U.S. stocks were lifted after the ADP employment report reported that private payrolls increased by 200,000 in September, in line with the consensus estimate from Briefing.com. The S&P 500 jumped by 26 points to 1,910, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 219 points to 16,268 and the Nasdaq climbed 79 points to 4,596.
Ralph Lauren Corp.’s stock is up 13 percent to $118.26 after the company said that chairman, chief executive officer and founder Ralph Lauren was ceding the ceo title while remaining executive chairman and chief creative officer. Ralph Lauren stock has dropped 36 percent over the past year and analysts had begun asking about succession plans. The move will be effective in November. The company has struggled with falling profits, with the most growth coming from its outlet stores. The new ceo will be Stefan Larsson, who was president of Gap Inc.’s Old Navy division. Larsson was able to turn around problems at Old Navy for The Gap and prior to that was global head of sales at Hennes & Mauritz.
The Gap investors weren’t so pleased about losing Larrson to Ralph Lauren. The stock dropped 5 percent to $28.48. CEO Art Peck did not thank Larsson for his years of service to the company when revealing his departure and instead sought to reassure investors that the Old Navy team would be just fine. Jill Stanton, an executive vice president at Old Navy, will step in to lead the division on an interim basis as the company searches for a new president. Larrson transformed the struggling Old Navy into a success that the other divisions haven’t been able to replicate. Piper Jaffray lost no time downgrading the stock to underweight from neutral based on the news. UBS also downgraded the stock to underperform and gave it a $25 price target.
Crocs stock is tripping after the footwear seller lowered its third-quarter sales outlook. The stock dropped 6 percent to $13.10 in early trading when Crocs said it now expects revenue in the range of $270 million to $280 million. The previous guidance had been in the range of $280 million to $290 million. Crocs blamed foreign currency exchange rates for the shortfall. Crocs also said it was holding back $6 million of orders to select Chinese distributors.
Shopify launched a partnership with Twitter to allow merchants to sell products directly on Twitter. “Buy Now” buttons will be available to merchants at no extra cost. Any product tweeted from the merchant’s store will automatically include a buy button. The button will work within their timeline on desktop, iPhone or Android phones. Twitter has had a difficult time convincing investors that it could move beyond its messaging powers and the stock rose 1.6 percent to $26.00. Shopify stock rose 4 percent to $35.28.
In other markets, Asia managed to close out the third quarter on a positive note even though there was poor economic news from Japan. The Nikkei closed up 2.7 percent and the Chinese Shanghai Composite closed up .5 percent. Japan reported weaker-than-expected industrial production.
European markets came on strong even as the economic news was less than stellar. German retail sales, German unemployment, EMU unemployment and headline EMU consumer price index all missed expectations.