Another delayed economic read has crossed into pre-market headlines this morning: February's Durable Goods Orders have been released. Even those these figures are lagging indicators (due to the government shutdown in December/January), the good news is that we are catching up with more or less "real time" data.
The preliminary view on February Durable Goods Orders was better than expected: -1.6% as compared with -2.1% expected. The revision to January's headline lost 20 basis points to +0.1%.
The key to this sort of data is to consider the volatility of large goods orders - particularly new airplanes. While they bring volatility to these monthly numbers depending on how many plane orders are made, they make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy. Thus we pay close attention to these figures month by month, then do the math over the longer term.
Ex-transportation, Durable Goods swings to a positive, at +0.1%. This represents a swing from -0.2% in the last read. However, ex-Defense spending, we see -1.9%, pulling the overall durables reads deeper into negative territory in February.
Non-Defense, ex-aircraft spending - sort of the bottom line of all these figures - also swung from a negative to a positive: -0.2% to +0.1%. We take this as an overall positive on Durable Goods data, albeit a month in arrears. We look forward to more current Durable Goods data coming out later this month.
Jobs Data Tomorrow, Friday
Speaking of up-to-date economic data, tomorrow we see private sector payroll totals for March from Automatic Data Processing ADP , followed on Friday by the government's employmen t report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). February numbers on the BLS side were disappointing, with only 20K new jobs reported. ADP put up 183K for the month, in-line with estimates.
Walgreens Boots (WBA) Disappoints
Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance WBA are down 9.5% in today's pre-market following a very disappointing fiscal Q2 earnings report. Not only did earnings of $1.64 per share miss the Zacks consensus by 6 cents, on $34.5 billion in revenues than came in slightly below estimates.
Looking under the hood, comps for the quarter fell 3.8%, which puts it in the bottom range of retail earnings releases for the quarter. And guidance has been slashed for full-year 2019 from +7-12% previously to flat this morning. The company had carried a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) rating ahead of this Q2 report. For more on WBA's earnings, click here.
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