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Ahead of Wall Street

Friday, August 17, 2018

Pre-market activity is offering us something of a respite this morning, with no major economic data points or major earnings reports expected ahead of the opening bell. Once markets are open, we will see a new read on August Consumer Sentiment, Leading Economic Indicators for July and a Q2 Advance Report on Services.

But this morning quiet also allows for patches of discord within the marketplace to come to the surface. For instance, despite a stable Q2 earnings report and conference call from electric vehicle leader Tesla TSLA and its CEO Elon Musk, new concerns are arising following an hour-long interview with the New York Times, which revealed the founder of Tesla, PayPal, SpaceX and Boring Company having gone through “the most difficult and painful year of my career.”

Musk also detailed his heavy use of the drug Ambien, which has compelled the CEO to spend long nights with no sleep, and often turning to social media like Twitter TWTR to offer frank and unsupervised opinion which have unnerved many Tesla shareholders. In particular, Musk’s tweet that his plan to take the iconic electric car manufacturer private at a share price of $420. Now the SEC is getting involved, looking into whether Musk inappropriately attempted to influence market trading of his company’s shares.

For its part, following yet another food contamination episode in Ohio a couple weeks back, Chipotle CMG is seeing bulls back at the feeding trough. High-volume buying following its most recent sell-off has been triggered by perceived positive U.S. economic expansion leading to more consumer discretionary income for Chipotle fans. So let this be a beacon to Tesla holders — brand loyalty can clearly go a long way toward a buoyant share price.

Keeping in the fast-casual dining realm for a moment, Texas-based Zoe’s Kitchen ZOES is reportedly being acquired by private restauranteur Cava Group for $12.75 per share, representing a 33% increase from Thursday’s closing price. The deal, expected to close sometime in Q4, would bring together the grilled chicken and pita cuisine of Zoe’s with the Mediterranean-style assembly-line prep of the Cava brand.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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Earnings and Economic News

Key Earnings Reports For Aug 17, 2018

Economic Event Reported
(+) Treasury notes (10 yr) - Aug 17, 2018 4:15 PM Eastern Time
(+) Treasury bills (3 mth) - Aug 17, 2018 4:15 PM Eastern Time
(+) Federal Funds Rate - Aug 17, 2018 4:15 PM Eastern Time
(+) Leading Indicators - Aug 17, 2018 --
(+) Mich Sentiment-Prel. - Aug 17, 2018 --