Thursday saw U.S. equities return to form as the market finished higher, with energy stocks proving to be the day’s studs with their 0.8% gain. The S&P 500 Index marched 0.2% higher, the Dow Jones Industrial Averaged edged 0.1% higher and the Nasdaq Composite posted a 0.3% improvement.
Friday morning is sure to be a mish-mash of headlines, with the employment report still on deck. Right now Twilio Inc (NYSE:TWLO), Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (NYSE:RT) and the Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (NYSEARCA:JNUG) are all on the move thanks to analyst commentary, earnings and a military strike by the U.S.
Here’s what you should know as the trading week comes to a close:
Twilio Inc (TWLO)
TWLO shares were getting a big bump in Friday’s early trade after earning an upgrade from JPMorgan analysts.
Analyst Mark Murphy took shares to “Overweight” from “Neutral,” and also slapped on a $36 price target that represents nearly 34% upside from Thursday’s closing price.
The upgrade comes just days after Global Equities Research’s Trip Chowdhry slammed the cloud-based communications company in a reiteration of his bearish stance. He said:
“TWLO has zero chance to survive against the ‘Scale-out’ pricing structure of AWS-Connect. If history is any indication, AWS-Connect will resort to about two to three price cuts within 12 months, [and] TWLO has zero capacity to match the AWS-Connect Scale-out pricing. Pretty much TWLO is toast.”
However, Murphy seems to disagree broadly, including believing that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is actually becoming more partner than competitor. Moreover, he believes Twilio is one of the highest-growth tech companies on the market, and he likes that the company is moving away from reliance on variable revenues.
TWLO shares, while rebounding by about 5% on the news Friday morning, likely will still close the week with a loss.
Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (RT)
Ruby Tuesday’s woes continued with a disappointing fiscal third quarter.
The restaurant chain posted a loss of $19.8 million last quarter, or 33 cents per share. That was far wider than the year-ago’s 5-cent loss. And on an adjusted basis, also disappointed in its latest quarter. Meanwhile, revenues dropped 16.8% year-over-year to $225.7 million, which was hurt by a 4% same-store sales decline that also widened from last year.
Ruby Tuesday is in complete flux. The company shuttered 105 company-owned restaurants over the past year, helping contribute to the lousy results. The struggling restaurateur also said in March that it’s putting itself up for sale among exploring other “strategic alternatives.”
A new CEO will try to steer Ruby Tuesday toward a sale — or at least away from oblivion. The company also announced that James F. Hyatt II has taken over as chief executive, replacing Lane Cardwell. Hyatt II has been at the head of various popular food chains in the past, including Church’s Chicken and Cosi.
“I have been both a fan and customer of the brand for many years and I look forward to working with the Board and senior management as we lead the company through its next chapter,” he said.
Still, RT shares are down nearly 10% in Friday’s premarket trade, which will help continue a nearly 50% slide in the past year.
Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (JNUG)
Last but not least, uncertainty and volatility appear to be the order of the day following last night’s news that President Donald Trump ordered a missile strike against Syria — not only opening up a can of geopolitical worms, but potentially turning his “alt-right” base against him.
As a result, gold is on the move higher as investors flee to safety, and it looks like Direxion’s triple-leveraged junior gold miners fund will enjoy a heavy day of trading as a result.
JNUG is designed to return 3x the daily movement of an index of junior gold miners, which themselves are typically much more lively than gold itself. This morning, for instance, the SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSEARCA:GLD) is up just less than 1%, but the JNUG is tracking gains of 4%-plus.
Please note that the JNUG is a trading instrument fraught with risk, and should not be handled by inexperienced traders, nor held for a long period of time.