Counting Heads

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In days of yore, stock analysts sat outside stores and loading docks, counting. That task has been automated—and how—by a company that last week announced a real-time location-data service called Streams. The service from the New York–based Thasos Group tracks signals from millions of mobile phones to let investors count heads at shopping malls, factories, or fracking camps, allowing nearly instantaneous measures of store traffic and industrial activity.

“Everyone is carrying around a mobile phone today,” says Thasos founder and CEO Greg Skibiski. “We can see the locations of hundreds of millions of people inside of every hour.” Thasos gets the data from firms whose smartphone apps you permit to report your location. Skibiski says the data in Streams are aggregated and stripped of personally identifiable information.

Big investors have long studied spending trends using credit- and debit-card transactions compiled by services like the Yodlee unit of Envestnet. ENV -0.5820721769499418% Envestnet Inc. U.S.: NYSE USD42.7 -0.25 -0.5820721769499418% /Date(1502485321261-0500)/ Volume (Delayed 15m) : 271282 AFTER HOURS USD42.7 % Volume (Delayed 15m) : 635 P/E Ratio N/A Market Cap 1871460319.3879 Dividend Yield N/A Rev. per Employee 197009 More quote details and news » But credit cards don’t give good signals on businesses like hotels or airlines, where many bookings go through third-party travel websites. Last spring, Thasos data showed that foot traffic at shopping malls was falling even faster than suggested by the guidance of REITs like Simon Property Group, SPG -2.0229599751784053% Simon Property Group Inc. U.S.: NYSE USD157.89 -3.26 -2.0229599751784053% /Date(1502485321308-0500)/ Volume (Delayed 15m) : 1831201 AFTER HOURS USD157.89 % Volume (Delayed 15m) : 8133 P/E Ratio 29.144977295381548 Market Cap 105621867175.622 Dividend Yield 4.560136804104123% Rev. per Employee 1096440 More quote details and news » GGP, GGP -1.6697588126159555% GGP Inc. U.S.: NYSE USD21.2 -0.36 -1.6697588126159555% /Date(1502485290381-0500)/ Volume (Delayed 15m) : 5769592 AFTER HOURS USD21.2 % Volume (Delayed 15m) : 403888 P/E Ratio 17.966101694915253 Market Cap 18698464076.2352 Dividend Yield 4.150943396226415% Rev. per Employee 1286480 More quote details and news » and Taubman Centers. TCO -0.7226738934056007% Taubman Centers Inc. U.S.: NYSE USD54.95 -0.4 -0.7226738934056007% /Date(1502485342604-0500)/ Volume (Delayed 15m) : 714822 AFTER HOURS USD54.95 % Volume (Delayed 15m) : 7613 P/E Ratio 42.6299456943367 Market Cap 3335794816.74652 Dividend Yield 4.549590536851683% Rev. per Employee 985014 More quote details and news » Investors seeing that data could’ve avoided some of the sector’s selloff.

With a subscription costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, the service’s foresight will belong to the Big Money for the foreseeable future.

— Bill Alpert

Next Week
Monday 14

President Donald Trump plans “internal meetings” all day today and tomorrow at Trump Tower in New York, before heading back to Bedminster, N.J., on Wednesday.

JD.com and Sysco report earnings before the opening bell.

Humana HUM -0.6675408272738109% Humana Inc. U.S.: NYSE USD249.99 -1.68 -0.6675408272738109% /Date(1502485321313-0500)/ Volume (Delayed 15m) : 833812 AFTER HOURS USD249.99 % Volume (Delayed 15m) : 6487 P/E Ratio 20.40734693877551 Market Cap 36127805196.6266 Dividend Yield 0.6400256010240409% Rev. per Employee 1043950 More quote details and news » hosts meetings with Citi Investors.

Vice President Mike Pence visits Colombia as part of his scheduled trip through Central and South America, which will also take him to Argentina, Chile, and Panama.

The EnerCom Oil and Gas Conference continues in Denver.

Piper Jaffray hosts Global Agriculture Symposium begins in Minneapolis.

Instinet Media Telecom Conference begins in New York.

China releases monthly report on industrial production and retail sales of consumer goods.

Tuesday 15

Italy’s stock market is closed for Assumption Day.

Advanced Auto Parts, Coach, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Home Depot report earnings before the open.

Agilent Technologies A 1.2975926242103466% Agilent Technologies Inc. U.S.: NYSE USD59.33 0.76 1.2975926242103466% /Date(1502485335473-0500)/ Volume (Delayed 15m) : 1505781 AFTER HOURS USD59.3634 0.0334 0.056295297488622956% Volume (Delayed 15m) : 5771 P/E Ratio 33.331460674157306 Market Cap 19064925131.5375 Dividend Yield 0.8899376369458958% Rev. per Employee 345920 More quote details and news » and Jack Henry & Associates JKHY -0.311115301216178% Jack Henry & Associates Inc. U.S.: Nasdaq USD105.74 -0.33 -0.311115301216178% /Date(1502485200163-0500)/ Volume (Delayed 15m) : 260414 AFTER HOURS USD105.74 % Volume (Delayed 15m) : 2853 P/E Ratio 31.376854599406528 Market Cap 8210922359.29443 Dividend Yield 1.1726877246075278% Rev. per Employee 241310 More quote details and news » post results.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports retail sales for July.

The New York Federal Reserve releases the Empire State Manufacturing Index for August.

DA Davidson hosts a technology forum in New York.

The Wedbush PacGrow Healthcare Conference begins in New York.

Wednesday 16

Target reports its results before the open.

Housing starts for July are released by HUD and the Census Bureau.

The Federal Open Market Committee minutes from the July 26 meeting are released.

The first round of Nafta negotiations begins in Washington among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Renegotiating the trade deal was one of Trump’s chief campaign promises.

Bank of Thailand Monetary Policy Committee meets.

Thursday 17

Alibaba Group Holding BABA -0.04612242208605126% Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. ADR U.S.: NYSE USD151.7 -0.07 -0.04612242208605126% /Date(1502485224449-0500)/ Volume (Delayed 15m) : 21841654 AFTER HOURS USD151.6 -0.1 -0.06591957811470006% Volume (Delayed 15m) : 485773 P/E Ratio 60.624225712344646 Market Cap 383704539752.293 Dividend Yield N/A Rev. per Employee 468466 More quote details and news » reports before the open.

Weekly jobless claims are released.

The Philadelphia Business Outlook Survey is released.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index reports July numbers.

The central bank of Egypt meets.

Chile’s central bank also meets.

Friday 18

Deere, Estée Lauder EL -2.006096961353132% Estee Lauder Cos. Cl A U.S.: NYSE USD99.65 -2.04 -2.006096961353132% /Date(1502485220057-0500)/ Volume (Delayed 15m) : 3511628 AFTER HOURS USD98.415 -1.235 -1.239337681886603% Volume (Delayed 15m) : 80751 P/E Ratio 33.32775919732441 Market Cap 36654533022.2757 Dividend Yield 1.3647767185148019% Rev. per Employee 251659 More quote details and news » , and Foot Locker report earnings.

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for August is released.

Fitch reviews Greece’s sovereign credit rating.

Week’s Highlight

Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. begin three-way talks to renegotiate the Nafta treaty.

Edited by Robert Sabat and Dan Lam

Email: editors@barrons.com

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