The day began with a Senate staller over Obamacare. Freshman Ted Cruz pulled an all-nighter on the floor. He even played a bit of a ham, reading from Doctor Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham." Cruz has vowed to speak until he cannot stand any longer, in an effort to derail the new health care law. His specific goal is to tie government funding to the law, and de-fund it. But is he holding all of Washington hostage simply to stand on a soapbox? Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Mike Santoli has more in the video above.
There's word this morning of more to come against JPMorgan (JPM). The bank may be forced to pay as much as $7-billion to settle litigation over mortgage-backed securities. Insiders say that in talks this week, JPM proposed paying $3-billion to make a number of cases go away, but the Justice Department rejected the offer.JPMorgan stock has dropped 5% over the last week. It was during that time the bank paid hefty fines stemming from the London Whale scandal.
Meanwhile, there may be a settlement coming in the Federal case against SAC Capital. Sources say the hedge fund could pay up to $2-billion to put claims of insider trading to rest.
It looks like China's Alibaba is now planning to list its shares here in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reports that Alibaba's talks with the Hong Kong stock exchange have broken down. The main issue is believed to be who will control the board after the company goes public. Alibaba is the third largest internet company behind Google and Amazon.
Speaking of Amazon (AMZN), it's set to unveil two new Kindles today. The tablets are designed to be lower-cost alternatives to the iPad. Meanwhile, there's doubt being cast on Apple's (AAPL) claims about its iPhone sales. The company says it sold more than 9-million handsets over the weekend. But at least two analysts believe that includes units of the lower-cost 5C phones which were simply sold to retailers and not customers. Apple has not disclosed where its phones were sold. Apple is up 6% over the last week on the introduction of the new phones, but remains down 11% year-to-date.
STOCKS TO WATCH
Ascena Retail (ASNA) has been up as much as 16% on the heels of its earnings. Ascena reported adjusted earnings of 34-cents a share, blowing past estimates of 20-cents. Revenue was also slightly higher than consensus at $1.2-billion versus $1.6-billion. Ascena is the parent company of Dress Barn, Maurice's and Lane Bryant. It says the quarter was part of a larger boom in business and is now upping its full-year forecast. Prior to the surge on this report, Ascena shares were down 2% year-to-date.
Clovis Oncology (CLVS) is down 13% in the premarket. Bloomberg is reporting the company has failed to generate any takeover offers despite advertising that it's looking for a buyer. Prior to this drop, Clovis was up 333% year-to-date, giving it a market cap of about $2.2- billion. The stock is up even more 485% since it went public at the end of 2011.
Autozone (AZO) just came out with earnings a little while ago. Profits were $10.42 a share beating estimates by 8-cents. Keep in mind Autozone has a share price above $400. Revenues were $3.1-billion for the quarter. Ahead of this report, shares were up about 16% year-to-date. According to the report, Autozone's overall sales were up 5.6% from a year ago. Same stores sales were up about 1%.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) reports earnings after the closing bell. The retailer is expected to post earnings of $1.15 a share, down 2-cents from a year ago, but on revenue that has climbed to $2.81-billion. Profits slid in the last quarter, breaking a two-quarter streak of gains. Looking ahead to today's report, analysts will want to know whether the company is benefiting from a rebound in housing. Bed Bath & Beyond stock is up 33% year-to-date.