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Stock Prices Fall as Walgreens Abandons Rite Aid Merger

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.

In Dow Jones news today, tech stock prices continue to be very volatile. U.S. President Donald Trump’s Treasury Department announced several sanctions against China’s Bank of Dandong, and Walgreens announced it plans to abandon a merger with Rite Aid.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) jumped over 14% on the day.

Here are the numbers from Thursday for the DowS&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Closing Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 21,287.03 -167.58 -0.78%
S&P 500 2,419.70 -20.99 -0.86%
Nasdaq 6,144.35 -90.06 -1.44%

Now here’s a closer look at today’s most important market events and stocks, plus Friday’s economic calendar.

The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday

  • Tech stocks plunged in a scary sell-off. Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) all lost more than 1% in the day. Meanwhile, Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) both slumped more than 4% on the day.
  • The decline in tech stocks overshadowed any optimism produced from today’s round of economic data. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the economy grew in Q1 by 1.4%, a figure that beat economists’ expectations. Meanwhile, on the jobs front, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits hit 244,000 last week. That number was just shy of market expectations.

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  • Banking stocks were a few of the bright spots today. The financial sector pushed higher Thursday thanks to a very optimistic report on financial stress testing from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The central bank approved the buyback and dividend proposals of 34 American banks. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) stock added more than 2% after the firm doubled its quarterly dividend. Other bank stocks were pushing higher. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) all added more than 1% on the day.
  • Crude oil prices were flat today after topping a two-week high. Markets have been digesting yesterday’s inventory reports, which indicated a sharp decline in gasoline stocks. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.1%. Brent crude dipped 0.04%. The Energy Information Administration’s report also indicated that U.S. crude inventory levels increased again last week. However, the increase was smaller than analysts had expected.
Dow Jones news today
  • Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE: APRN) was flat during its first day of trading. Shares had jumped nearly 10% in early market trading, but they quickly retreated during the broader market sell-off. The company already faced pressures after it narrowed its IPO range this week. Investors have expressed concerns about the impact that Amazon will have in the global food and grocery business after its purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc. (NYSE: WFM). Blue Apron is the first meal-kit company to go public. Here’s everything you need to know about Blue Apron.

Five Stocks to Watch Thursday: COF, NKE, WBA, MKC, WMT

  • While the Fed approved capital plans of 34 banks across the nation, just one faced some pushback. Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) has been required to resubmit its plan by the central bank due to concerns that the proposal failed to account for risks in “one of its most material businesses.” Shares of COF stock dropped 1.8% on the day.
  • Shares of Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) are in focus as the global shoe and apparel maker prepares to report quarterly earnings. Investors will be looking for additional insight into the success of the company’s large cost-cutting effort that has included the reduction of its workforce and a shake-up to its international manufacturing process. The once-dominant apparel maker has faced increasing competition from Adidas AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS: ADDYY) and Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA). Expect its leaders to also discuss how it plans to sell its products on Amazon after years of avoiding the platform.
  • Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance (NYSE: WBA) added 1.6% after the company easily beat Wall Street earnings expectations and announced it would scrap its merger plans. Walgreens will now pay more than $5.1 billion in cash for 2,186 Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) stores and give the company a termination fee of roughly $325 million. Walgreens reported earnings per share (EPS) in the fiscal third quarter of $1.33 on top of $30.1 billion. Those figures surpassed expectations of $1.31 per share on $29.6 billion in revenue.

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  • Shares of McCormick & Co. (NYSE: MKC) fell more than 3.6% after the Maryland-based spice giant topped Wall Street earnings expectations. The company reported EPS of $0.82, a figure that topped consensus expectations by six cents. The firm’s $1.11 billion in revenue also beat expectations. The company cited success in its cost-cutting programs and stronger demand for new products released over the last year. It appears the stock was the victim of today’s sell-off despite the positive news.
  • Finally, the battle between Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Amazon took another interesting turn Thursday morning. According to The New York Post, Wal-Mart threatened to no longer work with trucking firms that provide services to its e-commerce rival. The report quotes a consultant in the trucking business, although Wal-Mart denied the claims in the story. Even if the story isn’t true, it is clear that Amazon’s threat to Wal-Mart will continue to be a major challenge in the future. Wal-Mart has been one of the most Amazon-resistant retailers in the business, but the e-commerce giant’s recent $13.7 bid for Whole Foods Market could dramatically impact Wal-Mart’s key grocery division.
  • Look for earnings reports from Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) and American Outdoor Brands Corp. (Nasdaq: AOBC).

Friday’s U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)

  • Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
  • Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m.
  • Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
  • Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.


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The post Dow Jones News Today: Stock Prices Fall as Walgreens Abandons Rite Aid Merger appeared first on Money Morning – We Make Investing Profitable.

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