Monday April 9, 2018 – Friday April 13, 2018
Monday started off strong with trade war worries temporarily on hold and markets making a comeback with the Dow Industrials up as much as 440 points. Then came news that the FBI raided the office and residence of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. Markets then sank back down with the Dow Industrials closing only 46 points higher.
On Tuesday, the producer price index for March rose .3% on top of the prior month’s .2% gain. China’s president Xi Jinping gave a speech widely viewed as conciliatory and stated that China will take steps to further open its economy along with lowering certain tariffs and protecting intellectual property. Markets jumped on the news with the Dow Industrials closing up 428 points.
On Wednesday, the consumer price index for March declined .1%, and the EIA petroleum status report for the week ending April 6th saw crude oil inventories increase 3.3 million barrels. The Federal Reserve released minutes from its latest meeting and it confirmed that officials turned slightly hawkish with more members predicting slightly steeper rate hikes. Markets did not like the tone of President Trump’s tweet towards Russia, telling Russia to “Get ready” for a Syrian missile strike. The Dow Industrials closed 218 points lower, gold rose .9% to $1,351 an ounce and West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.9% to $66.78 a barrel.
On Thursday, jobless claims for the week ending April 7th fell 9,000 to 233,000 and import prices for March remained unchanged while export prices rose .3%. President Trump made some comments saying he would consider rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and also tweeted that an attack on Syria might not be so soon. The Dow Industrials closed 293 points higher.
On Friday consumer sentiment for April fell 3.6 points to 97.8 and the JOLTS job openings report for February fell 2.8% to 6.05 million jobs. Markets opened modestly lower on the news. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
AveXis, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVXS) announced on Monday that it has entered into an agreement whereby Novartis will acquire AveXis for $218 per share or a total of $8.7 billion in cash. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. Avexis reached an all-time high of $213.70 per share post announcement.
Verifone Systems, Inc. (NYSE: PAY) and Francisco Partners, announced on Monday that an investor group led by Francisco Partners will acquire Verifone for $23.04 per share in cash, for a total consideration of approximately $3.4 billion. Verifone Systems reached a new 52-week high of $22.87 per share this week.
Analogic Corporation (NASDAQ: ALOG) on Tuesday announced that it has agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Altaris Capital Partners LLC for $84 per share, or approximately $1.1 billion in cash. The offer price represents a discount of 12% from the company’s Tuesday closing price. Analogic shares fell over 13% to $83.40 per share on Wednesday.
Fastenal Company (NASDAQ: FAST) announced on Wednesday its first quarter financial results with net sales increasing $138 million, or 13.2%, year-over-year. Employee-related expenses, which represent 65% to 70% of operating and administrative expenses, increased 14.4% in the first quarter compared to a year ago. Fastenal Company shares dropped to under $50 on Wednesday after the announcement.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) reported better-than-expected sales and earnings on Wednesday. However, the retailer posted weak earnings guidance for fiscal 2018, sending its shares down nearly 20% percent on Thursday. The company forecast net earnings per diluted share to be low-to-mid $2.00 range for the current full year, down from $3.12 per diluted share for the previous year.