What to Watch in the Markets

By Markets FOXBusiness


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The world’s biggest burger chain posted much better than expected fourth-quarter earnings results. The company revealed earnings per share of $1.31 on revenue of $6.34 billion. Expectations called for profits of $1.23 a share on sales of $6.22 billion. Meanwhile, global same-store sales for the reporting period jumped 5%, with U.S. comp sales surging 5.7% thanks to the launch of all-day breakfast in October, and mild weather, the company said.

"We took bold, urgent action in 2015 to reset the business and position McDonald's to deliver sustained profitable growth," said McDonald's President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement. "We ended the year with momentum… a testament to the swift changes we made and the early impact of our turnaround efforts.”

Shares jumped more than 2% at the opening bell, and hit a lifetime high of $121.85. It was the first Dow stock to hit a record high so far this year. 


The world’s second-largest oilfield service provider reported better-than-expected quarterly profits of 31 cents a share, compared to 24-cent expectations. Total revenue, meanwhile, dropped 42% thanks to multi-year low oil prices and weak drilling activity.

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Halliburton’s CEO said the company continues to await regulatory approval for its proposed merger with Baker Hughes (BHI).


Shares of Caterpillar dropped 3.7% ahead of the opening bell after Goldman Sachs (GS) cut its rating to sell from neutral, and downgrading its price target to $51 from $67. The downgrade came as the analyst expects “sustained lower returns” thanks to overcapacity and lower demand from commodity-exporting nations including China.


Merger Monday came thanks to Johnson Controls and Tyco International’s announcement of a proposed tie up. The deal would result in a combined company domiciled in Ireland – a low-tax haven – where Tyco is currently headquartered. The companies said the deal would result in at least $500 million in savings within the first three years, with $150 million in annual tax savings.

Tyco is a maker of fire protection and security systems, while Johnson Controls manufactures car batteries and heating and ventilation equipment.


Friday’s bump higher for social-media giant Twitter (TWTR) was short-lived after CEO Jack Dorsey on Sunday announced the departure of four top executives at the company. Shares dropped more than 5% in recent action. 

In a tweet, Dorsey said he had hoped to talk with Twitter employees about the shakeup, but hoped to set the record straight after rumors were floated.

Alex Roetter, senior vice president of engineering; Brian “Skip” Schipper, vice president of human resources; Katie Stanton, vice president of global media; and Kevin Weil, senior vice president of product will all depart the company.

“All four will be taking some well-deserved time off,” Dorsey said in the tweet. “I’m personally grateful to each of them for everything they’ve contributed to Twitter and our purpose in the world.”