S&P 500 Gains and Losses Today: Lululemon, Nike Stocks Fall Amid Soft Guidance

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Key Takeaways

  • The S&P 500 ticked 0.1% lower on Friday, March 22, 2024, retreating slightly from the all-time high posted in the previous session.
  • Shares of Lululemon and Nike tumbled after both athletic apparel firms issued lackluster guidance.
  • FedEx shares soared as the package delivery firm reported better-than-expected results and highlighted the success of its cost-cutting program.
Major U.S. equities indexes were mixed on Friday after popping to all-time highs in the previous session, boosted by the Federal Reserve's reconfirmation of its rate-cut forecasts.
The S&P 500 closed down 0.1% on the final trading day of the week. The Dow dropped 0.8%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.2% to print a new record close.

Despite Friday's varied performance, all three indexes were in positive territory for the full week, benefitting from an optimistic mood as the Fed reiterated the expected trajectory of monetary policy.

Lululemon Athletica (LULU) shares sustained the heaviest losses among S&P 500 stocks, tumbling 15.8% after the activewear maker forecast lower-than-expected sales and profits for the current quarter and the full year. Although the company topped estimates for the holiday quarter, it cited softness in its Americas business as a factor behind the weaker outlook.

Lululemon was not the only athletic apparel stock that declined on the day. Shares of Nike (NKE) slipped 6.9% after the firm predicted revenue would decline in the low-single digits over the first half of its fiscal year. Nike noted it is shifting its product portfolio as it navigates a subdued economic outlook.

Paramount Global (PARA) shares dropped 4.8% following news that the entertainment firm's controlling shareholder might not be interested in accepting the $11 billion offer to buy its film studio. The declines mark a reversal from the gains posted on Wednesday amid initial reports of the bid.

Shares of engineering and design software firm Epam Systems (EPAM) fell 4.5% after analysts at Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on the stock. The bank sees headwinds for Epam related to pricing pressure, limited IT spending by corporate customers, and lower venture capital investment reducing the adoption of new technology platforms.

FedEx (FDX) shares soared 7.4% on Friday, notching the top performance in the S&P 500 after the logistics and delivery company beat estimates for the third quarter of the fiscal year. The company highlighted a positive impact from cost-cutting measures announced around a year ago, which helped offset a year-over-year decline in revenue. FedEx also announced a new $5 billion stock buyback program.

Shares of semiconductor giant Nvidia (NVDA) gained 3.1% after UBS boosted its price target on the stock to $1,100. The analysts believe nations could represent a new wave of buyers for Nvidia's artificial intelligence (AI) systems. At its recent GTC 2024 conference, Nvidia mentioned Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and Sweden as customers, while pointing to additional opportunities from countries in the Middle East.

Shares of utility and power producer AES Corp. (AES) added 3.1% on Friday, extending solid gains posted throughout the week. The firm boasts a strong renewable energy portfolio and strategic partnerships with technology companies that could underpin future growth.

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