Update (Nov. 20, 2023): For today's live markets coverage, see here.
Stocks finished Friday little changed but ended the week higher after surging Tuesday on October's inflation report and increased optimism that the Federal Reserve is done raising interest rates.
The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 both ticked up about 0.1% Friday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished flat. All three indexes rose this week, with the Nasdaq adding 2.4%, the S&P 500 up 2.2%, and the Dow up 1.9%.
Treasury yields rebounded slightly after dropping early in the day. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell below 4.4% for the first time since September and the 30-year yield dropped below 4.6%.
Oil prices rose, but were still down nearly 20% from a month ago. The dollar declined against the euro, yen, and pound.
S&P 500 Gains and Losses Today
Here are the stocks in the S&P 500 that gained and lost the most today, and the stories behind the day's market movers.
Dow Notches Third Straight Week of Gains; Microsoft Drops on OpenAI Leadership Shake-up
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished rose 2 points, putting the index up nearly 2% on the week, its third consecutive week in the green.
Microsoft (MSFT) shares dropped 1.7%, pulling back from yesterday’s all-time high. Much of the drop came after ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, which Microsoft has invested billions in, announced that its board had voted to remove CEO Sam Altman from his position.
The healthcare sector slipped 0.2%, weighed on by Dow components Amgen (AMGN), which fell 1.3%, and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) down 0.7%. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Merck & Co. (MRK) each declined 0.2%.
Detroit's Big Three Gain as UAW Ratifies Contract
Nearly 70% of the 27,810 UAW members at Stellantis voted in favor of the new contract. At Ford, over 68% of 34,657 UAW members voted to ratify the new contract. The union estimated the 4-year contract was worth about 100% more than Stellantis's original offer and 50% more than Ford's.
Stellantis shares were up 1% in intraday trading Friday following the news, while Ford shares rose 0.8% and GM shares climbed 1.3%.
Gene Therapy Stocks Soar on UK Regulator's Approval
Shares of companies that specialize in gene therapy treatments jumped on Friday after the U.K. became the first country to approve gene therapy for sickle cell disease.?
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said Thursday it had approved Casgevy for patients 12 and up, making it the first CRISPR-based gene-editing therapy to be approved for any condition anywhere in the world.
There are only about 15,000 people with sickle cell disease in the U.K., but the historic approval sent shares of CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) soaring 13% to a 6-month high. Other gene therapy companies followed, like Bluebird Bio (BLUE), up 10%, and 23andMe (ME), up 12%.
Gap Gets a Boost From Old Navy, Cost Cutting, and Savings, Sending Shares Soaring
A rebound at Old Navy stores helped Gap (GPS) post better-than-expected results, and shares skyrocketed over 30% in early trading on Friday. However, the company warned about a slow holiday shopping season ahead.
The apparel retailer posted third-quarter fiscal 2023 earnings per share (EPS) of $0.59, three times forecasts. Revenue fell 7% from a year ago to $3.77 billion, but that also exceeded estimates. Comparable store sales were down 2%, better than anticipated.
Gap now anticipates holiday quarter sales to be flat to slightly negative compared to 2022, while analysts had been looking for a rise of 0.3%. It noted that “positive signs at Old Navy and Gap balance the continued work underway at Athleta and Banana Republic.”
Shares of Gap soared to their highest level since January 2022 following the news.
Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE): Shares of the online travel booking company rose more than 5% after analysts at Exercise ISI upgraded the stock to outperform and raised their price target to $200 from $135, citing the likelihood of sustainable revenue growth.
Copart Inc. (CPRT): Shares of the used-car reseller rose more than 2% after it posted better-than-expected earnings, with revenue up 14% and net income increasing by 35%.
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN): Shares of the e-commerce giant gained more than 1% after reports it would lay off hundreds of employees in its Alexa unit as it funnels resources into generative artificial intelligence initiatives.
ChargePoint Holdings Inc. (CHPT): Shares of the electric vehicle charging network provider fell more than 30% after it cut its third-quarter earnings forecast and announced CEO Pasquale Romano would be replaced by COO Rick Wilmer effective immediately.
Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Shares of the tech company fell 2% after it delayed the release of its ChatGPT competitor, Gemini.
Applied Materials Shares Slide Following Reports of DOJ Investigation
Despite better-than-expected earnings, Applied Materials (AMAT) shares tumbled over 5% in early trading Friday following reports of a U.S. Department of Justice probe into potential export violations.
The semiconductor equipment maker is reportedly being investigated for evading export restrictions and sending advanced chipmaking equipment worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Chinese chipmaker SMIC without export licenses.
The news came as Applied Materials reported better-than-expected results, with fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $2 billion and earnings per share of $2.12, up from net income of $1.6 billion and earnings per share of $1.85 in the year-ago quarter, and above analyst estimates.
Oil Prices Rebound From 4-Month Low
Oil futures gained Friday after closing yesterday at their lowest point since July amid concerns about the impact on demand of a global economic slowdown.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contracts rose nearly 3% Friday morning to trade around $75 a barrel. Brent crude, the European benchmark, also rose 3% to about $80 a barrel.
Still, oil is trading well below the highs reached in late September, when WTI and Brent were both about $94 a barrel. Economic data out of the U.S., China, and Europe have elevated conviction that economic growth around the globe is slowing.
Ross Stores Shares Jump as Sales, Earnings Rise
Shares of Ross Stores (ROST) rose more than 8% in early trading Friday after its third-quarter earnings topped Wall Street estimates as cost-conscious shoppers increasingly turned to the discount retailer for goods.
Ross Stores earnings by the numbers
- Net income: $447 million vs. $412 million expected according to analyst estimates compiled by Visible Alpha
- Earnings per share: $1.33 vs. $1.22 expected
- Revenue: $4.9 billion vs. $4.8 billion expected
The company does face headwinds, however, heading into the all-important holiday season. The company struck a cautious tone and reiterated rather than raised its fourth-quarter sales and earnings guidance, citing “macroeconomic volatility, persistent inflation, and more recently, geopolitical uncertainty.”?
With Friday’s gains, Ross Stores shares are up about 12% year-to-date, and 33% higher than they were a year ago.?
Stocks Making the Biggest Moves Premarket
- Gap Inc. (GPS): Shares of the apparel retailer jumped 17% after it reported earnings and sales fell less than expected last quarter. Earnings of 58 cents per share—twice what analysts had forecast—were boosted by improved margins amid lower commodity costs.
- Ross Stores Inc. (ROST): Shares of the discount retailer rose 6% after its quarterly earnings beat analyst estimates on the top and bottom lines.
- Li Auto Inc. (LI): American depositary receipts (ADRs) of the Chinese electric car maker rose about 5% after it was added to Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.
- Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT): Shares of the semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker fell about 7% after Reuters reported it is facing a federal investigation into whether it violated restrictions on shipments to China.
- BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. (BJ): Shares of the big-box retailer fell 5% after it reported same-store sales fell in the third quarter and lowered its full-year guidance as consumers cut back on discretionary spending.
- Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (BABA): ADRs of the Chinese e-commerce company slid 3%, adding to yesterday’s 9% drop on news it won't go through with its planned spin-off of its cloud computing unit because of U.S. chip restrictions.
Futures Rise, Putting Stocks on Track for Winning Week
Futures contracts connected to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up more than 0.3% in premarket trading.
S&P 500 futures were also 0.3% higher about an hour before markets opened.
Nasdaq 100 futures ticked up 0.1%.