Stocks End Modestly Higher


Stocks seesawed to a modestly higher finish Wednesday. Trading was choppy as investors wait for new reform measures from debt-ridden Greece.

Visa (V) and Whole Foods Market (WFM) were higher after hours as both reported quarterly results above views. Networking giant Cisco Systems (CSCO) was also up in extended trading after it, too, topped expectations.

The Nasdaq climbed 0.4% and the S&P 500 gained 0.2%. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones industrial average ended fractionally higher. Turnover climbed across the board. Despite little movement in the major averages, some leaders had big moves.

On the heels of late Tuesday’s better-than-expected earnings report, Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) gapped up and rocketed 17% to an all-time high. Volume swelled to more than 10 times average. Even in the face of volatile chicken prices, Buffalo Wild Wings’ earnings and sales surged 33% and 34%, respectively. Those were the biggest gains in many quarters.

Ralph Lauren (RL) gapped up and surged 9% to an all-time high. It gapped above a 164.65 buy point from a cup base in almost five times average trade. Before the open, the apparel firm beat expectations with a 3% rise in fiscal Q3 profit and a 17% gain in sales. Ralph Lauren also raised its full-year revenue outlook. Shares were up 14% at their session highs.

InvenSense (INVN) rose 3% in fast trade and bounced back from Tuesday’s downside reversal. The stock also finished at a new closing high. InvenSense is well-extended after clearing an IPO base Jan. 9.

On the downside, Panera Bread (PNRA) tumbled 5% after reporting disappointing quarterly sales late Tuesday. The stock closed 4% past a 145.56 buy point from a flat base. It had been up as much as 11% after breaking out Jan. 13.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) ended off its session low, but still down 3% in its busiest session in almost four months. The company reports earnings Thursday. Wall Street sees profit rising 31% to 34 cents a share. Alexion closed 9% past a 70.52 flat-base buy point cleared Dec. 27.

Expedia (EXPE), Nuance Communications (NUAN) and True Religion Apparel (TRLG) are among some other notable companies reporting earnings Thursday. Initial jobless claims and wholesale inventories will also be out Thursday.


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