STOCK MARKET NEWS: Fed hikes interest rates, Walmart ramps up hiring, gas prices rise

Fatima Fokina

Twitch to ban some streaming crypto gambling sites

Symbol Price Change %Change
AMZN $121.25 -0.94 -0.77

Amazon unit Twitch is updating its policy on gambling. The interactive livestreaming service said, beginning October 18, it will prohibit steaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licenses either in the U.S. or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection.

The banned sites will include Stake.com, Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com and Roobet.com.

KB Home misses estimates, net orders plunge

Symbol Price Change %Change
KBH $28.02 -0.64 -2.23

KB Home is lower in after-hours trading. The homebuilder missed Wall Street revenue and profit estimates.

Total revenues increased 26% to $1.84 billion. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.86 billion.

Net income rose to $255.3 million from $150.1 million.

On a per-share basis, KB Home said it had profit of $2.86. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.69 per share.

Ending backlog value increased 9% to $5.26 billion.

Net orders of 2,040 and net order value of $979.0 million decreased 50% and 51%, respectively. On a year-over-year basis.

Gross orders decreased 30% to 3,137. The cancellation rate as a percentage of gross orders was 35%, compared to 9%.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Steelcase misses revenue estimates, expects continued supply chain problems

Symbol Price Change %Change
SCS $9.24 -0.12 -1.28

Steelcase is down in extended trading. The maker of furniture and technology products missed the Wall Street revenue estimate but beat on profit.

Fiscal second quarter revenue rose 19% to $863.3 million. Wall Street was looking for $882.75 million.

Net income was $19.6 million, down from $24.7 million. Earnings per share for the three months ended August 26 were 17 cents, higher than the expectation of 13 cents.

At the end of the second quarter, the company’s backlog of customer orders was approximately $946 million, up 38% from the prior year. Consistent with recent quarters, the backlog includes a higher than historical percentage of orders scheduled to ship beyond the end of the next quarter, and supply chain disruptions are expected to continue.

The company expects to report earnings per share of between $0.08 to $0.12 for the third quarter of fiscal 2023 and adjusted earnings per share of between $0.17 to $0.21.

Breaking News

Dow craters 522 points, S&P, Nasdaq down over 1%

U.S. stocks ended a volatile session sharply lower as investors digested the likelihood of more interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Bond yields  continued to climb adding pressure to equities. Consumer discretionary stocks ranked as the worst performers, while staples fell the least. In commodities, oil fell 1% to $82.94 per barrel. 

Dow Jones Averages.

$

30183.78

Philly Home Depot workers seek company’s first union store

Symbol Price Change %Change
HD $274.81 0.64 0.23

Home Depot may see its first unionized store in Philadelphia. Workers at a site in the northeast section of the city filed a petition seeking a union election.

The home improvement chain said it’s “aware” of the petition and “look[s] forward to talking to our associates about their concerns.”

Gas prices inch higher

Gas prices snapped a streak, rising for the first time in nearly 100 days.

AAA data shows the average price for a regular gallon of gasoline rose by almost one penny to $3.681 per gallon from $3.674 after steadily falling every day since early June. Motorists paid $3.192 a year ago.

Premium gas prices increased to $4.434 from $4.427. A year ago, premium sold for $3.820.

Powell doesn’t know likelihood of a recession

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said he doesn’t know the likelihood of a recession, though there’s a strong indication of below trend growth that could lead to higher unemployment. Unemployment next year is projected at 4.4%.

“We have to get inflation behind us,” Powell said. “It would be nice if there was a way to wish it away, but there isn’t,” Powell said. He said the Fed needs to “complete that task” of bringing inflation under control, while acknowledging the central bank is hearing from people that inflation is causing pain.

He said Americans will feel pain until inflation comes down.

There’s an expectation that interest rates will rise another 1.25% by year end, though a “large group” within the Fed sees a 1% increase. On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee raised the target range for the federal funds rate to 3% to 3.25%.

Powell said the Fed did not raise rates higher this week because inflation came in lower than expected in July but higher in August. “You can’t rely on one data point,” he said.

The chair added the Fed’s inflation-fighting policy is having an effect on interest rate sensitive spending such as housing. However he said: “On shelter inflation you just have to assume it’s going to remain pretty high for some time.”

Breaking News

Stocks whipsawing as Powell delivers remarks

Nasdaq Composite Index.

$

11555.760965

U.S. stocks bounced back from losses with the Nasdaq Composite leading the charge helped by Nvidia, Altair. Bond yields paired gains as Fed Chairman Powell takes questions on the economy, inflation and future rate hikes.

Symbol Price Change %Change
NVDA $136.86 5.10 3.87
ALTR $47.70 1.46 3.16

Powell: ‘Soft landing will be very challenging’

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said taming inflation will likely require a sustained period of below market growth.

During a press conference following a two-day meeting of the Fed’s policy making body that ended with the Fed raising interest rates by 75 basis points, Powell said his message has not changed since Jackson Hole.

“We think we’ll need to bring our funds rate to a restrictive level,” Powell said, citing only modest evidence that the labor market is cooling off. “There’s a ways to go.”

The labor market remains tight with job gains robust. “The labor market continues to be out of balance” with demand exceeding supply, the chair explained.

Powell said the central bank want to see “growth moving below trend” and clear evidence of inflation moving down towards 2%, adding a soft landing will be “very challenging”.

Breaking News

The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 75 basis points, as expected. Policymakers additionally updated economic projections.

Existing-home sales slipped 0.4% in August

Sales of existing homes fell for a seventh month as prices rose. The National Association of Realtors said total existing-home sales fell 0.4% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.80 million in August.

Year-over-year, sales faded by 19.9%.The slide comes as the median existing-home price for all housing types jumped 7.7% year over year to $389,500.

Chemours cuts earnings forecast on low demand, high input costs

The Chemours Company.

$

29.42

Symbol Price Change %Change
CC $29.42 -1.30 -4.23

Chemours Co cut its full-year forecast for adjusted earnings on Wednesday citing low demand and high input costs, sending its shares down 5% in premarket trade.

The chemicals company also said it will extend a scheduled outage of one of the production lines in its Titanium Technologies (TT) unit.

Chemours becomes the latest chemicals company grappling with soaring energy and raw material costs as well as slower-than-expected demand recovery in Europe and Asia.

Wilmington, Delaware-based Chemours said its weaker outlook was driven entirely by its TT unit.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is now expected to be between $1.40 billion and $1.45 billion, 7% below its prior guidance at midpoint.

Breaking News

NY AG sues Donald Trump, adult children, and Trump Organization officials for inflating net worth

Donald Trump, his adult children — Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump — and two top financial officials of the Trump Organization are facing fraud changes in New York for allegedly inflating the former president’s net worth to gain more favorable loan terms, better interest rates and federal conservation easement tax breaks.

“No one is above the law,” New York attorney general Letitia James announced at a press conference.

James said the state has filed a complaint in New York state court in Manhattan.

The AG said the complaint demonstrates Trump inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to enrich himself, his adult children and the Trump Organization.

She wants an independent monitor to oversee finances of the Trump Organization along with penalties.

The AG also asks to replace the trustees of the Donald Trump Revocable Trust with independent trustees.

The attorney general claims Trump and his group manipulated assets to induce banks to lend money on more favorable terms than would be available to the company in violation of executive law.

“They violated several state criminal laws,” James said at a press conference. She added investigators also believe the group violated federal law and have referred potential violations to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Internal Revenue Service.

The complaint seeks, among other remedies, to permanently bar Trump and his adult children from serving as an officer or director of any entity registered or licensed in New York and barring them from entering into an commercial real estate transaction for five years.

James claims Trump mispresented his finances, claiming cash on hand that he did not have and making more than 200 false or misleading asset valuations over 10 years.

Walmart pulls back on holiday hiring

Symbol Price Change %Change
WMT $135.86 2.31 1.73

Walmart plans to hire 73% fewer holiday workers this season than it did last year. The largest U.S. retailer plans to add 40,000 seasonal and full-time workers across the company before the holiday shopping season gets underway. Last September, the company said it would hire 150,000 workers for the holiday season.

General Mills lifts annual forecast on upbeat demand for at-home cooking

Symbol Price Change %Change
GIS $80.29 4.88 6.47

General Mills raised its full-year forecast after beating quarterly profit estimates on Wednesday, as higher product prices did not quell demand for the Cheerios maker’s snacks and cereals.

Packaged food makers have been steadily raising prices on everything from cereals to beef jerky as they look to insulate their margins from increased costs tied to labor, ingredients and transportation without drawing consumer ire.

With inflation nearing forty-year highs, the consumer preference for cooking more at home, which developed during the pandemic, has been hard to shake off as shoppers try to stretch their dollars amid soaring energy and food prices.

Third Bridge analyst Shoggi Ezeizat noted General Mills looks resilient against inflation pressures, adding “the group’s wide range of products and spectrum of price points should provide sufficient options for its customers to trade down but not out of the General Mills range.”

The Lucky Charms owner said it expects consumers to become more price sensitive over the next three quarters.

The company now expects organic net sales to rise between 6% and 7% in fiscal 2023. It had earlier forecast sales to grow 4% to 5%.The Betty Crocker cake mix maker also expects fiscal 2023 adjusted profit per share to rise 2% to 5% on constant currency basis, compared with prior forecast range of flat to 3%.

Coty aims to double skincare sales by fiscal 2025

Symbol Price Change %Change
COTY $8.19 0.40 5.07

Coty rose more than 7% in Wednesday morning trading before giving back some gains. The luxury beauty products maker associated with Kylie Jenner plans to double skin care sales by fiscal 2025 with further acceleration in fiscal 2026 and beyond, the company said.

The owner of brands including COVERGIRL, Max Factor and Sally Hansen plans to focus on luxury brands.

In the near term, Coty is seeing stronger beauty demand, leading the company to raise its first quarter like-for-like sales growth outlook to +8-9%, from previous +6-8%, adjusting for the impact of the Russia exit.

The improved outlook is being fueled by both its Prestige and Consumer Beauty businesses, and across Europe, the Americas, and Global Travel Retail.

Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects

Symbol Price Change %Change
AMZN $122.14 -0.05 -0.04

Amazon.com Inc said on Wednesday it would add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through several new projects as it seeks to use 100% renewable energy across its business by 2025.Amazon’s renewable energy projects would total 379 after the addition of the 71 new ones and it expects to generate 50,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean energy from its entire portfolio, equivalent of powering 4.6 million U.S. homes each year.

The new projects include three large-scale plants in the Indian state of Rajasthan with a capacity of 420 megawatts (MW), rooftop solar projects in France and Austria, and its first solar farm in Poland.

Amazon-backed Infinium said on Tuesday it would provide the online retail giant with low-carbon electrofuels that would replace the diesel fuel used in the company’s transportation fleet.

Developing Story

Symbol Price Change %Change
JPM $116.14 0.31 0.27
BAC $34.35 0.18 0.54
C $47.38 0.13 0.28
WFC $43.05 -0.39 -0.90

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan are among the leaders who will be on Capitol Hill today and tomorrow to take questions about the financial services industry.

Breaking News

Stocks notch gains, Fed rate-hike decision on tap

Dow Jones Averages.

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30856.01

U.S. stocks notched modest gains ahead of the Federal Reserve’s 2pm ET decision
on interest rates, followed by Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference which will be carried live by FOX Business. In commodities, oil ticked up by 1.6% to the $84 per barrel level. 

Mortgage rush underway as rates set to move even higher

People interested in buying a house and getting a mortgage played a version of beat the clock ahead of the anticipated interest rate increase coming from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday afternoon.

The Fed is expected to sharply raise its key short-term rate – a third straight three-quarter-point hike is likely to be announced – as its previous rate hikes are being felt by households across the economy.

Ahead of the Fed’s move
, overall demand for a mortgage application rose 3.8% compared with the prior week, according to the weekly survey from the Mortgage Banker’s Association.

“As with the swings in rates and other uncertainties around the housing market and broader economy, mortgage applications increased for the first time in six weeks but remained well below last year’s levels, with purchase applications 30% lower and refinance activity down 83%,” Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “The weekly gain in applications, despite higher rates, underscores the overall volatility right now as well as Labor Day-adjusted results the prior week.” 

Breaking News

Gasoline price gains for first time in 99 days

The average price of a gallon of gasoline gained on Wednesday to to $3.681, according to AAA. Tuesday’s price was $3.674. 

Gas rose for the first time since hitting a high of $5.016 on June 14. 

Diesel’s price slipped to $4.928 per gallon.

Futures trade cautiously ahead of Fed decision

U.S. equity futures traded between gains and losses Wednesday morning ahead of the latest decision on interest rates by the Federal Reserve.

The major futures indexes were searching for direction ahead of the opening bell.

Oil prices were steady Wednesday morning following the previous day’s losses.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $84.00 a barrel. 

Brent crude futures traded around $90.00 a barrel.

The central bank is expected to raise interest rates in the afternoon following the latest policy meeting. It is expected to sharply raise its key short-term rate — a third straight three-quarter-point hike is likely to be announced – its previous rate hikes are being felt by households across the economy. 

The Fed’s latest move is expected to raise its benchmark rate to a range of 3% to 3.25%, the highest level in 14 years.

The rate on the 10-year Treasury was at 3.52% on Wednesday.

Also on the economic agenda, the National Association of Realtors is expected to say that sales of previously owned homes fell 2.3% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.70 million units. 

In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 1.4%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 1.8% and China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.2%.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index fell 1.1% on Tuesday to 3,855.93, as more than 90% of stocks and every sector in the benchmark index lost ground. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1% to 30,706.23. The Nasdaq composite also fell 1%, to 11,425.05.

Fed likely to deliver more economic ‘pain’ with another significant interest rate hike

The Federal Reserve is set to escalate its battle against inflation this week with another substantial interest rate hike, risking deeper economic “pain” for millions of households and businesses nationwide.

With inflation unexpectedly accelerating in August and the job market still growing at a healthy clip, the U.S. central bank is widely expected to approve another 75-basis-point rate hike at the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday. Some investors are even betting on a full-percentage point move as the Fed faces mounting pressure to tame demand and slow surging consumer prices.

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Boeing cutting 150 finance jobs

Boeing announced on Tuesday that it plans to about 150 finance jobs in the United States.

The move is being done to simplify its corporate structure and focus more resources into manufacturing and product development.

The company will reduce staffing in its information technology and finance departments, Boeing said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Boeing said it increased its workforce by about 10,000 employees earlier this year and ramped up hiring in its engineering and manufacturing departments to respond to the market demand.

Oil prices rise ahead of Fed decision

Oil prices were higher Wednesday morning following the previous day’s losses, ahead of another aggressive interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $86.00 a barrel. 

Brent crude futures traded around $92.00 a barrel.

The Fed is widely expected to hike rates by 75 basis points for the third time in a row later on Wednesday in its drive to rein in inflation. 

Other central banks, including the Bank of England, meet this week as well.

Higher rates have bolstered the dollar, which neared a two-decade high on Tuesday, making oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Cryptocurrency prices for Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin were trading mixed Wednesday morning

Bitcoin was trading at around $19,000, after trading lower in seven of the last nine sessions.

For the week, Bitcoin was trading more than 6% lower. For the month, the cryptocurrency is down by 6%. Bitcoin is down more than 59% year-to-date.

Ethereum was trading around $1,300, losing more than 16% in the past week.

Dogecoin was trading around 5 cents and is down 2% in the past week.

Increased U.S. natural gas exports to Europe is ‘driving up prices’ at home: Expert

Current natural gas market conditions could signal pain for consumers this winter and sustained issues for years to come, according to energy economists interviewed by FOX Business.

The experts said the energy crisis in Europe, in part caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, will continue to hurt consumers in the U.S. through the winter as global natural gas and oil supplies are strained. They also noted that the green energy push heralded by the Biden administration and several state governments will further lead to decreased and more unreliable energy supplies, pushing future prices higher.

“The biggest problem is that the shortage in Europe is driving up prices, and prices are set globally,” Diana Furchtgott-Roth, the director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Energy, Climate and Environment, told FOX Business in an interview. “Because natural gas prices are higher globally, we are exporting more, and that’s driving up prices here.”

“At the same time, we are putting forward a number of policies that discourage our companies from producing,” she continued. “Reasonable people might think that if there were a natural gas shortage in Europe, the United States would do as much as it can to increase production here.”

Read more here: Underlying energy market conditions could signal pain for consumers this winter and beyond

FTC looking into Amazon’s $1.7B deal for iRobot

The Federal Trade Commission has questions for Amazon concerning the company’s acquisition of iRobot for $1.7 billion.

It is the latest deal by the e-commerce giant coming under scrutiny by regulators amid growing concerns about the company’s market power.

On Tuesday, iRobot said both it and Amazon received a request for additional information in connection with an FTC review of the merger, according to a regulatory filing.

Both Amazon and iRobot said they would cooperate with the FTC’s review, which delays the completion of a deal. 

The iRobot company is known for its popular Roomba vacuum cleaners.

Earlier this month, a group of some 20 pro-privacy and worker organizations, including Public Citizen and Fight for the Future, urged U.S. antitrust enforcers to stop the purchase.

For more on the story, click here: FTC looking into Amazon’s $1.7B deal for iRobot


https://www.foxbusiness.com/live-news/stock-market-news-today-september-21-2022

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