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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Bradley Seth McNew – Oct 7, 2016 at 5:32PM

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The market remained mostly tepid today following the September jobs report, but Gap and others still made headlines. Here's your Friday review.

Image Source: Getty.

The stock market ended slightly down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -1.63%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC -1.65%) both ending the day down less than a percentage point.


Percentage Change for the day

Percentage Change for the week


-0.15%  -0.02%

S&P 500

-0.33%  -0.36% 


The big news in the market today was the September jobs report, which showed a solid increase of 156,000 jobs during September. The markets remained tepid however, because unemployment actually rose to 5% and economists had been expecting slightly better numbers, according to the Wall Street Journal. There were also a few companies making headlines today.

Gap's fortune turns for the better

Clothing company Gap (GPS -3.65%) started its fall season on a bad note when it was reported that a fire broke out at one of its distribution centers at the end of August. Gap has reported relatively weak sales for the last few quarters as lower mall traffic and competition from online retail has pressured sales and sent many investors packing. 

Today, Gap posted September sales comps down 3% year over year, but analysts were excited about the increase in sales from its Old Navy brand, and some actually suggested the fire may help to reduce inventory and increase average selling price. Gap posted its best single day stock increase since 2008, a jump of 15% to $26.25 at close. 

Image source: Gap Inc. 

Ruby Tuesday leaves investors unsatisfied

Ruby Tuesday (RT) moved swiftly downward today. The restaurant chain reported a loss yesterday after the market closed. The restaurant company's sales declined 8.2% during the quarter year over year. Same store sales dropped 2.7%, and the company reported a loss of $39.7 million, or $0.11 per share. Ruby Tuesday has closed 95 restaurants in the last year and will likely close more in the quarters to come for what the company says will "ultimately create a stronger Ruby Tuesday for the future." The stock fell as much as 16% throughout the day, but reversed slightly at the end to only a 7% drop. 

The acquisition chatter continues

The rumor mill has been alive and well this week talking about potential acquisitions and mergers between major companies. The biggest talk of the week has been Twitter (TWTR) and its potential suitors, most notably (NYSE: CRM) but also Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), and Disney (NYSE: DIS). Most of those now seem unlikely, and as a result Twitter's stock got crushed, dropping around 20% through the week. Speaking about a potential acquisition today on CNBC, Twitter's former COO Ali Rowghani said: "You know, my sense is that at the current prices, it's pretty unlikely." 

Another rumor that came out this week was that Kroger (NYSE: KR) was considering a bid for Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM) in order to further its scope of organic and natural food. The rumor gained more steam today, though Citigroup analysts chimed in that the expensive acquisition would be unlikely. Kroger has already had considerable success with its Simple Truth natural food private label, and is building smaller, more localized stores itself which are competing with the Whole Foods model. 

Preparing for another week

In the week ahead, there are a few companies reporting earnings that investors won't want to miss, such as Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) which continues to deal with the fall-out of its recent account-creation scandal. Of course, the biggest unknowns in the coming week will be how the market reacts to the presidential debate on Sunday and the effects of Hurricane Matthew. Both of these events have the capacity to disrupt the market, so brace yourselves, Fools. 

John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Seth McNew owns shares of Apple, Walt Disney, and Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares),, Apple, Twitter, Walt Disney, Wells Fargo, and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2018 $90 calls on Apple, short January 2018 $95 calls on Apple, and short October 2016 $50 calls on Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool recommends We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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