What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Demitrios Kalogeropoulos Markets Fool.com

Stocks wobbled between slight losses and minor gains on Friday before the Dow Jones Industrial Average(DJINDICES: ^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC)finished in the red. Both indexes lost less than 0.5% on the day.

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Today's stock market

Index

Percentage Change

Point Change

Dow

(0.15%)

(30.95)

S&P 500

(0.30%)

(7.15)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Financial stocks saw some of the heaviest trading, and the popular Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT: XLF) trailed the broader market by a wide margin with a 1% drop. Gold prices ticked up, which sent the volatile leveraged bullish bet on the precious metal, Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEMKT: NUGT), higher by 0.3%.

As for individual stocks, Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT) and Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK) both made big moves following fresh quarterly earnings releases.

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Image source: Getty Images.

Mattel's inventory challenge

Shares of toys and games giant Mattel plunged 13.6% following disappointing fiscal first-quarter earnings results in which sales fell 15% and net loss expanded to $113 million from $73 million in the prior-year period. The company endured a 13% slump in its core Barbie brand, and several other key franchises, including Fisher-Price and American Girl, posted hefty declines. Gross profit margin dove to 37.9% of sales from 44.7% a year ago.

Mattel blamed a glut of inventory left over from a weak holiday quarter in developed markets like the U.S. and Europe. "Our Q1 results were below our expectations due to the retail inventory overhang coming out of the holiday period," CEO Margo Georgiadis said in a press release, "but we remain encouraged by strong performance at retail for our key core brands ... as well as sustained momentum in high-growth markets like China."

Executives said they are confident that most of the inventory challenge is behind them. The company is also looking forward to the boost it should get from its toy licensing deal with Disneyaround the entertainment giant's theatrical release of Cars 3 in June. Still, given the brutal start, 2017 seems set to be Mattel's fourth straight year of declining sales and profits.

Stanley Black & Decker's rising outlook

Stanley Black & Decker shares rose 3.7% following the release of the company's first-quarter earnings report. The tools specialist posted a 5% sales improvement to mark a healthy acceleration from the prior year's 4% gain. That translated into revenue of $2.81 billion, compared to consensus estimates targeting $2.75 billion. Stanley Black & Decker also beat expectations on profits as adjusted earnings rose to $1.29 per share;Wall Street would have settled for $1.20.

Image source: Getty Images.

Management focused investors' attention on sales gains and the company's rising profitability. "The first quarter was an excellent start to 2017," CEO James Loree said in a press release. "We reported robust organic growth of 5% and a record 14.2% operating margin rate," he added.

Stanley Black & Decker is working on integrating the newly acquired Craftsman and Newell Tools businesses into operations while aiming to bring its elevated debt level back down starting next year. The good news for investors is that rising demand should make that process easier. Executives raised their organic growth outlook, and earnings are now projected to be between $7.95 and $8.15 per share, up from the $7.63 to $7.83 range the company issued in early March.

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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of DIS. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends DIS. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.