Stocks rallied, ending two days of losses and lifting the Nasdaq above its previous closing high.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 18,176.00, +134.46, (0.75%)
- S&P 500: 2,124.39, +20.19, (0.96%)
- Nasdaq: 5,106.63, +73.88, (1.47%)
And now, the top stories on Wednesday:
- Michael Kors shares collapsed 23% after the company reported fourth-quarter results with weak guidance. The fashion retailer reported diluted earnings per share of $US0.90 (versus $US0.91 expected,) and sales of $US1.1 billion (up 17.8%, versus $US1.09 billion estimated.) The retailer said it expects a “low double-digit” drop in sales at stores open for at least one year, in the coming quarter. Piper Jaffray analysts thought this was still too optimistic. Goldman Sachs analysts wrote, “We are surprised by the magnitude of business deceleration despite (1) an overall healthy handbag category and (2) the market share that KORS largest competitor Coach is ceding.”
- Tiffany & Co also reported earnings, and its shared climbed 11% on better-than-expected results. Diluted EPS in the first quarter was $US0.81 (down 17%, but more than forecasts for $US0.69,) while sales dropped 5% to $US962.4 million, but beat estimates for $US919 million. In the statement, CEO Frederic Cumenal said the company plans to grow its existing jewellery collections and open new stores “in a number of important markets.”
- Broadcom shares spiked as much as 21% after the Wall Street Journal reported that it is in talks to be bought by Avago. According to CNBC, Avago’s board will vote on the deal tonight, with an announcement possible tomorrow. Broadcom is one of the largest makers of semiconductors, and its clients include Amazon, Apple and Samsung. Singapore-based Avago has a market cap of $US35 billion. Its shares rallied 7% on the news.
- Janus Capital’s Bill Gross says his “short of a lifetime” on German 10-year bunds was “well timed but not necessarily well executed.” Gross published his latest monthly investment outlook today. Last month, he made the public bet against German 10-year bunds, betting that their prices would fall and yields would rise. Yields spiked higher in the following days, much faster than Gross had anticipated. Gross wrote that the call was an example of how investors can take advantage of the differences in monetary policy around the world. He wrote, “10 year Treasuries for instance still trade at a 175 basis point premium to 10 year Bunds versus a long term historical average of 25 basis or so. A purchase of Treasuries and a sale of Bunds allows for not only a potential capital gain if the spread narrows, but a yield pickup while the Rip Van Winkle investor potentially waits for a probable outcome.”
- McDonald’s will no longer report its same-store sales numbers monthly, according to Bloomberg. Sales at stores open for at least one year have been sliding in the US; the company last reported a 2.3% decline in April. Separately, in a conference in New York, CEO Steve Easterbrook said McDonald’s burgers are getting several changes: cooks will toast buns for five extra seconds to make them warmer, and beef patties will be seared and grilled to make them juicier.
- Shake Shack shares fell even lower. After ending a six-day streak of gains on Tuesday, the longest since its January 30 IPO, the stock fell 12% in trading. There was no immediate news on the company. Shares climbed rapidly after the impressive first-quarter results. In an article Monday, the Wall Street Journal’s Miriam Gottfried noted that every Wall Street analyst covering Shake Shack has a “hold” rating — they’re not advising clients to buy or sell the stock.