U.S. Markets close in 5 hrs 51 mins

Stocks Make Modest Gains Despite Concerns Over Syria Crisis

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Stocks made modest gains today even as worries over Syria continued to weigh on markets. The move higher came as a great relief to many investors who saw the major indexes sustain some of the biggest losses of the year yesterday. On the economic front, the National Association of Realtors released a weaker-than expected report this morning for pending home sales in July. The group's calculations showed a decline of 1.3% for the month when consensus was for a decline of 0.5%.

Poll: Is Dow Stuck Below 15,000 Points?

Chico's (CHS) rose more than 4% despite a sizable earnings miss. The apparel retailer reported profits of 27-cents a share, a nickel short of expectations. Revenue was also below estimates at $649.5 million versus $676.93-million. Comparable store sales fell 2.6% for the quarter.

Smaller competitor Express (EXPR) was up as much as 10% during the day on its earnings. Numbers were pretty much in line with estimates: 20-cents a share on $486.2-million dollars in sales. Both profits and revenue were up 7% from a year ago. Express says same-store sales were up 6%, and is now increasing its outlook. Even before this morning, Express has had a spectacular year with shares rising 36% prior to today.

A third retailer, Wet Seal (WTSL), closed flat today following a 9% jump after hours yesterday. The chain reported earnings of a penny a share after the closing bell. That was in line with estimates. As for revenue, it was a slight miss, but rose nearly 4%. The company operates stores under both the "Wet Seal" and "Arden B" names. Moving forward, it predicts same-store sales will rise as a result of a newly installed CEO, cut jobs, and the closing of weaker stores.

Singapore-based Avago Technologies (AVGO) rose a little less than 5% today after moving up 7.7% in the after-market yesterday. Avago chips are used in Apple products, so with the rumored launch of a new iPhone the company is predicting sales growth of 12 to 15% in the quarter ahead. The guidance came yesterday along with earnings for the past quarter. They showed the company making 74-cents a share excluding items when consensus was for 64-cents. Revenue came in at $644-million, also beating expectations.

Facebook (FB) gained back more than 2% today. The stock fell more than 4% yesterday and dipped back below the $40-dollar mark after spending about two days above that perch. The move lower followed word that CFO David Ebersman is selling off shares. The revelation came just a day after filings showed that COO Sheryl Sandberg is also unloading much of her stock. Facebook stock is up more than 40% year-to-date.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) rose more than 2% on news of a $47-million settlement with the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles. The company was accused of failing to flag money transfers made by a high-roller who was trafficking drugs. The stock fell more than 3% yesterday though it is up 28% over the last year. The company has also been accused of corruption in China where it has a large presence in the gambling mecca Macau.

Tell Us What You Think!

Post something in the comments section below.

You can also look us up on Twitter and Facebook.