U.S. stocks were mixed this morning as jobless claims were on the high side, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 19 points to 17,886, the S&P 500 flat at 2,102 and the Nasdaq essentially flat at 5,147.
The weekly initial jobless claims totaled 276,000, while the consensus had expected 262,000 people to file for unemployment. Unit labor costs increased 1.4 percent during the third quarter, which was less than the anticipated 2.2 percent increase.
The morning was busy with fashion brands beginning to report quarterly numbers and the results were a mixed bag. Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade were shining, but Coty and Crocs were not.
Ralph Lauren stock jumped this morning after the firm delivered better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter. The stock is up over 10 percent to trade near $125 after the apparel brand reported earnings of $2.13, a whopping 39 cents over the estimated $1.74. Net income was $184 million versus last year’s $201 million. Revenues fell 1.2 percent to $1.97 billion, but this was in line with the Capital IQ consensus of $1.95 billion. Ralph Lauren issued in-line guidance for the third quarter and fiscal 2016 outlook. The company is in the midst of a structural transition.
Kate Spade stock rose over 4 percent after delivering adjusted earnings of 6 cents a share versus the expected 4 cents a share. Income was $5 million compared to $3 million last year. Revenue came in at $277.3 million, an increase of 10.7 percent over last year, but analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $288.7 million. Net debt decreased to $182 million at the end of the third quarter 2015 from $285 million at the end of the third quarter in 2014. The company continues to wind down operations from Kate Spade Saturday and Jack Spade.
Crocs was dropping over 5 percent to $10.21 after reporting a third-quarter loss of $24 million. The footwear company delivered revenue of $274.1 million, missing the FactSet estimate of $278 million. It was a tough quarter, with a net loss of $27.8 million compared to net income of $12 million last year. Earnings per share came in at a negative 25 cents, much lower than the FactSet estimate of negative 10 cents a share. The company cited challenges in China and currency. Crocs withheld shipments to several Chinese distributors. The company also appointed Carrie Teffner as its new chief financial officer.
Coty Inc. dropped over 4 percent $28.60 after the beauty firm said its fragrance sales fell 8 percent and body care declined by 1 percent in the first quarter. First-quarter revenue was $1.11 billion, lighter than the estimated $1.13 billion. Net income rose to $125.7 million, or 34 cents a share, up from $10.6 million last year. Coty’s celebrity branded perfumes are losing their appeal as consumers seek out more niche brand fragrances.
Blue Nile beat analysts’ estimate for earnings in the third quarter but missed on the sales. The online jewelry company delivered earnings per share of 17 cents, better than the expected 16 cents, but net sales of $109.9 million were below the estimated $111 million. Net income came in at $2 million versus $1.7 million last year. U.S. sales for engagement sets increased 6.9 percent for the third quarter and non-engagement sets increased 6.7 percent. International sales of $19.9 million dropped from $21.5 million, or 7.2 percent year-over-year. The stock was up over 4 percent to trade near $35.24.
Elsewhere, European markets traded mostly higher even though euro zone September retail sales came in below expectations. Adidas was the biggest gainer after the activewear company raised its guidance.
The Asian markets closed higher, with the Chinese Shanghai Composite up 2 percent on light macro data.