Are Netflix and Apple Getting Dumped?
It seems that some billionaires are now turning their backs on Netflix Inc. (NFLX, -0.27%) and Apple Inc. (AAPL, +0.70%). On Friday, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Greenlight Capital, which is operated by billionaire investor David Einhorn, stated that they had reduced their holdings of Apple shares in the second quarter from 7.44 million to 7.38 million. According to the filing, in the 3-month period, the value of the fund's equity holdings rose to $7.97 billion, up 4.2 percent. Meanwhile, at the same time, Greenlight Capital increased its stake in General Motors Inc. (GM, +1.38%) from 9.5 million to 14.6 million shares. Interestingly, Greenlight Capital also increased its stake in UIL Holdings (UIL, +1.25%) and the company now owns more than $200 million of this stock. Meanwhile, also on Friday, in a 13F filing with the SEC, Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor, also stated that he had sold his remaining stake in Netflix Inc. during the second quarter. After selling 1.4 million Netflix shares, Icahn then purchased about 1.1 million shares of Cheniere Energy Inc. As of the 30th of June, these shares are worth about $74.5 million. The total value of Icahn’s reported holdings declined from $32.05 billion in the first quarter to $31.2 billion in the second quarter, down 2.7%.
After a volatile trading session, U.S. stocks ended higher on Friday. This came in response to positive economic reports out of the U.S. which showed the economy in a strong light. As a result, this caused some confusion among investors regarding the future direction for stocks. At the close of trading, the S&P 500 index (SPX) increased by 0.4%, or 8.15 points, to close at 2,091.54. Gains were led by the financials and utilities sectors while the energy sector was the poorest performer. The SPX ended up 0.7% for the week. Meanwhile, the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) rose 0.3%, or 14.68 points, to 5,048.24. For the week, this index finished up 0.1%. Also on the upside was the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) which rose 0.4%, or 69.15 points, to close at 17,477.40. This blue chip index was supported by DuPont & Co. (DD, +1.57%) which closed up 1.6% after analysts at J.P. Morgan upgraded the stock. For the week, the index rose 0.6%.
On Friday, the U.S. dollar held steady. This came after economic data showed the U.S. economy in a positive light. According to a report by the University of Michigan, its consumer sentiment index fell from 93.1 in July to 92.9 in August. This missed analysts’ expectations for the index to rise to 93.5 in August. Also, data released on Friday showed that the industrial production in the U.S. in July rose 0.6%. This far exceeded expectations for a 0.3% gain. In a separate report, data showed that producer prices in the U.S. rose 0.2% in July. This also beat expectations for an increase of 0.1%. The EUR/USD held steady at 1.1153, while the USD/JPY traded at 124.24, down 0.17%. Against the currencies in Switzerland, Canada and Great Britain, the greenback traded lower with USD/CHF down 0.13% at 0.9751, the USD/CAD down 0.20% at 1.3032 and with GBP/USD up 0.24% and trading at 1.5650. Also, the U.S. dollar index was steady at 96.33.
On Friday, U.S. crude futures rallied, coming off fresh six and a half year lows. Baker Hughes, the oil services firm, reported in their weekly rig count that for the week ending on the 7th of August, the U.S. oil rigs increased to 672, up by 2. This marked the 4th straight week of weekly builds. WTI crude oil for delivery in September traded at $42.33, up 0.22%, or $0.10, on the NYMEX. Over the last month of trading, U.S. crude futures are still down by approximately 2.2 percent. Also, on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in London, Brent crude for September delivery traded at $48.91 a barrel, down 1.47%, or $0.73.The spread between the U.S and the international benchmarks of crude narrowed to 6.58.