Indices Swing Mostly Higher; Whirlpool (WHR) Mixed in Q2

Markets finished off session lows which threatened to take all major indices into the red today; all four majors came back from the lows just after the 3 o’clock (ET) hour, dialing back up as economic data and the some of the top companies on Wall Street prepare to release earnings data. The Dow finished +0.28%, the S&P 500 eked out a win to +0.13% while the Nasdaq remained submerged below Friday’s close almost all day, closing at -0.43%. The small-cap Russell 2000 beat the field on the day, +0.58%.

Despite today’s notable volatility, we appear to be moving with some caution; Though we have a huge week in economic data and Q2 earnings ahead, these figures are weighted toward the middle of the week — right around the same time the Fed announces its latest rate hike. Today’s Chicago Fed National Activity Index came in exactly in-line with estimates, -0.19%.

Energy climbed back +4% on the day, after a couple weeks of sliding oil prices which had at last begun to show up in gas pump prices. This was offset by relative weakness in Consumer Discretionary and Technology on the day; 8 of the S&P’s 11 sectors closed in the green today.

After the closing bell, Walmart WMT Warning on a lower profit outlook for both Q2 and the full-year. As we’ve seen with big-box retailers so far this year, higher inventories are creating a sticking point. For Walmart, this will amount to lower prices — good news for consumers and for coming CPI numbers, but not such good news for Walmart shareholders. The stock has fallen -8% since the warning.

Application giant Whirlpool WHR — parent of not only Whirlpool products, but also Maytag and KitchenAid as well — posted mixed results in its Q2 earnings report after the closing bell today. Subtracting a one-time cost of -$371 million in the quarter, the company registered earnings of $5.97 per share, above the $5.23 in the Zacks consensus, on sales of $5.10 billion in the quarter, which missed $5.25 billion analysts were looking for.

Full-year guidance came down on both top and bottom lines: between $22-24 per share is outside the previous Zacks range of $24.29 per share, while revenue expectations are for $20.7 billion for the year — down a solid $1 billion from expectations. We look for downward revisions among coverage for Whirlpool, though after-hours, the stock is not suffering: +$3.50 per share on the news. Perhaps these downward guides had already been priced-in.

Tomorrow brings us earnings data for household names such as Coca-Cola KO, McDonald’s MCD, General Motors GM and General Electric GE. Yet the marquee names hitting the tape after Tuesday’s close are Microsoft MSFT and Google parent Alphabet Google. We also get Case-Shiller Home Prices for May, New Home Sales for June and Consumer Confidence for July. Strap on your safety belt; we’ve got some terrain to cover.

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