For many investors, the biggest story last week revolved around oil prices, and West Texas Intermediate moved about 10% higher throughout the week, despite pulling back a bit Friday, after OPEC agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels a day in an attempt to support prices. It's believed the production cut will take effect in January, with the OPEC nations to reassess the situation six months later. Expect prices to remain volatile -- and if prices rise high enough, it's likely to entice shale oil plays to get back in the mix, which will likely keep a ceiling on oil prices for the foreseeable future.
Outside the world of black gold, here are some other companies making big headlines or big moves.
Not rich enough for Time's blood
Shares of Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) spiked on Monday and settled for a near-16% weekly gain after a report that the company had rejected a buyout bid that valued it at $1.8 billion, or $18 per share, which is 30% more than the stock was trading at when the market closed Friday.
Investors may have sent the stock up in support of Time's continuing to try to make its way in a brave new world -- despite the majority of its revenue still coming from print -- or perhaps investors are betting that there's enough interest to warrant an even better offer in the near term.
Time, which was founded close to a century ago, owns valuable magazines such as Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune, and, obviously, Time. Despite these valuable magazine brands, the company still has a leveraged balance sheet from its spinoff from Time Warner in 2014 and smaller acquisitions in the digital sphere since.
The jump last week was a breath of fresh air for investors, but Time has a long way to go before its growth story is compelling to investors.
A Trump bump
In the latest instance of "How will Donald Trump's presidency impact 'X' stocks?" shares of Fannie Mae (OTC:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTC:FMCC) absolutely soared during the middle of the week before cooling off to gains of roughly 20% each.
The cause of the spike was President-elect Donald Trump's Treasury secretary nominee's suggesting that both should be returned to private investors and no longer under government control. Also adding to the spike was the fact that the nominee, Steven Mnuchin, hinted it should be done at a "reasonably fast" timeline.
"We will make sure that when they are restructured, they are absolutely safe and don't get taken over again. But we've got to get them out of government control," Mnuchin said, according to Bloomberg.
The two entities have been essentially sending their would-be profits to the U.S. government since the first quarter of 2013, and while a change in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac control is far from a sure thing, the market clearly views this as much more likely under Trump: Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are up 128% and 134%, respectively, since Nov. 8.
Bullish signs for this shoemaker
Shares of footwear maker Skechers USA Inc (NYSE:SKX) jumped 18% last week after a couple of developments that sent bullish signals to investors. First, news hit the market that CEO and founder Robert Greenberg recently purchased 500,000 shares of his company, worth about $11 million. As you've heard before, people will sell stock for many reasons, but they only buy for one: they're confident in the business.
After attending a trade show and viewing some Skechers products, Citi analyst Corinna Van der Ghinst and team raised the target price on the company from $21 to $24, while maintaining a "neutral" rating. Even more bullish was Buckingham Research, which gave Skechers a price target of $31.
Those are certainly bullish signals, but Skechers has yet to convince me of its growth story. It's been a rough year, and the shoe business is incredibly competitive. Skechers has shed roughly half of its value since its record high last summer and has missed earnings estimates each of the past two quarters. That said, if you do believe in the growth story, it's trading at an attractive 12 times forward earnings, per Morningstar estimates, so now could be a good time to buy in.