After a nearly 200-point gain yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) started off the morning pushing north of 16,000, but ultimately closed down 31 points or 0.2%. Global markets were up for a sixth straight day, lifting American equities in the morning on promising trade data from China as investors seemed to forget about the emerging-market currency crisis just weeks ago.
Later in the day, a negative update from Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG ) on its 2014 outlook seemed to weigh on the broader market as shares of the consumer-goods giant finished down 1.7%. P&G's changed its guidance primarily because of recent foreign currency fluctuations, though it maintained expectations for organic growth at 3-4% and constant-currency EPS growth of 12%-14%. It said it would incur a one-time charge of $0.08 to $0.10 in Venezuela because of changes in importation laws, and that overall sales growth would be negatively affected 2%-3% from global currency changes. EPS growth was revised down to 3%-5%. Though losses caused by exchange rates are essentially cosmetic and not reflective of the organic health of the company, Procter & Gamble's announcement was felt across the market, because it reflects conditions that many other multinational businesses are experiencing and their earnings are likely to suffer because of it.
Another big-name stock moving down after hours was Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM ) , as shares fell 7% after its earnings report missed expectations on all counts. The organic grocer posted earnings of $0.42, below estimates of $0.44, while revenue rose 9.9% to $4.24 billion, short of the consensus at $4.3 billion. Same-store sales were solid, improving 5.4% during a quarter where many retailers saw lackluster sales, but guidance also disappointed the market as Whole Foods said it now sees 2014 EPS of $1.58-$1.65, down from previous guidance at $1.65-$1.69 and below the analyst consensus at $1.68. For the year's sales, it expects top-line growth of 11%-12% and same-store sales of 5.5%-6.2%.
Despite the shortfall, management sounded optimistic about the future, saying it expects store count to eventually more than triple in the U.S. to 1,200 or more. Still, today's report should be a reminder to investors that the company's P/E of 38 carries high expectations with it and that a grocery chain can only grow so fast. Competition from Trader Joe's and other upstart alternative brands may also be giving the company a run for its money.
Finally, Angie's List (NASDAQ: ANGI ) shares were getting dumped after hours, dropping 15% after the recommendation website badly missed earnings estimates in its quarterly report as adjusted per-share profit came in at $0.05, short of the consensus at $0.13. Revenue skyrocketed 48.9% to $68.8 million, but that wasn't enough to convince investors that the company is capable of making meaningful profits anytime soon. Its guidance also missed the mark as it sees sales of $71.5-$72.5 million, while the Street was expecting $74.2 million.
Looking for a few no-brainer stocks?
It's no secret that investors tend to be impatient with the market, but the best investment strategy is to buy shares in solid businesses and keep them for the long term. In the special free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," The Motley Fool shares investment ideas and strategies that could help you build wealth for years to come. Click here to grab your free copy today.