Stocks were poised to post weekly gains across the board in early trading, that is unless the housing market threatens the rally. Investors yesterday chose to follow the good news, including an upbeat report on Leading Economic Indicators and one manufacturing survey and they seemed to shrug off disappointing news from other manufacturing surveys on the U.S. and China. Stocks rallied and remain in position to post gains for the week. Futures were pointing to a positive open. But the next big housing report is expected at 10am with Eexisting Home Sales for January. Economists are expecting a pullback. Earlier this week, the government reported Housing Starts dropped by a disappointing 16% in January. But is the housing news, even if it’s disappointing, already priced in after all the bad reports we’ve seen blamed on the weather this winter? Yahoo Finance Editor in Chief Aaron Task pointed out in today's Hot Stock Minute that economists should have been expecting the weather to hit housing starts and that number still came in well below expectations.
Some stocks were on the move in extended trading. Priceline.com (PCLN) beat earnings and revenue estimates. Earnings per share beat by $0.56 a share while revenue rose 29%. Priceline attributed the strong quarter to a boom in bookings for hotel stays, airline tickets and rental cars at the end of the quarter. Guidance for the current quarter did fall short of expectations.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) also beat earnings estimates by $0.06 a share on surprisingly strong PC sales to businesses. Revenue fell 1%, though that beat estimates. HP also raised its earnings guidance for 2014.
Groupon (GRPN) beat earnings estimates by $0.02 a share. Revenue rose 20.4% from the previous year, which also beat estimates. Shares of Groupon briefly rose 18% in extended trading on that news, but then came the bad news that sent share sharply lower. Groupon forecast a loss of two to four cents a share for the current quarter, below analysts' estimates. The company says it plans to spend more to advertise its online marketplace.
Dish Network (DISH), the nation's second largest satellite-television provider, beat earnings estimates this morning by $0.22 while revenue rose 7% from the previous year, but missed Wall Street estimates. Dish added about 654,000 pay-TV subscribers in the last quarter and 8,000 more net broadband subscribers. Shares of Dish are up almost 63% since this time last year.
Under Armour (UA) was back in the headlines. The company defended itself against claims that its racing suits were to blame for the poor performance of the U.S. Olympic speedskaters, even as the company re-upped its deal to produce speed-skating suits for the U.S. team. The company CEO Kevin Plank told USA Today: "it was a bit of a witch hunt" and "the suit became the witch." In our poll today, tell us: who's to blame for the U.S. shutout in speedskating? Cast your vote and post your comments below as well.
And Amazon (AMZN) reportedly is trying to win over retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and Neiman Marcus to bring listings for their merchandise onto Amazon. Aaron Task and Lauren Lyster break down what's in it for Amazon and why some are calling it a deal with the devil for the retailers