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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos – Nov 8, 2016 at 5:28PM

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CVS and Hertz stocks stood out with major declines as indexes ticked higher on Tuesday.

Stocks rose on Tuesday, but at a more measured pace than in the prior trading session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.26%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC 1.44%) indexes each gained less than 0.5% as investors looked forward to the end of the uncertainty around the U.S. presidential election.

Today's stock market:


Percentage Change

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S&P 500



Source: Yahoo Finance.

The Emerging Market Index Fund (EEM -0.13%) added to Monday's 3% gain by tacking on another 0.7%, as Asian markets rose. Banks fared slightly worse than the broader market, which led to a slight 0.2% uptick for the Financial Sector Select SPDR Fund (XLF 1.10%).

As for individual stocks, Hertz (HTZG.Q) and CVS (CVS -0.52%) stood out with major moves lower after the companies posted their third-quarter earnings reports and updated investors on their business outlooks.

Hertz lowers its outlook

Hertz saw its shares sliced in half at one point in Tuesday's trading session before the stock rallied to settle at a still-brutal 23% decline. The slump followed a third-quarter earnings report that included several pieces of bad news for the business.

Image Source: Getty.

Hertz was impacted by an unfavorable accounting adjustment, higher expenses, and surprisingly low demand for its cars. Together, these factors produced a 2% decline in rental revenue and a 42% slump in profits.

Hertz executives highlighted the progress that they made at improving the rental experience. For example, the company rolled out electronic rental agreements that speed up the experience. Changes like these helped push customer satisfaction scores significantly higher, the company said. Still, "our near-term financial performance continues to be uneven," CEO John Tague said in a press release.

Hertz sees no quick end to the issues that brought down this quarter's results, and management lowered its 2016 business outlook. The company expects rental revenue to decline by about 3% as opposed to the 1% drop it signaled in early August.

Adjusted earnings took a much bigger hit, with projections falling to $0.70 per share from $3.13 per share. While that profit-outlook downgrade was rough, investors have more reason to be concerned that Hertz's rental volume is declining as ride-sharing services continue to steal market share.

CVS sees 2017 challenges

Pharmaceutical retailer CVS fell 12% on news that management expects a rough operating environment for its 2017 fiscal year. Third-quarter trends were solid, though, with sales rising 16%, to $6 billion. The pharmacy segment again led the way higher, managing a 19% spike thanks to increased claim volume.

Image source: Getty Images.

The retailing division fared slightly worse as generic drug introductions combined with a minor decline in customer traffic to keep same-store sales growth at 2%, or just on par with the prior-quarter's result. "We posted a solid third quarter with the PBM exceeding our expectations and retail performing at the lower end of our expectations," CEO Larry Merlo said.

CVS lowered its 2016 profit outlook to $4.87 per share from $4.96 per share due to several factors that are pushing pharmacy volume demand lower. These challenges are expected to impact the 2017 fiscal year to an even greater extent, though.

The company sees earnings being pressured by the loss of over 40 million retail prescriptions due to marketplace changes. As a result, CVS is bracing for lower profits in its retailing segment, even as the pharmacy division continues to churn higher.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Hertz Global Holdings. The Motley Fool recommends CVS Health. 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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