Stocks Mixed in Final Trading Session of First Half of 2017
U.S. stocks finished the last trading session of the first half of 2017 mixed as tech issues succumbed to some late-day pressure. The major equity indexes were lower for the week, with the Nasdaq outpacing its peers for the steepest decline. Some favorable earnings and economic data may have aided in today’s advance as Dow member Nike’s results were met with cheers and Chicago-area manufacturing activity unexpectedly jumped further into expansion territory. U.S. Treasuries were lower, joining a wave of global yield gains in the wake of some recent rhetoric from central bank officials. The U.S. dollar was nearly unchanged, crude oil prices were higher and gold saw a minor decline.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) increased 63 points (0.3%) to 21,350, the S&P 500 Index gained 4 points (0.2%) to 2,423, and the Nasdaq Composite declined 4 points (0.1%) to 6,140. In moderately-heavy volume, 952 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.0 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil gained $1.11 to $46.04 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was $0.03 higher at $1.51 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price decreased $4.29 to $1,241.22 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was nearly unchanged at 95.69. Markets were lower for the week, as the DJIA was 0.2% lower, the S&P 500 Index declined 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 2.0%.

Dow member Nike Inc. (NKE $59) reported Q4 earnings-per-share (EPS) of $0.60, above the FactSet estimate of $0.50, as revenues rose 5.0% year-over-year (y/y) to $8.7 billion, north of the projected $8.6 billion. The company said it had double-digit revenue growth in Western Europe, Greater China, and the Emerging Markets, as well as strong growth in sportswear and running, helping offset continued sluggishness in North America. The company offered full-year guidance that appeared to please analysts, notably its forecast for a rebound in sales in North America, while announcing plans to sell products directly on Amazon.com (AMZN $968) and Facebook Inc’s. (FB $151) Instagram. Shares of NKE traded nicely higher.

Micron Technology Inc. (MU $30) posted fiscal Q3 EPS of $1.40, or $1.62 ex-items, versus the projected $1.52, as revenues rose 20% quarter-over-quarter (q/q) to $5.6 billion, above the forecasted $5.4 billion. The chip maker said its results reflect solid execution of its cost reduction plans and ongoing favorable industry supply and demand dynamics as DRAM average selling prices rose double digits and NAND sales volumes jumped. MU issued Q4 guidance that exceeded the Street’s forecasts. Shares gave up early gains and finished lower despite the results.

Schwab Center for Financial Research – Market Analysis Group

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