Stocks

A Busy Thursday for Tech, Financial and Retail Stocks

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures fell on continued trade and geopolitical concerns. But TD Ameritrade stock soared on a report that rival Charles Schwab is interested in buying it.

Earnings, M&A news and Wall Street downgrades have financial, tech and retail stocks all moving on Thursday in premarket trading.

Another day of trade, geopolitical, and interest-rate news sent stocks lower Wednesday. Angst is spilling over into Thursday. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures, S&P 500 futures as well as Nasdaq Composite futures are all off about 0.1%.

The small premarket index moves, however, belie a lot of activity going on below the surface.

For starters, CNBC reported Charles Schwab (ticker: SCHW) is interested in buying TD Ameritrade (AMTD). Ameritrade shares are up more than 20% in premarket trading. Schwab stock is up 7.3%. Peer E*Trade Financial’s (ETFC) shares have actually fallen 1.9%. Perhaps investors are worried E*Trade will be competitively disadvantaged by a larger rival.

Other M&A news is sending another company’s shares higher. Shares of luxury goods retailer Tiffany & Co (TIF) are up 3.8% after multiple reports of continuing M&A interest from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (MC.France). News of a potential bid for Tiffany originally surfaced in October.

But it isn’t all good news for investors. Makers of equipment for semiconductors are falling in premarket trading after UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri downgraded three to the equivalent of Sell. KLA (KLAC) is down 2.1%, Applied Materials (AMAT) is 3% lower, and Lam Research (LRCX) is off 2.6%.

It's worth keeping in mind, though, that the tech trio has had an incredible run so far in 2019, up about 90% on average.

Finally, Macy’s (M) reported earnings Thursday morning. The stock is down almost 5% in premarket trading. Earnings beat Wall Street expectations, but the company lowered it full-year sales and earnings guidance.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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