Three Things to Know Friday

  • Markets are looking for a three-day winning streak Friday, it would be the first time all month stocks had three straight sessions of gains all month. 
  • The Dow swung more than 800 points in Thursday's session, recovering from a 600 point drop to gain more than 200 points by the end of the session. 
  • Friday is the deadline for potential buyers to bid on assets owned by bankrupt retailer Sears (SHLD) . So far the only public bidder for the company has been a hedge fund controlled by Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert. 

U.S. markets experienced another sour day of trading Friday in a session marked by high volatility as all three major indices closed trading in negative territory. Friday's session marked the end of a two-day rally that saw the Dow jump 1,300 points. 

In spite of Friday's selloff, this week was the first time in December that stocks ended the week in positive territory. Monday will be the last day of trading in a tumultuous 2018. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average I:DJI    fell 0.33%, or 76 points to 23,062, while the S&P 500 I:GSPC   fell 0.12% and the Nasdaq I:IXIC   was able to eke out a gain of 0.08%. 

Former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault is stepping down as chairman of Procter & Gamble (PG) - Get Report and IBM (IBM) - Get Report while keeping his seat on the board of Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report . Chenault's seat on on Facebook's board has fueled speculation that he will be named as the new chairman of the company. But Facebook told Axios that he will remain in his current role. 

Facebook shares were down 1%, while PG and IBM fell 0.9% and 0.8% respectively. 

Friday was the self-imposed deadline for potential buyers to bid on assets owned by bankrupt retailer Sears. So far the only public bidder for the company has been a hedge fund controlled by Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert. The only thing that could save Sears at this point is the $4.6 billion bid by Lampert. 

Sears announced that it will close an additional 80 stores late Friday. When the company first filed for bankruptcy it had about 700 stores. When the company began the bidding process it had about 500 stores. Friday's move gives the company a little more than 400 stores. Sears closed the day down 2.2%. 

Shares of Tesla Inc. (TSLA) - Get Reportjumped Friday morning after the company announced that Oracle Corp. (ORCL) - Get Report CEO Larry Ellison and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) - Get Report global head of human resources Kathleen-Wilson Thompson. Tesla shares were up 5.6%. 

"In conducting a widespread search over the last few months, we sought to add independent directors with skills that would complement the current board's experience," Tesla said. "In Larry and Kathleen, we have added a preeminent entrepreneur and a human resources leader, both of whom have a passion for sustainable energy."

Amazon Inc. (AMZN) - Get Report is in talks with the New York Yankees and broadcaster Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) - Get Report concerning a partnership to bid on YES, the team's regional sports network. Currently, the Yankee Entertainment and Sports Network is among the assets that 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOX) - Get Report sold to Disney Co. (DIS) - Get Report pending government approval of the deal. 

Amazon shares rose 1.1% Friday. 

Oil prices are rising Friday in spite of new data showing that U.S. stockpiles are rising amid record shale production, issues that have kept oil prices depressed for over a year. The American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. stockpiles rose by 6.9 million barrels to just under 450 million, higher than most analysts were expecting. 

Global benchmark Brent crude was gaining 0.15% to $52.24 per barrel, while West Texas crude increased 1.12% to $45.11 per barrel. 

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