Stocks closed out the first half of the year with a positive day, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) and S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) hung on to gains despite slipping lower right before the closing bell.
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Crude oil prices rebounded above $46 and oil stocks rose, with the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSEMKT: XOP) up 0.7%. Industrial stocks were also strong, and the Industrial Select SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT: XLI) gained 0.8%.
As for individual companies, shares of Nike, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) rose strongly on a solid earnings report.
Nike sprints ahead
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Investors cheered Nike's fiscal fourth-quarter results, as sales outside the U.S. and direct-to-consumer sales propelled the top line. Revenue was $8.7 billion, up 5%, or 7% on a currency-neutral basis. Earnings per share boomed 22% to $0.60 and surprised analysts, who were expecting only $0.50. The stock rose sharply on the news and closed up 11%.
Nike brand sales were flat in the U.S., but excluding currency effects, they increased 12% in Western Europe and 16% in China. Direct-to-consumer sales for the full year rose 18% excluding currency, driven by a 30% increase in digital commerce sales and a 7% increase in the number of Nike stores.
In the release, Nike Chairman and CEO Mark Parker said, "Through our Consumer Direct Offense, we're putting even more firepower behind our greatest opportunities in Fiscal 2018. It will be a big year for NIKE innovation and we'll bring those stories to life through deeper consumer connections in our key cities around the world."
Given the quarter's success in international markets and digital commerce sales, Nike's new Consumer Direct Offense initiative appears to be right on target to put renewed focus on those areas. Investors clearly liked the way the company crossed the finish line for fiscal 2017.
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