On The Fly: Top stock stories for Thursday
Stocks opened little changed and spent most of the day looking for direction. The overwhelming earnings news flow on the busiest day of the current season appeared to push investors to the sidelines as the volume was light and the market moved in a narrow trading range. Investors may have sat on the sidelines awaiting two of the most highly anticipated earnings reports of the season - Alphabet (GOOG) and Amazon (AMZN)- both of which are reporting after the close today. ECONOMIC NEWS: In the U.S., durable goods orders fell 0.1% in September. Weekly jobless claims decreased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 258,000 for the week ended October 22, above the expected 255,000 first-time claims. The pending home sales index increased 1.5% to 110.0, above estimates for a 1% rise. In Europe, the U.K. posted stronger than expected GDP growth of 0.5% in the third quarter. COMPANY NEWS: Qualcomm (QCOM) and NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) announced a definitive agreement, unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, under which Qualcomm will acquire NXP for $110.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $47B. Both shares ended the trading day higher, with NXP rising 0.4% and Qualcomm advancing 2.8%... Twitter (TWTR) announced better than expected quarterly results and said it will cut 9% of its global workforce as part of a restructuring plan. The microblog service operator also said that it will be discontinuing Vine, the short-form video app it once hoped would complement its text-based network... Meanwhile, shares of Tesla (TSLA) ended the day up 0.9%, giving up much of their initial gains following the company's surprise profit in the third quarter. The electric car maker also cut its capital spending budget and said it does not expect to need new capital to get its "mass market" Model 3 sedan rolled out. SolarCity (SCTY), which has agreed to be acquired by Tesla, also advanced 3.25% in the wake of the report... Apple (AAPL) introduced its thinnest and lightest MacBook Pro ever during its "Hello Again" event. The new laptop comes with a Touch Bar, a multi-touch strip replacing the top row of the keyboard that includes application-specific keys and tools. The new MacBook Pro also has a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the power button. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Western Digital (WDC), which advanced 5.4% after the company reported stronger than expected results last night. Also higher after earnings was Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), which gained 5.4% after the drugmaker beat estimates and unveiled an organizational revamp as it plans to focus on spending around key brands and markets. Additionally, F5 Networks (FFIV) rose 9.6% after reporting fourth quarter earnings above expectations. Among the noteworthy losers was Groupon (GRPN), which fell 22% despite better than expected quarterly results. The company also announced that it has agreed to buy fellow daily-deals provider LivingSocial. However, Groupon declined to disclose the deal value, stating that the price was not material. Also lower was Acacia Communications (ACIA), which slid 15.9% after two of the company's top customers, ZTE and ADVA Optical, reported their third quarter results. ZTE, which was Acacia's top customer in the first half of this year, particularly warned that it sees the telecommunications industry as being "under pressure." Additionally, AstraZeneca (AZN) dropped 3.6% after confirming that the FDA has placed a partial clinical hold on the enrolment of new patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in clinical trials of durvalumab as monotherapy and in combination with tremelimumab or other potential medicines. All trials are continuing with existing patients, the company noted. INDEXES: The Dow fell 29.65, or 0.16%, to 18,169.68, the Nasdaq lost 34.29, or 0.65%, to 5,215.97, and the S&P 500 declined 6.39, or 0.3%, to 2,133.04.