Monday July 2, 2018 - Friday July 6, 2018
On Monday the PMI manufacturing index for June fell 1 point to 55.4, however, the ISM manufacturing index for June gained 1.5 points. Construction spending for May rose .4% on top of the prior month’s .9% gain. The battle between a strong economy and trade war worries kept market gains subdued, with the Dow Industrials closing 35 points higher.
On Tuesday motor vehicle sales for June jumped 3.5% to an annualized 17.5 million units and factory orders for May rose .4% compared to a .4% decline a month ago. Tech shares declined sharply as Micron fell on the news that a Chinese court has temporarily banned the sale of Micron chips in China. Trading volume was very light as U.S. markets closed early.
Wednesday, markets were closed for the fourth of July holiday.
On Thursday the ADP employment report for June showed job growth of 177,000, while jobless claims for the week ending June 30th increased 3,000 to 231,000. The ISM non-manufacturing index for June rose one-half point to 59.1 and the EIA petroleum status report for the week ending June 29th showed crude oil inventory rising 1.2 million barrels. The FOMC released minutes from last month’s meeting showing that members intend to add an additional rate hike this year, for a total of two more. Inflation remains at the Fed’s 2% goal, although labor shortages are pushing up some wages. Markets rose strongly, with the Dow Industrials gaining 183 points, even though investors were nervous as U.S. trade sanctions with China were scheduled to begin on Friday.
On Friday nonfarm payrolls for June increased a very strong 213,000 and the unemployment rate rose to 4%. Average hourly earnings increased .2%. Markets opened slightly higher on the news. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) on Monday announced that it produced over 53,000 vehicles in the second quarter, up 55% from the previous quarter, and delivered over 40,000 vehicles. The electric vehicle maker almost tripled its Model 3 production during the second quarter. Tesla now expects to produce 6,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by August.
Acxiom Corporation (NASDAQ: ACXM) shares jumped almost 30% in two days after Interpublic Group announced on Monday that it agreed to acquire the Acxiom Marketing Solutions business unit in a cash transaction valued at $2.3 billion. Interpublic expects the combination will result in attractive financial benefits and significant diversification. The transaction is anticipated to close before year-end 2018.
Seadrill Limited (NYSE: SDRL) announced on Monday that it has emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy after successfully completing its reorganization. The reorganization plan converted a significant amount of debt into equity and extended remaining debt maturities, providing the company with over $1 billion in fresh capital and leaving employee, customer, and ordinary trade claims largely unimpaired.
Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) announced on Tuesday that its fiscal third quarter net sales increased 5.9% percent to $944 million year-over-year. Operating profit declined 19.5% to almost $106 million year-over-year. Shares of Acuity Brands reached over $135 per share post announcement.
AZZ Inc. (NYSE: AZZ) announced on Tuesday financial results for its fiscal first quarter. Revenue came in at $262 million, up 27.7% year-over-year, and net income increased 30.3% to $15.7 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, year-over-year. Shares of AZZ reached a new high of $52.40 on Thursday post announcement.