Blank-check co. Crescent Funding seeks up to $288 million in IPO

Crescent Funding Inc. seeks to raise up to $288 million in an initial public offering, according to a filing late Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Los Angeles-based blank check company plans to sell up to 28.75 million shares at $10 a piece. The company formed to effect “a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses,” but has yet to identify and potential targets. UBS Investment Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Stifel are listed among the underwriters. 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.

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Wal-Mart to cut corporate jobs: report

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to cut more than 1,000 corporate jobs, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. The cuts are expected to be broad-based and focused primarily on employees at the company’s Bentonville, Ark., headquarters, the report said. The cuts are expected to be completed by the end of the company’s fiscal year on Jan. 31. The report quoted a Wal-Mart spokesman saying that the company has been looking at its “structure for some time as we explore ways to operate more effectively,” without confirming that job cuts are planned this month. 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.

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Vista Proppants and Logistics files IPO

Vista Proppants and Logistics Inc. filed initial public offering documents late Friday and is seeking $100 million, a common place holder companies use when initially filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the first nine months of 2017 the company, which specializes in sand for oil and gas operations and related logistics, booked $32 million profit on revenue of $185.8 million, up from net income of $3.4 million on sales of $90 million in the year earlier period. Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Piper Jaffray are leading the deal, according to SEC documents. The company plans to list on Nasdaq under the ticker “VPRL.”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.

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Oil prices settle higher, score fourth weekly rise

Oil prices settled higher Friday for a fifth straight session, as declines in U.S. crude supplies continued to boost prices to their highest in more than three years. Prices also posted a gain for the week, their fourth such rise in a row. News that the Trump administration extended sanctions relief for Iran, as expected, and data showing the first weekly rise in active U.S. oil-drilling rigs failed to squash bullish sentiment. February West Texas Intermediate crude rose 50 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $64.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest finish since Dec. 5, 2014 according to FactSet data. It rose about 4.7% for the week. 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.

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Teva credit rating downgraded to junk status at Moody’s

Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.’s credit rating was downgraded two notches into junk status at Moody’s Investors Service, which cited concerns over the drug maker’s sizable debt. The rating agency cut Teva’s senior unsecured rating to Ba2 from Baa3, which is the lowest investment grade rating, and assigned a Ba2 corporate family rating. The outlook is stable. “The downgrade of Teva’s ratings to speculative grade reflects the challenge of managing its significant debt burden while facing a prolonged period of earnings erosion,” said Morris Borenstein, an assistant vice president at Moody’s. “While Teva’s cost restructuring program will help to partially offset declines, execution risk is high.” Teva’s credit is also rated junk at Fitch Ratings, but S&P Global Ratings rates it BBB-, which is its lowest investment grade rating. The stock, which rose 2.2% in afternoon trade, has tumbled 34.5% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF has gained 15.7% and the S&P 500 has climbed 22.7%.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.

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Main stock indexes close at records as earnings get underway

Major benchmarks closed at records Friday as stocks continued to ride a wave of optimism as fourth-quarter earnings season got underway. Wall Street analysts are projecting another strong cycle of quarterly earnings on the back of a double digit growth in S&P 500 earnings per share. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 228 points, or 0.9%, to close at 25,803, climbing 2% for the week. The S&P 500 climbed 18 points, or 0.7%, to end at 2,786, for a weekly gain of 2%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 49 points, or 0.7%, to close at 7,261. The tech-heavy index rose 1.7% for the week. 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.

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Cardlytics seeks to raise $75 million in IPO

Cardlytics Inc. hopes to raise up to $75 million in an initial public offering, according to a late Friday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Atlanta-based consumer-spending analytics company reported $112.8 million in revenue and a net loss of $76.7 million in 2016, and for the first nine months of 2017 revenue of $91.1 million and a net loss of $15.6 million. B of A Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, and Wells Fargo are listed among the underwriters. The company plans to list with the ticker “CDLX” on the Nasdaq. 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.

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The Dow and S&P 500 just had the best start to a calendar year since 2003

U.S. stock indexes on Friday closed out what has been a stellar start to a calendar year for equity trading. In fact, the roughly 4.4% rise for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the 4.2% rise for the S&P 500 index so far in 2018, represent the best start to a year since 2003, according to WSJ Market Data Group. The Nasdaq Composite Index’s 5.2% advance so far this month, marks the best start to a year since 2004. All three benchmarks finished at all time highs on Friday, along with the Dow Jones Transportation Average and the small-cap focused Russell 2000 index . 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.

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