What's moving markets today: March 7, 2019

5 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:38 a.m. ET, March 7, 2019

Wall Street sours on Kroger

Kroger's investments to fight off Amazon are taking a toll on its profit.

The country's largest grocery chain missed Wall Street's profit expectations during its most recent quarter. That sent Kroger's stock down around 12% in early trading.

Kroger (KR) has been investing in its supply chain and technology infrastructure to reach customers' online. It's also lowered prices on food, invested in its private label brands, and bought meal kit company Home Chef. But Kroger's spending led to a tighter profit margin during the quarter compared with last year.

The company is looking for "alternative profit streams" to offset pressure on its low-margin grocery business. It believes selling more ads to brands on store shelves could be one path to grow.

Kroger has had a rocky month. Its stock fell last week after the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon (AMZN) would open up a new line of grocery stores separate from Whole Foods.

Kroger is the latest top retailer to post earnings for the holidays. Rivals such as Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) have exceeded Wall Street's predictions. Costco (COST), which also leans on groceries to drive traffic to stores, reports earnings after the close on Thursday.

9:18 a.m. ET, March 7, 2019

Europe's central bank won't raise interest rates

The European Central Bank just announced it expects interest rates to remain unchanged at their record low levels rough the end of 2019.

The bank also announced a series of new, cheap loans for banks and cut this year's Eurozone growth forecast from 1.7% to 1.1%.

These new operations will help to preserve favorable bank lending conditions and the smooth transmission of monetary policy," the ECB said in a statement.
  • European markets reaction: France's CAC 40 is up 0.2%. Germany's DAX gained 0.1%. But UK's FTSE 100 remains down and is off 0.13%.
  • The euro fell to $1.13, its lowest level against the dollar since mid-November.
7:56 a.m. ET, March 7, 2019

These retailers are down after mixed earnings

  • Burlington Stores (BURL) just released its fourth-quarter earnings. Despite profits beating expectations, it missed on sales. Guidance is in line with analysts forecasts, too. Shares are down more than 5% in premarket trading, wiping away all of its year-to-date gains.
  • American Eagle (AEO) profits beat estimates, but its revenue fell short of analysts' expectations. The retailer, which reported fourth-quarter earnings last night, said it expects this quarter's profits to come in lower-than-expected because it's spending money on expanding Aerie, its successful lingerie brand. Shares are down nearly 3% in premarket trading.
6:24 a.m. ET, March 7, 2019

Here's what's happening with stocks now

6:24 a.m. ET, March 7, 2019

Huawei vs. the US government

Huawei announced it is suing the US government in its most aggressive move yet to fight back against accusations that its technology poses a global security threat.

The Chinese tech giant said Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit in Texas challenging a recent US law that bans federal agencies from buying its products.

The fight between the company and the US government is becoming more complex:

  • US prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Huawei in Washington state and New York.
  • Huawei pleaded not guilty in Seattle last week to charges that it tried to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile (TMUS).
  • The company's arraignment in Brooklyn on charges that it worked to skirt US sanctions on Iran is scheduled for later this month. Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, has also been charged in that case. She was arrested in Canada in December and faces extradition to the United States.