U.S. stocks are mostly lower as oil slides, business in Europe slows, China pegs its currency lower and retailers begin a heavy week of earnings.
The S&P 500 is lower by 5 points to 1,940, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is dropping 31 points to 16,589 and the Nasdaq is down by 13 points to 4,556. The S&P Retail ETF is rising by 19 cents to $42.25.
First up, Macy’s Inc., stock rose over 1 percent to $41.77, even though the department store reported earnings of $1.73 per share for the fourth quarter, missing the FactSet estimate of $1.89. Sales came in at $8.87 billion, just beating the FactSet estimate of $8.83 billion. Macy’s was also positive about the coming year and that is what helped propel the stock higher in early trading. A cold spell in the Northeast in January helped to drive shoppers into the stores who were able to buy coats and jackets at a great price.
Hudson’s Bay Co. reported same-store sales results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ending Jan. 31. For the quarter same-store sales grew 11 percent and digital sales increased 22.8 percent. The only decline came from Saks Fifth Avenue, whose sales dropped 1.2 percent. For the fiscal year, same-store sales grew 12.1 percent and digital sales increased 23.2 percent. The only drop was again from Saks Fifth Avenue, whose sales declined by 1 percent for the year. The stock is up over 2 percent to 16.60 Canadian dollars, or $12.05 at today’s currency exchange rate.
Fitbit Inc. stock is plunging over 15 percent to $13.98 after the wearable tech company reported that fourth-quarter net income to common stockholders rose to $64.2 million, or 26 cents a diluted share, from $11.9 million, or 19 cents, a year earlier. Revenues for the three months ended Dec. 31 shot up 92 percent to $711.6 million. However, it was the less-than-stellar guidance for the first quarter of 2016. Fitbit only expects to deliver profit of 2 cents a share, which is way below the analyst expectation. The reasons for the decline are the higher expenses to launch the new Fitbit Blaze and Alta Products.
Wolverine World Wide Inc. easily beat its earnings estimates for the fourth quarter causing the stock to rise by 1 percent to $17.81. Adjusted diluted earnings per share of 33 cents beat the FactSet estimate of 28 cents, however sales of $751 million, were just shy of the estimate of $752 million. The warm winter and a tepid holiday season hurt the company. Wolverine said that it expects 2016 to remain as challenging as 2015. The company is dealing with too much inventory, a slowdown in China that could potentially impact key markets and the strong dollar.
Elsewhere in the world, oil prices fell after Iran and Iraq backed away from the oil-production cut rhetoric. The People’s Bank of China lowered the yuan, pegging it below the dollar and saying it was not a move aimed to benefit the country’s exports. All the Asian markets closed lower as a result. German business sentiment fell, dragging down the European markets.