Stocks finish with gains to cap strong weekly performance
The major averages closed with gains on Friday to cap off a strong week, with the S&P 500 heading into the weekend at an all-time high. The PPI report this morning showed that inflation is running hot at the moment and inflation remains an underlying concern despite assurances from Fed Chair Powell that the central bank can keep it under control.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the producer price index beat estimates with huge March gains of 1.0% for the headline and 0.7% for the core excluding food and energy. Wholesale sales dropped 0.8% in February, and inventories increased 0.6%, both of which were a little firmer than analysts forecast. In energy news, Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. rig count is up 2 from last week at 432 with oil rigs unchanged at 337.
TOP NEWS: Boeing (BA) shares were 1% lower after the planemaker recommended to 16 customers that they address a potential electrical issue in a specific group of 737 MAX airplanes prior to further operations. While the company noted only the number of customers impacted, not the number of planes, Reuters said it was told by sources that the 737 MAX issue impacts around 90 aircraft.
Workers at Amazon's (AMZN) warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama have voted not to unionize. The company announced that less than 16% of the employees at BHM1 voted to join the RWDSU union, adding that it is "easy to predict the union will say that Amazon won this election because we intimidated employees, but that’s not true."
Shares of Crown Holdings (CCK) rose 2.8% after the company agreed to sell its European Tinplate business to KPS Capital Partners. Crown will receive pre-tax proceeds of approximately EUR1.9B from the transaction and will retain a 20% ownership stake in the business.
In COVID-19 news, Reuters reported that the European Medicines Agency is evaluating reports of a bleeding condition in people after receiving AstraZeneca's (AZN) COVID-19 vaccine as well as reviewing Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) shot over reports of rare blood clots. The news follows concerns over the AstraZeneca shot in Spain and Italy as well as reports of mass vaccination sites in North Carolina and Colorado temporarily closing after people reported adverse effects after being given the J&J vaccine.
In addition, Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) requested amendments to the U.S. Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to expand the use in adolescents 12 to 15 years of age.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was FuboTV (FUBO), which rose 12.7% after announcing it has acquired the exclusive live streaming rights to the Qatar World Cup 2022 Qualifying matches of South American Football Confederation. Also higher was Levi Strauss (LEVI), which gained 2.6% after the company reported quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Provention Bio (PRVB), which declined 17.8% after receiving an FDA notification of deficiencies in the Biologic License Application for teplizumab. Also lower was JinkoSolar (JKS), which fell 0.5% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 297.03, or 0.89%, to 33,800.60, the Nasdaq gained 70.88, or 0.51%, to 13,900.19, and the S&P 500 advanced 31.63, or 0.77%, to 4,128.80.
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