A retail rally helped spur broad gains in U.S. stock markets Thursday after stores turned in June comps results that bested low expectations.
Wal-Mart, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, posted better-than-expected same-store sales for the first time since March and reiterated its second-quarter earnings guidance range. The company said surveys showed consumers continued to struggle financially and higher gas prices were their greatest concern.
"We remain in a challenging environment, but still believe the earnings guidance for the quarter is attainable," said Thomas Schoewe, chief financial officer.
Wal-Mart expects earnings between 75 cents and 79 cents a share for its fiscal 2008 second quarter. Consensus analyst estimates call for second-quarter earnings of 77 cents a share, according to Yahoo! Finance.
The retailer's stock closed up 2.4 percent, to $48.83.
Wal-Mart rival Target Corp. jumped almost 7 percent after a Bloomberg News report that activist investor William Ackman had taken a more than 5 percent stake in the firm. Target closed at $70.04.
The DJIA closed up 2.1 percent, to a record 13,861.73, while the New York Stock Exchange rose 1.8 percent, to 10,197.69; the S&P 500 added 1.9 percent, to a record 1,547.70, and Nasdaq increased 1.9 percent, to 2,701.73.
The S&P Retail Index closed up 2.4 percent, to 526.99.
Macy's Inc. cut its second-quarter earnings forecast to a range of 20 cents to 30 cents, down from prior guidance of 35 cents to 45 cents on lower-than-expected sales levels. Analysts expect the company to post second-quarter earnings of 41 cents a share.
Shares of Macy's closed down 2.9 percent, to $39.25.
"The magnitude of the quarter's downward revision signals a more intense cadence of markdowns, particularly in the women's and men's apparel categories, than initially thought, as management works to clear inventory to ready floors for fresh back-to-school receipts," Goldman Sachs analyst Adrianne Shapira said in a note.
Lazard Capital analyst Todd Slater said retail stocks moved higher Thursday by "beating the expectation game more than anything else" after several days of selling on low June comps expectations. Slater also pointed to several retailers that made upward revisions to guidance despite housing, inflation and gas pressures that are expected to affect consumer spending in 2007's second half.After market Wednesday, teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc. narrowed its second-quarter earnings guidance to a range of 35 cents to 36 cents a share, from its previous forecast of 34 cents to 36 cents a share. Consensus estimates are for second-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share.
AEO said spring and summer sell-through rates were strong and that the company was pleased with its inventory position heading into the b-t-s season. Shares of AEO closed up 6.5 percent, to $27.71.
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. reiterated its second-quarter earnings guidance of 77 cents a share, which matches Wall Street estimates, after posting June same-store sales that fell year-over-year but still beat expectations, thanks to strong initial response to the company's b-t-s merchandise.
Shares of J.C. Penney closed up 6 percent, to $75.46.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)