Shares of MoneyGram (MGI) are tanking, down 9%, after US regulators blocked the sale of the money transfer company to Alibaba’s (BABA) Ant Financial Services. The $1.2 billion deal, which was in the works for several years, would have helped Alibaba solidify its US financial presence. Southwest Airlines (LUV) announced it will share its tax cut windfall with workers.
Shares of McDonald’s (MCD) are popping after Nomura named the fast-food chain its top 2018 U.S. restaurant stock pick. Weight Watchers (WTW) shares are surging over 5% today after the diet program appointed DJ Khaled as a social media ambassador. Apple (AAPL) stock is getting a New Year’s boost.
Shares of Finish Line (FINL) surged as the athletic wear retailer reported beats on earnings, revenue and same-store sales. Allegiant (ALGT) shares are slightly higher on an upgrade to buy at Deutsche Bank, with analysts citing a strong position for the entire airline industry in 2018, in part due to gains from tax cuts and increasing demand. Discovery Communications (DISC) shares gained 4% on a Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgrade to buy.
In a surprise move, Procter & Gamble (PG) said it would add activist investor Nelson Peltz to its board. It’s shaping up to be a delicious merger Monday on Wall Street. First, Campbell Soup (CPB) is planning to buy Snyder’s Lance (LNCE), known for its Cape Cod chips and Snyder’s pretzels, in an all-cash deal worth nearly $5 billion.
Shares of CSX (CSX) are plunging, down about 8%, after the railroad company’s CEO is taking an unexpected leave of absence due to health issues. Costco (COST) shares are rallying after it beat earnings expectations. Hess (HES) is once again under pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which reportedly called for the removal of the CEO or a sale of part or all of the company.
Shares of Boeing (BA) are climbing as it hands out more profits to investors. The aerospace giant boosted its quarterly dividend by 20%, to $1.71 a share, and authorized $18 billion in share buybacks, up from the $14 billion program put in place a year ago. Comcast (CMCSA) is trading almost 2% higher after announcing it is no longer bidding for most of the assets of Twenty-First Century Fox.
Shares of Canadian Solar (CSIQ) are surging over 5% after CEO Shawn Qu offered to take the company private in a deal valued at at $1.07 billion. BioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) is on the rise after announcing updates on an investigational gene therapy treatment for severe hemophilia. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Edward Nash raised his price target on the stock to $130.00. Monsanto (MON) shares are in focus as the seed and agro chemical giant will give cash back to US farmers who buy its weed killer XtendiMax with VaporGrip, which has been linked to crop damage.
Amazon (AMZN) is rallying on news the “Amazon Effect” is alive and well. United Natural Foods (UNFI), the food distributor whose largest customer is Amazon’s Whole Foods, said it is “continuing to see record sales and shipping unit volume” and incurred $25 million in additional out-of-stock costs as it races to keep up with demand. Trivago (TRVG) shares are rising on an upgrade to buy at Deutsche Bank.
Broadcom (AVGO) shares are higher after the chip maker beat on earnings, thanks to sales of smartphone parts, and increased its dividend. This comes as Broadcom is trying to convince shareholders to back its $100 billion takeover of rival Qualcomm (QCOM). Shares of General Electric (GE) are rising slightly after announcing it’s cutting 12,000 jobs at its global power division as part of its efforts to reduce costs by $1 billion in 2018.
Home Depot (HD) shares are off slightly after the home improvement retailer reaffirmed full-year guidance, detailed a three-year investment strategy and announced plans to bump up its share buyback program to $15 billion. The war of the tech titans escalates, with Google (GOOGL) pulling YouTube access from some Amazon (AMZN) devices. In a statement Google said, “Amazon doesn’t carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn’t make Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of (our sister company) Nest’s latest products.” This is a spat that could intensify as their products increasingly overlap.
Shares of Toll Brothers (TOL) are sliding after reporting profits and revenue that missed expectations. The luxury home builder also forecast a decline in gross margins for 2018, in part because the company is targeting millennials with lower priced homes. Toll Brothers stock is still up nearly 50% for the year.
Aetna (AET) shares are popping after CVS announced plans to acquire the health insurer for about $69 billion in cash and stock, or about $207 per share. The vertical merger is likely to come under antitrust scrutiny, especially after the administration’s recent moves on the AT&T (T) and Time Warner (TWX) deal. Walt Disney (DIS) shares are higher as the owner of the Magic Kingdom hopes to work some magic in a new round of talks for 21st Century Fox (FOXA) assets, including its film studio, international assets and stake in Hulu.
Markets (^DJI, ^GSPC, ^IXIC) fell sharply on Friday after ABC reported former national security adviser Michael Flynn will testify that he was directed by Trump to talk to Russians.
Tech stocks — the darlings of the market this year — got hammered yesterday, with the S&P 500’s tech sector (XLK) reporting one of its worst trading days of the year. Will investors buy the tech dip? When tech sold off in June and again in September, investors were ready to pounce.
Regal Entertainment (RGC) shares higher after the theater operator confirmed it’s in talks with its UK peer Cineworld Group for a potential buyout. Autodesk (ADSK) shares are tanking after reporting profits and revenue roughly in line with estimates, but announcing a massive restructuring plan that includes layoffs of more than 1,000 employees. Chipotle (CMG) shares are surging after announcing the founder and current CEO Steve Ells will become executive chairman and the restaurant chain will search for a new CEO.
The most important chart you need to know today is the yield curve. Over the past year, short-term rates have surged while long-term rates have held steady, sending the yield curve to its flattest levels in a decade. Now Morgan Stanley analysts predict the curve will be completely flat by 2018.
Meanwhile, retailers like Best Buy (BBY), Gap (GPS) and JCPenney (JCP) are trading higher on some positive early Black Friday results. JCPenney’s website saw the most visits of any day so far this year. Shares of Time Inc. (TIME) are surging after Meredith (MDP) said it struck a deal to buy Time for $1.85 billion in cash, with a little help from the Kochs.
Walmart (WMT) beat on earnings and revenue, with same-store sales rising more than expected. The retail giant also boosted its full-year forecast, sending the stock to an all-time high. Cisco (CSCO) shares are soaring to a 16-year high.
Amazon’s (AMZN) Whole Foods announced price cuts once again. The high-end grocery chain plans to drop prices on some of its best-selling grocery items and holiday staples this quarter. Amazon Prime members will also get deeper discounts on items including organic turkeys.