Stocks were off to a mixed start Friday, as earnings results, economic data, overseas action and news from Facebook (FB) influenced trade ahead of the holiday weekend.
X The Dow Jones industrial stepped out to an easy lead, up 0.4%, while the S&P 500 followed with a 0.1% gain.
Europe’s markets bounced climbed out of mixed action in afternoon trade. Frankfurt’s DAX turned losses into an incremental gain, London’s FTSE 100 also reversed higher and the CAC-40 in Paris built its gain to 0.3%. Frankfurt’s DAX went into Friday’s session up 2.8% so far in January, tracking toward its first monthly advance since October.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index powered ahead 0.9% Friday, leaving it with a 4.9% gain for the week and within 2% of its record high, set in October 2007. In Japan, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.2% as the yen rebounded from the dollar, pressuring the market’s export leaders. The Nikkei ended up 3.9% in its fifth straight weekly gain, and at its highest level since November 1991.
JPMorgan, BlackRock Report; Apple, 3 Of 4 FANGs Rise
Wells Fargo fell 1.5% after mixed fourth-quarter results. PNC Financial dipped 0.2% after reporting better-than-forecast earnings and revenue.
JPMorgan fought to hold narrow opening gains after adjusted earnings and revenue beat analysts’ targets. A statement from Chief Executive Jamie Dimon called the GOP’s tax reform during the quarter “a significant positive outcome for the country,” and said “the cumulative effect of retained and reinvested capital in the U.S. will help grow the economy, ultimately growing jobs and wages.”
JPMorgan shares held within a buy range above a three-weeks tight pattern with a 108.50 buy point.
Investment manager BlackRock (BLK) jumped almost 2%, after beating analysts fourth-quarter earnings and revenue targets by wide margins. BlackRock remains in a buy range through 546.88, above a three-weeks tight buy point at 520.84.
The exception, Facebook, dropped 5.4%, apparently as investors reacted to a late Thursday announcement from Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg that the company would alter its News Feed so that posts from friends and families would receive priority over commercial postings. Analysts said the move could have an impact on ad sales, and Zuckerberg said he expected “some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”
The loss sent Facebook shares back below a 184.35 buy point, for a test of support at the stock’s 10-week moving average. The IBD 50 stock’s Relative Strength line has been lagging since November, sending a caution sign.
December Inflation Gauge Jumps
Consumer prices ticked 0.1% higher in December, the Labor Department estimated, down from November’s 0.4% gain and in line with consensus projections. Core prices, stripping out food and energy, rose 0.3%, above the 0.2% estimate and well above November’s 0.1% increase. The core price acceleration bolstered views that the Federal Reserve would stick to a more aggressive rate hike plan, helping add pressure to premarket trade.
December retail sales increased 0.4%, according to the Commerce Department. That was down from November’s 0.9% increase, and roughly in line with forecasts for a 0.5% gain. Without autos and gas sales were still up 0.4%, in line with expectations.
Commerce’s November business inventories estimates are due at 10 a.m. ET, and Baker Hughes (BHGE) releases its weekly rig count report at 1 p.m. ET.
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