Stocks were under pressure on Tuesday, Nov. 7, as oil prices pulled back from a massive surge a day earlier.
The Dow slipped 0.11%, the S&P 500 fell 0.08%, while the Nasdaq fell 0.32%. Indexes were higher earlier in the day, even hitting intraday records. Any gains for the three benchmark indexes would put them on track to close at all-time highs after ending the previous session at records.
Crude oil prices slipped on Tuesday after their best gains in nearly a year a day earlier. Prices had rallied following political upheaval in Saudi Arabia. Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia's crown prince arrested a number of his political rivals in what was justified as a crackdown on corruption. The arrests consolidated power for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a notably pro-OPEC force in Saudi politics, making it even more likely that the oil cartel's production caps will be extended, according to analysts. A deal among Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to expire in March 2018.
West Texas Intermediate crude was down 0.7% to $56.94a barrel on Tuesday following its best daily increase since Nov. 30 a day earlier.
Energy stocks pulled back on Tuesday after leading markets on Monday. Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A) , Chevron Corp. (CVX) , BP PLC (BP) , Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) and Petrobras (PBR) were all lower. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) fell 0.3%.
Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) was one of the worst performers on the Nasdaq on Tuesday after disappointing fourth-quarter guidance. The travel bookings site anticipates fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $13.40 to $14 a share, below analysts' estimates of $15.57 a share. For the third quarter, Priceline earned an adjusted $35.22 a share, above estimates of $34.26.
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) led the Dow, continuing to rise on reports it was interested in acquiring assets of 21st Century Fox (FOXA) . It isn't certain that a deal could come from discussions held in recent weeks. Reports of negotiations broke on Monday, sending both companies sharply higher.
Disney was also higher ahead of its earnings report on Thursday, Nov. 9. Analysts expect a solid fourth-quarter performance with net income rising to $1.15 a share over the three months to September, higher than $1.10 a year earlier. Sales are expected to come in on the weak side with revenue growth of just 1.2% to $13.3 billion, according to FactSet numbers.
Growth in Disney's media networks unit will be a closely watched metric. That business segment, which accounts for 43% of total revenue, has been under the hammer on falling paid subscriber numbers, higher programming costs, lower advertising sales, and an underperforming ESPN. It's a tough environment for any media company, Disney included -- viewership of ad-supported TV is in a four-year decline and has dropped 14% year over year this quarter, Bernstein analysts pointed out.
In earnings news, Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) said Tuesday that fiscal second-quarter profit rose 16% and it raised its annual profit forecast for a second time this year on a weaker yen and a jump in sales. Japan's biggest automaker said profit for the July-September quarter was 458.2 billion yen ($4 billion), up from 393.7 billion yen a year earlier. Sales in the quarter rose 10% to 7.14 trillion yen. Toyota said its RAV4 sport-utility vehicle and Camry sedan posted strong sales in the U.S.
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (SEAS) rose sharply despite posting a disappointing quarterly performance. For the quarter, SeaWorld posted adjusted earnings of 64 cents per share on revenue of $437.7 million. Analysts expected adjusted earnings of 81 cents per share on revenue of $451.2 million.The company also reported a decline in third-quarter attendance of approximately 732,000 guests, a drop attributed to a series of hurricanes in late August and early September.
Weight Watchers International Inc. (WTW) roared higher by nearly 18% after a better-than-expected third quarter. Net income rose to 65 cents a share from 53 cents a year earlier. Analysts expected profit of 51 cents a share. Revenue of $323.7 million beat estimates of $316 million.
Etsy Inc. (ETSY) swung to a quarterly profit in its third quarter. The online crafts company earned 21 cents a share in its recent quarter compared to a loss of 2 cents a share a year earlier. Analysts anticipated earnings of 7 cents a share. Revenue surged nearly 22% to $106.4 million, higher than an estimated $105 million.
Billionaire activist Bill Ackman overwhelmingly lost his bid to shake up the board and massively restructure Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) . Ackman had been seeking a minority slate of three seats on ADP's board, including one for himself. However, ADP shareholders voted to re-elect all of the payroll company's directors and Ackman and his two other candidates received support from holders of less than 20% of ADP's outstanding shares.
Job openings unexpectedly rose in September, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that openings increased to 6.093 million in September, up from 6.082 million in August. Analysts expected the measure to remain flat.
Updated from 10:30 a.m. ET, Nov. 9.
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