Stocks have taken a bit of a pause following yesterday's rally, though the averages have been improving as the morning has advanced and are now mixed at midday. A Chinese ministry spokesman reportedly said that the nation and the U.S. had an agreement on rolling back American tariffs on Chinese imports, but President Donald Trump told reporters this morning that the U.S. hasn't agreed to a rollback of tariffs on China as negotiations between the two continues. Trump added that while China wants a partial reversal of tariffs, he has not agreed to roll them back yet.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the September wholesale trade report slightly disappointed with an unchanged sales print after a downwardly-revised 0.1% August figure. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index inched up 0.2 points to 95.7 in the preliminary reading for November from 95.5 in October.
TOP NEWS: Ahead of next week's highly-anticipated launch of its Disney+ streaming service, Disney (DIS) reported strong quarterly sales and earnings that were driven by movie studio outperformance and better than expected losses at the direct-to-consumer interactive segment. Additionally, Disney announced a global distribution agreement for Disney+ with Amazon (AMZN), which paired with the better than expected results to send the Dow member's stock 3% higher near noon.
Shares of Gap Inc (GPS), the parent company of the Gap brand, Old Navy and Banana Republic, have slumped 7% after the company announced that its chief executive officer will step down. Additionally, the retailer forecast weak earnings for the third quarter and cut its guidance for the fiscal year. Following the news, Wedbush analyst Jen Redding said that she saw CEO Art Peck as the advocate behind the company's planned break-up, and his departure reduces visibility into the likelihood and timing of an Old Navy spinoff.
Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) announced changes to its plan to separate its sports and entertainment businesses. The company is now pursuing a spin-off of its entertainment businesses into a separately traded public company and, as part of this revised structure, the entertainment company would not retain an equity interest in the sports company that will hold the interests in the New York Knicks and Rangers.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Axon (AAXN), which surged 24% after it reported better than expected quarterly results and raised its fiscal 2019 revenue guidance.
Also higher after reporting quarterly results were TrueCar (TRUE) and Yelp (YELP), which gained a respective 29% and 15%.
Among the notable losers was AnaptysBio (ANAB), which dropped 71% after it reported quarterly results and announced that its ATLAS Phase 2b trial failed to meet its primary endpoint.
Also lower after reporting quarterly results were Teradata (TDC) and Dropbox (DBX), which fell 18% and 6%, respectively.
INDEXES: Near midday,
the Dow was down 45.35, or 0.16%, to 27,629.45, the Nasdaq was up 20.60, or 0.24%, to 8,455.12, and the S&P 500 was up 0.74, or 0.02%, to 3,085.92.