Monday 3 March, 2014 – Friday March 7, 2014
Tensions in Ukraine put jitters in the market in the beginning of the week with news from the region dominating. Monday, the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index showed stronger than expected growth in manufacturing with February’s number coming in at 53.2, up from 51.3. Consumer spending also increased more than expected in January, up .4% month-to-month. However, that didn’t stop the market from dropping like a rock.
By Tuesday, some of the Ukraine concerns eased and the market shot right back up, with the S&P 500 closing at a high. On Wednesday, the ADP Employment Report for February was released showing private payrolls increased by 139,000, lower than expected and lower than January’s 175,000 increase. Also, the Institute for Supply Management’s Non-Manufacturing index dropped in February to 51.6 from 54, also below expectations. Markets didn’t move much on the news.
On Thursday, jobless claims were released for the week ending March 6, showing a surprisingly large drop of 26,000 to 323,000. This was enough to prompt a small rally and the S&P 500 closed at a new high.
Friday morning, the nonfarm payroll report came out showing a much better than expected increase of 175,000 jobs, however, the unemployment rate edged up a bit to 6.7%. Markets were up slightly on the news, and then dropped.
Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
JinkoSolar Holding Co. (NYSE: JKS) released their fourth quarter earnings Monday before the bell. Financials showed a better-than-expected fourth quarter for the Chinese solar panel maker, with total Q4 revenues increased a staggering 87.5%, year-over-year, from RMB1.17 billion to RMB2.19 billion. Due to pressure stemming from recent events in Ukraine, the positive earnings report had little effect on Jinko’s stock. Later in the week, however, the company’s stock rebounded over 6 points.
Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) shares were down more than 2% on Thursday after the company released their second quarter earnings. Costco reported a year-over-year decrease in net income, from $547 million to $463 million or $1.05 per diluted share, while the company was forecasted to earn $1.17 per share. Even though this is Costco’s third straight quarter with disappointing earnings, the company is still faring better than other discount retailers like Target and Walmart.
RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) released their fourth quarter earnings Tuesday morning and shares promptly dropped more than 17% in value as the trading day progressed. The company reported a larger than expected loss as well as revenue that was well below analysts’ projections. Radio Shack reported total net sales were $934 million, a big decrease from a year-ago’s almost $1.2 billion. The company also reported a significant drop of 19% in comparable store sales as well as a net loss of $191.4 million. The company now intends on closing approximately 1,100 underperforming US stores.