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Блог компании DayTraderClub | Америка сегодня. Деловая активность в сфере услуг.

Основные данные по деловой активности выходили в среду и продемонстрировали положительные ожидания. Такая же ситуация ожидается и в сфере услуг, новый показатель прогнозируется аналитиками на уровне 56.5%:
Америка сегодня. Деловая активность в сфере услуг.


Основной тон рынку после десяти утра по NY будут задавать спикеры ФРС и финальная речь Джанет Йеллен в 01:00 p.m.


Все новости: 
Америка сегодня. Деловая активность в сфере услуг.
Данные: DTC News, Briefing, Interactive, Economics, Public Sources
★1

Ultimate Software, Paylocity (PCTY) both initiated with Neutral ratings at Mizuho  (194.03)
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 Paycom Software initiated with a Buy at Mizuho  (55.20)
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  Kroger removed from Conviction Buy List at Goldman  (30.67)
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  Kite Pharma downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel  (75.10)
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Daytrader

 
  Covanta initiated with a Sell at Goldman; tgt $12.50  (16.30)
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  Clean Harbors initiated with a Neutral at Goldman; tgt $60  (57.26)
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  PTC Therapeutics downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays  (10.58)
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Daytrader

 
  Box among stocks with favorable commentary on Thursday's Mad Money  (16.79)

Stocks with favorable mention: AVGO, BOX, BURL, CB, DPZ, FDX, GSK, NDSN, PAH, XPO

Stocks with unfavorable mention: ASX, CAT, PRU, PZZA, SNAP, ZTO

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Daytrader

 
  Methode Electronics target raised to $55 at FBR & Co. — Strong quarter for core automotive products  (44.30)FBR & Co. raises their MEI tgt to $55 from $50 following Q3 results. Co's automotive segment continues to outgrow the industry and win new business, and the opportunity set related to Dabir hospital bed overlays still does not appear to be fully priced into shares. Moreover, co retains a highly attractive cash position that firm does not believe gets enough attention: At the end of the day, they consider Methode to be a diversified industrial technology company with exposure to multiple end markets (some of which are performing better than others), so comparing the valuation directly to automotive technology cos is somewhat difficult. They think that after taking account for potential upside related to Dabir and for co's automotive growth opportunities, shares appear quite attractive.
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  Southern upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies  (50.32)
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  Dr Pepper Snapple upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies  (94.62)
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  Greif upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at DA Davidson  (53.21)
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  Nutanix downgraded to Underweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley  (31.12)
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  Laureate Education initiated with a Buy at Citigroup; tgt $16.70  (12.57)
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  Ciena downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill  (26.39)
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  Expedia upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup  (118.92)
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  Snap initiated with a Neutral at Susquehanna; tgt $22  (24.48)
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  SolarEdge Technologies upgraded to Mkt Outperform from Mkt Perform at JMP Securities  (14.45)
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  Helmerich & Payne upgraded to Outperform from Mkt Perform at Bernstein  (68.47)
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  Caleres upgraded to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley  (29.98)
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  Sun Communities increases quarterly dividend to $0.67/share from $0.65/share  (82.14)
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  Apple Hospitality REIT downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity  (19.65)
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  Infosys initiated with a Sell at Goldman  (15.28)
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  Wayfair assumed with an Overweight, Restoration Hardware (RH) assumed with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray  (37.23)
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  MiMedx Group initiated with a Overweight at Piper Jaffray; tgt $10  (8.35)
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  Speedway Motorsp downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie  (20.28)
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  Southwestern Energy upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies  (7.59)
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Daytrader

 
  Overnight Summary — World markets slide lower but off session lows
  • The global equity markets are all trading lower this morning, with the S&P Futures down ~3 points this morning. Asian equities appeared to decline in tandem with the weakness seen on Wall Street on Thursday. There were a handful of data points out of the region, but most of the news was of no consequence to the markets, with benign reactions to each release.
  • In Japan, the Nikkei closed out the day down 0.5%, but still managed to post a weekly gain of ~1%. The yen saw modest strength against the dollar during the session, but has since reverted back to just little changed. The volatility in the currency was minimal, with the USDJPY only seeing about a 40 pip range overnight. Major exporters and energy stocks were among the weakest groups with the likes of Toshiba and Japan Petroleum both falling around 2% on the day. On the brighter side, Fast Retailing bucked the sentiment of the broader market, gaining nearly 3% after the co reported that same-store sales for February rose 5.2% YoY.
  • In China, the Shanghai declined 0.4%. Traders appeared to take a cautious approach to the equity markets today, particularly with the People's Political Consultative Conference starting today (occurs every 5 years). The Mainland also saw a MoM drop in the February Caixin Services PMI, coming in 52.6 (vs 53.1 in Jan). Weakness in the Energy sector took its toll on the major average. Among the most notables were Sinopec (-2.6%) and China Petro and Chemical (-1.4%) each lagging the benchmark.
  • European bourses opened lower but have managed to pull off of the early session lows. The major indices initially trading with a similar tone as Asia, but buyers stepped in a couple of hours into the session. Although there was no clear catalyst to point to the bid in the markets, traders may have been enticed by a relatively weak set of macro-related releases across the region. Among the most notable events were weaker than expected Services PMI readings, coupled with a miss in German Retail Sales. Corporate earnings slowed down considerably, leaving regional economic data to take center stage overnight.

Market Updates:

  • S&P Futures vs Fair Value: -1.00 
  • 10 yr Note: 2.4997%  
  • USD/JPY: 114.45 +0.05  
  • EUR/USD: 1.0543 +0.0038
  • Europe: FTSE -0.2% DAX -0.1% CAC +0.5% 
  • Asia: Hang Seng -0.7% Shanghai -0.4% Nikkei -0.5% 
  • Commodities: Gold (1227.10 -5.80) Silver (17.74 -0.01) crude (52.79 +0.18) 

US Econ Data

  • February Markit Services PMI- Final (9:45am)- Prelim 53.9
  • February ISM Services (10am)- Briefing.com consensus 56.5
  • Fed's Evans speaks (10:15am, Voter)- Generally a dove but has been pushing for a March hike and looks for three hikes in 2017.
  • Fed's Lacker speaks (10:15am, Non-Voter)- Said two weeks ago next rate hike should come sooner rather than later.
  • Fed's Powell speaks (12:15pm, Voter)- Already spoke today, saying March was live and looking at three hikes.
  • Fed Chair Yellen speaks (1pm, Voter)- Could be the nail in the coffin in terms of March expectations.
  • Fed's Fischer speaks (1pm, Voter)- Probably gets overshadowed by his boss but could help provide additional emphasis.
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CAT продолжение падения. ч/з судовые разбирательства. 
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Игорь Т

 
  Immersion downgraded to Hold at Craig Hallum; tgt lowered to $8 as they await Apple (AAPL) outcome and likely Samsung (SSNLF) lawsuit  (10.69)Craig Hallum downgrades IMMR to Hold from Buy and lowers their tgt to $8 from $11 following the Q4 miss and lower than expected guide. Mgmt stated on the call that FY2017 does not include the potential rev from re-signing SSNLF or a positive ruling in their trial with AAPL. Non-GAAP net loss is expected to be $23-$32 mln, well below expectations due largely to ~$20 mln in expected litigation expense for 2017 that will be 1H2017 weighted. Firm does not believe that IMMR's current litigation expense expectations include the possible lawsuit at SSNLF for FY2017 should they have to sue. Firm also notes IMMR's stock price ran following their Q3 print due to a large increase in LT deferred revs with Q3 at ~$27.5 mln, up from ~$1.4 mln in Q2, but co saw a ~$1 mln decrease in this line item for Q4 versus expectations for additional growth from new deal signings. While they believe that IMMR has a solid IP portfolio for haptics they are stepping to the sidelines as they await new fundamental drivers and the lawsuit/re-signing clarity at AAPL and SSNLF.
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  Advanced Disposal upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill  (23.00)
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  Edge Therapeutics resumed with a Outperform at Leerink Partners; tgt $21  (9.40)
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  LG Display downgraded to Underperform from Mkt Perform at Bernstein  (12.12)
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  PHH Corp upgraded to Outperform at Wedbush; tgt lowered to $15.50  (12.59)Wedbush upgrades PHH to Outperform from Neutral and lowers their tgt to $15.50 from $17 as expected charges associated with the transition to a capital light, subservicing business (PHH 2.0) suggest that at the end of the transition, tangible book will decline to ~$15.00 per share and that post restructuring the company will be able to initiate return of capital measures in excess of the $550 million reflected in its current plan fuel the upgrade.
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  Virtusa target raised to $40 at Wedbush   (32.27)Wedbush raises their VRTU tgt to $40 from $35 as they continue to believe that a combination of rev/cost synergies from Polaris acquisition, improving execution and positive spending patterns at FIs (50%+ of revenues) will gradually expand margins while accelerating top line growth. Despite the recent recovery in Virtusa's stock, it continues to trade at a material discount to peers.
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  American Outdoor Brands target lowered to $21 at Wedbush on cooling industry trends  (19.38)Wedbush lowers their AOBC tgt to $21 from $25 as they feel on the one hand, the significant under-performance in the stock (-8% after hours) would seem to be an overreaction to the modest reduction in FY17 guidance and even the more significant reduction to firm's FY18 numbers. On the other hand, the duration of the channel correction is a big unknown, and while mgmt touts a more flexible manufacturing footprint than was the case during previous corrections, history would suggest that it will be difficult to make money on the stock in the current envm't.
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  Computer Sciences initiated with a Sector Weight at Pacific Crest  (70.03)
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  Emerson upgraded to Hold from Reduce at HSBC Securities  (60.31)
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  DDR, FPO, KIM, SLG, SKT, WPC now rated Outperform at Evercore ISI under new ratings system  (13.91)
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 Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -0.5%, Hang Seng -0.7%, Shanghai -0.4%

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended weaker on Friday with equities appearing to decline in tandem with the weakness seen on Wall Street on Thursday. There were a handful of data points out of the region, but most of the news was of no consequence to the markets, with benign reactions to each release. The yen saw modest strength against the dollar during the session, but has since reverted back to just little changed. The volatility in the currency was minimal, with the USDJPY only seeing about a 40 pip range overnight. Traders in China also appeared to take a cautious approach to the equity markets, particularly with the People's Political Consultative Conference starting today (occurs every 5 years). 

  • In economic data:
    • Aus
      • Feb AiG Performance of Service Index: 49.0 vs 54.4 in Jan
    • Japan
      • Jan National CPI +0.4% vs +0.4%e
      • Jan Jobless Rate: 3.0% vs 3.0%e
      • Feb Nikkei Services PMI: 52.2 vs 52.3 in Jan
    • China
      • Feb Caixin Services PMI: 52.6 vs 53.1 in Jan

---Equity Markets---

  • In Japan, the Nikkei closed out the day down 0.5%, but still managed to post a weekly gain of ~1%. The yen saw modest strength against the dollar during the session, but has since reverted back to just little changed. Major exporters and energy stocks were among the weakest groups with the likes of Toshiba and Japan Petroleum both falling around 2% on the day. On the brighter side, Fast Retailing bucked the sentiment of the broader market, gaining nearly 3% after the co reported that same-store sales for February rose 5.2% YoY.
  • In China, the Shanghai declined 0.4%. The People's Political Consultative Conference and a MoM drop in the February Caixin Services PMI set the tone across the mainland, leaving traders uninspired during Friday's session. Weakness in the Energy sector took its toll on the major average. Among the most notables were Sinopec (-2.6%) and China Petro and Chemical (-1.4%) each lagging the benchmark.
  • In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was among the worst performing indices, finishing the day down 0.7%. Financials outpaced the broader market on the downside. Among the most notable laggards were Bank of China and ICBC, both dropping over 1.5% on the day. 
  • In India, the Sensex closed flat on the day. Among the sectors in the BSE, the Telecom index rose 1.2%, while Realty sector also witnessed strength with a gain of 0.9%. Other notable movers in India included Reliance Industries (+2%) and Bharti Infratel (+6%), with both companies benefiting from broker upgrades.

---FX---

  • USDJPY +0.1% to 114.51
  • USDCNY +0.1% to 6.8990
  • USDINR +0.1% to 66.8050
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  Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says on CNBC that CAT search was part of an ongoing probe  (94.36)
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  AvalonBay, ESS, LSI, PGRE, UDR now rated In-Line at Evercore ISI under new ratings system  (182.84)
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  American Campus Communities, BK, OFC, DRH, DEI, EGP, EDR, ELS, EQR, EXR, HCP, HLT, HST, KRC, LM, MAR, PEB, PSA, STT, UE, VTR, WDR all rated Underperform now at Evercore ISI under new ratings system  (50.00)
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  SCANA Corp upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS  (69.98)
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Daytrader

 
  Burlington Stores target raised to $97 at RBC Capital Mkts — Share gains & improving execution give more confidence in lt growth profile  (94.59)

RBC Capital Mkts raises their BURL tgt to $97 from $91. They continue to be impressed by the improvements BURL has made in the business model, which are once again reflected in Q4/ FY16 results. They expect both revenues and profitability to improve with share gains and operational improvements. As such, they expect BURL to grow EPS at high teens-20% rate next few years and reiterate OP.

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  Marriott target raised to $92 at RBC Capital Mkts  (87.52)RBC Capital Mkts raises their MAR tgt to $92 from $90. MAR remains well positioned for growth with high visibility for multiple years of elevated unit growth. Corporate and property level synergies add an extra layer of growth. RevPAR growth remains low and is not expected to contribute much to growth this year. Should corporate travel improve, MAR would likely add a third lever of growth.
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Daytrader

 
  Scynexis target lowered to $11 at RBC Capital Mkts — ’078 intravenous dose put on hold; not a show stopper but creates an overhang  (3.27)RBC Capital Mkts lowers their SCYX tgt to $11 from $15. They have long made the case that the opportunity for SCY-078 could be maximized if both the oral form, which has cleared Phase 2 studies, and the i.v. form, which just completed Phase 1, are successfully developed. Based on our conversation with management, they think i.v. hurdle can be overcome, and regardless oral trials will continue, but shares could become range-bound near-term pending updates.

SCYX -27% at seven month low premarket.
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  Stryker target raised to $135 from $129 at RBC Capital Mkts — increased confidence in SYK's ability to maintain its position as a premium medtech grower in 2017 and beyond  (130.79)
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Daytrader

 
  On The Wires
  • Millicom International Cellular S.A. (MIICF) and Bharti Airtel Limited announced that they have, through their respective subsidiaries, entered into an agreement for Tigo Ghana Limited and Airtel Ghana Limited to combine their operations in Ghana. As per the agreement, Millicom and Airtel would have equal ownership and governance rights in the combined entity.  The combined business would serve nearly 10 million customers, of which 5.6 million are data customers. It would cover more than 80% of Ghana's population with high speed data, providing the widest 3G coverage across the country, and would have revenues close to $300m, making it one of the largest communications companies in Ghana.
  • Nord Anglia Education (NORD) announces today that it has entered into two separate agreements to acquire two international schools in Europe and the Middle East.  In aggregate the two schools currently educate more than 4,400 full time equivalent students from age three to 18, with capacity of over 4,800 seats. The combined consideration for the two schools is expected to be approximately $147 million and is within Nord Anglia Education's targeted range of 7-10x EBITDA for each school.  Nord Anglia Education expects both transactions to complete over the next two months and will update its fiscal 2017 guidance and provide further details on each of the schools when they close.
  • FUJIFILM KYOWA KIRIN BIOLOGICS Co., Ltd. announced that on March 3, 2017, the UK High Court of Justice ruled in Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics' favor in patent litigation proceedings brought against AbbVie Biotechnology (ABBV) in respect of the validity of certain adalimumab dosing regimens for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics brought the action in relation to FKB327, its adalimumab biosimilar candidate of the fully human anti-TNF-a*1 monoclonal antibody referencing Humira, which Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics has been developing.
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  European Research Calls

Upgrades

  • Vesuvius PLC (CKSNY) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan
  • Gold Fields (GFI) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan
  • Iliad SA (ILIAY) upgraded to Outperform from Hold at Exane BNP Paribas
  • Royal KPN (KKPNY) upgraded to Outperform from Hold at Exane BNP Paribas
  • Grupo Aeroportuario (OMAB) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan

Downgrades

  • AmBev (ABEV) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
  • AngloGold (AU) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan
  • Harmony Gold (HMY) downgraded to Underweight from Overweight at JP Morgan

Miscellaneous

  • None of note
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  Ryman Hospitality downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill  (64.88)
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  Hersha Hospitality Trust downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill  (19.77)
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  Summit Hotel upgraded to Buy from Underperform at BofA/Merrill  (15.44)
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  GCP Applied Tech. upgraded to Buy at Monness Crespi & Hardt; tgt $37  (31.00)Monness Crespi & Hardt upgrades GCP to Buy from Neutral and sets target price at $37 GCP after yesterday's announcement that Henkel has agreed to buy the Darex business for $1.05b. The price, even after tax leakage, represents very good value to GCP and is over 11x EBITDA on a net proceeds basis. But it's what the sale of Darex, GCP's slowest growing business, does for the remaining GCP that makes the deal so interesting. GCP is now a pure play that grows faster and trades at just 9.5x EVBITDA on '18 after the deal. GCP will also be facing potential demand acceleration if the US undertakes meaningful Infrastructure investment. Finally, firm believes the sale of Darex makes the remaining GCP a very attractive acquisition candidate.
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  Marvell color on quarter  (15.85)
  • Cowen — Cowen discussed that with another solid Q & flat q/q revenue guidance that was roundly better than most on the sell side expected, this was another solid step toward dramatically better execution & sustainable cash flows. In the near-term, Cowen would not get out over their skis as rev will still remain somewhat challenged due to 1) the potential for some correction in storage — particularly HDD, as NAND availability improves; and 2) the falloff of some legacy biz in networking and ~30% y/y declines in other (printer, AP, & comms processor). However, MRVL is 1Q ahead of the cost targets, & the swiftness with which MRVL has bumped up against the 60% GM target set last July speaks to the opportunity still on the come. Lastly, Cowen noted they see a path to $20 as a base case with potential additional portfolio rationalization & M&A (likely in networking) creating upside to this level.

— Shares of MRVL +4% pre-market.

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  Early premarket gappersGapping up: PPHM +15.4%, BIG +5.2%, ING +4.1%, VIPS +3.3%, DB +3.1%, BBVA +3%, CS +2.7%, MU +1.6%, SAN +1.5%, AKS +1.3%, CNHI +1.3%, TOT +1.2%, MT +0.9%

Gapping down: SCYX -26.9%, AOBC -7.9%, CGG -6.9%, RGLS -4.5%, COST -4.3%, BLDR -2.6%, AU -2.4%, HMY -2.4%, AMD -2.2%, SBGL -1.6%, GPRO -1.5%, ABX -1.1%, GDX -1.0%
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 Overnight Treasury Summary

Treasuries Slide Again Ahead of ISM Services

  • U.S. Treasuries are set to open lower again this morning as traders brace themselves for the 10:00 ET release of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index. Overnight, international economic data showed that China's service sector grew at a slower-than-expected rate in February while Japanese household spending exceeded estimates in January. German retail sales unexpectedly dropped in January but service sector purchasing managers' index data showed improvement in Italy and Spain during February. The services PMI in the U.K. missed forecasts for February but survey data across Europe remains generally strong. IHS Markit said that the eurozone economy is «firing on all cylinders.» In addition to the ISM report, Fed Chair Yellen, Fed Vice Chair Fischer, and Chicago Fed President Williams, who all vote on FOMC decisions, are set to speak publicly today. The big story of this week remains the dramatic shift in Fed funds futures to price in an overwhelming probability for a rate hike at the March 14-15 FOMC meeting. The S&P 500 is set to open down 0.13% to 2,378.9 and the U.S. Dollar Index is losing 0.31% to 101.88. WTI crude is up 0.23% to $52.73/bbl. and gold is down 0.47% to $1,227.1/troy oz.
  • Yield Check:
    • 2-yr: +2 bps to 1.33%
    • 5-yr: +2 bps to 2.04%
    • 10-yr: +3 bps to 2.50%
    • 30-yr: +1 bp to 3.09%
  • News:
    • China's Caixin Services PMI unexpectedly fell to 52.6 for February from 53.1 in January
    • In Japan, household spending grew by 0.5% m/m in January (-1.2% y/y), beating estimates and reversing most of December's 0.6% slide
      • The National Core CPI was up 0.1% y/y in January, exceeding economists' estimates (-0.2% y/y in December)
      • The Tokyo Core CPI was down 0.3% y/y in February, missing expectations (-0.3% y/y in January)
      • Japan's unemployment rate fell to 3.0% in January from 3.1% in December, as expected
      • An index of household confidence in Japan fell to 43.1 in February from 43.2 in January
    • Russia's Markit Services PMI fell to 55.5 for February from 58.4 in January
    • Turkish consumer price inflation rose to 101.1% in February from 9.2% in January, the highest rate in five years
    • Eurozone retail sales fell by 0.1% m/m in January (+1.2% y/y), missing estimates for growth after a 0.5% slide in December
      • The eurozone's services purchasing managers' index was revised down to 55.5 for February from the preliminary reading of 55.6. January's print was 53.7
        • On a national basis, big jumps in Italy and Spain were offset by disappointing readings in other countries
    • German retail sales dropped by 0.8% m/m in January (+2.3% y/y), missing forecasts for growth after a 0.9% decline in December
    • Italy's GDP grew by 0.2% q/q in the fourth quarter (1.0% y/y), in line with both expectations and Q3's rate
    • The U.K.'s services PMI fell more than expected to 53.3 for February from 54.5 in January
    • Brazil's IPC-Fipe Inflation Index fell by 0.08% m/m in February after a 0.32% jump in January. Economists had expected a smaller decline
  • Data out Today:
    • February ISM Services (10:00 ET)
  • Fed Speakers:
    • Chicago Fed President Evans (FOMC voter) (10:15 ET)
    • Richmond Fed President Lacker (non-FOMC voter, retiring this year) (10:15 ET)
    • Fed Vice Chair Fischer (FOMC voter) (12:00 ET)
    • Fed Chair Yellen (FOMC voter) (13:00 ET)
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 Marvell color on quarter  (15.85)
  • Needham — Needham noted they are warming up to the story, as the new management team continues to execute on transforming the biz. Margins continue to beat on the upside as management drives a richer product mix, executes on operational efficiencies, & streamlines OPEX. As a result, Needham now sees a clear path to 60% GM & mid-20% OM & possibly higher. Management has also stepped up its capital return program, returning over $155 mln to shareholders in buybacks & dividends in F4Q18. Their long hesitation on MRVL remains rev growth, & they expect this to be a highlight of next week's Analyst Day, in which Needham also noted they anticipate management will expand on potential growth drivers; reiterates Hold.

— Shares of MRVL +3.3% pre-market.

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  Kite Pharma downgrade details — to Hold at Stifel on valuation; tgt $74  (75.10)Stifel downgrades KITE to Hold from Buy and sets target price at $74 based on valuation in front of a launch that seems unlikely to be better than our models. Firm found Wednesday's data to be highly compelling with nearly a third of patients experiencing what looks like life-saving treatment. Nonetheless, co now faces a unique launch with treatment centers that have not all used these cells before and are likely to move slowly. In addition, firm still awaits a pricing announcement that is likely to trigger the heel-dragging that payors are becoming comfortable with. Finally, until more data for JCAR017 are released, the stock will continue to be plagued by doubts that Juno's (JUNO) cells may be meaningfully better. Despite the high chances for approval, firm doesn't see the conventional counter argument that Kite could be acquired. Firm sees only a handful of cos as sophisticated enough to take Kite over without destroying co (Amgen and Roche/Genentech) and both these cos are highly involved with competing, non-cellular, technologies.
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  Southern downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus  (50.32)
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 Natl Oilwell Varco upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus  (40.29)
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  Palo Alto Networks downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus  (116.49)
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 S&P futures vs fair value: -2.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -11.10.

Equity futures trade flat this morning following Thursday's mild pullback and ahead of comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who will speak today at 1:00 pm ET. The S&P 500 futures trade two points below fair value.

The Fed funds futures market now assigns an implied probability of 77.5% to a March rate hike, up from 26.6% last Friday, following hawkish comments from New York Fed President Dudely (FOMC voter) and Fed Governor Brainard (FOMC voter) earlier in the week. All eyes will be on Ms. Yellen this afternoon, looking for her to confirm the possibility of policy tightening before the Fed enters the blackout period ahead of the March 14-15 meeting.

Also of note, Chicago Fed President Evans (FOMC voter), Richmond Fed President Lacker (non-FOMC voter), Fed Governor Powell (FOMC voter), and Fed Vice Chair Fischer (FOMC voter) are also scheduled to speak on Friday.

U.S. Treasuries trade lower this morning along with the U.S. dollar. The benchmark 10-yr yield is two basis points higher at 2.50% while the U.S. Dollar Index (101.86, -0.29) is down 0.3%.

Crude oil trades flat in early action following its 2.3% slide on Thursday. For the week, the energy component shows a loss of 2.5% as an uptick in U.S. drilling has overshadowed strong OPEC supply cut compliance. WTI crude currently trades at $52.64/bbl.

Friday's lone economic report, February ISM Services (Briefing.com consensus 56.5%), will cross the wires at 10:00 am ET.

In U.S. corporate news:

  • Costco (COST 171.34, -6.64): -3.7% after missing revenue estimates.
  • Big Lots (BIG 55.00, +2.75): +5.3% after reporting better than expected earnings and issuing above-consensus earnings guidance. The company also approved a $150 million share repurchase and raised its dividend.
  • Snap (SNAP 24.90, +0.37): +1.5% following the company's much anticipated IPO on Thursday.

Reviewing overnight developments:

  • Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended weaker on Friday with equities appearing to decline in tandem with the weakness seen on Wall Street on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei -0.5%, China's Shanghai Composite -0.4%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.7%, India's Sensex unch.
    • In economic data:
      • Australia
        • Feb AiG Performance of Service Index: 49.0 vs 54.4 in Jan
      • Japan
        • Jan National CPI +0.4% vs +0.4%e Jan Jobless Rate: 3.0% vs 3.0%e Feb Nikkei Services PMI: 52.2 vs 52.3 in Jan
      • China
        • Feb Caixin Services PMI: 52.6 vs 53.1 in Jan
    • In news:
      • Traders in China appeared to take a cautious approach to the equity markets with the People's Political Consultative Conference starting today (occurs every 5 years).
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 On The Wires
  • FIBRIA CELULOSE S.A. (FBR) hereby informs its shareholders and the market in general that as approved by its Board of Directors in the meeting held on November 30, 2016, the execution, on February 27th, 2017, of an affreightment agreement of 5 vessels (Consecutive Voyage Contract — CVC) with Pan Ocean Co. Ltd at a total estimated amount of approximately $636 million, diluted over the period the service is provided. The Contract will come into force on the date of its execution with provision for its termination in 2035, and may be extended for a period of 5 or 10 years at Fibria's sole discretion.
  • As previously disclosed, Geron (GERN) and certain of its officers have been named as defendants in a consolidated class action securities lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. On March 2, 2017, the parties to the Securities Class Action, through their respective counsel, executed a Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement and related documents formalizing an agreement to settle the Securities Class Action. Under the Stipulation, in exchange for the dismissal with prejudice of all claims against all defendants in connection with the Securities Class Action, the Company has agreed to settle the Securities Class Action for $6.25 million in cash. The Company expects $6.0 million of the settlement amount to be paid by the Company's insurance providers and the remaining $250,000 to be paid by the Company.
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  European Markets Update: FTSE -0.3%, DAX -0.2%, CAC +0.7%

European bourses opened lower but have managed to pull off of the early session lows. The major indices initially trading with a similar tone as Asia, but buyers stepped in a couple of hours into the session. Although there was no clear catalyst to point to the bid in the markets, traders may have been enticed by a relatively weak set of macro-related releases across the region. Among the most notable events were weaker than expected Services PMI readings, coupled with a miss in German Retail Sales. Corporate earnings slowed down considerably, leaving regional economic data to take center stage overnight.

  • In economic data:
    • Germany
      • Jan Retail Sales -0.8% vs +0.3%e
      • Feb Final Services PMI 54.4 vs 54.4 prelim
    • Italy
      • Q4 Final GDP +0.2% vs +1.1%e
    • Eurozone
      • Feb Final Services PMI 55.5 vs 55.6 prelim
      • Jan Retail Sales +1.2% vs +1.5%3
    • UK
      • Feb Final Services PMI 53.3 vs 54.0e

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE is down 0.3%, extending losses from yesterday. Financials are among the leaders thus far with the likes of Lloyds (+1.1%), Barclays (+0.9%), and Old Mutual (+0.9%). On the flip side, WPP is among the biggest laggards, trading 6% lower after releasing Q4 results.
  • Germany's DAX is down just 0.2% so far on Friday. Banks are leading the way in Germany as well. Lenders such as Deutsche Bank Commerzbank are both trading in the neighborhood of 3%. The laggards include Merck (-1.1%) and Fresenius Medical Care (-0.7%).
  • France's CAC is up 0.5% and leading the charge with the heavily weighted banking stocks representing the biggest gains. Soc Gen has set the tone, gaining by more than 4%, while BNP is a close second, trading 3.5% higher. The list of laggards is thin, however Publicis is down over 1% in sympathy with WPP. ArcelorMittal is also down over 1% after HSBC painted a less than stellar outlook on iron ore prices.
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  MOCON Inc. increases quarterly dividend to $0.12/share from $0.11/share  (19.88)
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 European Summary

Eurozone Service Sector Activity Remains Strong

  • European sovereign debt is trading lower this morning as the euro remains relatively firm in the face of a hawkish turn this week at the U.S. Federal Reserve. Purchasing managers' indices for the eurozone service sector are showing robust growth there and euro-currency bears should surely be disappointed that the euro has failed to break its January 2 low despite fresh signs of interest rate policy divergence. Germany's two-year schatz yield is up to -0.82% today from a low of -0.95% on Friday. In the French presidential contest, support for Francois Fillon is falling and this should help anti-Marine Le Pen voters to coalesce around Emmanuel Macron. Of course, France's election will have a run-off round in May following the first round in April, so there is no spoiler role for third place candidates. Any boost for Macron would be more like that of a U.S. presidential candidate avoiding a drawn out primary
  • European Economic Data:
    • Eurozone retail sales fell by 0.1% m/m in January (+1.2% y/y), missing estimates for growth after a 0.5% slide in December
      • German retail sales dropped by 0.8% m/m in January (+2.3% y/y), missing forecasts for growth after a 0.9% decline in December
    • The eurozone's services purchasing managers' index was revised down to 55.5 for February from the preliminary reading of 55.6. January's print was 53.7
      • France: revised down to 56.4 from 56.7 (54.1 in January)
      • Germany: confirmed at 54.4 (53.4 in January)
      • Italy: 54.1 (52.4 in January)
      • Spain: 57.0 (54.2 in January)
    • Italy's GDP grew by 0.2% q/q in the fourth quarter (1.0% y/y), in line with both expectations and Q3's rate
    • The U.K.'s services PMI fell more than expected to 53.3 for February from 54.5 in January
  • Yield Check:
    • France, 10-yr OAT: +2 bps to 0.95%
    • Germany, 10-yr bund: +4 bps to 0.36%
    • Greece, 10-yr note: +3 bps to 6.96%
    • Italy, 10-yr BTP: unch at 2.13%
    • Portugal, 10-yr PGB: unch at 3.94%
    • Spain, 10-yr ODE: +2 bps to 1.70%
    • U.K., 10-yr gilt: -2 bps to 1.12%
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 Autodesk target raised to $99 from $94 at Griffin Securities following the Q4 print  (87.32)
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X шорт
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sereja К

 238.2 уровень
BABA лонг
LOW у хая дня
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sereja К

 … вчерашнего
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sereja К

 зафиксировал LOW
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sereja К

 NTNX
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sereja К

ENB 41,1 шорт
 xom long ot 82.8
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sereja К

 abx long ot 17.95
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sereja К

 Autodesk: Color on Quarter  (87.32)
  • RBC raises their price target to $87 from $84, reiterates Sector Perform.  They note that Fourth quarter results were slightly ahead while lower revenue, profitability and subscriber targets for FY/18 are likely to be more in focus. We still look for the transition and numbers to be someone volatile over the near term, though additional incentives should help drive subscription adoption as the company remains confident in longer-term targets. 
  • Wedbush reduces their price target to $78 from $80, reiterates Neutral.  They note ADSK's 4Q results and commentary contained both positives and negatives. They're encouraged by key metrics and management commentary on the opportunity to convert maintenance customers to product subscriptions, as well as upcoming maintenance price increases over the next several years and the opportunity to convert «unconscious» piracy (e.g. pirated use of ADSK by 1.2M users at known customer accounts). More negative, guidance for headline revenue and EPS was surprisingly weak, and well below levels suggested by the company's last full presentation of its future trajectory 16 months ago. Given improvements in global PMIs, potential U.S. infrastructure investments, and the likelihood that ADSK results will now be more consistently increasing Q/Q, they would like to be more positive. However, they think ADSK's ability to hit its long-term targets is still more of a leap of faith rather than a modeling exercise with high-confidence inputs, and we're on the sidelines until the company's model transition can settle into a more consistent, predictable pattern.

Shares are trading 1.6% lower in pre-market trading

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  S&P futures vs fair value: -1.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -11.10.

Wall Street is poised for a flat open on Friday as the S&P 500 futures trade one point below fair value.

After a relatively flat start to the week, the major averages surged to new record highs on Wednesday following President Trump's first address to Congress on Tuesday evening. The president provided very little 'new' information in his speech, but he did sound very 'presidential', proving that his controversial style can be toned-down when need be.

Investors took some money off the table on Thursday after the stock market's big Wednesday advance, leaving the S&P 500 with a 0.6% week-to-date gain coming into Friday's session.

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  Prothena prices 2.7 mln of its ordinary shares at $57.50/share  (60.07)
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 Wingstop: Color on Quarter  (26.65)
  • Wedbush stays at Outperform, maintains $36 PT. The firm expects upside to lowered expectations, driven by both SSS growth and margin outperformance. Moreover, the firm believes a growing understanding of WING's recurring special dividends is poised to drive increased appreciation of Wingstop's unique business model, and a rising premium to peers. Given Q1 quarter-to-date SSS growth of -2.6%, the firm believes 2017 guidance for low single-digit domestic SSS growth is likely to result in a meaningfully lowered consensus estimate relative to the current 3.7%.

WING shares are currently down ~7% around the 25 level following the comps miss. Short interest as % of float was ~23% as of February 15 according to Factset.

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  STAAR Surgical target raised to $12 at The Benchmark Company  (10.17)The Benchmark Company raises their STAA tgt to $12 from $10. Generally in-line Q4 results are superseded by the prospect in 2017 of exciting new products and the resolution of STAAR's longstanding FDA remediation/quality systems upgrade. This year, mgmt expects to introduce the EDOF EVO spheric optic ICL, and a preloaded ICL. In addition to these meaningful international product introductions, mgmt disclosed it has completed its planned FDA remediation and has engaged an outside consultant to perform an evaluation prior to requesting an FDA evaluation. Firm anticipates this is the prelude to U.S. Toric clearance, as well as follow-on products. Beyond the upside these products could represent to their model, firm believes they represent very substantial LT strategic value. Mgmt expects quality systems improvements to continue and plans for permanently elevated expense.
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  VTTI Energy Partners downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo  (18.40)
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  Cenveo: Prof.Nathu Ram Puri discloses 6.43% active stake  (5.32)
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 Gapping up

Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
:

  • HABT +15.9%, BIG +5.3%, SNDX +3.9%, MRVL +3.3%, SYN +3.1%, EVC +2.7%, GWRE +2.4%, ABR +1.2%, SPKE +1.1%

Select EU financial related names showing strength:

  • ING +4.4%, BBVA +4%, DB +3.3%, CS +3.3%, SAN +2.4%

Select metals/mining stocks trading higher:

  • VALE +5.4%, GFI +2.8%, BBL +1.8%, BHP +1.7%, CLF +1.7%, RIO +1.5%

Other news:

  • BIOS +6.8% (enters into a Stock Purchase Agreement for the sale of an aggregate of 3,300,000 shares of its common stock for aggregate gross proceeds of $5,070,780 in a private placement)
  • PPHM +6.2% (indicated higher after Ronin Capital discloses 6.8% active stake; may also wish to engage in a dialogue with officers, directors, and other representatives )
  • VTTI +3.5% (VTTI Energy Partners receives a proposal from VTTI B.V. pursuant to which VTTI would acquire through a wholly owned subsidiary all publicly held common units of the Partnership in exchange for $18.75/unit )
  • OCLR +3.5% (continued strength)

Analyst comments:

  • ADSW +1.7% (upgraded to Buy at BofA/Merrill)
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  Filings, Offerings and Pricings

Filings:

  • Mondelez Int'l (MDLZ) files mixed securities shelf offering
  • Zosano Pharma (ZSAN) files for $46 mln common stock offering

Pricings:

  • Ashford Hospitality Prime (AHP 10.93) prices offering of 1,975,500 shares of 5.50% Series B Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock at $20.19 per share
  • Bioscrip (BIOS 1.46) enters into a Stock Purchase Agreement for the sale of an aggregate of 3,300,000 shares of its common stock at $1.5366/share
  • Builders Firstsource (BLDR 15.15) prices 10 mln common stock offering by JLL Building Holdings at $14.65/share
  • Prothena (PRTA 60.07) prices 2.7 mln of its ordinary shares at $57.50/share
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  Advanced Micro lower ahead of the open following block trade pricing  (13.90)
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  Gapping down

Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
:

  • IMMR -19.7%, NTNX -19.2%, BBG -9.4%, CGG -7%, WING -6.8%, FSTR -6.6%
  • AOBC -5.1%, RGLS -4.5%, AMRS -4.5%,
  • COST -4.3%, (Costco also confirmed plans for membership fee increase ), ADSK -1.7%

Other news:

  • SCYX -22.6% (delays the initiation of any new clinical studies with the IV formulation of SCY-078 until the FDA completes a review of all available pre-clinical and clinical data of the IV formulation of SCY-078)
  • KPTI -15.1% (announced the results of a planned interim analysis of the Phase 2 SOPRA study evaluating single agent selinexor in relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia; study will not reach statistically significant improvement in primary endpoint of overall survival in patients who are unfit for chemotherapy and/or transplantation )
  • HMSY -10.5% ( files to delay its 10-K; is continuing to evaluate whether this issue affects its consolidated financial results, primarily focusing on prior periods in which revenue relating to the CMS business was recorded)
  • ZSAN -9.7% ( files for $46 mln common stock offering)
  • BLDR -1.5% (commences a secondary offering of 10,000,000 shares of its common stock to be sold by JLL Building Holdings)

Analyst comments:

  • KITE -1.5% (downgraded to Hold at Stifel)
  • CIEN -1.5% (downgraded to Neurtral at BofA/Merrill)
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  Gapping up/down: BIG +5% and MRVL +3% after earnings, EU banks showing early strength; BBG -9%, WING -7%, FSTR -7%, COST -4% and ADSK -2% after earnings

Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
:

  • HABT +15.9%, BIG +5.3%, SNDX +3.9%, MRVL +3.3%, SYN +3.1%, EVC +2.7%, GWRE +2.4%, ABR +1.2%, SPKE +1.1%

Select EU financial related names showing strength:

  • ING +4.4%, BBVA +4%, DB +3.3%, CS +3.3%, SAN +2.4%

Select metals/mining stocks trading higher:

  • VALE +5.4%, GFI +2.8%, BBL +1.8%, BHP +1.7%, CLF +1.7%, RIO +1.5%

Other news:

  • BIOS +6.8% (enters into a Stock Purchase Agreement for the sale of an aggregate of 3,300,000 shares of its common stock for aggregate gross proceeds of $5,070,780 in a private placement)
  • PPHM +6.2% (indicated higher after Ronin Capital discloses 6.8% active stake; may also wish to engage in a dialogue with officers, directors, and other representatives )
  • VTTI +3.5% (VTTI Energy Partners receives a proposal from VTTI B.V. pursuant to which VTTI would acquire through a wholly owned subsidiary all publicly held common units of the Partnership in exchange for $18.75/unit )
  • OCLR +3.5% (continued strength)

Analyst comments:

  • ADSW +1.7% (upgraded to Buy at BofA/Merrill)

Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
:

  • IMMR -19.7%, NTNX -19.2%, BBG -9.4%, CGG -7%, WING -6.8%, FSTR -6.6%
  • AOBC -5.1%, RGLS -4.5%, AMRS -4.5%,
  • COST -4.3%, (Costco also confirmed plans for membership fee increase ), ADSK -1.7%

Other news:

  • SCYX -22.6% (delays the initiation of any new clinical studies with the IV formulation of SCY-078 until the FDA completes a review of all available pre-clinical and clinical data of the IV formulation of SCY-078)
  • KPTI -15.1% (announced the results of a planned interim analysis of the Phase 2 SOPRA study evaluating single agent selinexor in relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia; study will not reach statistically significant improvement in primary endpoint of overall survival in patients who are unfit for chemotherapy and/or transplantation )
  • HMSY -10.5% ( files to delay its 10-K; is continuing to evaluate whether this issue affects its consolidated financial results, primarily focusing on prior periods in which revenue relating to the CMS business was recorded)
  • ZSAN -9.7% ( files for $46 mln common stock offering)
  • BLDR -1.5% (commences a secondary offering of 10,000,000 shares of its common stock to be sold by JLL Building Holdings)

Analyst comments:

  • KITE -1.5% (downgraded to Hold at Stifel)
  • CIEN -1.5% (downgraded to Neurtral at BofA/Merrill)
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Daytrader

 S&P futures vs fair value: -1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -11.40.

The S&P 500 futures trade two points below fair value.

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended weaker on Friday with equities appearing to decline in tandem with the weakness seen on Wall Street on Thursday. There were a handful of data points out of the region, but most of the news was of no consequence to the markets, with benign reactions to each release. The yen saw modest strength against the dollar during the session, but has since reverted back to just little changed. The volatility in the currency was minimal, with the USDJPY only seeing about a 40 pip range overnight. Traders in China also appeared to take a cautious approach to the equity markets, particularly with the People's Political Consultative Conference starting today (occurs every 5 years). 

  • In economic data:
    • Aus
      • Feb AiG Performance of Service Index: 49.0 vs 54.4 in Jan
    • Japan
      • Jan National CPI +0.4% vs +0.4%e
      • Jan Jobless Rate: 3.0% vs 3.0%e
      • Feb Nikkei Services PMI: 52.2 vs 52.3 in Jan
    • China
      • Feb Caixin Services PMI: 52.6 vs 53.1 in Jan

---Equity Markets---

  • In Japan, the Nikkei closed out the day down 0.5%, but still managed to post a weekly gain of ~1%. The yen saw modest strength against the dollar during the session, but has since reverted back to just little changed. Major exporters and energy stocks were among the weakest groups with the likes of Toshiba and Japan Petroleum both falling around 2% on the day. On the brighter side, Fast Retailing bucked the sentiment of the broader market, gaining nearly 3% after the co reported that same-store sales for February rose 5.2% YoY.
  • In China, the Shanghai declined 0.4%. The People's Political Consultative Conference and a MoM drop in the February Caixin Services PMI set the tone across the mainland, leaving traders uninspired during Friday's session. Weakness in the Energy sector took its toll on the major average. Among the most notables were Sinopec (-2.6%) and China Petro and Chemical (-1.4%) each lagging the benchmark.
  • In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was among the worst performing indices, finishing the day down 0.7%. Financials outpaced the broader market on the downside. Among the most notable laggards were Bank of China and ICBC, both dropping over 1.5% on the day. 
  • In India, the Sensex closed flat on the day. Among the sectors in the BSE, the Telecom index rose 1.2%, while Realty sector also witnessed strength with a gain of 0.9%. Other notable movers in India included Reliance Industries (+2%) and Bharti Infratel (+6%), with both companies benefiting from broker upgrades.

European bourses opened lower but have managed to pull off of the early session lows. The major indices initially trading with a similar tone as Asia, but buyers stepped in a couple of hours into the session. Although there was no clear catalyst to point to the bid in the markets, traders may have been enticed by a relatively weak set of macro-related releases across the region. Among the most notable events were weaker than expected Services PMI readings, coupled with a miss in German Retail Sales. Corporate earnings slowed down considerably, leaving regional economic data to take center stage overnight.

  • In economic data:
    • Germany
      • Jan Retail Sales -0.8% vs +0.3%e
      • Feb Final Services PMI 54.4 vs 54.4 prelim
    • Italy
      • Q4 Final GDP +0.2% vs +1.1%e
    • Eurozone
      • Feb Final Services PMI 55.5 vs 55.6 prelim
      • Jan Retail Sales +1.2% vs +1.5%3
    • UK
      • Feb Final Services PMI 53.3 vs 54.0e

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE is down 0.2%, extending losses from yesterday. Old Mutual (+1.7%) is among the day's leaders while WPP (-8.6%) has plummeted after releasing Q4 results.
  • Germany's DAX trades lower by 0.3%. Lenders such as Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank trade higher by 1.2% and 3.3%, respectively. The laggards include Merck (-1.2%) and Fresenius Medical Care (-0.7%).
  • France's CAC is up 0.5% and leading the charge with the heavily weighted banking stocks representing the biggest gains. Soc Gen has set the tone, gaining by more than 4.0%, while BNP is a close second, trading 3.0% higher. The list of laggards is thin, however Publicis is down over 1.0% in sympathy with WPP. ArcelorMittal is also down, trading lower by 0.8%, after HSBC painted a less than stellar outlook on iron ore prices.
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 Nutanix: Color on Quarter  (31.12)
  • RBC Capital Mkts lowers their NTNX tgt to $34 from $38. Despite upside to most metrics, large NA deals were a tad light due to lower rep productivity. In the big picture they're not overly concerned as they expect productivity to improve and were impressed with the record customer adds and strong G2K wins. Q3 guidance comes down slightly due to conservatism and increasing component costs. Maintain OP but lower target to $34.'
  • Maxim: Despite modest beat & in-line guidance, management candidly discusses disappointing sales performance. Primary concern is that DELL is pushing VMW over NTNX, but data points suggest DELL commitment to NTNX remains as strong as ever.
  • Needham notes that it's easy for investors and the Street to be distracted by lower guidance when it involves disruptive hypergrowth cos like Nutanix. However, they believe the issues weighing on F3Q guidance (changes in sales leadership impacting deals >$500K and DRAM pricing) and should not impact the co long term. NTNX remains extremely well run, in their view, and is strategically positioned to continue to innovate their cloud OS platform further into bringing cloud economics and features to the on-prem/hybrid world. Further, NTNX reiterated its plan to achieve SUSTAINED FREE CASH FLOW by the end of C2017, removing a prime concern of investors. They reiterate their Buy and $36 target and believe investors should use any guidance-driven pullbacks to build or add to positions in the name.
  • Morgan Stnaley downgraded to Underweight
  • NTNX -18% premarket.
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Daytrader

 S&P futures vs fair value: +0.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -6.80.

Equity futures point to a flat open this morning as investors await comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who is scheduled to speak this afternoon at 1:00 pm ET. The S&P 500 futures currently trade in line with fair value.

Ms. Yellen's upcoming speech has generated the most buzz this morning as market participants have geared up for a March rate hike as of late following hawkish comments from several Fed policy makers earlier in the week. Investors will be watching Ms. Yellen closely, looking for her to confirm the possibility of policy tightening before the Fed enters the blackout period ahead of the March 14-15 meeting.

Also of note, Chicago Fed President Evans (FOMC voter), Richmond Fed President Lacker (non-FOMC voter), Fed Governor Powell (FOMC voter), and Fed Vice Chair Fischer (FOMC voter) are also scheduled to speak on Friday.

Both the Treasury market and the U.S. dollar trade in the red this morning ahead of today's slew of Fed speakers. The benchmark 10-yr yield is one basis point higher at 2.49% while the U.S. Dollar Index (101.84, -0.32) trades lower by 0.3%.

On the earnings front, Costco (COST 170.92, -7.06) has tumbled 4.0% in pre-market trade after reporting worse than expected earnings. Conversely, Big Lots (BIG 54.85, +2.60) has jumped 5.0% after beating earnings estimates and issuing above-consensus earnings guidance. BIG also approved a $150 million share repurchase and raised its dividend.

Friday's lone economic report, February ISM Services (Briefing.com consensus 56.5%), will cross the wires at 10:00 am ET.

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 ACI Worldwide downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Avondale  (22.81)
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  Aegean Marine Petrol upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Clarkson Platou  (10.55)
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  Atlantic Power upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at National Bank Financial  (2.30)
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  Sunstone Hotel downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill  (14.75)
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  AU Optronics downgraded to Underperform from Mkt Perform at Bernstein  (3.86)
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 On The Wires
  • Angsana Molecular & Diagnostics has announced that it will be a partner molecular test laboratory for STARTRK-2 clinical trial sites in Asia working with Ignyta, (RXDX), a biotechnology company focused on precision medicine in oncology. Angsana Molecular & Diagnostics' RNA-based fusions cancer panel will be used for screening TRK, ROS1 and ALK fusions in the STARTRK-2 clinical trial, a registration-enabling global Phase 2 basket clinical trial for entrectinib, Ignyta's investigational, orally available, CNS-active tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting tumors that harbor TRK, ROS1 or ALK fusions.
  • On March 2, 2017, The Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) entered into a private agreement with an arm's length third party seller to purchase for cancellation 1,000,000 of the Bank's common shares held by such seller for an aggregate purchase price of CAD$70,840,000.
  • Trans World Entertainment Corporation (TWMC) Founder, Chairman and former CEO Robert J. (Bob) Higgins died on March 1st, 2017. He was 75 years old. Trans World CEO Mike Feurer stated, «All of us at Trans World were deeply saddened by the passing of our Founder Bob Higgins. Serving as its relentless champion, Bob was very proud of Trans World Entertainment and all of its Associates. His never-ending drive to excellence, determination, and commitment to our Company is the standard that will inspire and stay with us as we honor the legacy he created over the last 45 years. On behalf of our Board of Directors, Management team and all of our Associates across the country, we mark Bob's passing, mourn his loss, celebrate his renown and extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Anne, and the entire Higgins family.»
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  Hearing Fossil target was lowered to $12 from $16 at Macquarie  (18.59 -0.08)
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  Opening Market Summary: Flat Friday Open for Equities

The S&P 500 opens Friday's session relatively flat while the Dow (+0.1%) holds a slim gain.

Cyclical sectors generally trade in the green with the financial space (+0.4%) showing relative strength. On the flip side, most countercyclical groups hold modest losses with the consumer staples sector (-0.5%) pacing the retreat after a negative reaction to Costco's (COST 170.86, -6.97) worse than expected earnings. 

The Treasury market remains under water in early action. The benchmark 10-yr yield is up one basis point at 2.49%.

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  Costco: Color on Qtr  (171.42 -6.57)
  • RBC Capital raises its tgt to $182 from $177. 2Q was below expectations with EBIT down slightly YOY and $s ~10% below firm's forecast. Firm expects the stock to trade off given these disappointing results. However, it has seen this movie before as the company's thin-margin structure often leads to significant earnings volatility. Further, the increased membership fees should help boost member value and profitability. Firm is buyers on the expected pullback.
  • Telsey Advisory Group notes Costco's adjusted 2QF17 EPS of $1.17 fell short of firm's in line estimate of $1.36, primarily due to gross margin contraction of 24 bps YoY to 11.0% vs. TAG's 11.4% estimate—the result of lower gas profitability and investment in prices to highlight value. In addition, 2QF17 EPS was impacted by a slightly lower comp (3.0% vs. FactSet at 3.3%), lower membership fee income growth (5.5% vs. FactSet at 6.4%), and a higher tax rate, partly offset by SG&A expense ratio leverage (4 bps YoY to 10.1% vs. firm's estimate of 10.2%), the first time since 4QF14. Although the magnitude of the gross margin contraction is disappointing, the improvement in expense management is encouraging and should continue to support the operating margin in FY17 as Costco laps wage increases starting in March 2017 and continues to benefit from lower interchange fees and profit-sharing related to the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citibank.

Shares of COST are down approx 3% in reaction to earnings and are attempting to hold the $170 level for support. 

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 Morning Commodities: Crude oil attempting to recover after yesterday's close below the 50-day moving avg for the continuous contract; rig count on tap 1 pm ET
  • Crude oil attempting to recover after yesterday's close below the 50-day moving avg for the continuous contract; rig count on tap at 1 pm
    • April crude oil futures were up about $0.38 (+0.7%) around the $52.99/barrel level
    • Baker Hughes rig count data will be released today at 1 pm ET.
    • Reminder: Last week's data showed an increase of 5 oil rigs following the prior week's increase of 6 rigs, bringing the total oil rig count to 602 rigs, & marking a 6th consecutive week of oil rig increases.
  • Natural gas inched modestly higher after yesterday's flat close post-EIA
    • April natural gas futures were up about $0.02 (+0.6%) around the $2.82/MMBtu level
  • In precious metals, gold dropped to a fresh 1 1/2 week low in morning pit trading, down for the 4th consecutive session despite renewed weakness in the dollar index
    • April gold futures were down about $7.10 (-0.6%) around the $1225.50/oz level
    • May silver futures were up about $0.01 (+0.1%) around the $17.77/oz level
  • The dollar index was -0.3% around the 101.87 level
    • Commodities, as measured by the Bloomberg Commodity Index, were -0.1% around the 86.87 level.
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 Sector Summary: Technology (XLK -0.25%) trading lower today, about in-line with the broader market decline

The tech sector — XLK — trades about in-line with the broader market. Semiconductors, meanwhile, display relative weakness as the SOX index trades -0.48%. Within the SOX index, MU (+2.00%) outperforms, while AMD (-5.61%) lags. Among other major indices, the SPY is trading 0.21% lower, while the QQQ -0.30% and the NASDAQ -0.56% trade modestly lower on the session. Among tech bellwethers, ORAN (+1.33%) is showing relative strength, while ACN (-0.94%) lags.

Notable gainers following earnings:

  • GWRE (+2.7%) reported better than expected Q2 EPS and revs; guided Q3 EPS and revs below market expectations; guided FY17 EPS ahead of market expectations, MRVL (+1.1%)

Notable laggards following earnings:

  • NTNX (-18.7%) reported better than expected Q2 EPS and revs but guided Q3 EPS below market expectations, IMMR (-18.4%), ADSK (-1.7%)

Gainers on news:

  • HPE (+1.3%) co disclosed the board set a record date of Mar 20, 2017 for the previously announced spin-off of its enterprise services business.
  • TERP (+0.7%) co secured an additional $86 mln expansion of project financing for power plants in Canada.
  • COMM (+0.3%) co priced its offering of $750 million in aggregate principal amount of 5.000% senior unsecured notes due 2027.

Laggards on news:

  • EIGI (-3.6%) co disclosed that COO Ronald LaSalvia resigned effective immediately.
  • GRUB (-2.9%) co disclosed that on Mar 1, 2017 the Board appointed Stanley Chia to the position of COO.
  • ADS (-0.6%) co proposed to offer EUR 300 mln aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2022.

Among notable analyst upgrades:

  • EXPE (+0.5%) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
  • SEDG (+0.4%) to Mkt Outperform from Mkt Perform at JMP Securities

Among notable analyst downgrades:

  • CIEN (-2.4%) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
  • PANW (-0.8%) to Hold from Buy at Argus
  • NTNX (-18.7%) to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
  • IMMR (-18.4%) to Hold from Buy at Craig Hallum
  • ACIW (-5.7%) to Market Perform from Outperform at Avondale
  • AUO (-1.3%) to Underperform from Mkt Perform at Bernstein
  • LPL (+0.2%) to Underperform from Mkt Perform at Bernstein

Scheduled to report earnings tomorrow morning:

  • NOVT
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  Apple Hospitality REIT downgrade details — to Hold at Canaccord Genuity; tgt lowered to $21  (19.16 -0.49)Canaccord Genuity downgrades APLE to Hold from Buy and lowers their tgt to $21 from $22 noting, "Our downgrade is driven by the view that we no longer expect outsized internal growth or outsized external growth from APLE. Additionally, the premium valuation at which APLE shares trade offers limited upside without outsized growth. Long-term, we continue to believe in APLE's strategy... however, with first half 2017 internal growth likely to come in below peers, we see near-term headwinds."
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  Blucora downgraded to Hold from Buy at Standpoint Research  (16.15 -0.15)
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 Economic Summary: ISM Services above expectations; Yellen to speak today at 13:00 ET

Economic Data Summary:

  • February ISM Services 57.6 vs Briefing.com consensus of 56.5%; January was 56.5%

Fed/Treasury Events Summary:

  • Fed's Lacker said risks in costs of losing control of inflation; sees value in pre-emptive rate hikes
  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressed support for border adjustment tax in CNBC interview, but fate of tax in Congress is unclear; said he thinks Mexico Peso will increase following sensible trade deal with the United States.

Upcoming Economic Data:

  • January Factory Orders due out Monday at 10:00 (December was +1.3%)

Upcoming Fed/Treasury Events:

  • Fed's Powell to speak at 12:15 ET
  • Fed's Vice Chair Stanley Fischer to speak at 13:00 ET
  • Fed's Janet Yellen to speak at 13:00 ET

Other International Events of Interest

  • Germany Jan Retail Sales -0.8% vs +0.3%
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 Hearing FS Investment was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo  (10.07 -0.28)
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 Early Options Activity

Taking an early look at the options market, we found the following names that may be worth watching throughout the day for further indication of investor expectations given their options volume and implied volatility movement.

Stocks seeing volatility buying (bullish call buying/bearish put buying):

Calls:

  • CIEN Apr 27 calls are seeing interest following downgrade to Neutral at BofA/Merrill with 2860 contracts trading vs. open int of 2330, pushing implied vol up around 3 points to ~43% — over 2200 contracts traded in a single transaction. Co is confirmed to report earnings next week, March 8 before the open.

Puts:

  • LDOS Apr 50 puts are seeing interest with 1620 contracts trading vs. open int of 110, pushing implied vol up around 3 points to ~25% — co is expected to report earnings late April (likely outside of expiration).

Stocks seeing volatility selling:

  • BIG, LXRX implied vol is lower following earnings/guidance

Sentiment: The CBOE Put/Call ratio is currently: 0.78… VIX: (11.36, -0.45, -3.8%).
March 17 is options expiration — the last day to trade March equity options.
*Please use the Talk to Us link at the top of the page to provide feedback on this comment as well as the OPTNX comments.

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 Fred's seeing continued weakness following Feb sales   (16.79 -1.53)
  • Adding to today's decline is WBA/RAD concerns. RAD filed Proxy Statement before the open but did not provide specific date for the special meeting of stockholders of Rite Aid Corporation. 
  • FRED -8% today (-10.5% over the past two trading days), RAD is -2.4% on the day, WBA -1.2%
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  Icahn Enterprises target raised to $40 at UBS; Despite jump in NAV, results continue to suffer from poor investment returns  (54.38 +0.58)UBS raises their IEP tgt to $40 from $30 following Q4 earnings. The driver of the miss was a larger than expected negative return at the hedge fund (-8.7% vs --3% est) and higher operating expenses, partially offset by minority interest and a tax benefit. The weaker hedge fund results were driven by a negative performance attribution of 10% on IEP's short positions that were only partially offset by gains on longs of 1.3%. The fund remains net short 128% (down from 138% last quarter) and given the continued advance in the broad market indices QTD firm remains skeptical of a NT turnaround in performance. Notably, IEP announced it has hired Dr. Richard Mulligan for biotech investments, a sector where IEP has been active in the past.
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  Wynn Resorts: Northern Cross lowers passive stake to 9.72% (Prior 10.80%)  (99.78 -0.37)
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  Notable movers of interest: GWRE +3.3% on Q2 EPS and revenue beats

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

  • MU (25.47 +3.12%): Shares continue to rise after the co presented yesterday at Morgan Stanley's Technology Conference and says Q2 Non-GAAP results expected to be at or above the high end of guidance.
  • UAL (75.2 +2.62%): Airlines rise following headlines that the Trump administration has rolled back certain fare transparency requirements (AAL, ALK, DAL...).

Large Cap Losers

  • COST (170.66 -4.11%): Reports Q2 EPS miss.
  • M (32.01 -3.64%): Shares fall on report that Hudson Bay (HBAYF) has not yet secured financing for Macy's bid.
  • ADSK (86.25 -1.23%): Shares fall on Q1 EPS and revenues below consensus; guides FY18 EPS and revenues below consensus.

Mid Cap Gainers

  • GWRE (57.35 +3.3%): Reports Q2 EPS and revenue beats; guides FY17 EPS above consensus.
  • GFI (3.14 +2.95%): Upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan.
  • P (12.78 +2.78%): Shares rise on M&A speculation circulating with Liberty Media (LMCA) as possible suitor.

Mid Cap Losers

  • NTNX (25.24 -18.9%): Shares fall on Q3 EPS guidance below consensus.
  • CVA (15.3 -6.13%): Initiated with a Sell at Goldman; tgt $12.50.
  • ACIW (21.52 -5.66%): Reports Q4 EPS miss; guides Q1 revs below consensus.
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  PTC Therapeutics downgrade details — to Equal Weight at Barclays; tgt lowered to $13  (10.46 -0.12)Barclays downgrades PTCT to Equal Weight from Overweight and lowers their tgt to $13 from $20 following the failure of the ACT CF trial. PTC announced that the confirmatory trial of ataluren did not hit on the primary or secondary endpoints — effectively ending the development program of ataluren in nmCF. While firm and investors had low confidence in the program, today's failure nonetheless eliminates an area of expansion for the ataluren program. Looking ahead firm sees limited upside to PTCT shares, as 1) US approval in nmDMD is unlikely, 2) EU sales of Translarna are well characterized and fairly valued at current levels, and 3) other pipeline programs are early, with limited catalysts over the next 12 months. In speaking with the company, management remains focused on the EU confirmatory trial and commercial expansion of Translarna OUS in nmDMD. While there are still some potential opportunities for upside surprise (e.g., US approval), they see better risk/reward opportunity among other SMid cap biotech names.
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 Rumor Round Up

Rumor Activity was active today to close out the week.

  • GNC Holdings (GNC 8.43 +0.47) private equity chatter circulated.
  • Reuters reported that Hudson Bay (HBAYF 8.77 -0.35) has not yet secured financing for Macy's bid.
  • Bloomberg reported that Deutsche Bank (DB 20.17 -0.04) is considering options for a capital increase.
  • Pandora (P 12.79 +0.36) M&A speculation circulated.
  • Netflix (NFLX 139.35 -0.18) strength attributed to renewed M&A /TV deal chatter.
  • Reuters discussed that Neiman Marcus has hired restructuring advisers.

While many rumors circulate during the day, and the validity of the source of these rumors can be questionable, the speculation may increase volatility in the near term

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  Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session — New highs (74) outpacing new lows (52)Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAOI, AAON, AFT, AINV, ARDC, AWI, BID, BSRR, BURL, CHE, CPRT, DBD, DERM, DOOR, DORM, EE, EFF, EFR, ERI, ESPR, FDUS, GCP, GPM, GRFS, HCSG, HD, HRG, ISLE, JCAP, JQC, JSD, KURA, LTRX, MED, MRUS, MRVL, MSG, MU, NDSN, NGVT, NLNK, NNBR, NOAH, NOVT, NRZ, NSL, NTRI, NUVA, PAYC, PFN, PHG, PME, PNK, PPHM, PPT, QTM, RESI, SBY, SFR, SGMS, SIGI, SRI, SUPN, THO, TILE, TTPH, TWNK, UTEK, VAL, VCYT, VEDL, VVR, WIRE, WNEB

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: AFH, AOBC, BKS, BONT, BRX, CATO, CDR, CERC, CMLS, COSIQ, COYN, DAC, DIN, DRYS, DXLG, EAT, EVEP, FOSL, FRT, FSC, GBSN, GEC, HTY, IPXL, JASN, KIM, KRG, LTRPA, MAC, MHI, MNKD, MRIN, PEI, PPP, PSTG, RGSE, RPT, SHIP, SNCR, SQBG, SYNT, TGT, TST, TUES, ULTRQ, VDSI, VRA, WAIR, WMIH, WPRT, YGE, ZOES

Thinly-Traded Stocks (ADV below 45k) that traded to 52 week highs on High Volume: ACV, BANX, EQS, MFV, MGIC, MGYR, QINC, SCKT, SGF, UBND

Thinly-Traded Stocks (ADV below 45k) that traded to 52 week lows on High Volume: AEMD, CGG, DHXM, HSON, NHA, PNI, REFR, SGMA, SRSC, VISN

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: EWN, EWQ, EZU
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  Today's biggest % gainers/losersThe following are today's top 20 percentage gainers and top 20 percentage losers, categorized by sectors (over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume).

Today's top 20 % gainers
  • Healthcare: NOVN (6.5 +9.43%), PDLI (2.2 +7.6%), FOLD (7.93 +6.73%), LXRX (15.94 +5.77%), CYH (9.59 +4.87%), THC (20.05 +4.86%), SRPT (34.13 +4.6%), PBYI (34.2 +4.27%), EXEL (22.92 +4.23%), FMI (27.15 +4.22%)
  • Materials: ASIX (29.41 +9.05%)
  • Consumer Discretionary: EVC (6.08 +9.46%), GNC (8.4 +5.53%), TPX (48.01 +4.8%), TEDU (16.25 +4.77%)
  • Information Technology: BITA (22.18 +11.12%), OCLR (9.37 +5.46%)
  • Energy: WTI (2.93 +5.02%)
  • Consumer Staples: STKL (6.78 +11.07%)
  • Telecommunication Services: I (3.86 +5.75%)
Today's top 20 % losers
  • Healthcare: MNKD (1.98 -18.94%), KPTI (12.03 -13.11%), NTLA (14.02 -8.01%), TDOC (22.2 -5.73%), INSY (11.41 -5.51%), PRTA (56.88 -5.31%), HMSY (18 -5.11%)
  • Materials: NAK (1.37 -7.34%)
  • Industrials: CVA (15.25 -6.44%)
  • Consumer Discretionary: FRED (16.42 -10.37%), FOSL (17.34 -7.15%), ANF (12.61 -5.33%), BKE (18.55 -5.12%)
  • Information Technology: NTNX (25.1 -19.35%), NMBL (8.64 -5.88%), ACIW (21.51 -5.74%), SPWR (8.08 -5.16%)
  • Energy: BBG (5.17 -8.17%), REN (43.62 -7.19%)
  • Telecommunication Services: NIHD (1.85 -5.13%)
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  Today's most active stocksThe following are today's most active stocks ranked by volume and relative volume, categorized by sectors (over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume).

Today's top 20 volume
  • Healthcare: VRX (14.84 mln -4.58%)
  • Materials: VALE (10.7 mln +1.41%), ABX (10.09 mln -0.22%), FCX (7.71 mln -0.83%), MT (7.31 mln +0.34%)
  • Industrials: GE (7.35 mln -0.27%)
  • Consumer Discretionary: F (10.09 mln -0.67%)
  • Information Technology: AMD (100.77 mln -4.53%), MU (22.06 mln +3.32%), NVDA (12.19 mln -0.61%), TWTR (8.76 mln -0.06%), MRVL (8.54 mln +2.05%), P (7.11 mln +2.82%)
  • Financials: BAC (35.22 mln +1.07%)
  • Energy: CHK (15.11 mln +1.01%), SDRL (7.12 mln -4.79%)
  • Consumer Staples: RAD (13.02 mln -4.42%), KR (7.11 mln -2.74%)
  • Telecommunication Services: FTR (11.46 mln +0.36%)
Today's top relative volume (current volume to 1-month average daily volume)
  • Healthcare: KPTI (2.08x -13.11%), HMSY (1.99x -5.11%), MNKD (1.88x -18.94%)
  • Industrials: BLDR (4.31x +0.3%)
  • Consumer Discretionary: BIG (3.22x +2.43%), WING (3.2x -1.54%), AOBC (2.28x -1.96%), EVC (2.19x +9.46%)
  • Information Technology: NTNX (5.71x -19.35%), CALD (1.77x -0.52%), PSTG (1.72x -3.12%)
  • Financials: NOAH (3.73x +1.28%), PNNT (2.04x -3.38%), AI (1.66x -5.04%)
  • Energy: BBG (2.34x -8.17%)
  • Consumer Staples: STKL (3.88x +11.07%), COST (2x -4.11%)
  • Telecommunication Services: CHL (1.78x +0.45%)
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 Sector Summary: Industrials trade in-line with the broader market

The Industrials sector (XLI) is trading -0.1% today, in-line with the broader market (SPY -0.1%). In a slow day for the Industrial Sector, In't Consolidated Airlines Group (ICAGY +0%) reports February traffic.

Earnings/Guidance

  • Mentor Graphics (MENT +0.1%) reports Q4 earnings of $1.21 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.18 better than the consensus of $1.03; revenues rose 41.7% year/year to $478 mln vs the $414.4 mln consensus.
  • L.B. Foster (FSTR -2.8%) reports Q4 sales decreased 23.4% YoY to $106.6 mln, net loss per share widened to ($3.97). There are no estimates for L.B. foster. 
  • NEFF (NEFF -5.8%) reports Q4 earnings of $0.32 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.07 worse than the consensus of $0.39; revenues fell 3.6% year/year to $102.3 mln vs the $102.32 mln consensus.

News

  • Int'l Consolidated Airlines Group (ICAGY +0.0%) reports February traffic data; Group traffic in February increased by 2.9% YoY.
    • Group traffic in February, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres, increased by 2.9% versus February 2016; Group capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres rose by 2.2 per cent. Group premium traffic for the month of February increased by 4.7 per cent compared to the previous year.
  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says on CNBC that Caterpilar (CAT +0.5%) search was part of an ongoing probe.

Broker Research

Upgrades

  • SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG +0.7%) upgraded to Mkt Outperform from Mkt Perform at JMP Securities.
  • Advanced Disposal (ADSW +2.7%) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill.
  • Emerson (EMR +0.1%) upgraded to Hold from Reduce at HSBC Securities.
  • Aegean Marine Petrol (ANW +3.3%) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Clarkson Platou

Other

  • Cowen initiates GATX (GATX +0.1%) with a Market Perform and price target of $62.
  • Covanta (CVA -6.1%) initiated with a Sell at Goldman; tgt $12.50. 
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  European Markets Closing PricesEuropean markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:
  • UK's FTSE: -0.1%
  • Germany's DAX: -0.3%
  • France's CAC: + 0.6%
  • Spain's IBEX: + 0.9%
  • Portugal's PSI: -1.0%
  • Italy's MIB Index: + 1.2%
  • Irish Ovrl Index: 0.0%
  • Greece ASE General Index: -1.0%
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  Hearing Costco was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Northcoast  (170.93 -7.05)
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 Currency Commentary: Yellen on Deck
  • The Dollar Index dipped back below the 102 level but is holding steady at 101.70. Markets are awaiting comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen as she speaks in Chicago at 1pm ET. So far we have heard from the Fed's Lacker and Evans who both continued the hawkish rhetoric as the Fed primes the market for a potential March rate hike. There has been some early whispers that Fed Chair Janet Yellen may strike a more dovish tune just to provide some wiggle room for the central bank. Fischer and Powell will also be speaking as a busy Fed calendar unwinds. This marks the last comments we will get as we enter the quiet period ahead of the Fed's March meeting.
  • The euro is holding the 1.05 support level at the moment. The single currency has been bolstered by the latest polls from France which shows Emmanuel Macron moving ahead of Marine Le Pen in first round voting. Retail Sales data from the region was weak but it is not garnering a lot of attention. The market focus will turn to next Thursday's ECB meeting. Markets will be paying close attention to Draghi comments on inflation. In general, little is expected from the meeting as the ECB is expected to hold steady ahead of the FOMC.
  • The pound is attempting to hold the 1.22 area as it remains under pressure. The Service PMI fell short of expectations, hitting a five month low. The focus will remain on when the country initiates Article 50. This is expected at the end of March and is likely to remain a headwind for cable.
  • The yen has hit its lowest level in two weeks. At the moment the 50-sma (114.51) is being tested and is showing some signs of potentially cracking. CPI data this morning was mixed to in line and Household Spending fell short of expectations.
  • The yuan is testing the low end of its recent ban of 6.80-6.90 as it hits its lowest level in approx seven weeks. The move comes ahead of the National Congress meeting which starts Sunday. The government is expected to provide a growth target of 6.5-7.0% for 2017. Comments around trade and the new U.S. Administration will be of interest (BONDX, FOREX). 
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  Volume alert: Amedisys trades to lows on increased volume  (49.65 -1.23)
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  Market Internals

The broader market is on pace for a flat close, albeit modestly lower at the moment led by the S&P 500 which is down about 3 (-0.13%) to 2378, the Dow Jones Industrial Average loses about 21 (-0.10%) to 20981, and the Nasdaq Composite sheds about 6 (-0.10%) to 5855. Action has come on mixed average volume (NYSE 292 vs. avg. of 307; NASDAQ 830 mln vs. avg. of 778), with decliners outpacing advancers (NYSE 1186/1735, NASDAQ 1037/1674) and new highs outpacing new lows (NYSE 40/28, NASDAQ 38/24).

Relative Strength:

Mexico-EWW +2.2%, Cocoa-NIB +2.1%, Brazil-EWZ +2.0%, Italy-EWI +1.7%, Latin Am. 40-ILF +1.7%, Spain-EWP +1.6%, Russia-RSX +1.4%, Belgium-EWK +1.2%, US Oil-USO +1.0%, Shipping-SEA +0.7%, Social Media-SOCL +0.6%, Biotech-IBB +0.5%, Oil Svcs.-OIH +0.5%, US Fincl. Svcs.-IYG +0.4%.

Relative Weakness:

Short-Term Futures-VXX -2.5%, Emrg. Mkts. M. East&Africa-GAF -1.8%, Jr. Gold Miners-GDXJ -1.4%, Retail-XRT -1.4%, S. Korea-EWY -1.2%, REIT-ICF -1.2%, US Real Estate-IYR -1.0%, Silver Miners-SIL -1.0%, Clean Energy-PBW -0.9%, New Zealand-ENZL -0.8%, Australia-EWA -0.5%, Israel-EIS -0.3%, Taiwan-EWT -0.3%, Pacific-VPL -0.3%.

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  General Motors seeing some strength in recent trade, higher by 0.8%  (38.03 +0.27)
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  Sector Summary: The Healthcare sector (+0.19%) is trading higher today, outperforming the S&P 500 (-0.08%)Gainers on news:
  • Peregrine Pharma (PPHM +11.55%) Ronin Capital discloses 6.8% active stake; may also wish to engage in dialogue with officers, directors and representatives
  • Xbiotech (XBIT +7.98%) announces a registered direct offering of $31 mln worth of common shares completed from a shelf registration at $13.00/share
  • Dermira (DERM +3.02%) presented new data in primary axillary hyperhidrosis & acne at American Academy of Dermatology 2017 Annual Meeting (Stock Price: 35.43)
Decliners on news:
  • Scynexis (SCYX -18.65%) delays the initiation of any new clinical studies with the IV formulation of SCY-078 until the FDA completes a review of all available pre-clinical and clinical data of the IV formulation of SCY-078
  • HMS Holdings (HMSY -4.06%) files to delay its 10-K; is continuing to evaluate whether this issue affects its consolidated financial results, primarily focusing on prior periods in which revenue relating to the CMS business was recorded
  • Karyopharm Therapeutics (KPTI -15.9%) announced the results of a planned interim analysis of the Phase 2 SOPRA study evaluating single agent selinexor in relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia
Gainers on earnings:
  • Bioscrip (BIOS +20.89%) reports Q4 (Dec) results, beats on revs; guides FY17 revs below consensus
  • AcelRx (ACRX +7.03%) reports Q4 EPS of ($0.21) vs ($0.23) Capital IQ Consensus; revs $6.4 mln vs $3.7 mln Capital IQ Consensus
  • OvaScience (OVAS +7.38%) reports Q4 net loss per share of ($0.64) vs. ($0.59) CapitalIQ Consensus; revenue of $121K
Decliners on earnings:
  • CytoSorbents (CTSO -2.68%) reports FY16 results/provides Q1 guidance
  • Cooper (COO -2.15%) beats by $0.05, reports revs in-line; guides FY17 EPS in-line, revs in-line
Upgrades/Downgrades:
  • Opko Health (OPK +1.28%) Standpoint Research reiterates Buy, $14 tgt
  • Kite Pharma (KITE -3.61%) Stifel Downgraded to HOLD (from Buy) — Price Target: 74
  • PTC Therapeutics (PTCT -4.63%) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
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Daytrader

 Today's biggest point gainers/losersBiggest point gainers: TSRO 179.26(5.22), NTES 293.23(3.85), AAOI 52.84(3.61), INCY 135.88(3.08), BIIB 296.59(3), SNAP 27.28(2.8), BUD 108.29(2.44), HABT 16.08(2.28), TPX 48.07(2.26), UAL 75.44(2.16), PXD 193.3(2.13), ALK 98.46(2.1), LGND 103.88(1.92), BIG 54.15(1.9), ACIA 53.19(1.89), BITA 21.78(1.82), LECO 87.29(1.81), CLVS 61.63(1.74), GS 252.8(1.74), IONS 55.26(1.7), ALB 104.74(1.68), CSL 105.59(1.61), AVGO 218.9(1.61), XIV 66.26(1.57), GEF 54.77(1.56)

Biggest point losers: COST 170.84(-7.14), NTNX 24.68(-6.44), COO 195.87(-5.27), PLCE 99.3(-3.3), REN 43.94(-3.06), PRTA 57.27(-2.8), KITE 72.39(-2.71), AYI 211.65(-2.36), GKOS 45.37(-2.33), FRED 16.16(-2.16), KPTI 11.75(-2.09), SPG 179.15(-1.99), REG 67.14(-1.99), CHTR 322.03(-1.92), PRGO 73.66(-1.9), AAP 155.49(-1.87), RCL 94.91(-1.79), MLM 217.23(-1.79), M 31.53(-1.7), EDU 49.62(-1.63), ORLY 270.43(-1.55), TDOC 22(-1.55), SHAK 33.66(-1.51), GD 189.58(-1.47), HLT 56.71(-1.46)
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Daytrader


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