Exactly a week from the United States ushering in a new presidential administration, the broader market ended split. Action in the Dow Jones Industrial Average barely dipped into the red at the close, losing about 5.27 points (-0.03%) to 19885.73. The Nasdaq Composite was the best performer today, adding 26.63 points (+0.48%) when the bell rang to 5574.12, and the S&P 500 gained 4.20 points (+0.18%) to 2274.64. This week's moves take the broader market to +0.6%, +3.5% and +1.6% YTD, respectively.
Market data today included the December producer prices reading which increased 0.3% and core producer prices increased 0.2%. Also, December retail sales increased 0.6% and the prior month's reading was revised higher to 0.2% from 0.1%. Excluding autos, retail sales rose 0.2% while the consensus expected an uptick of 0.6%. The prior month's reading was revised higher to 0.3% from 0.2%. Further, business inventories rose 0.7% in November and the prior month's reading was revised to -0.1% from -0.2%. Lastly, the preliminary reading of the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for January declined to 98.1 from 98.2 in December.
In the Technology (XLK 49.66, +0.15 +0.30%) space, trading capped off the week in the green, heading higher at the open and holding those gains. Component Facebook (FB 128.34, +1.72 +1.36%) was higher today after an upgrade of the stock premarket at Raymond James to a 'Strong Buy' rating. Other sectors as measured by the S&P closed IYZ +0.88%, XLF +0.56%, XLI +0.38%, XLY +0.37%, XLV +0.10%, XLP +0.06%, XLU -0.14%, XLB -0.16%, XLRE -0.23%, XLE -0.29%.
In the S&P 500 Information Technology (834.02, +2.27 +0.27%) sector, action held onto morning gains, ending slightly off highs. Components QRVO +3.04%, FSLR +2.52%, LRCX +2.19%, SWKS +2.06%, SYMC +1.71%, KLAC +1.67%, XRX +1.59%, AMAT +1.44%, TSS +1.39%, GLW +1.26%, QCOM +1.15% helped the sector maintain a strong close to the week.
Other notable news items among sector components:
- GameStop (GME 22.74, -1.98 -8.01%) reaffirmed its Q4 EPS guidance citing lower tax rate. The company also lowered Q4 comp guidance after holiday comps fell 18.7%. Total global sales for the holiday period were $2.50 billion, a 16.4% decline compared to the 2015 holiday sales period. Total comparable store sales decreased 18.7%. GME reiterated its previously announced Q4 and full-year 2016 EPS guidance of $2.23 to $2.38 and $3.65 to $3.80, respectively, excluding any year-end impairments and store closing charges, based on a favorable fourth quarter tax rate of between 32.5% and 34.5% compared to the initially forecasted rate of 36.0%.
- Pandora Media (P 12.75, +0.75 +6.29%) gave expectations to exceed Q4 guidance, citing subscription momentum and RPM growth. The company will also undertake operational efficiency measures. Specifically, P expects to exceed previously announced Q4 revenue and adjusted EBITDA guidance given strong advertising performance and has surpassed 4.3 million in paid subscription customers. The prior guidance called for revenue of $362-374 million on an adjusted EBITDA loss of $51-39 million. P also plans to reduce its U.S. employee base (excluding Ticketfly) by about 7% by the end of Q1 2017.
- GameStop (GME) is now taking pre-orders on Nintendo (NTDOY 25.85, -1.75 -6.34%) Switch, Nintendo's new gaming system launching March 3.
- Immersion (IMMR 10.70, +0.46 +4.49%) signed a multi-year agreement with Nintendo (NTDOY) to allow Immersion to adapt its TouchSense technology to the new Nintendo Switch system.
- MAXIMUS (MMS 58.51, +0.89 +1.54%) received a spot in Wales on the Umbrella Agreement for the provision of Employment and Health Related Services.
- Rubicon Project (RUBI 8.55, +0.91 +11.98%) may consider a sale, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Microsoft (MSFT 62.70, +0.09 +0.14%) acquired deep-learning startup Maluuba. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Hortonworks (HDP 9.31, +0.11 +1.20%) appointed Raj Verma as President and Chief Operating Officer.
- CenturyLink (CTL 25.26, +0.08 +0.32%) refiled pre-merger notification under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 in connection with its previously-announced acquisition of Level 3 (LVLT 58.40, +0.18 +0.31%).
- Zillow's (ZG 38.00, +0.71 +1.90%) StreetEasy acquired Hamptons Real Estate Online. No financial terms were disclosed.
- FB was upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James, NFLX was upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank, CMCSA was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank, GRUB was upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, FTV was upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, MX was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham; NOK was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity, NICE was downgraded to In-Line from Outperform at Imperial Capital, Z was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley, ACLS was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel; FEYE was initiated with a Buy at Standpoint Research, FEYE was initiated with an Outperform at Northland, CIEN was initiated with a Buy at UBS, CCOI and ZAYO were initiated with Buy ratings at Stifel, MBLY was initiated with a Buy at Jefferies, SSNI was initiated with a Mkt Outperform at JMP Securities, TRMB was initiated with a Neutral at Rosenblatt