Monday April 10, 2017 – Thursday April 13, 2017
This week’s trading was shortened due to markets closing for Easter holiday on Friday.
On Monday, investors continued to react to last week’s meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, as well as the U.S. missile strike on a Syrian airfield. Oil prices continued gaining with U.S. crude rising 1.6% to $53.08 a barrel, for a total advance of over 9% over the past month. Markets closed mostly unchanged.
On Tuesday, the NFIB small business optimism index for March fell six-tenths of a point to 104.7, however, it was still considered a very strong reading. Gold rallied to a five month high of $1,272 an ounce on continued geopolitical tensions, including President Trump tweeting that North Korea is looking for trouble. Markets closed slightly lower.
On Wednesday, import prices for March declined .2% and export prices rose .2%, and the EIA petroleum status report for the week ending April 7th showed crude oil inventory declining 2.2 million barrels. The dollar fell as President Trump said the U.S. dollar was too strong, and he will not label China a currency manipulator. Ten year Treasuries closed yielding 2.23% and markets finished moderately lower with the Dow Industrials closing down 59 points.
On Thursday jobless claims for the week ending April 8th fell 1,000 to 234,000 and the Producer Price Index for March fell .1% compared to the prior month’s .3% gain. Markets opened slightly lower on the news. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
AT&T, Inc. (NYSE: T) will acquire Straight Path Communications Inc. for $95.63 per share in an all-stock deal. Straight Path shareholders will receive a total of $1.25 billion to be paid in AT&T stock. Straight Path shares rose 150% on the news.
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) reached all-time highs this week of $313.73 a share as multiple news outlets pointed out that Tesla’s market capitalization has surpassed General Motors. Some of the optimism surrounding the surge in share value is due to high expectations from Tesla’s upcoming Model 3.
United Continental Holdings Inc.’s (NYSE: UAL) subsidiary United Airlines, is in a public relations crisis after a video went viral showing a passenger dragged off a plane. The passenger had refused to give up his seat after being asked to leave due to an overbooking on the flight. Share prices fell as low as $68.36 on Tuesday as the initial response by the company invited ridicule and massive outrage by individuals on social media.
Shares of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) surged nearly 10% Monday after activist investor Jana Partners acquired an 8.3% stake in the company in an attempt to shake up the board and senior management. The organic-food supermarket chain has been struggling in recent years due to growing competition.
On Wednesday BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) announced that it was awarded almost $815 million in arbitration against Qualcomm Inc. over royalty payments, sending its shares up over 16%. Last April, BlackBerry decided to arbitrate a dispute over Qualcomm’s agreement to cap certain royalty payments made by BlackBerry. Blackberry reached a 52 week high of $9.19 a share.