The 9 Biggest Tobacco Stocks

There aren’t a huge number of U.S.-listed stocks with a tobacco focus, but these companies still combine to be a force in the global industry.

Tobacco has been a big business in the United States for more than a century. Whether you’re interested in cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, or traditional cigarettes, tobacco stocks have been wildly profitable as well as highly controversial.

There are only a handful of tobacco stocks that trade on major U.S. exchanges, most of which have direct ties to the domestic market for cigarettes and other tobacco products. That’s not to say that foreign competitors outside the U.S. market don’t have influence over the global industry, but because of the difficulty that many investors have in investing directly in stocks whose shares aren’t found on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq Stock Market, the following nine tobacco stocks are more accessible for the average U.S. investor.

The 9 biggest tobacco stocks on major U.S. exchanges

Stock

Market Cap

10-Year Total Return

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM)

$125.4 billion

192%

Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

$92 billion

395%

British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI)

$85.3 billion

112%

Universal Corp. (NYSE:UVV)

$1.57 billion

176%

Vector Group (NYSE:VGR)

$1.36 billion

171%

Turning Point Brands (NYSE:TPB)

$1.02 billion

417%*

Standard Diversified (NYSEMKT:SDI)

$305 million

11%*

22nd Century Group (NYSEMKT:XXII)

$251 million

51%*

Pyxus International (NYSE:PYX)

$130 million

(60%)

Data source: S&P Market Intelligence. * Since IPO or listing on a

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Manufacturing is in retreat, threatening to take the global economy down with it

If the world’s factories are any measure, then the global economy is looking rather gloomy at the moment.

Key points:Global manufacturing output is at a three-year low, teetering on contractionAround 17 central banks are expected to cut rates this quarter to combat the global slowdownExpectations of a 50-basis-point cut from the US Federal Reserve this month have eased

In June, manufacturing output slipped to a three-year low. It is now teetering on contraction.

European output is already in reverse, and has been for some time, dragged down to a large extent by German factories which have been enduring recessionary conditions for much of the year.

As measures of economic health go, Purchasing Managers’ Indexes (PMI) are pretty dependable.

The global PMI, collated by the big investment bank JP Morgan, found the falling June output pointed to manufacturing stalling mid-year.

Currently, JP Morgan’s global composite PMI is holding just above 50 — the mark denoting economic expansion — while the forward-looking “new orders” PMI fell under 50 in May for the first time since 2012.

Part of it can be sheeted back to global trade hostilities, particularly between the US and China, and part of it is just a cyclical economic funk.

Slowdown driving rate cuts

Overall demand is sluggish and inventory stockpiles are not exactly flying off the shelves.

Drilling down into the data, the surveys suggest confidence is sliding and business investment is likely to stay weak for the foreseeable future.

All are regarded as harbingers of a downturn, not a rebound.

The advanced July PMIs start rolling out this week and are likely to have a big say in where interest rates are heading.

Well, they’re heading down — but where, and by how much, are the big questions.

Markets are pricing

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Is An Oil ETF Rally On Middle East Tensions Sustainable?

President Trump recently confirmed the destruction of an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz by the U.S. Navy. This drove oil prices by 2%. The U.S. Navy claims that it acted in self-defense as the aircraft came alarmingly close to the vessel and ignored multiple warnings to stand down.

The incident followed U.S. Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie’s comments that the United States will take the required measures against the latest attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf. In June 2019, Iran had shot one U.S. Navy drone down. However, Tehran continues to deny any attack. In this regard, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi had tweeted on Jul 19 that Tehran has “not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else” (read: Iran Downs U.S. Drone: Sector ETFs & Stocks to Gain).

Other Factors Driving Oil

Here are certain developments that have been fueling the rally in oil prices:

Possible Rate Cuts by Fed

New York Fed President John Williams (NYSE:WMB)’ latest speech, hinting at a more aggressive approach to rate cuts, contributed to the rally in oil prices. However, the Fed had to later clarify that the market misinterpreted the speech as a rate cut signal. It is worth noting here that Federal Reserve’s Chairman Jerome Powell recently indicated Fed’s intention to cut interest rates, should the need be. Investors forecast a quarter-point slash in interest rates after a stronger jobs report curbed projections for a rate cut by 50 basis points.

OPEC’s Initiative to Cut Oil Output

OPEC has of late decided to extend the oil production cut through 2020 in a bid to boost oil prices. Russia is once again cooperating with OPEC on the same.

Tensions Brew Over Iran’s Nuclear Program

Iran recently increased its enrichment levels for uranium from

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Technical rebound expected

Daily FBM KLCI chart as at June 19, 2019

The market was bearish in the past one week on falling commodities prices especially crude oil and directionless markets performances in the region. However, the FBM KLCI staged a rebound last Friday and this indicates some support.

The FBM KLCI declined 0.8 per cent in a week to 1,669.45 points last Friday.

Trading volume increased significantly last week but more retail activity. The average daily trading volume has increased to 3.2 billion shares last week from 2.7 billion shares the week before. The average daily trading value fell to RM1.9 billion from RM2 billion. This indicates more lower-capped stocks, which are favoured by the retail market, were being traded.

The retail market was net buyer while both local and foreign institutions were net sellers. Net buy from local retail was RM57.9 million. Net sells from local and foreign institutions were RM51.0 million and RM6.9 million respectively.

In the FBM KLCI, decliners outpaced gainers two to one. The top three gainers were Press Metal Dialog Group Bhd (3.9 per cent in a week to RM3.51), Genting Malaysia Bhd (2.1 per cent to RM3.36) and Maxis Bhd (1.2 per cent to RM5.70).

The top three decliners were Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (7.2 per cent to RM7.81), Axiata Group Bhd (1.9 per cent to RM5.08) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (1.8 per cent to RM8.60).

Market indices performances in Asia were mixed. In Europe, most major markets indices closed lower. The UK’s FTSE100 index was firm while the US Dow Jones Industrial Average pulled back to close marginally lower after climbing to historical highs.

The US dollar has slightly strengthened against major currencies. The US dollar Index slightly declined to 97.1 points from 96.7 points

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Earnings Outlook: Visa earnings: As Facebook seeks to change payments, Visa stays the course

As Facebook Inc. swims in criticism over its new efforts in cryptocurrency, one of the stalwarts of payments continue to thrive. Visa Inc. shares hit a new all-time high last week, and the card company will be looking to show that it remains on the cutting edge of digital payments when it reports earnings next Tuesday afternoon.

What to expect

Earnings: Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect Visa V, -0.71%  to report adjusted earnings per share of $1.32, up from $1.20 a year earlier. According to Estimize, which crowdsources projections from hedge funds, academics and others, the average estimate calls for $1.37 in EPS.

Visa has beaten the FactSet EPS consensus in the past 14 quarters.

Revenue: The FactSet consensus calls for $5.7 billion in revenue, while the Estimize consensus projects $5.8 billion. A year prior, Visa reported $5.2 billion in revenue.

Stock movement: Visa shares have risen following six of the company’s past 10 earnings reports. The stock has gained 36% so far this year, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.25%  has climbed 17%. Of the 39 analysts tracked by FactSet who cover Visa’s stock, 35 rate it a buy, three call it a hold, and one rates it a sell. The average price target is $186.92, 4.2% above current levels.

What else to watch for

Analysts see positive indications for the card companies coming out of recent bank earnings. Barclays’ Ramsey El-Assal points to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s JPM, -0.99%  and Wells Fargo Corp.’s WFC, +0.46%  accelerating purchase-volume growth, which along with “other leading indicators similarly point to a broadly healthy spending environment in the U.S.”

El-Assal has an overweight rating and $170 target price on Visa shares.

Wedbush analyst Moshe Katri expects Visa to benefit from recently announced mega-mergers between merchant issuers and processors, which management

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Rate cut expectations, Iran tensions drag on S&P 500

US stocks on Friday pulled further back from their records to cap the weakest week for the S&P 500 since May.

Indices sloshed between small gains and losses for much of the day before turning lower in the afternoon after Iran said that it had seized a British oil tanker, the latest escalation of tensions between Tehran and the West.

Reined-in expectations for how deeply the US Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at its next meeting also weighed on stocks.

The S&P 500 on Friday fell 18.50 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,976.61. After setting its record high on Monday, the index see-sawed mostly lower and lost 1.2 percent from a close of 3,013.77 on July 12. It was just the second down week for the index in the past seven.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday fell 68.77, or 0.3 percent, to 27,154.20, falling 0.7 percent from 27,332.03 a week earlier.

The NASDAQ Composite on Friday lost 60.75, or 0.7 percent, to 8,146.49, dropping 1.2 percent from a close of 8,244.14 on July 12.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks on Friday fell 7.73 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,547.90, a decrease of 1.4 percent from 1,570.00 a week earlier.

Momentum for stocks has slowed since early last month, when they began soaring on expectations that the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates for the first time in a decade to ensure the US economy does not succumb to weaknesses abroad.

The Fed’s next meeting is scheduled for the end of this month.

Late on Thursday, US Treasury yields sank after comments by Fed officials raised expectations that it might cut rates by half a percentage point, rather than the typical quarter point.

However, yields climbed on Friday as the market grew more convinced that the

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TAIEX rises on hopes of Fed rate cut

Local shares on Friday finished higher after getting a boost from rising hopes that the US Federal Reserve would cut interest rates in the near future, dealers said.

Buying focused on the bellwether electronics sector, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), which gave a better-than-expected sales forecast for the third quarter, while old economy and financial stocks appeared mixed, they said.

The TAIEX on Friday ended up 73.91 points, or 0.68 percent, at 10,873.19, after moving between 10,861.99 and 10,919.96, on turnover of NT$122.57 billion (US$3.95 billion). That was a 0.5 percent increase from a close of 10,824.35 on July 12.

The market opened up 0.58 percent as investors rushed to buy large-cap electronics stocks in reaction to a strong recovery overnight on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which ended up 3.12 points after rebounding from an earlier 151.06-point decline, dealers said.

The Dow bounced back after New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said that the Fed should “act quickly” at a time when the economy was slowing, a clear appeal to lower interest rates.

He pointed to studies suggesting that when there are few stimulus options available, officials should “move more quickly than you otherwise might” rather than waiting “for disaster to unfold.”

TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in Taiwan, led the early gains and even pushed the weighted index above 10,900 points, before some investors pulled back, limiting the day’s gains, dealers said.

“Since Williams is one of the voting members on the Federal Open Market Committee, his comments have strengthened market hopes that the Fed will lower its key interest rates at the end of this month, say, by 0.5 percentage points,” Hua Nan Securities Co (華南永昌證券) analyst Kevin Su (蘇俊宏) said.

The Fed has scheduled a policymaking meeting for July

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Index Outlook: Near-term outlook is bearish

Last week, the benchmark indices breached key support levels and fell sharply. Tax-related Budget proposals that had spooked foreign portfolio investors (FPIs), continued to weigh on the market. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, standing firm on the proposals, despite pleas by FPIs, triggered a significant fall in indices on Friday.

Domestic corporate earnings, rupee action and progress of the monsoon are key factors to watch in the July month derivatives expiry week. On the global front, ECB rate action and US GDP data release are key events to note.

  Nifty 50 (11,419.2)

Following an initial rally, the Nifty index encountered a key resistance at 11,700 and declined 133 points or 1.2 per cent for the previous week. On Friday, the index had tumbled 1.5 per cent, breaching a key support at 11,500 . This fall has strengthened the downtrend that has been in place from the June high of 12,103. The index trades well below the 21- and 50-day moving averages. The daily relative strength index has entered the bearish zone from the neutral region and the weekly RSI features in the neutral region with a downward bias.

Also, the daily price rate of change indicator hovers in the negative territory, implying selling interest. Inability to move beyond the near-term resistance level of 11,700 has strengthened this barrier. Going forward, an emphatic break-out of this level is needed to bring back bullish momentum. Such a break can witness a corrective up-move to 11,800 and then to 11,850 levels in the short term. A further break above the vital resistance in the 11,850-11,900 band will reinforce the bullish momentum and push the index higher to 12,000, which is a key psychological resistance.

However, the index currently tests next crucial support at 11,426, the floor of the gap created in mid-May

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Nasdaq Should Reach 8031 Before Topping

By Chris Vermeulen via Iris.xyz.

With earnings data starting to hit the markets and recent news that China’s economic activity levels shrank to levels not seen in nearly 30 years, we believe our proprietary Fibonacci price modeling system is showing us a target level in the NASDAQ (NQ) that will likely be reached within the next 7 to 10 days. We believe once this target level is reached, the US stock market will immediately begin an extended topping formation with sideways price action and increased volatility) which will culminate in our August 19, 2019 setup date for a much deeper price correction.

At this time, traders should start to prepare for this topping event and prepare for price resistance to be found as the NQ nears this 8031 level – only 60 pts away. If you are sitting on a bunch of profitable long trades, our suggestion would be to scale back 50% to 60% of these open positions and prepare for a top setup to begin within 7 to 10 days. The volatility we expect to see over the next 30 days will likely be 2x or 3x current levels.

Nasdaq Daily Chart

This Daily NQ chart highlights the Fib Target Resistance level and shows our proprietary Fibonacci price modeling system’s current downside price targets (7760, 7400 and 7265). These downside price target will change as the new price peak is established near the 8031 price level.

Read the full article at Iris.xyz.

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Why Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Gannett, and Skechers USA Jumped Today

These stocks held onto their gains even as the market sagged throughout the session.

Friday was a sluggish end to a tough week for the stock market, as major indexes gave up early gains to finish modestly lower. Investors struggled to understand conflicting assessments of the economy from various Federal Reserve officials, and although most now expect the central bank to cut interest rates by the end of this month, there’s uncertainty about how big of a rate cut the Fed will deliver. Even amid uncertainty, some stocks enjoyed gains driven by merger and acquisition activity and earnings. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (NASDAQ:RRGB), Gannett (NYSE:GCI), and Skechers USA (NYSE:SKX) were among the top performers. Here’s why they did so well.

Activists follow through on Red Robin buy offer

Shares of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers climbed 12% after the burger chain got a buyout bid from a major shareholder. Vintage Capital Management said it would pay $40 per share to buy out Red Robin in a deal that would value the company at $519 million. The move follows up on a letter to Red Robin from Vintage last month, in which the institutional investor expressed dissatisfaction with the stock’s recent performance and suggested a review of strategic alternatives. With the restaurant chain having failed to take steps to address those concerns, it’ll be interesting to see what the next moves are both for Red Robin and for Vintage.

Image source: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.

Gannett looks at a potential buyout

Newspaper and media specialist Gannett saw its stock jump 19% following news that the company is talking with a possible acquirer. GateHouse Media, which publishes hundreds of newspapers and community publications in the U.S., could buy Gannett in a deal involving cash and stock, essentially combining the biggest remaining newspaper

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