Market Outlook – September 26, 2018

Nasdaq Climbs For Second Straight Day


Only the Nasdaq Composite Index among the three main benchmarks bucked the downtrend on Tuesday. For the second straight day, the tech-heavy index rose and advanced 14.22 points (+0.18%) to end at 8,007.47.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower in back-to-back sessions, losing 69.84 points (-0.26%) to settle at 26,492.21. The broader S&P 500 index fell for the third straight day as it shed 3.81 points (-0.13%) to finish at 2,915.56.

Trading activity was subdued as investors await the Federal Reserve’s monetary-policy decision on Wednesday. As usual, the trade tensions continue to linger and hinder upside momentum. The U.S. and China are still embroiled in slapping each other with new tariffs.

Nike Fails to Impress Investors


The shares of Nike Inc. (NKE) fell 4.0% in after-hours trading on Tuesday after reporting their first-quarter profit. Investors were not impressed as there was only small rise in gross margins and its 2019 forecast remains unchanged. Even the successful ad campaign was not enough to offset the weaker than expected results.

Jeff Auxier, founder & portfolio manager at Auxier Asset Management, said “The numbers are good, but they weren’t wow enough.”  For the second quarter, Nike’s revenue growth and gross margin expansion forecasts are similar to the reported quarter. The quarter was the launching period of its campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

China to End “One Route, One Airline” Policy


American carrier United Airlines (UAL) and Europe’s Air France KLM are likely to feel the heat beginning October 1st. Since 2009, the “one route, one airline” policy applies in China.

But according to Chinese Civil Aviation Authority, the changing aviation market necessitates a change. This time, the government will allow more Chinese carriers to fly on 20 popular long-haul routes. Only foreign airlines are offering that service.

The change will affect about 20% of Chinese long-haul daily capacity based on data provided by Chinese aviation data firm Variflight.

American Airlines (AAL) has already dropped the Chinese routes such as the Shanghai-Chicago and Beijing-Chicago routes. The latter is a “colossal loss-maker” that cost the company $30 million annually.

Dunkin’ Donuts to be known as “Dunkin”


Effective January 1 next year, “Dunkin” will be the official name of Dunkin’ Donuts as part of the plans to rebrand itself. The plan of Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc.’s (DNKN) CEO Dave Hoffman is to bring beverages and breakfast meals to the forefront of the restaurant chain’s menu.

The company said on Tuesday, “The new branding conveys the company’s focus on serving great coffee fast, while retaining its familiar pink and orange colors and iconic font.” Dunkins’ breakfast and beverage items are powering the sales of the company is the recent quarters.

The shift to drive more customers to buy ‘Dunkin’ coffee comes at a time when coffee chains such as Starbucks (SBUX) are dealing with declining demand for coffee in the U.S.

Goldman Sachs Launches Instagram Account


Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs (GS) launched its official Instagram account on Tuesday. The content of the investment bank’s IG account will feature content designed to endear the Goldman brand to a new generation.

Some of the features are backstage videos of notable speakers at Goldman events, including Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. Followers can also expect flashy graphics that will showcase company research on genetic medicine and 5G technology.

GS will also spotlight its own employees, showing their hobbies from barbecuing to illustration. The bank will post breathtaking photos taken from its towering offices around the world.

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