Market Preview: Sick of the Cliff?
As for Friday's scheduled news, J.C. Penney (JCP) is slated to report its third-quarter results before the opening bell.
The department store operator, which is in the midst of a rocky turnaround effort under the leadership of former Apple exec Rob Johnson, is anticipated to post a loss of 7 cents a share on revenue of $3.27 billion. In the same period a year earlier, J.C. Penney earned 11 cents a share on revenue of $3.99 billion.
Since coming on board roughly a year ago, Johnson has sought to revamp the J.C. Penney brand, emphasizing low regular prices (no discounts) and a heightened fashion sense but the results so far have been a borderline disaster , as evidenced by a 21.7% drop in same-store sales in the second quarter.
The stock fell sharply on Thursday ahead of the numbers, losing 5% to close at $21.69. At that level, it's down 50% since hitting a 52-week high of $43.18 on Feb. 19. The majority of the sell side is bearish with 15 of the 21 analysts covering the shares at either hold (12) or underperform (3), and the median 12-month price target sitting at $25.
Check out TheStreet's quote page for J.C. Penney for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.
Other companies reporting quarterly results on Friday include CompuCredit(CCRT) , E.W. Scripps (SSP) , Energizer Holdings (ENR) , Federal Signal (FSS) , Foster Wheeler (FWLT) , Ivanhoe Energy (IVAN) , MGIC Investment (MGIC) , NutriSystem(NTRI) , and Warner Chilcott (WCRX) .
Also on the corporate front, the pullback in Apple(AAPL) becomes a bigger topic for the broad market with every passing day's decline. The shares closed Thursday at $537.65, down 3.6% as it fell for a fifth straight session. Since hitting an all-time high of $705.07 on Sept. 21, Apple has lost nearly 24%.
Oppenheimer was out in support of the stock, suggesting investors buy Apple on the recent weakness.
"We see good potential for a near-term rebound to ~$620 before experiencing resistance," the firm said. "At this point the shares embed concerns around (1) the poor macro environment and weak consumer spending with regards to iPhone demand, (2) iPad mini pricing and tablet share losses, (3) management changes, and (4) margin compression. Not ignoring these challenges, we still believe the shares are overextended to the downside and embed too much pessimism regarding headwinds and execution."
Friday's economic calendar includes export and import prices for October at 8:30 a.m. ET; the initial University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for November at 9:55 a.m. ET; and wholesale inventories for September at 10 a.m. ET.
And finally, shares of Walt Disney (DIS) were down more than 2% in after-hours action after the media giant posted an in-line profit but came up short on the top line.