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Katherine Ross [00:00:00]
All right. So we're seeing retail fall. We're not quite sure what to expect from bank earnings. We've got some Fed speeches today. Here to join us and talk about it is Jonathan Corpina of Meridian Equity Partners. Jonathan what are you looking at in the markets today?

Jonathan Corpina [00:00:13]
I think there are a couple of factors that are out there that's moving our markets and keeping our attention. Clearly one is the government shut down in the comments that come out of Washington on that. Everyone is closely paying attention to that because we could see how any comments that come out of Washington are moving our markets. And let me continue to talk about tariffs and China and the interaction there. One day everything's going fine. The next day things are slowed down. It might not be moving forward. I think those two factors Washington and China are two things that are moving our markets. We've seen a lot of volatility in our markets for the last eight weeks or so. But clearly you know this week definitely we've seen a lot of volatility and it's based off of those two major headlines. Yes there are other factors that are out there that are helping our markets move back and forth but I think those two are the major ones we're looking at.

Katherine Ross [00:01:00]
And do you think that the Fed speeches today will have any impact on the markets?

Jonathan Corpina [00:01:04]
You know what we always pay attention to those. The Fed speakers are very smart. They try not to tip their hands too much and they do have a pretty good blueprint that they stick to. Wishful thinking, we get a little more information, a little more transparency as to what they're thinking. But I think they're going to use the same verbiage that they used before in the past. They're going to remain data dependent. They're going to watch to see how the global economies are growing. More shrinking and help that in making their decisions moving forward.

Katherine Ross [00:01:31]
And what about the retail sector? We're seeing all of these stocks fall tremendously. What are your thoughts there?

Jonathan Corpina [00:01:36]
You know retail sector is something that usually for holiday sales normally gets a boost. It seems like this year has been the opposite of that and we're clearly seeing pressure on that sector there. I don't think everybody was prepared for the impact that that's having on our markets and clearly the impact on those stocks there. We're seeing some of the big major retailer names getting some significant pressure on them. But I think that's something that we're going to continue to watch.

Katherine Ross [00:02:03]
And investors in the retail sector, should they start looking at more defensive sectors do you think?

Jonathan Corpina [00:02:08]
Listen I think your portfolio should always have some areas that can add some padding for you within your portfolio especially with all the volatility that we've seen. The retail sector seems like it's one that has really transformed a lot right. When you have a company like Amazon that's slowly taking over everything in that area there, that competition has become very tough on the brick and mortar space. So I think investors do have to protect themselves in some areas.

Katherine Ross [00:02:34]
We're gearing up for bank earnings. Do you have any expectations for them?

Jonathan Corpina [00:02:38]
You know historically over time earnings season has offered a bit of buoy for our markets. Kind of helps move it higher as it's moving higher when the markets have been selling off it kind of changes and reverses that type of movement there. I think bank earnings you know overall can help our markets. I just don't think they're going to be as strong as we've been expecting. Right. Interest rate conversations we continue with that you know mortgage, mortgage lending, small businesses. This whole big this whole big pot out there I think it's just been a difficult scenario for the financials and also moving forward, unknown about how tariffs are going to affect everybody. What's going to happen with the government shut down? There's so many unknowns out there that I think every sector out there can be affected by it.

For the most part, it's been a positive week in the markets. 

However, Thursday morning saw the markets open down over 100 points. 

The retail sector was hit hard after it released holiday sales. 

Retailers, such as Target (TGT - Get Report) and Macy's (M - Get Report) , fell in morning trading. TheStreet's Martin Baccardax reported on Target's holiday sales. The company said same store sales for the two months ending in December rose 5.7%, well ahead of the 3.4% pace recorded over the same period last year.

Macy's lowered its guidance, according to TheStreet's Tony Owusu, and said it now expects comparable-store sales to increase 2% in the year, down from its previous estimate of between 2.3% and 2.5%. Net sales are now expected to be flat year over year, down from the previous estimate of a 0.3% to 0.7% increase, Macy's said.

Kohl's (KSS - Get Report) shares fell nearly 9% after the company reported a 1.2% increase in holiday season comparable store sales, down from the roughly 7% growth it reported last year.

Corpina also discussed what he expects from bank earnings, which are set to come out next week.

 "You know historically over time earnings season has offered a bit of buoy for our markets. Kind of helps move it higher as it's moving higher when the markets have been selling off it kind of changes and reverses that type of movement there. I think bank earnings you know overall can help our markets," he said.

And, what about the Fed speeches? 

"You know what we always pay attention to those. The Fed speakers are very smart. They try not to tip their hands too much and they do have a pretty good blueprint that they stick to. Wishful thinking, we get a little more information, a little more transparency as to what they're thinking. But I think they're going to use the same verbiage that they used before in the past," Corpina said. "They're going to remain data dependent. They're going to watch to see how the global economies are growing. More shrinking and help that in making their decisions moving forward."