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Coffee With Greta: Higher Prices, Weaker Spending


DJIA Futures: +113 (+0.3%)

SPX Futures: +9 (+0.2%)

NASDAQ Futures: +43 (+0.2%)

Good morning friends!

Futures are higher as traders digest mixed economic data with hot inflation but weaker than expected retail sales.

Let’s get right to it!

Wholesale Inflation Runs Hot

Wholesale inflation pressures were hotter than expected in February. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ producer price index rose 0.6% monthly and 1.6% year over year. 

That was higher than expectations for a 0.3% monthly and 1.2% annual gain.

It was the hottest annual headline number since September 2023. 

The core PPI, which excludes food and energy costs, rose 0.3% monthly and 2.0% annually vs 0.2% monthly and 1.9% annually expected. 

About two-thirds of the increase was due to a 1.2% surge in goods prices, the largest increase since August, as gas prices jumped 6.8%. 

Services costs increased 0.3%. 

February Retail Sales Come In Short

Retail sales were weaker than expected last month. 

The Commerce Department reported consumer spending rose 0.6% in February to $700.7 billion. 

That was weaker than economists’ expectations for a 0.7% increase but a rebound from the 1.1% decrease in January. 

The largest increase was at building material stores where sales jumped 2.2%. 

Sales at car dealerships rose 1.8%, increased 1.5% at electronics and appliance stores,  and rose 0.9% at gas stations. 

Furniture stores saw sales fall 1.1%, while sales at clothing retailers were down 0.5%, and 0.2% lower at department stores. 

Weekly Jobless Claims Fall

Weekly jobless claims fell unexpectedly last week as the labor market maintains strength. 

The Labor Department reported 209,000 Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week. 

That was down by 1,000 from the previous week and lower than 218,000 expected. 

Continuing claims rose by 17,000 to 1.811 million vs 1.9 million expected in the week ending March 2. 

Dollar General Pops On Earnings Beat, Strong Outlook

Dollar General (DG) shares are up 4.9% ahead of the open after beating Q4 expectations and issuing strong guidance. 

Here’s how the discount retailer’s results compared to analysts’ estimates: 

  • EPS: $1.83 vs $1.73 expected
  • Revenue: $9.86 billion vs $9.77 billion expected

Same-store sales increased 0.7% year over year vs expectations for a 1% decline. 

Dollar General forecast Q1 EPS between $1.50 and $1.60 vs $1.88 expected. 

The company said it expects same-store sales to rise between 1.5% to 2% vs expectations for a 0.3% increase. 

For the full fiscal year, Dollar General forecast EPS between $6.80 and $7.55 vs $7.42 expected. 

The company sees full-year sales growth of 6% to 6.7% vs 4.4% growth expected.

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