Stocks were essentially flat on Tuesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) indexes each finished lower by less than 0.1%.

Today's stock market


Percentage Change

Point Change




S&P 500



Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Financial stocks saw some of the heaviest trading, but the popular Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLF) edged past the broader market with a 0.3% increase. The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEMKT:GDX), meanwhile, tracked the small uptick in gold prices by rising 0.7%.

As for individual stocks, Dicks Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) and SINA (NASDAQ:SINA) made big moves following the companies' quarterly earnings releases.

Ticker screen showing a mix of winning and losing stocks.

Image source: Getty Images.

Dicks Sporting Goods lowers expectations

Dicks Sporting Goods shares dropped almost 14% following first-quarter earnings results that showed mounting pressure on the retailer's sales growth trends. Revenue at existing locations rose 2.4%, which was below the guidance range that management issued in early March, when it predicted gains of between 3% and 4%. Earnings met analysts' expectations, however, as profitability held steady and the company trimmed its expenses. Yet inventory rose by 10%, outpacing revenue gains and pointing to the potential for declining margins ahead.

Men playing basketball.

Image source: Getty Images.

Executives stressed the steady sales growth trends in an unusually weak quarter for retailers. "Despite a challenging retail environment," CEO Edward Stack said in a press release, "we realized growth across each of our three primary categories of hardlines, apparel and footwear." Management also highlighted the double-digit gains Dicks saw in the e-commerce sales channel, which ticked up to 9.3% of sales from 9.2% a year ago.

Dicks still plans to continue plowing resources into its online division while also opening 43 new sporting goods locations this year, in addition to eight new stores under the Golf Galaxy brand. The retailing slowdown will pinch overall results in 2017, though. Stack and his team lowered their full-year guidance to comparable-store gains of between 1% and 3% from the prior target of 2% to 3%. Either result would represent a decline from last year's 3.5% boost.

SINA accelerates revenue growth

Chinese internet platform SINA jumped 17% after announcing surprisingly strong first-quarter results. A surge in advertising demand pushed revenue up 40% to $275.5 million, compared to consensus estimates that were targeting $265.1 million. Gross profit margin soared to 69% of sales from 59%, and that improvement helped the company blow past profit expectations. Rather than generating $0.14 per share of earnings, SINA posted $0.50 per share of profit.

CEO Charles Chao focused his remarks on the company's booming social media segment, Weibo, which boosted its base of monthly active users by 30% to 340 million as mobile browsing grew to over 90% of the base. "We started the year 2017 with a great quarter," Chao said. "Weibo continued its strong momentum with accelerated growth in revenues and impressive expansion of user base."

Heading into this release, investors had expected SINA to post sales growth of roughly 33% this year as earnings spike by 61% to $2.32 per share. But, given the market-thumping start to the year, those targets may need to rise. SINA's transition into a mobile-dominated platform apparently isn't pressuring its user growth, or its ability to monetize that growing base through advertising sales, and so its profit prospects are brightening.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.