Markets Make Gains on Debt Ceiling Talks, Data Ahead

Markets Module May 15, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. equities gained on Monday, May 15, 2023 on debt ceiling talks and new economic data coming later in the week.
  • Western Digital led S&P 500 gains on merger discussions with Japan's Kioxia.
  • ONEOK shares dropped on the natural gas pipeline firm's $18.8B purchase of Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P.

U.S. equities moved slightly higher on optimism negotiations in Washington to raise the government’s debt ceiling and avoid default are moving forward, and ahead of key economic data coming later this week.

Western Digital Corporation (WDC) was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 on a report that the chip company's merger talks with Japan’s Kioxia Holdings are accelerating, and that a deal may come soon. Shares of Intel (INTC) and other semiconductor firms advanced as well. Activision Blizzard (AVTI) shares rose after European Union (EU) regulators approved Microsoft's (MSFT) $69 billion purchase of the video game maker.

Shares of restaurant chain Shake Shack (SHAK) gained on a report that activist investor Engaged Capital is planning a proxy fight for three board seats at the restaurant chain. Shares of Comerica (CMA), Zions Bancorporation (ZION), and other regional banks posted solid gains. Analysts’ upgrades lifted shares of Albemarle (ALB) and DuPont (DD). 

ONEOK (OKE) shares slid as the natural gas pipeline operator paid $18.8 billion to purchase Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. (MMP). Magellan shares jumped. Shares of H&R Block (HRB) lost ground ahead of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) report on whether the IRS will offer taxpayers free, direct filing of their federal tax returns. 

Shares of Sofi Technologies (SOFI) sank on a downgrade by Wedbush. Illumina (ILMN) shares fell after proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services favored one of the board nominees that activist investor Carl Icahn is backing in his proxy fight with the gene sequencing firm.

Oil futures added 1%. Prices for precious metals rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note increased. The U.S. dollar was up against the yen, but dipped versus the euro and pound. Most major cryptocurrencies traded higher. 

S&P 500 Gainers Losers
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