U.S. stocks are opening lower as Japan gave a downbeat outlook on its economy and American retailers continue to release less-than-stellar earnings.
The S&P 500 dropped by 10 points to 2,008, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 93 points to 17,137 and the Nasdaq declined by 19 points to 4,730. The S&P Retail ETF slid by 21 cents to $45.37.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings of $2.64, which were shy of the FactSet estimate of $2.78. Sales for the quarter came in at $950 million, which topped the estimate of $947 million. Comparable sales of $927.9 million decreased 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter as compared to last year. Sales of cold weather items dropped 10 percent during the quarter. For the fiscal year, Bon-Ton reported a net loss of $57.1 million, or $2.90 a diluted share. Looking ahead, the company said it expects adjusted earnings for fiscal 2016 to range between $140 million and $150 million. The stock fell over 2 percent to $2.55 on the news.
Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. LLC reported its second quarter results this morning. Total revenues were $1.49 billion, a decrease of 2.3 percent compared to last year’s $1.52 billion. Net earnings dropped dramatically to $7.9 million from $27.8 million last year. Comparable revenues fell 2.4 percent.
Discount shoe chain DSW Inc.’s stock jumped over 5 percent to $29 after it reported its fourth quarter earnings. DSW delivered earnings of 14 cents a share, which beat the FactSet consensus of 7 cents. Sales of $672 million easily beat the estimate of $641 million. DSW had to spend a lot to get the sale with gross profits declining by 300 basis points, but with sales rising 5 percent it looks like the efforts paid off. DSW’s digital demand grew by 22 percent as the company is trying to fight back against Amazon. Full year sales increased 5 percent to $2.6 billion and comp sales increased 0.8 percent. For the full year, DSW expects revenue growth to range between 8 percent and 10 percent and comp sales to grow between 1 percent and 2 percent.
Tiffany & Co. fell by over 1 percent to $70.60 after Citigroup downgraded the stock to a neutral from a buy rating and gave it a price target of $78. Tiffany’s stock has dropped over 16 percent for the past year.
Hennes & Mauritz AB reported group sales including VAT increased by 10 percent in local currencies in February compared to last year. Sales including VAT in the first quarter from December 2015 to February 2016 increased by 8 percent to $46 million and sales excluding VAT were $40 million.
In economic news, February producer prices fell by 0.2 percent, inline with forecasts. February retail sales fell by 0.1 percent, which was also inline with estimates.
Asian markets were mixed with Japan and Hong Kong closing slightly to the downside and China managing to end the day in positive territory. The Bank of Japan did not change rates, but did downgrade the assessment of the economy.