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Aug 23, 2018

IBD 50 Stocks Showing Momentum


JC Parets


Last month, we added the Investors Business Daily 50 List to our chart coverage. This list combined relative strength and strong fundamentals to highlight 50 of the best stocks in the market. Today, I updated the Chartbook for members, so I wanted to highlight some of the best names I'm seeing on this list across several sectors of the market.
First, let's start off with a daily chart of the Innovation IBD 50 ETF (FFTY). Prices have been in a strong uptrend and look to be continuing higher after a failed breakdown below $35.15 and a test of the 200-day moving average (if you're into that sort of thing). Momentum remains in a bullish range, so if prices are above $35.15, our upside objective continues to be $40.75.
Technical chart showing the performance of the Innovation IBD 50 ETF (FFTY)
CyberArk Software Ltd. (CYBR) is breaking out of a multi-year base to confirm the start of a new structural uptrend. If prices are above $70, we want to be long with an upside objective of $94.30. (See also: 8 Stocks for the Cybersecurity Boom: Goldman.)
Technical chart showing the performance of CyberArk Software Ltd. (CYBR) stock
Encompass Health Corporation (EHC) is another name that continues to work on the long side after a big breakout about a year ago. If prices are above $77.40, we want to be buying weakness, with an upside target of $106.50.
Technical chart showing the performance of
Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW) has been consolidating above its 2015 highs. If prices are above $200.30, we can be long with an upside objective of $257.70. If prices do make new highs, we want to see that confirmed by momentum breaking back into overbought territory as well.
Technical chart showing the performance of Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW) stock
[If you'd like to learn more about recognizing profitable trading opportunities, check out my Technical Analysis course on the Investopedia Academy, where I include interactive content and real-world examples to help you boost your trading skills.]
Viper Energy Partners LP (VNOM) just recently broke out of a four-year base, clearing its post-IPO highs. While a pause at these levels would be healthy, if the stock price is above $35.50, the bias remains to the upside, with a target of $52.80.
Technical chart showing the performance of Viper Energy Partners LP (VNOM) stock
World Wresting Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) has been consolidating above our previous price target of $79.45 and looks to be continuing higher. If prices are above that level, we want to be long with an upside target of $119.80.
Technical chart showing the performance of World Wresting Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) stock
If you enjoyed this post and want a full list of IBD 50 stocks we want to be buying, consider joining the All Star Charts community by starting a 30-day risk-free trial or signing up for our "Free Chart of the Week".
Thanks for reading, and let us know if you have any questions!
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Turnbull's day of reckoning as challengers seek numbers for spill – politics live | Australia news I The Guardian

theguardian.com


Martin Farrer



Look, it’s almost certain you’re going to have a new prime minister today. You don’t get to vote, of course, but you still ought to know who the candidates are. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

How might Australia’s Indigenous and migrant populations react to a Peter Dutton prime ministership?
Dutton was one of only a handful of MPs who boycotted Kevin Rudd’s apology for the stolen generations in 2008.
He’s also made incendiary comments about particular migrant groups and crime in Australia. In 2016 he suggested the former prime minister Malcolm Fraser made mistakes “bringing some people in”, in reference to Lebanese-Muslim Australians.
Yesterday, my colleagues and I heard from some members of those communities, some of whom said they were “deeply worried” at the prospect of him leading the nation.
Read the piece here.

Since you’re here … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help.
If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $1, you can support the Guardian – and it only takes a minute. Make a contribution. - Guardian HQ

Earlier Ben Morton said he thought he may have been the 43rd name. It seems certain now that one way or another we’re going to have this midday spill meeting.
Andrew Probyn (@andrewprobyn)
#breaking Queensland Liberal Warren Entsch has indicated he will be the 43rd signature to the leadership petition – but only if it needed. ABC understands he has repeatedly refused to sign the petitions but will add his name if it will break the deadlock. #libspill @politicsabc
August 23, 2018

Just back to that Cormann interview on Sky. He seemed less than enthusiastic about Dutton’s key policy platform: removing GST from power bills.
You’ll remember Cormann stood next to Scott Morrison only two days ago when the Treasurer said the policy would be a “budget blower”.
Asked about the policy Cormann said Dutton had made “certain comments as a backbench member of parliament” and that if he was elected it would be “discussed through normal cabinet processes”.
That seems like code for, yeah, probably not.
Cormann also said that whoever becomes leader would honour the government’s previous commitments on GST. That’s a big deal for Western Australia.
Updated

It’s not often that the Aussie dollar is the main story on foreign exchange markets but today is the exception. The currency has suffered a 1.4% fall in the past 24 hours as investors have taken fright at the instability in Canberra.
As market analyst Greg McKenna says this morning, it’s not often that Australian politics moves the dollar – which is more senstive to overseas factors – but this time it’s different. Greg writes on axitrader.com:
All I can say is what a shambles. And I guess I have to say that my comments this week that politics doesn’t usually upset Australian markets was wrong. It’s usually been the case over my career that it doesn’t matter to trader. But I guess in a world of Trump, Brexit, Putin, Erdogan, Duterte and many other populist leaders the type of instability and lurch in policy Dutton has already articulated, combined with the reality that the whole world knows this will be Rudd-Gillard-Rudd-Abbott-Turnbull-Dutton/Morrison/Bishop has simply given the bears the whip hand on a day the USD was doing better anyway. So the path of least resistance for the Aussie was lower.
This chart shows what Greg means. The initial ructions in Canberra didn’t really affect the dollar too much. But in the past 24 hours you can see it’s lost quite a lot of ground as the leadership spill has dragged on (the timings on this chart are in BST). Markets never like uncertainty and the dollar is paying the price.
Australian dollar over past five days.
Australian dollar over past five days. Photograph: Yahoo Finance

Michael Kroger, the Liberal president for Victoria, has just confirmed state party directors had dinner last night and decided that party president Nick Greiner would contact Turnbull to say they want the leadership issue resolved today.
Greiner has now done that. Kroger won’t say what Turnbull’s response was.
There’s no reason why this meeting shouldn’t be held. Meetings have been held [with] two signatures.
Greiner doesn’t say whether or not they have the 43 signatures, but the heads of the party want the meeting anyway to resolve the leadership saga.
He says he’s sure that “reflects the views of Liberal party members around the country”.
Updated

Senior Liberal senator Mathias Cormann is being interviewed on Sky News. Cormann’s resignation from the frontbench yesterday was really the end of Malcolm Turnbull’s government, given his sway in the party.
He reconfirmed he’ll be supporting Peter Dutton for leader in the event of a party room meeting. He says he “would have preferred” if Turnbull had called the meeting earlier, but he’s “very confident” it will take place today.
Cormann says he’s backing Dutton because he’s the candidate “best able to connect with hard working, aspirational families in Australia”.
Peter Dutton connects very well to hard-working, aspirational Australians ... he will be able to reconnect with the Howard battlers [and] bring them back into Liberal fold. He knows what it takes.
On section 44 questions, Cormann says he’s confident Dutton is eligible to be in the parliament.
Peter Dutton is a validly elected member of parliament ... childcare benefits are benefits for parents childcare centres do not provide services to the commonwealth.
Updated

Am I the only one who feels like yesterday took on a vaguely Beckettian vibe after Turnbull declared he would only hold a party room meeting if the Dutton forces could cobble together 43 signatures on a piece of paper?
We then spent the day waiting around for a petition we were sure was going to arrive but never did.
But last night the conservative ACT senator Zed Seselja – one of the group of ministers who have resigned their posts – said the petition had “over 40” signatures and was “around about the mark” of the 43 signatures required to force a spill.
You can read Katharine Murphy and Paul Karp’s account of yesterday’s events here.

OK, this is significant. West Australian Liberal Ben Morton has just said he thinks he might be the 43rd signature on the petition.
“I could be the last person having to sign it,” were his exact words.
Morton was stopped on his way into parliament. He’s thrown his support behind Tthe treasurer, Scott Morrison.
The signing of the petition is doing one thing and one thing only, calling a meeting to resolve this issue ... it’s the right thing to do because this issue needs to be resolved.
I’m not supporting the particular candidate who is circulating the petition ... I thought about this overnight, talked to colleagues, friends, I’ve spoken to people in my electorate. They want to see certainty, they want to see the government of Australia get back to governing.
Morton said there was only “one person” who he believed could unite the Liberal party – Scott Morrison.
I’ve known him a long period of time. I’ve seen him work in close quarters as treasurer of this nation, he has the breadth of experience needed to unite the party [and] to be prime minister. That is my view and I feel it should be shared.
Updated

Christopher Pyne’s just been interviewed on his way into parliament. Pyne’s a Turnbull loyalist, and had a little bit to say about the Dutton camp. He was asked whether Turnbull should stay in the parliament even if he loses the leadership, and said he isn’t about to tell the prime minister what to do.
I don’t think that people can expect to be telling Malcolm Turnbull what to do. He’s run an excellent government for three years, a growing economy, records job, balancing the budget yet that hasn’t been good enough for some of his colleagues in the parliamentary party. I’m not about to tell Malcolm Turnbull to do anything other than what he wants to do.
I think some people in caucus should have considered the greater good of the people of Australia and the government rather than their own self-interest mission.
Updated

Aussie dollar battered overnight


Well, this is intriguing. From the Herald Sun’s chief of staff.
Paul Tatnell (@PaulTatnell)
Julie Bishop's partner David Panton tonight, who is attending the Myer runway series in Sydney, when asked who will win #libspill
"You're heard it straight from the horse's mouth - by tomorrow at lunch time Julie Bishop will definately be Prime Minister," he told @AnnaHeraldSun
August 23, 2018

Peter Dutton has released advice he received from the former solicitor general David Bennett overnight. The advice, of course, relates to his eligibility to stand in parliament.
If you’re playing catch up, take a look at Paul Karp’s wrap up of the issue here. The question here relates to whether Dutton’s childcare business interests might disqualify him from being in parliament, and thus being a candidate for leadership.
The Bennett advice argues Dutton does not have a case to answer to the high court because his family trust does not have any agreement with the commonwealth.
“Mr Dutton is not rendered ineligible by Section 44(v) by virtue of these facts.”
Which, look, I’m not a lawyer so I’m not about to make any “the high court shall so hold” type statements. Turnbull’s said he wants to see the solicitor general’s advice on the issue before the putative midday party room meeting. It’s unclear if it will arrive in time, but that’s the advice that will really matter.
Labor’s previously released advice by barrister Bret Walker SC arguing the “preferable argument” is that Dutton is ineligible because he may have an “indirect pecuniary interest” in an agreement with the commonwealth.
Peter Dutton (@PeterDutton_MP)
This advice is in addition to my original advice from Guy Reynolds SC which also confirmed I was not in breach of s.44(v).
Mr Bennett’s unequivocal advice puts to rest the spurious & unsubstantiated allegations raised against by eligibility. 3/3 pic.twitter.com/Eb90HvzOew
August 23, 2018
Updated

Liberal MP Tim Wilson is speaking on the ABC. He’s suggested the tactics of the Peter Dutton camp have not been totally above board. You’ll remember there’s been some talk of intimidation of MPs.
Scott Buchholz just mentioned the pressure he’s been under to sign the petition that’s circulating Parliament House.
I’ve said at every point that I think Peter [Dutton] is a decent and honourable man, and somebody I have a high degree of trust and respect for. That won’t change. There are other people surrounding him who have been involved in this, and I don’t think their tactics have been appropriate. I don’t think the tactics of all sides have been appropriate, frankly. I’m on this program to say some of us get it and some are behaving like responsible adults.
Updated

Queensland MP Scott Buchholz has just been talking to Sky News. Buchholz has previously declared himself a Turnbull supporter, but this morning he’s called on the prime minister to bring on the party room meeting without the list of 43 names.
He says he’s being “pressured beyond comprehension” to sign the list, but won’t because of fears of repercussions.
“I suggest that that list in time will be used in a symbolic way to suggest – similar to Brutus [and] Caesar – of those who knifed a PM. That is not my intent.”
Updated

Updated

Windows have been smashed at Peter Dutton’s electorate office in Dickson overnight, Queensland police say.
As he prepares for d-day in Canberra, his electorate staff will be sweeping up glass.
Damaged glass windows are seen at the electorate office of Peter Dutton in the suburb of Strathpine, north of Brisbane.
Damaged glass windows are seen at the electorate office of Peter Dutton in the suburb of Strathpine, north of Brisbane. Photograph: Darren England/AAP
Brick pavers were thrown at the office on Gympie Road in Strathpine about 1.45am on Friday, causing what they called “extensive damage”. Detectives are appealing for information about the incident. They say four reinforced glass windows and two glass doors were smashed.
Updated

Good morning and welcome to the day in politics. It’s Michael McGowan here. I’ll be keeping you up to speed with developments in Canberra until Christopher Knaus takes over later this morning.
All the focus today will be on whether the petition Peter Dutton’s backers have been circulating for the last two days can reach the magic number 43, after Malcolm Turnbull imposed a midday deadline yesterday.
To recap on events from last night:
  • The Malcolm Turnbull-imposed deadline for the party room meeting is midday. Turnbull said yesterday that he’ll only hold the meeting (and therefore allow a spill for the leadership) if he is presented with the petition of 43 signatures, a majority of the party. Dutton’s camp were saying last night that they think they’re close to that number.
  • The possible contenders so far are Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop. That is liable to change. The numbers were being worked late into the night. Our latest word yesterday was that Morrison was slightly ahead of Bishop as the alternative candidate to Dutton.
  • Either way, it’s likely that Turnbull is all but done. The fatal blow was delivered by Mathias Cormann, Michaelia Cash and Mitch Fifield on Thursday morning when they abandoned him. If the spill is called, Turnbull will take it as a vote of no-confidence in his leadership and step aside.
  • He’s suggested he would leave parliament if that happened, which puts Dutton in a difficult position, because it triggers a byelection and jeopardises the Coalition’s razor thin majority in the lower house.
  • A crucial piece to this puzzle is Dutton’s eligibility to sit in parliament. Turnbull wants the solicitor general’s advice on Dutton’s case before the party room before the leadership spill. It’s unclear whether that advice will arrive in time. Dutton’s camp thinks he’s in the clear, and have their own legal advice to support that position. Leading constitutional lawyers disagree. They think there’s a serious question to be answered by Dutton. Only parliament can refer him to the high court but the issue might be enough to create doubt and anxiety in Liberal ranks.
  • Don’t forget those crossbenchers and rogue Nationals, either. Darren Chester, a Nat, is still not saying whether he would guarantee confidence and supply to a Dutton government. Other crossbenchers are making similar statements. The Coalition has a one-seat majority.
Updated

Wall Street at Close Report: Stocks fall as worries about US-China trade, Trump legal issues dampen investor sentiment I CNBC


Fred Imbert, Ryan Browne


Stocks fell on Thursday as an ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China and worries of renewed legal issues for President Donald Trump dampened investor sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 76.62 points to 25,656.98 as Caterpillar lagged. The S&P 500 closed 0.2 percent lower at 2,859.98 with materials falling more than 0.6 percent. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1 percent to 7,878.46.
Caterpillar and Boeing, two bellwethers of global trade, fell 2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. Deere shares also dipped 1 percent. Tech shares Alibaba and Netflix fell 3.2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, giving up earlier gains.
Tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese import-product categories took effect on Thursday. Beijing retaliated with its own fresh tariffs on $16 billion worth of imports.
The U.S. and China held talks on Wednesday that continued into Thursday, but observers did not have high hopes after Trump said he did not "anticipate much" to be resolved, in an interview with Reuters.
"I think there's disappointment that the tariffs came into effect today," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones. "Given the restart of the talks, there was some hope that those would be delayed."
Wall Street also fretted over Trump's legal troubles.
Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to eight counts related to tax fraud, campaign contributions, making false statements to a financial institution and unlawful corporate contributions. Cohen also admitted to making payments to two women at the direction of Trump. Meanwhile, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts in a separate case.
The legal troubles have raised questions about whether Trump will remain in office. In an interview with "Fox and Friends," Trump said: "If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash. I think everybody would be very poor."
Still, the market does not seem to care about Trump's legal issues at this point, said Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, in a note. "That U.S. stocks recovered [Wednesday] is a good reminder that 2018 is not 1974," Colas wrote.
"Back then, oil prices had just risen 4x and the global system of fixed exchange rates was imploding" as former President Richard Nixon resigned under the threat of impeachment, he said. "Now, rates are low, the dollar is strong and corporate earnings remain robust. Those are the only things stock prices can (and should) actually discount."
Weekly jobless claims slipped by 2,000 to 210,000 last week despite the ongoing trade worries, the Labor Department said. Economists polled by Reuters expected claims to rise to 215,000.
The data come as leading central bankers meet for an economic symposium at Jackson Hole in Wyoming, where they will discuss the future of monetary policy. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will address attendees in a speech Friday.
Shares of AMD rose 6.7 percent after analysts at Rosenblatt Securities hiked their price target on the stock to $30 from $27, highlighting the company's manufacturing advantage against Intel.
—CNBC's Huileng Tan contributed to this report.

MarketWatch I Bulletin


by Mark DeCambre


  • MarketWatch
  • Other Dow Jones
  • Other News
  • Press Releases
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. engages in providing online and mobile marketplaces in retail and wholesale trade. It operates through the following segments: Core Commerce, Cloud Computing, Digital Media and Entertainment, and Innovation Initiatives and Others. The Core Commerce segment comprises platforms operating in retail and wholesale. The Cloud Computing segment consists of Alibaba Cloud, which offers elastic computing, database, storage and content delivery network, large scale computing, security, management and application, big data analytics, a machine learning platform, and other services provide for enterprises of different sizes across various industries. The Digital Media and Entertainment segment includes the Youko Tudou and UCWeb media properties. The Innovation Initiatives and Others segment involves in the YunOS, AutoNavi, DingTalk, and other businesses. The company was founded by Chung Tsai and Yun Ma on June 28, 1999 and is headquartered in Hangzhou, China. (See Full Profile)

European Markets at Close Report: European stocks close lower as US-China trade tensions escalate I CNBC


Ryan Browne, Silvia Amaro



Stocks in Europe hovered around the flatline on Thursday after Beijing implemented new retaliatory tariffs against the United States.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was marginally higher. Tech stocks were the outperformers, continuing the momentum seen on Wall Street. Basic resources and autos fell on the back of renewed trade tensions.
China officially retaliated Thursday against fresh duties, worth $16 billion, from the United States. This takes place at a time when officials from both countries meet in Washington to talk trade.
Looking across the European benchmark, Sunrise Communications was the top performer, up 7.02 percent, after reporting second-quarter results and raising its outlook for the year.
Ryanair shares jumped 5.93 percent. This was after the Irish pilots union Forsa said that an agreement had been reached with the company after a 22-hour session of talks. The dispute centered around issues such as base transfers, promotions and annual leave.
Stateside, stocks continued the mixed global sentiment, barely moving as concerns over legal troubles affecting two of President Donald Trump's key allies weighed on sentiment.
Leading central bankers are meeting at a symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to discuss the future of monetary policy. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will address attendees in a speech on Friday.
In politics, Chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly seeking to get a German official at the helm of the European Commission — meaning she will not back her central bank governor, Jens Weidmann, to become the next president of the European Central Bank, Handelsblatt reported.
Total Votes:
Not a Scientific Survey. Results may not total 100% due to rounding.
And in the U.K., newly appointed Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab released advice on "how to prepare" in case the country leaves the European Union without a deal. Businesses were warned to prepare for increased trade barriers, and consumers cautioned over higher credit card charges when purchasing EU products in the event of a "no deal" Brexit.
French business activity saw a four-month high in August. The IHS Markit Index rose to 55.1 from 54.4 in the previous month. Elsewhere, business activity in the euro zone edged higher in August, but concerns over trade tensions hold back some manufacturers.
The European Central Bank published minutes from a meeting of policymakers in July 26 on Thursday. ECB rate-setters highlighted protectionism and global trade tensions as the biggest risks to the euro area.

Markets I The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal.
Markets Bull logo.
Markets
Welcome. I'm Ben Eisen from The Wall Street Journal, bringing you up to speed ahead of the market day.
Major U.S. stock indexes are hovering just below record highs, but a lot of traders are likely missing out. As vacation season rolls on, composite trading volume on Wednesday was the lowest of the year.
Today, we'll take a look at retail stocks, some of this year's surprise outperformers.

Markets in a Minute

Markets Data

Overnight Developments

Retailers Ride the Strong Economy

U.S. consumption is lifting shares of retailers
U.S. consumer sentiment is so strong that it's even boosting shares of left-for-dead retailers.
Target Corp.'s stock jumped 3.2% on Wednesday to its first record high since 2015 after the company reported that comparable store sales rose at the fastest pace in more than a decade. The retail chain's shares are up 32% this year, far surpassing the S&P 500's 7% rise.
"Like others, we're currently benefiting from a very strong consumer environment, perhaps the strongest I've seen in my career," said the company's chief executive, Brian Cornell, on the company's earnings call.
Not long ago, retail stocks were in free fall as investors worried that traditional retailers couldn't compete in the new world of e-commerce. Target shares dropped 9.7% last year even as the broader market surged, marking their third straight year of declines.
Though brick-and-mortar chains have struggled to transform themselves, they're being helped along by the increasing willingness of Americans to spend. Retail sales in July rose by 6.4% from a year earlier, data showed last week, suggesting that U.S. consumers are spending at a much faster pace than inflation as they benefit from a strong economy and tax cuts.
Stronger spending showed up at grocery stores, department stores, restaurants and clothing stores. Consumer confidence has generally remained high by historical standards.
Target isn't the only one benefiting. Macy's Inc. shares have added 49% this year, Kohl's Corp. has risen 46%, and TJX Cos. has gained 38%. The SPDR S&P Retail exchange-traded fund has tacked on 16% this year, including 5.5% in this month alone.
Still, for all their recent gains, traditional retailers continue to lag behind Amazon.com Inc., which has risen 63% in 2018 as it has scooped up e-commerce market share. A strong economy is helping retailers at the moment, but it won't solve all their challenges.
Are you buying retail stocks? Tell the author your thoughts at ben.eisen@wsj.com.

Market Facts

  • More than half of the 21 S&P 500 stocks that hit new 52-week highs on Wednesday were retailers, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
  • A record 28% of hedge funds owned shares of Facebook at the beginning of July, pushing their performance lower as the stock sold off later in the month, according to Goldman Sachs.
  • On this day in 1976, Vanguard launched First Index Investment Trust, the first retail index fund. As Fidelity Chairman Edward C. Johnson III said that day, “The name of the game is to do the best and I can’t conceive of investment managers not even trying to do better than average.”
The S&P 500 has tiptoed to a new bull market record, sort of. The S&P 500 has been in a “bull market” for 3,453 days, a day longer than the previous record bull market, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. But the case isn’t quite closed yet.
At Jackson Hole, central bankers will focus on markets and monopolies. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday is the main event at the annual economic retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyo., running Thursday through Saturday.
The U.S. is seizing on Chinese economic vulnerability as trade talks begin. The world’s two largest economies kicked off two days of talks in Washington aimed at settling an escalating trade battle, with the U.S. claiming the advantage because Beijing is struggling to keep its growth from faltering.
A short squeeze is roiling Wall Street’s favorite bond trade. A robust August rally in the Treasury market is foiling one of Wall Street’s most popular trades, a bet that solid U.S. economic growth, rising inflation and eroding government finances will compel investors to sell bonds.
A messy battle is brewing in the options market. The CEO of the only U.S. options clearinghouse is clashing with traders, leaving his vision for the OCC mired in uncertainty.
Here’s why Michael Cohen agreed to plead guilty—and implicate the president. Prosecutors had reams of evidence and a long list of counts, which also could have included the lawyer’s wife. The moment Cohen stood up in court, he opened a new legal front for Trump that is fraught with peril.

What We've Heard on the Street

"Target’s success is partly due to a strong consumer economy: Rising wages and low unemployment are helping retailers across the board. But it is also a sign that the company’s $7 billion investment to revamp its business is paying off."
— Heard on the Street Columnist Elizabeth Winkler

Stocks to Watch

Nordstrom: The retailer said its board has authorized a share buyback program of up to $1.5 billion, with no expiration date.
Marathon Oil: With oil prices rebounding from recent declines, the stock has risen in five straight sessions, including a 3.3% advance Wednesday.
Williams-Sonoma: The home furnishings retailer said same-store sales grew more than analysts expected in the most recent quarter and gave upbeat full-year targets.
Synopsys: Synopsys exceeded Wall Street’s sales and profit projections last quarter, and the software design company raised its own targets for the rest of the year.