Monday February 27, 2017 – Friday March 3, 2017
On Monday, durable goods orders for January rose 1.8% compared to the prior month’s .8% decrease, and the pending home sales index was down 2.8% in January. The Dow Industrials closed at a record high for the twelfth straight time, its longest winning streak in 30 years.
On Tuesday, the second revision of the fourth quarter GDP remained unchanged at 1.9%, and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index for December rose .9%. Consumer confidence for February gained 3.2 points to 114.8, its highest level since July 2001. Markets ended the day modestly lower as investors paused waiting for President Trump’s evening speech.
On Wednesday, personal income for January rose .4%, consumer spending rose .2%, while the PCE price index rose .4%. The ISM manufacturing index rose a strong 1.7 points to 57.7, and the EIA petroleum status report for the week ending February 24th showed crude oil inventories rising 1.5 million barrels. Strong economic reports rose market expectations for a rate hike in March to about 70%. Markets surged with the Dow Industrials rising 303 points to close above 21,000 for the first time.
On Thursday, jobless claims for the week ending February 25th dropped 19,000 to 223,000, close to a 44 year low. Ten year Treasuries yielded 2.48%, gold fell by 1.4%, to settle at $1,232 an ounce, and West Texas Intermediate crude fell 2.2% to settle at $52.67 a barrel.
On Friday markets opened slightly lower as investors awaited commentary by Fed Chair Janet Yellen in an afternoon speech. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN) surged over 5% Tuesday after the company posted positive fourth quarter earnings of $14.21 per share on revenues of $2.35 billion. Analysts’ were expecting earnings per share of $13.01 on revenues of $2.32 billion. Gross bookings posted were $15.1 billion, topping analysts’ expectations of $14.5 billion.
Shares of Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) fell over 13% after announcing fourth quarter results, with comparable store sales dropping 1.5%, within previous guidance. Revenue dropped 4.3% to $20.7 billion, in-line with estimates. Net earnings for the fourth quarter were down 42% to $817 million, missing estimates of $854 million.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) reported fourth-quarter sales that fell short of analysts’ estimates, due to weaker consumer electronics sales during the holiday quarter. The company said revenue was almost $13.5 billion in the quarter ending January 28th. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had projected revenue to be $13.6 billion. However, net income was $1.95 per share, beating analyst estimates of $1.67 per share. Best Buy shares fell over 4% on the news.
On Thursday, Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) began trading on the NYSE, ending the day up 44% to close at $24.48. Snapchat pulled in $3.4 billion with its IPO, in which it offered shares at $17, and was the biggest social media listing since Twitter hit the markets. It’s also the first technology company to go public in this year.
Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE: PANW) saw its shares plunge 20% Tuesday during after-hours trading. The cyber security company reported mixed 2nd quarter earnings of $0.63 per share on revenue of $422 million. While this is record revenue for the company it was below consensus estimates of nearly $430 million. In addition, Palo Alto lowered guidance for the third quarter, expecting earnings of about $.55 per share on revenue of about $406 million.