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Oil Prices, Caterpillar Fraud, and Has Snap Ignited the IPO Market?

Ryan McQueeney
  • (1:00) - Crude Oil Price Dip
  • (4:50) - Facebook copies Snapchat, Again!
  • (8:40) - Manufacturing Giant, Caterpillar: Tax Fraud Allegations
  • (13:45) - J. Jill IPO
  • (18:50) - Canada Goose IPO
  • (24:25) - Investors Want more IPO's: Spotify and Airbnb
  • (34:00) - Episode Round Up

On today’s episode of the Zacks Friday Finish Line, Content Writer Ryan McQueeney and Editor Maddy Johnson take on this week’s biggest stories: the anticipatory state of the IPO market following Snap’s historic debut.

Make sure to subscribe and leave the show a rating on iTunes!

First, the hosts discussed the volatility seen in the oil market this week. The April contract for U.S. crude dipped below $50 a barrel, reaching its lowest point of the year, following the news that domestic supplies were at record-high levels.

U.S. production was also up, hitting a one-year high and raising new questions about the long-term forecast for the commodity. Will OPEC members remain committed to their production cut, even if it means forfeiting market share to U.S. producers?

Find out more here: Here's Why Oil Prices Dipped Below $50 Today

Next up was the debut of the latest Snapchat clone from Facebook FB. The social media behemoth just launched Messenger Day, another feature that allows users to post decorated pictures and videos which delete in 24 hours.

Messenger Day is now available on the Messenger app on both iOS and Android, and it joins Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status on the list of Facebook’s answers to Snapchat. Will Snap SNAP be forced to think of something new to keep customers interested in its own application?

Check out the full story: Facebook Strikes Again with Third Snapchat Clone 'Messenger Day'

The hosts also highlighted the legal troubles of Caterpillar Inc. CAT. The construction equipment maker’s stock fell throughout the week after The New York Times acquired an unreleased report accusing the company of tax and accounting fraud.

While we don’t know whether federal investigators are taking the report seriously, it is yet another concern for Caterpillar, which saw three of its corporate offices raided by officials last week. Will this story pass quietly, or is Caterpillar in for a serious legal headache?

Read more: Caterpillar Stock Slides After Report Accuses It of Tax Fraud

Finally, the hosts focused their attention on the state of the IPO market in the wake of the historic Snap Inc. debut. Just this week, a mall-based apparel maker and retailer, J. Jill JILL, decided to go public, and Maddy and Ryan discussed why the company made that decision now, in the face of a tough retail environment.

Check out how the IPO performed: J. Jill IPOs Despite Brutal Retail Industry

The hosts also looked at Canada Goose, a designer of high-end parkas and coats that is looking to go public soon. This company’s jackets are certainly expensive, but it seems like shoppers are willing to pay a bit more for a quality product these days.

Find out what Maddy had to say about Canada Goose in her latest episode of Shopping for Stocks:

After Snapchat, Will Investors Flock to Canada Goose's IPO?

And last but not least, Maddy and Ryan highlighted two companies that could still announce plans to hold an IPO this year. Spotify, the leading music streaming service, recently took out a convertible debt deal that might incentivize an initial public offering in the near term, but the company is still bleeding cash and losing ground to Apple Music.

On the other hand, Airbnb has successfully carved out its own niche, and now the online room-sharing website is challenging the traditional giants of the travel industry. However, it may want to watch its legal questions get answered before rushing to an IPO.

Check out both stories: Propelled By Snapchat, Airbnb Could Be the Biggest IPO of 2017& Will Spotify Stream Into an IPO in 2017?

As a reminder, if you feel that we missed something, or if you want us to cover a different story, shoot us an email at podcast@zacks.com. Make sure to check out all of our other audio content at zacks.com/podcast, and remember to subscribe and leave us a rating on iTunes.

As always, thanks for listening to this special edition of the Zacks Friday Finish Line, and check back for even more news from the investment and financial world!

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