36 min ago
The Cboe Volatility index has tumbled in recent trade and is on pace for its steepest monthly slide since March of 2016, according to FactSet data. Wall Street's so-called "fear index," uses S&P 500 options to calculate expectations for volatility over the coming 30 days, and tends to trade inversely to stocks. Equity benchmarks, following a bruising 2018, have experienced a mutltiday stock-market rally that has been partly underpinned by hope of a resolution between China and the U.S. on trade relations. That, in turn, has driven the the volatility index sharply lower. Investors tend to use the gauge partly to hedge against declines in the market, with rising prices equating to a higher cost of such coverage. Most recently, the index was at 17.40 and has declined about 31.55% thus far in January (markets are closed on Jan. 21 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.). That level of decline would represent the most severe for the gauge since it fell 32.12% in March of 2016. The index's drop in 2016 had also been fueled by relief following concerns about the health of the Chinese economy, which continues to be a source of concern for market participants after data out of Beijing has shown clear signs of slowing down. Still, market participants have waxed optimistic that tensions between Beijing and Washington, if resolved, would help to stem any economic contraction in global markets. The VIX's historical average stands at around 19 or 20. The S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 index have both enjoyed the best start to a year since 1987. And all of the main stock indexes, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite Index were looking at solid weekly and monthly gains.
1 hour ago
U.S. stock indexes Friday morning clambered higher after a report from Bloomberg said Chinese officials were open to eliminating an imbalance with the U.S. that has been a source of trade tension between the two largest economies in the world and a major headwind for stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 248 points, or 1% at 24,622, the S&P 500 index advanced 1.2% at 2,667, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.2% at 7,171. Bloomberg on Friday, citing sources familiar with talks, reported that China has offered to go on "a six-year buying spree to ramp up imports from the U.S., in a move that would reconfigure the relationship between the world's two largest economies." China would increase purchases of U.S. imports over six years to reach more than $1 trillion per year, according to the report, which comes a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had debated eliminating China tariffs as a tactic toward advancing talks on their protracted trade dispute and easing tensions. However, a Treasury spokesman has walked back that story, saying that discussions continue and no decisions have been made. Trade issues have been the greatest source of friction for stock markets here and abroad, market participants have said.
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China has offered to ramp up its purchases of U.S. imports over six years to reach more than $1 trillion per year, Bloomberg News reported, citing officials familiar with the negotiations. The move would end the U.S. trade gap with China by 2024, the report said.
2 hours ago
Consumer sentiment plunged in January to the lowest level since President Trump was elected, according to the University of Michigan index released Friday. The index fell to 90.7 in January from 98.3, with the expectations index dropping especially sharply. Economists polled by MarketWatch forecast a 97.5 reading. "The loss was due to a host of issues including the partial government shutdown, the impact of tariffs, instabilities in financial markets, the global slowdown, and the lack of clarity about monetary policies," said Richard Curtin, chief economist for the survey.
2 hours ago
U.S. stocks rose on Friday, putting benchmarks on pace for a fourth straight win, as investors hung on to optimism over a report that Washington might ease tariffs on Chinese goods. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 156 points, or 0.6%, at 24,523, the S&P 500 index added 0.5% at 2,649, and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.6% at 7,130. The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that U.S. officials were debating a possible ease in tariffs on Chinese imports, to give Beijing incentive to make deeper concessions over the trade dispute. A Treasury spokesman immediately walked back the report, telling the newspaper that any bargaining positions remained "at the discussion stage." Still optimism in the markets held. For the week, as of Thursday's close, the Dow and S&P 500 are each up 1.5% and the Nasdaq Composite is looking at a gain of 1.6%. In corporate news, shares of Tesla were in focus after the automaker said it was cutting 7% of its workforce to cut costs, while investors also watched shares of Eli Lilly & Co. sank after it reported disappointing results from a medical trial. Meanwhile, Netflix shares were drawing attention after the media-streaming giant reported weaker-than-expected revenue late-Thursday. In economic reports, industrial production finished the year on a strong note, rising 0.3% in December after a revised 0.4% gain in November, according to data released by the Federal Reserve on Friday.
2 hours ago
Industrial production finished the year on a strong note, rising 0.3% in December after a revised 0.4% gain in November, according to data released by the Federal Reserve on Friday. The gain was in line with estimates of economists polled by MarketWatch. In the fourth quarter, industrial output rose at a 3.8% annual rate, down from 4.7% rate in the third quarter. Manufacturing output alone rose 1.1% in December, the biggest gain in 10 months. The increase was led by a 4.7% increase in the output of motor vehicles and parts but there were gains across the board. Capacity utilization rose to 78.7% in December, the highest level in almost four years.
3 hours ago
Shares Nautilus Inc. plummeted 42% toward a more-than 5-year low in premarket trade Friday, after the fitness company provided a fourth-quarter outlook that was well below expectations and said it was implementing an "aggressive" cost-cutting program. The company said late Thursday it expected earnings per share from continuing operations of 4 cents to 5 cents a share, while the FactSet EPS consensus as of Dec. 31 was 56 cents. Revenue is now expected to be $114 million to $116 million, below the year-end FactSet consensus of $149.6 million. Nautilus said it was expecting "significantly stronger" direct segment sales, but expected fourth-quarter direct segment sales of $50 million is down from $71.6 million a year ago. The company said it's cost-cutting plan aims to rescale operations to be more profitable on a lower sales base. The stock was on track to open at the lowest price seen during regular session hours since November 2013. It has lost 8.8% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has slipped 4.8%.
3 hours ago
Starbucks Corp. announced Friday that it has opened a new cafe in Jalisco, Mexico, and it's operated exclusively by staffers between the ages of 52 and 66. This is the second Starbucks in Mexico to hire an older staff; the first launched last year in Mexico City. The Jalisco location will have 14 workers. Starbucks, which partnered with the National Institute for Elderly People five years ago, aims to hire 120 senior workers by 2019. Diana González, head of HR at Starbucks Mexico, characterizes the move as part of the company's efforts towards diversity and inclusion. Starbucks shares have gained 5.2% over the past year while the S&P 500 index has lost 5.8% for the period.
3 hours ago
Although Netflix Inc. investors may not be completely satisfied with the streaming video service giant's fourth-quarter results, especially considering the massive run up in its stock price that past few weeks, but Wall Street analysts were nearly unanimously upbeat. The stock fell 2.5% in premarket trade Friday, as Netflix beat profit and net subscriber additions expectations but missed on revenue. Of the analysts surveyed by FactSet, 14 raised their stock price target while 1 lowered their target. That lifted the average analyst price target to $402.61, which is 14% above Thursday's closing price, from $391.31 just before the results. The most bullish analyst is Justin Patterson at Raymond James, who reiterated his strong buy rating and raised his price target to $470 from $450, saying Netflix's global distribution advantage is becoming increasingly clear. Even the most bearish analyst, Wedbush's Michael Pachter, reiterated his underperform rating, citing troubling cash burn and concerns over subscriber growth deceleration, but raised his price target to $165 from $150. Netflix's stock had rocketed 51% from Dec. 24 through Thursday, while the S&P 500 rallied 12% over the same time.
3 hours ago
Shares of GameStop Corp. jumped 1.6% in premarket trade Friday, after the video game seller reported an increase in holiday-period same-store sales and affirmed its full-year profit outlook. Net sales for the nine-weeks ended Jan. 5 fell 5% from the same period a year ago. The FactSet sales consensus for the fiscal fourth quarter, which ends January, of $3.24 billion implies a 7.5% decline. Same-store sales for the period rose 1.5%, as a 3.6% increase in the U.S. offset a 3.1% decline internationally. The FactSet consensus for fourth-quarter same-store sales is a decline of 6.4%. The company affirmed its fiscal 2018 outlook for adjusted earnings per share of $2.55 to $2.75, which surrounds the FactSet consensus of $2.66. The stock has rallied 4.7% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has lost 4.8%.
4 hours ago
Schlumberger Ltd. shares rose 2% in premarket trade Friday, after the oil giant posted stronger-than-expected revenue for the fourth quarter. The company said it had net income of $538 million, or 39 cents a share, in the quarter, after a loss of $2.26 billion, or $1.63 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 36 cents, matching the FactSet consensus. Revenue fell to $8.180 billion from $8.504 billion, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $8.044 billion. The dramatic fall in oil prices in the quarter was driven by U.S. shale production surprising to the upside, combined with geopolitical tensions. "Looking forward to 2019, we expect a more positive supply- and demand-balance sentiment to lead to a gradual recovery in the price of oil over the course of the year, as the OPEC and Russia cuts take full effect; the effect of lower activity in North America land in the second half of 2018 impacts production growth; the dispensations from the Iran export sanctions expire and are not renewed; and as the US and China continue to work toward a solution to their ongoing trade dispute," Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said in a statement. Shares have fallen 45.8% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 5.8%.
5 hours ago
Shares of VF Corp. shot up 8.5% toward a 6-week high in premarket trade Friday, after the apparel and accessories company, which brands include Vans, The North Face and Wrangler, reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter profit and sales. For the quarter ended December, VF swung to net income of $463.5 million, or $1.16 a share, from a loss of $90.3 million, or 23 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.31, well above the FactSet consensus of $1.10. Revenue rose 8% to $3.94 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $3.87 billion. Gross margin improved to 51.9% from 51.5%. For fiscal 2019, the company raised its revenue guidance to "at least $13.8 billion" from "at least $13.7 billion," as raised outlooks for its outdoor, active and work segments offset a lower outlook for jeans. The company raised its adjusted EPS outlook to $3.73 from $3.65. The stock has dropped 16% over the past three months through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has lost 4.8%.
5 hours ago
Eli Lilly and Co. shares fell as much as 5% in premarket trde Friday before paring those losses, after the company said a late-stage trial of a treatment for sarcoma failed to meet its main goals. The phase 3 trial of Lartruvo in combination with doxorubicin in patients with advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma (STS) did not meet its primary endpoint of overall survival. It had previously shown an overall survival benefit in a 133-patient phase 2 trial which led to accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. The company "was surprised and disappointed that LARTRUVO did not improve survival for patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma in this study," said Anne White, president, Lilly Oncology, in a statement. The company is in talks with global regulators to determine its next steps. In the meantime, it expects to book a charge of $70 million to $90 million, or 10 cents a share, in the first quarter. For the full year of 2019, it expects the issue to shave about 17 cents off EPS. Sarcomas are a rare type of cancer that typically develop in connective tissue, including fat, blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles, deep skin tissues and cartilage. About 13,040 cases were diagnosed in 2018 and more than 5,000 are expected to die from the disease. Eli Lilly shares were last down 2% but have gained 38.9% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 5.8%.
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Shares of Tiffany & Co. slumped 2.7% in premarket trade Friday, after the luxury jewelry retailer reported holiday-period sales that declined from a year ago and provided a downbeat full-year profit and sales outlook. Net sales for the two months ended Dec. 31 fell 1%, while same-store sales declined 2%. For the full quarter, which ends January, the FactSet consensus for net sales of $1.37 billion implies 2.8% growth and for same-store sales is 2.6% growth. Tiffany attributed the disappointing results partly to lower sales to foreign tourists, primarily Chinese, and to softening demand from local customers in the Americas and Europe. For the year, the company expects net sales to increase 6% to 7%, while the FactSet consensus of $4.50 billion implies 7.8% growth. Tiffany now expects 2018 earnings per share at the "lower end" of its previously provided guidance range of $4.65 to $4.80, compared with the FactSet consensus of $4.77. The stock has tumbled 22% over the past three months through Thursday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 6.0% and the S&P 500 has slipped 4.8%.
5 hours ago
Shares of CVS Health Corp. rallied 2.6% in premarket trade Friday, after the drugstore chain and Walmart Inc. have reached a multi-year agreement in which Walmart will continue to participate in the CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) retail pharmacy networks. Walmart shares were still inactive. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement. Earlier this week, CVS said Walmart had decided to leave its PBM networks because of a dispute over pricing. "We are very pleased to have reached a mutually agreeable solution with Walmart. As a PBM, our top priority is to help our clients and consumers lower their pharmacy costs," said CVS Caremark President Derica Rice. "This new agreement accomplishes our top priority and enables Walmart to continue participating in CVS Caremark's commercial and Managed Medicaid pharmacy networks and provides enhanced network stability for our clients and their members." CVS's stock has tumbled 15% over the past three months through Thursday, while Walmart shares have gained 0.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 4.0%.
6 hours ago
Electric-car maker Tesla Inc. will cut "approximately" 7% of its full-time workforce, said Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk in an update on the company's blog Friday that was emailed to all employees. Musk spoke of a "difficult" road ahead and said the company was targeting a small profit for the upcoming quarter. He said Tesla faces a tough challenge of "making our cars, batteries and solar products cost-competitive with fossil fuels," and that the company's products are "still too expensive for most people." He said the 4% profit the company made in the third quarter was due to sales of higher-priced Model 3 variants in North America. "In Q4, preliminary, unaudited results indicate that we again made a GAAP profit, but less than Q3," he said. "This quarter, as with Q3, shipment of higher-priced Model 3 variants (this time to Europe and Asia) will hopefully allow us, with great difficulty, effort and some luck, to target a tiny profit." Musk said the company will "retain only the most critical temps and contractors," adding that the staffing changes will be made while boosting Model 3 production and "making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Shares of Tesla dropped nearly 5% in thin, premarket trade.
13 hours ago
President Donald Trump directed his personal attorney at the time, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, Buzzfeed News reported Thursday night. After the 2016 election, Trump told Cohen to claim that negotiations for the project ended months earlier than they did, in order to conceal Trump's involvement, Buzzfeed reported. Cohen had claimed talks ended in January 2016, well before Trump was the Republican nominee, and during the campaign Trump denied having any business ties with Russia. Citing federal law enforcement sources, Buzzfeed also said Trump backed Cohen's plan to travel to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to smooth over negotiations for the development. Cohen met Trump face-to-face at least 10 times to provide updates on the Russia negotiations during the campaign, Buzzfeed reported, and Cohen reportedly detailed the dealings to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Mueller's team had reportedly already discovered Trump's order for Cohen to lie to Congress through witness interviews, texts, emails and other documents. The revelations could provide evidence of obstruction of justice by Trump, for explicitly telling Cohen to lie in order to conceal his dealings with Russia. Read an expanded version of this report.
17 hours ago
The U.S. won't be sending a delegation to the World Economic Forum later this month in Davos because of the government shutdown. "Out of consideration for the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay and to ensure his team can assist as needed, President Trump has canceled his Delegation's trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement late Thursday. Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump postponed an overseas trip by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers, citing the shutdown. That came a day after Pelosi suggested Trump postpone his State of the Union address until after the shutdown is resolved. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been expected to lead the U.S. delegation at Davos, after Trump said last week he wouldn't attend because of the shutdown.
18 hours ago
Shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. rose more than 9% in the extended session Thursday after the trucking company reported mixed fourth-quarter results. J. B. Hunt said it earned $88.7 million, or 81 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $385.3 million, or $3.48 a share, in the year-ago period. The quarterly earnings included previously announced pretax charges of $134 million for contingent liabilities related to an ongoing dispute with freight partner BNSF Railway Co., J. B. Hunt said. The two companies have been in arbitration over how they split revenue from their intermodal business for two years. Total operating revenue was $2.32 billion for the quarter, compared with $1.99 billion a year ago, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected J. B. Hunt to report earnings of $1.48 a share on sales of $2.3 billion. The stock ended the regular trading day up 3.1%.
19 hours ago
Atlassian Corp. shares rallied in the extended session Thursday after the business productivity software company's results and outlook topped Wall Street estimates. Atlassian shares surged 5.1% after hours, following a 1.5% decline to close the regular session at $92.92. The company reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $45.2 million, or 18 cents a share, compared with a loss of $64.2 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 25 cents a share. Revenue rose to $299 million from $214.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 21 cents a share on revenue of $288.3 million. For the third quarter, Atlassian expects earnings of about 18 cents a share on revenue of $303 million to $305 million, while analysts forecast 17 cents a share on revenue of $300.7 million.
19 hours ago
Shares of American Express Co. fell more than 2% in the extended session Thursday after the credit card company reported mixed fourth-quarter results. American Express earned $2 billion, or $2.32 a share, in the quarter, versus a loss of $1.2 billion, or $1.42 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $10.5 billion from $9.7 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of $1.80 a share on sales of $10.6 billion. "We continue to see very good returns on the investments we've been making to gain share and add scale," Chief Executive Stephen J. Squeri said in a statement. American Express' growth in 2018 was "broad-based and well-balanced across geographies and business lines," he said. Card members' spending rose an adjusted 8%, driven by higher member spending, loans and card fees. The company added 12 million new cards last year. Shares of American Express ended the regular trading day up 0.1%.
20 hours ago
Netflix Inc. reported earnings that beat expectations Thursday afternoon, three days after the company confirmed that it plans the largest subscription-price increase in the history of its standalone streaming service. Netflix reported that it added 8.8 million new paid streaming subscribers in the fourth quarter. Analysts on average expected Netflix to report about 7.5 million new subscribers on average, according to FactSet. For the current quarter, when prices will increase for new customers, Netflix predicts 8.9 million new customers, higher than analyst expectations heading into the report of about 7.8 million on average, according to FactSet. Netflix said in October that its subscriber-forecast numbers would likely decrease because it will stop counting free trial memberships as new subscriptions. Netflix reported net income of $134 million, or 30 cents a share, on sales of $4.19 billion. Analysts on average expected earnings of 24 cents a share on sales of $4.21 billion, according to FactSet. Netflix projected earnings of 23 cents a share on sales of $4.2 billion. Netflix shares declined more than 3% in late trading, after closing with a 0.5% gain at $353.19.
20 hours ago
Stocks ended the day off session highs but with solid gains after The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump administration officials were debating an easing of tariffs on Chinese imports in a bid to calm markets and offer Beijing an incentive to make deeper concessions. A Treasury Department spokesman told the newspaper that no recommendations had been made. The S&P 500 ended with a gain of around 20 points, or 0.8%, near 24,370, according to preliminary figures, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced around 163 points, or 0.7%, to close near 24,370. The Nasdaq Composite gained around 50 points, or 0.7%, to end near 7,084.
21 hours ago
U.S. stock benchmarks Thursday afternoon jumped to their highest levels of the session after a report indicated that Washington officials are contemplating removing tariffs on China to hasten a resolution on the protracted dispute. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by about 240 points, or 1%, at 24,450, the S&P 500 index climbed 1.1% at 2,644, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.1% at 7,113. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter, that the idea of lifting tariffs in part of whole was proposed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a series of strategy meetings. The report adds that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is concerned that any concession could be seen as a sign of weakness, however. Trade issues have been cited as the biggest headwind for stocks rallying in 2019. A protracted dispute on trade between Washington and Beijing also is seen have potential ripple effects throughout the globe, threatening to hurt economic expansion as the two largest economies battle on trade issues. A Treasury spokesman told CNBC that no final recommendations have been made on trade: "Neither Secretary Mnuchin nor Ambassador Lighthizer have made any recommendations to anyone with respect to tariffs or other parts of the negotiation with China."
21 hours ago
President Donald Trump on Thursday told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter that her upcoming trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan has been postponed, saying "it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me." He added that she still could make the journey by flying commercial. His move comes after the Democratic lawmaker from California urged Trump to postpone the State of the Union address because of the partial government shutdown that officials have been unable to end through negotiations. Pelosi's trip had not been previously announced for security reasons, reports said.
21 hours ago
Walmart Inc. has partnered with Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire and Roadie to expand its grocery delivery service to metropolitan areas in four states: South Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Alabama. Grocery delivery is available in 800 stores currently and 800 more will be added this year. Customers can use the service on orders of $30 or more, with free delivery available on the first order with a minimum purchase of $50. Walmart shares have lost 6% over the past year while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 7.3% for the period.
22 hours ago
Shares of Fossil Group Inc. are up nearly 5% in afternoon trading Thursday after the company announced that it would be selling intellectual property related to in-development smartwatch technology to Alphabet Inc.'s Google for $40 million. The shares were up as much as 10.9% earlier in the day but have given back some of their gains. Fossil said in a release that some members of its research and development team who are focused on this particular IP will move to Google. "Fossil Group retains more than 200 R&D team members to focus on innovation and product development," the release said. Fossil expects the transaction to close this month. Fossil shares have gained 94% in the past 12 months, as the S&P 500 has lost 6.4%.
23 hours ago
Shares of meal-kit maker Blue Apron Inc. fell more than 13% Thursday, after the company was named in a list of 10 potential bankruptcies in 2019. Investing and financial news site Investor Place acknowledged that the company is not one often named as a potential bankrupt, but after going public at $10 and falling to under $1 in less than 18 months, "there's clearly an issue". The company posted heavy losses in its most recent quarter and said it would lay off 4% of its workforce. Earlier this week, it said it expected to be profitable in the first quarter and for fiscal 2019--but only on the basis of an adjusted non-standard metric, and not because of actual profit, as MarketWatch reported. "There's too much competition and too low of margins to imagine APRN surviving on its own over the long term," said Investor Place. Shares have fallen 59% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 6%.
23 hours ago
Canadian marijuana producer Hexo Corp. said early Thursday that it has been approved for listing on the NYSE American exchange, and will begin trading Jan. 23. Hexo's current over the counter listing in the U.S. is up 1.9% in Thursday trading. Hexo follows other Canadian licensed cannabis producers such as Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp. , which have also listed on U.S. exchanges. Hexo and Molson Coors Brewing Co. have signed a joint venture to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis infused beverages. ETF Alternative Harvest ETF , which tracks a basket of pot stocks, is up less than 0.1% in midday trading.
34 min ago
Target Corp.'s private label Cloud Island, which specializes in nursery decor and layette products, is expanding into essentials like diapers and feeding products. The retailer is adding 30 products to the lineup at prices ranging from 99 cents to about $22. Most items will be priced under $10. Target worked with dermatologists, pediatricians, as well as its internal team to create the new products, said a Target chemist, Robin Beck, in a statement. The expanded Cloud Island collection will be available online and in stores on Jan. 20. Target shares have fallen 10.6% over the last year while the S&P 500 index is down 6.5% for the period.