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Worried About an Economic Slowdown? Fastenal’s Earnings Won’t Help.

Worried About an Economic Slowdown? Fastenal’s Earnings Won’t Help.

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Boxes of hardware at a Fastenal distribution center in Pennsylvania


Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Fastenal’s quarterly earnings report, which sent shares of the industrial distributor sharply lower on Tuesday morning, makes a difference beyond the implications for the stock itself.

Fastenal (ticker: FAST) is one of the earliest industrial companies to report numbers. Larger, better-known industrial companies start disclosing their third quarter earnings in a couple of weeks.

More important, Fastenal is a distributor of thousands of small, lower- priced items used by businesses around the U.S. every day. Its sales trends are a good, real-time indicator of what is going on at the shop-floor level. The figures offer clues for investors about the coming earnings season and about the health of the U.S. economy.

“I find Fastenal to be a great bellwether for the industrial side of the U.S. economy,” said Peter Boockvar, Chief Investment Officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, via email. “The tone of the third quarter of 2020 can best be described as one of normalization following the heavily pandemic-influenced second quarter of 2020.”

For the third quarter, Fastenal reported 38 cents in per-share earnings, one penny ahead of Wall Street consensus estimates and one penny more than the company earned in the third quarter of 2019. Sales, however, just missed expectations.

Growth in average daily sales decelerated to 2.5% from more than 10% in the second quarter. Third-quarter growth was also below daily sales growth in the first quarter of 2020. The “surge activity eased in [the third quarter],” reads Fastenal’s quarterly presentation. “But demand for pandemic-related products remains elevated, contributing to 34.4% growth in safety supplies.”

Baird analyst Dave Manthey said that while figures on September sales and profit margins might have disappointed the Street, he still likes the stock. “Results were strong despite the

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Facebook holocaust denial ban won’t apply to other genocides, it says

Facebook holocaust denial ban won’t apply to other genocides, it says

  • Facebook on Monday announced it would ban any content that denies the existence of the Holocaust.
  • The social media company told Bloomberg this policy would not extend to other historical genocides including the Rwandan and Armenian genocides.
  • It did not clarify why denial of these genocides was still allowed on Facebook.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook’s new ban on Holocaust denial won’t extend to other genocides, the company told Bloomberg on Monday.

Facebook said its ban wouldn’t extend to, for example, the Rwandan or Armenian genocides.

Roughly 800,000 ethnic Tutsi people were killed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. In Turkey between 1914 and 1923, 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Empire.

Denial of the Armenian genocide is particularly rife, as the Turkish government refuses to recognize it. The US government voted last year to officially recognize the genocide, but it is in a minority of countries that do so.

Facebook did not explain its rationale to Bloomberg for why it was not extending its ban to these and other genocides, and it was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Business Insider.

In its Monday blog post explaining why it was reversing its previous policy to allow Holocaust denial on the platform, Facebook said its decision was “supported by the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people.”

It added that Holocaust education is “a key component in combatting anti-Semitism.”

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had previously said that he thought Holocaust denial was abhorrent, but didn’t think it should be censored from the platform.

“I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe

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Removing the HOA board won’t solve the insurance problem

Removing the HOA board won’t solve the insurance problem

Note: Gov. Steve Sisolak signed the Emergency Directive 033 adjusting the statewide standards on gatherings. The new directive adjusts the previous limitations on gatherings from 50 people to 250 people or 50 percent of the occupancy, whichever is less. This applies to both indoor and outdoor venues.

Q: In a homeowners association meeting late last year we were told that because of a high number of claims, they could no longer afford water damage insurance. Then a notice came out early January that as of Jan. 15 we have no water damage insurance on the property.

In June, we received ballots for our covenants, conditions and restrictions amendment to remove the $1,000 deductible on master insurance claims, and there is no new cap. We understand the $1,000 deductible is not practical today and have no issue with this. But it also has added language that says owners “benefiting from” repairs will be liable for deductibles on all master policies. Seems way too broad and arbitrary.

We’ve tried for months to push the board and have done research to find a solution but have been shut down. If the board continues to refuse to act in what we believe is our best interest, we feel we must remove them. I’ve been trying to get more information on the removal process if it comes to that.

Our HOA board discontinued all water damage insurance as of Jan. 15. We owners are at risk now for major liability in our common areas because our condo policies only cover wall insurance. (Although HOA did not warn us or recommend it, many of us have added max loss assessment to our condo policies to protect ourselves.) We have been unable to get the board to move on a solution and have been completely disregarded

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The stock market won’t see the bullish outcome it’s expecting from a Biden win unless there’s a full blue wave, a JPMorgan stock strategist says

The stock market won’t see the bullish outcome it’s expecting from a Biden win unless there’s a full blue wave, a JPMorgan stock strategist says

NYSE Trader
Traders look on after trading was halted on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 18, 2020


  • JPMorgan Private Bank’s Monica DiCenso told Bloomberg on Friday that the stock market won’t see the bullish outcome it’s expecting from a Biden win unless there’s a blue wave victory. 
  • The head of US equity strategy said that it will be difficult for Biden to pass a large stimulus bill without Democratic control of the Senate. 
  • The stimulus would also offset higher corporate taxes that are likely under a Democratic administration, she said. 

JPMorgan Private Bank’s head of US equity strategy told Bloomberg on Friday that the stock market won’t see the bullish outcome it’s expecting from a Joe Biden victory unless there’s a full blue wave outcome.

“It does appear increasingly likely that we see a blue wave and I think that is what the market is pricing in right now when you see equities continue to move,” Monica DiCenso said.

The strategist explained that it will be much harder for Biden to pass a large stimulus bill without Democratic control of the Senate, and said: “I really do think you probably need the blue wave for the real bullish outcome that many people are talking about to come to fruition.” 

DiCenso added that the stimulus, combined with continued low interest rates, will be the “perfect backdrop for equities over the near to intermediate term.”

While some investors are nervous that a blue wave will be negative for stocks because Biden’s corporate tax hikes will crush company earnings, DiCenso said the stimulus spending will offset higher taxes.

Read more: Fund manager Brandon Nelson is tripling his benchmark in 2020 with ‘less-discovered’ companies that become big winners. Here are 3 themes and

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IMF economic outlook: Lifting lockdowns won’t help recovery until cases fall

IMF economic outlook: Lifting lockdowns won’t help recovery until cases fall

  • Reversing lockdown measures while cases remain elevated is unlikely to drive a robust economic recovery, the International Monetary Fund said in a Thursday blog post.
  • Researchers at the organization found that voluntary quarantining plays a substantial role in stifling a rebound as fears of contracting the coronavirus keeps consumers from boosting economic activity.
  • While lockdowns present some short-term costs, they “may lead to a faster economic recovery as they lower infections and thus the extent of voluntary social distancing,” the team wrote.
  • Addressing the health crisis “appears to be a pre-condition to allow for a strong and sustained economic recovery,” the IMF added.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Ending lockdowns while coronavirus cases remain elevated is unlikely to accelerate economic growth and poses new dangers, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday.

Researchers at the organization found that although quarantine orders contributed to the second quarter’s historic drop in gross domestic product, relaxing such measures won’t yield a proportional rebound on its own. Fear of contracting the virus also kept consumers indoors and exacerbated the global recession. Lifting lockdowns can prove ineffective if heightened infection rates lead people to voluntarily quarantine, the IMF said. 

“Lockdowns impose short-term costs but may lead to a faster economic recovery as they lower infections and thus the extent of voluntary social distancing,” researchers Francesco Grigoli and Damiano Sandri wrote in a blog post.

Read more: Buy these 7 stocks poised to profit from the boom in packaged-food sales as COVID-19 prompts more Americans to cook at home, Stifel says.

By analyzing Google mobility data and job postings across 128 countries, the IMF found that lockdowns and voluntary distancing contributed “substantially” to a drop in labor demand and activity. The hit driven by voluntary social distancing was larger in advanced economies where people could

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