On The Fly: Top stock stories for Wednesday
Stocks opened in positive territory as they tried to keep their winning streak alive. Historically, the market nearly always has had an up day in the session prior to Thanksgiving, though that did not hold true this year. The Dow was the biggest loser, though its losses were modest, while the S&P and Nasdaq hugged the flat line. As the news flow slowed, the volume dried up and the market limped into the close. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell 13,000 to 239,000 in the week ended November 18. Durable goods orders dropped 1.2% in October, undershooting estimates for a rise of 0.3%. Excluding transportation, orders grew 0.4%, which was only a tick worse than the 0.5% growth forecast. The University of Michigan's final November consumer sentiment reading came in at 98.5, down 2.2 points from the October reading of 100.7 but up a bit from November's preliminary 97.8 figure. In central bank news, the minutes from the Fed's last FOMC meeting stated that "many participants thought that another increase in the target range for the federal funds rate was likely to be warranted in the near term if incoming information left the medium-term outlook broadly unchanged." WTI crude oil futures gained about 2% to settle $1.19 higher at $58.02 per barrel. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Deere (DE) gained 4.2% after the agricultural machinery maker reported better than expected earnings and revenue. Conversely, shares of HP Inc. (HPQ) and HP Enterprise (HPE) fell 5.6% and 7.2%, respectively, following their own earnings reports. The biggest headlines from those reports came from Meg Whitman, who announced that she will be stepping down from her post as the CEO of HP Enterprise, sparking speculation that she may again seek to run for president. However, Whitman told CNBC in an interview afterward that she can "definitively say" that she is not going to run for president or any other public office... In M&A news, Rockwell Automation (ROK) slipped 1% after rejecting Emerson's (EMR) most recently sweetened takeover proposal, stating that it still undervalues the company and would present significant long-term risk for Rockwell Automation's shareowners. Also, AkzoNobel (AKZOY) confirmed that it and Axalta (AXTA) have terminated their talks regarding a potential merger, after which Axalta confirmed that it is engaged in discussions with Nippon Paint regarding a potential acquisition. Axalta closed 4.8% higher following the announcements. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was GameStop (GME), which rose 3.8% after the company reported Q3 results that analysts called "better than feared." Also higher was Cerner (CERN), which gained 5% after CNBC reported that Amazon (AMZN) and the company will soon announce an expanded partnership focused on Cerner's population health management solution. Among the noteworthy losers was Guess (GES), which fell 12.9% after reporting Q3 revenue that missed expectations. Also lower were shares of iRobot (IRBT), which fell 6.25% amid reports indicating the company is offering deeper holiday discounts on its Roomba vacuums that it did last year. INDEXES: The Dow fell 64.65, or 0.27%, to 23,526.18, the Nasdaq gained 4.88, or 0.07%, to 6,867.36, and the S&P 500 declined 1.95, or 0.08%, to 2,597.08.