Investing.com -- The Dow closed lower Thursday, snapping a four-day wining streak as investors weighed up mixed economic showing steady inflation, but still-strong consumer spending ahead of the crucial monthly jobs report due Friday.
Fed pause hopes still alive amid in-line Inflation, hot consumer spending data
The core personal consumption expenditures price index , the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation, rose 0.2% in July, in-line with the prior month’s pace and economists’ expectations.
But consumer spending , rose 0.8% in July, the fastest pace in more than six months, “perpetuating the notion of a resilient consumer,” Stifel said in a note.
Despite the strong consumer data and still-above trend inflation, just 12% of traders expect the Fed to deliver its twelfth rate-hike on Sept. 20, Stifel added, with about 56% of investors anticipate another hold.
Salesforce, Crowdstrike win big on earnings stage
Salesforce Inc (NYSE: CRM ) lifted its guidance after reporting second-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates, driven by momentum in MuleSoft, -- the firm’s integration software used to connect applications and data – while its “overall subscription business further proving strength in the Beltway,” Wedbush said in a note.
Crowdstrike Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: CRWD ) also reported a beat and raise in the quarter, underpinned by improved margins in the quarter amid ongoing cybersecurity demand.
After clearing the tough second-quarter bar, Crowdstrike “will now lap significantly easier comps as cloud security, identity threat detection, and LogScale/Observability all hit respective strides,” UBS said, adding that it likes the setup for the company into the second half of the year.
Dollar General punished for annual guidance cut, underwhelming quarterly results
Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG ) fell 12% as the discount retailer cut its full-year guidance after quarterly earnings missed Wall Street estimates amid weaker consumer demand and inventory shrink, a loss in inventory not due to sales but other factors including employee theft.
Gross margin fell 126 basis points, “primarily driven by lower markups, increased shrink, markdowns, inventory damages, and unfavorable category mix shift, partially offset by a lower LIFO provision and a reduction in transportation costs,” Goldman Sachs said in a note.
Cannabis stocks on fire amid easing restrictions
Cannabis stocks including Canopy Growth Corp (NASDAQ: CGC ), Aurora Cannabis (TSX: ACB ), and Tilray Inc (NASDAQ: TLRY ), with latter up more than 12%, surged on optimism the U.S. government may reclassify marijuana to a much lower risk category.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services delivered a recommendation to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that marijuana be moved from its current Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act.
“While the recommendation has yet to be confirmed by the DEA, we view this as a positive development, which materially increase the odds of a rescheduling to Schedule III, which as mentioned would be a boon for the industry,” Wedbush said in a recent note.
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