As of 1 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up 70 points, or 0.43%. Twenty of its 30 stocks are in the black, with eight up more than 1%. The S&P 500 rose 0.28%, while the Nasdaq was down 0.26%. With little economic news today, a Federal Reserve member's comments may be moving stocks in general today.
Before we get to the Dow's big winner of the day, let's look at its biggest loser: shares of Nike (NYSE:NKE) were off by more than 3.3% today. The decline follows the company's earnings release yesterday in which revenue was posted at $6.97 billion, above analysts' estimate of $6.81 billion, and earnings per share hit $0.76, again above analysts expected $0.72. But the concern for investors is what management expects for the future. During the earnings conference call, Nike's CFO stated that growth rate for fiscal 2015 would likely be below the midteens target range. Reasons given for the weakness were currency exchange rates and higher marketing costs. The stock already trades at a healthy valuation, indicating investors expect a good deal of growth; since management is warning that the growth may not all be there, investors are dumping the stock today.
Shares of Visa (NYSE:V) are up 1.3% after a federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling to throw out the Federal Reserve's cap on debit card swipe fees. Retailers have argued that the $0.21 maximum per transaction set by the Fed was too high, but the payment processors won this round. The retailers who are fighting the swipe fees may not let this issue end here, so investors may want to hold off on using this court ruling as their investing thesis.
Outside the Dow, shares of Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) are were nearly 3% after the company reported earnings this morning. The restaurant chain posted sales of $2.23 billion and earnings per share of $0.82, while Wall Street expected revenue of $2.25 billion and earnings per share of $0.82. While this seems that the company matched expectations, in reality these figures from Wall Street were revised downward after management warned that EPS would be lower than expected due to restructuring costs and the poor weather the past few months. The company plans to spin off its Red Lobster chain, which is weighing on the company's performance, but even without that drag, Darden needs a lot of help as its Olive Garden brand is also showing signs of weakness.
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