Market Preview: No QE3, No Problem?
The minutes from the latest meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee sent stocks spiraling lower for a little while there but when the closing bell sounded, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had clawed half the way back from its session low, and it was difficult to get a read on just how spooked the risk-on crowd really is.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury jumped to 2.31%, of course, but the dip buyers who brought the major U.S. equity indices back to post fairly mild losses on the day shouldn't be ignored either.
So maybe Ben Bernanke & Co. are leaving the door open for QE3 a bit more than traders first thought? Capital Economics , for one, doesn't think so.
Tuesday's finish suggests that it may not be such a big deal if the Fed doesn't come across with more stimulus, which does make some sense since the basis for that decision would be the improvement in the economy doesn't support more asset purchases.
As for Wednesday's scheduled news, Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) is reporting its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the closing bell, and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for a profit of $1.33 a share in the February-ended period on revenue of $2.66 billion.
Shares of the Union, N.J.-based specialty retailer are up more than 13% so far in 2012, and nearly 40% in the past year as the company has beaten Wall Street's earnings expectations in eight straight quarters, delivering an average upside surprise of more than 12%. The stock closed Tuesday at $66.99, and hit a 52-week high of $68.20 on March 27.
At current levels, the valuation is a bit rich when compared with the competition. Bed Bath & Beyond shares trade at a forward price-to-earnings multiple of 15X vs. 12X for Target(TGT) , 11.5X for Wal-Mart(WMT) , and 13.9X for Williams-Sonoma(WSM) . The company forecast earnings of $1.28 to $1.33 a share for the quarter on Dec. 21 when it reported its third-quarter results, so it will have to be at the very top of that view just to meet the consensus view.