InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

5:41 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:SCLN (11.06 +18.16%),JUNO (54.02 +15.9%),LJPC (27.35 +13.96%),AFMD (14.5 +13.73%),ALDR (51.75 +13.39%),SGYP (9.28 +12.9%),HNT (71.57 +12.23%),GNCA (13.52 +10.64%),KITE (65.07 +7.64%),EVH (20.41 +7.59%)
  • Materials:SAND (3.2 +6.67%)
  • Industrials:TRR (10.33 +8.74%),PNR (67.94 +6.57%)
  • Consumer Discretionary:MPEL (20.63 +10.91%)
  • Financials:CB (121.47 +25.94%),HRTG (24.61 +10.26%),PHK (10.22 +7.35%)
  • Energy:DK (39.72 +9.39%),LPG (16.54 +7.82%),HFC (44.82 +7.12%)
This week's top 20 % losers
  • Healthcare:GTS (20.23 -22.07%)
  • Materials:CLF (3.86 -16.99%)
  • Industrials:BLDP (1.7 -22.37%)
  • Consumer Discretionary:APOL (12.93 -20.92%),TUES (10.99 -20.19%),CTCM (2.16 -19.4%)
  • Financials:OFG (9.64 -31.39%),MBI (5.75 -30.89%),FBP (4.74 -26.28%),AMBC (16.77 -25.07%)
  • Energy:PVA (3.96 -23.55%),EXXI (2.31 -21.69%),CWEI (56.76 -20.46%),SD (0.76 -20.13%),KEG (1.58 -19.39%),CRC (5.48 -18.81%),BTU (1.87 -18.34%),EPE (11.33 -17.24%),PES (5.46 -17.02%)
  • Consumer Staples:FRPT (16.75 -20.12%)

5:05 pm Auris Medical provides update on U.S. intellectual property portfolio: USPTO has issued two new patents (EARS) : Co announces two recent additions to its U.S. intellectual property portfolio.

  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") has issued an Issue Notification for U.S. Patent Application No. 14/448,999, titled "Methods for the Treatment of Tinnitus Induced by Cochlear Excitotoxicity," which will issue as U.S. Patent No. 9,072,662 on July 7, 2015. The patent's key claim is directed to the use of a pharmaceutical composition comprising Ketamine for reducing the perception of tinnitus; it is the third issued U.S. patent covering the use of AM-101 for the treatment of tinnitus. 
  • In addition, the USPTO issued U.S. Patent No. 9,066,865 relating to methods of treating inner or middle ear diseases with intratympanic injections of poloxamer-based compositions. The claims are directed to the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in poloxamer 407 compositions under certain specifications. The patent is based on a continuation filing related to U.S. patent application 11/992,632, with priority date of September 28, 2005, which discloses the use of various biocompatible polymers for the controlled release of various active substances for the treatment of diseases of the inner or middle ear.

5:02 pm Healthcare Realty sells two single-tenant net lease properties totaling 176,000 square feet in Indianapolis, Indiana for $97 mln (HR) :  

5:01 pm Intl Game Tech. PLC signs agreement with Finnish lottery operator Veikkaus Oy (IGT) : The co announced that it has signed an agreement with Finnish lottery operator Veikkaus Oy to deliver an enhanced Player Services e-commerce solution, while also extending the support and service it provides to Veikkaus' current Internet and mobile platform until 2018.

5:00 pm Microsoft and Kyocera (KYO) expand prior patent licensing arrangement (MSFT) : The new agreement enables the companies to use a broader range of each other's technologies in their respective products through a patent cross-license. In addition to strengthening the partnership between the two companies, it also resolves a patent infringement lawsuit brought earlier this year in U.S. District Court. The remaining details of the agreement are confidential.

4:59 pm Teledyne Tech increases ownership stake in Ocean Aero to ~37%; terms not disclosed (TDY) : Co announces that it has invested additional capital and increased its ownership interest in Ocean Aero, Inc. to approximately 37 percent. Based in San Diego, California, Ocean Aero is designing unmanned surface vehicles that will also have the ability to descend subsea. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

4:32 pm McEwen Mining confirms that it has fallen below the NYSE's continued listing requirement related to the price of its common stock (MUX) : The Company was advised by the NYSE on July 1, 2015 that the average price of our common stock for the previous 30 trading days was below $1.00 per share Under the NYSE's rules, McEwen Mining has a period of six months from July 1, 2015, the date of the Company's acknowledgement, to bring its share price and 30 day average closing share price back above $1.00. During this period, McEwen Mining's common stock will continue to trade on the NYSE, subject to all other continued listing requirements.

  • "We do not believe that McEwen Mining's current share price is reflective of the true value of the Company's assets. Our share price has been under pressure as a result of the decline in gold and silver prices and a general reduction in financing options that have affected many companies in the mining space."

4:31 pm N Amer Palladium (PALDF) announces that milling operations at its Lac des Iles mine site were successfully restarted on June 26, 2015 (:PAL) : Underground operations continued during the suspension of milling operations resulting in a large stockpile of approximately 250,000 tonnes of crushed ore on surface which is available for processing. Initial mill startup has been at approximately 8,400 tonnes per day ("tpd") which will be increased to approximately 13,000 tpd for a period in July to work through the stockpile before reverting back to 8,400 tpd as per the 2015 plan.

4:30 pm IDI provides business update: China advertising services business discontinued (IDI) : Co provided a business update in conjunction with the Company's transition into the high-growth data fusion market.

  • IDI has made the strategic decision to focus all of its operations and resources to further accelerate its growth within the data fusion market. As a result, the Company has discontinued its China advertising services business.
  • Following the acquisition of Interactive Data, it has been the central focus of IDI to leverage the 50+ years of combined experience of its management team and its cutting-edge, advanced data analysis solutions to be a primary provider of data fusion for the Risk Management and Marketing industries, which represent a $13.6 billion market. In the pursuit of becoming a leader in this market, the Company has made the decision to consolidate its operations and focus all future investment on its information solutions.
  • Additionally, in connection with the Company's focus on its U.S. operations, the Company has appointed Aaron Solomon as Interim Chief Financial Officer of US Data Fusion Operations and Jacky Wang, the Company's former Chief Financial Officer, was appointed as Chief Accounting Officer.

4:30 pm Pfizer announces FDA acceptance for review of new drug application for a once-daily formulation of XELJANZ (tofacitinib citrate) modified release tablets (PFE) : Co announces that the FDA accepted for review Pfizer's new drug application (:NDA) for XELJANZ (tofacitinib citrate) 11 mg once daily modified release tablets for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (:RA) in patients who have had an inadequate response or intolerance to methotrexate (MTX). The FDA has provided an anticipated Prescription Drug User Fee Act (:PDUFA) action date in February 2016 for the NDA.

4:23 pm Sandstorm Gold provides asset update: Luna Gold announces closing of restructuring and financing (SAND) : Co provided an update at various projects underlying the Company's streams and royalties:

  • Luna Gold has closed the previously announced $30 million financing with Pacific Road Resources Funds, as part of which Luna's gold steam and debt facility with Sandstorm were restructured.
  • Metanor Resources has released positive drill results from its exploration activities at the Bachelor Lake Mine in Quebec, Canada. A diamond drilling program has been underway in the west sector of Bachelor Lake between underground levels 6 and 8. The assay results have included 22.85 grams per tonne ("g/t") Au over 4.04 metres, 12.8 g/t Au over 10.8 metres as well as 6.82 g/t Au over 8.7 metres. In addition, Metanor recently intersected mineralization in an unknown sector on level 12. The assay results returned 18 g/t Au over 1.5 metres.
  • Canadian Zinc recently provided assay results from five diamond drill holes from the ongoing underground exploration program at the Prairie Creek Mine in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Highlights included:
    • Drill hole PCU-15-62 which intercepted a previously unknown quartz vein fault structure 75 metres into the footwall of the Main Quartz Vein (:MQV) structure, and graded 8.3% Pb, 19.8% Zn and 150 g/t Ag across an estimated true width of 5.4 metres
    • PCU-15-65, drilled on the next section 50 metres north, 95 metres to the west of the MQV structure which graded 4.9% Pb, 22.7% Zn and 164 g/t Ag across 1.2 metres of estimated true width, also intercepted the second quartz vein structure and graded 4.6% Pb, 13.8% Zn, 92 g/t Ag across 2.9 metres of estimated true width;

4:17 pm Revance Therapeutics announces that Jacob Waugh, M.D. will relinquish his role as Chief Scientific Officer, effective July 2, 2015, and serve as an advisor to the CEO and the Science & Technology Committee (RVNC) : Revance believes these changes will best utilize Dr. Waugh's talents and enhance his future contributions to Revance's progress as the company focuses its research, development, and technology leadership teams on late-stage clinical trials, manufacturing, and eventual commercialization of its lead investigational drug candidates.

4:16 pm Global Power Equipment enters into a new employment agreement with Terence Cryan pursuant to which he will continue to serve as President and CEO (GLPW) : Co announced that it has entered into a new employment agreement with Terence Cryan pursuant to which he will continue to serve as the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, a position he first assumed on an interim basis on March 20 of this year. The new employment agreement is for a term running through June 1, 2017 and contemplates successive one year renewals thereafter.

4:16 pm Lucas Energy announces 1-for-25 reverse stock split (LEI) : Co announces that in order to meet the continued listing standards of the NYSE MKT, the Board of Directors has approved the filing of an amendment to the Company's Articles of Incorporation to effect a 1-for-25 reverse stock split of all outstanding common stock shares of the Company. Co anticipates that the 1-for-25 reverse stock split will be effective as of close of business on July 14, 2015 and the Company's common stock will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on July 15, 2015.

4:15 pm Santander Consumer USA appoints Jason A. Kulas as CEO; Thomas Dundon to step down as Chairman and CEO (SC) : Kulas succeeds Thomas G. Dundon, the company's former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, in line with SCUSA's Board-approved succession plan. Mr. Dundon will continue to serve as a member of the SCUSA Board of Directors and as a senior adviser to the company. Dundon has decided to pursue new opportunities. The Board of SCUSA has appointed Lead Outside Director Stephen Ferriss as interim Chairman, effective until the July 15 SCUSA annual meeting. Jason Grubb, Chief Operating Officer, Originations of SCUSA, will succeed Mr. Kulas as President. Mr. Grubb joined SCUSA in 2004 as Senior Vice President of Servicing. He was Chief Operating Officer from January 2007 to October 2014 and became Chief Operating Officer, Originations in October 2014. Prior to joining SCUSA, Mr. Grubb held positions at WFS Financial, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp, and Commercial Financial Services.

  • Jennifer Popp has been appointed interim Chief Financial Officer of SCUSA while a search is underway for a permanent replacement. Ms. Popp has served in the finance industry since 2001, and joined SCUSA in July 2012. She most recently served as Chief Accounting Officer and Deputy Chief Financial Officer. 
  • In connection with Mr. Dundon's departure as SCUSA's Chief Executive Officer, Santander Holdings USA will, subject to the applicable regulatory approvals, exercise a call option to acquire all of the approximately 9.68% of SCUSA common stock held by DDFS LLC, an entity solely owned by Mr. Dundon.

4:12 pm Closing Market Summary: Stocks End Flat Ahead of Greek Referendum (:WRAPX) : The major averages ended an abbreviated trading week on a cautious note, which wasn't all that surprising since the weekend will feature a Sunday referendum in Greece. The S&P 500 settled just below its flat line, ending the week lower by 1.2%, while small cap stocks underperformed with the Russell 2000 losing 0.7% to end the week lower by 2.5%.

Equity indices held modest gains at the start after the Nonfarm Payrolls report for June missed estimates (223,000; Briefing.com consensus 230,000) with the wage component showing no monthly growth. The lack of wage growth was viewed as an argument in favor of the Federal Reserve delaying its first rate hike, evidenced by a surge in the Treasury market. The 10-yr note backed away from its high ahead of the close, but still ended firmly in the green with the benchmark yield slipping four basis points to 2.38%.

Despite opening on a higher note, stocks retreated from their early levels, turning negative during late morning action. Interestingly, the benchmark index slipped below its flat line after the International Monetary Fund admitted that Greece will need approximately EUR50 billion in funds over the next three years and that a 20-year grace period should take place before any repayment begins. The comments from the IMF are likely to galvanize the 'no' camp ahead of Sunday's referendum in Greece.

Six sectors ended the day in negative territory while energy (+0.4%), technology (+0.2%), telecom services (+0.3%), and utilities (+1.4%) posted gains. The utilities sector held the lead throughout the session thanks to the morning drop in Treasury yields. The rate-sensitive sector was the only group that ended the week in the green, adding 1.1% since last Friday.

For its part, the energy sector was able to end in the green even as crude oil surrendered its intraday gain, ending the pit session unchanged at $56.93/bbl. For the week, WTI crude surrendered 4.5% while the energy sector lost 1.9%.

Elsewhere among cyclical groups, the technology sector (+0.2%) struggled early on, but the group rallied into the close, lifting the benchmark index off its session low. Chipmakers led the afternoon rebound with the PHLX Semiconductor Index adding 0.5%.

There wasn't much in the way of corporate news today, but Health Net (HNT 71.57, +6.51) jumped 10.0% after agreeing to be acquired by Centene (CNC 74.44, -6.46) for roughly $78.57/share in cash and stock, which represents a 21.0% premium to Wednesday's closing price. Meanwhile, the broader health care sector (-0.3%) ended among the laggards while biotech names finished little changed with iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 370.17, +0.27) adding 0.1%.

Today's trading volume was well below average with roughly 700 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor.

Economic data included Nonfarm Payrolls, Initial Claims, and Factory Orders:

  • Nonfarm payrolls added 223,000 jobs in June after adding a downwardly revised 254,000 (from 280,000) in May while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 230,000 
    • Government payrolls were flat, and the entire increase in payrolls came from the private sector as private payrolls increased by 223,000 while the consensus expected an increase of 225,000 
    • Although the payroll data was not far from expectations, the details of the report highlight extreme weaknesses as average workweek and hourly earnings were both flat in June 
      • Total aggregate earnings increased a minuscule 0.1% in June, down from a 0.5% gain in May 
      • The unemployment rate fell to 5.3% in June from 5.5% while the consensus expected a decline to 5.4%; however, the entire decrease was due to a decline in labor force participation as opposed to employment growth 
  • The initial claims level increased to 281,000 for the week ending June 27 from an unrevised 271,000 while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase to 271,000 
    • Despite the big increase, the four-week moving average increased by only 1,000 to 275,000, leaving the overall trend near a 15-year low 
  • Factory orders declined 1.0% in May following a downwardly revised -0.7% (from -0.4%) decline in April while the Briefing.com consensus expected a decline of 0.5% 
    • Durable goods orders declined 2.2% in May, which was revised down from a 1.8% decline in the advance report 
      • The entire decline resulted from continued weakness in the transportation sector with those orders declining 6.5% in May after falling 4.0% in April 
Monday's data will be limited to the 10:00 ET release of the ISM Services Index for June.
  • Nasdaq Composite +5.8% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +3.6% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +0.8% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.5% YTD 
Week in Review: All Eyes on Greek Referendum

On Monday, global markets were shaken after Greek leaders said 'no' to the Eurogroup's cash-for-reform proposal and investors around the world in turn said 'no' to buying stocks. Just about every major market closed down at least 2.0%. The hardest-hit markets were the European bourses, which included Germany's DAX Index (-3.6%) and Spain's IBEX (-4.6%). Japan's Nikkei dropped 2.9% while China's Shanghai Composite fell 3.3% despite the People's Bank of China cutting its benchmark lending and deposit rates by 25 basis points each to 4.85% and 2.00%, respectively. In comparison, the U.S. stock market fared reasonably well, yet that doesn't mean it did well. Hit with broad-based selling pressure, the S&P 500 declined 2.1% as buyers basically wanted no part of the day's action outside a few areas of specific interest. One area was the utilities sector (-0.6%), which traded with a modest gain for most of the day before ultimately feeling the gravitational pull of the weak market. Another area was the Treasury market, which attracted safe-haven flows. The 10-yr note surged more than a point and saw its yield drop 15 basis points to 2.33%.

On Tuesday, the stock market ended the final June session on a higher note, but that did not stop the S&P 500 (+0.3%) from registering a 2.1% loss for the month. Equity indices spent the first three hours of the day in a steady retreat from their opening highs with the S&P 500 making a momentary appearance in the red after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany cannot consider new proposals from Greece until after Sunday's referendum. However, the benchmark index climbed to a fresh high during afternoon action with the move taking place amid reports Greece could cancel its Sunday referendum if negotiations are resumed and an agreement could be reached on required prior actions. To that point, Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem acknowledged the receipt of a new proposal from the Greek government with the offer set to be reviewed at tomorrow's Eurogroup meeting. The speculation about a potential cancellation of the referendum had little impact on the euro, which spent the afternoon near its session low reached after Ms. Merkel's comments. The single currency slid 0.6% against the dollar to 1.1145.

The major averages spent the Wednesday session in a slow retreat from their opening highs, but they were able to keep more than half of their opening gains. The S&P 500 climbed 0.7% while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) underperformed. Equities surged out of the gate amid reports from Europe indicating Greece is now ready to accept all conditions in order to secure a bailout. The report sparked a rush to risk assets, but the Greek offer was met with a cool reception from Eurozone leaders. Most notably, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated that talks will not resume until after Sunday's referendum, adding that "a compromise at any price" is not worthwhile. Similarly, Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said he does not see the need for a resumption of talks ahead of Sunday's referendum. Despite charging at the start, stocks began inching away from their highs about 30 minutes into the session after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reiterated his call for a 'no' vote during Sunday's referendum. A small pullback ensued as Mr. Tsipras' comments cast doubt on earlier speculation that the referendum could be cancelled altogether.

4:12 pm Kraft Heinz announces completion of merger between Kraft and H.J. Heinz, will begin trading as KHC on Monday (KRFT) : The transaction creates the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world with an unparalleled portfolio of iconic brands.

4:03 pm mad catz receives audit opinion with 'going concern' paragraph; Announces new bank financing facilities (MCZ) : Co announced that its audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on June 25, 2015, contained a going concern paragraph in the audit opinion from its independent registered public accounting firm. The going concern paragraph is due to uncertainties about it's ability to comply with certain debt covenants.

  • MCZ announced that it entered into new financing facilities with NewStar Business Credit LLC and Faunus Group International, Inc. to provide combined financing on eligible accounts receivable and inventories up to $30.0 million, and increasing to $45.0 million from September 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. 
  • On June 30, 2015, Mad Catz, entered into a Loan and Security Agreement with NSBC to provide for a $20.0 million revolving line of credit (which increases to $35.0 million from September 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015) subject to the availability of eligible accounts receivable and inventories, which changes throughout the year. The Loan Agreement expires on June 29, 2018. 
  • In addition, on June 30, 2015, Mad Catz Europe entered into a Master Facilities Agreement with FGI to provide for a $10.0 million secured demand credit facility.  
  • At the closing of the Financing Facilities, the Company will use the proceeds to pay in full the obligations outstanding under the credit facility with Wells Fargo Capital Finance, and the agreement with Wells Fargo will be terminated.

4:02 pm Euroseas announces right offering and will commence a 1-for-10 reverse stock split effective date of July 31, 2015 (ESEA) :

  • Co announces that it will hold a registered offering of subscription rights to the holders of its common shares as of a record date yet to be determined, to purchase common shares of the Company. The number of rights that will be issued, the exercise price of such rights, and the amount to be raised are yet to be determined, but the Company intends to use the proceeds to renew and expand its fleet by taking delivery of its drybulk vessels currently under construction and for general corporate purposes.
  • Co also announces that its Board of Directors has determined that the Company will commence a 1-for-10 reverse stock split, with an effective date of July 31, 2015. The reverse stock split is undertaken with the objective of meeting the minimum $1.00 per share requirement for listing the Company's common stock on the Nasdaq Capital Market.

4:02 pm Patterson-UTI reports that for June, it had an average of 112 drilling rigs operating in the United States and one rig in Canada (PTEN) : For the three months ended June 30, 2015, the Company had an average of 122 drilling rigs operating in the United States and two rigs in Canada.

4:01 pm RigNet announces Marty Jimmerson has informed the Company of his intention to step down as CFO by the end of the year (RNET) : Co has hired Heidrick & Struggles to lead the CFO search, which will consider both external and internal candidates.

4:01 pm Horsehead Holding provides update on operations at its Mooresboro, North Carolina zinc production facility (ZINC) : The Company reported that the facility produced approximately 3,700 tons of zinc metal in June of 2015, compared to 4,100 tons and 2,800 tons in May and April of 2015, respectively. June's production was slowed initially while implementing certain improvements but accelerated through the latter half of the month with 2,600 of the 3,700 tons being produced since the 15th of June.

  • Although production improved, it was primarily paced by the capacity of our process for removing impurities from the system, the so-called bleed treatment system, and by intermittent equipment reliability issues. Production for the second quarter of 2015 was approximately 10,600 tons compared to 9,700 tons for the first quarter of 2015.

3:50 pm Treasury Market Summary (BONDX) : Yields Drop on Downbeat Data

  • Treasuries ripped higher today in a curve-steepening trade after June's Employment Situation Report showed that wage growth remained subdued and the fantastic nonfarm payroll number from May was revised down by 26K. Adding fuel to the bullish fire was a Factory Orders report for May that showed weakness as well as a downward revision to the April reading. The Greek referendum will take place over the weekend on Sunday, July 5th
  • Yield Check:
    • 2-yr: -6 bps to 0.63%
    • 5-yr: -7 bps to 1.64%
    • 10-yr: -4 bps to 2.38%
    • 30-yr: -1 bps to 3.19%
  • News:
    • The U.S. economy added 223K jobs in June after adding adding a downwardly revised 254K(from 280K) in May. The Briefing.com consensus expected nonfarm payrolls to increase by 230K jobs
      • Government payrolls were unchanged, so the entire increase in payrolls came from the private sector
    • Both the average workweek and hourly earnings were flat in June. Total aggregate earnings increased a minuscule 0.2% in June, down from a 0.5% gain in May
      • May's 0.3% rise in Hourly Earnings was revised down to 0.2%
    • Initial Jobless Claims increased to 281,000 for the week ending June 27 from an unrevised 271,000 for the week ending June 20. The Briefing.com consensus expected claims to increase to 271,000
      • Continuing Jobless Claims rose to 2.264 mln for the week ending June 20 from an upwardly revised 2.249 mln (from 2.247 mln) for the week ending June 13. The consensus expected continuing claims to decrease to 2.221 mln
    • Factory Orders declined 1.0% in May, worse than the Briefing.com consensus of -0.5% and the reading from April of -0.7% (revised down from -0.4%)
      • Durable Goods Orders declined 2.2% in May. That was revised down from a 1.8% decline in the advance report
      • Nondurable Goods Orders rose 0.2% in May after increasing 0.3% in April. Most of that gain was the result of higher petroleum prices, which helped push up total orders at petroleum refineries by 2.2%
  • Commodities:
    • WTI Crude: -0.68% to $56.57/bbl.
    • Gold: -0.50% to $1,163.50/troy oz.
    • Copper: +0.13% to $2.634/lb.
  • Currencies:
    • EUR/USD: +0.43% to $1.1091
    • USD/JPY: -0.13% to 123.08
  • Week Ahead:
    • Monday: June ISM Services (10:00 ET)
    • Tuesday: May Trade Balance (08:30 ET); May JOLTS -- Job Openings (10:00 ET); 3-year note auction, amount TBA (results at 13:00 ET); May Consumer Credit (15:00 ET)
    • Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Index for the week ending 7/4 (07:00 ET); Crude Inventories for the week ending 7/4 (10:30 ET); 10-year note auction, amount TBA (reopening) (results at 13:00 ET); FOMC Minutes for the June 17th meeting (14:00 ET); San Francisco Fed President John Williams (FOMC voter) speaks on the economic outlook (14:00 ET)
    • Thursday: Minneapolis Fed President Kocherlakota (non-FOMC voter) participates in panel discussion "Central Banks and Fiscal Authorities" (05:45 ET); Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending 7/4 and Continuing Jobless Claims for the week ending 6/27 (08:30 ET); Fed Governor Brainard (FOMC voter) speaks on regulatory reform and implementation (10:00 ET); Natural Gas Inventories for the week ending 7/4 (10:30 ET); Kansas City Fed President George (non-FOMC voter) (12:30 ET); 30-year bond auction, amount TBA (reopening) (results at 13:00 ET)
    • Friday: May Wholesale Inventories (10:00 ET); Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren (non-FOMC voter) (11:35 ET); Fed Chair Janet Yellen (FOMC voter) (12:00 ET)

3:47 pm FactSet CEO Hadley steps down and will be succeeded by Philip Snow (FDS) : FactSet's Board of Directors appointed Philip Snow as the Company's new Chief Executive Officer effective July 1, 2015. Mr. Snow was elected to FactSet's Board of Directors effective March 16, 2015. Prior to his appointment as FactSet's new Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Snow had served as President of FactSet since July 1, 2014,

3:31 pm Earnings Preview for the week of July 6 - 10 (:SUMRX) : Of the companies reporting earnings for the week of July 6 - 10 some of the bigger names include:

  • Monday:
    • After Hours - SHLM
  • Tuesday:
    • Pre Market - MSM
    • After Hours - TCS
  • Wednesday:
    • After Hours - AA, HGR, WDFC
  • Thursday:
    • Pre Market - WBA, PEP, SYRG
    • After Hours - PSMT, CUDA

3:28 pm Vantage Drilling challenged reports regarding Petrobras; Vantage is fully performing under the contract (VTG) :

  • Co has challenged reports alleging that the arrest of a former Petrobras International Director was tied in some way to the Company's contract with Petrobras for the Titanium Explorer. "Several hundred contracts were signed by this former Director, which in Vantage's case, was after the parent board of Petrobras had approved the contract." 
  • Vantage is fully performing under the contract and found no evidence that would substantiate any allegation of improper activity by Vantage in connection with the award of the contract.  

3:17 pm Currency Market Summary (:FOREX) : Dollar Drops on Data

  • The U.S. Dollar Index fell 0.18% to 96.14 today after the June Employment Situation Report showed that U.S. wages were flat m/m, giving the Fed more latitude to hold steady on rates until 2016
  • EUR/USD: +0.37% to $1.1082
    • The ECB announced that it would expand the scope of its asset purchase program to include corporate bonds while keeping the total size of the program the same
    • Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in an interview on Bloomberg TV that he would resign if the "Yes" voters prevail on Sunday. Such an outcome would give the Greek government a mandate to accede to its official creditors' demands
  • GBP/USD: -0.03% to $1.5602
    • The United Kingdom's Construction PMI jumped to a better-than-expected 58.1 in June versus 55.9 in May
    • The Nationwide Harmonized Price Index rose 3.3% y/y in June, less than expected and less than the 4.6% gain in May
  • USD/JPY: -0.12% to 123.09
  • USD/CHF: -0.50% to 0.9440
  • USD/CAD: -0.25% to 1.2561
    • Canada's RBC Manufacturing PMI came out at 51.3 for June, up from 49.8 in May
  • AUD/USD: -0.21% to $0.7623
    • Australia's trade deficit narrowed to -2.751 bln in May from -4.136 bln in April
  • NZD/USD: +0.02% to $0.6718
    • The Kiwi traded a fresh 3-year low against the dollar, falling as low as $0.6676

3:06 pm Stock indices extend push off afternoon lows -- Dow -37, S&P -2.3, Nasdaq Comp -10 (:TECHX) : Relative sector strength vs. the S&P on this move has been noted in: Bank BKE, Reg Bank KRE, Finance XLF, Software IGV, Telecom IYZ, Industrial XLI.

2:49 pm ION Geophysical announces a ruling on its appeal in WesternGeco patent infringement litigation (IO) : Co announced that a panel of justices on the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed in part and affirmed in part the patent infringement judgment against ION in favor of WesternGeco.

  • The U.S. Court of Appeals reversed in part the judgment, holding the district court erred by including lost profits in the final judgment. Lost profits were $93.4 million and prejudgment interest was approximately $10.9 million of the $123.8 million final judgment. Pre-judgment interest on the lost profits portion of the final judgment will be treated in the same way as the lost profits. Post-judgment interest will likewise be treated in the same fashion
  • Co stated: "We are confident that when the mandate of the Federal Circuit issues, ION will have a substantial reduction of the May 2014 judgment, leaving an estimated judgment of only $20-24 million."

1:46 pm Vertex Pharma confirms FDA approval of its ORKAMBI to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis in people ages 12 and older (shares remain halted) (VRTX) : The co confirms that the FDA approved ORKAMBI (lumacaftor/ivacaftor), the first medicine to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis in people ages 12 and older with two copies of the F508del mutation. It is only indicated for these patients, who can be identified with a genetic test.

  • The co notes that ORKAMBI will be available for shipment to specialty pharmacies in the United States within days. 
  • Vertex will host an investor conference call at 2:15 p.m. ET. today to provide more information on the approval of ORKAMBI. 

1:39 pm Notable movers of interest (:SCANX) : The following are some of today's most notable movers of interest, categorized by market capitalization (large cap over $10 billion and mid cap between $2-10 billion) and ranked by % change (all stocks over 100K average daily volume). 

Large Cap Gainers

  • BP (41.38 +5.37%): Announced it would settle federal, state and local Deepwater Horizon claims for up to $18.7 bln with payments to be spread over 18 years.
  • IBKR (44.36 +3.78%): Outperforming on the heels of positive comments from a tier 1 firm.
  • VRTX (130.9 +3.73%): Strong in anticipation of the FDA's review of its Orkambi treatment for cystic fibrosis. Shares were halted midday, upon which the FDA issued an approval. Shares have yet to resume.
Large Cap Losers
  • WU (19.15 -6.08%): Downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI; tgt to $20 from $23.
  • CTSH (59.8 -3.73%): Announced that its existing seven year master services agreement with Health Net (HNT) will not be implemented as there will likely be overlaps if HNT merges with Centene (CNC); reaffirmed its FY15 guidance.
  • DD (60.07 -2.21%): Price tgt lowered at RBC Capital Mkts & UBS following completion of Chemours (CC) spinoff.
Mid Cap Gainers
  • HNT (70.91 +8.99%): To be acquired by Centene (CNC) for ~$78.57/share in cash and stock in a $6.8 bln deal.
  • FIT (42.81 +1.01%): Continued strength following its June IPO; favorable mention on last night's Mad Money segment.
  • IOC (59.35 +2.82%): Announced that it and the PRL 15 joint venture participants have unanimously endorsed recommendations from Total SA for key project infrastructure sites for development of the Elk-Antelope gas field in Papua New Guinea. Selection of the final development concept, including the size and capacity of facilities, is expected in early 2016.
Mid Cap Losers
  • YELP (37.29 -12.13%): Reports out the company has decided against pursuing a sale.
  • GNRC (37.17 -6.56%): Downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill; tgt $33.
  • QUNR (40.55 -3.5%): Confirmed the final judgment in its dispute with eLong (LONG); weakness in the Shanghai index weighing in addition.

1:36 pm Metals closing prices (:COMDX) :

  • August gold ended today's session $5.80 lower at $1163.40/oz
  • September silver closed $0.01 lower at $15.56/oz
  • September copper closed flat at $2.63/lb

1:31 pm Marketaxess reports June total monthly trading volume of $86.7 bln; $53.8 bln in US high grade, $27.5 bln in credit and $5.3 bln in liquid products (MKTX) :  

12:57 pm Midday Market Summary: Stocks Near Lows (:WRAPX) : The major averages hover near their lows at midday with the Dow (-0.3%) and S&P 500 (-0.3%) trading a little ahead of the Nasdaq Composite (-0.4%).

Equity indices began the day on an upbeat note after the Nonfarm Payrolls report for June missed estimates (223,000; Briefing.com consensus 230,000) with the wage component showing no monthly growth. The lack of wage growth was viewed as an argument in favor of the Federal Reserve delaying its first rate hike, evidenced by a surge in the Treasury market. The 10-yr note remains near its best level of the day with the benchmark yield down six basis points at 2.37%.

Meanwhile, stocks began the day with gains, but the first half has featured a slow and steady retreat from opening highs. The benchmark index slipped below its flat line after the International Monetary Fund admitted that Greece will need approximately EUR50 billion in funds over the next three years and that a 20-year grace period should take place before any repayment begins. The comments from the IMF are likely to galvanize the 'no' camp ahead of Sunday's referendum in Greece.

Only three sectors remain in positive territory with the rate-sensitive utilities sector (+1.1%) holding the lead thanks to today's decline in Treasury yields. Similarly, the telecom services sector (+0.4%) also trades in the green while the heavily-weighted health care space (-0.4%) has struggled to keep pace with the market. Interestingly, biotechnology was among the early laggards, but iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 369.28, -0.62) has narrowed its decline to 0.2%.

Over on the cyclical side, the technology sector (-0.2%) trades near the broader market while consumer discretionary (-0.4%) and financials (-0.6%) are keeping the market under pressure. On the upside, the energy sector trades higher by 0.5% thanks to crude oil, which has climbed 0.9% to $57.48/bbl after tumbling 4.2% yesterday.

Today has been very quiet on the corporate front, but it is worth noting that Health Net (HNT 72.08, +7.02) has spiked 10.8% after agreeing to be acquired by Centene (CNC 76.08, -4.82) for roughly $78.57/share in cash and stock, representing a 21.0% premium to yesterday's closing price.

Economic data included Nonfarm Payrolls, Initial Claims, and Factory Orders:

  • Nonfarm payrolls added 223,000 jobs in June after adding a downwardly revised 254,000 (from 280,000) in May while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 230,000 
    • Government payrolls were flat, and the entire increase in payrolls came from the private sector as private payrolls increased by 223,000 while the consensus expected an increase of 225,000 
    • Although the payroll data was not far from expectations, the details of the report highlight extreme weaknesses as average workweek and hourly earnings were both flat in June 
      • Total aggregate earnings increased a minuscule 0.1% in June, down from a 0.5% gain in May 
      • The unemployment rate fell to 5.3% in June from 5.5% while the consensus expected a decline to 5.4%; however, the entire decrease was due to a decline in labor force participation as opposed to employment growth 
  • The initial claims level increased to 281,000 for the week ending June 27 from an unrevised 271,000 while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase to 271,000 
    • Despite the big increase, the four-week moving average increased by only 1,000 to 275,000, leaving the overall trend near a 15-year low 
  • Factory orders declined 1.0% in May following a downwardly revised -0.7% (from -0.4%) decline in April while the Briefing.com consensus expected a decline of 0.5% 
    • Durable goods orders declined 2.2% in May, which was revised down from a 1.8% decline in the advance report 
      • The entire decline resulted from continued weakness in the transportation sector with those orders declining 6.5% in May after falling 4.0% in April

12:30 pm Weight Watchers (-10%) at new all time low (WTW) : Stock down almost 50% since co reported Q1 results and announced FY15 results will be restated in early May, down ~83% YTD.

12:27 pm Alamos Gold and AuRico Gold (AUQ) complete merger; Combined co to begin trading on the NYSE on July 6 under ticker AGI (AGI) :  

12:25 pm Stock indices extend retreat off early highs into midday -- Dow -59 has pulled back roughly 125 points, S&P -5.6, Nasdaq Comp -20 (:TECHX) :  

12:23 pm Hertz Global confirms ending its partnership with Ryanair (RYAAY) (HTZ) : The co said that despite lengthy discussions regarding a contractual dispute it regrets that it had to end its car hire agreement with Ryanair (RYAAY). Hertz commented that existing bookings will be fully honored and that future bookings can be made directly at the Hertz, Thrifty and Firefly websites.

12:02 pm Medtronic announces twelve-month results of the VeClose pivotal study; 12 month closure rates for the VenaSeal closure system comparable to radiofrequency ablation (MDT) : The co announced the twelve-month results of the VeClose pivotal study, which demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of the VenaSeal closure system for the treatment of incompetent greater saphenous veins with a 96.8 percent closure rate. The 12 month results of the VeClose study demonstrated outcomes for the VenaSealclosure system comparable with the closure rates associated with theClosureFast catheter and demonstrated non-inferiority of the VenaSealclosure system:

  • At three months, the complete closure of the great saphenous veins achieved in more than 98.9 percent of patients treated with the VenaSeal closure system compared to 95.4 percent of patients treated with the ClosureFast catheter, showing non-inferiority of VenaSeal (p
  • The closure rate at six months was 98.9 percent and 94.3 percent for the VenaSeal closure system and the ClosureFast catheter, respectively. 
  • At 12 months, closure rates were identical between the two treatment groups at 96.8 percent.
  • Additionally, no serious adverse events were reported.

12:00 pm Curtiss-Wright sells substantially all of the assets and liabilities of its Engineered Packaging business to Atrenne Integrated Solutions; terms not disclosed (CW) :  

11:54 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New lows (150) outpacing new highs (92) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: ABCW, ACHC, AEC, AFMD, AHL, ALJ, ALR, AMCX, AME, AWH, BF.A, BOOT, BSET, CACC, CAG, CASH, CFI, CMCSA, CMCSK, CNC, COKE, CSTE, CTRV, DCM, DIS, DNKN, DTV, DY, EA, ELECU, ELLI, ENR, FCB, FDEF, FFNW, FL, FSV, GIG, GIS, GRBK, HIG, HLS, HMPR, HNT, HRTG, HTBI, IART, IBKR, IBP, ITRN, JOF, LEN.B, LION, LKQ, MDLZ, MFSF, MHK, MIG, MKL, MORN, MPC, NGHC, NJ, NKE, NPK, NVEE, PBCT, PENN, PLMT, PRGS, PRTO, PZZA, RLH, RUTH, SCLN, SFBS, SGYP, SKX, SNA, SPWH, STL, STRZA, TBNK, TPX, TTPH, TWX, UCBI, USNA, USPH, VLO, WRB, WSTG

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ACAS, ADAT, AEZS, AHGP, ALTV, AMBC, AMBR, AMID, APIC, APOL, ASTI, AUY, AXLL, BBEP, BBK, BBRY, BGR, CAMT, CBA, CLD, CLDN, CLF, CMU, CNW, CPN, CPPL, CPST, CRK, CSAL, CSG, CTCM, CTRL, CVE, CVR, DDD, DNOW, DPG, EMO, ETRM, ETSY, EVJ, FAM, FDML, FELP, FIF, FPL, FSC, FSFR, FSYS, FTEK, FUEL, GCI, GER, GGB, GMCR, GMZ, GNRC, GOL, GRUB, GULTU, HKTV, HMY, HTCH, HTZ, ICB, IGT, INF, INTX, IPDN, IRR, ITRI, JMF, KEM, KYE, KYN, LC, LF, LFL, LMRK, LPL, MAV, MEI, MEP, MIND, MOBL, MXC, NAD, NAV, NJV, NMA, NPO, NRF, NRG, NTG, NXZ, OFG, OKS, ORN, OUT, PAA, PERI, PICO, PLG, PLUG, PSUN, QRHC, QUAD, RBCN, RCPI, REIS, RSO, SBLK, SD, SE, SFM, SFY, SGI, SGY, SJR, SLH, SMM, SMTC, SONS, SPEX, SRSC, SSYS, SVM, SXE, SYNL, TC, TECU, TEO, TGD, THM, TNDM, URRE, VCO, VICL, VII, VJET, WAVX, WDAY, WLT, WTS, WTW, X, XCO, XONE, XRX, YLCO

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: none

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: EGPT, REMX, SLX, URA, XME

11:52 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:+0.3%
  • Germany's DAX:-0.7%
  • France's CAC:-1.0%
  • Spain's IBEX:-0.7%
  • Portugal's PSI:-0.3%
  • Italy's MIB Index:-1.4%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:-0.1%
  • Greece ASE General Index: Closed 

11:21 am Currency Commentary: Dollar Slides on Jobs Number (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index is now testing the 96 level for support. The greenback was marching higher against a basket of currencies. But a weaker than expected jobs number has given investors some pause. One report will not change the Fed's stance. However this will be the last jobs report before Janet Yellen heads to Capital Hill (July 15-16) so it does take on some added significance. 96 is likely to remain a key level as we approach the Yellen testimony. And it should be noted that she will be speaking on July 10 ahead of the Capital Hill visit. 
  • The euro is whipping around the 1.11 level. Market participants are anxiously awaiting the results of the Sunday referendum. Early indications are it will be a tight vote. The issue of course is what the vote is supposed to represent. EU Officials are couching it as a vote to stay in the euro while Greek officials are saying it is a vote on austerity programs. So the results may not represent measurement of the Greek psyche. And it is also questionable of the viability of the report given that pollers only have seven days to set up the referendum. This vote is likely to provide more confusion then help solve the issue. 
  • The pound is attempting to halt its recent decline. After running into resistance at the 1.58 level, sterling saw some profit taking that led it to give up some recent gains. But it is finding some support here in the 1.55 level. 
  • The yen saw a spike on the U.S. jobs number as it was able to rally 70 pips to 123. However that level has held firm resistance this morning. Since hitting a multi-year high (125.85) the yen has been slowly making a move higher. But we are seeing 123 start to come into play on the resistance side (FOREX, BONDX).

11:13 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors that are underperforming the S&P in recent action include: Bank KBE, Reg Bank KRE, Discretionary XLY, Housing XHB, Steel SLX, Software IGV, Telecom IYZ.

11:11 am Opko Health and Bio-Reference Laboratories (BRLI) announce the early termination of the HSR waiting period, for Opko's acquisition of Bio-Reference (OPK) :  

11:08 am Network-1 announces that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a decision in favor of it denying institution of a Covered Business Review from a petition filed by Sony (SNE) (NTIP) : The co announced that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a decision in favor of Network-1 denying institution of a Covered Business Review from a petition filed by Sony Corporation of America rejecting yet another challenge to the patentability of Network-1's Remote Power Patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,218,930). In the CBM Petition, Sony Corporation of America, petitioned to cancel as unpatentable certain claims of the Remote Power Patent. In its decision denying institution of the Petition, the PTAB ruled that the Petitioner failed to show that Remote Power Patent is a "covered business patent" as defined by Congress in the America Invents Act. The CBM Petition was the fourth attempt by Sony to have the claims of the Remote Power Patent invalidated at the PTAB.

11:05 am Dow -6 and S&P +0.3 set new morning lows -- Nasdaq Comp -7 hovering just above its low (:TECHX) :  

10:50 am Semiconductor Hldrs ETF continues to display intraday relative strength (SMH) : The SMH has edged to a new session high in recent trade. Top performing semi names include: AMD +5.6%, LSCC +5.5%, MU +2.7%, INTC +2.3%, CRUS +1.2%, MRVL +1.2%, TSM +1.1%, SNDK +1%, KLAC +0.7%.

10:44 am Momenta Pharma (-7.5%) falls through 50 day moving averages near $25.90 after UBS downgraded the stock to Sell (MNTA) :  

10:42 am Gulf Island Fab signs a contract with an oil and gas company, for the fabrication of a jacket and piles for one of its offshore locations (GIFI) : Co announced it has signed a contract with an oil and gas company with operations in Trinidad for the fabrication of a jacket and piles for one of its offshore locations.

  • Revenue backlog and man-hours associated with the project will be reported in connection with the announcement of financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2015.

10:39 am New session lows for market averages -- Nasdaq Comp -7, S&P +0.7, Dow +4 (:TECHX) :  

10:27 am Freescale Semi and NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) shareholders approve merger (FSL) : The co's continue to expect the merger to close in the second half of calendar year 2015.

10:08 am Russell 2000 -1.7 and Nasdaq Comp -3.4 slip into the red -- Dow +19, S&P +2.9 (:TECHX) :  

10:07 am Marathon Patent Group reports that its MedTech Development Deutschland GmbH receives a favorable preliminary ruling of infringement against Joline GmbH & Co (MARA) : Co announced that in the patent infringement action filed by its subsidiary, MedTech Development Deutschland GmbH involving the '260 patent, the Munich District Court of Germany expressed in its preliminary opinion that the following defendants, Joline GmbH & Co. KG, Signus Medizintechnik GmbH and PanMedical, infringed the '260 patent.

  • Co stated: "We are pleased that the Munich District Court has expressed its preliminary opinion that the defendants infringe the '260 patent. Today's court hearing, and the continuing injunction against Stryker, have the potential of creating further incentive for the parties in dispute to explore and discuss mutual resolution in the form of an equitable licensing agreement, much like the one just executed with Maxxspine Limited, which involves a lump sum royalty payment for products already sold."

10:02 am Ashland acquires Zeta Fraction technology from AkzoNobel (AKZOY); financial terms not disclosed, with closure expected this quarter (ASH) : The patented Zeta Fraction process and technology selectively isolates efficacious components from living plants and marine sources to produce a wide range of biofunctional ingredients.

9:52 am Stock indices slip back after new highs for Dow +34 and S&P +3 were not confirmed by the Nasdaq Comp +0.4 (:TECHX) :  

9:45 am Cognizant Tech (-6%) breaks down to five month low after saying implementation of agreement with HNT will be delayed if HNT merges with CNC (CTSH) :  

9:43 am Sector laggards (:TECHX) : Sector that have underperformed thus far include: Reg Bank KRE, Bank KBE, Broker IAI, Gold GLD, Solar TAN.

9:41 am Sears Canada confirms Ronald D. Boire will be departing as President and CEO at the end of the summer; Boire is joining Barnes & Noble (BKS) as CEO of its retail business (SRSC) : In order to provide enhanced leadership during the transition, Brandon G. Stranzl, Chairman of the Board of the Corporation, has been named Executive Chairman effective immediately. The Board of Directors will commence a search for a new President and CEO.

9:40 am Opening Market Summary: Utilities Sector Paces Opening Advance (:WRAPX) : As expected, the major averages began the day with gains. The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 are all up near 0.3% apiece in the early going with nine sectors displaying opening gains.

The rate-sensitive utilities sector (+1.3%) has seized the lead thanks to today's drop in Treasury yields (10-yr -5 bps to 2.37%). Meanwhile, the remaining advancers hold gains slimmer than 1.0%. The heavily-weighted consumer discretionary sector (+0.4%) trades ahead of other cyclical groups while the materials sector (-0.5%) represents the lone decliner at this juncture.

The Factory Orders report for May (consensus -0.5%) will be released at 10:00 ET.

9:37 am Early relative sector strength (:TECHX) : Sectors displaying some early relative strength include: Casino BJK (MPEL, LVS, WYNN, BYD, MGM), Utility XLU, Auto, REITs IYR, Gold Miners GDX, Silver SLV.

9:35 am Mildly firmer start for market averages -- Dow +33, S&P +5, Nasdaq Comp +7 (:TECHX) :  

9:33 am Pfizer: XRpro Sciences acquires ion channel biology platform assets from Pfizer, that were previously obtained in the acquisition of Icagen, Inc (PFE) : XRPro Sciences also acquired all of Pfizer's rights to the Icagen name and trademark

9:32 am Cognizant Tech's existing seven year master services agreement with HNT will not be implemented as there will likely be overlaps if co merges with CNC; CTSH reaffirms FY15 guidance (CTSH) :

  • Cognizant remains a key strategic technology and operations partner to Health Net, with the existing relationship being extended through the end of 2020 with a total contract value of ~$520 million. This will provide ongoing support of critical Health Net applications and processes. 
  • The planned implementation of a seven-year master services agreement for end-to-end administrative services between Cognizant and Health Net, first announced in August 2014 and scheduled to begin in mid-2015, is being deferred while Health Net and Centene complete the merger review and approval process. Cognizant expects that if the merger of Health Net and Centene is completed, the existing master services agreement will not be implemented as there will likely be overlaps in services and capabilities planned to be provided by Cognizant. 
  • Cognizant has negotiated the right to license certain Health Net intellectual property for incorporation into its healthcare management solutions and as-a-service platforms.
  • Co reaffirms FY15 EPS at least $2.93 vs. $2.96 consensus; rev at least $12.24 bln vs. $12.33 bln consensus.

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

  • IBM (IBM), in collaboration with Nvidia (NVDA) and Mellanox (MLNX) announced the establishment of a POWER Acceleration and Design Center in Montpellier, France to advance the development of data-intensive research, industrial, and commercial applications
  • Following a $184 million order from the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, Oshkosh Defense, an Oshkosh Corporation (OSK) company will produce 698 Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles trucks for the U.S. Army. Deliveries will begin in 2016
  • The Marcus Corporation (MCS) announced the promotion of Katie Falvey to vice president of real estate

9:28 am AerCap announces exchange offers for several of its senior note series (AER) : Co announced an exchange offer for unregistered notes, to be exchanged for registered notes as follows:

  • up to $400 mln in 2.75% Senior Notes due 2017 
  • up to $1.1 bln in 3.75% Senior Notes due 2019 
  • up to $1.1 bln in 4.50% Senior Notes due 2021
  • up to $800 mln in 5.00% Senior Notes due 2021

9:27 am Alcatel-Lucent signs comprehensive frame agreements with China Mobile (CHL) and China Unicom (CHU) to facilitate the transition to dynamic cloud-based networks (ALU) : Under the agreements - both spanning a year and valued at up to RMB4.53 billion (Eur 656 million) and RMB3.59 billion (Eur 520 million) for China Mobile (CHL) and China Unicom (CHU) respectively - Alcatel-Lucent will deliver its mobile and fixed ultra-broadband access, IP routing, agile optical networking and network functions virtualization capabilities, as well as Nuage Networks' software defined networking technologies. The deployment of these technologies will also support China Mobile and China Unicom in meeting commitments to the 'Broadband China' initiative which aims to see full broadband coverage across the nation's rural and urban areas by 2020.

9:27 am K+S Aktiengesellschaft rejects unsolicited EUR41/share takeover proposal from Potash (POT) (KPLUF) :

  • Following a thorough review of all aspects and considering the overall circumstances, the Board of Executive Directors and the Supervisory Board of K+S Aktiengesellschaft today have decided to reject the unsolicited proposal of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (POT) to acquire all outstanding shares of K+S Aktiengesellschaft for 41 Euro per share.
  • The proposed transaction does not reflect the fundamental value of K+S and is not in the best interest of the company.

9:19 am Mead Johnson Nutrition appoints Michel Cup as CFO effective September 1, 2015 (MJN) : Cup was most recently the CFO of D.E. Master Blenders 1753, an international coffee and tea company based in the Netherlands

9:16 am Arch Coal announces two separate private debt exchange offers (ACI) : The first, a private offer to exchange new 6.25% Trust Certificates due 2021 and a cash payment for any and all of its outstanding 7.25% Senior Notes due 2020. Holders of approximately 56.9% of the aggregate principal amount of outstanding 2020 Notes have executed agreements with Arch committing to participate in the Exchange Offer and the Consent Solicitation referred to below. The second, a private offer to exchange new 6.25% Trust Certificates due 2021, 8.00% Senior Secured Notes due 2022 and 12.00% Senior Secured Second Lien Notes due 2023 for its outstanding 7.000% Senior Notes due 2019 ("Old 7.000% 2019 Notes"), 9.875% Senior Notes due 2019 and 7.250% Senior Notes due 2021

9:11 am BP confirms it will settle federal, state and local Deepwater Horizon claims for up to $18.7 bln with payments to be spread over 18 years (BP) : The co announced that its US Upstream subsidiary, BP Exploration and Production Inc has executed the agreements with the US federal government and five Gulf Coast states. The agreement with the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas also includes settlement of claims made by more than 400 local government entities.The principal payments are as follows:

  • BPXP is to pay the United States a civil penalty of $5.5 billion under the Clean Water Act -- payable over 15 years.
  • BPXP will pay $7.1 billion to the United States and the five Gulf states over 15 years for natural resource damages. This is in addition to the $1 billion already committed for early restoration. BPXP will also set aside an additional amount of $232 million to be added to the NRD interest payment at the end of the payment period to cover any further natural resource damages that are unknown at the time of the agreement.
  • A total of $4.9 billion will be paid over 18 years to settle economic and other claims made by the five Gulf Coast states.
  • Up to $1 billion will be paid to resolve claims made by more than 400 local government entities.
The expected impact of these agreements would be to increase the cumulative pre-tax charge associated with the Deepwater Horizon accident and spill by around $10 billion from $43.8 billion at the end of the first quarter. Separately to these agreements, the total charge reported in BP's second quarter results will also reflect other items including charges for additional business economic loss determinations.
  • The agreements do not cover the remaining costs of the 2012 class action settlements with the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee for economic and property damage and medical claims. They also do not cover claims by individuals and businesses that opted out of the 2012 settlements and/or whose claims were excluded from them. BP will continue to defend those claims vigorously. Today's agreements in principle also do not resolve private securities litigation pending in MDL 2185.

9:10 am S&P futures vs fair value: +6.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +12.80. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a higher open as futures on the S&P 500 trade seven points above fair value.

Index futures held modest gains through the bulk of the night, climbing to highs during the past 45 minutes after the Nonfarm Payrolls report crossed the wires. According to the report, payrolls increased by 223,000 in June, which was below the Briefing.com consensus of 230,000. Furthermore, the Unemployment Rate dropped to 5.3% from 5.5%, but that was a result of a large exodus from the labor force. As a result, the participation rate has dropped to its lowest level since October 1977.

Also of note, hourly earnings were unchanged while the consensus expected an increase of 0.2%. In all likelihood, this is why equity futures jumped to highs as the lack of wage growth makes the Federal Reserve less likely to begin hiking rates in the near term.

Treasuries surged off their lows in reaction to the report with the benchmark 10-yr yield now down four basis points at 2.38%.

The Factory Orders report for May (consensus -0.5%) will be released at 10:00 ET.

9:02 am Delta Air Lines reports June PRASM -4.5% YoY -- in-line (DAL) : Consolidated passenger unit revenue (:PRASM) for the month of June decreased 4.5% YoY, driven by foreign exchange pressure and lower surcharges in international markets, as well as domestic yields that have softened in select markets.

  • Q2 PRASM guidance of down 4% to 5%
  • RPM +3.2%; adj. Q2 fuel price $2.40-2.45

9:01 am Vanda Pharma announces listing of a new HETLIOZ patent in the FDA orange book (VNDA) :  

9:01 am Intel announces resignation of President Renee James, and retirement of Intel Capital President Arvind Sodhani (INTC) :

  • Intel President Renee James informed the board that she will be stepping down as President of Intel to pursue an external CEO role. 
  • Arvind Sodhani, President of Intel Capital, will retire in January. 
  • President of Mergers and Acquisitions Wendell Brooks will take an expanded role to also become President of Intel Capital.

8:58 am On the Wires (:WIRES) :

  • K2M Group Holdings (KTWO) announced the U.S. commercial launch of the MESA 2 Deformity Spinal System
  • Intelsat S.A. (I) announced that Axesat S.A. has signed a multi-year agreement for satellite services on the high-performance Intelsat EpicNG platform
  • Allete (ALE) has closed on the purchase of a 100.5-megawatt (MW) Pennsylvania wind farm from The AES Corporation (AES). Ace acquired the wind facility near Troy, Pennsylvania, called Armenia Mountain from AES and a non-controlling interest from a minority shareholder for a total of $108 million, plus the assumption of existing debt
  • Orbital ATK (OA) has received a $25 million 5-year contract from the Automated Test Systems Division, Agile Combat Support Directorate, at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia to provide contractor logistics support for the Common Munitions Built-in-Test Reprogramming Equipment system
  • Partner Communications Company (PTNR) reported that the Company's Series D Notes will bear interest at a rate of 0.334% for the period commencing from July to September 2015
  • Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced that ICE Futures Europe, has established an Oversight Committee to oversee the administration of the ICE Brent Index. In addition, ICE Futures Europe has signed an agreement with ICIS, to license its BFOE market data for the Brent Index

8:58 am TCP International appoints K.R. den Daas as CEO, replacing Ellis Yan; Yan to remain Chairman of the Board (TCPI) : den Daas was most recently Chairman of Philips Lighting North America and Chief Executive Officer, Business Unit Professional Luminaires, North America for Philips

8:53 am S&P futures vs fair value: +7.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +16.90. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade eight points above fair value.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region ended the day on a mostly higher note while China's Shanghai Composite (-3.5%) remained pressured. Meanwhile, China Securities Journal called on the People's Bank of China to focus on stock volatility and inject liquidity "when stock prices fall." Separate reports indicate the Shanghai Exchange could allow the use of real estate as collateral in margin calls.

  • In economic data: 
    • Japan's Monetary Base +34.2% year-over-year (expected 36.2%; prior 35.6%) 
    • Australia's May trade deficit narrowed to AUD2.75 billion from AUD4.14 billion (expected deficit of AUD2.20 billion) as exports rose 1.0% month-over-month (last -6.0%) while imports fell 4.0% (prior 4.0%) 
    • New Zealand's ANZ Commodity Price Index -3.1% month-over-month (last -4.9%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei increased 1.0% on broad-based gains that were led by the Health Care (+2.2%), Consumer Discretionary (+1.8%), Financials (+1.8%). Individual standouts included Sharp (+8.6%) and Shinsei Bank (+2.8%). 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng increased just 0.1% today. Galaxy Entertainment was a notable mover, rising 13.2% after the latest Macau gaming figures were released. Likewise, gaming peer Sands China posted a 12.1% gain. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite declined 3.5% to close the weak. Financials bucked the broader market trend, after being notable laggards yesterday. Ind & Comm Bank of China rose 5.8%, while China Construction Bank gained 3.9% today. 
Major European indices trade near their flat lines while Italy's MIB (-0.6%) underperforms. Elsewhere, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced plans to resign in the event of a 'yes' vote in Sunday's referendum, saying he would "cut his arm off" rather than sign a deal without debt restructuring.
  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Eurozone May PPI 0.0% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior -0.1%); -2.0% year-over-year, as expected 
    • UK's June Nationwide HPI -0.2% month-over-month (consensus 0.5%; prior 0.2%); +3.3% year-over-year (last 4.3%; prior 4.6%). Separately, June Construction PMI rose to 58.1 from 55.9 (expected 56.5) 
    • Spain's Unemployment Change -94,700 (expected -124,000; prior -118,000) 
------
  • UK's FTSE trades higher by 0.4% with miners and utilities showing relative strength. BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Centrica, and National Grid are up between 1.2% and 1.7%. Consumer names underperform with Burberry, Coca-Cola HBC, and Intertek down between 1.7% and 2.6%. 
  • France's CAC trades flat. Utility stocks like Electricite de France, GDF Suez, and Veolia Environnement are up between 2.0% and 2.5% while Unibail-Rodamco is the weakest performer, down 2.4%. Other financials hold slimmer losses with Credit Agricole and Societe Generale down 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively. 
  • Germany's DAX is higher by 0.1%. Similar to UK and France, utilities trade well ahead of other index components with RWE and E.On showing respective gains of 6.2% and 3.8%. On the downside, K+S has given up 1.2% after rejecting a takeover offer from Potash. 
  • Italy's MIB underperforms with a loss of 0.6% amid weakness in financials. Banca di Milano Scarl, UBI Banca, BMPS, and Banco Popolare are down between 0.9% and 1.6%.

8:46 am Volvo Cars of North America reports June 2015 U.S. sales of 5,985 units (VOLVY) : Volvo Cars of North America release

8:42 am European Markets Update: FTSE +0.4%, CAC UNCH, DAX +0.2%, MIB -0.4% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade near their flat lines while Italy's MIB (-0.4%) underperforms. Elsewhere, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced plans to resign in the event of a 'yes' vote in Sunday's referendum, saying he would "cut his arm off" rather than sign a deal without debt restructuring.

  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Eurozone May PPI 0.0% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior -0.1%); -2.0% year-over-year, as expected 
    • UK's June Nationwide HPI -0.2% month-over-month (consensus 0.5%; prior 0.2%); +3.3% year-over-year (last 4.3%; prior 4.6%). Separately, June Construction PMI rose to 58.1 from 55.9 (expected 56.5) 
    • Spain's Unemployment Change -94,700 (expected -124,000; prior -118,000) 
------
  • UK's FTSE trades higher by 0.4% with miners and utilities showing relative strength. BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Centrica, and National Grid are up between 1.2% and 1.7%. Consumer names underperform with Burberry, Coca-Cola HBC, and Intertek down between 1.7% and 2.6%. 
  • France's CAC trades flat. Utility stocks like Electricite de France, GDF Suez, and Veolia Environnement are up between 2.0% and 2.5% while Unibail-Rodamco is the weakest performer, down 2.4%. Other financials hold slimmer losses with Credit Agricole and Societe Generale down 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively. 
  • Germany's DAX is higher by 0.2%. Similar to UK and France, utilities trade well ahead of other index components with RWE and E.On showing respective gains of 6.2% and 3.8%. On the downside, K+S has given up 1.2% after rejecting a takeover offer from Potash. 
  • Italy's MIB underperforms with a loss of 0.4% amid weakness in financials. Banca di Milano Scarl, UBI Banca, BMPS, and Banco Popolare are down between 0.9% and 1.6%.

8:33 am S&P futures vs fair value: +6.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +15.80. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade seven points above fair value.

June nonfarm payrolls came in at 223,000 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 230,000. The prior month's reading was revised down to 254,000 from 280,000. Nonfarm private payrolls also added 223,000 against the 225,000 expected by the consensus. The unemployment rate fell to 5.3% while the Briefing.com consensus expected the rate to decline to 5.4%.

Hourly earnings were unchanged while the consensus expected growth of 0.2%. The average workweek was reported at 34.5, which is what the consensus expected.

Separately, the latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 281,000 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 273,000. Today's tally was above the unrevised prior week count of 271,000. As for continuing claims, they rose to 2.264 million from 2.249 million.

8:32 am Milestone Scientific announces that a consotrium led by its Polan subsidiary was awarded a $4.2 mln grant by the National Centre for Research and Development in Poland (MLSS) : Co announces that a consortium led by Milestone Scientific Poland, a subsidiary of MLSS, had been awarded a $4.2 mln grant by the National Centre for Research and Development in Poland under its STRATEGMED Program to develop and commercialize a novel injection instrument for delivering stem cells and other medications to treat diabetes. The instrument will be based on MLSS' painless, computer-controlled injection and drug delivery technology, which has commercial applications across a broad spectrum of medical and dental procedures. Milestone Scientific Poland will receive ~$1.5 mln of this grant.

8:31 am Energizer announces dividend policy and share repurchase authorization; declares $0.25/share quarterly dividend, authorization to acquire up to 7.5 mln shares (ENR) :  

8:31 am Great Panther Silver provides an update on its diamond drilling programs for the second half of 2015 (GPL) : Co reported that ~21,800 metres of drilling are planned for the Guanajuato Mine Complex, the Guadalupe de los Reyes ("GDLR") Project in Mexico, and the Coricancha Mine Complex in Peru. Including the latter two new projects, total metres of drilling for 2015 are expected to be approximately 29,700 metres, compared to the Company's previous guidance of 19,000 metres.

8:31 am EDAP TMS SA announces that Eric Soyer CFO has resigned to accept a top management position at a publicly traded biotechnology company (EDAP) : Co announces that CFO Eric Soyer has resigned to accept a top management position at a publicly traded biotechnology company. Mr. Soyer will remain with the company through August 31, 2015. Co aims to appoint a permanent successor in the near future.

8:29 am On the Wires (:WIRES) :

  • SeaSpine Holdings Corporation (SPNE) announced the completion of its tax-free spinoff from Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation (IART). Beginning today, SeaSpine shares will commence regular-way trading on the NASDAQ Global Market
  • IGATE Corporation (IGTE) announced a new alliance with Milliman, an actuarial firm. IGATE will look to Milliman's actuarial expertise as part of the IGATE Business Administration Services, the Third Party Administration unit of the company

8:29 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: FC -0.3%, FDO -0.2%, ISCA -0.1%, .

M&A news: FRO -6.6% (merges with Frontline 2012 )

Select China related names showing weakness: CSUN -4.9%, CMCM -3.1%, JMEI -1.9%, WBAI -1%, .

Other news: WPCS -30.5% (following yesterday's ~95% move higher; also completes a series of transactions resulting in the elimination of all of its $1,703,000 principal amount of Unsecured Promissory Notes ), ANR -4.6% (subsidiary Pennsylvania Services Corporation, acquires a 50% interest in Pennsylvania Land Resources Holding Company for $126 mln), FIT -3.7% (cont vol post IPO), BTU -2.8% (appointed Amy Schwetz to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; replaces Michael Crews, who has announced plans to step down to take the top financial position at a major industrial firm),  NBG -1.8% (cont vol surrounding Greece Referendum), QUNR -1.2% (confirmed final judgment in dispute with eLong (LONG)), EPRS -1.1% (filed for $125 mln mixed securities shelf offering)

Analyst comments: WU -4.5% (downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI), CPST -2.5% (downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Northland Capital), BTU -2.3% (downgraded to Sell at Deutsche Bank)

8:27 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: PRGS +8.1%

M&A news: HNT +15.6% (to be acquired by Centene (CNC) for ~$78.57/share in cash and stock),PKY +3.3% (Bloomberg reporting that co is considering strategic options including a potential sale),CNC +2.6% ,SYT +1.9% (cont spec on M&A with MON),AMBA +1.8% (acquires VisLab S.r.l., a privately held Italian company based in Parma, Italy for $30 million in cash ),CHK +1.5% (Privately-Held FourPoint Energy to acquire oil and gas assets from Chesapeake Exploration and CHK Cleveland Tonkawa for $840 mln),SSYS +1.1% (acquires RTC Rapid Technologies)

Other news: PVCT +24.5% (signs Letter of Intent with Boehringer Ingelheim (China) Investment to collaborate in bringing PV-10 to market in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan),XOOM +22.5% (to be acquired by Paypal (:PYPL) for $25/share, or ~$890 mln),AGTC +18.7% (Applied Genetic Technologies and Biogen (BIIB) enter into a collaboration and license agreement to develop gene-based therapies for multiple ophthalmic diseases),HNSN +17.5% (receives FDA 510(k) clearance for its Magellan 10Fr Robotic Catheter for use in the peripheral vasculature),ACRX +11.7% (reports that results from its IAP311 study have been published in the publication Anesthesiology),NAVB +8% (reports imaging results from its Manocept clinical trial and other preclinical studies),GRBK +6.7% (Form 4 filings indicate Third Point, Greenlight Capital, and company directors bought shares in 17 mln share offering of common stock at $10 per share announced on June 22),CFMS +6.7% (favorable commentary on Wednesday's Mad Money),ARO +4.9% (confirms expansion plans throughout Asia, with new licensing agreements in India and Indonesia),MBI +4.6% (strength on further reports regarding Puerto Rico successfully paying $1.9 bln in debt obligations),GTLS +4.3% (to replace IGTE in the S&P SmallCap 600),TSLA +4.1% (announces 11,507 Model S deliveries for Q2 2015),OFG +3.6% (strength on further reports regarding Puerto Rico successfully paying $1.9 bln in debt obligations),AMBC +3.6% (confirms that all payments due on its insured Puerto Rico bonds have been paid in full by the relevant issuer ),WLL +3.4% (announces results of exchange offer relating to outstanding, unregistered 6.25% Senior Notes due 2023),VNOM +3.1% (filed $1 bln common unit offering representing limited partner interests and for up to ~70.95 mln common units representing limited partner interests by selling unitholders),SPNC +3% ( reports that a federal court in California awards AngioScore $20 million plus disgorgement in breach of fiduciary duty case),BP +2.8% ( report suggesting pollution settlement from Gulf oil spill in 2010),WYNN +2.4% (Macau data),MGM +1.9% (Macau data),LVS +1.8% (Macau data),PBR +1.2% (to analyze strategic alternatives for its Petrobras Distribuidora subsidiary; also announced the sale of 20% of its interest in the concessions of Bijupir and Salema fields),NSM +1.1% (Point72 Asset Management discloses 5.2% passive stake in 13G filing)

Analyst comments: GRUB +4.3% (upgraded to Outperform at RBC Capital Mkts),LLNW +1.8% (initiated with an Outperform at Cowen),TEX +1% (upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill),T +0.8% (upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen),AZN +0.6% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Berenberg)

8:23 am NiSource approved a quarterly dividend payment of $0.155 per share, down from $0.26 per share; says consistent with intention to increase the combined (NiSource and Columbia Pipeline Group) dividend (NI) :

  • This payment will be the first dividend payment made following the separation of Columbia Pipeline Group (CPGX) from NiSource, which was completed on July 1, 2015. CPGX today approved a quarterly dividend payment of 12.5 cents per share
  • While the payout amount announced today is lower than prior quarters due to the separation, it is consistent with the intention to increase the combined (NiSource and Columbia Pipeline Group) dividend announced on May 12. As announced previously, going forward NiSource will target a dividend growth rate of 4 to 6 percent annually.

8:21 am NiSource, Columbia Pipeline Group (CPGX) complete separation, declare quarterly dividends; CPGX to begin trading today (NI) : The co and Columbia Pipeline Group (CPGX) announced that the separation of the two companies was completed successfully through a distribution of all the common stock of CPG held by NiSource to NiSource shareholders. Under the terms of the distribution, NiSource shareholders were distributed one (1) share of CPG stock for every one (1) share of NiSource common stock they held as of 5:00 p.m. CT on June 19, 2015, the record date. Separately, each company declared their anticipated quarterly dividends post split:

  • The Board of Directors of NiSource (NI) approved a quarterly dividend payment of 15.5 cents per share, payable August 20, 2015, to common stockholders of record at the close of business on July 31, 2015.
  • The Board of Directors of Columbia Pipeline Group (CPGX) approved a quarterly dividend payment of 12.5 cents per share, payable August 20, 2015, to common stockholders of record at the close of business July 31, 2015.

8:03 am Spherix issues litigation update; a court has issued a Markman Order in the case against Verizon (VZ) (SPEX) : In the matter of Spherix v. Verizon Services (VZ), Case No. 1:14-cv-00721-GBL-TCB, in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the Court issued a Markman Order on July 1, 2015 interpreting certain key claims in favor of the Defendants on the one (1) patent at issue in the case. In light of the Court's Markman decision on the one patent, the Court also granted the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. The other twenty (20) patents being asserted by Spherix in other cases were not affected by the ruling. Moreover, the patent infringement claims being brought in the second suit filed against Verizon were not affected and that case against Verizon continues.

8:02 am Alaska Air reports June traffic: showing a 6.9% increase in traffic and 7.4% increase in capacity Y/Y (ALK) : Co reported a 6.9 percent increase in traffic on a 7.4 percent increase in capacity compared to June 2014. This resulted in a 0.4 point decrease in load factor to 87.0 percent. Co also reported 87.5 percent of its flights arrived on time in June, compared to the 86.0 percent reported in June 2014.

8:02 am Aeropostale confirms expansion plans throughout Asia, with new licensing agreements in India and Indonesia (ARO) : Co plans to open stores in India through a licensing agreement with Arvind Lifestyle Brands Limited, and in Indonesia through a licensing agreement with PT Mitra Adiperkasa TBK.

  • Expansion plans in India include the opening of 50 standalone stores, 150 shop-in-shops in select locations, and e-commerce operations across the country over the next five years, beginning in March 2016. 
  • Co expects to open 10 to 12 standalone stores in Indonesia over the next five years, with its first store opening in Jakarta in Fall 2016.

8:02 am NV5 Holdings acquires the RBA Group, an infrastructure engineering firm (NVEE) : Co announced that it has acquired the RBA Group, Inc., an infrastructure engineering firm focused on the provision of transportation engineering, planning, and construction inspection, environmental engineering, civil engineering, surveying, and architecture services to public and private clients throughout the East Coast. The Company has approximately 250 full-time employees and annualized revenues of $40 million. The acquisition will be immediately accretive to NV5's earnings and was primarily a cash transaction.

8:01 am Barnes & Noble names Ronald D. Boire has been named CEO of Barnes & Noble's Retail business; Michael P. Huseby to become Executive Chairman of Barnes & Noble Education (:BNED) (BKS) : Co announces that Ronald D. Boire has been named CEO of Barnes & Noble's Retail business, effective September 8, 2015. Mr. Boire is currently CEO of Sears Canada (SRSC). Prior to that, Mr. Boire had a broad range of experience in retail and technology. He held the position of Exec VP, Chief Merchandising Officer and President, Sears and Kmart Formats at Sears Holdings (SHLD). As previously announced, the company plans to separate its College and Retail businesses into two public companies. Once the spinoff of Barnes & Noble Education is completed, which is expected to occur by the end of August, Mr. Boire will become the CEO of Barnes & Noble, which will include the Retail and NOOK units. It is also expected that Mr. Boire will join the Barnes & Noble Board of Directors. Michael P. Huseby, who currently serves as CEO of Barnes & Noble and is on the board, will remain in those positions until the effective date of the split at which point he will become Executive Chairman of Barnes & Noble Education (BNED), which will have a separate Board of Directors.

8:01 am Spectranetics reports that a federal court in California awards AngioScore $20 million plus disgorgement in breach of fiduciary duty case (SPNC) : Co announces that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has ruled in favor of its wholly-owned subsidiary, AngioScore, in a lawsuit seeking damages for breach of fiduciary duty against Eitan Konstantino, a former board member of AngioScore and founder of TriReme Medical, Quattro Vascular and QT Vascular.

  • The Court found that Konstantino breached his fiduciary duties to AngioScore, that TriReme and Quattro aided and abetted that breach, and that QT Vascular is liable for the acts of TriReme and Quattro. The Court awarded AngioScore $20.034 mln against all defendants plus disgorgement from Konstantino of all benefits he accrued from his breach of fiduciary duties, including amounts he received for assigning his intellectual property rights to the Chocolate balloon, a royalty on past and future sales of the Chocolate balloon, and all of his shares and options in QT Vascular. Under the indemnification agreement between AngioScore and Konstantino, AngioScore will seek to recover attorney fees and costs previously advanced to Konstantino.

8:00 am Stratasys acquires RTC Rapid Technologies; terms not disclosed (SSYS) :

  • Co announces it has acquired RTC Rapid Technologies GmbH. This transaction aims to strengthen the company's presence in the important German Speaking Countries region of Germany, Switzerland and Austria and aligns with Stratasys' growth strategy for the region.
  • Terms not disclosed.

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

  • SinoCoking Coal and Coke Chemical Industries (SCOK) announced that a majority of the shareholders of its common stock voted in favor of amending and restating the company's Articles of Incorporation to change the name of the company to Hongli Clean Energy Technologies Corp
  • W. P. Carey (WPC) announced that it has acquired a logistics facility in Oskarshamn, Sweden for ~$26 million
  • Arrowhead Research Corporation (ARWR) announced that it dosed the first patient in Part B of a Phase 1 clinical trial of ARC-AAT

7:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: +6.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +11.40. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade modestly higher amid cautious action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover six points above fair value, but some volatility is expected around 8:30 ET when the Nonfarm Payrolls report for June crosses the wires. The Briefing.com consensus expected the report to indicate the addition of 230,000 payrolls while the Unemployment Rate is expected to tick down to 5.4% from 5.5%.

Treasuries hover in the red with the 10-yr yield higher by three basis points at 2.45%.

In addition to Nonfarm Payrolls, weekly Initial Claims (consensus 273K) will also be reported at 8:30 ET while the Factory Orders report for May (consensus -0.5%) will be released at 10:00 ET.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • AT&T (T 35.86, +0.29): +0.8% after Cowen upgraded the stock to 'Outperform' from 'Market Perform.' 
  • Health Net (HNT 76.99, +11.93): +18.3% after agreeing to be acquired by Centene (CNC 86.64, +5.74) for roughly $78.57/share in cash and stock, representing a 21.0% premium to yesterday's closing price. 
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mixed. China's Shanghai Composite -3.5%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.1%, and Japan's Nikkei +1.0% 
    • In economic data: 
      • Japan's Monetary Base +34.2% year-over-year (expected 36.2%; prior 35.6%) 
      • Australia's May trade deficit narrowed to AUD2.75 billion from AUD4.14 billion (expected deficit of AUD2.20 billion) as exports rose 1.0% month-over-month (last -6.0%) while imports fell 4.0% (prior 4.0%) 
      • New Zealand's ANZ Commodity Price Index -3.1% month-over-month (last -4.9%) 
    • In news: 
      • China Securities Journal called on the People's Bank of China to focus on stock volatility and inject liquidity "when stock prices fall." Separate reports indicate the Shanghai Exchange could allow the use of real estate as collateral in margin calls. 
  • Major European indices trade near their flat lines. UK's FTSE +0.2%, France's CAC -0.1%, and Germany's DAX is flat. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB -0.4% and Spain's IBEX -0.1% 
    • Participants received several data points: 
      • Eurozone May PPI 0.0% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior -0.1%); -2.0% year-over-year, as expected 
      • UK's June Nationwide HPI -0.2% month-over-month (consensus 0.5%; prior 0.2%); +3.3% year-over-year (last 4.3%; prior 4.6%). Separately, June Construction PMI rose to 58.1 from 55.9 (expected 56.5) 
      • Spain's Unemployment Change -94,700 (expected -124,000; prior -118,000) 
    • In news: 
      • Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced plans to resign in the event of a 'yes' vote in Sunday's referendum, saying he would "cut his arm off" rather than sign a deal without debt restructuring

7:50 am Hertz Global terminates its exclusive car hire supply agreement with Ryanair (RYAAY); Ryanair to pursue Hertz for breach of contract (HTZ) : Ryanair (RYAAY) confirmed that they have this morning received a notice from Hertz purporting to terminate Hertz's exclusive car hire supply agreement with Ryanair effective immediately.

  • Hertz alleges that Ryanair's agreement with GDS distribution companies represents a breach of contract, a claim which Ryanair disputes given that Ryanair has been distributing through GDSs since April 2014 with Hertz's knowledge and support. Hertz have confirmed in their notice that all existing bookings will be honoured and customers will still be able to modify their bookings on the microsite following its decommissioning. Ryanair will now pursue Hertz for breach of contract and damages. 
  • In the interim however Ryanair will be unable to offer its customers car hire services through the Ryanair.com website for a period of approx. 3 months while Ryanair seeks a suitable replacement supplier. Ryanair would expect to have a replacement supplier linked to the Ryanair.com website by October 2015

7:41 am ReneSola sells its 6.4 MW Field House utility scale project in the UK, to funds managed by Foresight Group (SOL) :  

7:37 am Overnight Treasury Summary (BONDX) : Treasuries Decline, Yield Curve Steepens

  • The Treasury complex is trading lower this morning in sympathy with European sovereign debt as investors await June's Employment Situation Report. All eyes will be on the Hourly Earnings figure, as the FOMC already knows that the economy is steadily adding jobs but is trying to determine where the U.S. economy is on the Phillips curve. The 10-year German Bund yield is up 8 bps to 0.89%
  • Yield Check:
    • 2-yr: +1 bp to 0.70%
    • 5-yr: +1 bp to 1.72%
    • 10-yr: +2 bps to 2.44%
    • 30-yr: +3 bps to 3.23%
    • 10-yr Bono/Bund: +6 bps to 139 bps
  • International News:
    • In Sweden, the Riksbank cut its repo rate by 10 bps to -0.35% in an attempt to dampen the appreciation in the Krona and counteract disinflationary pressure in the Swedish economy
    • The United Kingdom's Construction PMI jumped to a better-than-expected 58.1 in June versus 55.9 in May
      • The Nationwide Harmonized Price Index rose 3.3% y/y in June, less than expected and less than the 4.6% gain in May
    • Japan's Ministry of Finance auctioned off 2.4 tln yen ($19.5 bln) of JGB's at a high yield of 0.513%. The auction tailed less than half of a basis point
      • The 10-yr JGB yield hit a 3-week high of 0.53%
    • Australia's trade balance narrowed to -$2.751 bln in May from a downwardly-revised -4.136 bln in April Jobless claims in Spain fell for a fifth consecutive month, but not as much as expected, declining 94.7K in June versus a 118K drop in May
    • In the U.S., the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow tracking model is forecasting GDP growth of 2.2% in the second quarter, ticking up after yesterday's Construction Spending number
    • Greece's finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, said that he will resign if Greece votes "yes" at the July 5th referendum
    • The European Central Bank will expand its asset purchase program to include corporate debt, although the size of the program remains the same
  • Data out Today:
    • Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending 6/27 and Continuing Jobless Claims for the week ending 6/20
    • June Employment Situation Report (08:30 ET)
    • May Factory Orders (10:00 ET)
    • Natural Gas Inventories for the week ending 6/27 (10:30 ET)

7:37 am Intl Speedway misses by $0.05, misses on revs; raises FY15 guidance, below estimates (ISCA) :

  • Reports Q2 (May) earnings of $0.35 per share, $0.05 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.40; revenues fell 13.8% year/year to $164 mln vs the $172.6 mln consensus. 
  • Co issues guidance for FY15, raises EPS to $1.20-1.30 from $1.10-1.30 vs. $1.41 Capital IQ Consensus; raises FY15 revs to $625-635 mln from $615-630 mln vs. $634.45 mln Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • "We are pleased to report second quarter results again exceeding our expectations. The attendance upturn that started with Talladega in the Contender round of the 2014 Championship Chase continues to build, and this is the third consecutive quarter we have seen an increase in average ticket price for comparable events, demonstrating a solid trend in the resurgence of our core business."

7:31 am CME Group reports June volume, showing average volume of 14.6 mln contracts/day, up 15% Y/Y (CME) :

  • Co announced that June 2015 volume averaged 14.6 mln contracts per day, up 15 percent from June 2014. 
  • Total volume for June 2015 was more than 320 mln contracts, of which 88 percent was traded electronically. 
  • Options volume in June averaged 2.9 mln contracts per day, up 28 percent versus June 2014, with electronic options growing 48% over the same period.

7:30 am Navidea Biopharma reports imaging results from its Manocept clinical trial and other preclinical studies (NAVB) : The clinical imaging study, using Tc 99m tilmanocept, a Manocept platform product, in both HIV+ and HIV- patients suggests that KS tumor lesions, both cutaneous and suspected extra-cutaneous sites, can be easily visualized and mapped, demonstrating that this technique may potentially provide a means for routine patient assessment. The results also show that use of Manocept represents a potential therapeutic pathway for targeting tumor associated macrophages.

  • Collectively, the scans showed localization of tilmanocept and detected multiple cutaneous lesions in the extremities, face and genitalia, as well as extra-cutaneous localization found in the nasopharynx, lymph nodes and brain. Results also indicate that KS lesions are anatomically linked in chains by and within the lymph ducts. 
  • The study concludes that both HIV+ and HIV- patients have pan-tumor expression of CD206, strongly suggests tilmanocept crosses the blood brain barrier and that a Manocept-drug conjugate may have the potential as a therapeutic with high target effect and low off-target concerns.

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

  • The Lion Fund II announced the preliminary results of its tender offer to purchase for cash up to 575,000 shares of the common stock of Biglari Holdings (BH) at a purchase price of $420/share. Based on a preliminary count, the total number of shares tendered in the tender offer was 620,679 shares. Pursuant to the terms of the tender offer The Lion Fund II elected to increase the number of shares accepted for payment by 41,312
  • Sheridan, the Physician Services Division of AmSurg Corp (AMSG) announced its acquisition of Coastal Anesthesiology Consultants. Coastal provides anesthesia services for Flagler Hospital facilities in the St. Augustine, Florida, market and is comprised of over 25 providers including physicians, certified registered nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologist assistants
  • Horizon Pharma plc (HZNP) announced it received a Notice of Allowance from the USPTO for a U.S. patent application entitled "Diclofenac Topical Formulation" that covers Horizon's U.S. approved product Pennsaid
  • Pattern Energy Group (PEGI) announced the completion of C$393 million in financing for its 180 MW Meikle Wind power project located in British Columbia
  • Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals (CYCC) announced that the first patient has been dosed in an investigator sponsored trial of the Company's oral cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor seliciclib in Cushing's disease
  • InterOil Corporation (IOC) and the PRL 15 joint venture participants have unanimously endorsed recommendations from Total SA (TOT) for key project infrastructure sites for development of the Elk-Antelope gas field in Papua New Guinea

7:02 am Health Net to be acquired by Centene (CNC) for ~$78.57/share in cash and stock (~21% premium) (HNT) : Centene will acquire all of the shares of Health Net in a cash and stock transaction valued at ~$6.8 bln, including the assumption of ~$500 million of debt.

  • Health Net shareholders would receive 0.622 shares of Centene common stock and $28.25 in cash for each share of Health Net common stock. Based on Centene's closing stock price on July 1, 2015, the implied consideration of $78.57 per share represents a premium of ~21% over Health Net's closing stock price on July 1, 2015, and of ~26% on June 1, 2015. Upon completion of the transaction, Centene shareholders would own ~71% of the combined entity, with Health Net shareholders owning ~29%. 
  • The transaction is expected to be significantly accretive to Centene's diluted earnings per share in the first year following closing. Centene and Health Net are estimated to have 2015 pro forma annual premium and service revenues of ~$37 billion. 
    • The transaction is expected to generate diluted earnings per share accretion of 10% and adjusted diluted earnings per share accretion of 20% in the first year following closing. 
    • The combined company is estimated to achieve ~$150 million of annual cost synergies by the second year following close with 50% achieved after year one following close.
  • CNC CEO Micheal Neidorff will lead the combined co as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. 
  • Centene intends to fund the cash portion of the acquisition through a combination of existing cash on hand and debt financing.

7:01 am AcelRx reports that results from its IAP311 study have been published in the publication Anesthesiology (ACRX) :

  • The study met its primary endpoint, demonstrating that Zalviso was significantly better at managing pain over 48 hours as measured by Summed Pain Intensity Difference to Baseline (SPID-48), than placebo (p
  • The IAP311 study results had been previously reported, however the publication represents the first time the results have been included in a peer-reviewed journal

7:01 am AutoNation reports that June retail new vehicle unit sales were +9% Y/Y to 27,862 (AN) : Co reported retail sales of 27,862 new vehicles in June 2015, an increase of 9% as compared to June 2014. June 2015 reported retail new vehicle unit sales for AutoNation's operating segments were as follows:

  • 8,282 for Domestic, up 9% versus June 2014
  • 13,110 for Import, up 8% versus June 2014
  • 6,470 for Premium Luxury, up 14% versus June 2014
  • On a same-store basis, reported retail new vehicle unit sales in June 2015 were up 7% as compared to June 2014

7:00 am Applied Genetic Technologies and Biogen (BIIB) enter into a collaboration and license agreement to develop gene-based therapies for multiple ophthalmic diseases; AGTC to receive $124mln upfront, which includes a $30 equity investment at $20.63/AGTC share (shares halted) (AGTC) : The collaboration will focus on the development of a portfolio of AGTC's therapeutic programs, including both a clinical stage candidate and a pre-clinical candidate for orphan diseases of the retina that can lead to blindness in children and adults. The agreement also includes options for early stage discovery programs in two ophthalmic diseases and one non-ophthalmic condition, as well as an equity investment in AGTC by Biogen and a license agreement for manufacturing rights. 

  • Biogen will make an upfront payment in the amount of $124 million to AGTC, which includes a $30 million equity investment in AGTC at a price equal to $20.63 per share and certain prepaid research and development expenditures. Biogen will be granted a license to the XLRS and XLRP programs and the option to license discovery programs for three additional indications at the time of clinical candidate selection. 
  • Under the collaboration, AGTC is eligible to receive upfront and milestone payments exceeding $1 billion. This includes up to $472.5 million collectively for the two lead programs, which also will carry royalties in the high single digit to mid-teen percentages of annual net sales. In addition, Biogen will make payments up to $592.5 million across the discovery programs, along with royalties in the mid single digits to low teen percentages of annual net sales. 
  • Biogen obtains worldwide commercialization rights for the XLRS and XLRP programs. AGTC has an option to share development costs and profits after the initial clinical trial data are available, and an option to co-promote the second of these products to be approved in the United States. AGTC will lead the clinical development programs of XLRS through product approval and of XLRP through the completion of first-in-human trials. Biogen will support the clinical development costs, subject to certain conditions, following the first-in-human study for XLRS and IND-enabling studies for XLRP. Under the manufacturing license, Biogen will receive an exclusive license to use AGTC's proprietary technology platform to make AAV vectors for up to six genes, three of which are in AGTC's discretion, in exchange for payment of milestones and royalties. 

6:53 am Tesla Motors +2% at 10 month high premarket after reporting Q2 deliveries above guidance (TSLA) : Co delivered 11,507 Model S EVs in Q2 vs. 10-11K guidance -- analysts expected a strong number.

6:34 am Grupo Televisa and Univision Holdings (:UVN) enter into a Memorandum of Understanding for the amendment of their program licensing agreement (TV) : Cos announced that, together with Univision's major shareholders, they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding and that certain subsidiaries of Univision and Televisa entered into an amendment to their existing Program Licensing Agreement. Under the PLA Amendment:

  • Term Extension - Univision's exclusive U.S. broadcast and digital rights (with limited exceptions) to Televisa's programming including premium Spanish-language telenovelas, sports, sitcoms, reality series, new programming and feature films, will remain unchanged. Subject to Univision completing a public offering of its common stock that results in net proceeds to Univision of a minimum agreed upon amount and no change of control having occurred, the PLA Amendment extends the term of the PLA from its current expiration date of at least 2025 to at least 2030. 
  • Revised Royalty Computation - In exchange for Univision agreeing to make certain additional revenue subject to the royalty, effective January 1, 2015 and through December 2017, the royalty rate on substantially all of Univision's Spanish-language media networks revenue is 11.84 percent, compared to 11.91 percent under the prior terms. On January 1, 2018, the royalty rate will increase to 16.13 percent, compared to 16.22 percent under the prior terms. Additionally, Televisa will continue to receive an incremental 2 percent in royalty payments on such media networks' revenues above an increased revenue base of $1.66 billion, compared to the prior revenue base of $1.65 billion. The royalty rate will again increase to 16.45 percent starting in June 1, 2018 and for the remainder of the term, compared to the prior rate of 16.54 percent. 
  • Equity Capitalization Amendment -The equity capitalization of Univision will be adjusted to realign the economic and voting interests of Televisa and Univision's other stockholders. As a result, Televisa will hold common stock with approximately 22% of the voting rights of Univision's common stock. 
  • Conversion of Debentures - Televisa will convert $1.125 billion of Univision debentures into warrants that are exercisable for new classes of Univision's common stock.

6:32 am Blue Calypso announces a 1-for-50 reverse stock split, in preparation for its proposed up-listing to either the NYSE MKT or the NASDAQ Capital markets; split effective immediately (BCYP) :  

6:31 am Provectus Pharma signs Letter of Intent with Boehringer Ingelheim (China) Investment to collaborate in bringing PV-10 to market in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan (PVCT) : Under the terms of the LOI, Boehringer will provide certain commercially reasonable support in the aspects of product registration with the China Food and Drug Administration, communication preparation, market intelligence and other assistance to Provectus in China to the extent that is within Boehringer's approved business scope and permissible by Chinese laws. In return, Provectus will grant Boehringer the first priority to be the exclusive collaborator of Provectus in China for PV-10 in the event that PV-10 is successfully registered and approved by the CFDA. The exclusive collaboration may take the form of exclusive distribution and promotion, exclusive licensing or other agreement, subject to both parties' mutual agreement. At the appropriate time, Provectus and Boehringer will enter into a definitive agreement, including a non-compete provision, for PV-10 to be exclusively developed, distributed and promoted through the collaboration within China, although there can be no assurance that the parties will enter into a definitive agreement.

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

  • Provectus Biopharmaceuticals (PVCT) announced that data from its phase 1 study of PV-10 for chemoablation of hepatocellular carcinoma and cancer metastatic to the liver was presented at the ESMO 17th World Congress. The main conclusion was that preliminary evidence of efficacy in treatment of liver cancers with PV-10 was observed. 
  • Acacia Research Corporation (ACTG) announced that its Unified Messaging Solutions subsidiary has entered into a settlement and patent license agreement with Castle Street Investments
  • Brasil Foods S.A. (BRFS) completes the sale of its dairy division to Lactalis do Brasil -- Comrcio, Importao e Exportao de Laticnios Ltda., including the sale of 100% of the shares of Elebat Alimentos S.A., an entity into which BRF has contributed the rights and obligations related to its dairy division. The value of the Transaction was approximately R$2.1 billion.
  • EPAM Systems (EPAM) announced its expansion of operations in Europe with the formation of EPAM Systems Austria GmbH. This will enable clients in Austria, and other European regions, to collaborate more closely with EPAM on key initiatives.
  • American Girl, a subsidiary of Mattel (MAT) announce the opening of its first American Girl shop-in-shop boutique in Mexico

6:13 am Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) JV ViiV Healthcare enters into a strategic manufacturing agreement with Desano Pharmaceuticals to enable production in China of dolutegravir (PFE) : The agreement will offer an additional source of the dolutegravir active pharmaceutical ingredient, and will allow ViiV Healthcare to offer a competitive supply of the finished product (dolutegravir 50mg, marketed under the name Tivicay) for China and a number of developing countries, subject to national approvals.

6:01 am China Information Tech reports an update on the sale of its manufacturing facility (CNIT) : Recently, the co collected an additional RMB 15 million ($2.42 million) of payment from the Buyer and used such proceeds to pay back some of its maturing bank loans. On June 30, 2015, the Company entered into a land transfer contract with the Buyer under which the Buyer agreed to pay the remaining purchase price of RMB 260 million ($41.94 million) to CNIT before the end of July 2015. Co plans to use the proceeds from this transaction for bank loan repayment, working capital, and share repurchase programs.

6:01 am Magellan Petroleum reports amending its revolving loan facility to become a single term loan (MPET) : The Revolving Loan Facility was due to mature on September 30, 2015, and the outstanding balance amounted to $5.5 million. The interest payments were based on the prime rate and a floor rate of 3.25%. Co has converted that into a single term loan.

  • The total amount of the Term Loan will be $5.5 million and no additional draws may be made. The term of the Term Loan will be 5 years and will be due on June 30, 2020. The interest payable on the Term Loan will be due monthly and be based on the prime rate plus 1.50% with an interest rate floor of 4.75%.

6:00 am Adaptimmune Therapeutics announces the US FDA acceptance of its IND application for autologous genetically modified T-cells expressing enhanced T cell receptors (ADAP) : The acceptance of this IND allows Adaptimmune to initiate an open label Phase I/II study designed to evaluate its wholly-owned MAGE-A10 T therapeutic candidate in NSCLC. Co anticipates that enrollment will begin in 2015.

6:00 am Tesla Motors announces 11,507 Model S deliveries for Q2 2015 (TSLA) : The company notes this was a new record for the most cars delivered in a quarter and represents an ~52% increase y/y

6:00 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Cxense ASA announced that it has signed a contract with Gannett (GCI). The contract includes Cxense Insight, Cxense DMP, and Cxense Content. 
  • ABB (ABB) has won an order worth $52 million to boost the flexibility and efficiency of Changan Ford Automobile Co., Ltd.'s new production facility in Harbin, China. The robots will be used to make Ford's new Focus model.
  • Nasdaq (NDAQ) and the Australian Securities Exchange announced that Nasdaq has been selected to deliver ASX's next generation post-trade risk management solution.
  • Accenture (ACN) announced a five-year contract extension with Deutsche Bank (DB) to continue to provide procurement business process outsourcing services globally to the bank. 
  • Envivio (ENVI) announced that the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Mateo, granted final approval of a settlement of a securities class action lawsuit and related claims originally filed in October 2012 against Envivio Inc., its Board of Directors, certain officers and the underwriters of the company's initial public offering.
  • Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) has closed on its agreement to acquire a 52.7 percent interest in Poland's multi-platform media company, TVN, from ITI and Canal+ Group for an all-cash consideration of 584 million. Scripps Networks Interactive will also assume 856 million of debt.

5:51 am S&P futures vs fair value: +4.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +8.60. :

5:51 am European Markets : FTSE...6608.43...-0.20...0.00%.  DAX...11178...-2.50...0.00%.

5:51 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...20522.50...+193.20...+1.00%.  Hang Seng...26282.32...+32.30...+0.10%.

5:13 am CareTrust REIT acquires skilled nursing facility in GA and seniors housing facility in FL (CTRE) : Co announced that it has acquired Shamrock Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a 105-bed skilled nursing facility located in Dublin, Georgia, for $8.3 million. Concurrently with the acquisition, CareTrust entered into a master lease with Trillium Healthcare Group, LLC, which took over operations effective July 1, 2015.

  • The acquisition provides an initial cash yield of 9.65% on EBITDAR rent coverage of 1.40x, producing initial annual revenue of $799,148. The master lease has an initial term of 15 years with two five-year extensions and CPI-based rent escalators. 
  • The investment is CareTrust's eighth announced transaction and fourth skilled nursing acquisition since its June 2014 spinoff.
Additionally, co announced that it has acquired Bristol Court Assisted Living, a 70-unit/115-bed memory care facility located in St. Petersburg, Florida for $8.4 million.
  • The Florida senior housing acquisition has a going-in cash yield of 8.5% on EBITDAR rent coverage of 1.24x, producing initial annual rental revenue of $716,022. The master lease has an initial term of 15 years with two five-year extensions and CPI-based rent escalators. 
  • The investment is CareTrust's ninth announced transaction and fifth senior housing acquisition.

4:34 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • PNM (PNM) filed with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission key documents needed to implement the company's plan for San Juan Generating Station. The filing includes the ownership restructuring agreement, coal supply agreement, and the purchase and sale agreement for San Juan Mine between BHP Billiton (BHP) and Westmoreland Coal Company. 
  • WellCare Health Plans (WCG) announced today that the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services selected WellCare of Kentucky to continue serving the Commonwealth's Medicaid Managed Care program in all eight of the program's regions. The new contract begins on July 1, 2015 and is for one year. It may be extended for four additional one-year renewals at the Commonwealth's discretion. 

4:23 am Nielsen divests its Beverage DATA Network assets to Vermont Information Processing; terms not disclosed (NLSN) : Nielsen announced that it has signed an agreement with Vermont Information Processing for the acquisition of its Beverage Data Network assets.

  • With this agreement, VIP will acquire all Nielsen BDN assets, the largest supplier of wholesaler depletion data to the wines and spirits industry. 
  • Effective immediately, together with the BDN network, VIP will now process wholesaler depletion data across the majority of ALL beverage alcohol products (beer, spirits and wine) that moves through the three-tier system in the U.S., and will service and support all BDN customers.

4:08 am Vimicro's board waives application of its Rights Agreement to the purchase of additional shares of Vimicro by Nantong Zongyi Investment Co (VIMC) : Vimicro International announced that its board has waived the application of its shareholders' Rights Agreement to the purchase of additional ordinary shares of Vimicro by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nantong Zongyi Investment Co from a third party in exchange for certain conditions, including that the Board must be notified of additional purchases by Zongyi and that Zongyi may not launch any takeover bid for Vimicro without consent from the Board.

  • Zongyi's waiver will apply until its share ownership exceeds 30% of the ordinary shares of Vimicro. 
  • Vimicro has been notified that Zongyi will hold approximate 28.85% of the ordinary shares of Vimicro after this purchase.

3:56 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Accenture (ACN) and Avanade have won a five-year contract from the Department of Health in England and NHS National Services Scotland to implement the new and improved secure cloud-based NHSmail service in England and Scotland. 
  • Sprint (S) and Dixons Carphone announced a commercial relationship that pairs Sprint with a premier European consumer electronics retailer renowned for innovation in wireless retail sales. The relationship is expected to accelerate Sprint's retail transformation, and is the latest inventive move to grow its number of retail stores.

3:36 am Frontline merges with Frontline 2012 (FRO) : Frontline and Frontline 2012 Ltd have entered into an agreement and plan of merger, pursuant to which the two companies have agreed to enter into a merger transaction, with Frontline as the surviving legal entity and Frontline 2012 as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Subsequent to the merger, this subsidiary is expected to merge into the Surviving Company which will retain the Frontline name.

  • After the merger is completed the Combined Company expects to become one of the world's leading tanker companies with a total fleet of approximately 90 vessels, consisting of approximately 25 VLCCs, 17 Suezmax tankers, 16 MR product tankers and 10 LR2 Aframax tankers. 
  • This includes approximately 20 vessels on time charter in or under commercial management. The Combined Company will also have a newbuilding program of approximately 22 vessels, which are scheduled to be delivered in the period 2015 - 2017.

3:04 am SunEdison and Gamesa sign memorandum of understanding to create JV to develop up to 1 gigawatt of wind power plants globally by 2018 (SUNE) : SunEdison and Gamesa announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a joint venture to develop up to 1 gigawatt of wind energy power plants globally by 2018. SunEdison and Gamesa will each own a 50% stake in the joint venture.

  • Gamesa will supply the wind turbines and be responsible for operation and maintenance of the wind power plants as part of long term O&M agreements. 
  • Gamesa may also provide engineering, procurement, and construction services for the projects. 
  • Ownership of the projects will be shared during development; upon construction SunEdison will acquire the projects from the joint venture. SunEdison will purchase additional wind turbines from Gamesa, based upon development volume targets achieved by the joint venture.

2:41 am Accenture divests its Navitaire subsidiary to Amadeus (AMADY) for $830 mln (ACN) : Amadeus has agreed to acquire Navitaire, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accenture that provides technology and business solutions to the airline industry, for $830 million. 

  • Navitaire, which focuses on the low-cost and hybrid-carrier segments of the airline industry and has a global customer base of more than 50 operators, provides revenue-generation and cost-streamlining solutions in the areas of reservations, ancillary sales, loyalty, revenue management, revenue accounting and business intelligence. 

1:49 am Ambac confirms that all payments due on its insured Puerto Rico bonds have been paid in full by the relevant issuer (AMBC) : Ambac did not receive any claims from policyholders for non-payment of interest or principal on any outstanding debt issued by the Commonwealth.

1:43 am Danaher prices its euro-denominated senior notes offering (DHR) : Co announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, DH Europe Finance SA, has priced an offering of:

  • 500 million principal amount of floating rate senior notes due 2017 
  • 600 million principal amount of 1.000% senior notes due 2019 
  • 800 million principal amount of 1.700% senior notes due 2022 
  • 800 million principal amount of 2.500% senior notes due 2025 

1:30 am California Water receives approval for rate increase; adds ~$3 mln to annual revs (CWT) : California Water Service Group (CWT) announced that its subsidiary, Hawaii Water Service Company, received two decisions from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (Commission) that will increase annual revenues by $2,775,020.

  • Commission approved a rate increase and change in rate design for Hawaii Water Service Company's Kona Water System, which operates as Kona Water Service Company. 
  • In its decision, the Commission approved an increase in revenue of $2,101,024, or 58.8%, to be phased in over six months to reduce the impact to customers. 

1:26 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Bell Helicopter, a Textron (TXT) company, announced the successful first flight of the Bell 525 Relentless. The maiden flight of the super-medium helicopter took place at the company's aircraft assembly center in Amarillo, Texas. 
  • The New Home Company (NWHM) announced the addition of Standard Pacific Homes to the homebuilding team for The Cannery, an innovative farm-to-table community located in Davis, Calif. Standard Pacific Homes joins NEW HOME and Shea Homes as builders within the community.
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