Podcast: Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon on Track for Best Year Since 2009

Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon are facing scrutiny from regulators and politicians across the aisle—but big tech is still on track for their best year since 2009. Why retail stocks sold off on Tuesday. And why airlines are still ordering Boeing’s grounded 737 Max. Host: Ben Walsh. Producer: Mette Lützhøft.

Listen to Wednesday morning’s episode of Barron’s mini-podcast Numbers By Barron’s.

Three numbers to start your day:

That’s of course good news for the beleaguered airplane manufacturer. But why are airlines agreeing to buy these planes now?

It’s because planes are bought years in advance, and those purchases are part of multi-year fleet and capacity plans. And it’s not possible to just switch from Boeing (ticker: BA) to, say, Airbus planes. Airbus (AIR.France) might not even have any free planes to sell for years and years.

And so, even as it still fights to prove that the 737 MAX is safe to fly, Boeing keeps getting orders for more.

The retailer reported dreary quarterly earnings and said it was cutting its full-year earnings forecast—that will be the second time Kohl’s (KSS) has trimmed guidance for this year.

Home Depot (HD) also reported disappointing earnings on Tuesday and reduced its guidance. That set off a wave of selling in retail stocks: Macy’s (M), Nordstrom (JVN), and L Brands (LB) all fell.

The discouraging results are sure to worry investors heading into the all-important holiday shopping season. Especially, because there’s some data indicating that this is about more than just one or two poorly performing companies. Last week, when the Census Bureau released the latest retail sales numbers, department stores looked particularly weak.

The sector is on pace for its best year since 2009. The stocks have rallied even as the size and power of the big tech companies come under increasing scrutiny—with President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren regularly talking about breaking up tech giants.

Tech has also thrived despite big federal regulators zooming in on anti-competive practices by giants like Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL), and Facebook (FB).

So far, however, the threat of a regulatory crackdown doesn’t seem to worry investors at all. One example? When the investigation into Google—backed by 50 attorneys general—was recently widened, Google-parent Alphabet’s stock rose.

Numbers by Barron’s is our daily podcast. Find out more here.

Write to host Ben Walsh at

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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