US Stocks slipping in early morning trading on weak news flow ahead of release of US Federal Reserve minutes

by QuantalyticsResearch

US Stocks

  • US stocks index futures are drifting lower this morning on a quiet Wednesday morning with front-month Dow Jones minis –0.10%, S&P 500 minis –0.06%, and Nasdaq 100 minis +0.01%.
  • Strategists at SunTrust Private Wealth Management argue that the recent gains in US stocks suggest that further gains lie ahead.  As of yesterday’s close, 90% of the stocks in the S&P 500 were above their 50-day moving average.
  • In spite of December’s weak retail sales, Wall Street analysts continue to be positive about earnings for the US consumer discretionary sector going forward.  Over the past few weeks, the Consensus outlook for consumer discretionary earnings growth has actually increased.
  • According to Investors Intelligence (II), stocks newsletters has turned positive, currently, sitting at 51.9%, the first time the reading has broken above 50% since late October.  II typically begins to worry about too much newsletter optimism AFTER the rate breaks above 50%.
  • While the S&P 500 is on pace for its best 2 month run since 2010, US treasury yields continue to hover close to their recent lows.  Worries about a deceleration in global growth has fueled demand for US government bonds.  The divergence in stocks and bonds raises concerns about whether the recent rally in US stocks is over-extended.
  • US trade officials are purportedly asking their Chinese counterparts to agree to keeping the value of the Chinese Renminbi stable as part of their trade negotiations.  The goal would be to neutralize any attempt by Beijing official to devalue the Yuan to counter US tariffs, etc.
  • The VIX is little changed this morning and is currently at 15.15 after closing at 14.88 yesterday
  • Eli Lilly (LLY) OTM Calls & Puts, EEM April 18 OTM Puts and S&P 500 Minis (XSP) April 18 OTM Puts are some of the most heavily traded options in the US pre-market this morning.
  • US 10-Year Treasury Bonds are higher with yields down -0.18 basis points to 2.6321%
  • The US Treasury 2s-10s Spread has narrowed 0.17 basis points to 0.15%
  • WTI Crude is currently up 0.9% to USD$56.09/bbl with the Brent-WTI spread down USD$-1.73 to USD$9.33/bbl
  • Gold is currently up 0.21% to USD$1343.8/oz — current prices levels for Gold put it at a 10-month high
  • Palladium prices are rallying to record highs, currently sitting at USD$1,500/oz, as a supply shortage is causing car manufacturers to race to collect the precious metal used to manage car emission controls.  Palladium prices have more than tripled since the beginning of CY2016.  The supply shortage is so acute that automakers are actually leasing the metals from ETFs holder of palladium to meet their demands.

Stocks Trending in the News

Click name for Q-Factor breakdown, latest price details, more financial info and sentiment data.

  • Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) announced FY1Q2019 adjusted EPS of USD$1.33 while consensus was for USD$1.28. Analog Devices Inc. reported net sales of USD$1.54bn in FY1Q2019 while analysts expected USD$1.51bn. Analog Devices Inc. sees FY2Q2019 adjusted EPS between USD$1.23 and USD$1.37. Analog Devices Inc.  is rated “Attractive” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Attractive” in our US Information Technology Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Apple Inc. (AAPL) sales weakness in China is, “likely to continue beyond the short-term,” as they, “go beyond price points,” according to HSBC. HSBC also reaffirmed its hold rating for Apple and maintained its USD$160/share price target. HSBC cited an internal survey of Chinese customer preferences in explaining the expected weakness in China. Apple is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Information Technology Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Bausch Health Cos Inc. (BHC) reported CY4Q2018 adjusted EPS of USD$1.04 while analysts expected USD$0.84. Bausch Health Cos Inc. generated net sales of USD$2.12bn in CY4Q2018, beating consensus of USD$2.08bn. Bausch Health Cos Inc. expects FY2019 adjusted Ebitda between USD$3.35bn and USD$3.50bn, the midpoint of which is slightly above consensus of USD$3.39bn. Bausch Health Cos Inc. is not rated in our Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • CVS Health Corp. (CVS) shares slipped after the company announced FY2019 guidance that missed the lowest analyst estimates. CVS Health Corp. told investors that it expects adjusted EPS to come between USD$6.68 and USD$6.88 in FY2019 while analyst estimates ranged from USD$6.99 and USD$7.78. CVS Health Corp. Announced CY4Q2018 adjusted EPS of USD$2.14, beating consensus of USD$2.08. CVS Health Corp. is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Devon Energy (DVN) reported fourth quarter core EPS of USD$0.10 well below consensus of USD$0.30.  Devon Energy will be separating its Canadian and Barnett assets and expects to complete that by the end of 2019.  Devon Energy increased its quarterly dividend to 9 cents per share from 8 cents and increased its share buyback program to USD$5 billion from USD$4 billion.  Devon Energy is rated “Neutral” in our Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Diamondback Energy (FANG) reported fourth quarter adjusted EPS of USD$1.21 missing consensus of USD$1.58.  Diamondback Energy reported fourth quarter adjusted ebitda of USD456.5 million missing consensus of USD485.3 million.  Diamondback Energy saw production of 16,816 mboe/day in the fourth quarter.  Devon Energy is rated “Unattractive” in our Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Gannett Co Inc. (GCI) reported CY4Q2018 adjusted EPS of USD$0.44, slightly missing expectations for USD$0.46. Gannett Co Inc. generated net sales of USD$751.4mm in CY4Q2018, missing consensus of USD$764.3mm. Gannett Co Inc. is rated “Attractive” in our US SMID-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Consumer Discretionary Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Henry Schein Inc. (HSIC) announced CY4Q2018 adjusted EPS of USD$1.12 while consensus was for USD$1.11. Henry Schein Inc. reported net sales of USD$3.38bn in CY4Q2018 while analysts expected USD$3.46bn. Analysts expect Henry Schein Inc. to report an adjusted EPS of USD$0.96 in CY1Q2019. Henry Schein Inc. is rated “Top Buy” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Herbalife Nutrition (HLF) reported fourth quarter adjusted EPS of USD$0.63 beating consensus of USD$0.60.  Herbalife Nutrition reported fourth quarter sales of USD$1.19 billion matching consensus of USD$1.19 billion.  Herbalife Nutrition is not rated in our Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Lululemon (LULU) was downgraded to by Nomura Instinet to neutral from buy.  Nomura Instinet made the downgrade based solely on valuation after the stock ran 24%.  The price target was hiked to USD$157 from USD$140 together with the rating drop.  Lululemon is rated “Attractive” in our Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Owens Corning (OC) reported CY4Q2018 adjusted EPS of USD$1.38 while analysts expected USD$1.26. Owens Corning generated net sales of USD$1.72bn in CY4Q2018, beating consensus of USD$1.68bn. Owens Corning is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Industrials Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Targa Resources Corp. (TRGP) announced CY4Q2018 adjusted EPS of USD$0.35 while consensus was for a loss of USD$0.02. Targa Resources Corp. reported net sales of USD$2.60bn in CY4Q2018, missing consensus of USD$2.91bn. Targa Resources Corp. is rated “Top Short” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • The Southern Co. (SO) reported CY4Q2018 adjusted EPS of USD$0.25 while analysts expected USD$0.23. The Southern Co. generated net sales of USD$5.34bn in CY4Q2018, beating consensus of USD$4.96bn. The Southern Co. is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.

European Stocks

  • The Euro Stoxx 600 is currently up +0.24%, the FTSE 100 is higher by +0.15%, the DAX has risen +0.28%, and the CAC 40 is up +0.23%
  • Half of the European telecom sector is set to report earnings either today or tomorrow.  YTD, it is the only sector negative in the broad based Stoxx Europe 600 index, down 1%.  As of today, the group is on pace to book its fourth straight day of gains which implies bargain hunters and value seekers have been buying these stocks ahead of earnings.  Investors will be closely following the outlook for these companies as most analysts expected CY2019 to be a transition year for most of telecom sector.
  • Utilities (+0.34%), Banks (-0.08%), and Basic Resources (-0.02%) stocks are the top performers in the Euro Stoxx 600 today
  • Retail (-0.32%), Health Care (+0.23%), and Construction & Materials (+0.82%) stocks are the worst performers in the Euro Stoxx 600 today
  • Investor sentiment for European stocks is positive with the advance/decline ratio for the Euro Stoxx 600 currently at 2.17x
  • 105 stocks in the Euro Stoxx 600 are at 4-week highs while 15 stocks are at 4-week lows
  • 52 stocks in the Euro Stoxx 600 are overbought while 2 stocks are oversold according to the 16-day RSI Measure
  • VSTOXX, the European stocks equivalent of the VIX, is little changed this morning and is currently at 14.52 after closing at 14.61 yesterday
  • EUR€ is currently little changed against the USD$ at 1.1335
  • GBP£ is currently down -0.283% against the USD$ to 1.3025
  • CHF is currently little changed against the USD$ at 0.9989
  • German 10-Year Bunds are higher with yields down -0.9 basis points to 0.096%
  • UK 10-Year GILTs are higher with yields down -1 basis points to 1.159%

Asian Stocks

  • The Nikkei 225 finished up +0.6%, the Hang Seng ended up +1.01%, the Hang Seng China Enterprise up +1.01%, and the CSI 300 was +0.36%
  • Nonferrous Metals (+1.58%), Electronic Power & Gas (+1.19%), and Wholesale Trade (+1.08%) stocks were the top performers among Japanese stocks today
  • Oil & Coal Products (-2.01%), Mining (-1.91%), and Securities & Commodity Futures (-0.71%) stocks were the worst performers among Japanese stocks today
  • Investor sentiment for Japanese stocks finished positive with the advance/decline ratio for the Nikkei 225 closing at 2.08x
  • 40 stocks in the Nikkei 225 hit 4-week highs while 0 stocks reached 4-week lows
  • 4 stocks in the Nikkei 225 closed overbought while 1 stocks closed oversold according to the 16-day RSI Measure
  • Investor sentiment for Hong Kong stocks finished positive with the advance/decline ratio for the Hang Seng closing at 9x
  • 17 stocks in the Hang Seng hit 4-week highs while 0 stocks reached 4-week lows
  • 6 stocks in the Hang Seng closed overbought while 0 stocks closed oversold according to the 16-day RSI Measure
  • The Hang Seng closed up 1.01%, Hang Seng China Enterprise advanced 1.01%, and the CSI 300 rose 0.36%
  • Investor sentiment for Hong Kong stocks finished positive with the advance/decline ratio for the Hang Seng closing at 9x
  • 17 stocks in the Hang Seng hit 4-week highs while 0 stocks reached 4-week lows
  • 6 stocks in the Hang Seng closed overbought while 0 stocks closed oversold according to the 16-day RSI Measure
  • Japan 10-Year Government Bonds are higher with yields down -0.5 basis points to -0.033%
  • JGBs 2s-10s Spread has narrowed 0.4 basis points to 0.15%
  • JPY¥ is currently up +0.172% against the USD$ to 110.82
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