Consumer stocks are higher, with shares of consumer staple companies in the S&P 500 rising 0.7% although shares of consumer discretionary stocks in the S&P are ahead only 0.1%.
In company news, United Natural Foods Inc. ( UNFI ) is up more than 15% at $69.09 a share, moving through a string of new 52-week highs - the last at $69.35 - after the specialty foods distributor late Thursday posted better-than-expected Q4 results.
UNFI earned $0.65 per share during the quarter, up from a $0.51 gain during the year-ago quarter and beating Capital IQ estimates for the period by $0.05.
Revenue rose 13.1% year over year to $1.6 billion, matching the Street view.
For FY14, UNFI sees revenues in the range of approximately $6.65 million to $6.78 billion, or at least $40 million better than the analyst consensus.
It also is forecasting GAAP earnings in a range of $2.40 to $2.50 per share, in-line with estimates expecting $2.48 per share, although analysts typically exclude one-time and non-recurring items from their outlooks.
In other sector news,
(+) ULTA, (+17.6%) Earns $0.70 per share in Q2, beating estimates by $0.03. Revenue also tops forecasts with the personal care products maker's seeing same-store sales improve more than analysts were expecting.
(-) UA, (-2.2%) Athletic apparel company cut to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.
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