‘Murky’ consumer spending calls for ‘recession resilient’ stock picks, Piper Sandler says
Given the “murky” outlook on consumer spending, Piper Sandler analyst Peter Keith said he’s leaning toward “recession-resilient growth stocks” that have company-specific situations to serve as a catalyst for a stock move. He’s named five picks for the coming year.
One favorite is Yeti. Keith expects the company to benefit from a drop in ocean freight costs, which will boost its profitability. His $57 price target implies nearly 37% upside from where shares closed Wednesday, and it is more than 7% higher than the average target on Wall Street, according to FactSet.
As consumers trade down to cheaper goods in a weak economy, Keith expects Dollar General to benefit, calling it a “steady/strong operator.” Its price target moves to $288 from $273. The stock is up more than 3% in 2023. Keith’s call means it could rise nearly 18% from here.
Planet Fitness‘ price target was lifted to $93 from $79, or about 18% above its current level.
Piper Sandler’s surveys show consumers are talking about hitting the gym in the new year. Keith expects fiscal 2023 same-store sales to rise more than 10.5%, which is above consensus.
—Christina Cheddar Berk
The Senate passes $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, measure goes to the House
The Senate approved a $1.7 trillion federal spending bill for the 2023 fiscal year on Thursday, voting 68 in favor to 29 opposed.
The measure now goes to the House, where lawmakers are expected to pass it and avert a government shutdown before the holidays.
The fiscal year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill earmarks $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs and $858 billion for defense funding, according to a summary from Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
The measure also includes $44.9 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies, as well as $40.6 billion to aid communities in the U.S. recovering from natural disasters.
Read more from CNBC’s Christina Wilkie here.
–Darla Mercado, Christina Wilkie
Stocks are off session lows in final hour of trading
Stocks were off their session lows heading into the final hour of trading.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 507 points, or 1.5%, after falling 803 points earlier in the session. S&P 500 declined 2.01%, while the Nasdaq Composite was 2.75% lower; At session lows, they were down 2.94% and 3.7%, respectively.
— Sarah Min
Baird slashes price targets for internet giants, including Amazon and Alphabet
Baird cut its price targets for a slew of internet names, including Amazon, Alphabet and Meta.
In a report on Wednesday, the firm pointed to slower recoveries in e-commerce and online advertising as it trimmed 2023 estimates for the stocks. Baird also cited expectations for a mild to moderate recession and a softening labor market.
In particular, the firm cut its price target on Amazon to $120 from $130 and trimmed its target on Alphabet to $115 from $120. Baird also lowered its target on Meta to $145 from $150.
Baird cut its 2023 growth assumptions for Amazon’s AWS cloud computing service, and “to a lesser extent,” Amazon Retail and its 3P, or third-party seller service. The firm lowered estimates on Google to incorporate a higher chance of recession in the new year, as well as “slower growth for core search, YouTube, network and cloud.”
Finally, Baird trimmed estimates for Meta to factor in rising recession risk in 2023, but noted that progress in ad automation, engagement with Reels and direct-response ads could help offset some of those difficulties.
Analyst Colin Sebastian described the outlook for the sector as “down but not out.” Amazon, Alphabet and Meta are among Baird’s list of “return to quality growth” stocks. “Over the medium term, we expect positive secular growth trends to resume,” he wrote.
–Darla Mercado, Michael Bloom
The Renaissance IPO ETF sinks to a level last seen in April 2020
The Renaissance IPO ETF, a portfolio of the largest newly listed companies, slumped to a new low dating back to April 2020. The fund was down nearly 4% as of 2:35 p.m. ET.
Shares of Unity, Rivian, Monday.com and Roblox were among the companies dragging the ETF during Thursday’s trading. Unity, Rivian and Roblox were all down more than 7%, while Monday.com tumbled 6.8%.
The ETF is down more than 57% for the year, and it’s on track for its worst week on record since it was created in 2013.
This year has been particularly unkind to newly debuted companies as investors sought safety in 2022 and higher interest rates hurt the shares of tech companies.
–Darla Mercado, Gina Francolla
Just one Dow stock is trading in positive territory
Only one stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average was positive during afternoon trading Thursday.
Nike eked out a small gain, up just 0.16%, adding to its advance in the prior session when the sports apparel stock rose following better-than-expected earnings.
In contrast, Intel was the biggest decliner in the major index, down nearly 4.6% lower amid a broader decline in semiconductor stocks following Micron Technology’s disappointing quarterly results.
— Sarah Min
A winter ‘bomb cyclone’ spells risk for these stocks, Bank of America says
A winter cold snap is expected to hit most of the United States over the holiday weekend, spelling risk ahead for some utilities companies, according to Bank of America.
“We have been surprised by the lack of investor attention to the cold weather risk, particularly following the negative impacts during the Polar Vortex (Winter 2014) and Winter Storm Uri (February 2021),” analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith wrote in a Thursday note.
“Investor awareness of hurricane exposure for Gulf utilities is elevated but the extreme cold risk is underappreciated,” Dumoulin-Smith added.
The analyst is keeping a close watch on parts of the United States where the grid is most at risk from extreme cold conditions, which include Texas, Michigan, New England, and parts of the Midwest.
Historically speaking, the companies most at risk of extreme weather conditions in these regions include Michigan utilities such as CMS Energy and DTE Energy. Independent power producers such as NRG Energy, Vistra and Constellation Energy incurred “hundreds of million in losses” during Winter Storm Uri in Texas, according to the note. Renewable companies such as Duke Energy and NextEra Energy are also at risk.
Regardless, Bank of America maintained a buy rating on DTE Energy, Vistra Energy, Constellation Energy, Duke Energy, and NextEra Energy because of their “attractive risk-adjusted return profiles.” The analyst reiterated a neutral rating on shares of CMS Energy and NRG Energy because of “more robust investment outlooks for other utilities and power companies.”
In contrast, companies that have more positive exposure to extreme weather includes Avangrid and Evergy, but the analyst had an underperform rating on both stocks. Generac, a power generator company, could see “incremental demand” from extreme cold; the analyst had a neutral rating on the stock.
— Sarah Min
Cowen says the IRA makes this biotech stock a more attractive M&A target
Large-cap pharma stocks have been a good place to hide in 2022, and analysts don’t expect that to change next year. One reason is the clarity on drug pricing. Another is the potential pick-up in M&A.
One of Cowen’s 10 predictions for biotech next year touches on both these trends.
A divided Congress makes it unlikely that there will be new rules put in place capping prices, but investors also are watching closely to see how the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act shakes out. Many expect a provision that imposes discounts on drugs after they’ve been in the market for nine years for small-molecule drugs or 13 years for biologics will shape how companies structure their portfolios.
Cowen said the IRA makes Argenx a more attractive acquisition target, or maybe the company spins out its pipeline. Shares of Argenx, which specializes in autoimmune diseases, are up nearly 9% year to date, putting its market cap at about $21 billion. Cowen said the stock reflects the launch of blockbuster Vyvgart to treat three different indications, but there’s upside with its other clinical programs. Also, if it were acquired, shares could pop 50%-75% from here. The firm puts a 25% probability on this occurring.
—Christina Cheddar Berk
Stocks making the biggest moves midday
Bill Miller tells Barron’s he bought more Amazon and Silvergate and likes Delta Air
Legendary investor Bill Miller, who’s about to retire after a career highlighted by a 15-year stretch when he outperformed the S&P 500, told Barron’s in an interview that he’s added to positions in Amazon and Silvergate Capital, is “a big fan” of Delta Air and that Bitcoin is still a large holding in his personal account.
Miller’s Opportunity Trust mutual fund is down about 36% in 2022, ranking in the 100th percentile of its peer group, which is down less than 14%, according to Morningstar. Over the past 10 years, the fund ranks in the 68th percentile.
Miller’s view of Amazon is “it’s going to be hard” for it “not to double over the next three years given how much cash AWS [Amazon Web Services] and the advertising business are throwing off.”
Chesapeake Energy was also touted by Miller, along with other, lesser-followed stocks such as OneMain Holdings, Quad Graphics, Gannett, Clear Secure and Farfetch. Chesapeake and OneMain also offer yields above 10%, Miller said.
— Scott Schnipper
Tesla shares slide
Shares of Tesla dropped more than 9% during Thursday trading. The automaker offered a $7,500 discount on its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles delivered in the United States by year-end, as well as 10,000 miles of free supercharging for those vehicles, according to its website.
The promotion added to investor concerns that surging inflation and CEO Elon Musk’s controversial handling of Twitter could weigh on demand for Tesla vehicles.
Tesla is the biggest decliner during the December market sell-off, down 36% this month. Shares are down more than 64% in 2022.
15 S&P 500 stocks hit fresh lows Thursday
Fifteen stocks in the S&P 500 hit new 52-week lows Thursday, with shares of online dating company Match Group trading at all-time lows since is public debut in November 2015.
Here are the stocks:
- Match Group (MTCH) trading at all-time lows back to its IPO in Nov, 2015
- Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) trading at lows not seen since Apr, 2009
- Advance Auto Parts (AAP) trading at lows not seen since July, 2020
- Amazon.com (AMZN) trading at lows not seen since Mar, 2020
- Expedia (EXPE) trading at lows not seen since Aug, 2020
- CarMax (KMX) trading at lows not seen since Apr, 2020
- Tesla (TSLA) trading at lows not seen since Oct, 2020
- VF Corp. (VFC) trading at lows not seen since Aug, 2011
- Tyson Foods (TSN) trading at levels not seen since Nov, 2020
- Signature Bank (SBNY) trading at lows not seen since Nov, 2020
- Generac (GNRC) trading at lows not seen since Apr, 2020
- Paypal (PYPL) trading at lows not seen since Oct, 2017
- Trimble (TRMB) trading at lows not seen since Oct, 2020
- Western Digital (WDC) trading at lows not seen since Mar, 2020
- Equity Residential (EQR) trading at lows not seen since Jan, 2021
— Chris Hayes, Sarah Min
Stocks accelerate losses during midday trading
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 500 points, or 1.5%, as stocks accelerated losses during midday trading Thursday. S&P 500 declined 1.97%, while the Nasdaq Composite was 2.83% lower.
— Sarah Min
Information technology is the biggest laggard in S&P 500, chip stocks underperform
Information technology was the biggest laggard in the S&P 500, with the sector down more than 3% during morning trading. Consumer discretionary and communication services also underperformed in the broader market index, about 2.6% and 1.8% lower, respectively.
Among the biggest decliners in the information technology sector were semiconductor companies. Shares of Lam Research dropped nearly 10%, while Applied Materials was more than 7% lower. Meanwhile, Advanced Micro Devices fell more than 6%.
— Sarah Min
Only 27 advancers on the S&P 500, FedEx outperforms
Brace yourself for another rough year in the market, strategists say
Stocks are tumbling Thursday, dashing hopes that had been stoked by a 526-point rally on Wednesday. Top Wall Street analysts don’t expect these gyrations to go away anytime soon.
CNBC rounded up predictions from the top 15 Wall Street strategists about where the S&P 500 is heading in 2023. While the average forecast calls for a higher year, many are seeing double-digits drawdowns during the period as the economy is expected to deteriorate.
There is a big divergence in the estimates, with a top prediction of 4,500 from Deutsche Bank and CFRA and a low of 3,725 from Barclays. Read more here.
—Yun Li, Christina Cheddar Berk
Needham’s Netflix worries
Needham analyst Laura Martin laid out her five biggest concerns for Netflix heading into the new year:
- Peak subscriptions may be behind company
- Pressure to average revenue per user
- Below-consensus ad revenue estimates for 2023
- Government lawsuit against Microsoft because of its Activision Blizzard deal makes it less likely for tech giant to buy Netflix
- “If NFLX reports sub growth in 2023, subs come from low-ARPU geos, while sub losses come from high-ARPU geos.”
Martin also lowered her estimates for 2023 and now sees revenue growth of just 6%.
— Fred Imbert
Micron slumps on earnings miss, CEO cites ‘dramatic drop’ in demand
Micron shares fell about 4% after the semiconductor maker missed earnings estimates and said it’s facing dwindling demand for its products.
“In the last several months, we have seen a dramatic drop in demand,” said Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra on an earnings call Wednesday, noting that a mismatch between supply and demand has forced the company to retain more inventory and lose its pricing power.
He also noted that profitability for the company will “remain challenged” through 2023, although revenues and free cash flow may bounce back later in the year.
In response to these challenges, the company said it’s cutting 10% of its workforce and suspending 2023 bonuses.
Micron also said it now expects a wider-than-expected loss of 62 cents a share for the current period.
The news from Micron weighed on chip stocks Thursday, with shares of Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia last down about 6% and 5%, respectively. Marvell Technology and Qualcomm fell more than 4% and 3%, respectively.
— Samantha Subin
Stocks open lower
Stocks opened lower Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 313 points, or 0.94%. The S&P 500 declined 1.23%, while the Nasdaq Composite was 1.79% lower.
— Sarah Min
AMC shares tumble 23% after it announces plans to raise $110 million in preferred stock sale
Antara Capital will purchase the “APE” stock at an average price of 66 cents per share, the company said. The preferred stock closed Wednesday at 68.5 cents.
AMC also is looking to win shareholder approval to convert the “APE” stock into “AMC” common shares at a ratio of 1:10.
CEO Adam Aron tried to use the stock’s popularity during the meme stock craze to raise funds and improve its balance sheet in several different ways, including the issuance of “APE” shares. The company had fallen deeper in debt after its theaters were closed for many months during the Covid lockdowns, and audiences were slow to return to theaters amid a lack of new movies.
In a press release Thursday Aron said, the preferred stock was having its intended benefit as it is helping the company improve its liquidity. “However, given the consistent trading discount that we are routinely seeing in the price of APE units compared to AMC common shares, we believe it is in the best interests of our shareholders for us to simplify our capital structure, thereby eliminating the discount that has been applied to the APE units in the market.”
Many of the stocks championed by retail traders have fallen sharply over the past year, and AMC is now different. Shares are down more than 80% year to date.
—Christina Cheddar Berk
David Tepper is ‘leaning short’ on the stock market
David Tepper told CNBC Thursday he is “leaning short” on equities because of global central bank tightening.
“The upside/downside just doesn’t make sense to me when I have so many … central banks telling me what they are going to do,” the founder of Appaloosa Management said in an interview with “Squawk Box.”
The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank have both said they will continue to hike interest rates, while Bank of England officials have signaled the same possibility.
To read the full Pro story, and watch the entire interview, click here.
— Michelle Fox
Weekly jobless claims rise less than expected
Initial weekly jobless claims for the week ending Dec. 17 rose by 2,000 to 216,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. However, the number was smaller than a Dow Jones consensus estimate of 220,000.
— Fred Imbert
Needham lowers 2023 estimates for Amazon
Needham’s Laura Martin lowered her 2023 estimates for Amazon, while maintaining her fourth quarter 2022 estimates, saying investors want to see pricing power over cost cutting from the online retailer.
“It is our view that AMZN’s economic model has problems created by itself,” Martin wrote in a Thursday note.
“AMZN states that they are focused on cost-cutting. We don’t object. However, investors also want AMZN to demonstrate upside pricing power in 2023, since cost-cutting has limits to driving valuation upside,” Martin wrote.
— Sarah Min
Stocks making the biggest moves premarket
These companies are making headlines before the bell:
- CarMax (KMX) – The auto retailer’s stock slumped 12.7% in the premarket after its quarterly profit and revenue fell well short of estimates. CarMax earned 24 cents per share, compared with a consensus estimate of 70 cents, and its comparable used-vehicle sales were down 22.4% versus FactSet’s consensus forecast of a 16.9% slide.
- Micron Technology (MU) – Micron shares fell 2.9% in premarket trading after the chip maker reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and revenue that fell short of Wall Street forecasts. Micron’s results were impacted by declining demand for electronics, and the company announced it will cut about 10% of its workforce.
- Under Armour (UAA) – The athletic apparel maker named Marriott executive Stephanie Linnartz as its new CEO, effective on Feb. 27. Linnartz is currently president of Marriott’s international operations and has been with the hotel operator for 25 years.
— Peter Schacknow
CarMax shares drop in the premarket after disappointing earnings
Shares of CarMax fell more than 14% in Thursday premarket trading after the used car retailer missed profit and revenue expectations in its most recent quarter.
CarMax reported earnings of 24 cents per share on revenue of $6.51 billion. Analysts polled by Refinitiv were forecasting earnings of 70 cents per share on revenue of $7.29 billion.
CEO Bill Nash said the company is managing its business “prudently, and prioritizing initiatives that reduce costs” to deal with ongoing pressures in the used car industry.
The dollar fell Tuesday as markets started to wind down ahead of the holiday period.
The U.S. dollar index — which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies — slid 0.44% early Thursday to 103.75, its lowest level in seven days. By 4:20 a.m. ET it was trading around 103.94.
The euro rose 0.47% against the dollar to hit $1.0655, although it pared some gains to trade around $1.0631 by 4:20 a.m. ET.
Micron Technology falls on disappointing earnings results
Shares of Micron Technology slumped 2% in extended trading after the semiconductor maker shared disappointing fiscal first-quarter earnings results and plans to cut about 10% of its workforce.
For the period, Micron Technology posted a loss of 4 cents a share on $4.09 billion in revenue. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv had expected a 1 cent loss per share on revenues of $4.11 billion.
The company also shared earnings guidance for the current period that fell short of Wall Street’s expectations, saying that it expects a loss of 62 cents a share. Analysts anticipated a loss of 30 cents.
Micron also shared plans to suspend 2023 bonuses.
— Samantha Subin
Under Armour names next CEO
Under Armour shares seesawed between gains and losses in extended trading after the athletics apparel company named Stephanie Linnartz as its next CEO.
Linnartz, who currently serves as president at Marriott International, will step into the role in February 2023. She joined Marriott in 1997 as a financial analyst.
Under Armour shares last traded down more than 1%.
— Samantha Subin
Major averages on pace for their worst year since 2008
It’s been a difficult year for stocks, with just six trading sessions left in 2022.
As of Wednesday’s close, all the major averages are set to break a 3-year win streak and post their worst yearly performance since 2008. That year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 33.84%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite shed 38.49% and 40.54%, respectively.
The indexes are also poised to snap two consecutive months of gains. Here’s the breakdown by the numbers:
- Up 1.39% for the week
- Down 3.51% in December
- Down 8.15% year to date
- Up 0.68% for the week
- Down 4.94% month to date
- Down 18.63% in 2022
- Up 0.04% for the week
- Down 6.62% in December
- Down 31.55% this year
— Samantha Subin, Chris Hayes
Stock futures open higher
Stock futures opened higher on Wednesday evening.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Averages gained 54 points or 0.16%, while S&P 500 futures added 0.22%. Nasdaq 100 futures inched 0.2% higher.
— Samantha Subin