Stocks ended higher on Thursday with the major averages posting modest gains after another choppy session for US stocks.
As the closing bell rang on Wall Street, the S&P 500 was up 0.24%, the Dow was up just under 0.1% and the Nasdaq was up 0.2%.
This bounce followed Wednesday’s trading which was seen all three indices recorded losses with the Nasdaq falling more than 1%.
Beneath the surface of the undecided indexes, the retail sector remained in focus, with the last meme rally for the bed bath and beyond (BBBY) and earnings from BJ’s Wholesale Club (BJ) and Kohl’s (KSS) attracting the bulk of investors’ attention.
Kohl’s results before the opening bell were disappointing on the downside, and the retailer’s stock closed Thursday’s session down nearly 8%.
Kohl’s lowered its full-year forecast, saying it expects sales to fall 5% to 6% after previously expecting a modest increase in sales this year. Full-year earnings per share are now expected to be between $2.80 and $3.20; the company had previously expected earnings per share in a range of $6.45 to $6.85.
Separately, shares of BJ’s Wholesale Club gained 7% on Thursday after the company reported results that beat estimates and the company raised its profit forecast.
In a statement, the company said: “Our business model is designed to work well in today’s consumer environment where value is king.” Same-store sales at BJ’s clubs increased 19.8% year-over-year in the second quarter.
A Kohl’s label is seen on a shopping cart at a Kohl’s department store in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., January 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Elsewhere in retail, shares of Bed Bath & Beyond continue to fascinate investors, falling 19.6% after a The SEC filing on Wednesday revealed Ryan Cohen has applied to sell its entire stake in the retailer.
Cohen’s RC Ventures, which owns an 11.8% stake in the retailer, disclosed its plans to offload the stake in a Form 144 filed with the SEC on Tuesday; as of the filing date, Cohen had not sold any shares. Cohen first disclosed his position at Bed Bath & Beyond in March.
In a statement this Thursday, Bed Bath & Beyond said: “We are pleased to have reached a constructive agreement with RC Ventures in March and are committed to maximizing value for all shareholders. We continue to execute on our priorities to improve liquidity, make strategic changes and improve operations to win back customers , and drive cost efficiencies, all to restore our company to its heritage as the best home destination, for all stakeholders.Specifically, in recent weeks we have been working rapidly with financial advisors and external lenders to strengthen our balance sheet and the The company will provide more information in an update later this month.”
In another curiosity related to this saga, the The Financial Times reported on Wednesday afternoon a 20-year-old college student from New Jersey cashed in $110 million during the recent Bed Bath & Beyond demonstration. Jake Freeman told the FT he raised $25 million from friends and family, put it all into Bed Bath & Beyond, sent a letter to the company requiring it to fix its capital structure, and then charged.
At the index level, traders continued to monitor the 200-day moving average in the S&P 500, a level the index reached on Tuesday and has since traded below, suggesting that the longer-term trend of the market remains controlled.
WTI crude futures, which on Tuesday hit their lowest settlement since Jan. 25, rose more than 2.5 percent on Thursday, with oil near $90.60 a barrel.
On the economic side, the weekly report on initial jobless claims showed that fewer Americans than expected applied for unemployment insurance for the first time last week. The data showed 250,000 initial claims were filed, less than the 260,000 economists had expected. Initial claims have been closely watched over the summer for signs of a softening labor market.
existing Home sales data also showed a steeper-than-expected fall in the number of completed transactions last month, with house prices falling from June to July, the first month-on-month price decline since January. Even so, house prices increased by 10.8% compared to last year in July.