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Apple to buy Pullstring in a bid to enhance Siri: reportExternal Link

Tech giant Apple Inc. plans to buy Pullstring, a voice application company based in San Francisco, for an undisclosed sum, Axios reported Friday, citing multiple sources. Pullstring was founded in 2011 by former Pixar executives for enhanced computer-based conversations and is backed by Greylock Partners, Charles River Ventures, Khosla Ventures, True Ventures, and First Round Capital among others, according to its website. Axios said the deal will help Siri become more competitive against Amazon.com Inc.'s Alexa given that the iPhone maker has trailed both Google and Amazon in adoption and development of voice technology. Shares of Apple were unchanged in the late trade after falling 0.2% to close at $170.42 in the regular session.

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.


Fri, 15 Feb 2019 22:00:23 GMT
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UPS board raises company's dividendExternal Link

United Parcel Service Inc. said late Friday its board of directors increased the logistics company's quarterly dividend by 5.5% to $96 cents a share. The dividend is payable March 12 to shareholders of record on Feb. 26. UPS has either increased or maintained its dividend for nearly 50 years, the company said in a statement. Shares of UPS were flat in the extended session Friday after ending the regular trading day down 0.8%.

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.


Fri, 15 Feb 2019 21:47:38 GMT
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Dow notches longest weekly win streak in about two years as stocks soar on trade optimismExternal Link

U.S. stock indexes surged higher on Friday, buoyed by growing optimism that the U.S. and China can strike a trade truce ahead of the March 1 deadline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 400 points, closing up 1.7%, the S&P 500 rose 1.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite lagged, rising 0.6%. The Dow booked its eighth straight weekly gain, which would match the longest such streak for the period ended Nov. 3, 2017, according to FactSet data. In political news, tensions rose in Washington D.C. when President Donald Trump declared a national emergency citing a humanitarian crisis at the Southern Border. In economic news, the Empire State manufacturing index rose 4.9 points in February to 8.8 and industrial production fell 0.6% in January, the first decline in eight months.

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.


Fri, 15 Feb 2019 21:01:04 GMT
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Active-shooter situation reported at manufacturing facility in Aurora, Ill.External Link

An active-shooter situation was under way Friday afternoon at a Henry Pratt Co. location in Aurora, Ill., about 40 miles west of Chicago, according to local media reports. The company is a subsidiary of Mueller Water Products Inc. , which is based in Atlanta. The city of Aurora stated on Twitter that local police were on the scene. A law-enforcement source reportedly told WGN in Chicago that Kane County had deployed a SWAT team and that a U.S. Marshal's task force was on the scene. The Pratt company is a manufacturer of valves for the water industry. Employees reportedly told WLS-TV, the local ABC station, that they are sheltering in place.

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.


Fri, 15 Feb 2019 20:51:03 GMT
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Mattel stock plunges toward worst loss in more than two years after forecastExternal Link

Mattel Inc. shares dove more than 16% late in Friday's trading session after the toy maker revealed that sales would remain flat this year. In a presentation, Chief Financial Officer Joseph Euteneuer said that sales would remain flat in constant currency this year, which was called a "significant improvement" for the company, which has struggled of late. The forecast said that the American Girl line would continue to decline as the company entered a multiyear turnaround plan for the dolls, while a decline in Thomas the Train Engine toys should at least decelerate. Barbie and Hot Wheels toys are expected to grow, while Fisher-Price is expected to stabilize by the end of the year, the presentation claimed. Mattel also said it was looking to transition to a "capital-light" manufacturing plan in 2019, which should begin to pay off in 2020. Mattel's stock was headed toward its biggest one-day percentage loss since Jan. 26, 2017, when it declined more than 17%. Mattel shares had been enjoying a rebound so far this year, rising 43.7% as the S&P 500 index gained 9.5%.

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.


Fri, 15 Feb 2019 20:45:12 GMT
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