U.S. stocks are back to sliding after both Asia and Europe’s markets crumbled.
In midmorning trading, the S&P 500 was down 28 points to 1,823, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 256 points 15,661 and the Nasdaq fell 53 points to 4,229. The S&P Retail ETF dropped 31 cents to $38.20.
Japan and China’s markets are closed for holidays, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell by 3.9 percent over concerns about a slumping property market.
It wasn’t any better in Europe. Italy’s MIB declined a significant 4.8 percent as the Italian banks continue to come under pressure. That has pulled down the French and German banks as well. The French CAC tumbled 3.2 percent and the German DAX gave back 2.1 percent.
Blue Nile Inc. is getting hit hard this morning. The stock plunged 26 percent to $22.84 after the online jewelry merchant missed its fourth quarter forecasts and guided below estimates for the next fiscal year. Blue Niles’ fourth quarter earnings of 43 cents were 1 cent better than expectations from Capital IQ, but revenues fell to $150 million and missed the FactSet estimate of $164 million. The online retailer is forecasting first-quarter earnings of 8 cents to 11 cents, which is lower than the estimate of 13 cents. Full fiscal year 2016 revenues are expected by in the range of $465-$495 million, which missed the Capital IQ estimate of $522 million.
Avon Products Inc. stock fell over 7 percent to $3.02 following dismal fourth-quarter results. Avon’s fourth quarter total revenue dropped 20 percent to $1.6 billion and missed the FactSet estimate of $1.8 billion. The net loss was $333 million or a loss of 76 cents per diluted share as compared to last year’s fourth quarter loss of $331 million or a loss of 75 cents per share. Latin American revenue dropped 26 percent and Brazil revenue fell 44 percent, while Mexico declined by 13 percent.
On a positive note, Skechers is up over 10 percent to $30 after reporting its fourth-quarter earnings. Revenue came in at $722.7 million, higher than the FactSet consensus of $693 million, while the earnings per share of 19 cents was just 1 cent shy of the estimate of 20 cents. Fiscal year 2015 sales were $3.15 billion and easily topped last year’s net sales of $2.38 billion. The sneaker company said it is comfortable with the analyst’s range of $885 million to $920 million in net sales for the first quarter. Skechers is gearing up to sponsor the Los Angeles Marathon.
All the turmoil in the stock market has helped boost gold, which was $41 to sell at $1,238 an ounce today as investors flee to safe havens. The precious metal has risen $152 in the past 30 days. Silver has hit a three-month high and is trading at $15.67 an ounce.