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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Jim Crumly - Sep 26, 2018 at 5:00PM

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Major benchmarks pulled back after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, but SurveyMonkey stock soared following its IPO. Nike fell despite strong results.

The Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates on Wednesday, and stocks fell after the news conference despite being up earlier in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI 0.00% ) and the S&P 500 ( ^GSPC 1.17% ) went into the red in the last hour of the session.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow (0.40%) (106.93)
S&P 500 (0.33%) (9.59)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

The new communication services sector had the best performance today, with the Communication Services Select SPDR ETF ( XLC 1.65% ) rising 0.4%. Bank stocks fell on the flattening yield curve; the SPDR S&P Bank ETF ( KBE 2.52% ) dropped 1.8%. 

As for individual stocks, SVMK, Inc. ( MNTV 1.53% ), the parent company of SurveyMonkey, soared on its first day of public trading, and Nike ( NKE -0.78% ) fell despite reporting results that beat expectations.

Percent signs and business man's hand.

Image source: Getty Images.

Investors cast their votes for SurveyMonkey

SVMK, commonly known as SurveyMonkey, the software-as-a-service company that allows users to easily set up online surveys, went public today. Investors snapped up the shares, with the stock opening at $18.75 and closing at $17.24, 44% above the offering price of $12. The company offered 13.5 million shares, plus 2 million reserved for the underwriters and 3.3 million shares for a private placement with the venture capital arm of salesforce.com. Assuming the underwriters take their full allotment, SurveyMonkey will have 123.4 million shares outstanding and a market capitalization of $2.1 billion based on today's closing price.

SurveyMonkey was founded in 1999 and has grown to dominate its niche of cloud-based surveys. The company offers a free product and monetizes its user base through upgrades to paid subscriptions for products with more features, up to enterprise-level offerings. It has 60 million registered users and 16 million active users globally. Revenue comes from 616,000 paying users, 3% more than last year at this time.

Core revenue, which excludes sales of a discontinued product, grew 18.7% to $102 million in the first half of 2018, and average revenue per user increased 14% to $400. The company is not profitable, reporting a loss of $0.27 per share in the first six months of the year compared with a loss of $0.19 in the first half of 2017.

Losses and a high valuation relative to sales didn't deter investors today, though.

Nike is gaining strength in North America

Nike delivered fiscal first-quarter results that beat expectations, as the company is seeing renewed growth in North American sales. Investors took the results in stride, and shares slipped 1.3%. Revenue grew 9.7% to $9.95 billion, slightly ahead of what observers were expecting. Earnings per share increased 17.5% to $0.67, beating the analyst consensus of $0.63.

As has been true in recent quarters, sales into Asia are energizing Nike's results. Revenue from Greater China was up 20% on a currency-neutral basis and sales in the Asia Pacific and Latin America region grew 14%. Europe, Middle East, and Africa sales increased 9% excluding currency. Sales into Nike's largest region, North America, were up 6%, compared to 3% growth in the previous quarter and after struggling last year to get any growth at all. Gross margin increased 50 basis points from the period a year earlier. Nike officials said on the conference call that the Nike Digital channel grew sales by 36%.

Nike said that its recent controversial Just Do It ad campaign has been successful, stating that it has driven record engagement with the brand. The company declined to raise guidance for the year, though, and that may have disappointed some investors today.

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.

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Stocks Mentioned

NIKE, Inc. Stock Quote
NIKE, Inc.
NKE
$168.91 (-0.78%) $-1.33
Momentive Global Inc. Stock Quote
Momentive Global Inc.
MNTV
$19.20 (1.53%) $0.29
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$34,580.08 (0.00%) $0.00
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$4,591.67 (1.17%) $53.24
SPDR Series Trust - SPDR S&P Bank ETF Stock Quote
SPDR Series Trust - SPDR S&P Bank ETF
KBE
$54.82 (2.52%) $1.35
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund Stock Quote
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund
XLC
$75.93 (1.65%) $1.23

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

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