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(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Investors are bracing for a significant downturn in the world economy, cutting earnings estimates amid a market sell-off. While all cyclical industries face some form of risks, some companies within each sector are more vulnerable than others as the outlook deteriorates.In recent recessions, technology and finance were the triggers -- the internet bubble caused the 2000 market crash and subprime lending led to the 2008-2009 global financial crisis that spread to housing, manufacturing and consumer demand.“The financial sector was leading in 2002-2007. In this cycle, it’s the tech sector,” said Bloomberg Chief Equity Strategist Gina Martin Adams. Still, she cautioned that in spite of the warning signs, it may be too early to predict a recession, adding that “tech is the strength of the economy.”Here are five global companies that may stand to lose more than others:AmazonAmazon.com Inc. is among the most cyclical U.S. internet companies because the Seattle-based e-commerce giant relies heavily on consumer spending. It’s also been building its employee base, adding more than 600,000 jobs and hundreds of huge warehouses to store and ship products. Some of those costs are fixed, while others may be hard to reduce quickly if there’s a steep economic decline. It also faces regulatory risks.“Amazon’s near-term growth may be at risk as macroeconomic conditions worsen, regulatory scrutiny rises and spending cycles spark concern,” Jitendra Waral and April Kim, analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a recent note. “If demand were to slow amid Amazon’s increased spending on logistics, profit would face a double whammy.”One of Amazon’s fastest-growing new businesses -- digital advertising -- is also susceptible to economic ups and downs. Still, Amazon is riding a broad e-commerce growth trend that is unlikely to reverse during a recession.SwatchMakers of luxury items tend to endure more risks in a recession than producers of mass-market consumer goods. This time around, the effects would be compounded by U.S.-China trade tensions and protests in Hong Kong, which has already hurt the city’s economic outlook.Swatch Group AG, the biggest maker of Swiss timepieces, has more exposure to Hong Kong than any other luxury company, generating more than a third of the group’s sales in the Greater China region, according to Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox. The maker of Omega watches also has a smaller presence in the steadier luxury categories of jewelry and fashion than rival Richemont, which owns brands including Chloe, Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier.The high-end segment has also been far less elastic in a downturn. In 2009, Swiss watch exports slumped 22% amid the financial crisis.So far, the economic slowdown in China has done little to damp the appetite of Chinese consumers for luxury goods. But watchmakers are feeling the effects of the sometimes violent demonstrations in Hong Kong, their largest export market. Timepiece sales there could plunge as much as 40% in the second half, Cox said.Swatch also faces sluggish watch sales in Europe. If the U.S. takes a turn for the worse, the industry could be hit by a reversal of the recovery in its second-biggest market.Swatch ExportsDaimlerThe German corporate giant just doesn’t just face a slowdown in its home market -- it also has substantial exposure to a potential downturn in the U.S. The automaker produces two high-margin SUVs in Alabama and its Freightliner division is the leader in the North American heavy-truck market. Demand for transportation of goods tends to closely mirror broader economic swings and analysts say heavy-truck sales in the region have peaked following years of robust growth.Daimler AG relies on the U.S. for about a quarter of the group’s revenue last year. That’s more than Germany or China, where it operates a joint venture with BAIC.After two back-to-back profit warnings following their debut in May, Daimler’s new leadership duo has vowed to improve efficiency. Profitability at the Mercedes-Benz passenger-car division has been sub-par compared with its peers, and the car unit is up against waning demand in its two biggest markets by volume: China and the U.S.CaesarsAn economic downturn could be particularly ill-timed for Caesars Entertainment Corp. The largest owner of casinos in the U.S. is about to increase its debt load again to finance a megadeal, after struggling for years to recover from a 2008 leveraged buyout that left it saddled with debt at the height of the Great Recession. (Caesars ended up putting its largest division into bankruptcy to clean up its balance sheet.)Caesars is set to merge with Eldorado Resorts Inc. early next year in a deal that involves $8.2 billion in new financing, amid rising competition from new casinos, both online and at its properties. Unlike some of its peers that focus more on luxury, such as Wynn Resorts Ltd., Caesars operates a lot of casinos in small markets including Tunica, Mississippi, and Metropolis, Illinois. Combined with Eldorado, it will have 60 owned, operated and managed casino–resorts across 16 states.And even the Las Vegas Strip, once considered invincible as a gambling destination, has yet to see casino revenue return to its 2007 high.Toll BrothersA major economic slowdown would almost certainly hit home sales and prices for builders like Toll Brothers Inc. “If we do go into a recession, housing isn’t going to be the cause,” said Drew Reading, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “It’s going to be the victim.”The bigger challenge for the industry right now is affordability, especially in high-cost metros on the West Coast. Toll Brothers, the largest U.S. luxury homebuilder, has been trying to diversify geographically. But it’s still highly reliant on California, where it got nearly a third of its revenue last year.One the plus side: Single-family housing starts still haven’t returned to historical levels more than a decade after the financial crisis, which means homebuilders won’t be sitting on as much supply if the economy takes a turn for the worst.\--With assistance from Christoph Rauwald, Kevin Miller, Corinne Gretler, Noah Buhayar, Ian King, Christopher Palmeri and Alistair Barr.To contact the reporter on this story: Cécile Daurat in Wilmington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Crayton Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org, Linus Chua, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Ally Financial (ALLY) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.
(Bloomberg) -- With interest rates on 30-year U.S. debt hitting all-time lows this week, the government is once again considering whether to start borrowing for even longer.The U.S. Treasury Department said Friday that it wants to know what investors think about the government potentially issuing 50-year or 100-year bonds, going way beyond the current three-decade maximum.The government stressed that no decision has yet been made on ultra-long bonds, explaining that it’s looking to “refresh its understanding of market appetite.” The idea was broached before, back in 2017, but was shelved after receiving a less-than-warm reception.“This comes up every now and again,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, U.S. rates strategist at TD Securities. “Every time the takeaway is, there simply isn’t enough demand at that tenor, or at least there hasn’t been in the past.”The announcement follows a plunge in the 30-year yield to a record low this week below 2%, and also comes in the wake of many other nations opting to extend their borrowing profiles with so-called century bonds. Investors have snapped up 100-year bonds issued by the likes of Austria, although the experience of Argentina underscores some of the potential pitfalls of buying such long-maturity debt.The yield on America’s current benchmark 30-year bond spiked to its highs of the day and the curve steepened following the Treasury announcement. The 30-year rate climbed as much as 8 basis points on the day to 2.05%, before ending the session at around 2.03%. The yield spread between the U.S.’s longest-maturity debt and its two-year note widened the most in five weeks on Friday.The Treasury’s group of market consultants, the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, has long been unenthusiastic on the prospect of an ultra-long issue, said Bruno Braizinha, director of U.S. rates research at Bank of America.The challenge for the Treasury would be to offer a yield attractive enough for the typical investor base of pension funds and institutions, while keeping a lid on the cost of borrowing for U.S. taxpayers.By Braizinha’s estimates, the yield on a 50-year issue would be expected to come in around 10-30 basis points above the 30-year rate.(Updates with yield spread in sixth paragraph)\--With assistance from Liz Capo McCormick, Benjamin Purvis and Katherine Greifeld.To contact the reporters on this story: Alexandra Harris in New York at email@example.com;Emily Barrett in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Benjamin Purvis at email@example.com, Nick Baker, Margaret CollinsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Nio Inc. (NIO) has disrupted the automotive space since 2014 but only made waves in the market since its IPO. Investors have suffered numerous setbacks.
(Bloomberg) -- Investors terrified of the yield curve inversion may find solace in exchange-traded funds, according to Bank of America Corp.Strategist Mary Ann Bartels recommends ETFs focused on technology and energy stocks -- industries that have beaten the broader equity market following past bond inversions, a notorious harbinger of U.S. recessions.Energy stocks have an especially strong track record of outperformance following yield flips, and the fact that they’ve been “beaten down” should provide some cushion to any potential market weakness, according to Bartels. She recommends the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund, or XLE, as the best way to gain exposure to the industry. Since 1965, the sector has outpaced the broader equity market 80% of the time in the 12 months that followed yield curve inversions, the study showed.The energy ETF rose about 14% in the 12 months after the 2005 yield inversion, beating the S&P 500 Index, and is down about 10% in August.Although not as successfully as energy, the tech sector has on average brushed off inversions and outperformed equities. And thanks to its exposure to growth and momentum factors, the industry is likely to continue to do so, according to the strategist. She recommends the Vanguard Information Technology ETF, known as VGT, which has fallen 4.1% so far this month.In contrast, consumer-discretionary stocks tend to lag the broader equity market following yield curve inversions, the bank said.(Updates prices.)\--With assistance from Rachel Evans.To contact the reporter on this story: Ksenia Galouchko in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Blaise Robinson at email@example.com, ;Jeremy Herron at firstname.lastname@example.org, Rita Nazareth, Brendan WalshFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- There’s a new owner of the Brooklyn Nets.Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai exercised his option to buy the rest of the team that he didn’t already control -- along with the Barclays Center arena -- ending Mikhail Prokhorov’s ownership tenure and bringing another deep-pocketed international presence to the National Basketball Association’s ranks.Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but a person familiar with the deal said Tsai paid about $3.5 billion, including debt, for the team and building.Tsai -- who has a net worth of $10.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index -- previously bought a 49% stake in the team at a $2.3 billion valuation, which is a record for a U.S. pro sports franchise. He had until 2021 to buy the remaining 51% of the franchise, which had its already-improved fortunes buoyed this off-season by the acquisition of star free agents Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.Excitement is surging around the team, which has spent most of its New York City tenure in the shadow of the Manhattan-based New York Knicks. The Nets made the playoffs last season for the first time in four years, and adding Durant and Irving could drive all business-related activity such as ticket and suite sales and sponsorship.A Yale Law School graduate, Taiwan-born Tsai is one of Alibaba’s 18 founding members. Before being recruited by Jack Ma, chairman of the Chinese e-commerce giant, in 1999, he worked as a tax lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Tsai also owns the WNBA’s New York Liberty, and moved to the U.S. in 1977 to attend an elite boarding school in New Jersey.The sale requires approval of NBA owners, which is considered a formality since Tsai has already been vetted. The transaction should close by the end of September.As part of the shake-up at Prokhorov’s BSE Global, the parent company of the Nets and arena, Chief Executive Officer Brett Yormark announced his resignation.As the point person for the Nets relocation and revamp, Yormark led the transformation of the team from a moribund brand to a hip and trendy one. The team finished its first season in Brooklyn in the top five in merchandise sales after coming last the previous year. And a spot on the squad, 42-40 last season, is now coveted by top players in the NBA.The $3.5 billion price tag represents a hefty profit for Prokhorov, whose Onexim Sports & Entertainment in 2010 paid $223 million for an 80% stake of the team and a 45% share of the arena. In 2015, he consolidated ownership of the Nets and the arena in a deal with real estate developer Bruce Ratner’s Forest City Enterprises Inc. that valued the assets at around $1.7 billion.The National Basketball Association prefers that one owner control the team and the arena where it plays.Prokhorov, the first non-North American owner of an NBA team, also controls the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. That building isn’t part of the sale to Tsai, whose sports holdings also include the National Lacrosse League team in San Diego.Rich Asians have been plowing money into professional sports franchises in Europe and around the world, though buying an NBA team is rare. Indonesian Erick Thohir, chairman of the Mahaka Group, was part of the group that owned the league’s Philadelphia 76ers, but has sold his stake.Chinese investors have taken more stakes in European soccer teams, including Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton in England, Italy’s A.C. Milan and Inter Milan, Spain’s Atletico Madrid, and Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic. Though some of the deals haven’t worked out. The Atletico Madrid stake was subsequently sold, and Chinese billionaire Tony Xia, chairman of the Recon Group logistics firm, has given up control of Aston Villa.To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Soshnick in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Cécile DauratFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Bank of America (BAC) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Gulfport Energy, Montage Resources, Cabot Oil & Gas, SilverBow Resources and Southwestern Energy
David Iben put it well when he said, 'Volatility is not a risk we care about. What we care about is avoiding the...
Seadrill and Gulf Drilling International (GDI) have formed a jointly owned rig firm to conduct exploration on behalf of Qatar Petroleum from 2020 to 2024, Seadrill said late on Thursday. GulfDrill, a 50-50 joint venture between Seadrill and GDI, will initially operate five so-called jackup rigs on a $656 million contract with Qatar Petroleum. The GulfDrill venture will charter two of its rigs from Oslo- and New York-listed Seadrill and three more from an unnamed shipyard.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Malaysia’s economic growth quickened in the second quarter as strong domestic demand and a rebound in commodity prices helped it weather a regional slowdown.Gross domestic product expanded 4.9% in the second quarter from a year ago, up from 4.5% in the previous three months, according to figures from the central bank. That was the strongest expansion since early 2018 and beat economists’ median estimate of 4.7%.Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the central bank expects full-year GDP growth of 4.3%-4.8%, affirming the previous estimate.Malaysia’s strong showing bucks the trend across the region, where the U.S.-China trade war has taken a toll on trade-reliant economies. Earlier this week neighboring Singapore cut its full-year growth forecast to almost zero, and Thailand is expected to roll out a stimulus package later Friday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts on Thursday downgraded their forecasts for Asia’s four “Tiger” economies amid growing trade tensions.Weathering the StormIn addition to commodities strength, Malaysia’s manufacturing has also proven resilient, said Brian Tan, a regional economist at Barclays Bank Plc in Singapore. The question is how long Malaysia can skirt the headwinds."Our base scenario is that this is likely the peak for growth this year and we’ll see a slowdown in the second half," Tan said. "Headwinds from the trade war will grow ever harder, and on an aggregate level it won’t benefit anyone, not even Malaysia."Other key points from Friday’s data include: The economy grew 1% on a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis, slightly above the 0.9% estimate.All sectors expanded in the quarter but private consumption “remained as the main anchor to the economy,” growing 7.8%, chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin said in a release. Net exports grew 22.9%, services gained 6.1% and manufacturing grew 4.3%.The current-account surplus stood at 14.3 billion ringgit in the second quarter, down slightly from 16.4 billion ringgit a quarter earlier but far above the 6.8 billion ringgit estimate.The mining sector expanded 2.9% on-year after shrinking in at least four previous quarters. Alex Holmes, an economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a research note that the economy would still struggle to pass the low end of the central bank’s target range, predicting it would come in at 4.2%. While consumer spending has surged since the government scrapped a goods and services tax last June, that boost will fade from the statistical base going forward."We doubt this is the start of a sustained rebound," Holmes said. "We are forecasting a renewed slowdown in the second half of this year, driven by weaker consumer spending and a challenging external environment."(Recasts lead, adds analyst comments from sixth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Anisah Shukry in Kuala Lumpur at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at firstname.lastname@example.org, Yudith Ho, Michael S. ArnoldFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The company behind Aston Martin should take the plunge and raise some equity while it can. Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc doesn’t need the money immediately. But the historic sportscar maker may in the future, and it would be better to secure the cushion now before its window of opportunity shuts entirely. Thursday’s brief 21% share price fall should focus minds.When Aston went public in October, it had a goal to produce about 7,200 cars this year, doubling to 14,000 in the “medium term” (understood as 2022). Last month it revised that first target down to 6,400 vehicles. Analysts are less optimistic about the future, with some now expecting Aston to deliver only 11,000-12,000 three years out.The shortfall matters. Aston’s business model is to use cash from car sales to fund development of its next models. Its yearly capital spending budget is roughly 300 million pounds ($362 million). Ongoing cash interest charges are estimated at about 65 million pounds. Operating cash flow is expected to be only 234 million pounds this year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts. So Aston will have to dip into its 127 million pounds of cash reserves.Can the company pay its own way from 2020? Opinions diverge. The group is due to launch its DBX sports utility vehicle in the second quarter, aiding cash generation. Some analysts expect operating cash flow to pick up and capex to fall, facilitating a reduction in net debt. Others sees the cash equation remaining slightly out of balance, and net debt rising next year and in 2021 but falling sharply thereafter. Aston can fund itself without recourse to new money in both scenarios.But what if sales and cash generation fall sharply? There are three predictable risks: A badly managed Brexit could disrupt Aston’s supply chain more than it’s prepared for; the DBX might flop because of production snags or poor demand; a global economic slowdown would see Aston’s Asian and U.S. markets suffer from the same weakness that’s held Europe back this year.In any of these scenarios, Aston’s cash could run dry unless the group slammed the brakes on the business and slashed capex. That might be a solution if Aston didn’t also face a looming refinancing in 2022. In reality, it will not want to go into that leaking cash and with the business on hold.True, the carmaker could raise some new long-term debt now. This seems to be management’s preferred option. But it’s strange to be borrowing more when Aston is stretching to service its current debts. A 250-500 million pound rights offer would alleviate the strain, as BAML notes. With Aston’s market value now just 1 billion pounds, the chance to grab the top of that range may already have passed.The weak share price, having already fallen so far, may make underwriters more willing to support a capital raise. James Bond is careful to drive a bulletproof Aston. This balance sheet needs the same armor.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Forget the world’s chaos for a moment. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is doing just fine.Despite a trade war, the slowing domestic economy and brutally aggressive competition, China’s largest technology company reported revenue and profit numbers that handily beat analyst estimates. Revenue rose a blazing 42%, while net income more than doubled. Shares popped 3% in U.S. trading.Insulated because of its predominantly domestic business, Alibaba is benefiting from a demographic shift to internet shopping. Chinese online sales accelerated in the June quarter, helped by sales promotions that unfolded across the country’s largest e-commerce platforms. Alibaba’s report dropped just as the risks of a recession spike, U.S.-China trade tensions ratchet up yet again and archrival Tencent Holdings Ltd. warns of a tough economic outlook.“It’s surprising how resilient Alibaba is,” said Michael Norris, a Shanghai-based research and strategy analyst at consultancy AgencyChina. “There’s a big disconnect between Wall Street, which has really given a beating to Alibaba’s shares, and people on the ground.”Revenue rose 42% to 114.9 billion yuan ($16.3 billion) in the three months ended June, while net income also came in ahead of expectations at 24.4 billion yuan. That was helped by more than 4.3 billion yuan of pretax profit from Ant Financial, the payments-to-lending affiliate controlled by billionaire Jack Ma.“Despite the macro environment not being as good as last year, Alibaba has launched a lot of new initiatives and the personalized product feed is helping maintain its growth rate,” said Steven Zhu, an analyst with Pacific Epoch. “Its live-streaming services and collaboration with international brands are helping.”The economic slowdown is eroding parts of the company’s sprawling empire of e-commerce, retail stores, delivery services and more. Revenue in its digital media and entertainment segment inched up just 6%, despite streaming service Youku enlarging its average daily subscribers by 40%. Growth in its cloud computing division, which commands half the country’s market share, slowed to a still-respectable 66%.Small and mid-sized enterprises may be leery of spending on ads -- Alibaba’s biggest source of income -- given the current environment. That prompted Chief Financial Officer Maggie Wu to tell analysts Alibaba is in no rush to monetize its new shopping recommendation feeds.Longer term, investors have raised flags about the impact on margins of Alibaba’s enormous spending on so-called new retail -- its effort to use technology to overhaul physical retailers -- and deepen its footprint in lower-tier cities and rural areas. Alibaba said it will continue to invest in those initiatives, as well as on-demand services like food delivery unit Ele.me, which is fighting a fierce, money-losing battle with giant Meituan.Alibaba is approaching a critical juncture just as Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang prepares to replace billionaire co-founder Ma as chairman in September. A U.S. campaign of tariffs and other curbs is heightening uncertainty around the world’s second-largest economy, while the emergence of rivals at home such as Pinduoduo Inc. tests its longstanding dominance of Chinese online retail.The e-commerce titan may be on the look-out for assets to bolster its lead. Alibaba is in talks to pay $2 billion for NetEase Inc.’s Kaola, which specializes in selling foreign goods to Chinese consumers, local media outlet Caixin reported.The company is also hatching plans to raise more capital. Alibaba’s quarterly performance bolsters its ambition of pulling off what could be Hong Kong’s biggest share sale since 2010. The company is said to have already filed confidentially for a stock listing, but it’s unclear when it might go ahead with the float given the widespread protests that have gripped Hong Kong over the past 11 weeks. Executives made no mention of the issue during their conference call.Overall, adjusted earnings per share came to 12.55 yuan versus the 10.3 yuan projected. Net cash slipped 4% in the quarter, depressed by a $250 million cash settlement reached last quarter on a U.S. federal class action lawsuit.The “key standout for us is that Alibaba’s China commerce business grew 40%, close to twice the rate of the China online retail industry,” said Neil Campling at Mirabaud Securities. “The scale benefits are paying off and Alibaba is enjoying both active consumer growth momentum and higher average spend.”\--With assistance from Zheping Huang and Sheryl Tian Tong Lee.To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin Chan, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Chinese electric car maker NIO delivered 837 cars in July, down from 1,340 cars in June. Tesla’s delivery growth range was 110%–221% in the last year.
It's only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in 'sexy' stocks...
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. U.S. retail sales rose by the most in four months on a surge in online purchases, offering some comfort for the economic-growth picture amid increasing recession fears that some other data Thursday may feed into.The value of overall retail sales climbed 0.7% in July after a downwardly revised 0.3% increase in the prior month, according to Commerce Department figures. Two regional Federal Reserve indexes for August came in higher than expected, but the central bank’s measure of factory output for July declined, jobless claims were higher than estimated last week and a measure of consumer sentiment posted the biggest two-week drop since 2011.The retail reading topped all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists that had called for a 0.3% gain. Sales in the “control group” subset, which some analysts view as a more reliable gauge of underlying consumer demand, jumped 1% and also exceeded the most optimistic projection after a 0.7% rise in June. The measure excludes food services, car dealers, building-materials stores and gasoline stations.The fifth-straight increase in retail sales shows Americans, buoyed by plentiful jobs and wage gains, are still spending -- a welcome sign as the trade war with China weighs on the global outlook with threats of new levies on consumer goods. Personal consumption, the biggest part of the economy, was the largest driver of the expansion in the second quarter.“The numbers are extremely strong and they come on the back of several good months in a row,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC. “The main driver is the labor market, kicking off very good income gains. It’s a consumer that’s got plenty of wherewithal to spend.”What Bloomberg’s Economists Say“Consumers will remain the driving force behind economic growth in the second half of the year -- unless market volatility hinders consumer spirits to a critical degree.-- Yelena Shulyatyeva and Carl RiccadonnaClick here for the full note.Ten of 13 major retail categories increased, led by a 2.8% jump for non-store sellers, which include online shopping. Retail sales in July may have been propped up by Amazon.com Inc.’s 48-hour Prime Day event, which the company said surpassed sales from the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. The promotion also likely drove shoppers to rivals Walmart Inc. and Target Corp.Walmart on Thursday posted strong second-quarter sales and boosted its full-year outlook, and its chief financial officer said the company has used its scale to minimize price increases.U.S. sales at department stores climbed 1.2% for the best gain since October.Among the main categories, spending dropped at automobile dealers, while readings for both health and personal care stores and sports and hobby retailers dropped the most this year.Rate CutFed officials cut interest rates last month for the first time in a decade while saying the labor market remains strong and citing robust consumption despite growing headwinds. Still, President Donald Trump’s feud with Beijing adds to global growth risks as signs of fragility spread from Germany to China and Singapore, and investors continue to expect additional rate reductions.Stocks have slumped this week and yields on two-year U.S. Treasuries rose above 10-year notes for the first time since the financial crisis, an inversion that is widely viewed as a sign of coming recession.Fed officials are more likely to look at expectations for future data rather than the current figures, said Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at Bank of America Corp. “In the past few weeks we’ve definitely seen more risk to the global outlook,” she said.Motor vehicle dealers saw spending drop 0.6% after increasing 0.3% in the previous month. Industry data from Wards Automotive Group previously showed July unit sales slipped to a three-month low.Excluding automobiles and gasoline, retail sales rose 0.9%, after a 0.6% gain the previous month.Labor MarketSeparate data showed labor market strength eased somewhat, though conditions remain tight overall.Jobless claims rose to a six-week high of 220,000 in the week ended Aug. 10, and a measure of continuing claims -- the number of unemployed Americans who qualify for benefits under the unemployment program -- jumped to 1.726 million in the prior week for the biggest gain since February. Economists had projected initial claims would rise to 212,000.Meanwhile, a measure of nonfarm productivity grew at a 2.3% pace in the second quarter, exceeding projections, after an upwardly revised 3.5% rate in the first quarter. Unit labor costs increased at a 2.4% pace after a 5.5% gain. That first-quarter figure was revised from a drop and became the biggest rise in five years.Get MoreSentiment among U.S. consumers tumbled for a second week in the largest back-to-back slide since March 2011. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index decreased 1.7 points to 61.2 in the week ended Aug. 11.A separate report Thursday showed sentiment among U.S. homebuilders rose in August to match its 2019 high as mortgage rates tumbled, though a weaker outlook signaled concern that any gains will be temporary.The New York Fed’s Empire State index for August, which covers manufacturers in New York, rose to 4.8, bucking expectations for a decline. A similar gauge for the Philadelphia Fed’s region fell by less than projected, dropping to 16.8.(Updates with consumer comfort and other data in second paragraph and bullet points. An earlier version of this story corrected the second deck headline to show the factory indexes exceeded estimates, not both rising.)\--With assistance from Chris Middleton, Anne Riley Moffat and Ryan Haar.To contact the reporters on this story: Katia Dmitrieva in Washington at email@example.com;Reade Pickert in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Scott Lanman at email@example.com, Vince GolleFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Natural gas prices might experience short-lived surge based on positive weather forecasts but any powerful turnaround looks unlikely at the moment.
Avon (AVP) progresses well with its 'Open Up Avon' strategy. Also, the company remains committed to attain its long-term financial targets.