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Economic Numbers Outweigh Worries of Syria Intervention on Wall Street

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Favorable economic numbers outweighed worries today of U.S. intervention in Syria. The Commerce Department's second estimate of Q2 GDP exceeded expectations coming in at an annual rate of 2.5%. Expectations had been for a reading of 2.2%. The first reading for the quarter had been for 1.7%, which was also the rate of growth during Q1. Meanwhile, the Labor Department says weekly jobless claims came in at 331,000, essentially in line with estimates which were for about 330,000 new claims. That's a decline of 6,000 from the prior week.

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Shares of both Verizon (VZ) and Vodafone (VOD) jumped on news the companies are in talks to end their Verizon Wireless partnership. Word is Verizon could pay Vodafone $130-billion for its 45% stake in the joint venture. Vodafone was the bigger beneficiary of the report, climbing more than 8%. Verizon rose a little less than 3%. Vodafone confirms it has been in talks with Verizon over a buyout, but says there's no agreement in place at this time.

Campbell's (CPB) stirred the pot a little with its earnings, sending shares down 3%. The maker of soup and more posted profits of 45-cents a share, up 4-cents from a year ago and 3-cents better than estimates. Revenue however missed at $1.72-billion versus consensus of $1.84-billion. The company has been working to strengthen its core business while also expanding into higher-growth spaces. Those efforts include the acquisition of Bolthouse Farms juices. Prior to today Campbell's stock has been up 24% year-to-date

Guess (GES) popped as much as 18% in intraday trading. The company shattered estimates with its earnings report which was released after yesterday's closing bell. Profits were 52-cents a share while analysts were looking for 36-cents. Revenue also beat coming in at $639-million versus $622.9-million. Profits were actually down 7% from last year, but Guess has upped its outlook citing success in cutting expenses. The company has also been streamlining its business and is moving into new markets. The climb resulting from this report just about mirrors an 18% drop in Guess stock over the past month.

Fresh Market (TFM) looked rancid today with shares falling more than 11% on earnings. The smaller competitor of Whole Foods says same store sales rose 3.4% in the quarter, and revenue rose 13% from a year earlier. Still, the overall sales figure of $354.8-million was a million short of estimates. In addition, newer stores are underperforming which seemed more important to investors than the chain's 4-cent beat on earnings. Prior to this morning Fresh Market shares were up 13% year-to-date. As for Whole Foods, its stock has been up 12%.

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