Gap Inc (NYSE: GPS) stock exploded more than 18% in extended trading after the iconic American clothing and accessory brand beat Wall Street's consensus estimates for both third-quarter earnings and revenue. The clothing giant reported adjusted earnings of 59 cents per share on $3.77 billion in revenue, outperforming analyst forecasts. The company expects sales to remain flat or even slide a bit in its fourth financial quarter.
Earnings per share (EPS): $0.59 vs. $0.19 expected
Revenue: $3.77 Billion vs. $3.60 Billion expected
"Gap Inc. delivered a solid performance in the third quarter. We were pleased to see market share gains as well as improvements in both gross margins and operating margins, demonstrating our ability to drive operating and financial discipline," Gap president and CEO, Richard Dickson said.
US stock futures extended the weekly gains after a number of key Fed officials acknowledged progress in controlling inflation. Meanwhile, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Thursday that she needs to see more evidence that inflation is moving toward the central bank's 2% target and that policy is "in a good place" to monitor how that progress occurs. Moving ahead, today's US housing data will be the highlight of the final trading day of the week along with any speakers from the Fed will also be closely watched.
Crude oil futures have slightly recovered from the previous session's sharp fall. Crude oil prices dropped nearly 5% on Thursday as the latest data pointed to large builds in US crude inventories. One of the other reasons behind the strong bearish sentiment after the IEA said the oil market won't be as tight as initially thought for the current quarter.
In the currency market, GBPUSD remains volatile. The currency pairs rebounded back to above 1.2430 after dropping back to below 1.2400 after the release of a weak UK retail sales report. UK retail sales volumes fall to their lowest level since the 2021 Covid lockdown. Retail sales volumes dropped 0.3% month-on-month, following a revised 1.1% decline in September that was worse than first estimated.
Gold price bounced to a fresh weekly high of $1992 supported by dollar weakness and boosted by expectations for the end of U.S. interest rate hikes. The upside momentum was also boosted by falling U.S. Treasury yields. The yields on the benchmark 10-year U.S. government bonds dipped to a near two-month low on Thursday.
On the data front, the inflation rate in the Euro Area was confirmed at 2.9% year-on-year in October 2023, marking the lowest figure since July 2021 but still surpassing the ECB's target of 2%. On a month-on-month basis, inflation decelerated to 0.1%, compared with an initial estimate of 0.3%.
Moving ahead today, the important events to watch:
US –Building permits: GMT – 13.30
US – Housing starts: GMT – 13:30
Technical Outlook and Review
EURUSD: For today, 1.0820 is the immediate support level, followed by 1.0790. If the pair breaks below 1.0790, the slump will quickly extend toward the 1.0760 mark. On the upper side, the euro is likely to find immediate resistance at 1.0900, any break above the 1.0900 level could lead the prices of the forex pair towards the next resistance level of 1.0930/40.
The important levels to watch for today: Support- 1.0790 and 1.0760 Resistance- 1.0900 and 1.0930.
GOLD: On the bullish side, today the resistance stays above $1988, and a break above this exposes the metal to the $1997/2000 level. On the downside, any meaningful pullback now seems to find some support near the $1974 and then $1970 zones.
The important levels to watch for today: Support- 1974 and 1968 Resistance- 1988 and 1998.
Quote of the day – “Experience teaches that the time to buy stocks is when their price is unduly depressed by temporary adversity. In other words, they should be bought on a bargain basis or not at all.” — Benjamin Graham.