U.S. markets turned bearish to begin the new year, led by Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock price plunge. The market remained relatively neutral at the beginning of the week, but stocks quickly plummeted on Wednesday. Even still, throughout Wednesday, stocks quickly rebounded as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher. Shortly after the closing bell, Apple's Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook released a letter to shareholders regarding its revenue guidance slash for the next quarter. Cook said Apple expects to see revenue of approximately USD 84 Billion compared to its previous guidance of USD 89 Billion to USD 93 Billion. He also explained that the lower than expected estimates were a result of economic weaknesses in Greater China, as the Company faced a 100% revenue decline year over year across its iPhone, Mac and iPad products in the country. Apple's disappointing guidance caused U.S. stocks to plunge on Thursday morning, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by as much as 661.27 points, or 2.8% intraday on Thursday. The Nasdaq Composite also edged lower, falling by 190.95 points, or 2.8%, while the S&P 500 Index declined by 60.96 points or 2.4%. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), MedEquities Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: MRT), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY), Cloudera, Inc. (NYSE: CLDR), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F)
"We turned the calendar but we didn't turn the trend in the markets," said Eric Wiegand, Senior Portfolio Manager at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management. "We have continued to witness a deceleration in global growth. As we started this year, the purchasing manufacturers' index data from around the world indicated perhaps a pace of softening that caught investors by surprise. That's reinforced by today's release of the ISM manufacturing numbers."
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) announced on Wednesday that Spencer Neumann was appointed as the Company's Chief Financial Officer. Neumann will succeed David Wells, who served as Chief Financial Officer since 2010. Neumann previously held the Chief Financial Officer position at Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) and senior positions at The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS). Neumann is expected to focus on the Company's production finances. Netflix shares edged 3% lower following the announcement.
MedEquities Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: MRT) shares jumped on Wednesday after it announced a definitive merger agreement in which Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. (NYSE: OHI) said it will acquire the Company. MedEquities shares rose by 44.2% following the announcement. The transaction represents an enterprise value of approximately USD 600 Million for MedEquities and will further diversify Omega's assets and operators. MedEquities' shareholders will receive 0.235 Omega common shares plus USD 2.00 in cash for each share of MedEquities common stock, representing a value of USD 10.26 per MedEquities' share.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) shares slipped by as much as 15% on Thursday morning after it announced plans to merge with Celegen Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG). Bristol-Myers said it would acquire Celgene in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately USD 74 Billion. The Company said the two will focus on addressing the needs of patients with cancer, inflammatory and immunologic disease and cardiovascular disease. Bristol-Myers is expected to retain 69% ownership of the Company, while Celgene maintains the remaining 31%. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.
Cloudera, Inc. (NYSE: CLDR) announced on Thursday that it completed its merger with Hortonworks, Inc. Cloudera shares plunged by 9% after the opening bell on Thursday. Cloudera will look to deliver a first enterprise data cloud on a 100% open-source data platform through the acquisition. Hortonworks shareholders received 1.305 common shares of Cloudera for each Hortonworks stock owned.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced its December sales results on Thursday. Ford reported declining sales, however, the automaker still beat expectations. The Company reported that unit sales for December fell by 8.8% year over year while analysts forecast a 10% decline year over year. For the month, Ford reported that retail sales by fell 4.8% to 167,705, fleet sales dropped by 19.5% to 53,069, car sales floundered by 27.8% to 34,950, SUV sales tumbled by 4.4% to 79,225 and truck sales shrank by 3.8% to 106,599. December U.S. sales decreased by 8.8% to 220,774. Overall, Ford's full-year sales totalled 2.49 million, which fell by 3.5%.
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