CHRIS VERSACE: Good morning, Action Alerts Plus members. It's Thursday, August 18. And here's what we're watching for the trading day ahead. We started off on a rather quiet note with a lack of fresh economic data compared to the barrage that we saw earlier in the week. That's going to give investors a little more time to digest the Fed meeting minutes that we obtained yesterday afternoon exiting the Fed's July meeting.

What do those minutes tell us? Pretty much that the Fed is going to remain on track fighting the old inflation fight. We'd point out to members that despite the dip that we saw in the July CPI and PPI reports, we are still a ways off the Fed's 2% inflation target. We continue to think that the Fed and we will remain data dependent. But based on what we're seeing thus far, we don't anticipate any significant slowdown in what the Fed is intending to do between now and the end of the year.

Also this morning, we continued to get a number of retail earnings. And again, it continues to be somewhat of a mixed bag. If we look at results from BJ's, a close competitor to portfolio holding Costco, really good results. Kind of confirms that consumers are looking to go buy in bulk and stretch those disposable spending dollars that they do have. It also underscores the power of that membership business model that we like so much with Costco.

On the other hand, we take a look at Kohl's, which cut its outlook, has excess inventory levels, and really warned that its shoppers are continuing to trade down. For us, all of this put together just really reaffirms our bullish stance on Costco in the portfolio. We're also continuing to update our investment mosaic, as we like to say, as earnings season continues to roll in, not only taking stock of fresh demand data, but also looking at what's being said about supply chains as well.

And with that in mind, Cisco gave some very positive confirmation that supply chains and really chip availability continues to improve. We see that setting up a very positive report from Applied Materials tonight after the market close as well as from John Deere tomorrow morning. Remember, both Applied Materials and Deere have been talking about very robust demand patterns. But their businesses have been restrained because of the supply chain issues and availability of chips to actually complete the machines that they need to ship.

So, again, taking the comments from Cisco, but also what we heard in the July industrial production report that said, yes, auto vehicle assemblies continue to improve because improving supply chains, greater chip availability. We think that both Applied and Deere are going to issue bullish comments when they report their earnings. That's a wrap for today's Rundown. Thanks for joining us.