What's moving markets todayBy CNN Business
The production of Boeing's troubled 737 Max plane is important enough to the economy that a temporary halt in production would reduce the level of gross domestic product by 0.15% for the year, JPMorgan's analysts calculated.
Sales of the 737 were expected to total $35 billion this year, JPMorgan found, and the Max accounts for 90% of that total. That's one quarter of total domestic aircraft production.
Boeing (BA) has so far kept the assembly lines running, even as all 371 of the jets have been grounded following a pair of deadly crashes. As long as Boeing keeps making the planes -- even if it doesn't sell them -- the aggregate level of GDP won't be affected.
If planes stop rolling off the lines, however, the hit to aggregate GDP could be significant.
Nike is hot around the world.
It's sneaker and clothing sales grew 7% in North America, 6% in Europe and 19% in China during the most quarter compared with a year earlier.
In February, Duke basketball star Zion Williamson broke his Nike shoe during a game, which caused Nike's stock to fall. But the strong quarter means that the incident did not have much of an impact on sales.
Nike (NKE) beat Wall Street's sales and profit expectations, but its shares still dipped 2% in after-hours trading.
That's probably because the bar for Nike's stock is already high. Shares have touched records in recent days as more investors buy into Nike's digital strategy and believe that the brand has potential to continue growing.
The Fed's decision to pause rate hikes is hurting bank stocks as other sectors rally.
Boosted by tech stocks, the Dow rose 217 points Thursday. The S&P 500 jumped more than 1%.
The rationale: Banks had been counting on higher rates to bump up how much interest they can charge on loans. The Fed's dovishness also signals underlying concern about the health of the US economy.
Booming tech stocks carried Wall Street sharply higher on Thursday.
Needham upgraded Apple to "strong buy" and raised its price target to $225 on confidence that the iPhone maker's ecosystem is "most likely to prevail" against its tech rivals.
Banks continue to struggle after the Federal Reserve indicated it won’t raise interest rates until 2020. Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) fell nearly 2% apiece. Regional banks tumbled further.
Apple is at the heart of a tech-led rally on Wall Street.
Elsewhere, investors are trying to decide what the latest moves by the Federal Reserve mean for stocks and the economy. The Fed on Wednesday signaled it won't raise rates in 2019, a sharp reversal from just a few months ago, and it trimmed its growth outlook.
Michael Block, market strategist at Third Seven Advisors, has a more optimistic take.
Block also expressed amazement that US stocks are popping in the face of Biogen (BIIB) "blowing up." The widely held biotech stock plummeted 29% after halting a trial for a promising Alzheimer's treatment.
So much for deflation in the supermarket?
ConAgra Brands, the owner of Vlasic, Slim Jim, Birds Eye and Orville Redenbacher's, reported earnings that topped forecasts and a solid outlook Thursday. And the company did so by boosting prices to help offset rising transportation and commodities costs.
ConAgra, like General Mills, has been making acquisitions to try and add more healthy and organic food offerings. It recently bought Pinnacle Foods, the maker of Udi's, Smart Balance and the Gardein line of meat-free meals.
It appears that this strategy is allowing ConAgra to raise prices even at a time when Amazon (AMZN), Walmart (WMT) and Costco (COST) are pressuring many food companies to lower them. But the makers of other supermarket staples -- most notably Kraft Heinz (KHC) and Kellogg (K) -- are still struggling.
American whiskey producers are feeling the burn from tariffs.
The Distilled Spirits Council said in new report that the $3.3 billion worth of tariffs placed on the US products from the European Union is having a "negative impact" on American whiskeys.
Exports of the alcohol declined 11% during the second half of last year. The council said that exports in the latter part of the year are typically higher and the decrease highlights the harm the tariffs have caused.
Here's what Council President Chris Swonger said: