Good economic news was really bad news for stocks on Friday, as U.S. markets sank on a better-than-expected jobs report that made a June interest rate hike appear somewhat more likely than previously anticipated.
The Labor Department reported that 295,000 jobs were created in February, more than the 240,000 expected, while the unemployment rate fell from 5.6% to 5.5%. The strong number was said to have increased the likelihood of a June interest rate hike from 18% to 25%.
Many of the new jobs were part-time or restaurant and bar jobs, but traders still felt uneasy that the Federal Reserve would continue to keep interests rates down past June.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 1.5%, while the S&P 500 lost 1.4% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.1%. There were no sectors in the green today, and interest rate-sensitive utility stocks were crushed.
Despite the unhealthy market, The Fresh Market Inc (NASDAQ:TFM), Life Time Fitness, Inc. (NYSE:LTM) and Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ:FNSR) were quite healthy in their performance today, and are three of today’s best stocks. Here’s why:
The Fresh Market Inc (TFM)
Bucking the trend today was TFM stock, which rose more 3.5% after exceeding expectations in its fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday. Net income rose 41% to $20.2 million, or 55 cents per share, while analysts had predicted 51 cents per share. Revenue of $480 million was slightly below the Street’s view of $483.3 million.
Fresh Market reported full-year earnings of $1.30 per share on revenue of $1.7 billion. TFM stock gapped up to a recent resistance area around $42 before settling back at $41.
Life Time Fitness, Inc. (LTM)
LTM stock had a healthy jump of 15% today, after the Wall Street Journal reported that the operator of 113 fitness centers in the U.S. is being wooed by KSL Capital Partners LLC and another unnamed private equity company for a possible private purchase. A deal could be wrapped up by next week.
Life Time Fitness reported fourth-quarter earnings last week that were ahead of analyst estimates, but had slightly worse-than-expected revenue. There has also been recent talk of converting LTM into a REIT.
Finisar Corporation (FNSR)
FNSR stock soared 9.3% higher today on an upbeat third-quarter earnings report and forward guidance that pleased the Street. Finisar’s earnings of 25 cents matched the analyst estimates, but its revenue increased 4%, to $306.3 million, and was ahead of the Street’s expectations of $305.8 million.
For the current quarter, FNSR expects earnings to come in between 22 cents to 28 cents per share, on revenue between $310 million to $330 million. Wall Street is expecting 23 cents per share on $308 million in revenue.
FNSR stock has risen about 51% since mid-October, and on the news today it broke out above recent resistance at $21.50.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.