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WJR November 2018 Reports

November 30, 2018

This weekend’s G-20 meeting in Argentina will be more than just a little three-day weekend for world leaders.  Traders will watch closely for ANY kind of cooperation between Presidents Trump and Xi regarding trade.  Any substantive breakthrough, which seems unlikely, would likely trigger a big relief rally in stocks.  However, some sort of progress may be enough to soothe the market vertigo we’ve been seeing since September.

Experiencing some turbulence in the pre-market, shares of Gamestop are at a 10% discount.  Last quarter’s 67 cent per share profit was a dime better than expected, but current quarter guidance was weak, as sales are forecast to drop between 2 and 6 percent.

The famous other hand belongs to image processing producer Ambarella.  21 cents of profit more than doubled the 9-cent estimate, but Ambarella raised guidance and the shares are almost 15 percent higher.  Shares of Marriott are off about 4 percent  on word of a breach of their Starwood database that could have exposed sensitive information of – oh – somewhere between 300 million and half-billion Marriott customers.

At 9:45 the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index is expected to dip just a bit to a reading of 58.  And Jack-in-the-Box is reportedly looking for a buyer.


We’ll likely give up a little at the open this morning. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by about 7 points, the Dow futures are down 101and the NASDAQ futures are about 16points below fair value.

November 29, 2018

We started the day higher yesterday on hopes that Fed Chairman Powell’s noontime speech would spark hope that the Fed would ease off on the pace of rate hikes.  Not saying that someone leaked the text of the speech beforehand, but stock prices accelerated well before Powell went live.  Once the words were out of his mouth, indicating that the Fed is “very close” to a neutral rate, prices really took off on their way to a 600+ point rise in the Dow Jones Industrials. The latest Fed meeting minutes will be released at 2 o’clock this afternoon.

After that, traders will look to this weekend’s G-20 summit in Argentina in hopes that the U.S. and China will smoke a peace pipe over the budding trade war.  Should we get some good news there, Santa Claus will get a big helper toward delivering a December rally.

Gasoline prices continue to drip lower, as West Texas Intermediate futures dipped below 50 dollars per barrel earlier this morning, although last I looked, it just bubbled up a bit to $51.04.

Apparel retailer Express beat the earnings estimate for last quarter, but November isn’t going so well and forward guidance has Express shares discounted by 13 percent pre-market. The famous other hand goes to Abercrombie & Fitch, up 18 percent on earnings.

We’re likely to give back some of yesterday’s gains at 9:30. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by about 12 points, the Dow futures are down 65, and the NASDAQ futures, are about 41 points below fair value.

November 28, 2018

Perhaps the most closely watched event for traders today will be the noontime speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for the New York Economic Club.  This morning, President Trump issued another tweet-storm targeting Powell, General Motors and anybody else he can blame for less-than-great economic news.

There’s some less-than-great earnings news out as Tiffany shares are losing some sparkle this morning.  They reported 77 cents per share of adjusted quarterly profit, as expected.  Unfortunately, overall revenue and same store sales missed the mark and Tiffany shares are looking to open about 10 percent lower.  Similarly, J.M. Smucker’s share are in a bit of a jam after missing the $2.29 earnings estimate by 12 cents.  Smucker’s also cut 2019 guidance and the shares are off about 6½ percent pre-market.

Heading in the other direction are shares of Salesforce, up almost 9 percent after raising guidance last night.

In just about 15 minutes, the Government’s second guess at 3rd quarter GDP is expected to remain unchanged at 3½ percent.  Then, at 10 o’clock, expect that October New Home Sales rose to about 580,000 as people looked to get ahead of interest rates that looked to be on the rise.


Our futures have picked up a little zip over the past couple of hours and are indicating higher prices at 9:30. At this point, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are higher by about 14 points, the Dow futures are up 160, and the NASDAQ futures, are about 46 points above fair value.

November 27, 2018

We had a nice counter-trend rally yesterday, with the Dow rising more than 350 points.  However, as the futures remind us this morning, one day does not make a trend and we should give back some of those gains early on today.

President Trump’s saber-rattling about Chinese tariffs appears to be the source of this morning’s indigestion with stocks in general and Apple stock in particular, which is indicated another 2 percent lower.  By next week we should have a good indication of whether there will be any kind of compromise with the Chinese or whether a full-blown trade war is possible.

For many years, “conglomerates” were all the rage, as companies gobbled up other companies (sometimes in wildly different businesses.)  Thought was that either through cross-selling or overhead reduction, one-plus-one would equal three.

Sometimes it works, and sometimes you get General Electric.  This morning, United Technologies announced that they will separate into three companies, splitting their elevator, air conditioning and aerospace businesses.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence report and the Case-Shiller Home Price survey come later this morning.  Expect that Consumer Confidence dropped a couple points from October’s 137.9.


Asian markets were mixed overnight, but Europe is mostly lower. At this point, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by about 15points, the Dow futures are down133, and the NASDAQ futures, are about53points belowfair value.

November 26, 2018

It’s no secret that October was a lousy month for financial assets, and November hasn’t exactly been a beautiful thing, either.  Today, Morningstar reports that more money was pulled out of mutual funds and ETFs in October than any other month in over three years.  The vast majority of withdrawals come in bond funds, as traders reacted to rising interest rates. 

Interestingly, although active managers are perceived better able to handle difficult markets. the trend to passive funds continued. Actively managed funds had 46 billion dollars withdrawn, while passive funds actually picked up an extra 17 billion.

It’s Cyber Monday, and after a strong Black Friday for retailers, sales online today are expected to be up 18 percent from a year ago. Online sales last Friday were up 24 percent year-over-year.

There aren’t any high-profile earnings or economic reports on the docket today. And, in case you’re keeping score, Bitcoin starts the day below the $4,000 level, with more than a month of possible tax-loss selling to come.

Most overseas markets are higher, with European markets up about one percent.

Our futures hit the accelerator just after midnight and really haven’t stopped floating higher. At this point, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are higher by 26points, the Dow futures are up 241, and the NASDAQ futures, are about 99points abovefair value.

November 20, 2018

It was just Friday when we talked about the stunning decline in the value of a bitcoin to $5,560.  Today, two trading days later, Bitcoin is more than 20 percent lower than that, under $4,400.  If you bought it last year at near $20,000, don’t call it a bad investment, call it good estate tax planning.

Call it what you will but, most of the earnings announcements this morning have been less than encouraging.  Target led it off by missing the $1.12 earnings estimate by 3 cents.  Sales were okay in total, but the gross margin fell from 29.6 to 28.7 percent.  Evidently all those new free-delivery and same-day fulfillment services are pressuring those margins, and are not likely to abate any time soon. Target shares are off about 9½ percent pre-market.  Lowe’s is pulling out of Mexico, and shares are about 6 percent lower after lowered full-year earnings guidance.

L Brands is cutting their dividend in half and shares are about 5 percent lower.

Kohl’s shares are about 8 percent lower. Even Best Buy is one percent lower, even after beating the 85 cent earnings estimate by 8 cents.  Urban Outfitters shares are a couple percent higher after good news on same store sales.

Overseas markets ae lower after our pounding yesterday and our futures have been falling all morning as well.

At this point, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by 25 points, the Dow futures are down 270, and the NASDAQ futures, hit by the semiconductor weakness, are about 85 points below fair value.

November 19, 2018

The big earnings reporting day of the week is tomorrow, with Deere and Company and a lot of major retailers slated to tell us about the quarter gone by.  Software firm Intuit will report at about 5:25 this afternoon.

So far, this morning, Chinese internet company is seeing its shares lower by 4 percent or so.  Earnings were better than expected last quarter, but sales came up short of expectations.

There are reports of trouble at the Nissan-Renault Alliance today.  Reportedly, Carlos Ghosn was arrested and is out as Chairman after an internal investigation that allegedly reported significant financial mis-behavior.

Nissan shares are indicated about 8 percent lower, and Renault shares are off more than 10 percent.

There could be some good news for potential homebuyers as the 10-year Treasury yield is down to 3.08 percent.  Mortgage rates tend to track along with the direction of the 10-year yield.

And here we go again, Bitcoin is another 5 percent lower this morning, at about $5,250.


Major overseas markets are mixed, but generally a little higher.  Not so much with our futures.  At this point, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by 4points, the Dow futures are down 17, and the NASDAQ futuresare about10points below fair value.

November 16, 2018

After this week’s big dive, the prices of various cryptocurrencies appear to be stabilizing this morning, with Bitcoin at about $5,560.  However, the decline in crypto prices is making the mining of the coins far less profitable.  That, in turn, is leading to lack of demand for some high-end computer chips.  And that, in turn is leading to a 18 percent decline in the price of shares of Nvidia this morning.  Nvidia missed on revenue last quarter and warned about demand for the full year.

Applied Materials shares are likewise down 9 percent.  Earnings there were okay, but guidance was weak.

Williams Somona shares are looking to open about 13 percent lower, as last quarter’s sales missed estimates.

The bright spot of the morning may be speaker-maker Sonos.  Last night, Sonos reported that sales were up 28 percent, and shares are about 17 percent higher as the 2 cents per share loss reported was a lower loss than expected.

Overseas markets are mixed, but we should head lower at 9:30.

At this point, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by 14 points, the Dow futures are down 127, and the NASDAQ futures, hit by the semiconductor weakness,are about 61pointsbelow fair value.

November 15, 2018

Walmart reported earnings this morning of $1.08 perc share, which was 7 cents better than expected.  Overall sales rose from a year ago, but fell a fraction below estimates.  Nevertheless, Walmart confirmed full-year earnings guidance in line with analyst expectations and shares are about one and a half percent higher pre-market. Walmart e-commerce sales were higher by more than 40 percent last quarter.

The ongoing bidding for Dell tracking stock took another leg higher today.  In response to agitation from activist investor Carl Icahn, the buyout offer is now up to $120 per share.

Federal Reserve Chair Powell commented last night that he perceives that global economic growth is slowing down, giving hope to some that we may not see more than one or two interest rate hikes next year.

There’s blood on the tracks in cryptocurrency world this morning.  Bitcoin is now priced around $5,400. That’s down about 60 percent year-to-date and a long, long way from the nearly $20,000 price we saw in 2017.

Stock prices bounced all over the place once again yesterday, as strength in the morning futures gave way to selling later in the day.  Stock futures are a good bit lower than they were a couple of hours ago and have given up their earlier gains.


Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are down 5½, the Dow futures aredown 37 points, and the NASDAQ futures are about a point below fair value.

November 14, 2018

When talked on Monday, it looked like oil prices would head higher based on talk out of Saudi Arabia.  Well, talk is talk and actions speak louder than words.  The Price of oil is now down almost 30 percent since early October.  We haven’t seen that kind of drop in almost 3 years, and the 12 consecutive days of decline in the oil futures contract is the longest we’ve ever seen.

Oil futures this morning are about a half-percent higher, but are still under 56 dollars per barrel.

Macy’s reported 27 cents of adjusted earnings this morning, almost double the 14-cent estimate.  Shares of Snap are sliding about 5 percent lower pre-market on word that the Justice Department and the SEC are asking questions about Snap’s disclosures or lack thereof prior to their initial public offering.

Marijuana investing has been all a buzz recently, but this morning Canopy Growth shares are 9 percent lower after reporting lower selling prices which lead to $1.52 in losses last quarter.  About 52 cents of that loss related to non-cash accounting charges, but still, the loss in last year’s comparable quarter was only a penny per share.

At 8:30, we’ll find out about October Consumer Price Inflation. Expect a three-tenths of a percent increase.

Japan was a little higher overnight, but most other overseas markets are a little lower.  Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are higherby about 9points, the Dow futures are up 78, andthe NASDAQ futures are about 10pointsabove fair value.

November 12, 2018

It’s no secret that industries go “in and out” of favor.  Currently, just the mention of a “data analytics” firm gets peoples’ attention.  A data analytics firm called Qualtrics caught the attention of SAP just before offering its shares to the public.  SAP will take the place of that IPO by buying Qualtrics for 8 billion dollars in cash.

Private Equity money is behind two other big deals this morning. Software-as-a-service firm Apptio is going private for 2 billion dollars.  That stock is 51 percent higher this morning. AthenaHealth has accepted a five and a half billion-dollar deal, at $135 per share.

If you have filled your gas tank lately, you’ve probably been pleased with the dropping price of gasoline.  If you haven’t filed up lately, perhaps you should do so soon.  Oil futures are 1 to 2 percent higher this morning as Saudi Arabia has announced a cut in production, reversing policy set just six weeks ago.

Overseas markets are narrowly mixed. The bond market is closed today in recognition of Veteran’s Day.  However, stocks will trade and they’re likely to start the day on a Veteran’s Day sale, as the futures took a little tumble about 20 minutes ago and continue to slide.

Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by about 10 points, the Dow futures are down 91, and the NASDAQ futures are about 44 points below fair value.

November 9, 2018

The Federal Reserve surprised absolutely no one yesterday afternoon by holding short term interest rates steady but inferring that on December 19th we’ll get another quarter-point hike and 2019 will see a minimum of two more.  While rising rates aren’t great news for financial assets other than money market yields, at least the market knows what to expect, and that’s important.

You can expect that shares of Activision Blizzard will head south today.  Early indications are for an 11 percent drop in the video game maker’s stock.  Fewer active users for the third consecutive quarter led to an earning miss last night.

If you’re a long-suffering shareholder of General Electric, get ready to suffer a little more.  A broker downgrade has GE shares off about three percent, and below 9 bucks per share.

Happier news came from Disney last night on strong theme park and movie revenue.  Snap-on announced a dividend hike of 16 percent this morning to 95 cents per share. Dropbox shares are about 8 percent higher and Hertz Global is about 19 percent higher, both on good earnings.

The October Producer Price report comes at 8:30 this morning.  Expect three-tenths of a percent headline and two-tenths on the core rate.

Overseas markets are pretty much all in the red. Our futures are off earlier lows but are still indicating a weaker open.  Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by about 11points, the Dow futures are down 85, and the NASDAQ futures are about 54points belowfair value.

November 8, 2018

The short-term market impact of speeches and elections and press conferences and speeches at press conferences is hopefully over for a while. Perhaps we can get back to the boring old stuff that’s important long-term like interest rates and earnings.

At 2 o’clock this afternoon, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee will likely tell us that short term interest rates will not change, at least until their next meeting that ends December 19th.

Earnings are a bit of a mixed picture this morning. TripAdvisor are more than 8 percent higher pre-market after reporting adjusted earnings of 72 cents, which beat the consensus estimate by 50 percent.  TakeTwo Interactive shares are looking about 2½ percent higher after they raised earnings guidance based on the anticipated popularity of the Red Dead Redemption 2 game. L Brands and Cardinal Health are also looking to rise on earnings.

Shares of Square, Wynn Resorts, Qualcomm and Roku are all looking to lose ground after reporting on past earnings and future guidance.  Monster Beverage shares are about 10 percent lower.  Word is that they are in a dispute with Coca-Cola over a three-year-old agreement between the two companies.  Coke is reportedly developing a couple of beverages which would compete directly with Monster.  Monster claims that would be a violation of the agreement.

After yesterday’s huge rally, we’ll likely open today in a much calmer mode. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are lower by about 6points, the Dow futures are down 3, andthe NASDAQ futures are about 26points belowfair value.

November 7, 2018

If you’re wondering why your home phone has finally stopped ringing and the unsolicited text messages seem to have stopped, well, perhaps the election is finally over and the politicos can stop throwing verbal bricks at each other.

Historically, the stock market enjoys pretty good results in the weeks and months following midterm elections, and we seem to be continuing that tradition so far this morning.

Speaking of pretty good results, health insurer Humana reported $4.58 of profit for the quarter gone by.  That was 32 cents per share better than expected and Humana raised full-year earnings guidance. Southern Company beat the $1.07 estimate by 7 cents.

The famous other hand, or should I say handbag, belongs to Michael Kors.  Earnings of $1.27 were 17 cents better than expected, but same store sales were down more than expected, and shares are about 11 percent lower pre-market.  Dish Network shares are off about 4 percent even though earnings were good.  Subscriber losses were higher than expected.

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee starts another two-day get together today.  Their likely non-eventful statement comes tomorrow.

Asia was mixed overnight, but Europe is higher. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are higher by almost 21 points, the Dow futures are up 174, and the NASDAQ futures are about 81points above fair value.

November 6, 2018 - Happy Election Day!  Ron's away today but will be back tomorrow!

November 5, 2018 

The third quarter earnings season is pretty much in the rear-view mirror at this point, and a good one it has been, with earnings increases well in excess of the 20 percent mark on average.  Arguably, if we could just get past this Chinese tariff roadblock, there might be some smooth roadway ahead.

Nevertheless, it could be that the services sector of the economy hit a speed bump in October. A little later this morning the Institute for Supply Management is expected to report a reading for their services index of 59, down from a strong 61.6 in September.

As we clean up some of the remaining earnings news, Marriott International, Mylan, PG&E and Booking Holdings (the old Priceline) will report today.

As of January first, Verizon will turn into a three headed hydra, splitting it’s customer-facing heads into consumer, business and media divisions.  Let’s hope they all talk to each other, so as not to complicate the consumer experience. 

Spotify announced a plan to buyback one billion dollars of its own stock.

Most of Asia was lower overnight.  Most of Europe is a little higher at this hour. Our futures crawled out of a significant hole a few hours ago, before slipping a bit during the past fifteen minutes.  At this point, adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are flat, the Dow futures are down 11, andthe NASDAQ futuresare about11 points below fair value.

November 2, 2018

There’s news on the economic front, the trade front and the earnings front this morning, and most of it seems to indicate we might see a fourth consecutive day of gains.

Asian markets spiked higher, with Chinese stocks up around 3 percent on word that China and Washington may be talking turkey about tariffs. One report suggests that President Trump has instructed staffers to start drafting some sort of agreement between the two nations, although the report is being denied by Administration officials.

Apple’s earnings came in better than expected last night, but iphone shipments were a little less than expected.  Apple warned that things might not be peachy in the current quarter.  Even though Apple has the reputation of sandbagging guidance, traders have Apple shares about 6 percent lower this morning.  Kraft Heinz shares are about 7½ percent lower after missing the 81-cent adjusted estimate by 3 cents. Shake Shack shares are about 5½ percent lower on guidance.

Heading higher are shares of ExxonMobil, up 2½ percent, Alibaba up about 4 percent, Newell Brands up 6 percent and Starbucks, which is almost 8 percent higher after reporting 62 cents of profit, 2 cents better than expected.

At 8:30, the monthly Labor Department is expected to report 188,000 new non-farm jobs in October and a 3.7 percent unemployment rate.

Europe is 1 to 1½ percent higher. Our futures have been on the rise most of the morning. Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are higher by about 16 points, the Dow futures are up 224, and the NASDAQ futures, although weighed down by Apple,are about 2points above fair value.

November 1, 2018

Goodbye and good riddance to October, as far as stock prices go.  The S&P 500 index had its worth month in seven years, losing about 7 percent.  But, it’s a new month, prices are on a two-day winning streak, earnings reports continue to be generally good, and in a few days the election uncertainty well be behind us.

Yesterday, General Motors reported a 25% increase in quarterly profit and GM shares bolted 9 percent higher.  Last night, Fitbit reported a surprise profit and those shares look to open 10 percent or so higher this morning.

Also out with better than expected earnings this morning are Cigna, Generac, DowDupont and Teva Pharmaceuticals. AIG reported a lower loss than expected.  After 4 o’clock this afternoon we’ll hear for Apple, Starbucks and Kraft-Heinz.

The losers of the morning include mattress maker TempurSealy with a shortfall in earnings and lowered guidance, and insurer Allstate, where $1.93 in profit came up 28 cents short of expectations.

As the day roll on, we’ll get October sales numbers from many of the automakers.  It’s expected that total vehicle sales dipped about 2.1 percent from last October. Preliminary third quarter productivity numbers come in about 15 minutes.

Asia was mixed, but Europe is generally higher.  Adjusted for fair value, the S&P futures are higher by about 11points, the Dow futures are up about 94, and the NASDAQ futures are about 25points above fair value.

WJR December 2018 Reports
WJR October 2018 Reports

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