Monday January 8, 2018 – Friday January 12, 2018
On Monday, markets closed slightly higher on optimism that corporate earnings would improve significantly due to tax reform, and analysts were waiting for the start of fourth quarter earnings season later in the week.
On Tuesday, the JOLTS job openings report for November fell .8% to 5.879 million, and Target gave some cheer to the retail sector when it reported that same store sales growth for the holiday season exceeded expectations. The Dow Industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite all closed at record highs with the S&P 500 having its best start to a year since 1987. The 10 year Treasury yield reached 2.55% as foreign countries cut purchases of U.S. debt.
On Wednesday import prices for December rose .1%, lower than expectations, and export prices declined .1 %. The EIA petroleum status report for the week ending January 5th saw crude oil inventories fall by 4.9 million barrels. Markets got jitters when it was reported that some Chinese officials recommend that the Chinese government reduce or even eliminate its purchases of U.S. sovereign debt. Also of concern was another report that Canadian officials think the U.S. will pull out of the NAFTA trade agreement. Markets ended the day slightly lower.
On Thursday, jobless claims for the week ending January 6th rose 11,000 to 261,000 and the producer price index for December declined .1%, compared to the previous month’s .4% gain. Markets rose strongly with all three indexes closing at record highs.
On Friday, the consumer price index for December rose .1%, and retail sales for December rose .4%. Markets rose on strong earnings from the financial sector. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE: KSS) reported on Monday, that its total sales for November and December 2017 increased 6.9% over the same period a year ago. The company anticipates its fiscal 2017 diluted earnings per share to be around $4.15, an increase from the previous guidance of about $3.82 per share. Post announcement, Kohl’s Corporation reached a new 52-week high of $61.16 per share on Thursday.
Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) announced Tuesday, fiscal 2018 first quarter net sales of $842 million, a decrease of $8.4 million from a year ago. Adjusted operating profit decreased $9.3 million, or 6.5%, to $133.9 million compared to a year ago. Shares of Acuity Brands fell over 12% on Tuesday.
Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALDR) announced Monday, that its product candidate to prevent migraines, eptinezumab, has reached the primary endpoint in its Phase 3 PROMISE 2 clinical trial with good results. Over 2,600 patients have been treated, including the PROMISE 1 and PROMISE 2 trials. Shares of Alder BioPharmaceuticals reached a high of $18.50 on Tuesday.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) shares jumped about 5% Thursday after reporting financial results for the fourth quarter. Adjusted pre-tax income was $1 billion, despite a $60 million impact from the combination of December's power outage at an Atlanta airport and Winter Storm Benji. For the full year, adjusted pre-tax income was $5.5 billion, a $621 million decrease relative to 2016. Passenger revenue increased $527 million, including $200 million from Delta's Branded Fares initiatives.
Eastman Kodak Company’s (NYSE: KODK) shares spiked more than 120% on Tuesday after Kodak and WENN Digital announced the launch of the KODAKOne image rights management platform and KODAKCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency. According to the company the KODAKOne platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers. They can then register both new and archive work that can also be licensed within the platform. Kodak shares continued to rally Wednesday, at which point the stock was up 280%.