| 2016-10-14 16:20:21|
JPM, C… 16:20 10/14 10/14/16
On The Fly: Top stock stories for Friday
Stocks opened in positive territory following solid earnings reports from some of the nation's largest banks. The averages tacked on additional gains in the opening hour but began to lose momentum following the disappointing University of Michigan consumer confidence reading. Once a lid was put on the market the indexes began to drift in a narrow range and traded that way into the close. Investors are preparing themselves for the earnings season to begin in earnest next week, when the volume will pick up and several more banks along with a number of the biggest names in tech will be reporting. ECONOMIC NEWS: In the U.S., retail sales rose 0.6% in September, matching the consensus estimate. If autos and gas are removed, the core reading was up 0.3%, also matching expectations. The Producer Prices Index for September rose 0.3%, versus estimates for a 0.2% increase. When food and energy are removed, the core reading was up 0.2%, versus the 0.1% forecast. The preliminary University of Michigan consumer confidence reading for October came in at 87.9, which is a 13-month low and well below the consensus forecast of 92. Business inventories increased 0.2% in August, above the expected 0.1% for the month. In a speech at a conference of policymakers and top academics, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the Fed may need to run a "high-pressure" economy in order to reverse damage from the crisis that depressed output and sidelined workers. Baker Hughes reported the U.S. rig count was up 15 rigs from last week to 539. In Asia, China's consumer price index rose 1.9%, while its producer price index increased 0.1% in September. COMPANY NEWS: Three major U.S. banks reported quarterly results this morning. Both JPMorgan (JPM) and Citigroup (C) announced better than expected third quarter earnings per share and revenue, with the later benefiting from strong demand in its investment banking and trading businesses. Wells Fargo (WFC), which is still looking to move beyond the public outrage over its sales tactics scandal that resulted in its CEO's departure just days ago, also reported better than expected earnings per share and revenue for the quarter. However, the stocks did not have much of a reaction to the reports, with none of them seeing moves of even 1%... Shares of Twitter (TWTR) fell 5.12% following a report by The Financial Times that Salesforce (CRM) had ruled out a bid for the microblog service operator, citing an exclusive interview with CEO Marc Benioff. Shares of Salesforce jumped 5.15% following the news... Hershey (HSY) announced that John Bilbrey, the company's chairman, president and CEO, is retiring as CEO on July 1, 2017. As part of the company's succession planning process, the board has appointed a special committee to direct the search for a new CEO. Additionally, Hershey reiterated its 2016 outlook. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which advanced 4% after the company and Alibaba (BABA) announced a collaboration to strengthen research and cooperation related to the use of AMD Radeon Pro GPU technology in Alibaba Cloud's global datacenters. Also higher was Terex (TEX), which gained 5.23% after BofA Merrill Lynch analyst Ross Gilardi upgraded the stock two notches to Buy from Underperform, saying the $1.3B sale of its Material Handling and Ports Solutions, or MHPS, unit to Konecranes provides "unprecedented financial flexibility." Among the noteworthy losers was Natural Health Trends (NHTC), which slipped 16.13% after the company reported preliminary third quarter revenue. Also lower was bluebird bio (BLUE), which slid 13.3% after Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Elemer Piros downgraded the stock to Sell, citing a lack of catalysts in the near-term as he thinks initial data on improved transduction efficiency in beta-thalassemia and severe sickle cell disease may not become available until 2018. TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein said the selloff may be a "classic event trade," reporting that a buyside source said that "Goldman brokers over-hyped" the company's R&D day and now trades are winding down. Additionally, ARIAD (ARIA) dropped 14.77% after the former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders stated in a tweet that the company has raised the price of a leukemia drug to "almost $199,000 a year." INDEXES: The Dow rose 39.44, or 0.22%, to 18,138.38, the Nasdaq gained 0.83, or 0.02%%, to 5,214.16, and the S&P 500 advanced 0.43, or 0.02%%, to 2,132.98.