What's moving markets today

By CNN Business
4:23 p.m. ET, March 28, 2019
4:23 p.m. ET, March 28, 2019

Stocks float higher as blockbuster quarter nears finale

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

Wall Street is putting the finishing touches on its best quarter in nearly a decade.

The Dow advanced 92 points on Thursday as the end of a sparkling first quarter draws near. The S&P 500 gained 0.4% and the Nasdaq finished 0.3% higher. 

Sprint (S) dropped 6% and T-Mobile (TMUS) fell 4% on concerns about the fate of their planned merger. Verizon (VZ) declined 3%.

Lululemon (LULU) climbed 14% after posting robust sales and earnings growth. Regional banks including Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) and KeyCorp (KEY) climbed more than 2% apiece, rebounding from their recent slide. 

Friday marks the final trading day of the trading quarter and the S&P 500 is on track for its best quarter since the third quarter of 2009.

4:22 p.m. ET, March 28, 2019

Market rally fades as Verizon and other wireless stocks slide

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

For the second day in a row, Wall Street has forfeited an early rally.

The Dow was unchanged in early Thursday afternoon after opening with a 100-point gain. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also traded flat.

Verizon (VZ) dropped nearly 4%, leading the way lower on the Dow. Rivals T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) retreated almost 5% apiece on concerns about the fate of their merger due to scrutiny from regulators.

US oil prices declined 1% to $58.84 a barrel. Crude bounced off earlier lows triggered by President Donald Trump urging OPEC to prevent oil prices from rising further.

Lululemon (LULU) surged 16% as Wall Street cheered the apparel maker's strong sales and steady earnings growth.

Despite the recent volatility, the S&P 500 is still up an impressive 11.7% during the first quarter, which ends on Friday. That would mark Wall Street's best quarter in seven years.

9:54 a.m. ET, March 28, 2019

US stocks open modestly higher; Lululemon spikes

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

Wall Street is starting Thursday in the green -- but the real question is whether the gains will hold.

The Dow climbed 50 points on Thursday morning. The S&P 500 advanced 0.2%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.1%.

US markets opened solidly higher on Wednesday before reversing course and ending in the red.

Lululemon (LULU) spiked 15% after reporting robust sales and a 28% jump in quarterly profit. 

Calvin Klein owner PVH (PVH) popped 15% on upbeat earnings. 

US oil prices dropped 1.2% to $58.69 a barrel. President Donald Trump applied additional pressure to oil by tweeting that prices are "getting too high" and urging OPEC to "increase the flow of oil."

Oil prices have spiked nearly 40% since Christmas Eve due to OPEC's supply cuts, Venezuela's shrinking output and a broader rally in global financial markets.

12:51 p.m. ET, March 28, 2019

Tommy Hilfiger owner PVH and Movado are soaring

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

Affordable luxury is having a moment.

Apparel company PVH reported strong earnings and sales that surpassed forecasts, thanks in large part due to what CEO Emanuel Chirico called "an outstanding quarter" for its Tommy Hilfiger line of clothing and accessories. Chirico added that its Calvin Klein business "delivered a healthy quarter, with particular strength in Europe."

And watch maker Movado, which also owns the MVMT and Olivia Burton brands, said that its sales surged nearly 35% during the holiday quarter. Movado's profits and revenues easily topped Wall Street's expectations. Movado CEO Efraim Grinberg said the success of the MVMT and Olivia Burton lines, which Movado bought last year, is helping boost its presence in the global fashion watch market as well as fuel online sales.

Shares of PVH (PVH) and Movado (MOV) both soared about 15% in early trading Thursday. And their good news comes on the same day that yoga apparel giant lululemon (LULU) also was skyrocketing after it reported a healthy jump in sales and a solid outlook.

8:58 a.m. ET, March 28, 2019

New details on Lyft's IPO

From CNN Business' Ivana Kottasová

Ride-hailing firm Lyft is driving towards its debut listing on the Nasdaq on Friday.

The company raised its pricing target to $70 to $72 per share on Wednesday, valuing the company at more than $23 billion.

Lyft had initially predicted a range of between $62 and $68 a share.

The company's debut on the stock exchange is the first of a number of big tech IPOs expected this year. Lyft expects to raise as much as $2.4 billion through the sale of stock.

8:58 a.m. ET, March 28, 2019

Daimler partners with Chinese carmaker Geely

From CNN Business' Charles Riley

Mercedes-maker Daimler has teamed up with Hangzhou-based Geely to transform its Smart brand into an electric carmaker focused on China's vast market.

Under the agreement announced today, the next generation of Smart cars will be assembled at a plant in China with sales starting in 2022. Prior to that, Daimler will continue to produce Smart cars at plants in France and Slovenia.

Daimler and Geely will each own 50% of the global joint venture. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Daimler said that no jobs would be lost as a result of the deal.

"Our smallest vehicle still has huge potential — in China and beyond. Geely is the right partner to take advantage of these opportunities," Daimler (DDAIF) CEO Dieter Zetsche wrote in a blog post.
8:59 a.m. ET, March 28, 2019

Bayer drops on new damages

From CNN Business' Ivana Kottasová

Shares in Bayer (BAYRY) have dipped 1.6% today in Frankfurt.

That's after a federal jury awarded $80 million to a California man in determining that the popular Monsanto weedkiller, Roundup, was a substantial factor in causing his cancer.

Bayer, which acquired Monsanto last year and saw its stock tank 10% after the initial verdict last week, said it would appeal the decision.

The case is the first to be tried in federal court. About 11,000 similar cases are pending at the federal or state level.

8:59 a.m. ET, March 28, 2019

Global markets check

From CNN Business' Ivana Kottasová

Here's what investors are watching:

  • The final estimate of US fourth quarter GDP will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • We're keeping an eye on the pound as Brexit deadlock continues. UK lawmakers considered eight alternatives to the government's plan yesterday, and rejected each of them. Prime Minister Theresa May is continuing to push for her plan, and she's now offered to resign in exchange for support for the deal.
  • Shares in Swedbank dropped 3.7% after the Swedish bank fired its CEO amid a widening money-laundering probe.