The three major U.S. equity indexes closed lower Thursday. The Dow Jones industrials ended the day down 0.02%, the S&P 500 closed 0.31% lower and the Nasdaq retreated 0.35%. Eight of 11 sectors closed lower, with utilities (−1.79%) and consumer cyclicals (−1.27%) leading the slide. Technology (0.21%) and energy (0.12%) posted the largest gains.
The only notable data point due out Friday is the National Association of Realtors report on existing home sales for October. Economists expect the number to decline from 4.71 million in September to 4.38 million. Thursday’s reports on housing starts and new building permits were slightly higher than expectations, and the report on new claims for jobless benefits slipped slightly week over week. Combined with comments from Federal Reserve officials that continued tightening was required in order to avoid a recession, markets opened lower and were unable to climb out of that early hole.
The three major indexes traded higher in Friday’s premarket session.
After U.S. markets closed Thursday, Applied Materials beat analysts’ estimates for earnings per share (EPS) and revenue. The semiconductor equipment maker also issued in-line guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2023. Shares traded up more than 4% in Friday’s premarket.
Gap posted EPS of $0.71, compared to a consensus break-even estimate, and also surpassed revenue expectations. Earnings included a tax benefit of $0.33 per share and excluded a $53 million impairment charge related to the company’s Yeezy partnership. The stock traded up about 9% Friday morning.
Palo Alto Networks also beat estimates on the top and bottom lines. The cybersecurity specialist raised fiscal 2023 guidance. It expects fiscal year billings of $9.95 to $9.1 billion and adjusted free cash flow of 34.5% to 35.5%. Shares traded up more than 9% early Friday.
Ross Stores posted better-than-expected revenue and EPS and also issued upside guidance for fiscal 2023. The company noted, however, that it expects a “very promotional holiday selling season and ongoing inflationary headwinds.” Shares jumped about 16%.
Before markets opened on Friday, Foot Locker beat estimates on the top and bottom lines and raised guidance for a smaller loss than previously expected and better-than-expected EPS. Shares traded up about 14%.
JD.com reported better-than-expected EPS but missed the revenue estimate. The stock traded up by about 2.6%.
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No notable earnings reports are due out after markets close Friday or before they open on Monday. Next week, U.S. markets are closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
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