Dow Jones: 17,500.94 (-1.2%)
NASDAQ: 4,769.56 (+1.1%)
S&P 500: 2,052.32 (+0.3%)
Gold: 1,255.40 (-1.4%)
Copper: 205.45 (-0.5%)
Crude Oil: 47.67 (+3.1%)
The FOMC minutes for the committee’s April meeting showed that some policy members were still considering a June rate hike. The members expressed concerned that an “overly accommodative policy” might not only require the Fed to quickly raise rates in the future thereby disrupting economic activity but also induce “imprudent risk-taking in financial markets.” As a result, the volatility increased (The VIX was up 2.4% on Wednesday) while most financials posted gains.
Inflation rose 0.4% in April driven by rising gasoline (up 8.1%), shelter (up 0.3%), transportation (up 0.7%) and food (0.2%) prices according to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The energy index was up driven by gasoline but weighed down by electricity. Higher cereal, bakery products, and nonalcoholic beverage prices drove the food index higher while fruits and vegetables weighed it down. Higher prescription drug prices drove the medical care index higher.
Crude Oil rose 3.1% this week amid continued disruptions in Canada (ongoing wildfires), Libya (political tensions) and Nigeria (militant attacks). It closed the week at $47.67 per barrel but overall remains volatile due to rising inventories. Commercial crude-oil inventories (excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased 0.2% to 541.3 million barrels from 540.0 million the previous week. The regular retail national average gasoline price rose to $2.242 from $2.220 per gallon the preceding week.
Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) reported a revenue increase of 0.9% and net income drop of 7.8% for fiscal year Q1 2017. Diluted EPS dropped 4.9% to $0.98 from $1.03 the same quarter the past year. The revenue increase was driven by higher traffic while the net income drop was attributed to higher SGA expenses. Total same-store sales rose 0.5% accounting for fuel. The stock was up 9.5% on Thursday after EPS came in higher than the $0.88 per share the street was expecting.
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) recorded a 1.1% drop in revenue and a 3.6% drop in net income for Q3 2016 YoY. Diluted EPS fell 2.1% to $0.46 from $0.47 YoY. The revenue drop was due to lower product sales (down 4.8%) which were insignificantly offset by service sales (up 11.2%). The bottom line deteriorated because of increased operating expenses (up 3%) from acquisitions of Jasper, Acano, Synata, Leaba and CliQr. The stock was up 3.5% on Thursday after posting a non-GAAP EPS of $0.57 against the street’s expectations of $0.55.
Home Depot (NYSE: HD) posted a 9.0% and 14.2% rise in revenue and net income, respectively, for Q1 2016 YoY. Diluted EPS rose 19% to $1.44 from $1.21 YoY. Comparable store sales grew 6.5% due to higher demand (for appliances, roofing, sheds and windows) and favorable weather conditions. However, despite beating the street’s expectation of $1.35 by 9 cents, the stock was down 0.9% on Tuesday—continuing the pullback it was in from the new high it hit on May 10.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ: ROST) announced a 5.1% revenue increase and a 3.0% net income increase for Q1 2016 YoY. Diluted EPS grew 5.8% to $0.73 from $0.69 the same quarter the past year. The home and shoe categories were the best performing while ladies apparel underperformed. Same store sales grew 2% while the number of stores rose 5.3% to 1,473 from 1,399 YoY. The stock was down 1.7% on Friday after matching the street’s EPS expectations of $0.73 per share.
Tuesday May 24 — New Home Sales (a gauge for the state of the housing market)
Friday May 27 — GDP Second Estimate (adjustment of initial GDP estimate)