What's moving markets today: April 26, 2019

12:04 p.m. ET, April 26, 2019

Uber will give some drivers up to $40,000 ahead of its IPO

Uber's latest S-1 filing reveals the company will give some drivers as much as $40,000 in a one-time cash "appreciation award."

The company's initial paperwork showed that it had planned to give drivers payments based on how many trips they've made since joining Uber. But Uber added two new payment tiers in the new filing.

Payments will be based on how many trips drivers have made since they started driving for Uber:

  • $100 for 2,500 trips
  • $500 for 5,000 trips
  • $1,000 for 10,000 trips
  • $10,000 for 20,000 trips
  • $20,000 for 30,000 trips
  • $40,000 for 40,000 trips

Additionally, to be eligible for the bonuses drivers must have completed at least one trip this year and be in good standing with the company.

Drivers eligible for the appreciation awards will also have the option to buy shares ahead of the IPO.

Lyft also rewarded some top drivers with cash bonuses of $1,000 or $10,000, depending on certain trip thresholds. Drivers had the option to use the money to buy shares in that company as well.

1:43 p.m. ET, April 26, 2019

Analysts like the GDP growth, dismiss worries about rate cuts

Market watchers are digesting the whopping 3.2% first quarter US GDP report from this morning.

The headline number was strong and beat consensus estimates, but it is also just the first reading and will likely get revised. Strong economic growth could be cause for concern for stock investors worried that inflation will rise too.

That in turn could make the Federal Reserve rethink its recent action to take the foot off the gas for further interest rate hikes. And rising interest rates typically weigh on stocks.

But the core PCE number in the GDP report, which measures personal consumption expenses, was weaker than expected at 1.3%, keeping immediate inflation worries at bay.

After all, the Fed's mandate is to keep inflation around 2%, and that's apparently a long way away.

All in all, it was "a good report for equity investors," said Minh Trang, senior trader at Silicon Valley Bank.

Nevertheless, stocks seem unimpressed amid further earnings reports. The Dow and the S&P 500 are slightly stronger, while the Nasdaq is hovering in negative territory. Next week's Fed meeting might give us clues for what's next.

12:39 p.m. ET, April 26, 2019

Amazon's 1-day shipping announcement sends shares of Walmart and Target lower

Amazon's (AMZN) announcement that it's planning to make one-day shipping standard for Prime members is sending stocks of its retail rivals lower:

  • Target (TGT) is down 5%
  • Walmart (WMT) is down 2%
  • Best Buy (BBY) is down 2%

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky didn't specify when faster shipping would be standard for all Prime customers, but he said the company expects to "make steady progress quickly and through the year."

4:06 p.m. ET, April 26, 2019

Chevron's production jumps, powered by surging US shale

Oil giant Chevron grew its production by 7% in the first quarter, thanks in large part to Texas' Permian Basin.

The No. 2 US oil company reported first-quarter earnings that beat expectations. But profit was down 27% due to "weaker" refinery operations.

Chevron's (CVX) revenue dipped 7%, trailing Wall Street's view.

Meanwhile, Chevron expressed confidence about its takeover deal for Anadarko Petroleum (APC) -- despite the bidding war that has emerged over the oil driller.

However, Chevron did not sweeten its offer for Anadarko despite the fact it has been outbid by Occidental Petroleum (OXY).

Executives instead talked up why they believe Anadarko would be a better fit with Chevron than Occidental. They pointed to Chevron's track record of integrating new companies and the fact that it's a "world-class" operator of LNG.

Chevron did concede that the deal terms could theoretically change. While Occidental offered to pay 50/50 in cash and stock, Chevron's deal is more weighted towards stock.

"Clearly we have the capacity to have alternative structures," Chevron chief financial officer Pierre Breber said. "We could have put more cash in if that's what Anadarko wanted to do, but we agreed to where we ended up."

11:44 a.m. ET, April 26, 2019

Oil tumbles after Trump said he called OPEC to bring prices down

US oil futures dropped 3.9% this morning following reports that President Donald Trump said he called the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to bring down prices.

US oil futures were last at at $62.65 per barrel. Brent crude futures were down 3.3% at $71.90 per barrel.

It has been a volatile week for oil prices. On Monday, prices rallied after the Unites States said it would no longer grant sanctions exemptions to countries buying oil from Iran. This affects China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey.

On the week, US prices are down 2%, according to Refinitiv.

10:04 a.m. ET, April 26, 2019

Stocks open slightly lower

US stocks edged lower at the start of Friday trading as investors digested a stronger-than-expected first quarter GDP growth print.

  • The Dow opened 0.1%, or 31 points, lower.
  • The S&P 500 was down 0.1%
  • The Nasdaq was down 0.4%.

Companies that reported before the bell included Exxon Mobil (XOM), which posted an unexpected profit drop. Its shares fell 2.4%

Intel (INTC) shares were also lower, falling 8.7%, after the chip maker slashed its full-year guidance.

9:46 a.m. ET, April 26, 2019

Slack files to go public with an unusual approach

Slack is the latest company planning to go public, but it's doing so with an unconventional approach.

The workplace messaging service filed paperwork on Friday to go public through a direct listing, the same method used by Spotify (SPOT). Slack will list shares directly on a stock exchange without relying on underwriters to help assess demand and set a price.

The downside of this approach is thought to be that the stock may suffer more volatile trading. But Spotify largely disproved this with relative stability in its first days on the market.

Slack expects to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock ticker "SK."

Read the full story about Slack's path to the stock market here.

9:40 a.m. ET, April 26, 2019

Tesla really wants those electric vehicle tax breaks back

A new regulatory filing from Tesla (TSLA) reveals that it's hired a law firm to lobby for a new bill that would expand federal tax credits for electric car buyers.

The current law lets buyers receive a $7,500 tax credit, but it phases out after an automaker sells 200,000 vehicles.

Tesla was first to hit the cap last year, and responded by cutting the price of its cars by $2,000.

The proposed legislation, called "Driving America Forward Act," would raise the cap, so that another 400,000 vehicles sold by each manufacturer will be eligible for a $7,000 tax credit.

8:58 a.m. ET, April 26, 2019

US economy posts strong gains in the first quarter

The economy grew at a much better than expected rate in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday, accelerating out of a slow start to the year.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that gross domestic product grew at a rate of 3.2%, substantially above the projected 2.1%, buoyed by strong state and local government spending, consumer spending, and business investment.

Read the full story on the buoyant first quarter GDP reading here.