U.S. stocks are opening to the downside this morning as investors are holding their breath for a full slate of Federal Reserve presidents that are scheduled to speak. Many are concerned about a rate hike in December and hope these speeches will give some indication as to the likelihood of a change.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 147 points to 17,555, the S&P 500 is down 14 points to 2,060 and the Nasdaq has dropped 31 points to 5,035.
Kohl’s is leading retailers after the department store chain delivered third-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. The stock jumped over 6 percent to $45.95. Kohl’s reported earnings per share of 75 cents, which was better than the FactSet estimate of 69 cents a share. Sales came in at $4.43 billion, which also topped the estimate of $4.41 billion. Investors were not expecting such good news from Kohl’s, since it tends to be in weather-sensitive locations and fall has been warmer than expected. Kohl’s did say that September sales were weak, but late October made up for that.
Sally Beauty Holdings stock rose 8.5 percent to $24.06 after the beauty supply company reported earnings per share that were shy of analysts’ estimates, but delivered inline revenues. Net sales for the quarter were up 2.1 percent at $964.2 million and inline with the estimate of $964 million, while earnings per share were 38 cents while FactSet had an estimate of 39 cents a share. Consolidated same-store sales growth for fiscal 2016 is expected to be in the low 3 percent range. Sequential improvement is expected throughout the year, with slower growth in Beauty Systems Group than the prior year as they anniversary a very strong year.
Xcel Brands stock slid 6 percent to $6.80 after the company delivered quarterly sales that were lighter than analysts expected. Xcel reported third-quarter earnings per share of 8 cents, better than the FactSet estimate of 5 cents. Sales came in at $7.34 million, an increase of 36 percent over last year, but below the expected $7.91 million. Net income was $30,000 for the current quarter versus $66,000 for the prior year’s third quarter.
Fortune Magazine has named Nike chief executive officer Mark Parker as the 2015 businessperson of the year. Adam Lashinsky writes, “Nike’s performance, like a seasoned champion that continues to steamroll the competition, has prompted Fortune to name [Mark] Parker its Businessperson of the Year for 2015.” On the complexities of Nike, Parker tells Fortune: “We’re in 190-ish countries around the world, 13 sport categories. When you add it all up, we’re really talking billions of product units. It’s a big, fast-paced, complex business to run.”
Elsewhere in the market, crude oil is trading much lower as it slides 2.4 percent to $41.94 a barrel. In Europe, the indices are mixed to lower as the euro zone September industrial production dropped. The Greeks are fed up with six years of austerity and are protesting in the streets, bringing the economy to a standstill.
It was a fairly quiet day in the Asian markets. The Japanese Nikkei was flat, while the Chinese Shanghai Composite declined 0.5 percent.