Stocks traded largely flat on the day ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later this week. While disappointing guidance from global economic bellwether FedEx (FDX) could have set a negative tone for the overall market, reports that the ECB may soon disclose a bond-buying program helped offet the package delivery giant's weaker outlook. While September is historically the worst month for stocks, right now the market does seem to be playing with a net courtesy of the ECB and Fed.
The Electronics Retailer Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by Conn's (CONN) with a 8% gain. The Respiratory Stocks Index was the day's worst performing tickerspy Index, with Hi-Tech Pharmacal (HITK) down -10%.
Stocks ended the day mixed, with the Dow the lone gainer, up 12 points to 13,048. The S&P fell -2 points to 1,403, while the Nasdaq lost -6 points to 3,069. Oil rose 6 cents to $95.36 a barrel, while gold slipped -$2.00 to $1,694.00 an ounce.
In economic news, the Labor Department said nonfarm productivity rose at an annually adjusted rate of 2.2% in the second quarter. Economists were expecting a 1.8% increase.
In earnings news, Dollar General (DG) raised its full-year profit guidance to $2.77-$2.85 a share from $2.68-$2.78. Analysts were expecting EPS of $2.81. The company expects same-store sales to increase 4-5%, above a previous forecast of 3%. Dollar General said total revenue should rise 8-9%. The company posted a fiscal second-quarter profit of $214.1 million, or 64 cents per share, compared with $146 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, Dollar General earned 69 cents per share. Analysts had expected EPS of 64 cents. Sales rose 10% to $3.95 billion while same-store sales jumped 5.1%. Shares of Dollar General rose 0.8%.
Shares of G-III Apparel Group (GIII) surged 10.0% after the company raised its full-year guidance to $2.68-$2.78 from $2.62-$2.72. On an adjusted basis, the company expects to earn $2.74-$2.84 a share. G-III boosted its revenue guidance to $1.4 billion from $1.35 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of $2.71 a share on revenue of $1.36 billion. For the current quarter, the company expects to earn $2.25-$2.35 a share on revenue of $570 million. Analysts are expecting $2.34 a share on sales of $551.1 million. In its fiscal second quarter, G-III earned $1.4 million, or 7 cents per share, down from $1.6 million, or 8 cents per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the profit was 13 cents per share. Revenue jumped to $251.5 million from $230.0 million. Analysts had expected a profit of 7 cents per share on $250.5 million in revenue.
Nokia (NOK) shares slid -16.4% even after the Finnish company unveiled its first smartphones designed to run on the newest version of Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 8 operating system. The Lumia 920 and 820 are expected to debut in some markets in the fourth quarter. Hints that the launch may initially be limited, though, may have hurt investor sentiment. Eleven pros counted Nokia among their top holdings at the end of Q2 and nearly 970 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
Shares of Facebook (FB) jumped 4.8% after the company announced it is using cash on its balance sheet to essentially retire some of its downtrodden shares at around $19, half the IPO price. CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg also announced that he will not sell anymore of his shares for at least another 12 months. No pros counted Facebook among their top holdings at the end of Q2 and more than 170 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
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