​This Week in Emerging Growth: One Ukrainian Bribery Scandal Too Many?

Joel Anderson  |

Major indices hit new highs on Monday before pulling back slightly as the Trump campaign shook things up. Which was good, because prior to now, all I had been reading about was how incredibly stagnate the Trump campaign had been.

Major News Recap:

  • Health insurance giant Aetna (AET) announced on Tuesday that it would be pulling out of 70% of the exchanges it’s currently operating in, citing major losses on the plans it was selling there. However, the plot thickened when the Huffington Post reported on a letter showing that Aetna had tried to use its participation in the exchanges as leverage to force through its merger with Humana. So, just another example of “I’m going to take my health insurance policies and go home.”
  • San Francisco Fed President John “No, Not the Beloved Movie Music Composer” Williams spoke out for a sea change in central bank policies, citing the persistence of the current low-interest, low-inflation environment as potentially robbing banks of their ability to react to future recessions.
  • Retail megalith Wal-Mart (WMT) delivered a huge earnings beat Thursday, including big growth in same store sales, that had the retailer raising its full-year guidance. So, as of this week, the only thing Wal-Mart’s selling that doesn’t have a low, low price is its stock.
  • The Department of Justice sent the hearts of civil rights advocates soaring and shares of private prison stocks plunging when it announced that it would be phasing out the use of for-profit prisons.
  • The ongoing soap opera known as Viacom (VIAB): As the Near-Obsolete Media Conglomerate Turns had another wild turn on Friday when the Board of Directors reached a settlement in the ongoing fight between CEO Phillippe Dauman and controlling shareholder and creepy old guy poster child Sumner Redstone that would involve Dauman stepping down.

The Week’s Market Action

S&P 500: -0.4 or 0.02% to 2,183.87

Nasdaq: +4.89 or 0.09% to 5,238.38

Top-performing Stocks:

Top Performers

Company

Gain

Bottom Performers

Company

Loss

Mega-Cap

Wells Fargo (WFC)

$0.74 or 1.54% to $48.65

Mega-Cap

AT&T (T)

$2.28 or 5.27% to $41.01

Large-Cap

Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)

$2.08 or 14.13% to $16.80

Large-Cap

Alliance Data Systems (ADS)

$18.87 or 8.62% to $200.14

Mid-Cap

Urban Outfitters (URBN)

$7.16 or 23.36% to $37.81

Mid-Cap

Corrections Corp of America (CXW)

$8.14 or 29.93% to $19.08

Emerging Growth Company News

Small- and micro-cap stocks were strong this week as the Russell 2000 outpaced major indices.

Russell 2000 Performance: +6.95 or 0.56% to 1,236.77

Emerging Growth Stock Performance:

Top Performers

Company

Gain

Bottom Performers

Company

Loss

Small-Cap

Sunedison Semiconductor (SEMI)

$3.51 or 44.04% to $11.48

Small-Cap

Portola Pharmaceuticals (PTLA)

$8.02 or 29.05% to $19.59

Micro-Cap

Providence & Worcester Railroad Company (PWX)

$8.36 or 51.29% to $24.66

Micro-Cap

Auris Medical Holding (EARS)

$2.16 or 50.47% to $2.12

Deals Recap:

Emerging Growth News

  • GlobalWafers opted to take a bigger share of the semiconductor market on Wednesday, snapping up rival Sunedison Semiconductor (SEMI) for $683 million, marking a 45% premium. Sunedison Semiconductor was created to spin off the wafer business from the rest of Sunedison in 2014, a move that, in retrospect, has to look pretty sweet for Sunedison Semiconductor.
  • Shares of Jones Energy (JONE) plunged more than 20% on Thursday after the company announced that it would be using stock to purchase land it had recently purchased in Oklahoma. Apparently, issuing new shares to fund acquisitions when your stocks off 80% over a five-year period isn’t a popular move with shareholders. Who knew?
  • Shares of Auris Medical Holding (EARS) were cut in half this week, shedding just over 50%. The company announced that its treatment for inner ear tinnitus had failed to meet goals and, unfortunately for Auris, the markets heard that news loud and clear.
  • Shares of Cobalt International Energy (CIE) jumped over 40% on Thursday after a round of insider buying helped stoke rumors that the company was going to be acquired. Shareholders must have been ecstatic. Or at least, as ecstatic as you can get when the company’s lost over three-quarters of its value since the start of the year.

Top Reads of the Week

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Watchlist

Symbol Last Price Change % Change
AAPL

     
AMZN

     
HD

     
JPM

     
IBM

     
BA

     
WMT

     
DIS

     
GOOG

     
XOM

     
BRK.A

     
FB

     
JNJ

     
WFC

     
T

     
NFLX

     
TSLA

     
V

     
UNH

     
PG