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Economic Data Deluge

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Ahead of the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange this morning, we see a delayed economic report released: Advanced Trade in Goods for December. These numbers routinely come in at a big deficit. (The reason we are talking about results from the final two months of 2018 is because these reports were suspended during the government shutdown that lasted from late December to late January. Advanced Trade in Goods is derived by the U.S. Census Bureau.)

The December read fell 12.8% to -$79.5 billion. This represents the difference between import and export pricing in a given month, so it would stand to reason this figure is going to provide a headwind on growth figures.

Most prominently, the first read on Q4 GDP results is expected ahead of tomorrow’s open. Analysts had been considering growth in the final quarter of 2018 to be right around 2%; a trade deficit increasing double-digits may cause some downward revisions ahead of the new GDP report.

Q4 Earnings Roundup

Best Buy (BBY - Free Report)  shares are trading north 7% in Wednesday’s early morning hours, even with indexes overall in the red. The reason for this is the company’s beat-and-raise in its Q4 performance: $2.69 per share outpaced the $2.57 in the Zacks consensus, revenues of $14.80 topped the $14.71 billion expected, and guidance for full-year fiscal 2020 is for sales totaling $42.9 billion - 43.9 billion, the low end of which is already higher than our analysts had been expecting. Best Buy had been Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock ahead of the report; we will look for this to change in the days ahead.

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s (LOW - Free Report)  just met expectations of 80 cents per share on its bottom line, on revenues that came in just shy of estimates at $15.6 billion. Comps in the quarter came in at +1.7%, but this is well behind the pace the company set back in Q2, which was +5.2%. Yet shares are up nicely in today’s pre-market, +4.75%. 

TJX Companies (TJX - Free Report)  is also in the green during today’s early session after meeting earnings estimates of 68 cents per share. The parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and HomeGoods reported better-than-expected comps of 6%, and has announced an 18% dividend hike.

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