Consumer stocks were higher this afternoon with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 adding nearly 1.0%. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were ahead 0.8%.
In company news, Petsmart Inc. ( PETM ) is narrowly higher this afternoon and the retailer reportedly starting to interview Goldman Sachs ( GS ), Morgan Stanley ( MS ) and other investment banks amid rising pressure from activist investor Jana Partners LLC.
According to the Wall Street Journal, citing sources close to the matter, the PETM board was asking the investment banks to "pitch for an assignment that could straddle activist defense and sizing up strategic alternatives."
Earlier in July, Jana Partners disclosed a 10% PETM stake, stating at the time it wanted to talk with the company about its strategic options.
A few days later, Longview Asset Management also sent a letter to the company's board asking it to select bankers to handle a deal or other options. Longview Asset owns a 9% stake in the company and is not an activist investor "so its letter was viewed by other shareholders as surprising," the WSJ noted.
Late in Friday's session, PETM shares were up just 0.1% at $69.12, rising 7 cents a share.
In other sector news,
(+) KNL, Q2 EPS of $0.23 tops Street view by $0.01 per share. Revenue climbs 24% year over year to $265.8 mln, exceeding estimates by around $13.07 mln.
(-) HUBG, Q2 net income of $0.51 per share matches Capital IQ consensus. Revenue rises 6.8% year over year to $893.9 mln, lagging Street view by around $11.08 mln. Operating income rises 33% over year-ago levels to $6.6 mln.
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