Top Consumer Stocks
Consumer stocks are edging higher in afternoon trade, with
shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 adding
about 0.1%. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P
500 are nearly 0.3% higher.
In company news, General Motors (
) shares declined Wednesday, sliding under $39 each for the first
time since early December after the car company forecast "modest"
global industry growth during 2014, driven by gains in the United
States, China and Europe.
Based on its outlook, GM said it expects adjusted total earnings
before interest and tax to improve moderately over 2013 levels,
with underlying operating performance more than offsetting higher
restructuring costs. The company also said it expects EBIT-adjusted
margins will be similar to last year.
GM has 15 new or upgraded model hitting U.S. streets this year,
following 18 domestic vehicle launches in 2013. The company and its
joint partners have 17 vehicle launches planned in China this year
and will open four new plants in China through 2015, allowing
production to rise to 5 million units per year.
The automaker late Tuesday also named Chuck Stevens as its next
chief financial officer, replacing Dan Ammann, who was promoted to
company president, effective Wednesday. Stevens previously was CFO
of GM North America.
Shares were down about 1.3% at $39.49 each in recent trade,
earlier sliding to an intra-day low of $38.96, the first time GM
shares have fallen below $39 since Dec. 5.
The stock has a 52-week range of $26.19 to $41.85 a share,
hitting its high-water mark for the past year on Dec. 26 after IHS
Automotive forecast a 2.4% rise in North American auto sales this
year over 2013 levels, reaching 16.03 million vehicles compared to
the expected 15.65 million vehicles sold last year.
In other sector news,
(+) ARO, (+1.2%) The teen apparel retailer reportedly has been
reaching out to at least two private equity firms as it explores
strategic options, according to Bloomberg.
(-) COOL, (-20.8%) Video-game producer reports 62% year over
year decline in Q4 revenue to $10.1 mln, trailing estimates by $4
mln. Non-GAAP net loss was $0.09 per share, $0.02 wider than
year-ago loss and missing Street view by $0.05 per share.