Stocks edge higher at open as Dow, S&P 500 look to avoid four straight losses

U.S. Silica to layoff 230 employees, idle mines as part of cost-cutting move

U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. SLCA, +0.43% said Friday it is cutting 230 jobs, or about 10% of its workforce, in an effort to "improve efficiencies" given challenges in its energy markets. The stock is still inactive in premarket trading. The job cuts include corporate employees and job losses from the idling of the mines in Utica, Illinois and Tyler, Texas. Other facilities that will be impacted, but not idled, are those in Crane County, Texas, Sparta, Wisconsin and Festus, Missouri. The company expects to incur about $1.7 million in severance costs in the fourth quarter of 2019, while the expected savings from the job cuts and other cost reduction actions are about $20 million a year. "The difficult decisions announced today are an important element of our plan to protect margins and generate free cash flow in an increasingly competitive oil and gas completions market," said Chief Executive Bryan Shinn. The stock has tumbled 54.7% year to date, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF XLE, +0.01% has gained 4.7%, the Russell 2000 RUT, +0.42% has climbed 17.5% and the S&P 500 SPX, +0.18% has advanced 23.8%.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Increases Merger Consideration For Anixter

Anixter International Inc. (AXE) announced that the company and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC have agreed to amend the merger agreement to increase the per share consideration payable to Anixter’s shareholders to $82.50 per share from $81.00. The deal is now valued at approximately $3.9 billion.

Under the amended terms, Anixter may solicit superior proposals from third parties through November 24, 2019.

On October 30, 2019, Anixter entered into a merger deal to be acquired by a fund sponsored by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC, a private investment firm.

A Big Day Awaits Karnua Therapeutics

Karuna Therapeutics (KRTX) is all set for the big day as the Company is scheduled to report results from its phase II clinical trial of KarXT for the treatment of acute psychosis in patients with schizophrenia on Monday.

KarXT, the Company’s lead drug candidate, is an oral modulator of muscarinic receptors that are located both in the central nervous system, or CNS, and various peripheral tissues. The compound combines xanomeline, a novel muscarinic agonist, with trospium, an approved muscarinic antagonist, to preferentially stimulate muscarinic receptors in the CNS.

The phase II trial of KarXT is a multi-site, double-blind, 182-patient study whose primary endpoint is the change from baseline in Positive and Negative Syndrome Score (PANSS) total scores for KarXT compared to placebo-treated patients.

The release of KarXT trial results on Monday (Nov.18, 2019) is the first clinical trial catalyst for Karuna since going public with its initial public offering on the Nasdaq Global Market on June 28, 2019.

The Company will also be exploring the potential of KarXT for the treatment of psychosis in Alzheimer’s disease and pain, and phase 1b clinical trials for the two indications are expected to commence by the end of 2019.

KRTX has thus far hit a low of $11.24 and a high of $29.00. The stock closed Friday’s trading at $17.68, up 1.67%.

Tim Tebow emotionally honors dog Bronco’s death with heartfelt goodbye

A heartbroken Tim Tebow shared videos from Wednesday when he had to say goodbye to his dog, Bronco.

The minor league baseball player and former Heisman Trophy winner had to put down his Rhodesian Ridgeback, who he received as a birthday gift from his brother Robby. The dog was named after the Denver Broncos, the team that selected Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. 

"One of the toughest goodbyes, Tebow wrote on Twitter with an array of photos Of Bronco. "Wanted to make a special tribute to the sweetest boy ever – thank you for all the joy you brought and all the memories."

Tebow added a heartfelt tribute Thursday to Bronco on Instagram, posting a picture of himself kneeling before his dog's grave with a caption that read: “Im (sic) so thankful and humbled by everyone’s support, prayers and love. I was able to lay Bronco to rest in a really special place. Thank you all for so much encouragement. I love you Bronco, thanks for being the sweetest boy.”

Tebow is expected to start spring training with the New York Mets in 2020 after spending three seasons with the organization at the minor league level. 

One of the toughest goodbyes. Wanted to make a special tribute to the sweetest boy ever – thank you for all the joy you brought and all the memories. pic.twitter.com/a5qKLJrn9C

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pic.twitter.com/9k6OSOfE6p

Stocks edge higher at open as Dow, S&P 500 look to avoid four straight losses

U.S. stocks rose at the start of trade Friday, one day after both the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.17% and the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.20% closed lower for the third-straight session amid anxiety about the state of U.S-China trade relations. The Dow rose 56 points, or 0.2% to 27,818, the S&P 500 gained 7 points, or 0.2% to 3,111 and the Nasdaq Composite index COMP, +0.22% advanced 23 points, or 0.3% to 8,531. Chinese President Xi Jinping injected a degree of trade optimism in markets when he told a forum in Beijing that "We want to work for a Phase 1 agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality." Reports this week, however, have provided conflicting narratives of the state of talks, with some suggesting that a deal won’t be reached this year. In company news, Nordstrom JWN, +7.81% shares rose 8% early Friday after the department-store chain issued better-than-expected earnings and shares of Tesla Inc. TSLA, -5.77% fell 4.4% following the disappointing reveal of its anticipated "Cybertruck" late Thursday.