STOCK MARKET NEWS: America’s labor woes, Dell CFO retiring, Honda’s EV push, oil prices recede

Developing Story

Benchmarks start green, oil slips as gold shines

The U.S. stock averages are up on Friday as Wall Street traders look to extend the Nasdaq’s weekly gain.

The Dow Jones Industrial, S&P and Nasdaq are all in positive territory with the tech-heavy index on track for a winning week as shares of Meta, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft rise early.

Symbol Price Change %Change
META $178.09 3.56 2.04
AAPL $148.06 2.15 1.47
AMZN $93.01 0.88 0.96
MSFT $251.53 0.42 0.17

In commodities, oil is down again, slipping approximately 1.80% to $76.75 a barrel as gold adds roughly 0.47% to $1,849.20 an ounce.

Meanwhile, silver is up, moving around 0.67% higher to $21.04 an ounce. 

Bank of America, Citigroup trim investing banking headcount in Asia: sources

Symbol Price Change %Change
BAC $33.78 0.29 0.87
C $51.62 0.22 0.43

Bank of America and Citigroup have cut some investment banking jobs in Asia, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, joining global peers in paring headcount as China dealmaking slows.

Bank of America (BofA), which is shrinking its investment banking business globally, did away with around half a dozen Hong Kong-based jobs on Thursday, two people familiar with matter said.

Citi on Thursday trimmed four jobs from its China investment banking team, said one of the two people and a separate person. The Wall Street bank is laying off less than 1% of its workforce globally, people familiar with the matter have said.

BofA and Citi both declined to comment on layoffs involving investment bankers in Asia.

After record dealmaking activity in 2021, M&A volumes and stock floats globally tumbled last year as volatility in capital markets and geopolitical tensions took their toll.

China-related deals were particularly hard hit as harsh COVID-19 curbs, lifted only late in the year, hammered the economy.

Other major banks that have trimmed Asia headcount include Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

SoftBank’s Arm rebuffs London by choosing US listing

Symbol Price Change %Change
SFTBY $20.60 0.48 2.39

Arm, the chip designer owned by Japan’s SoftBank, said on Friday it would pursue a U.S.-only listing this year, dashing the British government’s hopes that the tech giant would return to the London stock market.

The decision is a blow to London, where Arm was listed for 18 years until it was bought by SoftBank in 2016 in a $32 billion deal that received the minimum level of scrutiny by the government, leading to criticism that it had allowed Britain’s biggest tech success to be bought by foreign investors.

“[F]or London, this comes as further confirmation that plans to rebrand the LSE [London Stock Exchange] as a high growth tech haven aren’t working,” said Sophie Lund-Yates, Lead Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. “The UK’s inflation problem is stickier than the US and that’s likely to keep a lid on how attractive it will seem to companies looking to list for the first time.”

Arm did not completely rule out an eventual London listing, saying it intended to consider a subsequent IPO there in due course, without providing further details.

London worked hard to get the listing, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Arm Chief Executive Rene Haas meeting in Downing Street last month, according to reports. SoftBank’s founder Masayoshi Son said to have joined by video call.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Victoria’s Secret tops Wall Street profit expectations, matches revenue estimate

Symbol Price Change %Change
VSCO $37.75 -0.80 -2.08

Victoria’s Secret & Co. on Thursday reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $173 million.

On a per-share basis, the Reynoldsburg, Ohio-based company said it had net income of $2.10. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $2.47 per share.

The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.33 per share.

The retailer of lingerie, pajamas and beauty products posted revenue of $2.02 billion in the period, matching Street forecasts.

For the year, the company reported profit of $348.1 million, or $4.14 per share.

Revenue was reported as $6.34 billion.For the current quarter ending in April, Victoria’s Secret expects its per-share earnings to range from 30 cents to 60 cents.

The company said it expects revenue in the range of $1.48 billion for the fiscal first quarter.

Victoria’s Secret expects full-year revenue of $6.34 billion.

Dell’s tepid outlook casts pall over strong quarter, CFO Tom Sweet retiring

Symbol Price Change %Change
DELL $40.17 -0.27 -0.67

Dell Technologies Inc forecast current-quarter revenue and profit below Wall Street estimates
on Thursday, hit by an ongoing demand slump in its PC business due to consumers and businesses delaying system upgrades.

Dell, which makes most of its revenue from PC sales, has seen demand wane off from pandemic highs in its enterprise and consumer businesses although that has somewhat been offset by strong storage and server demand.

Dell forecast first-quarter revenue to decline between 17% and 21%. Analysts on average were expecting it to be down by 17.4%, according to Refinitiv data.

The company also expects quarterly earnings per share of 80 cents, plus or minus 15 cents, below expectations of $1.25.

Separately, Dell said Chief Financial Officer Tom Sweet would retire by the end of its fiscal second quarter, and named company veteran Yvonne McGill as his successor.

Costco misses quarterly revenue estimates as demand slows for discretionary goods

Symbol Price Change %Change
COST $485.69 7.02 1.47

Costco Wholesale Corp missed second-quarter revenue estimates on Thursday, as consumers turned frugal on discretionary spending amid persistently high inflation.

In an post-earnings call, finance chief Richard Galanti added “most major departments in general were down, with fresh foods being down a little more than others.”

The company’s total revenue for the quarter rose 6.5% to $55.27 billion, but fell short of estimates of $55.54 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

The membership-only retail chain’s mixed quarterly results “indicates that sales growth possibly hasn’t kept pace with inflation and consumer traffic,” said Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer at Running Point Capital Advisors.

Net income attributable to Costco rose to $1.47 billion, or $3.30 per share, in the quarter ended Feb. 12, from $1.30 billion, or $2.92 per share, a year earlier.

Costco’s quarterly revenue from memberships, priced between $60 and $120 per year and which account for most of its gross margin, rose to $1.03 billion from $967 million a year earlier.

Nordstrom closing its Canadian stores, cutting 2,500 jobs

Symbol Price Change %Change
JWN $19.33 0.33 1.74

Nordstrom Inc. announced Thursday it is closing all of its Canadian stores and cutting 2,500 jobs as it winds down operations in the country.

The Seattle-based retailer has six Nordstrom and seven Nordstrom Rack stores in Canada, which will be shuttered by late June.

Its e-commerce business
will cease operations Thursday.