The overall stock market is down as the July Consumer Price Index rose 0.1 percent; lower than the Briefing.com consensus for 0.2 percent. Cheaper airline fares led to the lower July CPI; while apparel prices went up 0.3 after declining in each of the last three months, but still down by 1.6 percent from last year. The Dow Jones Index dropped by 152 points to 17,358, the S&P 500 fell 15 points to 2,081 and the Nasdaq slid 34 points to 5,024.
Target stock jumped 4.6 percent to $84.02 after the discount retailer reported a strong second quarter. Target delivered earnings of $1.22, better than last year’s $1.01 and beating the FactSet consensus of $1.11. Sales for the second quarter were $17.4 billion, also beating the consensus of $17.3 billion. Investors were cheered that Target raised its outlook for the full year from a range of $4.50 to $4.65 a share to a range of $4.60 to $4.75.
Investors immediately began comparing Target’s success to Wal-Mart’s miss. Target’s comparable sales were up 2.4 percent, while Wal-Mart’s were only up 1.5 percent. Target is also seeing its digital investments paying off with e-commerce sales rising 30 percent, while Wal-Mart’s only rose 16 percent. Wal-Mart’s stock was trading down 61 cents to $68.87 again this morning as a result of the comparisons between the two discount retailers.
American Eagle Outfitters stock fell 7.5 percent to $16.92 even though the teen retailer managed to do what the others hadn’t — beat earnings estimates. American Eagle delivered earnings of 17 cents per share in the second quarter, better than the FactSet consensus of 14 cents per share. Sales came in at $797 million, better than the estimate of $769 million. Gross profits increased 20 percent and total net revenue increased 12 percent. American Eagle is seeing better trends in women’s dresses and denim. American Eagle stock is up 27 percent for the past year and had risen in advance of the earnings leading many market watchers to believe the slide was due to “sell on the news” sellers.
In international news, German lawmakers voted in favor of the latest Greek bailout plan. The German DAX and UK’s FTSE were down, while the French CAC was up slightly. That followed volatility in the Chinese Shanghai Composite, which was down 5.1 percent, but then managed to end higher by 1.2 percent.