On Monday the housing market index for March remained unchanged at 62, the yield on 10-year Treasuries ended the day at 2.6%, and West Texas Intermediate crude rose slightly to $58.99 a barrel, a four-month high.
On Tuesday factory orders for January increased .1% on top of the prior month’s .1% gain. News reports surfaced that U.S. officials are concerned that China is pushing back against U.S. demands, making traders jittery and pulling down stocks.
On Wednesday the EIA petroleum status report for the week ending March 15th saw crude oil inventory sharply decline by 9.6 million barrels, however, levels are still 2.6% higher than a year ago. The Federal Reserve ended their two-day meeting and turned dovish saying that there may not be any more rate hikes this year and also planning on ending the runoff of its asset portfolio in September. In addition, the Fed lowered their estimates of the current year’s GDP from 2.3% to 2.1%. Bank stocks declined on the news, dragging down markets on the prospect of lower interest rates.
On Thursday jobless claims for the week ending March 16th declined 9,000 to 221,000. In a delayed reaction to the Federal Reserve, investors were upbeat about improved growth prospects, and the tech sector in particular was strong. The Dow Industrials closed 216 points higher and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.4%.
On Friday existing home sales for February jumped 11.8 % to an annualized 5.51 million units. However, unexpectedly bad manufacturing data from Europe as well as the inverting of the yield curve for 3 month and 10-year Treasuries for the first time since 2007 scared investors and markets sold off sharply at the open. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Worldpay, Inc. (NYSE: WP) announced on Monday that it has agreed to be acquired for $43 billion by Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. (NYSE: FIS). Worldpay shares rose by 13% following the announcement. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019.
FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) released its third quarter financial results during Tuesday’s extended trading hours, reporting disappointing earnings sending shares lower by 6% at the opening bell on Wednesday. The company earned $3.03 per share on revenue of $17 billion, with analysts expecting earnings of $3.11 per share. In addition, FedEx lowered its guidance for both the fourth quarter and full year.
Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) shares rose by 8.6% on Thursday morning after the chipmaker reported its second quarter results. The company earned $1.71 per share on revenue of $5.84 billion. Wall Street analysts had expected earnings of $1.67 per share on revenue of $5.3 billion. Despite the beat, Micron’s revenue fell by 25.9% year-over-year due to the ongoing weakness in the chip sector as well as trade wars.
Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) shares cratered 28% on Thursday morning after the Company decided to terminate its current and future clinical trials for its Alzheimer’s drug. The Company was collaborating with Eisai, a Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company. The two decided to discontinue the clinical trials because they believed it would not meet their primary endpoint, not due to safety concerns.
Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE: LEVI) launched its IPO on Thursday morning on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares listed at $22.22 each and were trading 33% higher than the listing price. The jeans and casual apparel maker was public back in 1971, but went private again in 1985.