Trading was a touch-and-go affair for the better part of the day, as investors continued to digest Janet Yellen’s congressional testimony, adding today’s surprisingly firm producer inflation report to the mix. When all was said and done though, traders decided things were more bullish than not. The S&P 500 finished the day at 2,447.83, up 0.19%.
Not every name made forward progress on Thursday though. Barnes & Noble Education Inc (NYSE:BNED), Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOXA) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) each used more than their fair share of red ink, though for understandable reasons.
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)
After inching to within sight and reach of new multi-week highs on Thursday, the rug got pulled out from underneath Advanced Micro Devices today, sending AMD to a loss of 5.3%.
Don’t look for a specific reason. Rather, just note a myriad of small, cumulative reasons that finally broke the budding rally including yet-another notification that short interest in AMD is sky-high, totaling 145.11 million shares as of the latest tally. Shareholders are starting to wonder of someone else knows something they don’t.
Perhaps the darkest cloud working against AMD on Thursday, however, was word that Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) was starting to mount a counterattack to AMD’s offensive. Although it’s going to be months before Intel can take a bite out of Advanced Micro Devices’ new CPU and GPU entries, Intel is a formidable and deep-pocketed competitor.
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA)
Looks like Twenty-First Century Fox won’t have a straight, easy path to its purchase of the remainder of Britain’s Sky after all.
Fox already owns a little less than half of Sky, and was looking to scoop up the rest in order to secure more exposure to the U.K. market. The nation’s culture secretary has been asking Twenty-First Century Fox’s primary owner Rupert Murdoch for certain concessions, and he was widely expected to acquiesce. The Guardian reported today, however, that Murdoch wasn’t going to bend just to accelerate the deal’s timeline. Rather, the acquisition will proceed through normal legal channels, if it does indeed proceed.
FOXA shares ended the day down 3.8%, with investors frustrated about the newly developed hurdle.
Barnes & Noble Education Inc (BNED)
Finally, Barnes & Noble Education — spun off from book retailer Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) a little less than a year ago — saw its stock tank to the tune of 10.4% on Thursday following an earnings report that topped sales expectations, but fell short on the profit front.
For the quarter ending last month, Barnes & Noble Education turned $342.8 million in revenue into a breakeven on a per-share basis. The pros were only looking for sales of $311 million, but were also calling for a profit of 14 cents per share of BNED. Traders initially bid the stock up on the 16% increase in sales and the swing from a loss of 6 cents per share a year earlier. Having had some time to think about it though, they decided the glass was half-empty rather than half-full.
Barnes and Noble Education CEO Max Roberts didn’t do himself any favors on that front, commenting during the earnings call “Many of the major publishers are more aggressively shifting from physical to digital options, reducing prices, pursuing direct-to-consumer models and piloting rental programs for new editions.”
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.