Today - Friday, December 26, 2014
- The Dow and S&P finished with modest gains on an unsurprisingly low-volume post-Christmas trading day. An overnight rally in Shanghai that followed the PBOC's efforts to relax lending rules helped set a positive tone, as did healthy holiday sales data.
- Tech outperformed, with the Nasdaq closing up 0.7%. GoPro, 3D printing stocks, and a slew of other heavily-shorted names were among the standouts. Beaten-down gold and silver stocks also fared well, as precious metals bounced in response to the PBOC's actions.
- Oil sold off; WTI crude has once more breached $55/barrel. Treasurys rose, with the 10-year yield falling 2 bps to 2.25%.
- Though most large-cap energy stocks closed the day with modest gains or losses, a slew of small-cap and mid-cap U.S. oil and gas plays sold off on a day that saw WTI crude once more fall below $55/barrel, and Henry Hub natural gas drop below $3/mmBtu for the first time since 2012, before bouncing a little.
- Decliners: EXXI -4.4%. SGY -4.5%. HK -4.1%. EVEP -2.3%. NFX -3.2%. SDR -3.3%. SN -5.2%. SD -5.9%. LGCY -2.2%. CHKR -3.3%.
- Spurred by hopes China's efforts to relax lending rules are a sign that broader (inflation-boosting) stimulus efforts are on tap, gold and silver prices are rallying, and taking the shares of miners up with them. COMEX gold is up 1.8% to $1,194.50/oz., and COMEX silver is up 2.5% to $16.11/oz. GLD +1.7%. SLV +2.2%.
- Gold stocks: AUY +3%. GG +4.6%. AGI +4.1%. ABX +3.4%. KGC +3.7%. GFI +3.7%.
- Silver stocks: SLW +2.3%. SSRI +6.9%. PAAS +1.9%. AG +3.6%. CDE +4.1%. HL +4.2%. SVM +6.8%. EXK +5.4%. TAHO +5.3%.
- Like many other commodities names, the group was hit hard a month ago when crude prices plunged in response to OPEC's decision to leave oil production unchanged.
- ETFs: AGQ, IAU, USLV, SIVR, SGOL, ZSL, UGL, DGP, GLL, UGLD, DZZ, SLVO, GLDI, DSLV, OUNZ, DGL, DBS, DGZ, DGLD, AGOL, TBAR, USV, UBG, GLDE, BAR, GYEN, GEUR, BARS, GGBP
- As a quick Twitter search demonstrates, plenty of GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) Hero cameras were bought as Christmas presents. Today, investors are the ones in a buying mood - both towards GoPro and video processor supplier Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA). The Nasdaq is up 0.9%.
- Amazon stated this morning three GoPro products - the Hero4 Silver, the Hero4 Accessories Kit, and the headstrap mount/quick clip package - were its top-selling camera products this holiday season. GoPro cameras currently have four spots on Amazon's Camera & Photo top-10 bestseller list.
- GPRO +29% on the week. Seven days ago, shares were making new 3-month lows.
- Synacor (NASDAQ:SYNC) has blasted off on volume (1.45M shares) that's over 20x a 3-month daily average of 70K. Small-cap newsletter writer Sid Riggs has reportedly provided a favorable mention.
- Activists JEC Capital and Ratio Capital have been pushing Synacor to put itself on sale. Synacor announced on Oct. 1 JEC/Ratio had "abandoned discussions" with the company.
- BCE (BCE +0.7%) and Rogers (RCI +1.1%) will each own 50% of Glentel following the closing of the BCE/Glentel deal. Rogers will pay half of BCE's purchase price in cash - BCE has committed to paying $594M for Glentel's equity, and assuming $78M in debt.
- Following the purchase, Glentel will continue "operating as a standalone entity with independent management." The BCE/Glentel deal is still expected to close in Q1 2015.
- Earlier: BCE, Rogers to jointly own Glentel's Canadian retail ops
- The Korea Times reports Goldman is thinking of taking a stake in Groupon's (NASDAQ:GRPN) Korean Ticket Monster deals site, acquired from Living Social a year ago for $260M. The paper adds Groupon "wants to sell at least a 20 percent stake and is also considering handing over managerial control, selling over half of its stake."
- Groupon stated in October it's exploring options for its Asian ops (Ticket Monster included), and that it could benefit from having a partner in some markets. However, the company added it's not looking to fully unload Ticket Monster.
- CEO Eric Lefkofsky on the Q3 CC (transcript): "Right now, we’re in 47 countries and we can’t invest in every country at the level that we would like to at all time ... [Ticket Monster] is growing faster than we thought. [It's] certainly growing faster than it was when we acquired it ... it has the potential to be the leader in e-commerce in Korea and we’re very focused on the long-term."
- Shares at their highest levels since March.
- MasterCard Advisors estimates U.S. retail sales from Black Friday through Christmas Eve were up 5.5% Y/Y, in-line with prior forecasts. The figure follows consensus-beating Redbook and ICSC weekly retail sales data earlier this week.
- For its part, the National Retail Federation has forecast low gas prices and healthy macro conditions will help U.S. November/December retail sales rise 4.1% Y/Y - the period's highest growth rate since 2011's 4.8%.
- E-commerce continues taking share from traditional retail. IBM estimates holiday season online sales rose 8.3% Y/Y, with mobile accounting for 34.8% of sales; comScore sales from Nov. 1-Dec. 21 were up 15%. A year ago, Custora estimated U.S. holiday online orders rose 12%, with mobile accounting for 29% of them.
- Globally, eMarketer forecasts retail sales will rise 6.1% this year to $22.5T, and 6.4% next year to $23.9T. E-commerce is expected to grow 22% this year to $1.3T, and 21% next year to $1.6T.
- ETFs: XLP, XLY, VDC,VCR, RTH, RETL, FXG, PBJ, IYK, PEJ, FXD, IYC, FDIS, RHS, SCC, FSTA, UCC, PMR, PSL, UGE, RCD, PEZ, PSCC, PSCD, SZK
- Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI +0.9%) submits a New Drug Application (NDA) to the FDA seeking approval for Orphan Drug-designated Captisol-Enabled Melphalan (CE-Melphalan) for injection (propylene glycol-free) for the use as a high-dose conditioning treatment prior to hematopoietic progenitor (stem) cell transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma.
- CE-Melphalan was developed by Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND +2.7%) and licensed to Spectrum in March 2013.
- Among the benefits of Orphan Drug status is a seven-year period of market exclusivity if approved.