Monday July 17, 2017 - Friday July 21, 2017
On Monday, the Empire State manufacturing survey for July dropped 10 points to 9.8. China’s GDP grew 6.9% for the 2nd quarter, higher than expected, and iron ore and copper prices rose on the news.
On Tuesday, import prices for June fell .2% and export prices also dropped .2%. The housing market index for July fell slightly to 64, however, this drop was unexpected and the lowest reading since November of 2016. Congress couldn’t agree to repeal and replace Obamacare and the Dow Industrials sold off modestly with the dollar sliding to an 11-month low as investors lost faith in President Trump’s economic reforms. However, the Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 closed at record highs.
On Wednesday, housing starts for June rose 8.3% to an annualized 1.22 million units and permits were up 7.4% to 1.25 million. The EIA petroleum status report for the week ending July 14th showed crude oil inventories declining 4.7 million barrels. U.S. crude rose 1.5% on the news to close at $47.10 a barrel. Despite disappointing earnings from IBM, the Dow Industrials, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq composite all closed at record highs.
On Thursday, the Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey for July showed some cooling down to 19.5 from the prior month’s 27.6. Jobless claims for the week ending July 15th fell 15,000 to 233,000. Stocks were lower on news that special counsel Robert Mueller is examining the business dealings of President Trump, Jared Kushner and others, however, the Nasdaq composite recovered to close at a record high.
On Friday markets opened modestly lower on profit taking as well as General Electric reporting second quarter revenue that fell 12% from a year ago. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) shares surged after the company revealed it beat its subscriber-growth estimate during its second quarter earnings report on Monday. Netflix ended the quarter with nearly 104 million subscribers globally, adding 5.2 million users beating Street estimates of 3.5 million. Netflix reached a new high on Wednesday of $187.17 a share.
Tile Shop Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTS) released weak financial results on Tuesday, which led to a 25% slide in its stock price. Earnings per share was $0.15, just shy of Street expectations of $0.16, and comparable store growth numbers were very low. Earnings guidance for fiscal year 2017 also was lowered to between $0.48 - $0.55 per share.
On Tuesday, Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) announced workforce cutbacks after reporting weak quarterly earnings. U.S. motorcycle sales fell over 9% and net income fell 7.7% to $259 million versus $280 million a year ago. Harley-Davidson shares reached a new 52-week low of $46.00.
Discovery Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: DISCA) began merger talks with Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNI), revisiting a deal that was scrapped three years ago. Scripps shares spiked 16% on the reports. A deal between the two would create a $19 billion cable network that specializes in non-scripted shows.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) announced positive results from clinical studies of its cystic fibrosis treatments, helping up to 90% of patients with the lung disease. Shares reached an all-time high of $167.00 post announcement. Vertex said it plans to start a mid-stage clinical study on VX-659 in the beginning of August while another study of a different drug, VX-445, is already in progress.