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Fly Intel - End of Day Brief - Friday Dec 20, 2019

Stocks end higher as Q3 U.S. GDP growth estimate unchanged

Stocks finished the week at record highs as the market continues a year-end melt-up following the signing of trade deals with China and our North American neighbors. The impeachment drama has done nothing to dent the end of year rally and trading may be muted next week as the market's calendar will be broken up by a half day Tuesday and closure on Wednesday for Christmas.

ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the estimate of third quarter GDP growth was unchanged at 2.1% in the third release. The final December reading for the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 99.3, up a tick from the 99.2 preliminary figure and up more significantly compared to November's 96.8 print. Personal income rose 0.5% in November, and spending increased 0.4%. In energy news, Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. rig count is up 14 rigs from last week to 813.

TOP NEWS: Boeing (BA) shares closed 1.65% lower following a number of stories surrounding the plane maker. This morning's launch of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft had an issue that prevented it from achieving the orbit it needed to reach the International Space Station, representing a new black eye for the company as it continues to struggle with getting its 737 MAX approved to fly again. On the latter front, Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) announced that Boeing directed the company yesterday to stop all 737 MAX deliveries effective January 1, 2020, due to Boeing's announced temporary suspension of 737 MAX production. Additionally, United Airlines (UAL) has announced that it has removed Boeing's 737 Max from its schedule until June of 2020, extending the expected return even further out than its carrier peers.

Shares of Nike (NKE) slipped 1.2% despite last night's report of fiscal Q2 results that several analysts called "strong." With Nike's shares at all-time highs heading into the report, the results and guidance fell slightly short of elevated expectations, Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell said.

In M&A news, IAC (IAC) announced an agreement to acquire (CRCM) for $15.00 per share in an all-cash transaction representing approximately $500M of enterprise value. The deal notably comes a day after IAC and Match Group (MTCH) announced the entry into a definitive agreement providing for the full separation of Match from the remaining businesses of IAC.

Meanwhile, Facebook (FB) was in focus after the social media giant said it has removed two unconnected networks of accounts, Pages and Groups for engaging in foreign and government interference - which is coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a government or foreign actor - on Facebook and Instagram. The company said that the first operation originated in the country of Georgia and targeted domestic audiences, while the second originated in Vietnam and the U.S. and focused mainly on the U.S., and some on Vietnam and Spanish and Chinese-speaking audiences globally. Each of them created networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing, Facebook said.

MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers were BlackBerry (BB) and Winnebago (WGO), which gained a respective 12.4% and 8% after reporting quarterly results.

Among the noteworthy gainers was U.S. Steel (X), which slid 10.7% after announcing it will idle Great Lakes Works, cutting fourth quarter and fiscal 2019 guidance, and reducing its dividend to 1c per share from 5c per share. Also lower was CalAmp (CAMP), which fell 18.4% after reporting quarterly results.

INDEXES: The Dow rose 78.13, or 0.28%, to 28,455.09, the Nasdaq gained 37.74, or 0.42%, to 8,924.96, and the S&P 500 advanced 15.85, or 0.49%, to 3,221.22.


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Disclosure: I may trade in the ticker symbols mentioned, both long or short. My articles represent my personal opinion and analysis and should not be taken as investment advice. Readers should do their own research before making decisions to buy or sell securities. Trading and investing include risks, including loss of principal.

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