Markets continue to bounce around pending the results of tomorrows Federal Reserve meeting. The Dow gained 82 points on lighter volume at 23,675.
Big Dow component stocks Johnson & Johnson and Boeing announced increased share buybacks yesterday. JNJ said it will buy back $5 billion. Boeing, citing strong cash flow trends, increased its common stock dividend by 20% and said it will raise its share repurchase plan from $18 billion to $20 billion. So far this year Boeing repurchased $9 billion worth of stock. Oracle reported “better than feared” earnings as growth in cloud revenue was good. The company also posted bullish forward guidance. Sprint and T-Mobile were given the green light to merge after their respective ownership groups agreed not to buy network gear from Chinese tech giant Huawei which was good news for Cisco, Nokia, etc.
Geek Wire online magazine reported that Amazon is experiencing a successful walk out. The company opened its 9th Amazon Go store which allows customers to walk in, grab groceries and walk out. There are no cashiers and the billing is done with an app on the smart phone. Dilip “Go Guy” Kumar, tech VP for Amazon Go, expressed optimism regarding the program. “Customers are busy, they’re in a rush, they want good food, they want to be in and out really quickly,” he said. “Our hypothesis when we launched Amazon Go is that those things would be universal and it’s turning out to be the case.” Check out the Geek Wire article on our Facebook page. What Amazon is doing here bears watching since it could influence how retail brick and mortar stores are run in the future. This could be great for airports!
Oil prices continue to fall thanks to strong production and fears of soft demand. Both Russia and the US are producing record levels of oil and sanctions on Iranian oil shipments were postponed until May/June. The recently announced OPEC oil production cuts will not talk affect for another month which means that for now the world is awash in oil. WTI crude oil today closed down 7% at $46.29 a barrel. This will be good for consumers.