Thursday looked to be an off day for the major indices, but by the day’s end, stocks had slightly reversed into the black. The S&P 500 Index was 0.1% better by day’s end, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite each gained a fraction.
The big news on Friday was the February jobs report, which put Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) in the spotlight. However, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is making a number of headlines, and Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ) is moving rapidly following its latest earnings report.
Here’s what you need to know about this trio on Friday:
FB shares are up marginally on Friday amid a couple new developments for the social media behemoth.
Facebook on Thursday globally rolled out “Messenger Day” — considered to be yet another clone of a feature from Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) social media service Snapchat. Messenger Day is a sharing service for live video and photo slideshows that will disappear after 24 hours.
Facebook is spinning its differentiation as a conversation-starting piece. Says David Marcus, VP of messaging:
“It’s about where I want to take my day, like ‘I’m bored and I want to go out for coffee’ or ‘I want to go see a movie’ so I’m going to use a frame, take a photo, and see which of my friends are going to engage with me to actually make that plan, because planning is one of the core capabilities of a messaging app.”
Facebook previously has “copied” Snapchat through things like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live’s masks and WhatsApp’s Status.
FB followed this up with a Friday announcement that it grabbed English-language rights to stream at least 22 regular-season Major League Soccer games in a deal with MLS and Univision Communications. Facebook also will be the exclusive provider of 40 “Matchday Live” analysis programs.
While the momentum in FB stock is slowing, shares continue to tick higher, notching new all-time highs on a nearly daily basis. Facebook shares are up fractionally this morning.
Bank of America Corp (BAC)
BAC shares are making a run back to its 52-week highs amid a Street-beating jobs report that makes it even likelier we’ll see an interest-rate hike next week.
The U.S. economy added 235,000 nonfarm payrolls for the month of February, beating expectations that ranged between 190,000 and 200,000. Meanwhile, unemployment ticked down to 4.7%, while annual wage growth sits at 2.8%.
The figures make it even likelier that the Federal Reserve will raise rates next week at the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday, March 15. Most experts believe a hike would be nominal, at 25 basis points.
Still, any rate hike would be bullish for Bank of America, which targets a roughly 5-cent-per-share increase in net interest income with every quarter-point move in federal interest rates. BAC stock has been on the rise since the November election, both on hopes that the Trump administration will bring down bank-unfriendly regulations, and the idea that the Fed could hike rates as many as three times this year.
BAC stock is up 1% in Friday’s early trade.
Zumiez Inc (ZUMZ)
Zumiez’s Friday isn’t nearly so cheerful, with shares plummeting after the company’s earnings report and conference call.
The footwear and apparel retailer closed out fiscal 2016 with a bang, earning 74 cents per share for the fiscal fourth quarter. Wall Street expected the company to bring in 66 cents per share. Meanwhile, revenues of $263.6 million were more than enough to top estimates of $261.7 million.
However, ZUMZ’s forecast for fiscal Q1 2017 underwhelmed. The company is projecting revenues in a range of $178 million to $182 million, off from expectations of $184.6 million. Moreover, ZUMZ expects to lose 17 to 21 cents on comps expected to be flat to 2% better.
Zumiez will open 18 new stores in fiscal 2017, including three stores in Canada, four in Europe and two in Australia.
ZUMZ stock is off more than 14% Friday morning.
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