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Top 10 Stock News Headlines Today
Below are the headlines and summary of top stock market news.
1. Gold futures post highest finish since early September
Gold futures on Friday marked their highest settlement since early September as U.S. Treasury yields declined in the wake of a better-than-expected rise in October U.S. nonfarm payrolls. The strong jobs report “does not change the message that the [Federal Reserve] sent this week that they will not commit to a rate hike in 2022, and this is why real yields are finishing the week lower,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst Oanda. A fall in Treasury yields lowers the opportunity cost of holding nonyielding assets and that supported prices for gold. “Risk appetite is too strong for gold to have a sustained move above $1,800, but it should see that level as strong support going forward,” said Moya. December gold rose $23.30, or 1.3%, to settle at $1,816.80 an ounce, the highest most-active contract finish since Sept. 3, FactSet data show. For the week, prices based on the most-active contract rose about 1.8%.
2. Alphabet shares briefly top $3,000 for first time
Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc. briefly passed $3,000 for the first time ever on Friday, and the company crept closer to joining the $2 trillion market-valuation club with Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. . Google shares are currently trading at $2,990.02.
3. Baker Hughes reports the biggest weekly rise in U.S. oil-drilling rigs since mid-October
Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by six to 450 this week. That was the biggest increase since the week ended Oct. 15, Baker Hughes data show, though the latest weekly climb followed a slight rise of just one oil rig last week. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes those drilling for natural gas, also climbed by six to stand at 550, according to Baker Hughes. December West Texas Intermediate crude continued to trade sharply higher, up $2.40, or 3.1%, at $81.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
4. Real Good Food stock has disappointing public debut
Real Good Food Co. Inc. received some jeers in its public debut, as the stock opened 2.8% below its initial public offering price, then bounced around before falling further. The health and wellness frozen food company said overnight that its IPO priced at $12 a share, below the expected range of between $14 and $16 a share, as the company raised about $64 million. The stock’s first grade was at $11.66 at 10:16 a.m. Eastern for about 244,000 shares. It has traded since then in a range of $11 to $12.75, and was last down 8.3% at the intraday low. At that price, the company was being valued at about $418.4 million, according to FactSet. The company disappointing debut occurred on a day that the Renaissance IPO ETF was shedding 1.9% while the S&P 500 was up 0.6%.
5. Merck stock’s biggest selloff in nearly 17 years is cutting close to 60 points off the Dow’s price
Shares of Merck & Co. tumbled 9.5% in midday trading Friday, putting them on track to suffer the biggest one-day drop since January 2005, after Pfizer Inc. released data on a pill to treat COVID-19 that showed greater efficacy than Merck’s. The stock’s price decline of $8.61 was shaving about 57 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s price, while the Dow rallied 246 points, or 0.7%. The stock’s big selloff, the stock has retraced about 56% of the gain, from the Sept. 29 close of $75.11 to the Thursday’s record close of $90.54, that was triggered by Merck’s announcement that it developed an oral treatment for COVID-19 with partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
6. Kroger confirms news of the grocer accepting Bitcoin Cash was ‘fraudulent’
Kroger Co. confirmed that an early Friday news release pushed out on PR Newswire saying the company would accept Bitcoin Cash in the coming weeks was “fraudulent.” The release, which included details about the fake program and false statements from Kroger executives, has since been removed from the Kroger website. “This morning a press release was fraudulently issued claiming to be The Kroger Co. that falsely stated the organization will begin to accept Bitcoin Cash. This communication was fraudulent and is unfounded and should be disregarded,” the company said in a statement. Kroger stock has gained 36.7% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 24.6% for the period.
7. U.S. has ‘secured millions of doses’ of Pfizer’s promising new COVID antiviral, Biden says
President Joe Biden on Friday indicated that his administration has pre-ordered Pfizer Inc.’s oral antiviral Paxlovid. “Last night, we received promising news about another potent potential COVID treatment, a pill developed by Pfizer that may dramatically reduce the risk of being hospitalized or dying when taken shortly after infection,” he said during a brief speech at the White House. “We have already secured millions of doses, and the therapy would be another tool in our toolbox to protect people from … the worst outcomes of COVID.”
8. Revlon shares rise after narrower-than-expected losses
Revlon Inc. shares rose 5% in Friday trading after the beauty company reported narrower-than-expected third-quarter losses. Net losses totaled $50.2 million, or 98 cents per share, after a loss of $39.5 million, or 83 cents per share, last year. Sales of $521.1 million were up from $477.1 million last year. The FactSet consensus was for a loss of $1.23 per share and sales of $549.8 million. The Revlon portfolio includes the namesake brand of cosmetics, professional products and more, Elizabeth Arden and a lineup of fragrances. Revlon shares are up 5% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained 25.5% for the period.
9. Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq trade at all-time highs after strong jobs report
U.S. stock indexes opened at all-time highs Friday after a stronger-than-expected October jobs report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 216 points, or 0.6%, at 36,340, while the S&P 500 gained 0.6% to 4,707.03. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.5% to 16,014.81. The Labor Department said the U.S. economy created 531,000 jobs in October, compared with expectations of 450,000.
10. Universal Display stock after earnings hint at near-term challenges
Shares of Universal Display Corp. are off 5% in morning trading Friday after the maker of display technologies reported lower-than-expected results for its most recent quarter and reiterated a full-year forecast that some analysts said hinted at near-term challenges. In its Thursday afternoon earnings report, the company reported net income of $46.1 million, or 97 cents a share, up from $40.5 million, or 85 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts tracked by FactSet were expecting $1.07 a share. Universal Display saw revenue grow to $143.6 million from $117.1 million, whereas analysts were anticipating $145.3 million. For the full year, Universal Display expects $530 million to $560 million in revenue. The FactSet consensus was for $556.7 million as late October. Chief Financial Officer Sidney Rosenblatt said on the company’s earnings call that “you’ve heard from other companies in the consumer electronic ecosystem, the pandemic and component shortages have impacted output, and therefore, it’s going to affect everybody in the food chain, including us.” Following the report, Oppenheimer analyst Martin Yang wrote that the “fundamental drivers for OLED remain strong,” but he said he was trimming his forecast to account for “headwinds from near-term chip shortages and [a] weaker-than-expected Android smartphone market recovery.” Evercore ISI’s C.J. Muse said that one risk he sees ahead is that the company’s initial forecast for calendar 2022, when it comes in February, might not match up with the current consensus view, “despite our view that revenues will exceed this forecast when all is said and done.” Shares of Universal Display have declined 24% over the past three months as the S&P 500 has risen 6%.
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