Stocks were higher at the open on Thursday with the Dow gaining 109 points, or 0.3%. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, while the Nasdaq rose less than 0.1%.
Best Buy said its first quarter sales jumped 36% as shoppers splurged on consumer electronics with stimulus cash. The retailer reported adjusted earnings per share of $2.23 on revenue of $11.64 billion, compared to estimates for earnings of $1.39 per share on revenue of $10.44 billion. Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said demand “was extraordinarily high” in the quarter as consumers invested in technology and kitchen appliances as home prices rose higher. “This demand is being driven by continued focus on the home, which encompasses many aspects of our lives including working, learning, cooking, entertaining, redecorating and remodeling,” Barry said in a statement. “The demand was also bolstered by government stimulus programs and the strong housing environment.”
In other earnings news, Nvidia reported its sales jumped 84% in the first quarter, posting revenue of $5.66 billion versus $5.41 billion expected. “We had a fantastic quarter, with strong demand for our products driving record revenue,” founder and CEO Jensen Huang said in the earnings release. “Our Data Center business continues to expand, as the world’s industries take up NVIDIA AI to process computer vision, conversational AI, natural language understanding and recommender systems. NVIDIA RTX has reinvented computer graphics and is driving upgrades across the gaming and design markets. Our partners are launching the largest-ever wave of NVIDIA-powered laptops. Across industries, the adoption of NVIDIA computing platforms is accelerating.”
Boeing shares are up more than 3% this morning on news that it will pay $17 million in penalties under an FAA settlement after it installed equipment on 759 Boeing 737 Max and NG aircraft that contained sensors that weren’t approved. “Keeping the flying public safe is our primary responsibility,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a press release. “That is not negotiable, and the FAA will hold Boeing and the aviation industry accountable to keep our skies safe.” Boeing will also have to pay an additional $10.1 million if it doesn’t make improvements in its procedures, while the company has agreed to bolster how it reviews parts, improve its oversight of parts suppliers, and allow FAA inspectors to more closely observe the process. “We take our responsibility to meet all regulatory requirements very seriously,” Boeing said in a statement. “These penalties stem from issues that were raised in 2019 and which we fully resolved in our production system and supply chain.”
Gap announced it’s teaming up with Walmart to sell its first-ever collection of home goods. The multi-year deal is called Gap Home and will be launched on Walmart’s website on June 24, and will eventually be available in stores. The home goods line will start with around 400 pieces including bedding, bath, and decorative accessories, with prices ranging from $15.88 for throw pillows to $64.98 for comforters. “Walmart is a global leader in the home space with extensive digital reach and distribution, and this partnership enables Gap to introduce a new category in a smart, scalable way,” Mark Breitbard, president and CEO of Gap, said in a press release. “Gap Home at Walmart opens a new door for Gap as a lifestyle brand delivering timeless American style in all new ways. We are excited for this growth opportunity, enabling even more customers to fall in love with Gap.”
And investing app Acorns is going public through a SPAC merger that values Acorns at roughly $2.2 billion. The fintech start-up will combine with Pioneer Merger Corp, and is expected to close in the second half of the year. Once finalized, Acorns will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol OAKS. Acorns’ app lets users automatically invest the spare change from debit or credit card purchases into index funds, with the company also having expanded into educational offerings, banking products, a debit card, and an automated retirement account service. “Now was the time to go public to accelerate our growth and get the tools of responsible wealth-making in everyone’s hands as fast as possible, when they need it most,” Acorns CEO Noah Kerner said. “We just saw this as an accelerant on that journey.”
Stocks We’re Watching
Aptevo Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: APVO): Aptevo Therapeutics announced today that it has initiated the expansion phase of lead anti-leukemia drug candidate, APVO436, in adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with a multi-center, multi-arm trial. “The greatest challenge in AML is relapsed or refractory disease. For relapsed or refractory AML, there is no consensus on a single re-induction regimen” said Dr. Fatih Uckun, leukemia expert and Chief Clinical Advisor. “By combining APVO436 with the standard of care, Aptevo hopes to develop an innovative approach that improves outcomes for patients with relapsed AML, who generally have a dismal prognosis.”