After briefly rallying in the wake of Federal Reserve President John Williams signaling that the central bank might re-evaluate its plan to raise interest rates twice next year (depending on the health of the economy), stocks turned lower on Friday. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 closed down around 2%.
Nike picks up the pace
Shares of Nike soared 7.2% after the company announced strong fiscal second-quarter results. Quarterly revenue climbed 9.6% year over year (14% in constant currency) to $9.374 billion, while net income per share rose 13% to $0.52. Most analysts expected earnings of $0.46 per share on revenue of $9.17 billion.
"NIKE's ambitious digital transformation is driving strong results and momentum in North America and in our international geographies," stated Chairman and CEO Mark Parker. "We're incredibly energized about 2019 -- with a full innovation pipeline; the most personal, responsive retail experiences in the industry; and a supply chain that's delivering speed at scale."
For the full year, Nike also raised its outlook to call for high-single-digit percentage revenue growth, with the potential for low-double-digit growth. It also increased its guidance for full-year gross margin to expand 70 basis points, compared to its old target for a 50-basis-point improvement.
JD.com's CEO is in the clear
JD.com stock climbed 5.9% after Minneapolis police announced they will not bring charges against the Chinese e-commerce giant's founding CEO, Liu Qiangdong, for an alleged sexual assault earlier this year.
"After a thorough investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department sex crimes unit and a meticulous review by four senior, sexual assault prosecutors, it was determined there were profound evidentiary problems which would have made it highly unlikely that any criminal charge could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt," explained Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
Freeman noted some evidence included conversations captured on police body cameras between Liu and his accuser, both from inside her apartment and after the woman asked to speak privately with Liu before he was brought back to his hotel.
"The substance of those conversations, along with all of the other evidence including statements from the woman and others, as well as footage from multiple surveillance cameras, do not support criminal charges in this case," he added.
Air Transport flies higher
Shares of Air Transport Services Group soared 10.2% after the company announced significantly expanded agreements with Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN). Air Transport not only secured new leases to operate 10 additional Boeing 767s for Amazon, but also extended leases by several years for 20 767s it currently provides to the e-commerce specialist. It also extended the agreement through which its airlines operate aircraft in the Amazon Air network.
Amazon is further being granted warrants that could expand its potential equity stake in Air Transport to as much as 33.2%. In addition, Amazon will receive separate warrant incentives to lease as many as 17 additional cargo planes and bring its potential ownership of Air Transport to 39.9%.
"As the world's leading source of customer-dedicated 767 cargo aircraft," stated Air Transport CEO Joe Hete, "we have the access to aircraft and unmatched operating capabilities to continue to support Amazon Air for many years to come."