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Pence Wealth Management Financial Markets Report

US FINANCIAL MARKET

  • U.S. stocks advanced slightly at the open on Friday, pulling back after the S&P 500 earlier scaled a fresh high, as the March payrolls report suggested the economy may be gaining momentum.
  • Anadarko Petroleum will pay more than $5 billion to clean up areas across the United States polluted by nuclear fuel, wood creosote and rocket fuel waste, resolving a long-running lawsuit.
    • The agreement resolves a long-running lawsuit against the Kerr-McGee energy and chemical company, which Anadarko bought in 2006. Despite the size of the settlement, investors cheered, boosting Anadarko’s share price 14.5% to $99.02 per share.
  • Boeing is considering buying Mercury Systems, a supplier of digital signal and image processing systems to the aerospace and defense industry.
    • Mercury, which has a market value of roughly $440 million, offers big data processing systems, software and services to companies including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.
  • Airbus drops behind Boeing in first-quarter jet orders. Airbus ended the quarter with 158 new orders or 103 net orders after adjusting for cancellations. Boeing said on Thursday it had won 275 gross orders or 234 net orders in the first quarter. 
    • Delta Air Lines is looking at buying as many as 50 wide-body jets, the airline said on Thursday, opening a contest between Airbus and Boeing for business worth well over $10 billion at list prices.
  • Wal-Mart Stores chose MasterCard to handle transactions for the merchant’s store-branded credit cards, ending a nine-year relationship with Discover Financial Services. MasterCard is the second-biggest U.S. payments network, behind Visa, which was sued by Wal-Mart last week for allegedly conspiring with banks to fix transaction fees. 
  • Google’s Nest halts home alarm system sales over possible defect. Nest Labs, the maker of smart thermostats that Google acquired for $3.2 billion, called a halt to all sales of its smoke alarms on Thursday.
  • Bank of America near credit card deal with U.S. regulator over the sale of services sold as add-ons to credit cards.
  • CarMax shares fell at the open after the largest retailer of used cars reported fourth-quarter results.
    • CarMax, the biggest U.S. auto dealer by market valuation, plans to buy back $1 billion in stock after reporting its biggest annual jump in comparable-store sales in more than a decade. It reported a 7% rise in comparable sales at 117 stores.
    • Net income for the fourth quarter fell 7.5% to $99.2 million from $107.2 million a year earlier. Revenue advanced 8.8% $3.08 billion. That compared to a $3.2 billion projection from analysts.
  • Micron posts second-quarter profit, says outlook favorable. Memory chip maker reported a net profit of $731 million in the quarter, compared with a loss of $286 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 98% to $4.11 billion. Analysts on average expected revenue of $3.985 billion.
  • DuPont Biochemical Unit Looks beyond Shale Boom at New Plant. DuPont and Tate & Lyle, allied in a venture to produce chemicals from corn glucose rather than oil, are considering a second biochemical plant, unperturbed by the shale and petrochemical boom in the U.S. Production of bio-based propanediol uses about 40% less energy than its petroleum-based counterpart.
  • U.S. probing high-speed trading, attorney general says. Regulators have been examining whether ordinary investors are at an unfair disadvantage to high-speed traders.

US ECONOMY & POLITICS

  • The U.S. has recovered all but 437,000 of the 8.7 million jobs, including those at government agencies, lost as a result of the last recession.
    • U.S. reports solid job growth as winter’s grip loosens. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 192,000 in March, just shy of the 200,000 forecast, after rising 197,000 in February.
    • The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7%
    • Employment in January and February was revised higher. Revisions to prior reports added a total of 37,000 jobs to payrolls in the previous two months. 
    • Last year, the U.S. added 194,000 jobs each month on average after 186,000 in 2012.
    • The labor force participation rate rose to a six-month high of 63.2% from 63% in February.
    • The percentage of working-age Americans with a job, a broad gauge of labor market health, increased to 58.9% last month, the highest level since the summer of 2009.
    • The workweek increased to 34.5 hours from an average of 34.2 hours in February.

EUROPE & WORLD

  • German industry orders rise in February, point to strong first quarter. Domestic demand drove a stronger-than-expected 0.6% rise in German industrial orders in February. Domestic orders were up 1.2%, driven by demand for intermediate and capital goods, while contracts from abroad inched up 0.2%.
  • Top investors press Allianz to step up oversight of Pimco. Specifically, they said they wanted the Munich-based firm to rethink the management structure that was put in place at Pimco after El-Erian’s departure. The new configuration has six deputy chief investment officers (CIOs) under Gross. They also want assurances on Gross’s pay and a detailed long-term plan on how Pimco plans to broaden its focus beyond fixed income.
  • Pilots’ strike to cost Lufthansa 35-75 million euros.
  • McDonald’s quits Crimea as fears of trade clash grow. The Crimean outlets are not franchises, but owned and operated by McDonald’s itself. McDonald’s said it hoped to resume work as soon as possible but said it would help relocate staff to work in mainland Ukraine.
  • Lenovo must convince government officials that buying a server unit from IBM won’t give China back-door access to U.S. secrets and infrastructure.
  • Mercedes Has Best Monthly Sales Ever With 13% March Gain. Deliveries rose 13% in March to 158,523 as the European auto market recovers from a six-year slump. Sales growth at Mercedes has exceeded 10% for nine consecutive months.

TODAY in HISTORY

  • Congress adopted a U.S. flag with one star for each state (1818)
  • The treaty establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was signed (1949)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated (1968)
  • The ribbon was cut to open the World Trade Center in New York City (1973)
  • Sally Ride became the first U.S. woman in space aboard the space shuttle Challenger (1983)

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg.

This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable, but no representation is being made as to its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should be used only as general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth in the material may not develop as predicted. All indices, such as the S & P 500, are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. Securities offered though LPL financial Member FINRA / SIPC.

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