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5 Cool things you never knew about Elmer's Glue

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2:53 pm Currency Market Summary (:FOREX) :

Dollar Falls Again

  • The U.S. Dollar Index fell 0.55% to 96.04 today after wholesale inventories reportedly declined by 0.1% in December, missing the Briefing.com consensus for no change. The dollar index traded a fresh multi-month low
  • EUR/USD: +0.93% to 1.1291
    • German industrial production fell 1.2% m/m in December, missing analyst expectations for a rebound from the 0.1% slide in November. Construction and energy led the decline
    • Germany's trade surplus narrowed to EUR 18.8 bln in December from EUR 20.5 bln in November
  • GBP/USD: +0.27% to $1.4460
    • The U.K.'s trade deficit narrowed to GBP -9.92 bln in December from GBP -11.5 bln in November
    • The BRC Retail Sales Monitor rose 2.6% in the year to January, beating expectations and the 0.1% y/y gain in December
    • Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe expressed concerns about credit growth in the U.K. He warned that if lending growth again exceeded output growth, action would be warranted "sooner rather than later"
  • USD/CHF: -1.47% top 0.9723
    • Switzerland's unemployment rate remained at 3.4% in January, as expected
  • USD/JPY: -0.60% to 114.90
    • The JPY 800 bln JGB auction garnered a bid-to-cover ratio of 3.04
  • USD/CAD: -0.43% to 1.3880
  • AUD/USD: +0.02% to $0.7067
    • Australia's NAB Business Confidence Index fell to 2 in January from 3 in December, as expected
  • NZD/USD: +0.40% to 0.6639

2:44 pm Stock indices climb back into the black -- S&P +3, Nasdaq Comp +3, Dow +25 (:TECHX) :  

2:30 pm L-3 Communications increases quarterly dividend to $0.70/share from $0.65/share (LLL) :  

2:22 pm Libbey increases quarterly dividend to $0.115/share from $0.11/share (LBY) :  

2:05 pm Broadway Financial Corp. announces termination of order to cease and desist from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (BYFC) :  

1:59 pm Norfolk Southern: Canadien Pacific (CP) confirms its intent to engage in good faith discussions with CP regarding a business combination transaction involving CP and NS (NSC) : CP states, "We are not asking NS shareholders to vote on the existing proposal; we are simply asking them to vote in favour of having their board talk to us,"

1:55 pm Daimler AG to recall 840,000 cars; recall expense is estimated at ~340 mln; dividend and expected FY16 earnings remain unchanged (DDAIF) :

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has notified Daimler AG that it has been informed that certain airbag models from the manufacturer Takata, which are also installed in Mercedes-Benz cars and Daimler vans, are potentially defective. On the basis of available information on the components, Daimler AG has decided to recall approximately 705,000 Mercedes-Benz cars and about 136,000 Daimler vans in the United States.

  • The expense for this precautionary recall is estimated at ~0.3 billion and relates to financial year 2015.
  • Dividend proposal and employees' profit participation for financial year 2015 as well as expected earnings for 2016 remain unchanged.

1:23 pm Domtar, Packaging Corp (PKG), and P.H. Glatfelter (GLT), win illegal trade practices case against China, Indonesia, Brazil, Portugal and Australia (UFS) :

The ITC has found that dumped, unfairly priced imports of certain types of uncoated paper in sheets from China, Indonesia, Brazil, Portugal and Australia are causing material injury. They also found that during that same time, illegally subsidized imports from China and Indonesia were also causing material injury.

  • Last month, Commerce determined dumping margins ranging up to 222.46 percent against the five countries and subsidy rates of up to 176.75 percent against China and Indonesia.

1:16 pm Major averages roll back toward early session lows -- Dow -135, S&P -17, Nasdaq Comp -53 (:TECHX) :  

1:09 pm Midday Market Summary: Indices Move Lower at Midday (:WRAPX) :

The major averages sport moderate losses at midday after beginning their session on a weak note. Today's weakness can be seen as a continuation of yesterday's flight from risk assets to safe havens, but an early rebound from short-term oversold conditions has helped keep the indices off their worst levels. Meanwhile, choppy trade in oil continues to prey on the broader market. At this juncture, the tech-heavy Nasdaq (-0.8%) trades behind the S&P 500 (-0.6%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.6%).

Overnight, Japan's Nikkei (-5.4%) sold off in flight from risk trade as the country's financial sector slid on concerns of the global banking rout. Underpinning this flight from risk was the bid in the Japanese 10-yr note, which saw its first negative yield (-0.01%). On the currencies front, the dollar has continued to lose ground to the yen as dollar strength unwinds. Europe endured another sell off in financials with Deutsche Bank (DB 14.91, -0.63) surrendering a further 4.6% amid larger concerns about the bank's convertible bonds. Further negative sentiment was fostered by UBS (UBS 14.08, -0.68) after the company announced that it would be freezing salaries in its investment bank division to improve profitability. These concerns combined to have futures trade more than 1.0% below fair value before the cash market opened.

Oil helped the broader market in the early going as the weakening dollar drove demand higher for the dollar denominated commodity. These benefits were short lived though, as a bearish report from the International Energy Agency weighed on the commodity. The report postures that the crude oil glut may be larger than expected in the first half of 2016. In response, WTI crude has tumbled 4.2% to $28.45/bbl.

Currently six sectors trade in negative territory with energy (-3.5%) leading the downside while most sectors show losses between 0.9% (financials) and 0.1% (health care). Meanwhile, materials (+0.6%) and utilities (+0.6%) outperform.

In the energy space, independent oil and gas names are seeing the brunt of the downturn in crude with ConocoPhillips (COP 33.00, -1.43) and Anadarko Petroleum (APC 37.32, -2.73) surrendering 4.3% and 6.9%, respectively. Meanwhile, energy giant Exxon Mobil (XOM 78.93, -1.50) outperforms with a decline of 1.9%.

In the consumer discretionary space (-0.9%), media companies have underperformed following a fifth straight quarter of sales misses by Viacom (VIAB 35.50, -6.35). The company has plummeted 15.2% as a result. Fellow media companies Time Warner (TWX 64.03, -3.27) and Disney (DIS 91.25, -0.87) underperform ahead of their earnings reports between today's close and tomorrow's open. Netflix (NFLX 85.66, +2.34) has managed to snap its recent losing streak as headwinds for conventional cable and media companies grow.

Real estate trusts have shown relative weakness in the financial sector (-0.8%) after HCP, Inc. (HCP 28.65, -5.34) issued lower guidance for 2016. The stock has fallen 15.7% in response. Money center banks have shown relative strength this session with Wells Fargo (WFC 46.20, -0.29) and Bank of America (BAC 12.20, -0.07) outperforming.

In the health care space, biotechnology underperforms, evidenced by the 0.7% decline in the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 246.34, -1.78). The sub-group is being hurt by a poor outing from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN 367.31, -23.22), which reported below-consensus results this morning.

Treasuries have traded higher throughout the session with the yield on the 10-yr note currently lower by one basis points at 1.73%.

Today's economic data included the Wholesale Inventories report for December and the December Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

  • Wholesale inventories declined 0.1% month-over-month in December (Briefing.com consensus unchanged) on top of a downwardly revised 0.4% decline (from -0.3%) in November. On a year-over-year basis, wholesale inventories were up 1.9%.
    • Inventories of durable goods in December declined 0.3% after a 0.4% decline in November. The December downturn was governed by a 0.5% decline in machinery inventories and a 4.4% decline in metals inventories.
    • The only areas that saw inventories increase were automotive (+0.3%), electrical (+1.0%), and miscellaneous durables (+1.6%).
    • Inventories of nondurable goods increased 0.1% in December after declining 0.3% in November. The uptick was paced by a 0.8% increase in inventories for drugs and a 2.1% increase in apparel inventories. The only nondurable areas that saw inventories decline in December were petroleum (-7.8%) and alcohol (-1.0%).
    • Wholesale sales were down 0.3% in December after declining 1.3% in November. The inventory-to-sales ratio held steady at 1.32, yet that was up noticeably from 1.24 in the same period a year ago.
  • The December Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that job openings increased to 5.610 million from a revised 5.350 million (from 5.431 million) in November

1:04 pm Auction Out (BONDX) :

Treasury Auction Results

  • $24 bln 3-year note auction
    • Auction results:
      • High yield: 0.844%
      • Bid-to-cover: 2.74
      • Indirect bid: 41.5%
      • Direct bid: 15.0%
    • Average results of prior 12 auctions:
      • High yield: 1.04%
      • Bid-to-cover: 3.23
      • Indirect bid: 48.9%
      • Direct bid: 11.4%

12:57 pm T. Rowe Price: GRQ Investment Management voluntarily dismissed all patent infringement claims on TROW's offering of certain automated tools used to administer 401(k) retirement plans (TROW) :  

12:45 pm Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Crude Oil USO, Energy XLE, Oil Service OIH are hovering near there session lows with recent relative weakness also noted in Software IGV, Technology XLK, Coal KOL, Steel SLX.

12:42 pm Target: Mattel (MAT) and Time Warner's (TWX) DC Entertainment announce merchandise deal to begin in March 2016 to sell related merchandise exclusively at TGT stores (TGT) :  

12:00 pm Adaptimmune Therapeutics: FDA grants Breakthrough Therapy designation for co's Affinity Enhanced T-cell Therapy targeting NY-ESO in Synovial Sarcoma (ADAP) :

Co announces that the FDA has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation for the company's affinity enhanced T-cell therapy targeting NY-ESO in synovial sarcoma for HLA-A*201, HLA-A*205 or HLA-A*206 allele-positive patients with inoperable or metastatic synovial sarcoma who have received prior chemotherapy and whose tumor expresses the NY-ESO-1 tumor antigen.

  • The Breakthrough Therapy designation was based on the results of a phase I/II trial in patients with unresectable, metastatic or recurrent synovial sarcoma who have received prior chemotherapy.
    • Data from this study were most recently presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society of Immunotherapy for Cancer in November 2015.

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

  • UK's FTSE:-1.0%
  • Germany's DAX:-1.1%
  • France's CAC:-1.7%
  • Spain's IBEX:-2.2%
  • Portugal's PSI:-2.4%
  • Italy's MIB Index:-3.2%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:-0.4%
  • Greece ASE General Index: -2.9%

11:38 am Currency Commentary: Yen Rallies to 18-month High (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index has fallen into the 95 area for the first time since October 22. The DXY is down approx 5% since January 29. The move comes ahead of a two day testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Expectations for the Fed Chair to be dovish are high given the recent market volatility. It remains to be seen if Ms. Yellen will follow through with the expected rhetoric.
  • The euro continues to extend gains as it rallies to the 1.13 level. The single currency has rallied approx 4.5% in the month of February alone as investors see less of a divergence in monetary policy between the U.S. and the ECB. Economic Data was relatively weak as a German Industrial Production number missed expectations. But the Trade Balance from the region was in line with expectations, suggesting the weaker euro is helping offset some of the weak global economies.
  • The pound is showing some signs of holding the 1.44 level. Sterling hit 1.46 on its recent bounce but saw some of those gains erased over the past couple of sessions. It is showing signs of stemming those losses following a Trade Balance report that was in line with expectations.
  • The yen has been at the center of attention today after Japanese equities fell 5%. The safe haven yen saw plenty of bids as it was able to rally to 114 for the first time since November of 2014. We are in some uncharted waters in terms of the chart, with little resistance until 110. So the yen will remain a key item for the markets to watch as it will help determine risk appetite (BONDX, FOREX).

11:25 am New Supply (BONDX) :

Treasury Auction Preview

  • $24 bln 3-year note auction (results at 13:00 ET)
    • Prior auction results:
      • High yield: 1.174%
      • Bid-to-cover: 2.94
      • Indirect bid: 62.8%
      • Direct bid: 9.4%
    • Average results of prior 12 auctions:
      • High yield: 1.04%
      • Bid-to-cover: 3.23
      • Indirect bid: 48.9%
      • Direct bid: 11.4%

11:03 am Virgin America reports prelim January traffic; RPMs +12.9% Y/Y, ASMs +11.8% Y/Y, load factor of 77.2% (VA) :

  • RPMs of 834.3 mln,+12.9% Y/Y
  • ASMs of 1080.5 mln, +11.8% Y/Y
  • Load factor was 77.2%, an increase of 0.7 points Y/Y

10:52 am Tandy Leather Factory announces resignation of CEO Jon Thompson, effective immediately (TLF) : CFO Shannon Greene will assume the role of interim CEO. Senior VP Mark Angus will assume the role of interim President & work with Ms. Greene on the transition.

10:45 am Notable movers of interest (SCANX) :

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

Large Cap Gainers

  • CRM (57.46 +6.31%): Upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies as they note the sell-off this year.
  • FIS (57.97 +3.44%): Reported in-line Q4 EPS of $0.93; provided downside guidance for FY16 EPS of $3.70-3.80 ($3.85 Consensus).
  • IR (49.82 +0.73%): Beat on Q4 EPS of $0.94 ($0.93 Consensus); provides in-line guidance for FY16 EPS of $3.80-4.00 ($3.98 Consensus).

Large Cap Losers

  • VIAB (35.87 -14.29%): Beat on Q1 EPS of $1.18 ($1.17 Consensus); missed on revs of $3.15 bln ($3.26 bln Consensus).
  • HCP (30.16 -11.27%): Beat on Q4 FFO of $0.80 ($0.78 Consensus); guidance for FY16 FFO of $2.74-2.80 (may not compare to $3.18 Consensus).
  • REGN (383.84 -1.71%): Missed on Q4 EPS of $2.83 ($3.33 Consensus) and on revenues of $1.1 bln ($1.17 bln Consensus).

Mid Cap Gainers

  • TEN (39.59 +11.24%): Beat on Q4 EPS of $1.39 ($1.14 Consensus) and reported in-line revs of $2.03 bln.
  • PINC (32.97 +10.23%): Beat on Q2 EPS of $0.42 ($0.39 Consensus) and on revs of $292 mln ($287 mln Consensus).
  • OMI (36.88 +7.12%): Beat on Q4 EPS of $0.56 ($0.49 Consensus); guided FY16 EPS in-line at $2.00-2.05 ($2.03 Consensus).

Mid Cap Losers

  • PAGP (4.75 -25.43%): Missed on Q4 EPS of $0.11 ($0.18 Consensus) and on revs of $5 bln ($7.5 bln Consensus); downgraded to Neutral by BofA/Merrill.
  • PAA (15.68 -11.76%): Missed on Q4 EPS of $0.38 ($0.45 Consensus) and on revs of $5 bln ($6.9 bln Consensus).
  • RBC (50.43 -8.08%): Beat on Q4 EPS of $1.17 ($1.11 Consensus); missed on revs of $774 mln ($836 mln Consensus); downside guidance for FY16 EPS of $4.80-5.20 ($5.55 Consensus).

10:37 am Dow -71 and S&P -5 stall after flirting with positive territory, outperforming Nasdaq Comp -3 joins them back in the red (:TECHX) :  

10:14 am DuPont retesting its 50 day ema and last week's high (DD) : Stock has held up well this month with it working up toward its 50 day ema and this week's high at 59.47/59.68. Its 200 day sma is the next level of note at 60.23.

10:05 am NIKE runs to new session high of 56.35 (NKE) : The recent run has lifted NKE back into yesterday's bear gap. Levels of interest above are at its Jan low 56.59 with the top of the gap at 56.97

10:02 am CIGNA: Sequent Health Physician Partners collaborates with CIGNA (CI) on Cigna Collaborative Care Program (CI) :

Cigna (CI) will compensate physicians who are part of the initiative for medical and care coordination services provided. Physicians will be rewarded through "pay for value" structure for meeting established targets, improving quality, & lowering medical costs.

The goals of the collaboration are to:

  • Close gaps in care, such as missed health screenings or prescription refills
  • Reinforce the appropriate use of hospital emergency rooms
  • Increase the number of preventive health visits & improve follow-up care for people transitioning from the hospital to home

10:02 am Viacom leading media stocks lower after missing sales estimates for the fifth straight quarter; FOXA just turned positive despite lowering guidance (VIAB) : VIAB -9.39% TRCO -3.84% DISCA -3.15% SNI -2.57% AMCX -2.04% MSGN -0.85% CBS -0.61% (reports Thursday afternoon) DIS -0.16% (reports after the bell) FOXA +0.22%

10:02 am First Trust DJ Internet ETF rotates off early low, underpinning Nasdaq (FDN) : The FDN set a new multi-month low off the open but has rotated solidly higher in recent trade. Helping to underpin the FDN turnaround are: CRM +4.1%, NFLX +4.1%, TWTR +2.3%, YHOO +1.7%, FB +1.2%, EBAY +1.2%, GOOGL +1.1%, AMZN +1.1%. The FDN has moved into yesterday's bear gap with the top coming into play at 59.73.

10:01 am Medtronic announced the first patient enrolled in a clinical study using the Medtronic Valiant TAAA Stent Graft System for minimally invasive repair of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (MDT) :  

10:01 am Nymox Pharma announces results from the completion of its U.S. 40 month localized prostate cancer Phase 2 NX03-0040 clinical trial of fexapotide triflutate, says study successfully met its pre-determined endpoints (NYMX) :

The co announced results from the completion of the Company's U.S. 40 month (18 month outcomes) localized prostate cancer Phase 2 NX03-0040 clinical trial of fexapotide triflutate (NX-1207). The study successfully met its pre-determined endpoints. Cancer progression clinical outcomes were significantly improved in the fexapotide treated patient groups. Results from the completed 18 month outcome study after a single injection of fexapotide included the following:

  • Absence of tumors (Primary Endpoint) controlled for size in baseline area: fexapotide 15 mg superior to control (p=.035); crossover fexapotide 15 mg superior to control (p=.002); crossover fexapotide overall superior to control (p=.014).
  • 75.5% reduction in biopsy proven prostate cancer Gleason upgrades (pathological progression) after 18 months in fexapotide 15 mg treated patients compared to control (p=.0055). 71.7% reduction in prostate cancer Gleason upgrades in fexapotide treated patients overall (p=.0045 vs controls).
  • 84.8% reduction after 18 months in surgery or radiotherapy instituted for prostate cancer Gleason upgrade (biopsy worsening) in fexapotide treated patients overall compared to control group (p=.014).
  • 54.8% reduction after 18 months in surgery or radiotherapy instituted for all causes with or without prostate cancer Gleason upgrade in fexapotide 15 mg treated patients compared to control (p=.026).
  • Significant improvement for fexapotide patients compared to controls in 4 out of 4 Secondary Endpoints. Tumor volume reduction in the treated area, combined dosages (p=.04); tumor volume change in prostate overall, fexapotide patients overall (p=.014); median tumor grade outcome in the treated area, all dosages (fexapotide median benign, vs control median Gleason 3+3), and superior median tumor grade in prostate overall, fexapotide 15 mg vs controls.
  • Consistent safety results with no significant drug-related adverse events and no significant related sexual adverse events, states overall superior results for the fexapotide 15 mg dose compared to the 2.5 mg dose (dose-response).

9:53 am Major averages climb back near flat line led by Nasdaq Comp +15 -- S&P +1, Dow -7 (:TECHX) :  

9:52 am Canadian Solar announces that commercial operation of three solar PV power plants in Japan, totaling ~6.2 MWp, has started (CSIQ) :  

9:49 am Relative sector strength (:TECHX) : Sectors that are providing relative strength on the rebound off opening lows include: Biotech IBB (BLUE, ICPT, JUNO, GENE, NBIX, MDVN, ILMN, BMRN, MYGN, OTIC, PRGO, VRTX), Internet FDN, Retail XRT, Housing XHB, Discretionary XLY, Restaurant, Software IGV (CRM, ADBE, CTXS, INTU), Materials XLB.

9:45 am Stock indices hold above yesterday's lows off the open and work back to the upside -- Dow -33, S&P -3.4, Nasdaq Comp -3 (:TECHX) :  

9:44 am Opening Market Summary: Indices Open Lower (:WRAPX) :

As expected, the stock market has started its day on a lower note. Currently, the tech-heavy Nasdaq (-0.6%) outpaces the losses in the S&P 500 (-0.4%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.4%). 

Nine of ten sectors have opened their day in negative territory with the commodity-sensitive energy sector (-1.4%) leading the retreat. Most remaining sectors post losses between industrials (-0.7%) and health care (-0.3%). The utilities sector (+0.3%) is the only group in positive territory.

On the commodities front, crude oil flirts with its flat line in recent action and has helped bring the market off its lows. At this juncture, WTI crude trades lower by 0.2% at $29.65/bbl. 

Treasuries trade off their highs with the yield on the 10-yr note remaining lower by three basis points at 1.72%.

9:44 am McDonald's displays early relative strength, retesting it 50 day ema at 117.08 after recent breakdown (MCD) : Its 50 day sma comes into play at 117.72.

9:40 am Coca-Cola firmer after weaker start (KO) : Stock reported this morning and opened weaker but quickly rotated higher with it working up to last Friday's high at 42.99 (session high 42.96).  The early Feb high and Jan peak are at 43.15/43.26.

9:29 am Markit has acquired systems integration software developed by J.P. Morgan (JPM); terms not disclosed (MRKT) : Markit will make the software available to sellside and buyside institutions seeking to integrate with major systems used in the syndicated loan market, including agent servicing platforms and Markit's trade settlement services.

9:28 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • NF Energy Saving (NFEC) signed a $2.05 mln sales contract with Sinkiang Production and Construction Group to supply a project with 4 sets of pulsed jet cloth filters. According to the contract, the Company will deliver this equipment in 2Q16.
  • CalAmp (CAMP) announced the City of San Diego has deployed GovOutlook, CalAmp's Esri GIS-based Automatic Vehicle Location system in city-owned vehicles.
  • Wesco Aircraft Holdings (WAIR) announced the extension of an agreement with GKN Aerospace. The new multiyear agreement extends Wesco's current contract to provide integrated supply chain services for C-class aerospace hardware and expands chemicals services.
  • Tyler Technologies (TYL) signed a seven-year SaaS agreement with the city of Healdsburg, California, for Tyler's EnerGov, Incode financial, and Tyler Content Managersoftware solutions. The agreement includes data conversion, related professional services, training and support.

9:28 am Cellceutix announces that it will be submitting a special protocol assessment request for phase 3 clinical research of its novel single-dose antibiotic, Brilacidin, for the treatment of Acute Bacterial Skin & Skin Structure Infection caused by Gram-positive bacteria (CTIX) : The co anticipates submission of the SPA request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within two weeks.

9:15 am S&P futures vs fair value: -16.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -45.20. (:WRAPX) :

The stock market is on track for a lower open with the S&P 500 futures trading 17 points below fair value.

Global equity markets and U.S. futures have continued their rout as global banking concerns and a flight from risk weigh on markets. Overnight, a 5.4% decline in the Nikkei corresponded with the first ever negative yield in the Japanese 10-yr note (-0.01%). Meanwhile, European markets have been pressured by continued banking concerns as Deutsche Bank (DB 14.89, -0.65) continues its slide on what weakness in convertible bonds could be signaling. Finally, another leg lower in oil has pushed equity futures to their lowest point of the morning. At this juncture, WTI crude trades lower by 0.3% at $29.61/bbl.

In corporate news, Coca-Cola (KO 42.50, -0.15) has slipped 0.4% this morning as investors weigh falling revenue against an EPS beat. Elsewhere, CVS Health (CVS 87.60, -2.05) has declined 2.3% despite posting in-line results this morning with increased same store sales of 3.5%.

Treasuries have inched higher in recent action as the safe haven investments floats near their highs. The yield on the 10-yr note has fallen four basis points to 1.71%.

Today's economic data will be limited to the 10:00 ET release of the Wholesale Inventories report for December (Briefing.com consensus 0.0%) and the JOLTS Job Opening Report for December.

9:15 am TransUnion acquires a 71% ownership interest in CIFIN for ~$127 mln; expects to acquire the remaining shares in 2016 (TRU) :

Co has acquired a 71% ownership interest in CIFIN (Central de Informacion Financiera), one of two primary Colombian credit bureaus.

  • Co acquired its initial 71% ownership interest at a price of~$127 mln on February 8, financed through its revolving credit facility.
  • Co will discuss the financial impact of the acquisition in its earnings call on February 16.
  • Co expects to acquire the remaining shares in 2016, including a small portion following the conclusion of certain mandatory regulatory processes.

9:05 am Black Box names E.C. Sykes as President and CEO, effective February 29 (BBOX) : E.C. Sykes replaces Mike McAndrew, who will resign from Board but remain available to assist with the transition. E.C. Sykes was CEO of Circuit Board Assemblers. He spent 14 years at Flextronics International (FLEX), starting as the North Carolina General Manager and profitably grew revenue from $20 mln to $200 mln, then as Vice President of the Guadalajara, Mexico operations where revenue grew from $550 mln to $1 bln, and as group president of the Industrial and Emerging Products Group where the revenue grew from $625 mln to over $4 bln to lead the industry.

9:04 am Silicon Graphics enters into a non-exclusive Outsourced Manufacturing Agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) (SGI) : Silicon Graphics International Corp. announced that it has entered into a non-exclusive Outsourced Manufacturing Agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) effective as of February 4, 2016, pursuant to which HPE will incorporate the Company's UV technology into a new 8-socket system manufactured by HPE. The term of the agreement is three years and the Company expects to leverage HPE's significantly larger installed customer base and sales force to increase sales of its UV products globally.

9:01 am Ambarella completes distribution franchise agreement with Macnica Americas to include all of North and South America (AMBA) :

  • Macnica Americas has completed a distribution franchise agreement with Ambarella to include all of North and South America.
    • This represents an expansion of the franchise to extend beyond Europe, where the two companies have previously been engaged.
  • Macnica Americas is a semiconductor distributor that is also a leading supplier of FPGA-based IP for many different video functions in broadcast and industrial applications.

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

  • Novatel Wireless (MIFI) announced that the Ctrack fleet management solution has been extended to an additional 500 vans within the Anglian Water UK fleet. This latest agreement, brings the total number of vehicles monitored by Ctrack to 1,750, after the initial install in 2014 across 750 vehicles in Anglian Water's treatments, waterworks and waste water operations.
  • Shutterstock (SSTK) announced its exclusive global syndication deal with BFA. Beginning today, Shutterstock Premier customers will now be able to license BFA's images and video content from events around the globe.
  • Payment Data Systems (PYDS) expanded its relationship with its customer C2Go. The parties have entered into an agreement whereby Payment Data Systems will provide funding to C2Go for expansion of its B2B commissions services in the Las Vegas market. As part of the agreement, C2Go will co-brand the Akimbo Prepaid MasterCard and FiCentive will launch a C2Go-branded mobile and web application by leveraging the existing Akimbo platform.

8:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: -18.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -47.70. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures trade 19 points below fair value.

It was another rough night for markets in the Asia-Pacific region as aggressive selling pressure kept regional indices on the defensive throughout the night. Japan's Nikkei was the headline grabber, falling 5.4%. The index ended just above its January low while a safe haven bid drove the Japanese 10-yr yield down to -0.01%, representing the first ever negative yield in the security. The yen strengthened overnight, pressuring the dollar/yen pair to 114.30. The pair has ticked into the 114.40 area over the past hour.

  • Economic data was limited:
    • Japan's M2 Money Stock +3.2% year-over-year (consensus 3.1%; last 3.1%) and Machine Tools Orders -17.2% year-over-year (last -25.7%)
    • Australia's January NAB Business Confidence slipped to 2 from 3, as expected

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei fell 5.4% with all ten sectors ending deep in the red. The slide was paced by technology (-6.8%), financials (-6.6%), materials (-6.4%), and consumer discretionary (-5.7%) while the utilities sector ended ahead, but still lost 3.5%. SUMCO, Alps Electric, Shinsei Bank, Nomura Holdings, Mazda Motor, Suzuki Motor, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, and Panasonic lost between 8.8% and 12.1%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng was closed for Lunar New Year
  • China's Shanghai Composite was closed for Lunar New Year

Major European markets trade lower across the board as cautious sentiment lingers from the Asian session. Yesterday, Deutsche Bank released a statement defending its payment capacity, but that has not stopped the stock from retreating today amid persistent concerns about the bank's contingent convertible bonds. On a separate note, Greek-related fears may be returning to the forefront considering selling in the Greek 10-yr note has driven its yield past 10.50%, representing the highest level since August.

  • In economic data:
    • Germany's December trade surplus narrowed to EUR18.80 billion from EUR20.50 billion (expected surplus of EUR20.20 billion) as imports fell 1.6% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; last 1.3%) and exports declined 1.6% (consensus 0.5%; last 0.5%)
    • UK's December trade deficit narrowed to GBP9.92 billion from GBP11.50 billion (expected deficit of GBP10.40 billion)
    • France's December Government Budget deficit narrowed to EUR70.50 billion from EUR82.80 billion
    • Swiss January Unemployment Rate held at 3.4%, as expected

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE trades down 1.5% with more than half of its components in negative territory. Miners Antofagasta, Anglo American, BHP Billiton, and Glencore are down between 5.1% and 9.5%. Consumer names have shown strength with Tesco, Next, and Kingfisher up between 1.4% and 2.4%.
  • Germany's DAX is lower by 2.0% with all but three components in the red. Thyssenkrupp, Volkswagen, Commerzbank, BMW, and Merck have paced the retreat with losses between 2.0% and 3.8%. Deutsche Bank has given up 1.1% while Beiersdorf outperforms, trading higher by 1.3%.
  • France's CAC has given up 2.7% with ArcelorMittal diving 10.7%. The stock has tumbled to levels not seen since 2003 while other growth-sensitive names like Lafarge, Technip, Valeo, and Alstom show losses between 2.9% and 4.6%. On the flip side, Nokia Oyj is the lone advancer, adding 1.2%.

8:54 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Tobira Therapeutics (TBRA) completed recruitment for the Phase 2a ORION study. Tobira plans to announce the top-line 12-week interim analysis in 2Q16 and submit results for presentation at a scientific conference.
  • Ultratech (UTEK) received a multiple system order from a leading outsourced semiconductor assembly and test company. Ultratech's AP300E lithography systems will be utilized for various advanced packaging applications including copper pillar, wafer-level packaging and emerging technologies including fan-out WLP and silicon interposers to support growth driven by mobile devices.
  • United Tech (UTX) won a $28 mln guaranteed energy savings performance contract with the Georgia Department of Corrections for work at five sites across the state.
  • Relm Wireless (RWC) received an order totaling ~$4.2 mln from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for KNG series portable radio accessories, including batteries and microphones. These accessories will supplement those that are already in the process of being deployed by DHS. It is anticipated that the order will be fulfilled during the first and second quarters of 2016.
  • LyondellBasell (LYB) has selected Fluor (FLR) to perform front-end engineering and design work for its proposed propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol plant. Fluor booked the undisclosed contract value in 4Q15.

8:53 am Gapping down (SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: ONVO -12.1%, PSDV -9.4%, REGN -6.5%, QLYS -6.3%, ASEI -4.9%, OTTR -4.7%, CMP -4%, FOXA -3.6%, SHLD -3.4%, ALLT -3%, RDY -2.9%, BRS -2.6%, HCP -2.3%, SNY -2%, PAA -1.7%, CVS -1.5%, RBC -1.3%, GIG -1.1%, ALSN -0.7%

Select EU financial related names showing weakness: CS -7%, BCS -4.8%, ING -4.6%, SAN -3.6%

Select oil/gas related names showing early weakness: RDS.A -3.4%, TOT -2.9%, BP -2.4%

Other news: RACE -4.9% (cont weakness), TSLA -4.7% (cont weakness), SIEN -3.1% (pulling back following yday's strength), FCX -2.5% (trading lower with copper futures), NVS -1.3% (still checking), PYPL -1.3% (CTO resigns), NVO -1.1% (trading lower in symp with peer SNY), MDT -0.9% (still checking), AZN -0.8% (trading lower in symp with peer SNY)

Analyst comments: MT -8.2% (downgraded to Neutral at JP Morgan), RIO -5.4% (initiated with a Underperform at RBC Capital Mkts)

8:49 am Gapping up (SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: SSNI +22.2%, CBM +5.5%, MXL +5.3%, OI +4.5%, MODN +2.9%, MAS +2.3%, CDW +1.4%, AGTC +1.3%, GPS +1.1%, (Gap reports Jan same store sales -8% vs -3.9% Retail Metrics consensus; sees Q4 EPS of $0.56-0.57 vs. $0.53 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate on prelim sales of $4.39 bln vs. $4.47 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate )


Other news: CTIC +25% (rebounding following yday's declines), CERS +10.7% (announces that the American Red Cross has signed a multi-year purchase agreement for the INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets and plasma),BSX +3.3% (confirms it will receive CMS coverage for WATCHMAN LAAC Device)

Analyst comments: N/A

8:48 am Martin Marietta misses by $0.22, misses on revs; guides FY16 revs below consensus (MLM) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.15 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.22 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.37; revenues fell 1.4% year/year to $844.6 mln vs the $928.57 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues downside guidance for FY16, sees FY16 revs of $3.5-3.7 bln vs. $4.01 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

"Based on current forecasts and indications of market activity, we remain positive about the outlook of our business in 2016. Aggregates product line pricing is expected to increase from six to eight percent. Volume growth is expected to continue with an increase of five to seven percent. These gains in aggregates, coupled with pricing improvements across the downstream and cement businesses together with our cost discipline and strategic growth initiatives, are expected to drive increased earnings for the year," said Mr. Nye.

The co also expects positive trends in its business and markets, notably:

  • Nonresidential construction is expected to increase in both the heavy industrial and commercial sectors
  • Energy-related economic activity, including follow-on public and private construction activities in its primary markets, will be mixed with overall strength in downstream activity more than offsetting the decline in shale-related volumes.
  • Residential construction is expected to continue to grow
  • For the public sector, modest growth is expected in 2016

8:47 am SL Industies confirms receipt of revised non-binding proposal to be acquired by Handy & Harman (HNH) for $35.50/share (SLI) :

Handy & Harman (HNH) is an affiliate of Steel Partners Holdings L.P., which beneficially owns 25.1% of the Company's outstanding common stock. Handy & Harman's initial proposal, received by the independent directors of the Company's Board of Directors in June 2015, included a per share price of $43.00 to $45.00. The initial proposal contemplated that Company stockholders other than Steel Partners Holdings would be able to elect to receive cash or Handy & Harman stock (with Steel electing to receive all stock), subject to proration so that the aggregate consideration consisted of 55% cash and 45% Handy & Harman stock.

  • The Special Committee of the Company's Board of Directors, which was authorized, among other things, to evaluate the initial Handy & Harman proposal, will review and consider the revised proposal carefully in due course, consistent with its fiduciary duties to act in the best interest of stockholders.

8:43 am Opko Health reports study results that shows its 4Kscore Test's led to a 64.6% reduction in prostate biopsies (OPK) :

Co announces results of a study for the 4Kscore Test's clinical utility in reducing the number of prostate biopsies performed, while increasing the probability of detecting aggressive prostate cancer in men with abnormal prostate-specific antigen levels and or digital rectal examination results.

  • The peer-reviewed study, "The 4Kscore Test Reduces Prostate Biopsy Rates in Community and Academic Urology Practices", included 611 patients seen by 35 academic and community urologists across the US, indicated that consideration of results from the 4Kscore tests led to 64.6% fewer prostate biopsies being performed among participating patients.
  • Notably, the 4Kscore test results influenced biopsy decisions in 88.7% of the men.

8:41 am Floor Talk: S&P futures slip to fresh lows, now -20 at 1832 (:TALKX) :

S&P futures just slipped to morning lows around 1832, getting closer to yesterday's lows in the futures in the 1821 area (the S&P 500 Index traded down to 1828). There are several factors impacting the market this morning, but the latest leg lower coincided with crude oil slipping into negative territory after holding a slight gain earlier this morning. Crude oil is now -0.25 at 29.44.

As mentioned earlier in this morning's Market Summary comment: 

  • The early weakness this morning follows a volatile session yesterday, which saw the S&P 500 trade as low as 1828 (-2.5%) before before cutting losses to finish at 1853 (-1.4%). We mentioned yesterday that the final hour rebound was led by some of the most beaten-down groups, and that the oversold bounce may have been aided by some short covering. 
  • The most notable market move overnight was a major selloff in Japan, where the Nikkei closed lower by 5.4%. The Nikkei slide was paced by technology (-6.8%), financials (-6.6%), materials (-6.4%), and consumer discretionary (-5.7%) while the utilities sector ended ahead, but still lost 3.5%. The index ended just above its January low while a safe haven bid drove the Japanese 10-yr yield down to -0.01%, representing the first ever negative yield in the security. The yen strengthened overnight, pressuring the dollar/yen pair to 114.30, but the pair has climbed into the 115.00 area over the past few hours.
  • In Europe, major markets trade lower across the board as cautious sentiment lingers from the Asian session. Yesterday, Deutsche Bank released a statement defending its payment capacity, but that has not stopped the stock from retreating today amid persistent concerns about the bank's contingent convertible bonds. Germany reported a worse-than-expected December Industrial Production reading, which managed to keep a lid on gains early on. The DAX is currently -1.6%. On a separate note, Greek-related fears may be returning to the forefront considering selling in the Greek 10-yr note has driven its yield past 10.50%, representing the highest level since August. Greece's stock market is also down another 5% today.
  • Keep in mind that Fed Chair Janet Yellen is providing her semi-annual testimony on Capital Hill tomorrow and Thursday, which will be closely watched for any clues about the pace and direction of Fed policy changes this year, and whether the recent market volatility will have any bearing on those plans.

8:38 am Ball Corp announces new senior secured credit facility of ~$3.9 bln that will mature in 2021 (BLL) :

Ball Corporation announced the commencement of syndication for new revolving and term loan senior secured credit facilities that are expected to refinance Ball's existing revolver and bridge term loan facilities entered into on February 19, 2015. The new term loan credit facilities will, when finalized, represent the final portion of permanent financing related to Ball's proposed offer for Rexam PLC (REXMY) and are expected to reduce the bridge loan term facility accordingly.

8:35 am Marrone Bio Innovations submits biofungicide to EPA for regulatory review (MBII) :  

8:34 am Oaktree Capital beats by $0.02 (OAK) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) adj. earnings of $0.26 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.24. 
  • Distributable earnings were $104.3 million (or $0.55 per Class A unit) and $447.6 million ($2.42 per unit) for the fourth quarter and full-year 2015, respectively, down from $122.0 million ($0.65 per unit) and $606.1 million ($3.41 per unit) for the comparable 2014 periods, on lower incentive income and fee-related earnings.
  • Oaktree declares a distribution of $0.47 per Class A unit with respect to the fourth quarter of 2015, bringing aggregate distributions relating to full-year 2015 to $2.01.
  • Assets under management as of December 31, 2015 were $97.4 billion, down 3% for the fourth quarter and up 7% year-over-year

8:34 am Genesee & Wyoming issues downside FY16 guidance in Q4 earnings presentation slides (GWR) : Co issues downside guidance, sees diluted EPS of $3.60-$3.80 and adjusted diluted EPS declining approximately 10%. FY15 adjusted diluted EPS was $3.68, equating to FY16 guidance of about $3.31. The vs. Capital IQ Consensus is $4.12. Co sees revenue of $2.0 bln vs. $2.14 bln Capital IQ Consensus. Sees free cash flow of approximately $250 mln.

8:33 am Cerus announces that the American Red Cross has signed a multi-year purchase agreement for the INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets and plasma (CERS) :

"This agreement with the Red Cross represents a pivotal step toward making INTERCEPT-treated components available to a majority of patients throughout the U.S.," commented William Greenman, Cerus' president and chief executive officer. "Working closely with the Red Cross as part of the TRUE study in Puerto Rico has provided both organizations with important operational experience that we will be able to leverage as the INTERCEPT Blood System is broadly deployed at Red Cross sites nationally." The INTERCEPT System inactivates a broad spectrum of viruses, gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, spirochetes, parasites, and leukocytes, intended to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infection in platelet and plasma components.

8:33 am Medical Properties Trust beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides FY16 normalized FFO in-line (MPW) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) normalized FFO of $0.35 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.34; revenues rose 60.2% year/year to $131.55 mln vs the $128.47 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY16, sees normalized FFO of $1.29-1.33, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.32 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

8:32 am PayPal names Sri Shivananda Chief Technology Officer, effective April 1 (PYPL) : Shivananda's appointment follows the decision by current CTO, James Barrese, to step down to take time off. James will remain with PayPal for a period of time to support a smooth transition period. During his nearly 15-year tenure at the co, Shivananda led eBay's Global Platform and Infrastructure team that powered both the eBay (EBAY) and PayPal (PYPL) businesses.

8:32 am Hemispherx Biopharma considering research programs for Zika Virus; is in active dialogue with governmental representatives within the United States (HEB) :

  • Hemispherx Biopharma is beginning to consider study designs for potential tests of the activity and potential uses of its natural alpha interferon and rintatolimod drug formulations against the Zika virus. Hemispherx scientists are exploring the hypothesis that intranasal (:IN) use of Ampligen or oral use of Alferon in non-pregnant patients with active Zika viral infection could decrease viral load in blood and other body fluids, such as saliva and semen could shorten the time period during which the virus may be transmitted, and/or could decrease viral related tissue pathology. In addition, the symptomatic period may be shortened. This would be similar to the successful approach previously used for Tamiflu in treating early influenza infections.
  • At present, the Company is in active dialogue with governmental representatives within the United States. The Company's objective is to offer both products to governmental laboratories for further testing.

8:32 am VBI Vaccines enters into a research collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to evaluate co's LPV Platform (VBIV) :

  • Co has entered into a research collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA ("GSK") to evaluate VBI's LPV Platform
  • VBI's LPV Platform is a proprietary formulation and process that enables the development of vaccines and biologics with improved stability and preserved potency
  • Under the terms of the research collaboration, GSK has the option to negotiate an exclusive license to VBI's LPV Platform for use in a defined field. Further terms of the collaboration were not disclosed

8:32 am S&P futures vs fair value: -13.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -32.00. (:WRAPX) :

Equity futures remain sharply in negative territory with the S&P 500 futures currently trading 13 points below fair value. 

On the corporate front, Viacom (VIAB 40.50, -1.35) has surrendered 3.2% after reporting a miss on Q1 revenue in its earnings report. The company saw domestic advertising revenue decline 4.0% while worldwide advertising revenue declined 3.0%. ITC Holdings (ITC 41.05, +1.67) has climbed 4.2% after the company announced that it would be acquired by Fortis (FTS 41.38, -0.00) for $11.3 billion in cash and stock. 

In commodities, oil has dipped back into negative territory after the International Energy Agency warned that the oil glut may worsen in the near term. Currently WTI crude trades lower by 0.3% to $29.60/bbl.

 Treasuries trade higher with the yield on the 10-yr note lower by two basis point to 1.73%. 

8:31 am TD Ameritrade reports average of 565k client trades per day in January 2016, +15% Y/Y (AMTD) :

  • A record average of 565,000 client trades per day in January 2016, up 15% from January 2015 and up 29% from December 2015.
  • $669.1 billion in total client assets as of Jan. 31, 2016, essentially flat from January 2015 and down 4% from December 2015.
  • Average spread-based balances(1) of $105.2 billion, up 12% from January 2015 and up 2% from December 2015.
  • Average fee-based balances(2) of $152.2 billion, essentially flat from January 2015 and down 4% from December 2015.

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

  • WaferGen Bio-systems (WGBS) announced that three oral presentations and a poster at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology 2016 General Meeting will present results from early access collaborators using the company's ICELL8 Single-Cell System.
  • CACI International (CACI) and Virginia Tech's Center for National Security and Technology entered into a partnership. Under the terms of this agreement, CACI will be working closely with academic experts and students at the Hume Center to develop curriculum, research initiatives, and support projects focused on cyber security threats to platforms, specifically including UAVs.
  • Kyocera Corp (KYO) partnered with Healthy Planet Partners for the first utility-scale rooftop solar installation in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Completed in late 2015, the 997kW system was part of a PPA b/t Holyoke Gas & Electric and HPP, and the building owners, Ricar, LLC, which allows the utility to buy the electricity generated by the installation from HPP.
  • InterCloud Systems (ICLD) announced a partnership with SDN Enterprises that formally establishes a service relationship for SDN/NFV and cloud enabled services. SDN Essentials will leverage the cloud expertise of InterCloud and the orchestration capabilities of NFVgrid. InterCloud Systems will leverage the Education and Professional Services expertise of SDN Essentials with coverage around the world.

8:22 am CB&I offers prelim Q4 results, sees FY16 EPS above consensus, revs below (CBI) :

  • For Q4: Co sees EPS of $1.56 vs $1.48 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; revs $3.3 bln vs $3.46 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. CB&I expects to report new awards of approximately $3.3 billion for the quarter.
  • For FY16: Co sees EPS of $5.00-5.50 vs $5.19 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees revs $11.4-12.2 bln vs $12.70 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • For the year ending Dec. 31, 2015, the company expects to report new awards of approximately $13 billion and a backlog of $23 billion
  • The guidance was provided in advance of today's Investor Day

8:19 am European Yields (BONDX) :

European Government Debt Declines

  • Eurozone sovereign yields (which move inversely to price) are moving higher this morning as investor appetite for safe-haven assets appears to have reached a limit. Yields in the periphery have not even participated in the flight to quality in recent sessions as investors in eurozone government bonds have become more selective. Portugal's 10-year yield touched its highest level since October 2014. European bank stocks have been decimated in recent days as negative short rates make investors concerned about bank profitability. There are also debt securities called additional Tier 1 (AT1) bonds which are convertible to equity in times of crisis and these securities have come under heavy selling pressure in recent sessions
  • EUR/USD is trading at $1.1247 this morning and this has to have the European Central Bank concerned. Low interest rates in the eurozone may have made the euro popular as a funding currency in carry trades, but market turmoil tends to induce unwinding of those positions. A stronger euro will not help the ECB get back to its 2% inflation target. The currency pair has been bumping up against the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement of its 2015 range ($1.1257) in recent days. Breaking through there may lead to more upside
  • Economic data:
    • German industrial production fell 1.2% m/m in December, missing analyst expectations for a rebound from the 0.1% slide in November. Construction and energy led the decline
      • Germany's trade surplus narrowed to EUR 18.8 bln in December from EUR 20.5 bln in November
    • The U.K.'s trade deficit narrowed to GBP -9.92 bln in December from GBP -11.5 bln in November
      • The BRC Retail Sales Monitor rose 2.6% in the year to January, beating expectations and the 0.1% y/y gain in December
      • Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe expressed concerns about credit growth in the U.K. He warned that if lending growth again exceeded output growth, action would be warranted "sooner rather than later"
    • Switzerland's unemployment rate remained at 3.4% in January, as expected
  • Yield Check:
    • France, 10-yr OAT: +4 bps to 0.64%
    • Germany, 10-yr Bund: +2 bps to 0.24%
    • Greece, 10-yr note: +59 bps to 10.71%
    • Italy, 10-yr BTP: +5 bps to 1.75%
    • Portugal, 10-yr note: +24 bps to 3.42%
    • Spain, 10-yr ODE: +2 bps to 1.80%
    • U.K., 10-yr Gilt: +1 bp to 1.42%

8:15 am Omnova Solutions sells its India rubber manufacturing business to Apcotex Industries for ~$5 mln; not expected to have any material impact on co's 2016 op income (OMN) :

Co sells its India rubber manufacturing business to India-based Apcotex Industries Limited.
  • The transaction includes the Valia, India manufacturing plant and its associated product lines: acrylonitrile butadiene rubber in bale form, high styrene rubber masterbatches, and NBR-PVC polyblends.
  • Co will maintain its sales office in Mumbai to manage the continued growth of the co's specialty polymers in the Indian market through imports from other co facilities in Asia, Europe and North America.
  • The India rubber manufacturing business was sold to Apcotex under a share purchase agreement for cash proceeds of ~$5 mln.
  • For fiscal 2015, the business generated ~$28.2 mln in sales and reported a net loss of $400K.
  • The sale is not expected to have any material impact on co's operating income for 2016.

8:11 am Prothena announces publication in Journal of Clinical Oncology for data from ongoing phase 1/2 clinical trial of NEOD001 in AL Amyloidosis (PRTA) : The data appeared online in an article titled "First-in-Human Phase 1/2 Study of NEOD001 in Patients With Light Chain Amyloidosis and Persistent Organ Dysfunction." The published data showed that monthly infusions of NEOD001 were safe & well tolerated; patients showed improvements in functional biomarkers predictive of improvement of disease & survival. Data from the ongoing expansion cohort of this study is expected in 2Q16.

8:10 am RedHill Biopharma issues letter to shareholders detailing upcoming milestones (RDHL) :

Heading into 2016, we continue to make significant progress with our three ongoing Phase III-stage programs targeting the gastrointestinal indications of Crohn's disease, H. pylori infection and gastroenteritis. In parallel, we are pursuing a number of Phase II-stage development programs targeting oncology and inflammatory diseases. With several potential catalysts and value drivers on the horizon, a few of the Company's potential upcoming milestones are outlined below:

  • We are scheduled to meet with the FDA in early April to discuss the planned confirmatory Phase III study with RHB-105 for the treatment of H. pylori infection. The planned meeting with the FDA follows positive top-line results from the ERADICATE Hp first Phase III study with RHB-105, which successfully met its primary endpoint, demonstrating 89.4% efficacy in eradicating H. pylori with high statistical significance (p
  • The MAP US Phase III study with RHB-104 for the treatment of Crohn's disease continues to enroll patients according to plan, with interim analysis expected in the second half of 2016. If successful, RHB-104 is expected to become a potential paradigm changer in the treatment of Crohn's disease.
  • Another potential milestone expected during the second half of 2016 is the top-line results from the GUARD Phase III study with BEKINDA (RHB-102) for acute gastroenteritis and gastritis.
  • In the coming weeks, we expect to receive and announce top-line interim results from our CEASE-MS Phase IIa proof-of-concept study exploring RHB-104 as an add-on therapy to interferon beta-1a in patients treated for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
  • Also in the coming weeks, we plan to commence a Phase II study with BEKINDA (RHB-102) for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), subject to regulatory clearance.

8:05 am VTTI Energy Partners reports Q4 results; believes that current resources are sufficient to meet the working capital requirements of ongoing business (VTTI) :

  • Co reports Q4 adj EBITDA of $47.6 mln vs $50.1mln year ago. Despite a strong underlying trading performance, results were impacted by a reduction in excess throughput revenue versus the comparative period for last year. The decrease in excess throughput revenue was driven by a change in the volume distribution mix across our customer contracts, although utilization and throughput levels remained high, assisted by a positive international terminal market. Co believes that current resources, including cash generated by the operations of the Partnership, are sufficient to meet the working capital requirements of ongoing business.
  • Outlook "The outlook for VTTI is very positive, with strong demand for international storage capacity driven by a supportive market environment today and favorable underlying macro trends. Our highly flexible and efficient terminals have long-term contracts in place with strong counterparties that safeguard the future financial performance of the Partnership. Our targeted distribution growth remains unchanged and VTTI B.V. continues to pursue actively both greenfield and brownfield opportunities to add to our dropdown inventory."

8:05 am Fonar reports Q2 EPS rose 33% YoY to $0.53; revs rose 8% YoY to $18.4 mln (FONR) :

  • "On February 4, 2016, the television network ESPN ran a 30 For 30 series documentary on the 1985 NFL Chicago Bears that featured Dr. Scott Rosa and Jim McMahon. During the approximately five minute segment, Jim McMahon said he was thankful to Dr. Rosa's treatment. Dr. Rosa provided his patented IGAT (Image Guided Atlas Treatment) that utilized FONAR's UPRIGHT MRI examination of Jim McMahon to determine the percussion direction and percussion angle of his IGAT procedure. FONAR provided the UPRIGHT Multi-Position MRI that for the first time successfully detected and diagnosed Jim McMahon's health issues as originating in Jim's neck (not his brain) from malalignments of the craniocervical junction vertebra (C1 & C2) from prior football traumas. These malalignments were obstructing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow into his brain and generating the increased intracranial pressure (:ICP) that was adversely affecting his health. This enabled Jim's successful cervical realignment by Dr. Rosa's IGAT."

8:04 am Cynosure beats by $0.06, beats on revs, announces $35 mln share repurchase program (CYNO) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.42 per share, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.36; revenues rose 18.7% year/year to $102.4 mln vs the $96.84 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • On a non-GAAP basis, excluding non-cash charges related to the amortization of intangibles, gross margin increased to 59.1% in 4Q15, compared with 58.6% in the prior-year period.
  • Business Outlook: "Based on the momentum of our business and our strong balance sheet, we believe we are well positioned to drive growth in 2016 and beyond. SculpSure is ahead of plan in just its first few months on the market and the early feedback has been encouraging. Given early demand from physicians and patients, we're optimistic about maintaining the initial trajectory as we move through the year..."
  • Share Repurchase: CYNO also announces that it has authorized the repurchase of up to $35 mln of the company's common stock.

8:04 am Bellerophon Therapeutics announces data from the final analysis of the co's Phase 2 long-term extension study of INOpulse; believes it directly supports its design of Phase 3 study (BLPH) :

Co announces positive data that directly support the design of the planned Phase III trial from the final analysis of the co's Phase 2 long-term extension study of INOpulse for the treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (Part 2 of the Company's Phase 2 trial).

  • For patients in the long-term extension study, no significant safety issues have been found with no reports of methemoglobin elevation and no adjudicated cases of pulmonary rebound.
  • Only 2 Serious Adverse Events have been reported as possibly related, with these subjects continuing on iNO therapy.
  • These findings also confirmed a recently released interim analysis of the Phase II data which was performed at 12 months after entry into the study.
  • The 12 month analysis also found that LTOT patients who used iNO 75 for at least 12 hours a day had the greatest benefit.
  • The Phase 3 program will consist of two clinical trials totaling 450 patients; one trial with two treatment arms (iNO 75 and placebo) and one with three treatment arms (iNO 75, iNO 50 and placebo).
    • Each treatment arm will consist of ~90 patients.
    • The primary endpoint is improvement in 6MWD compared to placebo after 16 weeks.
    • The secondary endpoint is Time to Clinical Worsening (:TTCW), with analysis pooled across both trials. Patients will stay on therapy until the last patient visit measuring 6MWD.

8:03 am Pitney Bowes adds $150 mln in addition to the $65 mln authorized to repurchase common stock, expects to be completed in 2016 (PBI) : Co increased authorization to repurchase an additional $150 mln of Pitney Bowes' outstanding common stock, which it expects to complete in 2016. This is in addition to the $65 mln of authorization available at the beginning of the year, of which the company has repurchased $54 million through February 8, 2016. Taken together, the co expects to repurchase $215 mln of its common stock in 2016.

8:03 am Legg Mason reports AUM as of Jan 31of $651.5 bln; net outflows of $5.8 bln (LM) :

Legg Mason reported preliminary assets under management of $651.5 billion as of January 31, 2016.

  • This month's AUM included preliminary long-term net outflows of $5.8 billion, consisting of fixed income outflows of $3.8 billion and equity outflows of $2.0 billion.
  • Liquidity outflows were $2.8 billion and this month's AUM included $1.7 billion in negative foreign exchange impact.

8:03 am Immune Design reports 'Positive' Topline Data From Three Phase 1 Clinical Trials of Immuno-oncology Product Candidates (IMDZ) :

Data from a completed first-in-human dose-escalation study and an early subset of patients from an expansion study of CMB305 as a single agent in patients with cancers expressing the NY-ESO-1 tumor antigen revealed:

  • CMB305 was safe, without dose-limiting toxicities, as reviewed by an independent data safety monitoring board (:DSMB)
  • A significant subset of CMB305-treated patients had NY-ESO-1-specific CD8 T cell responses that were generated or increased after therapy
  • Patients who did respond immunologically had a greater degree of antigen-specific T cell response than that previously reported in a Phase 1 study of LV305 alone, which is consistent with the intent of the prime-boost approach
  • Preliminary clinical benefit in the form of progression-free rate was observed in patients with soft tissue sarcoma

Data from the expansion study following the previously-reported dose escalation study of LV305 in patients with tumors expressing NY-ESO-1 revealed:

  • A consistently favorable safety profile, as reviewed by an independent DSMB
  • A consistent immune response rate and An improved clinical benefit profile

New data from the completed pilot trial of G100 with local radiation in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma revealed:

  • Safety was consistent with that originally reported, demonstrating an acceptable profile alone or in combination with local radiation
  • G100 significantly altered the TME, causing inflammation and transforming tumors to a "hot" state in G100 responding patients
  • Clinical benefit remained constant with the full patient set

8:02 am Motorcar Parts of America beats by $0.01, beats on revs (MPAA) :

  • Reports Q3 (Dec) earnings of $0.52 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.51; revenues rose 11.9% year/year to $94 mln vs the $92.01 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • The co's sales performance for the fiscal 2016 third quarter reflects continued strength of its rotating electrical and wheel hub business, as well as increased contributions from the company's emerging master cylinder product line.

8:02 am S&P futures vs fair value: -12.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -23.00. (:WRAPX) :

U.S. equity futures trade hover above overnight lows with the S&P 500 futures trading 13 points below fair value. Futures have been hurt by action overseas that had investor's flight from risk bidding up Japanese Treasuries and strengthening the yen. In Europe broad selling pressure led by banks and miners have added to today's selling pressure. For its part, oil narrowly maintains its position, thanks in part to the weaker dollar's affect on the dollar denominated commodity. 

On the economic front, news will be limited to the 10:00 ET release of the Wholesale Inventories report for December (Briefing.com consensus 0.0%) and the JOLTS Job Opening Report for December. 

Treasuries have made their way to roughly even after trading higher overnight. The yield on the 10-yr note is unchanged at 1.75%. 

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Coca-Cola (KO 42.36, -0.29): -0.7% has slipped this mornings as falling quarterly revenue outshines an EPS and revenue beat
  • CVS Health (CVS 87.00, -2.65): -3.0% despite reporting in-line EPS and revenue on its Q4 earnigns report this morning
  • Goodyear Tire (GT 26.39, +0.05) +0.2% after reporting an EPS and revenue beat in their Q4 earnings report

Reviewing overnight developments:

  • Japan's Nikkei tumbled 5.4% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng and China's Shanghai Composite remained closed for the Lunar New Year. 
    • Economic data was limited:
      • Japan's M2 Money Stock +3.2% year-over-year (consensus 3.1%; last 3.1%) and Machine Tools Orders -17.2% year-over-year (last -25.7%)
      • Australia's January NAB Business Confidence slipped to 2 from 3, as expected
    • In news:
      • Safe haven bid drove the Japanese 10-yr yield down to -0.01%, representing the first negative yield in the security.
      • The yen strengthened overnight, pressuring the dollar/yen pair to 114.30, but the pair has climbed into the 115.00 area in recent trade.
  • European markets trade broadly lower with France's CAC -1.9%, Germany's DAX -1.3%, and the U.K.'s FTSE -0.7%. 
    • In economic data:
      • Germany's December trade surplus narrowed to EUR18.80 billion from EUR20.50 billion (expected surplus of EUR20.20 billion) as imports fell 1.6% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; last 1.3%) and exports declined 1.6% (consensus 0.5%; last 0.5%)
      • UK's December trade deficit narrowed to GBP9.92 billion from GBP11.50 billion (expected deficit of GBP10.40 billion)
      • France's December Government Budget deficit narrowed to EUR70.50 billion from EUR82.80 billion
      • Swiss January Unemployment Rate held at 3.4%, as expected
    • In news:
      • Deutsche Bank released a statement defending its payment capacity, but that has not stopped the stock from retreating today amid persistent concerns about the bank's contingent convertible bonds.
      • On a separate note, Greek-related fears may be returning to the forefront considering selling in the Greek 10-yr note has driven its yield past 10.50%, representing the highest level since August.

8:02 am Heartland Payment Systems has acquired privately held Beanstalk Data; terms not disclosed (HPY) : Beanstalk Data is a provider of customer engagement platforms for restaurants in the United States. The Beanstalk Data CRM Marketing Master allows brands to aggregate all of their customer data into a single location and enjoy the benefits of full marketing automation.

8:01 am Second Sight Medical Products announces exclusive agreement with Tecnosalud to bring the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis to Argentina (EYES) : Co announces plans to expand into South America by signing an exclusive agreement with Tecnosalud S.A. to distribute the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System in Argentina. Tecnosalud will be responsible for executing in-country management of all aspects of Second Sight's technology, including sales, marketing, national reimbursement, surgical and technical support.

  • Tecnosalud, located in Buenos Aires, is the largest distributor of cochlear implants and accessories in South America and the exclusive partner of Cochlear Ltd. for the past 14 years servicing the hearing impaired.
  • EYES states that future enhancements to the Argus II will focus on external hardware improvements and software upgrades so that current Argus II users may benefit from the continually advancing technology.

8:01 am Alaska Comms and CyrusOne (CONE) sign Agreement to deliver secure and reliable connectivity and data storage services (ALSK) : Alaska Communications will now provide enterprise businesses and government agencies secure and reliable connectivity with offsite data storage at CyrusOne's advanced, highly secure Houston data center campus. CyrusOne, which operates 31 carrier-neutral facilities across the United States, Europe, and Asia, can now serve customers with secure, reliable connectivity to Alaska on Alaska Communications' network.

8:00 am CSRA subsidiary, SRA International, was awarded a five-year task order valued at $233 million (CSRA) : CSRA today announced its operating subsidiary, SRA International, was awarded one of two Intake, Conversion, and Mail Handling Services (:ICMHS) task orders. The ICMHS program improves the Veterans Benefits Administration's paperless processing of Veterans' disability claims by reducing the time required to establish, develop, rate, adjudicate, and pay the claims. The five-year task order is valued at $233 million, if all options are exercised.

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

  • Interface Biologics and Fresenius Medical Care (FMS) extended their exclusive licensing agreement for use of Endexo technology in chronic dialysis systems to cover the acute dialysis market (including CRRT).
  • Taseko Mines (TGB) announced that its Gibraltar mine expects to benefit from a five-year power rate deferral program announced by the government of British Columbia. "This cost deferral program has the potential to reduce Gibraltar's annual spending by up to $20 mln, or roughly $0.15/pound of copper production, at the current copper price of ~$2.10/pound, effective this month."
  • Lincoln Electric Holdings (LECO) realigned its organizational and leadership structure to further support its 2020 growth strategy. Lincoln Electric has combined its North America Welding and South America Welding businesses into "Americas Welding." Additionally, the Europe Welding and Asia Pacific Welding businesses will be combined into "International Welding." Co will continue to operate and report The Harris Products Group business separately, which includes the Company's global cutting, soldering and brazing businesses, as well as retail channel distribution in the United States. Co will begin to report comparative results under the new structure effective with the filing of its 10Q for the period ended March 31.
  • Revolution Lighting (RVLT) received a $1.05 mln project with Mill Creek Residential Trust for the installation of lighting infrastructure, including LED lighting, throughout one of Mill Creek Residential Trust's newest properties in northern New Jersey.
  • Jacobs Engineering Group (JEC) received a three-year contract from the Georgia Department of Transportation to provide general engineering and support services for Georgia's Lower Piedmont Region, which includes portions of GDOT Districts 2 and 7 and all of District 3. Co also received a contract from the Marine Corps Special Operations Command to provide communications training services to Marine Raiders combat personnel. Under the contract, Jacobs is also providing technical advice to MARSOC on training and employment of future ground-based and satellite communications systems.

7:50 am Goodyear Tire beats by $0.18, beats on revs; sees adj. operating income +10-15%; adds $650 mln to repurchase program (GT) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.93 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.18 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.75; revenues fell 6.7% year/year to $4.06 bln vs the $4.01 bln Capital IQ Consensus. Sales were impacted by $339 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation.
    • Tire unit volumes totaled 42.1 million, up 7 percent from 2014, due in part to the acquisition of Nippon Goodyear Ltd. (:NGY) in Japan. Replacement tire shipments were up 9 percent. Original equipment unit volume was up 2 percent.
    • Segment operating income of $476 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, up 33 percent from a year ago. The increase was driven by favorable price/mix net of raw materials and higher volume, partially offset by cost inflation and unfavorable foreign currency translation.
  • 2016 financial targets:
    • Segment Operating Income growth of between 10-15% from ongoing operations (ex-Venezuela), Positive Free Cash Flow from Operations and An Adjusted Debt to EBITDAP ratio of 2.0x to 2.1x at year-end; co is targeting record segment operating income of $2.1 billion to $2.2 billion for 2016.
  • On February 4, 2016, the company's Board of Directors authorized a $650 million increase in the share repurchase program, bringing the total to $1.1 billion.

7:40 am Overnight Treasury Summary (BONDX) :

Treasuries Modestly Higher

  • U.S. Treasuries are hovering above the unchanged mark this morning as markets brace for Fed Chair Yellen's semi-annual testimony to Congress which begins onWednesday. Japanese stocks were hit hard overnight as the yen continued to flaunt its sudden independence from the Bank of Japan, rallying to its highest level since late2014. The Nikkei ended down 5.40% to 16,085.44. Japanese banks have been hit hard, as have European and U.S. banks in recent days, as concerns about flatter yieldcurves impairing net interest margins take hold. The U.S. Dollar Index is down 0.04% to 96.53 and gold has retreated from multi-month highs, declining 0.25% to 1,194.90/troy oz. WTI crude is up 0.64% to $29.88/bbl. The S&P 500 is indicated to open down 0.59% to 1,842.0
  • Yield Check:
    • 2-yr: -2 bps to 0.65%
    • 5-yr: -2 bps to 1.14%
    • 10-yr: -1 bp to 1.74%
    • 30-yr: unch at 2.57%
  • International News:
    • German industrial production fell 1.2% m/m in December, missing analyst expectations for a rebound from the 0.1% slide in November. Construction and energy led the decline
      • Germany's trade surplus narrowed to EUR 18.8 bln in December from EUR 20.5 bln in November
    • The U.K.'s trade deficit narrowed to GBP -9.92 bln in December from GBP -11.5 bln in November
      • The BRC Retail Sales Monitor rose 2.6% in the year to January, beating expectations and the 0.1% y/y gain in December
      • Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe expressed concerns about credit growth in the U.K. He warned that if lending growth again exceeded output growth, action would be warranted "sooner rather than later"
        • The Financial Times reported today that hedge funds are taking short positions in stocks of U.K. homebuilders
    • Switzerland's unemployment rate remained at 3.4% in January, as expected
    • The 10-year JGB (Japanese government bond) yield touched 0.00% for the first time ever
      • A JPY 800 bln JGB auction garnered a bid-to-cover ratio of 3.04
      • The 5-year JGB yield is now lower than that of the 2-year JGB. Japanese government yields have been plunging since January 29, when the Bank of Japan joined the club of central banks with negative policy rates
    • Australia's NAB Business Confidence Index fell to 2 in January from 3 in December, as expected
    • In the U.S., the National Federation of Independent Business's small business optimism index fell more than expected to 93.9 in January from 95.2 in December
  • Data out Today:
    • December Wholesale Inventories (10:00 ET)
  • Treasury Auction:
    • $24 bln 3-year note auction (results at 13:00 ET)

7:35 am Agrium beats by $0.14, misses on revs; guides FY16 EPS below consensus (AGU) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.52 per share, $0.14 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.38; revenues fell 11.0% year/year to $2.41 bln vs the $2.84 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 
    • The increased net earnings were driven by strong performance from our Wholesale business unit, which achieved reduced cost of production and higher overall sales volumes for all three nutrients. 
    • Retail's fourth quarter earnings were also higher than last year, despite the wet weather in the U.S. during the fall application season.
  • Co issues downside guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $5.50-7.00 vs. $7.04 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
    • Expects Retail EBITDA to be $1.075-billion to $1.175-billion, and Retail nutrient sales volumes to be 9.8 to 10.2 million tonnes in 2016.
  • The Canpotex proving run for the Vanscoy expansion was highly successful. We demonstrated our nameplate capacity within a year of mechanical completion, which increased AGU's allocation to 10.3% of total Canpotex shipments starting in 2016.
  • "We expect macroeconomic challenges in combination with current crop prices to be a risk in 2016. However, the arrival of the Northern Hemisphere's spring application season over the next couple of months is expected to result in improved demand, particularly in light of the poor fall season in the U.S. and the fact declining crop nutrient prices have caused buyers around the world to sit back and wait for stability. We also expect there will be a supply response across all three major nutrients in reaction to current price levels - some of which we have seen already in the form of production cuts and closures."

7:35 am Cummins announces $500 mln accelerated repurchase program (CMI) :

Cummins has entered into an accelerated share repurchase agreement with Goldman, Sachs & Co. to repurchase $500 million of Cummins' common stock. Today's ASR is part of Cummins' previously announced share repurchase plans.

  • "This $500 million ASR agreement reflects our view that the Company's shares are currently trading well below intrinsic value, and is consistent with our plans to return 75 percent of Operating Cash Flow to shareholders in 2016."

7:34 am Belden beats by $0.15, reports revs in-line; guides Q1; reaffirms FY16 EPS, revs guidance (BDC) :

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.63 per share, $0.15 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.48; revenues fell 1.9% year/year to $597.24 mln vs the $600.75 mln Capital IQ Consensus.

  • Co issues guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.90-1.00 vs. $1.00 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q1 revs of $530-550 mln vs. $545.00 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $5.10-5.40 vs. $5.28 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs of $2.295-2.345 bln vs. $2.33 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • "As we shared with you in December, we expect industrial market softness will be offset by strength in our Broadband, Enterprise, and Network Security markets."

7:33 am Vishay beats by $0.02, reports revs in-line; guides Q1 revs in-line (VSH) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.14 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.12; revenues fell 9.0% year/year to $555.9 mln vs the $556.31 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Commenting on the results for the fourth quarter 2015, Dr. Gerald Paul, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Revenues for the quarter came in close to expectations. Margins benefitted from belt tightening. Excluding exchange rate effects, revenues were virtually on the same level as in the previous quarter and down 5% compared to the fourth quarter 2014."
  • Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs of $540-580 mln vs. $558.05 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees gross margins of 22% - 24%

7:32 am Liberty Prop beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (LPT) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) funds from operations of $0.65 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.64; revenues fell 2.1% year/year to $199.4 mln vs the $197.93 mln Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • Same store operating income increased 2.6% YoY.
  • Property level operating income for same store properties increased by 0.9% on a cash basis and by 2.6% on a straight line basis
  • "Even though the year has started with choppy financial markets, we continue to benefit from a very strong real estate market and we expect 2016 to be another very good year."

7:32 am Aecom Tech beats by $0.05, misses on revs; reaffirms FY16 EPS guidance (ACM) :

  • Reports Q1 (Dec) earnings of $0.68 per share, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.63; revenues rose 2.1% year/year to $4.3 bln vs the $4.35 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Wins in the quarter of $4.4 billion were driven primarily by the building construction business within the Construction Services segment. The book-to-burn ratio3 was over 1.0. The Company's total backlog of $40.2 billion increased slightly from the prior quarter after adjusting for currency fluctuations.
  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $3.00-3.40, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.21 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • On track with full-year free cash flow target of $600 million to $800 million for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

7:31 am Community Healthcare Trust increases quarterly dividend to $0.3775/share from $0.375/share (CHCT) :  

7:31 am Cleveland Biolabs announces US National Academy of Sciences publication for studies elucidating immunotherapeutic mechanisms through which entolimod suppresses metastasis (CBLI) : The studies presented in the publication reveal the cascade of cell-signaling events that are triggered by entolimod activation of the TLR5 pathway in the liver. The data also define the functional roles of natural killer, dendritic, and CD8+ T cells in the drug's activity as a suppressor of metastasis. The studies demonstrate that entolimod administration induces chemokines that attract NK cells to the liver via a CXCR3-dependent mechanism. In addition, CBLI announced the start of dosing in a single-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study of the safety and tolerability of entolimod as a neo-adjuvant therapy in treatment-nave patients with primary colorectal cancer. The primary objective of the study is to determine the optimal dose and dosing regimen for treatment of these patients with entolimod prior to surgery.

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

  • Global Eagle (ENT) announced that Star Alliance partners Lufthansa Airlines (DLAKY) and Swiss International Air Lines selected its GEE Navaero electronic flight bag solutions. Lufthansa, Europe's largest airline and a new GEE Navaero customer, will equip at least 31 new Airbus A320 aircraft with GEE's new power data interface, smart docking stations, and other interfaces for Microsoft Surface tablets that put mission-critical flight data at the fingertips of pilots and ground crews.
  • STAAR Surgical (STAA) and Memira Holding, Sweden, entered into an agreement effective January 1 to provide STAAR's phakic intraocular lenses as a primary and premium option for refractive eye treatment throughout Scandinavia.
  • ZIOPHARM (ZIOP) announced that the first patient has been enrolled in a Phase 1 clinical study of its second generation non-viral CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptor modified T-cell therapy in patients with advance lymphoid malignancies. The CD19-specific T cells were modified using the Sleeping Beauty system to stably express the CAR in T cells.
  • Omantel announced the signing of the supply agreement with Xtera Communications (XCOM) for building another unique submarine cable to strengthen its position in the region and beyond. The new cable will be built in partnership with Ethio Telecom, Golis Telecom and Telesom Company and will be a direct highway from Salalah in Oman to Bosaso in Puntland and Berbera in Somaliland, with a terrestrial extension to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
  • Matrix Service (MTRX) announced that it has begun the repurchase of common stock under its stock buyback program. The current program, which expires on December 31, 2016, provides for a maximum repurchase of $25 mln per calendar year.
  • A.M. Castle (CAS) entered into an agreement with one of its large equity holders and one of its large public debt holders resulting in additional support for the Company's previously-announced, private exchange offer to certain eligible holders relating to the exchange of new 12.75% Senior Secured Notes 2018 for the co's outstanding 12.75% Senior Secured Notes 2016. As a result of the Agreement and upon completion of the Exchange Offer, $206,302,000 aggregate principal amount of the total $210 mln aggregate principal amount of Existing Notes will be exchanged for New Notes, leaving $3.698 mln aggregate principal amount of the Existing Notes with a maturity of December 2016.

7:26 am European Markets Update: FTSE -0.7%, DAX -1.3%, CAC -1.9% (:SUMRX) :

Major European markets trade lower across the board as cautious sentiment lingers from the Asian session. Yesterday, Deutsche Bank released a statement defending its payment capacity, but that has not stopped the stock from retreating today amid persistent concerns about the bank's contingent convertible bonds. On a separate note, Greek-related fears may be returning to the forefront considering selling in the Greek 10-yr note has driven its yield past 10.50%, representing the highest level since August.

  • In economic data:
    • Germany's December trade surplus narrowed to EUR18.80 billion from EUR20.50 billion (expected surplus of EUR20.20 billion) as imports fell 1.6% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; last 1.3%) and exports declined 1.6% (consensus 0.5%; last 0.5%)
    • UK's December trade deficit narrowed to GBP9.92 billion from GBP11.50 billion (expected deficit of GBP10.40 billion)
    • France's December Government Budget deficit narrowed to EUR70.50 billion from EUR82.80 billion
    • Swiss January Unemployment Rate held at 3.4%, as expected

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE trades down 0.7% with more than half of its components in negative territory. Miners Antofagasta, Anglo American, BHP Billiton, and Glencore are down between 5.1% and 9.5%. Consumer names have shown strength with Tesco, Next, and Kingfisher up between 1.4% and 2.4%.
  • Germany's DAX is lower by 1.3% with all but three components in the red. Thyssenkrupp, Volkswagen, Commerzbank, BMW, and Merck have paced the retreat with losses between 2.0% and 3.8%. Deutsche Bank has given up 1.1% while Beiersdorf outperforms, trading higher by 1.3%.
  • France's CAC has given up 1.9% with ArcelorMittal diving 10.7%. The stock has tumbled to levels not seen since 2003 while other growth-sensitive names like Lafarge, Technip, Valeo, and Alstom show losses between 2.9% and 4.6%. On the flip side, Nokia Oyj is the lone advancer, adding 1.2%.

7:21 am Sabre beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line; guides FY16 EPS in-line, revs above consensus; increases dividend (SABR) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.27 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.26; revenues rose 17.4% year/year to $758.5 mln vs the $763.54 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $1.40-1.47 vs. $1.40 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs of $3.39-3.43 bln vs. $3.38 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Issued 2016 guidance including expected growth in the mid-teens for revenue and Adjusted EBITDA and growth of approximately 30% in Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted EPS. Free Cash Flow expected to approach $400 mln.
  • Announced increase in dividend payout ratio target to 35% to 40% of Adjusted Net Income. Quarterly dividend increased 44% from $0.09 to $0.13 per share. 

7:18 am Transdigm Group misses by $0.05, misses on revs; guides FY16 in-line (TDG) :

  • Reports Q1 (Dec) earnings of $2.27 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $2.32; revenues rose 19.6% year/year to $701.7 mln vs the $733.41 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $10.65-10.89, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $10.73 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs of $3.144-3.188 bln vs. $3.16 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:16 am NanoString Technologies recieves recommendation for Prosigna Breast Cancer Prognostic Gene Signature Assay (NSTG) : The updated American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline on the appropriate use of breast tumor biomarker assay results recommends the use of the Prosigna Breast Cancer Prognostic Gene Signature Assay (PAM50) to guide decisions on adjuvant systemic therapy for women with early-stage invasive breast cancer with known hormone receptor and HER2 status.

7:14 am Warren Resources follow up: Guides production, reserves; in talks with creditors on debt restructuring (WRES) :

  • As of Dec 31, 2015, Warren had estimated net proved reserves of 241.3 Bcfe, which included 12.9 MMbls of oil and 163.7 Bcf of gas. The PV-10 value of these reserves was ~$96 million, based on the SEC mandated price deck of $42.81 per barrel of oil and $1.74 per Mcf of gas.
  • Using modified strip pricing, as of December 31, 2015, Warren's California properties account for 100% of oil volumes, 46% of proved reserve PV-10 and 56% of 3P PV-10.
  • Sees FY16 oil production down 10-26% from 980MMbl in 2015
  • Gas production down 12-28% from 28 Bcf in 2015.
  • Sees FY15 revs $89.4 mln vs $84.02 mln single analyst estimate; sees FY16 rev $61.1 mln vs. $69.8 mln single est.
  • As a result of decreased production and ongoing negotiations with vendors and pipeline operators, Warren anticipates that Lease Operating Expenses ("LOE"), field gathering and transportation fees and taxes will decline by $10.6 million, or 21%, in 2016 to $39.0 million.

Debt Restructuring

  • Based on the projections detailed above, Warren has initiated discussions with its creditors regarding a restructuring of its debt obligations. As of December 31, 2015, Warren's first lien creditors held debt of $235 million in principal amount, second lien creditors held debt of $51 million in principal amount, and investors held $167 million principal amount of Warren's unsecured senior notes. Warren had $26.8 million in cash at year end 2015.
  • Additionally, Warren recently announced that it would not make the ~$7.5 million interest payment due February 1, 2016 on its unsecured notes, and instead anticipates utilizing the applicable 30-day grace period to initiate negotiations with note holders. If Warren cannot come to a workable agreement regarding an out-of-court restructuring, it will have to seek protection from its creditors through a bankruptcy proceeding in order to preserve and maximize value for its stakeholders.

7:13 am Empresas ICA agrees for a MXN 750 mln convertible loan to provide the resources required for the completion of the Palmillas-Apaseo El Grande tollroad in Queretaro and Guanajuato (ICA) :

Co confirms that its subsidiary COVIMSA has signed an agreement with CKD Fomento a la Energa e Infraestructura de Mxico, through the EXICK Trust, for MXN 750 mln convertible loan to provide the resources required for the completion of the Palmillas-Apaseo El Grande tollroad in the states of Queretaro and Guanajuato.

  • This agreement ensures all the resources that are required to finalize the construction and putting into service of the highway.
  • Co expects that the construction phase will be completed in September 2016

7:08 am Cambrex beats by $0.16, reports revs in-line; guides FY16 EPS, gross revs (CBM) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.01 per share, $0.16 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.85; revenues rose 20.8% year/year to $156.19 mln vs the $156.94 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $2.46-2.58 vs. $2.41 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 gross revs of ~$468.57-485.92 mln (+8-12%), may not be comparable to $484.23 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Additional FY16 guidance includes: Adjusted EBITDA $142 - $148 million, Free cash flow $60 - $70 million, Capital expenditures $70 - $75 million

7:07 am Entegris beats by $0.04, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS in-line, revs in-line; Announces $100 mln share buyback (ENTG) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.20 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.16; revenues fell 1.8% year/year to $266.8 mln vs the $255.83 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.13-0.17, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.16 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q1 revs of $250-265 mln vs. $254.65 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Entegris announced that the Company's Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million of its common stock

7:06 am Silicon Graphics announces SGI management will host a conference call for investors to discuss a new OEM agreement today at 6:15 AM PT (SGI) : The conference call can be accessed by dialing (888) 463-5422 (toll-free) or (970) 315-0484 (international) and entering the confirmation code: 48957521.

7:06 am Warren Resources reports estimated net proved reserves of 241.3 Bcfe; forecasts 2016 oil production volume of $723-883 MMBL, -18% Y/Y (WRES) :  

7:05 am Fidelity Nat'l Info reports EPS in-line, revs in-line; guides FY16 EPS below consensus (FIS) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.93 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.93; revenues rose 11.0% year/year to $1.87 bln vs the $1.89 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues downside guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $3.70-3.80 vs. $3.85 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Sees Organic revenue growth of 3 to 4 percent.
  • "The end-of-year closing of the SunGard acquisition allows us to leverage our newly expanded IP-led solutions portfolio to create deeper and broader relationships with our more than 20,000 clients. The acquisition creates a solid foundation for meeting our 2016 goals and driving long-term value creation for our shareholders."

7:05 am Benchmark Electronics beats by $0.04, reports revs in-line; guides Q1 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (BHE) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.45 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.41; revenues fell 11.8% year/year to $626 mln vs the $625.23 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Q4 Bookings Update - New program bookings in the fourth quarter were $115 to $135 million.
  • Co issues guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.29-0.33, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.35 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q1 revs of $565-590 mln vs. $590.04 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Capital Allocation
    • Fourth quarter 2015 common share repurchases totaled $16 million or 770,000 shares.
    • $135 million remains available under the current share repurchase program.

7:04 am Epirus Biopharma initiates its global registration study for BOW015 in active Rheumatoid Arthritis patients (EPRS) :

The UNIFORM Study is a 58-week, double-blind, one-to-one randomized, comparator-controlled multi-center global study to compare efficacy, safety and immunogenicity and demonstrate clinical equivalence of BOW015 with Remicade.

  • The primary endpoint at week 16 is the proportion of patients that meet ACR20 (20 percent or greater improvement in American College of Rheumatology assessment). EPIRUS is targeting a harmonized global filing for marketing approval for BOW015 in 2017 based on 30-week data.

7:04 am CDW beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line; sees low double digit adj. EPS growth in 2016 (CDW) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.73 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.72; revenues rose 12.1% year/year to $3.42 bln vs the $3.41 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • Organic net sales growth, which excludes the impact of the Kelway acquisition, was 5.1 percent. Organic net sales growth on a constant currency basis versus fourth quarter 2014 was 5.8 percent, reflecting unfavorable foreign currency translation in the company's Canadian business. Average daily sales in the fourth quarter of 2015 were $54.3 million, compared to $48.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • "Despite anticipated currency headwinds we expect to achieve our 2016 to 2018 annual medium term target of low-double digit earnings per share growth in 2016 [consensus +13.7% to $3.33."
  • "We intend to continue to execute against our strategy for growth in 2016 and deliver profitable, constant currency organic topline growth 200 to 300 basis points higher than the U.S. IT market, which we now expect to grow between two and three percent."

7:04 am Masco beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line (MAS) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.29 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.26; revenues fell 18.1% year/year to $1.7 bln vs the $1.7 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • "Exceptional improvement in our U.S. cabinet business drove increased revenue and profit. Our industry-leading plumbing businesses continued their excellent performance trend and delivered another quarter of outstanding results. In our Decorative Architectural Products segment, the ongoing momentum of Behr Pro and Liberty Hardware was masked by challenging year-over-year comparisons, while our windows businesses benefitted from increased demand in the U.S. and U.K."

7:02 am WPX Energy to sell subsidiary WPX Energy Rocky Mountain to Terra Energy Partners for $910 mln in cash; expect to close sale in Q2 (WPX) :

  • In addition, Terra will receive natural gas hedges with a current in-the-money value of more than $90 mln that will be used to support cash flow in 2016 and 2017.  The acquired assets consist of an ~200,000 net acre position in the Piceance Basin of Colorado boasting recent net production of ~500 mln cubic feet equivalent per day.
  • WPX will retain more than $110 mln in additional hedge gains, which will be realized throughout the year. WPX expects oil to comprise ~half of its future production volumes, up from roughly 20% during 2015. On a per-barrel equivalent basis, WPX's 2016 cash operating costs (LOE, GP&T and operating taxes) are not expected to change materially following the divestiture.  Upon closing, WPX will have a premier portfolio with acreage in the core of two prolific oil-dominant areas -- the Permian's Delaware Basin and North Dakota's Williston Basin -- along with a leading position in the San Juan Basin. WPX's early results in the Permian's Delaware Basin are exceeding its acquisition estimates (will provide an update on its Delaware development during its Feb. 25 webcast). 

7:01 am Seres Therapeutics announces that 'positive' results from the Phase 1b/2 study of SER-109 in recurrent Clostridium Difficile Infection were published today in The Journal of Infectious Diseases (MCRB) : Results demonstrated that 87% of patients met the predefined endpoint of preventing recurrent CDI within eight weeks following administration of SER-109. Most importantly, 97% of patients achieved clinical cure during the eight-week period after SER-109 dosing, as defined by the absence of CDI requiring antibiotic treatment. By contrast, the expected cure rates in people treated with the standard of care (antibiotics) for recurrent CDI range from 23-31%, according to a recent well-controlled study.

7:00 am Viacom beats by $0.01, misses on revs (VIAB) :

  • Reports Q1 (Dec) earnings of $1.18 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.17; revenues fell 5.7% year/year to $3.15 bln vs the $3.26 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • Media Networks revenues declined 3% to $2.57 billion. Absent an unfavorable 1% impact of foreign exchange, Media Networks revenues decreased 2%. Domestic advertising revenues declined 4% (vs. -7% in Q3), as pricing increases were more than offset by a decline in traditional ratings at some of our networks. Worldwide advertising revenues decreased 3%, reflecting an unfavorable 1% impact of foreign exchange. International advertising revenues declined 2%, driven by an 8% adverse effect of foreign exchange. Absent the impact of foreign exchange, international advertising revenues increased 6%, driven principally by growth in Europe. Domestic affiliate revenues were substantially flat due to the impact from the timing of product available under certain distribution agreements. International affiliate revenues decreased 6%, driven by a 9% unfavorable impact of foreign exchange. Absent the impact of foreign exchange, international affiliate revenues increased 3%.
  • Filmed Entertainment revenues decreased by 15% to $612 million, as an increase in license fees was more than offset by declines in theatrical and home entertainment revenues. Excluding foreign exchange, which had a 3% unfavorable impact, worldwide revenues declined 12%.

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

  • Texas Stem Cell has committed to utilizing Cesca's (KOOL) AutoXpress AXP technology for its cord blood banking business. The AXP platform includes a 'smart' processing device and sterile disposable that automatically concentrates the stem cells from a cord blood unit in less than one hour and delivers them directly into Cesca's patented sample bag which is optimized for cryopreservation and storage.
  • Insys Therapeutics (INSY) enrolled the first patient in a Phase II clinical study for the treatment of infantile spasms using its pharmaceutical CBD product candidate.
  • SunEdison (SUNE) signed a solar power purchase agreement with Stockton East Water District in Northern California. SunEdison plans to install 2.2 MW of high-performance SunEdison solar panels on the water district's property. By going solar, the district expects to save more than $9.5 mln on energy costs over the next 20 years and 20 mln gallons of water annually.

6:59 am Coca-Cola beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (KO) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.38 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.37; revenues fell 8.0% year/year to $10 bln vs the $9.91 bln Capital IQ Consensus. Global volume grew 3% in the quarter and 2% for the full year.
  • The Company expects organic revenue to be up 4% to 5% in 2016, in line with their long-term target. The net impact of acquisitions and divestitures is expected to be a 4 to 5 point headwind and based on the current spot rates, currency is expected to be a 4 point headwind, including the impact of hedged positions.
  • Expect full-year 2016 comparable currency neutral EPS growth of 4% to 6% including the impact of 3 to 4 points of structural headwind, primarily due to refranchising, on comparable currency neutral income before taxes.
  • Given the above, the Company expects full-year comparable currency neutral EPS growth to be 4% to 6% including the impact of 3 to 4 points of structural headwind, primarily due to refranchising, on comparable currency neutral income before taxes. Based on the current spot rates, currency is expected to be a 9 point headwind, including the impact of hedged positions.
  • "Looking forward to 2016, we remain committed to achieving underlying performance in line with our long-term growth model and delivering long-term, sustainable value to our system and shareowners."

6:57 am CVS Health reports EPS in-line, revs in-line; reaffirms Q1 EPS guidance; reaffirms FY16 EPS guidance (CVS) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.53 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.53; revenues rose 11.0% year/year to $41.15 bln vs the $41.13 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Same store sales increased 3.5% over the prior year period, with pharmacy same store sales up 5.0% and front store same store sales down 0.5%. Revenues in the Pharmacy Services Segment increased 11.1% to $26.5 billion in the three months ended December 31, 2015. This increase was primarily driven by growth in specialty pharmacy, which includes the impact of the Omnicare acquisition in August 2015
  • Co reaffirms guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $1.14-1.17, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.18 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $5.73-5.88, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $5.83 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
    • The Company confirmed its 2016 free cash flow guidance of $5.3 to $5.6 billion, and its 2015 cash flow from operations guidance of $7.6 to $7.9 billion. These 2016 guidance estimates assume the completion of $4.0 billion in share repurchases. 

6:56 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -5.4%, Hang Seng CLOSED, Shanghai CLOSED (:SUMRX) :

It was another rough night for markets in the Asia-Pacific region as aggressive selling pressure kept regional indices on the defensive throughout the night. Japan's Nikkei was the headline grabber, falling 5.4%. The index ended just above its January low while a safe haven bid drove the Japanese 10-yr yield down to -0.01%, representing the first ever negative yield in the security. The yen strengthened overnight, pressuring the dollar/yen pair to 114.30, but the pair has climbed into the 115.00 area over the past few hours.

  • Economic data was limited:
    • Japan's M2 Money Stock +3.2% year-over-year (consensus 3.1%; last 3.1%) and Machine Tools Orders -17.2% year-over-year (last -25.7%)
    • Australia's January NAB Business Confidence slipped to 2 from 3, as expected

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei fell 5.4% with all ten sectors ending deep in the red. The slide was paced by technology (-6.8%), financials (-6.6%), materials (-6.4%), and consumer discretionary (-5.7%) while the utilities sector ended ahead, but still lost 3.5%. SUMCO, Alps Electric, Shinsei Bank, Nomura Holdings, Mazda Motor, Suzuki Motor, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, and Panasonic lost between 8.8% and 12.1%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng was closed for Lunar New Year
  • China's Shanghai Composite was closed for Lunar New Year
  • India's Sensex fell 1.1%, ending near its January low. Coal India, Tata Motors, Dr Reddy's Labs, and Infosys paced the retreat with losses between 3.5% and 4.4%. On the upside, Sun Pharma gained 2.2% and Oil & Natural Gas climbed 1.8%.

---FX---

  • USDJPY -0.8% to 114.97
  • USDCNY UNCH at 6.5739
  • USDINR -0.2% to 67.927

6:53 am Glatfelter Co beats by $0.08, reports revs in-line; issues Q1 guidance (GLT) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.52 per share, $0.08 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.44; revenues fell 5.4% year/year to $412.85 mln vs the $416.44 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • In Q1, Composite Fibers' shipping volumes, selling prices and raw material and energy prices are expected to be in-line with Q4
  • Shipping volumes for Advanced Airlaid Materials in Q1 are expected to be similar to Q4; Average raw material prices and selling prices are expected to be in-line Q4
  • For Specialty Papers, the Company expects shipping volumes in Q1 to be approximately 5 percent lower than Q4

6:50 am Coca-Cola Bottling signs letter of intent for expansion of distribution territories and acquisition of manufacturing facility (COKE) :

Co has recently expanded its distribution territory in parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland and is working to close a series of transactions for additional distribution territory covered by the previously announced definitive agreement with The Coca-Cola Company. Company has recently completed the acquisition of a manufacturing facility in Sandston, Virginia and is working to close a series of transactions for two additional manufacturing facilities in Silver Spring, Maryland and Baltimore, Maryland covered by the previously announced definitive agreement with The Coca-Cola Company.

As mentioned in the previous KO post:

  • All remaining North American territories to be re-franchised by year ended 2017 (3 years earlier than expected)
  • Plans include the sale of 39 remaining North America cold-fill production facilities; latest agreements include letters of intent for territories in five states
  • Co announces non-binding letter of intent to re-franchise co-owned bottling operations in China, investing $4 bln in China for future growth, building upon $9 bln of investments

Co announces several deals that represent additional progress in the overall North America re-franchising process:

  • Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated, based in Charlotte, N.C., will assume additional territory in portions of Ohio and West Virginia, along with a production facility in Twinsburg, Ohio
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Roseburg, based in Roseburg, Oregon, will assume territory in the Pacific Northwest, primarily in southern Oregon and a small portion of northern California
  • ABARTA, based in Pittsburgh, will assume territory in Pennsylvania

6:43 am Wyndham Worldwide reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides FY16 revs above consensus; adds $1 bln to buyback, raises quarterly dividend % to $0.50 (WYN) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.98 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.98; revenues rose 6.5% year/year to $1.31 bln vs the $1.29 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Q4 domestic RevPAR increased 2.9%. In constant currency, total system-wide RevPAR was flat compared with the fourth quarter of 2014, which reflects higher unit growth in lower RevPAR countries such as China.
  • Co issues guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $5.46-5.60, excluding non-recurring items and future buybacks, vs. $5.59 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY16 revs of $5.80-5.95 bln vs. $5.73 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Co repurchased 2.2 million shares of its common stock for $165 million during the quarter.
  • Co's Board of Directors approved a $1 billion increase in the share repurchase authorization. 
  • Co raises dividend 19% to $0.50/share.

6:42 am Omnicom beats by $0.02, beats on revs (OMC) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.35 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.33; revenues rose 890.1% year/year to $41.54 bln vs the $4.18 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • The components of the change in revenue included an increase in revenue from organic growth of 4.8%, a decrease in revenue from acquisitions, net of dispositions of 0.2% and a decrease in revenue from the negative impact of foreign exchange rates of 5.6% when compared to the fourth quarter of 2014.

6:40 am Fifth Street Finance reports Q1 net investment income per share of $0.18 vs $0.18 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate (FSC) : On November 30, 2015, Board of Directors authorized a common stock repurchase program to acquire up to $100 million of the outstanding shares of common stock through November 30, 2016. Co intends to repurchase shares of common stock during the quarter ending March 31, 2016. 

6:38 am Graphic Packaging beats by $0.03, misses on revs (GPK) :

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.19 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.16; revenues rose 2.4% year/year to $1.02 bln vs the $1.04 bln Capital IQ Consensus.

  • "The G-Box acquisition, completed in early January, adds two strategically located folding carton plants which strengthen our footprint in the growing Mexican food and beverage markets. While Graphic Packaging has been operating successfully in Australia for over two decades, the acquisition of market-leader Colorpak, and its three folding carton manufacturing facilities, allows us to expand in the Australia and New Zealand food, beverage and consumer product markets."
  • To date in 2016, we have purchased an additional $20 million of stock, increasing share repurchases to $83 million since announcing the $250 million program in February of 2015."

6:36 am Regeneron Pharma misses by $0.50, misses on revs; sees FY16 EYLEA US net product sales +20%. (REGN) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $2.83 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.50 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $3.33; revenues rose 36.9% year/year to $1.1 bln vs the $1.17 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • Q4 net sales of EYLEA in the United States increased 44% to $746 million from $518 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Bayer HealthCare commercializes EYLEA outside the United States. In the fourth quarter of 2015, net sales of EYLEA outside of the United States(1) were $413 million, compared to $297 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. In the fourth quarter of 2015, Regeneron recognized $140 million from its share of net profit from EYLEA sales outside the United States, compared to $88 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • "In 2016, we look forward to driving increased physician education, patient access, and reimbursement for Praluent in the United States and to launching this important medicine in other countries around the world. We also anticipate significant pipeline progress including the U.S. FDA action on the sarilumab application for rheumatoid arthritis, the Phase 3 results and potential U.S. regulatory submission for dupilumab in atopic dermatitis, and the continued progress of our development programs for retinal diseases, asthma, pain, infectious diseases, and cancer." 
  • Sees FY16 EYLEA US net product sales +20%.

6:36 am Ingersoll-Rand beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line; guides Q1 EPS below consensus; guides FY16 EPS in-line; Sale of Hussmann investment to Panasonic (PCRFY) is anticipated to close in 1H 2016 (IR) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.94 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.93; revenues rose 2.6% year/year to $3.33 bln vs the $3.3 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.33-0.38 vs. $0.40 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Q1 organic revenues are expected to increase in the range of 3-5% compared with 2015, with reported revenues expected to be in the range of flat to up 2%.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $3.80-4.00 vs. $3.98 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate;
  • In December 2015, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation concluded its review and took no objection to our previously disclosed agreement with the Internal Revenue Service to resolve all open disputes related to intercompany debt through 2011. In connection with this agreement, the Company previously recognized a charge of approximately $227 mln to income tax expense in the second quarter of 2015 and had a net cash outflow in the second half of 2015 of approximately $364 mln, consisting of the $230 mln in tax and $134 mln of net interest.

6:36 am Coca-Cola announces acceleration of the pace & scale of its bottler re-franchising efforts with plans to re-franchise 100% of company-owned North America bottling territories by the end of 2017 (KO) :

  • All remaining North American territories to be re-franchised by year ended 2017 (3 years earlier than expected)
  • Plans include the sale of 39 remaining North America cold-fill production facilities; latest agreements include letters of intent for territories in five states
  • Co announces non-binding letter of intent to re-franchise co-owned bottling operations in China, investing $4 bln in China for future growth, building upon $9 bln of investments

Co announces several deals that represent additional progress in the overall North America re-franchising process:

  • Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated (COKE), based in Charlotte, N.C., will assume additional territory in portions of Ohio and West Virginia, along with a production facility in Twinsburg, Ohio
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Roseburg, based in Roseburg, Oregon, will assume territory in the Pacific Northwest, primarily in southern Oregon and a small portion of northern California
  • ABARTA, based in Pittsburgh, will assume territory in Pennsylvania

6:34 am Medley Capital misses by $0.03, misses on revs (MCC) :

Reports Q1 (Dec) earnings of $0.28 per share, $0.03 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.31; revenues fell 13.6% year/year to $34.43 mln vs the $35.84 mln Capital IQ Consensus.

  • Beginning January 1, 2016, the base management fee will be reduced to 1.50% ongross assets above $1 billion. In addition, MCC Advisors will reduce itsincentive fee from 20% on pre-incentive fee net investment income over an 8%hurdle, to 17.5% on pre-incentive fee net investment income over a 6% hurdle.
  • As of December 31, 2015, the Company hadinvestments in securities of 68 portfolio companies with approximately 59.7%consisting of senior secured first lien investments, 30.9% consisting of seniorsecured second lien investments, 3.9% in unsecured debt and 5.5% in equities /warrants.
  • As of December 31, 2015, theCompany's NAV was $10.01 per share.

6:33 am Richmont Mines Inc. updates mineral reserves and resources as of December 31, 2015 (RIC) :

  • 206% increase in Mineral Reserves at the cornerstone Island Gold Mine to 561,700 gold ounces (net of depletion) at a Mineral Reserve grade of 8.26 g/t.
  • The Beaufor Mine reported a 95% increase in Mineral Reserves to 63,850 gold ounces (net of depletion) at a Mineral Reserve grade of 6.57 g/t, which will extend mine life by more than two years.

6:31 am Viacom and Snapchat announce global partnership; brings a Comedy Central International and MTV channel to Snapchat Discover, and grants co right to sell Snapchat's U.S. owned and operated advertising inventory (VIA) :

The wide-ranging deal, anchored in both content production and advertising sales, will bring two channels to Snapchat Discover -- a Comedy Central International channel and an MTV Channel in the U.S., which will complement the Comedy Central and MTV International Discover channels.

  • The agreement also grants Viacom the right to sell Snapchat's U.S. owned and operated advertising inventory
  • In addition, Viacom also has agreed to provide Snapchat with expanded access so Snapchat can produce Live Stories covering more of Viacom's tent pole events.
  • On the content side of the deal, Viacom will further invest in the creation of original premium video content specifically for Snapchat Discover
  • While MTV International and Comedy Central have previously been committed to creating original content on Discover, additional resources will now be put towards the launch of an MTV US Channel and a Comedy Central International channel on the platform.

6:20 am Israel Chemical beats by $0.03, beats on revs (ICL) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.14 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.11; revenues rose 1.7% year/year to $1.43 bln vs the $1.38 bln Capital IQ Consensus. The increase was primarily related to an increase in quantities of potash sold as well as the first-time consolidation of companies acquired. This increase was partly offset by the sale of non-core businesses, an unfavorable foreign exchange impact (primarily from the devaluation of the euro against the dollar), a decline in selling prices of potash, as well as a decrease in sales due to the impact of a fire in a fertilizers production facility in Israel.

6:18 am PowerSecure signs a 5 year MSA w/ the government of The Bahamas w/ a baseline fee of $2 mln per year w/ performance-based compensation of up to 150% of fee per year (POWR) : Co signs a Management Services Agreement w/ the government of The Bahamas under which cowill provide its management services to Bahamas Power and Light for the next five years. Under the terms of the MSA, in addition to co receiving a baseline annual management fee of $2 mln, BPL must achieve pre-defined key performance indicators related to cost reductions, reliability improvements and customer service enhancements in order for co to receive potential additional performance-based compensation of up to 150% of the management fee per year.

6:17 am Sears Holdings reports prelim Q4 results; sees total revs in-line with expectations, Q4 comp of -7.1%; Jan comp of -4.5%; will accelerate the closing of unprofitable stores (SHLD) :

  • Co issues in-line guidance for Q4 (Jan) revs of $7.3 bln vs. $7.43 bln single analyst estimate.
    • Q4 Total Comparable store sales were -7.1% (Kmart -7.2%; Sears Domestic -6.9%).
    • January 2016 was comparable store sales performance of (-4.5%).
    • Co expects Q4 Adjusted EBITDA, excluding Seritage (SRG) and joint venture rents of $(100) mln and $(50) mln, compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $125 mln in the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • The holiday selling season proved to be challenging, with historically warm weather and intense competition pressuring margins and driving comparable store sales declines, particularly in our apparel and related softlines businesses.
  • Outlook:
    • Co expects to report y/y expense reductions of between $135-155 mln for the fourth quarter of 2015, and for the full year, co expects expenses will decline $765-790 mln.
    • Looking toward 2016, co plans to take actions that will further reduce costs by between $550-650 mln, depending on the overall volume of sales.
    • In addition to the expense actions and store closing actions, co will be targeting at least $300 mln of other asset sales during the first half of fiscal year 2016. Co will accelerate the closing of unprofitable stores, including, but not limited to, roughly 50 stores that it recently announced would be closing in the next few months.
    • Co will continue to consider overall capital structure and liquidity position with a goal of creating long-term value and funding transformation. This may include near-term actions to bolster liquidity. Actions may also include borrowings under our $750 million short-term basket as permitted under the credit agreement and may include real estate backed financings to secure either short-term or long-term borrowings.

6:17 am Steris beats by $0.04, reports revs in-line; reaffirms FY16 guidance; Synergy Health integration on track (STE) :

  • Reports Q3 (Dec) earnings of $0.98 per share, excluding items, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.94; revenues rose 30.7% year/year to $618.7 mln vs the $616.09 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $3.48-3.55 vs. $3.51 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs of 21-22% to ~$2.24-2.26 bln vs. $2.25 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • The Company currently anticipates free cash flow of ~$100 mln in fiscal 2016, reflecting ~$100 mlnin acquisition and integration related costs.

6:17 am Wendy's beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides FY16 EPS in-line; reaffirms FY17 EPS growth (WEN) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.12 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.11; revenues fell 4.7% year/year to $464.4 mln vs the $455.91 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Same-restaurant sales increased 4.8% at North America system restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2015. Same-restaurant sales increased 4.9% at North America franchise-operated restaurants. Same-restaurant sales increased 3.7% at North America Company-operated restaurants.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $0.35-0.37 vs. $0.36 Capital IQ Consensus, with Adjusted EBITDA down 2% to flat, due primarily to the timing of the 327 Company-operated restaurants sold during 2015. The Company expects Adjusted EBITDA margins of 28 to 30% in 2016.
    • Same-restaurant sales growth of ~3% for the North America system Restaurant margin of 18.5 to 19.0% at North America Company-operated restaurants, an improvement of ~80 to 130 basis points compared to 17.7% in 2015.  
  • The Company expects Adjusted Earnings per Share growth in the high teens in 2017 and Adjusted Earnings per Share growth of greater than 20% beginning in 2018. The Company expects Adjusted EBITDA to be ~flat in 2017 due to the impact of the anticipated sale of ~315 Company-operated restaurants during 2016. The Company expects Adjusted EBITDA to increase ~10% during 2018. 
  • "With the success of our 'high-low' marketing messaging, which is driving both traffic and check growth, we are confident setting our 2016 same-restaurant sales growth target for the North America system at approximately 3 percent, which is at the high end of our previous range."

6:17 am Centene reports EPS in-line, revs in-line, lowers combined FY16 guidance (CNC) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.95 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.95; revenues rose 33.4% year/year to $6.3 bln vs the $6.32 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co lowers its combined Health Net (HNT)/Centene guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $4.05-4.40 (Prior $4.10-4.40), which does not compare to the $3.84 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs of $40.0-40.8 bln (Prior $41.2-42 bln) which does not compare to $34.74 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Earlier this year the company had provided the prior guidance figures assuming a closing date of February 1. In today's release, for 2016 guidance purposes, the Company provided combined guidance for Centene and Health Net and has adjusted the guidance to assume the Health Net transaction closes on March 1, 2016. The Health Net transaction remains subject to California regulatory approval and the Company continues to expect the transaction to close early in 2016.
  • At December 31, 2015, the Company served 449,000 members in Medicaid expansion programs in eight states compared to 201,300 members at December 31, 2014 in six states

6:08 am RetailMeNot beats by $0.08, beats on revs; guides Q1 revs below consensus; guides FY16 revs below consensus (SALE) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.36 per share, $0.08 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.28; revenues fell 4.9% year/year to $83.1 mln vs the $75.76 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Total website visits were 214.8 million, down 5%.
    • Mobile visits in the quarter increased 20% to 93.2 million, or 43% of total visits.
    • Desktop visits in the quarter declined 18% to 121.6 million.
    • Mobile unique visitors grew 9% totaling 23.2 million.
  • Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs of $49-54 mln vs. $56.73 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
    • Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $8.0 to $12.0 million, or adjusted EBITDA margins of 19% at the mid-point.
  • Co issues downside guidance for FY16, sees FY16 revs of $225-240 mln vs. $247.38 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
    • Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $51.0 to $62.0 million, or adjusted EBITDA margins of 24% at the mid-point
  • Share repurchase: In addition, the Company announced that its board of directors has authorized a $50 million increase in its stock repurchase program of the company's outstanding Series 1 common stock.
    • The stock repurchase program is an extension of the original $100 million dollar program implemented on February 10, 2015, bringing the total program to up to $150 million. The program is authorized through February 2017.

6:08 am Genesee & Wyoming misses by $0.01 (in-line with pre-announcement), reports revs in-line; comments on market conditions (GWR) :

Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.85 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.86; revenues rose 23.9% year/year to $514.85 mln vs the $515.65 mln Capital IQ Consensus. In early December, GWR warned that it expected its consolidated earnings per diluted share to be approximately $0.10 below its prior guidance of $0.90 to $0.95 provided on October 30, 2015.

  • North American Operations traffic decreased 67,557 carloads, or 14.8%, to 388,228 carloads in the fourth quarter of 2015. Excluding 7,018 carloads from new operations, same railroad traffic decreased 74,575 carloads, or 16.4%, in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • "In response to this environment, we have been intensely focused on enhancing our free cash flow and positioning the business for improving trends in the future. With respect to costs, we have made expense reductions in every operating region, with Australia now initiating a second round of cost cuts and the U.K./Europe planning significant cost reductions and a restructuring of our U.K. coal business in the first half of 2016. With respect to revenues, we continue to concentrate on commercial development worldwide, and have achieved strong revenues per carload in North America led by effective yield management. With respect to capital expenditures, we have been reducing our investment in plant and equipment to be consistent with our lower traffic levels. As a result of these measures, we expect to increase our free cash flow by approximately 10% to around $285 million in 2016, prior to capital for new business investments."

6:06 am Spirit Airlines beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line (SAVE) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.02 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.99; revenues rose 9.6% year/year to $519.9 mln vs the $520.04 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • The decline in ticket revenue per PFS was driven by lower fare levels as a result of increased competitive pricing pressures as well as a higher percentage of Spirit's markets being under development compared to the same period last year.

6:03 am Apollo Investment reports EPS in-line, revs in-line (AINV) :

  • Reports Q3 (Dec) earnings of $0.21 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.21; revenues fell 14.3% year/year to $94.33 mln vs the $94.29 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • The Company's net asset value was $7.56 per share as of December 31, 2015, compared to $7.83 as of September 30, 2015.

6:02 am ITC Holdings to be acquired by Fortis for ~$11.3 bln in cash/stock ($22.57 in cash and 0.7520 in shares of Fortis) (ITC) :

Fortis Inc. and ITC Holdings announced that they have entered into an agreement and plan of merger pursuant to which Fortis will acquire ITC in a transaction valued at approximately $11.3 billion. Under the terms of the transaction ITC shareholders will receive $22.57 in cash and 0.7520 Fortis shares per ITC share. At yesterday's closing price for Fortis common shares and the US$/C$ exchange rate, the per share consideration represents a premium of 33% over ITC's unaffected closing share price on November 27, 2015 and a 37% premium to the unaffected average closing price over the 30 day period prior to November 27, 2015.

  • Under the terms of the Acquisition, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, ITC shareholders will receive ~$6.9 bln in Fortis common shares and cash at closing and Fortis will assume ~$4.4 bln of consolidated ITC indebtedness. Upon completion of the Acquisition, ITC will become a subsidiary of Fortis and approximately 27% of the common shares of Fortis will be held by ITC shareholders. Fortis will apply to list its common shares on the New York Stock Exchange in connection with the Acquisition and will continue to have its shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange
  • Financing for the cash portion of the Acquisition will be achieved primarily through the issuance of approximately US$2 billion of Fortis debt and the sale of up to 19.9% of ITC to one or more infrastructure-focused minority investors.
  • The closing of the Acquisition is expected to occur in late 2016.

5:55 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +7.80. :

5:54 am European Markets : FTSE...5711.79...+22.40...+0.40%.  DAX...8989...+9.60...+0.10%.

5:54 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...16085...-918.90...-5.40%.  Hang Seng...Holiday.........

5:44 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • ICON (ICLR) announced that it has been selected by Genomics England as data management partner for the 100,000 Genomes Project.
  • Fiserv (FISV) announced that Tandem Bank has selected Agiliti from Fiserv as its technology platform.

4:50 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Allot Communications (ALLT) announced the release of Allot Service Gateway 9500, a service delivery platform with rich functionality packaged in an efficient and small-footprint appliance capable of providing industry-leading throughput on Intel-based hardware while enabling network visibility, security services and a personalized broadband experience to millions of users. The first order for the high-performance appliance was received during Q4 2015.
  • SMART Technologies (SMT) has taken business collaboration to a new level with the addition of 75-inch models of SMART kapp iQ and SMART kapp iQ Pro, the newest version of the SMART kapp app available free of charge to all subscribers, and a collection of new global install and onsite support services.
  • Amazon Web Services, an Amazon.com company (AMZN), announced Amazon Lumberyard, a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine for developers to create the highest-quality games, connect their games to the vast compute and storage of the AWS Cloud, and engage fans on Twitch.

4:36 am Anglo American sees earnings for Kumba Iron Ore of ZAR3.79 bln (NGLOY) :

  • Anglo American states it will report underlying earnings in respect of Kumba Iron Ore Limited of $238 million

4:25 am CareDx revises agreement to purchase 78% of outstanding shares of Allenex AB; plans to tender remaining shares in Q1 (CDNA) :

Co announced a revision to the terms of its public offer to the shareholders of Allenex AB

  • Under the agreements entered into on December 16, 2015, the three principal Allenex shareholders, collectively owning 78% of the outstanding shares, agreed with CareDx to tender their shares for a combination of cash and CareDx common stock that valued Allenex at approximately $35 million.
  • Under the original terms, $6 million of the cash consideration to the Majority Shareholders would be made contingent on Allenex achieving certain commercial and financial milestones in 2016. Under the revised terms, CareDx and the Majority Shareholders have agreed to defer the payment of these milestones until March 31, 2017, if earned. In addition, the Majority Shareholders will be issued a total of 150,000 additional shares of CareDx common stock. This deferred milestone payment only applies to the Majority Shareholders.
  • CareDx is also revising the cash and common stock alternative offered to the remaining 22% of Allenex shareholders by increasing the common stock component by the same proportion from 0.01298 to 0.01458 CareDx share per Allenex share.

4:22 am Allot Comms misses by $0.02, misses on revs; guides FY16 revs below consensus (ALLT) :

  • Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.02 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.04; revenues fell 16.0% year/year to $25.7 mln vs the $27.27 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Non-GAAP gross margin reached 74%
    • Non-GAAP operating profit was 4%
    • Book-to-bill was above one. Record booking level per quarter.
  • Co issues downside guidance for FY16, sees FY16 revs of $102-108 mln vs. $111.92 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:19 am Sanofi beats by EUR0.07; misses on revs; sees 2016 EPS roughly in-line with expectations (SNY) :

Reports Q4 EPS of EUR1.31 vs EUR1.24 Capital IQ consensus; revs increased 2.3% YoY to EUR9.28 bln vs EUR9.44 bln consensus.

  • Genzyme continues to be a key driver with sales up 29.5% with strong momentum in multiple sclerosis Vaccines sales were up 7.3% benefiting from double-digit growth in Emerging Markets Diabetes sales decreased 6.8% in line with October guidance, reflecting lower U.S. sales of Lantus Animal Health demonstrated strong performance with sales up 10.8% driven by NexGard Emerging Markets Aggregate sales increased 7.8%, driven by strong growth in China, up 19.5% Solid financial results in 2015 while making significant investments in new product launches
  • 2016 guidance
    • Sanofi expects 2016 Business EPS to be broadly stable at CER, barring unforeseen major adverse events
    • This is roughly in-line with estimates with FY15 EPS coming in at EUR5.64 vs EUR5.66 FY16 Capital IQ estimate

3:55 am Color on tonight's action: S&P Futures 1845 -7.00 (SPY) :

  • Nikkei tumbles 5.4%
    • Yen rises, taking USDJPY below 114.50 level
    • JGB yields fall below zero
    • US Futures fall by over 1% in tandem with Nikkei
  • Most of Asia closed for Lunar New Year impacting trading volumes
  • Crude oil up over 2% after a brief test below $30
    • Currently $30.45 +0.77
  • Rebound in global equities and oil began right around Japan's close
  • Europe opens only modestly lower, comes off of lows, thus limiting the downward momentum from Japan

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

  • Technip (TKPPY) has been awarded a lump sum contract by Deep Gulf Energy III for the development of the South Santa Cruz and Barataria fields. These ultra-deepwater fields are located in Mississippi Canyon, offshore New Orleans, in the Gulf of Mexico, in ~2,000 meters of water depth.
  • The Ascom Myco smartphone, one of the world's first smartphones purpose-built for healthcare environments, has successfully completed the MobileIron Android Self Testing Program. This demonstrates that the Ascom Myco supports the Google-standard Application Programming Interfaces used by MobileIron (MOBL), the leader in mobile enterprise security.
  • Control4 (CTRL) begins delivery of its new line of intelligent Square Wireless Lighting products, expanding custom and retrofit lighting opportunities for Control4 dealers in Europe and Asia.
  • Bristow Group (BRS) and Sky-Futures announced that Bristow invested $4.2 million in Sky-Futures, provider of drone inspection data services for the oil and gas industry. This investment gives Bristow immediate entry to the fast-growing UAV services business and bolsters Bristow's offerings to include drone inspection services.
  • KKR (KKR) announced the signing of three agreements to ultimately acquire a combined 50% stake in Vlinge, a Swedish industrial R&D company founded and owned by the Pervan family. Through the agreements, KKR will acquire the two 20% stakes of the current minority owners, Kronospan and Swiss Krono Group, as well as an additional 10% stake from the founder.

3:35 am EZCORP misses by $0.07, beats on revs (EZPW) : Reports Q1 net loss of $0.13 per share vs ($0.06) Capital IQ consensus; revs increased 7% YoY to $198.5 mln vs $193.8 mln

3:21 am Boston Scientific confirms it will receive CMS coverage for WATCHMAN LAAC Device (BSX) : Co announced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will cover percutaneous left atrial appendage closure therapy under specific criteria, as outlined in the agency's final National Coverage Determination. This decision, effective immediately, provides consistent and uniform access to the WATCHMAN LAAC Device as a non-pharmacological treatment option for stroke risk reduction for appropriate Medicare beneficiaries.

3:20 am DGSE receives proposal to convert debt to equity from NTR Metals and Elemental (DGSE) :

Elemetal announced its proposal to DGSE Companies to satisfy $2.5 mln of debt owed by DOSE to Elemetal as a result of bullion-related transactions in 2015 in exchange for DGSE stock and stock options.

  • Under the terms of Elemetal's proposal, in exchange for satisfaction of $2.5 mln of debt owed by DGSE to Elemetal, Elemetal would acquire, (a) 6,345,177 shares of common stock of DGSE at a stock price of 39.4 cents per share, which represents an approximately fifteen percent premium over the 120-day moving average price, and (b) a one-year option to purchase from DGSE 2,538,071 shares of DGSE common stock at the exercise price of 39.4 cents per share.
  • NTR Metals announced its similar proposal to DGSE Companies, Inc. to convert the ~$2.4 mln of debt owed by DGSE to NTR into equity.

3:14 am Empresas ICA receives non-compliance notice from NYSE for 30 trading-day period less than $1.00 per share; has notified the NYSE of intention to cure this deficiency within the prescribed 6-month timeframe (ICA) :  

3:12 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA) announced the Company has entered into definitive agreements with parties related to Hide-Away Storage Services, Inc. of Sarasota, Florida. Upon closing the transaction, Hide-Away will become NSA's seventh Participating Regional Operator and 14 properties will be contributed to NSA for approximately $115 million. 
  • HARMAN International Industries (HAR) announced it has partnered with InterDigital (IDCC) to deliver a suite of oneM2M and 3GPP compliant end-to-end Internet of Things solutions to the market.
  • Citi's (C) Issuer Services business, acting through Citibank N.A., has been appointed by BeiGene, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing molecularly targeted and immuno-oncological drugs for the treatment of cancer, as the depositary bank for its American Depositary Receipt program.
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