CHRIS VERSACE: Good morning, Action Alerts Plus members. We'll begin today's rundown with this morning's retail sales, which topped expectations for the month of September. Headline retail sales rose 3.8% year over year. And once we adjust for gas and food services, the overall headline sales came in around 3% for just retail.

And again, that's up year over year versus September, 2022. The restaurant figure, which rose 9.2% year over year, is a positive for our shares of McDonald's and Chipotle as it shows consumers continue to spend more on dining out than on other categories, like apparel, which just rose 0.1% year over year, or even furniture, which fell 5.9% year over year, as well as electronics and appliances down 2.2% year over year.

Now members, when we talk about those declines, you should be connecting the dots with the alert that we sent yesterday where we described the differences and why it's important to pay attention to them between housing starts, new home sales, and the impact on the economy, as well as consumer spending.

Now getting back to the September retail sales report, nonstore sales rose rather nicely. Great for Amazon. And let's remember. This is ahead of last week's Prime Day event. And of course, the overall report, again, stronger than expected, was a positive for both Costco and Mastercard in the portfolio as well. We'll have a more detailed note to you breaking all of this down later today.

Moving over to earnings. This morning, we had Bank of America. And following in the footsteps of JP Morgan and other banks that have already reported, Bank of America delivered a top and bottom line beat for the September quarter. Its net interest income rose nicely year over year, and the bank continued to win market share across all of its business lines. Prospects for those gains following other bank failures earlier this year was a key part of our decision to add beaten up Bank of America shares when we did.

Moving over to Lockheed Martin. As we discussed in our initial note this morning, the company reported a beat for the September quarter that was largely a function of its stock buyback program. Lockheed also reiterated its guidance for 2023. But inside the earnings report, we did see the impact of what is going on with F-35 deliveries due to a previously disclosed software issue. That issue will be a focus on today's earnings call that begins at 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. During that presentation, we want an update on the F-35 software issue, including when it will be behind the company.

But let's step back and remember that this is really a when issue for Lockheed, not an if one. We continue to see catch-up F-35 deliveries at some point. And yes, they will drive revenue, profit EPS, and cash flow growth. That, along with the year over year increase in the company's backlog, are reasons for us to stay long term bullish on the shares of Lockheed Martin, especially as the company uses its $13 billion buyback program to support the shares and earnings in the very near term. We'll have more on both Bank of America and Lockheed Martin's September quarter results in followup notes once their respective earnings conference calls have concluded.

And as we move through the day, there are a series of potential catalysts that remain, as we like to say, on the schedule. We have several Fed speakers making the rounds today, some of which have been far less dovish than Philly Fed President Harker in his recent comments. We'll be aggregating all of the Fed speaker comments between yesterday, today, and tomorrow to get a better sense of what Fed Chair Powell will say on Thursday.

Now so far, our AAP poll of the week for this week, you members are saying that Powell will have some measured comments about inflation but stick to higher for longer. We'll revisit those expectations again later today and tomorrow. There is also the expected vote for House Speaker later today, which, if successful, might suggest that Washington can get its act together to head off a government shutdown in mid-November. Again, something that we'll be watching for further developments during today.

And of course, we continue to watch developments in the Middle East and whether President Biden's trip tomorrow to Israel could help defuse an increasingly tense situation. For now, we'll keep our inverse ETFs in play and hang on to our cash war chest, the combination of which should blunt market volatility should it re-emerge in the next couple of days. That'll do it for today's rundown. JD and I will be back tomorrow to answer some of your biggest questions of the week.