Stock Market Today: A Fired Software Ceo And A Jeweler’s Gleaming Profit

Stock Market Today: A Homebuilder Surges and a Retailer Books Surprising Growth

US Existing Home Sales Chart

Tiffany’s stock was down nearly 2% in pre-market trading. Finally, Darden Restaurants today booked a brutal 20% dip in profit for its fiscal third quarter. Earnings fell to $0.82 a share from $1.02 in the year-ago period. Revenue also ticked lower by 1.1% to $2.2 billion as Darden’s flagship Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains continued to see big traffic declines: same-store sales fell by 5% and 9% for the two brands, respectively, in the quarter.

US stock market heads for a solid weekly gain

Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today’s session, including Lennar (NYSE: LEN ) and Burlington Stores (NYSE: BURL ) . Lennar this morning announced surprisingly strong quarterly earnings results. The homebuilder’s revenue spiked higher by 38% to $1.43 billion as it delivered 13% more houses than in the year-ago period. Wall Street had expected sales to come in at $1.28 billion. Lennar’s earnings were well ahead of estimates at $0.35 per diluted share thanks to a 3 percentage-point improvement in gross margin.

The only stumble came Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve said it could start raising short-term interest rates as soon as next year. Traders drove down prices for gold, government bonds and stocks. GOLDEN GATE’S TOUCH: News that Golden Gate Capital has acquired a stake in Ann Inc. sent the retailer’s stock soaring $4.77, or 13 percent, to $42.02.


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