Stocks have had a strong morning, assisted by export data in the U.S. and China, better than expected earnings from two of the country's biggest banks, a big deal in the energy sector and a jump in Dow member Disney (DIS) after it took the wraps off its plans for its upcoming streaming service.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., import prices climbed 0.6% in March and export prices rose 0.7% month-over-month, both of which were hotter than forecast. The preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell 1.5 points to 96.9 in April, which was weaker than expected following a 4.6 point jump to 98.4 in March.
In China, exports grew 14.2% year-over-year in March, topping the consensus forecast. Imports fell 7.6% year-over-year in March, which was worse than expected.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Disney are leading the Dow higher, rising 10% after the media giant revealed details last night for its planned Disney+ streaming service. Disney announced that it will charge $6.99 per month for its video streaming service, which will immediately include content like "Star Wars" films, most Marvel movies and 30 seasons of “The Simpsons." Disney+ will roll out in the U.S. in November is expected to be in "nearly all major regions of the world within the next two years," the company noted.
Offsetting some of the strength Disney is lending to the Dow is the decline in Chevron (CVX), which is down 5% after announcing a megadeal to buy Anadarko Petroleum (APC) in a cash and stock transaction valued at $33B, or $65 per share. Following the deal announcement, CNBC's David Faber reported, citing people close to the situation, that Occidental Petroleum (OXY) pursued Anadarko for some time and bid more than $70 per share for the company, but lost out as the buyer to Chevron. Anadarko shares are up more than 33% to $62.55 following the news.
In other M&A news, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) announced that its shareholders voted to approve the issuance of shares in connection with the company's pending merger with Celgene (CELG), whose shareholders also voted in favor of the deal. The transaction remains on track to close in Q3, the companies said.
Earnings season has kicked off with reports from two of the nations largest banks, JPMorgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC). JPMorgan shares are up 5% near noon following its report of better than expected earnings, with Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon noting that "strong performance" across each of its major businesses drove "record revenue and net income." Wells Fargo shares initially moved up after the bank reported better than expected earnings and revenue, but the stock reversed course during the bank's conference call, within which executives gave downbeat guidance about net interest income. Wells shares are down over 3% at midday.
Last night, Uber (UBER) filed for its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange under symbol "UBER." The company reported 2018 revenue of $11.27B, including revenue derived from the company's Ridesharing products of $9.2B. Consumers traveled approximately 26B miles on its platform in 2018, Uber added.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Qudian (QD), which rose 10% after it said it will repurchase all ordinary shares owned by Kunlun Group.
Also higher was Adient (ADNT), which gained 9% after BofA Merrill Lynch analyst John Murphy upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and raised his price target to $25 from $19.
Among the notable losers was Allegheny Technologies (ATI), which slid 8% after providing downbeat guidance for the first quarter.
Also lower was LogMeIn (LOGM), which fell 4% after Barclays analyst Raimo Lenschow downgraded the stock to Underweight from Overweight, saying the core LogMeln offering around the Gravity platform is at the end of its growth trajectory, as the impact of pricing is weakening.
INDEXES: Near midday,
the Dow was up 202.14, or 0.77%, to 26,345.19, the Nasdaq was up 19.60, or 0.25%, to 7,966.96, and the S&P 500 was up 12.73, or 0.44%, to 2,901.05.