January 11, 2019
Globally, the economic prospects appear to be dimming. Bloomberg reported on Thursday more than a half-dozen large corporations were forecasting lowered profit margins, announcing job cuts or paring back expansion plans.
Just 10 days into a new year, the grim outlook and market volatility – on top of trade wars, a slowdown in China, and erratic stock markets – elicited negative reports from the likes of American Airlines Group Inc., Jaguar Land Rover, Macy’s Inc. and BlackRock Inc. Those dark reports joined previous ones from Apple Inc. and FedEx Corp., indicating less than glowing outlooks were ahead. Target may have been the lone positive story.
Bloomberg took a look at a few key industries affected by the current gloom, and found:
– Transportation: Demand threatens sector with American Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc. facing reduced pricing power; while FedEx Corp. cut its outlook citing trade tensions, especially between the U.S. and China.
– Cars: Jaguar and Ford Motor Co. plan major cost-cutting programs encompassing thousands of layoffs across Europe.
– Retail: China’s economic slowdown is hurting luxury brands like Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton owner LVMH, which are experiencing weaker-than-expected sales; Macy’s, J. C. Penney, and Kohl’s Corp. reported lower than expected U.S. holiday season sales. Conversely, Target posted strong online growth in November and December, as online sales for in-store pick-up surged 60%, and sales at stores open at least a year increased 5.7% and comparable online sales climbed 29%.
– Finance: BlackRock plans a workforce reduction, as does AQR Capital Management, and State Street Corp.
– Industrials: United Technologies Corp. halted the sale of its fire-safety and security business because of recent volatility.
– Technology: Apple Inc.’s sales forecast cut was a big surprise, since it was the first time in nearly two decades that the giant consumer tech company had lowered its outlook.
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