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J.C. Penney revamps its fine jewelry department with smartwatches and new bridal presentation

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:49:22 GMT

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. said Thursday that it will launch sales of smartwatches for the holidays, starting October 30. Brands will include Samsung, LG and Garmin. Wearables will be priced in the range of $155 to about $350, with an expanded assortment online. The retailer has also introduced a new Modern Bride concept, including new fixtures and merchandise presentation. Modern Bride began as a collaboration with Conde Nast in 2011. The fine jewelry department has been given a new trademark, JCPenney Co. Fine Jewelry, Est. 1902, and training for associates working in that department has been revamped in order to improve customer service. J.C. Penney shares are down 1.1% in Thursday premarket trading, and down more than 60% for the past year. The S&P 500 index is up 19.5% for the last 12 months.

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Genuine Parts earnings fall short in 'disappointing' quarter

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:43:00 GMT

Shares of car parts retailer Genuine Parts Co. fell about 3% in premarket trade Thursday, after third-quarter profit fell short of estimates and the company lowered profit guidance for the full year. The Atlanta-based company said it had net income of $158.4 million, or $1.08 a share, in the quarter, down from $185.3 million, or $1.24 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.16, below the FactSet consensus of $1.28. Sales rose to $4.1 billion from $3.9 billion, matching the FactSet consensus. "While we are disappointed with this quarter's results, we are excited about the opportunities ahead and we move forward with a deep sense of urgency as we focus on maximizing shareholder value and positioning the Company for long-term success," Chief Executive Paul Donahue said in a statement. The company raised its full-year sales growth forecast to 4% to 4.5% from a prior 3% to 4%, reflecting revenue to be added through acquisitions. But it lowered its profit outlook to $4.55 to $4.60 a share from a prior $4.70 to $4.75. Shares had gained 2.6% in 2017 through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 14.4%.

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28 of 30 Dow stocks trading lower premarket

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:39:54 GMT

All 30 of the Dow Jones Industrial Average components have traded premarket, and 28 of them are trading lower, as Dow futures slump 107 points. The biggest percentage decliner is Nike Inc.'s stock , which dropped 1.8% after a downgrade at Goldman Sachs. The next biggest decliners were shares of Apple Inc. , which shed 1.7% after the independent cellular connection feature of its Apple Watch was abruptly cut off in China, and American Express Co. , which was shedding 1.4% after the company reported third-quarter results late Wednesday and said CEO Kenneth Chenault will step down. Of the two gainers, shares of Verizon Communications Inc. rose 2% and Travelers Cos. inched up less than 0.1%, after both companies reported better-than-expected results earlier Thursday.

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Nike shares slide 1.6% premarket as Goldman downgrades to neutral from buy

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:28:26 GMT

Shares of Nike Inc. slid 1.6% in premarket trade Thursday, after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to neutral from buy, saying it expects them to be range-bound as the company works through excess stock in the U.S. "Next week's investor day is an opportunity for management to lower its multiyear growth targets, which look stretched in the face of industry headwinds," analysts led by Lindsay Drucker Mann wrote in a note. "While we do not see this event as an explicit negative catalyst, it is unlikely in our view to be a positive event." Goldman is sticking with its $54 12-month price target, as "the underpinnings of Nike's business remain compelling, in our view, driven by an opportunity to further consolidate market share in the growing athletic apparel and footwear market." Nike shares are up 2.9% in 2017, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 17% and the S&P 500 has gained 14%.

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Apple's stock falls toward biggest loss in a month after Apple Watch snag in China,

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:19:24 GMT

Apple Inc.'s stock dropped 1.5% in premarket trade Thursday, putting it on track to suffer the biggest decline in a month, amid a broad selloff in the large-cap technology sector. Also weighing on Apple was a report in The Wall Street Journal that the new Apple Watch's independent cellular connection feature was abruptly cut off in China, without explanation, after a brief availability with one telecom company. The stock's premarket price decline of $2.36 would shave about 16 points off the price of the Dow Jones Industrial Average , and Dow futures were down 90 points. Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 were down 0.6%. Apple's stock decline would be the biggest since the stock fell $2.68, or 1.7%, on Sept. 21. The stock had climbed 5.8% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the Nasdaq 100 had gained 3.4% and the Dow had climbed 7.0%.

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Imax Q3 earnings estimates lowered at B. Riley due to disappointing 'Marvel's Inhumans' results

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:16:02 GMT

Imax Corp.'s third quarter box office revenue came in above B. Riley analyst Eric Wold's expectations, but the premium film exhibitor's earnings will likely be hurt by the poor performance of its experiment with "Marvel's Inhumans." Box office revenue was $215.5 million, above Wold's initial projection of $183.6 million and his increased September projection of of $210.4 million. "Inhumans" was initially scheduled as part of Marvel Studios' film slate, but after being relegated to the small screen, Walt Disney Co.'s TV division partnered with Imax to premiere the first two episodes of the ABC TV show in Imax theaters. The partnership was marketed as the first time a TV show had premiered on Imax screens. The poor result of the partnership, however, drove Wold to lower Imax EBITDA estimates for the third quarter. "Even with the box office and expected revenue upside from our prior estimates, we expect the weak theatrical box office results for 'Marvel's Inhumans' to weigh on third quarter EBITDA and EPS," Wold wrote in a note to investors. Imax will report earnings before the market opens on Oct. 26. Shares of Imax have declined 33% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 index is up more than 14% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up more than 17%.

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UPDATE: Philip Morris shares slide 4% premarket after earnings fall short of estimates

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:59:29 GMT

Philip Morris Inc. shares fell 4% in premarket trade Thursday, after the cigarette distributor missed profit and revenue estimates for the third quarter. The company said it had net income of $1.97 billion, or $1.27 a share, in the third quarter, up from $1.94 billion, or $1.25 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings also came to $1.27, below the FactSet consensus of $1.38. Revenue excluding excise taxes rose 7% to $7.5 billion, also below the FactSet consensus of $7.7 billion. For the full-year, the company said it expects EPS of $4.75 to $4.80, compared with a FactSet consensus of $4.84. Shares have gained 23% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 14%.

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Verizon shares gain premarket after company reports Q3 earnings above expectations

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:49:41 GMT

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. were up nearly 2% in premarket on Thursday after the company reported third quarter profit and revenue above Wall Street expectations. The wireless, internet and TV provider reported net income of $3.74 billion, or 89 cents per share, compared with $3.75 billion, or 89 cents per share during the same period a year ago. Per share earnings excluding special items was 98 cents, above FactSet's 97 cents per share consensus. Revenue for the quarter was $31.72 billion, up from $30.94 billion. FactSet's consensus on revenue was $31.44 billion. Verizon said it added 66,000 Fios internet subscribers and lost 18,000 subscribers in video, which the company said reflects the shift from traditional linear video to internet streaming. Verizon said Fios revenue increased 4.8%. In wireless, Verizon added 30,000 postpaid customers, after a loss of 107,000 customers in the year earlier period. Shares of Verizon are down nearly 9% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 index is up more than 14% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up more than 17%.

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Corbus Pharma shares surge 21% on mid-stage results for inflammatory disease drug

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:45:34 GMT

Corbus Pharmaceutical Holdings Inc. shares surged 21.4% in premarket trade on Thursday after the company reported positive results from a phase 2 trial of its autoimmune disease drug. The drug, anabasum, is intended for the rare inflammatory condition dermatomyositis, which is associated with an itchy and painful rash and progressive muscle weakness, according to the Mayo Clinic. In the clinical trial, which enrolled 22 adults and lasted 16 weeks, the drug outperformed the placebo in the primary efficacy outcome and in multiple secondary efficacy outcomes, the company said. There were also no signs of safety issues, Corbus said. Currently, "we have little to offer patients with moderate to severe disease activity except immunosuppressive therapies with often limited efficacy and significant side effects," said Dr. Victoria Werth, a principal investigator in the study and a professor of dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Corbus Pharma shares have surged 6.9% over the last three months to $7.00 per share, compared with a 3.5% rise in the S&P 500 .

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Winnebago's stock surges after profit and sales beat, new stock buyback program

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:20:11 GMT

Shares of Winnebago Industries Inc. surged 3.6% in premarket trade Thursday, after the recreational vehicle maker beat fiscal fourth-quarter profit and sales expectations, and launched a stock buyback program. Net income for the quarter to Aug. 26 rose to $24.92 million, or 79 cents a share, from $13.1 million, or 49 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet EPS consensus was 71 cents. Revenue rose to $454.9 million from $263.3 million,. That beat the FactSet consensus of $439.9 million. Motorized revenue fell 4.4% to $226.2 million, while towable revenue increased to $228.7 million from $26.6 million, boosted by the addition of $193.4 million in revenue from the Grand Design acquisition. The company authorized a $70 million stock repurchase program, which would represent about 5% of Winnebago's market capitalization as of Wednesday. "We made significant progress in Fiscal 2017 to transform Winnebago Industries into a larger, more profitable outdoor lifestyle company offering a full line of RVs," said Chief Executive Michael Happe. The stock has run up 40% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 14%.

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Spain to trigger direct rule of Catalonia as standoff continues

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:16:18 GMT

The Spanish government will move to suspend Catalonia's autonomy on Saturday, media reports said Thursday, after the region's leaders failed to drop a push for independence. The central government will trigger Article 155 of the country's constitution, after Catalan President Carles Puigdemont missed a deadline of 10 a.m. local time to meet its demand to pullback from a breakaway. Instead, Puigdemont called once again for negotiations, saying the region's parliament could set a vote on a declaration of independence -- currently suspended, after a referendum backed the move -- if Madrid declined to talk. "Consequently, the Spanish government will continue with the steps laid out in Article 155 of the constitution to restore the legality of self-government in Catalonia," the Spanish government said in a letter. If home rule is suspended in Catalonia -- known as the "nuclear option" -- the central government would likely impose direct rule on the region, a big contributor to the country's economy.

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U.S. stock futures tumble, with eBay, Apple, other tech stocks taking a hit in premarket

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:03:32 GMT

U.S. stock futures fell sharply on Thursday, led by a hefty tumble for Nasdaq-100 futures as shares of eBay Inc. slid. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slid 115 points, or 0.5%, to 23,000, while S&P 500 futures dropped 13.10 points, or 0.5%, to 2,547.75. Nasdaq-100 futures slumped 46 points, or 0.7%, to 6,074. Shares of eBay slumped 6% in thin premarket trading -- the online auctioneer's shares took a hit late Wednesday after the company lowered its annual profit outlook. Other tech shares followed the shares lower in premarket trading, with Netflix Inc. down 1%, Apple Inc. off 1.6% and Nvidia Corp. dropping 1.1%. European shares were also taking a hit with the Stoxx Europe 600 index down 0.5%. Asia also saw heavy hits, with the Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closing down 1.9%. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.3%. Growth data released earlier in the day revealed a slowdown in China.

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MongoDB prices IPO at $24, above elevated range

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:09:51 GMT

MongoDB Inc. priced its initial public offering at $24 a share Wednesday night, $2 higher than the price range it had already inflated just the day before. The database-software company originally targeted an IPO price in a range of $18 to $20, and increased that target to $20 to $22 Tuesday. MongoDB plans to sell at least 8 million shares at the $24 price, which would raise $192 million at an initial valuation of about $1.18 billion. The company was valued at $1.6 billion in its last round of private investment, the end of about $300 million in venture investment in the startup. Underwriters, led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Barclays, have access to an additional 1.2 million shares that could sell and raise the total take and valuation. MongoDB is expected to begin trading under the ticker symbol MDB on the Nasdaq exchange Thursday morning.

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SendGrid plans IPO as email-focused startup nears $100 million in annual revenue

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:30:03 GMT

SendGrid Inc. filed documents for an initial public offering Wednesday, following through on a promise to debut in 2017 as it heads toward $100 million in annual revenue and potential profitability. SendGrid, which sells a software platform that helps companies manage email communications with customers, said it would seek $100 million in proceeds in the offering, though that is usually a placeholder figure that will be replaced in subsequent filings. The 8-year-old startup based in Denver has experienced strong revenue growth while losses have shrunk, according to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. SendGrid reported annual revenue totals of $42.8 million, $58.5 million and $79.9 million for the past three full years, while annual net losses fell from $13 million to $5.9 million to $3.9 million. In the first six months of 2017, the company lost $3.1 million on revenue of $51.8 million, both improvements from the same period the year before, which puts it on track for a stated goal of $100 million in revenue along with an IPO this year. The company has raised more than $80 million in private investment, according to Crunchbase, and the SEC filing shows that venture capital investors own about 73% of the company, led by Foundry Group's stake of 29.6%. SendGrid plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SEND, and the offering is being led by Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan.

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Blue Apron to lay off 6% of workforce

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:21:05 GMT

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. has reduced its workforce by 6% to "support its strategic priorities," the company said in a filing Wednesday. The layoffs happened in Blue Apron's corporate offices as well as fulfillment centers. The company said it expects about $3.5 million in employee-related expenses, mostly in severance payments incurred in the fourth quarter. Blue Apron had 5,393 employees as of June. Blue Apron "did not take this decision lightly, and I want to assure you that we believe it was necessary as we focus the company on future growth and achieving profitability," Chief Executive Matthew Salzberg said in a letter to employees in the filing. Shares of Blue Apron fell 1% in late trading after ending the regular trading day down 1.5%. The stock debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in June.

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SEC names J.P. Morgan executive to lead trading and markets team

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:52:53 GMT

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday it named Brett Redfearn, J.P. Morgan's global head of market structure for its investment bank, to be director of the regulator's division of trading and markets. Redfearn will oversee the major securities market participants and infrastructure including, among others, broker-dealers, self-regulatory organizations (including stock exchanges, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, and clearing agencies), alternative trading systems, and transfer agents. Redfearn has also served on the boards of Bats Global Markets, the Chicago Stock Exchange, BIDS Trading, and the National Organization of Investment Professionals.

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Catalonia to declare independence if Spain cancels autonomy: report

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:48:28 GMT

Catalonia could formally declare its independence from Spain on Thursday, should the Spanish government in Madrid rescind the regions' autonomy, Catalan president Carles Puigdemont said, according to a report by Reuters. The Spanish government set a deadline for Thursday to resolve the domestic political conflict caused by Catalonia's independence referendum in which residents voted overwhelmingly for secession amid low voter turnout. Following the vote Puigdemont refrained from formally declaring independence in favor of dialogue with Madrid. It would take three to five days for Catalonia's autonomy to get suspended after a decision in Madrid, the report said. The political turmoil is the focal point for currency traders who are assessing the overall health of the eurozone's shared currency. The euro last bought $1.1793, compared with $1.1766 late Tuesday.

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United Continental earnings beat despite weather-related cancellations

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:33:27 GMT

United Continental Holdings Inc. reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings Wednesday despite thousands of hurricane-related flight cancellations. The airline reported third-quarter net income of $637 million, or $2.12 a share, on revenue of $9.9 billion, which was basically even from the same quarter a year ago. After adjustments for special charges and tax effects, United claimed profit of $2.22 a share, down from $3.11 a share a year ago. Analysts on average expected adjusted earnings of $2.16 a share on revenue of $9.88 billion. United said it cancelled 8,300 flights in the quarter as the result of devastating hurricanes and other storms in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, which reduced pre-tax income by an estimated $185 million. United said it set new company records for on-time performance in the quarter despite the difficulties. United stock declined less than 1% after the earnings were released, falling to $67.50 after closing with a 0.7% increase at $67.99.

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Adobe shares rally after company outlook

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:31:32 GMT

Shares of Adobe Systems Inc. rose more than 5% late Wednesday after the company announced fiscal 2018 revenue and earnings targets slightly above Wall Street expectations. Adobe said it expects revenue of about $8.7 billion for fiscal 2018, a 20% increase over fiscal 2017 sales, and adjusted earnings of $5.50 a share for the year. Analysts polled by FactSet expect fiscal 2018 earnings of $5.20 a share on sales around $8.6 billion. The company also called for a 20% year-over-year growth for its cloud bookings. The outlook reflects "our continued momentum and leadership," Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen said in a statement. Adobe said it was on track for fiscal 2017 fourth-quarter revenue of $1.95 billion and fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.15 a share. The analysts surveyed by FactSet expect fourth-quarter earnings of $1.16 a share on sales of $1.95 billion.

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AmEx's Stephen Squeri to succeed Chenault as CEO, chairman

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:30:44 GMT

American Express Co. said late Wednesday that Stephen Squeri, the current vice-chairman, will become chief executive and chairman on Feb. 1. Squeri, who leads the company's Global Commercial Services group, succeeds Kenneth Chenault. Shares of American Express declined 0.6% to $91.55 after hours. The announcement followed AmEx's release of quarterly earnings, which topped Wall Street estimates.

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EBay shares plunge after third-quarter results

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:28:35 GMT

EBay Inc. shares plunged in the extended session Wednesday day after the company reported third-quarter earnings. EBay shares fell 4.2% to 36.40 after hours. The company reported third-quarter net income of $514 million, or 48 cents a share, compared to $509 million, or 36 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were also 48 cents a share. Revenue rose to $2.4 billion from $2.22 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated 33 cents a share on revenue of $2.37 billion. For the fourth-quarter, analysts model earnings of 60 cents a share on revenue of $2.58 billion. EBay stock has gained 27.9% this year, with the S&P 500 index rising 14.3%.

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Alcoa misses on earnings but beats on revenue

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:19:19 GMT

Alcoa Corp. profit came in lighter than expected for the aluminum company's third quarter on Wednesday, but revenue was a slight beat. Alcoa reported net income of $113 million, or 60 cents a share, on sales of $3 billion; after adjustments for "special items," the company claimed earnings of 72 cents a share. Analysts on average expected adjusted earnings of 74 cents a share on sales of $2.93 billion, according to FactSet. In the year-ago quarter, Alcoa posted adjusted earnings of 96 cents a share on revenue of $5.2 billion, before a corporate split separated the Alcoa raw-aluminum business from other, faster-growing endeavors. Alcoa also said it increased its forecast for adjusted ebitda for the full year, to $2.4 billion. Shares bounced between slight gains and losses after the announcement, after closing at $47.75.

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American Express shares wobble after hours following earnings beat

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:16:20 GMT

American Express Co. shares traded between slight gains and losses in the extended session Wednesday after the company topped Wall Street estimates for the quarter and raised its guidance. AmEx shares, which earlier had traded up 1%, were last down 0.5% to $91.65 after hours. The company reported third-quarter net income of $1.36 billion, or $1.50 a share, compared to $1.14 billion, or $1.20 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $8.45 billion from $7.77 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated $1.48 a share on revenue of $8.3 billion. For the year, AmEx estimates earnings of $5.80 to $5.90 a share, while analysts expect earnings of $5.74 a share.

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Visa raises dividend rate by 18%

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:13:36 GMT

Visa Inc. said late Wednesday its board of directors declared a dividend of 19.5 cents a share of class A common stock, an 18% dividend rate increase. The dividend is payable on Dec. 5 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 17. Shares of Visa were flat in late trading after ending the regular trading day up 0.2%.

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Dow ends above 23,000 for the first time ever

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:05:02 GMT

U.S. stock-market indexes closed at record levels on Wednesday with the Dow industrials ending above 23,000 for the first time. Analysts said stocks were supported by better-than-expected earnings results. The S&P 500 gained 1.90 points, or 0.1%, to 2,561.26, notching its 47th record close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 160.16 points, or 0.7%, to 23,157.60, driven by a surge in shares of International Business Machine Inc. , which rose nearly 9%. The blue-chip index closed at a record for the 51st time this year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index ended fractionally higher at 6,624.22, also scaling a record.

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Ulta Beauty shares downgraded on data showing spending declines among teens

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:39:01 GMT

Ulta Beauty Inc. was downgraded to neutral from overweight at Piper Jaffray after findings from the firm's latest Teen Survey showed declines in spending on color cosmetics and skincare, as well as a trough in fragrance spending. The company's price target was slashed to $210 from $260. Ulta shares are down 1.7% in Wednesday trading. "[O]verall beauty wallet contracted low-double digits," analysts wrote in a Wednesday note. "While specialty is the primary share gainer within cosmetics, we did see broader signs of strength from Sephora--now the No. 1 preferred beauty format across upper and average-income females--unseating Ulta in average-income survey." Other popular names from the Teen Survey include Amazon.com Inc. , Adidas AG and Apple Inc. In addition to the survey results, Piper Jaffray analysts cite growing competition from Amazon, Sephora, as well as other up-and-comers in the beauty space, and moderating same-store sales for its downgrade. Ulta shares are down 23.2% for the last three months while the S&P 500 index is up 4.2% for the period.

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NFL will not insist that players stand for national anthem: commissioner

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:32:18 GMT

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the league's position remains that players should stand on the sideline during the pregame playing of the U.S.'s national anthem but will not revise its manual to require standing. In a televised New York news conference after a meeting with league owners, the commissioner suggested players directly involved in the protest of allegedly racially biased policing tactics and other forms of systemic racism now number less than 10. Goodell said the NFL is aware of fan and sponsor concerns over the protests, which typically have taken the form of kneeling in silence as the "Star-Spangled Banner" is played, but that players have intended no disrespect to the U.S. flag. He said it was not discussed at the league meeting whether individual teams could or should discipline protesting players. Asked whether he was concerned about polls showing those identifying as Republicans were turning against pro football, Goodell said the league did not intend to enter the political fray.

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Nielsen shares gain more than 4% after company announces new Netflix ratings service

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:16:42 GMT

Nielsen Holdings shares were up 4.4% during intraday trade on Wednesday after the data and analytics company said it is adding a service for its media clients that will give TV networks deeper insights into viewership on streaming platform Netflix Inc. . With Nielsen's new ratings service networks will know how many people watch their shows on Netflix and how many people are watching their rivals' shows. The industry has been clamoring for such insight into Netflix viewing, which the streamer notoriously keeps close to the vest. Eight networks, including Disney/ABC TV Group , NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. [s:TWX] have already signed up for the service. According to media reports, however, Netflix says the data Nielsen is reporting is not accurate and doesn't include streaming overseas, or on mobile devices. Shares of Nielsen are down less than 1% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up more than 16% and the S&P 500 index is up close to 15%.

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Gold settles lower, then edges up in electronic trade after Fed Beige Book

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:13:35 GMT

Gold prices settled lower Wednesday, then edged a bit higher in electronic trading shortly after the release of the U.S. Federal Reserve's Beige Book. The report, which offers a snapshot of domestic economic activity, said U.S. growth was "split between modest and moderate," but the Fed appears to still be on track to raise interest rates by December. Gold futures for December delivery was at $1,283.70 an ounce in electronic trading. Prices had lost $3.20, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,283 an ounce for the session, their lowest since Oct. 6, according to FactSet data.

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Chipotle stock slides 2.5% as analysts take bearish tone ahead of earnings

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:13:57 GMT

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. fell 2.5% Wednesday, as analysts took a cautious view of the stock ahead of third-quarter earnings due next week. Wedbush analysts said they are expecting same-restaurant sales growth to fall below consensus of 2.2%, based on early October checks. "While we noted a benefit from the recent introduction of queso, we estimate the trend line was only up in the low-single digit range, and believe prior to the introduction was likely running in negative territory," they wrote in a note. "Should transaction trends remain pressured, we believe management may elect to forego the price increase we currently incorporate in our model in Q4." Bank of America downgraded the stock to underperform from neutral, according to Barron's. Chipotle shares are down 15% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 14.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 17%.

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