Monday August 28, 2017 – Friday September 1, 2017
On Monday, reports of massive flooding in parts of Texas due to Tropical Storm Harvey caused gasoline prices to soar. Refineries along the Texas coast were shut down, eliminating more than 10% of the U.S.’s capacity to create gasoline. Shares of energy companies rose on the news, and insurers were the biggest losers.
On Tuesday, the Case-Shiller home price index for June rose .1% and consumer confidence for August rose 2.9 points to 122.9, its second highest level since December 2000. Markets opened lower after reports said North Korea launched a missile over Japan, however, markets shook off the news and ended the day modestly higher. Ten year Treasuries yielded 2.13% and gold closed at $1,309 an ounce.
On Wednesday, the ADP employment report for August rose 237,000 and the second quarter GDP was revised up four-tenths to 3%. The EIA petroleum status report for the week ending August 25th saw crude oil inventory fall 5.4 million barrels. North Korea launched another missile test, and Tropical Storm Harvey made landfall in Louisiana as gasoline prices soared to its highest level in two years. However, markets ignored any bad news and rose modestly, but volume was extremely light due to many traders taking summer vacation.
On Thursday, jobless claims for the week ending August 26th increased by 1,000 to 236,000 and the pending home sales index for July decreased .8%. Personal income for July rose .4%, but consumer spending rose .3%, and the PCE price index rose .1%. Markets rose on the news and the Dow and S&P 500 finished the month with their fifth straight monthly gain.
On Friday, nonfarm payrolls came in weaker than expected at 156.000$. Unemployment rose to .4%, average hourly earnings rose .1%. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) and Kite Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: KITE) announced on Monday that they have entered into an agreement whereby Gilead will acquire Kite for a total of $11.9 billion or $180 per share. The transaction will provide opportunities for diversification of revenues, and is expected to be neutral to earnings by year three with positive gains thereafter. Gilead Sciences reached a new 52-week high of $84.13 a share on Thursday.
Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ: FINL) shares fell over 17% on Tuesday after the company reported disappointing second quarter results and lowered its annual profit forecast. The sports good retailer reported sales that fell 3.3% to 469 million in the quarter. Comparable store sales also fell as much as 4.6%. Finish Line reached a new 52-week low of $6.90 a share on Tuesday.
Best Buy Co Inc. (NYSE: BBY) reported its second quarter results, beating analysts’ estimates, but shares were still down over 10% percent Tuesday morning. The company reported revenue of $8.9 billion, an increase of 4.8% year-over-year, with earnings of $0.69 per share, a 21% increase from the prior year. Same-store sales increased by 5.4%, beating estimates of 2.2% growth.
On Thursday, Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) announced its financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter. Both earnings and revenue missed expectations, and shares of the company dropped 4.5% to $48 per share before the bell Thursday morning. Net income was $318 million, with earnings of $0.52 per share. Company shares reached a new 52-week low of $46.20 on Thursday.
Chinese travel service agency, Ctrip.com International Ltd. (NASDAQ: CTRP) released its second quarter results for the fiscal year. Net revenue increased 45% year-over-year to RMB6.4 billion. Gross margin was 82%, improving from 72% from a year ago. Although financial results were optimistic, analyst downgrades may have had a negative impact on share prices.