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10 Republican senators present Biden with smaller Covid stimulus proposal, call for compromise

The senators explained that their version of the covid relief package provides “more targeted assistance” to Americans with the greatest need.



Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, listens during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing regarding Iran-U.S. relations on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – A group of 10 Republican senators called on President Joe Biden to consider a smaller, alternative Covid-19 relief proposal as his administration works to pass a $1.9 trillion package to address the economic fallout triggered by the pandemic.

In a letter to Biden on Sunday, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and five other lawmakers said they would unveil their proposed legislation on Monday.

“We recognize your calls for unity and want to work in good faith with your administration to meet the health, economic, and societal challenges of the Covid crisis,” the senators wrote.

“With your support, we believe Congress can once again craft a relief package that will provide meaningful, effective assistance to the American people and set us on a path to recovery,” the group wrote asking for a meeting with Biden in order to discuss the proposed legislation in greater detail.

The Republican senators explained that their version of the Covid relief package provides “more targeted assistance” to Americans with the greatest need. The proposed legislation asks for a total of $160 billion for vaccine development and distribution, testing and tracing, treatment as well as other crucial supplies.

The senators laid out the following details of their plan:

  • An additional round of economic impact payments for families who need assistance the most including their dependent children and adults.
  • Extends enhanced federal unemployment benefits at the current level.
  • Fully funds nutrition assistance to help struggling families.
  • Additional resources to help small businesses and their employees through the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
  • Funds resources for opening schools safely and for child care.
  • Provides $4 billion to bolster behavioral health and substance abuse services.

On Sunday, Portman told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the proposal would be a slimmer version of what was presented by the Biden administration.

“It’d be less than $1.9 [trillion] because much of what the administration has laid out has nothing to do with Covid-19,” Portman explained. “As an example, with regard to the direct payments, we think they should be much more targeted,” he added.

Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, told MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the White House had received the letter and was open to discussing the proposed legislation.

“The president has said repeatedly, he is open to ideas wherever they may come that we could improve upon the approach to actually tackling this crisis. What he is uncompromising about is the need to move with speed on a comprehensive approach here,” Deese said.

“We’ve been engaging with members of Congress from both parties and in both houses over the course of the last week or two. We will continue to do that as we go forward,” he added.

Deese also told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the administration is willing to negotiate on the stimulus checks.

The Republican counter-proposal comes as the House is set to pass a budget resolution this week, the first step toward approving the relief bill through reconciliation. The process would enable Senate Democrats to approve an aid measure without Republican support.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York signaled last week that the chamber would also work to pass a budget resolution soon. He said the Senate “as early as next week will begin the process of considering a very strong Covid relief bill.”

When asked if Senate Democrats could pass the rescue bill through the reconciliation process, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont told ABC’s “This Week” that he believed the party had the votes to do so.

“It’s hard for me to imagine any Democrat, no matter what state he or she may come from, who doesn’t understand the need to go forward right now in an aggressive way to protect the working families of this country,” Sanders said.

“Look all of us will have differences in opinion, this is a $1.9 trillion bill, I have differences and concerns about this bill but at the end of the day we are going to support the president of the United States and we are going to do what the American people want us to overwhelmingly do,” he added.

CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk, Tucker Higgins and Emma Newburger contributed to this report from New York.

In a letter to Biden on Sunday, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and five other lawmakers said they would unveil their proposed legislation on Monday.



Dow’s comeback rally gains steam as blue-chip average jumps 500 points

Commodity stocks that were hit hard last week led the market comeback on Monday.



U.S. stocks climbed on Monday as the market attempted to recover some of the losses caused by the Federal Reserve’s policy shift.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 500 points, or 1.6%, rebounding from its worst week since October. The S&P 500 gained 1.1%. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer with a 0.4% gain as some key tech names including Amazon, Tesla and Netflix all traded in the red.

Commodity stocks that were hit hard last week led the market comeback on Monday as the S&P 500 energy sector rallied nearly 3%. Devon Energy and Occidental Petroleum jumped 4% each, while Exxon and Chevron were both up 2% apiece. Reopening plays including Norwegian Cruise Line, Gap and Boeing were higher. Banks including JPMorgan, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs also rebounded.

These sectors tied to the economic recovery led last week’s dip in stocks. The S&P 500 financials and materials sectors lost more than 6% on the week, while energy fell more than 5% and industrials dropped more than 3%.

U.S. stocks fell last week as investors digested new economic projections from the Fed and worried rate hikes could come sooner than expected. The central bank on Wednesday raised its inflation expectations and forecast rate hikes in 2023.

“The Fed inspired sell off looks like it was overdone,” said Fiona Cincotta, senior financial markets analyst at City Index. “The Fed’s sudden hawkish shift last week, with two interest rate hikes now expected in 2023 caught the market off guard.”

St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard told CNBC Friday that it was natural for the central bank to tilt a little more “hawkish” and saw higher interest rates as soon as 2022.

The Dow dropped 3.5% last week, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq dipped 1.9% and 0.2%, respectively, on the week.

“The Fed’s ‘surprise’ move toward tapering that took markets lower last week is just the moment of recognition for a tightening trend that began months ago,” Mike Wilson, chief U.S. equity strategist, said in a note. “When combined with the peak rate of change in economic and earnings revisions, it sets up a more difficult summer.”

The U.S. market on Monday was resilient in the face of an overnight drop in Asian markets and a big decline in bitcoin. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell as much as 4% at one point on Monday with automakers Nissan and Honda leading the way. It would end up closing about 3% lower.

Meanwhile, bitcoin fell more than 6% to $33,000 as China continued its crackdown on cryptocurrency mining.

The Treasury yield curve flattened last week, hitting banks and sending a signal of a potential economic slowdown. The yields of shorter-term Treasurys, like the 2-year note, rose — reflecting expectations of the Fed raising rates. Longer-term yields, like the 10-year note, retreated — a sign of less optimism toward economic growth.

Investors await public appearances from Fed members on Monday. Bullard and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan are set to speak virtually on a Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum panel at 9:00 a.m. ET. New York Fed President John Williams is expected to deliver remarks at a Midsize Bank Coalition of America event Monday afternoon.


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Lululemon first-quarter sales rise 88%, topping estimates, as store traffic rebounds

Lululemon on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter revenue that soared 88%, topping analysts’ estimates, as shopper traffic steadily rebounded to its stores.



Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk past a Lululemon store in San Francisco, California, on Monday, March 29, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Lululemon Athletica said Thursday its fiscal first-quarter revenue soared 88%, topping analysts’ estimates, as shopper traffic steadily rebounded to its stores.

The athletic apparel maker also issued a strong forecast for its fiscal second quarter and raised full-year estimates, saying momentum for its brand is growing across all geographies.

Its stock rose less than 1% on the news in extended trading.

Here’s how Lululemon did for the period ended May 2, compared with what analysts were anticipating, based on a Refinitiv survey:

  • Earnings per share: $1.16 adjusted vs. 91 cents expected
  • Revenue: $1.23 billion vs. $1.13 billion expected

Net income grew to $145 million, or $1.11 per share, from $28.6 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time charges, Lululemon earned $1.16 a share, better than the 91 cents per shares that analysts estimated.

Revenue rose to $1.23 billion from $652 million a year earlier, when its stores were temporarily shut. That came in ahead of expectations for $1.13 billion.

On a two-year basis, sales grew 57%. Lululemon also said its men’s business grew faster from 2019 levels than its women’s.

The Covid pandemic has fueled shopper demand for fitness gear to wear around the house and to dress for at-home workouts such as running and spin biking. The trend, which hasn’t appeared to slow down, has benefited companies including Lululemon, Nike and Under Armour. It has also boosted more traditional retailers such as Gap, which recently said activewear sales continue to drive sales at both its Athleta and Old Navy banners.

Lululemon’s direct-to-consumer revenue climbed 55% to $545.1 million year over year. Sales in North America were up 82% and increased 125% internationally.

CEO Calvin McDonald told analysts Thursday that Lululemon still expects its international business will grow in size to be equal to its North American operations in the near future. At the end of 2020, international sales represented only 14% of Lululemon’s total business.

The company also owns the at-home fitness platform Mirror, a rival to Peloton. Lululemon expects Mirror to drive between $250 million and $275 million in revenue this year.

CFO Meghan Frank said momentum has remained strong in recent weeks. The company continues to invest in innovative merchandise to drum up excitement. It recently launched a line of products that use lower-impact dyes, and it is piloting a trade-in and resale program.

For its fiscal second quarter, Lululemon expects adjusted earnings per share to be in a range of $1.10 to $1.15, on sales of $1.3 billion to $1.33 billion. Analysts had been looking for earnings of $1.01 per share on revenue of $1.20 billion, according to a Refinitiv survey.

For the year, it’s calling for adjusted earnings of $6.73 to $6.86 per share, on sales of $5.83 billion to $5.91 billion. Analysts expected it to earn $6.48 per share on sales of $5.68 billion.

Previously, Lululemon had been calling for fiscal 2021 revenue to be in a range of $5.55 billion to $5.65 billion.

“We were performing well before the pandemic, I think we led the peer group during the pandemic, and we’re excited about … our ability to continue to perform post-pandemic,” McDonald said.

Lululemon shares are down about 9% year to date. It has a market cap of $41.4 billion.

Find the full earnings press release from Lululemon here.

Here’s how Lululemon did for the period ended May 2, compared with what analysts were anticipating, based on a Refinitiv survey:


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Stitch Fix shares soar as sales top estimates, styling service raises full-year outlook

Stitch Fix’s sales topped analysts’ estimates, driven by consumers refreshing their wardrobes and looking for styles in new sizes.



The Stitch Fix application for download in the Apple App Store on a smartphone arranged in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, U.S., on Saturday, June 5, 2021. Stitch Fix Inc. is scheduled to release earning on June 7.

Tiffany Hagler-Geard | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Stitch Fix shares soared Monday after the online shopping and styling service reported a narrower-than-expected loss in its fiscal third quarter.

Sales topped analysts’ estimates, driven by consumers refreshing their wardrobes for summer vacations and the office and looking for styles in new sizes.

The stock was recently up around 15% in extended trading.

Stitch Fix also raised its revenue outlook for the full year, after previously lowering it due to the uncertainty stemming from the Covid pandemic. It offered a better-than-expected sales outlook for its fiscal fourth quarter.

President and incoming CEO Elizabeth Spaulding noted that as the apparel retail backdrop improves across the country, the company is building momentum. In its men’s business, for example, button-down shirts are trending and suit requests are back up. Stitch Fix said its tailored shop is outperforming its lounge selection.

Here’s how Stitch Fix did during the period ended May 1 compared with what analysts were anticipating, using Refinitiv estimates:

  • Loss per share: 18 cents vs. 27 cents expected
  • Revenue: $535.6 million vs. $511 million expected

Stitch Fix’s loss narrowed to $18.8 million, or 18 cents per share, compared with a loss of $33.9 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier. That was better than the 27 cent loss expected by analysts.

Revenue grew 44% to $535.6 million from $371.7 million a year earlier, topping estimates for $511 million.

Its active client count grew 20% year over year to 4.1 million and was up 234,000 from the previous quarter. Stitch Fix defines active clients as people who have bought an item directly from its website in the preceding 52 weeks from the last day of the quarter.

Revenue per active client came in at $481, down 3% from a year earlier but up 3% from the prior quarter.

For fiscal 2021, Stitch Fix is now calling for revenue to be in the range of $2.07 billion to $2.08 billion, which would imply year-over-year growth of 20.9% to 21.5%. Earlier this year, it had lowered its annual sales forecast for growth of 18% to 20%. Analysts have been looking for year-over-year revenue growth of 19.1%.

For the fourth quarter, it expects sales to be up 21.8% to 24% from a year earlier. Analysts had been looking for a 20.6% increase.

The company is still working to improve the window of time it takes for it to receive orders of merchandise to its warehouses, which were elongated over the holiday season and have weighed on recent results. CFO Dan Jedda said Monday that the shipping windows have come back down to pre-holiday levels, but remain heightened compared with a year earlier.

Before the end of its fiscal year, Stitch Fix is set to launch its direct-buy service, which allows customers to purchase items individually from its app, to the public. Currently, only subscribers can use the direct-buy service. Stitch Fix has said the offering is an evolution of its business that should help it to continue to grow sales and reach new users.

Spaulding is set to succeed founder and CEO Katrina Lake on Aug. 1.

As of market close Monday, Stitch Fix shares are down about 1% year to date. The company’s market cap is $6.2 billion.

Find the full financial press release from Stitch Fix here.

Sales topped analysts’ estimates, driven by consumers refreshing their wardrobes for summer vacations and the office and looking for styles in new sizes.


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