (DIN) announced the implementation of a strategic plan designed to accelerate growth in its core brands and speed development of traditional and non-traditional locations.
  • Manchester United (MANU) and South Korean footwear brand Sbenu have today announced an agreement which will see the company become the club's Official Casual Footwear Partner in the country. 
  • ALCATEL ONETOUCH (ALU) introduced its brand new GO family.
  • ZTE (ZTCOF) announced the launch of the international version of its new global flagship smartphone, ZTE Axon Elite, at IFA 2015. The ZTE Axon Elite is set to go on sale in markets across Europe, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific in the coming months.
  • Libre Wireless Technologies announced their technology partnership with SK Telecom culminating in the launch of SK Telecom's (SKM) ultra-modern "UO Linkage."
  • Toshiba (TOSBF) announced the launch of "TZ1041MBG", an application processor for wearable devices, the latest addition to its ApP Lite family TZ1000 series of solutions for the Internet of Things, first released in March 2014. Sample shipments will start in October and mass production is scheduled for January 2016.

3:48 am Novartis receives EU approval for Farydak (NVS) :

Co announced that the European Commission has approved Farydak capsules, in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone, for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior regimens including bortezomib and an immunomodulatory agent.

  • The approval of Farydak marks the first time a histone deacetylase inhibitor with epigenetic activity is available in the European Union, providing a new treatment option for patients living with multiple myeloma whose disease has progressed after standard-of-care therapy

3:46 am Allegiant Travel reports Aug traffic rose 22.6% YoY (ALGT) :

 Co reports passenger traffic results for August 2015.

  • Passengers: 816,925 +22.6%
  • Revenue passenger miles (000):  757,478 + 20.1%
  • Available seat miles (000):  890,296 +25.6%
  • Load factor:  85.1% (3.8) pts
  • Departures 5,932 +29.4%
  • Average stage length (miles): 878 901 (2.6%)

3:44 am QLT Inc provides update on its proposed acquisition of InSite Vision; reaffirms its support for the merger with InSite (QLTI) :

QLT Inc. (QLTI) announces that it has been advised by InSite Vision that it has received a second unsolicited offer from the multi-national pharmaceutical company which initially made an unsolicited offer, as announced in QLT's press release on August 10, 2015, to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of InSite.

  • The New Proposal is only subject to due diligence regarding the recently filed BromSite patent lawsuit.
  • InSite has further advised QLT that the board of directors of InSite, in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, will carefully review all aspects of the New Proposal, and has not changed its recommendation with respect to the proposed merger with QLT pursuant to the Amended and Restated Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated June 8, 2015, by and among InSite, QLT and Isotope Acquisition Corp., as amended and restated on July 16, 2015 and August 26, 2015.
  • QLT's board of directors reaffirms its support for the merger with InSite pursuant to the Amended and Restated Merger Agreement and believes that such a transaction continues to be in the best interest of QLT.

3:44 am Paragon Offshore announces borrowing of substantially all remaining capacity under senior secured revolving credit facility (PGN) : Co announced that it had borrowed ~$332 million under its senior secured revolving credit facility, which represented substantially all of the remaining undrawn amount that was available to Paragon under the senior secured revolving credit facility.

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