The major averages are mixed as stocks search for clear direction and investors await more details from the trade talks taking place in Washington. There have been conflicting media reports about when the presidents of the U.S. and China might meet face-to-face to seal a deal. The Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump expects to name the date of a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping this afternoon, though Reuters reported that the White House is not expected to announce a date today for a trade summit between Trump and Xi.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims dropped 10,000 to 202,000 in the week of March 30, hitting a new 49-year low.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Tesla (TSLA) have fallen 8% as Wall Street digests the company's announcement last night that it delivered approximately 63,000 vehicles in the first quarter, which was 110% more than the same quarter last year, but 31% less than last quarter. JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman, who lowered his price target for Tesla shares to $200 from $215, believes the reaffirmation of the 360,000-400,000 full year deliveries guidance last night "appears to clarify official guidance has in fact all along remained at 360-400K." This guidance confusion is likely to be key to Tesla CEO Elon Musk's meeting today with a federal judge in New York, who is tasked with weighing the SEC's request that Musk be held in contempt for violating a settlement agreement with a February 19 tweet that said “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019.”
Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Group released its initial report regarding the crash involving a Boeing (BA) 737 Max, stating that its investigation to date has "clearly showed" that the Ethiopian Airlines pilots commanding Flight ET 302/10 March "followed the Boeing recommended and FAA approved emergency procedures to handle the most difficult emergency situation created on the airplane." Additionally, Ethiopia's Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau released its preliminary report on the Boeing 737 Max Jet crash, stating that Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 had a problem shortly after takeoff with its Angle of Attack sensor, as the "recorded value became erroneous and the left stick shaker activated and remained active until near the end of the flight."
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was At Home Group (HOME), which rose 7% after Reuters reported that the company is working with Bank of America (BAC) to explore options that include a potential sale of the company. Also higher was RPM (RPM), which gained 3% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Office Depot (ODP), which slid 20% after reporting lower-than-expected preliminary revenue for the first quarter.
Also lower was Red Robin (RRGB), which fell 4% after announcing that CEO Denny Marie Post will retire and guiding for Q1 comparable store sales to fall 3.6%.
INDEXES: Near midday,
the Dow was up 128.80, or 0.49%, to 26,346.93, the Nasdaq was down 22.96, or 0.29%, to 7,872.59, and the S&P 500 was up 0.16, or 0.01%, to 2,873.56.