Image source: Getty Images.
Stocks finished mixed on Wednesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) didn't budge and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) shed about 0.25%.
Today's stock market
Data source: Yahoo! Finance.
Oil prices surged by over 8% after OPEC announced an agreement to lower production. That move helped energy stocks and produced a 9% gain for the United States Oil Fund (NYSEMKT: USO) as the highly leveraged Velocity Shares 3X Long Crude Oil Fund (NYSEMKT: UWTI) soared 25%.
Meanwhile, American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) and GoPro (NASDAQ: GPRO) attracted heavy investor interest following big operating news from the companies.
American Eagle Outfitters' growth stumble
American Eagle's stock
Image source: Getty Images.
On the bright side, earnings improved by a solid 17% to mark more than two years of consistent profit gains. American Eagle's profit margin ticked up, too, as management held the line on price cuts. "I'm pleased that we continued to deliver strong results in a tough retail climate," CEO Jay Schottenstein said in a press release, "reaching record sales and marking the 9th consecutive quarter of profit improvement."
The retailer's outlook for the holiday quarter didn't give shareholders much to cheer about. In fact, the forecast implies a second straight quarter of decelerating growth as comparable-store sales come in basically flat. Given that the company gets a huge portion of its earnings over this period, and because third-quarter operating trends were underwhelming, it's no surprise that investors took a step back on a stock that had raced up 23% in the 12 months prior to Wednesday's earnings report.
GoPro's encouraging start
Sports camera manufacturer GoPro rose by as much as 5% before settling to a 2% gain following an update from management on its early holiday season sales trends. The company, which stumbled badly with its 2015 Hero camera release -- and with its more recent
Image source: GoPro.
That's why it's good news that consumers seem to be interested in the new camera. GoPro's data showed a 35% increase in Hero sales during Black Friday week for a solid start to the season.
"We have a lot of work to do to finish the quarter and our fiscal year, however our Hero 5 cameras have been well-received by critics and consumers alike," CEO Nicholas Woodman said in a press release.
A solid product release alone won't be enough to end GoPro's distressing run of net losses, though. To that end, Woodman and his team announced that the company is shedding 15% of its workforce, or 200 full-time positions.
The cuts should reduce operating expenses enough to give executives a good shot at achieving profitability by the end of next year. While investors will be happy to see the red ink stop gushing, they likely won't push the stock significantly higher until GoPro can put together a string of successful product launches in the
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