Stocks opened lower and the averages have moved in a narrow trading range after falling and finding their level. There has been little in the way of economic news with the consumer prices report coming out in-line with expectations. Investors are growing concerned about the length of the government shutdown and its impact on GDP, but there are no signs of progress on that front.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Consumer Prices Index fell 0.1% month-over-month in December, with the core rate rising 0.2%, both as projected. The CPI was up 1.9% year-over-year in December, also matching the consensus projection.
COMPANY NEWS: Shares of General Motors (GM) are up 8.5% after the carmaker announced that it expects 2018 adjusted EPS and adjusted automotive free cash flow to exceed its previously provided guidance. GM also provided FY19 EPS guidance of $6.50-$7.00, which is far ahead of the consensus view of $5.88 prior to the company's outlook. In 2019, despite a declining car market, GM expects the overall U.S. market to remain strong, projecting total industry sales in the low 17M range, the company said. GM added that it sees the market in China being well positioned for long-term growth.
In a regulatory filing, a subsidiary of Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) disclosed that it intends to commence preliminary talks with investors in connection with a potential senior unsecured notes offering intendded to partially fund an $8.5B dividend payment to the company in accordance with its merger plan with Disney (DIS). In connection, Fox confirmed that it does not intend to bid for any of the Fox regional sports networks that Disney, or any entity operating on its behalf, may sell as required by the consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the media companies' planned tie-up.
Activision Blizzard (ATVI) has dropped 9% after the video game maker announced last night that Bungie will assume full publishing rights and responsibilities for the Destiny franchise. Several Wall Street analsyts cut their targets on the shares following the news, with a number voicing the opinion that higher pipeline uncertainty, recent execution missteps and management departures will weigh on the stock.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Tilray (TLRY), which surged 28% after Privateer Holdings issued a statement emphasizing it does not have plans to register, sell or distribute the 75M shares that it owns in the company.
Also higher was Synnex (SNX), which gained 11% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Vail Resorts (MTN), which slid 13% after it is lowered its EBITDA guidance after missing its expectations in the pre-holiday period.
Also lower was WW (WTW), which fell 6% after JPMorgan analyst Christina Brathwaite downgraded the stock to Neutral and cut her price target for the shares to $37 from $70.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 68.96, or 0.29%, to 23,932.96, the Nasdaq was down 27.44, or 0.39%, to 6,958.62, and the S&P 500 was down 6.02, or 0.23%, to 2,590.62.