What Happened in the Stock Market Today

Universal Display and Foot Locker stocks both spiked as indexes fell, then recovered.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos
Demitrios Kalogeropoulos
Feb 24, 2017 at 4:56PM
Consumer Goods

Stocks spent most of Friday's session in the red before breaking higher at the end of the trading day. By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) indexes had each gained less than 0.25%.

Today's stock market


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Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Financial stocks were relative losers, with the popular Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLF) trailing the broader market by posting a 0.77% drop. The Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEMKT:NUGT) fell nearly 3% despite a slight uptick in gold prices.

Outside the stock exchange in New York.

Image source: Getty Images.

As for individual stocks, Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) and Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) both made large moves following their quarterly earnings announcements.

Universal Display finds growth

Universal Display shares surged 20% after the release of the OLED technology specialist's fourth-quarter report. Sales spiked nearly 20% to push the company to the high end of the full-year guidance range that executives issued in early November. Thanks to that jump, revenue rose 4% to $198.9 million for the year. Fourth-quarter profits, meanwhile, improved to $25.8 million, or $0.55 per share, from $18.1 million, or $0.39 per share in the prior-year period.

A man using a smartphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

"We are pleased to report that 2016 finished on a strong note," Chief Financial Officer Sidney Rosenblatt said in a press release. Executives were especially encouraged by Universal Display's solid execution in emitter sales given that its product pipeline offers a wide range of next-generation emitter material technology.

The company issued an aggressive outlook for the current year that calls for sales to range between $230 million and $250 million, equating to growth of 16% to 26%. Management cautioned that the OLED industry remains in its infancy, and so expansion trends are hard to predict. Yet Universal Display appears set to begin reaping big financial rewards from its deep portfolio of intellectual property as tech giants around the world load up on display and lighting solutions.

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Foot Locker's solid holiday quarter

Foot Locker gained 9% after announcing solid holiday-season quarterly results. Sales at existing locations rose 5% to mark an acceleration over the prior quarter's 4.7% increase, which implies the company had no trouble attracting customer traffic even as the broader retailing industry struggled.

A jogger running through the forest.

Image source: Getty Images.

Net income spiked 25% year over year to $1.42 per share as gross profit margin ticked slightly higher, and those gains were enough to power its seventh straight year of sales and profit growth. In a statement, CEO Richard Johnson said the results were "a strong testament to Foot Locker, Inc.'s solid position at the center of sneaker culture." The company's inventory position improved, with inventories rising at a slower pace than revenue.

Looking forward, executives said the current sales environment is weak, mainly because of a delay in the timing of income tax refunds. That quirk might pinch revenue growth in the short term, but Johnson and his team are still targeting accelerating revenue gains in 2017 and a double-digit increase in earnings per share. Investors are simply taking Foot Locker's latest results as evidence that the retailer is capable of delivering on those aggressive goals this year.