Friday Fast Five - 8/4/2023
by Hodges Investment Team, on August 4, 2023
Five interesting things that Hodges Capital research analysts discovered this week...
#1 FIREARMS: The FBI released July NICS firearm background checks that came in at 2,015,789, representing a 16% y/y decline. Compared to 2019 levels, background checks were essentially flat.
#2 GASOLINE: AAA data suggest U.S. retail gasoline prices recently reached their highest levels since November and their second-highest price for this time of year over the last decade.
#3 SAVINGS: According to a recent Bankrate survey, 36% of people have more credit card debt than emergency savings. This is the highest percentage in 12 years of Bankrate asking this survey question.
#4 EARNINGS SEASON: As of August 1st, over 57% of the S&P 500’s market cap has been reported, according to Credit-Suisse. Earnings are beating estimates by 6.1%, with 75% of companies topping projections. EPS is on pace for a decline of 2.6%, assuming the current beat rate for the rest of the season.
#5 DOWNGRADE: Fitch recently downgraded its U.S. debt rating from AAA to AA+. NBC News reported the only other time the U.S. faced a credit downgrade was in 2011, when Standard & Poor’s lowered its rating.
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