Monday February 20, 2017 – Friday February 24, 2017
On Monday, U.S. markets were closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday.
On Tuesday, the PMI manufacturing index flash for February dropped slightly by eight-tenths of a point to 54.3, however, the prior month was at a 14 month high. Some good earnings reports from Wal-Mart and Home Depot boosted investor’s confidence and the Dow Industrials, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq composite all closed at record highs.
On Wednesday, existing home sales for January rose 3.3% to an annualized 5.69 million units. The Federal Reserve released minutes for its previous meeting and the tone was decidedly more hawkish, with increased emphasis on the fact that rate hikes would be needed fairly soon. The Dow Industrials closed at a record high, however, other major indexes fell slightly.
On Thursday, jobless claims for the week ending February 18th rose 6,000 to 244,000 and the 4 week average was 241,000, its lowest level since 1973. The EIA petroleum status report for the week ending February 17th showed crude oil inventories gaining 600,000 barrels. U.S. crude gained slightly to close at $54.36 a barrel, and the yield on 10-year Treasury notes closed at 2.38%. The Dow Industrials closed at a record high for the 10th straight time.
On Friday new home sales for January rose 3.7% to an annualized 555,000 units. Markets opened modestly lower on profit taking. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
On Wednesday, Chinese microblog portal Weibo Corporation (NASDAQ: WB) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, however, the stock fell more than 12% on the news. Beijing-based Weibo said fourth-quarter profit surged 125% to $43 million, or $0.19 per share, compared to $0.09 per share a year earlier.
Restaurant Company, Texas Roadhouse, Inc. (NASDAQ: TXRH) tanked over 13% Wednesday after the company missed both earnings and revenues estimates during its fourth quarter. Texas Roadhouse reported earnings per share of $0.29 on revenues of $484 million, missing analysts’ expectations of $0.38 per share on revenues of $497 million. The company also raised its quarterly dividend 10.5% to $0.21 per share.
Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR), the owner of Burger King and Tim Hortons, announced that it agreed to buy Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. (NASDAQ: PLKI) for $1.8 billion. In the deal, Popeyes’ shareholders will get $79 per share, which represents a 19.5% premium over the stock’s closing price last Friday. Shares of Restaurant Brands also rose over 6%.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) posted fiscal fourth quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates, thanks to strong growth in online sales. The world’s largest retailer said revenue rose 1% to $131 billion in the fourth quarter, slightly missing analysts’ estimates due to the strong dollar. Although Wal-Mart’s profitability declined recently due to heavy investment, the company still posted adjusted earnings of $1.30 per share, beating estimates of $1.29. Shares rose over 3% on the news.
Shares of Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) were down 5%, after the company reported mixed fourth quarter earnings and also a departure of a senior executive. Tesla lost $219 million, or $0.78 a share, on revenues of $2.3 billion. Compared to the previous year, Tesla lost $320 million, or $2.44 a share on revenues of $1.21 billion.