Coffee With Greta: Rebound Continues

Shares

DJIA Futures: +89 (+0.2%)

SPX Futures: +21 (+0.4%)

NASDAQ Futures: +105 (+0.6%)

Good morning friends!

Futures are higher, continuing Wednesday’s rebound. 

Let’s get right to it!

Fed Chair Testimony Day 2

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will testify in the Senate Banking Committee today for day two of his Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress. 

Today’s comments are expected to be similar to Wednesday’s testimony in the House. 

Powell told the House Financial Services Committee that he believes the bank will cut rates this year but they first need more evidence to start cuts. 

He did not express concern about the pace of inflation, saying “it has eased notably over the past year”.

Powell said cutting rates too soon could “result in a reversal of progress” against inflation while cutting “too late or too little” could weaken the economy and hiring. 

CME Group’s FedWatch Tool shows traders expecting the first rate cut at the Fed’s June meeting. 

Weekly Jobless Claims Unchanged

Weekly jobless claims were unchanged last week as the labor market maintains strength. 

The Labor Department reported 217,000 Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits. 

That was unchanged from the week before and in line with expectations. 

Continuing claims rose by 8,000 to 1.906 million vs 1.88 million expected in the week ending February 24.

Trade Deficit Widens

The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in January. 

The Commerce Department reported the gap jumped 5.1% at the beginning of the year to $67.4 billion. 

It was the largest deficit in nine months and higher than $63.4 billion expected. 

Exports totaled $257.2 billion in January while imports totaled $324.6 billion.

The deficit decreased 4.1% compared to January 2023.

Kroger Jumps On Earnings Beat

Kroger (KR) shares are up 4.5% ahead of the open after beating Q4 expectations on the top and bottom line. 

Here’s how the grocery operator’s results compared to analysts’ estimates: 

  • Adjusted EPS: $1.34 vs $1.13 expected
  • Revenue: $37.1 billion vs $37 billion expected

The company said lower supply-chain costs helped offset lost inventory due to increased theft during the quarter. 

For the current fiscal year, Kroger forecast adjusted EPS between $4.30 and $4.50 vs $4.30 expected. 

In Case You Missed It

  • There were fewer job openings than expected in January. The Labor Department’s job openings and labor turnover survey shows the number of available jobs fell by 26,000 to 8.863 million vs 8.9 million expected. There were 1.45 jobs available for every unemployed person, up from 1.42 in December. Hirings slowed by 100,000 to 5.867 million while quits decreased by 54,000 to 3.385 million. That was the lowest quits rate in three and a half years. 
  • New York Community Bancorp (NYCB) shares surged on Wednesday after announcing a new capital raise and leadership shakeup. The bank said it has agreed to a deal with Liberty Strategic Capital, Hudson Bay Capital, and Reverence Capital Partners to raise $1 billion in capital. Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, head of Liberty Strategic Capital, will also be one of four new members to join NYCB’s board of directors.

Leave a Comment: