U.S. stocks were moving lower after the European Central Bank said it would extend its asset buying program, but investors were disappointed with its deposit rate cut.
Mario Draghi said the ECB would continue buying regional bonds into March, but only cut the deposit rate by 10 basis points, when investors were expecting a reduction of 20 basis points. The cut means banks must pay more for the ECB to hold their money. The euro climbed against the dollar on the news.
The S&P 500 was flat at 2,076, the Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased by 26 points to 17,703 and the Nasdaq was lower by three points to 5,120. In economic news, weekly jobless claims totaled 269,000, while Briefing.com estimated the number would be 267,000.
Several retailers reported third-quarter earnings before the market opened. The best performance came from Express Inc., followed by Lands’ End, which beat on earnings estimates but missed on sales forecasts, and then Sears, which reported that sales keep sliding.
Express stock is moving higher by 1.8 percent to $17.70 in early trading after reporting that third quarter net sales increased 10 percent to $546.6 million from $497.6 million, beating the FactSet estimate of $540 million in sales. Net income was $26.3 million, or 31 cents a share, which was better than last year’s third-quarter net income of $14.6 million and also clocked in higher than the FactSet estimate of 29 cents a share.
Express chief executive officer David Kornberg gave a positive outlook for the year and for the holiday season. Kornberg said in a statement, “While we expect the holiday season to remain highly competitive, we believe we are well positioned, and our positive outlook for the season is reflected in our guidance.”
Lands’ End reported earnings a share of 33 cents, which was better by 3 cents over the single analyst estimate of 30 cents. The stock gained 18 cents to trade at $23.57 in the early session. Revenue fell 10.4 percent to $334.43 million versus the one analyst estimate of $344.1 million and worse than last year’s net revenue of $373.1 million. Same-store sales decreased 8.9 percent due to slowing traffic at Sears. The company cited warmer weather that hurt sales, a pullback in promotions and reduced catalogue circulation.
Net income for Lands’ End was $10.7 million, which was lower than last year’s $18 million. Federica Marchionni, Lands’ End’s ceo, stated, “While our third-quarter financial results did not meet our expectations, which we attribute to both external and internal factors, we made important progress on a number of initiatives that we believe will position the Company for the future.
Sears stock rose by 1.5 percent to trade near $20.73 even though the retailer delivered third-quarter earnings a share of a negative $2.86, worse than the FactSet estimate of a negative $2.84. Revenues fell 20.2 percent to $5.75 billion versus the one analyst that estimated revenues to be $5.51 billion. The decrease in revenue included $611 million associated with Sears Canada.
Still, the net loss of $454 million in the third quarter was better than last year’s loss of $548 million. Sears also slashed advertising and payroll costs, but weak apparel sales hurt the company. Comps declined 8.6 percent during the quarter, with sales increasing in home appliances and mattresses.
Following the market close on Wednesday, PVH posted lower third-quarter sales and earnings, which were negatively impacted by a strong dollar. But carve out the currency issues as well as costs incurred from its integration with The Warnaco Group Inc., and the results exceeded expectations due to a strong performance of the company’s Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger International businesses.
PVH stock was dropping over 3 percent to $90.31, as investors were not impressed that earnings a share of $2.66 beat the analyst estimate of $2.49. The decline in revenues and income caused shareholders to dump the stock.