Momentum continued to bring the three major U.S. indexes to a higher close on Thursday as the bulls ran at least one more day. But as we head into Friday you've got to wonder whether the stars are aligning for a patented Friday sell-off, or whether the bulls will continue to fight off the bears.
The tech sector, particularly the chips, weren't the over-performers you might have expected on a day when all the major indexes were higher. Of the group, Micron (MU - Get Report) , was the obvious poster child for the decline, as UBS hit the company with a big downgrade, and dragged much of the semis with it. Texas Instruments (TXN - Get Report) -- a stalwart of the industry that has posted consistent numbers, according to Jim Cramer -- was down about 2%, on the day. Even on a good day it's still pretty easy to find holes in the market and spots of fragility and weakness, even if its only expectations.
One potential tipping point for the markets could be Friday's non-farm payrolls, numbers Jim Cramer and the investment professionals were looking at today on The Street and its sister sites. Cramer argues that many look at these numbers the wrong way and that perhaps this time around at least, the labor participation rate, and not the employment number itself, will be a particularly telling number. Cramer looks back at comments from home builder Lennar (LEN - Get Report) for clues on the labor market and the domestic U.S. economy.
What's not a matter of debate is the struggles of the retail industry. But the decline of the casual dining sector has gone widely unwritten about. Moody's on Wednesday, April 4, downgraded P.F. Chang's corporate family rating to Caa1 from B3. Like S&P Global Ratings, which in mid-March lowered its corporate credit rating for the Scottsdale, Ariz., company to CCC+ from B-, Moody's has a negative outlook on the Centerbridge Capital portfolio company. P.F. Chang's is the lowest-rated restaurant owner in Moody's universe, sharing the designation with Restaurant Holding Co., a franchisee of Burger King and Firehouse Subs restaurants in Puerto Rico, and a unit of Wendy's Co. that operates and franchises nearly 6,500 quick-service hamburger restaurants. Casual restaurant chain Kona Grill (KONA) , also had some debt troubles earlier this year, and will likely open fewer new restaurants and close underperforming locations as it tries to improve liquidity.
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Photo of the day: We're Going to Jersey Shore... ....Investors
The wait is over. Cabs are here. It's T-Shirt time! The (mostly) original cast of MTV's Jersey Shore, including Pauly D (pictured above), returns to television screens across the country tonight. Whether you love them or hate them, the return of the Jersey family sparks at least a glimmer of hope MTV's seemingly dying and outdated lineup of shows and programming. MTV's parent company, Viacom (VIAB - Get Report) , currently finds itself in the middle of an M&A standoff with CBS (CBS - Get Report) , its former parent company. The long and short of it: Viacom wants to buy CBS, CBS wants to buy Viacom and no one can agree on a price or who, besides Les Moonves, will populate the C-suite. Read More
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Join conference host Jim Cramer and a stellar lineup of speakers at the Corporate Governance conference on June 7, 2018 in NYC. DOJ Antitrust Asst. Attorney General Makan Delrahim, Paul Singer, Nelson Peltz and Chairman and CEO of Macy's, Jeff Gennette will be on hand to discuss methods for managing companies to maximize shareholder value. Register today. Deal clients have special pricing; for more details contact your account manager.