Stock futures are little changed failing to gain momentum in either direction after major averages posted little change last week. The Dow Industrial Average and S&P 500 index both fell (-0.03%) last week, while the Nasdaq Comp fell (-0.57%). This morning, oil prices are again climbing, though below last week’s one-month high of $52.94, helped by news that Libya’s Sharara oilfield was closed on Sunday. Stock markets managed to hold not far from record highs last week despite a disappointing jobs report and geopolitical concerns. At the same time, it feels the U.S. stock market rally, for now, has fun out of steam as investors exhibit cautiousness ahead of the upcoming earnings season (starting this Thursday with several large cap banks) and the holiday shortened-week. In Asian markets, The Nikkei Index gained 133 points to 18,797, the Shanghai Index fell -17 points to 3,269 and the Hang Seng Index slipped -5 points to 24,262. In Europe, the German DAX is down about -0.3% at 12,190, while the FTSE 100 is down a few points at around 7,340. There are no top-tier U.S. economic reports expected Monday and no expected earnings as well after a fairly quiet corporate news weekend.
Market Closing Prices Yesterday
- The S&P 500 Index slipped -1.95 points, or 0.08%, to 2,355.54
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped -6.85 points, or 0.03%, to 20,656.10
- The Nasdaq Composite dipped -1.14 points, or 0.02%, to 5,877.81
- The Russell 2000 Index inched higher 0.14 points, or 0.01% to 1,364.56
Events Calendar for Today
- 10:00 AM ET Labor Market Conditions for March…prior 1.3
- At least 44 people were killed in bomb attacks on the symbolic cathedral seat of the Coptic Pope and another church on Palm Sunday in Egypt. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, which also injured more than 100 people and occurred a week before Coptic Easter, with Pope Francis scheduled to visit Egypt later this month.
- The Bank of England repeatedly urged commercial banks to lower their Libor settings during the financial crisis, according to a secret tape obtained by the BBC. The 2008 recording adds to evidence the central bank participated in one of the biggest rate-rigging scandals in history https://goo.gl/Kf5TPH
- Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda on Monday renewed his pledge to continue with aggressive easing until achieving stable 2% inflation, offering no hint of a change in the policy direction
- Japan’s current account surplus widened 18% from a year earlier in February. The broadest measure of Japan’s gains from international trade and investment stood at 2.814 trillion yen ($25.3 billion) for February
Sector News Breakdown
- Tesla (TSLA) was upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray and raised price target to $368 from $223
- Ulta Beauty (ULTA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Loop Capital
- Hawaiian Airlines (HA) raises 1Q forecast for operating revenue per ASM growth to up 6.5%-8% from up 4%-7%; cites better-than-expected load factors, stronger yields primarily in domestic network
- Hostess Brands (TWNK) files to sell 20.1M shares of common stock for holders
- Barron’s said six formerly debt-laden energy companies — Linn Energy (LNGG), Ultra Petroleum (UPLMQ), SandRidge Energy (SD), Halcon Resources (HK), Midstates Petroleum (MPO) and Goodrich Petroleum (GDPP) – are undervalued and deserve a fresh look from investors as they emerge from bankruptcy with stronger balance sheets
- Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) mentioned positively in Barron’s saying shares could climb 40% this year, noting the property broker has grown through acquisitions in the past year and 60% of its revenue comes from less-cyclical businesses, including managing facilities and projects
- Pzena Investment Management (PZN) reported its preliminary assets under management as of March 31, were $32B, as compared to $32B as of February 28, and $26.1B as of March 31, 2016
- Education Realty (EDR) filed mixed securities shelf
- Euronet (EEFT) CEO Mike Brown said the proposed takeover of MoneyGram (MGI) by Alibaba (BABA) affiliate Ant Financial has little chance of clearing U.S. security reviews due to the proximity of many domestic military bases to the company’s – Financial Times
- Wells Fargo (WFC) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at Piper Jaffray
- German health-care company Fresenius SE & Co. (FMS) is in talks to acquire U.S. firm Akorn Inc. (AKRX), a maker of generic drugs that is currently valued at about $3.7 billion (first reported by Bloomberg late Friday afternoon) https://goo.gl/waO85R
- German drugmaker Stada Arzneimittel AG said Monday it would support a sweetened joint takeover offer by private-equity firms Bain Capital LLC and Cinven Group Ltd. worth EUR4.11 billion ($4.35 billion). https://goo.gl/HlmbCo
- Glaucoma device-maker Glaukos (GKOS) faces a potential decline amid increased competition from Novartis (NVS) and Allergan (AGN), Barron’s said. Glaukos shares, which closed Friday at $51.50, trade for 300 times expected earnings, leaving little room for disappointment. A minor setback in the next year could send the stock down more than 30%.
- Celgene (CELG) looks set to climb higher, but the outlook for Gilead (GILD) “is challenging” according to Barron’s on the single-treatment drugmakers. Celgene’s blood cancer treatment Revlimid “can grow for years on rising overseas prescriptions and new combination therapies”
Industrials & Materials
- Swift Transportation Co. (SWFT) is merging with Knight Transportation Inc. (KNX) in a stock swap that would combine two of the biggest operators in a wavering U.S. trucking sector, which together are worth more than $5 billion https://goo.gl/LnT4fy
- KBR settles decade long dispute related to EPC 1 construction project executed for Pemex; KBR has been paid $435m under settlement
- Barrick Gold (ABX) shares could rise 30%, Barron’s said in a larger article on gold contending that the metal will “likely” keep climbing
- South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission orders the sale of acid copolymers assets of either Dow Chemical (DOW) or DuPont (DD) as their planned merger could limit competition in the industry, antitrust regulator said
Technology, Media & Telecom
- The founders of India’s Snapdeal told employees in an email on Sunday that the e-commerce company will ensure there is no disruption to staff “as the way forward becomes clear,” as speculation of a takeover swirls. https://goo.gl/D6tJKd
- DreamWorks Animation (DWA) and Fox’s (FOXA) “The Boss Baby” captured first place at the North American box office for the second consecutive weekend, earning $26.3 million to push its domestic haul to $89.4 million. Disney’s (DIS) “Beauty and the Beast” came in second, pulling in $25 million to push its stateside grosses to $432.3 million. after Sony’ (SNE) “Smurfs: The Lost Village” stumbled at the domestic box office this weekend grossing only $14.1 million.
- Flipkart has raised $1.4B from new investors Tencent (TCEHY), eBay (EBAY) and Microsoft (MSFT), as well as existing investors including Tiger Global and Accel Partners at a post-transaction valuation of $11.6B https://goo.gl/RNwd57
- McAfee’s “Threats Report” for the month of April showed a rise in malware targeting Apple’s (AAPL) Mac OS, which has often been called “safer” than Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows operating system
- Jay-Z pulled the bulk of his music catalog from rival Spotify AB, removing songs from his 12 studio albums and leaving only two collaboration albums with R. Kelly and a handful of collaboration singles available on Spotify, the world’s biggest streaming service
Market commentary provided by Hammerstone Markets, a division The Hammerstone Group, a firm separate from and not affiliated with Regal Securities L.P. Regal Securities L.P. has not participated in the creation of the content, and does not explicitly or implicitly endorse the content.