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Trade Deal Seems Close, But Both Sides Still Want To Win The PR War

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Aly Song/Pool Photo via AP

Yesterday was another lackluster session where buyers made a couple of feeble moves but could never seduce any money off the sidelines. The market has stalled, and market breadth is getting worst. It can seem or feel frustrating, although not as frustrating as the commentary about the market getting hit when the Dow is off 0.30%.


This is a necessary action. I’ve always written about trends and how the pendulum swings; right now, anxiety is triggering more anxiety. However, I should note that the up volume was extremely impressive on the NYSE, a harbinger of what happens when there’s a greater sense of a green light.


  • Advancers: 1,174
  • Decliners: 1,748
  • New Highs: 50
  • New Lows: 67
  • Up Volume: 2.06 billion
  • Down Volume: 1.58 billion


  • Advancers: 1,330
  • Decliners: 1,828
  • New Highs: 72
  • New Lows: 91
  • Up Volume: 928 million
  • Down Volume: 1.15 billion

S&P 500

Only three sectors were higher with Energy (XLE) being the clear winner, as XLE rallied 1.6%. In fact, five of the top-ten biggest gainers for the session were from the oil patch. Interestingly, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was slightly lower for the session, but the chart is on a classic pennant formation, which means a monster move is going to happen very soon.

It can be up or down.

My oldest and biggest losers are in the oil patch as well. I haven’t forced the issue for a long time and have considered a tax loss selling this year. I know a breakout could be significant, and the space is going to start looking like the best value play out there. I haven’t liked dwindling rig counts and declining investments, as it feels like Peak Permian.

Oil folks tell me I’m nuts.

If issues with supply materialize, we could see crude get back to the mid $60's, where the big upside test begins.


Today’s Session

Lots of back and forth this morning on the China trade front with President Trump and President Xi chiming in. The deal seems close, but both want to win the public relations war in their respective countries.

The fact is the media will not give Trump credit no matter the terms.

Parade of Smaller Retailers (They are doing better than expected)

Nordstrom (JWN)

  • Revenue $3.67 billion in line
  • Earnings $0.81 consensus $0.64
  • Digital 34% of total revenue from 31%

Footlocker (FL)

  • Earnings $1.13 consensus $1.08
  • Comp sales +5.7%
  • Gross margin 32.1% from 31.6%

Shoe Carnival (SCVL)

  • Record earnings $0.94 consensus $0.89
  • Comp store +3.5%
  • Guidance $2.89 street $2.83

Buckle (BKE)

  • Sales $224.1 million consensus $219 million
  • Earnings $0.54 consensus $0.43
  • Comp store 4.7%
  • Online +5.4%

Hibbert (HIBB)

  • Sales $275.5 million street $260.7 million
  • Earnings $0.32 consensus $0.16
  • Comp store sales +10.7%
  • Guidance $2.50

Gap Stores (GPS)

  • Revenue $4.0billion street $3.96 billion
  • Earnings $0.53 consensus $0.51
  • Comp sales -4.0% street -2.3%
  • Guidance $1.75 street $1.83

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