U.S. stocks are fairly quiet this morning with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 53 points to trade at 17,188, the S&P 500 trading up 5 points to 2,029 and the Nasdaq up 6 points to 4,872.
Asian stocks closed out their best week in four months on the hopes that China will reform state-owned companies. European indices followed the rally and also moved higher led by energy stocks. Unfortunately, Europe’s luxury fashion houses continued to stumble this week.
Hugo Boss is suffering today after cutting its revenue outlook earlier this week. Boss is having the same problem that Burberry is: sliding sales due to a weakened Chinese shopper. The German fashion label said 2015 earnings will rise between 3 and 5 percent. Its previous forecast was in the range of 5 to 7 percent. Boss cited sales declines in China and the U.S., where the tourist trade dropped. Hugo Boss shares slid over 10 percent to 91.74 euros, or $104 at current exchange.
French chain Carrefour, though, reported sales rose by 2.2 percent on growth in Europe and strength in Latin America. The company is second in global sales to Wal-Mart. Its stock rose 6 percent to 28.82 euros, or $32.73.
Lululemon stock is jumping over 2 percent to $53.68 in early trading after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral and gave it a $64 price target. The stock is up 35 percent year-to-date, but investors were getting worried because it slid 22 percent in the past six months.
Chinese online retailer Alibaba is getting a lift on the word that it will buy up the remaining amount of video streaming site Youku Tudou. The $3.6 billion deal is a sign that Alibaba has plans to expand beyond its retail business. Alibaba already owned a little over 18 percent of the company and will buy the rest of the shares for roughly $26.60, or a 30 percent premium to the last closing price on the New York Stock Exchange. Think of it this way — it would be as if Amazon bought YouTube. Alibaba stock is up over 4 percent to trade at $71.78 in early trading, welcome news since the stock has declined over 18 percent for the past year.
Today is the day for Skechers’ stock split that was unveiled in August. The stock is splitting three for one, so don’t be shocked if the stock price looks dramatically lower. Skechers stock price has skyrocketed and the split will lower the price of the shares and hopefully attract shareholders that were scared away by the high price. Current shareholders’ value does not change.