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Financial News from Barrons.com

  • Despite U.S. President Donald Trump's tough talk on auto makers and trade, we have seen a spectacular rise in China's car manufacturers this year. Just two months into the calendar year, Geely Auto (175.Hong Kong), which did not even sell SUVs a year ago, has soared 47.8%.  Great Wall Motor (2333.Hong Kong), China's market …

  • Is China's Retail Sector Making A Comeback? @ Barrons.com - 6 hours ago

    Why is an e-commerce giant like Alibaba Group (BABA) forming a strategic partnership with a traditional bricks and mortar retailer? Stock investors are betting that China's retailers will make a comeback ...

  • India's mobile telecom industry is going through a seismic change. The Economic Times reported that Vodafone (VOD) and Idea Cellular (532822.India) can seal their merger deal in a month. A definitive agreement ...

  • Alibaba Forms New Retail Partnership @ Barrons.com - 9 hours ago

    There has been a lot of speculative trading based on market rumors that Alibaba Group (BABA) will form a strategic partnership with China's retail operators to expand into China's massive offline space. Alibaba confirmed this morning the formation of a strategic partnership with Chinese retail conglomerate Shanghai Bailian …

  • DBS: Is It Time to Sell? @ Barrons.com - 10 hours ago

    DBS Group Holdings (D05.SG) (SGD18.52, Feb.20, 2017) PhillipCapital downgraded the Singaporean bank to Reduce (from Neutral) with a lower target price of SGD16.73 a share (from SGD16.85 previously). 4Q16 Net interest income declined 2% y-o-y to SGD1.82 billion due to NIM compression of 13bps y-o-y to 1.71%. The higher …

  • The convenience store operator placed itself in a trading halt on February 17 on market rumors that it may get strategic investment from Internet giants such as Tencent Holdings (700.Hong Kong) and Alibaba Group (BABA). In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Sun Art said it was in talks with Suning Commerce but Tencent …

  • The world's largest tire maker Bridgestone (5108.Japan/BRDCY) announced its largest buyback program since 2000. Bridgestone said it will buy back as many as 50 million shares, or 6.4% of stock outstanding, as well as 20 million treasury shares, and cancel them. Bridgestone is boosting shareholders' cash returns to mask …

  • SoftBank: Good Time To Sell Sprint? @ Barrons.com - 12 hours ago

    SoftBank (9984.Japan/SFTBY) jumped 2.6% on Monday after reports that the Japanese Internet conglomerate was willing to cede control of Sprint (S) to T-Mobile (TMUS) to clinch a merger of the two U.S. wireless ...

  • [$$] Legion Partners Stirs Up Chef's Warehouse @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 3:06 AM EST

    Source: InsiderScore.com On Feb. 13, Hedge fund venBio Select Advisor filed a complaint with the Delaware Chancery Court against Immunomedics. The complaint alleged the company’s entry into a deal to license its IMMU-132 drug to Seattle Genetics “violates the fiduciary duties” owed by the board of directors of Immunomedics …

  • [$$] The Trump Market: Is This as Good as It Gets? @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 2:56 AM EST

    On one memorable occasion in 1987, a Cincinnati chap announced that he represented a group launching a bid for Dayton-Hudson Stores for some $6.8 billion, sending the Midwest retailer’s stock soaring. A Florida man was charged with offering an unidentified person $10,000 to place explosives on the shelves of Target stores …

  • [$$] Battered Toshiba Stock Has 50% Upside @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 2:50 AM EST

    Toshiba stock is melting down. While not for the fainthearted, Toshiba shares could have 50% upside above last week’s 184 yen ($1.62) price. Its memory business alone is worth twice its current $7.7 billion market cap.

  • [$$] GM Shares Could Drive 35% Higher @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 2:06 AM EST

    The European Union is enjoying a lull between existential emergencies. The Stoxx Europe 600 has rallied 12% in six months, although it is still down from its level a decade ago. General Motors (GM) seems to think so.

  • [$$] Hess: Less Appealing Than It Looks @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:28 AM EST

    Hess has undergone a massive overhaul in the past five years. After a spate of production misses and cost overruns early this decade, Hess went on a diet, shedding its gas stations and slimming its midstream operations. It also refocused on exploration and production, an effort that is starting to bear fruit, thanks to …

  • [$$] Mexico's Nafta Probabilities @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:26 AM EST

    Emerging Markets Mexico’s beleaguered peso has staged a minor recovery since the U.S. presidential inauguration, even though a tweet declaring a U.S. exit from the North American Free Trade Agreement could instantaneously change everything. The peso’s upswing comes as Mexican, Canadian, and U.S. negotiators work to hold …

  • [$$] A Trump-Era Strategy for Municipal Bonds @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:26 AM EST

    The Federal Reserve seems intent on hiking rates as many as three times this year, and President Donald Trump is threatening to radically rewrite tax policy, potentially even limiting the tax-exempt status of munis. Most munis are high-quality, and the asset class has historically had a negative correlation to equities, …

  • [$$] Reckitt Bags a Mead Johnson on the Mend @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:26 AM EST

    Dow Jones Global Indexes|Global Stock Markets In an otherwise lackluster period for consumer-goods businesses,Reckitt Benckiser Group’s proposed purchase of U.S. infant and baby-food maker Mead Johnson Nutrition looks timely. Britain-based Reckitt Benckiser (ticker:ticker::RB.UK), whose brands include Scholl and Air Wick, …

  • [$$] Future Phones: Technology You Can See and Touch @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:26 AM EST

    It’s been some time since smartphones overtook expensive sneakers as the status item on the street. But with growth in mobile devices slowing of late, technology is taking a back seat to fashion and style. ...

  • [$$] Why Biotech Looks Like a Good Bet in 2017 @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:26 AM EST

    The founder of Perceptive Advisors and its hedge fund, Perceptive Life Sciences, has deftly negotiated the potholes in biotech. Edelman majored in psychology as an undergraduate, and then worked as a biotech analyst, launching Perceptive in 1999. Today, the firm manages $2 billion, which Edelman oversees along with his …

  • [$$] Baird Sticks With Its Wal-Mart Rating and Target Price @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:25 AM EST

    These reports, excerpted and edited by Barron’s, were issued recently by investment and research firms. Wal-Mart Stores • WMT-NYSE Outperform • Price $68.66 on Feb. 14 by R.W. Baird With fourth-quarter results due out before the market opens on Tuesday, Feb. 21, we are trimming our U.S. comparable-store sales growth …

  • [$$] Memo to Investors: What Goes Up Must Come Down @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:25 AM EST

    You don’t often catch President Donald Trump in an understatement, but there it was, on Feb. 16, at 3:34 a.m., in—what else—a tweet: “Stock market hits new high with longest winning streak in decades. Great level of confidence and optimism—even before tax plan rollout!” It was his first tweet of the night, and maybe the …

  • [$$] A Tale of Two Trumps @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:25 AM EST

    As far as the U.S. stock market is concerned, there are two Donald Trumps working side by side in the Oval Office. Despite a penchant for switching political-party affiliations over his adult life, there’s the Donald Trump who’s a traditional Republican at heart, a career real-estate developer and serial entrepreneur who …

  • [$$] Putting Low Volatility to Work for Your Portfolio @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:25 AM EST

    Recently, the wariness is reflected in the VIX (the CBOE Volatility Index). The VIX persists at the very bottom of its range in the 10s and 11s (versus a lifetime average in the 19s) as a new administration prepares to roll out novel economic policies amid considerable uncertainty and skepticism. Volatility is unusually …

  • [$$] Merger's Collapse Could Boost Anthem Stock @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:24 AM EST

    Follow Up: Synchrony | Review | Preview Anthem shareholders could benefit from the likely demise of its proposed $48 billion merger with rival health insurer Cigna, even if Anthem must pay all or most of the $1.85 billion breakup fee. The deal’s termination should let Anthem pursue some initiatives that have been stalled …

  • [$$] After Nearly 40% Rally, Synchrony Likely to Post Further Gains @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:21 AM EST

    Follow Up: Anthem | Review | Preview Shares of credit-card issuer Synchrony Financial have returned nearly 40% since we asserted a year ago that they were undervalued (“Synchrony: A Growing Credit-Card Powerhouse,” Feb. 20). Last June, the company announced that it was expecting a rise of 0.2 to 0.3 percentage point …

  • [$$] Auto Parts Maker Adient Could Have 35% Upside @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:16 AM EST

    Adient, the world’s largest maker of automotive seating, is a recent spinoff that merits attention. Spun out of Johnson Controls International (JCI) last October, Adient (ADNT) has already won plenty of fans on Wall Street. Adient shares look undervalued, and could rise smartly in the next couple of years.

  • [$$] Barrick Gold's Beating @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 1:01 AM EST

    As Kenny Rogers sang, “You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.” I know it’s not only time to retract my cautious take on Barrick Gold (ABX), delivered in this space, but to eat some crow. Turns out earnings really do matter for gold miners. Barrick reported a quarterly profit of 22 cents a share, beating …

  • [$$] At Home With Home Depot @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 12:53 AM EST

    A house isn’t always a home, but Home Depot (HD) is still the go-to stock in home improvement. Analysts expect Home Depot to report a profit of $1.33 a share for the fiscal fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31, according to FactSet—a prospective increase of 14% from the numbers a year ago. There’s Home Depot’s track record: …

  • [$$] Washington Turmoil Can't Deter New Market Highs @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 12:41 AM EST

    Vital Signs A wild and crazy week in Washington wasn’t enough to prevent major indexes from closing at all-time highs. Investors continue to wait for the pro-business policies President Donald Trump has promised.

  • [$$] For Global Dividends, 2016 Was a Year to Forget @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 12:30 AM EST

    Global dividend growth was very soft in 2016, managing only a 0.6% gain in local currencies—although the U.S. fared much better at about 4%. Crooke oversees the quarterly Henderson Global Dividend Study, which tracks the 1,200 largest companies around the world based on market value. Dividends tend to be a lagging indicator, …

  • [$$] Big Bank, Small Bank ETFs @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 12:05 AM EST

    Bank stocks have been on a tear over the past year, thanks to the expectation of interest-rate hikes, corporate tax cuts, and regulatory rollbacks. More than half of the past year’s inflows went to the $25 billion Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF), which returned 48% in that time. The 63-stock ETF has hefty allocations …

  • [$$] The Case for Macro Funds @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 12:03 AM EST

    Valuations on stocks look stretched. “We do no individual stock selection,” says Richard Bernstein, an investment strategist with more than 30 years’ experience who runs the Eaton Vance Richard Bernstein All Asset Strategy fund (EARAX). “Our stocks are all selected quantitatively and bought in baskets.

  • [$$] DineEquity Boss To Depart But Problems Remain @ Barrons.com - Sat, Feb 18, 2017 12:01 AM EST

    DineEquity’s stock fell 10% Friday, to $60.14, after the company said its long-time chairman and CEO, Julia Stewart, will resign March 1. The shares have fallen $23 since mid-December, when Barron’s published a skeptical view of the company, highlighting its likely difficulty in meeting Wall Street’s profit expectations …

  • The major indexes rose to new highs this week as investors ignored the chaos in Washington and refused to let the market fall. The S&P 500 rose 1.5% this week after advancing 0.2% to 2,351.16 today, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.7% this week after ticking up 4.28 points to 20,624.05. The Nasdaq Composite …

  • Sun Art Retail (6808.Hong Kong), which operates the RT-Mart convenience store chain, sought a trading halt on Friday after having soared 6.5% in the morning session on local media rumors that Alibaba Group ...

  • Valuations Give REITs an Edge for 2017 @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 5:44 PM EST

    Real estate investment trusts (REITs) haven't done great this year, but their valuations are getting compelling. Comparing the value of their underlying holdings to their stock price makes them look like a deal, finds John LaForge, head of real asset strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.  REITs usually trade at …

  • Snapchat Wants You to Call It a Camera Company @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 5:39 PM EST

    Like those companies, Snapchat helps people connect using video, images, and text and then sells ads against the content. Snap Inc. the parent company of Snapchat, calls itself a “camera company” in federal regulatory filings that it filed in advance of selling its stock to the public. The Snapchat app opens directly …

  • Finisar: Raymond James Defends Against Craig-Hallum Worries @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 5:32 PM EST

    Shares of fiber-optic component supplier Finisar (FNSR) today declined by $1.03, or 3%, to close at $33.75, and at one point dropped by as much as 10%, as Craig-Hallum analyst Richard Shannon wrote that something called the "LR4 module” has been disqualified at multiple customers. Shannon wrote it could take a couple quarters …

  • The Hot Stock: Kraft Heinz Jumps 11% @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 5:23 PM EST

    Kraft Heinz (KHC) soared to the top of the S&P 500 today after making a $143 billion bid for Unilever (UL). Kraft Heinz gained 11% to $96.65 today, while the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 2,351.16. Unilever jumped ...

  • The Biggest Loser: Campbell Soup Slumps 6.5% @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 5:10 PM EST

    Campbell Soup (CPB) tumbled to the bottom of the S&P 500 today after its sales fell more than expected. Campbell Soup dropped 6.5% to $58.48 today, while the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 2,351.16. Wells Fargo ...

  • Why T-Mobile Shares Are Jumping @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 5:07 PM EST

    The busy week for wireless companies is closing with a bang. Just days after Verizon surprised folks with an unlimited data plan, a far bigger piece of news is ratting the industry: a report that Japanese firm Softbank is willing to sell a large part of its stake in Sprint to T-Mobile, thus merging the Nos. T-Mobile …

  • Dramatic Slowing in Municipal Defaults So Far this Year @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 4:26 PM EST

    Here's some good news for muni bond investors worry about the impact of Trump administration tax cuts: Municipal bond defaults have slowed dramatically, reports Matt Fabian's Municipal Market Analytics. ...

  • Enbridge Upgraded Even as Dividend Cut Expected @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 4:14 PM EST

    Investors fully expect Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP) to cut its dividend when it completes its strategic review, now extended into the second quarter in its latest earnings report. The shares have already fallen about 30% since it updated investors on its plans in January, but didn't clarify then what it will do with …

  • Kraft is Still Wooing Unilever, Putting the Spotlight on Merge Arb @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 4:13 PM EST

    On Friday Kraft Heinz made a surprise $143 billion bid for Unilever. Kraft and Unilever shares got a lift on the news even before the market opened. Unilever rejected the bid, but Kraft is still in pursuit.

  • Aetna Doubles Dividend, Increases Buyback Plan @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 2:56 PM EST

    Shares in health insurer Aetna (AET) were recouping losses Friday after the health insurer announced a rare 100% dividend hike. Its quarterly cash payout will jump to 50 cents a share, up from 25 cents. ...

  • All That Glitters Isn't Yamana Gold @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 2:51 PM EST

    Shares of Yamana Gold (AUY) dropped 9.3% to a recent $3.12 after the mining company said unveiled its latest quarterly earnings report and announced that it does not expect to begin development of any major projects in the next five years. At 920,000 ounces, 2017 gold production is lower than some analysts expected due …

  • Expect Less Fiber in Google's Diet @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 2:45 PM EST

    Alphabet, the company that owns Google, announced a new venture in 2010 to install fiber lines carrying high-speed Internet signals. It was such a thrill that cities competed to be the first to get Google Fiber. The division will continue to service current customers and plans to complete fiber installations in other …

  • T-Mo Jumps 4% as Reuters Says SoftBank Looking to Sell Them Sprint @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 2:43 PM EST

    Sprint (S) shares are up 19 cents, or 2%, at $9.19, and T-Mobile US (TMUS) shares are up $2.45, or 4%, at $63.06, after Reuters’s Liana Baker   a short while ago reported that SoftBank (9984JP), the majority owner of Sprint, is preparing to approach T-Mobile majority owner Deutsche Telekom (DT) to propose selling Sprint …

  • Unilever Bonds Fall as Lower Rated Kraft Heinz Makes a Bid @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 2:28 PM EST

    Reports that Kraft Heinz (KHC) made an offer to buy  Unilever (UL) for $143 billion -- which was promptly rebuffed -- have nonetheless caused investors to sell Unilever bonds. The Financial Times reports: ...

  • Under Armour: You Know You're in Trouble When… @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 2:24 PM EST

    Now, Under Armour's products are hitting the shelves at Kohl's (KSS), and some have worried that it could dilute Under Armour's brand. Kohl's, meanwhile, has had troubles of its own--its stock is down 23% during the past three months--as investors have worried about the internet destroying retail as we know it. Which …

  • [$$] Two Fast-Growing Stocks That Remain Undervalued @ Barrons.com - Fri, Feb 17, 2017 2:11 PM EST

    For growth stocks to buy now, think smiles and paychecks, say the managers of Polen Growth Fund, which ranks near the top of its peer group for three-year performance. Polen Capital, a Boca Raton asset manager overseeing $12 billion, specializes in taking concentrated positions in companies with strong margins and returns …

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