Stock markets rallied amid mixed cues on the health of the labor market, with latest data showing that payrolls grew at a slower-than-expected pace while unemployment claims slipped below the 50K-mark for the first time since the virus outbreak.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 150 points since the last close and reached a new high. The S&P 500 index hovered above the 4200-mark early Friday, continuing the uptrend that started mid-week.
In the M&A space, the spotlight was on the blockbuster merger between once-rival cannabis firms Tilray and Aphria this week, creating what is touted as the world’s biggest pot company. On the heels of spinning off its VMWare subsidiary, Dell Technologies agreed to divest its cloud business Boomi to an investor group for about $4 billion.
Meanwhile, game developer Zynga clinched a deal to acquire Chartboost, a leading mobile programmatic advertising platform, for about $250 million. However, the highlight of the week was the deal between At Home and private equity firm Hellman & Friedmanand, under which the latter would acquire the home décor store for $2.8 billion.
In a week that had a modest beginning in terms of corporate events, healthcare behemoths CVS Health and Pfizer reported strong first-quarter results Tuesday morning, reflecting the vaccination drive and COVID care activities. In the after-hours, Activision Blizzard posted double-digit revenue growth as the game publisher’s user base rose to a record high.
On Wednesday, General Motors said its first-quarter earnings more than doubled despite a modest dip in revenues. On the same day, Cognizant Technology, Uber, and PayPal also unveiled their latest quarterly numbers.
On Thursday, streaming platform Roku elicited much investor interest by posting a surprise profit for the March quarter amid strong subscription growth. The other important announcements on the relatively busy day were the earnings reports of Beyond Meat and payment services provider Square.
With a major chunk of the season’s earnings already released, the next week is going to be less active. Among the important companies, Duke Energy and Electronic Arts will be releasing their quarterly data on May 10 and May 11 respectively. Aurora Cannabis, Alibaba Group, and Walt Disney are scheduled to publish earnings on May 13.
Key Earnings to Watch
Wednesday: AEGON, Amdocs, Bayer, Bumble, Chesapeake Energy Corp, Jack In The Box, Merck, Novelis, SoftBank Group, The Wendy’s, and Zovio Inc.
Friday: Aurora Cannabis, Cipher Pharmaceuticals, Power Corporation of Canada, and ShawCor
Key Corporate Conferences to Watch
Key Investor Days/AGMs to Watch
Key US Economic Events
The following are notable companies which have reported their earnings last week. In case if you have missed catching up on their performance, click the respective links to skim through the transcripts to glean more insights.
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Latest economic data evoked mixed sentiment this week -- the rebound in economic activity has raised inflation concerns while jobless claims declined for the sixth week in a row. The
Video game retailer GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), which has become the talk of the town after the unprecedented stock rally in recent weeks, reported a narrower loss for the first
The steel industry managed to shrug off the pandemic blues earlier than expected as the recovery in industrial activity pushed up demand. With the vaccination drive and the government’s aggressive