Wall Street Ends Mixed; Genesco Plunges On Weak Sales

By Scott Stoddard, Investor’s Business Daily

Stocks ended mixed Friday as lawmakers continued negotiations to avoid year-end tax hikes and spending cuts that could send the economy back into recession.

The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 rose a fraction while the Nasdaq dipped 0.1%. All three indexes had posted modest losses during the day. Volume rose 20% on the NYSE and 16% on the Nasdaq, according to preliminary figures.

House Speaker John Boehner said negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff have gone “almost nowhere.” He added that White House plans to boost taxes by $1.6 trillion and enact an additional $50 billion in stimulus spending would deal a “crippling blow” to the still-struggling economy.

Apparel retailer Genesco (GCO) plunged 9% in huge volume after Q3 profit rose 19% on an 8% increase in sales, both better than expected. However, the company said sales for the critical Q4 period are off to a slow start.

Genesco, which operates Journeys shoe stores and Lids Sports hat and clothing stores, has corrected 29% and has a long way to go to repair its chart.

Meanwhile, VeriSign (VRSN) plunged 13% in massive volume after the Commerce Department extended its contract to manage dot-com domain names through 2018 but froze domain-name pricing.

VeriSign is now 31% off its high and is far below its 10- and 40-week lines.

On the upside, FleetCor Technologies (FLT) reversed higher to end up more than 1% in heavy volume. The stock closed near the top of its intraday range, a bullish sign, and is just 1% off its high.

The provider of fuel cards to commercial vehicle fleets is 26% past a 41.40 cup buy point, putting it well out of buying range. The stock’s Relative Strength line is also just off its high.

Elsewhere, cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty (ULTA) soared more than 7% in huge volume, jumping back above its 50-day line. The company reported after the close Thursday that Q3 profit jumped 41% on a 22% rise in sales, beating estimates.

Friday’s big gain contributed to a base-building effort that began in early September.

Economic data due Monday include the Institute For Supply Management’s manufacturing index, construction spending and auto sales.

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