Monday April 3, 2017 - Friday April 7, 2017
On Monday the PMI manufacturing index for March fell by nine-tenths of a point to 53.3, and the ISM manufacturing index for March also fell 1/2 point to 52.2. Construction spending for February rose .8% compared to the prior month’s .4% decline. Auto sales declined in March to 16.6 million, compared to 16.7 million a year ago, despite heavy incentives from manufacturers. Markets closed the day down slightly.
On Tuesday, the trade deficit for February declined to $43.6 billion, at the low end of expectations. Factory orders for February were up 1%, on top of the prior month’s 1.5% gain. Ten year Treasury notes yielded 2.36% and U.S. crude rose 1.6% to settle at $51.03 a barrel.
On Wednesday, the ADP employment report for March showed strong gains of 263,000, the ISM non-manufacturing index for March fell 2.4 points to 55.2, and the EIA petroleum status report for the week ending March 31st saw crude oil inventories rise 1.6 million barrels. The Federal Reserve released minutes from its March meeting showing an almost unanimous decision to hike interest rates, as well as a desire to start unwinding some of the $4.5 trillion in bonds on its balance sheet. Markets were up early in the day, but investors sold off after the Fed minutes were released. The Dow Industrials closed down 41 points.
On Thursday, jobless claims for the week ending April 1st fell 25,000 to 234,000 and President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping began a two day meeting to discuss trade issues as well as the military situation with North Korea. After market close, President Trump ordered a missile strike against a Syrian airbase in response to a chemical attack allegedly perpetrated by the Syrian government.
On Friday, nonfarm payrolls for March grew disappointing slow at 98,000, while the unemployment rate dropped to 4.5%, and average hourly earnings were up .2%. Markets opened slightly down on the news. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Kate Spade & Company (NYSE: KATE) will take some time negotiating a potential sale as the company received an offer last week from Coach, as reported by anonymous sources late Monday. Shares of Kate Spade fell sharply by over 14% to under $20 as investors fear the bid may be lower than current market value.
JAB Holdings, the owner of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Caribou Coffee, announced that it will buy bakery Panera Bread Co. (NASDAQ: PNRA) for $7.2 billion, including about $340 million of Panera’s net debt. Panera’s share value surged late Tuesday and reached a new all-time high of $313.41 on Wednesday.
Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) reported record vehicle production and deliveries in its first quarter, on track to hit its target of 50,000 deliveries in the first half of the year. The company announced that it delivered over 25,000 vehicles consisting of its Model S and Model X within the first three months of the year beating analysts’ forecasts of 24,200. Tesla reached an all-time high of $304.88 per share on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) said it has acquired the right to purchase a stake of up to 23% of Plug Power, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) Amazon reached a record high of $923.72 a share as the fuel cell maker announced that it would supply batteries to power forklifts used in 11 of Amazon’s warehouses. Plug Power reached a high of $3.09 on early trading Wednesday and had massive volume of over 120 million shares traded during the day.
Yum China Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: YUMC) reported quarterly earnings on Wednesday that beat analysts’ estimates, due to robust sales at its KFC and Pizza Hut fast food chains. Chief Executive Officer Micky Pant indicated that online ordering and delivery were “two key drivers of growth”. The company’s shares reached a new high of $32.12 Thursday at the opening bell.