The stock market fell on Tuesday morning, responding negatively to threats from the White House of tariffs on an additional $11 billion of goods produced in the European Union. The move was seen as a major setback after having made considerable progress on the trade front in recent months. As of 11:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was down 178 points to 26,163. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) dropped 15 points to 2,881, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) was lower by 21 points to 7,933.
Among individual companies, Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN) got a lot of attention as it initially announced a potential acquisition and then changed its mind only hours later. Meanwhile, American Airlines Group (NASDAQ: AAL) continued to grapple with the impact of the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft fleet, and the airline cut its revenue estimates for the first quarter as a result.
Image source: Wynn Resorts.
Wynn loses a deal
Wynn Resorts saw its stock fall 3% Tuesday morning after an unusual sequence of events transpired. Reports surfaced overnight that the casino resort giant was looking at a potential acquisition of Australia-based industry peer Crown Resorts, with those following the story suggesting that a deal could carry a price tag of around 10 billion Australian dollars, worth roughly $7.1 billion at current exchange rates. Crown confirmed the deal early today Australia time, which given the difference in time zones happened when it was still Monday night in the U.S., and Wynn followed suit with its own confirmation.
However, in a complete about-face, Wynn issued a press release just hours after its confirmation. The release was brief and to the point: "Following the premature disclosure of preliminary discussions, Wynn Resorts has terminated all discussions with Crown Resorts concerning any transaction."
Even while the deal still looked like it might be alive, investors seemed to have mixed feelings about it. Crown shareholders were ecstatic, with the stock finishing higher by nearly 20% when the Australian stock market closed. Yet Wynn had traded down as much as 4% on the news -- albeit without seeing much recovery after the casino companies terminated their talks. Wynn shareholders still seem uncertain about the company's growth prospects, whether they come from one-off building projects or a massive acquisition.
American Airlines loses altitude
Shares of American Airlines Group were down 2% following the company's warning about its first-quarter financial results. American said in its first-quarter investor relations update that revenue per available seat mile, a key metric for the industry, will be flat to up just 1% for the period. That's weaker than the flat to up 2% growth that the company had previously expected.
The airline specifically called out the grounding of the 737 MAX 8 as one of the factors affecting its performance, but it wasn't the only one. American also pointed to the government shutdown as hurting its results. In addition, the company confirmed that the removal of more than a dozen 737-800 aircraft for remediation maintenance work also played a role in weaker revenue figures.
Given all the attention that the 737 MAX program has gotten, it's important for American investors to look at the big picture. Rising fuel costs are contributing to the downward pressure that's sending the stock lower, but the airline is looking to offer better perks for high-margin business travelers, as well as making smart expansions on its route map. That won't necessarily produce a short-term boost to offset its near-term challenges, but it should show that American is squarely focused on its long-term strategies.
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