Why U.S. Steel, Michaels Companies, and G-III Apparel Group Slumped Today

Thursday was a tough day on Wall Street, with most major benchmarks seeing substantial losses of 2%-3%. The ongoing threat of trade wars seemed to get larger after the Trump administration announced new potential tariffs, and poor performance from sectors that had until now been among the leaders in the multiyear rally made some investors question whether stocks have much more room to rise despite favorable tax policy and other issues. Some individual stocks got hit particularly hard, and U.S. Steel (NYSE: X), Michaels Companies (NASDAQ: MIK), and G-III Apparel Group (NASDAQ: GIII) were among the worst performers on the day. Here's why they did so poorly.

U.S. Steel deals with new tariff exemptions

Shares of U.S. Steel tumbled 11% as investors tried to parse conflicting trends on the trade front. Even as the White House discussed the possibility of adding further tariffs on China in a wide variety of areas, the U.S. trade representative said that temporary exemptions from the steel and aluminum tariffs that were imposed earlier will extend beyond Canada and Mexico to cover the European Union, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, and South Korea. After having seen U.S. Steel stock rise when the tariffs were initially imposed, investors worry that their positive impact has been so diluted at this point with exemptions that the company shouldn't really expect much in the way of benefit from the moves.

Michaels looks less crafty

Michaels Companies stock dropped 8% after the crafts retailer announced its fiscal fourth-quarter results. The company said that its holiday season performance was strong, with net revenue rising 8% on a 2.5% jump in comparable-store sales and an 11% jump in adjusted net income. Yet investors weren't entirely happy with the retailer's decision to close almost 100 Aaron Brothers custom framing stores, instead pulling them into existing Michaels locations as a store-within-a-store concept. With comparable-store sales growth expected to slow to 0% to 1.5% for the 2018 fiscal year, Michaels will have to outpace its own expectations in order to give shareholders confidence in its continued growth prospects.

G-III gives poor guidance

Finally, shares of G-III Apparel Group fell 12%. The company behind brand names including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and DKNY reported reasonably solid results for its fiscal fourth quarter, including a 19% sales gain and the reversal of a year-ago loss with an adjusted profit in the just-ended holiday season. Yet the company's fiscal 2019 projections weren't as good as those following the stock had wanted to see, including tepid revenue estimates of $2.94 billion and adjusted earnings of $1.98 to $2.08 per share. Coming on the heels of a more upbeat report three months ago, investors weren't pleased with the idea that G-III's growth will have to slow in the coming year.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of G-III Apparel Group. The Motley Fool recommends The Michaels Companies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.