Stock market today: Stocks mixed after retail sales tumble | February 15, 2024

Stock market today: Stocks mixed after retail sales tumble | February 15, 2024

Retail Sales and Consumer Spending

  • Retail sales in the US unexpectedly declined by 0.8% in January, raising concerns about the resilience of consumer spending.
  • The consumer is likely to hit a wall in spending due to factors such as a cooling labor market, higher interest rates, and increased costs of living.
  • Leading economic indicators, higher interest rates, and increased household costs suggest that the consumer will eventually be impacted by the economic slowdown, likely in the second half of the year.
  • Anthony Chumba, Loop Capital Markets Managing Director, advises against reading too much into one month's retail sales data, given the strong macroeconomic data throughout 2023 and early 2024.
  • The "little luxuries" trade, particularly in self-care products, remains strong, with Ulta providing preliminary 2024 guidance indicating continued store sales growth and healthy operating margins.
  • Consumers are still cautious due to inflation and are trading down to deep discounters like Five Below and Dollar Tree.
  • Walmart is the low-price leader in brick-and-mortar, while Amazon leads in e-commerce.
  • Best Buy is usually within 1-2% of Amazon's prices and price matches Amazon.
  • Deep discounters are doing a good job of inventory management and don't have inventory gluts like other retailers.
  • The MasterCard Economics Institute sees consumers as resilient and empowered, with a lot of choices and more normal inventory environment.
  • Consumers are still excited to spend on experiences like concerts and sporting events.
  • The outlook for 2024 is for robust spending in the experience economy, but it will be a bit of a convergence in spending compared to 2023.
  • Michelle Meyer, Chief US Economist at Mastercard Economics Institute, discusses consumer spending and the impact of interest rates on the economy.
  • A Fed rate cut would support interest-rate-sensitive categories and the broader economy.
  • The health of the labor market is a key factor in determining consumer spending.
  • Travel spending remains strong, but growth rates may moderate due to year-over-year comparisons.
  • The household balance sheet remains healthy, with high net worth and solid income creation.

Company Earnings and Performance

  • Cisco Systems reported disappointing quarterly results, including slowing demand, inventory corrections, and a cautious outlook. The company announced layoffs of 4,000 employees to improve profit margins.
  • Shake Shack's Q4 earnings beat expectations, with comparable sales surpassing estimates and increased profitability despite inflationary pressures. The company's strategic marketing initiatives contributed to its success.
  • Wendy's reported a revenue and profit miss for the quarter, leading to a decline in its stock price. The company experienced a decrease in customer visits but an increase in spending per visit.
  • Shake Shack reported strong financial results, with revenue growth of 11% to 15% expected in 2024.
  • The company implemented kiosks at all domestic company-operated stores, leading to increased customer spending.
  • Deere & Company (DE) is considered a "best-in-class" operator due to its early adoption of technology to enhance farmers' productivity.
  • Deere's technology investments, such as AI and onboard intelligence, set it apart from competitors and position it for long-term success.
  • The near-term outlook for Deere's fiscal 2024 is affected by moderation in commodity prices and a return to more normalized activity levels in the agriculture sector.
  • Artificial intelligence plays a crucial role in Deere's business model, potentially generating recurring revenue through increased productivity and efficiency.
  • Twilio's earnings report showed revenue growth but also highlighted challenges such as customer churn and contraction, leading to a negative market reaction.
  • Twilio is implementing cost-cutting measures and focusing on optimizing capital allocation, but analysts are closely monitoring the impact of operational changes and the development of AI-powered capabilities.
  • Coinbase shares rose after JP Morgan upgraded the stock to neutral, reflecting the surge in Bitcoin and broader cryptocurrency prices. Bitcoin reached $52,000, regaining its $1 trillion market cap.
  • Coinbase's call discussed the potential impact of Ethereum ETFs on the crypto market and the broader investability of cryptocurrencies.
  • Yeti's shares dropped after missing revenue and earnings expectations in Q4, with a conservative outlook for 2024.
  • The company's drinkware sales exceeded expectations, but the cooler business was affected by cautious consumer spending on high-ticket items.
  • Yeti's soft cooler relaunch faced challenges due to limited color assortment and brand awareness recovery after recalls.
  • The impact of Stanley, a competitor in the travel tumbler market, on Yeti's sales was discussed, with Yeti targeting a different consumer demographic.
  • Yeti's focus on innovation and recent acquisitions in soft bags and cookware were highlighted as potential growth drivers.
  • The company

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