Stock Market Today: Cannabis Gets Crushed

Stock Market

It was another quiet session for the stock market today. U.S. equities hovered close to break-even, while volatility remains low. To put it simply, investors aren’t willing to part ways with their stocks, even as they sit around all-time highs.

However, that didn’t mean Thursday went by without drama. Much of it was seen in the cannabis space.

Cannabis Goes Up in Smoke

Cheesy pun aside, the cannabis space took a beating on Thursday. Leading the decline was Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), which fell more than 14% at one point and hit new 52-week lows.

Shares were down closer to 20% at one point, but buyers eventually stepped in to get it off its lows. In any regard, fiscal second-quarter earnings disappointed investors, as the company reported a top- and bottom-line miss. While revenue soared 228% year-over-year, it declined sequentially. At the same time, operating expenses continue to climb, rising 48% year-over-year.

When the company last reported earnings, investors were turned off from a confusion in the report. A massive per-share losses related to warrants with Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) hit the stock hard — and this report isn’t any better. Earnings of $1.08 CAD missed expectations by 73 cents, while revenue of just $76.6 million CAD missed estimates by $14 million CAD.

With such low sales, it’s hard to value the company with a $6 billion market capitalization. Then throw in the fact that sales aren’t meeting expectations, expenses are ballooning and the company is losing money, and there’s no wonder why CGC is getting hit hard on the day.

It’s also casting pain across the sector, with Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB), Aphria (NYSE:APHA) and Cronos (NASDAQ:CRON) all down. Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) fell too, although the company delivered its own top- and bottom-line miss just the other day.

This space is a mess right now.

Earnings Still in Focus

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) was in the spotlight this morning, after the company delivered its third-quarter results. Earnings of $1.16 per share beat estimates by 7 cents, while revenue of $128 billion was roughly in line with expectations. However, e-commerce sales jumped more than 40% year-over-year, comparable-store sales growth of 3.2% topped estimates of 3.1% and management gave a slight boost to its full-year earnings outlook.

While that was enough to thrust shares up about $5 apiece near the open to new all-time highs of $125.38, they have since fallen. WMT stock gave up all of its post-earnings gains on Thursday, finishing at $120.65, down 0.27%.

The other large earnings mover? Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO). However, it did a lot worse than Walmart, falling about 7% on the day.

The company’s fiscal first-quarter earnings results topped expectations, weighing in at 84 cents per share vs. estimates of 81 cents per share. Revenue of $13.2 billion grew just 70 basis points year-over-year and eked past estimates by $70 million. However, second-quarter guidance calling for a revenue decline of 3%-5%, coupled with a miss on EPS vs. consensus expectations really soured the mood.

Movers in the Stock Market Today

Uber (NYSE:UBER) stock is flirting with new all-time lows, this time on news of a big tax bill. New Jersey’s labor department says the company owes the state $650 million in unemployment and disability insurance taxes. That comes as the state says Uber improperly classified its drivers as contractors instead of employees. While $650 million is a big sum, the future implications of Uber’s business model is likely weighing on investors as well.

Uber, Cisco and Canopy were three picks in the Top Stock Trades column on Thursday.

Recently, reports hit that Nike (NYSE:NKE) would be pivoting away from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), after the former had been running a pilot with the latter. This isn’t too surprising, given that Nike recently hired John Donahoe as its new CEO, starting in 2020. Donahoe has worked with PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW).

Nike going with a tech leader is also not surprising given today’s current retail environment. It’s not unlike what Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) did after moving on from long-time leader Howard Schultz.

In any regard, Nike reportedly thinks that Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) can help give a more premium experience to its customers. That’s true when it comes to physical retail, even as details are light when it comes to beefing up the partnership between the two. Still, it leaves a question mark about Nike’s e-commerce plan, and whether the company will build out its own system or migrate to a platform like Shopify (NYSE:SHOP).

If it’s the latter, Shopify may see more brands do the same.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long SBUX.

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