Major stock market indexes fluctuated between positive and negative territory throughout the session on Friday before closing in the red -- a fitting end to a holiday-shortened week punctuated by wild swings as skittish investors reacted to continued political strife and trade tensions in the U.S. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) fell around 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively.
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Retail stocks rebounded modestly after a difficult session on Thursday, leaving the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEMKT:XRT) up 0.5%. But oil stocks sagged, and the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSEMKT:XOP) lost 1.4%.
This analyst thinks Wingstop will fly higher
Shares of Wingstop soared 6.7% after Wedbush analyst Nick Setyan upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral. Setyan also curiously lowered his per-share price target on Wingstop by $2 to $69, which still marks a 14% premium from yesterday's close.
To justify his relative bullishness, Setyan said his checks of roughly 10% of Wingstop's domestic locations indicate same-restaurant sales growth this quarter could arrive well above the 4.9% most analysts are modeling.
"We continue to view [Wingstop's] rollout of delivery/digital ordering, upped marketing spend, a relative value proposition, and the natural maturation cycle of new units as drivers that could sustain mid- to high-single-digit [same-store sales] growth through 2019 versus the consensus expectation of 4%," he added.
To be sure, Wingstop's digital sales accounted for more than a quarter of its total revenue in Q3, and the company is effectively leveraging its relationship with DoorDash to rapidly expand its delivery capabilities. But if Wedbush is correct and Wingstop is able to sustain its recent momentum -- and even with shares up more than 60% so far in 2018 -- the stock could have plenty of room to continue rising from here.
A friendly new face on Tesla's board
Tesla stock climbed 5.6% after the electric vehicle and energy storage specialist announced it will add Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Walgreens executive Kathleen Wilson-Thompson to its board as independent directors. In doing so, Tesla is expanding its board from nine to 11 members.
The move was made per the terms of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's recent settlement with the SEC over charges that he misled investors earlier this year by publicly suggesting he had secured funding to take the company private.
But if appeasing regulators wasn't enough, bullish investors are largely cheering Tesla's addition of Ellison, another outspoken billionaire who has called Musk his "very close friend." Wilson-Thompson's appointment is also viewed as a positive catalyst given her extensive experience as Walgreens' global chief human resources officer.
Tesla's board elaborated in a statement: "In Larry and Kathleen, we have added a pre-eminent entrepreneur and a human resources leader, both of whom have a passion for sustainable energy."