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Futures Resume Levitation, Push On To New All Time Highs

Futures Resume Levitation, Push On To New All Time Highs

One day after a brief interruption in the Santa rally, as US stocks fell for the first time in five days amid a rotation out of megacap tech shares, futures have resumed their upward…



Futures Resume Levitation, Push On To New All Time Highs

One day after a brief interruption in the Santa rally, as US stocks fell for the first time in five days amid a rotation out of megacap tech shares, futures have resumed their upward climb as investors brushed aside rapidly shifting fears about the economic implications of the omicron coronavirus outbreak. Treasury yields ticked higher along with the dollar. Bitcoin continued its recent tax-loss related selling which pushed it back under $47,000. As of 730am ET, emini S&P futures were up 2 points or 0.04%, fading an earlier gain which pushed ES up to 4,790, while Dow Jones futures were flat and Nasdaq futures were up 0.16%.

Tesla gained more than 2% in pre-market trading after Elon Musk sold a further $1.02 billion off shares, taking him that much closer to his target of reducing his stake in the electric-car maker by 10%. Other notable premarket movers include:

  • Shares in Apple (AAPL US) rise 0.2% in premarket trading after it closed lower on Tuesday after a four-day rally that put it within striking distance of a historic $3 trillion market value
  • Calix (CALX US) climbed 8.9% in extended trading on news the software company will join the S&P Midcap 400 Index before trading opens on Jan. 4
  • Chembio Diagnostics (CEMI US) sank 22% postmarket after saying the FDA declined to review the company’s application for an emergency use authorization (EUA) for its DPP Respiratory Antigen Panel -- a test for coronavirus and influenza
  • Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (CALM US) fell 7.1% in after- hours trading as the egg producer posted 2Q profit that missed the average analyst estimate

Shares slipped in Japan, technology stocks drove a retreat in Hong Kong and China slid (more below). Sentiment in China is being sapped by Beijing’s tightening oversight of overseas share sales and economic risks from a property slowdown. Authorities are expected to add stimulus next year to steady expansion.

In the latest Omicron news, two years after reports of the mysterious disease first emerged in Wuhan, the pandemic shows no signs of abating, with the omicron variant pushing worldwide Covid-19 cases above 1 million for a second straight day. The Netherlands will require travelers arriving from the U.S. to self-quarantine for up to ten days. Rapid tests that are widely used to detect infections may miss some omicron cases, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Covid hospitalizations are spiking from New South Wales to New York state, pressuring health systems. Overall, however, omicron appears to be triggering a lower rate of hospitalizations. In China’s Xi’an, an outbreak eased after residents were asked to stay indoors and driving was banned.

“Although omicron cases in the U.S. and Europe amongst others, continue to surge, it has yet to make its presence felt negatively in economic data,” Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note. “With market activity much reduced for the holiday season, investors continue to tentatively price in a global recovery hitting a minor bump, and not a pothole.”

As Bloomberg notes, investors are rounding out the year by booking profits after a 17% jump in global equities. The coronavirus, Federal Reserve policy tightening and China’s outlook are cited among the key risks for 2022. Omicron fears are easing on growing evidence that the fast-spreading strain leads to milder symptoms. Still volatility remains with the Nasdaq now swinging more than 2.5% per week for 5 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch in a decade.

“We’re sober about potential headwinds that still could be coming, even the rest of this year, but early in 2022 -- the Fed is going to be raising rates, that will change things for the markets,” Ann Miletti, head of active equity at Allspring Global Investments, said on Bloomberg Television. “We are also hopeful because as you look at a lot of the economic data, it remains strong.”

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 index hit a new all-time high record before retreating, with retailers outperforming. The FTSE 100 Index climbed to its highest level since February 2020 as U.K. markets reopened after Christmas, catching up to European market gains, with the FTSE 100 Index rising to the highest level since February 2020. The FTSE 100 Index was up as much as 1% with Rolls-Royce the best performer with a 3% gain; the FTSE 250 Index gained as much as 1.3%; Darktrace jumps 5.1%. Technology shares declined, following the sector’s retreat in the U.S. and Asia. Volumes remained thin into the end of the year in some markets.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell, led by losses in Chinese shares, amid an extended global selloff in technology giants. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid as much as 0.5%, with Samsung Electronics, Alibaba and Tencent among the biggest drags. China’s CSI 300 was the worst-performing major gauge in the region, losing 1.5%.

“There’s not much news, but the drop in Chinese shares has worsened the mood a bit,” said Tetsuo Seshimo, a fund manager at Saison Asset Management. “It’s almost strange how equity markets have been rising despite this sense of anticipated cutbacks in monetary easing by Europe and the U.S., so you’re seeing stocks correct recent gains.” U.S. stocks fell for the first time in five days amid a rotation out of megacap tech shares. While some traders saw a chance to take profits after the S&P 500 posted its 69th record-high close for 2021 on Monday, the market also remains wary over record numbers of daily Covid-19 cases. “I think the most pressing issue is omicron and whether or not surging case numbers lead to a pick-up in hospitalizations and fatalities in coming weeks,” said Kyle Rodda, a market analyst at IG Markets. “That could pull the rug from under the market, especially as trading conditions return to normal from next week onwards.” 

Japanese equities also slid as investors sold technology shares, mirroring moves in the U.S. market overnight. Electronics makers were the biggest drag on the Topix, which fell 0.3%. Tokyo Electron and Fast Retailing were the largest contributors to a 0.6% loss in the Nikkei 225.

India’s key stock gauges likewise fell after a two-day advance, led by declines in lenders. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Sun Pharmaceutical rose after the government approved more vaccines and treatments to curb the spread of coronavirus.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.2% to 57,806.49 in Mumbai, after swinging between gains and losses ahead of the expiry of monthly derivative contracts on Thursday. The NSE Nifty 50 Index slipped 0.1%. Twelve of the 19 sector sub-gauges compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a measure of metals companies.   The government on Tuesday granted approval for restricted emergency use of two new vaccines and the anti-viral drug Molnupiravir, to be manufactured by local firms including Dr. Reddy’s. India recorded 9,195 new Covid-19 cases, according to the latest data release on Wednesday. The daily count surged from 6,358 on Tuesday. Rising infections have prompted some Indian states to impose curbs on public gatherings, with New Delhi ordering closures of cinemas, schools and gyms.  HDFC Bank contributed the most to the Sensex’s decline, falling 0.5%. Out of 30 shares in the benchmark, 18 fell and 12 rose.

In rates, Treasuries slipped in light trading as equity futures hold near Tuesday’s record high, with the year's last auction - a sale of $56 billion in 7-year paper due at 1pm ET, in low-volume trading typical of the last week of the year. Yields are higher cheaper by 1bp-2bp in 10- to 30-year sectors with front-end and belly yields little changed; 30-year at 1.917% is above its above its 50-DMA, breached Tuesday for first time since late November. Monday’s 2-year and Tuesday’s 5-year auctions tailed slightly, though both have since improved and sported solid internals. The WI 7Y yield ~1.42% is between last two auction stops and ~16bp richer than last month’s. Euro-area sovereign bonds were mixed, with German bunds fluctuating. Japanese government bonds gained as concern over the coronavirus omicron strain supports demand for haven assets.

In FX, a gauge of the U.S. dollar rose for a third day, sending the Japanese yen sliding past 115/USD for the first time in a month. The Turkish lira resumed its collapse, dropping as much as 5% against the dollar, extending this week’s loss to 15% with the nation’s 10-year government bond yield standing at an all-time high. Turkey’s central bank will prioritize the promotion of lira deposits next year after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced controversial new steps to curb the currency’s depreciation. Meanwhile, China’s overnight interbank borrowing rates plummet to the lowest level in 11 months after the central bank injected more liquidity into the financial system.

In commodities, crude oil hovered near a one-month high, partly on bets that the global recovery can ride out omicron. Iron ore futures in Singapore and China declined for a third day. Bitcoin stayed below $48,000 after a tumble that hinted at diminished ardor for the most speculative assets; the cryptocurrency remains on course for its biggest monthly drop since the cryptocurrency rout in May.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 4,788.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 489.63
  • MXAP down 0.4% to 192.40
  • MXAPJ down 0.3% to 625.02
  • Nikkei down 0.6% to 28,906.88
  • Topix down 0.3% to 1,998.99
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.8% to 23,086.54
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.9% to 3,597.00
  • Sensex little changed at 57,920.29
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.2% to 7,509.81
  • Kospi down 0.9% to 2,993.29
  • Brent Futures little changed at $78.95/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,803.78
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.17% to 96.37
  • German 10Y yield little changed at -0.23%
  • Euro down 0.3% to $1.1279

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Investors are primed for the dollar to climb next year. But the juiciest trades may be over even before 2021 ends
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Index is racing toward its best annual gain in six years and hedge funds’ net long bets on the currency have climbed to the highest since June 2019 as traders have been front-running a hawkish Federal Reserve
  • European equities climbed toward a record in thin holiday trading as investors bet that the economic recovery can withstand the impact of the omicron variant
  • Bitcoin edged higher after a steep decline in choppy year-end trading, but it’s still on course for its biggest monthly drop since the cryptocurrency rout in May
  • U.K. households are heading into the “year of the squeeze” as surging energy bills and faster inflation eat into incomes, according to the Resolution Foundation think tank

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Nov. Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. -$88.1b, prior - $82.9b
  • 8:30am: Nov. Retail Inventories MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.1%; Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 1.5%, prior 2.3%
  • 10am: Nov. Pending Home Sales YoY, prior -4.7%; Pending Home Sales (MoM), est. 0.8%, prior 7.5%
Tyler Durden Wed, 12/29/2021 - 08:11

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The Fed’s Big Problem, There Are Two Economies But Only One Interest Rate

The Fed’s Big Problem, There Are Two Economies But Only One Interest Rate

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

On average, the economy…



The Fed's Big Problem, There Are Two Economies But Only One Interest Rate

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

On average, the economy looks OK. But averages are misleading. Several large groups of people are struggling. They all have one thing in common.

Case-Shiller home price index, CPI rent index, and the index of hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers.

Who’s Unhappy?

Those looking to buy a home but cannot afford the record high prices, are not faring well in this economy.

The last great time to buy a home was in 2012. Over the next eight years, home prices moved further and further away from wages.

When the Covid pandemic hit in 2020, we had record QE, record fiscal stimulus, mortgage rates hit record lows, and inflation hit the highest levels in 40 years.

In response, home prices soared out of sight. Worse yet, the price of rent rose at least 0.4 percent for 28 straight months.

Rent of Primary Residence vs OER

Data from the BLS, chart by Mish

Rent vs OER Chart Notes

  • OER stands for Owners’ Equivalent Rent. It is the price one would pay to rent their own house, unfurnished without rent.

  • Rent of primary residence is just what one would expect. It is measured price of rent, unfurnished, without utilities.

Mass Confusion Over OER

Contrary to widespread myth, OER is a measured price with very minor imputations that do not matter. OER is designed to track rent prices and it does. It is a measured price.

Much of the confusion comes from a misquoted BLS statement on OER, emphasis mine.

The expenditure weight in the CPI market basket for OER is based on the following question that the Consumer Expenditure Survey asks of consumers who own their primary residence: “If someone were to rent your home today, how much do you think it would rent for monthly, unfurnished and without utilities?

Note that these responses are not used in estimating price change for the shelter categories, only the weight.

People quote that question as if that is how the BLS measures prices. It doesn’t. Prices, except for minor, irrelevant imputations, are based on actual measured rents.

No One Pays OER

The problem with OER is the weight not the measure. No one actually pays OER. Rather, people pay mortgages.

Yet, OER it is the single largest component of the CPI with a weight of 26.769 percent. Rent has a weight of 7.671 percent.

Many people conclude that the CPI is overstated because no one pays OER. The problem with this idea is home prices are at record highs and home prices are not in the CPI at all.

Homes are not in the CPI because economists consider them a capital expense not a personal expense.

But so what? Inflation matters not just consumer inflation. The Fed has made a big mess of things by ignoring obvious housing bubbles.

30-year mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates courtesy of Mortgage News Daily, annotations by Mish

When the Fed slashed interest rates to zero, mortgage rates fell below 3.0% for an extended period allowing everyone to refinance at 3.0 percent or below. Most did.

OER rose from 332 to 403 between January of 2020 and January of 2024. That’s a gain of 21.4 percent.

Rent rose from 338 to 412. That’s a gain of 21.9 percent.

Whereas the renter is struggling, the homeowner refinanced lower putting extra money in his pocket every month.

Home owners also benefitted from rising wages, rising value of their home and a stable, not rising mortgage payment.

Winners and Losers

  • The homeowners are generally doing OK. The home ownership rate is 65.7 percent.

  • The 34.3 percent who rent are generally not doing OK.

The study did not break things down by home owners vs renters, but I suspect most of the use is by renters.

According to the latest CPI report, rent was up at least 0.4 percent for the 29th straight month. Shelter, a broader category, rose 0.6 percent. Food rose 0.4 percent.

CPI data from the BLS, chart by Mish

Whereas home owners have a fixed payment, likely refinanced lower than their initial mortgage, renters faces huge increases, not every month, but once a year, big bang.

For discussion please see Another Hotter Than Expected CPI Led by Shelter, Up Another 0.6 Percent

The stress is easy to spot by demographics.

Credit Card and Auto Delinquencies Soar

Credit card debt surged to a record high in the fourth quarter. Even more troubling is a steep climb in 90 day or longer delinquencies.

Record High Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt rose to a new record high of $1.13 trillion, up $50 billion in the quarter. Even more troubling is the surge in serious delinquencies, defined as 90 days or more past due.

For nearly all age groups, serious delinquencies are the highest since 2011 at best.

Auto Loan Delinquencies

Serious delinquencies on auto loans have jumped from under 3 percent in mid-2021 to to 5 percent at the end of 2023 for age group 18-29.

Age group 30-39 is also troubling. Serious delinquencies for age groups 18-29 and 30-39 are at the highest levels since 2010.

For further discussion please see Credit Card and Auto Delinquencies Soar, Especially Age Group 18 to 39

Generational Homeownership Rates

Home ownership rates courtesy of Apartment List

The above chart is from the Apartment List’s 2023 Millennial Homeownership Report

Those struggling with rent are more likely to Millennials and Zoomers than Generation X, Baby Boomers, or members of the Silent Generation.

The same age groups struggling with credit card and auto delinquencies.

On Average Everything is Great

Average it up as Fed and all the clueless economic and political writers do, and things look great.

This is why we have seen countless stories attempting to explain why people should be happy.

Krugman Blames Partisanship

OK, there is a fair amount of partisanship in the polls.

However, Biden isn’t struggling from partisanship alone. If that was the reason, Biden would not be polling so miserably with Democrats in general, blacks, and younger voters.

In addition to Biden’s Age and Senility, this allegedly booming economy left behind the renters and everyone under the age of 40 struggling to make ends meet.

Powell Pleads Patience

In Jerome Powell’s Interview with 60 Minutes, the Fed Chairman Tells 60 Minutes US Fiscal Path is Unsustainable

Powell: When high inflation really threatens to become persistent, we use our tools to bring down inflation. It’s very important for that young couple — and particularly for younger couples starting out who may not have great financial means, that we succeed in this effort.

60 Minutes: You’re asking the American people for patience?

Powell: Yes. And I think people have been patient and have been through a pretty difficult time. And I think now we’re coming through that time and starting to feel a little bit better about things.

Powell, Krugman, and most of the economic writers, even at the Wall Street Journal have not managed to figure out over a third of the nation is struggling.

Many Are Addicted to “Buy Now, Pay Later” Plans

Buy Now Pay Later, BNPL, plans are increasingly popular. It’s another sign of consumer credit stress.

For discussion, please see Many Are Addicted to “Buy Now, Pay Later” Plans, It’s a Big Trap

The study did not break things down by home owners vs renters, but I strongly suspect most of the BNPL use is by renters.

What About Jobs?

Jobs Soar but Full Time Employment Is Barely Changed Since May 2022

Nonfarm payrolls and employment levels from the BLS, chart by Mish.

But hey, that’s OK because on average, the economy is great. Or do we really mean, on average the stock market is great, and the average homeowner is fine?

Hello Mr. Powell

There are two economies (the homeowners/asset holders and everyone else). However, there is only one interest rate. Patience please says Powell.

Lowering rates risks risks fueling the housing bubble and the most expensive stock market in history.

Hello Mr. Powell, it’s your move.

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/21/2024 - 07:20

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Dozens Of Major Companies Say 2024 Will Be The Year Of Cost Cutting

Dozens Of Major Companies Say 2024 Will Be The Year Of Cost Cutting

We already know that the Biden administration and the BLS are ignoring…



Dozens Of Major Companies Say 2024 Will Be The Year Of Cost Cutting

We already know that the Biden administration and the BLS are ignoring the massive layoffs happening across corporate America in favor of pushing some asinine narrative that 'Bidenomics', whatever that even means, is somehow creating jobs other than 2nd and 3rd jobs for senior citizens driving Uber when they should be retired. 

Now, it's becoming clear that 2024 could be the year when corporations continue 'cost cutting', which could mean a number of strategies, almost all of which result in less employees and less pay instead of more. 

Executives from various industries, including toy, cosmetics, and technology sectors, are cutting costs and jobs, even in profitable companies such as Mattel, PayPal, Cisco, Nike, Estée Lauder, and Levi Strauss, CNBC wrote this week.

Macy's plans to shut five stores and cut over 2,300 jobs, while airlines like JetBlue and Spirit offer buyouts, and United reduces in-flight services. This trend is driven by consumer caution and investor pressure for companies to adapt to changing demand and higher expenses, the report says.

Significant labor contracts in sectors like airlines and UPS have raised costs, challenging businesses accustomed to passing these on to consumers. Remember those celebrations people were having about UPS drivers winning their new contracts just months ago? UPS is already laying off drivers as a result.

Walmart is expanding its store network, contrasting with the broader cost-cutting movement. Major banks have already reduced their workforce significantly, anticipating economic shifts. U.S. companies announced significant job cuts in January, indicating a focus on profit optimization amid steady earnings reports without relying on substantial price or sales increases.

A full list of major companies that have laid off workers or implemented strategies to cut costs include:

  • Mattel
  • PayPal
  • Cisco
  • Nike
  • Estée Lauder
  • Levi Strauss
  • Macy’s
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Spirit Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • UPS
  • Meta (parent of Facebook and Instagram)
  • Amazon
  • Alphabet (parent of Google)
  • Microsoft
  • Warner Bros. Discovery
  • Disney
  • Paramount Global
  • Comcast (parent company of NBCUniversal)
  • Delta Air Lines
  • General Motors
  • Ford Motor
  • Stellantis
  • Chipotle
  • Wells Fargo
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Home Depot

Meta's restructuring in 2023 set a precedent for tech giants like Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Cisco to reduce their workforces. But the trend extends beyond tech, with UPS cutting 12,000 jobs and others in retail and entertainment also announcing layoffs.

Significant cost savings have been announced by major corporations, including Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney, with the latter aiming for $7.5 billion in savings.

Paramount Global and NBCUniversal have also trimmed their staffs. Cost-cutting measures have reached various sectors, including airlines adjusting services and deferring expenses, and automakers scaling back investments due to challenges in demand and EV adoption.

“You’re seeing a rebalancing happening in the labor markets, in the capital markets. And that rebalancing is still going to play out and gradually lead to a more sustainable environment of lower inflation and lower interest rates, and perhaps a little bit slower growth, said Gregory Daco, chief economist for EY.

He continued, telling CNBC: “You are in an environment where cost fatigue is very much part of the equation for consumers and business leaders. The cost of most everything is much higher than it was before the pandemic, whether it’s goods, inputs, equipment, labor, even interest rates.”

Even Chipotle is experimenting with robots to boost efficiency. These adjustments reflect a broader recalibration after the pandemic's disruptions, with companies aiming for a sustainable balance in a potentially slower economic growth environment.

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/21/2024 - 05:45

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Walmart Hits Record High After Earnings Beat, Despite Soft Guidance, Warning About “Choiceful” Consumers Spending Less

Walmart Hits Record High After Earnings Beat, Despite Soft Guidance, Warning About "Choiceful" Consumers Spending Less

Walmart shares hit…



Walmart Hits Record High After Earnings Beat, Despite Soft Guidance, Warning About "Choiceful" Consumers Spending Less

Walmart shares hit a new all-time high after the largest bricks and mortar retailer reported earnings that beat expectations despite providing guidance that was marginally softer, as choosy shoppers nevertheless kept buying in its stores.

Here is what the company report for the final quarter of 2023:

  • Adjusted EPS $1.80 (excluding impact, net of tax, from a net gain of $0.23 on equity and other investments) vs. $1.71 y/y, beating estimate of $1.65
  • Revenue $173.39 billion, +5.7% y/y, beating estimate $170.66 billion
    • Total US comparable sales ex-gas +3.9%, estimate +3.2%
    • Walmart-only US stores comparable sales ex-gas +4%, estimate +3.12%
    • Sam's Club US comparable sales ex-gas +3.1%, estimate +2.99%
  • Change in US E-Commerce sales +17%, beating estimate +15.5%
  • Adjusted operating income $7.25 billion, beating estimate $6.79 billion

Of the metrics reported, however, the most important one is that Walmart’s same-store sales (ex fuel), rose 4% YoY for US stores (of which net sales was 3.% and eCommerce added 17%). Wall Street was expecting 3.1% so the number was clearly a beat and was driven by "strength in grocery, health and wellness, offset by softness in general merchandise", and was the result of higher transactions (+4.3%) offsetting average ticket prices, which dropped 0.3% YoY. Still, the number is a far cry from the 8.3% comp sales a year ago.

In keeping with the noted softness in general merchandise, the world’s largest retailer delivered softer guidance for the current fiscal year, as it expects consumers to be selective in their spending:

  • For full-year 2025, WMT sees
    • Net sales +3% to +4%, slower than growth from the prior year, and adjusted EPS $6.70 to $7.12, slightly disappointing vs the median consensus estimate of $7.09
    • Capital expenditures approximately 3.0% to 3.5% of net sales
  • For Q1, 2025, WMT sees sees adjusted EPS $1.48 to $1.56.

Discussing the quarter, CEO Doug McMillan said that "we crossed $100 billion in eCommerce sales and drove share gains as our customer experience metrics improved, evenduring our highest volume days leading up to the holidays"

Commenting on customer "selectivity", CFO John Rainey said that “they are being choiceful" as consumers continue to spend less per trip but have been shopping frequently, adding that the company expects some resilience to continue for the rest of the year.

There was more good news: Walmart is gaining share in nearly every category, according to Rainey, with e-commerce among the factors driving growth as the company trims losses associated with handling online orders. Furthermore, while deflation is still a possibility, the company expects it to be less likely based on what it observed during the latest quarter.

That said, while grabbing more spending with low-priced groceries and other basics, Walmart has been cautious in recent months about the health of the consumer amid persistent inflation and higher interest rates. As noted above, US consumers have been buying cheaper products and seeking value, as they pull back from discretionary products like general merchandise. That has resulted in softer sales for some retailers, including Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. Other big-box retailers are set to report their quarterly earnings in the coming weeks.

As Bloomberg notes, the recent moderation in inflation is another challenge for Walmart and other retail operators that have passed down price increases to consumers over the past few years. This has contributed to higher dollar sales for companies, followed by an uptick in revenue during the pandemic when people bought more groceries and home goods. Such increases are slowing overall, though inflation remains stubborn in some areas like groceries and shelter.

Similar to all of its major competitors, Walmart has been beefing up automation in warehouses and stores in recent years, while remodeling locations to make them more modern. Pickup and delivery businesses continue to expand, driving share gains among upper-income households and fueling growth of the Walmart+ membership program.

Separately, Walmart said it agreed to buy smart-TV maker Vizio Holding Corp. for about $2.3 billion. The deal would accelerate the retailer’s advertising business, called Walmart Connect, and help Walmart and its advertisers engage more with customers. Walmart has been expanding Walmart Connect and other nonretail businesses that have faster growth and better margins. The deal announcement confirmed a Wall Street Journal report from last week. Vizio shares soared 15% in Tuesday premarket trading.

As for WMT, the Bentonville, after the stock gained 16% over the past year, it jumped another 5.7% on Tuesday rising to a new all time high as investors were clearly satisfied with what they saw.

Full investor presentation below (pdf link)

Tyler Durden Tue, 02/20/2024 - 10:17

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