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08Aug2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closes Down After Weakness In The Healthcare And Materials Sectors, Trump Rally Showing Weakness Say Several Analysts

Written by Gary

US markets closed modestly down after new historic highs were recorded this morning (SPY -0.3%).

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Fired Google memo writer draws jeers, cheers and a job offer

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The male Google engineer fired for circulating a memo decrying the company's diversity hiring program became the center of a heated debate on sexism, drawing scorn, cheers and even a job offer on Tuesday from WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

U.S. to review Qualcomm's complaints about Apple iPhone patents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. trade officials have agreed to investigate Qualcomm Inc's allegations that Apple Inc infringed on patents with its iPhone7 and other devices, the U.S. International Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

Wall Street clings to gains with tech leading

(Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P clung to tiny gains on Tuesday after scaling new records as support from technology stocks offset weakness in the healthcare and materials sectors.

Uber considering sale of U.S. car-leasing business: source

(Reuters) - Ride-hailing company Uber [UBER.UL] is evaluating options for its capital-intensive U.S. car-leasing business, including a sale of the unit, a source familiar with the matter said.

U.S. job openings at record high; labor market tightening

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job openings jumped to a record high in June, outpacing hiring, the latest indication that companies are having trouble finding qualified workers.

Dish Network, trade groups and others oppose Sinclair Tribune deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dish Network Corp has joined forces with conservative media, trade and liberal advocacy groups in urging U.S. authorities to reject Sinclair Broadcast Group's proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media.

SoftBank invests $1 billion in sports e-commerce firm Fanatics: sources

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp is investing $1 billion in Fanatics Inc as a part of a funding round that values the sports e-commerce company at $4.5 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Time Inc misses revenue estimates, unveils new cost cuts

(Reuters) - Magazine publisher Time Inc reported a lower-than-expected quarterly revenue on Tuesday and announced a fresh cost-cutting program.

Michael Kors lifts full-year revenue forecast, shares soar

(Reuters) - Michael Kors Holdings Ltd reported better-than-expected profit for the first quarter as it cut down on promotions and sold more premium handbags, and lifted its full-year revenue forecast, sending the company's shares up as much as 22 percent.

Trump Threatens North Korea With "Fire And Fury Like The World Has Never Seen Before"

Speaking at a press event at his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., President Trump offered a stern warning to the rogue dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, saying that he "best not make any more threats to the United States" or they "will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." Per Bloomberg:

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

"He has been very threatening beyond a normal statement. And, as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before."

.@POTUS: "North Korea best not make any more threats to the U.S. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." pic.twitter.com/nUjWck9aGk

— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 8, 2017

Of course, first thing this morning we reported that according to a 500-page report by the Japanese Defense Ministry, North Korea may now be in possession of a miniature nuclear warhead. That said, the report did not move the market because the Japa ...

Alpha Z Advisors offers an alternative to options investing

(GLOBALINTELHUB.COM) — Dover, DE 8/8/2017 — Global Intel Hub exclusive interview — Elite E Services sat down with Mike Connor, Principal and Senior AP of Alpha Z Advisors, LLC - a trading advisor offering alternative investments based on strategies incorporating research on price anomalies, behavioral biases and institutional practices. In November of last year, Alpha Z Advisors LLC was ranked #1 Options Strategies Category by Barclay Hedge, a service that tracks funds' strategies. So we wanted to learn more about on the Alpha Z Advisors strategy, as we have always supported options as a great way to not only hedge investments but also provide additional alpha to any portfolio. Also, futures options are generally traded on regulated exchanges - unlike FX which are mostly traded over the counter (OTC).

Agricultural Work Visas Soar As Farmers Struggle With Labor Shortages Amid Immigration Crackdown

Ask any farmer in California what keeps them up at night and we would guess that nearly all of them would list 'labor shortages' and 'water access' as their top two concerns. Ironically, despite over 90 million American citizens choosing to sit out of the labor force and California having one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country, farmers in the Golden State struggle every year to find enough labor to keep fruits and vegetables from literally rotting on the vine.

Meanwhile, as the new administration promises to crack down on illegal immigrants, farmers are feeling the labor shortages in 2017 more than ever. As the Wall Street Journal notes today, many farmers have turned to the H-2A agricultural visa program to recruit temporary workers from Mexico but the process is generally described as "bureaucratic, costly and time-consuming."

In the first nine months of fiscal 2017, which began Oct. 1, the U.S. Labor Department certified more than 160,000 temporary workers—the bulk of them from Mexico—to harvest berries, tobacco and other crops in the U.S. under the H-2A agricultural visa program. That was up 20% from the period a year earlier.

The annual issuance of H-2A visas nearly doubled from 85,248 in fiscal 2012 to 165,741 in 2016. The U.S. doesn't cap the number of these visas.

Outside of agriculture, use of another type of seasonal-work visa also has surged in response to increased U.S. demand for unskilled laborers such as hotel housekeepers. The Department of Homeland Security in July raised the annual cap on H-2B visas by more than 20% to 81,000. The major ...

For The First Time Since The Tech Bubble The Market No Longer Rewards "Beating" Companies

With Q2 earnings season rapidly approaching its end, Bank of America points out a curious observation: stocks that beat earnings expectations are not getting "rewarded" with higher prices. This is the first time this has been observed in 17 years - the last time the market seemed oblivious to corporate upside was in 2Q 2000... just before the Tech Bubble burst. As BofA warns, "this could be a warning sign that equity market expectations and positioning more than reflect the good results."

Adding to peak valuation concerns, BofA's quant strategist Savita Subramanian also expects full-year EPS growth to decelerate from 8% in 2017 to 5% in 2018, and redundantly adds that "the stock market may not react well to decelerating earnings." That's one way of putting it.

Some more details on this notable "market peak" phenomenon:

Companies which beat on EPS and sales have performed in-line with the market the subsequent one and five days - the first time we've seen no reward for beats since 2000.

Companies which missed on both metrics have underperformed by 3ppt the subsequent one and five days - greater than the historical average underperformance of 2ppt.

...

Apple's Expensive Game of Catch-Up

Apple has spent more than $11 billion on R&D in the last 12 months, pointing to possibly big new things on the horizon. But expenditures by the world's richest company also lag top rivals Google, Microsoft and Amazon—which means even more investments are likely.

Turnaround Not Yet in the Bag for Coach and Kors

The handbag makers' shares have shot up this year, but both companies now need to live up to higher expectations. The first test for Coach will come when it reports earnings next week.

Where Cable's John Malone May Be Sniffing for Deals

For all the speculation of a tie-up with Vodafone, cable tycoon John Malone's next European deal could just as easily be in TV.

Apple's stock jumps to another record as post-earnings rally continues

Apple's stock is back to its record-setting ways, as it soars toward its second-straight record close, and third in the week since the technology giant reported blowout results.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President says North Korea faces 'fire and fury' if it doesn't halt threats

As the North Korean crisis escalates while on his Bedminster, N.J., vacation, President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he would respond with "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if the Asian country doesn't halt threats.

The shocking profession with the biggest gender wage gap (hint: it's not tech)

A memo by a former Google employee posited several theories about the lack of women in senior roles in Silicon Valley.

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To contact me with questions, comments or constructive criticism is always encouraged and appreciated:

gary@econintersect.com

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