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Morning Commentary

Follow the Money

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
5/27/2020 9:09 AM

Lots of moving parts were in yesterday’s session, including massive rotation that has been creeping along. But now the dam has broken.

S&P 500 Index



Communication Services XLC



Consumer Discretionary XLY



Consumer Staples XLP



Energy XLE



Financials XLF



Health Care XLV



Industrials XLI



Materials XLB



Real Estate XLRE



Technology XLK



Utilities XLU



I have been posing this question for weeks– can this market rally without Technology leading the way? The answer is yes, but it cannot rally if Technology is getting hit. 

Consumer Ready to Carry Load?

Yesterday’s Consumer Confidence revealed a firmness among consumers, particularly with present conditions, which edged to 96.9 from 94.3. Moreover, when asked about business conditions over the next six months, optimism improved.

Portfolio Approach

We have adjusted weights in the model portfolio, matching the commentary and observations above.

After the Close

Tractor Supply (TSCO) offered current-quarter guidance; not only did that send shares surging, but in the process, it also laid out a template for what investors should be looking for.

From the Company:

PLEASE NOTE: Due to high demand, you may experience shipping delays


Tractor Supply is embarking on the Company’s most ambitious hiring drive ever, with plans to immediately fill more than 5,000 full-time and part-time Team Member positions across its nearly 1,900 stores in 49 states and 8 distribution centers.

Second Quarter 2020 Outlook

Building on the momentum in its business in the first quarter of 2020, Tractor Supply continues to experience record sales across its channels, product categories, and geographic regions. The company’s e-commerce business has experienced substantial growth quarter-to-date with many customers choosing to Buy Online, Pickup at Store, and the new contactless curbside delivery option. While there is still a significant portion of the second quarter ahead, the company currently forecasts a net sales growth of 24% to 29% and comparable-store sales growth of 20% to 25%.

The company’s gross profit performance continues to be strong with gross margin expansion anticipated for the second quarter. For the second quarter, the net incremental operating expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic are estimated to be at the high end of the company’s previous guidance range of $30 million to $50 million. Diluted earnings per share for the second quarter are forecasted to be in the range of $2.45 to $2.65.

Investments in Enhanced Consumer Shopping Experience

Over the second quarter, the company is relaunching its website at www.tractorsupply.com. The new website will position the company for rapid digital growth by leveraging a modern web architecture, including a docker and containerization strategy that will be enabled by Microsoft (MSFT), Azure Power Global (AZRE), HCL Technologies (HCLTECH), Red Hat (RHT), and Solar Alliance Energy (SOLR).

The new website will enhance and simplify the e-commerce journey for the customer, and give Tractor Supply the ability to introduce new digital capabilities into the market much more quickly. As customers continue to utilize omnichannel conveniences, such as contactless curbside pickup for Buy Online, Pickup at Store, and same-day delivery, the relaunched site will help to ensure that Tractor Supply can deliver on their expectations.

Additionally, Tractor Supply will launch its first-ever mobile app in late June.

Today’s Session

On the housing front, the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index rose 2.7% after declining 2.6% in the previous week. The standout was Purchases:

The futures are looking to extend yesterday’s gains. 



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