By Francesca Fontana 

Major U.S. indexes ended the holiday-shortened trading week higher, with the S&P 500 index gaining 1.8%. All three main indexes closed Wednesday's shortened session at record highs for the first time in 17 months.

Among individual movers, the past week was headlined by a thawing in U.S.-China trade tension that lifted chip makers like Micron and Qualcomm. Merger mania continued to have an impact as well, with Genesee & Wyoming jumping on a go-private deal and Symantec soaring on a report of a deal. And Nike fanned the flames of controversy by pulling a flag-themed shoe because of objections from its pitchman Colin Kaepernick.

Here, the stocks that defined the week:

Micron Technology Inc.

Shares of semiconductor companies soared after President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a cease-fire on trade that would remove some U.S. curbs on Huawei Technologies buying equipment from the U.S. Micron shares gained 3.9% Monday, while Qualcomm gained 1.9% and Nvidia gained 1.2%. Under the deal, the U.S. also agreed to put off additional tariffs on Chinese goods, while China will start buying large amounts of American agricultural products.

Genesee & Wyoming Inc.

Genesee & Wyoming agreed to be taken private for about $6.5 billion, a deal that comes as the railroad industry shifts to running fewer, longer trains on tighter schedules. G&W, which has acquired scores of smaller railroads in recent years, has a strong presence in short-line railroads that act as the last-mile carrier and serve local customers. G&W said the offer of $112 a share, by affiliates of Brookfield Infrastructure and Singapore's sovereign-wealth fund GIC, represents a 39.5% premium to the closing price of $80.28 on March 8, the day before media speculation about a deal surfaced. Shares leapt 8.9% Monday

Coty Inc.

Coty shares plummeted 13% Monday as the cosmetics and fragrance giant said it would restructure its operations and take a $3 billion write-down on the multibillion-dollar beauty business it acquired from Procter & Gamble. That deal, completed in 2016, gave Coty more than 40 brands from P&G like CoverGirl, Max Factor and Clairol. Coty said it would cut staff and product offerings while also reorganizing the business into distinct geographic units. "Clearly we are underperforming, we want to close the performance gap," Coty Chief Executive Pierre Laubies said.

Nike Inc.

Nike pulled a Betsy Ross flag-themed sneaker off the market late Monday after football star-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick said it shouldn't sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others considered offensive because of its connection to an era of slavery. The move revived a debate over the emblem and Nike's hiring of Mr. Kaepernick, who hasn't played in the NFL since 2016 when he led national anthem protests. Arizona's governor responded Tuesday by withdrawing financial incentives the state had promised Nike to open a plant in Goodyear, while the town's mayor said the city still wanted the company.

Symantec Corp.

Symantec shares surged 13% Wednesday following a news report that Broadcom is in "advanced talks" to buy the cybersecurity company. A deal, if it is completed, would be Broadcom's second major acquisition in the past year -- it bought software maker CA Technologies in July 2018 for about $19 billion -- that would take the chip maker's focus beyond its core after a hostile bid for rival Qualcomm was blocked by the U.S. government. Symantec has been struggling with poor performance and the departure of its chief executive in May. Broadcom shares fell 3.5% on Wednesday.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Warren Buffett will donate Berkshire Hathaway shares worth about $3.6 billion to five foundations as a part of his plan to give away most of his wealth to charities and other philanthropic efforts, the company said Monday. Mr. Buffett plans to donate the shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation. Including this latest gift, Mr. Buffett has donated about 45% of his 2006 holdings to date to the five foundations.

Jefferies Financial Group Inc.

Financial stocks rose Friday as a better-than-expected jobs report diminished expectations of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve at its policy meeting later this month. Finance was the sole sector of the S&P 500 that rose after the jobs report showed U.S. employers added 224,000 nonfarm jobs and the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7%, as the profitability of banks and brokerages decreases in a falling-rate environment. Jefferies Financial Group climbed 3.4% Friday, while Comerica was up 1.7% and SunTrust Banks added 1.8%.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 05, 2019 18:14 ET (22:14 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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