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Will We Hold It Wednesday – Nasdaq 15,000 Edition

It's an important week for the Nasdaq.

All the big tech names have reported so there's not a lot to boost the market other than, of course, the Stimulus Bill but that's already baked into the cake so now it's time to see how high the Nasdaq can fly without a net.  Notice after the April earnings reports, the Nadaq gave up half it's gains into May.  A pullback like that would take us back to 14,000, which is not a terrible sell-off (6.66%) but you never know what's going to change investor sentiment.  

According to the 5% Rule™, the last consolidation zone was at 12,500 so we're up 2,500 and that means we expect 500-point pullbacks to 14,750 (weak) and 14,500 (strong) before we can get over 15,500 – we'll see how that plays out.  On the other hand, there's no particular reason to expect bad news in the tech sector – so it's all about sentiment in the weeks ahead.  We have the Consumer Sentiment Report on Friday and yesterday the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index dropped 2.8 points to 99.7 – completely reversing June's gains.  

6 of the 10 Index components declined, three improved, and one was unchanged. The NFIB Uncertainty Index decreased 7 points to 76. Sales expectations over the next three months decreased 11 points to a net negative 4% of owners. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased 8 points to a net NEGATIVE 20%. Earnings trends over the past three months decreased 8 points to a net NEGATIVE 13%. 49% of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, an increase of 3 points from June and a 48-year record high.

robotbossSo we have a labor shortage and rapidly deteriorating forward expectations and a very negative earnings trend.  That is NOT GOOD.  49% of all businesses consider themselves understaffed – we saw that in last weeks stutter in the productivity report – how can you grow the economy when you don't have enough workers?  While we are waiting for the robots to take our jobs, this is a serious problem.  

55% reported capital outlays in the last six months, up 2 points from June but historically not strong. Capital Spending is critical to the growth of the economy and increased output and income.  26% plan capital outlays in the next few months, up 1 point from June. Capital Investment (equipment, technology etc.) is the key to improvements in worker productivity, and consequently, worker compensation, but owners have a very dim view of prospects for business conditions and sales growth needed to support the demand for new equipment and expanded capacity.

This is REALITY, not the FANTASY the stock market is selling us.  

A net 5% of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past three months, down 4 points from June. The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes declined 11 points to a net negative 4%. It appears that owners are losing confidence in the strength of the economy. The net percent of owners reporting inventory increases declined 7 points to a net negative 6%. This is due primarily to the very strong levels of sales and the inability of owners to replenish inventories through their supply chains – NOT because of robust sales – that does not bode well for future sales either as it's hard to buy things when the shelves are empty. 

Weekend Relief – Dilbert on Weak Sales & Company Reorganization -

Seasonally adjusted, a net 38% reported raising compensation, down 1 point from June’s record high of 39%. A net 27% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up 1 point from June and a 48-year record high reading. 9% cited labor costs as their top business problem (up 1 point) and 26% said that labor quality was their top business problem. 

Anupartha - Visionary leadership.. Source: Scott Adams | dilbert.com #TGIF  #Fridayfunny | FacebookThe frequency of reports of positive profit trends declined 8 points to a net NEGATIVE 13%.  Among owners reporting lower profits, 32% blamed weaker sales, 31% cited a rise in the cost of materials, 10% cited labor costs, 7% cited lower prices, 6% cited the usual seasonal change, and 3% cited higher taxes or regulatory costs..

We just got our CPI Report this morning and Core CPI was only up 0.3% vs 0.4% expected so calming down a bit is good news.  The top-line index was up 0.5% as expected, down from 0.9% in June, when fuel prices jumped higher.  Over the past 12 months, prices are up 5.5% overall but the Core CPI, which the Fed supposedly wants at 2%, is now at a 4.3% annual pace – way too hot.  In addition to the rise in Shelter and New Vehicles increase, indexes for Recreation, Medical, Auto, and Personal Care also climbed higher.  

In fact, the only thing that was really lower in the report was Fuel Oil, which fell from 2.9% to 0.6% (still going up – just slower) for the month and Transportation Services dropped hard from 1.5 to -1.1 as airlines dropped fares with less people traveling than expected.  None of these are real positives for bulls to hang their hats on but we'll rally off the headline number, nonetheless.

And, of course:

Image Credits: Danomyte

(opens in a new window)Shutterstock

 

 

 


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  1. Good Morning!




  2. EV shopping? Here’s every electric vehicle on sale for 2021 and its range




  3. Good morning!

    Sorry but NO WEBINAR today.  I have a meeting I have to be at at 2pm.

    We got the pop we expected on CPI but it's fading fast as the reality of the actual report sets in.  Plus this Delta thing is not magically going away – imagine that.

    Oil was net 0 and we're drifting around $67.50 but I think we'll break below $65 in the near future.  Biden is asking OPEC to increase supply and, if they don't, he might us the SPR to dump oil on the market and reduce prices.  We have 621M barrels in the SPR and we import 3.8Mb/d of oil so it's enough to last us about 6 months and, of course, 70% of that oil comes from Canada and Mexico so the amount of supply OPEC can control would take a year to affect us.  We also have 1.2Bn barrels in commercial storage.  

    • The gap between ordering semiconductors and receiving that order increased more than a week in July due to ongoing supply chain constraints, according to Susquehanna data.
    • Chip lead times in June were already at the longest levels in the four years Susquehanna has tracked the data before increasing over eight more days to 20.2 weeks last month. 
    • Lead times for microcontrollers commonly used in automotive and industrial applications reached 26.5 weeks compared to the historical average of 6 to 9 weeks. Auto chip stocks include NXP Semiconductors (NXPI -0.9%), ON Semi (ON -0.5%) and STMicroelectronics (STM -0.3%) and most of the industry has a dependence on foundry giant TSMC (TSM -0.3%).
    • Power management chips, semiconductors most closely associated with smartphones, swam upstream and decreased lead times during the period.
    • The continuing supply chain constraints started when the pandemic swiftly shifted demand, sending consumer electronics like game consoles and notebooks to new heights while automotive sales plummeted. Automakers cut semiconductor orders to save money and the foundries making the chips gave that capacity to other customers. When the auto industry recovered faster than expected, automakers couldn't quickly regain foundry space.
    • The shortage was worsened by weather-related power outages at chipmakers Samsung, Infineon and NXP Semiconductors and a facility fire at Japanese auto chip giant Renesas.
    • Chip shortages spread out to the consumer electronics space. During the recent earnings report, Apple CEO Tim Cook warned component shortages would impact iPhone sales in the current quarter.
    • Intel Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger has warned that the chip shortage would get worse in the second half of 2021 and that supplies won't normalize for another year or two. 
    • Yesterday, the chief financial officer of foundry giant Micron said the company would leave the current quarter with historically low days of inventory. 
    •  

       

      • The founder and CEO of Joby Aviation (NYSE:JOBY), whose stock begins trading Wednesday following closure of a SPAC deal, says the air-taxi company will use its new cash to accelerate manufacturing of its aircraft and the eventual scaling of its service.
      • JoeBen Bevirt told CNBC ahead of the stock's public debut that the company is focused on getting Federal Aviation Administration certification for its five-seat helicopter-like aircraft for city use.
      • From there, it will scale up its manufacturing operations and begin rolling out its service.
      • In February, Reinvent Technology Partners (RTP), a SPAC funded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus, agreed to merge with Joby Aviation in order to take the company public. The deal valued JOBY at $6.6B and would provide the company about $1.6B in gross proceeds.
      • The deal officially closed on Tuesday, with the stock switching tickers to "JOBY" as of Wednesday. The impending deal gave a bump to RTP's shares earlier this week.
      • Bevirt expressed confidence about getting eventual FAA certification for its aircraft, saying the firm has worked with the regulator since 2018.
      • The company plans to launch its air-taxi service in 2024 and build out a network of rooftop landing pads in cities like New York.
      • Bevirt explained that its service will start with a pilot controlling the vehicle but will work to make the products fully autonomous, perhaps by the end of the decade.
      • In terms of cost, the company plans the initial price to be competitive with Uber (NYSE:UBER), but Bevirt said the goal was to drive down costs so that eventually JOBY can "make it affordable for everyone to fly every day."
      • For more on JOBY's prospects as it begins its public career, check out a deep dive by SA contributor Riyado Sofian.

    • Joby Aviation (NYSE:JOBY) popped more than 15% intraday Wednesday in its first trading session following a SPAC merger that took the budding air-taxi service public at about a $6.6B valuation.
    • JOBY rose to as high as $11.58, up 15.5% from the $10.03 final close Tuesday for Reinvent Technology Partners, the special purpose acquisition company that merged with the firm.
    • Joby’s shares later pulled back some, but were still trading at $10.95 shortly before 10 a.m. ET, up 9.2% for the day.
    • The company plans to launch an air-taxi service in 2024 using electric-powered vertical take-off and landing aircraft, known as “eVTOLs.”
    • Joby (JOBY) has said that its eVTOLs can transport a pilot and four passengers at up to 200 mph as much as 150 miles on a single charge, providing consumers with an ecofriendly way to avoid traditional ground traffic.
    • The company agreed in February to go public via a merger with RTP, a SPAC headed by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus.
    • Joby already had backing from Toyota (NYSE:TM) and an “enhanced relationship” with Uber (NYSE:UBER). Additionally, the SPAC deal included an $835M private placement led by Uber, billionaire Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group and entities affiliated with BlackRock, Fidelity and Baillie Gifford.
    • This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

    • Morgan Stanley thinks September 9th could be a big day for the tobacco sector due to an anticipated FDA decision.
    • Analyst Pamela Kaufman points out that agency is scheduled to issue a decision on that date concerning "Premarket Tobacco Product Applications" from industry players.
    • Kaufman expects favorable decisions for many of the big names like Altria (MO +0.1%), British American Tobacco (BTI +0.6%), Swedish Match (OTCPK:SWMAF -2.2%) and Imperial Brands (OTCQX:IMBBY +0.8%) for their various brands. Some of those companies could see a significant competitive advantage if their product is approved, while a rival product is rejected.  While there is a chance that the FDA extends the timeline on the decision, Kaufman thinks big determinations are more likely.
    • Also facing a big make-or-break day is Juul Labs (JUUL). The company is facing opposition from the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network to name a few.
    • See which tobacco stock has the highest Seeking Alpha Quant Rating.
    • Boeing (NYSE:BA) is in advanced talks with a newly created Indian budget carrier to sell 737 MAX jets, in a deal that could provide a breakthrough in a major market dominated by Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY), Bloomberg reports.
    • The Akasa airline also has talked with Airbus for its A320neo jets, but the model is not available for delivery for several years, giving Boeing the edge, according to the report.
    • The discussions reportedly involve a deal for as many as 80 planes with deliveries starting as soon as within seven months, although any announcement will depend on Akasa obtaining regulatory approvals to formally start the airline business.
    • Meanwhile, a 737 MAX test plane reportedly took to the skies in China earlier today, as Boeing hopes to end a nearly two-and-a-half year grounding of the model in the country.
    • The MAX has been cleared for service in 175 countries but not in China, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said recently that he expects the plane to win approval there before year-end.

    • BofA Securities Strategist Savita Subramanian updates holdings of active managers, citing interesting data on work-from-home stocks, financials and a "critical mass."
    • Subramanian notes:
    1. Many of the large stay-at-home beneficiary stocks are more crowded in funds than the year-ago period. Active funds "are even more overweight Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) than a year ago (by 31% vs. 29% a year ago) and also more overweight another of the largest stay-at-home beneficiaries, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (by 84% vs. 34% a year ago)."
    2. Equity duration is at an all-time high. "The S&P 500’s (NYSEARCA:SPY) equity duration has risen over the past 12 years (from 26 to 35 years) amid lower discount rates," she says. "In tandem, the equity duration of active portfolios has risen to a record 36 years vs. 29 years back in 2011, suggesting record sensitivity to interest rates."
    3. Record low exposure in hedge funds to Financials (NYSEARCA:XLF). "Hedge funds scaled back their exposure to the sector over the past five years amid falling interest rates. Long-only funds have increased their exposure to the sector since 4Q20, but remain 8% underweight."
    4. Communication Services (NYSEARCA:XLC) is the most crowded sector. "Communication Services has remained the most crowded sector by both LOs and HFs for the fourth consecutive month. LOs’ overweight in the sector jumped to a record high (35%) in July, while HFs’ overweight rose to the highest level since mid-2018 (62%)."
    5. Passive funds reach critical mass. "U.S. AUM is nearly evenly split: for every dollar in actively managed funds, there are 98 cents in passive funds, a big jump from 20 cents back in 2008. But looking at Japan as an example (where passive funds represent over 70% of the overall equity AUM), the passive share can grow a lot more in the U.S."
    6. China ADR exposure down but not out. Hedge funds "dropped their relative net exposure (to China ADRs) from 3.8% to 1.8%. And with fresh risks from tightening regulation by both China and the U.S., there could be more to go."
    • The U.S. airline sector appears to be setting up for another rocky trading session.
    • On the macro front, airline fares were reported to have fallen back 0.1% in July from the previous month, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average fare was still up 19.0% from the level a year ago when the pandemic disrupted travel across the U.S.
    • Of even bigger importance, U.S. airlines continue to have some operational problems during the recovery period. Earlier today, Southwest Airlines warned that it may be difficult to be profitable in Q3 amid all the sector disruption.
    • Premarket: American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) -0.3%, Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL) -1.3%, Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) -2.3%, United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) -1.0%, JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) -1.7%, Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ:HA) -1.1%, Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK) -1.2%, Allegiant Travel (NASDAQ:ALGT) -0.6%, Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) -1.3%, Mesa Airlines (NASDAQ:MESA) +1.9%, SkyWest (NASDAQ:SKYW) -0.4%, Sun Country Airlines (NASDAQ:SNCY) inactive, Frontier Group (NASDAQ:ULCC) -0.2%.
    • The U.S Global Jets ETF (NYSEARCA:JETS) is up 3.53% YTD, but has  low ETF grades for momentum and risk at the moment.
    • After passing a $1T bipartisan infrastructure bill, the U.S. Senate turns to a larger spending plan, backed by Democrats, that addresses what some describe as human infrastructure.
    • Voting along party lines, the chamber passed a budget resolution 50-49. The next step is for committees to draw up a bill that would spend up to $3.5T on a range of initiatives addressing paid leave, child care, education, health care, and climate issues.
    • The resolution seeks to make child care more accessible, implement universal pre-K and tuition-free community college, expand paid family and medical leave, and extend enhanced household tax credits.
    • The measure also asks to expand green energy and other actions to limit climate change through polluter fees, consumer rebates, and business tax incentives.
    • It's still likely to take months before any infrastructure bill becomes law. The House of Representative is on recess and won't take up any proposed bills until it reconvenes on Sept. 20, and some representatives have said they won't pass the smaller infrastructure bill until the Senate passes the larger social services and climate-focused one.
    • Yesterday, stocks of steel producers and construction firms surged after the Senate passed the $1T infrastructure bill.
    • Crude oil slips following a CNBC report that the Biden administration is engaging with OPEC+ members to increase oil production in an effort to ease gasoline prices.
    • September WTI crude (CL1:COM) -1.2% to $67.44/bbl; October Brent (CO1:COM) -1.2% to $69.80/bbl.
    • ETFs: XLEUSOUCOXOPVDEGUSHOIHERXBGRBNO
    • U.S. officials spoke this week with representatives from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other OPEC members, according to the report.
    • The White House reportedly is saying the cartel's July agreement to gradually increase production into next year is "simply not enough" during a "critical moment in the global recovery."
    • Gas prices have been rising this year on rebounding demand for petroleum products, with the U.S. national average for a gallon of gas at $3.186 on Tuesday, according to AAA, more than $1 above year-ago levels.
    • U.S. producers also have been slow to restore production that was reduced during the depths of the pandemic, averaging 11.2M bbl/day in May vs. a pre-COVID high above 13M bbl/day.
    • Crude prices rebounded yesterday from multi-month lows, sparked by the Senate's passage of the $1T bipartisan infrastructure bill

  4. Perseid meteor showers are set to be a showstopper celestial event


  5. Indexes not particularly happy:

       

        
     

  6. If /YM breaks below 35,300 it makes a nice lagging short (with tight stops above).  Game off is /NQ is over 15,000 though.


  7. Phil,

    Any thoughts on Micron after its recent drop seemingly triggered by recent bearish projection on semi prices? About to test its recent 72ish low. P/E seems reasonable at 21 vs ind P/E @33; P/S @ 3 vs ind @12. Now at about 50% retrace of low (44) to high (96).

    Thanks 


  8. MU/8800 – The CEO was just talking about prolonged supply chain shortages so not too encouraging.  TXN gave poor guidance too.  Long-term, this is all building pent-up demand – just don't expect much in the near-term. I think they are certainly worth watching to find a good bottom and move in – if you don't already have them.  Our LTP play on them is down a bit after 6 weeks but the stock is pretty much where we entered it:

    MU Long Call 2023 20-JAN 75.00 CALL [MU @ $74.09 $-1.83] 15 6/30/2021 (527) $29,250 $19.50 $-5.88 $19.50     $13.63 $-1.03 $-8,813 -30.1% $20,438
    MU Short Call 2023 20-JAN 90.00 CALL [MU @ $74.09 $-1.83] -15 6/30/2021 (527) $-21,750 $14.50 $-5.90     $8.60 $-0.60 $8,850 40.7% $-12,900
    MU Short Put 2023 20-JAN 60.00 PUT [MU @ $74.09 $-1.83] -10 6/30/2021 (527) $-5,150 $5.15 $1.70     $6.85 $0.45 $-1,700 -33.0% $-6,850

    The 2023 $65s are $20, so too much money to roll so far.  Tempting to buy back the Jan $90s but we might cash out the whole thing so waiting and seeing. 


    • Bitcoin (BTC-USD) drifts up to ~$46.4K, facing its next level of resistance at $50K-55K, which could stall the cryptocurrency's recovery due to short-term overbought signals, according to CoinDesk's Damanick Dantes.
    • Still, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap is holding above its 40-week moving average, which reflects renewed upside momentum, he said. Bitcoin will need to make a solid break over $55K "to fully resolve the selling pressure from May," he said.
    • Checking in on bitcoin-related names, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTC:GBTC +2.6%) is firmly in the green, unlike Osprey Bitcoin Trust (OTCPK:OBTC -0.8%). Miners Riot Blockchain (RIOT -0.8%), Bit Digital (BTBT -6.6%), and Marathon Digital (MARA -2.2%) fall, while Bitfarms (BITF +5.6%) rises.
    • MicroStrategy (MSTR -0.9%), which holds bitcoin on its balance sheet, also drops.
    • SA contributor Autonomous Capital Management sees bitcoin's uptrend continuing until $50-$52K, consolidation, then a test of highs at $64K, likely in Q3.
    • Garry Tan, co-founder of Initialized Capital and an early investor in Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN), said Wednesday that COIN's Street-beating quarterly report represented a "ridiculously big step" in establishing cryptocurrency as a mainstream asset class.
    • In an interview with CNBC, Tan pointed to Coinbase's more than 68M verified users as a sign that it could do for crypto what Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) did for personal computers.
    • "Coinbase is that on-ramp to the next revolution that's remaking society, which is crypto," he said.
    • Late Wednesday, Coinbase (COIN) released its Q2 results, which showed better-than-expected earnings and revenue. Monthly transacting users also climbed 44% from the previous quarter.
    • Tan said the crypto world is showing signs of moving past speculative trading to wider uses of the asset class and "just scratching the surface" of what it can do for its holders.
    • Looking ahead, Tan predicted further "extreme growth" in decentralized finance, saying this use of cryptocurrency technology would allow for more lending and real-world services.
    • "That's what decentralized finance is about. You shouldn't have to ask for permission to transact with assets that you own," he said.
    • Tan also pointed to NFTs and gaming as other growth possibilities for the industry.
    • For more on COIN's prospects, check out a bullish take from SA contributor The Asian Investor, who calls the stock "a buy based on growth and valuation."

    • Coinbase Global (COIN +4.9%) is working with PNC Bank (PNC +0.9%), the cryptocurrency exchange said in its Q2 letter to shareholders.
    • It has also formed partnerships with Daniel Loeb's Third Point LLC and WisdomTree Investments (WETF -0.1%), in addition to Elon Musk and his companies, SpaceX and Tesla.
    • The partnership with PNC highlights the increasing number of financial institutions offering crypto products to their customers; in addition, some companies like Tesla now have bitcoin on their balance sheets. "The asset managers, corporate treasuries are now using these products… It's really quite a lot of adoption that we've seen," said Coinbase CEO during the company's earnings call on Tuesday evening.
    • In addition, some 10% of the top 100 hedge funds by AUM have onboarded the company's institutional product, he said.
    • CoinDesk reports that PNC is expected to introduce a cryptocurrency initiative in coming quarters.
    • In cryptocurrency trading midday Wednesday, bitcoin (BTC-USD) rises 3.3% in the past 24 hours to ~$46.7K, ethereum (ETH-USD) rises to $3,258, litecoin increases to $173, Binance Coin (BNB-USD) to $398.
    • In June, Bloomberg reported that Goldman plans to offer clients the ability to trade options and futures in ether
    • Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President and CEO Raphael Bostic seems to agree with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell that much of the inflation overshoot seen since the pandemic recovery "is fueled by forces that should recede over time."
    • "I expect price inflation to average close to our target over the long-term," he said in a speech.
    • "Without actual data demonstrating an inflationary problem has arrived and likely to be sustained, we will allow labor markets to run their course," he said.
    • Speaking of inflationary data, July's consumer price index increased at a moderately slower rate.
    • Ultimately, Bostic believes that the Fed's reaction function "can contribute to making progress towards our long-run maximum employment goals."
    • He points out that the Fed received feedback that its previous policy of preemptively slowing growth to prevent the possibility that inflation might escalate "was harming the employment prospects of precisely the groups for whom the economy hasn't worked as well."
    • In other words, allowing the labor market to run hot will help more workers and families on the margins, he said.
    • Meantime, Bostic sees the potential to start tapering asset purchases by the end of the year
    • August Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations: +3% vs. +2.8% in July.
    • Current economic environment: Sales levels "compared to normal" remain unchanged. However, profit margins decreased slightly. Year-over-year unit cost growth increased significantly to 3.3 percent, on average

    • Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS -14.6%) shares dropped today after the company announced adjusted EPS of -C$0.45, beats by C$0.11, and adjusted EBIT of -C$60.2M from -$C39.9M in the prior year comparable quarter ended June 27, 2021.
    • The company's gross margins fell sequentially to 54.5% from 66.4% in the company's prior quarter.
    • Executives said that Canada Goose is experiencing store traffic headwinds, with 6 of their 28 retail stores remaining closed as of today.
    • E-commerce revenue rose 80.8% compared to last year's similar quarter. "Our digital business continued at a rapid pace of growth globally, alongside improving retail trends," said CEO Dani Reiss.
    • The company maintains its outlook for the fiscal year.
    • Read about other stocks that could see major price swings this week in Seeking Alpha's catalyst watch here.

  9. The market giveth and the market taketh away:

    I think they made their vaccine too good – I don't think MRNA people will need booster shots.

    PFE was smarter, they made a slightly less-effective vaccine where a booster shot is worthwhile.


  10. Things are back on the upswing, look at the RUT:

    That's the best argument for not closing positions – nothing is allowed to go down for more than a day.

    • The U.S. government spent $302B more than it brought in in July, bringing the fiscal year-to-date deficit to $2.54T, according to the Treasury Department's monthly statement.
    • This narrows from the FY2020 YTD deficit of $2.81T.
    • Government outlays for the month of July were $564.1B and total receipts were $262B.
    • Spent $185M on emergency rental assistance, bringing the fiscal YTD total gross outlays to $33.01B.
    • Under the Department of Labor, total Unemployment Trust Fund gross outlays of $13.8B in July brings the FY2021 YTD number to $205.1B vs. gross outlays of $141.8B in the same period in the prior year.
    • Previously, (July 13) U.S. government YTD deficit narrows from 2020's massive spending.
    • U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said Wednesday that a proposed bill aimed at antitrust practices in app stores will encourage innovation and create a more competitive market.
    • Blumenthal told CNBC that the legislation was designed to "break the ironclad grip" Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) have on the app store sector.
    • Speaking in the same CNBC interview, Blackburn argued that a more diverse environment for apps will help smaller companies find funding and ultimately lead to more breakthroughs in the industry.
    • "You are slowing down innovation. … You are making it more difficult for these [app developers] to get funding," she said of the current structure of the app store market.
    • The bipartisan proposal, called the Open App Markets Act, contains provisions like a prohibition on requiring companies to use proprietary in-app payment systems and would require the option of third-party app stores.
    • Blumenthal and Blackburn were co-sponsors of the bill, along with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
    • Blumenthal contended that the bill would allow third-party apps to appear on Apple's (AAPL) and Google's (GOOG)(GOOGL) platforms "without these exploitative fees and without intimidation."
    • "This world would be a lot more hospitable to innovation and invention," he said.
    • For more on what's going on in other parts of AAPL's business, check out a report from SA contributor Nick Cox, who says the company will become more reliant than ever on Asia.

    • Wayfair (W +7.6%) broke back over $300 after the company unveiled a $1B stock buyback plan. For comparison, the online retailer snapped up $300M worth of shares in Q2 under an old repurchase authorization.
    • Wayfair (NYSE:W) is the second biggest gainer in the Internet retail sector on the day. The rally today pushed W back over its 100-day and 200-day moving averages. However, shares are still down 4.29% from where they stood a year ago when the stock was a pandemic superstar.
    • Wayfair (W) is on Seeking Alpha's Catalyst Watch this week with short interest outstanding on it still at an elevated level.
    • FuboTV (NYSE:FUBO) shares climbed 10% higher Wednesday after the streaming TV provider delivered a second-quarter earnings report replete with triple-digit increases.
    • Revenues nearly tripled, paid subscribers more than doubled and content hours streamed rose 148% year-over-year. And the company also forecast full-year revenue to more than double, and subscribers to climb by 67%.
    • Meanwhile, lower churn and cost of sales helped improve margins, Roth Capital Partners said.
    • It was a "solid" beat-and-raise, and the guidance boost in the face of potentially higher costs showed some confidence that engagement will pay dividends in customer retention and advertising upside, analyst Darren Aftahi said.
    • Aftahi raised his price target on Fubo's (FUBO) stock from $42 a share to $45, which would be about 45% higher than the $31.44 a share the stock traded at heading toward Wednesday's market close.
    • And the stock is gaining still more ground with the increasingly powerful retail investment crowd. "Direct-to-consumer services in general generate a lot more buzz with retail investors," Chief Executive David Gandler said, adding that the company's proposition is easy to understand.
    • It's also at a low valuation, Gandler said, another draw for the retail crowd.
    • Earnings call presentation
    • Earnings call transcript
    • Moderna (MRNA -17.6%) has dropped sharply for the second consecutive session as the European drugs regulator pointed to three more conditions developed by a small number of people after receiving the company’s COVID-19 shot.
    • The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started an assessment of Erythema multiforme, nephrotic syndrome, and glomerulonephritis experienced by some recipients of the vaccine.
    • Erythema multiforme is a form of allergic condition on the skin, nephrotic syndrome is a kidney disease affecting protein filtration, and glomerulonephritis affects tiny filters in kidneys.
    • As of July 29, a little over 43.5M doses of Moderna’s (NASDAQ:MRNA) COVID-19 vaccine have been used in the region compared to more than 330M doses of the rival vaccine from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)/BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX).
    • The regulator had requested more information from companies to establish a possible link but did not reveal the number of newly found cases. Moderna (MRNA) was not immediately available for Reuters’ request for comments.
    • The latest findings follow the warnings issued by the EU watchdog in July for messenger-RNA-based COVID-19 shots developed by Moderna (MRNA), Pfizer (PFE)/ BioNTech (BNTX) to indicate the rare cases of heart inflammation linked to the vaccines.  

    • After their recent peak, Moderna (MRNA), Pfizer (PFE -3.6%), BioNTech (BNTX -18.0%are all trading lower today.
    • A new bipartisan bill announced today aims to increase competition in mobile app sales and could redefine how Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (GOOGGOOGL) operate their app stores.
    • The Open App Markets Act, in part, targets in-app payment systems for app store owners with more than 50 million users in the United States. Companies like Apple and Google would be prohibited from requiring companies to use their in-app payment systems to appear in the app stores.
    • The bill also includes provisions for third-party app stores. Consumers would be allowed to download, or sideload, apps from third-party app stores on any type of device. Google allows Android users to download third-party stores, but Apple requires the use of its own App Store and has publicly argued against the safety of sideloading.
    • "The Open App Markets Act would protect developers’ rights to tell consumers about lower prices and offer competitive pricing; protect sideloading of apps; open up competitive avenues for startup apps, third-party app stores, and payment services; make it possible for developers to offer new experiences that take advantage of consumer device features; give consumers more control over their devices; prevent app stores from disadvantaging developers; and set safeguards to continue to protect privacy, security, and safety of consumers," says the announcement from bill sponsors U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
    • App developers and competitors have long complained about the iron fist that Apple in particular uses to keep developers within its ecosystem. The in-app payment system, and Epic Games' attempt to get around the 30% "app tax," was the subject of an antitrust trial earlier this year that's still awaiting a verdict.
    • Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) is among the competitors who have issued legal complaints about Appel's anticompetitive behavior regarding the App Store.
    • “That’s why we urge Congress to swiftly pass the Open App Markets Act. Absent action, we can expect Apple and others to continue changing the rules in favor of their own services, and causing further harm to consumers, developers, and the digital economy,” says Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify’s Head of Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer, in a statement to Seeking Alpha.
    • Earlier this year, an antitrust bill in the House of Representatives aimed to prevent Apple from pre-installing its own apps on its devices. 
    • Ford Motor Company (F -0.2%will delay Mustang Mach-E vehicle orders a minimum of six weeks, blaming the global semiconductor chip shortages. "Once your vehicle receives the required chip, your vehicle status will be updated, and you’ll receive an email with an estimated week of delivery," wrote Ford in an email to customers.
    • To compensate future owners, the company will provide 250kWh (approximately 700 miles) of complimentary charging to those affected.
    • Mustang Mach-E cars have been delayed previously after Ford held back about 4,500 cars in March for quality checks.
    • The semiconductor chip shortage is affecting production lines, particularly those for electric vehicles which typically require more chips. Used car prices have been increasing as nearly-completed new cars sit in lots waiting for their chips.