Consumer stocks are higher with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 gaining 0.9%. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 are ahead nearly 1.5%.
In company news, Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. ( SFM ) is up more than 111% at $38.05 a share, climbing as high as $38.97 this afternoon in its first day as a publicly traded company.
The Phoenix-based operator of supermarkets emphasizing organic and natural foods earlier priced its initial public offering of 18.5 million shares at $18 apiece - of $3 above the mid-point of its expected $14 to $16 per share range - generating about $ million in gross proceeds.
The stock opened around mid-day at $35 and quickly rose nearly $5 a share before easing off its session high to its current range.
Shares of rival Whole Foods Markets ( WFM ) are down about 1.0% today at $55.03 each.
In other sector news,
(+) JCP, The retailer and CIT Group ( CIT ) both refuted rumors CIT was denying credit to JCP vendors.
(-) MAR, Forecasts FY13 EPS in a range of $1.92 to $2.03, trailing estimates by at least $0.01 per share. Q3 earnings projected to be $0.42 to $0.46 per share, missing Street view by $0.03. Q2 EPS matches estimates, revenue beats by $88 million.
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