Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Stock Market Today: Wal-Mart Slips as Tesla Roars

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:00AM

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

Why Wal-Mart, Tesla, and IMAX stocks are on the move today.

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 lower start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.29%) lost 39 points, or 0.24%, in premarket trading. World markets fell overnight, thanks to new manufacturing data out of China and the eurozone that was weaker than expected. Japan's Nikkei index was the biggest daily mover once again, dropping 2% overnight.

Closer to home, today's economic calendar is light. But a fresh reading on the housing market from the National Association of Realtors is expected to show a small slowdown in existing home sales for January when it is released tomorrow at 10 a.m EST. Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today's session, including Wal-Mart (WMT 1.10%), Tesla Motors (TSLA -6.24%), and IMAX (IMAX -3.38%).

Wal-Mart this morning announced soft results for its fiscal fourth quarter. Yes, the retail giant managed to slightly beat earnings expectations, booking profit of $1.60 a share while analysts were expecting $1.59. However, comparable-store sales shrunk in the quarter -- and for the full year, leading to a worse than expected revenue result. The company also offered weak guidance for the coming year, saying that it may not meet its overall profitability goal. Wal-Mart stock is down 2% in premarket trading.

Tesla shares are spiking higher after the company last night booked a record 6,900 Model S deliveries for the fourth quarter. That sales boost helped the electronic vehicle maker double its revenue from the prior year, to more than $615 million. Tesla's gross margin also climbed to 25%, which powered a significant reduction in quarterly losses, to $0.13 versus $0.62 per share a year ago. In a conference call with analysts after the announcement, CEO Elon Musk said demand for the new Model X, set for delivery next year, is already building despite zero marketing for the crossover. "It's like the fish are jumping in the boat," he said. Tesla's stock is up 12% in premarket trading.

Finally, IMAX today booked a 91% boost in per-share profit to $0.44 for the fourth quarter. Sales, at $105 million, came in solidly ahead of Wall Street's expectations as well. Big theatrical hits like Gravity and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug helped power a record box office quarter for IMAX, but investors should be even more optimistic about the company's 277 new theater signings in 2013, which was double the prior year's pace. IMAX's stock is up 12.5% in premarket trading.

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

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$31,787.62 (-0.29%) $-92.62
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Stock Quote
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
WMT
$123.95 (1.10%) $1.35
IMAX Corporation Stock Quote
IMAX Corporation
IMAX
$15.15 (-3.38%) $0.53
Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
TSLA
$632.76 (-6.24%) $-42.14

*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 service.

Stock Advisor Returns
334%
 
S&P 500 Returns
117%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/24/2022.

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.