Fly Intel: Wall Street's top stories for Thursday
Stocks opened lower and remained there throughout the day. The weakness was attributed to global trade war concerns and the lack of impressiveness in the latest round of corporate earnings. All eyes are on Microsoft (MSFT) after the close as reports and will have to impress the Street after its recent run-up in shares. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell another 8,000 to 207,000 in the week ended July 14, which marked a new 48-year low. The Philly Fed manufacturing index bounced 5.8 points to 25.7 in July. The leading economic indicators rose to 109.8 in June from a revised reading of 109.3 in May. This June figure is another record high for the index, with data going back to 1995. In Federal Reserve news, U.S. President Donald Trump told CNBC's Joe Kernen in an interview that he's "not thrilled" about the rate increases by the Fed, noting that at the same time he's "letting them do what they feel is best." The White House later told CNBC that Trump "respects the independence of the Fed" and is "not interfering with Fed policy decisions." Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that Congress has agreed on the final text of a provision to bolster both the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. and the U.S. export control system to block Chinese and other foreign transactions that could negatively affect national security. COMPANY NEWS: Comcast (CMCSA) shares rose 2.5% after the company said it no longer intends to further pursue an acquisition of the assets 21st Century Fox (FOXA) agreed to sell to Disney (DIS). Comcast said it will shift focus to its recommended offer for Sky (SKYAY)... On the earnings front, shares of Dow member IBM (IBM) gained 3% after the company reported better than expected operating earnings and revenue for the second quarter and reaffirmed its adjusted earnings view for fiscal 2018... Shares of American Express (AXP), also on the Dow 30, fell 3% after the company's quarterly report. Of note, the company reaffirmed its FY18 earnings per share view at the high end of the $6.90-$7.30... In addition, eBay (EBAY) shares fell 10% after the company reported Q2 results and gave lower than expected guidance for the third quarter. The e-retailer said that a strong U.S. dollar will negatively impact fiscal 2018 revenue and that there will be "significant product changes" scheduled for the second half of 2018... Meanwhile, Politico reported that Microsoft detected and helped block hacking attempts against three congressional candidates this year. Tom Burt, the company's vice president for security and trust, did not tell Politico the names of the targets nor did he specify whether the attempted cyber attacks originated from Russia. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Dominion Midstream (DM), which surged 23%, and TC Pipelines (TCP), which gained 27% after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced last night that it finalized a gas pipeline tax law-related rule that modified a proposal from March. Among the notable losers was Mersana Therapeutics (MRSN), which dropped 31% after the FDA placed the Phase 1 study of XMT-1522 on partial clinical hold. Also lower was Alcoa (AA), which fell 13% after reporting quarterly results. INDEXES: The Dow fell 134.79, or 0.53%, to 25,064.50, the Nasdaq lost 29.15, or 0.37%, to 7,825.30, and the S&P 500 declined 11.13, or 0.40%, to 2,804.49.