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Record Fine for Rate Rigging; ADP Payroll Report; Express and Aeropostale Earnings

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

There's a record-breaking fine this morning as a result of massive rate-rigging.The European Union is fining six major banks a total of $2.3-billion. That's the largest fine ever imposed by the European Union. It stems from the manipulation of Libor and Euribor rates. But is the penalty enough to deter future rate rigging? Hot Stock Minute host Lauren Lyster asks Jeff Macke about the fines in the video above.

The ADP payroll report for November soared past estimates. ADP says there were 215,000 private-sector jobs were added over the last month. That destroyed estimates of 173,000. October's numbers were also revised up to 184,000 from 130,000. The ADP is just the start of jobs-related economic indicators expected out this week -- we'll get jobless claims tomorrow, and the government's unemployment numbers on Friday.

Edward Lampert's valiant effort to revive Sears (SHLD) may be coming to an end. The hedge-fund manager cut his stake in the company to 48% down from 55% according to reports. Sears has been on a steady decline ever since Lampert merged it with Kmart back in 2005, posting 27 straight quarterly sales declines. With this news, Sears Holdings stock dropped almost 8% yesterday. In the meantime Sears rival, J.C. Penney (JCP) is seeing a bit of a revival. J.C. Penney reported a 10% jump in November same store sales from a year ago thanks to holiday shoppers. JCP shares are up over 5% right now in early trading. Sears though is still having a much better year overall, up over 33% year-to-date, compared with Penney which is down over 51%.


Express (EXPR) is down 16% in early trading on its earnings. Express came out with earnings at 7:30. It missed on the bottom line with profits of 23-cents a share when expectations were for 25-cents. As for revenues, they topped estimates, rising above $500-million. Express says sales over the Thanksgiving weekend were better than last year, but fell short of expectations. As a result, the company is planning to ramp-up discounts, and is therefore cutting its outlook. Pror to this morning's plunge, Express shares had been up 69% year-to-date.

Another clothing store, Aeropostale (ARO), will release earnings after the closing bell. The retailer is expected to post losses of 24-cents a share. Compare that to last year when they made 31-cents a share. The stock is down 23% year-to-date largely on a huge drop in August when they posted disappointing quarterly earnings. Meanwhile shares for clothing rival Abercrombie & Fitch they rose almost 6% yesterday after an Abercrombie shareholder said the company should get a new CEO or sell to a private equity group. Abercrombie shares are down about 24% year-to-date

Yum! Brands (YUM) holds its annual shareholders meeting today. It's coming off a 2.7% drop yesterday. The company, which owns KFC, has seen a steady decline in customers in its biggest market, China. Customers have been scared off since it was reported a year ago that there were excessive antiobiotics used in its food. Yum Brands, which also owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, has had a decent year, though it has underperformed the market, with shares up over 12-percent year to date. On a side note, the man behind the Doritos Locos Tacos, Todd Mills, passed away on Thanksgiving Day at the age of 41, after a bout with brain cancer. In honor of Mills, friends and family headed over to Taco Bell after his funeral to enjoy some Doritos Locos Tacos.

Omnivision Technologies (OVTI) which is down double digits in early trading. This company makes imaging sensors for small cameras. It reported earnings of 60-cents a share which beat estimates of 43-cents a share. Omnivision also beat on revenue, posting $397.2-million when expectations were $392.1. Stocks are down for the company though because forecasts for the next quarter look like they may point downwards with the company expecting to report earnings of 28 to 44-cents a share. Things have been looking good though for the year as the company's stock is up over 7%.