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5 Cool things you never knew about Elmer's Glue

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Presidential candidates spend big in Iowa ahead of caucuses

6:30 pm Zillow: News Corp's (NWSA) Move responds to Zillow CEO's comment on CNBC (Z) : "Today on CNBC, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff accused Rupert Murdoch and News Corp of acting out of 'desperation' in filing a 'vindictive' lawsuit. But that litigation was filed by Move long before News Corp even owned the company, and it is based squarely on the merits of the case, not emotions. In Zillow's own filings with the SEC, it has concluded there is a 'reasonable possibility' it will suffer a loss in this lawsuit.... Just last week, the judge ordered defendants to appear for a two-day evidentiary hearing on April 13 and 14 into Move's claims that important evidence has been destroyed by some or all of the defendants in this case."

6:19 pm This week's biggest % gainers/losers (SCANX) : The following are this week's top 20 percentage gainers and top 20 percentage losers, categorized by sectors (over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume).

This week's top 20 % gainers

  • Healthcare:ICPT (120.22 +22.04%),ENTA (26.7 +17.41%),CBM (36.53 +17.38%)
  • Materials:CDE (3.33 +30.59%),KGC (3 +30.43%),IAG (2.43 +29.95%),BTG (1.04 +23.11%),MERC (8.13 +21.34%),AG (4.33 +20.61%),GLT (17.01 +18.04%)
  • Consumer Discretionary:OSTK (13.53 +25.74%),APOL (8.6 +23.74%),GRPN (2.89 +17.96%)
  • Information Technology:QUOT (7.38 +34.67%),CRTO (34.39 +24.42%),SCSC (36.3 +18.82%),AKAM (50.76 +17.5%)
  • Financials:LTS (2.47 +18.18%)
  • Consumer Staples:NHTC (25.4 +21.36%),TFM (22.78 +20.21%)
This week's top 20 % losers
  • Healthcare:BCRX (1.71 -72.15%)
  • Materials:KS (9.43 -35.5%)
  • Industrials:SCTY (17.38 -41.22%),RUN (5.04 -36.68%)
  • Information Technology:SUNE (1.41 -47.58%),MWW (2.82 -36.63%)
  • Financials:LPLA (16.5 -40.97%)
  • Energy:UPL (0.6 -65.48%),CHK (1.59 -48.04%),CRC (0.56 -45.43%),NGL (6.49 -37.54%),UNT (6.99 -37.31%),CWEI (12.03 -35.22%),TOO (2.79 -33.73%),HLX (2.63 -31.51%),EPE (2.36 -31.2%),CJES (1.9 -30.91%),ENLC (8.66 -30.27%),SEMG (15.58 -29.95%)
  • Utilities:DYN (8.45 -30.22%)

6:02 pm Forestar reschedules Q4 earnings call date to March 2 from February 17 to provide additional information about key initiatives (FOR) :

  • Co rescheduled the release of fourth quarter and full year 2015 results from February 17 to March 2, 2016. The Company will hold a conference call on Wednesday, March 2 at 10:00 a.m. ET to discuss these results. The Company has rescheduled the call so it can provide additional information regarding previously announced key initiatives to reduce operating expenses, exit non-core assets and focus on creating value.

5:59 pm Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG / OSGB) reached final settlement with Proskauer Rose; will be issuing subsequent release with regards to settlement distribution information (OSGB) : As part of the settlement, Proskauer Rose has agreed to release the claims it asserted against current and former officers of the Company, including James Edelson and Myles Itkin. The Company has been advised that, in connection with the settlement, Proskauer plans to issue a press release. OSG has not approved the contents of Proskauer's press release, nor have any of its current or former executives. The Company will be issuing a subsequent press release to provide additional details to Class B securities holders with regards to settlement distribution information and conversion of Class B common stock to Class A common stock and Class B warrants to Class A warrants.

5:22 pm United Tech prices offering of EUR 950 mln of 1.125% senior notes maturing Dec. 15, 2021 (UTX) :

  • Co announces that it has successfully priced an offering of EUR 950 million aggregate principal amount of 1.125% senior notes maturing Dec. 15, 2021, EUR 500 million aggregate principal amount of 1.875% senior notes maturing Feb. 22, 2026, and 750 million aggregate principal amount of senior floating rate notes maturing Feb. 22, 2018, in each case unless earlier redeemed.

5:17 pm Koss Corp settles claims against American Express (AXP); KOSS is to receive gross proceeds of $3 mln (KOSS) :

  • Co announces that it has settled the claims between Koss and American Express (AXP) in the lawsuit pending in the Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona, Case No. CV 2010-006631.
  • As part of the settlement, the parties provided mutual releases that resolved all claims involved in the litigation between Koss and American Express Company, et al. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, Koss is to receive gross proceeds of $3 million, and the net amount will reflect an offset for certain expenses relating to attorneys' fees and costs.

5:02 pm Paragon Shipping announces exchange offer to retire all of the outstanding 8.375% senior notes due 2021 (PRGN) :

  • Each holder of a Paragon Note who validly delivers and does not withdraw all Paragon Notes held by such Holder shall receive 60 shares of Common Stock for each Paragon Note, which shall include any accrued and unpaid interest thereon.

5:00 pm Pacific Drilling receives continued listing standards notice from the NYSE (PACD) :

  • Co receives notice from the New York Stock Exchange stating that the Company does not currently satisfy the minimum share price standard for continued listing of the Company's common shares. Specifically, on January 12, 2016, the 30-trading-day average closing price per share of the Company's common shares was below $1.00, the minimum average share price required for continued listing under NYSE rules.

4:53 pm Tortoise Energy Infrastructure to redeem Series B mandatory redeemable preferred shares (TYG) :

  • Co announces that it has filed with the SEC a notice of its intention to redeem all 8 mln shares of its Series B Mandatory Redeemable Preferred Shares (representing an aggregate liquidation preference amount of $80 mln) with a redemption date of March 14, 2016.

4:51 pm J. C. Penney addresses Burberry (BURBY) lawsuit; believes the final resolution of the lawsuit will not have a materially adverse effect on its results (JCP) :

  • While no assurance can be given as to the ultimate outcome of the lawsuit, theCompany believes the final resolution of the lawsuit will not have a materiallyadverse effect on its results of operations, financial position, liquidity orcapital resources.

4:36 pm Eclipse Resources terminates offer to exchange outstanding 8.875% senior notes due 2023 for new 9.00% senior second lien notes due 2023 (ECR) :

  • Co announces that it has terminated its previously announced private offer to eligible holders to exchange any and all of the Company's outstanding 8.875% Senior Unsecured Notes due 2023 for the Company's new 9.00% Senior Secured Second Lien Notes due 2023.

4:33 pm Plum Creek stockholders approve merger with Weyerhaeuser (WY) (PCL) :

  • PCL announces that stockholders overwhelmingly approved the proposed merger of PCL and WY at a special shareholder meeting held earlier today. At the time the merger becomes effective, Plum Creek common stockholders will receive 1.60 Weyerhaeuser common shares for each share of Plum Creek common stock.
  • At the special meeting, ~122.615 mln shares were voted 'FOR' the proposal to adopt the merger agreement with Weyerhaeuser, representing ~70% of the total shares outstanding as of the record date and ~99% of the shares voted on the matter.
  • WY shareholders also approved the merger.

4:31 pm Journal Media receives recommendation from Glass Lewis that shareholders vote 'for' merger with Gannett (GCI) (JMG) : "In our opinion, the proposed purchase price sufficiently values the Company's recent and reasonably expected future financial performance, as well as the value of its real estate holdings, considering the risks and challenges associated with the standalone alternative. Thus, we believe the purchase price represents a fair price at which JMG shareholders can cash out their investments in the Company, thereby realizing an immediate and assured value at a substantial premium."

4:26 pm Waterstone Financial's CFO Allan Hosack to resign; appoints Mark Gerke as interim CFO (WSBF) :

  • Co announces that Allan Hosack, its Chief Financial Officer, has given the Company notice of his intention to resign from the Company and its subsidiary WaterStone Bank. Hosack has agreed to continue in his role through February 29, 2016, to facilitate the completion of the Company's year-end financial audit.
  • The Company and the Bank have appointed Mark Gerke as interim Chief Financial Officer.
  • Gerke has served as Controller and Principal Accounting Officer of the Company since 2014 and as Controller of the Bank since 2005.

4:22 pm Closing Market Summary: Indices Rebound to End Volatile Week (:WRAPX) :

The stock market ended its week in upbeat fashion, with the major indices recouping large portions of their weekly losses. As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average cut its loss to 231 points (-1.4%) from last Friday's close while the S&P surrendered 15 points (-0.8%) over that same period. Today's trade saw a higher tolerance for risk investments as the beleaguered financial sector (+4.0%) and oil were able to lead the market higher while a positive reading from January's Retail Sales report boosted investor sentiment.

Yesterday's chatter regarding OPEC members being ready to cooperate on production cuts gained traction overnight as oil lifted in overseas trade. The energy component was able to maintain this momentum in our session and managed a 12.2% pop to close at $29.33/bbl. Short covering likely provided additional fuel to this rally, but despite this impressive run, WTI crude ended its week down 5.0%.

European indices were able to get a reprieve from recent sharp selling action after better than feared earnings results from Commerzbank lifted their financial sector. This positive sentiment was echoed by Deutsche Bank (DB 17.38, +1.87), which announced that it will buy back more than $5 billion worth of its senior debt.

The U.S. financial sector was able to build off this momentum, cutting this week's loss from 6.4% to 2.4%. The rebound was helped by news from JPMorgan Chase (JPM 57.49, +4.42) indicating that CEO Jamie Dimon purchased 500,000 more shares of JPM for roughly $26 million. Other money center banks also rallied in the financial sector with JPMorgan Chase ending the week virtually flat (57.75).

Commodity-sensitive materials (+2.9%) and energy sectors (2.6%) were able to follow financials on the leaderboard with energy being the main beneficiary from the upswing in oil. Independent oil and gas companies benefited the most while Dow component Chevron (CVX 85.43, +2.44) finished in-line with the energy sector.

The heavily-weighted technology (+1.4%) and health care spaces (+1.4%) followed telecom services (+1.2%) and utilities (-0.3%) on the bottom of the leaderboard as large-cap constituents underperformed. To that point, Facebook (FB 102.01, +0.10) and Alphabet (GOOGL 706.89, +0.53) ended the session near their flat lines while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 101.82, +0.12) and Merck & Co. (MRK 49.03, +0.18) also finished little changed.

Today's rally in equities took a toll on safe-havens with gold and Treasuries retreating. Gold surrendered 0.6% to end its pit session at $1,239.40/ozt while selling in the 10-yr note sent its yield higher by nine basis points to 1.75%.

The positive retail sales report contributed to a rally in the dollar, which advanced against the yen and euro. The dollar/yen pair ended at 113.25 (+0.9%) while the euro slid 0.5% against the dollar to 1.1256.

Today's participation was heavier than the recent average with 1.12 billion shares changing hands ahead of the extended weekend.

Today's economic data included the Retail Sales report for January, the December Business Inventory Report, and the preliminary reading of the Michigan Sentiment Index for February:

  • Total retail sales increased 0.2% in January (Briefing.com consensus +0.2%) while sales, excluding autos, increased 0.1% (Briefing.com consensus 0.0%).
    • The January gains were logged on top of an upwardly revised 0.2% increase (from -0.1%) for total sales in December and a 0.1% increase for sales, excluding autos, which were previously reported to be down 0.1%.
    • The only other retail areas experiencing sales declines in January were furniture and home furnishing stores (-0.5%), sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-2.1%), department stores (-0.8%), and food services and drinking places (-0.5%).Those declines, it should be noted, followed on the heels of decent-sized sales gains in December.
    • While this report doesn't capture any spending on services, which account for two-thirds of consumer spending, it does offer some encouraging data on goods spending.
    • Core retail sales, which exclude auto, gasoline station, and building material sales, were up 0.4% in January after being flat in December. This will factor favorably in the goods component for personal consumption expenditures in the first quarter GDP report.
  • U.S. import prices in January declined 1.1% for the second consecutive month, driven primarily by lower fuel prices.
    • Excluding fuel, import prices declined 0.2%. Export prices fell 0.8% in January, continuing a streak of declines that stretches back to June 2015. Excluding agriculture, export prices also declined 0.8%. Excluding fuel, import prices are down 2.9% year-over-year. Excluding agriculture, export prices are down 5.0% year-over-year.
    • Import fuel prices declined 12.4% in January after an 8.7% decline in December. The January decline was the largest since a 12.7% decline in August 2015. Prices for overall fuel have declined 34.5% over the past 12 months, after decreasing 43.8% between January 2014 and January 2015.
    • Prices for export capital goods fell 0.1%, leaving them down 0.7% year-over-year, which was the largest 12-month decrease since January 2004.
    • The latest installment of import price data doesn't do much in terms of supporting tighter monetary policy. Then again, the Fed remains convinced the forces driving down prices are transitory. On that note, there hasn't been a monthly advance in the nonfuel import price index since March 2014.
  • Total business inventories increased 0.1% in December, as expected, following an upwardly revised revised 0.1% decrease (from -0.2%) in November.
    • Manufacturer inventories (+0.2%) and merchant wholesaler inventories (-0.1%) were already known. Retailer inventories were the only unknown and they increased 0.4% in December on top of a 0.3% increase in November.
    • The total business inventory-to-sales ratio pushed up a notch to 1.39 from 1.38 in November. In December 2015 the ratio stood at 1.33.
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index slipped to 90.7 in the preliminary reading for February from the final reading of 92.0 for January (Briefing.com consensus 92.7).
    • The downturn in February was driven by a dip in both the Index for Current Economic Conditions (to 105.8 from 106.4) and the Index of Consumer Expectations (to 81.0 from 82.7).
    • Strikingly, it was also noted that consumers anticipated the lowest long-term inflation rate (2.4%) since the question was first asked in the late 1970s.

The market will be closed on Monday in observance of Presidents Day. Tuesday's economic data includes the 8:30 ET release of the Empire Manufacturing Report (Briefing.com consensus -9.9) for February. Meanwhile, the NAHB Housing Market Index for February (Briefing.com consensus 60) and December's Net Long-Term TIC Flows will cross the wires at 10:00 ET and 16:00 ET, respectively. 

  • Russell 2000 -14.4% YTD
  • Nasdaq -13.4% YTD
  • S&P 500 -8.8% YTD
  • Dow Jones -8.3% YTD

Week in Review: Pressure Persists

The past week featured another weak showing from the equity market with the S&P 500 surrendering 0.8%. The benchmark index was down 2.3% going into Friday, but a broad-based 2.0% surge helped the S&P 500 narrow its weekly loss.

The S&P 500 ended the week ahead of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell 1.4%, while equity markets across the world had a similar showing to U.S. stocks. Japan's Nikkei faced particularly heavy selling that sent the index lower by 11.1% in just four sessions. That weakness coincided with noteworthy yen strength as the Japanese currency extended its aggressive advance that began the day after the Bank of Japan's decision to implement negative rates. The dollar/yen pair fell more than 350 pips to 113.25 from 116.85 after being down 600 pips on Thursday.

The unwavering yen strength indicated the presence of caution in the foreign exchange market while gold and bonds also advanced, benefitting from the defensive sentiment across financial markets. Gold futures rocketed into the $1,250 area, ending the week higher by 7.1% at $1239.40/ozt. For its part, the 10-yr note hit a three-year high on Thursday, which lowered its yield to 1.57%. Friday selling in the 10-yr note ran the benchmark yield to 1.75%, representing a ten basis point decline for the week.

With safe-haven assets on the rise, crude oil struggled mightily, setting a fresh 2016 low at $26.05/bbl on Thursday, but a Friday rebound lifted the energy component to $29.44/bbl, representing a 4.7% decline for the week.

For the most part, the selling that defined the week's action was tied to persistent growth concerns. The financial sector (-2.4%) was among the weakest performers, ending only ahead of utilities (-2.5%). The financial sector widened its 2016 loss to 14.4% partly due to an ongoing adjustment in the market's rate hike expectations. Furthermore, growing worries about the exposure of major financials to the battered commodity sector have also taken a toll on the economically-sensitive group. Deutsche Bank was in the spotlight last week as the stock set a 30-year low with investors showing concern over the bank's derivative exposure.

Similar to financials, eight of the remaining nine sectors registered losses for the week while the consumer staples sector ended the week higher by 0.8%.

4:18 pm Anworth Mortgage beats by $0.01 (ANH) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) core earnings of $0.15 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.14.
  • At December 31, 2015, the Company's book value was $6.25 per share of common stock, which was a decrease of $0.01 from $6.26 in the prior quarter.

4:17 pm Ultrapetrol receives continued listing standard notice from Nasdaq (ULTR) :

  • Co announces it received notice from the Nasdaq Stock Exchange dated February 9, 2016, indicating that the Company's common stock is not in compliance with NASDAQ's continued listing standard requiring a minimum market value of publicly held shares of $5,000,000 for the preceding 30 consecutive business days. This notice does not have an immediate effect on the listing of Ultrapetrol's common shares, which will continue to trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol 'ULTR.'

4:06 pm Lear increases quarterly dividend to $0.30/share from $0.25/share & increases share buyback to $1 bln (LEA) :  

4:01 pm Surgical Care Affiliates partners with the physician members of Winchester Endoscopy Center (SCAI) :

  • The partnership opened a new ambulatory surgical facility in January that represents an important access point for gastroenterology services in the community. This partnership expands SCA's presence in the Chicago area to six locations and aligns SCA with an additional six high-quality physicians.

3:26 pm PICO Holdings: Central Square Management delivers letter to Board regarding Board appointments (PICO) :

We are writing to express our concerns with the Company's recent announcement on February 9, 2016 that Kristina Leslie, former Chair of the Company's Board of Directors, and Robert Deuster, resigned from the Board and that two new directors, Howard Brod Brownstein and Raymond V. Marino II, were appointed to the Board. As you know, over the past 16 months, we have persistently and repeatedly tried to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Board and PICO's management team to discuss our concerns regarding the Company's prolonged underperformance and poor governance in addition to several strategies, which, if implemented, we believe would materially improve the Company's performance for the benefit of all PICO shareholders.

We were therefore disappointed to hear that the Board appointed two new directors to replace Ms. Leslie and Mr. Deuster without even attempting to engage in meaningful dialogue with one of its largest shareholders despite our persistent efforts to work with PICO to reconstitute the Board. Should our concerns and requests continue to fall on deaf ears, we will be left with no choice but to nominate candidates to the Board at the upcoming annual meeting so that shareholders can be offered a choice between the current path, which we believe is characterized by self-entrenchment and value destruction, and an alternative path that we believe would create significant value for all shareholders through accountability driven by highly-qualified Board oversight.

3:00 pm Slow grind to new highs for stock indices -- Dow +289, S&P +31, Nasdaq Comp +65 (:TECHX) : Noted at 13:17 that an initial intraday support to monitor midday dip was at 1849.  It slipped as low as 1850 and rebounded to a new session high of 1861 in recent action to probe the 38% retracement of the Feb breakdown at 1862. 

2:50 pm NextEra Energy increases quarterly dividend to $0.87/share from $0.77/share (NEE) :  

2:32 pm Allstate increases quarterly dividend to $0.33/share from $0.30/share (ALL) :  

2:19 pm Dow +252 sets new session high, S&P +28 and Nasdaq Comp +56 probe their late morning highs (:TECHX) :  

1:17 pm Stock indices edge back off late morning highs -- Dow +203, S&P +22, Nasdaq Comp +35 (:TECHX) : Sectors displaying some relative weakness on the slip include: Internet FDN, Restaurant, Discretionary XLY, Technology XLK, Bank KBE (JPM stalled near early week high noted earlier). An initial intraday support for the S&P to monitor is at the first hour range high at 1849 (recently hit 1851). A similar level for the Es-Mini is at 1845. 

1:10 pm Midday Market Summary: Oil Rally Fuels Indices at Midday (:WRAPX) :

The stock market opened its final session of the week on a positive note with the major averages benefiting from a renewed appetite for risk. Contributing to this general optimism was a reversal in crude oil, positive retail sales numbers, and a rebound in the struggling financial sector. The major averages were able to build off their strong start with the S&P 500 currently trading seven points below its best level of the day.

European indices were able to shake off losses in Asia as they responded to a better than feared earnings report from Commerzbank. This surprise offered a reprieve for the European financial sector and the regional indices as a whole. Deutsche Bank (DB 17.28, +1.77) also helped matters when it announced that it will buy back more than $5 billion worth of senior debt.

The U.S. financial sector (+3.6%) has been able to build on this positive sentiment as the economically-sensitive group rallied out of the gate. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase (JPM 57.19, +4.11) has contributed to the positive sentiment as investors respond to the news that CEO Jamie Dimon purchased 500,000 more shares of JPM for roughly $26 million. Meanwhile, American International Group (AIG 53.28, +2.76) has rallied 5.5% after increasing its dividend 14.0%, announcing a $5 billion share repurchase, and nominating two influential names to their Board of Directors.

Global equities have benefited from a reversal in crude oil. This upswing follows increased speculation regarding supply cuts, with short covering likely providing additional fuel to the rally. At this juncture, WTI crude trades higher by 12.3% at $29.44/bbl, but is still down 4.7% from last Friday.

The energy sector (+2.3%) is the main beneficiary of the rebound in oil and trails materials (+2.6%) and financials (+3.5%) on the leaderboard. Independent oil and gas companies outperform in the commodity-sensitive group with Anadarko Petroleum (APC 37.87, +2.18) climbing 6.1%. Meanwhile, Dow component Chevron (CVX 85.19, +2.20) has rallied 2.6%.

It is worth noting the health care space (+0.3%) has underperformed throughout today's session. Biotechnology trades in-line with the broader market while large cap names like Pfizer (PFE 29.09, -0.04) and Merck & Co (MRK 48.83, -0.02) sit near their flat lines.

Safe haven investments have retraced some of this week's advance with gold surrendering 0.9% to $1,237.20/ozt while Treasuries also trade in the red with the 10-yr yield higher by eight basis points at 1.74%.

The U.S. Dollar Index has climbed in recent action at the expense of the yen and the euro. Currently, the dollar/yen pair trades at 113.35 (+0.8%) while the euro has slid 0.7% against the dollar to 1.1242.

Today's economic data included the Retail Sales report for January, the December Business Inventory Report, and the preliminary reading of the Michigan Sentiment Index for February:

  • Total retail sales increased 0.2% in January (Briefing.com consensus +0.2%) while sales, excluding autos, increased 0.1% (Briefing.com consensus 0.0%).
    • The January gains were logged on top of an upwardly revised 0.2% increase (from -0.1%) for total sales in December and a 0.1% increase for sales, excluding autos, which were previously reported to be down 0.1%.
    • The only other retail areas experiencing sales declines in January were furniture and home furnishing stores (-0.5%), sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-2.1%), department stores (-0.8%), and food services and drinking places (-0.5%).Those declines, it should be noted, followed on the heels of decent-sized sales gains in December.
    • While this report doesn't capture any spending on services, which account for two-thirds of consumer spending, it does offer some encouraging data on goods spending.
    • Core retail sales, which exclude auto, gasoline station, and building material sales, were up 0.4% in January after being flat in December. This will factor favorably in the goods component for personal consumption expenditures in the first quarter GDP report.
  • U.S. import prices in January declined 1.1% for the second consecutive month, driven primarily by lower fuel prices.
    • Excluding fuel, import prices declined 0.2%. Export prices fell 0.8% in January, continuing a streak of declines that stretches back to June 2015. Excluding agriculture, export prices also declined 0.8%. Excluding fuel, import prices are down 2.9% year-over-year. Excluding agriculture, export prices are down 5.0% year-over-year.
    • Import fuel prices declined 12.4% in January after an 8.7% decline in December. The January decline was the largest since a 12.7% decline in August 2015. Prices for overall fuel have declined 34.5% over the past 12 months, after decreasing 43.8% between January 2014 and January 2015.
    • Prices for export capital goods fell 0.1%, leaving them down 0.7% year-over-year, which was the largest 12-month decrease since January 2004.
    • The latest installment of import price data doesn't do much in terms of supporting tighter monetary policy. Then again, the Fed remains convinced the forces driving down prices are transitory. On that note, there hasn't been a monthly advance in the nonfuel import price index since March 2014.
  • Total business inventories increased 0.1% in December, as expected, following an upwardly revised revised 0.1% decrease (from -0.2%) in November.
    • Manufacturer inventories (+0.2%) and merchant wholesaler inventories (-0.1%) were already known. Retailer inventories were the only unknown and they increased 0.4% in December on top of a 0.3% increase in November.
    • The total business inventory-to-sales ratio pushed up a notch to 1.39 from 1.38 in November. In December 2015 the ratio stood at 1.33.
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index slipped to 90.7 in the preliminary reading for February from the final reading of 92.0 for January (Briefing.com consensus 92.7).
    • The downturn in February was driven by a dip in both the Index for Current Economic Conditions (to 105.8 from 106.4) and the Index of Consumer Expectations (to 81.0 from 82.7).
    • Strikingly, it was also noted that consumers anticipated the lowest long-term inflation rate (2.4%) since the question was first asked in the late 1970s.

12:30 pm Index Changes Reminder: S&P SmallCap 600 constituent F.N.B. Corp. (FNB) will replace Rent-A-Center (RCII) in the S&P MidCap 400, and RCII will replace FNB in the S&P SmallCap 600 after the close of trading (:INDXCH) :  

12:26 pm Vulcan Materials increases quarterly cash dividend to $0.20/share, up from prior $0.10/share (halted) (VMC) :  

12:24 pm Intercept Pharma resumes, shares spike to about +17.7% (ICPT) :  

12:16 pm Activision Blizzard received clearance under the EU Merger Regulation from the European Commission for its merger w/ KING (KING); still need to satisfy waiver of remaining conditions (ATVI) :

Completion of the Acquisition remains subject to the satisfaction waiver of the remaining Conditions to the Acquisition set out in the scheme circular relating to the Acquisition which was despatched to King's shareholders on November 30, 2015 and, as previously announced, approved by shareholders on January 12, 2016.

  • These Conditions include the sanction of the Scheme by the High Court of Ireland at the hearing to be held on February 18, 2016.
  • The expected indicative timetable of principal events for the implementation of the Acquisition is set out in the Scheme Document and the Scheme is expected to take effect on February 23, 2016.

12:10 pm JPMorgan Chase hovering near session and weekly highs (JPM) : The top performing Dow component gapped sharply higher in the wake of insider buying with it currently hovering near its session high (57.31) and slightly under this week's high at 57.41.

12:04 pm U.S. Energy sells ownership of Mt. Emmons mine site to Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) subsidiary; also enters into a continued listing agreement with NASDAQ through June 2016 (USEG) :

  • Co entered into an Acquisition Agreement with Mt. Emmons Mining Company (MEM), a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Inc., whereby MEM acquired the Company's Mt. Emmons mine site located in Gunnison County, Colorado, including the Keystone Mine, a related water treatment plant and other related properties
  • Under the Acquisition Agreement, MEM will replace the co as the owner and permittee of the water treatment plant, the associated mining assets and will discharge the obligation of the co to operate the water treatment plant upon closing
  • Concurrent with entry into the Acquisition Agreement, and as additional consideration for MEM to accept transfer of the properties, including the water treatment plant, the Company entered into a Series A Convertible Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement, pursuant to which the Company issued 50,000 shares of newly designated convertible preferred stock with a cumulative noncash dividend to MEM
  • The transaction is a continuation of the transformation of U.S. Energy Corp. to solely focus on its ongoing oil and gas business.
  • The co intends to focus on securing appropriate financial funding to replace its current Reserve Based Lender along with adding growth capital for potential oil and gas asset acquisitions.
  • U.S. Energy Corp. primarily owns interests in oil and gas assets in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and South Texas Eagle Ford Trend.

11:58 am Targa Resources Partners and Targa Resources Corp (TRGP) shareholders approve merger; still subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close on February 17 (NGLS) :  

11:54 am L Brands announces resignation of Victoria's Secret CEO Sharen Turney; Chairman Leslie Wexner to assume role of CEO (LB) :  

11:51 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:+3.1%
  • Germany's DAX:+2.5%
  • France's CAC:+2.5%
  • Spain's IBEX:+2.0%
  • Portugal's PSI:+1.7%
  • Italy's MIB Index:+4.7%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:+0.8%
  • Greece ASE General Index: +3.0%

11:39 am Currency Commentary: DXY Holds 95.40 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index was able to hold the 95.40 level and has been able to march back above 96. The DXY has been supported by Fed comments from both the Chair Janet Yellen and the NY President Dudley in which they have down played negative interest rates. Ms. Yellen left it on the table as a possibility but it would appear it will be a high bar in order to get the Fed to move in that direction. Economic data was also supportive this morning as the Retail Sales numbers came in slightly better than expected.
  • The euro is giving up some of its recent gains as it has pulled back 100 pips from its session highs. Economic data was better than feared as the Q4 GDP numbers for the eurozone came in line with expectations. Focus will now turn to a EU Leaders meeting at the end of the month and the highly anticipated March ECB meeting where Mario Draghi is expected to provide further QE assistance to the markets. Mr. Draghi will be speaking Monday morning.
  • The pound is sliding toward session lows at the time of the writing. Sterling saw  early bids when the European markets opened, rallying it to 1.4570 before finding resistance. It has since given up all those gains but it continues to carve out a spot in the 1.44-1.46 area.
  • The yen is giving up some of its recent gains as market sentiment sees a turn. Yen had rallied nearly 9% so some profit taking should not come as a surprise. Yen is now back into the 113 area with little support until we get back toward 115-117 (FOREX, BONDX).

11:35 am Notable movers of interest (SCANX) :

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

Large Cap Gainers

  • DB (17.22 +11.03%): Announced public tender offer to purchase certain series of EUR and USD-denominated senior unsecured debt securities; financials rebound.
  • ETP (23.85 +9.25%): Oil and gas companies trade higher with WTI up ~11% (PBR, CNQ, SU, etc..)
  • LVS (43.9 +9.07%): Trades higher after strong results from peer Wynn Resorts (WYNN).

Large Cap Losers

  • ATVI (27.63 -9.47%): Missed on Q4 EPS of $0.83 ($0.86 Consensus); missed on revs; downside guidance for Q1 EPS of $0.11 ($0.18 Consensus).
  • PANW (122.32 -1.65%): Trading lower on cautious OTR Global comments.
  • TU (28.16 -1.23%): Downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity.

Mid Cap Gainers

  • COLM (55.36 +15.48%): Beat on Q4 EPS of $0.90 ($0.75 Consensus); beat on revs; upside guidance for FY16 EPS of $2.55-2.65 ($2.54 Consensus).
  • DNB (100.05 +11.99%): Beat on Q4 EPS of $2.87 ($2.84 Consensus); missed on revs of $499 mln ($505 mln Consensus).
  • WYNN (66.67 +11.69%): Beat on Q4 EPS of $1.03 ($0.78 Consensus).

Mid Cap Losers

  • CPN (12.38 -6.28%): Beat on a Q4 loss of $0.13/share ($0.20/share loss Consensus); beat on revs; reaffirmed FY16 guidance of adj EBITDA of $1.8-1.95 bln.
  • ZG (17.41 -9.23%): Missed on a Q4 loss of $0.01/share ($0.01/share gain consensus).'
  • IPGP (74.67 -8.42%): Beat on Q4 EPS of $1.14 ($1.11 Consensus); downside guidance for Q1 EPS of $0.88-1.03 ($1.11 Consensus).

11:20 am Nasdaq Comp +48 joins Dow +224 and S&P +25 above its opening high (:TECHX) : Bank KBE, Reg KRE, Finance XLF, Oil Service OIH, Energy XLE, Crude Oil USO, Software IGV, Material XLB, Casino have outperformed on the recent upside extension.

11:04 am CSX streamlines operations at 16 lower-volume mechanical facilities; changes will impact ~116 CSX mechanical employees (CSX) :  

11:03 am American Caresource Holdings announces that NASDAQ hearing panel granted request for compliance extension until May 16 (GNOW) :  

10:55 am Republic Airways reports prelim January traffic; RPMs of 738 mln, -12% YoY, on ASMs of -15% YoY (RJET) :

  • Co generated more than 738 mln RPMs in January, -12% YoY, on a 15% decrease in ASMs. 
  • Load factor of 73%, +3% YOY

10:54 am S&P +18 joins Dow +171 at new session high but Nasdaq Comp +25 has not yet confirmed the new high (SPY) : Noted in The Technical Take and this morning (09:36) that the S&P was testing yesterday's intraday gap between 1847 and 1850. It has established a new session high of 1849 in recent trade leaving it at the upper end of this resistance zone. 

10:41 am Twitter pushes to new session high of 15.43, hovering mildly under this week's peak at 15.55 (TWTR) :  

10:29 am General Electric notches new session high, attempting to reclaim its 200 ema at 27.95 (GE) : The stock broke and closed under its 200 ema/sma and Jan low yesterday but it is on the mend this morning.  It has pushed back back above the Jan low/200 sma with it currently vacillating near its 200 ema. 

10:25 am Dow +155 sets new session high -- S&P +17, Nasdaq Comp +26 (:TECHX) : Quiet trade followed the solid opening with the S&P stalling at resistance at yesterday's gap at 1847/1850 (The Technical Take). Nasdaq Comp edged back slightly but the outperforming Dow has recently set a new session high

10:25 am Netflix: NFLX now -1.15% displays rel. weakness here this morning (NFLX) :  

10:00 am Market averages stall after opening run with Nasdaq Comp +11 slipping back -- Dow +103, S&P +11 (:TECHX) :  

9:56 am Wynn Resorts (+12%) leading casinos higher following earnings: MPEL +7%, LVS +6%, MGM +6% (WYNN) : Steve Wynn was more upbeat on the call and said he likes the company's prospects long term (bought 258K shares this week) as Macau stabilizes.

9:47 am Wynn Resorts - - Earnings Mover reacts with a +10% jump back towards its late-Jan/early Feb highs near the 66/68 zone. (WYNN) : Note WYNN strength giving peer casino stocks LVS, MGM, a little boost this morning.

9:46 am Opening Market Summary: Indices Open Higher (:WRAPX) :

As expected, the major averages opened in positive territory with the S&P 500 (+0.9%) pacing the tech-heavy Nasdaq (+0.9%).

Nine of ten sectors trade in the green with financials (+2.3%) showing the largest gain of the day. The economically-sensitive group is followed by energy (+1.5%). The remaining gainers show climbs between 0.2% (telecom services) and 0.8% (consumer discretionary). Utilities is the lone decliner with a loss of 0.5%.

On the commodities front, WTI crude continues its rally as the energy component trades at $28.04/bbl (+7.0%). Gold continues to pull back as the precious metal falls 0.8% to $1,237.80/ozt

The yield on the 10-yr treasury note is higher by four basis points at 1.70%. 

9:44 am Relative sector strength (:TECHX) : Sectors that have provided early leadership have been led by: Casino (WYNN +10%), Steel SLX, Oil Service OIH (NE +11%), Crude Oil USO, Paper, Bank KBE, Reg Band KRE, Finance XLF, Coal KOL, Internet FDN, Energy XLE, Mining XME, Home Const ITB, Insurance KIE, Transports IYT.

9:36 am Solid opening gain with S&P +19 testing yesterday's intraday gap between 1847 and 1850 -- session high 1848 (:TECHX) :  

9:32 am Xenetic: OPKO Health (OPK) acquires ~6.3% interest in Xenetic; terms not disclosed (XBIO) : Shares of XBIO jumped 68% on the news that OPK Health (OPK) is to acquire ~6.3% interest in Xenetic.

9:27 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Shake Shack (SHAK) will open St. Louis Shack in 2017. 
  • P&F Industries (PFIN) sells Nationwide Industries to a subsidiary of Argosy Private Equity for ~$22.2 mln, subject to working capital adjustments

9:15 am S&P futures vs fair value: +17.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +38.80. (:WRAPX) :

The stock market is on track for a higher open with S&P 500 futures trading 18 points above fair value.

Overnight, U.S. equity futures rose in tandem with oil as the commodity rebounded from yesterday's 5.1% decline. The energy component climbed as speculation regarding a production cut found new life after the commodity's pit session yesterday. WTI currently trades 6.0% higher at $27.79/bbl. Risk tolerance increased overnight as U.S. Treasuries yields rose and gold prices slipped. Currently, the yield on the 10-yr note is higher by three basis points at 1.69%.

Futures briefly hit new highs after retail sales rose 0.2% (Briefing.com consensus+0.2%) in January. Excluding autos, retail sales increased 0.4% while the prior month's reading was revised to 0.1% from -0.1%. Meanwhile, the December Business Inventory Report (Briefing.com consensus -0.1%) and the preliminary reading of the Michigan Sentiment Index for February (Briefing.com consensus 92.7) will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.

On the corporate front, Deutsche Bank (DB 16.87, +1.36) announced that it will buy back more than $ 5 billion worth of senior debt. The bank will announce a public tender offer for dollar and euro denominated unsecured debt securities. This news follows the S&P lowering the lender's tier 1 issue rating to 'B+' from 'BB-'. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase's (JPM 55.36, +2.29) CEO, Jamie Dimon, bought 500,000 more shares of JPM stock for roughly $26 million.

9:09 am CTC Media sale of CTC Investments LLC to UTV-Management reduced modestly; awating license from US Treasury; sees return of capital to shareholders at low end of range (CTCM) :

  • Co has received the final tranche of the purchase price for its sale of 75% of the outstanding participation interests in its subsidiary CTC Investments LLC to UTV-Management LLC. An additional $50 million was held back and was subject to adjustment based on the performance of the business during the second half of 2015 and agreed indemnity obligations. The Company has received $42.5 million of this additional consideration in cash. The $7.5 million reduction in the total purchase price reflects adjustments for several factors, including identified underinvestment and deferred payments by the group in the second half of 2015 compared with the agreed target budget; a reduction in working capital compared with the agreed target, reflecting the impairment of certain older programming content; and indemnification in connection with the settlement of a commercial litigation matter. The total consideration received in connection with the sale was $193.1 million.
  • Following the merger, the Company would cease to be a publicly traded company.
  • The Company has requested a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department to authorize the proposed merger transaction; such license has not yet been received. Given the uncertainty regarding the timing of receipt of such license, if at all, the Company is unable to estimate at this time the per share amount that would ultimately be returned to stockholders in such merger, but currently expects that it would be at the lower end of the upper half of the range approved by stockholders of $1.77 to $2.19 per share.

9:08 am Trimas sees FY15 EPS guidance toward higher end of prior range (TRS) :

  • Co reaffirms guidance range, but says it will towards higher end for FY15 (Dec), sees EPS of $1.25-1.30 vs. $1.28 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • The Company is now targeting cost actions which are expected to yield ~$22 mln of annual savings on a full run-rate basis. The majority of the incremental cost savings are fixed cost reductions and are spread across each of the businesses.
  • Additionally, the Company continues to focus on improved free cash flow conversion, including aggressive management of capital expenditures and working capital. The Company will provide more details on the progress of its Financial Improvement Plan on its upcoming fourth quarter earnings call scheduled for February 25, 2016.
  • Given these market conditions and the decline in profitability of its energy-facing businesses, the Company expects to recognize pre-tax, non-cash goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges in the fourth quarter of 2015 of approximately $73 million in its Energy segment and approximately $3 million in its Engineered Components segment

9:05 am China Jo-Jo Drugstores reports Q3 EPS of ($0.02) vs $0.04 year ago; revs +15.9% y/y to $24.7 mln; expecting strong quarter to end the fiscal year (CJJD) : "We are seeing improvements in gross margin from increased volume in our online business as our revenue mix continues to shift to our fast growing online business. From a sequential perspective we are expecting a strong quarter to end the fiscal year, as efforts to monetize the growth opportunity in China's online pharmacy space continues."

9:03 am Noble Corp PLC reaches settlement agreement with Paragon Offshore (PGNPF) (NE) : Noble Corporation announced a settlement agreement in principle with Paragon Offshore plc, the company spun-off by Noble in 2014, following the public announcement by Paragon that it has reached agreement with certain of its creditors in connection with its previously announced restructuring efforts and intends to seek court approval of a pre-negotiated bankruptcy plan. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement between Noble and Paragon, once the settlement agreement becomes effective, Paragon would release Noble from all claims relating to the spin-off of Paragon by Noble in 2014, including any fraudulent conveyance claim that could be brought on behalf of Paragon's creditors, and Noble would assume certain pre-spin-off obligations relating to Paragon's Mexican tax matters.

9:02 am Marriot Vacations announces 2 mln share increase to share buyback, bringing total program to ~3.4 mln shares; maintains quarterly dividend at $0.30/share (VAC) :  

9:02 am Magnegas announces that it believes it has identified the source of a recent short attack blog & initiated legal action against the bloggers (MNGA) : Management believes this blogger is one of several individuals who acted in collusion with others to receive ill-gotten gains through short selling in combination with false & misleading "anonymous" publications. Forensic IT investigation revealed that one of the suspects has been previously fined & ordered to cease & desist operation of an unlicensed investment advisory firm & had his investment advisory license revoked.

9:01 am NASDAQ to acquire Marketwired; terms not disclosed, expected to be accretive to non-GAAP earnings within twelve months of closing (NDAQ) :

Marketwired is a provider of news distribution services and analytics for communications professionals.

  • Subject to customary conditions, the deal will be funded through a mix of debt and cash on hand and is expected to close in 1Q16.
  • The acquisition is expected to be accretive to co's non-GAAP earnings within twelve months of closing and should have no material impact on co's financial leverage or capital return strategy.

8:59 am Clovis Oncology confirms the FDA has scheduled an Advisory Committee meeting for April 12 over the NDA for rociletinib (CLVS) : Rociletinib is an investigational therapy for the treatment of patients with mutant epidermal growth factor receptor non-small cell lung cancer (:NSCLC) who have been previously treated with an EGFR-targeted therapy and have the EGFR T790M mutation.

8:57 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Great Panther Silver (GPL) announces that the Mexican regulatory authority responsible for permitting and regulating the use of explosives, has concluded its inspection regarding the previously announced theft of explosives from one of the mines at the Guanajuato Mine Complex. The Company was assessed a fine, which has been paid and will not materially impact its financial results. The final inspection was recently completed and authorization to resume the use of explosives is anticipated within the next few working days.
  • IntraLinks (IL) promoted Jay Muelhoefer as CMO & Leif O'Leary to EVP of global sales

8:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: +20.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +42.30. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures trade 20 points above fair value. 

Equity markets in the Asia-Pacific region struggled on Friday with Japan's Nikkei diving 4.8% after being closed on Thursday. The index closed near its session low, but the slide was not congruent with yen strength as the Japanese currency held its ground throughout the night. The dollar/yen pair traded near 112.50 at the start of the Tokyo session and it remains in that area at this time.

  • In economic data:
    • Japan's Foreign Bonds Buying JPY1.45 trillion (previous -JPY78.80 billion)
    • India's January CPI +5.69% year-over-year (expected 5.40%; previous 5.61%)
    • Australia's December Home Loans +2.6% month-over-month (expected 3.0%; previous 1.9%)
    • New Zealand's January FPI +2.0% month-over-month (expected 1.2%; last -0.8%)

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei lost 4.8%, extending this week's drop to 11.1%. All ten sectors finished in negative territory with communications (-6.9%), energy (-6.0%), financials (-5.7%), and materials (-5.6%) leading the retreat. Casio and Sharp both lost near 10.0% while Sumitomo Chemical, Nippon Sheet Glass, Alps Electric, Softbank, Mazda Motor, Fuji Heavy Industries, and Nomura Holdings registered losses between 9.0% and 10.0%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.2%, ending the abbreviated week lower by 5.0%. Financials paced the Friday retreat with Ping An Insurance, Bank of China, HSBC Holdings, and China Construction Bank falling between 2.7% and 4.2%. On the upside, gaming names outperformed with Galaxy Entertainment adding 3.1% and Sands China climbing 2.1%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite was closed for Lunar New Year, but will be open next week.

Major European indices trade higher across the board as they rebound from heavy selling earlier this week. The rebound has coincided with a bounce in oil, overshadowing generally disappointing economic data. The euro, meanwhile, has retreated to 1.1240 against the dollar after climbing above 1.1350 yesterday.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone Q4 GDP +0.3% quarter-over-quarter, as expected; +1.5% year-over-year, as expected. December Industrial Production -1.0% month-over-month (expected 0.3%; previous -0.5%); -1.3% year-over-year (consensus 0.8%; last 1.4%)
    • Germany's Q4 GDP +0.3% quarter-over-quarter, as expected; +2.1% year-over-year (consensus 2.3%: last 1.7%). January CPI -0.8% month-over-month, as expected; +0.5% year-over-year, as expected
    • France's Q4 Nonfarm Payrolls +0.2% (expected 0.1%; last 0.0%)
    • Italy's Q4 GDP +0.1% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.3%; last 0.2%); +1.0% year-over-year (consensus 1.2%; last 0.8%)
    • Spain's January CPI -1.9% month-over-month, as expected; -0.3% year-over-year, as expected

---Equity Markets---

  • France's CAC trades higher by 1.9% with growth-sensitive names in the lead. ArcelorMittal has spiked 6.8% while Total, Technip, Solvay, and Airbus show gains between 2.3% and 4.2%. Financials BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole are both up near 1.8% while Societe Generale trades flat.
  • Germany's DAX has climbed 2.2% with all but three names on the rise. Commerzbank has surged 15.6% while Deutsche Bank trades up 8.8%. Exporters BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen show gains between 2.2% and 4.7%. On the downside, Adidas has given up 1.5%.
  • UK's FTSE has spiked 2.2% with miners pacing the rally. Anglo American, Glencore, Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, and Rio Tinto are up between 6.3% and 15.3%. On the downside, Tesco is lower by 2.5%.

8:48 am Energy Fuels provides production updates and drill result updates (UUUU) :

  • The Company is pleased to announce that it has completed the construction and licensing of the previously announced elution circuit at the Nichols Ranch ISR Plant as scheduled. The Company has received final notice from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium recovery operations involving elution, precipitation, filter press, and slurry processes are authorized to commence.
  • The Company is also increasing production at the Nichols Ranch Project on a controlled basis. Through ongoing well-field development and drilling, the Company is confirming -- and in certain cases increasing -- its level of confidence in the uranium resource estimates contained in the most recent Technical Report and Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Nichols Ranch Uranium Project dated February 28, 2015, prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101.
  • A 6th header-house at the Nichols Ranch Project began production in November 2015. It continues to maintain grades and produce uranium at higher-than-expected rates. Furthermore, through the successful execution of slant hole drilling, the Company has been able to place significant additional resources under pattern at this 6th header-house that were previously thought to be inaccessible due to challenging terrain.

8:45 am Charles Schwab reports January trading activity; total client assets were $2.43 trillion, -1% YoY (SCHW) :

  • Net new assets brought to the company by new and existing clients in January 2016 totaled $8.1 billion.
  • Total client assets were $2.43 trillion as of month-end January, down 1% from January 2015 and down 3% compared to December 2015.
  • Average interest-earning assets on the company's balance sheet were a record $177.3 bln in January, up 20% from January 2015 and up 3% compared to December 2015.

8:39 am Red Robin Gourmet reports EPS above guidance; rev in-line with downside preannuncemnt; guides FY16 revs in-line/just above consensus (RRGB) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.86 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.82; revenues rose 1.5% year/year to $286.3 mln vs the $286.66 mln Capital IQ Consensus. Comparable restaurant revenue decreased 2.0% from the same period a year ago (using constant currency rates).
  • Preannounced EPS $0.80-0.84 vs. $0.76 Capital IQ Consensus; revs ~$286.3 mln vs. $296.16 mln Capital IQ Consensus on Jan 12.
  • Co issues upside guidance for FY16, sees FY16 revs of +8.5-9.5% to ~$1.36-1.38 bln vs. $1.36 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • comprised of comparable revenue growth in the low single digits and the remainder due to increased operating weeks associated with locations opened in 2015 and 2016. The Company plans to open approximately 25 new Red Robins and five Burger Works in 2016. Earnings before interest taxes and depreciation (:EBITDA) is expected to range between $155 million and $165 million in 2016. EBITDA is a non-GAAP number and defined in Schedule III. The sensitivity of the Company's earnings per diluted share to a 1% change in guest counts for fiscal year 2016 is estimated to be $0.34 on an annualized basis. Additionally, a 10 basis point change in restaurant-level operating profit margin is expected to impact earnings per diluted share by ~$0.09, and a change of ~$143,000 in pre-tax income or expense is equivalent to ~$0.01 per diluted share. 

8:38 am Gapping down (SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: NUS -24.7%, SCSS -17.7%, CYBR -10.6%, ZG -9.7%, ALNY -8.7%, AMKR -7.5%, QLIK -7.3%, Z -6.6%, ATVI -5.9%, EGN -2.7%, (discontinues dividend), IPGP -2%, DVA -1.7%, ( pharmacy services provider and subsidiary DaVita Rx receives Civil Investigative Demand from the U.S. Attorney's Office ), CBS -1.3%, POR -1.3%, LOGM -1.2%, SSNC -1.1%


Select metals/mining stocks trading lower: GFI -4.4%, HMY -3.6%, EGO -2.3%, GG -1.5%, GDX -1.4%, AUY -1.1%, NEM -0.6%, ABX -0.6%, .


Other news: TRXC -4.4% ( files ~42.759 mln share common stock shelf offering by selling investors), HLF -3% (in symp with NUS), DCM -2.4% (Nikkei down 4.8% overnight), TM -2.1% (Nikkei down 4.8% overnight)

Analyst comments: AEGR -1.1% (downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill)

8:34 am Black Hills Corp revises FY16 guidance, initiates FY17 guidance following closure of SourceGas acquisition and recently announced sale of a minority interest in Black Hills Colorado IPP (BKH) :

  • The co now sees FY16 EPS of $2.90-3.10 (Prior $2.40-2.60) vs $2.67 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. The increased guidance for 2016 includes earnings from SourceGas beginning onFebruary 12, 2016, and the earnings impact from the sale of a 49.9 percentmember equity interest in Black Hills Colorado IPP beginning April 1, 2016.
    • Guidance assumptions include Capital spending of $521 million
  • Co offers FY17 guidance, saying it sees EPS of $3.35-3.65 vs $3.39 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. The 2017 earnings guidance reflects afull year of SourceGas ownership and the full year impact of the sale of apartial interest in Black Hills Colorado IPP.
    • Guidance assumptions include Capital spending of $351 million

8:33 am Gapping up (SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: GRPN +20.1%, AXL +17.4%, COLM +10.3%, ROVI +9.6%, BCOV +8.8%, QUOT +8.3%, MGI +7.4%, ELLI +7.1%, USAT +7.1%, NBIX +5.3%, WYNN +3.8%, BAM +3.5%, IPG +3.1%, CRAY +2.7%, P +2.3%, AIG +1.8%, WEB +1.6%, (to acquire Yodle for $300 at close and $42 mln in future considerations; over $30 mln of projected synergies ), FEYE +1.5%, BSQR +1%

M&A news: BIDU +4.6% (receives non-binding proposal proposing to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Qiyi),AMZN +1.1% (Amazon's Amazon Web Services has acquired NICE Software)

Select financial related names showing strength: DB +9.7%, CS +4.3%, PUK +4%, RBS +3.6%, BCS +3.6%, MS +2.4%, BAC +2.3%, HSBC +2.1%, C +2.1%, GS +1.8%

Select oil/gas related names showing strength: CHK +6.2%, ETE +4.3%, SDRL +3.7%, RIG +2.2%, RDS.A +2.2%, MRO +2%, TOT +2%, COP +1.9%

Other news: SQ +16.9% (Visa (V) discloses 9.99% passive stake),TTM +6.1% (rebounding following yesterday's decline),IMMR +5.9% (files a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Apple (AAPL), AT&T (T), and AT&T Mobility LLC),SUNE +4.4% (rebounding following yesterday's decline),JPM +3.6% (CEO Jamie Dimon purchased 500K shares),UPL +2.5% (following new all-time lows made yesterday),TSLA +2.5% (cont strength),SHPG +2.2% (rebounding following yesterday's decline),F +1.3% (reports January European sales metrics),FB +1.1% (likely trading higher with the futures),RTIX +1% ( announces a new agreement with Oxford Performance Materials that grants co an exclusive license to OPM's OsteoFab technology platform for spinal applications in all U.S. markets)

Analyst comments: KR +1.3% (initiated with a Buy at Stifel)

8:31 am Retail Sales Increase...S&P futures vs fair value: +19.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +43.80. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures trade 20 points above fair value.

Just released, January retail sales increased 0.2% which was in-line with the Briefing.com consensus. The prior month's reading was revised to +0.2% from -0.1%. Excluding autos, retail sales increased 0.4% while the consensus expected a down tick of 0.1%.

8:31 am Uranium Resources approve amendment to charter that will permit the co to conduct a reverse stock split of not less than 1:2; expects to bring co's working capex below $11 mln in 2016 (URRE) :

Co announce that its stockholders have approved the charter amendment that will permit the company to conduct a reverse stock split of its issued and outstanding common stock.

  • The amendment allows URI to effect a reverse stock split by a ratio of not less than 1-for-2 and not more than 1-for-20.
    • The final ratio will be determined by the Company's Board of Directors in due course.
  • The primary intent of the reverse split is to enable URI to regain compliance with the Nasdaq minimum US$1 bid price requirement to maintain the Company's stock listing on Nasdaq.

2016 Goals

  • URI estimates that it will have completed its updated economic analysis on the high-grade, low-cost Temrezli in-situ recoveryproject by the second quarter of 2016.
  • Approvals are expected by year-end with targeted construction for the project scheduled for the first quarter of 2017, subject to project financing.
  • Co continues to work toward completing Laramide transaction by late Q1.
  • Co expect to bring the Company's working capital expenditures below $11 mln in 2016.

8:30 am Market View: Mar. E-mini stock-index futures see a notable up-tick following the 8:30 am ET economic data points here (:TECHX) :

  • ESh6 now +19.00

  • YMh6 now +148

  • NQh6 now +40.00

8:28 am Deutsche Bank announces a public tender offer to purchase certain series of EUR and USD-denominated senior unsecured debt securities (DB) :

The EUR tender offer has a target acceptance volume of EUR 3 bln and the USD tender offer has a target acceptance volume of USD 2 bln. The tender offer is expected to be open for seven business days for the EUR denominated securities, and 20 business days for the USD denominated securities, subject to lower pricing for bonds tendered after day 10.

  • The company states that its strong liquidity position allows it to repurchase these securities without any corresponding change to its 2016 funding plan.
  • The news follows an FT report earlier this week the bank was considering such a move

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

  • Uk's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issued positive guidance for the use of Medtronic (MDT) insulin pump systems integrated with glucose sensors, for managing Type 1 diabetes and the avoidance of potentially life-threatening hypoglycemic episodes. The guidance reviewed two sensor-augmented insulin pump therapy systems and recommends the MiniMed Paradigm Veo system for managing glucose levels in people with Type 1 diabetes who experience 'disabling hypoglycemia'.
  • UBIC (UBIC) announced that the Japan Patent Office has recently issued a Notification of Decision of Grant to the Company for a patent application related to a data visualization tool that can display its AI's learning process.
  • West Pharm (WST) announced that global biotechnology leader Amgen (AMGN) has utilized West's Daikyo Crystal Zenith vials, in conjunction with West FluroTec stoppers, to contain its FDA-approved therapy IMLYGIC. Manufactured from a cyclic olefin polymer, CZ vials offer a break-resistant, high-performance alternative to glass for complex drugs.
  • Cellceutix (CTIX) files motion to dismiss the second amended complaint filed by The Rosen Law Firm. In short, it is Cellceutix's contention that there are no legal grounds for the complaint and that The Rosen Law Firm has not provided factual allegations that are sufficient for the complaint to survive dismissal.
  • Capita (CTAGY) appointed as preferred bidder by Blackburn with Darwen for place-based partnership; expected to be worth at least 60m for an initial term of five years with the ability to extend for another five years

8:20 am Cameron commences consent solicitations for $2.75 bln of its Senior Notes (CAM) : The co announced the commencement of consent solicitations relating to its outstanding 1.150% Senior Notes due 2016, 1.400% Senior Notes due 2017, 6.375% Senior Notes due 2018, 4.500% Senior Notes due 2021, 3.600% Senior Notes due 2022, 4.000% Senior Notes due 2023, 3.700% Senior Notes due 2024, 7.000% Senior Notes due 2038, 5.950% Senior Notes due 2041 and 5.125% Senior Notes due 2043. As of February 11, 2016, there was $2,750,000,000 aggregate principal amount of Notes outstanding.

8:10 am Celsion provides business update, highlights recent developments (CLSN) :

The co announced the completion of enrollment of the first cohort of patients in its Phase 1b dose escalating clinical trial (the OVATION Study) combining GEN-1, the Company's DNA-based immunotherapy, with the standard of care for the treatment of newly-diagnosed ovarian cancer patients who will undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgical resection of their tumor.

  • The first two patients in the OVATION Study who completed treatment have shown promising results. Both patients reported stable disease with a dramatic drop in their CA-125 protein levels of 89% and 98%.
  • The OVATION Study will continue into 2016 at higher doses of GEN-1 with the goal to identify a safe, tolerable and therapeutically active dose of GEN-1 by recruiting and maximizing an immune response.
  • The Company has completed various preclinical studies combining GEN-1 with Avastin and Doxil, the current standard of care for the treatment of platinum resistant ovarian cancer, which has demonstrated synergistic anti-cancer effects. The Company's preclinical data abstract summarizing these studies has been accepted for presentation at the upcoming AACR Annual Meeting 2016 in New Orleans.

The Company also reported a year-end cash position of $20.1 million (unaudited) compared to $24.1 million reported at the end of the third quarter of 2015.

8:09 am Volkswagen AG releases comprehensive January sales update with vehicle deliveries +3.7% to 847.8K; Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand +2.8% to 520K (VLKAY) :

  • "Developments on world markets at the beginning of the year are mixed. The situation in Brazil and Russia remains tense, China is regaining momentum and the trend in Europe is generally stable." Developments on the overall Chinese market at the start of the year were particularly positive, with market growth running at around 12%. The situation in the Americas was more challenging. The company delivered 61,100 vehicles in the North America region in the first month of the year, of which 36,400 units were handed over to customers in the United States (-7.0%), where the sales stop for several models with diesel engines had an impact. Deliveries in the South America region, where the general economic climate remains tense, declined appreciably (-32.2 percent).In Europe, January was a more pleasing month (+1.8%). Deliveries remained stable in the home market of Germany (+0.4 percent). In contrast, developments in Central and Eastern Europe (-4.2 percent) continued to feel the effects of the tense situation in Russia (-29.5%).
  • Deliveries by the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand made a generally stable start to the new year. 521,400 vehicles were handed over to customers in the first month of this year, an increase of 2.8 percent compared with the same month in 2015.

8:09 am American Axle confirms 2016 full year financial outlook in 8-K filing (AXL) :

Co confirms 2016 full year financial outlook:

  • Targets 2016 revs $4.0 bn vs $4.09 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. This sales projection is based on the anticipated launch schedule of programs in AAM's new and incremental business backlog and the assumption that the U.S. Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of sales ("SAAR") is in the range of 17.5 million to 18.0 million light vehicle units in 2016.
  • Targets EBITDA margin in the range of 14.5% to 14.75% of sales in 2016. 
  • Targets free cash flow in the range of $120 million to $140 million in 2016.
  • Targets capital spending of approximately 6% in 2016.

8:07 am Masimo announces that co's rainbow Acoustic Monitoring was associated with fewer alarm events during planned moderate sedation in a new clinical study (MASI) :

This two-part pilot study used RAM and SedLine brain function monitoring as the additional monitoring parameters during planned moderate sedation to (1) determine the incidences of alarm events (desaturation, respiratory depression and deeper than intended sedation), and (2) determine whether monitoring with these parameters is associated with fewer alarm events.

  • Data were analyzed from 90 patients (44 standard and 46 advanced).
  • There were 55% fewer alarm events in advanced patients compared with standard patients (median 2.5 vs. 5.5, p=0.038). Fewer advanced patients had =1 respiratory depression event (17 vs 26; p=0.035) or =1 desaturation event (15 vs 25; p=0.02).
  • The investigators also compared respiratory rate events between capnography (using the Covidien Capnostream 20p) and RAM in the standard group and conducted a retrospective analysis to determine the true positive rates for capnography and RAM.
    • The true positive rates were 30% and 78% respectively; the false positive rates were 70% and 22% respectively.
  • There were no significant differences between groups in the number of deeper than intended sedation events using SedLine.
  • The authors concluded that "the use of advanced monitoring during planned moderate sedation was associated with fewer alarm events, patients experiencing desaturation, and patients experiencing respiratory depression alarm events.

8:06 am E*TRADE reports January trading activity; Daily Average Revenue Trades were 175,346, +1% YoY (ETFC) :

  • Daily Average Revenue Trades for January were 175,346, a 19% increase from December and a 1% increase from the year-ago period.
  • The Company added 29,666 gross new brokerage accounts in January and ended the month with approximately 3.2 million brokerage accounts - an increase of 4,815 from December.
  • Net new brokerage assets were $1.0 billion in the month. During the month, customer security holdings decreased by $13.4 billion, and brokerage-related cash decreased by $0.7 billion to $41.0 billion. Bank-related cash and deposits decreased $0.2 billion, ending the month at $5.3 billion. Customers were net buyers of approximately $1.2 billion in securities during the month.

8:05 am IPG Photonics beats by $0.03 (:GAAP), reports revs in-line; guides Q1 below consensus (IPGP) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) GAAP earnings of $1.14 per share (including $0.04 gain from R&D tax credit and $0.03 FX benefit), $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.11; revenues rose 7.8% year/year to $223.6 mln vs the $223.54 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Materials processing sales in the fourth quarter increased 9% year-over-year, primarily reflecting strong growth in welding applications, and growth in cutting applications, offset by a decline in marking and engraving applications. Sales to other applications were down 11% from the fourth quarter of 2014 as strong growth in medical and telecommunications was more than offset by lower sales in advanced applications. Geographically, IPG achieved double digit growth in China and Japan, more moderate growth in Northern and Western Europe and sales declines in Russia and Turkey. In North America, double-digit growth in materials processing applications was offset by a decline in advanced applications sales.
  • Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.88-1.03 vs. $1.11 Capital IQ Consensus; sees Q1 revs of $200-215 mln vs. $222.52 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • "We continue to be optimistic for 2016 and are managing the company to achieve double-digit growth for the year. Our optimism is grounded in our strong core products, our backlog and many new product introductions planned this year. We exited 2015 with a backlog of $442.5 million, representing an increase of 38% from $321.0 million at year-end 2014. Backlog for orders with firm shipment dates increased by 6% to $185.1 million from $174.5 million while backlog of frame agreements expected to ship within one year increased by 76% to $257.4 million from $146.5 million." 

8:05 am Insperity misses by $0.09, misses on revs; guides Q1 EPS above consensus; guides FY16 EPS above consensus (NSP) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.33 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.09 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.42; revenues rose 9.1% year/year to $650 mln vs the $671.23 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2015 increased 9.1% over Q4 of 2014 on a 12.0% increase in the average number of worksite employees paid per month.
  • Worksite employees paid from new client sales increased 25% over Q4 of 2014, and worksite employee retention remained above 99%. Net hiring in its client base declined slightly compared to Q4 of 2014.
  • Gross profit decreased by 4.3% from the fourth quarter of 2014, due primarily to large medical claim activity during the quarter.
  • Co issues upside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $1.44-1.52 vs. $0.95 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co issues upside guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $3.19-3.36 vs. $2.77 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

8:04 am Grupo Aeroportuario reports that terminal passenger traffic at its airports increased 7.8% YoY in January 2016 (OMAB) :

  • Domestic traffic increased 9.2%, and international traffic increased 1.1%.
  • Of total January traffic, 98.4% was commercial aviation and 1.6% was general aviation..

8:04 am Zayo Group Holdings reports Q2 (Dec) results, revs in-line (ZAYO) :

  • Reports Q2 (Dec) loss of $0.04 per share, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.03; revenues rose 14.1% year/year to $369.6 mln vs the $373.09 mln Capital IQ Consensus.

8:03 am American Axle beats by $0.13, misses on revs (AXL) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.81 per share, $0.13 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.68; revenues rose 2.0% year/year to $958.4 mln vs the $978.83 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • "As we look ahead to 2016 and beyond, we remain focused on advancing our technology leadership in order to capitalize on major industry trends and drive profitable growth and business diversification."

8:02 am ManTech receives contract to provide contractor advisory assistance, systems engineering, & technical assistance from CTTSO; potential total value to co of $71 mln (MANT) :  

8:01 am Baidu.com receives non-binding proposal proposing to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Qiyi it beneficially owns based on an enterprise valuation of $2.8 bln (BIDU) :

The co announced that its board of directors has recently received a non-binding proposal from Mr. Robin Yanhong Li, chairman and chief executive officer of Baidu, and Mr. Yu Gong, chief executive officer of Qiyi.com, Inc., proposing to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Qiyi beneficially owned by Baidu based on an enterprise valuation of $2.8 billion for 100% of Qiyi on a cash-free and debt-free basis.

  • Pursuant to the non-binding proposal, the buyers expect that Qiyi will remain a strategic partner of Baidu after the consummation of the Transaction and enter into business cooperation agreements with Baidu. Baidu currently owns 80.5% of Qiyi's total outstanding shares on an as-converted and fully-diluted basis.
  • The Board has formed a special committee comprised of three independent directors, Messrs. Greg Penner, Brent Callinicos and James Ding, to evaluate the Transaction.

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

  • Novocure (NVCR) announced that Anthem now covers Optune for members who have newly diagnosed glioblastoma
  • Golden Minerals (AUMN) announced that The Sentient Group has elected to convert a portion of the principal plus interest due under the terms of a convertible loan into common shares, effective February 11. The Sentient Group will convert ~$3.9 million principal plus $0.1 million accumulated interest into 23,355,000 Golden Minerals shares.
  • Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises (BW) subsidiary awarded a contract for more than $18 mln to engineer, manufacture and install a replacement reheater at Xcel Energy's Pawnee Generating Station near Brush, Colo. The components, which include horizontal and vertical reheater banks, will be manufactured in B&W's Monterrey, Mexico facility and are scheduled for delivery in February.
  • Taseko Mines (TGB) files civil claim in the BC Supreme Court against the Canadian federal government. The claim seeks damages in relation to the February 25, 2014 decision concerning the New Prosperity Project, a multi-billion dollar gold-copper deposit in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, Canada. The lawsuit claims the Government of Canada and its agents failed to meet the legal duties that were owed to Taseko and that in doing so they caused and continue to cause damages, expenses and loss to Taseko.

7:58 am S&P futures vs fair value: +17.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +37.50. (:WRAPX) :

U.S. equity futures hover below overnight highs with the S&P 500 futures trading 17 points above fair value. This morning's positive sentiment can generally be attributed to a 5.1% rebound in oil ($27.55/bbl) from yesterday's pit session close of $26.14/bbl.

Treasury yields rest just below overnight highs with the yield on the 10-yr note higher by two basis point at 1.69%.

On the economic front, the Retail Sales report for January (Briefing.com consensus +0.0%) will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, the December Business Inventory Report (Briefing.com consensus -0.1%) and the preliminary reading of the Michigan Sentiment Index for February (Briefing.com consensus 92.7) will cross the wires at 10:00 ET. 

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Activision Blizzard (ATVI 27.05, -3.47): -11.4% after the company reported below-consensus Q4 earnings results after yesterday's close
  • Wynn Resorts (WYNN 61.50, +1.81): +3.0% following above-consensus EPS results on in-line revenue in Q4  
  • Groupon (GRPN 2.75, +0.51): +22.8% after the company beat analyst estimates for Q4 EPS and revenue 
  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM 54.95, +1.88) after CEO Jamie Dimon disclosed the purchase of 500k shares
  • American International Group (AIG 51.00, +0.48): +1.0% after the company raised its stock's dividend 14.0% and announced a $5 billion share buyback while reporting misses on its Q4 earnings report

Reviewing overnight development: 

  • Asian equity markets ended their week lower with Japan's Nikkei -4.8% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng -1.2%. Meanwhile, China's Shanghai Composite will re-open next week.
    • In economic data:
      • Japan's Foreign Bonds Buying JPY1.45 trillion (previous -JPY78.80 billion)
      • India's January CPI +5.69% year-over-year (expected 5.40%; previous 5.61%)
      • Australia's December Home Loans +2.6% month-over-month (expected 3.0%; previous 1.9%)
      • New Zealand's January FPI +2.0% month-over-month (expected 1.2%; last -0.8%)
    • In news:
      • The yen was able to hold its ground overnight with the dollar/yen pair at 112.70.
  • European averages trade higher across the board with Germany's DAX +1.8%, the U.K.'s FTSE +1.8%, and France's CAC +1.5%.
    • In economic data:
      • Eurozone Q4 GDP +0.3% quarter-over-quarter, as expected; +1.5% year-over-year, as expected. December Industrial Production -1.0% month-over-month (expected 0.3%; previous -0.5%); -1.3% year-over-year (consensus 0.8%; last 1.4%)
      • Germany's Q4 GDP +0.3% quarter-over-quarter, as expected; +2.1% year-over-year (consensus 2.3%: last 1.7%). January CPI -0.8% month-over-month, as expected; +0.5% year-over-year, as expected
      • France's Q4 Nonfarm Payrolls +0.2% (expected 0.1%; last 0.0%)
      • Italy's Q4 GDP +0.1% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.3%; last 0.2%); +1.0% year-over-year (consensus 1.2%; last 0.8%)
      • Spain's January CPI -1.9% month-over-month, as expected; -0.3% year-over-year, as expected
    • In news:
      • The Euro/Dollar pair has retreated from yesterday's high of 1.1350 to 1.1267

7:36 am SunOpta agrees to vote all of its Opta Minerals' shares in favour of Opta Minerals acquisition agreement; expects aggregate proceeds of CAD 6.2 mln (STKL) :

SunOpta announced today that Opta Minerals has entered into a definitive acquisition agreement, under which an affiliate of Speyside Equity Fund I LP will acquire substantially all the shares of Opta Minerals. 

  • SunOpta has entered into a support agreement pursuant to which SunOpta has irrevocably agreed to vote all of its Opta Minerals' shares in favour of the transaction.
  • SunOpta expects to receive aggregate proceeds of approximately CAD 6.2 million, of which CAD 4.2 million is cash, with the remaining CAD  2.0 million in the form of a subordinated promissory note of Opta Minerals bearing interest at 2.0% which will mature 30 months following the close of the transaction.
  • As a result of the pending sale, SunOpta expects to recognize a non-cash impairment charge in the range of $15.0 to $17.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.

7:33 am European Markets Update: CAC +1.5%, DAX +1.8%, FTSE +1.8% (:SUMRX) :

Major European indices trade higher across the board as they rebound from heavy selling earlier this week. The rebound has coincided with a bounce in oil, overshadowing generally disappointing economic data. The euro, meanwhile, has retreated to 1.1270 against the dollar after climbing above 1.1350 yesterday.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone Q4 GDP +0.3% quarter-over-quarter, as expected; +1.5% year-over-year, as expected. December Industrial Production -1.0% month-over-month (expected 0.3%; previous -0.5%); -1.3% year-over-year (consensus 0.8%; last 1.4%)
    • Germany's Q4 GDP +0.3% quarter-over-quarter, as expected; +2.1% year-over-year (consensus 2.3%: last 1.7%). January CPI -0.8% month-over-month, as expected; +0.5% year-over-year, as expected
    • France's Q4 Nonfarm Payrolls +0.2% (expected 0.1%; last 0.0%)
    • Italy's Q4 GDP +0.1% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.3%; last 0.2%); +1.0% year-over-year (consensus 1.2%; last 0.8%)
    • Spain's January CPI -1.9% month-over-month, as expected; -0.3% year-over-year, as expected

---Equity Markets---

  • France's CAC trades higher by 1.5% with growth-sensitive names in the lead. ArcelorMittal has spiked 6.8% while Total, Technip, Solvay, and Airbus show gains between 2.3% and 4.2%. Financials BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole are both up near 1.8% while Societe Generale trades flat.
  • Germany's DAX has climbed 1.8% with all but three names on the rise. Commerzbank has surged 15.6% while Deutsche Bank trades up 8.8%. Exporters BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen show gains between 2.2% and 4.7%. On the downside, Adidas has given up 1.5%.
  • UK's FTSE has spiked 1.8% with miners pacing the rally. Anglo American, Glencore, Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, and Rio Tinto are up between 6.3% and 15.3%. On the downside, Tesco is lower by 2.5%.

7:32 am KCG Holdings releases trade volumes for January (KCG) :

In Market Making, KCG averaged $36.2 billion dollar volume traded, 4.9 billion shares traded, and 4.7 million trades per day in U.S. equities.In Global Execution Services:

  • KCG Institutional Equities averaged 296.8 million U.S. equity shares traded per day
  • KCG BondPoint averaged $176.7 million fixed income par value traded per day

As for the overall market conditions in January, consolidated U.S. equity volumeaveraged $349.7 billion in dollar volume and 9.3 billion shares traded per day.The realized volatility for the S&P 500 was 24.5.

7:31 am Yuma Energy and Davis Petroleum Acquisition announce merger agreement; all-stock transaction (YUMA) :

Davis Petroleum Acquisition is a Houston-based oil & gas company focused on acquisition, exploration & development of domestic oil and gas properties. The companies anticipate completing the transaction around mid-year 2016. the transaction is conditioned upon the negotiation of a reserve-based credit facility with existing Yuma lenders and/or others, with a borrowing base of at least $44.0 million & other terms & conditions acceptable to both parties.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement:

  • Yuma will reincorporate in Delaware, implement a 1:10 reverse split of its common stock, & convert each share of its existing Series A preferred stock into 35 shares of common stock prior to giving effect for the reverse split
  • Yuma will issue additional shares of common stock in an amount sufficient to result in ~61.1% of the common stock being owned by the current common stockholders of Davis
  • Yuma will issue ~3.3 mln shares of a new Series D preferred stock to existing Davis preferred stockholders, which is estimated to have a conversion price of ~$5.70/share, after giving effect for the reverse split

7:13 am Nokia announces that its reopened public exchange offer for Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) in France and in the US has been settled and that its new shares have been entered into the Finnish Trade Register (NOK) : As a result of the Reopened Offer Nokia now holds 91.25% of the share capital and at least 91.17% of the voting rights of Alcatel-Lucent, 99.62% of the outstanding OCEANE 2018 convertible bonds, 37.18% of the outstanding OCEANE 2019 convertible bonds, and 68.17% of the outstanding OCEANE 2020 convertible bonds. This equates to Nokia holding 88.07% of the share capital on a fully diluted basis.

7:06 am Interpublic beats by $0.04, reports revs in-line; Board approves 25% increase in quarterly dividend and additional $300 mln toward share repurchase program. (IPG) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.66 per share, excluding items, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.62; revenues fell 0.5% year/year to $2.2 bln vs the $2.19 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Management targets 2016 organic revenue growth of 3-4% and further 50 basis points or better improvement in operating margin.
  • Interpublic Board of Directors authorized a new program to repurchase, from time to time, up to $300 million of the company's common stock. The new share program, which is in addition to any amounts remaining for repurchase under the program announced in 2015, will take effect immediately and has no expiration date.
  • The company also announced that its Board of Directors has declared a commonstock cash dividend of $0.15 per share (up from prior cash dividend of $0.12 per share).

7:05 am Lifepoint Hospitals beats by $0.06, misses on revs; guides FY16 including recent acquisitions; sees margin expansion in 2017/18 (LPNT) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.11 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.05; revenues rose 8.6% year/year to $1.37 bln vs the $1.39 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2015, excludes a bargain purchase gain of $4.0 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, related to the final valuation of a recently acquired hospital.
  • Co issues guidance for FY16 including recent acquisitions, sees EPS of $3.65-3.91, may not be comparable to $4.27 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY16 revs of $6.45-6.55 bln, may not be comparable to $6.01 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 
    • Guidance for 2016 includes the estimated impact of recent acquisitions in Columbus, Georgia, Hickory, North Carolina, Sanford, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina along with the Company's other 2015 acquisitions. While the Company estimates that these acquisitions will contribute ~$60 million to Adjusted EBITDA in 2016, combined depreciation and amortization expense and interest expense allocated to these acquisitions is estimated to exceed just over $100 million. As a result, the Company estimates that these acquisitions will have an ~$0.60 dilutive effect on its 2016 EPS. The Company's 2016 guidance also reflects a 170 basis point Adjusted EBITDA margin decline as these acquired hospitals are expected to have a combined Adjusted EBITDA margin of less than 5% in 2016.
  • The Company noted that it expects its future Adjusted EBITDA margins will benefit from the integration of its 2014, 2015 and recently completed 2016 acquisitions by 100 basis points in 2017 and by an additional 100 basis points in 2018. 

7:04 am Dentsply reports EPS in-line, misses on revs; merger with Sirona Dental Systems (SIRO) on track and expected to close during Q1 of fiscal 2016 (XRAY) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.65 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.65; revenues fell 6.7% year/year to $671.1 mln vs the $687.35 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • On September 15, 2015, the Company and Sirona Dental Systems (SIRO) entered intoan Agreement and Plan of Merger and announced a merger of equals between the twocompanies.

    "We are pursuing the regulatory approvalsrequired to complete the merger. We expect to provide consolidated earningsguidance for 2016 after the closing of the merger which remains on track forcompletion within the first quarter of 2016."

7:03 am Ruth's Hospitality Group beats by $0.01, misses on revs; provides 2016 outlook and raises dividend (RUTH) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.26 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.25; revenues rose 5.9% year/year to $104.7 mln vs the $106.34 mln Capital IQ Consensus. Comparable restaurant sales increased 3.2%, which consisted of an average check increase of 3.5%, partially offset by a slight traffic decrease of 0.3%.
  • 2016 Outlook:
    • Cost of goods sold of 29.5% to 31.5% of restaurant sales
    • Restaurant operating expenses of 47.0% to 49.0% of restaurant sales
    • Marketing and advertising costs of 2.9% to 3.1% of total revenues
    • General and administrative expenses of $29.0 million to $31.0 million
    • Effective tax rate of 32% to 34% Capital expenditures of $28 million to $30 million
  • RUTH also announced a 16.7% increase in quarterly dividend to $0.07 per share

7:00 am Eli Lilly: UK court rules against Lilly in Alimta vitamin regimen patent lawsuit (LLY) : Co announces that the UK High Court decided the Alimta (pemetrexed disodium) vitamin regimen patent would not presently be infringed by Actavis marketing pemetrexed trometamol in the UK, France, Italy and Spain with instructions to dilute the product only with dextrose solution.The court based its decision of non-infringement on Actavis complying with its stated intentions as to how it will market its product and certain circumstances not changing over the remaining life of the patent. Lilly plans to seek permission to appeal decision to the UK Court of Appeal. In addition, Lilly has applied for permission to appeal the direct infringement aspect of the June 2015 Court of Appeal decision to the UK Supreme Court. That request is pending.

6:58 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -4.8%, Hang Seng -1.2%, Shanghai CLOSED (:SUMRX) :

Equity markets in the Asia-Pacific region struggled on Friday with Japan's Nikkei diving 4.8% after being closed on Thursday. The index closed near its session low, but the slide was not congruent with yen strength as the Japanese currency held its ground throughout the night. The dollar/yen pair traded near 112.50 at the start of the Tokyo session and it remains in that area at this time.

  • In economic data:
    • Japan's Foreign Bonds Buying JPY1.45 trillion (previous -JPY78.80 billion)
    • India's January CPI +5.69% year-over-year (expected 5.40%; previous 5.61%)
    • Australia's December Home Loans +2.6% month-over-month (expected 3.0%; previous 1.9%)
    • New Zealand's January FPI +2.0% month-over-month (expected 1.2%; last -0.8%)

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei lost 4.8%, extending this week's drop to 11.1%. All ten sectors finished in negative territory with communications (-6.9%), energy (-6.0%), financials (-5.7%), and materials (-5.6%) leading the retreat. Casio and Sharp both lost near 10.0% while Sumitomo Chemical, Nippon Sheet Glass, Alps Electric, Softbank, Mazda Motor, Fuji Heavy Industries, and Nomura Holdings registered losses between 9.0% and 10.0%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.2%, ending the abbreviated week lower by 5.0%. Financials paced the Friday retreat with Ping An Insurance, Bank of China, HSBC Holdings, and China Construction Bank falling between 2.7% and 4.2%. On the upside, gaming names outperformed with Galaxy Entertainment adding 3.1% and Sands China climbing 2.1%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite was closed for Lunar New Year, but will be open next week.
  • India's Sensex added 0.2%, trimming its weekly loss to 7.6%. Tata Motors gained 8.3% while Mahindra&Mahindra, AXIS Bank, and Hindustan Unilever added between 1.5% and 3.8%. Bharat Heavy Electricals fell 13.1% after reporting a loss for the quarter.

---FX---

  • USDJPY +0.2% to 112.59
  • USDCNY UNCH at 6.5739
  • USDINR -0.3% to 68.223

6:52 am Brookfield Asset Mgmt beats by $0.53, beats on revs; raises dividend by 8% (BAM) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) funds from operations of $0.97 per share, $0.53 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.44; revenues rose 18.0% year/year to $5.54 bln vs the $4.77 bln two analyst estimate.
  • The Board declared a quarterly dividend of US$0.13 per share (representing US$0.52 per annum), payable on March 31, 2016 to shareholders of record as at the close of business on February 29, 2016. This represents an increase of 8% over the current dividend rate.

6:52 am Oshkosh will continue to work on the JLTV project after US Court of Federal Claims denied Lockheed Martin's (LMT) request for preliminary injunction (OSK) :

will continue to perform work on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (:JLTV) production contract based on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims' decision to deny Lockheed Martin's request for a preliminary injunction while its protest is being heard.

  • "This decision is another indication that the U.S. Army conducted a thorough, methodical procurement process, and we are confident that the original JLTV contract award to Oshkosh will be upheld."
  • The $6.7 billion JLTV production contract calls for Oshkosh to deliver a total volume of nearly 17,000 vehicles, as well as kits and sustainment services over an eight-year period.

6:51 am ITT Industries beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides FY16 below consensus, raises dividend 5% (ITT) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.58 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.55; revenues rose 1.1% year/year to $667 mln vs the $635.02 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • On an adjusted basis, organic revenue increased 1% as strong growth in global automotive brake pads was partially offset by oil and gas market declines and global general industrial market weakness.
    • Adjusted operating income declined 4% as strong net operating productivity, restructuring benefits from proactive actions and lower corporate costs, including efficiencies and lower insurance and environmental costs, were more than offset by unfavorable impacts from pricing and foreign exchange, operational disruption costs due to the relocation of certain connectors operations and legal settlement-related impacts at Control Technologies
  • Co issues downside guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $2.42-2.68, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.67 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs of (4)-0% to ~$2.39-2.49 bln vs. $2.5 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
    • From a total revenue perspective, global friction share gains and positive impacts from the acquisitions of Wolverine Advanced Materials and Hartzell Aerospace are expected to more than offset significant declines in the global oil and gas and chemical and industrial pump markets, reflecting the benefits of a diversified portfolio. Total revenue also reflects the negative impacts of price and foreign exchange.
    • The company expects to offset the top-line headwinds by delivering adjusted segment operating margin expansion of 70 to 90 basis points due to impacts from increased productivity and benefits from restructuring and footprint optimization actions. 
  • Raises quarterly dividend 5% to $0.124/share.

6:50 am Market View: Mar. E-mini stock-index futures trade to new pre-mkt. highs in recent trade with ESh6 now +20.75, YMh6 now +152, & NQh6 now +46.50 (:TECHX) :  

6:44 am Bombardier awarded a contract for the Valley Line LRT in Edmonton, Alberta; co's scope is valued at ~$280 mln (BDRBF) :

Co, as part of TransEd Partners, has been awarded a contract for the Valley Line LRT in Edmonton, Alberta.

  • The TransEd team is comprised of Bombardier, Bechtel, EllisDon and Fengate.
  • Co is responsible for the design and supply of the vehicles, signalling, communications, power supply and distribution, overhead catenary system, and related depot equipment.
  • Co's scope is valued at~$280 mln.

6:35 am Buckeye Partners beats by $0.05, beats on revs; raises distribution slightly, sees distribution growth in 2016 (BPL) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.03 per share, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.98; revenues fell 32.6% year/year to $840.2 mln vs the $828.84 mln Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • Distributable cash flow (as defined below) from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $176.2 million compared to $160.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • Raises distrubution $0.01 QoQ to $1.1875/share.
  • "This strong financial position gives us the confidence to continue to grow the quarterly distribution at a rate of $0.0125 per LP Unit and we believe continuing this distribution policy through the remainder of 2016 will maximize long-term shareholder value."

6:33 am USA Tech reports Q2 results with 2016 outlook (USAT) :

  • Co reports Q2 EPS of $0.02 vs $0.01 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; revs 44.3% y/y to $18.5 mln vs $16.9 mln Captial IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • For full fiscal year 2016, management expects to add more than 75,000 net new connections, bringing total connections on the service to over 400,000 and revs $69-71 mln (vs $71.45 mln consensus). Additionally, we anticipate that QuickStart will remain a popular program for customers, and management expects it to drive positive free cash flows in fiscal year 2016. Co also expects to have year-over-year increases of adjusted EBITDA and non-GAAP net income.

6:31 am Essent Group beats by $0.01, beats on revs (ESNT) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.48 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.47; revenues rose 34.1% year/year to $97.5 mln vs the $96.27 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • The combined ratio for the fourth quarter was 37.8%, compared to 38.4% in the third quarter of 2015 and 42.3% in the fourth quarter of 2014. For the full year 2015, the combined ratio was 38.3%, compared to 46.4% for 2014.

6:31 am Thomson Reuters amends normal course issuer bid (TRI) : The amended NCIB increases the maximum number of common shares that may be repurchased by an additional 9.2 mln. Under the amended NCIB, up to 39.2 mln common shares may now be repurchased between May 28, 2015-May 27, 2016.

6:21 am ThyssenKrupp reports Q1 results; adj EBIT declines 26% YoY; reaffirms FY15/16 forecast (TYEKF) :

Reports Q1 Adjusted EBIT decreased by 26% to 234 million (prior year 317 million).

  • All capital goods businesses came in level with or higher than a year earlier.
  • The Group's 1st-quarter order intake and sales were 3% and 5% lower year-on-year at 9.8 billion and 9.5 billion respectively (prior year 10.1 billion and 10.0 billion respectively).
    • On a comparable basis, i.e. excluding exchange-rate and portfolio effects, orders and sales were likewise down by 3% and 5% respectively.

Outlook: For the full 2015/2016 fiscal year, thyssenkrupp remains within the forecast corridor. However target achievement is based in particular on the assumption of a significant recovery of the materials markets in the second fiscal half.

  • The current very difficult conditions on the materials markets are not expected to last.
  • Against this background the Executive Board continues to expect a clear increase in net income and value added, free cash flow before M&A level with the prior year, and adjusted EBIT between 1.6 -- 1.9 billion.
  • In addition to the recovery of the materials markets, a key role in achieving the targets for fiscal 2015/2016 will again be played by the efficiency measures under the "impact" program, which are expected to deliver EBIT effects of 850 million.

6:13 am Shanghai...Closed (FXI) :  

6:13 am S&P futures vs fair value: +13.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +34.60. :

6:13 am European Markets : FTSE...5613.01...+76.00...+1.40%.  DAX...8856.75...+103.90...+1.20%.

6:13 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...14952.6...-760.80...-4.80%.  Hang Seng...18319.58...-226.20...-1.20%.

6:06 am Corp Office Props misses by $0.01, misses on revs; guides Q1 FFO in-line; guides FY16 FFO in-line (OFC) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) funds from operations of $0.52 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.53; revenues fell 2.5% year/year to $143.3 mln vs the $161.49 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • At December 31, 2015, the Company's core portfolio of 157 operating office properties totaled 17.0 million square feet that were 92.7% occupied and 93.9% leased.
    • At December 31, 2015, COPT's same office portfolio represented 85% of the core portfolio's rentable square feet, consisted of 145 properties that were 90.9% occupied and 92.3% leased.
    • For the full year, same office property cash NOI increased 0.7% as compared to 2014.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees FFO of $0.46-0.48 vs. $0.48 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY16, sees FFO of $1.95-2.05 vs. $2.01 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

6:06 am Calpine beats by $0.07, beats on revs; reaffirms FY16 guidance (CPN) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) GAAP loss of $0.13 per share, $0.07 better than the Capital IQ GAAP Consensus of ($0.20); revenues fell 25.9% year/year to $1.44 bln vs the $1.21 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co continues to expect Adjusted EBITDA of $1.8 billion to $1.95 billion and Adjusted Free Cash Flow of $710 million to $860 million, or $2.00 to $2.40 per share. They further expect to invest $285 million in our growth projects throughout 2016, primarily the construction of York 2 Energy Center.
  • "We continue to move forward with our turbine modernization program. Through December 31, 2015, we have completed the upgrade of 13 Siemens and eight GE turbines totaling approximately 210 MW and have committed to upgrade three additional turbines. In addition, we have begun a program to update our dual-fueled turbines at certain of our East Region power plants."

6:06 am China Techfaith Wireless will change the ratio of its American Depositary Shares to ordinary shares; hopes to regain compliance with Nasdaq minimum bid price (CNTF) :

Co will change the ratio of its American Depositary Shares to ordinary shares, par value $0.01 per share from one ADS to fifteen ordinary shares to one ADS to seventy-five ordinary shares , effective on March 1, 2016.

  • For TechFaith's ADS holders, the Ratio Change will have the same effect as one-for-five reverse ADS split.
  • Co beleives it will assist the Company in regaining compliance with the minimum bid price continued listing requirement of the NASDAQ Stock Market.

6:02 am Basic Energy Services provides operating data for January; basic well servicing rig count remained unchanged at 421 (BAS) :

  • Basic's well servicing rig count remained unchanged at 421.
  • Well servicing rig hours for the month were 37,200 producing a rig utilization rate of 38%, compared to 36% and 56% in December 2015 and January 2015, respectively.
  • During the month, Basic's fluid service truck count increased by one to 986. Fluid service truck hours for the month were 180,600, compared to 177,000 and 208,100 in December 2015 and January 2015, respectively.
  • Drilling rig days for the month were 31 producing a rig utilization of 8%, compared to 12% and 74% in December 2015 and January 2015, respectively.
  • Well servicing activity increased approximately 200 basis points and trucking hours increased by two percent.

6:01 am Chipmos Technology reports January revs of $47.9 mln, -10.7% YoY (IMOS) : Co also confirmed that as noted in its press release on February 6, 2016, it resumed normal operations on February 6, 2016 after only a very minor impact at its manufacturing operations in the Tainan Science Park following the earthquake earlier that day.

6:01 am Corp Office Props announces Steve Budorick to succeed Roger Waesche as CEO; effective May 2016 (OFC) : Mr. Budorick has served as COPT's EVP & COO since September 2011. He oversees the co's operations, including its asset management, property management, leasing & government services."I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together during my tenure at COPT and remain excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the company," said Mr. Waesche. "As we look forward, Steve has the right combination of skills and experience to take the company to its next level of operational and financial excellence. He has been a great partner and I look forward to working with him to ensure a seamless transition over the next several months."

5:47 am Ford of Europe gives January European sales metrics (F) :

  • Volume and market share:
    • European 20 markets: Ford sold 96,900 million units, up 10% compared with January 2015; Ford market share at 7.9%, up 0.2 percentage points
    • European 50 markets: Ford sold 105,200 units, up 9% versus an industry rise of just 3%; Ford's Europe 50 market share up 0.4 ppts to 7.6%
  • Commercial vehicles: Up 7%; best January sales since 2008; market share at 12.7%
  • SUVs: EcoSport sales up 50%, Kuga sales up 19%. New Edge launching first half of 2016
  • Performance cars: Combined sales of Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Mustang sales almost tripled

5:33 am Hammerson signs joint venture with CPPIB (HMSNF) : Following the announcement on January 22 2016, co has completed of the acquisition of Grand Central shopping centre in Birmingham. Separately, Hammerson has entered into a 50:50 joint venture agreement with Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board ("CPPIB") for ownership of Grand Central, with Hammerson acting as asset manager on behalf of the joint venture. The joint venture pricing terms are equivalent to the terms for Hammerson's acquisition of the shopping centre. Completion of the joint venture is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. Following completion of the joint venture, Hammerson's total acquisition costs for 50% of Grand Central will be 175 million.

5:10 am Portland Gen Elec misses by $0.06; guides FY16 EPS in-line (POR) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.57 per share, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.63.
    • Fourth quarter 2015 earnings per share were impacted $0.05 due to lower than expected retail loads from warmer weather
  • Co issues for FY16, sees EPS of $2.20-2.35 vs. $2.34 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:56 am Commerzbank reports FY15 net profit increases to EUR1.06 bln (CRZBY) :

Reports Net profit in 2015 increased significantly to EUR 1,062 mln after EUR 266 m in previous year; Revenues before loan loss provisions improved to EUR 9.8 bln (2014: EUR 8.8 bln)

  • Loan loss provisions at low level of EUR 696 m (2014: EUR 1,144 mln)
  • NCA with further portfolio run-down to less than EUR 20 bln in CRE and Ship Finance -- NCA run-down since Q3 2012 totals EUR 97 bln
  • Equity ratio CET 1 with full application of Basel 3 increased significantly as of end of 2015 to 12.0% (end of 2014: 9.3%) -- core regulatory equity capital increased by approximately EUR 3.8 bln in the course of the year
  • Leverage ratio with full application of Basel 3 as of end of 2015 improved to 4.5% (end of 2014: 3.6%)
  • Outlook: Bank expects a slight increase in net profit in comparison with this year's result.

4:35 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Nokia (NOK) and Energia Communications are to launch the first commercial deployment of G.fast technology in Japan, letting the ICT service provider use its existing copper networks to quickly deliver up to 1Gbps ultra-broadband access to residential subscribers.
  • Mazda Motor (MZDAY) has commenced production of the all-new CX-9 three-row mid-size crossover SUV at Ujina Plant No. 1 in Hiroshima. The first units produced are bound for the U.S. and Canada.
  • Rightside (NAME) today announced its expanded operations in China by establishing a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise. The news comes on the heels of Rightside seeing almost 90,000 domains registered in the Chinese market, with .LIVE, .NEWS, and .PUB being the most popular.
  • Nasdaq (NDAQ) and the Republic of Estonia have announced that Estonia's e-Residency platform will be facilitating a blockchain-based e-voting service to allow shareholders of companies listed on Nasdaq's Tallinn Stock Exchange, Estonia's only regulated securities market, to vote in shareholder meetings.
  • Following a number of material operational issues with the Eirik Raude rig during the term of the contract to date, Premier (PMOIY) and Noble Energy (NBL) issued a termination notice to Ocean Rig, terminating the contract with immediate effect. As a result, Premier will no longer be drilling the Chatham exploration well during the current campaign. However, co is in discussions with the Falkland Islands Government regarding the possibility of drilling this prospect in the future.

4:30 am Renault reports reports FY15 results; operating profit rises 44% YoY (RNSDF) :

Reports FY15 operating profit amounted to 2,320 million (+44.2%), compared to 1,609 million in 2014; Group revenues came to 45,327 million, up 10.4% from 2014. At constant exchange rates, revenues grew by 10.6%.

OUTLOOK 2016

  • In 2016, the global market is expected to record growth of 1% to 2% compared with 2015. The European market is expected to increase by 2%, with a 2% increase also for France.
  • At the International level, the Brazilian and Russian markets are expected to decline further, by 6% and 12% respectively. On the contrary, China (+4% to +5%) and India (+8%) should pursue their momentum.

4:23 am Novartis unit Sandoz acquires Pfizer's (PFE) biosimilar infliximab in EEA (NVS) :

Sandoz, a Novartis (NVS) company and a global leader in biosimilars, announced that it has acquired from Pfizer (PFE) the rights for the development and commercialization of PF-06438179 in the 28 countries that form the European Economic Area.

  • Infliximab is a tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitor used to treat a range of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
  • Sandoz plans to complete the clinical study program and submit the biosimilar infliximab to the European Medicines Agency for regulatory approval and registration with the European Commission.

4:20 am Noah Holdings comments on recent volatility in the global capital markets (NOAH) :

Co states:

  • "...In volatile markets such as this one, we continue to be a safe haven for our clients. The current regulatory and market environment presents great opportunities for Noah to consolidate and solidify our leading position. In fact, we were able to gain substantial market share during previous periods of high volatility..."

3:38 am Rolls Royce reports FY15 results; profit down 12% YoY; cuts dividend in half; confirms 2016 outlook (RYCEY) :

Reports profit before tax 1,432 mln (FY 2014: 1,620m), down 12% at constant exchange rates; revenue fell 1% YoY to 13.4 bln

  • Dividend cut: Final payment to shareholders reduced by 50% to 7.1 pence per share (2014 final: 14.1 pence)
  • Trading outlook for 2016 unchanged

2:51 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Trimble (TRMB) announced the notice of hearing and proposed class action settlement, giving notice of a hearing to consider approval of a settlement and related matters in connection with a class action complaint that challenged the change of control provisions in Trimble's credit agreement with JPMorgan Chase (JPM). Under the proposed settlement, there would be no payments to individual stockholders, but Trimble and JPMorgan Chase Bank would be required to amend the change of control provisions in the credit agreement.
  • Boot Barn Holdings (BOOT) announces the opening of its newest store February 19th through the 21st, located in Beaumont, Texas

2:46 am Forum Energy Tech. misses by $0.06, reports revs in-line (FET) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.12 per share, excluding $1.69 per share of special items, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of ($0.06); revenues fell 55.3% year/year to $196.1 mln vs the $198.02 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
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