A sense of calm came over the markets this week.
No major banks went bust — though UBS ousted its CEO as it prepares to integrate stricken rival Credit Suisse — as the March crisis in the sector has been downgraded to turmoil.
The first quarter ended on a high note, with the S&P 500 finishing in the green for the fourth time in five sessions. Overall, the S&P 500 finished the first quarter up 7% and rose for the second-straight quarter, which Fundstrat’s Tom Lee sees as the start of something bigger for markets.
Former President Donald Trump’s indictment late Thursday also didn’t move markets, but will be carefully watched for implications on the looming debt ceiling debate this summer and 2024 election, pros say.
“At this point, the view that Trump could benefit from his legal troubles has almost become conventional wisdom, to the extent that ‘actually it is bad to be indicted’ is now a contrarian take,” said Evercore ISI strategist Tobin Marcus.
“But we have been making this argument since last summer, and we still believe it. We maintain our view that Trump is a strong frontrunner for the GOP nomination.”
But with first quarter earnings season right around the corner and the start of the second quarter coming up on Monday, let’s set 2024 aside for now and go through a few other key items that caught Yahoo Finance’s attention this week.
1. Foot Locker runs into its future
Some seven months into the CEO job at Foot Locker (FL), Mary Dillon told me at Shoptalk in Las Vegas this week she is trying to ensure the company is around for the next 50 years to serve sneakerheads.
“We are the OG of sneakers and are really refocusing on all things sneakers,” Dillon said.
Dillon has wasted no time in outlining her goals to Wall Street and repairing a damaged relationship with Nike (NKE), as we noted earlier this week. Given Dillon’s impressive eight-year track track record as CEO of Ulta Beauty (ULTA), Foot Locker investors should rest assured they have a top flight leader.
You can read more on what we learned at Shoptalk here.
2. Lyft hails a new CEO
After a series of bad quarters amid market share losses to larger rival Uber (UBER), Lyft (LYFT) has ordered a new leader for its corner office.
With the stock down 77% in the past year, the move to replace co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer operationally at least wasn’t a total shock to Wall Street (both will stay on the board).
Enter Amazon- and Microsoft-trained David Risher, who has also been a Lyft board member for about 18 months. Risher told Yahoo Finance Live he is focused on getting back to basics at Lyft, which may include further expense cuts.
Risher also didn’t rule out a sale of Lyft at some point.
“We always look at options and people approach us from time to time. Right now our focus is on creating such a great service that in whatever configuration, we are going to be relevant — valuable — either as a standalone company or something else,” Risher said.
3. FAANG shows its teeth, finally
Omnipresent tech analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush tells me big-cap tech stocks are the new safety trade among investors seeking shelter during the bank crisis. He looks to be on the mark, at the moment.
The first quarter saw the return of rabid buying interest in the FAANG complex — more formally known as Meta Platforms (META) (née Facebook), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX), and Alphabet (GOOGL) (née Google). The best-performing FAANG stock in the quarter was Meta, which saw shares rise more than 70% as investors warmed up to the profit potential this year from major cost-cuts.
The worst-performing FAANG stock in the quarter was Netflix, which rose a mere 15% with some subscriber unhappiness fueled by a password crackdown reports Yahoo Finance’s Alexandra Canal. Since last May, however, Netflix stock has doubled.
All FAANG stocks outperformed the S&P 500’s 7% increase in the quarter.
Brian Sozzi is Yahoo Finance’s Executive Editor. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn. Tips on the banking crisis or anything else? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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