For the third time this week, U.S. markets took a severe drubbing, as the unemployment report failed to clarify the Fed’s next move, and investors remained skittish about putting new funds into the market ahead of the Labor Day weekend.
The Labor Department reported the creation of only 173,000 jobs, well below street estimates for 220,000. The unemployment rate fell to 5.1%, but average hourly wages increased more than expected, up to 0.3%, or 2.2% over the past year.
Traders were mulling over whether or not the decline in unemployment and wage increase would support an interest rate hike by the Fed, but no clear and definitive answer seems likely. Since Wall Street hates uncertainty, it is easier to sell off than risk new capital in stocks at this juncture.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.6%, the S&P 500 was off 1.5%, and the Nasdaq fell 1%. At its lowest point, the Dow was down 348 points. All three indices are now in “correction territory,” meaning 10% or more declines from their peak prices.
Sectors were all in the negative today, with most down more than 1%.
On days like today, investors often get discouraged, but it’s the perfect time to look at which stocks did perform well. Three such stocks today were Avolon Holdings Ltd (NYSE:AVOL), B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE:BGS) and SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW). Here’s what made them go north while the rest of the market was heading south.
Avolon Holdings Ltd (AVOL)
AVOL stock jumped 5% today after the company announced it will finally be acquired by a Hong Kong company, Bohai Leasing, for $7.6 billion. The acquisition will include a $31 stock price per share, and Bohai will assume all of AVOL’s debt. The terms of the deal were first struck in mid July, but the original $32 per share price was reduced due to market volatility.
Avolon is an air leasing company based in Ireland. AVOL’s stock price has gained about 50% since it went public last December.
B&G Foods, Inc. (BGS)
On Thursday, General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) announced the sale of their Green Giant frozen foods and Le Sueur canned vegetables business to B& G Foods for $765 million. B&G, which rose 14% on Thursday after the announcement, tacked on another 6% today.
However, some analysts are questioning the sale, as millennial consumers favor fresh produce to frozen or canned. The new management is saying that they it try to invigorate the brands with updated marketing programs.
Green Giant is the No. 2 frozen foods brand, behind Bird’s Eye, owned by Pinnacle Foods Inc (NYSE:PF).
SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW)
SKYW stock was flying today, after Cowen Group upgraded SkyWest shares from “market perform” to “outperform”, and also raised its price target on SKYW stock from $16 per share to $19 per share.
Zacks had a favorable review for SKYW stock on Thursday, saying that improving earnings estimate revisions have not yet been reflected in the stock price, and that it “looks well positioned for a solid gain” going forward. SkyWest has recently trimmed the number of its fleets in an effort to save money.
SKYW was up more than 5% on the day.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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