Soft Demand Outlook Puts Pressure on Cosmetics Stocks: S&P 500 Records Mixed Performance

Table of contents

Soft Demand Outlook Puts Pressure on Cosmetics Stocks: S&P 500 Records Mixed Performance

Key Takeaways

  • The S&P 500 ticked 0.1% higher on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, as Federal Chair Jerome Powell said he still expects interest rate cuts sometime this year.
  • Paramount Global shares soared amid reports of exclusive acquisition talks with Skydance Media.
  • Shares of Ulta Beauty and other cosmetics companies dropped after Ulta’s CEO warned of soft demand.

Major U.S. equities indexes traded higher for most of Wednesday’s session as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reassured investors that interest rates will likely move lower at some point in 2024. However, the rally lost momentum in the afternoon, and the indexes ended the day relatively flat.

The S&P 500 held onto gains of 0.1%, marking its first positive trading day in the newly minted second quarter. The Nasdaq was up 0.2%, while the Dow ended down 0.1%.

Shares of Paramount Global (PARA) took off amid reports the company had entered exclusive acquisition talks with Skydance Media, already a longtime collaborator in film and TV production. Gains of 15.0% made Paramount the day’s top S&P 500 stock.

Shares of GE Aerospace (GE) jumped 6.7% after General Electric finalized its split into three public companies. Now trading under the longstanding GE ticker, GE Aerospace was the top revenue-generating division of the former conglomerate, focusing on airplane engines and other aviation technology. Energy division GE Vernova (GEV) began trading as a separate stock on Tuesday, while GE Healthcare (GEHC) was spun off last year.

NRG Energy (NRG) shares added 5.0% after the integrated energy firm said it had repurchased roughly $251 million in senior convertible notes due in 2048. Around $232 million in aggregate principal amount of the notes will remain outstanding after the transaction closes.

Shares of Ulta Beauty (ULTA) plunged 15.3%, marking the heaviest losses on the S&P 500, after the CEO of the cosmetics retailer said demand was slumping across the beauty category. The negative trend extends to different products and price points, with pronounced weakness in prestige makeup and haircare, the company’s CEO said.

Other companies in the cosmetics and beauty industry saw their share prices move lower following Ulta’s comments. Shares of Estee Lauder (EL) and Bath & Body Works (BBWI) were down 4.1% and 3.7%, respectively.

Intel (INTC) shares dropped 8.2% after the semiconductor giant revealed that its foundry unit had posted an operating loss of $7 billion in 2023, steeper than the $5.2 billion loss reported the previous year. The losses suggest that Intel could struggle to reclaim its position as the top contract chipmaker after being surpassed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).

Disney (DIS) successfully warded off a challenge from activist investor Nelson Peltz, who was looking to make changes to the company’s board. Despite the victory for CEO Bob Iger, Disney shares slipped 3.1% following the news.

Source Reference

Latest stories