As we approach the end of the third quarter, we are stepping back to look at a few primary variables in the economy and investment markets. We have prioritized and outlined our thoughts and investment initiatives.
The stock indices sold off hard on Monday to start the week, but they ended the week positive as the S&P rallied to finish up 0.50%. For the year, the S&P is up 18.62%, the Nasdaq is up 16.65%, and the Dow Jones is up 13.69%. Cryptocurrencies were unable to make up their losses as China announced that Bitcoin transactions were illegal, sending BTC down over -10%. Both Nike and Costco reported earnings last week, giving us insight into potential supply chain issues across both of the consumer sectors.
Nike Inc [NKE]
Nike reported earnings of $1.16, beating estimates by 4 cents. Revenue was up 16% year-over-year, but it missed estimates by $220 million. Direct sales were $4.7 billion and up 28%, while digital sales were up 29%. The sales performance was led by a 43% increase in North America. Gross margin expanded 170 basis points from last year, and cash grew to $13.7 billion from the prior quarter. The stock experiences a tough sell off, as shares were lower by over-6% due to the revenue miss on global supply chain issues. Shares are up 6% for the year, which is underperforming the consumer discretionary sector by -9%. Although the short-term outlook may be concerning due to supply chain issues, we continue to believe in the company’s long-term drivers, as Nike’s innovation and demand trends are still very strong.
Costco Wholesale Corp [COST]
Costco reported earnings of $3.90, beating estimates by 36 cents. Revenue was $62.69 billion, up 17% year-over-year and beat estimates by $1.23 billion. The company reported comp sales growth of 15% in the U.S. and 20% in Canada, with e-commerce sales rising 11% during the quarter. Membership fees were 37% higher than the prior quarter. The stock was up over 3% on its strong results. Costco is now up 24% year to date, and up 44% over the last 12 months. The stock is outperforming the staples sector by 20% this year.
A central bank taper is coming and, the indication of higher rates is not far behind. Interest rates reversed their recent return to declines. The 10-year U.S. Treasury increased 15bps during the week to 1.45%. Now, the focus shifts to whether the Fed is about to begin pulling back on stimulus just as the economic recovery is beginning to slow. Supply chains are beginning to become locked up again. The economy is not opening as quickly as originally expected. The reality we are facing is that a premature tightening in monetary policy could choke off the economy before it truly becomes strong enough to sustain itself.
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