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WJR February 2020 Reports

February 21, 2020 Not long ago, a headline about Chinese tariffs could send stock prices reeling. We’ve now moved from Chinese tariff trouble to Chinese virus transmission.  More concerning headlines about the coronavirus sickened stock prices mid-day yesterday and are infecting stock futures again this morning. We should also expect companies to start revising profit estimates to reflect impact of the virus.  This morning, Coca-Cola lowered its first quarter profit estimate by one to two cents. Faring worse than that this morning, shares of First Solar are off about 16 percent after last night’s announcement of a surprising fourth quarter loss. On the plus side of the ledger this morning, shares of Dropbox are almost 14 percent higher on a three-cent earnings beat.  At over 21 bucks per share, Dropbox is now finally above its 2018 IPO price. Earlier this morning, Deere reported a $1.63 profit, 38 cents better than...
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WJR January 2020 Reports

January 24, 2020 So far, the World Health Organization hasn’t labeled the coronavirus as a “global emergency.”  However, given the spread of the virus, a change in that position will likely put a shiver into stock prices.  In the meantime, it looks like rally fever will rule the early markets. Leading that charge will be shares of chip-maker Intel.  Shares are looking to open almost 5 percent higher.  Intel says that they expect quarterly earnings to come in at about $1.30 per share, which would be 26 cents better than expected as cloud computing growth continues to accelerate. American Express reported $2.03 in adjusted quarterly profit, which was 2 cents better than expected on better than expected revenue.  Amex shares are indicated about 2½ percent higher. On the downside this morning, Discover Financial shares are could lose almost 7 percent at the open on larger than expected charge-offs. A similar...
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WJR December 2019 Reports

Ron is taking a Holiday Break.  He will return to the air January 6, 2020.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!  Let's have a great 2020! December 20, 2019 The late-year melt-up in stock prices continues this morning even though Santa Claus has yet to board his sleigh. This morning we’re getting early Christmas presents from a couple of companies, while others are leaving us with a lump of coal. And speaking of lumps of coal, with pun intended, yesterday U.S. Steel announced an adjusted quarterly loss of $1.15 per share, which was 53 cents per share worse than expected. They cut their dividend by 80 percent, stopped buying back stock, and could cut as many as 1,500 jobs dur to a plant closure.  U.S. Steel stock is indicated about 8 percent lower this morning. Also on the naughty list are shares of Carmax.  Sales last quarter were...
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WJR November 2019 Reports

Have a great Thankgiving Weekend!  Ron will return to the air on December 2nd! November 26, 2019 All three major domestic stock indexes closed at record highs once again last night.  So far this morning, it appears that stock prices may pause to catch their figurative breath.  In the meantime, they’ll have a fresh batch of earnings and a couple of economic reports to review as we jam 5 days of market news into a 3½ day week. Two days before the big parade down Woodward, we have Best Buy leading a parade of earnings reports this morning.  Shrugging off a feared downdraft from tariffs, $1.13 of adjusted profit at Best Buy was 10 cents better than expected. Best Buy shares are indicated about 4 percent higher. Not to be outdone, Dick’s Sporting Goods reported 52 cents per share, 14 cents better than expected. Third quarter same store sales were...
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WJR October 2019 Reports

October 31, 2019 The S&P 500 closed at a record level yesterday after the Federal Reserve meticulously followed the widely anticipated script.  They cut short term rates be a quarter of a percent but apparently brought this easing cycle to an end, or at least paused until early 2020 at the earliest.  At 9:30 this morning we’ll get the latest the PCE.  That’s the personal consumption expenditure index and it’s reportedly the Fed’s favorite inflation indicator.  Any big uptick in future inflation may convince the Fed that the next necessary step might be a rate increase. Expect that today’s reading will reflect only a one-tenth of one percent increase. Shares of Fiat Chrysler are looking to open more than 3 percent higher on word of their 50/50 merger with the parent of Peugeot.  In European trade Peugeot shares are more than 13 percent lower. Shares of Apple, Facebook and Kraft-Heinz...
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WJR September 2019 Reports

September 30, 2019 It’s the last day of the third quarter.  For all the recent volatility, the S&P 500, including dividends, is about one percent higher than its level of June 30th.  Not doing quite as well recently is the price of bitcoin, down 34 percent over the last three months including a drop of 20 percent just last week. Another company has joined the long list of retailers operating while bankrupt.  Forever 21 has filed for Chapter 11 protection and will close almost 200 of their 800 stores as mall-based retailers continue to lose sales to online rivals. Another hard-luck story (maybe a hard-boiled story) this morning is the earnings report from Cal-Maine Foods.  A 30 percent drop in egg prices resulted in a 94 cent per share loss, nine cents worse than expected.  Cal-Maine stock is more than 5 percent lower pre-market. The Institute of Supply Management releases...
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WJR August 2019 Reports

August 30, 2019 It looks like we may finish August with another upswing in stock prices, although the futures are off their early morning highs. Later this morning, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will report the June figures on personal income and spending in these consumer-driven United States.  Expect that income rose by three-tenths of a percent, but (true to form) spending rose one-half of one percent. On the earnings from, Dell Technologies reported higher desktop computer sales on an earnings beat.  Shares of Dell are about 9 percent higher.  Big Lots shares are higher by about 18 percent as sales were better than expected and adjusted profit of 53 cents was a 13-cent beat.  Campbell Soup reported 49 cents versus the expected 41 cents and Tesla shares are about 4 percent higher as China announced that it will exempt 16 models from Chinese auto import tax.  AI video company...
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WJR July 2019 Reports

July 31, 2019 Okay, so there’s a lot of earnings news this morning, but we’ll get to that in a minute. More importantly to most anyone’s investment portfolio is the direction of interest rates.   If you look back to 1960, the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates, on average, more than 25 times per decade. This afternoon at 2 o’clock, the Federal Reserve is universally expected to cut short-term interest rates by a quarter of a percent.  That will be the first interest rate cut in 11 years.  Of course, that lack of rate cuts can be explained by the near-zero rates adopted during the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009.  However, it is remarkable that we haven’t had a rate cut this decade, while Central Banks across the globe have continued to cut rates, some even below zero. Okay, back to earnings – Last night Apple reported very strong...
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WJR June 2019 Reports

June 28, 2019 It’s the last trading day of the first half of 2019.  If you include dividends, the S&P 500 is almost 18 percent higher since New Year’s Day.  Keep in mind that since 1950, the S&P has hit its highest point of the year in the second half of the year 74 percent of the time.  Of course, every second half is a new second half and this one might get off to a sloppy start unless we get good news out of this weekend’s meeting of the minds at the G20 in Japan.  Last night, Nike reported better than expected sales, but earnings of 62 cents per share in the fourth quarter fell 4 cents short of estimates and 7 cents lower than last year’s fourth quarter.  Still Nike shares are only fractionally lower on expectations of a 79-cent profit in fiscal 2020’s first quarter. At 8:30,...
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WJR May 2019 Reports

May 31, 2019 Welcome to the last day of May.  The conventional wisdom is “sell in May and go away.”  It has been very conventional, but not very wise until this year.  In fact, it hasn’t worked well since 2012, but this May is certain to finish with stocks in the red. There are two factors driving stock prices lower this morning.  The Chinese Purchasing Manager’s Index released overnight showed actual contraction in Chinese manufacturing, which was not expected.  Also unexpected was another visit from “Tariff Man.”  President Trump threatened a series of increasing tariffs on all Mexican imports, starting at 5 percent if the Mexicans don’t take action to stop illegal immigration to the U.S. A lot of imports from Mexico are not finished goods – they’re materials used in production here, but a lot of cars are built there too.  Reflecting that, shares of Ford Motor are lower...
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