Monday, July 15, 2019

Mixed markets as investors are cautious going into earnings season

Dow fell 1, decliners ahead of advancers about 5-4 & NAZ was also off 1.  The MLP index was flattish in the 258s & the REIT index added 1 to the 392s.  Junk bond funds hardly budged in price & Treasuries inched higher.  Oil trading above 60 crawled higher & gold was steady at 1411.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

CL=FCrude Oil60.14

GC=FGold   1,416.10

3 Stocks You Should Own Right Now - Click Here!

The top equity benchmarks opened at fresh record highs as traders prepares for Q2 earnings to kick off in earnest with top firms preparing to release financial results thru Jun.  The Dow opened at 27,332, while, the S&P increased to 7263 & Nasdaq rose to 3015.  It's the 2nd-straight session of records for the 3 exchanges.  US tariffs on China underscored the lowest economic growth for the Asian nation in the past 26 years, down to 6.2% in Q2.  Trump & Chinese Pres Xi Jinping agreed to withhold any new tariffs as trade talks restart, but the ongoing duties remain a point of contention in the discussions.


The tariff war showed another sign of impacting the Chinese economy.  China's economic growth sank to its lowest level in at least 26 years in the past qtr, adding to pressure on Chinese leaders.  The world's 2nd-largest economy grew 6.2% over a year ago.  That's down from 6.4% in the prior qtr, according to gov data.  Pres Trump hiked tariffs on Chinese imports to pressure Beijing over its technology development tactics & he tweeted about the results.  Now, economists say the slowdown might extend into next year.  Trump & Chinese Pres Xi Jinping agreed last month to resume negotiations.  The 2 sides still face the same number of disputes that caused talks to break down in May.  Weaker Chinese activity has global repercussions.  China is the biggest export customer for its Asian neighbors & a major market for global suppliers of food, mobile phones, industrial technology & consumer goods.  The IMF & private sector economists have cut this year's Chinese growth forecast to as low as 6.2%, a further marked decline after last year's 3-decade low of 6.6%.

China's economy growth cools further amid US tariff war

Pres Trump will sign an exec order to require that the bulk of the stell & iron used in federal contracts is sourced from US firms, according to a top trade adviser, the latest move by the  White House to bolster domestic commodity producers.  The action is slated to mandate that 95% of steel & iron used for gov projects is provided by American firms, the White House’s Peter Navarro said, an increase from the existing threshold of 50%.  Trump will also suggest that the content threshold for other commodities be increased to 55%, up from the current 50 %, & eventually rise to 75%, Navarro wrote.  Trump previously imposed double-digit tariffs on steel & aluminum imports, one intended to curb the use of those commodities from countries like China.  Those duties were lifted on Canada & Mexico as the 3 nations seek to advance an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement.  He also signed an exec order shortly after assuming office to reduce the number of waivers to federal contractors, leading to a 15% drop & decade-low spending on foreign goods.  Profits at top US steel firms have risen to record highs under the Trump administration & top producers are expanding operations in the country.  Nucor (NUE), a Dividend Aristocrat,is building a $1.35B facility that will produce roughly 400 full-time jobs, while Steel Dynamics (STLD) is constructing a new $1.8B flat-roll mill that is expected to spur 600 new jobs.

Trump to require increased use of US steel, iron in federal projects

Citigroup (C) kicked off earnings season for the big banks with results that blew away expectations.  EPS was $1.95 & on an adjusted basis, EPS came in at $1.83, topping the estimate for $1.80.  Revenue increased 2% to $18.8B.  The estimate was for $18.49B.  Quarterly profit was $4.8B, up from $4.5B a year ago.  At that time the bank reported EPS of $1.63 on revenue of  $18.47B.  "We navigated an uncertain environment successfully by executing our strategy, and by showing disciplined expense, credit and risk management," said CEO Michael Corbat.  "We delivered positive operating leverage for the 11th straight quarter and improved our efficiency, while again increasing loans and deposits."  Total loans by assets rose 3% to $689B, while deposits increased 5% to $1.05T, excluding foreign exchange fluctuations.  Trading revenue grew 4% to $4.11B.  The bank had forecast a single-digit decline in fixed-income & equities trading.  In Q1, EPS was $1.87 on revenue of $18.57B.  The stock was even.
If you would like to learn more about Citi, click on this link:

Citigroup 2Q results top expectations on consumer lending boost

Earnings season is beginning with a whimper.  Investors are hoping for the best but there are plenty of worries about a disappointing season.  Meanwhile demand for gold & Treasuries continues to be strong.

Dow Jones Industrials

No comments: