Stocks flat heading into afternoon ahead of long weekend
Stocks are flat at midday after data showing that U.S. retail sales rose in January for a fourth straight month and a reading on consumer sentiment hit its highest level in about two years. Meanwhile, China's Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, reported almost 5,000 new cases, but the estimate of the death toll in China was trimmed to 1,380 as officials said they had found some double counting.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales increased 0.3% for both the headline and ex-autos figures in January. Import prices were flat in January, and export prices rose 0.7%. Industrial production fell 0.3% in January, with capacity utilization slipping to 76.8%. Business inventories rebounded 0.1% in December with sales dipping 0.1%. The preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for February rose 1.1 to 100.9, which was better than expected.
TOP NEWS: On the earnings front, shares of Nvidia (NVDA) rose 7% after the company reported better than expected results for the fourth quarter and provided upbeat guidance for the upcoming quarter. Many analysts raised their price targets on the stock following the report, with RBC Capital analyst Mitch Steves saying he expects the stock to continue to work higher given the improvement in its mix of business as well as the quality of its earnings and margins.
Expedia (EXPE) shares jumped over 11% higher after the company reported upbeat Q4 results and guided for "double-digit" EBITDA territory for fiscal 2020. The company noted on its quarterly call, however, that it expects first quarter adjusted EBITDA to be "down substantially" and that it sees a $30M-$40M impact on adjusted EBITDA in Q1 from pressures related to the coronavirus outbreak.
In addition, Mattel (MAT) reported better than expected earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter and guided for 2020 gross sales growth as reported of 1%-2.5%. Despite the results and JPMorgan analyst Tami Zakaria raising her price target on the shares, Mattel was trading 4% lower near noon.
Meanwhile, Yelp (YELP) shares dropped 9% after the company reported lower than expected quarterly results, provided fiscal 2020 revenue growth guidance, and named David Schwarzbach as its new CFO.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was BioXcel Therapeutics (BTAI), which surged 57% after SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robyn Karnauskas more than sextupled her price target on the shares to $150 from $24. Also higher were ImmunoGen (IMGN) and Canopy Growth (CGC), which gained a respective 24% and 16% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Pinterest (PINS), which slipped 1% after The Information reported yesterday that an experimental group within Facebook (FB) has released a Pinterest-like app for saving and sharing photos. Also lower were CarGurus (CARG) and LivePerson (LPSN), which fell 25x% and 24%, respectively, after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 40.39, or 0.14%, to 29,382.92, the Nasdaq was up 2.51, or 0.03%), to 9,714.48, and the S&P 500 was down 0.37, or 0.01%, to 3,373.57.