Today's stock market
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Big technology stocks led the market higher; the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLK) closed up 1.1% to an all-time high. Elsewhere, the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLV) gained 0.9%.
As for individual stocks, shares of Movado Group (NYSE:MOV) surged higher after the company reported strong results and raised guidance for the full year, and GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) soared on trial results that bolstered the case for its cannibinoid drug.
Movado soars on strong quarter, improved outlook
Luxury-watch maker Movado reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter results and raised full-year guidance, causing the stock to rally 11.4%. Sales increased 6% to $190.7 million and adjusted earnings per share rose 14% to $1.04. Analysts were expecting both EPS and sales to fall from Q3 last year, to $0.85 and $176 million, respectively.
Guidance for 2018 revenue was raised 3% at the midpoint to a range of $550 million to $555 million, and EPS guidance was increased 10% to $1.70 to $1.75. It was the second straight quarter Movado raised full-year guidance.
"Our powerful portfolio of brands combined with the strength of our innovation pipeline and solid execution of our strategies by our team led to a productive quarter, highlighted by increased sales and growth in adjusted diluted EPS," said Chairman and CEO Efraim Grinberg. "This performance was delivered even as the U.S. retail environment remains challenged. International sales growth led our performance with particular strength in Europe, Latin America, China and the Middle East."
Luxury-goods stocks had a tough 2016 but have been making a comeback this year, largely on the strength of demand outside the U.S. Movado has been cutting costs, developing in its direct-to-consumer online channel, and earlier this year, acquired the Olivia Burton brand. The company also started selling a Movado-brand digital watch based on the Android Wear platform. A surprisingly good quarter after a solid Q2 and an optimistic outlook on the holiday season pleased investors today.
Positive trial results lift GW Pharmaceuticals
GW Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company focused on developing and commercializing drugs derived from marijuana, announced trial results that support the effectiveness of its cannibinoid drug Epidiolex, a treatment for some rare forms of epilepsy. Shares closed higher by 11.1%.
The results appeared in abstracts the company released in advance of presentations to the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting next month. The findings that propelled the stock provided evidence that the drug has benefits even when it is not given in conjunction with an anti-seizure drug, clobazam, that has some drawbacks for long-term use. Patients who took Epidiolex alone had a 49.5% reduction in seizure frequency, while those on both drugs had a 59% reduction.
"We continue to see a robust flow of data from the Epidiolex clinical program and look forward to sharing these new data with the epilepsy community at AES," said CEO Justin Gover in the press release. "Importantly, data in the abstracts show long-term maintenance of safety and efficacy, as well as that patients on Epidiolex who achieved clinically meaningful responses did so regardless of concomitant clobazam therapy."
GW Pharmaceuticals has drawn attention from investors as one of the biggest pure-play marijuana stocks, with one Wall Street investment firm putting a $165 target on the shares. The company is awaiting FDA approval of Epidiolex in the U.S.