Market Update: May 15, 2017

MarketUpdate_header

  • Overnight in Asia most indexes were up fractionally while Japan pulled back slightly. G-7 discussions focused on protectionist threats, which weighed on sentiment. North Korea also fired a new missile over the weekend, adding to tensions on the peninsula.
  • WTI crude oil prices are up ~3.0%, to $49.25/barrel, after energy ministers from Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed that extension to oil production cuts for an additional nine months, through March 2018, is needed.
  • European markets were mixed on either side of flat. Investors were positive on Christian Democrats state victory supporting Merkel’s hold on power, while oil move was also welcomed.
  • U.S. markets are moving higher, boosted by news on potential oil production cuts. Meanwhile, concerns over cyberattacks and Trump/Comey drama may dampen enthusiasm as trading progresses.

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Key Insights

  • The economy remains on track for Q2 gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.0% to 2.5% despite mixed inflation readings and retail sales below forecast.
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose +0.2% month over month and up from the drop of -0.3% in March, however both year over year CPI (+2.2%) and year over year core CPI (+1.9%) were below expectations, triggering the rally in safe havens last Friday.
  • Retail sales (+0.4%) were also below expectations, but up from the prior month. When considering the improvement in consumer sentiment, it is important to remember that this data point (retail sales) and the performance of retail stocks, should not be viewed as an indictment of the U.S. consumer. Rather than a changing consumer, it is a change in consumer buying habits, which is combining to alter not only retail sales figures, but also pricing measures. Consumers are spending: 1) more online, 2) on experiences over goods, and 3) comparison shopping using mobile technology. Consequently, it is very difficult for the department store model to continue charging premium, retail prices.
  • Considering the unemployment rate of 4.4%, wage growth of +2.5% year over year, riding confidence and delayed tax refunds, the near-term (Q2) and longer-term (2017) GDP trajectory appears favorable. Clarity on tax reform could take these numbers even higher.

Macro Notes

  • Excellent earnings season but bar will soon be raised. First quarter earnings season has been excellent by almost any measure. Results beat expectations by more than usual, the overall growth rate is very strong, and guidance has provided above-average support for analysts’ estimates for the balance of 2017. But at the risk of raining on the earnings parade, we would note that comparisons will get tougher as we anniversary the earnings recession trough of 2016, while the risk that the corporate tax reform timetable gets pushed into 2018 has increased. Market participants generally expect fiscal policy to begin to provide an earnings boost by year end, an expectation that has become increasingly tenuous.

 

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  • Chinese industrial production growth weaker than expected. Chinese industrial production growth came in at 6.5% vs. expectations of 7% and down from period month of 7.6%. On an absolute basis, the economy is still on track to meet its growth goals, though it looks like growth may have peaked for the year at the end of the first quarter. The government continues to crack down on excess leverage in the financial system; today’s numbers are unlikely to move them off that path.
  • Japan domestic demand, and prices, rise in April. We normally think of Japan as an export oriented economy, but domestic demand increased over 4% on a year-over-year basis, with the impact felt most strongly in demand for raw materials. Producer prices rose modestly last month against declining expectations and are running at 2.1% annually.
  • Bank of Japan. Just like the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of Japan (BOJ) is under some public pressure to outline how it intends to unwind both its zero-interest rate policy and the massive expansion of its balance sheet to 93% of the country’s GDP. Recent statements from BOJ Governor Kuroda suggests such policy announcements may be coming. The more good news that comes out of the Japanese economy, the more pressure the BOJ is under.
  • Win streak snapped, but lack of volatility remains. The S&P 500 snapped its 3-week win streak last week, with a modest 0.3% drop. One thing continued though and that was the incredibly small daily ranges and lack of overall volatility. On the week, the S&P 500 traded in less than a one-percent range (from high to low) for the second consecutive week ( only the third time since 1995). Additionally, the intraday range on Friday was 0.22% – the smallest daily range on a full day of trading in nearly three years.
  • Checking in on small caps. The lack of volatility isn’t just in the blue chips, as the Russell 2000 has traded in a range of only 6.8% over the past 20 weeks. That is the tightest 20-week range since at least 1990. After a big jump in the fourth-quarter, small caps have lagged large caps this year, as they continue to consolidate the late 2016 gains.

MonitoringWeek_header

Tuesday

  • Italy: GDP (Q1)
  • UK: CPI & PPI (Apr)
  • Eurozone: GDP (Q1)

Wednesday

  • Russia: GDP (Q1)
  • Japan: GDP (Q1)

Thursday

  • LEI (Apr)
  • ECB: Draghi

 

 

 

 

 

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide or be construed as providing specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual security. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal. Investing in foreign and emerging markets securities involves special additional risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, currency risk, political risk, and risk associated with varying accounting standards. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are subject to interest rate risk and opportunity risk. If interest rates rise, the value of your bond on the secondary market will likely fall. In periods of no or low inflation, other investments, including other Treasury bonds, may perform better. Bank loans are loans issued by below investment-grade companies for short-term funding purposes with higher yield than short-term debt and involve risk. Because of its narrow focus, sector investing will be subject to greater volatility than investing more broadly across many sectors and companies. Commodity-linked investments may be more volatile and less liquid than the underlying instruments or measures, and their value may be affected by the performance of the overall commodities baskets as well as weather, disease, and regulatory developments. Government bonds and Treasury bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Investing in foreign and emerging markets debt securities involves special additional risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, currency risk, geopolitical and regulatory risk, and risk associated with varying settlement standards. High-yield/junk bonds are not investment-grade securities, involve substantial risks, and generally should be part of the diversified portfolio of sophisticated investors. Municipal bonds are subject to availability, price, and to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rate rise. Interest income may be subject to the alternative minimum tax. Federally tax-free but other state and local taxes may apply. Investing in real estate/REITs involves special risks such as potential illiquidity and may not be suitable for all investors. There is no assurance that the investment objectives of this program will be attained. Currency risk is a form of risk that arises from the change in price of one currency against another. Whenever investors or companies have assets or business operations across national borders, they face currency risk if their positions are not hedged. This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.

20 Hidden Sources Of Income Lying Around Your House

You can sell things online, like dolls, old appliances and books, for cash.

The unused items collecting dust in your home could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. People tend to underestimate the value of their belongings, but buyers often are happy to pay serious cash for rare or limited items, said Jacquie Denny, founder of Everything But The House (EBTH), an online estate sale service. However, even everyday items can find a buyer.

Whether you’re on a cash crunch or want to do some heavy spring cleaning, check around your house. Find out which 20 things you can sell online and elsewhere for extra money.

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1. CLOTHING

Chances are that you and your loved ones have clothing that’s collecting dust in a closet. If these items are gently worn, you might be able to cash in by selling them. One of the easiest ways to unload your used clothing for cash is to sell items on consignment.

I’ve been selling clothes through a local consignment store for years and regularly receive 50 percent of the selling price for items I unload. To earn top dollar, look for upscale consignment stores that enjoy a lot of foot traffic. Additionally, you should find out what brands and items the store accepts and make sure your clothing meets the store’s standards.

You can also sell to an online reseller such as ThredUP.com, which will send you a prepaid package to ship your items. ThredUP sellers can earn up to 80 percent of the marked price of their items.

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2. DESIGNER SHOES AND HANDBAGS

If you paid big bucks for designer shoes or a handbag that you now rarely use, you can reclaim some of your money by selling these items online. Frugal living expert Lauren Greutman said she has sold shoes through Poshmark for up to 50 percent of the retail price.

You can snap a picture of the items you want to sell using the Poshmark app and list them instantly. Poshmark will send a prepaid box to ship items that sell and take a $2.95 commission for sales less than $15 and a 20 percent commission for sales above $15.

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3. JEWELRY

If you have an inherited necklace that isn’t your style, or an engagement ring you no longer wear because you’re divorced, you might want to consider selling these pieces for cash. Fine jewelry can be worth a lot, said Denny.

To make sure you get the full value of your jewelry, consider having items appraised beforehand. You can find an appraiser near you through the American Society of Appraisers’ site, Appraisers.org, or sell online through an auction site such as eBay.com. You can also opt to sell to a jeweler or pawn shop, but it’s important to seek out quotes from several stores before doing so.

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4. COMPUTERS

Many households have $400 to $800 worth of cash in the form of unused laptop computers, said Michele Perry, a consumer tech expert at electronics resale site Gazelle.com. Fortunately, sites such as Gazelle and NextWorth.com make it easy to unload these unwanted laptops for cash.

With Gazelle, sellers can request quotes for their devices. They are then sent prepaid shipping boxes.

“You just send it back with your device, and we’ll send you cash,” Perry said. She went on to remind sellers to erase the data on their computers prior to sending them in.

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5. CELLPHONES

Used cellphones are another tech item you can sell for cash — even if it’s damaged.

“Most devices still have value even if they are broken or damaged, as long as they are fully functional and just have a broken screen or need to replace a battery or button,” Perry said. In fact, sellers can net $75 for a broken iPhone 6S on Gazelle.com. Moreover, they can earn $185 if the item is in good condition with normal wear and tear.

Sellers can also unload old cellphones on sites like Kiiboo.com and NextWorth.com or drop their phones into one of the more than 2,000 ecoATM kiosks located in shopping malls across the nation.

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6. GIFT CARDS

In 2015, $973 million worth of gift cards went unused, according to the professional services firm CEB. If you have gift cards you’re not planning to use, you can sell them for cash on sites such as CardCash.com, Cardpool.com, GiftCardZen.com and Raise.com.

The above sites purchase gift cards for less than face value and then resell them at a discount. For example, you can get back up to 92 percent of a card’s value at Cardpool.com. You also can exchange gift cards for cash at Coinstar Exchange kiosks in grocery stores.

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7. BOOKS

If you have books you know you’ll never read again — or at all — you can easily turn them into cash by selling online. Check to see if you have any first edition books and books autographed by authors to start, said Denny of EBTH, as these items could be good sources of hidden cash.

Greutman recommended selling unwanted books on Amazon. Scan your books using the free Amazon Seller app, which tells you the current value. You can list your books with the app and price them based on Amazon’s pricing suggestions, she said. It’s important to note that Amazon charges 99 cents per item sold.

Additionally, sellers can unload unwanted books through Half.com, which doesn’t charge a listing fee. Start by visiting sites like AbeBooks.com and Biblio.com to see what your books might be worth.

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8. CHILDREN’S TOYS

It’s no secret that children outgrow their toys quickly. Luckily, you can make money selling your kids’ unwanted toys — especially larger items such as kitchen playsets. I made about $50 on a wooden train set for which I originally paid $75 by selling it through a consignment store.

If you have several smaller toys to sell, Greutman advised requesting a box from Swap.com. You can fill it with items and then ship it back to the company for free. Earning $25 to $50 per box is not uncommon, according to Greutman.

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9. COLLECTIBLE DOLLS

If you inherited a collection of porcelain dolls from your grandmother, it might be time to dig them out of storage. In fact, according to Denny, people are willing to pay top dollar for collectible dolls.

Additionally, individuals whose children have old American Girl dolls might be sitting on cash cows. These toys command a high price on eBay.com, said Greutman. For example, a 2014 American Girl Doll of the Year recently had a list price of $399.99 on eBay. This listing is $285 higher than that of the current Doll of the Year sold by American Girl.

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10. FURNITURE

Make some extra cash by selling unwanted furniture that’s occupying space in your garage, attic or storage unit. Along with selling items in consignment stores, which offer owners a percentage of the final price, individuals can opt to advertise locally on Facebook, Craigslist.org or OfferUp.

BudgetsAreSexy.com blogger J. Money has made more than $1,000 selling items on Craigslist, including furniture. When listing an item on the site, he recommended posting several pictures, providing all of the dimensions, using keywords such as brand names in your description and researching prices of similar items. Additionally, you should make yourself available by phone or email to respond to interested buyers.

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11. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

That guitar or drum set you bought years ago, because you thought you were going to start a band, can be turned into cash if your dreams of rockstardom never materialized. In fact, J. Money reported selling an electric guitar, amps and accessories on Craigslist for $225. You also can sell musical instruments online through sites such as Reverb.com, which charges a 3.5 percent fee on sales, or at a physical retailer such as Guitar Center.

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12. SPORTING GOODS

Denny said that outdoor sporting goods, such as bicycles, canoes and fishing gear, tend to sell well on EBTH. If you have sporting goods you bought for yourself or your kids, you can sell them on your own through Craigslist or OfferUp.

Additionally, you can take sports gear — such as skis, golf clubs, baseball bats, gloves and football cleats and helmets — to a Play It Again Sports store and receive 30 percent to 50 percent of the selling price.

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13. SPORTS MEMORABILIA

If you collected baseball cards or sports jerseys as a child, you might be able to exchange these items for much-needed cash. Signed sports memorabilia, in particular, can be a big source of income.

“The more famous the player, the higher the prices demanded,” Denny said. For best results, consider having your items appraised to determine how valuable they are.

You can find an appraiser through Appraisers.org or have trading cards professionally authenticated through the Professional Sports Authentication at PSACard.com. One of the best places to sell sports memorabilia is eBay, which many sports enthusiasts use to find collectibles.

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14. ANTIQUES

If you have antiques you’re willing to sell, their value will hinge largely on their condition and whether they are rare or have historical significance, Denny said.

“With antiques, small scratches and evidence of light wear and tear can actually increase the value slightly, but structural damage and other repairs can be costly and dissuade sellers,” she said. “All these complicating factors are part of why it’s important to work with a reputable appraiser.”

The best way to secure top dollar for antiques is to sell them through an auction house, according to Consumer Reports. You can also sell to antique dealers, but be sure to get quotes from a few services before doing so. Additionally, you can sell antiques at EBTH, which offers appraisers who will value individual items or an entire estate.

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15. ARTWORK

Whether you have inherited artwork that isn’t your taste, or pieces you purchased are collecting dust in the attic, you can opt to sell these items for cash. In fact, I’ve sold numerous pieces of art at consignment stores.

For fine art, consider having items appraised before selling. Regional artwork sells particularly well in EBTH sales, said Denny. You can also sell your fine art through auction houses.

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16. CHINA SETS

If formal dining isn’t your style, you can unload that china set you inherited or received as a wedding gift at a local consignment store. Denny said china is a popular item sold on EBTH — especially sets made by Spode, Lenox and modern designers, such as Ralph Lauren. Additionally, sellers can list china sets on Craigslist.

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17. SILVER

If you inherited some sterling silver trays, serving spoons or other items you don’t use, you might be able to earn cash selling them “as is” or for scrap.

“If the silver holds any sort of historical significance, or has any brand association, it will offer a much greater return than if you were to sell it to scrap,” Denny said. However, she acknowledged that the current market for silver is a difficult one.

At the present time, buyers might get more money selling silver pieces for scrap than at a consignment store or through an auction house. For best results, secure quotes from several metals dealers — both online and storefront.

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18. SAVINGS BONDS

You might have received — or even purchased — savings bonds decades ago only to forget about them completely. In fact, billions of dollars’ worth of matured savings bonds have never been cashed in, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

You can use the Treasury Hunt tool at Treasuryhunt.gov to discover whether you have Series E bonds issued after 1974 that are no longer earning interest and can be cashed in. The tool can also help you identify bonds you might have lost and claim them.

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19. APPLIANCE PARTS

Small appliances that are old or broken can still have value, Greutman said. That’s because you can sell their parts on eBay. For example, a used Keurig K-cup holder recently had a list price of $29.90 on eBay.

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20. VIDEO GAMES

You can cash in on those video games you or your kids no longer play by selling them online or at various brick-and-mortar retailers. Sites such as uSell.com and NextWorth purchase used video games and offer free shipping. Additionally, you can sell used video games at retailers such as GameStop, which will pay cash or give you store credit to buy more hours of fun.

 

 

Written by: Cameron Huddleston
Source: GOBankingRates

Market Update: February 13, 2017

© Spencer Platt/Getty Images

MarketUpdate_header

  • U.S. indexes aim for fresh record highs on global strength. Domestic markets look to add to last week’s gains after the S&P 500 rose 0.4% Friday with all but one sector finishing in the green; materials (+0.9%), energy (+0.8%), and industrials (+0.8%) led the way while consumer staples (-0.1%) lost ground. Overseas, stocks in Asia began the week higher as traders evaluated Japanese GDP data and a generally positive outcome of the U.S.-Japan summit over the weekend; the Shanghai Composite (+0.6%) and Hang Seng (+0.6%) led major indexes in the region, while the Nikkei gained 0.4%. European markets are also moving up as the STOXX 600 is heading for its fifth consecutive gain. Elsewhere, the dollar touched a two-week high, WTI crude oil ($53.07/barrel) is pulling back after three days of gains, COMEX gold ($1227/oz.) is modestly lower, and the yield on 10-year Treasuries is up 3 basis points (0.03%) to 2.44%.

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  • Earnings update: strong growth, decent upside. With 71% of S&P 500 companies having reported, S&P 500 earnings are tracking to an 8.4% year-over-year increase, 2.3% above estimates on January 1, 2017 (Thomson Reuters data). Financials, materials, and technology have produced the most upside (all 3% or more) and financials the most growth (+20.8%), followed by technology at 10.9%. An earnings gain for all 11 S&P sectors remains possible with no sector down more than 1.5%. Revenue growth ticked up to 4.4%, led by consumer discretionary, healthcare and technology. This week is another busy one with 55 S&P 500 companies slated to report results.

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  • Supportive guidance. S&P 500 earnings estimates for 2017 are down by a below-average 1.1% since earnings season began (the average decline is 2.5%). Industrials, financials and energy estimates have held up best, with energy actually seeing estimates rise. We continue to expect mid- to high-single-digit earnings growth for the S&P 500 overall in 2017, and have seen nothing from corporate America during earnings season that would cause us to lose confidence in that forecast. The possibility exists that this forecast might prove too low given the potential for a policy boost later this year
  • Real estate by cycles. Evaluating real estate investments depends on three cycles: the economic cycle, the building cycle, and the interest rate cycle. We believe we are in a good spot in the economic cycle for attractive real estate returns, with steady job gains and an improving domestic economic growth outlook. The building cycle for real estate shows little sign of the type of overbuilding that has ended previous cycles. Finally, although we expect interest rates to rise, we expect increases to be modest and driven by improving economic growth and a gradual pickup in inflation, conditions historically favorable for real estate. Based on these metrics, our real estate outlook, including REITs, is favorable while a spike in interest rates remains a key risk.
  • Japan releases Q4 and 2016 gross domestic product (GDP) data overnight. The results were modestly disappointing as Q4 growth was 0.2% vs. an estimated 0.3%; for calendar year 2016, GDP growth was 1.0%, vs. consensus expectations of 1.1%. More telling than the narrow miss itself is the source of Japanese growth: mostly exports. Domestic consumption was flat for Q4 and represented about one half of the total economic growth in 2016. This may encourage Japanese authorities to weaken the yen further, though doing so may ire the Trump administration, which had previously labeled Japan’s trade surplus as unfair. Japanese stocks were stronger overnight, while the yen weakened 0.4%.
  • Busy calendar this week includes Yellen testimony. Fed Chair Yellen’s semiannual monetary policy testimony to Congress highlights this week’s very busy economic and event calendar. In addition to Yellen, a half dozen other Fed officials are on the docket as markets gauge whether or not the Fed will raise rates at its March 2017 meeting. The data due out this week on January CPI, retail sales, leading indicators, housing starts and industrial production, along with February reports on Empire State and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing and housing market sentiment, will weigh on the Fed’s decision. Overseas, Q4 GDP reports are due out in the Eurozone, Poland, and Malaysia, along with the always timely ZEW report (February) in Germany. There are no major central bank meetings this week.
  • Happy Anniversary. The S&P 500 hit last year’s low on February 11 and has since gained more than 26%. Over the past year we’ve seen a massive global stock market rally, with financials, energy, and materials leading in the U.S. A year ago there were calls to “sell everything” and many high-profile cuts of year-end equity targets.

MonitoringWeek_header

Sunday

  • Japan: GDP (Q4)

Monday

  • China: CPI (Jan)

Tuesday

  • NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (Jan)
  • Fed Chair Yellen’s Semiannual Monetary Policy Testimony to Congress-Senate
  • Kaplan (Hawk*)
  • Eurozone: GDP (Q4)
  • Germany: ZEW (Feb)

Wednesday

  • CPI (Jan)
  • Retail Sales (Jan)
  • NAHB Housing Market Index (Feb)
  • Fed Chair Yellen’s Semiannual Monetary Policy Testimony to Congress-House

Thursday

  • Housing Starts (Jan)
  • Philadelphia Fed Mfg. Report (Feb)
  • G-20 Foreign Ministers meeting
  • Eurozonee: Account of the 01/19/17 European Central Bank meeting released

Friday

  • Leading Indicators (Jan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important Disclosures: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide or be construed as providing specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual security. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal. Investing in foreign and emerging markets securities involves special additional risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, currency risk, political risk, and risk associated with varying accounting standards. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are subject to interest rate risk and opportunity risk. If interest rates rise, the value of your bond on the secondary market will likely fall. In periods of no or low inflation, other investments, including other Treasury bonds, may perform better. Bank loans are loans issued by below investment-grade companies for short-term funding purposes with higher yield than short-term debt and involve risk. Because of its narrow focus, sector investing will be subject to greater volatility than investing more broadly across many sectors and companies. Commodity-linked investments may be more volatile and less liquid than the underlying instruments or measures, and their value may be affected by the performance of the overall commodities baskets as well as weather, disease, and regulatory developments. Government bonds and Treasury bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate. Investing in foreign and emerging markets debt securities involves special additional risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, currency risk, geopolitical and regulatory risk, and risk associated with varying settlement standards. High-yield/junk bonds are not investment-grade securities, involve substantial risks, and generally should be part of the diversified portfolio of sophisticated investors. Municipal bonds are subject to availability, price, and to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rate rise. Interest income may be subject to the alternative minimum tax. Federally tax-free but other state and local taxes may apply. Investing in real estate/REITs involves special risks such as potential illiquidity and may not be suitable for all investors. There is no assurance that the investment objectives of this program will be attained. Currency risk is a form of risk that arises from the change in price of one currency against another. Whenever investors or companies have assets or business operations across national borders, they face currency risk if their positions are not hedged. This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.

The Best Shopping Deals of Presidents Day 2016

President Day
Provided by U.S. News & World Report

Often somewhat overlooked as a holiday, Presidents Day may not evoke the same kind of excitement and anticipation as Valentine’s Day and the big game.

But the day observing George Washington’s birthday does have one leg up its fellow winter holidays. The first major shopping holiday of the year, Presidents Day boasts some of the best shopping deals of the season.

During Presidents Day sales, you can score deals on appliances, mattresses and a variety of products from major retailers. Many sales begin as early as Feb. 4, and run for days after the official holiday on Feb. 15. That means that even if you don’t get Presidents Day off from work, you’ll have plenty of time to shop the weeks-long sales.

To help you navigate the countless sales that are already beginning to pop up, we’ve included a guide to some of the best Presidents Day sales of 2016 below.

Target Presidents Day Sale

Target’s Presidents’ Day sale kicks off on Feb. 7, and will feature discounts on a wide array of home goods and furniture. Highlights include:

  • 25 percent off mattresses and bed frames
  • Up to 25 percent off home items
  • Up to 25 percent off dining and entertaining products
  • Up to 25 percent off furniture
  • Up to 25 percent off lighting
  • Up to 25 percent off décor

Best Buy Presidents Day Sale

If it’s a microwave you’re after, you’re in luck. Presidents Day is one of the best times of the year to find deals on appliances, and Best Buy’s Presidents’ Day sale is one of the best opportunities to buy them.

The Best Buy sale will run until Feb. 24, and feature up to 30 percent off major appliances. You can score great deals on everything from microwaves and stovetops, to refrigerators from top brands like LG and Samsung. In addition, if you shop with a Best Buy credit card, you’ll get 5 percent of your purchase back in the form of loyalty points.

Macy’s Presidents Day Sale

In honor of George Washington’s Birthday, Macy’s will offer 20 percent off storewide and online, as well as free shipping on orders over $75. Macy’s will also offer 40 to 50 percent off women’s clothing, including blouses, jumpsuits, jeans, sweaters and more from top designers.

Sears Presidents Day Sale

One of the most diverse sales, the Sears Presidents Day event will feature discounts on a wide variety of products, including brand-name appliances, mattresses, jewelry and fitness equipment. Some of the highlights from the Sears sale include:

  • Up to 40 percent off Kenmore and top brand appliances with free delivery
  • 20 percent off fine jewelry over $100
  • Up to 50 percent off select tools
  • 10 percent off patio furniture with free delivery on orders over $499
  • 30 percent off or more on featured fitness equipment
  • 15 percent off footwear

Kmart Presidents Day Sale

Kmart will release Presidents deals throughout the month, though the bulk of its best sales are to occur on Presidents Day weekend. Head to Kmart during the holiday weekend to take advantage of special offers on toys, appliances and more. Top deals from the Kmart Presidents Day sale include:

  • Up to 30 percent off major home appliances
  • 15 percent off fine jewelry
  • Buy one, get one pair of shoes at 50 percent off
  • Up to 25 percent off swing sets, trampolines and outdoor playsets
  • Up to 25 percent off baby gear, furniture and bedding

Overstock Presidents Day Sale

Shop online at Overstock.com, and you can find deals on a huge array of items. The online retailer is celebrating Presidents Day by discounting everything from watches to mattresses to apparel. Highlights include:

  • Up to 60 percent off mattresses and memory foam
  • Up to 30 percent off clothing shoes and accessories, with an extra 20 percent off
  • Up to 55 percent off bedding and bath items
  • Up to 30 percent off lighting
  • Up to 25 percent off kitchen and dining
  • Up to 55 percent of Palm Beach jewelry, plus an extra 10 percent off

Presidents Day Shopping Tips to Remember

When it comes to navigating any major shopping event, preparation and research are key if you want to land the best deals and avoid overspending. Before you head out to begin your Presidents Day shopping, review these tips to ensure you get the most out of the experience:

Make a list. Surrounded by so many great deals, it can be easy to spend more that you intended to. To avoid impulse buys, make sure you create a list of the things you need – and stick to it!

Do your research. Before making a major purchase, be sure to research reviews and product information. It’s a good rule of thumb to stick to trusted brands, rather than purchasing off-brand appliances and electronics.

Shop online. Many retailers offer exclusive discounts to their online shoppers, in addition to free shipping or in-store pickup. When shopping online, you also have to ability to search coupon sites to find coupons and codes that could multiply your savings.

Written by Maria Lalonde of U.S. News & World Report

(Source: U.S. News & World Report)

Costco Sold 58,000 GM Cars During a Holiday Promotion

2016 Chevrolet Cruze:  
Provided by General Motors Co.

Beginning October 2 and ending January 4, Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) sponsored a promotion for Costco members who wanted to purchase a new GM car. Sales totaled approximately 58,000 GM vehicles for the three-month promotion, up 34% year over year and well above Costco’s estimated 20% increase.

The offer featured GM supplier pricing and included all qualifying manufacturer rebates and incentives on a selection of vehicles, including trucks, sport utility vehicles and luxury and fuel-efficient models. Buyers also received a $300 or $700 Costco cash card for completing a Costco member satisfaction survey.

Customers were also asked if the promotion was a “deciding factor” in their purchase of a GM car instead of another brand. More than half (53%) said it was, and GM took the most sales from Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F). Some 32% of the GM buyers switched from Ford to GM cars. That’s about 18,650 fewer Ford cars sold in the three-month period. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) lost 14% and 7% of sales, respectively.If Costco sold nothing but cars it would be the largest new car dealer in the United States. In 2015, the company sold more than 465,000 vehicles. AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN) is the nation’s largest car dealer, and it sold 343,753 new vehicles in 2015, a 5% increase year over year. Costco’s year-over-year increase in new vehicle sales totaled 16.8%.

Written by Paul Ausick of 24/7 Wall Street

(Source: 24/7 Wall Street)

Weekly Market Recap: January 12, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 3.05.15 PM

The week in review

  • Markit and ISM Mfg PMIs lower
  • Services PMIs lower, but solidly >50
  • Light vehicle sales were 17.2m
  • ADP employment increased 257k
  • Trade deficit improved to -$42.4bn
  • Payrolls increased 292k

The week ahead

  • NFIB survey
  • Job openings
  • Import prices & PPI
  • Retail sales
  • NY Fed survey
  • Industrial production
  • Consumer sentiment

For more information please visit the Source below.

(Source: JPMorgan)

Buying Jos. A Bank Has Been a Catastrophe for Men’s Wearhouse

A Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. Store Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Photograph by Craig Warga — Bloomberg via Getty Images

When Men’s Wearhouse MW bought rival clothier Jos. A Bank for $1.8 billion early last year after a five-month long saga, the retailer touted the deal as the creation of the fourth-largest men’s apparel chain in the United States, with annual sales of about $3.5 billion. The acquisition, Men’s Wearhouse claimed, would also lead to cost synergies and new customers.

It hasn’t worked out that way.

Earlier this fall, Men’s Wearhouse eliminated Jos. A Bank’s legendary “buy one suit, get three free” deals, trying to bring the brand closer to the overall company’s more modest promotional strategy and wean shoppers off what CEO Doug Ewert called “unsustainable” discounts. Shoppers have stayed away in droves.

For the second quarter in a row, Men’s Wearhouse reported a dramatic decline in comparable sales at Jos. A Bank, a 14.6% drop in the quarter. (In contrast, the flagship Men’s Wearhouse brand has only had one quarter of decline in the last four years.) And the problems are getting worse: so far this quarter, comparable sales are down 35% at Jos. A Bank. The disastrous turn of events prompted Men’s Wearhouse to take a $90.1 million write down on its Jos. A Bank investment.

Men’s Wearhouse shares were down 20% on Thursday afternoon, giving the company a stock market value of $710 million, barely more than a third of what it paid for Jos. A Bank. Talk about shareholder value destruction. And to think, Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A Bank were so eager to combine that the two had five acrimonious months of bids and counter bids leading up to the ill-fated deal.

As Fortune wrote last month, getting shoppers to give up deals is nearly impossible, as countless retailers keep learning. J.C. Penney saw sales fall 25% in 2012 after former CEO Ron Johnson jettisoned the coupons and constant discounting shoppers had come to expect. The department store is still recovering from that decision. Coach, trying to restore its once upscale aura, saw huge double-digit percentage drop-offs when it eliminated a ton of online sales last year.

Ewert recognized what a bloodbath this has been, and tried to soothe Wall Street fears with a series of new initiatives.

“There is not much that’s off the table,” Ewert told Wall Street analysts on a conference call Thursday, pointing to the need to end 35% sales declines. He didn’t offer specifics, but he said he was considering every way to cut costs, including closing stores and slashing jobs. He has also hired turnaround experts Alix Partners.

But one thing he said he won’t do is cut his losses by dumping the Jos. A Bank brand.

“We’re not anywhere near that,” said Ewert. “This is a core brand for us. It attracts a different customer than we see in any of our brands. This company is in our sweet spot from a strategic standpoint, and we’re going to turn this around.”

He’d better hurry up.

Written by Phil Wahba of Fortune 

(Source: Fortune)

Target to Start Black Friday Deals 5 Days Early

© Jeff Haynes/Reuters
© Jeff Haynes/Reuters

Target Corp said on Monday it will launch its Black Friday promotions five days early, with 10 days of deals on electronics, toys and apparel in stores and online starting Nov. 22.

Early promotions do not hurt Black Friday but instead encourage customers to make more shopping trips, Tina Tyler, Target’s chief stores officer, said on a media conference call.

“I don’t know if we would say we are shifting away, I think we are adding to it.”

Target’s decision highlights the waning importance of Black Friday, which until a few years ago kicked off the U.S. holiday shopping season. The Friday after Thanksgiving, which falls on Nov. 26 this year, is when retailers traditionally go “in the black” after being “in the red” almost all year.

Early discounts and online shopping hurt Thanksgiving weekend sales last year as shoppers on average spent 6.4 percent less than in 2013, according to data from the National Retail Federation.

Target said it will open its stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Deals include a 20 percent discount, for shoppers who spend $75 or more on Nov. 27, for a purchase between Dec. 4 and Dec. 13; 40 percent off all apparel; and buy-one-get-50 percent-off on select Star War Toys.

Written by Nandita Bose of Reuters

(Source: Reuters)

Starbucks Meets Wall Street’s Earnings Forecast

© Provided by CNBC

Starbucks (SBUX) delivered results that met expectations on Thursday, but shares dropped in after-hours trade.

Earnings rose to 43 cents a share from 37 cents in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose to $4.91 billion from $4.18 billion.

The coffee chain was forecast to deliver earnings of 43 cents per share on $4.9 billion in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters estimate.

Its stock fell after the bell.

Systemwide same store sales rose 8 percent. Same-store sales were expected to rise6.9 percent, according to a Consensus Metrix estimate. Results in its China/Asia Pacific unit fell short of expectations. Comps rose 6 percent there, short of the 9.6 percent analysts were expecting.

Last month, the chain launched its mobile feature that enables mobile order and pay nationwide—a key initiative for the restaurant.

Written by Katie Little of CNBC

(Source: CNBC)

Target to Offer Free Shipping on All Online Orders

PHOTO: DAVID RYDER/BLOOMBERG NEWS
PHOTO: DAVID RYDER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Target Corp. is bringing back free shipping on all online orders for the holiday season, the second straight year Chief Executive Brian Cornell has turned to the strategy to boost digital sales.

The shipping strategy is a key point of difference during the holiday season between Target and rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which said on Thursday that it will continue to charge a shipping fee for all orders of less than $50. Best Buy Co. last week said it would drop shipping fees on all orders through early January.

Mr. Cornell is leading his second holiday season at Target, though this year’s holiday shopping event will the first that bears his full imprint. His tenure atop the retailer started in 2014, with most of the company’s holiday plans already having been set.

One of the main changes for which he pushed last year was dropping shipping charges during the holidays, part of Target’s goal to boost its digital business and better compete with online rivals like Amazon.com Inc. Free shipping helped Target boost digital sales 36% during last year’s fourth quarter.

Mr. Cornell is hoping to grow Target.com’s sales at a 40% annual clip over the next five years. The retailer, though, has fallen short of that mark in the two quarters since announcing the goal, meaning it has to make up ground the rest of this year. Digital sales were less than 3% of Target’s business through the first half of the year.

Target’s broader holiday plans include improving the quality of home décor and apparel, as well as sprucing up displays in key areas of the stores. Target is also launching an online site to sell its products to over 200 countries and adding new ways of selling products, with curbside pickup available at 121 stores next week.

Mr. Cornell acknowledged on Thursday that the holiday season is unfolding at a time when shoppers remain cautious and the battle for shoppers remains fierce. “We’re going to have to fight for every dollar, ” Mr. Cornell said in an interview at Target’s New York office.

Though Target is now incorporating real marble into cutting boards and selling hand-crafted serving trays, improvement in quality hasn’t boosted prices. “The core assortment throughout the store is better quality, not higher prices,” said Jeff Jones, Target’s chief marketing officer.

Thus far, changes in other departments have paid off. Putting apparel on new mannequins, for instance, has boosted sales of those items by 30%, while dinnerware and furniture featured in Target’s restaged home area sell three to four times faster than the rest of the category, the company says.

Though the plan has been communicated from the top, Target’s stores will have to carry it out, including making sure that items are in-stock, a major problem the retailer is beginning to tackle. “Now it’s execution time,” Mr. Cornell said.

Written by Paul Ziobro of MarketWatch

(Source: MarketWatch)