DAILY MARKET REPORTS
- All the three U.S. stock indexes touched fresh record highs on Tuesday, after the carmakers reported strong monthly sales data.
- Analysts had forecast September auto sales to be the highest in 2017, largely due to Americans in hurricane-ravaged cities replacing their damaged vehicles.
- Third-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to increase 6.2 percent from a year earlier.
- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC on Tuesday that the odds of getting a tax plan passed are higher than what most people expect, but expressed uncertainty over the reforms.
- Shares in Tesla were down 2% after the luxury electric vehicle maker said its planned ramp-up for the new Model 3 mass-market sedan faced production bottlenecks.
- Lennar’s shares rose about 2% following a higher-than-expected quarterly profit from the No.2 U.S. homebuilder.
US FINANCIAL MARKET
Tesla Misses Model 3 Production Goals
- Electric-car maker built 260 Model 3s in latest period, missing out on goal of building 1,500.
- Tesla said its total global deliveries—including Model S sedans and Model X sport-utility vehicles—rose 4.5% to 26,150 compared with a year earlier.
- That beat the average estimate of 25,900 deliveries by five analysts surveyed by FactSet.
- Tesla’s third-quarter results were helped by a 36% rise in Model X sales to 11,865 compared with a year ago, while Model S sales fell about 11% to 14,065.
GM, Ford, Toyota Post Sharply Higher Sales in September
- General Motors said Tuesday sales rose 12% last month compared to a year earlier to 279,397 vehicles.
- Ford said sales rose 9% last month to 221,643 vehicles.
- Toyota’s sales surged 15% to 226,632 vehicles, bolstered by strong demand for its revamped Camry sedan.
- Nissan sales rose nearly 10% to 139,932, a record for the month.
- Fiat Chrysler said sales dropped 10% to 174,266, hurt by a planned reduction in sales to rental-car companies.
- Auto sales have been lower every month this year as demand cools following a remarkable seven-year run of increasing sales, including record 17.55 million vehicles sold in 2016.
Homebuilder Lennar’s profit beats on higher home sales, prices
- The No.2 U.S. homebuilder reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as it sold more homes at higher prices, underscoring the strength in demand for housing in the United States.
- Lennar reported gross margin of 22.8 percent in the quarter, edging past its forecast of between 21.75 and 22 percent.
- The Florida-based builder said it sold 7,598 homes in the quarter, compared with 6,779 homes a year earlier.
- The average selling price rose 3.6 percent to $375,000, the highest growth in five quarters.
- Net income rose to $249.2 million, from $235.8 million a year earlier.
- The company’s revenue rose 15.1 percent to $3.26 billion.
Berkshire Hathaway Buys Stake in Pilot Flying J Travel Centers
- Berkshire didn’t disclose how much it is paying for its initial 38.6% stake in Pilot Travel Centers LLC, which operates 750 travel centers along U.S. and Canadian roadways and generates more than $20 billion in annual revenue.
Whole Foods price cuts hit hardest at Trader Joe’s, Sprouts: report
- Whole Foods rivals Trader Joe’s and Sprouts Farmers Market Inc have been hit hardest by customer defections since Amazon’s price cuts at the premium grocer, Whole Foods price cuts.
- Amazon cut prices on select items at Whole Foods on Aug. 28.
- On the first day, customer traffic spiked 31 percent from a year earlier.
- Traffic jumped 17 percent during the week after the price reductions and remained up 4 percent for the week ended Sept. 16.
- Ten percent of Trader Joe’s regular customers visited Whole Foods between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3, more than any other competing chain.
- Sprouts was No. 2 at 8 percent, followed by Target at 3 percent and Costco and Safeway at 2 percent each.
American Express wins dismissal of lawsuit over lost Costco contract
- American Express as won the dismissal of a lawsuit accusing the credit card services company of defrauding shareholders about the loss in 2015 of a lucrative co-branding relationship with Costco.
- U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan rejected claims that American Express improperly downplayed the risk its 16-year relationship with Costco might end, and concealed how the warehouse chain had generated 8 percent of its revenue and 20 percent of its loans.
US ECONOMY & POLITIC
Retail trade group sees holiday sales rising 3.6% to 4% this year
- Holiday retail sales in November and December — excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants — are expected to increase as much as 4 percent this year, reaching up to $682 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.
Warren Buffett, the world’s second richest man, says eliminating the estate tax would be a ‘terrible mistake’
- The Berkshire Hathaway chief says the estate tax impacts only a small percentage of Americans, so getting rid of it would not have widespread effects.
- Buffett says eliminating it could lead to dynasty-building, which is a poor allocation of resources.
- “There are going to be 2.6 million people [who] die this year in the United States,” but there will be only about 5,000 tax returns that will owe estate taxes, he said in a wide-ranging interview.
EUROPE & WORLD
New EU tax plan would eliminate money-saving workarounds for companies like Amazon
- Value-added tax in a cross-border trade would be charged at the rate set by the country where the buyer is located, rather than in the seller’s home as now.
- The change is also likely to eliminate the incentive for exporting firms to base themselves in countries with low VAT rates.
- Amazon is based in Luxembourg.
Catalan Independence Supporters Block Major Roads Into Barcelonas
- Major roads to Barcelona and through eastern Catalonia were blocked in about 17 places as pro-independence protesters made a show of force to coincide with an indefinite general strike some of them are promoting across Spain’s largest regional economy.
TODAY in HISTORY
- St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order, died (1226)
- President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day (1863)
- The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes formally changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929)
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