You Weekly Market Blip 11/20/15

You Weekly Market Blip 11/20/15

Stock markets put on their Nike running shoes and bolted. The Dow shot higher at the opening and gained about 150 points before easing a bit at the close. The end result was a 91 point gain to 17,823. Trading volume was higher. For the week the Dow gained about 575 points or 3.3%.
Beaverton, OR based Nike announced late yesterday that they were increasing their dividend by 14%, splitting the stock 2 for 1 and just for good measure they threw on a $12 billion dollar four year stock buyback program. Shares jumped 5% and were a big reason why the Dow was higher. CEO Mark Parker said the company expects to grow revenue from the current level of $30 billion to over $50 billion in the next 5 years as it opens new markets around the globe to serve an expanding middle class in places like Asia. Nike is also a leader when it comes to stock buybacks. It has reduced its share count by 2% per year for the past several years.
Members of the Federal Reserve hit the speaking circuit today and in doing so the talking points are leaning toward a rate hike in the month of December. Investors also eyed oil prices, amid a continued drop in the weekly rig count. Baker Hughes reported the US rig count fell another 10 units. Oil was still under pressure and fell below $40 per barrel. Energy stocks continue to trade under weak as do material companies dealing in copper, aluminum and iron ore. Natural resources is a tough place to invest these days with no end in sight for low commodity prices.
On the data front, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing index came in at positive 1 for November, up from minus 1 in October and minus 8 in September.
Intel also gave markets a boost when it raised its dividend by 8.3% and also upped its forward sales guidance. Analysts had thought Intel capable of growing sales by 4% but the company said they expected sales to increase a bit faster than that. It was good news and sent shares higher.