THUNDER BAY – LIVING – As a course requirement for the Fundraising and Events Management class at Confederation College, the 3rd-year Business Administration – Marketing students hosted a Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser in support of the Children’s Centre Foundation Sunday. The event took place at Daytona’s Restaurant, welcoming members of the community to join for just $10 a ticket. Students sought out donations from local businesses to enhance fundraising efforts through an on-site raffle. In addition, John Collins from Daytona’s made a generous $2 donation from every regular menu item sold during the event. All proceeds are being donated to the Children’s Centre Foundation.
“We chose to support the Children’s Centre Foundation for this project because we believe in the work that they do to support children and families in our community,” said Delaney Read, a 3rd-year Business Administration – Marketing student. “The Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser will help the Children’s Centre Foundation in supporting programs and services that improve and enrich the lives of children. We have been motivated to fundraise as much as we can by the hard work that the Foundation does.”
Foundation Coordinator Dayna Pupeza shared her gratitude for the students’ efforts. “It was wonderful collaborating with the 3rd-year students and their instructor Kristina Baraskewich,” she said. “The students dedicated both school and personal time to achieve their goals. Working with community members, I am confident they will be able to make a meaningful contribution in support of the Children’s Centre Foundation. I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for these bright and talented individuals.”
Kristina Baraskewich, Instructor in the Business Marketing programs at Confederation College also acknowledged her students’ hard work. “I am so proud of all that the students have accomplished,” she said. “Facilitating hands-on opportunities to reinforce learning is what Confederation College stands for. An activity like this gives the students a chance to apply the theory learned in the classroom to a real-world experience with the real-world challenges and limitations faced when planning an event. The dedication, professionalism, creativity and philanthropic spirit each of my students have demonstrated is truly impressive.”
To learn more about the Business Administration – Marketing program and to apply, visit www.confederationcollege.ca/marketingadmin.
Oscar Munoz, who helped to steady United Airlines after a troubled 2010 merger, but not without the occasional public relations crisis, will step down next year as the airline’s chief executive.
In May, J. Scott Kirby, the airline’s president and a veteran of the industry, will succeed Mr. Munoz, who will move on to the position of executive chairman of the airline’s board for a one-year term.
Analysts said they were not surprised by the leadership change. Mr. Munoz, a first-generation college student from an immigrant family, had been expected to assume the role of chairman several years ago, but the promotion was scuttled in 2017 after the airline stumbled in responding to public outrage when security officers dragged a passenger off one of its planes in Chicago.
“While the timing of this transition was always a key topic, this has been largely expected by investors ever since Oscar Munoz hired Scott Kirby in 2016,” Andrew Didora, an airline analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote in a research note. Mr. Didora added that he did not anticipate a change to the airline’s strategy.
Mr. Kirby was president of American Airlines after its 2013 merger with US Airways, where he had held the same title. By comparison, Mr. Munoz was a relative newcomer to the industry when he joined United in 2015 from CSX, the freight railroad where he had been president and chief operating officer. He previously was a director on United’s board and before that on the board of Continental Airlines.
When Mr. Munoz took the helm at United, the airline was struggling to overcome problems associated with its 2010 merger with Continental and a federal corruption investigation involving the company’s dealings with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Despite his lack of direct industry experience, Mr. Munoz helped turn United around. The airline’s stock has jumped more than 50 percent during his tenure, outpacing the 16 percent increase over the same period in the S&P 500 Airlines Industry Index.
But Mr. Munoz’s tenure was not without its controversies. In April 2017, a passenger, Dr. David Dao, was dragged off a United flight at O’Hare International Airport when he objected to giving up his seat for an airline employee. Video of the incident quickly spread on social media and became the subject of days of news coverage and public commentary.
The airline was harshly criticized for how it handled the crisis, especially an email Mr. Munoz sent to employees that seemed to blame Dr. Dao. “As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help,” he wrote.
That only inflamed outrage at the company and Mr. Munoz, who later agreed to drop a clause in his contract under which he would become the company chairman while staying on as chief executive. The next year, a dog died on a United flight after it was stored in an overhead compartment.
Despite those problems, United, which has a dominant presence at airports like Newark Liberty International, George Bush Intercontinental in Houston and Denver International, has done well financially in recent years. The company reported third-quarter earnings in October that topped analyst expectations.
Shares in the company rose after the company announced Mr. Kirby would take over from Mr. Munoz but fell back later in the day.
As part of the transition, Jane Garvey, the current chairwoman, will retire from the airline’s board of directors in May.
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4:01 p.m. ET: Stocks end higher after choppy trading day
Here’s where markets settled at the end of regular trading Thursday:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.15%, or 4.68 points
Dow (^DJI): +0.1%, or 28.01 points
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.05%, or 4.03 points
10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): +2.1 bps to 1.802%
Gold (GC=F): +0.07% to $1,481.20 per ounce
1:47 p.m. ET: Saudi Aramco shares priced at top of range in world’s biggest IPO
Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco priced its initial public offering at the top of its previously indicated range, AFP reports, raising $25.6 billion in the world’s largest ever IPO.
1:38 p.m. ET: Trump says China talks are ‘moving along well’
U.S. President Donald Trump said China trade talks are “moving along well” and that “something could happen on Dec. 15, but that “we are not discussing that yet,” Bloomberg reports.
12:37 p.m. ET: BAC: Holiday spending set for more than 2% jump
Last week was the official start to the holiday shopping season. Bank of America data expects early holiday sales to rise 2.2% from 2018, and the best since 2013. The bulk of those gains will come from — you guessed it — online shopping, which the bank estimates at 14% year-over-year and comprising 38% of total holiday shopping.
That said, BAC had some caveats:
What does it mean for the full season? The predictive power is not great. Remember last year where the holiday season started off fine but ended down as consumers cut back significantly at the end of December amid a sharp sell-off in the stock market? The weakness last year should help boost the YOY rate for total holiday sales this year (Nov plus Dec). Indeed, translating our data into the official numbers derived from the Census Bureau, we would not be surprised if we end up seeing total holiday sales up as much as 4% YOY.
12:30 p.m. ET: Aramco huge, but no help for soft IPO market
Refinitiv points out that the Saudi Aramco IPO boosts the global floatation market’s proceeds to nearly $159 billion in 2019. Overall, however, the global IPO market is tracking 7% lower year-over-year — even though the Aramco offering “would raise more than all of this year’s 117 IPOs on Nasdaq, currently the most active exchange so far during 2019, by value.”
11:35 a.m. ET: Black Friday not entirely a bust for brick-and-mortar?
New data from Placer.ai shows that, contrary to some reports showing Black Friday offline foot traffic was down, their performance was decidedly mixed:
We analyzed 16 top retail brands and found that overall, traffic to these stores was up 0.4%. Yet, these numbers were buoyed by a handful of strong performances from 5 brands including Nike and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The general picture was more accurately defined as one of slight decline. In fact, removing Nike and Dick’s from the group reduced the overall picture to a decline of 1.3% Year-over-Year on Black Friday. The biggest decline came from Bed, Bath & Beyond which saw a decline of over 11%. This was likely due to a combination of closed stores and the brand’s decision to open on Thanksgiving for the first time ever – diluting the single day urgency.
Two noteworthy performers were Nike (NKE) and Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), which Placer.ai called two of “the most notable brands of 2019 for their strong offline retail performance…Nike saw a Year-over-Year increase of over 11% while Dick’s enjoyed a jump of over 12% on Black Friday 2018.”
11:30 a.m. ET: Gundlach not as negative on Powell as Trump is, but still…
Bond king Jeff Gundlach weighs in on the job he thinks Fed Chair Jerome Powell is doing. In a long sit-down interview with Yahoo Finance’s Julia LaRoche, he likens the central banker to an NFL coach who’s team is losing:
…the heads of losing teams “all say the same thing, ‘Got to watch the tape, got to play better, not good enough.’ Now Jay Powell does the same sort of boilerplate. He just says, ‘data-dependent, don’t know we’re going to do, we might.’ He basically wants to say as little as possible.”
He went on to describe the Fed as “rudderless” and “shamelessly following the bond market [more] than ever before.”
10:05 a.m. ET: Saudi Aramco said to top IPO expectations
Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian oil giant, has priced its initial public offering (IPO) at the top of its indicative range, sources told Reuters and The Wall Street Journal — raising $25.6 billion and booting China’s Alibaba from its perch as the world’s biggest stock float.
The IPO’s outperformance comes in spite of a chilly reception from international investors. Aramco is targeting a valuation of somewhere around $1.7 trillion, but just shy of the “aspirational” $2 trillion price tag the kingdom sought at the outset.
9:45 a.m. ET: The dollar and U.S. growth
In a morning note, Morgan Stanley says the “narrative on U.S. data may be starting to shift” — and not in a good way, considering this week’s soft service sector data and private payrolls data:
Yesterday’s data only furthered this momentum, with US November non-manufacturing ISM surprising to the downside. Importantly, the business activity subcomponent fell to 51.6, the lowest level since 2010. Meanwhile, the ADP employment change also missed to the downside, bringing the 3-month moving average near multi-year lows, even though some of the weakness was due to the UAW strike. The combination of a softening US outlook and stabilization abroad is a recipe for [U.S. dollar] weakness.
However, the firm’s analysts say they’re skeptical that softer U.S. growth is bad for the entire world:
First, the US’s share of global output is shrinking, not rising, and it is one of the most insensitive economies to international trade, suggesting relatively little pass-through via trade channels and slowing US demand. Second, a weakening USD in response to softer US data is a positive for much of the rest of the world, not a negative. A weaker USD tends to bolster trade volumes and makes supply chain financing easier, not to mention that it eases the cost of USD-denominated liabilities, which are often held by EMs. This is particularly true if US data weaken sufficiently to result in a “material change” in the outlook for [the Federal Reserve], prompting it to ease policy further. Easing by the Fed tends to have a global as well as a local effect – even policy speeches alone can have a material international spillover effect, as the BIS recently concluded.
…Thus, while the US data narrative may continue to shift, we are less convinced that this means the end of the global growth recovery. Accordingly, we continue to expect USD weakness.
9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks rise on hopes of US-China trade breakthrough
Stocks were poised to add to the prior day’s gains in early trading, amid growing hopes for a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade negotiations. Markets were also underpinned by a drop in jobless claims and a narrowing in the U.S. trade deficit, the latter which is positive for U.S. growth.
Here’s where major benchmarks began trading:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.08%, or 2.56 points
Dow (^DJI): +0.12%, or 34.26 points
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.13%, or 10.63 points
Crude (^CL=F): +0.8% to $58.90
10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): +0.031 to 1.812%
Gold (GC=F): -0.40% to $1,479.80 per ounce
Markets largely ignore news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked the House Judiciary Committee to proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, a move that was all but a foregone conclusion.
8:30 a.m. ET: Jobless claims, trade data fan hopes for the economy
The Labor Department reported initial claims of 203,000, which was less than Wall Street expected, while the Commerce Department showed the trade deficit narrowed sharply to a 16-month low. The latter is more significant, given that:
It was partly distorted by the General Motors strike, which was a drag on auto imports
It’s a shot in the arm for U.S. fourth quarter GDP, which Wall Street expects to check in somewhere under 2%.
Capital Economics estimates that Q4 growth will print 1.5%. Meanwhile, veteran market watcher Peter Boockvar broke it down this way:
“The trade deficit in October narrowed to $47.2b from $51.1b in September but for the wrong reasons as imports fell more sharply than exports which dropped too. Imports fell by 1.7% after a 1.6% decline in September at sit at the least since November 2017 with particular weakness in the imports of auto’s and consumer goods. Exports also fell for a 2nd month by .2% m/o/m to the lowest since April with declines in capital goods, auto’s and consumer goods.
Bottom line, the smaller trade deficit actually helps the math of the Q4 GDP calculation…”
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Stocks ended a choppy session higher Thursday as investors considered mixed commentary around U.S.-China trade prospects.
Here’s where markets settled Thursday at the end of regular trading:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.15%, or 4.68 points
Dow (^DJI): +0.1%, or 28.01 points
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.05%, or 4.03 points
10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): +2.1 bps to 1.802%
Gold (GC=F): +0.07% to $1,481.20 per ounce
On Thursday, President Donald Trump said trade negotiations with China were “moving along well,” according to Bloomberg. This compounded with positive remarks on Wednesday, when Trump told reporters from a NATO meeting in London that discussions were “going very well” with China, according to Reuters.
Beijing, for its part, corroborated the more upbeat sentiment, with Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng saying at a regular weekly briefing Thursday that Chinese negotiators remained in “close contact” with their U.S. counterparts. Gao reiterated, however, that a phase one trade deal should include some reduction in tariffs, according to Bloomberg.
Negotiators have 10 days before additional tariffs on about $156 billion worth of Chinese goods are set to take effect, as previously announced by the Trump administration. Earlier this week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggested the administration would go ahead with these further levies in absence of an agreement with Beijing by Dec. 15.
Separately, oil prices added to Wednesday’s gains as members of OPEC and allied nations (OPEC+) met to discuss their plans for output next year. Members of the cartel, who are set to meet in Vienna, Austria on Thursday and Friday, are expected to agree to deeper production cuts for next year from their current level of reduction of 1.2 million barrels per day, which expires at the end of March. Thursday morning, Bloomberg reported that the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee of OPEC was recommending a reduction of 500,000 barrels per day.
The oil minister of Iraq had said earlier this week that he and other nations would support a cut to production for next year of around 400,000 barrels a day. Brent crude oil prices, the global benchmark, rose to more than $63 a barrel, while domestic crude was unchanged at $58.43 a barrel from Wednesday at settlement.
Over the past two years, OPEC+ has steadily pared back output in order to offset rising production in non-allied nations like Brazil, Norway, and the U.S., where shale oil output has boomed.
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EARNINGS: Tiffany sales sink in home market, Slack tops expectations
Slack (WORK), the newly public workplace messaging software company, delivered stronger than expected third-quarter results. However, its outlook for billings – which reflects its software sales to new customers, renewals and added sales from existing customers – disappointed the Street.
The company’s third-quarter loss per share was 2 cents on revenue of $168.7 million, better than the 16 cent loss per share on revenue of $156.2 million expected, according to Bloomberg data. Slack ended the quarter with more than 105,000 customers, up by 30% over last year.
For the full year, Slack expects to see billings of between $745 million and $760 million, with the midpoint of this range coming below the $754.3 million expected. But Slack also raised full-year sales guidance to as much as $623 million, up by $13 million on the high end of its previous range. It expects an adjusted loss per share in the fourth quarter of as much as 7 cents, in-line with expectations.
Tiffany (TIF) posted disappointing third-quarter results as North American sales weakened further for the jeweler. The company recently announced it was set to be acquired by French luxury retail giant LVMH (MC.PA).
Third-quarter earnings per share were 65 cents on net sales of $1.01 billion, below the 85 cents a share on sales of $1.03 billion expected. Comparable same-store sales in the Americas sank 4% during the quarter, or worse than the decline of just 0.9% expected. Tiffany attributed this mostly to lower spending by foreign tourists, as well as some softness in local customer spending.
Asia remained a strong geographic segment for the company, however, with Asia Pacific comp sales rising 1%, and sales in Japan jumping 14%, versus a 3.8% gain expected. Comp sales in Europe also unexpectedly rose 4%, where a decline of 0.7% was expected.
Dollar General (DG) raised its full-year earnings guidance and posted accelerating sales growth and shrugged off some of the tariff concerns that plagued peer discount retailer Dollar Tree in its most recent quarter.
Dollar General’s net sales totaled $6.99 billion, rising 9% over last year and beating expectations for $6.92 billion. Third-quarter earnings per share were $1.42, or 4 cents above expectations. The company raised its full-year adjusted earnings guidance to as much as $6.65 a share, versus a previous outlook for as much as $6.60 a share.
ECONOMY: Jobless claims unexpectedly decline to lowest level since April
New unemployment claims fell by 10,000 to 203,000 for the week ended November 30, the Department of Labor said Thursday, in a strong final report on the U.S. labor market ahead of the “official” monthly November jobs report Friday.
Thursday’s print marked the lowest number of new jobless claims since mid-April. Consensus economist had expected initial jobless claims to rise to 215,000 for the week, according to Bloomberg data.
Continuing unemployment claims, however, rose more than expected to 1.693 million for the week ended November 23. Consensus economist had expected this to come in at 1.66 million, from an upwardly revised 1.642 million the week prior.
The U.S. trade deficit shrank to the narrowest level since May 2018 in October as trade with China slumped further, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The overall trade deficit came in at $47.2 billion for the month, versus the $48.5 billion expected. September’s trade deficit was revised slightly to $51.1 billion from $51.5 billion reported previously.
October’s decline in the deficit was driven by a 1.7% drop in imports, eclipsing a slight 0.2% decline in exports. Consumer goods imports were the main contributor to the drop, and merchandise imports from China fell 4.8% over the previous month to $35.3 billion. Exports to China sank 17%. The overall U.S. trade deficit with China declined to a seven-month low of $27.8 billion, seasonally adjusted.