Markets closed near session highs Thursday, avenging losses from the previous day's session as Wall Street got back to its winning ways.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.81%, or 206 points to 25,574, topping the 25,500 mark for the first time ever. The Nasdaq also rose 0.81%, or 58.21 points, to 7,211.78 and the S&P 500 gained 0.7%, or 19.3 points to 2,767.56.
Walmart Closes Dozens of Sam's Clubs, Some Without Warning
Employees of dozens of Sam's Clubs around the country will be without work after Walmart (WMT) decided to close 63 locations. Some of the stores will close at a later date, but some employees showed up to work today to find that their location had been closed, according to reports.
The closures come on the same day Walmart announced that it was raising the entry-level wage at its stores to $11 an hour in celebration of the GOP tax reform bill.
After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we've decided to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy. Closing clubs is never easy and we're committed to working with impacted members and associates through this transition.— Sam's Club (@SamsClub) January 11, 2018
Dropbox Confidentially Files for IPO
File-sharing company Dropbox Inc. has confidentially filed for a U.S. IPO, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan will be the lead underwriters for the offering.
Dropbox is part of a group of private tech companies with billion dollar valuations that investors have been watching to see when they would debut publicly.
Dropbox has annual sales of more than $1 billion and has been profitable, excluding EBITDA.
Marriott Back After Gaffe Leads to Ban in China
Shares of Marriott International (MAR) were back in positive territory Thursday after Chinese officials shut down access to the company's website and mobile app in the country after it listed Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet as separate countries from mainland China.
Chinese authorities demanded that the company cease operations for one week.
"Marriott International has great respect for China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," a spokesperson said.
MoneyGram Stock Climbs After Announcing Partnership With Crypto
Shares of MoneyGram Int'l (MGI) jumped more than 5% Thursday morning after the company announced it was launching a pilot program testing XRP, a cryptocurrency that was created by startup Ripple.
U.S. Jobless Claims Rise for Fourth Straight Week
U.S. initial jobless claims rose by 11,000 last week, the fourth consecutive week of gains, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
The data is not really an indicator of the strength of the economy since the holiday season often sees volatility during the year-end holidays.
In spite of the increase, last week was the 149th straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold. The current streak is the longest such stretch since 1970.
The number of people receiving benefits after the initial claim fell 35,000 to 1.87 million.
South Korea Is Crafting a Bill to Ban All Crypto Trading
Bitcoin was down more than 6% Thursday morning after South Korea's justice minister said that lawmakers are crafting a bill to ban all cryptocurrency trading in the country.
"There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges," Park Sang-ki said at a press conference.
However, later in the day South Korea's presidential office said that any potential bill "is not a measure that has been finalized," according to South Korean news site News1.
U.S. Producer Prices Declined in December
The Labor Department reported that producer prices declined in December for the first time in nearly 18 months amid declining costs for services.
The Producer Price Index for final demand fell 0.1% in December the first time it has slipped since August 2016. Overall, 2017 saw the PPI increase 2.6% after rising 1.7% in 2016.
Walmart Plans Bonuses, Pay Raises In Response to Tax Reform
Walmart (WMT) is celebrating the passage of the GOP tax reform bill by raising its starting wage to $11 from $9 and paying a one-time cash bonus of as much as $1,000 to eligible employees. Workers with 20 or more years of experience will receive the full $1,000 while lesser tenured employees will see bonuses ranging between $300 and $750.
Walmart has historically been criticized for its low pay and lack of worker benefits.
"Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.," said CEO Doug McMillon. "We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders."
NYC Seeks Billions in Lawsuit Against Oil Companies
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city will be seeking billions in damage to recoup money spent by the city in order to combat climate change.
ExxonMobil said that the company has made good faith attempts to address climate change, according to AP.
The city said that they are preparing to divest its five pension funds of about $5 billion in fossil fuel investments.
U.S. futures were rising across the board Thursday morning as markets look to bounce back from a down session yesterday, the first negative session markets have had in 2018.
Dow Jones futures were up 0.16%, or 41 points, while Nasdaq futures climbed 0.27%, or 18 points, and S&P 500 futures gained 0.2%, or 5 points.
In Asia, the Nikkei was the lone major index to close the day in negative territory, falling 0.33% on the day. The Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng climbed 0.1% and 0.15% respectively.
Major European indices were in the green across the board, led by the FTSE 100 in the U.K., which climbed 0.15% with about four hours left in trading.