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Kroger's Ocado deal; Walmart earnings; Italian jitters

1. Kroger bets on automation: Kroger has agreed an exclusive deal with UK online supermarket to use ...

Posted: May 17, 2018 9:44 AM
Updated: May 17, 2018 9:44 AM

1. Kroger bets on automation: Kroger has agreed an exclusive deal with UK online supermarket to use its automated warehouse technology in the United States.

Kroger will also take a stake of 5% in Ocado with an investment worth about -183 million ($247 million) as part of the deal.

Ocado said it considered Kroger the best positioned supermarket to succeed in the US online grocery market.

The British company has struck similar deals with supermarket chains in France, Canada and Sweden in recent months. Shares in Ocado shot up 44% in London after the announcement, to a new record high.

2. Retail earnings: Walmart, the world's biggest retailer, will publish first quarter results before the opening bell.

Walmart's stock is down 13% so far this year, hurt by concerns about its online sales growth. Analysts are watching the company's online performance to understand whether and how it can compete with Amazon.

Walmart's $16 billion deal to buy Indian online retailer Flipkart also got an icy response from investors.

Nordstrom will report earnings after the closing bell. The company just opened its first standalone men's location, a gadget-heavy store in New York that's designed to lure shoppers with a unique experience. Investors will want to know how customers are responding.

3. Italian jitters: Italian stocks and government bonds dropped on Wednesday, after reports of a leaked draft coalition program between two populist parties spooked investors. The main market in Milan recovered slightly on Thursday, but was still around 1.5% lower for the week.

The draft suggested the new Italian government could ask Europe to relax budget rules and cancel a big chunk of its huge debt.

"The worsening outlook for economic policy, resurfacing anti-euro narratives and the new government's lack of expertise may be more than enough to undermine market confidence - and with it the fragile Italian economic recovery," Federico Santi, analyst at Eurasia group, wrote in a research note.

The euro also sagged on Wednesday but was stable Thursday, holding its ground against other major currencies.

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4. Global market overview: US stock futures were lower early on Thursday, and markets in Europe and Asia were mixed.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 0.3% higher on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 was up 0.4%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.6%.

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5. Coming this week:
Thursday - JCPenney, Walmart, Nordstrom earnings
Friday - Campbell Soup earnings

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3095814

Reported Deaths: 35549
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles104602114641
San Bernardino2587421561
Riverside2558082739
San Diego2197312222
Orange2178492546
Santa Clara959361158
Kern87240572
Fresno83591968
Sacramento816871128
Alameda69107842
Ventura63413462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43392773
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo33207309
San Francisco29665274
Solano26191108
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25380486
Merced24570316
Sonoma24262242
Kings19588148
Placer17584186
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13585151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10852138
Shasta9750123
Butte9582128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa773145
Lassen519916
San Benito504246
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323874
Mendocino319232
Amador303631
Lake264631
Humboldt245825
Glenn195520
Colusa17969
Calaveras163723
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
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