Monday December 11, 2017 – Friday December 15, 2017
On Monday the JOLTS job openings report fell 2% in October to 5.996 million and bitcoin futures began trading on the CBOE, ending the day up 20% from its opening price. Gold fell slightly to close at $1,246 an ounce.
On Tuesday the Producer Price Index for November rose .4% on top of the prior month’s .4% gain and the index is up 3.1% year over year. The Dow Industrials gained 118 points to close at a record high on optimism over corporate tax reform passing Congress.
On Wednesday, the Consumer Price Index for November rose .4% on top of the prior month’s .1% gain and the EIA petroleum status report for the week ending December 8th showed crude oil inventories declining 5.1 million barrels. The Federal Reserve finished its meeting, and in a 7-2 vote, raised its federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a 1.25 to 1.50% range. The outcome was expected, however polling of members on future rate hike expectations showed a possible slowdown in the pace of rate increases. The Dow Industrials rose 80 points and closed at a record high.
On Thursday, jobless claims for the week ending December 9th fell 11,000 to 225,000 and retail sales for November increased .8%, much stronger than expectations. Import prices for November rose .7% and export prices rose .5%, and the PMI composite flash for December fell 1.6 points to 53. The Dow Industrials fell 76 points as lawmakers started to express some concerns over the tax reform bill.
On Friday the Empire State manufacturing survey for December declined 1.4 points to 18, and industrial production for November rose .2% compared to the prior month’s .9% rise. The capacity utilization rate ticked up slightly to 77.1%. Markets opened very strong as tax reform inched closer to passage. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Bluebird Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE) announced Monday morning, updated data from their ongoing HGB-205 clinical study of their LentiGlobin gene therapy in patients with severe sickle cell disease (SCD) and transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia (TDT). Share of Bluebird reached a 52-week high of $222.03 on Monday.
On Monday, Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ: JUNO) and Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) released additional data from the TRANSCEND study of JCAR017 in patients with a type of aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A new dose level was tested and patients experienced better responses with less adverse effects. Juno reached a low of $43.77 per share on Thursday.
Laser chipmaker Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ: FNSR) surged over 28% Wednesday after Apple Inc. announced a $390 million investment in the company. Finisar said in a filing, "The amount referred to by Apple represents anticipated future business between the companies over a period of time." Finisar reached a high of $25.30 per share on Wednesday.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced an agreement on Thursday for the company to acquire 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA), including the Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses, for approximately $52.4 billion in stock. Twenty-First Century Fox reached a new 52-week high of $35.15 a share on Thursday. Walt Disney Company traded over 27.5 million shares or over 3 times its average volume after the announcement.