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Stock Market Today: Microsoft’s Xbox Play and American Eagle's Challenge

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:00AM

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Why Microsoft, Dick's Sporting Goods, and American Eagle Outfitters stocks are on the move today.

Investors can expect a quiet start to the stock market today: The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI -0.17% ) has gained an insignificant 13points in pre-market trading. Wall Street won't find much direction from global stocks, which stayed put overnight. Europe's STOXX index, for example, was flat after losing almost 2% over the prior two trading sessions on Ukraine jitters. 

Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today's session, including Microsoft ( MSFT -1.97% ), Dick's Sporting Goods ( DKS -2.67% ), and American Eagle Outfitters ( AEO 0.23% ).

Microsoft's highly anticipated video game Titanfall hits shelves today, and the tech giant is hoping that the launch will reinvigorate sales of its Xbox One console. Despite Microsoft's strong start, Sony has pulled ahead in the early rounds of this generation of console wars -- booking 6 million sales of its PlayStation 4 device through February. Still, Microsoft is "making a big bet that Titanfall is going to be a blockbuster launch for Xbox," a company executive told Reuters in an interview last night. That's far from just wishful thinking: The title has garnered early critical praise, and by bundling the shooter with the Xbox One console at no extra cost, Microsoft has blunted Sony's pricing advantage for now. Microsoft's stock is down 0.08% in pre-market trading.

American Eagle Outfitters announced this morning that revenue shrunk by 7% in its fiscal fourth quarter, to $1.04 billion. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $0.27 -- 51% below last year's haul. While those disappointing top and bottom-line figures were on par with what analysts expected, investors can't be happy with the retailer's brutal 7% decline in same-store sales. The same goes for American Eagle's profitability, which was cleaved in half in the quarter, to an operating margin of 8.2%. The company also issued weak guidance for the current quarter, saying that "business conditions remain challenging." American Eagle's stock is down 4.6% in pre-market trading.

Finally, Dick's Sporting Goods today booked an 8% boost in profit to a quarterly record of $1.11 a share. The retailer's fourth-quarter revenue also improved by a healthy 8% to $1.9 billion, matching analysts' estimates. An impressive 7.3% jump in overall same-store sales was powered by gains at its sporting goods stores, while its underperforming Golf Galaxy locations detracted from growth. Dick's provided an outlook for 2014 that called for earnings of roughly $3.05 per share, slightly lower than Wall Street was targeting. The stock is up 1.8% in pre-market trading. 

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Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$34,580.08 (-0.17%) $-59.71
Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$323.01 (-1.97%) $-6.48
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. Stock Quote
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
$26.32 (0.23%) $0.06
Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. Stock Quote
Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc.
$110.87 (-2.67%) $-3.04

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

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