U.S. Economic News

Existing Home Sales Decline for Second Consecutive Month

September 23, 2016

Data released today by the National Association of Realtors (“NAR”) indicate that sales of previously-owned homes in the United States – existing home sales – declined, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, for the second consecutive month during August.

Specifically, the NAR reported that existing home sales fell by 0.9% during August, ... continue reading >

 
US Existing Home Sales
International Economic News

Manufacturing Activity in the Eurozone Accelerates, Japan’s Manufacturing Activity Increases

September 23, 2016

Markit Financial Information Services reported today that manufacturing activity in the Eurozone increased at a faster pace during September than during each of the two prior months, and that manufacturing activity in Japan rose during September for the first time since February.

The increases in manufacturing activity mentioned above bode well for the future direction of the Eurozone’s and Japan’s economy. That’s because manufacturing activity tends to serve as a reliable leading economic indicator.

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Earnings News

Pier 1 Imports’ and Worthington Industries’ Fiscal Q2 Revenues Decline

September 28, 2016

Pier 1 Imports (PIR) reported today that it lost $4.1 million (or $0.05 per diluted share) for the three months ended August 27, 2016, on a 6.7% decline in the company’s revenues, as compared to generating a $3.1 million profit for the same period a year ago.

Worthington Industries (WOR), one of the larger steel processors in the United States, reported that its earnings before income taxes, excluding restructuring and impairment expenses, rose by 69.8% (or 74.4 per diluted share) on a 2.2% decline in the company's revenues for the three months ended August 31, 2016, as compared to the same period a year ago.

Click Here for Calendar Q2 Earnings Tables

Geopolitical News

Iran Threatens to Shoot Down U.S. Reconnaissance Planes

September 13, 2016

Fox News reported today that the Iranian government threatened this past weekend to shoot down two U.S. reconnaissance planes that were flying purposefully close to Iran’s borders in the Persian Gulf but that were still in international airspace.

According to Fox, the Iranian military warned the two aircraft to change course or risk getting shot down. Fox reported that the U.S. military planes ignored the warning and continued flying in international airspace, although close to Iranian territory.

 
Trading Action

Stocks in Danger of Pulling Back Sharply

September 25, 2016 (Updated every Sunday)

After trading in a narrow sideways pattern since mid-July of this year,the readings on some key economic indicators, as well as the recent trading action in major stock markets around the world, indicate that stock prices, in general, are in danger of pulling back sharply over the next several weeks.

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Company News
September 29, 2016

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK): Chesapeake Energy Corporation announced today that it has commenced a private placement offering of $850 million of convertible senior notes. The company stated that it intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, which may include debt repurchases and the repayment of its credit facility.

CBS Corp. (CBS) and Viacom Inc. (VIA): Bloomberg.com reported today that National Amusements Inc., the majority shareholder in both CBS Corp.’s and Viacom’s voting shares that's controlled by Sumner Redstone, has asked both companies to consider a merger.

Stein Mart, Inc. (SMRT): Stein Mart announced today that its comparable-store sales for the three months ending October 29, 2016 had declined by approximately 4% through September 27, as compared to the same period a year ago. Separately, the company reported that its CEO, Dawn Robertson, has tendered her resignation.

Fitbit Inc. (FIT): MarketWatch reported today that Pacific Crest Securities has downgraded its rating for Fitbit to underweight from sector weight, due to its research indicating that recent sales of the company’s fitness-tracking wristband products are lower than it expected.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN): Tyson Foods announced today that it plans to invest $27 million to expand the production capacity of its case-ready beef and pork plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The project will include a 55,000 square-foot addition for new production lines and warehouse space and will increase the plant’s capacity to produce fresh ground beef, beef and pork cuts, and meal kits that are ready for distribution to retail grocers. The expansion is underway and scheduled to be completed during July 2017. It is expected to add 350 jobs, bringing total employment at the plant to more than 1,400.

Existing Home Sales Decline for Second Consecutive Month

09/23/16: Data released today by the National Association of Realtors (“NAR”) indicate that sales of previously-owned homes in the United States – existing home sales – declined, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, for the second consecutive month during August.

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Federal Reserve Leaves Target Range for Fed Funds Rate Unchanged

09/21/16: The Federal Reserve announced today that its Federal Open Market Committee (“FOMC”) – the committee that determines the Fed’s monetary policy – decided to leave its target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25%-0.50% even though the Fed claimed in its statement to the press that “the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened”.

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