Me­dia and re­tail losses pull stock in­dexes away from highs

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - BUSINESS - By Mar­ley Jay

NEW YORK » U.S. stock in­dexes re­treated from their record highs Thurs­day as re­tail­ers and me­dia com­pa­nies de­clined and in­vestors shrugged at quar­terly re­ports from a few big banks.

Cloth­ing com­pa­nies and other re­tail­ers fell af­ter women’s cloth­ing com­pany J. Jill slashed its third-quar­ter fore­cast. The com­pany’s stock lost more than half its value.

AT&T had its worst one-day loss since 2008 af­ter it said lost more satel­lite and cable TV sub­scribers in the third quar­ter. Other cable and satel­lite TV com­pa­nies also stum­bled. In­dus­trial com­pa­nies and house­hold goods mak­ers fin­ished higher.

JPMor­gan Chase and Cit­i­group both did bet­ter than an­a­lysts ex­pected in the third quar­ter, but their stocks fell and so did shares of other banks. They’ve made big gains over the last month.

CFRA In­vest­ment Strate­gist Lind­sey Bell said the com­pa­nies re­ported good re­sults from their con­sumer bank­ing busi­nesses, but other di­vi­sions didn’t do as well.

“The bar was set kind of high,” she said. “Given the run that th­ese stocks have had into th­ese earn­ings re­ports, they’re go­ing to need to see th­ese other busi­nesses pick up steam.”

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex fell 4.31 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 2,550.93. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age lost 31.88 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 22,841.01. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite dipped 12.04 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 6,591.51. Those three in­dexes closed at record highs Wed­nes­day. The Russell 2000 in­dex of smaller-com­pany stocks slumped 1.76 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 1,505.16.

More stocks rose than fell on the New York Stock Ex­change.

AT&T said it lost about 90,000 DirecTV video sub­scribers in the U.S. in the third quar­ter be­cause of grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion in stream­ing video ser­vices. That’s a big­ger drop than the one it re­ported a year ago even though it’s launched DirecTV Now, an on­line ser­vice that doesn’t cost as much. The com­pany said tighter credit stan­dards and hur­ri­canes also af­fected its busi­ness. AT&T stock fell $2.33, or 6.1 per­cent, to $35.86.

Ver­i­zon Com­mu­ni­ca­tions shed 51 cents, or 1 per­cent, to $48.35 and cable provider Com­cast fell $1.47, or 3.8 per­cent, to $35.95. Dish Net­work slid $2.62, or 5.1 per­cent, to $49.03. Cable chan­nel op­er­a­tor Dis­cov­ery Com­mu­ni­ca­tions lost 72 cents, or 3.6 per­cent, to $19.28.

In­dus­trial and trans­porta­tion com­pa­nies like rail­roads did bet­ter than the rest of the mar­ket. Ma­chin­ery maker Cater­pil­lar gained $1.39, or 1.1 per­cent, to $129.99 and rail­road op­er­a­tor Nor­folk South­ern rose $2.20, or 1.7 per­cent, to $133.69.

Cit­i­group said its in­vest­ment bank­ing busi­ness did well in the lat­est quar­ter, while JPMor­gan Chase said its con­sumer bank­ing busi­ness im­proved com­pared to a year ago. But Cit­i­group fell $2.57, or 3.4 per­cent, to $72.37 and JPMor­gan gave up 85 cents to $95.99.

Bell, of CFRA Re­search, noted that banks have jumped and re­gional bank stocks have done es­pe­cially well over the last month, but the third quar­ter is a tricky one for many banks be­cause stock and bond mar­ket trad­ing is fairly quiet.

J. Jill stock nose­dived af­ter the re­tailer of women’s clothes, shoes and ac­ces­sories slashed its out­look for the third quar­ter. The com­pany said re­tail and di­rect-to-con­sumer sales both fell short of its ex­pec­ta­tions and cut its earn­ings fore­cast in half. J. Jill stock opened at $13 a share af­ter its March IPO and on Thurs­day it plunged $5.07, or 51.1 per­cent, to $4.86.

Re­tailer Ex­press sank 53 cents, or 8.3 per­cent, to $5.88 and Chico’s FAS lost 57 cents, or 7.2 per­cent, to $7.40. Gap lost $1.21, or 4.3 per­cent, to $27.21.

South­west Air­lines rose and Hawai­ian skid­ded af­ter South­west said it plans to start fly­ing to Hawaii. It will start sell­ing tick­ets for those flights in 2018. South­west stock picked up 26 cents to $58.81 while Hawai­ian Hold­ings lost $1, or 2.5 per­cent, to $39.

Bench­mark U.S. crude oil lost 70 cents, or 1.4 per­cent, to $50.60 a bar­rel in New York. Brent crude, used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, fell 69 cents, or 1.2 per­cent, to $56.25 a bar­rel in Lon­don. That weighed on en­ergy com­pa­nies.

Whole­sale gaso­line dipped 3 cents to $1.58 a gal­lon. Heat­ing oil shed 2 cents to $1.77 a gal­lon. Nat­u­ral gas jumped 10 cents, or 3.5 per­cent, to $2.99 per 1,000 cu­bic feet.


The screens of spe­cial­ist Robert Tuc­cillo are re­flected in his glasses as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Ex­change, Thurs­day. U.S. stock in­dexes re­treated from their record highs Thurs­day as re­tail­ers and me­dia com­pa­nies...

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