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Macy's, Alibaba Up on Strong Earnings

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

U.S. jobless claims retained their weekly steadiness this morning, reporting 266K claims. This is down 1000 from last week’s slightly revised number. The 4-week moving average rises a bit to 262,750, but remains firmly within a healthy 250-275K range. Continuing claims stayed near its recent norm at 2.155 million.

We saw a read on Import and Export Prices this morning, as well. Import prices rose a meager 0.1% in July, although June’s number was significantly revised from 0.2% originally reported to 0.6% this month. Export prices were also tame at +0.2%, following June’s read of +0.8%. Nothing to rile the markets here, either.

As retailers continue to bring in Q2 earnings results this morning, we saw impressive beats on the top and bottom lines from Macy’s (M - Free Report) — 54 cents per share topped the 45 cents expected, and sales of $5866 million easily surpassed the $5.75 billion in the Zacks consensus. Shares on Macy’s shot up 10% on the news.

Year-over-year comps for Macy’s were down 4% in the quarter, however, and the company announced it plans to close 100 stores in early 2017. That said, in a Q2 that has demonstrated plenty of challenges for big-box retailers, Macy’s seems to be hitting the right notes. The stock is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), but has Zacks Style scores of A for Value, and B for Growth and Momentum. And these were from before the Q2 release.

Alibaba (BABA - Free Report) also posted beats on its top and bottom lines, as the “Amazon of China” reported revenue gains of 59% year over year. Gross merchandise volume is up 24%, largely on strong performance from mobile sales. Shares are up 5.8% in the pre-market.

Futures are up in the pre-market today: the Dow is +60 points, the Nasdaq around +14 and the S&P 500 +5.5. Oil prices, following a weaker Wednesday, are both up slightly: WTI remains north of $41 per barrel and Brent above $44/bbl.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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