Market Review: February 15, 2024

Closing Recap

Thursday, February 15, 2024





DJ Industrials




S&P 500








Russell 2000













New closing highs again! U.S. equity futures held small gains overnight into a mixed bag of economic data. While Philly Fed, NY Fed and Initial Claims were better, softer Core Retail Sales left investors with no real play today on rates but a new dose of “hopium” while we wait for PPI tomorrow. Similarly, earnings and guidance largely have been sufficiently in-line or better to keep investor sentiment generally positive. Today’s Fear and Greed Index was at 75, Extreme Greed, versus 76 a week ago. Though early breadth was about 3:1 favoring advancers, it was closer to 2:1 for the Nasdaq as the S&P and Nasdaq split with S&P gaining and the Nasdaq fading. Sector-wise, the early outperformers were Real Estate, Energy, Materials, Utilities and Financials, all gaining at least 1%, while Technology was the only S&P sector ETF in the red. Small caps outperformed, with IWM gaining about 1.5% by mid-morning.


On the data side today, @KobeissiLetter opines on the SMCI move, noting the stock has gained $50B in market cap over the past year, up over 1000% from its 2023 lows and 230% since January 1st. The stock has not had a red day since February 2nd. On today’s economic news, @RBAdvisors notes the Empire Manufacturing New Orders posted its 2nd best monthly improvement in the history of the survey. It’s still weak in absolute terms but improving. Separately, @RyanDetrick adds some ammunition for the bulls, noting the S&P 500 has surpassed the Valentines Day threshold of +4%. The rest of the year has averaged a return of +13.3% under this scenario with gains in 26 of 28 years. The last six times, the gains have been more than 10% each time. Past results, ……, but worth noting.


Heading into the final hour, equities were off highs, but both the Nasdaq and S&P were higher. Breadth had expanded modestly to about 7:2 in favor of advancers. Sector leadership held stable with Energy (XLE, +2.7%), Real Estate, (XLRE, +2.3%), Materials (XLB, +1.8% and Financials (XLF, +1.65%) remaining leaders to the upside. Technology (XLK, -0.32%) remained the sole loser amongst the S&P sector ETFs with AKAM, CSCO, ADBE, CDNS and MPWR the largest underperformers. IWM remained an outperformer versus the large caps, gaining 2.5% versus SPY +0.55% and QQQ +0.15%. Consistent with the theme of tech underperformance today, growth underperformed value. The Russell 1000 Growth gained just 0.03% late in the day versus its Value counterpart +1.3%.

Economic Data

  • Retail sales for January fell (-0.8%) vs. consensus (-0.1%) and vs Dec +0.4%, while Retail Sales Ex-autos declined (-0.6%) vs. consensus +0.2% and vs Dec +0.4%; Retail Sales Ex-autos/gasoline -0.5% vs Dec +0.6%.
  • Weekly Jobless Claims fell to 212K from 220K prior and below consensus 220K; the 4-week moving average climbed to 218,500 Feb 10 week from 212,750 prior week and continued claims climbed to 1.895M from 1.865M prior week.
  • NY Fed’s empire state current business conditions index -2.4 in February vs. consensus -15.0 and much better than the -43.7 in January as new orders index improves to -6.3 in February vs -49.4 in January, prices paid index jumped to +33.0 in February vs +23.2 in January and employment index at -0.2 in February vs -6.9 in January.
  • Import prices for January rose +0.8% (vs. est. unchanged) and vs Dec -0.7% while export prices also rose +0.8% (vs. est. -0.1%) and vs Dec -0.7%. January year-over-year import prices -1.3%, export prices -2.4%.
  • The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index for Feb rose to +5.2 vs. -8.1 estimate and -10.6 prior as new orders improved to -5.2, shipments improved to +10.7, avg workweek moved up to +1.4 and employment fell to -10.3.
  • Industrial output for January fell -0.1% vs. est. +0.3% and vs Dec unchanged while capacity utilization use rate 78.5% vs. consensus 78.8% and vs Dec 78.7%; Jan manufacturing output -0.5% vs Dec +0.1%.
  • NAHB Housing market index for February at 48 vs. consensus 46 and vs. 44 in January; February index of current single-family home sales 52 versus 48 in January and index of prospective buyers 33 versus 29 in January.
  • Business Inventories for December rises +0.4%, in-line with ests and vs November (-0.1%), while Dec business sales +0.4% vs Nov unchanged (prev +0.2%); Dec inventory/sales ratio 1.37 months’ worth vs Nov 1.37 months.

Commodities, Currencies & Treasuries

  • April gold gained $10.60/oz, or 0.53%, to settle at $2,014.90. Slipping yields and US Dollar following this morning’s round of economic data once again allowed gains in gold. The softer retail sales number drew the most attention from commodity traders supporting today’s gold rise. In the intermediate term, the Fed’s higher for longer rate stance may continue to limit gold’s upside until we see rate cuts. The current bet on timing for cuts seems to be June, but always just one data point away from another shift in expectations.
  • Though futures slipped overnight, March WTI crude futures settled higher by $1.39/bbl, or 0.81%, to $78.03. Brent similarly gained $1.26/bbl, or +1.54%, to settle at $82.86. Apparently, after yesterday’s IEA inventory data snapped a seven-day winning streak in crude, investors have moved past that data and associated concerns about slowing momentum in demand growth back to focusing on geopolitical headlines and supply questions following Israel quitting ceasefire talks.





WTI Crude















10-Year Note




Sector News Breakdown

Retail, Consumer Staples & Restaurants:

  • In Consumer Products: NUS cuts quarterly dividend to $0.06 from $0.39; Q4 results beat but guides FY24 EPS 95c-$1.35 below consensus $2.05 and revs $1.73B-$1.87B vs. est. $2.01B; HLF tumbles as Q4 revenue beat consensus (by +200bps), but the EBITDA missed ($109MM vs $119MM) and outlook for flattish FY24 y/y EBITDA falls well short of consensus for up (+17%).
  • In Restaurants: SHAK jumps on Q4 beat ($0.02/$286M vs est. $0.01/$280M), better comps +2.8% vs Consensus +1.6% and restaurant margins 19.8% (est. 19.2%), with in-line rev guidance $288M-$292M vs. est. $290M; WEN posts earnings and revenue miss, downbeat outlook as sees FY EPS $0.98-$1.02 vs. est. $1.11.
  • In Specialty Retail: PLCE shares surged after the company disclosed that Saudi investment firm Mithaq Capital and related parties have accumulated a 54% stake in the company and plan to nominate a new slate of directors and said it plans to accept Mithaq’s request to discuss providing financing to assist with liquidity needs. YETI earnings miss as Q4 adj EPS $0.90 vs. est. $0.96; Q4 revs $519.8M vs. est. $535.95M; announces $300M share repurchase plan; sees FY24 adjusted EPS $2.45-$2.50 below consensus $2.68.
  • In Footwear & Apparel: CROX better results as Q4 EPS $2.58 tops est. $2.37 on better revs and margins 55.7% vs est. 54.2%; guides Q1 EPS $2.15-$2.25 vs est. $2.25 and guides FY EPS $12.05-$12.50 vs est. $11.90. HBI falls on results as Q4 EPS $0.03 misses $0.09 estimate and guides Q1 EPS to loss of (01c-4c0 vs. est. $0.03
  • In Food: OTLY posted a wider Q4 loss (-$298.7M vs. -$125.2M y/y) as revs grew to $204M from $195M y/y, driven in part by its halting construction on new facilities aimed at expanding its production capacity. USFD mixed Q4 results as EPS miss but sales top consensus but guides 2024 EPS below consensus ($3.00-$3.20 vs. est. $3.21).

Leisure, Gaming & Lodging:

  • In Casinos: PENN Q4 revenue of $1.39B misses the $1.53B estimate on a wider EPS loss of (-$1.75) vs. est. loss (-$0.52) and a surprise Q4 adj Ebitda loss of (-$39.6M) vs. est. $270.3M as per Refinitiv ests.
  • In Learning: UDMY shares fell after posting slightly better 4Q results, though issued lower 2024 revenue and EBITDA guidance with lower implied Enterprise revenue growth of ~20% (vs. consensus 25%).
  • In Autos: STLA shares rose on earnings results and stock buyback headlines; Ford (F) CEO said they are reworking its electric vehicle strategy to compete with Chinese rivals and opened the door to collaboration with other automakers to cut EV battery costs. LCID lowered prices for the three models of its flagship Air luxury electric sedan as Air Pure rear-wheel drive now starts at $69,900 9from $77,400), Air Touring at $77,900 9from $85,900) and Air Grand Touring at $109,900 (from ($110,900) for U.S. customers; exclude tax, title, license, options, destination fees.


  • The IEA published its Monthly Oil Market report for the month of February, and it was generally slightly negative for oil due to a 20,000 Boepd reduction in its 2024 oil demand growth estimate and a 200,000 Boepd increase in its 2024 non-OPEC oil and NGL production growth estimate. The IEA also reported a 0.9% reduction in OECD commercial oil inventories in December vs. November. OPEC volumes were also down 280,000 Boepd m/m in January. The IEA also warned that the oil market may be in surplus all year, and it sees a slight build in 1Q24 inventories.
  • In energy related earnings: AR reported adj EPS/EBITDA of $0.23/$291m compared to consensus of $0.22/$315m and NGL volumes were light because of downtime of the PA Shell cracker. MGY delivered in-line Q4 results, in terms of earnings, production, and cash returns and no guide surprises (adj EPS/EBITDA of $0.52/$240m vs. est. $0.53/$236m) as capex was below expectations. OXY Q4 EPS $0.74 vs. cons $0.67, cash flow from operations was $2.51B vs. cons $2.70B and capex was $1.54B vs. cons $1.49B. Refiner PBF reported light EPS on Q4 adj. Op income ($46.1mn) vs. Cons $45.2mn, Q4 adj. EBITDA missed at $117.2mn vs. Cons $180.4mn. CVE narrowly missed analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit, but higher production and throughput volumes lifted shares.
  • In Coal: HCC reported 4Q adjusted EBITDA of $164M, falling short of the $199M consensus as lower revenues drove the miss as capture rates remained pressured. Additionally, sales would have been 129k tons higher if not for two delayed vessels, which reduced EBITDA by ~$23M according to management.
  • In Solar: SPWR said it has secured $175M in term loan from Sol Holding, co’s majority shareholder and an indirect subsidiary of TotalEnergies and Global Infrastructure Partners; also reports a Q4 net loss of $115.6 mln compared with a profit of $5.1 mln last year.


  • In Banks: WFC said the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, terminated a consent order it issued in 2016 regarding sales practices misconduct. The consent order required Wells Fargo to revamp how it offers and sells products and services to consumers and take additional actions to protect its customers and employees.
  • In Monthly charge off/delinquency data: 1) COF said January net charge-offs 5.71% vs. 3.81% y/y and delinquencies 4.78% vs. 3.65% y/y; 2) DFS said January credit card delinquency rate 1.69% vs 1.59% at Dec 2023 end and Jan credit card charge-off rate 2.03% at Jan 2024 end vs 1.98% at Dec 2023 end; 3) JPM credit card charge-off rate 1.72% in Jan 2024 vs 1.69% in Dec 2023 and credit card delinquency rate 1.07% at Jan 2024 end vs 1% at Dec 2023 end; 4) BAC Credit card charge-off rate was 2.06% in Jan 2024 vs 2.39% in Dec 2023 and credit card delinquency rate was 1.35% at Jan 2024 end vs 1.42% at Dec end 2023.

Bitcoin, FinTech, Payments:

  • COIN was upgraded from Underweight to Neutral at JP Morgan reflecting the surge in Bitcoin, Ethereum and broader Cryptocurrency prices. The firm said they have been quite concerned that the enthusiasm in Bitcoin over the last three months was being driven by unrealistic optimism for new money going into the Cryptocurrency market through the newly approved and recently launched U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs.
  • WEX amended its program; authorizes repurchase of $1.05B worth of company stock, increasing total by $400M.

Biotech & Pharma:

  • ALNY shares fell after the co said it modified key and secondary goals for a late-stage study testing its experimental drug vutrisiran to treat a type of heart disease; one analyst (BMO) noted changes in study design may be perceived as a "lack of management’s confidence in HELIOS-B (the study) outcome.
  • AUPH said its strategic review (engaged more than 60 parties but only one non-binding expression of interest) didn’t yield any takeover offers, and that it was shifting its focus to the commercial execution of its Lupkynis business; is ending development of its AUR200 and AUR300 programs as part of moves.
  • KALV priced a public offering of 7,016,312 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $15.25 per share.
  • In research: Mizuho raised tgts on several SMID biotech names, APLS ($60 from $49), AXSM ($112 from $90), CERE ($45 from $25), EYPT ($39 from $30), HRMY ($42 from $33), IMCR ($86 from $72), ITCI ($82 from $76) ahead of earnings as takes a more constructive stance on the sector, and with respect to its current top picks through mid-2024, it favors AMLX, AXSM, EYPT, INSM, and ITCI, and on the small/micro-cap side, ADVM.
  • WST shares slide as forecast 2024 sales in the range $3B-$3.03B below estimates of $3.22B.

Healthcare Services & MedTech movers:

  • In Managed Care: CI announces $3.2B accelerated stock repurchase; MOH upgraded from Underweight to Equal Weight with $420 tgt at Wells Fargo based on a scenario analysis in which it considers varying assumptions on base earnings, Medicaid RFP results, and capital deployment. Wells Fargo said it thinks material downside would likely require pressure on results and little / no RFP success.

Industrials & Materials

  • In Ag/Machinery: DE Q1 EPS $6.23 vs. est. $5.21; Q1 revs $12.19B vs. est. $10.34B; now expects FY24 net income in the range of $7.50B-$7.75B down from prior $7.75B-$8.25B view; Deere’s net income fell to $1.75B from $1.96B y/y; Net farm income in the U.S. is expected to witness its largest decline since 2006, as it is set to fall 27% to $116B.
  • In Services: ROL reported solid results for 4Q23 on better-than-expected organic overall growth with strength in Termite and Commercial and an in-line outlook for Residential.
  • In Lithium: ALB guided full year ’24 EBITDA low/middle scenarios midpoint $1.05B/$1.7B vs $2.1B/$1.6B consensus while DecQ23 adj EBITDA ex-LCM declined 36% Q/Q to $289M.

Internet, Media & Telecom

  • In Internet: GOOGL shares slip as the information reported OpenAI is reportedly working on a web search product that could place it further in competition with the tech giant. The search service may be partly powered by MSFT’s Bing, The Information reported, citing a person with knowledge of OpenAI’s plans.  
  • In Content Delivery: FSLY shares tumble following a slight miss/guide down Q423/Q124 report; CY24 top-line guidance is relatively in line with slightly less profitability in CY24 vs consensus; Q4 Rev was $2M below consensus due to weaker than expected intl. traffic & the CY24 guide.
  • In Media: PARA shares weak after Warren Buffet-backed Berkshire Hathaway cut its stake by 32.4% to 63.3M class B common shares, down from 93.7M class B shares as per an SEC filing dated Nov. 14, 2023.

Hardware & Software movers:

  • AAPL shares bounced late in the day after Bloomberg reported the company is nearing the completion of a new software AI coding tool for app developers that would step up competition with Microsoft.
  • In Networking: CSCO reported a mixed 2QFY24 (Jan.), beating estimates but guiding below street on 3Q revenue, and lowered its FY24 outlook for a second straight time (cuts FY 2024 revenue to $51.5-$52.5B, down from prior $53.8-$55.0B and vs. est. $54.33B; lowers FY24 adj EPS to $3.68-$3.74, from prior $3.87-$3.93) citing macro dynamics, ongoing customer inventory digestion, and weaker demand across Telco/Cable service provider customers.
  • Cloud Software: TWLO reported better-than-expected Q4 results with non-GAAP EPS of $0.86 (consensus $0.58) on revenue of $1.08B (consensus $1.04M), up 5% y/y, flat with 5% last quarter; but guided mixed Q1 with EPS of $0.56-$0.60 (vs. est. $0.54) and revenue of $1.025B-$1.035B (below est. $1.049B). HUBS delivered another quarter of outperformance, with 4Q ex-FX billings and rev growth (+21% / +21%) topping estimates (+16%/+19%) net adds (+11k) growth accelerated to +30% y/y from +14% in 3Q and launched initial 2024 guidance ahead of Street expectations.
  • Application Software: APP reported 4Q beat as revenue/adj EBITDA of $953M/$476M vs. consensus’ $929M/$439.8M, Software Platform grew 14% Q/Q and 88% Y/Y and provided 1Q guidance that came in above consensus pre-earnings forecasts, with the low-end of the AEBITDA outlook exceeding the top-end of Street estimates.
  • Other Software: FROG shares jump after Q4 results exceeded estimates driven by strength in cloud and increased contribution from customers who have adopted the full platform (49%, +6% Y/Y), as management noted an increased focus on large lands and customers with propensity to expand is paying off. This resulted in a second consecutive record-setting quarter of $1M+-ARR customer adds with seven additions Q/Q.
  • Enterprise Software: PEGA shares jump as delivered large beats on the top and bottom line as the company continues see success in PEGA Cloud with generative AI further enabling enterprise growth. FCF 2024 guide massive. Reported revenue growth of 20% y/y to $474M, beating consensus $416M, with the strong beat driven by subscription license revenue growing 33% y/y to $208M (vs. consensus $147M).


  • SMCI shares rise an 8th straight day topping $1,000 per share after a 14% surge as Bank America initiated with a Buy rating and $1,040 price target saying the provider of server and storage solutions will be a beneficiary of AI-driven demand growth and believes the market for AI servers is much larger than factored in Street models.
  • Japan’s Renesas Electronics said it would buy electronics design firm Altium (ALMFF) for $5.9B in cash.
  • IDCC reported a beat for Q4 and raised guidance above consensus views.
  • INTC files for three-part senior notes offering.
  • TER upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan to reflect increasingly de-risked expectations for 2024, helped by the updated outlook from the company for flat revenues and lower earnings y/y outlined on the Q423 earnings call.


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.