Monday March 26, 2018 – Thursday March 29, 2018
This is a short trading week as markets are closed tomorrow for Good Friday.
On Monday, markets roared back on news that U.S. and Chinese officials are working on relations to avoid a trade war, including improving U.S. access to Chinese markets. The Dow Industrials surged 669 points, the Nasdaq composite rose 3.3% and the S&P 500 rose 2.7%, its biggest one day jump since August 2015.
On Tuesday, the Case-Shiller home price index rose .8%, higher than expected, and consumer confidence for March declined 2.3 points to 127.7. Markets started off higher, but a report that the Trump administration is considering prohibiting Chinese investment in sensitive areas sent tech stocks lower. Also hurting tech were previous concerns over Facebook’s privacy issues. The Dow Industrials closed down 344 points and the Nasdaq composite fell 2.9%.
On Wednesday fourth quarter GDP was revised .4% higher to 2.9%, higher than expectations, and the pending home sales index for February rose 3.1% compared to the prior month’s 4.7% decline. The EIA petroleum status for the week ending March 23rd saw crude oil inventory increase 1.6 million barrels. The tech sector continued struggling when a report surfaced that President Trump wants to go after Amazon.com. West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $64.66 a barrel, gold fell 1.5% to $1,325 an ounce and ten-year Treasuries finished yielding 2.78%.
On Thursday jobless claims for the week ending March 24th fell 12,000 to 215,000 and personal income for February rose .4%, consumer spending rose .2%, and the PCE price index rose .2%. Markets opened modestly higher on the news. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) announced on Monday that Robert Niblock plans to retire as chairman, president and CEO after a 25-year career with the company. The board of directors has initiated a search for his successor, and in the interim Niblock will remain in his current roles. The company’s stock rose to over $90 per share post announcement.
Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) announced late Monday financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter with total revenue of $772 million, up 23% year-over-year. Subscription revenue from infrastructure-related offerings for the quarter was $510 million, an increase of 17% year-over-year. Red Hat reached a new high of $167.36 per share Tuesday morning.
GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE: GSK) announced on Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with Novartis for the buyout of Novartis’s 36.5% stake in their Consumer Healthcare Joint Venture for $13 billion. The Consumer Healthcare Joint Venture was formed by the two companies in 2014. GlaxoSmithKline shares rose to over $39 on Wednesday.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) on Tuesday, announced financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and year end. Net revenue was $928 million, an increase of 18% quarter over quarter and gross profit was $522 million, an increase of 22% quarter over quarter. Lululemon Athletica reached an all-time high of $87.98 per share on Wednesday.
Shire plc (NASDAQ: SHPG) rose to over $154 per share on Wednesday as Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited released a statement confirming its interest in possibly making an offer for the company. Takeda also stated that this is at a preliminary and exploratory stage and no approach has been made to Shire’s board of directors.