Stocks looked like they were taking a pause from their recent rally, though at late day rally saw the S&P 500 and the other major averages close the day with gains and end the week at lifetime highs. A Chinese ministry spokesman reportedly said yesterday 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. In energy news, Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. rig count is down 5 from last week to 817 rigs.
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 nearly 4% higher.
Shares of Gap Inc (GPS), the parent company of the Gap brand, Old Navy and Banana Republic, slumped about 8% 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. Later on, Gap told Bloomberg in an emailed statement that its spinoff plans will continue despite the CEO's exit.
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.
Meanwhile, Occidental Petroleum (OXY) shares were in focus after Carl Icahn issued an open letter to the company's stockholders saying he intends to run a proxy fight against the company's board.
Additionally, Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn posted a letter to Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk on Twitter, saying he welcomes Musk's offer to "let us learn more about Tesla and will take you up on it." Einhorn has been a vocal critic of Tesla and has a long-standing short position in the stock.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Axon (AAXN), which surged 25% 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 31% and 15.5%.
Among the notable losers was AnaptysBio (ANAB), which dropped 72% after its ATLAS Phase 2b trial in eczema patients failed to meet its primary endpoint. Also lower after reporting quarterly results were Teradata (TDC) and Dropbox (DBX), which fell 17.5% and 5.5%, respectively.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 6.44, or 0.02%, to 27,681.24
, the Nasdaq gained 40.80, or 0.48%, to 8,475.31
, and the S&P 500 advanced 7.90, or 0.26%, to 3,093.08