InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

5:43 pm Microchip confirms preliminary discussions with CSR plc (MCHP) : Co announced that it has had preliminary mutual discussions with CSR plc regarding ways in which its relationship with CSR could be advanced, including possibly an acquisition of CSR, a provider of AV, connectivity and location technology. Microchip and CSR have worked together on business initiatives in the past, such as a Bluetooth module initiative. The discussions between the parties are at a very preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made, or that any other type of transaction will be entered into with CSR or as to the terms, structure or form of any such transaction. As of August 27, 2014, Microchip confirms that it had 200,689,871 shares of common stock, $.001 par value per share, issued and outstanding.

5:23 pm Era Group announces CEO resignation and appointment of Chris Bradshaw as acting CEO (ERA) : Co announced today that Sten L. Gustafson has resigned as Chief Executive Officer and as a director of the Company effective August 29, 2014. The Board has named Christopher S. Bradshaw, Era's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, as Acting Chief Executive Officer effective August 29, 2014 while the Board identifies a permanent Chief Executive Officer to replace Mr. Gustafson. Mr. Bradshaw will also retain his duties as Chief Financial Officer.

5:23 pm Radius Health reports proof of mechanism for RAD1901; expects top-line data from Abaloparatide-SC Phase 3 clinical study in late December 2014 (RDUS) : Co reports that the positron emission tomography (:PET) imaging from the RAD1901 maximum tolerated dose study ("MTD") has demonstrated potent selective estrogen receptor degradation ("SERD") activity. In the ongoing MTD study, we observed via 18F-fluroestradiol positron emission tomography that a well tolerated dose of RAD1901 strongly suppressed positive baseline estrogen receptor imaging sites in the first healthy volunteer in the PET imaging cohort of the study. The study will continue to test higher doses to determine the maximum tolerated doses and to extend the PET imaging correlation with the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic response to RAD1901. Radius will present these findings as a RAD1901 poster at the 4th Annual Brain Metastases Research and Emerging Therapy Conference, which takes place on September 19-20, 2014 in Marseille, France.

Anticipated Upcoming Corporate Milestones:

  • Abaloparatide-SC 
    • Report of top-line fracture data from Abaloparatide-SC Phase 3 clinical study in late December 2014. 
    • Submit a New Drug Application/NDA and a European Marketing Authorization Application/MAA for Abaloparatide-SC in mid-2015. 
  • RAD1901 
    • Initiate a Phase 1 clinical study of RAD1901 in metastatic breast cancer in late 2014. 
    • Report results of MTD study in RAD1901.

5:04 pm Turtle Beach announces that a group of institutional investors purchased a combined 371,520 shares of common stock co-founders Fred Romano and Carmine Bonanno (HEAR) : Co announced that a group of institutional investors purchased a combined 371,520 shares of common stock from Mr. Fred Romano and Mr. Carmine Bonanno, co-founders of Turtle Beach, in accordance with the terms of the Company's amended Stockholder Agreement, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 10, 2014. The number of shares transacted equates to the shares that were available for open-market sales by both individuals under the modified lock-up extension under the Shareholder's Agreement, which expires on April 1, 2015. As a result, Mr. Romano and Mr. Bonanno are restricted from selling additional shares in open market trades prior to April 1, 2015 without the Company's approval.

4:47 pm Medifast adopts one-year stockholder rights plan (MED) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously adopted a one-year stockholder rights plan and declared a dividend of one right for each outstanding share of Medifast common stock. The Rights Plan expires on August 28, 2015, and the Board of Directors may terminate the Rights Plan at any time if it no longer believes that the Rights Plan is in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders. 

  • The Board of Directors adopted the rights plan in response to the recent rapid accumulations of significant portions of Medifast's outstanding common stock.

4:45 pm Intellipharmaceutics Intl augments its Rexista ocycodone development program with novel overdose deterrence technology (IPCI) : Co announced an enhancement of its Rexista abuse-deterrence technologies with a significant improvement designed to prevent overdose when more pills than prescribed are swallowed intact. Intellipharmaceutics' new platform technology is branded PODRAS (Paradoxical OverDose Resistance Activating System). The PODRAS platform technology is covered by patents pending with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. 

4:32 pm Amira Nature Foods beats by $0.10, beats on revs; reaffirms FY15 revs guidance (ANFI) : Reports Q1 (Jun) earnings of $0.26 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.10 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.16; revenues rose 25.9% year/year to $138.81 mln vs the $131.07 mln consensus.

Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees FY15 rev growth in excess of 20% (~$656.8 mln) vs. $665.23 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Co also sees FY15 adjusted EBITDA growth in excess of 20%.

4:31 pm Thinly traded CCA Industries has sold its weight loss business, marketed under the Mega-T brand (CAW) : Under the terms of the sale, the purchaser received all inventory, trademarks and other intellectual property rights related to the brand in exchange for assuming pre-closing liabilities for returns, markdowns and co-operative advertising deductions by the retailers up to a cap of $2,250,000. The Company does not believe that these pre-closing liabilities will exceed the $2,250,000 cap.

4:27 pm OmniVision reports Q1 (Jul) results, beats on revs; guides Q2 EPS in-line, revs in-line (OVTI) : Reports Q1 (Jul) earnings of $0.91 per share,  including larger tax benefit and may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.53; revenues rose 22.8% year/year to $406.5 mln vs the $383.15 mln consensus.

  • For the first quarter of fiscal 2015, the Company recorded a non-cash tax benefit of $15.1 million, as compared to $8.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2014
  • GAAP gross margin was 21.7% vs 17.4% prior year
Co issues in-line guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.43-$0.59, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.50 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs of $360-$390 mln vs. $377.94 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:23 pm Authentidate Holding announces registered direct offering of ~$2.47 mln; will issue ~3.46 mln shares of common stock and common stock warrants to purchase up to ~1.14 mln shares of common stock (ADAT) :

  • The co entered into definitive agreements with institutional and accredited investors for a direct placement of $2.47 mln of common stock and warrants, at a unit price of $0.71 per share and warrant for new investors and $0.75125 per share and warrant for certain affiliated investors. 
  • In the transaction, Authentidate will issue a total of 3,463,990 shares of common stock and common stock warrants to purchase up to 1,143,115 shares of common stock. The warrants will be exercisable commencing on the six month anniversary of the date on which they are issued and have an exercise price of $0.8875 per share. The warrants will expire on the 5 year anniversary of the initial exercise date.  
  • Co expects to complete the offering on or about September 3, 2014. Proceeds from the offering will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes. Certain officers and directors of the company, as well as an affiliate of its largest stockholder, participated in the transaction.

4:21 pm Rally Software Development beats by $0.10, beats on revs; guides Q3 EPS in-line, revs below consensus; guides FY15 EPS above consensus, revs in-line (RALY) : Reports Q2 (Jul) loss of $0.30 per share, $0.10 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.40); revenues rose 8.6% year/year to $21.5 mln vs the $20.53 mln consensus.

  • Total paid seats increased to nearly 235,000, a 22% increase over the total paid seats in the same period one year ago.
  • Cash flow used in operations in the second quarter was $8.9 million. Cash and cash equivalents at July 31, 2014, excluding restricted cash, were $77.0 million 
  • Guidance: Co issues mixed guidance for Q3, sees EPS of ($0.37)-($0.34) vs. ($0.34) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 revs of $22.0-$22.5 mln vs. $22.77 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

    Co issues mixed guidance for FY15, sees EPS of ($1.26)-($1.21) vs. ($1.33) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $87-$90 mln vs. $87.38 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:17 pm Constellation Energy approved plan of conversion to Delaware limited partnership named Sanchez Production Partners (from a Delaware limited liability company) (CEP) : Further approval of the plan of conversion is required by the company's unitholders. The company anticipates seeking that approval by December 31, 2014.

4:16 pm Atlas Pipeline announces amended and upsized $800 mln revolving credit facility (APL) : Co announced that the Partnership has successfully amended its revolving credit facility, significantly increasing the Partnership's borrowing capacity, extending the term of the facility, and lowering borrowing costs.

  • The new five year facility matures on August 28, 2019, has an initial borrowing capacity of $800 mln, an increase of $250 mln in borrowing cap and contains an accordion feature of up to an additional $250 mln, which, if exercised, will increase the Partnership's total available borrowing capacity to $1.05 bln.

4:16 pm Chase Corp names Kenneth Feroldi CFO effective September 1, 2014 (CCF) :  

4:14 pm Closing Market Summary: Stocks Register Slim Losses Amid Anemic Volume (:WRAPX) : The stock market ended the Thursday session on a modestly lower note, but a late-morning rebound lifted the indices off their lows. The S&P 500 shed 0.2% with seven sectors ending in the red.

This morning, European equities and U.S. futures slumped around 6:00 ET after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko was quoted as saying Russian forces have invaded an area southeast of Donetsk. The news pressured the markets, but a brief uptick took place after a correction to reports indicated Ukraine's President did not use the word "invade," but rather said Russian troops "entered" Ukraine. The change in wording did not change the fact that Russian troops are reportedly on Ukraine's soil, which caused a flight to safety. As a result, Germany's 10-yr Bunds rallied, dropping the yield to a new record low of 0.87% before a slight rebound to 0.89%. Gold futures were also in demand with the metal climbing 0.7% to $1291.70/ozt.

Similarly, U.S. Treasuries saw demand in the morning, but the 10-yr note surrendered a portion of its gain as the session wore on. The 10-yr note added five ticks to send its yield lower by two basis points to 2.34%.

All ten sectors displayed losses at the start, but materials (+0.04%), telecom services (unch) and utilities (+0.7%) were able to recover before the close. The materials sector benefitted from strength among miners with Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX 26.46, +0.35) gaining 1.3%.

Meanwhile, the remaining sectors ended in the red, but only financials (-0.4%) and industrials (-0.3%) settled behind the broader market. Even though the financial sector underperformed, today's loss narrowed its August gain to 3.5% versus a 3.4% advance for the S&P 500. Bank of America (BAC 16.01, -0.19) was the weakest performer among the majors, sliding 1.2%.

Elsewhere, the top-weighted sector-technology (-0.2%)-was pressured by influential components like Facebook (FB 73.86, -0.77), Google (GOOGL 580.32, -2.68), and Oracle (ORCL 41.27, -0.37), while the largest sector member-Apple (AAPL 102.25, +0.12)-posted a modest gain. Chipmakers also displayed strength with the PHLX Semiconductor Index climbing 0.3%.

Once again, participation in today's affair was well below average with just 479 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor, which undercut Monday's total for the lowest tally of the year. The lack of activity reflected the preference to stick to the sidelines ahead of a three-day weekend that could bring new developments on the geopolitical front.

Economic data included the second revision to Q2 GDP, Initial Claims, and the Pending Home Sales report:

  • Second quarter GDP was revised up to 4.2% in the second estimate from 4.0% in the advance estimate, while the Briefing.com consensus expected no revisions 
    • Most notably, real final sales grew at a much faster rate in the second quarter (2.8%) than what was originally reported (2.3%) 
    • Personal consumption spending was left unrevised at 2.5% 
  • The initial claims level fell to 298,000 from an upwardly revised 299,000 (from 298,000), while the Briefing.com consensus pegged the claims level at 302,000 
  • Pending home sales for July rose 3.3%, which was better than the 0.5% increase forecast by the Briefing.com consensus 
    • The reading followed last month's revised decrease of 1.3% (from -1.1%) 
Tomorrow, Personal Income/Spending Data and Core PCE Prices for July will be reported at 8:30 ET, while the Chicago PMI for August (Briefing.com consensus 54.8) will cross the wires at 9:45 ET. The day's data will be topped off with the 9:55 ET release of the final reading of the Michigan Sentiment Survey for August (expected 80.0).
  • Nasdaq Composite +9.1% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +8.0% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +3.0% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +0.3% YTD

4:11 pm UBIC comments on acquisition of shares of TechLaw Solutions -- to be our subsidiary (UBIC) : Co resolved to acquire all of the outstanding shares of TechLaw Solutions. TechLaw Solutions will become our subsidiary. We therefore make the following announcement.

  • We believe that the ties between our company, having advanced technology and innovative products and services, and TechLaw Solutions, with its strong reputation and sales channel in the U.S., will result in a more efficient expansion of our business, especially in the U.S.
  • The impact of the contents of this news release on our consolidated results ended in March 2015 is now under review.

4:07 pm Zoe's Kitchen beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line; guides FY14 revs in-line (ZOES) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.04 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.03; revenues rose 54.0% year/year to $41.9 mln vs the $41.7 mln consensus, and slightly ahead of prior guidance of $41.6-$41.8 mln.

  • Comparable restaurant sales increased 7.5%, at the high-end of its prior guidance of 7.3-7.5%.
  • ZOES opened seven Company-owned restaurants 
  • Guidance: Co issues in-line guidance for FY14, sees FY14 revs of $167-$170 mln vs. $169.49 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Its prior guidance was for FY14 restaurant sales of $166-$170 mln. Sees Royalty and franchise fees of approximately $0.5 million. Expects 29-30 company-owned restaurant openings and acquisition of two franchise restaurants. Sees restaurant contribution margin between 20.0% and 20.5%. 

4:07 pm Splunk beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides Q3 revs above consensus; guides FY15 revs above consensus (SPLK) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.01 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.02); revenues rose 51.7% year/year to $101.5 mln vs the $93.82 mln consensus. 

  • Co issues upside guidance for Q3, sees Q3 revs of $105-107 mln vs. $104.37 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; Operating margin expected to be 1%.
  • Co issues upside guidance for FY15, sees FY15 revs of $423-428 mln vs. $411.60 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.  Non-GAAP operating margin is expected to be approximately 1% (was approximately zero per guidance provided on May 29, 2014).

4:06 pm Veeva Systems beats by $0.02, beats on revs; guides Q3 above consensus; raises FY15 guidance (VEEV) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.09 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.07; revenues rose 52.6% year/year to $75.7 mln vs the $69.3 mln consensus.

  • Co issues upside guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.08 vs. $0.07 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 revs of $78-79 mln vs. $71.46 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Co issues upside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $0.30-0.31 vs. $0.27 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, up from prior guidance of $0.26 to $0.28; sees FY15 revs of $300-303 mln vs. $281.98 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, up from prior guidance of $0.26 to $0.28.

4:05 pm GlobalStar announces promotion of Rebecca Clary to VP and CFO, effective immediately (GSAT) :  

4:05 pm Wyndham Worldwide renews its vacation ownership receivables conduit facility (WYN) :

  • The two-year facility bears interest based on commercial paper rates plus a spread or the LIBOR rate plus a spread.
  • The facility capacity size remained $650 mln.

4:04 pm Pacific Sunwear reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides Q3 EPS below consensus, revs in-line; comps +0.03% (PSUN) : Reports Q2 (Jul) loss of $0.03 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.03); revenues rose 0.8% year/year to $211.7 mln vs the $207.78 mln consensus.

  • Comparable store sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 were 0.3%. 
  • Co ended Q2 with 618 stores vs 637 stores a year ago.
Co issues mixed guidance for Q3, sees EPS of ($0.09)-(0.04), excluding non-recurring items, vs. ($0.02) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 revs of $203-208 mln vs. $207.43 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; guides Q3 comparable store sales from flat to +3%

4:01 pm Papa Murphy's announces new $132 mln senior secured credit facility (FRSH) : Co announced that it has successfully closed on a new $132 mln senior secured credit facility. The new five year facility, consisting of a $112 mln senior secured term loan and a $20 mln revolving credit facility, replaces the co's existing $122 mln facility, which consisted of a $112 mln senior secured term loan and a $10 mln revolving credit facility. 

  • Based on current market conditions, the refinancing represents a 200 basis point reduction in borrowing costs and is estimated to reduce annual cash interest expense by ~$2.25 mln per year and benefit on-going annual earnings per share in the range of $0.09-$0.10, on a fully-diluted basis.

4:00 pm Cellular Dynamics awarded U.S. Patent covering automated production of all human pluripotent stem cells (ICEL) : Co announced that the USPTO awarded the company Patent No. 8,815,585 on the automated production of human pluripotent stem cells, including induced pluripotent stem cells. CDI's products and services are based on iPSC technology. This patent has broad-reaching effects, covering research, cellular therapy development and stem cell banking.

3:31 pm Earnings Calendar (:SUMRX) : Today after the close look for the following companies to report:

  • AVGO, FRED, OVTI, PSUN, UEPS, ANFI, SPLK, VEEV, ZOES, RALY
Tomorrow before the open look for the following companies to report:
  • BIG

2:53 pm NYMEX Energy Closing Prices Oct crude oil rose $0.04 to (:COMDX) :

  • Oct crude oil rose $0.62 to $94.51/barrel
  • Sep natural gas rose 4 cents to $4.04/MMBtu
  • Oct heating oil fell 1 cent to $2.85/gallon
  • Oct RBOB rose 1 cent at $2.59/gallon

2:50 pm CBOT Agriculture and Ethanol/ICE Sugar Closing Price (:COMDX) :

  • Sep corn rose 6 cents to $3.62/bushel
  • Sep wheat rose 9 cents to $5.56/bushel
  • Nov soybeans rose 6 cents to $10.29/bushel
  • Sep ethanol rose 3 cents to $2.19/gallon
  • Nov sugar (#16 (U.S.)) fell 0.38 of a penny to 25.63 cents/lb

2:19 pm Dollar Firms Amid Choppy Trade: 10Y: +02/32..2.340%..USD/JPY: 103.72..EUR/USD: 1.3180 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index drifts on session highs near 82.50. Click here to see a daily Dollar Index chart.
  • A choppy trade for the greenback has kept action locked in a tight 15 cent range during U.S. trade. 
  • EURUSD is -15 pips @ 1.3180 as action continues to test the recent lows. The single currency has seen a relatively tame session considering the generally weak economic data from the region and reports of Russian troop movements in eastern Ukraine. Eurozone data expected tomorrow includes CPI Flash Estimate, the unemployment rate, and German retail sales. 
  • GBPUSD is +5 pips @ 1.6580 as trade looks to put in a second day of small gains. Early action produced yet another test of 1.6600, but a close above the level looks unlikely. Tomorrow's British data is limited to the Nationwide Home Price Index.
  • USDCHF is little changed near .9150. Traders have been more focused on EURCHF, which early this morning crossed below 1.2050 for the first time since December 2012. The Swiss National Bank's EURCHF1.20 floor will be in focus over the days ahead. Switzerland's KOF Economic Barometer will cross the wires tomorrow. 
  • USDJPY is -15 pips @ 103.70 as trade presses lower for a second session. The 103.60 area remains of interest as a breakdown puts the 103.00 level in play. Japan's household spending and Tokyo Core CPI, preliminary industrial production, and retail sales are due out tonight. 
  • AUDUSD is +15 pips @ .9350 as trade contends with its best close in a month. Today's advance comes after a strong private capital expenditure reading, and has action testing resistance in the area helped by both the 50 and 100 dma. 
  • USDCAD is -15 pips @ 1.0850 as sellers remain in control for a third straight day. The pair has been weak throughout U.S. trade despite Canada's current account balance posting a wider than anticipated deficit. Canada's GDP and Raw Materials Price Index are scheduled for tomorrow.

2:06 pm Darden Restaurants: Starboard confirms it filed proxy materials for annual mtg to elect its 12 nominees; believes Darden has 'unnecessarily delayed annual meeting' (DRI) : Starboard is urging shareholders to elect its twelve highly qualified nominees. (Darden Restaurantsrescheduled its 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders for Friday, October 10, 2014-- see 9:21)

1:41 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

  • BKW (31.61 +4.15%): Target raised to $34 from $30 at UBS, reiterated with a Buy rating
  • TWTR (49.62 +3.25%): Hearing mentioned positively at BofA/Merrill; co also released its Twitter analytics dashboard to all users
  • MWE (78.39 +2.78%): Target raised to $88 from $83 at Wunderlich, reiterated with a Buy rating
Large Cap Losers
  • VALE (13.04 -4.68%): Weakness in metals and minerals stocks on concerns of a drop in iron ore prices: RIO, BBL, MT, BHP also lower
  • WDAY (87.53 -3.07%): Beat quarterly EPS by $0.03 (-$0.11 ex items vs -$0.14 estimate), revs rose 73.6% yoy to $186.8 mln vs $177.45 mln estimate; provided upside Q3 and FY14 guidance; seeing some concerns that co is not making sufficient profit
  • WFM (39 -2.01%): Initiated with a Neutral at Wedbush, target $40
Mid Cap Gainers
  • SIG (114.6 +6.08%): Reported Q2 orgainc earnings of $1.00 per share, Q2 EPS was $0.72; revs rose 39.3% yoy to $1.23 bln vs $1.05 bln estimate; sees Q3 EPS of $0.12-0.18, same store sales +2-4%; sees FY15 EPS of $5.38-5.54; target raised to $135 from $125 at Sterne Agee
  • CSTM (28.98 +4.62%): Missed quarterly EPS by EUR 0.17 (EUR 0.26 vs EUR 0.43 estimate), revs rose 0.4% yoy to EUR 920 mln vs EUR 946.45 mln estimate; Q2 shipments of 279k metric tons were 4% above prior quarter and 2% above prior year
  • SLCA (70.89 +4.26%): Hearing target raised to $80 from $59 at Morgan Stanley, reiterated with an Overweight rating
Mid Cap Losers
  • WSM (66.6 -11.07%): Reported Q2 EPS of $0.53 (in-line), revs rose 5.8% yoy to $1.04 bln vs $1.05 bln estimate; sees Q3 EPS of $0.58-0.63 vs $0.66 estimate, revs of $1.1-1.13 bln vs $1.13 bln estimate; sees FY15 EPS of $3.07-3.17 vs $3.20 estimate, revs of $4.645-4.725 bln vs $4.72 bln estimate; downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
  • GES (23.44 -8.56%): Missed quarterly EPS by $0.03 ($0.26 vs $0.29 estimate), revs fell 4.7% yoy to $609 mln vs $617.91 mln estimate; sees Q3 EPS of $0.15-0.20 ex items vs $0.38 estimate, revs $590-600 mln vs $613 mln estimate; sees FY15 EPS of $1.05-1.20 ex items vs $1.46 estimate, revs $2.44-2.48 bln vs $2.53 bln estimate
  • GCO (82.28 -7.21%): Missed quarterly EPS by $0.21 ($0.34 ex items vs $0.55 estimate), revs rose 7.1% yoy to $615.5 mln vs $613.58 mln estimate; sees FY15 EPS of $5.10-5.20 ex items (lowered from $5.40-5.55) vs $5.46 estimate

1:40 pm Forward Industries: largest shareholder comments on co's dismissal of CFO; 'yet another reckless effort by Chairman Frank LaGrange Johnson and his supporters on the Board to further insulate their positions in the face of managerial disapproval and shareholder value destruction' (FORD) : Terence Bernard Wise, the largest shareholder and member of the board of directors of Forward Industries (FORD), a designer and distributor of custom carry and protective solutions, issued a statement today commenting on Forward's abrupt firing of its CFO on August 19, 2014 without full Board accord, immediately prior to the release of Forward's second-quarter 2014 results.

  • "The unexpected firing of James McKenna, Forward's Chief Financial Officer since 2008, represents yet another reckless effort by Chairman Frank LaGrange Johnson and his supporters on the Board to further insulate their positions in the face of managerial disapproval and shareholder value destruction.

1:37 pm COMEX Metals Closing Prices (:COMDX) :

  • Dec gold rose $7 to $1290.50/oz
  • Sep silver rose $0.11 to $19.52/oz
  • Sep copper fell 5 cents to $3.13/lb

1:30 pm Old Line Bancshares increases quarterly dividend 25% to $0.05 from $0.04/share (OLBK) :  

1:24 pm Blue Earth announces long-term energy savings relationship with JBS USA Holdings to build co-generation power plant (BBLU) : The co has signed an energy purchase agreement and land lease agreement with JBS Food Canada to design, build, finance, own and operate a $29 million (CAD$29,000,000) co-generation power facility.

1:16 pm Pfizer and Protalix BioTherapeutics (PLX) announce FDA approval of pediatric indication for ELELYSO (taliglucerase alfa) for injection, for intravenous use for the treatment of Type 1 Gaucher Disease (PFE) : Co and Protalix BioTherapeutics (PLX) announced that the FDA approved ELELYSO (taliglucerase alfa) for injection for pediatric patients. ELELYSO is therefore now indicated for long-term enzyme replacement therapy for adult and pediatric patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Type 1 Gaucher disease.

12:59 pm Midday Market Summary: Stocks Hold Slim Losses Amid Geopolitical Concerns (:WRAPX) : At midday, the major averages hold modest losses with the S&P 500 trading lower by 0.1%. Other indices have not fared much better as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%) and Russell 2000 (-0.3%) trail the benchmark index.

European equities and U.S. futures slumped in the early morning after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko was quoted as saying Russian forces have invaded an area southeast of Donetsk. The news rolled the markets, but there was a brief uptick after a correction to reports indicated Ukraine's President did not use the word "invade," but rather said Russian troops "entered" Ukraine. Despite the change in wording, the news of an incursion translated into demand for Germany's 10-yr Bunds, dropping the yield to a new record low of 0.87% before a slight rebound to 0.89%.

The news contributed to a lower start for U.S. equities, but it is important to note that some profit taking was likely in order following a 4.2% rally for the S&P 500 over the past three weeks. Furthermore, seven sectors hold midday losses, but only two-industrials (-0.2%) and technology (-0.1%)-have surrendered their week-to-date gains.

The industrial sector is the second-weakest performer at this time with defense contractors and transport stocks contributing to the decline. The PHLX Defense Index is lower by 0.4%, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average holds a loss of 0.3% with all but four components trading in the red.

Similarly, the financial sector (-0.3%) sits at the bottom of the leaderboard, while most of the remaining sectors hover much closer to their flat lines. On the upside, the utilities sector (+0.3%) is the top performer, while energy (unch) and materials (+0.1%) follow a bit behind.

Also of note, the technology sector remains in the red, but chipmakers have shown relative strength with the PHLX Semiconductor Index trading higher by 0.2%. Including the uptick, the index is higher by 5.3% since the end of July.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the first three trading days of the week saw an average daily volume of 490 million, and given the current total (211 million), today's session is likely to produce a similar final tally.

Economic data included the second revision to Q2 GDP, Initial Claims, and the Pending Home Sales report:

  • Second quarter GDP was revised up to 4.2% in the second estimate from 4.0% in the advance estimate, while the Briefing.com consensus expected no revisions 
    • Most notably, real final sales grew at a much faster rate in the second quarter (2.8%) than what was originally reported (2.3%) 
    • Personal consumption spending was left unrevised at 2.5% 
  • The initial claims level fell to 298,000 from an upwardly revised 299,000 (from 298,000), while the Briefing.com consensus pegged the claims level at 302,000 
  • Pending home sales for July rose 3.3%, which was better than the 0.5% increase forecast by the Briefing.com consensus 
    • The reading followed last month's revised decrease of 1.3% (from -1.1%)

12:54 pm Susser and Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) announce stockholder approval of merger (SUSS) : The co and Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) are pleased to announce that Susser Holdings Corporation stockholders voted to approve the proposed merger with ETP at today's special meeting of Susser stockholders.

  • After receiving this stockholder approval, all significant closing conditions for the Merger have been met. ETP and Susser expect to complete the merger on August 29, 2014, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions set forth in the merger agreement.
  • On April 28, 2014, ETP and Susser entered into a merger agreement, pursuant to which Susser stockholders were entitled to elect to receive, (i) a combination of $40.125 in cash and 0.7253 of an ETP common unit, (ii) $80.25 in cash or (iii) 1.4506 ETP common units, for each share of Susser Holdings Corporation common stock they own immediately prior to the merger.

12:28 pm CONMED: Glass Lewis supports Voce Capital's call for further change at ConMed; recommends shareholders elect Voce nominees James Green and Joshua Levine by voting on the white proxy card (CNMD) : Voce Capital Management announced that Glass Lewis, a leading independent proxy advisory firm, has recommended shareholders elect Voce nominees James Green and Joshua Levine at the annual shareholder meeting of CONMED Corporation (CNMD) on September 10, 2014.

  • Glass Lewis notes that "most, if not all, of [Voce's nominees] appear to us to arguably have stronger qualifications than those of the incumbent directors that [Voce] is seeking to remove."

12:23 pm Ingram Micro: Monexa signs distribution agreement with Ingram Micro (IM) : Monexa Services announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with Ingram Micro Inc. (IM) in the United States and Canada, to boost its offering of technology solutions to its customer base. "The new alliance will enable Ingram Micro channel partners focused on cloud services to source and deliver subscription and usage-based pricing models to their customers via Monexa's enterprise-grade billing system."

12:21 pm Neonode issued US patent for touch-and-glide gesture (NEON) : Co announced that on August 19 the US Patent and Trademark Office (:USPTO) issued patent #8,812,993 ('993) for sweep gestures. The '993 patent has 136 patent citations and 44 non-patent citations, and covers transitioning a touch screen device from a tap-absent state, wherein tap-activatable icons are absent, to a tap-present state, wherein tap-activatable icons are present, in response to a touch-and-glide gesture. Three additional US patents also issued on August 19 to Neonode: US patent #8,810,551 for Light-Based Finger Gesture User Interface; US design patent #D711,369 for Tablet Computer; US design patent #D711,342 for Mobile Phone. US patent Nos. 8,810,551 and D711,369 cover multiple aspects of the Company's patented zForceTMAirTM technology.

12:19 pm Market View: SPY, QQQ, DIA all push to new session highs here in midday trading; SPX now @ 1997.57 -2.55 (:TECHX) :  

12:01 pm Duke Energy to retire coal operations at its W.C. Beckjord Station effective Sept. 1 (DUK) : Due to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's increasingly stringent regulations on power plant emissions, Duke Energy Ohio three years ago announced its intent to retire Beckjord Station's coal-fired units 1 through 6 -- totaling 862 megawatts of generating capacity -- by Jan. 1, 2015. Details were recorded in the company's 2011 Resource Plan filing with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

11:56 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:-0.4%
  • Germany's DAX:-1.1%
  • France's CAC:-0.7%
  • Spain's IBEX:-1.1%
  • Portugal's PSI:-1.1%
  • Italy's MIB Index:-2.0%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:+0.2%
  • Greece ASE General Index: -0.9%

11:49 am NJ Resources unit New Jersey Natural Gas announces rate decrease for residential and small commercial customers effective October 1 (NJR) : This is in addition to NJNG's previously proposed 4.3 percent decrease related to its Conservation Incentive Program (:CIP) submitted in its annual BGSS and CIP filing to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in June 2014, and pending approval. NJNG's BGSS filing represents the commodity charge passed through to customers based on the company's cost to acquire natural gas. Any change in the BGSS does not represent a change in profits to the company.

11:46 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (86) outpacing new lows (31) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAP, AMGN, AMSG, ANAC, ANET, ARCW, AUO, AWK, BBD, BBDO, BDSI, BSMX, BURL, CENX, CHA, CHE, CHH, CNI, COBR, COO, CYS, DPS, DTSI, ECHO, ELP, ELS, EMES, ENVE, EPD, ETE, EVEP, EXP, FOLD, FSFG, HCC, HCN, HD, HNT, HSH, IG, INVE, ITMN, KED, KERX, LABL, LEA, LNG, LVNTA, MAG, MMI, MPW, MRD, MTN, MUSA, MWE, NCS, OKE, PBA, PBR, PBR.A, PEIX, PLNR, PLOW, QEP, RDY, RGP, RRMS, SCI, SERV, SIG, SKM, SLCA, SLI, SRE, STN, STRT, TA, TCP, TD, TRP, TRT, UGI, VGR, WMS, WOOF, ZFC

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ACPW, AMPE, AMZG, ANGI, ARCO, ASTI, BAGL, BAXS, CRRS, DDE, DLA, DWSN, DXLG, EOPN, FI, FMER, GES, GLMD, GLRI, GOMO, IRG, KIPS, NDLS, NSPH, PERI, PGN, PHMD, RLOC, RTGN, SPU, TITN

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: EGPT, HYD, LQD, PFF, TLH, TLT

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: FXE, TBT

11:32 am Enpro Industries announces it has amended and restated its senior secured revolving credit facility to provide for a five-year, senior secured revolving credit facility of $300 mln (NPO) : Initially, borrowings under the Revolving Credit Facility bear interest at an annual rate of LIBOR plus 1.75% or base rate plus 0.75%, although the interest rates under the Revolving Credit Facility are subject to incremental increases based on a consolidated total leverage ratio. EnPro intends to use borrowings under the Revolving Credit Facility to fund the purchase of its 3.9375% Convertible Senior Debentures due 2015 pursuant to its previously announced cash tender offer.

11:31 am Layne Christensen's Geoconstruction Division awarded $132.5 mln contract; scheduled to commence later this year and should be completed by the end of 2018 (LAYN) : Co announced that its Geoconstruction division has received a $132.5 mln contract from the Pittsburgh District, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for the East Branch Dam located in Elk County, Pennsylvania. Work on the project is scheduled to commence later this year and should be completed by the end of 2018.

  • The work to be performed by the Geoconstruction division and Bencor, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Layne, will mitigate seepage and erosion throughout the dam's foundation.

11:24 am Mylan Labs: ANDA for three times per week generic Copaxone 40 mg/mL accepted for filing by FDA (MYL) : Co announced that its abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for a three times per week Glatiramer Acetate Injection 40 mg/mL has been accepted for filing by the FDA. This product is the generic version of Teva's Copaxone 40 mg/mL, which is indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

  • Mylan believes it is one of the first companies to have filed a substantially complete ANDA containing a Paragraph IV certification for this product and expects to be eligible for 180 days of marketing exclusivity in the U.S. upon final FDA approval. 
  • Copaxone 40 mg/mL had U.S. sales of approximately $411.5 million for the 12 months ending June 30, 2014, according to IMS Health.

11:12 am Currency Commentary: Yen Holding 104 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index has been pushing off the 83.30 level in early trade to move to the 80.60 area. The greenback has been helped by strong economic data that included Initial Claims, a Q2 GDP revision, and Pending Home Sales. The DXY is starting to cool off following a strong six week rally that started when the basket broke above 80 back in early July.
  • The euro has been attempting to move back above the 1.32 level with limited success. The euro has seen a small bounce as market participants reign in QE expectations at next week's ECB meeting. The euro did fall as preliminary German inflation numbers came in weak. This sets the tone for tomorrow's European CPI which has many investors nervous. The expectations for the number are for it to be weak but ECB President Mario Draghi is expected at next week's press conference to explain some of the weakness as transitory.
  • The pound continues to build a base in the 1.6550 area as it settles following a couple of weeks of selling pressure. This will set up as a key level for sterling as it attempts to regroup and head back up to test its 200 sma (1.6701). 
  • The yen is moving higher which can be attributed to 1) its holding of 104 support and 2) some safe haven buying as U.S. markets teeter and the Ukraine situation intensifies (BONDX, FOREX).

10:51 am Major averages edge to minor new bounce highs -- Dow -57, S&P -4.6, Nasdaq Comp -11 (:TECHX) :  

10:31 am Oct nat gas futures spiked to a new HoD following inventory data, which showed a smaller-than-expected build; Oct nat gas is now +1.4% at $4.06/MMBtu (:COMDX) :  

10:17 am Methes Energies enters into feedstock credit facility allowing it to run at full current capacity; new credit facility replaces Methes' preexisting $1.5 mln credit facility (MEIL) :  

10:08 am New rebound highs for Dow -61 and S&P -4.8 -- Nasdaq Comp -13 hovering just under its bound high (:TECHX) :  

10:04 am Mistras Group acquires The NACHER Corporation; expect that this acquisition will add ~$25 mln in revenues for the FY to previously announced revenue guidance range and be accretive to earnings from day one (MG) : Co announced the acquisition of The NACHER Corporation. NACHER provides comprehensive turnkey maintenance & inspection services to the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, primarily on offshore platforms.

  • Dr. Vahaviolos continued, "We expect that this acquisition will add approximately $25 million in revenues for the fiscal year to our previously announced revenue guidance range and be accretive to earnings from day one. We will provide more details when we release results for our first quarter in early October."

10:01 am Limited reaction to data thus far for major averages -- Dow -71, S&P -6, Nasdaq Comp -13 (:TECHX) :  

9:51 am Nasdaq Comp -16 and S&P -7.5 attempt to stabilize near second level support (:TECHX) : Second level support from The Technical Take for the Nasdaq Comp has been tested at 4547/4544 (session low 4546) with the S&P slightly exceeding a similar level at 1992/1991 (session low 1990.52). Relative sector strength in recent action has been noted in: biotech IBB, Health XLV, Energy XLE, REITs IYR, Utility XLU, Telecom IYZ, Semi SMH.

9:46 am Stock indices slightly extend opening slide -- Dow -99, S&P -9.2, Nasdaq Comp -21 (:TECHX) :  

9:42 am Opening Market Summary: Stocks Slide Out of the Gate (:WRAPX) : As expected, the major averages began the trading day in negative territory. The S&P 500 trades lower by 0.5% with nine sectors showing early losses.

Overall, the six cyclical groups are a bit weaker than the four defensively-oriented sectors. Consumer discretionary (-0.6%), financials (-0.6%), industrials (-0.6%) and technology (-0.5%) are among the notable underperformers, while health care (-0.2%) and utilities (+0.2%) trade a bit ahead of the broader market.

The early losses have caused participants to seek volatility protection as evidenced by a jump in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 12.58, +0.80), which has spiked to its highest level since August 18.

Similarly, Treasuries have been in demand with the 10-yr note (+9/32) sitting on its high with the benchmark yield down four basis points at 2.32%.

July Pending Home Sales (Briefing.com consensus -1.1%) will be released at 10:00 ET.

9:42 am Drone Aviation formed a Strategic Advisory Board that will be headed by Phillip Frost; accepted subscriptions in a private placement of securities of the Company (DRNE) : The Company accepted subscriptions for an aggregate of 1,100,333 shares of the Company's Series F Convertible Preferred Stock, each of which is convertible into one (1) share of Common Stock of the Company, in a private placement of up to $1,500,000 of its securities to certain accredited investors at a purchase price of $0.75 per Share for an aggregate purchase price of $825,250. Dr. Frost led the investment in the private placement.

9:36 am Stock indices extend weaker open -- Dow -75, S&P -8.7, Nasdaq Comp -21 (:TECHX) : Relative sector weakness in early trade has been noted in: Solar TAN, Copper JJC, Housing XHB, Steel SLX, Retail XRT, Social Media SOCL, Coal KOL, Mining XME, Internet FDN.

9:31 am Telik reports progress toward multiple early stage milestones in development of antibody-based therapeutic agent for gastrointestinal cancers (TELK) : Co it has made significant progress related to the development of its lead antibody program designated 5B1. The fully-human antibody was recovered using the Company's internally developed antibody discovery platform. These preclinical test results demonstrate the potential for multiple antibody based therapeutic and diagnostic products based on this lead antibody development candidate.

9:27 am Momenta Pharma announces abbreviated new drug application for three-times-a-week generic copaxone accepted for review by FDA (MNTA) : Co announced that the FDA has accepted for review the Abbreviated New Drug Application for a three-times-a-week generic COPAXONE submitted by Sandoz Inc., Momenta's development and commercialization partner for this product candidate.

9:21 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Tableau Software (DATA) announced that DecisionOne is deploying Tableau to help make data-driven decisions and better serve its customers.
  • Sun-n-Sand Group has renewed its technology agreement with Sabre (SABR), including use of the industry's leading distribution solution and SynXis central reservation system.
  • Darden Restaurants (DRI) is rescheduling its 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders for Friday, October 10, 2014.
  • Dixie Foods International (DIXI) has signed an additional Area Development Agreement with Papa John's International to build two Papa John's (PZZA) locations.
  • International Rectifier, IR (IRF) introduced the automotive-qualified AUIRB24427S high current dual low-side driver IC for Switched Mode Power Supply applications used in Hybrid Electrical Vehicles, Electric Vehicles, and high power industrial converters.
  • Qualstar (QBAK) has expanded its AC-DC power supply offerings by adding high-efficiency Medically Certified Power Supplies to its N2Power brand product portfolio.
  • Mentor Graphics (MENT) announced its new membership in the German-based European Centre for Power Electronics.
  • BioTime (BTX) has entered into a collaboration with Susan Thibeault, of the University of Wisconsin and Marc Remacle, of Louvain University to evaluate BioTime's proprietary HyStem-based hydrogel for the treatment of vocal fold scarring.
  • EXFO (EXFO) unveiled EXFO Xtract, a comprehensive monitoring platform using a combination of patented software engines to collect, analyze, correlate and report on real-time, historical, and predicted events in the network.
  • Amazon (AMZN) launched its third pilot season, calling on customers in the US and UK to watch a brand new slate of original comedy and drama pilots, and provide feedback to help determine which shows should be made into Amazon Original Series.
  • Dehaier Medical Systems (DHRM) is preparing to introduce its Sleep Respiratory Solutions to its first wave of customers in 3A hospitals located in different provinces and province-level cities throughout China.
  • Tyler Technologies (TYL) has signed an agreement with the city of Newport Beach, California, for Tyler's Munis enterprise resource planning solution.

9:16 am Amgen announces positive top-line results from Phase 3 YUKAWA-2 trial of Evolocumab in combination with Statins in Japanese patients with high cardiovascular risk and high cholesterol (AMGN) : Co announced that the Phase 3 YUKAWA-2 (StudY of LDL-Cholesterol Reduction Using a Monoclonal PCSK9 Antibody in Japanese Patients With Advanced Cardiovascular Risk) study evaluating evolocumab in combination with statin therapy in Japanese patients with high cardiovascular risk and high cholesterol met its co-primary endpoints: the percent reduction from baseline in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) at week 12 and the mean percent reduction from baseline in LDL-C at weeks 10 and 12. The percent reduction in LDL-C, or "bad" cholesterol, was clinically meaningful, statistically significant, and consistent with the results observed for the same doses in the Phase 2 YUKAWA trial for evolocumab compared to placebo.

9:14 am S&P futures vs fair value: -9.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -15.00. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a lower open as futures on the S&P 500 trade nine points below fair value. Index futures have spent the night in the red and slumped to lows just before 6:00 ET after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko was quoted as saying Russian forces have invaded an area southeast of Donetsk. The news sent global equities to lows, but there was a brief uptick after a correction to reports indicated Ukraine's President did not use the word "invade," but rather said Russian troops "entered" Ukraine. The concern over the situation has translated into demand for Germany's 10-yr Bunds, dropping the yield to a new record low of 0.87%.

U.S. Treasuries have also been in demand. The 10-yr note holds a seven-tick gain with its yield down three basis points at 2.34%.

On the economic front, participants have received some upbeat news with Q2 GDP seeing a revision up to 4.2% from 4.0%, while the Briefing.com consensus expected no change from the advance reading. While the headline increase was modest, real final sales grew at a much faster clip in the second quarter than originally expected. Real final sales were revised up to 2.8% from an originally reported 2.3% in the advance estimate.

With regard to corporate news, a few more retailers have released their quarterly results that have been mixed. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF 41.55, -2.45), Guess? (GES 23.60, -2.04), and Williams-Sonoma (WSM 66.74, -8.15) are indicated to open lower after disappointing with their earnings and/or revenue, while Signet Jewelers (SIG 114.03, +6.00) is on course for an upbeat start after beating revenue estimates.

The Pending Home Sales report for July (Briefing.com consensus -1.1%) will be released at 10:00 ET.

9:10 am Churchill Downs Incorporated names William Carstanjen CEO, William E. Mudd to President and CFO (CHDN) : Co announced a number of executive leadership changes:

  • William C. Carstanjen named as the company's Chief Executive Officer, replacing Robert Evans
  • Evans will continue as Chairman of the Board of Directors and will continue his full-time, daily involvement in the leadership of the company
  • William Mudd has been promoted to President and Chief Financial Officer

9:05 am Stantec signs letter of intent to acquire Penfield & Smith; financial terms not disclosed, transaction is expected to close in October (STN) :  

9:04 am Amgen submits biologics license application for novel investigational ldl cholesterol-lowering medication evolocumab to the FDA (AMGN) :

  • Co announced the submission of a Biologics License Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for evolocumab seeking approval for the treatment of high cholesterol.
  • Evolocumab is an investigational fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), a protein that reduces the liver's ability to remove low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), or "bad" cholesterol, from the blood.1

9:03 am Tyson Foods successfully completes tender offer for The Hillshire Brands Company (HSH) for $63.00 per share in cash (TSN) : The co and The Hillshire Brands Company (HSH) announced the successful completion of Tyson's tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of common stock of HSH for $63.00 per share in cash, without interest.

9:02 am IMRIS CFO to leave co; will remain with IMRIS through September 5, 2014 (IMRS) :

  • Co announced that Kelly McNeill, Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, will be leaving the Company.
  • McNeill has decided to remain in Winnipeg and not relocate to the Company's new corporate office in Minnesota. McNeill has served as IMRIS' CFO since September 2009. He will remain with IMRIS through Sept 5, 2014.
  • IMRIS is actively engaged in a process to identify an external CFO successor.

9:01 am ACADIA Pharmaceuticals announces trade name NUPLAZID for Pimavanserin (ACAD) : Co announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has provisionally accepted the trade name NUPLAZID for pimavanserin. The co plans to submit the NUPLAZID NDA to the FDA near the end of this year.

9:01 am Medtronic announces the 510(k) clearance and launch of the SHILLA Growth Guidance System (MDT) :

8:58 am S&P futures vs fair value: -8.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -13.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade eight points below fair value.

Asian markets ended the session on a mostly lower note.

  • In economic data: 
    • Australia's HIA New Home Sales fell 5.7% month-over-month (prior 1.2%), while Private New Capital Expenditure increased 1.1% quarter-over-quarter (consensus -0.3%; prior -2.5%) 
    • Hong Kong's Retail Sales fell 3.1% year-over-year (expected -2.5%; last -6.9%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei lost 0.5%, sliding to a one-week low. Exporters continued to see profit-taking with Toyota Motor and Komatsu down 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.7% to register its third consecutive decline. Real Estate Developers were pressured as China Overseas Land & Investment fell 3.1% and China Resources Land gave up 2.7%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.6% to a three-week low as the wave of upcoming IPOs sparked selling. Energy shares outperformed with Sinopec advancing 1.5%. 
Major European indices trade lower across the board with the bulk of the slide coming after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko was quoted as saying Russian forces have invaded an area southeast of Donetsk. The news sent markets to lows around 6:00 ET, but a portion of that loss has been recovered after a correction to reports indicated Ukraine's President did not use the word "invade," but rather said Russian troops "entered" Ukraine. Participants have shown safe-haven demand with a strong bid for Germany's 10-yr Bunds dropping the yield to a new record low of 0.87%.
  • Economic data was plentiful: 
    • Eurozone Business and Consumer Survey fell to 100.6 from 102.1 (expected 101.5). Loan creation remained problematic as M3 Money Supply expanded 1.8% year-over-year (expected 1.5%; prior 1.6%), while Private Loans fell 1.6% (consensus -1.5%; last -1.8%) 
    • Germany's Claimant Count increased by 2,000 (expected -5,000; prior -11,000), while the Unemployment Rate held steady at 6.7%, as expected 
    • Great Britain's CBI Distributive Trades Survey jumped to 37 from 21 (expected 27) 
    • Italy's Retail Sales were unchanged month-over-month (expected -0.2%; prior -0.6%), while Business Confidence fell to 95.7 from 99.1 (expected 99.3) 
    • Spain's GDP growth was left unrevised at 0.6% quarter-over-quarter, as expected. Separately, CPI fell 0.5% (expected -0.2%; last -0.3%) 
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.2% with miners on the defensive. Anglo American, Antofagasta, and Rio Tinto are down between 2.0% and 3.5%. Consumer names outperform with Diageo and WM Morrison Supermarkets up 0.4% and 1.8%, respectively. 
  • In France, the CAC holds a loss of 0.5% with 38 of its 40 components in the red. Financials are among the laggards with BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, and Societe Generale down between 0.8% and 2.2%. Essilor International has jumped 4.6% in reaction to better than expected results. 
  • Germany's DAX trades down 1.2%. Adidas and Deutsche Lufthansa weigh with respective losses of 2.3% and 3.2%, while Fresenius Medical Care leads with a gain of 0.7%.

8:50 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Capstone Turbine (CPST) announced an order by Optimal Group for fifty Capstone C65s to be deployed in Australia.
  • Gramercy Property Trust (GPT) closed the acquisition of three auto salvage sites totaling ~30 acres in Medley, Florida for ~$17.3 mln.
  • FuelCell Energy (FCEL) announced the progression into stage three of a carbon capture development project supported by a previously announced award from the U.S. DoE Office of Fossil Energy's Carbon Capture Program. After achieving the project design and financial goals established for phases one and two, FuelCell Energy has received $1.2 mln to continue into phase three of the project including the validation of the CO2 capture process using a DFC fuel cell stack.

8:48 am Stealthgas misses by $0.05, revs in-line (GASS) : Reports Q2 (Jun) income of $0.12 per share, excl. non-recurring items, $0.05 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.17; revenues rose 5.3% year/year to $31.9 mln vs the $32.0 mln consensus.

  • Revenue rose primarily due to the higher number of vessels in the 2014 period.
  • "The market for older ships operating in the spot market was weaker and as compared to the previous quarter, we had more vessels in the spot market -hence the increase in voyage expenses - seven of our older vessels underperformed while the remaining vessels operated successfully. Although we are continuing with our short term strategy to reduce the number of vessels available in the spot market we are waiting to conclude more period charters in the winter months as the market is firmer and more charterers will be looking to take in ships on period charters. In addition please remember there are ~10 million shares more outstanding than the same quarter last year."

8:40 am SGOCO pops ~18% premkt on online sales platform launch news (see 8:26) (SGOC) :  

8:36 am Noble Energy announces successful drilling results in The Gulf Of Mexico (NBL) : Co announces final well results at the Katmai exploration well and the Dantzler appraisal well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 

  • At Katmai, wireline logging data indicates a total of 154 net feet of crude oil pay was discovered in multiple reservoirs, including 117 net feet in Middle Miocene and 37 net feet in Lower Miocene reservoirs. 
    • Total gross resources at Katmai are now estimated at between 40 and 100 million barrels of oil equivalent, including 40 to 60 million barrels of oil equivalent discovered from this initial well. Additional exploration and appraisal drilling will be required to test the remaining upside potential.
  • The Dantzler-2 well - was drilled to a total depth of 18,210 feet in 6,600 feet of water. 
    • Gross resources at Dantzler have increased to between 65 and 100 million barrels of oil equivalent. Dantzler has been incorporated into the Company's plans in the Rio Grande development area, which also includes discoveries at Big Bend and Troubadour. 
    • The Rio Grande development remains on schedule, with first production from Big Bend expected in the fourth quarter of 2015 and Dantzler in the first quarter of 2016.

8:36 am Solar Power subsidiary announces EPC Agreement for 30 Megawatt PV project in Ningxia, China (SOPW) : Construction of the project is expected to begin in August 2014 with completion and grid connection anticipated before the end of 2014. EPC services to be provided by Xinwei include survey and design, procurement of equipment and materials, construction and installation, technical services, and training, among others. This EPC agreement represents a significant milestone for SPI in developing solar projects in Western China, and adds to SPI's growing EPC business in the domestic China PV market.

8:33 am Gold and silver pull back just modestly following GDP data; Dec gold is now +0.8% at $1294/oz (near its HoD), Sept silver is +1.7% at $19.74/oz (:COMDX) :  

8:32 am S&P futures vs fair value: -6.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -9.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade six points below fair value.

The second estimate of second quarter GDP pointed to an expansion of 4.2%, up from the 4.0% increase observed in the preliminary reading. The upwardly revised increase is higher than the 4.0% growth that economists polled by Briefing.com had expected. The fourth quarter GDP Deflator was revised up to 2.1% from 2.0%.

The latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 298,000, while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 302,000. Today's tally was below the revised prior week count of 299,000 (from 298,000). As for continuing claims, they rose to 2.527 million from 2.502 million.

8:31 am Iteris Holdings awarded $1.2 mln transportation performance management task order from National Highway Institute (ITI) :

  • This three-year task order is part of the Federal Highway Administration Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract awarded to Iteris in December 2013.
  • Under this task order, Iteris will help transportation agencies with the various elements of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) requirements and assist with the implementation of performance measures into their existing planning processes.

8:31 am iBio receives European patent allowances for protein expression technology (IBIO) : Co announced it received notices of intention to grant for two European patent applications claiming novel protein expression technologies. Both allowed patent applications are based on inventions developed by scientists at the company's research and technology collaborator, the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology and are owned by the co.

8:31 am Market View: Sep. stock-index futures see slight up-tick, continue to trade below fair values following the 8:30 a.m. ET economic data points (:TECHX) :

  • ESu4 now trades 1991.00 -6.00

  • YMu4 now trades 17047 -46

  • NQu4 now trades 4063.50 -9.25

8:31 am OncoMed Pharmaceuticals announces removal of partial clinical hold by the FDA for Vantictumab (OMED) : Co announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has removed the partial clinical hold on enrollment in the company's vantictumab Phase 1 clinical trials. Enrollment and dosing of new patients is expected to resume within the next few weeks as the study sites' institutional review boards receive and approve the revised trial protocols.

8:31 am SinoCoking projects $10-15 mln gross profit from Syngas sales in 2015 from new Pingdingshan facility; will be renamed Clean Synthetic Technologies pending approval (SCOK) :

  • This estimate, said the company, is based upon sales of syngas at an average price of about $0.12 per cubic meter, with 24x7 production and gross margins of approximately 40 percent. The facility, due to open next month, is also one of the few in China that will capture the considerable volume of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) emitted during the production of syngas. This CO2 will be converted to ammonium bicarbonate, a common farm fertilizer, and sold to various outlets in China, said the company. 
  • Pending shareholder approval, SinoCoking will be renamed Clean Synthetic Technologies.

8:29 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: GOMO -21.8%, WSM -10.5%, TLYS -9.6%, FRO -8.9%, GES -8.3%, GCO -6.5%, ANF -6.1%, GMAN -5.8%, HSOL -5.5%, VE -1.7%, VMEM -1.2%, .

M&A news: TEF -0.8% (raises bid offer for Vivendi's (VIVHY) GVT unit).

Select EU financial related names showing weakness: DB -2.1%, SAN -1.7%, UBS -0.8% 

Select metals/mining stocks trading lower after Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine AG sees drop in iron ore prices due to over supply: RIO -3.6%, MT -2.1%, BHP -1.9%, CLF -1.9%.

Select Biotech related names showing early weakness: ISNS -4.2%, FOLD -3.1%, MACK -1.8%, ARWR -1.8%, ACHN -1.5%, ARIA -1.1% 

Other news: ROX -7.3% ((filed for $30 mln mixed securities shelf offering), TIF -0.5% (filed mixed securities shelf offering),), RSH -3.7% (pulling back from yesterday's 20% gain), FOLD -3.1% (still checking), RSX -3.1% (new reports of Russian invasion into Ukraine), AEO -2.3% (in sympathy with ANF), RH -2% (following WSM results), YNDX -1.8% (Russian exposure).

Analyst comments: GTAT -2.2% (downgraded to Underperform from Mkt Perform at Raymond James), NOK -2% (removed from Europe 1 List at BofA/Merrill ), HTZ(E) -1.2% (heaing estimates cut at MS), V -0.8% (downgraded to Mkt Perform from Outperform at Raymond James)

8:26 am European Markets Update: FTSE -0.4%, CAC -0.6%, DAX -1.3% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade lower across the board with the bulk of the slide coming after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko was quoted as saying Russian forces have invaded an area southeast of Donetsk. The news sent markets to lows around 6:00 ET, but a portion of that loss has been recovered after a correction to reports indicated Ukraine's President did not use the word "invade," but rather said Russian troops "entered" Ukraine. Participants have shown safe-haven demand with a strong bid for Germany's 10-yr Bunds dropping the yield to a new record low of 0.87%.

  • Economic data was plentiful: 
    • Eurozone Business and Consumer Survey fell to 100.6 from 102.1 (expected 101.5). Loan creation remained problematic as M3 Money Supply expanded 1.8% year-over-year (expected 1.5%; prior 1.6%), while Private Loans fell 1.6% (consensus -1.5%; last -1.8%) 
    • Germany's Claimant Count increased by 2,000 (expected -5,000; prior -11,000), while the Unemployment Rate held steady at 6.7%, as expected 
    • Great Britain's CBI Distributive Trades Survey jumped to 37 from 21 (expected 27) 
    • Italy's Retail Sales were unchanged month-over-month (expected -0.2%; prior -0.6%), while Business Confidence fell to 95.7 from 99.1 (expected 99.3) 
    • Spain's GDP growth was left unrevised at 0.6% quarter-over-quarter, as expected. Separately, CPI fell 0.5% (expected -0.2%; last -0.3%) 
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.4% with miners on the defensive. Anglo American, Antofagasta, and Rio Tinto are down between 2.0% and 3.5%. Consumer names outperform with Diageo and WM Morrison Supermarkets up 0.4% and 1.8%, respectively. 
  • In France, the CAC holds a loss of 0.6% with 38 of its 40 components in the red. Financials are among the laggards with BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, and Societe Generale down between 0.8% and 2.2%. Essilor International has jumped 4.6% in reaction to better than expected results. 
  • Germany's DAX trades down 1.3%. Adidas and Deutsche Lufthansa weigh with respective losses of 2.3% and 3.2%, while Fresenius Medical Care leads with a gain of 0.7%.

8:25 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • SGOCO Group, Ltd. (SGOC) announced a new on-line sales platform on JD.com (JD) to accelerate the delivery of high quality service and products. 
  • Raytheon Company (RTN) and the U.S. Army achieved the first intercept of a cruise missile by the Accelerated Improved Intercept Initiative missile.
  • Sigma Designs (SIGM) announced a new feature-rich SDK for its 500 Series chips and modules to further enhance Z-Wave's primary position in the rapidly growing wireless home control market.
  • GE Capital (GE), Corporate Finance is providing auction house Sotheby's (BID) with $850 mln in senior credit facilities, including a $250 mln credit line increase.
  • Masimo (MASI) announced CE Mark, clearance in Japan, and limited market release of the rainbow DCI-mini, the first noninvasive haemoglobin spot-check sensor for infants and small children (weight 3 to 30 kg).
  • AerCap Holdings N.V. (AER) has signed agreements with Virgin Atlantic Airways for the purchase and leaseback of seven Boeing (BA) 787 Dreamliners that Virgin Atlantic Airways has on order from Boeing.

8:22 am Iao Kun Group misses by $0.16, misses on revs (IKGH) : Reports Q2 (Jun) loss of $0.12 per share, $0.16 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.04; revenues fell 21.7% year/year to $49.69 mln vs the $60.6 mln consensus. 

  • Rolling Chip Turnover for the three months ended June 30, 2014 was $4.7 bln, an increase of 5% compared to $4.5 bln for the three months ended June 30, 2013.
  • Outlook: For the first seven months of 2014, IKGH's Rolling Chip Turnover was $11.0 bln (an average of $1.6 bln per month), up 10% year-over-year, compared to $10.0 bln (an average of $1.4 bln per month) for the first seven months of 2013. The Company is maintaining its 2014 Rolling Chip Turnover guidance for its five existing VIP rooms in Macau of $17 bln to $19 bln. 

8:22 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: EDAP +4.2%, SIG +2.7%, VNET +2%, DATE +1.8%, LCI +1.7%, WDAY +1.3%, .

Select metals/mining stocks trading higher: GFI +2.2%, SLV +1.7%, HL +1.6%, GG +1.4%, IAG +1.3%, AEM +1.3%, SLW +1.3%, ABX +1.3%, AUY +1.3%, GOLD +0.8%.

Other news: CREG +24.5% (Chairman Guohua Ku has entered into a share purchase agreement to purchase ~13.83 mln shares at $1.37/share),DGLY +13.8% (receives order from State Police Of Michigan valued at more than $1.1 mln),ETRM +13.1% (announces three year diabetes, hypertension and weight loss data from the Maestro RC system DM2 ENABLE study),RPRX +12.6% (achieves superiority in top line analysis for both co-primary endpoints and various secondary endpoints versus marketed topical gel in first of two identical studies in the treatment of secondary hypogonadism),TKMR +9.4% (story suggesting it is a takeover candidate; lists GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Shire (SHPG) as interested parties),SYN +8.1% (Co and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies UK announce significant improvement in API manufacturing of SYN-004 for the prevention of C. difficile),SCLN +7.5% (and BTG announce that DC Bead has been approved by China FDA ),MRCY +2% (receives $27 mln order for airborne sensor processing application; follows $39 mln missile defense radar subsystems order received last quarter ),WOOF +1.7% (announces new $1.4 billion credit facility and share repurchase authorization of up to $400 million),AVIV +1.7% (to join the S&P SmallCap 600),CNC +1.5% (to join the S&P MidCap 400) 

Analyst comments: FEYE +1.7% (initiated with a Buy at Stifel),CRH +1.5% (upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at Credit Suisse),PANW +0.9% (resumed with a Buy at Stifel),FHN +0.8% (upgraded to Outperform from Mkt Perform at Keefe Bruyette),GOLD +0.8% (upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at HSBC Securities),SMTC +0.8% (resumed with a Buy at Goldman)

8:07 am Dow Chemical: Microbial Control forges commercial agreement with Xgenex for U.S. sales of Dow AOS Certified technology (DOW) : Co announced that it's business unit, Dow Microbial Control, has entered into a commercial agreement with food safety innovation company Xgenex LLC, for the U.S. sales of Dow Advanced Oxidation System Certified Whole Room Sanitization for food processing and packaging environments.

8:06 am Agrium, through subsidiary Loveland Products, announces commercialization and technology development agreement with Actagro for soil and plant health products (AGU) : Co announced that it's subsidiary, Loveland Products, Inc., and Actagro, LLC announced that the companies have entered into a commercialization and technology development agreement for soil and plant health nutritional products based on the Actagro Organic Acids Technology Platform. The agreement gives Loveland Products, a leading provider of high-performance crop input products and the proprietary products provider for Agrium Retail globally, expanded distribution, commercialization and development rights to the platform in the Eastern United States, Canada and Australia.

8:05 am Atossa Genetics subsidiary announces commercial partner for Laboratory Services offered by The National Reference Laboratory for Breast Health (ATOS) : Co announced that its subsidiary, The National Reference Laboratory for Breast Health or the NRLBH, has entered into an agreement with BioVentive for the marketing and promotion of the NRLBH's laboratory services.

8:03 am Centene subsidiary receives accreditation rating by NCQA (CNC) : Co announced today that its wholly-owned Missouri subsidiary, Home State Health, has earned Medicaid and Marketplace HMO accreditation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance

8:02 am Avino Silver & Gold re-starts mining operations at the Avino Mine (ASM) : Co announced the re-opening of the Avino Mine and the re-starting of mining operations. The Avino Mine is located 80km northeast of Durango, Mexico. Since dewatering the mine, Avino has hauled out a total of 5,850 tonnes of material from the underground mine workings. This initial tonnage was blasted mill feed material left underground prior to the mine shutting down 13 years ago.

8:02 am S&P futures vs fair value: -7.90. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -11.30. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures hold losses amid cautious action overseas. The S&P 500 futures trade eight points below fair value with the bulk of the weakness coming after Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko was quoted as saying Russian forces have invaded an area southeast of Donetsk. The news sent futures to lows around 6:00 ET, but a portion of that loss has been recovered after a correction to reports indicated Ukraine's President did not use the word "invade," but rather said Russian troops "entered" Ukraine. The change to the wording gave futures a two-point boost off the lows.

On the economic front, weekly Initial Claims (Briefing.com consensus 302,000) and the second estimate of Q2 GDP (expected 4.0%) will be released at 8:30 ET, while the Pending Home Sales report for July (consensus 0.5%) will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.

Treasuries hold gains with the 10-yr yield down two basis points at 2.34%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF 41.30, -2.70): -6.1% after its disappointing revenue and light comparable store sales masked better than expected earnings. 
  • Dollar General (DG 63.00, -0.70): -1.1% following in-line results. 
  • Guess? (GES 23.30, -2.34): -9.1% after missing estimates and guiding below consensus. 
  • Rock-Tenn (RKT 57.64, +9.65): +20.1% after reporting better than expected results. 
  • Signet Jewelers (SIG 108.56, +0.53): +0.5% after beating revenue estimates. 
  • Williams-Sonoma (WSM 67.05, -7.84): -10.5% after its below-consensus guidance overshadowed in-line earnings. 
  • Workday (WDAY 91.25, +0.95): +1.1% in reaction to better than expected results and guidance. 
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended lower. Japan's Nikkei -0.5%, China's Shanghai Composite -0.6%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.7% 
    • In economic data: 
      • Australia's HIA New Home Sales fell 5.7% month-over-month (prior 1.2%), while Private New Capital Expenditure increased 1.1% quarter-over-quarter (consensus -0.3%; prior -2.5%) 
      • Hong Kong's Retail Sales fell 3.1% year-over-year (expected -2.5%; last -6.9%) 
    • In news: 
      • Property-related stocks remained under pressure in China with Vanke falling 1.5%.
  • Major European indices trade lower across the board. Great Britain's FTSE -0.4%, France's CAC -0.8%, and Germany's DAX -1.4%. Elsewhere, Spain's IBEX -1.3% and Italy's MIB -1.7% 
    • Economic data was plentiful: 
      • Eurozone Business and Consumer Survey fell to 100.6 from 102.1 (expected 101.5). Loan creation remained problematic as M3 Money Supply expanded 1.8% year-over-year (expected 1.5%; prior 1.6%), while Private Loans fell 1.6% (consensus -1.5%; last -1.8%) 
      • Germany's Claimant Count increased by 2,000 (expected -5,000; prior -11,000), while the Unemployment Rate held steady at 6.7%, as expected 
      • Great Britain's CBI Distributive Trades Survey jumped to 37 from 21 (expected 27) 
      • Italy's Retail Sales were unchanged month-over-month (expected -0.2%; prior -0.6%), while Business Confidence fell to 95.7 from 99.1 (expected 99.3) 
      • Spain's GDP growth was left unrevised at 0.6% quarter-over-quarter, as expected. Separately, CPI fell 0.5% (expected -0.2%; last -0.3%) 
    • Among news of note:
      • The confusion surrounding a Russian incursion into Ukraine has caused participants to seek safety. A strong bid for Germany's 10-yr Bunds has dropped the yield to a new record low of 0.87%. Germany's 10-yr yield has inched up to 0.89% since notching a low during the past two hours.

8:02 am Mechel Steel reports successful lab tests of its rails at railway research institute; independent lab tests of rails produced at Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant confirmed their high quality and compliance with the most exacting international standards (MTL) :

  • Co reports that independent lab tests of rails produced at Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant confirmed their high quality and compliance with the most exacting international standards. 
  • A batch of rails, of type R65 category DT350, produced at Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant for certification, successfully passed lab tests in Russian Railway Research Institute OAO.
  • Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant's universal rolling mill, whose annual capacity is 1.1 million tonnes of end product, is a complex universal facility for production of high-quality structural shapes and rails of 12.5-100 meters in length. The project's implementation created a single production chain at Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant, from steelmaking to rolling and thermal treatment. This is the first such complex to be built in Russia. The project's cost topped $900 mln.

8:01 am Cobra Electronics: Monomoy Capital Partners to acquire Cobra Electronics Corp for $4.30/share in cash (stock halted, to resume at 8:30 est) (COBR) :

  • COBR and Monomoy Capital Partners II, L.P. a New York private equity fund focused on value investing and business improvement, announced that Cobra Electronics and entities affiliated with Monomoy have executed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which an affiliate of Monomoy will acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Cobra Electronics at $4.30 per share in cash.
  • Directors and officers of Cobra Electronics holding ~2.6% of Cobra Electronics' outstanding shares of common stock, on a fully diluted basis, have executed support agreements pursuant to which each of them will tender their shares in the tender offer.

8:00 am Miller Energy Resources retains independent marketing firm to fivest its Tennessee assets (MILL) : Co announced that it has retained PLS Inc. to help divest Miller's assets in the Southern Appalachian Basin in Tennessee.

  • Miller will evaluate all reasonable bids submitted by September 24, 2014.

8:00 am Pfizer's Investigational Vaccine candidate for clostridium difficile receives US FDA fast track designation (PFE) :

  • Co announced that the FDA has granted Fast Track designation to the company's investigational Clostridium difficile vaccine candidate. Currently in Phase 2 clinical development, the vaccine candidate is designed to prevent C. difficile-associated disease, which can include life-threatening diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis.

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

  • Recon Technology (RCON) announced it has been certified by ABB as an Authorized ABB Third Party System Integrator, to sell and service ABB automation and control products to oil and gas customers in China.
  • Embraer S.A. (ERJ) has signed a firm order worth $677 mln with Japan Airlines for a total of 15 E-Jets comprising the E170 and the E190 jets models, as well as for an additional twelve E-Jets family options.

7:39 am Veolia Environment reports Q2/1H results (VE) : VE reports Q2 revenue up 3.0% at constant FX to 11,232M. Co cited good momentum in the UK, US and Australia (mainly Waste), as well as in Central Europe (Water).

7:38 am Abercrombie & Fitch beats by $0.08, misses on revs, reports comps below expectations; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance (ANF) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.19 per share, $0.08 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.11; revenues fell 5.8% year/year to $891 mln vs the $907.09 mln consensus. Co reports Q2 gross margin of 62.1% vs 62% estimate; reports Q2 comparable store sales -11%( DTC +11%, combined total -7%) vs -4% estimate. Co said it was able to exceed earnings expectations coming into the quarter through continued excellent progress on profit improvement initiative. 

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.15-2.35 vs. $2.35 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; based on assumption for FY comps to be down by a mid-single-digit percentage. The guidance also assumes a gross margin rate for the full year that is down slightly compared to Fiscal 2013, with average unit retail pressure and lower shipping and handling revenues partially offset by average unit cost improvement.

7:38 am Genesco misses by $0.21, reports revs in-line; lowers FY15 EPS below consensus (GCO) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.34 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.21 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.55; revenues rose 7.1% year/year to $615.5 mln vs the $613.58 mln consensus.

  • Co lowers EPS guidance for FY15 to $5.10-5.20, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $5.46 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, down from $5.40-5.55
  • This guidance assumes a comparable sales increase in the low single digit range for the full fiscal year.
  • "Solid comparable sales gains and a strong topline performance in our direct businesses were not enough to offset a sales and gross margin shortfall versus plan at the Lids Sports Group."
  • The third quarter is off to a solid start, with consolidated comparable sales for the co up 4% through August 23, 2014."

7:37 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -0.5%, Hang Seng -0.7%, Shanghai -0.6% (:SUMRX) :

  • Markets fell across most of Asia. 
  • Australia's private capital expenditure (1.1% QoQ actual v. -0.6% QoQ expected) topped estimates. 
  • The Philippines' GDP expanded 1.9% QoQ. 
  • Japan's Nikkei (-0.5%) slid to a one-week low. Exporters continued to see profit-taking with Toyota Motor and Komatsu down 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-0.7%) saw a third straight day of selling. Real Estate Developers were pressured as China Vanke eased 3.3% and China Resources Land gave up 2.7%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite (-0.6%) fell to a three-week low as the wave of upcoming IPOs sparked selling. Energy shares outperformed with Sinopec advancing 1.5%.
  • India's Sensex (+0.3%) ended at an all-time high. Blue chips provided support as Larsen & Toubro gained 1.5% and ICICI Bank added 1.1%. 
  • Australia's ASX (-0.5%) fell off six-year highs. Qantas Airways outperformed, up 7.0%, despite posting a larger than anticipated loss. 
  • Regional Decliners: Philippines -0.8%...Thailand -0.4%...Singapore -0.3%...Taiwan -0.1% 
  • Regional Advancers: South Korea UNCH...Malaysia +0.2%...Indonesia +0.4%...Vietnam +0.5% 
  • Fx: USDCNY ticked up to 6.1443...USDINR edged up to 60.49...USDJPY -15 pips @ 103.70...AUDUSD +25 pips @ .9360

7:31 am LIN Media and CBS Corporation (CBS) renew network affiliation agreements in 10 markets (LIN) :

  • The agreements include renewals for LIN Media's CBS affiliates, including: WIAT-TV in Birmingham, AL; WIVB-TV in Buffalo, NY; KRQE-TV, KBIM-TV and KREZ-TV in Albuquerque, NM; WPRI-TV in Providence, RI; WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, IN; WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, IN; KIMT-TV in Mason City, IA; KOIN-TV in Portland, OR; WKBN-TV in Youngstown, OH and WLFI-TV in Lafayette, IN.

7:30 am Digital Ally receives order from State Police Of Michigan valued at more than $1.1 mln (DGLY) : Co announced the receipt of an order valued at more than $1.1 million from the State of Michigan. 

  • This order is expected to ship in the quarter ending September 30, 2014.
  • Michigan has now extended and increased the size of the contract with the co to include the DVM-800, with a $2.0 million increase in funds appropriated for this purpose. The value of the total contract awarded to the co now approximates $6.5 million, which includes the original three-year contract plus the two extensions that are now in effect.

7:25 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • SunEdison (SUNE) and its affiliate TerraForm Power (TERP) announced the completion and interconnection of a 2.6 megawatt DC system at the Coalinga State Hospital and a 1.6 MW DC system at the Pleasant Valley State Prison.
  • NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NBY) announced that it has added four new members to its Ophthalmic Advisory Board, who will join the ten existing members of the board.

7:20 am EURCHF Falls to Lowest Levels Since December 2012, Nears SNB's Floor: 10Y: +04/32..2.340%..USD/JPY: 103.67..EUR/USD: 1.3186 (:SUMRX) :

  • A recent rally has lifted the Dollar Index to session highs near 82.50. 
  • The greenback raced to its best levels of the session after reports out of Eastern Europe indicate Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has accused Russia of sending troops into his country
  • EURUSD is -20 pips @ 1.3175 as trade tests the lows from the past couple of sessions. Data from the region was generally disappointing as private loans (-1.6% YoY actual v. -1.5% YoY expected), Spanish Flash CPI (-0.5% YoY actual v. -0.2% YoY expected), and German unemployment change (2K actual v. -6K expected) all missed estimates. Only M3 money supply (1.8% YoY actual v. 1.5% YoY expected) outpaced estimates. Traders are looking ahead to next week's ECB rate decision to see if the central bank will finally embark on QE-type program. 
  • GBPUSD is +20 pips @ 1.6595 as buyers look to remain in control for a second session. The early strength has sterling testing the 1.6600 level that has given the bulls fits over the past week, and comes after CBI Realized Sales (37 actual v. 27 expected, 21 previous) handily outpaced estimates. The Bank of England will also opine next week. 
  • USDCHF is flat @ .9150 following the in-line employment level (4.20 mln). Traders are paying more attention to EURCHF, which hit its lowest levels since December 2012 as trade slumped to 1.2050. The Swiss National Bank's 1.20 floor is now in focus. Click here to see a daily EURCHF chart.
  • USDJPY is -15 pips @ 103.70 as sellers take control for a second day. The 103.60 level will be watched closely as a breakdown sets up a likely test of the 103.00 area. 
  • AUDUSD is +20 pips @ .9355 as trade contends with its best close in a month following the private capital expenditure (1.1% QoQ actual v. -0.6% QoQ expected) beat. Current levels are home to the 50 and 100 dma. USDCNY ticked up to 6.1443. 
  • USDCAD is -5 pips @ 1.0860 as sellers look to put in a third straight losing session. The early weakness has the pair looking at its first sub-100 dma close in a month.

7:11 am Dollar General remains firmly committed to the Family Dollar (FDO) acquisition (DG) : "In regards to our proposal to acquire Family Dollar, we remain firmly committed to the acquisition. The financial benefits of our offer to Family Dollar shareholders are indisputable, and the proposed combination would unlock tremendous value for Dollar General shareholders. We continue to believe the potential antitrust issues are manageable and that our transaction as proposed is both superior and achievable."

7:09 am Dollar General reports EPS in-line, revs in-line; reaffirms FY15 EPS, rev guidance; Q2 comps +2.1% (DG) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.83 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.83; revenues rose 7.5% year/year to $4.72 bln vs the $4.77 bln consensus; comps +2.1% vs ests of just over 2.75%. Gross profit, as a percentage of net sales, was 30.8% in the 2014 second quarter, a decrease of 53 basis points from the 2013 second quarter. 

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $3.45-3.55, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.51 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of +8-9% to ~$18.9-19.25 bln vs. $19 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees same-store sales to increase 3.0 to 3.5% (prior guidance 3-4%). Capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of $450 mln to $500 mln in 2014. The Company plans to open ~700 new stores in 2014 and to relocate or remodel, using the Company's traditional remodel criteria, ~500 stores.

7:08 am Destination XL Group misses by $0.02, reports revs in-line; guides FY15 in-line (DXLG) : Reports Q2 (Jul) loss of $0.05 per share, excluding items, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.03); revenues rose 5.8% year/year to $103.7 mln vs the $104.18 mln consensus. Total comparable sales increased 7.0%. For the second quarter of fiscal 2014, gross margin, inclusive of occupancy costs, was 45.7% compared with gross margin of 46.1% for the second quarter of fiscal 2013. 

  • Outlook: Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of ($0.12)-(0.16), excluding items, vs. ($0.15) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $413.0-418.0 mln vs. $414.77 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; A comparable sales increase of 13% to 15% for the approximately 99 DXL stores that will have been open for at least 13 months. Gross profit margin to range from 45.5% to 46.1%.
  • "Destination XL delivered strong fiscal second-quarter results in what remained a challenging environment for the retail sector.... We reported our fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit comparable sales increases for our DXL stores. The solid performance of our DXL stores was driven by increased traffic and higher conversion rates. We are seeing growth in the total number of our active customers and our sales penetration into the smaller waist-size customer is improving. A key metric that we are watching very closely is sales per square foot for our DXL stores, which is trending to a range of $160 to $165 as compared to $147 in fiscal 2013." 

7:04 am Constellium misses by $0.17, misses on revs (CSTM) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of 0.26 per share, 0.17 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of 0.43; revenues rose 0.4% year/year to 920 mln vs the 946.45 mln consensus. 

  • Aerospace segment is significantly higher than the first quarter of 2014, but is below performance level from the same period in 2013.  
  • Revenues for the second quarter of 2014 were 920 million, slightly higher than 916 million in the second quarter of 2013, reflecting an increase in volume, partially offset by lower London Metal Exchange prices.   
Shipments:
  • Second quarter 2014 shipments of 279k metric tons were 4% higher than first quarter 2014 shipments of 269k metric tons, and 2% higher than Q2 2013 shipments of 274k metric tons.  

7:03 am Pall beats by $0.05, beats on revs; guides FY15 EPS in-line (PLL) :

  • Reports Q4 (Jul) earnings of $1.11 per share, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.06; revenues rose 11.6% year/year to $800 mln vs the $769.43 mln consensus. 
  • Guidance: Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $3.75-3.95 vs. $3.86 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. "Given the operational improvements we've seen, the strong and improving sales execution across our businesses, and our continued focus on fixed cost leverage, I'm highly confident in our ability to deliver double-digit pro forma earnings growth."

7:01 am Isis Pharmaceuticals initiates Phase 3 study of ISIS-APOCIII Rx in patients with FCS (ISIS) : The primary endpoint of the study is percent change in fasting triglycerides from baseline after three months of dosing.

7:01 am EnteroMedics announces three year diabetes, hypertension and weight loss data from the Maestro RC system DM2 ENABLE study (ETRM) : Co announced that three year diabetes, hypertension and weight loss data from the Company's DM2 ENABLE Study of VBLOC vagal blocking therapy delivered via the Maestro Rechargeable System will be presented today at the 19th Meeting of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders being held August 26-30, 2014 in Montreal, Canada.

  • Of note, the improvement in blood pressure at 36 months (mean arterial pressure -7.3 mm/Hg (p=0.14)) in hypertensive patients was also maintained.

7:00 am Covidien acquires venous disease treatment developer Sapheon; expects transaction to be slightly dilutive to adjusted earnings (COV) : While the transaction will be slightly dilutive to adjusted earnings, it is not expected to be material to results. Covidien will report the Sapheon business as part of its Peripheral Vascular product line in the Medical Devices segment. 

  • The VenaSeal system is currently approved in Canada, Europe and Hong Kong, and more than 2K patients have been treated with the system.
  • The VenaSeal system is currently limited to investigational use in the United States.
  • Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

6:59 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Hawaiian Telcom Holdco (HCOM), through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Hawaiian Telcom Services Company, has joined other international telecommunications companies to form the Southeast Asia -- United States consortium to build and operate a new trans-Pacific submarine cable system, connecting Indonesia, Philippines, Guam, Hawai?i and California by the end of 2016.
  • China Yuchai International Limited (CYD) announced that its main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company Limited, has supplied ~85% of the engines used in the over 3K public transportation vehicles serving the Second Summer Youth Olympic.

6:56 am Synthetic Biologics and FUJIFILM (FUJIY) Diosynth Biotechnologies UK announce significant improvement in API manufacturing of SYN-004 for the prevention of C. difficile (SYN) : The co and FUJIFILM (FUJIY) Diosynth Biotechnologies UK Limited, announced today confirmation of exceptional results from the initial phase of cGMP manufacturing of SYN-004, Synthetic Biologics' proprietary oral beta-lactamase enzyme for the prevention of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections.

  • The initial 750-liter cGMP production run on Fujifilm's pAVEway platform yielded an unprecedented 5.5 kilograms of >95% pure SYN-004 active pharmaceutical ingredient drug substance, which will be used to support Synthetic Biologics' planned Phase I and II clinical trials, and continued research and development studies.

6:36 am Jiayuan.com misses by $0.01, reports revs in-line (DATE) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.06 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus two-analyst Estimate of $0.07; revenues rose 20.6% year/year to $23.4 mln vs the $23.36 mln two-analyst consensus. 

  • Outlook: Jiayuansees Q3 net revenues in the range of RMB155 million to RMB157 million (consensus 156.3 mln)

6:36 am Coty misses by $0.03, misses on revs (COTY) : Reports Q4 (Jun) earnings of $0.03 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.06; revenues fell 1.6% year/year to $1.04 bln vs the $1.06 bln consensus. Also reported Non-GAAP revs of $1.057 bln.

  • Adjusted gross margin decreased to 59.6% compared to 60.0% in the prior year. 
  • Outlook for 2015: Coty is targeting to return to revenue growth in fiscal 2015 (Capital IQ consensus +3.7%) through a competitive innovation program, continuous expansion of the emerging market business, and the progressive recovery in the nail business in North America. The Company is targeting modest growth in the first half in light of the challenging market conditions. Coty will also continue executing its share repurchase program, with $300 million remaining under the current authorization.

6:35 am Advanced Cell Tech. announced a 1:100 reverse stock split yesterday after the close (ACTC) :  

6:34 am S&P futures vs fair value: -9.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -14.50. :

6:34 am European Markets : FTSE...6,801.83...-28.80...-0.40%.  DAX...9,450.07...-122.10...-1.30%.

6:34 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15,459.86...-75.00...-0.50%.  Hang Seng...24,741.00...-177.80...-0.70%.

6:31 am Microchip: CSR (CSRE) confirms it recieved offer from Microchip, rejects offer (MCHP) :

  • CSR's Board confirms that it has received an approach regarding a possible offer for the company from Microchip. The price proposed by Microchip has been rejected and the Board is considering its options for the company This statement is being made by CSR without prior agreement or approval of Microchip. There can be no certainty that an offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made.

6:28 am SciClone and BTG announce that DC Bead has been approved by China FDA (SCLN) : The co and it's partners BTG announced that the China Food and Drug Administration has approved the registration of DC Bead for the embolization of malignant hypervascularized tumors.

6:21 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • ARC Group Worldwide (ARCW) announced the launch of the next phase of its online pricing system, introducing instant quoting for its division, 3D Material Technologies.
  • Lentuo International (LAS) automobile retailer headquartered in Beijing, Bitauto Holdings Limited (BITA) and Youxinpai Information Technology announced that senior management attended a ceremony in Beijing marking the signing of the JV agreement.

5:35 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • TowerJazz (TSEM) and TowerJazz Panasonic Semiconductor Co, announced its first major third party CMOS image sensor customer, Himax Imaging, a subsidiary of Himax Technologies (HIMX), that is developing its next generation high end cameras for smart phone applications using TPSCo's state of the art 1.12um-pixel CMOS image sensor 65nm process. 
  • Following strong demand for its range of Ethernet Access Direct products, Openreach, BT's local access network business, has selected Ciena's (CIEN) packet networking solutions to support the evolution of its Ethernet services. 
  • Wyndham (WYN) Grand Xi'an South opened its doors to the modern business and leisure traveler, offering a grand and stylish way to experience Xi'an. The hotel is owned by HAOXIANGLAI Investment Holdings Co., Ltd. and under the direct management of Wyndham Hotel Group, the world's largest* hotel company.

4:03 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Coverity, a Synopsys company (SNPS) announced a new partnership with OGIS-RI, a Japan-based distributor of IT solutions. 
  • ZTE Corporation (ZTCOF) has signed a contract with Slovak operator SWAN for a nationwide LTE network project. ZTE will exclusively construct core CS/PS (circuit-switched/packet-switched) network, and a GSM/LTE mobile communications and VAS (value added services) network, involving over 1,100 dual-mode GSM/LTE base stations to SWAN. 
  • Logitech International (LOGI) announced that the SIX Swiss Exchange has granted the Company an additional extension -- until Oct. 31, 2014 -- for publishing and submitting its Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2014. Logitech's Annual Report was originally scheduled to be published by July 31, 2014, and the SIX Swiss Exchange had previously granted an interim extension until Aug. 29, 2014.
  • IBM (IBM) announced significant advances in Watson's cognitive computing capabilities Available now as a cloud service, IBM's Watson Discovery Advisor is designed to scale and accelerate discoveries by research teams. It reduces the time needed to test hypotheses and formulate conclusions that can advance their work -- from months to days and days to just hours -- bringing new levels of speed and precision to research and development. 
  • KKR (KKR) and Borealis Maritime today announced the acquisition of a portfolio of nine feeder container vessels in a sale process coordinated by Commerzbank. The vessels were previously owned by a number of German KG funds and were originally financed by Commerzbank. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

2:38 am Willis Group boosts human capital & benefits presence with acquisition of IFG Ireland Businesses (WSH) : Willis Ireland, part of Willis Group Holdings, announced its acquisition of a range of Irish pension and financial advisory businesses from IFG Group plc. The acquisition complements and strengthens Willis Ireland's existing pensions business and its financial and wealth-planning services to individuals. It also reflects Willis' commitment to its global Human Capital and Benefits practice. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

2:29 am Fairpoint Comms and unions at impasse and company implements proposals (FRP) : Following months of negotiations between FairPoint and its northern New England Unions, and after talks remained deadlocked more than three weeks after the prior collective bargaining agreements expired, the Company announced on August 27 that it will implement its final proposals, which have been repeatedly rejected by the Unions. This action is permitted by federal labor law when there is no meaningful prospect for a negotiated settlement. FairPoint has told the Unions that it would prefer to reach collective bargaining agreements and that it has implemented its proposals only because it sees no likelihood of agreement given the Unions' bargaining position.

1:19 am Education Mgmt commences consent solicitation to amend indenture Governing Senior Cash Pay/PIK Notes due 2018 (EDMC) :

1:18 am Repros Therapeutics achieves superiority in top line analysis for both co-primary endpoints and various secondary endpoints versus marketed topical gel in first of two identical studies in the treatment of secondary hypogonadism (RPRX) : Co announces top line results for the first of two identical pivotal studies comparing Androxal to a leading FDA approved topical gel (Androgel 1.62) and placebo. In this study, ZA-305, Androxal exhibited superiority in several assessments, particularly the two co-primary endpoints: percent change from baseline in average sperm concentration and percent of subjects considered to be responders. A responder is defined as an individual achieving a 24 hour average testosterone in the normal range with associated average sperm concentration = 10 million/mL.

Multiple secondary endpoints also showed statistically significant differences between the Androxal and T gel groups. These include: change in the important pituitary signaling hormones LH and FSH; percent of subjects that become severely oligospermic (

1:14 am Orient Paper announces $2.5 mln registered direct offering (ONP) : Co announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement with an institutional investor for a registered direct placement of $2,500,000 of shares of common stock at a price of $1.60 per share.  

  • In addition, the Company will issue to the investor warrants to purchase up to 781,250 shares of common stock. The warrants have an exercise price of $1.70 per share and are exercisable for five years following issuance

1:10 am Dejour Energy provides 2014 development operations are underway at the Kokopelli Project (DEJ) : Co announces that 2014 development operations are underway at the Kokopelli Project. 

  • The new drill pad 21B has been completed including gas connection (please refer to our website for media) and drill pad 21A has been augmented to accommodate the drilling, equipping and utility of a water disposal well that will prove a significant economy to existing water disposal arrangements. 
  • A Peter Martin 'conductor' rig is engaged to complete the 'rat holes' with 20" casing for eight new production wells and one water disposal well prior to the Frontier-28 rig moving in for sequential total depth drilling operations in mid-September. 
  • The 2014 drill program is focused on developing significant new production from the liquids-rich Williams Fork formation (based at 8400') and testing for production from the Mancos reservoir, in particular, the commerciality of deep Niobrara strata (estimated to base at 12,750'). 

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