Target (nyse:tgt) UnderperformingLatest quarterly profit -13% weighed down by Canadian operations (expansion costs). As of quarter-end Canada is home to 68 locations with another 56 to open by year-end. Canada accounted for $275 million of the company's $17,120m sales this quarter but Canadian performance still not up to par. Total North American sales were suppose to be up 2% this quarter not the realized 1.2%. Earnings at 96 cents a share ($611m vs $704m last year) a cent below expectations.
So far in August (1-20) investors extracted $30.3 billion from US bond mutual funds which amounts to the highest monthly outflow in 19 years. Markets both domestic and international have benefited from the US Fed bond buying program which was originally instituted to help keep mortgage interest rates down, however what the Fed is now saying is that, even after its eventual exit from the program, short term rates shouldn't go up even though long term rates will.
30-year fixed rates - May 1 : 3.35% ; August 23 : 4.58% highest since July 2011 ; 15-year rate @ 3.6%.
Unemployment remains a problem, it was as high as 8.2% in July. Also, jobs numbers (+170th last month) are weak - most of the new jobs are part time and not specialized; In June for example 400,000 people with college degrees lost jobs while 250,000 people without college degrees got jobs. Another sign pointing to a weak economy - average age of vehicles on the road now 11.1 years, the highest on record.