Sector Update: Consumer
Consumer stocks were rising today with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 climbing about 0.4%. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 also were ahead over 0.4%.
In company news, Walgreens ( WAG ) appeared set to finish Wednesday's session with a strong advance, earlier rising to a new 52-week high after reporting a 6.0% increase in May sales over year-ago levels, lifting Q3 sales for the pharmacy retailer above analyst estimates.
The company said total sales rose to $6.57 billion from $6.19 billion during the same month last year. For the three months ended May 30, sales were up 6.5% year over year to $19.49 billion, beating the Capital IQ consensus by around $270 million.
Same-store sales climbed 2.6% over May 2013 levels, the company said. Customer traffic was down 0.5% last month but was offset by a 3.1% rise in basket size.
WAG shares were ahead 4.4% at $74.70 each, earlier climbing to a new 52-week high of $75.16 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) NWL, Upgrade to Overweight from Equalweight at Morgan Stanley, citing expected organic gains in sales and earnings growth in upcoming quarters.
(-) P, U.S. Justice Department agrees to request by Broadcast Music Inc and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers to review royalty formula paid by the Internet broadcaster.
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