Breaking news: The monthly jobs report for November was released this morning. Plus, Sears Holdings (SHLD) files to spin off its Lands End business.
But first, the jobs report from the Labor Department. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 203,000 in November, reducing the unemployment rate 0.3% to a five-year low of 7%. Results for October were revised to show 8,000 more jobs.
The world today is mourning the passing of former South African president Nelson Mandela at the age of 95. While people are aware of Mandela's courage as an anti-apartheid leader, a Bloomberg BusinessWeek piece [http://finance.yahoo.com/news/remembering-nelson-mandelas-unsung-economic-215427325.html] on Yahoo points out people often overlook the role Mandela played in building up Africa's largest economy. Check in with Yahoo News for continuing coverage.
Now, here are a number of stocks the Yahoo Finance Team will be watching today.
First up, Sears Holdings. Sears just announced it has filed to spin off its Land's End business. This has become a continuing trend for Sears, where the billionaire hedge fund manager that controls the company, Edward Lampert, has been shedding assets, spinning off businesses, and has closed more than 300 stores since 2010. This news comes as Lampert is reportedly struggling to stem heavy losses at Sears Holdings, facing an exodus of money from his hedge fund. Sears shares are down over 20% this week.
Next, American Eagle Outfitters (AEO). The retailer released earnings this morning and hit on estimates of $0.19 a share huge drop from last year's $0.41. The company reported revenue of $857.3 million that beats estimates of 844.76 million. Shares dipped this morning after the report was released on news of their projected forth earnings of $0.26 to $0.30 per share which is far lower than analysts expected at $0.39 share. The teen retail space has hit some hard times recently with rival Aeropostale (ARO) failing to meet earnings expectations and Abercrombie (ANF) struggling too. American Eagle has recovered somewhat since its 52-week low back in October. It is still down over 18% year to date.
Now, J.C. Penney (JCP). JC Penney shares have taken a turn for the worse just after things were starting to look up for the struggling retailer. Shares pushed the $10 mark this week for the first time in over two months thanks to strong November sales. But the stock fell yesterday after the company revealed it received a letter of inquiry from the SEC, regarding its finances including its liquidity and details of a stock sale that happened in September. JC Penney stock is currently down over 57% year-to-date.
Finally, Big Lots (BIG), which says unchanged because it trades on the NYSE, slumped 12% in after-hours trading yesterday. This drop came in response to a disappointing earnings report. Big Lots reported a loss of $9.5 million compared to last year's loss of $6 million. The company also reported that it will begin to implement a plan to exit the Canadian Market. This comes at a time when rivals like Target (TGT) and Wal-Mart (WMT) are trying to expand growth in Canada. Shares for Big Lots are up over 31% so far this year.
Finally, with good jobs numbers and economic news in general we sometimes see a counterintuitive market reaction - where investors, fearing a Fed taper can send stocks lower. Good news for the economy means bad news for the market. So we want to hear from you. Which do you care about improving more? The economy or the market? Vote in our poll and leave your comments below.