STOCK MARKET NEWS: Futures slide, Amazon job cuts, FTX fallout

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Peloton to pay $19M fine over treadmill hazard — US regulators

Symbol Price Change %Change
PTON $8.60 -0.24 -2.71

Peloton Interactive Inc has agreed to pay a $19 million fine for failing to promptly report a defect with its Tread+ treadmill that could cause serious injury, U.S. regulators said on Thursday.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in a statement, said the civil penalty would resolve the agency’s charges that the company had received more than 150 reports of incidents where users were pulled under and entrapped by the time it notified regulators.

The penalty also settles charges that Peloton knowingly distributed recalled treadmills in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).

The 150 reports included the death of a child and 13 injuries, including broken bones, lacerations, abrasions and friction burns, CPSC said.

Peloton and the CPSC jointly announced the recall of the Tread+ treadmill in May 2021.

The agreement requires Peloton to “maintain an enhanced compliance program and system of internal controls and procedures designed to ensure compliance” and for five years Peloton will file annual reports regarding its compliance program and system of internal controls.

Frozen french fry maker Lamb Weston beats Wall Street estimates

Symbol Price Change %Change
LW $96.14 8.66 9.91

Lamb Weston Holdings Inc. (LW) on Thursday reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of $103.1 million.

The Eagle, Idaho-based company said it had profit of 71 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to $1.28 per share.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 74 cents per share.

The frozen foods supplier posted revenue of $1.28 billion in the period, which also topped Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.16 billion.

Lamb Weston expects full-year earnings in the range of $3.75 to $4 per share, with revenue in the range of $4.8 billion to $4.9 billion.

Personal styling service Stitch Fix cuts 20% of salaried positions, replaces CEO

Symbol Price Change %Change
SFIX $3.32 0.12 3.78

Stitch Fix is trimming its workforce and switching chief executive officers.

The online personal styling service said its reducing the size of its team
by about 20% of salaried positions. In addition, the company is closing its Salt Lake City distribution center, where the team is also impacted.

Departing employees will receive at least 12 weeks of pay and healthcare and mental wellness support to the end of April 2023.

Elizabeth Spaulding will step down as CEO and as a member of the board of directors, effective Jan.5.Founder and former CEO Katrina Lake has been named chief executive officer, also effective Jan. 5, 2023, to serve in an interim capacity for six months or until her successor is appointed, unless otherwise agreed by Lake and the board.

Average long-term US mortgage rates inch up to 6.48%

The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate rose for the second straight week following six weeks of declines that had given prospective homebuyers a glimmer of hope.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate inched up to 6.48% this week from 6.42% last week. A year ago the average rate was 3.22%, less than half of the current average rate.

The average long-term rate reached a two-decade high of 7.08% in late October and again in early November as the Federal Reserve continued to crank up its key lending rate in an effort to cool the economy and tame inflation.

The rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with those refinancing their homes, also rose modestly this week, to 5.73% from 5.68% last week. It was 2.43% one year ago.

Heavy discounts drive record US online holiday spending — report

U.S. online spending during the 2022 holiday season rose by a better-than-expected 3.5%, a report by Adobe Analytics showed, as retailers used hefty discounts to lure inflation-weary consumers into spending on everything from toys to electronics.

Shoppers spent a record $211.7 billion online over the holiday season, which typically starts in November and ends in December, compared with an earlier forecast of $209.7 billion, the report showed on Thursday.

Adobe Analytics, which measures e-commerce by tracking transactions at websites, has access to data covering purchases at 85% of the top 100 internet retailers in the United States.

While U.S. online holiday sales rose, it grew at the slowest pace as consumers felt the brunt of rising prices.

A majority of the deals were for toys, where discounts peaked at 34% off listed price versus 19% last year, and electronics that saw discounts as high as 25% compared with 8% last year, the report said.

A big chunk of the holiday sales came during the Cyber Week — the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday — where consumers spent a total of $35.3 billion online, the report said.

Corona beermaker Constellation Brands beats Wall Street revenue forecasts, misses on profit

Symbol Price Change %Change
STZ $216.93 -14.23 -6.16

Constellation Brands Inc. on Thursday reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of $467.7 million.

On a per-share basis, the Victor, New York-based company said it had net income of $2.52. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and restructuring costs, came to $2.83 per share.

The results did not meet Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.88 per share.

The wine, liquor and beer company posted revenue of $2.62 billion in the period. Its adjusted revenue was $2.44 billion, which topped Street forecasts. Seven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.39 billion.Constellation Brands expects full-year earnings to be 15 cents to 35 cents per share.

Silvergate Capital shares sink as crypto-related deposits plunge

Symbol Price Change %Change
SI $11.97 -9.98 -45.47

Silvergate Capital Corp reported a sharp drop in fourth-quarter crypto-related deposits on Thursday as investors spooked by the collapse of industry major FTX pulled out more than $8 billion of capital, sending shares down nearly 39% premarket.

The crypto-focused bank also said it would cut its workforce by 40%, or about 200 employees, as it tries to rein in costs amid a deepening industry downturn.

The dire preliminary earnings report shows the extent of the impact on the digital asset industry from the downfall of FTX, which filed for bankruptcy in November after failing to cover customer withdrawals, marking a stunning reversal of fortunes for what was one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges.

Silvergate had said earlier it had no outstanding loans or investments in FTX, but its shares have shed 69% of their value since the exchange’s meltdown, which sparked a wild crypto sell-off.

Walgreens posts loss on $6.5B opioid litigation charge

Symbol Price Change %Change
WBA $35.02 -2.47 -6.59

Drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc reported a net quarterly loss on Thursday as it took a $6.5 billion opioid litigation charge, sending its shares down nearly 2% in premarket trade.

Walgreens and rivals CVS Health Corp and Walmart Inc in November last year agreed to pay about $13.8 billion to resolve thousands of U.S. state and local lawsuits accusing the pharmacy chains of mishandling opioid pain drugs.

Walgreens, one of the largest U.S. pharmacies, had been relying on gains from administering COVID-19 vaccines to tide over losses from low prescription volumes due to the pandemic, but has seen demand for the shots fall from the peak last year.

It administered about 8 million vaccines in the first quarter down from 15.6 million in the same period a year earlier. Pharmacy sales during the quarter dropped about 4% even as demand for cough and cold drugs has been high amid one of the worst U.S. flu seasons in a decade.

Net loss attributable to Walgreens was $3.72 billion, or $4.31 per share, for the quarter ended Nov. 30, compared with a profit of $3.58 billion, or $4.13 per share, a year earlier including a one-time gain of $2.5 billion.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.16 per share in the first quarter, above Refinitiv IBES estimates of $1.14 a share.

Breaking News

Bed Bath & Beyond shares slide

Embattled home retailer Bed Bath & Beyond delivered a warning to investors on Thursday noting that while improvements are being made the outlook is cloudy.

Bed Bath Beyond Inc.



Breaking News

ADP jobs data surprises

A surprisingly strong read for private sector jobs hints to what may a divide among the companies that are ramping up layoffs and those still in need of key workers.

Futures at a glance

U.S. stock futures are up and down ahead of the opening bell on Thursday as gold plunges and oil rises.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are down roughly 17 points, or 0.05%, while S&P and Nasdaq futures are approximately 0.02% and 0.10% higher, respectively.

Over the last five days, the Dow remains is now up around 0.13%, the S&P is also up around 0.13%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is still roughly 0.22% beneath the redline.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude futures spiked 1.3% to $74.12 a barrel, as gold slipped 0.56% to $1,848.60 an ounce.

Amazon increases job cuts 18,000 adding to tech layoff wave

Amazon said Wednesday that it will be cutting about 18,000 positions, the largest amount of layoffs in the company’s history.

The number of jobs getting cut is larger than originally expected.

Amazon’s global workforce has 1.5 million employees.

Markets to focus on job-related reports

A busy morning of economic data coming up Thursday with jobs being a major focus over the next two days.

Thursday morning, the payroll processing firm ADP will release its National Employment report for December. 

Economists anticipate an increase of 150,000 private-sector jobs, up from 127,000 new jobs added in October.

That 150,000 forecast is less than the 200,000 nonfarm jobs that the Labor Department is expected to say the economy added in December. That comes out Friday morning. 

The Labor Department will release the number of new jobless claims that were filed last week. Expectations are for 225,000, unchanged from the prior week. 

Continuing claims, which track the total number of workers collecting unemployment benefits, are expected to slip to 1.708 million, down slightly from a more-than 10-month high the prior week.

 The Commerce Department is out with the U.S. trade balance
for November. The monthly deficit in goods and services is expected to narrow to $73.0 billion.

October’s deficit of $78.2 billion was the highest since June. 

The S&P Global’s final services PMI for December will be released. The preliminary reading of 44.4 released two weeks ago saw the index in contraction territory for a fifth month:

Moody’s report warns of “slowcession” in US

Moody’s has issued a report saying the U.S. economy will hit a rough patch, and the most likely outlook is a “slowcession.”

That is where the economic growth grinds to a near standstill but that never slips into reverse, according to a Moody’s Analytics baseline forecast.

The outlook report, released by Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi, said the U.S. economy is sure to have a difficult 2023 as the Federal Reserve continues to aggressively push up interest rates to quell the painfully high inflation.

Even if a strong labor market keeps the country’s economy from falling into a full-blown recession, investors and consumers will still experience the hardship of a slowdown, according to the report.

The report further predicted that all quarterly economic growth rates of the country will not stand upon 1% year on year in 2023, and may not exceed 2% until the third quarter of 2024.

Reuters contributed to this post.

DOJ to seize $465 million of Robinhood shares tied to Bankman-Fried

U.S. prosecutors are in the process of seizing
shares of Robinhood Markets
tied to the founder of FTX.

The situation involves 56 million shares of Robinhood, worth $465 million and who has claim to them.

Bankrupt crypto firm BlockFi, FTX and liquidators in Antigua have all laid claim to the Robinhood stock, as well as FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

Cryptocurrency prices for Bitcoin, Ethereum are lower and Dogecoin is higher on Thursday

Bitcoin was trading around $16,000, after trading higher in three of the last four days.

For the week, Bitcoin has gained nearly 2%, but is down more than 61% in the past year.

Ethereum was trading around $1,200, after gaining more than 5% in the past week.

Dogecoin was trading at 7 cents, after gaining more than 3% in the past week.

Oil rebounds on weaker dollar

Oil prices rebounded on Thursday amid dollar weakness and as investors jumped back in after two sessions of steep losses.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures traded around $74.00 a barrel.

Brent crude futures traded around $79.00 a barrel.

Big declines in the previous two days were driven by worries about a potential global recession, according to Reuters.

Economic data weighed on prices as U.S. manufacturing contracted further in December. 

At the same time, a survey from the U.S. Labor Department showed job openings had fallen less than expected, raising concerns that the Federal Reserve would use the tight labor market as a reason to keep interest rates higher for longer.

Gasoline prices continues to rise

The nationwide price for a gallon of gasoline bumped up on Thursday to $3.285, according to AAA.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline on Wednesday was $3.26.

A year ago, the price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.293.

One week ago, a gallon of gasoline cost $3.159. A month ago, that same gallon of gasoline cost $3.403.

Gas hit an all-time high of $5.016 on June 14.

Diesel slipped lower, remaining below $5.00 per gallon to $4.685, but that is still a far cry from the $3.573 of a year ago.

Sony, Honda unveil their joint-venture EV prototype

Sony made a splash in last Vegas at the annual Consumer Electronics Show by unveiling a new high-tech prototype car.

It will be produced in partnership with Honda.

The vehicle which glided out on stage at the CES, will be called the Afeela.

The partnership was first announced in March and named Sony Honda Mobility.