Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose sharply Friday after the blue-chip index declined in the previous session, snapping a four-day winning streak. 
  • PepsiCo Inc.'s  (PEP)  fourth-quarter earnings largely were in line with analysts' forecasts, but the soda and snacks maker said 2019 earnings would fall as the company boosts investments in some of its key consumer products. The stock rose 2.95%.
  • Nvidia Corp. (NVDA)  rose 1.82% after the chip company posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and said sales for its current financial year would top forecasts as key markets in China recover from their current slump.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks closed higher Friday, Feb. 15, on reports that officials from both the U.S. and China will continue trade talks next week in Washington, raising hopes of a near-term deal between the world's two biggest economies.

China's state television said President Xi Jinping declared the week-long talks, which included two days of high-level negotiations between U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Vice Premier Liu He, had made "important step-by-step progress."

"Next week, both sides will meet again in Washington. I hope you will continue efforts to advance reaching a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement," Xi was reported to have said.

The Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. and China could sign a memorandum of understanding that could serve as the framework for a deal that Donald Trump and Xi could later finalize at a summit.

Meanwhile, Trump on Friday declared a national emergency to free up funds to construct a border wall with Mexico. He also is expected to sign funding legislation Friday that would avoid another government shutdown.

"President Trump's decision to declare a state of emergency in order to fund a border wall will set in motion a series of legal battles that will takes months to determine, if not longer," said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance.

"Markets are likely to look past this fight as just another example of partisan dysfunction in Washington, which should have little short-term market impact," said Zaccarelli. "However, it continues to shine a light on the larger problem of a lack of unity in the country and that should give investors pause."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 444 points, or 1.74%, to 25,883, the S&P 500 gained 1.09%, and the Nasdaq was up 0.6%.

PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) posted fourth-quarter earnings that were largely in line with analysts' forecasts, but said 2019 earnings would fall as the company boosts investments in some of its key consumer products. The stock rose 2.95%.

Pepsi said core earnings for the three months ended in December were $1.49 a share, matching the Wall Street forecast. Revenue also was in line and was essentially flat from the prior-year period at $19.524 billion.

Looking into 2019, Pepsi said core earnings would decline by 1%, thanks in part to "incremental investments that are intended to further strengthen the business," but noted the company should return to a "high-single-digit core constant currency EPS growth" rate the following year.

Deere & Co. (DE) reported first-quarter earnings of $1.54 a share, below estimates of $1.76. Revenue was $6.94 billion, higher than forecasts of $6.82 billion.

The company noted, however, that easing cost pressures would allow it to be "cautiously optimistic" on profits for the 2019 year. Shares fell 2.11%.

Newell Brands Inc. (NWL)  plunged 20.9% Friday after announcing fourth-quarter sales that missed estimates and after it issued a downbeat outlook for the year.  Shares ended at $17.16, their lowest close in three months. It was the stock's biggest one-day percentage decline since Nov. 2, 2017.

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) rose 1.82% Friday after the chip company posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and said sales for its current financial year would top Wall Street forecasts as key markets in China recover from their current slump.

Adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter were 80 cents a share, beating estimates of 62 cents, while revenue of $2.21 billion missed forecasts of $2.24 billion. The company had guided revenue expectations down significantly in late January to $2.2 billion from $2.7 billion.

Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC) posted better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter revenue and said its chief financial officer plans to depart the company later this year.

The cannabis company posted a loss of 38 Canadian cents a share on revenue after excise taxes of C$83.1 million. In the same quarter a year earlier, Canopy Growth posted earnings of 1 Canadian cent a share on restated revenue of C$22 million.

The stock was up 3.06% on Friday.

Mattel Inc. (MAT) saw its worst one-day percentage decline in nearly 20 years on a disappointing outlook for 2019. Shares fell nearly 18% after a presentation to analysts Friday projected flat gross sales and lower-than-expected adjusted EBITDA for the year.

Oracle Corp. (ORCL)  was up slightly Friday after Securities and Exchange Commission filings showed that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) dumped its entire stake in the software company only months after revealing its $2 billion investment.

Berkshire Hathaway told the SEC in a filing in November that it had owned 41.4 million shares in Oracle at the end of the end of the third quarter after it had exited a holding in International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) earlier in the year.

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