On The Fly: Top stock stories for Thursday
Stocks, which traded quietly throughout most of the morning, took a leg lower near 1 pm ET after Bloomberg reported that some funds that clear derivatives trades with Deutsche Bank (DB) have withdrawn some excess cash and positions held at the bank. The renewed fear regarding Germany's largest lender spread to other European bank stocks and U.S. bank stocks as well, sparking a selloff in the sector that dragged down the broader market, resulting in a roughly 1% decline across the major averages. ECONOMIC NEWS: In the U.S., the government revised its second quarter GDP growth estimate up to 1.4%, which is up from the prior 1.1% growth estimate and above the 1.3% growth that was forecast. Initial jobless claims rose 3,000 to 254,000 in the week ended September 24, versus the forecast for 260,000 first-time claims. The pending home sale index fell 2.4% to 108.5 in August. The international trade in goods balance showed a $58.4B deficit in August, versus the consensus expectation for a deficit of about $62B. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Deutsche Bank trading in New York dropped 6.7% after a report that some hedge funds have been cutting their exposure to the bank, building on an already significant period of volatility for Germany's largest lender and sparking comparisons to previous crises in the banking sector... Qualcomm (QCOM) is said to be in talks to acquire NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), The Wall Street Journal reported. Shares of Qualcomm advanced more than 6% following the report, while NXP Semi jumped nearly 17%... National Amusements, which controls the majority of CBS (CBS) and Viacom's (VIAB) voting stock, announced that it has asked the boards of the two media companies to consider a potential combination. Additionally, National Amusements said it will not accept any acquisition of the companies by a third party. In response, Viacom said it expects that its board of directors will form a special committee of independent directors to "carefully consider" the request. CBS, meanwhile, added that the company will "take appropriate action to evaluate what is in the best interest of CBS Corporation and its shareholders"... Shares of PepsiCo (PEP) ended the trading day up about 0.35% after the snack food and beverage giant reported better than expected third quarter revenue and earnings, and raised its full year 2016 core constant currency earnings per share growth guidance. Also higher after earnings is ConAgra Foods (CAG), which advanced over 7% after the food processor and packager reported better than expected first quarter earnings per share. ConAgra also said it remains on-track to execute the spin-off of the Lamb Weston business this fall. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Pier 1 Imports (PIR), which advanced 4.7% after the home goods retailer reported an in-line loss for the second quarter. Also higher was Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (ARWR), which gained 3.7% after the company and Amgen (AMGN) announced two license and collaboration agreements to develop and commercialize RNA interference therapies for cardiovascular disease. Among the noteworthy losers was Fitbit (FIT), which dropped about 11% after Pacific Crest downgraded the stock to Underweight, saying its checks indicate that the company's new Charge 2 fitness wristband "is off to a slow start." Also lower was Intra-Cellular Therapies (ITCI), which plunged 63.5% after neither dose of its schizophrenia drug separated from placebo on the primary endpoint in a Phase 3 clinical trial. Additionally, Stein Mart (SMRT) slid 16.5% after the company announced that Dawn Robertson has tendered her resignation as CEO and as a director. INDEXES: The Dow fell 195.79, or 1.07%, to 18,143.45, the Nasdaq lost 49.39, or 0.93%, to 5,269.15, and the S&P 500 declined 20.24, or 0.93%, to 2,151.13.