- October 2, 2019
- ChinaDividend YieldsDonald TrumpEconomic TrendsMarket ForcastTech IndustryTechnologyUranium
- US Economy
- Trade War
- Tech Stocks
- Earnings Reports
- Daily Rundown
Plus, the White House will be subpoenaed for documents related to the Ukraine investigation, Microsoft just announced its folding smartphone, and Stitch Fix shares are tanking.
Stocks were down sharply Wednesday morning, with the Dow and S&P 500 both falling -1.7%. The Nasdaq slid -1.5%.
Stocks were down this morning as investors grappled with growing fears of an economic recession. This continues the trend from yesterday when stocks slid after the Institute for Supply Management said manufacturing activity contracted for the second month in a row and fell to its lowest level in more than 10 yearsin September. Then this morning, ADP and Moody’s Analytics released a report that showed that the pace of hiring in the private sector is slowing, a clear sign that the labor market is getting tighter. Companies hired 135,000 workers in September, down from 157,000 in August, bringing the monthly average for 2019 down to 145,000 compared to 214,000 for the same period last year. “We are in a very critical place, kind of a fragile juncture in the economy,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s. “What happens over the next few weeks, next few months, will determine whether there’s an economic downturn in 2020.”
The market will “want to see real progress” from this month’s trade talks between the U.S. and China after the disappointing data, said Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research. “Markets will be looking for positive commentary from both sides going into this meeting and tangible steps to an agreement immediately after,” Colas continued. Officials from both sides will be meeting in Washington next week, and the pressure will be on to come to an agreement as economic data are demonstrating the toll the trade war is taking on the economy. And Bank of America’s chief U.S. equity strategist Savita Subramanian says between the trade war and economic data deterioration, stocks might go nowhere for the rest of this year. “Supportive central banks, bearish sentiment and attractive yield opportunities are supportive of stocks,” Subramanian wrote in a note to clients released this morning. “But ongoing trade uncertainty and signs of macro deterioration… leave us neutral on the S&P 500 for 2019.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this morning “I was on the phone call” in July between President Donald Trump and Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy that sparked the impeachment inquiry. Pompeo’s admission and combative response to congressional Democrats has led him even deeper into the House impeachment probe of Trump. Three Democratic House committee chairs warned Pompeo of possible criminal charges yesterday after he rejected a plan put forth by their committees to take testimony from several State Department officials starting today. Trump, meanwhile, has continued to attack lawmakers pursuing the whistleblower’s complaint, and said yesterday that it amounts to a “coup.” This morning, the head of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, said that a subpoena to the White House for documents related to the Ukraine investigation will be issued Friday, the representative said he doesn’t “take this step lightly.” “The White House’s flagrant disregard of multiple voluntary requests for documents—combined with stark and urgent warnings from the Inspector General about the gravity of these allegations—have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena,” Cummings wrote in a memo to his committee.
Microsoft unveiled a new slate of products this morning, including a new folding smartphone. The new Surface Duo device includes two side-by-side 6.5-inch displays connected by a 365-degree hinge, and Microsoft said it has partnered with Google to “bring the best of Android” to the new device. “You can text, you can write, you can do what you want,” said Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer. “Make no mistake, this product is a surface.” The new folding Surface Duo will launch in late 2020, in time for the all-important holiday season. Microsoft also unveiled the new Surface Laptop 3, which Panay said will be three-times more powerful than Apple’s Macbook Air. The company also debuted a new dual-screen computer, the Surface Neo, as well as the Surface Pro 7, the Surface Pro X, and the Surface Earbuds. “Surface represents the tip of the spear of the broader Microsoft ecosystem as Microsoft still needs a horse in the race on next generation consumer hardware devices,” said Wedbush’s Daniel Ives. “While some investors continue to question this investment as good money going after bad endeavors on Surface, we strongly disagree as this remains a mind and market share strategic gamble.”
Shares of Stitch Fix are down -11% this morning after the company reported an earnings beat after the bell on Tuesday, but said that it is expecting “softer” results in the first quarter of its fiscal 2020. Stitch Fix’s active client base gained 18% year-over-year to 3.2 million, in line with what analysts were expecting, and the company reported earnings per share of $0.07 on revenue of $432.1 million, versus expectations for earnings per share at $0.04 on revenue of $432 million. “We’ve planned [the first quarter] softer than our full-year growth for two reasons,” Stitch Fix wrote in a letter to shareholders. “First, we’ve had greater success this year with summer products that carry lower average unit retails and average order values. Second, we spent less on marketing in late Q4 ’19, which meant we had fewer clients to contribute to revenue at the start of Q1 ’20.”
Stocks We’re Watching
New America High Income Fund (NYSE: HYB): The New America High Income Fund announced on Tuesday that it will pay a dividend of $0.055 per share on October 31, 2019, with the ex-dividend date of October 16. The New America High Income Fund is a diversified, closed-end management investment company with a leverage capital structure.
Uranium Participation Corp (OTC: URPTF): Shares of this investment holding company are up nearly 3% over the past week after Raymond James raised their Q3 2020 earnings per share estimates. In a note to clients, Raymond James analyst B. Macarthur said they anticipate Uranium Participation Corp will deliver earnings of $0.54 per share for the quarter, up from their earlier forecast of $0.48.