The National Rifle Association said late Friday that it has filed for chapter 11 in a Texas bankruptcy court, saying the "restructuring plan" will help streamline its legal and financial affairs and ensure its "continued success." The organization also said it was leaving New York and going forward with plans to reincorporate in Texas. "The plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas," the NRA said in a letter in its website signed by Wayne LaPierre, its chief executive. The organization said it was not insolvent and is "as financially strong as we have been in years." The NRA and New York have been in an ongoing, high-profile legal battle for months. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
U.S. stock-market benchmarks finished lower on Friday, booking weekly losses after a third straight drop in retail sales highlighted weakness in consumer spending at the turn of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 177 points, or 0.6%, to 30,814, based on preliminary numbers. The S&P 500 slipped 0.7% to end around 3,768. The Nasdaq Composite slid 0.9% to finish near 12,999. For the week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both fell 1.5%, while the Dow shed 0.9%. The disappointing retail sales data added to the urgency of further fiscal support. President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package on Thursday evening, but the bill has drawn widespread skepticism among analysts who question the package's viability. Investors also watched the unofficial start to corporate earnings season, with JPMorgan Chase reporting profits that beat expectations. However, revenues for Citigroup and Wells Fargo fell short of analyst estimates. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that a new more infectious strain of SARS-CoV-2 will likely become the most dominant form of the virus in the U.S. by March. The strain, B.1.1.7, was first identified by health officials in the United Kingdom in December. The CDC said in a new report that enhanced genomic sequencing, in addition to vaccination and standard mitigation practices like mask-wearing and social distancing, will be needed to stem the spread of the new strain. President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he plans to boost funding for a national genomic sequencing surveillance system, given that the U.S. is trailing other developing countries using this technology in their pandemic responses. "CDC's modeling data show that universal use of and increased compliance with mitigation measures and vaccination are crucial to reduce the number of new cases and deaths substantially in the coming months," the agency said. It also said the U.S. should conduct "strategic testing" of people without symptoms but who are at high-risk for contracting the virus. More than 70 people in 12 states are confirmed to have been infected with the new strain, as of Jan. 13,according to the CDC.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Oil futures declined Friday, prompting U.S. prices to pare their gain for the week, pressured as fresh outbreaks of COVID-19 in China dulled the outlook for energy demand. "China's growing health crisis has led to a fall in oil as it is the largest importer of energy in the world," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK. "The Beijing administration has put 22 million people on lockdown due to rising COVID-19 cases, so demand fears are in circulation." February West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.21, or 2.3%, to settle at $52.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Based on the front month, prices edged up by 0.2% from last Friday's settlement, FactSet data show.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Shares of 3D Systems Corp. tumbled 11% in afternoon trading Friday, after J.P. Morgan analyst Paul Coster turned bearish on the 3D printing company, citing an "unfavorable" risk-versus-reward profile at current prices. The stock has skyrocketed more than four-fold (up 329.7%) over the past three months, to close Thursday at the highest price since April 2015, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.5%. Coster cut his rating to underweight from neutral, but raised his price target to $18, which is 37% below current levels, from $14. He said a strong rebound in the economy will raise activity levels in 3D printing, especially in the auto and aerospace markets, and in the elective surgery and dental markets once the pandemic passes, but he said that view is likely already priced into the stock. He also downgraded fellow 3D printer maker Stratasys Ltd. to underweight from neutral, and the stock fell 2.4% after closing Thursday at the highest price since July 2015.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.