This morning, the preliminary Thomson Reuter/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index reading of 79.9 in March was released. That figure is lower than the 81.6 in February, and below the 81.8 that economists were expecting. That news, combined with increased uncertainty and rising tensions about the situation with Russia, was enough to push the major U.S. indexes lower today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.78%) lost 43 points, or 0.27%, the S&P 500 fell 0.28%, and the Nasdaq dropped 0.35% today.
One widely followed stock, Sirius XM (SIRI 1.40%), made news of its own this morning as the company announced it was reinstating its share buyback program after Liberty Media (FWONA)decided to drop its bid to acquire the remaining 47% of Sirius that it doesn't own already. Furthermore, Sirius's management said that it remains confident it will have net subscriber additions of 1.25 million in 2014, produce more than $4 billion in revenue, and have more than $1 billion in free cash flow. Shares of Sirius XM rose 2.08% today, while Liberty Media jumped 7.22%.
In the world of retail, there were a number of interesting develops today. One that was quite shocking came from Target (TGT 0.53%). Management warned this morning that the data breach the company experienced last year may have been more extensive than what was previously reported. The statement indicated that the information accessed or stolen may not have been limited to the 40 million customer credit card records, or the 70 million pieces of customer data. While at this time, the company is not hinting at what else may have been compromised, management warned that the company's losses may increase due to the ongoing situation, and the reputation of the business could further experience damage. Shares of the retailer fell 0.62% during the regular trading session.
Another retailer, GameStop (GME -11.06%), had a wonderful day, as shares rose 5.01%. The move came following a report from research firm NPD that found that video game sales came in much better than expected last month. Analysts were expecting sales to tumble 29% when compared to a year earlier, but they fell only 9%. Michael Olson from Piper Jaffray commented on the decline, saying that results were better than expected, and that he still has confidence in the industry. Olsen believes the industry will see improved results, and sales will grow heading into the next holiday shopping season as more gamers update consoles.