Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Tuesday, October 6, 2015

  • 11:20 AM
    • The second-gen version of Microsoft's (MSFT +1%) Band fitness tracker features a curved OLED display protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 3, along with a GPS radio. Sleep/calorie-tracking, guided workouts, and UV monitoring are supported, as is integration with Cortana and a Microsoft Health mobile app. (event live blog)
    • Content partners for the new Band include Facebook, Twitter, Starbucks, Uber, and Subway. The device will sell for $249 (more expensive than all but one of Fitbit's devices), and ship on Oct. 30.
    • Fitbit (FIT -3.9%), still the dominant player in the fitness band/activity tracker market, has sold off following Microsoft's announcement. The company has already been competing with a slew of rivals, including Jawbone, Garmin, and (indirectly, via the Watch) Apple.
    • Three months after paring back its phone ambitions and announcing fresh job cuts, Microsoft has unveiled two new high-end Windows Phones, the Lumia 950 (5.2" display) and 950XL (5.7" display). The devices sport 2K displays, 20MP PureView rear cameras, liquid cooling (normally seen in PCs rather than phones), and support for Display Dock, a tiny device that (with the help of USB, HDMI, and DisplayPort connections for connecting to a monitor and peripherals, and Windows 10's universal apps) turns a Windows Phone into a PC.
    • The 950 will sell for for $549 unsubsidized starting in November, and the 950XL for $649. The Lumia 550, a new low-end phone (4.7" 720p display, 5MP rear camera), will go for $139 starting in December. To date, Windows Phone sales have skewed heavily towards the low-end.
    • The Surface Pro 4 tablet/convertible sports a 12.3" display, is 8.4mm thick, runs on Intel's recently-launched 14nm Skylake CPUs, and supports an improved Surface Pen. Microsoft promises a ~30% performance boost relative to the Surface Pro 3 (launched in May 2014). The Pro 4 starts at $899, and ships on Oct. 26.
    • Also: 1) Microsoft has announced HoloLens development kits will arrive in Q1, and go for $3K apiece. Satya Nadella has suggested Microsoft will initially target developers with HoloLens, and then enterprises. 2) Windows 10 installations have now topped 110M. They were above 75M in late August.
    • Update: One more product launch: The Surface Book, a 13.5" touchscreen laptop/MacBook Pro rival with a high-res display, glass trackpad, Nvidia GPU, and the ability to detach into a tablet. 12 hours of battery life are promised. "Ounce for ounce the fastest 13" laptop ever made," Microsoft promises. The Surface Book starts at $1,499, and ships on Oct. 26.
    | 11:20 AM | 16 Comments
  • 8:30 AM
    • Aug Trade Balance: -$48.3B vs. -$48.6B expected and -$41.8B (revised) prior.
    • Exports decreased to $185.1B, while imports increased to $233.4B.
    | 8:30 AM | 1 Comment
  • 7:23 AM
    | 7:23 AM | 17 Comments
  • 6:28 AM
    | 6:28 AM | 7 Comments
  • Monday, October 5, 2015

  • 5:31 PM
    | 5:31 PM | Comment!
  • 4:20 PM
    • Stocks scored a sharp rally, sending the S&P 500 to its fifth straight gain for its longest winning streak since last December, as sentiment increasingly believes any Fed action on rate hikes is off the table for the rest of this year.
    • All 10 S&P industry sectors finished in positive territory, with energy (+3%) rallying behind crude oil early and continuing its charge even as WTI crude eased off its best levels, ending higher by 1.6% at $46.26/bbl; the group rose above its 50-day MA for the first time since May 22, breaking a streak of 92 consecutive trading days.
    • Techs (+1.9%) and financials (+2.1%) spent the day just ahead of the broader market while the industrial sector (+2.8%) was nearly as strong as energy.
    • Health care (+0.3%) struggled to stay in the green as biotechs weighed; in fact, today was the first time since November 2010 that the S&P rose at least 1.5% while the Nasdaq biotech index was down on the day.
    • Trading volume was well above average, as more than 1B shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.
    • The rally in equities coincided with daylong selling in the Treasury market that pushed the 10-year note below Friday's low, result in the benchmark yield rising 7 bps to 2.06%.
    | 4:20 PM | 6 Comments
  • 3:08 PM
    | 3:08 PM | Comment!
  • 1:05 PM
    • Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has added to the premarket gains it saw after the company confirmed chairman/co-founder Jack Dorsey will be its permanent CEO (while keeping the same job at Square), and named sales chief Adam Bain (previously viewed as a CEO candidate) its COO. (8-K filing)
    • The company also stated ex-CEO Dick Costolo has resigned from the board (as expected), and disclosed on a conference call it plans to separate the chairman and CEO positions to "simplify the demands on [Dorsey's] time as well as to make sure we bring a fresh voice and new leadership to the board."
    • Fellow co-founder and director Evan Williams defends the board's decision. "Jack has already demonstrated the ability to inspire the team and think boldly about the next phase of Twitter. His connection to its roots informs a depth of vision and authenticity of voice, which I’ve been excited to hear. We looked at many (many, many) other options ... I honestly didn’t think we’d land on Jack when we started unless he could step away from Square. But ultimately, we decided it was worth it."
    • Dorsey on (where else?) Twitter: "My focus is to build teams that move fast, and learn faster. In the past 3 months we have increased our speed and urgency at both [Twitter and Square] ... Twitter is the most powerful communications tool of our time ... Our work forward is to make Twitter easy to understand by anyone in the world, and give more utility to the people who love to use it daily!"
    • In other Twitter news, the San Francisco Business Times reports the company has cancelled plans to add ~100K sq. feet of office space at a building close to its HQ, possibly due to a hiring slowdown. Twitter currently occupies 750K sq. feet at its HQ.
    | 1:05 PM | 13 Comments
  • 10:03 AM
    • The Supreme Court has denied Vringo's (NASDAQ:VRNG) petition for a writ of certiorari to review its infringement suit against Google. Vringo had officially filed a petition in May, 9 months after a federal appeals court (the CAFC) ruled against the company.
    • With the Supreme Court hearing only a small percentage of the cases appealed to it, many expected Vringo's petition to be denied. Shares have nonetheless fallen sharply.
    • Update (3:45PM ET): Vringo has issued a statement regarding the Supreme Court's ruling. "Given the exceptionally low historical odds of being heard at the Supreme Court, we believe that the decline in today`s share price does not accurately reflect the change in Vringo`s underlying value ... We continue our global litigation against ZTE, which remains unaffected by today`s decision, and which to date, has achieved positive results and rulings in many countries around the world." Vringo is now down 37.4%.
    | 10:03 AM | 51 Comments
  • 10:00 AM
    | 10:00 AM | 10 Comments
  • 9:46 AM
    | 9:46 AM | Comment!
  • 8:06 AM
    • Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) names Jack Dorsey as its permanent CEO.
    • Adam Bain will become the company's COO.
    • TWTR +2.96% premarket to $27.10.
    | 8:06 AM | 16 Comments
  • 7:25 AM
    | 7:25 AM | 31 Comments
  • 5:20 AM
    • The Nikkei closed above 18,000 for the first time in two weeks to set a positive tone for global markets heading into the new week. The index ended 1.58% higher as investors took a positive view that the U.S. Fed won't raise interest rates, and hedged bets on more stimulus from the Japanese government.
    • Financial markets in China are still closed for national holidays, but the rest of Asia followed Japan higher. Australian shares rose 1.9%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.8%.
    • European markets are also off to a very strong start with resource and financial stocks leading the way. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index is up 2.2% in mid-day trading. Futures in the U.S. are pointing to a higher open.
    | 5:20 AM | 3 Comments
  • Saturday, October 3, 2015

  • 6:35 PM
    | 6:35 PM | 1 Comment
  • Friday, October 2, 2015

  • 8:41 PM
    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) has gone live with its Go90 mobile video service, and today the app jumped into the No. 14 spot in iOS Entertainment.
    • That's a spot well behind Netflix and Hulu, but ahead of Comcast's Xfinity TV Go and HBO Now.
    • The company planned an $80M marketing blitz to support the launch, and says it has a content library of 8,000 titles and 35 exclusive original series.
    • The app is free to all, meaning advertising will be the moneymaker -- and so the quality of content will be king. Go90 got more than $50M in ad commitments including an upfront deal with its exclusive agency partner Publicis Groupe (OTCQX:PUBGY +1.4%).
    • With few long-form shows at the moment, Go90 is competing less with OTT services like Netflix, Hulu or HBO Now, and more with YouTube, Snapchat and other Webby services.
    • Jefferies noted after meeting with AOL's Tim Armstrong that Verizon wants to grow into a "leading scaled OTT provider serving millions of customers while also becoming a top 3 player in the mobile advertising marketplace."
    | 8:41 PM | 4 Comments
  • 4:31 PM
    • Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) Q3 deliveries were up just slightly from Q2's 11,532 - a one-week planned production shutdown weighed - but up 49% Y/Y and in-line with guidance for deliveries to be nearly flat Q/Q.
    • The deliveries are said to include the first ones for the recently-unveiled Model X. In its Q2 shareholder letter, Tesla forecast 50K-55K deliveries for the whole of 2015.
    • TSLA -0.6% after hours to $246.00.
    | 4:31 PM | 313 Comments
  • 3:41 PM
    • Eldorado Gold (EGO +9.7%) is going to call its Greek miners back to work once the company is officially notified of a court ruling that overturned a ban on operations, Reuters reports.
    • The news came from Eldorado's country manager, Eduardo Moura. Greece last month had revoked the company's permit to develop the mine, one of the country's top foreign investments. Eldorado in kind suspended operations and put most of its 1,300 workers on temporary layoffs.
    • On Tuesday, Greece's energy ministry called on Eldorado to allow its workers back to the mine. Greece's top administrative court today temporarily canceled the previous ban pending a final ruling.
    | 3:41 PM | 3 Comments
  • 10:01 AM
    • Aug Factory Orders: -1.7% M/M to $473B vs. -0.2% consensus, vs. +0.2% (revised from +0.4%) in July.
    • Ex-transportation -0.8% vs. -0.7% (revised) prior.
    | 10:01 AM | 3 Comments
  • 9:48 AM
    | 9:48 AM | 1 Comment
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