The Dow closed a mild day off 6 points to 19,884 on lower trading volume. Earnings reports continue to flow in and Amazon will report earnings after the bell. The groundhog called for 6 more weeks of winter. I suppose this means 6 more weeks of summer in New Zealand. Gurus are awaiting the jobs report for January due out tomorrow.
Costco (my mother in law pronounces it “Costcos”) reported a surprise jump in net sales for January sending shares higher on the day. Net sales were up 9.9% with system wide comp sales up 7%. Broken out by region, US sales were up 6%, Canada’s sales were up 11% and other international sales gained 4%. Costco seems to be one of the few retailers that is not affected by the Amazon trend.
Facebook reported Q4 numbers yesterday after the close and the gurus were pleased with the results. Expectations were exceeded and everyone had a happy face. Revenue was up 50% and net income gained 78% thanks to a surge in mobile advertising revenue. Shares briefly hit a new high then faded as forward guidance indicated the company plans to plow profits back into jobs, data centers and new products while at the same time slowing the amount of new ads in an effort to not overwhelm users with sales pitches. Mobile video streaming is a big deal going forward and Facebook seems to be playing rival Snapchat like a lab rat in order to test and apply new ideas to Instagram.