On Monday motor vehicle sales for February declined 12% to an annualized 16.5 million units and construction spending for December fell an unexpectedly sharp .6%. Markets started falling on the news and ended the day modestly lower.
On Tuesday new home sales for December jumped 3.7% to an annualized 621,000 units and the ISM non-manufacturing index for February rose 3 points to 59.7. The dollar rallied for a fifth day and 10-year Treasuries yielded 2.72%. Markets overall declined slightly, despite some unexpectedly good earnings from major retailers.
On Wednesday the ADP employment report for February estimated that private payroll growth will rise 183,000, in line with expectations. The EIA petroleum status report for the week ending March 1st saw crude oil inventories increase 7.1 million barrels and the U.S. trade deficit in December jumped to a 10-year high of $59.8 billion. Markets closed slightly lower as investors waited for more definitive news about the economy and trade negotiations with China.
On Thursday jobless claims for the week ending March 2nd fell 3,000 to 223,000 and nonfarm productivity for the fourth quarter rose a stronger than expected 1.9% and unit labor costs rose 2%. The Challenger job-cut report for February saw announced layoffs total 76,835. The European Central Bank announced it will add new stimulus as a reaction to a slowing global economy and U.S. markets proceeded to fall on the news. The Dow Industrials ended the day 200 points lower.
On Friday nonfarm payrolls for February rose an anemic 20,000, way lower than expectations, unemployment dropped to 3.8%, and average hourly earnings rose .4%. Markets opened sharply lower on fears of a global slowdown. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO) reported its fourth quarter financial results after market close on Tuesday. The company topped revenue estimates, but reported losing RMB 3.37 per share on revenue of RMB 3.4 billion. The loss was greater than expected, sending shares 16% lower on Wednesday morning.
Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) reported its fourth quarter financial results before market open on Wednesday, sending shares higher by 5.7% throughout the day. The discount savings retailer reported earnings of $1.93 per share on revenue of $6.2 billion, surpassing analysts’ earnings expectations by 4 cents a share.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) reported its fourth quarter financial results on Wednesday morning and surpassed both top and bottom-line estimates, with earnings of $1.35 a share on net sales of $1.15 billion. The better-than-expected results sent Abercrombie’s shares surging over 17% shortly after the opening bell.
The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) reported its fourth quarter financial results on Thursday during pre-market hours and missed estimates, causing shares to plunge by as much as 12%. For the quarter, Kroger reported earnings of 48 cents per share on revenue of a little over $28 billion. Digital sales grew by 58% and also the company expanded its pickup and delivery to reach 91% of its customer’s households.
Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) reported its second quarter financial results after market close on Thursday. The wholesaler reported better-than-expected earnings but missed revenue estimates. Despite the revenue miss, shares gained 4% during aftermarket hours. For the quarter, Costco reported earnings of $2.01 per share on revenue of $35.4 billion.