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Economic Data Deluge

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We see a fresh Advance Trade in Goods number ahead of today’s opening bell for December, which fell farther than expected and off the best print we’d seen in the last 12 months in November: -$68.33 billion was the trade deficit for last month, worse than the -$65.6 billion analysts were expecting. The previous month’s already sunnier figure was ratcheted even further on today’s revision — from -$63.2 billion originally reported to -$63.00 (-$62,988 million) this morning.

Although we remain in more favorable territory with the overall trade deficit of late — at least we’re better off than we were at almost any time over the past two years — we appear to be headed south once again. Currently, the forecast for January’s Advanced Trade in Goods number is at -$72.9 billion. Hopefully, we’ll see a “positive” surprise a month from now, as well as a stronger revision from today’s print.

Yesterday’s Consumer Confidence Index for January was stronger than expected: 131.6 is the headline, up from 128.8 expected and the 128.21 reported from the month previous. This amounts to a 5-month high in consumers’ attitudes; we saw an 18-year high in October of last year with a post of 137.9. As we’ve said here plenty of times, regardless what difficulties we see in our economy, the consumer is most certainly doing his/her part.

Boeing BA disappointed on its Q4 report this morning, putting up -$2.33 per share versus -$1.73 expected. This is also a far cry from the year-ago earnings figure of +$5.48 per share. This amounts to a -235% negative earnings surprise, and clearly it pivots on the fortunes of the much-beleaguered 737 MAX, including when the plane will again be operational, if ever. The aircraft-building giant brought in $17.91 billion in revenues in Q4, down 17.3% from the Zacks consensus and below the year-ago tally of $28.34 billion. For more on BA’s earnings, click here.

McDonald’s MCD eked out a one-cent positive earnings surprise for its Q4 this morning to $1.97 per share, on sales of $5.35 billion which outperformed the expected $5.30 billion. Global comps rose 5.9%, which is a strong quarterly result. The stock enjoyed its all-time high levels in late summer of 2019, and shares are mostly flat following earnings results in today’s early trading. For more on MCD’s earnings, click here.

General Electric GE shares are up 7.7% so far in pre-market activity after it posted positive results in its Q4 release this morning: 21 cents per share beat the 18 cents expected and the 17 cents from a year ago, with $26.2 billion in revenues amounting to a small positive surprise and down from $33.28 billion (but that was when GE was a much different company). Shares had already gained 5% year to date, easily outperforming the S&P 500, and are well off the 20-year lows the company suffered through in December 2018. For more on GE’s earnings, click here.

After today’s closing bell this afternoon, we look forward to even bigger earnings reports. These companies include Microsoft MSFT, Facebook FB and Tesla TSLA. 

Click to get this free report Facebook, Inc. (FB) : Free Stock Analysis Report The Boeing Company (BA) : Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) : Free Stock Analysis Report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) : Free Stock Analysis Report General Electric Company (GE) : Free Stock Analysis Report McDonald's Corporation (MCD) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research