Top Consumer Stocks
Consumer stocks were surging late Wednesday, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 adding around 0.8% while shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were jumping over 2.1% higher shortly before the closing bell.
In company news, Ralph Lauren Corp ( RL ) shares rose Wednesday after the apparel company hired away the successful leader of The Gap's Old Navy unit as its new chief executive officer, prompting at least one analyst upgrade of the company's stock.
UBS raised its call for Ralph Lauren shares to Buy from Neutral after the company named Stefan Larsson as its next CEO, replacing the fashion icon as head of his namesake company. But the research shop's outlook for the stock's price moving forward was less enthusiastic, with the price target falling $13 to $120 a share.
Analysts were equally quick revising their opinions about The Gap's prospects following Larsson's departure. UBS dropped the company's stock to Sell from Neutral and trimmed its price target by $15 to $25 a share. Mizuho also cut its call to Underperform from Neutral with a $26 price target while Piper Jaffray today lowered The Gap to Underweight from Neutral. Telsey Advisory, meanwhile, lowered its price target by $7 to $34, maintaining its Market Perform rating.
RL shares were up more than 13% at $118.14 apiece in late trade, earlier climbing to a session high of $119.14 a share.
GPS shares were down almost 6% this afternoon at $28.53 each, previously dropping to a three-year low of $27.63 a share today.
In other sector news,
(+) RENT, Agrees to $732 mln buyout offer from rival audience measurement firm ComScore ( SCOR ), accepting 1.15 of SCOR share for each RENT share, a 9.9 % premium over RENT's closing price on Tuesday.
(-) UACL, Sees Q3 earnings in a range of $0.27 to $0.31 per share, trailing consensus view looking for $0.43 per share profit. Projected revenue of $283 mln to $290 mln also lags analyst estimates expecting $298.9 mln
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