Monday April 2, 2018 – Friday April 6, 2018
On Monday the PMI manufacturing index for March rose .3 points to 55.6, while the ISM manufacturing index fell 1.5 points to 59.3. Construction spending for February rose a meager .1%, slightly higher than January’s 0% gain. FANG stocks did poorly, partly over privacy concerns, and partly over President Trump’s weekend tweet that Amazon was scamming the U.S. Postal Service. The Dow Industrials lost 458 points, while the Nasdaq composite fell 2.7%. After markets closed, China announced it implemented tariffs for 128 kinds of U.S. products, on approximately $3 billion worth of imports.
On Tuesday, markets recovered some of their losses with the Dow Industrials closing 389 points higher and tech made a rebound partly due to reports that the White House had no plans to take action against Amazon.
On Wednesday, the ADP employment report for March rose a solid 241,000 and factory orders for February increased 1.2%. The ISM non-manufacturing index fell .7 points to 58.8 and the EIA petroleum status report for the week ending March 30th saw crude oil inventory fall 4.6 million barrels. China announced 106 more products for potential tariffs, affecting $50 billion worth of U.S. products. Markets ended the day up strongly, with the Dow Industrials closing 230 points higher.
On Thursday, jobless claims for the week ending March 31st rose 24,000 to 242,000. Markets continued rising as the White House provided more optimism that further tariffs can be avoided. Ten year Treasuries ended at 2.83% and West Texas Intermediate crude closed at $63.63 a barrel.
On Friday nonfarm payrolls for March came in at 103,000, below expectations, the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, and average hourly earnings increased .3%. Markets opened sharply lower on the news along with fears of new tariffs threatened by both the U.S. and Chinese governments. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
General Electric (NYSE: GE) and Veritas Capital, a private equity investment firm, announced on Monday an affiliate of Veritas has entered into agreement with GE to acquire various assets comprising GE Healthcare’s Value-Based Care Division for $1.05 billion in cash. General Electric reached a low of $12.79 a share on Wednesday, post announcement.
Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) announced on Tuesday a first quarter vehicle production and deliveries update. Total production was over 34,000 vehicles, a 40% increase from the previous quarter. The Model 3 output increased exponentially, representing a fourfold increase over last quarter. Tesla rallied to over $305 per share on Thursday.
Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) opened for trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange with shares debuting at $165.90, before tumbling after analysts began to caution investors. Shares dipped as low as $136. The music streaming service currently has five buy ratings, and four holds, with an average 12-month price-target of $159.
Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) reported on Wednesday its first quarter results with Lennar Homebuilding interest expense at $51.2 million, compared to $52.4 million in the first quarter a year ago. The company increased its credit ability to $2.6 billion of which $500 million was outstanding at quarter-end. Lennar Corporation reached a high of $64.90 a share on Thursday.
Amazon Web Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced on Wednesday that tens of thousands of customers are using AWS machine learning services, with active users increasing more than 250%. Amazon shares opened under $1,355 on Wednesday and rallied, reaching a high of $1,461 on Thursday.