Stocks continue to show favorable trading action as the Dow was up 81 points to close at 23,410 on even trading volume. Big blue chips continue to perform better than NASDAQ tech stocks however big techs like Micropoopie and Amazon are on tap to report earnings after the bell.
Builders in Sonoma county California are being inundated with calls from home owners looking to replace what was lost in the recent fires. The concern is that the added demand from fire replacement on top of already strong demand prior to the fires will face a shortage of contractors, labor and material. According to the newsletter Random Lengths, Lumber traders in the south are complaining about a shortage of truckers and in the northwest, Douglas fir stud prices have risen from $330 per thousand bf a year ago to $467 per thousand bf today. This is a 41% increase! I should have called Winthorp and Valentine to go long on lumber futures! The state of California has also announced a suspension of some permitting, environmental and zoning laws so that people can get home rebuilt cheaper and faster.
Ford Motor reported earnings today that beat street estimates like a rented mule as a 1% revenue gain and a 65% increase in net income surprised the gurus. Having recently taken over the top job, CEO Jim “Hemi” Hackett said the company had fantastic results in North America and an improving situation in Asia. Ford got out of Japan altogether because of unfavorable trade restrictions and is instead focusing on China and surrounding countries.
Twitter posted surprise earnings today which propelled the stock higher. While revenue was off 4% the company turned a profit and increased net income by 11%. The company reported that it had $4.3 billion in cash with positive cash flow and a market cap of $14 billion. While ad revenue was off 8%, ad engagement was up 99% from a year ago. Tweeter is an unusual company. It is everywhere and seems to be morphing into a news feed more than anything since it is a great place to get news on the fly in a time of great disruption and mobility.