Despite crude oil once again falling by nearly 5% to finish near $28 a barrel, stocks toughed it out and moved close to the flat line in late afternoon.
The reason for oil’s continuing drop was the International Energy Agency’s assertion that there will be a considerable easing of demand for oil this year.
Another negative weighing on stocks this morning was a better-than-5% decline in the Nikkei overnight, as bank stocks fell as much as 9%.
Traders seem to be selling into the small rallies that do take place, but some are looking ahead to remarks from Janet Yellen tomorrow, in which they hope she will say the markets are too weak for the Fed to raise interest rates this year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were both basically flat on the day, while the Nasdaq lost 0.3%. Overall sectors were mixed, with energy the weakest and consumer goods and healthcare showing mild gains.
Several companies were the beneficiaries of good earnings reports today, among them Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (NASDAQ:GT), Owens-Illinois Inc (NYSE:OI) and Spirit Airlines Incorporated (NASDAQ:SAVE). Here’s the full story of why they are three of today’s best stocks:
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (GT)
Goodyear stock was rolling along today after reporting fourth-quarter 2015 earnings of 93 cents a share on $4.1 billion in revenue. Both numbers beat the analysts’ estimates for 75 cents a share on $4.01 billion. Sales in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East were off, but revenue from the Asian Pacific Rim increased.
In addition, GT announced the board of directors authorized a $650 million increase in the stock buyback program this week.
Since December, shares of GT have dropped from $35 to $27 a share, so today’s 4% rise should help lift investors’ spirits.
Owens-Illinois Inc (OI)
OI stock surged nearly 10% today after reporting fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 40 cents a share, with revenue coming in at $1.62 billion. While both figures were in line with Wall Street’s estimates, EPS actually rose from 32 cents a share year-over-year.
It has been a long, tough road for OI stock. Nine months ago, OI stock traded near $26, and yet it began today just over $12. The financial media has not been kind lately either. TheStreet.com penned a headline this week that OI is “A House of Pain That Will Get Worse.” Investopedia called Owens-Illinois “broken” one day before the earnings report came out.
Looks like at least temporarily, OI has outsmarted its critics.
Spirit Airlines Incorporated (SAVE)
In keeping with today’s earnings “spirit,” Spirit Airlines flew about 6% higher today after reporting fourth-quarter earnings of $1.02 a share on $519.85 million in revenue. Analysts were close, with an estimate of 99 cents a share on $518.68 in revenue, but Spirit still had them beaten.
A nearly 24% decline in fuel costs was one of the reasons for the strong quarterly results. But competitive pricing among airlines still kept profits in check.
SAVE stock was featured in this space only a few weeks ago after announcing an increase in operating guidance for the quarter.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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