EBay’s Active Buyers Declined 2%
Topic of the day
EBay Inc.reported 159 million active buyers for the June quarter, a 2% decline from a year earlier. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, active buyers had grown by a mid- to high single-digit percentage each quarter. The company also said it expected revenue from continuing operations of $2.42 billion to $2.47 billion in the current quarter, with an organic growth rate of 6% to 8%. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting $2.49 billion. E-commerce saw massive growth following the onset of the pandemic early last year as homebound folks turned to the internet for their shopping needs. That growth, however, has started to show signs of slowing. In a call with analysts, eBay Chief Executive Jamie Iannone said the company saw a slowdown when compared with the tremendous growth initially seen in 2020, which was driven by the onset of the pandemic. The marketplace is still seeing positive growth when compared with before the pandemic, he said. The stock was down 1.5 percent in after-hours trading.
The positive trend on the Swiss stock market continued in the middle of the week and led the SMI to another record high. The SMI improved 0.2 per cent to 12,388 points. The new record high is 12,426 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 13 gainers and seven losers. 23.17 (previously: 22.69) million shares were traded. Among the individual stocks, the defensive index heavyweights Roche, Novartis and Nestle were again in demand, rising by up to 0.7 per cent. ABB also climbed 0.7 per cent and Holcim was the day's winner with a 0.8 per cent premium. Swiss Steel shares were up 4.7 per cent. The company returned to profit in the second quarter thanks to an upturn in demand.
European equity markets maintained their advance on Wednesday after the US reported inflation broadly in line with expectations in July. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.4 percent to 474.3 points, setting a new closing record. In Paris, the CAC 40 and SBF 120 rose 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 gained 0.4% while the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.8%. German consumer prices climbed in July, confirming preliminary data, the German statistics office Destatis said Wednesday. Consumer prices rose 3.8% on year measured by national standards, in line with the forecast by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. They rose 3.1% on year by European Union-harmonized standards, also as forecast. Thyssenkrupp AG on Wednesday posted a swing to net profit for the third quarter on improved sales and orders, despite a challenging market. The German industrial conglomerate said net income was 125 million euros ($146.5 million) for the quarter compared with a loss of EUR678 million for the same period of the previous year. Quarterly sales rose to EUR8.68 billion from EUR7.71 billion, coming slightly below expectations of EUR8.75 billion according to analysts polled by the company. Orders increased 31% to EUR8.77 billion for the period. E.ON SE said Wednesday that profit more than doubled in the second quarter as business benefited from weather factors as well as an agreement on output rights in Germany. The German utility company said it booked a quarterly net profit of 1.75 billion euros ($2.06 billion) compared with EUR599 million the year prior. On an adjusted basis, profit came in at EUR956 million.
Shares of manufacturers and banks led the U.S. stock market mostly higher following new data showing consumer prices rose further last month. Caterpillar, Home Depot and Goldman Sachs's stocks all rose, helping to lift the Dow Jones Industrial Average roughly 0.6% as of the 4 p.m. close of trading in New York. The S&P 500 rose 0.3%. Tech stocks lagged behind, meanwhile, bringing the Nasdaq Composite down 0.2%. Investors gravitated toward stocks that are more closely tied to the economic cycle, such as banks and manufacturers, after new data showed consumer prices rose again last month. However, unlike previous months, the data was largely in line with expectations. Southwest Airlines Co. said the recent surge in Covid-19 cases is causing bookings to slow and cancellations to rise, showing how quickly the Delta variant is denting economic activity. The airline said Wednesday that while demand for the key Labor Day weekend remained healthy, the recent slowdown would make it difficult to turn a profit in the third quarter, excluding the impact of government payroll assistance. That is even after a fare sale designed to stoke the return of business traffic in the fall. Southwest’s move reverses airline executives’ bullish tone just a few weeks ago, with rising Delta-variant infections prompting the cancellation of festivals and trade events such as the New York Auto Show planned for later this month. McDonald’s Corp. said in a note to employees Wednesday that all of the company’s U.S. corporate workers must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 27 as companies impose new employee rules amid rising Covid-19 cases The Chicago-based burger giant also postponed the official reopening date of its headquarters and other domestic offices to Oct. 11 from Sept. 7 to allow time for U.S. workers to get vaccinated and build up immunity. Workers must still wear masks in the office regardless of vaccination status, though McDonald’s said the company hopes to make facial coverings optional in the future.
Only small movements up or down are recorded on the stock markets in East Asia and Australia on Thursday. In Japan, gains in transport and energy stocks lead the market, with the Nikkei 225 unchanged. Reporting companies are in the spotlight, with Toshiba due to present its quarterly report later today. The stock falls 1.6 per cent in the run-up. In Japan, inflation data has posted the highest inflation in 13 years as import costs rise. The Hong Kong market is trending slightly lower, pressured by Beijing's new demands on the financial industry.
U.S. treasury yields gained in Asia after they mostly lost momentum on Wednesday, with the 10-year closing slightly down. The benchmark snapped a six-day winning streak, ending the session 0.410 percentage point lower than its 52-week high hit in March.
Bank of America rises Volvo to Neutral (Underperform) – Target 228 (175) SEK
UBS rises Credit Agricole target to 14,60 (12) EUR – Buy
Independent Research lowers AB Inbev target to 56 (65) EUR – Hold
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