On The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks opened sharply higher and have continued to tack on gains, giving the Dow an advance of 1.5% and the other major averages nearly equal gains. The market's move is being attributed to the solid performance by Donald Trump in his speech last night, which has instilled renewed confidence in investors. In addition, a large amount of economic data came from abroad overnight, most of which was inline or ahead of expectations, including better than expected manufacturing readings in China and Europe. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., personal income rose 0.4% in January, with spending up 0.2%. The ISM manufacturing reading rose to a 30-month high of 57.7 from 56.0 in January. Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 54.2 in the final February read. Construction spending unexpectedly dropped 1.0% in January, versus expectations for an increase of 0.6%. Crude oil inventories showed a 1.5M build versus consensus of 3.0M build. In Asia, China's official PMI rose to a three-month high of 51.6 in February. In Europe, Markit's Eurozone manufacturing PMI came in at 55.4 in February, the highest reading since April 2011. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Lowe's (LOW) have gained over 9% after the home improvement retailer's quarterly results topped estimates across the board, helped by a stronger U.S. housing market that drove sales and earnings higher... Conversely, Best Buy (BBY) has dropped almost 5% as the electronic retailer reported fourth quarter revenue that missed expectations and announced weaker than expected first quarter outlook... Alphabet's (GOOG; GOOGL) Youtube announced its own streaming TV service, which will cost $35 per month and will feature the four major networks, namely Comcast's (CMCSA; CMCSK) NBC, Fox (FOX), CBS (CBS) and Disney's (DIS) ABC... Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates recently took a short position in CarMax (KMX), CNBC's Scott Wapner reported, citing sources. CarMax shares dropped as investors passed around an undated interview the famed short seller did with Capitalize for Kids, but have since returned to positive territory in afternoon trade... Meanwhile, shares of McDonald's (MCD) were halted for news before the fast food giant issued long-term guidance at its annual investor meeting. As part of its new global growth plan, McDonald's said Mobile order and pay will be launched in 20,000 restaurants, including in the U.S., by the end of 2017 and that it is experimenting with different delivery models. The company also announced a new $22 to $24 billion cash return target for the 3-year period ending 2019. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was LogMeIn (LOGM), which advanced over 6% after the company reported earnings and revenue that beat analysts' expectations. Also higher was Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD), which gained about 15% after reporting quarterly results and being mentioned in President Trump's speech to Congress. Additionally, Weight Watchers (WTW) jumped 30% following better than expected fourth quarter earnings. Among the noteworthy losers was Palo Alto Networks (PANW), which plunged 22% after the company reported slightly higher than expected second quarter earnings per share, worse than expected revenue and lowered its outlook. Following the news, several analysts downgraded the cybersecurity stock to neutral-equivalent ratings. Also lower was Ambarella (AMBA), which slipped almost 5% after weaker than expected quarterly results and guidance. Additionally, Etsy (ETSY) dropped about 13% after the online craft seller's earnings missed expectations. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 319.90, or 1.54%, to 21,132.14, the Nasdaq was up 73.51, or 1.26%, to 5,898.95, and the S&P 500 was up 33.05, or 1.4%, to 2,396.69.