Data out ahead of the market showed a surge in March consumer spending, and April is expected to show an even larger plunge, given the April 1 increase in the national sales tax (see earlier post on today’s live blog).
But same-store sales numbers for last month are showing that, in some cases at least, the post-tax-hike drop isn’t as heavy as feared.
For instance, J. Front Retailing shares are up 0.2% this morning after sales at its Daimaru and Matsuzakaya stores fell “only” 15.3%, while Isetan Mitsukoshi is up 0.5% after its sales lost a mere 7.9%. On the other hand, Takashimaya’s more-than-13% fall is pushing its shares down 1.4% currently
Sony issued its third profit warning in six months, cutting its expected operating profit by a full two-thirds. As a result, Sony shares are currently down 2%.
Some techs are bucking the downtrend, with Fujitsu up 1.6% , Apple supplier Murata Manufacturing up 6.8% , and Nintendo up 2.3% .
In a less dramatic move, Japan Display is up 0.6% after SMBC Nikko initiated coverage of the stock with an outperform rating. And beyond the techs, Bridgestone is up 0.4% after a Nikkei news report tipped record-high first-quarter profit, thanks to robust winter tire demand.
It remains mostly a down market, with many of the big names taking modest losses: Toyota Motor and Hitachi are down 0.5% each, Softbank and Daiwa are down 0.3% each, etc. etc.