S&P, NASDAQ HIT HIGHS ON GAINS IN HEALTH, TECH STOCKS
- The S&P 500 is currently trading at about 17.5 times forward twelve-month earnings, above the 10-year median of nearly 15 times.
- Broadcom rose 5% after the chipmaker reported upbeat fourth-quarter results and forecast, and doubled its dividend.
- Biogen rose 4% following a study that showed higher doses of its Alzheimer’s drug appeared to reduce the risk of brain swelling.
US FINANCIAL MARKET
- Operating Chief James Quincey will become chief executive in May.
- Mr. Kent has been chief executive since 2008 and will remain chairman of the company.
- As chief executive, Mr. Kent has made moves to diversify Coke beyond soda, spearheading the company’s $4.1 billion acquisition of Energy Brands—maker of Vitaminwater and Smartwater—in 2007 before becoming CEO.
- Coke has spent more than $4 billion to acquire minority stakes in coffee maker Keurig Green Mountain and Monster Beverage.
- Coke has built up a dairy business in recent years as it launched Fairlife, a lactose-free milk with 50% more protein and 30% fewer calories than regular milk, in the U.S. in late 2014.
- Revenue more than doubled to $4.136 billion.
- Gross margin fell to 52.5% from 54.2%.
- Chip maker Avago completed its roughly $37 billion acquisition of rival Broadcom in February, with the combined company retaining the Broadcom name and AVGO ticker symbol.
- The world’s largest airline said higher average fares per mile have boosted its revenue and profit expectations for the fourth quarter.
- Results from DECIDE showed that ZINBRYTA(TM) demonstrated superior efficacy across multiple measures of MS disease activity.
- The report examines the broad implications of Mr. Trump’s tax proposals for corporations with overseas cash.
- It said that about $21.2 billion of Cisco’s debt matures over the next five years.
- The company could use some of the roughly $65 billion in cash and equivalents it has trapped overseas to pay that off and reduce its debt.
- Wells Fargo is likely to receive a regulatory downgrade that could hamper its business activity and growth.
- CRA ratings are related to banks’ work in lower-to-moderate income neighborhoods.
- The rating is used to evaluate applications for future approval of bank mergers and acquisitions and branch openings, among other business matters.
- The wife of PIMCO co-founder Bill Gross is seeking a divorce after 31 years of marriage.
- Once known as the “Bond King,” Gross left Pimco in September 2014, eight months after second-in-command Mohamed El-Erian quit after the two clashed over how to run the firm.
- Gross has a net worth of $2.4 billion.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- The University of Michigan said Friday that its preliminary index of sentiment rose to 98, the highest since January 2015, from 93.8 in November.
- U.S. wholesale inventories decreased 0.4 percent after rising 0.1 percent in September.
- The component of wholesale inventories that goes into the calculation of GDP – wholesale stocks excluding autos – also fell 0.4 percent in October.
- Inventory investment contributed half a percentage point to the economy’s 3.2% annualized growth rate in the third quarter.
- Inventories had weighed on GDP growth since the second quarter of 2015.
- Proposal requires carriers and ticket agents to disclose availability of voice calls during flights.
- U.S. aviation regulators on Thursday suggested they are leaning toward eventually allowing in-flight calls from airline passengers—with two important caveats: airlines will have the option of whether to provide the service, and passengers must be informed well in advance if the flight allows calls.
- Phone calls on some flights are technically possible now using in-flight Wi-Fi services provided.
EUROPE & WORLD
- “We will achieve it this year, four years ahead of time,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said.
- Daimler’s passenger car unit Mercedes Benz was on track for full-year sales of more than two million cars, Zetsche said, putting it ahead of rivals Audi and BMW.
- Gold mining company expands further in to platinum mining, diversifying away from South Africa.
- The purchase is Sibanye’s third platinum acquisition since late 2015 and would make the company, which until last year was solely a gold miner, the world’s third largest platinum producer.
TODAY in HISTORY
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” premiered (1965)
U.S. astronauts completed repair work on the Hubble Space Telescope (1993)
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