Market Musings With CNBC Market Master Robert Hum
Disappointing economic data hurt stocks early, losses accelerated in final hour .
Poor start to May: Dow Industrials, S&P 500 had worst first trading day of a month since June 2012, had worst Fed Day since September 21, 2011. Dow Industrials, S&P 500, Nasdaq lost roughly half of April's gains. After falling in April, the Dow Transports & Russell 2000 slumped more than 2 percent today.
Commodities were broadly weaker: crude oil down 2.6 percent, gold down 1.8 percent, silver down 3.5 percent, copper drops 3.3 percent to an 18-month low, while materials and energy stocks led today's decline.
April Auto sales rate 14.92 million vs. 14.12 million a year ago.
Facebook Revenue Beats, but Earnings Miss/CNBC – "Facebook posted revenue that surpassed Wall Street forecasts on Wednesday, as the company's mobile ad revenues continued to rise. After an initial pop, Facebook shares are slightly higher in extended hours trading."
Yelp Reports Bigger-Than-Forecast Loss; Revenue Beats/CNBC – "Yelp on Wednesday reported a larger-than-expected first-quarter loss, but revenue exceeded analysts' expectations. The company's shares climbed 9 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement."
Visa Earnings Beat, Supported by Strong Growth/CNBC with AP: "Visa said its net income slipped nearly 2 percent in the fiscal second quarter from a year earlier, when the company benefited from an adjustment to its income tax provision. But the payments-processing company reported growth in service and data processing revenue, as well as international. transactions. After the earnings announcement, the company's shares climbed in extended-hours trading."
The Word on the Street
ING U.S. raises $1.3 billion in IPO/Reuters: "Dutch financial services group ING Groep's U.S. unit raised $1.3 billion in its IPO on Wednesday night, as it became the second largest U.S. IPO of the year behind Zoetis. The business, which will be called Voya Financial following the offering, priced 65.2 million shares at $19.50, according to an underwriter. It had intended to price 64.2 million shares at a range of $21 to $2.
Fed Keeps Interest Rates Low, Continues Bond Buying Program/CNBC: The Federal Reserve held fast to its ultra-accommodative monetary policy Wednesday, solidified by what board members described as an economy weakened by fiscal policy. Interest rates will remain at historically low levels while the U.S. central bank will not alter its $85 billion a month asset purchasing program, the Fed's Open Markets Committee decided at this week's meeting. While recent meetings have been remarkable for signs of dissent over the long-standing Fed policy, the sentiment this month turned towards concerns about "downside risks" to growth, though the FOMC made no mention of the recent set of weak economic data."
France, Italy Join Hands Over Euro Zone Crisis/AFP: "France and Italy presented a united front Wednesday on the euro zone debt crisis amid deepening divisions over belt-tightening policies in the European Union as some countries reach breaking point. French President Francois Hollande met Italy's brand new Prime Minister Enrico Letta, in Paris only days after he took office, and warned that austerity alone was "no longer enough", stressing the need for a focus on growth."
Poll: Wealthy, not Middle Class, Support Obama/The Examiner: "President Obama's approval numbers are starting to mimic Mitt Romney's. According to a new Economist/YouGov poll, it's the rich -- not the poor or middle class -- who back Obama more despite his 2012 campaign attacking the rich. The poll found that fewer than half of those with incomes less than $100,000 per year approve of Obama's performance, while he enjoys a 54 percent approval rating among those with incomes higher than that. Those earning less than $40,000 a year disapprove of the president's performance, 51 percent to 45 percent. Those earning $40,000 to $100,000 disapprove by a rate of 50 percent to 48 percent. "A largely jobless recovery coupled with a Quantitative-Easing-fueled stock market rally seems to earn more smiles from the upscale among us, fewer from the working class," said the pollsters. YouGov conducted the poll April 27-29 among 1,000 Americans aged 18 and over."
Watch Your Domino's Pizza Being Made On Live Webcam/Ad Age: "In a pilot program being launched today, Domino's has added a live video feed to Tracker, so that customers at a store in Salt Lake City, Utah, can watch pizzas being made from scratch. Five webcams have been placed in the store's kitchen for the entire month of May, and when its customers order online, they will be prompted to go to www.DominosLive.com to watch. The activity is all part of the brand's efforts to be more transparent about its quality, via its campaign through Crispin Porter & Bogusky.
"Bring Your Own Device" Evolving From Trend to Requirement/All Things D: "Here's an unexpected twist in the growing trend at companies that support employees who bring their own devices to the office: By 2017, more than half of companies will require their employees to supply their own devices on the job. The finding comes in a new report from Gartner containing the results of a survey of CIOs around the world. So it's not for nothing that Gartner calls these BYOD strategies "the most radical change to the economics and culture of client computing" in a decade."
Big Beer Facing 'Brutal' Spring Sales Slump/Ad Age: "Blame it on the rain. Or higher payroll tax rates. Or gas prices. Or the continued shift to craft beer and liquor. Whatever the cause, it has been a spring to forget for big beer brands, which after showing signs of life last year are slumping through a brutal 2013 so far. The latest bad news came from Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, which on Tuesday reported a 4.1% drop in sales to U.S. retailers for the first quarter ending in March. Sales for MillerCoors brands, meanwhile, dropped 3.3% in the quarter, parent company SABMiller recently reported, while Heineken USA sales were down by low-single digits. The only big beer marketer reporting gains was Corona-seller Crown Imports, but the importer's sales were only up slightly, Beer Marketer's Insights recently reported."
Energizer Criticizes P&G Promotions/WSJ: Energizer Holdings blamed promotions by Procter & Gamble's Gillette business for declining sales in the overall shaving category, the latest P&G rival to criticize the consumer-product company's methods as it tries to boost its market share. Energizer, which owns the Schick shaving brand, said overall sales in the U.S. razor-and-blade category have suffered a significant slowdown in recent weeks, and Energizer Chief Executive Ward Klein identified P&G and its "hyper levels of promotional spending" as the primary culprit."