Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed higher Thursday for the fourth time in five sessions.
  • U.S. retail sales in May rose 0.8%, higher than economists' estimates of 0.4%.
  • Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA)  rose 2.1% after Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)  launched a $65 billion offer for the assets of the media and entertainment company.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks finished mixed on Thursday, June 14, as investors assessed hawkish signals on interest rates from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average  closed down 25 points, or 0.10%, to 25,175. The index moved in and out of positive territory for much of the session. The S&P 500  rose 0.25% and the Nasdaq  gained 0.85%. Stocks slumped on Wednesday, June 13, after the Fed raised rates for the second time in 2018.

TheStreet's Executive Editor Brian Sozzi said the factors were in place for a pullback soon. Watch below. 

The Fed's decision to raise rates, taking its base lending rate to 2%, was hardly a surprise for investors. But the upbeat tone from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell during his question-and-answer session with the media, combined with a more robust outlook for growth and inflation, now point to at least two more rate hikes between now and the end of the year.

"The economy is doing very well ... most people who want to find jobs are finding them. Unemployment and inflation are low," Powell said. "The overall outlook for growth remains favorable."

Retail sales in May rose 0.8%, higher than economists' estimates that called for sales to rise 0.4%. Retail sales have risen 5.9% over the past 12 months, the U.S. Census Bureau said.

Weekly jobless claims fell 4,000 to 218,000.

European stocks traded higher on Thursday after the European Central Bank said its quantitative easing program would be wound down from October and shut down completely by the end of 2018.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) on Wednesday launched a $65 billion offer for assets of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) , a day after a judge cleared AT&T Inc.'s (T) purchase of Time Warner Inc. (TWX) .

Comcast offered $35 a share for Fox, which the bidder said represents a 19% premium to Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) offer for certain Fox assets.

Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts wrote a letter to the Fox board on Wednesday, expressing his disappointment that Fox agreed to sell much of its film, television and international distribution assets to Disney last December.

"We have long admired what the Murdoch family has built at Twenty-First Century Fox," Roberts wrote. "After our meetings last year, we came away convinced that the 21CF businesses to be sold are highly complementary to ours, and that our company would be the right strategic home for them."

Fox shares rose 2.1% on Thursday, while Comcast rose 4.6%.

Comcast is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells CMCSA? Learn more now.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is working on technology that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from shops, in a challenge to Amazon.com Inc.'s (AMZN) automated grocery store, Amazon Go, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Meanwhile, Amazon's Prime membership may have peaked, TheStreet reported

Microsoft and Amazon are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) said it was working on a new security feature that could make it harder for law enforcement to retrieve data from iPhones, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The new software feature, called USB Restricted Mode, was being beta-tested by Apple. It prevents other devices - personal computers, for example - from accessing data on the iPhone via its Lightning port an hour after a phone is last unlocked.

Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells AAPL? Learn more now.

Michaels Cos. (MIK) tumbled 14% after the company said same-store sales in its fiscal first quarter rose 0.4%, missing forecasts that called for an increase of 0.7%. Michaels also said it expects same-store sales in the second quarter to be flat.

Etsy Inc. (ETSY) jumped 26% on Thursday after the e-commerce company raised its forecast for revenue growth in 2018.

Dropbox Inc. (DBX) , the data storage and file sharing company, rose Thursday as much 14% on high volume, despite a lack of news. A spokeswoman for Dropbox didn't immediately return a request for comment on the stock's move.

Watch more analysis of Dropbox's move below. 

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