Positive economic news lifted stocks into positive territory at the opening of stock trading.
The Census Bureau issued its annual report on incomes and reported a 5.2 percent increase in the median household income. This is the largest gain in a generation. Incomes rose for people of all ages and in every geographical region.
The S&P 500 climbed by 6 points to 2,133, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 43 points to 18,109, while the Nasdaq added 27 points to trade at 5,183. The S&P Retail ETF added 13 cents to sell at $43.65.
Coach Inc. was downgraded to underweight from equal weight by Morgan Stanley causing the stock to slide more than 4 percent in early trading to $34.68. The analyst doesn’t have faith in the brand’s turnaround efforts. While the analyst conceded that North America had shown positive comps, it was concluded that it wasn’t big enough to matter. Separately, Coach staged its spring runway show yesterday afternoon and will have some items available for sale right away. Coach also decided to close its handbag shop on Alibaba’s Tmall. Coach will continue to support its own e-commerce site and its WeChat account in Beijing.
On the flip side of the ratings change coin, Macy’s Inc. was moving higher after being upgraded by Citigroup to a buy from a neutral. The stock climbed more than 2 percent in early trading to $35.51 as the analyst Paul Lejuez maintained the $44 price target. It pulled back during the early session and was lately trading at $34.93. Lejuez focused on Macy’s free cash flow and dividend yield calling it the ”stronger horse in the race.” He believes that Macy’s has been rationalizing its store base faster than it peers. He also likes the company’s ability tap into its real estate holdings.
Revlon Inc. and Elizabeth Arden Inc. celebrated the completion of their merger by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning. Revlon agreed to acquire Elizabeth Arden in June for approximately $870 million in cash. Elizabeth Arden’s stock ceased trading on the Nasdaq exchange on Sept. 7. Revlon will continue to be led by Fabian Garcia with the Elizabeth Arden team reporting to Garcia.
Finally, it’s time to start thinking about the holidays. E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. is opening 21 pop-up stores for the holiday compared to last year’s 11. While United Parcel Service Inc. said it is planning on hiring 95,000 workers for the holiday season. This is somewhat inline with last year’s range of 90,000 to 95,000 seasonal workers.