15 min ago
Oil futures ended with a loss on Wednesday, with U.S. prices at their lowest in about two weeks, as U.S. crude supplies posted a smaller-than-expected weekly decline and stockpiles of gasoline and distillates saw sizable gains. August West Texas Intermediate oil lost 84 cents, or 1.5%, to settle at $56.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the lowest front-month contract finish since July 2, according to FactSet data.
1 hour ago
Victoria's Secret is losing its likes, according to UBS analysts, who conducted a social media analysis of a number of apparel brands. The data shows that the L Brands Inc. lingerie brand saw its Instagram "likes" fall 34% year-over-year. Meanwhile, American Eagle Outfitters Inc.'s Aerie gained steam, as did a few other lesser-known brands. "For example, Fashion Nova, an apparel retailer which posts similar type of imagery as Victoria's Secret does, has made exceptional gains on Instagram," UBS said, noting that Fashion Nova had 37 million likes in June. "We think the market would be surprised to learn Fashion Nova generated more likes than any other brand or retailer we track in this study." Rapper Cardi B has a collection with Fashion Nova. Victoria's Secret, which has fallen out of favor, has struggled to get back on trend. L Brands stock is up 3% for the year to date while American Eagle Outfitters has fallen 6.7% and the S&P 500 index has gained 19.6%.
1 hour ago
Gold futures climbed Wednesday to settle at their highest since May 2013, finding support from weakness in the dollar and expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut key interest rates later this month. "The dollar has eased back a little...allowing buck-denominated gold and silver to break further higher," said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at Forex.com. "As well as a weaker dollar, these precious metals have found support from safe haven flows amid weakness on Wall Street, where positive bank earnings have failed to keep the indices at record levels." Traders await the Fed's Beige Book analysis of economic activity, due out shortly for further indications of the central bank's plan for interest rates. August gold rose $12.10, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,423.30 on Comex. That was the highest finish for a most-active contract since mid-May 2013, according to FactSet data.
3 hours ago
Corning Inc. said Wednesday its board has approved a stock buyback program of up to $5 billion. The company, which makes glass products for a range of industries, said the board has also declared a quarterly dividend of 20 cents a share. The dividend will be payable Sept. 30 to shareholders of record s of Aug. 30. The company said the shareholder rewards are part of a Strategy and Growth Framework announced at an investor meeting last month. Shares were down 1.1%, but have gained 9.1% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19.8%.
3 hours ago
Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. stock plummeted 16.4% in Wednesday trading after the health, wellness and beauty company cut its guidance due to problems in the Chinese market. Nu Skin was also downgraded to neutral from buy at D.A. Davidson after the news. Nu Skin now expects second-quarter revenue of $622 million to $623 million, below the $630 million FactSet consensus. Earnings per share are expected to be 82 cents to 84 cents. The FactSet consensus is for 84 cents. "We are adjusting our guidance for the year primarily due to a reduced revenue outlook in Mainland China following the government's 100-day campaign to review and inspect the health products and direct selling industries," said Nu Skin Chief Executive Ritch Wood in a statement."Continued restrictions on sales meetings, as well as media scrutiny, have negatively impacted consumer sentiment and contributed to this adjustment." D.A. Davidson notes that China revenue accounted for 33% of Nu Skin's 2018 total. Analysts slashed the price target by $50, bringing it down to $38 from $88. However, they are bullish for the long term; they expect the dividend to be safe and think the company will make an adjustment if its meetings continue to be curtailed. "If the meeting ban continues for a long period of time, we think Nu Skin could develop alternative methods to lessen the magnitude of sales declines," analysts said. Stifel analysts also cut their Nu Skin price target to $37 from $45 and maintained their sell stock rating. Nu Skin stock has fallen nearly 50% over the last year while the S&P 500 index has gained 6.6%.
4 hours ago
Facebook Inc.'s cryptocurrency project is being met with more skepticism from the House Financial Services committee on Wednesday, a day after the Senate Banking Committee questioned the wisdom of entrusting the social-media giant with personal financial information, and its ability to police such a system. "I don't think you should launch Libra at all," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said, echoing the mood of some members from each party. The Libra project has been roundly criticized by everyone from President Donald Trump to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
4 hours ago
Domino's Pizza Inc. Chief Executive Richard Allison said third-party delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats were a challenge during the second-quarter, and they aren't going away. "Our same-store sales performance for the quarter came in toward the lower end of our three-to-five-year outlook as we continue to navigate through headwinds related to aggressive activity from third-party aggregators," he said, according to a FactSet transcript. "I do not expect this activity to ease in the near term." Domino's reported a second-quarter revenue miss and same-store sales growth that missed expectations. "Domino's Pizza remains on the 'Biggest Concerns List' from CFRA Forensic Research Services, partly on sales and profit margin pressures and reduced operating leverage," wrote CFRA's Tuna Amobi in a note. CFRA maintained its hold opinion on Domino's stock but cut its price target to $270 from $290. BTIG remains bullish. "We maintain our buy rating on shares of Domino's Pizza following earnings as we believe the retail sales and market share gains the concept is generating will ultimately translate into a higher stock price," wrote analysts led by Peter Saleh. "While disappointed with domestic same-store sales results this quarter, new unit and retail sales growth remains healthy and we believe the stock's decline is more a function of elevated expectations rather than inflated valuation." BTIG cut its price target to $325 from $335. Domino's Pizza shares closed Tuesday down 8.7%, but are nearly unchanged in Wednesday trading. The stock has fallen 12.5% over the last year while the S&P 500 index has gained 6.6% for the period.
4 hours ago
The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported that U.S. crude supplies fell for a fifth consecutive week, but by less than the market expected. Crude stockpiles were down 3.1 million barrels for the week ended July 12. They were forecast to fall by 4.2 million barrels, according to analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a decline of 1.4 million barrels, according to sources. The EIA data showed that gasoline inventories climbed by 3.6 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles increased by 5.7 million barrels last week. The S&P Global Platts survey revealed expectations for a supply decline of 1.5 million barrels for gasoline and an increase of 300,000 barrels for distillates. August West Texas Intermediate crude was up 24 cents, or 0.4%, to $57.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were trading at $57.83 before the supply data.
5 hours ago
Concerns about the wholesale channel sparked downgrades of Levi Strauss & Co. , Ralph Lauren Corp , and Calvin Klein parent PVH Corp. at Goldman Sachs. The downgrades sent each of the apparel stocks down, with Levi Strauss tumbling 4%, Ralph Lauren falling 3.7% and PVH down 3.4% in Wednesday trading. Goldman expects headwinds for the wholesale channel to ramp up in the second half of the year. "The combination of persistently tough first-half retail trends and an optimistic spring ordering season has driven inventory overhangs at several multibrand retailers," the Goldman note said. "These retailers are thus tightening up ordering as we head into the critical back-to-school and holiday season. We thus see incremental sell-in risk for apparel brands, particularly those with high exposure to department stores." Goldman expects growth at PVH's Tommy Hilfiger brand to "fade," thinks Ralph Lauren's wholesale troubles will be amplified by brand challenges at Polo and Lauren, and is worried that growth in Levi's tops business will decline. Levi stock is down 19% over the last three months, Ralph Lauren is down nearly 16%, and PVH is down 32.2%. The ProShares Decline of the Retail Store ETF has climbed nearly 11% over the last three months and the S&P 500 index has gained 3.5% for the period.
5 hours ago
U.S. stock indexes tread water at the start of trading Wednesday, with investors finding few reasons to take benchmarks further into record territory, amid a round of earnings from U.S. corporations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 17 points, or less than 0.1%, lower at 27,316, the S&P 500 index retreated less than 0.1% at 3,003, while the Nasdaq Composite Index inched less than 0.1% lower at 8,224. Bank of America reported better-than-expected results, with earnings per share for the quarter at 74 cents, compared with estimates for 71 cents. But expectations for lower profits, in an environment of falling interest rates, have put some pressure on shares of the second-largest bank by assets. Meanwhile, shares of CSX Corp. were down after the rail company cut its full-year sales projections, citing economic uncertainty and a recent shutdown of a major oil refinery it served.
5 hours ago
Apple Inc. plans to start trial production of its AirPods product in Vietnam, according to a new report from the Nikkei Asian Review, as it looks to reduce its dependence on Chinese manufacturing. One of the company's contract manufacturers will start testing its production processing for the next iteration of AirPods at a Vietnam facility, said the report, which cites multiple anonymous sources, though the initial trials would be very small. Apple declined to comment in the Nikkei Asian Review's story. Its shares are down 0.3% in Wednesday trading. They've gained 29% so far this year, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 17%.
5 hours ago
Amazon.com Inc. said Wednesday that this year's two-day Prime Day shopping event was the biggest shopping event in the company's history, surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. More than 175 million items were purchased, with the event becoming the largest-ever for Amazon devices, including the Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote. Prime members also bought 100,000 lunchboxes, 100,000 laptops, 350,000 luxury beauty products, and more than one million toys. Amazon says Prime members around the world saved more than $1 billion. Eighteen countries participated this year. And Amazon reports it signed up the most new Prime members ever on July 15 and nearly as many on July 16. Amazon stock has gained 33.6% in 2019 while the S&P 500 index is up nearly 20% for the period.
6 hours ago
Tencent-backed live-streaming company DouYu International Holdings Ltd. priced its initial public offering at $11.50 per American Depositary Share, the low end of its $11.50 to $14.00 price range, Reuters reported. The company sold 67.4 million ADS to raise $775 million, according to Reuters. It has applied to list on Nasdaq, under the ticker symbol "DOYU. Every 10 ADS is equal to one ordinary share.
6 hours ago
Gilead Sciences Inc's Chief Scientific Officer John McHutchison will leave the company next month, the company announced Wednesday. McHutchison, who is also Gilead's head of research and development, joined the pharmaceutical giant in 2010 and was named chief scientific officer in March 2018. During his time at Gilead, he oversaw the development of several hepatitis B and C treatments, as well as the company's expansion into oncology with the development of Zydelig.
Gilead also announced other changes to its senior leadership team: Chief Patient Officer Greg Alton and Executive Vice President of Human Resources Katie Watson will be leaving, as well. Jyoti Mehra, currently vice president of human resources, will take Watson's place.
Shares of Gilead fell 0.4% in premarket trade on the news. The stock has gained 7% in the year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 19.8%.
6 hours ago
Massachusetts-based cannabis company Curaleaf Holdings Inc. said Wednesday it was buying multi-state operator GR Companies Inc. in a deal valued at $875 million in cash and stock. Under terms of the deal, Curaleaf will pay $75 million in cash and provide 102.8 million subordinate voting shares and $40 million worth of shares. The acquisition, which is expected to close in early 2020, will increase Curaleaf's presence to 19 states from 12, including Illinois, which legalized adult-use cannabis in June. The combined company will have 131 dispensary licences, 68 operational locations, 20 cultivation sites and 26 processing facilities. Curaleaf's U.S.-listed shares have tumbled 35.1% over the past three months, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has lost 11.7% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.6%.
6 hours ago
Ladenburg Thalmann initiated coverage of the cannabis sector on Wednesday, assigning buy ratings to market leader Canopy Growth Corp. and Aurora Cannabis Inc. , and a neutral rating to Tilray Inc. Analyst Glenn Mattson said he favors Canadian companies who are focused on long-term value creation and gaining market share, along with those with clear plans to enter the U.S. market, which is expected to become the world's biggest, if and when federal laws allow it. "In the U.S. we look for companies that are building a presence in states with large populations but a limited licensing outlook," Mattson wrote in a series of notes to clients. The analyst views Canopy as a compelling investment opportunity, and said he expects it to retain its leading position in Canada--and beyond. "We believe that Canopy can replicate that effort in other markets as those markets move toward legalization," Mattson wrote. "Canopy has the most aggressive approach to capturing the U.S. market (estimated to be the world's largest potentially) through its potential acquisition of Acreage Holdings (ACRGF: $14.50, Buy)," he said. Aurora is "one of the most aggressive capacity expansion plays" in the cannabis sector, with its aim to become the low-cost provider of premium product. "While some firms are being cautious about expansion with the possibility that the Canadian market may see oversupply, Aurora is taking the view that the market for cannabis will be global and it can export to areas like Europe if the Canadian market sees saturation," he wrote. Turning to Tilray, Mattson said that company is supplying medical cannabis to patients in 15 countries and praised its brand strategy and clinical trials. But the plan of distribution of its big shareholder Privateer will create an overhang on the stock that Mattson expects will weigh for some time. "It remains to be seen what kind of traction TLRY will have with CBD in the U.S. and until then we don't believe an established organic foods company should trade at the same multiple as a high-growth cannabis company," he wrote. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has gained 21% in 2019 to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 20%.
6 hours ago
Kohl's Corp. said Wednesday that it will hire thousands of workers for positions across the country. About 3,000 associates will be brought on for customer service and omnichannel positions. The retailer will also add seasonal associates, starting this summer to help with the back-to-school shopping season and staying on through the holidays. There are also summer seasonal positions that will start in August spanning across nine distribution centers and five e-commerce fulfillment centers. Up to 50 seasonal positions are open at "omni power centers" located within stores. These workers will help fill digital orders from stores. Finally, Kohl's has five new stores opening in Minnesota, New York, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Colorado in need of full- and part-time workers. Kohl's stock has taken a 25% tumble in 2019 while the S&P 500 index is up nearly 20%.
6 hours ago
Shares of Comerica Inc. dropped 2.0% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the Texas-based regional bank reported a second-quarter profit and net interest income (NII) that missed expectations, and provided a downbeat NII outlook. Net income was $298 million, or $1.94 a share, after earnings of $326 million, or $1.87 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted EPS rose to $1.94 from $1.90, but was below the FactSet consensus of $2.00. NII increased to $603 million from $590 million, but missed the FactSet consensus of $609 million, as an increase in deposit costs and higher levels of funding to support loan growth offset an increase in average loans and an additional day in this year's quarter. For 2019, the company NII growth of 2%, while the FactSet consensus of $2.42 billion implies 2.8% growth. The stock has shed 9.5% over the past three months, while the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF has slipped 3.8% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.6%.
7 hours ago
Shares of Abbott Laboratories gained 0.8% in premarket trade Wednesday after the medical-device maker reported second-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street expectations and raised full-year guidance, though the company missed expectations for revenue. Profit for the latest quarter rose to $1.465 billion, or 56 cents a share, from $733 million, or 41 cents a share, from the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted EPS was 82 cents, topping the FactSet consensus of 80 cents. Revenue rose 2.7% to $7.979 billion from $7.767 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected $7.997 billion in sales. Sales of the company's nutrition unit rose 0.9% to $1.875 billion, while the diagnostics sales rose 1.7% to $1.905 billion. Sales of the established pharmaceuticals business fell 1.8% to $1.108 billion, while sales of the medical devices unit rose 6.4% to $3.075 billion, boosted by strong sales of the company's FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring system and MitraClip. Abbott raised its full-year EPS to between $3.21 and $3.27 from between $3.15 and $3.25. "Our sales growth accelerated and is sustainable," Abbott's Chief Executive Miles D. White said in a statement. "We have great momentum and are raising our guidance above the strong outlook we previously set for the year." Shares of Abbott have gained 15% so far this year through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 19.8%.
7 hours ago
Penske Automotive Group Inc. said Wednesday its board has agreed to increase its quarterly cash dividend to 40 cents a share. The current dividend is 37.5 cents a share, according to FactSet. The new dividend is payable Sept. 4 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 9. Shares were not active premarket, but have gained 11.7% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 19.8%.
7 hours ago
Shares of Merck & Co Inc. ticked up 0.5% in premarket trade Wednesday after the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved its antibacterial Recarbrio injection for use in treating complicated urinary tract infections. The drug is also approved for use in adult patients who have limited options for the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections caused by certain bacteria. Merck said it expects to make the drug available later this year. Shares of Merck have gained 6.8% so far this year through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 19.8%.
7 hours ago
Bank of America Corp. announced Wednesday a plan to return $37 billion to shareholders over the next 12 months, through share repurchases and dividends. As part of that plan, the money-center bank said it plans to increase the quarterly dividend by 20%. Based on Tuesday's stock closing price of $28.99 and the current dividend of 15 cents a share, a 20% increase would imply a quarterly dividend of 18 cents a share, an annual dividend rate of 72 cents a share and a dividend yield of 2.48%. That's above the implied yield for the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF of 1.95% and for the S&P 500 of 1.93%. The plan also includes more than $30 billion in gross stock buybacks, which represents more than 10.9% of the shares outstanding. That would be an increase from the past 12 months, in which the bank repurchased 7% of its shares outstanding. BofA's stock fell 0.3% in premarket trading, after the bank reported second-quarter earnings that topped expectations but revenue that came up a bit short.
8 hours ago
Shares of Bank of America Corp. dropped 0.7% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the bank reported a second-quarter profit that beat expectations but revenue that came up a bit short. Net income rose to $7.11 billion, or 74 or cents a share, from $6.47 billion, or 63 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 71 cents. Total revenue increased 2.4% to $23.08 billion, just below the FactSet consensus of $23.11 billion, while net interest income rose 3.1% to $12.19 billion but missed expectations of $12.36 billion. Consumer banking revenue grew 5.2% to $9.72 billion, while the range of two analysts surveyed by FactSet was $9.61 billion to $9.64 billion. Global markets revenue fell 2.5% to $4.15 billion, as sales and trading revenue declined 6% to $3.2 billion. Elsewhere, global banking revenue declined 0.8% to $4.98 billion and global wealth and investment management revenue increased 3.3% to $4.90 billion. The stock has run up 17.7% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF has climbed 17.9% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has hiked up 17.2%.
16 hours ago
The U.S. Justice Department is siding with Qualcomm Inc. in its bid to hold off enforcement of an antitrust ruling against the chip maker during its appeals process, arguing that the company is important to national security. In documents filed Tuesday, the Justice Department said the district court's ruling "threatens competition, innovation and national security." In a related filing, Ellen Lord, the Defense Department's under secretary for acquisition and sustainment, said "Qualcomm is a key player both in terms of its trusted supply chain and as a leader in innovation, and it would be impossible to replace Qualcomm's critical role in 5G technology in the short term." In May, a federal judge sided with the Federal Trade Commission in ruling that Qualcomm had broken antitrust law through licensing practices that "strangled competition." The San Diego-based company immediately filed an appeal seeking a stay of enforcement, arguing that the ruling would force it to change its business model, which would be too difficult to unwind if the ruling was eventually overturned on appeal.
21 hours ago
Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. shares fell in the extended session Tuesday after the beauty and wellness products maker cut its outlook. Nu Skin shares fell 14% after hours, following a 3.4% rise to close the regular session at $45.51. The company forecast earnings of 82 cents to 84 cents a share on revenue of $622 million to $623 million for the second quarter, and $3.20 to $3.25 a share on revenue of $2.48 billion to $2.52 billion for the year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated earnings of 93 cents a share on revenue of $672.5 million for the second quarter, and $3.94 a share on revenue of $2.77 billion for the year. "We are adjusting our guidance for the year primarily due to a reduced revenue outlook in Mainland China following the government's 100-day campaign to review and inspect the health products and direct selling industries," said Nu Skin Chief Executive Ritch Wood in a statement. "Continued restrictions on sales meetings, as well as media scrutiny, have negatively impacted consumer sentiment and contributed to this adjustment."
22 hours ago
The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies fell by 1.4 million barrels for the week ended July 12, according to sources. The API also reportedly showed a stockpile decline of 476,000 barrels for gasoline, but distillate inventories jumped by 6.2 million barrels. Inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday. The EIA data are expected to show crude inventories down by 4.2 million barrels last week, according to analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. They also forecast a fall of 1.5 million barrels for gasoline and an increase of 300,000 barrels for distillate supplies. August West Texas Intermediate crude was at $57.50 a barrel in electronic trading, down from the contract's $57.62 settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
22 hours ago
Shares of United Airlines Holdings Inc. rose more than 1% in the extended session Tuesday after the parent of United Airlines reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings. United said it earned $1.1 billion, or $4.02 a share, in the quarter, compared with $888 million, or $2.48 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time earnings, United earned $1.1 billion, or $4.21 a share, compared with $3.22 a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected United to report an adjusted EPS of $4.12 for the quarter. Revenue reached $11.4 billion, in line with analyst expectations and compared with $10.8 billion a year ago. In the same statement, United said its board authorized a new $3 billion stock buyback program. The shares had ended the regular trading day up 2.9%.
22 hours ago
CSX Corp. shares dropped in the extended session Tuesday after the railroad operator's quarterly results fell short of Wall Street estimates. CSX shares fell 5.5% after hours, following a 1.3% rise to close the regular session at $79.55. The company reported second-quarter net income of $870 million, or $1.08 a share, compared with $877 million, or $1.01 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue declined to $3.06 billion from $3.1 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $1.11 a share on revenue of $3.14 billion.
22 hours ago
The three major U.S. stock benchmarks snapped a multisession win streak on Tuesday as President Donald Trump said an agreement with China on trade tariffs had "a long way to go," and a trio of the U.S.'s largest banks reported quarterly results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down by about 24 points, or less than 0.1%, at 27,336, ending four straight days of gains. If the Dow had finished in positive territory, it would have marked the longest streak of records for the blue-chip index since Dec. 13, 2017, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 closed off 0.3% at 3,004, halting a 5-day win streak and the Nasdaq Composite Index finished down 0.4% at 8,222, ending its string of gains at two. All three benchmarks closed at records on Monday. Investors digested earnings JPMorgan Chase & Co. , Goldman Sachs , and Wells Fargo & Co. , which delivered on lowered expectations but came as the Federal Reserve was expected to lower rates, currently at a range of 2.25%-2.50% at the end of July to combat the effects of tariff conflicts between the U.S. and China. Banks tend to benefit from a higher-rate environment because the institutions borrow over a short-term basis and lend over a longer term. JPMorgan, for one, said that it was lowering its forecast for net interest margin, which helped to put pressure on its shares. Goldman's stock, however, rose 1.9%, as the investment bank surprised by beating analysts' average estimates firmly on profit and revenue. On the economic front, June retail sales rose 0.4% compared against May, coming in ahead of the 0.1% gain expected by economists polled by MarketWatch. Still, Dallas Federal Reserve chief Robert Kaplan also said Tuesday that inflation is likely to remain low because of the vast changes new technologies have had on wages and prices.
42 min ago
Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico improved for a second straight day on Tuesday, but more than half remained offline. About 58% of Gulf oil production and 51% of natural-gas production has been shut in, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. That marks an improvement from Monday, when 69% of oil and nearly 61% of natural-gas output was down. August West Texas Intermediate oil traded down $2.32, or 3.9%, at $57.26 a barrel after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly said that Iran is ready to talk about its missile program. August natural gas shed 10.1 cents, or 4.2%, to $2.308 per million British thermal units.