Global markets are lower this morning, not just on the Fed announcement but on economic numbers in China (retail sales, fixed investment growth) that was a bit below expectations.
The yen is at the highest level against the dollar since 1995, as the dollar has become the low-cost funding mechanism for the world. The Japanese Yen jumped above its November high, which put it at a 15-year high vs. the US dollar. That strength has hurt Japanese stocks, which are heavily dependant on exports. The Nikkei 225 is sitting just 2 percent above its 52-week low set back in November.
1) Macy's : a breakout retailer? Macy's may be joining the small group of breakout retailers (think J. Crew) that can do well — or at least outperform — in a tough environment.
Macy's trading up 2 percent in a down morning, issued a very upbeat earnings report, not just on the numbers (above expectations, full year guidance raised to $1.85-$1.90, about in line with Street consensus) but even the commentary was bullish:
a) business "beginning to hit its stride after implementing significant structural and organization changes over the past two years."
b) "Macy's and Bloomingdale's have a terrific opportunity to continue to take market share..."
c) "We are entering the fall season with tremendous momentum..."
2) Iamgold missed estimates ($0.11 vs. $0.15 consensus) as production fell 23 percent from a year ago. Prices and costs continued to rise — gold prices rose 34 percent, but cash costs per ounce outpaced that mark, rising 43 percent. However, the gold miner is raising its 2010 gold production forecast from 940,000-1,000,000 ounces to 980,000-1,010,000 ounces.
3) LDK Solar rises 5 percent after the Chinese solar panel manufacturer's Q2 earnings topped estimates ($0.36 vs. $0.22 consensus). Demand and margins strengthened, and sales surged a better-than-expected 148 percent vs. Street expectations of 102 percent growth. Meanwhile, sales for the third quarter are also now expected to exceed estimates ($570 million-$600 million vs. $439.7 million).
4) Molina Healthcare edges 1 percent lower after the healthcare company priced a secondary offering of 4 million shares at $27 per share. The offering price was slightly below yesterday's closing price of $27.54, and the proceeds from the sale will used to pay down some of its debt.
5) The Mortgage Bankers Association saw a slight 0.6 percent rise in mortgage applications in the past week. Applications to purchase new homes (up 0.3 percent) and to refinance existing mortgages (up 0.6 percent) both edged slightly higher as the 30-year interest rate fell to 4.57 percent from 4.60 percent.
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