Top Consumer Stocks
Consumer stocks were ending broadly mixed, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 falling almost 0.3% this afternoon, reversing small gains earlier in the session, while shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 jumped out to a nearly 0.7% advance.
Among consumer stocks likely to move on news:
+ CVS Health ( CVS ) rose on Thursday, jumping over 3% before more recently easing to a slightly more than 1% advance, following reports the U.S. Department of Justice will not challenge the pharmacy retailer's proposed $69 billion merger with health care insurer Aetna ( AET ). Bloomberg News, citing a report in the Reorg Research trade publication, said Justice Department staff are expected to support the approval of the takeover and will make their recommendation to senior officials who will make the final decision by the end of July.
In other sector news:
+ Costco Wholesale ( COST ) only needed a slightly more than 1% advance to reach a record high of $213.83 a share on Thursday after the warehouse retailer reported an 11.7% increase in June sales over the same month in 2017, ringing up $13.55 billion in total sales last month. Costco also said its same-store sales grew 9.7% year-over-year during June while its e-commerce comparable sales rose 27.9% over June 2017 levels. Excluding the impacts from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange, June comparable sales rose 6.9% and e-commerce comparable sales increased 27.7%.
+ Comcast ( CMCSA ) was almost 2% higher in late Thursday trading after increasing its cash buyout offer for Sky plc (SKY.L) to GBP26.0 billion, or about $34 billion, and topping Twenty-First Century Fox's (FOX,FOXA) latest bid for the British pay TV company by roughly $1.5 billion. Fox held the upper hand in the lengthy fight for Sky for only around 12 hours, with the television and movie producer earlier Wednesday raising its offer for the 61% of Sky's outstanding stock it doesn't already own to GBP14.00 per share, or about GBP24.5 billon overall. Comcast last night said a special board committee consisting of Sky's independent directors was recommending its sweetened offer to their fellow board members, although the same panel similarly sided with the Fox offer earlier in the day. The renewed bidding war comes just as the UK regulators were scheduled to wrap up its review, with the Secretary of State Thursday reportedly signing off on the Fox acquisition proposal.
- Zumiez ( ZUMZ ) Thursday dropped almost 10% to a session low of $21.25 a share despite late Wednesday reporting a 6% increase in total net sales during the five weeks ended July 7 compared with year-ago levels. Sales this year rose to $76.5 million from $72.2 million during the five-week period end July 1, 2017. Same-store sales climbed 2.7% over the same five-week period compared with a 5.3% increase during the year-ago period.