Stock Market Today: Let’s Make a Deal; Facebook Hit

Stock Market

The potential trade pact is the obvious big news in the stock market today.

Equities got off to a hot start on Thursday — a day after the most recent Federal Reserve meeting — cooled in midday trading, then took back off on word that a trade deal has been reached. Headlines around the trading community read along the lines of: U.S. reaches deal with China, now awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature.

So there’s still risk in play with the market. But all things considered, investors are optimistic that phase one of the trade agreement will be signed. If it is, it takes some risk off the table and opens the door to a possible year-end rally.

Movers in the Stock Market Today

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares fell 2.7% amid antitrust concerns brought from the Federal Trade Commission. This injunction would mostly likely aim to block Facebook’s app integration. It could also foil future plans of Facebook potentially combining its three messaging apps, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) isn’t doing so hot in China, with its second straight month of a double-digit decrease in iPhone sales. Credit Suisse reported a 35% year-over-year drop in iPhone shipments in November, following 10.3% year-over-year drop in October.

Despite the apparent trade deal between the U.S. and China, the negative report weighed on Apple throughout the day. Shares rallied just 0.25%.

Shares of Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) climbed 0.8% despite a Wells Fargo analyst stating a possible delay in its 10-nanometer processor. The report helped send shares of Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) screaming higher, up 7.9%, although chip stocks in general are rallying on the day thanks to the trade news.

Both Pepsi (NASDAQ:PEP) and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) will be testing the waters with a new coffee-cola beverage, going up against some tough competition in the coffee space. Pepsi is rolling out its version in April in the U.S. for a limited time. It will come in regular and vanilla flavored options containing double the amount of caffeine as a regular Pepsi. Coke will be bringing its international Coke Plus Coffee this year that contains more caffeine and less sugar than a regular Coke.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) shares fell Thursday on reports that its 737 MAX will return to service later than expected. Further, the jet maker originally anticipated 2020 as a record year of production for the plane. But Boeing has now pushed that outlook back to 2021.

After the close, American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) announced its plans to keep its 737 MAX jets grounded until at least April 7.

Heard on the Street

UBS was busy on Thursday, starting by raising General Electric (NYSE:GE) to a “buy” rating, and assigning a $14 price target. That matches the Street-high target, as UBS analysts are predicting a positive 2020 for the company.

UBS also rated United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) with a new “buy” rating, while slapping a price target of $157 on the stock. Further, they initiated Honeywell (NYSE:HON) with a “neutral” rating and assigned a $192 price target. Finally, they also initiated coverage on 3M (NYSE:MMM) with a “sell” rating and $160 price target.

Piper Jaffray put a new “overweight” rating on Sysco (NYSE:SYY), adding a price target of $94.

JPMorgan downgraded Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) to “underweight” and assigned a $175 price target.

JPMorgan also upgraded Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) to an “overweight” rating, assigning a $94 price target in the process.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long SBUX and AAPL. 

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