A Morning For Profit Taking
Not a big surprise we are seeing modest profit-taking this morning. Big European banks are down mid single-digits.
Commodity stocks down low single-digits.
1) I noted last night that there are reports that the SEC will propose bringing back a modified version of the uptick rule during its meeting on April 8...this morning the BATS Exchange, NASDAQ and the NYSE have issued a joint letter supporting a modified uptick rule, which would limit short sales to prices above the current best bid.
2) Williams-Sonoma trading down 3% pre-open. The home furnishings retailer reported a 90% plunge in Q4 earnings from the prior year amid hefty sales declines in a "very weak" retail environment. The company outlook continues to be bleak - projecting earnings and revenues substantially below analysts' estimates for both Q1 and the full year.
3) Semiconductor testing equipment manufacturer Teradyne now expects a bigger-than-expected loss in Q1, as demand has fallen to "unprecedented levels." In the current quarter it sees a loss of $0.40-$0.42 vs. the Street's forecast of a loss of $0.34 cents. The company also projects revenues of $115 million- $120 million, below the analyst estimate of $135 million.
4) Newell Rubbermaid down 12% pre-open. The company announced it is halving its quarterly dividend to $0.05 from $0.105 per share, but reaffirmed its Q1 outlook in-line with analysts' estimates.
5) GE Capital will not need to raise more capital, according to Deutsche Bank. "Our central assumption is that GE Capital losses can be funded internally," analyst Nigel Coe said in a note this morning.
6) Speaking of Deutsche Bank, they said they don't need to raise fresh capital, partily because it has lower funding requirements this year than in 2007 or 2008...they also said they expect to return to profitability in 2009.
7) Just a reminder: things are still pretty bad. How bad? Consider:
A) Honda says their February global vehicle sales were down 43 percent.
Global vehicle production at Toyota, the world's biggest auto maker, were down 53 percent in February, the biggest drop and the lowest output for any month on the company's records.
Meanwhile, the $2,000 Tata Nanois set to hit the Indian roads in July...it's so successful the first 100,000 owners will be picked at random.
B) the International Air Transport Association doubled the estimated losses for airlines in 2009, saying they will lose $4.7 billion in 2009..."the state of the airline industry today is grim," said IATA CEO Giovanni Bisignani.
Revenues are expected to fall 12 percent...by comparison, after the 9/11 attack, revenues fell 7 percent.