Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Flat; Lululemon Profit Beats Estimates
Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.01 percent to 16,270.85 while the NASDAQ surged 0.02 percent to 4,174.25. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.02 percent to 1,853.01.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Thursday, telecommunications services shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 0.66 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Internet Initiative Japan (NASDAQ: IIJI), with shares up 10 percent, and Towerstream (NASDAQ: TWER), with shares up 4.8 percent.
Tech sector was the leading decliner in the US market today. Among the sector stocks, Bitauto Holdings (NYSE: BITA) was down more than 5.4 percent, while 21Vianet Group (NASDAQ: VNET) tumbled around 4.7 percent.
Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ: LULU) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and issued a downbeat first-quarter outlook. Lululemon's quarterly profit rose to $109.7 million, versus a year-ago profit of $109.4 million. On a per-share basis, its earnings came in at $0.75. Its revenue surged 7% to $521 million versus $485.5 million. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $0.72 per share on revenue of $515 million.
Lululemon expects Q1 earnings of $0.31 to $0.33 per share on revenue of $377 million to $382 million and full-year earnings of $1.80 to $1.90 per share and revenue of $1.77 billion to $1.82 billion. However, analysts were projecting Q1 earnings of $0.36 per share on revenue of $389 million.
Conns (NASDAQ: CONN) was also up, gaining 3.56 percent to $35.75 after the company reported a 57% gain in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. Conn's posted its quarterly profit of $27.7 million, or $0.75 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $17.7 million, or $0.50 per share.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Solazyme (NASDAQ: SZYM) were down 5.63 percent to $10.90 after the company priced offering of $130 million of 5.00% Convertible Senior Subordinated Notes due 2019 and 5 million shares of at $11.00 per share.
Citigroup (NYSE: C) shares tumbled 4.45 percent to $47.93 after the company reported that its capital plan was not approved by the Federal Reserve. The Fed said that Citi's plan did not fix previously raised issues. Analysts at Keefe Bruyette & Woods downgraded Citigroup from Outperform to Market Perform and lowered the target price from $58 to $52.
Fred's (NASDAQ: FRED) was down, falling 2.93 percent to $18.58 after the company reported a 40% drop in its Q4 profit and issued a downbeat Q1 forecast.
In commodity news, oil traded up 1.01 percent to $101.27, while gold traded down 0.41 percent to $1,298.10.
Silver traded down 0.46 percent Thursday to $19.69, while copper rose 0.62 percent to $2.98.
European shares were lower today.
The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.03 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index declined 0.10 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX slipped 0.36 percent and the French CAC 40 declined 0.44 percent while U.K. shares dropped 0.57 percent.
US jobless claims declined by 10,000 to 311,000 in the week ended March 22. However, economists were expecting claims to reach 323,000 in the week.
The US economy's growth was lifted to an annual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter versus 2.4%.
The pending home sales index dropped to 93.9 in February, from 94.7 in January.
The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index for March will be released today.
The Treasury is set to auction 3-month, 6-month and 52-week bills.
The Treasury will also auction 7-year notes.
Data on money supply will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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