Tough August in the Rear View Mirror (JOYG, VRA, T, NGLPF, BTX)
Stocks retreated from their morning highs to finish the day up moderately. Overall, August was a tough month for stocks, although they have generally gotten a lift this week so far on the hope that Fed and government stimulus could be on the way. Next week will be a holiday-shortened week, but it is bound to be action packed, with President Obama scheduled to unveil a jobs plan and August same-store sales numbers set to be released by retailers.
The Geothermal Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by Nevada Geothermal Power (NGLPF) with a 4% gain. The Stem Cell Stocks Index was the day’s worst performing tickerspy Index, with BioTime (BTX) down -9%.
Stocks rose on the day, with the Dow up 54 points to 11,614. The S&P advanced 6 points to 1,219, while the Nasdaq added 3 points to close at 2,579. Oil fell -9 cents to $88.81 a barrel, while gold edged up $1.90 to $1,831.70 an ounce.
In economic news, the ADP private payroll report showed employers added 91,000 new jobs in August, below the 100,000 new jobs economists were expecting. The July number was revised down to 109,000 from 114,000. The Chicago PMI reading for August, meanwhile, came in at 56.5, down from 58.8 in July, but better than the 54.0 economists were expecting. Readings above 50 are considered positive.
In earnings news, Joy Global (JOYG), the mining equipment maker, said its fiscal third-quarter profit surged to $173.1 million, or $1.62 per share, from $118.5 million, or $1.13 per share, a year earlier. Revenue climbed 34% to $1.14 billion. Analysts expected a profit of $1.51 on revenue of $1.15 billion. Shares of Wisconsin-based Joy Global rose 1.3%. More than 20 pros held Joy Global in their portfolios at the end of Q2 and more than 620 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
Spirits maker Brown-Forman said its fiscal first-quarter profit rose 6% to $118.1 million, or 81 cents per share, from $111.4 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier as sales climbed 13% to $840.3 million. Analysts were expecting a profit of 83 cents on sales of $767.2 million. The company forecast a full-year profit of $3.45-$3.85 a share. Analysts were expecting $3.70. Shares of Brown-Forman fell -1.4%.
Shares of handbag and accessories maker Vera Bradley (VRA) surged 15.0% after the company said its fiscal second-quarter profit climbed 48% to $13.6 million, or 34 cents per share, from $9.2 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 30% to $103.8 million, while same-store sales climbed 10.5%. Analysts were expecting a profit of 29 cents a share on revenue of $93.2 million. Vera Bradley forecast a third-quarter profit of 26-28 cents a share on sales of $107-$110 million and a full-year profit of $1.32-$1.35 a share on revenue of $438-$443 million. Analysts expect a third-quarter profit of 27 cents on revenue of $107.3 million and a full-year profit of $1.31 a share on revenue of $435.8 million.
Shares of Dow component AT&T (T) tumbled -3.9% after the Justice Department said it has filed suit to block AT&T’s attempted $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA on the grounds the deal would lead to increased prices for consumers. AT&T said it intends to fight the suit. Over 360 pros held AT&T in their portfolios at the end of Q2 and more than 3,300 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.
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