The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) rally was losing steam in early afternoon, leaving it up 41 points, to 16,372, at 1:30 p.m. EDT on no real news. Nike (NYSE: NKE ) was down 3.6% after guiding lower for the year. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) was at breakeven at 1,872.
Nike is just one of five stocks on the Dow Jones down for the day. After a volatile Wednesday caused by uncertainty over the Federal Open Market Committee's latest policy statement, the market has resumed its move upward as the Fed's near-zero interest rate policy looks set to continue at least to mid-2015.
The athletic-apparel maker reported third-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $0.76 per share, better than analyst expectations of $0.72 per share and better than the previous year's $0.73 per share. The year-ago quarter's earnings do not include a boost from Nike's sale of Cole Haan in February 2013. Revenue was up 13% to $6.97 billion, above analyst expectations of $6.81 billion.
CFO Don Blair said he expects currency movement will be a headwind to further earnings growth: "This year's devaluation of developing market currencies will be a significant drag on next year's reported revenue, gross margin and profit growth." This, combined with more investment costs, caused him to lower his guidance for 2015 earnings-per-share growth from the midteens to somewhat below that.
The investments the Blair referred to include multiple product launches around the 2014 World Cup, more investment in retooling the company's operations in China, and a reported $1 billion renewal of its sponsorship of the Manchester United soccer team.
For me the story remains unchanged. The market is overvalued, the Fed continues to do all it can to keep asset prices high, and risks are building in the financial markets. It's hard to stay sober while everyone around you is drunk on Fed-stimulus punch, telling you to join in on the fun. My advice: Keep learning, focus on your goals, have an investing plan, stick to it, and ignore the crowds.
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