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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

Stocks continued to climb today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) securing its ninth straight record close while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) mustered a similar modest gain. 

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow 0.12% 25.61
S&P 500 0.16% 4.08

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Image source: Getty Images.

Technology stocks helped prop up the overall market, with the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT: XLK) climbing 0.6%. But financial stocks simultaneously contracted, and the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEMKT: KBE) fell 0.6%, after higher interest rates helped the sector end last week on a positive note.

As for individual stocks, two saw unusual volatility today, thanks to an encouraging earnings report from Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) and a successful business spin-off by MetLife (NYSE: MET).

On pace for a delicious year

Tyson Foods stock climbed 5.7% after the meat products company announced better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter 2017 results. Tyson's quarterly revenue increased 4.8% year over year to $9.85 billion, driven by volume growth in every segment, with particular strength in beef and pork. On the bottom line, that translated to 5.8% growth in adjusted net income per share to $1.28. Analysts, on average, were only anticipating adjusted earnings of $1.18 per share on revenue of $9.48 billion.

Tyson also closed on its acquisition of value-added proteins and sandwich products specialist AdvancePierre on June 7, 2017. Going forward, Tyson predicts the deal will result in annualized net synergies of over $200 million within three years, primarily within its prepared foods segment. 

"We're nearing the end of a record year of earnings per share and operating income," added Tyson Foods CEO Tom Hayes, "and we're looking ahead to fiscal 2018 with great enthusiasm."

In the meantime, Tyson expects full-year fiscal 2017 sales to exceed $38 billion, while fiscal 2018 revenue should increase to roughly $41 billion -- with the latter including approximately $1.15 billion in incremental sales from AdvancePierre. Even excluding the acquisition, both figures were well above Wall Street's predictions for fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018 revenue of $37.26 billion and $38.25 billion, respectively. 

MetLife completes its spin-off

Financial services specialist MetLife endured a seemingly volatile day, with shares declining 10%. But there's more to this plunge than meets the eye, as it stems from the completion of MetLife's planned spin-off of Brighthouse Financial (NASDAQ: BHF).

Per the terms of the separation, MetLife investors received one share of Brighthouse Financial common stock for every 11 shares of MetLife they owned as of 5:00 p.m. EDT on the deal's July 19, 2017, record date. Any shareholders who owned less than 11 shares, or who would have otherwise received fractional shares, received cash instead. For perspective, MetLife stock closed on Friday at $53.92 per share, then followed to close today at $48.53 per share -- a difference of $5.39 per share. But that difference is also roughly $0.49 above the calculated spin-off price (1/11th of MetLife's Friday closing price would be approximately $4.90 per share), which means MetLife investors actually enjoyed a modest gain today after accounting for the new Brighthouse shares in their brokerage accounts.

That makes sense. After all, as MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian noted, the separation will help aid its "continuing transformation into a less capital intensive company with stronger free cash flow," while leaving its core business well-positioned for future profitable growth.

In short, contrary to what its closing price indicates at first glace, MetLife stock didn't drop today. And MetLife investors should be happy with their company's position right now.

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Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.