1. U.S. Stock Market:
“World stock markets scaled fresh highs on Thursday, with key U.S. indexes lifted by rosy retailer results, while the U.S. dollar dipped and oil prices fell after top oil producers extended output cuts for a shorter period than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 90.95 points, or 0.43 percent, to 21,103.37, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 12.09 points, or 0.50 percent, to 2,416.48 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 42.81 points, or 0.69 percent, to 6,205.83.”
“The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite traded in record territory on Thursday as U.S. stocks advanced for a sixth straight session, thanks in part to big gains in shares of Best Buy after quarterly results. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.51% rose 12 points, or 0.5%, to 2,416, after setting an intraday record of 2,417.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.79% also hit an intraday record at 6,217.34, and was most recently up 52 points, or 0.9%, to 6,215. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.37% climbed 81 points, or 0.4%, to 21,092, within shouting distance of its record close of 21,115.55 on March 1.”
“U.S. stocks traded higher on Thursday as Wall Street remained positive about the Federal Reserve’s plan to trim its balance sheet, while tech stocks climbed. The S&P 500 reached an all-time intraday high, rising above its previous record of 2,405.77. The Nasdaq composite also notched a new record, climbing over 6,170.16, as Netflix, Alphabet, and Facebook shares all rose. The Dow Jones industrial average, meanwhile, traded about half a percent away from its record high, rising 77 points, with UnitedHealth contributing the most gains.”
2. U.S. Bond Market:
“U.S. Treasury yields held at lower levels on Thursday as the latest domestic data on first-time filings for jobless benefits and advance goods balance didn’t change traders’ view on a moderate rebound in U.S. economic growth in the second quarter. At 8:35 a.m. (1235 GMT), benchmark 10-year government note yield was 2.257 percent, down 0.9 basis point from late on Wednesday, while the 30-year bond yield was 2.928 percent, 0.7 basis point lower than Wednesday’s closer, Reuters data showed. (Reporting by Richard Leong).”
“The U.S. Treasuries gained Thursday, following steep losses witnessed in global benchmark energy prices after Saudi Arabia hurdled in the wake of too deeper oil production cuts in the near term. Also, the slightly less hawkish-than-expected tone of the minutes from May’s FOMC policy meeting added to the downward sentiment in bond yields. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury, slipped nearly 1 basis point to 2.27 percent, the super-long 30-year bond yields fell 1 basis point to 2.93 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year note traded 1/2 basis point lower at 1.32 percent by 11:40GMT.”
3. FX Markets:
“The dollar edged higher against other major currencies on Thursday, helped by the release of positive U.S. jobless claims data, although the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting limited gains. EUR/USD slipped 0.11% to 1.1207, just off Tuesday’s six-month high of 1.1268. Elsewhere, GBP/USD edged down 0.14% to 1.2953 after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product was revised down to 0.2% in the three months to March from the first estimate of 0.3%. USD/JPY gained 0.25% to 111.77, while USD/CHF held steady at 0.9724.”
“The U.S. dollar was slightly lower on Thursday, though it rose against the so-called commodity currencies as crude oil prices fell following an agreement by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers to extend production cuts. The euro EURUSD, -0.0267% was at $1.1214 from $1.1220 late Wednesday, in what Cieszynski described as “a normal pause within an uptrend.” The pound GBPUSD, -0.1773% dipped 0.1% to $1.2958 from $1.2973. Against the yen USDJPY, +0.28% the dollar changed hands at ¥111.73 from ¥111.50. The dollar is up 0.5% against the yen thus far this week, but down 4.4% on the year.”
“Oil prices fell on Thursday as OPEC prepared to extend limits to production by nine months to March 2018 in an attempt to drain a glut that has depressed markets for almost three years. The cuts are likely to be shared again by a dozen oil exporters outside OPEC led by top producer Russia, which reduced output in tandem with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries from January. Brent crude oil LCOc1 dropped as much as $1.24 a barrel to a low of $52.72 on Thursday before regaining ground to trade 20 cents lower at $53.76 by 1350 GMT (9:50 a.m. ET). U.S. light crude CLc1 was 20 cents lower at $51.16.”
“Gold Today –New York closed at $1,257.20 yesterday after closing at$1,251.80 Tuesday. London opened at $1,257.95 today. Silver Today –Silver closed at $17.19 yesterday after $17.07 at New York’s close yesterday. LBMA price setting: The LBMA gold price was set today at $1,257.10 from yesterday’s $1,251.35. The gold price in the euro was set at €1,120.81 afteryesterday’s €1,118.77. Ahead of the opening of New York the gold price was trading at $1,257.20 and in the euro at €1,121.30. At the same time, the silver price was trading at $17.18.”
5. Market Movers:
Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) reported an unexpected rise in first-quarter comparable sales and the No. 1 U.S. electronics retailer said it planned to save $600 million in costs by the end of fiscal 2021, sending shares to an 11-year high on Thursday. Shares of the company surged as much as 15 percent to $57.95 in morning trading.
International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT) reported first quarter EPS of $0.29 Thursday morning, down from $0.57 a year ago. Analysts expected EPS of $0.48. International Game Technology gapped open lower Thursday and has dropped sharply in early trade. Shares are now down 3.48 at $17.53 on above average volume. The stock has tumbled to nearly a 52-week low.
Meanwhile, shares of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) rose 19.1% to $6.11. The Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based firm on Thursday announced additional positive results from a second interim analysis of a phase two study of BCX7353 as a preventative treatment to reduce the frequency of attacks in patients with hereditary angioedema.
With the advertising wars heating up among the social media networks, Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) , the maker of the disappearing-message app Snapchat, is offering advertisers discounts of as much as 10% and other incentives. Citing multiple ad agency executives, Digiday reported the social network service is giving marketers bonuses, discounts and media credits for any ad buys that are slated for the second quarter of this year. The value and type of breaks advertisers get vary from company to company, noted the report. One media buyer told Digiday that Snap will give new application programming interface (API) partners a 10% discount in the form of a bonus coupon.
Wall Street may want to temper their exuberance over the quarter struggling Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) just announced. “Sears’ declining cash balance heightens its need to continue to source $2 billion of liquidity annually,” David Silverman, Senior Director, U.S. Corporates at Fitch Ratings told TheStreet via email. “The company’s ability to continue to operate is dependent on their ability to continue finding these sources — it currently has a number of unencumbered store locations which could be monetized.” And Sears may want to get moving on finding buyers for those properties, and brands such as Kenmore and DieHard.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) continues to shake-up its top management team following the ouster earlier this week of former Chief Executive Mark Fields and the appointment of Jim Hackett as the No. 2 U.S. auto maker’s new boss. As part of the shuffle, Ford announced Thursday morning that product chief Raj Nair will take over North American operations, a region responsible for nearly 90% of the company’s profits, and Steven Armstrong, Europe’s operating chief, will be elevated to run the region, replacing Jim Farley, who was named the new global markets president Monday.
What happened: Shares of Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES) were up 16.3% as of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, after the clothing retailer announced better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter 2018 results. So what: Quarterly revenue increased 2.2% year over year (4% at constant currency) to $458.6 million, which translated to an adjusted net loss of $19.4 million, or $0.24 per share. But analysts, on average, were expecting a wider adjusted net loss of $0.32 per share on lower revenue of $447 million.
Shares of Appian Corp (NASDAQ:APPN) APPN, +36.08% were soaring 36% midday Thursday after the software company’s debut on the Nasdaq. Appian, which provides a software development platform for organizations, sold 6.25 million shares at $12 each to raise $75 million. Appian recorded revenue of $132.9 million in 2016, up from $111.2 million in 2015 on top of net losses of $12.5 million in 2016, wider than a net loss of $7 million in 2015.
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) is the latest automaker to be accused of designing a diesel engine that can cheat on emissions testing. A civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Michigan on Thursday claims the diesel versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups produce higher levels of nitrous oxide when they are being driven than during tests. The suit says 700,000 of the trucks are on U.S. roads. The claim is similar to allegations the EPA and California regulators brought against Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler, as well as a case European regulators brought against French automaker Renault.
HP Inc (NYSE:HPQ) shares are currently down 2.4% and with the stock having risen 28% in 2017 going into earnings, there could be some disappointment over the company’s cautious earnings outlook, which has much to do with a subdued printing supplies forecast and soaring DRAM and flash memory prices. Lenovo shares rose 3.7% overnight in Hong Kong. DRAM/NAND flash maker Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is up 1.7%, possibly getting a boost from HP’s forecast that its component costs will continue rising in the July quarter, albeit at a slower pace.
Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE:HRL) reported second quarter EPS of $0.39 Thursday morning, down from $0.40 last year. Street expectations were for EPS of $0.40. Hormel Foods gapped open lower Thursday and has continued to lose ground in early trade. The stock is now down 1.80 at $33.61 and has fallen to over a 5-month low.
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc (NYSE:RYAM) has agreed to buy a Canadian company for $807 million. The Jacksonville-based company announced the deal Thursday morning to buy Tembec. The news pushed RAM’s stock up more than 10 percent Thursday, while Tembec’s rose nearly 38 percent. The deal includes $487 million in debt.
What happened: Shares of Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. (NYSE:ANW) are down 10% as of 11:45 a.m. EDT today. This drop comes on the heels of yesterday’s epic sell-off following incredibly disappointing earnings results. So what: Practically nothing has changed about the company since that dismal earnings report. No additional downgrades or stock price target revisions or company announcements have been made. So today’s decline is just a continuation of yesterday’s pullback as more and more people come to to the realization that this company’s stock has not been a long-term wealth creator.
Shares of PVH Corp (NYSE:PVH) PVH, +5.35% surged 5% Thursday, after J.P. Morgan upgraded the stock to the equivalent of buy after better-than-expected quarterly earnings. The apparel company and owner of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Heritage Brands, beat first-quarter per-share earnings estimates by 5 cents, driven by 5% sales growth and 178 basis points of margin expansion, analyst Matthew Boss wrote in a note. In a rare move for a retail company in the current troubled environment, PVH raised its guidance for the second quarter and full year, with the high end of its range pointing to more than 10% EPS growth in the first half.