Diamonds and Dogs
Green shoots for Deere & Co (DE). The farming and construction equipment maker is up 9% to a new 52 week high following earnings. Deere beat by 36 cents even as sales fell 5.9% to $6.53 billion, ahead of estimates. Management said they are seeing signs of stabilization in the farm sector in the first quarter. Farmer confidence, though still subdued, has improved due in part to hopes for a relaxation of trade tensions and higher agricultural exports. China announced today they have suspended more punitive tariffs on imports of U.S. industrial goods in response to a truce in its trade war with Washington. Under the "Phase 1" deal Washington agreed to cancel additional tariff hikes and Beijing committed to buy more American farm exports.
First Solar (FSLR) a little less bright today. The largest U.S. maker of solar panels and systems is down 14% not far from a 52 week low after posting a surprise quarterly loss as sales fell short of analysts' forecasts. First Solar also lowered guidance and said it was evaluating options for its solar farm-building business, hinting it may seek to sell that part of its operations.