Stock Market Today: Jobs Disappoint, Aurora Cannabis Stock to $1? 

Stock Market

Equities took a much-needed breather in the stock market today. Although, not by much. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) slipped just 0.31%, while the PowerShares QQQ ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ) fell 0.26%.

We continued to see new highs from many stocks on Friday, but it’s starting to feel a bit tired out there. Equities aren’t rallying with the same “oomph” that they were before, and we’re seeing some moves to new highs followed by some selling pressure. Names like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) fit this observation, although it may only last a day or two.

Keep in mind, the banks will kickoff earnings on Tuesday.

It was one of the lowest volume trading days since Dec. 24 and Dec. 26, which is somewhat surprising given that the non-farm payrolls report was released before the open.

Jobs

The economy added 145,000 jobs last month, which came in below the 165,000 consensus. Last month’s 266,000 added jobs were revised lower to 256,000 as well. The unemployment rate came in at 3.5%, matching expectations, while hourly earnings rose just 2.9%. That was below expectations and below last month’s reading, both of which were at 3.1%.

For the year, the U.S. economy added “just” 2.1 million jobs, according to current figures. That was the lowest addition since 2011, but at this point in the economic cycle, robust jobs growth is difficult to achieve. An uptick in wages would be nice, provided the labor market remains steady in 2020.

Movers in the Stock Market Today

Despite rallying earlier this week on news of a potential sale for Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB), that doesn’t seem like it will be the case. Now the company denies reports that it’s looking for a sale, causing a 6.1% decline in the share price in the stock market today.

Six Flags (NYSE:SIX) will come up short with its fourth-quarter numbers, warning on revenue Friday morning. The company has been facing some huge challenges in its park development in China, as well as lower attendance and fewer season-pass sales. SIX is looking at revenue numbers of about $8 million to $10 million lower compared to last year’s quarter. Analysts originally hoped for $286 million, unfortunately the numbers look more like $259.5 million to $261.5 million. These recent numbers are causing its stock to fall 17.9%.

Six Flags was one of InvestorPlace’s Top Stock Trades on Friday.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is trying to reverse the Federal Trade Commission’s decision that claims it abuses its position in chipmaking for cell phones for outsize license fees. President Donald Trump’s administration wants to join in the Feb. 13 hearings backing the company because they fear it could suppress competition as well as threaten national security. Never a dull moment.

Heard on the Street

General Electric (NYSE:GE) shares slipped 2% as JPMorgan’s notorious bear Stephen Tusa reiterated his “underweight” rating and $5 price target. Tusa argues that the company’s defense business likely underperformed management’s prior outlook for the fourth quarter.

Piper Sandler analysts are out with a pair of interesting calls on Friday.

First, the firm slashed its price target on Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) from $3 to $1, downgrading the stock to a “sell” rating. The analyst is turning negative due to cash flow and financing concerns. This caught some attention in the stock market today, with ACB falling 11.3% to new lows.

On the flip side, Piper Sandler analysts maintain their “overweight” rating on Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), but raised their price target to $553. That’s just a hair under the Street-high $556 target from Argus. The Piper Sandler analyst is bullish on growth in China.

Last but not least, Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) was in the spotlight Friday. Citigroup analysts put the stock on “positive catalyst watch” after a solid showing at this year’s CES event. The analysts assigned a $245 price target and have a “buy”-equivalent rating on the stock.

But that’s not all, Bank of America analysts hit Nvidia with a Street-high price target of $300 per share — above its all-time high — and named the stock its top large-capitalization semi pick for 2020.

Are analysts getting too bullish lately?

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long AAPL and NVDA. 

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