MarketWatch.com - MarketPulse

MarketWatch, a leading publisher of business and financial news, offers users up-to-the minute news, investment tools, and subscription products.

Mattel extends its licensing agreement with Warner Bros.

13 min ago

Mattel Inc. announced Thursday that it has extended its licensing agreement with Warner Bros., maintaining a partnership with DC for girls, preschool, vehicles, games and novelty toy categories as well as growing those categories. Mattel will also create new content for DC Super Hero Girls. DC characters include Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Mattel and DC has been partnered for 15 years. Mattel stock has grown 9.4% in 2019 so far while the S&P 500 index has rallied 14% for the period.

Uber can quadruple bookings by 2025, New Street says in initiation note

16 min ago

New Street Research analyst Pierre Ferragu initiated coverage of Uber Technologies Inc. shares with a buy rating and $50 target price on Thursday, writing that while the company may face a "rocky ride ahead" in the near term, it faces strong growth prospects over the long run. He expects that the company will be able to quadruple its bookings by 2025 given that the company still has low penetration in its markets. "In particular we see monthly users as a share of total users increasing steadily," he wrote. "On that basis, Uber could break-even at some point in 2022, and approach 7% margin in 2025." Ferragu sees Uber as being in a better position for profitability than rival Lyft Inc. due to the ride-hailing giant's better cost leverage and pricing power. "Ride-sharing profitability depends on pricing dynamics," he wrote. "However, the #1 will always be more profitable than #2." Uber shares have fallen 8% below their initial-public-offering price of $45.

Bicycle Therapeutics raises $60.2 million in IPO, Ideaya Biosciences raises $50 million

29 min ago

Bicycle Therapeutics plc priced its initial public offering late Wednesday at $14 per American Depositary Share, selling 4.3 million shares to raise $60.2 million. The stock will start trading later Thursday on Nasdaq, under the ticker symbol "BCYC." Separately, Ideaya Biosciences priced its IPo at $10 a share, selling 5 million shares to raise $50 million. That stock will also start trading later Thursday, under the ticker symbol "IDYA."

Booking Holdings stock upgraded at Citi, while Expedia gets a downgrade

36 min ago

Citi Research analyst Mark May swapped his stance on the big online-travel players on Thursday, upgrading Booking Holdings Inc. shares to buy from neutral while downgrading Expedia Group Inc. shares to neutral from buy. May sees stabilization in room-night trends for Booking, formerly known as Priceline, as well as encouraging data around European and Latin American travel trends. "Booking has significantly upped its buybacks of late, and we believe that trend will continue and potentially increase further (we forecast as much as a 13% shrink between 1Q19 and YE20)," he wrote. On Expedia, May is concerned about the company's alternative-rental business, which is now called Vrbo. "Vrbo's growth has disappointed and slowed meaningfully, and this could persist (and weigh on Expedia's overall growth) given Vrbo changes, Google changes, and heightened competition," he wrote. May increased his Booking target price to $2,100 from $1,800 and lowered his Expedia target to $130 from $145. Booking shares have ticked up 1.3% so far this year, as Expedia shares have risen 3.6% and the S&P 500 has increased 14%.

Weibo's stock plunges after earnings beat, but revenue guidance is below expectations

47 min ago

Shares of Weibo Corp. plunged 14% toward a more than 2-year low in premarket trade Thursday, after the China-based social media company beat first-quarter profit expectations but provided second-quarter revenue outlook that was below analyst projections. Net income rose to $150.4 million, or 66 cents a share, from $99.1 million, or 44 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS rose to 56 cents from 50 cents, to beat the FactSet consensus of 53 cents. Revenue rose 14% to $399.2 million, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $399.5 million. Monthly active users increased about 13% to 465 million at the end of March. For the second quarter, the company expects revenue of $427 million to $437 million, compared with the FactSet consensus of $482.1 million. Weibo said its outlook reflects currency translation risks, and assumes an average exchange rate of 6.90 renminbi per dollar; the current rate is RMB 6.92. The stock, which is on track to open at the lowest price seen during regular-session hour since January 2017, has tumbled 25.3% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the Invesco Golden Dragon China ETF has lost 7.0% and the S&P 500 has gained 2.3%.

Tilray's Portugal sub receives GMP certification for export of dried cannabis

1 hour ago

Tilray Inc. said its Portugal-based wholly-owned subsidiary, Tilray Portugal Unipessoal Lda. has received a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification and a standard manufacturing license, which allows Tilray Portugal to export GMP-certified dried cannabis for medicinal products. "This licensing and certification marks a critical milestone for our growth in Portugal and Europe," said Sascha Mielcarek, managing director of Europe. "We're proud to increase our international export capacity and are looking forward to exporting dried cannabis as active substances from our EU Campus to legal jurisdictions in the EU and other international markets." The stock fell 0.6% in premarket trade. It has tumbled 41.5% over the past three months, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has slipped 6.8% and the S&P 500 has gained 2.3%.

Taco Bell signs India's BHPL to franchise agreement, with plans for India to become largest non-U.S. market

1 hour ago

Taco Bell, a Mexican fast-food restaurant chain owned by Yum Brands Inc. , said Thursday it has signed a master franchise agreement with Burman Hospitality Private Limited (BHPL) of India, with a commitment to develop 600 restaurants in the next 10 years. Currently, Taco Bell has 35 restaurants in India, but the agreement sets India up to be Taco Bell's largest market outside of the U.S. "We see so much opportunity in India, as it is still a largely untapped market for Taco Bell and offers huge potential for the brand," said Ankush Tuli, managing director of Taco Bell APAC. Separately, Taco Bell said it will open 5 restaurants in Thailand by the end of 2019, and will enter Australia for the first time with restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne over the next 12 months. The company is also planning to enter Indonesia and Portugal in the coming year. Yum's stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 22.1% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.5%.

NeoPhotonics cuts guidance as a result of U.S. ban on Huawei business, stock gains

2 hours ago

Shares of NeoPhotonics Corp. rose 1.5% in premarket trade Thursday, after the optical components maker revised its second-quarter guidance lower as a result of the U.S. ban on business with China's telecom giant Huawei Technologies. NeoPhotonics now expects an adjusted loss per share of 15 cents to 5 cents, revenue of $75 million to $80 million and adjusted gross margin of 22% to 26%, versus previous guidance of and adjusted per-share loss of 6 cents to a profit of 4 cents, revenue of $88 million to $93 million and adjusted gross margin of 25% to 29%. The FactSet consensus was for a per-share loss of 3 cents and revenue of $87.8 million. "This action creates a material impact on NeoPhotonics and many others in the optical communications market and related industries," said Chief Executive Tim Jenks. "We are fully complying with the restrictions and have ceased shipments of products subject to [U.S. Export Administration Regulations]." The stock has tumbled 48.8% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.3%.

Best Buy shares rise after earnings beat consensus

2 hours ago

Best Buy Co Inc. shares rose 2.4% in Thursday premarket trading after the consumer electronics retailer reported first-quarter earnings that beat expectations. Net income was $265 million, or 98 cents per share, up from $208 million, or 72 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS was $1.02. Revenue totaled $9.14 billion, up from $9.12 billion in 2018. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 87 cents and sales of $9.14 billion. Same-store sales rose 1.1%, ahead of the 1.0% FactSet estimate. For the second quarter, Best Buy is guiding for revenue of $9.5 billion to $9.6 billion, same-store sales growth of 1.5% to 2.5%, and adjusted EPS of 95 cents to $1. The FactSet consensus is for $9.5 billion, a same-store sales increase of 1.6% and EPS of 97 cents. For the year, Best Buy expects sales of $42.9 billion to $43.9 billion, same-store sales growth of 0.5% to 2.5%, and adjusted EPS of $5.45 to $5.65. FactSet forecasts sales of $43.56 billion, same-store sales growth of 1.9% and EPS of $5.64. Best Buy stock has climbed 30.6% in 2019, outpacing the S&P 500 index , which is up 14% for the period.

Medtronic tops estimates for fiscal fourth quarter

2 hours ago

Medtronic Plc. said Thursday it had net income of $1.172 billion, or 87 cents a share, in its fiscal fourth quarter to April 26, down from $1.460 billion, or $1.07 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.54, ahead of the $1.46 FactSet consensus. Sales were little changed at $8.146 billion compared with $8.144 billion a year ago, also ahead of the $8.108 billion FactSet consensus. U.S. revenue of $4.284 billion accounted for 52% of overall revenue and was up 2.3%. The company said it now expects fiscal 2020 adjusted EPS of $5.44 to $5.50, which compares with a current FactSet consensus of $5.44. "We expect our revenue growth to accelerate over the course of fiscal year 2020 and into fiscal year 2021, driven by the anniversary of recent headwinds, combined with a series of major product launches over the next 12 months," Chief Executive Omar Ishrak said in a statement. Shares rose 1.4% premarket, and are up 4.1% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.5%.

BJ's Wholesale profit and same-store sales rise above expectations

2 hours ago

BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. reported Thursday fiscal first-quarter earnings and same-store sales that rose above expectations, and affirmed its full-year outlook. The membership-bases warehouse retailer's stock was still inactive in premarket trade. Net income for the quarter to May 4 rose to $35.8 million, or 25 cents a share, from $14.1 million, or 15 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share increased to 26 cents from 20 cents, and topped the FactSet consensus of 25 cents. Total revenue rose 2.7% to $3.14 billion, in line with the FactSet consensus of $3.12 billion, as net sales grew 2.5% to $3.07 billion and membership fee revenue rose 8.0% to $73.4 million. The company affirmed its fiscal 2019 guidance ranges for EPS of $1.42 to $1.50 and for net sales of $12.9 billion to $13.2 billion. The FactSet consensus for EPS is $1.47 and for net sales is $13.05 billion. The stock has rallied 14.7% year to date, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 3.1% and the S&P 500 has advanced 13.9%.

Hormel's stock fall after profit beats expectations but sales miss and guidance cut

2 hours ago

Shares of Hormel Foods Corp. fell 1.5% in premarket trade Thursday, after the parent of Skippy, Spam and Natural Choice food brands reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that beat expectations, but sales that came up shy and lowered its full-year outlook. Net income for the quarter to April 28 rose to $282.4 million, or 52 cents a share, from $237.4 million, or 44 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as a gain from a divestiture, adjusted earnings per share came to 46 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 45 cents. Sales rose 0.6% to $2.34 billion, just below the FactSet consensus of $2.37 billion. Among Hormel's business segments, refrigerated foods sales grew 1.0% to $1.26 billion versus the FactSet consensus of $1.27 billion; grocery sales increased 2.2% to $635.3 million to top expectations of $628.4 million; and Jennie-O Turkey sales increased 0.5% to $305.3 million to beat expectations of $299.0 million. For fiscal 2019, Hormel cut its guidance ranges for EPS to $1.71 to $1.85 from $1.77 to $1.91 and for sales to $9.50 billion to $10.0 billion from $9.70 billion to $10.20 billion, citing input cost increases experienced in the second quarter and expectations of volatile domestic pork prices in the second half of the year. The stock has shed 7.5% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 13.9%.

Putin put Trump at disadvantage, Tillerson reportedly tells House panel

12 hours ago

President Donald Trump was at a severe disadvantage during a 2017 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin because Trump wasn't prepared, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told lawmakers this week, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. Tillerson said the two-hour meeting in Hamburg, Germany, was only supposed to be a brief conversation, but Putin seized the initiative and "created an unequal footing" by discussing a range of global issues, the Post reported. Tillerson spoke Tuesday to a bipartisan group of House Foreign Affairs Committee members and staffers. Trump has, in the past, boasted that he does not need to prepare for meetings with foreign leaders because he relies on instinct. Tillerson, who was fired by Trump last year, also said he did not share Trump's values, though he said both had U.S. interests at heart, the Post said. He also detailed clashes with Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who he said did not follow diplomatic protocol, did not communicate enough with the State Department and put himself at risk of being outmaneuvered by foreign officials, the Post reported.

Elon Musk's Boring Co. gets OK for $48.6 million people-mover in Las Vegas

13 hours ago

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority approved a $48.6 million contract with Elon Musk's Boring Co. on Wednesday to build a people-mover at the city's sprawling convention center. The system will run high-speed autonomous electric vehicles through two tunnels, carrying up to 11,000 people an hour, the Boring Co. said in March. The project is scheduled to be completed in time for CES in January 2021, but Musk said in March that it could be operational by the end of this year. The project is one of many by the Boring Co., including a people-mover to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and high-speed transit lines in Chicago and the East Coast. But its plans for a tunnel connecting Washington and Baltimore are not shaping up to national safety standards, according to a report Wednesday by TechCrunch. A 500-page draft environmental report said the 35-mile tunnel system lacks enough emergency exits and practical means to get trapped passengers above ground quickly, TechCrunch said.

UBS cuts Apple price target on iPhone, China fears

15 hours ago

UBS cut its price target on Apple Inc. shares Wednesday after the company published its annual survey of smartphone customers and said that it seems the amount of time consumers are waiting to replace smartphones will continue to grow longer. UBS analysts said that a survey of 8,000 smartphone users suggests that the smartphone upgrade cycle will continue to elongate, especially in the U.S. and U.K., and that concerns about China only adds to doubts about iPhone sales. "We cut our iPhone forecasts to reflect the smartphone softness and see risk of potential demand destruction in China from backlash given Huawei situation," the analysts wrote. UBS maintained a buy rating but dropped its price target on the stock from $235 to $225, at least the third price-target decline for Apple this week that mentioned China fears, after Goldman Sachs and HSBC made similar moves. Twenty of 39 analysts tracking Apple rate the stock the equivalent of a buy, according to FactSet, while 16 say to hold the stock and three rate it the equivalent of a sell. The average price target as of Wednesday afternoon was $213.62, FactSet reported. Apple shares have declined 2.3% in the past 12 months, as the S&P 500 index has gained 5.1%

Canopy Growth investment arm Canopy Rivers appoints new CEO

15 hours ago

Canopy Rivers said late Wednesday it had appointed current president Narbé Alexandrian to the chief executive job. Until Wednesday, Canopy Growth Corp. CEO Bruce Linton served as interim CEO of Rivers. Linton will remain on Rivers' board as chairman. Canopy Rivers is the publicly traded venture capital-type unit of Canopy Growth, the world's largest weed company. Canopy Rivers stock closed up 2.9% during the regular session Wednesday and Canopy Growth stock closed up 2.3%. The S&P 500 index fell 0.3% Wednesday.

Avon shares skyrocket after Brazil's Natura plans all-stock acquisition

16 hours ago

Shares of Avon Products Inc. rose more than 15% in the extended session Wednesday after Brazilian cosmetics and skin care company Natura & Co. said it planned to buy the iconic U.S. counterpart in an all-stock deal that would create the fourth largest pure-play beauty group in the world. Natura takes a page from Avon's roots in peer-to-peer sales and an army of consultants, and the combined company is expected to have annual gross revenue of more than $10 billion, employ more than 40,000 associates, and be present in 100 countries. "By adding Avon to a portfolio that already includes Natura, The Body Shop and Aesop, Natura & Co will enhance its ability to better serve its different consumer profiles and distribution channels and expand into new geographies," Natura said in a statement. The deal values Avon around $3.7 billion, and the combined group would have an enterprise value of about $11 billion. Natura plan to list American depositary shares on the New York Stock Exchange after the deal is completed, which is expected in early 2020.

Victoria's Secret parent L Brands swings to surprise profit, stock rallies

16 hours ago

Shares of L Brands Inc. rose more than 14% in the extended session Wednesday after the parent of Victoria's Secret and other brands reported a surprise first-quarter profit and raised its guidance for the year. L Brands said it earned $40 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with 17 cents a share in the year-ago period. Sales rose to $2.629 billion from $2.626 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected per-share results to break even, in accordance with company's guidance, and sales of $2.6 billion. Comparable-store sales fell 5% at Victoria's Secret and increased 13% at Bath & Body Works, the company said. L Brands also raised its guidance for 2019 EPS to between $2.30 and $2.60, from a previous outlook of EPS between $2.20 and $2.60. Shares of L Brands ended the regular trading day down 5%.

Urban Outfitters shares slump as fashion misses cause uncertainty

16 hours ago

Urban Outfitters Inc. stock slumped nearly 10% in Wednesday trading as analysts express concern that fashion misses will continue to weigh on results. "Our sales have started out the quarter below our first-quarter trend and internal expectations," said Francis Conforti, Urban Outfitters' chief financial officer, on the call, according to a FactSet transcript. Chief Executive Richard Hayne said issues for May-to-date were due, in part, to product miscalculations. "I believe all brand teams currently have excellent clarity on what the customer is looking for and should be able to execute on that knowledge," he said. "If this assumption is correct, total retail segment comps should improve as the quarter progresses." But for Wells Fargo, that wasn't enough. "The results are clearly disappointing, but what is even more worrisome is the fact that Urban Outfitters was hopeful for mid-single digit 2019 comps just six months ago, and now after a slow start to 1Q they are hopeful for inflection in 2Q (where trends appear to actually be worsening). It creates very limited visibility for investors," analysts led by Ike Boruchow wrote. Wells Fargo rates Urban Outfitters shares market perform with a $28 price target, down $2. Instinet analysts also cut their price target to $28 from $32, but maintained their neutral stock rating. Urban Outfitters' portfolio includes the namesake brand, Anthropologie and Free People. The company just announced a clothing rental service, Nuuly. Urban Outfitters stock has taken a 26.7% tumble while the S&P 500 index has gained 14% for the period.

NetApp stock dives after earnings miss, weak forecast

17 hours ago

NetApp Inc. shares dropped more than 5% in late trading Wednesday after the data-storage company reported weaker than expected earnings and revenue and projected declining quarterly sales and profit. In a fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report, NetApp reported income of $396 million, or $1.59 a share, on sales of $1.59 billion, down from $1.64 billion the year before. After adjusting for stock-based compensation, restructuring charges and other effects, the company reported earnings of $1.22 a share. Analysts on average expected adjusted earnings of $1.26 a share on sales of $1.64 billion, according to FactSet. NetApp said it expects first-quarter adjusted earnings of 78 cents to 86 cents a share on sales of $1.32 billion to $1.47 billion, which suggests a decline from adjusted earnings of $1.04 a share on sales of $1.47 billion in the previous fiscal first quarter. Analysts on average were projecting adjusted earnings of $1.05 a share on sales of $1.49 billion, according to FactSet. NetApp did increase its dividend 20% for the first quarter. NetApp shares closed 4.1% lower at $67.10 Wednesday, then declined lower than $64 in after-hours action immediately following the release of the report.

Dow ends with triple-digit loss as weak retailer earnings offset Fed minutes

17 hours ago

U.S. stocks ended lower at the closing bell on Wednesday after a raft of weaker-than-expected earnings from retailers overshadowed the Federal Reserve's minutes where it reiterated the central bank's patient stance. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% to finish around 2,856. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 101 points, or 0.4%, to end near 25,776. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.4% to finish around 7,751. Shares of Lowe's Cos. and Nordstrom Inc. fell 9% and 12%, respectively, after both delivered worse-than-expected first-quarter earnings. The Fed's minutes from its most recent meeting showed officials were comfortable with the central bank's accommodative policies, though they were split on the outlook for interest rates. Trade tensions continued to linger in investors' horizons even as China's ambassador to the U.S. said late Tuesday Beijing was open to renewing trade negotiations.

Dallas Fed's Kaplan: 'Agnostic' whether next interest rate move will be 'up or down'

17 hours ago

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said Wednesday that he is solidly in the "patient" camp on interest rates and had no position on whether the next interest rate policy move will be to ease or tighten. Asked on the Fox Business Network if the next move by the Fed would be a rate cut, Kaplan replied: "We're basically, I think, at the right policy setting. I'm sort of agnostic at this point between about moving rates up or down." Kaplan said he would need to see something "compelling" that would cause him to end this patient stance. Financial stability concerns was one reason not to cut rates now, he said. "I'm hesitant while we're at or past full employment and the economy is running at solid rates... that adding further accommodation to the economy could create excesses and imbalances that could be painful to deal with in the years ahead," Kaplan said. While he is not a voter, Kaplan is influential given that he is a member of a small subcommittee of Fed officials that focuses on communication strategy.

British pound sinks as U.K. House of Commons leader quits -- underlining May's Brexit challenge

18 hours ago

Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the U.K.'s House of Commons, has quit on Wednesday, amid disagreements with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan, according to reports. The defection comes as the premier has struggled to garner support for a fourth vote on her Brexit deal sometime in June, which also offers members of Parliament the option of voting on a second Brexit referendum. Leadsom is considered one candidate who could replace May. The embattled premier has already stated that she will step down sooner than later, amid an inability to get a Brexit bill passed in Parliament. The Guardian on Tuesday reported that Leadsom wouldn't accept a new Brexit plan that leaves open the possibility of a customs union --a thorny issue for Brexiters. The British pound has been under pressure against its rivals all week. Most recently, a dollar bought $1.2669, compared with $1.2706 late Tuesday. Sterling had fallen to around a four-month low amid unverified rumors of May's imminent resignations. The pound has been weakening amid the Brexit indecision because investors have been worried that recent developments could lead to a disorderly, or "hard," Brexit, an outcome that could roil domestic and international financial markets. In a tweet using a handle believed to be affiliated with Leadsom, the House of Commons leader said: "I cannot fulfill my duty as Leader of the House of tomorrow, to announce a bill with new elements that I fundamentally oppose." The Guardian reported that May has thus far resisted pressure to step down as prime minister immediately.

Micron's stock falls after CFRA calls it a 'strong sell'

18 hours ago

Shares of Micron Technology Inc. slumped 2.6% in afternoon trade Wednesday, after CFRA analyst Angelo Zino turned decidedly bearish on the memory chip maker, citing concerns over DRAM prices and the U.S. ban on doing business with China's Huawei Technologies. Zino cut his rating to strong sell from hold, and slashed his price target to $32, which is 7.8% below current levels, from $46. He believes Wall Street consensus earnings estimates need to see "significant downward revisions," as DRAM prices appear unlikely to stabilize in the near term given "excessive" customer inventories, and given that Huawei is a relatively large customer of Micron. "While we applaud [Micron's] ability to improve its balance sheet in recent years, we are growing more concerned about the magnitude of a potential cyclical recovery given the aforementioned issues," Zino wrote in a note to clients. The stock has shed 18.5% over the past three months, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index has slipped 1.2% and the S&P 500 has gained 2.4%.

U.S. oil prices finish with a loss of nearly 3% as U.S. crude stocks rise

18 hours ago

Oil futures dropped Wednesday, with U.S. prices settling at their lowest in a week and half, after the Energy Information Administration reported an unexpected weekly climb in U.S. crude inventories, the second weekly rise in a row. "A surprise buildup of 4.7 million barrels of crude and 3.7 million barrels of gasoline pushed prices down," said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at Oanda. "Middle East tensions and the ongoing [OPEC-led] crude output cut deal have kept prices in a higher range, but higher U.S. production keeps putting downward pressure on prices." July WTI oil fell by $1.71, or 2.7%, to settle at $61.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the lowest front-month contract finish since May 13 and biggest one-day dollar and percentage loss in nearly three weeks, FactSet data show.

Gold ends modestly higher, edges up further in electronic trade after Fed minutes

19 hours ago

Gold prices posted a modest gain on Wednesday, recouping a portion of the loss from a day earlier as U.S. benchmark stock indexes moved lower. Prices then moved a few cents higher in electronic trading after minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s April 30 to May 1 meeting showed that voting members seemed comfortable with their patient stance on interest rates. In electronic trading, gold for June delivery was at $1,274.50 an ounce shortly after the meeting minutes. The contract had climbed by $1, or nearly 0.2%, to settle at $1,274.20 an ounce on Comex, ahead of the news.

Fed minutes: Voters say patient stance can last 'for some time'

19 hours ago

The voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee seemed comfortable with their patient stance on interest rate, agreeing it could last for "some time," according to minutes of their April 30- May 1 meeting released Wednesday. Even if global economic and financial conditions improve, a wait-and-see approach was warranted, the officials said. Officials were split on the outlook for interest rates. A few officials said there might be a need for higher rates if the economy evolves as they thought. But others thought higher productivity might mean there was more economic slack than the low unemployment rate might suggest. Several others expressed worry about the risk of low inflation readings leading to lower expectations of future inflation, but did not call for a rate cut. Many said that the recent low inflation readings were transitory. In addition to interest-rate policy, there was a lengthy discussion, but no decision, about what types of Treasurys the central bank should hold once its balance sheet stops shrinking.

Avon confirms acquisition talks with Brazilian beauty company, shares soar

20 hours ago

Avon Products Inc. confirmed that it's in "advanced discussions" with Brazilian beauty company Natura Cosmeticos S.A. about Avon's acquisition in an all-stock transaction. "There can be no assurance any transaction will result from these discussions," the statement said. The Wall Street Journal reported on the talks, writing that the boards of both companies have approved the deal. Avon stock soared more than 15% in Wednesday premarket trading on the report. Shares of the beauty company have jumped more than 110% for the year to date, closing Tuesday at $3.20. The S&P 500 index has gained 14.3% for 2019 so far.

Trump says he canceled infrastructure talks with Democrats over investigations

21 hours ago

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that he can't proceed with a discussion about infrastructure spending while under investigation. Trump and the Democratic leaders were scheduled to discuss building on a preliminary agreement for $2 trillion of infrastructure spending. At an unscheduled Rose Garden press conference, Trump decried the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and said he had the most transparent administration in history. Earlier, Pelosi said Trump engaged in a cover up.

Ambarella's stock tumbles after reports U.S. may ban business with China's HIKvision

21 hours ago

Shares of Ambarella Inc. plunged 13.1% in active morning trade Wednesday, putting them on track to suffer the biggest one-day drop since September 2017, following reports that the U.S. was considering adding China-based Hougzhou HIK Vision Digital Technology Co. Ltd. to a blacklist. Trading volume swelled to 2.4 million shares, already nearly 5-times the full-day average. Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore estimates that the video processing chips seller's exposure to HIKVision is in the "high teens" percentage of total revenue. "While Ambarella is officially incorporated in the Cayman Islands, we would expect them to be impacted by such a restriction if it were to be implemented," Moore wrote in a note to clients. He reiterated his overweight rating and $52 stock price target. Ambarella shares have gained 9.9% year to date, while the S&P 500 has advanced 14%.