Monday June 12, 2017 - Friday June 16, 2017
On Monday, there wasn’t much economic news, however, the Nasdaq composite was down 32 points, and combined with a 113 point decline last Friday, amounts to its largest two-day slide since last December.
On Tuesday, the NFIB small business optimism index for May remained unchanged and very high at 104.5. The producer price index for May was up 2.4% year over year, but unchanged from the prior month. Markets were up modestly and both the S&P 500 and Dow Industrials closed at a record high.
On Wednesday the consumer price index for May declined by .1% compared to the prior month’s .2% gain, and retail sales for May declined .3% compared to the prior month’s .4% gain. The EIA petroleum status report for the week ending June 9th showed crude oil inventories decline 1.7 million barrels. The Federal Reserve concluded its two-day meeting and raised interest rates 25 basis points to a range between 1 and 1.25%. The move was widely anticipated, even though the Fed acknowledges that inflation is still too low. The Fed also gave more details about how it will unwind its $4.5 trillion portfolio of bonds. Basically, as bonds from the portfolio mature, a certain percentage will be reinvested while the remainder will be allowed to roll off.
On Thursday, jobless claims for the week ending June 10th fell 8,000 to 237,000, while the Empire State manufacturing survey for June came back strong at 19.8. Import prices for May declined .3% while export prices declined .7%, and industrial production for May remained unchanged. Markets were down, especially tech, with the Nasdaq composite losing 29 points.
On Friday, housing starts for May were disappointing falling 5.5% to an annualized 1.09 million units and permits down 4.9% to 1.17 million. Markets opened lower on the news.
On Tuesday, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) announced the completion of the sale of its operating business to Verizon Communications, Inc. (NYSE: VZ) for a total sum of $4.48 billion. Verizon will merge Yahoo into AOL and the new combined digital media company will be named Oath. The remainder of Yahoo not aquired by Verizon will be named Altaba Inc. and will function as a holding company for Yahoo’s 15% stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
The Cheesecake Factory Inc. (NASDAQ: CAKE) fell Tuesday morning as the company revised its second quarter guidance for fiscal 2017. Same store sales are expected to drop 1% as the company cited consumer volatility and subpar weather conditions as factors. Shares fell to as low as $52.28 on the news.
H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) announced its financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter ending April 30th. Revenues increased 1.3% to $2.32 billion, beating estimates. Shares reached a new 52-week high of $29.97.
On Thursday, Nike, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) announced it will cut 1,400 jobs, or 2% of its global workforce, as part of its restructuring plan. The plan, called “Consumer Direct Offense”, entails Nike paying more attention to 12 crucial cities in which over 80% of its sales growth will come in the following three years. Nike dropped as low as $52.73 per share, or over 3% after the announcement.
On Thursday, Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) announced its financial results for fiscal first quarter 2017. Revenue increased 4.9% to $36.3 billion, beating estimates of $35.5 billion. Net income fell sharply from $696 million a year ago to $303 million. In addition, the company slashed their full year earnings forecast due to inventory accounting charges and a rise in labor costs. Shares fell over 18% on Thursday.