Stocks took a step back on Thursday. After seven straight record-notching sessions the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) declined by 77 points, or 0.4%. The broader S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) slipped by the same margin as well.
In economic news, the housing market is on a roll, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors. Existing home sales increased for the fourth consecutive month to reach a 5.6-million-unit annual pace in June. First-time buyers took a bigger piece of the market, likely prodded by this year's declining mortgage rates .
eBay brightens its outlook
eBay jumped 11% after the online marketplace beat consensus estimates and raised its 2016 sales and profit forecast. Revenue rose 6% as initiatives to simplify the service and broaden its offerings began to pay dividends. eBay passed 1 billion live listings for the first time and its marketplace volume rose 3%, representing a solid improvement from the prior quarter's 1% uptick . "Q2 was another good quarter where we delivered strong results and had acceleration in growth," CEO Devin Wenig said in a press release.
Recent acquisitions added to the core momentum as the StubHub business posted a 40% spike in transactions, up from a 34% growth pace in Q1.
As for finances, eBay's operating margin improved to 24% of sales from 20%. That improvement helped earnings tick higher by 2% to $0.43 per share – edging Wall Street targets by a penny.
It was the company's upgraded outlook that likely got investors in a buying mood, though. Wenig and his team forecast a stronger Q3 than consensus estimates, and they raised their full-year guidance to $8.9 billion, representing roughly 6% growth. Three months ago that forecast stood at barely 4% growth. Given the low multiple that investors had assigned to eBay shares heading into this report, accelerating sales gains were enough to spark a double-digit surge in the stock on Thursday.
Domino's sells a ton of pizza
Americans have a huge appetite for pizza. Domino's stock rallied by 6% to touch a new all-time high after the chain posted its 21st consecutive quarter of comparable-store sales growth. These were impressive comps too, with its 5,200 existing U.S. locations growing at a 10% pace to mark an acceleration over the prior quarter's 6% boost .
The extra demand produced mouth-watering financial gains for Domino's investors: Net income rose 7% and earnings per share spiked higher by 21% with help from hefty stock repurchase spending by management. Operating income held steady at 19% of sales.
"The business continued to progress in a very positive direction," CEO J. Patrick Doyle said in a press release.
Domino's debt costs were a nagging issue, with interest expenses rising to 5% of sales from 4% a year ago. The pizza chain's $2.2 billion of debt far exceeds its cash on hand and in fact represents nearly one-third of its market capitalization. Executives are still determined that stock buybacks are a better target for excess cash than debt repayment. Given Thursday's stock price jump, investors appear to have no problem with those priorities – assuming Domino's can keep up its market thumping growth pace.