Stocks were higher at the open on Monday with the Dow adding 69 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 gained 0.4%, while the Nasdaq rose nearly 0.9%.
With the markets closed on Good Friday, the markets are cheering Friday’s strong jobs report this morning. The Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls increased by 916,000 in March, the most jobs added since August, while the unemployment rate fell to 6%. Economists had expected a reading of 675,000 jobs added. “It shows that the economy is healing, that those who lost their jobs are coming back into the workforce as the recovery continues and restrictions are lifted,” said Prudential Financial chief market strategist Quincy Krosby. “The only concern here is if we have another wave of COVID that leads to another round of closures.”
Google-parent Alphabet shares are up 3.6% this morning, surging to a new all-time high after the Supreme Court sided with the tech giant against Oracle in a long-running copyright dispute over the software used in its Android mobile operating system. The 6-2 ruling overturns a victory for Oracle over 12,000 lines of code that Google used to build Android that were copied from the Java application programming interface developed by Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle in 2010. Writing for the court, Justice Stephen Breyer said, “We reach the conclusion that in this case, where Google reimplemented a user interface, taking only what was needed to allow users to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, Google’s copying of the Sun Java API was a fair use of that material as a matter of law.”
Tesla shares are up nearly 5% at the time of writing as investors cheered production and delivery figures that beat expectations. The electric vehicle company reported on Friday that it delivered 184,800 vehicles and produced 180,338 in the first quarter, while analysts had expected deliveries of around 168,000. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives upgraded Tesla to Outperform in a note out over the weekend, writing that the quarter was “a massive home run in the eyes of the bulls.” “In our opinion, the 1Q delivery numbers released on Friday was a paradigm changer and shows that the pent-up demand globally for Tesla’s Model 3/Y is hitting its next stage of growth as part of a global green tidal wave underway,” Ives wrote. “We now believe Tesla could exceed 850k deliveries for the year with 900k a stretch goal, despite the chip shortage and various supply chain issues lingering across the auto sector.”
GameStop shares dropped by as much as 14% this morning after the video game retailer said it may sell up to $1 billion, or 3.5 million shares, worth of additional shares in an effort to further accelerate its e-commerce transformation as well as for general corporate purposes and strengthening of its balance sheet. The stock offering is being viewed as a way for the retailer to capitalize on February’s massive Reddit-fueled short squeeze rally. “It makes sense to convert some of the stock into cash, which could then be used to accelerate the transformation effort,” said Telsey Advisory Group analyst Joe Feldman. “Cash would be a more attractive currency than stock to complete an acquisition to accelerate the transformation.”
And AMC shares are up more than 17% today after B. Riley Securities analyst Eric Wold upgraded the stock to Buy on the heels of “Godzilla vs. Kong” posted the best opening weekend of any film since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. “We have remained impressed with management’s ability to weather the pandemic headwinds by both strengthening the balance sheet and negotiating with landlords to improve the cash runway into 2022,” Wold wrote. “And as the largest exhibitor in North America that also operates the highest number of premium IMAX screens, we view AMC as well positioned to benefit from the industry’s projected resurgence and return to pre-pandemic attendance levels by 2023.”
Stocks We’re Watching
United Therapeutics (NASDAQ: UTHR): United Therapeutics shares jumped as much as 19.6% on Thursday after the company announced that the FDA approved its Tyvaso (treprostinil) Inhalation Solution for the treatment of patients with pulmonary hypertension associated with interstitial lung disease to improve exercise ability, marking the second approved indication for Tyvaso. “The FDA approval of Tyvaso for patients with PH-ILD is a landmark treatment advancement for this vulnerable patient population,” said Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of United Therapeutics. “It also underscores our commitment to driving innovation in the field of pulmonary hypertension and expanding the number of patients who can achieve a clinical benefit from Tyvaso. We plan to tap into our experience and expanded infrastructure to bring this safe and effective inhaled therapy to the many patients living with PH-ILD in the United States.”