What's moving markets today

By CNN Business

Updated 7:43 a.m. ET, January 30, 2019
13 Posts
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12:45 p.m. ET, January 29, 2019

China slowdown isn't hurting LVMH

From CNN Business' Ivana Kottasová

French luxury giant LVMH on Tuesday posted record annual sales for 2018 and hiked its dividend by 20% despite economic headwinds in China.

LVMH (LVMH), which owns 70 luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi and Givenchy, said in a statement that sales increased 10% last year to €46.8 billion ($53.5 billion). That performance met analyst expectations.

Sales in Asia (excluding Japan) increased 15% in 2018, the company said. That compares to growth of 17% in the previous year. LVMH said its wine and drinks business was particularly strong in China.

"We are being cautious," Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, said on a conference call with investors. "Nevertheless, we have started 2019 on a strong note."

Chinese shoppers are now responsible for a third of global luxury sales, according to a report by the consultancy Bain. LVMH was the first major luxury company to report full year results for 2018, and investors were looking to see whether slower growth in the world's second largest economy would reduce demand for handbags.

LVMH appears to have dodged the slowdown. The company said that sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, when Chinese economic data was weakest, increased 9% over the previous year to €13.7 billion ($15.6 billion).

China's economy grew at the slowest pace in nearly three decades in 2018, and the ongoing trade war with the United States could make this year even worse. Apple (AAPL) warned earlier this month that it would miss its revenue target for the final quarter of 2018 by at least $5 billion due to weak demand for iPhones in China.

12:31 p.m. ET, January 29, 2019

Markets mixed at midday

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

US markets are trading mixed following a relatively quiet morning on Wall Street.

Here's where they stand as of Noon ET:

  • Dow is up 78 points.
  • Nasdaq is down 55 points.
  • S&P is off 0.16%.

Investors remain nervous about uncertainty surrounding the US-China trade talks and mixed earnings reports from major companies, including Harley-Davidson (HOG) and 3M (MMM).

Apple (AAPL) shares slipped .11% ahead of its earnings report after the bell.

10:36 a.m. ET, January 29, 2019

Consumer confidence falls again

From CNN Business' Lydia DePillis

Consumer confidence dropped again in January, the Conference Board reported Tuesday, in its third consecutive month of decreases. 

The decline came mostly in the component of the survey that measures future expectations. The dip was likely caused by stock market turmoil and the now-ended government shutdown, rather than a seriously unstable economy, according to Lynn Franco, Conference Board director of economic indicators.

It appears that this month’s decline is more the result of a temporary shock than a precursor to a significant slowdown in the coming months," Franco said in a press release. 

Still, the reading reinforces other data that indicates a darkening mood among businesses and consumers, including the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index, which dropped to the lowest level of the Trump presidency in January. 

9:44 a.m. ET, January 29, 2019

Markets start mixed despite earnings duds; Oil pops on Venezuela sanctions

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

Wall Street mostly shrugged off a series of earnings disappointments and new signs of US-China tensions.

Harley-Davidson (HOG) declined 7% on weak shipments and a dip in sales. Whirlpool (WHR) fell 5% after lowering its guidance. Verizon (VZ) lost 3% on disappointing sales. GameStop (GME) plunged 23% after the video game retailer canceled its plan to find a buyer.

US oil prices jumped 2.6% to $53.32 a barrel after the Trump administration announced sanctions on PVDSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. 

9:22 a.m. ET, January 29, 2019

Xerox shares jump on strong 2019 outlook

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

Copy that! Xerox (XRX) is forecasting a healthy 2019, bucking the trend of several other big companies that have said they expect the year ahead to be difficult. Shares spiked nearly 7% in premarket trading.

The printing conglomerate expects this year's profit to fall in the range of $3.70 to $3.80 per share, which is well above analysts' expectation of $3.53 per share.

9:09 a.m. ET, January 29, 2019

GameStop gives up on trying to find a buyer

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

It's game over for GameStop's (GME) quest to find a buyer.

The stock tumbled 22% in premarket trading after the video game retailer announced that it "terminated efforts to pursue a sale of the company due to the lack of available financing on terms that would be commercially acceptable to a prospective acquirer."

GameStop also said it would continue to search for a permanent CEO.

As part of GameStop's attempt to revive its struggling business, the company reported Tuesday that it completed the sale of its Spring Mobile division. The transaction resulted in about $735 million in cash that may be used to pay down debt, repurchase shares or reinvest in GameStop's core business.

8:24 a.m. ET, January 29, 2019

De Beers sales plunge 25%

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

De Beers, one the world's largest diamond producers, said this month's rough diamond sales plunged 25% to $505 million.

De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver blamed the weaker sales on "higher than normal" sales for December and the weaker sales of lower-cost diamonds. It's perhaps another sign of a slowing global economy.

The company is also facing increasing competition from companies that produce lab-grown diamonds. De Beers announced last May it will begin selling synthetic diamonds for a fraction of the price of diamonds mined from the ground.

7:52 a.m. ET, January 29, 2019

This week's GDP report will be delayed

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky and Katie Lobosco

The report on America's fourth-quarter GDP, which was scheduled to be released Wednesday, is going to be delayed because of the now-ended partial government shutdown.

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis, which publishes the GDP report, has not yet said when it will come out.

Employees went back to work Monday, but it will take time to finish the report as several data collection agencies have been closed for more than a month.

The report on GDP is the broadest federal government analysis of the economy. It produces quarterly and annual measures of the growth, or weakness, of the US economy. It comes out every month, and includes updates on each quarter.

1:50 p.m. ET, January 29, 2019

Harley-Davidson stock hits the skids

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

Harley-Davidson (HOG) had another rough quarter sending shares as much as 8% lower in premarket trading.

The motorcycle maker reported earnings of 17 cents per share per — 11 cents less than what analysts were expecting. Revenue for the fourth quarter sank nearly 9%.

US and worldwide sales continued to decline.

Harley expects to ship 217,000 to 222,000 motorcycles this year, below the 228,000 it shipped in 2018.

The company remains bullish on its plan to attract new and younger riders despite the sagging shipments.

"During 2018 we met or exceeded all of the More Roads plan milestones we set out to achieve," CEO Matt Levatich said in a release. "The groundwork for an exciting future is being built in real time, and that's clear for riders today and Harley-Davidson riders of tomorrow."