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5 Cool things you never knew about Elmer's Glue

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6:03 pm Choice Hotels announces executive promotions; announces CFO succession plans (CHH) :

  • Chief Operating Officer Patrick S. Pacious has been promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer.
  • Scott E. Oaksmith has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Accounting Officer.
  • The Company also announced that David L. White will be transitioning from the company and will pursue other professional opportunities. Mr. White will step down as CFO on June 3rd but will remain with the company to assist with the CFO transition prior to his planned departure before the end of 2016.

5:29 pm Energy Recovery approves new $10 mln share repurchase program (ERII) :  

5:09 pm Match Group to sell $400 mln aggregate principal amount of 6.375% senior notes due 2024 in a private placement (MTCH) : Match Group plans to use the proceeds of the Offering to repay certain existing indebtedness.

5:08 pm TreeHouse Foods to close two manufacturing plants in Azusa, California and Ripon, Wisconsin (THS) :

Total costs to close the Azusa and Ripon facilities are expected to be approximately $17.0 million, or $0.19 per fully diluted share, of which approximately $14.5 million, or $0.17 per fully diluted share, is expected to be in cash.

  • Components of the charges include non-cash asset write-offs of approximately $2.5 million, employee-related costs of approximately $4.3 million and other closure costs of approximately $10.2 million. The Company expects approximately $1.1 million of the charges to be incurred in the second quarter of this year and approximately $4.0 million on a quarterly basis beginning in the third quarter of 2016 through the second quarter of 2017.

4:35 pm Integrated Electrical to change its name to IES Holdings, Inc (IESC) : The corporate name change to IES Holdings, Inc. is expected to be reflected at the open of trading on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

4:33 pm Axalta Coating Systems sells 25 mln common shares in an underwritten offering for affiliates of The Carlyle Group (CG) (AXTA) : Following the offering, Carlyle will continue to beneficially own 44,811,996 shares, or approximately 18.8%, of Axalta's outstanding common shares.

4:33 pm Document Security Systems plan to regain compliance with the NYSE accepted (DSS) :  

4:32 pm Bunge raises quarterly dividend on common shares to $0.42/share from $0.38/share (BG) :  

4:32 pm Diversified Restaurant Holdings to review strategic alternatives for Bagger Dave's restaurants; announces executive changes (SAUC) :

Co announced a management succession plan that advances David G. Burke, Chief Financial Officer, to President and Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2017, or upon the selection of a new chief financial officer, whichever comes first. Current Chairman, President and CEO, Michael Ansley, will remain as Chairman of the Board after the transition.

The Company also announced that it is evaluating strategic alternatives for its Bagger Dave's restaurants and brand.

  • 'Last year, we made the strategic decision to focus our resources on the further development and expansion of our Buffalo Wild Wings franchise while we right-sized our Bagger Dave's operations to grow average unit volume and drive profitability. We continue to believe the Bagger Dave's concept has potential.'
  • There can be no assurance that the Company's evaluation will result in a transaction or that any transaction, if pursued, will be consummated. The evaluation may be terminated at any time and without notice. DRH does not intend to disclose development with respect to this process unless and until the Board of Directors has approved a specific transaction or course of action.

4:32 pm Gilead Sciences appoints Kevin Young as COO (GILD) :

  • Co announced two appointments to the company's senior leadership team. Kevin Young CBE has been appointed Chief Operating Officer, and Martin Silverstein, MD has been appointed Executive Vice President, Strategy.
  • Both Mr. Young and Dr. Silverstein will report to John F. Milligan, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer.
  • Mr. Young served as Gilead's Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations from 2004 through 2014. Since 2014, he has held the role of senior advisor to the company.
  • The company also announced that Paul R. Carter, Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations, has decided to depart Gilead and pursue other opportunities.

4:31 pm TOP Ships announces delivery of fifth newbuilding vessel (TOPS) : Co announces it has taken delivery of the M/T Stenaweco Excellence, a 50,000 dwt fuel efficient "ECO" MR product tanker, the fifth of six vessels under construction in the co's fleet. The last vessel is scheduled for delivery in 3Q16. Co also announces that the M/T Stenaweco Excellence has commenced its time charter employment with Stena Weco A/S.

4:31 pm DeVry Education to acquire the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists for $330 mln; will be modestly dilutive to FY 17 EPS (DV) :

Co's subsidiary Becker Professional Education has entered into an agreement to acquire the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists for a purchase price of $330 mln.

  • ACAMS is an international membership organization dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and skills of anti-money laundering and financial crime prevention professionals.
  • The transaction is expected to close in July 2016, subject to antitrust approval and other customary closing conditions.
  • ACAMS is currently owned by Warburg Pincus.
  • ACAMS is expected to generate fiscal 2017 revenue in the low $40 mln range.
  • The acquisition will be modestly dilutive to EPS in fiscal 2017 and is expected to be accretive in fiscal 2018 and beyond.
  • The transaction will be funded through a combination of cash and debt.

4:30 pm Pacific Drilling shareholders approve 1-for-10 reverse stock split (PACD) :

  • The reverse stock split will be effective and the co's common shares will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis as of the commencement of trading on May 25, 2016.

4:30 pm Universal Corp reports Q4 results (UVV) :

  • Q4 EPS $1.72, up 5% (no estimates); operating income up 31%, to $80 million. Revenues up 3% to $804 million on higher sales volumes.
  • "As we move into the new fiscal year, global production estimates have continued to decline. Plantings have been reduced in some origins where farmers received lower green leaf prices this fiscal year, and El Nino weather patterns have negatively impacted some crops, particularly in Brazil. Consequently, and due to aggressive green leaf market pricing, our crop purchase levels and sales volumes, as well as third-party processing volumes from that origin, will be lower in fiscal year 2017. However, we expect that Brazilian crop levels and our volumes will recover next season."

4:23 pm Aegean Marine Petrol misses by $0.01, misses on revs (ANW) :

  • Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.24 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.25; revenues fell 25.8% year/year to $752.93 mln vs the $888.46 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • "In the first quarter, we recorded record sales volumes despite low commodity prices, including fuel oil at its lowest point since 2003, which impacted gross spread. Despite this economic headwind, our unique business model enabled Aegean to capitalize on growth opportunities across our global platform serving 33 markets with more than 60 ports....we have addressed and are implementing a number of initiatives to drive efficiency and reduce costs to strengthen the Company. These initiatives include maximizing efficient use of our diversified platform, reducing expenses across the organization, and optimizing and investing resources in the most attractive markets."

4:17 pm Closing Market Summary: Nasdaq Outperforms as Technology Leads (:WRAPX) :

[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (+1.4%) ended the Tuesday session above its 50-day simple moving average (2062) as stocks rallied in the wake of a positive reading of April New Home Sales (619,000; Briefing.com consensus 521,000). Other contributing factors for today's gain included support from the oil pit and the outperformance of the heavyweight technology (+2.1%), financial (+1.6%), and health care (+1.5%) spaces. The tech-heavy Nasdaq (+2.0%) finished ahead of both the S&P 500 (+1.4%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.2%).

The major averages gapped up to begin the day as a positive bias in European markets helped boost U.S. equities at the open. Separately, the broader market found support from a reversal in oil as the energy component erased a 0.9% ($46.64/bbl) loss, ending the pit session higher by 1.1% ($48.65/bbl).

Equity indices climbed through the morning as positive quarterly results from Toll Brothers (TOL 29.46, +2.36) and an above-consensus reading of April New Home Sales helped extend the rally in the broader market. The positive housing reading can be added to the myriad of recent reports, which could lend themselves supportive to the Fed's argument to continue hiking interest rates. On that note, the fed funds futures market calculates the probability of an interest rate hike at the June meeting at 34.0%, compared to yesterday's 30.0% likelihood.

The benchmark index climbed to a fresh high in the final hour, ending above resistance at the 2073/2074 price level. All ten sectors finished in the green with heavily-weighted technology (+2.1%), financials (+1.5%), health care (+1.5%) and consumer discretionary (+1.3%) leading the advance.

The high-beta chipmakers outperformed in the technology space (+2.1%), evidenced by the 2.4% gain in the PHLX Semiconductor Index. In the index, Xilinx (XLNX 47.45, +2.56) gained 5.7% as investors speculated that the name is an M&A target for Qualcomm (QCOM 55.59, +1.41). Elsewhere, Microsoft (MSFT 51.59, +1.56) jumped 3.1% after receiving an upgrade to "Outperform" at Cowen. The tech giant also received a positive mention in Barron's during the afternoon.

In the financial sector (+1.5%), asset management names and investment brokerages outperformed. Charles Schwab (SCHW 30.22, +0.94) ended the day higher by 3.2% while Affiliated Managers (AMG 170.66, +5.77) gained 3.5%. Conversely, rate sensitive real estate investment trusts ended behind the broader sector.

Biotechnology demonstrated relative strength in the health care space (+1.5%). The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 272.04, +6.01) gained 2.3% today, erasing its May loss. On the flipside, Anthem (ANTM 128.48, -4.70) lost 3.5% after being downgraded to "Neutral" from "Buy" at Sterne Agee CRT. CIGNA (CI 124.81, -1.34) fell 1.1% on headwinds to the company's proposed merger with Anthem. For the month, Anthem and CIGNA have lost 8.7% and 9.9%, respectively.

In the consumer discretionary space (+1.3%), Netflix (NFLX 97.89, +3.00) gained 3.2% after Stifel provided bullish commentary on the name. The firm cited a new timeline for film releases and the company's output deal with Disney (DIS 99.51, +0.33).

The U.S. Dollar Index (95.60, +0.37) finished higher with the greenback gaining ground against the euro and the yen. The euro/dollar pair ended lower by 0.7% (1.1143) while the dollar gained 0.7% against the yen (109.98).

Treasuries retreated today as the yield on the 10-yr note rose three basis points to 1.86%.

Today's participation was below the recent average as fewer than 867 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.

Today's economic data was limited to the April New Home Sales Report:

  • New home sales surpassed estimates in April, running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000 (Briefing.com consensus 521,000).
    • That represented a 16.6% increase from March, which saw an upward revision to 531,000 from a previously reported 511,000.
    • Not only did the April reading come in well ahead of expectations, but the upward revision to the March figure vaulted that reading past last month's Briefing.com consensus estimate, which stood at 521,000.
    • New home sales in April were up 22.8% versus the same month a year ago and today's report pointed to the best month of new home sales since January 2008.
    • Thanks to the pick-up in activity, the April rate was above the prior 3-month average of 531,667.
    • Median sales price increased 9.7% year-over-year to $321,100.
    • At the current sales pace, the inventory of unsold new homes stands at a 4.7 months' supply, which is down from 5.8-months' supply in March and below the 6.0-months' supply that is typically associated with normal periods of buying selling.

Tomorrow's economic data will include the 7:00 ET release of the weekly MBA Mortgage Index. The day's data will be capped off with the advance reading of the April International Trade in Goods and the March FHFA Housing Price Index, which will cross the wires at 8:30 ET and 9:00 ET, respectively. 

  • Nasdaq Composite -2.9% YTD
  • Russell 2000 -0.1% YTD
  • S&P 500 +1.6% YTD
  • Dow Jones +1.6% YTD

4:17 pm Orion Marine changes name to Orion Group Holdings, Inc. (ORN) : The Company's Heavy Civil Marine Construction segment will continue to operate under the Orion Marine Group brand and logo. Additionally, the Company's Commercial Concrete segment will continue to operate under the TAS Commercial Concrete brand and logo.

4:16 pm Hersha Hospitality Trust prices 7 mln shares of its 6.50% Series D cumulative redeemable preferred shares of beneficial interest for gross proceeds of $175 mln (HT) : Co intends to use a portion of the net proceeds of the offering for the redemption of all of its outstanding 8.00% Series B cumulative redeemable preferred shares of beneficial interest, par value $.01 per share ($25.00 liquidation preference per share) and the remainder for general corporate purposes, including future acquisitions.

4:11 pm Hewlett Packard Enterprise reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides Q3/FY16, announces spinoff of Enterprise Services business with CSC, authorizes additional stock buyback (HPE) :

  • Reports Q2 (Apr) earnings of $0.42 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.42; revenues rose 1.3% year/year to $12.71 bln vs the $12.34 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Enterprise Group revenue was $7.0 bln, up 7% year over year, up 10% in constant currency, with an 11.7% operating margin.
    • Enterprise Services revenue was $4.7 bln, down 2% year over year, up 1% in constant currency, with a 6.7% operating margin.
    • Software revenue was $774 mln, down 13% year over year, down 10% in constant currency, with a 24.8% operating margin.
    • Financial Services revenue was $788 mln, down 2% year over year, up 1% in constant currency, net portfolio assets were up 8%, up 9% in constant currency, and financing volume was up 15%, up 19% in constant currency.
  • Co issues downside guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.42-0.46 vs. $0.48 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $1.85-1.95 vs. $1.88 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise also announced plans for a tax-free spin-off and merger of its Enterprise Services business with CSC (CSC) which will create a pure-play, global IT services co - see 16:05 comment for additional details.
  • Board authorized additional $3 billion for share repurchases; $4.8 billion now remaining in stock repurchase authorization

4:10 pm Sportsmans Warehouse beats by $0.02, misses on revs; guides JulQ EPS in-line, revs below consensus; guides FY17 EPS in-line, revs below consensus; Q1 comps -2.2% (SPWH) :

  • Reports Q1 (Apr) net of breakeven, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of ($0.02); revenues rose 9.0% year/year to $151.6 mln vs the $158.3 mln Capital IQ Consensus and vs prior guidance of $155-160 mln.
  • Co issues guidance for Q2 (Jul), sees EPS of $0.15-0.17 vs. $0.16 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs of $178-183 mln vs. $191.6 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Guides to Q2 same store comps of (1.0%) to 1.0%.
  • Co issues guidance for FY17, sees EPS of $0.65-0.73, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.71 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY17 revs of $770-790 mln vs. $813.75 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate and vs prior guidance of $800-820 mln. Co guides to full year same store comps of +0.0% to 2.0%.
  • Same store sales in Q1 decreased -2.2% vs prior guidance of flat to down low single digits.
  • "Once again, our company's operating discipline and local market focus enabled us to quickly adapt to changing market conditions, including both the continued strength in firearms as well as the continued weather headwinds which impacted performance in our apparel areas, demonstrating the strength of our business model and our execution on an everyday basis...While we have changed our presentation as it relates to hunting and fishing license sales from a gross revenue basis to a net revenue basis, this revision has had no impact on our gross margin dollars and net income. We are adjusting our annual sales guidance to conform to this revision in revenue presentation."

4:09 pm Dycom increases term loan facility by $200 mln for total credit capacity of $800 mln (DY) : Dycom intends to use the proceeds of the additional term loan to pay down revolving loans, thus increasing availability under its revolving facility, and for general corporate purposes.

4:09 pm ViaSat misses by $0.08, reports revs in-line (VSAT) :

  • Reports Q4 (Mar) earnings of $0.29 per share, $0.08 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.37; revenues rose 2.0% year/year to $372 mln vs the $369.65 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • In 4Q16, VSAT's Satellite Services segment achieved record high revenues for the third consecutive quarter, up 12% y/y, with continued growth in its residential broadband and in-flight connectivity businesses.
  • VSAT's Commercial Networks segment reported lower revenues and Adjusted EBITDA for 4Q16 and FY16 compared to the same periods last fiscal year.
  • New contract awards totaled $451.2 mln, up 54.9% y/y.
  • Sales backlog totaled $941.9 mln, up 2.9% y/y.

4:09 pm Dycom beats by $0.34, beats on revs; guides Q4 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus (DY) :

  • Reports Q3 (Apr) earnings of $1.08 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.34 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.74; revenues rose 35.0% year/year to $664.6 mln vs the $597.8 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues upside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $1.40-1.60, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.36 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $750-780 mln vs. $730.84 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA of $264.0 mln, or 14.0% of contract revenues, for the nine months ended April 23, 2016, compared to $177.0 mln, or 12.3% of contract revenues, for the nine months ended April 25, 2015.

4:07 pm Intuit beats by $0.22, beats on revs; guides Q4 EPS in-line, revs above consensus (raises FY16 guidance) (INTU) :

  • Reports Q3 (Apr) earnings of $3.43 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.22 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $3.21; revenues rose 7.9% year/year to $2.3 bln vs the $2.25 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 
    • Grew TurboTax Online units 15 percent for the tax season. Total TurboTax units grew 12 percent.
    • Added 140,000 QuickBooks Online subscribers in the quarter, bringing the total to 1,397,000 paid subscribers worldwide at the end of April.
    • Total Small Business segment revenue increased 12 percent.
    • Consumer Tax revenue was up 7 percent in the third quarter. 
  • Co issues guidance for Q4, sees EPS breakeven, excluding non-recurring items, vs. ($0.01) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $720-740 mln vs. $717.53 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Raises EPS to $3.63-3.65, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.51 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY16 revs of $4.66-4.68 bln vs. $4.61 bln Capital IQ Consensus. The company increased full-year Consumer Tax revenue growth guidance to 9 percent, up from the previous guidance range of 5 to 7 percent.

4:06 pm AmSurg acquires Jandee Anesthesiology Partners and certain assets of Karadan Anesthesiology and Pain Management; terms undisclosed (AMSG) :

Co has further expanded its anesthesiology services business through its acquisition of Jandee Anesthesiology Partners and certain assets of Karadan Anesthesiology and Pain Management.

  • The groups are jointly comprised of five physicians who deliver anesthesia services through a network of nine ambulatory surgery centers and other facilities in New Jersey and New York. This acquisition is complementary to Sheridan's anesthesia practices in New Jersey.

4:05 pm Nimble Storage beats by $0.02, beats on revs; guides Q2 EPS in-line, revs above consensus (NMBL) :

  • Reports Q1 (Apr) loss of $0.24 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of ($0.26); revenues rose 21.2% year/year to $86.4 mln vs the $84.6 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues guidance for Q2, sees EPS of ($0.21) - ($0.19) vs. ($0.20) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs of $93-96 mln vs. $92.75 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.  Co sees Q2 Non-GAAP operating loss in the range of $16.0 to $18.0 million.
  • Non-GAAP gross margin for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 was 65.7% compared to 67.6% in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.
  • "We saw steady progress in larger deals greater than $250K, which were up 51% year-over-year, and continued growth in our customer base, which was up 48% year-over-year." 

4:04 pm PDL BioPharma to make initial $107 mln equity investment in Noden Pharma, a new privately held co that has executed a purchase agreement with Novartis (NVS) (PDLI) :

Co has committed to an equity investment in Noden Pharma DAC, a new privately held company (Noden) that has executed a purchase agreement with Novartis AG (NVS) to acquire exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture, market, and sell the branded prescription medicine product sold under the name Tekturna and Tekturna HCT in the US and Rasilez and Rasilez HCT in the rest of the world.

  • The product's active ingredient is aliskiren, which is indicated for the treatment of hypertension.
  • The drug was previously marketed by Novartis and had estimated global sales in 2015 of $154 million.
  • Co's equity investment will ultimately result in an 88% equity interest in Noden.
  • Given this anticipated majority ownership by PDL, the financial statements of Noden will be consolidated with PDL, which is expected to be immediately accretive to co's cash earnings.
  • Co expects to make equity contributions to Noden totaling ~$107 million in the first year of the transaction, with an initial equity investment of $75 mln to be made upon closing of the transaction, and an additional $32 million equity contribution commitment on the one-year anniversary of the closing of the transaction.

4:03 pm Jabil Circuit announces $300 mln private placement of senior unsecured notes due 2023 (JBL) : The proceeds from the sale of the notes are anticipated to be used to repay the $312.0 mln 7.75% senior notes due July 15, 2016.

4:03 pm Iron Mountain prices $750 mln offering of senior unsecured notes consisting of $500 mln of 4.375% senior notes due 2021 & $250 mln 5.375% senior notes due 2026 (IRM) : The co intends to use the net proceeds from the offering of the notes, together with cash on hand and borrowings under the co's revolving credit facility, to repay the bridge loan facility related to the co's acquisition of Recall Holdings.

4:02 pm Galapagos NV announces successful completion of End-of-Phase 2 FDA and EMA consultations in rheumatoid arthritis; FINCH Phase 3 studies to start in Q3'16 (GLPG) :

  • Co reports the successful completion of the discussions with the regulatory authorities in the US and Europe and discloses the doses for the FINCH global Phase 3 program with filgotinib in RA. The FINCH program will investigate efficacy and safety of 100 mg and 200 mg filgotinib once-daily, globally addressing a broad RA patient population, with dosing expected to begin in Q3'16. The FINCH Phase 3 program will also contain a dedicated male patient testicular safety study.
  • Galapagos and Gilead (GILD) entered into a global collaboration for the development andcommercialization of filgotinib for inflammatory indications. In addition to theFINCH program in RA, Gilead expects to initiate a Phase 3 study with filgotinibin Crohn's disease and a Phase 2/3 study in ulcerative colitis in Q3 '16.Interactions with the regulatory authorities in these indications are stillpending and will be reported on later.

4:02 pm TimkenSteel announces intention to offer $75 mln convertible senior notes due 2021 in a registered public offering (TMST) : The company intends to use the net proceeds received from the notes offering to repay a portion of the amounts outstanding under its asset-based revolving credit facility.

4:01 pm Covisint confirms receipt of an unsolicited overture from Vector Capital expressing its interest in acquiring the Company for an unspecified price (COVS) :

  • Company's board of directors will carefully evaluate and consider this overture, in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, in the context of the Company's strategic plans, and its ongoing review of a broad range of opportunities. 
  • See May 23 for details from Vector Capital's letter to the board of directors.

4:01 pm Dorman Products appoints Kevin Olsen as CFO effective June 13 (DORM) : He joins Dorman from his post as Chief Financial Officer of Colfax Fluid Handling, a division of Colfax (CFX).

4:01 pm Ignyta to present updated data from Phase 1 clinical trial of RXDX-105 at ASCO (RXDX) :  

3:31 pm Parsley Energy prices private placement of senior notes due 2024 (PE) : The 2024 Notes mature on June 1, 2024, will pay interest at the rate of 6.250% per year and were priced at par.

3:19 pm Market averages extend to new highs in unison -- Dow +235, S&P +29, Nasdaq Comp +96 (:TECHX) :  

3:15 pm Brandywine Realty increases quarterly dividend to $0.16/share from $0.15/share (BDN) :  

2:15 pm Student Transportation subsidiary Student Transportation of America receives third contract in Oregon valued at $3.1 mln annually to provide school transportation services to the Canby School District beginning Aug 1 (STB) :  

2:06 pm Floor Talk: A Short/Flat Squeeze (:TALKX) :

The major indices started today's session on a solid note, bolstered by some surprising strength in European bourses, and have gotten stronger as the day has progressed.

The scope of the gains is notable because they have come on the heels of an apathetic session yesterday and, importantly, because they have come on the heels of some very strong economic data in the form of the New Home Sales report for April.

Today's move has effectively caught some participants by surprise, namely participants who were either short the market or neutral.

Individual investor sentiment data suggests that probably encompasses plenty of participants given that the latest bullish sentiment reading of 19.3% is at its lowest level since the week of February 12 while the latest neutral reading of 46.6% is well above the long-term average of 31.2%.

Those levels suggest there isn't a lot of confidence in the market's upside potential at the moment, so when a day like today takes shape, it creates some angst among those participants that they are on the wrong side of things either being short the market or flat the market.  Hence, they begin to cover, or start to initiate some positions, out of fear that they could miss out on the next leg higher.

That is the trading element underpinning today's action.  

The other element availing itself is the burgeoning belief that the Fed may soon raise the target range for the fed funds rate for the right reasons.  That is, it will be raising the fed funds rate because the economy is strengthening as opposed to raising rates simply to have some additional rate-cutting insurance in its back pocket for the next downturn.

This burgeoning line of thinking shows up in the fact that the stock market held its bullish form following the best month of new home sales since January 2008.  Moreover, it has held its form with the dollar strengthening -- a development one would expect to see on the belief the economic outlook in the U.S. isn't just better on a relative basis but is better in absolute terms.

The question in the back of everyone's mind is, can this rally be sustained or is it simply another trading parlor game that is going to get reversed tomorrow or in the next few sessions? 

Time will tell, yet it feels like the short/flat squeeze play is on at least for today. 

1:38 pm Synergy Pharma presents new in vitro data at Digestive Disease Week showing plecanatide replicated the pH-dependent activity of the body's naturally occurring gastrointestinal peptide (SGYP) :

  • In vitro data presented today at DDW show that plecanatide, like uroguanylin, activates the GC-C receptor in a pH-dependent manner, and this may contribute to more frequent, well-formed bowel movements according to the co. While the under-secretion of fluid can cause constipation, the over-secretion of fluid can result in diarrhea. The balance of fluid secretion in the gut is normally achieved by a controlled -- and pH-dependent -- activation of the GC-C receptor by uroguanylin

1:08 pm Midday Market Summary: Equities Climb as Technology and Financials Lead (:WRAPX) :

The stock market trades on a higher note at midday with an above-consensus reading of April New Home Sales (619,000; Briefing.com consensus 521,000) helping the S&P 500 (+1.4%) reclaim its 50-day simple moving average (2062.19). Other focal points for today's action have included mixed earnings results, an uptick in oil, persistent strength from the dollar, and sector leadership from the heavily-weighted technology (+1.9%), financial (+1.6%), and health care (+1.3%) groups. At midday, the Nasdaq Composite (+1.9%) leads the S&P 500 (+1.4%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.3%). 

Today's session began on a higher note as U.S. futures moved up alongside European bourses. In Europe, May's ZEW Economic Sentiment readings for the eurozone and Germany disappointed and prompted speculation regarding potential monetary policy stimulus. Additionally, strength from the oil patch helped bolster equities as oil reversed off its low ($47.64/bbl). Currently, WTI crude trades higher by 1.4% at $48.77/bbl.

The major averages were able to extend their opening gains as an above-consensus reading of April New Home Sales boosted the broader market. Equities climbed through mid-morning as heavily-weighted technology (+2.0%), financials (+1.6%), and health care (+1.4%) led the advance. The benchmark index has floated sideways in recent action, unable to clear resistance at the 2073/74 price level.

In the influential technology space (+2.0%), large cap component Microsoft (MSFT 51.59, +1.56) demonstrates relative strength after receiving an upgrade to "Outperform" from "Market Perform" at Cowen. The firm cited a growing cloud business and the company's strong Office Suite. Elsewhere, the high-beta chipmakers outperform, evidenced by the 1.9% gain in the PHLX Semiconductor Index. For the month, the price-weighted index has gained 5.7%, compared to a gain of 3.4% in the broader sector.

The financial sector (+1.6%) displays broad-based strength as the group respond to heightened expectations regarding the timeline of futures rate hikes. Today's positive reading of April New Home Sales added to recent positive datapoints, which appear consistent with a pickup in economic activity during the second quarter. As a result, the fed funds futures market has ticked higher, projecting the odds of a June rate hike at 36.0%. This compares to yesterday's reading of 30.0%.

Homebuilders outperform in the consumer discretionary space (+1.4%), evidenced by the 3.8% gain in the iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (ITB 27.48, +1.01). The group benefited from the positive housing figure as well as above-consensus quarterly results from Toll Brothers (TOL 29.21, +2.10). Meanwhile, AutoZone (AZO 765.03, +22.95) missed analysts' estimates for the quarter, but has gained 3.0%. Elsewhere, Best Buy (BBY 30.73, -2.27) has declined by 6.9% as mixed guidance overshadows an earning beat.

Biotechnology outperforms in the health care space (+1.4%) as Gilead Sciences (GILD 85.94, +2.61) rebounds 3.2%. The company has lost 11.4% since missing analysts' estimates for the first quarter on April 28. The broader Nasdaq iShares Biotechnology ETF (IBB 270.88, +4.85) has gained 1.8%. 

The U.S. Dollar Index (95.57, +0.34) floats near its session high as the euro and the yen lose ground to the greenback. The dollar/yen pair has gained 0.7% (110.03) while the euro has lost 0.7% against the dollar (1.1147).

The Treasury complex trades at a session low as the yield on the 10-yr note rises four basis points to 1.88%.

Today's economic data was limited to the April New Home Sales Report:

  • New home sales surpassed estimates in April, running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000 (Briefing.com consensus 521,000).
    • That represented a 16.6% increase from March, which saw an upward revision to 531,000 from a previously reported 511,000.
    • Not only did the April reading come in well ahead of expectations, but the upward revision to the March figure vaulted that reading past last month's Briefing.com consensus estimate, which stood at 521,000.
    • New home sales in April were up 22.8% versus the same month a year ago and today's report pointed to the best month of new home sales since January 2008.
    • Thanks to the pick-up in activity, the April rate was above the prior 3-month average of 531,667.
    • Median sales price increased 9.7% year-over-year to $321,100.
    • At the current sales pace, the inventory of unsold new homes stands at a 4.7 months' supply, which is down from 5.8-months' supply in March and below the 6.0-months' supply that is typically associated with normal periods of buying selling.

1:03 pm Cisco Systems runs to fresh session high of 28.58 (CSCO) : Its six month highs from April are at 28.68/28.70.

1:02 pm Dow +221 joins S&P +28 and Nasdaq Comp +88 above early session peak (:TECHX) :  

12:55 pm Monsanto sees Bayer's (BAYRY) proposal as 'incomplete and financially inadequate', but is open to continued conversations (Shares Halted) (MON) :

Monsanto today announced that its Board of Directors unanimously views the Bayer AG proposal as incomplete and financially inadequate, but is open to continued and constructive conversations to assess whether a transaction in the best interest of Monsanto shareowners can be achieved.

  • 'We believe in the substantial benefits an integrated strategy could provide to growers and broader society, and we have long respected Bayer's business. However, the current proposal significantly undervalues our company and also does not adequately address or provide reassurance for some of the potential financing and regulatory execution risks related to the acquisition.'
  • There is no assurance that any transaction will be entered into or consummated, or on what terms. The Monsanto Board of Directors has not set a timeline for further discussions and Monsanto does not intend to make further comment at this time.

12:41 pm Cliffs Natural Resources confirms receipt of full $31 million in cash pursuant to the terms of the previously disclosed agreements with Minnesota Power (CLF) : Such agreements cover a number of asset utilizations by Minnesota Power, a sub of Allete (ALE), and ensure low cost power to Cliffs' wholly-owned operations in Minnesota through 2031.

12:28 pm DuPont edges slightly above first hour high to reach 67.74 (DD) : Its five month peak from April comes into play just above at 67.82.

12:10 pm Hertz Global subs to offer $1.1 bln aggregate principal amount of senior secured second priority notes due 2022 and senior secured second priority notes due 2024 (HTZ) :

Hertz Global announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation has formed two new wholly owned subsidiaries, Herc Spinoff Escrow Issuer and Herc Spinoff Escrow Issuer. These new subsidiaries were formed with the intention of offering $1.1 billion aggregate principal amount of senior secured second priority notes due 2022 and senior secured second priority notes due 2024 in a private offering exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, subject to market and other conditions. Each series of Notes will pay interest semi-annually in arrears.

  • Concurrently with the closing of the offering, the gross proceeds (plus an amount related to interest that would accrue on the Notes through a specified date) will be deposited into an escrow account. Following the release of proceeds from escrow upon satisfaction of the escrow conditions, the net proceeds are intended to be used to (i) finance the proposed separation of the Company's global equipment rental business and (ii) pay fees and other transaction expenses in connection with the Spin-Off transactions.

11:56 am Visa retesting its morning peak at 79.27 (V) : The May high and the bottom of its April bear gap is at 79.33/79.35.

11:54 am Intel hovering just under its morning peak at 31.05 (INTC) : An initial technical level above is at 31.12/31.17 which marks the 50% retrace of the March-May decline and its late April breakdown point.

11:54 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:+1.4%
  • Germany's DAX:+2.2%
  • France's CAC:+2.5%
  • Spain's IBEX:+2.3%
  • Portugal's PSI:+0.9%
  • Italy's MIB Index:+3.3%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:+2.0%
  • Greece ASE General Index: -1.1%

11:39 am Volkswagen AG announces a $300 mln strategic partnership with on-demand mobility provider Gett (VLKAY) :

  • Volkswagen has made a $300 million strategic investment in Gett (formerly GetTaxi), a global ride hailing provider.
  • Group intends to generate a substantial share of future sales revenue with new business models.

11:39 am Currency Commentary: DXY Hits 7-week Highs following New Home Sales (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index was able to press to a seven week high as the hawkish tone of the Fed continues to resonate with dollar bulls. The rally has tempered off in the 95 zone but a big beat on New Home Sales has helped boost the greenback higher. It is a busy week of data on the housing front so expectations will be high when FHFA Housing Prices (Wed) and Pending Home Sales (Thu) are due out. But the key for markets will be Fed Chair Janet Yellen's Friday speech. The big question is whether she will hint on monetary policy as she is addressing Harvard students on that day.
  • The euro remains under pressure as the divergent policies between the ECB and the Fed weigh on the single currency. The German and European-wide ZEW surveys also missed expectations which is not helping sentiment around the euro.
  • The pound saw another push higher after holding support at the 1.4480 area. Sterling was able to rally back into the 1.46 level in early trade. Sterling hit 1.4638, falling just shy of the multi-week high of 1.4662 set last Thursday. The pound has been able to hold the majority of its gains suggesting the move has not run its course yet. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney went in front of parliament to discuss the latest inflation levels. But the majority of his time was spent defending recent remarks he made about the risks associated with a Brexit.
  • The yen has been straddling the 110 level today. We saw some brief profit taking by shorts yesterday as the G-7 headline risk moved past. But the downside trend for yen is showing signs of sticking around a little longer. The 50-sma (109.92) remains firmly in play here as yen continues to ride the average (BONDX, FOREX). 

11:33 am Mackinac Finl to acquire Niagara Bancorporation in an all cash transaction for a fixed $7.325 million purchase price (MFNC) :

  • The acquisition entails 4 full-service banking locations and nearly $70 million in assets. All banking locations will remain open at this time.
  • The transaction is expected to close late in the 3rd Quarter or early 4th Quarter of 2016.

11:12 am S&P +25 and Nasdaq Comp +77 notch new session highs, lagging Dow +206 is hovering slightly below (:TECHX) :  

11:12 am Time to acquire Hong Kong-based publisher of Fortune China CCI Asia-Pacific, terms undisclosed (TIME) : CCI Asia-Pacific, a regional business publisher, launched the Fortune Chinese-language edition under license from Time in 1996. Over the past two decades, the brand has grown into a source of management insight and advice for executives based in China according to the co. It has a total circulation of more than 200,000 in print and digital editions.

11:09 am Calpine announces intention to offer $500 mln senior secured notes due 2026 in a private placement (CPN) : The co intends to use the proceeds from this offering, together with cash on hand and proceeds from a new $500,000,000 first lien term loan facility maturing in May 2023 that the co intends to enter into concurrently with the closing of this offering, to (i) repay $805.8 mln of borrowings outstanding under its first lien term loan facility maturing in 2019, terminating the facility in connection therewith, (ii) repay ~$194 mln of borrowings outstanding under its first lien term loan facility maturing in 2020 and (iii) pay fees and expenses in connection with this offering, the new first lien term loan facility and such repayments and termination.

11:03 am Oshkosh announces that the Canadian International Trade Tribunal ruled in its favor regarding its legal challenge to the Medium Support Vehicle System Standard Military Pattern contract award decision (OSK) :

CITT's ruling recommends that Canada's Department of Public Works and Government Services take action, including re-evaluation of Oshkosh's bid and physical re-evaluation of vehicles, and/or monetary compensation to Oshkosh.

  • As part of its determination, CITT recommended the following actions to the Department of Public Works and Government Services:
    • Conduct a re-evaluation of the bid submitted by Oshkosh, including a physical re-evaluation of the vehicle test protocols, and/or payment of compensation to Oshkosh.
    • Compensate Oshkosh for its reasonable costs incurred in preparing and proceeding with the CITT complaint.

11:02 am AbbVie announces results from phase II study of Crohn's disease, IL-23 inhibitor risankizumab shown to 'induce' remission in patients (ABBV) :

Risankizumab selectively blocks IL-23, a key protein involved in inflammatory processes that has been linked to a number of chronic immune-mediated diseases. Risankizumab is part of a collaboration between Boehringer Ingelheim and AbbVie, with AbbVie leading future development and commercialization of risankizumab globally.

  • Risankizumab was shown to be more effective than placebo in patients with moderately-to-severely active Crohn's disease
  • Risankizumab also achieved higher rates of clinical response than placebo with nearly twice as many patients achieving a clinical response with risankizumab compared with the placebo group at Week 12, according to the co
  • Risankizumab was well tolerated in this clinical trial, with numerically fewer severe or serious adverse events in risankizumab treated patients compared with placebo
  • Most frequently reported adverse events were gastrointestinal events, arthralgia, anemia, and headache

11:01 am Net Element to effect a 1:10 reverse stock split effective at 12:01am ET, on May 25 (NETE) : The Company's common stock will open for trading on the NASDAQ Capital Market on May 25, 2016 on a post-split basis.

11:01 am Mechel Steel CFO Andrey Slivchenko is leaving the co following the completion of his two-year contract (MTL) :  

10:59 am Kirklands - - Earnings Mover gives up initial gains as sellers knock price down towards its Jan/Feb lows near $11/12 zone (KIRK) :  

10:57 am Nordson - - Earnings Mover with a solid breakout to New Highs upon clearing $84-resistance level (NDSN) :  

10:55 am iShares DJ Broker Dealer continues to display relative strength, nears its 200 day sma (IAI) : As noted earlier the IAI has provided relative strength vs. the S&P this morning with it reaching has high as 38.83 leaving it just shy of its 200 day sma at 38.90. Note that its April/four month high comes into play thereafter at 39.15. Top holdings include: GS, MS, SCHW, ICE, CME, ETFC, AMTD, RJF, NDAQ, MKTX, CBOE, LAZ, SF.

10:53 am Adobe Systems showing relative strength as price attempts to breakout over 3-month resistance along the 97/99 area into New High territory (ADBE) :  

10:31 am Nasdaq Comp +68 continues to pace the way to new highs -- Dow +201, S&P +23 (:TECHX) : The Dow has climbed up near its 50 day sma (17707) while the S&P is flirting with last week's high (2071). The Nasdaq Comp, which has outperformed the S&P over the last eight days, has pushed back above its 200 sma/ema and 50 sma with it establishing a new high for the month in the process.

10:11 am Stock indices continue to work higher -- Dow +184, S&P +20, Nasdaq Comp +61 (:TECHX) : Sectors that have outperformed the S&P on the recent upside market extension include Housing XHB / ITB after data along with Bank KBE, Reg Bank KRE, Finance XLF, Broker IAI, Semi SMH, Technology XLK, Software IGV, Internet FDN.

10:10 am Notable movers of interest: NDSN +11% following strong earnings/guidance; BBY -6% following weak guidance; TWTR -4% on downgrade (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

  • ADM (41.49 +2.6%): Upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital.
  • JCI (43.64 +2.11%): Upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Large Cap Losers

  • BBY (30.95 -6.23%): Beat on Q1 EPS of $0.44 ($0.35 Consensus); beat on revs; downside guidance for Q2 EPS EPS of $0.38-0.42 ($0.50 Consensus); CFO resigns.
  • NEM (32.57 -3.72%): Gold companies trade lower with golf futures (GG, ABX, AEM).
  • FCX (11.26 -1.07%): Rowan Cos and FCX reach an agreement under which FCX will pay Rowan $215 million in cash to settle outstanding receivables and early termination of a drilling contract the two had.

Mid Cap Gainers

  • NDSN (84.69 +11.17%): Beat on Q2 EPS of $1.23 ($0.92 Consensus) and on revs of $438 mln ($416 mln Consensus); upside guidance for Q3 EPS of $1.25-1.37 ($1.23 Consensus).
  • BAK (11.7 +5.79%): Upgraded to Buy at BofA/Merrill.
  • WDC (41.83 +3.38%): Upgraded to Outperform at Cowen.

Mid Cap Losers

  • CF (27.75 -7.04%): Downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill; downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Scotiabank.]
  • QGEN (20.55 -4.33%): Received a warning letter from the FDA (dated 5/16) relating to its QuantiFERON-TB Gold test device.
  • TWTR (13.91 -3.5%): Downgraded to Sell from Neutral at MoffettNathanson; target lowered to $18 from $22 and Buy rating maintained at Monness Crespi & Hardt.

10:05 am Toll Brothers (+6%) leading homebuilders (ITB +2.6%) higher following upside Q2 results and very strong April New Home Sales -- highest level since January 2008 (TOL) : TOL +5.94% BZH +4.72% HOV +3.66% TMHC +3.67% KBH +3.61% TPH +3.63% MHO +3.46% LEN +3.36% MTH +3.32% WCIC +3.20% CAA +3.12% DHI +3.32% WLH +2.73% PHM +2.86% ITB +2.61% AXP +2.08% XHB +2.06% NVR +1.42%.

10:04 am Capella Education announces that Capella University & American Nurses Association extend their working relationship through 2018 with a focus on 'supporting' & educating nurses (CPLA) :  

10:03 am iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction shows strength as it breaks out over its 3-week narrow range highs along the 26.75/27.00 level (ITB) :

  • Top holdings include DHI, LEN, NVR, PHM, TOL, HD, LOW, SHW, MTH, KBH, FBHS, OC
  • Move to highs follows stronger-than-expected New Home Sales data at 10:00, and encouraging results from TOL earlier in the pre-market. 

10:01 am Cellceutix announces topline data from its Phase 2 FDA trial of orally-administered Prurisol in the treatment of mild to moderate chronic plaque psoriasis; meets primary endpoint (CTIX) :

Overall analyses showed Prurisol, which is being developed under the FDA's 505(b)(2) program, to be superior to placebo in the 200mg arm.

  • Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) further revealed an early (by week 8) dose-related response that improved as treatment duration increased.
  • Evaluating the primary endpoint at 84-days (week 12) in the 200mg arm, 35.0% of the patients receiving that dose of Prurisol demonstrated clinically significant improvements compared with 16.7% of patients on placebo only.
    • This percentage includes patient data from one site where investigator non-compliance may have occurred.
    • Were that site to have been excluded from overall data analysis, as is done in some clinical studies (refer to the journal article linked to below, published findings from another psoriasis study), 43.7% of patients in the 200mg Prurisol arm would have met the primary endpoint.
  • Sub-population analyses further showed greater efficacy demonstrated in patients who had a baseline IGA score of 3 ("moderate") as compared to those with a baseline score of 2 ("mild").
    • Some of these patients even experienced a 3-point reduction in their IGA score, going from "moderate" to "clear."
    • This suggests Prurisol may be more effective in treating moderate to severe psoriasis patients to a greater degree than those patients who exhibit less severe symptoms. In moderate to severe psoriasis studies, the placebo response also tends to be lower.
  • Co plans to release other summary findings from this trial in the coming months, with full results anticipated to be submitted for journal publication and presentation at a future medical congress.

9:59 am JPMorgan Chase edges higher towards its April highs along the 64.50 area (JPM) :  

9:53 am S&P +18 extends up to channel / retrace zone (SPY) : Solid early performance for the index with it reaching up near the channel off its April-May highs and the 50% retrace of the pullback during the same period in the 2067/2068 area (session high 2066.90).

9:52 am iKang Healthcare Group files complaint against Shanghai Mei Dong Software Development, Meinian Onehealth, and Shanghai Sheng Jia Clinic over its copyright of medical examination software systems (KANG) :

Co has requested Meinian Onehealth and Sheng Jia to delete and stop using the relevant softwares, mitigate the impacts, apologize publicly for their violations, and repay the financial damages they have caused in the amount of RMB 53 million.

  • The Shanghai Intellectual Property Court has accepted the Company's complaint

9:51 am VimpelCom & Global Telecom Holding announce that Algerian subsidiary Djezzy has been awarded one of three licenses to provide 4G/LTE services in the country (VIP) : Djezzy has the largest network in Algeria with the widest coverage and is investing to upgrade its networks further, includes modernizing 2G services and completing the full deployment of 3G in all 48 of Algeria's provinces by the end of 2016 according to the co.

9:45 am Opening Market Summary: Homebuilders Lead at Open (:WRAPX) :

As expected, the stock market began its day on a higher note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.9%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.9%) lead the S&P 500 (+0.8%).

Ten sectors trade in the green with heavily-weighted technology (+1.0%), financials (+0.9%), and health care (+0.9%) leading the advance. On the flipside, commodity-sensitive energy (+0.2%) and materials (+0.2%) sport the slimmest gains. The remaining gainers show upticks between 0.5% (telecom services) and 0.7% (consumer discretionary).

Homebuilders demonstrate relative strength as the group trades higher in sympathy with Toll Brothers (TOL 28.24, +1.15). Toll Brothers beat analysts' estimates for the quarter and announced that its Board of Directors authorized a 20 million share repurchase program.

On the commodities front, WTI crude trades higher by 0.7% ($48.39/bbl) while gold trades lower by 1.2% ($1,236.80/ozt).

9:39 am Stock indices extend rebound off last week's low in early dealing -- Dow +152, S&P +15, Nasdaq Comp +41 (:TECHX) : Broad based strength thus far with top performing sectors led by: Home Const ITB (TOL +3.9%), Auto, Casino, Restaurant, Semi SMH, Finance XLF, Paper, Solar TAN, Insurance KIE, Broker IAI.

9:36 am Twitter displays relative weakness as price slides to challenge its May lows along the $14-level (TWTR) :  

9:31 am Globant to acquire WAE, terms undisclosed (GLOB) : WAE is comprised of the companies We are London & We are Experience & is a service design co.

9:23 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Following a strike notice by Tasiast unions previously announced on May 10, 2016, unionized employees at Kinross Gold's (KGC) Tasiast mine in Mauritania have initiated strike action. The co remains open to re-commencing negotiations on a new collective agreement and to resolve other outstanding items with union representatives. The co does not expect the strike to affect development of the Tasiast Phase One expansion
  • Sociedad Qumica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) informed that the press release issued by CORFO, indicating that CORFO will request an additional arbitration proceeding to attempt to obtain early termination of the "Salar de Atacama Project Agreement", seems to be an addition to the existing arbitration proceeding initiated by CORFO. Under the existing proceeding, CORFO is also calling for early termination of the lease agreement pertaining to the same mining properties located in the Salar de Atacama and which CORFO has leased to SQM until the end of the year 2030. SQM reiterates its position that it completely disagrees with CORFO's claims calling for the early termination of the Salar de Atacama Project Agreement-just as it did when CORFO called for early termination of the Lease Agreement-and it rejects all of the arguments that have been set forth for such purpose
  • Identiv (INVE) announces the receipt of a letter dated May 18, 2016 from the Nasdaq Stock Market notifying the co that it has regained compliance with Nasdaq listing rules
  • Optex Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Optex Systems Holdings (OPXS) announces it has received a $1.1 mln purchase order to supply optical assemblies from Optex's Applied Optics Center Division

9:20 am BGC Partners announces intention to commence private offering of senior unsecured notes (BGCP) : The co intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment in full of BGC's 4.50% convertible notes scheduled to mature on July 15, 2016, and to fund future potential acquisitions.

9:19 am Spirit Aerosystems announces intention to commence public offering of senior unsecured notes due 2026 (SPR) : The co intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, together with cash on hand, to repurchase its outstanding 63/4% senior notes due 2020 and to pay related interest, fees and expenses. Pending any specific application, Spirit AeroSystems may initially use those proceeds for other general corporate purposes.

9:16 am Spirit Aerosystems commences cash tender offer for any and all of the $300 million outstanding principal amount of its 6 3/4% Senior Notes due 2020 (SPR) :  

9:16 am Apollo Global Management announces debt offering of senior notes for undisclosed amount (APO) : Co intends to use the proceeds from the sale of the notes for general corporate purposes.

9:10 am Synopsys enters into $125 mln accelerated share repurchase program (SNPS) : Under the terms of the ASR, Synopsys will receive an initial share delivery of approximately 2.0 million shares, with the remainder to be settled on or before August 15, 2016, upon completion of the repurchase.

9:10 am S&P futures vs fair value: +11.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +27.60. (:WRAPX) :

The stock market is on track for a higher open as the S&P 500 futures trade 12 points above fair value. Futures have extended their gains this morning alongside an advance in oil. Currently, WTI crude sports a gain of 0.5% ($48.34/bbl) after ticking off its low ($47.64/bbl).

Investors will only receive one economic datapoint of note today, with April New Home Sales (Briefing.com consensus 521k) being released at 10:00 ET. Participants will be eyeing the release to see if it conforms with other recent positive data, which may bolster the case for the Fed to continue hiking interest rates. On that note, Philadelphia Fed President and non-FOMC voter Patrick Harker stated after yesterday's close that two to three rate hikes could be appropriate in 2016. This matches yesterday's commentary from San Francisco Fed President John Williams.

The retail sub-group demonstrates weakness as disappointing reports from the likes of DSW (DSW 19.52, -2.21) and Autozone (AZO 729.50, -12.58) weigh on the sub-group. Meanwhile, Best Buy (BBY 31.63, -1.37) has declined by 4.2% as mixed guidance masks an earning beat. Additionally, the company announced that CFO Sharon McCollam will step down on June 14.

The Treasury complex trades lower with the yield on the 10-yr note rising one basis point to 1.85%.

9:09 am PennyMac announces that due to current market conditions, subsidiaries postponed previously announced $300 mln private offering of senior notes due 2021 (PFSI) : Its direct and indirect controlled subsidiaries, Private National Mortgage Acceptance Company and PNMAC Finance Corporation have postponed the previously announced private offering.

9:06 am JRJR Networks informs the NYSE that it doesn't expect to file its 10-Q in a timely manner (JRJR) : The Company has no disagreements with its auditors and expects and intends to complete the filing of the Form 10-Q at the earliest possible date, which the Company fully expects to be well in advance of the period allowed by the NYSE.

9:05 am Audiocodes receives court approval to repurchase up to an additional $15 mln of its ordinary shares through Oct 7, 2016 (AUDC) :  

9:04 am Identiv regains compliance with the Nasdaq (INVE) :  

9:02 am YuMe shareholder VIEX announces that Egan-Jones has recommended that its stockholders vote for VIEX's director candidates (YUME) : VIEX states, "We are gratified to have now received the recommendations to vote on the GOLD proxy card from all three of the proxy advisory firms in the United States."

9:02 am Tecogen sells CM-75 combined heat & power unit to a state university in New England (TGEN) :

The sale includes turnkey installation, factory engineered accessories and various load modules.

  • As a reminder, co will host a conference call May, 24, 2016 at 11:30 AM ET to discuss the newly formed TTcogen joint venture.

9:02 am GoPro and Red Bull enter into a multi-year global partnership; Red Bull to receive equity in GPRO (GPRO) :

GoPro and Red Bull today announced they are joining forces on a multi-year, global partnership that includes content production, distribution, cross-promotion and product innovation.

  • As part of the agreement, Red Bull will receive equity in GoPro and GoPro will become Red Bull's exclusive provider of point-of-view imaging technology for capturing immersive footage of Red Bull's media productions and events.

9:01 am U.S. Silica completes purchase of 327-acre parcel of land adjacent to existing silica mine & plant in Ottawa, Illinois (SLCA) :

  • The company plans to use the land for future mining operations and said it will add ~30 million tons of proven reserves. U.S. Silica purchased the property from a privately-held mining co
  • The reserves are high quality Ottawa White sand and will produce coarse and medium to fine product grades. U.S. Silica's Ottawa facility serves multiple end markets such as glass, building products, foundry, filler and extenders, chemicals and oil and gas proppants

9:01 am Nortek acquires Nuiku; terms not disclosed (NTK) : Nuiku is a next-generation natural language processing platform that facilitates sophisticated voice control across home automation and other applications.

8:55 am S&P futures vs fair value: +11.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +27.40. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures trade 12 points above fair value.

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended the Tuesday session on a mostly lower note, but once again, trading ranges were limited with movements in key markets not exceeding 1.0%. In Japan, Finance Minister Taro Aso commented on the foreign exchange market, saying that exchange rate swings of JPY5 over two days qualify as "one-way" moves, but that the country will refrain from intervening in the market. Elsewhere, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said that inflation remains too low, economic recovery is sluggish, and the country's budget requires more work.

  • Economic data was limited:
    • Australia's CB Leading Index +0.1% month-over-month (previous -0.3%)

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei lost 0.9% with all ten sectors ending in the red. Financials (-1.5%), utilities (-1.2%), and technology (-1.2%) paced the slide while health care (-0.2%) outperformed. Kubota, Minebea, Tokio Marine Holdings, JTEKT, Fuji Heavy Industries, and Mitsubishi Electric posted losses between 2.5% and 4.3%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng ticked up 0.1% thanks to gaming and property names. Galaxy Entertainment, Sands China, Cheung Kong Property Holdings, Sino Land, and China Construction Bank gained between 0.9% and 5.0%. Energy names struggled with CNOOC and Petrochina falling 2.1% and 1.4%, respectively.
  • China's Shanghai Composite lost 0.8%. Shenghe Resources and Tsinghua Tongfang both lost near 4.0% while Hainan Airlines and Minsheng Banking surrendered 1.2% and 2.1%, respectively.

European markets trade higher across the board, erasing their losses from Monday. Italy's MIB (+2.1%) has paced the rally while other indices trade not far behind. The International Monetary Fund commented on Greece, saying the country needs unconditional debt relief from European creditors. The news made the rounds during yesterday's session in the U.S., but the market did not show much movement in response. The euro, meanwhile, has retreated 0.5% against the dollar to 1.1164 thanks to overall dollar strength.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone ZEW Economic Sentiment fell to 16.8 from 21.5 (consensus 23.4)
    • Germany's May ZEW Economic Sentiment fell to 6.4 from 11.2 (consensus 12.0). ZEW Current Conditions improved to 53.1 from 47.7 (expected 48.9). Separately, Q1 GDP +0.7% quarter-over-quarter, as expected; +1.3% year-over-year (consensus 1.6%; last 1.3%)
    • France's May Business Survey ticked down to 104 from 105, as expected
    • UK's May CBI Distributive Trades Survey improved to 7 from -13 (forecast 7)
    • Swiss April trade surplus CHF2.50 billion (expected surplus of CHF3.14 billion; previous surplus of CHF2.18 billion)

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE is higher by 1.0% with consumer names contributing to the advance. Tesco, Kingfisher, Sainsbury, and Morrison Supermarkets are up between 1.6% and 3.8%. Financials also outperform with the likes of RBS, Old Mutual, Lloyds Banking, and Standard Life up between 1.7% and 2.8%.
  • Germany's DAX has climbed 1.5% amid gains in all but two components. Exporters BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen show gains between 1.3% and 1.6%. Deutsche Bank trades up 0.3% while Fresenius is the top performer, rising 2.0%.
  • France's CAC trades up 1.7% with all 40 listings trading higher. Financials Societe Generale, AXA, BNP Paribas, and Credit Agricole have added between 1.9% and 3.0%. Steelmaker Arcelor Mittal has also shown relative strength, climbing 3.2%.
  • Italy's MIB outperforms with a gain of 2.1%. Financials are responsible for the relative strength as BMPS, Mediobanca, Banca Pop Emilia Romagna, and Banca Mediolanum show gains between 3.1% and 5.9%.

8:52 am Seaspan prices 5 mln share public offering of class A common shares at $14.70/share, CEO & affiliates to purchase $15 mln common shares concurrently at offering price (SSW) :

  • Seaspan's chief executive officer and affiliates of one of Seaspan's directors and of Dennis Washington have agreed to purchase directly from Seaspan, at the public offering price, an aggregate of $15 mln of common shares concurrently with the closing of the public offering
  • Seaspan intends to use ~$85 mln of the net proceeds from the public offering and the concurrent private sale to redeem a portion of its outstanding 9.50% series C cumulative redeemable perpetual preferred shares, and the remainder for general corporate purposes

8:50 am Duke Energy finalizes deal to buy captured methane gas derived from swine waste, financial terms undisclosed (DUK) :

  • The project will use captured methane gas to generate carbon-neutral renewable electricity at two power stations. Optima KV will construct a digester at each farm and pipe the captured methane gas to a centralized facility where it will be cleaned to pipeline quality specifications and injected into the natural gas pipeline system.

8:49 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Catalyst Biosciences (CBIO) and CMC ICOS Biologics announce that they have entered into a manufacturing agreement for the process transfer and cGMP manufacturing of CB 813d, Catalyst's next-generation long-acting Factor VIIa product. Catalyst is developing CB 813d for the treatment of hemophilia A and B inhibitor patients
  • AmpliPhi Biosciences (APHB) announces it has dosed the first patient in its Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety of AB-SA01, AmpliPhi's phage cocktail targeting Staphylococcus aureus infections, administered topically to the intact skin of healthy adults
  • Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announces Mayur Kapani has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer for the co. Kapani joined ICE in 2006, serving most recently as Senior Vice President of Trading Technology

8:45 am Northern Tier Energy: Western Refining (WNR) announces effectiveness of registration statement in connection with the previously announced proposed merger; special meeting of NTI unitholders to approve merger will be held on June 23 (NTI) :  

8:38 am Cogentix Medical announces settlement agreement in connection with proxy contest/related litigation and leadership changes; annual meeting to be held May 24 at 1pm ET (CGNT) : Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Cogentix and its Board of Directors have agreed to support the proposals set forth in the definitive proxy statement filed by Lewis C. Pell in connection with the Annual Meeting, including the nomination for election at the Annual Meeting of Mr. Pell, Howard I. Zauberman and James D'Orta. Also pursuant to the settlement agreement, Robert C. Kill, Chairman of the Board and CEO, will resign as a director and officer of Cogentix and Darin Hammers, the current Chief Operating Officer, will be named as the interim CEO. Directors Kevin Roche and Ken Paulus will also depart Cogentix pursuant to the settlement agreement.

8:38 am Stratus Properties issues statement in response to a previous shareholder's letter & updates shareholders on strategic review process which may include a potential sale of the co &/or core assets (STRS) :

  • "As announced in April, the Board has engaged a nationally recognized investment banking firm focused on the real estate industry, Hentschel & Company ("Hentschel"), to explore a full range of strategic alternatives for Stratus to enhance value for all stockholders. This review includes, but is not limited to, a sale of Stratus, a sale of certain of Stratus' core assets, a share repurchase program, and continuing Stratus' long-term plans to develop the value of its properties."
  • "As part of the Company's strategic review, Hentschel is engaging with potential counterparties, including Capretta Properties. However, to ensure an effective process focused on maximizing value for all stockholders, and as is customary in strategic transactions involving public companies, the Company will not provide further comment on its ongoing evaluation or provide public updates as to the status of any individual offer unless and until it deems further disclosure to be appropriate or required."
  • As previously disclosed, the Board has not set a definitive timeline for completion of this review process and has not determined to pursue any particular strategic alternative or enter into any transaction

8:36 am Gapping down (SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: QTNT -30%, TBIO -11.5%, XGTI -11.1%, DSW -6.9%, BBY -5.3%, TEDU -2.6%, CCIH -2.4%, SNE -2%, AZO -1.8%, SKLN -1.7%

M&A news: HL -2.1% (MGN to be acquired by Hecla Mining (HL))


Select metals/mining stocks trading lower: HMY -2.7%, AUY -2%, ABX -1.7%, AG -1.7%, GDX -1.6%, NEM -1.6%, SSRI -1.5%, GG -1.2%, GFI -1%, .

Other news: SSW -10.7% (to offer 5 mln common shares in underwritten registered public offering; CEO and director to purchase $15 mln of the offering), BAH -2.6% (rices secondary offering of 13 mln shares of common stock by affiliate of Carlyle Group (CG) at $28.20), WMGI -2.3% (announces 6.2 mln orinary share offering by selling shareholders), KORS -1.7% (likely due to EU reports overnight - Swiss Watch Industry reports April 2016 Swiss watch exports value fell 11.1% YoY)

Analyst comments: SAGE -5.4% (initiated with a Sell at Chardan Capital Markets; tgt $18), CF -1.6% (downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Scotiabank), CYH -1.5% (downgraded to Underweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley), LL -1.3% (initiated with a Sell at Topeka Capital Mkts), GIS -1.3% (downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman)

8:36 am Evoke Pharma announces data from its thorough electrocardiogram study of EVK-001 were presented at Digestive Disease Week (EVOK) :

  • Study results showed that EVK-001 did not increase the time the heart's electrical system takes to repolarize after each beat and did not demonstrate consistent ECG changes at 8 times the dosage level that is proposed to be marketed.
  • Co recently completed enrollment in its phase 3 clinical trial of EVK-001 for treatment of symptoms associated with diabetic gastroparesis in women.
    • Data from this trial are expected early in 3Q16.
    • Co expects the data to enable it to move forward with its NDA submission.

8:33 am Gapping up (SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: NDSN +8.7%, KIRK +3.7%, TOL +3.7%, NOAH +2%, YIN +1.9%, SEE +0.5%

M&A news: MGN +39.1% (to be acquired by Hecla Mining (HL)), PLCM +3.9% (receives revised non-binding proposal)

Select EU names showing strength: HSBC +2.7%, LYG +2.7%, BT +2.6%, DEO +1.9%, SHPG +1.7%, AZN +1.6%, GSK +1.5%, NGG +1.4%, ARMH +1.1%

Other news: OXGN +69.6% (announces results of phase 2 study of CA4P in recurrent ovarian cancer published in Journal of Clinical Oncology),SPEX +20.4% (executes second license agreement with RPX Corporation (RPXC)),ICLD +13.9% (announces over $3.2 mln in professional service contracts to support next generation Wi-Fi and DAS network deployments from existing and new clients),AGLE +13.4% (receives Fast Track Designation from the FDA for its lead investigational molecule, AEB1102),LC +4.4% (contintued volatility in pre-mkt trading),SSH +3.9% (presents update on C-Pulse Heart Assist System; demonstrated improvements in quality of life),CLF +3.6% (enters long-term purchase power arrangement for its Northshore operation with Minnesota Power, a division of Allete (ALE) to receive $31 mln in cash),SCTY +2.3% (still checking, there was notable call buying near yday's close),SPWR +1.6% (SunPower and Total (TOT) sign power purchase agreement for the supply of 300 gigawatt hours per year of clean solar energy to Metro of Santiago)

Analyst comments: PBR +2.8% (upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan),SQ +1.6% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BTIG Research),WDC +1.5% (upgraded to Outperform at Cowen),DE +1.2% (upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital),MSFT +1% (upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen)

8:32 am DeVry Education appoints Lisa Wardell as CEO, effective May 24; Wardell succeeds Daniel Hamburger, who is leaving to pursue other opportunities (DV) : Wardell was most recently EVP and COO of the RLJ Companies and is a director on co's Board.

8:31 am Cynosure receives FDA 510(k) clearance to market a new laser delivery system for PicoSure (CYNO) : The new 1064 nm wavelength is designed for removal of black and other dark tattoo inks. The 1064 nm wavelength will be offered as an upgrade to existing PicoSure customers. Initial shipments of the new Laser Delivery System are expected to begin in the second half of 2016.

8:31 am Rambus CFO to retire in the first week of August; co has commenced a search for his replacement (RMBS) : Co announced that chief financial officer Satish Rishi plans to retire from Rambus in the first week of August, following the filing of the company's quarterly report for the second quarter of 2016. Rambus has commenced a search for his replacement and Mr. Rishi will assist during the succession process.

8:30 am S&P futures vs fair value: +12.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +26.90. (:WRAPX) :

Equity futures have ticked higher alongside oil as the S&P 500 futures trade 12 points above fair value.

In company specific news, Microsoft (MSFT 50.52, +0.49) trades higher by 1.0% after being upgraded to "Outperform" from "Market Perform" at Cowen. The firm cited strength in the company's Office Suite and a growing cloud business. Sony (SNE 25.75, -0.52) has shed 2.0% after lowering its revenue estimates for fiscal year 2017 below consensus. The company attributed the slowdown to suspended operations from its semiconductor arm, which was impacted by April's earthquakes.

The U.S. Dollar Index (95.49, +0.26) has ticked higher this morning as the greenback sports gains over both the euro and the yen. The euro/dollar pair trades lower by 0.5% (1.1165) while the dollar has gained 0.4% against the yen (109.72). Separately, the dollar trades flat against the commodity-sensitive Canadian dollar (1.3147) as oil extends its gain.

8:21 am Coca-Cola Ent announces its shareowners have approved the pending transaction to create Coca-Cola European Partners; closing expected ~May 28 (CCE) : European Union listing prospectus is expected to be finalized on or about May 25, 2016, and closing is expected to occur on or about May 28, 2016.

8:15 am First Internet Bancorp prices 895,955 underwritten common stock offering at $24.00/share for net proceeds of ~$20.1 mln (INBK) : The co expects to use the net proceeds of this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include contributing capital to the Bank to support organic growth and repaying or redeeming existing indebtedness.

8:11 am Celsion expects to report data from second cohort of the OVATION study by mid-year, followed by translational data for the first two cohorts in the third quarter (CLSN) :

  • The co provided an update on its ongoing OVATION study, a Phase Ib dose escalating clinical trial combining GEN-1, the Company's DNA-based immunotherapy, with the standard of care for the treatment of newly-diagnosed patients with advanced ovarian cancer who will undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by interval debulking surgery. GEN-1 is an IL-12 DNA plasmid vector formulated as a nanoparticle in a non-viral delivery system to cause the sustained local production and secretion of the Interleukin-12 (IL-12) protein loco-regionally to the tumor site.
  • The Company announced that an abstract detailing the trial design of the OVATION Study has been accepted for presentation at the ASCO Annual Meeting -- entitled "Phase 1 study of the safety and biological activity of intraperitoneal IL-12 plasmid formulated with PEG-PEI-cholesterol lipopolymer administered in combination with standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) in patients with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer"
  • Celsion also expects to report translational data from the first two cohorts of the OVATION Study early in the third quarter of 2016. The translational data will provide further insight into GEN-1's mechanism of action through the evaluation of dose-related changes in the tumor and peritoneal immune cell population, as well as through the peritoneal cytokine levels. Moreover, immune cell density, a common indicator of survival in ovarian cancer patients, will be explored to further demonstrate the therapy's efficacy in these patients.

8:09 am Eisai announces presentations of new analyses of studies supporting FDA approvals at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting (ESALY) :

  • These approvals included the use of Halaven in advanced liposarcoma following a prior anthracycline-containing regimen and Lenvima in locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer, and in advanced renal cell carcinoma in combination with everolimus following one prior anti-angiogenic therapy. ASCO 2016 will be held from June 3-7 in Chicago
  • Halaven is a microtubule dynamics inhibitor indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer who have previously received at least two chemotherapeutic regimens for the treatment of metastatic disease

8:08 am Marathon Patent Group authorized the repurchase of up to $2 mln of common stock; Purchases may be made over a 12 month period ending May 30, 2017 (MARA) :  

8:06 am J.M. Smucker announces avg decrease of 6% in the list price for majority of its packaged coffee products sold in the US (SJM) :

  • Primarily consisting of items sold under the Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts brand names. Prices decreased an average of six percent on impacted items in response to sustained declines in green coffee costs. The Company's K-Cup pods were excluded from the price decrease
  • "For the last several quarters, lower green coffee costs were reflected in promotional pricing for the majority of our packaged coffee products, and we do not anticipate those prices changing significantly," said Steve Oakland, Vice Chair and President, U.S. Food and Beverage. "This list price decrease provides an opportunity for consumers to benefit from lower pricing on an everyday basis."

8:06 am iStar announced that Geoffrey Jervis is joining iStar as its new COO/CFO effective June 15, 2016 (STAR) : Jervis brings significant experience as a public company executive in the real estate sector. He most recently served as the CFO of STAG Industrial (STAG) and prior to that he was the CFO at Blackstone Mortgage Trust (BXMT) and its predecessor Capital Trust Inc.

8:05 am S&P futures vs fair value: +8.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +20.40. (:WRAPX) :

U.S. equity futures trade on a higher note with the S&P 500 futures hovering nine points above fair value. Futures moved higher in sympathy with European bourses as investors look to potential easing measures from the ECB following a below-consensus reading of Germany's May ZEW Economic Sentiment.

On the home front, today's economic calendar is light with April New Home Sales (Briefing.com consensus 521k) crossing the wires at 10:00 ET. The report is significant as it could be added to the growing number of economic releases, which signify a pickup in economic activity in the second quarter. The second quarter pickup has been cited as a condition for the Fed to continue on its path towards interest rate normalization. For its part, WTI crude trades higher by 0.5% ($48.31/bbl), erasing an overnight loss.

The yield on the 10-yr note sits unchanged at 1.84%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Lending Club (LC 4.46, +0.14): +3.2% after Shanda Group disclosed an 11.7% active stake in the company
  • AutoZone (AZO 735.99, -6.09): -0.8% following the company reporting below-consensus results for the third quarter 
  • Toll Brothers (TOL 27.95, +0.85): +3.1% after reporting a top- and bottom-line beat for the quarter and raising the lower end of its prior revenue guidance
  • Best Buy (BBY 31.21, -1.79): -5.4% following the company reporting declines in mobile phone, tablet, and gaming sales. However, Best Buy did report quarterly results that came in above analysts' estimates

Reviewing overnight developments: 

  • Asia-Pacific equity markets ended their session on a mostly lower note with Japan's Nikkei -0.9% and China's Shanghai Composite -0.8%. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.1%.
    • Economic data was limited:
      • Australia's CB Leading Index +0.1% month-over-month (previous -0.3%)
    • In news: 
      • In Japan, Finance Minister Taro Aso commented that exchange rate swings of JPY5 over two days qualify as "one-way" moves.
      • However, the Finance Minister Taro Aso also stated that the country will refrain from intervening in the market.
      • Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said that inflation remains too low, economic recovery is sluggish, and the country's budget requires more work.
  • European markets trade higher with France's CAC +1.5%, Germany's DAX +1.2%, and the U.K.'s FTSE +0.8%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB (+1.7%) leads the advance. 
    • In economic data:
      • Eurozone ZEW Economic Sentiment fell to 16.8 from 21.5 (consensus 23.4)
      • Germany's May ZEW Economic Sentiment fell to 6.4 from 11.2 (consensus 12.0). ZEW Current Conditions improved to 53.1 from 47.7 (expected 48.9). Separately, Q1 GDP +0.7% quarter-over-quarter, as expected; +1.3% year-over-year (consensus 1.6%; last 1.3%)
      • France's May Business Survey ticked down to 104 from 105, as expected
      • UK's May CBI Distributive Trades Survey improved to 7 from -13 (forecast 7)
      • Swiss April trade surplus CHF2.50 billion (expected surplus of CHF3.14 billion; previous surplus of CHF2.18 billion)
    • In news: 
      • Yesterday, the International Monetary Fund commented on Greece, saying the country needs unconditional debt relief from European creditors.
      • The euro, meanwhile, has retreated 0.5% against the dollar to 1.1170 thanks to overall dollar strength.

8:04 am Cliffs Natural Resources enters long-term purchase power arrangement for its Northshore operation with Minnesota Power, a division of Allete (ALE) to receive $31 mln in cash (CLF) : Cliffs Natural Resources enters into multiple agreements with Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE (ALE). Cliffs will receive $31 mln in cash as part of a long-term purchased power arrangement for its Northshore operation with Minnesota Power through 2031. Separately, Cliffs has extended its regulated power arrangements with Minnesota Power for 10 years at its United Taconite and Babbitt facilities.

8:04 am XBiotech announces presentation of 'positive' prelim findings on survival from its Phase III data for Xilonix at the 18th ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer on July 2 (XBIT) : As specified in the Phase III protocol, investigators also followed up with patients after study completion or discontinuation to assess their survival status. XBiotech will share positive preliminary results from this analysis showing a survival benefit correlating to the clinical response seen in this trial; this analysis is ongoing.

8:04 am Johnson & Johnson receives FDA approval for INVOKAMET, a fixed-dose combination therapy of INVOKANA and metformin hydrochloride, for first-line treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes (JNJ) : Janssen Pharmaceuticals of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced the FDA has approved INVOKAMET, a fixed-dose combination therapy of INVOKANA and metformin hydrochloride, for first-line treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes. With this new approval, INVOKAMET may now be prescribed in adults with type 2 diabetes who are not already being treated with canagliflozin or metformin and may benefit from dual therapy. INVOKAMET, the first combination of a sodium glucose co--transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor and metformin available in the United States, was previously approved by the FDA in August 2014 as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve blood glucose control in adults with type 2 diabetes not adequately controlled by either canagliflozin or metformin, or who are already being treated with both medications separately.

8:03 am Midland States Bancorp (Nasdaq) prices downsized 3.64 mln IPO at $22.00, the low-end of the revised range (MSBI) : The offering was downsized from earlier plans (which were reduced yesterday) to offer 3.872 mln share. The IPO of 3.64 mln shares consists of 3.04 mln by the company and 594k by selling shareholders. 

8:02 am InterCloud Systems announces over $3.2 mln in professional service contracts to support next generation Wi-Fi and DAS network deployments from existing and new clients (ICLD) :

  • Co announces that it was recently awarded over $3.2 mln in professional service contracts to support next generation Wi-Fi and DAS network deployments from existing and new clients.

8:01 am Spherix executes second license agreement with RPX Corporation (RPXC) (SPEX) :

  • Under the new agreement, Spherix receives a cash payment and return of all of the Series H preferred stock of Spherix presently held by RPX, representing the entire class of Series H shares outstanding. In exchange, Spherix granted RPX a portfolio license, which RPX can then use to grant sublicenses to its clients.
  • In unrelated matters, Spherix's litigations against L3 Communications (LLL), TW Telecommunications, Fairpoint Communications (FRP), and Uniden will continue.

8:01 am Seabridge Gold outlines its 2016 exploration plans at its KSM Project in northwestern British Columbia (SA) :

  • Co outlined its 2016 exploration plans at its 100%-owned KSM Project in northwestern British Columbia
  • The program calls for 10,000 meters of core drilling designed to expand by as much as 800 meters the block cave shapes that confine the current resource estimate
  • Over the past three years, Seabridge has successfully targeted higher grade zones beneath KSM's near surface porphyry deposits, resulting in the discovery of Deep Kerr and the Iron Cap Lower Zone
  • Last year, sizeable resource expansions were obtained from these deposits and drilling also confirmed the potential for significant resource additions below the Mitchell deposit
  • The Deep Kerr deposit has grown substantially since its discovery in 2013, but remains open to the south and at depth. Exploration drilling in 2015 expanded the inferred resource to more than one billion tonnes grading 0.53% copper and 0.35 g/T gold (11.3 million ounces of gold and 11.8 billion pounds of copper) as of March 2016
  • Deep Kerr consists of a broad zone of altered rock representing several relic intrusions measuring about 2,000 meters north-south and at least 1,600 meters in depth
  • Drill testing in the deposit has demonstrated exceptional continuity of mineralized material which has enabled rapid growth of the resource

8:01 am Transdigm Group to acquire ILC Holdings for $1.0 bln in cash (TDG) :

  • Co announces a definitive agreement to purchase ILC Holdings, the parent company of Data Device Corp., from Behrman Capital for a total purchase price of $1.0 billion in cash.
  • DDC is a supplier of databus and power supply products for the global military and commercial aerospace markets.
  • DDC revenues are anticipated to be over $200 mln for FY16 with approximately 75% coming from the defense market and the remainder primarily from the commercial transport market. Approximately 70% of revenue is derived from the aftermarket, with nearly all of the revenue from proprietary and sole source products. Approximately 45% of revenue is derived from customers outside of the US.
  • DDC is a leading supplier of databus and power controls and related products that are used primarily in military avionics, commercial aerospace and space applications. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of FY16.

8:00 am The Bancorp appoints Damian Kozlowski as CEO, effective June 1 (TBBK) : Co announced that Damian Kozlowski has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of The Bancorp, Inc., President of The Bancorp Bank and a Director of the company and the bank, effective June 1, 2016. Mr. Kozlowski succeeds Interim Chief Executive Officer John C. Chrystal, who will work with Mr. Kozlowski to ensure a smooth transition. Mr. Chrystal will remain a Director of both the company and the bank. Mr. Kozlowski joins The Bancorp after having served, since 2010, as Chief Executive Officer, President, and Director of Modern Bank.

7:57 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Jacobs Engineering Group (JEC) announces it received a contract from Asian Paints to provide engineering services for a greenfield paints plant near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, India. Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is expected to provide engineering and construction supervision services for the project over 3 years
  • Jacobs Engineering Group (JEC) announces it received a contract to provide the U.S. Army Program Executive Office Missiles & Space with enterprise IT support services. The contract is valued at $32.3 mln over five years
  • RTI Surgical (RTIX) sent another open letter to stockholders urging election of RTI's full slate recommended by two Proxy Advisory Firms. "We have outlined and are executing a strategy that we believe will enable RTI to become a $500-mln-rev co by growing rev faster than the market, with gross margins approaching 60% and operating margins approaching 20% of total rev, and enhance long-term stockholder value. This strategy is gaining traction: on a y/y basis, rev grew 7.4% (9% on a constant currency basis), adj EBITDA grew 36.4%, and adj net income/fully-diluted common share grew 109%."

7:43 am Match Group announces intention to commence $400 mln private offering of senior notes due 2024 (MTCH) : The co plans to use the proceeds of the offering to repay certain existing indebtedness.

7:43 am Valspar misses by $0.04, misses on revs; being acquired by Sherwin-Williams (SHW) (VAL) :

  • Reports Q2 (Apr) earnings of $1.22 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.26; revenues fell 2.1% year/year to $1.06 bln vs the $1.12 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • Adjusted EBIT increased 2% (Adjusted EBIT margin rate up 60 bps), driven by growth in both the Paints and Coatings segments.
  • In light of the proposed merger transaction, the company is withdrawing its financial and earnings guidance for fiscal 2016. In addition, the company will not hold a conference call to discuss quarterly financial results.

7:42 am Market View: Jun. E-mini stock-index futures move to new pre-mkt. highs here with ESm6 now +8.50 7 NQm6 now +19.25 (:TECHX) :  

7:33 am Adaptimmune Therapeutics announces Chairman succession plan, Chairman Jonathan Knowles to step down Dec 31 & will be succeeded by David Mott effective Jan 1, 2017 (ADAP) : Mott has been appointed as Vice-Chairman for the duration of the transition period. Mott was formerly President and CEO of MedImmune, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca (AZN), and Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca.

7:33 am European Markets Update: FTSE +0.8%, DAX +1.1%, CAC +1.5% (:SUMRX) :

European markets trade higher across the board, erasing their losses from Monday. Italy's MIB (+1.8%) has paced the rally while other indices trade not far behind. The International Monetary Fund commented on Greece, saying the country needs unconditional debt relief from European creditors. The news made the rounds during yesterday's session in the U.S., but the market did not show much movement in response. The euro, meanwhile, has retreated 0.3% against the dollar to 1.1183 thanks to overall dollar strength.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone ZEW Economic Sentiment fell to 16.8 from 21.5 (consensus 23.4)
    • Germany's May ZEW Economic Sentiment fell to 6.4 from 11.2 (consensus 12.0). ZEW Current Conditions improved to 53.1 from 47.7 (expected 48.9). Separately, Q1 GDP +0.7% quarter-over-quarter, as expected; +1.3% year-over-year (consensus 1.6%; last 1.3%)
    • France's May Business Survey ticked down to 104 from 105, as expected
    • UK's May CBI Distributive Trades Survey improved to 7 from -13 (forecast 7)
    • Swiss April trade surplus CHF2.50 billion (expected surplus of CHF3.14 billion; previous surplus of CHF2.18 billion)

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE is higher by 0.8% with consumer names contributing to the advance. Tesco, Kingfisher, Sainsbury, and Morrison Supermarkets are up between 1.6% and 3.8%. Financials also outperform with the likes of RBS, Old Mutual, Lloyds Banking, and Standard Life up between 1.7% and 2.8%.
  • Germany's DAX has climbed 1.1% amid gains in all but two components. Exporters BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen show gains between 1.3% and 1.6%. Deutsche Bank trades up 0.3% while Fresenius is the top performer, rising 2.0%.
  • France's CAC trades up 1.5% with all 40 listings trading higher. Financials Societe Generale, AXA, BNP Paribas, and Credit Agricole have added between 1.9% and 3.0%. Steelmaker Arcelor Mittal has also shown relative strength, climbing 3.2%.
  • Italy's MIB outperforms with a gain of 1.8%. Financials are responsible for the relative strength as BMPS, Mediobanca, Banca Pop Emilia Romagna, and Banca Mediolanum show gains between 3.1% and 5.9%.

7:31 am Allergan announces that the NDA filing for oxymetazoline HCl cream 1.0% has been accepted by the FDA for standard review; co expects the PDUFA date to be in the 1H of 2017 (AGN) : Oxymetazoline is an investigational topical prescription product for the treatment of persistent facial erythema (redness) associated with rosacea in adults

7:28 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • LinnCo (LNCO / LNCOQ) announced that it has extended the subsequent offering period in connection with its offer to exchange each outstanding unit of LINN Energy (LINE / LINEQ) for one LinnCo share upon the terms and conditions of the Prospectus/Offer to Exchange dated April 26, 2016, and the accompanying amended and restated letter of transmittal. The subsequent offering period for the Exchange Offer will now expire at 12:00 midnight ET on June 30, 2016
  • YY (YY) revised its earnings release date to May 31 from May 30
  • Bombardier (BDRBF) introduced a new cabin management system on Global 5000 and Global 6000 aircraft. The new system will be available on new Global 5000 and Global 6000 aircraft as of Q3 2016 and as a retrofit on in-service Global aircraft models
  • Aramark (ARMK) has entered into a 10-year agreement to provide food services for Koelnmesse of Germany, the organization that operates the Cologne trade fair. Aramark will employ ~40 full time managers and ~400 seasonal employees. The contract will begin Jan 1, 2017

7:15 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -0.9%, Hang Seng +0.1%, Shanghai -0.8% (:SUMRX) :

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended the Tuesday session on a mostly lower note, but once again, trading ranges were limited with movements in key markets not exceeding 1.0%. In Japan, Finance Minister Taro Aso commented on the foreign exchange market, saying that exchange rate swings of JPY5 over two days qualify as "one-way" moves, but that the country will refrain from intervening in the market. Elsewhere, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said that inflation remains too low, economic recovery is sluggish, and the country's budget requires more work.

  • Economic data was limited:
    • Australia's CB Leading Index +0.1% month-over-month (previous -0.3%)

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei lost 0.9% with all ten sectors ending in the red. Financials (-1.5%), utilities (-1.2%), and technology (-1.2%) paced the slide while health care (-0.2%) outperformed. Kubota, Minebea, Tokio Marine Holdings, JTEKT, Fuji Heavy Industries, and Mitsubishi Electric posted losses between 2.5% and 4.3%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng ticked up 0.1% thanks to gaming and property names. Galaxy Entertainment, Sands China, Cheung Kong Property Holdings, Sino Land, and China Construction Bank gained between 0.9% and 5.0%. Energy names struggled with CNOOC and Petrochina falling 2.1% and 1.4%, respectively.
  • China's Shanghai Composite lost 0.8%. Shenghe Resources and Tsinghua Tongfang both lost near 4.0% while Hainan Airlines and Minsheng Banking surrendered 1.2% and 2.1%, respectively.
  • India's Sensex rose 0.3% amid gains in half of its components. NTPC, Tata Motors, and Tata Power gained between 1.4% and 2.0% while ICICI Bank, AXIS Bank, and HDFC Bank climbed between 0.3% and 1.6%.

---FX---

  • USDJPY +0.4% to 109.62
  • USDCNY UNCH at 6.5553
  • USDINR +0.4% to 67.671

7:11 am Best Buy beats by $0.09, beats on revs; guides Q2 EPS below consensus, revs above consensus; reaffirms FY17 guidance; CFO Sharon McCollam to step down; Strategic Growth Officer Corie Barry named new CFO (BBY) :

  • Reports Q1 (Apr) earnings of $0.44 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.09 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.35; revenues fell 1.3% year/year to $8.44 bln vs the $8.3 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • Comparable sales were essentially flat (-0.1%) vs. (2)-(1%) guidance against a backdrop where the NPD-reported categories were down 1.9%.
    • From a merchandising perspective, comparable sales growth in health & wearables, home theater, major appliances and computing was offset by declines in mobile phones, tablets and gaming. As expected, television sales related to the shift of the Super Bowl into Q1 FY17 positively impacted the Domestic segment by ~70 basis points. The company also saw continued revenue declines in services due to investments in services pricing and the reduction of frequency of claims on extended warranties which has reduced repair revenue.
      • Consumer electronics comps +5.6%; computing and phones -3.5%; entertainment -11.6%; appliances +14.3%; services -10.7%.
    • Domestic online revenue of $832 million increased 23.9% on a comparable basis primarily due to higher conversion rates and increased traffic. As a percentage of total Domestic revenue, online revenue increased 210 basis points to 10.6% versus 8.5% last year.
  • Co issues guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.38-0.42, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.50 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs of $8.35-8.45 bln vs. $8.31 bln Capital IQ Consensus; comps ~flat.
    • "In line with our original expectations, there are two factors impacting our year-over-year non-GAAP EPS guidance for the second quarter. First, we are expecting an approximate $0.03 net negative impact from the lapping of the periodic profit sharing benefit from our services plan portfolio that we received in the second quarter of last year. Second, we are expecting an approximate $0.06 negative impact from the carryover of last September's services pricing investment. In addition, in digital imaging, we are now expecting an approximate $0.03 to $0.04 negative impact due to the April 2016 earthquake in Japan, which is impacting inventory availability in this high-margin category. Combined, these are putting $0.12 to $0.13 of pressure on Q2 FY17, which will be partially offset by an approximate $0.04 benefit from share repurchases."
  • "We are reaffirming our previously provided full year financial outlook which includes ~flat revenue and non-GAAP operating income, with non-GAAP EPS growth [consensus +3.2%] driven by share repurchases. Although we are reporting better-than-expected results today, we are not raising our full year outlook as the first quarter represents less than 15% of full year earnings and at this stage we have no new material information as it relates to product launches throughout the year."
  • Sharon McCollam, the company's chief administrative and chief financial officer, will be stepping down on June 14, 2016. McCollam will remain with the company in an advisory capacity until the end of the fiscal year, January 28, 2017, to ensure a seamless transition. Corie Barry, a 16-year veteran of Best Buy and its current chief strategic growth officer, will become the company's chief financial officer at the conclusion of Best Buy's annual shareholder meeting, being held on June 14.

7:09 am Dana Holding subsidiary proposes to issue $375 mln senior unsecured notes due 2026 in a private offering (DAN) : Dana intends to use the proceeds from the 2026 Notes offering to redeem all of its 2021 Notes, to pay related fees and expenses and for general corporate purposes, which may include repayment of indebtedness.

7:08 am Transgenomic reports Q1 EPS of ($0.10) vs ($0.28) year ago; revs -68.5% y/y to $236K (no estimates) (TBIO) :

  • The concordance study confirmed that ICP-enriched testing identified all mutations detected by standard tissue biopsy PCR. Notably, ICP also identified additional mutations missed by conventional tissue biopsy. The study confirmed that ICP's ultra-high sensitivity enables use of plasma-based liquid biopsies for cancer mutation detection, replacing costly and invasive tissue biopsies and enabling ongoing patient monitoring.
  • As part of its strategic focus on broadly commercializing ICP, TBIO is exiting lower growth legacy businesses, a process that is now largely complete. TBIO conducted a strategic review of the Patient Testing Business Unit in the first quarter of 2016 resulting in a decision to suspend testing at its CLIA laboratory in New Haven, Connecticut, and consolidate all remaining CLIA activities in the Company's laboratory in Omaha, Nebraska. Divestiture options for these legacy Patient Testing assets are being pursued. Suspension of these Patient Testing activities and closure of the New Haven lab have significantly reduced expenses, resulting in savings of over $1 million a month.

7:08 am DSW misses by $0.06, misses on revs; lowers FY17 EPS, revs, comps guidance (DSW) :

Reports Q1 (Apr) earnings of $0.40 per share, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.46; revenues rose 3.9% year/year to $681.27 mln vs the $697.67 mln Capital IQ Consensus.

  • Comparable sales decreased by 1.6% compared to last year's increase of 5.1%.
  • Inventories were $563 million compared to $512 million at the end of the first quarter last year. Excluding Ebuys inventory of $27 million, total inventories increased by 4.7%. On a cost per square foot basis, DSW inventories increased by 0.6%.
  • Co lowers guidance for FY17, sees EPS of $1.32-1.42 (Prior $1.54-1.64) vs. $1.58 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY17 revs of $2.78-2.80 bln (+6-7% vs. prior expectations for +8-10%) vs. $2.85 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees comps -2% to -1% (Prior +1-2%)
  • "We have reduced our sales and earnings guidance to reflect the current trend of our business in a challenging retail environment. This is the prudent action to take so that inventory, expenses and capital investments are aligned to maximize profitability and positioned to expandearnings as our trend improves."

7:05 am Abeona Therapeutics announces FDA has allowed IND application for phase 1/2 clinical study with gene therapy candidate ABO-101 for patients with Sanfilippo syndrome type B to be conducted at Nationwide Children's Hospital (ABEO) : ABO-101 is an adeno-associated viral-based gene therapy for MPS III, which involves a one-time delivery of a normal copy of the defective gene to cells of the central nervous system with the aim of reversing the effects of the genetic errors that cause the disease. After a single dose in Sanfilippo preclinical models, ABO-101 induced cells in the CNS and peripheral organs to produce the missing enzymes and help repair damage caused to the cells, according to the co.

7:04 am WL Ross announces that First Pacific Advisors on behalf of certain clients agrees to invest $182.6 mln in WL Ross Holding in the form of a private placement in connection with acquisition of Nexeo (WLRH) :

The investment comprises 18.26 million shares of newly issued common stock at $10/share contingent upon the completion of its acquisition of Nexeo.

  • Proceeds are expected to be used to fund stockholder redemptions and, pursuant to the merger agreement to acquire Nexeo, fund a cash payment to selling equityholders of Nexeo in lieu of shares such selling equityholders would have otherwise received as consideration for the acquisition.
  • The investment represents an ~20% beneficial ownership stake in Nexeo and will not result in any dilution to the public stockholders of the Company.
  • The 18.26 million shares of common stock issued in the private placement will be subject to a lock-up commencing from the date of the closing of the private placement, which is expected to occur on or around the time of the closing of the Company's acquisition of Nexeo, and ending 180 days thereafter.
  • The investment by FPA completes the $225 million private placement equity capital raise that the co described in its proxy statement filed on May 9

7:03 am Chico's FAS confirms shareholder Barington Capital notified co of its intention to seek the election of two directors to co's Board (CHS) :

Co confirms that Bonnie Brooks, Vice Chairman of Hudson's Bay Company, and Bill Simon, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Walmart U.S., have been nominated to stand for election to its Board.

  • The Annual Meeting, which was initially scheduled to be held on June 16, has been postponed by the co until July 21.

7:03 am AutoZone misses by $0.15, misses on revs; cites weather impact (AZO) :

  • Reports Q3 (May) earnings of $10.77 per share, $0.15 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $10.92; revenues rose 4.0% year/year to $2.59 bln vs the $2.65 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Domestic same store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 2.0% for the quarter.
  • For the quarter, gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 52.8% (versus 52.3% for last year's quarter). The improvement in gross margin was attributable to higher merchandise margins, partially offset by higher supply chain costs associated with current year inventory initiatives (-19 bps). Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 32.2% (versus 31.6% last year).
  • "Regarding the third quarter's results, sales were below our expectations as weather negatively impacted sales primarily in Midwestern, Middle Atlantic, and Northeastern states. Additionally, the quarter was impacted by a legal charge along with a discrete tax benefit, which netted to a reduction to earnings per share of $0.11 per share. As we continue to strategically invest in our business in order to support our long term growth, remaining committed to our disciplined approach to growing operating earnings and utilizing our capital effectively, we are excited by our opportunities this summer,"

7:02 am Global Water Resources enters into a note purchase agreement to issue two series of senior secured notes for a total principal amount of $115 mln at a blended interest rate of 4.55% (GWRS) :

The co will use the proceeds to refinance its existing long-term debt of $107 mln and pay the associated prepayment penalties of $3.2 mln. The remaining proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. The transaction is expected to close on June 24, 2016.

  • The terms of the agreement are as follows:
    • Series A: $28.75 mln at an interest rate of 4.38%, with a 12 year bullet payment due June 15, 2028
    • Series B: $86.25 mln at an interest rate of 4.58%, over 20 years, with interest-only payments in the first five years, followed by $3.8 mln annual principal payments thereafter (made semi-annually, with the first payment of $1.9 mln due on Dec 15, 2021)
    • No debt reserve requirement

7:02 am Asterias Biotherapeutics announces 'positive' long-term follow-up results from its Phase 1 clinical trial assessing the safety of AST-OPC1 in patients with spinal cord injury (AST) :

  • The results showed that in four of the five patients, serial MRI scans performed throughout the 4 to 5 year follow-up period indicate that reduced spinal cord cavitation occurred and that AST-OPC1 appeared to have 'positive' long-term effects on reducing spinal cord tissue deterioration
    • The co also filed a new patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that included this new safety data
  • No evidence of rejection of AST-OPC1 was observed in detailed immune response monitoring of all patients
  • In four of the five patients, serial MRI scans indicated that reduced spinal cord cavitation occurred

7:01 am Mines Management to be acquired by Hecla Mining (HL), each outstanding share of Mines Management to be exchanged for 0.2218 of a common share of Hecla (MGN) :

In the proposed merger, each outstanding common share of Mines Management (MGN) will be exchanged for 0.2218 of a common share of Hecla (HL).

  • This represents a 41% premium to Mines Management, using both companies' 10 day VWAP (Volume Weighted Average Price) on May 20, 2016.
  • The transaction is expected to close in 3Q16.
  • The transaction is subject to approval by Mines Management shareholders and other closing conditions.
  • Following closing of the merger, Hecla intends to advance the evaluation program of Montanore.
    • Located in Northwest Montana, Montanore is considered one of the largest undeveloped silver and copper deposits in North America.

6:59 am Coca-Cola announces the formation of a Europe, Middle East, & Africa Group consisting of biz units currently making up Europe, Eurasia, & Africa groups in a new international structure (KO) :

  • In Europe, the Central and Southern Europe and Russia, Ukraine and Belarus business units will be combined into a new business unit -- Central and Eastern Europe -- to better support the bottling footprint in that region
  • In Africa, two business units will be reconfigured to more closely align operations with bottling operations on the continent, with the formation of a new South and East Africa business unit and a West Africa business unit
  • The co's Bottling Investments, such as Coca-Coal Bottling (COKE), and North America groups are not impacted by today's announcements

6:55 am Cabot increases quarterly dividend to $0.30/share from $0.22/share (CBT) :  

6:51 am Insys Therapeutics announces 'successful' completion of phase 1/phase 2 safety & pharmacokinetic study in pediatric subjects with treatment-resistant epilepsy being treated with cannabidiol oral solution (INSY) :

  • "We are excited that our synthetic pharmaceutical CBD in a non-alcoholic, medium chain triglyceride-based formulation was studied up to a daily dose of 40 mg/kg in subjects with pediatric epilepsy. The data is currently under analysis, and the CBD appears to have been generally well tolerated," said Dr. John N. Kapoor, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Insys Therapeutics
  • "We anticipate meeting with the FDA to discuss the subsequent steps for this program, as well as the development program for the treatment of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two rare forms of pediatric epilepsy for which Insys' pharmaceutical CBD formulation received orphan drug designation. Additionally, we have an ongoing trial evaluating CBD in infantile spasms, a catastrophic form of childhood epilepsy. These efforts underscore our commitment to advancing our pharmaceutical CBD program in pediatric epilepsy and we look forward to updating you on our progress in due course," added Dr. Kapoor

6:50 am Bombardier Business Aircraft predicts up to 8,300 new business jet deliveries representing ~$250 bln US in industry revenues from 2016 to 2025 (BDRBF) :

  • In its annual market forecast released today, Bombardier Business Aircraft predicts up to 8,300 new business jet deliveries representing approximately $250 billion US in industry revenues from 2016 to 2025 in the segments in which it competes. Significant growth is expected in the long term, with larger aircraft continuing to dominate the market. As growth eventually returns in emerging regions, Bombardier is confident the business jet market will pick up as the popularity of private aviation continues to increase every year.
  • Bombardier Business Aircraft expects North America will account for the greatest number of new business jet deliveries between 2016 and 2025 with 3,930 aircraft, followed by Europe, which remains the second largest market with 1,530 deliveries expected between 2016 and 2025.

6:46 am Iron Mountain announces proposed private offering consisting of $500 mln in senior unsecured notes due 2021 & $250 mln in senior unsecured notes due 2026 (IRM) : Proceeds from the offering of the Notes are expected to be used, together with cash on hand and borrowings under the Company's revolving credit facility, to repay the bridge loan facility related to the Company's acquisition of Recall Holdings.

6:46 am ConAgra CFO John Gehring will retire; co reiterates its FY 16 EPS guidance of $2.05-$2.07 (CAG) :

  • Gehring will remain in his current role until a successor has been named and will assist with an orderly transition.
    • Co has initiated a search to identify a replacement for Gehring.
  • Co reaffirms its full-year fiscal 2016 EPS guidance of $2.05-$2.07 from continuing operations, adjusted for items impacting comparability.

6:45 am Tuniur reports Q1 results; guides Q2 (TOUR) :

  • Reports Q1 (Mar) loss of RMB 4.52 per share, RMB 0.43 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of (RMB 4.09); revenues rose 62.8% year/year to RMB 2.03 bln vs the RMB 2.09 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues downside guidance for Q2, sees Q2 revs of RMB 2.338-2.414 bln vs. RMB 2.54 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • "We had a solid first quarter performance with net revenues and packaged tour gross bookings growing 62.8% and 62.5% year-over-year, respectively. While we continue to be impacted by a slowing demand for Europe, we observed that customers who are choosing to travel to nearby destinations instead of farther destinations continue to book with the Tuniu platform. Our total number of trips continues to rapidly grow at 80.2% year-over-year and our returning customer contributed 43.6% of our gross booking during the first quarter. This reflects our customers' loyalty and preference for Tuniu as a comprehensive provider of leisure travel services."

6:44 am Kirklands misses by $0.03, misses on revs; reaffirms FY17 EPS guidance (KIRK) :

  • Reports Q1 (Apr) earnings of $0.06 per share, $0.03 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.09; revenues rose 9.8% year/year to $129.9 mln vs the $132.32 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Comparable store sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2016, including e-commerce sales, increased 0.5% compared with an increase of 3.0% in the prior-year quarter.
  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY17, sees EPS of $0.98-1.11 vs. $1.05 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

6:40 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • The U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command awarded Science Applications International (SAIC) a prime contract to provide reengineering, development, and personal computer simulation services in support of the command's Naval Training Products and Services program. The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract has a three-year base period of performance, one three-year option, and a total estimated value of ~$343 mln for all awardees, if all options are exercised
  • Golar LNG Partners (GMLP) announced that, further to the announcement on Feb 10, 2016, the acquisition of the ownership interests in the co that is the disponent owner and operator of the FSRU Golar Tundra from Golar LNG (GLNG) has been completed. The total consideration for the acquisition was $330.0 mln. Immediately prior to the completion of the Golar Tundra acquisition, the Partnership also completed and drew down upon a new, 5 year, $800 mln senior secured credit facility
  • Evotec AG (EVOTF) announces that Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (RHHBY), has extended its integrated drug discovery alliance with Evotec for a further three years to discover small molecule therapeutics. Activities performed within the collaboration include pharmacology, screening, chemistry, proteomics, and structural biology

6:38 am Johnson & Johnson presents Phase 3 data showing that a significantly greater proportion of adult patients with moderate to severe Crohn's disease receiving STELARA subcutaneous maintenance therapy were in clinical remission at one year (JNJ) : The Phase 3 IM-UNITI maintenance study, which evaluated 388 patients who achieved clinical response eight weeks after a single intravenous infusion of STELARA in the UNITI-1 and UNITI-2 Phase 3 induction studies, showed that 53 percent of patients receiving a STELARA 90 mg SC injection every eight weeks and 49 percent of patients receiving a STELARA 90 mg SC injection every 12 weeks were in clinical remission at week 44, the study's primary endpoint, compared with 36 percent of patients receiving placebo (P = 0.005 and P = 0.040, respectively). Clinical remission was defined by a Crohn's Disease Activity Index score of less than 150 points; CDAI is a symptom-based disease assessment tool commonly used in clinical trials to quantify Crohn's disease activity.

6:33 am Eli Lilly updates R & D pipeline in a presentation to the investment community, announces potential to launch 20 new products in 10 years from 2014-2023 (LLY) :

  • Lilly's R&D efforts focus on five therapeutic areas where the co has assets and capabilities that enable it to compete 'successfully'
    • These include four core areas-diabetes, oncology, immunology and neurodegeneration-and one emerging area-pain. Building upon a similar investment community meeting in Dec 2015 focused on neurodegeneration -- specifically Alzheimer's disease -- as well as animal health, today's presentation highlighted the co's R&D strategy and progress in diabetes, oncology, immunology, and pain
  • "We're pleased to share with investors the breadth and depth of the Lilly pipeline, which showcases our progress across our key therapeutic areas. This includes recent launches as well as a robust lineup of assets in late-stage development or already under regulatory review," said John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., Lilly's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "There are no guarantees given the nature of science and of our business; however, in looking at our recent launches and current pipeline, we believe we are in the midst of the most prolific period of new launches in our company's 140-year history."

6:31 am OXiGENE announces results of phase 2 study of CA4P in recurrent ovarian cancer published in Journal of Clinical Oncology (OXGN) :

Co states, "In this randomized Phase 2 trial, the combination including CA4P prolonged progression free survival (PFS) compared to bevacizumab alone, and preliminary data show it also improved overall survival for these women. In addition, the safety profile of combination vascular targeted therapy, including hypertension, was acceptable with appropriate management." New findings from the publication include:

  • Preliminary median overall survival was longer for patients receiving the CA4P combination than for the control (24.6 vs to 22.0 months, respectively; HR=0.85; data as of April 2015).
  • The improvement in PFS for patients receiving the CA4P combination was greater for patients with measurable disease than it was for patients without measurable disease, suggesting - along with the findings of improved PFS in patients with platinum-resistant disease - that CA4P combination therapy is more effective in those with more advanced disease.

6:28 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Magal Security Systems (MAGS) announces it has received an order of $9 mln for complete turnkey security solutions, protecting two newly built prisons in West Africa. The projects are scheduled to be delivered during the remainder of 2016 and 2017
  • Yingli Green Energy Holding Co (YGE) announces that it has commercialized its TwinMAX 60 Cell high-efficiency dual glass module and TwinMAX 72 Cell high-efficiency dual glass module. The bifacial series monocrystalline modules will be installed on a 50MW power plant in Datong, Shanxi province, which was rewarded to Yingli under China's Top-Runner program
  • Centene (CNC) announces that Centurion Correctional Healthcare of New Mexico, a joint venture between Centene and MHM Services, has been contracted by the State of New Mexico Corrections Department to provide correctional medical health care services and pharmacy services to over 7,000 offenders throughout the state. These two separate contract awards are scheduled for a one-year term each with three additional one year renewal options

6:22 am Wash. Federal names Vincent L. Beatty as CFO (WAFD) : Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer Brent Beardall, who has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer since September 2015, will resume his full time role as Chief Banking Officer for the Company. Beatty most recently served as Chief Financial Officer for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle from 2008 until its merger in 2015 with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines

6:20 am Merck Animal Health receives marketing authorization from European Medicines Agency for Bravecto Spot-On Solution indicated for cats & dogs for fleas & ticks, effective 12 weeks following a single dose (MRK) :

Bravecto Spot-On is a systemic insecticide and acaricide indicated for the treatment of tick and flea infestations on cats and dogs and provides 'immediate and persistent' flea and tick killing activity for 12 weeks, according to the co.

  • Bravecto Spot-On will be available in countries throughout Europe in the coming months

6:19 am Standard Motor confirms acquisition of General Cable's (BGC) automotive ignition wire business for ~$71 mln, expects accretion in year one excluding one-time integration costs (SMP) :  

6:10 am Yintech Investment reports Q1 Non-GAAP EPS of RMB 3.03 vs RMB 1.74 year ago; revs 57.8% y/y to RMB 402.9 mln (no estimates) (YIN) :

  • 2016 Second Quarter Guidance
    • Customer trading volume will in the range of RMB330 billion to RMB360 billion.
    • Revenues will be in the range of RMB410 to RMB450 million.
  • "We believe our successful IPO on Nasdaq last month will further strengthen our brand image and allow us to continue to invest heavily in technology in order to enhance our customers' trading experience. We remain committed to expanding our presence on the Shanghai Gold Exchange."

6:04 am Energizer to acquire HandStands Holding from Trivest Partners for $340 mln in cash, expects earnings accretion in first full fiscal year (ENR) :

HandStands is a leading designer and marketer of automotive fragrance and appearance products. Inclusive of recent acquisitions, calendar year 2015 pro forma net sales were ~$128 mln, with ~80% in the U.S., and adjusted pro forma EBITDA was ~$34 mln.

  • Energizer intends to fund the acquisition through a combination of ~$250 mln of existing cash and committed debt facilities
  • Transaction is expected to be leverage neutral to Energizer's projected levels of Debt to EBITDA by the first quarter of Fiscal 2017
  • Excluding one-time transaction and integration costs, earnings accretion from the transaction in the first full fiscal year following the close is estimated to be $0.15 to $0.20/share and free cash flow is expected to increase by at least $20 mln
  • In addition to rev growth potential, Energizer anticipates cost synergies of ~ $5 mln to be achieved by leveraging Energizer's global battery platform, infrastructure and supply chain network. These savings are projected to be achieved over a period of two years following the close of the acquisition
  • Energizer will hold an investor conference call beginning at 9:00 am ET today to discuss the transaction
  • The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016

6:03 am Greenbrier to acquire a 19.5% ownership stake in Amsted-Maxion Cruzeiro for $10 mln (GBX) :

Amsted-Maxion Cruzeiro is a manufacturer of castings and components for railcars and other heavy equipment owned 50/50 by Amsted Rail and Iochpe-Maxion S.A. Amsted-Maxion Cruzeiro will use Greenbrier's strategic investment to pay down outstanding debt.

  • The strategic investment is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust review, and is expected to close in 4Q16.
  • When co completes the current investment in Amsted-Maxion Cruzeiro it will, directly and indirectly, own 35% of the outstanding equity of Greenbrier-Maxion.
  • 2015 net sales of Amsted-Maxion Cruzeiro totaled ~$100 mln.
  • Greenbrier-Maxion achieved over $200 mln in net sales for the same period.
  • As part of this investment, co has secured an option, subject to certain conditions, to acquire an additional 10% interest in Amsted-Maxion Cruzeiro.
    • Option expires on October 20, 2017.

6:02 am Innoviva & GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announce 'positive' headline results from Salford Lung Study in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Relvar Ellipta achieved 'superior' reduction in exacerbations vs usual care in patients with COPD (INVA) :

FF/VI 100/25mcg, under the brand name Breo Ellipta 100/25mcg is licensed in the US for the long-term, once-daily, maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema and to reduce exacerbations of COPD in patients with a history of exacerbations. Breo Ellipta 100/25mcg is not indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm.

  • Innoviva & GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announce the study showed that Relvar Ellipta 100/25mcg achieved a superior reduction in exacerbations versus usual care, in patients with COPD, in an everyday clinical practice setting
  • The primary effectiveness endpoint is the mean annual rate of moderate or severe exacerbations, where a moderate exacerbation is defined as the subject receiving an exacerbation-related prescription of oral corticosteroid and/or antibiotic with or without NHS contact, not requiring hospitalization
  • In patients treated with FF/VI 100/25mcg there was a statistically 'significant'  reduction of 8.4% in the rate of moderate or severe exacerbations compared with those receiving usual care
  • The incidence of serious adverse events was similar between the groups. For pneumonia, an SAE of special interest, FF/VI demonstrated non-inferiority versus usual care. This endpoint was a regulatory post-authorisation measure requested by the European Medicines Agency
  • Analyses remain ongoing and will be the subject of future publications and presentations. A second Salford Lung Study is currently being conducted in asthma patients, with results expected in 2017

6:01 am Exco Resources reduces 2016 capital budget to $85 mln, decrease of ~69% Y/Y; provides updates on Phase One of its restructuring program (XCO) :

The Restructuring Program will be directed by a streamlined Board that represent institutions that own or direct 140 mln common shares that equal ~50% of the total shares outstanding. Co currently has ~$250 mln of liquidity and, after giving effect to the reduction of its 2016 capital budget to $85 mln, co expects liquidity utilization to average $10 million per month during 2016.

  • Co reduced net debt 28% to $1.1 bln as of March 2016 compared to $1.5 bln as of September 2015.
  • Co reduced principal outstanding on the senior unsecured notes by $923 mln , or 73%.
  • Co reduced workforce by over 50% as part of an overall plan to reduce costs and better align the workforce with the needs of the business

6:01 am Sunshine Heart presents update on C-Pulse Heart Assist System; demonstrated improvements in quality of life (SSH) :

Co announced that its C-Pulse Heart Assist System was featured in a clinical presentation at the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology Meeting

  • The data demonstrated improvements in quality of life, functional capacity and cardiac remodeling with a favorable safety profile. No patients experienced stroke or sepsis, and the driveline infection rate was 13.3% (two patients out of the fifteen participating in the study).
  • The data showed significant increase in Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction and significant reduction in Left Ventricular End Systolic Volume.
  • The data also showed a trend downward in Left Ventricular End Diastolic Volume. These three commensurate data points have been shown to correlate with an 80% likelihood of improvement in outcomes based on the meta-analysis of several large trials studying systolic heart failure patients.

5:58 am S&P futures vs fair value: +6.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +14.80. :

5:58 am European Markets : FTSE...6180.32...+43.90...+0.70%.  DAX...9922.82...+80.50...+0.80%.

5:58 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...16499...-155.80...-0.90%.  Hang Seng...19830...+21.40...+0.10%.

5:56 am Shanghai...-0.77% (FXI) :  

5:30 am Boingo Wireless sees return to positive free cash flow in H2 in investor presentation; highlights lack of strategic plan and ever-evolving demands made by the Ides Group (WIFI) :

Co announced that it has filed an investor presentation with the SEC in connection with the Company's 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on June 9

  • Outlines Boingo's "strong" financial and operational results
  • Details Board and management's success in executing on boingo's strategic transformation
  • Highlights Lack of strategic plan and ever-evolving demands made by the Ides Group who, with its minimal short-term shareholding, would disrupt boingo's progress and add no value to the board
  • Looking ahead, management expects to return to positive free cash flow in the second half of 2016 and realize substantial recurring cash flows from significant investments in network assets

5:21 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Epson America (SEKEY) announced the launch of the Epson WorkForce 2700-Series all-in-one printers designed for the home office.
  • ACI Worldwide (ACIW) announced that it has been awarded the new certificate of technical accreditation 'trust mark,' after passing the technical tests required by Faster Payments Scheme, the System Operator behind Faster Payments.

5:20 am Toll Brothers beats by $0.05, beats on revs; raises low end of prior revs guidance; guides FY16 revs in-line; announces new 20 mln share repurchase (TOL) :

  • Reports Q2 (Apr) earnings of $0.51 per share, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.46; revenues rose 30.8% year/year to $1.12 bln vs the $1.04 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Home building deliveries of 1,304 units increased 31% in dollars and 9% in units, compared to FY 2015's second quarter. The average price of homes delivered was $855,500, compared to $713,500 in FY 2015's second quarter.
    • Net signed contracts of $1.65 billion and 1,993 units rose 3% in dollars and 3% in units, compared to FY 2015's second quarter. The average price of net signed contracts was $825,500, compared to $826,300 in FY 2015's second quarter.
    • Backlog of $4.19 billion and 4,940 units rose 20% in dollars and 13% in units, compared to FY 2015's second-quarter-end backlog. At second-quarter end, the average price of homes in backlog was $848,600, compared to $793,800 at FY 2015's second-quarter end.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY16, sees FY16 revs of $4.76-5.36 bln vs. $5.02 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate and compared to prior guidance of $4.6-5.4 bln
    • In updating its guidance, the Company now expects to deliver between 5,800 and 6,300 homes in FY 2016 at an average price range of $820,000 to $850,000, compared to 5,525 deliveries in FY 2015 at an average price of $755,000.
    • The Company continues to project a full FY 2016 gross margin, excluding interest and write-downs, of between 25.8% and 26.2%. Interest in cost of sales is projected to be approximately 3.2% for FY 2016, compared to 3.4% in FY 2015.
  • Effective May 23, 2016, the Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of 20 million shares of Toll Brothers common stock and terminated the prior share repurchase program.

5:14 am eBay unit Stubhub acquires Ticketbis, expanding into 47 countries (EBAY) :

EBAY announced an agreement to acquire Ticketbis, an international ticket marketplace with a presence in 47 countries.

  • Ticketbis will become part of eBay Inc.'s StubHub business, the largest ticket marketplace in the U.S.
  • With this acquisition, StubHub will grow its presence across Latin America and Europe and expand into Asia Pacific, becoming the global ticket marketplace leader, as measured by volume of transactions and international reach.
  • Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
  • The transaction is expected to close in mid-2016. 

4:40 am Anglo American reports De Beers' 4th sales cycle fell to $630 mln, down from $666 mln in cycle 3 (NGLOY) :  

4:38 am Old Mutual responds to media speculation regarding the preferred route of separation; confirms that it is continuing to assess the options (ODMTY) :

In response to media speculation, co can confirm that it is continuing to assess the options available to it with regard to the preferred route to effect the managed separation announced on March 11. Co will update the market as and when appropriate. As a consequence of the decision to proceed with the managed separation of Old Mutual, co expects to receive interest in our assets periodically.

  • With regard to OM Asset Management plc, Old Mutual confirms that it has received approaches from third parties to acquire its stake in OMAM.
    • There can be no certainty that these approaches will lead to any transaction or any certainty as to the terms on which any such transaction might proceed. Further statements will be made if and when appropriate.

4:20 am Novartis unit Sandoz' MAA accepted by the EMA for a biosimilar to Roche's (RHHBY) EU-licensed MabThera (NVS) :

Sandoz, a Novartis division and the global leader in biosimilars, announced that the European Medicines Agency has accepted their Marketing Authorization Application for a biosimilar to Roche's (RHHBY) EU-licensed MabThera (rituximab).

  • Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody that is used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which includes follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Sandoz is seeking approval for the same indications as the reference product.
  • Sandoz believes that the totality of data in its submission will demonstrate that our biosimilar rituximab has essentially the same biological substance as, and the final drug product is highly similar to, the reference product. In addition to analytical, functional and pre-clinical data, the submission includes data from two pivotal confirmatory safety, PK/PD and efficacy studies that involved 629 follicular lymphoma and 173 rheumatoid arthritis patients.

4:17 am Petrobras Brasileiro issues $5 bln of 8.375% notes due 2021 and $1.75 bln of 8.750% notes due 2026 (PBR) :  

3:48 am Elbit Systems receives contracts for ~$40 mln in Europe for the supply of advanced tactical communications systems (ESLT) :

  • The contracts will be performed over a one-year period.

3:43 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • LafargeHolcim (HCMLY) announced the opening of a new state-of-the-art line at its cement plant in Barroso, Brazil. The construction of the new line at the existing Barroso site is part of the Group's strategy to reduce cost per tonne of cement produced, while improving quality and efficiency, in order to operate profitably in a low investment environment.
  • TomTom (TMOAY) announced that TomTom Jam Ahead Warnings are now available on the free TomTom Speed Cameras app for Android.
  • ViaSat (VSAT) announced it signed a multi-year agreement with Dassault Aviation to deliver a bundled global Ku-band broadband services offering, inclusive of in-cabin network equipment and in-flight connectivity service. Installation of the system will begin mid-calendar year 2016 on Falcon 8X.
  • Markit (MRKT) announced a comprehensive solution for compliance with the new market risk capital requirements in the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book standards.
  • Jive Software (JIVE) announced that HeliOffshore, the global safety association for the offshore helicopter industry, selected Jive to connect helicopter operators, global manufacturers, aviation regulators, academics and other stakeholders across the expansive rotary-wing ecosystem.
  • Logitech (LOGI) unit Ultimate Ears, introduced a new innovation and design in its portable wireless speakers with the addition of UE ROLL 2 to its vibrant lineup of anywhere-you-go-proof wireless mobile speakers.
  • Cray (CRAY) announced the launch of the Cray Urika-GX system -- the first agile analytics platform that fuses supercomputing technologies with an open, enterprise-ready software framework for big data analytics.

3:00 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Ingram Micro (IM) announced the availability of Dropbox Business on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace in Singapore.
  • Suncor (SU) announced it has begun the remobilization process of its employees to support the staged restart of its operations in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The evacuation order was lifted by the Regional Emergency Operations Centre the evening of May 20, 2016. In addition, Suncor continues to assess the situation, including fire risk, air quality, employee mobility, accommodations and services for employees and contractors.

2:58 am Booz Allen Hamilton prices secondary offering of 13 mln shares of common stock by affiliate of Carlyle Group (CG) at $28.20 (BAH) :  

2:55 am Aeterna Zentaris appoints Carolyn Egbert as Independent Chair (AEZS) :

Co announced the separation of the positions of Chairman of the Board and President and Chief Executive Officer.

  • Carolyn Egbert has been elected Chair of the Board, a non-executive position, by the Company's Board of Directors, and the position of Lead Director was eliminated.
    • Egbert, who has served on the Company's Board since August 2012, and as the Chair of its Nominating, Governance and Compensation Committee since May 2014
  • David Dodd, who has served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer since 2014, will continue to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and as a director.

2:52 am Parsley Energy upsizes offering by 250K shares and prices 8.25 mln shares of common stock for gross proceeds of ~$203.0 mln (PE) :  

2:50 am TRI Pointe Homes prices $300 mln of Senior Notes due 2021 (TPH) :  

2:49 am InterOil's founding shareholder and former chairman expressed disappointment in InterOil's board (IOC) :

The founding shareholder, former chairman and Chief Executive Officer of InterOil, Phil Mulacek, and Petroleum Independent & Exploration, expressed their disappointment that the InterOil board of directors had once again demonstrated their lack of alignment with the interests of InterOil shareholders by unanimously approving a proposed bid by Oil Search Limited (OISHY), supported by a back-in from TOTAL, S.A. (TOT), for all of the outstanding shares of InterOil.

  • The Concerned InterOil Shareholders believe that by restoring and maintaining the original payment structure of the TOTAL PRL 15 SPA, InterOil shareholders could retain the benefits of mid- and long-term growth in shareholder value from development of the Elk and Antelope fields within PRL-15 and the proposed Papua LNG project. The shortfall in shareholder value under the OSH/TOTAL bid arises from the fact that the only resource payment InterOil shareholders would receive is the CVR payment based solely on pre-production estimates of field size.
  • Mulacek also recommends that shareholders sign and return the BLUE proxy to support the Concerned InterOil Shareholders

2:41 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • General Cable (BGC) announced it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its North American automotive ignition wire business to Standard Motor Products (SMP) for cash consideration of ~$71 mln. The Company expects to close the sale in the near future. Proceeds will be used to reduce outstanding borrowings. 2015 sales volume for this business was approximately $96 mln
  • NetEase (NTES) announced plans to introduce an extensive pipeline of PC-client and mobile games during NetEase's 2nd Annual "5/20 Game Enthusiasts' Day" on May 20, 2016 in Guangzhou. The event celebrates the continued passion and excitement players have for NetEase-operated games, and provides a first look at new exciting upcoming games designed to appeal to a wide audience.
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