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Markets Fight into the Green; NIKE Mixed After-Hours

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Markets returned to their positive ways through the course of today’s trading session, which flipped to negative less than half an hour before the opening bell this morning. After a morning tussle where nearly all the major indices wound up dipping into the red a second time, the buying began. The Dow closed +116 points, +0.35%, while the Nasdaq was +108 points, +0.83%. The S&P 500 and small-cap Russell 2000 wound up +0.59% and +0.87%, respectively.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, at odds with his own party about shutting down the federal government as of Saturday, struck a positive tone this morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” And Weekly Jobless Claims came in low again, continuing to illustrate the robust labor market that has remained far beyond the initial months of the Great Reopening. And Q2 GDP came in with a final revision of a respectable +2.1% today. Other than that, there hasn’t been a lot of grist for the mill for market participants.

Tomorrow morning is a different story, with Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) for August out ahead of tomorrow’s open. This is the Fed’s preferred gauge for inflation, and expectations on year-over-year core are to come in below 4% for the first time in recent memory. We’ll also see a new U.S. trade deficit, along with advance retail and wholesale inventories — all expected at 9:30 am ET.

Meanwhile, NIKE (NKE - Free Report) is out with fiscal Q1 earnings as of today’s close, with earnings of 94 cents per share easily surpassing the 74 cents expected, with revenues in the quarter a smidge under the Zacks consensus at $12.9 billion. The NIKE Brand gained +3% while NIKE Direct gained +6% year over year. Shares are up roughly +1.5% on the news.

Gross Margins dipped a tad to 44.2% from 44.3% in the year-ago quarter — still decent considering the inflation headwinds and resultant lack of consumer appetite affecting the world of Retail these days. We don’t get any news on how its China business has done, so maybe that will be forthcoming on the conference call.

Otherwise, we saw $1.1 billion in share repurchases and dividends +9% year over year. The stock has not recovered to its early-year highs, falling off somewhat after the prior quarterly earnings miss. It came into its earnings report with a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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