The S&P is rising again this morning after having hit a five-month high yesterday. The Dow and Nasdaq have also seen early gains as investors continue to wait for the Fed's rate decision and hope for more clarity on the cental bank's rate setting plans for the rest of this year.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., factory orders rose 0.1% in January after December's 0.1% gain. Durable orders were revised to a 0.3% gain in January versus the 0.4% increase in the advance report.
TOP NEWS: Apple (AAPL) announced updates to its iMac line that it said deliver "dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance." The new 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display starts at $1,299 in the U.S. and the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display starts at $1,799, with both available to order starting today.
Fox Corporation (FOX) announced that the company this morning became a standalone company as Twenty-First Century Fox (TFCF) completed the distribution of all issued and outstanding shares of Fox common stock to 21CF stockholders on a pro rata basis. Disney's (DIS) acquisition of 21CF will become effective at 12:02 a.m. Eastern Time tomorrow, March 20, the companies reported.
In other M&A news, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) announced an agreement to acquire all the outstanding shares of HFF, Inc. (HF) in a cash and stock deal with an equity value of approximately $2B. Under the terms of the agreement, HFF shareholders will receive $24.63 in cash and 0.1505 JLL shares for each HFF share, which is valued at $49.16 per HFF share. Upon closing, JLL shareholders are expected to own approximately 87% of the combined company, and HFF shareholders are expected to own approximately 13%.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Evolus (EOLS), which rose 15% after Mizuho analyst Irina Koffler raised her price target on the stock to $29 from $25, citing lower financing risk and lower share count dilution after the company secured access to a $100M term loan.
Also higher were Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX) and Michaels (MIK), which gained a respective 10% and 14% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was DSW (DSW), which slid 13% after the company reported quarterly results and provided guidance for fiscal 2019 and earnings targets for 2021. The company also unveiled its new corporate name, Designer Brands Inc. (DBI).
Also lower was Del Taco (TACO), which fell 7.5% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: Near midday,
the Dow was up 189.08, or 0.73%, to 26,103.18
, the Nasdaq was up 52.99, or 0.69%, to 7,767.47
, and the S&P 500 was up 17.90, or 0.63%, to 2,850.84.