|Bid||0.00 x 1200|
|Ask||0.00 x 1400|
|Day's Range||70.21 - 72.67|
|52 Week Range||58.47 - 80.73|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.25|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||16.93|
|Earnings Date||Oct 14, 2019 - Oct 18, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.96 (1.34%)|
|1y Target Est||79.20|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- To get Brooke Sutherland’s newsletter delivered directly to your inbox, sign up here.It’s going to be unbearably hot across much of the U.S. this weekend, but the early returns on industrial earnings have been decidedly cool. A nearly 30% run in CSX Corp. shares heading into its second-quarter earnings report suggested this was a company where investors thought they could find shelter amid a growing body of worrisome manufacturing data. They were wrong. The shares slumped more than 10% the day after CSX reversed a forecast for low single-digit growth in revenue this year and predicted instead that revenue would dip as much as 2%. The East Coast railroad says it’s being cautious, but the time for conservatism is when you start the guidance-giving process, so that strikes me as an inadequate explanation for such a deep cut. CEO James Foote said the macroeconomic backdrop was one of the most “puzzling” he’s ever experienced and that there are no concrete signs of improvement in weak coal, intermodal and industrial volumes.Elsewhere in transportation, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and West Coast railroad Union Pacific Corp. actually saw their shares pop on earnings, but that seems to be a case of more realistic expectations than a drastically more positive view of the macroeconomic environment. J.B. Hunt was essentially flat going into earnings, for example, and Union Pacific had sold off in sympathy with CSX before it reported. Union Pacific said it expects second-half volume to be down about 2%, which implies a decline for the full year compared with an earlier call for a low-single digit gain – basically mimicking CSX’s move. The other challenge with CSX is that it appears to be far enough along in its conversion to precision-scheduled railroading that there isn’t as much fat left to cut as there is at Union Pacific. But it’s track record of improved performance is still relatively short, capping its ability to make market share gains amid a surplus of capacity and lower spot rates in the trucking market. Bloomberg News’s Cameron Crise points out the sharp divergence in the performance of S&P 500 railroads and FedEx Corp. over the past, calling it a proxy of sorts for the trade war-inspired slowdown that’s hit companies with international exposure like FedEx harder than those focused on the domestic market. If U.S. railroad stocks fail to recover from the CSX-inspired selloff and the gap to FedEx narrows, that could be a sign that the domestic economy and the bull market are running out of steam, he writes. FedEx, of course, has plenty of idiosyncratic issues holding back its stock. The company’s annual report filed this week included interesting disclosures abut the risk of an activist shareholder getting involved and some additional detail on the logistics investments that could render Amazon.com Inc. a competitor. Things were a bit better at the multi-industrial companies, but there was still cause for concern. Textron Inc. said its aviation backlog slipped by $100 million in the second quarter as macroeconomic concerns and President Donald Trump’s threat to impose wide-ranging tariffs on Mexico spooked business-jet customers. That’s counteracted by Honeywell International Inc.’s report of double-digit sales growth for new business jet equipment, but still a troubling sign of just how nervous people are about making big investments. You can usually count on Honeywell to churn out an earnings beat, and the company didn’t disappoint, raising its profit guidance for the full year. But the outlook wasn’t as robust as some analysts were expecting. Organic sales growth of 5% could end up being the pace to beat this quarter, but that was weaker than anticipated and a forecast for 2% to 4% growth in the third quarter would suggest an accelerating slowdown. The dynamic of somewhat disappointing sales numbers but steady earnings growth in some ways reinforces Honeywell’s argument that last year’s breakups and a pristine balance sheet will make it more resilient in a downturn, but I remain unconvinced that margins for anything except funeral homes are recession-proof. It helped Honeywell that the sales weakness was mostly confined to its safety and productivity solutions unit, the smallest of its four main businesses, and aerospace remained impressively robust with 11% organic sales growth. The industrial companies on tap to report earnings next week may not be so lucky, particularly 3M Co., which seems destined for yet another guidance cut to reflect the deepening slowdown.ALL BOEING WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS IS A FLYABLE MAXBoeing Co. this week pre-announced a $4.9 billion after-tax second-quarter charge to reflect its estimate of compensation owed to airlines grappling with a grounding of the beleaguered 737 Max that’s now entering its fifth month. American Airlines Group Inc., Southwest Airlines Co. and United Airlines Holdings Inc. this week pulled the Max from their schedules through the beginning of November – a timeline that jibes with Boeing’s call for the plane to return to service during the fourth quarter. But the risk remains that the grounding stretches into 2020. The Federal Aviation Administration, mindful of restoring its reputation as the global standard-bearer of safety protocol, is keen to coordinate a return to service with European and Asian regulators. And while a fix for the flight-software system linked to the Max’s two fatal crashes has essentially been completed, there remain hurdles to remedying a separate issue with a microprocessor that was identified in June, including convincing the FAA that a software update is sufficient, according to the Wall Street Journal. Even if Boeing can get the plane recertified and flying again by the fourth quarter, it matters a great deal which particular month that happens. Airlines estimate it will take a month to 45 days to complete the maintenance necessary to bring the Max jets they already operate out of storage, which is to say nothing of the additional planes they had been expecting to support busy schedules. I would imagine airlines’ demands for compensation would rise materially if they are forced to scramble and reassess capacity for holiday flights. Ryanair Holdings Plc said this week it’s prudently planning for a December return of the Max, but pared its growth plans for the 2020 summer travel season. It can only accept six to eight new Max planes per month, which will leave the budget airline with about half of the fleet it had been planning on for that peak season. Data points like that make me highly skeptical of Boeing’s aspirations to ramp up to a 57-per-month production pace for the 737 program in 2020.A WORD ON WAREHOUSESThere has been a surge of spending over the past few years on industrial warehouse assets. The latest deal came this week , when Prologis Inc. agreed to buy Industrial Property Trust and its 236 properties in areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago and New Jersey for about $4 billion. This follows Prologis’s acquisition of DCT Industrial Trust Inc. last year for more than $8 billion and its pursuit earlier this year of GLP Pte’s U.S. warehouse assets, which ultimately went to Blackstone Group LP instead for $18.7 billion. Meanwhile, Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital Inc. is exploring a sale of its unit that owns warehouses as part of a strategic review meant to resuscitate its plunging market value, according to Bloomberg News. I understand the logic of these deals: Retailers are under immense pressure to build out their e-commerce capabilities and shorten their delivery times and on the face of it, that trend looks less vulnerable to the trade war and macroeconomic uncertainties than many others. Even so, it gives me pause to hear Honeywell say customers for its Intelligrated warehouse-automation business are pushing major system rollouts into the second half of the year. Intelligrated is still growing rapidly, with organic sales growth of more than 20% for the first half of 2019, and Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk said he knew for a fact that the delayed orders hadn’t gone away. But going back to my earlier comment about funeral homes, I’m getting less confident that even this trend can withstand the test of a true downturn. I asked Bloomberg Opinion's retail expert Sarah Halzack what she thought. She pointed out that companies like Walmart Inc. and Williams-Sonoma Inc. are too far along in converting their businesses to e-commerce to back out, whereas those who are already struggling such as J.C. Penney Co. will find it harder to justify making those kinds of investments.DEALS, ACTIVISTS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCEJohn Flannery has resurfaced. The former CEO of General Electric Co. will now be an advisory director to Charlesbank Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity firm managing more than $5 billion of capital. I’ve always felt a bit bad for Flannery, who spent 30 years working his way up the ladder at GE and finally ascended to the CEO post, only to find out that his actual job was going to be more akin to a garbage man. Sure, he made his share of mistakes as CEO. But the reality is he was probably never going to last in that job no matter what he did. GE needed one CEO to publicize and unearth the skeletons in its closet ($22 billion goodwill writedown on the disastrous Alstom SA deal, $15 billion reserve shortfall in the long-term care insurance business) and another CEO to try to fix the mess. That’s now Larry Culp. Still, it has to sting a bit that Steve Bolze, Flannery’s competitor in the race to succeed Jeff Immelt, is a senior managing director at Blackstone, a slightly more prominent firm than Charlesbank. Bolze is blamed by many investors for mismanaging GE’s power unit and exacerbating the financial pain from a slump in gas turbine demand.Crane Co.’s bid for Circor International Inc. got a last minute surge of support. Mario Gabelli’s Gamco Investors Inc. agreed to tender shares to Crane after the buyer raised its price to $48 a share earlier this month. Roughly 45% of outstanding Circor shares have been elected to be tendered, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. That’s not enough to force a merger (although there are still a few more hours before the tender offer expires at midnight), but it should be enough to get the attention of Circor’s board’s. In the wake of the Crane offer, Circor laid out a bold (and by nature, rather fluffy) plan to boost margins and lower debt. Shareholders are now signaling quite loudly that they don’t have much faith in the company’s ability to follow through. It’s pretty remarkable to see this level of pushback outside of an annual meeting, though. I had worried Crane’s bid might have been the victim of bad timing, with its offer becoming public a few weeks after Circor’s 2019 meeting. The fact that Circor’s board had privately received the Crane offer prior to the meeting and didn’t feel a need to tell investors about it has been one of Gabelli’s chief criticisms. This level of support from Circor shareholders may save Crane from having to wait a year to relaunch its bid with a proxy fight.Osram Licht AG, the lighting maker that’s agreed to sell itself to Bain Capital and Carlyle Group LP, disclosed this week that Austrian industrial manufacturer AMS AG had made a fresh offer for the company at a higher price. Bain and Carlyle are offering 35 euros per share, or 3.4 billion euros ($3.8 billion), while AMS had proposed to pay 38.50 euros per share, or about 3.7 billion euros. The problem is, AMS itself is valued at less than what it offered for Osram; it’s had negative free cash flow for at least the past two years; and it’s already carrying about 1.2 billion euros of net debt. Osram agreed to let AMS perform due diligence, but said the probability of a deal materializing was “rather low.” Literally the same day that its latest offer was disclosed, AMS said it was walking away. In some ways that’s actually kind of surprising – why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to do due diligence? But anyway, this amusing M&A adventure has now come to an end.Callon Petroleum Co. agreed to buy Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. in an all-stock transaction valued at $3.2 billion including debt. Bernstein analyst Bob Brackett called it a “pretty lame deal all-in-all”, while my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Liam Denning said the merger sounds a “distinct sad-trombone note.” Carrizo helps Callon double down on the Delaware Basin with contiguous acreage and lets it add free cash flow on the cheap, but it also dilutes its status as a pure-play operator by adding acreage the Eagle Ford region, where it may be harder to find cost savings. Some investors may have viewed Callon as a target and are disappointed to see it on the other end of a deal. The consolidation of shale players is healthy and necessary, Liam writes. But the fact that Carrizo has chosen to sell at a modest premium when its stock was trading at the lowest levels in a decade is pretty telling, too.CRH Plc agreed to sell its European plumbing and heating-distribution business to Blackstone for 1.64 billion euros ($1.9 billion). CEO Albert Manifold has been trying to steer the company toward higher growth markets including cement and raise money for acquisitions. This deal helps it do both. Davy analyst Robert Gardiner says the purchase price is attractive at about 16 times earnings before interest and taxes.BONUS READING Saturday Will Be Hot. Oil and Gas Will Be Not: Liam Denning Axalta Is Said to Draw Interest From Kansai Paint and PPG Ex-Cons Find Second Chances Easier to Get in Tight Labor MarketThe Moon Is the Next Frontier in Rivalry Between China and U.S. Porch Pirates Spot Criminal Opening in Amazon Prime Day BonanzaTo contact the author of this story: Brooke Sutherland at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brooke Sutherland is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and industrial companies. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
A key mission for the new Georgia Commission on Freight & Logistics will be to reduce the number of trucks hauling goods across the state, particularly on metro Atlanta’s chronically clogged highways.
Union Pacific's CEO, Lance Fritz, on the company's earnings beat and the impact trade tensions are having on the overall freight business.
Investors will get a pulse of the current state of the transportation industry when Kansas City Southern reports quarterly results ahead of the opening bell on Friday.
Earnings season is underway and corporate buybacks are set to boost earnings per share for S&P 500 companies.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It may be a cliche, but it’s true that the stock market isn’t the economy. Values fluctuate based on a seemingly infinite number of variables, from the real (earnings) to the intangible (sentiment). So even though U.S. equities are near all-time highs, that isn’t necessarily a sign that all is well with corporate America.One sign that executives may not be all that confident in the outlook is the market for commercial paper. Even with a slight pullback the last two weeks, companies have been issuing these short-term corporate IOUs at pace not seen since 2011. The amount outstanding has jumped from $1.05 trillion at the start of the year to as much as $1.16 trillion earlier this month, according to the Federal Reserve. Although the amount eased back to $1.14 trillion in the latest weekly data that was released on Thursday, that’s still more than any time in the past eight years.Few markets are as opaque as the one for commercial paper, which typically matures anywhere from 15 days to nine months after it’s issued, and it’s never exactly clear why it expands or contracts. But it’s hard not to interpret this latest jump as a down-arrow for the economy. It’s a signal companies may not have the confidence to commit to long-term loans or issue bonds and instead want to wait out the uncertainty with shorter-term funding.Fed data on commercial and industrial loans back up that idea, with growth grinding to a halt in the second quarter, increasing by just 0.15% to $2.34 trillion. That’s the smallest increase since the end of 2017. The slowdown came even as the Fed’s most recent quarterly survey of senior loan officers showed that banks in aggregate eased some key terms for commercial and industrial loans to large and middle-market firms. So even though banks were willing to lend, companies had little appetite.“Manufacturing, trade and investment are weak all around the world,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week in his semi-annual testimony to Congress.Recall that the Institute for Supply Management said on July 1 that its gauge of new orders for factories fell to 50, the lowest since December 2015 and equaling the dividing line between growth and contraction. And on Thursday, the Conference Board said its Leading Economic Index, which is intended to provide a sense of where the economy is headed, fell in June by the most since early 2016.And while it’s still early, the signals being sent by companies that have reported results so far this earnings season aren’t encouraging. Railroad operator CSX Corp. cut its revenue outlook for the year on Tuesday. Fastenal Co. and MSC Industrial Direct Co., which are – often viewed as an economic proxy because they sell factory-floor and construction site basics ranging from nuts and bolts to welding equipment – both noted a slowdown in demand in the most recent quarter.You can’t blame companies for being cautious. The U.S. is stuck in a trade war with China that seems to have no end, corporate earnings growth has stalled and the political divide in Washington is as great as ever. These aren’t things that can be fixed by a Fed interest-rate cut.To contact the author of this story: Robert Burgess at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Robert Burgess is an editor for Bloomberg Opinion. He is the former global executive editor in charge of financial markets for Bloomberg News. As managing editor, he led the company’s news coverage of credit markets during the global financial crisis.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
This most-searched list is a feature included in Benzinga Pro's Newsfeed tool. It highlights stocks frequently searched by Benzinga Pro users on the platform. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX ) shares were ...
Investing.com – Wall Street fell on Thursday as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) struck a bitter note to start the tech sector's earnings season.
If there’s one thing the market doesn’t like, it’s uncertainty. But that’s what it seems to be getting on two major fronts: the trade dispute between the U.S. and China and corporate earnings. The worries ...
As a bellwether to the broader economy, transportation giant CSX (NASDAQ:CSX) attracts for its historical stability. Though it incurred heavy losses during the 2000 tech bubble and the 2008 financial crisis, the company has found a way to come back twice as hard. Today, CSX stock is still trading relatively near its all-time high.Source: Shutterstock However, because the company is a bellwether, it raises questions when it doesn't perform to expectations. Unfortunately, CSX received a painful reminder regarding this lesson.On late Tuesday afternoon, management disclosed its second quarter 2019 earnings results. Although per-share profit was up 7% against the year-ago quarter, the transportation firm missed Wall Street expectations. That sent the CSX stock price down more than 6% during after-hours trading.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsOn paper, it wasn't a terrible hit. Prior to the disclosure, consensus estimates pegged earning per share at $1.10. The actual tally was only two pennies shy of the forecast. By itself, this miss doesn't warrant such extreme volatility toward the CSX stock price.However, the revenue haul was a different story. Analysts expected the organization to bring in $3.16 billion in top-line sales. As InvestorPlace writer Karl Utermohlen noted, that would have represented a 2% lift on a year-over-year basis. Instead, the transportation firm rang up only $3.06 billion, a nearly 1.4% slide. Naturally, several stakeholders panicked out of CSX stock. * 9 Retail Stocks Goldman Sachs Says Are Ready to Rip To be fair, CSX has delivered outstanding revenue performances over the past few quarters. Specifically, between Q2 2018 through Q1 2019, sales growth YoY averaged 8.6%. Therefore, it's possible that investors expected too much out of the organization, and unfairly punished CSX stock. Caution Is Key for CSX Stock2018 was a banner year for both CSX and CSX stock. The company generated nearly $12.3 billion in annual revenue, up 7.4% from 2017 results. Moreover, it was the biggest sales haul since 2014. Thus, CSX had the disadvantage of a tough year-earlier comparison.Another factor (and a bullish one) to consider is the underlying economy. Despite fears about a coming recession, key metrics such as the unemployment rate and consumer confidence indicate that the economy is robust. If accurate, this dynamic has positive implications for the CSX stock price.Let's face it: you probably wouldn't even consider this name if we were in a recession.With all that said, I believe investors should adopt a cautious approach with CSX stock. A major red flag that I see with shares is a clear disconnect with the fundamentals.Between Q4 2006 through Q4 2015, the CSX stock price had an 86% correlation coefficient with the underlying firm's revenue. Stated differently, as revenue increased, so too did shares. And the opposite dynamic was also true. Click to EnlargeBut from Q1 2016 onward, the correlation strength dropped to 80%. That's still a statistically significant rate. However, revenue and the CSX stock price didn't always match up as neatly as they did in the past. Particularly, shares jumped considerably while the company made mostly modest (notwithstanding 2018 results) sales gains.And I think this is why investors jumped ship following the Q2 disclosure. Prior to the earnings report, CSX stock was heading toward overbought territory. However, stakeholders demonstrated that they're willing to drive the price higher, so long as the growth narrative remains intact.The last report demonstrated that this narrative is suspect; hence, the fallout in shares. No Other Confirming Factors Support CSXI don't think I would issue a cautionary note for CSX stock if I had other supporting factors. However, I'm not getting a good read from the fundamentals nor the competitive landscape.For example, rival Canadian Pacific Railway (NYSE:CP) also released its Q2 earnings report. The difference, though, was that Canadian Pacific produced strong results, beating on both per-share profitability and revenue.Regarding fundamental headwinds, our own Thomas Niel mentioned coal demand. Thanks to the Trump administration, coal became a hot-button issue on the political front. However, Niel cited industry data that indicated a downward trend in consumption. In all likelihood, this decline will continue, which doesn't help CSX's cause.Finally, sustained economic strength could help buoy shares. But despite strong economic print, this optimism isn't guaranteed to last forever. We're in a contentious political environment. International flashpoints threaten to undermine our relative peace. And we still have a trade war to figure out.At this point, I think it's fair to say that CSX has more challenges than upside catalysts. As such, I'm going to stay on the sidelines.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 9 Retail Stocks Goldman Sachs Says Are Ready to Rip * 7 Services Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 * 6 Stocks to Buy and 1 to Sell Based on Insider Trading The post Hit the Brakes on High-Flying CSX Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Even investor darling Honeywell International Inc. isn’t immune to the slowdown taking place in manufacturing.The maker of jet engines and air-conditioner controls reported second-quarter earnings on Thursday that beat analysts’ estimates, but sales in the period were weaker than expected, both including and excluding the impact of M&A and currency swings. The 5% organic revenue growth Honeywell notched in the second quarter was a step down from both the year-earlier period and the aggressive 8% pace set in the first quarter. While the company raised its 2019 organic sales growth target to a range of 4% from 6%, its third-quarter forecast for 2% to 4% expansion was weaker than RBC analyst Deane Dray had been expecting. An increased full-year earnings outlook was also less robust than analysts had been anticipating.Don’t get me wrong: this was still a very strong earnings performance from Honeywell. The company’s aerospace division remains a standout, with 11% organic growth in the period. Notably, Honeywell had double-digit growth in new equipment for business jets. That’s an interesting contrast to the weak aviation revenue and $100 million slide in backlog at Textron Inc. in the second quarter, which the company blamed on business-jet customers becoming jittery about macroeconomic conditions. And Honeywell does have a habit of under-promising on guidance so that it can over-deliver down the road.But this feels different than merely keeping the bar low and beatable. There's good reason to be cautious in this environment. Honeywell cited uncertainty in markets with shorter sales cycles, inventory pile-ups in some sectors and macro-economic concerns including tariffs and Brexit, and it appears to already be digging around in its toolkit for ways to weather a downturn. Concerns that cooling demand is becoming more marked than investors had appreciated took on a new gravity this week after East Coast railroad CSX Corp. reversed its call for sales growth this year and predicted as much as a 2% decline instead. Honeywell’s showing wasn’t nearly strong enough to buck the general feeling of unease.In other earnings news, Dover Corp. also reported second-quarter results on Thursday and followed a pattern similar to Honeywell: earnings per share beat analysts’ estimates and the company raised its full-year guidance, but overall sales in the period were a disappointment and Dover left its revenue outlook unchanged. This pattern of earnings beat/sales miss adds some early credence to industrial companies’ contention that years of cost-cuts and spin-offs have put them in a better position to weather an economic downturn. Dover last year spun off its Apergy Corp. energy business, while Honeywell carved its turbochargers and consumer-facing home technologies businesses into separate companies. In its earnings presentation, Honeywell said its relatively unburdened balance sheet and improved access to overseas cash after the U.S. tax overhaul give it other levers it can pull should a slowdown materialize. In other words, it’s waving the white flag of share buybacks.I’m not entirely convinced that all these breakups have made industrial companies recession-proof. Yes, they’ve become less cyclical, but that has risks as well. Either way, without sales, you can’t have profit. Gordon Haskett analyst John Inch has warned margin deterioration could be an underappreciated risk in the event of a mild industrial downturn. The severity of the 2008 financial crisis meant that few companies cut their prices because there was such low demand it wouldn’t have made much of a difference, he writes. But in a more moderate slowdown, industrial companies are more apt to use price cuts to drive sales, undermining their margins in the process. Honeywell is still likely one of the safest places for investors to ride out a slowdown. But before the gloomy CSX report dragged down the whole industrial sector, Honeywell was enjoying its best start to the year since 2007. The run-up in its shares leaves the company priced for perfection – and investors priced for disappointment should that perfection prove out of reach.To contact the author of this story: Brooke Sutherland at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brooke Sutherland is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and industrial companies. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Union Pacific's better-than-expected results landed amid worries that cooling global growth and President Donald Trump's trade war are driving a "freight recession" in the U.S. transportation industry that is seen as a bellwether for the domestic economy. East Coast railroad operator CSX Corp rattled the sector on Tuesday when it revised its 2019 revenue forecast to call for a slight drop - rather than a slight gain - following trade-related weakness in its intermodal and metals units. The transportation industry's freight volumes have been down for seven straight months, according to the Cass Freight Index, which tracks shippers ranging from retailers and automakers to chemical companies.
Union Pacific Corp on Thursday reported a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street estimates, as the U.S. railroad operator cut costs and raised rates to overcome disruptions from record floods in the Midwest and ongoing U.S.-China trade tensions. Union Pacific's better-than-expected results landed amid worries that cooling global growth and President Donald Trump's trade war are driving a "freight recession" in the U.S. transportation industry that is seen as a bellwether for the domestic economy. East Coast railroad operator CSX Corp rattled the sector on Tuesday when it revised its 2019 revenue forecast to call for a slight drop - rather than a slight gain - following trade-related weakness in its intermodal and metals units.
After stalling on Monday and struggling on Tuesday, the bears finally got their pound of flesh. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 fell 0.65%, closing near its low for the day after a few too many investors rethought their positions after a fairly tough start to earnings season.Source: Shutterstock Railroad company CSX (NASDAQ:CSX) hit the wall the hardest, slumping more than 10% after falling short of last quarter's earnings expectations then underscoring that miss with a disappointing outlook. Telecom technology name Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) was a miserable performer too, however, down 11% after missing its quarterly earnings estimates and painting a grim picture of its business in Asia.At the other end of the spectrum, Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) rallied more than 2% as investors jockeyed to get into the one name that could prove disruptive to the e-commerce landscape.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 10 Best Cryptocurrencies to Keep on Your Radar But none of those names are as compelling as the stock charts of Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN), General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) headed into Thursday's action. Here's what makes these three names so special. Eastman Chemical Company (EMN)Given the action Eastman Chemical Company shares have dished out over the past couple of weeks, it would be easy to say EMN just blew its chance at clearing its 200-day moving average line plotted in white on both stocks charts. The June rally was stopped cold there, and Tuesday's short-lived trek above the 200-day line was also halted when the late-June high near $80 was re-met.There's more bullishness packed into this chart than readily meets the eye, however. Another good nudge or two could do the trick. Click to Enlarge * Although the June effort to clear the 200-day moving average line failed, notice the subsequent pullback was halted and reversed cleanly at the purple 50-day moving average line. * Yesterday, the gray 100-day moving average line also became a support level. * While the 200-day line is a critical hurdle here, the $80 area has been defined as the make-or-break area for meaningful upside. Verizon Communications (VZ)With nothing more than a passing glance at Verizon Communications, it looks like the stock is simply range-bound, bouncing to and from near-term peaks and troughs. And, that may be all that's taking shape here.But, as was noted on June 21, VZ stock is increasingly putting pressure on its 200-day moving average line as a technical floor. Although it's still intact, the stock is quietly inching closer to a break under that support, which could easily open the doors to lower lows in a hurry. * 7 Stocks Top Investors Are Buying Now Click to Enlarge * Just since April, the testing of the 200-day line, plotted in white on both stock charts, has heated up to where it's being touched on a regular basis. * Although it has not happened yet, we're even closer to a so-called death cross now than we were a month ago. That's where the purple 50-day average crossed under the 200-day line. * Even a break under the 200-day line is no guarantee of a complete meltdown, however. There's a support line at $55.34, where the red, dashed line that connects the key lows since early last year lies. General Motors (GM)Like all other players in the automobile industry, General Motors has struggled since "peak auto" came and went in 2015. Although it fared better than the rest and it was able to drive GM stock sharply higher in 2017, it wasn't meant to last. The pullback has been particularly bumpy.There has been a method to the madness behind all the volatility, however. The highs and lows going back to 2015 have formed a wedge pattern that's squeezing General Motors shares into a point. The stock may not get all the way to the convergence of that triangle shape, however, if they can just get over the ceiling they're testing right now. Click to Enlarge * There are actually two upper boundaries of the wedge. The bigger-picture one is plotted as a white dashed line, while the gray dashed line has only taken shape since early 2018. * We've seen it before to no avail, but the white 200-day moving average line is sloped upward again, suggesting the longer-term trend is net-bullish. * Although pressing the upper boundary of the wedge right now, General Motors stock might be better served by sliding a little lower, regrouping and then trying one more time.As of this writing, James Brumley held no position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about James at his site, jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Stocks Top Investors Are Buying Now * The 10 Best Cryptocurrencies to Keep on Your Radar * 7 Marijuana Penny Stocks That Could Triple (But You Won't Make Money) The post 3 Big Stock Charts for Thursday: Eastman Chemical, Verizon and General Motors appeared first on InvestorPlace.
U.S. stocks end lower for a second straight session Wednesday as investors digest mixed earnings results and economic data, while a lack of progress on the Beijing-Washington tariff dispute remained a headache.