The major U.S. indices rose across the board Thursday as markets continue to ignore the threat of a trade war with China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.21%, or 55 points to 26,440, while the SP 500 rose 0.28%, or 8 points to 2,914, and the Nasdaq rose 0.65%, or 52 points to 8,042.
Papa John's Is a Buy With or Without Sale, Jefferies Says
Papa John's International Inc. (PZZA) has jumped more than 9% over the past two sessions, including a more than 8% jump on Wednesday, Sept. 26, thanks to rumors that it is exploring a sale. But the stock is a buy regardless of the most recent developments, according to Jefferies analyst Alexander Slagle.
Slagle has a "buy" rating and $58 price target on Papa John's, making his firm the most bullish on the stock.
"We'd look past fear of near-term trends and be buyers of PZZA, as there continue to be opportunities for value creation as suggested in our analysis of potential refranchising and leveraged buyout opportunity scenarios," Slagle wrote.
This view isn't dependent on whether the company is up for sale or not, though those talks will be a near-term tailwind for the stock, according to Slagle. He listed additional details about Papa John's franchisee assistance program, results of its corporate culture audit, further implementation of re-branding initiatives, marketing changes, value enhancements and menu innovations as other tailwinds.
McDonald's Touts Preservative-Free Burgers
Even McDonald's (MCD) is getting in on the who health craze.
The burger joint now says that most of its burgers are preservative-free after years of reformulating at the company.
The Big Mac and Quarter ponder with Cheese are now preservative-free and that the buns and sauces have been reformulated. The pickles on the sandwiches still contain artificial preservatives, however, but the sandwiches can be ordered without them.
McDonald's shares are up 0.38% in morning trading Thursday.
U.S. futures are showing tepid gains ahead of Thursday's market open, while markets around the world struggle.
Dow futures are up 0.05%, indicating an open 14 points higher, while Nasdaq futures rose 0.1%, indicating an open 3 points higher, and Nasdaq futures gained 0.28%, indicating an open 22 points higher.
Meanwhile, markets in Asia dropped Thursday with the Nikkei dipping 0.99%, the Hang Seng falling 0.36%, and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.54%.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 was the lone major index to rise, gaining 0.27%. The DAX fell 0.09% and the CAC 40 was down 0.02% with a little less than four hours left in trading.