Stocks are starting the day in the red as investors digest retail earnings and wait to hear from the Federal Reserve as the FOMC meeting minutes are to be released at 2 p.m.
While some economists believe an interest rate hike could come next month, others don’t expect anything this soon. The S&P 500 is lower by 7 points to trade at 2,171, the Dow Jones Industrial average is sliding by 57 points to 18,494 and the Nasdaq is off by 15 points to 5,211. The S&P Retail ETF is down by 39 cents to sell at $45.43.
Target Corp. stock is tumbling more than 5 percent to $71.35 in early trading after reporting that its second quarter sales declined and e-commerce growth was slowing. Target blamed the decline on slower store traffic and the transition of the pharmacy business to CVS. Target also warned that the second half of the year would be challenging. Net income for the quarter fell 9.7 percent to $680 million, or $1.16 per diluted share, down from $753 million, or $2.20, a year ago. Sales for the three months ended July 30 decreased 7.2 percent to $16.16 billion from $17.4 billion a year earlier. On a positive note, women’s apparel saw mid-single digit comps increase in the quarter. Target decided to lower guidance for the full year.
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. stock is declining almost 6 percent to $17.85 following the teen retailers second quarter earnings. For the three months ended July 30, net income rose 25 percent to $41.6 million, or 23 cents a diluted share, from $33.3 million, or 17 cents, a year ago. The FactSet estimate was for earnings per share of 21 cents. Revenues also rose 3 percent to $823 million, which also beat the estimate for $820 million. Even comp sales increased, but instead of rising the stock reversed course and sold.
Urban Outfitters Inc. is jumping over 17 percent to $36.55 after the trendy retailer delivered second quarter earnings that easily beat expectations following the market close on Tuesday. Urban reported earnings per share of 66 cents, which topped the FactSet estimate for 55 cents. Sales of $891 million also beat the estimate for sales of $886 million. The company spoke of new fashion trends that were driving the company’s optimism. While they didn’t specifically mention what those trends were, they did say that dresses had sold well.
Citi Trends Inc. stock is popping over 15 percent to $20.50 even though the retailer recorded a second quarter loss of $120,000 versus a profit of $162,000 for the same period last year. This was a net loss of 1 cent per share. Net sales increased 0.9 percent to $155.3 million from last year’s $153.9 million. Comp sales declined 1 percent for the quarter, but saw improvement in July sales over June and May. Footwear sales increased 4 percent, while ladies sales fell 6 percent. The company said that it was working on getting the right trends in ladies apparel on the floor. They did say that ripped denim was performing well and expected bomber jackets to be strong during back-to-school.