Market Review: February 07, 2024

Closing Recap

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Index

Up/Down

%

Last

DJ Industrials

156.00

0.40%

38,677

S&P 500

40.82

0.82%

4,995

Nasdaq

147.65

0.95%

15,756

Russell 2000

-3.15

0.17%

1,950

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. stocks finish sharply higher, new all-time highs, with major averages on track for a 5th week of gains (and 14 of last 15 weeks if markets maintain momentum) as S&P futures (Spuz) topped 5,000 for the first time while the S&P cash (SPX) came within “whiskers” of the 5,000 level (4,999.89) as most S&P sectors finished “green.” Today’s trading action was the complete opposite on Tuesday as large cap tech/semis (the 2024 winners) saw gains today while the Smallcaps, defensive names lagged (after leading yesterday). Stock markets were buoyed again by strong earnings results, better-than-expected Treasury auctions (solid 10-yr after good 3-yr yesterday), more dovish market expectations of aggressive rate cuts in 2024, and general upside momentum with major averages making new highs almost daily the last few weeks after barely any last year. The big tech names (AI) plays NVDA, GOOGL, MSFT (and chip plays) are still doing the heavy lifting but good earnings results from MTEA and AMZN recently have pushed Technology (XLK) and Communications (XLC) up 6% and 8.5% YTD respectively.  Despite the broad mkt strength sector wise and new intraday highs, breadth still only small edge to advancers. Just astounding market upside strength continues asking the question, what can slow this market? Jason Goepfert tweets: "If the S&P 500 closes above 4958.61 on Friday, it’s going to match the best 15-week stretches in history."

Economic Data

  • U.S. Dec trade deficit -$62.2B, in-line with consensus and vs Nov deficit – $61.9B as Dec exports +1.5% vs Nov -1.6%, imports +1.3% vs Nov -1.9%; Dec exports $258.25B vs Nov $254.33B, imports $320.45B vs Nov $316.21B.
  • Consumer credit data published by the Federal Reserve moments ago, in the last month of 2023 total consumer debt rose by a paltry $1.561 billion, which was not only nearly a 90% miss to consensus estimates of $15.9 billion but also a huge slowdown from November, tumbling by almost $22B.
  • The U.S. Congressional Budget Office projected a slightly smaller $1.507 trillion federal deficit for fiscal 2024 as increased revenues from a strong economy and employment offsets higher outlays for clean energy tax credits and interest on the public debt. The CBO said that the deficit will dip this year from $1.695 trillion in fiscal 2023 but resume its march upward to $1.772 trillion in fiscal 2025 and reach $2.579 trillion in fiscal 2034.

Commodities

  • Brent Crude futures settle at $79.21/bbl, up 62 cents, 0.79% and WTI crude oil futures settle at $73.86 per barrel, rising $0.55 or 0.75%, rising for a third day following weekly inventory data as the EIA showed U.S. gasoline and distillate stocks fell more than expected. U.S. gasoline stocks fell by 3.15 million barrels last week vs. est. for a build of 140,000 barrels, while distillate stocks also fell 3.2 million barrels. Crude stocks, however, posted a larger-than-expected build of 5.5M barrels vs. est. for build of 1.9M barrels.
  • Natural gas prices have been in a complete free fall for the last month. Since January 12th, natural gas prices are officially down 40%. Today, natural gas hit its lowest level since September 2020 (settled below $2.00). Warmer than expected temperatures have dampened demand for natural gas and inventory gluts are building. Gold prices finish little changed on day, +0.30 to settle $2,051.70 an ounce.

Currencies & Treasuries

  • The U.S. Treasury sold $42B in 10-year notes (largest size of a 10-yr auction ever) at high yield 4.093% vs. 4.105% when issued prior as the bid-to-cover ratio 2.56 as primary dealers take 12.98% of U.S. 10-year notes sale, direct 16.05% and indirect 70.97% (vs. 66% recent average). Much like yesterday’s 3-year auction, the results were very solid, prompting a little bond buying and pushing yields lower after the massive two day rip for yields Friday/Monday after the jobs data/Powell comments. Tomorrow afternoon is a $21B in 30-year notes.
  • The U.S. dollar dipped for a 2nd day, after hitting near 3-month highs Monday following surprisingly strong U.S. economic data last week and pushback from Federal Reserve officials on market expectations of imminent interest rate cuts in March. The dollar eased from a nearly three-month high against the euro to $1.0769 per euro.. The dollar index (DXY) pulled back from the 104.60 high Monday (which was the highest since mid-November).

 

Macro

Up/Down

Last

WTI Crude

0.55

73.86

Brent

0.62

79.21

Gold

0.30

2,051.70

EUR/USD

0.0012

1.0766

JPY/USD

0.16

148.11

10-Year Note

0.014

4.106%

 

Sector News Breakdown

Retail, Consumer Staples & Restaurants:

  • In Restaurants: CMG hits new record highs on earnings and revenue beat (+17% y/y) as Comparable sales rose 8.4%, beating expectations of a 7.1% increase and guided 2024 comparable sales climb in the mid-single digit range and plans to open 285 to 315 new restaurants. YUMC shares jump as Q4 EPS $0.23 topped est. $0.16 on better revs $2.49B vs. est. $2.41B as total system sales grew 21% y/y, but YUM shares slide as Q4 sales 42.36B misses the $21B estimate and global comps rose a less-than-expected 3% vs. est. 3.7% citing fewer orders at Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut chains. In earnings preview, Wedbush said they favor TXRH and BJRI into results after checks, as expects another quarter of transaction-led upside at TXRH.
  • In Retail: BABA posted lackluster Q3 sales growth and a plunge in profit after booked more than $3 billion in impairments linked to its Sun Art retailer business and its Youku video platform; results missed estimates while sales at core digital retail and online commerce businesses, Taobao and Tmall, grew just 2% on year to $18.18B (bright spot was a $25B stock buyback); VFC shares fall after Q3 results miss, as debt repayment and inventory management were highlights, but weak North Face trends were particularly disappointing according to Piper.
  • Retail Research: SHOO downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup ahead of earnings as looks to F24, margin headwinds from higher freight, potentially higher promos in retail/higher private label sales in wholesale. Gordon Haskett upgraded TGT and DLTR and downgraded BJ to Hold in retail Q4 preview note. VFC was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs as has less conviction in the outlook ahead for revenue and margin performance.
  • In Beauty: ELF stock hits record highs after results and raises FY24 sales forecast to $980M-$990M from prior $896M-$906M view and sees FY24 adj net income between $164M-$166M from prior $144M-$146M (Refinitiv notes ELF has now beats EPS estimates for 10 consecutive quarters).

Homebuilders, Building Products, Home Furnishing:

  • In data: Weekly US MBA mortgage data showed mortgage market applications index rose +3.7% in latest week, purchase index fell -0.6% and refinance index climbs 12.3% while the 30-year mortgage rate climbs 2 bps to 6.80%.
  • In Building Products: AZEK Q1 beat on revs and along with upside Q2 guide drive FY guide raise; Q1 adj EPS $0.10 vs est. $0.05 on sales $240.444Mm vs est. $233Mm, adj EBITDA $55.7Mm vs est. $47.1Mm (and better guide). Shares of HD, LOW, MAS, and others rallied in reaction as well.

Leisure, Gaming & Lodging:

  • In Autos: Ford (F) Q4 revenue of $46B was down from $44B y/y, but well above the $40B estimates and announces a regular first quarter dividend of 15 cents per share and supplemental dividend of 18 cents/share and issued better-than-expected 2024 guidance. In used cars (CVNA, KMX), the Manheim Wholesale used-vehicle prices were unchanged in January compared to December, but down 9.2% from a year ago.
  • In Ride Hailing: UBER Q4 results handily topped consensus ($0.66/$9.9B vs. est. $0.17/$9.76b) as bookings grew 22% y/y to $37.6B and forecasts Q1 gross bookings $37B-$38.5B vs. est. $37.26B; Q4 Ebitda of $1.3B tops $1.26B est.; LYFT announced new driver features for 2024, including a new rate floor, with drivers earning at least 70% of fares per week.
  • In Lodging: HLT Q4 adj EPS $1.68 vs. est. $1.57; Q4 revs $2.61B vs. est. $2.61B; Q4 system-wide comparable RevPAR increased 5.7% and 12.6%, on a currency neutral basis, for the Q4 and FY24, respectively, compared to the same periods in 2022; sees FY24 adjusted EPS $6.80-$6.94 vs. consensus $7.07.

Energy

  • In Solar: ENPH shares jumped after reported 4Q results and introduced 1Q guidance below expectations; however, management emphasized it believes 1Q, with low seasonal demand, could be the trough (guides Q1 revs $260-300Mm vs est. $318.3Mm, adj gross margin 44-47%). Wall Street was mixed on results with some raising tgts and others lowering while Oppenheimer upgraded from Perform to Outperform w/ $133 tgt as believes the debate on shares will now focus on lingering channel inventory overhang, underlying demand levels, competitive landscape.
  • In Oil Services/Equipment: WFRD Q4 EBITDA and FCF beat, 1Q EBITDA guidance is above ests, and ’24 rev guidance exceeds the Street est.; RRC C pre-announced 4Q23 production and pricing, as well as YE23 reserves with 4Q23 gas and total volumes of 1,540 mmcfe/d and 2,207 mmcfe/d ahead of estimates at 1,511/2,19.

Banks, Brokers, Asset Managers:

  • In Banks: NYCB credit rating was cut by Moody’s by two notches to junk; Moody’s cited “financial, risk-management and governance challenges” for NYCB. In research, NYCB was downgraded from Overweight to Neutral w/ $5.50 PT (from $11.50) at JP Morgan and cut from Buy to Neutral (tgt to $5) saying the elevated headline risk has the potential to influence customer behavior, leading to a greater than-expected increase in the cost of deposits. PB was upgraded from Underweight to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley and raised tgt to $69 from $57.
  • In Financial Services: TOST was upgraded to Buy at Redburn with $28 tgt based on its underappreciated pricing power, enhanced operating leverage and ability to sustain elevated revenue growth. In lending, CURO was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies due to a shift in risk/reward following yesterday’s announcement of consent solicitation for bondholders to provide covenant relief.
  • In Insurance: VOYA posted Q4 earnings miss, but Piper noted what matters is ’24 guidance and outlook for ’25 suggesting consensus estimates need to fall; PRU posted noisy results with the insurer seeing variable investment income (VII) $0.20 below plan while 1Q24 baseline EPS is modestly above consensus but assumes normalized VII while others have suggested headwinds into 1H24.

REITs:

  • DEI reported 4Q23 FFO of $0.46, which beat both our estimate and consensus ($0.44). Excluding the unexpected one-time ground rent reset payment of $5.5M (~$0.03), FFO was in line to slightly below consensus. Importantly, management introduced a FY24 FFO guidance range of $1.64-$1.70, which is in line.
  • ESS initial 2024 Core FFO guidance missed consensus by 1.6% at the midpoint. Management’s SSNOI growth guidance assumes modest growth in 2024, as moderating same-store revenue growth and continued expense headwinds are projected to weigh on core performance.
  • KREF shares tumbled after cutting dividend yesterday, while BXMT declined as sympathy play.
  • UDR initial 2024 FFOA guidance missed consensus by 2.8% at the midpoint, which assumes flat SSNOI growth and a 2% y/y decrease in FFOA. Following continued moderation in operating trends in late 2023, blended lease rate growth reaccelerated in January into slightly positive territory. Moreover, occupancy continued to climb above 97%.

Biotech & Pharma:

  • ALEC and GSK said they won FDA breakthrough-therapy designation for their latozinemab drug candidate for certain patients with one of the most common causes of early onset dementia.
  • AMGN reported top-line and bottom-line beats with FY24 revenue and non-GAAP EPS guidance ranges of $32.4-33.8B and $18.90-20.30, respectively, and inclusive of Horizon assets (downgraded to Market Perform at Leerink).
  • GILD posted mixed print as 4Q looked in-line, but it’s only because Veklury beat by $300M – with light sales from both HIV and oncology franchises; 2024 guidance also looks a bit light vs. where expectations.
  • IMAB said it agreed to divest its operations and assets in China, as part of its strategy to become a U.S.-focused biotech firm; says will transfer ownership of China unit, I-Mab Shanghai, to its affiliate Hangzhou Company for a total consideration of up to $80M.
  • NBIX Q4 revs of $515.2M missed ests of $518.5M while Q4 R&D costs jumped 16.5% to $137.5M, SG&A expenses rise 19.7% to $218.9M due to ongoing commercial activities supporting its neurological drug Ingrezza and increased investments for preclinical studies.
  • RGNX announced the completion of enrollment in cohort 2 and additional positive interim data in AFFINITY DUCHENNE® trial.

Healthcare Services & MedTech movers:

  • In Pharma Retail: CVS beats estimates but cuts full-year profit outlook on higher medical costs, though shares rallied.
  • In MedTech: EW delivered Q4 top-line results above consensus, with an in-line EPS while upper end 24 sales/EPS guidance intact; Q4 TAVR sales beat expectations and TMTT guidance for 2024 was raised to the upper-end of the prior range.
  • In Diagnostics: DGX upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies and raise tgt to $155 from $140 as believes the company’s fiscal 2024 guidance is conservative and sets the stage for outperformance, especially since its "valuation reflects continued investor skepticism”.
  • Pharma Services: Jefferies upgraded WST to Buy, raise estimates for STVN, and frame impacts for key vendors of glass, rubber, and fill/finish as the firm weighs impact of GLP-1 on Pharma suppliers. The firm said sizing benefit to "pick-and-shovel" suppliers, however, is complicated by delivery format, quality tier, and low transparency.

Transports

  • In Trucking: WERN Q4 adj EPS $0.39 missed est. $0.43 but revs $821.9M slightly above est. $820.37M; said freight conditions remained challenging in the fourth quarter with ongoing pricing pressure; said TTS margin pressure continues to worsen despite leaning into Dedicated and decreasing One-way tractor count. XPO shares jump over 18% to new all-time highs after swinging to Q4 profit as North American less-than-truckload revenue rose 8.6% to $1.19 billion, driven by higher yield and an increase in tonnage per day.

Aerospace & Defense

  • MRCY Q4 adj. EPS loss of ($0.42) and adj. EBITDA of ($21M) compared to consensus of $0.07 and $23M, respectively while revenue was also down (14%) YoY and revenue guidance was reduced by $150M at the midpoint.
  • TGI shares fell after lowering its FY24 sales view to $1.17B-$1.20B from the prior $1.43B-$1.47B and below consensus estimate $1.46B after swinging to a Q3 loss citing industry-wide supply-chain issues.

Materials, Metals & Mining

  • In Packaging, Containers, Paper: BERY agreed to spin off and merge one of its businesses with GLT in a transaction that values the combined company at $3.6B on an enterprise value basis, with pro forma revenue of ~$3.6B and Adj. EBITDA of ~$455M. Berry and Glatfelter shareholders own 90% and 10% of the combined company, respectively. OI shares outperformed following its earnings and guidance results.

Internet, Media & Telecom

  • In Media: DIS’ ESPN, FOXA and WBD announced the formation of a new sports JV where they will combine all their linear sports channels, and certain DTC assets and content. They plan to launch the service in fall 2024, with the name and pricing to be announced later. The JV will have its own "independent management team", while board representation and ownership will be shared equally across the three companies. FOXA posted lower quarterly revenue, dragged down by an advertising slowdown which fell (-20%) among lower ratings at Fox News. Most of the media names slumped on the day – DIS reports tonight.
  • In social media: SNAP stumbled as reported in-line 4Q23 results, with revenue slightly below consensus and EBITDA ~ $54M above the high end of guidance, while 1Q24 revenue guidance was roughly in-line with Street expectations (+13% y/y at midpoint), but adjusted EBITDA margins were guided below (-7% at midpoint vs. Street -2%). RBLX forecasts year rev $3.3B-$3.4B, est. $3.78B after beating analyst estimates for Q4 and sees current quarter to generate bookings of $925M vs. est. $903M and FY 2024 bookings of $4.21B topping the $4.06B estimate.

Hardware & Software movers:

  • In Internet Security: FTNT posted a Q4 beat on billings and EPS, but only in line on revenue and a miss on product revenue; the billings beat meaningfully by $237M/15%—a strong improvement vs. the large misses the prior two quarters while 1Q revenue and billings were guided below, driven by a ~$60M guide below on product revenue (shares of CRWD, PANW, OKTA, ZS moved high in sympathy).
  • CTSH delivered Q4 revs below Street expectations, but came in with stronger adj. operating margin, growing 190bps y/y, through executing on its NextGen cost optimizations. However, FY24 guidance came in lower than expected.
  • FRSH reported a beat across the board while showing modest acceleration for top line and billings driven by early renewals, higher expansion activity, and large deal momentum, but despite the beat, issued a conservative guide.
  • TENB 4Q earnings showed a solid beat and upbeat outlook despite the annual guide for ’24 (revenue and CCB) coming in slightly lower than street forecasts; Piper said refined GTM serves to meaningfully drive margins.

Semiconductors:

  • After a breather on Tuesday, the Philly semi index (SOX) came out to start the day strong, rising over 1.7% back above 4,400 led by the usual momentum players as NVDA topped $700 and SMCI neared the level while CRUS results helping iPhone suppliers while equipment names remain strong (ASML new highs). The massive push into semiconductors continue in 2024 after a tremendous 2023.
  • AEIS posted a better quarter but Q124 guidance came below consensus, like TER and likely foreshadowing a tough guide for MKSI Keybanc reported this morning.
  • CRUS posted strong Q3 results, which meaningfully beat expectations and guided Q4 slightly below consensus as upside was driven by strong iPhone demand, which saw strength throughout the quarter, as well as an extra week.
  • TSM posted Jan sales of NT$215.8B (+22% MoM/+8% YoY); QTD rev reached 37%.

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Market commentary provided by Hammerstone Markets, Inc, a firm separate from and not affiliated with Regal Securities. Regal Securities has not participated in the creation of the content, and does not explicitly or implicitly endorse the content.