BACK TO TOP

Brief up-to-the-minute market updates

Citigroup focus of federal probe into foreign hiring practices

Citigroup Inc. said late Friday that federal officials have launched a probe into the bank's foreign hiring practices, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. "Government and regulatory agencies in the U.S., including the SEC, are conducting investigations or making inquiries concerning compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other laws with respect to the hiring of candidates referred by or related to foreign government officials," Citigroup said in the filing. The bank said it is cooperating with investigators. Back in November, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. paid $264 million to settle charges related to its hiring practices in Asia. Citi shares were unchanged at $59.56 after hours.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Data-analytics company Alteryx files for initial public offering

Data-analytics software company Alteryx Inc. plans to raise up to $75 million in an initial public offering, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday. In 2016, the Irvine, Calif.-based company reported a net loss of 47 cents a share, or an adjusted loss of 26 cents a share, on revenue of $85.8 million. The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "AYX". Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are among the lead underwriters for the offering.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Tesla's Deepak Ahuja to earn $500,000 a year as CFO

Deepak Ahuja, who will rejoin Tesla Inc. as the company's chief financial officer in April, will earn an annual base salary of $500,000 in addition to a $15 million new-hire stock grant, Tesla said in a filing Friday. The equity will be granted and will vest over four years in accordance with the company's standard equity policies, Tesla said. Ahuja served as Tesla CFO from July 2008 until November 2015, when he was replaced by Jason Wheeler. Wheeler announced his resignation on Wednesday as Tesla reported fourth-quarter results. Wheeler will remain at the company through early April to ensure a smooth transition, Tesla said. At a conference call with analysts after the Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Ahuja's appointment is not a temporary assignation.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

AP says Homeland Security memo disputes threat from citizens of travel ban nations

A memo the Associated Press obtained from Homeland Security says citizens of the seven Muslim-majority nations subject to President Trump's travel ban casts doubt on the security rationale for it. The memo says "that country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity." The report says citizens of those countries are rarely implicated in U.S.-based terrorism.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Dow closes at 11th straight record as stocks finish week higher

The Dow industrials and S&P 500 finished at records Friday as the Dow continued its streak of closing highs and daily gains despite a selloff of financial and energy shares. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11.44 points, or less than 0.1%, to finish at 20,821.76, its eleventh straight session of record closes, led higher by shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Inc. and hampered by shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. . For the week, the Dow closed up 1% for its third week of gains. The S&P 500 index closed up 3.53 points, or 0.2%, at a record 2,367.34, with utilities and telecom stocks leading gains and energy and financial stocks weighing on the index. For the week, the S&P 500 closed up 0.7% for its fifth straight week of gains. The Nasdaq Composite index finished up 9.80 points, or 0.2%, at 5,845.31, just shy of a record, for a 0.1% gain on the week and its fifth straight week of gains.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

White House pushes back on reported Cohn border-adjustment comment

The White House was pushing back Friday after a report said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn told a business group the Trump administration doesn't support the House Republicans' border adjustment tax plan. A White House official told MarketWatch Cohn's comment to the group was taken out of context and Cohn didn't state support or opposition to the plan.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Intuit stock on track for record high in busy tax season

Shares of Intuit Inc. climbed 5.5% on Friday after the TurboTax parent reported a sharp rise in revenue that trumped expectations and increased its revenue outlook for the current quarter, despite previously warning that tax season had been off to a slow start. The company reported a nearly 50% increase in subscribers during the quarter. Shares traded around $127.47 in afternoon trade, putting them on track for record high, $7 above the company's previous record of $120.70, notched Thursday. They stock is up more than 10% in the past three months and nearly 30% in the past year, outperforming the S&P 500 , up 7% in three months and 22% in a year.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Retail sector whipsawed higher after report that White House doesn't support GOP's border tax plan

The retail sector whipsawed higher Friday, after National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn reportedly said the White House doesn't support the GOP's border-adjustment tax plan. That came less than 24 hours after Trump sent the sector reeling, after he reportedly expressed approval of a border-adjusted taxes. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF jumped 1.7% in afternoon trade, after being down as much as 0.5% earlier in the session. The ETF had slumped 2.3% on Thursday, after Trump told Reuters he approved of a border-adjusted tax. Among some of the ETF's components, shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rose 1%, of Target Corp. climbed 2.3% and of Home Depot Inc. gained 0.6%. The ETF has lost 6.4% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 7.0%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Gold climbs for 4th straight week as dollar softens

Gold climbed for a fourth straight week Friday to highs not seen for three months as the dollar softened and traders grew anxious over timelines for President Donald Trump's pro-business plan rollout and other geopolitical concerns. Gold for April delivery rose $6.90, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,258.30 an ounce, its highest finish since Nov. 10, for a weekly gain of 1.6%. Silver for March delivery advanced 22 cents, or 1.3%, to settle at $18.34 an ounce, for a weekly gain of 1.6%. The U.S. Dollar Index , which had traded lower earlier in the session, was last up less than 0.1% at 101.07.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

'Dow 36,000' co-author to be named White House CEA chief, report says

Kevin Hassett, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, will be named chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Politico reported. Hassett is most known for co-authoring a book forecasting the Dow reaching 36,000 just months before the dot-com bubble burst. He's also advised several Republican presidential candidates.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Cohn reportedly says the White House doesn't support House border-adjustment tax

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, reportedly told a business group that the White House doesn't support the House Republican border adjustment tax plan. According to Axios, Cohn made the remarks at a private event in Washington.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Dow's record streak in jeopardy as U.S. stocks open lower

U.S. stocks on Friday pulled back, putting a record-setting streak for the Dow industrials at risk as investors searched for an impetus to keep pushing shares higher following 10 straight positive sessions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 60 points, or 0.3%, at 20,746, the S&P 500 index fell 9 points, or 0.4%, to 2,355, and the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 31 points, or 0.6%, at 5,802, marking the third straight decline for the tech-heavy gauge. In corporate news, shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. slumped after reporting lower sales than expected, while Nordstrom Inc. shares jumped after posting better-than-expected results.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Nordic American Offshore's stock plunges after big stock offering prices at deep discount

Shares of Nordic American Offshore Ltd. plummeted 41% toward a record low in premarket trade Friday, after the operator of platform supply vessels announced a share offering, which would nearly triple the shares outstanding, that priced at a sharp discount. The company announced late Thursday a public offering of 33.3 million shares, but said early Friday that it was boosting the offering to 40 million shares. The company recently had about 20.7 million shares outstanding, according to FactSet. The share offering priced at $1.25, which was 39% below Thursday's closing price of $2.05. Nordic American said the underwriters of the offering have reserved about $10 million worth of the new share for sale to Nordic American Tankers Ltd., the company's largest shareholder, and $2 million worth of new shares to Executive Chairman Herbjorn Hansson. The company plans to use the proceeds from the stock offering for general corporate purposes and for the expansion of its fleet. The stock has tumbled 31% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 7.2%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Dow's early selloff is now unanimous, and may be worse than it looks

All 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average are now losing ground in premarket trade Friday, with the sum of the declines implying a bigger selloff than the whole. The biggest percentage decliners are shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. , down 1.7%; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s stock , which is shedding 1.6%; and Apple Inc. shares , which are losing 1.0%. Meanwhile, the premarket price declines of the Dow components are on track to shave about 137 points off the Dow, but Dow futures are down just 96 points. Among the biggest price decliners, Goldman's stock price decline of $4.36 is set to shave 29.9 points off the Dow's price, Apple's stock drop of $1.24 is set to knock 8.50 points off the Dow and JPMorgan's stock fall of $1.43 is set to take 9.8 points off the Dow.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Only 1 of 30 Dow stocks is trading higher premarket

The early selloff in the Dow Jones Industrial Average Friday is nearly unanimous, with the shares of 29 of 30 components declining in premarket trade. Among the biggest percentage declines ahead of the open, shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. were shedding 1.4%, of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. were giving up 1.2%, of Apple Inc. were falling 0.8% and of Caterpillar Inc. were losing 0.7%. The long gainer is Merck & Co.'s , which inched up less than 0.1%. Dow futures were down 81 points in recent trade, putting the blue-chip barometer in danger of snapping a streak of 10-straight record closes.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Little Tikes recalls over half-a-million toddler swings

Little Tikes has recalled about a half-million toddler swings, after reports of multiple injuries to children, including broken arms. The recall involves about 540,000 2-in-1 Snug'n Secure pink toddler swings, with a pink T-shaped restraint in front, and is suspended by four yellow ropes. The swings being recalled were made by Little Tikes in the U.S., and sold at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. , Toys "R" Us and online at littletikes.com from November 2009 through May 2014 for about $25. The company has received about 140 reports of the swing breaking and 39 reports of injuries, which included abrasions, bruises, cuts, bumps to the head and two broken arms, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Ohio-based Little Tikes is a subsidiary of privately-held MGA Entertainment Inc., based in Van Nuys, Calif.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

J.C. Penney shares rise after profit beat estimates, store closures announced

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. shares rose 1.8% in Friday premarket trading after the company announced fourth-quarter earnings that beat estimates. Net income was $192.0 million, or 61 cents per share, compared with a loss of $131.0 million, or 43 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS was 64 cents, beating the 61-cent FactSet consensus. Sales totaled $3.96 billion, down from $4.0 billion last year and just below the $3.98 billion FactSet consensus. Same-store sales fell 0.7%, while the FactSet consensus was a 0.3% decline. J.C. Penney expects full-year 2017 same-store sales to range from a 1% decline to a 1% increase, and adjusted EPS of 40 cents to 65 cents. The FactSet consensus is for a 1.3% increase and EPS of 54 cents. The retailer also announced plans to close 130 to 140 stores and two distribution centers in the next few months. It is initiating a voluntary early retirement program for about 6,000 eligible associates. J.C. Penney expects an annual cost savings of about $200 million. The full list of store closures will be available mid-March with the closures taking place in the second quarter of 2017. J.C. Penney shares are down 11% for the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 22.5% for the same period.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Foot Locker profit and sales rise above expectations

Athletics shoe retailer Foot Locker Inc. reported Friday a fiscal fourth-quarter profit that rose to $189 million, or $1.42 a share, from $158 million, or $1.14 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, such as regulatory changes in the calculation of taxes, adjusted earnings per share for the quarter to Jan. 28 were $1.37, above the FactSet consensus of $1.32. Revenue increased to $2.11 billion from $2.01 billion, matching the FactSet consensus of $2.11 billion. Same-store sales increased 5.0%, beating the FactSet consensus of 4.5% growth. "Due in part to the change in the cadence of income tax refund check distribution, we are facing a challenging retail sales environment as we enter 2017; however, we believe the strategic initiatives we have in place, coupled with our strong vendor relationships, will enable us to deliver another year of record performance," said Chief Executive Richard Johnson. The stock, which was indicated about 1.8% higher in premarket trade, has shed 7.6% over the past three months, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 8% and the S&P 500 has gained 7.2%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Super Micro plummets after report Apple cut ties on security fears

Super Micro Computer Inc. dropped 8% in late trading Thursday after a report said Apple Inc. ended its relationship with the company after finding "a potential security vulnerability" in a data center server provided by Super Micro. The Information's Amir Efrati reported, citing a Super Micro executive and unnamed sources, that Apple discovered an issue with the Super Micro equipment in early 2016, and that Super Micro stopped shipping equipment to Apple by the middle of the year. Super Micro slashed its forecasts in July 2016, leading to a big stock drop, and disclosed in an earnings conference call a couple weeks later that it had lost two large data center customers that the company did not name. Super Micro shares fell to $25.20 in late trading Thursday after The Information released its report, after closing the day's session at $27.40.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Alphabet's self-driving car division sues Uber

Alphabet Inc.'s self-driving car division, Waymo, announced a lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. on Thursday that claims the founder of Uber acquisition Otto used key technology he helped develop while working for Google's parent company. The lawsuit, announced in a Waymo blog post, claims that Anthony Levandowski downloaded proprietary information on key components for self-driving technology before leaving Alphabet and founding Otto, which makes self-driving trucks for hauling. "We believe these actions were part of a concerted plan to steal Waymo's trade secrets and intellectual property," the blog post reads. "Months before the mass download of files, Mr. Levandowski told colleagues that he had plans to 'replicate' Waymo's technology at a competitor." Alphabet and Uber have a complicated relationship: Google made a venture investment in Uber in 2013, but is developing its own ride-sharing service as Uber looks to distance itself from Google's mapping services.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.