September 29, 2017 Weekly Wrap up LIVE from the floor of the NYSE

Monday September 25, 2017 – Friday September 29, 2017

On Monday, markets fell as North Korea’s foreign minister said President Trump’s comments were a declaration of war and that North Korea has the right to shoot down U.S. military planes even if they are in international airspace. Markets also expressed nervousness at the growing strength of Germany’s far-right party, even though Angela Merkel won the election for Chancellor.  West Texas Intermediate crude rose 3% to $52.18 a barrel.

On Tuesday, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose .3% for July, up .1% from the prior month, and new home sales for August fell 1.9% to an annualized 560,000 units.  Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave a speech admitting that the Fed may have misjudged the strength of the labor market as well as inflation expectations, leading to speculation that the Fed will not tighten monetary policy as fast as previously thought. 

On Wednesday, durable goods orders for August rose 1.7% compared to the prior month’s 6.8% decline and the pending home sales index for August fell 2.6%.  The EIA petroleum status report for the week ending September 22nd showed crude oil inventory decreasing 1.8 million barrels and consumer confidence for September remained strong at 119.8. Markets rallied as the Trump Administration released its tax reform plans that include lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%, as well as doubling the standard deduction for individual taxpayers. 

On Thursday, the third revision of the 2nd quarter GDP came in at 3.1% and jobless claims for the week ending September 23rd rose 12,000 to 272,000.  Markets continued rising on continued optimism over tax reform. 

On Friday personal income for August rose .2%, consumer spending increased only .1%, and the PCE price index increased .2%. Markets opened mixed on the news.  Now let’s take a look at some stocks.

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) on Monday reported second quarter revenue and earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. The company also raised its forecast for the full year, sending the stock up over 2%. The company said total revenue rose 21% to $723 million and it earned 77 cents per share.

Axovant Sciences, (NASDAQ: AXON) the biopharmaceutical company announced on Tuesday morning clinical results for its Phase 3 trial of intepirdine.  The drug treats mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Axovant reported that the trials did not meet the primary endpoints, sending shares down over 70% in premarket trading.

Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) on Tuesday reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue, sending its stock up over 8%. Revenue jumped 91% to $6.14 billion, with earnings of $2.02 per share, in the quarter ending August 31st. The strong growth was due to robust demand for the company’s memory and storage solutions.

DexCom Inc. (NASDAQ: DXCM) shares plummeted over 30% Thursday.  The medical device manufacturer announced that its competitor Abbott Laboratories received FDA approval for its glucose monitoring system for diabetic patients. Abbott’s treatment can be worn for up to 10 days, and requires no calibration, and also it can be used to make insulin dosing decisions.

BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) shares jumped over 13% on Thursday after the Canadian-based company reported fiscal second-quarter revenue and earnings that beat analysts’ estimates.  Software and services revenue rose 26% year over year to a record high of $196 million.

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