Plus, the market is digesting mixed signals on the trade front, Xerox sent an ultimatum to HP Inc, and Macy’s disappointed in its earnings report.
Stocks slipped lower to start Thursday with the Dow dropping 100 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both fell 0.4% as well.
Hey, do you want to be the next stock market millionaire? This free training lays it all out for you! Check it out here.
“The U.S. and China don’t know what they want to do on a trade deal,” said Charles Schwab vice president of trading and derivatives, Randy Frederick. “Every single day it’s something different. They’re close to a deal. Then they’re not close to a deal.” And today, it’s a bit of both. China’s chief trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about reaching a phase one deal with the U.S., and has reportedly invited U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to Beijing for another round of negotiations. However, President Trump is today expected to sign legislation passed by Congress supporting Hong Kong protestors, which sets up a confrontation with China that could imperil the long-awaited trade deal.
The impeachment inquiry marches on. In yesterday’s explosive testimony from Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union described how Trump directed a campaign to pressure Ukraine’s government into publicly announcing investigations into the president’s political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden, in what he said was “a clear quid pro quo.” This morning, the House Intelligence Committee is hearing from Fiona Hill, the former National Security Council director for Europe and Russia, and David Holmes, a Foreign Service officer at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv. Holmes has so far testified that the “barrage” of allegations against former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch by Rudy Giuliani and others, including some Ukrainian officials, was “unlike anything I have seen in my professional career,” and said that the envoy William Taylor described a June 28 call with Ukraine’s president on which it was “made clear that some action on a Burisma/Biden investigation was a precondition for an Oval Office meeting.” Hill, meanwhile, has so far testified that former National Security Adviser John Bolton called Giuliani “a hand grenade that was going to blow everybody up,” and she said Giuliani “was clearly pushing forward issues and ideas that would probably come back to haunt us, and in fact I think that’s where we are today.”
Charles Schwab is in talks to buy TD Ameritrade and a deal could be announced as early as today. Both stocks are currently trading higher with Charles Schwab shares up 7.36% and TD Ameritrade up 19.68% at the time of writing. A deal between the two brokers would create a company worth more than $5 trillion in combined assets. “This would create a Goliath in Wealth Management,” said Wells Fargo senior analyst Mike Mayo. CFRA Research’s Todd Rosenbluth said that a tie-up between the two firms could help address the burn of zero commissions with increased scale. “It would reduce the likelihood that investors bounce around,” Rosenbluth said. “They’d have a go-to destination.”
Xerox sent an ultimatum to HP Inc’s board of directors today, threatening to go to its shareholders if the company doesn’t consider its acquisition offer. In the letter, Xerox vice chairman and CEO John Visentin said the Xerox board “is determined to expeditiously pursue our proposed acquisition of HP to completion – we see no cause for further delay. Accordingly, unless you and we agree on mutual confirmatory due diligence to support a friendly combination by 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday, November 25, 2019, Xerox will take its compelling case to create superior value for our respective shareholders directly to your shareholders.”
And Macy’s disappointed in its earnings release this morning, reporting its first same-store sales decline in two years and slashing its full-year forecast. The department store reported revenue of $5.17 billion, compared to analysts’ estimates for revenue of $5.32 billion, while same-store sales dipped -3.5%. CEO Jeff Gennette said the sales decline during the quarter was “steeper” than the company expected, casting blame on warmer weather and “weaker than anticipated performance in lower tier malls.” Macy’s shares are down nearly -2% this morning.
Stocks We’re Watching
NeuBase Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NBSE): Shares of this biotech jumped as much as 33% yesterday after the FDA approved Alnylam’s Givlaari for acute hepatic porphyria, for which NeuBase has a similar technology. Oppenheimer also initiated coverage of NeuBase yesterday, rating the stock an Outperform and setting a twelve month price target of $14 – nearly 128% higher than the current price.
Aravive Inc (NASDAQ: ARAV): Aravive shares jumped more than 130% yesterday after the biotech reported positive data from an early-stage clinical trial for its AVB-500 candidate for the treatment for patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. According to Katherine Fuh, assistant professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the Washington University School of Medicine and an investigator in the study, said Aravive’s treatment could “change the landscape” for ovarian cancer in patients who don’t respond to platinum-based chemotherapy. And Aravive said the treatment was “strongly predictive of anti-tumor activity with statistically significant correlation to progression-free survival.”
By the way, if you liked this article, you'll LOVE this Meaty free training I just published on the top 3 questions and challenges every investor faces AND how to overcome them. It's titled "10k into $2.4 Million in 18 months" and you can grab it for free here