Stock Markets Ends Mixed

By VICTOR REKLAITIS, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

Stocks finished mixed but near their session highs Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.1%, after spending most of the day in negative territory. The Nasdaq lost 0.2%, after being down as much as 0.8%. The S&P 500 dipped a fraction. Volume rose from Wednesday’s level for the NYSE, but decreased for the Nasdaq, according to unconfirmed figures.

After the market’s close, Michael Kors (KORS) rose as it updated its fiscal second-quarter guidance. The clothing maker hiked its EPS target to 38 to 40 cents, up from 33 to 35 cents and above Wall Street’s forecasts for 36 cents. It sees Q1 revenue of $510 million to $520 million, also above forecasts. Michael Kors was No. 4 in Wednesday’s IBD 50.

Also after the bell, Oracle (ORCL) lost ground as it reported adjusted EPS for its fiscal first quarter that matched expectations, along with revenue that missed estimates. The business software giant has an IBD Composite Rating of 93 out of a best-possible 99.

During the regular session, economic reports were mostly discouraging. On the downside, the U.S. reported higher initial weekly jobless claims than expected, and the Conference Board’s index of leading indicators unexpectedly sank 1.9% in August.

On the upside, the Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing gauge for September wasn’t as bad as had been feared.

But the news from abroad was more troubling: The preliminary reading for a China purchasing managers’ index predicted an 11th straight factory slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy. Japan’s exports fell 5.8% in August, as demand from Europe and China teetered.

On Friday, KB Home (KBH) is among the companies expected to report quarterly results.

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