Stocks end lower to start week ahead of pickup in earnings reporting volume
The major averages kicked off the new week modestly lower, with the Nasdaq the worst performer, after closing at or near record highs on Friday. There is a heavy earnings slate this week as reporting season picks up momentum, with Coke headlining this morning's reports.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no economic data of note was reported.
TOP NEWS: Peloton (PTON) shares fell 7.3% after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a bulletin over the weekend about the "danger" of the Peloton Tread+ exercise machine after multiple incidents of small children and a pet being injured beneath the machines. "The Commission has found that the public health and safety requires this notice to warn the public quickly of the hazard," the CPSC added. In response, the company refuted such claims, saying it is "troubled" by the "inaccurate and misleading" press release on the matter.
Facebook (FB) was in focus after the company announced that it is building new audio tools and formats for the platform, including a new set of audio creation tools, better podcast and music sharing services, and a new Clubhouse-like feature called Live Audio Rooms, which will be the "perfect way for communities to engage around topics they care about." In an interview on the Sidechannel Discord server, CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said the company is working with Spotify (SPOT) on a music integration feature that would allow musicians to more easily share their music on the social network and would let users easily listen to music within the platform.
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) slipped 3.4% after The Wall Street Journal reported that two men died after a vehicle that authorities believe was operating without anyone in the driver's seat crashed into a tree Saturday night north of Houston.
Altria Group (MO) was among the tobacco industry names that slid after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration is considering requiring tobacco companies to lower the nicotine levels of all cigarettes sold in the U.S. to levels at which they are no longer addictive.
On the earnings front, shares of Coca-Cola (KO) were about 0.5% higher after the beverage giant reported better than expected Q1 results. The company also announced that it plans to list Coca-Cola Beverages Africa as a public company. Looking ahead, Coca-Cola provided fiscal 2021 earnings growth guidance and said it expects Q2 adjusted earnings to include a 5%-6% currency tailwind.
In other earnings news, Harley-Davidson (HOG) shares jumped 9.7% after the company reported upbeat quarterly results, with Q1 adjusted earnings per share nearly doubling the consensus estimate.
Meanwhile, GameStop (GME) shares gained 6.4% after the video game retailer announced that George Sherman will be stepping down as CEO on July 31, 2021. The news follows a report from Reuters earlier this month saying that the company was looking for a new chief executive as it transitions from being a brick-and-mortar focused company to an e-commerce one.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Knoll (KNL), which rose 34.9% after Herman Miller (MLHR) announced it will acquire Knoll in a cash and stock transaction valued at $1.8B. Herman Miller shares fell 8.7% after the news. Also higher was Clean Energy (CLNE), which gained 6.3% after the company announced it has signed an agreement with Amazon (AMZN) to provide renewable natural gas.
Among the notable losers was Haemonetics (HAE), which declined 36.2% after the company announced that CSL Plasma will not renew its supply agreement with Haemonetics for the use of PCS2 plasma collection system devices and purchase of disposable plasmapheresis kits in the U.S. Also lower was Lordstown Motors (RIDE), which fell 8.2% after WKBN reported that the company's Endurance electric pickup truck was unable to cross the finish line in the SCORE International San Felipe 250 desert race Saturday.
INDEXES: The Dow fell 123.04, or 0.36%, to 34,077.63, the Nasdaq lost 137.58, or 0.98%, to 13,914.77, and the S&P 500 declined 22.21, or 0.53%, to 4,163.26.