Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Energy And Market Page; Saudi Arabia In Deep Doo-Doo, T+39 -- February 28, 2017

In deep doo-doo: if Saudi Arabia "hopes" to see $60 oil in 2017, the country is in deep doo-doo. Oil slumped again today, down almost 1.5% and now below $53 again (10:43 a.m. Central Time).

PipelineNew Jersey OKs gas pipeline through protected Pinelands. The only thing I have a problem with is all this emphasis on jobs in such contentious affairs -- unless they are permanent jobs, perhaps: energy projects should be decided based on need, not jobs.
The company said the vote "recognizes the energy reliability challenges facing southern New Jersey and the balanced solution this project offers. The careful construction of this pipeline will address the energy demands of 142,000 customers in Cape May and Atlantic counties, protect and create jobs, and provide a meaningful opportunity to significantly reduce air emissions."
US electricity: generating capacity increase last year (2016) -- largest net change since 2011. It appears when you subtract the NG retirements from the NG additions, both wind and solar additions (there were "no" wind/solar subtractions) beat out NG last year. That's fine. One last hurrah.

SRE: beats by 3 cents. Revenues beat. A big whoop. Shares in pre-market trading: up a whopping penny on a $108/share stock. Whoopie.

Not a bull's eye: Target shares down 13% in pre-market trading. Story over at The WSJ. From my perspective, Target's problems began with the security breach and then a series of missteps from there. All big-box stores are struggling, but between Wal-Mart and Target, the latter seems to be lagging on many levels. From $66 yesterday to $58 today; apparently the biggest drop since the company went public decades ago.

GDP: 4Q16 - revised: at 1.9%. Unchanged from "first look."

GDP: 1Q17 -- forecast, at GDPNow -- latest forecast: 2.5 percent — February 27, 2017, yesterday.
The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2017 is 2.5 percent on February 27, up from 2.4 percent on February 16.
The forecast for first-quarter real residential investment growth increased from 7.8 percent to 10.8 percent after the housing data releases last week from the National Association of Realtors and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Canadian Oil Sands: add Shell to the short list of operators who shun the Canadian oil sands --
Exxon Mobil Corp. slashed reserves after removing the $16 billion Kearl oil-sands project in Athabasca from its books last week. A day earlier, ConocoPhillips said that erasing oil-sands barrels had reduced its reserves to a 15-year low. In 2015, Shell itself took a $2 billion charge as it shelved an oil-sands project in Alberta, and last year sold other assets in the area for about $1 billion.
The oil-sand mines in the region are among the costliest petroleum projects because the raw bitumen extracted must be processed and converted to a synthetic crude before being transported to refineries, mainly in the U.S. In addition, Canadian oil sells for less than benchmark U.S. crude because of the cost to ship it and an abundance of competing supplies from shale fields.
Hope springs eternal: via Twitter -- Saudi Arabia "wants" oil to reach $60 in 2017.

More On Target
From Fortune:
The discount retailer on Tuesday reported its third straight quarter of comparable sales declines, as a 34% surge in its digital business was not enough to make up for shoppers' exodus from its stores during the holiday season. And Target expects its struggles to persist this year while it figures out how to re-tool its business.
For the full fiscal year that started on February 1, Target expects a low-single digit decline in comparable sales, coming off a worse than expected 1.5% drop during the fourth quarter.
In contrast, Walmart U.S. last week reported its comparable sales were up 1.8% during the same period.
Some of the initiatives that Target will disclose in detail at its annual meeting with Wall Street analysts later on Tuesday include launching in the next two years 12 new house brands it thinks can eventually garner $10 billion in annual sales, and, perhaps more crucially, lowering its prices on many goods so as to be competitive in the price wars with Walmart and Amazon.com.
Perhaps one of the "12 new house brands" needs to be the "Trump" brand, or the "Ivanka Trump" brand. Just saying. 

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