Отбор акций NYSE, NASDAQ

ISM Report On Business


Earnings release

Dec 12/a FTI NDSN AKO-B OXM GEF-B TLRD NCS AGX
Dec 13/b CIEN IMKTA VNCE FONR VERU FRED DLHC


In Play from Briefing.com

Updated: 13-Dec-18 23:00 ET

18:21  HBM Hudbay Minerals responds to activist actions; remains open to continued dialogue but is 'disappointed' with Waterton's personal attacks and selective use of metrics (4.79 -0.08)

  • Waterton Global Resource Management has withdrawn its special meeting requisition for the purpose of considering an advisory resolution. Accordingly, the company will cancel the shareholder meeting it had previously set for February 28, 2019.
  • The Chair of the Board and another independent director met with Waterton on November 1, 2018. Following this meeting, Waterton provided a list of demands to the Board that were entirely disproportionate to its ownership interest and would give Waterton unique rights and powers held by no other shareholder. Among the items of significant concern was Waterton's request to gain access to confidential company information through the appointment of a Waterton employee who would be entitled to attend all Hudbay Board and committee meetings and receive access to all materials provided to the Board as well as communications between management and the Board.
18:07  XPO XPO Logistics responds to today's 'misleading' report from a short-selling firm; long-term financial outlook remains positive (44.50 -15.77)

"Today's report from a short selling firm is intentionally misleading, with significant inaccuracies, and fails to reflect that XPO has delivered strong performance for its long-term shareholders. The facts demonstrate that the short seller's claims, most of which have been previously floated and refuted, are largely baseless and an attempt to string together unrelated pieces of incorrect information to paint an inaccurate impression of the company. Of particular note, our accounting practices are based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and are audited annually and reviewed quarterly by our independent auditors."
17:59  YECO Millennium Fine Art Limited (Yulong) down 25% on Nasdaq delisting news; shares will be suspended tomorrow - expects to be quoted on OTC market under YECO (5.08 +0.62)

The Company is exploring its options to have its ordinary shares quoted on other securities exchanges or over-the-counter markets.
17:31  CPA Copa Holdings reports Nov ASMs +4.1% y/y, RPMs +6.7% and load factor +2.1 pp to 84.3% (77.40 -2.55)

 
17:20  WM Waste Mgmt to increase quarterly dividend rate for 2019 to $0.5125 per share from $0.465 per share; authorizes new repurchase plan of $1.5 billion (91.38 +0.49)

This new authorization is effective immediately and supersedes the $1.25 billion authorization announced in 2017, under which the Company had repurchased approximately $1 billion of its common stock.
17:03  JBHT JB Hunt Trans announces arbitration update - will record Q4 pretax charges for contingent liabilities of $89.4 mln (halted) (95.87 -2.43)

  • Co announced today receipt of the arbitrators' Clarified Interim Award of October 5, 2018, issued on December 7, 2018 in J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.'s arbitration with BNSF Railway Company. Subsequent to the initial Interim Award of October 5, 2018, both parties made additional submissions to the arbitration panel (panel) that resulted in the Clarified Interim Award regarding certain issues related to determining the revenue division between the parties. The parties have been instructed to make further submissions on the revenue divisions as well as other confidential issues raised during the arbitration process so that the panel can issue an appropriate interim and/or final award regarding all issues raised during the proceeding.
  • JBHT will record pretax charges for contingent liabilities in the fourth quarter 2018 of $89.4 million claimed by the BNSF for the period May 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017 and $44.6 million for the period January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018, for a total of $134 million or $0.93 per diluted share.
17:01  NEU NewMarket approves new share repurchase program of up to $500 mln of its outstanding common stock (394.35 -5.33)

 
16:57  RH RH has elected to no longer explore the previously announced opportunistic $300 million convertible notes offering (129.99 -6.11)

RH's current capital structure and internally-generated cash flow are more than sufficient to meet future obligations and long-term growth objectives. As such, the purpose of this financing was opportunistic and RH has determined that current market conditions are not conducive to an attractive convertible notes offering at this time.
16:57  AXON Axovant Sciences commences underwritten public offering of common shares (1.13 -0.08)

 
16:50  PCG PG&E details wildfire spending estimates in its 2020 General Rate Case filing (26.51 +0.12)

  • Among other things, the Utility proposes to invest a total of approximately $5 billion (including approximately $3 billion for capital expenditures) between 2018 and 2022 on Community Wildfire Safety Program measures. Through this program, the Utility proposes to bolster wildfire prevention, risk monitoring, and emergency response efforts, add new and enhanced safety measures, increase vegetation management, and harden its electric system to help further reduce wildfire risks.
  • This GRC proposal does not request funding for potential lawsuits or claims resulting from the 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires, the largest of which are still under investigation. Also, the Utility is not seeking recovery of compensation of PG&E Corporation's and the Utility's officers. In addition, the Utility indicates in its application that weakened credit conditions following the November 8, 2018 Camp Fire may impair the Utility's ability to raise new debt and equity, which could impact the amount of work the Utility can commit to financing and require a change to the scope of work that the Utility proposes to accomplish in the 2020 GRC period.
16:38  ZYME Zymeworks files for $250 mln mixed securities shelf offering (14.93 -0.07)

 
16:36  SHOP Shopify lower after filing preliminary prospectus supplement to its short form base shelf prospectus dated August 3, 2018 (161.06 +0.97)

A total of 2,600,000 Class A subordinate voting shares will be offered by Shopify for sale under the Offering, which will be conducted through a syndicate of underwriters comprised of Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse who are acting as joint bookrunners in the Offering. Shopify expects to use the net proceeds from the Offering to strengthen its balance sheet, providing flexibility to fund its growth strategies. Pending their use, Shopify intends to invest the net proceeds from the Offering in short-term, investment-grade, interest-bearing instruments or hold them as cash.
16:36  SEE Sealed Air announces Reinvent SEE strategy to drive profitable growth and earnings power (32.40 -1.06)

Co announced its Reinvent SEE strategy to drive profitable growth and earnings power. SEE Operational Excellence will focus on the following key areas: speed to market for new innovations, SG&A productivity, product cost efficiency, channel optimization and customer service enhancements.

Reinvent SEE strategy to drive profitable growth and earnings power: Driving growth with leading brands and packaging innovations for Fresh Food and e-Commerce; Increasing operating leverage target above 40% per year beginning in 2019; Embedding SEE Operational Excellence across entire company

New restructuring program to transform SEE into highly efficient company: Total annualized savings expected to be $215 to $235 million by end of 2021; Costs of program estimated to be $190 to $220 million, with less than three-year payback

16:32  CNC Centene reaffirms 2018 guidance, provides in-line 2019 EPS guidance and announces 2-for-1 stock split (132.87 -1.42)

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY18 (Dec), sees adj EPS of $6.90 to $7.10 vs. $7.04 S&P Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY18 (Dec) revs of $59.8 billion to $60.3 billion vs. $60.08 bln S&P Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY19 (Dec) adj EPS of $8.15 to $8.55 ($4.08 to $4.28 post-split) vs. $8.36 S&P Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY19 (Dec) revs of $69.7 billion to $70.5 billion vs. $70.1 bln S&P Capital IQ Consensus; Health benefits ratio of approximately 86.6% to 87.1%; Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) and Adjusted SG&A expense ratio of approximately 9.2% to 9.7%.
  • Board of Directors declared a two-for-one split of Centene's common stock in the form of a 100% stock dividend that is expected to be effective in the first quarter of 2019.
16:32  CDE Coeur d'Alene Mines appoints Thomas S. Whelan as CFO, effective January 1 (4.06 -0.08)

Most recently, Mr. Whelan was CFO of Arizona Mining, a position he held from September 2017 until August 2018. Mr. Whelan will succeed Peter C. Mitchell, who has served as SVP and CFO since 2013.
16:32  ADBE Adobe Systems reports Q4 results, guides for Q1 and updates FY19 guidance including the Marketo acquisition, which was not reflected in consensus estimates (248.08 +2.53)

  • Reports Q4 (Nov) non-GAAP earnings of $1.87 per share vs. the S&P Capital IQ Consensus of $1.88 (non-GAAP EPS ex-Marketo impact was $1.90); revenues rose 20.6% year/year to $2.42 bln vs the $2.43 bln S&P Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • Net new Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (ARR) $385M vs. $3.85M guidance.
  • Co issues guidance for Q1, including the Marketo acquisition, which does not appear to be fully reflected in consensus estimates, sees EPS of $1.60, not comparable to $1.87 S&P Capital IQ Consensus; sees Q1 revs of $2.54 bln, not comparable to $2.52 bln S&P Capital IQ Consensus; digital media segment rev +20%, digital experience segment revenue +31% (Market acquisition), ~$330 million in net new Digital Media annualized recurring revenue (ARR).
  • Co issues guidance for FY19, including the Marketo acquisition, which does not appear to be in estimates, sees EPS of $7.75, not be comparable to $7.97 S&P Capital IQ Consensus; FY19 revs of $11.15 bln up from $10.47 bln, may not be comparable to $10.82 bln S&P Capital IQ Consensus; reaffirms digital media segment rev +20%, raises digital experience segment revenue to +34% from +20% (Market acquisition), ~$1.45 billion in net new Digital Media annualized recurring revenue (ARR, from $1.40 bln) and reaffirms Digital Experience subscription bookings up 25%.
16:29  WRAPX Closing Market Summary: Stocks Mixed in Lackluster Session

The U.S. major indices finished mixed on Thursday, as ongoing uncertainty surrounding global issues kept many buyers on the sidelines. The S&P 500 finished flat, the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.4%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3%.

In particular, the continued weakness from the Dow Jones Transportation Average (-1.6%), S&P 500 financial sector (-0.6%), and small-cap Russell 2000 (-1.6%), all of which play a key role in driving sentiment on the domestic economic outlook, and some cautious-sounding commentary on the economic outlook from European Central Bank President Draghi following today's ECB policy meeting, subdued investor confidence.

Concerns over slowing economic growth, and its adverse effect on corporate earnings, helped contribute to investors assuming some defensive positioning within the stock market.

The S&P 500 utilities (+0.9%), consumer staples (+0.7%), and real estate (+0.6%) groups finished atop the sector standings on Thursday.

Procter & Gamble (PG 96.49, +2.46, +2.6%) was a standout in the consumer staples sector, and Dow, after being upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

The information technology (+0.2%) and energy (+0.4%) sectors also showed relative strength. Renewed leadership from Apple (AAPL 170.95, +1.85, +1.1%) helped lift the tech sector, while the energy space benefited from rising oil prices. WTI crude rose 2.8% to 52.58/bbl.

In addition, some key standouts from the industrial sector (-0.3%) included Delta Air Lines (DAL 53.55, -2.72, -4.8%) and General Electric (GE 7.20, +0.49, +7.3%).

Delta fell after it reaffirmed a FY19 EPS target range that had a midpoint below Wall Street's average expectation. GE, meanwhile, led the S&P 500 in gains after a surprise upgrade to 'Neutral' from 'Underweight' at JP Morgan, though maintained its $6.00 price target.

Separately, retail stocks were one of the hardest hit groups on Thursday, which helped drive the weakness in the consumer discretionary (-0.4%) sector. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 42.52, -1.17) lost 2.7%. On a related note, Tailored Brands (TLRD 14.13, -6.01) and Oxford Industries (OXM 67.24, -7.57) dropped 29.8% and 10.1%, respectively, after some disappointing guidance/outlook.

Reviewing Thursday's economic data, which included Export and Import Prices for November, weekly Initial and Continuing Claims, and the Treasury Budget for November:

  • Import prices declined 1.6% in November after increasing 0.5% in October. Export prices declined 0.9% in November after increasing an upwardly revised 0.5% (from 0.4%) in October. Excluding fuel, import prices were down 0.3%. Excluding agricultural products, export prices were down 1.0%.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that it stirred some thinking that inflation trends could be in a topping phase, which is constructive in terms of the market's belief that the Federal Reserve is apt to take a more conservative path with future rate hikes.
  • Initial jobless claims for the week ending December 8 dropped by 27,000 to 206,000 (Briefing.com consensus 228,000). Continuing claims for the week ending December 1 increased by 25,000 to 1.661 million.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that it helped quell for the time being burgeoning concerns about the rising trend in initial jobless claims.
  • The Treasury Budget for November showed a deficit of $204.9 billion versus a deficit of $138.5 billion for the same period a year ago. The Treasury Budget data is not seasonally adjusted, so the November deficit cannot be compared to the $100.9 billion deficit for October.
    • The fiscal year-to-date deficit is $305.4 billion versus a deficit of $201.8 billion for the same period a year ago. The budget deficit over the last 12 months is $882.6 billion.

Looking ahead, investors will receive Retail Sales for November, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for November, and Business Inventories for October on Friday. 

  • Nasdaq Composite +2.4% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.5% YTD
  • S&P 500 -0.9% YTD
  • Russell 2000 -6.7% YTD
16:28  SGMS Scientific Games reaches settlement in litigation with Shuffle Tech International (15.76 -1.32)

  • On August 7, the jury awarded Shuffle Tech and the other plaintiffs $105 mln in compensatory damages, which was subject to trebling, as well as attorney's fees and costs which brought the total to $335 mln. As part of the settlement, Scientific Games will pay the plaintiffs $151.5 mln, which represents 45% of the original $335 mln.
  • The settlement is conditioned on the trial court entering an order vacating the judgment entered on the jury's verdict. The company anticipates that the trial court will enter such an order.
16:26  LNT Alliant Energy announces public offering of $326 mln of shares of its common stock (46.12 +0.23)

In connection with the offering, Alliant Energy intends to enter into forward sale agreements with each of Goldman Sachs & Co. and Bank of America.
16:26  COST Costco beats by $0.05, misses on revs, reports comparable store sales growth of +8.8% (226.51 -1.29)

  • Reports Q1 (Nov) adjusted earnings of $1.67 per share, $0.05 better than the S&P Capital IQ Consensus of $1.62; revenues rose 10.3% year/year to $34.31 bln vs the $34.66 bln S&P Capital IQ Consensus.
  • COST reports total company comparable sales of +8.8%, or, +7.5% on an adjusted basis. That is inline with what COST reported in its monthly sales report on December 6.
16:22  NLY Annaly Capital Mgmt approved/amended bylaws to de-classify its Board and adopted an enhanced Director refreshment policy; declares unchanged $0.30/share dividend (10.09 +0.08)

 
16:20  ZIOP ZIOPHARM promotes Chief Business Officer David Mauney M.D. to President (2.91 -0.07)

Since joining the Company, he successfully renegotiated Ziopharm's licensing agreement with Intrexon Corp (XON) in October 2018, replacing all prior agreements between the companies.
16:18  SEMG SemGroup's SemCAMS executed a long-term agreement with the Canadian subsidiary of large international oil and gas company to process sour gas production at its Wapiti Gas Plant (16.20 +0.57)

The take-or-pay agreement secures 70 mmcf per day of Montney gas for a 10-year term. The 200 mmcf per day Wapiti Gas Plant, which is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2019, is now 95 percent contracted. The new plant will be connected to the Wapiti Gas Plant via the Pipestone pipeline, which is currently under construction and is expected to begin gathering gas from the Pipestone area in the fourth quarter of 2019.
16:17  WSFS WSFS Financial and Beneficial (BNCL) announce retail banking office optimization plan that includes the consolidation of 25% of retail banking offices (39.60 -0.33)

  • WSFS also committed to reinvest an incremental $32 million of the estimated cost savings from the retail office optimization plan into a five-year transformational investment in technology and delivery systems to create a top-tier physical and digital servicing platform that will significantly enhance Customer experiences across all business lines. WSFS has posted on its website the 25 retail banking offices that are slated to consolidate as part of the retail banking office optimization plan.
  • WSFS will begin communicating these consolidations and other merger-related information to Beneficial and WSFS Customers in the first quarter of 2019 after the combination receives regulatory approval and the deal closes.
16:11  LEG Leggett & Platt details anticipated Q4 charges - is not updating full year EPS guidance issued in October excluding these charges (36.64 -0.53)

  • Q4 to include: restructuring-related charge of ~$16 million (pretax)- related primarily to the Fashion Bed and Home Furniture businesses; note impairment charge of ~$16 million (pretax); EPS impact of ~$0.19.
16:11  SBUX Starbucks outlines growth agenda, co reiterated its FY19 targets (66.91 +0.78)

  • Co reaffirms FY19 EPS guidance of $2.61-2.66, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.65 S&P Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY19 revs +5-7% (implies $26-26.45 bln) vs. $26.1 bln S&P Capital IQ Consensus.R
  • Revs guidance Includes ~2% net negative impact related to streamline-driven activities
  • Expects global comparable store sales growth near the lower end of its current 3% to 5% range
  • Expects to add ~2,100 net new Starbucks stores globally
16:09  LNT Alliant Energy appoints John O. Larsen as the new COO (46.12 +0.23)

Effective January 1, Mr. Larsen will serve as President and COO of Alliant Energy and as CEO of Interstate Power and Light Company and Wisconsin Power and Light Company. Mr. Larsen was appointed President of Alliant Energy in 2018 and previously served as SVP of Alliant Energy from February 14 to December 2017.
16:09  MAXR Maxar Technologies Ltd names Gen. Howell M. Estes III as Chair, effective January 1 (12.85 -0.45)

  • Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Estes, who has served as a director of the Maxar Board since the company's acquisition of DigitalGlobe, succeeds Robert L. Phillips, who will continue to serve as a director of the company.
  • Furthermore, Maxar notes that it has received all necessary approvals to complete its U.S. domestication to change the ultimate parent company of Maxar to become an entity incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware. The U.S. domestication was overwhelmingly approved by Maxar shareholders at a special meeting held on November 16, and the Supreme Court of British Columbia approved the plan of arrangement on November 20, as subsequently amended and approved on December 6, 2018. Maxar anticipates that the U.S. domestication will be completed on or about January 1.
16:09  CUBE CubeSmart raises quarterly dividend 6.7% to $0.32/share (31.43 +0.33)

 
16:07  DORM Dorman Products increases and extends its share repurchase program by an additional $150 mln (86.00 +0.19)

Board of Directors has approved a resolution to increase and extend its share repurchase program by an additional$150 million, raising the aggregate authorization under the program to $400 million. The Company has spent $216.5 million to date under the existing authorization. The authorization is effective through December 31, 2020.
16:06  ENPH Enphase Energy files for 7.5 mln share common stock offering and $5 mln Convertible Senior Notes due 2023 by selling shareholders (5.76 -0.04)

 
16:06  STRL Sterling Construction announces stock repurchase program of up to two million shares through June 30, 2020 (10.74 -0.40)

 
16:05  PXD Pioneer Natural Resources announces $2 billion common share repurchase program (138.60 -1.76)

This share repurchase program replaces and terminates Pioneer's prior $100 million share repurchase program announced in February 2018.
16:04  MG Mistras Group acquired Onstream Pipeline Inspection Services for approx $143 mln; increases FY18 revenue guidance by $10 mln exclusive of acquisition impact (14.93 -0.73)

  • The co acquired 100% of the stock of Onstream Pipeline Inspection Services, North American provider of proprietary technology enabling pipeline inspection and data analytics services primarily to the gathering and mid-stream market. The preliminary purchase price for Onstream, acquired from Novacap and affiliates, a Canadian private equity firm, and other shareholders, was approximately $143 million. In connection with the acquisition of Onstream, the Company upsized its existing credit facility to $400 million for a new 5-year period.
  • The Company also updated its full year 2018 guidance of estimated consolidated revenues to $740 million, an increase of $10 million over the high end of the Company's most recent outlook and exclusive of the impact from Onstream (vs $731.6 mln consensus).
16:03  AXON Axovant Sciences licenses exclusive worldwide rights for GMA gangliosidosis and GM2 gangliosidosis from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (1.13 -0.08)

  • Axovant Sciences has licensed exclusive worldwide rights for the development and commercialization of two novel gene therapy programs to address GM1 gangliosidosis and GM2 gangliosidosis (also known as Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases) from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. 
  • AXO-AAV-GM1 will be evaluated in an investigator-initiated clinical program conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with the first patient expected to be dosed in the first half of 2019. Initial data is expected from this clinical program in the second half of 2019, and continued enrollment of patients in this program is expected throughout 2019.
  • The AXO-AAV-GM2 clinical program is ongoing with the first subject having been dosed with the therapy. Initial data from this program are expected in first quarter 2019, and patients are expected to be enrolled in a multi-subject clinical trial in 2019.
  • In exchange for these exclusive worldwide licenses for the gene therapy programs for GM1 and GM2 gangliosidoses, Axovant will be making payments to UMass Medical School tied to development, regulatory and commercial milestones.
16:02  CNMD CONMED announces definitive agreement to acquire Buffalo Filter LLC for $365M, adj. EPS accretive starting in 2020; reaffirms FY18 (67.33 -0.08)

Co will acquire privately-held Buffalo Filter LLC (Buffalo Filter) for $365 million on a cash-free, debt-free basis. The transaction is expected to be financed through a combination of new convertible notes and an expanded and amended credit facility. Founded in 1991, Buffalo Filter, part of Filtration Group, is the market leader in surgical smoke evacuation technologies. The company's comprehensive product portfolio includes smoke evacuation pencils, smoke evacuators, and laparoscopic solutions.

Company is reiterating previously issued financial guidance for 2018.

Going forward, the acquisition is expected to improve the profitability profile of CONMED by adding ~50 basis points to the organic constant currency revenue growth of the Company. The impact on overall gross margins is expected to be neutral in 2019 and accretive thereafter. The acquisition is expected to improve adjusted operating margins of the Company by ~100 basis points in the first year and an additional 100 basis points by year three. Based on the anticipated date of closing, CONMED expects the acquisition to be neutral to adjusted cash earnings per share in 2019 and between $0.10 and $0.15 per share accretive in 2020

15:43  SUMRX Earnings confirmed for this afternoon: ADBE, CIVI, COST

None scheduled for tomorrow morning
15:42  AGI Alamos 'is providing clarification in response to local media reports in Turkey with respect to development activities at its Kirazl project' (3.17 -0.24)

Co states, "The Company has slowed down development activities and spending until the Operating Licence is granted. In discussions with the Department of Energy and Natural Resources over the delay, the Company has been assured that the Operating License review is following the normal bureaucratic process. Pending receipt of the Operating License, the Company expects to ramp up major construction and earthworks activities in the spring of 2019, putting initial production from Kirazli on track for the second half of 2020, consistent with previous guidance."
15:40  SUMRX Closing Commodities: WTI rallies, crosses above $53/barrel

  • Metals Settlement Prices:
    • Feb gold settled today's session $2.10 lower (-0.2%) at $1247.70/oz
    • Mar silver settled today's session unch $14.85/oz
    • Mar copper settled unch at $2.77/lb
  • Agriculture Settlement Prices:
    • Mar corn settled $0.01 lower at $3.84/bushel
    • Mar wheat settled $0.09 higher (+1.7%) at $5.35/bushel
    • Jan soybeans settled $0.12 lower (-1.3%) at $9.07/bushel
  • Energy Settlement Prices:
    • January Crude Oil futures rose $1.58 (+3.1%) to $52.61/barrel
      • In after hours trade, oil extended gains and is now +$1.90 at $53.05/barrel.
    • January Natural Gas $0.02 lower (-0.5%) at $4.12/MMBtu
    • January RBOB Gasoline settled $0.06 higher (+4.2%) at $1.48/gallon
    • January Heating oil futures settled $0.03 higher (+1.3%) at $1.88/gallon
15:28  ADBE Adobe Systems will report first quarter results this afternoon (247.52 +1.97)

Digital marketing leader Abode (ADBE) will report fourth quarter (Nov) results this afternoon and management will host a call at 5:00 ET.

Analysts are looking for Q4 non-GAAP EPS up 49% to $1.88 with revenue up 21% to $2.43 billion. Adobe guided for Q4 EPS of $1.87 on revenue of $2.42 billion with digital media revenue up 22%, digital experience revenue up 20% and net new digital media annualized recurring revenue (ARR) of ~$385 million -- a key metric.

The company will provide guidance for the first quarter on its website. The Street expects Q1 non-GAAP EPS up 21% to $1.87 with revenue up 21% to $2.52 billion. Adobe has beaten estimates on the top and bottom line nine quarters in a row. Last quarter, the company guided EPS and revenue just above consensus for the third quarter in a row.

In late September, Adobe announced the $4.75 billion cash acquisition of Marketo, a market-leading cloud platform for B2B marketing engagement.

At the Adobe MAX Creativity Conference in October, the company offered preliminary fiscal 2019 revenue slightly above consensus calling for total, digital media segment, and digital experience segment revenue all up 20%, ~$1.4 billion in net new Digital Media annualized recurring revenue (ARR) and Digital Experience subscription bookings up 25%.

Adobe has a ~$120 billion market cap. While the ~12x sales multiple appears aggressive, investors are more focused on the ~27x FCF multiple and 32x earnings multiple as the company continues to grow the top line 20% and expand margins.

As a more mature software-as-a-service company that is growing free cash flow, the stock has held up relatively well vs. smaller cloud peers during the recent market correction.

The stock is down ~10% from all-time highs three months ago. The 50 and 200-day moving averages have converged to the ~$244 level since the recent consolidation. The options market is pricing in a ~5% move in the stock tomorrow.

15:12  BONDX Treasury Market Summary

Mixed on Thursday

  • U.S. Treasuries ended the Thursday session on a mixed, but generally flat note. Treasuries started the cash session near their closing levels from Wednesday, but the 10-yr note and shorter tenors received an early bid that kept them in the green. The long bond, meanwhile, underperformed in the early going, but reclaimed the bulk of its loss after the completion of a $16 billion 30-yr bond reopening, which was met with solid demand, as the high yield (3.165%) stopped through the when-issued yield by 0.2 bps. Granted, the bid-to-cover ratio (2.31x) was a touch below average (2.37x), but indirect takedown (66.4%) exceeded the average observed at the previous twelve auctions (62.3%). Overall, the solid appetite for the long bond serves as another reminder that market participants are entertaining the idea that the pace of economic growth has peaked or is close to doing so.
  • Yield Check:
    • 2-yr: UNCH at 2.76%
    • 3-yr: -1 bp to 2.76%
    • 5-yr: -1 bp to 2.76%
    • 10-yr: +1 bp to 2.91%
    • 30-yr: +2 bps to 3.16%
  • News:
    • The People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang acknowledged that economic growth in China has approached the potential rate of output and that downward pressure on the economy is increasing.
    • Chinese authorities confirmed the detainment of Canadian businessman Michael Spavor. Mr. Spavor is being accused of harming China's national security. China has also detained a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig.
    • Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed that the Italian government agreed to lower its 2019 deficit target to 2.04% from 2.40%.
    • French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire acknowledged that France's deficit will breach the 3.0% limit in 2019 as the government looks to quell protests by increasing entitlements.
    • British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote, but the prime minister will not stand in the next leadership election
    • $16 bln 30-year Treasury bond reopening results (prior 12-auction average):
      • High yield: 3.165% (3.089%)
      • Bid-to-cover: 2.31 (2.37)
      • Indirect bid: 66.4% (62.3%)
      • Direct bid: 11.5% (9.8%)
  • Today's Data:
    • Initial jobless claims for the week ending December 8 dropped by 27,000 to 206,000 (Briefing.com consensus 228,000). Continuing claims for the week ending December 1 increased by 25,000 to 1.661 million.
      • The key takeaway from the report is that it helped quell for the time being burgeoning concerns about the rising trend in initial jobless claims.
    • Import prices decreased 1.6% in November after increasing 0.5% in October. Excluding oil, import prices declined 0.3% after increasing a revised 0.1% (from 0.2%) in October. Export prices declined 0.9% in November after increasing a revised 0.5% (from 0.4%) in October. Excluding agriculture, export prices fell 1.0% in November after increasing 0.5% in October.
    • The Treasury Budget for November showed a deficit of $204.9 billion versus a deficit of $138.5 billion for the same period a year ago. The Treasury Budget data is not seasonally adjusted, so the November deficit cannot be compared to the $100.9 billion deficit for October.
      • Total receipts of $205.9 billion for November were $2.4 billion less than the year-ago period.
      • Total outlays in November were $410.9 billion, $63.9 billion more than the year-ago period.
      • The fiscal year-to-date deficit is $305.4 billion versus a deficit of $201.8 billion for the same period a year ago.
  • Commodities:
    • WTI crude: +2.8% to $52.58/bbl
    • Gold: -0.2% to $1247.70/ozt
    • Copper: UNCH at $2.77/lb
  • Currencies:
    • EUR/USD: UNCH at 1.1364
    • GBP/USD: +0.3% to 1.2659
    • USD/CNH: +0.1% to 6.8797
    • USD/JPY: +0.3% to 113.62
  • The Day Ahead:
    • 8:30 ET: November Retail Sales (Briefing.com consensus 0.2%; prior 0.8%) and Retail Sales ex-auto (Briefing.com consensus 0.3%; prior 0.7%)
    • 9:15 ET: November Industrial Production (Briefing.com consensus 0.3%; prior 0.1%) and Capacity Utilization (Briefing.com consensus 78.6%; prior 78.4%)
    • 10:00 ET: October Business Inventories (Briefing.com consensus 0.5%; prior 0.3%)
14:39  SCANX Notable movers of interest -- General Electric (GE) rises from recent lows on key analyst upgrade -Technical-

The following are some of today's most notable movers of interest, categorized by market capitalization (large cap over $10 billion and mid cap between $2-10 billion) and ranked by % change (all stocks over 100K average daily volume).

Large Cap Gainers

  • GE (7.21 +7.38%): Upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan, with price target maintained at $6, citing improved visibility on the "known unknowns" of co's balance sheet and co's improved risk/reward profile and smaller array of potential negatives, among other factors; firm increasingly assumes that co may find it necessary to raise equity. Co also announced that it will launch a new Industrial Internet of Things software company, which will operate as a wholly-owned and independently-run GE business with $1.2 bln in annual software revenue. Furthermore, GE Digital sold a majority stake in ServiceMax to technology investment firm Silver Lake.
  • AFL (45.51 +6.08%): Confirmed in a press release that it is engaged in discussions with Japan Post Holdings regarding a potential minority investment in co, to be achieved through purchases made on the open market; the Nikkei Asian Review, reporting on the rumors, suggested that Japan Post will take an approx. 7-8% stake, an investment in the area of $2.6 bln.
  • JD (22.69 +3.65%): Mizuho, assuming coverage on the stock, assigned co a Neutral rating.

Large Cap Losers

  • MNST (53.32 -7.17%): Initiated with a Sell and a $48 target at UBS.
  • DAL (53.58 -4.78%): Co, which today hosts its annual Investor Day, reaffirmed expectations for FY19 EPS of $6-7, accompanied by top-line growth of +4-6% and margin expansion; the mid-point of this EPS guidance is below the S&P Capital IQ consensus of $6.71; co will increase its focus on higher-margin premium products in its cabins as it aims to boost revenues.
  • M (30.68 -3.68%): Retail sector generally underperforms today, and co's shares touch their lowest level since May; the Retail Sales Report for November will be released tomorrow morning. (Related: TLRDKSS, GPS, HBI, AEO...)

Mid Cap Gainers

  • NDSN (120.01 +7.08%): In co's Q4, it missed on EPS by $0.03 but beat revenue expectations, with revs falling 0.9% year/year to $569.3 mln vs consensus expectations for $560.98 mln; issued in-line guidance for FY19 revs; saw organic volume growth of +2%.
  • CIEN (34.28 +6.66%): Topped consensus for Q4 EPS by $0.05, with revenues rising +20.8% year/year to $899.4 mln, above the S&P Capital IQ consensus for revenues of $862.54 mln; authorized new common stock repurchase program of $500 mln; co celebrates its "successful interception of market trends" and has "tremendous confidence" in its outlook, both near- and long-term; co guided for above consensus Q1 revs.
  • CEQP (31.49 +5.04%): Oil and gas pipeline stocks outperforming moderately. (Related: BPL, HEP, NS, PAA...)

Mid Cap Losers

  • XPO (44.67 -25.88%): Co extends yesterday's declines to reach its lowest levels since April of last year, troubled today after featuring in a report from Spruce Point, which asserts that it finds evidence suggesting dubious accounting measures and financial irregularities; co reportedly refutes these short seller claims, labeling them baseless and inaccurate.
  • TLRY (72.79 -13.83%): Adding another day of selling action; the stock's recent performance have seen it shed about 25% of its value in the last week; cannabis stocks underperform. (Related: CRON, ACB, CGC...)
  • SWI (16.43 -11.95%): Having rallied since the end of November to greater and greater all-time highs, the October IPO's shares today reversed course after peaking at another new high, above $19, in early trade.
13:50  COST Costco Earnings Preview (226.53 -1.27)

  • Costco (COST) will report Q1 earnings tomorrow morning (16:15 PM ET last quarter) with a conference call to follow at 5 PM ET.
    • Current Cap IQ consensus estimates Q1 EPS of $1.62 ($1.36 last year) on revs of $34.7 bln (+9 Y/Y)
  • In the company's monthly sales report on December 6, COST reported Q1 comps growth of 8.8% and Q1 comps excluding gas of 7.5%
    • COST comps accelerated to grow 9.5% in FY 18 so some deceleration is expected as the current estimate for FY 19 comps estimate is 5.4%
  • COST has been trading in a loose, sideways range since its Q4 report and is currently trading right at the middle of said range. Thus COST may not be worth monitoring until it moves closer to the support/resistance levels
  • A close below the 200 day must be monitored, however, and could hint at a possible beginning of a correction for the stock as investors may choose to move funds elsewhere. Support has held 3x so far at the 220 level so that and the 200 day at 214 are two key levels to watch in case COST disappoints in its report.
  • COST has a $99.2 bln market cap and trades at a forward P/E of 29.6x vs other big box retailers such as WMT (20.9x), TGT (14.4x) and PSMT(24x).
13:29  OPTNX Unusual Options Activity

The following options are exhibiting notable trading, potentially indicating changing sentiment toward the underlying stocks, and/or potentially representing positioning for increased volatility.

Bullish Call Activity:

  • SBUX Dec 67 calls (volume: 3390, open int: 5040, implied vol: ~52%, prev day implied vol: 42%). 2000 contracts traded in a single transaction. We noted activity in the Dec 67 calls yesterday (see 12/12 13:19 OPTNX). Co is expected to report earnings late January.
  • BABA Dec 155 calls (volume: 2940, open int: 4000, implied vol: ~45%, prev day implied vol: 44%).  Co is expected to report earnings late January.

Bearish Put Activity:

  • GE Jan19 5.5 puts are seeing interest with the underlying stock up 7% following upgrade to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan who was a long time bear on the name (volume: 60.6k, open int: 4.8K, implied vol: ~90%, prev day implied vol: 78%).  5k traded in a single transaction. Co announced plans to establish a new, independent company focused on building a comprehensive Industrial Internet of Things software portfolio. GE Digital to sell a majority stake in ServiceMax to Silver Lake. Co is expected to report earnings mid-to-late January, possibly outside of January expiration.
  • Utilities SPDR (XLU) Mar19 49 puts (volume: 3650, open int: 250, implied vol: ~21%, prev day implied vol: 20%).

Sentiment: The CBOE Put/Call ratio is currently: 1.00... VIX: (21.11, -0.35, +1.6%).
December 21 is options expiration -- the last day to trade December equity options.
*Please use the Talk to Us link at the top of the page to provide feedback on this comment as well as the OPTNX comments.

13:04  GH Guardant Health announces multi-year agreement with AstraZeneca (AZN) (41.46 -0.98)

The co announced a multi-year agreement with AstraZeneca (AZN) to develop blood-based companion diagnostic (CDx) tests supporting the commercialization of AstraZeneca's oncology portfolio based on Guardant's industry-leading comprehensive liquid biopsy platform.
13:03  BONDX Auction Out

Treasury Auction Results

  • $16 bln 30-year Treasury bond reopening:
    • Auction results:
      • High yield: 3.165% (When-Issued: 3.167%)
      • Bid-to-cover: 2.31
      • Indirect bid: 66.4%
      • Direct bid: 11.5%
    • Average results of previous 12 auctions:
      • High yield: 3.089%
      • Bid-to-cover: 2.37
      • Indirect bid: 62.3%
      • Direct bid: 9.8%
  • Yield Check:
    • 2-yr: -2 bps to 2.74%
    • 3-yr: -2 bps to 2.75%
    • 5-yr: -2 bps to 2.75%
    • 10-yr: UNCH at 2.91%
    • 30-yr: +1 bp to 3.16%
13:01  ABBV AbbVie authorizes $5 bln increase to stock repurchase program (88.20 -0.40)

 
13:00  WRAPX Midday Market Summary: Stocks Mixed amid Continued Global Uncertainty

The major averages are mixed as stocks struggle to find direction amid continued uncertainty over a host of global issues. The S&P 500 is down 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite is down 0.5%.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.2%.

Global growth prospects, and consequently, corporate earnings prospects, have been one of those issues that have weighed on investor sentiment today.

The ongoing weakness from the Dow Jones Transportation Average (-2.0%), S&P 500 financial sector (-0.4%), and the small-cap Russell 2000 (-1.1%) -- all of which play a key role in driving sentiment on the domestic economic outlook -- continues to dampen beliefs that the market has found a "tradable" bottom. 

Similarly, comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi this morning have fed into the market's underlying concerns about the global growth outlook. Mr. Draghi said in his press conference following today's ECB meeting that economic data suggest some slower growth than expected in the immediate future and that risks, while still broadly balanced, are moving to the downside.

With all this mind, investors have taken some defensive positioning within the stock market. The S&P 500 utilities (+1.2%), real estate (+1.0%), and consumer staples (+0.7%) sectors outperform the broader market.

The oil-sensitive energy space (+0.4%) has also emerged as an outperformer with oil prices swinging positive in late morning trading. WTI crude is up 1.5% to $51.92/bbl.

Procter & Gamble (PG 96.21, +2.18, +2.3%) is a standout in the consumer staples sector after being upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

Also, General Electric (GE 7.25, +0.53, +8.0%) leads the S&P 500 in gains after a surprise upgrade from longtime bearish JP Morgan analyst Stephen Tusa. The upgrade is being considered by some as a potential bottoming signal for the beleaguered stock, which was down over 60.0% this year heading into today's session. Mr. Tusa, though, maintained his $6 price target.

Separately, the retail space has taken a hit today with the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 42.68, -1.01) down 2.3%. On a related note, Tailored Brands (TLRD 14.10, -60.3, -30.0%) and Oxford Industries (OXM 68.70, -6.11, -8.2%) have dropped considerably after some disappointing guidance/outlook.

Reviewing today's economic data, which included Export and Import Prices for November and weekly Initial and Continuing Claims:

  • Import prices declined 1.6% in November after increasing 0.5% in October. Export prices declined 0.9% in November after increasing an upwardly revised 0.5% (from 0.4%) in October. Excluding fuel, import prices were down 0.3%. Excluding agricultural products, export prices were down 1.0%.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that it stirred some thinking that inflation trends could be in a topping phase, which is constructive in terms of the market's belief that the Federal Reserve is apt to take a more conservative path with future rate hikes.
  • Initial jobless claims for the week ending December 8 dropped by 27,000 to 206,000 (Briefing.com consensus 228,000). Continuing claims for the week ending December 1 increased by 25,000 to 1.661 million.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that it helped quell for the time being burgeoning concerns about the rising trend in initial jobless claims.

As a reminder, the Treasury Budget for November will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET.

12:56  SCANX Today's most active stocks -Technical-

The following are today's most active stocks ranked by volume and relative volume, categorized by sectors over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume.

Today's top 20 volume
  • Industrials: GE (148.62 mln +7.83%), XPO (18.82 mln -19.64%)
  • Consumer Discretionary: JD (17.03 mln +4.2%), SIRI (14.67 mln -1.58%), F (13.21 mln -1.1%)
  • Information Technology: AMD (59.32 mln -3.27%), NOK (18.59 mln -0.25%), AAPL (17.81 mln +0.8%), MSFT (14.15 mln -0.09%), TWTR (13.4 mln -2.1%), MRVL (12.86 mln +1.38%)
  • Financials: BAC (31.26 mln -0.08%), QQQ (23.86 mln -0.34%), SQQQ (21.46 mln +1.18%), WFC (14.41 mln -0.92%), C (13.67 mln +0.05%)
  • Energy: CHK (15.75 mln -1.17%), SWN (13.49 mln +2.5%), WFT (12.82 mln -5.41%)
  • Telecommunication Services: T (20.24 mln -1.29%)
Today's top relative volume (current volume to 1-month average daily volume)
  • Healthcare: MDCO (2.78x -8.61%), AKBA (2.04x +3.69%)
  • Materials: PKX (2.14x +1.51%), AGI (1.88x -8.8%)
  • Industrials: XPO (7.61x -19.64%), NDSN (1.81x +6.12%)
  • Consumer Discretionary: TLRD (8.16x -29.62%), OXM (5.84x -8.2%), FRED (2.52x -23.41%)
  • Information Technology: LPL (3.21x +5.61%), CIEN (2.82x +8.56%), ACXM (2.59x -1.38%), HLIT (1.92x -0.74%)
  • Financials: HASI (3.18x -3.55%), KB (1.87x +2.69%)
  • Energy: ECR (3.08x -2.88%), SEP (1.84x +2.16%)
  • Utilities: KEP (3.11x -0.21%)
12:54  SCANX Today's biggest % gainers/losers -Technical-

The following are today's top 20 percentage gainers and top 20 percentage losers, categorized by sectors over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume.

Today's top 20 % gainers
  • Healthcare: CRIS (0.83 +9.52%), MGLN (62.97 +7.4%), MDXG (1.65 +6.28%), INOV (13.32 +5.71%)
  • Materials: VHI (1.99 +11.53%), SBGL (2.86 +6.32%)
  • Industrials: GE (7.24 +7.83%), NDSN (118.93 +6.12%), KRNT (18.99 +4.31%)
  • Consumer Discretionary: MMYT (26.07 +5.29%)
  • Information Technology: CIEN (34.89 +8.56%), PLAB (10.1 +6.49%), LPL (8.09 +5.61%)
  • Financials: AFL (45.63 +6.36%)
  • Energy: BTE (1.81 +7.74%), AMID (4.9 +5.38%), CEQP (31.32 +4.47%), TCP (31.43 +4.28%)
  • Utilities: FGP (0.89 +5.95%)
Today's top 20 % losers
  • Healthcare: FPRX (10.67 -11.45%), SGYP (0.14 -9.81%), PTLA (19.51 -9.55%), SPPI (11.55 -8.84%), MDCO (21.12 -8.61%), TLGT (1.65 -8.59%), LJPC (13.38 -8.48%)
  • Materials: AGI (3.11 -8.8%)
  • Industrials: XPO (48.43 -19.64%)
  • Consumer Discretionary: TLRD (14.18 -29.62%), FRED (1.93 -23.41%), FRAN (1.25 -15.31%), ASNA (2.65 -10.77%), OXM (68.68 -8.2%), BOOT (16.76 -8.16%), GES (20.15 -8.01%)
  • Financials: MHLD (1.94 -9.35%)
  • Energy: SDRL (10.91 -10.21%), HLX (6.52 -8.04%)
  • Telecommunication Services: CBB (9.49 -11.19%)
12:52  CLVS Clovis Oncology receives positive opinion from CHMP for a new indication of Rubraca as a monotherapy for relapsed ovarian cancer (21.73 +0.93)

  • EC approval is anticipated in the first quarter of 2019.
  • Upon receipt of marketing authorization by the EC, Rubraca will offer a new monotherapy option for the maintenance treatment of adults with platinum-sensitive relapsed high-grade epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in response (complete or partial) to platinum-based chemotherapy.
  • The CHMP's positive opinion for this additional indication was based on data from the phase 3 ARIEL3 clinical trial, which found that rucaparib significantly improved progression-free survival in all ovarian cancer patient populations studied.
12:34  BRY Berry Petroleum's Board adopted a program for the opportunistic repurchase of up to $100 million of its common stock (10.31 -0.37)

 
12:02  GDI Gardner Denver acquires MP Pumps for approximately $58 mln (21.69 -0.15)

Based in Fraser, Michigan, MP Pumps is a leading manufacturer of specialty industrial pumps and associated aftermarket parts for use in a variety of industrial end markets. MP Pumps will be part of Gardner Denver's Industrials Segment.
11:43  SCANX Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New lows (206) outpacing new highs (16) -Technical-

Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AEP, AMSC, AU, BIOS, CIEN, ESIO, GLDD, INTX, MITK, MKC, MKTX, NRG, OGE, PG, SRC, SSRM

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: AAWW, ABCB, ABM, ACET, ADNT, ADS, AFG, AGI, AHT, ALKS, ALL, ALLY, ANWWQ, APDN, APOG, AR, ARD, ARLZQ, ATTO, AXTI, BAS, BBBY, BC, BCC, BDC, BGCP, BGFV, BLCM, BMO, BOH, BSTI, BTX, BW, C, CAAP, CBB, CBK, CBM, CCLP, CE, CFG, CHK, CIT, CLGX, CLLS, CLSD, CMA, CODI, CONN, CPST, CSFL, CTIC, CURO, CVTI, CYTR, DBD, DEA, DLPH, DPW, DRRX, DXC, ECR, EDGE, EGLTQ, ELGX, ENZ, EPZM, EVC, EVLV, EXP, EXPR, EYES, FANG, FBC, FCB, FCEL, FDX, FET, FHN, FIZZ, CVIA, FNB, FRAN, FTR, GAIA, GDI, GLRE, GPI, GRBK, GSAT, GSTCQ, GTXI, HAIR, HBAN, HBI, HK, HOG, HOMB, HOME, HOPE, HOS, HST, HTGC, ICON, INFI, INN, IO, IPCI, IPWR, IVZ, JAG, JBHT, JBL, JELD, JP, JT, KEY, KNL, KNX, KORS, LBAI, LGF.A, LKM, LLNW, LM, LSTR, MAN, MGPI, MHLD, MRCC, MRTN, MTB, MTDR, MVIS, NBR, NLNK, NOV, NXTD, OAS, OCN, OFC, OHGI, OIS, OMI, OMN, ORN, PACW, PDCE, PE, PHIIK, PII, PIR, PLCE, PQUEQ, PRAA, PSTI, PVH, QHC, QUAD, RAD, RDC, RES, RF, RIOT, RNN, RYAM, SCYX, SIG, SINO, SITE, SKX, SLCA, SLM, SMG, SNH, SPN, SQBG, SRCL, STI, STZ, SWIR, SXCP, TCRD, TENX, TGI, TOO, TTI, TTMI, TUES, TYHT, UE, UFS, UNFI, UPS, VGR, WBS, WBT, WDC, WGO, WTFC, WY, YRCW, YUMA, ZAGG, ZION

Thinly-Traded Stocks (ADV below 100k) that traded to 52 week highs on High Volume: HQCL, MGEE, NRP

Thinly-Traded Stocks (ADV below 100k) that traded to 52 week lows on High Volume: AAVVF, ABAC, AEHR, AGM, ALRN, ASV, BBW, BH, BVSN, CLCT, CLXT, CTG, CULP, DVCR, EMAN, ENFC, ENG, ERINQ, EVGN, FAT, FBM, FWP, GROW, HMST, IMH, JOB, LBC, LPTX, MOFG, MPB, MRSN, PVL, NVFY, OIBRQ, OPOF, OVID, PEBK, PFSW, PMD, PRAN, PZG, QBIO, SNNA, SSLJ, STLY, STON, TNTRQ, TRCB, ULH, WHLR, WSTG, XRF, YOGA, YTEN

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: PALL

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: IYT, KBE, KRE
11:29  BONDX New Supply

Treasury Auction Preview

  • $16 bln 30-year Treasury bond reopening (results at 13:00 ET)
    • Prior auction results:
      • High yield: 3.418%
      • Bid-to-cover: 2.06
      • Indirect bid: 59.1%
      • Direct bid: 2.9%
    • Average results of previous 12 auctions:
      • High yield: 3.089%
      • Bid-to-cover: 2.37
      • Indirect bid: 62.3%
      • Direct bid: 9.8%
11:12  TALKX Four-on-the-Floor

Four-on-the-floor is an idiom for a manual transmission that helps make a car go. With that in mind, we present four key catalysts today that are driving the stock market in the early going:

  • Pressing for a tradable bottom
    • The market has its share of concerns, but with the major indices having suffered large losses already this month (and quarter), there is an underlying belief that it is due for a notable bounce.
    • Reports this morning highlighting the latest investor sentiment readings from the American Association of Individual Investors have helped drive some speculation that the market is ripe for a decent-sized bounce in the near term.
      • The bullish sentiment reading dropped from 37.9% last week to 20.9% this week, which is the lowest since May 2016, while the bearish sentiment reading popped from 30.5% last week to 48.9% this week, which is its highest since April 2013, according to CNBC.
      • Extremes in investor sentiment readings are generally regarded as a contrarian indicator; therefore, the combination of low bullish sentiment and high bearish sentiment is being looked at favorably as a potential rally catalyst.
  • Weakness (again) in the transports, financials, and small caps
    • The underperformance of the Dow Jones Transportation Average (-1.5%) remains a thorn in the market's side, as does the continued underperformance of the S&P 500 financial sector (-0.3%) and Russell 2000 (-0.8%). 
    • They all play a key role in driving sentiment on the domestic economic outlook.  Accordingly, their ongoing weakness remains a distraction that is clouding the belief that the market has found a bottom.
    • Delta Airlines (DAL 54.15, -2.12, -3.8%) is a notable drag on the transports today after confirming that it expects FY19 EPS to be between $6.00 and $7.00.  The midpoint of that range is below analysts' average expectation.
  • Comments from ECB President Draghi
    • Mr. Draghi said in his press conference following today's ECB meeting that economic data suggest some slower growth than expected in the immediate future and that risks, while still broadly balanced, are moving to the downside.
    • The cautious-sounding economic commentary has fed into the market's underlying concerns about the global growth outlook.
  • Leadership from the defensive-oriented sectors
    • Seeing the real estate (+1.2%), utilities (+0.9%), and consumer staples (+0.7%) sectors outperform in the early going.  Their relative strength is emblematic of some defensive-minded positioning.
      • Procter & Gamble (PG 96.46, +2.43, +2.6%) is a standout in the consumer staples sector after drawing an upgrade from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch to Buy from Neutral.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.2%; the S&P 500 is up 0.04%; the Nasdaq Composite is down 0.2%; and the Russell 2000 is down 0.8%.

11:02  HBM Hudbay Minerals shareholder Waterton will be nominating a majority slate of independent director candidates for election to the co's Board (4.74 -0.13)

 
10:37  SUMRX Morning Commodities: Nat gas prices slip following EIA nat gas storage release

  • Commodities higher (+0.04% at 82.22 as measured by the Bloomberg Commodity Index)
  • Dollar index higher (+0.2% at 97.2300)
  • Looking at energy:
    • Dec. WTI crude oil futures are now +$0.33 at $51.48/barrel
    • In other energy, Dec natural gas is now +$0.11 at $4.25/MMBtu, after pulling back some, following weekly EIA nat gas storage report
      • Natural gas inventory showed a draw of 77 bcf vs a draw of 63 bcf in the prior week
      • Working gas in storage was 2,914 Bcf as of Friday, December 7, 2018, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net decrease of 77 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 722 Bcf less than last year at this time and 723 Bcf below the five-year average of 3,637 Bcf. At 2,914 Bcf, total working gas is below the five-year historical range.
  • Moving on to metals:
    • Dec. gold is currently -$3.70 at $1246.30/oz, while Dec. silver is -$0.03 at $14.82/oz
    • Dec. copper is now unch at $2.77/lb
10:15  OPTNX Early Options Activity

Taking an early look at the options market, we found the following names that may be worth watching throughout the day for further indication of investor expectations given their options volume and implied volatility movement.

Stocks seeing volatility buying (bullish call buying/bearish put buying):

Calls:

  • BABA Dec 155 calls are seeing interest with 1180 contracts trading vs. open int of 4000, pushing implied vol up around 3 points to ~47%.  Co is expected to report earnings late January.

Puts:

  • GE Jan19 5 puts are seeing interest following upgrade to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan, who was a long time bear on the name with 52.3K contracts trading vs. open int of 4.8K, pushing implied vol up around 13 points to ~91%. 5k traded in a single transaction. Co announced plans to establish a new, independent company focused on building a comprehensive Industrial Internet of Things software portfolio. GE Digital to sell a majority stake in ServiceMax to Silver Lake.  Co is expected to report earnings mid-to-late January, possibly outside of January expiration.

Stocks seeing volatility selling:

  • CIEN implied vol is lower following earnings/guidance

Sentiment: The CBOE Put/Call ratio is currently: 1.00.. VIX: (21.03, -0.43, -2.0%).
December 21 is options expiration -- the last day to trade December equity options.
*Please use the Talk to Us link at the top of the page to provide feedback on this comment as well as the OPTNX comments.

10:08  XLF Commission-free trading startup Robinhood announces Checking & Savings accounts that pay 3% with no fees (24.59 -0.07)

Robinhood blog
09:42  WRAPX Opening Market Summary: Major Indices Open on a Higher Note

The major indices have opened on a higher note with the S&P 500 up 0.6%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite up 0.7%.

Looking at the S&P sectors shows 10 of the 11 groups trading in positive territory. Leading the pack are the information technology (+0.9%), health care (+0.8%), real estate (+0.7%), and communication services (+0.7%) sectors. Conversely, the oil-sensitive energy space (-0.1%) is the only sector in the red, as WTI crude trades lower by 0.9% at $50.72/bbl.

Separately, U.S. Treasuries hover near their unchanged marks with the benchmark 10-yr yield down one basis point to 2.90%. Meanwhile, the U.S. Dollar Index is up 0.2% to 97.20.

09:35  SCANX Earnings/guidance movers

  • QD +12.74% CIEN +10.45% NDSN +4.85% HESM +1.13% MSM +1.07% DHR +0.88%
  • LLNW -27.81% TLRD -27.46% OXM -11.64% FTI -1.84% DAL -0.55% FLS -0.38%
09:35  SUMRX Economic Summary: Jobless Claims drop faster than expected; Retail sales out tomorrow at 8:30 ET

Economic Data Summary:

  • November Export Prices -0.9% (October was 0.4%).
  • November Export Prices Ex-Ag -1.0% (October was 0.5%).
  • November Import Prices -1.6% (October was 0.5%).
  • November Import Prices Ex-Oil -0.3% (October was 0.2%).
    • The key takeaway from the report is that it stirred some thinking that inflation trends could be in a topping phase, which is constructive in terms of the market's belief that the Federal Reserve is apt to take a more conservative path with future rate hikes.
  • Weekly Initial Claims 206K vs Briefing.com consensus of 228K; Last Week was 231K
  • Weekly Continuing Claims 1.661 M vs Briefing.com consensus of ; Last Week was 1.631 M
    • The key takeaway from the report is that it helped quell for the time being burgeoning concerns about the rising trend in initial jobless claims.

Upcoming Economic Data:

  • November Treasury Budget due out Thursday at 14:00 (Briefing.com consensus of ; October was -$138.5 bln)
  • November Retail Sales due out Friday at 8:30 (Briefing.com consensus of 0.2%; October was 0.8%)
  • November Retail Sales ex Ex-Auto due out Friday at 8:30 (Briefing.com consensus of 0.3%; October was 0.7%)
  • November Industrial Production due out Friday at 8:30 (Briefing.com consensus of 0.3%; October was 0.1%)
  • November Capacity Utilization due out Friday at 9:15 (Briefing.com consensus of 78.6%; October was 78.4%)
  • October Business Inventories due out Friday at 10:00 (Briefing.com consensus of 0.5%; September was 0.3%)

Upcoming Fed/Treasury Events:

  • Treasury will auction off $16 bln in 30 year bonds at 13:00 today.
  • President Trump will be interviewed on Fox News today at 13:00 ET.

Other International Events of Interest

  • The People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang acknowledged that economic growth in China has approached the potential rate of output and that downward pressure on the economy is increasing.
  • Chinese authorities confirmed the detainment of Canadian businessman Michael Spavor. Mr. Spavor is being accused of harming China's national security. China has also detained a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig.
    09:32  WIRES On The Wires

    • Alkaline Water (WTER) announced today that, following the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill), the company is well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunity to be one of the first national U.S. beverage companies to bring the true water-soluble, full-spectrum features of bioactive cannabidiol molecules from hemp plants to U.S. consumers through its A88 Infused Beverage Division (A88 Infused).
    • Scorpio Bulkers (SALT) has entered into a time charter-out agreement with an unaffiliated third party for SBI Hera, one of its Ultramax drybulk carriers, for a period of between 4-6 months at a rate of $14,850/day.
    • MobileIron (MOBL) has appointed Rhonda Shantz to the position of Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining MobileIron, Ms. Shantz, who brings over 25 years of experience to the position, was CMO at Centrify.
    • BBX Capital (BBX) noted that Ridgedale Partners, LLC, a significant shareholder in the company's common stock, has issued a follow-up letter to Alan B. Levan, Chairman of the Board and CEO of BBX, seeking a response to the specific, accretive proposal outlined in Ridgedale's November letter that would allow the company to repurchase the Class B Common Stock at an over 50% premium to the market price of the Class A Common Stock. In follow-up letter, Ridgedale asserts that instead of addressing shareholder concerns, Levan and BBX have taken actions designed to punish value-oriented shareholders and "expand the Levan Discount."
    • Trecora Resources (TREC) announced an employee reorganization at its South Hampton Resources facility in Silsbee, Texas. The reorganization will result in a reduction of about 20% of the Silsbee, Texas workforce and a charge of approx. $400,000 in the fourth quarter 2018. It is expected to result in annual cost savings of approx. $2.5 mln.
    • Dragonfly Therapeutics announced it has licensed two TriNKET immunotherapy drug candidates to Celgene (CELG) and its affiliates for $12 mln each plus prospective milestones and royalties. The licenses represent the first two of four hematological cancer targets from the companies' June 2017 collaboration.
    • Kornit Digital (KRNT) has announced that as part of its go-to-market strategy in North America it will initiate an end-to-end direct relationship with its customers, enhancing the existing level of direct service already provided. As a result of this strategic shift, the company has worked with Hirsch International to conclude Hirsch's non-exclusive sales agreement as a distributor of Kornit systems and inks. Kornit will continue to work with Hirsch International through a transitional period concluding on March 31, 2019. The company does not expect any material impact to financial results as a result of the termination of the agreement.
    09:21  VGK European Central Bank President Mario Draghi Press Conference

    • QE has been only driver of recovery in some regions.
    • Committees working on liquidity issues.
    • ECB has not discussed other monetary tools.
    • Not saying it is comfortable about trade, saying news about trade seems to be slightly better; Says situation changes on many things including moods; Notes that is not a good model. 
    • Reiterates geopolitical and trade issues impact on confidence and investments and business decisions.
    09:18  LB L Brands signs definitive agreement to transfer ownership of the La Senza brand to an affiliate of Regent LP (31.47 )

    • Following its previously disclosed comprehensive review process, the company has agreed to transfer ownership and operating control of La Senza -- inclusive of the home office organization, North American stores, and e-commerce and international partnerships -- to an affiliate of private equity firm Regent LP. The company will sell 100% of its assets in La Senza in exchange for the buyer's agreement to assume La Senza's operating liabilities and to provide L Brands potential future consideration upon the sale or other monetization of La Senza, as defined in the agreement.
    • The company estimates that La Senza's 2018 revenues and operating loss will be approximately $250 mln and $40 mln (approximately $0.12 per share), respectively.
    • The company expects to complete the transaction and transfer ownership in January.
    09:13  WRAPX S&P futures vs fair value: +9.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +45.80.

    Wall Street is on course for a tentative start, as it continues to grapple with volatility stemming from the uncertainty surrounding a host of global concerns. The S&P 500 futures trade nine points, or 0.4%, above fair value.

    In U.S. corporate news, General Electric (GE 7.54, +0.83) has climbed 12.4% in pre-market trading after longtime bearish analyst Steven Tusa of JP Morgan upgraded the stock to 'Neutral' from 'Underweight.' The upgrade today is being considered by some as a potential bottoming signal for the beleaguered stock.

    Looking at other markets, U.S. Treasuries hover near their unchanged marks with the 10-yr yield down one basis point to 2.90%. Meanwhile, the U.S. Dollar Index is now up 0.2% to 97.19, and WTI crude is down 0.8% to $50.75/bbl.

    Overseas, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said incoming data suggests some slower-than-expected growth in the immediate future. The Bank also formally announced the end of its quantitative easing program and left interest rates unchanged, as expected.

    Reviewing this morning's economic data, which included Export and Import Prices for November and weekly Initial and Continuing Claims:

    • Import prices declined 1.6% in November and export prices fell 0.9%. Excluding fuel, import prices were down 0.3%. Excluding agricultural products, export prices were down 1.0%. Nonfuel import prices were up 0.3% year-over-year versus up 1.5% for the 12-month period ending in November 2017. Nonagricultural export prices were up 2.2% year-over-year versus up 3.3% for the 12-month period ending in November 2017.
    • Initial jobless claims for the week ending December 8 dropped by 27,000 to 206,000 (Briefing.com consensus 228,000). Continuing claims for the week ending December 1 increased by 25,000 to 1.661 million.
    09:09  UPLD Upland Software acquires Adestra for $56 mln in cash at closing, raises Q4 guidance to account for the transaction (27.44 )

    Adestra is a leading provider of enterprise-grade email marketing, transaction and automation software. The acquisition adds approximately $18 million in annualized revenues and will be immediately accretive to Upland's Adjusted EBITDA per share. Updated guidance:

    • For the quarter ending December 31, 2018, Upland expects reported total revenue to be between $42.5 and $44.5 million (vs $42.83 mln S&P Capital IQ Consensus Estimate), including subscription and support revenue between $39.4 and $40.6 million, for growth in recurring revenue of 62% at the mid-point over the quarter-ended December 31, 2017. Fourth quarter 2018 Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between $15.6 and $16.4 million, for an Adjusted EBITDA margin of roughly 37% at the mid-point, representing growth of 64% at the mid-point over the quarter-ended December 31, 2017
    09:06  VBIV VBI Vaccines prices 26.8 mln common stock offering at $1.40/share (1.66 )

     
    09:05  BCPC Balchem increases annual dividend to $0.47/share from $0.42/share (80.88 )

     
    09:02  VGK European Central Bank President Mario Draghi Press Conference

    • Bringing PSPP redemptions to be reinvested in same jurisdictions.
    • Risk premium has increased which is at the root of some of the asset price decline.
    • Says if wanted to specifiy a length of time for reinvestment it would have done so; Not going to project what an extended period of time means.
    • Believes it has the instruments to address further downside; Wants to keep instrument optionality open.
    • Have not discussed when the first rate hike would be; Says the situation of the economy will dictate the decision.
    • Decision was unanimous.
    • Long term loans for the TLRO were discussed by some governors.
    • Trade situation probably better than two months ago.
    • Climate being characterized by increased general uncertainty.
    09:01  CAT Caterpillar elected Jim Umpleby, the company's Chief Executive Officer, to the additional position of Chairman (125.37 )

     
    08:50  WRAPX S&P futures vs fair value: +4.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +28.30.

    The S&P 500 futures trade four points, or 0.2%, above fair value.

    Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Thursday on a higher note, benefiting from continued momentum. Participants took note of a report in South China Morning Post, which noted that the latest guidelines issued by China's central government to local governments did not call for continued work on the "Made in China 2025" plan. The People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang acknowledged that economic growth in China has approached the potential rate of output and that downward pressure on the economy is increasing. Chinese authorities confirmed the detainment of Canadian businessman Michael Spavor. Mr. Spavor is being accused of harming China's national security. China has also detained a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig.

    • In economic data:
      • China's November FDI -1.3% year-over-year (last 3.3%)
      • Australia's MI Inflation Expectations +4.0% (last 3.6%)
      • New Zealand's November FPI -0.6% month-over-month (last -0.6%)
      • South Korea's November Import Price Index +6.0% year-over-year (last 10.9%) and Export Price Index +0.3% year-over-year (last 1.1%)
      • Singapore's Unemployment Rate 2.1% (last 2.1%)

    ---Equity Markets---

    • Japan's Nikkei: +1.0%
    • Hong Kong's Hang Seng: +1.3%
    • China's Shanghai Composite: +1.2%
    • India's Sensex: +0.4%
    • South Korea's Kospi: +0.6%
    • Australia's ASX All Ordinaries: +0.1%

    Major European indices trade on a mixed note. Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed that the Italian government agreed to lower its 2019 deficit target to 2.04% from 2.40%. Officials have been quick to point out that the new target is much lower than France's deficit goal. Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire acknowledged that France's deficit will breach the 3.0% limit in 2019 as the government looks to quell protests by increasing entitlements. British lawmakers voted 200-117 to keep Prime Minister Theresa May in her post, but Ms. May is not expected to be the Conservative party candidate in the next leadership election. Separately, The European Central Bank (ECB) formally announced the end of its quantitative easing program and kept interest rates unchanged, as expected. In addition, the ECB said the data suggests slower than expected growth in the immediate future. The Swiss National Bank left its SARON unchanged at -0.75%, as expected.

    • In economic data:
      • Germany's November CPI +0.1% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.1%); +2.3% year-over-year, as expected (last 2.3%)
      • France's November CPI -0.2% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.1%); +1.9% year-over-year, as expected (last 2.2%)
      • Swiss November PPI -0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; last 0.2%); +1.4% year-over-year (last 2.3%)

    ---Equity Markets---

    • STOXX Europe 600: +0.1%
    • Germany's DAX: +0.2%
    • UK's FTSE 100: -0.2%
    • France's CAC 40: -0.1%
    • Italy's FTSE MIB: +0.8%
    • Spain's IBEX 35: +1.2%
    08:41  VGK European Central Bank President Mario Draghi Press Conference- Revises inflation outlook for 2018 slightly higher, Lowers 2019 Outlook

    • Headline inflation remains muted and sees pricing weakening in near term.
    • Underlying inflation expected to increase over the medium term.
    • HICP Inflation Outlook revised up for 2018 and down for 2019.
    08:39  VGK European Central Bank President Mario Draghi Press Conference- Lowers 2018-19 GDP Outlook slightly; Risks balanced but moving to the downside

    • Notes downside risk remains prominent.
    • Stimulus needed to build up prices over the medium term. 
    • Stands ready to adjust all instruments as appropriate.
    • Data suggests may have some slower than expected growth in the immediate future.
    • Business investment is benefitting from domestic demand and improving balance sheets.
    • GDP 1.9% in 2018; 1.7% in 2019; 1.7% in 2020; 1.5% in 2021; Outlook has been revised slightly down for 2018-19
    • Risks still broadly balanced but it is moving to the downside (Geopolitical, protectionism, financial market volatility)
    08:36  WIRES On The Wires

    • Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC) announces that it has entered into a multi-year extraction agreement with Valens GroWorks Corp., a licensed, vertically integrated provider of cannabis products and services focused on various proprietary extraction methodologies, distillation, cannabinoid isolation and purification. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Valens will utilize their proprietary technology and methodologies to process the Company's whole flower and trim into high-grade cannabis resin. Canopy Growth expects the first shipment of product for extraction will occur before the end of December 2018.
    • Corning Incorporated (GLW) and WaveOptics, a leading designer and manufacturer of diffractive waveguides, have entered into a long-term supply agreement for augmented reality optics. Corning will provide ultra-flat, high-index glass wafers for WaveOptics' waveguides, the key optical component in AR wearable devices.
    • Corcept Therapeutics (CORT) confirmed that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has given notice that it will allow a patent covering the concomitant use of Korlym and drugs from the class of medications known as strong CYP3A inhibitors to treat patients with hypercortisolism (Cushing's syndrome). The patent will expire in 2037.
    08:34  WRAPX S&P futures vs fair value: +9.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +43.80.

    The S&P 500 futures now trade nine points, or 0.3%, above fair value.

    Import prices decreased 1.6% in November after increasing an unrevised 0.5% in October. Excluding oil, import prices decreased 0.3% in November after increasing a revised 0.1% in October (from 0.2%). Export prices decreased 0.9% in November after increasing a revised 0.5% in October (from 0.4%). Excluding agriculture, export prices decreased 0.1% in November after increasing an unrevised 0.5% in October.

    Separately, the latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 206,000, while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 228,000. Today's tally was below the revised prior week count of 233,000 (from 231,000). As for continuing claims, they increased to 1.661 million from a revised count of 1.636 million (from 1.631 million).

    08:34  VGK European Central Bank President Mario Draghi Press Conference- Reiterates Statement; Incoming data has been weaker than expected reflecting softer external demand and some country specific issues

     
    08:33  OMAD One Madison Corporation signs agreement to combine with Ranpak Corporation for $950 mln in cash (9.81 )

    Ranpak is the global leader in fiber-based, environmentally sustainable protective packaging solutions that safeguard products in commerce and industrial supply chains. This transaction will introduce Ranpak as a publicly listed company with an anticipated enterprise value of approximately $1,089 million. Upon the closing of the transaction, OMAD will be renamed and will remain NYSE-listed under a new ticker symbol.
    08:31  AX Axos Financial to acquire approximately $225 mln of deposits from MWABank (29.01 )

    The co announced that it has signed a deposit assumption agreement to acquire approximately $225 million of deposits, including approximately $194 million of checking, savings and money market accounts and $31 million of time deposits, from MWABank. Axos is not assuming any assets, employees or branches in this transaction. Pending receipt of required regulatory approvals, Axos and MWABank expect to complete the deposit acquisition and transfer by March 31, 2019.
    08:30  ECONX November Import Prices- Headline M/M -1.6%, Prior +0.5%; Ex-oil M/M -0.3%, Prior +0.2%

     
    08:30  ECONX Initial Claims 206K vs 228K Briefing.com consensus; prior revised to 233K from 231K

     
    08:30  ECONX November Export Prices- Headline M/M -0.9%, Prior +0.4%; Ex-ag -1.0%, Prior +0.5%

     
    08:14  SUMRX Gapping up/down: CIEN +7% and NDSN +1% after earnings; GE +10% after upgrade at JPM, MRVL +2% after upgrade at Citi; TLRD -26.%, LLNW -24% and OXM -13% after earnings

    Gapping up
    In reaction to earnings/guidance
    :

    • QD +20.2%, CIEN +7.3%, FTI +1.1%, NDSN +0.8%

    Other news:

    • NBEV +11.5% (continued strength)
    • UXIN +5.8% (following 20%+ move higher boosted by Taobao update and general strength in China names)
    • AFL +4.4% (confirms that it is engaged in discussions with Japan Post regarding a potential minority investment in Aflac through open market purchases)
    • YRIV +1.9% (provides details regarding Hindenburg's research report)
    • ACB +1.5% (to invest CAD$10 mln in High Tide by way of brokered private placement)
    • KTOS +1.4% (Kratos Defense and Security and Space Vector team receive $424 million multi-award contract for U.S. Air Force Sounding Rocket Program-4 )
    • BYD +1.2% (light volume; authorizes new $100 mln share repurchase authorization)
    • INCY +0.9% (Eli Lilly and Incyte announce that the FDA has granted Fast Track designation to baricitinib for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus) .

    Analyst comments:

    • GE +10.6% (upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan (long time bear on the name)
    • IMMY +5.2% (initiated with a Buy at B. Riley FBR)
    • ADC +2.8% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies)
    • FIVE +2.6% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman)
    • MRVL +2.1% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup)
    • NKTR +1.7% (initiated with a Buy at Goldman)
    • PG +0.9% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill)

    Gapping down
    In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
    :

    • TLRD -26.3%, LLNW -23.7%, OXM -12.7%

    Other news:

    • AGTC -39.8% (Applied Genetic Technologies (halted) announces topline interim six-month data from Phase 1/2 X-Linked Retinoschisis clinical study did not demonstrate signs of clinical activity; termination of Biogen (BIIB) collaboration)
    • VBIV -13.3% (proposed public offering of common shares; size not disclosed)
    • TOCA -5.6% (prices offering of 3 mln shares of common stock at $10.00 per share)
    • MRNS -5.5% (prices offering of 12 mln shares of common stock at $3.75 per share)
    • HASI -3.9% (prices 5 mln shares of common stock), DB -1% (after making notable move higher on reports that Germany's government is discussing potential plans to facilitate a merger between co and Commerzbank)

    Analyst comments:

    • NBR -3.5% (downgraded to Mkt Perform at Raymond James)
    • FIVN -2.5% (downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan)
    • INTU -2% (downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JP Morgan)
    • MDSO -1.9% (downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JP Morgan)
    • ADSK -1.2% (downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan)
    08:07  SCANX Gapping down

    Gapping down
    In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
    :

    • TLRD -26.3%, LLNW -23.7%, OXM -12.7%

    Other news:

    • AGTC -39.8% (Applied Genetic Technologies (halted) announces topline interim six-month data from Phase 1/2 X-Linked Retinoschisis clinical study did not demonstrate signs of clinical activity; termination of Biogen (BIIB) collaboration)
    • VBIV -13.3% (proposed public offering of common shares; size not disclosed)
    • TOCA -5.6% (prices offering of 3 mln shares of common stock at $10.00 per share)
    • MRNS -5.5% (prices offering of 12 mln shares of common stock at $3.75 per share)
    • HASI -3.9% (prices 5 mln shares of common stock), DB -1% (after making notable move higher on reports that Germany's government is discussing potential plans to facilitate a merger between co and Commerzbank)

    Analyst comments:

    • NBR -3.5% (downgraded to Mkt Perform at Raymond James)
    • FIVN -2.5% (downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan)
    • INTU -2% (downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JP Morgan)
    • MDSO -1.9% (downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JP Morgan)
    • ADSK -1.2% (downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan)
    08:04  MCC Medley Capital shareholder FrontFour Capital issues letter to shareholders regarding its serious concerns with the proposed combination of Medley Capital, Sierra Income Corporation and Medley Management (MDLY) (3.21 )

    "In our view, the transaction fails to maximize value for MCC shareholders and is a brazen attempt by MCC's external manager and the controlling shareholders of MDLY to transfer material value in MCC to MDLY owners, including Brook and Seth Taube."
    08:02  XBIT XBiotech announces publication of findings on key biomarker analysis of colorectal cancer patients treated with bermekimab in its European Phase III study (4.39 )

    Results from Dr. Razelle Kurzrock's analysis found that for patients with relatively low IL-1ra levels at the start, 41% of those treated with bermekimab achieved the primary endpoint, compared to only 33% of patients for the entire bermekimab treatment group (19% of placebo patients achieved the primary endpoint). However, in the publication it is reported that for those with relatively low pretreatment levels of both IL-1ra and IL-6, 46% of patients in the bermekimab group versus only 17% in placebo achieved the primary endpoint (p<0.01). About 28% of patients in the study met the criteria of low IL-1ra and low IL-6.
    08:02  SCANX Gapping up

    Gapping up
    In reaction to earnings/guidance
    :

    • QD +20.2%, CIEN +7.3%, FTI +1.1%, NDSN +0.8%

    Other news:

    • NBEV +11.5% (continued strength)
    • UXIN +5.8% (following 20%+ move higher boosted by Taobao update and general strength in China names)
    • AFL +4.4% (confirms that it is engaged in discussions with Japan Post regarding a potential minority investment in Aflac through open market purchases)
    • YRIV +1.9% (provides details regarding Hindenburg's research report)
    • ACB +1.5% (to invest CAD$10 mln in High Tide by way of brokered private placement)
    • KTOS +1.4% (Kratos Defense and Security and Space Vector team receive $424 million multi-award contract for U.S. Air Force Sounding Rocket Program-4 )
    • BYD +1.2% (light volume; authorizes new $100 mln share repurchase authorization)
    • INCY +0.9% (Eli Lilly and Incyte announce that the FDA has granted Fast Track designation to baricitinib for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus) .

    Analyst comments:

    • GE +10.6% (upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan (long time bear on the name)
    • IMMY +5.2% (initiated with a Buy at B. Riley FBR)
    • ADC +2.8% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies)
    • FIVE +2.6% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman)
    • MRVL +2.1% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup)
    • NKTR +1.7% (initiated with a Buy at Goldman)
    • PG +0.9% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill)
    08:02  FLS Flowserve introduces new 4-year financial targets at Analyst Day, also reiterates its 2018 financial guidance (44.98 )

    New Targets include (prior targets were for 4-6% revs growth and 14-16% EPS growth):

    • Average revenuegrowth of 200 basis points above market levels through 2022
    • Fiscal year 2022 operating margins between 15%-17%
    • Free cash flow generation of 100%+ of net income in full year 2022
    • Return on Invested Capital between 15%-20% in 2022

    Co states, "Additionally, the company will announce that it plans to combine its Industrial Product Division and Engineered Product Division segments into a single financial reporting segment, known as the Flowserve Pumps Division, beginning in 2019. Flowserve believes this unified structure will enable the company to better serve customers and operate more efficiently."

    08:01  HSIC Henry Schein adds $400 mln to repurchase authorization (85.12 )

    This program is in addition to the $400 million repurchase program announced in September 2017, which was fully utilized in recent weeks. The Company had approximately 153 million shares outstanding as of December 12, 2018.
    08:00  VRTX Vertex Pharma: Health Canada has granted Market Authorization for ORKAMBI to include use in children ages 2 through 5 years with CF who have two copies of the F508del CFTR mutation (175.45 )

     
    07:59  BONDX Overnight Treasury Market Summary

    Rebound Taking Shape

    • Longer-dated U.S. Treasuries are on track for a slightly higher start while shorter tenors are set to begin the Thursday affair near their closing levels from Wednesday. The overnight session saw Treasury futures dip beneath their lows from yesterday, but support was found in short order, allowing futures to rise to levels from Wednesday morning. The U.S. Dollar Index is down 0.1% at 96.97. The greenback wobbled in recent trade, responding to the latest policy statement from the European Central Bank. The ECB left its interest rate corridor unchanged and confirmed plans to halt asset purchases at the end of December. On a side note, the Swiss National Bank also maintained its policy stance.
    • Yield Check:
      • 2-yr: +1 bp to 2.77%
      • 3-yr: UNCH at 2.77%
      • 5-yr: -1 bp to 2.76%
      • 10-yr: UNCH at 2.91%
      • 30-yr: UNCH at 3.15%
    • News:
      • South China Morning Post, which noted that the latest guidelines issued by China's central government to local governments did not call for continued work on the "Made in China 2025" plan.
      • The People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang acknowledged that economic growth in China has approached the potential rate of output and that downward pressure on the economy is increasing.
      • Chinese authorities confirmed the detainment of Canadian businessman Michael Spavor. Mr. Spavor is being accused of harming China's national security. China has also detained a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig.
      • Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed that the Italian government agreed to lower its 2019 deficit target to 2.04% from 2.40%.
      • French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire acknowledged that France's deficit will breach the 3.0% limit in 2019 as the government looks to quell protests by increasing entitlements.
      • British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote, but the prime minister will not stand in the next leadership election
    • Commodities:
      • WTI Crude: -0.9% to $50.67/bbl
      • Gold: -0.2% to $1247.40/ozt
      • Copper: +0.6% to $2.79/lb
    • Currencies:
      • EUR/USD: +0.1% to 1.1378
      • GBP/USD: +0.3% to 1.2662
      • USD/CNH: +0.1% to 6.8763
      • USD/JPY: +0.2% to 113.45
    • Data out Today:
      • 8:30 ET: November Import Prices (prior 0.5%), Import Prices ex-oil (prior 0.2%), Export Prices (prior 0.4%), and Export Prices ex-agriculture (prior 0.5%)
      • 8:30 ET: Weekly Initial Claims (Briefing.com consensus 228K; prior 231K) and Continuing Claims (prior 1631K)
      • 10:30 ET: Weekly natural gas inventories (prior -63 bcf)
      • 14:00 ET: Treasury Budget for November (prior -$138.50 billion)
    • Treasury Auctions:
      • 13:00 ET: $16 billion 30-yr Treasury bond reopening results
    07:55  WRAPX S&amp;P futures vs fair value: +2.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +20.30.

    U.S. futures trade mixed as investors continue to face the uncertainty surrounding trade, politics, the path of interest rates, and growth prospects. The S&P 500 futures trade two points, or 0.1%, above fair value after the benchmark index failed to sustain a sizable rally on Wednesday.

    On the data front, investors will receive Export and Import Prices for November and weekly Initial Claims (Briefing.com consensus 228,000) and Continuing Claims at 8:30 a.m ET. Later, the Treasury Budget for November will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET. 

    Looking at other markets, U.S. Treasuries have ticked higher, pushing yields lower. The benchmark 10-yr yield is down one basis point to 2.90%. Also, the U.S. Dollar Index is down 0.1% to 96.97, and WTI crude is down 1.1% to $50.59/bbl.

    Overseas, the European Central Bank (ECB) formally announced the end of its quantitative easing program and kept interest rates unchanged, as expected. ECB President Mario Draghi is expected to hold a press conference at 8:45 a.m. ET.

    In U.S. Corporate news:

    • General Electric (GE 7.33, +0.62): +9.2% after the stock was upgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Underweight' at JP Morgan. On a related note, GE announced plans to establish a new, independent company focused on building a comprehensive Industrial Internet of Things software portfolio.
    • Tailored Brands (TLRD 14.76, -5.35): -27.2% after the company guided Q4 earnings below consensus. 
    • Ciena (CIEN 34.17, +2.03): +6.3% after the telecom company beat top and bottom line estimates and authorized a new $500 million common stock repurchase program.

    Reviewing overnight developments:

    • Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Thursday on a higher note, benefiting from continued momentum. Japan's Nikkei +1.0%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +1.3%, China's Shanghai Composite +1.2%, India's Sensex +0.4%, South Korea's Kospi +0.6%, Australia's ASX All Ordinaries +0.1%.
      • In economic data:
        • China's November FDI -1.3% year-over-year (last 3.3%)
        • Australia's MI Inflation Expectations +4.0% (last 3.6%)
        • New Zealand's November FPI -0.6% month-over-month (last -0.6%)
        • South Korea's November Import Price Index +6.0% year-over-year (last 10.9%) and Export Price Index +0.3% year-over-year (last 1.1%)
        • Singapore's Unemployment Rate 2.1% (last 2.1%)
      • In news:
        • Participants took note of a report in South China Morning Post, which noted that the latest guidelines issued by China's central government to local governments did not call for continued work on the "Made in China 2025" plan.
        • The People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang acknowledged that economic growth in China has approached the potential rate of output and that downward pressure on the economy is increasing.
        • Chinese authorities confirmed the detainment of Canadian businessman Michael Spavor. Mr. Spavor is being accused of harming China's national security. China has also detained a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig.
    • Major European indices trade on a mostly lower note while Italy's MIB (+0.8%) and Spain's IBEX (+0.9%) outperform. Germany's DAX +0.1%, UK's FTSE 100 -0.2%, France's CAC 40: -0.1%, Italy's FTSE MIB +0.8%, Spain's IBEX 35 +0.9%.
      • In economic data:
        • Germany's November CPI +0.1% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.1%); +2.3% year-over-year, as expected (last 2.3%)
        • France's November CPI -0.2% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.1%); +1.9% year-over-year, as expected (last 2.2%)
        • Swiss November PPI -0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; last 0.2%); +1.4% year-over-year (last 2.3%)
      • In news:
        • Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed that the Italian government agreed to lower its 2019 deficit target to 2.04% from 2.40%. Officials have been quick to point out that the new target is much lower than France's deficit goal.
        • Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire acknowledged that France's deficit will breach the 3.0% limit in 2019 as the government looks to quell protests by increasing entitlements.
        • British lawmakers voted 200-117 to keep Prime Minister Theresa May in her post, but Ms. May is not expected to be the Conservative party candidate in the next leadership election.
        • The Swiss National Bank left its SARON unchanged at -0.75%, as expected.
    07:50  VGK European Central Bank Statement- Reiterates key comments from 10/25 statement

    • At today's meeting the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively.
    • The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure the continued sustained convergence of inflation to levels that are below, but close to, 2% over the medium term.
    • Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, the net purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) will end in December 2018.
    • At the same time, the Governing Council is enhancing its forward guidance on reinvestment. Accordingly, the Governing Council intends to continue reinvesting, in full, the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the APP for an extended period of time past the date when it starts raising the key ECB interest rates, and in any case for as long as necessary to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation.
    • The President of the ECB will comment on the considerations underlying these decisions at a press conference starting at 14:30 CET today.
    07:47  WIRES On The Wires

    • Southern's (SO) Georgia Power announced the latest progress on its plan to safely close all 29 ash ponds at 11 active and retired coal-fired power plant sites across the state. The company is in the process of completely excavating 19 ash ponds located adjacent to lakes or rivers with the remaining 10 being closed in place using advanced engineering methods and closure technologies.
    • Pareteum Corporation (TEUM) announced that it has added five additional three-year agreements in December 2018 totaling $24 million in 36-month contractual revenue backlog.
    • Mylan N.V. (MYL) announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Appeal Board has ruled in favor of Mylan in its inter partes review proceedings and found all claims of Sanofi's (SNY) Lantus (insulin glargine 100 Units/mL) formulation patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,476,652 and 7,713,930) unpatentable. Mylan's 505(b)(2) New Drug Application for generic versions of Lantus and Lantus SoloSTAR, co-developed with Biocon, is under active review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Sanofi's total IQVIA sales for the 12 months ending Oct. 31, 2018, were approximately $2.14 billion for Lantus 100 Units/mL and about $4.39 billion for Lantus SoloSTAR.
    07:45  VGK European Central Bank leaves rates unchanged as widely expetced

    • Marginal Lending Facility 0.25%
    • Main refinancing operations 0.00%
    • Deposit Facility -0.40%
    07:32  SUMRX European Markets Update: DAX +0.1%, FTSE -0.2%, CAC -0.1%

    Major European indices trade on a mostly lower note while Italy's MIB (+0.8%) and Spain's IBEX (+0.9%) outperform. Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed that the Italian government agreed to lower its 2019 deficit target to 2.04% from 2.40%. Officials have been quick to point out that the new target is much lower than France's deficit goal. Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire acknowledged that France's deficit will breach the 3.0% limit in 2019 as the government looks to quell protests by increasing entitlements. British lawmakers voted 200-117 to keep Prime Minister Theresa May in her post, but Ms. May is not expected to be the Conservative party candidate in the next leadership election. The European Central Bank will release its latest policy statement today, but the market does not expect significant changes from the directive. The Swiss National Bank left its SARON unchanged at -0.75%, as expected.

    • In economic data:
      • Germany's November CPI +0.1% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.1%); +2.3% year-over-year, as expected (last 2.3%)
      • France's November CPI -0.2% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.1%); +1.9% year-over-year, as expected (last 2.2%)
      • Swiss November PPI -0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; last 0.2%); +1.4% year-over-year (last 2.3%)

    ---Equity Markets---

    • STOXX Europe 600: -0.3%
    • Germany's DAX: +0.1%
    • UK's FTSE 100: -0.2%
    • France's CAC 40: -0.1%
    • Italy's FTSE MIB: +0.8%
    • Spain's IBEX 35: +0.9%

    ---FX---

    • EUR/USD: +0.1% to 1.1381
    • GBP/USD: +0.3% to 1.2659
    • USD/CHF: -0.2% to 0.9915
    07:31  CIEN Ciena in slides issues new long-term targets; co expects revenue growth of approx. 6-8% annually and EPS growth over 20% annually over the next 3 years (32.14 )

     
    07:27  S&P futures vs fair value: +1.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +17.30.

    07:18  MSM MSC Industrial announces resignation of SVP of Sales &amp; Customer Success Dave Wright, sees Q1 average daily sales growth slightly above midpoint of guidance range (81.45 )

     
    07:16  ACB Aurora Cannabis to invest CAD$10 mln in High Tide by way of brokered private placement (6.12 )

    High Tide is a privately held, Alberta-based, retail-focused cannabis and lifestyle accessories company. In total, Aurora will receive 10,000 senior unsecured convertible debentures issued by High Tide priced at CAD$1,000 per debenture, bearing an interest rate of 8.5% per annum, and convertible in aggregate to 13,333,333 common shares of High Tide at CAD$0.75 per share.
    07:10  WIRES On The Wires

    • NeoGenomics, Inc. (NEO) announced the appointment of Lawrence M. Weiss, M.D. as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Weiss joined NeoGenomics and has served as Medical Director and Laboratory Director for NeoGenomics Laboratories since joining NeoGenomics as part of the Clarient acquisition in 2015.
    • Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. (PTGX) announced the initiation of dosing in the Phase 1 study of PN-10943, an oral, gut-restricted alpha-4-beta-7 integrin antagonist peptide in development for the potential treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. The co expects to report top-line results from this Phase 1 study in the first half of 2019 which will include safety, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic readouts of target engagement as measured by blood receptor occupancy.
    • Bruker Corporation (BRKR) and Mestrelab Research SL announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership to advance chemistry software that handles spectroscopic data and extracts and manages chemical information from a variety of analytical techniques, including for example NMR and mass spectrometry. As part of this new strategic collaboration, Bruker has become a majority shareholder of Mestrelab, and will be represented on Mestrelab's board of directors.
    • Rhythm Pharmaceuticals (RYTM) announced the enrollment of the first patient in a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating setmelanotide, the company's first-in-class melanocortin-4 agonist, in Bardet-Biedl Syndrome and Alstrm Syndrome.
    • The Coca-Cola Company (KO) announced a new agreement extending a loan to Ioniqa Technologies (The Netherlands) to facilitate the development of Ioniqa's proprietary technology to produce high-grade, recycled PET content from hard-to-recycle PET waste. The agreement is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of high-grade recycled content PET for use in bottles used by The Coca-Cola Company.
    • Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. (AKBA) and Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) announced the successful completion of their previously announced merger. The combined company will be Akebia Therapeutics, Inc., which will continue to trade on The Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol AKBA. Keryx is no longer listed for trading on The Nasdaq Capital Market.
    07:04  BLCM Bellicum Pharma names Atabak Mokari as CFO effective December 19 (3.75 )

    Mokari joins Bellicum from IRIDEX Corporation (IRIX), where he served as Chief Financial Officer and VP Corporate Development.
    07:04  SASR Sandy Spring Banc's Board authorized the repurchase of up to 1,800,000 shares of the Company's common stock (33.47 )

     
    07:03  CIEN Ciena beats by $0.05, beats on revs; authorizes new $500 mln common stock repurchase; will provide Q1 guidance at 8:30 ET (32.14 )

    • Reports Q4 (Oct) earnings of $0.53 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 better than the S&P Capital IQ Consensus of $0.48; revenues rose 19.5% year/year to $889.4 mln vs the $862.54 mln S&P Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Co announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a new program to repurchase up to $500 million of its common stock, replacing the previous targeted repurchase plan.
    • Co will provide Q1 guidance on conference call at 8:30 ET.
    07:03  GE General Electric announces plans to establish a new, independent company focused on building a comprehensive Industrial Internet of Things software portfolio (6.71 )

    The company will start with $1.2 billion in annual software revenue and an existing global industrial customer base. The company is intended to be a GE wholly-owned, independently run business with a new brand and identity, its own equity structure, and its own Board of Directors.

    • GE Digital CEO, Bill Ruh, has decided to depart GE to pursue other opportunities. The company intends to conduct an internal and external search to identify the CEO for this new independent company. Further details on GE's new IIoT software company will be announced in Q1 2019. This plan is subject to customary regulatory approvals, including information and consultation with employee representatives where required.
    07:01  GE General Electric: GE Digital to sell a majority stake in ServiceMax to Silver Lake; terms not disclosed (6.71 )

    Under the agreement, GE will retain a 10% equity ownership in ServiceMax. The transaction is expected to close in early 2019. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
    07:00  SUMRX Asian Markets Close: Nikkei +1.0%, Hang Seng +1.3%, Shanghai +1.2%

    Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Thursday on a higher note, benefitting from continued momentum. Participants took note of a report in South China Morning Post, which noted that the latest guidelines issued by China's central government to local governments did not call for continued work on the "Made in China 2025" plan. The People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang acknowledged that economic growth in China has approached the potential rate of output and that downward pressure on the economy is increasing. Chinese authorities confirmed the detainment of Canadian businessman Michael Spavor. Mr. Spavor is being accused of harming China's national security. China has also detained a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig.

    • In economic data:
      • China's November FDI -1.3% year-over-year (last 3.3%)
      • Australia's MI Inflation Expectations +4.0% (last 3.6%)
      • New Zealand's November FPI -0.6% month-over-month (last -0.6%)
      • South Korea's November Import Price Index +6.0% year-over-year (last 10.9%) and Export Price Index +0.3% year-over-year (last 1.1%)
      • Singapore's Unemployment Rate 2.1% (last 2.1%)

    ---Equity Markets---

    • Japan's Nikkei: +1.0%
    • Hong Kong's Hang Seng: +1.3%
    • China's Shanghai Composite: +1.2%
    • India's Sensex: +0.4%
    • South Korea's Kospi: +0.6%
    • Australia's ASX All Ordinaries: +0.1%

    ---FX---

    • USD/JPY +0.1% to 113.42
    • USD/CNH +0.1% to 6.8781
    • USD/INR -0.2% to 71.69
    06:59  SCANX Early premarket gappers

    Gapping up:

    • QD +16.3%, NBEV +10.3%, GE +9.5%, UXIN +5%, AFL +4%, FTI +2.8%, YRIV +1.9%, BYD +1.2%, NDSN +0.8%, NVS +0.7%, MDCO +0.6%

    Gapping down:

    • AGTC -38.7%, TLRD -27.2%, LLNW -23.7%, OXM -11.1%, VBIV -9.6%, MRNS -7.1%, TOCA -6.9%, HASI -3.5%, HBM -0.8%
    06:55  AVP Avon Products names Gustavo Arnal CFO effective Spring 2019 (1.88 )

    Jamie Wilson, Avon's current Chief Financial Officer, has chosen to step down from his full time executive role and will be pursuing a range of professional business opportunities in the next stage of his career. Gustavo joins from Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), where he has served as Senior Vice President, CFO of International Divisions and Global Functions.
    06:55  S&P futures vs fair value: -2.90. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +6.60.

    06:55  European Markets

    FTSE...6871.61...-8.60...-0.10%.  DAX...10939.79...+10.40...+0.10%.
    06:55  Asian Markets

    Nikkei...21816...+213.40...+1.00%.  Hang Seng...26524...+337.60...+1.30%.
    06:54  FXI Shanghai... +1.23%

     
    06:50  WIRES On The Wires

    • Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) announced that it has received a purchase order from Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited, a leading participant in the rail leasing market, for an FCveloCity-HD fuel cell module and related support to power a HydroFLEX train in the U.K.
    • Sibanye-Stillwater (SBGL) advises that it has extended the wage agreement which was reached with the National Union of Mineworkers, UASA and Solidarity on 14 November 2018, to all employees at its South African gold operations, in terms of Section 23(1)(d) of the Labour Relations Act, No 66 of 1995.
    • Trilogy Metals Inc. (TMQ) announced the third, and final, set of copper and cobalt assay results for five holes from the 2018 summer exploration diamond drilling program at the Bornite Project, a part of the Company's Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects located in the Ambler Mining District of Northwest Alaska. Assay results from these five holes comprise approximately 3,024 meters from the 10,123-meter drill campaign. All five of the drill holes contain significant copper mineralization and were designed as infill and extension holes to the 300 to 400 meter step-out holes drilled by the Company's previous round of drilling completed in 2017.
    • Lilis Energy, Inc. (LLEX) announced that the Tiger #3H has reached the 24-hour initial production rate. The Company has also obtained a Borrowing Base increase to $108MM effective December 7, 2018 as a result of its regularly scheduled fall redetermination process.
    • Wi-LAN, a Quarterhill (QTRH) company, announced that WiLAN's wholly-owned subsidiary, Collabo Innovations, has granted a non-exclusive license with respect to CMOS image sensor products sold by OmniVision Technologies Inc. The consideration payable to Collabo by OmniVision and all other terms of the agreement are confidential.
    • The Duke Clinical Research Institute is leading a new clinical study to optimize care for people with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease through evaluation of a multidisciplinary approach at cardiology clinics across the U.S. The research program, COORDINATE-Diabetes (COOrdinating CaRDIology CliNics RAndomized Trial of Interventions to Improve OutcomEs), will be funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company (LLY).
    06:50  BRO Brown &amp; Brown enters into $100 mln accelerated share repurchase program as part of previously announced $400 mln share repurchase authorization (27.49 )

     
    06:49  LLY Eli Lilly and Incyte (INCY) announce that the FDA has granted Fast Track designation to baricitinib for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (114.34 )

    Lilly is currently studying two doses of baricitinib in Phase 3 SLE trials. Additionally, Lilly is investigating baricitinib as a potential treatment for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, a serious form of eczema, with Phase 3 results projected to be shared during the first half of 2019. Baricitinib is approved in over 50 countries globally as OLUMIANT for the treatment of adults with rheumatoid arthritis.
    06:38  MDLZ Mondelez Int'l to sell its Kraft-branded Cheese Business in Middle East and Africa to Arla Foods; terms not disclosed (44.07 )

    The transaction is expected to close in the next few months, subject to regulatory approvals.
    06:36  AFL Aflac confirms that it is engaged in discussions with Japan Post regarding a potential minority investment in Aflac through open market purchases (42.90 )

    The discussions do not involve Aflac Incorporated or any of its subsidiaries becoming a member of the Japan Post Group. The company does not intend to make any further press releases or announcements regarding this matter unless a definitive agreement has been reached or discussions have terminated.
    06:32  AMAG AMAG Pharma to acquire Perosphere Pharmaceuticals for $50 mln at closing (17.25 )

    Through this acquisition, AMAG will acquire global rights to ciraparantag, a next generation anticoagulant reversal agent, further enhancing its development pipeline and leveraging AMAG's expertise in hematology. Ciraparantag is being investigated for patients treated with novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) or low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) when reversal of the anticoagulant effect of these products is needed for emergency surgery, urgent procedures or due to life-threatening or uncontrolled bleeding.

    • Under the terms of the agreement, at closing AMAG will pay Perosphere equityholders $50 million (subject to customary adjustments) and will assume $12 million under a term loan and up to $6.2 million of Perosphere's other liabilities.
    • Perosphere equityholders will be eligible to receive regulatory milestones of up to $140 million (based on a final label with no boxed warning in the U.S.), inclusive of a $40 million milestone payment upon approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Perosphere equityholders are also eligible to receive commercial sales milestone payments of up to an aggregate of $225 million. The first commercial sales milestone payment of $20 million would be payable upon achieving annual net sales of $100 million.
    • The costs expected to be incurred in 2019 to advance this new pipeline asset do not change AMAG's preliminary view of 2019 negative adjusted EBITDA of approximately $50 million, as previously disclosed on November 1, 2018. AMAG plans to issue 2019 guidance in early January.
    06:20  WIRES On The Wires

    • ExxonMobil (XOM) announced that it has made a final investment decision to develop the West Barracouta gas field in Bass Strait to bring new gas supplies to the Australian domestic market. The project, located in the VIC/L1 block offshore Victoria, is part of the company's continuing investment in the Gippsland Basin. The key aspects include: Project to bring new gas supplies to Australian domestic market; Front-end engineering design work completed, key contracts awarded; Gas production expected by 2021
    • Allstate (ALL) announced estimated catastrophe losses for the month of November 2018 of $685 million, pre-tax ($541 million, after-tax). Catastrophe losses occurring in November comprised six events at an estimated cost of $679 million, pre-tax ($536 million, after-tax), plus unfavorable reserve reestimates of prior reported catastrophe losses. Allstate previously announced $202 million, pre-tax ($160 million, after-tax), in estimated catastrophe losses for the month of October 2018, bringing catastrophe losses for the months of October and November 2018 to $887 million, pre-tax ($701 million, after-tax).
    • The Pacific Road Resources Funds announce that PRRF has disposed of an aggregate of 12,350 common shares of Uranium Energy Corp (UEC) pursuant to market sales over the facilities of the NYSE American at an average price of $1.30 per Common Share. The sales of the Common Shares, when combined with other Common Shares sold by PRRF, represent a decrease in PRRF's holdings of approximately 2.1%.
    06:19  BHVN Biohaven Pharmaceutical prices offering of 3,355,705 of common shares at $37.25 per share (37.67 )

     
    06:17  WIRES On The Wires

    • Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (KL) announced new high-grade results from the ongoing underground drilling programs at the Fosterville Mine in Victoria, Australia. Recent underground infill drilling targeting the down-plunge extensions of Swan continues to return results that provide confirmation of the geological model and continuity of high-grade, visible-gold bearing mineralization on the Swan Fault.
    • Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. (IEA) announced that its subsidiaries, White Construction, Inc. and IEA Constructors, Inc. have each signed an agreement with EDF Renewables North America, one of the largest renewable energy developers in the United States and Canada, for the expected construction of wind energy facilities throughout the central corridor of the United States.
    • Discovery (DISCA) and the European Tour have announced a new partnership that will see GOLFTV continue to expand its portfolio and move towards becoming the established 'digital home of golf' for fans around the world. The wide-ranging agreement includes international multi-platform live rights, in selected territories,* to all European Tour events and the next two Ryder Cups, as well as Discovery collaborating to further grow the European Tour's digital platforms, showcasing the Tour's innovative content worldwide.
    • MiX Telematics (MIXT) announced that it has been selected by a large dairy company in Brazil to help address their safety, security, efficiency and compliance needs.
    • Total (TOT) has signed an agreement to divest a 4% interest in the Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia to operating partner INPEX for an overall consideration of 1.6 billion USD. The transaction, which is subject to Australian regulatory approvals, reduces Total's interest in the asset to 26%.
    06:17  HASI Hannon Armstrong Sust. Infr. prices 5 mln shares of common stock for proceeds of $112 mln; additional details not disclosed (23.10 )

     
    06:16  VEON VEON names Ursula Burns as Chairman and CEO, effective immediately (2.51 )

    Ms. Burns has served as Chairman of the VEON Board of Directors since July 2017 and as Executive Chairman since March 2018, during which time she has successfully introduced a simplified corporate structure including a leaner operating model along with an increased focus on emerging markets.
    06:14  MRNS Marinus Pharmaceuticals prices offering of 12 mln shares of common stock at $3.75 per share (4.21 )

     
    06:13  TOCA Tocagen prices offering of 3 mln shares of common stock at $10.00 per share (11.23 )

     
    06:12  IMV IMV presents new positive data from the company's ongoing DeCidE1 clinical trial (5.32 )

    Key findings include:

    • Evidence of a clinical marker based on Baseline Tumor Burden (BTB), a measure of tumor size predictive of patient response to DPX-Survivac.
      • 37.5% (12/32) of evaluable study subjects began treatment with a non-bulky disease defined as BTB < 5 cm.
      • 73% (8/11) of tumor regressions and 80% of clinical responses (4/5) observed in subset of patients with BTB < 5 cm.
    • Responders thus far showing prolonged duration of clinical benefits reaching up to more than two years, surpassing the progression-free interval from their previous chemotherapy treatment.
    • Robust systemic survivin-specific T cell responses and evidence of survivin-specific T cells tumor infiltration correlated with clinical benefits.
      • 100% of durable clinical responses correlated with T cell infiltration.
    • Epacadostat triggered inhibition of the conversion of tryptophan into kynurenine that was dose dependent.
    • Cohort demographics were balanced and the combination yielded a tolerable safety profile.
    06:10  QD Qudian sees FY19 non-GAAP net income of more than RMB 3.5 bln, reaffirms FY18 guidance, announces new $300 mln repurchase program (5.26 )

    Mr. Min Luo, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Qudian said, "We continued to be well positioned in the developing online small consumption credit space. Recent operating data continues to show strong user demand and risk-adjusted returns on track with our target. Our large and growing user base and fully institutionalized funding base provide strong visibility as to what we can achieve into next year. Therefore, we believe it is our duty to fully inform our shareholders of our view of earnings visibility. Given the disconnect between our strong business fundamentals and stock price, we are stepping up our share repurchase plan. This reflects our confidence in our growth prospect and our continuous commitment to enhancing shareholder value."
    06:10  HESM Hess Midstream Partners provides FY19 outlook; sees net income of $415-440 mln (19.49 )

    • Co provided 2019 guidance and announced its 2019 Capital budget.
      • Net Income of $415-$440 million.
      • Adjusted EBITDA1 of $550-$575 million, of which $108-$113 million is attributable to Hess Midstream Partners LP.
      • Gas gathering volumes of 280-290 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d).
      • Gas processing volumes of 265-275 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d).
      • Crude oil gathering volumes of 105-115 thousand barrels of oil per day (Mbo/d).
      • Capital guidance, including equity investments, of $275-$300 million gross, $55-$60 million net to Hess Midstream Partners LP.
        Annual Minimum Volume Commitments (MVCs) under long-term contracts with Hess Corporation increasing for substantially all throughputs for 2019 and 2020, new MVCs provided for 2021.
      • Hess Midstream Partners LP is targeting long-term 15% annual distribution growth per unit with at least a 1.1x distribution coverage ratio.
      • Planned expansion of the Tioga Gas Plant of at least 50 MMscf/d in 2020-2021.
    06:08  MGLN Magellan Health: Starboard discloses 9.8% active stake (58.63 )

    The Reporting Persons purchased the Shares based on the Reporting Persons' belief that the Shares, when purchased, were undervalued and represented an attractive investment opportunity. Depending upon overall market conditions, other investment opportunities available to the Reporting Persons, and the availability of Shares at prices that would make the purchase or sale of Shares desirable, the Reporting Persons may endeavor to increase or decrease their position in the Issuer through, among other things, the purchase or sale of Shares on the open market or in private transactions or otherwise, on such terms and at such times as the Reporting Persons may deem advisable.
    06:07  YRIV Yangtze River Port and Logistics provides details regarding Hindenburg's research report (4.86 )

    • Co categorically refutes all the allegations made against the Company in Hindenburg Research's report dated December 6. In particular, the Company wishes to broadly address certain patently false allegations made in the Report:
      • Worthless/Overinflated Assets - "The unconstructed part of the project is a planned "Logistics Center" that YRIV states it will build on 1.2 million square meters of land leased from a local village. On YRIV's latest quarterly balance sheet, the rights to the land are reported as having a value of $299 million, comprising over 77% of the company's total assets... Despite claiming to lease 1.2 million square meters from the village, our government-sourced maps...show that the total area of the village is only 610 thousand square meters. Moreover, conversations with officials from the village in question revealed that contrary to the company's claims, YRIV has not leased any land from them."
        • The value of $299 million reflected in the Company's latest quarterly balance sheet is not related to the 1.2 million square meters of land. Instead, the reported value of $299 million relates to the value of land use rights of the unused portion of 6 parcels of commercial land (steel logistics park). Originally, the value of these land use rights of the 6 parcels of commercial land totaling 515,600 square meters, was booked at a cost of $308 million, of which 79,200 square meters of land have been used for constructing commercial buildings with 92,700 square meters of floor area, leaving 436,400 square meters of unused land. It is this unused piece of land that we have reported a value of $299 million. As of today, due to the significant appreciation of the local real estate market, we estimate that the 515,600 square meters of land that the Company has obtained land use right certificates for and was accounted at cost value, has nearly doubled to a value of nearly $600 million.
    06:07  NVS Novartis AG receives European Commission approval for self-administration of Xolair across all indications (88.13 )

    • The EC approval underscores the long-term safety and efficacy of Xolair demonstrated in clinical studies and by 13 years of real-world use in Europe.
    • Xolair (omalizumab) prefilled syringe (PFS) is the first and only biologic to receive European Commission approval for self-administration in severe allergic asthma and chronic spontaneous urticaria.
    06:07  AAPL Apple announced a major expansion of its operations in Austin, including an investment of $1 billion to build a new campus in North Austin (169.10 )

    The company also announced plans to establish new sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City and expand in cities across the United States including Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colorado over the next three years, with the potential for additional expansion elsewhere in the US over time. Apple added 6,000 jobs to its American workforce in 2018 and now employs 90,000 people in all 50 states.
    06:05  MESO Mesoblast says recent meetings held with the FDA support its planned regulatory filing for commercialization of remestemcel-L in pediatric patients with steroid refractory acute graft versus host disease (4.24 )

    Mesoblast gained agreement from the FDA on the proposed chemistry and manufacturing for commercialization. The FDA also provided guidance on the presentation of data from the completed 55-patient Phase 3 trial and the 241-patient Expanded Access Program to be included in the filing for the proposed indication. In the Phase 3 trial, Mesoblast met the pre-specified primary endpoint of improved Day 28 overall response and improved responder survival through Day 180.

    • Mesoblast plans to initiate the submission of the BLA with the FDA in early 2019 for the use of remestemcel-L in treating aGVHD in children. There are currently no approved products in the United States for aGVHD.
    06:03  DHR Danaher provides FY19 guidance ahead of analyst meeting; in-line with consensus (102.03 )

    • Co issues in-line guidance for FY19 (Dec), sees EPS of $4.75-4.85 vs. $4.83 S&P Capital IQ Consensus.
    06:03  PDS Precision Drilling announces credit facility extension and $150 million total debt reduction in 2018 (1.98 )

    • Co announced the completion with our lenders of a one-year maturity extension of our senior credit facility to November 2022. Precision has also completed an additional $34 million in open market purchases of its 5.25% senior notes due 2024 which will bring total debt repayments for year-end 2018 to approximately $150 million, exceeding the high end of our 2018 targeted debt reduction range of $75 million to $125 million. 
    06:02  BLL Ball Corp agrees to sell Chinese beverage can and end manufacturing facilities for approximately $225 million (40.19 )

    • Co announced an agreement to sell its metal beverage packaging facilities in China to ORG Technology Co for approximately $225 million total transaction consideration including cash, plus potential additional consideration related to the relocation of an existing facility over the next several years, which the company currently expects to be in the range of $50 million to $75 million. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the second half of 2019.
    06:00  SUMRX Overnight Summary -- World markets mixed on a quiet night of trading

    • The global equity markets are mixed, but with a slightly bullish tone. It was a night that had no major headlines that moved markets. With that said, S&P Futures are off to a stronger start today, up about 9-points to the 2662 level. This is roughly in the middle of the overnight range that saw a high of 2674.75 and a low of 2655.25. 
    • The Asian markets closed the day out with the 3 major regions finishing at least 1% higher. The Shanghai closed up 1.2% with traders seemingly encouraged by the recent reports of Trade comments taking a constructive tone. In Japan, the Nikkei was helped by strength in the automotive and financial sectors
    • European stocks saw some mild strength early on, but have settled back in to trade in minor negative territory. Traders appear to be taking a cautious approach ahead of the ECB announcement later this morning. The auto space is among the best performing in the EU as well, with BMW and Volkswagen gaining over 1% each

    Market Updates

    • S&P Futures vs Fair Value: +10.0
    • 10 yr Note: 2.89%
    • USD/JPY: 113.49  +0.21
    • EUR/USD: 1.1376 +0.0008
    • Europe: FTSE  -0.1%  DAX  -0.1%  CAC  -0.2%
    • Asia: Hang Seng  +1.3% Shanghai +1.2% Nikkei +1.0%
    • Gold (1248.80 -1.20) Silver (14.84 -0.01) Crude (50.88 -0.27)
    17:32  SRI Stoneridge invested $10 mln in fund managed by Autotech Ventures - firm focused on ground transportation technology located in Menlo Park, California (25.00 +0.32)

     
    17:31  CNP CenterPoint increases quarterly cash dividend to $0.2875 per share from $0.2775 per share (28.89 +0.11)

     
    17:29  PK Park Hotels &amp; Resorts declared Q4 cash dividend of $1.00/share of common stock, prior $0.43/share (29.29 +0.10)

    The dividend is comprised of $0.70 per share based on 2018 results of operations. The remaining $0.30 per share is attributable to gains from the sale of Park's assets during 2018.
    17:22  PARR Par Pacific Chairman Melvyn Klein has decided to step down effective January 1, 2019 (16.16 -0.11)

    Klein is being succeeded as Chairman by Robert S. Silberman, who currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board.
    17:12  SEAS SeaWorld Entertainment discloses DOJ update - now considers the matter concluded (27.68 -0.14)

    On December 11, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice informed SeaWorld Entertainment that it does not intend to take any action against the Company or any individuals in connection with the investigation previously disclosed by the Company concerning disclosures and public statements made by the Company and certain individuals on or before August 2014 and trading in the Company's securities. The Company considers the DOJ matter concluded.
    17:08  GNTY Guaranty Bancshares files for $150 mln mixed securities shelf offering (29.84 +0.32)

     
    17:04  SPXC SPX Corp to purchase marine and obstruction lighting business of Carmanah Technologies Corporation for cash consideration of approx. $77 mln (27.51 +0.44)

    • Under the agreement, SPX will purchase the stock of Carmanah's Sabik subsidiaries (located in Europe and Singapore) as well as certain operating and intellectual property assets of Carmanah's businesses in Canada and the U.S. 
    • The acquired business has current annual revenue of approximately $27 mln and a similar margin profile to SPX's Detection & Measurement segment. Following completion of the transaction, the results of the purchased business will be reported with SPX's Communication Technologies businesses within its Detection & Measurement segment.
    • The acquisition is expected to be modestly accretive to SPX's 2019 Adjusted EPS, after taking into account a partial year of results and costs to finance the acquisition.
    17:03  QTNA Quantenna Communications is further strengthening its strategic partnership with Telefonica (TEF) with new portfolio of 8x8 MIMO Wi-Fi 6 products (14.92 +0.11)

     
    17:01  WGO Winnebago increases quarterly cash dividend to $0.11/share from $0.10/share (21.13 +0.02)

     
    16:37  HASI Hannon Armstrong Sust. Infr. commences public offering of 5 mln shares of common stock (23.10 -0.15)

     
    16:35  NDSN Nordson misses by $0.03, beats on revs; guides FY19 revs in-line (112.07 +1.39)

    • Reports Q4 (Oct) earnings of $1.44 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 worse than the S&P Capital IQ Consensus of $1.47; revenues fell 0.9% year/year to $569 mln vs the $560.98 mln S&P Capital IQ Consensus. This change in sales included organic volume growth of 2 percent, a 5 percent increase related to the first year effect of acquisitions, and a 2 percent increase due to the favorable effects of currency translation as compared to the prior year.
    • "Reported operating margin in the current quarter was negatively impacted by certain long-term investments, including facility consolidation efforts within the Adhesives segment and costs related to the launch of our new centralized shared service center in the United States. These investments will benefit both our customers and shareholders over the long-term."
    • Co issues in-line guidance for FY19, sees FY19 revs of +1-3% to $2.28-2.32 bln vs. $2.3 bln S&P Capital IQ Consensus; organic sales volume is forecasted to increase in the range of 3 to 5 percent compared to fiscal year 2018, offset by an unfavorable currency translation effect of 2 percent based on the current exchange rate environment as compared to the prior year. In addition to this sales growth, reported operating margin and EBITDA margin are forecasted to improve by ~100 to 150 basis points compared to fiscal 2018 results ex-items.
    16:34  MDCO The Medicines Co proposes offering of $150 mln aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2024 (23.11 +2.41)

    The company expects to use proceeds of the offering to fund its development of inclisiran and for general corporate purposes.
    16:33  COOP Mr. Cooper Group appoints Christopher Marshall as CFO, effective immediately (14.19 +0.25)

    • Mr. Marshall most recently served as co-founder and CFO of Capital Bank Financial Corp.
    • Mr. Marshall will succeed Amar Patel, who has been serving as interim CFO since March 2017. Following Marshall's assumption of the CFO role, Patel will remain with the company during a transition period.
    16:32  LLNW Limelight Networks lowers 2018 guidance and provides initial 2019 guidance (3.21 +0.04)

    • Co lowers guidance for FY18 (Dec) EPS to $0.10-0.11, excluding items, vs. $0.15 S&P Capital IQ Consensus; revs to $195-196 mln vs. $202.24 mln S&P Capital IQ Consensus; Adjusted EBITDA between $30 and $32 million
    • Co sees FY19 (Dec) EPS of $0.15-0.20, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.20 S&P Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY19 (Dec) revs of $220-225 mln vs. $221.46 mln S&P Capital IQ Consensus; Adjusted EBITDA between than $35 and 40 million; Capital Expenditures between $20 and 24 million.
    • "Earlier this year, we made the decision to move forward with a video-centric strategy, which led to foregoing certain sources of revenue to focus on more robust, faster-growing opportunities better aligned with our long-term goals. We also underwent periodic repricing of certain major accounts, from which we expect disproportionately positive revenue growth in 2019. Thus, we are revising our expectations for 2018... At the same time, we are increasingly confident regarding our outlook, as demonstrated by our positive 2019 guidance... we've seen significant strengthening in late 4Q that we expect to carry into early 2019"
    16:30  XAN Exantas Capital increases qtrly cash dividend to $0.175 per common share, prior $0.15 per common share (10.81 -0.11)

     
    16:29  SNV Synovus appoints Kevin Blair COO, effective immediately (34.34 +0.53)

    Mr. Blair previously served as Synovus' CFO, having served in that position since joining Synovus in August 2016, and will remain in that position on an interim basis until a successor is named.
    16:29  WRAPX Closing Market Summary: Stocks Rise on U.S.-China Trade Hopes, but Close Off Highs

    The S&P 500 rose 0.5% on Wednesday, although it gave up a good chunk of its gains in the afternoon after trading as high as 1.9% intraday. Optimism that trade relations between the U.S. and China were progressing fueled the rally effort, but selling would accelerate into the close, leaving the benchmark index at its session low.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.6%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+1.0%) also experienced some selling to finish near their session lows. The Russell 2000 (+1.1%) led all the indices, but also finished off its highs for the day.

    President Trump initiated the optimism when he told Reuters he would get involved in the Department of Justice case against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou if it would serve national security interests and help advance trade negotiations with China. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross later softened the President's language, though, clarifying he hasn't actually decided if he would intervene.

    Also, news that China is reportedly looking to tweak its "Made in China 2025" policy to allow more access and fairer competition for foreign companies helped lift sentiment.

    These positive-sounding headlines fueled buying interest on the notion that a trade deal, if struck, would bode well for economic growth prospects. Stocks, however, would retreat from session highs on no specific news catalyst. The fading action was in keeping with a trend of selling into strength and likely reflected some nervousness about holding positions overnight given the headline-induced volatility of late.

    The consumer discretionary (+1.1%), materials (+1.0%), health care (+0.9%), communication services (+0.8%), and information technology (+0.8%) sectors led today's gains.

    Chip stocks, in particular, put in another strong showing with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rising 1.5%. The group's recent outperformance has helped contribute to the tech sector's leadership position this week (+2.3%).

    The defensive-oriented consumer staples (-0.2%), utilities (-0.6%), and real estate (-1.9%) sectors, meanwhile, finished in the red as the market adopted more of a risk-on tone.

    Strikingly, the Dow Jones Transportation Average, which is a key driver of economic sentiment, was also unable to find steam.  UPS (UPS 101.21, -2.37, -2.3%) and FedEx (FDX 188.27, -1.38, -0.7%) dragged on the average.  On a related note, XPO Logistics (XPO 60.27, -6.42, -9.6%) traded sharply lower after providing a disappointing adjusted EBITDA growth forecast for FY19.  

    Other notable laggards included Dow components Exxon Mobil (XOM 76.02, -0.66, -0.9%) and Verizon (VZ 57.25, -1.60, -2.7%). Exxon fell as oil prices rolled over, and Verizon was downgraded to 'Equal-Weight' from 'Overweight' at Morgan Stanley. 

    Under Armour (UAA 19.81, -2.31, -10.4%) also stood out as the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 after the company provided a disappointing revenue growth outlook for its core North American market between 2020 and 2022 at its Investor Day.

    Overseas, attention turned to the UK, where Prime Minister Theresa May won a "no confidence" vote from her own Conservative Party with respect to her leadership. The vote came amid the heightened uncertainty surrounding the UK's Brexit plan. The British pound rose 1.1% to 1.2617 against the dollar, which also benefited from the U.S. Dollar Index losing 0.3% to 97.08.

    Reviewing Wednesday's economic data, which included the Consumer Price Index for November and the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index:

    • Total CPI was unchanged month-over-month in November, as expected, while core CPI, which excludes food and energy, was up 0.2%, also as expected. Total CPI was up 2.2% year-over-year, versus 2.5% in October, and core CPI was up 2.2%, versus 2.1% in October.
      • The key takeaway is that consumer inflation trends are not running away from the Federal Reserve's longer-run target, which should feed into the market's growing belief that the Federal Reserve has some data-based scope to take it easy after a December rate hike.
    • The weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index rose 1.6% after increasing 2.0% in the prior week.

    Looking ahead, investors will receive Export and Import Prices for November, the Treasury Budget for November, and weekly Initial and Continuing Claims on Thursday.

    • Nasdaq Composite +2.8% YTD
    • Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.8% YTD
    • S&P 500 -0.8% YTD
    • Russell 2000 -5.2% YTD
    16:25  WDR Waddell &amp; Reed announces preliminary assets under management of $72.0 bln as of November 30, 2018 compared to $72.2 bln as of October 31 (18.78 +0.43)

     
    16:24  TLRD Tailored Brands beats by $0.07, reports revs in-line; guides Q4 EPS below consensus (lowers FY18 outlook) (20.14 +0.30)

    • Reports Q3 (Oct) earnings of $1.01 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.07 better than the two analyst estimate of $0.94; revenues rose 0.2% year/year to $812.7 mln vs the $819.5 mln two analyst estimate. Retail comps +2.3%, Men's Wearhouse +1.7%, JAB +3.8%, K&G +4%, Moores +1.2%
    • Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of ($0.29-0.24) vs. ($0.01) two analyst estimate. The Company expects comparable sales for: Men's Wearhouse to be down low-single-digits Jos. A. Bank to be up low-single-digits Moores to be up low-single-digits K&G to be flat-to-up slightly.
    • Lowers FY18 EPS to $2.30-2.35 from $2.30-2.50; lowers Men's Wearhouse to be flat-to-up slightly versus previous guidance of up low-single-digits; reaffirms Jos. A. Bank to be up low-single-digits
    16:23  ZTS Zoetis authorizes multi-year share repurchase program of $2 bln and increases quarterly cash dividend to $0.164/share from $0.126/share (90.73 +0.93)

     
    16:21  FTI TechnipFMC provides 2019 guidance ahead of conference call tomorrow at 8am ET (21.24 +0.65)

    • 2019 guidance includes: Subsea unit revs of $5.4-5.7 bln, EBITDA margin at least 11% (excluding amortization related impact of purchase price accounting, and other charges and credits); Onshore/Offshore revs $5.7-6 bln, EBITDA margin at least 12% (excluding amortization related impact of purchase price accounting, and other charges and credits); Surface Technologies revs of $1.7-1.8 bln, EBITDA margin at least 17% (excluding amortization related impact of purchase price accounting, and other charges and credits)
    • Capital expenditures approximately $400 million for the full year; Cash flow from operating activities positive for the full year; Merger integration and restructuring costs approximately $50 million for the full year; Cost synergies$450 million total savings ($220m exit run-rate 12/31/17, $400m exit run-rate 12/31/18, $450m exit run-rate 12/31/19)
    16:20  AB AllianceBernstein reports that preliminary month-end assets under management increased to $533 bln during November 2018 from $530 bln at the end of October (27.25 +0.56)

    • The 0.6% increase was due to market appreciation, partially offset by total firmwide net outflows.
    • By channel, net outflows from Institutions and Private Wealth exceeded Retail net inflows.
    16:19  UVE Universal Insurance authorizes new $20 mln share repurchase program (39.74 -0.07)

     
    16:18  SAIC Science Applications appoints Donna Morea as Chair of its Board of Directors, effective in January (71.75 +2.60)

    Ms. Morea, who has served as a director of SAIC since 2013, succeeds Edward "Sandy" Sanderson, Jr., who has been serving as Chair of the Board since the company's separation from its parent company in September 2013. Mr. Sanderson will remain as an independent member of the Board.
    16:11  FTI TechnipFMC approved additional $300 million share repurchase program (21.24 +0.65)

    The Company remains committed to completing its existing $500 million share repurchase program by the end of 2018.
    16:10  NVR NVR authorized the repurchase of $300 million of its outstanding common stock (2443.77 +32.50)

     
    16:09  BVX Bovie Medical to change company name to Apyx Medical effective January 1, 2019 - listing will also move to Nasdaq under new ticker APYX (7.10 -0.14)

    The Company also announced plans to move its stock exchange listing to the NASDAQ Global Select Market from the New York Stock Exchange. The Company expects that its common stock will commence trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on January 2, 2019, under a new ticker symbol -- "APYX".
    16:07  BVN Buenaventura SA is temporarily suspending production at Orcopampa mine from December 17, 2018 through January 31, 2019; Total plan production for 2018 and 2019 will not be materially affected (15.26 +0.25)

    The plan is to optimize the current infrastructure by improving the mine ventilation system and reinforcing the galleries to ensure the safety of Orcopampa's on site team, consistent with Buenaventura's ongoing focus on mine safety as the Company's foremost priority. During the temporary suspension of production, approximately 550 workers will perform the activities related to optimizing the current infrastructure.
    16:07  OXM Oxford Industries misses by $0.03, misses on revs; guides Q4 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (74.81 +0.89)

    • Reports Q3 (Oct) earnings of $0.14 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 worse than the S&P Capital IQ Consensus of $0.17; revenues fell 1.0% year/year to $233.7 mln vs the $242.45 mln S&P Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.96-1.11, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.31 S&P Capital IQ Consensus; sees Q4 revs of $297-307 mln vs. $315.16 mln S&P Capital IQ Consensus.
    16:06  AGTC Applied Genetic Technologies (halted) announces topline interim six-month data from Phase 1/2 X-Linked Retinoschisis clinical study did not demonstrate signs of clinical activity; termination of Biogen (BIIB) collaboration (6.56 +0.45)

    Co reported topline interim six-month data from its Phase 1/2 clinical trial of rAAV2tYF-CB-hRS1, an investigational AAV-based gene therapy delivered via intravitreal injection for X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) due to mutations in the RS1 gene. Results from the study show that rAAV2tYF-CB-hRS1 is generally safe and well-tolerated, but no signs of clinical activity were observed at six-months. As per the study protocol, AGTC will continue to monitor enrolled patients at scheduled visits through the end of the study.

    AGTC also announced that the company will regain full rights to the XLRS and X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) programs and the three other partnered discovery programs following Biogen's termination of the collaboration agreement, which will be effective on March 8, 2019. The company will complete patient monitoring activities on the XLRS program according to the clinical protocol but will not further develop the product. AGTC plans to advance the XLRP program as previously disclosed, and will determine next steps for the three discovery programs over the next several months.

    16:06  BYD Boyd Gaming authorizes new $100 mln share repurchase authorization (24.02 +0.61)

     
    16:05  IDRA Idera Pharma to update data from Phase 2 trial of intratumoral tilsotolimod and ipilimumab for unresectable or metastatic melanoma following failure of anti-PD-1 inhibitor treatment on December 14 with call at 10am ET (6.68 -0.08)

     
    16:03  KTOS Kratos Defense and Security and Space Vector team receive $424 million multi-award contract for U.S. Air Force Sounding Rocket Program-4 (14.75 +0.10)

    The seven-year contract has a total potential value of up to $424 million, which is available to Kratos/Space Vector and one other awardee. The Space Vector and Kratos team will provide system engineering, vehicle design, manufacturing, integration and launch support services for sub-orbital rocket vehicles supporting prototype weapon systems development and missile defense system target tests.
    16:02  VBIV VBI Vaccines announces proposed public offering of common shares; size not disclosed (1.66 +0.11)

    VBI intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to progress its research and development programs, which include, among other things, funding the continued clinical development of Sci-B-Vac.
    16:02  EWU U.K.'s Theresa May wins party confidence vote as expected; Number of votes in favor were 200-117

     
    16:01  ARW Arrow Elec approves the repurchase of up to an additional $600 mln of common stock (71.96 +1.08)