InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

5:09 pm This week's biggest % gainers/losers (:SCANX) : The following are this week's top 20 percentage gainers and top 20 percentage losers, categorized by sectors (over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume).

This week's top 20 % gainers

  • Healthcare:ICLR (80.8 +21.07%),INCR (50.03 +19.83%)
  • Materials:CYT (74.23 +27.15%),RYAM (14.05 +20.81%)
  • Industrials:YRCW (19.3 +55.77%),HEES (17.94 +26.25%)
  • Consumer Discretionary:BOJA (24.99 +23.16%),SKX (150.45 +22.31%),SHAK (68.05 +20.34%),COLM (71.54 +19.85%)
  • Information Technology:SONS (8.07 +31.22%),MGI (10.2 +25.46%),ATEN (6.51 +24.71%),RKUS (12.33 +21.72%),OTEX (45.51 +21.68%),CALX (8.43 +21.12%)
  • Consumer Staples:SVU (9.22 +24.76%),BDBD (8.33 +21.78%),NHTC (30.3 +20.14%)
  • Telecommunication Services:I (9.51 +20.23%)
This week's top 20 % losers
  • Healthcare:IMMU (2.05 -44.74%),FMI (20.3 -35.94%),ESPR (62 -18.32%)
  • Industrials:RJET (5.04 -40.71%),TAL (19.8 -28.9%)
  • Consumer Discretionary:MMYT (14.6 -25.05%),BGFV (11.01 -24.59%),SFXE (3.18 -17.62%)
  • Information Technology:GCA (5.05 -27.86%),YELP (26.4 -23.61%),QLGC (8.87 -21.92%),IXYS (10.46 -21.53%),QRVO (57.95 -19.83%),CMPR (64.53 -19.18%),COHU (9.91 -18.5%),DATA (104.74 -17.81%)
  • Financials:OCN (8.43 -22.09%)
  • Energy:LNCO (3.9 -32.87%),LINE (4.04 -30.22%),SGY (5.79 -23.31%)

5:03 pm Western Refining Logistics increases quarterly cash distribution by 5% to $0.365 frmo $0.3475 per unit (WNRL) :  

5:03 pm Yahoo! to acquire Polyvore, a social shopping site; terms not disclosed (YHOO) : Co announces it reached a definitive agreement for Yahoo to acquire Polyvore, a social shopping site.

  • "The acquisition will enhance Yahoo's consumer and advertiser offerings - Polyvore will strengthen Yahoo's digital magazines and verticals through the incorporation of community and commerce, and together Yahoo and Polyvore will power native shopping ads that drive traffic and sales to retailers. Broadly, Polyvore will accelerate Yahoo's Mavens growth strategy (mobile, video, native, social) through its strong offerings in social, native, and mobile."
  • Following the closing of the acquisition, Polyvore products and services will continue to operate.

5:01 pm Alliance Resource completes acquisition of remaining Oak Equity interests; updates guidance (ARLP) : Co announces that it has acquired from White Oak Finance, Inc. and other parties all of the equity interests in White Oak Resources not currently owned by ARLP. Under the terms of the agreement, ARLP paid $50 million cash at closing, which was funded with cash on hand and availability under its current credit facilities. Additional contingent consideration may be due in the future, which ARLP believes has a nominal present value based upon current market conditions.

Reflecting the acquisition of White Oak and ARLP's results to date and continuing adjustments in response to market conditions, the following full-year guidance for 2015 is provided:

  • Coal Production and Sales Volumes - For the full year 2015, coal production is expected in a range of 42.8 to 43.5 million tons and sales volumes are expected in a range of 42.7 to 43.8 million tons, including anticipated coal production and sales volumes from Mine No. 1 for the remainder of 2015.
  • Revenue, EBITDA and Net Income Estimates - ARLP is currently expecting 2015 revenues in a range of $2.37 to $2.41 billion, excluding transportation revenues (may not compare to $3.36 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate).
  • ARLP anticipates financial performance from its existing operations will be in line with prior guidance and that gaining operating and marketing control of Mine No. 1 should be modestly accretive to EBITDA and net income for the remainder of 2015, however, the year-to-date non-cash net equity in loss of affiliates related to our preferred equity investment in White Oak was larger than our initial expectations. As a result, ARLP is adjusting previous estimates for full-year 2015 EBITDA and net income to a range of $765.0 to $795.0 million and $405.0 to $435.0 million, respectively.
  • Per Ton Estimates - ARLP anticipates its average coal sales price per ton at the midpoint of its 2015 guidance ranges will be approximately 4.0% lower than 2014 realizations
  • Capital Expenditures and Investments - ARLP's optimization efforts continue to drive capital expenditures lower. Total 2015 capital expenditures, including maintenance capital expenditures, are now estimated in a range of $265.0 to $285.0 million, a decrease at the midpoint of approximately $40.0 million since the beginning of the year.
    • In addition to these capital expenditures, ARLP now anticipates funding in 2015 investments of approximately $95.0 to $100.0 million.

4:57 pm Verizon reports 'little progress' has been made in negotations over new contracts of east landline employees (VZ) : Co said, "After nearly seven weeks of challenging negotiations, Verizon is preparing for all potential scenarios following the expiration of its contracts with the CWA and IBEW, covering more than 37,000 Wireline employees in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The contracts expire at midnight, Aug. 1, 2015. While the company presented union leaders with a comprehensive initial offer on June 22 that included a solid wage increase, union leaders countered with a series of proposals that did virtually nothing to advance the progress of negotiations...Verizon is ready in the event of a work stoppage. Over the past several months, thousands of non-union Verizon employees and outside business partners have undergone extensive training in various network and customer service functions."

4:47 pm Mueller Industries announces appointment of CEO Gregory L. Christopher as Chairman of the Board; current Chairman Gary S. Gladstein appointed as Lead Independent Director (MLI) : Co announces that Gregory L. Christopher, the current Chief Executive Officer of the Company, will be appointed as Chairman of the Board, effective January 1, 2016. Gary S. Gladstein, the Company's current Chairman, will be appointed as the Lead Independent Director of the Board effective January 1, 2016. Accordingly, Mr. Christopher will be the Chief Executive Officer of the Company and the Chairman of Board effective January 1, 2016 and the remainder of the Board's composition will remain the same.

4:45 pm Canadian Pacific announces plan to purchase up to 736,625 common shares through private agreements under its share repurchase program (CP) : Co announces that it intends to purchase for cancellation up to 736,625 of its common shares pursuant to private agreements to be entered into between CP and two arm's-length third-party sellers. Purchases made by CP will be counted towards CP's normal course issuer bid announced on March 16, 2015 for up to 9,140,000 CP common shares and will not exceed, in aggregate, one third of the maximum number of common shares CP may purchase under the Bid, being 3,046,667 common shares.

4:33 pm SunEdison company TerraForm Global prices $810 mln offering of 9.75% senior notes due 2022 (SUNE) :  

4:32 pm Onebeacon Insurance announces exit from crop insurance business following sale of Climate Crop Insurance Agency to AmTrust (AFSI) (OB) : Co announces it has exited the crop insurance business due to the sale of its exclusive managing general agency, Climate Crop Insurance Agency, to AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (AFSI). The company's existing crop insurance business has been transferred to AmTrust, including policyholder servicing.

4:30 pm Ossen Innovation regains compliance with Nasdaq minimum bid price rule (OSN) :  

4:24 pm F.N.B. Corp receives regulatory approval for acquisition of five branch offices from Bank of America (FNB) : Co announces that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has approved the purchase and assumption application by F.N.B.'s largest affiliate, First National Bank of Pennsylvania, to acquire five branch offices from Bank of America, N.A. which include two branches in Berks County, two branches in Lancaster County and one branch in Chester County. There are no additional regulatory approvals needed to complete the transaction. The transaction is scheduled to close on September 18, 2015.

4:22 pm Pinnacle Finl: Magna Bank shareholders approve of proposed merger of Magna with Pinnacle Bank (PNFP) :  

4:11 pm Closing Market Summary: July Ends on Cautious Note (:WRAPX) : The stock market ended July on a cautious note with the S&P 500 shedding 0.2%. Despite today's downtick, the benchmark index added 1.2% for the week, ending the month higher by 2.0%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite ended flat, locking in a 2.8% gain for July.

Equities held modest gains at the start thanks to a pre-market jump in the futures market after it was reported that the Employment Cost Index increased just 0.2% in the second quarter while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.6%. The lack of strong wage growth was viewed as an argument in favor of the Federal Reserve delaying its first rate hike, which gave a boost to equity futures and Treasuries. The 10-yr note surged immediately after the report was released, and remained near its high into the close, sending the benchmark yield lower by six basis points to 2.20%.

Meanwhile, stocks climbed during the first three hours of action, but relative weakness among several cyclical sectors acted as a drag on the broader market, pulling the S&P 500 to new lows during the afternoon.

Most notably, the energy sector tumbled 2.6%, widening its July decline to 7.8% after Dow components Chevron (CVX 88.48, -4.55) and ExxonMobil (XOM 79.21, -3.80) reported disappointing results. The two names posted respective losses of 4.9% and 4.6% while crude oil slid 2.9% to $47.12/bbl. For the month, the energy component plunged more than 21.0%, returning to its January low.

Elsewhere among growth-sensitive sectors, financials (-0.4%) and technology (-0.5%) lagged throughout the day with high-beta chipmakers pressuring the technology sector. The PHLX Semiconductor Index lost 1.2%, ending the month lower by 5.0% while KLA-Tencor (KLAC 53.05, +0.99) bucked the trend, rallying 1.9%, in reaction to a bottom-line beat.

Typically, underperformance in the technology sector tends to be consistent with weakness in the Nasdaq, but the tech-heavy index outperformed today thanks to gains in the biotech space. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 382.53, +3.73) gained 1.0% after Amgen (AMGN 176.59, +4.90) beat estimates and raised its guidance. Shares of AMGN spiked 2.9% while the broader health care sector (+0.5%) ended among the leaders, drawing secondary support from the likes of Molina Health (MOH 75.28, +7.28), and Universal Health Systems (UHS 145.23, +3.79) after the two reported better than expected results.

Similar to health care, the three other countercyclical groups settled ahead of the broader market. The utilities sector spiked 1.0% while consumer staples (+0.1%) and telecom services (+0.1%) posted slimmer gains.

Today's participation was ahead of recent averages with more than 915 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor.

Economic data included Employment Cost Index, Chicago PMI, and Michigan Sentiment:

  • Employment costs rose 0.2% in Q2 2015 after a 0.7% increase in the first quarter while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.6% 
    • That was the smallest increase in employment costs since the index was created in 2001 
  • The Chicago PMI increased to 54.7 in July from 49.4 in June while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase to 54.7 
    • The reading represented the first increase in three months 
    • There was a large improvement in production as the related index increased to 61.8 in July from 49.8 in June. The production gain came on the heels of strengthening growth in the new orders index, which rose to 58.5 from 51.7 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was revised down to 93.1 in the final June reading from 93.3 in the preliminary report while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase to 94.0 
    • The index is down from 96.1 in June, which was the best reading since January 
    • The Expectations Index was revised down from 85.2 in the preliminary reading to 84.1 while the Current Conditions Index was revised up to 107.2 from 106.0
On Monday, June Personal Income/Spending data and Core PCE Prices will be reported at 8:30 ET while June Construction Spending and July ISM Index will both be reported at 10:00 ET.
  • Nasdaq Composite +8.3% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +2.2% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +2.8% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.7% YTD 
Week in Review: Technical Levels in Focus

The stock market began the trading week on a cautious note with the S&P 500 (-0.6%) settling just above its 200-day moving average (2,064) while the Nasdaq Composite (-1.0%) underperformed. Equity indices spent the entire day in negative territory after the overnight session was highlighted by an 8.5% plunge in China's Shanghai Composite, which endured its largest one-day decline in more than eight years. The index widened its slide from June highs to 28.0%, falling to lows during the final hour of action after the International Monetary Fund voiced concerns about the degree of recent government intervention in the market. The overseas weakness weighed on investor sentiment in Europe and the U.S. while German Bunds (10-yr yield -6 bps to 0.65%) and U.S. Treasuries (10-yr yield -4 bps to 2.23%) advanced. Nine sectors finished the day in negative territory with all six cyclical groups ending in the red. Furthermore, five of six growth-sensitive groups settled behind the broader market while the industrial sector (-0.4%) ended just ahead. Similar to the sector, high-beta transport stocks fared better than the broader market with the Dow Jones Transportation Average shedding 0.2%.

Equities snapped their five-day losing streak with a daylong Tuesday rally that sent the S&P 500 higher by 1.2%. The benchmark index tested its 100-day moving average (2,095) during afternoon action while the Nasdaq Composite (+1.0%) underperformed throughout the day. The key indices rebounded from losses registered over the past week, starting the day on an upbeat note after the overnight session saw more volatility in Asia. Specifically, China's Shanghai Composite was down as much as 5.1% at the start of the trading day, but narrowed its loss to 1.7% by the close. The turnaround off session lows coincided with a spike in S&P 500 futures in the wee hours of the morning. All ten sectors posted gains with some of the recent underperformers leading the market higher. To that point, the energy sector surged 2.9% after sliding 4.3% over the past five days. The growth-sensitive sector was lifted by the shares of BP (BP 37.29, +1.24) after the industry giant reported a bottom-line miss on better than expected revenue. Another large sector member, LyondellBasell (LYB 92.46, +2.61) spiked 2.9% in reaction to a bottom-line beat. On a related note, crude oil rose 1.3% to $47.98/bbl, providing added support.

The market registered its second consecutive advance on Wednesday with the S&P 500 climbing 0.7% to extend its weekly gain to 1.4%. The benchmark index overtook its 100- (2,095) and 50-day moving averages (2,100) during morning action while the tech-heavy Nasdaq (+0.4%) struggled to keep pace with the broader market. Equity indices began the day with slight gains after China's Shanghai Composite spiked 3.4% overnight, which improved risk tolerance among global investors. The Dow and S&P 500 rallied throughout the session while the Nasdaq hovered near its opening levels into the afternoon before setting new highs ahead of the close. The tech-heavy index was pressured by biotechnology as iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 377.43, -5.41) lost 1.4% despite better than expected earnings from Gilead Sciences (GILD 115.71, +2.64). Shares of GILD spiked 2.3% while the broader health care sector (+0.2%) settled among the laggards. Elsewhere, Twitter (TWTR 31.24, -5.30) sank 14.5% after the company's bottom-line beat was overshadowed by cautious commentary regarding user growth outlook.

The stock market ended the Thursday session on a slightly higher note after rebounding off its opening low. The S&P 500 settled just above its flat line while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.3%) outperformed. Equities faced some early weakness after the overnight session saw renewed selling in China that sent the Shanghai Composite lower by 2.2%. Furthermore, index futures dropped to new lows ahead of the opening bell after the advance reading of Q2 GDP pointed to an expansion of 2.3%, while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 2.5%. Meanwhile, the first quarter reading was revised up to 0.6% from -0.2%. The GDP report was met with a rally in the Treasury market as the 10-yr note spiked off its low and continued advancing into the afternoon, dropping its yield three basis points to 2.26%.

4:07 pm Press Ganey closes a new $260 million credit facility (PGND) : The new credit facility includes a $185 million term loan and a $75 million revolving credit facility. Proceeds from the new term loan were used to repay and terminate the existing credit agreement, consisting of a $183 million term loan and an undrawn $30 million revolving credit facility. Outstanding balances on the new credit facility will be due upon maturity in July 2020. Under the new credit agreement, interest accrues on outstanding borrowings on the term loan and revolver at LIBOR plus 1.50% to 2.25%.

4:06 pm Freddie Mac announces it sold via auction, 3,577 deeply delinquent non-performing loans from its mortgage investment portfolio, with unpaid balances of $591 mln (FMCC) : The transaction is expected to settle in September, 2015

4:04 pm TPG Specialty Lending announces the resignation of CFO Alan Kirshenbaum, to take effect no earlier than October 2, 2015 (TSLX) : Upon Kirshenbaum's departure, Robert Ollwerther, the Company's Chief Operating Officer, will assume the role of interim Chief Financial Officer, pending a resolution by the Company's Board of Directors. During the transition, Ollwerther will continue to serve as TPG Specialty Lending, Inc.'s Chief Operating Officer.

  • Effective immediately, the Company will begin an internal and external search to identify a permanent Chief Financial Officer.

4:03 pm Whole Foods appoints Jason Buechel as EVP and Chief Information Officer, effective immediately (WFM) : Buechel was promoted from global vice president and chief information officer to executive vice president and chief information officer

4:02 pm Almaden Minerals updates spin-out timing (effective as at 12:01am today); sets transaction trading dates (AAU) :

  • Pursuant to the Plan of Arrangement, Almaden's shareholders will exchange their existing common shares of Almaden (each an "Almaden Share") and receive one "new" Almaden common share and 0.6 common shares of Almadex Minerals Limited   for each Almaden Share currently held. 
  • Almaden anticipates that New Almaden Shares will commence trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NYSE MKT on Monday August 10, 2015. In order to benefit from the Spin-Out and receive Almadex Shares, an investor must hold, or execute a trade to purchase, Almaden Shares on the TSX or the NYSE MKT before the close of trading on Friday August 7, 2015.  Co anticipates the TSX Venture Exchange will issue a bulletin in respect of the commencement of trading of the Almadex Shares, under the symbol "AMZ", within three business days of the commencement of trading of the New Almaden Shares.

4:01 pm Monroe Capital increases current loan commitments on its syndicated credit facility, by $25 mln to $135 mln (MRCC) :  

3:44 pm Treasury Market Summary (BONDX) : Governments Pop on ECI

  • U.S. Treasuries rallied sharply today after the Employment Cost Index showed the smallest gain since the index's creation in 2001. 2's/30's widened by 3 bps in a counter-trend move to the dominant theme of late
  • Yield Check:
    • 2-yr: -6 bps to 0.67%
    • 5-yr: -8 bps to 1.54%
    • 10-yr: -7 bps to 2.19%
    • 30-yr: -2 bps to 2.92%
  • News:
    • The Employment Cost Index rose 0.2% in Q2 2015 after a 0.7% increase in the first quarter. The Briefing.com consensus expected employment costs to rise 0.6%
      • The big change from Q1 to Q2 was in bonuses for "sales and related" positions
      • Benefits growth was very sluggish and was affected by special factors. The predominant one was the redefinition to retirement pension plans
    • The Chicago PMI unexpectedly jumped to 54.7 in July from 49.4 in June. The Briefing.com consensus estimate was only 50.5
      • The gain ended two consecutive months of contractions
      • There was a large improvement in production, as the related index increased to 61.8 in July from 49.8 in June. The production gain came on the heels of strengthening growth in the new orders index (58.5 from 51.7)
    • The final estimate for Michigan Consumer Sentiment in July was 93.1, lower than the Briefing.com consensus of 94.0 and the reading of 93.3 from the preliminary report
      • The index is down from 96.1 in June, which had been the best reading since January
      • The Expectations Index was revised down from 85.2 in the preliminary reading to 84.1. The Current Conditions Index was revised up to 107.2 from 106.0
      • Like the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, the drop in sentiment was likely caused by negative economic reports out of Europe which offset positive indicators such as improved labor market conditions and lower gasoline prices
  • Commodities:
    • WTI Crude: -3.54% to $46.80/bbl.
    • Gold: +0.47% to $1,093.80/troy oz.
    • Copper: -1.18% to $2.349/lb.
  • Currencies:
    • EUR/USD: +0.43% to $1.0985
    • USD/JPY: -0.18% to 123.92
  • Data out Next Week:
    • Monday: June Personal Income and Personal Spending (08:30 ET); June PCE Prices -- Core (08:30 ET); July ISM Index (10:00 ET); Fed Governor Powell (FOMC voter) speaks on The Structure and Liquidity of Treasury Bond Markets (10:50 ET); June Construction Spending (10:00 ET); July Auto and Truck Sales (17:00 ET)
    • Tuesday: June Factory Orders (10:00 ET)
    • Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Index for the week ending 8/1 (07:00 ET); July ADP Employment Change (08:15 ET); June Trade Balance (08:30 ET); July ISM Services (10:00 ET); Crude Inventories for the week ending 8/1 (10:30 ET)
    • Thursday: July Challenger Job Cuts (07:30 ET); Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending 8/1 and Continuing Jobless Claims for the week ending 7/25 (08:30 ET); Natural Gas Inventories for the week ending 8/1 (10:30 ET)
    • Friday: July Employment Situation Report (08:30 ET); June Consumer Credit (15:00 ET)

3:30 pm Earnings Preview for the week of August 3 - 7 (:SUMRX) : Of the companies reporting earnings for the week of August 3 - 7 some of the bigger names include:

  • Monday:
    • Pre Market - TSN, NEE, CDW, PPL, NI, CLX, FTR, NBL, ON, MCY
    • After Hours - AIG, ALL, CYH, THC, XL, CAR, UGI, ALJ, DK, KBR, BKD, MRC, MDU, RBC, DPLO, SGMS, KAR, VNO, GGP, CTRP
  • Tuesday:
    • Pre Market - CVS, AET, EMR, HNT, NRG, ODP, K, PH, ETR, SRE, RRD, MOS, WNR, CHTR, MGM, NGLS, EXPD, HAR, SMG, WLK, ZTS, H, BLMN, AXTA, NCLH, AFSI, MLM, AME, MNK, COH, HCN, VMC, REGN, CHD, TIME, SNI, ABMD
    • After Hours - DIS, PAA, PAGP, LBTYA, DVN, OKE, DVA, OKS, GNW, CZR, TX, CERN, FSLR, PXD, CVG, ATVI, WR, PZZA, Z
  • Wednesday:
    • Pre Market - HCA, TWX, AVT, DISH, WCG, HFC, D, CTSH, CHK, PCLN, VOYA, PWR, DISCA, RL, LDOS, LPLA, ENBL, CLH, ICE, HSC, SODA
    • After Hours - ETE, ETP, PRU, AGU, TSO, SLF, FOXA, CTL, MUSA, CBS, SXL, ABX, KND, TS, MRO, RIG, SUN, CF, BGC, TSLA, HLF, GMCR, XPO, FMC, ALB, UHAL, AWK, FIT, WTW, ZU, NLY, COUP
  • Thursday:
    • Pre Market - NVO, MFC, DUK, AGN, BCE, GLP, CNQ, VIAB, BDX, CORE, MYL, APA, TA, HII, CC, WIN, OA, TAP, SBH, MPEL, KORS, SUNE, OWW
    • After Hours - ED, EOG, MHK, POST, TPC, NVDA, SFM, SEM, MNST, GXP, EGL, NUS, KMPR, CENX, MTX, BIO, NUAN, NFG, BRS, LGF, OSTK, ZNGA, MDVN
  • Friday:
    • Pre Market - JD, MGA, BAM, TU, CST, CVC, HSY, HRS, GRPN, PMC
    • After Hours - KRO, GST, BRK.B

3:29 pm Fresh lows -- Dow -70, S&P -6, Nasdaq Comp -6 (:TECHX) :  

3:15 pm Small-/mid-caps slide to new afternoon lows, major averages drift just above their session lows -- Dow -61, S&P -4, Nasdaq Comp -0.1 (:TECHX) :  

3:10 pm Currency Market Summary (:FOREX) : Dollar Index Loses on ECI

  • The greenback lost against all majors but the Canadian dollar today after the Employment Cost Index for the second quarter showed sluggish wage growth. Markets speculated that the low ECI reading (+0.2% versus the Briefing.com consensus of +0.6%) would delay liftoff in interest rates
    • U.S. Dollar Index: -0.29% to 97.28
  • EUR/USD: +0.33% to $1.0974
    • The euro rallied today as the alternative reserve currency to the U.S. dollar. The weak ECI number sent the euro up roughly 150 pips over the hour after its release
    • Earlier in the morning, Core CPI for the eurozone surprised on the upside. It made a 1.0% gain y/y in July versus 0.8% growth in June
    • Headline CPI for July was +0.2% y/y, as expected. The unemployment rate for June was unchanged at 11.1%, in line with expectations
  • GBP/USD: +0.15% to $1.5621
  • USD/JPY: -0.15% to 123.96
    • Household Spending in Japan dropped a worse-than-expected 3.0% m/m in June. While the National Core CPI unexpectedly grew 0.1% y/y in June, the Tokyo region's Core CPI unexpectedly dropped 0.1% y/y in July
  • USD/CHF: -0.12% 0.9676
    • The Swiss National Bank has taken 50 bln francs of losses on its purchases of euro, due to the Swiss franc's sharp appreciation
  • USD/CAD: +0.67% to 1.3092
    • Canadian GDP declined 0.2% m/m in May, worse than expected and worse than the 0.1% fall in April
  • AUD/USD: -0.01% to $0.7291
    • Australia's PPI rose 0.3% q/q in the second quarter, less than expected. The PPI increased 0.5% in Q1
  • NZD/USD: -0.24% to $0.6584
    • ANZ Business Confidence fell 15.3% in JulyIn June, Private Sector Credit in New Zealand grew 0.4% m/m, short of expectations

2:53 pm Great Western Bancorp announced the issuance of $35 mln in 4.875% fixed-to-floating rate subordinated notes due August 15, 2025 via a private placement (GWB) : Co intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay existing subordinated debt

2:48 pm Stock indices inch to new lows -- S&P -4.6, Nasdaq Comp +0.3, Dow -67 (:TECHX) :  

2:08 pm Cliffs Natural Resources announces a tender offer for up to $100 mln of its 3.95% Senior Notes due 2018 (CLF) :  

1:44 pm Stock indices extend pullback off midday highs -- Dow -37, S&P -1.5, Nasdaq Comp +8 (:TECHX) : Relative sector weakness on the move (underperforming the S&P) has been noted in Energy XLE, Oil Service OIH, Biotech IBB, Discretionary XLY, Defense PPA.

1:38 pm Index Changes Reminder: Catalent (CTLT) will replace JDS Uniphase (JDSU) in the S&P MidCap 400 and JDSU will replace Susquehanna Bank (SUSQ) in the S&P SmallCap 600 effective after the close of trading (:INDXCH) :  

1:38 pm Index Changes Reminder: Barnes & Noble Education (:BNED) will replace A. M. Castle (CAS) in the S&P SmallCap 600 effective after the close of trading (:INDXCH) :  

1:38 pm Index Changes Reminder: TimkenSteel (TMST) will replace Montpelier Re (MRH) in the S&P SmallCap 600, and Endurance Specialty (ENH) will replace TMST in the S&P MidCap 400 after the close of trading (:INDXCH) :  

1:22 pm Teva Pharma secures a $33.75 billion financing commitment for its acquisition of Allergan's (AGN) generic generic pharmaceuticals business (TEVA) : Co announced that it has entered into commitment letters relating to its pending acquisition of Allergan's (AGN) generic pharmaceuticals business with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Bank PLC, BNP Paribas, Citi, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Mizuho Bank, Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc., RBC Capital Markets and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

  • Pursuant to the commitment letters, the lenders have committed to provide Teva up to $27,000,000,000 in loans under a senior unsecured Bridge Loan Credit Facility and up to $6,750,000,000 in loans under an Equity Bridge Loan Credit Facility

1:11 pm Notable movers of interest (:SCANX) : The following are some of today's most notable movers of interest, categorized by market capitalization (large cap over $10 billion and mid cap between $2-10 billion) and ranked by % change (all stocks over 100K average daily volume). 

Large Cap Gainers

  • EXPE (118.64 +10.25%): Reported Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.89 per share, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.84; revenues rose 11.2% year/year to $1.66 bln vs the $1.66 bln consensus; PT raised at Deutsche Bank, Benchmark, and RBC Capital.
  • RCL (89.82 +8.56%): Beat Q2 consensus EPS estimates by $0.11, reported revs in-line; guided FY15 EPS above consensus.
  • TMUS (40.9 +5.25%): Price target raised to $45 at Canaccord Genuity following yesterday's earnings.
Large Cap Losers
  • HBI (30.5 -10.65%): Reported Q2 EPS in-line, missed on revs; reaffirmed FY15 EPS guidance, lowered FY15 revs below consensus.
  • EEP (31.51 -3.9%): Reported Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.18 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.24; revenues fell 29.8% year/year to $1.31 bln vs the $1.5 bln consensus.
  • CLR (33.99 -2.94%): Continued weakness in oil & gas names with energy -1.8% and the worst performing S&P sector as crude futures decline 2.3% (COP, EPD among many names under pressure).
Mid Cap Gainers
  • COLM (73.45 +17.26%): Beat Q2 consensus EPS estimates by $0.14, beat on revs; guided FY15 EPS above consensus; PT raised to $75 at FBR Capital.
  • AVOL (29.37 +18.09%): Announced it is considering two unsolicited offers for 100% of its equity for $30/share and $31/share respectively.
  • MOH (76.02 +11.79%): Reported Q2 (Jun) GAAP earnings of $0.72 per share, $0.10 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.62; revenues rose 52.5% year/year to $3.52 bln vs the $3.61 bln consensus; Upgraded to Buy at Stifel.
Mid Cap Losers
  • INT (40.88 -13.43%): Reported Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.53 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.18 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.71; revenues fell 25.1% year/year to $8.5 bln vs the $7.82 bln consensus; downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill.
  • RLGY (45.65 -7.76%): Reported Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.66 per share, $0.10 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.76; revenues rose 9.2% year/year to $1.65 bln vs the $1.66 bln consensus.
  • GIL (32.43 -7.58%): Missed Q3 consensus EPS estimates by $0.02, missed on revs; guided Q4 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus.

1:07 pm Overstock.com announces the sale of a $5 mln digital security in the form of a cryptobond, to FNY Managed Accounts LLC (OSTK) : The $5 million cryptobond Overstock has sold to First New York bears interest at 7 percent per annum over a five-year term. The cryptodebt is unsecured and has no covenants, however, it has both put and call provisions pursuant to which Overstock expects it and First New York may unwind the bond in the fourth quarter of 2015.

  • In addition, simultaneous with the issue of this bond, Overstock is making a $5 million loan to First New York at 3 percent per annum with similar put and call terms and with cross default provisions against the bond

12:54 pm Midday Market Summary: Nasdaq Leads (:WRAPX) : The major averages hold modest midday gains with the Nasdaq Composite (+0.4%) trading ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.2%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (unch).

Equity indices began the day with modest gains after a disappointing Employment Cost Index for Q2 (+0.2%; Briefing.com consensus 0.6%) was met with a rally in equity futures and Treasuries. The move occurred amid expectations that slower than expected wage growth could cause the Federal Reserve to delay its first rate hike. The 10-yr note traded little changed ahead of the report, but a morning spike has sent the benchmark yield lower by five basis points to 2.20%.

As for equities, the market has made a brief appearance in the red due to relative weakness in the energy sector (-1.8%) after Chevron (CVX 89.35, -3.68) and ExxonMobil (XOM 79.88, -3.13) reported disappointing results.

In addition to pressuring the energy sector, the two names have kept the Dow Jones Industrial Average near its flat line. Furthermore, two other influential sectors-technology (-0.1%) and financials (-0.1%)-also trade behind the broader market.

The top-weighted technology sector has been pressured by a 9.0% slide in LinkedIn (LNKD 206.42, -20.73) after the company reported disappointing results. Also of note, Electronic Arts (EA 71.06, -1.24) has slumped 1.7% after cautious earnings/revenue guidance masked better than expected results.

That being said, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has been able to resist the weakness among tech names, instead rallying alongside biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 384.00, +5.20) is higher by 1.4% after Amgen (AMGN 177.66, +5.97) beat earnings estimates and guided higher. For its part, the broader health care sector has climbed 0.8% with Molina Health (MOH 76.33, +8.33), and Universal Health Systems (UHS 145.37, +3.93) providing added support after both reported above-consensus results.

Economic data included Employment Cost Index, Chicago PMI, and Michigan Sentiment:

  • Employment costs rose 0.2% in Q2 2015 after a 0.7% increase in the first quarter while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.6% 
    • That was the smallest increase in employment costs since the index was created in 2001 
  • The Chicago PMI increased to 54.7 in July from 49.4 in June while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase to 54.7 
    • The reading represented the first increase in three months 
    • There was a large improvement in production as the related index increased to 61.8 in July from 49.8 in June. The production gain came on the heels of strengthening growth in the new orders index, which rose to 58.5 from 51.7 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was revised down to 93.1 in the final June reading from 93.3 in the preliminary report while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase to 94.0 
    • The index is down from 96.1 in June, which was the best reading since January 
    • The Expectations Index was revised down from 85.2 in the preliminary reading to 84.1 while the Current Conditions Index was revised up to 107.2 from 106.0

12:45 pm CHS Inc. acquires Northstar Agri Industries canola processing and refining plant near Hallock, Minn from PICO Holdings (PICO) (CHSCP) : The Hallock canola plant processes more than 400,000 tons of canola seed annually into canola oil and canola meal.

12:02 pm Dow +8.7 and S&P +3.7 edge to new rebound highs, Nasdaq Comp +18 drifts just below its mid-morning high (:TECHX) :  

12:01 pm Cyan shareholders approve acquisition by Ciena (CIEN); deal expected to close on or about August 3 (CYNI) :  

11:55 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:+0.4%
  • Germany's DAX:+0.5%
  • France's CAC:+0.7%
  • Spain's IBEX:+0.1%
  • Portugal's PSI:-0.4%
  • Italy's MIB Index:+0.6%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:+1.1%
  • Greece ASE General Index: CLOSED

11:52 am Lake Share Gold enters into binding arrangement agreement with Temex Resources related to its previously announced proposal to acquire Temex (LSG) : The Lake Shore Gold Agreement follows notice that Temex has terminated an arrangement agreement with Oban Mining Corporation

11:49 am Abengoa reports complete 1H15 results (ABGB) : Co reported revs +3% y/y to EUR 3390 mln, EBITDA +9% to EUR 650 mln while net income reached EUR 72 mln, up 5% y/y

  • E&C backlog as of June 30, reached a new record level of EUR 8.8 bln, a 3% growth sequentially. The corporate net debt to corporate EBITDA ratio (Corporate Leverage Ratio) as of June 30, 2015 was 2.5x, a 0.1x reduction versus March 31, 2015.

11:40 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (166) outpacing new lows (123) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAP, ABCB, ABMD, ACN, ADPT, AEL, AF, AFG, AFSI, AMGN, AMRB, AMWD, ANIP, ANSS, ASBB, ATR, ATRI, AVGR, AVOL, AYI, BCS, BDX, BF.A, BF.B, BLDR, BLKB, BNCN, BOFI, BUFF, BWLD, CAKE, CBPO, CCE, CCL, CHE, CINF, CMG, COLM, COT, CPB, CSTE, CTLT, CUBE, CUK, CWST, DHI, DHR, DIS, DORM, EFSC, EGRX, ELLI, ELS, ENH, ENTG, ETB, EVHC, EXPE, EXPR, EXR, FAF, FBHS, FIX, FNGN, FSBW, FTNT, GIG, GIS, GLPG, GMED, GNCMA, HCSG, HF, HIG, HPY, HRL, HRS, HSP, ICCC, ICLR, ICUI, IMS, INCR, INGR, INSM, JLL, KWR, LAD, LGF, LION, LMAT, MAS, MCD, MD, MMU, MNST, MOH, MORN, MRH, MSCI, MWW, NBHC, NCLH, NJ, NKE, NLSN, NVR, NWL, NYCB, OCR, OGEN, ORA, ORI, PFBC, PFE, PGND, PGTI, PLL, PLT, PN, PRA, QQXT, RAI, RCL, RDY, RNG, RNR, ROL, RSG, RUTH, SCI, SERV, SGU, SIGI, SIRO, SKX, SNA, SOCB, SPB, SSNC, STNR, TE, TECH, THG, TMUS, TOWN, TPX, TXRH, UA, UFPI, UHAL, UHS, ULTI, VCRA, VG, VGR, VR, VRSN, VVI, WETF, WING, WIX, WWAV, XON, XRAY, ZLTQ

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: APIC, AREX, ASTI, AU, AUO, AVHI, BBG, BCOV, BOI, BSM, BTE, BVN, BVX, BXC, CAFD, CAP, CCCR, CDRB, CDTX, CHCI, CLBS, CLDN, CLUB, CNS, COP, CPAH, CPSI, CRAY, CRK, CVX, CWT, CYD, DAIO, DDD, DGI, DRQ, DTLK, EGIF, EXAR, FCFS, FLDM, FLR, GCA, GLDD, GROW, GTLS, GULTU, HART, HERO, HHS, HNRG, HSC, HST, INT, IO, ISH, JGH, KBIO, KCG, KEG, KNOP, KOOL, LF, LINE, LNCO, LPL, LSCC, LTRX, MB, MCRN, MGRC, MILL, MMYT, MN, MOD, NVTA, NXTD, OCC, PDVW, PG, PLG, PQ, PRKR, PTXP, QDEL, QLGC, QRHC, QUMU, RADA, RAS, RBCN, RCMT, RLOC, ROVI, SGY, SHLD, SMTC, SPRT, SQI, SRT, SSN, TAL, TECU, TG, TGC, TINY, TIPT, TMST, TUES, TUMI, TWTR, USAP, VCO, VPCO, VVUS, WFM, WGBS, WHZ, WLFC, XOM, XOMA, XPL, ZQK

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: IHI, IYK, KIE, XHB, XLY

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: ECH, EWS, SGG, VXX

11:30 am Sector Summary: ECI Drops the Dollar (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index came under intense selling pressure following the release of the Employment Cost Index. The ECI is a closely watched measure of wage prices (70% of the index) by the Fed. With strong employment being a building block for the case of a rate hike, market participants were keen to watch the results. What we saw was a miss (+0.2% vs +0.7% Briefing.com consensus) that led to questions about the Fed's ability to raise rates in September. There are some questions on the report, the lowest in its 33 year history, with regards to the impact of Q1 bonuses that dragged down the figure. The ECI was followed by a mixed report that saw the July Chicago PMI beat expectations while the consumer read in Michigan Sentiment was revised down from its preliminary results two weeks ago. The DXY is now trading at 96.81 as it attempts to hold its ground. 
  • The euro saw a big spike as the dollar sold off. The euro was able to run 120 pips in reaction, hitting 1.1114 before seeing resistance. The single currency has had difficulties holding its ground above this area as there have been few signs of buyers. The area continues to see low inflation reads although there are some that point out that this is due to the drop in energy costs. Regardless the number still remains well below the 2% target. And there are growing concerns about the third Greek bailout as the EU sees the IMF dragging its feet as it looks for some sort of realistic debt relief and Tsipras deals with internal party issues. 
  • The pound continues to hold the key 20- and 50 sma areas. But it has yet to prove that it can move above the 1.57-1.58 area. The consolidation appears ready to continue until we see more economic reports and here commentary from Bank of England members.
  • The yen has returned to the 123 level in trade. Yen had slid to 124.40 following a weak round of economic data that included a miss on Household Spending, CPI, and Unemployment Rates. Housing Starts was the lone surprise. This helped generate some belief that the government may be forced into further stimulus. But the move was overrun by the drop in the greenback. THis led to a quick 90 pip move higher in the yen. But it has reversed course since running into resistance at 123.50. It is currently trading at 123.88 (BONDX, FOREX).

11:16 am Imperial Oil Imperial Oil -1% after reporting Q2 results; co missed by $0.04, beat on revs -- net income -90% y/y (IMO) : Reported Q2 (Jun) earnings of CC$0.52 per share, CC$0.04 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of CC$0.56; revenues fell 27.3% year/year to CC$7.3 bln vs the CC$7.29 bln consensus. Earnings in the second quarter were $120 million, or $0.14 per share, and reflected a net charge, largely non-cash, of $320 million ($0.38 per share) associated with the recently enacted Alberta corporate income tax rate increase.

  • Gross production averaged 344,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day, up 57,000 barrels from 2014 due to increased Kearl and Cold Lake production. This result was the company's highest quarterly production level in nearly eight years. At Kearl, production averaged 130,000 barrels per day (92,000 barrels Imperial's share) in the quarter, driven by the expansion project start-up five months ahead of schedule and improved reliability in the initial development.

11:01 am Penn Natl Gaming to acquire Illinois video gaming terminal operator Prairie State Gaming; terms not disclosed, expected to be immediately accretive (PENN) : The co announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Illinois video gaming terminal operator Prairie State Gaming in an all cash transaction. One of the largest VGT route operators in Illinois, PSG's operations include more than 1,100 terminals across a network of 270 bar and retail gaming establishments throughout the State. For the twelve-months ended June 30, 2015, PSG generated nearly $10 million in EBITDA

  • The transaction, which is expected to be immediately accretive to Penn National upon closing later this quarter, is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals and conditions.

10:58 am Nasdaq Comp +24 set new session high, S&P +4.6 and Dow +13 extend push off morning low (:TECHX) :  

10:43 am FedEx confirms that the EC initiated a Phase II review, in connection with its offer to acquire TNT Express N.V (TNTEY) (FDX) : Co confirmed today that the European Commission has initiated a Phase II review in connection with its intended public offer to acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of TNT Express N.V. This is the next step in the process where the European Commission conducts an in-depth analysis under the EU Merger Regulation before coming to a decision. The transaction is also being reviewed by other antitrust agencies, including the Ministry of Commerce in China and Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econmica in Brazil.

  • Co stated: "We continue to make progress on all of the necessary regulatory steps around the world that would allow us to complete this transaction in the first half of 2016 and unite two great teams that share a passion for customer service."

10:36 am New session highs for small-cap Russell 2000 +10 and mid-caps MDY (:TECHX) :  

10:36 am Parkervision announces a US Court of Appeal decision in its litigation with Qualcomm (QCOM); stating that it did not prove infringement of its patents by Qualcomm (Shares Still Halted) (PRKR) : Co announced that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district trial court's decision of noinfringement in the ParkerVision v. Qualcomm (QCOM) patent infringement case maintaining that ParkerVision did not prove infringement of its patents by Qualcomm.

  • The CAFC furthermore upheld the district court's decision denying Qualcomm's judgement as a matter of law motion for invalidity with regard to claim 27 of the '518 patent but reversed the district court's decision with regard to Qualcomm's JMOL for invalidity on the remaining claims in the case

10:22 am Apple extends slide as low as 120.91 holding above its 200 sma at 120.75 (AAPL) : Stock came close to its 200 sma earlier in the month and in April 2014 but has not broken below this average since a limited penetration in Sep 2013. 

10:19 am Time Warner issues a redemption call for ~$312.91 mln of its 5.875% Notes due 2016 (TWX) :  

10:13 am Relative sector strength (:TECHX) : Sectors that are showing signs of relative strength vs. the S&P include: Biotech IBB, Health XLV, Medical Supplies, Internet FDN, Bank KBE, Reg Bank KRE, REITs IYR.

10:11 am Outperforming Nasdaq Comp +9 set a new session low but underperforming Dow -24 and S&P +0.7 did not confirm the move (:TECHX) : Choppy, mixed action in the early going but the recent non-confirmation suggests a loss of downside momentum

10:03 am Limited reaction to sentiment data with major averages chopping in lower end of day's range -- Dow -40, S&P -0.1, Nasdaq Comp +5 (:TECHX) :  

9:52 am Chevron weighs on Dow, slides back near its multi-year low from Monday after reporting at 88.74 -- session low 88.76 (CVX) :  

9:45 am Opening Market Summary: Stocks Slip From Early Highs (:WRAPX) : The major averages began the trading day just above their flat lines, but the Dow (-0.3%) and S&P 500 (-0.1%) have quickly turned negative due to losses in Chevron (CVX 89.35, -3.68) and ExxonMobil (XOM 79.78, -3.23). The two names have pressured the energy sector (-1.8%) while seven of the remaining nine sectors hold early gains.

Heavily-weighted consumer discretionary (+0.1%), industrials (+0.2%), and health care (+0.5%) are among the early outperformers while financials (-0.3%) and technology (-0.2%) underperform.

Treasuries remain near their recent highs with the 10-yr yield down five basis points at 2.21%.

Just released, the Chicago PMI for July rose to 54.7 from 49.4 while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase to 50.5.

9:44 am Apple slide to new low for the week after a slightly firmer start (AAPL) :  

9:40 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors on the defensive in early trade include: Energy XLE, Reg Bank KRE, Bank KBE, Semi SMH, Auto CARZ, Broker IAI, Crude Oil USO, OIl Service OIH, Social Media SOCL, Retail XRT.

9:38 am Stock indices slip back after mildly firmer start -- Dow -13, S&P +1.5, Nasdaq Comp +8.2 (:TECHX) :  

9:34 am iShares Dow Jones US Home displays early relative strength edges slightly above its June/early July highs at 28.33/28.28 -- session high 28.40 (ITB) : Strength in the housing sector has been noted in -- TPX +7%, BZH +1%, KBH +0.8%, WHR +0.6%, SPF +0.4%, TOL +0.4%.

9:31 am Microsoft is retesting its July highs at 47.33/47.40 -- session high 47.37 (MSFT) :  

9:30 am Foamix confirms FDA approval of Finacea Foam, 15% for topical treatment of the inflammatory papules and pustules of mild to moderate rosacea (FOMX) : Finacea Foam was developed as part of a research and development collaboration between Foamix Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Bayer HealthCare (BAYRY)

9:29 am On the Wires (:WIRES) :

  • America Resources Exploration announced that it has acquired a fractional wellbore interest under one percent in three oil and gas producing wells included in the Begert 38 lease located in Section 38, Block A-1, H&G Survey, A-1075 in Hemphill, Texas. The wells are operated by Apache Corporation (APA) and have produced a daily average rate of 177 barrels of oil and 4,863 MCF of gas over the past 6 months
  • Xplore Technologies Corp. (XPLR) announced it has been awarded additional Xplore Bobcat tablet computer order from a leading U.S. railroad transportation company. In addition to the tablets, the railroad ordered the tablet's docking solution and optional secondary battery
  • Alliant Energy's (LNT) Iowa utility successfully closed the sale transaction of its Minnesota electric distribution assets to the 12 member cooperatives of Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative. Aggregate proceeds from the sales of the electric and gas distribution assets are approximately $145 million, including working capital adjustments and a $2 million promissory note
  • Frontier Communications Corporation (FTR) and the Communications Workers of America District 6 (CWA.TO) announced the signing of an agreement coverin CWA-represented employees in Texas and Missouri. The CWA currenlty represents 2,000 workers in Texas and Missouri

9:29 am ADMA Biologics submits a BLA to the US FDA, seeking marketing authorization for RI-002 (ADMA) :  

9:22 am Equities, treasuries and commodities moving higher in the wake of a weaker-than-expected Employment Cost Index; dollar weakening (SPY) :

  • The weaker wage growth is viewed as an argument in favor of the Federal Reserve delaying its first rate hike. 
  • Equity futures are moving higher after initially showing modest declines; S&P futures are now +6 (+0.32%) at 2109.
  • Treasuries spiked, sending the 10-yr yield lower by six basis points to 2.20%.
  • Commodities turned around; gold now +8 at 1096, oil -0.11 at 48.43.
  • Dollar has weakened, now -1.3% vs. a basket of currencies.

9:17 am Modsys announces that its Board has formed a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives (MDSY) :  

9:11 am S&P futures vs fair value: +4.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +15.10. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a modestly higher open as S&P 500 futures trade four points above fair value. Index futures held slim pre-market losses not long ago, but spiked off their lows after the Q2 Employment Cost Index (+0.2%; Briefing.com consensus 0.6%) came in below expectations. The lower-than-expected wage growth was viewed as an argument in favor of the Federal Reserve delaying its first rate hike. As a result, Treasuries spiked, sending the 10-yr yield lower by six basis points to 2.20%.

More data will be reported today with the Chicago PMI for July set to be released at 9:45 ET (Briefing.com consensus 50.5) while the final reading of the Michigan Sentiment Index for July will cross the wires at 10:00 ET (expected 94.0).

On the earnings front, investors have received another large batch of results with another heavy week up ahead. The energy sector is likely to face early pressure as Dow components Chevron (CVX 90.88, -2.15) and ExxonMobil (XOM 81.30, -1.71) hold pre-market losses close to 2.2% apiece after both names reported disappointing results. On the flip side, the health care sector should receive early support from Amgen (AMGN 176.29, +4.60) and Molina Healthcare (MOH 70.92, +2.92) after both names surpassed their estimates.

The S&P 500 enters the Friday session up 1.4% for the week.

9:10 am VEREIT (Formerly American Realty Capital Properties) confirms it will officially begin trading on the NYSE under the ticker VER today (ARCP) :  

9:08 am Scientific Games announces it has signed a one-year extension, to its instant products contract with the Massachusetts Lottery (SGMS) : Co announced it has signed a one-year extension to its instant products contract with the Massachusetts Lottery under which the Company will supply the Lottery with instant games, game design and marketing services

9:06 am Career Education hires Todd Nelson as President and Chief Executive Officer (CECO) : Nelson is expected to join the Company on August 12, 2015 and will also be appointed to the Career Education Board of Directors. Nelson recently served as Chief Executive Officer and a director of Education Management Corporation, where he ultimately served as Chairman of the Board

9:03 am Cintas to purchase ZEE Medical from McKesson (MCK) for ~$130 mln in cash, will update guidance in September (CTAS) : The co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase ZEE Medical from McKesson (MCK) for consideration of ~$130 mln in cash. The transaction is expected to close on August 1, 2015.

  • This acquisition, with expected annual revenue of $110-120 mln, expands Cintas' footprint in van delivered first aid, safety, training and emergency products and allows the company to serve a greater number of customers in North America
  • Cintas provided initial fiscal 2016 guidance on July 17, 2015, for revenue to be in the range of $4.70 billion to $4.78 billion, and earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $3.74 to $3.83. Updated fiscal 2016 guidance to give effect to the ZEE Medical acquisition will be provided in September when fiscal 2016 first quarter results are announced and the details of the purchase accounting are finalized. 

9:02 am The last two 'Supermajors' reported this morning, XOM and CVX and both are trading lower post-earnings (USO) :

  • BP was the first of the big guys to report this week, which was on Monday
  • Tuesday, TOT reported
  • Yesterday, COP and RDS.A reported.
  • This morning XOM and CVX reported
  • To no surprise, upstream results suffered at XOM and CVX due to the recent collapse in oil prices, while downstream showed some benefit 
  • Pre-market, XOM is -2.1%, while CVX is -2%.
  • In current trade, WTI crude oil futures are trading -1.5% at $47.81/barrel
    • In short, oil prices are lower this morning after OPEC said overnight that it won't be cutting production at this point, which keeps investors focusing on the current oil oversupply situation
Sidenote:
  • The largest integrated oil and gas companies are known as the 'supermajors.'
  • They are also sometimes referred to as 'big oil.
  • 'There and six 'supermajors' and they include: ExxonMobil (XOM), Royal Dutch/Shell (RDS.A), BP (BP), Chevron Corp. (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP), Total S.A. (TOT).
  • When people refer to the 'Supermajors' (aka Majors), they are defining them as the largest non-state owned oil companies in the world.

9:01 am Mannkind triples production capacity for Afrezza, announcing the validation of two additional production lines (MNKD) : co announced that it has completed the validation of two additional filling lines for the manufacture of Afrezza (insulin human) inhalation powder. Material produced during the validation runs, including the recently approved 12 unit cartridges, will be supplied to Sanofi (SNY) to support the launch of the new dosage strength, which is expected later this quarter.

8:54 am S&P futures vs fair value: +2.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +9.70. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade two points above fair value.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region closed the week on a winning note and with strong gains in the case of smaller markets like Indonesia (+1.9%) and Thailand (+1.8%). China's Shanghai Composite was an exception as it closed out a terrible month with a 1.1% decline.

  • In economic data: 
    • Japan's June Household Spending -3.0% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; prior +2.4%); -2.0% year-over-year (expected +1.7%; prior +4.8%). June National CPI +0.4% year-over-year (expected +0.3%; prior +0.5%). July Tokyo CPI +0.2% year-over-year (expected +0.2%; prior +0.3%). June National Core CPI +0.1% (expected 0.0%; prior +0.1%). July Tokyo Core CPI -0.1% (expected 0.0%; prior +0.1%). June unemployment rate 3.4% (expected 3.3%; prior 3.3%). June Construction Orders +15.4% year-over-year (prior -7.4%). June Housing Starts +16.3% year-over-year (expected +2.9%; prior +5.8%) 
    • Hong Kong's June Retail Sales -0.4% year-over-year (prior -0.1%) 
    • South Korea's June Industrial Production +2.3% month-over-month (expected +0.1%; prior -1.6%); +1.2% year-over-year (expected -1.0%; prior -3.0%). Separately, Retail Sales -3.7% month-over-month (expected -0.1%; prior -0.1%) and August Manufacturing BSI Index 73 (prior 67) 
    • Australia's Q2 PPI +0.3% quarter-over-quarter (expected +0.6%; prior +0.5%); +1.1% year-over-year (prior +0.7%). June Housing Credit +0.6% (prior +0.5%) and June Private Sector Credit +0.4% month-over-month (expected +0.5%; prior +0.5%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei increased 0.3% and closed at its highs for the day. The modest gains followed a large batch of economic reports that included some disappointing household spending data for June. The technology (+1.4%) financials (+0.7%), and industrials (+0.4%) sectors provided leadership. NEC Corp (+9.1%), Kansai Electric Power (+8.0%), and FUJIFILM Holdings (+7.9%) topped the list of individual winners. Nicherei Corp (-9.0%), Sumitomo Heavy Industries (-6.4%), and Mitsubishi Motors (-5.0%) paced the decliners. Out of the 225 index members, 137 ended higher, 76 finished lower and 12 were unchanged. For the week, the Nikkei gained 0.2% and for the month it was up 1.7%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 0.6%, scoring the bulk of its gains in a closing volley of buying interest that left it near its highs for the session. Galaxy Entertainment (+5.6%), Sands China (+4.3%), and Power Assets Holdings (+3.1%) were the best-performing stocks while Lenovo Group (-2.7%), Li & Fung (-2.6%), and Cathay Pacific Airways (-1.9%) were the worst. Out of the 50 index members, 31 ended higher, 17 finished lower, and 2 were unchanged. For the week, the Hang Seng declined 2.0% and for the month it was down 6.2%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite declined 1.1%, suffering most of its losses in the final hour of action. Securities regulators are reportedly looking into the influence of automated trading on market activity, according to Reuters. For the month, the Shanghai Composite declined 13.4%. 
Major European indices trade in mixed fashion with Spain's IBEX (-0.8%) trailing the region. The International Monetary Fund will not take part in another Greek bailout unless the package includes an explicit agreement regarding debt relief, according to reports.
  • Economic data was plentiful: 
    • Eurozone July CPI +0.2%, as expected, while core CPI +1.0% (consensus 0.8%; prior 0.8%). Separately, the Unemployment Rate held at 11.1%, as expected 
    • Germany's June Retail Sales -2.3% month-over-month (expected 0.3%; prior 0.4%); +5.1% year-over-year (consensus 4.0%; last -1.0%) 
    • France's June Consumer Spending +0.4% month-over-month (consensus 0.6%; last 0.1%) while June PPI -0.2% month-over-month (last -0.5%) 
    • Italy's June PPI -0.2% month-over-month (prior 0.2%); -2.3% year-over-year (last -1.9%). Separately, July CPI -0.1% month-over-month (consensus 0.0%; prior 0.2%); +0.2% year-over-year (expected 0.3%; last 0.2%). Also of note, June Unemployment Rate rose to 12.7% from 12.5% (expected 12.3%) 
    • Spain's Business Confidence slipped to -0.9 from -0.1 (expected 1.5) 
------
  • UK's FTSE trades higher by 0.2%. Consumer names outperform with ITV, Persimmon, and Barratt Developments up between 1.8% and 2.5% while miners lag. Antofagasta, Anglo American, Glencore, Randgold Resources, and Fresnillo are down between 2.0% and 4.1%. 
  • Germany's DAX trades flat. Basic materials outperform with K+S, HeidelbergCement, Linde, and BASF holding gains between 0.9% and 4.1%. 
  • In France, the CAC trades higher by 0.4% with defense contractors in the lead. Airbus and Safran hold respective gains of 4.3% and 2.0% while exporters also hold gains. Peugeot has climbed 1.6% while Renault trades up 0.2%. 
  • Spain's IBEX trails the region with a loss of 0.8% despite better than expected results from the financial sector. Banco Popular, Caixabank, BBVA, and Santander are down between 1.5% and 4.1%.

8:49 am RAIT Financial Trust prices its underwritten public offering of 8 mln common shares at $5.55/share (RAS) :  

8:48 am Phillips 66 Partners beats by $0.03, misses on revs (PSXP) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.50 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.47; revenues rose 47.3% year/year to $83.8 mln vs the $87.99 mln consensus.

  • Equity earnings in the second quarter of 2015 benefited from a full quarter of results from DCP Sand Hills Pipeline, LLC, DCP Southern Hills Pipeline, LLC and Explorer Pipeline Company, compared with one month of results in the first quarter of 2015.
  • The increase in equity earnings was partially offset by lower pipeline and terminaling revenues. This decrease was primarily due to lower volumes in the Sweeny to Pasadena Products System and Clifton Ridge Crude System, resulting from maintenance activities at the connecting Phillips 66-owned refineries.

8:48 am Inventergy announces that pursuant to Court instruction, it will pursue third-party mediation with Sonus Networks over the next 90 days, regarding their patent infringement litigation (INVT) : Also co has dismissed its other parallel patent infringement case against Sonus that was pending in the District Court of Massachusetts

8:46 am CEMEX S.A. announces that proceedings initiated by the European Commission in 2010 have been closed; co is not subject to fine/penalties (CX) :  

8:45 am European Markets Update: FTSE +0.2%, DAX UNCH, CAC +0.4%, IBEX -0.8% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade in mixed fashion with Spain's IBEX (-0.8%) trailing the region. The International Monetary Fund will not take part in another Greek bailout unless the package includes an explicit agreement regarding debt relief, according to reports.

  • Economic data was plentiful: 
    • Eurozone July CPI +0.2%, as expected, while core CPI +1.0% (consensus 0.8%; prior 0.8%). Separately, the Unemployment Rate held at 11.1%, as expected 
    • Germany's June Retail Sales -2.3% month-over-month (expected 0.3%; prior 0.4%); +5.1% year-over-year (consensus 4.0%; last -1.0%) 
    • France's June Consumer Spending +0.4% month-over-month (consensus 0.6%; last 0.1%) while June PPI -0.2% month-over-month (last -0.5%) 
    • Italy's June PPI -0.2% month-over-month (prior 0.2%); -2.3% year-over-year (last -1.9%). Separately, July CPI -0.1% month-over-month (consensus 0.0%; prior 0.2%); +0.2% year-over-year (expected 0.3%; last 0.2%). Also of note, June Unemployment Rate rose to 12.7% from 12.5% (expected 12.3%) 
    • Spain's Business Confidence slipped to -0.9 from -0.1 (expected 1.5) 
------
  • UK's FTSE trades higher by 0.2%. Consumer names outperform with ITV, Persimmon, and Barratt Developments up between 1.8% and 2.5% while miners lag. Antofagasta, Anglo American, Glencore, Randgold Resources, and Fresnillo are down between 2.0% and 4.1%. 
  • Germany's DAX trades flat. Basic materials outperform with K+S, HeidelbergCement, Linde, and BASF holding gains between 0.9% and 4.1%. 
  • In France, the CAC trades higher by 0.4% with defense contractors in the lead. Airbus and Safran hold respective gains of 4.3% and 2.0% while exporters also hold gains. Peugeot has climbed 1.6% while Renault trades up 0.2%. 
  • Spain's IBEX trails the region with a loss of 0.8% despite better than expected results from the financial sector. Banco Popular, Caixabank, BBVA, and Santander are down between 1.5% and 4.1%.

8:44 am Berry Plastics misses by $0.01, misses on revs (BERY) : Reports Q3 (Jun) earnings of $0.51 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.52; revenues fell 4.4% year/year to $1.24 bln vs the $1.31 bln consensus. 

  • "We are increasing our 2015 fiscal year adjusted free cash flow guidance to $400 mln, up $50 mln from our last earnings call. Our revised guidance includes capital expenditures of $180 mln, cash interest of $190 mln, other cash costs of approximately $35 mln, and a source of working capital of $25 mln. Our tax receivable agreement payment of $39 mln remains unchanged,...We anticipate our fourth fiscal quarter sales volumes to be consistent with the past several quarters."

8:43 am Polymet Mining renegotiates its convertible debentures with Glencore (GLNCY) to extend the maturity date of the outstanding securities issuable under the debenture financing (PLM) :  

8:42 am Alcatel-Lucent offers to purchase up to $300 mln aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 6.750% senior notes due in 2020 (ALU) :  

8:32 am SMTP names Rick Carlson President effective August 1, 2015 (SMTP) : Co announced today that Rick Carlson, President of SharpSpring, will be appointed President of SMTP, effective August 1, 2015. Carlson joined SMTP in the August 2014 acquisition of SharpSpring

8:32 am CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust confirmed its intent to increase the annualized dividend rate to $0.60 per share beginning with Q3 distribution (CORR) : Co declared a second quarter 2015 dividend of $0.135 per share (or $0.54 cents per share annualized) for its common stock.

8:31 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +2.20. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade one point above fair value.

The Q2 Employment Cost Index rose 0.2% while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.6%.

8:31 am American Axle appoints Michael Simonte as President and Chrisopher May as CFO, effective August 1, 2015 (AXL) : David Dauch will remain as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Simonte has been with AAM for nearly 17 years, most recently serving as Executive Vice President & CFO. May has held positions of increasingly significant responsibility during his 21 years with the company. He served most recently as Treasurer and previously, Assistant Treasurer

8:30 am UPS confirms it will acquire Coyote Logistics for $1.8 bln from Warburg Pincus; expected to be accretive to earnings in 2016 (UPS) : The co announced it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Coyote Logistics, a non-asset based truckload freight brokerage company for $1.8 billion from Warburg Pincus.  Founded in 2006, Coyote reported annual revenue of $2.1 billion in 2014.  

  • The transaction will be financed with available cash resources and through existing and new debt arrangements.  The acquisition is expected to be accretive to UPS earnings in 2016.
  • The co says it is well positioned to realize a run-rate of $100-150 million of annual operating synergies, from backhaul utilization, purchased transportation and cross-selling opportunities
  • The announcement confirms a July 22 Bloomberg report that the two were in talks

8:30 am On the Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Callidus Software Inc. (CALD) announced that Metagenics, a provider of nutrigenomics and lifestyle medicine, has selected CallidusCloud's Lead to Money suite to replace its existing incentives tool
  • MagneGas Corporation (MNGA) announced it has recently completed metal cutting demonstrations with over 40 representatives from the Fossil Fuel division of a major northeast Utility. The Company believes the demonstrations were successful as they have received multiple requests for fuel as a result of those meetings
  • NXT-ID, Inc. (NXTD) announced that it has filed a provisional patent entitled "Electronic crypto-currency management method and system" which is intended to cover a method to advance crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin into the consumer market of payment technology
  • American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings (AXL) announced that it has been selected as target supplier to provide axles and driveshafts for GM's next generation full size truck program under GM's Strategic Sourcing Process. Co expects to provide ~75% of the light-duty axles, 100% of the heavy-duty axles and 100% of the rear steel driveshafts for GM's next generation full size truck program

8:28 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: OCLS -15.3%, SZYM -15%, CPSI -11.9%, OCN -11.6%, SYNA -11.1%, OUTR -10%, (appoints Erik Prusch as its Chief Executive Officer, effective July 31, 2015), INT -8.9%, QLGC -7.7%, TSYS -7.6%, FLR -7.5%, (announces agreement to divest 50% of its shares in Fluor S.A, to a leading multinational Spanish construction company for EUR 39 mln ), LNKD -6.7%, HBI -6.6%, COHR -6.4%, FEYE -4.9%, OMCL -4.5%, SQI -4.3%, CHEF -3.8%, GIL -3.8%, BCOV -3.7%, SAM -3.2%, RLGY -2.9%, MTD -2.8%, EA -2.4%, COHU -2.1%, MERC -1.9%, EGO -1.9%, KCG -1.8%, XOM -1.7%, TNAV -1.3%, AMCC -1.1%, WY -1.1%, BPL -1%

Select metals/mining stocks trading lower: FCX -2.3%, GOLD -1.5%, SLV -1.1%, GG -0.9%, GFI -0.8%, BHP -0.1%

Select oil/gas related names showing early weakness: FRO -2.8%, STO -2.7%, PBR -2.6%, SDRL -2.5%, BP -1.7%

Other news: RADA -32.4% (prices a public offering of 6,910,569 of its ordinary shares at$1.23/share), MILL -28% (NYSE to suspend trading immediately in Miller Energy Resources and commence delisting proceedings), RAS -6% (commences an underwritten public offering), Q -1.4% (launches a 7 mln share secondary offering of common stock, by stockholders that include Bain Capital Investors)

Analyst comments: Z -2.5% (downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Cowen), SSYS -1.4% (downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill; downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS), MDLZ -0.6% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman)

8:27 am European Sovereign Debt (BONDX) : Spain and Italy Rally, Germany and France Decline

  • Eurozone unemployment for June was reported as expected at 11.1%, the same level as May. At either end of the spectrum, German unemployment is at 4.7% and the Greek unemployment rate is 25.6. Wages in the eurozone's periphery appreciated rapidly during the run-up to the financial crisis, and they are now having to adjust back down. Due to workers' reluctance to take nominal wage cuts and employers' reluctance to hurt morale and potentially productivity by slashing pay, the downward adjustment is fighting what economists call downward nominal wage rigidity. Were the eurozone to run higher inflation (say 3-4%), nominal wages could stagnate but real wages would decline. That would lower unit labor costs and increase employment in the periphery. Alternatively, were periphery countries to still have their national currencies, those currencies would have devalued against the deutsche mark and their workers would become more attractive relative to German workers. In short, the single currency bloc with its high unemployment and religious opposition to even moderate inflation in the European core is a recipe for prolonged stagnation and political unrest
    • Spain saw some of the best improvement in employment, with its UE rate falling from 24.5% to 22.5%
    • The eurozone's CPI grew 0.2% in the year to July, inline with with expectations
      • Core CPI surprised on the upside, jumping to a 1.0% gain y/y in July versus 0.8% growth in June
    • German Retail Sales unexpectedly fell 2.3% m/m in June versus expectations for a gain
    • French Consumer Spending grew less than expected, up 0.4% m/m in June. Spending grew by 0.1% in May
    • The Swiss National Bank has taken 50 bln francs of losses on its purchases of euro, due to the Swiss franc's sharp appreciation
  • Yield Check:
    • France, 10-yr OAT: +4 bps to 0.98%
    • Germany, 10-yr Bund: +3 bps to 0.65%
    • Greece, 10-yr note: -7 bps to 11.85%
    • Italy, 10-yr BTP: -1 bp to 1.82%
    • Portugal, 10-yr note: +7 bps to 2.44%
    • Spain, 10-yr ODE: -2 bps to 1.89%
    • U.K., 10-yr Gilt: -2 bps to 1.97%

8:26 am Avolon Holdings' Board announced it is considering two unsolicited offers for 100% of equity at $30/share and $31/share respectively (AVOL) : Co announces the commencement of a cash tender offer by Bohai Leasing Co for 20% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Avolon at a price of $26/share.

  • Also, the co has received a non-binding unsolicited offer from an independent third party to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Avolon at a price of $30/share 
  • As required by the terms of the Agreement, Avolon informed Bohai of the unsolicited offer. After Avolon informed Bohai of this offer, Bohai submitted a non-binding offer to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Avolon at a price of $31/share. 
  • Avolon's Board of Directors has not accepted or rejected either offer and continues to carefully evaluate these offers with its financial and legal advisors and has authorized its financial advisors to continue negotiations with both offerors regarding their respective offers.

8:25 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
:JASN +28.9%, SKYW +18.3%, HTCH +15.2%, YRCW +15.2%, COLM +11.7%, ZLTQ +10.9%, NSU +9.3%, ATEN +8.7%, ELLI +8.6%, CVEO +8.2%, MGI +7.9%, EXPE +7.8%, SAND +7.8%, NLNK +7.6%, MXWL +7.1%, ( selected as exclusive capacitive energy storage supplier by subsidiary of China's largest rail company, CRRC Corp), IMMR +6.7%, NGVC +6.3%, FRGI +6.1%, PXLW +5.5%, RCL +4.5%, FIX +4.1%, ( increases quarterly dividend), TRP +4%, AXL +4%, MOH +3.7%, BCOR +3.4%, (Blucora's Infospace subsidiary signs deal to distribute Bing search results and advertising content through the Infospace network of Web search properties and partner websites on desktop and mobile), WETF +3.4%, HMC +3.2%, TNP +3.2%, ISNS +3.1%, TNDM +3.1%, PFS +3.1%, AMGN +2.7%, TPX +2.3%, (appoints Barry Hytinen as EVP and CFO, effective immediately ), WU +2.3%, UHS +1.8%, AUY +1.6%, CRAY +1.4%, STX +1.4%, CATM +1.2%, CALD +1.1%, DGI +1%, RGC +1%, NWL +0.9%

M&A news: CCE +8.3% (WSJ report on merger talks) 

Other news: MXWL +17.6% (selected as exclusive capacitive energy storage supplier by subsidiary of China's largest rail company, CRRC Corp; co also reported earnings),BCOR +3.4% (signed a three-year search and advertising deal to distribute Bing results through the Infospace network; co also reported earnings),TNDM +3.1% (entered into a non-exclusive Development Agreements with Dexcom (DXCM), to integrate future generation Tandem insulin pumps with the Dexcom G5 and G6 products; co also reported earnings),ENH +2.7% to replace TMST in the S&P MidCap 400),JUNO +1.9% ( announces US FDA clearance of its INDA regarding JCAR015, to treat Adult Relapsed/Refractory Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia ),IDI +1.4% (Mitchell P. Kopin disclosed 8.2% passive stake in 13G filing),EVAR +1.3% (Lombard Medical acquires Altura Medical),SALT +1.1% (10.31% stakeholder Monarch Alternative Capital issues letter to Board; believes co should resume its asset sale program and use the proceeds to buy back stock)

Analyst comments: GPRO +4.4% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup),AIXG +4% (upgraded to Outperform at Exane BNP Paribas),WU +2.3% (upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Barclays),UA +0.7% (upgraded to Buy at Argus),ALV +0.6% (upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse),CB +0.5% (upgraded to Outperform from Mkt Perform at Bernstein)

8:23 am NewLink Genetics confirms the release of interim data tudying the VSV-ZEBOV (Ebola) vaccine candidate by Merck (MRK); data suggests that it is effective against Ebola in a large clinical trial (NLNK) :  

8:14 am Diana Shipping misses by $0.01, beats on revs (DSX) : Reports Q2 (Jun) loss of $0.19 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.18); revenues fell 10.6% year/year to $38.6 mln vs the $38.1 mln consensus.

  • Time charter revenues were $38.6 million for the second quarter of 2015, compared to $43.2 million for the same quarter of 2014.
    • The decrease in time charter revenues was mainly due to decreased time charter rates in the quarter and was partly offset by revenues derived from the increase in ownership days resulting from the enlargement of our fleet.
  • Average daily time charter equivalent was $9,613/day in the quarter, down from $12,107/day in the same quarter last year
  • Co ended the quarter with an avg. number of vessels of 40.3

8:13 am PNM Resources beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance (PNM) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.44 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.41; revenues rose 1.9% year/year to $352.88 mln vs the $352 mln single estimate.

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $1.50-1.62 vs. $1.56 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

8:13 am Merck reports interim results from its Phase 3 Study of rVSV-ZEBOV; was found to have 100 percent efficacy in a vaccination trial in Guinea (MRK) : Co announced that its investigational Ebola vaccine candidate, rVSV-ZEBOV, was found to have 100 percent efficacy in an analysis of interim data from a Phase 3 ring vaccination trial in Guinea. Preliminary conclusions from this study, which is continuing, were published on-line today in The Lancet.

  • The authors report that vaccine efficacy was 100 percent (95% confidence interval: 74.7 - 100%; p=0.0036) following vaccination with a single dose of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine. It appeared that all vaccinated individuals were protected against Ebola virus infection within 6 to 10 days of vaccination

8:11 am Stillwater Mining reports Q2 (Jun) results, misses on revs (SWC) : Reports Q2 (Jun) loss of $0.23 per share, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.10; revenues fell 25.8% year/year to $185.38 mln vs the $209.04 mln consensus.  

  • Q2 earnings were impacted by a $46.8 mln (before-tax) impairment charge against the carrying value of the Marathon mineral properties in Canad
  • The Board has authorized management to repurchase a portion of Co's outstanding convertible debentures if market conditions are appropriate. 
  • Given the current PGM market environment, Co is taking additional steps to improve operating cost structure. This plan includes reducing salary and hourly workforce resulting in expected annual savings of $10-15 mln.

8:08 am Tsakos Energy beats by $0.03, beats on revs (TNP) :

  • Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.45 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.42; revenues rose 37.0% year/year to $154 mln vs the $122.99 mln consensus. 
  • "We are particularly pleased that together with very solid results, the Company is in the fortunate position to report premium charters, accretive acquisitions and profitable sales... With the strongest tanker market since 2008 and with a larger and more advanced fleet compared to then, we expect the Company's financial performance to excel and be reflected on our bottom line and our share price going forward."

8:08 am Exxon Mobil misses by $0.11, misses on revs (XOM) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $1.00 per share, $0.11 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.11; revenues fell 33.4% year/year to $74.11 bln vs the $75.22 bln consensus

  • Downstream and Chemical segment earnings increased significantly from the second quarter of 2014, driven by higher margins, continued strong demand, and the quality of the company's product and asset mix.
  • However, higher Downstream and Chemical earnings were more than offset by the impact of weaker Upstream realizations and lower asset management gains
  • On an oil-equivalent basis, production increased 3.6 percent from the second quarter of 2014. Liquids production totaled 2.3 mln barrels per day, up 243,000 barrels per day, with project ramp-up and entitlement effects partly offset by field decline. Natural gas production was 10.1 bln cubic feet per day, down 622 mln cubic feet per day from 2014 due to regulatory restrictions in the Netherlands. Project volumes and entitlement effects offset field decline.
  • Upstream earnings were $2 bln in the second quarter of 2015, down $5.9 bln from the second quarter of 2014.
    • Lower liquids and gas realizations decreased earnings by $4.5 bln, while volume effects increased earnings by $330 mln driven by new developments. All other items decreased earnings by $1.7 bln, including the one-time $260 mln deferred income tax impact related to the tax rate increase in Alberta, Canada, and the absence of prior year asset management gains.
  • Downstream earnings were $1.5 bln, up $795 mln from the second quarter of 2014.
    • Stronger margins increased earnings by $1.1 bln. Volume and mix effects decreased earnings by $80 mln. All other items, including higher maintenance expenses, decreased earnings by $230 mln. Petroleum product sales of 5.7 mln barrels per day were 104,000 barrels per day lower than the prior year's second quarter.

8:07 am Jason Inc. reports Q2 EPS of ($0.07) vs ($0.06) estimate; revs $187.6 mln vs $187.7 mln estimate; Reaffirms full year guidance (JASN) : Co reaffirms 2015 revs $708-723 mln vs $704.03 mln consensus, Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $87 to $91 mln. On a constant currency basis, expected organic sales growth would be in the range of 2 to 4 percent.

8:06 am Phillips 66 beats by $0.02; increases quarterly dividend 12% to $0.56/share (PSX) : Reports Q2 (Jun) adj earnings of $1.83 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.81. 

  • Construction of the 100,000 BPD Sweeny Fractionator One and the 150,000 BPD Freeport LPG Export Terminal continued during the quarter. The fractionator is approximately 90 percent complete, while the LPG Terminal construction is nearly 50 percent complete. Both projects are on schedule and on budget with startup expected in the fall of 2015 and the second half of 2016, respectively. 
  • Co's worldwide refining crude utilization was 90 percent and clean product yield was 84 percent in the second quarter of 2015.
  • Increased quarterly dividend 12% to $0.56/share.

8:05 am Javelin Mortgage reports Q2 core income per share of $0.30 vs $0.26 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate with average net interest margin of 2.19% (JMI) :  

8:05 am Provident Finl beats by $0.02 (PFS) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.35 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.33. Earnings for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 were driven by year-over-year growth in both average loans outstanding and average non-interest bearing deposits, growth in non-interest income and further improvement in asset quality. These factors helped mitigate the impact of compression in the net interest margin.

8:04 am Nanosphere amends its $30 million term loan facility (NSPH) : Co as amended certain terms of its $30 million term loan facility with NSPH Funding. Under the amended terms of the loan facility, the lenders have waived the requirement that Nanopshere raise an additional $2 million in consideration of certain adjustments to the reserve requirements under the loan facility

8:04 am Royal Caribbean beats by $0.11, reports revs in-line; guides FY15 EPS above consensus (RCL) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.84 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.11 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.73; revenues rose 3.9% year/year to $2.06 bln vs the $2.06 bln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $4.65-4.75 (Prior $4.50-4.60), excluding non-recurring items, vs. $4.62 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

  • Net Yields are expected to increase in the range of 2.9% to 3.9% on a Constant-Currency basis (down 1.1% to 0.1% As-Reported). 
  • NCC excluding fuel are expected to be better than flat on a Constant-Currency basis (down approximately 2.5% As-Reported), including some increased investment in marketing activities.

8:04 am Arbor Realty Trust reports Q2 adj FFO of $0.25 vs $0.26 Cap IQ consensus; Originated $233 mln of new loans (ABR) :  

8:04 am Modine Manufacturing misses by $0.12, misses on revs; reaffirms FY16 guidance (MOD) : Reports Q1 (Jun) earnings of $0.14 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.12 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.26; revenues fell 11.8% year/year to $346.1 mln vs the $373.1 mln consensus.

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $0.75-0.82 vs. $0.78 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Reaffirms fiscal year-over-year sales flat to down 5 percent, or up 1 to 6 percent on a constant currency basis

8:03 am Berry Plastics to acquire AVINTIV for ~$2.45 bln; expected to be accretive to free cash flow and earnings (BERY) : BERY and AVINTIV Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Berry Plastics to acquire AVINTIV Inc. from private equity funds managed by The Blackstone Group LP for approximately $2.45 billion in cash on a debt-free, cash-free basis. 

  • AVINTIV Inc. is one of the world's leading developers, producers, and marketers of specialty materials used in infection prevention, personal care, and high-performance solutions. 
  • For the twelve-month period ended March 2015, AVINTIV generated pro forma revenues and adjusted EBITDA of $2.1 billion and $303 million, respectively.
  • Additionally, Berry Plastics expects to realize approximately $50 million in annual cost synergies. 
  • The proposed transaction is expected to close by the end of calendar year 2015. 
  • Berry Plastics has secured committed debt financing to fund the transaction and expects to utilize free cash flow of the combined business to reduce leverage following the transaction.
  • Additionally Berry will consider raising a modest amount of equity to result in a net debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio of approximately 5 times.

8:03 am American Axle beats by $0.04 (AXL) :

  • Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.75 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.71; revenues rose 6.0% year/year to $1.0 bln vs the $1.02 bln consensus. 
  • "AAM's second quarter financial performance was highlighted by quarterly records for sales and profit dollars, driven by sales growth that continues to outpace the industry and strong operational performance..."

8:02 am China Pharma announces that its Hainan Helpson Medical & Biotechnology subsidiary, has received $1.6 mln in government subsidies (CPHI) : The award was part a subsidy program provided by the Hainan Industry & Information Technology Department and the Hainan Provincial Department of Finance, that was initiated in 2014

8:02 am Quintiles Transnational prices its underwritten secondary public offering of 7 mln shares of its common stock by selling shareholders at $77.85/share (Q) : Quintiles will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the shares by the Selling Shareholders in this offering

8:02 am Ameren misses by $0.03, misses on revs; guides FY15 EPS in-line (AEE) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.58 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.61; revenues fell 1.3% year/year to $1.4 bln vs the $1.44 bln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.45-2.65, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.55 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

8:01 am Buckeye Partners misses by $0.10, misses on revs (BPL) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.71 per share, $0.10 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.81; revenues fell 56.0% year/year to $796.78 mln vs the $1.26 bln consensus.

8:01 am XCel Brands prices its 1.8 mln share common stock offering at $9/share (XELB) :  

8:01 am Seagate Tech beats by $0.11, reports revs in-line (STX) : Reports Q4 (Jun) earnings of $0.77 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.11 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.66; revenues fell 11.3% year/year to $2.93 bln vs the $2.92 bln consensus.

8:01 am Q2 Holdings acquires Centrix Solutions for $20 mln (QTWO) : Co announced the acquisition of Lincoln, Nebraska-based Centrix Solutions, a privately-held company that provides financial institutions with products that detect fraud, manage risk and simplify compliance.

  • Co acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of Centrix in exchange for $20 million cash payable at closing. The former shareholders of Centrix also have the right to receive in the aggregate up to an additional $9 million based upon the achievement of certain milestones and the continued employment of certain shareholders

8:00 am Papa John's increases quarterly dividend 25% to $0.175/share from $0.14/share (PZZA) :  

7:56 am S&P futures vs fair value: -2.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.30. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade near their pre-market lows after slipping to these levels within the past hour. The S&P 500 futures hover two points below fair value after trading inside a seven-point range throughout the night.

Similar to equity futures, Treasuries hold modest losses with the 10-yr yield higher by a basis point at 2.27%.

The Q2 Employment Cost Index will be released at 8:30 ET (Briefing.com consensus 0.6%) while the Chicago PMI for July (consensus 50.5) will be reported at 9:45 ET. The day's data will be topped off with the 10:00 ET release of the final reading of the Michigan Sentiment index for July (consensus 94.0).

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Amgen (AMGN 175.00, +3.31): +1.9% after beating estimates and raising its guidance. 
  • ArcelorMittal (MT 8.98, +0.11): +1.2% following better than expected results. 
  • Electronic Arts (EA 70.55, -1.75): -2.4% after cautious earnings/revenue guidance masked better than expected results. 
  • Expedia (EXPE 116.40, +8.79): +8.2% in reaction to results that may not be comparable to estimates. 
  • FireEye (FEYE 45.94, -1.82): -3.8% despite beating estimates and guiding in-line with expectations. 
  • Honda Motor (HMC 33.76, +2.11): +6.7% after beating estimates and guiding below analyst expectations. 
  • LinkedIn (LNKD 215.00, -12.15): -5.4% after the company's disappointing revenue guidance overshadowed better than expected results. 
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei +0.3%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.6%, and China's Shanghai Composite -1.1% 
    • In economic data: 
      • Japan's June Household Spending -3.0% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; prior +2.4%); -2.0% year-over-year (expected +1.7%; prior +4.8%). June National CPI +0.4% year-over-year (expected +0.3%; prior +0.5%). July Tokyo CPI +0.2% year-over-year (expected +0.2%; prior +0.3%). June National Core CPI +0.1% (expected 0.0%; prior +0.1%). July Tokyo Core CPI -0.1% (expected 0.0%; prior +0.1%). June unemployment rate 3.4% (expected 3.3%; prior 3.3%). June Construction Orders +15.4% year-over-year (prior -7.4%). June Housing Starts +16.3% year-over-year (expected +2.9%; prior +5.8%) 
      • Hong Kong's June Retail Sales -0.4% year-over-year (prior -0.1%) 
      • South Korea's June Industrial Production +2.3% month-over-month (expected +0.1%; prior -1.6%); +1.2% year-over-year (expected -1.0%; prior -3.0%). Separately, Retail Sales -3.7% month-over-month (expected -0.1%; prior -0.1%) and August Manufacturing BSI Index 73 (prior 67) 
      • Australia's Q2 PPI +0.3% quarter-over-quarter (expected +0.6%; prior +0.5%); +1.1% year-over-year (prior +0.7%). June Housing Credit +0.6% (prior +0.5%) and June Private Sector Credit +0.4% month-over-month (expected +0.5%; prior +0.5%) 
    • In news: 
      • Japanese officials attributed the unexpected decline in Household Spending to poor weather in June. For the record, daily air temperatures in Tokyo oscillated around historical averages throughout the month.
  • Major European indices trade in mixed fashion. UK's FTSE -0.1%, France's CAC +0.4%, and Germany's DAX +0.1%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB +0.4% and Spain's IBEX -0.6% 
    • Economic data was plentiful: 
      • Eurozone July CPI +0.2%, as expected, while core CPI +1.0% (consensus 0.8%; prior 0.8%). Separately, the Unemployment Rate held at 11.1%, as expected 
      • Germany's June Retail Sales -2.3% month-over-month (expected 0.3%; prior 0.4%); +5.1% year-over-year (consensus 4.0%; last -1.0%) 
      • France's June Consumer Spending +0.4% month-over-month (consensus 0.6%; last 0.1%) while June PPI -0.2% month-over-month (last -0.5%) 
      • Italy's June PPI -0.2% month-over-month (prior 0.2%); -2.3% year-over-year (last -1.9%). Separately, July CPI -0.1% month-over-month (consensus 0.0%; prior 0.2%); +0.2% year-over-year (expected 0.3%; last 0.2%). Also of note, June Unemployment Rate rose to 12.7% from 12.5% (expected 12.3%) 
      • Spain's Business Confidence slipped to -0.9 from -0.1 (expected 1.5) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • The International Monetary Fund will not take part in another Greek bailout unless the package includes an explicit agreement regarding debt relief, according to reports.

7:51 am Telephone & Data reports Q2 (Jun) results, misses on revs; guides FY15 revs in-line but lowers top end of range (TDS) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.21 per share, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.02; revenues rose 3.2% year/year to $1.28 bln vs the $1.3 bln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees FY15 revs of $5.14-5.29 bln vs. $5.21 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, prior guidance $5.145-5.39 bln.

7:49 am Viacom acquires a 50% interest in Prism TV Private Limited for $153 mln (VIAB) : Co announced that it has acquired a 50% interest in Prism TV Private Limited for 9.4BN rupees (approximately $153M USD). Prism TV owns and operates regional entertainment channels in India, including ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla, ETV Oriya and ETV Gujarati, all of which were recently rebranded under the 'COLORS' umbrella.

7:43 am Scorpio Bulkers announces the purchase of 1.05 mln shares of its common stock by Scorpio Services Holding Limited in the open market, at an avg. price of $1.88/share (SALT) : Scorpio Services Holding Limited now owns 5.25% of common shares outstanding

7:41 am Public Service beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides FY15 EPS in-line (PEG) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.57 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.54; revenues rose 2.9% year/year to $2.31 bln vs the $2.25 bln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.80-2.95 vs. $2.91 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate and previous guidance of $2.75-2.95.

7:40 am Overnight Treasury Summary (BONDX) : Treasuries Pull Back Ahead of Q2 Employment Cost Index

  • The Treasury complex pulled back overnight with the losses focused in the belly of the yield curve. While we have spilled much ink on the curve-flattening trend of the past three weeks, we have not mentioned the resistance milestones in sight for the 2-year yield. Overnight, the 2-year yield hit its highest level since June 17th. Were the yield to touch 0.82%, that would be its highest level since 2010. The 30-year bond was unchanged overnight as WTI crude fell 1.61% to 47.74/bbl
  • Yield Check:
    • 2-yr: +1 bp to 0.74%
    • 5-yr: +2 bps to 1.64%
    • 10-yr: +1 bp to 2.27%
    • 30-yr: unch at 2.95%
  • International News:
    • The eurozone's CPI grew 0.2% in the year to July, inline with with expectations. Core CPI grew a greater-than-expected 1.0% y/y in July versus 0.8% growth in June
      • German Retail Sales unexpectedly fell 2.3% m/m in June versus expectations for a gain
      • Spanish unemployment declined from 24.5% to 22.5%
      • French Consumer Spending grew less than expected, up 0.4% m/m in June. Spending grew by 0.1% in May
      • The Swiss National Bank has taken 50 bln francs of losses on its purchases of euro, due to the Swiss franc's sharp appreciation
    • The Bank of Russia cut its main policy rate to 11.00% from 11.50%, as expected. The ruble has been suffering lately due to renewed pressure on the oil market
    • In Japan, Household Spending fell a worse-than-expected 3.0% m/m in June. While the National Core CPI unexpectedly grew 0.1% y/y in June, the Tokyo region's Core CPI unexpectedly dropped 0.1% y/y in July
      • Japan's unemployment rate rose to 3.4% in June versus forecasts for no change at 3.3%
      • Housing Starts jumped 16.3% y/y, much better than expectations and the 5.8% growth last month
  • Data out Today:
    • Q2 Employment Cost Index (08:30 ET)
    • July Chicago PMI (09:45 ET)
    • July Michigan Sentiment -- Final Estimate (10:00 ET)

7:36 am Realogy misses by $0.10, reports revs in-line (RLGY) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.66 per share, $0.10 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.76; revenues rose 9.2% year/year to $1.65 bln vs the $1.66 bln consensus. YoY revenue growth was driven by higher homesale transaction volume.

  • "Looking ahead to the third quarter of 2015, we expect to see homesale transaction volume gains in the range of 7% to 10% year-over-year on a company-wide basis," said Anthony E. Hull, executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer. "Based on our closed and open sales activity in June and July, we expect third quarter homesale transaction sides to be up 5% to 7% year-over-year and average homesale price to increase 2% to 3% for RFG and NRT combined."

7:34 am CBOE Holdings beats by $0.04, beats on revs (CBOE) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.54 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.50; revenues rose 3.3% year/year to $148.7 mln vs the $142.56 mln consensus. This revenue increase primarily reflects an increase of $3.7 mln in transaction fees and $3.8 mln in other revenue, offset somewhat by a decrease of $1.4 mln in access fees and $1.1 mln in regulatory fees. The increase in other revenue reflects higher regulatory fines assessed to trading permit holders resulting from disciplinary actions. Regulatory fines are only used to offset regulatory expenses.

  • CBOE reaffirmed its guidance for the 2015 fiscal year; highlights:
    • Core expenses for the 2015 fiscal year are expected to be in the range of $190.0 million to $194.0 million.
    • Capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of $37.0 million to $40.0 million.

7:33 am WTI crude oil futures are trading lower this morning following comments from OPEC overnight; OPEC reported that it isn't ready to cut production just yet (USO) :

  • These comments keep global oil oversupply a key concern 
  • Remember, in the last two meetings, in which it left oil output unchanged at 30 mln barrels per day, OPEC made clear that they want to focus on market share, instead of being the traditional swing producer that balances the market out.
  • Front-month WTI crude oil fell as low as $47.35/barrel overnight and is currently -1.6% at $47.74/barrel.

7:33 am Heartland Payment Systems beats by $0.02, beats on revs; guides FY15 midpoints above consensus (HPY) :

  • Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.72 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.70; revenues rose 27.9% year/year to $203.9 mln vs the $194.62 mln consensus. 
  • Co issues upside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.82-2.87 vs. $2.82 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $795-805 mln vs. $795.52 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • "This was the most profitable quarter in Heartland's history, with major improvements in a number of our key operating metrics. The addition of productive new relationship managers contributed to another quarter of record new margin installed, and we not only accelerated the growth rate in installs, but in June also surpassed the $8 million mark for the first time ever. Combined with single-digit net volume attrition, we achieved double-digit card processing net revenue growth. Non-card revenues grew even faster, with acquisitions significantly enhancing the strong organic growth achieved in the quarter."

7:33 am Virtus Investment Partners beats by $0.06, misses on revs (VRTS) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $2.21 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $2.15; revenues fell 11.6% year/year to $99.65 mln vs the $100.81 mln consensus.

  • Assets Under Management of $52.4 Billion at June 30, 2015 Compared with $60.1 Billion at June 30, 2014

7:33 am Asian Markets Close: Japan's Nikkei +0.3%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.6%; China's Shanghai Composite -1.1% (:SUMRX) : Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region closed the week on a winning note and with strong gains in the case of smaller markets like Indonesia (+1.9%) and Thailand (+1.8%). China's Shanghai Composite was an exception as it closed out a terrible month with a 1.1% decline.

Economic data

  • Japan
    • June Household Spending -3.0% month-over-month (expected -0.5%; prior +2.4%); -2.0% year-over-year (expected +1.7%; prior +4.8%)
    • June National CPI +0.4% year-over-year (expected +0.3%; prior +0.5%)
      • July Tokyo CPI +0.2% year-over-year (expected +0.2%; prior +0.3%)
    • June National Core CPI +0.1% (expected 0.0%; prior +0.1%)
      • July Tokyo Core CPI -0.1% (expected 0.0%; prior +0.1%)
    • June unemployment rate 3.4% (expected 3.3%; prior 3.3%)
    • June Construction Orders +15.4% year-over-year (prior -7.4%)
    • June Housing Starts +16.3% year-over-year (expected +2.9%; prior +5.8%)
  • Hong Kong
    • June Retail Sales -0.4% year-over-year (prior -0.1%)
  • South Korea
    • June Industrial Production +2.3% month-over-month (expected +0.1%; prior -1.6%); +1.2% year-over-year (expected -1.0%; prior -3.0%)
    • Retail Sales -3.7% month-over-month (expected -0.1%; prior -0.1%)
    • August Manufacturing BSI Index 73 (prior 67)
  • Australia
    • Q2 PPI +0.3% quarter-over-quarter (expected +0.6%; prior +0.5%); +1.1% year-over-year (prior +0.7%)
    • June Housing Credit +0.6% (prior +0.5%)
    • June Private Sector Credit +0.4% month-over-month (expected +0.5%; prior +0.5%)
Equity Markets
  • Japan's Nikkei increased 0.3% and closed at its highs for the day. The modest gains followed a large batch of economic reports that included some disappointing household spending data for June. The technology (+1.4%) financials (+0.7%), and industrials (+0.4%) sectors provided leadership. NEC Corp (+9.1%), Kansai Electric Power (+8.0%), and FUJIFILM Holdings (+7.9%) topped the list of individual winners. Nicherei Corp (-9.0%), Sumitomo Heavy Industries (-6.4%), and Mitsubishi Motors (-5.0%) paced the decliners. Out of the 225 index members, 137 ended higher, 76 finished lower and 12 were unchanged. For the week, the Nikkei gained 0.2% and for the month it was up 1.7%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 0.6%, scoring the bulk of its gains in a closing volley of buying interest that left it near its highs for the session. Galaxy Entertainment (+5.6%), Sands China (+4.3%), and Power Assets Holdings (+3.1%) were the best-performing stocks while Lenovo Group (-2.7%), Li & Fung (-2.6%), and Cathay Pacific Airways (-1.9%) were the worst. Out of the 50 index members, 31 ended higher, 17 finished lower, and 2 were unchanged. For the week, the Hang Seng declined 2.0% and for the month it was down 6.2%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite declined 1.1%, suffering most of its losses in the final hour of action. Securities regulators are reportedly looking into the influence of automated trading on market activity, according to Reuters. For the month, the Shanghai Composite declined 13.4%.
  • India's Sensex increased 1.5% and finished near its highs for the day. The gains were paced by the health care (+3.3%), consumer discretionary (+1.7%), energy (+1.3%), and financials (+1.1%) sectors. State Bank of India (+5.2%), Coal India (+4.5%), and Lupin (+4.3%) topped the list of winners. Bharat Heavy Electricals (-3.0%), NTPC (-0.6%), and Tata Steel (-0.5%) paced a handful of losers. Out of the 30 index members, 25 ended higher and 5 finished lower. For the week, the Sensex was flat and for the month it was up 1.2%.
  • Australia's S&P/ASX 200 increased 0.5%, scoring its third consecutive gain on the back of gains in the financial sector. For the week, the S&P/ASX 200 increased 2.4% and for the month it was up 4.3%.
  • Regional advancers: South Korea +0.6%, Taiwan +0.2%, Malaysia +1.4%, Indonesia +1.9%, Thailand +1.8%, Philippines +0.5%.
  • Regional decliners: Singapore -1.5%, Vietnam -0.9%
FX
  • USD/CNY unch at 6.2097
  • USD/INR +0.1% at 64.1125
  • USD/JPY +0.1% at 124.26

7:33 am Riocan REIT will undertake a strategic review and explore various strategic alternatives regarding its U.S. operations; reports earnings (RIOCF) :

  • Co reported Q2 Operating Funds From Operations of $0.43 per Unit vs $0.42 per Unit year ago.
  • Given that RioCan views the market in the U.S. as having become more competitive as capitalization rates have compressed and more investors with low costs of capital have entered it, RioCan has determined to undertake a strategic review of its U.S. operations. To assist with this strategic review, RioCan has engaged Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets. RioCan has received approval from its Board of Trustees to explore various strategic alternatives regarding its U.S. operations. These strategic alternatives will include, but are not limited to, continuing to operate and invest in the U.S. portfolio, the sale of some or all of its properties in the U.S., and other strategic joint venture alternatives. RioCan is in the early stages of its review and there can be no assurance that any transaction will occur.
  • As at June 30, 2015, Target Canada had disclaimed 18 leases in properties owned by RioCan. Subsequent to the quarter end, one additional lease was disclaimed by Target Canada. The remaining seven leases that were not disclaimed have been assigned to new tenants (six to Lowes Canada, one to Canadian Tire). The new tenants assumed all obligations including the rental obligations on the closing date of the respective assignments. RioCan is actively in discussion with potential retailers to backfill the vacant premises.

7:31 am Gildan Activewear misses by $0.02, misses on revs; guides Q4 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (GIL) : Reports Q3 (Jun) adj earnings of $0.42 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.44; revenues rose 2.9% year/year to $714.2 mln vs the $755.94 mln consensus.

  • Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.51-0.53, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.58 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $700 mln vs. $755.01 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • The Company announced that Rhodri Harries will be assuming the role of Executive Vice-President, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of Gildan effective August 17, 2015. The Company announced the appointment of Harries in its press release dated April 29, 2015. Laurence Sellyn will continue with the Company for a period of time after August 17 in order to ensure an orderly transition of his responsibilities to Harries.

7:31 am Mizuho Financial reports Q1 results (MFG) :

  • Reports Q1 Ordinary Income of JPY 796 mln compared to prior year of JPY 704 mln.
  • Q1 Ordinary Profits rose 14.7% to JPY 264 mln.
  • Net Income was JPY 6.22 per share compared to JPY 6.09 per share in prior year.
  • Reports Net Interest Income of JPY 255 mln compared to JPY 263 mln in prior year.
  • Reports Net Trading Income of JPY 49 mln compared to JPY 61 mln in prior year.

7:31 am NVIDIA announces a a voluntary recall of its Shield 8-inch tablets, sold between July 2014 and July 2015; batteries can overheat, posing a fire hazard (NVDA) : Co announced a voluntary recall of its SHIELD 8-inch tablets that were sold between July 2014 and July 2015, which the company will replace. Co has determined that the battery in these tablets can overheat, posing a fire hazard

7:30 am SunOpta to acquire Sunrise Holdings for ~$450 mln; Transaction expected to be accretive to SunOpta's fiscal 2016 Adjusted Earnings and Cash Earnings on a per share basis (share halted) (STKL) : The co announced it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sunrise Holdings from an investor group led by affiliates of Paine & Partners LLC. Sunrise Growers is a supplier of private label domestic and imported conventional and organic frozen fruit and complements SunOpta's existing frozen fruit and fruit ingredient businesses. Sunrise Growers generates approximately $300 million in annualized revenues, supplying a diverse base of retail and foodservice customers from its facilities in California, Kansas and Mexico.

  • The acquisition of Sunrise Growers fits SunOpta's disciplined acquisition strategy and is expected to leverage the company's integrated field to table business model and enhance its overall margin profile. The transaction is valued at approximately $450 million
  • SunOpta expects to realize over $10 million in procurement, logistical and other operating synergies by the end of 2017. The addition of Sunrise Growers is expected to be approximately $0.04 and $0.05 accretive to Adjusted Earnings Per Share in fiscal 2016 and 2017, respectively, which excludes transaction and integration-related costs and certain one-time purchase accounting expenses. 
  • The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Adjusted Cash Earnings Per Share by approximately $0.10 and $0.11 in fiscal 2016 and 2017, respectively, which excludes transaction and integration-related costs. SunOpta expects to complete the transaction in the fall of 2015, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

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

  • Amarin Corporation plc (AMRN) announced the presentation of findings from two studies, a retrospective study in which patients were switched from an EPA plus DHA combination product to EPA-only Vascepa (icosapent ethyl) as well as a sub-analysis of the ANCHOR clinical trial, at two key cardiovascular meetings. The EPA+DHA to EPA-only switch study showed a reduction in both triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels with EPA-only therapy in most of these high-risk statin-treated patients. The ANCHOR sub-analysis showed that icosapent ethyl increased EPA in plasma and red blood cells in a linear, dose-dependent fashion consistent with its triglyceride-lowering effect
  • PROS (PRO) announced it has again successfully completed the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16 SOC2 Type II independent annual audit. PROS has also certified compliance with both the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (:HIPAA) and U.S.-European Union (EU) Safe Harbor program

7:27 am Vivendi announces it has agreed on a five-year development plan with the senior management of Universal Music Group (VIVHY) : Key to its strategy, Lucian Grainge CBE, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of UMG, has committed to UMG and the Vivendi Group for a further five years, until at least 2020. Co stated that "UMG is at the heart of Vivendi's strategy to refocus the Group on media and content creation and to be the preferred partner for all creative talent."

7:25 am Columbus McKinnon misses by $0.04, misses on revs (CMCO) : Reports Q1 (Jun) earnings of $0.34 per share, $0.04 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.38; revenues fell 4.7% year/year to $136.2 mln vs the $139.56 mln

  • Achieved gross margin of 32.0%; Adjusted gross margin of 32.4% marks 19th consecutive quarter of year-over-year margin improvement. consensus. 
  • Backlog was $84.9 mln at June 30, 2015, down slightly from $85.2 mln at March 31, 2015. Backlog from longer-lead time projects, which are expected to ship after September 30, 2015, was $32.4 mln, or 38% of total backlog, compared with $34.0 mln at March 31, 2015 and $27.3 mln at June 30, 2014. Backlog is not necessarily a leading indicator of sales for the Company due to the large proportion of orders that are booked and shipped within the quarter.
  • "We are encouraged with the progress we are making despite the rapid decline in energy markets globally, the normalizing of growth in China, the weak Euro and continued sociopolitical uncertainty around the world. Against these headwinds, we are leveraging our acquisitions to take market share, building on our successes in our targeted markets and continuing to invest in growth initiatives in emerging markets, especially China and the surrounding regions, as well as Latin America. As a result of this and our cost discipline, we believe we can achieve moderate sales growth in fiscal 2016 with a higher rate of growth to the bottom line."

7:19 am Sumitomo Mitsui reports Q1 (Jun) Results (SMFG) :

  • In the three months ended June 30, 2015, gross profit increased by 87.5 billion year-on-year to JPY 796.0 billion. This was mainly due to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation realizing gains on equity index-linked investment trusts and increasing gains on bonds, as well as SMBC Nikko Securities, Inc. performing well in equity brokerage and foreign bonds sales, and Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company increasing credit card revenue.
  • Net Interest Income JPY 433 bln compared to JPY 394 bln in prior year
  • Net fees and commissions were JPY 238 bln compared to JPY 218 bln in prior year
  • Net trading income was JPY 52 bln compared to JPY 43.7 bln in prior year
  • Consolidated RoE was 15.1% compared to 14.2% in prior year period
  • The consolidated earnings forecast announced on May 13, 2015 remains unchanged.

7:10 am WisdomTree beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (WETF) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.18 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.17; revenues rose 85.0% year/year to $81.6 mln vs the $81.42 mln consensus.

  • Total revenues increased 84.8% from the second quarter of 2014 and 35.6% compared to the first quarter of 2015 to a record $81.6 million primarily due to higher average AUM from strong inflows.
  • Gross margin for our U.S. listed ETFs, which is our total revenues less fund management and administration expenses and third party sharing arrangements, was 86.4% in the second quarter of 2015 as compared to 82.4% in the second quarter of 2014 and 83.2% in the first quarter of 2015. The increase was primarily due to higher average AUM.

7:09 am NJ Resources misses by $0.02; guides FY15 EPS in-line; increases EPS guidance (NJR) : Reports Q3 (Jun) earnings of $0.03 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.05.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $1.70-1.80 vs. $1.73 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, prior guidance $1.65-1.75.

7:08 am Enbridge beats by $0.13; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance (ENB) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of CC$0.60 per share, excluding non-recurring items, CC$0.13 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of CC$0.47. Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of C$2.05-2.35, excluding non-recurring items, vs. C$2.16 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Enbridge announced 2015 available cash flow from operations guidance of $3.30 to $4.00 per common share

7:08 am Moneygram beats by $0.08, beats on revs; reaffirms FY15 outlook; names W. Alexander Holmes CEO effective January 1, 2016 (MGI) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.23 per share, $0.08 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.15; revenues fell 3.7% year/year to $358.8 mln vs the $346.31 mln consensus.

  • The Company's outlook for 2015 is unchanged. For the full-year 2015, the Company estimates approximately flat constant currency revenue growth. For Adjusted EBITDA, the Company estimates a decline of approximately 8 to 12 percent on a constant currency basis for the full-year 2015. The Company anticipates improving to year-over-year double-digit constant currency revenue and Adjusted EBITDA growth in the fourth quarter.
  • The co separately announced that its Board of Directors has chosen W. Alexander Holmes to serve as MoneyGram's next chief executive officer, beginning on January 1, 2016. He will succeed MoneyGram chairman and CEO Pamela H. Patsley, who on the same date will assume the role of executive chairman for a minimum of two years. Holmes, currently the Company's executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief operating officer, will join the MoneyGram Board by the start of his tenure as CEO.

7:07 am Legg Mason beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (LM) : Reports Q1 (Jun) earnings of $1.14 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.13; revenues rose 2.1% year/year to $708.6 mln vs the $702.74 mln consensus. 

  • AUM decreased to $699.2 billion at June 30, 2015 compared with $702.7 billion at March 31, 2015, driven by $7.1 billion in negative market performance. This was partially offset by long-term net inflows of $1.3 billion as well as $2.3 billion of liquidity inflows. AUM was down 1% from $704.3 billion at June 30, 2014.
  • Global Distribution delivered solid performance for the period, reporting positive net flows for the seventh straight quarter. 
  • Legg Mason filed an application with the SEC to offer index-based ETF vehicles that complement  investment affiliates' expertise.
  • Earlier this week LM announced the acquisition of RARE Infrastructure, Ltd., expanding capabilities in a growing asset class that meets important client needs, including growth, income and capital preservation.

7:06 am TransCanada beats by $0.04, beats on revs (TRP) : Reports Q2 (Jun) comparable earnings of CC$0.56 per share, excluding non-recurring items, CC$0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of CC$0.52; revenues rose 17.8% year/year to CC$2.63 bln vs the CC$2.42 bln consensus. Higher earnings from the Canadian Mainline, NGTL System, Keystone, Bruce Power and Eastern Power were partially offset by lower contributions from U.S. Power and Western Power.

7:03 am KCG Holdings reports Q2 (Jun) results, misses on revs (KCG) : Reports Q2 (Jun) loss of $0.18 per share, including special items, not comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.08; revenues fell 16.6% year/year to $261.9 mln vs the $267.1 mln consensus. Included in the $57.1 mln pre-tax loss is an accelerated compensation expense of $28.8 mln as a result of stockholder-approved changes made to the vesting provisions of outstanding annual equity awards; debt extinguishment charges comprising a debt "make-whole" premium and a writedown of capitalized debt costs of $16.5 mln and $8.5 mln, respectively, as a result of the early redemption of the $305 mln 8.25% Senior Secured Notes; and other real estate related charges of $6.3 mln. Excluding these items, on a non-GAAP basis, second quarter 2015 pre-tax income from continuing operations was $3.1 mln.

  • During the second quarter of 2015, consolidated U.S. equity share and dollar volume continued to decline quarter over quarter along with realized volatility for the S&P 500. In particular, retail trading activity declined approximately 10 percent market-wide amid continued strong competition and a narrowing of spreads. KCG's results were augmented by solid contributions from Asian equities, U.S. commodities and European fixed income, partially offset by U.S. fixed income.

7:03 am Ruth's Hospitality Group beats by $0.03, beats on revs (RUTH) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.22 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.19; revenues rose 9.7% year/year to $91.04 mln vs the $88.91 mln consensus.

FY15 Outlook

  • Cost of goods sold of 31.5-32.5% of restaurant sales, inclusive of beef inflation of 3-6% year-over-year in the second half of 2015
  • Restaurant operating expenses of 46.5-48.5% of restaurant sales
  • Marketing and advertising costs of 2.9-3.1% of total revenues
  • General and administrative expenses of $27.5-29.5 mln
  • Capital expenditures of $20-23 mln

7:02 am ITT Industries beats by $0.10, beats on revs; guides FY15 EPS below consensus (ITT) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.69 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.10 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.59; revenues fell 5.2% year/year to $628.2 mln vs the $610.73 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.45-2.55, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.55 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Organic revenue is now expected to range from down 3 percent to down 1 percent, reflecting improved project execution at Industrial Process, which is expected to be more than offset by weakness at Interconnect Solutions and weaker second-half markets due to macroeconomic uncertainty.

7:01 am Moneygram announces Board decision to appoint W. Alexander Holmes as co's next CEO, effective on January 1, 2016 (MGI) : Holmes will succeed MoneyGram chairman and CEO Pamela H. Patsley, who on the same date will assume the role of executive chairman for a minimum of two years. Holmes, currently the Company's executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief operating officer, will join the MoneyGram Board by the start of his tenure as CEO

7:00 am Horizon Pharma announces receiving a Notice of Allowance from the USPTO for its patent covering Pennsaid; patent expiration expected in July of 2029 (HZNP) :  

7:00 am BE Aerospace plans to initiate repurchases under its previously authorized share repurchase program (BEAV) :  

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

  • PVH Corp (PVH) announced that it has entered into a new employment agreement with Fred Gehring, currently Executive Chairman, Tommy Hilfiger, and Vice Chairman, PVH Corp. The agreement provides for Gehring to relinquish his role as Executive Chairman, Tommy Hilfiger. Gehring will continue in his role of Vice Chairman, PVH, serving as an advisor to Manny Chirico, PVH's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and the PVH Board on matters related to PVH's business and growth strategies
  • ZKenergy Science & Technology announced that the company has won the lawsuit against Wuxi Suntech Power (STPFQ) over contract disputes and received the Notice of Judgment on July 23, 2015, in reference to Case (2014) Sushang First Trial-00022. ZKenergy filed a lawsuit against Wuxi Suntech on September 1, 2014, alleging that the latter failed to perform its obligations under the terms of Solar Module Sales Contract and the supplementary agreement, and requiring Wuxi Suntech to restitute the payment totaling 206 million RMB and to be liable for breach of the agreements. ZKenergy received the notice that the court had agreed to hear the case on September 3, 2014. Wuxi Suntech filed a counterclaim to ZKenergy's claim on December 25, 2014, requiring ZKenergy to pay its loss of 246.6 million RMB.
  • Petrleo Brasileiro (PBR) announced that the provisional ban to block TKK Engenharia Ltda. has been cancelled, due to the shelving of administrative proceedings by the Office of the Federal Controller General

6:37 am Immunogen misses by $0.02, misses on revs; guides FY16 revs in-line (IMGN) : Reports Q4 (Jun) loss of $0.35 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.33); revenues rose 121.1% year/year to $12.6 mln vs the $15.71 mln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY16, sees FY16 revs of $70-80 mln vs. $77.03 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. sees net loss to be between $120 million and $125 million; its cash used in operations to be between $100 million and $105 million; and its capital expenditures to be between $13 million and $15 million.
  • ImmunoGen's wholly owned mirvetuximab soravtansine demonstrates notable single-agent activity in early clinical testing for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer; Company plans to initiate later-stage testing this year.
  • Upcoming Events: Kadcyla: Roche (RHHBY) expects to apply for marketing approval in 2016 for second-line treatment of HER2-positive advanced gastric cancer using the results from its GATSBY trial, if positive.  Co expects up to three partner compounds to advance into potentially pivotal Phase 2 or Phase 3 testing in 2016

6:36 am Newell Rubbermaid beats by $0.02, beats on revs; guides FY15 EPS in-line (NWL) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.64 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.62; revenues rose 4.0% year/year to $1.56 bln vs the $1.54 bln consensus.

  • Co raises guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.14-2.20 vs. $2.16 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, up from prior guidance of $2.10-2.18. Raises core sales growth guidance to 4.0-5.0% from 3.5-4.5%. 
  • "Core sales grew in all five of our segments and in all four geographic regions. Our Win Bigger businesses grew 6.5 percent, led by our global Writing business which grew core sales over ten percent. Momentum continued to build in our Baby & Parenting business, which also had a strong quarter with core growth of 6.0 percent. We are driving accelerated growth and earnings performance as a result of strengthened innovation, increased investment in brands, aggressive cost programs and excellent commercial execution."

6:33 am Aon beats by $0.01, misses on revs (AON) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $1.31 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.30; revenues fell 3.9% year/year to $2.8 bln vs the $2.95 bln consensus, driven primarily by a 7% unfavorable impact from foreign currency translation, partially offset by 2% organic revenue growth and a 1% increase in commissions and fees related to acquisitions, net of divestitures.

  • "Despite macroeconomic headwinds, we expect solid performance across each of our four key financial metrics for the second half of the year, including significant free cash flow growth, placing us firmly on track towards our goal of delivering $2.3 billion or more of free cash flow for the full year 2017."

6:25 am Medivation declares a two-for-one stock split of its common stock to be effected through a stock dividend; confirms Astellas' (ALPMY) Q1 results (MDVN) : The co confirmed that today its alliance partner Astellas Pharma (ALPMY) reported its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2015. Astellas reported, among other things, that U.S. net sales of XTANDI capsules were $298.4 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, an increase of 33% above the reported net sales of $224.0 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2015. Based on information provided by Astellas, approximately half of the $74.4 million increase in net sales was the result of higher volume, which included an increase in underlying demand (low to mid-teens percent growth, as a percentage of the March quarter sales), and the remaining increase was related to price elements, including changes in the gross-to-net discount. Based on information provided by Astellas, XTANDI U.S. net sales of $298.4 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, included a favorable adjustment related to changes in prior period estimates of deductions against gross sales, as recorded by Astellas, of approximately $2.8 million.

  • In its release, Astellas also reported net sales of XTANDI outside of the U.S. for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, which Medivation estimates at approximately $188 million, 42% higher than the ex-U.S. net sales of approximately $133 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. U.S. dollar equivalent net sales for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, were adversely affected by a strengthening U.S. dollar vs. other currencies by approximately $3 million or 2% compared with net sales in the quarter ended March 31, 2015.
  • Separately, Medivation announces that its Board of Directors has declared a two-for-one stock split of Medivation's common stock to be effected through a stock dividend. Shareholders of record as of August 13, 2015, will receive one additional share of Medivation common stock, par value $0.01, for each share they hold as of the record date. The share distribution is scheduled for September 15, 2015.

6:16 am Sharp to form a business alliance with Hisense HK for its American LCD TV business (SHCAY) : Co announces that, with regard to its LCD television business in the Americas, it will form a business alliance with Hisense HK, shift to a business where it will license its brands to the LCD televisions offered by Hisense HK in the Americas market, and transfer its shares in SEMEX, Sharp's Mexican LCD television manufacturing subsidiary, to Hisense's subsidiaries, Hisense Electric and Hisense USA.

  • The shift to the new business model is expected to take place in January 2016. As a result of this shift, losses resulting from the transfer of SEMEX shares and costs of rightsizing the workforce associated with the shift to the new value chain are expected to be incurred on or after the first quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2016.

6:08 am Halozyme Therapeutics and Eisai (ESALY) sign collaboration agreement to investigate eribulin and PEGPH20 in advanced breast cancer (HALO) : The co's announced that they have signed a clinical collaboration agreement to evaluate Eisai's anticancer agent eribulin mesylate (brand name: Halaven, "eribulin") in combination with Halozyme's investigational new drug PEGPH20 (PEGylated recombinant human hyaluronidase) in first line HER2- negative advanced breast cancer. Eribulin, a halichondrin class microtubule dynamics inhibitor with a novel mechanism of action, is currently approved for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in approximately 60 countries worldwide. Structurally, eribulin is a simplified and synthetically produced version of halichondrin B, a natural product isolated from the marine sponge Halichondria okadai. Eribulin is believed to work by inhibition of the growth phase of microtubule dynamics which prevents cell division. PEGPH20 is an investigational drug administered intravenously that targets the degradation of hyaluronan, a glycosaminoglycan -- or chain of natural sugars throughout the body.

  • Under the agreement, the companies will jointly conduct and share the costs of a Phase Ib/II clinical study seeking to determine whether or not the combination therapy of eribulin and PEGPH20 can improve the overall response rate in advanced breast cancer patients with high levels of hyaluronan. In hyaluronan-rich triple-negative breast preclinical animal models, the addition of PEGPH20 to eribulin showed a significantly higher tumor growth inhibition including tumor regression when compared to eribulin alone.

6:08 am Tyco beats by $0.03, misses on revs; guides Q4 EPS below consensus (TYC) : Reports Q3 (Jun) earnings of $0.59 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.56; revenues fell 6.4% year/year to $2.49 bln vs the $2.52 bln consensus.

  • Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.60-0.62, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.63 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • "We produced strong margin expansion of 90 basis points, driven by an improvement in fundamentals in our North America Installation & Services business. That, combined with additional restructuring actions, position us well to achieve 12% to 13% EPS growth for the year,"

6:02 am AEGON N.V. completes the sale of its Canadian life insurance business for EUR 417 mln to Wilton Re following regulatory approval (AEG) : The combination of the divestment and the non-refinancing of the bond will improve Aegon's return on equity by approximately 40 basis points, while reducing net underlying earnings by less than 1%. It will also improve Aegon's leverage ratio by approximately 40 basis points on a pro forma basis, while the fixed charge cover ratio will improve by 0.5 times.

6:01 am Renren announces the resignation of Acting Chief Financial Officer Ashley Law Kwok Wai, to pursue other opportunities, effective July 31, 2015 (RENN) : Co intends to appoint a new CFO candidate in due course. In the meantime, James Jian Liu, Renren's Chief Operating Officer, will serve as the interim CFO.

6:00 am Magellan Petroleum regains compliance with NASDAQ listing requirements following reverse stock split (MPET) :  

5:49 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -1.10. :

5:49 am European Markets : FTSE...6661.16...-7.20...-0.10%.  DAX...11263.43...+6.30...+0.10%.

5:49 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...20585.24...+62.40...+0.30%.  Hang Seng...24636.28...+138.30...+0.60%.

4:38 am InterOil and Total (TOT) announce agreement that Total will assume operatorship of PRL 15, effective August 1 (IOC) : InterOil Corporation (NYSE: IOC) (POMSoX: IOC) and Total E&P PNG Limited have agreed that Total will become operator of Petroleum Retention License 15 in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea from August 1, 2015.

  • Under the Operator Transition Agreement, InterOil will continue to provide certain technical services for Total until the end of 2015. InterOil will continue to operate its remaining retention and exploration licenses in Papua New Guinea. 
  • Under the Operator Transition Agreement, InterOil on behalf of Total will drill the Antelope-4 sidetrack well, which is expected to begin drilling soon. Total will then operate the Antelope-6 well. 

3:43 am Honda Motor beats by JPY19.00, beats on revs; guides FY16 EPS below consensus, revs above consensus (HMC) : Reports Q1 (Jun) earnings of JPY103.22 per share, JPY19.00 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of JPY84.22; revenues rose 24.0% year/year to JPY3704.7 bln vs the JPY3377.05 bln consensus.

Guidance
Co issues mixed guidance for FY16, sees EPS of JPY291.30 vs. JPY343.65 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs of JPY14.5 trln vs. JPY14168.1 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

3:16 am Weyerhaeuser beats by $0.06, reports revs in-line (WY) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.26 per share, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.20; revenues fell 8.0% year/year to $1.81 bln vs the $1.81 bln consensus.
Q3 Segment outlooK

  • expects slightly lower earnings from the Timberlands segment in the third quarter. In the West, the company expects lower fee harvest volumes, partially offset by higher log sales realizations, as a result of a prolonged fire season. 
  • expects higher earnings from the Wood Products segment in the third quarter. The company anticipates seasonally higher sales volumes across most product lines and improved average sales realizations for lumber and oriented strand board. 
  • expects significantly higher earnings from the Cellulose Fibers segment in the third quarter primarily due to minimal scheduled maintenance outage days. Additionally, the company anticipates lower average pulp sales realizations, partially offset by increased sales volumes.

2:37 am ArcelorMittal beats by $0.14, reports revs in-line; reaffirms FY15 EBITDA guidance (MT) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.10 per share, $0.14 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.04); revenues rose 57.8% year/year to $16.89 bln vs the $16.93 bln consensus.

  • LTIF rate of 0.68x in 2Q 2015, lower as compared to 0.88x in 1Q 2015 and 0.87x in 2Q 2014 
  • Steel shipments of 22.2Mt in 2Q 2015, an increase of 3.4% YoY * 16.4Mt own iron ore production as compared to 16.6Mt in 2Q 2014; 10.8Mt shipped and reported at market prices, an increase of 2.7% as compared to 10.5Mt in 2Q 2014 
Outlook and guidance:
The Company's guidance remains unchanged and continues to expect:
  • 2015 EBITDA within the range of $6.0 - $7.0 billion; 2015 capital expenditures of ~$3.0 billion; and 2015 net interest expense of ~$1.4 billion 
  • The Company continues to expect positive free cash flow in 2015 and to achieve progress toward the medium term net debt target of $15 billion

2:25 am Enpro Industries reports EPS in-line, misses on revs; guides FY15 revs in-line (NPO) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.69 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.69; revenues fell 4.7% year/year to $298.4 mln vs the $309.93 mln consensus.

  • Segment profit for the second quarter decreased by 4% after adjusting for foreign exchange translation, acquisitions and their related expenses, a divestiture, restructuring and a favorable foreign exchange impact on the EDF loss provision. 
Guidance
Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees FY15 revs of $1.20-1.25 bln vs. $1.2 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

2:02 am Liberty Global raises its stake in ITV (ITVPY) to 9.9% (LBTYA) : Liberty Global (LBTYA, LBTYB, LBTYK, LILA and LILAK) announced that it has acquired 138.7 million shares in ITV plc (ITVPY), thereby increasing its existing stake to a total of 398.5 million shares in ITV or ~9.9% of ITV's ordinary shares outstanding.

  • Liberty Global has at the same time entered into a hedging transaction with respect to the ITV shares it has acquired and obtained further financing from its hedge counterparty. 
  • The acquisition of the additional ITV shares, combined with amending an existing hedging transaction with respect to ITV shares, will result in net cash being released to Liberty Global. 
  • Liberty Global confirms that it does not intend to make an offer to acquire ITV.

1:52 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Heartland Payment Systems (HPY) announced its secure point-of-sale software solutions, featuring out-of-scope capacity, data security protection and a comprehensive breach warranty, are now available to pcAmerica customers.  
  • Altera (ALTR) announced that Ricoh Group (RICOY) has chosen Altera Cyclone IV FPGAs to power its newly introduced line of printers, the RICOH SP 3600DN Series.

1:09 am Wayfair divests its Australian-based business; terms not disclosed (W) : Co announced it executed an acquisition agreement to sell its Australian-based business to Temple & Webster, Australia's members-only online destination for the home. The www.wayfair.com.au website will continue to operate under the Wayfair name for 45 days and then will be re-introduced under a new brand name from Temple & Webster. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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