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US stocks are flat midday with investors preparing for Fed rate decision Wednesday

Mar 18, 2019

 

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Market data as of 12 noon

US Market Snapshot

  • US stocks give up early gains and are trading flat midday as investors anticipate a rate decision from the Fed on Wednesday
  • Consensus is for the Fed to maintain the Fed Funds rate at 2.50% while investors hope for clarity on completion of its asset roll-off from its balance sheet
  • The S&P 500 is currently up 0.12%, Nasdaq Composite is down 0.03%, and Russell 2000 is up 0.17%
  • The three largest S&P 500 ETFs saw USD$11 billion in inflows last week, the biggest since September of last year
  • Emerging Markets ETFs saw the first outflows in 21 weeks; USD$18.3 billion has made its way into EM ETFs since the start of 2019
  • Oil is trading near a 4-month high after OPEC said it will defer until June a decision on whether or not to extend production cuts; saying an April meeting, as originally planned, would be too soon
  • The outperformance of Growth stocks (vs. Value stocks) is most pronounced for smaller companies.  The ratio of the growth-to-value for Russell 2000 stocks has moved above 0.8 as of Friday, the highest level since February 2001. 
  • The number of bearish bets is decreasing according to data from the CFTC.  Net shorts on S&P 500 e-minis dropped 35% as of the week ending March 12th.  Previously, net shorts had reached their highest levels in over a year in February as worries about slowing economic growth drove demand for bearish bets. 
  • Goldman Sachs argues that Snap-on (SNA)Weatherford International (WFT) and National Oilwell Varco (NOV) are three stocks that have high pricing power and will outperform if the US Fed is successful in boosting inflation. 
  • While investors obsess over price levels for the VIX, the Bank of American Merrill Lynch SKEW indicator has dropped to the lowest level since January 2018.  The SKEW index is a more direct measure of demand for out of the money puts than the VIX which is a measure of the overall curvature.  The low levels for SKEW suggest investors are “comfortable” with the current environment for stocks.   
  • Energy (+1.12%), Financials (+0.91%), and Consumer Discretionary (+0.65%) stocks are the top performers in the S&P 500 today
  • Utilities (-0.6%), Real Estate (-0.6%), and Telecom (-0.89%) stocks are the worst performers in the S&P 500 today
  • Investor sentiment for US stocks is neutral with the advance/decline ratio for the S&P 500 currently at 1.18x
  • 107 stocks in the S&P500 are at 4-week highs while 17 stocks are at 4-week lows
  • 79 stocks in the S&P 500 are overbought while 3 stocks are oversold according to the 16-day RSI Measure
  • 173 stocks in the Nasdaq Composite are at 4-week highs while 75 stocks are at 4-week lows
  • 321 stocks in the Nasdaq Composite are overbought while 254 stocks are oversold according to the 16-day RSI Measure
  • The VIX is currently little changed at 13.1 from last week's close of 12.88

Stocks Trending in the News

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Global Consumer Stocks Trending in the News

  • Leoni AG (DB: LEO) shares fell to their lowest in eight years after the German automotive company walked-back its prior forecast, replaced its CFO, and announced plans for 2,000 job cuts. Leoni, citing a slowdown in China, also issued its third profit warning in just 6 months. Leoni also explained that it will face, “significantly greater costs,” as it struggles to ramp up production at its plant in Merida, Mexico. Leoni AG is rated “Top Short” in our European SMID-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Lumber Liquidators (LL) reported fourth quarter adjusted EPS of USD$0.17 beating consensus of USD$0.14.  Lumber Liquidators reported fourth quarter revenue of USD$268.9 million a touch below consensus of USD$272.3 million.  Lumber Liquidators saw same store sales growth of +9.4%, well above 7.9% consensus.  Lumber Liquidators gave same store growth guidance of negative low single digits.  Lumber Liquidators is rated “Attractive” in our US SMID-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Top Short” in our US Consumer Discretionary Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Marriott International (MAR) outlined its 3-year guidance which includes the return of up to USD$11 billion to shareholders.  Marriott intends to add between 275k and 295k rooms by 2021.  Marriott sees EPS of USD$7.65-8.50 by 2021 with a compound growth rate of 11-15% over 2018 adjusted results.  Marriott sees dividends payouts of ISD$1.9-2 billion with share repurchases of USD$7.6-9 billion.  Marriott International is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Attractive” in our US Consumer Discretionary Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Prada SpA (SEHK: 1913) shares fell to their lowest in over 2 years after a slump in China dragged down the Italian fashion designer’s profits. Prada explained further that Chinese tourists are slowing spending due to weakness in the yuan. Prada is rated “Unattractive” in our China All-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.

Global Information Technology & Communication Services Stocks Trending in the News

  • America Movil SAB (BMV: AMX L), the telecommunications company owned by billionaire mogul Carlos Slim, has agreed to buy Nextel Telecomunicacoes in a deal that values the latter at USD$905mm less net debt. The acquisition by America Movil SAB is the second acquisition for the company this year following its USD$648mm purchase of Telefonica SA’s (BME: TEF) businesses in Guatemala and El Salvador. America Movil is rated “Attractive” in our Mexico All-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas. Telefonica is rated “Neutral” in our European Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Disney (DIS) has rehired director James Gunn to direct the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” film after firing him eight months ago.  He was fired then after offensive tweets of his from years ago were published.  In a surprise move, Disney announced he is set to return after a backlash from fans demanding his return.  Disney is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Top Buy” in our US Consumer Discretionary Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Facebook (FB) was downgraded to hold from buy at Needham in a note highlighting concern over its recent pivot toward privacy and encrypted messages.  Facebook saw its price target cut to USD$187 from USD$205.  Needham also noted the growing risk of government regulations and its likely negative effects on Facebook.  Facebook has seen some key executives depart recently, further adding to the concerns for Needham.  Facebook is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Attractive” in our US Information Technology Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) agreed to acquire Worldpay Inc (WP) for close to USD$34 billion in cash and stock.  FIS will also assume Worldpay’s debt load, which brings the enterprise value of the deal to about USD$43 billion.  Upon closure of the deal, FIS shareholders will hold 53% of the new company with Worldpay holders owning 47%.  Worldpay shareholders will receive USD$11 per share cash and 0.93 shares of FIS.  Fidelity National Information Services is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Information Technology Global Top Stock Ideas.  Worldpay is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Attractive” in our US Information Technology Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Infineon Technologies (XTRA: IFX) shares moved higher after Commerzbank announced a new buy recommendation for the stock. Commerzbank also announced a price target of 25 euros/share for Infineon Technologies, implying a 29% upside from Friday’s closing price. Infineon currently maintains an average price target of 23.33 euros/share across 29 analyst recommendation, 20 of which are buys, 7 of which are holds, and 2 of which are sells. Infineon is rated “Neutral” in our European Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Qualcomm (QCOM) won its first patent infringement case against Apple (AAPL) in the United States.  Qualcomm was awarded USD$31.6 million in damages in a San Diego court, giving the company the full amount it asked for.   Qualcomm contends its portfolio of technology patents provides significant value to smartphones.  Qualcomm is rated “Unattractive” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Information Technology Global Top Stock Ideas.  Apple is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Information Technology Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Synaptics (SYNA) was downgraded to neutral from buy at Mizunho Securities.  Synaptics saw its price target cut to USD$39 from USD$48 as well.  Mizunho highlights Synaptics’ loss of market share in multiple product lines as well as the recent announcement that its CEO is leaving.  Synaptics is rated “Neutral” in our US SMID-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Information Technology Global Top Stock Ideas.

Global Financials Stocks Trending in the News

  • Allianz (DB:ALV) shares are rising on speculation it could combine its assets with DWS (DB:DWS), the asset management arm of Deutsche Bank.  With news of Deutsche Bank (DB:DBK) discussing a possible merger many are speculating it may shed assets with DWS being described as a prime target.  DWS has one of the largest offerings of ETFs and real estate business among European asset managers.  Deutsche Bank is rated “Unattractive” in our European Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.  DWS is rated “Unattractive” in our European SMID-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.  Allianz is rated “Neutral” in our European Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Commerzbank’s (DB:CBK) potential merger with Deutsche Bank (DB:DBK) finally got the green light to start formal merger talks.  Germany’s Finance Minister has said he will not oppose the massive jobs cuts that will be needed to make a merger of the two banks work.  Last week labor leaders at Deutsche Bank expressed the same opposition to any merger with Commerzbank.   Commerzbank is rated “Unattractive” in our European Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.  Deutsche Bank is rated “Unattractive” in our European Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX: MFC) shares edged higher alongside other Canadian life insurers after a judge dismissed a legal case involving hedge funds, who sought that insurers should be compelled to accept unlimited deposits into high-yielding investment policies. Prominent short seller Carson Block had said in October that he was shorting Manulife over the lawsuit, as it could have driven billions in losses for the company. Manulife Financial Corp. is rated “Neutral” in our Canada All-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.

Global Industrials Stocks Trending in the News

  • Alstom (ENXTPA:ALO) was upgraded to buy from hold at Kepler Cheuvreux.  Alstom’s price target was raised to 43.50 euros from 38.50 euros.   Alstom has a healthy backlog with potential for winning further business in 2019.  Alstom is rated “Attractive” in our European Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Boeing’s (BA) crisis deepens as preliminary evidence from the 737 Max crash indicates the plane was set to dive, similar to the situation found in the first crash, according to a report in Bloomberg.  Investigators have downloaded all the information from both the flight-data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.  Press reports indicate very similar circumstances preceding this crash as the first crash.  Boeing is rated “Attractive” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Industrials Global Top Stock Ideas.

Global Commodities & Power Stocks Trending in the News

  • ArcLight Capital Partners has agreed to acquire the rest of American Midstream Partners (AMID) that it does not already own.   A price of USD$5.25 was agreed upon and the deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter.  ArcLight cut its bid price to USD$4.50 from USD$6.10 in January after American Midstream said it would not pay its first quarter dividend.  A revised price was agreed up since then.  American Midstream Partners is rated “Neutral” in our US SMID-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. (CRZO) shares moved higher following reports that the company is considering a merger with US energy explorer SM Energy Co. (SM). The two companies have reportedly held early-stage discussions regarding a merger, according to people familiar with the matter. Carrizo Oil & Gas is rated “Top Short” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas. SM Energy Co. is rated “Top Short” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Cloud Peak Energy Inc. (CLD) shares tanked the most in its history after the US coal miner issued a warning that it could file bankruptcy within weeks. In its announcement, Cloud Peak Energy cited long-term debt, limited access to capital markets, illiquidity, and production problems as reasoning for the potential bankruptcy. Cloud Peak Energy is rated “Neutral” in our US SMID-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Steel Dynamics (STLD) shares slipped after reporting CY1Q2019 guidance that missed the average analyst estimate. Steel Dynamics told analysts that it expects CY1Q2019 EPS between USD$0.88 and USD$0.92, the midpoint of which notably misses consensus of USD$1.08. Steel Dynamics’ guidance was brought down on lower product pricing for its steel products, which is expected to decrease more than the cost of average scrap consumed. Steel Dynamics is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.

Global Real Estate Stocks Trending in the News

  • China Resources Land Limited (SEHK: 1109) shares spiked alongside other Chinese developers as investors are cheering the prospect of lower policy risk and a strong earnings outlook, according to Rhb Osk Securities. In the near term, the sector faces little policy risk because there was no mention of real estate-related policy changes in the country’s latest legislative meeting. China Resources is rated “Neutral” in our China All-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.

 

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US Treasuries

  • US 2-Year Treasury Notes are lower with yields up 0.81 basis points to 2.44%
  • US 5-Year Treasury Bonds are lower with yields up 0.5 basis points to 2.40%
  • US 10-Year Treasury Bonds are lower with yields up 0.54 basis points to 2.59%
  • The US Treasury 2s-5s Spread has narrowed 0.31 basis points to -0.05%
  • The US Treasury 2s-10s Spread has narrowed 0.27 basis points to 0.15%
  • US Treasury 5s-10s Spread has widened 0.04 basis points to 0.19%

Currencies

  • EUR€ is currently little changed against the USD$ at 1.134
  • GBP£ is currently down 0.467% against the USD$ to 1.3228
  • CHF is currently up 0.17% against the USD$ to 0.9996
  • JPY¥ is currently little changed against the USD$ at 111.33

Commodities

  • WTI Crude is currently up 0.82% to USD$59/bbl with the Brent-WTI spread little changed USD$-0.13 to USD$7.96/bbl
  • Gold is currently little changed 0.19% to USD$1304.81/oz

 

*Data in Price Return and Updated Real-Time (with a delay), Source: StockDio

S&P 500 Sector ETFs - Intraday

*Data in Price Return and Updated Real-Time (with a delay), Source: StockDio

Russell 1000 Factor ETFs - Intraday

*Data in Price Return and Updated Real-Time (with a delay), Source: StockDio

 

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S&P 500 Movers

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Outperformers Sector Price 1D % Chg Volume
Edwards Lifesciences Corp Health Care 162 6.55%                315,757
National Oilwell Varco Inc Energy 29.3 5.63%                288,034
Advance Auto Parts Inc Consumer Discretionary 160 4.50%                147,163
Halliburton Co Energy 30.3 3.25%                538,496
Newell Brands Inc Consumer Discretionary 20.8 2.83%                910,524
 
Underperformers Sector Price 1D % Chg Volume
Boston Scientific Corp Health Care 36.7 -5.07%            1,373,460
Becton Dickinson and Co Health Care 231 -4.06%                111,377
Facebook Inc Communication Services 149 -2.84%            4,120,068
Medtronic PLC Health Care 85.9 -2.63%                458,238
ResMed Inc Health Care 116 -2.35%                103,531
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