Monday April 24, 2017 – Friday April 28, 2017
On Monday, investors were pleased after a preliminary election in France left the moderate candidate, who supports globalization, likely to win the Presidency. The Dow Industrials closed up 216 points and the Nasdaq Composite closed at a record high.
On Tuesday, new home sales for March were up 5.8% to an annualized 621,000 units, while the Case-Shiller home price index for February showed housing costs increasing .7%. Some unexpectedly high earnings from high-profile companies such as Caterpillar, McDonalds, and DuPont created a wave of optimism and the Dow Industrials closed up 232 points. The Nasdaq Composite also closed at a record high and above 6,000 for the first time.
On Wednesday, the EIA petroleum status report for the week ending April 21st showed crude oil inventories declining 3.6 million barrels. The Trump administration also unveiled its plans for tax reform, including a proposal to slash the corporate tax rate to 15% from 35%. Investors also grew increasing concerned over a government shutdown after Friday, if Congress can’t agree on funding. Markets closed slightly lower.
On Thursday, durable goods orders for March rose .7% on top of the prior month’s 2.3% gain, and jobless claims for the week ending April 22nd rose 14,000 to 257,000. Ten year Treasuries yielded 2.29% and U.S. oil fell 1.3% to $48.97 a barrel. Markets closed up slightly.
On Friday, first quarter’s GDP was up only .7%, below expectations, and held back by lower consumer spending. Markets were down slightly on the news. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
On Monday, Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) reported first quarter earnings, with net revenues increasing 2%. The game and toy producer also noted over $18 million in share repurchases. Deborah Thomas, Hasbro's chief financial officer said, "Hasbro remains in a strong financial position, with positive trends to start the year and a healthy balance sheet.” Shares hit a record high of $104.14.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) announced that it will enter the Chinese market by partnering with local video streaming service iQiyi.com, a move to continue its global expansion. Prior attempts to gain regulatory approval to stream directly into China were not successful. Netflix closed up over 5% on Tuesday and reached a new all-time high of $153.52 per share.
McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) announced its financial results for the first quarter ending March 31st, with earnings and revenue beating estimates. McDonald’s had cut prices during the quarter to compete with its fast-food rivals. New sizes for the iconic Big Mac and new all-day breakfast menus lifted sales in the US by 1.7%. Shares reached a new 52 week high of $142.00.
GrubHub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB) reported growth based on the increase of new active diners, up 26% year- over-year to 8.75 million. GrubHub closed up over 22% Thursday as investor confidence continues to increase. The company has invested heavily in marketing to gain more users.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) shares spiked over 4% Thursday after-market as the company’s first quarter financial results showed net sales increased 23% to $35.7 billion compared to $29.1 billion a year ago. Net income was $724 million, or $1.48 per diluted share, compared with net income of $513 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, a year ago. Founder Jeff Bezos emphasized the recent success of the company in India, saying the team has increased Prime selection by 75% in nine months and that Amazon.in is the most visited and the fastest growing marketplace in India.