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WJR August 2018 Reports

August 30, 2018

Hopefully, we’ll have some good news regarding NAFTA by tomorrow, and not much news about it afterward. Intense talks are reportedly underway in Washington with the goal of having Canada on board with NAFTA 2.0 by tomorrow, in time for the outgoing Mexican President to sign off on a deal.
Campbell Soup is looking for a deal this morning, looking to sell its international unit and its refrigerated foods unit. Combined, they represent about 20 percent of Campbell’s sales. Campbell has been under pressure by activist investors to sell the entire company.
Signet Jewelers isn’t selling itself but is apparently moving a lot of jewelry. Shares are 13 percent higher pre-market on word of 52 cents per hares of quarterly profit, crushing the 20-cent estimate.
The retail loser of the morning may be Michael’s Stores. Shares are off 7 percent. Earnings were okay last quarter, but same store sales and total sales missed the mark. Don’t look now, but Amazon shares are bid above the $2,000 mark this morning.
Jobless Claims and the July Personal Income and Spending numbers come at 8:30.
Overseas markets are slumping a bit, and we should give back a little at 9:30 as well, pending any news on NAFTA.
Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are now lower by about 3½ points, the Dow futures are down 52and the NASDAQ futures are about 8points belowfair value.  
August 29, 2018
Although international trade policies and tariffs have dominated stock price trends in recent weeks, in the boring old long run, it’s the impact of interest rates and overall economic growth that determine corporate profits and the price of their stocks.
In spite of conventional wisdom, interest rates have remained very restrained this year, which has helped. And, the Government’s advance number on national Gross Domestic Product was 4.1 percent last month, which was surprisingly strong. This morning at 8:30, we’ll hear the Government’s second estimate of second quarter GDP. Most expect that the 4.1 percent number will be confirmed. OF course, the final verdict on domestic growth will come a month from now.
We’ll also get July personal income and spending numbers at 8:30.
Dick’s Sporting Goods beat the $1.06 estimate by 14 cents. Yet, sales were below forecasts and the shares are almost 7 percent lower pre-market. Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is more than one percent higher on good earnings. Roku shares are off about 5 percent, on news of possible new competition from Amazon.
Asian markets were mixed overnight, but Europe is lower. Nevertheless, we should get off to another good start, pending that GDP number at 8:30.
Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are now higher by3 points, the Dow futures are up 31and the NASDAQ futures are about 18points above fair value. 
August 28, 2018
Yesterday’s apparent trade agreement in principle between the U.S. and Mexico sent stock prices soaring, with booth the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ closing at record levels.
Not at record levels this morning are shares of Best Buy. Second quarter earnings of 91 cents were better than the expectation of 83 cents. Same store sales were up 6 percent, but the shares are about 4 percent lower due to the 3rdquarter guidance. Ionis Pharmaceuticals and its 77 percent owned subsidiary Akcea are sharply lower after FDA rejection of a drug they are jointly developing.
On the famous other hand, specifically the ring finger, shares of Tiffany are 4 percent higher, as $1.17 or profit was well ahead of the $1.01 estimate, on a same store sales increase of 8 percent.
DSW may have the good news of the morning. Earnings of 63 cents per share were 17 cents better than expected and the shares are more than 20 percent higher pre-market.
Toyota is expanding their investment in Uber, investing 500 million dollars in Uber, and expects to have Uber technology in cars ready for autonomous testing as early as 2021.
Asian markets were higher overnight, but on the whole, Europe is little changed. Our futures are once again in the rise. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are now higher by almost 5points, the Dow futures are up 70and the NASDAQ futures are about 23points above fair value. 
August 27, 2018
There’s no doubt that fears of a worldwide trade war have weighed on stock prices this year. However, there’s a glimpse of daylight today. According to a Mexican official, a NAFTA deal between the U.S. and Mexico may be “only hours away.” Talks resume at 9 o’clock this morning. Across the Pacific, trade talks with China are stalled, but the Chinese Central Bank moved over the weekend to shore up their currency. President Trump has been critical of China for driving he yuan lower in order to gain a trading advantage.
Put all that together and we have Chinese stocks higher by about 2 percent overnight, other Asian markets are higher, and outside of Italy and the UK, where the market is closed, Europe is higher at this hour as well.
By the way, even with all the trade fears, we’ll start the day with the S&P 500 is more than 20 percent higher over the past 12 months.
Pfizer is 1 percent higher on positive results in a test on a new heart drug. Tesla shares are more than 3 percent lower, on the announcement that Tesla will not be going private after all.


Our futures have been gradually strengthening over the past few hours. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are now higher by almost 11points, the Dow futures are up 124, and the NASDAQ futures are about 37points above fair value. 
August 24, 2018

I think that the tag line used to be “fall into the GAP.” This morning, we’ll change that to “GAP is going to fall.” Even though sales and earnings were better than expected last quarter, and profit was higher than a year ago, word of a 5 percent drop in same-store sales at the flagship GAP stores as the shares more than 7 percent lower pre-market.

Foot Locker’s earnings of 75 cents per share came in a nickel better than expected, but same store sales there were also light, and shares are looking to open down 2 percent.

Autodesk shares are almost 9 percent higher on an earnings beat, and even though they had a good earnings report, Intuit shares are lower on news that the CEO will be stepping down.

The July Durable Goods report is on the way, but traders will likely focus on Fed Chairman Powell’s speech at the Kansas City Fed’s conference in Jackson Hole Wyoming.

Japan was almost one percent higher overnight, other foreign markets are mixed, but generally a little higher, and we should get off to a good start on Wall Street. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are now higher by 5 points, the Dow futures are up 63, and the NASDAQ futures are about20points abovefair value.=

August 23, 2018

Every year, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City holds a big confab in Jackson Hole Wyoming to discuss pertinent economic issues of the day. With that many economists gathered at the same place at the same time, each with their own financial opinions and prognostications, there are seemingly plenty of headline worthy opportunities for the financial press. Of course, it’s been said that if all economists were laid end to end, you still wouldn’t reach a conclusion. We’ll see what comes out of the two-day meeting that starts today.

What came out of earnings news this morning is a story of two up and two down.

Chinese internet giant Alibaba shares are 3 percent higher. Earnings missed, but revenue was 61 percent higher than a year ago due to additional subscribers. William Sonoma checked in with good earnings and an upbeat outlook. Shares are about 7 percent higher pre-market.

Lower by 9 percent are shares of L brands on a lowered full year outlook, and Hormel shares are about 5 percent lower for the same reason.

Weekly Jobless claims numbers are on the way at 8:30, and at 10, July New Home Sales are expected to have risen 2.2 percent.

Our futures have been just slightly lower much of the morning. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are now down 1½ points, the Dow futures are down 7, and the NASDAQ futures are now about 7points belowfair value.

August 21, 2018

It’s still earnings season for some retailers, with Target reporting tomorrow, and Kohl’s checking in this morning. Kohl’s profit of $1.76 compares with the $1.64 consensus estimate on better than expected sales. That’s the good news. Not so good is that while Kohl’s raised full year earnings guidance, they only raised their estimate by a nickel. Given that last quarter was 12 cents better than expected, the 5-cent raise is either some sandbagging or an indication of rougher waters ahead. Kohl’s shares are about 2 percent lower pre-market.

Shares of Coty, JM Smucker and J Jill are also lower after reporting earnings.

The price of home builder Toll Brothers’ shares is through the roof this morning, with shares indicated about 7½ percent higher. Profit of $1.26 was 23 cents per share better than expected.

Chinese stocks rose a percent and a half overnight. In fact, most markets overseas are higher on the hope of some progress in trade negotiations.

At this point, our futures look almost exactly like they did 24 hours ago. In fact, they’re a bit better. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are now higher by about 5 points, the Dow futures are up 54, and the NASDAQ futures are now about22points above fair value.

August 20, 2018

We finished last week with the S&P 500 Index less than one percent form its all-time high, and so far this morning, things are looking good once again.

Things are looking really good if your own shares of SodaStream. It may be to eliminate a competitor, or it may be to get another leg up in the sparking water market, but Pepsico is buying SodaStream for 3.2 billion dollars. That has Soda Stream shares, which were already 20 percent higher over the past month, bubbling up another 10 percent this morning.

Estee Lauder announced better than expected sales and profit for last quarter, but weak guidance for the current quarter and entire year has shares lower pre-market. Sounds like additional promotional expense are getting the blame.

Tesla shares are once again in reverse this morning, dropping about 4 percent so as its becoming apparent that the road to possibly going private is a long and winding one from here.

More news from the economic basket case that is Venezuela. The government there is devaluing the currency by 95 percent. Imagine all of your dollars being worth about a nickel. Not a pretty picture.

Chinese stocks rose overnight, on hopes of progress in the trade talks with Washington. European markets are about a half percent higher. Our futures are off earlier highs, but at this point, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are now higher by about points, the Dow futures areup 59points, and the NASDAQ futures are now almost19 points abovefair value.


August 17, 2018

In case anyone wondered how much possible trade wars are influencing stock prices, yesterday provided the answer. Early news of a Chinese trade delegation coming to the United States was compounded by comments from trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer that a breakthrough in NAFTA negotiations may be just days away. The Dow Jones nearly 400-point gain was the best price rise in four months. It looks like we’ll take some time to digest yesterday’s big market gains early on today.

Shares of heavy equipment maker Deere are digesting about a 4 percent decline this morning. Earnings of $2.59 per share fell 16 cents short of expectations. Sales were better than expected, but full year guidance was uninspiring.

Nordstrom shares are on an almost 9 percent rise pre-market after last night’s announcement of better than expected earnings, a 4 percent rise in same-store sales and raised guidance.

The July Leading Economic Indicators come at 10 this morning and are expected to ease off to a four-tenths of a percent increase, down a tenth of a percent from the June figure.

Overseas markets are mixed, our futures have been drifting a bit lower over the past hour. At this point, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are now down about 5points, the Dow futures are lower by 31 points, and the NASDAQ futures are now about 25points belowfair value.

August 16, 2018

This one-step forward-one-step back stock market should follow yesterday’s step backward with a big step forward in the early going today. A mid-level official from China will travel to the United States soon to resume negotiations on trade policy.  While it’s not high-level, ANY level of renewed negotiation is giving traders hope that trade tensions will ease.

And it could just be that the Chinese are more willing to talk because their economic growth is starting to slow. Another Chinese internet play, reported earnings that were less than half of the consensus estimate. Together with yesterday’s disappointing numbers from Tencent, we could be seeing the reason the Chinese are willing to start talking again.

Two domestic retailers are heading in decidedly different directions this morning. Walmart reported $1.29 in profit, 7 cents better than expected, they raised guidance and shares are indicated more than 10 percent higher pre-market. The famous other hand belongs to JC Penney. Penney lost 38 cents per share last quarter, 32 cents worse than expected. They lowered sales guidance for the full year and Penney shares are looking to open about 21 percent lower.

Weekly Jobless Claims and the July Housing starts come in fifteen minutes.

Asia was lower overnight, but European markets are in the green, and we’re heading for a strong open for the major indexes. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are now higher by about 16points, the Dow futures are up239, and the NASDAQ futures are now about 55points abovefair value.


August 15, 2018

Retailer Macy’s just reported quarterly earnings of 59 cents per share. That was 8 cents better than expected and Macy’s raised full-year guidance. Another retailer that’s not doing quite so well is Sears Holdings. This morning, word is that hedge fund honcho Eddie Lampert may buy Sears’ Kenmore division for 400 million dollars or so, as the last remaining pieces of flesh get picked off the Sears and Kmart bones.

The financial crisis and great recession are about a decade in the rear-view mirror at this point, but firms are still paying for their shenanigans. Royal Bank of Scotland will pay a nearly 5 billion-dollar fine as penance for their mortgage sales practices at that time.

Chinese internet giant Tencent reported disappointing earnings after the Chinese market closed this morning. Online gaming revenue suffered as a result of the Chinese Government’s crackdown on some of Tencent’s most popular online games.

Speaking of which, Chinese stocks were off another 2 percent overnight. Many European markets are off almost one percent.

Our futures have been losing ground all morning long, although the losses moderated during the past half hour. Nevertheless, we’re looking at weaker open for stock prices. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are now lower by about 15points, the Dow futures aredown 142, and the NASDAQ futures are now about 56points belowfair value.


August 14, 2018

Yesterday afternoon, technology infrastructure company Switch reminded us that things don’t ALWAYS go higher with technology companies. Reported earnings of 2 cents per share fell short of the 4-cent estimate and compares to 7 cents a year ago. Guidance was lowered for the rest of the year, and traders are switching to other stocks this morning, sending Switch shares more than 25 percent lower.

Heading in the other direction are shares of Advance Auto Parts. $1.97 in earnings was an 11-cent beat and shares are higher by more than 6 percent pre-market.

You know the names Coach and Kate Spade. The company is now known as Tapestry, and shares are about 4 percent higher this morning as Tapestry announced 60 cents of adjusted profit, three cents better than expected. Home Depot shares ae indicated about 2 percent higher after a good earnings report and improved guidance.

A report on July Import and Export prices comes in just about 15 minutes, but that’s about it for economic reports today.

Most markets overseas were surprisingly calm overnight, given the escalating rhetoric out of Turkey. Markets are mixed but little changed. It looks like we’ll get back a chunk of yesterday’s losses in the early going on Wall Street. The S&P futures are now higher by about 11points, the Dow futures are up 114, and the NASDAQ futures are now about 36points above fair value.


August 13, 2018

Overseas markets are seeing more red arrows as the world wrings its hands due to another dive in the Turkish lira. Not that Turkey is a huge piece of global GDP. However, Turkish companies have borrowed a lot of foreign money, and the country is a fiscal mess. Any large-scale default could wreak some havoc, especially with some European banks and other emerging markets.

If you’ve bought Wranger jeans, or Timberland shoes, or a North Face coat, you’ve bought them from VF Corp. If you own shares of VF Corp, 2018 has been a good year thus far, with shares about 30 percent higher. Today, VF announced that they will split the company in two pieces. One surviving piece will specialize in jeans, the other in footwear and other products. Shares are up another 6 percent on that news.

The loser of the morning it German company Bayer. Bayer owns Monsanto, which suffered a 289 million dollar verdict connected to a claim that Monsanto’s Roundup product caused a customer’s terminal cancer. Beyer is about 12 percent lower in European trade.

The Nikkei Index in Japan fell 2 percent overnight. European markets are also lower.

Our futures recovered from a fairly deep hole just in the past hour. The S&P futures are now down a point or so, theDow futures are up a point,andthe NASDAQ futures are now about 11points above fair value.

August 10, 2018

It’s been a while since stock prices took a tumble based on a foreign currency crisis, but here we go again. Yesterday, the Russian ruble took a pounding after the U.S. instituted new sanctions of Russia. This morning, the European Central Bank is reportedly concerned, to no one’s surprise, that European banks may be too exposed to Turkish debt. The Turkish lira is down more than 10 percent against the U.S. dollar this morning. It’s lost more than a third of its value this year.

The calendar quarter earnings reports are pretty much in the rear-view mirror, and a good earnings season it has been.  The January year-end retailers report in great number starting next week.

Yesterday, Dropbox reported adjusted earnings (when you can ignore stuff like stock-based compensation) of 16 cents per share, 5 cents better than expected. Shares rose 9 percent yesterday, but are about 7 percent lower pre-market today on word that Dropbox’s Chief Operating Officer is leaving the company.

Asian markets were mixed overnight, but most of Europe is lower on worries about European bank exposure to Turkey. We should have a rough go of it at 9:30 as well. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower byabout 14points, the Dow futures are down 112, andthe NASDAQ futures are now about 44points below fair value.


August 9, 2018

A couple of previously announced high-profile mergers unraveled this morning. The Rite Aid/Albertson’s deal was worth about 24 billion dollars, but the companies will go their separate ways after a lot of criticism of the deal by Institutional Shareholder Services, among others. Rite Aid shares are indicated about 10 percent lower this morning.

Tribune not only called off their merger with Sinclair Broadcasting, but is suing Sinclair for not doing enough to convince regulators to approve the deal.

Booking Holdings, the old Priceline, checked in with better than expected sales and earnings this morning, but the stock is about 7 percent lower. Viacom’s $1.18 was 11 cents better than expected. Also out with positive earnings news are Adidas, 21stCentury Fox and Yelp. Canada Goose is higher after posting a smaller loss than expected.

Dun and Bradstreet is being taken private at an 18 percent premium to yesterday’s closing price.

At 8:30, the weekly jobless claims will be announced as well as July inflation in producer prices, which of course, eventually becomes inflation to the consumer. Expect a three-tenths of a percent increase, just like in June. The would bring the year-or-year producer inflation rate to 3.4 percent, or 2.8 percent, excluding food and energy.

Asia was mostly higher overnight, but Europe is a little lower right now. Adjusted for fair value, the S&Pfutures are up a half point, the Dow futures are up 12, butthe NASDAQ futures are now about 4 points belowfair value.


August 8, 2018

Some people question the value of having a Twitter account. How about making a tweet and having it increase your net worth by 1.2 billion dollars? That’s what effectively happened yesterday when Elon Musk tweeted that he was THINKING of taking Tesla private at $420 per share. Not doing it, mind you – just THINKING about it. By day’s end, Musk’s Tesla holding had risen by about 1.2 billion on the rise in Tesla’s stock price. How much did you make on your Twitter feed yesterday?

Not creating a lot of new wealth was yesterday’s earnings report from Papa John’s. Same store sales were more than 10 percent lower year over year and Papa John’s shares are about 10 percent lower pre-market.

Disney is off about one percent on a revenue miss. CVS shares are about two percent higher after earnings beat the $1.61 estimate by 8 cents. And Michael Kors reported earnings that were 37 cents per share higher than the 95-cent estimate. Shares are up about 2½ percent pre-market. 

China was lower again overnight. Other markets overseas are mixed, but very little changed in either direction.

During the past 15 minutes or so, our futures have given up earlier gains. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P and Dow futures are pretty much flat, and the NASDAQ futures are now about 4 points below fair value.

August 7, 2018

It’s a mixed bag of earnings news this morning, with shares prices reacting more to what lies ahead rather than what just happened.

Dean Foods shares are about 8½ percent lower pre-market. Adjusted earnings and sales for the past quarter were both better than expected, but Dean Foods says that inflation and private label competition will make the rest of the year a lot less appetizing.

Likewise, Marriott guided lower, even though last quarter’s $1.73 of profit easily beat the $1.38 estimate. Marriott shares are indicated about 2 percent lower.

Discovery share are about 3 percent lower after missing the 83 cent earnings estimate by 17 cents. Office Depot’s profit of a nickel per share was a two-cent beat, and traders are bidding the stock 7 percent higher.

At 10 o’clock, the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Opportunities June report is expected to again show that there are more job openings than there are unemployed people in the U.S. Until recently, that situation had never been recorded before.

Chinese stocks rebounded overnight, and Europe is solidly higher. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are higher by almost 6 points, the Dow futures are up 86, and the NASDAQ futures are about 17 points above fair value.
August 6, 2018 - from the Paul W. Smith Golf outing at Detroit Golf Club

When we sat here 364 days ago, everyone was all a-twitter about the Dow Jones industrial Average crossing the 22,000 mark. Of course, there were dire warnings from the so-called “market gurus” that a crash was coming. This morning, we’ll start off at about 25,400 on the Dow, which, even not counting dividends, is more than a 15 increase. The S&P 500, by the way, is higher by almost as much – about 14½ percent. That’s not to say that the market performance will repeat. However, remember that they call “gurus” “gurus” because “charlatans” is too hard to spell.

Newell Brands reported 82 cents of adjusted earnings this morning, 4 cents better than expected. Shares of Tyson Foods and Henry Schein are both in rally mode this morning after good earnings reports. Cardinal Health and Sempra Energy also report today. They may have reported already, I don’t know, I’ve been out working on my short game.

Chinese stocks fell again on trade war tensions. Toronto is closed for a Holiday.

Our futures dug out of a deep hole in the 5 o’clock hour this morning, but they’re not giving us reason to believe a lot of change is on the way at 9:30. The last time I looked, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are flat, the Dow futures are down 22, but the NASDAQ futures are about 4 points above fair value.

August 3, 2018
We can take a little breather from the torrent of earnings reports today, given that it is once again the first Friday of the month.  That, of course, means that in just about fifteen minutes the Labor Department will tell us how many new non-farm jobs came into being in July.  Expect 190,000 new jobs, and a 3.9 percent unemployment rate.  Perhaps more importantly, if you’re interested in Fed policy inflation and that kind of stuff, is the average hourly wage.  It’s expected to heat up to a three-tenths of a percent increase, but still remain at a 2.7 percent increase year-over-year.
Share of Container Store broke through the proverbial lid yesterday, soaring 40 percent on a better than expected earnings report.  This morning, Symantec shares are off almost 11 percent.  Last quarter’s results were great, but not so much with the forecast for the rest of the year.
Two reports on the health of the services industries come later this morning.
Chinese stocks were lower again overnight, this time by about one percent.  The rest of Asia was mixed, but European markets are gaining ground.
Our futures were rising for much of the morning, but took a bit of a hit at the top of this hour. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are higher by about 4½ points, the Dow futures are up 36, and the NASDAQ futures are about 19 points above fair value.
August 2, 2018

As we all know, earnings and interest rates are important levers for stock prices in the long term. Just one look at this morning’s futures reminds us in the short term, trade policy is a big lever indeed.

Yesterday’s story that the Trump Administration may be raising tariffs on 200 billion dollars in Chinese goods to 25 percent by early September has traders on edge this morning, with Chinese stocks losing about 2 percent and European markets are about one to two percent lower.

If you’re a longer-term thinker, the earnings news continues to be strong. Better than expected results came from Zoetis, DowDupont, Kellogg, Yum Brands, Fitbit, CIGNA and Teva Pharmaceuticals, although Teva shares are lower on a drop in North American sales. Square beat on earnings but warned on the current quarter. Shares are a couple percent lower.

Tesla shares are more than 8 percent higher this morning on Elon Musk’s pledge that every quarter going forward will show a profit.

The Bank of England raised short term interest rates a quarter point this morning, to three-quarters of a percent, as expected.

Our futures have been stock in a deep rut all morning. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by about 18 points, the Dow futures are down 171, and the NASDAQ futuresare about 56points belowfair value.


August 1, 2018

It’s been a rough stretch for the infamous FAANG stocks since Facebook’s surprisingly bad earnings report last week. Late yesterday afternoon, Apple stepped in to stop the bleeding, at least for today.

Apple’s profit of $2.34 per share was an 18-cent beat. Although total iphone sales fell short, sales of the top of the line and more profitable iphone X continued to roll. Apple is now projecting about 61 billion in sales for the current quarter. Shares are indicated almost 4 ½ percent higher pre-market.

Among other companies reporting better-than-expected earnings this morning are Molson Coors, Garmin and Autonation.

Speaking of autos, we’ll hear from the major automakers today, well, everyone except General Motors, on total car sales in the month gone by. General Motors reports sales totals on a quarterly basis, not monthly.

Of course, at 2 o’clock we’ll get the latest interest rate announcement from the Federal Reserve. If they decide on any change, it will be a huge surprise.

Word that the U.S. may be planning higher tariffs on 200 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese goods sent Chinese shares lower overnight. European markets are mostly a little lower.

The S&P futures are just almost a point above fair value, and while the adjusted Dow futures are down 22,the NASDAQ futures, reflecting Apple’s strong earnings report last night,are about 22points above fair value.

WJR September 2018 Reports
WJR July 2018 Reports

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