Alphabet (GOOGL)

TRADE FRICTION TAKING A TOLL

The major stock market averages opened lower again today on trade tensions (Dow -278 pts; SPX -.9%). All eleven market sectors are down, led by Energy, healthcare, consumer discretionary, and communications (all down about 1%). European stock markets closed down over 1% as well, and most Asian markets closed lower last night. The one exception seems to have been the Shanghai Composite, which closed slightly higher on the session. Commodities are mixed today. Corn futures surged as flooding threatened crops. Copper rose .9% today after falling about 8% so far this month. WTI crude oil fell 2.7% to trade around $57.50/barrel. Bonds are trading mostly higher, especially safe-haven Treasuries. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to its lowest level since September 2017.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

ARE EARNINGS ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN 2019 RALLY?

Stocks opened sharply lower this morning (Dow -123 pts; SPX -.4%). Communications services—down 2.5%--is the worst performing sector entirely as a result of Alphabet’s (GOOGL) earnings announcement. Other groups like biotechs, banks and transports are also trading lower. Defensive sectors are catching a bid. The VIX Index jumped to 14 for the first time in three weeks. European markets closed down modestly. The dollar is a bit weaker against a basket of foreign currencies and that is giving a little support to commodities. WTI crude oil up .5% to trade around $64/barrel. Bonds are rising in price, falling in yield. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) is up .3% today and up 1.6% so far this year. The 10-year Treasury yield is back down to 2.51%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

November 6, 2018

November 6, 2018

Stocks opened higher again today as voting gets underway. The Dow is currently up 114 pts and the SPX is up .4%. Most major market sectors are in the green, led by materials (+1%) and industrials (+1%). Those two groups are widely seen as the primary beneficiaries from a potentially split congress that may only be able to agree on higher infrastructure spending. In addition, the fact that stocks are rising seems to suggest that the “Blue Wave” won’t show up at the polls. Further, if investors sniffed a return of Democratic control in both the House and Senate, you’d at least see healthcare stocks falling today. The point is, market action is telling us what investors expect: gridlock. The VIX Index is still hovering around 20, but VIX December futures fell to 18.5 today. So the options market doesn’t seem to expect a continuation of the stock market correction. We’ll see. Commodities are trading mostly lower today. WTI crude oil fell 2.4% to $61.60/barrel after President Trump granted Iran a trade sanction waiver. Bonds are trading modestly lower as interest rates tick higher. The 5-year Treasury yield is back up around 3.04% (the 2018 high is 3.07%). The 10-year yield is trading at 3.21% vs. the 2018 high of 3.23%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

November 5, 2018

November 5, 2018

The major stock market averages are higher this morning in front of the mid-term elections. The Dow is currently up 158 pts and the SPX is up .3%. Several sectors are up more than 1%: real estate, utilities, financials, consumer staples and energy. On the other hand, communications services, tech and consumer discretionary sectors are all down .6% to 1%. The FAANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix & Google) are selling off and boring value stocks are catching a bid. The VIX Index is back up around 20, but VIX December futures are trading down around 19. So traders are perhaps expecting a little more volatility around the election. The US dollar is modestly weaker today and the Bloomberg Commodity Index is up .4%. WTI crude is bouncing up toward $64/barrel after a massive month-long slide. Bonds are trading slightly higher today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 3.02% and 3.19%, respectively. We’re not hearing much chatter about the yield curve lately. That’s because the curve is steepening at the same time rates are rising. This is seen as a normal reaction to strong economic growth. The CEO of Federal Realty (FRT) says interest rates are only rising because the economy is doing well. “I gotta tell you, things look pretty good.”


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

August 31, 2018

August 31, 2018

The major stock market indexes are mixed in early trading (Dow -55 pts; SPX -.13%; Nasdaq +.1%). Retailers, semiconductors and REITs are moving up, but most other groups are in the red. Banks and oil companies are some of the worst-performing groups, and year-to-date they’ve been flattish. Trade volume is pretty light in front of the three-day weekend. European stock markets are down about 1% and Asian markets were down overnight. Over the last 24 hours we’ve seen headlines saying President Trump is leaning toward imposing trade tariffs on another $200bil in Chinese imports, and he’s also doing his part to cast doubt on the trade talks between US and Canadian officials this week. Today is the deadline for negotiating a new NAFTA deal with Canada. That country’s foreign affairs minister said the two sides are “not there yet.” That haze of political uncertainty will keep a lid on stock market gains for now.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

July 24, 2018

The major stock market averages surged at the open following a spate of better than expected earnings announcements. The Dow is up 185 pts and the SPX is up .6%. Energy and materials—i.e. commodity-based sectors—are up over 1% in early trading. Only the defensive interest-rate sensitive sectors—utilities, consumer staples, real estate—are down. The VIX Index is sagging back down to 12.2 as investors’ fortunes look slightly more secure this morning. WTI crude oil is up sharply to trade around $68.80/barrel. Copper, gold and iron ore are all up as well. Bonds are mixed this morning. The 5-year Treasury yield ticked up to 2.82% and the 10-year yield is flat around 2.96%. Short-term bonds are flat but everything else is up a bit. 


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

July 11, 2018

Stocks sank at the open this morning as the Trump Administration proposed an additional 10% tariff on $200bil of imported Chinese goods. The Dow is currently down 157 pts and the SPX is down .6%. Semiconductors are down more than 2% in early trading. The worst performing sectors are energy, materials and industrials—all down over 1%. Only utilities are in the green. European stock markets are poised to close down over 1% and Asia was down over 1% last night. Most commodities are also trading lower. WTI crude oil is back down to $72.60/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged today. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury note yields are currently at 2.75% and 2.85%, respectively. 


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

April 24, 2018

Stocks popped at the open but quickly turned around. The Dow is down 53 pts and the SPX is down .12%. The telecom sector is up over 1.5% after Verizon (VZ) reported first quarter earnings. Utilities and financials, which usually move opposite these days depending on interest rates, are both in the green. But tech, industrials, materials and consumer discretionary are sinking. WTI crude oil is trading back up over $69/barrel. Very few saw that coming at the beginning of 2018. Interest rates continue to march upward and that—along with earnings announcements—is the story of the day. The 5-year Treasury yield is up around 2.83% and the 10-year yield just touched 3% for the first time since the beginning of 2014. Remember that over the last six months scads of Wall Street strategists and economists have said a 3% 10-year would absolutely upset the stock market. We’ll see.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

December 8, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +76 pts; SPX +.4%). Most market sectors are in the green, led by healthcare and energy. The only sectors retreating are utilities and consumer staples. The VIX Index is down to 9.7 and VIX January futures are trading down around 12.4. The dollar is stronger on the day due to some strong economic data. Commodities are also higher. WTI crude oil is back up to $57.45/barrel. Bonds are little changed but the yield curve steepened just a bit. The 5-year Treasury yield is fat at 2.14% and the 10-year is up around 2.37%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

October 27, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +43 pts; SPX +.8%) due to positive earnings announcements. Tech (+2.7%) and consumer discretionary (+1.3%) sectors are leading the way. That really just means that Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Intel and Apple are up big. Not quite FAANG, but close. The dollar is a bit stronger on the day, and has been moving higher for the last month. WTI crude oil is up 2% to trade around $53.75/barrel—the highest since early March. Saudi Arabia has to prop up prices in advance of Aramco’s IPO. Bonds are rising modestly today after having been hammered since mid-September. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 2.04% and 2.43%, respectively.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

June 28, 2017

he major stock market averages gapped up at the open. The Dow and SPX are currently up 134 pts & .75%, respectively. Banks, semiconductors, biotechs and transports are leading the way (all +1% or more). Utilities is the only sector in the red. The dollar is down a bit and most commodities are slightly higher. Oil prices ticked up after a positive gasoline inventory report. WTI crude oil is hovering around $44.70/barrel. Bonds are selling off again for the second consecutive day. The 5-year Treasury yield is up to 1.83% and the 10-year yield is up to 2.22%. Most of the move is reaction to recent comments from central bankers. Yesterday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the banking sector is very strong and she doesn’t expect another financial crisis in our lifetimes. Also, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi essentially declared victory over deflation in Europe. Today, Bank of England (BOE) chief Carney said the BOE may have to start raising interest rates soon. 


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

June 27, 2017

Stocks opened lower today. The Dow is currently down 14 pts and the S&P 500 is down .24%. Telecoms and utilities are getting hit, down over 1% at the moment. Semiconductors & biotechs are giving up ground as well. On the other hand, banks and oil/natural gas stocks are up nicely this morning. The dollar is weaker against a basket of foreign currencies today, and has given up about 5% this year. That’s helping US multi-national companies doing business overseas. Most commodities are rebounding (copper, iron ore, oil). WTI crude oil is up again today, trading around $44.11/barrel. The more convinced traders are that oil bottomed last week, the better the stock market will do in the near-term. Bonds are selling off today (maybe a response to oil?). Remember, falling bond yields happen to be the linchpin in most bear investor forecasts. At the moment, the 5-year Treasury yield is back up to 1.81% and the 10-year is up to 2.19%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

May 26, 2017

Stocks opened lower this morning, digesting the prior week’s gains. The Dow is down 22 pts and the SPX is off .1%. Banks, semiconductors and energy stocks are leading the indices lower. The VIX Index just dropped under 10, right around the lowest level in at least 10 years. VIX June futures are trading under 12 this morning. So an apparent lack of concern (“complacency”) among traders is a bit of a concern. The dollar is modestly stronger today, yet most commodities are a bit higher. WTI crude oil is up .5% to trade around $49/barrel. Oil prices fell sharply yesterday even as OPEC pledged to extend its oil production freeze. Investors were hoping the cartel would agree to deeper cuts. Bonds are trading slightly higher. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.79% and 2.25%, respectively. And by the way, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is currently 3.95%.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

May 1, 2017

Stocks opened higher this morning (Dow +8 points; SPX +.26%). Consumer discretion, financials and tech are leading the way. Utilities, telecom and consumer staples are trading lower. The VIX Index is down modestly to trade around 10.6 and VIX May futures are just under 12. The dollar is pretty much unchanged and commodities are mostly higher, except for oil. WTI crude oil continues to slide, trading near $48.70/barrel. Many traders say it could go to $47 in the near-term. Remember, oil was above $53 less than a month ago. Bonds are down slightly today in price. The 5-year and 10-year Treasury yields edged up to 1.84% and 2.31%, respectively. 


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

November 10, 2016

Stocks opened mixed this morning (Dow +156 pts; SPX flat). The Trump rally in financials and healthcare continues; they’re the leading sectors for a second straight day. By the way, famed bank analyst Dick Bove says the election outcome is a “grand slam home run for the [banking] industry.” He sees a roll-back of excessive regulations and predicts more capital will flow back into the banking system. The defensive sectors are sharply lower in early trading (i.e. utilities). Also, the FANGs (Facebook, Apple, Google, etc.) are down as investors yank capital away to reinvest in banks and biotechs. European market will close slightly lower. The dollar is stronger today (and trending up over the last week), perhaps in response to rising expectations for a Fed rate hike in December. Not surprisingly, WTI crude oil is down to $44.70/barrel this morning. Bonds are lower again today as yields continue to rise. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are up to 1.50% and 2.08%, respectively. There’s really no resistance on the 10-year until we get to 2.18%. 


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

October 28, 2016

The major stock market averages opened higher this morning (Dow +60 pts; SPX +.25%). Gains are led by industrials, tech and energy. Healthcare, on the other hand, is the only sector in the red. The VIX Index is back down under 15 after some better than expected earnings reports. Good news is pushing the dollar slightly lower and commodities a bit higher. WTI crude oil is right around $50/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged today; the 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.33% and 1.85%, respectively. But over the last week high-grade corporates are down about 1% and long-term Treasuries have lost about 1.8%. 


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

September 28, 2016

tocks gapped up at the open but quickly gave way this morning. The Dow and SPX are currently down -18 pts & -.2%, respectively. Telecoms, utilities and healthcare stocks are down the most. The energy sector is up a bit as oil prices stabilize. WTI crude oil is trading flat at about $44.70/barrel. Bonds are mostly unchanged. The 5- and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering around 1.12% and 1.55%, respectively. 


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

September 26, 2016

Stocks gapped down at the open (Dow -117 pts; SPX -.67%) in anticipation of tonight’s presidential campaign debate. Gold miners and energy stocks are higher, but just about everything else is selling off. The VIX Index is up 12% to trade around 13.8 and VIX October futures are up around 16.2. So traders are clearly predicting increased volatility over the next 30-60 days. European stock markets are down more than 1% in today’s session and Asia closed lower overnight. WTI crude oil is back up around $46/barrel today. Bonds are trading higher as yields fall. The 5- and 10-year Treasury bonds are trading at 1.13% and 1.59%, respectively.


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.

Supplement: April 26, 2016

I'd like to provide a summary of some key earnings announcements over the last several days:

Southwest Air (LUV) beat revenue (up 9% y/y) and earnings (up 33%) expectations for Q1. Fuel expenses fell during the quarter (average down to $1.78/gallon vs. $2 a year ago). Management did their best to talk-down future growth prospects. Fuel costs are expected to rise to $1.85-1.90 this year. Competitors are adding capacity “aggressively” (should be up 4-5% in Q2/3), and that will likely drive revenue-per-seat-mile down. But it’s also true that end demand remains strong. The stock was up 1.8% yesterday after the announcement.

Polaris (PII) reported a 5% year-over-year decline in revenue and a 45% decline in earnings. Sounds terrible, but it was all factored into the stock price and Wall Street forecasts. Actually, revenue was modestly better than expected. Management appears to have issued strong earnings guidance for the year, but gave a very wide range ($6.20/share to $6.80) "due to the persistent unpredictability around overall economic trends and more specifically powersports industry trends for the remainder of 2016." The stock immediately dropped 3% in the wake of the announcement, but clawed its way back through yesterday’s session; it’s up over 3% today.

BB&T Corp. (BBT) beat first quarter earnings estimates and revenue climbed 10% y/y. Traditional banking got a little better: first quarter net-interest-margin rose 8 basis points to 3.43%. Loans to energy companies are in focus. During the quarter, the bank charged-off $154mil in loans, about $30mil of which were energy-related. Non-performing loans (i.e. not current on payments) were up 27% q/q, driven entirely by energy loans. Losses look very manageable. The stock is up 1.7% this morning.  

Schlumberger (SLB) posted first quarter earnings that narrowly exceeded expectations. Revenue also came in slightly better that Wall Street forecasts. Of course, the company noted persistent pricing pressure throughout the industry and said conditions aren’t great. But everybody knows that. The company continues to cut headcount (down by 1/3 since the oil crisis began). The CEO didn’t pull any punches: “This environment is expected to continue deteriorating over the coming quarter given the magnitude and erratic nature of the disruptions in activity.” The stock gapped down at the open this morning but quickly recovered and is now trading flat.   

Starbucks (SBUX) reported first quarter results that matched analyst forecasts. That’s not generally a good thing when your stock trades at 30 times earnings. Overall same-store-sales rose 6% vs. 6.7% expected. Asia-Pacific same-store-sales increased 3% whereas analysts were looking for about 4.5%.  So the stock is down 5.5% this morning, and investors are debating whether this is a good buying opportunity.

Alphabet (GOOGL) missed Wall Street forecasts in the first quarter. Revenue rose 18% y/y and earnings grew 14% y/y. Mobile search and YouTube were very strong. Paid clicks rose 29% vs. 31% in the prior quarter, so a little deceleration there. Investors aren’t pleased with the fact that expenses rose on new hiring activity and investments in non-core areas of the business. The stock is down almost 6% this morning.

Visa (V) narrowly beat Wall Street earnings estimates but came in line with revenue forecasts. In terms of growth, revenue rose 6% y/y and earnings grew about 8%. The company noted weakness in emerging markets economies as well as in regions dependent on oil production. That said, total payments volume grew 12% y/y and transactions processed rose 9%. Management says annual net revenue will grow 7-8% in fiscal 2016 (ending September). They previously guided to double-digit growth. So the stock is down 3.9% this morning. 

Whirlpool (WHR) missed Wall Street forecasts and the stock is down 4% today. Sales fell 4.7% y/y. Excluding the effect of currency (i.e. stronger dollar) sales increased 1%. Earnings shot up 23% y/y but still came up short of expectations. Sales in some regions (Latin America, Europe) were weak. North America, however,  posted growth. Despite disappointing results, management did not reduce earnings guidance for the full year. 


*The foregoing content reflects the author's personal opinions which may not coincide with the opinions of the firm, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions, or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. All investing involves risk. Asset allocation and diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Finally, please understand that–as with other social media–if you leave a comment, it will be made public.