U.S.-China Trade Deal, Target's Holiday Sales, Goldman Sachs

Here's what investors need to know about Target's holiday says miss, Goldman Sachs after earnings and what to watch from the U.S.-China Trade deal signing.
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Happy hump day!

Jim Cramer is in San Francisco for the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference all week, so Jeff Marks, senior portfolio analyst with Action Alerts PLUS is joining TheStreet's live show. 

How'd Target Miss the Mark?

Target's  (TGT) - Get Report comp sales came in lighter than expected for the holiday season.

Target reported sales that rose 1.4% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 in stores and through its digital channels. However, the number came in below forecasts. The retailer also warned that growth for the full quarter, which includes January, will likely come in less than half the 3% to 4% growth it had been expecting.

The Minneapolis-based company pointed to weak sales of toys and electronics – two key holiday-season categories that all retailers count on to boost sales. It said it was maintaining its profit targets, in part because other categories that did have robust sales earn higher margins.

Now, this isn't the first time that a retailer has missed expectations this holiday season. So, is this proof that Amazon's  (AMZN) - Get Report Death Star has risen once again?

We're Expecting a U.S.-China Phase One Deal

The U.S. and China are expected to sign the phase one trade deal at 11:30a.m. ET. 

On paper, the deal promises increased U.S. agricultural exports and reforms to China’s policies on intellectual property, technology transfer, and financial services, according to a U.S. Trade Representative document.

China will end its practice of pressuring foreign companies to hand over technological innovations in exchange for Chinese market access, approvals and other advantages.

China has also agreed to spend $200 billion over the next two years on U.S. food, agriculture, and seafood products and other services.

So...how's Phase Two looking?

Goldman Sachs Reports Earnings

Goldman Sachs reported earnings before the bell Wednesday. 

Goldman said earnings for the three months ending in December came in at $4.69 per share, down 41% from the same period last years and well shy of the $5.46 Street consensus forecast. Litigation charges of around $1.1 billion, taking a notable chunk from the bank's bottom line. Group revenues, Goldman said, rose 23% to 9.96 billion, well ahead of analysts' forecast of an $8.906 billion tally.

What led to the volatility following Goldman's earnings? Marks is going to break down the litigation charge and the EPS for investors.

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