The major U.S. markets closed the first half of 2018 trading on a high note during a week in which all three major indices closed lower during the five sessions. However, for the month of June, they all closed higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average led the way, climbing 0.23%, or 55 points to 24,271, while the Nasdaq gained 0.09%, or 7 points to 2,737, and the S&P 500 rose 0.08%, or 2 points to 2,718.
Nasdaq On Pace to Post Eighth Straight Quarter of Gains
The Nasdaq Composite was climbing 0.53% Friday, keeping the tech-heavy stock index on pace to post a quarterly gain for the eighth straight period.
The Nasdaq is up more than 6% over the past three months, compared to the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial and S&P 500, which are up 0.5% and 2.9% respectively.
The Nasdaq hit several all-time highs during the quarter.
BMW Signs $1 Billion EV Battery Deal With Chinese Firm
BMW is moving on from its current contract with Samsung SDI and signing a $1 billion deal to be supplied with electric vehicle batteries by CATL.
CATL is China's largest EV battery company. Apple (AAPL) is also said to be in talks with CTL.
BMW has made it clear that it does not want to manufacture its own batteries for its fleet of next-generation electric vehicles.
Novartis to Spin Off Alcon, Announces $5 Billion Buy Back
Novartis (NVS) shares were up 4% Friday afternoon after the company announced that it was spinning off its Alcon eye care business. Additionally, the company announced that it is initiating a $5 billion buyback program.
The spin off will not become official until it is approved at the company's annual shareholder meeting next February. The share buyback is due to be completed by 2019.
Novartis completed its $52 billion takeover of Alcon in 2011. However, falling sales has forced the company to reconsider its strategy.
"We continue to execute our strategy to focus Novartis as a leading medicines company," Narasimhan said in a statement. "Alcon has returned to a position of strength and it is time to give the business more flexibility to pursue its own growth strategy."
Weed Is More Popular in Nevada Than the State Expected
Nevada expects to make 110% of its expected annual revenue from marijuana sales in just 10 months, according to the state's Department of Taxation.
Nevada reported marijuana tax revenues of $55.53 million through April. Wholesale taxes paid by cultivators brought in $21.47 million in revenue while the retail consumer tax brought in $34.6 million.
All told, combined taxable sales for medical, recreational and tangential marijuana products totaled $433.51 million through 10 months of the current fiscal year.
Verizon Is Done With Its Original Video App Go90
Verizon (VZ) is moving on from its original content video app Go90 on July 31st, according to a report from Variety, about three years after the telecom company launched the product.
That isn't to say that Verizon is getting out of the original content streaming business. Go90's operations are being combined into Oath, the division that has resulted from bringing Yahoo and AOL into the company's fold.
Following the creation of Oath, Go90 will be discontinued," a Verizon rep said in a statement. "Verizon will focus on building its digital-first brands at scale in sports, finance, news and entertainment for today's mobile consumers and tomorrow's 5G applications."
Nike Is Winning This Race
Nike (NKE) shares were up 11% Friday following the release of the company's latest quarterly results before the opening bell.
Investors were especially impressed with a rebound in the company's North American business. Sales in the company's largest market rose 3.3% after having fallen for most of the year.
The Oregon-based company also said that it expects revenue growth to be in the high sing-digit range, up from its previous estimates of growth in the low single-digit range.
Analysts at Barclays boosted the company's price target to $85 from $80, while analysts at Susquehanna also increased their price target.
Nike opened at an all-time high of $78.76.
U.S. futures were climbing across the board Friday as the threat of a protracted trade war is abating in the mind of investors.
Dow futures were rising 0.4%, indicating an open 95 points higher, while S&P futures gained 0.33%, indicating an open 9 points higher, and Nasdaq futures gained 0.38%, indicating an open 27 points higher.
Asian markets did even better Friday, with the Shanghai Composite jumping 2.17%, the Hang Seng gaining 1.61%, and the Nikkei rising 0.15%.
European markets were also going gangbusters, led by the CAC 40 which was rising 1.1%, the DAX climbing 1.03% and the FTSE 100 rising 0.67% with about four hours left in trading.