All posts by Steven Adams

After earning a law degree cum laude with a focus on securities law, Steven worked as a Nasdaq market maker for a large broker dealer, and then as a trader for an arbitrage focused proprietary hedge fund. He subsequently worked as a consultant for a Fortune 500 consulting firm serving both government and commercial clients, including the NYSE, Prudential, FDIC, and NASA. Steven has founded both a convertible arbitrage hedge fund and a strategic consulting firm.

Market Preview: Jobs Data Lifts Market

After gains earlier in the week, markets were somewhat mellow on Friday. The Dow and S&P 500 were up slightly, and the Nasdaq was off a quarter of a percent. Good jobs data earlier in the day buoyed markets, after less than stellar projections out of Amazon (AMZN). The online retailer said that 2019 will be a big investment year for the company, which was already anticipated. But news that the company was facing regulatory headwinds in India, and was projecting lighter sales, drove the stock down to finish off just over 5% on the day.  

Sysco (SYY) and Clorox (CLX) report before the bell bright and early Monday, but investors will be waiting for the closing bell to ring for Alphabet (GOOGL) to report. Even after coming off of 2018 highs, the search company is still a $783 billion market cap behemoth. After Facebook’s (FB) much better than anticipated numbers, analysts will be looking for good news on the advertising front from Google as well. The company is expected to make $11.08 a share, up on a year-over-year basis from $9.70.

Tuesday we’ll have a range of earnings reports from Walt Disney (DIS), British Petroleum (BP), and Estee Lauder (EL). Disney is back to the low end of the trading range it experienced for most of 2018, and has recovered from the end of year swoon it experienced. Wednesday is pharma day when Eli Lilly (LLY), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) all report.

Thursday the earnings spotlight will turn to Phillip Morris (PM), Sanofi (SNY) and Yum! Brands (YUM). Philip Morris made headlines early this year when it said it wants to eventually stop selling cigarettes. Investors will be looking for an update on the business plan moving forward if the company wishes to turn away from its main product. Friday we’ll hear from Exelon (EXC), Phillips 66 (PSX) and Hasbro (HAS).  

The economic calendar Monday, to begin the first full week of February, starts with motor vehicle sales, factory orders and the TD Ameritrade IMX, or investor sentiment survey. Investors who jumped ship in late 2018 as the market faced uncertainty may be coming off the sidelines after one of the best Januarys in 30 years. Factory orders for November, which are delayed from an original early January release schedule, are expected to come in up .4%. This follows a 2.1% decline in October.

Redbook retail data, PMI services and ISM non-manufacturing data will all be released Tuesday. The Purchasing Managers Index, made up of over 400 companies, last came in at 54.4 for December. Also slated for Tuesday is President Trump’s State of the Union address. Any news out of the speech, especially an update on how the Chinese trade situation is progressing, may impact markets Wednesday.

Mortgage applications, international trade data, and productivity and cost numbers will be scrutinized by analysts Wednesday. The composite mortgage numbers were down 3% last week, with refis coming in particularly weak, down 6%. Fed Chairman Powell is expected to host a town hall meeting at 7 pm Wednesday evening, taking questions from educators across the U.S..  

Thursday is a big day for economic data. Jobless claims and the EIA natural gas report will both be released Thursday morning. Thursday afternoon will find investors looking over consumer credit numbers, the Fed balance sheet, and money supply data. With the Fed projected to tap the brakes on quantitative tightening, analysts will be pouring over the Fed balance sheet numbers when they are released at 4:30 pm. Baker-Hughes rig count data comes out on Friday.    

Market Preview: Earnings Rally Gets Boost from Chairman Powell

Wednesday morning was all about earnings, with markets jumping on “not bad” earnings out of Apple (AAPL) Tuesday evening, and good news from Boeing (BA) Wednesday morning. And then, Wednesday afternoon was all about the Fed. Chairman Powell seemed to take the Fed, and the fear of rising interest rates, off the table as a potential stumbling block for the market with the FOMC statement and subsequent press conference.

The Fed statement declared that the Fed “will be patient as it determines…future adjustments” to interest rates. The market interpreted that as a green light on the rate front, and added to the earnings gains achieved earlier in the day. On the trade front, high level talks began again between the U.S. and China, but reports from multiple sources say it may be slow going as several in-the-weeds details on intellectual property protection and enforcement must be worked out.

The earnings onslaught continues Thursday when Tuesday Morning (TUES) and YRC Worldwide (YRCW) report before the opening bell. Revenues at trucking company YRCW are expected to rise a few percentage points over last year, with earnings coming in at $.12 per share. Investors will be looking for an update on hiring, with trucking companies across the board citing a lack of qualified drivers. Analysts are predicting a 52% year-over-year rise in Tuesday Morning earnings to $.29 a share when the company reports. The home goods retailer has fallen sharply in the past year from highs around $4 to now trade under $2 per share.

As government agencies catch up on reports not issued due to the government shutdown, the economic numbers will be coming at a rapid pace the next few days. The Challenger Job Cut Report, jobless claims, personal income, and the employment cost index will all be released tomorrow morning. Personal income is expected to have increased .4% in December, and strong consumer spending is expected to continue, ticking up .3%. The core price index, excluding food and energy, is expected to rise .2%, or 1.9% on an annual basis. Chicago PMI and new home sales are also scheduled for release Thursday.

The first day of February will start off with the employment situation numbers, followed by both the PMI and ISM manufacturing indices. Analysts are watching the manufacturing numbers very closely to see if weakness the last few months was only an aberration. The consensus ISM number for January is a tepid 54. Construction spending, consumer sentiment, and wholesale trade numbers will also be released Friday.The November construction number, originally scheduled for release January 3, is expected to show a .2% increase.

Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), Merck (MRK) and Honeywell (HON) kick off February with earnings Friday morning. Both Exxon and Chevron have bounced, along with oil prices, off of the bottom touched in December. But, on a percentage basis, both large oil companies are trailing the bounce in oil itself. Analysts will be looking for commentary from each company on where they see the price of oil headed, and whether global economic weakness will continue to impact the commodity.

Market Preview: Chinese Weakness Hits Earnings

Markets declined Monday, after lower-than-expected Caterpillar (CAT) earnings and an Nvidia (NVDA) warning, both due to weakness in China, began to bring the global economic slowdown into focus. Whirlpool (WHR), reporting after the close, also blamed lowered 2019 guidance on weakness mainly in the Chinese market. A new round of trade talks between the U.S and China are slated to begin later this week. The question is whether the downward momentum in the Chinese economy will continue despite an agreement, or whether stimulus by the Chinese government, combined with a trade agreement, will be enough to turn the flailing economy around.

Pfizer (PFE), Verizon (VZ), and 3M (MMM) all report earnings Tuesday morning. Verizon has rallied nicely after the recent dip in the market. Analysts will be looking for updates on spend to build out the 5G network, and how the company sees that investment outflow in 2019. Tuesday evening all eyes will be on Apple (AAPL) when the company report earnings after the close. Investors will want an update on the situation in China, and whether prices will be cut for the newest iPhones. Some analysts see no way around a price cut, whether a trade deal is reached with China or not. Also reporting after the close are Stryker (SYK) and Ebay (EBAY).

Tuesday is the beginning of a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting which will conclude with an interest rate announcement Wednesday at 2 pm. The Fed is not expected to raise rates at this meeting. International trade in goods and retail and wholesale inventories will also be released Tuesday morning, assuming the numbers have been compiled given the recently ended government shutdown. Analysts will also be focusing on the S&P Corelogic Case-Schiller Home Price Index which is predicted to rise .3% month-over-month. Consumer confidence will also be released.

GDP, scheduled for release Wednesday, will be delayed due to the government shutdown. The current projection is for a 2.6% increase for Q4. The ADP employment report and MBA mortgage applications are also scheduled for release Wednesday morning. Pending home sales are expected to rise .1% for December when the data is released Wednesday. Following the Fed announcement, Chairman Powell is scheduled to give a press conference at 2:30 pm. This will be a closely monitored event, as the Chairman has greatly impacted rate perceptions in his appearances and speeches the past few months.

Wednesday, before the open, we’ll see earnings reports from Alibaba (BABA), Boeing (BA) and McDonald’s (MCD). Many, fearing a slowing in airline traffic, are looking to BA for any signs of cracks in the earnings report. China will also loom large when the airplane builder reports. Alibaba should provide some insight into the Chinese consumer, and how rapidly the Chinese economy is cooling. They may even shed some light on how stimulus efforts, undertaken by the Chinese government, are working.

After the close Wednesday analysts will dissect earnings from Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook (FB) and PayPal (PYPL). While turning up from a short term bottom, Microsoft has not yet been able to retake highs it achieved near the end of 2018. Facebook continues to come under pressure on its advertising practices. Investors will be listening for some clarity on those practices, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg has recently taken to the media to defend the company’s advertising format.

Market Preview: Markets Rally on Good News Trifecta

Markets rallied for a fifth straight week Friday as a trifecta of good news was enjoyed by investors. President Trump announced a temporary reopening of the U.S. government after reaching a deal with Congress. Unless a final deal is reached before mid-February, another shutdown could ensue. But, traders are hopeful this is a sign that a permanent solution can be reached.

The WSJ reported the Fed may be close to halting its program of quantitative tightening. This could give markets the breathing room they need to regather for another rally. And, finally, positive news on the trade front is raising confidence that additional tariffs will be avoided in coming months.

We are in the heart of earnings season, and the last week of January will start off with a bang. Monday morning analysts will get right to work dissecting earnings from Caterpillar (CAT) and then interpreting releases from Whirlpool (WHR) and Celanese (CE) after the close. Caterpillar has been a bellwether in the recent trade dispute between the U.S and China, rising when there is good news and falling when tensions between the countries rise. Analysts will be looking for the real impacts of the trade dispute when Cat reports. Whirlpool has long been viewed as a measure of how the consumer is holding up. The company is expected to report $4.30 per share, with the main question being whether the company is seeing inflationary pressures from its suppliers.

The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey and the Chicago Fed National Activity Index will both be released Monday. The Chicago numbers could be particularly interesting as they pick up activity nationwide, and should give a better reading on how weak manufacturing has become. Last month’s reading came in at .22, and the current three month average is .12. The positive numbers indicate manufacturing is still growing above trend, even with the recent falloff reported by regional Fed Banks. Tuesday analysts will look through Redbook retail numbers, international trade numbers, and the Corelogic Case-Schiller Home Price Index (HPI). The HPI October numbers were relatively flat.

Apple (AAPL) will be the headliner Tuesday when the company reports earnings. Investors are anticipating an update on sales in China, and many analysts feel price cuts are coming in the newest iPhones. Pfizer (PFE), Verizon (VZ) and 3M (MMM) also report Tuesday. The hits keep coming Wednesday when Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook (FB), and Visa (V) all report. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg will likely comment on Facebook’s advertising practices after penning a piece for the WSJ addressing the issue on Friday.

Mortgage applications, impending home sales, and the ADP employment report are all released Wednesday morning. Also on the slate are GDP numbers. GDP is expected to come in at 3.4% for the quarter. Wednesday afternoon will also mark the close of a two day Federal Open Market Committee meeting, with any interest rate changes announced at 2 pm. Traders do not expect any move by the Fed, but will be watching the statement closely for any deviation in wording from the Feds last comments.

Thursday we’ll hear from Amazon (AMZN), Mastercard (MA) and General Electric (GE) as they report quarterly earnings. Investors will likely get an update on how the standup of the new Amazon headquarters is progressing. Friday will be all about big oil as both Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) report before the opening bell.

Jobless claims and the employment cost index will be released Thursday. And on the first day of February, consumer sentiment, employment situation numbers, and the PMI manufacturing index will all be released Friday. Non-farm payrolls are expected to come in at 312K and the unemployment rate is projected to be 3.9%.

Market Preview: Markets Regain Some of Tuesday’s Losses On IBM

Wednesday, markets were mainly in recovery mode and made up some ground after a selloff on Chinese economic weakness Tuesday. Strong earnings from International Business Machines (IBM) and Procter & Gamble (PG) propped markets up after downward revisions to global economic growth by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier in the week. The market is also fighting less than stellar news on the trade front between the U.S. and China. And, growing tension on the U.S. government shutdown which appears to become more acrid by the day. The two parties are now arguing over when and where President Trump will deliver his state of the union address next week. From an economic data perspective, investors are getting fewer and fewer data points as more federal agencies stop releasing data due to worker absences.  

Jobless claims, PMI composite flash data, and leading indicators will all be released Thursday morning. Jobs continue to be a bright spot in what has become a muddled economic picture, with continually weakening housing numbers, and data indicating manufacturing in the U.S. is slowing. With a lower than expected 213K last week, claims are expected to again remain below the 220.75K four week moving average. PMI flash data is expected to show a continuing sluggishness in manufacturing, with only a slight rise from December levels and still below numbers reported in November.

Thursday is a big day for earnings as Intel (INTC), Union Pacific (UNP), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Starbucks (SBUX), and American Airlines (AAL) all report. American Airlines has traded relatively flat after declining around 25% from highs set just before the selloff that began in October last year. Analysts will be looking at load count as well as the impact of oil prices. There will also likely be discussion of the impact of the government shutdown, and how that is impacting profitability. Starbucks is trading around 10% above highs set in the first half of 2018, and analysts are anticipating strength in North America to offset weakness in the Chinese market.

There is no slowdown in earnings headed into the weekend as AbbVie (ABB), Colgate-Palmolive (CP), Ericsson (ERIC), D.R. Horton (DHI), and Lear Corporation (LEA) all report Friday morning. Management for D.R. Horton will be under a microscope to give investors an expert opinion on if and when they see the housing market stabilizing, and perhaps turning up. Last quarter Colgate-Palmolive’s gross and operating margins both fell, and analysts are not expecting a turnaround this quarter. With the majority of its revenue generated internationally, the consumer goods company should serve as a canary in the coal mine, providing some indication as to whether the global economy is faltering as many believe.  

The monthly Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index is projected to decline yet again after a jaw-dropping 12 point fall last month. The index is expected to come in at 2, down only 1 point from last month’s final tally of 3. Leading economic indicators are also expected to decline for December at -0.1%. The stock market fall, combined with the aforementioned weakness in manufacturing, accounts for the December decline.

Friday we will likely not get the release of planned durable goods orders and new home sales due to the partial government shutdown. We will see data on the Baker-Hughes North American rig count to get an idea of how the rig count is trending with the continuing weakness in oil.

Market Preview: Continued Chinese Weakness May Impact Markets

Markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, but may take their cue from overseas markets when they reopen for business Tuesday. European markets were flat to lower as they digested final GDP numbers out of China for 2018. The Chinese economy grew 6.6% in 2018, its slowest growth in almost 30 years.

When markets reopen Tuesday, they will also return to the stalemate in Washington, with nothing being resolved over the long holiday weekend. President Trump’s offer to extend the DACA program for three years in exchange for funds to build a border wall with Mexico was announced dead on arrival by Democratic leaders.

In addition to impacting federal workers and the businesses they frequent, the extended shutdown is preventing companies, like Uber (UBER, pre-IPO) and Lyft (LYFT, pre-IPO), from proceeding with their IPOs. A skeleton staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is on duty to police market misconduct, but not to approve IPOs and other registration filings.

Tuesday analysts will see the release of Redbook retail data. A major economic victim of the government shutdown has been retail data. The Redbook data has therefore taken on more importance in recent weeks. Last week showed a 6.7% rise in sales year-over-year. This weekly data is being watched closely for any cracks in consumer confidence. Also released Tuesday are existing homes sales numbers.

Investors will get a reading on brokerage earnings Tuesday when TD Ameritrade (AMTD) and Interactive Brokers (IBKR) report. With several reports showing investors moving to the sidelines in late 2018, analysts will be monitoring the level of trading activity at these brokerage firms, given the swift rebound so far this year. Did investors reengage in the market, or are they still waiting for an all clear? Also releasing earnings Tuesday are Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), International Business Machines (IBM) and The Travelers Companies (TRV).

Proctor and Gamble (PG), United Technologies (UTX), Texas Instruments (TXN), ASML NV (ASML) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS) report earnings Wednesday. Like the other casino stocks, Las Vegas Sands started trending lower in mid-2018, but looks to have found a bottom in the mid-$50s. The company is expected to report $.86 per share on Wednesday. Investors will be looking for an update from United Technologies on its plans to separate into three different companies. Announced in 2018, the company has said that the reorg could take as much as two years to complete.  

Mortgage applications, the FHFA House Price Index, and the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index will all be released Wednesday. With both orders and shipments contracting unexpectedly in December, when the Index came in at -8, investors are keeping a close eye on the Richmond Fed numbers for January. Projected to bounce slightly to -3, the number is an important gauge of where the economy may be heading in early 2019.    

Market Preview: Market Rallies on China Trade Hopes

Markets that were already moving up, got a boost Friday when it was reported Chinese trade negotiators had offered to address the trade imbalance with the U.S., and essentially eliminate the imbalance by 2014. The offer to purchase $1 trillion of U.S. goods, provided hope to investors that the trade dispute will not only be settled, but will be a boon for the U.S. Trade bellwether Caterpillar (CAT) was up over 2% on the news. And, markets finished up over 1% across the board. With this bounce off of the late December lows, pundits are now concerned markets may be overshooting to the upside and setting up for potential headline risk to send them lower. Cheerleaders of the bull move point to earnings, which though uneven, have been coming in somewhat better than expected, and do not appear to be indicating a recession is in the cards in 2019.   

U.S. Markets are closed Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. But, the release of economic numbers resumes Tuesday with Redbook retail data and existing home sales. The November data, showing 5.32 million homes sold, was down 7% year-over-year and epitomized the state of housing sales, which fell off a cliff in the final quarter of 2018. Analysts are anticipating a positive effect from falling mortgage rates which may boost the December number. Wednesday, the housing data continues as investors will analyze mortgage applications and the FHFA House Price Index data. The Richmond Fed will release its manufacturing Index Wednesday morning.

Earnings are set to flow Tuesday as we hear from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), International Business Machines (IBM), UBS AG (UBS) and Capital One Financial (COF). Investors will be expecting JNJ to provide an update in the ongoing battle over contaminated baby powder, which plaintiffs claim was intentionally sold by the company.  Proctor and Gamble (PG), Abbott Labs (ABT), Comcast (CMCSA) and United Technologies (UTX) all report earnings Wednesday. JP Morgan (JPM) raised its price target on P&G Friday, from $100 to $106. The consumer giant’s stock has flattened in the low $90s in recent months, after moving off of lows just above $70 in May of last year.

Market behemoth Intel (INTC) reports earnings Thursday after the close, and will be joined by Starbucks (SBUX) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG). Though not a staple of tech stocks, investors are keen to learn if Intel will be raising its dividend for 2019. The company currently pays a rate of 2.48% annually to its shareholders. China will be the question on the earnings call when Starbucks reports Thursday. Analysts expect a 3% uptick in U.S. business, but fear this may be offset by a weak consumer in China. Colgate-Palmolive (CP), Ericsson (ERIC), and D.R. Horton (DHI) will close out the week when they report earnings next Friday.

Jobless claims, the PMI flash numbers, and leading indicators will all be released Thursday. The leading indicators are expected to tick up .2% for December. Also on the way Thursday is the Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index. Durable goods orders and new home sales numbers will be released on Friday. Durable goods are expected to increase .8% month-over-month.

Market Preview: Positive Financial Sector Reports Lift Markets

Markets moved higher Wednesday, but were trending lower into the close, after an impressive earnings report from Goldman Sachs (GS) lifted the stock almost 10%. While the beat on earnings lifted the stock, they do not put to bed the ongoing investigation into the money manager by the Malaysian government, or the U.S. Federal Reserve. Markets gave back some of Wednesday’s gains after news hit the wire late afternoon, that the U.S. will be seeking criminal charges against Chinese telecom company Huawei, accusing the company of stealing trade secrets. The ongoing trade tension between China and the U.S. showed signs of progress in the latest round of talks, but the Huawei investigation looms large over the fragile negotiations. No apparent progress has been made on the continuing government shutdown, with both sides now sniping about President Trump’s scheduled State of the Union address later this month.

While pundits debate the exact economic impact the partial government shutdown is having on the economy, we are certain it is impacting the release of economic numbers on which analysts base their recommendations. The latest casualty were retail sales numbers for December, which were due to be released Wednesday, and are now delayed. Thursday we will get the release of jobless claims, which are expected to tick up slightly as more federal workers file claims. The consensus total is for 221K claims. Analysts will also take a look at the Philly Fed Business Outlook, but housing starts, also due Thursday, are delayed.

While financials continue to report Thursday, with earnings from Morgan Stanley (MS) and American Express (AXP), we’ll also hear earnings news from Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) and Netflix (NFLX). Morgan Stanley, which suffered a dismal 2018, rallied Wednesday along with other banks, tacking on 3.75%. The company is expected to report earnings of $.92 before the market open Thursday morning.

Analysts are highly anticipating Netflix earnings, after the company announced it is raising prices for its subscription services effective immediately for new subscribers, and over a three month period for current customers. The stock has been on a blistering pace the past few weeks, and is up over 50% from an intraday low set December 26th. Investors will be looking for projections of what the price increase means for earnings going forward.

Earnings continue to roll in from financials Friday, when State Street (STT) and Suntrust Bank (STI) both report. Analysts will also hear from oil services company Schlumberger (SLB). This is Schlumberger’s first report since oil prices tanked late in 2018. Revenue is expected to drop 5% sequentially, and the company has projected a possible 15% potential revenue drop in North America, as fracking revenue has declined. After hitting a high of just below $80 in 2018 the stock has been almost cut in half, now trading at just over $41.   

Friday investors can pour over industrial production numbers and consumer sentiment, from the University of Michigan survey. Consumers are expected to see a somewhat bleaker landscape, as the survey number is projected to drop to 97 from December’s final reading of 98.3. Mixed messages abound as the government shutdown is a negative, trade negotiations seem slightly positive, and the market rebound in 2019 has been strong.

Market Preview: Markets Start Off 2019 Positive Despite Volatility

Markets finished flat Friday to cap a good week on Wall Street. The S&P 500 is now up 3.49% on the year, with the Nasdaq jumping just over 5% to ring in 2019. The mini rally has restored some of the heavy losses suffered at the end of 2018. Earnings warnings have not been as dire as many had feared heading into a new earnings season next week, which has helped to rally markets off the recent bottom. But, U.S,/China trade talks, seemingly moving in the right direction, remain fragile. And, the continuing partial government shutdown will start showing up in economic numbers very soon. While unnerving for the employees involved, some market commentators are pointing to the positive returns markets have seen when gridlock has ruled in Washington, and lawmakers have been handcuffed when it comes to policies that impact stocks. The plethora of earnings next week will keep investors busy trying to pick the winners and losers of 2019.  

Monday, Citigroup (C) kicks off a busy week of earnings when the company, along with Shaw Communications (SJR), reports before the market open. Citi is the first of several big banks to report this week, and analysts are projecting $1.61 a share for the New York based bank. After a 30% decline in 2018, investors are looking for growth plans than include more than stock buybacks and tax breaks. Citi may set the tone for the other major banks, as JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) both report Tuesday.

Also reporting Tuesday are UnitedHealth Group (UNH) and Delta Airlines (DAL). Delta, already damaged in the December market selloff, fell sharply last week after downward revenue and sales revisions were released by the company. Bank of America (BAC) and Goldman Sachs (GS) report earnings pre-market open Wednesday. They’ll be joined by CSX Corp. (CSX) and Alcoa (AA) after the close. Thursday, the financial parade continues as American Express (AXP), Morgan Stanley (MS) and BB&T Corporation (BBT) all report earnings. Also reporting Thursday is Netflix (NFLX). The stock has rallied strongly in 2019 after suffering big losses at the end of last year. Finally, Schlumberger (SLB) and State Street (STT) will close out the week’s earnings when they report on Friday.  

Due to the partial government shutdown, no economic data is scheduled for release Monday. But Tuesday, investors should see the release of PPI data, as well as the Empire State Manufacturing Survey. PPI is expected to rise .1% month-over-month and 2.5% year-over-year. Wednesday analysts will examine Redbook retail sales data as well as government retail sales numbers released by the Bureau of the Census. Redbook data put sales at up 8.9% last week. Also released Wednesday are mortgage applications, business inventories, and the housing market index.

Thursday morning, housing starts, jobless claims and the Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey will all be on investor’s minds. Jobless claims came in at 216K last week, in line with estimates. While some numbers, such as recent manufacturing data, point to a weakening U.S. economy, jobs numbers have held steady to this point. The Fed balance sheet, which it is using to continue quantitative tightening, even as interest rate fears subside, will be released Thursday afternoon. Friday, industrial production, consumer sentiment, and the Baker-Hughes rig count numbers will all be released to close out the week.

This ‘Overlooked’ Sector Produced the Biggest Winners of the Last Decade
Wall Street is oblivious to it, yet you can earn 2,537% profits from an overlooked "blue chip" sector. The same group of stocks that has produced some of the biggest winners of the last 10 years.
Investors have earned 618%, 834%, and up to 2,500% - performing better than Amazon, Netflix and Facebook.
Click here to get in on your own 2,537% windfall.

Market Preview: Markets Remain Positive on Trade Talks and a Benevolent Fed

Markets maintained their positive demeanor Wednesday, with oil up over 5% and minutes from the latests Federal Reserve meeting showing the Fed is willing to take a measured and patient approach to raising interest rates this year. While it was another up and down day, the major averages all finished in the green. News from the ongoing U.S./China trade talks was also encouraging with reports that both sides are making progress toward a resolution of the tariff war. Some analysts are pointing to the recent economic decline in China as an indicator that the country is under pressure to get a deal done even on less than favorable terms.

On the negative side of the ledger, it appears the partial government shutdown in D.C. may go on for an extended time. An address by the President Tuesday night, followed by a rebuttal from Democratic leaders, showed the parties no closer to a resolution than when the shutdown began. The public appeals were followed by a face-to-face meeting today which apparently ended with the President walking out and proclaiming the meeting a “waste of time”. January 15th will be the first day on which an additional round of government employees will not receive pay, adding to the growing impact of the shutdown.

Synnex Corporation (SNX) and FuelCell Energy (FCEL) report earnings Thursday. Synnex, an IT supply chain services company, has made a habit of falling after earnings announcements the past few quarters. But, the stock appears to have put in a solid support level around $75 the past few months. The company is expected to report $3.08 per share on Thursday, or an increase of 10.4% year-over-year on revenue of $5.4 billion. FuelCell Energy is expected to lose $.17 per share when it reports after the close Thursday. FCEL has dropped over 70% since last January and currently trades at less than $1.

Jobless claims will be released Thursday morning and are expected to come in at 224K. The claims number has been leveling off after touching a recent bottom in September 2018. Wholesale trade numbers, scheduled to be released Thursday, may be delayed due to the government shutdown, but they are expected to rise .4%. The inventory increase would be on par with growth in wholesale sales numbers reported earlier. Fed Chairman Powell is scheduled take part in discussions at the Economic Club of Washington at 12:45 pm. The Chairman’s remarks have given the market reason to rally the past week.

Due to declining oil prices at the end of 2018 the CPI is expected to drop between .1 and .2 percentage points for December when it is released Friday. Year-over-year numbers are projected to rise 1.9%. Falling housing prices have been partially offset by rising medical costs to keep the index elevated. The index has been relatively flat since May of 2018.

Infosys Limited (INFY) will report earnings before the open Friday. India based Infosys is expected to report flat operating margins as it has been spending heavily on upgrading its digital capabilities. Analysts will be focused on revenue growth and are looking for a possible announcement of a buyback of company shares.

  [FREE REPORT] Options Income Blueprint: 3 Proven Strategies to Earn More Cash Today Discover how to grab $577 to $2,175 every 7 days even if you have a small brokerage account or little experience... And it's as simple as using these 3 proven trading strategies for earning extra cash. They’re revealed in my new ebook, Options Income Blueprint: 3 Proven Strategies to Earn Extra Cash Today. You can get it right now absolutely FREE. Click here right now for your free copy and to start pulling in up to $2,175 in extra income every week.