Dawn Report – August 3, 2022

It’s all about guidance.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) beat expectations on both earnings and revenue… but had a relatively grim forecast for the next quarter.

As a result, it was down big in after-hours trading, about 5%.

Still, we didn’t get the massive decline some were predicting yesterday. Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan without incident. While China is vowing action, nothing has been announced so far except some more sanctions by Beijing on Taiwan and some military drills.

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) was down just shy of 5% during the trading day after it missed sales expectations. “We’re still dealing with an inflationary environment and we have not seen a decrease from our suppliers as a result of commodities price reductions,” said CEO Jim Umpleby.

Worries about China were especially prominent during its earnings call – not about any geopolitical action China might undertake, but the reported weakness of its economy.

It’s the same expectations game, as Airbnb (ABNB) was down more than 8% despite beating Wall Street expectations on both earnings and revenue.

Contrast that to the favorable reception some tech companies got after merely reporting they came close to expectations and made promises about the future.

“We did see some elevated cancellations in the back of the quarter relative to our forecast,” CEO Dave Stephenson said. The company still projected record revenue next quarter… but that wasn’t enough to cheer investors.

Here’s what’s happening. There are some indications that the collapse in tech prices may have gone too far. Investors seem to be moving back into this area.

At the same time, other companies are worried about consumer spending. Credit card debt is up. Though the labor market is still tight, job postings declined slightly in June.

“Aim small, miss small,” as they said in the movie The Patriot. Instead of making a sweeping take about the entire market, focus on the technical signals, sector by sector and stock by stock.

If you focus on the details, the big picture will take care of itself.


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Job Openings Slip, Pelosi Takes Taiwan, SBUX Suffers Setback

  • Cracks Appearing In Jobs Market – Though unemployment remains low, American employers are putting out fewer “Help Wanted” signs these days. Job openings fell to 10.7 million in June from 11.3 million the month before. The Labor Department’s report on jobs in July will come out Friday and will be closely examined by the Fed, which is worried about an overheating economy.
  • Well, That Was Anticlimactic – Unless China has a secret plan, it just got mogged by the Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan without incident, pledging American support for the (small-d) democratic state. While China is conducting military drills and reportedly summoned the American ambassador to complain, Beijing hasn’t taken any military actions that go beyond showmanship.

Speaker Pelosi Wrote A Column For The Washington Post Defending Her Decision
  • Amazon Gets More Government Heat – Amazon (AMZN) is so big that it is practically a state in itself, but few tangle with the feds and emerge victorious. Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are expanding their investigation into working conditions, visiting three warehouses in July, including those in Orlando, Chicago, and New York. AMZN was down almost 1% during the trading day.

  • NRLB Rules Against Starbucks – The Biden Administration has been vocal in its support of unions and that is now being expressed through the national bureaucracy. The National Labor Relations Board threw out a complaint by Starbucks (SBUX) against union organizers in Phoenix, saying there was not enough evidence to justify it. More than 200 stores have reportedly voted to unionize, potentially challenging the company’s business model. SBUX dropped 1.4% during the trading day but gained it back in after-hours.


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HOT SPOTS: What’s Going on in Geopolitics

  • Liz Truss Leads In Prime Minister Race – Liz Truss has a comfortable lead over rival Rishi Sunak to become the new leader of the Conservative Party – and the new Prime Minister. A YouGov poll shows her with a commanding 60% majority over Suank’s 26%. Boris Johnson is the outgoing Leader, but he still has some fans, many of whom think Sunak was disloyal.
  • France Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions – While COVID-19 cases remain a problem, the world is learning to live with the disease. France has lifted all pandemic restrictions for travelers. Tourists no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

  • Beijing: “Targeted Military Actions” On Way – Though Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was able to visit Taiwan without incident, China may still be preparing retaliation. Beijing is currently ordering large scale military drills and the Defense Ministry promises “targeted military operations.” Of course, if those are just the drills themselves, many will judge Beijing has blinked.

CUTTING EDGE: Whats Happening In Tech

  • Robinhood’s Recession – It was once the poster boy for the retail trading boom and it changed everything with its commission free model. However, time has turned against Robinhood (HOOD). CEO Vlad Tenev said the company is laying off about 23% of its workforce. “I want to acknowledge how unsettling these types of changes are,” he said. Easy for him to say. To his credit however, he added that “this is on me.”
  • Uber Attracts Record Number Of Drivers – It was only a short time ago that Uber (UBER) was at the center of scandal because of its political ties. However, the company is triumphant this morning after beating revenue expectations and gaining more than 18% during the trading day. About 5 million people are now driving for the company. “That’s right: more people are earning on Uber today than before the pandemic,” said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

  • Will Crypto Get A Break? – It’s been a bad year for cryptocurrency, as the price has collapsed and there hasn’t been the widespread adaptation that many of its boosters had predicted. Two senators may be coming to the rescue. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have introduced the “Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2022.” It would make any transactions valued at less than $50 tax free.

Exchanges are closing and some cryptocurrencies are down 70% from 2021 highs



“All investors and traders, whether institutional or retail, are asking the same questions. ‘Has the market bottomed out, and is this time to go long?'”

Your Options Coach Chris Hood takes on the question everyone is wondering about. After a strong July, is this a comeback for the stock market… or just a temporary gain that will draw in the suckers? Chris Hood takes a hard look at what’s happening behind the headlines.