Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Jim Crumly - Dec 7, 2017 at 5:05PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

As major benchmarks advanced, shares of Lululemon rose on strong sales and outlook, and Sage Therapeutics soared following positive results in a drug trial.

Stocks moved higher on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.05%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC 1.05%) both up a little more than a quarter percentage point.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow 0.29% 70.57
S&P 500 0.29% 7.71

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Investors who weren't preoccupied with watching bitcoin soar above $16,000 were busy bidding up shares of biotech and industrial stocks today. The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI 3.06%) climbed an impressive 2.9% and the Industrial Select SPDR ETF (XLI 0.87%) added 0.9%.

As for individual companies' stocks, lululemon athletica (LULU -3.39%) reported strong sales growth, and Sage Therapeutics (SAGE -0.06%) made a huge gain on positive drug trial results.

Rising stock graph and stock prices.

Image source: Getty Images.

Lululemon grows sales, predicts strong holiday buying

Shares of yoga wear vendor Lululemon jumped 6.4% after the company reported accelerating sales in its fiscal third quarter and raised its outlook for the year. Revenue grew 14% to $619 million and adjusted earnings per share increased 19% to $0.56. Wall Street analysts were expecting revenue growth of 12% and EPS to rise 11%.

Comparable sales rose 8%, or 7% on a constant currency basis. Most of the growth was attributed to booming online sales, which grew 26% over last year, although comparable sales in the company's physical stores grew a respectable 2%.

For the full fiscal year, Lululemon raised its guidance for comps from low-single digits to mid-single digits and its adjusted EPS guidance to $2.45 to $2.48, above the $2.41 analyst consensus. 

"The strength of our Q3 earnings supports our unique position as the global brand defining an active, mindful lifestyle," said CEO Laurent Potdevin in the press release. "As we start the holiday season, I'm energized by our momentum and we are increasing guidance to reflect this performance."

Lululemon is showing impressive results in revitalizing its brand after some missteps a few years ago and a slow start to 2017. An upbeat view on holiday sales along with good execution had investors cheering today.

Sage Therapeutics soars on depression drug trial results

It's just not normal for a stock to skyrocket 70% in a single day, but then again, it's not normal to hit two grand slams in a single inning, which is essentially what Sage Therapeutics has done. The clinical-stage biotech reported positive trial results for a depression drug for patients suffering from major depressive disorder less than one month after reporting similarly strong results in a trial of a different drug for severe postpartum depression.

Today's announcement concerned results from a phase 2 trial of SAGE-217 in 89 adults with moderate-to-severe major depressive disorder. The patients showed statistically significant improvement the morning after the first dose and for the four weeks following. At day 15, 64% of patients receiving the drug achieved remission, compared with 23% of the placebo group. There were no serious or severe adverse reactions.

On Nov. 9, Sage reported results from two phase 3 trials of its drug brexanolone in women with severe postpartum depression. The trials showed significant improvements from 60 hours after taking the drug to 30 days later.

"There has been little innovation in the discovery and development of treatments for depression in the last two decades," said CEO Jeff Jonas, M.D., in today's press release. "Coupled with our recent positive Phase 3 data read-out evaluating brexanolone for the treatment of postpartum depression, the findings in this study suggest our pipeline of proprietary GABA modulators may impact novel and fundamental brain mechanisms, offering potential development opportunities in a variety of indications."

The promise of Sage's new approach to depression drugs having such rapid effectiveness had investors bidding up shares today.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Lululemon Athletica Inc. Stock Quote
Lululemon Athletica Inc.
$263.38 (-3.39%) $-9.23
Sage Therapeutics, Inc. Stock Quote
Sage Therapeutics, Inc.
$32.28 (-0.06%) $0.02
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$31,097.26 (1.05%) $321.83
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$3,825.33 (1.05%) $39.95
SPDR Series Trust - SPDR S&P Biotech ETF Stock Quote
SPDR Series Trust - SPDR S&P Biotech ETF
$76.54 (3.06%) $2.27
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund Stock Quote
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund
$88.10 (0.87%) $0.76

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/02/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.