NEW YORK, August 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
U.S stocks remained relatively flat on Thursday, as investors anticipate Fed Chair Janet Yellen speech on Friday during the central bank's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 29 points to 21,782, a decline of 0.13%. The S&P 500 was down 5.1 points, or 0.21%, at 2,438. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 7 points, or 0.11%, to 6,271. This could be Yellen's last speech at the annual event. It remains unclear if the current Presidential Administration will replace the Fed Chair in February. "The concern is that a new person would come in and fundamentally shake up the way the Fed does policy," said Luke Bartholomew, Investment Strategist at Aberdeen Investments, according to CNBC. "In the short term, at least, I think the market would be concerned about what that change would mean." Momo Inc (NASDAQ: MOMO), 58.com Inc (NYSE: WUBA), Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW), Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE: SIG), Guess?, Inc. (NYSE: GES).
This year's Jackson Hole meeting will be particularly important. Investors will be looking for specific information on short and long term plans the Fed has regarding interest rates. "You can't underestimate the importance of Jackson Hole, and this year is especially interesting," said Brian Battle, Director of Trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners, according to MarketWatch. "Yellen's commentary will be closely watched, because investors want to know both if the Fed will be raising rates, and also the timing and the magnitude of the Fed unwinding its portfolio."
Momo Inc (NASDAQ: MOMO) stock fell about 20% on Tuesday after the company announced financial results for the second quarter 2017. Net revenues increased 215% year over year to $312.2 million. Monthly Active Users were 91.3 million in June 2017, compared to 74.8 million in June 2016. Cost and expenses were $246.0 million in the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 189% from $85.2 million in the second quarter of 2016. Yan Tang, Chairman and CEO of Momo, is optimistic. "The usage of short video service has reached new milestones and revenues from live video service has hit new record highs," the CEO commented. "More importantly, with the newly launched 8 series, we have moved on to make new explorations and innovations in the social and entertainment territories."
58.com Inc (NYSE: WUBA) stock jumped more than 18% Monday, financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017. The company reported total revenues of RMB 4,581.6 million (US$676.3 million), a 32.6% increase from the same period of last year. Income from operations reached RMB 660.3 million (US$97.5 million), compared with loss from operations of RMB103.1 million during the same period of last year. "We are excited to report that revenues significantly exceeded the higher end of our guidance during the quarter," commented Mr. Michael Yao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of 58.com. "Among all our categories, jobs continued to deliver the fastest year-over-year growth and increasingly accounts for a larger proportion of total revenues. While the housing market in tier one and two cities remains relatively soft, revenues from our housing category continue to show resilience by performing better than expected."
Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) shares fell Wednesday after the home improvement company reported net earnings of $1.4 billion and diluted earnings per share of $1.68 for the quarter ended August 4, 2017, compared to net earnings of $1.2 billion and diluted earnings per share of $1.31 in the second quarter of 2016. For the six months ended August 4, 2017, net earnings were $2.0 billion and diluted earnings per share were $2.37 compared to net earnings of $2.1 billion and diluted earnings per share of $2.29 in the same period a year ago. "While our results were below our expectations in the first half of this year, the team remains focused on making the necessary investments to improve the customer experience and drive sales. This includes amplifying our consumer messaging and incremental customer-facing hours in our stores which will put pressure on our operating margin. We believe this is the right strategy to more fully capitalize on strong traffic trends in what we believe is a supportive macroeconomic backdrop for home improvement," said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's Chairman, President and CEO of Lowe's.
Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE: SIG) stock jumped more than 16% Thursday as the retailer of diamond jewelry announced its results for the 13 weeks ('second quarter Fiscal 2018') ended July 29, 2017. Signet's total sales were $1,399.6 million, up $26.2 million or 1.9%, compared to a decrease of 2.6% in the 13 weeks ended July 30, 2016 ('second quarter Fiscal 2017'). SSS increased 1.4% compared to a decrease of 2.3% in the second quarter Fiscal 2017. Virginia C. Drosos, Chief Executive Officer of Signet Jewelers, said, "Our encouraging second quarter performance reflects Signet's fundamental competitive strengths and the progress we are making on our strategic priorities."
Guess?, Inc. (NYSE: GES) shares jumped more than 17% after the apparel retailer released financial results for its second quarter ended July 29, 2017. The company's total net revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2018 increased 5.3% to $573.7 million, compared to $545.0 million in the prior-year quarter. Guess showed a weaker than expected performance in the U.S. Americas Retail revenues decreased 11.2% in U.S. dollars and 10.8% in constant currency. Victor Herrero, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Overall, the Company revenues increased 5%, operating margin expanded 120 basis points and operating profit grew 49% compared to last year's second quarter. We continue to see the results of our efforts in Europe and Asia, where our revenues were up 20% and 17%, respectively, mainly driven by new store openings, wholesale growth and positive comp sales."
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