Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Dow Futures Rise as J.C. Penney Scrambles for Cash

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

According to stock index futures as of 7:40 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) will begin the trading day higher this morning, rising 35 points at the opening bell. The blue-chip index has closed lower in each of the last five sessions, but it still sits near its all-time high.

European shares were slightly lower on heavy volume as traders positioned themselves for a last-minute political scramble to fund the U.S. government into the new fiscal year that begins next week. Japan's Nikkei index jumped 1.2% higher overnight amid talk that the government might cut the corporate tax rate.

With those broader trends in mind, here are a few individual stock stories to watch in today's market.

Nike (NYSE: NKE  ) could see active trading today, as analysts expect it to book solid growth in its first report as a Dow component, set for release this afternoon. Nike should log $0.78 in profit -- a 22% boost over last year -- on quarterly sales of about $7 billion. Keep an eye on gross margin, which has improved lately as Nike's average selling prices tick higher. Still, rising raw-material and labor costs could push it down this quarter. Shares are unchanged in premarket trading.

Outside the Dow, J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP  ) is in dire straits. The retailer may be looking to issue up to $1 billion in new shares, according to Reuters. At nearly half of J.C. Penney's current market cap, an offering of that size would be extremely dilutive to existing shareholders. Still, if you're holding the stock, dilution is the least of your worries. As of last month, Penney reported total liquidity of $1.85 billion and total debt of $5.82 billion, leaving it little room to maneuver if sales growth doesn't return during this holiday season. J.C. Penney shares are down 9% in premarket trading after falling 15% yesterday.

Hertz (NYSE: HTZ  ) shares look set to dip after the company ratcheted back its profit guidance. The company's investor presentation today includes a revised outlook of about $1.72 in full-year EPS versus the $1.87 Hertz expected back in February. Rental volumes have apparently come in much weaker than anticipated. Shares are down 9% in premarket trading.

Finally, McCormick (NYSE: MKC  ) reported earnings this morning that were a bit bland. The spice maker grew revenue by 4% and met Wall Street's expectations of $0.78 a share in profit. However, nearly all of that sales boost was due to acquisitions, rather than organic growth. The company also lowered its outlook for the rest of the year. Quick-service restaurants are seeing weaker traffic, which has hurt demand from McCormick's business clients. The company's shares are up 0.5% in premarket trading.

Retail Isn't All Bad
To learn about two retailers with much better prospects than J.C. Penney, take a look at The Motley Fool's special free report: "The Death of Wal-Mart: The Real Cash Kings Changing the Face of Retail." In it, you'll see how these two cash kings are able to consistently outperform and how they're planning to ride the waves of retail's changing tide. You can access it by clicking here.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2655548, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/28/2016 5:01:39 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,339.24 110.94 0.61%
S&P 500 2,171.37 11.44 0.53%
NASD 5,318.55 12.84 0.24%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/28/2016 4:20 PM
^DJI $18339.24 Up +110.94 +0.61%
HTZ $40.27 Down -1.28 -3.08%
Hertz Global Holdi… CAPS Rating: ***
JCP $9.55 Down +0.00 +0.00%
J.C. Penney CAPS Rating: *
MKC $97.77 Up +0.22 +0.23%
McCormick CAPS Rating: ****
NKE $53.25 Down -2.09 -3.78%
Nike CAPS Rating: *****