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November 20, 2014 - US Stock Market Update
Stocks End Higher After Data Morningstar Investment Research
U.S. Market stocks pared early losses to end higher today after data.
The consumer price index was unchanged in October from the previous month. Economists had expected a 0.1% decline. Falling gas prices led energy prices down 1.9%. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, prices were up 0.2% from September levels. Prices are up 1.7% over the last year.
Initial unemployment claims fell by 2,000 to 291,000 last week. The less volatile four-week moving average rose by 1,750 to 287,500. Claims remain at a level consistent with a low level of layoffs and a growing jobs market.
The Philly Fed Index, which measures the strength of the Mid-Atlantic manufacturing sector, surged to 40.8 in November from 20.7 in October. The index last hit those levels in 1993. Economists had expected a modest decline. The reading is at odds with other manufacturing metrics which have shown small declines recently.
At market close the Dow and S&P 500 were each up 0.2% while the Nasdaq was 0.6% higher.
Stocks on the Move
Shares of Best Buy (BBY) were up nearly 7% after the firm reported better-than-expected results. The firm said it earned 30 cents a share, up from 12 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was also ahead of estimates, rising to $9.38 billion from $9.33 billion in the 2013 quarter. The firm said that they expect same-store sales to be flat in the fourth-quarter and for earnings to rise slightly.
Salesforce.com's (CRM) fiscal 2015 third-quarter results were within our range of expectations, but management's revenue outlook for the next fiscal year points to a modest deceleration in revenue growth.Total quarterly revenue grew 29% to more than $1.3 billion, while unbilled deferred revenue (which represents customer contracts that do not sit on the balance sheet) grew 29% to $5.4 billion, providing good visibility into growth for the next couple of years. Total deferred revenue, including the $2.2 billion sitting on the balance sheet, is now $7.6 billion. Across all segments (sales cloud, service cloud, marketing cloud, and platform), growth was strong, ranging from 2% to 6% sequentially, and the company's momentum outside its core sales cloud is significant. Shares were down 4.5% at market close.
Williams-Sonoma's (WSM) third-quarter performance exceeded our internal forecasts as well as the company's previous guidance, with total brand comps increasing 8.7%, supported by strength across all segments. Same-brand comps rose 7% at Pottery Barn, 4% at Williams-Sonoma, 9% at Pottery Barn Kids, 17% at West Elm, and 12% at PBteen, leading to total revenue growth of 9%. Direct-to-consumer sales increased 15%, to represent more than half of company sales for the third quarter in a row. Shares soared over 8% on the report.
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