Top Consumer Stocks
Consumer stocks were ending broadly higher, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 racing to more than a 1.2% advance this afternoon while shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were posting a more than 0.2% gain, reversing a small mid-day decline.
Among consumer stocks moving on news:
(+) Altria Group ( MO ) and other shares of other cigarette companies surged Wednesday after American regulators Tobacco stocks threatened to remove e-cigarettes from stores unless they do more to control "widespread" vaping among teenage users. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration targeted five e-cigarette brands - Blu E-cigs, Juul, Logic, MarkTen and Vuse - asking to supply the agency with plans within 60 days detailing how the companies will better keep teens from using their products. Altria was almost 7% higher in late trade while the shares of rivals British American Tobacco ( BTI ) and Philip Morris International ( PM ) were up 6% and over 3%, respectively.
In other sector news:
(+) Avis Budget Group ( CAR ) was trading almost 6% higher Wednesday afternoon, with the vehicle rental company receiving an apparent boost from its introduction of curbside delivery, allowing customers return their rental car to the Avis lot at airports and then having an employee drive them to the terminal with all of their luggage in the same vehicle. Avis also said it is partnering with Amazon.com ( AMZN ) to reward customers with an Amazon gift card worth up to 20% of their rental price if they book their rental cars using Amazon Alexa.
(+) Coca-Cola European Partners (CCE) was almost 4% higher on Wednesday after the soft-drink bottler raised its FY18 outlook, now expecting per-share earnings this year to grow between 7% to 8% over FY17 levels, up from its previous forecast range expecting 5% to 6% year-over-year profit growth. The company late Tuesday also unveiled a $1.7 billion stock buyback program.
(-) V.F. Corp. (VFC) was fractionally lower Wednesday afternoon, falling almost 1% after giving back a small gain earlier in the session that followed the apparel company saying it expects its Vans brand to be generating $5 billion in yearly revenue by fiscal year 2023, representing growth between 10% and 12% over the five-year period.