U.S. stocks are having a mixed opening as Wednesday’s rate hike has removed some uncertainty form the stock market.
The latest weekly initial jobless claims totaled 271,000, better than the expected 276,000. Not such good news on the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing report, which came in at a negative 5.9, much lower than the anticipated 1.0. It’s the third time in the last four months the report has been negative.
The S&P 500 is down five points to 2,067, the Dow Jones Industrial average is down 32 points to 17,717 and the Nasdaq is higher by three points to 5,074.
Avon’s stock leaped this morning after the beauty company said it was selling 80 percent of its stock to Cerberus Capital Management for roughly $435 million. The stock jumped over 23 percent in pre-market trading, but settled in at $4.45, a gain of 8 percent. The stock has fallen 57 percent from its year’s high of $9.68. Avon North America will be separated from Avon Products and will be a privately held company that will be majority-owned and managed by Cerberus. Avon had been fighting off a deal by activist investor Barington Capital Group, which revealed it had taken a 3 percent take and called for cost cuts and replacing chief executive officer Sherilyn McCoy. Avon has suspended its dividend and will use some of the proceeds to reduce debt.
In other beauty news, The Estée Lauder Cos. said it completed its investment in Have & Be Co., the maker of Dr. Jart+ and Do The Right Thing. The brand is a high-growth skin-care company and is inspired by the phrase “Doctor Joins Art.” The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Estée Lauder stock fell at the end of the summer when the company said its sales had missed earnings estimates. However, since then it has recovered and now the stock is up 17 percent year-to-date. This morning it was down 7 cents to $89.19.
Markets across Asia closed the day on a high note. There was little economic data, but the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences forecast Chinese GDP growth to be in the range of 6.6 percent to 6.8 percent. The group also said that the U.S. rate hike would have little effect on China.
European indices were posting solid gains as low oil prices has kept inflation in check. German auto makers pushed the Dax up by 3.2 percent. Consumer names like Kering and Accor helped the French CAC jump 2.3 percent.