Market Outlook – September 14, 2018

Main U.S. Benchmarks Advance


U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday on the strong showing of the tech shares. The S&P 500 Index posted a fourth straight session of gain, climbing 15.26 points (+0.53%) to finish the day at 2,904.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 26,000 threshold for the first time in September. The blue-chip benchmark rose 147.07 points (+0.57%) to end at 26,145.99.

The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 59.48 points (+0.75%) to close at 8,013.71. Apple Inc. (AAPL) led the best performing technology stocks as it rose +2.42%. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) followed, adding +1.07% and +0.90% respectively.

Investors are still monitoring the trade tensions between the U.S. and China. But there is optimism as the Trump administration is offering Beijing another chance to hold fresh trade talks. The U.S. is preparing to impose new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods later this month.

Amazon to Announce Site of 2nd HQ before Year End Inc.’s (AMZN) Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said on Thursday that the site for the company’s second headquarters will be known before the end of the year. Bezo’s disclosure was made during his speech before the Economic Club of Washington.

The CEO of the e-commerce giant gave no hint as to which site among the applicants are the favorites. There are 20 finalists in North America for its planned investment of $5 billion and 50,000 jobs.

Bezos also said during his speech that it is a “mistake” for the U.S. President or any elected official to “attack media and journalists.” The Amazon chief is also the private owner of the Washington Post which has been the recipient of Trump’s repeated criticisms.

Walmart Moves to Boost Online Business in Latin America


Walmart Inc. (WMT) is set to acquire Latin American food delivery service Cornershop for $225 million. The deal was announced on Thursday as the company moves to ramp up its online grocery business in Mexico and Chile.

Walmart continues to grow its investments and tie-ups in online delivery services across the globe. They are aiming to compete with Inc. (AMZN) which is the world’s largest online retailer.

The shares of Walmex, the retail company’s Mexico division, jumped more than 3% on the news to close at their highest level since late July. As of September 13, WMT is down -3.68% year-to-date.

The three-year-old Cornershop offers its service through a mobile app and was founded in San Francisco. Analysts are saying the deal is positive and will result in greater efficiencies and higher growth in online sales. It will help speed up deliveries for its Walmart, Superama and Sam’s Club stores in Mexico.

Victoria’s Secret Owner to Close All Henri Bendel Stores


On Thursday, Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands Inc. (LB) said it would close all 23 of its Henri Bendel stores and the Henri Bendel e-commerce website in January 2019. The company adjusted its full-year earnings forecast in August, pointing to the falling demand for its PINK line of lingerie. They are also facing stiff competition from brands such as Aerie by American Eagle Outfitter (AEO).

Henri Bendel sells women’s handbags, jewelry and luxury fashion accessories. L  Brands expects the brand to deliver revenue of about $85 million for 2018. However, they did not provide any details on costs related to the closing of the business.

The Henri Bendel stores and the website will remain in operation through January 2019, it said. The first store of Henri Bendel opened 1895 in New York’s Greenwich Village. L Brands bought it in 1985. On a year-to-date basis, LB is down -54.43% while AEO is up +31.81%.

SpaceX Plans Trip around the Moon for Tourists


SpaceX is planning to launch a tourist on a trip around the moon and would reveal the tourist’s identity during a special event next week. The rocket firm run by Tesla Inc. (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk announced the news on Thursday evening via its official Twitter handle.

The tweet said, “SpaceX has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle—an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space.” It added, “Find out who’s flying and why on Monday, September 17.”

SpaceX’s forthcoming spaceship system called the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) consists of two parts. The first is a massive rocket booster that promises to out-power any ever built while the second is a towering spacecraft that will vault out of the Earth’s atmosphere.

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