What's moving markets today: May 14, 2019

8:56 a.m. ET, May 14, 2019

Canadian pot firm CannTrust posts surprise profit

The business of marijuana may be a lot more lucrative than investors thought. CannTrust, a Canadian producer of medical and recreational cannabis, reported a profit and better-than-expected sales Tuesday morning. The news sent shares of CannTrust (CTST) up 6% in early trading.

Revenue more than doubled and the company said its patient count soared 70% from a year ago to 68,000.

The news could be a good sign for two other cannabis companies reporting results after the closing bell Tuesday: Aurora (ACB), the cannabis company backed by activist investor Nelson Peltz, and Tilray (TLRY), a marijuana producer that is partnering with Sandoz, a subsidiary of Big Pharma firm Novartis (NVS), as well as Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD).

8:13 a.m. ET, May 14, 2019

Uber stock might actually go up today

Take heart, Uber investors. After a horrible first two days of trading since Friday's initial public offering, Uber (UBER) appears set to open about 2% higher on Tuesday.

Uber rival Lyft (LYFT) is up in premarket trading as well. Whether or not both ridesharing companies can stay in positive territory for the day remains to be seen.

But investors will take any gains they can get. Uber has plunged nearly 18% since the IPO while Lyft has lost more than a third of its value since it debuted on Wall Street in late March.

7:57 a.m. ET, May 14, 2019

Bitcoin surges above $8,000

Bitcoin climbed above $8,000 today, its best level since July last year.

It has now gained almost 28% since Friday afternoon.

The big gains might be great, but analysts are dismissing claims that bitcoin is rallying to replace traditional safe haven assets, such as gold, amid US-China trade war fears.

There’s been no shortage of explanations for the recent spike, some more ludicrous than others and none that are nearly significant enough to match the size of the leap we’ve seen. The only thing that’s clear is that cryptos may be maturing in many ways but price action hasn’t changed," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda.
6:47 a.m. ET, May 14, 2019

Nissan posts lackluster earnings

Nissan (NSANF) has reported plummeting profits and dismal revenues, highlighting the bumpy road ahead without former chief Carlos Ghosn and weakness in the global market for cars. 

The company said it sold 5.5 million vehicles worldwide last year, down 4.4%. Shares closed down just under 3% in Tokyo.

This is "rock bottom," Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said during the earnings presentation, warning that challenges will continue for the foreseeable future.

6:46 a.m. ET, May 14, 2019

Trade jitters continue in Asia

The worsening trade war between the US and China is causing fresh pain for investors in Asia, but other global markets are looking brighter.

That follows a dismal Monday, when the Dow closed 617 points, or 2.4%, lower. The S&P 500 closed down 2.4% and the Nasdaq lost 3.4%.

Stocks were pummeled by China's announcement that it will increase tariffs on roughly $60 billion worth of US goods on June 1, retaliating against higher tariffs imposed by Washington last week.

The situation could still deteriorate further: The Trump administration has begun the process to apply tariffs of 25% to the remaining $300 billion worth of goods China exports to the US.

6:46 a.m. ET, May 14, 2019

Bayer drops after $2 billion verdict

Germany's Bayer (BAYRY) is in a bad spot after a US jury on Monday awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claimed that the weedkiller Roundup caused their cancer.

Bayer bought the product's manufacturer, chemical giant Monsanto, last year.

The huge fine underscores the massive legal payouts Bayer could owe in the US, where the company faces Roundup lawsuits from roughly 13,400 plaintiffs. That exposure recently sparked a shareholder revolt against the company's management.

Bayer said in a statement that it was "disappointed with the jury's decision" and would appeal the verdict.

Shares fell 2.7% in early trading Tuesday. They've dropped more than 45% in the past year.

6:46 a.m. ET, May 14, 2019

Apple is feeling the strain

Investors are continuing to keep a close eye on Apple (AAPL), which fell into a bear market amid Monday's sell-off.

Shares dropped 5.8%, about 20% below a recent high in October. They're up slightly in premarket trading Tuesday.

The drop also came the same day that the US Supreme Court ruled a group of iPhone owners who accuse Apple of violating American antitrust rules can sue the company.

Apple has significant exposure to China, which is a massive market for its smartphones. The trade war could also hit its supply chain.

In January, the company's announcement that it would miss its sales target in part due to economic weakness in China stunned investors, sending markets lower.