Wall Street wasn't in the best of moods on the Monday after Thanksgiving, sending major benchmarks down. A solid showing from the retail sector seemed to signal a reasonable start to the holiday shopping season, but investors weren't happy with news from the White House that tariffs on steel and aluminum from two major South American countries would go back into effect. As of 11 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was down 217 points to 27,834. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) fell 27 points to 3,114, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) dropped 116 points to 8,550.
The holidays are an important time for Disney (NYSE:DIS), and the release of the long-awaited Frozen 2 has paid off for the entertainment giant's movie studio. Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) came to a resolution with a key labor union, helping the automaker avoid the troubles that one of its Big 3 rivals endured earlier this fall.
Disney breaks records with its latest sequel
Shares of Disney were down 1.5% after the media and entertainment company saw its latest movie release continue to bring in colossal amounts of money. Frozen 2 set new records with its performance over Thanksgiving, and all signs point to a huge success for the sequel.
Frozen 2 brought in $123.7 million over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend from Wednesday to Sunday, topping the previous $110 million record from the second installment of the Hunger Games franchise. From Friday to Sunday, the movie saw box office numbers come in above the $85 million mark.
Having opened the weekend before Thanksgiving, Frozen 2 has already scored $288 million in domestic box office receipts. Yet that pales in comparison to the release's worldwide revenue, which has come in at $739 million so far.
Disney has done a good job in recent years of making the most of its hit franchises, with the various installments in Marvel's Avengers universe being the most obvious example. Yet Disney's animated studio has pulled its weight over the long run, and Frozen 2 shows how powerful the team of Elsa and Anna might be in adding to the company's success in the years to come.
Fiat Chrysler comes to terms with the UAW
Shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles were little changed Monday morning as the automaker announced that it had made a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers over the weekend. The deal should help Fiat Chrysler avoid a strike, and with Ford and General Motors already having reached agreements with the UAW, Fiat Chrysler was the last of the Big 3 to finish its negotiations.
The UAW released some details of the agreement, saying that Fiat Chrysler committed to making a total of $9 billion in investments in order to add 7,900 jobs during the four-year contract period. With negotiations centering on salary, benefits, and job security, the UAW's national council expects to meet Wednesday to review the deal. If adopted, the agreement would go to Fiat Chrysler union members for ratification starting on Friday.
With the deal, Fiat Chrysler can expect to escape the financial damage that General Motors suffered as a result of the UAW strike there in September and October. Although things could've been worse, GM saw revenue fall 1% in the third quarter, with net income dropping almost 9% compared to year-earlier levels. The strike straddled the third and fourth quarters, and so GM can expect to see some additional downward pressure when it releases fourth-quarter results early next year.
With labor issues resolved, Fiat Chrysler can turn its attention back to its proposed merger with Peugeot owner PSA Group. Past efforts to combine with a European car company didn't result in a combination, but the hope is that Fiat Chrysler can grow larger and take advantage of scale at a challenging time for automakers globally.