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Dow's stumble drives blue chips back into negative territory for 2018

8 min ago

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday were slumping, pushing the blue-chip gauge into the red for the year and threatening a second straight decline as consumer-staples shares declined. Most recently, the Dow was off about 154 points, or 0.6%, at 24,593, with shares of Procter & Gamble Co. and Apple Inc. weighing on the average. For the year, the Dow is off 0.5%, but it is still maintaining a weekly advance of 1%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index is up 0.5% for the first four months of the year and 1.1% for the week, so far. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4.7% so far in 2018, and up 1.7% for the week thus far. P&G shares were under pressure after the seller of Gillette razors and Crest toothpaste agreed to acquire a consumer-health business from Germany's Merck KGaA .

Stock market trades near session lows as rise in U.S. government bond yields spooks Wall Street

12 min ago

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday was trading near the lows of the session as a steady rise in the rates of long-dated Treasurys weighed on buying appetite for stocks. The 10-year Treasury note yield was hitting its highest level since Feb. 23, around 2.93%, according to Tradeweb data and flirting with highest yield level of 2018. Meanwhile, the Dow was off about 150 points, or 0.5%, at 24,625, while the S&P 500 index declined by 0.8% at 2,687, with financials, which benefit from rising rates, producing the only gains among the broad-market benchmark's 11 sectors. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF , a popular financial exchange-traded fund, was up 1.5% and on track for its best daily gain since last week. However, the jump in yields was causing a broader reassessment of of equity values against other asset considered less risky, market participants said. "More broadly, higher real interest rates mean that the income stream from equity markets needs to be valued at a lower multiple," Guy LeBas, head of fixed-income strategy for Janney Montgomery Scott, told MarketWatch. In other, higher yields can mean higher costs for U.S. corporations. Presently, the dividend yield for the average S&P 500 component was around 2%, while the dividend yield for Dow components is at 2.3%, according to FactSet data. Climbing yields for risk-free Treasurys can undercut demand for stocks. LeBas said higher inflation expectations, notably fueled by a rise in crude-oil futures , also was nudging yields on long-dated government debt higher. Rising inflation, or prices, can chip away at bonds fixed payments, spurring selling in the asset and pushing yields, which move inversely to prices, higher.

GW Pharma wins unanimous recommendation from FDA advisory committee for cannabis-derived drug

17 min ago

GW Pharmaceuticals PLC said Thursday it has won a unanimous recommendation from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee for the approval of its cannabis-derived drug epidiolex. Epidiolex -- which contains cannabidiol (CBD), rather than the psychoactive component of cannabis, THC -- is intended for seizures associated with two rare types of childhood epilepsy. If approved, the drug would be the country's first cannabis-derived drug and the first in a new category of epilepsy treatments. GW's Chief Executive Justin Gover welcomed the recommendation and said the drug would "provide an important treatment option for patients with LGS and Dravet syndrome, two of the most severe and treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy." More than 90% of patients with the conditions have multiple seizures every day, putting them at risk of falls and injury. The FDA commonly follows an advisory committee's recommendation, but there are exceptions. GW shares were halted for the news, but have gained 15% in the last 12 months, matching the S&P 500's gain.

Nasdaq falls 1% as technology stocks weigh

59 min ago

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, with the Nasdaq dropping to its low of the session as large-capitalization technology stocks weighed on the index. The Nasdaq fell 1%. While the day's losses were broad, selling was particularly heavy in the tech sector, which was down 1.5%. Apple Inc. , the largest stock in both the sector and the overall market, shed 2.5%. The tech giant was pressured after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. gave an outlook that was below expectations, raising questions about demand for the overall industry. Chipmaker stocks were also pressured, with Nvidia Corp. shares down 3.4% and Qualcomm Inc. shedding 4.3%. Applied Materials Inc. was down 5.9%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6% while the S&P 500 was off 0.8%.

10-year Treasury note yield flirts with 2018 high

1 hour ago

Treasury yields climbed on Thursday as investors push back on the relentless yield curve flattening seen since last week. The 10-year Treasury note yield was up 6.3 basis points to 2.930%, the highest since Feb. 23, according to Tradeweb data. The 2-year note yield ticked higher by 1.3 basis points to 2.440%, the highest since 2008. While, the 30-year bond yield jumped 8.1 basis points to 3.127%. Bond prices fall when yields rise. Long-dated yields led the sharp move higher perhaps in recognition that inflation expectations were encroaching on a multiyear high, with the 10-year breakeven inflation rate now at 2.19%. Stronger price pressures tend to be bearish for bonds.

Guitar Center's proposed debt exchange would constitute a default: Moody's

1 hour ago

Moody's Investors Service downgraded its probability of default rating on Guitar Center Inc.'s debt to Ca-PD from Caa1-PD, and said that if an exchange offer announced earlier this week goes through, it will constitute a distressed exchange, and event of default. Guitar Center, the biggest retailer of musical instruments in the world, said it will exchange its $325 million of 9.625% senior unsecured notes that mature in 2019 for new senior unsecured notes due 2022 with a 5% cash pay and 8% payment-in-kind feature; will issue new $635 million senior secured notes due 2021; and amend and extend $375 million of asset-based loans to 2022 from 2019. "Although the exchange proposal would constitute a distressed exchange, if completed as planned, it will alleviate Moody's concern regarding GCI's significant and relatively near-term debt maturities and provide the company with some increased financial flexibility," Moody's senior vice president Keith Foley said in a note. "However, GCI's high pro forma leverage with debt/EBITDA on a Moody's adjusted basis at above 6.2 times -- total debt increases by $50 million as a result of the transaction -- remains a key credit concern, particularly given Moody's opinion that there continues to be a relatively limited revenue visibility regarding the retail environment for musical instruments." Guitar Center has struggled for the past year with a debt burden taken on as part of a 2007 LBO by private-equity firm Bain Capital. The 9.625% notes due 2020 were last quoted at 74 cents on the dollar, according to MarketAxess in a trade from Feb. 15, to yield 26.13%, or 2,394 basis points over Treasurys.

Tobacco-stock selloff sets consumer-staples sector up for worst session in two months

2 hours ago

Consumer-staples stocks sank on Thursday, putting it on track for its biggest decline in more than two months. The sector lost 2.6%, its biggest one-day percentage drop since Feb. 5. By far, the biggest decliner in the sector was Philip Morris International Inc. , which tumbled 16% after the tobacco giant reported quarter revenue that came in below expectations. According to FactSet, Thursday is poised to be the worst trading session in the history of Phillip Morris since being spun off from Altria Group Inc. in March of 2008. The drop weighed on Altria, which sank 8.3%. The staples sector was also pressured by Procter & Gamble Co. , which lost 2.9% after it agreed to acquire a consumer-health business from Germany's Merck in a $4.2 billion deal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% while the S&P 500 was off 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.5%.

GrafTech International shares slide 2% in trading debut

2 hours ago

Shares of GrafTech International Ltd. fell 2% in their first few minutes of trading Thursday, after the company priced its initial public offering at $15, well below its $21 to $24 price range. The company makes graphite electrode products that are used the manufacture of steel. GrafTech also sold fewer shares than expected in the deal. Shares were last down just 0.5%, while the S&P 500 was down 0.4%.

Natural-gas prices pare losses as U.S. supplies fall more than expected

2 hours ago

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas fell by 36 billion cubic feet for the week ended April 13. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts had forecast a decrease of 25 billion cubic feet, but on average over the last five years for the same week inventories climbed by 38 billion cubic feet. Total stocks now stand at 1.299 trillion cubic feet, down 808 billion cubic feet from a year ago, and 449 billion below the five-year average, the government said. May natural gas was down 3.5 cents, or 1.2%, at $2.704 per million British thermal units, up from $2.685 before the data.

Allergan shares plummet 6% on Shire bid interest, while Shire surges 8%

2 hours ago

Allergan PLC shares plummeted 6% in heavy morning trade after the company confirmed it was in the "early stages" of a potential bid for Shire PLC , though no offer has been made. In doing so, Allergan will face off against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. , which said on Thursday that its about $60 billion bid for Shire had been rejected, though talks go on. Shire shares surged 8% in extremely heavy Thursday morning trade. Allergan said it must disclose a "firm intention" to make or not make an offer for Shire by 5 pm on May 17 under the United Kingdom's "Takeover Code." (The deadline could be extended if the Takeover Panel agrees to it.) Allergan's interest in an acquisition of Shire was first reported by Reuters. Allergan shares have plummeted 7.8% month-to-date and Shire shares have surged 13.5%, compared with a 2.2% rise in the S&P 500 .

GE's stock surges toward 50-day moving average ahead of earnings

2 hours ago

General Electric Co.'s stock surged 2.2% in morning trade Thursday to a four-week high, as investors prep for the industrial conglomerate's first-quarter earnings report. The rally puts the stock just below its 50-day moving average at $14.04, which many chart watchers use as a guide to the short-term trend. Getting above the technical level doesn't necessarily suggests further gains are coming, as the stock spent just four sessions above its 50-day moving average in mid-January before marking new lows, and just one-session above it in late September before selling off. GE, which is scheduled to report results before the market opens on Friday, is expected to report adjusted earnings per share of 12 cents, according to FacSet, which represents a fourth-straight year-over-year decline. The stock has declined the day that eight of the past nine quarterly reports were released. GE's stock has tumbled 20.2% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 0.1%.

PPG shares slide 1.7% after disclosure of accounting issue

2 hours ago

Shares of paint maker PPG Industries Inc. slid 1.7% in early trade, after the company disclosed an accounting issue that it is now probing. PPG said as it was finalizing its first-quarter earnings, it received a report from its internal system regarding possible violations of its accounting policies. Specifically, it said certain expenses were not properly accrued. The company said a review founds $1.4 million of such expenses, which are now accounted for. However, its audit committee is investigating the report, which suggests up to $5 million in expenses were not properly accrued. "The company is currently unable to predict the timing or outcome of the investigation and will move with diligence," it said in a statement. PPG made the disclosure as it reported first-quarter net income of $353 million, or $1.40 a share, up from $334 million, or $1.29 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose to $3.8 billion from $3.5 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.39 and sales of $3.7 billion. Shares have fallen 4.8% in 2018 so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 1%.

Financial sector rallies, is top-performing industry of the day

2 hours ago

The financial sector rose on Thursday, bucking the negative tone of the overall market and gaining as the top-performing sector of the day. The group rose 0.8%. Among the biggest gainers were American Express Co. , which surged 5.9% a day after reporting results that topped analyst forecasts. Bank of New York Mellon Corp. rose 3.6% after its own results. The gains for the broader financial sector come as the 10-year Treasury note yield rose above 2.9%, flirting with its highs from earlier in the year. Rising long-dated yields are seen as a tailwind for bank profitability. JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 0.8%, Citigroup Inc. was up 1.2% and Morgan Stanley rose 1.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% while the S&P 500 was off 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.5%.

Graftech International prices IPO at $15 a share, below $21 to $24 price range

3 hours ago

Graftech International Ltd. priced its initial public offering at $15 a share, well below its price range of $21 to $24, according to Nasdaq. The maker of graphite electrodes used in steel priced the deal as President Donald Trump threatens tariffs on steel imports, a move that was expected to help the business. The company sold 35 million shares to raise $525 million, fewer than the 37.8 million originally earmarked. The stock will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange later Thursday under the ticker symbol "EAP."

AMD announces new Ryzen processors, stock falls amid chip-sector weakness

3 hours ago

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. announced Thursday the launch of its second-generation Ryzen desktop processors. AMD said the new processors, which are optimized for gaming, have the world's first 12-nanometer process technology and offer up to 15% better performance than AMD's first-generation models. Shares are down 2.1% in Thursday trading amid broad weakness in the chip sector. Shares of Nvidia Corp. are off 1.9% and shares of Intel Corp. are off 2%. The PHLX Semiconductor Index is down 3.2%. AMD shares have fallen 20% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 15% and the PHLX Semiconductor Index has risen 33%.

Apple, chipmaker stocks fall after TSMC delivers weaker-than-expected outlook

3 hours ago

Shares of Apple Inc. and several chipmakers are down in Thursday morning trading after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. delivered a June-quarter outlook that came up short of expectations. Susquehanna analyst Mehdi Hosseini wrote Thursday that he and his team were "lowering our estimates for TSM to account for a steeper than expected inventory digestion by premium Smart Phone customers, particularly Apple." Apple's stock is down 1.9%, while Intel's stock is off 2.3%. Other chipmakers have seen their shares hit as well, including Nvidia Corp. , Qualcomm Inc. , Broadcom Ltd. , and Applied Materials Inc. . The PHLX Semiconductor Index is off 2.8%, while the S&P 500 is down 0.5%.

AmEx's stock surges to pace Dow gainers, P&G shares lead losers

3 hours ago

Shares of American Express Co. surged 5.2% in morning trade Thursday, enough to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average's advancers, in the wake of the charge-card and travel-related services company's first-quarter results. The stock's price gain was adding about 34 points to the Dow's price, which was down 88 points. Just behind AmEx was General Electric Co.'s stock , which climbed 1.8% ahead of the industrial conglomerate's first-quarter results due out early Friday. The Dow's biggest loser was Procter & Gamble Co.'s stock , which shed 3.9%, to shave about 21 points off the Dow's price, after reporting fiscal third-quarter results.

Stocks open lower, S&P 500, Nasdaq threaten to halt 3-session rise

3 hours ago

U.S. stock indexes on Thursday opened slightly lower, with the Dow set to mark a second downbeat day in a row and the broader market benchmarks poised to snap a three-session string of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 50 points, or 0.2%, at 24,686, the S&P 500 index declined 0.4% at 2,696, dragged lower by selling in consumer-staples and technology stocks, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 0.4% at 7,267. On the data front, initial jobless claims declined 1,000 to 232,000 in the latest week. While analyst had expected a somewhat steeper decline, claims remain near a 45-year low. Separately, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's business-conditions index came in at 23.2 in April. In corporate news, hares in Inc. rose as CEO Jeff Bezos late-Wednesday disclosed in an annual letter to shareholders that the e-commerce giant had 100 million memberss in its prime subscription program. Meanwhile, Facebook shares are likely to be in focus after the social network company said it planned to design its own computer chips.

Nucor's stock slips after revenue rises above expectations while profit declines

3 hours ago

Shares of Nucor Corp. swung to a decline of 1.3% in premarket trade Thursday, after the steel products maker reported first-quarter results, while cheering the price increases resulting from tariffs announced on steel imports. Net income slipped to $354.2 million, or $1.10 a share, from $356.9 million, or $1.11 a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet earnings-per-share consensus was $1.09. Revenue rose to $5.57 billion from $4.82 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $5.46 billion. Average sales price per ton increased 9%, while the average scrap and scrap substitute cost per ton rose 19%. The company said it expects performance of its steel mills to improve in the second quarter because of the benefits of announced price increases. "We believe broad-based tariffs with few exceptions are needed to address the historic volume of unfairly traded imports and transshipping that is done to avoid trade duties," the company said in a statement. "We expect improved performance for our steel products segment in the second quarter of 2018 as compared to the first quarter of 2018 as rising steel input costs are being passed on to customers." The stock has lost 4.8% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR Materials Select Sector ETF has declined 5.2% and the S&P 500 has fallen 3.6%.

Eli Lilly, Incyte shares fall after FDA cites issues with rheumatoid arthritis drug

4 hours ago

Eli Lilly & Co. shares fell 1.8% premarket and Incyte Corp. shares dropped 4.5% premarket on Thursday after a Food and Drug Administration briefing document raised issues with their rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib. The drug will go up before a FDA arthritis advisory committee meeting on Monday. The FDA often follows an advisory committee's recommendation, though there are exceptions. The FDA previously failed to approve baricitinib last year, though the drug secured approval in some other countries. Incyte has already had a difficult month, announcing the other week that its trial with Merck for a melanoma drug had failed. Eli Lilly shares have risen 3% month-to-date and Incyte shares have plummeted nearly 16%, compared with a 2.6% rise in the S&P 500 .

MoviePass majority owner stock extends plunge after pricing of public share offering announced

4 hours ago

Shares of MoviePass Inc. majority owner Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. plummeted 34% in premarket trade Thursday, extending earlier losses, after the company announced the pricing of its $30 million public share offering. The company, which owns 92% of movie-theater subscription service MoviePass, said it sold 10.5 million "Series A-2 units" for $2.75 per unit. The units consist of one share of common stock and warrants to buy common shares. That price was 28% below Wednesday's stock closing price of $3.83. The common shares being sold, before the warrants are exercised, would increase the shares outstanding by 20%. The company said it may use the proceeds from the offering to increase its stake in MoviePass, support MoviePass operations, to satisfy amounts payable in connection with previously issued convertible notes and/or for general corporate purposes. The stock had already plunged 52.6% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 had slipped 3.6%.

UPDATE: Tile Shop shares surge 7% after profit tops estimates

4 hours ago

Tile Shop Holdings Inc. shares surged 7% in premarket trade Thursday, after the retailer of natural stone and man-made tiles beat profit estimates for the first quarter. The company said it had net income of $4.0 million, or 8 cents a share, in the quarter, down from $8.0 million, or 15 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Sale fell to $91.1 million from $92.1 million. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 8 cents and sales of $92.8 million. Same-store sales fell 6.8%, matching the FactSet consensus. Interim Chief Executive Robert Rucker said the company eliminated advertised price promotions in the quarter, that allowed it to maintain its gross margin at 70.3%. "Without using the promotional lever in the quarter we did experience the volatility in traffic and sales at comparable stores relative to last year that we expected," he said. "However, we are getting our new tile product on the floors of our showrooms fast and I am encouraged by the initial sales results from the new products we've recently added to our assortment." Shares have fallen 72% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

PayPal stock gains after Susquehanna turns more bullish

4 hours ago

Shares of PayPal Holdings Inc. are up 0.2% in premarket trading Thursday after Susquehanna analyst James Friedman raised his price target on the stock to $93 from $87. Friedman's heightened optimism comes from a further evaluation of PayPal's deal to sell its credit business to Synchrony Financial . "After studying the Synchrony partnership in more detail, we believe our earlier estimates did not fully incorporate the benefits of the Retailer Share Agreements (RSA of roughly 4.5%) payments from Synchrony," Friedman wrote. "These are the ongoing payments Synchrony will pay PayPal for profitability/performance on the PayPal Credit book (mostly 2019 and beyond)." PayPal shares are up 86% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

UPDATE: Philip Morris shares slide 4% after revenue falls short of estimates

4 hours ago

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International Inc. shares slid 4% in premarket trade Thursday, after the company's first-quarter revenue fell short of estimates. The Marlboro distributor said it had net income of $1.556 billion, or $1.00 a share, in the first quarter, down from $1.590 billion, or $1.02 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings were also $1.00, ahead of the FactSet consensus of 98 cents. Revenue rose to $6.896 billion from 46.064 billion, but was below the FactSet consensus of $7.029 billion. The company said it is raising its full-year EPS guidance to $5.25 to $5.40, to reflect a lower tax rate following last December's revamp. It also "incorporates, at this early stage in the year, some caution regarding: on-going volume challenges in the GCC; the pricing environment in Russia; and less-rapid-than-initially-projected growth in sales of devices to consumers in Japan in the first quarter, as we are now reaching more conservative adult smoker segments that may require, at least at first, slightly more time for adoption," Chief Executive André Calantzopoulos said in a statement. "Even if this temporary dynamic in Japan persists, we remain on track to double our worldwide in-market sales of heated tobacco units compared to 2017." Shares are down 11% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

Aceto's stock plunges to pace premarket losers after credit waiver talks, dividend cut

4 hours ago

Shares of Aceto Corp. plummeted 49% toward a 15 1/2-year low ahead of Thursday's open, enough to pace the premarket decliners, after the developer health products and pharmaceutical ingredients maker said it was negotiating credit agreement waivers with its lenders, cutting its dividend, taking a large impairment charge and initiating an evaluation of strategic alternatives. The company also said late Wednesday investors should no longer rely on the profit and sales guidance provided in February, and that Chief Financial Officer Edward Borkowski resigned. The stock was on track to open at the lowest level seen during regular session hours since Nov. 13, 2002. Aceto said it was addressing "persistent adverse conditions in the generics market," which resulted in "intense" competitive and pricing pressures. Aceto said it expects to record impairment charges of $230 million to $260 million on certain marketed and pipeline generic products, and that it expects to make a "significant reduction" of its dividend to help fortify its balance sheet, and provide assurances to its lenders. The stock had plunged 28.4% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 had gained 1.3%.

Roku stock rises after Needham doubts impact of Amazon/Best Buy deal

4 hours ago

Shares of Roku Inc. are up 2.1% in premarket trading after Needham analyst Laura Martin questioned whether the company would be impacted much from Inc.'s plans to set Fire-equipped smart TVs at Best Buy Co. Inc. . News of Amazon's collaboration with Best Buy sent Roku shares tumbling in Wednesday's session. Because Amazon's partnership with Best Buy is exclusive, "this eliminates Amazon as a competitive threat in Walmart , Costco , Target , etc, and Best Buy can still sell all other Roku TVs," wrote Needham's Martin. She also questioned the popularity of the TV brands Amazon is partnering with: "The Insignia brand has not held a top 13 TV market share in the past 10 years and the Toshiba brand fell from about 7.2% market share in 2011 to nearly zero in 2017." Martin rates Roku a buy with a $50 price target on the stock. Roku shares are down 39% so far this year, while the S&P 500 is up 1.3%.

Fed's Brainard sees some signs of financial imbalances

5 hours ago

Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard said Thursday that there are "some signs of financial imbalances in the economy." In a speech to the Global Finance Forum, Brainard said two areas of elevated risk are asset valuations and business leverage. Brainard said that it was premature for the Fed to revisit the calibration of core capital and liquidity requirements for the large banks. "Prudence would argue for waiting until we have tested how the new framework performs through a full economic cycle before we make judgments about its performance," she said. Last week, Brainard voted against a Fed proposal to make changes to a major capital rule, but the proposition moved forward by a 2-1 vote.

Sleep Number shares slide 16% premarket, Wedbush reiterates neutral rating

5 hours ago

Shares of mattress company Sleep Number Corp. slid almost 15% in premarket trade Thursday, after the company missed revenue expectations for the first quarter, and offered soft guidance for the second quarter as it continues to transition to new models. Wedbush analysts reiterated their neutral rating on the stock. As second-quarter transition pressures subsides, the company expects the second half to be better. "While SNBR pointed to sales trends improving in stores that received the new p5 and i8 mattresses in the past two weeks to inform its confidence in its full-year guidance, more sustained and broad-based unit sales growth will be necessary, adding risk to the very back-half loaded guidance and keeping us NEUTRAL on SNBR," they wrote in a note. Stifel analysts said they are optimistic in the longer term that Sleep Number can accelerate sales and earnings growth. Shares have gained 41% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

Fourth executive out at Nike as VP of footwear leaves-Portland Business Journal

5 hours ago

A fourth executive has left Nike Inc. , the Portland Business Journal reported on Thursday, as the company continues with a culture change aimed at creating a more diverse leadership. Greg Thompson, the company's vice president of footwear, left the company Thursday after decades at Nike, the paper reported. On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal said that Vikrant Singh, a senior brand director for the basketball brand in North America, and Daniel Tawiah, vice president of global brand digital-marketing innovation, were being forced to leave the company. A third executive, Antoine Andrews, vice president of diversity and inclusion, was also leaving, the people said. Nike shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 18% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

Pier 1 announces 3-year plan to address 'weaknesses,' after disappointing results

5 hours ago

Pier 1 Imports Inc. announced Thursday a three-year strategic plan, which the specialty home products retailer said will be aimed at addressing certain weaknesses in its business, and is expected to lead to net losses for fiscal 2019. The announcement comes after Pier 1 reported fiscal fourth-quarter results late Wednesday that missed profit and sales expectations, and halted its dividend, which sent its stock plunging 16% in premarket trade Thursday. Pier 1 said it expects $45 million in capital spending toward its "Pier 1 2021: A New Day" plan, which will primarily be spent on information technology, supply chain and store, as well as marketing. "This will pressure profitability, bringing us to an expected net loss for both the first quarter and full year," said Chief Executive Alasdair James. "However, these investments are expected to drive sales growth and profitability in fiscal 2020 and 2021 and are necessary to help us return the business to a sustainable growth trajectory." The company expects to achieve sales growth of 4% to 6% and EPS of 60 cents to 70 cents in fiscal 2021. The stock had tumbled 49.6% over the past 12 months through Wednesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF had gained 6.3% and the S&P 500 had rallied 15.8%.