What's moving markets today

14 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
4:17 p.m. ET, February 20, 2019

Nasdaq extends win streak to eight -- the longest since August

US financial markets continue to recover from a horrible December.

  • The Nasdaq narrowly advanced on Wednesday, notching its eighth straight gain. That’s the longest win streak since August.
  • The Dowjumped 63 points, or 0.2%. It's now less than 1,000 points from the all-time high set in early October.
  • And the S&P 500 closed up 0.2% to its highest level since early December.

Markets initially fell and then quickly rebounded after the release of the minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting

CVS Health (CVS) plunged 8%, its worst day since November 2016, after it issued disappointing guidance. New York-listed shares of UBS (UBS) fell 4% after the banks was hit with a $5.1 billion penalty from a French court.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) lost 6% after it said the government shutdown cost the company $60 million. Devon Energy (DVN) jumped 7% on plans to get rid of its non-US oil assets.

4:18 p.m. ET, February 20, 2019

S&P boosts the odds of a US recession

There's a 20% to 25% chance of an economic recession in the United States over the next year, according to S&P Global Ratings.

The ratings firm raised its recession odds on Wednesday from its previous estimate of 15% to 20% in November.

"Regardless of whether a recession arrives...the growth pace of the world's largest economy will likely slow," Beth Ann Bovino, chief US economist at S&P, wrote in the report.

S&P said that four of its 10 leading indicators of near-term growth momentum "weakened" since then. And two of those signals -- the S&P 500 and the Federal Reserve's loan survey -- are outright negative.

But the good news is that while recession chances may have climbed, S&P still believes there is a very good chance the current economic expansion becomes the longest in American history. It would only have to continue until July to hit that mark.

And S&P suggested that recession odds could go back down in the coming months thanks to a "significantly more dovish" stance from the Federal Reserve.

2:07 p.m. ET, February 20, 2019

Garmin's stock is having a huge day

Shares of the tech hardware company Garmin (GRMN) surged nearly 17% following the release of its fourth-quarter earnings:

The stock is up 30% year-to-date:

12:26 p.m. ET, February 20, 2019

Stocks quiet ahead of Fed minutes

The stock markets aren't doing much of anything. Investors are bracing for the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting at 2 p.m. ET.

Here's where they stand:

  • The Dow is flat.
  • Nasdaq inched up .25%.
  • S&P has drifted 5 points higher.

CVS Health (CVS) is continuing to have a horrible day after announcing it's in for a rough year ahead. Shares are sliding more than 7%.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) shares are still declining for a variety of reasons. The stock is off more than 5%.

Garmin (GRMN) is up a whopping 16% after beating on earnings.

12:37 p.m. ET, February 20, 2019

Devon Energy spikes 11% after going all in on US shale oil

Devon Energy is transforming itself into a pure-play American oil producer -- and Wall Street loves it.

Shares of the Oklahoma-based company spiked 11% on Wednesday after it revealed plans to ditch assets in Canada and the gas-rich Barnett Shale.

Devon (DVN) said the makeover will make the new company a "high-return US oil growth business." It will be able to grow oil volumes at a "mid-teens" rate and generate free cash flow -- at just $46 a barrel.

Devon expects to ditch its Canadian and Barnett Shale assets by the end of 2019, via a sale or spin-off.

It's a fresh reminder of how oil companies large and small are zeroing in on the Permian Basin and other US shale oilfields to generate growth. BP's (BP) recent bets on American shale are already paying off, while ExxonMobil's (XOM) Permian Basin investments allowed the oil giant to halt a recent production slump.

US shale strength lifted Devon's fourth-quarter output above the Street's view. And Devon also felt confident enough to ramp up its buyback plan by $1 billion and boost the dividend by 13%.

10:10 a.m. ET, February 20, 2019

Southwest shares are down 6% in the last week

Shares of Southwest (LUV) have lost roughly 6% of their value since last week due to a the airline's laundry list of problems:

The airline's stock opened 5% lower, but it's still up nearly 18% for the year.

10:49 a.m. ET, February 20, 2019

Quiet start to trading -- except for CVS

Wall Street has yet to awaken from its President's Day slumber.

US markets opened little changed on Wednesday.

  • The Dow alternated between minor gains and losses
  • The S&P 500 was flat
  • And the Nasdaq edged up 0.1%

The quiet start comes after US stocks closed narrowly higher on Tuesday.  

CVS (CVS) tumbled 8% as its earnings beat was overshadowed by cautious guidance that badly missed expectations. Southwest (LUV) fell 5% after the airline cancelled hundreds of flights due to an “operational emergency.”

Tesla (TSLA) dipped 1% after announcing the exit of its general counsel after just two months on the job. The Elon Musk-run company also disclosed plans to sell more stock to pay for the acquisition of battery maker Maxwell Technologies (MXWL).

Traders will shift their attention at 2 pm ET to the release of the minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting. Wall Street is looking for more insight into what led to the Fed's abrupt reversal from hawkish to dovish.

10:52 a.m. ET, February 20, 2019

New Fidelity fund focuses on founder-led firms

Do you think companies run by their founders are better than those with hired guns as CEOs? Then mutual fund giant Fidelity has a new fund for you. It launched the Fidelity Founders Fund Wednesday.

Fidelity fund manager Dan Kelley said he will look for companies with founders as senior managers or board members.

Founder-led companies tend to be more innovative, customer focused, and better generators of shareholder value than companies without founder engagement,” Kelley said in a statement.

But will the fund invest in controversial founder-led firms like Facebook (FB), Snapchat (SNAP) and Tesla (TSLA)? A Fidelity spokesperson said holdings data won't be available until April 28. Still, there are plenty of other founder-led firms to choose from -- and there's already an ETF that focuses on them.

The Global X Founder-Run Companies ETF (BOSS), which picks its stocks based on an index of founder-led companies, is up 20% this year. Wayfair (W), TripAdvisor (TRIP) and Jack Dorsey's Square (SQ) are top holdings.

8:52 a.m. ET, February 20, 2019

Tesla's top lawyer leaves after two months

Tesla's top lawyer, Dane Butswinkas, is leaving just two months after joining the company.

Butswinkas is departing because he was a poor cultural fit at Tesla, a source familiar with the situation told CNN Business.

In a prior release, the company said Butswinkas would report directly to CEO Elon Musk and "oversee Tesla’s legal and government relations teams."

Jonathan Chang, Tesla's vice president of legal, will replace Butswinkas effective immediately.

Tesla (TSLA) shares are sliding nearly 2% in premarket trading and are down 10% for the year.