Monday May 21, 2018 – Friday May 25, 2018
On Monday markets surged after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last Sunday that the trade war with China was on hold and that trade talks have made very meaningful progress. President Trump also tweeted that China agreed to buy massive amounts of additional farm products. The Dow Industrials closed up 298 points to above 25,000.
On Tuesday, the exact opposite happened, with President Trump saying he wasn’t satisfied with the China trade talks, and also expressing uncertainty if a summit with North Korea would occur. China announced that it will reduce import tariffs on passenger cars to 15%, however, that wasn’t enough to keep markets from dropping. The Dow Industrials ended the day losing 178 points.
On Wednesday the PMI composite flash for May rose nine-tenths of a point to 55.7, and new home sales for April declined 1.4% to an annualized 662,000 units. The EIA petroleum status report for the week ending May 18th increased 5.8 million barrels, and the Federal Reserve released minutes from its last meeting. It showed that officials talked about letting inflation run a little above 2% for a period of time, if necessary. They also felt another rate hike would be needed soon, which was already expected by investors.
On Thursday existing home sales for April fell 2.5% to an annualized 5.46 million units, below expectations, and jobless claims for the week ending May 19th rose 11,000 to 234,000. President Trump announced that the U.S.-North Korea summit was cancelled due to recent statements made by Kim Jong Un’s administration. Crude oil fell when Russia said that they, along with OPEC, will discuss increasing supply when they meet next month. West Texas Intermediate crude finished trading at $70.65 a barrel.
On Friday durable goods orders for April declined 1.7% compared to the previous month’s 2.7% increase. Markets opened mixed on lighter than normal volume as traders left for a long holiday weekend. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE: KSS) reported first quarter results on Tuesday, with revenue coming in at $4.21 billion, increasing from $4.07 billion for the same period last year. Net income year-over-year increased from $66 million to $75 million, or 45 cents per share. Kohl’s shares fell to under $61 on Tuesday after the announcement.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) reported on Wednesday, first quarter net earnings of $988 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.19, compared to net earnings of $602 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.70 for the same period a year ago. Sales increased 3% percent to $17.4 billion from $16.9 billion. The company’s shares reached over $94 on Wednesday.
Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) announced on Wednesday its first quarter performance with total revenue of $16.8 billion, up 3.4% from a year ago. The Company’s first quarter net interest expense was $121 million, down 13.4% from a year ago. The Company also made capital investments of $827 million in property and equipment and returned $828 million to shareholders. Target shares fell to under $71 on Thursday.
Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) reported on Wednesday, its first quarter results with worldwide net sales increasing 15% to $1.0 billion. Net earnings increased 53% year-over-year to $142 million, or $1.14 per diluted share. Shares of Tiffany & Co. reached an all-time high of $127.10.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) announced Thursday morning, results for the first quarter with domestic revenue increasing 6.3% to $8.41 billion. International revenue of $697 million was 13.1% higher than last year. In the first quarter, the company returned a total of $528 million to shareholders through dividends of $128 million and share repurchases of $400 million. Shares of Best Buy briefly fell under $70 on Thursday post announcement.