Monday February 13, 2017 – Friday February 17, 2017
On Monday, all three major indexes closed at record highs with continuing optimism over comments made last week by President Trump suggesting that a phenomenal tax plan will be coming.
On Tuesday, the producer price index for January rose .6%, much higher than expected, compared to the prior month’s .2% gain. Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave her testimony before the Senate Banking Committee and struck a slightly hawkish tone saying waiting too long to raise rates would be unwise and increase chances of a recession. The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ composite all closed at record highs.
On Wednesday, the Consumer Price Index for January rose .6%, more than expected, compared to the prior months .3% gain, retail sales for January rose .4%, and industrial production for January declined .3%. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey for February shot up 12.2 points to 18.7, much stronger than expected and its highest reading in 2.5 years. The EIA petroleum status report for the week ending February 10th showed another large surge in crude oil inventory levels of 9.5 million barrels. U.S. 10-year notes rose to 2.5% on speculation that a rate hike may occur in March. All three major indexes closed at a record high.
On Thursday, housing starts for January fell 2.6% to an annualized 1.25 million units, however, permits rose 4.6% to 1.28 million units. Jobless claims for the week ending February 11th rose 5,000 to 239,000. The Dow Industrials rose almost 8 points to close at a record high, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ composite fell slightly.
On Friday investors took a pause after all the record closing highs and markets opened modestly lower. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Fossil Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FOSL) shares fell more than 15% percent Wednesday after the watchmaker posted fourth quarter sales that fell short of analysts’ estimates. The company said revenue fell 3% percent to $33 million in the fourth quarter as wearable technology products didn’t sell as well as expected. The company also cited that net sales were negatively impact by the strong dollar.
Shares of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLKI) fell over 10% Tuesday after touching all-time highs the day before after rumors spread of Restaurant Brands International wanting to acquire the fried chicken chain. Restaurant Brands was formed by the merger between Burger King and Tim Hortons.
British multinational consumer goods company, Reckitt Benckiser Group signed a $16.6 billion merger agreement with a major manufacturer of infant formula, Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. (NYSE: MJN). Mead Johnson shareholders will obtain $90 in cash for each share of common stock. Mead’s shares climbed over 5% on the news.
SoftBank Group Corp. announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Fortress Investment Group LLC (NYSE: FIG) in an all-cash deal worth $3.3 billion. SoftBank hopes to add investment expertise through this deal and use it to drive long-term growth. Shares of Fortress Investment Group were up over 28% on the news.
The Chinese online gaming and internet giant NetEase, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES) posted better-than-expected sales and earnings due to strong growth in its mobile games segment. For the fourth quarter, the company posted earnings of $4.40 per share on revenue of $1.74 billion, crushing analysts’ estimates of $3.44 per share on $1.58 billion in revenue. Shares of NetEase climbed well over 11% on the news.