Here are several hot tickers to kick off Monday's trading session.
Apple Makes a Cooler Smartwatch
Bloomberg reported Friday that, while current Apple Watches require wireless connection to an iPhone in range, the company plans to release a smartwatch later this year featuring LTE chips that can perform the tasks iPhone-free.
While Apple doesn't break out Apple Watch sales numbers and the business is relatively insignificant, Bloomberg noted that Apple CEO Tim Cook described it as the best-selling smartwatch "by a very wide margin," with sales up 50% in the third quarter.
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It's good news for shareholders of new Apple modem supplier Intel Corp. (INTC - Get Report) , which Bloomberg said is supplying the LTE modems for the new Watch. They're supplanting Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM - Get Report) , which sued Apple last month over alleged iPhone patent infringement, the latest in dueling lawsuits between the two companies.
Beyond Intel, the other big winners are AT&T Inc. (T - Get Report) , T-Mobile (TMUS - Get Report) , Sprint Corp. (S - Get Report) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Get Report) , which Bloomberg reports all plan to sell the new watch.
Apple stock traded up 1.55% Monday to $158.81 per share.
Bitcoin has exploded past $3,000 despite the much publicized "hard fork" last week. In light of the strong gains, chip makers AMD (AMD - Get Report) and Nvidia (NVDA - Get Report) -- both of which have benefited from Bitcoin's rise -- could see their shares trade with a bullish bias on Monday.
Sprint Could Finally Do a Deal
Masayoshi Son said Monday during the company's first quarter earnings call that he "expects to be able to decide on an integration partner for Sprint in the near future."Speculation is that a deal with T-Mobile (TMUS - Get Report) is back on the table.
Sprint stock traded down 0.86% midday Monday to $8.62 per share.
Tesla Searches for Cash
On Monday, Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) CEO Elon Musk took a giant step toward making its cash pile grow. The company revealed plans to offer $1.5 billion of senior notes due 2025. But, more likely needs to be done as TheStreet reports.
The electric car marker's cash burn, or negative free cash flow, came to $1.2 billion in the second quarter --nearly double the negative $622 million in the previous quarter. RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak noted that Tesla's cash burn could have been worse if capital expenditures had not come in $200 million below expectations, among other factors.
Tesla stock traded down 0.49% Monday to $355.17 per share.
Teva Is Still Getting Pounded
Teva shares dropped 37% on Monday in Tel Aviv following 22% drop on Sunday, Aug. 6, the start of the trading week in Israel. Shares have lost 47% since the start of the year. U.S.-listed shares of Teva traded down 9.9% to $18.56 Monday.
The Israel-listed generic pharmaceutical maker on Aug. 3 cut its full-year guidance and slashed its dividend 75% owing to weaker U.S. markets and the ongoing political turmoil in Venezuela. Interim president and CEO Dr. Yitzhak Peterburg said in the earnings release that Teva experienced accelerated price erosion and lower volume in its U.S. generics business due to "customer consolidation, greater competition as a result of an increase in generic drug approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and some new product launches that were either delayed or subjected to more competition."
Defense Stocks in Focus
Defense stocks will be in focus Monday as continued saber rattling from North Korea throws global stability into question.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that the U.S. is willing to negotiate with North Korean despot Kim Jung Un, but the mercurial leader has said that the country' nuclear arsenal is off the table, should negotiations ensue.
Defense stocks have already had a strong run in 2017 with a Republican president in office to match a Republican controlled Congress, a party that traditionally increases defense spending.
Boeing Co. (BA - Get Report) has been the Dow Jones Industrial Average's top performer this year, climbing 52.7% over the past 8 months. Boeing stock traded up 1.03% to $240.15 per share midday Monday.
Northrop Grumman Corp.'s (NOC) defense portfolio includes everything from missile systems to cyber command and control operations. The stock is up 15.76% year to date. Shares were up 0.12% to $269.57 Monday.
Berkshire Did Something Cool
While bricks-and-mortar retail is largely a disaster, billionaire investor Buffett seems to have struck gold again-in Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s retail businesses.
The Omaha, Neb.-based conglomerate reported, on Friday, Aug. 4, revenue from its retail business in the second quarter fell only slightly, by 1%, truly a feat. Berkshire reported earnings from retail increased 27% in the three months through June.
David Silverman, senior director of corporate research and retail analyst at Fitch Ratings, told TheStreet on Monday, Aug. 7, that Berkshire's retail sector is managing to buck the trend because of its furniture and home-related businesses.
Berkshire, too, reported, within its retail segment, that revenue from its home-furnishing retailers [such as Star Furniture and Jordan's Furniture], online kitchen and cooking supplies seller Pampered Chef and candy maker See's Candies, rose in the second quarter.
"Berkshire's home-related businesses have been performing relatively well on the back of a strong housing cycle as well as limited online incursion," Silverman said. "Berkshire is not tied to some of the most challenged and competitive categories within retail such as apparel, vitamins, pet supplies."
T-Mobile Goes to War, Again
T-Mobile One Unlimited 55+ is intended to give seniors a cellular plan for smartphones and modern devices, providing them unlimited calling, texting, and data, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said.
The T-Mobile One Unlimited 55+ plan should be available starting August 9th online or in T-Mobile stores.
By comparison, AT&T's (T - Get Report) equivalent Senior Nation Plan costs $29.99 per month for each line, but it's for customers over 65. The plan only boasts 200 anytime minutes, 500 night and weekend minutes, and unlimited calling to other AT&T customers.
Another drawback, AT&T's Senior Nation plan is "only eligible for basic phones and not eligible on smartphones or tablets."
Verizon Communications (VZ - Get Report) gives seniors the option to be added to their family members' existing plan for $20 a month (plus taxes and fees), which offers four data sizes starting at $35 a month (plus taxes and fees) that range from 2 to unlimited gigabytes.
For seniors who don't want an annual contract, Verizon offers prepaid plans for smart and basic phones.
Deal Time for UTX?
Amid news reports that United Technologies (UTX - Get Report) is mulling a bid for Rockwell Collins (COL) , TheStreet's founder and Action Alerts PLUS portfolio manager Jim Cramer said such a merger would make plenty of sense. And if a deal goes down, Boeing (BA - Get Report) should be concerned.
A merger between the companies would combine the largest and fourth largest aircraft parts manufacturers in the country. United Technologies has a market cap of about $97 billion, while Rockwell has a cap of just over $19 billion.
Neither company has commented on potential merger talks.
United Technologies shares have risen nearly 13% year to date but were down 2.44% Monday. Rockwell shares were up 6.87%.
Here's what Jim Cramer thinks about this potential deal.
Tech Still Has Believers
MKM analyst Rob Sanderson on Monday increased his price targets on three popular Internet stocks, Alphabet (GOOGL - Get Report) , Facebook (FB - Get Report) , and Twitter (TWTR - Get Report) , calling for double-digit gains over the next 12 months.
Sanderson reiterated his "Buy" rating and hiked his target on Alphabet's stock to $1,210 per share predicated on his belief of higher revenues. In addition, Alphabet's YouTube will contribute more going forward after clearing hurdles last quarter centered around advertising disputes.
The $1,210 price target is roughly 28% higher than Alphabet's current price of $946.57 a share.
Sanderson also contends Facebook is a "Buy" and increased the price target on the social media giant to $200 from $180 a share, an 18% boost from Facebook's midday price of $171.84 on Monday.
"Valuation has improved through the year as investor concern over a sharp second half growth deceleration has shifted to an expectation of a more manageable decline in growth rates," he said. He argued that slower growth for advertising on Facebook is an actuality but it "will be manageable" and negated by varying pricing models.
As for the beleaguered Twitter, Sanderson reiterated his "Neutral" rating on the stock and hiked his price target to $18 per share, from $16 per share. "The stock dynamic is becoming more interesting. User engagement appears to be improving."
Sanderson believes Twitter's guidance to be too cautious, and expects the company to report an earnings beat as user engagement and growth improve.
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