Strong Economic Data & Earnings Report

Zacks Equity Research

New Housing Starts data for the month of October were mixed slightly, but still up year over year. Housing Starts last month came in at 1.314 million seasonally adjusted, annualized units, lower than the 1.325 million expected. But this was up from the upwardly revised 1.266 million units reported for September. This demonstrates growth of 3.8%.

Building Permits — a leading indicator of future starts — rose 5% to 1.461 million, better than the 1.390 million anticipated. This may be an indication of future strength in the housing market, which has spent 4 of the previous 14 quarters in negative territory in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is yet another indication that, while there may be global economic headwinds, the U.S. looks to have cornered the market on growth strength.

TJX Companies TJX outperformed expectations in its Q3 report released ahead of today’s opening bell, beating earnings estimates by 2 cents to 68 cents per share on sales of $10.451 billion which narrowly outpaced the Zacks consensus by 1.21%. Comps rose 4%, much better than the 2.3% analysts were looking for. The company also raised guidance.

Shares of TJX had already been ahead of the S&P 500’s gains year to date, up 33.1%. Shares are up another 1.6% in today’s pre-market trading activity. For more on TJX’s earnings, click here.

Home Depot HD, on the other hand, reported in-line earnings of $2.53 per share, and two cents higher than the year-ago quarter, though revenues slightly missed expectations to $27.22 billion. Based on the above housing and permits data, this would be expected to say good things about Home Depot’s future. Yet at +39% year to date, mixed results like these are sending Home Depot stock down 3.7% in today’s pre-market. For more on HD’s earnings, click here.

The biggest Q3 earnings disappointment this morning came from Kohl’s KSS, which underperformed everywhere you look: 74 cents per share versus 85 expected, down 24.5% from the year-ago quarter; $4.625 billion in sales which missed the $4.628 billion a year ago and the expected $4.668 billion; and lowered full-year guidance, from $5.15-5.54 per share originally anticipated to $4.75-4.95 today. Shares have fallen nearly 13% on the news. For more on KSS’ earnings, click here.


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