What's moving markets today
Wall Street finished in the red on Monday, though stocks bounced off their lowest levels.
It marks the first back-to-back declines for US stocks in 2019. All three major indexes closed slightly lower on Friday.
Investors remain worried about slowing global growth. Those concerns were amplified by a new report showing that China suffered its biggest drop in exports in two years. The Dow had been down as much as 231 points early in the day.
Citigroup (C) jumped 4% despite reporting weak trading results. Gannett (GCI) surged 21% on a takeover offer from a hedge-fund-led media company. PG&E (PCG) plummeted 52% after announcing plans to file for bankruptcy later this month.
Canadian cannabis firm Canopy Growth plans to spend between $100 million and $150 million in New York after the Empire State gave the company a license to produce and process hemp.
Shares of Canopy Growth (CGC) surged nearly 10% on the news. Also rising after the announcement? Corona owner Constellation Brands (STZ), the beer and wine giant that has a $4 billion stake in Canopy Growth.
Canopy can set up shop in New York because it's now legal to produce industrial hemp in the US. That's thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill that President Trump signed into law in December.
Canopy CEO Bruce Linton promised that the expansion into to New York will create new jobs, although he declined to say how many. US Senator Charles Schumer applauded the move, and predicted that the investment will help make the upstate region of New York known as the Southern Tier "the Silicon Valley of industrial hemp production and research."
Several other cannabis related stocks, such as Aurora Cannabis (ACB) and Tilray (TLRY), rose on the news too. And New Age Beverages (NBEV), a company that produces drinks infused with cannabidiol, or CBD -- a non psychoactive component found in marijuana, soared more than 15%.
Wall Street is facing its first back-to-back declines of 2019.
The good news is that all three major indexes are off their worst levels. At one point, the Dow was down 231 points.
Enthusiasm over some M&A and earnings reports (Citigroup, Lululemon) is being offset by continued concerns about the health of the global economy.
Everyone knows that Sears department stores are in trouble, but there's another chain with a similar name that hasn't filed for Chapter 11.
Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores (SHOS) was spun off from the now-bankrupt Sears Holdings in 2012. The hope was that the $447 million deal would shield the specialty chain from Sears' problems, while giving the parent company an infusion of cash.
It hasn't worked out that way. Shares of Sears Hometown and Outlet have lost nearly 30% since Sears' bankruptcy, and more than 90% since its own 2012 IPO. In December, Sears Hometown announced plans to close 80 to 100 of its 750 stores and liquidate inventory to bring down debt.
What's next? Sears Hometown says it expects to stay in business despite Sears Holdings' bankruptcy. It didn't address what would happen if Sears is forced out of business entirely.
US markets are starting the week on a negative note.
Wall Street is under pressure after a new report showed that China’s exports suffered their biggest decline in two years.
Lululemon (LULU) just announced it had a healthy holiday shopping period, sending shares up 6% in early trading.
The athleisure brand also raised its fourth-quarter guidance and said it expects an increase in revenue and profit.
CEO Calvin McDonald said Lululemon's momentum "remained strong throughout the holiday season, reflecting the ongoing success of our product offerings."
The rocky financial markets took their toll on Citigroup in the quarter. Will other banking giants get hit too?
Citi reported fourth-quarter earnings that topped forecasts Monday morning, but the bank's revenues were lower than what Wall Street was expecting due to a drop in its fixed-income trading division. Citi (C) stock fell in early trading on the news before turning slightly positive.
Bond trading revenue plunged more than 20% from a year ago as the markets grappled with the effects of another rate hike by the Federal Reserve. In a massive understatement, CEO Michael Corbat said in the earnings release that "a volatile fourth quarter impacted some of our market sensitive businesses."
Citi is the first major bank to report its fourth quarter earnings. So it will be interesting to see if its rivals were similarly hurt by the market madness late last year, especially with bonds. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and scandal-ridden Wells Fargo (WFC) report results on Tuesday. Up later this week: investment banking kings Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America (BAC) and ETF giant BlackRock (BLK).
Party like it's 1849? Gold has been outperforming the broader market for the past few months. And gold miners are looking to take advantage of the spike in the yellow metal's price by getting even bigger.
Newmont (NEM), a gold mining stock in the S&P 500, announced Monday it was buying rival Goldcorp (GG) for $10 billion. Shares of Newmont fell more than 5%, while Goldcorp surged 10%. The deal will create the world's largest miner and comes just a few months after Barrick Gold (GOLD) agreed to merge with Randgold in a deal worth $6 billion.
Gold prices have rallied lately due to global political turmoil, concerns about an economic slowdown in China and other international markets and a drop in US long-term bond yields. Investors often buy gold as a hedge when people are worried about the broader market and economy.
I recently spoke about that with CNN's Richard Quest on the CNN Business Markets Now digital show.
California's largest utility is facing billions of dollars in claims over the deadly 2018 Camp Fire. It cited at least $7 billion in claims from the fire, which caused 86 deaths and destroyed 14,000 homes.
Shareholders are generally wiped out in the bankruptcy process. Shares of PG&E were already down 63% since the start of the Camp Fire in November.