InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

5:01 pm Towers Watson increases quarterly dividend 7% to $0.15 from $0.14 per share; Board authorizes $300 mln share repurchase (TW) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has approved the purchase of up to $300 million of the company's class A common stock and has terminated the existing share repurchase authorizations. The Company also announced that its Board of Directors approved a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per common share for the quarter ended June 30, 2014. This represents a 7% increase. The dividend is payable on or about October 15, 2014 to stockholders of record at the close of business on September 30, 2014.

4:48 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

  • Technology:IRF (39.1 +53.77%),CMGE (18.65 +25.63%),GOGO (17.65 +19.93%),SWIR (27.52 +15.2%)
  • Services:AEO (13.46 +23.45%),ARO (3.52 +21.43%),HMSY (22.76 +17.41%),SGMS (9.9 +16.88%)
  • Industrial Goods:TASR (15.71 +25.02%),CBPX (15.53 +17.09%)
  • Healthcare:FOLD (5.87 +22.68%),SLXP (158.96 +18.82%),DEPO (14.8 +17.88%)
  • Financial:LEJU (18.41 +19.49%)
  • Consumer Goods:MNST (86.37 +22.12%)
  • Basic Materials:BXE (7.77 +15.7%),PBR.A (18.28 +14.85%),PBR (17.2 +14.68%),PQ (6.42 +14.59%),GDP (19.15 +14.56%)
This week's top 20 % losers
  • Technology:COUP (12.67 -18.02%),YOKU (19.09 -13.04%),BNFT (33.32 -11.72%),FEYE (28.01 -11.41%)
  • Services:JMEI (32.18 -11.03%),TEDU (14.45 -9.55%)
  • Healthcare:ITCI (15.62 -17.7%),EPZM (33.58 -16.47%),ARWR (12.8 -11.91%),XON (20.09 -11.83%),FMI (23.01 -10.25%),NWBO (6.11 -9.81%),VNDA (12.51 -9.49%),OMER (12.85 -9.47%),AERI (16.73 -9.4%)
  • Financial:NOAH (15.3 -12.64%)
  • Consumer Goods:RDEN (16.92 -15.18%),FN (15.7 -12.13%)
  • Basic Materials:SDR (6.69 -10.61%),WLT (5.79 -9.71%)

4:20 pm Weatherford recommends rejection of 'mini-tender' offer by TRC Capital Corporation (WFT) : Co has received notification of an unsolicited "mini-tender" offer by TRC Capital Corporation to purchase up to 5,000,000 shares, or approximately 0.65 percent, of the outstanding ordinary shares of Weatherford at $21.15 per share. TRC Capital's offer is approximately 4.3% below Weatherford's closing price of $22.10 on August 18, 2014, the day before the offer commenced. Weatherford does not endorse this unsolicited mini-tender offer and recommends that shareholders reject the offer.

4:14 pm Montage Tech receives additional notice of non-compliance from NASDAQ (MONT) : Co announced that on August 19, 2014, it received a letter from the NASDAQ Stock Market LLC indicating that NASDAQ has determined that the Company is not in compliance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5250(c)(1) due to its failure to file its Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2014 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result of the delinquency of the Company's Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2014, the Company must submit an update to its plan to regain compliance with NASDAQ's requirements for continued listing with respect to this filing requirement no later than September 3, 2014. The Company plans to provide NASDAQ with an update to its plan to regain compliance by September 3, 2014 to show that it will be able to return to compliance with the NASDAQ Listing Rules by filing its Forms 10-K and 10-Q.

4:12 pm Closing Market Summary: Stocks End Strong Week on Quiet Note (:WRAPX) : The major averages punctuated a solid week with a subdued Friday session. The S&P 500 shed 0.2% to narrow its weekly gain to 1.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%) displayed relative strength. The tech-heavy index finished the week in line with the benchmark average.

Market participants went into today's session expecting to hear some new insight from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who delivered the keynote address at this year's Jackson Hole Symposium. Unfortunately, the speech was a disappointment to those who looked for clues about the Fed's policy course in the near term.

Ms. Yellen said the FOMC sees significant underutilization of labor resources and that the labor market has not fully recovered even when taking into account the recent gains. She also indicated that faster progress on goals could lead to a quicker rate hike, but this approach should be expected from a data-dependent central bank.

The remarks were met with a brief retreat among Treasuries, but the 10-yr note returned to its flat line in short order and remained near that level into the close. The benchmark instrument added two ticks, sending its yield lower by one basis point at 2.40%.

Equities, meanwhile, spent the session near their flat lines as participants showed unwillingness to step in ahead of the weekend with geopolitical concerns contributing to the cautious posture. This morning, European markets and U.S. index futures tumbled after a Russian aid convoy crossed Ukraine's border without permission from the government; however, Ukraine said it will allow the convoy to proceed in order to 'avoid provocations.' The initial reports were followed by comments from NATO and the Pentagon with both bodies condemning the crossing into Ukraine.

Only two sectors were able to register gains with the consumer discretionary space (+0.1%) ending in the lead. Retailers contributed to the relative strength after Foot Locker (FL 54.12, +1.55), Gap (GPS 45.43, +2.25), Gamestop (GME 42.90, +2.41), and Ross Stores (ROST 74.37, +5.12) reported better than expected earnings.

Outside of the discretionary sector, most cyclical groups ended in the red, but technology (+0.02%) eked out a miniscule gain. Large cap tech components traded in mixed fashion, but Apple (AAPL 101.32, +0.74) underpinned the sector with a solid gain of 0.7%. On the earnings front, Salesforce.com (CRM 59.80, +4.09) rallied 7.3% in reaction to a one-cent beat.

The relative strength of Apple also put in a floor under the Nasdaq Composite, which drew additional strength from biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 266.43, +1.98) gained 0.8% and helped the health care sector end the day on its flat line.

Meanwhile, the remaining three countercyclical sectors ended in the red. Consumer staples (-0.2%) and utilities (-0.3%) settled near their flat lines, while the telecom services sector lost 0.4%.

Participation was well below average with fewer than 510 million shares changing hands at the NYSE, which made for one of the quietest sessions of the year.

There was no economic data reported today and Monday's data will be limited to the New Home Sales report for July (Briefing.com consensus 427,000).

  • Nasdaq Composite +8.7% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +7.6% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +2.6% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 -0.3% YTD 
Week in Review: S&P 500 Charges to New Highs

The stock market began the week on an upbeat note with small caps leading the charge. The Russell 2000 gained 1.5%, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.9% with eight sectors posting gains. Equity indices surged out of the gate and spent the entire afternoon in narrow ranges near their highs. Although the Russell 2000 paced the rally, the small-cap index could not climb above its 50-day moving average (1159), which served as resistance. The opening push took place after the reports that weighed on risk sentiment on Friday were refuted over the course of the weekend. To recap, comments made by Ukrainian officials on Friday suggested that a direct confrontation took place between Russian forces and Ukrainian troops, but those accounts were called into question by several parties, including the White House.

Equities continued their strong start to the week with a broad-based Tuesday rally that sent the S&P 500 higher by 0.5%. Nine of ten sectors registered gains while the benchmark index extended its week-to-date advance to 1.4%. Stocks received an opening boost from a pair of economic data points that crossed the wires in the morning. An in-line CPI report suggested inflationary pressures remain contained, while a better than expected Housing Starts report underpinned homebuilders and the discretionary sector (+0.8%).

Wednesday ended on a mixed note as blue chip listings bolstered the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.4%) and S&P 500 (+0.3%), while the Russell 2000 (-0.4%) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.02%) underperformed. The key indices were confined to narrow ranges until the minutes from the July FOMC meeting crossed the wires. The minutes revealed that many officials saw recent job gains as a potential reason to bring forward the first fed funds rate hike; however, most officials showed preference for waiting for more evidence before changing their outlook on rates. The minutes were followed by a retreat among equities, but the slide was not sustained. The S&P 500 was trading at a fresh session high within an hour of the release. Treasuries, meanwhile, slumped in reaction to the discussion on rates. The 10-yr note fell seven ticks with its yield climbing three basis points to 2.43%.

On Thursday, the market ended on an upbeat note with blue chips showing relative strength once again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.4%) and S&P 500 (+0.3%) settled ahead of the Russell 2000 (+0.2%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%) with the benchmark index registering a new record closing high at 1992.35. Stocks climbed out of the gate thanks to early strength among the four countercyclical sectors. Despite the early outperformance, the defensively-oriented sectors ended below their opening highs, while the six cyclical groups were mixed. Financials (+1.1%) and technology (+0.5%) contributed to the modest advance, while other heavily-weighted groups like consumer discretionary (-0.1%), industrials (unch), and energy (unch) kept the market from going on a bigger run.

4:07 pm Actavis confirms generic Neupro patent challenge (ACT) : Co confirmed that it has filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) with the FDA seeking approval to market Rotigotine Extended-release Transdermal Film, 1 mg/24 hr, 2mg/24 hr, 3 mg/24hr, 4 mg/24 hr, 6mg/24hr, and 8 mg/24 hr. Actavis' ANDA product is a generic version of UCB's Neupro, which is indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson's disease and moderate-to-severe primary Restless Legs Syndrome (:RLS).

  • UCB, Inc., UCB Manufacturing Ireland Limited, UCB Pharma GmbH and LTS Lohmann Therapie-Systeme AG filed suit against Actavis' subsidiaries on August 21, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware seeking to prevent Actavis from commercializing its ANDA product prior to the expiration of certain U.S. Patents. The lawsuit was filed under the provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act, resulting in a stay of final FDA approval of Actavis' ANDA for up to 30 months from the date the plaintiffs received notice of Actavis' ANDA filing or until final resolution of the matter before the court, whichever occurs sooner, subject to any other exclusivities. 
  • Based on available information, Actavis believes it may be a "first applicant" to file an ANDA for the generic version of Neupro and, should its ANDA be approved, may be entitled to 180 days of generic market exclusivity.
  • For the 12 months ending June 30, 2014, Neupro had total U.S. sales of approximately $85 million, according to IMS Health data.

4:01 pm Volt Info to list on the NYSE MKT Exchange; will trade on NYSE MKT when the market opens on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 under the symbol "VISI" (VISI) :  

3:54 pm Events and conferences of interest for next week : Events and conferences of interest for next week, Aug 25-29th, are listed below. For a complete list of next week's events, please see the events calendar.
Monday

  • VMW Analyst Day
  • German IFO
Tuesday
  • HIMX Annual Meeting SN Analyst Day
  • 2 Year $29 bln Treasury Note Auction
Wednesday
  • HMY Investor Day
  • 5 Year $35 bln Treasury Note Auction
Thursday
  • UHAL Investor Day
  • IRM Analyst Day 
  • Eurozone Unemployment
  • 7 Year $29 bln Treasury Note Auction
Friday
  • Eurozone CPI

3:30 pm Earnings Preview for the week of August 25 - 29 (:SUMRX) : Of the companies reporting earnings for the week of August 25 - 29 some of the bigger names include:

  • Monday:
    • Pre Market - QIHU, OSIS
    • After Hours - PINC, PSEC, FN, KANG, RENN, ADEP
  • Tuesday:
    • Pre Market - BBY, TECD, BNS, BMO, SAFM, DSW, TSL, RGS, MOV, DAKT
    • After Hours - DY, BOBE, HEI, SLH, GSM, ARUN, SWHC, TIVO NMBL, ADI
  • Wednesday:
    • Pre Market - SDRL, TIF, BF.B, CHS, DCI, BWS, YGE, EXPR, BRLI
    • After Hours - WSM, GEs, BYI, WDAY, GMAN, CWST, TLYS, VNET, LCI, VMEM, EXA
  • Thursday:
    • Pre Market - TD, DG, COTY, SIG, CSTM, ANF, PLL GCO, DXLG, FRO, DATE
    • After Hours - AVGO, FRED, OVTI, PSUN, UEPS, ANFI, SPLK, VEEV, ZOES, RALY
  • Friday:
    • Pre Market - BIG

3:20 pm New session highs for Nasdaq Comp +14 and small-/mid-caps -- Dow -10, S&P -0.6 (:TECHX) :  

2:44 pm NYMEX Energy Closing Prices (:COMDX) :

  • Oct crude oil fell $0.36 to $93.61/barrel 
    • Crude oil traded in negative territory today while the dollar index traded higher. The energy component brushed a session low of $92.88 in morning action after pulling back from a session high of $93.87. It eventually settled 0.4% lower, bringing losses for the week to 1.8%. 
  • Sep natural gas fell 5 cents to $3.84/MMBtu 
    • Natural gas also traded in the red. It touched a session high of $3.89 in mid-morning pit trade but trended lower as the session progressed. It settled with a 1.3% loss, cutting gains for the week to 1.9%. 
  • Sep heating oil fell 1 cent to $2.83/gallon 
  • Sep RBOB fell 1 cent to $2.74/gallon

2:40 pm Additional minor backtracking off midday bounce highs -- Dow -37, S&P -4.1, Nasdaq Comp +5.9 (:TECHX) :  

2:31 pm Stock indices slightly extend slide back off midday bounce highs -- Dow -33, S&P -3.8, Nasdaq Comp +6.6 (:TECHX) :  

2:30 pm CBOT Agriculture and Ethanol/ICE Sugar Closing Prices (:COMDX) :

  • Sep corn rose 4 cents to $3.66/bushel 
  • Sep wheat rose 2 cents to $5.49/bushel 
  • Nov soybeans rose 5 cents to $10.44/bushel 
  • Sep ethanol rose 2 cents to $2.17/gallon
  • Nov sugar (#16 (U.S.)) fell 0.08 of a penny to 25.52 cents/lb

2:25 pm GlaxoSmithKline: ViiV Healthcare receives FDA approval for Triumeq (abacavir, dolutegravir and lamivudine), a new single-pill regimen for the treatment of HIV-1 infection (GSK) : ViiV Healthcare announced that the FDA has approved Triumeq (abacavir 600mg, dolutegravir 50mg and lamivudine 300mg) tablets for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. Triumeq is ViiV Healthcare's first dolutegravir-based fixed-dose combination, offering many people living with HIV the option of a single-pill regimen that combines the integrase strand transfer inhibitor dolutegravir, with the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors abacavir and lamivudine.

  • Phase III study (:SINGLE) of treatment-na ve adults, conducted with dolutegravir and abacavir/lamivudine as separate pills.
  • A bioequivalence study of the fixed-dose combination of abacavir, dolutegravir and lamivudine when taken as a single pill compared to the administration of dolutegravir and abacavir/lamivudine as separate pills.
  • At 96 weeks, 80% of participants on the dolutegravir-based regimen were virologically suppressed compared to 72% of participants on Atripla.
  • ViiV Healthcare is a joint venture with 76.5% controlled by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), 13.5% controlled by Pfizer (PFE), and 10% controlled by Shionogi.

1:48 pm COMEX Metals Closing Prices (:COMDX) :

  • Dec gold rose $5.10 to $1280.30/oz 
  • Sep silver fell $0.03 to $19.38/oz 
  • Sep copper rose 2 cents to $3.20/lb

1:45 pm LinkedIn breaking out to 7 mo high on volume, extending recent strength (LNKD) :  

1:00 pm Midday Market Summary: Small Caps Outperform at Midday (:WRAPX) : The major averages are mixed at midday with the S&P 500 (-0.1%) hovering right below its flat line, while the Russell 2000 (+0.2%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.3%) hold modest gains.

Going into today's affair, participants were eager to hear the latest comments from Janet Yellen's speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium; however, the Fed Chair did not share any insights that could be considered as "new."

Ms. Yellen said the FOMC sees significant underutilization of labor resources and that the labor market has not fully recovered even with recent gains. She also indicated that faster progress on goals could lead to a quicker rate hike, but this approach should be expected from a central bank that claims to be data-dependent.

The comments from the Fed Chair had little impact on equities and the key indices remain near their flat lines with investors showing reluctance to step in ahead of a weekend that could potentially include some geopolitical developments. On that note, European markets and U.S. index futures tumbled in the early morning after a Russian aid convoy crossed Ukraine's border without permission from the government; however, Ukraine said it will allow the convoy to proceed in order to 'avoid provocations.'

Since the initial reports crossed the wires, NATO and the Pentagon have condemned the crossing into Ukraine. The developments have led some participants to seek volatility protection with the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 11.92, +0.16) hovering near the 12.00% mark. Countercyclical sectors began the session in the lead, but telecom services (-0.5%) and utilities (-0.2%) have slipped from their highs, leaving consumer staples (+0.1%) and health care (+0.3%) as the remaining outperformers.

Biotechnology has rebounded from yesterday's weakness, thus giving a boost to the health care sector and the Nasdaq Composite. For its part, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 266.74, +2.29) trades higher by 0.9%.

The Nasdaq has also drawn strength from the technology sector (+0.2%), which trades ahead of the remaining five cyclical groups. Influential tech components are mixed, but the top-weighted sector and Nasdaq member-Apple (AAPL 101.40, +0.83)-is higher by 0.8%.

On the downside, the energy sector is lower by 0.6% with crude oil trading down 0.6% at $93.38/bbl.

Treasuries are little changed with the 10-yr yield at 2.40%. There was no economic data released today.

12:57 pm Russell 2000 sets new session high of 1162.76, nearing the flat line for the year and its early week high at 1163.64/1164.06 (:TECHX) :  

12:31 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

  • GMCR (133.4 +13.29%): Announced licensing agreement with Kraft Foods (KRFT)
  • CRM (60.22 +8.10%): Beat quarterly EPS by $0.01 ($0.13 vs $0.12 estimate), revs rose 37.9% yoy to $1.32 bln vs $1.29 bln estimate; sees Q3 EPS of $0.12-0.13 ex items vs $0.13 estimate, revs of $1.365-1.370 bln vs $1.37 bln estimate; sees FY15 EPS of $0.50-0.52 ex items vs $0.50 estimate, revs of $5.34-5.37 bln vs $5.34 bln estimate
  • ROST (73.94 +6.77%): Beat quarterly EPS by $0.06 ($1.14 vs $1.08 estimate), revs rose 7.0% yoy to $2.73 bln vs $2.71 bln estimate; sees Q3 EPS of $0.83-0.87 vs $0.86 estimate; sees Q4 EPS of $1.05-1.09 bs $1.12 estimate; sees FY15 EPS of $4.18-4.26 vs $4.21 estimate
Large Cap Losers
  • INTU (83.4 -2.81%): Missed quarterly EPS by $0.08 (-$0.01 ex items vs $0.07 estimate), revs rose 12.6% yoy to $714 mln vs $699.56 mln estimate; sees Q1 EPS of -$0.21 to -$0.20 ex items vs -$0.04 estimate, revs of $620-630 mln; sees FY15 EPS of $2.45-2.50 ex items vs $3.97 estimate, revs of $4.75-4.85 bln
  • RIG (37.76 -2.34%): Provided fleet update summary: total value of new contracts since the July 16, 2014 Fleet Status Report is ~$78 mln; target lowered to $43 from $46 at Cowen
  • COG (32.84 -1.97%): Downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Mid Cap Gainers
  • QUNR (31.6 +8.83%): Reported Q2 loss of $0.57 per share vs estimate for a loss of $0.53 per share, revs rose 237% yoy to $64.5 mln vs $55.7 mln estimate; sees Q3 revs +90% to +95%
  • DYN (31.98 +7.60%): To acquire 12,500 MW of coal and gas generation from Duke Energy (DUK) and Energy Capital Partners for total consideration of $6.25 bln
  • GME (42.72 +5.50%): Beat quarterly EPS by $0.03 ($0.22 vs $0.19 estimate), revs rose 25.0% yoy to $1.73 bln vs $1.64 bln estimate; sees Q3 EPS of $0.58-0.64 vs $0.57 estimate, comp store sales +1.0 to +5.0%; reaffirmed FY15 EPS of $3.40-3.70 vs $3.67 estimate, comp store sales +6.0 to +12.0%
Mid Cap Losers
  • WUBA (44.34 -5.11%): Downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
  • AGCO (48.22 -2.07%): Downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie
  • DCT (7.99 -1.24%): Downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets

12:26 pm Nasdaq Comp +12 sets fresh session high along with small-/mid-caps -- Dow -7.9, S&P -0.9 (:TECHX) :  

12:23 pm U.S. Steel comments on affirmative decision by ITC in OCTG trade case; will continue to evaluate options, including further litigation, with regards to Saudi Arabia (X) : "United States Steel Corporation is pleased with the International Trade Commission's affirmative final vote to impose anti-dumping orders against six of the nine countries that are dumping Oil Country Tubular Goods (:OCTG) into the market. U. S. Steel will continue to evaluate all of its options, including further litigation, with regards to Saudi Arabia, who was excluded from the International Trade Commission's final vote as a result of an amended final determination from the Department of Commerce, and the two countries (Thailand and the Philippines), for which the ITC reached a negative determination. "

12:04 pm European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:0.0%
  • Germany's DAX:-0.7%
  • France's CAC:-0.9%
  • Spain's IBEX:-0.5%
  • Portugal's PSI:-0.6%
  • Italy's MIB Index:-0.5%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:-0.1%
  • Greece ASE General Index: +1.1%

11:50 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (108) outpacing new lows (40) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAPL, ACCO, ADP, AGII, BAM, BLX, BR, BSTC, BURL, CAVM, CDW, CDZI, CEP, CHH, CM, CRI, CYBE, DIS, DKL, DLB, DVCR, EDE, EFC, ENPH, EVEP, EW, EXAS, EXP, FCAP, FL, FRF, FSI, FWV, GCO, GILD, GMCR, GPK, GPS, HCC, HRB, IBA, IESC, INTC, INTU, IVZ, JBSS, KLAC, KSS, LABL, LEJU, LG, LMT, LPNT, LUV, M, MATW, MCRL, MNDL, MTD, NBTF, NFEC, NOC, NRF, NTRS, OTEX, PEOP, PHI, PLNR, PRI, PSMI, PUK, RFMD, RPM, RSG, RWC, RY, SBFG, SBSI, SEIC, SEMG, SHW, SLCA, SNCR, SNP, SNPS, SPCB, SPR, SUMR, TD, THC, TREC, TRN, TRT, TRUE, TUES, TWOU, UCFC, UGI, UHS, UNP, URI, VOYA, VSH, WMS, WOOF, WPX, WSM, XRX

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ACPW, AMPE, AQXP, ARCO, ARTW, AVL, BH, BOSC, CACG, CALI, COUP, CRIS, CTG, CYTX, DLA, DO, DSCI, ECT, EPM, FLIC, FLL, FUEL, ICEL, INBK, IRG, ISSC, LYTS, MDWD, NSPH, PERI, PT, RAVN, RGSE, RIG, SSI, SZMK, TIGR, UNTK, USMD, UTIW

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: IGV, IWF, IYF, IYH, QQQ, RTH, SMH, XLF, XLK, XLV

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: none

11:48 am Currency Commentary: Dollar Rallies on Yellen Comments (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index rallied to 82.45 following a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Ms. Yellen provides a slightly more hawkish stance then was expected which led to some buying in the greenback. The Fed Chair discussed the slack that remained in unemployment which was widely expected. But she also provided upbeat commentary noting that the Fed continued to move toward its goals for growth and employment and that inflation remained tame. Most were expecting Ms. Yellen to continue her very dovish stance so this commentary caught some off guard and led to further buying in the dollar.
  • The euro tumbled down to multi-month lows of 1.3220 in reaction to Ms. Yellen's speech. The market will now prepare for ECB president Mario Draghi who is scheduled to speak at 2:30pm ET. Participants will be listening closely to see how Mr. Draghi plans on attacking the issues of slow growth and low pricing pressure in the region. 
  • The pound is trading below the 1.66 level against the dollar. Sterlig has been weakneing against the dollar over the past couple of weeks as markets have scene a reversal of fortune over economic data. This has tightened the divide between monetary policy and leading cable to give up some of its recent gains. 
  • The yen is attempting to break out above the 104 level as it continues to see sellign. It is showing some signs of holding this level and has also regained some recent losses as markets move back into some safety as they digest Yellen headlines as well as increased tensions in the Ukraine (BONDX, FOREX). 

11:31 am American Woodmark announces Cary Dunston has been promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer (AMWD) : Co announced that Cary Dunston, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, has been promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer.

11:30 am NTN Buzztime announces Ram Krishnan as new CEO (NTN) : Co announced that Ram Krishnan has been appointed Chief Executive Officer effective September 15, 2014. Mr. Krishnan will also serve on the Company's Board of Directors.

  • Mr. Krishnan joins NTN Buzztime with over 17 years executing business growth strategies, most recently as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Active Network (ACTV).

11:21 am Doral Fincl: new statement from Doral legal counsel Matthew McGill regarding Doral negotiations with Hacienda; 'Doral has not left the negotiations' (DRL) :

  • "Doral has not left the negotiations. The Treasury Department attempted on Thursday to introduce into the negotiations so-called "business points" conceived by its new outside counsel, Foley & Lardner, that were contrary to the provisions of the agreement reached and sworn to by the parties in front of Judge Perez-Perez of the Court of the First Instance. Foley & Lardner recently represented Doral in a related matter and that raises a conflict of interest. It has a duty of loyalty to its client, Doral, from acting adversely to Doral. For that reason, Doral sought guidance from Judge Perez-Perez as to how to proceed. Judge Perez-Perez ruled that the parties will continue negotiations today under her supervision, without the participation of Foley & Lardner, and according to the terms previously agreed by the parties."

11:15 am Citigroup announces offer to purchase up to U.S. $700 mln outstanding 6.125% Notes due 2017 (C) : The Notes had an aggregate principal amount outstanding of U.S. $3,865,935,000 as of August 21, 2014.

11:02 am Stock indices drop in recent action with Dow -51 and S&P -7.2 setting new lows -- Nasdaq Comp -6.6 (:TECHX) :  

10:51 am Carrol's Restaurant Group signs agreements to purchase 64 Burger King (BKW) restaurants in Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois for ~$18 mln excluding inventory (TAST) :  

10:45 am S&P -2.9 and Dow -19 failed to confirm new Nasdaq Comp +4.9 high and slip back into the red (:TECHX) :  

10:33 am Nasdaq Comp +11 extends to fresh session high, S&P +1 and Dow +12 working up near their highs (:TECHX) :  

10:10 am Market averages rotate into positive territory, set new highs -- Dow +17, S&P +0.5, Nasdaq Comp +4.5 (:TECHX) :  

10:07 am Stock indices chop at mildly lower levels -- Dow -2.3, S&P -2, Nasdaq Comp -2 (:TECHX) : Seeing some intraday relative strength in recent trade in Finance XLF, Bank KBE, Reg Bank KRE, Retail XRT.

10:03 am Gold and silver initially popped modestly following Fed headlines, but reversed just as fast. Dec gold is now +0.2% at $1278.00/oz, Sept silver is -0.2% a $19.37/oz (:COMDX) :  

10:02 am Stock indices slip back after slight extension of push off early low -- Dow -16, S&P -3.6, Nasdaq Comp -4.8 (:TECHX) :  

9:50 am McDonald's announces Jeff Stratton, McDonald's USA president, made decision to retire; Mike Andres elected McDonald's USA president effective October 15 (MCD) :  

9:45 am Minor new lows for stock indices -- Nasdaq Comp -9, S&P -4.7, Dow -29 (:TECHX) :  

9:41 am Opening Market Summary: Cyclical Sectors Display Early Weakness (:WRAPX) : As expected, equity indices began the session with slim losses. The S&P 500 is lower by 0.2% with eight sectors showing early weakness. The energy sector (-0.7%) has slumped out of the gate, while industrials (-0.3%) and financials (-0.2%) also display relative weakness.

On the countercyclical side, consumer staples (+0.2%) and utilities (+0.4%) have been able to register early gains, while health care (-0.1%) and telecom services (-0.1%) hover just below their respective flat lines.

Despite the early weakness in equities, Treasuries have continued their retreat. The 10-yr note has returned to its flat line, pushing its yield up to 2.41%.

9:39 am Major averages modestly lower in early trade -- Dow -19, S&P -2, Nasdaq Comp -4.5 (:TECHX) : Early sector weakness has been noted in: Coal KOL, Solar TAN, Social Media SOCL, Oil Service OIH, Crude Oil USO, Energy XLE, Steel SLX, Mining XME, Home Const ITB.

9:36 am Keurig Green Mtn extends gap higher start near its all time high from July at 128.46 -- session high 128.40 (GMCR) :  

9:12 am S&P futures vs fair value: -2.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.20. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a cautious open as futures on the S&P 500 hover within three points of fair value. Index futures held slim gains during overnight action, but tumbled around 6:30 ET after it was reported that a Russian aid convoy has crossed into Ukraine without prior authorization. Ukraine's officials have called this a "direct invasion," but said they will allow the convoy to proceed to avoid "provocations." The news has weighed on risk sentiment, but futures (and European equities) have climbed off their lows.

Another item of note today will be Janet Yellen's speech from the Jackson Hole Symposium on the labor market, which is set to begin at 10:00 ET. Later in the day, ECB President Mario Draghi will speak at 14:30 ET.

Treasuries held gains in overnight action, but they have erased the bulk of that move. The 10-yr yield is lower by a basis point at 2.40%.

9:05 am Silver Bay Realty Trust sets meeting date for special meeting of stockholders; will be held at 9:00 am CT on Sep 30, 2014 (SBY) :  

9:02 am Aastrom Biosciences reports that treatment with Ixmyelocel-T shown to reduce incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with Ischemic Dilated Cardiomyopathy (ASTM) :

  • Co announced that results from the company's Phase 2a clinical studies of ixmyelocel-T for the treatment of advanced heart failure due to ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) were published in the peer-reviewed journal Circulation Research.
  • In an article entitled "Safety and Efficacy of Ixmyelocel-T: An Expanded, Autologous Multi-Cellular Therapy, in Dilated Cardiomyopathy," results showed that treatment with ixmyelocel-T reduced the incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with ischemic DCM.

9:01 am Deere clarifies Waterloo layoffs; ~460 employees to be laid off in response to current market demand for its products (DE) : Co announced today that it will place approximately 460 employees who work in the company's Waterloo, Iowa operations on indefinite layoff in response to current market demand for its products. Employees were informed today of the layoffs, which are effective October 20th. These layoffs follow comments from the company during it's 3Q earnings call on August 13th when they said they planned to reduce agricultural equipment production for the balance of the year.

9:01 am Keurig Green Mtn and Kraft Foods (KRFT) announce licensing agreement; financial terms not disclosed (GMCR) : Co and Kraft Foods (KRFT) announced a multi-year licensing, manufacturing, and distribution agreement for Kraft's branded coffees in Keurig portion pack formats compatible with Keurig consumer and commercial brewing systems in the U.S. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

  • Under the new agreement, Maxwell House, Gevalia, Yuban, and McCafe coffee brands will now be available.
  • Keurig licensed Kraft-branded portion packs will begin to launch in fall 2014.

9:01 am China Telecom and IBM (IBM) entered into a three-year agreement for SAP cloud-based applications (CHA) : The co and IBM (IBM) announced that they have entered into a three-year agreement to help small and medium businesses implement secure, cost-effective and scalable SAP cloud-based applications.

  • Under the agreement, China Telecom and IBM will first focus on clients in the Guangdong province and then extend the project to such key areas as Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, Beijing and Tianjin.

8:59 am S&P futures vs fair value: -2.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.20. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade two points below fair value.

Asian markets finished the week on a higher note, but Japan's Nikkei (-0.3%) was subject to some profit taking after registering nine consecutive gains. Stimulus chatter continued in China following yesterday's disappointing HSBC Manufacturing PMI. Analysts discussed an array of potential measures, including interest rate cuts and lower mortgage down payment requirements and rates.

------

  • Japan's Nikkei (-0.3%) was pressured by industrials. Japan Steel Works, Obayashi, and Shimizu lost between 2.5% and 3.0%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.5%) settled near its high with property-related names showing strength. China Shenhua Energy gained 1.3% and Hang Lung Properties jumped 3.3%. Consumer names lagged with Li & Fung falling 4.6%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite (+0.5%) also finished near its best level of the session. Shanghai Xinhua Media and Songliao Automobile both surged the limit, 10.0%. 
Major European indices trade in the red with France's CAC (-0.8%) trailing its peers. Earlier, a Russian aid convoy crossed Ukraine's border without permission from the government, but Ukraine said it will allow the convoy to proceed in order to 'avoid provocations.'

------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.1% with health care names on the defensive. Smith & Nephew and GlaxoSmithKline hold respective losses of 1.3% and 0.9%. Financials outperform with HSBC Holdings and Lloyds Banking both up near 1.0%. 
  • Germany's DAX trades down 0.4% with Adidas leading the retreat. The stock is lower by 2.2%. Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank outperform, trading higher by 1.6% and 0.6%, respectively.
  • In France, the CAC holds a loss of 0.8%. Consumer names are among the laggards with Carrefour, Kering, and LVMH down between 1.0% and 1.4%. Gemalto outperforms with an increase of 1.3%.

8:56 am Just Energy announces CFO transition: the appointment of Patrick Mccullough as CFO, replacing Beth Summers (JE) : Co announced a transition in the role of CFO. Co-CEOs Deb Merril and James Lewis announced the appointment by the Board of Directors of Patrick McCullough as CFO and the departure of Beth Summers from that role following a transition period.

8:53 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Aqua America (WTR) announced that its North Carolina subsidiary has acquired the water system assets of Hubquarter Forestry in Carteret County, North Carolina for $25K. Also, co's Indiana subsidiary has started a two-year operating agreement with the City of Lake Station in Lake County, Indiana, to deliver drinking water to the city's 14,000 people.
  • NaviSite, a Time Warner Cable (TWC) co, announced the launch of a Desktop as a Service solution that uses NVIDIA (NVDA) GRID technology to offer rich graphics performance.

8:47 am Emerson Radio Corp. declares extraordinary cash dividend of $0.70 per common share payable on Sep 30, 2014 to shareholders of record of the Company at the close of trading on Sep 12, 2014 (MSN) :  

8:33 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: ARO -9.2%, BORN -7.1%, HIBB -6.5%, ANN -3.4%, INTU -2.1%, MENT -2%, TUES -1.7%, SCSC -0.9%, MRVL -0.7%, .

Select EU financial related names showing weakness: UBS -1.1%, CS -1.1%, SAN -0.6%, ING -0.4% 

Select metals/mining stocks trading lower: BHP -1.2%, RIO -1.2%, HMY -1%.

Select oil/gas related names showing early weakness: TOT -1.9%, E -1.2%, MRO -0.9%, RIG -0.5%, RDS.A -0.5%.

Other news: JRJC -3.7% (cont volatility), ISRG -3.2% (reports out yesterday indicated unfavorable court ruling in shareholder lawsuit), VIP -2.4% (Russian related stock), SNY -2% (still checking), YNDX -2% (Russian related stock), RSX -1.5% (unauthorized Russian vehicles entering Ukraine; vehicles reportedly did not receive clearance from Red Cross), ASML -1.3% (still checking), SHLD -1.1% (considering debt refinancing options, according to reports), .

Analyst comments: AMPE -6.5% (downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies), WUBA -1.6% (downgraded to Underweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley), COG -1.5% (downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank )

8:32 am Landauer announces that William Saxelby, its President and CEO, will be stepping down effective as of September 15, 2014 (LDR) : Co announced that William E. Saxelby, its President and Chief Executive Officer, will be stepping down as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective as of Sep 15, 2014.

  • He will be replaced on an interim basis by Michael T. Leatherman, a member of the co's Board of Directors since 2008. 
  • The Board has commenced a search, which will consider internal and external candidates, for a permanent successor to Mr. Saxelby. 
  • Mr. Saxelby has agreed to work with Mr. Leatherman in the near term in an advisory role.

8:31 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.20. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures continue hovering near their flat lines with the benchmark index set to enter the session with a week-to-date gain of 1.9%. The S&P 500 climbed in each of the first four sessions of the week with yesterday's affair ending at a new record high (1992.37).

With no economic data on the calendar, participants will be on a lookout for comments from Janet Yellen's keynote address at the Jackson Hole Symposium. In addition, geopolitical headlines have the potential to move the market after a Russian aid convoy entered Ukraine without prior authorization.

Treasuries hold modest gains, but are well below their overnight highs. The 10-yr yield is lower by one basis point at 2.40%.

8:31 am ZBB Energy announces pricing of public offering of 11.52 mln shares of common stock at $1.12/share (ZBB) : Co announced that it has priced a firm commitment underwritten public offering of 11.52 mln shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $1.12. In addition, the underwriter has exercised in full its option, granted by the Company, to purchase up to 1.728 mln additional shares of common stock to cover over-allotments. The offering is expected to close on or about August 27, 2014. 

  •  The total gross proceeds of the offering are expected to be ~$14,837,760.

8:24 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: TFM +7.2%, GME +6.2%, QUNR +5%, ROST +4.8%, FL +3.8%, TA +2.8%, GPS +2.7%, (plans to extend international presence to India through franchise agreement for 40 stores; first stores to open in Mumbai and Delhi in 2015), BRCD +2%, CRM +1.8%, RY +0.6%.

M&A news: DYN +8.5% (to acquire assets from Duke Energy (DUK) and Energy Capital Partners for total consideration of $6.25 bln),VOD +1.2% (strength overseas on AT&T (T) related speculation).

Other news
: OGXI +4.8% (announces update on Phase 3 ENSPIRIT trial evaluating custirsen in advanced non-small cell lung cancer; ENSPIRIT trial to continue as planned following completion of the first of two interim futility analyses),LOCO +4.6% (signs franchisee to 20 unit expansion agreement in Texas, unveils multi-year franchising initiative),ISBC +2.1% (Blue Harbour Group disclosed 5.7% active stake in 13D filing),EAT +2% (increased quarterly dividend 16.7% to $0.28 from $0.24 per share; Board authorized an additional $350 mln in share repurchases),GOGO +1.9% (following 6% move higher yesterday on M&A speculation),DMD +1.8% (CEO disclosed purchase of 27000 shares worth total of $247.5K on August 19),KING +0.9% (Candy Crush Saga is now available for players in China).

Analyst comments: SEAS +1.5% (upgraded to Outperform at FBR Capital),AKS +0.9% (upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS),BBY +0.8% (may be attributed to positive UBS comments ahead of next week's earnings)

8:22 am European Markets Update: FTSE -0.1%, DAX -0.4%, CAC -0.8% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade in the red with France's CAC (-0.8%) trailing its peers. Earlier, a Russian aid convoy crossed Ukraine's border without permission from the government, but Ukraine said it will allow the convoy to proceed in order to 'avoid provocations.'

------

  • Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.1% with health care names on the defensive. Smith & Nephew and GlaxoSmithKline hold respective losses of 1.3% and 0.9%. Financials outperform with HSBC Holdings and Lloyds Banking both up near 1.0%. 
  • Germany's DAX trades down 0.4% with Adidas leading the retreat. The stock is lower by 2.2%. Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank outperform, trading higher by 1.6% and 0.6%, respectively. 
  • In France, the CAC holds a loss of 0.8%. Consumer names are among the laggards with Carrefour, Kering, and LVMH down between 1.0% and 1.4%. Gemalto outperforms with an increase of 1.3%.

8:20 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • GE Capital Fleet Services (GE) announced an agreement with VNG.co to support the expansion of the CNG refueling infrastructure for light-duty fleet vehicles. 
  • Raytheon (RTN) and the U.S. Air Force successfully flight tested an upgraded High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile. 
  • IPC The Hospitalist (IPCM) has added two practices to its established presence in the state of Florida. This includes Eddin Medical Services, a post-acute practice in the Daytona Beach area; and TriCounty Hospitalists, an acute care practice in the Orlando area.

8:20 am Peregrine Semi trading to resume at 8:35 a.m. ET (PSMI) :  

8:11 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -0.3%, Hang Seng +0.5%, Shanghai +0.5% (:SUMRX) :

  • Asian markets finished the week on a higher note, but Japan's Nikkei (-0.3%) was subject to some profit taking after registering nine consecutive gains. 
  • Stimulus chatter continued in China following yesterday's disappointing HSBC Manufacturing PMI. Analysts discussed an array of potential measures, including interest rate cuts and lower mortgage down payment requirements and rates 
  • There was no economic data of note 
  • Japan's Nikkei (-0.3%) was pressured by industrials. Japan Steel Works, Obayashi, and Shimizu lost between 2.5% and 3.0%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.5%) settled near its high with property-related names showing strength. China Shenhua Energy gained 1.3% and Hang Lung Properties jumped 3.3%. Consumer names lagged with Li & Fung falling 4.6%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite (+0.5%) also finished near its best level of the session. Shanghai Xinhua Media and Songliao Automobile both surged the limit, 10.0%. 
  • India's Sensex (+0.2%) settled in the middle of its range. Hindalco Industries and Infosys finished among the leaders with respective gains of 2.6% and 1.5%. Coal India lost 2.0%.
  • Australia's ASX (+0.1%) settled on its session low. ANZ Banking Group outperformed with a gain of 0.8% while other financials lagged. Macquarie and Westpac both shed near 0.1%. 
  • Regional Decliners: Indonesia (-0.1%), Malaysia (-0.2%) 
  • Regional Advancers: Philippines (+0.5%), Singapore (+0.04%), South Korea (+0.6%), Taiwan (+1.4%), Thailand (+0.4%), Vietnam (+1.2%) 
  • FX: USDCNY held at 6.1515, USDINR slipped to 60.50, USDJPY is little changed at 103.81, AUDUSD is slightly higher near .9310

8:08 am Peregrine Semi to be acquired by Murata for $12.50 per share in cash (shares halted) (PSMI) : Murata Electronics North America, a subsidiary of Murata Manufacturing (MRAAY), and PSMI announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Murata will acquire all outstanding shares of Peregrine not owned by Murata, for $12.50 per share in cash, or a total transaction value of $471 mln ($465 mln excluding Murata's existing holding). The transaction, which has been approved by both cos' boards of directors, is expected to close by the end of 2014 or early 2015, subject to PSMI's stockholders' approval, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

8:07 am WaferGen Bio-Systems prices public offering of units of common stock and warrants at $10,000 per unit for gross proceeds of $20 mln; announces uplisting to NASDAQ (WGBS) : Co announced the pricing of a public offering of units of common stock and warrants at a price of $10,000 per unit for gross proceeds of $20 mln, prior to deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses payable by the co. The shares and warrants are immediately separable and will be issued separately.

  • The shares of common stock are expected to begin trading on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the ticker symbol "WGBS" on Aug 22, 2014. The offering is expected to close on Aug 27, 2014, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions.
  • Each unit sold in the offering consists of 2,000 shares of common stock and 2,000 warrants to purchase shares of the co's common stock. A total of 4 mln shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 4 mln shares of common stock will be issued in the offering. The warrants have a term of five years and an exercise price of $5.00 per share.

8:03 am Masimo: new clinical study evaluates Masimo RAM Technology for tracking changes in respiratory rate in anesthetized patients; may offer early identification of potential adverse events (MASI) : Co announced that a new study published in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia demonstrates that Masimo's rainbow Acoustic Monitoring technology for Acoustic Respiration Rate (RRa) rapidly detects changes in respiration rate during general anesthesia with a laryngeal mask airway and spontaneous ventilation, and is helpful in the early identification of patients at risk for adverse outcomes.

  • 1269 minutes of simultaneous data from the pneumotachograph signals and RRa were compared using a Bland-Altman analysis that showed the 95% limits of agreement were -2.1 to 2.2 breaths per minute with a mean error of 0.05 bpm (Bias/Precision of 0.1/1.1 bpm).

8:01 am El Pollo Loco signs franchisee to 20 unit expansion agreement in Texas, unveils multi-year franchising initiative (LOCO) : Co signed AA Pollo Inc. to a 20 restaurant franchise development agreement as the first step in a multi-year franchising initiative designed to expand the nation's leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain's presence in the greater Southwest.

  • As part of their agreement, AA Pollo Inc. will develop 20 new El Pollo Loco restaurants in Houston, a new development market, and San Antonio. The franchisee company has also purchased six El Pollo Loco restaurants in San Antonio. AA Pollo Inc. is owned by Anil Yadav, a multi-unit franchisee who owns and operates more than 260 restaurants with three brands covering multiple states.

7:59 am S&P futures vs fair value: -0.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +0.50. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures hold slim losses amid cautious action overseas. The S&P 500 futures trade within a point of fair value after slipping from their highs during the past three hours. Similarly, European indices are on the defensive following another set of news from Ukraine. Specifically, an aid convoy from Russia has crossed the border without prior authorization and the situation is likely to remain in focus during the trading day. In addition, participants will be on the lookout for comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who is scheduled to speak at the Jackson Hole Symposium at 10:00 ET. Also of note, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will speak at 14:30 ET.

Treasuries are on their highs with the 10-yr yield down two basis points at 2.39%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Aeropostale (ARO 3.64, -0.27): -6.9% after missing earnings estimates and guiding lower. 
  • Foot Locker (FL 54.50, +1.93): +3.7% following its better than expected earnings and revenue. 
  • Gap (GPS 44.05, +0.87): +2.0% after reporting earnings just ahead of its warning from August 7. 
  • Gamestop (GME 43.28, +2.79): +6.9% in reaction to better than expected earnings, revenue, and guidance. 
  • Ross Stores (ROST 72.85, +3.60): +5.2% following its bottom-line beat. 
  • Salesforce.com (CRM 56.39, +0.68): +1.2% after reporting a one-cent beat 
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei -0.3%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.5%, and China's Shanghai Composite +0.5%. 
    • There was no economic data of note 
    • In news: 
      • Stimulus chatter continued in China following yesterday's disappointing HSBC Manufacturing PMI. Analysts discussed an array of potential measures, including interest rate cuts and lower mortgage down payment requirements and rates 
  • Major European indices trade in the red. Great Britain's FTSE -0.1%, Germany's DAX -0.5%, and France's CAC -0.8%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB -0.4% and Spain's IBEX -0.5%. 
    • The session has been free of economic data 
    • Among news of note: 
      • A Russian aid convoy crossed Ukraine's border without permission from the government, but Ukraine said it will allow the convoy to proceed in order to 'avoid provocations.'

7:58 am Peregrine Semi trading halted, news pending (PSMI) :  

7:38 am ANN beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line with downside preannouncement; guides Q3 revs in-line; lowers FY15 revs, in-line (ANN) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.70 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.69; revenues rose 1.6% year/year to $648.7 mln vs the $648.03 mln consensus -- co preannounced rev $648 mln with comps -2.3% on Aug 7.

Co issues guidance for Q3, sees Q3 revs of $670 mln vs. $674.72 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, lowers FY15 rev to $2.56 bln from $2.6 bln vs. $2.56 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:31 am Mylan Labs launches first generic Klor-Con extended-release tablets; generic version of Upsher-Smith's Klor-Con (MYL) : Co announced that it has launched Potassium Chloride Extended-release Tablets USP, 8 mEq (600 mg) and 10 mEq (750 mg), which is the generic version of Upsher-Smith's Klor-Con. Mylan received final approval from the FDA for its ANDAfor this product, which is indicated for the treatment of patients with hypokalemia, with or without metabolic alkalosis; in digitalis intoxication; and in patients with hypokalemic familial periodic paralysis. Mylan has begun shipping this product.

7:30 am Cubist Pharma announces the EMA has accepted for review the co's MAA for its investigational antibiotic ceftolozane/tazobactam (CBST) : Co announced that the European Medicines Agency has accepted for review the co's Marketing Authorization Application for its investigational antibiotic ceftolozane/tazobactam. Cubist is seeking approval of ceftolozane/tazobactam for the treatment of complicated urinary tract Infections and complicated intra-abdominal infections, with a decision from the European Commission expected during the second half of 2015.

7:06 am DISH Network CFO Robert Olson to retire from DISH, effective October 15 (DISH) : Co announced that Robert Olson, DISH's executive vice president and CFO, will retire from the company Oct. 15. Steve Swain, senior vice president of Programming, will succeed Olson as CFO, reporting to President and CEO Joseph Clayton.

7:04 am Dynegy to acquire assets from Duke Energy (DUK) and Energy Capital Partners for total consideration of $6.25 bln; guides 2015 pro forma consolidated adjusted EBITDA of $1.2-$1.4 bln and fcf of $480-$680 mln (DYN) :

  • The co announced it will acquire 12,500 MW of coal and gas generation from Duke Energy (DUK) and Energy Capital Partners, almost doubling its existing portfolio to nearly 26,000 MW. 
    • Purchase price of $2.8 bln for DUK assets and $3.45 bln for ECP assets.
    • The co's long-term financing plan to include: ~$5 bln of new unsecured notes. ~$1.25 bln in equity and equity linked securities including $200 mln in common stock issued to ECP. $950 mln in incremental revolving credit facilities bringing total Dynegy Inc. revolver capacity to $1.425 bln.
    • Synergy targets include cost reductions in excess of $40 mln per year, $200 mln in collateral efficiencies and nearly $500 mln in present value cash tax savings. 
  • 2015 Pro Forma consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of $1.2-$1.4 bln and Free Cash Flow of $480-$680 mln, assuming both transactions close on December 31, 2014.
  • 2015 Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow accretion per share of ~125% and 220%.  
  • As a result of this announcement, in the third quarter DUK will recognize an ~ $500 mln pre-tax reversal of the $1.4 bln impairment previously recognized in 2014. Use of the proceeds is being evaluated. The transaction is expected to be accretive to shareholders by 2016.

7:03 am Cal Dive Intl executes commitment letters for refinancing of $125 mln revolving credit agreement (DVR) :

  • Co announced that it has executed commitment letters with three financial institutions providing for a $125 mln senior secured credit facility that may consist of both a term facility and revolving facility to refinance the co's existing revolving credit facility and provide additional liquidity to the co.

7:02 am Foot Locker beats by $0.09, beats on revs (FL) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.63 per share, $0.09 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.54; revenues rose 12.9% year/year to $1.64 bln vs the $1.57 bln consensus; +11.7% ex-FX.

  • Second quarter comparable-store sales increased 7.0 percent. 
  • The Company's gross margin rate increased to 32.0% of sales from 31.2% last year.
  • During Q2, the co repurchased ~1.33 million shares of its common stock for $66 million.

7:01 am Covidien acquires Reverse Medical; financial terms not disclosed (COV) : Co announced it has acquired Reverse Medical, a privately held medical device co focused on expanding the management of vascular disease. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

7:01 am JinkoSolar Holding signs project investment agreement for 100 MW PV power plants; invest ~RMB 800 mln, will receive subsidies of RMB1.2 per kWh (JKS) : Co announced that JinkoSolar Power, a subsidiary of the co has signed project investment agreements with the local government of Hengfeng county in Jiangxi Province to develop totally 100 MW PV projects.

  • Jinko Power will own the projects and will manage the project investment and EPC as well as operations and maintenance. 
  • According to the terms of the agreement, Jinko Power will invest ~RMB 800 mln for the projects, and the project will receive subsidies of RMB1.2 per kWh. 
  • Construction has begun in the third quarter and is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year. 
  • After the completion, those projects will generate around 110 mln kWh electricity annually, generating ~RMB132 mln revenue per year.

7:00 am G&K increases quarterly dividend by 15% to $0.31 per share from $0.27 per share (GK) :  

6:51 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Nevada has officially joined IGT's (IGT) Powerbucks commercial multi-state Wide Area Progressive link. Powerbucks networked games in Nevada casinos are now linked to casinos in New Jersey and Deadwood, South Dakota.  
  • Trimble (TRMB) announced three new asset inspection software solutions for heavy civil contractors-Trimble Inspector, Trimble Inspector Pro and Trimble Asset Manager.

6:49 am S&P futures vs fair value: flat. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: flat. :

6:49 am European Markets : FTSE...6748.44...-29.20...-0.40%.  DAX...9300.73...-100.40...-1.10%.

6:49 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15539.19...-47.00...-0.30%.  Hang Seng...25112.23...+118.10...+0.50%.

6:47 am Royal Bank of Canada beats by C$0.06, beats on revs; raises dividend 6% (RY) : Reports Q3 (Jul) earnings of C$1.62 per share, excluding non-recurring items, C$0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of C$1.56; revenues rose 25.2% year/year to C$8.98 bln vs the C$8.21 bln consensus. Results were driven by record earnings in Canadian Banking, Capital Markets, Wealth Management and Insurance, as well as solid results in Investor & Treasury Services.

Co raises dividend 6% QoQ to C$0.75/share.

6:42 am Hibbett Sporting reports Q2 in-line with downside preannouncement; reaffirms FY15 guidance (lowered on Aug 7) (HIBB) : Reports Q2 (Jul) results in-line with August 7 downside preannouncement; earnings of $0.32 per share vs. $0.30-0.32 guidance, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.31; revenues rose 4.1% year/year to $193.9 mln vs the $194.5 mln consensus.

Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.63-2.73 (lowered from $2.78-2.98 on Aug 7) vs. $2.68 Capital IQ Consensus; low single digit comps. 

"Comparable store sales were softer than expected for the quarter, but we are encouraged by the improvement in traffic in early August. In addition, we are on pace to achieve our goal of 75 to 80 new stores this year, and continue to be pleased with new store performance. Our new wholesale and logistics facility continues to show significant productivity gains, and we look forward to the benefits this facility will provide."

6:39 am Parkervision named Samsung (SSNLF) as additional defendant in patent infringement suit and added four patents to seven patents in the original complaint (PRKR) : Co announced that it has amended its patent infringement complaint filed on May 1, 2014 against Qualcomm (QCOM), Qualcomm Atheros, HTC, and HTC America. The amended complaint, filed yesterday in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, names Samsung Electronics (SSNLF), Samsung Electronics America, and Samsung Telecommunications America, as additional defendants and furthermore adds four patents to the seven patents in the original complaint.

5:19 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • SemiLEDs (LEDS) announced sampling and volume availability of the first in its new Enhanced FlipChip, or EF, LED series.
  • Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY) announced upgrades to its IPX connections both for its in-house customer Telekom Deutschland and on the AMS-IX hub, enabling fast data exchange between mobile operators worldwide
  • King Digital Entertainment plc (KING) announced that a localized version of the world's sweetest game, Candy Crush Saga, is now available for players in China. The Chinese version of the game is now integrated with Tencent's Mobile QQ and Weixin social network, and available in Tencent's App Center and Apple's App Store in China. 

3:55 am North Atlantic Drilling announces acquisition of land drilling rigs in Russia (NADL) : Co announces that an agreement has been signed whereby NADL will purchase a significant portion of Rosneft's land drilling fleet in Russia.  Approximately 150 rigs will be acquired along with an award of new 5 year contracts with Rosneft for these units.

  • Following the preliminary Investment and Cooperation announcement in May and the completion of the binding offshore contracts in July, NADL today has agreed to acquire a significant portion of Rosneft's land drilling fleet.  
  • Rosneft will receive as consideration an approximate 30% stake in NADL by receiving primary shares at the price agreed upon in May of $9.25 per share, with the balance being paid to NADL in cash.  Following the transaction Seadrill (SDRL) will continue to own more than 50% of NADL. 

2:31 am Echelon signs definitive agreement with S&T AG to purchase its grid operations (ELON) : Co announces that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Grid operations to S&T AG, a publicly traded European IT systems provider with an existing focus on smart energy products and services. 

  • Echelon will receive ~$5 million in upfront consideration, dependent in part on the value of net assets at closing. 
    • After fees, expenses, and restructuring charges are considered the company expects the net benefit to be nominal.

1:52 am Reinsurance Group of America announces dutch longevity transaction with Delta Lloyd (RGA) : Co announces the completion of an agreement whereby RGA will provide longevity risk protection and capital benefit on reserves of ~EUR 12 billion to Delta Lloyd Levensverzekering NV, the Dutch life insurance arm of the Delta Lloyd Group. The transaction, with a duration of six years, is a liability replication derivative based on the Dutch population mortality results. 

1:45 am CHC Group announces $500 mln in CHC through the purchase of convertible preferred shares to be issued in a private placement; reiterates FY15 revenue and EBITDAR guidance (HELI) : Co announces CHC Group (HELI) and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice announced they have entered into definitive agreements for CD&R managed funds to invest $500 million in CHC through the purchase of convertible preferred shares to be issued in a private placement. As part of the transaction, CHC also intends to pursue a $100 million rights offering of the convertible preferred shares to existing shareholders. CD&R has agreed to purchase convertible preferred shares, if any are not purchased in the rights offering, which could bring CD&R's total investment amount up to an aggregate of $600 million. 

  • Preferred shares will initially be convertible into CHC ordinary shares at $7.50 per share, subject to accretion of 25 basis points per quarter, until the eighth anniversary of the closing date. 
  • In announcing the investment agreement, CHC reiterated its guidance -- first provided in early July -- for full-year fiscal-2015 gross revenue to increase at a mid to high single-digit rate, and for EBITDAR during the same period to rise at a high single- to low double-digit rate. 
  • The company is targeting fiscal 2015 first quarter gross revenue to be up in the high single to low double digit range year over year and for EBITDAR to be roughly flat. The company will provide any updates to guidance after the transaction closes. 

1:29 am Student Transportation extends Senior Credit Facility increase by $60 mln to $225 mln; extended for an additional 5 year period (STB) :  

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