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Morning Commentary

The Tortoise and the Hare Session

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
11/30/2017 10:09 AM
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It was a wild day on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached yet another record high on Wednesday as the NASDAQ was getting hammered.  It was simply the case of ‘live by the sword, die by the sword.’ The following key tech names weighed heavily on NASDAQ:

While down volume was two to one to the up volume; still, on NASDAQ, 310 stocks closed at new highs versus only 28 at new lows. 

On the New York Stock Exchange, the up volume of 2.5 billion shares against 1.5 billion down volume, 310 names hit fresh 52-week highs while only 66 finished the session at a new 52-week low point.  

The Russell 2000 Index closed at a new all-time high point.  It reflects the continued confidence that the GOP leadership will get the job done on the tax reform, especially after a barnburner appearance by  President Trump in Missouri to push the plan.

A Flip of a Coin?

Of course, the wildest ride on Wednesday came in by way of Bitcoin (BTC).  If a stock or major index rallied up 15% and crashed 19%, only to finish unchanged, one would say that was a wild year…but that describes the last 24 hours for Bitcoin.

The cryptocurrency is becoming so hip that Katy Perry asked Warren Buffett about it yesterday. And NASDAQ announced plans to launch bitcoin futures in the first half of next year, and Cantor Fitzgerald is planning derivatives.

Fans of Bitcoin point to three keys to its value proposition:

I think cryptocurrencies are going to play a vital role in our daily lives and financial transactions. However, I still have to do some work on all the risks and potential rewards on Bitcoin. 

Today’s Session

The brick and mortar survival tour continues starting with Kroger’s and Costco this morning.

When it comes to survival, this isn’t Kroger’s first rodeo.  Once the company, along with all other traditional groceries, was going to be pushed out of business by Walmart and then they figured it out.  The company survived and its shares rockets more than 300% from 2010 to 2015.

Now the challenge is Amazon and the stock is climbing off the mat again and picking up steam after posting earnings that beat the street driven by stronger comp store sales.

Costco posted monthly comp store sales that are remarkable.

Comp store sales - Constant currency & without gas

Even Sears Holding is saying “don’t bury me yet” looking at a giant percentage jump out the gate.  Other retailers, including PVH, beat and offered solid guidance for the current holiday season. 

Show me the Money

Meanwhile personal income and spending holding steady.

Income +0.4%

Spending +0.3% in line with consensus even as the rate of savings edged to 3.2% from 3.0%.


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