July 14, 2014 – July 18,2014
On Monday, Citigroup (NYSE: C) reported better than projected earnings, setting the tone for an upbeat market, with the Dow Industrials closing back above 17,000.
On Tuesday Retail sales for June were disappointing, coming in only .2% higher than May. Motor vehicle sales were down .3%, a big surprise after jumping .8% the month before. The New York Fed released its Empire State manufacturing survey for July and the results were extremely strong, increasing to 25.6, up from 19.28 in the previous month. Fed Chair Janet Yellen testified before the Senate Banking Committee and said the labor market still has significant slack and inflation is below the Fed’s target. She also said that although they are planning to end bond purchases in October and eventually raise interest rates, this doesn’t mean any imminent changes in policy. Ms. Yellen also expressed concern on some current asset prices, particularly social media and biotech companies. Naturally internet stocks took a beating, but the rest of the market didn’t move much.
On Wednesday, the Producer Price Index for June was up .4%, right at about expectations, and industrial production for June was up .2%, slightly lower than expectations. A report from China showed the economy accelerated for the first time in three quarters, with a GDP reaching 7.5%, leading to speculation that strong growth in China will also help accelerate the U.S. economy.
On Thursday, housing starts for June were also disappointing, declining month over month by 9.3% to 893,000 units. Jobless claims for the week ending July 12 were 302,000, down 3,000 from last week. Unfortunately, the big news of the week was the downing of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine. American intelligence officials said it was destroyed by a missile. This prompted a powerful selloff in stocks, along with a rally in Gold. The VIX, a measure of volatility, soared 35% to 14.85. On
Friday, stocks opened higher as the situation calmed down, however, consumer sentiment for July came in at 81.3, lower than expectations, and lower than June’s 82.5.
Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) touched a new 52-week high of $34.74 on Wednesday after the world’s largest chipmaker forecast that their quarterly revenue will be well above analysts’ estimates. Apparently demand is due to companies replacing older PC’s. Analysts raised their price target for Intel from $29 to $45 per share.
Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) revealed Wednesday that Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (NASDAQ: FOXA), offered $80 billion to take over the company. Time Warner’s board of directors declined and they are not currently in talks with Fox to pursue the deal.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced they will cut approximately 18,000 jobs, the largest layoff in company history. Most of the cuts will be coming from Microsoft’s Nokia (NYSE: NKE) division, which the company acquired last April. Microsoft estimated a charge of between $1.1 and $1.6 billion over the next year.
Dresser-Rand Group Inc. (NYSE: DRC) rose to a 52-week high Thursday day after it was announced that Siemens AG is preparing a takeover offer for the oil equipment manufacturer. Dress-Rand shares went up as much as 19%, almost reaching $72, the largest gains that the company has experienced in over 5 years.