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10:20 a.m. ET: Spend, spend, spend
“Cyber Monday” has already seen consumers spend nearly half a billion dollars as of 9 a.m. Eastern, according to Adobe Analytics data.
The online retail sales bonanza that serves as a post-script to Black Friday has seen consumers clicking with intensity, Adobe found:
…Cyber Monday has already reached $473 million in online sales (as of 9:00 am Eastern). We expect it to remain the largest online shopping day in the U.S., on track to hit $9.4 billion at 18.9% growth YoY. Later today, four “golden hours of retail” (10:00 pm – 2:00 am Eastern) will bring in a whopping 30% of the day’s revenue ($2.8 billion) as shoppers hit buy before deals run out; $11 million will be spent per minute during the peak hour (11:00 pm Eastern – midnight ET).
10:00 a.m. ET: ISM data shows manufacturing sector remains in contraction
The Institute for Supply Management’s November index showed that manufacturing activity stayed at levels considered contractionary, amid soft inventories and new orders. The ISM’s index stood in contrast to Markit’s PMI index, which set a 7-month high. The reading came in at 48.1, below expectations and weaker than October’s reading of 48.3.
10:00 a.m. ET: About that ‘Phase One’ trade deal…
There’s growing skepticism on Wall Street that a mini-agreement between the U.S. and China would accomplish what it sets out to do. In a research note this morning, Capital Economics thinks a “Phase One” deal will be reached, but it “would do little to boost global growth” — or resolve “fundamental differences between the two sides.”
The firm’s rather sober analysis includes the following:
…with Trump since ratifying legislation in support of protestors in Hong Kong and the Chinese authorities retaliating with sanctions against US human rights groups and a ban on military visits, things now seem more uncertain.
Our best guess is that a deal will still be reached in the next few weeks. It might not come before 15th December, when the US is set to impose tariffs on $156bn of consumer goods. But another delay seems possible…
But Chinese state media reported yesterday that the rollback would be a necessary precondition for a deal, in which it might buy unspecified quantities of imports from the US as a “special treat”. Work to protect intellectual property and [liberalize] capital markets would continue, but as part of business as usual and not a quid pro quo. We assume that the outcome would lie somewhere in between, with a rollback of tariffs in return for a pledge of large imports and possibly vague commitments in other areas from China.
The effects on the global economy would be modest for several reasons. First, tariffs on trade between the US and China would still be far higher than before the war started. The average US tariff on imports from China has risen from 3% at the start of last year to 21%. A rollback of September’s tariffs would take it back to 18%. What’s more, any boost to Chinese exports would be limited by the fact that the renminbi would be stronger with a deal than it would have been without. We estimate that the trade war has so far knocked less than 1% off Chinese GDP and the proposed rollback would reverse only a small fraction of this.
Capital Economics also noted that the damage to the vast U.S. economy has been limited, but the substitution effect of American consumers shifting toward foreign goods from outside China would likely reverse.
Even if trade between the US and China picked up, this would be at the expense of other economies whose exports have recently been bought as substitutes. So the effect on global growth would be minimal. Similarly, if China bought more agricultural goods (most obviously soybeans) from the US, it would surely buy fewer from Brazil. And in any case, the sums proposed by President Trump seem totally unrealistic.
Substituting Chinese goods — or trying to find “alternatives” to the Middle Kingdom’s market, as Trump once demanded of U.S. companies — is a rather dicey and complicated affair that’s far easier said than executed, economists say.
9:45 a.m. ET: U.S. Manufacturing PMI sets 7-month high: Markit
What trade tensions? The U.S. manufacturing sector saw new orders and output jump to 10-month highs in November, according to Markit’s closely-tracked index. The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) hit 52.6 during the month, up from 51.3 in October — its strongest showing since April.
The good news didn’t stop there. According to Markit’s analysis:
The rate of output growth accelerated further from July’s recent low in November, with the pace of expansion reaching a ten-month high. Companies commonly linked the upturn in production to stronger client demand. New order volumes also increased at the fastest pace since January, reportedly buoyed by greater marketing activity and a reduction in hesitancy among customers in placing orders. Foreign client demand also picked up midway through the final quarter, with new export orders increasing at the quickest rate since June. The upturn was often attributed by firms to greater interest from key export partners. In line with stronger client demand, manufacturers expanded their workforce numbers, and at the fastest pace since March.
9:30 a.m. ET: Stock open higher, but gains capped by new steel tariffs
Wall Street opened higher to start the first trading session of December, as investors sprint toward the close of 2019 and were cheered by Chinese manufacturing data that beat expectations. Gains however, were capped by President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would reimpose tariffs on Brazilian and Argentinian steel and aluminum.
Here’s where major benchmarks began trading:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.03%, or 0.82 points
Dow (^DJI): +0.13%, or 36.37 points
Nasdaq (^IXIC): -0.09%, or 7.52 points
Crude (^CL=F): +2% to $56.33
10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): flat to 1.847%
Gold (GC=F): -0.5% to $1,464.80 per ounce
Meanwhile, tense trade negotiations between the U.S. and China continue to be complicated by Hong Kong and existing tariffs. Investors are mindful of Beijing’s heated reaction to Trump’s decision to sign a bill supporting pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong also supported stocks’ gains. Separately, the administration has sent mixed signals about whether it would lift existing tariffs ahead of a “Phase One” deal.
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What the U.K. Election Result Means for London’s Future as a Financial Hub
LONDON—The U.K. capital’s financial center cheered Boris Johnson’s emphatic election victory for alleviating the Brexit uncertainty that has hung over the British economy’s key engine for 3½ years.
Banks and financial firms have been preparing for a disruptive Brexit, collectively spending billions of pounds to protect themselves, while also suffering revenue and margin declines as their customers hoarded cash and held back on investments.
London’s status as Europe’s only truly global financial center came under threat as cities including Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam vied to attract firms and talent from the U.K. capital. But the City, as London’s financial center is known, has weathered the uncertainty, relying on its cosmopolitan atmosphere and critical mass of workers and companies as a bulwark. So far, the exodus of financial workers that many predicted after the U.K. voted to exit from the European Union has been more of a trickle.
On Friday, the City’s mood was one of relief after Mr. Johnson’s Conservatives quashed a challenge by the opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn. The victory gave the party the parliamentary majority needed to pass Mr. Johnson’s Brexit deal before the end of next month.
“It is a vote for clarity and action after a long period of uncertainty,’’ said William Jackson, managing partner of London-based private-equity firm Bridgepoint Group, which manages about $22 billion of assets. “Whatever your view, it now provides a business environment in which intelligent investment decisions can be taken.”
For months, bankers have complained that investors and companies have been on the sidelines, waiting for a Brexit resolution. One senior banker on Friday said he expects U.K. deal activity to pick up, with investors plowing more heavily into some assets given the renewed confidence.
But the banker said he thinks the euphoria will be short-lived, given the lack of an agreement with the European Union on financial services, and added he is bracing for the “slow decline in the U.K. compared to the EU.”
A potential recession and interest-rate cut in the country, which many analysts expect, would add to pressure on bank earnings and stock prices.
Under the latest Brexit deal secured by Mr. Johnson, banks will lose their ability as soon as the end of next year to “passport” into the EU to sell services or set up branches in the bloc.
After that, financial-services firms would have to work under a principle known as equivalence, a piecemeal approach allowing market access if the rules of a third country pass muster with Brussels regulators. But equivalence can be revoked by the EU at any time, and a framework for it still needs to be created to cover various financial activities.
Overall, Mr. Johnson’s vision is seen as embracing low-regulation, free-trade and finance-friendly policies, in contrast with Mr. Corbyn’s agenda to raise taxes on companies and the ultrawealthy.
The clarity brought by the result comes after years of work undertaken by banks, insurers and asset managers to prepare for a life post-Brexit. They hired lawyers, consultants and lobbyists to figure out where their staff and client business would have to be based.
Banks have typically each spent between $100 million and $500 million on Brexit planning, according to company filings, public statements and people familiar with the matter. Some spent as much as half of their Brexit costs on consultants.
Over the past few years, financial-services firms have picked new cities on the continent to conduct their business from and funnel resources, applying for broker-dealer licenses or creating new entities. That activity has boosted locations including Frankfurt, Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris, Zurich and Luxembourg.
Yet most firms had been waiting for firmer guidance before sending more employees to new locations. Consulting firm Ernst & Young LLP predicts that around 7,000 financial-services jobs could ultimately move, along with around £1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) worth of assets. The firm says around 1,000 jobs at the investment banks it monitors have moved. The number of potential moves still pales compared with the number of finance and insurance employees in Greater London, which totaled more than 400,000 as of June, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Bank of America Corp. has spent $400 million preparing for a possible no-deal Brexit, moving its European legal headquarters and more than 100 people from London to Dublin, on top of relocating 300 people to a new investment-banking hub in Paris. The bank has no plans to bring people back if the U.K. leaves with a ratified agreement, said a person familiar with the matter. Bank of America now sees some benefit in having more bankers on the ground in continental Europe, where it is easier for them to meet clients.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has sent around 200 staff to other European cities including Paris and Frankfurt in preparation for Brexit and has taken out new office space in cities such as Madrid, Warsaw and Copenhagen. The bank plans to keep building out its presence on the continent regardless of how the U.K. leaves the EU. “Brexit got us thinking perhaps we are a bit too concentrated in London,” a person familiar with the matter said, adding that it was helpful for some bankers to be closer to their clients.
Morgan Stanley has moved staff and hired in Paris and Frankfurt, while also adding back-office staff in Dublin for its asset-management unit. Meanwhile, Barclays PLC is now Ireland’s biggest bank after moving €190 billion ($212 billion) in assets to Dublin.
Luxembourg, which draws thousands of commuters daily from neighboring France, Belgium and Germany, is marketing itself as the new gateway for private-equity firms and family offices—a role long held by London.
“The Brexit vote has opened up Pandora’s box to reveal there are places other than London,” said Rajaa Mekouar-Schneider, the head of Luxembourg’s private equity and venture-capital association. Swedish private-equity firm EQT AB has consolidated its fund management unit in Luxembourg from London and other cities, for example.
Yet London is still expected to retain its global hub status, at least for now, City workers and observers say.
Banks that are moving senior staff are keeping junior-level employees in the city. Goldman, for example, is moving people at the vice president level upward, or from around age 35, partner Massimo Della Ragione said last month. Mr. Della Ragione said the bank imparts its “best practices” to its junior people in London before they move to other offices.
“In the short to medium term, it’s hard to see a rival for London in terms of liquidity or products or people, or any sort of competitor arising anywhere in the EU,” said Andrew Pilgrim, an associate partner in financial services at EY. “There’s assuredness around short-term certainty, but now we’re setting eyes a little further to the horizon.”
—Joe Wallace and Anna Isaac contributed to this article.
Write to Julie Steinberg at email@example.com, Simon Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org and Margot Patrick at email@example.com
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Dow Jones Futures: China Trade Deal Buzz Fuels Stock Market Rally; Adobe, Broadcom, Costco, Oracle Are Earnings Movers
Dow Jones futures pared gains early Friday, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures, despite continued China trade deal optimism and U.K election results. The stock market rally spiked Thursday to record highs on President Donald Trump’s positive tweet and reports that a China trade deal has been reached. Adobe (ADBE), Broadcom (AVGO), Costco Wholesale (COST) and Oracle (ORCL) reported earnings after the close. Recent IPO Datadog (DDOG) announced a new integration with Microsoft (MSFT) Azure.
In extended trading, Adobe stock jumped, signaling a breakout. Broadcom stock reversed lower after moving into a buy zone during Thursday’s session. Costco stock and Oracle stock fell modestly. Datadog stock climbed after closing right at key levels.
Adobe stock is on the IBD 50. Costco stock is on IBD Leaderboard.
Dow Jones Futures Today
Dow Jones futures were 0.2% above fair value, bouncing back after abruptly erasing gains around 8 a.m. ET. S&P 500 futures advanced 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.2% after both briefly turned negative. Remember that overnight action in Dow futures and elsewhere doesn’t necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular stock market session.
It’s not clear why Dow Jones futures slashed gains.
President Trump is expected to unveil a “phase one” China trade deal Friday that will include a partial rollback of existing tariffs and suspending tariffs set for Dec. 15. Beijing will agree to buy some amount of agricultural goods over an unspecified time. Keep in mind that the U.S. has provided no official confirmation of a finalized China trade deal, while Beijing has said little.
The pound rose on a big Conservative parliamentary majority in U.K. elections. That should let Prime Minister Boris Johnson push through a Brexit deal, ending that long-running fight and uncertainty.
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Current Stock Market Rally
The current stock market rally started strong and finished well.
President Trump, shortly after the opening bell, tweeted, “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China.” Other reports during the day said the U.S. and China had agreed on “phase one” trade deal terms, pending Trump’s final approval. The U.S. would suspend the Dec. 15 tariffs, avoiding a China trade war escalation that would hit the Apple (AAPL) iPhone and many consumer goods for the first time. Both countries would roll back many existing tariffs under the China trade deal.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 index and Nasdaq composite rose more than 1% intraday, all hitting record highs. Despite some volatile intraday action, the Dow Jones today closed up 0.8%, the S&P 500 index 0.9% and the Nasdaq 0.7%.
The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) slid 0.8%, hit by key components such as RH (RH) and InMode (INMD). The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) climbed 0.4%.
The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) soared 2.9% after popping 2.1% on Wednesday.
The chip sector is the clear hot sector, while some medicals, software and IPO stocks that had been moving higher have run into trouble recently. While chip leadership is great news for a stock market rally, you don’t want to see only chips — and other 5G plays — rising.
Adobe earnings grew 25% to $2.29 a share with revenue up 21.5% to $2.99 billion. It was the second straight quarter of faster Adobe earnings growth. Wall Street expected Adobe earnings of $2.26 a share with sales at $2.976 billion.
Adobe stock rose 2.5% to 313.50 in Friday’s premarket, signaling a move above a 310.10 cup-with-handle buy point, according to Marketsmith. Shares rose 0.7% to 297.34 Thursday. Adobe stock hit a record 313.11 on July 19.
Not only would an Adobe stock breakout be good by itself, but it’s positive for the software sector, which has lost some momentum. It’s good news for the chip-heavy stock market rally as well.
Broadcom earnings slid 8% to $5.39 a share as fiscal Q4 revenue climbed 6% to $5.78 billion. Analysts forecast Broadcom earnings per share of $5.37 on revenue of $5.755 billion. Broadcom also hiked its dividend by 23%.
Broadcom revenue guidance was above consensus, but analysts may not have factored in the Symantec (SYMC) deal. Also, the chipmaker sees weakness in some wireless products.
Broadcom stock initially rose late Thursday, but reversed to trade down 2.1% at 321 early Friday. Shares jumped 2.3% to 327.17 on Thursday, moving above various buy points, including 325.77.
However, Broadcom stock has not been leading the chip rally.
Costco earnings rose 7.5% to $1.73 a share as fiscal Q1 revenue grew nearly 6% to $37.04 billion. Core same-store sales climbed 5% Analysts expected Costco earnings of $1.70 a share on sales of $37.33 billion. Same-store sales excluding gas and foreign exchange impact were seen rising 4.8%.
Costco stock dipped 0.6% before the open. Shares edged up 0.7% to 297.34, staying just below its 50-day line. If Costco stock can move above its 50-day line and perhaps the 300 level in strong volume, investors could use that as an entry point. A more conventional buy point would be 307.20.
The relative strength line for Costco stock is at four-month lows. The RS line, the blue line in the charts provided, track a stock’s performance vs. the S&P 500 index.
Oracle earnings per share rose 13% to 90 cents a share as revenue edged up 0.5% to $9.61 billion. Analysts expected fiscal Q2 Oracle earnings of 88 cents a share on revenue of $9.882 billion.
Oracle stock fell 2.3% before the open, signaling a move back to its 50-day line. Shares climbed 0.3% to 56.47 on Thursday. Oracle stock has a 60.60 buy point from a cup base, though the area just above 57 appears to be a resistance area.
Datadog Teams Up With Microsoft Azure
Datadog announced a new partnership with Microsoft’s cloud-computing business. Users will now be able to troubleshoot Azure DevOps processes.
Datadog stock rose 1.6% before the open. Shares edged up 0.5% on Thursday to 35.73, just above their 50-day line but slightly below the 10-week. Datadog stock soared after it reported earnings last month, ultimately hitting 44.09 on Nov. 25 before pulling back. Datadog stock is well off weekly lows.
Meanwhile, Microsoft stock edged higher Friday morning. Microsoft stock climbed 1% on Thursday to 153.24, clearing a three-weeks-tight entry for the Dow Jones giant.
Please follow Ed Carson on Twitter at @IBD_ECarson for stock market updates and more.
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Local toy store sees uptick in business around the holidays
OWEGO (WBNG) — The Laughing Place in Owego is one of the last standing toy stores in the Southern Tier.
But for the past 22 years the shop has been open, things haven’t always been the same.
“I think the biggest change I’ve seen is internet shopping,” said store owner Kathy Eschler.
Big box stores and sites like Amazon have created some competition in recent years.
“With everything, information at everyone’s fingertips, you can get prices,” said Eschler.
Despite all that, The Laughing Place is holding steady, especially during the holiday season.
“There’s definitely an uptick, yes, and it starts probably around October,” said Eschler.
Last year was the first Christmas Toys R Us was closed. Eschler says that could also play into the increase.
“I think it probably helped. We don’t carry many of the same items, we don’t carry much at all that’s mass-marketed, but people found us when they were looking for a toy store so it brought traffic,” she said.
But one of the biggest selling points is that a toy store is an experience nostalgic for adults, and like no other for children.
“Kids are awestruck often. I love in the summertime when we have our doors open, you can hear them coming down the street and the closer they get, the more excited they get and their footsteps get faster,” said Eschler.
So no matter if it’s the holidays or any other time of the year, stores like The Laughing Place are encouraging you to shop local.
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