Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Investors can expect a flat start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) gained an insignificant nine points in premarket trading. World markets got an overnight boost from good news out of Europe: the eurozone region's growth pace picked up slightly in the fourth quarter. Next up on today's economic calendar is a fresh reading on U.S. consumer confidence, which is expected to show a slight dip to 80.2 from January's 81.2 reading when it is released at 9:55 a.m EST.
Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today's session, including Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB), J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM), and Jos. A. Bank (UNKNOWN:JOSB.DL).
Campbell Soup announced today that revenue improved by 6% in its fiscal second quarter, thanks in part to a healthy boost in soup sales over the holiday season. Profit grew to $0.74 a share, or slightly more than Wall Street had expected. Campbell is seeing progress in both its cost-cutting and sales-boosting initiatives, but still faces some short-term pain -- particularly as it pivots its beverage business. Still, the company believes it can meet the goals it laid out for the full year, of 4% to 5% sales growth and roughly 3% earnings-per-share growth. Campbell's stock is up 2.5% in premarket trading.
Specialty clothing shop Jos. A. Bank said today that it booked a strong holiday season, with comparable-store sales rising 9.1% over the period from Nov. 3 through Dec. 24. Gross margin also ticked higher, meaning the company didn't have to slash prices to keep its top line growing. However, Jos. A. Bank warned that those trends reversed over the last few weeks thanks to cold weather and poorly received post-Christmas sales. Separately, the company announced that it is purchasing the Eddie Bauer brand from privately held Golden Gate Capital for more than $800 million. Jos. A. Bank's stock is down 3.2% in premarket trading.
Finally, J.M. Smucker this morning posted results for its fiscal third quarter in which sales fell by 6% to $1.47 billion, while profits jumped by 13% to $1.66 a share. Both the top and bottom-line figures were slightly below analysts' expectations. The food company, whose portfolio features top brands including Folgers, Pillsbury, and Jif, continued to struggle to find growth in a tough retail environment, but is seeing the benefits of falling costs for coffee and peanut butter. Smucker's stock is down 1.2% in premarket trading.