Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • For the week the Dow dropped 1.54%, the S&P 500 slipped 1.25% and the Nasdaq fell 1.04%
  • The Dow is now more than 1,600 points below its all-time high reached on Jan. 26.
  • A report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch said equity inflows were on pace for a record $717 billion in new funds this year, after an all-time high of $43.3 billion was recorded last week.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks rose on Friday, March 16, amid reports of more White House turmoil and as Wall Street braced for news of new tariffs on China in the world's brewing trade war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 72 points, or 0.29%. The S&P 500 rose 0.17% and the Nasdaq was flat. Leading the Dow higher were Walmart Inc. (WMT) and American Express Co. (AXP)  .

Reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed documents from Donald Trump's businesses that may have ties to Russia, along with speculation that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster could be next to depart the White House, kept markets defensive. Asian finished the session to the downside while European shares traded mostly to the upside.

Lifting investors' optimism, however, was the consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan, which rose to 102 in March, the highest level since 2004, from February's 99.7.

Housing starts for February in the U.S. declined to an annual rate of 1.24 million, weaker than economists' expectations and below January's upwardly revised 1.33 million.

Nike Inc. (NKE)   fell 0.72% after it said Trevor Edwards, the Nike brand president and a potential successor to CEO Mark Parker, will leave his position immediately and retire from the company in August.

In a press release, the sportswear giant didn't say why Edwards was stepping down. The Wall Street Journal, however, reported that in an internal memo to staff announcing Edwards' resignation Parker said Nike in recent weeks had received reports of "behavior occurring within our organization that do not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect and empowerment."

Parker didn't specify the nature of the complaints or whether they involved Edwards or other executives. A Nike spokesman told the Journal there were no allegations against Edwards and declined to provide details.

Broadcom Ltd. (AVGO)  fell 4.8% after the chipmaker topped earnings estimates for its fiscal first quarter and said revenue rose to $5.33 billion from $4.14 billion a year earlier.

The company said it expects second-quarter revenue of $5 billion (plus or minus $75 million) which was in-line with consensus at the midpoint.

Broadcom's earnings report and conference call didn't do anything to raise major concerns about the company's long-term earnings growth outlook, and actually provided some useful color on how the chip giant sees things evolving, wrote TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa. This holds not only for Broadcom's existing business, but also on the M&A front, Jhonsa wrote, where it looks as if the company is eager to move on from its thwarted bid for Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM)  and pursue new targets.

Broadcom is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AVGO? Learn more now.

Meanwhile, Paul Jacobs, the recently demoted chairman of Qualcomm, has approached several global investors in an effort to acquire the U.S. chipmaker founded by his father, the Financial Times reported. Qualcomm rose 1.2%.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)  said it received a binding offer from Platinum Equity to acquire its LifeScan blood glucose monitoring system business for about $2.1 billion. The stock rose 0.01%.

Tiffany & Co. ( TIF) reported adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter of $1.67 a share, 3 cents ahead of estimates. Revenue increased 9% to $1.3 billion, matching forecasts. But the stock declined on Friday, down 5%.

Shares of Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE)  rose 3% after the software company's fiscal first-quarter earnings came in higher than analysts' forecasts. 

More from Futures

Amazon Prime Tops 100 Million Members and 4 Other Stories You Must Know Thursday

Amazon Prime Tops 100 Million Members and 4 Other Stories You Must Know Thursday

Commodities Surge as Energy Stocks Lead Market Higher

Commodities Surge as Energy Stocks Lead Market Higher

IBM Earnings and 4 Other Business Stories You Must Know Wednesday Morning

IBM Earnings and 4 Other Business Stories You Must Know Wednesday Morning

IBM, Morgan Stanley, Southwest - 5 Things You Must Know Before the Market Opens

IBM, Morgan Stanley, Southwest - 5 Things You Must Know Before the Market Opens

Tesla Suspends Model 3 Production and 4 Other Stories You Must Know Tuesday

Tesla Suspends Model 3 Production and 4 Other Stories You Must Know Tuesday