On The Fly: Top stock stories for Monday
Stocks opened lower and remained in negative territory throughout the entire session. The slow start comes at the start of one of the biggest weeks for earnings this season, as 177 of the S&P 500 companies are scheduled to report. The price of benchmark U.S. oil hit a three month low and struggled to stay above $43 per barrel on both supply and demand concerns. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Dallas Fed manufacturing index jumped to -1.3 in July, up from a prior reading of -18.3 and much better than the -10.0 reading that was expected. In Asia, Japan's trade data for June came in a bit better, as exports fell 7.4%, versus the consensus forecast for an 11.3% dip, and imports fell 18.8%, versus 20% decline that had been forecast. In Europe, Germany's Ifo Business Climate reading came in at 108.3, which was a bit better than expected. COMPANY NEWS: As widely expected following recent media reports, Yahoo (YHOO) agreed to sell its core internet businesses to Verizon (VZ) for $4.83B. The sale does not include Yahoo's cash, its shares in Alibaba Group (BABA), its shares in Yahoo Japan (YAHOY), and Yahoo's non-core patents - called the Excalibur portfolio. In an email she sent to staff made public after today's announcement, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said she's "planning to stay," adding that she loves the company and wants to "see Yahoo into its next chapter." However, media reports have wondered how long she may stay with the company and management of Verizon did not explicitly offering any backing for Mayer in their statements and press appearances. Yahoo shares finished 2.7% lower at $38.32 following the deal confirmation, while Verizon slipped 0.4%... In other M&A news, Outerwall (OUTR), owner of the Redbox brand of DVD rental kiosks, agreed to be bought by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management (APO) $52 per share in cash. Also, AMC Theatres (AMC) announced that it has entered into an amended agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) for $33.06 per share in cash and stock. The "best and final" offer is $3.06 per share, or about 10%, higher than the previous offer, which had been pushed back against by a number of Carmike's shareholders... Shares of Apple (AAPL) slid 1.3% to $97.34 after BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis downgraded the stock to Sell from Hold ahead of the iPhone maker's earnings report tomorrow night. Gillis, who cut his price target for the tech giant's shares to $85 from $110, cited risk that the upgrade rate for the next iPhone may slow even more than the upgrade rate for the 6S. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Sprint (S), which advanced 27.7% after the company reported quarterly results. Also higher were NeoPhotonics (NPTN), Lumentum (LITE) and Oclaro (OCLR), which all rose after Needham analyst Alex Henderson upgraded the stocks to Strong Buy from Buy as he believes the optical components sector is on the verge of a "super cycle." Additionally, Buffalo Wild wings (BWLD) gained 5.8% after activist investor Marcato Capital Management disclosed a new 5.1% stake in the company. Among the noteworthy losers was Santander Consumer (SC), which dropped 6% after the company announced it will delay the release of its second quarter financial results. Also lower was Deere (DE), which slipped 2.75% after Piper Jaffray analyst Brett Wong downgraded the stock to Underweight from Neutral, citing expectations that the current agriculture downturn is going to persist in 2017 for a fourth consecutive year. Wong also downgraded two other farm machinery makers, AGCO (AGCO) and CNH Industrial (CNHI), to Underweight from Neutral. Additionally, Roper Technologies (ROP) fell 5.8% after reporting worse-than-expected second quarter earnings per share and revenue. INDEXES: The Dow fell 77.79, or 0.42%, to 18,493.06, the Nasdaq lost 2.53, or 0.05%, to 5,097.63, and the S&P 500 declined 6.55, or 0.3%, to 2,168.48.