On Monday the ISM manufacturing index for February fell .8 point to 50.1 and construction spending for January increased 1.8% on top of the prior month’s .2% gain. Markets roared back after massive selling last week with the Dow Industrials gaining 1,293 points, or 5.1%, its largest percentage gain since March 2009. The S&P 500 climbed 4.6% and the Nasdaq Composite surged 4.5%.
On Tuesday, in a surprise move, the Federal Reserve announced an emergency rate cut of .5% in an attempt to prevent economic declines due to the coronavirus. Markets immediately rallied with the Dow Industrials gaining more than 350 points, however, gains were lost with the Dow ending up closing 785 points lower. Many investors were skeptical that a rate cut will have any meaningful value in preventing a recession. The buying spree of Treasuries continued with the yield on 10-year Treasuries falling to a record low 1%, while gold rallied to $1,637 an ounce.
On Wednesday the ADP employment report for February came in stronger than expected at 183,000 and the ISM non-manufacturing index for February also accelerated 1.8 points to 57.3. The EIA petroleum status report for the week ending February 28th saw crude oil inventories rise 800,000 barrels. Congress authorized $8 billion for controlling the coronavirus, and Joe Biden’s strong performance on Super Tuesday reassured markets that some of Bernie Sanders proposals like Medicare for All will not materialize. The Dow Industrials soared 1,173 points, or 4.5%, and health care stocks were among some of the biggest winners.
On Thursday jobless claims for the week ending February 29th declined 3,000 to 216,000 and factory orders for January declined .5%. The second estimate of nonfarm productivity for the fourth quarter came in at 1.2% higher while unit labor costs rose .9%. Market volatility was high as governments around the world continue to increase travel restrictions and quarantines due to the coronavirus, while revenue in the travel industry continues to plummet. The Dow Industrials ended the day down 970 points, or 3.5%, while the yield on 10-year Treasuries finished at .91%, and gold rose to $1,674 an ounce.
On Friday nonfarm payrolls for February rose 273,000, much higher than expected, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5%, while average hourly earnings rose .3%. Markets opened sharply lower as virus fears persisted. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) on Monday reported its fourth quarter and full year results with full year revenue rising to $167 million, up 287%. For the fourth quarter, revenue increased 202% to almost $47 million compared to the same period a year ago. Average cannabis net selling value per gram increased to $8.78 versus $7.52 in the prior year.
Splunk, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) announced on Wednesday its fourth quarter and full year results declaring fourth quarter revenue of $791 million, up 27% year-over-year. Net loss for the fourth quarter was $22.7 million, or $0.15 per share. Splunk’s shares fell over 9% on Thursday, reaching a low of $138.86.
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) announced on Wednesday its results coming in with fourth quarter revenue of $718 million. Net income for the fourth quarter reached $1.8 billion or $2.62 per share. Shares of Marvell jumped over 10%, reaching a high of $25.80 on Thursday, post announcement.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) reported results for its fourth quarter and full year, with fourth quarter net sales amounting to $1.18 billion, a 3% increase over a year ago. Operating expenses hit almost $568 million and operating income amounted to $122 million. For the next fiscal year net sales are expected to be flat to up to 2% higher. Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch fell over 14% Thursday, reaching a new 52-weelk low of $11.60.
Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) reported financial results for its second quarter with net sales reaching $38.3 billion, a 10.5% increase from the same period last year. Net income for the second quarter amounted to $931 million or $2.10 per share.