The market put together a third straight day of gains as optimism built that the U.S. will reach an agreement with China on trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) each moved up by about a percentage point.
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Trade-sensitive industrial stocks in particular moved higher, with the Industrial Select SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT: XLI) rising 1.4%. Real estate stocks continued a rebound that started late last month; the Vanguard REIT ETF (NYSEMKT: VNQ) added 2%.
As for individual stocks, Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) gave a business update that wasn’t quite what the market was hoping to hear, and marijuana stock CannTrust Holdings (NASDAQOTH:CNTTF) rose after the company applied for listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
Illumina fails to excite investors
Gene sequencer provider Illumina gave an update on its business at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, and investors were disappointed with guidance for full-year revenue that was below expectations. Shares fell 4.6%. Company officials said to expect 2019 revenue to grow by 13% to 14% to between $3.76 billion and $3.80 billion, a range that missed the analysts’ consensus figure of $3.81 billion.
Investors’ opinions on the company were not buoyed by the good news that fourth-quarter revenue increased 11% to $865 million, topping expectations of $859.5 million. And the company’s guidance range for 2019 non-GAAP earnings per share was $6.50 to $6.60, well above the $6.37 consensus estimate.
Illumina usually uses the J.P. Morgan conference to make major product announcements, so investors may also have been disappointed by its lack of major new products this year. But the company did announce new consumables and accessories for its high-end sequencers and clinical platforms that it expects will expand its markets. The company will also have its hands full digesting its Pacific Biosciences acquisition, a purchase expected to close around midyear.
CannTrust applies for listing on the Big Board
Shares of Canadian marijuana producer CannTrust Holdings rose 3.2% as it announced it will be latest cannabis business to file for listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has filed a registration statement with the Securities Exchange Commission, and is waiting for approval of the NYSE and satisfaction of listing and regulatory requirements.
CannTrust serves over 57,000 medical marijuana patients, and announced last year that it is expanding into recreational marijuana products. The company has been focusing on growing its production capacity, which it expects to reach 100,000 kilograms per year by the end of 2019. Last quarter, CannTrust doubled its sales and generated a small profit.
A listing on the Big Board — where it would join fellow marijuana stocks Canopy Growth, Aphria, and Aurora Cannabis — would expand CannTrusts’s investor base, and potentially help the company raise new capital when it needs it.
Jim Crumly owns shares of Illumina. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Illumina. The Motley Fool recommends CannTrust Holdings Inc and Pacific Biosciences of California. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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