US Stock Market Overview – Stocks Close Mixed, Led by Energy; Utilities Buck the Trend

Wendy’s lowers guidance
David Becker
S&P 500 weekly chart, September 09, 2019

US stocks moved higher and yields rose as investors continue to price in a rate cut in September. The ECB is on deck and will likely make a move this week. Hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. disclosed a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T, criticized its longtime CEO’s acquisition strategy and called on the company to shed some assets. Sectors were mixed, led higher by energy and discretionary shares, Utilities and healthcare were the worst performers. News that 50-attorney generals were investigating Google capped technology shares. Wendy’s on Monday reported that the company was lowering forward guidance.

AT&T Stock Surges

AT&T shares surged higher as Hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. disclosed a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T, criticized its longtime CEO’s acquisition strategy and called on the company to shed some assets. The investor, which has tangled with Samsung Electronics Co. and the Argentine government, called on AT&T to name new directors to its board.

Wendy’s Lower Guidance

Wendy’s cut its 2019 outlook due to increased expenses that will focus on spending for a nationwide launch of breakfast next year. As a result of its entrance into the breakfast wars, Wendy’s plans to invest about $20 million. The company said it expected adjusted earnings per share to decline by 3.5% to 6.5% in 2019, from a previously expected growth of 3.5% to 7%. The restaurant chain’s stock, is up 40% this year.

Most Attorney General Sue Google

Most of the country’s state attorneys general are now putting their weight behind antitrust investigations of Big Tech. A bipartisan group of attorneys general from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico announced they would pool resources to probe Google’s advertising business. The announcement follows that of a smaller, overlapping group of attorneys general led by New York’s investigating Facebook’s business practices. The group investigating Google, which included all the states except for California and Alabama, stressed their independence from federal regulators, who are already asking their own questions of the company.

Chinese Economic Data Disappoints

China reported weaker August trade data.  According to the ministry of finance. exports contracted -1% year over year versus the 2.2% rise that was expected. Imports into China contracted -5.6% year over year versus expectations that they would fall by -6.4%.  Some reports suggest the weak data seen so far for August will lead the PBOC to add more stimulus.  The PBOC last week reduced regulatory requirements which is a subtle way of adding stimulus.

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