The U.S. stock market opened higher following the latest move by the Greeks and a positive close in the Chinese stock market. The S&P 500 and the Dow both opened up 1 percent, while the NASDAQ jumped 1.5 percent in early trading.
Fallout from Coty’s announced purchase of P&G’s beauty brands continues into Friday after the stock closed down 4.7 percent to $30.04 on Thursday. Citi downgraded Coty from Buy to Neutral and Wells Fargo downgraded Coty from Outperform to Market Perform. Coty’s chief executive officer Bart Becht said that retaining key P&G executives would be vital to the deal, which affects roughly 10,000 employees of P&G.
Gap Stores disappointed investors with its same store sales data for June, which were essentially flat from last year. The stock though is moving slightly higher in pre-market trading. UBS downgraded its rating on Gap stock from a Buy to a Neutral and lowered its target price from $46 to $40. Gap stock is nearing $38 in early trading.
Tesla hired a former Burberry executive in a bid to boost its image as a luxury brand. Ganesh Srivats was hired as a vice president for North American sales; Srivats had previously held the position of senior vice president for retail in the Americas at Burberry. The idea is to present Tesla as a lifestyle luxury brand. Tesla already sells its cars out of showrooms at luxury malls, where its products are sold directly to the consumer and bypasses traditional car dealerships.
In broader economic news, Thursday evening, Greece sent a bailout request to its creditors that was basically the same reform package that voters rejected in a recent referendum. Global markets see the effort as a good move, however the Germans remain skeptical and continue to be reluctant to reduce the country’s debt. Germany has contributed more to Greece’s bailout than any other Eurozone partner.
The China Shanghai Composite also tagged on another positive day moving up another 4.5 percent to close out the week with a 5.2 percent move higher. Granted, some 1,400 stocks are still not trading, but that doesn’t seem to bother too many market watchers. The China Securities Regulatory Commission is asking companies for their help to keep pushing stocks higher by requesting that they consider share buybacks and employee shareholder programs.
In economic data, wholesale inventories data from May is released at 10 a.m. from the Department of Commerce. The market expects an increase of 0.3 percent down from the previous month of 0.4 percent.