The Dow industrials and S&P 500 quickly turned negative, with the S&P 500 down 0.1% and the Dow wrestling with a fractional decline. The Nasdaq composite showed a 0.5% loss.
JPMorgan, Walgreens Early Leaders; Blue Apron Set To Trade
MicrosoftMSFT notched the Dow’s worst early performance, sliding 1.3% at the starting bell.
Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) each opened 3% higher, lifting Bank of America past a 24.41 buy point. Overseas banks were also in motion, led by HSBC Holdings’ (HSBC) 4% gain. The move put HSBC beyond buy range above a 44.54 buy point in a flat base.
Rite Aid (RAD) tanked 24%, and Walgreens (WBA) climbed46%, after the companies announced they had broken off their $9.4 billion merger effort. Walgreens agreed instead to buy about half of Rite-Aid’s stores for $5.1 billion.
In earnings news, H.B. Fuller (FUL) dropped 6% after reporting weak second-quarter results. Metal processor Worthington Industries (WOR) climbed 2% after a solid fiscal fourth-quarter beat. Worthington shares are testing resistance at their 10-week moving average, below a 53.05 buy point.
Constellation Brands (STZ) jumped 7% at the start of trade, after reporting a big first-quarter earnings beat and raising its full-year earnings guidance. The stock is extended after clearing a cup-with-handle base in April.
Energous (WATT) jumped 8% at the open. The company announced late Wednesday that Germany’s Dialog Semiconductor had invested $15 million in its wireless charging technologies. Dialog had entered into an exclusive supplier agreement with an initial $10 million investment in November.
Oil Extends Rally; Q1 GDP, Consumer Spending Jump
Oil prices added 0.7%, lifting West Texas Intermediate back above $45 a barrel — up 7% from a June 21 low and working on a sixth straight advance. The dollar jumped higher vs. the yen and the euro rose to its strongest level in more than a year. Bonds rose sharply, trimming the 10-year yield 4 basis points to 2.26%.
The Commerce Department boosted its estimate for first-quarter GDP growth to 1.4%, up from its initial estimate of a 1.2% gain and surprising economists’ forecasts for no change. Consumer spending was also revised higher, to a 1.1% advance, nearly double the previous 0.6% figure, clobbering expectations for a steady 0.6% tally.
First-time unemployment claims inched up to 244,000 in the week ended June 24, the Labor Department said, vs. 242,000 claims in the prior week and consensus forecasts for 241,000 new claims. The four-week moving average decreased to 242,250, down from 244,750 and compared to consensus views for an increase to 245,000 claims.
St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. ET. Bullard told a group in Nashville last week that the Fed could put further interest rate hikes on pause after some weaker-than-expected economic data.