A slowing fourth-quarter gross domestic product and a surprise move from the Bank of Japan failed to stem a rally in the U.S. stock market this morning.
The Bank of Japan moved to a negative interest rate policy, which sent the value of the yen plunging and stock markets higher. Hong Kong and China’s markets both closed higher. Crude oil is staying firm this morning at $33 a barrel and the dollar continues to strengthen as Japan runs ahead in the race to debase currency values.
The GDP for the fourth quarter in the U.S. increased 0.7 percent, which is much lower than the third quarter’s increase of 2.0 percent. Prices continue to drop with the fourth-quarter price index increasing only 0.2 percent compared to the third-quarter increase of 1.3 percent. It was a fairly depressing report, with personal income dropping, personal taxes rising and personal spending dropping. Savings have gone up. It looks like Americans are not convinced that the economy is in as good of shape as the Federal Reserve insists.
The S&P 500 is up 12 points to 1.892, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 106 points to 16,078 and the Nasdaq is up 21 points to 4,175. The S&P Retail ETF is 30 cents to $40.23.
Macy’s said it has completed a real estate transaction that will enable it to reconfigure its Brooklyn store. The store will be remodeled beginning this spring. Macy’s also revised its earnings guidance for the fourth quarter and full year 2015 because it won’t be able to book the entire amount from the transaction in the fourth quarter. The payments will stagger according to the construction schedule. Macy’s had previously guided fourth quarter earnings of $2.18 to $2.23 a share and they will now be in the range of $1.85 to $1.90. Macy’s stock is up 1.1 percent to $39.99.
Amazon stock is tumbling more than 8 percent to $581 after the e-commerce giant reported earnings following the market close on Thursday and missed analyst expectations. Some investors believe analysts had pegged the number too high and that it was unrealistic to start with. Revenue jumped 22 percent to nearly $33 billion. Fulfillment costs rose 33 percent, making those amazing free shipping deals not look so amazing to shareholders. Investors fear that Amazon Prime memberships may be losing money. Still, even with today’s pullback, Amazon stock is up 79 percent over the past year.
Men’s Wearhouse is changing its name to Tailored Brands and will begin trading under a new symbol TLRD starting Monday. Shares will exchange on a one-to-one basis. Tailored Brands will be a new holding company for Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, K&G and Moores stores. Investors liked the way it’s going to look and the stock is up more than 3 percent to $13.62.
Simon Property Group reported in line FFO [funds from operations] of $2.40. Revenues rose 6.5 percent year-over-year to $1.38 billion, missing the Capital IQ estimate of $1.4 billion. Simon issued guidance for fiscal 2016 of FFO in the range of $10.70 to $10.80, which is lower than the Capital IQ estimate of $10.90. The stock is dropping more than 1 percent to $183.
Elsewhere, the European indices traded higher across the board following the Bank of Japan’s move. The Eurozone consumer price inflation rose to a 15 month high of 0.4 percent in January. The U.K. FTSE was up by 1.2 percent, the German DAX rose 0.7 percent and the French CAC climbed 0.9 percent.