Stocks closed the week up with a soft 19 point gain at 25,219. Trading volume was mixed. For the week the Dow posted its best gain since 2013 with a 1,100 point move or roughly 4.5%. IBD has switched back to “Market in rally” mode. Russian stocks were lower following the release of the Mueller investigation. In America we buy calls and puts but in Russia they buy calls and putins! Haha
The green and yellow shares of John Deere vaulted higher as the company posted better than expected earnings. Lawn mowers were flying off the shelf as Deere reported a 23% revenue rise and a 212% increase in net income. Agriculture and turf sales were up 18% while construction and forestry sales jumped 57%. I guess everyone had a rubber tired skidder under the Christmas tree this year! Going forward the company sees equipment sales up 29% which reflects the recent Wirtgen buyout. Wirtgen is a maker of road construction equipment.
Amazon announced it is partnering with Bank of America for business lending. CNBC reports the deal allows Amazon to reduce its risk and access capital for its merchants specifically to buy more inventory. Amazon Lending is an invitation only program offered to its top sellers.
For all you “wood tics” out there, Random Lengths is reporting that lumber price guides are at record highs as housing data continues to show steady growth. Sawmill capacity utilization has been in a pronounced recovery and softwood lumber imports hit a 10 year high last year as robust domestic markets have attracted a surge of offshore shipments. While framing lumber backed off its frantic January price move some traders remain wary of a pullback considering the recent stock market dip. Mills however continue to lever prices slowly higher and the Framing Lumber Composite Price or FLCP rose $11 to $492.
Monday is Presidents Day and the markets will be closed. In Russia they will be celebrating “Dictators Day”. Attendance is mandatory!