We've detected that you're using an ad content blocking browser plug-in or feature. Ads provide a critical source of revenue to the continued operation of Silicon Investor.  We ask that you disable ad blocking while on Silicon Investor in the best interests of our community.  If you are not using an ad blocker but are still receiving this message, make sure your browser's tracking protection is set to the 'standard' level.
Technology Stocks : Semi Equipment Analysis
SOXX 426.09-2.0%Feb 3 4:00 PM EST

 Public ReplyPrvt ReplyMark as Last ReadFilePrevious 10Next 10PreviousNext  
To: Return to Sender who wrote (89122)10/13/2022 12:14:51 AM
From: Return to Sender2 Recommendations

Recommended By
Sr K

   of 89688

Market Snapshot

Dow 29283.48 +42.26 (0.14%)
Nasdaq 10419.15 -6.89 (-0.07%)
SP 500 3583.47 -5.44 (-0.15%)
10-yr Note +4/32 3.90

NYSE Adv 1132 Dec 1897 Vol 897 mln
Nasdaq Adv 1966 Dec 2375 Vol 4.0 bln

Industry Watch
Strong: Consumer Staples, Energy, Consumer Discretionary

Weak: Real Estate, Materials, Utilities, Industrials, Health Care

Moving the Market
-- PepsiCo (PEP) reporting better-than-expected earnings and guidance, setting a hopeful tone for the Q3 earnings reporting period

-- S&P 500 testing, and finding support at, yesterday's low (3568.45)

-- FOMC Minutes for the September meeting were as expected

-- Directional leadership from Apple

Closing Summary
12-Oct-22 16:25 ET

Dow -28.34 at 29212.88, Nasdaq -9.09 at 10416.95, S&P -11.81 at 3577.10
[BRIEFING.COM] Today's trade was mixed with little conviction on either side of the tape. The stock market opened to modest losses before the S&P 500 tested yesterday's low, and the new low for 2022 (3568.45), where it found support from buyers. The major averages ultimately closed with losses, but little changed from the flat line.

The stock market proved to be fairly resilient considering the hotter-than-expected September Producer Price Index (PPI) market participants received this morning. PPI was up 8.5% year-over-year while core PPI, which excludes food and energy, was up 7.2% year-over-year indicating inflation remains "sticky" at the wholesale level.

Market participants also digested the FOMC Minutes from the September meeting today, which reiterated what Fed officials have been saying recently about raising rates and keeping them at a restrictive level for longer; therefore, they didn't contain any surprises. Equities took a modest step higher in the immediate aftermath, but quickly returned to levels seen before the Minutes were released.

The Treasury market did not have a big reaction to the PPI report and showed some added improvement following the release of the FOMC Minutes for the September meeting. The 10-yr note yield fell four basis points to 3.90% despite a disappointing 10-yr note auction and the 2-yr note yield fell one basis point to 4.29%.

Apple (AAPL 138.34, -0.64, -0.5%) was an important directional driver today. It supported the market with its gains before losing steam late in the day and falling into negative territory, dragging the indices down with it. Other driving factors included a nice gain in PepsiCo (PEP 169.39, +6.80, +4.2%) after it posted better-than-expected earnings and raised its FY22 EPS guidance, the well-behaved Treasury market and gilt market, and a prevailing wait-and-see mindset in front of the Consumer Price Index report on Thursday.

Outsized gains in PepsiCo boosted the S&P 500 consumer staples sector (+0.5%) to second place on the day. Energy (+0.8%) sat in first place despite falling oil prices. WTI crude oil futures fell 2.2% to $87.22/bbl on festering concerns about a global growth slowdown.

On the flip side, the S&P 500 utilities (-3.4%) and real estate (-1.4%) sectors were the worst performers today.

Looking ahead to Thursday, market participants will receive September CPI ( consensus 0.2%; prior 0.1%) and core CPI, which excludes food and energy ( consensus 0.4%; prior 0.6%), along with weekly initial jobless claims ( consensus 225,000; prior 219,000) and continuing claims (prior 1.361 million) at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Other data released tomorrow includes: weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories (prior +129 bcf) at 10:30 a.m. ET, weekly EIA Crude Oil Inventories (prior -3.36 million) at 11:00 a.m. ET, and the September Treasury Budget (-$219.6 billion) at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Reviewing today's economic data:

  • Weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index fell 2.0% compared to last week's 14.2% decline.
  • PPI rose 0.4% in September ( consensus 0.2%) following a revised 0.2% decline in August (from 0.1%). Core PPI, excluding foods and energy, rose 0.3% in September ( consensus 0.3%) following a revised 0.3% increase in August (from 0.4%)
    • The key takeaway from the report is that it shows producer inflation sticking at levels that will pressure profit margins and stoke concerns about negative pass-through effects to the consumer. In turn, that understanding will stoke concerns that there hasn't been enough improvement on the inflation front to convince the Fed to take a more guarded approach with its rate hikes.
Dow Jones Industrial Average: -19.6% YTD
S&P Midcap 400: -20.7% YTD
S&P 500: -25.0% YTD
Russell 2000: -24.8% YTD
Nasdaq Composite: -33.4% YTD

Market stuck in a narrow range ahead of the close
12-Oct-22 15:30 ET

Dow +68.41 at 29309.63, Nasdaq +20.85 at 10446.89, S&P +0.61 at 3589.52
[BRIEFING.COM] The major indices are little changed ahead of the close.

Energy complex futures settled the session lower. WTI crude oil futures fell 2.2% to $87.22/bbl and natural gas futures fell 2.3% to $6.45/mmbtu.

Looking ahead to Thursday, market participants will receive September PPI ( consensus 0.2%; prior 0.1%) and core PPI, which excludes food and energy ( consensus 0.4%; prior 0.6%) at 8:30 a.m. ET. Weekly initial jobless claims ( consensus 225,000; prior 219,000) and continuing claims (prior 1.361 million) are also out at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Other economic data released tomorrow includes: weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories (prior +129 bcf) at 10:30 a.m. ET, weekly EIA Crude Oil Inventories (prior -3.36 million) at 11:00 a.m. ET, and the September Treasury Budget (-$219.6 billion) at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Market pulls backs some
12-Oct-22 15:05 ET

Dow +42.26 at 29283.48, Nasdaq -6.89 at 10419.15, S&P -5.44 at 3583.47
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages are inching lower as participants continue to digest the FOMC Minutes from September.

The Russell 2000 (+0.1%) and S&P Mid Cap 400 (-0.1%) maintain levels near their post-FOMC Minutes release highs.

At the same time, the U.S Dollar Index is climbing off its recent lows, up 0.1% to 113.38.

Fed sees cost of taking "too little" action outweighing "too much"
12-Oct-22 14:25 ET

Dow +120.34 at 29361.56, Nasdaq +31.92 at 10457.96, S&P +7.53 at 3596.44
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages made an initial, modest move higher following the release of the FOMC's September policy meeting minutes. Currently, the S&P 500 (+0.21%) holds the shallowest gains on the day.

Importantly, participants judged that the Committee needed to move to, and then maintain, a more restrictive policy stance in order to meet the Committee's legislative mandate to promote maximum employment and price stability. Further, several participants noted that the monetary policy tightening under way in many other economies would affect global financial markets and foreign real GDP growth, with the potential for spillovers to the U.S. economy.

Among other key excerpts from the minutes, many participants emphasized that the cost of taking too little action to bring down inflation likely outweighed the cost of taking too much action. Several participants underlined the need to maintain a restrictive stance for as long as necessary, with a couple of these participants stressing that historical experience demonstrated the danger of prematurely ending periods of tight monetary policy designed to bring down inflation.

A modest fade in the dollar and treasury yields following the minutes has the dollar index is now down -0.1% to $113.13 while the yield on the benchmark 10-yr note is down 5 basis points to 3.899%.

Gold lower ahead of FOMC minutes
12-Oct-22 13:55 ET

Dow +39.53 at 29280.75, Nasdaq +3.91 at 10429.95, S&P -2.03 at 3586.88
[BRIEFING.COM] With about two hours to go on Wednesday the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (+0.04%) is hovering near flat lines; reminder, the FOMC minutes for the September meeting are due out at the top of the hour.

Gold futures settled $8.50 lower (-0.5%) to $1,677.50/oz, pressured by a modestly higher dollar and this morning's PPI data.

Intel adds to gloomy semiconductor headlines with layoff plans as it aims for profit rebound (INTC)

When Intel (INTC) issued its dismal Q2 earnings report in late July, CEO Pat Gelsinger commented during the conference call that the company plans to adjust its spending levels in the near-term. CFO David Zinsner added that restructuring charges were likely for Q3 as INTC looks to improve its operating efficiency. It turns out that those statements were a forerunner for a huge round of upcoming layoffs that could impact many employees. According to Bloomberg, INTC is planning a workforce reduction that will cut thousands of positions, including a possible 20% downsizing of its sales and marketing team.

The collapse of the PC/laptop market is primarily to blame for the layoffs. In Q2, INTC's Client Computing Group (CCG), which produces PC processors, experienced a 25% decline in revenue. Since then, demand has only weakened, as evidenced by severe guidance cuts from Advanced Micro (AMD) and Micron (MU) on October 6 and September 29, respectively. Following a boom in 2020 and 2021 that was ignited by the work-from-home transition, a bust for the PC market has emerged in 2022. With inflation and rising interest rates taking a toll on consumers' budgets, spending on consumer electronics has drastically fallen, leaving chip makers with a glut of inventory.

Some of INTC's troubles are self-inflicted, though. For instance, Gelsinger admitted that poor execution in areas such as product design and the ramp of AXG (Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group) offerings contributed to the company's weak Q2 results. Missteps like these have opened the door for competitors like AMD and NVIDIA (NVDA) to gain market share, particularly in the strong data center market. On that note, investors were stunned to see revenue in INTC's Datacenter and AI Group (DCAI) segment drop by 16% last quarter.

The company's strategy to expand its chip manufacturing footprint in the U.S. is also weighing heavily on its margins and profits. Historically, INTC's gross margin has run in the upper-50% to lower-60% range. However, in recent quarters, that figure has plunged to the mid-40% area, including a 15-percentage point yr/yr decline in Q2 to 44.8%.

Implementing a large workforce reduction plan isn't going to solve all of INTC's problems, but it's evident that there's plenty of room for improvement on the bottom line.

  • In Q2, non-GAAP EPS dove by 79% yr/yr due to lower revenue, increased unit costs, investments in production, and higher inventory reserves. For FY22, EPS is projected to decrease by nearly 60%.
  • Despite the demand headwinds, R&D and MG&A expense was still up by 18% to $5.5 bln last quarter. The increase makes this expense category an easy target for spending reductions.
  • As INTC cuts its spending levels, Gelsinger expects the actions to begin paying off in Q3 and Q4, with gross margin returning to its target range by Q4. Last October, he said that gross margin would dip to 51-53% over the next couple of years before improving.
The gloomy news for the semiconductor space continues today with INTC planning a large round of job cuts. This will result in a significant charge in its Q3 results, which are expected on October 27. While the layoffs will help shore up INTC's bottom-line, the initial reaction to the news has been muted. We believe this may be attributable to the idea that earnings expectations for INTC -- and for other chip makers -- still have room to fall as new concerns for the industry seem to crop up on a daily basis.

Cameco going on a power trip, making a big bet on nuclear with deal to acquire Westinghouse (CCJ)

Cameco (CCJ -15%) is going on a power trip after it and Brookfield Renewable (BEP) announced they would form a partnership to acquire Westinghouse Electric, one of the world's largest nuclear services businesses. BEP and its institutional partners will own a 51% interest while Cameco will own 49%. The deal is expected to close in 2H23.

  • The seller is Brookfield Business Partners (the industrials and services unit of Brookfield Asset Mgmt (BAM)), which acquired Westinghouse out of bankruptcy in 2018. It will make a tidy profit as it bought it for $4.6 bln, including debt. The total EV in today's deal is $7.875 bln, including debt. While owned by Brookfield, Westinghouse refocused on its core nuclear services, reduced operating costs and made some M&A deals to strengthen its in-house expertise.
  • So, why do this deal? The idea is to align Cameco's uranium production and fuel services capabilities with Westinghouse's downstream capabilities to potentially offer utilities a nuclear fuel option. Also, Westinghouse is a huge player in the nuclear space as it services about half the nuclear power generation sector and is the OEM to more than half the global nuclear reactor fleet. It also provides a stable revenue stream with 85% of Westinghouse's revenue coming from long-term contracted or highly recurring customer service sources.
  • Cameco says it is witnessing some of the best market fundamentals it has ever seen in the nuclear energy sector with an estimated 400 GW of additional nuclear capacity being needed by 2050. The company says nuclear power is experiencing a resurgence around the world with 20+ countries pursuing new projects or plant extensions. More than 50 GW of plant extensions have been announced to date and more than 60 GW of new-build reactors are expected between 2020-40. In the short-term, CCJ sees an opportunity to win new business supporting dozens of nuclear facilities across Eastern Europe that have been traditionally served by Russia. sees the deal as a big bet on nuclear energy in the future, especially given the energy crisis in Europe and volatile oil and natural gas prices. It is also a way for countries to lower emissions and clean up their air. We were a bit surprised to see CCJ selling off on the news, but we think its inclusion of equity ($650 mln bought deal offering) in the purchase price is weighing on sentiment. Also, CCJ is paying a lot to have only a minority interest.

PepsiCo not looking to be a couch potato today after delivering a solid beat-and-raise in Q3 (PEP)

PepsiCo's (PEP +4%) Q3 results were no small potatoes as the beverage and snack food mammoth delivered its second-straight double-digit earnings beat in Q3. PEP also hiked its FY22 earnings and organic revenue growth forecasts, underscoring the resilient demand for its brands despite inflationary headwinds plaguing both PEP and its consumers. PEP is now targeting EPS of approximately $6.73, up from $6.63, and +12% organic sales growth yr/yr, up from +10%. The company also increased its core constant currency EPS estimate to +10% growth from +8%.

After PEP reaffirmed its FY22 guidance last quarter, it signaled that adverse foreign exchange (FX) impacts and elevated inflationary levels would likely linger. Therefore, today's raised outlook suggests that there may be light at the end of the tunnel. PEP offered a few encouraging remarks on that front, such as predicting commodity inflation to stabilize around the high teen percentage.

Still, PEP was tempered in its remarks. The company cautioned that the environment is clearly still very inflationary, with supply chain challenges across the industry. However, the numerous highlights from Q3 illustrate PEP's ability to navigate these tricky waters successfully.

  • Sales growth was broad-based. Aside from the Asia Pacific region, which saw organic sales climb just 8%, every other region grew at a double-digit clip. As a result, organic revs surged 16.0% yr/yr. Meanwhile, reported revs, which include FX and acquisitions and divestitures impacts, grew nicely at 8.8% to $21.97 bln.
  • A large part of the sales growth stemmed from PEP continuing to take price where it could. Still, despite this, volumes held up nicely. PEP's Convenient Foods business did register a 1.5% volume decline yr/yr. However, it was lapping slightly unfavorable +4% growth from the year-ago period. Meanwhile, PEP's Beverages business saw its seventh-straight quarter of volume growth, expanding the figure by 3% yr/yr in Q3.
  • Furthermore, even though volumes in Europe slid, with convenient foods dropping 5% yr/yr and beverages giving up 8%, given how challenged the region is, with a war in Ukraine and soaring energy costs, the single-digit declines were a testament to the strength of PEP's brands in the region.
  • Lastly, PEP noted that its market share is either holding up well (in the case of beverages) or seeing accelerating gains (in the case of Frito-Lay snacks).
    • On a side note, PEP's Beverages market share holding up shows that rival Coca-Cola (KO) may be experiencing similar demand resiliency, a good sign ahead of its Q3 earnings report on October 25.
Bottom line, PEP's Q3 results illuminate that strong brands, which command relatively low elasticity, can thrive during an inflationary environment. Lastly, it is worth mentioning that KO and Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) each reported similar upbeat results as PEP last quarter. As such, PEP's solid numbers in Q3 are a good sign for its rivals ahead of their Q3 reports in two weeks.

Uber delivering steep losses as Labor Department puts gig economy workers back into focus (UBER)

In November 2020, Uber (UBER), Lyft (LYFT), DoorDash (DASH), and other gig-economy companies claimed a major victory when Proposition 22 passed in California, nullifying a proposed law (Assembly Bill 5) that would have classified drivers as employees, rather than as independent contractors. At the time, the vote removed a huge overhang on these stocks, as the outcome seemed to set a standard for other states to follow.

However, the celebration was short-lived as a court in California ruled Proposition 22 to be unconstitutional several months after the vote. That latest ruling is being appealed, but UBER, LYFT, and DASH now have more pressing concerns to deal with after the U.S. Labor Department said that it's revisiting rules that determine whether workers are classified as employees or as independent contractors.

This is a potentially devastating development for these companies because it could undermine their business models. If they were required to provide a full range of benefits and protections, including contributions to health insurance, their cost structures would significantly increase to the point where it may be impossible to profitably operate. Both UBER and LYFT threatened to leave California if Assembly Bill 5 was put into law because it would have been so damaging to their businesses. It's difficult to quantify what the exact financial implications would be if UBER and LYFT had to reclassify drivers as employees. For some context, though, CNBC noted that LYFT's bottom line would have taken a 6-16% hit had Proposition 22 not passed in California.

It's highly unlikely that this news is catching UBER, LYFT, and DASH off guard. Rewinding to April 2021, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh put gig-economy companies on notice, stating that their workers should be classified as employees. It's clear what direction the Biden Administration wants to go, but there are still plenty of question marks on how this ultimately shakes out.

  • Starting today, interested parties will have 45 days to comment and express their views on the Labor Department's decision to revise these regulations. Other than the ability for companies to voice their dissatisfaction about the proposal, it's hard to imagine that this will really move the needle in terms of the Labor Department changing their course of action.
  • Importantly, the revised rule doesn't require a Congressional vote to be enacted. However, the scope of the rule will be limited to laws that the Labor Department has authority over -- such as setting federal minimum wage.
  • The concern for gig-economy companies, though, is that the Labor Department will determine whether workers are contractors or employees. Therefore, if it decides that UBER and LYFT drivers are employees, then it's likely that other federal agencies, like the IRS, will follow suit. In that scenario, UBER and LYFT would then be required to classify their employees as workers for tax purposes.
  • It's nearly certain that UBER and LYFT will fight this proposal in court. That will take many months to play out, which once again places a major overhang and plenty of uncertainty over these stocks.
Attaining profitability has been a huge challenge for UBER, LYFT, and DASH. In fact, LYFT is the only company out of the three to post positive EPS on a non-GAAP basis, thanks to its cost-cutting measures and ridesharing price hikes. However, ridesharing and food delivery are low margin businesses that have little wiggle room to contend with a significant increase in cost structures. Consequently, the potential reclassification of drivers as employees is a game-changing event, but we expect there to be more twists and turns as this development unfolds.

American Airlines lifts revenue guidance on resilient demand, but capacity still an issue (AAL)

Consumers may be spending much less on categories like clothes, furniture, and consumer electronics, but inflation and rising interest rates still aren't deterring people from buying airline tickets, as illustrated by American Airlines' (AAL) upwardly revised Q3 guidance. After originally guiding for revenue growth of 10-12% compared to 3Q19 in its Q2 earnings report, AAL is now forecasting growth of 13%, equating to revenue of about $13.46 bln. With Delta Air Lines (DAL) set to kick off Q3 earnings season for the airline industry on Thursday morning, AAL's upbeat outlook is a bullish sign for the group.

About one month earlier, rival United Airlines (UAL) lifted its Q3 revenue growth guidance higher to 12% from 11%, stating that the demand environment remained strong exiting a robust summer travel season. Although the increase to UAL's outlook was pretty modest, it calmed investors' fears that macroeconomic headwinds are cooling down a hot market for air travel. The same can be said for AAL's enhanced guidance today.

There are a few reasons why travel demand is holding up better than other areas.

  • A major shift in consumer spending patterns continues to play out in the wake of the pandemic. During the height of the pandemic when people were stuck at home, online shopping for categories such as consumer electronics, home decor, seasonal, athleisurewear, fitness, and at-home entertainment exploded. On the other end of the spectrum, spending on travel plummeted. However, over the past year or so, a complete reversal in spending behavior has played out as pent-up demand has ignited a surge in leisure travel activity.
  • Consumers who can afford to purchase airline tickets are probably better suited to withstand rising prices and budget pressures than other consumer groups. In the retail space, we have seen this dynamic play out between Costco (COST) and Walmart (WMT), with COST posting stronger financial results due to its more affluent customer base.
  • Business and international travel demand continues to recover as employees return to the office and as in-person meetings resume. When DAL reported Q2 results in mid-July, it noted that domestic corporate sales were about 80% recovered compared to 2019.
AAL's customers have been willing and able to absorb higher ticket prices, as reflected in Q3 total revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) increasing by 25% versus its former guidance for up 20-24%. Accordingly, the company also expects pre-tax margin to come in better than it initially expected at 4.5% compared to previous guidance of 2-4%.

The news isn't completely positive, though. Staffing issues, both within the company and at various airports, continue to curtail capacity. During Q3, AAL's available seat miles (ASMs), or capacity, was lower by nearly 10% compared to 2019 levels. With fewer flown miles to spread costs across, cost per available seat mile (CASM) is expected to up by about 14%, at the high end of AAL's guidance of 12-14%.

Overall, the main takeaway is that AAL's improved revenue guidance once again highlights the resiliency of air travel demand, which should set the stage for a solid earnings season for the airline industry.

Page One

Last Updated: 12-Oct-22 09:04 ET | Archive
September PPI report short on meaningful inflation relief
The S&P 500 enters today on a five-session losing streak. Of course, with the S&P 500 down 24.7% for the year, the losing streak feels a lot longer.

Currently, the S&P 500 futures are up seven points and are trading 0.1% above fair value, the Nasdaq 100 futures are up 41 points and are trading 0.4% above fair value, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 31 points and are trading 0.1% above fair value.

The futures market has softened some following the release of the September Producer Price Index (more on that in minute), yet the early drivers that had the S&P 500 futures up 29 points in front of the PPI report included:

  • PepsiCo (PEP) reporting better-than-expected earnings and raising its FY22 EPS outlook, which set a hopeful tone for the Q3 earnings reporting period.
  • With gilt yields rising, speculation is swirling that the Bank of England, which plans to end its emergency gilt purchases on Friday, will step back in soon thereafter to provide liquidity support.
  • There was a technically-driven aim to get the S&P 500 back above 3,600.
  • China's September new yuan loan activity was much stronger than expected, which helped temper some of the concerns about an economic slowdown there.
That was then. What we see now is a futures market that has lost some of its verve because the PPI report didn't show enough inflation relief to drive an unmitigated relief rally in front of tomorrow's Consumer Price Index.

The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.4% month-over-month ( consensus +0.2%) following a downwardly revised 0.2% decline (from -0.1%) in August. Excluding food and energy, the index for final demand increased 0.3% month-over-month, as expected, following a downwardly revised 0.3% increase (from 0.4%) in August.

On a year-over-year basis, the index for final demand was up 8.5%, versus 8.6% in August, while the index for final demand, excluding food and energy, increased 7.2%, unchanged from August.

The key takeaway from the report is that it shows producer inflation sticking at levels that will pressure profit margins and stoke concerns about negative pass-through effects to the consumer. In turn, that understanding will stoke concerns that there hasn't been enough improvement on the inflation front to convince the Fed to take a more guarded approach with its rate hikes.

The 2-yr note yield, at 4.29% in front of the release, is up to 4.31%, and the 10-yr note yield, at 3.93% in front of the release, is up to 3.96%.

To be fair, the stock market's response has been a measured one thus far. There is a small silver lining in the fact that the year-over-year rates did not worsen, which counts for something for a market that is on a five-session losing streak that has amounted to a 5.3% loss over those five sessions.

Perhaps some fear and loathing about the PPI report was already priced in or perhaps market participants are simply holding out hope that there will be a bounce from a short-term oversold condition since the PPI report wasn't any worse than feared.

-- Patrick J. O'Hare,

Meanwhile, the U.S. Dollar Index is up about +0.1% to $113.38.

Report TOU ViolationShare This Post
 Public ReplyPrvt ReplyMark as Last ReadFilePrevious 10Next 10PreviousNext