U.S. stocks are flat to up slightly as Americans debate the presidential debate from Monday night and oil plunges as Iran tells Saudi Arabia it has no desire to cut production.
The S&P 500 is flat at 2,146, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is higher by 4 points to 18,099 and the Nasdaq is rising by 12 points to 5,270. The S&P Retail ETF is gaining 23 cents to trade at $43.53. Oil is down by almost 3 percent to $44.
Nike Inc. is flat ahead of the company’s fiscal first quarter earnings results, which will be delivered after the market close. The FactSet estimate is for sales of $8.8 billion and earnings per share of 56 cents. Nike has begun falling out of favor with Wall Street analysts. J.P. Morgan Chase’s Matthew Boss removed the activewear giant from his focus list of stocks and voiced competition concerns. Boss also lowered his price target. Canaccord Genuity analyst Camilo Lyon also trimmed his price target for Nike from $56 to $52. Lyon said that his concerns on Nike are mounting. He, too, cited Under Armour Inc. and Adidas as competitors that are customer favorites right now, while Nike is lacking a big hit product.
On a positive note, Cowen and Company’s back-to-school survey found that Nike led in terms of shopping intentions. However, the Cowen report surveyed people in the age category of 18 to 35. This really isn’t back-to-school. A small portion of that demographic would be college students, but they are not known for spending money on apparel. The bulk of school shopping is for children who grow out of their shoes quickly. This group wasn’t surveyed.
Sequential Brands Group Inc. will be webcasting its investor day on Tuesday. The company also revealed that it was expanding the Martha Stewart brand to Korea with a long-term agreement with Fang Brothers Group. During the investor presentation, Sequential stressed that it is ranked as one of the top global licensors. It also said that it was partnered with nine of the top 10 e-commerce players. Sequential said that in three years its revenue would grow by 42 percent in a compounded rate. The stock is flat in early trading.
Iconix Brand Group Inc. added two new independent members to its board of directors. Sanjay Khosla is a seasoned executive with experience from Kraft and Unilever. Kristen O’Hara is a marketing and advertising executive and is currently the chief marketing officer of Time Warner Inc. The appointments are effective immediately. Iconix also said it would nominate investor Kenneth Slutsky for election at the next shareholders meeting. Barry Emanuel is a current member who plans to retire at the 2016 annual shareholder meeting. Emanuel has been a member of the board for 20 years. Iconix stock is slipping by 8 cents to trade at $8.03.