What's moving markets today: March 1, 2019

4:12 p.m. ET, March 1, 2019

10 in a row: Nasdaq's longest weekly win streak since 1999

Here's something that hasn't happened since the dotcom bubble.

The Nasdaq finished up this week for the 10th in a row. That marks the index’s longest weekly winning streak since 1999, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

The Dow closed narrowly lower on the week, snapping its nine-week up streak. The Dow hasn't had a 10-week streak since 1995, Bespoke said.

US markets finished solidly higher on Friday, with the Dow jumping 110 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% and finished above 2,800 for the first time since November. The Nasdaq climbed 0.8%.

Gap (GPS) rallied 16% in response to a breakup plan that will split off Old Navy into its own public company. Tesla (TSLA) dropped 8% after announcing the launch of its $35,000 Model 3 and warning of a first-quarter loss.

Kroger (KR) fell 4% on concerns about Amazon (AMZN) reportedly planning to launch a new grocery chain.

US oil prices declined 2.5% to $55.80 a barrel. 

4:06 p.m. ET, March 1, 2019

Near-zero growth: Atlanta Fed projects Q1 GDP of 0.3%

The American economy may have just slammed on the brakes.

The initial Atlanta Federal Reserve GDPNow estimate, released Friday, calls for first-quarter growth of just 0.3%.

That would be a sharp deceleration from the fourth quarter, when the US economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.6%.

The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow is a forecasting model that provides a "nowcast" by adjusting to the latest economic data. That makes it subject to sharp revisions.

The New York Fed's Nowcast, also released Friday, is calling for first-quarter GDP growth of just 0.9%. Goldman Sachs sees first-quarter GDP coming in at 0.9% as well.

That call was bolstered by Friday's ISM manufacturing index, which showed that factory activity in the United States expanded at the slowest pace in two years.

The weaker growth reflects the sharp slowdown in China, lingering trade tensions and a hangover from the market turmoil of late 2018.

The good news is that Washington and Beijing could be nearing a trade deal and markets have rebounded sharply.

Goldman Sachs on Friday predicted second-quarter US growth will rebound to nearly 3%.

1:50 p.m. ET, March 1, 2019

Lyft files for $100 million IPO

Lyft beat Uber in its race to go public.

The company filed paperwork on Friday to raise as much as $100 million in its public offering. The amount could change, depending on investor demand. It will list on the Nasdaq under the stock ticker "LYFT."

Here's some things we learned from the filing:

🚗 And we have a lot more pieces of news in our live blog.

1:50 p.m. ET, March 1, 2019

Kroger sinks on fears of more Amazon competition

Amazon is already a major player in the grocery business. But the Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the company may open even more supermarkets in major cities. And that's spooking investors in supermarket leader Kroger (KR). Shares tumbled 5% at one point before recovering a little bit.

Other retailers with big grocery businesses, such as Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT) and Costco (COST), were down slightly too.

But it seems odd investors would be so nervous. It's not really news. Amazon (AMZN) is already a major player in groceries -- both with physical Whole Foods stores and online deliveries.

Still, one hedge fund manager noted that it's just more bad news for smaller grocers like Weis Markets (WMK). Its stock fell Friday. So did shares of Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM).

12:39 p.m. ET, March 1, 2019

Market rally fades; Dow on track to end nine-week win streak

The rally on Wall Street is fading a bit as the week draws to a close.

  • In midday trading, the Dow was up about 60 points. That's well off the session high of 228 points.
  • The S&P 500 gained 0.3%.
  • And the Nasdaq was up 0.5%.

If the market closes around these levels, the Dow would finish slightly lower on the week, snapping its nine-week winning streak. The Nasdaq, however, is on pace to advance for the 10th week in a row.

The retail sector is the big bright spot on Wall Street on Friday.

Gap (GPS) surged 18% on its breakup plan, while Victoria's Secret owner L Brands (LB) jumped 7% despite its weak guidance. Victoria's Secret announced plans late Thursday to shut 53 stores. Strong sales also lifted Foot Locker (FL) 5% to the highest level in nearly two years.

Energy stocks (XLE) also advanced despite a 2% drop in US oil prices to $55.88 a barrel. Baker Hughes (BHGE), EOG Resources (EOG) and Hess (HES) jumped 2% apiece.

10:37 a.m. ET, March 1, 2019

Look how high the Gap is surging

Shares of the Gap (GPS) are surging nearly 18% in early trading:

  • Why? Investors are thrilled that the Gap is splitting into two companies: One will contain Old Navy, while the other business will comprise of the Gap, Banana Republic and other brands, including Athleta and Hill City.
11:06 a.m. ET, March 1, 2019

Caesars board gets a makeover from Icahn

Caesars Entertainment's board is being shaken up thanks to Carl Ichan.

Last month, the billionaire investor disclosed a 9.78% stake in the resort company, and today Caesars (CZR) announced it has struck an agreement with him to appoint three new directors to its board.

Ichan made it clear in a new statement that he's still pushing Caesars to sell itself:

I believe the best path forward for Caesars requires a thorough strategic process to sell or merge the company to further develop its already strong regional presence, which will allow Caesars to continue to take advantage of the Caesars Rewards program bringing more and more players into Caesars' Vegas market."
  • Shares are up 2% in early trading.
10:12 a.m. ET, March 1, 2019

Dow pops 200 points as stocks race into March; Gap goes straight up on breakup plan

 Wall Street's hot start to 2019 continues.

  • The Dow jumped 200 points, or 0.8%, on Friday morning
  • The S&P 500 advanced 0.7%
  • And the Nasdaqgained 0.7%

The rally comes after the S&P 500 posted its best two-month start to a year since 1991, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq is on track for a 10th straight weekly gain. That hasn’t happened since 1999, according to Bespoke.

US markets were led higher on Friday by gains overseas, with China’s Shanghai Composite soaring nearly 2%.

8:43 a.m. ET, March 1, 2019

NYC officials plead with Jeff Bezos to win back HQ2

Amazon's abrupt decision to pull its HQ2 from New York City still has some people angry.

First, the state's Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo is "working intensely behind the scenes to lure the company back," reports the New York Times. He's reportedly made "multiple" phone calls with Amazon execs and even offered to help them get the necessary governmental approvals to move forward.

Cuomo admitted he's talked with Amazon (AMZN) to reconsider its decision, but hasn't heard of "any changes" about the company's decision, according to his office.

In addition, top business leaders wrote an open letter to Amazon execs. It will be published in Friday's edition of the Times.

The letter, which was written by the nonprofit organization Partnership for New York City, said Cuomo will take "personal responsibility for the project's state approval." Signatories include the CEOs from JetBlue, Hearst, MasterCard and Deloitte.

Read the letter below: