Consumer Company Stocks Rise on Strong Services Data - Consumer Roundup

Features Dow Jones Newswires

Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies fell, but not by much, after mixed economic data.

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The New York unit of the Institute for Supply Management said its current business conditions index, based on a survey of companies across New York City, came in at 56.6, indicating sustained expansion after a rise to 62.8 in July.

One brokerage said fears the housing market is about to roll over may be misplaced. "Three key housing metrics remain supportive of growth: 1) gains in existing home sales, 2) new household formation, and 3) home price appreciation point to continued growth in home improvement demand," said analysts at brokerage Morgan Stanley, in a note to clients.

Another brokerage argued a relief rally for some distressed retailers in the wake of some surprisingly strong sales tallies may be overdone. "The greatest percentage of EPS beats and upward revisions in years triggered positive headlines and upgrades of several left-for-dead retail stocks; yet, despite the positives, 2Q saw the worst EPS growth in years," said analysts at brokerage Nomura Securities, in a note to clients.

Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies rose after a strong survey of the services sectors. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of nonmanufacturing activity rose to 55.3 in August from 53.9 in July. A reading above 50 indicates growing activity, as measured by factors such as sales, hiring and production. Travel-oriented companies remained under pressure because of the negative impact of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean on ticket demand and operations. United Continental shares declined after the carrier said fallout from Hurricane Harvey and a fare war will hurt third-quarter earnings. Southwest Airlines also warned of a hit to revenue and passenger metrics from Hurricane Harvey. Shares of cruise lines such as Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines were flat after falling sharply on Tuesday. Many operators have had to reroute cruise ships that were due to sail to Caribbean destinations affected by Hurricane Irma, including St. Kitts and Nevis and Puerto Rico.

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-Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 06, 2017 16:46 ET (20:46 GMT)