Stocks Mixed as Investors Eye Unemployment, Retail Sales Data; Cisco Guidance Weighs
Stocks are mixed at mid-day, but well off session lows, following disappointing earning guidance from a big tech sector name after the market closed yesterday and mixed economic data released before the bell this morning.
In the latest economic data, the Labor Department reported that applications for unemployment compensation fell by 44,000 last week to 434,000. Economists had expected that number to decline to seasonally adjusted 428,000 from an upwardly revised 478,000 in the prior week, according to MarketWatch.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said retail sales in the US rose 0.5% in April to a seasonally adjusted $389.4 billion. That marks the 10th straight month of gains, but is lower than the 0.7% rise in April. Also, wholesale prices in the US rose 0.8% last month due to rising fuel costs--in line with economists' expectations.
Shares of Cisco systems ( CSCO ) are down after it said on its conference call late Wednesday it expects Q4 revenue growth in the range of flat to up 2% on a year-over-year basis. Q4 non-GAAP EPS is seen in the range of $0.37 to $0.39 per share. The Street view is 7% revenue growth and earnings of $0.41 per share.
In company news:
Shares of Novartis ( NVS ) are higher after Chief Financial Officer Jon Symonds said his company's consumer drug division is profiting from Johnson & Johnson's ( JNJ ) series of recalls, Reuters reported. Novartis is reportedly interested in buying other consumer brands.
Shares of Google ( GOOG ) are down despite news late yesterday that comScore released its April 2011 search engine rankings showing the Internet search giant at the top, but with 65.4% of the US market from 65.7%. Meanwhile, Yahoo ( YHOO ) and Microsoft (MSFT) came in an No. 2 and No. 3 at 15.9% and 14.1% respectively. Both gain 0.2% over March. Yahoo is up 2.62%, while Microsoft is down 0.67%.
Shares of Goldman Sachs (GS) are down after Bloomberg reported that a poll of traders, analysts and investors shows 54% of those asked have an unfavorable view of the company.
Cell Therapeutics (CTIC) says data from a study with OPAXIO in patients with newly diagnosed high-grade gliomas, and interim results from a study of tosedostat in elderly patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia will be presented at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) shares are down after Chief Executive Rex Tillerson told Congress that based only on supply and demand, crude oil prices should be in the range of $60 to $70 a barrel, Reuters reports.
In other earnings news:
-- Cisco ( CSCO ) is down 4.4% at mid-day after it said on its conference call late Wednesday it expects Q4 revenue growth in the range of flat to up 2% on a year-over-year basis. Q4 non-GAAP EPS is seen in the range of $0.37 to $0.39 per share. The Street view is for 7% revenue growth and earnings of $0.41 per share. Separately, CSCO received a pair of downgrades this morning.
--General Mills (GIS) says it reaffirmed fiscal 2011 earnings per share guidance of $2.46 to $2.48 excluding mark-to-market effects and a net gain related to certain tax items. The Thomson Reuters mean is for $2.48.
--Kohl's Corp. (KSS) reported Q1 EPS of $0.73 compared to $0.64 a year earlier, matching the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.73 Sales rose 3.1% to $4.2 billion. The Street expected $4.18 billion. The company raises annual EPS guidance to $4.25 to $4.40 from $4.05 to $4.25.The Street is at $4.36.
--Tim Hortons Inc. (THI) reported Q1 EPS of $0.48 compared to $0.45 a year earlier. Revenue of $643.5 million is up 10.4% from $582.6 million.
Commodities are mixed. June gold contracts are down 0.29%, to $1,497 an ounce while June crude oil contacts have shaken off earlier losses and are up 0.5% to $98.71 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.27% to $38.85 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 0.37%, to $10.84.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.67% at $145.56. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 0.82% to $54.46. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 3.84% to $33.07.