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US retail sector mixed on quarterly results

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by Elaine Frei

Equities markets in New York were lower just past mid-session on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped 0.2 percent to 12,443.76, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.02 percent to 2,427.16 and the S&P 500 was 0.1 percent lower to 1,421.99.

In the airlines sector, Delta Air Lines added 5 percent to $1.28 despite only a tepid vote of confidence from its creditors committee for its plan to remain an independent carrier as it comes out of bankruptcy. The committee said that it would continue to consider other alternatives. US Airways recently made a hostile bid for Delta.

Johnson & Johnson dropped 0.3 percent to $66.21 because while the US Food and Drug Administration approved its schizophrenia drug Invega, the FDA required a warning label on the product concerning an increased risk of a potentially fatal side effect.

The retail sector was mixed. Rite Aid added 2 percent to $5.48 even though it took a slight loss in the third quarter, due to an increased volume of prescriptions filled and better pharmacy sales. Best Buy was up 2.7 percent on an upgrade to “outperform” from Credit Suisse. On the other hand, Bed Bath & Beyond dropped 3.6 percent to $38.48. While it said that its profits in the quarter were up 6 percent, this was below what had been expected.

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News posted: December 21, 2006

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