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  • 08/31/2017 14:09:01

    U.S. stock market ends turbulent August on a strong note

    U.S. stock indexes on Thursday closed out August in the green, extending a recent uptrend and clawing back from a midmonth slump as previously dormant markets showed signs of volatility reemerging. Relatively upbeat economic data and hope of tax reform has been part of the catalyst that has helped to offer a lift to equities and shake of geopolitical worries. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.3% at 21,952, nearing the psychologically important level of 22,000, which it had hit mid August and marking its third straight gain. For the month, the Dow is up 0.3%, representing its fifth monthly gain in a row. The S&P 500 index ended the session with a 0.6% gain, helping it to wrap up August with a gain of a little less than 0.1%, after starting the session on track to end in the red. The broad-market gauge is also scored its fifth monthly rise in a row. The Nasdaq Composite Index finished about 1% higher at 6,428, and produced a monthly rise of 1.3%. The moves come ahead of a closely watched jobs report due Friday, among a few other data reports before the Labor Day holiday commences, with markets closed on Monday. Ahead of that data, consumer spending rose 0.3% last month, helped by higher incomes and low inflation. The pace of inflation, meanwhile, was little changed in July, up 0.1%. Initial jobless claims in the period running from Aug. 20 to Aug. 26 rose by 1,000 to 236,000, which is still close to a postrecession low, pointing to another solid monthly employment report near the end of summer. Official jobs report will be released Friday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. In corporate news, shares of Walt Disney Co. closed 1.6% lower following news that it is preparing significant budget cuts at its Disney/ABC Television Group that will include staff reductions and restructuring efforts. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/28/2017 09:41:09

    Biotech stocks surge on Gilead's Kite Pharma acquisition

    After news of Gilead Sciences Inc.'s about $11 billion acquisition of Kite Pharma Inc. , Juno Therapeutics Inc. shares surged 16.3%, Bluebird Bio Inc. shares surged 9.7% and Cellectis SA ADR shares surged 11.8% in extremely heavy midday trade Monday. The Kite Pharma acquisition marks a large investment by Gilead into a cancer treatment called chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, or CAR-T, which uses a patient's immune T-cells and re-engineers them to better fight cancer. Juno, Bluebird and Cellectis are other biotech companies working in CAR-T. BTIF analyst Dane Leone upgraded Juno on Monday, adding, "we continue to be skeptical of JUNO's current competitive positioning, but upgrade our ranking to Neutral from Sell, as there is not a near term catalyst to offset the positive tailwind for the entire CAR T space." Though there has been speculation about Celgene -- which owns about 10% of Juno's current shares outstanding -- acquiring Juno, "we would be surprised" by a full acquisition, Leone said, since "at this juncture with emerging overlap in Multiple Myeloma and third to market status in CD19 hematological malignancies, we struggle to find a rationale for Celgene wanting to fully own Juno." Kite Pharma shares surged 28% in extremely heavy morning trade. Shares have surged 144% over the last three months, compared with a 1% rise in the S&P 500 .Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/25/2017 14:19:23

    Dow ends slightly higher after Jackson Hole speeches; Nasdaq halts weekly skid

    U.S. stock benchmarks finished with slight gains Friday, halting weekly skids as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen delivered speeches at Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30.37 points, or 0.1%, at 21,813.67 Dow components Boeing Co. and Intel Corp. limited gains for blue chips. The S&P 500 index advanced 4.08 points, or 0.2%, at 2,443.05, while the Nasdaq Composite Index finished lower, down 5.68 points, or less than 0.1%, at 6,265.64. Still, the technology laden gauge halted a dubious streak of four consecutive weekly declines, with a roughly 0.8% gain. For the week, the Dow gained 0.6%, while the S&P 500 enjoyed a 0.7% return, with both benchmarks ending two straight weeks of declines. Earlier in the session, Yellen said the economy was stabilizing but made no specific remarks about monetary policy during her speech at the gathering of central bankers in Wyoming. Later Friday, Draghi said recoveries taking place in global economies are firming, though he said it was "at an earlier stage" in Europe and Japan. His remarks were interpreted as hawkish by investors, sending the euro surging against the dollar up at $1.1925, compared to $1.18 late Thursday in New York. U.S. equity markets, meanwhile, were given an early boost on the back of the possibility of tax reform following remarks made by Gary Cohn, the president's economic adviser. During a interview with the Financial Times he said the president was focused on getting tax reform done by the end of 2017. Tax cuts and other fiscal stimulus measures had been part of catalyst for stocks's rise to records after Trump's election victory in November. In that interview, Cohn also said he seriously considered resigning in response to Trump's reaction to a Charlottesville, Va., white-supremacist rally, however, the adviser and former Goldman Sachs executive decided against leaving. In other news, investors watched developments in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey was upgraded to a Category 3 storm. In corporate news, Ulta Beauty Inc. shares dropped 9% after the retailer's results late Thursday showed second-quarter sales growth slowed. Check out a live blog of the Jackson Hole symposium here.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/25/2017 14:10:51

    Dow ends with slight gain after Jackson Hole speeches; Nasdaq halts weekly losing streak

    U.S. stock benchmarks ended with slight gains Friday, halting weekly skids as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen delivered speeches at Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30 points, or 0.1%, at 21,813. Dow components Boeing Co. and Intel Corp. limited gains for blue chips. The S&P 500 index climbed 4 points, or 0.2%, at 2,443, while the Nasdaq Composite Index finished lower, down 5 points, or less than 0.1%, at 6,265. Still, the technology laden gauge halted a dubious streak of four consecutive weekly declines, with a roughly 0.8% gain. Earlier in the session, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Yellen said the economy was stabilizing but made no specific remarks about monetary policy during her speech at the gathering of central bankers in Wyoming. Later in the session, Draghi said recoveries taking place in global economies are firming, though he said it was "at an earlier stage" in Europe and Japan. The statement was enough to send the euro surging against the dollar up at $1.1925, compared to $1.18 late Thursday in New York. U.S. equity markets, meanwhile, were given an early boost on the back of the possibility of tax reform following remarks made by Gary Cohn, the president's economic adviser. During a interview with the Financial Times he said the president was focused on getting tax reform done by the end of 2017. Tax cuts and other fiscal stimulus measures had been part of catalyst for stocks's rise to records after Trump's election victory in November. In that interview, Cohn also said he seriously considered resigning in response to Trump's reaction to a Charlottesville, Va., white-supremacist rally, however, the adviser and former Goldman Sachs executive decided against leaving. In other news, investors watched developments in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey was upgraded to a Category 3 storm. In corporate news, Ulta Beauty Inc. shares dropped 9% after the retailer's results late Thursday showed second-quarter sales growth slowed. Check out a live blog of the Jackson Hole symposium here.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/25/2017 13:43:10

    Dow holds on to gains as Draghi talks global economic stability at Jackson Hole

    U.S. stock benchmarks were trading higher Friday afternoon, and looked set to book weekly advances as Mario Draghi delivered a highly anticipated speech at Jackson Hole, Wyo. Although Draghi didn't offer clues about monetary policy, he did say that recoveries taking place in global economies are firming, though he said it was "at an earlier stage" in Europe and Japan. The statement was enough to send the euro surging against the dollar up at $1.1925, compared to $1.18 late Thursday in New York. U.S. equity markets, meanwhile, climbed and have traded higher throughout the session on the back of the possibility of tax reform following remarks made by Gary Cohn, the president's economic adviser. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 61 points, or 0.3%, at 21,847. Dow components Boeing Co. and Intel Corp. were helping to limit gains for blue chips. The S&P 500 index climbed 8 points, or 0.3%, at 2,446, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was flat at 6,271. Still, the technology laden gauge was on track to halt a dubious streak of four consecutive weekly declines, with a roughly 1% gain. Earlier in the session, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Yellen said that the economy was stabilizing but made no specific remarks about monetary policy during her speech at the gathering of central bankers in Wyoming. Meanwhile, investors were also Cohn's interview with the Financial Times, where he said the president was focused on getting tax reform done by the end of 2017. Tax cuts and other fiscal stimulus measures had been part of catalyst for stocks's rise to records after Trump's election victory in November. In that interview, Cohn also said he seriously considered resigning in response to Trump's reaction to a Charlottesville, Va., white-supremacist rally, however, the adviser and former Goldman Sachs executive decided against leaving. In other news, investors may also be watching developments in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey was upgraded to a Category 3 storm. In corporate news, Ulta Beauty Inc. shares dropped 9% after the retailer's results late Thursday showed second-quarter sales growth slowed. Check out a live blog of the Jackson Hole symposium here.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/25/2017 08:57:00

    Dow off intraday highs but boasts healthy advance as stocks pare gains in late-morning trade

    U.S. stock benchmarks gave up some ground late-morning Friday, but still looked set to log weekly gains as investors Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen opted not to make any specific comments on monetary policy in a highly anticipated speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Equity markets had already been riding higher on the back of the possibility of tax reform after remarks made by Gary Cohn, the president's economic adviser. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 60 points, or 0.3%, at 21,847. Dow components Boeing Co. Nike Inc. and Intel Corp. , were helping to limit gains for blue chips. The S&P 500 index climbed 8 points, or 0.3%, at 2,447, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 8 points, or 0.1%, at 6,279. That puts the technology laden gauge on track to halt a dubious streak of four consecutive weekly declines, with a roughly 1% gain. In her Wyoming speech Fed Chairwoman Yellen said that the economy was stabilizing but made no specific remarks about monetary policy. Meanwhile, investors were also Cohn's interview with the Financial Times, where he said the president was focused on getting tax reform done by the end of 2017. Tax cuts and other fiscal stimulus measures had been part of catalyst for stocks's rise to records after Trump's election victory in November. In that interview, Cohn also said he seriously considered resigning in response to comments Trump made about a Charlottesville, Va., white-supremacist rally, however, Cohn decided against leaving. In other news, investors may also be watching developments in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey was upgraded to a Category 3 storm. In corporate news, Ulta Beauty Inc. shares dropped 4.8% in low after the retailer's results late Thursday showed second-quarter sales growth slowed. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. Eastern at Jackson Hole. Check out a live blog of the Jackson Hole symposium here.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/25/2017 08:16:56

    Dow climbs 120 points as stock market rallies as Yellen makes no monetary-policy comment

    U.S. stock benchmarks climbed on Friday and looked set to log weekly gains as investors Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen opted not to make any specific comments on monetary policy in a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Equity markets had already been riding higher on the back of the possibility of tax reform after remarks made by Gary Cohn, the president's economic adviser. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 110 points, or 0.5%, at 21,895, only Boeing Co.'s shares were in negative territory among the Dow's components, off 0.1%. The S&P 500 index climbed 13 points, or 0.5%, at 2,451, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 28 points, or 0.5%, at 6,300. That puts the technology laden gauge on track to halt a dubious streak of four consecutive weekly declines, with a roughly 1% gain. In her Wyoming speech Fed Chairwoman Yellen said that the economy was stabilizing but made no specific remarks about monetary policy. Meanwhile, investors were also Cohn's interview with the Financial Times, where he said the president was focused on getting tax reform done by the end of 2017. Tax cuts and other fiscal stimulus measures had been part of catalyst for stocks's rise to records after Trump's election victory in November. In other news, investors may also be watching developments in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey was upgraded to a Category 3 storm. In corporate news, Ulta Beauty Inc. shares dropped 4.8% in low after the retailer's results late Thursday showed second-quarter sales growth slowed. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. Eastern at Jackson Hole. Check out a live blog of Jackson Hole symposium here.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/16/2017 09:02:13

    Dow needs about 40 points to retake its all-time closing high

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday was trading modestly higher, but the climb was enough to put within a reach a fresh record. The blue-chip gauge was less than 40 points, at its peak level in early trade at 22,081, of surpassing its Aug. 7 record of 22,118.42, according to FactSet data. The Dow's intraday peak of 22,179.11 on Aug. 8, however, may be a tougher mark to surpass. Overall the Dow was up 0.4% at 22,080 in late-morning trade on Wednesday, the S&P 500 index gained 0.3% at 2,472, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was 0.4% higher at 6,356 on the session. Those benchmarks are further away from records because of a divergence between blue-chips and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, but are still relatively close to retouching their all-time highs. The S&P 500's closing record stands at 2,480.91, hit Aug. 7 and its intraday record is at 2,490.98, reached Aug. 8, while the Nasdaq's last record close was July 26 at 6,422.75 and its intraday marker is 6,460.84, achieved July 27. An abatement of tensions between the U.S. and North Korea has provided some catalyst for stocks to return to testing their upper limits. Meanwhile, Wall Street is looking ahead to a 2 p.m. release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting in July, which could influence stocks, bonds, currencies and dollar-priced commodities, with an expectation the central bank will hint the start of an unwind of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet as soon as next month. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/15/2017 14:05:04

    U.S. stocks close mostly flat as investors await next catalyst

    U.S. stocks closed generally flat on Tuesday after two days of gains as investors awaited fresh catalysts before making big bets on equities as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which had overshadowed the market recently, took a backseat. The S&P 500 slipped 1 point to close at 2,464 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 5 points to end at 21,999. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 8 points, or 0.1%, to close at 6,333.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 08/03/2017 12:48:26

    U.S. oil ends sharply lower as bearish sentiment resurfaces

    U.S. traded oil settled sharply lower Thursday as downbeat sentiment drove futures into negative territory, ahead of a key OPEC meeting to discuss compliance with an agreement to curtail global output. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in September finished the day off 56 cents, or 1.1%, at $49.03. Although there was no fundamental catalyst for the retreat, some market participants pointed to news that prominent oil trader Andy Hall was shuttering his energy-focused hedge fund after wrongway bets that oil prices would climb faster. Oil has been stuck in a range for the past several months. Some investors speculated that the unwind of Hall's Astenbeck Master Commodities Fund II may result in more oil contracts hitting the market, driving prices lower. Still, traders and investors said that although the oil market is sensitive to news, it has mostly been in an uptrend. A coming two-day meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Abu Dhabi on Aug. 7-9 remained the main focus for investors, and could help the determine oil's near-term future. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 07/31/2017 06:19:50

    American Airlines' stock rallies after Cowen raises rating, price target

    Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. climbed 1.2% in premarket trade Monday, after Cowen & Co. turned bullish on the air carrier, citing a "compelling" earnings outlook for the next year. Analyst Helane Becker raised her rating to outperform after being at market perform since Jan. 4. She raised her stock price target to $57, which is 13% above Friday's closing price of $50.49, from $55. "We are upgrading the shares based on the view that American will drive pre-tax income higher heading into 2018 with product segmentation and a more stable cost structure," Becker wrote in a note to clients. "We believe American is less impacted by fare battles between United [Continental Holdings] and Spirit [Airlines] and believe the September investor day is a catalyst to drive the shares higher." The stock has rallied 8.1% year to date through Friday, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has edged up 0.7% and the S&P 500 has gained 10.4%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 07/18/2017 06:52:00

    Chipotle's stock rallies after upgrade on queso optimism, valuation

    Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. rallied 1.1% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the fast casual Mexican restaurant chain was upgraded at Maxim Group, which cited optimism over the introduction of queso and valuation. Analyst Stephen Anderson raised his rating to buy from hold and raised his stock price target to $470, which is 20% above Monday's closing price of $392.00, from $440. Anderson has now swung to bullish from bearish (sell) on Chipotle in seven months. The upgrade comes a week before Chipotle reports second-quarter results. "We contend the introduction of queso--a Mexican cheese dip--which is now in test, will be an important catalyst for [Chipotle] in 2018," Anderson wrote in a note to clients. "We now argue the recent pullback in [Chipotle] shares, along with the potential for upside from queso, provide an opportunity for investors to participate in [Chipotle's] recovery." The stock has tumbled 16% over the past three months to close Monday at a 6 1/2-month low, while the S&P 500 has climbed 5.0%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

  • 07/06/2017 06:45:18

    GE's stock drops after J.P. Morgan slashes price target

    Shares of General Electric Co. slumped 1.8% in premarket trade Thursday, after J.P. Morgan slashed its price target, citing an uncertain outlook and a lack of growth potential. Analyst C. Stephen Tusa reiterated his bearish underweight rating on the industrial conglomerate, and cut his stock price target to $22, which is 20% below Wednesday's closing price of $27.35, from $27. The stock traded at $26.85 ahead of the open; the stock hasn't closed below $27 since Oct. 5, 2015. Tusa said the GE narrative "is as open and undefined as it's been in decades," with the new CEO likely to set the course over the second half of the year on a material restructuring that includes setting portfolio priorities, a change in the capital allocation strategy and new long-term growth targets. While a fresh start is expected under John Flannery, who will become CEO on Aug. 1, but "we don't see a quick or easy fix to the current predicament," Tusa wrote in a note to clients. "Unlike other resets where the multiple expands, we don't see the future growth potential as a catalyst here, and are cutting our price target to $22 and remain [underweight]." The stock has dropped 13.5% year to date through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 8.7%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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