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On Housing, Q3 Retail & New Tesla Products

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Housing Starts and Permits data has come out this morning, posting better-than-expected results and upward revisions for the previous month. October starts rose 13.7% to 1.29 million seasonally adjusted, annualized units. This is way up from September’s upwardly revised -3.2%, or 1.135 million units. Permits — a forward indicator on future housing starts — were +5.9% last month at just under 1.3 million, following another upwardly revised September read of -3.7%.

September, recall, had been ravaged by two major hurricanes making landfall in the continental U.S., as well as another one that ravaged the U.S. property of Puerto Rico. That housing metrics are this solid illustrates a strong bounce-back, and likely a more robust market than many analysts had earlier anticipated.

Q3 Earnings Retail Roundup

Two specialty retailers are trading up north of 20% in today’s pre-market on better-than-expected Q3 earnings reports released before the opening bell: Foot Locker (FL - Free Report) +25% and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF - Free Report) +20%. The athletic shoe retailer posted 87 cents per share versus 80 cents in the Zacks consensus, on $1.87 billion in sales that surpassed the $1.84 billion anticipated. Both quarterly numbers are down year over year, but after a very tough Retail space in 2017 thus far, market participants see some traction ahead of the all-important earnings holiday shopping season.

Abercrombie & Fitch brought in 30 cents per share on $859 million in quarterly revenues, ahead of the 24 cents and $820 million expected. Earnings numbers year over year blew away the 2 cents per share in fiscal Q317 by more than 1300%, and is the second-straight positive earnings surprise this year.

And Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) retailer Buckle Inc. (BKE - Free Report) is trading up 7% in the early market on a two-cent earnings beat to 41 cents per share. Sales were in-line with expectations at $224.3 million in the quarter. This marks Buckle’s third straight earnings beat, and today’s upswing in stock price has cut deeply into its -12.7% selloff since that start of 2017.

New Futuristic Fireworks from Tesla

Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) CEO Elon Musk unveiled two new automotive products for the near future: a semi-self-driving electric semi truck and a new high-end roadster sportscar. The 500-mile range for the truck is said to offer 50% savings per mile versus a diesel truck on the road today, and Musk personally guaranteed the trucks would not breakdown for 1 million miles. Transport services company J.B. Hunt (JBHT - Free Report) has already committed to buy multiple big rigs, which are scheduled for production in 2019.

The new Tesla roadster’s price tag is reportedly $200K to start, and is expected to begin production in 2020. It goes 0-60 in under 2 seconds. This news has sent Tesla shares up 4% in today’s pre-market after tumbling 11% this month previously, on doubts of quality for the forthcoming Model 3 and issues with the already released Model X crossover vehicle. Tesla shares are up 46% year to date.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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