The stock market rally gained momentum, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 hitting 2023 highs. The Nasdaq 100 rallied to a 52-week high, as big techs dominated the uptrend. The Dow Jones rose modestly, after briefly undercutting the 50-day line. The small-cap Russell 2000 also rebounded, helped by bank stocks surging. Chips and software were strong, especially those with an AI spin such as Nvidia (NVDA) and ServiceNow (NOW). Tesla (TSLA) rallied on its shareholder day event. Walmart (WMT) and Dynatrace (DT) were earning winners, while On Holding (ONON) tumbled as guidance wasn’t strong enough.
Techs Drive Market Rally Higher
The Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 rose to 2023 highs, while the big-cap Nasdaq 100 rallied to a 52-week best. The Dow Jones rose, after closing Tuesday below its 50-day line. Many chips and software plays boom on AI hopes. Walmart (WMT) led discount retailer earnings. Treasury yields and the dollar rose sharply to two month highs.
Economy Strengths, And So Do Rate Hike Odds
The latest batch of economic data generally shows improvement from recent trends, keeping hope for a soft landing alive. But that’s also raising the possibility of a June rate hike and fading hopes for quick rate cuts.
Retail sales rose 0.4% in April, below expectations but better than the prior month’s revised 0.7% decline. Still, the recent trend isn’t great, with sales lower in April than they were in January. Industrial production unexpectedly rose 0.5% last month, led by a 1% gain in manufacturing. However, the increase was driven by a 9.3% rise in autos and parts, which may not be sustainable. New claims for unemployment benefits fell 22,000 to 242,000 in the week through May 13. However, more than half the decline came from Massachusetts, which has indicated a problem with claims fraud.
Shoe Stocks Stumble
Early Tuesday, On Holding (ONON) reported a 203% EPS gain with sales up 80%, both beating views. The Swiss athletic shoe maker sees sales growth slowing in the second half of the year. ONON stock, which had boomed for much of 2023, fell sharply. On Friday, athletic shoe retailer Foot Lockers (FL) missed views and slashed full-year guidance. FL stock dived, with partners Nike (NKE), Crocs (CROX), adidas (ADDYY) and others retreating as well.
Tesla Shareholder Day
Tesla (TSLA) held its annual shareholder meeting Tuesday where Chief Executive Elon Musk hinted two new Tesla vehicles are coming but “this is not the time” to reveal them. Musk also said Tesla would “try a little advertising,” a big shift. He also reiterated that a Cybertruck delivery event will take place this year. He shot down rumors that he would step down as Tesla CEO. TSLA stock jumped on earnings but is still below the 50-day line.
Walmart, Target Top Views
The discount giants topped views, but Walmart (WMT) appears to have the edge over its rivals as consumers trade down to affordable options. Target (TGT) reported adjusted earnings fell 6% while revenue ticked up 0.5% to $25.32 billion, But Target guided low, citing profit-shrinking inventory cuts as well as increased theft and organized crime Meanwhile, Dow Jones giant Walmart reported a 13% EPS gain with revenue up nearly 8% to $152.3 billion. Walmart guided low on fiscal Q2 EPS but raised full-year guidance. raised its current fiscal 2024 guidance following the results by up to 15 cents per share to range from $6.10 to $6.20, which is in-line with FactSet estimates of $6.14. WMT stock rose in a buy zone on earnings, edging lower for the week. TGT stock fell from key moving averages.
FTC Opposes Amgen-Horizon Thera Deal
Horizon Therapeutics (HZNP) tumbled on Tuesday after the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to block its acquisition by Amgen (AMGN). According to the FTC, the acquisition would allow Amgen to use rebates on its existing blockbuster drugs to pressure insurers and pharmacy benefit managers into favoring Horizon’s two biggest products, treatments for thyroid eye disease and gout. Amgen said it remains committed to closing the deal and has no plans to “bundle” Horizon’s products. The news had a widespread impact on biotechs, at least initially, with shares of other pending takeovers falling as the FTC took a more aggressive stance.
Applied Materials Tops Views
The semiconductor-equipment maker beat Wall Street’s targets for its fiscal second quarter and guided higher than views for the current period. But executives gave cautious comments about capital equipment spending by chipmakers, especially memory-chip firms. Applied Materials (AMAT) earnings grew 8% with sales up 6% to $6.63 billion. But it saw Q3 EPS and sales declining in Q3, but topped views. Meanwhile, several major semiconductor stocks broke out of bases, including Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Broadcom (AVGO), Axcelis Technologies (ACLS) and Rambus (RMBS). meanwhile, Nvidia (NVDA) continued its steady ascent on artificial intelligence news.
Home Depot Earnings Slide
HomeDepot (HD) earnings fell 7% vs. a year earlier, the first decline in three years. The home improvement retailer missed first-quarter revenue estimates and guided lower for the full year. Same-store sales slide 4.5% with US comps off 4.6%. Shares tumbled initially but then erased losses.
Dynatrace (DT) reported fiscal Q4 adjusted EPS jumped 82% with revenue up 27% to $314 million, both beating. The software maker also guided up slightly for fiscal 2024. Monday. com (MNDY) reported a surprise Q1 EPS while revenue rose 50% to $162.3 million. Billings, a sales growth metric, rose 43% to $193.3 million, the project management software maker said. New Relic (NEWR) jumped amid speculation of a possible private-equity takeover bid. New Relic reports fiscal Q4 earnings on May 23.
Top Off-Price Retailers EPS Views
TJX (TJX) and Ross Stores (ROST) reported 12% earnings per share gains. TJX, the parent of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, just missed sales with a 3.3% rise to $11.78 billion, just missing. TJX guided low on Q2 EPS but in line for the year. Ross Stores sales edged past views with a 4.6% advance to $4.5 billion. The apparel-focused Ross also guided low on Q2 EPS. TJX stock is flirting with an early buy point while Ross Stores is trying to break a downtrend.
Alibaba Falls Despite Beating Targets
The Chinese e-commerce giant reported a 24% EPS gain and a third straight 6% revenue decline, but below topped fiscal Q4 views. Slowing cloud-computing growth raised concerns. Shares tumbled, weighing on a variety of Chinese internets. Chinese messaging and payments giant Tencent (TCEHY) reported an 18% EPS gain. Revenue rose 2%, ending a three-quarter decline. Baidu earnings jumped 32%, the third straight quarter of accelerating growth, with revenue turning slightly positive, up 1%. TCEHY and BIDU pared weekly gains following Alibaba results.
Brazilian Fintechs Strong
Digital payments firm StoneCo (STNE) reported a 389% EPS gain with revenue up 23%. Shares fell from a 52-week high, but only dipped for the week. Nu Holdings (NU), a digital banking platform, reported strong profit vs. a year-earlier loss, with revenue up 85%. NU stock surged to a 52-week, advancing for a fifth straight week.
News In Brief
ZTO Express (ZTO) reported a 60% EPS gain, above consensus. Q1 revenue grew 5.6% to $1.31 billion, slightly missing.
Copart (CPRT) reported a 24% EPS gain for Q3, topping views. Revenue grew 8.5% to $1.02 billion, slightly beating. The auto salvage auction firm soared.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) reported a 15% EPS gain for fiscal Q3 with revenue up 14% to $14.6 billion. The networking giant also gave solid guidance. Shares initially tumbled on weak product orders but reversed higher, with modest weekly gains.
Synopsys (SNPS) rocketed after beating fiscal second-quarter estimates and raised its outlook for the rest of the year. For the full year, the chip design software firm forecasts revenue growth of 14-15% and adjusted EPS growth of 21%-22%.
Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) delivered a mixed fiscal fourth-quarter report and gave soft guidance for the current year. But the video game publisher predicted big sales growth in the following year, thanks to high-profile, long-awaited titles. Those likely include the next chapter in its blockbuster series “Grand Theft Auto.”
Sea Limited (SE) tumbled after the Southeast Asia internet services giant missed expectations for the first quarter amid weak video game sales. Digital entertainment revenue plummeted 52.5% to $540 million in the March quarter. Meanwhile, Sea’s e-commerce and other services saw sales jump 50.7% to $2.26 billion.
Deere (DE) earnings jumped 42% to $9.65 a share, while revenue swelled 30% to $17.39 billion. Production and precision agriculture sales leapt 53%.
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