Wednesday, May 16, 2018
What to watch today
On the economic calendar on Wednesday, markets will get April data on housing starts and building permits, which are both expected to decline compared to the prior month, as well as the April industrial production data from the Federal Reserve.
And on the earnings side, notable reports set for Thursday should include Macy’s (M), Take-Two Interactive (TTWO), Cisco (CSCO), and Jack in the Box (JACK). Earnings out of Macy’s will be closely watched after the first quarter was something of a disappointment for consumer spending as personal consumption grew just 1.1% to start the year, though Tuesday’s data on retail sales indicates better times ahead for retailers.
Investors cut Apple holdings by most since at least ’08: Institutional investors haven’t been this skeptical on Apple Inc. (AAPL) since at least the financial crisis. They reduced their holdings in the iPhone maker by about 153 million shares in the first three months of the year, an analysis of 13F filings showed. That’s the biggest decrease since at least the first quarter of 2008 when Bloomberg started tracking the data. It’s also the most among any S&P 500 stock in the first quarter. [Bloomberg]
Japan’s GDP ends best growth run in decades: Japan’s economy contracted more than expected at the start of this year, suggesting growth has peaked after the best run of expansion in decades, unwelcome news for a government struggling to get traction for its reflationary policies. The world’s third largest economy shrank by 0.6% on an annualized basis, a much more severe contraction than the median estimate for an annualized 0.2% decline. [Reuters]
Starbucks aims to triple China revenue by 2022: Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) is looking to more than triple its revenue and almost double its store count in China over the next five years, doubling down on the market as traffic growth comes under pressure in the United States. The U.S. coffee chain, which recently raised $7.15 billion in a deal with Nestle SA, aims to have 6,000 stores in the country by the end of 2022. It has around 3,300 stores in 141 cities in China currently. [Reuters]
Amazon to give Prime members extra discounts at Whole Foods: It’s Prime time at Whole Foods: Amazon (AMZN) is rolling out discounts for Prime members at the organic grocer. The benefits start Wednesday at stores in Florida and will expand nationwide this summer. Prime members will get an additional 10% off sale items and exclusive deals on certain groceries. [AP]
Novartis top lawyer exits in wake of Trump attorney deal: Novartis (NOVN) General Counsel Felix Ehrat will leave the Swiss drugmaker over his role in a $1.2 million contract it struck with the personal lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump, saying on Wednesday the pact was legal but an error. [Reuters]
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