Stocks came under pressure Thursday as investors worried that increasingly negative rhetoric from China may indicate that a trade deal may not be near. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) fell almost 450 points but partially recovered, and the broader S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) also had a significant loss despite a late rally.
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The price of crude oil tumbled 5.6% to below $58 a barrel, making the energy sector the biggest loser today. Interest rates declined, lifting rate-sensitive utilities.
Jump in profit at Best Buy overshadowed by trade concerns
Technology retailer Best Buy met revenue expectations in the first quarter and beat profit forecasts, but shares fell 4.8% as investors grappled with the potential impact of China tariffs. Revenue ticked up 0.4% to $9.14 billion and non-GAAP earnings per share increased 24% to $1.02. Analysts were expecting EPS growth of only 5%.
Comparable sales grew 1.1%, at the high end of the company's guidance, with a 1.3% gain in the U.S. and a 1.2% decline internationally. Domestic comparable online sales increased 14.5%.
Despite the big jump in Q1 earnings, Best Buy only maintained its guidance for full-year profit, saying that it now includes the impact of the recent increase in China tariffs from 10% to 25%, but does not include the effect of a wider list of goods that is being considered by the Trump administration. The company wouldn't speculate on the impact of broader tariffs, and in a market already jittery about trade, that was enough to send the stock down.
Surgical robot sales lift Medtronic
Shares of medical device maker Medtronic rose 3.2% after the company reported results for the fiscal fourth quarter that beat profit forecasts and gave better-than-expected guidance for fiscal 2020. Revenue was flat at $8.1 billion, but reflected 3.6% organic growth, and non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.54 exceeded the $1.47 Wall Street was expecting.
Medtronic had challenges in its cardiac business and dealt with a shutdown of a supplier that sterilizes medical devices, but strong growth in robotic surgery systems resulting from the company's acquisition of Mazor Robotics boosted profits. The cardiac and vascular group had 1.1% sales growth in constant currency, the supplier-affected minimally invasive therapies group managed 5.1% growth, and sales for the restorative therapies group, which includes the Mazor business, increased 6.5%. The diabetes segment, which had a difficult comparison with last year, had a sales gain of 0.6%.
Looking forward, Medtronic expects organic sales growth in fiscal 2020 to be 4%, with non-GAAP EPS between $5.44 and $5.50, up 4.8% from last year and better than the analyst consensus of $5.44.