1. Stock market winners ...
So what's in the cards for the maker of all the kinds of home furnishings your mom is now into? Expansion. Restoration Hardware has 69 stores on this side of the Atlantic and wants to open another 30 that it expects will lead to $5 billion in annual sales. That kind of strategy got investors excited -- and so did word that profits were up 200% from last year.
CEO Gary Friedman had plenty of other fine goods to share with Wall Street as well. The financial analysts over at Restoration Hardware are quite an optimistic bunch -- as part of the earnings report, the company announced that it expects full-year 2014 revenue to reach $1.8 billion, with the help of $443 million to $453 million in revenue in the second quarter.
While America seems to have been loading up on Restoration Hardware goods this past spring, they weren't buying Lululemon clothes for their workouts. Shares of lululemon athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) plummeted nearly 16% Thursday after a tied-up earnings report. On one hand, revenue beat Wall Street's expectations, rising 11% from last year to $385 million. But same-store sales fell 4% and the company also cut its full-year revenue projections, down to $1.8 billion from $1.82 billion.
Keep in mind that the past year has been as bad for Lululemon's brand image as not-stretching is for your muscles post-run. First, there was the sheer-pants fiasco, which cost Lulu over $60 million as it recalled see-through yoga gear. And later in the year, founder Chip Wilson was basically pushed out after he made some obnoxious comments about women's bodies wearing Lulu goods.
Now there's a new CEO in town, Laurent Potdevin, and with that move came some bold plans out of the Vancouver-based company. Lulu's CFO is exiting, but the company announced last week that it plans to buy back $450 million worth of Lulu stock. Plus, the company is adding 20 stores in Europe and Asia within the next three years, along with 14 pop-up stores in North America.
3. Iraqi violence rocked airline stocks and oil prices
A little bit of sectarian violence can go a long way. Insurgents have been tearing through northern Iraq over the past week -- and since Iraq is the second biggest oil producer in OPEC, the international cartel of nations that control oil production, investors worried whether a civil war could affect oil supplies. Limited oil would jack up the price, which was good news for oil and gas drilling companies, but bad for airline stocks such as Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV).
4. Official international econ outlook wasn't good
Thanks for nothing, World Bank. The international institution is best known for providing loans to developing countries, but last week it lowered its forecasts for global economic growth from 3.2% to 2.8% in 2014. The pessimistic economists over at the World Bank had two reasons: First, the world's biggest economy -- that would be ours here in the U.S. -- surprisingly shrank 1% in the first quarter because of pesky winter weather. And second, the Ukraine-Russia crisis hasn't sat well with investors worldwide.