The U.S. stock market was trading modestly lower in the early session as earnings season gets underway. There were earnings misses from IBM on Monday and Harley Davidson today, while shares of Yum! Brands rose after saying it would split off its Chinese operations.
The S&P 500 declined 3 points to 2,030, the Dow Industrial average fell 41 points to 17,189 and the Nasdaq dropped 5 points to 4,900. Asian markets continue to send mixed signals, with China’s Shanghai composite closing up 1.1 percent, but it mostly managed to do that in the last half hour of trading.
Europe’s major indices all traded lower as some economic leaders in the U.K. and the European Central Bank began to make noise about less monetary easing. Those comments threw cold water on European stocks.
Amazon is gearing up for the holidays by increasing its seasonal workforce by 25 percent over last year. The online retailer said it would hire 100,000 people for its fulfillment and sorting centers. Last year, Amazon hired 80,000 employees. This holiday season has been forecast to be slightly weaker than last year’s, but the amount of online shopping is expected to increase. The news didn’t impress investors, as the stock was down $4.63 to trade lately at $568.
Sports Authority said it would hire 3,500 seasonal workers across the country for the holiday season. The hiring will begin in mid-October and continue through December. Sports Authority also said that many of those workers will be retained as permanent workers following the holiday season. This is the same amount the company hired for the 2014 season.
Wolverine delivered earnings that were in line with analyst expectations, but then lowered guidance for fiscal year 2015 earnings. September third-quarter earnings were 48 cents, much lower than last year’s third-quarter earnings of 63 cents. Revenue fell 4.5 percent year-over-year to $678.9 million and missed the Capital IQ consensus of $684.3 million. Full-year guidance for revenue is now in the range of $2.69 billion to $2.71 billion, a drop of 1.8 percent to 2.6 percent. The company blamed foreign currency headwinds and the termination of the Patagonia license agreement. Wolverine stock is down 29 cents to $19.96.