Investors couldn’t decide which way to turn Thursday, as markets started the day higher, fell back in the late morning on profit taking, then moved ahead again in the afternoon to finish the day in the black and stem a three-day losing streak.
The Nasdaq lead the way, rising 0.41% to 3669.12, while the S&P 500 rose 0.39% to 1697.48, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.18% to finish at 15498.32.
Earnings news generally powered individual moves. Tesla Motors (TSLA) saw a huge surge Thursday after announcing a surprise profit of 20 cents per share despite Wall Street expecting a loss of 19 cents, and revenues of $401.5 million that also topped the consensus. TSLA finished up 14%.
Internet travel site Orbitz Worldwide (OWW) was one of the day’s biggest gainers, exploding by 36% to touch multiyear highs on a second-quarter revenue improvement that beat Wall Street’s bar and higher guidance for Q3 and the rest of the fiscal year. However, OWW did miss EPS estimates by 9 cents. Sectormate Tripadvisor (TRIP) rose more than 2% on the news.
Groupon (GRPN) also boomed ahead, gaining 22% after reporting revenue growth and lower losses in the second quarter. GRPN also named Eric Lefkofsky as CEO; he had been serving as chief on an interim basis.
Heading the other way on earnings was SolarCity (SCTY), which fell more than 10% despite posting a smaller loss (38 cents per share) than predicted (41 cents). However, it came in under estimates on the top line.
Travel baggage and accessories maker Tumi (TUMI) saw its shares tumble more than 11% after reporting a rise in revenue that did not meet estimates, as well as flat net income, and telegraphing a lower full-year earnings and revenues.
Microsoft (MSFT) was the Dow’s biggest gainer with a 3% improvement after Evercore upgraded MSFT to “outperform” and set a price target of $38 per share, or 18% better than Wednesday’s closing price.
JCPenney (JCP) surged more than 6% ahead of Friday’s earnings release after CNBC reported it is looking for a replacement for current CEO Mike Ullman, who replaced Ron Johnson in April. JCP still remains down roughly 30% year-to-date.
Finally, Priceline (PCLN) reported after the bell to keep the online momentum going with Q2 earnings of $9.70 per share that topped the year-ago period by 33 cents, though on lover revenues of $1.38 billion. Shares were ahead more than 5% in after-hours trading.
- Iamgold (IAG): Up 16.6% (71 cents) to $5.
- Goodrich Petroleum (GDP): Up 14.7% ($2.60) to $20.28.
- Trina Solar (TSL): Up 9.4% (62 cents) to $7.22.
- Fusion-io (FIO): Down 23.6% ($3.51) to $11.39.
- Halcon Resources (HK): Down 10.9% (64 cents) to $5.23.
- Dean Foods (DF): Down 7.4% (82 cents) to $10.20.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long MSFT.