- The S&P 500 gained 0.8% on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, as strong earnings reports from tech and consumer discretionary firms helped stocks push higher.
- Solar company Enphase Energy and electrical equipment provider Emerson Electric issued positive 2024 forecasts, and their shares soared.
- Shares of VF Corp. dropped after the apparel and footwear company reported revenue declines across its core brands.
Major U.S. equities indexes moved higher on Wednesday as the markets took in the latest series of quarterly financial results. Strong earnings reports from technology and consumer discretionary companies helped those sectors outperform.
The S&P 500 closed the hump day session 0.8% higher, while the Nasdaq and the Dow added 1.0% and 0.4%, respectively.
Shares of Enphase Energy (ENPH) led the S&P 500 higher, skyrocketing 16.9%. The company missed top- and bottom-line estimates for the fourth quarter and provided guidance below expectations for the current quarter. Despite that, the solar company anticipates a recovery in demand and an improvement in margins in the second half of 2024. Analysts at Oppenheimer agreed with Enphase’s upbeat inventory and demand outlook, upgrading the stock to Outperform on Wednesday morning.
A positive forward outlook also helped boost shares of Emerson Electric (EMR), which provides electrical equipment and engineering services to various industries. Shares jumped 10.4% after Emerson boosted its second-quarter and full-year sales guidance for fiscal 2024. Both of the company’s segments—Intelligent Devices as well as Software Control and Automation—reported revenue growth in the recently reported quarter.
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) shares added 7.2% after the restaurant chain reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter. The burrito maker reported 8.4% same-store sales growth on increased foot traffic during the quarter, even as visits to other big-name food chains declined over the final months of 2023. The return of Chipotle’s carne asada and moves to improve store productivity may have contributed to the strong results.
Shares of VF Corp. (VFC) posted the steepest drop among S&P 500 stocks, plunging 9.7% on Wednesday after the apparel and footwear company’s fiscal first-quarter profits and sales fell shy of forecasts. Revenues declined across VF’s four core brands—Vans, The North Face, Timberland, and Dickies—and the company announced that its chief financial officer (CFO) would be stepping down later this year.
Paramount Global (PARA) shares fell 8.2%, reversing the gains posted last week amid reports that media mogul Byron Allen had extended an offer to buy the entertainment company. While the buzz about a potential buyout remains active, the company faces uncertainties related to its business strategy and its Paramount+ streaming service.
It was also a down day for fellow media giant Fox Corp. (FOXA). Shares tumbled 6.8% after Fox reported a year-over-year decline in revenue, reflecting the impact of lower advertising sales. The company recently made headlines for its plan to launch a joint sports streaming service with Walt Disney’s (DIS) ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD).