3 Stocks To Watch In The Coming Week: Disney – General Motors – Tesla

After finishing its best month of gains in about three decades, the stock market started May on a sour note as sentiment turned negative on the worsening unemployment situation and increasing tension between the U.S. and China over the spread of coronavirus.

Millions more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, sending the six-week total above 30 million since the coronavirus pandemic began to shutter businesses across the country. With that huge economic cost, President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs on Chinese imports, blaming the Asian nation for misleading the world about the pandemic.

If Trump acts on his threat, that could again start a trade war between the world’s two largest economies, diminishing prospects for a quick economic recovery. All major U.S. benchmarks, including the S&P 500, Dow and NASDAQ, slumped about 3% on Friday.

In the coming week, we’ll still see a few big names from different sectors of the economy reporting their first-quarter numbers. Here’s what we’re watching:


1. Disney

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) reports earnings for the fiscal 2020 second quarter after the closing bell on Tuesday, May 5. Analysts are expecting $18.05 billion in sales and $0.93 a share profit per share.

Disney Stock Price Today

With the entertainment giant’s theme parks closed all over the world due to COVID-19, Disney is expected to report earnings from resorts and consumer products fell by $500 million or more in the period.

The Burbank, CA-based company is also suffering on other fronts: there are no live sporting events for its ESPN network to cover and no theaters currently open where its movies can be shown. Film and TV production has shut down, and its cruise ships are docked.

Faced with these challenges in the coming quarters, Disney probably won’t have much positive news to provide and could avoid delivering future guidance. One bright spot could be the subscriber numbers on its newly-launched streaming service, Disney+ which is benefiting from the stay-at-home environment.

Shares have fallen 27% this year, closing at $105.50 on Friday, after a 2.5% decline for the day.


2. General Motors

General Motors (NYSE:GM) will report results for the first quarter before the market opens on Wednesday, May 6. The carmaker is expected to show $0.47 a share profit on sales of $32.09 billion.

Auto manufacturers are among the worst hit companies in this pandemic. Global lockdowns have forced them to close their plants, while at the same time sales have collapsed.

General Motors Stock Price Today

Last week, GM suspended its dividend and share buyback program as the largest U.S. automaker seeks to preserve cash. The moves announced Monday follow other cash-saving measures taken at the beginning of April, when the company deferred 20% of salaried workers’ pay, cut top executive compensation and put 6,500 employees on leave.

GM shares have plunged more than 45% this year, massively underperforming the benchmark S&P 500 which is down about 13% since the beginning of 2020. The stock fell more than 6% on Friday to close at $20.90.


3. Tesla

Investors in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) are likely to face another volatile week. The electric carmaker’s shares plunged on Friday after its CEO, Elon Musk, said in a tweet that Tesla stock is too high.

Musk posted more than a dozen times in a span of less than a 75 minutes on Friday, claiming he’s selling “almost all” of his physical possessions and won’t own a house. He also renewed his call for reopening the U.S. economy.

Tesla Stock Price Today

It’s not the first time Musk has warned investors about the high price of his own stock. In the three most recent events, Tesla shares remained in the red one year out, while in the 2013 episode, Tesla plunged 30% in the following month. It eventually recovered over the one-year period, According to Baird Equity Research cited by CNBC.

Investors became more confident about Tesla this year, after the carmaker released a better-than-expected earnings reports, raising expectations that the company was in a stronger position to withstand the coronavirus-triggered slowdown. Shares of the Palo Alto-CA company fell more than 10% on Friday, closing at $701.32.





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10 Best Stocks to Buy { Second Half of 2019 }

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< StockMarketNews.Today > … Stocks to buy in the second half 2019 … Here are 10 stocks to buy today { Second Half of 2019 } …


  1. Netflix

  2. iRobot

  3. Amazon.com

  4. Intuitive Surgical

  5. Alphabet

  6. Axon Enterprises

  7. Wayfair

  8. Facebook

  9. Constellation Brands

  10. Lululemon athletica 


5 of the Best Stocks for Beginning Investors

Let’s start with five that are particularly good for beginning investors because of their strong balance sheets, positive free cash flow, and competitive advantages:


Amazon.com
Alphabet
Facebook
Intuitive Surgical
Axon Enterprises


The first three stocks are all “FAANG” (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) stocks. These Big Tech companies have their hands in seemingly everything and have the potential to disrupt the parts of the economy they don’t. Their large market capitalizations reflect the fact the market knows this, too. That said, beginning investors are generally better off sticking to well-known large cap stocks with strong brand recognition as they start off on their investing journey versus getting too cute with under-the-radar smaller cap stocks.

Amazon dominates online retail to the tune of about half of all U.S. e-commerce! If that doesn’t amaze you, how about the estimates that over 100 million Americans are now paying the $119/year price tag to be Amazon Prime members?

And that’s not even where it gets most of its profit. That comes from Amazon Web Services, its cloud computing offering. While its retail segment sells us literal picks and shovels, Amazon Web Services sells the virtual picks and shovels of the Internet.

As a bonus, Amazon throws in other goodies like its burgeoning original content as well as its subsidiaries like high-end organic retailer Whole Foods and the gaming-related live streaming video platform Twitch.


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Alphabet (aka the owner of Google) is no less impressive. Its search engine might be better termed a “money engine.” That’s what happens when you have around a 90% market share worldwide.

In addition, YouTube is the #1 video platform in the world while Android is the #1 mobile operating system.

Also within the Alphabet umbrella are a whole bunch of futuristic moonshots and other “alpha bets”. As a result, Google is involved in everything from driverless cars to virtual reality to drones to artificial intelligence (AI).

Rounding out the FAANG companies here is Facebook, the ruler of social media with Instagram and WhatsApp in addition to its namesake Facebook and Facebook Messenger platforms. Each of those four platforms counts at least a billion monthly users. Pretty impressive when the world’s population is also counted in the single-digit billions. And yeah, don’t forget about their Oculus VR tech and other bets, too.

Getting out of the Big Tech space a bit, there’s healthcare pioneer Intuitive Surgical, which makes robotic surgery a reality with its da Vinci surgical systems. The technology assists surgeons in making procedures less invasive, leading to better patient outcomes. Far from an unproven flyer, Intuitive Surgical already has billions in annual sales and has been consistently wildly profitable — think gross margins in the 60% to 70% range and net margins in the 20% to 30% range.

It’s easy to see a growth path forward with increased adoption by surgeons and hospitals and increasing numbers of approved procedures.

Finally, we come to Axon Enterprises, known for its law enforcement and self-defense products. To wit, its Taser stun guns, Axon body cameras, and Evidence.com (uses AI to analyze uploaded video footage) offerings give an integrated solution to police departments.


5 of the Best Growth Stocks

In contrast to dividend stocks, growth stocks often pay little (or none) of their earnings back to investors as dividends. In fact, many are at the pre-earnings stage or have such small earnings that their P/E ratios are stratospheric. And if they do have earnings, they tend to plow them back into their businesses.


iRobot
Lululemon athletica
Wayfair
Netflix
Constellation Brands


iRobot is known for its Roomba line of robotic vacuum cleaners. Bears worry about the threat of increased competition. Bulls, however, point to the huge potential for optionality (i.e. a company morphing and pivoting over time to become something we can’t envision today). iRobot is already expanding its offerings into robotic lawn mowers, so it’s not hard to imagine it going after other household and commercial applications soon. More broadly, though, there’s a lot of room for pivoting into interesting spaces when you’re an early ish mover into robots, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. It’s hard to speculate on exactly what iRobot could become, but at just over $3 billion in market capitalization, it’s still less than 1% the size of Facebook, Alphabet, or Amazon, meaning there’s lots of room for the stock price to run if its wildest goals come true. And plenty of room for success in between if there’s a more conventional outcome.


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Springing from its core yoga apparel base, the Lululemon brand has become an absolute force in athleisure. There are debates about whether athleisure (e.g. wearing spandex as if it were denim) is merely a trend or here to stay. While the answer to that debate may affect shorter-term growth, consumers will need fitness apparel for a long time to come. Beyond that, Lulu can grow internationally, beyond its North American stronghold (while Lululemon is a Canadian company, about 70% of its sales come from the U.S. and only about 10% of its sales come from outside the U.S. and Canada). Another potential growth driver is expansion beyond its traditionally female target demographic.

Wayfair is an online destination for furniture and other home items. Retail in any channel is tough, and it’s no different for Wayfair. Competition is fierce, featuring major online players like Amazon, all the traditional bricks-and-mortar players, and a host of online boutique start-ups. To buy the Wayfair story, you’ll probably want to believe that Wayfair can build up a brand, customer loyalty, and scale that’ll enable it to boost margins to a point where it can be sustainably profitable. One favorable indicator for that case is Wayfair’s 5-year sales growth rate near 50%.


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Netflix needs no introduction. It’s been able to stay steps ahead of doubters as it has vanquished Blockbuster, pivoted from mailed DVDs to online streaming, created award-winning original content, and kept total content costs contained enough to be consistently profitable. The worries today include ever-present competition (including other streaming service entrants from formidable content owners), fears of domestic saturation, and even higher content costs. On the other side, Netflix seems to have brand and pricing power, the notion that cable cutters can sign on to more than one online service, international expansion possibilities, and economies of scale as it continues to grow the top line (30%+ the past few years).

Constellation Brands is aptly named. Even if you haven’t heard of the company, you know many of the alcohol brands it either owns outright or markets. These include beers like Corona, Modelo, and Ballast Point, wines like Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, and Ruffino, and spirits like SVEDKA Vodka. It’s accomplished much of this through acquisitions over the years (and decades), a strategy that is generally riskier than growing organically. So far, however, it’s worked out pretty well for Constellation.


 


 

5 Stocks To Buy Today … { September 2019 }


◊ Stocks To Buy Now … { September 2019 } ◊


{ Stocks To Buy Today { September 2019 } – Stock Market News }  … best stocks to buy today 2019 are strong companies with solid underlying fundamentals, poised to prosper regardless of what the future holds. With trade wars and inverted yield curves stirring up fears once more, some of the 5 best stocks to buy for 2019 can serve as a relative safe haven for equity investors. Others, smaller and under the radar, offer diversification and long-term growth opportunities.


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NPX-Stock

1 – NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) : what makes NXP Semiconductors one of the best stocks to buy for September 2019? … Well, it decidedly found its bottom, and even after 37% year-to-date gains through mid-August, shares go for 11 times forward earnings. The $2 billion breakup penalty QCOM paid was brilliantly invested by management, which approved aggressive buybacks at depleted prices.


facebook-today

2 – Facebook (FB) : Entering 2019, Facebook wasn’t the most popular stock on the block; 2018 was a PR nightmare. But when global companies boasting more than 2 billion addicted users see their shares beaten down, it’s almost always a great time to buy. Although 2019 hasn’t been a walk in the park either – the Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook $5 billion for its mishandling of user data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal – FB continues to grow rapidly, with revenue expected to jump 25% in 2019. Currently Facebook’s suite of apps (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp) has 2.7 billion monthly active users, a captive market Facebook plans to monetize with Stories, Facebook Marketplace, payments, and maybe even its own cryptocurrency/wallet combo. Too dominant to ignore…


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centene

3 – Centene Corporation (CNC) : $20 billion health insurer Centene has positioned itself as a niche operator focused on government-backed areas like Medicaid; ACA’s Medicaid expansion requirements have helped drive CNC membership growth, which came in at 17% in Q2. A deal to acquire WellCare Health Plans (WCG) is expected to close in 2020, and has pressured shares, which is typical for acquiring companies. That said, an insider recently bought $150,000 of CNC stock at $53; insider purchases are usually bullish indicators, as insiders tend to have a better idea for how the company is doing.


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APPLE-buy-today

4 – Apple (AAPL) : Apple’s first two earnings reports of the calendar year didn’t inspire much confidence. The iPhone maker reported two consecutive quarters of declining revenue. Still, shares were advancing because they started 2019 so undervalued, and because services revenue was growing nicely. Fiscal Q3 was much better, as revenue began growing again, setting a record for the quarter. Guidance beat expectations, and the company spent $20.6 billion on buybacks and dividends.


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mangces

5 – Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. (SFM) : A lovely combination of value, growth and predictability, Sprouts Farmers Market is a grocery chain focused on healthy, fresh and organic food. This $2 billion company is on the right side of the trend toward more conscious consumption, with 331 stores (and growing) in 21 states through June 2019. Revenue grew 8% in Q2, though profits fell as margins compressed. SFM is smartly investing in delivery to stay competitive, so some capital-intensive expansion isn’t such a bad thing to see. It looks like shares may’ve hit bottom after Q2 earnings, but give it a little time to make sure.




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ECONOMIC INDICATORS ›


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COMMODITIES ›


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Start Trading in The Stock Market in 5 Steps

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How To Make Money During Stock Market Correction?

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Stocks To Buy During Stock Market Correction

◊ Best Stocks To Buy During Stock Market Correction ◊ Here are 3 of the best stocks to buy to ride out a stock market correction. Most of these revolve around the idea of investing in high-quality companies that have… Read More ›



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How To Start Trading Stocks Online?


.• Stock Market News Today – 5 Steps to Start Trading Stocks Online • … 1. Decide if this is the right strategy for you… You might consider trading stocks if: … You’ve maxed out 401(k) matching dollars from your employer and you’ve also started investing in an IRA. Most 401(k) plans don’t allow participants to purchase individual stocks — instead investors choose from a selection of mutual and index funds. But you can typically buy and trade stocks within an IRA account.


 


Trading within an IRA can be beneficial: Because these accounts are tax-advantaged, taxes on capital gains will be deferred or avoided completely. You’ve contributed the annual maximums to a 401(k) and an IRA and are likely on track to meet retirement goals. You’re also willing and able to take on more risk by stock trading. In this case, you might want to open a taxable brokerage account with an online broker and trade within that account.

» Stock trading: Plus500 Rewiew

Trading individual stock not only carries more risk, it requires more effort than investing in mutual or index funds. You need to actively watch your positions and understand whether and how to react to market moves.


2. Get an Education
Before you trade anything, learn everything you can about investing and the markets. Mistakes can be costly. There are a lot of free educational resources that teach how to trade through an online broker.

Also, most stock brokers offer their own educational centers and a staff of former traders or investment advisors who can guide you. Some brokers, such as Plus500, offer their clients paper trading, a simulation of trading that is a great way to practice without money or risk involved.


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3. Select an Online Broker
Choose an online broker with the tools and support to match your needs. If you already have a sense of what you need, you can compare your options in our analysis of the best brokers.

In general, beginner traders should prioritize customer support, educational resources, and account and trade minimums over the lowest commissions — which run between $4 and $12 per trade. As a beginner, you probably won’t be trading frequently. If you do start trading more often, you can always move to a lower-cost broker.

In addition, consider the online broker’s stock trading software. New traders will want a platform that is streamlined, easy to navigate, and incorporates how-to advice and a trader community of peers to help answer questions.


4. Start Researching Stocks
Your account is open, and you’re ready to start investing. Most traders start by doing a thorough analysis of a company, looking at public information including earnings reports, financial filings and SEC reports, as well as outside research reports from professional analysts. Much of this should be provided by your broker, along with recent company news and risk ratings.

Start slowly, picking one or two stocks and investing a set amount of money that you are prepared to lose. You can plow gains back into the stock — or into other companies — but don’t add more money to the pot until you know what you’re doing and can put research into other companies.


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11 Realistic Ways To Make Money Online Today {2019}

5. Make a Plan and Stick to it
Investing can be emotional, particularly for those new to the game. Losing money doesn’t feel good, and it’s easy to panic and pull out at the wrong time. It’s also easy to get swept up in the excitement of what feels like a winning stock.

That’s why it’s important to plan how much you want to invest at what price, and determine how far you’re willing to let a stock fall before you get out. Using the right type of trade order can help you stay on plan and avoid emotional responses. For example, stop-loss orders trigger a sale if a stock drops to a certain price, which can minimize risk and losses.
risks.


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Best Airline ETFs To Buy Today {2019}


• StockMarketNews.Today – Stock Market News Today •


What Are Airline ETFs?… Airline ETFs are exchange-traded funds that invest primarily in stocks of companies in the airline industry, which may include those involved in airline services, airliner manufacturing, air freight and logistics, airport services and related companies in the transportation industry.

Like most ETFs, airline ETFs typically track the performance of an underlying index, which in this case would be comprised of stocks of companies involved in the airline industry. The passive nature of index-based ETFs can provide low-cost access to a basket of securities, as opposed to investing in individual securities.

Top airline industry stocks in 2019 include stocks like Delta Airlines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL) and FedEx Corporation (FDX).



Airline ETFs to Buy in 2019… The best airline ETFs will have a combination of concentrated exposure to the airline industry, low expenses, and high relative assets under management. These key characteristics will assure potential investors that they are getting quality ETFs that can accurately track the performance of the respective underlying index.



Here are some of the best airline ETFs to buy in 2019:

U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS): The only ETF that exclusively holds airline stocks, JETS is the fund to buy if you want to narrowly focus on stocks of airline companies like DAL and UAL. JETS tracks the performance of the Global Jets Index, which consists primarily of stocks of aircraft manufacturers, terminal services companies and airports. The fund’s been around for just four years but that’s sufficient history to attract assets and review historic performance (three years’ minimum is ideal). Expenses are 0.60, or $60 for every $10,000 invested.


iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT): For investors wanting broader diversification within the transportation sector and still get exposure to the airline industry, IYT is one of the best ETFs to do it. The portfolio tracks the Dow Jones Transportation Average Index, which consists of roughly 30% railroad stocks, air freight, and logistics at around 27%, airlines at 17%, and the remaining assets in trucking and marine. Expenses are 0.43%.


SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN): Another transportation sector ETF with a high concentration of airline industry stocks, XTN tracks the S&P Transportation Select Industry Index. Allocation to airline industry sub-sectors is approximately 26% airlines, 23% air freight and logistics, and 3% airport services. The balance of assets is in trucking, railroads, and marine. Expenses are low at 0.35%.



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The Outlook for Airline ETFs… The airline industry is a part of the broader transportation sector, as well as the consumer discretionary sector for stocks. This means that the performance of many airline stocks will often depend upon the collective financial health and sentiment of consumers.

Airline stocks and ETFs tend to perform better when the economy is strong and when consumers feel confident about their financial future.

In the past decade, through Q1 2019, stocks in the transportation industry as a whole have outperformed the U.S. stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 index. However, the narrower airline industry has not outperformed the major market indices.

Looking forward, airline stocks could see solid performance due to expectations for relative strength in revenue per seat mile (RPSM), a key measure reviewed by stock analysts when considering the purchase of these stocks. In fact, the richest, most famous investor in the world, Warren Buffett, holds multiple positions in airliner stocks through his conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., which is the largest shareholder in the major airliner stock, United Airlines (UAL).


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Bottom Line… Airline ETFs can be a smart way of investing in stocks of companies in the airline industry. Historically, the transportation sector, which includes airline industry stocks and other transportation industries, has performed better than airline industry stocks in isolation. Therefore, investors wanting greater diversification with potential for greater long-term performance, may consider investing in a transportation sector ETF with concentrated exposure to airline stocks. Investors should not allocate more than 5-10% of their portfolio to any one sector of the economy.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided for discussion purposes only and should not be misconstrued as investment advice. Under no circumstances does this information represent a recommendation to buy or sell securities.

Best Cheap Stocks To Invest In 2019 … {Warren Buffett Portfolio}



◊ Cheap Stocks To Buy Now ◊



1- Synchrony Financial ($36.60), a major issuer of charge cards for retailers, was spun off of GE Capital in 2014. It’s both a lender and a payments processor – like another Buffett stock, American Express (AXP) – but it caters to customers who skew more toward the middle and lower end of the income scale.

But SYF doesn’t jibe only with Buffett’s affection for credit-card companies and banks. It also appeals to his keen love of a bargain. Today, SYF trades at a 26% discount to its own five-year average forward P/E. It’s 56% cheaper than the S&P 500.

Berkshire initiated a position in SYF during the second quarter of 2017, paying an estimated price per share of $30.02. It’s up more than 18% from that level, and that’s before including dividends.

Analysts forecast SYF to deliver average annual earnings growth of 16.5% over the next half-decade, according to Refinitiv data.



2- Bank of New York Mellon ($47.50). Warren Buffett’s stocks have been increasingly peppered with banks over the past several quarters, but his interest in Bank of New York Mellon ($47.50) dates back to 2010 and the early innings of the current economic expansion.

Financial-sector stocks were generally cheap in the aftermath of the financial crisis. BK remains attractively priced to this day. Trading at just 10.4 times expected earnings, shares offer a discount of 23% to their own five-year average price-to-earnings ratio, according to data from StockReports+ from Refinitiv.

But wait, there’s more. BK is almost 40% less expensive than the S&P 500 on an expected-earnings basis. (The S&P 500 currently goes for 17.2 times projected earnings, according to Refinitiv.)

Warren Buffett last added to his BK stake in the fourth quarter of 2018 when he increased Berkshire Hathaway’s investment by 3%, or more than 3 million shares. With a total of 80.9 million shares, BRK.B owns 8.5% of all shares outstanding, making it BK’s largest investor by a decent margin, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.



3- Wells Fargo ($49.15) is easily among the most troubled Buffett stocks. Buffett initiated his position back in 2001, and he’s stuck by the nation’s third-largest bank by assets despite a spate of scandals. Indeed, BRK.B remains WFC’s largest shareholder with 9.8% of all shares outstanding.

Opening phony accounts, modifying mortgages without authorization and charging customers for auto insurance they did not need are just some of the bad news WFC investors have had to contend with since 2016.

“If you look at Wells, through this whole thing they’re uncovering a whole lot of problems, but they aren’t losing any customers to speak of,” Buffett told Financial Times in an April interview.

On the bright side, headline risk — and extra scrutiny from federal regulators — has kept WFC stock cheap. Shares trade at just 9.2 times expected earnings. That’s 25% below their own five-year average and 47% less expensive than the S&P 500. The dividend yield of 4.0% only sweetens the pot. Analysts forecast WFC to deliver average profit growth of 8.5% a year over the next five



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4- American Airlines ($31.20). As mentioned repeatedly, Buffett became an airline-stock convert in 2016, when he began taking stakes in four major U.S. carriers, among them American Airlines ($31.20).

American Airlines, unfortunately, hasn’t done much for the Oracle of Omaha, who first bought shares during the third quarter of 2016. Since the start of Q4 of that year, AAL shares have delivered a loss of 9% – or less than 7% once you factor in the airline’s small dividend. That includes a 35% drop since 2018 spurred by a host of issues, including fuel prices, labor costs and the grounding of Boeing’s (BA) 737 Max aircraft in the wake of a deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

On the other hand, the share-price decline has put AAL well into value territory.

The stock trades at less than six times forward earnings – a 64% discount to the S&P 500, and an 11% discount to its own five-year average. Not bad, considering that the analyst community thinks the airline is ready to reverse its fortunes. They’re projecting 16.3% average annual profit growth over the next half-decade.



5- Phillips 66 ($102.30). Buffett first bought shares in the oil and gas company in 2012. But despite having heaped praise on PSX in the past, Buffett has dramatically reduced his stake over the past year. Still, Berkshire retains 1.2% ownership of all Phillips 66 common shares outstanding.

That doesn’t mean Phillips 66 isn’t a good fit for a diversified portfolio, especially one lacking in cheap energy-sector stocks. With shares changing hands at just 9.7 times projected earnings, PSX offers a 29% discount to its own five-year average forward price-to-earnings multiple. It’s a whopping 44% cheaper than the S&P 500.

Malaysia on Monday filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two of the U.S. bank’s former employees in connection with an investigation into suspected corruption and money laundering


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Malaysia on Monday filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two of the U.S. bank’s former employees in connection with an investigation into suspected corruption and money laundering at state fund 1MDB.

Malaysia will seek jail terms as well as billions in fines from Goldman Sachs and four other individuals who allegedly diverted about $2.7 billion from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), Attorney General Tommy Thomas said in a statement. This is the first time Goldman Sachs, which has consistently denied wrongdoing, has faced criminal charges in the 1MDB scandal.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman said the charges were “misdirected” and the bank would vigorously defend them. The bank continued to cooperate with all authorities in their investigations, he said. Goldman Sachs has been under scrutiny for its role in helping raise $6.5 billion through three bond offerings for 1MDB, which is the subject of investigations in at least six countries.

The U.S. Department of Justice has said about $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB, including some money that Goldman Sachs helped raise, by high-level officials of the fund and their associates from 2009 through 2014.

Thomas said criminal charges under securities laws were filed on Monday against Goldman Sachs, its former bankers Tim Leissner and Roger Ng, former 1MDB employee Jasmine Loo and financier Jho Low in connection with the bond offerings.

“The charges arise from the commission and abetment of false or misleading statements by all the accused in order to dishonestly misappropriate $2.7 billion from the proceeds of three bonds issued by the subsidiaries of 1MDB, which were arranged and underwritten by Goldman Sachs,” Thomas said in a statement.

He said the offering circulars filed with the regulators contained statements that were false, misleading or with material omissions. “Having held themselves out as the pre-eminent global adviser/arranger for bonds, the highest standards are expected of Goldman Sachs. They have fallen short of any standard,” Thomas said.

Prosecutors would seek fines against the accused “well in excess” of the allegedly misappropriated $2.7 billion bond proceeds plus $600 million in fees received by Goldman Sachs, he said. Malaysia would also seek jail terms of up to 10 years for each of the individuals accused, he said.

Thomas accused the four individuals charged of conspiring to “bribe Malaysian public officials in order to procure the selection, involvement and participation of Goldman Sachs in the bond issuances”. U.S. prosecutors filed criminal charges against the former Goldman Sachs bankers, Leissner and Ng, last month.

Leissner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Ng, detained in Malaysia, is facing extradition to the United States. Lawyers for Leissner and Ng could not be reached immediately.

Loo, against whom Malaysia brought other 1MDB related charges this month, has not commented on the 1MDB case and her whereabouts are not known. Low, whom authorities have described as a central figure in the suspected fraud, maintained his innocence.

“As has been stated previously, Mr. Low will not submit to any jurisdiction where guilt has been predetermined by politics and there is no independent legal process,” Low’s spokesman said in a statement. Thomas also said the fees received by Goldman Sachs for the bond offering were higher than prevailing market rates.

Goldman has said the fees related to additional risks: it bought the unrated bonds while it sought investors and, in the case of a 2013 bond deal which raised $2.7 billion, 1MDB wanted the funds quickly. The 1MDB scandal was a major reason for former premier Najib Razak’s shock election defeat in May.

He has been charged with corruption over the scandal and has pleaded not guilty.

Boeing opened its first 737 completion plant in China on Saturday, a strategic investment in one of the world’s top travel markets


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Boeing Co (N:BA) opened its first 737 completion plant in China on Saturday, a strategic investment aimed at building a sales lead over arch-rival Airbus (PA:AIR) in one of the world’s top travel markets that has been overshadowed by the U.S-China trade war.

The world’s largest planemaker also delivered the first of its top-selling 737s completed at the facility in Zhoushan, about 290 km (180 miles) southeast of Shanghai, to state carrier Air China (SS:601111) (HK:0753) during a ceremony on Saturday with top executives from both companies.

The executives, alongside representatives from China’s state planner and aviation regulator, unveiled the plane at an event attended by hundreds of people.

Boeing and Airbus have been expanding their footprint in China as they vie for orders in the fast-growing aviation market, which is expected to overtake the United States as the world’s largest in the next decade.

Boeing invested $33 million last year to take a majority stake in a joint venture with state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) to build the completion center, which installs interiors and paints liveries.

Chicago-based Boeing calls itself the top U.S. exporter and delivered more than one out of every four jetliners it made last year to customers in China, where it forecasts demand for 7,700 new airplanes over the next 20 years valued at $1.2 trillion.

However, the plant’s inaugural ceremony was overshadowed by tensions between the United States and China as they engage in a bruising tit-for-tat tariff war. The world’s two largest economies are in a 90-day detente to negotiate a trade deal.

“Am I nervous about the situation? Yeah, of course. It’s a challenging environment,” John Bruns, President of Boeing China, told reporters on a conference call earlier on Saturday. “We have to keep our eye on the long game in China. Long term, I’m optimistic we will work our way through this,” he said.

While the trade frictions have hurt businesses such as U.S. soybean farmers and Chinese manufacturers, their impact on Boeing has been unclear. U.S.-made aircraft have so far escaped Beijing’s tariffs.

Bruns said he remained optimistic about the outcome of trade talks between the United States and China and described aviation as a “bright spot” amid tensions between the two countries.

Asked about the possibility of technology transfer agreements between Boeing and COMAC, Bruns stressed that the purpose of the plant was for installing seats, painting vehicles, and completing the planes’ final delivery.

That’s only a part of what we do in the production of airplanes,” he said. Officials and executives made no direct reference to the trade tensions in public remarks at the planemaker’s Zhoushan facility.


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Boeing aims eventually to hit a delivery target of 100 planes a year at Zhoushan, although Bruns deflected a question on how quickly it would reach that level and said Boeing had no plans to expand work to other aircraft types.

Boeing also hopes the plant will relieve pressure at the Seattle-area facility where it plans to boost production next year of its best-selling 737 narrowbody aircraft but has struggled with production delays.

3 Pharma Stocks to buy in 2019. The pharmaceutical sector delivers two benefits that appeal to investors: reasonable P/E ratios and growth catalysts.


Stock Market News


The pharmaceutical sector delivers two benefits that appeal to investors: reasonable P/E ratios and growth catalysts. Many pharma stocks have suffered as of late. Some have key drugs facing patent expirations. Meanwhile, others have sold off as trade-related fears or regulatory hurdles both domestically and abroad increase uncertainty.

However, some of these companies have responded by developing new drugs. Others trade at attractive valuations due to the uncertainty. Moreover, they benefit from 10,000 baby boomers a day aging into Medicare. This demographic trend increases demand and provides Medicare recipients with a subsidy enabling the purchase of more drugs.

The following 3 pharma stocks appear particularly well-positioned to benefit from new drugs and demographic tailwinds in 2019:


Biogen Inc.


Biogen Inc.
Biogen Inc.

Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) has become one of the biggest success stories for pharma stocks in recent years. BIIB stock traded below $1 per share as late as the mid-1990s. However, in 2003, a merger made BIIB the third largest biotech company in the world. A number of successful drugs have cemented BIIB as the large-cap pharma stock it is today.

Multiple sclerosis treatments have served as Biogen’s focus from the beginning. And that happens to be the focus of its current best-selling drug Tecfidera. However, most of the current growth surrounds a newer drug, Spinraza. Investors should note that the company produces treatments for other treatments such as leukemia, spinal muscular atrophy and hemophilia.

While its almost $330 per share price may show its meteoric rise over time, BIIB stock has fallen about 18% from its July high. As a result, it trades at less than 12.5 times consensus 2018 estimates.

Even though consensus profit growth will fall into the single digits next year, Wall Street predicts net income increases averaging just under 8% per year over the next five years. Given the low valuation and the growth coming from Spinraza and other drugs in the pipeline, BIIB stock should recover and resume its long-term march higher.


Celgene Corporation


Celgene Corporation
Celgene Corporation

Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) focuses on developing drugs for both cancer and immunological diseases. Otezla and Abraxane constitute some of its better-known drugs. However, Revlimid, a treatment for a type of blood cancer, currently drives the majority of the company’s revenues.

Unfortunately for shareholders, the U.S. patent on Revlimid expires in 2022. CELGENE continues to develop and release new treatments. However, last year they botched a regulatory filing, and investors have not trusted CELG stock since.

As a result, CELG trades at levels first seen in 2013. For the last 14 months, the stock has experienced a steady decline — from $147 to $71.

Despite the negative sentiment, the fundamentals may soon form their own positive catalyst. At a forward P/E ratio around 6.7, CELG stands as one of the cheapest pharma stocks. Analysts also believe profits will grow by 18.1% this year and 17.7% the next. Wall Street predicts these double-digit increases will continue through at least 2021.

Admittedly, losing Revlimid rightly creates high levels of uncertainty. But investors should remember that the company still has four years to replace this lost revenue source. Moreover, the fact that one can buy double-digit profit growth for less than seven times earnings creates a compelling value proposition.


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Pfizer Inc.


Pfizer Inc.
Pfizer Inc.

Over the past six months, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) stock price has done something it hadn’t done in years: move higher. PFE spent years mired in a trading range. Now it has finally broken out of that range, and it could finally deliver the growth which investors have long waited. PFE stock also appears positioned to return to the all-time high achieved 19 years ago.

The equity had suffered as it lost its Viagra patent and faces patent expiration on Lyrica. However, Eliquis, Ibrance, and other treatments appear poised to pick up the slack. As a result, PFE stock has seen its value rise.

That said, new buyers can still benefit. PFE stock trades at a forward P/E ratio of about 14.4. Analysts also expect profits to grow by 13.65% this year. Although that could slow next year, net income should see high-single-digit increases on average.


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Pfizer has also built a reputation for its rising dividend. The current dividend yield stands at just over 3%. Moreover, its $1.36 per share annual dividend has increased every year since 2010. Hence, the streak has persisted long enough that investors can expect yearly dividend increases. Also, with new drugs selling well, certainty has returned, and PFE stock has finally begun to move higher. As a result, Pfizer has become one of the pharma stocks that delivers on both growth and income.

5 deeply discounted stocks to buy – companies that are anywhere from 20% to 50% off of their 52-week highs


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Here are 5 deeply discounted stocks to buy – companies that are anywhere from 20% to 50% off of their 52-week highs.



Celgene


Today’s Top Stock Market News
Today’s Top Stock Market News

MARKET VALUE: $50.3 billion

52-WEEK RANGE: $110.81-$70.09

% OFF 52-WEEK HIGH: 35.9%


Celgene (CELG) is off more than 30% from its 52-week high, much of which came from October’s downdraft. Generally, investors are nervous about the portion of revenue — north of 60% — that comes from blockbuster drug Revlimid, which treats multiple myeloma, a white blood cell cancer. They’re also nervous that Revlimid will face generic competition starting in 2022.

But investors may be fretting about Revlimid too much and forgetting that Celgene is continuing to grow. Celgene’s profits have expanded by more than 17%, compounded annually, over the past five years. And diluted earnings for the first nine months of 2018 have come to $4.02 per share, already besting last year’s full-year earnings of $3.64.

Celgene actually has a deep pipeline for drugs to treat lymphoma, anemia and multiple sclerosis. Celgene’s formulations are expected to hit the market in 2019 and 2020. Analysts at CFRA — a unit of Standard & Poor’s — believe that Celgene could introduce five meaningful drugs by 2020. Celgene is acquisitive, too, and healthy cash flow from Revlimid can finance new deals while pipeline products gain traction.



Advanced Micro Devices


Today’s Top Stock Market News
Today’s Top Stock Market News

MARKET VALUE: $19.5 billion

52-WEEK RANGE: $34.14 – $9.04

% OFF 52-WEEK HIGH: 44.3%


Advanced Micro Devices’ (AMD) stock still is doing fantastically in 2018, up 80% for the year-to-date. Wins in several markets – client CPUs, server GPUs and graphics chips for data centers and gamers – have revived the previously struggling chipmaker.

Still, AMD stock is off by well more than 40% since September amid a broad selloff in technology, and thanks to a disappointing Q3 report. The company’s revenues, while up year-over-year for the fifth straight quarter, missed expectations, as did fourth-quarter guidance.

Stay focused on the longer-term fundamental outlook. Many analysts believe AMD can maintain its momentum and challenge Intel (INTC) and Nvidia (NVDA) through a combination of licensing and customization.



Electronic Arts


Today’s Top Stock Market News
Today’s Top Stock Market News

MARKET VALUE: $26.8 billion

52-WEEK RANGE: $151.26-$86.01

% OFF 52-WEEK HIGH: 42.0%


Electronic Arts (EA) makes video games, but it is constantly changing as it strives to provide quality content. EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront is among the top performing games in the industry, and its success is likely to be continued through future editions. Digital sales — versus packaged software — currently contribute more than half of Electronic Arts’ revenue, and management aims to increase that amount in order to benefit from the higher margins on digital, while also enabling it to distribute more of its content to current customers.

The company is putting resources behind its eSports and mobile gaming, which could boost growth. Electronic Arts’ strategy is aided by some compelling macros and trends. Among them are 2.6 billion gamers around the world and EA’s 300 million registered players, who it can market new and upgraded products to.



JetBlue


Today’s Top Stock Market News
Today’s Top Stock Market News

MARKET VALUE: $5.6 billion

52-WEEK RANGE: $23.08-$15.76

% OFF 52-WEEK HIGH: 22.1%


Low-cost airline JetBlue (JBLU) is also flying well below the clouds, but it has a plan to gain altitude. At a recent investor day, management said the company is aggressively switching capacity from underperforming destinations such as Daytona Beach, St. Croix, Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the District of Columbia and Santiago (Dominican Republic), and adding capacity in more profitable routes emanating out of Boston and Fort Lauderdale.



The dip in shares comes at an inflection point in JetBlue’s growth and development. Bank of America/Merrill Lynch thinks that the company has now achieved the scale required to effectively compete in the capital-intensive airline business and can now focus on more returns-oriented investments like its premium Mint service — JetBlue’s version of first class — as well as its cost-cutting initiatives. Airline profits are often a rollercoaster affair, primarily because of fuel costs, but JetBlue expected to keep growing revenues steadily at 9% annually this year and next.



National Beverage


Today’s Top Stock Market News
Today’s Top Stock Market News

MARKET VALUE: $4.5 billion

52-WEEK RANGE: $127.32-$83.78

% OFF 52-WEEK HIGH: 20.3%

National Beverage (FIZZ, $101.45) has been dogged with shareholder lawsuits and claims that its LaCroix sparkling beverage brand isn’t as natural as the company claims. But these seem like border skirmishes that don’t really detract from the underlying fundamentals of the company, which include a singular focus and growth on both the top and bottom lines.

In September, National Beverage announced it achieved the billion-dollar mark for annual revenues, on Q2 revenues of $292.6 million that marked the company’s 15th consecutive quarter of top-line growth. Earnings, while volatile, increased from $1.01 per share in 2013 to $3.19 in the fiscal year ended April 28, for compound annual growth of nearly 26%. While $1 billion in sales may not sound like much compared to the likes of Coca-Cola (KO), which delivered $35.4 billion in sales last year, National Beverage’s focus on sparkling water and juices creates a much more compelling, albeit riskier, growth profile.


 


Looking ahead, initial efforts to penetrate the Canadian market have shown the LaCroix brand to be popular with consumers there, which is encouraging given the strong global demand for sparkling water.

Investors are turning more positive on the semiconductor industry as they look past demand concerns and start to see value following a bruising October


StockMarketNews.Today


Semiconductor stocks remain volatile, but optimism grows after rout. Trading has been volatile this week, with a 4.4 percent drop in Monday’s session followed by a rebound of as much as 3.4 percent Tuesday. The semiconductor index was up 1.5 percent at 3:04 p.m. in New York. Investors say the bulk of the pain could be over.

“I’ve become quite optimistic,” said Paul Wick, portfolio manager of the $5.7 billion Columbia Seligman Communications & Information Fund. “This is an extraordinarily profitable industry that’s trading at valuations that are among the cheapest in the S&P 500, and the companies are bending over backwards to buy back their shares. There are issues, to be sure, but I think they’ve been priced in.”



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“There’s a 90 percent chance that the low we saw in October will hold for the rest of the year,” Wick said in an interview last week. Last month’s slump was triggered by disappointing outlooks from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as well as bellwether Texas Instruments Inc., which said it was seeing weakness across most markets.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. followed with bearish results. More recently, signs of weakening iPhone demand have heightened concerns about the prospects for mobile chips, as many of Apple Inc.’s suppliers don’t have a Plan B if it slows production.

Analysts said that despite some high-profile disappointments during the earnings season, companies such as ON Semiconductor Corp. and NXP Semiconductors NV had more reassuring views.

“People thought that Texas Instruments would be the base-case scenario, but it was really more of a dour case,” said Craig A. Ellis, a semiconductor analyst at B. Riley FBR. “There are still issues, but companies are already looking ahead and investors can begin to take advantage of what has become really attractive entry points.”


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In particular, Ellis cited results from Microchip Technology Inc., which rallied after results that analysts said eased concerns about inventory levels. “Microchip is a canary in the coal mine for analog chips, which are a canary for semiconductors broadly,” he said, affirming his buy rating on the stock. “Microchip distinguished between the relatively weaker industries, like autos and industrials, and the stronger ones, like communications, data center, and defense and aero. That specificity is a more benign view of the fundamental risk out there than we heard from TI.”



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The next catalysts for semiconductor stocks are fast approaching. Nvidia Corp. and Applied Materials Inc. are both scheduled to report results Thursday afternoon. Investors are also paying close attention to an upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, where the two are expected to discuss trade relations. “The key question is whether the rebound we’ve seen over the past two weeks are green shoots or just a head fake. There’s still so much uncertainty,” said Chris Caso, a semiconductor analyst at Raymond James.

Bank of America downgrades Best Buy to neutral


StockMarketNews.Today


Bank of America downgrades Best Buy to neutral ‘after several years of outsized growth’ — “We continue to see [Best Buy] as one of the highest quality hardline names but after several years of outsized growth and likely less opportunity for big beat and raise quarters, it is harder to justify,” the firm’s analyst Curtis Nagle said in a note Tuesday.

The consumer electronics industry saw a slowdown in the third quarter and expects there is “less chance for a big” same store sales result for Best Buy in the year ahead. Specifically, Nagle said he sees a “risk from key products for at least the next few quarters.”

“The biggest risks from a product perspective are TVs, gaming, Apple products and possibly appliances. Collectively we estimate these products are close to 50% of sales,” Nagle said. The firm lowered its price target on Best Buy shares to $70 a share from $92 a share.



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More News On BestBuy: The Best Buy Black Friday hours 2018 (NYSE:BBY) are officially out and bargain hunters have plenty to be excited about because the retail chain has plenty of great deals that you can access beginning on Thanksgiving Day, much like every other major retailer in the U.S.

Best Buy Black Friday Hours 201 There is tons of pressure on major retailers such as this one to start selling products at a huge discount on Thanksgiving Day in order to get a head start over the competition for Black Friday shopping, although most of its major competitors have already changed its hours as well, meaning the move is necessary to simply keep up with the competition.

The company said that the Best Buy Black Friday hours 2018 will begin as early as Thanksgiving Day, which falls on November 22 this year, at 5 p.m. in your local store. This means that if you’d like to get gifts before everyone else in your town, consider driving up one time zone ahead to beat them to it.



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Best Buy stores will close at 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day before reopening again on Black Friday at 8 a.m., which is when most of the shopping will take place as the stores will be open all day.

Best Buy Co Inc Company Profile: Best Buy Co., Inc. is a provider of technology products, services and solutions. The Company offers products and services to the customers visiting its stores, engaging with Geek Squad agents, or using its Websites or mobile applications. It has operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The Company operates through two segments: Domestic and International. The Domestic segment consists of the operations in all states, districts and territories of the United States, under various brand names, including Best Buy, bestbuy.com, Best Buy Mobile, Best Buy Direct, Best Buy Express, Geek Squad, Magnolia Home Theater, and Pacific Kitchen and Home.



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The International segment consists of all operations in Canada and Mexico under the brand names, Best Buy, bestbuy.com.ca, bestbuy.com.mx, Best Buy Express, Best Buy Mobile and Geek Squad. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated 1,200 large-format and 400 small-format stores throughout its Domestic and International segments.

Stock Market News – Stocks To Watch Today – Hikma, Vectura, Inmarsat, Hunting, Campari, G4S


StockMarketNews.Today

 


Hikma Pharmaceuticals hit a record high after the drugmaker raised revenue and margin expectations for its injectables and generics divisions. It also announced an expanded partnership with inhaler developer Vectura to clone GlaxoSmithKline’s Ellipta respiratory drug franchise.

Analysts saw Hikma’s guidance as lifting consensus earnings for full-year core consensus earnings expectations by 10 per cent to about $1.33 a share.

● Inmarsat led the FTSE 250 fallers after the satellite operator said its core maritime Fleet Broadband business was losing share at the low end of the market. Third-quarter earnings from Inmarsat beat market estimates thanks to its aviation division, where marketing costs were reduced, but a 6 per cent drop in maritime revenues was much sharper than expected.

Sellside stories
● Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Numis Securities started coverage of Funding Circle, following the peer-to-peer business lender’s 440p a share flotation last month. All four brokers acted as bookrunners on the float.

Merrill Lynch started Funding Circle with a “buy” rating and 570p target. It said to expect the lender’s structural cost advantages versus banks to drive market share, with room for growth given less than 1 per cent penetration of a £470bn addressable market. However, it cautioned that the model was unproven in a recession. Numis also rated Funding Circle a “buy” with a 523p target. “Scale is vital for platform businesses and Funding Circle holds number one positions in each of its chosen markets of UK, US, Germany, and the Netherlands,” it said.

Goldman put a “neutral” recommendation and 425p target on the stock. It forecast Funding Circle would deliver compound annual revenue growth of 37 per cent from 2017 to 2023 and forecast the company would be free cash flow positive in 2021. But evidence of successful execution would be needed for the shares to re-rate, said Goldman, which valued the stock at a 10 per cent discount to sector peers to reflect macroeconomic and delivery risks.

Morgan Stanley started coverage of Funding Circle with an “equal weight” stance and 380p target. The company’s concept is “relatively nascent” so investors had limited visibility on path to profitability, long-term growth and margins, it said. It also worried that the model had not yet been tested in a downturn.

“Lending to small businesses is clearly sensitive to the economic cycle and the platform model heavily dependent on user confidence. To date, the company has operated in a benign credit cycle (low credit losses and high adjusted returns). While the firm stress tests the portfolio, if real world returns disappoint or user confidence diminishes for any reason, the platform may come under pressure”

MORGAN STANLEY
● Canaccord upgraded Hunting, the oilfield equipment provider, to “buy” from “hold” with a 775p target. Concerns about bottlenecks in the US shale infrastructure market had led Hunting to drift 25 per cent below its June peak, in spite of an improving international outlook, it said.

“We continue to believe that the outlook for the fast-cycle parts of the oil services sector is attractive, with customers having broadly worked down much of their excess inventory and consequently a steady improvement in capacity utilisation in the industry”


+


CANACCORD
● In brief: Campari upgraded to “neutral” at Goldman Sachs; CGG cut to “equal-weight” at Morgan Stanley; Evonik downgraded to “equal-weight” at Barclays; G4S downgraded to “sector perform” at RBC; Game Digital raised to “buy” at Canaccord; Malin rated “buy” at Jefferies; Tod’s cut to “sell” at Société Générale; Wereldhave downgraded to “underweight” at JPMorgan Cazenove; Wizz Air raised to “buy” at Investec.


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Stock Market News – Top 5 Penny Stocks to Buy In November.


StockMarketNews.Today


Penny stocks are often dangerous for individual investors. Generally described as stocks with a price under $5, the group usually consists of quite a stocks that haven’t reached, and potentially won’t reach, their potential. But there are diamonds in the rough. During the financial crisis, several stocks hit penny stock status. Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR) went from 13 cents to over $20 before a long decline the past few years. Dollar Thrifty Automotive bottomed at 60 cents, and sold itself in 2013 to Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) for $87.50 a share.

Those diamonds are more difficult to find in a market near all-time highs, but they’re still out there. Here are five penny stocks that could provide solid returns for investors going forward.



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1) Chesapeake Energy (CHK)

Chesapeake is still trying to recover from the oil and gas bust that left it with nearly $10 billion in debt and much lower revenues. Progress has been choppy, both for the business and the stock. CHK stock is now trading at $3.46, down nearly 15% this year.

Investors need to understand the risks here. The debt is a concern, particularly if oil and/or gas prices start falling again. Earnings reports haven’t been great. But there are big potential rewards here, too. The sale of assets in the Utica shale will shave about $2 billion off the debt load. CEO Doug Lawler said that after its strong Q2 results in the Powder Basin, it would replace the lost profits from the Utica acreage within a year. Any move higher in oil or gas prices should disproportionately benefit CHK relative to a major like Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM).

In short, CHK now looks like a classic penny stock with high risk and high reward, even if long-term shareholders certainly would prefer that it wasn’t.


2) Denison Mines (DNN)

developing miners traditionally offer the best chances for big gains. And Denison Mines (NYSEAMERICAN:DNN) fits that bill. Denison’s properties are located in the Athabasca Basin, in northern Canada (Alberta and Saskatchewan). It’s targeting uranium resources at its properties — and uranium prices are starting to tick up. The closure of a mine by giant Cameco Corp (NYSE:CCJ) presents a near-term catalyst to those prices — and the discounted fair value of Denison’s mines.

Obviously, there is a ton of risk here. Denison is unprofitable, and likely will need to raise more capital down the line. But DNN actually could provide what mining stocks are supposed to: leverage to the price of uranium. With fundamentals perhaps supporting some upside in the metal, DNN could follow.


3) Plug Power (PLUG)

Clean energy historically has been a graveyard for investor capital, and hydrogen vehicle developer Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) hasn’t been any different. The stock trades well below peaks from last decade, and is down about three-quarters from early 2014 levels as well.

Plug Power has signed deals with Walmart (NYSE:WMT) in 2014 and with Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) last year. It joined forces with FedEx (NYSE:FDX) in May. The company remains unprofitable, but cash burn is slowing, and the company is guiding for profits in the second half (albeit with a ton of adjustments; GAAP earnings remain a long way off). Revenue is growing quickly, with gross revenue up 90% year-over-year in Q1.

PLUG has pivoted toward industrial applications — and there is some promise there. Investors in PLUG will have to be patient, have to tolerate volatility and have to accept risk. But if Plug Power finally can gain some traction, the current share price around $2 could move much higher.



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4) Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW)

The internet content delivery provider is a small fish compared to industry leader Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) — but it’s making progress. Revenue has risen 14% in the first half, with non-GAAP EPS more than doubling.

LLNW looks rather expensive on a P/E basis, but margins are thin and EV/EBITDA multiples are favorable. With a recent pullback to $4.03, a continuation of the recent trend should drive upside in the stock.

With Akamai rebounding amid easing of some industry-wide concerns — notably customers like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) choosing DIY options — Limelight is positioned to keep double-digit revenue growth intact. That will boost margins and profits — and likely get LLNW out of the penny stock category altogether.

5) Sportsman’s Warehouse (SPWH)

Sportsman’s Warehouse (NASDAQ:SPWH) only barely makes this list since its current price of $5.18 is just above the $5 penny stock cutoff limit. Investors were concerned about weaker firearm sales after the election of Donald Trump. (Perhaps counterintuitively, firearm sales rise under Democratic presidents and fall under Republican administrations.) A reasonably leveraged balance sheet offered another worry.

But SPWH is lapping the impact of the election, as shown by 3.4% same-store sales growth in its first quarter. A debt refinancing lowers interest costs. And yet, after a recent ~15% pullback, SPWH trades at just 7x next year’s consensus EPS.There’s a lot to like here, particularly for investors bullish.

Today’s Stock Market News – Fitbit was soaring Thursday, up more than 12% ahead of the opening bell.


Stock Market News Today


 

Fitbit was soaring Thursday, up more than 12% ahead of the opening bell, after reporting third-quarter results that beat on both the top and bottom line and reaffirming its full-year revenue guidance. The fitness-tracker maker earned an adjusted $0.04 a share on revenue of $394 million, easily beating the $0.01 loss and $381.2 million that was expected by the Bloomberg consensus.

Fitbit reaffirmed its full-year revenue guidance of $1.5 billion, edging out the $1.49 billion that Wall Street analysts were hoping for.
“We have been incredibly focused on executing our transition plan and as a result, saw a return to profitability this quarter, and are re-affirming our full year revenue guidance of $1.5 billion,” cofounder and CEO James Park said in the earnings release.

“We succeeded in growing our healthcare business by 26% and diversifying our revenue to compete in the changing wearables category and saw sequential growth in both tracker and smartwatch devices.”


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Fitbit said it sold 3.5 million wearable devices during the quarter, and that the average selling price increased by 3% to $108. Its Fitbit Versa, Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Ace, and Fitbit Aria 2 — all launced within the past year — represented 62% of revenue. “We are now the number two player in the smartwatch space in the U.S. – a category we just entered with zero share only fourteen months ago,” Park said. Fitbit was down 17.16% this year through Wednesday.


More News On Fitbit

Fitbit finally returns to profit thanks to the Versa. The question is whether or not it can keep the momentum going.

Fitbit was hoping it would return to profit after many months of losses, and it turns out that faith was well-placed. The wearable maker earned a net profit of $10 million for the third quarter of 2018, beating both its $2.8 million loss from a year earlier and the stiff 54.2 million loss from this spring. And it’s not shy about why it went from red ink to black — Fitbit mostly owes the recovery to smartwatches, and the Versa in particular.

The company sold slightly fewer devices than it did a year ago (3.5 million versus 3.6 million), but the ratio of smartwatches went up. It was making more money from each sale, even if it wasn’t moving as many devices as it once was. Versa sales clearly led that charge, with the lower-cost watch outperforming rivals from Garmin, Samsung and Fossil in the US. Fitbit was second only to Apple in the country, which is no mean feat for a company that debuted its first watch (the Ionic) 14 months ago and, to put it mildly, stumbled out of the gate.

Whether or not Fitbit can stay above water isn’t certain. The Versa’s $199 price and fitness focus help, but it also spent much of Q3 competing against old-in-the-tooth rivals. The Apple Watch Series 4 had only been out for a couple of weeks before the quarter was over. Now, Fitbit has to compete against both the Series 4 and rivals like Samsung’s Galaxy Watch during a full, fierce holiday quarter.


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There’s also the matter of selling enough smartwatches in the long run. Fitbit was quick to acknowledge that its fitness tracker sales will likely keep dropping during the holidays, and that the uptick in smartwatches won’t necessarily make up the difference. It needs to keep growing its watch business if it’s going to thrive, and that’s not guaranteed to happen given the competitive landscape.

Today’s Stock Market News – Dialog Semiconductor expects revenues to grow after a $600 million deal with Apple.


Stock Market News Today



Dialog sees double-digit growth, stable margins after Apple deal. Dialog Semiconductor expects revenues to grow after a $600 million deal with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to transfer patents and programmers key to making the iPhone’s main power chip. The landmark deal buys time for the Anglo-German chip designer, which relies on Apple for three-quarters of sales, to reinvent itself as a more diversified firm that will target new markets such as the Internet of Things.

With Apple’s latest iPhones and iPads packing Dialog chips, there will be continuity until next year’s launch cycle, securing overall revenues in 2019 on a similar level to this year’s expected $1.46 billion. “We are not going to fall off a cliff,” Chief Executive Jalal Bagherli told Reuters in an interview. The longer-term forecast for revenue growth in the mid-teens applies to the Dialog operations not covered by the Apple deal.


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Dialog’s shares jumped by a third on Oct. 11, the day of the Apple deal. They gained another 7 percent following the strategy update, extending their rally on the back of Wednesday’s forecast-beating third-quarter results. Bagherli was due to hold a strategy briefing with analysts in London on Thursday and ahead of the event the company provided its first guidance on its outlook for 2019. The Apple deal will not have any impact on the current year.

With the proceeds from the deal adding to the $617 million already on hand, Bagherli said Dialog would seek to grow through mergers and acquisitions. He said that Dialog was looking at several potential targets to supplement its existing strengths, but would exercise financial discipline. “We are not looking at acquisitions that require massive leverage,” he told Reuters.

Around half of the proceeds of the Apple deal would go towards running the business, leaving the remainder, plus cash on hand, free for takeovers or share buybacks. Dialog said on Wednesday it would spend up to 150 million euros on buying back nearly a tenth of its shares. Dialog’s longer-term guidance telegraphed a message of continuity. The company expects underlying gross margins of between 47 and 48 percent, a fraction below its third-quarter performance of 48.6 percent.

It sees its underlying operating margin at between 18 and 23 percent, compared to a third-quarter outturn of 21.8 percent. Dialog, which has no chip production assets of its own, is more tied to the fortunes of Apple than it is to the broader semiconductor industry cycle, where Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics (KS:005930) has warned that a two-year boom in memory chips could be ending.

It wants to shake off that image by deploying its expertise in so-called mixed-signal integrated circuits – which can handle both analogue and digital signals – to capture new market opportunities.

Dialog claims market leadership in rapid-charging and configurable chips that are used, for example, to power up smartphones. It is number two in Bluetooth low-energy products that connect wearable devices like fitness trackers. Bagherli said he saw new opportunities in the Internet of Things that comprises connected ‘smart’ devices, such as Bluetooth-enabled styluses for tablets or for tyre-pressure monitors.

Dialog is also talking to pharmaceutical companies about designing chips for devices such as insulin pumps and glucose meters, part of an e-healthcare trend where patients can self-medicate while their condition is monitored remotely.

Another new product area Dialog hopes to move into is gaming consoles, whose power-management demands are similar to those of smartphones or tablets, Bagherli said.

More Stock Market News On Dialog Semiconductor.

MarketWatch.com– Dialog Semiconductor PLC (DLG.XE) said Wednesday that it was on track to achieve its full-year targets based on its third-quarter net income and revenue results. The Frankfurt-listed company said net income for the third quarter was down 2% year-on-year to $46.4 million. Revenue for the quarter was up 6% to $383.6 million and within the company’s target range of between $365 million and $395 million.


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Dialog’s gross margin for the third quarter was 48.5% and “broadly” in-line with last year’s figure, it said. Operating profit for the quarter was up 1% to $63.5 million. The company had an earnings per share of $0.60 in the quarter, down from $0.62 the third quarter last year, said Dialog.

Going forward, Dialog said it expects to generate fourth-quarter revenue of between $430 million and $470 million and full-year revenue of roughly $1.46 billion, an 8% increase from last year. These developments put the company on track to achieve a gross margin for 2018 in line with last year’s result of 45.9%, said Dialog.

Today’s Stock Market News – 5 Top Stocks to Buy in November


Stock Market News Today 



October is almost over. Though the month tends to bring about an end to the typical September lull and kick-starts the usual year-end bullishness, this year, the month has been extraordinarily rough.

The S&P 500 is down roughly 8% for the month and doesn’t look particularly well-positioned for bulls seeking stocks to buy. Nevertheless, doesn’t inherently mean stocks should be avoided. Earnings season is going well — the S&P 500’s third-quarter bottom line is on pace to improve by 29% — and we just learned Q3‘s GDP growth rate is on the order of 3.5%. That’s a backdrop that ultimately bodes well for most stocks, even if you have to shop around for the right entry point.

To that end, here’s a rundown of 5 top stocks to buy in November. In some cases they’re just great stocks that are far too oversold, while in other cases these names have been oddly resilient. Either way, they each merit a closer look as potential additions to your portfolio.


1) Delta Air Lines (DAL)

Shares of Delta Air Lines (DAL) have had their ups and downs, but by and large they’ve seen more ups than downs. The rising trading range that has framed the gains since early last year is still intact, and the stock just pushed up and off the lower boundary of that range. There’s some room to run. That’s not the only reason an investor might want to make Delta one of their stocks to buy this month, however. In the most recent long-term market outlook regularly updated by aircraft company Boeing (BA), the organization said demand for air travel would grow at an annual pace of 4.7% for the next 20 years … the best growth pace in decades.

Although the outlook is meant to give current and prospective owners of BA stock a feel for what lies ahead, it bodes just as well for Delta Air Lines, which will be flying the planes that meet that air travel need.


2) Verizon Communications (VZ)

Though peers, rivals and in some regards carbon copies of one another, somehow Verizon Communications (VZ) has managed to distinguish itself from AT&T… in a good way. While AT&T may have bogged itself down with a few too many media acquisitions, Verizon has mostly stuck to what it does best — investing heavily in its own network and capabilities. The fact that it was the first to commercialize 5G connectivity is only a microcosm of its capabilities. More important, investors have finally taken notice in earnest. A long-standing resistance line around $55 was finally broken last week. Though there’s a good chance VZ stock will peel back a little and regroup before moving meaningfully higher, the heavy lifting has been done.


3) Amgen (AMGN)

Though it’s certainly capable of dishing out its harrowing moments, one thing has become clear about Amgen (AMGN) — you never want to bet against it for too long. It has earned a spot among the stocks to buy here and now not despite the 10% tumble since late September, but because of it. That said, it’s not just the repeating “two steps forward, one step back” cycle that makes AMGN a buy here. The biopharma company is one that’s built for sustained, predictable growth.

No one drug accounts for more than one-fourth of Amgen’s sales, and only two drugs make up any more than one-tenth of its revenue. The pipeline’s nicely packed too. Amgen has got nine phase-3 trials underway, and is developing five different biosimilars. It’s not overly dependent on any one drug and has plenty of replacements in store for when it does start to lose patent protection on existing drugs.


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4) Coca-Cola (KO)

If you think Coca-Cola (KO) is fighting an uphill battle against the health-minded movement that’s steering consumers away from sugary drinks, think again.

It’s a real headwind, but isn’t blowing harder than the beverage company can handle. Coca-Cola just dished out its third quarter results, reporting that organic sales were up 6%, and that beverage volume was up 2%. Granted, the bulk of its growth came from diet sodas and water, but that’s the point — the company is adapting.


5) Valero Energy (VLO)

Shares of Valero Energy (VLO) have been hammered since early October, plain and simple. The stock’s off to the tune of 25% for the month, and at one point was down even more. It’s a bit difficult to pinpoint the cause for the big setback. It coincided with news that Valero was re-acquiring Valero Energy Partners for nearly a billion dollars, but that may have only been a small part of the selloff if it was a reason at all.

The big loss may have had as much to do with new maritime shipping rules that require the use of cleaner fuels. The pullback also coincides with a distinct, albeit subtle, weakening in the price of crude oil. Whatever the cause(s), the bears arguably overshot. Analysts collectively believe VLO stock is worth nearly $126 per share, which is more than 40% better than its current price.

Stock Market News: Top 5 Things to Know in The Market Today – Monday 2018/10/29


Stock Market News Today



1. Wall Street Points to Tentative Rebound After Last Week’s Rout

U.S. stock futures pointed to a positive start to the trading week, with the major indices edging higher, as investors turned their focus to the latest batch of corporate earnings. About a quarter of S&P 500 companies report in what will be the last big week for third-quarter earnings on Wall Street, with results from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) highlighting the schedule.

Mon: $MDLZ
Tues: $FB $EBAY $BIDU $GE $MA $KO $UAA $PFE
Wed: $GM $S $YUM
Thurs: $AAPL $SBUX $TEVA $SPOT $DDD
Fri: $BABA $XOM

At 5:45AM ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were up 50 points, or about 0.2%, the S&P 500 futures added 8 points, or around 0.3%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 55 points, or roughly 0.8%. Stocks fell sharply on Friday as investors slogged through another volatile session on Wall Street, which saw the S&P 500 end at its lowest level since early May, flirting with correction territory.

Elsewhere, in Europe, the region’s major bourses were broadly higher, with HSBC shares pacing the financial sector, even as political risks in Germany, Italy and the UK continue to weigh on sentiment. Earlier, Asian stock markets gave up most of their morning gains to end mixed, as major Chinese indexes fell more than 2% each by the end of the session.


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2. IBM Acquires Red Hat For $34B

IBM (NYSE:IBM) is acquiring Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), a major distributor of open-source software and technology, in a deal valued around $34 billion, as it seeks to diversify its technology hardware and consulting business into higher-margin products and services. According to a joint statement released Sunday, IBM, which has a market capitalization of $114 billion, will pay $190 per share in cash for Red Hat, a 63% premium to Friday’s closing share price of $116.68. The acquisition is by far IBM’s largest deal ever, and the third-biggest in the history of U.S. tech.

The open source, enterprise software maker will become a unit of IBM’s Hybrid Cloud division, with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst joining IBM’s senior management team and reporting to CEO Ginni Rometty.

3. Dollar Holds Near 10-Week High

Away from equities, the dollar was broadly higher against a basket of the other major currencies, holding close to Friday’s 10-week highs.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, edged up 0.2% to 96.33, not far from the 10-week peak of 96.62 set on Friday. Elsewhere in currencies, the euro was a touch lower, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced calls from her own conservatives to cede the party’s leadership, further eroding her authority after painful losses in a regional election.

The pound was also slightly lower against the greenback, as investors awaited the autumn budget statement from British Chancellor Philip Hammond.

4. Oil Prices Edge Lower

In commodities, oil prices were lower to start the week, as a slump in stock markets and concerns about slowing global growth clouded the fuel demand outlook.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $67.06 a barrel, down 54 cents, or 0.8%, from their last settlement. Front-month Brent crude oil futures were trading down 63 cents, or 0.8%, at $77.03 a barrel.

Losses were kept in check as looming U.S. sanctions on Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), are widely expected to lead to a tighter market. The sanctions, due to come into force Nov. 4, are being reinstated after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year.


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5. U.S. PCE Inflation Data

On the economic calendar, investors will get more data on the state of the U.S. consumer with personal income and spending data for September set for release at 8:30AM ET. Economists expect personal income to rise 0.4% over the prior month, while spending is forecast to gain 0.4%, according to estimates. The Fed’s preferred inflation metric, core personal consumption expenditures (PCE), is also set for release in the morning.

The consensus forecast is that the report will show that the core PCE price index inched up 0.1% last month. On an annualized basis, core PCE prices are expected to rise 2%.

The highlight of this week’s data releases will come Friday, when the U.S. Labor Department releases the nonfarm payrolls report for October.

Yes Bank Ltd.’s profit missed estimates in the July-September quarter on higher provisions.

 

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The second-quarter earnings were reported amid uncertainty over the bank’s top management. Rana Kapoor, co-founder and chief executive officer, has been asked to step down by the end of January 2019 after the RBI denied him another three-year term. The process of finding a new CEO is underway. Gross non performing assets rose 37 percent in absolute terms on a quarter-on-quarter basis. As a percentage of total assets, the gross NPA ratio stood at 1.6 percent compared with 1.31 percent in the previous quarter. The net NPA ratio was at 0.84 percent compared with 0.59 percent.

Slippages during the quarter jumped to Rs 1,631.6 crore, which included a single account of Rs 631 crore. Rajat Monga, senior group president at Yes Bank, said that the jump in slippages was because of a one-off and the bank expects an “imminent” upgrade.

The bank disclosed an exposure of Rs 2,600 crore to the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. group. The account is currently standard, said Monga, adding that no additional provisions have been made against this exposure. Monga said the exposure is to special purpose vehicles of the group and not to the parent firm.

Provisions rose 50 percent from the previous quarter to Rs 940 crore because of mark-to-market losses on its bond portfolio. Despite that, the bank’s provision coverage ratio fell 700 basis points to 48 percent. Explaining the low provision coverage ratio, Monga said the bank had chosen not to provide against the one large corporate account that slipped since they expect it to recover soon. If that happens, the provision coverage ratio will improve in the next quarter.

The bank also reiterated its credit cost guidance. For the quarter, credit costs were at 18 basis points for the quarter and 34 basis points for the half year ended Sept. 30, 2018. Advances growth during the quarter was at 61.2 percent. This is the third consecutive quarter that the bank has seen more than 50 percent year-on-year growth. Monga said the bank sees strong growth opportunities, including those emerging from the recent turmoil in the NBFC sector. While the bank did not purchase any NBFC portfolios this quarter, Monga said that the bank intends to do so in the third quarter.

Total deposits grew 41 percent. The bank’s current account and savings account ratio stood at 33.8 percent. The bank, which was planned to raise capital via a qualified institutional placement, will restart the process once there is greater clarity about the management transition.

Shares of Yes Bank closed 2.77 percent lower ahead of the earnings announcement. The stock has dropped more than 34 percent in 2018 so far compared with a 2.5 percent decline in the NSE Nifty Bank Index.

More News: Back in 2013, Rana Kapoor, co-founder, managing director and chief executive officer of Yes Bank, was on a high. The bank was about to finish a decade in existence. By all means, it had proved to be a successful entrant into the private banking space, which has seen enough new licencees crash and burn. Against that backdrop, when a brewing dispute between the bank’s two promoter families came out in the open, Kapoor acted from a position of strength.

At its core, the dispute was about the joint rights assigned to the ‘Indian Partners’ in the bank’s Articles of Association. Of the Indian Partners, Kapoor was the MD and CEO of the bank. The other partner, Ashok Kapur, had been tragically killed in the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. Kapur’s family argued that those rights, including the right to nominate three directors jointly, passed on to them. But Kapoor was not willing to yield any ground. This, despite the fact that the two families had not only been partners in Yes Bank but were also closely related. The dispute eventually went to the Bombay High Court, which upheld the joint rights of the Indian Partners in a 2015 order.

“It is equally incorrect to suggest that the Plaintiffs have, only on account of Ashok Kapur’s demise, transmogrified into some sort of non-promoter capacity,” said one part of the order. Kapoor appealed. That appeal is still pending but there is no stay on the ability of the late Ashok Kapur’s family to exercise their joint nomination rights. Five Years Later…
In 2018, it is Kapoor who now has little choice but to try and find middle-ground with the late Ashok Kapur’s family.

A failure to do so, will mean uncertainty not just for the bank he built, but his own rights as a promoter of the bank.
Kapoor’s position has weakened substantially over the past one month. On Sept 19, the bank informed stock exchanges that the Reserve Bank of India had refused to give Kapoor another three-year term at the helm of the bank. A subsequent request by the bank’s board to extend his term till September 2019 was also turned down. Kapoor must now step down as MD and CEO by end of January.

A search process for the new CEO has begun. But the appointment can only be concluded with the agreement of both Indian Partners. The bank’s board has also recommended two executive director appointments – Rajat Monga and Pralay Mondal. These will also need the consent of both partners.

Some uncertainty may emerge on Kapoor’s own directorship on the board of the bank as well. According to the Articles of Association, Kapoor has a non-retiring seat on the board of the bank. Section 110 of the Articles says: So long as the Indian Partners hold along with any of their affiliates directly or indirectly, atleast 10 percent of the issued and paid up capital of the Company, the Indian Partners shall have the right to recommend the appointment of three directors collectively referred to as the “IP Representative Directors.”

Section 111 says that Ashok Kapur and Rana Kapoor are deemed as IP representative directors. Further in Section 121 pertaining to ‘Rotation of Directors’, the Articles say: Two of the IP representative directors as well as the Rabo representative director shall not be liable to retire by rotation.

But since the nomination rights are joint, Kapur’s family can choose to withdraw their support of Kapoor’s seat on the board as an IP representative, said a person familiar with the matter. It is not clear why the family has not used this leverage in their dispute so far. If they choose to use it now, not only would Kapoor have to step down from the board, he will also not be able to appoint a nominee of his own. Incidentally, Ashok Kapur’s family has not been able to appoint their nominee until now.


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To be sure, the bank has not disclosed any regulatory reservations regarding Kapoor’s position on the bank’s board. After years of estrangement, the two sides have met at least three times in recent weeks. Early discussions have revolved around acknowledging the Kapur family’s joint nomination rights. Concerns raised by the Kapur family about inadequate information provided to them have also been noted and senior members of the management team have briefed the family about the bank’s operations.

But a formal agreement between the two sides is yet to be arrived at. To secure that decision, Kapoor who would have to climb down from the position he had taken back in 2013 and acknowledge the joint nomination rights of the Ashok Kapur family. Once that in-principle agreement is reached, the two sides would also need to agree on a nominee for the MD and CEO post and, subsequently, on the appointment of IP nominee directors on the board.

Naspers Ltd. is planning to increase its stake in Indian online food-delivery business.

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Naspers Ltd. is planning to increase its stake in Indian online food-delivery business Swiggy as the startup plots its third fund-raising round of the year, according to people familiar with the matter. Africa’s largest company by market value has indicated that it intends to support a financing that could raise more than $600 million, Swiggy’s biggest to date, according to the people.

There’s also an opportunity to buy stakes from investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, they said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. Tencent Holdings Ltd., the Chinese internet giant in which Naspers owns a 31 percent stake, is also planning to invest in the fundraising, according to one of the people.

Naspers declined to comment. Swiggy, Tencent and Bessemer didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment. The story was first reported by VC Capital website. Swiggy’s value has risen to more than $2 billion after Cape Town-based Naspers led two previous funding rounds to become the firm’s biggest shareholder, according to the people. Naspers had a 22 percent stake as of the end of March. The company hasn’t made a final decision on whether to take part in the latest financing and may yet opt against it, one of the people said.

Naspers has targeted India for investments as the company seeks to replicate a blockbuster early bet on Tencent. The company made a $1.6 billion profit from the sale of its 11 percent stake in Indian e-commerce startup Flipkart earlier this year, and also has shares in travel business MakeMyTrip and classifieds business OLX.

Food delivery has been a favorite industry of Naspers, with assets including Germany’s Delivery Hero AG and iFood in Brazil. The company plans to invest in another Indian food company called Hungerbox, a tech-enabled corporate catering company, said one of the people. Naspers shares have fallen 22 percent this year, valuing the company at 1.2 trillion rand ($83 billion), as a record slump in Tencent’s share price dragged down its South African investor. Naspers fell 4.6 percent in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

India’s fast-growing food delivery industry

Indian startup Swiggy has raised $210 million in a round led by South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. and investment house DST Global, setting a stage for a battle between well-funded players in the sizzling food-delivery sector. The financing values the four-year-old startup at well over $1 billion, according to people familiar with the deal. That makes Swiggy the second unicorn to emerge from the segment, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private details, after New Delhi-based Zomato.

Startups that specialize in delivering all-time favorites from paneer tikka to mutton biryani have snagged at least half a billion dollars in financing this year from some of the world’s largest internet investors and companies. Zomato received $150 million in February from billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, while Swiggy’s latest round comes on the heels of a $100 million financing in February that was also led by Naspers.

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Its valuation has jumped by over a third in the course of a few months, said one of the people familiar with the deal. New investors this time included DST and Coatue Management, joining existing backers Naspers and Meituan Dianping, the Chinese food-delivery juggernaut. The startup said it would use the funds to improve its supply chain and technology while expanding into new markets. Bangalore-headquartered Swiggy already lists 35,000 restaurants and 40,000 delivery people across 15 cities.

The revival of interest in online food ordering began last year when Uber Technologies Inc. introduced UberEATS across the country. That same year, domestic rival Ola acquired FoodPanda’s local operations and pledged $200 million to the unit. That’s a remarkable turnaround from just a couple of years ago, when investors around the globe wrote off the sector, drying up capital and forcing dozens of startups to shut.

Disney nears the close of its deal to buy key assets from 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) and gears up to release its own direct-to-consumer streaming platform

 

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Stock Market News Today

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) can maintain its leadership position in the face of rapid disruption in the media space, according to one team of bulls on the Street. As Disney nears the close of its deal to buy key assets from 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) and gears up to release its own direct-to-consumer streaming platform to take on deep-pocketed tech titans like Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Barclays expects the company to come out stronger than before.

Disney Investor Day to Ease Worry Over Big Spending on New Business
Shares of Disney have outperformed the broader market this year, up 10.2% year-to-date (YTD) compared to the S&P 500’s 4.2% return. Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar forecasts the stock to jump another 9.7% over 12 months from Friday morning at $118.50, lifting his price target on Disney shares from $105 to $130 in a note to clients on Friday.

Venkateshwar upgraded Disney stock to overweight from equal weight, attributing his more upbeat forecast to the company’s new over-the-top media service, slated for release in 2019. In August 2017, Disney announced that it was cutting ties with streaming industry leader Netflix to launch its own rival service, as well as a platform for ESPN.

“We believe the company has the key mix of assets to be successful and the opportunity from this pivot could be substantial,” wrote the Barclays analyst.

 

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Venkateshwar expects Disney’s investor day, slated for sometime in early 2019, to offer investors a sense of the scale of the firm’s ambitions, as well as work to relieve some fear regarding the magnitude of earnings downside expected from investments in the new business segment. As competition in the media space ramps up, key players are shelling out billions to ramp up their streaming businesses, with Netflix expected to spend as much as $13 billion on original content in 2018.

While Disney is paying a hefty sum of Fox assets, thanks in part to a drawn-out bidding war with Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), Barclays noted that the firm is actually the least indebted of all in the big media space.

“We believe Disney’s Investor Day could prove to be a catalyst to frame the scale of the opportunity and help the company build a credible terminal value ‘story’ around the stock,” wrote the Disney bull.

Top Five News to Know in The Stock Market Today


StockMarketNews.Today

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1. U.S. Futures Point to A Triple-Digit Drop

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower open, as investors remained in a cautious mood following an abrupt market selloff in the previous trading week. The market shakeout has been blamed on a series of factors, including worries about the impact of a U.S.-China trade war, a spike in U.S. bond yields and caution ahead of the earnings season.

Not helping the mood, Saudi Arabia doubled down on pressure from the West on Sunday over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. At 5:20AM ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 150 points, or about 0.6%, the S&P 500 futures shed 18 points, or around 0.7%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a decline of 73 points, or roughly 1%.

U.S. stocks finished almost 300 points higher on Friday but still registered steep losses for the week, with the Dow and S&P 500 falling more than 4%, while the Nasdaq posted a decline of 3.7%. Elsewhere, in Europe, the region’s major bourses were broadly lower, with the regional benchmark falling to a 22-month low, as investors watched developments surrounding Brexit talks and Italy’s budget drama.

Earlier, stocks in Asia slipped, with markets in China faring the worst. The mainland’s benchmark Shanghai Composite fell by 1.4% to close at its lowest since November 2014.


2. Bank of America Kicks Off Busy Week of Earnings

A handful of Dow components report in the week ahead, along with dozens of S&P 500 companies, in what will be the first big week of the third-quarter earnings season. Market participants will focus on numbers from Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) slated to be released at 6:45AM ET (1045GMT). Analysts are forecasting earnings per share (EPS) of $0.62 on revenue of $22.62 billion. The same period of last year had $0.48 in EPS and $25.34 billion in revenue.

The first three major banks, JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), all reported better-than-expected earnings to unofficially kick off the third quarter earnings season on Friday.


3. U.S. Retail Sales in Focus

Monday’s calendar features the biggest economic data point of the week. The Commerce Department will publish data on retail sales for September at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT), which should lend further support to the notion that the economy is on solid footing. The consensus forecast is that the report will show retail sales rose 0.7% last month, after a mere 0.1% increase in August, the smallest rise in six months. Excluding the automobile sector, sales are expected to increase 0.4%.

Also on the economic calendar will be the New York Fed’s Empire State manufacturing reading for the month of October. Investors will pay particular attention to the data for any impact tariffs are having on the sector. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was a shade lower at 94.80. Meanwhile, in the bond market, U.S. Treasury prices were little changed, with the benchmark 10-year yield at around 3.15%.


4. Oil Prices Rise Amid Saudi Tensions

Oil prices were higher to start the week, as geopolitical tensions over the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist stoked supply worries. Benchmark Brent crude oil jumped by $1.43 a barrel to a high of $81.86 before pulling back to $81.05, up 62 cents. U.S. crude was last up 33 cents at $71.67. Saudi Arabia has been under pressure since Khashoggi, a critic of Riyadh, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. U.S. President Donald Trump threatened “severe punishment” if it is found that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate.

Investors suspect the latest development could undermine the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and has the risk of eventually destabilizing the oil-rich kingdom.


5. Sears Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy early Monday after years of staying afloat through financial maneuvering, and announced that Eddie Lampert will be stepping down as CEO, effective immediately, although he remains its chairman. The 125-year-old retailer said it was appointing Mohsin Meghji, managing partner of M-III Partners, as its Chief Restructuring Officer.

As part of the bankruptcy, Sears will shutter 142 stores towards the end of the year end. It expects to begin liquidation sales shortly. Shares in Illinois-based Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) closed at about 41 cents on Friday.

Altria Group Inc. (MO) might be keen to buy a stake in marijuana firm Aphria Inc. (APH)



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In a research note, published shortly after Aphria dismissed claims that it had signed a deal with the holding company of Philip Morris USA, Stifel’s Christopher Growe wrote that tobacco companies have been wise to avoid investing in Canadian pot producers.

According to Barron’s, the analyst said that leading marijuana companies are too expensive, trading on an aggregate enterprise value of around $60 billion Canadian dollars, even though their addressable market will be worth just $5 billion Canadian dollars when recreational cannabis becomes legal in Canada Oct. 17. Growe also repeated Philip Morris International Inc.’s (PM) warning about the potential “reputational risk” of entering the marijuana sector. Citron Research reached a different conclusion. In a separate research note, the short-seller wrote there’s a lot to like about tobacco firms operating in the marijuana space.

Altria’s reported interest in Aphria shows the maturation of legacy tobacco, Citron analysts said, adding that such a move would benefit Pyxus International Inc. (PYX), the 145-year-old tobacco supplier that is one of the first in the sector to branch out into pot.

Citron, which has questioned the performance of cannabis stocks Cronos Group Inc. (CRON), India Globalization Capital Inc. (IGC) and Tilray Inc. (TLRY) in recent weeks, described Pyxus as the only U.S.-listed marijuana stock with “material upside.” The North Carolina-based tobacco company’s shares have surged since it first entered the marijuana market in February 2018, despite claims that its Canadian pot subsidiary is relatively small, remotely located and has little access to key markets.

While other analysts short the stock, Citron slapped a $65 price rating on Pyxus, adding that its valuation could double if investors remain on the cannabis bandwagon. In the bullish research note, published on Thursday, Citron analysts praised Pyxus’s hiring of Bryan Mazur, a former executive vice president at Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and commented that the company’s provincial supply agreement and production capacity have been overlooked by the market.

“What we think is interesting about PYX is that the legacy tobacco business is covered by the current valuation and as an investor, you get free upside on a real cannabis business. In the last 12 months, CGC [Canopy Growth Corp], TLRY and CRON have generated slightly over $100 million in combined revenue while PYX alone generated almost $2 billion,” Citron said. “Despite this large discrepancy, PYX only has a market cap of about $350 million while the others each have multibillion-dollar valuations.”

“There are currently four times as many smokers as cannabis users in the world. However – particularly in developed markets – use of cannabis is soaring while tobacco use plummets,” Euromonitor International had said in a 2017 report. “The tobacco industry must secure future revenue streams and legal cannabis offers a legitimate opportunity.” Pyxus shares rose 10.1% in pre-market trading. They also climbed 4.09% during Thursday’s session, a day when most other cannabis stocks saw their valuations slide.

Xiaomi Corp. News: Concerns about its longer-term prospects have scared off investors, shaving off more than a third of the company’s value from a peak shortly after its listing.

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Shares of smartphone-maker Xiaomi Corp. bounced back slightly from an all-time low after the company’s CEO released figures that showed its latest high-end model has posted strong sales.

Xiaomi’s shares initially rallied after its $4.7 billion Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) in July, but have moved steadily downward since then on concerns about its ability to compete in the market’s more lucrative higher end with the likes of Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics. The market’s lower end — which is its specialty and accounted for 70% of its smartphone revenue in its IPO prospectus — is notoriously competitive and commands far less customer loyalty than the higher end.

Concerns about its longer-term prospects have scared off investors, shaving off more than a third of the company’s value from a peak shortly after its listing. At its current levels the stock now trades nearly 20% below its IPO price, valuing it at $44 billion, roughly the level it attained nearly four years ago during an early rapid rise.

In a bid to bring some investor enthusiasm to the company, co-founder and CEO Lei Jun revealed on Tuesday that Xiaomi has shipped more than 6 million of its higher-end Mi 8 series that launched in June, according to a post (link in Chinese) on his microblog. Mi 8 models sell from 2,499 yuan ($361) to 3,099 yuan, or well above the company’s average selling price of 952.3 yuan per unit for all of its smartphones in this year’s second quarter.

The 6 million sales figure is relatively strong for Xiaomi’s higher-end models, said IDC analyst Bryan Ma. “For high end models like that, it usually takes Xiaomi at least a year or so to reach those volumes,” Ma said.

By comparison, Xiaomi shipped a total of nearly 32 million smartphones of all types in this year’s second quarter, according to IDC. Besides revealing the 6 million Mi 8 shipment figure, Lei encouraged people to forward his message and said that anyone who did so would be entered into a drawing for eight Mi 8 phones, while thanking everyone for their support.

Xiaomi’s stock rose 1.3% after Lei’s post, up slightly from an all-time closing low the two previous days. The company was the world’s fourth largest smartphone seller in the second quarter with 9.3% of the market, behind leaders Samsung, Huawei and Apple, according to IDC.

Boeing HorizonX Ventures Invests in Accion Systems to Propel Satellite Capabilities.

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Boeing HorizonX Ventures Invests in Accion Systems to Propel Satellite Capabilities. Investment accelerates development of new satellite propulsion capabilities for low and medium Earth orbit and deep space

Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced its investment in Accion Systems Inc., a Boston, Mass.,-based startup pioneering scalable electric propulsion technology to transform satellite capabilities in and beyond Earth’s orbit.

Accion’s new Tiled Ionic Liquid Electrospray (TILE) in-space propulsion system aims to increase the lifespan and maneuverability of satellites and other vehicles in space. Leveraging a non-toxic, ionic liquid propellant and postage stamp-size thrusters, the TILE system is smaller, lighter and more cost-effective than traditional ion engines.

“Accion’s scalable technology can help bring game-changing capabilities to satellites, space vehicles and customers,” said Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. “Investing in startups with next-generation concepts accelerates satellite innovation, unlocking new possibilities and economics in Earth orbit and deep space.”

Founded in 2014 by two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineers, Accion is redefining in-space propulsion. Accion has received annual contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense for the past three years. In June 2018, Accion Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Natalya Bailey was named to MIT Technology Review’s annual list of Innovators Under 35 for her visionary leadership.

“Our TILE product family gives satellites greater capabilities, and at the size of a postage stamp, it fundamentally rewrites the relationship between mass and propulsion,” Bailey said. “Boeing’s aerospace leadership will help us deliver safer, higher performance next-generation propulsion systems to market for satellite and deep space exploration applications.”

Boeing HorizonX Ventures led the investment round with participation from GETTYLAB. The investment and partnership will help Accion grow its manufacturing and connect with Boeing experts, resources and state-of-the-art facilities.

Boeing HorizonX Ventures targets investments that help scale startup innovation in aerospace. Its portfolio is made up of companies specializing in autonomous systems, additive manufacturing, energy and data storage, advanced materials, augmented reality systems and software, machine learning, hybrid-electric and hypersonic propulsion and Internet of Things connectivity.

The investment continues Boeing’s legacy of adopting next-generation technologies to advance satellite capabilities. In 2011, Boeing introduced the first-ever all-electric satellite propulsion system, the 702SP, and has continued to bolster its satellite capabilities with recent investments in Millennium Space Systems and Bridge Sat. Inc.

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries.

Boeing Completes Acquisition of Leading Aerospace Parts Distributor KLX Inc. to Enhance Growing Services Business.

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Boeing Completes Acquisition of Leading Aerospace Parts Distributor KLX Inc. to Enhance Growing Services Business. Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that it has completed its acquisition of KLX Aerospace Solutions to enhance its growing services business and deliver greater value to its customers. The acquisition positions Boeing to compete and win in the $2.8 trillion, 10-year aerospace services market.

KLX, a major global provider of aviation parts and services in the aerospace industry, provides a clear path for Boeing’s services business to accelerate growth. Its capabilities include distribution and supply chain services. KLX currently markets and distributes products for approximately 2,400 manufacturers and offers approximately 1 million catalog items.

KLX is also a leading supplier of chemicals and composites, which complements Aviall’s portfolio, allowing Boeing to offer commercial, defense, business and general aviation customers a broader range of offerings.

“This acquisition brings together the talent and product offerings of Boeing and KLX to provide a one-stop shop that will allow us to create significant value for our customers. There are also extensive opportunities for services growth and innovation for Boeing and our supply chain that is unique to the industry,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services. “The resulting boost in supply chain capability will allow us to better serve our customers while profitably and purposefully growing our business.”

With approximately 2,000 employees, KLX Aerospace Solutions will continue to operate from Miami with customer service centers located in more than 15 countries. The acquisition is aligned with Boeing’s organic growth strategy, with no change to Boeing’s capital deployment strategy or commitment to returning approximately 100 percent of free cash flow to shareholders.

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial airplanes and defense, space and security systems. Boeing is also the world leader in combined commercial airlines and government services with customers in more than 150 countries.

The company’s products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training. Boeing employs approximately 140,000 people across the United States and in more than 65 countries.

Top 5 Things to Know in The Stock Market on Tuesday.



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1. U.S. 10-Year Treasury Yield Hits Fresh 7-Year High

U.S. Treasurys came under renewed selling pressure, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to a fresh seven-year high. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was last up 2.9 basis points at 3.256%, after hitting its highest level since late April 2011 at 3.261%, while the 30-year Treasury yield brushed a four-year peak of 3.44%.

Bond yields move inversely to prices. Treasury yields have surged recently following a batch of upbeat economic data that bolstered the case for the Federal Reserve to raise rates in December and beyond.

2. Wall Street Points to Shaky Open

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open, amid growing concerns that rising Treasury yields are making equities less attractive for investors. At 5:40AM ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 110 points, or 0.4%, the S&P 500 futures shed 11 points, or around 0.4%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a decline of 28 points, or roughly 0.4%. Wall Street ended mostly lower on Monday, as investors continued to fret over a sharp rise in bond yields.

Rising bond yields can crimp demand for assets perceived as riskier, such as stocks, particularly when those yields are higher than those of equities. Elsewhere, in Europe, the region’s major bourses nudged lower in mid-morning action, with most sectors in negative territory, as the stand-off between Rome and Brussels over Italy’s spending plans remained in focus.

Earlier, Asian markets ended broadly lower. Chinese markets, however, made a partial recovery after sharp declines in the previous session.

3. Dollar Edges Higher as Euro Suffers

Away from equities, the dollar edged higher against its major rivals, underpinned as the move higher in U.S. Treasury yields continued. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up about 0.3% to 95.70, not far from a seven-week top of 95.78 reached last week.

The euro fell 0.3% to hit a seven-week low of 1.1450 (EUR/USD), as concerns about a row in the European Union over Italy’s budget persisted.

4. Fed Speakers Eyed for Rate Hikes Hints

Markets will pay close attention to comments from a few Fed speakers today for their views on inflation trends as traders watch for clues on the pace of future rate hikes through the end of this year and beyond. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan is due to speak at the Economic Club of New York at 8:00AM ET (1200GMT).

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will then deliver opening remarks at the Opportunity Financial Network Conference at 9AM ET (1300GMT).

In the evening, New York Fed President John Williams will give a speech at the New York Fed-Bank Indonesia Central Banking Forum in Bali. On the data front, the calendar is quite thin with only the September NFIB Survey out at 6AM ET (1000GMT).

The Fed raised interest rates late last month, its third rate hike this year, and is expected to follow that up with another increase before the end of December, taking the benchmark fed funds rate to 2.25-2.50%.

5. IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecasts

In an update to its World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it was now predicting 3.7% global growth in both 2018 and 2019, down from its July forecast of 3.9% growth for both years. The downgrade reflects a confluence of factors, including the introduction of import tariffs between the United States and China, uncertainties surrounding the new NAFTA agreement and Brexit, as well as rising interest rates that are pressuring some emerging markets with capital outflows, notably Argentina, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.

With much of the U.S.-China tariff war‘s impact to be felt next year, the IMF cut its 2019 U.S. growth forecast to 2.5% from 2.7% previously, while it cut China’s 2019 growth forecast to 6.2% from 6.4%.

Top 5 Things to Know in The Stock Market on Monday.


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1. Wall Street Points to Lower Open

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open, amid ongoing concerns that rising U.S. interest rates are gradually making equities less attractive for investors. Rising bond yields can crimp demand for assets perceived as riskier, such as stocks, particularly when those yields are higher than those of equities.

Trading volumes were expected to remain thin, with most banks and federal institutions closed for the Columbus Day holiday. That also means no major data releases are on tap for Monday.

2. U.S. Bond Markets Closed for Columbus Day

While U.S. stock markets are open for trade on Monday, bond markets will remain closed in observance of Columbus Day. The holiday is one of only two in which stock and bond-market holidays diverge. Veterans Day is the other.

Market focus this week will remain largely attuned to moves in U.S. bond yields, which have surged recently following a batch of upbeat economic data that bolstered the case for the Federal Reserve to raise rates in December and beyond.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year note reached its highest level seen since 2011 on Friday. It climbed about 15 basis points last week and is up about 20 basis points over the last month. Currency markets were operating as usual.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up around 0.3% to 95.56, after hitting a six-week high of 95.78 last week.

3. Italy Drags Down European Markets

Italian politics remained a drag as the European Commission warned the country’s budget deficit breached past commitments, leading Rome to insist it would “not retreat” from its spending plans.

Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini on Monday dubbed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici as enemies of Europe, further adding to negative sentiment. The euro was a shade lower at 1.1480, falling back towards last week’s one-and-a-half month lows of 1.1463.

4. Chinese Equities Suffer Worst Day in Months

China’s stocks fell sharply on the first trading day since the Golden Week holidays ended, despite an announcement from Beijing over the weekend that it would slash the level of cash that banks must hold as reserves. The move by China’s central bank, its fourth in 2018, came amid concerns about the economic impact of Beijing’s ongoing trade war with Washington.

China’s blue-chip CSI300 index tumbled 4.3%, its biggest daily loss since February 2016, while the main Shanghai Composite Index dropped 3.7% to end at the lowest level since June 19. Most other markets in the region also closed in negative territory, while Japan’s markets were closed for a public holiday.

5. Oil Slides Amid Talk of U.S. Waivers on Iran

In commodities, oil prices were on the backfoot after the U.S. said it may grant waivers to sanctions against Iran’s crude exports next month, and as Saudi Arabia was said to be replacing any potential shortfall from Iran. U.S. oil was down 1% at $73.56 a barrel. Brent crude fell 1.3% to $83.06 per barrel.

Iran is the third-biggest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), supplying around 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude and condensate to markets this year, equivalent to around 2.5% of global consumption.

Tencent Music Entertainment Group on Tuesday filed to go public in the U.S., kicking off what will likely be one of the biggest technology IPOs to date.


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Tencent Music Entertainment Group on Tuesday filed to go public in the U.S., kicking off what will likely be one of the biggest technology IPOs to date.

China’s largest music-streaming company, part of internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. TCEHY -2.26% , operates several popular apps including QQ Music and an online karaoke platform. It is benefiting from a broad boom in streaming that has reshaped the music industry, and its shares will hit the market during one of the hottest years for initial public offerings in recent memory.

The company recently boasted more than 800 million total unique monthly active users. It was created in mid-2016 after Tencent Holdings bought a controlling stake in China Music Corp. and combined it with Tencent’s existing streaming business. Tencent Music revealed sharp growth in its Tuesday filing, with revenue more than doubling in 2017 to $1.66 billion. About 70% of revenue came from its social entertainment services, including online karaoke, live streaming and sales of merchandise. It posted a profit of $199 million in 2017, up from roughly $2 million a year earlier.

It hasn’t chosen a listing exchange yet, people familiar with the matter said; it mentioned both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Global Market in its filing.

A Tencent Music listing would be one of the largest IPOs of the year and is expected to raise billions in proceeds, people familiar with the matter have said. It could value the business in excess of $25 billion, which would make it one of the biggest tech IPOs to date, according to Dealogic. In late 2017, it was valued at roughly $12.5 billion when it swapped stakes with peer Spotify Technology SA. Still, valuations can fluctuate until a company prices its shares.

Tencent Music will be the second streaming giant to go public this year, following Spotify to market after the latter completed a direct listing in April. But the companies’ listening bases differ sharply: As of the end of June, Tencent Music boasted 644 million online-music mobile MAUs, 23.3 million of whom pay. That is many more listeners than Spotify, but far fewer who pay. Spotify had 180 million MAUs and 83 million paying subscribers as of the same date. Paying subscribers are typically much more important to streamers’ bottom lines than free users, whose value derives from showing them ads or converting them to paid subscriptions.

Tencent Music’s IPO plans come while its parent company’s shares have slid more than 20% in Hong Kong this year as it has grappled with increased government scrutiny. Days ago, the company announced a restructuring effort. Tencent Music would land in a hot IPO market in the U.S., where investors are hungry for sharp revenue growth. Through the third quarter, shares of companies that had listed publicly in the U.S. this year rose an average of 27% from their offering prices, while U.S.-listed tech IPOs were up 50%, according to Dealogic.

More than 180 companies raised over $50 billion in IPOs in the U.S. in the first three quarters, putting 2018 on track to be the busiest year for new issuance by both measures since 2014. Meanwhile, the music industry has been transformed by streaming: Global revenue from recorded music grew 8.1% in 2017, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry—its third consecutive year of growth after 15 years of declines amid plummeting physical and digital sales.

The growth is almost entirely thanks to surging revenue from streaming, which jumped 41% last year and is now the single largest sales source for the industry.

Boeing should move forward with its planned new mid-sized aircraft (NMA) soon, argues Morgan Stanley, even if it elevates near-term risk.


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Plenty of industrials have gotten clobbered by worries about a trade war, but Boeing has been serenely flying above it all, and sports a 26% year-to-date gain despite being knocked around a bit on the tariff headlines. This follows 2017’s surge when Boeing’s was the best-performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Averagelast year.

However the stock’s long-running success—and the consequent high investor expectations—along with concerns about trade and the industrial cycle, are part of what keeps Morgan Stanley’s Rajeev Lalwani Equal-Weight rated on the stock. He looks at the company’s planned new mid-sized aircraft (NMA), and writes that while it adds execution risk to Boeing shares, building the new planes is likely a good move for the long run.

Boeing first introduced the concept of the NMA three years ago, and Lalwani believes that a decision to move forward with the design is likely to come within a year (although other analysts have debated this timeline). Because it is a “clean-sheet” design, i.e. one that the company is starting from scratch, it could raise the near-term risk profile for the company, he writes, but does set “the stage for Boeing’s long-term vision.”


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The NMA progam’s net present value, inclusive of services, could be about $15 billion (or $25 a share), Lalwani estimates, a relative drop in the bucket given Boeing’s market capitalization of $211 billion, but it could be “pivotal” in terms of Boeing’s competitive position, expansion of services and “smoothing” aircraft-development cycles, even if it comes with interim risk.

He calls the need for the NMA “compelling” for three main reasons. First, it would provide a “proper” response to Airbus’s(EADSY) A321, a leader among larger narrow-body aircraft, that’s outselling Boeing’s recent 737 Max models by around three times. Secondly, it would help with Boeing’s goal of bringing services revenue to $50 billion from $15 billion over a decade, a target that might be difficult with existing aircraft, due to various advantages suppliers have.

Finally, Lalwani writes that the NMA could mean less risk for transition to the 737 redesign. At the moment, the 737 is the “Boeing cash cow,” is due for a “natural refresh” by the end of the next decade. “To minimize the transition risk, we believe lessons from an NMA, that is on a much smaller scale, would be a low-risk way to further experiment with key advances like digital manufacturing,” he writes.

Boeing is up 1% to $370.90 in recent trading. The Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF(XLI) is 0.1% higher to $78.56.

7 Defensive Top Stocks That Are Crushing The Market > There’s been a dramatic shift in investor behavior recently, vaulting defensive sectors such as telecom and consumer staples into market leaders.



7 Defensive Top Stocks That Are Crushing The Market > There’s been a dramatic shift in investor behavior recently, vaulting defensive sectors such as telecom and consumer staples into market leaders, while relegating tech stocks to laggard status, The Wall Street Journal reports. This is happening even as several major stock indexes have risen to new record highs. “There’s been a natural inclination towards more defensive sectors,” says Michael Arone, managing director and chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. As investors react to new market highs by anticipating a potential selloff, they have propelled the shares of “safety stocks” such as The Coca-Cola Co. (KO), Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA). Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ), Philip Morris International Inc. (PM), AT&T Inc. (T), The Hershey Co. (HSY) and Altria Group Inc. (MO).

Stock Gain Since 8/31
Altria 8.1%
AT&T 6.6%
Coca-Cola 5.5%
Constellation Brands 4.7%
Hershey 3.5%
Philip Morris 6.5%
Walgreens 6.8%
S&P 500 Index (SPX) 1.2%

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Information Technology Index is down by 0.9% for the month-to-date, per S&P Dow Jones Indices. Its biggest components are the mega cap FAANG stocks, which also are the a largest components of the full S&P 500.

Shift in Investor Sentiment. Defensive sectors such as telecom and consumer staples are generally considered to be safe havens for investors, partly given their track records of steadily rising dividends, the Journal notes. By contrast, these stocks tend to be laggards during big stock market rallies because they typically offer lower potential for rapid earnings growth and share price gains than other sectors, notably technology. Right now, both institutional and individual investors apparently are recognizing that the market can’t head upward indefinitely, and thus are rotating towards safe havens, including cash.

The second half of 2018 should be a period of improved performance for telecom companies, per a research report from Oppenheimer summarized by Barron’s. In particular, Oppenheimer projects rising average revenue per wireless customer, partly due to a move away from price-cutting competition and towards offering new features and premium unlimited usage plans that increase customer charges. Oppenheimer sees a trend towards bundling over-the-top TV and video services (that is, delivered through the internet, rather than though cable TV infrastructure) into unlimited data plans, and anticipates growth in wired internet service.

“The convergence of wireless and wireline is happening longer term and will lead to major consolidation,” as Timothy Horan, an analyst with Oppenheimer, wrote in recent report, per Barron’s. AT&T is among his top large cap picks in telecom, based partly on a hefty dividend yield of 6%.

AT&T is a leading provider of both wireless and wireline telephone and internet service, as well as a major player in cable TV. Its position in cable has been enhanced by its acquisition of Time Warner, which also made AT&T a major content provider. AT&T’s customer base spans consumers, businesses and governments, and it also is a leading wholesaler of network capacity to other telecom companies. Its market cap is over $247 billion, and the consensus revenue estimate for 2019 is $185 billion.

Today’s Top Stock Market News. Daily Overview on the News from the Stock Market. Tuesday – 2018/08/21

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2018/08/21

Persimmon profits jump 13% with boost from Help-To-Buy

Persimmon housing development is pictured in Hilton, central England

Persimmon, the UK’s second largest housebuilder, has posted a 13 per cent rise in profits for the first half of 2018 as the government’s Help-to-Buy scheme and low interest rates continue to support to demand for its houses.

The company reported pre-tax profits of £513.8m for in the first six months of the year, up from £459.4m over the same period last year, and group revenues of £1.84bn, a 5 per cent increase on last year. It had already reported revenues from new houses of £1.74bn for the period.

The average selling price of a Persimmon home rose by 1.2 per cent to £215,800, while forward sales of new housing over the six-month period stood 6 per cent higher than the first half of 2017 at £2.12bn.

Persimmon has found itself at the centre of a noisy row over pay for FTSE 100 bosses after it emerged its share price-linked bonus scheme put chief executive Jeff Fairburn in line for a payout of around £100m.

The company drew sharp criticism from politicians for paying large bonuses while benefiting from the government’s Help-to-Buy equity loan scheme, while one large shareholder called the level of pay “preposterous”.

Jeff Fairburn, chief executive officer, said: “We have continued to experience good levels of customer interest in our housing development sites as we trade through the quieter summer season. Customers are continuing to benefit from a competitive mortgage market and confidence remains resilient based on healthy employment trends and low interest rates.”

Euro, sterling higher after dollar falls on Trump’s Fed comments

Euroo

The dollar lost ground and the euro and the pound firmed in Asia-Pacific trading after US President Donald Trump’s latest broadside against the Federal Reserve.

The dollar index, a measure of the US currency against a basket of peers, was down 0.5 per cent at 95.465, its weakest since August 9. The euro was up 0.5 per cent at $1.1534, while the UK pound added 0.3 per cent to $1.2836.

The dollar’s decline also pushed up the yen to its highest point in nearly two months, before the Japanese currency pulled back a bit to ¥110.04, flat on the day.

The moves came after the dollar dropped, stocks pulled back and bond prices rose in US trading on Monday following comments from Mr Trump to Reuters that he was “not thrilled” about the Fed’s decisions this year to raise interest rates.

Elsewhere in the currency markets, the New Zealand dollar was up 0.5 per cent at $0.6670 against the US dollar. The Australian dollar was 0.3 per cent higher against its US counterpart at $0.7358, after news that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull survived a leadership challenge.

Sovereign debt markets steadied after a rise on Monday in bond prices, which move inversely to yields. The yield on 10-year US Treasuries was up 1 basis point at 2.833 per cent. The yields on Japanese and Australian bonds of equivalent maturity were unchanged at 0.084 per cent and 2.518 per cent, respectively.

Stocks to watch: NMC, Evraz, RBS, Just Group, Kaz Minerals

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Competition is intensifying for Sage, says Deutsche Bank

● NMC Health, the United Arab Emirates-based hospital operator, hit a record high after delivering a better than expected 32 per cent increase in first-half earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Goldman Sachs repeated “buy” advice, saying: “We view the results as positive given the strong performance in all of the group’s segments driven by (1) successful integration of acquisitions during the year and synergies from past acquisitions; (2) better than expected ramp-up of operations at newly established assets, namely NMC Royal Hospital [in Abu Dhabi]; and (3) better pricing seen across all healthcare divisions.”

● Housebuilders including Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Crest Nicholson were under pressure after Rightmove said asking prices on UK homes fell 2.3 per cent in August, the sharpest decline for the month since the Rightmove series began in 2011. Asking prices in London were down 3.3 per cent in August, said Rightmove, which weighed on Berkeley.

● Evraz led the miners and metals companies higher after Russian finance ministry played down worries of a possible windfall tax on the industry, saying such a levy would be “impractical”.

Anton Siluanov was quoted as saying on Friday that there would be “a discussion of additional tools to stimulate and create comfortable conditions so that additional profits received by companies as a result of the foreign exchange depreciation remained within the economy and are invested in development and creation of additional jobs”.

Sellside Stories

● Deutsche Bank downgraded Sage to “sell” from “hold” on competition fears. Conversations with customers and resellers suggest Sage’s niche supplying mid-market accountancy software is under attack from both sides, said Deutsche, which cut its target price to 540p.

“Entry-level players at far lower price points are moving upmarket and are building functionality either internally or through third-party platform partners,” it said. “Higher end competitors also appear to be gradually gaining share from Sage’s core user and reseller base. We would highlight Microsoft as the standout player here, with the Dynamics suite cited by Sage resellers as the most frequently seen competitor and furthermore, the Dynamics 365 SaaS [software as a service] suite grew at 56 per cent at constant currencies in the fourth quarter.”

● Citigroup upgraded Royal Bank of Scotland to “buy” from “neutral” with a 300p target.

“ RBS shares are down 18 per cent over the past three months, underperforming the European and UK banks, and are now back at 12-month lows. This comes despite excellent second-quarter results, including the first dividend in a decade. Consensus 2020 EPS is up 3 per cent over the same period.”

Based on proposed legal settlements Citi forecast RBS to have around £7bn of excess capital, or 24 per cent of its market value. Its base case was for £2.7bn to be returned via buybacks over 2019 and 2020.

● Investec upgraded engineer Hill & Smith to “buy” from “add” on valuation grounds with a £13.85 target. The upgrade follows a profit warning this month from the crash barrier maker, which was blamed on weather-related delays and higher zinc costs.

“While the first-half profit miss was disappointing, we view it as a bump in the road rather than as a barrier to future growth,” it said.

● RBC upgraded CVS Group, the veterinary services group, to “outperform” from “neutral”. CVS warned this month that snow in February and a lower than expected performance of some acquisitions had held back interim earnings.

“The recent share price reset, the second in a year for CVS, is likely going to test investor patience, but we think this could be an opportunity. Management will need to demonstrate that issues with recent acquisitions are short term in nature, but given the team have integrated over 450 practice acquisitions in circa 11 years we think it realistic they can.”

● Credit Suisse cut its target price on Just Group, the retirement investment specialist, to 94p from 125p and retained “neutral” advice. Draft proposals from the Prudential Regulation Authority for valuing Life Time Mortgages suggests Just Group needs to find £400m, or half its market capitalisation, to bolter solvency ratios, said Credit Suisse.

● Liberum upgraded Kaz Minerals to “hold” from “sell” on the back of the miner’s $900m purchase of a greenfield copper prospect in Russia from Roman Abramovich, which has seen shares plunge about 55 per cent since June. The broker left its price target at 460p.

“On our assumptions, the impact to net present value is fairly minimal, but we can understand why the market is repricing the company risk given that the investment proposition has changed so materially. Current investors do not want to be on this new journey, but others will eventually, assuming that the company take the appropriate steps to de-risk.”

● In brief: Kingfisher downgraded to “neutral” at Davy; United Internet upgraded to “buy” at HSBC; Boozt downgraded to “hold” at Berenberg.

The European Investment Bank has bowed to calls to reform. The lender, which is owned by EU states, has agreed to start talks to become independently supervised by the European Central Bank.

Stock Market News Today
2018/08/07

Brexit News Today. The European Investment Bank has bowed to calls to reform. The lender, which is owned by EU states, has agreed to start talks to become independently supervised by the European Central Bank.

The decision came after Brexit sparked a debate among EU finance ministries about how best to maintain the EIB’s financial firepower once Britain, which provides €39bn of the lender’s €243bn capital base, leaves.

 

Donald Trump News Today. A former Donald Trump aide says he and Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, committed crimes together. Rick Gates is the key witness in the case brought against Mr Manafort as a result of an investigation into links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

PepsiCo News Today. Indra Nooyi, who has consistently ranked among the most powerful women in the world, leaves PepsiCo after trying to shape a healthier future for the company. Here’s Lex’s take: “She is smart to depart now that every big consumer brand is under siege.”

Danske Bank News Today. Denmark has launched a criminal investigation into Danske Bank, the country’s biggest lender, for potential money-laundering offences. The Danish bank’s general counsel said Danske Bank is assisting prosecutors with the investigation.

US-China Trade War News Today. The US-China trade war is now hitting the cloud computing boom. But the complexity — and invisibility — of what happens inside today’s data centres has left the sector struggling to draw attention to the seriousness of a rise in its costs.

Italy News Today. Italy has overturned a legal obligation to vaccinate schoolchildren — despite a rise in measles over the past year. The new legislation puts the country out of step with other European countries such as France and Germany, which have been bolstering vaccine regulation.

Earnings Round-up News Today. Analysts expect mixed third-quarter results from Walt Disney. Investors will look out for details on how the group plans to integrate assets from 21st Century Fox. Elsewhere social media company Snap is set to report second-quarter numbers. It will be closely watched given lacklustre results from peers such as Facebook last week which sparked a tech sell-off.

US Midterm Test News Today. There is a special election in Ohio and it’s important because it serves as a final test ahead of the US midterm elections. A 31-year-old Democrat hopes to flip a House seat that has been Republican for decades. It’s neck-and-neck. Separately, the New York Times has an interactive chart on the women who could shatter glass ceilings in governors’ races come November.

Stocks To Watch News Today. Spire Healthcare fell on a profit warning, with the hospital operator blaming further tightening of NHS waiting lists. Management said to expect earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation for 2018 to be “materially lower” than 2017, compared with previous guidance of flat ebitda, as an 8.3 per cent increase in revenue from self-pay operations failed to counter a 9.5 per cent drop in NHS revenues.

Regus owner IWG dropped to its lowest level since May after the serviced office group terminated takeover talks with three potential suitors because none was capable of delivering a workable deal at a recommended price. First-half results and guidance from IWG were in line with a June 27 profit warning, which flagged up increased investment and poor trading in the UK.

In brief: Ferrexpo raised to “outperform” at Credit Suisse; Mitie upgraded to “buy” at Stifel; TP ICAP raised to “buy” at Peel Hunt; IG Group downgraded to “sell” at Shore Capital; Osram cut to “hold” at HSBC; Siemens downgraded to “hold” at Société Générale; Umicore cut to “hold” at Investec; BMW raised to “neutral” at JPMorgan Cazenove; Norsk Hydro upgraded to “neutral” at Goldman Sachs; Proximus raised to “neutral” at Citigroup; Swedish Match upgraded to “buy” at Goldman Sachs; Banco BPM cut to “neutral” at Credit Suisse; Almirall upgraded to “outperform” at Credit Suisse; DNB downgraded to “hold” at Jefferies.

Russia’s alleged election meddling and China’s trade practices are back in focus in Washington.

Stock Market News Today
2018/08/05

Trade War News Today. Washington reports Mr Trump has decided to focus his firepower on China as he gears up for the critical elections in November. “What is popular going into the midterms on both sides of the aisle is China bashing,” says Dennis Wilder, a former top China adviser to George W Bush. Tom Mitchell in Beijing reveals President Xi Jinping is having his hardest time since assuming power, partly due to the trade war.

Apple News Today. Apple won the race to become the first company to reach a trillion-dollar market capitalisation, beating Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet to the finish line.

Brexit News Today. One of the guilty pleasures for Parisians is the Marks and Spencer sandwich. But it will no longer be sent across the Channel if Brexit leads to complicated new border arrangements, the company’s chairman has warned.

China Stock Market News Today. China has lost its ranking as having the world’s number two stock market? After a Thursday slump, Chinese equities were worth $6.09tn, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compared with $6.17tn for Japan’s. Chinese equities and the nation’s currency have taken a beating this year amid a trade spat with the Trump administration.

US Jobs Report News Today. The US jobs report for July is expected to be positive, but what many observers will be looking at is wage growth. Are companies paying workers more because of the tight labour market? So far, not as much as past economic good times.

Theresa May News Today. A make-or-break visit for Brexit. That’s one of the ways Theresa May’s trip to see Emmanuel Macron at his Fort de Brégançon island retreat today has been described. While there are signs of a thaw from some parts of the EU, British diplomats fear Mr Macron still wants to drive a hard bargain with the UK, not least to try to attract financial services from London to Paris.

Stocks to watch. International Consolidated Airlines led the FTSE 100 fallers after second-quarter results from the British Airways owner came in slightly below expectations. Fuel costs and foreign exchange headwinds meant IAG posted a quarterly operating profit of €835m compared with a €848m consensus.

Mondi was the biggest gainer among the packaging makers after beating first-half earnings expectations and reporting a positive start to the second half. Sharp price rises for kraftliner and recycled containerboard meant Mondi’s interim operating earnings jumped 25 per cent to €630m.

“With further price increases in the process of being implemented, demand remaining solid and inflation pressures seemingly under control, this should result in further upgrades to forecasts as the year progresses,” said Davy.

Royal Bank of Scotland gained after confirming it was resuming dividends for the first time since its 2008 bailout, with the lender proposing a 2p a share interim and setting its regular payout ratio at 40 per cent of net income. RBS’s interim pre-tax profit beat consensus forecasts by 11 per cent as an unexpected decline in impairments offset higher operating costs.

RBS’s better than expected core tier one capital ratio of 16.1 per cent suggested scope for one-off buybacks and special dividends, said analysts. Macquarie estimated that a 14 per cent ratio would release more than £4bn of capital, or 33p a share, in addition to the regular payout of 12p.

Pets at Home rallied after it repeated full-year targets in a short trading update. The main positive was a fourth consecutive quarter of revenue growth, with like-for-like sales rising 6.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

“Whilst full-year forecasts remain unchanged, this raises questions around whether the earnings have troughed,” said Liberum, which took Pets at Home off its “sell” list. “Considering the price of 8.6 times earnings, we feel the risk/reward profile may have shifted.”

> Société Générale upgraded Rolls-Royce from “hold” to “buy” on the back of Thursday’s results, when the engine maker reiterated a target of £1bn in free cash flow by 2020 even after taking a £554m charge to cover long-running issues with its Trent 1000 model.

> HSBC upgraded Kaz Minerals from “reduce” to “hold” on valuation grounds. The Kazakhstan mining group registered its sharpest ever fall on Thursday after announcing a $900m deal to buy an undeveloped copper prospect in eastern Russia, which will require $5.5bn of investment to bring into production by the middle of next decade.

“We expect rotation of the shareholder base as the investment case realigns to growth from expectations of deleveraging and potential cash returns,” said HSBC.

HSBC put a 650p target on Kaz. It modelled an internal rate of return for the project of 12.4 per cent excluding the acquisition cost, compared with a cost of capital for Kaz of 11.6 per cent.

BMO, retaining an “outperform” rating on Kaz with a 750p target, said the acquisition was “modestly positive” on a net present value “depending upon as-yet unagreed Russian tax breaks”. It told clients: “What may be upsetting investors is positive free cashlow being kicked from 2020 to 2026 or beyond. Kaz’s counter-argument, which we believe has some validity, is there are few large copper projects available that can deliver into future scarcity.”

In brief: Segro rated new “outperform” at Credit Suisse; Permanent TSB raised to “outperform” at Davy; S & U Stores upgraded to “add” at Peel Hunt; AB InBev upgraded to “buy” at SocGen; HelloFresh and Takeaway raised to “overweight” at JPMorgan Cazenove; Metro upgraded to “hold” at HSBC; Proximus raised to “equal-weight” at Morgan Stanley; Elisa cut to “underweight” at Morgan Stanley; Saipem downgraded to “hold” at HSBC.

Japan takes title of world’s second-largest stock market from China. Chinese equities have seen $2.29tn in valuation wiped off since January.

Stock Market News Today
2018/08/03

Japan Stock Market News Today. For first time China has ceded the title since it overtook Japan for the number two spot in November 2014. The fall also underscores how the ongoing trade spat with the US, Beijing’s campaign to temper debt-fueled growth and signs of slowing domestic demand have combined to dampen investor sentiment for Chinese assets.

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The CSI 300 index of major stocks listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges is down by more than 17 per cent year to date, while the onshore renminbi exchange rate has weakened 5.3 per cent against the dollar.

By comparison, Tokyo’s Topix index has fallen just 4 per cent in 2018, while Japan’s yen has gained nearly 1 per cent on the greenback.

Apple News Today. Apple won the race to become the first company to reach a trillion-dollar market capitalisation, beating Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet to the finish line. Here’s a great interactive chart on how Apple’s worth stacks up against other companies and entire industries (add Disney and Bank of America and you’re only halfway there).

Brexit News Today. The Bank of England’s decision to raise interest rates on Thursday was seen in some quarters as a welcome step on the road to post-financial crisis normality. For others, it was a reckless misjudgment, given the growing risks of a no-deal Brexit. The FT editorial calls it a “false step”. Our FT Money reporters have also broken down what a no-deal outcome would mean for your finances.

Trump News Today. Top US intelligence chiefs issued a stark warning about ongoing Russian efforts to interfere in upcoming US elections. Donald Trump is focusing elsewhere: on China. Barely a week after the US president agreed to a ceasefire in his trade war with Europe, he has dramatically upped the ante in his battle with Beijing.

China News Today. Has China lost its ranking as the world’s number two stock market? After a Thursday slump, Chinese equities were worth $6.09tn, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compared with $6.17tn in Japan. Chinese equities and the nation’s currency have taken a beating this year amid a trade spat with the Trump administration.

US Jobs Report News Today. The US jobs report for July is expected to be positive, but what many observers will be looking at is wage growth. Are companies paying workers more because of the tight labour market? So far, not as much as past economic good times.

Stocks to Watch News Today. JPMorgan Cazenove raised Elementis, the chemical maker to “overweight” from “neutral” with a 290p target. Its upgrade follows Elementis last month announcing the $600m acquisition of Mondo, then saying earlier this week that it was exploring options for the deal after major shareholders expressed concerns.

Either a significant price cut or a deal termination “should be incrementally positive” for Elementis, JPMorgan said. “We believe an acquisition price of $450m to $500m versus the $600m proposed currently might make the deal more palatable to investors [and] substantially improve deal economics,” it said. And on a standalone basis, Elementis has priced in “a material deal-related discount” to its long-term valuation average of about 17 times earnings even allowing for an $18m termination fee.

In brief: Biffa upgraded to “buy” at Peel Hunt; Royal Dutch Shell cut to “equal-weight” at Morgan Stanley; Asos and Zalando rated new “outperform”, Boohoo rated new “market perform” at Wells Fargo; Scor upgraded to “buy” at HSBC; Sodexo downgraded to “market perform” at Bernstein; Lloyds Banking Group upgraded to “neutral” at Citigroup; Sabadell raised to “sector perform” at RBC.

Commodities News Today. Gold has touched its lowest level in over a year at $1,205.95 per troy ounce, after slipping on dollar strength.

Oil prices are mixed. Brent crude is down 0.1 per cent at $73.40 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate is up 0.1 per cent at $69.04.

The US-China trade war looks set to escalate. Donald Trump wants to more than double the proposed tariffs on $200bn of annual imports from China — from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

Stock Market News Today
2018/08/02

Trade War News Today. President Donald Trump wants increase the proposed tariffs on some $200bn in annual imports from China to 25 per cent from the 10 per cent announced last month, senior administration officials told reporters on Wednesday.

That move prompted falls for equities markets in Asia with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng among the worst performers, down 2.3 per cent to its lowest intraday level in 10 months. Within this, financials fell 2.3 per cent, the technology sector dropped 3.6 per cent and consumer cyclical stocks shed 4.8 per cent. Mainland Chinese stocks also fell with the CSI 300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks down 2.6 per cent to a one-month low.

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The US government’s approach stands in contrast to the softening approach from Google, one of its biggest companies. The tech company is considering a relaunch of its search engine in China— a dramatic reversal for a company that pulled out in 2010 over censorship concerns.

Separately, the Germany, another country exposed to Trump’s America First approach, wants to avoid a trade war at all costs. But will it succeed given the nation has become Mr Trump’s European punching bag?

Brexit News Today. Is Michael Gove, the Eurosceptic UK environment minister, betraying the Brexit cause?. At a recent dinner he privately discussed a scenario in which the UK would remain “parked” in the European Economic Area, like Norway. In other Brexit news, Credit Suisse has picked Frankfurt as a key post-Brexit centre. The UK is less ready for life after the divorce. As the FT’s deputy editor points out, the debate on food stockpiling shows Britain is not even prepared for the preparations to leave the EU.

Fidelity News Today. Taking things to a new level. The asset management industry crossed a Rubicon on Wednesday. Fidelity launched the first zero-cost index funds in the US, ratcheting up the passive investing price war to a new level and sending rivals’ shares lower. If the aim was to trigger stock drops in its rivals, such as BlackRock, then it worked.

Trump News Today. “Fighting back, not obstructing.” That was the White House’s response to criticism of Donald Trump after the US president used a Twitter offensive to urge the attorney-general to end the Russia probe “now”. The Trump administration also escalated a row with Turkey over the detainment of an American pastor by imposing sanctions on two Turkish ministers. The lira weakened to a record low against the dollar in response.

Tesla News Today. Tesla beat Wall Street revenue expectations with its latest earnings and made a confident prediction about the rest of the year. Elon Musk, chief executive, also tried to rebuild relations with analysts after a testy earnings call last quarter. Tesla’s shares had already risen on news of the company’s latest earnings, but jumped higher on Mr Musk’s attempts to apologise.

Federal Reserve News Today. A day after India lifted interest rates and the US Federal Reserve signalled another rate rise ahead, the Bank of England is widely expected to raise its interest rates from crisis-era lows. But in times of uncertainty, a UK rate rise would be premature, writes Patience Wheatcroft.

Pompeo News Today. Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, will begin his visit to Malaysia and Singapore with a stop in Kuala Lumpur. The trip comes after this week’s announcement that the US would spend just $113m in Indo-Pacific investments to counter China’s $1tn.

Stocks to Watch News Today. Citigroup downgraded Pearson, the textbook publisher, from “buy” to “neutral” on valuation grounds.Citigroup’s team remained positive on Pearson’s prospects in the US and argued that investors have exaggerated risks in the core business while underestimating growth potential elsewhere in the group. But with Pearson outperforming by 26 per cent year to date, its earnings multiple has expended to a 20 per cent premium to the market, said Citi. “We expect the price-to-earnings ratio to contract fast as the group continues to grow (and see absolute fair value at 975p per share), but we acknowledge it may be 12 months until we get a clear line of sight on 2019 trends, a critical year in confirming our view,” it said.

Stifel downgraded Rentokil Initial to “hold” from “buy” with an unchanged 360p target.

“Whilst there is little to fault the company, trading is going to script after the business was successfully re-tuned to the pest control and hygiene segments, none of this is likely to come as much of a surprise to investors. Our view is that the share price now fully incorporates the upside from continued strong strategic delivery, limiting the scope for further material outperformance. Our view of value, which makes some allowance for continued M&A activity, remains at 360p, which is no longer sufficient to warrant a continued positive recommendation.”

In brief: Standard Chartered raised to “hold” at HSBC; SSP upgraded to “hold” at Canaccord; Hammerson cut to “underperform” at Jefferies; IMI downgraded to “hold” at Liberum; Rightmove downgraded to “sell” at Berenberg; 4 Imprint raised to “hold” at Berenberg; Petra Diamonds downgraded to “sell” at Investec; DNO upgraded to “outperform” at RBC; Enel cut to “neutral” at Goldman Sachs; EDF raised to “equal-weight” at Morgan Stanley; Proximus upgraded to “hold” at Deutsche Bank; Aéroports de Paris upgraded to “equal-weight” at Barclays; Peugeot raised to “buy” at Citigroup; Maersk cut to “neutral” at Goldman Sachs.

Commodities News Today. Oil prices bounced back following Wednesday’s fall. Crude was knocked back in US trading yesterday after the Energy Information Administration figures showed crude inventories climbed by 3.8m barrels in the week to July 27, confounding expectations for a fall of 2.8m barrels. Brent crude was 0.6 per cent higher at $72.80 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate rose 0.2 per cent to $67.80 a barrel.

Gold is up 0.2 per cent to $1,218.50 an ounce after closing at its lowest point in more than a year on Wednesday.