6:06 pm Amgen confirmed the FDA approved AMJEVITA (Adalimumab-Atto) for treatment of seven inflammatory diseases (first biosimilar adalimumab approved)

6:31 pm First NBC Bank delays filing Quarterly Reports as ‘abundance of caution’ (FNBC) :

6:06 pm Amgen confirmed the FDA approved AMJEVITA (Adalimumab-Atto) for treatment of seven inflammatory diseases (first biosimilar adalimumab approved) (AMGN) : Co confirmed the FDA has approved AMJEVITA (adalimumab-atto) across all eligible indications of the reference product, Humira (adalimumab). AMJEVITA is the first adalimumab biosimilar approved by the FDA and has been approved for the treatment of seven inflammatory diseases, including moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis, moderate-to-severe polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis, adult moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease and moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis. AMJEVITA is Amgen’s first biosimilar to receive regulatory approval.

5:42 pm Unilife Corporation received NASDAQ delinquency letter relating to 2016 Form 10-K (as expected); intends to file both 10-Q and 10-K in advance of Nov 7 deadline (UNIS) : The NASDAQ letter, which is dated September 19, 2016, requires the Company to submit to NASDAQ an update to the Original Compliance Plan no later than October 4, 2016, which update must include the Company’s plans to file the Form 10-K and indicate the progress the Company has made towards implementing the Original Compliance Plan. The Company currently intends to file both the Form 10-Q and the Form 10-K in advance of expiration of the November 7, 2016 deadline. The NASDAQ letter has no immediate effect on the listing of the Company’s common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market.

5:02 pm Flowers Foods prices $ 400 mln of 3.500% senior notes due 2026 (FLO) : The Notes will bear interest at a rate of 3.500% per annum and will mature on October 1, 2026. The offering is expected to close on September 28, 2016, subject to customary closing conditions. The company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay debt outstanding under the company’s existing term loan facilities and the balance, if any, of the net proceeds for general corporate purposes.

4:48 pm KaloBios Pharma confirms it is now current on SEC periodic filings (filed outstanding reports for 2016 first and second quarters) (KBIO) : KaloBios emerged from bankruptcy on June 30, 2016, with new management and a transformational strategy, including its Responsible Pricing Model.

4:44 pm Peapack-Gladstone Financial appointed Francesco Rossi, Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer of the Company and the Bank (PGC) : Rossi began his career with KPMG, spending five years focused on the audit of financial institutions. He then joined Sound Federal Savings Bank of New York, spending five years as Vice President, Controller, until the Bank was merged into Hudson City Bank of New Jersey. Frank then spent 10 years with Hudson City Bank, for his last 18 months with the Company, until its merger into M&T Bank (MTB).

4:43 pm Freeport-McMoRan extends consent solicitations to September 28 unless further extended or earlier terminated (FCX) : Co extended the expiration date for their previously announced solicitation of consents from holders of their outstanding 6.125% Senior Notes due 2019, 6.50% Senior Notes due 2020, 6.625% Senior Notes due 2021, 6.75% Senior Notes due 2022, and 6.875% Senior Notes due 2023 to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on September 28, 2016, unless further extended or earlier terminated.

4:33 pm eXp World Holdings appointed Russ Cofano as its President and General Counsel, effective immediately (EXPI) : Prior to being appointed President and General Counsel of eXp World Holdings, Inc., Cofano was the Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel dating back to July 29, 2016. Jason Gesing, who previously served in the role of President of eXp World Holdings, will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer of eXp Realty.

4:32 pm Alliant Energy announces the retirement of CFO Tom Hanson effective Dec 31, will be succeeded by Robert Durian (LNT) : Durian was previously named Treasurer earlier this year.

4:31 pm Sunshine Heart announces receipt of Nasdaq Staff Determination for bid price requirement ; to request hearing (SSH) : The Company is diligently working on its plan to demonstrate compliance with the continued listing requirements, and will provide a further update when relevant information becomes available. There can be no assurance that the Panel will determine to continue the Company’s listing or that the Company will be able to evidence compliance with the applicable listing criteria within the period of time that may be granted by the Panel.

4:31 pm Allergan confirms FDA approval of Natrelle Inspira cohesive breast implants (AGN) : Natrelle Inspira cohesive breast implants offer women undergoing reconstruction, augmentation, or revision surgery a new breast shaping option that combines a high gel fill ratio and Allergan’s cohesive gel for a customized result.

4:28 pm AMN Healthcare Services prices/increases previously announced private offering of senior notes due 2024 (AHS) : Co priced its previously announced private offering of senior notes due 2024 and increased the offering size from $ 300 mln to $ 325 mln – will bear an interest rate of 5.125% per annum and will be issued at 100.00% of their face value. Co intends to use the proceeds from the private offering to (i) repay (1) $ 138.4 mln of certain existing term loan indebtedness under the Company’s credit facilities, and (2) $ 182.5 mln under the revolving portion of its credit facilities and (ii) pay fees and expenses related to the offering.

4:22 pm Thomson Reuters to purchase up to 6.5 mln shares through private agreements with two arm’s-length third-party sellers (TRI) :

  • Any shares purchased under these agreements will count towards the existing normal course issuer bid, which allows it to buy back up to 37.5 mln common shares between May 30, 2016 and May 29, 2017.
  • These private agreement purchases are part of the company’s plan announced in February 2016 to purchase up to an additional US$ 1.5 billion of its common shares.

4:19 pm Brinker confirms it entered into a $ 300 mln ASR agreement (previously said offering proceeds to used to repurchase up to $ 300 mln of the common stock) (EAT) : The Company will acquire shares under the ASR Agreement as part of its previously announced share repurchase program. Pursuant to the terms of the ASR Agreement, the Company will pay BofA $ 300 million in cash and will initially receive approximately [4.6] million shares of the common stock. Final settlement of the ASR Agreement is expected to be completed by the end of the Company’s 2017 fiscal third quarter. The Company expects to continue to repurchase shares in the open market from time to time, subject to market and other conditions.

4:11 pm Closing Market Summary: Averages Settle Lower as Apple and Oil Weigh (:WRAPX) :

The stock market ended an upbeat week on a lower note as the major averages pulled back from their recent risk rally. Other factors impacting today’s trade included a downturn in crude oil futures and the underperformance of the heavyweight industrial (-0.6%), financial (-0.7%), and technology (-1.0%) sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.7%) finished behind both the S&P 500 (-0.6%) and the Nasdaq Composite (-0.6%). The three indices added between 0.8% and 1.2% for the week.

Equity indices stumbled at the start of the session as investors looked to lock in some profits in the wake of the recent Fed-induced rally. The Federal Reserve spurred risk appetite on Wednesday by voting to leave its key policy rate unchanged. The central bank also lowered the median projection for the fed funds rate for the years ahead. Diminished rate hike expectations eased market concerns over the potential sooner-than-expected removal of policy accommodations.

The broader market extended its loss near midday as the commodity complex came under pressure. Commodities were in focus as participants pored over proposed rule changes designed to limit the physical commodity activities of financial holding companies. Specifically, the Federal Reserve proposed strengthening existing capital requirements and quantitative limits on such companies.

Participants also expressed some misgivings about next week’s OPEC meeting. Reports indicated that Saudi Arabia does not expect to make a production decision at this meeting. Separately, Russia indicated that it would not join plans with other oil producers until OPEC agreed on a supply agreement between its own members. The oil collective is scheduled to meet in Algiers, Algeria between September 26 and September 28. WTI crude ended the day lower by 3.9% ($ 44.53/bbl; -$ 1.80), but still finished the week up 3.5%.

The benchmark index settled near its session low after failing to reclaim technical support in the area of its 50-day simple moving average (2169). Nine sectors ended in the red with industrials (-0.6%), financials (-0.7%), technology (-1.0%), and energy (-1.3%) rounding out the board. On the flipside, defensively-oriented real estate (+0.3%) and telecom services (+0.4%) finished with the only gains.

The heavily-weighted technology sector (-1.0%) underperformed as large cap components Facebook (FB 127.96, -2.12) and Apple (AAPL 112.71, -1.91) weighed. Facebook was under pressure after reports indicated that the company overstated video ad view times to advertisers. Meanwhile, top-weighted Apple fell 1.6% after GfK stated that launch weekend iPhone sales fell approximately 25.0% year-over-year. Recall that the Dow component rallied 11.4% in the prior week on the heels of some bullish revisions to iPhone sales estimates. Separately, Salesforce.com (CRM 70.39, -4.20) fell 5.6% after reports speculated that the company may attempt to acquire Twitter (TWTR 22.62, +3.99). Alphabet (GOOG 786.90, -0.31) was also mentioned as a potential suitor in the CNBC report. 

In the financial sector (-0.7%), investment brokerages and asset management names underperformed after the Federal Reserve released the proposed changes for holding companies. BlackRock (BLK 365.65, -8.22) and Franklin Resources (BEN 35.19, -0.87) ended lower by 2.2% and 2.4%, respectively. The broader sector gained 0.8% this week, but sports a month-to-date loss of 2.6%. This compares to a loss of 0.3% in the benchmark index. 

Retail names demonstrated relative strength in the consumer discretionary space (-0.2%). Gap (GPS 22.62, +0.04) and L Brands (LB 75.20, +0.92) finished higher by 0.2% and 1.2%, respectively. On the flipside, athletic retailer Finish Line (FINL 22.75, -1.24) weighed as in-line earnings and a reaffirmed full-year outlook failed to impress investors.

Treasuries ended on a mostly higher note with the short end of the curve outperforming. The yield on the 2-yr note finished lower by two basis points (0.76%) while the yield on the 10-yr note finished flat (1.62%).

Today’s participation was below the recent average as fewer than 804 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.

There was no economic data of note released today. 

Monday’s economic data will be limited to the New Home Sales Report for August (Briefing.com consensus 585k), which will be released at 10:00 ET. 

  • Russell 2000: +10.6% YTD
  • Nasdaq: +6.0% YTD
  • S&P 500: +5.9% YTD
  • Dow Jones: +4.8% YTD

Week in Review: Stocks Climb After Fed Holds

The stock market registered its second consecutive weekly gain with the S&P 500 climbing 1.2%. Thanks to the rally, the index is back to little changed for the month of September (-0.3%).

The advance in the market was broad-based as most sectors gained at least 0.4% for the week. Rate-sensitive sectors like real estate and utilities both advanced more than 3.0% for the week while energy (+0.1%) and technology (+0.4%) were the only two that failed to climb more than 1.0%. The underperformance in the technology sector masked a 20.0%+ spike in the shares of Twitter (TWTR) after CNBC reported that Salesforce (CRM) and Alphabet (GOOG) have expressed interest in the social media site.

Equity indices retreated early in the week, but buyers piled back into stocks after Wednesday’s FOMC announcement called for no change to monetary policy once again. In addition to holding off on the next hike, the FOMC lowered its median policy rate projections for 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, the Fed statement was not unequivocally dovish, revealing three dissenting votes at the September meeting.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen discussed the FOMC decision, suggesting that a rate hike could take place in December. However, rate hike expectations, as expressed by the fed funds futures market, did not change much from last week. In fact, they receded a bit as the implied likelihood of a December hike ticked down to 54.2% from 55.5% at the end of last week.

3:53 pm Bombardier and China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation sign strategic agreement to expand and deepen their relationship (BDRBF) :  

2:55 pm Floor Talk: Cooling Off (:TALKX) :

The major indices started today’s session on a defensive note, paced mostly by a profit-taking bid after the mini-bender the stock market went on following the latest FOMC meeting.  The ability to bounce back from that initial selling pressure, however, has been impeded by several factors today that have led to a cooling-off period for the market:

  • A sharp reversal in oil prices ($ 44.48, -$ 1.84, -4.0%)
    • Reports indicated that Saudi Arabia pooh-poohed the idea of any production cap agreement happening at next week’s OPEC meeting.  
    • New rules proposed by the Federal Reserve, which would strengthen existing requirements and limitations on the physical commodities activities of financial holding companies, were also deemed a negative development
  • Reports indicated that Saudi Arabia pooh-poohed the idea of any production cap agreement happening at next week’s OPEC meeting.  
  • New rules proposed by the Federal Reserve, which would strengthen existing requirements and limitations on the physical commodities activities of financial holding companies, were also deemed a negative development
  • Weakness in shares of Apple (AAPL 112.87, -1.75, -1.5%) following a market research report suggesting iPhone 7 sales have been weak.  That report has run counter to other reports last week from mobile carriers highlighting record pre-orders.
  • Facebook (FB 127.96, -2.12, -1.6%) has been a high-profile, large-cap laggard throughout the day following the news that the company overestimated video average viewing time
  • Renewed frustration over the seesaw communication from Fed officials
    • Boston Fed President Rosengren, who cast a dissenting vote at this week’s meeting, reiterated his belief that the time is now for a rate hike to get in front of the economy and asset prices overheating
    • Dallas Fed President Kaplan (an FOMC voter in 2017) said the economy is not overheating and that the Fed can afford to be patient in raising rates
  • Boston Fed President Rosengren, who cast a dissenting vote at this week’s meeting, reiterated his belief that the time is now for a rate hike to get in front of the economy and asset prices overheating
  • Dallas Fed President Kaplan (an FOMC voter in 2017) said the economy is not overheating and that the Fed can afford to be patient in raising rates

It probably hasn’t been lost on today’s participants either that the first presidential debate is on Monday.  It should be entertaining — and perhaps not in a good way — but some political angst ahead of that debate has likely tempered the interest level of buy-the-dip proponents today.

2:51 pm Hess prices offer to purchase outstanding 8.125% notes due 2019 for $ 1,154.64 for each $ 1,000 principal amount of notes tendered (HES) : Initial principle amount is $ 1 bln; repurchase yield is 1.488%; reference yield is 0.888%; total consideration is $ 1,154.64.

2:17 pm Rio Tinto completes sale of 74% interest in Zululand Anthracite Colliery for an undisclosed sum (RIO) : ZAC, an underground mine in Zululand, South Africa, produces anthracite for international and domestic customers and has more than 1,300 employees and contractors. The remaining 26% of ZAC will continue to be held by its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment partner, Maweni Mining Consortium Pty.

1:27 pm Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen: Medivir (MVRBF) announces that updated interim phase IIa data showing the combination of simeprevir, odalasvir, & AL-335 has a high level of efficacy in HCV patients was presented at the European Association for the Study of the Liver Special Conference (JNJ) :

  • The data show that 100% of patients receiving treatment for as short as six weeks with a triple combination of once-daily simeprevir 75mg and AL-335 800mg with 50mg every other day of ODV achieved a sustained viral response 12 weeks after the completion of treatment.
  • In all of these cohorts, the dosing regimens were generally well-tolerated. The majority of adverse events were mild and the most commonly reported events were headache, fatigue, and upper respiratory tract infection. As previously reported in the abstract, there was one serious adverse event in cohort 1 that resulted in premature discontinuation of all study drugs. This consisted of a Mobitz Type 1 2nd degree atrioventricular block and was deemed probably related to ODV and possibly related to AL-335 and simeprevir. The event was not associated with clinical or echocardiographic abnormalities, did not require any therapeutic intervention, resolved following treatment discontinuation, and the patient went on to achieve SVR24. No clinically significant laboratory, echocardiography, or ECG abnormalities were reported.
  • Based on the interim data from this study, the triple combination of simeprevir 75mg QD, odalasvir 25mg QD and AL-335 400mg QD has been selected for further development.
    • The development program for the triple combination will include a multi-center, randomized, open-label study that will enroll treatment-naive and treatment-experienced non-cirrhotic patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus genotypes 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. In addition, the ongoing phase IIa study is assessing the triple combination in patients with or without compensated cirrhosis, and with HCV genotype 3 infection.
  • The development program for the triple combination will include a multi-center, randomized, open-label study that will enroll treatment-naive and treatment-experienced non-cirrhotic patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus genotypes 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. In addition, the ongoing phase IIa study is assessing the triple combination in patients with or without compensated cirrhosis, and with HCV genotype 3 infection.

1:21 pm Citigroup completes sale of Financial Reassurance Company 2010 to subsidiary of Munchener Ruckversicherungs-Gesellschaft Aktiengesellschaft; terms not disclosed (C) : Transaction resulted in reduction of about $ 460 mln of assets from Citi’s balance sheet.

1:09 pm Midday Market Summary: Stocks Edge Lower with Oil in Focus (:WRAPX) :

The stock market trades on a modestly lower note at midday as the major averages pull back at the end of an upbeat week. The recent risk rally stalled in the first half of today’s trade as the broader market puts the Fed’s September policy statement in the rear-view mirror. The S&P 500 (-0.4%) trades neck-and-neck with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.4%) and slightly behind the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%). The three indices have gained between 1.1% and 1.5% so far this week.

Equity indices began the day on a lower note as global markets pulled back from their Fed-induced risk rally. The Federal Reserve boosted risk appetite on Wednesday after opting to leave its key policy rate unchanged at the September policy meeting. The central bank also lowered the median projection for the fed funds rate for the coming years. Similar to the U.S., equity markets in Europe and Asia also retreated today, giving back a portion of post-FOMC gains. 

The major averages extended their losses around midday, falling lockstep with crude oil futures. The energy component was under pressure after the Federal Reserve released a copy of a proposed rule that would restrict financial holding companies trading activities in regards to physical commodities. Particularly, the proposed rule would impose stricter capital requirements and tighter quantitative limits. Next week’s OPEC meeting has also been in focus as reports indicated that Russia would not join plans with other oil producers until OPEC agrees on a supply pact among its own members. Producers will meet in Algiers, Algeria between September 26 and September 28 to discuss potential supply control measures. WTI crude currently trades lower by 3.8% ($ 44.55/bbl, -$ 1.77).

The benchmark index hovers near its session low as financials (-0.5%), industrials (-0.5%), technology (-0.5%), and energy (-1.5%) act as notable laggards.

The influential technology sector (-0.5%) underperforms despite an influx of M&A speculation. Salesforce.com (CRM 70.72, -3.87) has declined 5.2% after reports speculated that the company could be interested in acquiring social media name Twitter (TWTR 22.23, +3.60). Separately, headlines indicated that either IBM (IBM 155.27, -0.87) or Cisco Systems (CSCO 31.38, -0.27) could acquire Imperva (IMPV 52.78, +9.39).

Investment brokerages and asset management companies underperform in the financial sector (-0.5%) as Dow component Goldman Sachs (GS 165.56, -2.46) rounds out the price-weighted index. The broader sector has been under pressure following the release of the proposed commodity rule change. Conversely, Wells Fargo (WFC 45.74, +0.02) has ticked higher by 0.1%. 

In the consumer discretionary space (-0.1%), retail names demonstrate relative strength, evidenced by the 0.1% gain in the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 43.86, +0.05). Gap (GPS 22.77, +0.19) and L Brands (LB 75.68, +1.40) lead the group amid strength in apparel retailers. Conversely, athletic retailer Finish Line (FINL 22.77, -1.22) underperforms as in-line earnings and a reaffirmed full-year outlook fail to impress investors.

Treasuries tread water with yields little changed through the curve. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr note is lower by one basis point (1.61%).

There was no economic data of note released today.

1:01 pm Blue Bird has begun shipping its all-new, gasoline-powered Type C buses to customers and over 400 of these buses will be sold prior to its fiscal year end in September (BLBD) : Deliveries in fiscal year 2016 are approximately 300 units below the Company’s original volume goal, as was previously noted during the Company’s third quarter earnings conference call. The lower number of deliveries was largely the result of later-than-planned engine certification and delivery timing, which was after the critical school start window of August through mid-September.

12:53 pm Earnings Calendar for the week of September 26th (:SUMRX) :

Confirmed companies reporting earnings next week include:

  • Monday (September 26)
    • Pre-Market: CCL, CALM, MTN
    • After-Hours: SNX, THO
  • Pre-Market: CCL, CALM, MTN
  • After-Hours: SNX, THO
  • Tuesday (September 27)
    • Pre-Market: FDS, INFO, NEOG
    • After-Hours: NKE, CTAS, LNDC 
  • Pre-Market: FDS, INFO, NEOG
  • After-Hours: NKE, CTAS, LNDC 
  • Wednesday (September 28)
    • Pre-Market: PAYX, FGP, BBRY, ATU
    • After-Hours: PIR, PRGS
  • Pre-Market: PAYX, FGP, BBRY, ATU
  • After-Hours: PIR, PRGS
  • Thursday (September 29) 
    • Pre-Market: PEP, ACN, CAG, CMN
    • After-Hours: CAMP, COST  
  • Pre-Market: PEP, ACN, CAG, CMN
  • After-Hours: CAMP, COST  
  • Friday (September 30)
  • Pre-Market: MKC

12:26 pm Currency Commentary: DXY Bounces Back (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index has halted the post-Fed slide at the moment and moved back into the middle of the 95 range. It was a relatively quiet overnight session with a preliminary look at PMI numbers being the most notable economic number. The U.S. figure came in short of expectations but is not providing much of a direction to trade. The bounce is likely in response to the greenback basket holding the 95 area and seeing a bounce. The DXY hit 95.68, just two pips shy of the 50-sma but has not been able to find a bid above that level.
  • The euro is holding in the 1.12 area but is seeing some of its recent rally exhausted at 1.1250. PMI Data from the region was mixed. The manufacturing numbers were actually quite strong but the services figures came in short of expectations. The services will be an issue to watch as one has to wonder if the recent run of terrorist attacks is impacting the group. This could weigh in on the elections next year in Germany and France.
  • The pound was unable to hold the 1.30 level and slipped back to 1.2920 during European trade. It has bounced approx 50 pips off this area but 1.30 is setting up to be a daunting level of resistance at the moment.
  • The yen saw some weakening late last night as it was unable to break above the 100 level. The PMI number in Japan surprised to the high side, hitting its first +50 number since February driven by International demand for exports (BONDX, FOREX). 

12:15 pm Avnet confirmed Premier Farnell deal cleared in Israel (AVT) : Completion of the Acquisition remains subject to the satisfaction or (if capable of waiver) waiver of the remaining Conditions to the Acquisition including EU merger control clearances, the sanction of the Scheme by the Court on or before 29 November 2016.

12:12 pm Sector Summary: Industrials trade lower than the broader market (:SUMRX) :

The Industrials sector (XLI) is trading 0.5% lower today, lower than the broader market (SPY -0.3%). In the industrial sector, Suez Environment (SZEVY -1.4%) recieves a 389 mln contract to build and operate the desalination plant in Rosarito, and General Dynamics (GD -0.6%) receives a $ 430 mln contract from U.S. Census Bureau. 

Earnings/Guidance

  • Air Corp (Air +4.1%) reports Q1 earnings of $ 0.29 per share vs. the $ 0.26 consensus. Revenues rose 4.7% y/y to $ 404.8 mln vs the $ 392.9 mln Capital IQ Consensus. Co reaffirms FY17 guidance, previously announced on September 7th. On September 7th, co guided for mid-single digit sales growth and 20%-25% EPS growth, driven by growth in its Aviation Services business and improved results in its Expeditionary Services operations — consensus called for 4% sales growth and 8% EPS growth at the time. Co reaffirms FY17 EPS guidance of $ 1.30-1.40 vs. $ 1.36 Capital IQ Consensus; FY17 revs of $ 1.7-1.8 bln vs. $ 1.76 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Enphase Energy (ENPH -26.4%) reduces ~11% of its global workforce and eliminates certain non-core projects. The Company expects to incur aggregate restructuring charges in the third quarter of 2016 of ~$ 3.0 mln, including approximately $ 1.7 million in cash-based severance and related benefits, and approximately $ 1.3 mln in non-cash expense for asset impairments and write-offs related to property and equipment. For Q3, co expects revenue to be in a range of $ 87 mln to $ 93 mln vs. $ 89.07 mln Capital IQ Consensus, and GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin to be within a range of 17% to 20%. For Q4, co expects revenue to bin a range of $ 90 mln to $ 100 mln vs. $ 91.93 mln Capital IQ Consensus, and GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin to be within a range of 16% to 20%.
  • Oshkosh (OSK -8.6%) issues upside guidance for FY16 and sees EPS in the range of $ 2.85-3.00 (from $ 2.60-2.80), excluding non-recurring items, vs. the $ 2.78 consensus Estimate. Co sees FY16 revs of $ 6.1-6.2 bln (from $ 6.0-6.1 bln) vs. the $ 6.1 bln consensus Estimate. Co also issues guidance for FY17 and sees EPS in the range of $ 3.00-3.40, excluding non-recurring items, vs. the $ 3.61 consensus. Co sees FY17 revenues of $ 6.5-6.7 bln vs. the $ 6.66 bln consensus.
  • EnerNOC (ENOC +2.7%) reaffirms previously issued Q3 and full-year financial guidance. For Q3, co expects EPS to be between $ 0.00-0.24 vs. the $ 0.15 consensus, co expects revenues to be between $ 141-161 mln vs. the $ 157.83 consensus. For FY16, co expects EPS to be between ($ 2.95) to ($ 2.60) vs. the ($ 2.44) consensus. Co expects revenues to be between $ 370-400 mln vs. the $ 384.56 mln consensus.

News

  • Suez Environment (SZEVY -1.4%) strengthens its presence in Mexico with the contract to build and operate the desalination plant in Rosarito. The contract is worth a total of 389 million for SUEZ.
  • General Dynamics (GD -0.6%) receives $ 430 mln contract from U.S. Census Bureau to provide contact-center systems and operations support for the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Census Questionnaire Assistance (:CQA) program.

Broker Research

Upgrades

  • BofA/Merrill upgrades Copart (CRPT +1.5%) to Buy from Neutral, and raises their price target to $ 63 from $ 52.
  • Buckingham Research upgrades Allegiant Travel (ALGT +2.4%) to Buy from Neutral.
  • Sidoti upgrades Hyster-Yale (HY +9%) to Buy from Neutral.
  • Hearing OTR Global upgrades United Rentals (URI +0.8%) to Positive from Mixed.

Downgrades

  • Barrington Research downgrades Copart (CPRT +1.5%) to Mkt Perform from Outperform following Tuesday’s earnings. Firm believes ASPs in the quarter were up sequentially and y/y driven in part by increases in scrap pricing in Q4/16 that totaled increased 29% versus the prior-year period, according to American Recycler, while the Manheim Used Car Index for the quarter was flat y/y.

Other

  • Imperial Capital initiates Virgin America (VA -1.5%) as In-line and a $ 57 price target.
  • Imperial Capital initiates Alaska Air (ALK -0.8%) as in-line and a $ 74 price target.
  • Stifel raises Quanta Services (PWR +1.8%) target to $ 32.50 from $ 28. Firm notes that last week, they were fortunate to host Quanta’s CEO, Duke Austin, CFO Derrick Jensen, and IR Kip Rupp, for investor meetings in Europe. The tone of the meetings was upbeat and we came away with increased confidence that co should meet 2H16 guidance, driven by meaningful acceleration in large diameter pipeline construction.
  • RBC notes Bloomberg is reporting that there could be several bidders for Imperva (IMPV +22.3%) including CSCO, IBM and Forcepoint, which is backed by RTN and Vista Equity Partners.
  • BofA/Merrill resumes Owens Corning (OC +2.5%) with a neutral and a $ 59 price target.
  • BofA/Merrill resumes Armstrong World Industries (AWI -1.2%) with an Underperform and a $ 38 price target.
  • BofA/Merrill initiates USG (USG +4%) with a Buy and a $ 36 price target.
  • BofA/Merrill initiates Fortune Brands Home & Security (FBHS +0.8%) with a Buy and a $ 70 price target.
  • Canaccord Genuity resumes SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG +3.9%) and LSI Industries (LYTS +2.3%) with a Buy.
  • BofA/Merrill resumes Masco (MAS +0.5%) with a Buy and a $ 41 price target.

12:11 pm Gridsum opens for trading at $ 15.25 after upsized pricing IPO at $ 13 (GSUM) :  

12:00 pm Office Depot received an irrevocable offer from Aurelius Rho Invest DS GmbH to acquire the co’s European business operations; transaction is expected to close by fiscal year end (ODP) :

  • On September 23, 2016, the co announced that it has received an irrevocable offer from Aurelius Rho Invest DS GmbH, a subsidiary of The AURELIUS Group (the “Purchaser”), to acquire the Company’s European business operations. The annual revenue for the OD European Business is approximately 2 billion. The transaction is structured as an equity sale, for nominal consideration, with the Purchaser acquiring the OD European Business with its assets and liabilities. The Purchaser has provided the offer to Office Depot Foreign Holdings LP, LLC and Office Depot Foreign Holdings, wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Company, to purchase the OD European Business on the terms and subject to the conditions set out in a form of sale and purchase agreement agreed among Office Depot Foreign Holdings, the Company and the Purchaser.
  • Upon completion of the consultation with the central works council, which represents employees of the OD European Business in France, Office Depot Foreign Holdings will have an option (exercisable solely in the discretion of Office Depot Foreign Holdings) to enter into a definitive sale and purchase agreement (the “SPA”) with the Purchaser providing for the sale of the OD European Business. If the option is not exercised by Office Depot Foreign Holdings within the prescribed time period, or if Office Depot Foreign Holdings fails to participate in the consultation process, a 5 million fee will be payable by Office Depot Foreign Holdings to the Purchaser. Agreed terms in the SPA include provisions: (i) that the transaction will be subject to the receipt of antitrust clearance (or expiration of the relevant waiting period) of the European Commission (which the Purchaser must use its best endeavors to satisfy as soon as possible); and (ii) pertaining to certain indemnities and undertakings from the Company and Office Depot Foreign Holdings and the Purchaser.
  • Office Depot had previously disclosed its intention to explore strategic alternatives regarding its European business, under a process that began earlier this year.

11:54 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK’s FTSE: 0.0%
  • Germany’s DAX: -0.4%
  • France’s CAC: -0.5%
  • Spain’s IBEX: -1.3%
  • Portugal’s PSI: -0.8%
  • Italy’s MIB Index: -1.1%
  • Irish Ovrl Index: -0.6%
  • Greece ASE General Index: + 0.3%

11:52 am Novartis AG receives three new FDA approvals for the expanded use of Ilaris treating rare Periodic Fever Syndrome conditions (NVS) : Ilaris is the first and only FDA approved biologic treatment for Tumor Necrosis Factor-Receptor Associated Periodic Syndrome (:TRAPS), Hyperimmunoglobulin D Syndrome (:HIDS)/Mevalonate Kinase Deficiency (:MKD) and Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF). All three conditions are part of a group of rare autoinflammatory diseases called Periodic Fever Syndromes, which are also referred to as Hereditary Periodic Fevers (HPF). The most common syndrome is FMF, which mainly affects people of Eastern Mediterranean ancestry. It affects 1 in 250 to 1 in 1,000 individuals in these populations, many of whom are children.

11:51 am Achillion Pharma’s Odalasvir shows potential to shorten the treatment duration to as little as six weeks in study results; No clinically significant laboratory, echocardiography, or ECG abnormalities were reported (shares halted) (ACHN) :

Results from the phase 2 study being conducted by Alios BioPharma Inc., part of the Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies were reported at the European Association for the Study of the Liver (:EASL) Special Conference in Paris, France.

  • Odalasvir has continued to show that it has the potential to shorten the treatment duration to as little as six weeks in combination with other direct acting antivirals for the treatment of HCV,” commented Dr. Milind Deshpande, president and chief executive officer of Achillion. “We now look forward to seeing confirmation of these impressive data in Janssen’s global development program.”
  • In all of these cohorts, the dosing regimens were generally well-tolerated. The majority of adverse events (AEs) were mild and the most commonly reported events were headache, fatigue, and upper respiratory tract infection. As previously reported in the abstract, there was one serious adverse event (:SAE) in cohort 1 that resulted in premature discontinuation of all study drugs. This consisted of a Mobitz Type 1 2nd degree atrioventricular block and was deemed probably related to ODV and possibly related to AL-335 and simeprevir. The event was not associated with clinical or echocardiographic abnormalities, did not require any therapeutic intervention, resolved following treatment discontinuation, and the patient went on to achieve SVR24. No clinically significant laboratory, echocardiography, or ECG abnormalities (except the SAE) were reported.
  • Results showed — 100% of patients receiving treatment for as short as six weeks with a triple combination of once-daily (:QD) AL-335 800mg and simeprevir (:SMV) 75mg with 50mg every other day (:QOD) of ODV achieved a sustained viral response 12 weeks after the completion of treatment (SVR12).
    • Also, of the GT1 non-cirrhotic patients that received the triple combination of ODV, AL-335, and simeprevir 100 percent remained HCV RNA undetectable at SVR12 and all patients in cohort 1 achieved SVR24 (i.e., cohorts 1, 3, and 4; N=60, 20/cohort). Cohort 1 evaluated the triple combination of ODV (50mg QD), AL-335 (400mg QD) and simeprevir (100mg QD) for eight weeks, while cohorts 3 & 4 assessed ODV (50 mg QOD), AL-335 (800 mg QD), and SMV (75 mg QD) for eight and six weeks, respectively. In cohort 2, which assessed the dual combination of ODV (50mg QOD) and AL-335 (800mg QD) for eight weeks, 90 percent of subjects achieved SVR12 (N=20).
  • Also, of the GT1 non-cirrhotic patients that received the triple combination of ODV, AL-335, and simeprevir 100 percent remained HCV RNA undetectable at SVR12 and all patients in cohort 1 achieved SVR24 (i.e., cohorts 1, 3, and 4; N=60, 20/cohort). Cohort 1 evaluated the triple combination of ODV (50mg QD), AL-335 (400mg QD) and simeprevir (100mg QD) for eight weeks, while cohorts 3 & 4 assessed ODV (50 mg QOD), AL-335 (800 mg QD), and SMV (75 mg QD) for eight and six weeks, respectively. In cohort 2, which assessed the dual combination of ODV (50mg QOD) and AL-335 (800mg QD) for eight weeks, 90 percent of subjects achieved SVR12 (N=20).

11:47 am Veracyte presents data demonstrating potential to enhance Afirma Gene Expression Classifier using an RNA sequencing platform (VCYT) :

  • Co announced new data suggesting the potential to enhance the performance of the Afirma Gene Expression Classifier in thyroid cancer diagnosis by combining the test’s proven RNA expression-based capabilities with gene variant and fusion information — all on a single, robust RNA sequencing platform. Such enhancements could help to further reduce the number of patients who undergo unnecessary surgery when their thyroid nodules are not clearly benign or cancerous following routine cytopathology evaluation.
  • Veracyte scientists presented the findings today in a poster session. Six additional posters are being presented at the ATA meeting by external researchers and underscore the Afirma GEC’s role as a new standard of care in thyroid cancer diagnosis. In the Veracyte study, company researchers used RNA from 88 thyroid nodule patient samples for which a surgical pathology diagnosis was known to train (with 58 samples) and test (with 30 samples) an enhanced version of the Afirma GEC. Using advanced machine-learning techniques, Veracyte leveraged an RNA sequencing platform to combine the genomic test’s RNA gene expression-based algorithm with gene variant and fusion information. The result was an enriched classifier that yielded an overall area under curve (:AUC) of 0.88, with a sensitivity of 93 percent and a specificity of 80 percent.

11:01 am General Dynamics receives $ 430 mln contract from U.S. Census Bureau (GD) :

  • Under the terms of the agreement, GD will provide contact-center systems and operations support for the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Census Questionnaire Assistance (:CQA) program.  
  • The single-award contract has a value of ~$ 430 mln over five years.

10:30 am Merck KGaA appoints Isabel De Paoli as Chief Strategy Officer (MKGAY) :

  • Co announced that Isabel De Paoli has been appointed Chief Strategy Officer effective Oct. 1, 2016.
  • She will assume the new role in addition to her current position as Head of Group Communications for the time being and continue to report to Stefan Oschmann, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

10:30 am AC Immune opens for trading at $ 14.11 after pricing IPO at $ 11 (ACIU) :  

10:28 am Notable movers of interest: TWTR +21% on report that the co is moving closer to a sale (SCANX) :

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

  • TWTR (22.51 +20.83%): Shares pop on report it is moving closer to a sale.
  • COG (25.79 +0.84%): Raymond James upgrades to Strong Buy from Market Perform.

Large Cap Losers

  • BSMX (8.41 -4.21%): Goldman Sachs downgrades to Sell from Neutral.
  • CRM (72.02 -3.45%): Shares drop following report that the co is interested in acquiring Twitter (TWTR).

Mid Cap Gainers

  • ENDP (22.92 +13.13%): Names Paul Campanelli as CEO to succeed Rajiv De Silva, also affirms prior 3Q16 and FU16 guidance.
  • YELP (40.76 +5.98%): Washington Post details that a new bill in Congress might prohibit retribution for cautious views on Yelp and TripAdvisor (TRIP). 

Mid Cap Losers

  • OSK (53.49 -5.99%): Co guides FY17 EPS below consensus at Analyst Day.
  • MBT (7.85 -3.62%): Shares fall following Sistema Finance share sale. 

10:24 am Apptio opens for trading at $ 23.40 after pricing IPO at $ 16 (APTI) :  

10:01 am Masco increases quarterly dividend to $ 0.10 from $ 0.095/share (MAS) : Mgmt originally announced their intention to raise the dividend to $ 0.10 per share on a quarterly basis during the Q2 earnings report from July 26

9:56 am Valvoline opens for trading at $ 24.19 after pricing IPO at $ 22 (VVV) :  

9:49 am Oshkosh (-6%) testing 50 day moving averages after raising FY16 guidance, guiding FY17 below consensus at Analyst Day (OSK) :  

9:46 am Opening Market Summary: Biotechnology Outperforms at Open (:WRAPX) :

The stock market began the day on a modestly lower note as the S&P 500 (-0.2%) trades neck-and-neck with the Nasdaq Composite (-0.2%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%).

Nine sectors trade in the red with utilities (-0.6%) and real estate (-0.7%) leading to the downside. The remaining decliners sport losses between 0.1% (consumer discretionary) and 0.4% (technology). Conversely, energy (UNCHF) and health care (UNCHF) show minimal gains. 

In the consumer discretionary space (-0.1%), footwear retailers underperform as Finish Line (FINL 23.08, -0.91) trades lower by 3.8%. The stock is under pressure after reporting in-line bottom-line results and reaffirming its full-year outlook. Dow component Nike (NKE 55.11, -0.30) has moved lower in sympathy with the name, declining 0.5%.

Biotechnology trades ahead of the broader health care space (UNCHF), evidenced by the 0.4% gain in the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 301.07, +0.99).

On the commodities front, WTI crude trades lower by 0.3% ($ 46.20/bbl; -$ 0.12) while gold has ticked lower by 0.2% to $ 1,342.50/ozt.

9:43 am Imperva leading cybersecurity stocks higher (HACK +1%) on report of multiple interested suitors… co put itself up for sale this summer (IMPV) : IMPV +20.83% 1.71B; CYBR +3.29% 1.76B; FTNT +2.23% 6.42B; FEYE +1.79% 2.5B; CUDA +1.31% 1.31B; RPD +1.15% 743M; PFPT +0.93% 3.23B; HACK +1.1%; PANW +0.47% 13.7B

9:29 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Hill International (HIL) announces that the co, in association with principal sub consultant CH2M, has received a contract from Valley Metro Rail operating in the cities of Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa to provide professional consulting services for program management and construction management. The five-year contract has an estimated value to Hill of ~$ 55.0 mln.
  • Philip Morris International (PM) inaugurates its first manufacturing facility for large scale production of two heated tobacco alternatives to cigarettes. The announcement was made at an event at the factory in the presence of the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The initial annual production capacity of the factory will be ~30 bln units.
  • Intertape Polymer Group (ITPOF) enters into an automatic share purchase plan pursuant to which the securities dealer acting as IPG’s agent for the normal course issuer bid may acquire, at its discretion, shares on IPG’s behalf during “black-out” or “closed” periods under the stock trading policy, subject to certain parameters as to price and number of shares.
  • IBM (IBM) and China UnionPay E-payment Research Institute confirm collaborative project on loyalty bonus points exchange among multiple banks using blockchain technology.
  • Randstad North America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding (RANJY) announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary Merlin Global Acquisition has extended its previously announced tender offer for any and all outstanding shares of common stock of Monster Worldwide (MWW) at a price of $ 3.40 per share in cash, without interest thereon and less any applicable withholding taxes. Now scheduled to expire on October 28, 2016 (previously scheduled to expire on October).
  • iHeartMedia (IHRT) announces that it is reinventing live radio with the launch of its two new subscription services — iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access — set to debut in January 2017 (P, SIRI).

9:19 am S&P futures vs fair value: -4.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.40. (:WRAPX) :

The stock market is on track for a modestly lower start as the S&P 500 futures float four points below fair value.

Equity futures pulled back overnight as the post-Fed rally lost some steam. The Federal Reserve boosted global markets after voting to leave its key policy rate unchanged on Wednesday. Furthermore, the central bank lowered the median projection of the fed funds rate for the coming years. The diminished rate hike expectations eased market concerns as participants continue to express some misgivings over the potential removal of policy accommodations.

Several Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to speak today with Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester (an FOMC voter), Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker (not an FOMC voter), and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart (not an FOMC voter) each scheduled to offer remarks at 12:00 ET. Particularly, President Mester’s remarks will be in focus after she advocated for raising the policy rate at the September meeting.

In company specific news, Facebook (FB 127.00, -3.08) trades lower by 2.4% in pre-market after reports indicated that the company overstated viewing times associated with its video ads. Separately, Twitter (TWTR 21.67, +3.04) has spiked 16.3% after CNBC’s David Faber indicated that the company is moving closer to a potential sale.

There is no economic data of note scheduled to be released today.

9:18 am Suez Environment strengthens its presence in Mexico with the contract to build and operate the desalination plant in Rosarito; contract is worth a total of EUR 389 mln for SUEZ. (SZEVY) : SUEZ will be in charge of the construction of the plant in two phases and will participate to its operation for 37 years. The first construction phase, due to start in 2017, will enable the production of 190,000 m3 of drinking water per day by 2020. The second conditional phase will double the capacity of the plant to 380,000 m3 per day by 2024, making it the largest seawater desalination plant on the American continent. The construction contract is worth a total of 389 million for SUEZ.

9:16 am Enphase Energy prices 13 mln share underwritten public offering of common stock at $ 1.20/share for gross proceeds of about $ 15.6 mln (ENPH) : Certain directors, officers, and employees of Enphase are expected to purchase ~$ 1.2 mln of common stock in this offering.

9:16 am Microvision to sell up to $ 17.025 mln of common stock to Lincoln Park, who will immediately purchase $ 2.025 mln in shares of common stock at $ 1.50/share (MVIS) :

Under the terms of the agreement, Lincoln Park will immediately purchase $ 2.025 million in shares of common stock at a purchase price of $ 1.50.

  • In addition, for a period of 24 months, the Company has the right, at its sole discretion, to sell up to $ 15.0 million of additional common stock to Lincoln Park
  • Proceeds from any sales of stock will be used for general corporate purposes.

9:08 am Twitter up 17% premarket on report it is moving closer to a sale (TWTR) :

  • CNBC reports that no deal is imminent but Salesforce (CRM), Google (GOOG) are interested.
  • TWTR (+17% premarket) just surged over 20% to an eight month high premarket… ~9% of the float is sold short.
  • The stock had been down ~4% after RBC’s Mark Mahaney downgraded the stock to Underperform after a survey indicated less interest in the platform from advertisers.

9:06 am EnerNOC announces plan to restructure its Energy Intelligence Software biz, reaffirms Q3 & FY16 guidance (ENOC) :

  • “We remain confident that forces such as increasingly common mandates to report energy consumption, investor interest in sustainability, and pressure to reduce energy risk throughout the supply chain will drive a substantial long-term EIS market opportunity. That said, we are restructuring our subscription software business to focus on those customers who are ready to buy in the near-term, reducing some redundancies associated with our previous acquisition activity, and continuing to work to ensure that we have the best EIS solution in the industry. We will continue to invest in customer success, but by adjusting our investment to meet the current market demand, we’ll ensure that we’re in the strongest possible financial position as the market matures,” continued Healy.
  • The co expects to incur pre-tax cash charges of ~$ 3 mln to $ 4 mln primarily related to employee severance, benefits, and other restructuring expenses. In addition, total charges may also include non-cash charges or credits related to stock-based compensation and/or asset impairments, which the co is unable to reliably estimate at this time. The co anticipates that substantially all of these charges will be recognized during the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2016.
  • EnerNOC plans to provide additional details on the restructuring in conjunction with its upcoming third quarter earnings release in early Nov.
  • EnerNOC also announces that it is reaffirming its previously issued third quarter and full-year financial guidance.
    • Q3 EPS expected to be between $ 0.00-0.24 vs. $ 0.15 Capital IQ Consensus; revs expected to be between $ 141-161 mln vs. $ 157.83 Capital IQ Consensus
    • FY16 EPS expected to be between ($ 2.95) to ($ 2.60) vs. ($ 2.44) Capital IQ Consensus; revs expected to be between $ 370-400 mln vs. $ 384.56 mln Capital IQ Consensus
  • Q3 EPS expected to be between $ 0.00-0.24 vs. $ 0.15 Capital IQ Consensus; revs expected to be between $ 141-161 mln vs. $ 157.83 Capital IQ Consensus
  • FY16 EPS expected to be between ($ 2.95) to ($ 2.60) vs. ($ 2.44) Capital IQ Consensus; revs expected to be between $ 370-400 mln vs. $ 384.56 mln Capital IQ Consensus

9:03 am Hill International receives a contract from Valley Metro Rail; the five-year contract has an estimated value to Hill of approx. $ 55.0 million (HIL) : Valley Metro is responsible for the planning and operations of a regional bus system in Maricopa County, Arizona along with development and operations of the region’s high-capacity transit system, which currently includes 26 miles of light rail.

9:03 am Marriott announces cash change of control repurchase offers for Starwood’s (HOT) 7.150% senior notes due 2019 & 3.125% senior notes due 2023 (MAR) :  

8:59 am S&P futures vs fair value: -3.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.60. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures float four points below fair value. 

Equity indices across the Asia-Pacific region ended the week on a lower note. The final session of the week was fairly quiet, featuring narrow trading ranges. The dollar/yen pair trades higher by 0.1% (100.80) after the safe-haven currency flashed some strength earlier in the morning. Separately, reports from Reuters suggest Japan may take antitrust action against Apple.

  • In economic data:
    • Japan’s September Manufacturing PMI 50.3 (expected 49.3; last 49.5) and All Industries Activity Index +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.2%; last 1.0%)
    • Singapore’s August CPI -0.3% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.7%)
  • Japan’s September Manufacturing PMI 50.3 (expected 49.3; last 49.5) and All Industries Activity Index +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.2%; last 1.0%)
  • Singapore’s August CPI -0.3% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.7%)

—Equity Markets—

  • Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.3%, but gained 1.4% for the week. Eight sectors registered losses with financials (-2.0%) and utilities (-0.8%) showing relative weakness while health care (+0.5%) and energy (+0.9%) outperformed. Matsui Securities, Sony Financial Holdings, T&D Holdings, Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Credit Saison, Sumitomo Realty & Development lost between 2.4% and 7.8%.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.3%, narrowing its weekly gain to 1.5%. Financials ended among the laggards with ICBC, Bank of China, Ping An Insurance, BoC Hong Kong, and China Life Insurance lost between 1.4% and 2.8%.
  • China’s Shanghai Composite also surrendered 0.3%, ending the week higher by 1.0%. Deluxe Family, Rising Nonferrous Metals Share, Gemdale, and Chengdu Xuguang Electronics lost between 3.0% and 4.3%.

Major European indices trade lower across the board with Spain’s IBEX (-1.5%) showing relative weakness. Today’s selling comes after markets registered solid gains earlier in the week. The euro (1.1217) is little changed against the dollar while the pound (1.2953) has slumped 0.9% after British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson commented on the Brexit process, saying article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty could be triggered early next year.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone September Manufacturing PMI 52.6 (consensus 51.5; last 51.7) and September Services PMI 52.1 (expected 52.8; last 52.8)
    • Germany’s September Manufacturing PMI 54.3 (expected 53.1; last 53.6) and Services PMI 50.6 (consensus 52.1; last 51.7)
    • France’s September Manufacturing PMI 49.5 (consensus 48.4; last 48.3) and Services PMI 53.3 (expected 51.4; last 51.9). Separately, GDP -0.1% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.0%; last 0.0%)
    • Spain’s PPI -3.1% year-over-year (last -4.6%)
  • Eurozone September Manufacturing PMI 52.6 (consensus 51.5; last 51.7) and September Services PMI 52.1 (expected 52.8; last 52.8)
  • Germany’s September Manufacturing PMI 54.3 (expected 53.1; last 53.6) and Services PMI 50.6 (consensus 52.1; last 51.7)
  • France’s September Manufacturing PMI 49.5 (consensus 48.4; last 48.3) and Services PMI 53.3 (expected 51.4; last 51.9). Separately, GDP -0.1% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.0%; last 0.0%)
  • Spain’s PPI -3.1% year-over-year (last -4.6%)

—Equity Markets—

  • UK’s FTSE is lower by 0.1% with financials showing weakness while homebuilders outperform. RBS, Standard Chartered, Lloyds Banking, and Standard Life are down between 1.4% and 1.9%. On the flip side, Persimmon, Barratt Developments, and Taylor Wimpey are up between 1.0% and 1.6%.
  • Germany’s DAX is lower by 0.4% amid weakness in heavyweight components. Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen, BMW, and Continental are down between 0.6% and 2.3%. On the upside, Fresenius is higher by 0.7%.
  • France’s CAC has given up 0.6%. Financials Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, AXA, and BNP Paribas are down between 0.1% and 1.4%. Exporters Peugeot and Renault are among the laggards, surrendering close to 1.4% apiece.
  • Spain’s IBEX trades down 1.5% with Banco Popular, Caixabank, Banco Sabadell, Santander, Bankinter, Bankia, and BBVA showing losses between 1.6% and 4.0%.

8:58 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • CytoSorbents Corporation (CTSO) signs an exclusive distribution agreement with Armaghan Salamat Kish Group (Arsak) to distribute CytoSorb for all critical care, cardiac surgery, and other hospital applications in Iran.
  • Dominion (D) announces that David A. Heacock, president of Dominion Nuclear and the co’s chief nuclear officer, will retire, effective March 1, 2017. Beginning Oct. 1, Daniel G. Stoddard, senior vice president of Nuclear Operations, will become senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. Heacock will remain president of Dominion Nuclear until his retirement.
  • UPS (UPS) announces that it has begun testing the use of drones to make commercial deliveries of packages to remote or difficult-to-access locations, working together with drone-maker CyPhy Works.
  • Chembio Diagnostics (CEMI) enters into an exclusive distribution agreement with Isla Lab LLC that includes both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Chembio recently announced that it had entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Isla Lab Caribbean that included the 25 Caribbean nations. With today’s announcement, Isla Lab becomes Chembio’s exclusive distribution partner throughout the Caribbean region, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Lenovo (LNVGY) , Intel (INTC), Synaptics and PayPal (PYPL) reveal a collaborative effort to bring simple and safe authentication experiences to enterprise and consumer use cases today. The collaboration will enable Lenovo customers to be able to authenticate to online FIDO-enabled services like PayPal by using a fingerprint instead of a password.

8:57 am Yelp announces they converted class A & class B common stock into a single class of common stock on a one-for-one basis (YELP) :  

8:57 am Digital Turbine prices $ 16 mln aggregate principal amount of its 8.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2020 (APPS) : The net proceeds of the offering, after deducting the initial purchaser’s discounts and commissions and the estimated offering expenses payable by Digital Turbine, are expected to be ~$ 14.3 mln, and will be used to repay ~$ 11 mln of secured indebtedness and for general corporate purposes.

8:57 am Oshkosh raises FY16 guidance above consensus at Analyst Day; sees FY17 EPS below estimates, revenue midpoint below consensus (OSK) :

  • Co issues upside guidance for FY16 (Sep), sees EPS of $ 2.85-3.00 (from $ 2.60-2.80), excluding non-recurring items, vs. $ 2.78 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 (Sep) revs of $ 6.1-6.2 bln (from $ 6.0-6.1 bln) vs. $ 6.1 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
    • The Company now believes it will deliver stronger than previously expected performance in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2016 as a result of expected higher deliveries of M-ATVs in the Company’s defense segment, access equipment segment sales at the high end of prior expectations and a lower tax rate.
  • The Company now believes it will deliver stronger than previously expected performance in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2016 as a result of expected higher deliveries of M-ATVs in the Company’s defense segment, access equipment segment sales at the high end of prior expectations and a lower tax rate.
  • Co issues guidance for FY17 (Sep), sees EPS of $ 3.00-3.40, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $ 3.61 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY17 (Sep) revs of $ 6.5-6.7 bln vs. $ 6.66 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
    • “Looking to next year, we anticipate increases in revenue, operating income and EPS despite expected lower sales and operating income in our access equipment segment. “Longer-term, we expect strong free cash flow over the cycle to provide capital allocation alternatives that will benefit our shareholders. We expect to achieve our fiscal 2017 estimates through the continued execution and evolution of our MOVE strategy, which has delivered for customers and shareholders alike over the last several years.” 
  • “Looking to next year, we anticipate increases in revenue, operating income and EPS despite expected lower sales and operating income in our access equipment segment. “Longer-term, we expect strong free cash flow over the cycle to provide capital allocation alternatives that will benefit our shareholders. We expect to achieve our fiscal 2017 estimates through the continued execution and evolution of our MOVE strategy, which has delivered for customers and shareholders alike over the last several years.” 

8:48 am eFuture to be acquired by Shiji & eFuture CI for $ 6.42/share (shares halted) (EFUT) :

  • Parent will acquire all the outstanding ordinary shares of the Company not currently owned by Parent and its affiliates for cash consideration equal to $ 6.42 per share of the Company. This price represents an approximately 18% premium over the closing Share price as quoted by NASDAQ Capital Market on June 3, 2016, the last trading day immediately prior to the co’s announcement on June 6, 2016 that it had received a preliminary non-binding proposal from Parent.
  • If completed, the Transactions will result in the Company becoming a privately-held company and its Shares will no longer be listed on Nasdaq.

8:47 am Gapping down (SCANX) :

Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
:

  • ENPH -25.1% (announces restructuring/cost reduction initiatives resulting in about $ 20 mln in annualized savings; reaffirms Q3 & announces Q4 guidance)

Select financial related names showing weakness: SAN -3.5%, RBS -2.5%, LYG -2%, DB -1.7%, NMR -1.7%, CS -1.6%, HSBC -1.5%, BBVA -1.3%, PUK -1.1%

Other news:

  • CATB -14% (prices 2.5 mln common stock offering at $ 4.00/share)
  • APRI -10.3% (announces $ 4.6 mln registered direct offering: 13.1 mln shares at $ 0.35/share)
  • IPCI -9% (responds to recent trading activity, says not aware of any corporate developments that would cause the recent movement in the Company’s share price)
  • CAFD -5% (prices 7 mln Class A shares at $ 14.65 per share)
  • LNTH -3.2% (anounces that new data from a sub-analysis of its first Phase 3 study of flurpiridaz F 18 for myocardial perfusion imaging in patients undergoing exercise stress testing will be presented at the 21st Annual Scientific Session of the ASNC)
  • TM -2.4% (still checking)
  • FB -2.2% (Ad buyers upset with FB for overestimating video average viewing time, according to WSJ)
  • YHOO -1.7% (continued weakness after confirmed that a copy of certain user account information was stolen from the company’s network in late 2014)
  • HMHC -1.4% (President and CEO Linda K. Zecher resigns; co guides billings at or near the low end ofits revised guidance of $ 1,525 million to $ 1,595 million for 2016 )

Analyst comments:

  • TWTR -3.9% (downgraded to Underperform at RBC Capita)
  • CPTA -3.6% (downgraded to Mkt Perform from Mkt Outperform at JMP Securities)
  • WIX -2.5% (downgraded to Sector Perform at RBC Capital Mkts)
  • BDX -1.5% (downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup)

8:42 am Gapping up (SCANX) :

Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: AIR +4.8%, FINL +4.2%

M&A news:

  • MIFI +24.6% (to sell mobile broadband business for $ 50 mln in cash to T.C.L. Industries Holdings, to restructure into public holding company
  • IMPV +15.7% (shares spiking on reports of interest from potential acquirires)
  • VNDA +2.6% (Reuters reported suggesting co is mulling a sale)

Select metals/mining stocks trading higher: GFI +1.6%, DRD +1.5%, HMY +1.1%, AU +1.1%, VALE +1.1%, MT +1%

Other news:

  • SAEX +10.5% (extending yesterday’s move higher in premarket trade)
  • NVAX +5.6% (President and Directors (2) disclosed purchases last night totaling 131K shares worth approx $ 222K)
  • TWER +5.1% (prices 2.65 mln common stock offering by its Chairman, John Allison, at $ 22.00/share)
  • GLUU +1.8% (extends agreement with Kim Kardashian West)
  • SRPT +0.5% (prices 5.02 mln shares of its common stock at $ 59.75 per share)

Analyst comments:

  • MDGN +4.5% (initiated with a Buy at Jefferies)
  • ACHN +2.7% (initiated with an Outperform)
  • ATVI +2.3% (initiated with a Overweight at Morgan Stanley),
  • PRU +1.7% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman; Added to Conviction Buy List)

8:32 am Edgewater extends previously announced $ 23.1 mln stock repurchase program (EDGW) : The repurchase program was scheduled to expire on Sept 23, 2016.

8:31 am Medivation: Pfizer (PFE) announces the HSR waiting period has expired for its acquisition of the co; Pfizer now expects to complete the acquisition in 3Q16 (MDVN) :  

8:31 am S&P futures vs fair value: -4.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -6.90. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures float four points below fair value.

In company specific news, Prudential (PRU 81.49, +1.35) has gained 1.7% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the name to “Buy” from “Neutral.” The firm also added the stock to its Conviction Buy List. Imperva (IMPV 50.00, +6.61) has rallied 15.2% after reports signaled that the company is a potential takeover target. Meanwhile, top-weighted Apple (AAPL 114.40, -0.22) has ticked lower by 0.2% after headlines indicated that regulators in Japan are mulling a potential antitrust suit against the company.

The U.S. Dollar Index (95.41, -0.03, -0.04%) trades little changed as the euro ticks higher against the greenback. The euro has gained 0.1% against the buck (1.1219) while the dollar/yen pair trades flat (100.78). Separately, cable has declined 0.8% (1.2971) after British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson speculated that the country could enact Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty early next year.

8:28 am Novo Nordisk submits application in the US for including data from the 2 Switch trials in Tresiba label (NVO) :

  • During the study’s maintenance period, people treated with Tresiba on avg had 11% fewer episodes of overall symptomatic blood glucose confirmed hypoglycaemia, 36% fewer episodes of nocturnal blood glucose confirmed symptomatic hypoglycaemia and 35% fewer episodes of severe hypoglycaemia. All of the above results were statistically significant and similar results were seen in the full treatment period.
  • People treated with Tresiba on avg had 30% fewer episodes of overall blood glucose confirmed symptomatic hypoglycaemia and 42% fewer episodes of nocturnal blood glucose confirmed symptomatic hypoglycaemia, both favouring Tresiba over insulin glargine U100. Both observations were statistically significant and similar results were observed for the full treatment period. For severe hypoglycaemia there was a 46%, but not statistically significant reduction of the episodes in the maintenance period, and a statistically significant 51% reduction of the episodes in the full treatment period for Tresiba compared to insulin glargine U100.

8:28 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Momenta Pharmaceuticals (MNTA) announces the appointment of Corey N. Fishman to its Board of Directors effective September 22, 2016. Mr. Fishman currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Iterum Therapeutics Limited, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing differentiated anti-infectives for combatting multi-drug resistant pathogens.
  • Executive Board of RWE (RWEOY) confirmed yesterday the price range for shares of innogy SE to be offered in the IPO to range from Euro 32 to Euro 36. The share capital of innogy SE amounts to Euro 1,000,000,000 and is divided into 500,000,000 ordinary bearer shares with no par value. The offering consists of 55,555,000 newly issued shares from a capital increase still to be carried out. In addition, it has been determined that in the course of the IPO existing shares held by RWE Downstream Beteiligungs will be offered.
  • Sistema Finance sells ~12.7 mln American Depositary Shares of PJSC MTS (MBT), representing 1.27% of MTS’s share capital, to a non-affiliated buyer for a consideration of $ 100.4 mln. The transaction was executed in compliance with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 144. Following this transaction, Sistema Group owns 50.44% of MTS’s total share capital.
  • Carnival Corporation & plc (CCL, CUK) announces that its cruise joint venture in China has signed a non-binding memorandum of agreement (:MOA) to order the industry’s first new cruise ships built in China for the Chinese market. The MOA is subject to several conditions including closing of the joint venture, financing and other key terms. As part of the new MOA, Carnival Corporation’s cruise joint venture in China agreed to order two new cruise ships to be built by a newly formed China-based shipbuilding joint venture between China’s largest shipbuilder, China State Shipbuilding Corporation, and Italy-based Fincantieri S.p.A., the world’s largest cruise shipbuilding company. The MOA also grants Carnival Corporation’s cruise joint venture the option to order two additional China-built cruise ships.
  • Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (MNK) announces that the USPTO has upheld the validity of commercially significant claims related to five patents covering gas delivery systems as well as methods of using such systems related to INOMAX gas for inhalation.
  • SavvyMoney announces the closing of a Series D funding round and a strategic partnership with TransUnion (TRU). The round was led by TransUnion, including credit monitoring and identity protection. Previous investors including TB Capital LLC and Tugboat Ventures, LLC also participated in the round.

8:16 am Home Bancshares prices 2.65 mln common stock offering by its Chairman, John Allison, at $ 22.00/share (HOMB) :  

8:06 am S&P futures vs fair value: -4.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -7.70. (:WRAPX) :

U.S. equity futures trade on a lower note with the S&P 500 futures trading five points below fair value. Index futures pulled back alongside global markets overnight as indices narrowed their weekly gains. The move lower comes on the heels of yesterday’s impressive post-Fed rally. The central bank spurred risk appetite after opting to leave its key rate unchanged and lowering the median projection for the fed funds rate for the years ahead. 

Crude oil futures remain in focus after reports indicated that Saudi Arabia offered to cut production if Iran agreed to implement a supply cap. Recall that disputes between the two were cited as the main hurdle to an agreement at the last OPEC meeting. The next OPEC meeting will take place in Algiers, Algeria between September 26 and 28. WTI crude narrowed its loss on the news, climbing off the $ 45.60/bbl price level. At this juncture, the energy component trades lower by 0.4% ($ 46.16/bbl; -$ 0.16). 

Treasuries trade on a higher note with yields slipping throughout the complex. The yield on the 2-yr note has ticked lower by one basis point (0.77%) while the yield on the 10-yr note has also declined one basis point (1.61%).

There is no economic data of note scheduled to be released today.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Facebook (FB 126.90, -3.18): -2.4% amid reports that the company misstated the average video ad view time
  • Finish Line (FINL 25.13, +1.14): +4.8% after the company beat top-line estimates for the quarter and reaffirmed FY17 guidance
  • Twitter (TWTR 17.88, -0.75): -4.0% following the stock being downgraded to “Underperform” from “Sector Perform” at RBC Capital Markets

Reviewing overnight developments: 

  • Asia-Pacific indices ended the week on a lower note with Japan’s Nikkei (-0.3%), Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-0.3%), and China’s Shanghai Composite (-0.3%). 
    • In economic data:
      • Japan’s September Manufacturing PMI 50.3 (expected 49.3; last 49.5) and All Industries Activity Index +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.2%; last 1.0%)
      • Singapore’s August CPI -0.3% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.7%)
    • In news:
      • The final session of the week was fairly quiet, featuring narrow trading ranges.
      • The yen retreated overnight, but the currency has been building strength through the early morning and is now unchanged once again.
      • Separately, reports from Reuters suggest that Japan may take antitrust action against Apple.
  • In economic data:
    • Japan’s September Manufacturing PMI 50.3 (expected 49.3; last 49.5) and All Industries Activity Index +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.2%; last 1.0%)
    • Singapore’s August CPI -0.3% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.7%)
  • Japan’s September Manufacturing PMI 50.3 (expected 49.3; last 49.5) and All Industries Activity Index +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.2%; last 1.0%)
  • Singapore’s August CPI -0.3% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.7%)
  • In news:
    • The final session of the week was fairly quiet, featuring narrow trading ranges.
    • The yen retreated overnight, but the currency has been building strength through the early morning and is now unchanged once again.
    • Separately, reports from Reuters suggest that Japan may take antitrust action against Apple.
  • The final session of the week was fairly quiet, featuring narrow trading ranges.
  • The yen retreated overnight, but the currency has been building strength through the early morning and is now unchanged once again.
  • Separately, reports from Reuters suggest that Japan may take antitrust action against Apple.
  • European indices trade lower with France’s CAC (-0.6%), Germany’s DAX (-0.4%), and the UK’s FTSE (-0.2%). Elsewhere, Spain’s IBEX (-1.6%) demonstrates relative weakness.
    • In economic data:
      • Eurozone September Manufacturing PMI 52.6 (consensus 51.5; last 51.7) and September Services PMI 52.1 (expected 52.8; last 52.8)
      • Germany’s September Manufacturing PMI 54.3 (expected 53.1; last 53.6) and Services PMI 50.6 (consensus 52.1; last 51.7)
      • France’s September Manufacturing PMI 49.5 (consensus 48.4; last 48.3) and Services PMI 53.3 (expected 51.4; last 51.9). Separately, GDP -0.1% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.0%; last 0.0%)
      • Spain’s PPI -3.1% year-over-year (last -4.6%)
    • In news: 
      • Today’s selling comes after markets registered solid gains earlier in the week.
      • British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson commented on the Brexit process, stating that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty could be triggered early next year.
      • The euro (1.1214) is little changed against the dollar while the pound (1.2969) has slumped 0.8%
  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone September Manufacturing PMI 52.6 (consensus 51.5; last 51.7) and September Services PMI 52.1 (expected 52.8; last 52.8)
    • Germany’s September Manufacturing PMI 54.3 (expected 53.1; last 53.6) and Services PMI 50.6 (consensus 52.1; last 51.7)
    • France’s September Manufacturing PMI 49.5 (consensus 48.4; last 48.3) and Services PMI 53.3 (expected 51.4; last 51.9). Separately, GDP -0.1% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.0%; last 0.0%)
    • Spain’s PPI -3.1% year-over-year (last -4.6%)
  • Eurozone September Manufacturing PMI 52.6 (consensus 51.5; last 51.7) and September Services PMI 52.1 (expected 52.8; last 52.8)
  • Germany’s September Manufacturing PMI 54.3 (expected 53.1; last 53.6) and Services PMI 50.6 (consensus 52.1; last 51.7)
  • France’s September Manufacturing PMI 49.5 (consensus 48.4; last 48.3) and Services PMI 53.3 (expected 51.4; last 51.9). Separately, GDP -0.1% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.0%; last 0.0%)
  • Spain’s PPI -3.1% year-over-year (last -4.6%)
  • In news: 
    • Today’s selling comes after markets registered solid gains earlier in the week.
    • British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson commented on the Brexit process, stating that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty could be triggered early next year.
    • The euro (1.1214) is little changed against the dollar while the pound (1.2969) has slumped 0.8%
  • Today’s selling comes after markets registered solid gains earlier in the week.
  • British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson commented on the Brexit process, stating that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty could be triggered early next year.
  • The euro (1.1214) is little changed against the dollar while the pound (1.2969) has slumped 0.8%

8:04 am GlaxoSmithKline announces FDA submission for Sirukumab in rheumatoid arthritis (GSK) :

Co announced the submission of a Biologics License Application  to the United States Food and Drug Administration by Janssen Biotech (JNJ subsidiary), seeking approval of a subcutaneous formulation of sirukumab, a human anti-interleukin (IL)-6 monoclonal antibody, for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (:RA) who have failed or are intolerant to one or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). 

  • Sirukumab is being co-developed for RA as part of a collaboration with Janssen Biologics.
  • A regulatory submission to the European Medicines Agency (:EMA) was announced on 12 September 2016.

8:03 am Apricus Biosciences announces $ 4.6 mln registered direct offering: 13.1 mln shares at $ 0.35/share (APRI) : For each share of common stock purchased by an investor, such investor will receive from the Company an unregistered warrant to purchase 0.75 shares of common stock. The warrants have an exercise price of $ 0.45 per share, will be exercisable six (6) months following the closing date and will expire 5 years from the initial exercise date. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for working capital and general corporate purposes.

8:03 am Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen submits a BLA to the FDA seeking approval of sirukumab for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (JNJ) : Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen submits a BLA to the FDA seeking approval of sirukumab for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. Note: co is partnering with GSK, see 8:04 InPlay comment for details.

8:02 am Intrexon partners with two start ups, lisencing its ActoBiotics Lactococcus lactis platform to develop disease-modifying therapies in celiac disease and chronic rhinosinusitis (XON) :

Co has entered into Exclusive Channel Collaborations (ECC) with two startups backed by the Harvest Intrexon Enterprise Fund, sponsored by Harvest Capital Strategies, LLC. Through Intrexon’s proprietary ActoBiotics Lactococcus lactis platform, these companies will pursue new approaches to deliver disease-modifying therapies:

  • Genten Therapeutics, Inc. will center efforts on ActoBiotics expression of gluten peptides, alone or in combination with immunomodulatory cytokines, to reestablish immune tolerance for patients with celiac disease; and
  • CRS Bio, Inc. will focus on targeted delivery of antibodies for treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) with and without nasal polyps, by utilizing ActoBiotics technology to block inflammatory mediators in the nasal passage, leading to improved breathing and, importantly, patients’ quality of life.

Intrexon will receive a technology access fee in the form of equity equating to 25% of each startup, reimbursement for all research and development costs, as well as potential milestones and backend economics in the form of royalties.

8:02 am USG Chairman, President and CEO James S. Metcalf to retire; Jennifer F. Scanlon to succeed Metcalf as President and CEO (USG) :

  • Scanlon, executive vice president, president, International and president, L&W Supply Corporation, will succeed Metcalf as president and CEO upon his retirement and has been appointed a director of the company, effective immediately. 
    • Scanlon will serve as EVP and CEO-elect until Nov. 1, 2016.
  • Scanlon will serve as EVP and CEO-elect until Nov. 1, 2016.
  • Steven F. Leer, lead director, will become non-executive chairman of the board, effective Nov. 1, 2016.

8:01 am Coca-Cola FEMSA to Acquire Vonpar in Brazil for an aggregate enterprise value of R$ 3,578 million and an approximate equity value of R$ 3,508 million (KOF) :

  • During the last twelve months ended June 30, 2016, Vonpar sold 190 million unit cases of beverages, including 23 million unit cases of beer, generating R$ 2,026 million in net revenues and an EBITDA of R$ 335 million.
  • The preliminary estimated amount of synergies to be captured from this transaction in the next 18 to 24 months is approximately R$ 65 million at the EBITDA level. These synergies will result from reconfiguration of the logistic network, manufacturing optimization, efficiencies in administrative expenses and the implementation of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s commercial practices.
  • This transaction will increase volume in Brazil by 25%, allowing co to reach 49% of the Coca-Cola system’s volume in the country.

8:01 am NV5 Global recieves $ 4.8 mln in contracts with New York state department of transportation (NVEE) :

  • The RBA/NV5 construction services team will be tasked with the inspection of the Saw Mill River Parkway reconstruction project, including structures over Kisco River and Branch Brook that are being replaced to improve hydraulic flow, for a fee of $ 1.8 million.
  • NV5 will also be performing construction inspection services throughout Region 11 for three years, which includes the Five Boroughs, where several large-scale transportation infrastructure improvements are underway, including bridge replacement and highway reconstruction projects, for a fee of $ 3 million.

8:01 am Willdan Group receives two year contract as part of New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program; expects that the contract will contribute approx. $ 5 mln annually in revenue over the contract duration (WLDN) : Co announced that it has been awarded a Direct Install Program contract as part of New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program. The contract term is for two years, with optional extensions. The Company expects that the contract will contribute approximately $ 5 million per year in revenue over the contract duration.

7:59 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • DHX Media (DHXM) reschedules its fiscal 2016 year-end and fourth quarter results release to before market opens on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. The company has also rescheduled its conference call for analysts and investors to 9:00 a.m. ET on September 28, 2016.
  • Shire plc (SHPG) will showcase data across its global leading immunoglobulin (IG) portfolio during the 17th Biennial Meeting of the European Society for Immunodeficiencies (:ESID), taking place September 21-24, 2016 in Barcelona. Presentations will include results of studies examining the safety, efficacy and tolerability profiles of Shire’s IG treatment options for immune deficiencies, including primary immunodeficiency (PI). Shire will complement the data on treatment options with research on the burden PI patients experience relating to their disease and treatment, as part of Shire’s commitment to delivering advanced, individualized treatment options for people with PI.
  • Palatin Technologies (PTN) announces that a review of the neurobiology and treatment efficacy of bremelanotide for hypoactive sexual desire disorder was presented at the International Society for Sexual Medicine 20th World Meeting in Beijing, China. Last patient visits for the efficacy portion of Phase 3 trials with bremelanotide for hypoactive sexual desire disorder were completed in the third quarter of calendar year 2016. Topline results are projected to be released early fourth quarter of calendar year 2016.
  • Unifor announces the pending ratification of a tentative agreement with General Motors (GM), the next company in negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers will be Fiat — Chrysler Automobile (FCAU). Fiat Chrysler employs 9,750 Unifor members making the Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger (Brampton Assembly Plant with 3,300 Unifor members), the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Pacifica (Windsor Assembly Plant with 6,000 Unifor members) and cast components (Etobicoke Casting plant with 450 Unifor members). 

7:30 am Engility receives $ 16 mln contract to deliver advanced training solutions and embedded advisory support to the U.S. Marine Corps (EGL) :

  • Engility will develop and deliver training support on newly-fielded equipment and software. Additionally, the co will develop virtual-world 3-D immersive training environments to host U.S. Marine Corps training suitable for use in a media-rich classroom or in a mobile app to accommodate individual distance learning.
  • Engility will also supply Command Post Systems Advisors, who will be embed with the Marine Expeditionary Force and major supporting commands. These advisors will support information management officers, who are responsible for the deployment and use of command and control systems within their respective units.
  • The third quarter cost-plus-fixed-fee win represents a re-compete award with an expanded level of effort for the multiple programs supported by Engility. The award is for one year with a one-year option.

7:28 am European Markets Update: FTSE -0.1%, DAX -0.3%, CAC -0.3% (:SUMRX) :

Major European indices trade lower across the board with Spain’s IBEX (-1.4%) showing relative weakness. Today’s selling comes after markets registered solid gains earlier in the week. The euro (1.1221) is little changed against the dollar while the pound (1.2963) has slumped 0.9% after British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson commented on the Brexit process, saying article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty could be triggered early next year.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone September Manufacturing PMI 52.6 (consensus 51.5; last 51.7) and September Services PMI 52.1 (expected 52.8; last 52.8)
    • Germany’s September Manufacturing PMI 54.3 (expected 53.1; last 53.6) and Services PMI 50.6 (consensus 52.1; last 51.7)
    • France’s September Manufacturing PMI 49.5 (consensus 48.4; last 48.3) and Services PMI 53.3 (expected 51.4; last 51.9). Separately, GDP -0.1% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.0%; last 0.0%)
    • Spain’s PPI -3.1% year-over-year (last -4.6%)
  • Eurozone September Manufacturing PMI 52.6 (consensus 51.5; last 51.7) and September Services PMI 52.1 (expected 52.8; last 52.8)
  • Germany’s September Manufacturing PMI 54.3 (expected 53.1; last 53.6) and Services PMI 50.6 (consensus 52.1; last 51.7)
  • France’s September Manufacturing PMI 49.5 (consensus 48.4; last 48.3) and Services PMI 53.3 (expected 51.4; last 51.9). Separately, GDP -0.1% quarter-over-quarter (expected 0.0%; last 0.0%)
  • Spain’s PPI -3.1% year-over-year (last -4.6%)

—Equity Markets—

  • UK’s FTSE is lower by 0.1% with financials showing weakness while homebuilders outperform. RBS, Standard Chartered, Lloyds Banking, and Standard Life are down between 1.4% and 1.9%. On the flip side, Persimmon, Barratt Developments, and Taylor Wimpey are up between 1.0% and 1.6%.
  • Germany’s DAX is lower by 0.3% amid weakness in heavyweight components. Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen, BMW, and Continental are down between 0.6% and 2.3%. On the upside, Fresenius is higher by 0.7%.
  • France’s CAC has given up 0.5%. Financials Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, AXA, and BNP Paribas are down between 0.1% and 1.4%. Exporters Peugeot and Renault are among the laggards, surrendering close to 1.4% apiece.
  • Spain’s IBEX trades down 1.4% with Banco Popular, Caixabank, Banco Sabadell, Santander, Bankinter, Bankia, and BBVA showing losses between 1.6% and 4.0%.

7:23 am Cargotec to re-org operations for its recent acquisition INTERSCHALT; expected cost savings of EUR2 mln annually from 2017 on (CYJBF) :

Co announced plans to re-organise operations at the maritime software company INTERSCHALT.

  • The re-organisation is estimated to affect INTERSCHALT personnel in Germany, USA (Houston) and China (Shanghai).
  • It is estimated that some INTERSCHALT’s production and design work will be discontinued or outsourced and some INTERSCHALT locations will be closed.
  • Cooperation negotiations have started at INTERSCHALT and they will affect tens of employees.
  • The savings resulting of these activities are expected to amount to ~EUR2 mln annually from 2017 onwards.
  • Cargotec’s acquisition of INTERSCHALT was announced in January 2016 and it was completed in March 2016

7:13 am Finish Line reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; reaffirms FY17 guidance (FINL) :

  • Reports Q2 (Aug) earnings of $ 0.53 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $ 0.53; revenues rose 5.4% year/year to $ 509.4 mln vs the $ 494.76 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Comps +5.1% vs. ests near +2.8%
  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY17, sees EPS of $ 1.50-1.56 vs. $ 1.54 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; comps +3-5%
  • “Following a solid start to the year, our comparable store sales accelerated during the second quarter,” said Sam Sato, Chief Executive Officer of Finish Line. “The combination of top-line growth and disciplined expense management allowed us to partially offset the planned gross margin pressure from our successful inventory reduction actions and deliver earnings in-line with expectations.
  • Finish Line also announced that the Board of Directors has approved an updated timetable for Glenn Lyon’s transition to non-executive chairman of the Board of Directors effective today.

7:06 am Aehr Test Systems reports Q1 prelim results; to sell ~$ 5.9 mln in shares of its common stock in a private placement (AEHR) :

  • Co enters into a definitive purchase agreement for the sale of ~$ 5.9 mln in shares of its common stock in a private placement transaction with certain institutional and accredited investors. Pursuant to the terms of the purchase agreement, Aehr Test Systems has agreed to sell an aggregate of ~2.721 mln shares of common stock at a price of $ 2.15 per share to outside institutional and accredited investors.
  • Co sees Q1 revs of $ 5.3 mln of $ 1.6 mln in Q4 last year. GAAP net loss is expected to be between $ 800,000 and $ 900,000, compared to a GAAP net loss of $ 3.1 mln in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.
  • Backlog is expected to be over $ 10 mln as of August 31, 2016, compared to a backlog of $ 5.3 mln as of May 31, 2016. Bookings in the first quarter of fiscal 2017 are estimated to be over $ 10 mln.

7:02 am Santander Consumer USA restates earnings since 2013; likely to delay Q3 earnings date; sees Q2 EPS above estimates (SC) :

  • Co will be restating financial statements and associated disclosures for the full years 2013, 2014 and 2015, and the quarters within 2014 and 2015, as well as the first quarter of 2016, due to errors identified in the financial statements for each of those periods.
  • The restatements announced today are primarily being made to correct errors associated with the following:
    • The Company’s methodology for accreting dealer discounts, subvention payments from manufacturers and capitalized origination costs.
    • The Company’s lack of consideration of net discounts when estimating the allowance for credit losses.
    • The discount rate used in determining the impairment for loans accounted for as troubled debt restructurings.
  • The Company’s methodology for accreting dealer discounts, subvention payments from manufacturers and capitalized origination costs.
  • The Company’s lack of consideration of net discounts when estimating the allowance for credit losses.
  • The discount rate used in determining the impairment for loans accounted for as troubled debt restructurings.
  • Based on management’s preliminary assessment, the expected cumulative impact of the errors is an increase to total equity of ~1%, as of March 31, 2016. The Company also believes these restatements will increase previously reported net income for the fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2016, by ~$ 9 million, or $ 0.02 per share.
  • In addition, the Company expects to report the existence of additional, previously unreported material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting. Management continues to assess the nature and extent of these additional material weaknesses and their impact on the Company’s reports on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, and its disclosure controls and procedures, and is working to implement remedial measures.
  • The Company is working through the appropriate governance process and will file amended annual and quarterly reports, as well as its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2016, as soon as possible, and expects to complete the amended filings prior to the deadline for filing its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2016. The Company has received waivers for certain debt facilities that require timely filings. The Company also will likely delay the previously announced third quarter 2016 earnings call date, currently scheduled for October 26, 2016, at 9 a.m. Eastern Time.
  • Co sees Q2 EPS $ 0.78 vs $ 0.67 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:02 am Endo Intl names Paul Campanelli as CEO to succeed Rajiv De Silva, who stepped down, effective immediately; co also affirms prior 3Q16 and FY 16 guidance (ENDP) :

Campanelli joined co in 2015 following Endo’s acquisition of Par Pharmaceutical, where he had served as CEO since 2012. Co is affirming its Q3 and FY 16 guidance (listed blelow).

  • Q3 Guidance: Total revs between $ 830-870 mln; and Adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations between $ 0.77-0.82.
    • Current Cap IQ Consensus Estimates Q3 revs of $ 863 mln and diluted EPS of $ 0.82
  • Current Cap IQ Consensus Estimates Q3 revs of $ 863 mln and diluted EPS of $ 0.82
  • FY 16 Guidance Total revs between $ 3.87-4.03 bln; Adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations between $ 4.50 and $ 4.80.
    • Current Cap IQ Consensus Estimates FY 16 revs of $ 3.9 bln
  • Current Cap IQ Consensus Estimates FY 16 revs of $ 3.9 bln
  • Co will host a conference call and webcast at 9:00 a.m. ET today.

7:01 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -0.3%, Hang Seng -0.3%, Shanghai -0.3% (:SUMRX) :

Equity indices across the Asia-Pacific region ended the week on a lower note. The final session of the week was fairly quiet, featuring narrow trading ranges. The yen retreated overnight, but the currency has been building strength through the early morning and is now unchanged once again. Separately, reports from Reuters suggest Japan may take antitrust action against Apple.

  • In economic data:
    • Japan’s September Manufacturing PMI 50.3 (expected 49.3; last 49.5) and All Industries Activity Index +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.2%; last 1.0%)
    • Singapore’s August CPI -0.3% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.7%)
  • Japan’s September Manufacturing PMI 50.3 (expected 49.3; last 49.5) and All Industries Activity Index +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.2%; last 1.0%)
  • Singapore’s August CPI -0.3% year-over-year (expected -0.4%; last -0.7%)

—Equity Markets—

  • Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.3%, but gained 1.4% for the week. Eight sectors registered losses with financials (-2.0%) and utilities (-0.8%) showing relative weakness while health care (+0.5%) and energy (+0.9%) outperformed. Matsui Securities, Sony Financial Holdings, T&D Holdings, Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Credit Saison, Sumitomo Realty & Development lost between 2.4% and 7.8%.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.3%, narrowing its weekly gain to 1.5%. Financials ended among the laggards with ICBC, Bank of China, Ping An Insurance, BoC Hong Kong, and China Life Insurance lost between 1.4% and 2.8%.
  • China’s Shanghai Composite also surrendered 0.3%, ending the week higher by 1.0%. Deluxe Family, Rising Nonferrous Metals Share, Gemdale, and Chengdu Xuguang Electronics lost between 3.0% and 4.3%.
  • India’s Sensex lost 0.4%, trimming its weekly gain to 0.5%. AXIS Bank saw a continuation of recent weakness, falling 5.8%. Other financials fared a bit better with ICICI Bank sliding 1.4% while HDFC Bank added 0.4%.

—FX—

  • USDJPY -0.1% to 100.68
  • USDCNY +0.1% to 6.6673
  • USDINR UNCH at 66.646

7:01 am Teekay Offshore announces new three-year shuttle tanker contracts of affreightment, plus extension options, with BP plc (BP), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and OMV Group, to transport the oil produced from the new Glen Lyon FPSO (TOO) : The affreightments are expected to commence in the first half of 2017 with the requirement for approximately two shuttle tankers. The Partnership expects to service these new affreightments with its existing affreightment shuttle tanker fleet.

7:01 am BioLineRx announces in-licensing of novel treatment for liver failure conditions; second project in-licensed under strategic collaboration with Novartis (NVS) (BLRX) :

BL-1220 is an orally administered, novel composition of sodium alginate, developed by Professor Smadar Cohen from the Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and Professor Yaron Ilan, Head of Internal Medicine Department A, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.

  • Pre-clinical results obtained in animal models of liver impairment suggest that BL-1220 has strong hepato-protective effects. Collectively, the data demonstrate that BL-1220 is able to restore liver function. This technology could be directed toward rapid regeneration of normal liver in both acute and chronic conditions of liver injury.
  • The companies intend to co-develop a number of pre-clinical and early clinical therapeutic projects through clinical proof-of-concept. As part of the agreement, Novartis (NVS) previously had made an equity investment in BioLineRx of $ 10 mln.

7:01 am Snyder’s-Lance appoints Alexander Pease as CFO, effective November 1 (LNCE) :

Pease joins the Company from McKinsey & Co. where he managed their global corporate finance and business functions.

  • From 2011 to 2015, Pease held the position of Senior VVP and CFo of EnPro Industries (NPO)

7:00 am Catabasis Pharmaceuticals prices 2.5 mln common stock offering at $ 4.00/share (CATB) :  

6:55 am Brookfield Infrastructure to acquire a 90% controlling stake in Nova Transportadora do Sudeste, system of natural gas transmission assets in the southeast of Brazil currently owned by Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. for approximately $ 5.2 bln (BIP) :

  • Brookfield Infrastructure’s investment will be a minimum of ~20% of the transaction, representing ~US$ 825 million of the transaction consideration payable on closing. The remainder will be owned by institutional partners. Petrobras (PBR) , as a 10% owner in NTS, will have customary governance rights commensurate with the size of its interest.
  • “This is a unique opportunity to invest in a large-scale, high quality utility business and participate over time in Brazil’s growing gas industry… We expect this business will contribute meaningfully to our results going forward by delivering stable, inflation-linked cash flows backed by long-term, fixed-price, off-take agreements. We are very pleased to be significantly expanding our utilities business in a sector and geography that we know well and that we believe will offer opportunities to deploy further capital at attractive risk-adjusted returns.”

6:32 am ITC Holdings & Fortis announces the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin voted to approve the previously announced merger (ITC) :  

6:16 am Tesla Motors announces Eric Branderiz as Vice President, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer (TSLA) :

  • Eric was most recently SunPower’s (SPWR) Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer. 

6:15 am Statoil ASA investigation report following Tury helicopter accident published ; concludes that Statoil’s helicopter safety work on the NCS is good (STO) :

  • The investigation concludes that Statoil’s helicopter safety work on the NCS is good. At the same time the report stresses that the industry’s efficiency improvement efforts and increased focus on costs must not compromise safety, emphasising that a possible introduction in Norway of common European safety requirements will change the risk picture associated with helicopter operations.

6:08 am Enanta Pharmaceuticals announces new data showing high response rates with just eight weeks of VIEKIRAX (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir tablets) + EXVIERA (dasabuvir tablets) treatment (ENTA) :

  • In AbbVie’s Phase 3b GARNET study, 98 percent (n=160/163) of previously untreated patients with genotype 1b (GT1b) chronic hepatitis C virus (:HCV) infection without cirrhosis achieved sustained virologic response rates at 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR12).1 These data were presented today at the 2016 EASL Special Conference: New Perspectives in Hepatitis C Virus Infection — The Roadmap for Cure, in Paris, France and included in the newly published ‘EASL Recommendations on Treatment of Hepatitis C.’
  • In the GARNET study, the most commonly reported adverse events (=5 percent) were headache (21 percent), fatigue (17 percent), nasopharyngitis (8 percent), pruritus (8 percent), nausea (6 percent) and asthenia (5 percent). These adverse events were mostly mild, with one patient discontinuing treatment due to adverse events.1
  • The Phase 3b GARNET study is a multicenter, open-label, single-arm study, investigating the safety and efficacy of eight weeks of treatment with VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA without ribavirin in treatment-nave patients with GT1b chronic HCV infection without cirrhosis.1 The study enrolled 166 patients across 20 sites around the world. Of the 166 patients enrolled, 163 patients had GT1b chronic HCV infection without cirrhosis and three patients with other HCV genotypes were excluded from the efficacy analysis. The primary endpoint is the percentage of patients who achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after treatment (SVR12).
    • Two patients experienced post-treatment relapse and one subject discontinued due to noncompliance. Less than one percent of patients experienced serious adverse events or clinically significant (Grade =3) laboratory abnormalities. One patient discontinued treatment on Day 45 due to an adverse event but achieved SVR12. 
  • Two patients experienced post-treatment relapse and one subject discontinued due to noncompliance. Less than one percent of patients experienced serious adverse events or clinically significant (Grade =3) laboratory abnormalities. One patient discontinued treatment on Day 45 due to an adverse event but achieved SVR12. 

5:54 am Shanghai…-0.28% (FXI) :  

5:54 am S&P futures vs fair value: -3.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.40. :

5:54 am European Markets : FTSE…6891.58…-19.80-0.30%.  DAX…10651.61…-2257.00-0.20%.

5:54 am Asian Markets : Nikkei…16754…-53.60-0.30%.  Hang Seng…23686.5…-73.30-0.30%.

5:30 am Caixabank trading down 3.8% after private placement (announced yesterday after noon) (CAIXY) :

5:26 am GlaxoSmithKline submits Benlysta for regulatory approval in US and Europe (GSK) :

Co announced that it has filed regulatory submissions in the US and Europe for Benlysta for approval as a subcutaneous formulation in patients with active, autoantibody-positive systemic lupus erythematosus. The submissions comprise:

  • A Biologics Licence Application to the US Food and Drug Administration for belimumab administered subcutaneously for the treatment of adult patients with active, autoantibody positive SLE who are receiving standard therapy
  • An extension Marketing Authorisation Application to the European Medicines Agency for belimumab administered subcutaneously as add-on therapy in adult patients with active autoantibody-positive SLE with a high degree of disease activity (e.g. positive anti-dsDNA and low complement) despite standard therapy.
  • Regulatory filings in other countries are planned during the course of 2016 and 2017. The subcutaneous formulation of Benlysta is currently not approved for use anywhere in the world.

4:39 am Genfit reports pre-IND studies indicate new candidates for regulatory approval after successful identification of RORgt inverse agonists (GNFTF) :

Co announced the expansion of its product pipeline with the integration of novel RORgt inverse agonists. Diverse chemical series of RORgt inverse agonists were designed and optimized for the last three years at GENFIT as part of ambitious large-scale efforts to diversify the portfolio of GENFIT’s proprietary drug candidates for the treatment of autoimmune, inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.

  • Potential therapeutic application areas for RORgt inverse agonists cover a wide spectrum of dermatologic, respiratory, or systemic diseases.
  • GENFIT is open to forge mutually beneficial collaborations with companies that have an established franchise in dermatology in order to advance this program to the clinic in an efficient way.
  • In parallel, other approaches for inhalation and oral delivery are being optimized, which will provide additional opportunities in respiratory and systemic diseases respectively.

4:26 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Tullow Oil (TUWLF) announced that Hull & Machinery insurance cover has been confirmed for the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah by its reinsurers following the failure of the turret bearing earlier this year. As operator of the Jubilee field, Tullow will now work closely with the loss adjusters and reinsurers to establish an efficient payments schedule as remedial work continues.
  • Vodafone (VOD) and Afrimax Group jointly announced a new non-equity Partner Market agreement for Cameroon. The two companies will launch LTE data services under the ‘Vodafone Cameroon’ brand initially in Cameroon’s two biggest cities, Douala and Yaound.
  • Toyota Motor Corporation (TM) announces that it has developed a new deoxyribonucleic acid analysis technology called Genotyping by Random Amplicon Sequencing using analytical materials that have been provided by the Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization

4:24 am AC Immune (Nasdaq) prices 6 mln share IPO at $ 11 per share, at the low end of the $ 11.00-13.00 expected range (ACIU) :  

4:12 am Anglo American announces the appointment of Stephen Pearce as Finance Director (NGLOY) :

Co announces the appointment of Stephen Pearce as Finance Director, following Ren Mdori’s decision to retire, as announced in April 2016.

  • Pearce will join Anglo American and its Group Management Committee on 30 January 2017, prior to joining the Board as an executive director and taking over as Finance Director with effect from 24 April 2017, thereby enabling a smooth transition and the completion of the 2016 financial reporting process.
  • Stephen Pearce has been CFO of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (“Fortescue”), the Australia-based and listed iron ore producer, since 2010

4:07 am AbbVie presents new data for VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA; 98% achieved sustained virologic response rates (ABBV) :

Co announced new data showing high response rates with just eight weeks of VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA treatment. In the Phase 3b GARNET study, 98% (n=160/163) of previously untreated patients with genotype 1b chronic hepatitis C virus infection without cirrhosis achieved sustained virologic response rates at 12 weeks post-treatment

  • In the GARNET study, the most commonly reported adverse events (=5%) were headache (21%), fatigue (17%), nasopharyngitis (8%), pruritus (8%), nausea (6%) and asthenia (5%). These adverse events were mostly mild, with one patient discontinuing treatment due to adverse events.

4:04 am Sports Direct appoints Mike Ashley as CEO, following the resignation of Dave Forsey (SDISY) :

The Board of Sports Direct announces that Dave Forsey resigned September 22 as Chief Executive and as a director of the Company.

  • The Board has appointed Mike Ashley as Chief Executive with immediate effect. Mike Ashley will continue to be supported by the existing executive management team, and Dave Forsey has agreed to facilitate a smooth handover of his responsibilities.
  • In addition, the Company is pleased to announce that Karen Byers has been promoted to the role of Global Head of Operations, and Sean Nevitt has been promoted to the role of Global Head of Commercial, both with immediate effect.

3:58 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Gazprom (OGZPY) announced the discovery of a new field on Sea of Okhotsk shelf. In the course of geological exploration of the Kirinsky prospect in the Sea of Okhotsk, a prospecting and appraisal well was drilled in the Yuzhno-Lunskaya structure within the Sakhalin III project.
  • The Wirecard Group (WRCDF) has entered into a partnership with Commerzbank (CRZBY). Wirecard enlarges the portfolio of Commerzbank with easy to integrate online payment solutions for e-commerce, as well as risk management.

3:26 am Smiths Group to sell its Artificial Lift business for $ 39.5 mln (SMGZY) :

Smiths Group announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its Artificial Lift business, part of the John Crane division, to Endurance Lift Solutions.

  • The total gross consideration payable at completion is $ 39.5 mln in cash subject to an adjustment based upon the working capital position at completion.
  • Artificial Lift is engaged in the sale of products and services, principally sucker rods for onshore upstream oil and gas customers in the United States and Romania.
  • For the year ended 31 July 2015, the business and assets subject to the transaction had combined revenues of $ 90.8 mln and an operating loss before certain non-recurring items of $ 1.8 mln. The gross assets of the combined business at 31 July 2015 were $ 63.2 mln.
  • For the unaudited year ended 31 July 2016, the business and assets subject to the transaction had combined revenues of $ 53.4 mln and an operating loss before certain non-recurring items of $ 10.1 mln. The gross assets of the combined business at 31 July 2016 were $ 32.1m.
  • The management team will transfer with the business. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.

3:21 am Novartis reports positive top-line results from ASCEND-4; moving forward with global regulatory submissions for this indication (NVS) :

Co announced top-line results from its Phase III ASCEND-4 clinical study for Zykadia in patients with advanced anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive non-small cell lung cancer. The multicenter, randomized trial, which assessed the efficacy and safety of Zykadia in previously untreated adult patients, met its primary endpoint, demonstrating clinically significant improvement in progression free survival (PFS) compared to standard chemotherapy, including maintenance.

  • In addition to PFS, clinically meaningful results were achieved across key secondary efficacy measures, including objective response rate and duration of response.
  • The adverse events observed were consistent with the previously known adverse event profile of Zykadia.
  • A full analysis of ASCEND-4 data along with detailed efficacy and safety results will be submitted for presentation at a major medical congress.

3:15 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Marriott International (MAR) has completed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, creating the world’s largest and best hotel company.
  • SPYRUS announced the integration of the Rosetta microSDHC PKI and TrustedFlash, the NcryptNshare product line, and the Microsoft (MSFT) Surface Pro family of mobile computing platforms to encrypt, seal and share enterprise and personal data in enterprise and cloud-based systems.

3:08 am Medivir receives independent Data Monitoring Committee recommendation to continue phase IIa study (MIV-711-201); first patient has been enrolled (MVRBF) :

Co announces new information about its phase IIa program for the treatment of osteoarthritis:

  • The objective of MIV-711-201 is to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of six months of treatment with MIV-711 in patients with moderate knee osteoarthritis. As part of the study, an independent DMC is periodically scheduled to review the unblinded safety data from the trial. The DMC’s voting members are two expert physicians and one biostatistician.
  • In addition, the first patient has been enrolled in an open label extension study that will enroll approximately 50 patients from MIV-711-201. All patients in the study will receive 200mg MIV-711 once daily. Patients will be eligible to roll over into the extension if they have a favorable response to MIV-711 treatment, or if their disease has worsened following placebo treatment.
  • It is expected that data from MIV-711-201 will be available in the second half of 2017 and that data from the extension study will be available in the first half of 2018.

3:03 am Global Sources announces the appointment of Craig Pepples as Deputy CEO (GSOL) :

  • Most recently, he served as Global Sources’ President of Corporate Affairs and Publisher of Chief Executive China where he was responsible for the sales, marketing and operations
  • As announced in March 2016, Spenser Au will be retiring at the end of 2016 after 39 years with Global Sources and five years as CEO of the Company

2:56 am 8point3 Energy Partners LP prices 7 mln Class A shares at $ 14.65 per share (CAFD) :  

2:54 am Apptio (Nasdaq) prices 6 mln share IPO at $ 16.00 per share, above the expected range of $ 13-15 per share (APTI) :  

2:42 am Valvoline (:NYSE) prices 30 mln share IPO at $ 22.00 per share, at the higher end of the $ 20-23 expected range (VVV) :  

2:40 am Sarepta Therapeutics prices 5.02 mln shares of its common stock at $ 59.75 per share (SRPT) :  


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